DIY Maternity Pants

First, let me apologize for that “teaser” post earlier… I was working from my iPhone and hit publish when I meant to hit save.  Oops!!  Anyway… here is the full post – Finally!!!

I must also apologize for these crappy pics… our camera died on us, so the iPhone is all I had available.  I think a new camera will be a good purchase for Christmas this year!!

 

I had mentioned before that I have been making my own maternity pants.  Well, truth be told, I have made about 6 or 7 pairs.  It’s a little addicting.  And the total cost of the 6 or 7?  Probably around 30 dollars if I am rounding up.  Have you priced maternity clothes lately???  They are so overpriced.  Especially after I found making my own to be so simple and cheap.  And I will once again state – I do not sew!!!  I can sew a straight line, I can do things that are simple, but if it requires a lot of thought or measuring – um, nope.  There are a bunch of tutorials out there, well, a few.  I figured one more couldn’t hurt.  Smile

 

My method…easy.  here goes…

 

My first step was to find a pair of pants and some sort of top to use for my belly band.  I picked up a pair of grey slacks from Goodwill, then found a tube top that I have had for about 10 years – and I do not exaggerate there lol.  Tube tops are actually my preferred top for this project since they already come equipped with elastic around the top. 

 

Other supplies needed:

Scissors

pins

sewing machine

thread

patience!

 

I started out by removing the zipper

 

Grey pants

 

move zipper DIY maternity

I think this was the most tedious part of this project.  Once it was removed I needed to close up the fly.  I simply pinned it closed and sewed a quick straight stich close to the outer edge.  Most tutorials tell you to hand sew it…and this might have been a little prettier – but it was much easier to just use the sewing machine to sew it closed.  I forgot to get a pic of that right after I sewed the fly shut.

pin fly DIY maternity

sew zipper DIY maternity

I found it to be easier to finish the fly before I moved on to the waistband, you may find it doesn’t matter.  So next I cut off the waist band right below it.

waist band DIY maternity

Cut wasit band DIY maternity

waist band removed DIY maternity

I chose to leave on the bottom part of the belt loops.  It just looks nicer once completed.  When I made jeans though, I removed those because it was just so difficult to sew over them.  I also noticed that on these pants, the pockets were sewn to the waistband, so once that was removed, the front of the pocket wasn’t attached to anything.  Although I could have pinned this together and sewn it all at one time when I put together the pants and the top, I find it easier to secure these parts before trying to deal with the top.  I pinned it down and put a quick stitch in the top of each pocket.  Every pair of pants you work with will have a different little glitch like this… just do what you think will work!

 

pocket DIY maternity

pocket 2 DIY maternity

pocket sewn DIY maternity

 

The next step was to attach the tube top.  I simply turned it inside and and slid it top down over the top of the pants.  Right sides should be facing each other, and the top part should be down towards the feet.  If you are in doubt of how you put them together, hold them as best you can together and turn the tube top back up – does that work?  I pinned it all the way around starting at the seams and working around the back first.  I pulled the back tight so that the tube top covered it all, and this part of the pants doesn’t need to be extra stretchy to wear.  The front on the other hand you want to try and avoid stretching too much since it will need some room to stretch once your belly grows.  I should also note that I put my pins up and down, rather than running horizontal to the waist.  I found that putting them horizontal they would slip and not hold the pieces together quite as snugly. 

pin top DIY maternity

Your in the homestretch now!  Now you need to sew the two pieces together.  I started the machine at the seam, and chose a stitch that I thought would be the strongest.  This seam will take a lot of abuse, so use strong thread and a strong stitch.

top sewn on DIY maternity

inside of pants sewn DIY maternity

I kept getting hung up in the thick spots – as you can see from that little blob of thread where the fly is.  I was just patient, didn’t try to push things through and used a function on my machine that raised the back of the foot some to allow for bulkier fabrics. (I had to look that up in the owner’s manual)

 

And here you go… all done!!

pants done DIY maternity

And I did see a mistake… see the right side pocket?  Here, I will give you a close up…

mistake on pocket DIY maternity

Yea, missed that.. I should be more careful in the pinning process to get those spots under a pin!  My mistake and lesson learned hopefully helps one of you!  And to see them in action?

DIY maternity front

DIY maternity

DIY maternity with shirt

 DIY maternity peak

I hadn’t adjusted the top of the tube top yet to fit right above my belly.  I wanted to wait a bit until my belly was bigger, and I wore them for a while just folded down until I decided how I liked it. 

