Tie dyed shirt + onesie= one cute baby dress

This is a project I made several months ago, but I'm just now posting. Surprised?

Anyway- here is what I started with:

And here is what I finished with:



Want to see how I did it? Read on:

First, I cut the onesie in half like this:

Then I used my embroidery machine to put this cupcake on for the recipient's first birthday.

Then, I laid the bottom portion of the onesie on the shirt, and cut it about an inch above the top of this piece. The bottom of the shirt became the bottom of my dress. No hemming. Sweet!

Then, I cut a 1 inch piece of t-shirt, sewed it into a tube the same size as my onesie waist, and then sewed it to the bottom piece. This adds back all the fabric we are taking away by sewing seam allowances.

I didn't take any photos of the next steps, but all you do is gather the upper edge of the tie dye skirt piece and attach it to the upper onesie. Then, sew that part, right sides together to the bottom of the onesie and you are all done.

Check out this tutorial for even better instructions and photos.

I'd love to see this if you make one! Comment and let me know!

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Organized Patterns

Hi everyone! Today I'm going to share with you how I organize my sewing patterns. I think you'll love this method as much as I do. The best part is my daughters and I can easily look through all of them without damaging the envelopes or losing pieces as they look at the envelopes. It also makes it really easy to compare similar patterns to decide which design element we like the best.

For years, I kept my patterns in a big plastic bin, and would sift through them when planning a project. I tried sorting them by type, but they always seemed to get jumbled up. Plus, the envelopes were getting all worn from this storage method, and any used patterns were bulging from trying to get the used pieces back in. All in all, a hot mess.

So I came up with a new method of storing patterns that has worked out really well. Here is what you will do to get the same system.

First get your supplies:

Go to Staples or Office Max and buy some 9 x 12 side open booklet envelopes. I can only find the white in the 9x12 size at Staples, but the color really doesn't matter. I really prefer the side open envelopes because they are easier to store in the boxes without losing pattern pieces.

While there, buy some of these Banker Boxes. You can pick up these boxes at Target or Walmart too.

You'll also want plastic sheet protectors. These do not need to be fancy- the cheaper the better. (shown here with a piece of white paper in each one)

Now that you have all of your supplies, let's get started.

First, using a Sharpie, write the number of the pattern on the top right of each envelope.

If you find that you have two patterns with the same number, but different companies, just write the first letter in front of the pattern number. For example if you have pattern number 2456 in Simplicity it would read S 2456. And the McCalls pattern would read M 2456. You'll find that this rarely happens though.

Now, take the pattern pieces out of the pattern envelope and put them in the large white envelope.

This is what the inside of an envelope with used pattern pieces looks like:

Isn't that nice to have so much room in there instead of trying to stuff them back in those small envelopes?

As a side note, I wanted to share a few tips about caring for used patterns. First, I always fold my pattern pieces so the pattern number is facing out.

The other thing I try to always remember to do, is write on the front of the envelope the sizes I cut out, and the date. Occasionally, I'll write the person I made the outfit for.

Now, you'll take that pattern envelope and put it in a plastic page protector. I always put a piece of paper in each protector so I can put a pattern on each page back to back.

I also use that paper to write any notes about each pattern. For example, I sometimes buy multiples of a pattern when they are on a 99 cent sale. It is worth the extra dollar not to have to trace a pattern. When I have multiples of a pattern, I write on the paper in the top left corner "Also in size 3,4,5,6 uncut".

Then I put that entire extra pattern into the envelope with the other pieces like this:

The patterns are then sorted in banker boxes by number. They will go in like this:

The boxes are set up similar to the way patterns are sorted in the store.

The envelopes are stored in binders and sorted by type. Here are my binders with all of my patterns:

So- the next question is what to do with those odd sized patterns or patterns in books, or even self-drafted patterns? Here is what I do:

I love Jalie patterns, but the envelopes they come in are so darn big. Certainly too big to fit in the binders and even too big for the patters to fit in the banker boxes. So what I did was photo copy the front of the pattern envelopes and put those pictures in my binder.

Then I stacked (in numerical order) the Jalie patterns on a shelf in my sewing room.

Patterns in books. I do the same thing. Photocopy and then on the paper write which book and page the pattern can be found.

And those self drafted patterns?

