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.


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.


Stained Glass Curtains

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Yes, you read that title right, but no, it’s not quite what you’re thinking.

Handmade by Koren artist Jessica Yoo, these windows are actually covered in a thin fabric paneling meant to mimic stained glass, though hers is inspired by the Koren art style rather then then western. It’s called Meem and her’s what the artist has to say about it:

More than ever, people want a nature-integrated life into their contemporary one. Despite the gross increase of technological development that has been dominating the contemporary life, it is a natural instinct for humans to desire nature. However, the way we have treated sunlight over the years has been quite dull. We shut the curtains when we didn’t like the sun, and opened it when we needed it.
Meem solves this by taking shades back to the traditional Korean concept of personalizing the atmosphere. Specifically, with the translucent quality of Jogakbo, one could incorporate nature into the interior seamlessly. This way, sunlight and nature is not blocked or exposed, it becomes a part of the interior. Jogakbo’s design aspect – the colors and texture-can also fit any mood or mentality of the user, which ultimately creates a harmony of assimilation.

It’s truly beautiful work that really captures her goal of making nature come indoors again in a beautiful way. You can see more of her work over on her etsy shop as these are really just a taste of what she’s created.


A Bit of Spring Cleaning

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Happy Sunday, all!

The up and down weather has continued here but the warm temps have definitely outweighed the cold ones! As it stays brighter longer and the breeze is full of the smell of growing things, my mind inevitably turns to…cleaning! Purging! Out with the old! Seriously, I’ve been putting some real effort into using/recycling/pitching many of those things that have been cluttering up my space. What I’ve found should be no surprise as I am a self confessed fabric and yarn hoarder but I’ve also found a lot of scraps. I *know* I’ll use them but the question is when? Right now, I say! Easter/May Day/Mother’s Day and other celebrations are afoot and what better way to bust some scraps than to make things, especially useful things like this earbud pouch:

This looks like the perfect way to keep them untangled and easy to find.

You could definitely experiment with different pattern and zipper combinations. Along with that pouch, I am always fighting with my various device charging cords so you could also use scraps to make a cord keeper:

Keeping those cords organized in a stylish way!

Now we don’t have to JUST make useful things, there are plenty of pretty projects to use up those fabulous colorful or fancy scraps like this bracelet:

Which could include more than one fabric type for more texture.

Or these bobby pins:

Imagine what I could do with all of my character fabric!

Or even these fabric flowers:

They will last a lot longer than their regular counterparts and you could put some potpourri in the planter so that they still smell lovely.

Now doesn’t that feel good? Even if I didn’t offer something you may want to try, I assure you that there are dozens of other scrap project lists out there. We’d love to see some of yours, too! I’m off to sort through another mountain of stash fabric in the meantime.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Stitched Towels

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I know I’m biased since I’m a crafter by nature anyway, but I’m really excited about the idea of decorating my house with the skills I’ve learned over the years. With stitched towels being my most anticipated, though sadly most often moved to the back burner. They have such a large range of design options available to them as well.

This is the style most people probably think of when they think of decorating towels (though that’s not a terribly common decoration to see on them!) with simple cross-stitch x’s making the design. I’ve been growing more fond of the much more versatile back and satin stitch style though; something that this stitcher has done absolutely beautifully.

While my towels are going to be cafe themed, I loved that MadX-Stitcher used their skills to add a touch of fandom to their kitchen. If you want to go for master class, try mixing some embroidery paint into your design. It comes in a fairly decent range of colors and is a special oil based paint that can be washed and used on a large variety of mediums. So get crafting! 😀

~Nicole


Information Scarf tells Temperature

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Scarves are pretty great. They keep your neck/face warm, come in a limitless number of designs, and can fit just about any outfit your wear as a result. BUT! Does your scarf tell you the temperature?? Well, you could make one that did thanks to Instrucables user caitlinsdad.

Using items like a digital thermometer, Arduino controller and strip of LEDs, this warm (and geez bright bottomed) scarf can inform everyone around you just how cold it really is. If you like some where that gets in the negative degrees often then yours will likely take some modification or would just look non functional during winter. 🙁 It’s still a pretty neat idea though and a fun project to work on none the less.


Towel to EXTERMINATE Moisture with

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I love gives rooms themes. I love setting up houses really, but giving it a theme often makes putting it together easier. Sometimes this is easily accomplished with items available commercially…but typically it involves rolling up your sleeves for some DIY projects. 😉

lasarahjoy made these excellent Dalek inspired hand towels for their kitchen that are beautifully designed. Would go quite well with the TARDIS mug and cookie jar in one’s kitchen I imagine. 😉 While the constructions seems fairly simple (purchased hand towels for the base with cotton fabric for the top and then applique used for the accent parts) lasarahjoy has stated they are more then happy to share the pattern to those who ask. Simply reach out to them via deviantartart note (the option is on their main page) and you too could soon be one step closer to a Doctor Who decorated kitchen. 😀

~Nicole


Holiday DIY Gift Ideas on a Budget

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Yup, it’s that time of year where even though you know you don’t have to give someone a gift and that they’ll understand your shoestring budget, you really want to anyway. Well I’m hear to help you out fellow crafters with another list of gifts you can make for very little that can mean a awful lot. I’ve group them by skill this year (bath making, sewing, etc.) with a few options listed as links under each one so feel free to pursue the whole list or just skip on down to your preferred skill set. Hopefully it will provide some idea you hadn’t considered yet. 🙂

Sewing

First up, are some DIY Key Fobs.  Inspired by the Kate Spade line, these can make a great custom gift for that hard to shop for family member. If you have a sewing machine and extra fabric/thread lying about you’re already most of the way there. Infinity scarves have become very popular in the past few years so why not make a custom one instead? You can make it their favorite color or even make several to match their favorite outfits. Got some old jeans or beach towels that are on their way out? Give them new life baking a Country Jean Apron or a Towel Beach Bag. Both are very inexpensive but easily customizable to fit any taste.