I didn’t take any pictures of that process, but it was also super simple.  I folded the top part down, and then sewed right above the elastic, then cut off the extra part.  It was a lot like the jean hemming tutes you see out there (which DO work FYI).  It was nice to wear it like a tube top for a while though as you can see in one of the above photos, it doubled as a cami. 

 

Well… that is it.. my DIY maternity pants.  I have done shorts, jeans, and some capris.  And  I know that if I need more, it’s so simple and cheap to do!  Anyone else been doing some simple sewing lately?

Pinterest challenge Winter edition -DIY Coffee sleeve

Winter??? Says who?  Well, either way, this is the winter edition of the YHL and Bower Power Pinterest challenge.  If you remember I shared the news last week and hinted at what I would tackle.  Well, I decided that I needed to stop eying this cute little cup sleeve and just make one already.  I really need to do projects like these to build some sewing skills.  Did I build sewing skills?  Maybe a little…. I DID realize that I need a basic sewing class very badly.  Adding that to the list of things to get taken care of this life-time. 

 

On to the tutorial… oh but first, see where I started from!

 

I pinned this a while back

 

Pinterest challenge sleeve

Isn’t it cute!!????  Well I am an avid coffee and Starbucks lover, so this was something that I would put to good use on a regular basis.  The tutorial over at Crafty Staci is a pretty good one.  There was some impairment on my part since I really don’t know how to sew.  My mom was such a HUGE help.  She helped me get through most of it without throwing in the towel.  Here are the steps that I followed:

 

First I picked the materials that I wanted to use.  I used one piece of cotton I had just purchased and some silver stretchy material from a pair of pants that Hannah had in her dress up clothes (she was getting rid of them).  In retrospect… use all cotton! 

 

Fabric choice for coffee sleeve

 

I had printed out the template that Staci had provided and cut it out.  She was specific to state not to let it scale down to print… I didn’t think I had, but possibly did a little.  Template for coffee sleeve

Next I used a fabric marker to trace it on my materials. Be sure to flip the template over for one of your outside fabrics. 

 

draw template on the fabric

Here are all of my pieces laid out and ready to put together.  I ended up being able to get some batting that was lined with a heat resistant material from my mom (told you my mom hooked me up!).  I forget the name of it.

 

Pieces for coffee sleeve

 

Before I could get to pinning it all together though, I had to make my little “hook”.  I took the hair band cut it in half, then used some super glue to hold the ends together until I could sew them down.

hair band glued together

 

Next I layered all of my pieces together. This was actually kind of complicated for some reason.  Maybe because the tutorial I was using had used batting and ironing board material so there was extra pieces, or maybe I am a little slow… not sure on that one.  Either way, my mom and I figured it out. 

1. batting material

2. printed fabric face up

3. “hook”

4. printed fabric face down

 

Seems simple enough once it was put together.  My mom actually pinned it all down and turned it right side out to make sure it would work. 

layers of the coffee sleeve

Next it all got pinned together to get it ready for sewing

 

pin it all down

I would probably pin it in more places next time around.  Then sew an edge around it using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I had major problems with this step (hence my mention of needing a sewing class).  It kept gathering on my and was really frustrating.gathering

And using that stretchy material was exacerbating the issue for sure.  Here it is all stitched together.

sew edges

And you notice that I stitched the whole thing?  Yea… I was supposed to leave a small section open to turn it all.  I just used my seam ripper and opened up a little spot.  Then I trimmed up all of the edges outside of my stitching.

 

trim up edges

And then turn it right side out and see how you did!  Just a couple more steps now…. take your turned piece and do a step I missed… IRON it!!  That should make things nice and flat.  Then take your whole piece and stitch as close to the edge as you can get all around it.  I had trouble with that little spot that I used to turn it but thanks to the advice given to me from Melanie over at The Crafty Cupboard, I think I can do a better job next time around.

turn right side out

all turned around

 

Ok, down to the wire now…. we have to sew on that button!  I didn’t have any toothpicks, so I just used a spoon handle that seemed the appropriate thickness.  I closed up the sleeve and made a mark with my fabric marker where I should put the button.  Once I sewed it on I  wrapped the thread around underneath the button several times to add some support.

