Friday, November 30, 2012

Repurpose Your Pants to Girls' Leggings

Today's pants post is super easy!  In 30 minutes, from start to finish, you can have a new pair of leggings for your daughter!

Start by finding a pair of your pants you no longer fit into, like, want, etc.  If you just can't find something to get rid of, head to goodwill and buy a cheap pair of womens' stretch pants.
Lay your daughter's current sized leggings on top of the pants you are cutting up - outer leg edges lined up.  Trace around your daughter's pants, leaving a 1/4-1/2 " seam allowance and about 1 1/4" on the top for the waist band.  Here's the bonus of using a pair of pants for your fabric:  THEY ARE ALREADY HEMMED (I wish I could make this blink).  I raised my pants up about an inch from the hem, I wanted them to be a little longer, with room to grow.
Cut the piece out, flip the pants over and trace and cut out the other piece.  Follow the instructions from my tutorial yesterday to sew the pants together.  This is even easier because, like I said, no hemming!

Hazel wasn't too keen on the green color, so I had some sparkly pink tulle ruffle left over from the sequin skirt, so I attached that around the bottom of the leg, along with some Christmas ribbon (what a pain, the leg opening is so small and hard to maneuver in the machine, I think it would be easier to attach by hand.
End result:
Plenty of stretch for play:
The back:
Sneak peek for tomorrow:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Girls' Leggings

A few weeks ago, I gave myself some time to go back on pinterest and peruse my favorite blogs.  I got sad by all the awesome stuff I saw people somehow finding the time to make that I could not.  The good thing was it got the wheels in my brain turning and kept my thoughts inspiring me.  I was particularly inspired by a series one blogger did for making kids' clothes and the challenge was to sew for one hour a day. I want to do that!

Now, that Christmas is about a month away, I want to devote more of my free time to my sewing machine.  I have heard my oldest son say three times recently how he loves the homemade gifts I've made him and that he especially loved that because I made them, I'd be less likely to throw them away and he could keep them longer.  I gave each of my kids a choice as to what homemade gift they'd like me to make them- this son:  a secret room (we'll see about that). There's some things they won't get a choice in like the clothes I am making them.

I was telling my sister how I wanted to do more homemade and I know from year's past, that I need to start early if I want to finish my projects on time and not be rushing and stressed out.  She was telling me the thing she'd like to make is pants for my niece.  This got me inspired to incorporate not only an hour of sewing a day, but a week's worth of pants tutorials.  Today I'm featuring a simple way to make girls' jersey knit leggings.

These leggings posted today are something I've been wanting to make FOREVER, but just never set aside the time.  They were super easy and I LOVE LOVE how they came out.  This pair of leggings was two pieces of fabric and took me 1 hour 5 minutes to make (I timed it)- that was with a few distractions from the kids along the way- best part?:  NO PATTERN!  Whenever I make pants, I usually do not use a pattern, but I usually have four pieces of fabric, so this was a little new for me and even easier than I could imagine.  I was inspired to use this method by a post on make it and love it blog.

To start off, get a piece of jersey knit fabric, about 1/2 yard if the print goes any which way (this was for a size 5/6) AND a pair of your daughter's leggings that currently fit.  Fold the fabric in on itself- just wide enough to lay the leggings on so you can trace them.
1) You want to place the leggings on the folded edge of the fabric- be sure to smooth them out and position them so the seams are flat.  Using a kids' washable marker, trace around the leggings, leave about 1/4-1/2" border for your seam.  On the bottom, you can leave more room if you want the leggings a bit longer and at the top, leave about 1 1/4" extra space, this is to make the waist band. (See the faint black line in photo 1 above- Also, the black pants are on the folded edge, for some reason, there was a piece of white paper under part of the fabric, so much for contrast.).

2) Cut out your first piece.  Fold the fabric in again.  Place the first cut out piece on the fold and cut out around it.  Now you have your two pieces and you are ready to sew!

