Sunday, November 3, 2013

A few projects

I know I haven't blogged a lot recently. The second child really brought my craftiness to a stand still. Sorry.

This past week, my eldest and I got pinkeye. While not a lot of fun, it gave me 3 days off work to get us healthy, and since both boys were actually completely content to watch movies, do puzzles, and play with each other, I had some time. Here's what was accomplished:

1) Floor cushion. I've made one of these before, but here are the end results:
Interested in making one? Head over to Living With Punks for the tutorial!

2) Laundry Bags. These were fairly easy. Choose a font and size in word that you want your letters. Print them out, cut out the letters to use as pattern pieces. Cut letters out of fabric (using your printed paper letters as a template). Pin fabric letters in place on whatever you are attaching them to. Using a zig zag stitch, attach letters by sewing around all edges (one side of the stitch in the fabric of the letter, one outside of the fabric). Sorry, the pic is blurry...

3) Art Smock. Warning: Laminated Fabric/Oilcloth involved in this one.
If you like this, the pattern is available for purchase over at Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop

4) Finally, it was Halloween. So I had to make a ship for my little pirates!

I don't know how frequently I'll post, but at least I do every once in a while. Once a year is good, right?

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

While working on bigger projects

I'm 9 days from the *hopeful* arrival of baby boy #2. And working on redecorating the room that my 2 boys will share. So, in the meantime, I've made one holiday wreath and one spring wreath. Here's the one for  Spring (only took me about 10 minutes to make, once I had all of the supplies.

What you need:

  • Grapevine wreath (you choose the size)
  • Fake Flora...I went with a white and purple theme, but it's up to you. I had 3 large white/off white flowers, 1 stem of longer purple, and 3-4 bunches of violets
  • Accessories. For this one I went with a couple of small birds.
  • Glue Gun
That's it! fairly simple.

Then, all you do is arrange the flowers in the wreath until you get the desired effect. I placed my larger flowers first, then the smaller ones. The birds went on last. 

I haven't gotten around to gluing them in yet, but as soon as I get my glue gun back from my friend I will add drops of hot glue where necessary to hold everything in place.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stroller Bag!

You have to love Pinterest. I get so many ideas on there that there is absolutely no way for me to keep up. Like, for example, this Convertible Stroller Bag over at Make It And Love It.

Of course, being me, I made a few changes.

First off, I wanted it to have a more structured bottom. So I decided to add a bottom panel and side panels. Note: You need to convert the measurements of the front and back panels if you want the flap to fit exactly. I made my front and back panels too big, so there are slight openings on either end. Handy when you need to reach in quickly, not so much for aesthetics!

Use 1/2" seam allowance all around unless otherwise specified. Be warned, about halfway through the tutorial I will use steps from the original tutorial that can be found here with a few changes because of the other structural changes I have made. This means that there are no pictures because I don't want to take those from the original author. Please reference the original tutorial for pictures (she does not number her steps, so look closely)

1 yard each of a heavy home dec fabric, coordinating cotton fabric, and medium weight interfacing (I use Pellon SF101)
3/8 yard fusible peltex
1/2 yard extra wide velcro
6 Heavy Duty Snaps (they come in a kit with the tool and 7 snaps for about $8 at Joann's)
4 purse feet


1) Cut your panels:

From Exterior Fabric:                                   From Interior Fabric:                From Interfacing:
2 12X17.5 pieces (front and back)               Same as Exterior                      Same as Exterior
2 12X6 pieces (side panels)
1 17.5X6 piece (bottom panel)                     From Peltex:                             From Velcro
1 17.5X14.5 piece (flap)                              2 5X16.5 (for bottom)              1 15 inch piece
1 43X3.25 piece (long strap)                                                                        1 3 inch piece
2 10.5X3.25 pieces (short straps)

2) Fuse your two peltex pieces together following manufacturer's instructions.

3) Fuse Interfacing to all corresponding exterior fabric pieces EXCEPT for the bottom panel.

4) Center your fused peltex pieces on your exterior fabric bottom panel. Place the bottom interfacing piece over the peltex, fusible side down, and fuse in place, thus securing the peltex. Attach the 4 purse feet following package directions (don't get too close to the edge, you still have to sew it!

5) Take one side panel and the front panel of you exterior fabric. Sew right sides together along the 12" side. Then use a serger (or a zig zag stitch) and sew over the edge, reinforcing the seam.

