Sewing with Scraps – Sandwich Wrap

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A bit of a step back in difficulty from last week, and yet this one is slightly more annoying to make (more on that in a bit, lol). So we go thru a lot of plastic baggies for conventions and I thought this pattern would be great to help reduce on that waste! Not to mention you can claim a fabric as ‘yours’ so no more need to write a name on bags either! 😀

These are plastic sandwich wraps from the ladies at Chica and Jo. Now, right off the bat, I’m gonna admit that I changed one main aspect about this pattern. While it walks you thru the steps very nicely for how to make fused plastic from extra plastic shopping bags…none of my attempts really ended up with something I liked. We also have been using reusable shopping bags here for years so I didn’t have much to work with. Instead I just bought some plastic from Joanns for like $3 a yard. Totally worth it.

Okay, so it’s hard to see since my plastic is clear, but want to cut a 14″x14″ square of the fabric and a 12″x12″ square of the plastic. With wrong side facing you for the fabric, lay the plastic on top; centering it to give a 1″ border all around. Now the next step is hard to explain and I couldn’t be bothered to take pics of it, but basically you have to do a double fold over all around the border and pin it in place. See the Chica and Jo site for great photos to walk you thru it. I personally used my iron to hold down the first 1/2″ fold to make my pinning life easier, but you do what works for you.

With all your pins in place, you simply sew around the boarder to attach these two. I recommend sewing as close to the fold as you feel comfortable to reduce the size of the hangover for your finished piece. Once that’s done you just need to add velcro; which is used to hold your wrap in place. You’ll need 2 pieces total: a 1″ long and a 2″ long piece. Now the only velcro I have is 2″ wide, so I just did two 1″x2″ pieces. You’ll be attaching them in the corners with 2 on the inside, and 2 on the outside.

Once they’re on, that’s it! You have a finished wrap! The plastic will make it very easy to clean up as you can just wipe off and dressing/condiments or even toss the whole piece in the wash for bad stains. I wouldn’t recommend putting it in the dryer (cause plastic), but just let it air dry by laying flat instead.

Overall I give this pattern 4/5 bobbins. It seems like it can work great, and I look forward to giving it a try at C2E2 this weekend, but until I do I can’t say as to how well it performs. I may come back and give it 5/5 if it amazing, lol.


ETEE: Reusable, Biodegradable Food Wraps

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Hello there Thursday Crafthackers!

I don’t have a DIY for you today, but I have a business I’d like to talk about, which has done some amazing things for amazing reasons. The company is called Etee: Everything Touches Everything Else, and it supports a cause that is near and dear to my heart. It’s also a small(ish) business that is based out of my hometown. The gentleman behind Etee has done something amazing, and it involves making an impact in the plastic that we throw away.

 

After getting tripped up in plastic that was floating in the river on a cold day, he was inspired to try to find a way to help us use less plastic. To try to take some of it out of our ecosystem, so he developed (in his basement) a food wrap that is not only reusable, washable, but it’s also biodegradable when it’s no longer usable.

You can buy their products online at the Etee website, which I did the other day, where you can learn not just about the product, but about the story behind it. They don’t have many options to choose from when buying, but their prices are reasonable and they offer reasonable options. I got a pack of 3 in different sizes and can’t wait to use them. I’m excited that someone out there is thinking about the earth, and that they’ve made an affordable solution, and built a business behind it. The best part is, they are hand made in Toronto.

So, not only are we helping to reduce the plastic that goes into the garbage by investing in this beautiful alternative, you’re helping to support a hand made, small business. You’re helping to support a local guy who wanted to make the world a better place.

Happy crafting!

Megan

 


February Fab Hop Shop

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Have you discovered the Fab Hop Shop yet?

FabShop Hop

 

The concept behind our virtual shop hop is exactly the same as taking a fabric shopping trip by car. On our “virtual” shop hop, however, you’ll leave the car in the garage and can even shop in your jammies! You will have a month to get around to over 100 of the sites to find the “YouFoundIt” Bunnies to qualify to win prizes. There are 12 hops scheduled for 2018.

Tour all the shops participating in the February FabShop Hop!At each site, search for the white bunny with the red and pink background that says ‘You Found It!’ February 1-28, 2018. When you find it; click on the image and complete the prize registration page – enter your email address and click the “register for prizes” button. Once you have done that you will receive an email confirmation that you successfully registered at that site. Then continue shopping on that site or hop to the next one on the List of Shops.

