Thursday, January 30, 2014

A bit of change for the blog

So I decided that I wanted to make this blog more about us, instead of just me. So I changed the name of the blog. *Sidenote: Sometimes I forget that Atherton hasn't always been my last name. That is, until someone says "Davis" and I automatically turn. Crazy how that can happen so fast. Now, back to the topic at hand. This blog. I changed it to accommodate OUR life because I have a wonderful husband! Have I mentioned that lately? Because I do. He is fantastic and I couldn't be happier. We celebrated our 1 year anniversary in December. Crazy. In a good way, though. Currently we are both in school (Graham will start Nursing School this fall, and I am graduating this December), and working as hard as we can to survive. Since I'm taking 19 hours this semester I had to take a step back as far as working goes. However, I have been blessed with many great opportunities to babysit to add to our income. Plus, added bonus, little kids are awesome!

Today will be a picture day. So here are some of my favorite pictures from the past year (or so...Wedding photo from our reception included). Notice how the hair gets shorter? I chopped mine off and he buzzed his. Now we are both working on growing our hair back out. I miss my long hair. And I know Graham misses his longer hair as well.



Aren't we just the cutest couple you've ever seen? I love pictures. I especially love printing them out and having them in photo albums to look through. *I go through the pictures on the computer a few times a year and pick my favorites to print* 

Now for the nerd tidbit. So for Christmas I got Harry Potter Film Wizardry from my mother-in-law, and I love it. So many great tidbits of information! Like, for instance, it was Director Mike Newell's (director of GOF) decision to have Flitwick's character dramatically change. In the third film, Warwick Davis was supposed to be playing a new character (choir director) and not just being Flitwick directing a song. I always blamed Alfonso CuarĂ³n (director of POA) for that change. I learned something new. Now I place the blame on someone else for changing the way one of the teachers looked so drastically! But in all reality: great book. Lots of fun inserts (including a Quidditch World Cup program!), and great interviews with the production team as well as the cast. It's awesome!

As always,

From Marissa, with love. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

T-shirt Dress Tutorial

Wow, I have been seriously slacking! I will catch up on life, how running is going (I'll give you a hint, Graham and I are both nursing injured knees!), and other random things in my next post. Hopefully I can knock that one out tonight too.

My finished product! I love it :)
So first for the tshirt dress tutorial. There are lots of these all over the internet, and thanks to Pinterest many of them are readily available. I found some of them difficult for me to understand fully as a new sewer, and I learned lots of things by trying things out and referring back to the posts often. With that being said, I wanted to come up with my own tutorial. Mostly so I can come back here and see something in my own words, so I know it will be easy enough for me to interpret! And hopefully someone else can benefit from it as well. I've got lots of pictures, so bear with me and scroll through them.

Fabric Needed: 1-1+1/2 yards depending on how long/full you want the skirt portion to be.
1. To get your fabric pieces:

  • For the waistband: Measure your waist (allowing 1-2 in. seam allowance), and divide by 2. Cut two pieces of fabric this length and 4-5 in. wide (depending on how wide you want the waistband to be). For me, I cut two pieces that were 15 in by 5 in. (Waist measurement of 28" with 2" added for seams) *You could also just cut one piece and have only one seam at the back, instead of two on the sides
  • For the skirt portion: Depending on how full you want the skirt to be, you will take your waist measurement and either double it, or increase it by 1.5. For the length, decide how long you want the skirt to be (either by having someone measure the length on you, or measure the length of a skirt you already own). To be safe, I added in about 2-3 in. for hemming. I wanted this dress to come past my knee so keep me warmer in the winter months! So for me, I cut the main piece of fabric to be 40" x 30". 
2. Start sewing! I started by sewing around all of the edges. Of every piece of fabric. Depending on the type of fabric you choose, you can skip this step. But if it is going to fray, sewing around is a quick and easy solution! I like to fold down the fabric twice (shown in pictures) and pin it in place before sewing around. You can also iron the fabric or just fold it down as you go. 

