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Pintuck Apron

21 Dec

For Jamie’s birthday nearly two years ago (yes – still drowning in a sea of backlogged posts), I made this fun little pintuck piece since she’d told me she was in the market for an apron.  I found the tutorial on Wholly Kao, and wholeheartedly accepted the challenge.  And boy, was it a challenge!

I don’t think I’ve made something this difficult since those baby booties a few years ago.

Here’s the tutorial as adapted from Wholly Kao, but having the diagrams she drew in her tutorial will really help you:

ITEMS:

  • 1 yard fabric for the apron
  • 1/2 yard coordinating muslin (for the waist strap and ruffles)

INSTRUCTIONS:

MAKE THE TOP:

  1. Measure the distance between your armpits to get the width of the chest. Take this width and subtract 4. This new number will be how wide your top part is at its widest point. Measure from your chest to your waist to get the height.
  2. Take your patterned fabric and measure out a piece that is slightly larger than the width and height dimensions you just measured. Fold the fabric in half width-wise.
  3. Using a Sharpie, draw your top shape onto the folded fabric. This shape should look like a heart with a flat bottom. The widest point of this ‘heart’ is your (chest width minus 4 inches) measurement. Cut along your Sharpie line. You’ve now got your top piece! You can measure it against yourself to make sure it’s not too wide. If it is, trim it accordingly.

    “Heart” chest piece

MAKE THE BOTTOM:

  1. Measure out a piece of fabric for the bottom part that is 36-inches wide. The height for this can be as tall as you want. For instance, if you want the apron to hit mid-thigh, measure the distance from your waist to your thigh and use this number as the height. Spread the fabric out and cut out the corners so that they’re rounded. (see diagram)
  2. Now it’s time to make the pleats along the waist. Take the fabric at the top of the wide side and fold it accordian style and pin it in place. Do this only in the middle, leaving 6-inches on either side of the folds. Next, sew the folds in place, 1/4-inch in from the edge (see red dotted line in diagram).

    Tuck and Pin

    Tuck and Pin

  3. Pin the top and bottom part together on the wrong side. Sew the two pieces together on the wrong side, 1/4-inch from the edge.

    Coming Together

    Coming Together

MAKE THE WAIST STRAP:

  1. Cut a strip of muslin fabric (I chose a coordinating periwinkle shade) that is 5-inches tall and as wide as your bolt of fabric. Sew the ends of two of these straps together on the wrong side, making one really really long strap that is 50-inches long (This piece will tie around your waist, so you want to cut the length to fit you).
  2. Fold the strap in half, making a 2.5-inch tall piece. Pin the ends together, then iron the fold flat.
  3. Sew around the edges of the strap (red dotted line in diagram), 1/4-inch from the edge. Be sure to leave an opening on one side, so you can flip this piece inside-out.
  4. Flip the fabric so that the raw edges are now on the inside. Then sew the open edge shut (red dotted line in diagram).
  5. Now take the apron fabric and cut two strips that are 3-inches tall. Sew these together to make one long strip 50-inches long.
  6. Fold each edge in 1/4-inch and pin in place. Iron flat. Center this strip on top of the white strip and pin.

MAKE THE NECK STRAP:

  1. Cut a strip of apron fabric that is 2-inches tall for the neck strap. (The length of this depends on you: if you want a strap that is easy on and off, you can always put a buttonhole/button in the middle of this neck strap.)
  2. Fold the strip in half, making a 1-inch tall piece. Pin the edges together, then iron flat. Sew along the edges, making sure to leave an opening on one side. Once you’re done sewing, flip the fabric inside out.

MAKE THE RUFFLES*:

*If you want, you can just buy pre-made ruffles by the yard at the fabric store instead. If you do that, skip to “Assembling the Pieces Together”.

  1. Take the muslin fabric and cut it into strips that are 2-inches tall. Sew three of these together, making one really really long strap. Fold the strap in half.
  2. Make small pleats all along the fabric, pinning them in place as you go.

