OK, are you guys all ready for Christmas? I am about as ready as I’ll ever be. The pillow I’m working on for Noah might not be done in time, though If that’s the case, I’ll give the boys their handmade gifts on New Year’s Eve — I just need a couple more days. But maybe I’ll rally tonight and get it done, who knows?
Anyway, today I’ve just been puttering around the house. I folded and put away a few baskets of laundry, made homemade pizzas for lunch (Hawaiian for the kids and Chicken Cordon Blue for Drew and myself), and finished up some last-minute gifts.
The kittens had the right idea, I think
Drew took the boys to the comic store for a while this afternoon and brought home dinner, which meant no cooking for me! So I think I’m going to indulge in a cup of tea and a cannoli and see how far I get on that pillow.
I know, I know… I’ve already blown the write-every-day-for-a-month thing. Would it excuse me if I told you I was under the weather for two days and then had a totally crazy busy weekend? No? Ah well… I understand Well, let’s start again, shall we?
My littlest is spending a couple days with Grandma, which has given me time to get a ton done. Yesterday was cleaning/shopping. Today is crafting. Topping the list? A new welding beanie for my dad. Yes, my dad welds. I know, I am lucky to have my own personal welder
I have been trying for well over a year to figure out a welding cap pattern that fits him correctly. This really shouldn’t be hard! A while back he gave me an old hat that had been worn through, so I took it apart to see exactly how it was constructed and I made my own pattern from it.
After a couple cups of coffee, and quite a bit of cursing, I think I got it. Now, let’s just hope it fits!
I didn’t do much Spring or Easter decorating this year. Terrible, I know. But sometimes the idea of dragging out the boxes, putting out the stuff, and just having to pack it all back up in a few weeks seems like too much effort. But I felt like I should do something.
I had collected a few ideas on my Pinterest boards, and for my inspiration I used these fabric carrots from The Ballard Bunch and these other fabric carrots from Clare’s Craftroom. This is what I came up with:
I’m pretty happy with them, though I don’t think I like the fabric I used to tie the three together. It’s just what I grabbed. Maybe a need a small bow around the top of each individual carrot, too. What do you think?
The carrots were easy enough to make. I just cut long triangles from three different fat quarters and sewed up the side. I sewed a casing at the top, stuffed the carrots with Polyfill, and then cinched the opening together with crochet thread. For the leaves, I used my trusty hot glue gun and some green ribbon. I just made loops that looked about right. I glued the sides of the center loop to each adjoining loop in order to get them to stand up a little bit.
Super easy project and now at least I feel like I did a little something for the holiday!
With spring coming, I wanted to finally get around to sewing up some skirts for Laura. I wanted to do this last year, but never actually got around to it, even though I bought the fabric! Yesterday I had extra time in the afternoon so I figured I’d give it a whirl.
I used this simple skirt tutorial from MADE, a fabric remnant I had in my stash, and apparently the wrong bobbin for my machine (I’ll get to that later). Anyway, it really is a simple project. The ironing is the most difficult part of the whole thing! Laura was very excited about it. She immediately put it on over her pants and started running around the house like a crazy girl. You’d think she required a Duracell procell battery or something, but no… She just has a lot of energy!
Now, the bobbin story. As I sewed I noticed that the bottom thread wasn’t sewing a nice line. It was all loose and messy. When I checked my manual, I realized that I’m supposed to use a specific type of bobbin for my machine. Of course. And the bobbins I had been using were just generic bobbins. Of course. That might have something to do with my “bird-nesting” problems as well. So I ordered the correct bobbins, and today I am going to clean the machine and change the needle (because I have never done that, either), and hopefully that will take care of the problem!
But if you’re looking for a cute and quick little girl’s skirt – I recommend this tutorial to get yourself going!
I am showing my Massachusetts roots when I say this: It’s been wicked freaking hot out. I am not a big fan of humidity, especially with my long hair. Normally, I would throw it back into a ponytail, or twist it into a bun. However, my daughter freaks out when my hair is up for some reason.
