Sunday, March 6, 2011

prepping for warmer weather: free skirts and yummy no hassle breakfast

When I started sewing, I did it all by hand. I didn't have a sewing machine until a little over a year ago and I am loving it!  I've done so many jobs by hand that took me hours that could have been finished in minutes with a machine! I started with small jobs of appliquéing a canvas bag, and napkins to larger jobs like making play capes for little boys. As soon as I got a sewing machine the first thing I made (besides more napkins) was a skirt. I will share that pattern later.
I hope to share the little things that helped me and that I learn along the way.
For now I want to share a very easy project. This is great for a little girl or even yourself!

What you'll need is a pair of jeans, preferably ones that don't fit well length wise or that the knees are worn out
Other choice of material
sewing machine
measuring tape

First cut the jeans right about the crotch. I like to cut them face down to pay attention to the back pockets which helps to cut more evenly and that I don't cut into the pockets.

Measure the length of the denim and then how long you want it to be. The difference is how long the other material needs to be plus and inch for hemming and seam allowance.  Here I used an old bed sheet that was already hemmed.
For the width, measure the width of the bottom of the denim and do somewhere near, but not over, double that number. For example, this skirt was measured 26in. I didn't want it too full so I cut it to about 46in wide. I folded the material in half and measure it 23 x 9in.
If you want to add any ribbon or trim it's good to do that now.
Sew the two short ends together with the right sides facing. Making it a complete circle.

Next at 1/4in from the top of other material do a running stitch (big stitch with out sewing it off at either end) all the way around the top. I like to start at the seam I just made.
Then hold on to one string, the start or finish, and pull the material along the the string to gather it.  Keep gathering and spreading so as to evenly distribute material. I like to do it one side at a time, from the starting string and then from the finishing string, until it all measures the same as the bottom of the jeans. The first time I did this it took me forever. I still don't like to do it but it's getting easier and faster.

Now you need to pin the "skirt" to the jeans. This ensures that your gathers stay relatively well distributed and that you have gathered it to the right amount.  You  can pin with right sides facing and the bottom of the jeans matching with the top of the skirt so that you have no raw edges. That is definitely the easiest way to do it. I'm kinda liking some raw edges and wanted to try something different, so I pinned the skirt right on top of the jeans so some unraveling will be seen. I did find it easier to put it around then end of the ironing board.

Then simply sew around the skirt, removing pins as you go. If it all lines up right then you sew around again and you're done!  This skirt was made from old jeans and an old bed linen. To olds made a "new"! That's like getting it for free- right!?

The other favorite I'd like to share is granola bars. I reverted to this when I was nursing my son and had a VERY limited diet. I was eating oatmeal for breakfast and desperately wanted something different so I made wheat, dairy and corn free granola bars. I based it all off  of this recipe.
I used either soy margarine or coconut oil for the butter, and added in coconut for the sunflower kernels,  flax seed for the wheat germ, dairy free dark chocolate (chopped up Baker's Dark chocolate) for the chocolate chips, and chopped up pecans and walnuts instead of raisins. It's such a versatile recipe!
I've made some more recently and they are always so delicious!  They are easy to throw together and if you do it the night before then you have breakfast for in the morning, especially great if you know you're not going to have time to cook!


  1. Awesome, this looks like something I can definitely do. Thank you so much for sharing! I look forward to that pattern ;) I found a pattern for a 3 tiered ruffle skirt for little girls on etsy and I really think I want to try that. I just need the time to sew. But not likely with the new baby on the way, huh? Oh well, eventually.

  2. I LOVE the skirt! So super cute! I wish I could sew.

  3. Heather- you could totally do this!

    Anna- I will share my tiered skirt method soon.