Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Side Tie Bloomers {Tutorial}

Hello out there. Yes It's been forever (a whole year!) and sorry to say I'm not really coming back, especially since I now have a little one to love. But I forgot I did have this post in the drafts almost finished. So remember the Picnic-check Bloomers J.Crew Knockoff? Since I got a request recently for the tutorial, here it is... finally. Hopefully someone will find this useful.

Although it's getting colder I thought these would be adorable layered with tights/leggings and little girl boots. Year round, bloomer cuteness!

This pair is actually smaller than the originals I made, because i didn't have my niece around the first time to double check. 

You will need:
  • Cotton Fabric (pre-washed, I think I used close to a yard)
  • Matching thread
  • Elastic 1/2" wide (for legs)
  • Elastic 3/4" wide (for waist)
Notes: Not included in each step is IRONING. Ironing your seams open and then the way they need to go makes a big difference in your finished garment. For these shorts I finished the raw edges of the seam allowances by trimming to 1/4" and zig-zag stitched (this prevents fraying). If you have a serger then of course that's even better.
  1. First you need to cut out a pattern. You can either trace your child's own shorts adding extra room for seam allowances, or measure your child and adapt this pattern like I did. Basically I added standard seam allowances 5/8" everywhere except the top and leg openings. Add 1/2" to bottom leg openings (for elastic casing). Also I created a side seam with 5/8" seam allowances. You need a side seam to insert the gathered tie.
  2. Once you adjust the pattern, pin it to the fabric with the arrow parallel to selvedge and fold. Cut!
  3. Cut 2 rectangles. Mine were 15" by 7" (can add length for larger shorts).  These are your ties. I cut mine on fold with length 7.5" (it will double).
  4. Gather one short end of each rectangle. Baste 1/4" from seam allowance and then again at the seam allowance. Pull the bobbin thread to gather. Should end up being around 5" on gathered end.
  5. Finish the two long edges of the ties (short edge will be finished later). Turn edge 1/4" press. Fold 1/4" again, press, stitch close to the fold.
  6. Pin & Sew back seam of bloomers together. Finish edges. Mark Back.
  7. Pin & Sew front seam of bloomers together. Finish edges.
  8. Pin & Sew crotch of front and back together. Finish edges.
  9. Pin gathered edge of ties to front sides 2" down from top edge. Be sure the right side of bloomers faces wrong side of tie. Sew 1/8" in from seam allowance (I sewed at 1/2").
  10. Sew side fronts to side backs, right sides together (be careful to keep end of ties out of the way). Finish edges.
  11. Create leg casings. Fold and iron 1/4". Fold and press 3/4" (for 1/2" wide elastic). Sew close to fold, be sure to leave opening for elastic (don't backstitch, pull through and knot). Do this for both leg openings.
  12. Measure & Cut 2 pieces of 1/2"wide elastic. Desired Length (leg) + 1". Insert with safety pin. Overlap ends of elastic by 1/2" (make sure it's not twisted) and secure by sewing in X pattern. Sew opening of casing closed (don't backstitch, pull threads through to wrong side of fabric and knot). Do this for both legs.
  13. Create Waistband casing. Fold top edge 1/4" press. Fold again 1" & press (for 3/4" wide elastic). Leaving opening, sew close to fold.
  14. Measure & Cut waistband elastic. Desired length (waist) + 1". Insert with safety pin. Overlap ends of elastic by 1/2" and secure with X pattern. Sew opening of casing closed (pull threads through and knot).
  15. Now just tie your rectangles/ties how you want them. If you need to shorten the ties (I didn't) untie them & cut (remember you need an extra 1/2" to finish edge). Once you like the length, finish the tie edges by turning 1/4" two times and sewing close to fold. You're done!
Just FYI in case you decide to use different sized elastic this is the general rule for making casings:
-Turn fabric under 1/4" then turn again your elastic width plus 1/4".

Let me know if you make them, I'd love to see yours!

