Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shirred Beach Cover up

One of my favorite blogs is MADE. This little lady is one of those amazing people that can create something awesome from ANYTHING.
Well, she made this Awsome Beach Towel Dress for herself pictured here:

I fell in love with the idea and decided to make one for my little lady.

Dana, from MADE--gave very general directions on how to make this little number--so I decided I would document exactly how I made this one--so that if anyone else wanted to do it--they could see how I did mine--but really all the credit should still go to her--because she is just plain AWESOME--and I am just a copy cat!

So here is what I did to make this:
(And again--sorry for the picture quality--darn camera phone!)
I bought a cute but cheapy towel from Walmart ($4).
(Because you are going to be shirring this--it does help if it is a CHEAPY towel. The expensive ones are too thick and won't shirr as well. SEE--it PAYS to be cheap sometimes!)

Next you need to figure out your dimensions.

When Shirring, a good rule of thumb is to double the width of the area you would like to be shirred. (So if you are shirring a dress or a shirt--you should double the bust measurement, if you are shirring a skirt waistband--then double the waist or hip measurement--whichever the case may be for your pattern).

My daughter is around a size 5 or 6. Her bust measurement was 22"--so I measured and cut the width of the towel down to 44". (The way I did this left me with only one side seam--if you want it to be equal on both sides than you can cut the piece into two--and sew them back together so that there will be side seams on both sides--but if you don't care then just leave it to one seam--its easier).

Then I measured my gal to see how long I wanted to make it--I wanted it about 22" long. So I cut it at 22 1/2". (I made sure to leave 1/2" extra for serging and turning the hem on the bottom--you don't have to worry about hemming the top because you will just use the hemmed edge already on the towel. When you cut it--keep all the extras as you will use them to make your straps later.)
I then serged all of the raw edges. If you don't have a serger--a zig zag stitch will do fine. You just want to make sure you finish off the edges--as terry cloth is VERY MESSY if you don't.

After serging the edges, I folded under the bottom edge 1/4", pressed it and hemmed it. This is going to give you a nice finished hem on the bottom.
Now you can either sew up that side seam--or leave it and sew it up later. (I usually recommend sewing it up now as I like to shirr things in a circle--its easier to do it in one round seam than to try and match up all the lines of shirring and making sure to catch all the shirring stitches in the side seam later.) Having said that--I didn't do that this time. So this tutorial shows me shirring it flat.
Now its time to SHIRR.
This is the fun part!

So you need to get out your stretchy elastic thread. I bought mine at Walmart for somewhere in the $1.75 range.

It looks like this:

Now you are going to take it and HAND WIND it on your bobbin.
You want to wind it loosely so that it isn't stretched. Just keep winding that thing till it looks full.
Then you just load it into your sewing machine just like usual.
Now the shirring begins:
Set your machine to the LONGEST stitch length that you can.
Just place the fabric under your presser foot (leaving a long tail so you don't loose your threads when you start sewing).
Sew about three forward stitches and then back stitch about three and then continue sewing the length of the fabric.
(You first row of shirring usually doesn't look like much and you will be wondering if you are doing this right...but YOU keep going!)
Once you get to the end of your fabric--BACK STITCH again.

Now you can start on your next line.
Another reason I like to shirr when the side seams are sewn is that you don't have to cut your threads and pull the fabric out to get to the new line of stitching--you just leave everything in and pick up your presser foot and move it over the desired width, back stitch and continue to sew.

I usually like the shirring to be the width of my presser foot apart. It is an easy guide to follow and seams a really foot width.
So just keep on sewing these lines of stitching.
And keep on sewing some more:

I did 12 lines for my little gals dress.
The more lines of shirring you do--the tighter it will pull together.
If it isn't as tight as you want it--you can take it to your ironing board and spray a little water on it and PRESS it with lots of steam. The shirring will shrink up together nicely. Its quite neat to see actually!
Now that your shirring is finished it is time to sew the side seam (if you haven't already).
Put right sides together and and sew the side seam up.
MAKE SURE to take out you elastic thread!! Or you will get to pick it out and do it again! (Don't ask me how I know this!)

Now on to the straps.
I cut two pieces of fabric 3 1/2" wide and 10" long.
I folded and pressed the edges in 1/4 of an inch.
And then folded them in half length wise and pressed them.
Then I top stitched them on both sides making sure to catch all the edges in for a clean edge finish.

Then I serged the end edges and pinned them in place on the inside of the dress. I made sure to overlap the first two rows of shirring so that I could sew right on those lines to hide the stitching.

And that is it! Its finished!
The Perfect Summer Cover Up!

Thank you Dana for the great idea!
Now--Go and make You AND your Girls one of these for the summer!

Linking up to these parties in my Link Up List.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spray Painting Some Curb Appeal

So--as before mentioned in early posts...I have been really into spray painting things BLACK as of late. And now I have turned my attention to the OUTSIDE of my house.
Remember when I painted my house numbers black (And how they look AWESOME?)
Well, I figured the white lights just didn't go anymore. With the house numbers black--they really NEEDED to be black as well.

So--off they go and get into my make shift spray painting room in our garage. (After getting a good scrub down--DANG--those things were FILTHY! I don't suppose anyone had ever thought to give them a bath!)
A couple of coats of Black Rustoleum and they are looking MUCH better!
And I LOVE them!
And then remember my AWESOME new Black Bench?

