Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A few gifts for guys

Awhile back I mentioned to Matt that I had found a tutorial for making lunch bags. He has always tossed his lunch into a grocery bag on his way out the door, but this time he said he might like a handmade lunch bag! I directed him to Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow line, and he immediately chose the herringbone print. Unfortunately, the blue herringbone was out of stock at my favorite online shop for quite awhile. By the time I got the fabric, Matt's birthday and our anniversary were over - and so it became a Christmas gift!
I used this tutorial, and I really love how this bag turned out. I used rip stop nylon for the lining because I couldn't find any pul in my stash. I liked that the nylon is less bulky than pul. I also added a handle at the top of the bag, and I highly recommend topstitching the outside edges as described at the end of the tutorial. It just looks so fancy!
 I think these are my favorite details:

And another great guy gift: pillowcases! I bought this fabric in a pillowcase kit. As soon as I saw it, I knew that my step dad would love it. These are so fast and easy to sew up, and who doesn't need a stylish pillowcase? Happy birthday, Bob!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Teacher gifts

Over the next few weeks or so I'm going to be posting all of the handmade gifts that we gave this Christmas.  This was by far the most stressful year for me, with some very late nights (4:30am - YIKES!!) and last minute hand stitching on Christmas Eve and day! But I also think this year includes some of my best gift ideas. None of the gifts were Christmas themed, so maybe I'll give you a few ideas for your gift giving throughout 2011!

I've been reading craft blogs about teacher gifts throughout December, but it didn't occur to me until two weeks ago that I should do something for Addy's teachers! I guess I just forget that she has "school", so teacher gifts never made it on my list. (Addy goes to a Mom's Day Out program twice a week for 3 hours in the morning, so not "real" preschool.)
I decided that covered moleskines and matching coffee cup cozies would be fast to whip up. Addy chose the fabrics for these, and I made 6 different sets. I used two different sizes of moleskines, and Addy chose to give the smaller ones to her teachers.

The adorable gift tags were made by Stephanie.

Covered moleskine tutorial here. (I used the strongest no-sew Heat n' Bond.)
Coffee cozy tutorial here. (I acutally adapted this pattern, because I wanted a slightly larger cozy.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Donkeys

Have you seen the adorable designs that Laurie Wisbrun creates? I love them all. First she created a print of donkeys wearing wellies. I thought I could resist, until the Christmas version appeared. Pretty soon I had a little of each fabric in my shopping cart!
I didn't want to chop up the donkeys too much, so I used these prints plus a few different reds and greens to make 2 table runners. I did some simple straight line quilting and bound each table runner in kona sour apple.
Do you see the green ricrac and the red piping? I love those details almost as much as the donkeys and boots!
One of these runners is now on our dining room table. It doesn't quite go with the argyle wall, but it brings some cheer to the room none the less! The other runner is a gift for a friend, Amanda. A few weeks ago when Matt was home, Amanda did a photo shoot of our family. I was just getting started on these table runners at the time, and the donkeys remind me of her every time I look at them. I added a camera strap to the gift, too, since I noticed that she didn't have one!
The gifts were very well received, which is the best part of hand crafting!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The cutest pillow EVER

Addy has been begging me to sew. She walks around talking about the dress that she's going to make, gives me detailed lists of the supplies that she will need, and even tells me what steps to take in making said dress. So tonight when I was playing around with my free motion settings, she started handing me scraps and asking me to sew them. I had a few put together when she started asking to help, so I sat her on my lap to sew a few seams. Pretty soon she had a decent little patchwork piece, and I suggested we make it into a pillow! I did most of the work on the patchwork seams, although she did help guide the fabric. When we attached the pillow front and back together, I turned the speed all of the way down on my (new!) machine, and unplugged the foot pedal so that we could use the start and stop buttons. I kept her on my lap so that I could help instruct which buttons to press, but she did a lot of the work herself! She is really proud of herself and I just love her little pillow.
 Just before we finished stitching the front and back together, I got the idea to stitch "Addy" and the date on the back of the pillow.
And now she is sound asleep cuddling her little pillow!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Storing schoolwork/artwork - a covered binder tutorial!

This was Addy's first year of VBS and preschool, and I was overwhelmed with all of the paperwork that she brought home. She doesn't want me to get rid of anything, but the clutter was starting to get to me! That's when I decided to buy a 3-ring binder and a pack of sheet protectors. For the larger projects, I tried to alter them to fit relatively flat. And I still do toss many of the coloring pages after they've been on the fridge for a bit.

