Tag Archives: Showandtell

Show & Tell

I thought I would put together a quick Show & Tell post (yes, I realize it’s not Wednesday).

I love the look of  a simple graphic style tee, especially for a little boy.  I’ve toyed with the idea of purchasing a silk-screening kit and making my own, but that can be a bit expensive and it’s a little time consuming.  Then it dawned on me; why not use rubber stamps and fabric paint?  It’s quick, easy, relatively inexpensive (depending on how crazy you want to go buying stamps) and really darn cute.  So gathered up my supplies and made a whole stack of onesies and shirts.

If you are tempted to make some for yourself (and I think you should), here’s what you’ll need-

1. A small scrap of knit material (I save old t-shirts and use them to cut up for different sewing projects)
2. A rubber stamp, of your choosing   3. Fabric paint   4. A cheap sponge bush  5. A t-shirt or onesie

I start by tracing a rectangle on my scrap of knit material.  It needs to be slightly bigger than the stamp you are using, so make sure you do a rough measurement.  After I’ve traced lightly around the shape I carefully cut out the rectangle.  Cotton knit likes to move around, so take your time cutting.

Next, I dipped my brush into the fabric paint (don’t dilute the paint, full strength works best)

Then I carefully brushed an even layer of paint over the stamp.

Once you have the paint on the stamp, you want to work quickly.  Center the stamp on the rectangle and apply firm, even pressure.  Carefully lift the stamp off and heat set the image with a hot iron.  I just hold my iron over the image and give it a quick blast of steam.

The brilliant part about using a scrap of fabric instead of applying the stamp directly to the shirt, is you give yourself the freedom to make mistakes (like this one).  Ruining a small rectangle of knit fabric is so much less irritating than ruining an entire t-shirt!

Real quick, just a couple of tips on choosing a stamp.  Try to buy stamps that have deep grooves.  A few that I bought were so shallow that the details didn’t show up on the fabric.  Also, the simpler the stamp the better. 

Now that you have your image heat set, center it to the front of the shirt and pin it.

Carefully sew all the way around the rectangle. 

You can use a straight or zig-zag stitch for this.  If there’s a tricky part to this project (and I’m not saying there is) this would be it.  Onesies are small. You don’t want to stretch them out while you are sewing and you don’t want to stitch the front of the shirt to the back, so go slow and be careful.  Always check to make sure the back of the shirt hasn’t gotten caught under the presser foot.

That’s it!  It’s really that simple.

I had fun trying different stamps, dying onesies, using a variety of colors.  I was concentrating mostly on making shirts for little boys but there are so many darling stamps that could be used for a little girl.

This one isn’t a stamped tee, but I threw it in because I loved the way it turned out!

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask  ~ April

Show & Tell Wednesday

I love simple patterns.  I love them for a lot of reasons, the main one being, they’re simple (right in my comfort zone).  I’m a fan of clean lines.  Also, they are so easy to adapt.

I’ve made this dress for E several times now.

Using Fig Tree’s Polka Dots & Summer dress pattern.

It’s a fun pattern that I’ve gotten comfortable with.  The last time I made it, I came up with a way to alter the pattern.  Basically I took a simple pattern and made it ridiculously simple.  I took out the yolk and the box pleats and made a summery A-line, slip-over dress.

But I didn’t just make one.  I made three.  Because I’m a little crazy that way.  I know you’ve heard my arguments before.  “Be sure to make a pattern at least twice”, “it builds you sewing skills”, “it’s a more efficient use of your time”…blah, blah, blah.  But it’s true, so I’ll keep saying it.

There are no scary zippers or button holes, just a back slit with an elastic loop and button (I also used a hook and eye).  Don’t you just love this fabric?!!  I’m so smitten with those happy tulips and the bright colors.  I still have a half yard left and I’m trying to decide what to do with it.

The tulip dress was the last one I made, and by the time I had made three of them it was only taking me about 45 minutes per dress.  The green dress with the boarder took longer to make.  Did I mention they only take 3/4 of a yard to make?!  It just keeps getting better ;)

The neck and arm holes are finished with homemade bias tape OR…

…you can really make your life easy and use decorative bias tape.

It’s as simple as sandwiching the raw edges in between the bias tape and sewing all the layers together. You can buy specialty bias tape on Etsy (which is were I purchased the red bias tape) or you can make your own using this great tutorial by No Big Dill.  I’ve noticed that chain fabric stores are starting to carry a small selection of patterned bias tape but they can still be hard to find.

This dress is the closest to the original pattern.  I used the hidden bias facing and kept the coordinating boarder at the bottom.  It’s made out of a green linen blend (meaning it can be washed and dried.)  I added the little pocket and buttons to keep it from looking bottom heavy.

Naturally the pocket is E’s favorite part :)

They’re such sweet little dresses, it’s going to be hard to wait until summer!

