Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Easy How To Tuxedo Ruffle Tee Shirt

Don't tell Gabrielle. This is going to be one of her Christmas presents. It looks great with the turquoise velour pants and jacket that I got to coordinate.

Step one: Plan - I wanted the central row of ruffles to be 7" long, then a 6" row on either side, and then a 5" row on either side of those.

Step two: Cut bias strips. I made the strips 1.25" wide. The length of each strip is 2 times what you need the finished length to be.

Step three: Draw a line down the center of each strip.

Step four: Finish the edges of the strips. I just zig-zagged them.

Step five: Stitch 1/4" wide elastic to the wrong side of fabric, down the center of each strip. I used my new elastic foot that I got from http://www.creativesewingsolutions.com/ at Hancock for 1/2 off. Here is where you will use that line you drew to make sure the elastic goes down the center of the strips and doesn't stray. Keep the elastic stretched both in front of and behind the needle. Stretch it out as far as it will stretch as you zig-zag the length of your strips.

I am no good at getting even gathers unless I use elastic. This is what I use to gather skirts for tea party chairs too.

Step six: Pin in place on tee shirt. The edge of one ruffle will come right to the edge of elastic on the next row. This way you have fullness that you can fluff out after stitching them in place.

To stitch these in place, I am using small buttons and stitching one through the center of the ruffle (which will include the elastic) about every inch. I didn't have time to finish today because the kids have early dismissal at school, and I have to hide it now.

Love to see tuxedo ruffles popping up all over the place. That's one thing I missed all during the '90's - ruffles! Here are some great ruffles from other independent designers.

CalicoFlamingo Little Girls Ruffled Pants

Ruffled Fleece Sweater by Rebecca's Art Closet

Jacket by idea2lifestyle

Monday, November 24, 2008

Second Grade Lions

When I was in second grade, I made this ceramic lion. Granted, everyone's lions were pretty much the same. The only thing that differentiated them was the skill with which we cut out the pattern, drew the face, and painted the pieces. Why then, does my artistic second grader bring home this piece of junk?

My second grade lion hangs on a small wall in my kitchen. Unfortunately, this thing will only exist in photographic form right here. I know a woman who was cleaning out her attic, and upon finding an unknown object, innocently came down to ask her family, "Can somebody tell me, why we kept this piece of junk?" Her teenaged daughter replied, "Uhhh, because I made it?"

Art teachers, please listen. We want to keep their artwork, but we also want nice artwork to keep. I understand if the school can't fire ceramics for every child and this is the year to discover the third dimension, but don't send home a piece of foil, covered in something that looks like painted clay and no note. What were you thinking?

Polymer clay is awesome. We can cook it at home. The garland was totally my second grader's idea and execution. It hangs in the very narrow space between her bedroom door and her closet door, and adds the perfect splash of color. As you can see some of the loops broke. To fix that, next time, we will make half of the pieces loops and half of them "s" shapes. That way we can bake each piece individually and string them together afterwards.

Okay, I made the dog. But she made and decorated the base. I think second grade may be a bit early for sculpture.

There are a number of polymer clay artists on Etsy who sell really neat stuff you probably can't make with your kids yet. It gives you something to reach for though...

These last three photos (the reaching brooch, the funny charm bracelet, and the nativity scene) are actual things for sale. By clicking on them, you go directly to the different artists' shops. Enjoy!