So I went from clutter to organized, but the binder was ugly! I thought about asking Addy to color a page for the cover, and then got the idea to create a fabric cover. Here's what I did to cover a standard 1.5" 3-ring binder:

13" x 25" main fabric print for exterior
13" x 25" lining fabric
25" x 15" coordinating fabric to create the interior "pockets" to slide the binder into
4" x 5" clear plastic sheet (in the table cloth section at JoAnn's)

From the fabric, you'll need to cut to the following dimensions:
12.5" x 23.75" main print
12.5" x 23.75" lining
2 - 12.5" x 14" for interior pockets
3" x 4" clear plastic
water/air soluble marker or pencil or chalk
sewing machine

Next you will need to sew the clear plastic onto the exterior fabric. This creates a small pocket where you can add a label.
Using your marker/pencil/chalk, draw the following 4 lines:
3.25" left of the right cut edge
7.25" left of the right cut edge (3" over from the first line)
3" down from the cut top edge
6" down from the cut top edge
You only need the markings where you are going to place the plastic. I just made a few corner markings instead of full lines. Do whatever you're comfortable with.
Once the lines are marked, position the clear plastic in the area that you marked out. I don't like to pin through the plastic, so I pin at the corners like so:
You can see that I take a small bite with the pin before and after the corner, and the pin lays over the plastic.
Now go to your sewing machine and sew down the plastic along the sides and bottom - don't forget to leave the top open! I used a wide zig zag stitch. A straight stitch will work just as well, though.
Now grab the 12.5" x 14" pieces that you cut, and fold them in half wrong sides together so that they measure 12.5" tall x 7" wide. Press.
And we are ready to assemble the cover!
Lay the exterior print right side up. Take the 2 pieces that you just pressed and place them on the exterior fabric right sides together. Match up the raw edges and make sure that your prints are both facing the right way, if you're working with directional fabric.
 Finally, lay the lining fabric over the exterior and pocket fabrics. Pin. Sew, leaving a 3" opening at the bottom to turn the cover right side out. I like to leave the opening near the center bottom. Below you can see the opening in my cover.
 Clip your corners.
 Turn the cover right side out - if you get confused, remember that the pockets should be on the lining side. Push your corners out and press. To close up the opening that you left for turning, you can hand sew it with a whip stitch or topstitch (I prefer to topstitch).
I chose to topstitch the cover at the top and bottom, but only in the area between the pockets. If you topstitch the pockets, you run the risk of the cover being too snug for the binder.
 Now cover up your ugly 3-ring binder, stand back and admire! Don't forget to label your binder. I just wrote "Addy, VBS & Preschool, 2010-2011" on a piece of scrapbook paper and tucked it into the pocket.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Somewhere in the world, pigs are flying

My sister has started her first quilt! She decided to sew up a very simple quilt for her bf's mom for Christmas, and I've got evidence to prove it!
This last weekend I was visiting my mom and stepdad for my stepdad's 60th birthday party, which created the perfect opportunity for me to help my sister get started. She wanted a very simple design, so she chose a few black, white, and red prints that we cut into 16.5" squares. She pieced the squares in a 3x4 layout.
She even taught me a trick! I tend to shoot from the hip when piecing, which doesn't always result in the best layout. Stacey cut small squares of each print and played around with the layout on the table before she started piecing. My world seriously changed when I saw her do this! (I'm not one to sit down with graph paper and colored pencils-it takes too long and you can't move things around easily!)
The final layout:
The night wasn't without a few hiccups, of course. The machine that we intended to use wasn't working properly. My mom has two other machines, both of which were in the room with a sleeping Addy. I managed to sneak in and get the machine plus a few notions and the manual. Good thing the manual was out in plain site, because I had no idea how to operate my mom's machine!
And of course no project would be complete without a little bit of frogging (at 3am):
By Sunday morning she had the quilt pieced and basted. I gave her a few tips for tying it, and I think she'll work with my mom to finish it up. After it's tied, she's going to applique an "N" for Nancy to the lower right corner. And to finish the edge, we talked about trimming the batting flush with the top and turning the backing over to the top to form a faux binding.

