Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ugly Sweater Day

Who would have ever guessed that ugly Christmas sweaters would become wildly popular? Besides parties of the same name, schools are having ‘spirit days’ where students are encouraged to wear theirs. “Unfortunately” we didn’t have one on hand, but we did have a sweater that was my grandmother’s that we were able to embellish. Since I was pressed for time, I purchased felt ornaments from a craft store (the ‘kit’ kind where kids are supposed to punch out the pieces and glue them together) to make appliques. While they look good in the photo, they were a real booger to make – apparently glue doesn’t stick to the stiff felt very well… I tried everything from white glue to super adhesive spray glue (I didn’t try superglue, but I’m sure that would have worked) and still had elements fall off eventually (of course they all stuck to my skin marvelously). This leads me to my next question: Does anyone know (for future reference) how to get these felt pieces to stick together?

Linky Thursday

What an unexpected surprise when your guests wash their hands: HoHo Handtowels.

Need a quick gift or just a fun addition to a basket this holiday? Whip up a set of these Peppermint Candy Coasters.

These comic book shoes will definitely be a show stopper with any dress (or maybe this one?)!

Leave a special message for Santa (or just let him know which cookies are which) with this Chalk Cloth Cookie Mat.

If you belong to Facebook and don’t mind adding a few folks to your feed, then you’ll definitely want to enter the Stuff Your Crafty Stocking giveaway – 4 winners will win over $2,000 in prizes! (And while you’re liking pages, don’t forget to like this one)

Traveling this holiday? Sew up some of these TakeAlong Games to keep your kids quiet while you’re gone.

Perfect for a baby shower gift or just to show off, this Monster Bib is almost too cute to use when feeding a little one.

Transform an old bridesmaid or prom dress into an expensive looking sequin pillow.

Because it might be my favorite bag to make, here’s another box style cosmetic bag – this one ‘taller’ than the rest.

Add a touch of Scandinavia to your holidays with this Danish wreath.

Simple Gifts Winner

It’s that time… time to announce the winner of Simple Gifts to Stitch! The random number generated picked #16 – Karen who said, “Woohoo! I’ve been looking at that book. Cool!“. Congratulations! And many thanks to everyone for entering, I’ll be having more fun giveaways in the coming new year!

In the mean time, what simple gifts are you stitching up for the holidays?

Dimensional Magic Test

Ever since I read Mod Podge Rocks!, I’ve been anxious to try Dimensional Magic. You see, years ago I tried my hand at resin with some success, but I found that it’s not just messy (not to mention a bit toxic), there’s a bit of a learning curve to it as well…. and this product seems to be an easier way to achieve similar results. So, I bought a small package of bottle caps, an ephemera sheet, Dimensional Magic and give it a whirl – and it worked great! It’s very easy to use (unlike resin you have to mix the proper quantities, this is all in one tube) and set up overnight. I did experience some air bubbles, but I was able to remove them with a toothpick before the compound set. Once they were dry, I glued them to the empty metal space (designed for logos, etc.) on the water bottle key fob.

Now, I’m excited to try my hand a making a few necklaces with this product. I guess it’s time to hit up the hardware store for some metal washers!

DIY Steering Wheel Cozy

One of the few gifts that my daughter mentioned she wanted was a steering wheel cover for her car – she said that the wheel is cold in the mornings and wanted something warmer to grab onto. My first thought? I saw the perfect tutorial for this! The premise is easy: measure your steering wheel, cut your fabric, add elastic, and you’re done. While I think it looks nice and fits well, I’m not sure if it’s ‘warm’ enough (I also don’t like seeing the raw edges through the steering wheel) so I’m already brainstorming ideas how to make another one that’s not just padded, but has a finished ‘lining’. Sheesh, I make things so complicated!

Can & Bottle Wrap

Secret Santa gifts are always hard. Even though you may know the person really well, the spending cap always puts lots of limits on your choices…. especially when it’s a teenaged girl. Taylor’s gift exchange is this week and we shopped around to find something that her friend might like. After coming up empty handed I had an idea: a personalized canbottle wrap and a water bottle key fob (it has a rubber disk that goes around the neck of the bottle, a key ring, and beaner clip) and a whole lot of candy! Taylor liked this idea because I had recently made one for her and she loved it – in fact a lot of her cheer squad wanted one after the last game she took it to.