3) Open the two cut pieces and lay them on top of each other, right sides together.

4) Sew along the curved edges on the right side and then on the left side.  You have now created the front and back seams.  Jersey fabric will not fray- so do not worry about serging.  I do not have a serger, but for extra strength, since kids are rough on their clothes.  I went along the first stitch again with a zigzag stitch.
OK, just realized that I numbered the second picture 1, 2, 3, 4 as well- that's what I get for writing this at 5:30 am.  So, I'll write the steps 1, 2, 3, 4 for this picture, just remember which picture you are following.
1) Open the pants up and lay them so the two seams you just sewed are on top of each other and you make a pants shape.  Lay flat and line up the inside pant legs.

2) Sew along the inside pants legs, then to reinforce the stitch since this is the crotch, go back over with a zig zag.

3) Iron up a hem on bottom, about 1/4", then stitch and zigzag here again.  You'll notice in some of my pictures, Hazel's looks a little ruffly.  I did my zigzag stitch right at the edge instead of 1/4" up and it gave it that ruffled look.

4) Iron the waistband edge down 1/4" and then fold down again 1".  Press.  This will create a closed clean edge for your waist band.  Sew along the lower edge of the waist band, but leave a 2" opening, so you can thread in the elastic waist band.
5) Measure your child's waist, cut a piece of elastic that size and thread it in through the waist band.  I have a giant plastic needle that I use to pull the elastic through, makes life much easier.  You can get those kid's crocheting needles at craft stores- I highly recommend it!  Slightly overlap the ends of the elastic, pin them, and sew back and forth over them to keep them together.  Pull the elastic back into the waistband and sew closed the opening that you pulled it through.  You are done!

The front:
The back:
These are not only fun to wear alone, but under skirts- yes I know she has matching issues, what can I say- she marches to the beat of her own drum!:
Plenty of stretch for hours of play:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Homemade Sequin Skirt and Shirt

Hazel turned five last week!  As per tradition, I made her a birthday outfit.  It seems that sequins are the "in" thing this year.  I looked at skirts in stores, and some were upwards of $30.  I had to go to the fabric store before Halloween for costume fabric and I happened to pick up a 1/2 yard of hot pink sequins for about $4.50.  Using some leftover white cotton fabric and pink sparkle tulle for a ruffle, combined with  the sequin fabric, I was able to whip up a simple cute and slightly more elaborate skirt for her than the ones at the stores for a fraction of the price.

For the skirt, I used the full length of the fabric (about 44" for the sequins and the white lining each).  I measured from waist to knee and cut that length.  The sequin fabric will not fray, so I did not have to hem it and I was adding a tulle ruffle to the lining so I did not account for a hem. I sewed the edges of the sequin fabric together, then I did the same for the lining.  I sewed the ruffle to the lining and then I placed the lining inside of the sequin skirt so the right side of the lining was facing the wrong side of the sequin fabric.  I basted along the top edge of the fabrics to anchor them together (when basting, I used a long stitch and high tension, this caused the fabric to gather).   I pulled the thread to gather the waist to be the same length as the waist band I was going to make ~27".

I cut a waist band out of some dress lining I had lying around, it was 4" by 27".  I ironed the top down by .25" and then again another 1 ".  I sewed along the ironed edge of the original .25" fold.  This created a tube for me to thread the elastic through.  I measured her waist, and cut a piece of .5" elastic about .5 inches larger than my measurement.

I attached the waist band bottom to the right side top of the sequin fabric and sewed it on.  Flip up the waist band, top stitch along the sequin fabric edge.  For the final step, insert your elastic into the tube you created on the waistband, sew the ends of the elastic together, and then sewed closed the two ends of the waist band.  This took me about an hour from start to finish.

