Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

DIY: The Lazy Girl’s Pillow Case

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My in-laws have this oxford shirting sheet set that had me thinking that I (a) need that sheet set and (b) I could probably whip up a pillow to match asap with an old oxford shirt.

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I haven’t taken the plunge for the sheet set (our kids are so gross, I’m sure it’d be stained with licorice goo or something within the first five minutes), but it’s on my radar. The pillow was a no-brainer. And took the equivalent in time to make (and photograph for this easy-peasy tutorial).

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Grab a pillow, if you have an old cover you’re replacing, use that as your guide. If I don’t have to bust out the rulers, it’s a win in my opinion. Rulers just slow these Edward-scissorhands digits down. ;)

Materials:

  • A large old Oxford shirt (I found mine at a local thrift store)
  • Pillow form
  • Old pillow cover as a template (or a ruler)
  • Oversized washers
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Sewing machine

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Be sure to wash and iron the shirt beforehand for best results.

Lay the shirt on your cutting mat. Flatten out any pleats so you get two flat layers. Pin the old pillowcase down with washers. If you don’t have an old cover to work from, Measure a 19″ square with your ruler for a standard 18″ pillow.

Place the cover off-centered over the front buttons. By placing it off-center, you have less puckering/bulging at the opening. And it looks cool.

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Cut out your square, leaving about a 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides. Eyeballing is a-okay.

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Turn right sides towards each other, pin and sew all four sides together.

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Un-do the buttons and turn right-side out. Iron out the corners.

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Place the pillow form inside, fluff and done!

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Super easy. No worries about enclosures, no hemming, nothing. This is the easiest thing you’ll do all week. Promise.

 

Sewing: June’s Baby Doll Outfit

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As a goal for this year, I promised myself I’d take time out to sew each week. It hasn’t happened as religiously as I would like, but it’s happened. I’ve made a couple of little outfits for June and Pen. I’m in the middle of a couple projects for me. It’s been great to do some non-work, just-for-fun sewing. It relaxes me. But apparently it stresses the heck out of June.
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Lately she’s been in such a terrible mood. She’s got most of her teeth now so I wonder if she’s getting her two-year-old molars super early. What else would explain how a normally chill kid freaks out at the littlest thing? She wouldn’t have any part of this little photoshoot I set up for her yesterday. I still think she’s the cutest anyway.

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Around Valentine’s day, I made her this matching babydoll set. I found the fabric in my stash from a fabric swap years ago. It’s a soft, light-weight knit with oversized florals. The color scheme is a little more “Christmas” than it is “emerging spring” but the lightweight long-sleeves are great for those days when the sun is warm but the temperatures are still cool. Also, the dark fabrics hide all the gross stains she gets along her front for refusing to wear a bib. I’m all in favor of hiding those stains.

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I designed the top with an empire waist and low back. The low back is so adorable! I think it’s got to be my new favorite design element on kids’ clothes right now.

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The pants are little harem pants with a gathered waistband. She gets range of motion and I get an incredibly easy sewing project. I didn’t hem any of it besides the neckline. That biz has to be reinforced, but everything else has curled up nicely to look purposefully finished.

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Despite her terrible mood she is absolutely so adorable.

Outfit & Photo details:

Style: Easy Marble Pencil Skirt

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All those mountains behind me in the below image are marbled with snow now! I took these pics with Sam back in November and I’m just getting around to sharing them with you. I haven’t done much by way of sewing these days and it crushes me! Calligraphy and teaching have taken up the bulk of my free-time these days. I’m itching to get back into sewing before the holidays hit. I’m in desperate need of some cozy sweaters and dresses.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

All photos by Sam Pierson

I found this awesome marble printed neoprene at MOOD, so I bought it. I can’t remember if I got one yard or two, but I’ve got plenty left for some leggings, skirts and perhaps a dress for the girls. I’m a sucker for matching outfits. Poor Felix gets left out of my plans for matching. He doesn’t care either way, though.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

Want to make one of your own? It’s insanely easy. NO serger required. See my wiggle skirt tutorials below:

Leather and knit wiggle skirt

Color-blocked wiggle skirt

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

Outfit details–

 

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

Sewing: Penelope’s Blue Macaw Costume

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Penelope has an incredible fascination with birds. Specifically Blue Macaws. I think it all stems from the movies Rio and Rio 2 (highly under-rated movies, in my opinion). She’s a wiz at drawing them, she loves reading about them, she’s just obsessed.

