Iā€™m Sarah.

After graduating college, I worked as a TV news reporter at an NBC affiliate outside of Chicago. I then retired from that life to be a stay at home mom to my three little ones. While at home I was able to rekindle my love for decorating and crafts. A blog seemed like the perfect place to share those ideas. There is inspiration everywhere, I hope you find some here.

the pleated peasant shirt

the pleated peasant shirt

I made this shirt for Elly a few weeks ago. I wanted to use this stripped fabric and wanted a cute shirt to go with some black leggings I bought her. So this is what I came up with.
1. I used one of Elly's other shirts to get a basic pattern. 

*Important step in measuring the front side, make the top about 1-2 inches wider than you want it to be to leave room for pleats. I also cut the front panel longer at the bottom than the back panel.

2. Fold over the bottom of the front and back panels twice and do a top stitch over it to hold the hem. (If you have a serger, you can finish the edge and just fold it over once then do the top stitch). Notice I cut the front bottom a little curved, just make sure that the sides are the length of the back panel so that it looks right when you sew the two panels together. (sorry for the blurry picture)

3. Add pleats to the front of the shirt. I just added one pleat in the middle, but you can add as many as you want. Just fold the fabric over then pin it to hold the pleat. You can keep it pinned until step number 12.
4. For the sleeve:

Fold over the end (at the wrist) of the sleeve twice and do a top stitch to finish the edge.

I added some elastic at the bottom of the sleeve to make a little ruffle. Simply use a single stitch and sew the elastic on. Pin the elastic to the inside of the sleeve. Pull the elastic very tight as you are sewing so that when you let go, there is an automatic ruffle.

Fold the sleeve in half, right side of the fabric in. Sew along the side, obviously leave the ends open.

5. For the back of the shirt:
Create a ruffle. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric, fold one of the long sides over twice and then do a top stitch so that you have a finished edge. About 1/4 inch in from the finished edge, sew a single line the length of the fabric. Then very carefully, pull one piece of the thread to create the ruffle.

Sew the ruffle to a piece of fabric that measures about 2 inches x 4 inches. Do this by putting the right side of the fabric to the right side of the ruffle and sewing. As you can see in the picture, below, you only take the ruffle half way around the rectangle of fabric.

6. Cut about a 4 inch slit in the back of the shirt at the top. Cut it about two thirds over to one side. You have to do this so that the buttons end up in the middle of the back.
7. To attach the ruffled fabric to the back of the shirt, place the white fabric inside the slit that you cut and fold the white fabric back on to itself. So as you can see in the picture below, the other half of the white fabric is folded behind it. I just did a top stitch over the white fabric near the ruffle seam. You can kind of see how I did that in the picture below.
8. For the button holes: I actually ended up cutting a separate piece of fabric for this. Just cut a piece that is about 2 inches x 4 1/2 inches. Fold over the edges and do a top stich over it to attach it to the shirt. You can see the top stichting in the picture below.

9. To do the actual button holes, this was my first attempt and they weren't perfect, but it worked. I would recommend just looking up in your sewing machine users manual to find out how your particular machine does it. I think it is different for all machines. Yeah I'm a bit of a nerd, I refer to my sewing machine users manual quite regularly.
10. Sew the front and back panels together, place the right side of the fabric to the right side of the other panel then sew along the top and the sides, leaving the sleeve arms open.

11. Make some biased trim. I do this by cutting a strip of fabric the length I needed to go around the collar and just about an inch wide. Fold one side over on to itself going up half of the length.

 Then fold the other side down.

Then fold it over again, ironing as you go, so that it looks like a v.

12. Attach the biased trim to the collar by sliding it right over the edge of the fabric. The fabric goes right inside the upside down "v." Make sure not to loose your pleat as you are pinning the trim around. Do a top stitch over the biased trim. For the back of the shirt and the edge of the trim, just fold it over on to itself and do a top stitch over it.

13. Then sew on the sleeves. The easiest way I have found to do that is just to have the shirt inside out, then slide the sleeve in to the arm hole, the sleeve itself being right side out. Then pin and sew, maneuvering it so that you don't sew the arm hole shut.

14. Don't forget to sew on your buttons. I hand sewed mine on right on the white fabric.
15. I made a little felt circle flower and hand sewed it right on the shirt.

vintage thrifting giveaway

vintage thrifting giveaway

dutch apple pie

dutch apple pie