Now that one gift is out of the way, it’s time to buckle down and stitch up a few more that are on my list – there’s only 14 more days left! Is anyone else still sewing for the holidays?

The $11 Knockoff

I was recently at one of Joann’s big sales and went crazy with ‘extras’. One of the items I picked up? A hoodie blank (because you can never have enough sweatshirts)! Of course, I can’t just leave it plain, so after a trip down the fabric paint isle, I decided to give Tulip’s Glitter Spray Paint a try. I am ashamed to admit that I still haven’t really cracked open the YUDU so I opted to go with a freezer paper stencil for this shirt instead…. a PINK freezer paper stencil. This was much trickier that what I had originally thought it would be. To create their outlined chunky font, I took a two part approach. First I created the outline:

Then I centered thinner letters inside them so that the black would peek through the glitter paint:

Then I spray, spray, sprayed the area until it was covered (and then repeated two more times) until I got this after it dried:

What I discovered about using this product (which is new to me) is that it doesn’t provide as much coverage as what I had hoped. The package has you believe that you’ll get a thick layer of glittering like what you might see on ready-to-wear clothing when in actuality it’s very light (think ‘vintage’ glitter – something that probably had a ton of glitter at one point, but was washed enough that most has worn off). I’m now thinking that if you wanted a thicker layer that you’d have to go with something like a Glitter Bond glue and then apply fashion glitter.

The second thing I discovered: Even though this product isn’t really messy, it’s very wet and not ideal for freezer paper. I had thought after saturating the area with the paint that the paper was starting to buckle (especially after several applications) and everything would leak through, but fortunately it never did. Since I used so much spray, it also took forever to dry and made it difficult to remove the interior stencil lettering (it stayed wet, so I used tweezers to help pull it up).

Overall, not a bad product, but not exactly the outcome that I expected. I’d eventually like to try it on lighter colored material to see what I get… hmmmm, maybe I see a pair of inexpensive canvas shoes that I can sparkle in my future!

Linky Thursday

These fabric bracelets aren’t just professional looking, but they look easy to make, too.

Perfect for a holiday get together, this Holiday Heroine Cape Tank.

Take a break from holiday sewing and stitch yourself up this gorgeous Urban Jungle Bag.

A portable playhouse, a perfect gift for under the tree.

Need an ornament for an exchange party? This Matryoshka Doll will definitely be fought over… although this Christmas Pickle might be a favorite too!

You might get your child to wear a scarf (or in this case snood) if it has a Santa beard or handlebar mustache attached.

Give new life to old t-shirts. Transform them into into cushions!

No matter if your sewing for an adult or child, learn how to create a ‘pickup skirt’ for holiday dress styles.

Create a Christmas stocking pocket banner great for stashing a days worth of activities and treats for the family.

Make an apron in about an hour – perfect for that last minute gift giving sewing.

Speaking of gift giving sewing, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of Simple Gifts to Stitch!

Have a tea drinker in your house? Then you’ll definitely want to sew up this pretty quilted tea cosy.

This tutorial not only teaches you how to make a maxi dress pattern, but learn how to add some interesting details.

Simple Gifts Giveaway

The holidays are all about giving so today’s post is….. a contest! You could win a copy of Simple Gifts to Stitch – a book filled with 30 different projects for all the people in your life, perfect for all those last minute Christmas gifts!

To enter, leave a comment in this post by midnight (CST) Wednesday, December 12. Get a second entry by being a fan of StacySews on Facebook – just leave an additional comment that you like the page. I’ll announce the winner on December 13. Have fun, good luck, and Happy Holidays!

Sewing Rules

This weekend I broke my rule, “I don’t do alterationsrepairs for people I know”. Perhaps I was in the holiday spirit or just feeling the desperation my friend was feeling, but I decided that I would take on the task of replacing a zipper in a formal. You see, her daughter does pageants and received a (poorly made, IMHO) dress to wear in the opening number. When she went to put it on, she discovered that the zipper was broken – numerous zipper teeth had fallen out and the zipper was off the track. We tried to fix it together, but came to the conclusion that it just needed a new one…. by that evening. After a quick trip to the fabric store and an hour or so worth of work, the dress was fixed and I had one very relieved mom and daughter. Unfortunately, that was the only sewing I got in all weekend (we also decorated the house for the holidays – the photo on the left in my latest ornament, it’s it fun?), but at least it was rewarding!

Do you have any rules about your sewing?