Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Force Will Be Strong In This One...

My friend, Katherine, is a big Star Wars fan.  She even looks a little like Carrie Fischer.  And now, she has a little baby boy on the way!  This is super nerdy, but when I saw Kiki's Galaxy Paper Tots, I had to snatch them up right away.  I mean, seriously, how cute are these?

I don't have any bodysuits right now, so I grabbed a plain white hat and Kiki's work did the rest!

Darth Vader is one of K's favorites, so this was a no-brainer.

 I put Darth (he and I are tight... thus, Darth) on the top of the hat and then I attached the "Force" quote on the flip-over part.  This way, as Baby's head gets bigger, he can just flip the hat down and still see Darth. 

Brooks really liked modeling it.  Maybe he'll need a Chewy hat... you know, to make up for his cue ball head.  ;)

Thanks, Kiki, for the super cute artwork!!

Free and free...

I was diagnosed with celiac disease back in 2003.  Wow, that's kind of a long time ago.  It's weird that it's 2012 now, right?  Anyway, I was diagnosed and have been gluten-free since then.  The first few weeks were haaaaaard!  But my mom was amazing and so helpful-- doing research, finding and making me food, being super supportive (and remorseful over poisoning me for years and years with her Chex mix... ha!).  And recently, it's gotten even easier with companies like General Mills, making gluten-free products that don't turn to sand in your mouth.  Yay!  I can eat Chex mix now!! :) 

So I'm cool with being gluten-free.  I mean, I still have cheese.  Oh, cheese, I could eat you all day long...

... But not for the next month, minimum.  As of yesterday, I'm adding another "free" to my diet: dairy-free. 

See, sweet little Brooksy-boy has all sorts of skin issues.  You can kind of see his little inflamed cheeks here.

It started with cradle cap, but I'll tell ya-- I cannot get the boy's skin to clear up, even after a couple trips to the dermatologist.  So, since I'm nursing, I started to wonder if anything I ate could be exacerbating the issue.  So this is kind of my own homegrown science experiment.  Let's see what happens if I cut out dairy for a while (I read it's the #1 food sensitivity in breastfed babies...?). 

I've made it one day so far!  Woohoo!  Though, full-disclosure, I may have slipped some creamer into my coffee yesterday morning, so we could all make it through the day. ;) 

Any tips out there?  What's good?  I could use all the help I can get!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Getting Better...

For Christmas, my husband bought me Photoshop.  I've been fiddling around with it a little, but today, I thought, Hmm... I wonder how people make eyes look so cool...  So, naturally, I went to google, clicked around for some tips, and here's what I came up with.

It helps that both my girls have gorgeously blue eyes.  I'm still an amateur, but pretty cool, right? :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hip To Be Square: Easy Starter Top Tutorial

Today on Hip to Be Square-- the Easy Starter Top/Dress.  This is one of the first pieces of clothing I made for my girls.  See?  Here it is in dress form.  I even made a matching dress for Sophie.

It's nice and easy... thus, the Easy Starter Top!

1/2 yard main fabric
1/6 yard coordinating fabric
1/2 inch elastic, cut to chest measurement (mine is 20 inches)
sewing stuff

Use 1/2-inch seam allowance throughout.

Cut your rectangles.  My measurements are for a 18-24 month top.  To make it larger, just add length to your biggest rectangle and your sleeves/straps.  (See pic for my measurements.)

 Sew up the sides of your main piece and the 2-inch facing piece.  Zig-zag the main piece to finish.

Go ahead and hem it now, so you don't have to deal with it later. :)  To do this, fold over 1/4-inch and press then another 1/4 inch and press.  Stitch.

Put two strap pieces right sides together and sew up long sides.  Repeat with other sttrap.

Flip them right sides out and press. Then topstitch close to the edge.  After this, run a gathering stitch along one of the short ends.  Gather them up (not shown).

On one side of the bottom of the strap, measure up 1.5 inches and mark.

Find the top center of your main fabric.  Measure 2.5 inches out from the center and mark, using fabric marker or pin.  

 Use the marks you made to place your gathered sleeve, right sides together.  Pin it in place.

 Now pin the ungathered side to the center of the back.

Line up the (1.5") mark you made with the outside of the strap with the raw edge of the main piece.  Pin in place. 

Fold one side of  facing piece down 1/4 inch and press.

