Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Post: Ashley of Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night!

We have a special guest today, Ashley from Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night!

Ashley continually amazes me with her beautiful creations. If you haven't already, be sure to look through her archives. I promise you'll like what you find.  She has such a cute style and provides great tutorials. So of course, I had to ask her if she would share something with all of us over here for the day. And lucky us, she said yes!

Here are some of my favorites of Ashley's projects:

I am crazy about this dress for so many reasons. The colors, the fit, and the print. What a great first day of school dress for a teacher. I need one!

Again, I love the color of this "tied with a bow pouch" and the little bow detail. This would make a great gift for a loved one. 

This ruffled copy cat bag is another favorite of mine. 

Take it away Ashley!

Hey!!! I am Ashley... I am the mommy behind the Mommy by day... Crafter by night blog. I blog about all the things I make while my two kiddos are asleep. This summer I decided that I wanted to learn to sew, so with the help of a few sewing blogs, I started making clothes for my girls and for myself. I am having so much fun! There is just something about cutting up fabric and turning it into something wearable. 

I am beyond excited to be guest posting on the Sweet Verbena blog!!! Katy is seriously the cutest girl ever! I love her blog and am always so impressed with the things she is making. Every time I read a post or look at a project/ tutorial she has come up with, I leave feeling inspired and empowered to go create something myself. So I am so stoked to be here sharing a tutorial with all her readers:) 

Last week as I was browsing the isles of Joann's I came upon a fabric that was so different and so cool. The first thing I thought when I saw it was- Armor. I instantly knew that I wanted to make a skirt with it. So here is what I came up with. (If you read or look at my blog you will find that I come up with random names to call my project and tutorials... I know it's cheesy, but I just can't help myself. So I named this skirt my Skirt of Armor. )

There are so many fun fabrics these days at the stores that are pre-ruffled, or just funky like this one that normally freak me out or seem too hard to work with and I finally just decided to go for it and went out on a limb and got this fabric on a good sale. 

This skirt would work with any fabric you wanted. Ruffled, bedazzled, or just plain cotton. It is the easiest skirt I have ever made. If you are an experience seamstress, you will be able to whip this out in less than an hour, and if you have never sewn anything in your life- this is the perfect first project!! Anyone can make this! :)

To start, take your measurements and figure out exactly how much fabric and elastic you will need.
(the fabric needs to be wide enough to go around the biggest part of your hips plus a few inches for wiggle room.)
For my skirt, since my fabric was so wide, I only needed a yard and I was able to cut in half width wise and use the halves for front and back. The elastic I used was black knit elastic that was 2 inches wide that I bought by the yard at Joann's.

Step 1: Measure around the biggest part of your hips and add 3-6 inches depending on how roomy you want your skirt. (you could add even more if you want it really full) and then measure where you want the hem to fall on your leg. With my fabric I didn't need to hem the bottom so I didn't have to figure in seam allowances, but if you are going to have to hem your fabric, calculate that into your length.
Since I used 2 pieces of fabric (one piece for the front and one piece for the back) I had to divide the total width measurement in half and cut a front and back. If you have enough fabric that you can just cut one big piece, that is one less seam you will have to sew.

Step 2: Put your fabric right sides together and sew each side.
 Step 3: Zig zag, serge, or clean finish the edges to prevent fraying.
 Step 4: Measure and cut your elastic for your waistband. Put the elastic right sides together and sew. Open and press the seam, and sew each edge down flat.
 Step 5: Once your elastic waistband is sewn- measure and pin it evenly around the top of the skirt. (I always start by finding the very center of the back of the skirt and lining it up and pinning with the seam of the sewn elastic band and then doing the same for the front middle and sides of the skirt. So it is pinned in 4 places. Then I find the centers between each pin and the fabric in between and pinning it as well. So all in all I have the fabric pinned 8 times equal distances apart around the elastic and skirt. This helps so that you get your gathers sewn evenly.) To sew you put the presser foot down on one pin and then hold onto the next pin and stretch as you sew and just go from one pin to the next pin until you have sewn all the way around. (This picture is what it looks like when the elastic is being stretched. Zig zagged around the top of the skirt as well before sewing it to the waist band)
 Step 8: Hem your skirt. In my case since I wanted to have the shape of the fabric be the bottom of my skirt, I just pulled up the layers of the "armor" so that only the bottom layer was exposed and zig zagged all the way around the very bottom layer to ensure that my skirt didn't fray on the bottom or start falling apart while I was wearing it!  

And that's it! Super easy!!! 
If you have any questions about making this skirt, email me at mommybydaycrafterbynight {at} gmail {dot} com and feel free to swing by and check out my blog Mommy by day... Crafter by night, follow along, or leave a comment letting me know you visited!!



Tiffany said...

This is off-topic with respect to this particular post, but man, I wish I had gotten to meet you while I was still a student at A&M! I love to craft, and I recently learned how to sew, you could have taught me so much. Keep up the amazing work, and gig 'em!

Class of '09 and '11

Megan said...

I love this! I am just beginning to sew and I am excited to give some of this ideas a try! :)

Paisley Print Shoes said...

how cool!! this is such a great blog and such a great features blog...i love them both! this is my first time here and i'll definitely be back. :)

Nomi said...

This is wonderful! Will definitely attempt to make one real soon! Love your blog!

Unknown said...

you are doing excellent to have just started sewing. love the apple dress

Jazzie said...

She sure have a great eye for fashion I love the color of fabric she used for this dress, I wonder what kind of Dressmaking Fabrics she used for that dress.

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