The best part of the Shop Hop other than winning prizes?  The free quilt patterns!

Happy Hopping!


Snuggable Sweet

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As someone who designs her own plush toys, I think it’s safe to say that I adore plushies. 🙂 Which is why I had to share these adorable creations from Snuggable Sweet when they came across my dash.

These are just some of the adorable creations made by Britta Shurtleff, of Snuggable Sweet. All the plush are her own design and have a lovely simplicity to them. She also makes use of every bit of fabric she has with her adorable scrappy series.

Taken from the bits and bobs left over from bigger projects, these adorable little blocks remind me of emojis as she give each one a unique face and personality . 🙂 If you’re interest in seeing more of her work, simply pop on over to her etsy shop to see a nice gallery of various plushies (like her adorable bears) that are all made to order.


DIY: Rag Rug

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Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you today a tale as old as time… well. Maybe not quite that old, but it is something that’s been around for quite some time and I have to say, it makes me feel great that these things are still being made. Rag rugs. That’s right. I know people who had them, I used to make yarn rugs, and the process is similar. They’re easy to do, and the best part is you can use your fabric scraps and you can also customize the colours you want for whatever room they will be staying in.

As with many older crafts, there’s many places to find tutorials, and many different ways to do it. This one  has a few extra photos on the site and is from Craftaholics Anonymous.

This rug is super simple to make. You will need strips of your choice of fabric about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long, and you will need thousands. Lots and lots in the colours of your choice. I would personally recommend cotton (quilting or otherwise) as anything else would probably fray too much. The bottom of the rug is a non skid rug mat, which you might need to order, but also may find in home stores and possibly craft stores.

Basically, this tutorial doesn’t even tie the stips. They are just looped through the mat so that the centre of the strip hugs the rug mat. The rubber of the mat should hold it in place, but keep in mind, if you are going to be washing this mat, you will want to tie a knot or slipknot them like rug hooking. The tutorial also recommends that you skip some of the holes as the pieces are fluffy and big and having a piece of fabric on every part will make it overly fluffy. You can also use a latch hook like for rug hooking, if you would like. It’s simple, but it’s a great way to use your scraps and to make something that colour coordinates so easily with whatever your rooms are like.

 

Enjoy, and happy crafting!

~Megan


Flower Crowns and Horns

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I know it’s become a big ~thing~ on the internet to give bad guys flower crowns but sometimes you just want your own real flower crown to feel pretty yourself. If that’s you then I’ve got a great shop to recommend.

Hand made in Europe by Katerina Metamorphose, these flower crowns are some of the best I’ve seen. Each flower is made by hand from varying textiles and can be custom tailored to fit your needs. Not into flower crowns and more of a laurels or leaf person, she’s got you covered! You can also find unique horn wreathes, antlers and Unicorn horns to accompany a wide variety of costume possibilities. Yes you’ll have some wait time if you live outside of the EU, but man is this quality worth it. I highly recommend giving her Etsy store a look thru if this at all strikes your fancy. 🙂


It’s Getting Cold Outside

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s finally feeling like fall here in the Midwest US, so that means it’s also colder and damper. It usually stays pretty warm in our snug little condo until about mid-December when we try to avoid turning on the heat for as long as possible. But it still gets me to thinking about and planning for those times when I need some extra warmth for my extremely cold feet. First plan of attack is usually to cover with an extra blanket, the easiest being one of those tied fleece type ones. To help with that, Kim from A Girl and a Glue Gun has some excellent instructions and ideas for different types of quick fleece blankets:

Second cold foot defense would be to find something that actually covers the feet themselves. I’ve seen plenty of DIY mermaid tails snuggle sack patterns but I had yet to see a dino/dragon tail until now:

Thanks to Bernat and All Free Crochet, you too can have the long, luxurious spiky tail you’ve always wanted. Definitely a must to keep those feet toasty. Lastly, if you’ve got a little time on your hands and some extra fabric you could make these lovely pockets that are solely for warming your feet:

I’ve been wanting to make the foot warmer from Little Oak Creations ever since I posted about those rice/corn/flax hand warmers (A Hand Warming Experience). The top portion houses the recently heated packets and your poor cold feet go directly under them in the cushy bottom. Think warm thoughts and heat up some cocoa, everyone! Next week we’ll take a look at some cool DIY host/hostess gifts for the inevitable holiday parties.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


How to Cut on the Bias

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If you pick up a piece of fabric, you can stretch it in three ways, vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.  This diagonal stretch is the stretchiest and is the bias of the quilt.  You may need a cut of bias for hems, bindings, or may have a pattern that calls for this special stretch.  But cutting the bias may be something new to you.

