Category Archives: Sewing

Wardrobe Wednesday: Max(i)ed Out

I’ve had that Wardrobe Wednesday post title planned for at least two weeks, so, of course, I had to comment on it to make sure it got its due. : )

Also, it’s pretty indicative of what we’ve got in store for today’s post, which is all about maxi skirts—one bought, one made by moi.

Here’s the bought option:

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Okay, so normally, I do not point your eyes to my bust region, but I just have to say that I was wearing a camisole with a built-in bra under my t-shirt, and apparently, it was not lying completely flat or something because I’ve got lumpiness issues going on here that I don’t care for.

Of course, most of you were never going to notice that, and now I have directed your attention to my chest.

Great job, Abbie.

Also, can I just take a moment to say that maxi skirts are a pregnant girl’s best friend?

Not just because of comfort either. Look what else you can do!

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Sometimes, all it takes is a good twirl in a long, floaty skirt to brighten your day (it’s especially bright when the skirt is a particularly loud shade of chartreuse!). 

You know what else are a pregnant girl’s best friends?

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WIDE BELTS.

I wore this outfit to sing on the worship team at church last Sunday, and as I was trying to figure out what to wear the night before (we do our final run-through at 7:15 Sunday morning, which means I need to get up at 5:45 to get there on time, and trying to find clothes the morning of in the dark without waking up husband or children is no fun at all), I was having a major pregnancy snit fit.

You know, the: “Nothing fits right anymore, but I’m not big enough to need different clothes, so instead of pregnant, I just look hefty, and I’m a coooooooowwwww! Waaaaah!”

Yeah, it was a big-time, ugly pity party, folks.

And then I remembered that wide belt (Candie’s, brand new from Goodwill = $1), and when I put it on, everything suddenly made sense (well, not everything…I still don’t know why they make those little tab thingies on ketchup packages so dang hard to tear without squirting goo all over yourself).

Not only that, but I got at least three compliments on the outfit (and one of them was from a guy on our worship team who said something like, “I don’t usually notice fashion or anything like that, but I think what you’re wearing is really cool”).

In fact, two ladies ran up to me after the first service, pointed down, and said, “WHERE did you get THAT?!”

I looked down and saw my daughter standing at my feet and said, “Adelaide? Oh, I birthed her.”

Turns out they were talking about my skirt.

Oh, and as far as the breakdown for this outfit goes, the skirt was an Old Navy clearance buy ($8), the t-shirt was a clothes-swap score ($0), the jewelry is from Goodwill ($5ish), and the shoes?

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Well, the shoes were a bit of a splurge for me.

I found them at the GAP outlet a few weeks back and fell so deeply in love that I paid $20 for them. I plan to wear the tar out of them, though, so there’s my excuse for buying $20 sandals.

Okay, so how about we take a gander at the “made” maxi skirt?

If you recall, I was majorly jonesing for a cute maxi dress like this one:

(click the pic to be taken to the tute)

But there was one small problem.

I couldn’t quite see much point in cutting up a tank to attach the skirt of the dress to when I could just make a skirt, tuck the tank in, and then add a belt or sash and achieve the same effect with less work and more versatility.

I found this crazy fun print at Hancock’s yesterday, which normally I wouldn’t gravitate towards, but it was super-cheap ($2.50/yd), and I thought it might be a fun punch of whimsy with a white tank.

I followed the basic guidelines from the above tute for measuring the amount of fabric I needed, etc., and then did my own thing after that.

So, how much fabric will you need?

Well, it depends on you and the fabric you use.

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(love the veins of gold outlining the flowers)

This particular piece of fabric was very lightweight but not very fluid. I forgot to look at the bolt to see the exact makeup of it, but I would guess a lightweight, unpolished cotton.

It’s a little scratchy and a teeny bit stiff, which means it doesn’t have a lot of movement—not ideal for a maxi skirt, but I figured I could make it work.

SO! Back to that measurement business.

A Small Snippet (the blog with the tank dress tute) suggests wrapping your fabric around your waist 1 1/2 times to achieve the desired fullness. Lindsay, who made her own version, suggested 2 times.

What with the belly and all, I decided to go with Lindsay’s suggestion.

Turns out that TOO much fabric is a bad thing when your fabric is a bit on the starchy side (not so attractive when you’ve got a bump in the front AND a huge bustle of extra fabric in the back), so I ended up trimming my seam by a good 6 inches, which means that I was closer to wrapping the fabric 1 and 3/4 times around my waist.