    Pleat, Pin, Repeat

    Pleat, Pin, Repeat

  3. Sew the ruffles in place, using the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.

    Remove Pins as you Sew

    Remove Pins as you Sew

ASSEMBLING THE PIECES TOGETHER:

  1. Take the sewn edge of the ruffles and line them up with the raw edges of the front side of the apron, so the ruffles lie on top of the patterned part of the fabric. Pin the ruffles around the apron this way, then flip the ruffles out so that they look like this (diagram).

    Apron Hem - Finished

    Apron Hem – Finished

  2. Sew the edges together on the wrong side of the fabric. Then iron the front of the apron, where the fabric and ruffles meet.
  3. Pin the neck strap in place behind the ruffles.
  4. Now it’s time to sew everything together! Sew all along the apron, 1/4-inch in, making sure you sew the edges of the ruffle, as well as the straps in place.

    Neck Strap

    Neck Strap

  5. Last step: attaching the waist strap. Center the waist strap between the top and bottom pieces of the apron, and pin it in place. Sew along the edges of the inner fabric on the strap (red dotted lines on diagram), making sure you’re attaching the apron to the strap in the process.

    Waist Band - Finished

    Waist Band – Finished

Here’s the finished product:

Pintuck Apron - Finished

Pintuck Apron – Finished

And here is the birthday girl!

Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl!

While the apron turned out pretty cute (if I do say so myself) in the front, it was just a hot mess behind it.  Lots of thread everywhere from places I went over and fixed, and I had a lot of thread-breakage issues for some reason with this project. I thought the tutorial was great with getting me to the end product, but there wasn’t a lot of thought put into covering up the unsightly back of the apron fabric.

Pintuck Throw Pillow Case

4 Oct

When Kevin and I first moved in together, we needed a couch.  We immediately agreed on the shape, style, and price point, but there was a week-long debate on what color fabric to get for the couch cover.  He wanted light khaki, while I wanted dark espresso.  We couldn’t come to an agreement one way or the other so what you see below is our compromise:

Pintuck Throw Pillow Case

Pintuck Throw Pillow Case

Smack-dab in the middle.  Kevin’s mom got us the throw blanket you see in the background, and I decided we needed a couple of throw pillows.  After doing some light browsing online, I quickly realized I didn’t want to pay $38 for one decorative pillow that I couldn’t even take the case off to wash if it got dirty.  It was time to DIY something.  I bought two throw pillows from Jo-Ann Fabric, and two different colors of cotton fabric that tied in with the throw blanket – all for under $20.

This tutorial is for a pillow case for a 15″x15″ throw pillow.  You’ll have to adjust your measurements accordingly if your pillow is a different size.

SUPPLIES

  • One piece of fabaric cut to 24″x24″ (for a 15″x15″ pillow)
  • Two pieces of fabric cut to 17″x14″ each
  • Fabric marker

DIRECTIONS

Front of the Pillow:

  1. Cut a piece of fabric that measures 18″×18″. The extra room allows for the fabric you lose when doing the pintucks as well as the inseam when you sew your pieces together.
  2. Plan your pintucks.  Place the fabric right side down and mark where you want to put your pintucks with a dot, spacing them out to make a diagonal-square pattern.  I spaced everything about 4″ apart in alternating rows.

    Mark Your Pintuck Targets

    Mark Your Pintuck Targets

  3. Grab a small piece of fabric where you drew your dot. Twist about one 1/2” inch. Pin to hold and you’ll sew a straight line right where the pin is.  No worries if it’s ugly, since that’s the back side!

    Ugly is OK!

    Ugly is OK!

  4. Repeat steps in a diamond pattern and you will start to see beautiful pin tucks!

    3 Pieces of Pillow Case Fabric

    3 Pieces of Pillow Case Fabric

Assemble the Pillowcase:

  1. Trim your pintucked front piece of fabric down to 17″×17″, keeping the pintucked area centered.
  2. Lay piece of pintucked fabric so that the pretty side faces up.  Then lay the two back pieces right side facing down.
  3. Pin all 4 outer sides together and sew a 1/4” inseam on all 4 outer sides.
  4. Flip inside out and slip on to your pillow!

