Saturday, February 27, 2010

Check out the Totes!

Genevieve from Creative Spaces adapted the School Bag Tutorial to make herself a spanking vinyl beach tote.  It is made from an upcycled shower curtain and curtain liner she bought on clearance.  Love that!
She decided rather than sewing the boat-load of button holes, to use metal eyelets.  I think it looks great.
She has lots of great tips for using vinyl for this project, and even made a baby version for her cute daughter HERE

Stephanie also made a tote and painted a tree on it.  She used scraps she had on hand, so she didn't have to leave the house to have a brand new tote!
I also liked how she just used 1" grosgrain ribbon for the contrasting bottom handle rather than making it from fabric.  Save time!
If you click on Stephanie's blog she made these cool chicken capes to protect her chicken's backs from the roosters.  Fun project and I learned a little about chickens.

If anyone else has made a tote using the School Bag Tutorial, please email me or leave a comment with the link!  I'd love to see it and share your project with everyone else to further the spread of good ideas and variations, because if you're like me, you don't follow the instructions completely.


Thanks to Jenny pictured in the previous post, I have a button now!

Pretty exciting for someone who isn't that technologically savvy.  So if you feel like it, you can copy the code on my sidebar, paste it in a HTML/ Java Script Gadget on your blog, and you'll have this wild thing on your side bar. 

Thanks to anyone who choses to grab a button, and to Jenny for getting it created.

I appreciate it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nursing Shirt

Remember a while back I made this nursing t-shirt?
Well here is Jenny looking good in it, so you could see it on a person.

She said it's been working great to make life easier as a mom.

Once again, you can contact her if you are interested in purchasing similar nursing shirts in the future, as she has been working hard to get them manufactured!

Joke Tee-Shirt

For a birthday gift for one of my husband's friends, we made this t-shirt with the freezer paper stenciling.

It's an inside joke, so I'm assuming the friend will get it, and hopefully like it.

I took a photo of my husband and just increased the contrast to give me an idea of which areas needed to be cut out and left.

Dana at MADE has a tutorial on posterizing images HERE too.

Makes a quick, inexpensive, personalized gift.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Reading Nook {Part 1}

I never went into spontaneous labor, so I ended up going over-due with my son, and was induced. 

<---- That is the night before I delivered, with my large protruding belly...doesn't it look a bit freakish?  Kind of like an alien.  Don't worry, I'd never show bare skin, you'd vomit right on your keyboard if you haven't already.
It's amazing what the human body can do I guess. 

Anyway, so the drive to the hospital wasn't really stressful, as we were just going to the induction appointment.  At the time we lived in northeastern Missouri, and the town we lived in has "Kirksville Clean Up" where everyone can put all their junk on their curb in the spring, and in May the city comes to clean up your pile, from rotten sofas to tree branches. 
We were driving along and saw two children's chairs.  Despite the fact we were about to have our first child, we pulled over and put them in the trunk.  Always on the look for free crap to refinish.
So I've had them for almost 2 years and I've thought of different ideas to do with them, staring at the old rotten peeling paint multiple times for inspiration.  But recently I pulled them out and I'm finally working on them.

I also found on our local classified online listing, a kid's solid wood table for $10.  We had an identicle table when I was a kid growing up.  So I got busy stripping the rotten stools and table down.

I'd never used chemical stripper, but it's basically a gel you paint on.  You wait, and it bubbles up the paint and you simply scrape it off. 

The table just had a varnish that came right off, but those Kirksville stools had layers of colors on them.  They seem so old, I've been nervous about having lead paint under these layers, so I'm determined to get them down to the raw wood again.  Right now I'm sanding off the last remnants, and then will begin on the fun parts of this next big project.

This big project, which I've called the READING NOOK will end up with a table, 2 stools, and 2 toddler chairs in the set.  I'm going to build the 2 toddler chairs from Knock Off Wood's Tutorial.  I went to my local Home Depot, and each chair will only cost $10.00, so pretty great.

My plan is to paint them all white, and then paint the characters of my favorite children's author on everything.  This will be a work in progress, so I'll post as I go.  I'm really excited about this whole thing, and I hope it all turns out as I am thinking in my head.

