Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jean Leg Aprons

The first time I heard about an apron made from a pair of jeans, it was from one of my playground mommies.  Aimee told me how she did it, and I promptly filed it in my "to do" mental sewing file...and then promptly forgot all about it (that's typical of me).

Then everywhere I looked I saw these types of aprons being featured!  Given how many tutorials are out there to make jean leg aprons, I won't attempt to write my own. :)

Instead let me share (and maybe inspire you to make one yourself)...

The first is my prototype:  ruffles all around...

Not too exciting...but I did learn a few things.
  1. those ruffles at the top don't stay up unless attached to the straps
  2. if you cut the legs off too close to the crotch, you may have some "wave" in the bottom of your apron no amount of ironing can fix.
The next one I didn't cut along a seam, instead I cut it right down the middle front of the leg.  This type of cut seems to give the apron a "curvier" shape.
It just seemed so plain so I ended up adding a heart pocket.
Then I got adventurous with the ruffles again:  top ruffle facing down (why didn't I think of that the first time around??)

A little jean rosette added to the next one:

    Can you all tell I was having fun with these??  So much that I made some more...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make a fabric Crown


A long, long time ago I showed you the crowns I girlies are still playing with them today and when friends come over the crowns are always a hit!

Here's how I made them:

First you'll need to cut out your shape.  I kept my shape simple and used Peltex Pellon, but I'm sure you could use anything that will hold it's shape.  This part will be sandwiched between fabric and won't be seen:

Choose your fabric--I used a stretch pink costume fabric and some gold mesh. 
You could use only one fabric--just make sure the right sides are together of your two layers and your crown is pinned on top.
For mine I have 4 layers of fabric.   The gold mesh is in the middle sandwiched by the right sides of the pink,  my Peltex crown on the top, pins through all layers:

Sew--I used a straight stitch, nothing fancy about a 1/4 inch away from the edge of my crown. 
Be sure to leave the bottom open, that's where you'll be turning the fabric to the right side. 
Trim the excess fabric.  Open the bottom and flip your fabric to the right side...your crown will look something like this:

Since I used stretchy fabric (the pink)  I didn't need an elastic, but it would be simple to do .  I cut a rectangle long enough to fit around the head, about 1.5 inches wide, made a tube out of it (sort of like a fabric head band--you could run an elastic through it if needed) attached the crown and had some very happy princesses!





Saturday, November 23, 2013


I'm thinking about gifts...and all the sewn gifts I've given...and all the pictures of said gifts I never thought to take.

One of my big projects this year has been organizing my family photos.  Digitizing  all the photos we took prior to digital cameras has been a huge task--but totally rewarding!  I now have those pictures as screen savers on every computer in my house.  I can sit and watch them for hours!

In the process I started collecting all the craft related pictures and realized how few I have from the years I first started sewing.

I did find this:

I've made 3 and 1/2 quilts in my sewing life so far, and this is the one that made me realize quilting isn't for me.  I machine pieced and quilted it myself (this was quilt #2, the first was just a bunch of squares put together and quilted by tying), broke a whole lot of needles and spent more time freaking out about it than I should have.  In the end it turned out beautiful and the recipient was very happy with their gift.
Yes, I learned that quilting, piecing all those little bits of fabric isn't my thing.  So the 1/2 quilt sits in my UFO (unfinished objects) pile waiting for the day I feel brave enough to tackle is definitely not that day!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Color your charms!

Whenever I come up with a new birthday craft idea I don't stop smiling for days!  Never mind the agony that goes into thinking up those ideas!

It's totally my fault I'm in the position of having "fabric" type crafts at parties. 

If I hadn't thrown some elaborately crafty birthday parties for my older kids, the younger would never have heard stories/seen pictures and I'd be free to skip a step...instead the planning starts months before.

I noticed all the elementary school kids seem to like backpack charms, that was what I went with for with the last girlie party.  They were a hit!

I sat at the computer for a while before I came up with the cupcake and owl designs, but once they were digitized my embroidery machine did the rest (with a few thread changes on my part). 

