Friday, July 8, 2011

Halter Top from an Old T-shirt

I love halter tops on babies. Just so cute! I mean, look from behind!
I was in the mood for making something the other night, but I wasn't sure what. So I dug around in my stash and found this shirt of Kyle's that I had saved. I figured with just a little girlification, it would be great to pass on to Eliza.

I followed this tutorial at The Green Wife as a basic guide for making my halter top.

First, I cut the front of the t-shirt:

Then, I cut a rectangle from the back of the shirt:

I folded down the top edge of the rectangle (opposite the hem) and stitched to make a casing. I used my water-soluble fabric pen to make a straight line to make sure I was stitching straight.
Then I threaded some 1/4" elastic through the casing and set it aside.
Next, I took a different shirt and cut three strips from it, about 2" wide. I folded them in half lengthwise, pressed, then opened them up and pressed each side toward the middle line. Then I folded it in half again and re-pressed. (Basically, making a sort of bias tape, except it wasn't actually cut on the bias.)

I cut one of the strips to about the same size as the top edge of the shirt and attached it like bias tape.

Then I took the remaining two strips and, starting at the underarm curve, pinned them to the front piece. I wasn't sure how long I needed the straps to be, so I left them as long as possible. I trimmed them later after I had tried the shirt on Eliza, although I left them a little long because I just love the big bow. Anyway, I stitched the entire length of the strip to attach it and make the straps.

Next I grabbed the back piece and figured out how tight I wanted the elastic to be. I don't have a measurement; I just guessed, and in hindsight, I probably should have made it a little tighter. Luckily, the sizing is very forgiving for this style of shirt. I tacked the elastic in place with a few stitches on each side.

Then I pinned the back piece to the front piece, right sides facing.

Finally, I stitched the side seams. I finished it off with a zig-zag stitch to make sure the seams were strong.

And I was finished! It was really easy!

Then, I decided she needed some matching shorts. I had plenty of fabric left over from the second t-shirt, so I made some simple shorts following this tutorial by the Sewing Dork on Brown Paper Packages (except, obviously, I made them shorts-length and didn't do the pocket or the apron). I didn't take pictures because her tutorial is wonderful. If you want to make pants or shorts, just use her tutorial. One thing that made the shorts super-fast to whip up was that I used the existing hem on the t-shirt as the hem for the shorts. 

But I couldn't leave well enough alone. I tried to leave the shorts plain, but something was bugging me. I finally appeased myself and added some little ruffle bows with buttons. Just enough of an extra something so they weren't completely plain.

Eliza wore the outfit to the amusement park yesterday. It was a hot day, but she stayed pretty comfy in her halter top. 

I think soon I'm going to make her another one out of a longer shirt, so it can be a dress. Won't that be cute?

OK, just one more picture, and then I'll stop. 

Until next time,


Viva Las Vegas (with a little craftiness mixed in too)


I went on a trip last week. You probably didn't even notice because I scheduled my posts ahead of time so they magically appeared even though I was completely cut off from computer access.

Where was I? I bet you can't even guess.

I went to Paris! 

No, just kidding. Here's another hint.

Las Vegas?! However did you guess? (I'm not very subtle, am I? Between the post title and the excessive neon lights and the famous sign, I hope you guessed Las Vegas. Because if you didn't, then that's really kind of sad.)

For the past 9 years, the hubbinator and I have made almost annual pilgrimages to the land of kitsch and Elvis impersonators. (We didn't go last year, but we went twice the year before.) This year was the "Troy's 40th Birthday/Our 10-year Wedding Anniversary Celebration and Extravaganza." Which really just means we splurged on rooms at Caesars Palace, where Troy has always wanted to stay. 