Not All Ideas Reap Good Results

Blogs are weird in that you only see the best of people's lives, or in this case creations.  I'm not perfect, and many of my projects don't turn out the way I'd all. 

I've had this sweater for years.  It was too big when I recieved it, boxy, and I rarely wore it.
So one night I thought I'd try to refashion it into a sweater vest with a cowel neck.
So I cut off the sleeves and took in the sides.
I didn't plan the project very well and just kept hacking the sleeves to try to make the neck.

In the end I had this lame thing:

I'm not sure the shapeless, baggy, original was worse than this thing. 

So here's to good ideas that fail. 
Maybe I'll try again on a different sweater and plan it out better rather than hacking my way into another one of these lumpy-unflattering-crappily-sewn-wastes-of-time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pilot Hat

I'm with the rest of you mothers of sons that have been enjoying the "Celebrate the Boy" Dana at MADE and Rae have been hosting.  I saw this tutorial for the Sweet Pea Pilot Cap and wanted to try it.  Here is the link for the tutorial, from Sew Liberated--great blog.

It's a pretty easy project.  I used 2 t-shirts from the Good Will pile.

 I decided to change the straps.  The tutorial has you make 2 ties under the chin, but I decided to make a chin strap that snaps on the other side, rather than a bow under the chin.

I first made it way too long.  Before it looked so nice with smooth seams into the round button end.  But today I just hacked it off and zig-zagged it shorter.

The chin strap connects to the opposite corner of the hat with a snap, but I sewed a mock button on top of the snap to look like it buttons. 

I reinforced both sides of the snap with fusible interfacing so the knit wouldn't stretch or potentially tear when pulling the snap apart. 

Great little hat for this time of year where it's starting to warm up a bit for Spring, but cold enough they still need a hat.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Etsy...Time to Get Back Into It

More ideas to add to the Onesie Summer Dress tutorial
I made a few more dresses with a few slight variations from the tutorial. 
These dresses are all available in my little Etsy Shop

I have been working on restocking my etsy shop. 
I worked really hard from October to December with capes, and needed a break. 
So I decided January my month to sew/ craft just for me.  I didn't get anything done I wanted for me (like my wool pea coat but now that winter is ending I'm not as excited about it), but it was nice to just do things on my "want to make" list rather than having an overwhelming "need to make" list.

But I need to get back into it...thus the superhero sweatshop is back in business.

Happy President's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cozy Blankie

My friend had a little daughter, and this is part of her gift.  It's a little blanket, kind of too small to swaddle or really wrap up a baby, but so silky on one side, soft and snuggly on the other side--it's more of a blankie.
One side is lilac charmeuse satin, and the other is a lavendar almost furry soft minky.
I personalized it with the applique "J" for Jayne, and bound the edges with the same cotton print I used for the applique.

This is quick, easy project. You could make it even faster not doing an applique.  I used a blankie my son loves as the pattern.  It has a silky side, and the other is suede feeling.

1. Cut a rectangle of the satin and minky, 27" x 33".
2. Make your applique and topstitch it on the corner of the satin side.
3.  Pin the sides together, and baste 1/4" seam allowance all along the edges.
4. Cut binding. 3" wide. I sewed it on the same way as I bound this Christmas quilt (instructions in post).  Kind of white trash binding.  I should learn to do the miter corner binding.  But it works.
Machine washable too!
You could also paint an image with the freezer paper stenciling rather than sewing an applique too.  I'm shocked I didn't do that considering every other post is freezer paper painted.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Boys Bathrobe

One of my projects that didn't use freezer paper stenciling...shocker.  A pattern this time too. 
Simplicity: It's So Easy Pattern #7524 for Childrens Bathrobe & pajamas.

My mom actually made the robe for all the grandkids for Christmas, and I personalized it with our last name..  My little guy is really thick and my Dad said he looked like a little boxer in his robe, so I put our last name on the back.  I think real boxer wear silk or satin robes, but he's 2...and I really hope he doesn't box.
Simple applique letters 
1. Printed out our name the size & font I needed
2. Traced onto fusible interfacing
3. Ironed the interfacing on black knit (upcycling a t-shirt)
4. Cut out appliques
5. Pinned on robe and topstitched down along the edges.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Summer Onesie Tutorial

Easy sewing project to embellish a plain generic onesie into a cute, coordinated, convenient outfit. 
Details on project and more photos of finished dress on actual baby HERE.
I hope this tutorial is straight forward and seems manageable.  Even if you are new to sewing, you can do it!  You could always leave off the arm cuffs to make it a little easier too.

