amis au fil des ans

just a few good friends, sharing adventures in family, arts, and sometimes heavy machinery

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

simple layer skirt

and i do mean simple.  simple i tell you!  i think it took 30 min?  maybe less.  opens a world of possibilities for my girls’ closets…

1.  cut your fabric.  i intended to keep mine the full width of the original fabric (44 / 45″) but one piece was smaller than the other so i had to trim them to the same size.  so just pick the width you want.  for i would recommend a 1:2 or 1:2.5 ratio so it has some twirl to it.  (i.e., measure your recipients waist and then multiple by 2 or 2.5 to get the width needed.)  i also chose to have the larger piece be 2″ longer than the smaller piece.  for this skirt the larger piece is 11″ and the smaller is 9″.

2.  for the smaller width piece i sewed the salvage ends together, right sides together.  i just made sure my seam was inside the white part of the salvage.  no need to serge or zig zag stitch since the salvage ends won’t shred.  for the piece whose salvage i had to cut i sewed the raw ends together right sides together and then zig zag stitched the raw ends.  iron your seams.


3.  hem both pieces.  i opted for a small hem but you can use whatever look you like best.  i folded under 1/4″ and then another 1/4″ and top stitched.  (sorry no pictures!)

4.  put the smaller piece inside the larger piece with right sides facing up on both.  so the right side of the smaller piece is facing the back of the larger piece.  make sure your fabric is facing the right directions if you are using unidirectional fabric.  sew along the top with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  (note:  this step made me think for a bit to make sure when i turned it, the pieces would lay right.)

5.  open the skirt up and iron the seam to one side.  then fold the top over and press the seam.


6.  sew along the top with a 1/8″ seam allowance.  this will help the band stay up more.

7.  depending on the width of your elastic, sew a line the width of your elastic + 1/2″ below the top seam.  be sure to leave a 2 inch gab to thread your elastic through.  back stitch at start and finish.


8.   attach a safety pin to your elastic and thread it through.  (note:  the opening to thread it through is between the 2 layers.)  i cut my elastic the width of the recipients waist +1″.  zig zag stitch the elastic closed.


9.  pulling the skirt taught, close up the hole.



10.  done!  simple, right?


evolution of a craft room

when we bought the house the sunroom was a series of sliding glass doors.  it was a step down off of the kitchen and although it was open to the kitchen via a door with no door in it and a window with no window in it, it had no heat.  brrrrr…

immediately after we closed we began destruction and construction.  the floor was raised, the wall between the sunroom and kitchen was removed, a beam went up, the sliding doors came down, 2 large windows and 2 sets of french doors went in.

and it got a good dose of marshmallow spray (er…insulation).

some awesome plasterers worked their tails off to have the room drywalled and plastered.  on new year’s eve.  cheers.

all that work was so we could actually move in (and move out of my in laws apartment…).  the first of our furniture in our house!

after a series of trial and errors we settled on a soft green for the walls.  benjamin moore dried parsley is the official color.

and the room takes (some) shape.  i would call this sunroom version 1.

the introduction of the sewing machine into the space marks sunroom version 2 and officially denotes the sunroom as the craft room.

lack of storage posed some serious problems with my sewing supplies.  a quick trip to ikea to purchase these cabinets solved that.  rearrange the furniture some and you have sunroom version 3.

and just like that the cabinets are down and ledges are up.  sunroom version 4.

ledges remain but the chair is gone.  you may also note the salvaged door that was painted white and given legs to function as my new desk.  sunroom version 5.

all of that to bring us to sunroom version 6.  the current layout.




the desk has found a permanent home under the window.  the ledges are still (begrudgingly) there for now but are not final.  i am on the hunt for a large (huge) mid-century piece that will take up most of that wall and provide ample storage for both craft items as well as home office items.  the tv wall is just a placeholder as well.  the grand plan for that is to have an elfa media system on the lower half of the wall and mount the tv on the wall.  the 2 chairs are good (west elm slipper chairs) and will stay but i am looking for a vintage settee or sofette to upholster to compliment them.  the cowhide rug is from ikea.

that top shelf looks lame bare.  i spent all weekend cleaning it off since it is too high for me to reach anyway.  but something needs to go up there…  maybe art?  pictures?  this is where you are supposed to say, “no sarah!  don’t put anything up there because you will find the large mid-century piece for that wall.  you will!  you will!’

k.  thanks.

