Reviews: June 2012 Archives
I started by cutting out a size 3 short from the Freshcut which turned out to be a bit big for my 3 yr old but I don't mind because that just means she can rock these shorts next year too. Then I cut two 4 in. wide strips about twice the length of the shorts for my side ruffles. With RS together press the ruffle in half lengthwise and then stitch down the open side using a ¼ in. seam. Turn ruffle RS out and press flat centering the seam. Run the ruffle strip through your ruffler foot stitching down the middle, along the seam. I set my ruffle to pleat at 12 sts, but if you want more ruffles set it at 6. If you don't have a ruffler foot (see my post on the ruffler foot here) then you can run a basting stitch down the center and pull the bobbin thread to gather as much or a little as you like. Fold each short piece in half and press a center seam. Pin ruffle- seam side down- to the short along the center seam you just pressed. Stitch in place along the center, going over your ruffler or basting stitch. Trim ruffle. Follow remaining short instructions to complete your short.
If you opt for shorts in a solid color, you can add some kick with a butterfly or owl appliqué and ruffle in the same material. You can also add the ruffle just to the bottom or right below the elastic casing for some waist drama. It is also fun to play with the length of these shorts. I love having some longer shorts for my daughter; it really fills out her wardrobe. These shorts are quick and fun and a perfect complement to any little boy's or girl's closet.
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On my post last week in which I recreated some posh designer baby blankets, I used fabric markers to stamp my fabric to match the inspiration images on the original blankets. I used both Bold and Thin Marvy Uchida Marker sets in Bright. I loved playing with these markers. I think they are great for marking kids' clothes (perfect for camp wardrobes), decorating t-shirts, fancying up dishtowels for hostess gifts or adding the final touch to your new curtains. I really loved stamping with them. The key is to test match the color to the fabric. Certain colors show up better on certain colors, textures and fabrics.
For example, the bright green really glowed on the white batiste, while the purple popped on the thick texture of the ivory Hero Cotton of my baby blankets (shown above, the apple is stamped in purple and then colored in yellow-green and purple). Not only were these markers great for coloring the stamp but also coloring in the stamp. To recreate my stamped images I recommend rubber stamps. I used both the rubber (apple) and silicone (they are sticky backed that you can apply to acrylic blocks to create your own stamps). The rubber back soaked up the ink and transferred it better than the silicone (birds and owl). Run your markers over the stamp and get the ink on all the raised bits of the stamp. Try to do it as quick as possible or just run over the stamp several times to make sure you get it all. Then line up your stamp and press firmly but don't rock or wiggle your stamp- this will create thicker lines that look like shadows. If you would like your lines thicker or darker, take your thin markers and go over the stamped image or use the bold markers to color your stamped image. I tried tracing mine with a black sharpie marker and that worked for some images but not all- test first.
To create my apples, I used the bold markers to color the stamp and then colored the apple in with the bold and traced the outline with the thin fabric markers and outlined with a black sharpie. The blue apple is stamped in blue and then colored in blue and the leaf is in green. The yellow green apple is stamped in green and colored in yellow-green. My rose colored birds were created by coloring my silicone stamp with the bright red and then tracing and coloring it with the thin bright red fabric marker. I traced one with the black but the tip was too wide to really do the outline justice. I also tried one bird in just the black sharpie but it did not transfer very well. The lightest bird is just the stamping without tracing and coloring. It pops more on the gauze blanket.
My second sample is another silicone stamp (owl) in which I tried to determine which color showed up best on the natural colored linen of my test fabric. The purple was the winner with blue in second, then green and yellow (of course) last. You can see how I tried to improve the yellow with some black but again I needed a thinner tip for the black, next time I will use the Marvy Uchida Thin Black Tips but I didn't consider a black outline when planning this project The yellow really stands out when I just drew with it alone- no stamping, just free drawing (Sun). At the bottom you can see how each marker performs and its thickness. The thin tips are at the top and the bold tips are below. Each marker was made by drawing a line and then going over it twice (the colors are from left to right: red, yellow, blue, yellow-green, purple and green). The thin tips are really the perfect size for tracing or outline work (stencils and monograms) and the bold are just right for coloring and stamping.
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Back in April I wrote about some really beautiful and special muslin receiving blankets I spied in a posh baby store in Charleston, SC. Well, I have seeing these blankets popping up everywhere around town but the price is still pretty steep, especially for us who can make. So I set out to recreate the look and feel of these heirloom-inspired baby blankets using similar materials; you decide which you like better.
First off, Fabric.com carries a wide variety of muslin just not the specific kind of loose, open weave heritage muslin used in the inspiration blankets. So I called upon my fabric knowledge and selected three different kinds of fabric to test and see which would give me the finished product I was aiming for. First, I wanted cottons because muslin is first and foremost cotton so to be true to the essence of the inspiration blanket I had to stick with the same fiber. I choose Hero Cotton and Ivory Gauze. Both of these are cotton, true, but I was unsure how closely the weave and texture would be to heritage muslin, so for my third fabric I choose cotton blend batiste, which is a very lightweight, woven fabric. Here is a little descriptor of each fabric:
Hero Cotton (56 in. wide): This fabric is 100% cotton and very similar in natural to gauze in that it has a wrinkled texture but unlike gauze Hero's texture is more uniform (think herringbone) and it is less stretchy than gauze. Hero is also thicker than gauze, of the three fabrics it is the thickest and I would classify it as medium weight. This will be great for fall swaddling or winter swaddling for a hot natured baby.
Cotton Gauze (52 in. wide): A 100% cotton fabric which random vertical wrinkles that make this lightweight fabric slightly stretchy. Of the three fabrics, gauze matches the weight of the inspiration blankets being not too light and not too thick. The ivory color is also very similar to the white muslin used in the inspiration blankets and is airy enough to make great swaddling as well as a stroller cover, burping cloth but too light for a nursing cover. This fabric will prevent overheating in the spring and summer and also make a great play mat for outdoors.
Cotton Blend Batiste (44 in. wide): This fabric is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester and has the same even, light weave of heritage muslin but is the lightest weight of the three fabrics (think voile). It has a very smooth texture unlike the muslin. It did take the stamping the best given its smooth texture. I had thought this fabric would have been the most similar to the muslin but I found it to me the most dissimilar. It still makes a great blanket but it has the least stretch and I worry about its breathability given the 50% poly. I will still try it when baby comes and know that even if it doesn't make a great swaddle blanket then it will make a nice pillowcase, curtains or a summer dress.
All of the fabrics tested are wide enough to make a 40 x 40 in. blanket set that I found in the posh baby boutique and you can easily make 2 sets for the price of one and gift them to friends or loved ones. I will be posting next week on the fabric markers and stamping I used to recreated the stamped patterns I found on the inspiration blankets. * Hint it is a lot of fun and you will want to use fabric markers on everything!**
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