Also, this tutorial is for personal use only. I ask that you respect my design and the time to put this tutorial together and only use the dresses you will make for yourself, family and friends, not for commercial use/ profit. Thanks!

Friday, February 5, 2010


in the mean time....
My friend, Sarah nominated me for this award! She has a foodie blog: Redhead Recipes. Beyond recipes, she also gives info on which produce is in season, and random food holidays which are fun that I never knew existed.

7 Interesting Things about me:

1. I've never been able to purchase a button-up long-sleeved shirt that had sleeves long enough for my orangutan arms.

2. I am a home body...probably borderline agoraphobic.

3. I graduated in Radiological Science = rad tech = taking x-rays, c-arm in surgery, live flouro procedures...not currently employed in health care. I really like the medical field, but sometimes I actually think I would have been better as a high school teacher. Maybe not though, I've never done it. But as a stay at home mom right now, I am currently loving this work better than anything else.

4. I was a total bun-head until age 16. Bun-head= live, breathe, dream ballet. A hip fracture woke me my sophomore year in high school, not a moment too soon as I was planning to basically drop out of school and get my GED in packets to pursue ballet full time. Occasionally I will still dream about ballet.

5. I married at 19...which was a total shock to me to have the stars align perfectly at that time in my life, as I anticipated being an old maid-- and it has turned out to be the best decision I've made

6. Which brings me to a bad decision I've made, to highlight my hair and now I'm too lazy to make another appointment and thus I have nasty root-action going on if you look close. I knew I wouldn't maintain hair color, as subtle as it was.

7. I love teenagers. My husband is the youngest of 6 and we have lots of teenage neices & nephews and we have so much fun with them. I also work with young teenage girls at church and really enjoy their perspectives, stories, and drama. I'm not saying I will love when my own kids are teenagers, that may cause me to tear my hair out, but it's great to be an aunt or teacher. "You never hear about kids rebelling against their fun uncle [or aunt]." -Michael Scott-

7 Blogs I nominate:

How To Be A Domestic Goddess

Three Sweet Peas

Pink Suede Shoe

If you've been nominated and want to pay it forward, here are the guidelines:
Thank the person who nominated YOU.
Copy the award and post it you YOUR blog.
Link back to the person who nominated you.
Share 7 interesting things about yourself.
Nominate 7 more bloggers for this award.
Post your link to those 7 blogs.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My hEro is My dAd

so you can make this cute shirt for your little boys

I was really excited to have a little boy for lots of reasons, but one of my favorite things has been to see my husband and my son's growing friendship/ relationship.  I love how much son imitates his dad in many little ways.  I've always like the phrase or the many versions of it that basically say a boy's hero is his dad.  So I wanted a shirt with the message.

Another inspiration for this little tee was my own childhood.  I remember I was 4 or 5 and I drew a picture of our family, much like the ones on this shirt, where arms and legs come out of circle-heads.  My mom thought it was so great, she copied my picture onto a peach sweatshirt with black puff paint, and helped me sign the sweatshirt.  She didn't wear her peach sweatshirt that often, mainly for working around the house, but I always loved that she made and wore my art. 

So that's what I was thinking about for this shirt.  I had a generic blue/ green long sleeve onesie I wanted to improve.  I just drew the text and people on a piece of freezer paper, cut out all the orange and ironed it on.  It took two coats of the green fabric paint. 

But I love it.  My husband really likes it.   I think it would be so cute if you have older kids to let them draw and write their own and make it a shirt.  These would make quick, easy, and awesome   FATHER'S DAY GIFTS IN A FEW MONTHS! 

My husband wears glasses, I liked that part of the shirt the best I think.  I pointed out to RJ who the people were on his shirt.  He did point to say "papa" for the glob wearing glasses, but I don't think he caught on the other glob was supposed to be himself.


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