I was shopping around with my mom and sister in law, when we found this cute little shirt:
We thought it was so fun, we decided to make our own (cheaper- seeing as it was $20+) versions of them.
I opted for an asymmetrical hem with the back being longer, so that's what I'll show in this tutorial. You can also draw a shirt tail hem (like the original) by cutting a large, wide, U shape out of the front and back of the shirt-- and follow this tutorial for the rest.
an over-sized or loose shirt
a sewing machine
Match up the side seams of your shirt and lay it out flat. Draw a curved line that is higher in the front and lower in the back with chalk. Draw a parallel line 1-3 inches below that (the strip between the lines will be used to make the heart, so if you want the fringe to be longer, make the strip wider)
I'm pretty tall, so I made the back come down as far as possible, with a crop in the front. You can also make this into a full cropped top by simply cutting as high as you want the shirt to hit- you can get some extreme fringe that way!
Cut along each of your chalk lines.
Make sure that where your line starts, and ends are at 90 degree angles to the fold otherwise you will get little triangles instead of curves.
You will end up with something that looks along the lines of this.
You can save the hem piece to add embellishments - I'm just braiding mine into a head band. Fold the strip you cut out in half width-wise (if your strip was 3" it will now be 1 1/2") and set aside.
Trace a heart onto your shirt. If you aren't confident with your free-handing capabilities, create a template out of newspaper, or print one out.
I opted for a larger heart so the top created a sweetheart effect above my bust. Also, if you are starting with a V-neck make sure the two points of your heart line up with the neck line, otherwise your shirt will be obviously skewed looking.
(You can draw a line down center front with chalk to help you with this.)
Now that you have your shirt prepped, take your strip of fabric and begin cutting fringe into it. if you want the looped look, like the original shirt; snip along the folded edge of the curve to about 1/4" away from the raw edge. If you want a more western feeling fringe- don't fold the strip in half and simply snip from one side up to about 1/4 " away from the other edge. You can then tug on the fringe to make them curl, or leave them flat.
(This works best if you also get hubby's foot in the background as you take pictures while you are sprawled across the floor, surrounded by fabric)
Cut your fringe where the side seams are and pin each piece onto each side of the heart. You want to get rid of the bulky seams and if you try to do this in one piece you will more than likely get a more rounded, rather than pointed, dip and bottom of the heart.
Using a wide zigzag stitch (so to still allow stretch and also catch all of edges of the fringe strip) carefully sew around the inside of the heart (you can also have the fringe on the inside and sew on the outside as in the original shirt)
Make sure you are not stretching the shirt too much as you sew, otherwise you will get big waves in the fabric. If your machine has a needle down position, I'd suggest using it to navigate the curves and corners more easily.
And wallah! Your very own (under $5) fringed heart shirt
In case you were wondering about the rice recipe I used on Valentines Day
Here it is!
Cilantro Lime Rice:
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 (15 ounce) can vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
In a a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, sugar, and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice. Serve warm.
On Wednesday, I was supposed to go downtown for an interview at 10 am.
Here's what I did to prepare:
1. laid my clothes out.
2. Got my hair to a point that I could just touch it up and go the next day.
3. Google mapped the place, and opened it on my phone gps.
4. Wrote down the directions, you know, in case something happened to all electricity and batteries.
5. Made sure husband's alarm was set.
6. Set my own alarm. (Each for 7 am)
7. Gave myself 2 hours to get ready and an extra half hour to get there to make sure I found it.
8. Made a mental note to grab a few bucks to put gas in the car just in case.
9. Told Russell, in case the alarms failed, to make sure I get up.
10. Put the cereal on the counter so I wouldn't forget to eat breakfast.
Why none of that mattered:
1. It was too windy for the dress I laid out.
2. Did I mention a significant chunk of my hair is accidentally pink right now? I like it, I have a feeling school districts would not.
