Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vest Tutorial

Here's where I found my inspiration.

Cut the shirt down the middle, both directions.  (I pinned the shirt to the carpet and used a pencil to draw my lines.) 

Round the bottom corners.  Then, cut off the neck hem.

Use the same or an alternative fabric to create the ruffle.  I used a pencil for my lines.  (In other projects I have used a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.) 

Hem the fabric you plan to use for the ruffle.  Ruffle said fabric.  Use a gathering stitch to make the ruffle.  See tutorial here.  Sew the ruffle to the 'vest.'  Sew a reinforcing stitch. 

And you are good to go.

Melissa Culver

'E' Purse and Oops

I modified the technique slightly (from the last post) to create this purse:

For this one, I sewed THROUGH the paper.  I then tore the paper off when I was done.  After thinking more about this I came up with another great idea (we'll see if I get to that idea some day).

And when I made a third one...

Looks great, right?  Well actually I sewed the letter on incorrectly.  I had to rip all the seams and sew it on the right way.  Take it from me: double check that the placement of your letter is correct BEFORE you sew it on.  Oh, and another important note: make sure you are using the right letter.  The only reason I have an E purse is because I thought her name was Elise and in actuality her name is Alise.  So, if you want an E purse, name your price and it's yours.  Just comment me.  It's that simple.

Giggles and Smiles,
Melissa Culver

'M' Purse

This and the next post are similar, but with a mildly different look I felt like two posts are ok for this.  And my technique was a pinch different as well.

Using your computer print out any letter you want in any font and in any size.  Cut the letter out.  Pin it to your fabric.  I chose to double my fabric for this. Sew the two layers of fabric together.

I used a glue stick to temporarily adhere my letter to my purse.  You can use temporary fabric glue in a spray if you wish, but this is far less expensive and may already be in your home.

You are then ready to sew it onto your purse.  I chose to sew it on before sewing the entire thing together.  It was much easier for me to work with and I LOVED that you couldn't see the stitching on the inner wall of the purse.

Inner and outer layers get ironed and pinned.  Handles get put into place.  Sew twice around the top and you are ready to go.

Melissa Culver


My amazing six-year-old tied himself up in my tape measure and couldn't easily get himself out.  And so he took a pair of scissors and cut himself out of the mess he created.  And it shouldn't surprise me.  At the age of four he cut the garment tag off of some pajamas because he put them on backwards.  Instead of taking the shirt off and turning it around he cut the tag off.  Seriously.

And so, I am VERY thankful that I happen to have a second tape measure.

Enjoy the silliness that may come with this adventure.

Sew happy,
Melissa Culver

Purse Tutorial -- Two

My last tutorial showed ruffle flowers.  This one will show yo yo's.  If you haven't worked with yo yo's before you can find detailed instructions here.  Wanna find some cute ways to use 'em?  Go here for starters.  Search her blog you'll find more cute ways to use 'em.

I put some on a purse.  And this is how it turned out:

Sew happy,
Melissa Culver

Purse Tutorial -- One

Here's my first purse tutorial.  I'm leaving out the core instructions on the body of purse-making.  If you want my measurements or more details, please leave a comment below and I can post those for you.

First purse:

The detail work for the flower you can see here on this blog.  She has more than one tutorial on this.  Search the blog for more if needed, or comment below and I can post one myself.

When sewing in small areas it is nice of the lower portion of your machine can come off.  Mine can, completely (the picture doesn't convey that well).  It makes sewing blissful and beautiful.

The ruffle flower all over again.  This time it's much bigger.

And a coordinating smaller purse to go with it.

Sew happy,
Melissa Culver

Monday, July 26, 2010


If we aren't connected on Facebook yet, feel free to connect with me using this link:

Melissa Culver

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet And Sour Meatballs

I use this recipe often.  They're awesome and they're gone.  Wanna try it?  Here ya go:
You should be able to click on that to read it more clearly.

Frankly, I omit several of those ingredients.  I just use meatballs, sweet and sour sauce, pineapple, and peppers.  That's it.  I only keep the recipe around to remind myself what temperature and for how long.

I used these peppers.  They were free from a friend.  I love cooking with free.  Free is awesome.

I used the pineapple juice from the can to rinse out the remaining sauce.  I poured it all into the crock pot.

And these are the meatballs I used.

And this is how it looked as it began to cook.  I serve it with rice.  It's awesome.

And there ya have it,
Melissa Culver

Once A Shirt Now A Dress

I took a shirt I no longer wear and turned it into a summer dress for my daughter.  Here's how I did it.

I used one of her dresses as the pattern in order to get the proportions correct.

I then cut out the body of her dress from my shirt.  I'm sure I used a pencil to draw out where to cut with my scissors.

Next, I cut sleeves from the sleeves.  I used a piece of paper as my guide.

Next, I sewed the sleeves to the body of the dress (right sides together).

Then I pinned the side seams together in order to sew them together.

Lastly, I added some scrap fabric to the v portion of the neck as it scooped too low (no picture).

And there you have it.  A cute dress for my little four-year-old.

Melissa Culver