Wednesday, May 18, 2016

One Thimble Issue 11 - Crossover Flounce Dress

It's time for a new issue of One Thimble and I love the Crossover Flounce Dress from
Designs by Call Ajaire!

I chose this dress for the blog tour because Bitty Bee is hitting a growth spurt and is running out of dresses that she can wear to church on Sundays.  The Crossover Flounce Dress gives her two different dresses without taking up extra space in her closet.

I really love the asymetricical lines of the skirt, and the pop of contrast that can be added.

For the first side, I picked Tamara Kate's Nature Walk, which is perfect for spring and summer.  It's light and carefree, whimsical and fun.

For the second side, I went with one of the prints from Prima, from Quilt Gate.  It's a deep purple color and really makes a statement.

This dress features a double layer full skirt, which is perfect for girls who still love to twirl!

The construction of this one was like no other dress I've done, and it turned out perfectly!  I admit, I was scratching my head at a couple of the steps, but I was very happy when it all worked.  I think I have a new favorite method for making fully lined bodices!

Another favorite part of this pattern is that I didn't have to gather anything!  As a mom of a girl, quite a few patterns have ruffles.  Fortunately for me, Bitty Bee is starting to outgrow ruffles, but some patterns still have gathered skirts.  Because of the full circle skirt, nothing had to be gathered when making this dress, which speeds up the sewing process immensely.  Mainly because I don't sit around avoiding the gathering...

The pattern also has the option for making the dress with long sleeves, but since we live in Texas and it's the end of spring, long sleeves just aren't practical.  I'll plan another one in the winter, for her to wear during the 2-3 weeks that we will have cold weather.

Bitty Bee is in love with her new two-in-one dress.  What girl wouldn't love it?

Be sure to visit all of the stops on the One Thimble Issue 11 Tour for more sewing inspiration!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Bundle Up Women's: Sew Yourself Some Love!

It's Bundle Up time again!  This time, we got to sew ourselves some love, which in my sewing room, I don't sew for myself nearly enough!

I had been seeing so many women posting their "Knot Your Average" tops and loved the look, so I knew I wanted to make one for myself.  I looked around for something to pair it with and came across the Blank Slate Oceanside Pants.  They looked so comfy, I couldn't resist the chance to make a pair!

I have never really gotten along with sewing knits, so I'm on a mission to work with knits more.  This top was a great opportunity for me to spread my knit wings.  I used some of the Art Gallery knit that I had in my stash.  They're from different lines, but I liked how they looked together.

One of my favorite things about this pattern is that it has the option to make it breastfeeding friendly.  It also includes the instructions to make it into a maternity top/dress.

The Oceanside Pants are a wide leg, loose fit pant with a drawstring waist.  I made mine out of a medium weight denim fabric.

Since they are a loose fit, I could probably go down a size or two on them and have a better fit than I got with this first pair, but they are still comfortable in the size I made them.  The pattern goes by hip size because of the drawstring waist.

Come summertime here in Texas, I'll be making some more in the shorts version!  They are quick and easy to make, so whipping up more will be pretty fast.

I'm really happy with the two patterns I choose for this tour and I feel great that I was able to make myself some new clothes!  Bitty Bee usually gets all of the goodies from the sewing room.

Do you get to sew yourself some love?  It's a pretty great feeling.

Join us through the whole blog tour and don't miss a day!!!

Feb 1     Sew Thrifty
Feb 2     Feather's Flights
Feb 3     The Wholesome Mama
Feb 4     Sprouting Jube Jube        
             Sugarplum Cuties
Feb 5     Shaffer Sisters
Feb 8     Mabey She Made It
Feb 9     Rebel and Malice
Feb 11   Sugarplum Cuties
Feb 12   Hibbadoray
Feb 15   Bee Quilted Beauties       
             Mabel Madison
Feb 16   Sew Starly
Feb 17   All Things Katy            
             Handmade Boy
             Lady And The Gents
             Sew Like My Mom

Sunday, February 14, 2016

One Thimble Issue 10 Review

It's back!!!  One Thimble Issue 10 is now available and packed with some great patterns!

I chose a couple cute patterns for Bitty Bee, and I plan on making a few things for Gamer, too.

First, I tried the Jolie Skirt from FAM.  This was my first FAM pattern to make and I was very pleased.  The skirt has two options, either a pleated front or a flat front.  I made the flat front skirt out of some pretty Batik fabric I had gotten at Quilt Market.

I love that the pattern included an actual pattern piece for not only the skirt pieces, but also for the waistband, instead of just measurements.  To me, having pattern pieces for everything just makes cutting out so much easier.

The skirt was very simple to put together and took less than an hour from start to finish.  Bitty Bee wants to make more of them, and this is a pattern that she can easily make on her own (with supervision, of course).

