Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pillowcase Challenge #1: Peasant Top

OK, so I realized lately that I may have a pillowcase obsession...and have even been asked by more than one person..."What are you going to do when your daughter doesn't fit in a pillowcase anymore?".

It's true that I love to sew with pillowcases. They are so cheap, and already sewn together...which can help in some cases:) So, I have decided to see if I can find 50 different ways to use a pillowcase! Think I can do it? I think the hardest part will be finding CUTE pillowcases.

To clarify the rules (because it's my challenge and I can make up any rules I want), I may use scraps from the same pillowcase...I mean...why waste?

So to kick off my challenge (my husband laughs when I make up challenges for myself)...here is my first project:

Pillowcase Challenge #1: Peasant Top

This is actually made from a pillow sham which was a little harder because the back is in two pieces and not one large piece.

I found this idea and tutorial here on Prudent Baby.

Mine is just a tad different than the one on their website. I made my bottom ruffle a little too short so it kept flipping up, so I sewed a top stitch along the elastic to keep the flap in place...and also added an extra ruffle on the bottom since it was a little too short for my girlie.

I really do love that website! They make their tutorials SO easy to understand...and that's great for a beginning sewer like me:)


pillow sham: $.50

elastic: $.10

TOTAL: $.60

Friday, May 21, 2010

Target Inspired Ruffle Bow Dress

I saw this dress in the toddler section at Target...and I knew I had to make it! So I went home and got out one of my handy pillowcases (I can't help but stock up on them for $.50!).

Here is my version:


pillowcase or 1/2 yard of fabric

matching thread

single fold bias tape (mine was 1/2" wide)


1. Start by drawing cutting out the shape of your dress. I took an A-line dress of my daughter's that she already had. I cut 1/2" wider all the way around.

2. With right sides facing, sew the tops of the straps and up the sides (leaving the neck, arms, and bottom open)

3. Open up your bias tape and pin it to the front edge of the neckline. Start in the back of the neckline.

4. Sew a straight stitch on the crease of the bias tape.

5. Fold the bias tape bake up (to the way it was before you opened it up) and fold it to the inside of the neckline. Pin and sew around the edge. This is what it will look like from the inside.

5. Repeat that process with each arm hole and the bottom of the dress.

6. Now to make the ruffles and the bow. Cut out strips of fabric that are about double the length and width that you want your final ruffle to be. My strips were 2"x20".

7. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with right sides facing and sew up both long sides.

7. Turn right side out and press with an iron. Fold in the edges 1/4" and sew.

8. Now to make the bow, sew another strip using the same directions as above. I made this strip only 10" long though since I didn't need as much for the bow. You do want the width to be the same as the tails of the bow.

9. Fold the strip in on one side and then on the other to create the width that you want for the bow.

10. Sew the center of the bow (catching the end in the center). Cut off the rest of the strip.

11. Take the rest of the strip and wrap it around the center of the bow once, sewing it in place by hand in the back so you can't see the seam from the front.

12. Now to attach the ruffles and bow to the dress, take one of the long strips and pin it at the top of the dress where your bow will eventually be. You can have it come down the center if you want, but I liked it on the side like the one I saw at Target.

Pin it at the top and then pin the bottom where you want it to end. Leave the strip loose so you have quite a bit to be able to ruffle on the sewing machine.

13. Sew the strip onto the dress with a straight stitch down the middle of the strip, gathering it as you go to create a ruffle.

14. Do the same with the other ruffle strip.

15. Pin the bow over the top of the ruffles and either sew onto the dress by hand, or with the machine like I did. I sewed straight down the middle of each side of the bow. I thought it gave the bow a little more dimension...and might hold up better with my 2 year old wearing it:)

And you're done! Another pillowcase turned into a cute summer dress. Also while I was on the Target website, I saved some pictures of some other dresses I will have to try...

