Dot to Dot Sewing – Little Girl’s Basic Shift Dress (Part 2)

how to sew a shift dress

Welcome back to part 2 of sewing a little girl’s basic shift dress! (see part 1 HERE) I don’t actually think it’s possible for the big girl to make a semi-normal looking face whilst I try vainly for a decent picture. Ah well, at least she’s a willing and happy participant…unlike another little girl I could mention. Anyway, our last post was all about how to make the pattern for this dress, and today we’re going to put it all together. I wanted a full length dress for the miss, so I laid the pattern on the fold, and continued the lines to the desired length. I cut out both the front and the back, but I kept the scraps from cutting out the necks. This is my shortcut method for making a facing. You could certainly just put this together as normal, skipping the facings, and hem all the … Continue reading

Dot to Dot Sewing – Little Girl’s Basic Shift Dress (Part 1)

Toddler Shift Dress Tutorial

People tend to think sewing is hard. I would contend that it’s a way over thought process for most. I like to see sewing as drawing a giant dot to dot picture. Nobody has to have any special talents to draw a dot to dot picture. (That’s why I like them!) It doesn’t take any special talents to measure out a few dots, connect them and cut them out for sewing either! (I promise my little girl doesn’t always look so tragical! Something about cameras… As for the big girl, an open mouth with noise coming out is fairly accurate.) Today I’m going to show you how to make a basic little girl’s shift dress (or tunic). We are going to draw our own pattern, dot to dot style. You’ll need to know just a few measurements of your little lady before you start. You’ll need to know the her width … Continue reading

A peek into the workshop – my salvaged sitting area

craft room at chapter37

This post instantly puts a song in my head from My Fair Lady. I want to twirl around with a basket of flowers in the middle of the street and sing… All I want is a room somewhere… Far away from the cold night air. With one enormous chair, Aow wouldn’t it be lovely? Lots of chocolates for me to eat, lots of coal makin’ lots of heat, warm face, warm hands, warm feet, Aow wouldn’t it be lovely? Aow so lovely sittin’ abso-bloomin-lutley still. I would never budge ’till Spring… Crept over me windowsill… In the interest of preserving my neighbors from the indignation of seeing me twirl in the streets, I’ll resist the urge and leave it to my imagination. Shall I tell you where these lovely little delights of mine came from? I know you’re just perishing to know, so lets start with the mirror. I got … Continue reading

The piano

The Refocus Challenge

Let me introduce the newest addition to the family. It’s awfully noisy and, like most things I’m in the habit of acquiring, it arrived desperately in need of a cleaning (and most likely a paint job). Some people look at a sewing needle, and their palms sweat, they feel anxious, and dread fills their heart. I feel much the same when I look at a music scale. Little black circles with sticks attached to them cause my spine to shutter. I love music, however, playing music is a very different matter all together. It requires practice and patience. Anything that requires practice and patience, is usually an activity which I avoid at all costs. If I can’t sit down and play like Mozart by 2pm tomorrow, well just forget it sister! Have you ever noticed the art of “heart music” requires the same thing? Things like thankfulness and joy don’t just roll out of us like a splendid concert … Continue reading

Chapter37 – as defined by pictures

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A picture is worth a thousand words, right? What would chapter37 look like if the definition were pictures instead of words? Find out by following our “Defining chapter37″ Pinterest board HERE! Happy weekend! Isaiah 30:18   And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. 

Neighborly gestures and spray painted birdcages

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People watching (in a non-creepy sort of way) furnishes me with an enormous amount of amusement. Take my neighbor for instance, whom I happen to think is one of the nicest people ever. She’s somewhere in between Aunt Polly from Tom Sawyer and Marilla Cuthbert from Ann of Green Gables. She’s as proper a southern lady as you’ll ever find. She’s the only person who I have ever seen in my entire life washing a car in a starched collared shirt, with every hair primly in place. Her house is unimaginably clean. The floor is probably cleaner than my dishes, and woe betide the speck of dust that finds its unlucky self on one of her shelves! Naturally, I break out in twitches when she wants my girls to come over and visit. She probably cleans for hours after we leave. She’s the one who gave me this birdcage. Actually, she asked me take it … Continue reading

How to paint without using painter’s tape

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So, you’ve got a wall to paint. Would you like to know how save a whole bunch of money and time painting that wall? If you are going to all the bother of painting a wall yourself instead of hiring it out, I bet its a topic you’d find interesting. One simple step can save you money and time, maybe even millions if you paint walls as much as I do! (exaggerating slightly) Get rid of the painters tape! You don’t need it, you really don’t! You don’t have to be neat, or artistically inclined to paint without tape. I can make a monstrous mess out of just about any task known to man, and I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life, much less paint one! I was scared to try it myself, but necessity is the mother of all adventurous efforts…or something like that. See, I’ve … Continue reading

Ticking Tassels and Wrong Turns

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My mister bought me a bike for my birthday. Isn’t he darling?? It’s purple and white (the bike, not my husband), and I switched out the seat to one of those nice puffy ones that are typically purchased by people over the age of 85. It is so. much. better. In my opinion, exercise is much like birthing a baby. It’s a necessary ordeal to achieve the end goal, and one’s appearance is quite low on the list of concerns. The other morning, I went for a ride, a nice long ride.  Returning home, I felt quite the Olympian about my great foray into unknown regions.  I announced to my mister, rather smugly, that I had no idea where I had gone, but it had been a frightfully long way away. Somehow, he rather lacked the appropriate enthusiasm for my adventure that I had. Most likely, because he knew just how stellar my sense of … Continue reading

How to Sew an Easy Yoga Style Waistband

Sew a yoga style waistband

I have an old, over sized sweater with holes in the cuffs and a broken zipper that I curl up in almost every night, in my favorite chair with my book of choice. Do you know why I hang on to that unsightly piece of textile year after year? Because it’s comfortable.  Comfort is a valuable consideration in all my clothing choices.  I really don’t see the point of sacrificing my comfort for the sake of a piece of clothing. Which is my biggest argument for knowing how to sew. I can make what I want, how I want, out of whatever I want, to fit how I want it to fit. Today, I’m going to show you how to sew a very basic, very comfortable, yoga style knit waist band. You need some type of knit fabric, mine was a knit/spandex mix. You don’t need a pattern, but you do need to … Continue reading

Imperfections

Imperfections

Once I had craft room walls that looked like this. Well, actually, this is after I tore off termite infested paneling, so this is actually an improvement to the original. After much (and I do mean much!) indecision on what to do with the walls, they now look like this. I had a few miss steps with this wall (as in, I painted three times!), because I started out with intention of hiding the ugly imperfections of the cinder blocks. In the end, I found that by high lighting what I was trying to hide, the grout lines, I truly loved the uniqueness of the wall. Since then, I’ve been tempted to repaint it yet again, to make a solid background color for pictures. I just can’t pursued myself to do it, because really, who does like to paint a wall FOUR times! Ha, no really, the reason I haven’t repainted … Continue reading