Friday, February 20, 2009

52Q:: Update

Here are my latest pages for the 52Q Art Journal Challenge. The prompt for this one was "How do I feel today?"

And "When I look in my eyes..."
I just used my good old Crayola watercolors on these pages, along with some collage and Sharpie pens. I recently got the book 1000 Artist Journal Pages, and it's been fun going through it and being inspired by the journals in the book. I'll be posting more pages from my journal soon, but first I have to clean up the kitchen. And the living room. And the dog and cat food that Ava dumped everywhere.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Snuggling on the couch

Resting amidst the mess


"Helping" mama sew


(Edited to add:: Sarah asked if that is Amy Butler on my sleeve in the first picture... Yep! It's one of my many Simplicity 3835 shirts.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

T-Shirt Dress Tutorial

A couple of people have asked me for a tutorial for these t-shirt dresses. I've never written a tutorial before, so please let me know if you try to follow my instructions and something isn't clear. Okay? Let's get started.

To make one dress you'll need:

-a t-shirt or onesie
-fabric for the skirt
-sewing machine or serger

I'm using a plain cotton t-shirt that we had on hand and some fabric from my stash. Look around to see what you have before you buy anything for this project. Onesies that are a bit short work well. You can also use a shirt that fits well but has a stain- cover it with an applique!

Prepare your fabric and shirt by washing, drying, and ironing.

Draw a straight line about 2" below the armpits of the shirt.
Cut on this line. (Let me know if you have an idea for using the bottom half of the shirt-- I just throw mine into my scrap basket.)
To determine the length of fabric you need for the skirt, measure the width of your shirt.
My shirt was about 11" wide. I doubled this measurement to get 22". Then I added about 6 more inches to my measurement to account for seam allowances and the fullness of the skirt. (You can make your skirt as full as you want-- the wider you cut your fabric, the more you'll need to gather your skirt and the fuller it will be). I cut my fabric about 28" x 12". To determine the length of my skirt, I just measured the length of a dress that fits my daughter well.

Set your machine to its longest straight stitch, and stitch along one long side of the skirt. Use a 1/4" seam here. Leave the tails long, and don't backstitch.
Now, gently pull the thread to form gathers along the top of the skirt. Don't pull too hard or you'll break the thread and have to start over. Keep gathering until your skirt is the correct width. In my case, I pulled until my skirt was 23" wide.
After you've done that, fold your skirt (right sides facing) and sew the side seam. I used my serger here, but you can use your regular machine and finish your seams however you like.
Now you're ready to sew the skirt to the t-shirt. Put the two pieces together so that the right sides are facing. Match the raw edge of the shirt to the gathered edge of the skirt. I like to match the side seam of the skirt to the side seam of the shirt, but you can put your skirt seam in the back if you like. I use lots of pins here.
Sew the skirt to the shirt, using a 1/2" seam allowance. Again, I used my serger here, but this isn't necessary.

Now you've got something that looks like this. (We're almost done!)

Turn your dress right side out, hem it, and you're done! You could add some buttons, embroidery, applique, etc.
If you make one of these, I'd love to see it! Let me know if you have any questions!