Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reader Projects: Bird Pillow Variations

The first two projects are variations of the bird pillow cover tutorial I shared on Ucreate.

Deana used the tutorial to make a wall hanging for her bathroom rather than a pillow.  Also notice the button embellishments on the leaves.
Meg used the tutorial to make a pillow, but rather than fabric painting the bird/ tree, she made an applique for it. Great idea!

Another reader project made by Genevieve at Creative Spaces:
 this cute fitted tablecloth (tutorial here) for her play room!
Thanks for sharing your projects!
It makes me so glad to know people are using these tutorials, any other projects I'd love to see them!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Knit Skirt and T-shirt Refashion

Just a quick post, mainly of the skirt.
It's just a simple A-line skirt made out of knit, but I've loved it for the summer, (now that summer is gone I'm getting around to posting it).  It's like wearing a t-shirt, but in a skirt.

I didn't make a full tutorial, but I used a skirt I already had as the pattern.
Just cut out 2 pieces, adding about 1" extra on all the sides, and at the top I stretched the brown skirt to get the actual width on top, as the elastic in the waist scrunches it a bit.
Next just sew up the side seams.
Then I just measured 1/2" elastic around my waist to where it would be comfortable, sewed a casing on the top, and threaded the elastic through to make the waistband.
What's great with using knit, is it doesn't fray, so I didn't even hem the bottom.
Super easy!  If you are petite, you could probably upcycle large men's t-shirt to make cute, comfy skirts!

The next piece was the grey cardigan thing.
I bought a t-shirt from Old Navy for $2.00 on clearance and got it home and it was the size I usually wear, but I guess this top was made to be huge and baggy, but it had a boat neck, so it was ridiculous.
Anyway, I chopped it down the center front, took off the nipple pocket (I hate those!), and readjusted the neck, so what was in the center front originally, ended up being pulled up almost behind my neck.
This obviously made the arms weird, so I cut off the sleeves, and sewed them on again with the shoulder fabric adjusted, the back coming forward on top of the front.

Basically it looks kind of like a onesie now on the shoulders.
And since it's knit, again I didn't hem, it's just raw edges along the center. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reader Project

Here are some super cute onesie dresses Lindsay sent in!  I love the floral/ stripe combo and neckline detail on the first one, and using polka-dots on the other two!

Tutorial here

Lately, I've been in sweat-shop mode making capes, so nothing new and exciting to share from me, although I have an office chair in my garage ready to recover...hopefully I'll get to it sooner than later.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Holy Crap!

I was shocked when Kari from Ucreate invited me to be a creative guest!

U Create
You can get my tutorial to make this Bird Pillow Cover on her site today!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Someone Used My Tutorial!

And I think her version is better than mine!

I'm sure everyone already knows, it takes a lot longer to make a tutorial as you go, rather than just create something.  Sometimes I wonder if it's a waste of time to put in the extra effort in production and blog-time to make tutorials, so I get really excited when someone actually uses them!

Kristen emailed me her awesome reupholstery job! She was in the area to buy some of the same Utah State Legislature chairs I snagged.  The tutorial was in 4 parts.
So here's her chairs:
I love the fabrics she chose, and she kept the original wood.

So if anyone else has ever used one of my tutorials, I would love to see your stuff!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Craft Room

I love to see other crafter's work spaces.  So here's mine if you're interested.
I have one more little project I'd like to add, but it may not happen for a long time, so this is pretty much it.
The room is so small, I can't really get one photo of everything.

Here's everything I made/ remodeled for this room:

Some of my favorites on this wall:
All the colorful thread, at the perfect height to make it easy to change colors when I need to, because I am lazy about matching thread.
Next to my sewing machine I have my thread snippers, so much easier and quicker than scissors to snip threads after each seam!
Magnetic pin holder.
Clay vase thing I made in 8th grade that's big and thick to hold scissors, seam gauge, pens, etc.

My sewing machine: Bernina 1120. 
I was raised on my mom's Bernina 1130, which is the same machine but has more stitches and is just fancier.
I found this machine on craigslist for a reasonable price, and since it's an all metal Bernina, it should last me the rest of my long as I break down and pay for regular maintenance which I need to do.
LAMP!  The cool bronze architect lamp was a gift from my little sister Lynette, who saw it at a thrift store for $6.00 and knew I'd love it.
Other favorites from the shelves:

All the ribbon odds and ends not on spools I keep in jars.  The fish bowl shaped one was from the thrift store for $1.00, the other two I had already.
These are actually all from my husband's grandma.  She collected buttons and when she passed away, his mom gave me a few of her junk buttons.
Jars from thrift stores.  These jars with rubber fitted lids were more expensive, $1.50 each.

This is a tight space, where I have most of my fabric storage.  You can see the desk jutting out, this room is small, and we're pretty tight.
I like to throw on movies when I'm working on projects, most of the time I chose movies I've seen a lot so I can just listen and not actually watch it, but occasionally pop my head up to see my favorite parts.

The crate I've had my entire life.  It's a milk crate from a local dairy in Draper, UT near where I grew up.
As a kid I used it as my dirty laundry, then shoe storage, and different things, and now it holds my "projects to do".
In there right now I have fabric to make me some skirts, a quilt top to cut and sew, owl backpack to finish, painted baby onesies to make into dresses, a stuffed animal that needs mending, and there may be a few other things I forgot about.