I wanted her to have a shirt to match her new skirt.  I bought a plain t-shirt from the store and used the applique files from the Swoodson Says Adventure Flags (also in this issue) to show our creative side.  Freezer paper and fabric paint, plus some rhinetones, and she has an awesome custom shirt that perfectly describes her attitude.

I also made the Willow Dress from Bubby & Me for her.  For someone who has sewn her whole life, I don't have much experience with knit and I'm trying to change that.

I left the sleeve ruffles off when making this dress, Bitty Bee is starting to dislike them on her clothing.  Without the ruffle, the pattern opens up to possible color blocking with some contrast.  For this one, I kept it all the same.

Again, this pattern includes actual pattern pieces for all of the pieces, which makes cutting the fabric so much easier.

I also plan on adding some length to the bodice and making her some t-shirts with this pattern.

Issue 10 is full of great patterns, articles, and sewing advice.  Go pick up your copy today
or you can enter below to win a copy!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Home Organization Week 1 Reveal

Week one was the kitchen and it was a HUGE job for our family.  The kitchen in our dumping grounds, the place where things go from my truck to the house and never progress further.  Where the shoes are kicked off every day and not taken to bedrooms.  It was a cluttered mess.

But no more.

I threw things out and boxed things to donate.  I emptied all of the cupboards and checked the dates on everything.  I cleaned out our medicine cabinet, which was really bad.  I cleared the space above the sink and love how it looks now.  The cat has a new perch in the window behind our table.

First, a little reminder of how it looked before.

Not too pretty, huh?  I didn't like inviting people over because of the clutter and chaos.

But no more!  We had people over for dinner the other night and I was excited to show them my kitchen.  It was awesome!  Ready for the reveal?  If you follow us on Instagram, you've already seen a little sneak peek of it.

I must say, it feels so great to walk into my kitchen every morning and not start the day in a cluttered mess!  I have more counter space now and love it!

Next up is the pantry.  I'm starting that tonight.  Luckily it's not very big, so it shouldn't take long at all!  I can't wait to share more of my home with all of you!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Home Organization Challenge: Week 1

Anyone who knows me, knows that clutter is my mortal enemy.  It surrounds me at all times.
I don't plan on it always being present, it just is.
It doesn't help that I'm not the most organized of people and I'm not a fan of cleaning.
I'm allergic, I swear.  Ask Queen Bee.  I get sick every time I clean anything.

But my household is suffering because of the clutter.
My sewing is taking a backseat to stress and distractions because I can't focus on sewing with all this clutter around me and on my mind.

It's time for a change.

A couple weeks ago, someone in one of my groups posted a link to this group on facebook about organizing and I joined on a whim.  I didn't know that the group owner was from A Bowl Full of Lemons and she has a published book on home organizing.  I also didn't know that on January 9, she was starting her 2016 Home Organization Challenge.

Challenge Accepted.

This week, we start with the kitchen.  Mine is a chaotic mess.

I've gotten about 1/4 of it done so far, luckily it's a weekly challenge, so I have until Friday to get the rest done!  I'll be breaking it up over the next few days.

I didn't get a picture of the before of all of our medicines and supplements, but the top space is over the sink and was completely full of different medications and supplements, and the cupboard was a disorganized mess that resulted in having to take everything out just to find a Band-Aid.  Not fun.

And because of the tornado that came through the day after Christmas and us having no power for 3 days, the fridge and freezer are going to be easy!  We've already thrown out everything in there and they're still rather bare.  Restocking everything we lost is taking some time, but that's ok.  We don't need everything all at once anyway.

On Friday, I'll post the rest of my kitchen progress!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DIY Kindle Cover Tutorial

Bitty Bee and Gamer are both pretty big readers, just like Hubs and I are.  So this year, for Christmas, I was able to get them each a Kindle.  I found them at Half Price Books for about $20 each.  I couldn't pass that up!  I've been spending some time loading them with books that I think they will enjoy and making sure they're ready to start reading right away.

But they needed something else.  Something to hold them and protect the screens.  I know my kids, they're kinda rough and tumble.  I'm sure the Kindles will be tossed in backpacks for road trips frequently.  But why go out and buy something when I can make it, right?

I spent some time searching Pinterest for tutorials and couldn't find one that I liked, so I decided to do my own thing.

Kindle/Nook/iPad/Tablet of Choice
Fabric (I used two Doctor Who fabrics, available on our website)
Stiff Felt
1/4" Elastic
Sewing Machine
Hot Glue Gun

First, you'll need to measure your device.  The Kindles that I have measure 4.5" x 6.5".
Add 1/4" to each of these measurements, for me, that resulted in 4 3/4" x 6 3/4".
Cut two pieces of cardboard out with that measurement.

You will also need to cut a piece of your stiff felt out the same size as your cardboard.

For the outer fabric, you will add 1/2" seam allowance to the height of the cardboard, in my case, giving me a height measurement of 7 3/4".  For the width, you will double the cardboard width, add 1/2" seam allowance to both sides, plus 1" for a spine.  For mine, it was (4 3/4 x 2) + 1 +1, giving me 11 1/2" across.