See that fraying that's already happening?!
Fold #1
Fold #2 and pin!
Don't even worry about pulling the pins out until you finish!

What it will look like on the outside when you finish this step
3. Sew the waistband together. Place right sides together and sew a zigzag stitch. (if you need to cut off any extra length, do that before sewing the other sides together. You'll have a nice circle of fabric)
Comparison for sewn waistband and before the sewing around the outside
See that zigzag? You can iron down the seam if it bugs ya.

 4. Sew the seam for the skirt portion. Because there is only one seam, it's easy! Use the same method that you do for the waistband.

5. Pin waistband to skirt portion. This part is tricky. Start by matching the seams where you want them to align on the skirt (because my waistband had two seams, I wanted them to fall on the sides of the dress at the end. If you do the waistband with only one seam, line that up with the seam for the skirt portion) and pin. Then find the midpoint between your pins and pin again. This will be different lengths on the two pieces because you are going for a fuller look. So find the midpoint of the waistband and the midpoint of the skirt separately and then pin them together. Continue with this until you have about 8 pins in (you can do more if you want) **Note: when pinning, you want to make sure the fabric will be showing correctly when it is finished. A quick way to check is to put a few pins in and then flip up the waistband and look at it from the "outside view." If it looks how you want with the seam on the inside, you're good to go!** (Also, the fabric I used was gorgeous on both sides, so I used the "back" as my waistband. So in the pictures there are lots of stripes, but I hope you can tell what's going on)

Finding the points to pin 
6. Sew! As you go, you want to gather the skirt fabric so that when you reach each pin, the fabrics are "matched up." I was not perfect at doing this, but it got easier as I went! I recommend just going slow to get a feel for it as you start sewing around the skirt.

See how the bottom layer is bunching up? That's what you want!
7. Now for the tshirt part of the tutorial. I used a vneck that I already had. It had a small hole in the bottom of the shirt, so using it for this dress kept me from throwing it out. Put the shirt on and mark where you want the skirt portion to start. Make the cut! I then quickly sewed around the edge with the tactic mentioned early, only I skipped the pins this time (I was getting lazy...)

Cut that shirt up! It's okay if it's not perfect because a skirt will be attached!

Sewing around to prevent fraying
 8. Sew your shirt and skirt together. This part was also tricky for me. I probably spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to pin them together so they would come out correctly! What I finally discovered was this: turn your shirt inside out and place over the skirt. See the tag on the shirt in my picture? It lined up with the seam for the back of my skirt. The skirt stays right side out. Pin the waistband to the shirt and sew! As you go you'll stretch the fabric a bit to make sure it all falls together evenly.
I know, I know. More pinning!
 9. Almost done! Sew your hem after trying it on. This step is really optional because you will have already sewn around the bottom of the dress to prevent fraying. But if it's not the length you want it, cut/fold and sew it where you want it!

I loved the way this dress turned out, and I love wearing it! It's extremely comfy, and you don't need any elastic or zippers! It just goes on over your head like you would do for the shirt normally. The fabric I chose to use was a knit fabric so it was super soft but also a bit heavy. I noticed as it was hanging in my closet that it seemed to be stretching out the shirt portion, so I hung it on the hanger like you would do for pants (but on a normal hanger--you know, where it folds in the middle over the bottom part of the hanger?).

Another picture of this beauty (The dress!) 

 ALSO! I made a super easy infinity scarf with the extra fabric from this project. I had a rectangle of fabric left over so I just sewed around the edges to prevent fraying and sewed one seam. Wrap it around your neck and you're done. Super easy! (The version pictured was actually the Nursing Scarf I made for my sister-in-law. Same idea, just with 1 yard of fabric so that it will cover her and her baby nicely)

So easy and cute! 

So in determining what to close out this post with, a quote from The Hobbit just came to mind (the movie version, anyway). I just thought of Bilbo running through The Shire shouting "I'm going on an adventure!" It's my favorite phrase currently. Because life is an adventure. And I love it.

Until next time,

From Marissa, with love.