Friday, August 22, 2014

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

Ok so you all probably know by now that my (Jessica's) daughter got her very own American Girl doll for Christmas last year. And you probably know this due to the obsessive amount of posts on sewing clothing for dolls around that time. Today isn't going to be any different, sorry! But since it's been a while I figured I could finally bust another one out. I'm going to show you how to make doll leggings using baby leggings, which as it turns out is the easiest refashion ever!

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

You need to start out with a pair of baby pants. Usually 0-3 month or Newborn pants work best. You can look for some with tiny details you can incorporate into your doll clothes, like the little ruffle on the pants below:

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

The pants I started out with are a size 0-3 m. For the record, this is almost too big, newborn pants work better.

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

1. Try your pants on your doll. The leg seam should be just about perfect or this tutorial won't work very well!
2.  Cut off the original waistband.
3. Put your pants on your doll, and pin up the outside of the leg so that the pants are tight enough to be leggings.
4. Lay your pants out flat and make sure there are no major wrinkles where you have pinned off your new seams.

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

5. Sew your new seams using a zig zag stitch.
6. Trim your new side seams Measure how much of the waistband needs to be cut off in order to make the waistband fit your doll. With these pants I needed to take off about an inch at the top, so I pinned it where it needed to be cut.
7. Make sure when you cut your waistband you trim your side seams! This way they don't stick up and make weird ridges on your doll's legs.
8. Cut out your waistband, a little lower in the front then in the back!

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

9. Now you're going to use 3/4 inch elastic to make a waistband for your doll pants. Take your elastic and measure around
10. Sew your elastic together, then sew the ends down. You can see a more detailed tutorial for this here.
11. Pin your elastic to the newly cut waistband of the pants, with the elastic on the outside of the raw edge of your fabric.
12. Sew your waistband in with a zig zag stitch!

**Now you could stop there if you wanted to, basically your doll pants are finished! But I am obsessive about details and so I added steps 13-16 below:

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

13. First, I noticed this super cute little pink bow on the part of the original waistband that I removed.
14. I used my seam ripper to VERY carefully take it off.
15. Then I placed it on the front of my new doll pants, just where it was on the original pants.
16. I sewed the bow down on either side very carefully. I feel it's details like this that make for a professional looking final product.

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

Yay! Now you have finished pants! This project actually took about ten times longer to write then it did to do. I managed to make about 6 pairs of these for my daughter's doll in about an hour.

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial
And I also managed to find this top that actually matched the pants! The top was in a newborn size, which meant that to make it fit a doll all I had to do was take it in on the sides about an inch!

18 inch doll leggings from baby pants sewing tutorial

I hope you guys enjoyed this fun tutorial, and if you want to see more sewing tutorials from us you can always check those out here!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Clean Your Microwave (Easily!) without Chemicals

In general, Jessica and I love natural cleaners.  We love that they are often much cheaper to make (hello one cent per load laundry detergent!), and they are less harsh on the nose and our hands!  When it comes to our kitchens, we always use natural cleaners because we don't want our little ones to grab food off a counter that has chemical residue on it.

Several months ago, Jessica shared her technique for cleaning out her microwave naturally where she used a combination of lemon juice and vinegar.  I'm not a huge vinegar fan (the smell is not great) and my mom doesn't like using it either (especially if you are heating it up, it can be intense!).  So I use one ingredient to clean my microwave and I thought I'd share it with you!

Here's the step-by-step, but first...the before picture:
How to Clean a Microwave Naturally
(Now that we are eating paleo, we use our microwave a lot less, so it is not as messy as its been in the past!)

Pour about a half cup of lemon or lime juice into a microwavable container (I've used both and they work equally well).  I did this in an older (slightly brittle) glass once and it cracked the cup.  Oops.  Now I use a sturdy plastic measuring cup.
How to Clean a Microwave Naturally

Place it in the middle of your microwave and microwave it for 5 minutes.
How to Clean a Microwave Naturally

Once it is done heating, you can pull the cup out and throw the remaining liquid out.  You can see that a lot of the liquid cooks out of it:
How to Clean a Microwave without Chemicals

You should see a bunch of condensation inside the microwave (especially on the top): 
How to Clean a Microwave Naturally

Using a sponge, rag or paper towel, simply wipe out the inside!  I don't even need to scrub.  The food is loosened and wipes off quickly.  It normally takes me about 2-3 minutes to completely wipe it out.

Here's the before and after:

How to Clean a Microwave Naturally

How to Clean a Microwave Naturally without chemicals

Ooh.  Sparkly, easy and chemical-free!  Hooray!

What about you all?  What do you clean your microwave out with?

Want more natural cleaning ideas?  Don't forget to check out our Cleaning page!
Thursday, August 14, 2014

basic alterations 101: taking in a skirt

basic alterations 101, taking in a skirt on the side seams tutorial

So many of you may remember when I showed you how to alter a dress in the simplest possible way, by taking in the sides. That post got such a great response that it got me thinking; there seem to be a lot of people who really appreciate instructions for the basics of clothing alteration. And it's a fantastic skill to have! So today I'm going to give you another brief tutorial, this one on how to take in a skirt at the side seams.