I sometimes but several in one envelope, put the date in the corner and put them in the back of my last box. (6000-9999)

If you want to go one step further, you can enter your patterns into an online database at PatternReview.com. Once you have signed up for a free account, you can click on "Pattern Catalog" in the left burgundy column. What I love about this, is you can quickly check to see if you already have a pattern before you purchase one. The best part about this system however is that it automatically connects you to all pattern reviews of each of your patterns, so you can read what works or doesn't work with each one before beginning. Fair warning though: once you start using this site, you'll see pattern lines you didn't know existed (ie: Jalie) and find patterns you fall in love with.

Good luck with sorting your patterns and let me know if you have any other ideas to make it even more efficient!

Coming up, um... sometime... how I organize my fabric. Now that I've told you it's coming, I have to bite the bullet and just write it, right?


Flowers for the Chandler Children's Choir

Today's project: Corsage fabric flowers!

As many of you know, I sew the choir uniforms for the Chandler Children's Choir. You can see photos of the Junior choir's white dresses and vests here and here. Each dress comes with two sashes and two headbands: one in red and one in purple. I also do alterations and hems on the black dresses that the Advanced choir girls wear.

For the upcoming Christmas concerts, the choir director and all of her assistants wanted some matching pretty flowers to wear, so we came up with these beauties for them using the same red fabric that the sashes are made of.

Though the red shiny fabric is spandex, the back of the flowers is actually felt. I wanted to have the largest flower be a bit more sturdy so I used Wonder Under to fuse the shiny red spandex to a piece of red felt. The rest of the layers are the spandex fabric only.

For the flower pattern, I just Googled "fabric flower" and came across this image that I used as my template for the flowers. I kept increasing the size until I had the size of my largest flower- about 5 inches across. I printed that out as a pattern and then decreased it a bit, printed that one out, and kept doing that until I had four sizes. It took awhile to cut them all out, and then I just layered them, making sure each successive layer was offset from the previous layer. When I got done, I pinned them all together and took them to my sewing machine where I used a zig zag stitch to sew them all together in the center.

When I got done with all of that, they still looked a little too plain, so I had an idea. What doesn't look better with a little bit of bling on it? I took seven Swarovski crystals and put them in a tiny flower arrangement in the middle, and it completed the look.

After I was all done with those, I sewed a pin to the back and they were complete!

I think these are going to look so pretty during their Christmas concert!




Stitch it Together Try It Badge

Last Friday was our Brownie Girl Scout meeting where they earned the Stitch it Together Try It Badge.While I wanted to introduce my 3rd grade Brownies to sewing, I had some limitations:

1. There were 11 girls
2. We only had 1 1/2 hours for the entire meeting
3. These girls were either 8 or 9 years old and in 3rd grade.
4. Did I mention there were 11 of them?!

I really wanted them to take home something that they could actually use, so I decided to have them do these little bags out of felt:

I simply cut a bunch of felt into 5" x 9" pieces. Then I cut a button hole about 1/2 down from one of the 5" edges. On the other 5" edge, I threaded a needle and did a couple of stitches to attach the thread to the fabric where the button would be sewn on, so they could skip the needle threading and knot tying and go straight to sewing.

After they all did their buttons, we divided into two groups. One worked on lacing our troop's recipe book together (a project from a previous meeting) and the other group worked on folding up the felt and sewing up the sides. Then they switched.

As you can imagine, even with lots of parent help, it took a lot longer than I thought it would and only one girl finished the project. The girls all seemed to really love doing it though and were sent home with this cute sewing kit from the Dollar Store so they could finish.

I've already had one girl request more felt so she can make more, and both of my daughters have made several more little bags. I love this project because it is simple and beginner sewers can see a fast and cute result.

Here is the bag my 3rd grade daughter made and is very proud of:


Teacher gifts

Do you still have teachers to give end of year gifts to? Here's a fun idea that our girls did for their teachers.

The Candy Bar Card.

Here's Ashley's:

and here's Sadie's:

After we finished, we rolled them up like this to make it easy to carry and for fun presentation. The ribbon was from the dollar rack at Michaels.

Patrick had fabulous teachers, but he did have four of them, so we sent each of them a bottle of fresh strawberry jam with a nice little handwritten thank you note from him.

It was a great school year for all the kids and I am so very thankful for their teachers!