Dinnerware/Glasses

Coaster sets are always a great stand by gift that can be simple to make and look great in a home. These Terra Cotta ones are a nice twist with their raised edges. Know someone that enjoys some humor in the everyday dishes? Give these easy Mason Jar ‘I’m so Fancy’ tumblers a try.

Jewelry

Jewelry on the inexpensive side can be very hard to pull off, so I only recommend making these for people that you know that enjoy costume jewelry as part of their everyday wear. That said, these sequins bracelets hold a lot of creative possibilities. If you don’t know anyone that uses fashion jewelry, then make them a Personalized Jewelry Holder out of a simple ceramic dish and some adhesive vinyl that you print your design out on.

Towels & House Gifts

(Working with Dyes and Paints)

Kitchen towels can be a great gift for new families and singles alike and I’ve found a few variations that can appeal to various skill sets. My favorite are these Ombre Dyed ones as I love the chromatic design that’s easy to make. If working with Dye is not your thing then maybe give Stenciled Towels a try. You just need cheap acrylic paint, fabric medium to mix with, towels, foam brushes and a stencil. Speaking of paint, just pick up some wooden handle roasting sticks and custom paint the handles to make a great personalized gift for the outdoors/s’mores maker in your family.

Beauty Products

Soap is of course the simplest DIY gift as many recipes are simply heat, mix and pour. These Milk and Honey bars being a prime example. Just be sure you know the recipient’s allergies when making your beauty products. Perhaps your person is less of a bar soap and more a scrub person, make them some custom Lemon Sugar Scrub that will help exfoliate their skin. This one in particular is for your lips, but could be used all over if made in larger sizes. Not into showers and more into baths? Try your hand at making a jar of Fizzy Bath Salts. Just like bath bombs but you don’t have to get a mold to make them with. Can’t decide? make all of them and give them out as little treat yourself baskets to your various family members! Most of these recipes make 9-12 pieces/uses so the cost still remains low.


DIY Hot/Cool Rice Pad

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I know these have been around for ages, and you’ve likely seen them are very expensive items at all natural stores, but stop! Don’t spend your money on something that you can make for much, MUCH less on your own; especially with the great prices fabric stores will be running for Black Friday Deals. What are they? The super versatile rice (or bean) pad, and as long as you have basic sewing skills, you can make them. I’ve been making them off and on as gifts or just for personal use for years now and my family loves them. They can be a quick cold pack that you don’t have to worry about melting, or a nice little bundle of warmth you slip into your bed on these increasingly chilly evenings so that it’s all warmed up for you. You can even make small hand held ones to use for bruises when they’re cold or pocket warmers when they’re hot. As long as you don’t get them wet, these handy bags will last you forever.

Your Materials needed:

Scissors (or Rotary Cutter)
Ruler (or Rotary Mat)
Sewing Pins
Cotton Fabric (~ 1/4 yard per rice pad)
Snuggle/Non-Pilling Flannel Fabric ( ~ 1/3 yard per rice pad)
White Rice NOT INSTANT (can also used any dry beans if you prefer)
Sewing Machine (though I have hand sewn one before so I can be done if you are adept enough)

The instructions for this DIY can be found here at instructables. Holly Mann has created are very easy to follow step by step guide that is filled with reference photos that I used myself this past weekend. I was going to remake one myself as I made my own, but hers is really just that good. A quick skim of the steps so you know what you’ll be getting into:

-Measure and cut fabric for a long rectangle rice pad as well as small square ones.
-Sew 3 sides together and fill with the appropriate amount of rice based on the size of the rice pad.
-Carefully sew the pad closed.
-Measure and cut flannel fabric for the covers for your rice pads.
-Sew together so that it has an opening much like a pillow sham for your bed.

That’s really all there is to it. 🙂 I made 2 long rectangle pads and 4 small square hand ones this weekend (but only the flannel covers for the long ones) and it took me about 1-2 hours from start to finish. They’re such a wonderfully versatile item that if you have the time and skill to spare you could easily make some for a very nice holiday gift this year as well. Jo-Ann’s online even has flannel on sale starting now for Black Friday at 75% off, with their cotton ones at a great mark down as well!! Even if you can’t make them right now it’s still a great time to pick up the only expensive parts for the future. ^_^
~Nicole

 


Sunday Wrap Up

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We have had some fantastic projects shared with us on the forums.

Whitetree finished his Megaman Inlay Wall Hanging

BigDaddyWiz Did an amazing cross stitch of the Pumking logo.

Lexxi did this AMAZING Batman quilt that makes the panels look like they are movie strips.

And Eliste did this really well done Baby Quilt.

Remember, if you want to see your projects on the blog, you need to post them in the forums!

-Toni