I'm signing off for now, but if you have questions let me know and I'll respond now and then. Thanks for following!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls {With Cream Cheese Frosting}

It's October,  It's Fall, it's time for PUMPKIN. I love pumpkin everything, especially in the form of cinnamon rolls!

I first made this recipe a couple of years ago, they were really good but I wanted to continue to tweak it and try it with my fave, cream cheese frosting. Then I saw this recipe recently which looked delish, so I adapted the two for the recipe below.

I have to tell you something first though. I don't make homemade bread. In fact when I make just good ol' original cinnamon rolls I use this recipe. Yes that's right, it's sandra lee's semi homemade version using store bought bread dough. The recipe is so easy and tastes really similar to Cinnabon. So I really have no need to deal with making originals from scratch.  But because I haven't found pumpkin bread dough at the store, these babies must be made by scratch. But in reality it's not that bad and they've turned out great each time. Basically I'm saying if I can do it so can you. Okay I'm done rambling...

Just out of the oven Mmmmm...
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting


1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 C warm water
1/3 C milk (room temp)
3/4 C pumpkin (canned)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 T. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
4-5 C. bread flour

3 T. softened butter 
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/16 tsp. cloves (or a just a little bit)

Cream Cheese Frosting-
4 oz. cream cheese

1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. powdered sugar


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm (not hot) water. Wait 5 minutes. Add milk, pumpkin, egg, sugar, butter, salt, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and mix well.
  2. Slowly add flour one cup at a time until dough forms (I used 4 cups). Turn dough into greased bowl. Cover and set in warm place to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down dough and let rest for 5 more minutes. Roll dough into a 12"by 16" rectangle.
  4. Filling: Brush dough with softened butter. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Sprinkle the dough with mixture.
  5. Starting with the long side, roll up dough, pinch seams to seal. Cut roll with sharp serrated knife into 15-16 rolls. (I do 16). Place rolls, cut side up in greased pans. I either use my 9X13 (12 rolls) and my small pan (4 rolls), or I use my two round cake pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 min.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. While the rolls are baking beat the cream cheese and butter together in mixer, add vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. You can use enough sugar until get desired sweetness (I use 1 C.). Frost the rolls while warm. Devour!
You probably all know these things but here's what little tips/info I have:

  • I use my kitchen aid bread hook to make/form/knead the dough, thank you whoever invented it.
  • I turn my oven on very low for a bit until its warm, turn it off, and then put the dough in there to get it to rise faster.
  • I looked up why you need to "punch" the dough down. I don't entirely know why, but I liked where I read somewhere that you're "degassing it." Anyways you don't actually "punch," you just push it down gently with your fist a few times to release the CO2.
  • I spray the top of my dough with oil after I've punched it down to get it greased a bit so it doesn't stick when I dump it on the counter.
  • I cut my rolls using sewing thread. Just put it underneath, cross the ends on top, and pull. Perfect every time.
  • If making them the night before, after you put the rolls in the pans you can cover them and put them in the fridge. In the morning let them rise and then bake. They will need to get to room temp/warm again to rise.

Let me know if you give them a try. I know they take some time but the end result is so very worth it :)

linking to:
whipperberry, Tatertots & Jello, bedifferentactnormal

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Striped Distraction Skirt

Sometimes I just need to see the end result of, like hours fast. One of the projects I've been working on is far from that. Slowly but surely I've come to the point where I am just about done. But for some reason I just can't seem to finish it. Look, It's pinned and ready for the next step!
I'm working with this gorgeous fabric and I love seeing the progress but still sometimes I just need something to be done quickly. Can you tell how patient I am? ;) 

So after seeing this striped skirt here I got the urge to just sew and finish something today. I recently went through my undershirts and had a pile of oldies just laying there. I grabbed one black and one cream and went to work to recreate that skirt I'd seen. So with no further ado after being distracted once again from my other project here it is...
Fitted, Stretchy, Cute, and... FAST!
Okay on to finishing the other projects...