I made these over a year ago, and they miraculously are still in good shape, even after some machine washings.  If you make these with machine washable fabric, just throw them in a garment bag before you put them in the washer and dryer to help protect the pintucks.

Wine Cozy

4 Dec

I completely forgot to post about the wine cozy gift set I made Christina last winter until I was reminded while Christmas shopping on Black Friday last weekend.  I never thought I’d voluntarily stay up past 10pm to (of all things) go shopping, but Jamie is a very passionate bargain hunter and convinced me to go, especially since I too can appreciate the value of a dollar and a good bargain.  I don’t get to see her very often since she lives up north, so I figured how bad could it be?  I should have known I was in over my head when she said we should get there early because they were giving free Cliff Bars to the first 500 people in line for Target.

After over 4 hours of sheer mayhem, wading through a sea of red Target shopping carts being pushed by tryptophanatic zombies, and getting pummeled by an old lady who was literally running while en route to Macy’s, I managed to escape with a plethora of new kitchen tools and appliances. My Santa sack was filled with a 7-cup food processor, a blender, mixing bowls, frosting spatula, dough bands, a whisk, and some other goodies irrelevant to this blog.  During the weekend, I also acquired a pre-owned Ultra Power Kitchen-Aid stand mixer (holler) in exchange for $30 cash plus some of my baked goods – quite a deal!  Oh, the wonders I will make with all of my new toys!

At about 3am, Jamie and I parted ways.  She went on to another Target, another Macy’s, Old Navy, and some other places, and I got the f-ck out of there, slightly traumatized but content with my new treasures.  Jamie told me the next morning that she got home at 9am, took an hour nap, and woke up to go to a few more places.  Jamie, you are a beast.

So back to the subject matter of this post.  For Christina‘s wine set gift, I  threw in a bottle of cabernet and a pretty jewel-top wine stop from Sur la Table to match the cozies and coasters.

Wine Cozies, Coasters, Cab, and Jewel Wine Stop

The wine cozies make great gifts for housewarmings and wine aficionados (winos?) alike.  I recently made a couple more wine cozy sets as housewarming gifts for Shirley and Spencer…

Shirley and Spencer

…and Leslie and Tri, respectively.  As you might have guessed, all four of them like Hawaii – and who can blame them?

Tri and Leslie

Might make some more to throw on the Etsy account, which (I’m happy to announce) is now live.

(Not) Simple (Enough) A-Line Skirt

6 Nov

One of my Sho-Yu teammates and long time friends (Flo) asked me to make a mouseketeer skirt for her Halloween costume a couple of weeks ago.  I complied with the disclaimer that I’ve never made a skirt before so I couldn’t guarantee how much it would look like one.  Afraid of biting off more than I could chew, I simplified the pleated skirt to an A-line style using slightly stretchy material to give me some extra room for error.  She sent me her measurements and I followed a tutorial, but somehow the first pass at the skirt came out lopsided.  I like to say it’s that asymmetrical style to make myself feel better.  Apparently, the simple A-line skirt how-to I chose ended up being not simple enough after all.

Luckily, Flo and I made plans to meet-up for her to try it on so I could make adjustments in time for the big day.  As you can see, the skirt still wasn’t perfect but it was salvaged.  Thanks for being my guinea pig, Flo!

Mousketeer Halloween Costume - Front

I have plans to actually try making a pleated skirt some day out of the cherry blossom fabric I bought a couple weeks ago.  Stay tuned!

Future Cross Stitch Project

18 Oct

Does anyone know how to cross stitch?  I thought of a GREAT idea for a cross stitch project, but I don’t even know where to start since there’s no template.

I also Google’d “funny cross stitch”, and HAD to share some of the fabulous pictures I found.  Enjoy!

Reddit Rage Comic

Reddit Rage Comic

Om Nom Nom

Om Nom Nom

Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail

Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings