Sewing for Sisters Day 4

So today we talk a little more about sewing. When we found out we were having another girl I was shocked to say the least. This pregnancy has been nothing like my first, from day one. This time I was tremendously sick, craved all kinds of weird, very unhealthy things and just felt quite different. However, having another will have its upside in that I can reuse all the fun things I have made The Elder A over the years and I have all the more reason to expand my sewing skills since they will be well used on 2 girls.

There is one problem though having them this far apart, 3 ½ years, not many patterns stretch from Newborn to 3T. Most only go from Newborn to 2T and then others start at 3 and go to 7 or 8. So making all those adorable matching outfits has been a challenge. I did find one pattern from oliver + s that I love. Yes I had to buy 2 separate patterns but it was too cute to pass up.

So in wracking my brain to figure out what to make I thought…duh preggers….pillowcase dresses. There is no size limit on those and they will be perfect for this ruthless Alabama heat. So I set out to make matching dresses and here is how I did it. It isn’t very scientific or very precise, I just kind of took measurements from The Elder A and quesstimated (that’s a technical term) what might be so fingers crossed hers fits.

Sew Sisterly Pillowcase Dress

What you will need:

A couple of yards matching fabric for the main piece, depending on your chosen sizes.

A yard or 2 of a coordinating fabric if you chose to do a bottom band, as I did.

Matching thread

Bias tape, if you do not want to make your own

A sleeveless dress that fits well for the armhole cut outs

Ribbon for the ties unless you chose to make them out of one of your fabrics

So here we go.

Take some basic measurements, if you can, of the child the dress will be for. For The Elder A I measured from her high shoulder down to where the dress should end. I will say for her I did a pillowcase top rather than dress because she has TONS of dresses, but anywho. Then if you are doing a main piece and bottom band decide how wide you want the bottom band, subtract that from the total length and there you have your 2 pieces. The great thing about this type dress is you don’t have to be 100% precise. On my dresses I had my bottom band be folded over on itself so my measurement for it was doubled but you don’t have to do that if you want it as a single layer.

Don’t forget to factor in seam allowance (I  used ½”) and enough to fold over the top of the dress to form a casing for the ribbon ties (I used 1”).

Then cut your pieces ON THE FOLD. Doing this makes you have only one side seam, so so easy. I made mine about 16” wide by the length I figured for each girl (so basically 10 ¾”x 16” for as an example) The wider it is the fuller it will be so again that is all in personal preference. After trying hers on The Elder A needed to be taken in on the sides a bit, since it was more of a top so it could have been more like 13” wide, it was just too full for a top at 16”.

Cut parts for one dress

Now take your main dress piece and with right sides together sew up the one side seam and finish the edge. If you have serger it makes quick work of this.

Now take your bottom band, if you chose to use one, and with right sides together sew it into a circle at the short ends. Press that seam open and then fold it in half, WRONG sides together, and press again.

Bottom band sewn and folded in half

Then line up the raw edges to the main dress piece, right sides to together, matching side seams and sew and finish that edge. Now you have the workings of a full dress, turn it right sides out.

Bottom band and main dress pined right sides together

Now the toughest part, which isn’t hard at all….cutting the arm holes. Take a sleeveless top or dress, that fits well, and fold it in half at the arm hole. Lay that arm hole opening over the dress square at the top edge. Using a fabric pen draw the cutout of the arm hole onto the dress and cut. It is basically a curve that is wider at the top than bottom. There are several places online you can find to download armhole patterns but they never seemed to fit The Elder A right, they were always too large. The general rule I have found is 1.5 inches to 2 inches measured in from each side, and 3 inches to 4 inches curved down.

Armhole cutout

Now be careful here if you used a serger because you just cut into your serged seam and if you pull too much it might start to come unraveled. I go back and do a small straight stitch at the top of each armhole just to reinforce it.

Now take either your purchased bias or bias you made had cover the raw edges of the arm hole. Making bias is super easy. The hardest part is cutting on the bias if you ask me, that and not burning your fingers when you iron it. The Prudent Baby has a great tutorial on it, as does Dana from made. Check them out if you want to learn to make your own. Be careful here not to stretch the bias tape or the dress out of shape as you sew the bias on. I have made many a whanky armhole by pulling in the dress while I sewed the tape down (bad Donya, I know).

Bias tape covering raw edges of armhole

Now that you have the dress cut, sewn and armholes bound time to make a casing. Again if you have a serger with a coverstitch, use it to make an appropriate size casing. (I swear that one stitch on my serger was worth every penny) otherwise just finish the raw edge at the top of the dress, fold down enough room for your chosen ties and sew.

Casing for ribbon ties

Last thing, run the ribbon, rick rack, fabric ties whatever you chose through the casing and gather the dress to the needed size. Again if you have the child you are making this for around put it on them and fit it to them BUT if they are being stubborn and refuse to be born, just estimate it. Here is something I have found is a MUST do. Once you know how much to gather the dress, pin the ties to the dress and SEW THEM DOWN. This saves two things, one being the ties will not get lost in the washer….never to be seen again and two you little one can’t pull a Houdini and undress herself by simply pulling a tie loose and out of its casing.

For the ties I like to have an older girl with a tie on each shoulder, meaning I need 2 ties of equal length that will meet on the shoulders. For babies and younger girls I just do one long tie and run it though both front and back sides of the dress and tie on one side. I have found younger ones, mine at least, rarely stay still long enough to tie one, much less 2 ties.

And there you have it, matching pillowcase dresses. So simple right?!?! I can’t wait for to get here so I can try it on her and they can be all matchy sisterly cute. I will post pics of them wearing these as soon as this immovable child decides she wants to meet the world. Seriously send me baby having vibes….please…I’m so hot and whale like.

So tomorrow I have an awesome Mom who knows all about having little girls because she has 5 OF THEM….yes 5. Katy from no big dill is going to guest blog for me to end Sewing for Sisters week. I am so pumped!!! She is such an inspiration and her daughters have the coolest names. I can’t wait for everyone to read her post so come back tomorrow for our last day of the series. Thanks everyone and Keep it Stitchin’

Donya

”Photobucket”

UndertheTableandDreaming

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Ring Around the Ribbon top

I hope everyone enjoyed the visit from Amy at Nap Time Crafters. Isn’t she just amazing?!?! Go give her some bloggy hugs for sharing a playdate with us.

So today’s show is brought to you by Rapidly Growing Children Miracle Growth Tonic.

Do your little ones ever have a shirt that is just a bit too short, mainly because they grow over night by like 3 inches and even though it fit YESTERDAY somehow, today….not so much? Well mine does all the time it seems and since I am not a fan of the Dora shirt too short look I figured out a super simple, fun way to lengthen an otherwise perfectly good shirt.

 So this one is sooooo sooooo sooooo easy and a great ribbon stash buster.

Take the too short shirt and decide how much longer it needs to be. For me it was only a couple inches so I settled on adding a total of about 3 inches in case The Elder A decided to do more of that overnight growing thing.

Mysteriously outgrown shirt

Next pick your color scheme with 3-4 different types/colors of ribbon. It helps if they are all the same width but they don’t have to be. Measure across the bottom of the shirt, to determine how many ribbon across you will need front and back and then, based on the number and width of your ribbons cut them to the desired extra length you are adding (plus seam allowance).

Decided color scheme

So mine look like this, pile of ribbon, all cut 5 inches long. I cut some extra just in case and plus there was just a bit left on each roll anyway. Fold them all in half and since we all know ribbon likes to fray you will need to seal the ends off somehow. I used my serger and just kept feeding them in a long line until I had them all sewn up. If you don’t have a serger just use a wide zig-zap stitch over the tops. You can also use something like Fray-Check but I personally am not a big fan of that stuff, it never fails to leave an oily stain on something.

Pile of ribbon

Cut 5 inches long

Serging the tops.