She says that she doesn't think she'll become a quilter, but only time will tell. She loves fresh, modern fabric so I think there's still a good chance that she'll be sucked in. Besides, she got a king size quilt out of me earlier this year, after which I told her that she was on her own. ;)
Either way, I had a lot of fun working on it together. Maybe next time we'll start earlier and get to work on more!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Advent Quilt

A college friend asked me to create an advent quilt for her based on an idea that she found on Etsy. I love how it turned out!
The top was pieced from last year's Moda Figgy Pudding and this year's Moda Fruitcake. Sashing is kona, of course!
For the numbers, I felted a piece of blue wool and machine appliqued the numbers to the pockets before the pockets were assembled.
To give the pockets a little poof, I cut the fabric 1/2" wider than the finished pocket size. There is a very small tuck in the bottom edge of the pocket. Easy peasy!
I quilted straight lines in the sashing and border and added a sleeve on the back for easy hanging.
Finished pocket size is 4" wide by 5" tall. Finished quilt size is approximately 31" x 37".
As soon as it was bound, I sent it off to Iowa. The quilt arrived just in time for the start of advent!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 10 cent t-shirt

I love shopping in the middle of the week, because that's when the stores have their best sales! I've found that Old Navy has great deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. During my last trip, all clearance was an extra 50% off. And they had just marked everything down! I got several shirts of Addy in sizes ranging from 4-8, and all for under $1. Two of the shirts that I found were the 2010 Halloween shirts - for 10 cents each!
The Halloween shirts sat in my sewing room until Thanksgiving morning, when I remembered a cute turkey applique tutorial that popped up on UCreate awhile back. And so in true Nikki fashion, I started on a shirt for Addy to wear that day. It went so smoothly that I even had a chance to shower before we headed out the door. ;)

I hope your holiday was fabulous!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Big Blocks

A few months ago I ordered a fat quarter bundle off of Etsy.  To be totally honest, I don't even remember what fabric I ordered.  What I do remember is a tiny scrap of fabric that I got with my package.  It couldn't have been more than 2"x3", but the pattern was too cute to ignore!  So I scoured the internet and even contacted the Etsy seller who sent me the scrap, only to find that the fabric is discontinued! It was a paisley from from the Prints Charming line Rainbow Garden.
Now fast forward a few months to a visit with my sister. I was headed to her office for lunch, and had a little time to kill.  Knowing where the nearest yarn and quilt shops were, I headed in that direction. After browsing their newest fabrics I headed upstairs where they kept the older fabric lines.....and that's where I found some Rainbow Garden! They had several prints in both colorways, and lots of it.  I chose my favorite 3 prints and headed for the cutting line. I ended up with 2 yards of the paisley print and 1 yard each of the teal print and the plaid. (I'm hoping that on my next visit this fabric will have made it's way to the sale corner-they really had a ton of it left!)
When I pulled out these prints to work on a quilt, I couldn't imagine chopping them up into tiny pieces. The way the artists play with color and mimic screen printing (which is how they got started, I believe) is lost when the prints are broken down.  So I went with a very basic design involving 5" strips of the prints with 2.5" strips of grey on either side. That brought my blocks to a whopping 20" square, and the whole quilt measures 60"x80"!
This is also the first quilt that I quilted on my Bernina rather than the Grace frame/Juki set up that I was using. I think it went pretty well for an inaugural run!
Oh, and I didn't even mention the best part about these fabrics-they were printed on a shirting so they are so incredibly soft. I almost couldn't combine them with the kona that I used for my grey strips!
Quilt front: I used the grey strips to create the illusion of my printed strips "floating"
 Quilt back with a little bit of piecing
 Detail shot of my QuiltyGirl label and a hand written label
 Giant paisleys! <3
  A close up of the front

This quilt is now in sunny San Diego! My first college roomie is an AMAZING wedding photographer out there, and this is her 30th bday/"thanks for being such an awesome friend" gift. If you're ever in the need of a photographer, look her up. I follow her blog, and her photos are so beautiful they make me wish I was getting married now! She also does a lot of traveling for clients, for those of us who don't live in CA. :) In fact, I'm secretly hoping that when my sister and her boyfriend decide to get married I can bring Melissa out to the midwest as their photographer. She also does engagement, family and baby photos.

I traveled around Peoria a bit with this quilt before I sent it off. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the quilt around town. Just don't compare my pictures to Melissa's!
This first picture was taken on Grandview Drive overlooking the Illinois river. This is one of my favorite views in Peoria.  I love being able to stand in the middle of the city and look out at the farms and wide open spaces.
 This last picture was taken in East Peoria overlooking the Illinois River at downtown Peoria. Hey, look at that, there's the Spirit of Peoria. Ha! We're so fancy...