6) Repeat step 5 with the other side panel. Attach the back panel on the other side of the side panels.

7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 with your interior fabric.

8) Attach your bottom panel. Take the exterior bottom panel and, right sides together, pin to the exterior sides/front/back panels. Now carefully sew around the perimeter, being careful not to sew through the peltex. Reinforce with a zig zag stitch. (I didn't to that, but should have) Clip your corners.

9)  Place the two Flap pieces together with right sides together, then sew along the sides (14.5 inches) and the bottom (one of the 17.5 inch sides).  Leave the top open. Clip your bottom corners.

10) Then turn the bag flap right side out, poke out the corner and then press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.

11) Then sew the two long Strap pieces together along the sides and one end, with right sides together.  Then sew each shorter piece together with its matching piece of lining, with right sides together.  Again, sew along the sides and one end.  Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

12) Then trim each corner on the one end of each strap piece, turn right side out, and press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.

13) Take one of the short straps and place it face up on top of the long piece, which is also facing up. Match up raw ends.

14) Then turn the two straps over and line up the exact middle of the straps up with the middle of one of your side panels on the bag.  The right side of the fabric will be facing the right side of the bag exterior fabric.

15) And instead of lining up the upper edges of the bag opening and the raw edges of the two straps, raise the straps up about a half inch above the edge of the bag opening and then pin in place, making sure the center of the strap is still lined up with that center side seam of the bag.

16) Then attach the other short strap to the other side seam of the bag, raising the strap above the top edge of the bag by about a 1/2 inch.  Make sure to have right sides together and center the strap on the other side panel.

17) Next, grab your bag flap, turn it over, and attach it to the back of the bag with pins along the top……placing right sides together.  Make sure to match up the raw edges of the bag flap (the un-sewn edges) with the raw edge of the bag.  And also be sure to center the bag flap between the two side panels, along the back of the bag.

18) Once your straps and bag flap are all securely pinned into place, drop your bag down inside of the lining.  At this point, your bag is right side out and your lining is inside out……..making the two fabrics rights sides together after you drop it down inside

19) Line up the seams and the top raw edges, and pin it into place all the way around the bag.

20) Sew all the way around the top, securing the straps and bag flap into place but leave about a 10 inch opening along the front side, opposite the bag flap.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

21) Then turn the bag right side out, pulling it out through that hole that you left (this is a little difficult with the peltex, but possible..  Then fold the raw edges of the opening down towards the inside of the opening hole, a 1/2 inch.  Pin into place.  Then iron flat all the way around the bag opening.

22) Top-stitch around the top opening of the bag, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the upper edge.  Even continue sewing all the way around to the back of the bag, keeping the back seam flat and in place.

23) Feel for the extra 1/2 inch of fabric you left on the side straps that is now on the interior of the bag. On both straps sew a rectangle with an 'X' in it to reinforce the strap's attachment to the bag.

24) Add two snaps (female side) to the base of each of the short straps……and the male side of the snaps to the other end of the short straps. Hint: You want the short snaps to attach to themselves so that they can be hung from your stroller handles.

25) Then on the long piece, add two male snap pieces to the end.  Then on the short piece (that is on the opposite side of the long piece), add the female sides of these snaps about 4 1/2 inches from the end.  Then place the 3 inch section of  wide velcro along the underside of the long strap and then on the front side of the short strap (between the snaps).  This will give the strap extra strength when being used as a messenger bag. Hint: on the long strap place the velcro on the lining side, on the short strap place it on the exterior fabric side.

26) Lastly, add the 15 inch section of velcro to the under side of the bag flap and then along the front of the bag. (I put the rough side of the velcro on the front of the bag. May I suggest not doing this? It's killing my leg if the bag is facing the wrong way and the velcro isn't lined up. I'm going to have to change it).

All done!!!

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

T-Shirt Quilt...time consuming, but not hard

My younger sister and I saved all of our "event" T-shirts from childhood through college. We both had quite a few...her more than me (no idea why, we both did a ton of stuff). So my mom decided that she wanted to make quilts out of them. Great idea in theory for her, but not in practice. My mom does not sew a lot, and a quilt is a BIG project. So she asked me to finish them. The problem with mine was that she had already cut out the logos from the T-shirts...and not very evenly. So mine is a bit wonky. And then my dog decided that she didn't like one particular shirt on there, and tore a hole in it (no worries, I repaired it). 

