Maxi Skirt to the MAX

Have you ever spent time browsing Pinterest and all of a sudden someone’s pin catches your attention so fiercely that you are inspired to act on it immediately? That is precisely what happened to me last week. One of my friends posted this and I just had to make it.

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Simply, bold and billowy, a fabulous combination!

I’m taking a little trip to the Virgin Islands and thought this would be fantastic piece to pack.

First things first, the pattern. Although the skirt is very simple, I decided to use a pre printed pattern, I didn’t rely have time to figure things out, I wanted to hit the ground running. The skirt in the inspiration photo doesn’t have a drop waist, but I think the drop waist will flatter my body shape more and won’t add bulk around my tummy.

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So let the fabric search begin. There are few fabric shops near me and the choices they offer are a limited. I googled large black and white polka dots and began scrolling. I found several fabrics that were almost an exact match, but the weren’t cotton. I wanted cotton because it’s easy to sew with, easy to wash and cool, it’ll be hot under all those yards of fabric.  This is what I decided to go with.

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The fabric is, Art Gallery Avantgarde Tentative Dot Ink, $9.95 per yard

The pattern required a little over 4 yards of 60 inch wide fabric, the fabric I chose was only 43 inches. After looking at how the pattern is laid out on the fabric, it looked like there would be wasted fabric. I went with my first choice, but ordered 5 yards, and thought I’d fudge it if need be.

So, wash and dry fabric, iron fabric, cut out pieces, check, check, check.

After, I’d cut out all the mandatory pieces, I still had a full yard of fabric left. I pinned the front pieces to the top I was wearing so I could gauge the fullness, and after a few photos and texts with Marie, we decided that I should add a half panel to the front and back.

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To make  the front panel I folded the folded the patten piece in half along the centre, and then in half again, inverted the fold and smoothed it out. The important thing is to maintain the angels of the sides and the curve along the hem. The back was a little trickier because of the zip. Each back panel had to be a quarter of the original. The folding followed the same principle as the front. I was a little tight, but I managed to get all three pieces from the extra yard.

The pleated, shorter versions of the pattern are designed with pockets, but the maxi isn’t. I love love love pockets and they were a must for me, so I cut those from the fabric scraps left over. I also had to get a little creative when cutting out the front waist band, it wasn’t cut along the grain as suggested.

The sewing part was really easy, and fairly quick, nothing tricky. I did it all within a day. Roll on holiday because I cannot wait the wear it.

-F

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Free Pattern: Reversible Liberty Print Sun Glasses Case

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I’ve had a love affair with Liberty print for about 15 years. I still remember the feeling of walking into the Liberty shop on Great Portland Street and seeing bolt after bolt of gorgeous fabric. Any excuse to use this classic beauty is jumped on. I didn’t  quite realize the size of my treasured stash until I was pairing fabrics for this project. Using two small pieces of fabric and a little ribbon, these cases are not only beautiful and practical but a great stash buster. I knocked several of these out in a lazy sunny afternoon.

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Download the free Pattern PDF Liberty Sunglasses Case

WIN A FREE CASE! Check out our Instagram page, like, repost by midnight June 5th and be entered to win!

Step by step directions:

Iron the fabric then cut two 8.5″ squares.

Lay fabric A with the right side facing down. Place a pin 1 1/4″ from top of fabric on both sides.

A little tip;

I originally left a 1″ opening because I wasn’t sure what ribbon I would thread through for the closure. If you have the ribbon already picked out feel free to alter the size of the opening to better fit the ribbon.

 Fold the top edge over 1/4″ and press with iron.

Fold the fabric in half the long way with the right sides together, matching the pins. Starting at the bottom folded edge, sew along the short side (the bottom) and then the long side with a seam allowance of 1/4″. Stop at the pin. Snip the bottom corner off.

Press open the seams. Make sure you press the long edge seam so it lays over and hides the edge of the top 1/4″ fold.

Repeat the above steps with square B.

Turn piece A so the right side of the fabric faces out. Piece B remains inside out.

Squeeze and wiggle B into A. B should be inside out. It’s a little fiddly. It’s important here to make sure the tops of A and B are lined up, and the 1/4″ seam allowance is sandwiched between the two pieces.