3. Google Maps suck.
4. Writing the directions down on paper from Google Maps doesn't make them any more accurate.
5. I always get so nervous before interviews, I wake up before my alarms.
7. Between picking out new clothes, freaking out about what they would think about my hair and *surprise!* not being able to find my wallet, I left with 20 min to find the place.
8. My mental notes mean NOTHING, I forgot to grab the money.
And here is how it all played out:
Halfway to Idaho Falls, I realized my gas light was on. *How long has that thing been on?? Oh, well I'll just get gas in IF* I take the exit directed, turn left where directed, and now I just have to find the one street that the building is on and I'm good. 5 passes up and down the street later, I realize Google Maps is a filthy fibber and there is no access to the road I needed to be on from the road that I was on. Oh yea, and my gas light is still on, oh yea, and I just remembered I forgot my wallet, oh yea, and my phone is about to die. At this point I've wasted most of my precious phone battery to attempt to contact the school and let them know I will be late (ahhh the tackiness of that!) to do much else, so I --defeated and fighting back the tears-- start to just head home, hoping I can make it back with no gas.
I then calm down enough to remember we have a car charger (thank you smart husband!) Then I realize, in my frustration, I took a wrong turn somewhere and am now lost. With no gas, and no gas station in sight, and no means to purchase gas. No more fighting, at that point the tears were rolling. I plug my phone in, pull over and call Russ (who is in class) he calms me down, finds the number for the school district, texts it to me, and borrows a friends car (yea, all that, that fast, he's awesome) and tells me to try to find out where I am to call him back so he can come find me.
Turning around once I see signs for Swan Valley (wheeerreee am IIIII?) I drive back towards where I think the majority of IF is, then, amazingly, up ahead, I see TARGET! I definitely knew where I was at that point, called Russell, gave him directions there (yea, I should be trusted to do that) and pouted in the car until he got there.
Because there was nothing else that could be done, he put gas in the car and said "Whelp, we are already here, let's do something, do you want to go to a fabric store?"
So we went to the Mountain store (because I would have felt way too bad dragging him to a fabric store after I made him come all the way out to save me) and then he took me to lunch at Chickfila and to roam through some big box stores.
I love my husband, he was the only saving grace from that day.
I had mentioned in one of my thrifty Thursday posts that I had made a circle skirt from a table cloth that I had found at a thrift store.
After said post, I was surprised to find that a lot of people are googling this tutorial, so for today's Tutorial Tuesday, I'm going to give you a quick how to on making a circle skirt from a table cloth.
(Note: this tutorial can be used to make a circle skirt from scratch as well, just cut a circle of fabric, you may have to sew two pieces together to get the proper length, follow this tutorial and hem.)
While walking down the frozen food isle at the grocery store, singing and maybe doing an awkward I-forget-I'm-surrounded-by-people dance I made eye contact with a woman I had just talked to about greek yogurt and she realized, before I did, that I was an awkward fool.
In my new-found embarrassment I turned to the nearest freezer and began intently looking for something to save me. Brussels sprouts! Good enough! I threw them in my cart, smiled (again awkwardly, what is wrong with me?) and went on my way.
When I got home and was putting everything away I picked up the sprouts and realized, I don't cook Brussels sprouts. oy. Lucky enough, there was a Brussels sprout recipe involving things in my cupboard:
Prepare a large bowl filled with ice water and ice. Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain. Throw the cooked cauliflower into the bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking any further. Bring the pot back up to a boil and put in the quartered brussels sprouts and cook for 3-4 minutes. The cauliflower should be completely cooled. Drain them and set aside. After the brussels sprouts are done, throw them in the bowl of ice water and ice.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.
Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower and brussels sprouts on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.
I love cutting my hair! Lucky for me, my favorite big brother married the most amazing cosmetologist in the gosh darn world. We are going to play with the color and some highlights a little more, so I'll update on that when it happens!
Well, here is a little sneak preview of how it is ending up.
Before we get to the juicy stuff, let's talk about the thrifty stuff!
Using fabric scraps.
