Tuesday Tutorial, how to make a crib skirt

Happy 2015 friends!! One of my new year’s resolutions was to be a better blogger. Seeing as today is the 20th of January, you can see how well I’m doing with my resolutions… One thing I want to start in the new year is Tutorial Tuesday, where I give you step by step directions on how to complete a project. I won’t promise that this will happen every Tuesday, but I’ll do my best to post a couple tutorials a month. The first tutorial is how to make a crib skirt.

The first thing you need to do is measure your crib mattress. They vary in size slightly, but it should measure somewhere around 28″ wide and 52″ long. The next thing you need to do is determine how long you want to make your skirt. If you’re a first time mom, you probably aren’t thinking that you’ll adjust your crib height as your baby grows and starts sitting up, and then standing. I didn’t, and when I made a crib skirt for my son’s nursery a few years ago, I made it touch the floor and then a few months later it was too long. I recently made a crib skirt for my childhood best friend’s new baby and I made her’s 14″ long. (This tutorial can easily be adjusted to make a bedskirt for any size).

For this crib skirt, I used home decor fabric which measured 56″ wide. The home decor fabric was heavy enough weight that I didn’t need to line it, AND wide enough that I was able to buy less yardage. I purchased 2 yards, but could have gotten away with only 1.5. I also bought a piece of cheap white fabric to use as the base that lays under the mattress. Nobody will see it, so feel free to use a scrap of something leftover from a previous project.

Now that you have your measurements, cut your pieces to size, leaving an inch clearance on the two sides and bottom, and a half inch seam allowance on the top. I folded over the sides and ironed, and then folded again to hide the raw edge of the fabric and sewed.

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Next, I repeated the same step with the bottom hem of the fabric. I snipped the corners at an angle and sewed. Repeat this with all 4 side panel pieces.

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Now, your’e ready to attach the pieces to your base, which should be cut the exact size of your crib mattress. I used a serger to attach my fabric pieces because I wanted a finished look. If you do not have a serger, a zig zag stitch will work just fine. I promise you, nobody will ever see this, and chances are, you won’t be washing the crib skirt, so you have very little chance of it fraying. Once you’ve sewn all for sides, iron them flat, and ta-da!!

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You can get as fancy as you want to with your crib skirt. Here is the finished product on the crib. I also made a chevron quilt for this nursery, and I’ll post about that on another Tuesday tutorial. For my son’s crib skirt, I added a stripe across the bottom. To make this adjustment, just account for how wide you want the stripe and subtract that from the length of your other fabric.

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I hope that this tutorial was helpful. I’d love your feedback or to see completed pictures of crib skirts you make. Please check out some of my other tutorials.

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Jersey Knit Pajama Pants, tutorial

Earlier this spring, I purchased a serger. I justified this purchase by telling my husband I could start making clothing items for Zac and to list on Etsy. Easier said than done… Well, last month I ordered him a pair of jersey knit lounge pants from another Etsy shop and I made a shirt to match.20140806-072315-26595662.jpg

After looking at the pants and others we have here, I realized that I needed to bite the bullet. There are lots of sellers that make embroidered and appliquéd shirts, sellers that make pants, but few that do both.

I searched and searched for a pattern to make the pants and came up empty handed. So, I decided to make my own. I cut up an old pair of Christmas pajama pants and saw that this wouldn’t be as difficult as I thought.

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Looking at a pair of existing pants was incredibly helpful. I serged the legs of each piece of fabric, and then (carefully) pieced the two together and stitched the front/back/crotch together. Word to the wise: the serger will cut through straight pins, so remove them as you sew (lesson learned the hard way).

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Next up was the waste and leg cuffs. I cut 7 inches of the polkadot fabric, folded it over and serged the seam. I measured the waistband of another pair of Zac’s pants and serged one to match. I did the same with the leg cuffs.

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I was so anxious to finish at this point that my last pictures were taken after the fact. I lined up the waste (seam in the back) and serged that on, pulling it tight as I went. I repeated that with the legs, making sure the seam lined up with the inside seam of the pants.

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I designed the shirt to match and used some of the polkadot fabric from the pants too. I am in love with this set and I can’t wait to make more!! I am working on making a downloadable pattern for the blog, so check back soon. Until then, don’t be afraid to cut up a pair of pants and make your own!! For those who don’t sew, this set will be listed on Etsy soon.

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My model was less than cooperative…

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Upholstered Headboard, revisited

I realized today that I never updated the blog with the completed upholstered headboard. To give it a finished touch, I hammered in bronze furniture nails. Easier said than done… I’m not sure if it was the plywood, the nails, my lack of muscle, or (most likely) a combination of the three, but this took FOREVER!

I realized quickly that I lack the ability to eyeball a straight line, so I used my water soluble embroidery pen and a straight edge to make a guide. I then used my thumb to space out the nails. The burlap was forgiving and hid all the holes from the many (MANY) nails that needed to be removed. Most nails would go in fine until at first and then bend. After the fact, I talked with a friend who does this often and said she pre-drills holes.