Don't forget to head over to Quilt Story for their Fabric Tuesday.  My Christmas tree napkins from last week are being featured today!

Monday, November 29, 2010

As promised!

Remember this tree skirt? Well, it's finally out! I really like how it looks, especially the size. A few years ago we upgraded to slim prelit tree, so this tree skirt works really well for us!

And a full length shot, because I can't just post a pic of the bottom edge of the tree! (Which is also the area that Addy decorated. Symmetry and spacing mean nothing when you are 3 years old.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FMQ two ways

Now that I've shared with you my not so brief creative history, let's talk more about my quilting history.
My first quilt was pieced and quilted entirely by hand. I don't know that it's an exercise I will ever repeat, but I did learn a lot. Next I moved on to an old singer that my mom gave me. I had a very brief relationship with the singer before my mom upgraded her machine and gave me her (very simplistic) New Home. It was only a few years old, but she was upgrading to a machine with more capabilities. I sewed on the New Home for probably a year before I invested in a Bernina 145s. At this point I felt that I had become forever friends with quilting and sewing, and buying a nicer machine was an easy decision for me. Most of the quilting that I'd done to this point was straight line quilting on the New Home. I started dabbling in free motion quilting, and didn't like the stitch quality of the New Home. One of my first projects on the Bernina was a lap quilt for Matt with some free motion quilting-wow, what a difference! The tension was great, and the stitches looked beautiful. So on I quilted for a year or so, until I started looking into short arm quilting systems. I have always done all of my own quilting, and that's something that is important to me. I like to look at my finished projects and know that all of the work was done by me-but that's just my little quirk. :) So, during my short arm quilting system research, the sister of one of my work friends bought the exact machine and frame that I was considering. After seeing a few quilts that my friend's sister had completed, I was sold! And so I bought a Juki TL98Q and a Grace GMQ Pro frame. This machine and frame became my primary quilting system for the next 5 years, and I probably completed 30 or so quilts with it. A few years ago I upgraded my regular sewing machine to a Bernina 640E for piecing and continued to quilt with the short arm.

And that brings us to a few weeks ago! As we prepare for the move to Seattle, it became more and more evident that I wasn't going to have room for my quilting system. At approximately 108" long and 36" wide, it wasn't something I could stick in the closet for storage. I also started to feel that I had outgrown the system, and was considering an upgrade. A few months back a friend of mine mentioned that she was interested in buying the machine and frame from me, which turned out so well for everyone!

Since I've sold my machine and frame, I have finished 2 60"x80" lap quilts on my Bernina. Both of the quilts were done in a small meandering design.

When I started researching quilt frames and also now that I'm back to quilting without a frame, I have turned to the internet for information. There is a lot of information about fmq on a standard machine, but not a lot about using a frame or comparing the two. There are benefits and drawbacks to both ways of fmq, so let's talk about those.

FMQ with a standard sewing machine:
Basting on the floor makes it very easy to center piecing on the back
Better control over stitches
Potentially better stitch quality-depending on the machine that you quilt on
Basting on the floor is hard on the back and knees
Quilting is time consuming (*my lap quilts each took me about 2.5 hours, I think)
Wrestling a quilt through a machine can be quite the battle!

FMQ on a short arm quilt system:
Basting is fast, no extra equipment (pins, spray, etc) needed
Quilting is fast (*I could have quilted my lap quilts in less than an hour each)
Easy to learn and control for simple quilting like meandering
Control is limited and not quite as smooth
Very limited by the throat depth of the machine-for the Juki, I could quilt about a 7" x width of quilt section before I had to roll the quilt

*This isn't a true comparison, because I tend to quilt in a much more dense pattern when using my standard machine than with a short arm.

I am very grateful that my ever supportive husband was on board with my crazy quilting machine trials. I was able to complete a lot of projects with my short arm, and it gave me the time to work on more projects. The short arm certainly had an important part in my quilting, and in a lot of ways I think that it gave me more confidence in my work. Now that I am back to quilting on a standard machine, I have a bit of a learning curve. But I'm enjoying the change of pace, too! I actually like to baste my quilts on the floor, because I'm able to place the quilt top wherever I need it in relation to the piecing on the back. I also love the increased control that I have over my quilting design. The biggest drawback for me is probably the increased time commitment involved.