The Dutch Label Shop is where I get my special labels for the backs of my quilts.  I love the quality of the labels and the way they look on my quilts.  In addition to making a great product, they periodically blog about important things sewers should know.  One of the blogs they ran was how to cut on the bias.

Reposted from The Dutch Label Shop:

First, you have to understand two other fabric terms: selvage and grain.

WHAT IS SELVAGE

Selvage is the name given to the self-finished edges of a piece of fabric. It keeps the fabric from unravelling and fraying. Often it serves the further purpose of providing information about the producer and designer, information that is printed directly onto the unpatterned area.

When a fabric store associate pulls down a bolt, rolls it out on their cutting table, and cuts you a portion of it, they will always cut perpendicular to the selvage. Each piece of fabric will therefore have two self-finished edges, top and bottom.

WHAT IS GRAIN

Just like wood or meat, fabric has a grain. In reference to fabric, the term “grain” indicates the way the fabric is knit or woven together. Take a close look at any piece of fabric. You will notice threads running parallel and perpendicular to the selvage. This is the grain of the fabric. Take your hands and place them on a perpendicular line and try pulling the fabric. There will be no give. Do the same on a parallel line. Again, the fabric will not stretch. Cutting along a parallel or perpendicular line is cutting “with the grain.”

WHAT IS BIAS

Now, back to bias. Take your hands and place them on the opposite selvage, diagonally across from each other, and pull. The fabric stretches! This is because you are pulling along the bias, against the grain. When a pattern calls for a bias cut, it is to take advantage of this stretchy quality. Bias is the thread line which cuts the grain at a 45 degree angle.

 

BIAS SEWING BASICS: HOW TO CUT ON THE BIAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO CUT ON THE BIAS

To easily measure this 45 degree angle, take the top corner of your fabric and fold it down to the bottom edge of the fabric, creating a diagonal fold. Cut along the fold, and voila! You’ve cut on the bias.

If you would like to see more posts by Dutch Label shop or check out their cool labels, you can find them here.


Free Halloween Tutorials!

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One of my favorite holidays is fast approaching!

I saw a cool free Mommy and Me circle skirt tutorial on Fabric.com a few days ago and wanted to check out Sweet Red Poppy, the designer.  There are so many tutorials and free patterns on her site I just had to share the Halloween ones!

If you would like to add Sweet Red Poppy to your blog lineup, you can find the blog here.

-Toni


The Cheap Dye That is Surprisingly Decent

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Dying things can be a long and expensive process sometimes. Not to mention all the steps you have to go through to prepare it so that it’ll stay. Thankfully, the internet has come to our rescue once more! Today I’ll be sharing the secrets of using the cheap drink brand Kool-aid as your all purpose dye.

I first started looking into this when I can across a post were a leather user talked about how they decided to try this just for laughs while making a drink:

I was making a drink while cutting the snaps off some new straps for my pauldrons and I got curious, so I tried it, thinking, “ok even if this works, it will just wash out.”

Nope.

It took the “dye” (undiluted) in about 3 seconds. After drying for about an hour and a half, it would not wash off in the hottest tap-water. It would not wash out after soaking for 30 minutes.

They then go on to talk about how it took boiling the dyed leather to even slightly remove the dye. O.O That’s some pretty powerful stuff there. So, what can we learn from this and apply for ourselves? Well, after some experimenting and reading on my part, I’ve found that Kool-aid as a dye works pretty well for a variety of natural fiber mediums such as leather, wool, cotton, hair, flax, jute, silk and so on. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re not just making Kool-aid proper and then adding your items to it. It needs to be the flavor only packet/liquid as the pre mixed once have sugar. The sugar will make your end product sticky and unusable down the line. That’s no good for anyone

Also, you’ll want to heat the dye water up, just like you would with commercial dyes. This helps stimulate the molecules and ‘activate’ the dye to help the color permeate. Once it’s set for 20-30mins, let it dry and then rise in cold water to remove the excess. 😀 Several people have even made charts to help others achieve desired colors! A quick google search gave me this one, but there are loads more, including yarn results which very much so appeal to me, lol.

So there you have it. Never think that dying something it out of your budget as long as you have access to Kool-aid. ^_^