Caesars Palace was nice. At check-in, Troy mentioned that we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, and we got an upgrade to a room with a jacuzzi tub and a view of the strip. Score!
Our room was in the tower on the left. We could see the Bellagio's Dancing Waters from our window.
The weather was even nice while we were there. Sure, it was 104 when we landed, but it was a DRY heat. And Wednesday evening, it dropped to 70. I got goosebumps, people! In Vegas! Outdoors! In June! I know! (And when we landed in Minneapolis at 11:30 Thursday night, it was 91 degrees. 91 degrees in the middle of the freakin' night. And that was most certainly not a dry heat. It was a thick, humid, disgusting heat. I actually wished I could go back to Vegas to cool down.

We are very conservative gamblers. We play mostly the quarter video poker machines (and occasionally the nickels). We have a very anal-retentive effective system which allows us to never lose more than $10 at any given machine. Once we lose 10, we go somewhere else or at least switch to a different machine. It was a good thing we followed that system too, because luck was not on our sides AT ALL. It was almost comical how quickly we were capable of losing our money. Still, we were able to gamble at 31 different casinos over 5 days without losing nearly as much money as we budgeted to lose.

In between giving our money to the casinos, we did a lot of people-watching. Vegas never disappoints in that department. I noticed there were a lot more panhandlers, buskers, and street performers than usual. I guess that's a sad sign of the recession.

We also took in a magic show, played pinball at the Pinball Hall of Fame (it's off the strip, but it's worth the trip if you like pinball games), watched the Bellagio's Dancing Waters (one of my favorite Vegas activities), got an all-day pass to the buffets at Luxor and Excalibur, experienced Fremont Street, ate a lot of ice cream, and took a lot of pictures. We tried to see Big Elvis at Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon, but apparently he was on an emergency phone call and couldn't perform his regular show. (Big Elvis totally rocks, BTW. If you get the chance to see him, you really should.) We didn't make it to the Neon Boneyard this year, but that's another spot to check out if you every get the chance. 

But anyway... This is not a travel blog. It's a craft blog. And I promised you a little craftiness. So here it is.

The night before we left, as I was finally starting to pack, I discovered that I lost my mp3 player. This loss was (and is) a major bummer. After looking everywhere for it, I gave up. I was grumpy and sad. So to cheer myself up, I decided to do a craft. Here's what I made:

It's hard to see, but it's a luggage tag made out of Las Vegas fabric.  I used this tutorial: Sew4Home Luggage Tag. I made a few variations to their tutorial, mostly because the interfacing I had was really flimsy and it just wasn't working to sew it together like they said, so I ended up just sewing it together wrong sides together and then turning it. But it worked out in the end. 

I also thought I'd share some inspiration I found in Vegas. This cute little dress was at one of the boutiques.
I don't think I could replicate the embroidery (actually, I KNOW I can't replicate the embroidery), but I think I am loving the flowers and the straps with the big bow. So who knows, maybe you'll see a knock-off of this dress in the future.

This dress was at Anthropologie:

I'm loving the pintuck detailing (or pleating or whatever it is called) on the neckline plus the big bow at the waist. Another knock-off possibility?

And finally, check out the window display at Anthropologie:
Here is a closer look:

It's made out of security envelopes, cut open and then glued together to make rectangle blocks, then hung on string! Awesome! I have no idea what I would use it for--party decorations, maybe? I just thought it looked so cool. So I'm storing that idea away in my noggin.

By the way, we do have Anthropologie stores in Minnesota, but I have never been in one before. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

And I never did find my mp3 player. I had to go buy a new one. But at least I have most of my music stored on my computer, so I didn't lose any of that. And there's still hope that it will show up. The baby probably put it in some random kitchen drawer or something like that. Such a stinker!

Until next time,


EDITED 7/8/11: The mp3 player has been found. So you can all stop looking now. Weird thing is, I found it in a drawer where I looked a million times. Troy looked there too. It's a place where we often put the mp3 players. Then I opened it up today and there it was, right next to my new one. It was not there before. I know it. So I blame the blue people. They're always messing with my stuff. Now I have two mp3 players.