As long as my hair is down in back, she’s happy. But the minute I put it up, Laura furrow her little two-year-old eyebrows and says, “Mommy fix hair! Mommy fix hair!” She says it over and over until I take out the twisty pins or elastic. And with temperatures in the 90s and bangs that are growing out and hair halfway down my back, I need to keep it away from my eyes and behind my ears at the very least. So I needed another solution: headbands. Pinterest to the rescue! I found several great (free!) tutorials to make cute headbands and first decided to sew up a few using this tutorial from Happy Together.
This is a great project for all those fat quarters one tends to buy just because one likes the pattern. They are quick and easy to make and stay in your hair very well. I’ve been wearing mine constantly! I even got brave and decided to model one of them. Please ignore my grubby tee and my lack of makeup. It was about a zillion degrees out when I took these photos.
These headbands reminded me of what Sassy magazine dubbed “Alice Bands” back in the early 90s (referring, of course, to Alice in Wonderland). Do you remember that trend with the thick headbands? I always liked it, so I’m glad it’s kind of back. You can obviously make these headbands as funky or plain as you like. I’d recommend giving the pattern a go!
I have so many sewing and craft projects in my “to do” pile, that I get dizzy thinking about them. But since I had the luxury of kid-free time today, I thought I’d tackle one that promised to be quick: the bandana dress.
I’ve read tutorials for bandana dresses and pillowcase dresses and honestly, I think the end product looks pretty much the same, but since the bandana version did not require any cutting, I went with this tutorial from Trey and Lucy. And yes, it was every bit as easy as she makes it sound! I spend more time fussing with the ribbon and getting the bows just right. Truth be told, I would prefer to have lime green ribbon, but white was the only thing in my stash that matched. I can easily switch it out later. Also, I think the 1.5-inch ribbon is a little overwhelming. I’ll have to see it on Laura. The next one (because there will be a next one, oh yes!) will use narrower ribbon.
The cool thing about this dress is that you don’t really have to use bandanas. Just cut fabric you like to the size of a bandana (well, I suppose you’ll want to sew back the raw edges, but you know what I mean. I can’t wait to make these using holiday or seasonal fabric. I think this type of dress will look really cute over a turtleneck in the winter!
And, of course, I’ll have to make a hair bow to match
Yesterday I completed the one project I wasn’t sure I’d complete in time for Laura’s birthday party — a fabric pennant/bunting/whatever you want to call it. These have been all over the web for a while now, and on my “to do” list since spring. I kind of made up the instructions as I went along. All I knew was it had to meet these requirements:
- Easy to do. I do not have the time right now to be all fussy with things like this.
- Look old and vintage-y. Fraying? No problem. Uneven lines? Hey, that’s okay! It just makes it look more handmade.
- Be multi-purpose. I need to use this for more than just one event.
So, the color scheme I’m using, as you know, is turquoise and red. Well, it’s lapsed into various shades of blue and red which is perfect since the party is also Memorial Day weekend. I will be able to use this bunting for years on the 4th of July as well, so I will definitely get a lot of use out of it.
First, I chose my fabrics. I just bought a bunch of fat quarters in patterns that I liked. Then I ironed them flat, then folded each in half the long way (with right sides facing each other) and ironed it again. I used this template from Cicada Daydream to trace triangles on the wrong side of the fabric. Because I wasn’t going to be turning my triangles inside-out, I cut out my triangle pattern on the dotted (sew) line. I used pinking shears because I like that look. It looks old. It also makes me think of my grandmother Then, I sewed a straight stitch around the two long sides of each triangle. I didn’t go across the top.
Then I took some navy blue bias tape that I had in my stash, snugged a triangle up inside, and sewed it. Repeat until you run out of triangles or the bunting is as long as you want it. And let me warn you: if you decide to have a little glass of Tia Maria and milk while you sew up your second bunting, chances are you will mess up a few triangles and then your husband will ask why you’re cursing so much.
In hindsight, a smarter thing to do would have been to take fabric glue (personally, I like Fabri-Tac) and glue each triangle into place on the bias tape, and then sew one single line across. It would look a lot neater and save some time. But I’m still happy with the way this came out. I’ll be sure to take a photo of it “in action” at the party on Sunday!