March 9 – Denim + Lace

I have been searching and searching for the perfect denim jacket.  Why?  I am DYING to make a denim + lace shirt, jacket, or vest! Look at these pictures from my Pinterest boardDIY Clothing and tell me YOU don’t want one too! 😉

Awesome right!?  But the search for the perfect denim piece was hard.  It had to be lightweight, faded, and pale blue.  I also wanted it to have a flattering fit and possibly even front pockets – so I could rip them off and put lace in their place. The jean jackets I came across were all dark and heavy.  I had to adjust the concept slightly when I found this medium blue, light-weight denim VEST.

BEFORE:  IMG_0300

It obviously needed a lot of work and attention to turn it from that ^ into a beautiful lace + denim vest.  I took out my trusty seam ripper and removed the front pocket and the ribbon around the inside of the collar.  I then cut out the back of the vest – leaving a 1/2 inch of the original garment all the way around so I would have something to sew the lace to.  I used this piece I cut out to make the pattern for the lace insert.  I also used the pocket I removed as a pattern for a new lace pocket.  After sewing these lace elements onto my denim vest I finally have an adorable lace + denim vest for Spring!

AFTER:  IMG_0358 IMG_0359

I think I will also remove the brown/tan buttons and switch them out for white ones, but I couldn’t wait to show you all this new wardrobe piece I have been dreaming of for weeks!  I will add a picture of me wearing it when I find/make the perfect pants to wear with them…

Check out my March 10 post for another lace + denim vest post!  I need some helping deciding what to do with it – so comments are welcome and appreciated!

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March 3 – Toddler Apron Tutorial

Ok here is the apron tutorial I promised you all yesterday! I already gave my niece the one I made for her for V-Day, so I am making a new one for this tutorial.  It was quite spring-like outside today and I am already looking forward to summer!  So the fabrics are a nod towards warmer weather.  This apron would be great for a bbq – helping Dad out with the grilling!

Toddler Apron –
I made this apron for my two-year-old niece.

Tip #1 – Read through the entire directions before starting out to make sure everything makes sense and you have all the necessary materials.  Not much fun I know, but trust me – it will save you many headaches.  🙂

You will need:

  • 1 fat quarter of Fabric A
  • 1/2 yard Fabric B
  • rotary cutter and cutting board
  • scissors
  • pins
  • iron/ironing board
  • coordinating thread
  • paper to make a heart pattern piece – any scrap paper will do – I use printer paper since it is easy to stick with a pin

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Fabric A

– Cut four 2xWOF strips

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– Cut these strips down to 2×20 so you end up with four 2×20 inch strips  (You could also sew two of them together end to end if you want the neck strap to be connected at the top and not adjustable.  I wanted my niece to be able to use it for a long time so I made all the straps adjustable)

– Iron them in half lengthwise.

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– Then bring each side in 1/4 inch toward the inside fold and iron – pin both sides together in place – this is where you will sew

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– Edge stitch where you have pinned and set your straps aside – making sure to fold one end in so that it is a finished edge. You should end up with 4 straps that are 3/4 inch wide and have one finished edge and one unfinished edge.

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Tip #2 – Anytime you are sewing things repetitively – like these straps for example – don’t waste time and thread pulling each piece out and cutting the thread.  Chain stitch, one after another, until they are all done.  Then pull them all out and snip the *small* gap of thread between each one. 

Fabric B

– Cut one rectangle 12×20 inches.

– Cut the top corners off at a right angle.  I folded my apron in half lengthwise and placed the matched up corners where my ruler has a gauge for cutting right angles.  Most cutting boards have some sort of diagonal lines across that, when lined up with your fabric can give you a nice right angle cut.  I cut mine at 3 inches, but you can experiment with the angles to give it the look you want.

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– Next we will be ironing all of the sides under 1/4 inch  – TWICE.  I started with the corners and iron them under 1/4 inch.  Then I do the top edge, the sides, and finally the bottom edge.  When I have gone around the entire apron ONCE, I go around again in the same order – tucking under and ironing each edge 1/4 inch and then pinning each side in place.  When I get to the bottom edge, I turn that up a full inch so it has a nice big hem. Make sure your corners are nice and sharp with no unfinished edges poking out.

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– Edge stitch around the entire apron.

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Tip #3 – It is a good idea to be in the habit of always backstitching at the beginning and end everytime you sew a new line.  It is also good to use this technique to reinforce things like corners, hems, and straps. 

Paper Heart

– I like to sew the heart on first so I don’t have to deal with the straps getting in my way.  Take your scrap of paper and fold it in half.  Cut out a heart – whatever size you would like.   Then use this pattern piece to cut out your heart in fabric.  You can use Fabric A or even add a third coordinating Fabric C.  You could even get creative and cut out multiple hearts in different coordinating fabrics OR cut out whatever shape you want!

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– Pin this heart to the front of the apron and zig-zag stitch around it to adhere it to the apron front.

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Tip #4 – Make sure you switch your stitch back to regular straight stitch after doing the zig-zag around the heart.

Finishing the Apron

– Take each of the four straps and pin the unfinished edge on the back of the apron.  I like to pin all of the straps before I sew them on so I know I like the placement – be careful not to get any of the straps in under your work and accidentally sew it to the other strap.

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– After you have sewn all the straps down, flip them each over onto themselves and sew across the strap again.  This will encase the unfinished edge and put the straps going the right way.

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TA-DA!  Beautiful finished apron!

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P.S. I made this pattern after I found an old apron of mine that MY aunt had made me when I was two.  We had a family Christmas with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins and we each got a matching apron!  I fashioned this apron pattern for my niece, who is two, using this apron as a guide.

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  Let me know if you have any comments or questions.  Feedback is always appreciated on my tutorials.  Also, if you use this tutorial to make one of your own, feel free to send me a picture!

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~Elise