Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"I'm not wearing that!"

Well, Monday posts are NOT going to happen as long as I'm in school. So, here's the latest project.

I've been inspired by "upcycling" or changing something into something else. I've been using up boxes full of holey jeans this summer, making purses, bags for umbrellas and hot dog roasting sticks, shorts or capris and even skirts from a pair of pants, and squares for quilts. But, this goes beyond the levi. I've seen so many cute remakes. So, when my friend approached me with this challenge, I saw a solution.

We started with a pale mint green long sleeve boys dress shirt. (Sorry, we didn't think to take a before picture, so just imagine this in light green.) Her oldest, a boy, said there was no way he was going to wear a shirt that color. But it would be perfect for younger sister, so I set out to make it a girly shirt.

We started by putting it on her and marking where to cut off the sleeve and where to have it fall on her hips. Then cut. I left a slight curve to the bottom of the shirt, but not as much as it was before. Then I hemmed the sleeve. It looked too big, so I made a pintuck on each sleeve to give it form. Then we had her try the shirt on again inside out, and I pinned in the sides to make the shape more feminine. I ended up sewing from the underarm seam, to 2" in in the middle, then curved out so I took off only 1" at the bottom.

Then I cut the left-over material from the sleeves and the bottom into 2" strips and sewed them all together. I roll hemmed one edge, then gathered the other. Turns out, there was so much fabric, I didn't just add the ruffle to the bottom, but on both sides of the buttons.

And, tada! A now feminine, mint green shirt with ruffles (which are all the rage right now!).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Mosquito Control

Jenni, warning you now you might not want to look.

Anyone want to come over for a BBQ? These are all from our deck, where we can no longer get to the BBQ. Sadly, the pictures are poor quality because I couldn't get close enough to take a decent picture, that's how bad it is. These guys are about 2-3" each, and there's about 40 just on the deck (and that's just the ones we can see and count.

On the upside, we haven't had a problem with mosquitos this year, and none of these are poisonous.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Red Velvet Cake

My cake decorating skills are pitiful. So when I was assigned to make the cake for my mom's birthday (big family dinner), I almost bought one. But, she really like red velvet cake, and my sister talked me into baking it using a boxed mix. Add canned cream cheese frosting and slivered almonds, and it actually turned out pretty! :) Best of all, it actually tasted good. Mmmm, this is making me hungry . . .

Make-It Monday: Bean Bags

Yes, I know it's not Monday. I had this ready last week, and really tried to post it yesterday, but the day got away from me. (Back to School night that I was helping with as part of the PTA.)

So, here's yesterday's project: Bean Bags.

Now, I don't like to piece quilts, so I don't keep super small scraps of fabric. But, I like to use things up, so bean bags are a small item that I like to make to use up material.

1. Cut out pairs of 5" squares. (I like 1/2" seams for most my projects, especially ones that kids will play with and beat up.)

2. With fabrics right sides together, sew a 1/2" seam leaving a 2" opening.

3. Turn right sides out.

4. Fill. They are called bean bags and typically filled with beans, but I like something a little smaller, like split peas or lentils. You can use whatever you'd like, even rice. A funnel comes in handy here, but only if filling with smaller item like the peas, lentils, or rice - beans won't fit. Fill each bag with 1/2 cup of filling.

5. Stitch the hole closed, close to the edge, being careful to keep the filling (my peas) out of the way.

And there you have it. Easy bean bags. These are not the ones that go with last weeks bean bag toss, I already had some star patterned ones. These are just some leftover. Wonder who I can give them to . . .

Silhouette Giveaway

This lovely machine is a Silhouette. It is a die-cut machine that works with your computer. I have wanted one of these for a while now, and Grosgrain is giving one away! Find the giveaway HERE.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Make-It Monday: Beach Towel Bean Bag Toss

Well, my computer is finally clean, and I've spent endless hours this weekend restoring software, documents, drivers, etc. Now, I can finally get back to this blog. And I've got a fabulous project for you. A bean bag toss made from a beach towel that hangs in a doorway or narrow hallway.

1. Start with a beach towel, in any print or picture you'd like. Cut out 6-8 5-inch circles spaced around the towels:

Now, I added pockets on the back of my holes to catch the bean bags. In theory, it seemed pretty simple, but ended up taking me HOURS. If I made another, I'd skip this part. If you want to skip it, go on to step 6. But here's how.

2. Cut a large circle (mine is ~15") from netting for each hole in your towel. Baste a gathering stitch 1/2" from the edge. (I used contrasting thread so you can see it):

3. Gather lightly:

4. Now here's the hard part. Pin the gathered netting to the back of the towel around the hole, lining up the raw edges, so the netting forms a pocket on the back. Pin it extra well. (Trust me on the pinning, and this from one who usually doesn't pin her sewing.):

5. Slip the hole over the arm of your sewing machine and stitch in place:

See? Nice netting pocket on the back of the hole:

6. Now finish off the raw edge with binding:

7. (Sorry no pictures for this step) Fold the top and bottom 2 1/2 inches, and sew a 2 inch casing. (I unpicked the casing on the towel and then did my casing to take advantage of the stripe on the top of the towel.) Then insert a short tension shower rod.

To store, roll up the towel with the rods still in. To use, hang in a doorway and start tossing bean bags! I'll show you mine next week. (Love the only useable picture of the finished project? C, in his pajamas.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Giveaway

My friend Violet over at The Eager Readers is giving away a signed copy of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy. Go enter to win here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I am not taking a hiatus, my computer is. Something happened Sunday - virus, spyware, ? - and I cannot access the internet via my computer. Due to the unknown problem, I don't dare save anything (ie: pictures) from that computer and transfer them to another. And seeing how all my craft pictures are on that computer, I can't post any of them, and I had a cute project to share with you. So, I'm going to go finish a different project, take new pictures, and hijack hubby's computer for a bit longer.

I'll be back tomorrow to share a tutorial.

And pray for my computer. I need it for school, SOON!