This ruffle bow could be added to so many things! A shirt, a purse...whatever!


pillowcase: $.50

bias tape: $.25

TOTAL: $.75

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ruffle Summer Shorts

My friend and I were at the mall today and I saw this idea for ruffled shorts with a matching belt...and I knew it had to be one of my next projects! So here is my version:

I bought these shorts for my daughter at the thrift store because I loved the color...but then I realized I didn't have anything to match them...so by adding some fabric with a few more colors...there are more outfit possibilities:)

1. Start by measuring the leg holes of the shorts. You will want to make your ruffle strips twice as long as that measurement and twice as wide as you want the finished ruffle to be. My leg measurement was 15" and I wanted the finished ruffle to be 1", so my strips were 30" long and 2" wide.

2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with WRONG sides facing and sew down one side with a straight stitch. I didn't worry about turning it right side out because I knew I was going to sew the ruffle to the inside of the shorts.

3. Sew a basting stitch along the same long side as your first stitch. You can do this on your machine by setting it to a straight stitch on the longest stitch setting...do NOT back stitch. You can also do this with a needle.

4. Pull (gently) on the bobbin thread until you get the desired amount of ruffles. It's easiest to work one side to the middle and then start on the other side. I made my finished ruffle the length of the leg hole plus 1/2"...so it was 15 and 1/2 inches total. Do the same for the other ruffle strip.

5. Pin the raw edge of the ruffle to the inside of the leg starting at the inseam of the shorts. Pin it so the ruffle sticks out as far as you want.

6. Now sew a straight stitch around the leg hole. I used a contrasting thread since I didn't have any in the same color as the shorts.

This is what it should look like when turned right side out. Now follow the same pinning and sewing steps for the other ruffle strip.

Now you have two ruffles on the bottom...so we are on the make the matching belt.

I took a fabric measuring tape and tied it around the top of the shorts so I knew how long to make the strip. Add 2" to the length. Now to determine the width, I just measured the width of the belt loops and doubled it. So my original measurements were 29" long and 1" wide, so my strip for the belt was 31" x 2".

7. Fold the strip lengthwise with right sides facing and sew down the long side with a straight stitch. Turn right side out and press with an iron.

8. Fold down the end of the strip 1/2" and then another 1/2" and sew closed. Repeat for the other side of the strip. Put it through the belt loops and you are done!

(I know the pink shirt doesn't match...I couldn't find one of her white ones...so for the sake of the picture...just go with it.)


shorts: $.50

material: $.25

TOTAL: $.75

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Headboard Is Finally Finished!

I don't know how long ago I started this headboard...maybe a month? It has seemed like forever! Surprisingly, the embroidery was the fastest and easiest part...but after I have upholstered it twice...it is finally hanging on our wall!

Here is my awesome hubby making all the measurements to hang it for me...and Miss G. running around like crazy...as usual:)

I would love to say that this style was my idea...but it wasn't. I found the inspiration and directions here. I chose a different shape for our headboard and drew the design myself...so ours is still one of a kind:)

Since this was such a long project...I didn't take any pictures, but here are the steps I took to make our DIY headboard:


piece of wood cut into desired shape.

batting (I got mine by the yard). You will want it about 6" longer all around

foam (I used an old egg crate mattress pad and glued it face down). This will be the size of your headboard.

fabric to cover headboard. Also make this 6" longer all the way around. (I used a muslin to embroider on. I am sure you can use anything with a tighter weave...I just liked the texture of it and it was cheap.)

yarn and yarn needle (I used Red Heart black)

embroidery hoop

spray glue

staple gun or hot glue gun

mirror hangers

1. Decide the size and shape you want. We have a queen bed and I wanted a rectangle shape...so I decided on 36" x 60". Make sure you can find fabric to cover the size you want too.

2. Draw out your design on the fabric if you want to embroider. I laid my fabric on top of the wood and centered it and then drew on the design so I knew how to scale it. I drew mine on with a black marker since I knew I would embroidered large stitches over it. Now embroider the design. I used a chain stitch.

3. First attach the foam to the board. I used spray glue.

4. Now lay your fabric right side down and then place the batting on top. Lay down the board with the foam on it and position it so it is lined up how you want it.