 

sew on button

And voila!! Here you have it!  One coffee/drink sleeve made to order!  Whadya think??   I am, of course, my own worst critic, so I am not 100% happy with it.  There will be repeats of this!!  I am going to try one with all cotton and see how I do.  Oh and sign up for that sewing class Smile  Notice the blooms on those trees??  Winter Sminter.  It’s spring in Virginia!!

 

Coffee sleeve

Anyone else decide to jump into the challenge??  Go link up if you did, and please share here too!

 

younghouselove

Bower Power

The Great Indoors

Hi Sugarplum!

I wanna see your peacock…curtains that is!

Yes, that Katy Perry song did play through my head as I made these… and my husband thought it was funny to play it, you know, just to get it out of my head. Nope, stuck. Luckily, I was stuck on the design of my fabric so I was ok with it. I made a pit stop at Wal-mart last week. Not my favorite store by any stretch, but I had seen they had some fabric at ridiculous low prices. I have been envisioning some white based curtains with pops of color for the living room for some time now. I had considered doing a canvas drop cloth curtain, maybe stenciled or painted with chevrons. I kept hesitating, not really 100% sure of what I wanted to do. Well, maybe it was fate cause I found my curtains last week!

I am so impatient when doing projects, that is definitely something that I am trying to improve on. If you take a look at the pic below…it’s not done. The curtain wire is not taught enough, you can see where I have moved the bases to them, but have not puttied and painted the spots. Oh, and that panel on the right? Umm, it’s not done. It actually has pins in it. In all fairness though, I ran out of thread. And I am considering painting the main rooms of the house, so I am not sure I am going to bother touching up those spots. So really, the only part that I should have done was tighten up that cable. This is where I should hear a collective “Well, get to it!”. I will, this weekend. But enough about all that jazz…what about those curtains????

Nice? A little too loud?? My husband suggested a disco ball when he saw the material. lol They are pretty out there, but I love ‘em! I know they aren’t a choice everyone would make, but they suit me and I love to look at them. So here is what I did….

I bought 6 yards (I have NO clue how I came up with that – cause I need much, much more) The material is 48″ wide. I measured the curtains I already had hanging since I liked the length on them. 90″, so some quick match and that is 2.5 yards. (90″/36″ = 2.5 yds) So obviously my 6 yards was off..I don’t even have enough for 2 windows! Did I mention I paid 3.97 a yard for this stuff??? I will totally be going back for more.

But I digress, I cut my 2.5 yards, pressed it and then considered using hemming tape to get these done. Yes, that would be very easy. Almost too easy. BUT…I have a brand new sewing machine that I have to learn to use! So I hemmed the edges the old-fashioned way. I folded the material over approximately .25 of an inch. I pinned it down as I went and even ironed it so it would lay nice and flat.

Then I simply ran a straight stitch along the edges. Did I mention I don’t really know how to sew? Well, here are some good examples of things I did wrong/didn’t think of. I should have cut the material at 91 inches. Why? That seam allowance!

You can see in the pic that the patterned material is a little shorter. All-in-all not a big deal, but a little irritating for me. Oh and when I was sewing, this is what the back of my stitches looked like on that last panel…

From the research I have done, the thread tension was off. I will be taking that line out and re-sewing it. But I had to get them up!! I wanted to see if I was totally off with this fabric choice, or if I had really found what I was looking for.

I had those semi-sheer brown curtains up there before, and I actually cut those in half so I could layer up the curtains. I am kind of thinking the patterned material is too narrow, that maybe I should not have cut it in half. I may hang the piece I have left to see…but I wanted to live with them for a while before I moved forward. So what do you think??

I ended up making this little pin cushion while I was working on the panels. It was soooo easy to make and what a great help it has been!

Anyone else been window dressing? Window shopping? Or maybe you have your own version of peacock that appeals to you!

DIY ruffled pillow

I guess I have had a thing for pillows lately. All the Pinterest surfing has me really paying attention to pillows. I also love some re-purposing of items I already have on hand. Or really cheap ideas. Whichever, something crafty on a budget is what keeps me up at night (and a 16 month old, but what else do I have to do but “day”dream of pillows?). I saw this pin and this pin last week and figured, heck, I can do that. I have been needing to put my new sewing machine to the test and I had been given some valances that, although cute, just didn’t have a place in my house. Now onward with a tutorial of how I made my little ruffled pillow.