Pin the two pieces together along the top edge.  Here you can either sew A and B together on the machine with as little seam is humanly possible, or hand stitch them together using a ladder stitch. The latter method is actually my preferred way, I think it’s cleaner looking, even if it takes a little more time.

You’re almost done! Do a couple of tiny whip stitches at the base of the opening to join the two halves.Thread your drawstring through the opening, tie the ends off together and trim any excess if needed.

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I also like to hand sew the top 1/4″ above the opening for the ribbon.

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Advent Trees

IMG_3968When I was little I always found the countdown to Christmas Day so exciting. Waking up every morning and carefully peeling open the door of my Advent calendar to see what was inside. I loved how the tension would build the closer to the 25th it got. As and adult it’s easy to lose that thrill and get swept up in the commercial craziness. Through my Tiny Terrors I get so see that same innocent unbridled excitement. A little envious this year, I thought the whole family should be in on the fun.

Simple and understated, these little trees have pockets on the back to hold activity cards, everyday pull out the card and have some fun.

Below you can find the pattern and step by step instructions to make the trees and printables for the cards.

CLICK HERE –> Advent for the free download. The PDF includes the pattern for the tree and printable activity cards.

You will need:

1yd of mattress ticking fabric, or fabric of your choice (front)*

1 1/2 yards of solid cotton (back)

16 inches of twine or ribbon

Thread

Colored felt (for star and trunk, optional)

Card stock

24 3 x 4 inch paper bags (Mine were purchased at Michael’s)

*If you cut very carefully you can get all of your trees with just 3/4 yd of the front fabric. Pattern pieces include 1/4 seam allowance.

If you are adding a trunk and star to the tree then you’ll also need a few sheets of felt for each.

I used my sewing machine to embroider the numbers on to fabric scraps and then stitched them on at the end. If you are hand embroidering you may way to do this step after cutting out the front pieces. You could also use iron transfer paper for the numbers, or you could number the back of the cards and/or envelopes.

Cut out and iron all your pieces.

The pocket

The pocket

Fold one

Fold one

Press along fold

Fold two

Fold two

Fold under

Fold under

Open first fold and fold and press on fold 2, hiding the raw edge. Press again

Stitch

Stitch

Stich the fold down, I used a contrasting thread to match the colour of the front of the tree.

Assembling

The back

The back

The pocket

The pocket

Lay the back of the tree right side up, place pocket onto the back of the tree, right side down.

The twine

The twine

The front

The front

Cut an 8″ length of twine, tie it in a knot. Place it on the tree back with the knot touching the top of the tree and the loop hanging down.

Place the front of the tree on top, right side down.

The opening

The opening

The reveal

The reveal

Pin around the edges of the tree, leaving and opening between the markers. Stitch the tree together, with a 1/4 seam allowance. Turn the tree right side out. Press flat, making sure to poke out the tree points fully.

Here is where you’d add the trunk. Cut two pieces for each trunk and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch the two pieces of felt together. Insert the seam allowance of the trunk into the opening left at the base of the tree.

Top stitch around the entire edge of the tree.

Stitch on the number

Stitch on the number

The number

The number

Stitch on the number.

Make the star now, if using. Cut two pieces for each star and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch all the way round. Sew onto the top of the tree.

Pick a card

Pick a card

Print the cards, and sort through which ones you’ll use. There are a lot to choose from and there is a blank page so that you can add your own ideas.

Tuck the activity inside

Tuck the activity inside

Once I’d narrowed it down I wrote numbers 1 – 24 on a sheet of paper and jotted down which activity we’d do on each day. Then popped the cards into the bag and slipped it into the pocket of the corresponding tree.

I decieded to hang mine from a branch I dragged in from the garden, but I think they’d look just as adorable hanging from an old frame with lights wrapped around it or lined up neatly in a box.