I'm lucky enough to have a sewing lab on campus nearby that has a little scrap bin in it. My favorite is when the new sewing students throw huge swatches of fabric in there because they see no use for them. WRONGO!
There are plenty of things from bows to appliques to textural elements you can add to your garment.
1. selvege edges: you can braid them into belts, crochet with them, etc.
2. bows: bow accessories are everywhere- shoe/hair clips, belts
I was surprised how many Valentines Day posts were actually up on Valentines Day!
(The only reason I got to see them,was because I was slammed with some intense insomnia, eek. 3:30 am and I are buds apparently)
I hope every one's Valentines Day went amazingly well. I know mine did :)
I spent the afternoon with the girls just fabric shopping and talking about our lovey-hubs. We got some fantastic materials for skirts, vests and baby dresses.
As I climbed the stairs and rounded the corner to my apartment, I saw something hanging from above my doorway. As I got closer, I saw a note that said WIFE! accompanied by several caramel kisses hanging from streamers.
Not gonna lie, folks. It was the cutest note I had ever received.
(flash back: in high school, husband asked me to prom by covering my bedroom with various candy kisses with a note that said "I kiss the ground you walk on, I would love to take your buns to prom". Inside the room were the kisses laid out in a heart around a package of hot dog buns... How could I say no to that?! So in this note there was a nod to that cherished memory)
I walked in to see this...
and a little further down the hallway:
kisses on the floor, heart on the bed...this time instead of hot dog buns in the middle of the heart, there were some sweet (oh so sweet, we'll have candy for weeks!) packages from Russ' mom.
After tearing up (c'mon, just a little bit. It was sweet okay!) I scrambled to get dinner ready before hubs got home. We had a candle lit picnic on the floor with sparkling apple cider, salad, sweet chili shrimp (only the second time I've ever made shrimp!) and cilantro lime rice. It was a hit.
We talked, made googley eyes at each other, listened to some really cheesy 90's love songs (er, thanks for that Pandora) played some board games and watched The Lost Future. (We knew when the previews started that we were in for a...treat. I wouldn't recommend this movie... unless you are like us and like to poke fun at illogical plot developments)
Hope your Valentine was as sweet to you as mine was to me, or if you were flying solo this year- I hope you took the time to spend time with your friends or family.
Hope your day is full of chocolate, valentines, kisses and bubble baths!
oh yea, and sewing!
SHIRRED HANDKERCHIEF SHIRT:
Go to your local vintage or second hand store and find two handkerchiefs, preferably silk and preferably matching. If you can’t find a set, just go for two coordinating ones in the same size. make sure that they are rectangular or a very large square. Hold them up to yourself to see if they will be long enough.
Step 2 Take measurements
measure the distance across your shoulders that you want the neckline to be open. find the center front of both of your handkerchiefs and place a pin there. Now take the measurement you took across your shoulders (say you want a 10" neck opening) and place an equal length on either side of center front and center back (so you will have 5" on either side of the pin at center front and center back.)
Step 3 Armhole measurement
Measure from the top of the shoulder to a length you feel would be comfortable for an arm opening. Note that the opening for the arm will drape a little since this sleeve would be similar to a kimono or bat wing so you shouldn’t have a gapping hole there. I measured down 7". Mark 7" (or your own measurement) from the top an each of the four top corners (front and back)
Step 4 Sewing
Lay your handkerchiefs one on top of the other, right sides facing in. Pin (especially if your material is slippery) each point of measurement (either side of c.f. and c.b. and top/bottom armhole) together. Sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance.
I suggest 1/4 inch because otherwise the fabric hangs really weird around the neck edges on the shoulder.
Since you are using handkerchiefs that have already been made, there are no seam finishes!! Best part of your day, right?
If I were to make this top again, I would consider putting something like a key hole opening at the neck edge or even just a slit and doing a narrow rolled hem so it hangs open. If you follow the original instructions for the shirt I made, you will end up with a neckline similar to a jewel.
