Archive for the ‘ Sewing ’ Category

DIY Link: Yo-Yo Christmas Trees & Product Review

I’ve mentioned my love of Swap-Bot before, and today I’ll show off one of my latest projects that was shipped off several weeks ago to one of my swap partners.  The Yo-Yo Christmas Tree:

DPP-YoYoTree4

Isn’t it cute?  I love to make yo-yo’s, making them is quite soothing to me for some reason.   Typically I have a pile of them laying around with no clue how to use them and after seeing a yo-yo pumpkin this fall thought I should attempt to make a tree.  Then I saw this fun tutorial from Kiwi at Heart and she had made exactly what I was dreaming up in my head.  She does a great job explaining the process…I only did one thing differently.

Where she uses templates to cut her circles, I decided to try out this fun little gadget I picked up 50% off at Joann’s a while back.

Olfa Circle CutterThe verdict?  I LOVE it!

PROS:
I was able to just adjust the setting to match her dimensions and cut the circles out with no templates.  It works much like using a string & pencil to draw a circle…only this bad boy has a sharp pin to hold it in place and a super shape rotary blade.  Such a time saver…especially when you love to make yo-yo’s as much as I do! I have a quilt I want to make this year that involves circles and I am thinking this little guy might be a life saver when I get to that point.  So if you cut out circles-o-plenty of like I do…it might be the best $15 you spend.

CONS:
It uses a really sharp rotary blade, so you absolutely must use a cutting mat underneath it.  It can also be a bit odd to hold and turn at first, but once you get the hang of it that isn’t really a problem.

Any other recommendations out there for yo-yo construction or quilting gadgets I might also find indispensable?  Please, share!!

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Make sure you check out the yo-yo tree tutorial:  Yo-Yo Christmas Tree Tutorial from Kiwi at Heart

You might also check out Mummy Crafts to see her take on the same tutorial, which also includes a template for cutting the circles.

Fine Print:  I have not been compensated in any way by either Joann’s or Olfa for my review of this product.  It is simply my opinion based on usage of the product I purchased.

Challenge: Craft it Forward Reveal Part 1

Ages ago you might have seen several posts about a fun little crafting challenge/giveaway I participated in called “Craft it Forward”.  If not, check out this post for all the details.  I ended having a really hard time getting in touch with the 5 winners (who knew it would be so hard to give something away) and I ended up with only 2 participants.    Hopefully my next challenge/giveaway will be a bit more successful (hint, hint…there might be something coming up in September).

Today, it’s time to show off the goodies that the the lovely Lisa M found in her mailbox earlier this summer.  Using that large bolt of fabric I picked up at Goodwill for $2.00, I created this little apron for her:

And since the flower could get a bit dusty with all that baking, there is an extra flower pin to switch it up with from time to time:

And finally to help get her started on her own Craft-it-Forward projects I included a little bag of crafty items from my ever growing stash:

It was really fun getting back into sewing (this was the first project I had sewn start to finish in a long time) and it was especially fun to just sit down without a pattern and see what I could come up with.  Lisa, I hope you are enjoying your apron and have as much fun as I did when you do your crafts to pass along.

Check back on Monday to see the second project from my crafting it forward.  Have you ever participated in a crafting challenge?  And if so, did you have problems getting your winners to respond so they could collect their prizes?

DIY: No Sew Bow Tie

I’ve been making these quick bow ties for years.  They are great for quick dress-up items and even Halloween costumes and had originally put this quick & easy tutorial together as a set of images to share with a certain tall, super artistic bride.  The day before her wedding she was looking for some last minute bow ties for photobooth props and not finding anything to her liking.  So, I snapped a few photos to get her started and then she rocked them out in her true artistic fashion.    Below is the quick and dirty tutorial to whip up your own photobooth or next impromptu costume.

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 piece of felt (or other fabric) for each bow tie.
  • elastic headband or wooden dowel
  • scissors
  • hot glue

Instructions:

  1. Start by cutting off the piece that will become the center of your tie.  If using a standard size piece of craft felt, just cut down one edge vertically and approximately 2 inches wide.
  2. Fold each of the edges of the larger piece of felt to the inside.  Hot dog style. I leave a small opening in the center to make it a small bit larger, but this is not necessary.
  1. Take the long skinny piece of felt, and fold in half.

  2. Take the large piece from step 3 and squish it to the center (from both the top and bottom) to create the “bow” shape.
  3. Use the skinny piece to wrap around the center of the bow to hold it together.  Secure the piece to the back of the bow with hot glue and then trim the excess length off with scissors. If you are using an elastic headband for your bow tie secure it underneath this center piece as well.
  4. Ready to wear…either as a bow tie or a large bow headband.  Or if you are using for a photobooth attach a wooden dowel to the back as perfectly demonstrated by the Über creative Lauren (go ahead, link over and check out her super fun photobooth photos while you are at it)

  5. So, there you have it a no sew fun bow tie in less than 5 minutes!  Try them out, you’ll have fun I promise :)  How will you use your no sew bow ties?  Wedding photobooth props?  Halloween costume?

DIY: Flower Power Dog Collar

I mentioned the Envelope of Doom in a previous post, the part I’m not sure I mentioned was the second portion of the challenge.  The goal was to create projects you could gift to someone in your life…preferably not yourself.  So, with those rules in mind this is first of the 3 (or more) projects I created using several components from the  “envelope of doom“.  Don’t have an envelope full of supplies…don’t worry.  You could create this project using items from your local dollar store as well!

This gift is for a friend with a cute new puppy.  A puppy who needs a little something frilly to let folks around the dog park know she’s a little girl. :)

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Supplies Needed:

  • Collar
    (shhhh…don’t tell her it started as a kitty collar.  Just remove the bell and she’ll never know)
  • Felt Scraps
  • Plastic Scraps
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Silk Flowers
    ones with many small blooms work best to make a fuller flower
  • Scissors
  • Glue
    I used hot glue, but even double-sided tape would work to hold the plastic to the felt while you cut and sew.
  • Needle
  • Hole Punch (optional)

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Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Start off by taking your flowers completely apart.  Some crafty person could be able to use the stem pieces later, but I just tossed them in the recycle bin for plastics.  For this project I used 3 sets of the pink hydrangea “blooms”.
  2. Because this will end up on a collar for a fun, bouncy doggy it needs some stability so bring on those holographic Valentines (if you don’t have Valentines on hand you could use any sturdy bound for the trash plastic product).  Using a large spool of thread as a guide outline a circle and cut out with a pair of scissors.
  3. Using a rectangular hole punch make two punches to the center of the piece of plastic.  You will use these later to attach the flower to the collar so place them at least 1/2 inch apart.
  4. Attach your disk to a scrap of felt with a small amount of glue, and then trim around the edges.  Be careful to leave a 1/4 inch overhang to use for attaching it to the flower later.  Then use this piece as a template and cut a second felt circle.
  5. Take the non-plastic felt circle of felt, take a needled threaded with matching embroidery thread knotted on the end and bring through the center of the felt circle. Take 1 flower petal and sew it to the center of the circle with one stitch that goes on either side of the center hole.
  6. Fold one half of the first petal over hot dog style so that half of the felt circle is exposed.  Stitch down an additional petal to the side of the existing petal.
  7. Repeat Step 6 until surface of felt circle is covered (leaving space around the outer edges to attach to the bottom).   The more petals you use the fuller your flower will be.

  1. Thread your need with matching embroidery thread and bring both lose ends of thread together so it’s doubled.  Run needle through the finished side of the felt covered plastic disk and through the second hole back to the finished side.  (see photo above)
  2. Place the plastic disk side of the bottom piece on top of the bottom of the flower.
  3. Using embroidery thread & needles, use a blanket stitch to sew the two pieces together.  When finished the plastic disk should be completely hidden inside the felt/flower sandwich.
  4. Using thread ends left from Step 2 re-thread your needle and attach the flower to the collar.  You could either stitch it directly to the fabric of the collar…or I ran the needle around the plastic collar stay piece and tied it off after several wraps.  This holds it in place, but also allows the collar to “grow” with little Miss Lucy.
  5. OR…don’t have a puppy you need a collar decoration for?  That’s OK, you could use this same method and just attach a pin back and use it for a brooch, hat or bag embellishment.

Total Cost: $1.00 and up

CDog wasn’t home when I took these photos, and I haven’t received any of Lucy sporting it yet…so a large stuffed animal came out to model it for you ;)

So, there you have it….Project #1 completed.  So now let’s chat…do you craft things for your pets?

DIY: Cute as Button Shirt

So, let the April Stash Bust posts resume (Yes, I realize it’s now May).  Mid-April I had the perfect weekend to get a few stash busting projects finished up since the hubby was at his dad’s to attend the first Indy Car Race in Alabama.  Racing just isn’t my thing so I opted to stay home and tackle our weed filled flower beds instead.  So, Saturday after spending the majority of the day working in the yard and finding out my credit card number had been stolen, I retired to my little craft room to see what I could whip up.

I had originally purchased this aqua t-shirt with the intentions of making my niece a bunny shirt for Easter.  Since that didn’t happen, I decided I needed to do something quick with the shirt so I could include it in a package I was planning to mail my sister that day.  So I started digging around in a couple of the plastic bins of craft supplies I have stashed in a closet and came up with some leftover buttons from a wedding project and a massive stack of embroidery floss.  Put all that together…and you get this Cute as a Button Heart Shirt.

It was super fast to make and turned out much better than I’d imagined.  I like that it looks like a more expensive boutique shirt, yet cost me right around $5.99 to make.

To make your own version you’ll need the following:

  • T-Shirt
  • Buttons (I used (25) 1 cm buttons for this project)
  • embroidery floss
  • needle
  • pencil to draw outline
  • heart shaped template (optional)
  • embroidery hoop (optional)
  • hot glue/fabric glue (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Press the shirt flat
  2. Create Heart template and copy outline to shirt.  I used a regular pencil but a tracing pencil that washes away would have worked better if I’d had one.
  3. If you want to add a little bit of extra attachment of the buttons to the shirt, take a moment to glue the edges of the buttons to the shirt.  Take care not to glue the centers so you can stitch them down in the next step.
  4. Thread your needle with embroidery thread and tie off with a sturdy knot.
  5. Start in the center of the heart and stitch your buttons to the shirt with moving around the heart.  This is where an embroidery hoop might make the process much easier.
  6. And after about an hour….1 cute as a button heart shirt :

Oh…so about those cute pink shorts.  I have to admit I bought those Saturday on a trip to Target during April.  I know…I wasn’t supposed to be adding to the stash before I finish busting through it but if it was less than $1 does it count?  My local store had all their Easter goodies marked 75% off, but a nice lady watching me pick up a bag of Dove eggs told me it was actually ringing up 90% off.  Which included all their children’s Easter themed clothing.  So the shorts cost me a whopping $0.43 (including tax) and then I sewed a matching button in the middle of each of those cute little bows on the sides just to tie it all together.

Project Costs:
- TShirt -  from stash – otherwise Target – $5.00
- Buttons – free from stash – otherwise $1.99 for package, using 1/4 of package
- Embroidery Floss – free from stash – otherwise $0.99
GRAND TOTAL:  $7.98 if you needed to buy everything at once.
My Grand Total:  FREE from STASH (ok…$0.43 for the Easter Clearance shorts)

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Safety Note:   Make sure all buttons are glued and then sewn on securely.  Due to buttons, do not leave your baby unattended while wearing this garment.
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DIY: Sweet Race Car Onesie

I have this “thing” where I feel like I need to make a little something for each and every baby/bridal shower I attend.  It’s a compulsion of sorts and often I stress myself out coming up with the perfect little handmade treat to go with the gift purchased off the registry.  With 4 people around me having babies and a few weddings thrown in you can see where I might have my hands full.  However, the gift below was not only the easiest to construct and economical, it was also the easiest to come up with.

You see my friend’s husband drives a race car in one of the local circuits.  He already has big dreams of his sweet little girl being the next female racing star, so it just stood to reason that she would need the proper attire even at her young age to support her favorite race team!  Granted here in the south there is a huge supply of NASCAR baby racing gear so I could have bought something commercially, but I thought she needed something a little more “sugar & spice” to mix with “my daddy rocks”.

Materials Needed:

  • Cotton Onesie
  • Fabric for car & numbers (non-raveling since there will be exposed edges)
  • Matching embroidery thread
  • 2 Large Buttons
  • Heat Tape

Supplies Needed:

  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Template
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Iron

Instructions (text below pictorial):

  1. Remove all stickers and tags from onesie and press flat with iron.
  2. Print out your race car and number templates.  (I used a stock image from MS Clip Art and re-sized it to fit a smaller onesie)
  3. Cut out your race car shape.
  4. Trace template outline onto backside of fabric (I used a regular pen, however a fabric marking pen/pencil would be a better option).
  5. Use scissors to cut out along traced guidelines
  6. Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5  to create race car numbers
  7. Using embroidery thread  sew the numbers to the car.  I used a straight embroidery stitch and stitched down the center of each number.  You could also do this step with your sewing machine if you prefer.
  8. To help hold the car in place while you stitch place one small piece of Heat Tape down the center of the car and press onto the onesie.
  9. Now that the car is stead place the steering wheel under the edge of the car fabric and using the same method as in Step 7 sew it to the onesie.
  10. Switching embroidery thread to match the body of the car, use a blanket or edge stitch and sew along the car’s edge, attaching it to the onesie.
  11. Attach your button wheels to the car also with embroidery thread, careful to tie off all knots/etc. under the buttons or car to keep “itchy stitches” away from baby.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Onesie – Garanimals brand from Wal-Mart – $3.81
  • Embroidery Floss – Had on Hand from multipack purchase 2+ years ago
  • Pink  Felt – $0.26
  • White Felt – Had on Hand
  • Buttons – 4 Pack from Dollar Tree/used 2 – $0.53
  • Heat Tape – Had on Hand
  • Grand Total:  $4.60

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Safety Note:   Make sure all buttons are sewn on securely.  Due to buttons, do not leave your baby unattended while wearing this garment.

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What about you…anyone else have my same “I must make them something compulsions”?  And if so, please share some of your favorite DIY baby gifts…

Semi-DIY: Embellished Apron Tutorial

So, a while back I revealed the first of my vendor thank you gifts…the frilley functional apron for our florist/DOC.  Today, I’ll walk you through a quick tutorial on the top portion to help get you started making your own.  The trick to making this a quick project was to once again go the semi-DIY route.

Supplies Needed:

  • PreMade apron, I used a plain white one from the re-do line at Target.
  • 1 Package of 1/2 in quilt binding
  • 1.5 yards of 4 inch eyelet
  • .5 yard of fabric for ruffles (mine was 44 inches wide)
  • matching machine thread to make and attach ruffles
  • embroidery thread for monogram
  • Felt for flowers or flower leaves (1 piece per 2 flower and 6 leaves)
  • 1 snap set for each flower to attach (only if you want to be able to switch them out)

Tools Needed:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Hand Sewing Needle
  • Heat transfer pencil
  • iron & ironing board
  • straight pins
  • rotary cutting blade & cutting mat

Instructions:

Before I started doing anything to the apron my first step was to wash & dry it.  This took out the sizing and made it a bit softer and easier to work with.  It also made it all wrinkly, which made it a bit more shabby chic since that was the look I was going for.  Then I started work on the monogram on the bib of the apron, since I knew this hand sewing piece would take the longest. 