As I'm readjusting to life without a short arm, I'm debating another machine upgrade. I was considering the Bernina 820, but I'm just not convinced that it's worth the hefty price tag. I think I've settled on a Janome Horizon after test driving the machine twice now. First I'd like to sell my current Bernina, though. In the mean time, I'm having fun relearning and playing with different fmq designs!

For a tutorial on how to quilt straight lines on a short arm system, visit this post on my blog.

If you are looking for quilt basting and quilting tips and techniques, check out oh fransson! Her tutorial section is full of great stuff!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Napkins

We spent a few days last week visiting a friend in Milwaukee. While we were visiting, we used cloth napkins at every meal. At our house, we don't use a ton of paper napkins, but it got me thinking that we really should switch to cloth. So when we got home I whipped up a few of these!
I've seen these cute tree napkins in the local quilt shops, but the kits tend to include fabrics that I don't like. A quick search on the internet lead me to this free pattern!
I had 3 1/2 yard cuts of Kate Spain's 12 days of Christmas, so I was able to sew up 6 napkins.
This fabric line is really fun to work with, and I love how the napkins turned out!

Don't forget to stop over at QuiltStory today for Fabric Tuesday! I'm linking up this project, so stop by and see what others have to share.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How it all began

With the holidays fast approaching, I've been really busy sewing.  But most of my projects are gifts, so they will have to wait to appear on the blog. In the mean time, I thought I'd ramble on a bit about where I come from and maybe throw in a post of two about what tools I use and any tips that I made have to share.

So, let's begin in the beginning. I've been quilting for 8 years now, but let's go back even further than that. Shall we start in the 1980's? Growing up, our house was always full of creative outlets. My mom is a hobby addict, much like myself. I have many memories of her sewing, painting, crocheting, etc. We had handmade "cabbage patch" dolls, clothes, hand painted Christmas villages, handmade ornaments... She created not just because it was cheaper, but because it was funner. (yes, funner)
My dad had his fair share of hobbies as well. He created pieces of furniture, a jewelry box for my mom, and he even made his own fishing pole! Once he got into fishing he also started tying his own flies. I remember my sister, brother and I huddled around the fly tying table trying to create our own bugs for the weekend fishing events.
We spent a lot of time painting ceramics with my mom, and tying flies with my dad.  But sewing wasn't something my mom shared with us. I can remember asking her to teach me a few times, but by the time the words were out of my mouth I was already distracted by something shiny in the next room. Then I hit high school; my mom was busy working two jobs and my dad was living across the country. Not to mention all of the very important high school-ish things that *I* had going on. So aside from a cheerleading banner or a "happy birthday" sign for a friend's locker, I was on a crafting hiatus.
College didn't prove much different, for me at least. I was busy and living in a cramped dorm. My mom, however, had hit her crafting stride. She married my step dad, quit her second job, and finally had some time to herself again. Then some time around my junior year I started looking for another creative outlet.  I started by doing a little scrapbooking, and senior year I took a stained glass class. I really enjoyed stained glass, but it wasn't exactly a portable project.
Cue graduation.
After living 3 hours from my mom for the last 4 years, I was finally going to live closer to her again! We started spending a lot more time together, and my mom mentioned that she wanted to start quilting. She had taken a class a few years back, but then single mom-dom caused her to start working a second job. I was supportive of my mom's new hobby and even bought her a bunch of quilting supplies that year for Christmas. Meanwhile, I was working on a few stained glass projects. And then the bomb mom had found a pattern for a small sampler quilt, and she wanted me to make one with her. I begrudgingly agreed, and figured that by the time we had these quilts done my mom would be so deep in a quilting coma that she wouldn't even notice me quietly stepping away.
We spent a Saturday morning at JoAnn's picking out fat quarters, and the sight of so many calico prints was making my eyes cross. I was able to find a few bright, fun colored fat quarters. Next we spent hours making templates and cutting our pieces. With scissors. And because we were quilting purists, everything needed to be hand pieced and hand quilted. Oh, did I mention that I didn't own a sewing machine? I think sometime in the middle of this first quilting adventure my mom decided to buy a new machine and gifted me her old one. Or maybe I already had her old-old one? Eh, I can't remember now.
Back to the quilting.  We did eventually both finish. I completed mine first, while my mom stalled out a tiny bit on the quilting and started another project before returning to finish her sampler. No matter, we were both totally and completely engulfed in the quilting world. Well, except for hand piecing and quilting; that we abandoned with the cardboard templates. I mean, who actually does that anymore? (Totally joking, we both have a very deep appreciation for hand work.)
Since that first trip to JoAnn's, we've probably completed over 100 quilts combined. I've also done a lot of bags, accessories, and garments for myself and my family. My mom's projects are just as varied, though her experience certainly outweighs mine.