If you have any questions about the pattern, fabric, or trim just let me know.  I’ll do my best to answer them :)

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Wednesday!  ~ April

Semi- philosophical side-note that you may ignore if you wish: I hope that when I use words like “simple” and “quick”, you don’t get the idea that I mean “fast” and “sloppy”.  Even the simplest step deserves attention and thoughtfulness.  While cutting smooth lines may seem like kindergarten business, it’s actually very important.  Cutting and sewing straight lines are the foundations that everything else is built on.  If those are wrong, everything that comes after that will be too. Be conscience of how every step effects the project as a whole.  If you are taking the time to do something, do it well.  I think those are skills that translate well to many aspects of life.  Who knew sewing was so deep?

Show & Tell Thursday?

I had this post planned for Show & Tell Wednesday, but a class field trip and sick kiddos put me a day behind.  So today I’m breaking out of the mold, going hog wild and doing Show & Tell on Thursday.  What can I say, I’m wild, I’m a rebel (not really… in fact I’m the complete opposite of that. I am rule follower, because after all that’s what they’re for.)

This is a little sneak peak at some things I’ve been working on for the last week.

I was invited to take part in Ladies Night Out next Thursday night.  Ladies Night Out is a fun event hosted at Jake’s Coffee in Ripon (CA).  Vendors set up tables with their wears, and people are able to shop while enjoying fresh coffee and delicious coffee-house treats.  It happens once a month, but this is my first time to participate and I am so excited!  I’ve been busy making hair clips, infant headbands, pins and even doing a little sewing.  I’m hoping to have some more Sunday-go-to-meetin’ bags done by Thursday as well.

Here’s some of the pieces I’ve made so far~

A wide variety of hair clips in lots of fresh, fun colors.  I really had fun this time experimenting with different techniques and materials.  I pulled out everything I had!  The sewing room was quite the site.

I also made some larger flowers with pins on the back.  I thought they would be really pretty on a scarf or jacket.

I made a few infant headbands, I might try to make a few more.

I didn’t want to leave you high and dry without any creative inspiration.  So, I thought i would show you how to make a basic flower rosette.

I think these are even easier than the folded rose tutorial I did a few months ago.  They’re fun little flowers that can be made to look dressy or playful.  You can use a variety of fabrics (cotton, silk, satin, linen) and you can add little trinkets to the center.

First step: The Supplies

You will also need a glue gun and a sewing machine.

The 2×32 inch measurement doesn’t need to be precise.  You don’t have to get your straight edge and measuring tape out (unless you like that sort of thing, then by all means have at it).  A strip this wide and long will make a rose that is about 3 inches in diameter.  Longer and wider will make bigger and fatter roses.

Now, fold your fabric in half and lay the netting on top of the fabric.  The fabric is folded over but the netting is not.

Set your machine to the longest stitch setting it has.  DO NOT backstitch! Leave a long tail string, you will need that to gather the material.  Stitch the length of the strip.  Sew closely to the unfinished edge of the material.  Once you get to the end of the strip, do not backstitch, and leave another long tail string.

Hold your fabric in one hand and pull on one of the threads.  Holding the thread tightly, carefully push and gather the layers of fabric with the other hand.

It will look like this when it’s all gathered up.

Now to make the rosette:

Start at one end and make a small tight spiral.  Place a dab of hot glue along the bottom of the spiral to secure it.

Keep spiraling the fabric around the center.  Place a bead of hot glue all along the bottom edge to hold the shape of the rose.

As you spiral gradually flatten the “petals” out.  This will take a little practice but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

This is what it looks like from the back.

Keep going until you run out of fabric or you like the size of the flower.  Take the unfinished edge and glue it behind the rose.

Next, hot glue the felt circle to the back of the flower.  This hides the stitching and gathers, and gives you a flat, even place to glue the clip.

Using the super glue, glue the hair clip (or pin) to the center of the circle.

All finished!  I recommend making a bunch of roses, sticking them on everything in sight, and giving them to everyone you know.

Have fun playing around and experimenting!  ~April


Show & Tell Wednesday

Normally for Show & Tell Wednesday I have a theme or a specific project planned, but this week it’s more of a, “What’s been happening in the sewing room” kind of Show & Tell.

I finally got around to making Eliza a little dress.  My sweet friend Beth invited us to her house so we could work on sewing projects.  The kids played together and we got down to business.  I had in mind a nice fall/winter jumper.  I had some ideas and inspirations tucked in the back of my mind and found a pattern that I could tweak to look the way I envisioned it in my head.  Here’s what I came up with~

I have been drooling over a certain line of girl’s clothing called Matilda Jane, and after seeing Rachel’s adorable photo shoot with her daughter wearing a darling “vintage” dress with a pinafore I knew I wanted this jumper to have one as well.

This pattern was such a breeze to make!  I finished it in one morning and only had to get my seam ripper out once (that’s a record for me).

I also gathered some fun accessories to go with the new dress.

(a.) A matching “Sunday-go-to-Meeting” bag, (b.)  jumper pattern- Simplicity 2875, the jumper is made out of a mossy green corduroy, the pinafore and lining is a piece from Denyse Schmidt’s new Joanne’s line, (c.) A vintage millinery flower pinned to the dress, (d.) cream knee socks from Target $4.00, and (e.) impossibly adorable ruffled ankle boots- Target $22.99.