I didn’t take pics of the first steps, but it was pretty simple. I figured out how big I wanted my pillow to be, and cut out 2 panels(cut 3 if you want the front and back to have the same material). I then cut one of the panels into 2 inch strips. I took each strip and ran a long stitch down the center of it (no backstitching!) Once I had all the strips stitched, I started at one and held one of the pieces of thread while pushing up on the fabric. This started to bunch the fabric in little ruffles. I pushed mine pretty tight and stretched them as needed once I started laying them out on the pillow face. *one tip – use good thread! Cheap thread will break when you start pulling to ruffle it.* You can see in the pic below where I had all the pieces bunched up, and stretched the first out where I wanted it to fall.

Remember to leave about 1/2″ seam allowance. I let my strips overlap the allowance a little (not enough though, I ended up having to sew with about an inch seam allowance to catch-all the ends). Just watch when you pin them that you have the ends of your strips either all the way to the edge or sew overtop of the ends.

I pinned each ruffle down trying to keep the ends as straight as possible. I discovered while I was sewing them on that the most important step here is to make each strip’s first stitching line straight.

As you can see here, I just sewed each ruffle on by going over top that first stitch. As I went, I found that where the strips were not straight, I just unpinned, pinned them back and voila, easier to sew. If you look to the right of this photo, the edge ended up being 2 inches once I straightened out all of the ruffles and sewed them on. I just cut an inch off so that the whole piece would have the same seam allowance.

You can see that 2 inch side better in this pic.

And a little close up of the sewed on ruffles.

Here is what the back looks like…not really pretty, but no one will see it.

I also didn’t take pics of the next step. I didn’t use the same material to back the pillow. My bonus daughter had some old dress up clothes she was getting rid of, so I snagged a white dress out of it and used that for the back.

I placed the back piece and the ruffles face to face (front of the ruffles to what would show on the back of the pillow. Then I stitched all around the edges, leaving a small hole (maybe 4 inches) open to stuff the pillow fluff.

I actually sewed 3 sides and flipped it right side out to see how my edges looked and discovered that not all of the ends of my ruffles and made it into the inside of the pillow. So all I did was turn it inside out again and do another stitch a little further inside the first. You can trim extra material if you like. I did not.

I stuffed it, then turned the raw edges of that 4 inches I left open in and sewed it up on the sewing machine. Easy peasy. And I should note at this point… I don’t know how to sew. I am learning very, veerryy slowly.

Voila! Here you go…. one ruffled pillow!

And the back..

And here you can see how all of the ends of the ruffles are sewn inside. HHmmm little lumpy huh… needs some fluffing.

All done! My second pillow project complete!

Although it’s cute… I really don’t have a place for it in the house just yet still. I think I need to start working on pillows with a place in mind. But green is a good color, and I may work it in!

Anyone else been working on “pin” projects? Making pillows? Dreaming of pillows?

Place mat to pillow

I had seen this post over at The Country Chic Cottage about turning a simple place mat into a pillow. I mean, how cute? And how simple for this just.learning.how.to.sew girl. I was at Big Lots and saw a place mat that caught my eye. It had some colors I liked and was brighter than most I had seen. Oh and it was 2.99. Why not get it, right? So i brought it home…

The first thing I did was take my seam ripper and open up one of the edges. I chose a short edge for the obvious reason of not having to sew as much back up.

I grabbed a pillow I already had to check out the stuffing situation.

It’s nice and full here…

I’m not sure if you can tell from this picture, but it might have been a tad too full…like right after Christmas dinner is over, and you finished off that last bite of stuffing full. I decided to use the stuffing from another pillow I had on hand instead. It was much easier to pin it after putting less stuffing in it.

I pinned the seam I had opened up with a few pins about an inch or so away from the edge (sorry, I forgot to take a pic of that before I sewed it so I “reenacted” it).

Here is a close up…

And another… I really had to pay attention when I sewed this up, it was so full I had to be careful guiding it along that edge with all the stuffing in the way.

And all sewed up. I stitched the outside rather than flipping the fabric face to face and then sewing it all up, and then turning it right side out. The orignal stitching on the place mat was on the outside where you could see it, and I kind of liked that look. Plus it gave me a chance to try out some of the fancy stitching I could do on my machine.

Here it is looking all small and lonely on my couch.

So I moved it somewhere it fit a little better… (and you can see the fabric I am using to make another pillow cover!! A little sneak peek for you!)

Here it is… place mat-to-pillow

Anyone else upcycled something lately? I love some upcycling… share your ideas and projects!