Pretty little ribbons all in a row

Ok so now just pin the ribbon to the wrong/underside of your shirt and sew them on. I used the stitch line that was already on the shirt to “hide” the new seam where I was attaching the ribbons. The trick is to only do a few at a time, lining them up side by side carefully. If you try to do the whole shirt all at once you will likely be off because the ribbons will shift and move on you as you sew the others on.

Pinned and ready to sew

Hiding the new seam line

See…I warned you about the shifting

Go all the way around and…..

Finished!! I have no idea why she is holding her shoulders like that. She said she was posing….who knows

That’s it!!! Done! See told ya easy as pie. (beware random rambling….)BTW where did that come from? Have you ever made a pie, from scratch? It is not in fact easy. (rambling ended)

 I also added a tiny color coordinating ribbon at the top, just for fun. You could do a ribbon bow or an appliqué or nothing at all.

 This top will also fulfill any garment twirling requirements your daughter might have on her clothing at the moment. Oh that’s just mine…huh well lucky you then.

It TWIRLS!!!!

Ready…..

set…..

ADORABLE!!

So there you go, a quick easy fix to the weed like growth spurts our kids go through.

I hope you all are having a great summer, we are sweltering here in Alabama but what else is new? Oh wait I know!!! Get excited because next week I am going to do a new series, Sewing for Sisters. This is going to be in honor of my new little girl dropping in to the world at any moment. I am going to have an awesome guest post from a woman who knows a thing or 2 about raising sisters. Wanta guess who she is? Stay tuned more to come in a few days. Happy Sewing

Where shall we link to today

Transformation Thursday

Somewhat Simple
make it wear it
 

Donya

 

 

 

 

Foodie Friday

Since it is Friday during Lent I thought I would share one of my favorite “no meat” recipes if you, like me, are struggling to find something new to eat. This makes a great lunch or with the addition of some grilled shrimp an even better dinner. I plan on making it today for me and The Elder A to have for lunch. Sorry for no pictures with this one, but since I haven’t made it yet today there are none to take, plus whenever I make this dish it never lasts long enough to snap any. I promise I will post pics later. Happy Friday and have a blessed weekend.

Pesto orzo with pine nuts and mushrooms

Ingredients

1-2 cups of uncooked orzo, the tiny little grain like Italian pasta. (fun fact of the day, Orzo is Italian for barley)

3-4 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and finely chopped (you can add more or less to your liking)

1 cup of raw pine nuts

Homemade or your fav store bought pesto (I will do a post on my pesto recipe later, promise)

Olive oil to coat the sauté pan

Directions:

Bring a medium pot of water to a rapid bowl adding a pinch of salt to the water once boiling. Add the orzo to the water and return to a rapid boil. Boil for 9-11 minutes until ‘Al dente’ stage is reached.

While the orzo cooks heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Coat the pan with olive oil and once hot add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté just until tender, beware mushrooms can go from tender to mush in a matter of minutes so watch these closely. It only takes a minute or two. Once tender remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl and return pan to heat. Re-coat the pan with olive oil if necessary and add the pine nuts. Toast the pine nuts until golden brown. Again as with the mushrooms, the pine nuts can go from golden to slap burnt in seconds (slap burnt is a technical Southern cooking term BTW). When toasted remove from heat and add to the bowl with the mushrooms. You are now done with the sauté pan.

The orzo should be done by this time so drain it as you would any other pasta but DO NOT RINSE. Transfer the orzo into the same bowl with the mushrooms and pine nuts. Now take your pesto and spoon over the mixture in small increments stirring to mix/coat thoroughly. The heat from the orzo, mushrooms and nuts will “loosen” the pesto so don’t add too much all at once, you can always add more but you can’t take it back out. Once you happy with the amount of pesto mixed in you are done!! Enjoy as a light lunch or add shrimp, and if it’s not Friday during Lent, grilled chicken or even sausage for a heartier meal. Another fun addition is crumbled Feta cheese at the end, right before serving.

Store in the fridge, if it isn’t all eaten, for 3-5 days. If you have any questions about this recipe feel free to contact me via the comments or email. Thanks for visiting.