Is the cutting table.  I got it for free from craigslist, it is a church sacrament table.  I built stilts to make it high so I can work comfortably, I think it's 38" high.  I'm tall, and it's nice not to have to bend over to work.  I do a lot on there other than cutting just because it's a good height.
On the cutting table, I have another thrift store vase $.50 to hold more fabric scissors, rotary blade, ruler, etc.
My mom made this little wood box and I keep my tailor chalk in there.
Another magnetic pin holder.

You may be wondering:
Well I use it to store:
All my clothing to upcycle.
Before we take old clothes to Good Will, I go through and grab things I know I can use.  So this is the stash and I do use it frequently.  It's kind of color coordinated, many pieces have plans I hope to get to one day.
The WHOLE FOODS grocery basket.
Well, I got that when I was 15.  I was dancing for the summer in San Francisco, and my roommate was vegan and so Whole Foods was her dietary heaven.  It was both our first time in Whole Foods.  They were pretty new then I guess.  She loved the store so much, she wanted a momento, I just wanted a basket to carry all my stuff home on the bus that day.  We asked an employee if we could have or buy a basket.  He got the manager.  The manager looked at us like we were weirdos, and said: "you can't buy them, but if they're gone we'll never notice," and he walked off.  So we kind of stole the baskets with their permission... sort of.
So the Whole Foods basket holds all my scraps.  It's bulging, but I use scraps all the time, especially for applique when you just need small pieces of specific colors/ patterns.
I hammered in a little nail on the side to hang my huge ruler on the right.

That's about it.  You can see my serger tucked in the corner, another craigslist purchase for $40.  It's a classic Bernette.  I think I was able to snag it so cheap because the seller didn't know what it was or what it did, that was a great find.

So I'm impressed you made it this far!  It's small, but I feel like I've made the most of every nook and cranny to make the space workable.  I also have the average sized closet full of stuff too. 
Now this space will shortly become a sweat shop with superhero cape production for my Etsy shop that is currently empty.  I'm kind of getting sick of superhero capes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Updating Things

I have been updating our House To Home: Room by Room page recently if you would like to see the dining room finished with all the links of projects I've done in there.  It's nice to have one more room done.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chair Slip Cover

This chair was in my mom's house since I was in 6th grade.  We loved it, and it shows because all the fabric on the arms is totally shredded, and the seat is thread bare and transparent, and the ottoman is completely destroyed.
We received this chair from my parents as a hand-me-down and I decided it was finally time to do something about it's hashed condition, and the red plaid didn't go with my other furniture anyway.

I considered just reupholstering the beast, but decided the job would be too big and went with the slip cover.
So just sewing a slip cover to fit snugly on top of the shredded plaid worked for me.  Then if it gets dirty, I can just take it off and wash it too.  Or, probably the bigger reason, if I end up changing my decor, I could just make a new slip cover with different fabric, rather than have it permanently attached to the frame.

So this has been at the top of my "to do" list for a while, but has been intimidating to me. 

I started by just making the cover for the cushion.
So the chair was plaid with the chartreuse cushion for a while.
But I finally got the rest done and it's not perfect, but much better.

It was definitely a learning experience, and if I ever have to make one again, I'll have learned from mistakes.
But for now I'm relieved its done so I can move on.
I found the chartreuse suede on clearance months ago, and it became the center of the color palate.
It's thick, and was kind of a pain to work with, but hopefully will prove to be durable for a long time.
I made the piping/ welting with single strips, and had mismeasured and had so much, I sewed them on side by side for a double welt look rather than single.
I still have the ottoman to recover, and it may get close on having enough fabric to complete that project.  Also, it's completely torn up and will need some engineering strategy to figure out how to make it work...but that will be delayed for a while.

I didn't do any kind of tutorial, since each slip cover you'd make would be so specific to the piece of furniture.
But here are some things I did.

I started on the front bottom and worked to the back.

Most of the time I worked with the fabric inside-out and pined pieces while draped over the chair to try to get an exact fit.   When you're making it inside out, it will end up being the opposite arm of the chair when right-side-out, but assuming the furniture was symmetrical worked without any problems.

I tried it on the chair pretty much after each piece was added, making adjustments with the fit as I went.

The construction is the complete chair sewn in one piece.  Except below one side, it velcros shut.  I needed some opening to allow the fabric to get over the widest part of the chair (the bulbous arms), but still needed to keep the base tight for the skirt and bottom sides.  It is snug to get it on and off, but it works and keeps everything tighter so it hopefully looks maybe like it's actually upholstered and not just a slipcover.  I used industrial 2" wide velcro.
Yes, the back is blue fabric I had on hand, as I didn't have enough suede, and you won't see the back anyway.
I got frustrated, made mistakes, but still got through it.
I feel like it was so bad, anything is better than the shredded plaid.
Now to start on the throw pillows, which should be much easier and fun to make.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baby Blankies for Gifts

I've made these before.
Here's more detailed info if you also have friends having babies and want to make some!
They're smaller and simple, more of a cozy blankie--not a swaddling blanket.
I feel like one side always has to be satin to be a true blankie.  I guess I loved satin as a kid or something?

So the satin side has an applique of the first letter of each baby's name.

Baby "e"
yellow furry minky, pink satin, flower applique sewn with blanket stitch, turquoise binding

Baby "b"
pirate print flannel, chocolate satin with pirate "B" and boys appliques sewn with narrow zig-zag, red binding

Hope they like these!


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