I also cut my lining piece to this same measurement.

If you are adding embroidery to the front, cut a piece of stabilizer larger than your cover fabric.  This will also serve as interfacing, giving the cover some added stiffness.  Do not trim or cut the stabilizer after you finish your embroidery, except to trim it down to the size of your cover fabric.  If you are not adding embroidery, then cut a piece of iron-on interfacing the size of your cover fabric and attach.

To keep the cover closed, I wanted something simple that won't get in the way.  An elastic band seemed to be the best option, no buttons or snaps to get in the way or cause annoyance, easy for them to slip the elastic over the cover when done reading.  Cut the elastic 1/4" longer than your cover height.  You'll want it to be snug when it's closed.  I cut my first one a little long, but it still works.

Pin the elastic about 1 1/4" from the edge of the short side that will end up being the back of the cover.  Pin the lining piece in place, right sides together.  Sew the three sides of the cover, leaving the short end that will be the front of the cover open.  It will look like a long pillowcase.

Clip the corners and turn the case right side out, then press.  Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of these steps.  If I make another one, I'll remember and add them later.

Slip one of the cardboard pieces into the cover, making sure it fits snugly and is all the way to the back seam.  Seam 1 in the picture is the seam along the edge of the cardboard, securing it in place.  I used my zipper foot for this seam.  Seam 2 is sewn 7/8" from Seam 1.  This creates a spine for the cover.

Now slip the second piece of cardboard in.  Tuck the open edge in around the cardboard, I found it best to fold the cover fabric in first, then fold the lining fabric in.  I used a hot glue gun to close this opening, that way there are no stitches showing.  You can also whipstitch it closed, but I'm not a huge handsewing fan.

Now set that part aside for a bit.  Take your felt and some more of your elastic.  I cut 4 pieces of elastic about 5" long each.  Place your tablet on the felt to find the best elastic placement for your device.  For the Kindle, I discovered that on the top corners, the elastic was best placed 1" over from the corner on both top and side.  For the bottom, however, I went in 1" on the bottom, but 2" up the side.  Tape the elastic in place and flip to the back side.  I used the hot glue gun to glue the elastic pieces in place along the back.

Left: Showing placement of the top elastics, 1" from corner on both top and side, also showing glued elastic at the top of the picture (from gluing the bottom pieces)
Right: Showing placement of bottom elastics, 1" over on the bottom and 2" up the side.

To attach the holder to the case, I once again used the hot glue gun.  I lined up the edge of the felt with the seam along the edge of the cardboard.  Make sure you glue all along the edges and the corners.  You can use a different glue, such as E6000, but you will need to make sure that you place something heavy on top of the glued area and allow it to dry completely, usually 24 hours.  I like how the hot glue dries so quickly and I can move on with my projects.

Congrats, you're done!  Slip your device of choice in the elastic and start reading!

I hope that Bitty Bee and Gamer like their Kindles and the new cases to go with them.  Now to get them wrapped and under the tree before they discover my present hiding spot!!!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bitty Bee's Simple Doll Shirt Tutorial

Bitty Bee loves her American Girl dolls, she has started making movies of their adventures, at least one will join us on family trips, and she's constantly wanting to add girls to her family of dolls.

One thing she thinks she needs more of is clothes for the dolls.  She loves changing their outfits and thinks that they shouldn't have to wear the same outfit twice in one year.  The horror!!!

Kirsten and Samantha are both wearing Bitty Bee's Simple Top
Tutorial for the simple wrap skirt here.

Bitty Bee is also learning how to sew, and I wanted to give her an easy project that she can do on her own with little help from me.  A long time ago, I downloaded a free simple doll shirt pattern and now it's nowhere to be found online, so I would like to share my version of this little doll top.

Fabric (Can use a fat quarter)
1/4" Elastic - 9"

I like making a template for smaller pattern pieces, since to me, it makes cutting easier.
You will need to cut two pieces 8 1/2" x 10 1/4".

Finish the edges of both sides and the top.  This is easiest done on a serger, but you can also use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

Press the top edge down 1/2".

Unfold the pressed edge and measure down 4" from the top.
You will sew from that mark to the bottom.

Press the side seams open and stitch down the pressed seams.  I used a 3/8" seam allowance.

Re-fold the top along the pressed edge and sew your casing, using a 3/8" seam allowance.

Thread your 9" of 1/4" elastic through the casings, going straight from one side to the other.
Overlap the ends and sew together.  Work the elastic into the casings so that it's even on both sides.
None of the elastic will be showing.

For the hem, I finished the bottom edge and folded the finished edge under one time, then sewed in place with a 1/8" seam allowance.

Congrats, you're done!

This top looks adorable with leggings or tucked into a cute wrap skirt.
Nellie looks adorable, pairing it with black leggings and faux fur slouch boots.

Happy Sewing, Beauties!

~*~Princess Bee~*~