Sorry, I felt compelled to show you the boots again… they’re my new favorite thing.

I finished two more bags and I have the “Sunday-go-to-Meeting” tutorial almost finished!

I also put together some little sets of hair clips. 

And because I don’t have enough unfinished projects {} I decided to add another one to the pile~

A quilt, just for the fun of it.

My mom came over one evening and helped me cut out and assemble 20 blocks so I only need about 20 or 60 more to finish it :)

And that’s all, unless you count the growing pile of patterns and fabric bundles sitting on the corner of my desk… but that’s not very interesting to look at (or talk about).

Have a great Wednesday!  ~April

Show & Tell Wednesday

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner will be announced Wednesday September 21st.  Thank you for participating!

This week Show & Tell is all for little girls, because… it’s so much fun to sew for them   Lately Eliza has really gotten into packing her purse to take to church.  She has a small selection of little bags that she loads with a handful of small toys.  I thought a handmade church bag would be a nice little project.

Naturally I couldn’t just make one.  I made 4.  I’m just built that way.  It actually makes sense on a practical level, it only takes a little more time/effort to make 4 as it does to make 1.  Also making four gives me the chance to perfect the pattern and I get play around with 4 designs instead of just one.  Plus I tend to do things obsessively.  When I find a album I like, I will listen to it non-stop until I know every.single.word.

This little pattern is just a simple lined tote with handles.  I took it up a notch by using braided handles and adding little touches to the outside.

It’s about the size of a sheet of paper.  In fact I used a standard size sheet of paper for the pattern.

I also added pockets to the inside for putting important little girl things like, stickers, lip balm, and crayons.  The green floral bag has a crayon pocket but the rest of them have a single large pocket in the inside.

I made the green bag for Eliza. 

I used a little wonder-under and silk ribbon to personalize her bag.

There’s a small bird with hand stitching around it on the other side of the bag.  So far Eliza likes all of the bags except the one I made especially for her .

The solid colored bags are made from Joanne’s “linen look-alike” fabric.  It feels and looks just like linen but it’s a blend which means it can be washed; which is important when it comes to kiddos.

I really like the look of this sweet bag.  I used the natural colored linen and added a variety of cream and soft pink trims to the outside.

For the floral I wanted to keep the embellishments very simple.  One cotton knit rosette in the bottom corner and…

…  some crisp white trim at the top.

This mustard linen was a favorite too.  Very simple.  I like simple.

Since I made four of these little bags and I have no use for all of them, I thought I would give one away.  Of course a Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Bag wouldn’t be complete without some trinkets to put inside.

If your name is drawn for the giveaway you may choose any of the totes except the solid green bag (that one is Eliza’s, whether she likes it or not).  If you want to be entered into the drawing just leave a friendly comment on this post.  Now here’s were I ask you for a favor.  I was hoping to get some feedback from all my lovely readers about the bags.  I’m thinking about making some more to sell, and I was wondering which design you liked the best?  Are the color combinations working?  What do you think would be a reasonable price to charge for a handmade bag?  Your input would be greatly appreciated!  The giveaway will be closed Monday September 19th.

If you would be interested in step-by-step directions for the Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Bag please let me know.  I would be happy to write up a comprehensive tutorial.  It’s a very basic pattern that can be adapted to  different uses, sizes, and looks.

Thanks for stopping in again!  Take some time this week to enjoy yourself :)   ~April

Show & Tell Wednesday

Conversation I had with myself while cutting out banners for Susanna’s wedding:

“These fabric banners are so happy and fun!  Could they get any cuter?”

“Ooo, I know.  Teeny Tiny fabric banners!  Now that would be cute!”

“I wonder if any of those miniature Kit-Kat bars fell to the bottom of the snack basket?”

“What was thinking about?”

“Oh yeah… mini fabric banners.”

“Wouldn’t it be fun if you could by little fabric banners by the yard?  Think of all the cool stuff you could do with it.  But why buy what I can make?”.


I rounded up my fabric scraps.

Used my pinking sheers to cut lots of little triangles.  I like them all by themselves but their not real useful.

I also chose 1/4 inch double fold bias tape, to string the fabric pieces together.  I tucked the triangles in between the the fold of the bias tape and stitched across the top edge.

Happy little bundles ready to use anywhere you fancy!

Dress up a plain brown gift bag.

Drape across an old mirror, window or wreath (wouldn’t a Christmas mini garland be fantastic?).

Brighten up the edge of a book shelf.

Use a small strand to wrap around a present or…

…give the garland as a present to your crafty/creative friends… or your non-creative friends.  They’re people too (that was joke).

Alright now, go make some for yourself!  Seriously.  Fun, easy, happy… it doesn’t get any better than that. Well, maybe if there were Kit-Kats involved that would be better; but that can be arranged :)

Happy Wednesday!  It feels good to be back ~April