cutie pies

with so many flavors out there, there is sure to be a pie for everyone, right?  but who wants to make a bunch of full-sized pies and watch them taunt you from the fridge (“we really shouldn’t waste it”…”maybe just one more bite”)…and have you ever had a pie craving so bad that you picked one up at the grocery store, enjoyed your piece and then repeated the above??  yeah, me neither. 😀

this is why i embarked on the cutie pie adventure!  first, of course, there is a cookbook.  and not just any cookbook, but a cute, colorful, miniature-size cookbook with bright illustrations of yumminess.  (i’m sure this is a word).

tonight i tried out two of the recipes, in hopes that they were awesome and i could make them next weekend when i head off to a dinner party with work people.  i mean, let’s be honest, nobody wants to walk in the door with a plate of brownies from a box…come on!

first, let me explain that this cookbook has multiple options for pie sizes – pie jars (using wide, stout mason jars), cutie pies (using a muffin pan), petite-5’s (using a mini muffin pan), foldovers (think the old mcdonalds apple pies), and pie pops (small circular pies on a stick, who knew!)

i will admit i took the easy route and bought premade pie crusts to save time.  however, i was also able to make 18 cutie pies (6 apple, 12 smores), in under 2 hours!  both pies were yum-mm-mmy, although i think the smores pies will not sell themselves…they look a little icky.

apple cutie pie

lessons learned: piecing the pie crust together doesn’t hold as well as using a single layer of crust.  the smores pies cooked up in the oven (due to the marshmallows), but once cooled shrunk down to nearly half their size.  next time, overstuff!!

smores cutie pie

Toddler Top

I’ve had this top pinned on pinterest for awhile now and finally made it with some scrap fabrics. Now I want to make a bunch more. It was easy and so cute on her. I need to get more fun snaps though to pizazz it up 🙂

I followed this tutorial from prudent baby, but decided to do the collar and trim in a separate print. Um, her nursery print. haha.


done. whew.

9 totally and completely unique and different pinafores.  this was so fun!  as i finished each one i kept getting a new favorite.  but don’t ask me to choose.  i can’t.

i had my girls try some on today for a little photo op.  needless to say c and s weren’t as into the photo op as they were into mickey mouse clubhouse on the television.  e on the other hand gave a full performance of goofy’s dance for me.  thus resulting in really funny blurry photos.  thanks girls.  momma loves you.

p.s.  you can get one here.

new challenge(s)

i recently had someone reach out to me to make a rag quilt that was approximately 36″ by 50″.  (my hunch is she needed it for a toddler bed…)  i ran some numbers and figured out that if i used my 8″ square ruler (really 8.5″) that i could do a 5 x 7 square blanket and it would hit those measurements spot on.  i have only made a couple rag quilts with that size square and every time i wonder why i don’t make more of them…it is a nice size and really let’s you show off some of the larger scale prints that are out there.  she also requested that i use a one of the patterned fabrics for the back fabric (instead of my usual flannel).  now i have to admit that not using flannel for the back has really never occurred to me.  i was somewhat tentative at first and came up with a whole bunch of reasons why not to do it:  it wasn’t my norm, the pattern would appear choppy due to the edges being folded under, it wouldn’t be as soft, etc.  but i wanted the sale.  so i told her i could do it but made sure she knew that the way i sew the blankets it wouldn’t look like a solid backing but would have gaps from where the edges folded in to give the rag effect on the front.  she was on board so i started sewing.

i am more than pleasantly pleased with the final results.



she also asked if i could make a pillow cover for a 16″ by 16″ pillow and put a bird applique on it using coordinated fabrics from the blanket.  she even provided me the bird design so i wouldn’t have to hunt around for one.  i mean, come on?  how could i say no to a cute little birdie?  i haven’t been happy with the envelope closure on the last few pillow covers i made so i opted for an invisible zipper with this one.  i have to say that it was much easier than i anticipated.  (and i got it right on take 1!)  please ignore the missing eye in the first photo.  i got a little camera happy before i was done…



diaper trike

yeah, i know, these are really just as popular as diaper cakes, but hey i’ve never made either so back off!  i checked out how to make one of these online but ultimately i just ended up making it based on what it looked like.  at any rate, it was definitely super easy and fun!  here’s how i did it:

supplies – 50 diapers (15 each for back wheels, 20 for front wheel), 2 receiving blankets, 2 pairs of socks, 1 bottle, 2 spools of ribbon, 1 bib, 1 burp cloth, rubber bands, safety pins

make wheels.  i kind of experimented with this step, and ultimately found that if you kind of lay the diapers out in a line and roll them, then strap a rubber band around it you can add a few more diapers easily.  this was the hardest part to take pictures of since i didn’t have a buddy.  😀

use a toilet paper roll to help keep the wheel together

roll and squeeze, repeat. don't get frustrated

wrap a rubber band around the wheel, and remove the toilet paper holder

repeat twice to make 3 wheels. smile, the hardest part is done!

