Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Denim - Part 1

Faith's new denim ruffle skirt!

I finally got a better picture of her in it, than the jumping one I first got.

Girls denim ruffle skirt (size 5)

Sewing machine and supplies (scissors, rotary cutter, etc.)
Old pair of jeans
1/4 yard base fabric ( I had some blue, almost denim color, so it worked but it could be anything)
Elastic (if you are really green you can use your husbands old underwear for this, or elastic headbands...or Joann's)

Getting Started
Cut 2 trapezoids measuring 13 1/2 at the top (this is for the waist band), 13 long and at the bottom 19 in (this is the hem edge of the skirt)
Take your old denim and cut strips 3 1/2 in wide and for my jeans I cut about 6-7 strips.

1 - Take your base fabric (both trapezoids), with the right sides facing together sew side seams together (the 13in long sides)
2- Hem or turn up the bottom I have a wonderful foot on my machine that rolls the edge.
3- Press top edge down 1/2 in all the way around then fold down again 1 in, press and pin. (pictured)

4 - Sew 1/8 in from the edge all the way around leaving a 1 in gap to thread the elastic in. ~Later~

5 - Sew ruffles. I did 4 ruffles. I'll start from the bottom and work my way up. The bottom ruffle was 2 length (of my jeans we cut earlier) sewed together to measure about 40+ in long, the next ruffle was the same, the third one up was 1 1/2 lengths sewed together measuring about 30+ in long.. for the top ruffle I really loved the inseam of my jeans so I left that in. I also then alter layering the denim ruffles right side, wrong side, right side and then wrong side at the top so the inseam showed. (sure hope I'm making sense)

6 - Then I turned the edges (bottom of the ruffle) up 1/4 in and stitched it with some cute heavy duty pink thread.

7 - Gathering stitch. About 1/2 from the top edge I did a gathering stitch (basically the longest stitch your machine does) Make sure you don't back stitch one edge so you can gather it. To gather (make sure one side is back stitched or tie a few knots with the lose thread) on the other side, the non-back stitched side. Take one thread and pull while gently pushing the fabric down the thread toward the back stitched side. I can't tell you how many time I would break the thread trying to do it to fast or pull to hard so be patient it's a TV watching activity!

8 - Now you are ready to sew them on the base. I started at the bottom with one of the longer length ruffles so the ruffle was just longer than the skirt base. Try to keep it straight across the skirt. At the end where the ruffles came together I just stitched down the ruffle to join it ( I didn't turn it under or anything I think the fray is cute) The next ruffle edge I sewed so it coved the top of the previous ruffle (top) and then continued till I had the last ruffle on.

9 - Elastic I cut my elastic 18 in long. Then I threaded the elastic in the 1 in gap of the waistband (see previous picture). I made sure it laid straight then I pulled the ends out of the casing and stitched together. Then stitched across the 1 in opening to close. It's done and it's super cute!


Saturday, February 19, 2011


I'm not 100% sure where this idea came from but it evolved.. wanting to be green not being part of the whole consumerism or at least not as much, wanting to have more creative outlets or challenges and the last part so I can look cool with my kids! The idea is to make all or at least most of all gifts that our family gives for birthdays, holidays and/or any other reason you give gifts. It all kinda started when I had knee surgery and couldn't oh drive to get a gift, and when I could drive handling the kids, crutches, purse and a gift seems like way to much for me. So I had the bright idea to make them. I've made little girl aprons, knit frog and toad amigurumi dolls, knit star wars amigurumi dolls, cardboard star wars figures, art tots, cars tots, fabric dolls, personals bags (Thanks to my very amazing cuz and her great blog, knit scarves, beanies, booties, and more. Once I get a the hang of this whole blog thing I'll try and get some directions posted for some of the projects. For now heres a few pics.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What is the Basement?

Have a blog! Have a blog? that's my response. A blog and I don't even know what it is let alone how to have one. But I believe you find out how to do something by doing it. So here it is. I love creating and making, although I get bogged down with my "to do" list and responsibilities and lose my way. This blog is my accountability to all things creative.

So why the basement? Well that is an actually physical place where a relationship with an artist grew. I spent many a summer down in that basement learning my way around oil paints, perspective, canvas and photos. Discovering how to cast molds of old frames (which she "the artist" restored for museums), and discovering bolts of fabric or making just about anything.

So when thinking of a blog title, I didn't want a title that was too much art, sewing, cooking, homeschooling or what ever else I do or create. So, The Basement was the choice for me. I hope you enjoy this little collection of creative efforts that make up my life.