 

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Yet for some reason it still surprised me when we walked down the aisles of JoAnn (about beginning of September, maybe August?) and she requested I make her a Blue Macaw costume for Halloween. I mean she was going all goo-goo ga-ga over the sparkly blue Elsa-dress-type fabric. I was expecting something Frozen to head our way. I’m not the biggest fan of that movie; perhaps it’s because so many people raved about the music like it was on-par with Lion King. Uhhh, really guys? Do you have ears? It’s definitely not at that level. It was just standard Disney fare in my opinion. I digress.

 

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I secretly screamed for joy when she wanted to do something completely different than Elsa. So we scoured the aisles and found a sparkly blue spandex (remeniscent of the Mardi Gras parade scene) and this awesome textured chiffon that looks just like bird feathers. And then we found a matching headband with sequins. And matching feathers. And matching leggings.

All that I had to do (and I say “all” like it’s no small feat, but this part took me forever) was to make her a little birdie dress and a cape. It took me a while to come up with the concept. Just having raw fabric at my disposal, I wasn’t sure if I should go more sculptural or more themed. I went more practical with leggings and a dress just because I’m not going to go to such efforts to make her something that she’ll never wear again. The cape will be in the dress-ups forever. The dress may actually get some wear on special occasions. I’m not sure what, but I’m sure Penelope will think of something. She was excited to get a new dress.

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I was planning on dressing Felix up as Fix-it-Felix, but he refused. I had a few hand-me-down costumes as well. Still no. Maybe next year. June wore cat ears. We may get more into it next year. But Pen had fun.

And this year was our second annual Pic-or-Treat! We set up the photo booth (this time with full-body format) and gave printed photos out to the trick-or-treaters. Some didn’t want their picture taken (totally understandable – let me go to this random stranger’s house and let them take pictures of minors! YAY! JK.), so we had candy for them. We loved it! I heard from several grateful parents who didn’t have a chance to get pictures of their kids. That made it all worth it.

Now on to Thanksgiving!

Sewing Style: Mini Me

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This girl may be the spitting image of Chris, but she’s mini me. Her love for crafting, art, music and fashion are definitely me. I love that. When it comes to school work, she’s also a mini-me: a free spirited day-dreamer.

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I had just enough fabric left over from my color-blocked shift dress that I thought I would make her a matching skirt. Then she suddenly grew too tall for the black shirt you see above.

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Instead of giving it away or saving it for June, I repurposed it as the top of her new color-blocked dress. Now we really can be twins! Also, I don’t have to keep nagging for her to pull up her skirt and down her shirt so that the two ends meet. The below-the-knee length on the dress will give her a lot of versatility. She’s growing like a weed.  melissaesplin-penelope-mommy-daughter-dress-3

As it stands, this is her go-to Sunday dress along with a sea-foam sequin number I bought for my sister’s wedding. Proud mama moment right there when I don’t have to nag her to wear the things I’ve made for her. It certainly makes me want to do more (and more to come, her halloween costume this year is epic).

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This girl cracks me up. She styled herself, put on the lipstick and mascara herself and begged me for the photo shoot. She got a bit sheepish when her friends were near the playground, she didn’t want them to see her lipstick. It breaks my heart when I see the self-consciousness come to play. I hope she can hold off just a little longer before she cares what people think.

Outfit details:

  • headband: Target
  • top: H&M, repurposed
  • dress: fabric from Mood
  • shoes: c/o My Cents of Style (here)
  • Lipstick: ELF matte scarlet red
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