Pin facing piece to main piece, right sides together, so straps are sandwiched in between.  It'll look like this:

Trim excess of straps off.

Fold casing over and press.

Sew casing down and stitch, leaving an inch opening through which to thread the elastic.  Thread through with a safety pin.  Stitch elastic together and close up casing.

 It's nice and roomy and perfect for summer!

And the straps actually look a little like capped sleeves, which I really love.

And if you've made it this far, here's another thing... I put this dress up for sale in my Etsy shop because, let's be honest, my girls don't really need more clothes. :)  It's $16 with shipping.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hip to Be Square: Box Pleat Skirt Tutorial

Sorry I didn't post this yesterday.  We spontaneously did this...
And this...
 The one on the left is NOT mine... no new children here. ;)

 ... at Aunt Nancy's house (or as Riley calls her-- Aunt Ancy).  Thanks, Aunt Ancy! :)

But without further ado, here's the Box Pleat Skirt!  


Okay, so it's not really made from squares but rectangles... BUT it's made with box pleats, and boxes are square (technicality: cube), so can we compromise?  Whew.  Thanks!

about 1/2 yard main fabric
1/4 yard coordinating fabric
1/2 inch elastic


Cut 9 rectangles each of your fabrics...
for the main fabric, cut them 6 inches wide by the length you want (mine are 12 inches)
for the coordinating, cut 3 inches by length. 

TIP: For each main rectangle you cut, your skirt will, after pleating it, be 3 inches wider.  You want to get it wider than your girly's waist, so you can cinch it in with the elastic.  So with 9 rectangles, this skirt is 27 inches.  Then I bring it in to 21 with elastic.  Add or subtract rectangles as you wish!

Sew long sides of rectangles together, going every other.  Zig-zag each seam to finish.  (Engage in self-talk, such as "Oh my gosh, this is mind-numbing.  I can feel my mind actually numbing... So many rectangles!  Argh!  I have to zig-zag stitch them, too.  This skirt better rock...  It does.  I know it does.  Okay... I can do this!")

 Once you get a big loop of a skirt sew, press the seams OUT from the smaller rectangles, so they are over the big ones.

Hem the whole thing up by pressing over 1/4 inch then another 1/4 inch.

Find the center of your smaller rectangles (1 and 1/8 inches in).  Mark.

Fold big rectangles from the seams into that center mark.

I don't know if this helps, but here's what it looks like from this angle...

Once you get all those guys box pleated, basted them in place.

Now cut a 3 inch by 28 inch  rectangle for your waist band.  Stitch short ends together, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.  Then fold it in half like so and press.

Line all raw edges up and sew skirt to waistband, leaving 3/4 inch open.

Zig-zag stitch, leaving that opening.  Then just thread your elastic through (mine is 21 inches) and close up the opening.

Twirl away!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hip to Be Square Upcycle Top

I love using loved-on t-shirts to make new clothing for the girls.  I get overly sentimental about things, even worn-out shirts.  Plus, they're free.  And if that weren't enough, it's GREEN! 

So here's the Hip to Be Square Upcycle Top.  It takes about 5 minutes to make, so you can spend the rest of your time deciding how to spice it up.  Leave it with a boatneck...

Or give it an 80's-inspired asymmetrical neckline.

 Cinch the bottom...

Or leave it as is.

Even throw on an applique of some sort from the scraps.

I made both versions two-toned, from two different shirts, but you could do it all from the same shirt, too.

Let's get started:

one or two loved t-shirts
elastic (if you want to cinch the bottom)
sewing gear


Cut your t-shirts into squares.  I did them as large as I could which ended up being 16.5".

Place marks 3.5 inches from the center of the top, so you'll have a 7-inch neckhole.

Mark 5 inches down on each side for the arm hole.

Just sew up the shoulders (from one mark to the edge) and the sides.  And then, for real, you're done!

If you want to cinch the bottom, cut a 1/4-inch strip of elastic, about 6 inches shorter than your square (though this doesn't have to be exact).  No pics, but mark the center of the elastic.  Start sewing it at one side seam with a straight stitch.  Stretch the elastic, holding in front and behind, lining the mark you made up with the other side seam.  Then keep stretching the elastic till it comes full circle.

Or if you want to make a funky neckline, do that.  Full disclosure-- I tried this out because there was a little left of this tee's graphic showing. :)

Or use your scraps to add an applique!

Whatever you do, it's sure to be cute! :)