But I don’t think this would be an issue with softer, more fluid fabric that “lies” a little more nicely.

Once I had wrapped my fabric around my waist to determine how wide it needed to be, I cut it at that mark, and then did the following:

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Since my fabric wasn’t directional (meaning, it didn’t matter whether it lay horizontally or vertically), I was able to use the full “length” (actually the width, but it didn’t matter in this case) of the fabric, which at 45” or so, was plenty long enough for me (I’m 5’6”ish), as long as I didn’t hem.

Goody for me that the uncut edges of the bolt have a nice straight selvage line, so I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to (and I didn’t).

Then, I grabbed a piece of 3/4” elastic, attached a safety pin to one end, and here’s what came next:

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Then:

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All evenly scrunched and ready to go.

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Aaaaand…that’s IT!

You’re already done.

Seriously, the easiest. skirt. ever.

I made a couple of measuring/stitching goofs because that’s how I roll when I sew, but if I hadn’t, I could definitely have been done in under an hour.

Of course, you could do fancier things like hem your skirt or make a nicer-looking band for the waist, but I already knew the band would be covered up with a sash or wide belt, and no one was ever going to notice my hem with that busy of a print going on, so I stuck a pin or two in it and called it done! (And then took the pins out before I poked myself…again).

And here’s how I wore it:

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Did you notice my vintage button jewelry from yesterday’s post? I’m already getting my $3 worth! : )

So, what do you think? Wanna give the:

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…a try?

I’d love to see pics if you do!

I can definitely see the drape and sway of the skirt being drastically different depending on what kind of fabric you use, and I already have a couple more options in mind that I think I’ll try out!

Well, that’s it for me today, folks!

I’m off to the post office, more errands, and then BODYCOMBAT launch (I think I have miraculously managed to cram enough of the choreography in my head that I won’t embarrass myself). 

Y’all have a lovely Wednesday!

The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T.  ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon  ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia  ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ JAQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Thursdays are Your Days, Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest  ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride  ~ Lolly Jane

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

Try-it Tuesday: Reversible Baby Booties

Have you ever tried to photograph an almost-17-month-old toddler doing, well, anything?

It’s kind of like trying to use chopsticks to spear Jell-o while it’s revolving on a pottery wheel.

But more on that later.

Have you heard of Joyfolie?

I first discovered Jessica’s delightful shoe line for infants and littles (though I think she’s expanding to Women’s too) two years ago when I was pregnant with Della, and I was immediately smitten with the fabrics, the flower details, the exquisite style in which my girl’s newborn tootsies had the potential to be shod if only I weren’t so cheap.

Because, seriously, Jessica’s creations are magical, and back when I first found Joyfolie, her shoes were only about $30 a piece—an absolute steal for handmade (GORGEOUS) baby shoes.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here are a few examples that the website would actually let me grab images of. They’re not even my favorites, but Joyfolie does not make a bad shoe, folks. (Just click on the pic, and it will take you to the link):

 

Throw in names like “Luna” and “Gabi” and “Farrah” and the fact that Jessica styles and takes all of her pics, and I have to say, I’m in awe.

But no matter how much I love her shoes, I simply cannot make myself plunk down $60 a pop (the average price now that Joyfolie has achieved limited mass production) for an article of clothing that will grace my child’s feet for a mere month or two.

(Although I did indulge in one pair from the Joyfolie FB fan page—a great place to get gently used Joyfolies at discounted prices—before Della was born, and then squirreled them away for the “perfect time,” which only occurred AFTER she’d already outgrown them…doh!…no worries, though, I can easily resell them for what I paid).

So, what’s with the Joyfolie plug?

Is Jessica sitting beside me, slipping me crisp Benjamin Franklins for every sentence I write?

Um, no.

Pretty sure she hasn’t a clue of my existence.

Also pretty sure she wouldn’t love the fact that I’m praising her shoes but not buying any. : \

HOWEVER, I do enjoy letting people know about quality products that I love (even if I am too cheap for them), AND all this Joyfolie talk is a great tie-in to today’s Try-it Tuesday…

…which is all about baby shoes.

Because, as you probably already know if you’ve been following along at 5D5W, my typical response when I find something I love but am not willing to shell out for is to think, “Hmmmm…so can I do that myself, for a lot less?”

In the case of baby booties, the answer is a resounding yes, and the possibilities are endless.

I found a basic bootie pattern…this one, actually:

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And got to work.

Here’s Della at 6 weeks wearing the first pair of shoes I ever made her:

della six weeks

(I cannot get over how tiny she is here).

