Two Things Tuesday

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thing One: The Spoon Rest Quest
We just put in brand spankin' new counter tops and a tile back splash...all by ourselves! But for some reason, this has burdened me with the long, arduous process of finding the quintessential spoon rest! I think I have clocked more time trying to find the perfect spoon rest than I did picking out counter tops and tile combined. It's all in the details, I suppose. Here are some contenders (all found on Etsy, ofcourse!):

Warm Brown Spoon Rest by JimandGina

Hand Built Persimmon Leaf Plate by Sumiko

And ofcourse, the one the girls think would really "complete the look":

Who knew a spoon rest would end up being the final "piece" of the kitchen makeover?? Which one gets your vote?

Thing Two: This book---

I fell in LOVE with this book last summer and I made some totes and organizers from it-- this one I made for my sister:

Reasons why Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter is great:

a) VERY simple, step by step instructions + patterns!! (I haven't used any of the patterns yet...the tutorials are THAT easy to follow)

b) It was the first sewing book I'd ever owned. So, you can do the math, I've only been seriously sewing for less than a year....EEEK!! That's hard to admit. I've done a few pillows and a set of curtains sprinkled in before that...but that was it. I'm not one of those that has been sewing since I was a little girl or anything...though I wish I had been! I recently found out that my great grandmother was a professional seamstress, so maybe that has something to do with my newfound love of this craft! So essentially, this is the book that started it all for me--I hope by highlighting it, someone else might "get started" too!!

Clippy Crazy 2---Ribbon Alligator Clips!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The newest naptime filler--these little ribbon alligator clips! This isn't going to be a tutorial in the truest sense bc they are so dang easy it's hardly tutorial worthy. Instead, I'm just showing some pics and giving some tips!
Start with your hot glue gun on the inside of the clip and work your way around. I did a section at a time so I wouldn't have to hold it open the whole time--kinda hurts your thumb! When I used the narrow ribbon I wrapped it all the way: inside-outside-around the bend-outside and inside again.

Here I used some wider ribbon, and another one of those unused scrapbooking embellishments:

With the wide ribbon I didn't go around the bottom of the clip's "mouth" bc I didn't think that would be too easy to get into my girls' curly all...

Here's a detail of just how far I went around with it:

Try them! I bought a set of 8 alligator clips at Michael's for $1.50 (I'd call them medium sized). I got the ribbon the narrow ribbon there too---60-75 CENTS per spool!!!!! What a deal!!! They're Spring-y, simple and CHEAP! Who could ask for more??!!

Pleated Little Girls Tanktop from Mens T-Shirt

Friday, March 26, 2010

YAY for warmer weather! I am making tanktops for the girls and all is right with the world! This one started life as my hubby's gray t-shirt...and is now a lovely little Spring/Summer shirt for my 5 yr old!

Here's what you need:
-Mens t-shirt
-embroidery thread(only if you choose to do the flower embellishment the way I did)

Here's how I did it:
1. Turn the shirt inside out. I measured 11 1/2" from the bottom hem to the middle. That creates the "body" of the tank. Then you need a "chest band" piece. For this I measured a 12" X 7" piece from the middle of the shirt. Then from the shoulder of the sleeve I measured down from the shoulder 5 1/2" and 4" wide. See pictogram:

2. The chest band is a snap. Take your two 12X7 pieces and fold them right side out lengthwise. Then sew the two short sides up so it makes a circle. Like so:

3. This is a weird sounding step, but once you get the hang of it it makes sewing two tube like things together easy! You are going to pin the body to the chest band. The body piece will need to be inside out, and the chest piece will be right side out. Insert the chest band into the top(ragged edge part) of the body piece. The good sides of both should be touching each other. Then find the seams of both and pin on the outside (the body side) of the "tube." Find the middle of the two other sides and pin to the outside. So now you have 4 pins in at equal distance with extra hanging out for the body. Like this:

4. Pin your pleats. I just take it section by section. Start in the middle of each section, make one pleat and keep going on either side from there. Then your pleats will be very even, which is nice! When you've pleated your little heart out it should look like this:

5. Sew it with the pleats facing UP. Then turn it right side in and check it out. Now, theoretically you COULD stop right here and have a cute just have to hem it up probably. But I'm after a tank top, so I'm gonna keep going!