Well, I wanted something black to hang in the entry of my house to tie in all the black.
I found this at Joanns--Regularly $24.99--on sale for 60% off which equals only $9.99--AND I had a gift card that my AWESOME friend Heather gave me for my birthday--so really it was FREE. (Thanks Heather--I Love You!)

I think it ties in all the black together! And I LOVE it!
(I added the ribbon to it--cause I thought it looked a little naked--but I am not quite satisfied with this particular ribbon. I think I need a ribbon with a spunkier bolder print--we'll see what I can find).

Then lastly--there has always been this black lamp pole at the edge of our driveway. Funny cause before I got painting--it was the ONLY black thing anywhere.
This is what it looked like BEFORE the magic and wonders of spray paint:
(Isn't that a cute little boy flying his mini kite his momma made for him?)

And after:
And here are just a few more pictures because I LOVE Before and After shots!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

You've Got Mail

Ok--I stole the title from my blog from one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time! (Don't you just love Meg Ryan? I mean BEFORE all her scary plastic surgery that has left her face looking...well...plastic?)

Anyhoo...Its not really that YOU have mail--its that I have mail...well sort of. I am posting about my MAIL BOX. I Know--it was a stretch--but it was a good excuse to bring up that great movie! Hee hee.

So I live in a charming little neighborhood, but we have quite a few little eyesores in the neighborhood. They look like this:

(I know I didn't take the time to block out our numbers--lets just pretend that I did...and how about nobody be a scary psycho and do anything weird with them...ok? Great.)
SO Since I have been getting pretty handy with my spray painting abilities, I decided it was time to at least freshen up MY mail box.
Mines' the one next to the white one. What a beaut!

So Lately, I have been into spray painting everything black. Don't worry, I'm not going through any Gothic faze or anything. I just have been adding some fun black touches here and there.

SO here is my little mailbox off the stand and in our garage receiving its first coat of Black Rustoleum (along with some other items that I will show you later). Oh and once again--notice my awesome little spray handle/nozzle--LOVE THAT THING!

Even the little flag got a make over--Thanks to my AWESOME neighbor who let me use some of her red paint. (Love you Kim!)

Here it is after a couple coats. The lighting is a little weird on it--so it looks a bit discolored from using my PHONE CAMERA!!!! AARRGGHH!! I WANT MY CAMERA HOME SAFE AND SOUND!!!! (My sister mailed it--and I am haunting my MAILBOX everyday!!)

And here is the little beauty all mounted and with new numbers.

Doesn't it look WAY BETTER? I'm hoping all my neighbors will see the change and will want to "freshen up" theirs too. (Kinda like Curb appeal-The Block. Does anybody watch that show? Accept if it were like that show then I would have to choose two neighbors and do their mailboxes as well as my own. Hmm Maybe this isn't so much like that show after all.)

Ok--one more before and after so you can ooh and aah one more time.
Now I've really GOT MAIL!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

School's Out--But Where is Summer?

Is anyone else wondering WHERE THE HECK SUMMER IS?

There are lots of children running around the neighborhood (that are usually in school at this time of day), there are flip flops by the door, and swimming suits and towels freshly laundered and ready for swimming lessons. The freezer is even stocked with ice cream and freezies (for you Americans who don't know what that is--let me translate--Otter Pops).

ALL the makings for SUMMER--but I look outside and all I see is GREY.

The SUN has not made a featured appearance for SOME TIME! My garden (which is usually growing and blooming abundantly by now)--is barely bigger than the seeds I planted! (However the weeds are doing lovely--how is that anyways?)

AND since it is SO GREY outside--it is NOT great weather for taking pictures of all the projects I have been up to! (Especially since I AM STILL HAVING TO TAKE PICTURES WITH MY PHONE--AS MY CAMERA IS STILL NOT HERE!!!!) The camera on my phone needs LOTS OF therefore I am stuck for a while.

But really THE LIGHT doesn't even matter as this morning I went to get some other pictures off my phone--and it is DEAD and my power cord is STILL IN THE CAMERA BAG WITH MY MISSING CAMERA!!!

So therefore I will NOT be posting pictures of any of the SUPER COOL, FUN, AWESOME, NEAT, CRAFTY, And THRIFTY things I have been doing!

You will just have to settle for a little whining and rambling in this post.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Last Drop of Gold

I am VERY PLEASED to announce that this is THE LAST GOLD LIGHT FIXTURE in my house to get a face lift!!

This is it! I no longer have ANY gold fixtures, or door knobs in my house!!!! (Ok--the pulls in my kitchen are sort of a brushed bronze--but NOT GOLD--so that doesn't count)

So here it is--Nothing fancy--just a plain old bathroom fixture turned awesome with some plain old spray paint!

(And sorry--I forgot to take a picture of it hanging in the bathroom!)
(Sorry for the bad picture quality--I am STILL having to use my cell phone camera!)

So I know that GOLD is one of the most precious and lovely things in the world--used for fine jewlery, olympic medals, solid gold dancers (hee hee), and a whole bunch of awesome stuff, but I hope that it is NOT a design trend that makes a comeback anytime soon!

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