5. Staple or glue (I had to use a hot glue gun because the staples weren't going into the wood) the centers of all four sides and turn around to make sure it is centered.

6. Continue pulling slightly (not too much or it will distort the pattern) and stapling every 2-3". Fold in the corners like you would when wrapping a present.

7. Now use mirror hanging hardware (I got ours at Target since Lowe's was more expensive) to hang it on the wall.

Now enjoy your one-of-a-kind headboard:)


wood: free (my dad had it at work...but the IKEA "as is" section is a great place!)

batting: $2.00 (half off by the yard at JoAnn)

foam: $2.00 (old egg crate mattress topper)

material: $3.96

yarn: $2.00

mirror hangers: $4.88 ( I got the 5" one that holds up t0 60lbs)

TOTAL: $14.84

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Conquered the Zipper!

I am ashamed to say that in my few years of sewing...I have never successfully installed a zipper. For some reason they intimidated me...and I never wanted to take the time to find my zipper foot...or learn how to attach it:) Well...no more!

I followed this tutorial on Prudent Baby for making an easy make up bag...and it was easy...

...until I realized I had sewn the lining too close to the zipper teeth...and it wouldn't open or close:) So about 30 minutes later I had ripped out the seams and sewed it up again! NOW I have a cute little zipper bag that will open and close:) I think I will use this for crayons and coloring pages for the diaper bag to keep the Little Miss busy when we are out and about!

Now what else needs a zippered pouch...


lining fabric: $.50

outer fabric (vintage napkin): $.50

zipper: $.25

TOTAL: $1.25

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Easy Padded Steering Wheel Cover

It is officially becoming summer here in Arizona...and my first clue was burning my hands on the car steering wheel after it has been sitting out in the afternoon. So, while driving home (and trying not to touch the wheel...safe right?) I decided my next project was a steering wheel cover!

I started by measuring the circumference of my steering wheel with a tape measure and then cutting my strips of fabric.


Two strips of fabric 4" by the circumference of your wheel plus 1". If your fabric is not long enough I show how to make two smaller pieces to sew together for one long strip.

One strip of batting 1/2" smaller than your strip all the way around

Two pieces of 1/2" elastic 3/4 the length of your wheel measurement.

1. Make your strips 4" by the circumference measurement plus 1". My wheel is 47" around, so I had to sew together strips to make the total length of 48". I cut out four strips of fabric at 4" by 24". This fabric was actually an old dress that I found at a vintage shop for 50 cents.

2. Put two strips together (right sides facing) and sew up one of the small side to make a long strip. Do the same for the other two strips. You should now have two long strips.

Now I wanted my cover to be padded so that it wouldn't get hot during the summer. I had some batting left over from a headboard project (that I will hopefully post someday...).

3. Cut your batting into a strip 1/2" smaller on all sides than one of your fabric strips.

You could cut the batting the same size as the strip...I just didn't want to put my machine through any extra layers, and I thought it would be easier when inserting the elastic later.

4. Sew the batting with a 1/4" seam to the WRONG side of one of your strips. You should now have one fabric strip and one strip with batting on the backside.

5. Put the strips face to face with the right sides touching and sew up the long sides with a 1/2" seam allowance. You should now have a long tube. Flip the tube inside out.

6. Now to make the casing for the elastic, stitch on the existing seam that you have from your batting...this makes it look a little cleaner by having just one stitch showing.

7. Thread your elastic through the casings on both sides of the tube. This is easiest by attaching a safety pin at the front end. I also attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic that way I don't accidentally pull it into the casing all the way.

8. Sew the ends of the elastic together on each side and pull the tube over them to hide them. Now fold the tube with right sides together (whichever side you want facing out) and sew with an 1" seam. I went over mine several times with a zig zag stitch so that it would hold through all my crazy driving:)

Turn right side out and you're done! This was so easy that I may need to make one for every season:)


material: $.50 ( I even have some left over...seat belt cover?)

elastic: $.30

batting: $.20 (was a scrap of a yard)

TOTAL: $1.00


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