I used some leftover fabric to make a sequin "5" applique for her shirt.  The applique-ing process has become so easy for me since I discovered fusible web.  Using this stuff between the item you are applique-ing and the item you are applique-ing onto, makes pushing the fabric through the machine a breeze and the whole process a lot less stressful!   I got my pack at JoAnn Fabrics, so it's not something that's hard to find at all.
I hung up one of my new backdrops on the wall for her princess party.  I was excited to try it out.  I'm not sure she was:
Happy Birthday Hazel!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Homemade Oreo Ice Cream

I've been holding out.  I've made variations of this ice cream since the spring over and over again, but I have not posted the recipe.  It's not that I didn't want to, it's just that 1) the ice cream is so good, it does not last long enough to photograph, and 2) when I do have a bit of it hanging around, I don't have enough time to photograph it the way I'd like.

Tuesday was my daughter's birthday and she asked me to make her some ice cream.  I decided to take the new candycane oreos I bought and use them as a mix -in to my favorite vanilla ice cream recipe.  The result:  AWESOME (although I bet Trader Joe's Candy Candy Jo Jos would be incredible!).

I've been having a hard time finding time to do anything lately and this blog is something I enjoy to help me be me.  It seems as though I've let it fall by the wayside and I have TONS of things to share, so hopefully this will springboard me back in the swing of things.

If you get a chance to make this ice cream, it will work well on its own, or with a variety of mix ins, the key is to add the mix-ins at the very end of the ice cream churning process.

Treat yourself today- I know I am- (and tomorrow)!

Oreo Ice Cream-

1 vanilla bean (or 1 TBSP vanilla)
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
6 egg yolks

1) Split vanilla bean lenghtwise, scrape out seeds.  Place vanilla bean pod, seeds, cream, milk, 1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar, corn syrup, and salt in medium sauce pan.  Whisk, then heat to about 175' over medium heat.

2) Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl.  Set aside.

3) When cream mixture has reached 175', remove pan from heat- remove vanilla bean pod.  Slowly whisk 1 cup heated cream mixture into the bowl of the egg yolk mixture.  This is tempering the egg yolks.  Return this tempered egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the rest of the cream mixture.

4) Return the cream mixture to medium heat until it registers a temperature of about 180', the mixture will be slightly thickened like custard.  Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl- pour the custard mixture through the sieve and collect in the bowl.  Let cool to room temp, then cover and refrigerate until completely cool, about 4 hours.

5) Remove custard from refrigerator.  Start your ice cream maker, pour custard in, and churn according to directions.  When the ice cream is beginning to firm up, before you stop the mixer, chop up the oreos into bite sized pieces and pour into ice cream maker for the last 30 seconds.  Transfer ice cream to air tight container and freeze before serving.

Source:  adapted from Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween 2012

I can't believe it's November!  I just can't believe it!

This year, as usual, I told my kids that I would not buy them Halloween costumes.  It had to be something we already had or I would make it. (I'm embarrassed by the picture but this was the only chance to get them to stand still and the sun wouldn't cooperate).

I think Nathaniel was my favorite costume.  He dressed up as Addison.  He used the masks we made a few years ago, and wore all of Addison's clothes- admittedly, with a quick glance at the photo, you may actually mistake him for Addison.

Addison got a yoda costume for Christmas last year, so that was his choice.

Owen wanted to be a knight, a glorious silver, shiny knight, unfortunately, I just made him the chest piece and you can't use swords or shields at school.  He didn't mind not being all silver once I caved and bought the sword.  He forgot his black head covering at school, so his costume looks a little blah in the photo, but he has a sword so it's all good!

Hazel was a princess.  I was literally sewing her costume until five minutes before this photo.  The arm gauntlets still need the upper elastic, but she swore it was fine.

Maeve was a princess, the fabric for the body of her dress is still on the table waiting to be sewn, so she just wore the pettiskirt I made.  I love love love the pettiskirts.  I will post more about them later in the week when I get proper photos.

How was your Halloween?

More on this dress later in the week too: