Tuesday, September 2, 2014

'Need a new mouse pad?

We did. I only had one, but I have two computers. The kids needed new ones because they're kids. So we decided to make a no-sew craft this afternoon. It only took about 15 minutes, and the kids loved it!

We used:
  • a square-ish of cardboard per kid - I cut them for the younger kids, but I could have let them do it
  • a larger square-ish of scrap fabric - we put the cardboard square on it and cut the fabric about two inches larger on all sides
  • Spray adhesive - I did all the spraying

We used an old display board that had water damage on one end. For my own mouse pad I actually used two equal pieces of cardboard. I used the spray adhesive to glue them together before moving on to the next step. 

We cut the fabric about two inches larger - emphasis on the "about." 

We took the whole production outside and I sprayed one side of the cardboard with spray adhesive. Be sure to spray on newspaper or some other surface than can be sticky forever - 'cause it will. One note - if you end up with very sticky hands (am I the only one who gets more sticky than my project with spray adhesive?), you can rub your sticky skin with cooking oil before washing with dish soap to get the sticky off. We use this method for tree sap, too.

We laid the fabric on wrong side down and pressed and smoothed it with our hands. The kids' pads had some wrinkles, but I was able to pull up the fabric and smooth them out. 

I trimmed the corners at an angle to make it easy to fold them under.

Next I sprayed around the edges of he fabric and folded them down.

What we should have done (and didn't  know until we tried them out) was to glue some grippy shelf liner stuff to the bottom. 
(This is from the dollar store. This piece actually belongs in a drawer, so I'll add some to my mouse pad when I get to the dollar store again.)

Even without the grippy stuff, it works well, and mine matches the mug rug I made a few months ago. 

Kristi loves hers, too!

It was a fun, cheap, easy kid project. Now I don't have to spend $$ on mouse pads for 6 kids!

Monday, August 11, 2014

I finally sewed something!

After a very way too long absence, I am briefly posting again. I found this tutorial online that I just *had* to make. In fact, I completely cleaned and reorganized my craft space just so I could make it. I didn't take photos along the way, but here's the finished product.

I used a dress that used to belong to my youngest daughter and a dress that I used to wear, a thrifted belt, and some fleece lining from my stash.

I love, love, love it!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Cute Denim Apron

I pinned this neat apron tutorial about a month ago, but I got sidetracked and kinda forgot about it until today. I wanted a project that would be quick and fun, and wasn’t doll-sized. This turned out to be the perfect project.

2014-02-10 17.03.47

I followed the instructions pretty closely, although I did find a couple changes to be necessary. I’m obviously a bit more generously-proportioned than the lady pictured in the tutorial, so I cut two 4-inch strips instead of cutting one and cutting that in half for the ties. If I had made them a little longer I could have wrapped them around and tied in front, but it worked to have 18” (or so) ties.

When I got the pieces all together I also found that the top was too wide…

2014-02-10 16.38.14

…so I put some pleats in, and it’s perfect.

2014-02-10 17.25.45

I decided I did not want the pocket on the upper portion. I pinned it on, got ready to stitch it down, and decided I didn’t like the way it looked on my apron. The jean pockets are perfect anyway – I made sure the pockets were intact when I stitched the ruffle on.

This was my first attempt at making my own bias tape with my new (non) bias tape maker. It’s a pain to get the fabric started through the device, but once that’s done, it’s a snap to make the non-bias tape (I did not cut mine on the bias – I followed the instructions in the tutorial and they were for non-bias tape). I made mine 1/2” double fold because that’s the size of my bias tape maker. I love how it came out, and it was much easier than I thought it would be.

So, there you go. I made a cute denim apron, and I love it! I might just start on some Christmas gifts a little (big) bit early…

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Uhoh - My Daughter Got a Baby Doll

I think I may need an intervention. I've made clothes for my daughter (fun - but she doesn't appreciate them the way I would like), I've made clothes for my boys, and I've made clothes for me. I've even made clothes for stuffed hamsters. But until yesterday I'd never made clothes for a baby doll.

My daughter had never been really "into" baby dolls until Nana bought her one last week, so it never really came up. Nana bought her a bath time baby that only had a little diaper and a hooded towel. It's winter in Montana - it's COLD! Baby Rosa needed some clothes!

So I pinned some fun stuff and played with some ideas. But when I finally got around to starting to make them I was done for. Not in the "uhoh - I'm in big trouble" sorta way, but in the "sorry family, I hope you can fend for yourself for the next forever" sorta way.

First I tried this cute sundress...












This sweet dress is reversible, and will soon have some cute buttons or something that attach to the exposed Velcro just for cuteness. (Here it is with the new diaper shown below – I love mixy-matchy!)

2014-02-06 16.11.50 2014-02-06 16.13.53

But it’s too cold to go without pants!
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Better. But those bare arms…it’s –15F raw temperature. What kind of person lets a baby doll freeze in these temperatures?!
 2014-02-06 14.00.38

I used an old sundress of Kristi’s and an old shirt of mine to make this little dress from this tutorial over at ruth plus two. Since my Kristi’s doll is only 13” I decreased the pattern to 80% when I printed it. It probably could have gone down to 75% as long as the dress was made with something stretchy like the knit I used.
2014-02-06 13.32.44

I decided not to bother with seam binding or elastic – I cut my pieces from the bottoms of the garments so the edges were finished already, and I used the sleeve hem for the neckline instead of putting in elastic. When I was one with the dress I decided Rosa needed a matching diaper from this tutorial at Blueberry Moon.
2014-02-06 14.02.36 

Maybe it’s time to quit playing with the doll and start making dinner for my family?

but I think she might need some booties…

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What kind of music do they play at the Hamster Ball?

Meet Speedy. This is Caleb’s cuddly buddy.

And Tumbles. She’s Kristi’s little ball of cuddles.

Speedy has invited Tumbles to the Hamster Ball (hamster ball – get it? Caleb thinks that play on words is hilarious!)

Tumbles was thrilled with the invitation (apparently) but she needed a dress for the occasion. This is where the refashioning comes in. Caleb picked out an old princess valance from my stash as Tumbles soon-to-be ball gown. We chose to use the bottom so we didn’t have to create a new hem. And it says '”Princess” – that’s perfect for a hamster’s ball gown, don’t you think?

I gave it a quick press, and then we very carefully and accurately (ha!) measured what we needed to create a simple gown. (Very simple, given Tumbles…um…unique body type.)

(Thank you to Caleb for taking this picture.)

Our gown is cut out.

I was just planning on an elastic waist, so I pulled out some reclaimed elastic in my stash. Once again, I carefully measured the elastic – or maybe I just stretched some around Tumbles and cut what I needed.

I thought it would be more time-consuming to create a pocket for the elastic than to just stretch it and stitch it in, so I got Caleb to help me while I pinned the elastic with the top of the fabric folded over it – an extra hand is very helpful.

I stretched as I stitched and got a nice gather.

One seam up the side, and our ball gown was done!

We tried it on her below her hands, and didn’t like the way it looked. We decided if we covered her hands up she’d keep them to herself during the dance. As you can see, we also gave Tumbles a sparkly headband to make the ensemble shine.

Here they are, all ready for the ball. Speedy got all gussied up in his best tie, and they headed off to dance the night (or day) away.

Oh, and in answer to the title question, I suspect that these were included in the playlist…

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Meet My Alter Ego

Have you seen the duct tape dress forms on Pinterest? My friend Jessica and I decided to give it a try. We did mine first, and kinda learned as we went along…

dress form 1
I hate to show off my…um…curves…so clearly, but we wanted it to be as close to my actual shape as possible.

dress form 2
No boring duct tape for us! There are too many fun options to use boring old grey tape.

After each of us was taped we cut up the back of the shirt and tape and removed our new form. Now it’s time to stuff ‘em! It’s too bad I was too busy trying to keep polyfill in my form – Gavin (my littlest man) was “helping” Jessica with hers and I would have loved to take some video. He was picking up polyfill from the floor and shoving it in with her until he ran out of polyfill on the floor – then he started taking it out of her form and putting it in mine. Open-mouthed smile So helpful!
dress form 3

dress form 4
Jessica traced the bottom of her form on a piece of cardboard (a Huggies diaper box – go figure) and then cut it out and stuck it in the bottom. I did mine the hard way – I eyeballed it and taped it on here and there and then trimmed the cardboard to fit.

dress form 5
The bottom of Jessica’s looks so neat and tidy.

dress form 6
Here’s one thing we learned – if you’re going to use the fun, pretty tape, it will probably take more than 3 rolls. If you use the big rolls of grey tape two will probably be good. These were 10 yd. rolls and we needed at least 3 for Jessica, and I (obviously) needed more than 3. I ran out of the Wallflower pattern tape and had to use the miscellaneous rolls I already had around. My alter ego is like me – a little organized and a whole lot mismatched.

We left the sleeves loose and open so we could move the polyfill around.dress form 7
As you can see, the girls headed south without me. That’s another thing we learned – we should have gone a little tighter under the bust, and been a lot more careful forming around it. We both lost fullness and structure in the chest area so we will probably put bras on our forms when we use them. Won’t that be cute? My mismatched, crazy dress form wearing nothing but a bra?

Oh, okay – you convinced me…one of these days I’ll take a picture of “her” like that.

Here’s Jessica’s dress form…
dress from 8

dress form 9

And one more shot of my half-lady – this time she’s partially dressed.
dress form 10
Yup. She needs a breast lift.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Time for a tank top

I was going through refashion withdrawals! We’ve been so busy getting Jemimah (and ourselves) ready for our big vacation that I haven’t had time for refashioning. But today I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I decided that instead of taking care of laundry I would turn this way too big, thrifted top into something useful.

(My 7-year-old took this picture. Not too bad!)
I liked the squared and gathered neckline, so I wanted to keep that intact. I decided this was going to be a tank top, and I wanted wide shoulders, so I started there. I tried the shirt on inside out and figured out how wide I wanted the shoulders to be. I added an inch for a hem, then marked that spot on each side.

From there I just followed the curve of the existing sleeve to mark where I was going to cut. I cut that sleeve off, then folded the shirt in half lengthwise so I could use the cut side as the guide for the other side.

I tried the shirt on again (inside out) and determined where I needed my new side seams to be. I pinned a few places down each side – gotta love taking clothes off with pins in – and marked those spots with my disappearing ink marker. When I laid the shirt back down on the table and flattened it all out I was able to connect those dots and see a nice almost-princess-cut taking shape.
On the first side I added a half inch seam allowance as I was cutting (because the line I had drawn was my desired seam line).

Once again I folded my shirt in half lengthwise and used the cut side as a guide for the second side. This time I didn’t have to add the half inch seam allowance because it was already figured into the first cut.
Now that all the cutting was done it was time to start stitching. I did the armholes first. I’m a risk-taker (Open-mouthed smile) so this was eyeballed.

Stitch, talk with kid, stitch, referee yet another disagreement, stitch. It took a while to get this part done because most of the 9 kids that were in the house at the time had to come running to me to complain about someone else.
I went around the armhole once very close to the inside edge of the hem, and then went around again about a quarter inch from the outside edge because I like the finished look of the two rows of stitching.

After both armholes were finished I did the side seams – they were superdy-duperdy easy because they were just a straight stitch with no complications. All done. Time to try it on again.
I didn’t get a shot of it at this point…I think this was when I had to stop my toddler from running down the hall with a fork in his mouth.
When I tried the top on I found that it needed bust darts. I’d never done them before, but it was obvious that they needed to be there. I also saw (as I had expected) that the armholes were too low for modesty. Both problems seemed easy to fix.
Bust darts – worked like a charm.

I needed to put a bit in each side for modesty, so I grabbed one of the sleeves I had cut off because it had a finished hem. To get the right size I just laid the sleeve piece over the armhole and traced about a half inch beyond the existing hem. Does that make sense?

I just felt along the hem and drew my line about a half inch past it. Then I cut that out, pinned it on, and flipped it over. I wanted to sew it on the right side because I wanted to sew along the stitching that was already there – I was hoping that would make it a little less obvious as an addition.

After those pieces were added on each side, the top was done. Time to try it on and rejoice! And rejoice I did – it came out exactly as I had hoped! What were the chances of that?? This was my first time refashioning a shirt, and my first time creating my own refashion completely from scratch. So happy!

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