So here it is- the good, the bad, and the ugly. No blood was shed during this project, so I consider that a win, and I love the finished product, but I’n in no rush to use finishing nails again.

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New Pillows

I recovered the chair in our front sitting room (which is quickly becoming a playroom…), and quickly realized that my green pillows on the sofa didn’t match. What is a girl to do?? I went back and forth on whether I should use the same fabric from the chair to cover the pillows, and when that was on backorder, my decision was easy. I choose a coordinating print and I am oh so glad I did. I had a rectangle piece of chair fabric left and decided to use that for a third pillow and I love the asymmetricalness (yep, just made up a word). So, here it is-

 

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The Tale of 3 Chairs…

It all started because the chair in our front room needed help. I recovered that chair myself 7 years ago, and 2 dogs and a toddler were more than it could handle. Recovering that chair was one of the toughest sewing projects I’ve taken on, and I really had no desire to do it again, so I sent off to find myself a new (already covered) chair. I purchased the vintage rocker, but when I brought it home I didn’t like how the colors looked with the curtains. Curtains are expensive to buy, even more expensive to make yourself, and so that’s when I decided to switch up everything. The rocker went upstairs into the guest room which was getting made over anyways, and I decided to bring the chair that was upstairs down into the front living room. Those colors didn’t match either, so I faced my fears and recovered it to match.

One mistake I made with the original chair was not using a sturdy enough home decor fabric. The fabric I used this time is almost canvas like, and I think it will withstand the day-to-day tortures of our household. This chair doesn’t have arms, and as you can see- it’s a very simple design. I was able to recover this in the 2 hours my son napped. Next up on the agenda is to make pillows for our couch with the same fabric. The jury’s still out on what to do with the original chair. Currently it’s in our family room. I am considering recovering it again… Never say never, right?

 

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Guest Room Makeover, update

Tuesday night I set off to paint the room. My husband warned me it would need to be primed first. I like to take shortcuts that ultimately take me more time than had I just done things the right way first, so I didn’t listen to him. He was right, I was wrong, and Tuesday night was a disaster. 4 coats of paint and it still looked like crap.

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Wednesday morning I went back to Home Depot. I showed my picture to the guy at the paint counter and he confirmed what I already knew- I needed primer. I wasted so much paint the night before, I needed to buy another gallon and took a risk on a new color. I bought more paint trays,- new brush, and $60+ later was on my way home.

I primed during nap-time, and painted after Zac went to bed. Primer was definitely the right decision. This morning I put the room back together and am in love. The chair that was in this room before is now in my front sitting room and I plan to recover that next week. Wish me luck with that!

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DIY fabric lampshade

I am almost embarrassed at how easy this is to do, and am questioning if this is blog worthy. But, a few years ago I didn’t realize this was possible, so maybe I can inspire someone else out there. In the summer of 2011, I was pregnant with my son. His nursery is decorated in sock monkeys. I spent that summer making his crib bedding and decorating his nursery before I returned to teaching in the fall. As I was adding the finishing touches to his room, I decided I wanted a sock monkey lamp. Now, I’m sure today that would be easy to find, but a few years ago, sock monkeys weren’t as abundant as they are today. I’d like to think I inspired their comeback, but that probably isn’t the case. Anyhow, I had leftover fabric from his quilt, and decided, “what the heck”. Searching the craft aisle at Walmart, I came across this-

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Messy? YES! But, it does the job, and 3 years later, his lampshade still looks as good as new.

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OK, back to the current project. Thanks to winning the “end of bolt JACKPOT” at fabric.com, I had extra of the aqua paisley fabric used for the throw pillows on the bed. I purchased the lamp base ($19.99) and the shade ($9.99) from Lowes.

First, I ironed the fabric to remove the wrinkles, and then I layer that flat on my work surface and put the shade in the middle. I used 2 clothes pins to make sure that the fabric would fit around the shade and all areas would be covered. Then, I sprayed a small section of the shade with the spray adhesive and used my hand to press the fabric secure. I worked my way around the shade until the ends of the fabric were almost touching.

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Next, I cut one side even and sprayed that down flat. Then, I carried the whole thing over to my ironing board and ironed the second end to hide the raw edge. On my son’s lamp I didn’t do this, and it looks fine, but I wanted this to look a little nicer. When the edge was ironed, I sprayed that down.

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Next, I cut around the top of the lampshade leaving between .5 and 1 inch clearance. Once that was cut, I sprayed in sections and folded that edge over. I repeated the process for the bottom of the shade, again leaving between .5 and 1 inch. Not sure why, but this is where my hands got REALLY messy.

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FYI- soap did nothing to get the mess off my hands. I ended up putting some rubbing alcohol on a towel and that helped get the goop off. I then washed again (and again) with warm soapy water. But, the mess was worth it. I am really happy with how this turned out. It looks great in the room. I can’t wait to get the room painted and see it 100% finished. Well, not 100%… I still plan to add the decorative nails to the headboard, and the jury is still out as to what to do for window treatments.

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