I've wanted this skirt from Target for a while, and so when it finally went on super ultra clearance I snatched it up. The problem? It was two sizes too big! But for someone with sewing skillz that isn't a problem.

basic alterations 101, taking in a skirt on the side seams tutorial

First, you'll try on your skirt inside out. Pull the excess fabric to one side, and mark where you need to have your new side seam go. Take your skirt off and pin all the way down one side to the hem:

basic alterations 101, taking in a skirt on the side seams tutorial

Sew your new seam into the side of your skirt. This fabric was jersey and doesn't fray, so I didn't bother finishing the seams at all (also, I'm a super lazy sewist). But if your material is going to fray, you should also add a row of zig zag stitches to the outside, or cut it with pinking shears.

basic alterations 101, taking in a skirt on the side seams tutorial

Cut off the excess fabric as close to your seam as possible! Especially with a pencil skirt you want to make sure the seam isn't bulky or it will be really unflattering!

basic alterations 101, taking in a skirt on the side seams tutorial

You're done! It's really that easy. And mastering skills like this can help you get miles out of your wardrobe that you never thought possible. Also, when the zombie apocalypse comes raining down on our heads, you'll be one of the only people who doesn't look like they're wearing Walking Dead cast offs! Your clothes will fit you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

School lunch idea round up!

10 healthy fun quick and easy school lunch ideas

So both Hilary and I (Jessica) have little girls who will be going to "big girl school" this year...I'd say we were sad about it, but in actuality we're both ecstatic. And so are the girls! One of the hardest parts of school for us, though, is coming up with alternatives to boring old sandwiches for lunches. Because no matter how much your kid loves the classic Pb&J, (and if you school even allows peanut products!) they still get sick of the same old thing like anyone else. So today we've compiled a list of super cute, easy and healthy lunch ideas for back to school!

Make ahead crunchy breaded gluten-free chicken nuggets:

Sticky stacky sandwiches from Super Healthy Kids:

Peanut butter and banana "dogs" from Mixing Food and Family:

Pizza grilled cheese sandwiches with marinara dipping sauce:

Three Ingredient (and healthy!) Pumpkin Muffins

Apple wraps from the BabyCenter Blog:

Cream cheese raisin and waffle sandwiches from 100 Days of Real Food:

There you have it! Hopefully this inspires some lunch variety in your own house as well. And we always love more ideas, so if you have a quick, healthy lunch idea comment below and tell us about it. We just might try it for a future post!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello, Sweetie. Doctor Who spades.

Those of you who follow our blog regularly know I (Jessica) am a *ahem* largish Doctor Who fan. And guess what officially (finally!) comes back on the air for season 8 on August 23? DOCTOR WHO!!!!

Ok. Scaling it back now.

I made myself a t-shirt in celebration of this momentous event, with "Hello, Sweetie" written on it in Circular Gallifreyan, which is the written language of the Time Lords....

Anyways, in the past I showed you the other Doctor Who inspired shirt I made; my bad wolf bleached t-shirt. Today I'm not going to give you a tutorial on how to make this awesome shirt, because I used fabric paint to draw a design on a t-shirt, and that's pretty self explanatory. But I have to show it off!!

First, my incredibly high-tech tools:

diy doctor who shirt hello sweetie in circular gallifreyan

White fine-tipped fabric paint, a print out of "Hello, Sweetie" in Circular Gallifreyan from this awesome website, and a t-shirt. I free handed this sucker as well, which was not easy. Circular Gallifreyan has to be geometrically correct interlocking circles and precise lines, and I am the queen of nit picking over details like that.

Okay....that was a lot of nerdy information all at once!

Anyhow, here's how it came out!

diy doctor who shirt hello sweetie in circular gallifreyan

Close up, it's not super pretty. But it's still awesome.

diy doctor who shirt hello sweetie in circular gallifreyan

Things I want to do before I away with a madman in a big blue box.

diy doctor who shirt hello sweetie in circular gallifreyan

Pretty much exactly how I wanted, maybe better! Maybe the most awesome, fantastic shirt...ever. Ok that might be going a bit too far, but I do love it. I've actually worn it three times since then! And you know I'll be wearing it again on the 23ed for the premier, jumping up and down like a school girl shrieking with unbridled glee.

Until then, if you're looking for any more of our clothing diy's you can check those out here. And you know where I'll be on the 23ed!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Recap: Hooray for sewing (and other stuff)!

Hello all!  July is almost over and it was a great one for us!  We got to travel, spend lots of time swimming and even more time reading! We wrote some fun posts and (Jessica) did a ton of awesome sewing tutorials.  Here are just a few of our favorite posts!

Jessica was on a total Anthropologie knock-off kick this month.  She showed you how to make a knock-off Oblique Pencil Skirt:
anthropologie oblique pencil skirt knock off sewing tutorial

And a gorgeous knock-off peplum tank:
Anthropologie peplum tank knock off sewing tutorial

She also shared her tutorial for the easiest skirt ever:

It was a really hot July for us (with several days over 100 degrees), so we shared our Stylish Ways to keep Your Family Safe from the Sun:

And Hilary shared her delicious recipe for Paleo Chocolate Pudding (which is also dairy-free!):
paleo chocolate pudding lactose free gluten free

We've also been reading a ton (since you almost have to over the summer) and we mixed it up by sharing our current summer reading picks with you:

August is going to be a crazy month for us!  School is starting, we are both going on vacation, and we are crafting madly (jewelry, crochet, sewing and more!).  We have some great posts coming up in August, but if it a little sparse post-wise round these parts in August, we apologize!

And as always, don't forget to follow us on our social media to keep up-to-date with our new posts, ideas, tutorials, recipes and more!

Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday!

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