wrap and pin ribbon around the wheels. i used a safety pin to hold it tight

thread the 2nd receiving blanket through the back two wheels

place the bib on top and snap it through the front wheel

you have to hold the bottle in place, while bringing up both ends of the receiving blanket that is threaded through the front wheel.  then just take a rubber band and wrap it around both ends.  i made it real tight so it holds the bottle on securely.  the ends of the blanket will fall back, and i adjusted the socks to look like handlebars.  cute!

back view

add a bow to cover up the rubber bands and DONE!

i need help…

gorgeous, right?  it is from amy butler’s new(ish) collection called lark.  i love the colors and various prints – some flowy, some geometric, even some ikat prints!

the store that sells my bibs, burp cloths, and loveys asked me to make them some pinafores.  i was super excited because that gave me an excuse to finally snag these prints.  but now i am at a crossroad and have no idea where to go.  my pinafores have 3 prints; 1 for the skirt, 1 for the top and tie, and 1 for the straps.  when i initially bought these i intended for them to work in sets of 3.  so the bottom 3 were together, the middle 3 together, and the top 3 together.  but as you can see they mix and match well beyond that.  which is now making me question how i proceed.  i wanted to make 3 pinafores in each size (s, m, and l).  do i go with my initial plan and make 3 with the bottom 3 fabrics but mixing up where i use each fabric in the pinafore?  or do i do a complete schmorgishborg and make 9 totally and completely unique and different pinafores?  thoughts?  opinions?  what you would like to see if you walked into a (small) retail store?

note:  either option would result in 9 unique pinafores.  but one option keeps the fabrics in the 3 sets of 3 where the other option intermixes everything.  hope that makes sense…


scrap buster!

i have an massive amount of scraps that are super long but only 5 – 6 ” in width.  i have been lovingly putting them in my “fabric scraps” bin after every project with no idea of what to do with them.  until now.

and yes i am aware that i did not re-invent any wheel with this project but man-oh-man am i glad i stumbled upon it (er…have a friend email it to me and say:  make these!).

introducing my scrap buster project of the week…the crayon roll!


i used 3 or 4 tutorials as guides (just google crayon roll and grab the first 3 that come up).  it seems that people have differing opinions on the following:

1.  width of the fabric.  some say 6″ some say 5″.  all of my fabrics were 5″ wide.

2.  length of the fabric.  some say 16.5, some say 13, some say 18.  all of mine were 17″ to account for 16 1″ crayon slots, a 1/4″ seam on one end and 1/2″ seam on the other (so i had enough fabric to fold under to top stitch close), and room for the topstitching to not interfere with the width of the first and last crayon slot.

3.  interfacing vs a separate piece of fabric for between the front fabric and the lining fabric.  many tutorials had you apply interfacing to the back of the lining fabric.  i didn’t want to “waste” interfacing when i had so much extra flannel scraps.  so i used a piece of flannel fabric instead.

4.  button vs. ribbon tie.  i think the ponytail holder and button is best for a child to be able to open and close it him/herself.  however, i didn’t have extra ponytail holders or buttons so i opted for ties.


i really think these are great gift options for kids ages 2 and up.  and you can make them as long or short as you want based on the length of fabric you have on hand.


bias bonus

fergarella asked some god questions on the bias tape.  here are my responses based on my experience.

1.  tip sizes.  the tip that came standard with the tool makes a 1″ single fold bias tape.  other tips are available to purchase.

2.  seams.  the seams come out pretty good.  only caveat is that you need to keep an eye (and ear) on when a seam is approaching the plate so you can gently tug it through.  i didn’t do that the first time i used it and ended up with an accordion looking strip of bias tape.  whoops.  but after a bit i realized i could both see and hear when a seam was approaching and give the required tug.

here are some pictures for a visual.  the first is showing the width of the bias tape.  all you would need to do to make it 1/2″ double fold bias tape is to fold in half and iron.  or depending on how you sew it onto your item you don’t even have to do that.  the second picture shows 2 (maybe 3?) seams.  they are going opposite directions because one is from the initial seam you create when you cut along the bias and sew the salvage ends together and the other is when you sew the tube closed.  this will all make sense after reading the tutorial.  trust.

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