Then she asked me to make my sister's quilt. I had gotten better at sewing at this point (3 years later) and decided to go for it. My quilt is sister's ended up being king-sized. Here is the finished product: 

The dang thing took up my entire living room! I love this idea though, it's a nice, practical way to make a great keepsake out of your old T-shirts. 

You just need a ton of shirts, enough fabric to make the backing, pre-packaged batting for the center, and an extra yard or two of fabric for the spacing (I like putting a decorative spacing between the panels, I think it makes it look more polished). 

Then you decide if you want your spacers more decorative, like my triangles here, or just squares. Cut your pieces (measuring everything to see how it will be laid out, and start sewing! I suggest sewing each row together first, then the rows get sewn together. 

Your front is done! If you have to piece the back together (you probably will) do that next. Then lay the backing out (wrong side up), put the batting on top of it, and then the top on that (right side up. Pin pin pin!!! You want that puppy as secured as possible!

Now you can sew the three layers together...using whatever stitching pattern you want. I usually use a grid pattern or a starburst pattern, I'm not great with decorative stitching. 

Using the last of your fabric, create a double bias tape to go around the edge. Place it, pin it, and sew it in place. You're done!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wipeable Pocket Bibs

The inspiration for these comes from a) needing pocket bibs to catch all the food that falls into my son's lap b) wanting said bibs to be cute, yet easily wiped down so that I'm not constantly washing bibs and c) Don't want to pay bookoo bucks for one measily bib!

So, here it is. This bib is oversized...9 inches wide and 13 inches long. Great for little ones who (like mine) manage to get food EVERYWHERE!



  • Fat quarter (18"x22") of LAMINATED cotton (aka oilcloth)
  • Fat quarter coordinating cotton (you can also use more laminated cotton for this step, there will be enough in your initial fat quarter)
  • Coordinating double fold bias tape
  • Coordinating button (or velcro, if you prefer)
  • Buttonhole foot (if using button)
  • Blue painter's tape (Not Pictured). You will stick this to your presser foot (and possibly the "table" of your machine)
  • Bib Pattern:  Print Pattern Here*
*Note...the pattern SHOULD measure 4.5" X 8" on the first page, and 4.5" X 5"/4"on the second. The top of the bib will be slightly wider (to go over the shoulders).

Please check out these Tips for Working with Laminated Fabric before starting this project!


1) Cut out your pattern pieces. (sorry about the cruddy curves, I had trouble with those). The main panel of the bib (with the dashed bottom edge) needs to be taped to the bottom of the main panel (with the dashed top edge). The pocket is an entity all it's own!

2) Cut 1 Main Panel from the Laminated Fabric, the Contrast Fabric, and the Batting. Cut 2 Pockets from the Laminated Fabric.*
*Note: if you need to change the size of the neck opening, do so. I have made it to fit my 14-month-old son with a little room to spare, but it is easily customizable!

3) Place your Laminated and Contrast fabric wrong sides together, with the batting in between.*

*If you choose to use laminated fabric on both sides, like I did, lay some blue painter's tape on the floor of your sewing machine and on the bottom of the presser foot. It will help to prevent sticking!)
Example of painter's tape on table of machine
Painter's tape on presser foot
4) Place your two pocket pieces wrong sides together, baste in place
I used bobby pins to hold my pieces together. If you choose to
use traditional pins, do so within the seam allowance (approximately
1/4" from edge) since they will leave visible holes
5) Place a section of bias tape along the top edge of the pocket; sew in place.
6) Now line your pocket up on the bottom of the bib (make sure it is on the laminated fabric, not your contrast. Baste in place along sides and bottom edge of the pocket and around the entire bib.

7) Use Bias Tape to finish all edges around bib.*
*Go SLOWLY with the bias tape, especially if you get the narrowest type like I did. I will be the first to tell you that I SUCK at bias tape, and had more than a few areas that I had to redo so that I caught all of the fabric within the narrow strip! If you don't catch all of the fabric, you will get water inside the bib when you wipe it down (or wash it)...and that will leave a brown mark on the laminated cotton. Ick.

8) On one "tab" that will go behind baby's neck, create a button hole with your button hole foot (or place the "rough" velcro on the laminated fabric, I was going to do a button but got lazy and did velcro instead)

9) On other "tab, sew on your button (or sew on the "soft" side of velcro to the contrast fabric side)

All Done! 

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