Step 5 Shirring the waistline
Decide where you want your shirr lines to be. If I make this top again, I will try doing a dropped waist instead of having Them at the natural waistline. Start with one line of shirring approx where you want it to hit on your body. I suggest trying the top on at this point to take this guesstimating. Sew a line of shirring. (to shirr fabric, simply get elastic thread and HANDWIND it into your bobbin somewhat loosely, there will be directions on your elastic thread for this…and then sew with regular thread on top. voila, easy.)
BE aware of how your seam allowances are sitting while you shirr, make sure they don’t fold or tuck.
Your first row of shirring will probably not be super gathered, but try the top on again and see if you like where that row fits on your body. if it is slightly higher than you want, shirr the next row 1/4 " below the first. If it is lower than you want, shirr the next row 1/4" above the first. Continue to create shirred rows until you are happy with the effect you have achieved.
If you find it difficult to form straight lines without a guide, when you are first guessing where you want your first shirr line to be, take the top off and lay it on a flat surface and draw a chalk line at an equal length on both the front and the back of the garment. If you find it hard to use the edge of your foot as a guide, continue drawing chalk lines where you want your next line to be.
Remember, you want your bobbin on the bottom because otherwise you will have elastic thread on the outside of your garment. So sew with your garment right side up.
STEP 6: FINISH and ROCK IT!
That’s it, your done! I’d suggest trying on the shirt after each shirred line to make sure you are getting the fit you want.
I was on my way back from a decent sized fabric haul (pictures to come) when I realized I was hungry.
I called the hubs and asked if he could put some noodles on to boil, and I would figure the rest out when I got home.
Here is what was thrown together (it ended up pretty darn good actually)
Cheesy Artichoke Heart Penne
2 cups Penne pasta (or whatever)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 tbs dry parsley
1/2 jar artichoke hearts - Roughly chopped
2 wedges of a melt-able cheese
(like laughing cow, etc. I used Sonoma Jacks Parmesan peppercorn light cheese wedges)
1 tbs minced garlic (mmm garlic)
Cook the pasta up, strain it and put it back in the pot. Pour the olive oil over it and throw in the parsley and garlic (side note/rant: I use a lot of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but contrary to the annoyance that is Rachel Ray, I will NEVER refer to it is EVOO. Gag me!) and get the noodles all nice and coated, add butter and cheese while the noodles are still hot and stir/fold until melted. Salt and pepper that bad boy and add in the artichoke hearts.
Super easy, fairly healthy for a cheesy/creamy pasta. It would also be really good with some chicken, but I was being a lazy bum. We are vegetarians when we are lazy.
1/2 cup potato, cubed
dash black pepper
2 tbs carrot, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 ½ cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
Simmer quinoa, potato, carrot and onion until tender (about 15 minutes). Add corn. Bring back to boil and simmer another 5 minutes. Add milk. Bring just to a boil. Season to taste. Garnish with parsley and dab of butter. Serves 4-6.
Or, if you are like me and completely space that you don't have corn, you can just substitute it for some mixed vegetables. Also, if you are like me, don't forget to put the 2 cups of milk in otherwise the quinoa will start to burn to the bottom of the pan. Oops.
Might as well go for two weekly posting goals, right?
We all thrift, we all craft, here are a couple of my finds/alterations!
(Tutorials to come!)
Released dart, circle skirt dress with pintucks!
While shopping around the local thrift store I found this great peachy tablecloth, it was drapey, swingy, oh-so-soft, and already a circle begging to be made into a skirt. It also just so happened to go really well with a tiny heart print fabric I had been given.
I took a basic bodice sloper and converted the waist darts to ease and the bust darts to cute little pintucks going down the front of the top. (okay, so I may be a little obsessed with pintucks)
The table cloth was $2
and the fabric for the top was given to me
Throw in a couple bucks for elastic and thread and this dress added up to a whopping...
I've been blogging fairly regularly (for me) so I think I am safe with setting a weekly posting goal!
