Posts Tagged ‘fabric’

Stuff I Saw On The Internet And Actually Tried With My Own Hands

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

My computer is working, for now. But strangely enough, without a screen to stare at all day I was actually productive. I sewed not one, but TWO separate articles of clothing for Caroline – one of which I’ve had bookmarked since before she was even born. All that productivity gave me a raging migraine though (or maybe it was detoxing from a weekend full of cupcakes) so today I’m just going to bask in the glory of yesterday’s projects.

First, I hung up this play thet I made for the kids and it’s their new favorite hide out:

easy no sew play tent

I got the idea here, the embroidery hoop at Joann’s and 4 packs of sheer curtains from Target.

Then I sewed this out of some fabric I bought for $2 a yard:

pillowcase dress

The tutorial is from my friend Jill at Baby Rabies and even though it’s really simple I suspect I messed up the finishing around the armholes.

pillowcase dress

Caroline was too busy eating cheese to notice it wasn’t perfect though, and I am too in love with the print to care.

And finally, I whipped up a little circle skirt:

circle skirt

I used Chelsey’s tutorial here (with inspiration by Dana Made It). This was my least successful sewing project, but only because I misjudged Caroline’s waist measurement. I swear I measured it at least 4 times but forgot that even though her BELLY is 20 inches around, she wears her clothes lower, where she’s only 18 inches around. Throw in my last-minute modification to hide the elastic instead of having it exposed and this skirt is definitely too big. Eh, nothing a safety pin can’t fix now and it will fit for a long time to come.

It turns out I’m NOT terrible with my sewing machine if I practice often enough. My new plan is to sew something at least once a month so I don’t lose the little skill I’ve gained. FABRIC STORE, HERE I COME.

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Mormor’s Birthday Present

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

The kids call my mom “Mormor”, which is Swedish for Grandma. It’s hard to find stuff that actually SAYS Mormor on it (I can only get her so many mugs from the Scandinavian store) so we have to get creative. Take one craft apron, a cute saying, some fabric markers and a couple of willing coloring assistants and you’ve got a special birthday present for Mormor!

mormor never runs out of cookies or hugs

I set up the text on the computer and printed it on regular paper.

mormor never runs out of cookies or hugs

Then I used my window as a make-shift light box to trace the letters with a fabric pen. If you had better handwriting than me you could just write on the apron and/or make it look neater when you traced.

mormor never runs out of cookies or hugs

A couple of simple heart cut-outs worked as stencils.

mormor never runs out of cookies or hugs

My assistants needed a little help coloring around the edges so they didn’t go under the paper and to make sure the shape was clearly visible but they loved using ALL the colors.

mormor never runs out of cookies or hugs

And voila! A simple, one-of-a-kind present for Mormor’s birthday. I wrote “Happy Birthday” and “July 2012” on the sides near the ties so she’d always remember the date and occasion. It would be an a great gift for Mother’s Day too – maybe with these potholders as a set? (Those are what I DID give the grandmas for Mother’s Day!)

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Pinterest Living Room Makeover

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Confession: I’ve taken the “before” pictures for this makeover no less than five different times. Every time I walk through the living room (which is every time I go upstairs or check the mail) I am underwhelmed by its boringness and uselessness. We live in an old house, designed for formal entertaining (you can see the house tour here, although we’ve changed almost every room since then) which is fantastic when it comes to throwing parties but not so great for every day life. We don’t use the front door and we almost never use the dining room, so the front of the house has become a catch-all for junk. There isn’t even a couch in the living room – the free one I got off Craigslist went out with the trash before Evan’s 1st birthday and I haven’t found something I like/can afford. Which means for the last year (and then some), our living room has looked like this:

From a few weeks ago. Just ignore the ball pit we just FINALLY took down from Little Evan’s 2nd birthday party. Also, that TV isn’t hooked up/attached to anything yet, so it’s just a big black light-blocking hole.
This is from Saturday morning. I moved some stuff to the mantle to try to make it more interesting. It didn’t really work.

I know it was built for afternoon teas and dinner parties, but living in half our house is stupid – why feel cramped when we have an extra 300+ square feet of EMPTY SPACE to spread out in? And why do I keep insisting on using it as a FORMAL living room, when almost none of our living is formal?

So my mission was two fold:
1. Make our living room both more functional and more fun and
2. Don’t spend any money

Enter Pinterest.

{handprint art, chalkboard table, bright colored room, fabric garland, covered canvas, button letter}

And here’s how it looks now:

Breakdown:
-I bought the canvases from Michael’s when they were on sale AND I had a coupon, to save for a day when I was feeling creative. The striped ones are tissue paper attached with spray adhesive.
-All the paint, felt and ribbons are from previous projects, especially Caroline’s Nursery.
-The bright colored pillow covers are from Life’s Candy, my wonderful friend Mae’s shop. I relocated them from our entrance bench.
-The fabric on the garland was tablecloths at Little Evan’s 2nd birthday.
-The plates are straight up dinner plates from our cabinet, purchased at Walmart in 2001.
6. The empty frame was in our basement.
7. I bought the vases at Target for $3.24 each back in March to fill in the empty mantle.
8. The coffee table was in the basement, the blue chair was in the attic and the toys were in the toy box.

Since the coffee table is black you can’t really see the chalkboard paint unless I’ve drawn on it, so all it takes is a quick swipe with a damp paper towel and we have our grown-up piece of furniture back. The baskets underneath neatly hide all the toys and the chalk.

So paint, buttons, fabric, and some repurposing turned our boring wasted space into a cute, usable room. Now I just need to find a small couch, some big comfy floor pillows and a DVD player for that TV and we might actually start spending some time in there!

Of course I finished this just in time to change it all again for Christmas. Maybe we’ll go with a rainbow theme for the holidays this year.

Thirty Hand Made Days

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