6. Straps. There are probably a million ways to sew straps. I just fold in the two long sides until they meet, then fold that in half again. Iron that down and I just straight stitched them on both sides.
7. Here's where it's handy to have either A) a well fitting tank top already made to measure against or B) a live model. I had B! So I just had her try it on, placed the straps, marked them on both the chest band AND the strap...and then pinned it once it was off my lovely model! This is the back of the tank and, as you can see, I angled the back straps in for a little added interest. The front straps are just in straight.8. Sew them on...again could be done a number of ways, I just stitched across and back--DONE! Cut off the excess strap.
Well, almost...I added a flower. When I cut off the excess strap, I just cut some little triangles from that. Sewed the middles all together. Then I took soe embroidery thread and made a little flower center, and covered up the ugliness of the petal sewing. I did also sew the top petal to the strap by just sewing a few stitches...only catching the back layer of the petal so you wouldn't see the stitching in the front.
So it's tunic-y and pleated and has a flower. We layered it on a short sleeve white shirt today, but it will be standing alone for the summer!!
Thanks to my lovely model who was willing to travel to far off locales (the backyard) and try this on as many times as was needed! Love my girls!

Two Things Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This is something new I'm trying. TWO THINGS TUESDAY is exactly like it's two things I've been thinking about, or found, or did, or want...

Thing One: Moonsty and Floonsty!!! If these aren't literally the CUTEST things you have ever seen...well, there is something wrong with you! How perfect for Easter???? These are called Sugar Bunnies--and if they weren't made out of felt I would just eat...them...UP!!!

And my kids would have ENDLESS hours of fun with this tiny gnome village. I'm dying---they are so stinkin' adorable!!

Now, something I desperately need---a ring bowl!! I am constantly leaving my rings all over the house. Everyone else always seems to know where I left them...I'm the one that has the trouble remembering. I feel, though, that if I had this lovely set of nested felted ring bowls I would surely put them in there and actually remember where they were!!

They have many other wonderful things, many bunny-related items that could make for a one of a kind gift! Check them out!

Thing Two: It's possible that this installment should be called "Two CUTE Things Tuesday" because this is also uber cute. Sock and Glove, a super awesome book about animal toys you can make using only socks and gloves. Have you seen this book??? Have you poured over it with your kids and bought all kinds of crazy socks???(found some REALLY fun ones for $1 at both Michael's and Joann's)
I made the cat for my little girl for her 5th birthday. She LOVES cats right now, so it was a natural choice. Meet "Meowy":
Meowy only took 2 socks, and about an hour and 1/2 bc I modified the arm/ear/tail attachment by cutting a slit in the main "body" and pulling the stuffed arm through to the inside and sewing it shut. Plus, I have never attempted an embroidered face of any that was a bit tricky for me. So, I'm thinking the next one might take like 45 min. Anyway, fun and simple and you could totally change it up. BTW: Just realized you can't see the tail in that pic...he does have one, it's just like the arms.

Well, there are Two Things...hope you like 'em!

Bow Headbands...and a resolution!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Have you seen these...oh, I don't know...EVERYWHERE??!!! Well, I every form. So, I decided to try to make one of these bow headband deals for two reasons:
1. I have a puzzling amount of headbands in the bottom of my drawer for no apparent reason since I think I have only worn one of them...once.
2. I resolve to "accessorize" more. Nothing crazy. I just feel like I've forgotten that side of me (yes, it used to exist!) and I'm going to TRY to remember it!

Here's what you need:
-hot glue gun
-fabric strips or ribbon
-unattractive headband

Here's how I did it:
1. Cut strips of fabric (if that's what you're using). I cut mine diagonally...don't know why. It doesn't matter how long bc you can pick up in the middle---I'll show you!

