Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Old T-shirt = New shorts = Happy kid

A couple of my kiddos seem to be sensitive to certain textures in clothing, and I was having a hard time finding shorts that were flexible enough for her activities an soft enough that she would wear them.

In comes Daddy's old t-shirts. My husband has several t-shirts that just had a few holes that made them unatractive but they still had so much reusable material. I felt I had to try to find some use for them before I threw them away, AND they were so soft from wear and washing it seemed like the perfect combination.

I started out by folding the old shirt in half so that the sleeves matched up. Then I took a pair of her pants that fit her and I folded them so the legs matched. I lined the fold of the pants up with the two side folds of the t-shirt and traced around the pants giving a 1/4" for seam allowance.

I chose to use the bottom hem of the t-shirt as the hem of the shorts so I adjusted the length of the legs accordingly.

I cut along the line through all the layers and ended up with two pieces that looked like this. Each of these pieces will be one leg of the pants. (Note the hem I left on the right side. On another pair the hem was coming out of the shirt so I ripped it out the rest of the way and left the raw edge. Since this type of fabric does not unravel it worked well, and the recipient of those short seemed to appreciate the effect)

Next I cut out the waist band out of the remainder of the shirt. To figure out the size of strips to cut I took her waist measurement (or where she would want the pants to ride) and divided it by 2. This was the length. I wanted the band to be about 2 inches wide and doubled so the strip for her pants were 11"X4" (On other pairs I have skipped this step and used 2" or 3" wide elastic and attached it in the same fashion. My kids have been happy with both results.)

I then took each leg folded in half, right sides together and, starting at the bottom hem, surged up the leg stopping at the crotch.

I turn one leg right side out, slide this leg inside the other (so right sides are together) line up the crotch front and back and match up the seams to both legs. This makes a "U" shape. I then surge along this "U".

I pull both legs right side out and, ta-da, shorts are almost done!

Now to just add the waist band. I surge the ends of my two strips together to make a loop.

I next fold the loop in half (right sides out) and press.

I pin the bottom of the waist band to the top of the shorts (right sides together) matching the sides and center front. The band may be smaller than the shorts top, but this is okay, I just focus on matching and pining the key points.

As I surge, I stretch the waist band to the side of the shorts. There is not much difference in this pair but the stretching makes them easier to pull on and off and fit nicely.

And we are done!

Unfortunately, I cannot find a picture with my kid wearing these. I'll work on that. However, I have now made a pair for each of my kids and they have requested more. They wear them for sports (gymnastics, boxing, etc.), as pajamas, or just around the house. Now I just need to find a t-shirt big enough to make myself a pair!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My New Purse

I have a tendency to trade out purses frequently. It is the way I clean out what I have and don't need. I had found this cute pattern on Pintrest and wanted to give it a try...but with a few of my own modifications. I love it so far. It was a bit trickier than I had thought it would be, and my machine might sew a nicer stitch after some service (when we move back to the states that is near the top of my list)but I am still pleased with the final results.

Warm and fuzzy home

We decided to welcome these little warm fuzzies into our home. Why you ask? What is the point? Well, each of these little pompoms represents a and act or behavior that showed love, respect, or kindness. The point is I'm trying to encourage good character. It works like this: When any one of my kids shows a good attitude, or behavior that I want to recognize (if it is something they always do, I may not want to point it out, but if it is something I know they struggle with, I will want to show praise) I give them a fuzzy to put in the jar. We are moving in a year so we are trying to see how many jars we can fill before then. What do they get when they fill a jar? Well, they get the pride and satisfaction of a job well done. Seriously, I want them to develop good character for themselves, not for a treat. They still like receiving and depositing these soft babies, and it is a fun colorful way for me to call attention to positive behaviors. My kiddos (5, 7, 9, and 11 years old) don't seem to really need much more than that.