Hand Embroidery Setup & Directions:

csmurf_texttofabric

  1. Setup your text in the word processor of your choosing and print them out on standard printer paper.
  2. Flip the paper over and using your iron-on transfer pencil trace over the text.  To make this process easier I used a light box, if you don’t have one visit Weddingbee’s Mrs. Stiletto to learn how to make your own. (hint before I owned a real light box I have been known to place a clip lamp under an old glass-topped coffee table).
  3. Cut out around your text for easier placement on your apron (or other fabric item).
  4. Carefully pre-iron your apron top and leaving the apron on the ironing board, place your template, printer side up on your fabric.
  5. Iron over the paper, careful not to move or wrinkle it. I use a high heat seating with no steam.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes, and then carefully remove the paper revealing your text template on your apron.  Now you are ready to start sewing!
  7. Using embroidery thread stitch over your letters to complete your monogram or phrase.  I used a simple outline stitch but a chain stitch would also work well (use the links to view tutorial videos).  I did this while watching NFL football games with the hubs.

Making  Ruffles:
Since the eyelet was purchased pre-ruffled that meant I would only need two more rows of complimenting ruffles.  For this project I used leftover fabric from our wedding cake table, but provided your fabric is wide enough you can easily get 3 ruffles per each 1/2 yard.

  1. First measure the width of your apron bottom and multiply by 1.5 (or 2 if you want really ruffly ruffles) and cut the fabric section into that width.
  2. To make cutting easier I first ironed my fabric, folded it in half lengthwise and pressed it again.
  3. Using the rotary cutter and cutting mat I cut 2 strips of fabric that was 4 inches in height.
  4. Take out your quilt binding and cut it into strips the same width as your fabric.  Cut one piece of binding per each fabric strip and sew to bottom edge of what will become ruffle.
  5. Using either your sewing machine to run a long loose stitch down the top of the ruffle, or do like I did and hand sew a long straight row of loose stitches to the top of the ruffle.  Make sure to leave threads on both ends so you can pull to form the ruffle.
  6. Pull threads to make fabric ruffle, and spread out to be the width of your apron
  7. Pin in place
  8. Using sewing machine, sew ruffle into place
  9. repeat with remaining eyelet and ruffles

DIY – Shoe & Boot Bags for a Buck

A few weeks ago I opened a small etsy shop in an effort to help sell some of  my MIL’s clothing from the late 70′s & 80′s for her husband.  I started with 3 items that were easily posted just to see how well they’d do…and last week I sold my first item (cowboy boots).  It was really exciting (for both my step-FIL and I).   As I prepared to ship the boots to their new owner I realized that they needed to be wrapped to prevent the soles from scuffing the white leather, which made me realize that wasn’t necessarily just a shipping issue.  I started looking around the craft room for something stronger than tissue paper that would survive shipping and saw a couple of Flour Sack dish clothes from the local dollar store that I’d picked up to cut into templates for a quilting project currently running around in my head.  They were perfect, and with scissors and a sewing machine I had two dust bags in less than 10 minutes.   10 minutes + $1 = Winner!

Materials Needed:
- Flour Sack Dish Cloth from Dollar Store (1 per 2 or 3 bags depending on size)

Tools Needed:
- Sewing Machine with matching thread
- Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Measure shoes or boots to determine how large your bag(s) need to be.
  2. Remove tags and open dish cloth flat.
  3. Fold dish cloth in half horizontally with unfinished edges to the outside.
  4. Using measurements determine how many bags can be made from one cloth.  For this example of women’s cowboy boots we can make two bags.
  5. Using scissors or a rotary blade cut the cloth into desired widths.
  6. Align open sides of the cloth (pin in place if needed) and sew along the edges.  Repeat on other open side.
  7. Turn bag right-side out
  8. Insert boots and store for use (or shipping)

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For a more finished product you could also turn down the top edge including a draw string.  I plan to make several more of these for several handbags and seasonal shoes so they won’t get dusty between uses.  I also think I will attach leftover tags to identify what is in each bag.

Price Breakdown for 2 boot bags:
$1.06
(tax included)  – You just can’t beat that :)

Semi-DIY: Embellished Vendor Apron – Reveal

A few weeks ago I posted a link to help with making 3D fabric flowers, with the following teaser photo:

And now that the finished product has made its way to the lovely vendor recipient, I can show you the finished product.  First, a little back story:

For our June wedding I was sure I needed or even wanted a DOC (day-of-coordinator).  I plan things fairly regularly for work, so really this shouldn’t have been any different.  Only…it was!  In addition to the wedding planning I was also in the middle of some serious work-place drama and stress.  Due to family situations that just went from bad to unimaginable my boss stepped back for several months , leaving me & our assistant to “hold down the fort”.  I thought I was managing everything quite well…until a discussion over table linens left me a sobbing mess, standing in Ikea, on Valentines Day.  It was that day Brainy and I agreed I needed help.  We worked to find vendors to scale back my DIY efforts and he took over several areas of wedding planning (Honeymoon & Music to name a couple).  One of those vendors was our florist.  Since we were getting married in such a small town I was really, really worried about the florist in particular.  I grew up in a small town, and had never had a great floral experience with anyone there.  Everyone we asked recommended her, and it was often just assumed that brides there hired her to be their DOC as well.  After our first meeting I was sold on her as the florist, but not sure I needed a DOC.  Then Brainy reminded me of Ikea and said for the low cost it would be fine….and you know what?  It was more than “fine”.  She rocked!  Honestly, I still feel like we didn’t pay her enough, and the best thing was she didn’t seem like a vendor.  Instead, she felt like a long lost family friend and everyone that met her at the wedding raved about how sweet and helpful she was.  So, I decided I wanted to “create” her a small token of appreciation (in addition to rave reviews) but I wasn’t sure what.  One afternoon I remembered a funny conversation we had during the days leading up to the wedding and it hit me, she needed a frilly apron. 

So, using some leftover fabric she had painstakingly decorated our cake table with and a few other items, I whipped up a functional frilly apron to keep her clothes all clean when she is working on her floral goodness.  Since I haven’t sewn in a few years (at least), I was super happy with how it turned out.

Remember those 3D Flowers?  I created 3 different matching flowers and attached half of a snap to the back of each one, then sewed the back half of one of the snaps to the top of the apron.  So she can change them out, and easily remove it for laundering.  Notice how the frills didn’t cover the whole apron?  That way she isn’t wiping her hands on the ruffles.  And yes, I hand embroidered the shop name on the top. 

I’m hoping she loves it almost as much as I loved having her keeping our wedding in line!  Let me know if you are interested in a tutorial for this project and I’ll put one together and post.

Semi-DIY – Fabric Petal Flowers

This weekend during all the rain I *gasp* pulled my sewing machine of the basement to finish up a project I started as a gift to my florist/day of coordinator.  I’m super pleased with how it turned out and I hope she feels the same way.  However, I’m being a bit of a tease since I won’t post photos of the finished product until she receives it in the mail.  BUT…I will show you a small piece of the finished product because it could have SO many uses.    The 3-D Fabric Flower!

I played around and made several of these (or at least something similar) using leftover scraps from covering our jam jar favors.  Then I found this tutorial at …and All Things Nice that explained things much better and my flowers came out much cleaner this way. 

I made very few changes:

  • I added in an extra petal
  • My circles were 3 inches in diameter since I already had them cut out from a previous project and wanted larger flowers anyway.
  • I added leaves to the back of my flowers.
    • For some flowers I used left over felt to cut out a leaf shape which I stitched around with embroidery threat and attached it to the back of the flower
    • For others I simply cut out a larger circle and made two leaves using the petal technique from and All Things Nice‘s turorial
  • I attached a small circle of felt to the back of the flower and attached the button before it was attached to the final product
  • Instead of sewing my flower to the end product I attached a snap to the flowers and the backside to the final product.  This way they can be changed out for several different looks.

There are so many ways you could use these flowers!  A few running through my head right now are for:

  • attach a stem and use a bunch of them for a floral arrangement
  • attach stems and use a bunch for a rehersal bouquet for a wedding
  • a toss away bouquet for a wedding
  • a fun pin to add to a wool jacket
  • a fun pin to add to a hat or boggin
  • attach to a hair elastic or barrett for a cute little girl’s hair decoration

Here is a teaser of what I used my fabric flowers for ;)

What will you use your fabric flowers for?