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Here & There: Quilting Edition

 

This post was meant to have Florrie’s story about her hexagons, too… but temperamental internet has kept her from finishing.  She will post hers as soon as she can.  Trust me, you don’t want to miss her project.  Read on for my story –hex

Down at the Flat I was wandering through some few of my favorite blogs a few weeks back and I read about Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy starting work on some fabric hexagons. It jogged a memory of my mother, an avid quilter, making hexagons when I was a girl and carefully hand stitching them together into a quilt top.  Alicia’s hexagons were so pretty. Shades of pink and cream, green and blue.  The combination of nostalgia and the twitchy fingers of my craft mania meant that it wouldn’t be long before I started some of my own.

I’m an OK seamstress at best, but this seemed easy enough.  I did a little research on construction and Florrie ordered us a few sets of paper hexagons online.  We ended up with 1 1/2 inch and 2 inch paper hexagons.  I was to go up to the Croakery for a long weekend and we were set to get started.  While I was there we took a trip to JoAnn’s (which is extra exciting for me as we don’t have any of them down in the City) and we spent 20 minutes picking out fabrics. Initially I wanted aqua and browns, but the greens kept creeping in and the palette seemed to sort itself out. I bought a quarter of a yard of eight different fabrics, four green and four aqua of varying shades, patterns and intensities.

I knew I wanted to make a small project (a quilt seemed a bit daunting to start in case it turned out making hexagons made my teeth squeak) so I settled on a pillow cover.  Turns out making the hexagons is a quick, easy and pretty fun process. I cut out rough squares (why be fussy and cut a hexagon when you really don’t need to??) with my teeny Ginghers.  You just need to make sure that your fabric squares are big enough to comfortably wrap around the paper pieces. Basting the fabric to the paper was quick and easy, soon I had a decent sized stack and started the work of composing my layout. I settled on diagonal stripes of a dark and light of each color, and laid them out to alternate green/aqua/green and so on. I thought the flower motif might be a bit too twee for what I had in mind.

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Stitching the hexes together turned out to be a breeze. The instructions said to use a whip stitch, but I somehow fell into blanket stitch and it seemed to be fine.  I picked up a 20×13 inch pillow stuffer and got to work making my piece large enough to cover the front. I’m going to make the back with strips of the remaining fabric.

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I haven’t decided if I want to fuss around with a zipper yet, or just make a flap. I do plan to line the inside with muslin to make sure no disasters occur while inserting/removing the pillow. Should I do a layer of thin batting for the cover and do a little bit of quilting, too? Decisions, decisions… Also, would anyone be interested in directions for the hexagon pillow? Let me know and I may be able to take the time to create a PDF.      -Marie

 

No more knitting!

Yes, you read the title correctly. I have given up knitting. These hands will hold needles and yarn no more, well not until April. It was a combination of Marie sending me a link showing a paper piece quilt and eyeing up a bundle of fabulous fat quarters. My head was swimming with new knit designs, but I couldn’t focus on any one in particular. I decided to take a break and dive head first into sewing.
This is my dining table, as you can see there’s no eating done here at the moment.

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I hoping to knock a out all of my ideas by the end of the month, and then buckle down to knitting. Stay posted for some updates.
Florrie

Memory Pup

My very good friend Lynn asked me to take a shirt that belonged to her father and turn it into his favorite pup, a scotty dog.  She had been holding onto the shirt for years, packed away and wanted to make it into something she could display, that would make her smile and remember her father when she saw it.

I found a super cute free scotty dog pattern online. I increased the size a little and traced it off my computer screen. The clever girl who drafted the pattern made her scotty out of felt, so I had to add a bit of seam allowance to the pattern. The soft, fine, flannel shirt was also in need of a bit of  support, so I ironed on some pelon interfacing before cutting the pattern out.  I used my pinking blade and quickly cut out the 6 simple pieces. I used the buttons from the shirt for eyes, and sewed them onto the sides of the head before I joined the pieces.

I pinned and stiched them together. This is a very easy pattern and it took me less than 2 hours to complete the job. One thing I would do a little differently next time, is also mark the pattern out on the pellon before cutting along the seam allowance, it would have made it easier to sew along the line I was supposed to be sewing on. It wasn’t hard, but it would have been more accurate.

I finished off stuffing him full of fluff and by adding a navy blue velvet ribbon collar. He really turned out darling. I haven’t presented him to Lynn yet, but I think she’s going to like him.

Woof!

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