2. Get unattractive headband...done! (This shouldn't be a step....just wanted to show you how very bland this is...)

3. I folded the strips, right side out, bc hot glue will go right through that cotton quilt fabric...and burn you!!

4. Cut some little rectangles, fold them in half lengthwise and glue them on around the ends of the headband. Gives it a "finish" at the end and is much more confortable to wear.
5. Get your long strip ready, fold it in half lengthwise(you might want to iron it---I didn't). Put a dot on hot glue on the OUTSIDE of the headband, right on the fabric you just glued down. Then you can fold the cut side under, wrap the strip around it and glue that down over it. All so you don't see a raw edge.

6. Keep adding glue and wrapping. I only glued on the top/outside edge of my headband bc mine was the kind with teeth on the inside.
Here's the part where I needed to add a new strip:

7. To do that, cut the new strip edge straight across and fold over, like so:

8. Then put a little hot glue on that folded edge and apply on the BOTTOM side of the headband. Wrap it around so that doesn't show and keep going! At the very end I used the same technique to finish it off.
9. The bow...well, I don't know how to make bows. I'm sure I could look it up or...ask...but that takes time and sometimes when you are making something you just can't stop to look it up. So, I made it up! I cut a rectangle, wrapped a spare piece of fabric strip, tied that in a knot on the back--done! I thought the raw edges on the bow might make it a little "cooler." We'll see...

10. Glue that bow in an oh so askew way to your headband and voila! That's is pretty close to what I've seen in every store lately!
*PS--Notice how it matches that Kangaroo Pocket Skirt I made...would that be too matchy-matchy to wear it together??? Hmm...

Here's a ribbon one too! Yes, they are both brown---I wear a lot of brown, ok?!

1000 hits...SWEEEET!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

YAY!! Over 1000 hits! Thanks for reading my irregular and infrequent posts(and commenting on them)---I honestly didn't know if anyone would! Hopefully, once I become a full-time SAHM I will have more time to create, and therefore, post. Just wanted to say thanks for the support!!

Kangaroo Pocket Skirt

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Today was chilly and I made a summer-y skirt, ofcourse!! A Kangaroo Pocket Skirt to be specific. I live in tank tops, flip-flops and skirts all summer long...and this summer will be no different!

Here's what you'll need:
-1 yard of fabric, cotton preferably.
-coordinating thread
-1 inch wide elastic

Here's how I did it:
1. Cut two pieces 22" wide, length is up to you--mine was 21 1/2 " long. This is for a "medium" I would say...
2. Next, cut a 14" x 14" piece. Fold in half and cut a curved L like piece out of the corner for the pockets. Hem all sides, except the top, of that piece. It'll look like this:

3. Pin this kangaroo pocket onto one of the 22" pieces, lining up the tops.

4. Sew the pocket onto that piece, top, sides and bottom---make sure you don't sew the pocket openings shut!! YIKES!
5. Put both 22" pieces right sides together and sew down both sides(the 22" sides).
6. Now for the elastic...fold over the top and make the little part for the elastic. Sew it up almost all the way around, leave a few inches open so you can put the elastic in. Measure yourself where you want the skirt to sit, that's how much elastic to cut...but you will also take it in a little bc you want the skirt to stay ON! Push the elastic through and sew it together. Then sew up the opening by just continuing on the line you started.
7. Once the elastic is in, push the gathers all around so they even out. Then sew a line at each seam line THROUGH the elastic so it won't turn...and if it does it'll be easier to turn back!
Here's the fold over:

8. Hem it! I did a double fold because there is the potential that someone COULD see that one. The other ones I don't really worry about...
9. Ok, so at the last second I decided to add a pocket to the back. It was just a 6"x6" square, single folded on all sides. Pinned it on and sewed the bottom and sides onto the skirt. Easy Peasy! Here's a shot of that pocket close-up, and consequently, my bum:

Completed skirt! Just in time for...more rainy, chilly weather. Oh well, it made me FEEL like it was warmer, and it kept me busy during naptime!