And here she is 15 months later, absolutely fascinated with what Mama is doing with that fun, shiny, pointy thing:

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{This is what a lot of the crafting at our house looks like}

So, how hard is it to make baby shoes?

Not hard at all.

In fact, all you really need is cute fabric, a sewing machine or thread + needle, maybe some ribbon or elastic, and a little patience.

As you can see from the shot below, there are really only two pieces to the pattern:

shoeshoe

I got my Simplicity pattern on sale for around $7, but you could easily make your own by tracing around the sole of a baby bootie you already have and then cutting a horse-shoe shaped piece of fabric for the shoe body.

For this pair of shoes, I wanted the most bang for my buck (which is maaaaaaybe how much it cost to make these…that may be a bit high actually), so I decided to make them REVERSIBLE!

How?

Easy!

But first, remember this:

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Yup, that’s about all you need to know. As long as the material you use for your sole works on both sides, you’re good to go.

Here’s the process I went through:

1. Cut one pair of shoe soles out of the GAP leather skirt I used to make last week’s Leather Flower Belt (aka: Nadia).

2. Cut TWO shoe bodies—one out of one fabric style and one out of another.

3. Match up right and lefts of shoe body patterns, with right sides of the different fabric styles facing each other (in other words, I took my two “right” shoe uppers—one brown polka dot and one floral felt—and lined them up with right sides facing, wrong sides out).

4. Sandwich a piece of ribbon between the right sides of your fabric about 1/4” from the back of the shoe upper (the back will be the end of the “horse-shoe”), with the ribbon end flush with the inside seam of the shoe and the ribbon tails extending in the opposite direction (in other words: if the inside edge of your shoe uppers is to the left, then the ribbons tails will stretch out to the right, and then rest will be sandwiched inside the uppers). Repeat with another piece of ribbon for the other end of the “horse shoe.”

4. Pin and stitch along the inside edge, leaving an 1/8” seam allowance (this will attach the fabrics to each and secure the ribbon in place…you might want to go back over your stitch for durability).

5. Flip right sides out and iron flat against each other, which will hide your seam.

6. Sew a vertical seam up the back to close the “horse-shoe” shape and make it a “shoe shape” instead.

7. Stitch the shoe upper to the sole, using an 1/8” seam allowance and making sure that you’ve paired the right side of the sole with the right fabric pattern (I wanted the cognac side with the bright pattern and the nappy side with the polka dot).

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8. Trim the edges, so that your tabs (those pointy bits sticking out from the fabric) and your frayed edges are gone.

Obviously, with the reversible shoe option, one of your versions is going to be a little more “rustic” and unfinished than the other (because when you flip the polka dot to the inside, the seams are completely hidden).

But if you use fancy thread—I chose gold—or even a fancy stitch (if your machine has that option), it still looks great.

And it’s hard to beat two shoes in one—less time spent sewing AND fewer shoes to keep up with!

The last thing to consider is embellishments.

My patterns were cute by themselves, but my favorite things about Joyfolie’s shoes are the fun flowers, ruffles, and bows.

Obviously, I couldn’t put a flower on top of a shoe that would get turned inside out because then Della’s little toes would be constantly getting scratched, or they wouldn’t even fit at all.

What to do, what to do?

Oh, I know!

How about detachable flowers?

Yeaaaaah. That’s gooood.

I whipped up two matching sets of Layered Circle Flowers (from last week’s tutorial)

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And then glued little felt squares and brooch pins to the back to make them easily attachable.

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I grabbed the first cute baby I saw and started trying to spear Jell-o while it revolved on a pottery wheel get her to hold still long enough to actually get a picture of the shoes. (I told you we’d get back to that Jell-o reference sooner or later).

WARNING:

If copious amounts of cute little girl pictures annoy you, you’d best just keep scrolling to the bottom of this post!

Option 1:

The Maribel

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Option 2:

The Odette

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Clearly, I’m not even 1/100 of the photographer that Jessica is (she uses her daughter as the model for most of her shots too, but the results are *cough* slightly better), but the baby girl more than makes up for it, I think.

Oh, and speaking of Joyfolie, that adorable clippie in Adelaide’s hair came with the shoes that she never got to wear (*sniff*), so at least I got something for the 20+ hours I spent stalking the Joyfolie fan page two years ago while were on vacation (did I just type that “out loud?”).

See you tomorrow for Wardrobe Wednesday and Thrifted or Grifted!

The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T.  ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon  ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia  ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ JAQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Thursdays are Your Days, Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest  ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride  ~ Lolly Jane

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):