Monthly Archives: March 2011

Linky Thursday

I’ve been finding quite a few t-shirt refashions that I’m dying to try lately. My favorite of the bunch is this long sleeved to bow tank (I even found a cute, striped shirt similar to the one in the tutorial for .97!) although this Garnet Hill Shirt knock-off and this Ruffle Shirt come in a close second.

Sew up a flattering shirt dress. One catch – you have to own a dress that currently fits you well as the pattern.

It’s probably more of an undertaking that what I care to try, but I’ve always wanted a customized umbrella. Learn how to recover one and make it your own.

Sew a scrappy polo shirt for your little guy

I wouldn’t mind making my own bean bag chair if I didn’t have to deal with all those polystyrene pellets… those were the messiest things I’ve ever had to deal with. Ever.

Ruffles are everywhere this season – even on shoes. Learn how to add some to your sandals (or high heals).

A good tutorial on adding pockets to one-piece pants. It’s designed for children, but would work on adult patterns as well.

A free e-book on learning how to sew – great to pass on to someone you know just starting out.

This butterfly wall art project reminds me of my grandmother who had some of the real thing hanging on her wall.

Remember that pop-up bucket that I mentioned in last week’s Linky Thursday? This one has a similar feel (you can’t smash it down, but it’s the same shape) and you don’t need that pesky coil.

Make an easy summer skirt – no pattern required!

I’ve always wanted a Cassette Tape Wallet. Now I can just make one for myself….. I’m not even sure we have a cassette tape player in the house anymore.


Do you ever get a ‘brilliant’ idea only to have it not translate well onto paper? Well, this onesie was my ‘brilliant idea’ and there’s only one way to describe it… “meh”. I was trying to give some movement and a different sort of dimension to my partner’s onesies. She’s nuts about goldfish and I thought that making a fishbowl onesie with a swimming fish inside would be fun. Two things I realized after making it:

1) The background of the fishbowl should really be embellished (rocks, coral, a castle, bubbles, etc.) before adding the clear plastic over top of the design – a plain background (at least with only one fish) is sort of boring. This of course means that the design itself needs to be bigger as well – so it might not work as well with an infant onesie.

2) You need either bigger or more fish. One just gets lost in there.

3) Use white tissue paper if you’re going to use it to place over the plastic (instead of a teflon foot). I only had paper with a ‘design’ on it and now I have little bits of pink paper that just won’t let loose.

T-Shirt to Gown

Instead of embellishing another onesie, I decided to do something a bit different this time and make a newborn gown (something my partner had mentioned she wouldn’t mind receiving). Originally, I wanted to make one in black and use glow in the dark paint for the image, but I never found a pattern in one of my books (I was surprised) so I turned to the internet. That’s when I stumbled across a fun tutorial for recycling a t-shirt into a gown. Since I recently did a closet purge, I didn’t have that many shirts so I decided to raid Taylor’s and came across one I know that she wouldn’t miss (it’s too small)… a ‘retro’ Double Bubble shirt. Here’s a before and after shot of the finished gown:

Overall this gown came together really well. Since the shirt was a youth large, I had enough material for the body, but not enough for the sleeves. I decided to go ahead and use the existing sleeves in the shirt and make them 3/4 length (I also kept the existing hem in the sleeves as well) instead of short. I’m keeping this pattern in mind for future babies – I’ll be making some fun shower gifts soon and I can see how this would make a fun package.

Cranes for Japan

There’s a legend in Japan that says the if 1,000 origami paper cranes are folded, a person’s wish will come true. Consequently, the crane has become the symbol for peace, hope, and recovery from illness. With the devastation in Japan, crafters across the world have shown their support by folding hundreds of origami cranes. Learn how to make your own crane(s) or better yet, get a group together and fold up a hundred.

The publisher of Crane Origami has generously offered to send out several copies of this book. Just leave your comment here to be entered into the giveaway. Earn extra entries by blogging, tweeting, or posting this link to your Facebook page – then come back here and let me know you’ve put it up. Good luck and happy folding!

Customize A Robe

My latest tutorial for the Sewing Republic is live – learn how to make yourself a Customized Lounge Robe. The great thing about this project is that it’s designed by you – plug in your measurements, determine your length (I made mine a fun kimono length), and make your own ‘pattern’!

One thing you may notice about this project is that there are no fabric requirements listed in the materials section. Since this robe is customized, your unique body measurements and desired robe length paired with the fabric width can greatly vary the amount of material needed. Consequently, it’s a good idea to take your measurements first so you can determine how much fabric you’ll need – this way you won’t end up with too little to start with or too much material left over. Cant find the fabric you want or the width you need? You can skip heading to the store and raid your linen closet instead (this is a great project to use up sheets or fleece blankets).

