After buying the Little Girls, Big Style book a few weeks ago, I decided a ruffle foot for my sewing machine would probably make things easier. I’d been wanting one for a while, but just hadn’t gotten one yet.
Finally I was able to order one. It came, and I was excited. Until I used it. :O) It wasn’t as easy as it first appeared.
This morning I was looking around the internet for good ruffle foot instructions because I really needed help with it. Have you ever heard of the site www.youcanmakethis.com? They have a free 30-page pdf file all about how to use the ruffle foot, and it even includes instructions for how to calculate the amount of fabric needed for each ruffle! Most of the other instructions I’d found just tell how to ruffle without actually giving any indication of how much fabric is needed.
What a help! It’s getting me excited to get out my machine to try the ruffle foot again. Anna’s birthday is just a few weeks away and the girl LOVES ruffly and frilly dresses. Looks like I’d better get busy, and I’m hoping the process is easier now that I *think* I know how to use the ruffler. . .
This is the first project I’ve tried to make out of the Little Girls, Big Style book. It was very easy to make and went together really quickly. The hardest part about it was deciding on the fabrics to use.
I’ve made peasant dresses before, but it was nice to just trace a pattern this time instead of having to draw and measure and redraw and hope I had the right size like I’ve had to do before.
This was the first time I’d tried to really mix and match fabrics. I think it works ok on this dress, but for the next one I’d really like to head to the quilt store and pick a couple fabrics from the same line. Too bad that doesn’t always work with stash sewing though (which was what this dress was).
This particular dress is a size 3, though Anna’s measurements were closer to a 2. There is plenty of room in it for her to grow, which is what I was hoping for.
I love the book, the way it’s written, and the patterns. I’m excited about sewing more from it!
Lately I’ve blogged about my sewing projects, so I thought I’d share some pictures of the finished projects.
The boys loved their new John Deere pajama pants. Caleb’s fit him, but weren’t nearly as long as I expected them to be. He’s grown more in height than I realized.
Trying to show off some of their new toys in the picture too :O)
Anna’s pajamas were a ton of fun to make. The nightgown is from the indietutes peasant blouse tutorial here. I lengthened the sleeves and gathered them, and lengthened the hem and flared it (a fairly wide a-line shape). The bloomers are from a regular pant pattern, and gathered at the ankles. I measured her inseam several times but still managed to make them too long. We have to roll them up at the waist right now but at least they’ll fit for a while.
Here’s a better picture of the pajamas. I appliqued a little heart on the bottom too. Of all the pajamas I’ve made the kids, these are by far my favorite.
The boys absolutely loved their quilts. To quilt them, I just stitched in the ditch along each row. I was able to get a walking foot locally, and that made things SO MUCH easier.
A friend asked me not long ago how the boys’ quilts are coming along. I just laughed. At that point not much was done. I had been busy practicing for the choir concert and had set the quilts aside.
Since Monday I’ve had a lot more time to work on them. This is what Samuel’s quilt top looks like:
Here is Caleb’s. I finished the top Thursday night.
In pictures, I think I like Samuel’s better – the greens and blues seem a little more cohesive than the blues, greens, and red in Caleb’s quilt. But up close, I like the star theme in Caleb’s quilt better.
So now I’m just wondering how long it will take to actually quilt. I’m going to stitch in the ditch instead of trying any random stippling. . . and I just realized I never picked up a walking foot. Oops. Guess we’ll see how well my regular foot works.
Last night I was able to get them layered with the batting and backing and pinned. So there is progress. I’m really hoping the machine quilting will work well.
So that leaves me 2 quilts to quilt and bind, and 7 sets of pajama bottoms to finish before Christmas. Next year I’m starting earlier. I tried to start early this year but then got busier than I anticipated. Maybe next year I’ll remember that. :O)
One of my big projects lately has been this table runner. My mom brought a quilting book for me to borrow when they came. There were a few really neat fall leaves projects in it that I just loved.
This isn’t one of those projects. 🙂 But I did use the five-point leaf template from the project.
It’s a quilted table runner. The materials are all left over from other projects – it was a wonderful stash-busting project.
Closeup of background material
I followed the quilt-as-you-go method found at the Moda Bake Shop (thanks to Susan, for posting about their site!!), and then topstitched the seams. The five-point leaf template is from the book Mom brought, and the other leaf template I drew freehand. I appliqued them all by machine using the pin stitch setting.
It was a challenge since I’d never appliqued before. The leaves got easier to do as I went along, which was really nice.
In the end, it was a lot of fun to make. This one is a gift, but I liked it so much that I’d like to make one for myself if there’s time.
My little helper
Anna’s dolly turned out a lot better than I expected her to turn out. It was the Mae doll from Bit of Whimsy dolls.
For the most part, the pattern was really easy to follow. I stuffed her arms and legs too full though, so had a hard time sewing her together at the end. But to do a second doll would be pretty easy (and fun).
It was my first attempt at a rag doll, and I’m thrilled with the results. Isn’t she cute?
Samuel needed new pajama pants, so we went looking in my fabric stash for fabric. He picked this lizard print. It’s so loud and silly, but the boys love it. My favorite part is that the fabric cost barely over $1, and there was enough for two pairs of pajama pants.
This year our boys will be getting quilts for Christmas. I’ll be following the Road to Spring Quilt-a-long instructions.
The hardest part so far was picking out the fabric. The boys share a room, so I wanted the two quilts to coordinate, but not match exactly. Instead of picking out 20 different fabrics, I chose 13 so that some of the fabric can be used in both quilts.
Samuel loves green, so I picked greens and blues for his quilt.
Caleb still hasn’t shown much of a preference yet. I saw the red, white, and blue star fabrics and loved how they look together. Then at the next store, I found the green and cream star fabrics too.
The neutral fabric I’ll be using is just a plain unbleached muslin that I already had in my stash. The backing is also muslin from that same shopping trip. Now I just need to find a binding fabric, but that will be from my stash as well. A scrappy binding would be fun. . .
Hopefully these will look as good completed as they do in my mind!
The beginning of Anna’s dolly – the Mae doll from Bit of Whimsy dolls. I’m not that great at hand sewing, so figured I should start now to be sure her dolly is ready in time for her birthday (where has the time gone??? She’ll be 1 in three weeks!). Dolly’s face is done, and her body is cut out, but so far that’s it.
A friend of mine needed a new curtain for her bathroom. This was very simple to make, and I think it looks great. She loves it, and is thrilled that there’s enough ribbon left from the trim to make her daughter a new hairbow too. :laugh_tb:
The other thing I’ve been working on is a splat mat to go under the high chair.
It is two layers of fabric and a clear vinyl layer. The vinyl stuck to my sewing machine so I made a bias tape binding for it out of the same fabric so it would slide better. It was a bit difficult to sew, because of the stickiness of the vinyl and the bulkiness of it, but I’m pleased with the results. It’s far from perfect, but it’s been great with keeping more stains off the carpet.