My Etsy Store

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple Layered Skirt

Simple Layered Skirt

So if you are reading this blog you may know about my little business. The popular word around the craft world is WAHM meaning Work-At-Home-Mom. I work from home while raising my daughter and I knit, crochet, and sew gift items. Mostly you will find items for babies and young kids, but I also have several gifts for Mommy and even make hats and gloves for the men!

I started my business just with the knitting, then incorporated crochet items, & more recently I've started selling hand-sewn & machine sewn items.
I taught myself how to do all of these things, so I am always curious and interested when I come across other craft blogs to see which techniques others use. I almost always learn something new and have a lot of fun while doing it.

This skirt project came from playing around on another blog called crazy little projects. She has 4 boys but she still loves making cute girl items as gifts. If you like crafting, I suggest you try out her blog!

I'm not going to completely redo her awesome tutorial, but I will give you the link and talk you thru how it went for me.  So, check out her tutorial HERE 
She is also doing an awesome series right now about learning to sew where she walks you thru some techniques and gives you some projects to practice with...I LOVE this idea!  If you are new to sewing or just want to review the basic skills again with some cute easy projects check it out HERE

I found some great fabric at Tuesday Morning which sometimes has great yarn and fat quarters of fabric at great prices. It is fun looking for it because you never know what you're going to find!  That's the garage sale girl in me; I never have time to shop garage sales or the like, but I would REALLY love

You can get away with 1/4 yd of each fabric for this skirt if you are making it for 2T or smaller. My pack of matching fabrics was 1/4 yd each and the longest section was just long enough to use that I didn't even trim it. (If you're worried you might make a mistake, buy 1/2yd of each and have some left over)
You'll need elastic: I used 1/2in wide and only needed 17in in length for my skinny mini.

I also used a big safety pin to push my elastic thru the casing at the end, but MAN this gave me some HUGE issues for something that is usually easy.  Maybe I need to practice this more.

So follow her instructions for how much to cut, determining your length etc. Once I had everything ready, I ironed down all my hems for the bottom of each layer, pinned them and sewed them down.
Easy breezy so far...

My first slight slow down was when I lined up all my layers preparing to sew down the top for the casing.  I am a complete perfectionist and I want everything to line up perfectly, and because each layer was cut separately...they were not a perfect match to each other.  Honestly this doesn't matter too much, when you sew everything together, granted you sew it straight, it all comes out looking nice and pretty in the end. BUT...I always trim everything up again to make it nice and neat before finishing.

You've already sewn your bottom hems at this point, so you can adjust the layers from the top to get them just right.
I made my casing and began what took the most time of all during this project...PULLING THE ELASTIC THRU THE CASING.....UGH

How did I manage to make this fairly simple task so hard you ask? 
Attempt #1:
Well, I pinned one end of my elastic with my giant safety pin and began pushing it thru while holding the other end.  I got about 3/4 of the way thru and accidentally let go of the other end. Once it disappears into the casing there is no getting it back.
Attempt #2:
This time I wise up and realize it is worth a couple seconds to find another safety pin and pin the other end to the casing so it can't jump thru.  I start pushing my giant safety pin at the other end thru the casing once again.  About 3/4 of the way thru again, and the fabric is getting really bunched up on the elastic because we are making a ruffle skirt and that's what it is going to do. Maybe I should have just started with a bigger piece of elastic to solve this problem, but 17in is all I had so I was determined to make it work. With too much pressure with all that gathered fabric with safety pin opens and jams itself inside my casing...CRAP  I pulled it back out the other end.
Attempt #3:
I'm assuming now looking back that I must have bent my safety pin on attempt #2 because it opened several times on this trip thru the casing. Instead of starting over and fiddled with it inside the casing to close it back up and keep going.  This worked great until the dreaded 3/4 done. It opened and got stuck..and I mean STUCK. It wouldn't go thru, it wouldn't come back out the way it went in, & I couldn't see what was going on in there!  I fought it for I don't know how long, thinking I was going to have to rip out the casing stitches.  Eventually I got the bloody thing to come back out the way it went in, but it was in awful shape.  It even had fabric stuck in the head which I guess I finally ripped off and that's why it released. 
Attempt #4:
At this point I'm very mad and a little embarrassed that a simple elastic has done this to me. I bend my pin back in shape and decide to send it thru the casing starting at the other end, hoping whatever mess I've caused in there, it will be easier to pass going the opposite direction.  This FINALLY works and we have elastic all the way thru the casing. I unpin the other end to find where I want to sew it together to fit my little bit, and then she decides she needs to go potty.  In my rush to take off with her, I accidentally let that end go and can't rescue it in time...=(   Let's potty I'll do this later.

I don't even want to look at this skirt anymore, and I don't until after my little one has gone to bed.

Attempt #5:
Goes exactly like it is supposed to and I'm done in 5 minutes.  =)

I closed the back seam and we have this adorable skirt!!
PLEASE let me know if you try this skirt. I'd love to see pics and I'm sure Crazy Little Projects would too! Again her site is fabulous and full of fun things to try.

I'm also planning to make a matching hair flower from the fabric scraps.  If you don't sew, I'd be happy to make something similar for you sometime....extra charge if the safety pin opens!! ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Carseat Ponchos: meant to post this a while back! Opps

So I have been working on a design for a Toddler Carseat Poncho.
I wanted to be slightly different from your typical carseat poncho for little babies.
I envisioned a reversible design that could function as a coat or more like a blanket while in the carseat.
Because of the coat idea, I really wanted it to have a reversible hood as well & a place to stick their hands out. However, the holes couldn't be too big for the arms because I still wanted the blanket look while buckled in if they wanted to nap.

I was planning to make one for a customer, so as usual when I want to experiment with changing things up, my daughter becomes the guinea pig ;)

So here is my first Toddler Reversible Carseat Poncho design...before the arm holes were added

What did I learn from my experiment:

  1. There had to be an easier way to make this thing took FOREVER to sew around all that thick fleece.
  2. The hood needed to be a bit smaller.
  3. Round the neck opening slightly for easier removal...and finally
  4. Boys might not want fringe ;)
This is my daughter's Princess Jacket as she calls it, and she NEVER wants to take it off.  She even insists on wearing the double polar fleece Princess Jacket around the house.
I have actually hidden it because of this reason and that is also why I haven't taken a good picture of her with the new arm openings. {Note to self: take another picture of the final design}

Because of all these changes, I still felt like the next poncho would be an experiment again, so I made one more before working on the paid customer poncho.  And here it is....

And the final design, arm holes and all, ready to ship out!!
Interested in ordering?  Please visit my Etsy store at  or contact me on facebook at

Here's one last look at my new design for Reversible Carseat Poncho