Matching Set

I worked on another shirt for my Week of Baby Onesies swap. This one is embellished with a hippo and bird (an image that my partner really liked) and I made a matching burp cloth to go with it. I thought this fabric worked well – I think it’s boyish enough, but at the same time could work for a girl too. I think I’m going to keep this design in mind for future shirts – I have a friend that’s having another baby in August and I might just make some cute embellished shirts as part of her gift…. unless it’s a girl and then I’m going on a baby romper and dress sewing binge!

Linky Thursday

Learn how to create a fabric cover for you diary, calendar, or notebook.

Win a copy of Purses, Bags, and More. I’m loving those braided handles.

Another perfect for spring accessory – make a knitted cotton & linen ruffle scarf. Then stop by here for a chance to win some colorful cotton yarn perfect for knitting it up!

Island Girl Bags is looking for more Facebook followers. Like the page and when she reaches 600, she’ll be giving away one of her newest creations, a beach bag. They are so cute!

This easy little dragonfly project is a perfect way to ring in spring.

I adore this bear that you print out and sew yourself.

A cute little half apron with nice deep pockets!

More great ways to recycle a t-shirt, turn it into a cute bag or yoga pants.

Learn how to take in jeans at the side seam.

I’ve been seeing feathered earrings all over the place these days. Learn how to make your own.

Cuffs of all sorts (fabric, leather, knitted) see to be popping up all over the place these days. This tutorial is unique as it sports some rather large hardware.

Feeling spring? Here’s 50 spring themed crafts to help you celebrate that it’s finally here!

First Onesie

I started crafting for my Week of Baby Onesies swap this week. I have a lot of ideas for this one, but keeping them ‘gender neutral’ is a bit more difficult that what I thought they would be – I never realized how many fabrics really lean toward girls. My first shirt is a ‘tattoo’ themed design in red foil. I had dyed a white shirt ‘black’, although the dye didn’t turn out dark enough and looks more like a gray (with purple hues) instead. It’s a nice color, but not necessarily the one I had intended (I have since found black onesies sold at Hobby Lobby). I used a stencil made by Tulip for the design – I do not recommend them. The borders are thin so it’s too easy spread the paint over the intended design, plus they are small (great for baby shirts) so ‘painting’ the design is even more difficult. I would have rather used Plaid’s Simply Screen, but their templates seem to run too large and are limited in designs right now. Overall, I like the finished result, but not necessarily the products used to make it.

Winners & Notebooks

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, the winner of My Favorite Felt Sweets is….. Tara from Gruene Tree! Congratulations, Tara, send me you mailing information and I’ll send it on it’s way.

So, what new craft item have I come up with? A notebook cover for my The Office Swap. Originally, I wanted to create a Hello Kitty Laptop cover (from The Office episode Have A HOLLY, Jolly Christmas), but I had no idea if my partner owned a laptop – I hated to make something that would never get any use. Consequently, I made a (Hello Kitty) notebook cover instead. Instead of creating a slip on cover for the notebook, I tried something completely different – I used fusible web and ironed the fabric right onto the notebook cover! While this project is really easy to make (just iron, then trim), I have mixed feelings about the results. First off, it’s not as ‘clean’ looking as making a slip cover and the color of the notebook is more likely to ‘come through’ if the material isn’t dark enough. However, it’s a fast way (I think older kids can help too) to spruce up a composition cover. More than likely I’ll be making a slipcover the next time around.

Weekend Update

I can honestly say, this weekend went by like a flash. We went to birthday parties, cleaned, shopped, washed cars, prepped planting beds, played outside, met with a longtime (and now far away) friend, and I even took in a bit of sewing. WHEW! For once I hardly spent any time in front of the computer (which is would explain the lack of posting this weekend) so it’s time for lots of updates! First, I finished up a “labor of love” project. I wish I could share more, but I’ll have to wait for the ‘big reveal’ later in the year. I can say, this project allowed me to make my first purchase from Mood and try out the faux leather from I highly recommend both. I also made a fun project for my Office Swap:

A Pretzel Day apron! I can’t take credit for the sewing on the apron as I decided to go with a purchased one – I figured the focus wasn’t so much on the apron itself, but the designlogo, instead. I like that this item is ‘fun’, but is still functional – something that is sometimes hard to do with ‘themed’ swaps as it’s so easy to make projects that are fun, but wind up sitting on a shelf, just for looks. Speaking of swaps, I also managed to pick up some supplies for Week of Baby Onesies. I get to make some newborn (ooooh, they are so tiny), gender neutral shirts for my partner. I’m excited to try out some of the ideas I have planned!

By the way, don’t forget to sign up to win a copy of My Favorite Felt Sweets – you have until midnight tonight to register!