And that's the story of my creative roots. People often ask me when I started quilting, or assume that it was a tradition that my mom passed on to me. I usually stumble over my words as I try to give a cliff notes version of my story. It's nice to share the details sometimes, too. My mom is a huge inspiration to me and I absolutely love the time we spend together. But I'd be remiss to say that my dad played no part in what I am today. Maybe being a hobby addict is genetic, or maybe it's something that I picked up as a child. Whatever it is, I have both my mom and dad to blame thank.

Just a random interesting bit about my family. I have a sister, brother, and step brother.  Of the 4 of us, I am the only one without an art or design degree! My step brother's degree is in architecture, my sister has  degrees in both art and design, and my brother has degrees in design and horticulture. I like to tell them that my molecular biology degree makes me more well-rounded, though. Ha! ;)

And now, if you're humored me and read all of the way through my ramblings, here are a few pictures of my first quilt.
 A few close ups of the hand quilting. I used a variegated thread for the cables and other "pretty" quilting, and white thread for some stitch in the ditch quilting.
 The back. If you look closely, you'll see a quilted sunburst. That is the quilting that I did in the dresden plate block.
 Up until today, this quilt was living in a plastic tote in the basement (awaiting the move). But writing my story has made me appreciate this quilt more-wonky corners and all. So, I've decided to keep it in my sewing room. And maybe when we move I will have room to put it on the wall in my sewing area.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Simple Tablerunner

This was a custom order for an old family friend.  She requested a runner similar to the sushi runner in my etsy shop, but in a maroon color to match her decor.

I love how it turned out, especially with the dense quilting.  But boy did that take some time!  I think I spent 2 hours quilting all of those lines. :)

Finished size was approximately 15"x62".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

T-shirt Upcycle

Grosgrain's embellished knits month has inspired me to try some upcycling! I headed over to a local Goodwill and picked up a yellow 3/4 length t-shirt and a pink cable knit sweater.  I really lucked out-the t is from Talbot's and the sweater is from the Gap!

The Talbot's shirt was a misses size medium, so I also needed to take it in.
I chose to convert the shirt to a cardigan before I took in the sides. To start the conversion, I laid the shirt out flat, found the center and cut!
I used a strip of Kate Spain's Fandango to encase the raw edge. To start with, I cut the strips to 1.5" x WOF. One strip was enough for both edges of the cardigan. Next I cut the strip in half so that I had 2 strips at 1.5" x 22". I then folded one long edge of each strip in (wrong sides together) by 1/4" so that my strips measured 1.25" wide.
To apply the strips to the shirt, I pinned the strips down the raw edges with right sides together and sewed a 1/2" seam. It's important to keep your strips at least 1" longer than your shirt and leave some overhang on each end. This photo shows one of the strips sewn down.
Next I pressed these seams towards my printed fabric. Then I folded the fabric strips to the inside of the shirt and pressed again.
To finish off the ends of the fabric strips, I unfolded all of my pressing and folded the top and bottom raw edges of the strips inward. After the top and bottom were pressed nicely, I folded my strips back up to encase all of my raw edges.
I pinned my fabric strips down and sewed close  to the edge.
In the photo above, I am stitching my fabric strip down with the INSIDE of my cardigan facing up. On the outside of the cardigan, you should just see 1 line of stitching on each side, about a 1/2" in from the edge.

Once my shirt was a cardigan, I needed to take in the sides. I chose to use another shirt as a pattern, so I headed up to my closet and found a sweater that I liked the fit on. I cut the side seams of the cardigan starting at the hem and going all of the way up the sleeve.Then I laid the new cardigan flat and put my "pattern" shirt on top.

I drew a chalk line around my pattern, checked to see that the sides looked approximately even, pinned along the chalk line and sewed my side seams back up.

To finish it off, I added a hook and eye closure under the bust.

I used the same process to convert the pink sweater to a cardigan, but I used a larger seam allowance because I was worried about the sweater unraveling.

I linked up this project over at Quilt Story. Check them out!