I minored in clothing construction, unfortunately, I haven't been sewing or tailoring anything lately. So, from here on out, I am going to try and post tutorial Tuesdays that help illustrate some sewing techniques including pattern drafting, alterations, tailoring and dart rules.
This should be fun! If not just interesting....
Without further blabbering; here is a tutorial on how to alter shoulder slope when drafting or altering patterns:
(it can also be found through burdastyle.com where I posted it previously)
A large piece of paper, masking tape, a heavy marker, a flat door or wall, pattern blocks (personal sloper or commercial pattern), a friend
Patterns are made for a perfectly symmetrical individual. The problem with this comes from the fact that most people aren't perfectly symmetrical and we don't all have the same curves and lines. There are many tutorials out there on how to fit a dart but this one is going to be focused on the shoulder slope. If you have ever noticed drag lines at the front of your garment, or pull lines, it means the slope of your shoulder is not the same as that on the pattern (don't feel bad! It is rare that it is the same!) Oftentimes one of our shoulders slopes more or less than the other one, if this is the case and the difference is greater than 1/4", you should make a right and left side for each pattern piece, or alter right and left. you do sacrifice the convenience of being able to cut on the fold, but that's a small payoff when you get a better fitting garment after spending hours on it.
*Make sure you aren't wearing baggy clothing or excessively tight clothing* Take a large piece of butcher's paper (the length should be at least 6" above your head and extend down to your waist), you can also use newspaper, just be careful that your marker won't bleed through. Tape it up to a flat surface such as a wall or a door with several inches being above your head. Down the center of the paper, draw a line from above the head to about the waist. Stand with your heels, buttocks and shoulders against the door. Try not to lock your knees and try to stand relaxed and at a natural position, breathing naturally. Have your friend talk to you throughout this process to ensure you are standing and breathing naturally. Have your friend place a ruler on top of your head and trace a line where the top of your head hits the paper. Standing with your arms 3-4 inches away from your hips, have your friend begin tracing your silhouette from the top of your head at least to your elbows on each side and then under the arm from the elbow and back down to about the waist. It is important that the tracer holds the marker straight (parallel to the floor) and doesn't tip in towards the person being traced.
(If you are creating your own sloper or block, use this method to adjust the shoulder slope to fit you.) Take your tracing off the wall and lay it on a flat surface such as a table or the floor. Get your pattern piece and lay it on top of the tracing, matching up the neck edge. (You have to be able to see your tracing through the pattern or tissue paper) Take note of the shoulder slope. If the shoulders are more square, or have a more pronounced shoulder bone, you will need to add height to your pattern, if the shoulders slope more, you will have to take away height.
Now that you can see how your shoulder slope relates to the pattern you are making, you know where to begin changing your pattern. Make sure you have looked at both shoulders separately. There are many factors in our daily lives that can make you A-symmetrical (like carrying babies on one hip, carrying a heavy purse or backpack on one shoulder, how you stand, etc). If the difference in your shoulder slope is more than 1/4" you will want to alter your pattern pieces separately and then label them "left side only, this side up" and "right side only, this side up" To alter your pattern, take your pattern piece (if you need a left front and a right front make sure you have traced one off so you can alter it separately) and mark it for an "L" cut. Making the mark on the shoulder just behind the armhole and below the armhole then cut the armhole off. This cut is made so you are not altering your armhole, so the sleeve of the pattern will still fit without a problem. (This method is the same for kimono patterns as well)
Place your pattern piece back over your tracing, lining up the neck edge and center front. Take the armhole section you cut off and place it so the shoulder edge lines up with where your actual shoulder slope is. Your pattern pieces will not make a line, and there will be a gap of space above the dart if you moved the armhole up to accommodate square shoulders or shoulders with a prominent shoulder bone, for the gap, tape a small piece of tissue paper in there to fill in the space. If you moved the piece down to accommodate shoulders with a greater slope, there will not be a space above the dart.