The girls at the party used fabric markers to decorate their charms.  The party happened in the last school year, but I still see these little charms decorating backpacks!

As an added bonus, I made extras for me to use as gift tags!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cupcake tote

Yesterday's show and tell was a cupcake charm which I just had to make for this adorable cupcake tote!
Isn't it FUN!  I agonized over this bag--from design to fabric choices.  In the end I chose the first fabrics I thought of,  drafted the pattern myself tweaking it as I sewed.
I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!  Hot fix crystals are the "sprinkles on top and of course the little added bonus:  charms!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby cupcakes

Is it any wonder that I beg friends and strangers for the wool sweaters they are ready to discard when you can make such cuties with them? 

I've made these before, bigger versions, and shared them in the post: Cupcakes anyone?  

Fun, easy and cute!  Don't sew? You can use glue!  As long as you can cut rectangles and circles out of felted wool sweaters (those would be wool sweaters you shrink) you're in business!
This little cutie was made of smaller scraps of felted wool with some added glass beads for sparkle...turned into a key chain for a fun addition to a cupcake bag I designed and made.
Just when I think I'm over the cupcake craze, my crazy brain thinks up another cupcake project to do!

Knowledge sticks

For a brief period of time (a lifetime ago) I was a math major.  That isn’t saying much considering that I was also a kinesiology, psychology, computer science, business, English, sociology, and economics major during my stint in university. 

At the end of year four I figured it was time to get on with my life, so I sat down counted how many credits I needed in each discipline, looked at what was offered that summer and graduated (to my parents relief!) with a degree in economics and sociology.

Considering I left high school with plans to pursue a journalism and teaching degree, the path didn’t lead me there.  I didn’t even put much of my university degree to work in my marketing career (way back in the time before cross country moves and kids)!

I’ve used all the knowledge I’ve gathered, bits and pieces,  throughout my 40 something years of life.  And I continue to surprise myself how many of the concepts I've retained from math/science I use in my craft/sewing projects!

My mom (who is awesome!) encouraged me in each and every discipline I studied.  She let me explore just about every interest I had growing up.  Sharing bits of her knowledge and experience along the way.  I’m now in her shoes: 

encouraging my kids in finding their passions, sharing bits of my knowledge and experience along the way.

Yes, my kids sometimes fall into the stereotypical roles of play commercials would have us believe, but at the end of the day their imaginations take over and new worlds of play open.  I encourage that.

So I am intrigued and impressed by Goldieblox toys—pairing a story with a building kit?  GENIUS! (yes in a sing songy voice!)

It’s a concept which would work great with boy or girl toys (currently they are marketing to girls).  Imaginations will take over, but at least the story gives kids a start, a place to begin exploring.  A seed to let their imaginations grow.

Don’t forget to vote to get their commercial aired during the big game, because who wouldn't want to see a group of 6 year old girls rush the end tutus.

(I'm not affiliated, don't own the product...yet...not being paid to share....but I think the idea is worth sharing with everyone.  It's also a reminder to my crafty crew out there who sometimes forgets how much math and science we use in every creation we make--those seeds stuck even if the definition of Pythagorean theorem didn't!)

Monday, November 18, 2013

CD weaving

After trying hula hoop weaving I went on a bit of a weaving binge.  Anything circular was fair game to attempt weaving on!

I think I've settled on my favorite--a notched CD. It's easy, portable and I love the rosette like flowers--perfect for accessorizing sewing projects or gifts!

I just used ordinary scissors to make the notches—make sure you make an uneven number!  I made 7 in total.

I used torn denim as my fabric...
Wrap fabric strips around the CD like you would on the hula hoop, but your last spoke will go through the middle hole and be tied off on the underside (the side you don't weave on). 
You're set to start weaving!
When your rosette is the size you want, turn the CD around and cut the denim spokes close to your knot, the knot will come through the middle and....'ll be left with a leggy looking spider flower (according to my kids)!  I wove those “legs” through the back and towards the middle using a large eyed needle.
I LOVE the way this experiment turned out!  Each woven circle is a unique flower!