Shelley Made: October 2012

Sunday 28 October 2012

What's Next...

What am I working on now...??

Here is a sneak peek at some of what arrived last week...

What could it be for???  That's little boy's room makeover.  Doesn't look like much right now...but it is going to be a quilt, roman blinds, a lampshade cover, wall hangings, and anything else I can squeezed out of the fabric!

I might even get to do some sewing tomorrow...  Will be back to share!

Sunday 21 October 2012

Creating an Adjustable Waist

I love adjustable waists.  Why?  Two reasons.  First - I can make the clothes last longer...children grow like weeds!  Second - I make clothes for kiddies like my gorgeous little nieces that live a long way away...  I'm never sure of their measurements - so this takes the guessing out of it.

So, a quick how-to for you!  This tutorial will explain how to convert a regular skirt (or pants for that matter, now that I think about it) pattern, into one using buttonhole elastic.  It's really very easy.

Any pattern with a waistband will do, and you should be able to follow the instructions along.  This one is headed for my niece Lillie (hence - the Lillie-Billie on my fabric in case you were wondering!)

Here we go...

Follow your instructions until it comes time to sew your waistband piece sides together.

Take each piece - fold it in half lengthways - and give it good press to create a nice crease.

The crease is going to be the top of your finished waistband.  Place the two pieces right sides together, and you are going to sew as per the instructions - EXCEPT - we will leave a gap for the elastic to thread through, near the top of the inside of the waistband.  Start at the front of the waistband - sew down to the crease, keep sewing for 2-3 extra stitches past the crease.  Now backstitch to reinforce, and cut your threads.  Skip down the length of your elastic (mine was 3/4 inches).  Start sewing again - all the way to the end.

Closer up - it should look like this (except I've flipped it over to the other side in the photo - sorry!)

Repeat for the other end of the waistband.  Both elastic holes should line up.  If they don't - then you've done it on the wrong side!  Don't worry - just unpick and do it again. :)

Turn your waistband the right way through, and refold at the crease.

Take your elastic - and cut it about 2 inches longer than your waistband piece.  It just needs to be long enough to sit nicely unstretched.

Next, take your elastic ends and turn under just a little on each end.  Sew over them just to neaten and so they don't unravel (as in the photo below).

Take each end, and push them through the holes you made before.  I use a safety pin to secure them on each end.  You can thread the elastic into the casing later if you prefer - but it is so much easier to do it now while the waistband is not attached.
Now - attach your waistband as per your pattern instructions.  Then sew a casing, just along the wasitband back where the elastic is.  You want to push the elastic up to the top of the waistband (I usually topstitch first as in the photo), then sew your casing just in from the side of the elastic.  This keeps it nice in place, and stops twisting, etc.  Be careful not to sew into the elastic!  Otherwise you won't be able to tighten it.

You will end up with two ends that look like this:

The Left: 

and Right:

With the casing in between.

Lastly - you want to sew a button near each elastic end (pretty much where my safety pins were)...

Then give the elastic a bit of a tug...push the button through once..

...and then back again to give a nice finish:

Once you have done this on both ends - you are finished!  Carry on sewing the rest of your pattern to get an adjustable waist skirt like this:

With a smooth front

..and an elasticated back:

Any questions - feel free to ask!

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Fair and Square Dress

I'm finally sewing again.  This time, another of Tie Dye Diva's patterns...the Fair and Square Dress.

Nice and easy to sew, and nice and light for Summer.  I made a size 4 - with a 5 length, and it fits well.  My daughter is rather petite!

The bird fabric is my own design - available on Spoonflower here in blue, pink and purple - with loads of coordinates.  It's definitely one of my favourite of my own designs, and I love the way it has sewn up into this dress.

Some of the details...the flower:

The contrasting hem band:

The button closure at the back:

I made this slightly differently to the pattern.  I used one full yard width (as it was all I had!) - and put a single seam down the back, rather than two side seams.  I was about an inch short in width - but made some of that back by having one less seam allowance.  I'm pretty happy with my matching seam! :)

I think it looks pretty on my little girl...and I'm very happy with the end result...  I'm sure it will get a lot of use over Summer.

Friday 12 October 2012

Coloured Pencil Purse

I am always so excited to see projects created with my fabrics.  I've been an admirer of the very talented Jennifer Ladd on Etsy for some time now - so I'm SUPER excited that she has used one of my designs for one of her purses.

She has kindly allowed me to share her photos with you...

I so love what she wrote about my fabric on her Etsy completely and utterly made my day!!!!!  Thank you so much Jennifer!
"The bag has a beautiful print of hand-drawn colored pencils in all shades of the rainbow on a bright white background. It was made by a very talented artist and independent fabric designer (Shelleymade). I love how the print looks so linear and geometric from afar, and a little quirky up close once you realize that the pattern is actually pencils."

She has this one up for sale right now - you can see the listing here.  There is only one - so you better be in quick if you want to snap it up! :)
Have a great day!

Thursday 4 October 2012

A Rapunzel Party

My little girl is 5.  Where did that time go?  Hard to believe she is a school girl now.

I had big plans for her 5th birthday party.  SHE had big fact - she had been asking for a Rapunzel party since she turned 4.  No pressure...!

So I planned, and researched, and did a fondant cake decorating course.  We had family flying up specially as a surprise for Jessie.  I was really looking forward to making it a super special day for her.

The day before her actual birthday, and 2 days before the party, I was hospitalised with Pneumonia.  Not ideal.  I had so much to still do, and a cake to make, party to organise.  Decorations to finish...  But I was really sick.  You would think the ambulance ride would have made me realise that...but no.  I stayed one night, then managed to convince the hospital staff to give me the IV antibiotics as an outpatient (which meant coming in each day - having a new IV put in, etc).  What was I thinking???  But at least I got home around dinner time on my wee girl's birthday - so I got to see her (belatedly) opening her presents.

Anyway.  Luckily I had made the dress...

I had made the gift bags (more on them in a future post!)...


Designed and printed out the flags for the bunting.  I had decided on (and bought supplies) for the cake.  I had the bits and pieces for the games.

In stepped my family.  Husband shopped for the food.  My Dad and sister looked after the kids, and strung the bunting I had printed (not a quick job - sorry!).  

My sister was amazing.  She did all the party food while I was at the hospital, set the table, baked the cake, baked the cupcakes, made the frosting.  I had done the little braids, flowers and crowns for the cupcakes earlier, so luckily we didn't have to worry about them.

My friend Nicki stepped in last minute and decorated the cake for me as I just couldn't manage it - she did a wonderful job.  It looked exactly like I had planned.

We had pass the parcel and pin the tail on Maximus (the horse from the Tangled movie), and a lot of running around and giggling in the garden by the little princesses and princes...
All in all - it went really well, and I am extremely grateful for all the assistance I had to make it happen.  Best of all - my daughter really enjoyed herself with her litle friends, and didn't worry about her sick Mum!