Monday, January 30, 2012

Make it Monday

Gentle readers, I must apologize for missing Make it Monday today. Family emergency. But tune in to Tuesday and I'll post the Make it Monday post.
Confused yet?

Fix a Bad Hair Day in 5 minutes!

We all have 'em... days when our hair does everything except what it's supposed to do. Today was one of those for me, and after denial (mine—my hair just laughed at me), a period of mourning, and feeling grief for a life that included bad hair days, I decided to fix the problem.

Now, I used fleece, 'cause it's still cold here—even though I have no intentions of going outside where the cold actually is—but you can use any stretchy material. I've made some from old tee shirts, too.
I was making several at once, so my fabric is doubled.

First things first. Lay your fabric out so that the stretch goes long ways and lay your see-through 4" wide ruler on top. This is one of the things I really like about fleece; you don't have to worry about grain, just stretch.

Oops. I forgot the first first thing. Measure your head, and add 1/2" an inch. (Actually, I just kind of lay the fabric on my head and see if it stretches all the way around my head.)

So now you have a nice, even swatch of cloth 4" wide and about 22" long (your head might have more brains in it than mine does, necessitating a bigger headband). Take it to your sewing machine and sew the short ends together, using about a 1/4" seam. (It is very forgiving here, thanks to the stretch.)

Now, if your seam is larger than 1/4", trim it down to 1/4".

Cut a piece of the same fabric (or a coordinating one might look cute) to a rectangle 2" x 3". Wrap that piece of fabric around the headband, gathering the headband and hiding the seam. You can sew it together by hand here if you want; I headed back to the sewing machine. Pulling the fabric so that it holds the gathers in the headband, sew the ends together. Turn just that piece inside out, so the seam is on the inside, and you're done!

5 minutes, and you look like you stepped out of a vintage catalog!

I added a flower topped by buttons in graduated sizes to give this one more character.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Make It Monday: The Stacked Button Rose Headband

Okay, I was having a bad hair day, and needed to cover at least some of it up! Loving retro like I do, I thought of the beautiful hats and headbands that ladies in the 20s and 30s wore, and decided that I could fix it.

There are lots of tutorials on making gathered fabric flowers, so I'm just going to pretend that we have one the color I need (In fact, I do!)

(OTS, do you ever get so tired at your computer that you fall asleep and keep on typing? The only way I know it's happened is because what I write makes no sense. So now mu son the critic will "give me a talking to" about writing when I'm so tired! Anyway, if something pops into the sentence that obviously shouldn't be there, please send it home with some chocolate chip cookies and a pat on the head. Or run downstairs and feed your dogs and grab the kettle cooked potato chips your hubby bought you and swear you'll only eat a few. It all helps you stay awake.)

Okay, so here's how you make the headband. You need a large or extra-large tee shirt in a color you like. Mine's purple. Measure a four inch width that encircles the whole sleeve. Here, like this:
then cut it off. You should have a tube shape with a seam on one side.Next, find your ruffled flower and set it aside. I wanted one that matched the headband, so I just made it out of a bit of the tee.

Now the coup de gras! The button rose! I simply used various shades of purple (lilac, lavender, if you prefer) in graduated sizes, and sewed them to the center of the flower. Finally, attach the whole flower to the headband so that it covers the seam and you are done. Easy-peasy.  (I like easy, 'cause I can watch episodes of my favorite tv shows on half of my screen while I do something else on the other half—like this tutorial—or hand stitch something (yes, I like to hand stitch, but then again, I also like grammar!)

I hope this "tutorial" wasn't hard to follow. If you have any questions, please ask, and I'll try to get a pdf up soon.

Until next Monday, then... have a good one!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Make it Monday: Reverse Applique Cuff

These fabric cuffs are becoming all the rage right now, so I decided to make one for myself. I haven't seen any done with reverse applique, so I decided to give it a go and see what it will look like. I'm very pleased with the results (it says "create")!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Late, and not doing what I said I would.

I don't make New Year's resolutions, and this is why: I hate to admit it, but I flat forgot the tutorial for the reversible maryjane shoes. I'll get to it (maybe next week) but right now other things are taking up my attention. Like my sweet granddaughter, Remy, who is only 6 months old and stays with me all day while her mommy works. I get so busy playing with her sometimes that I forget other obligations. And my husband often springs on me that someone at work sure admires my soft creatures and has a birthday coming up... and could I...? So today I finished a stuffed dog for one of his co-workers. And I just decided to show it to you. Do you make soft toys? What kind? Where do you get your patterns? (I make most of mine.) Okay, one resolution. I resolve to make all my soft toys unique. (That's cheating. I already do that!)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Make it Monday: Soft Baby Slippers

I have a 6 months old granddaughter whom I watch while her mom works. That's one of the pleasures of being "retired." (I have five kids and their spouses and ten grandkids and one energizer-bunny husband. Retired? What's that?) Although I sometimes call her Pooka-Dooka, her actual name is Remy, and we have so much fun together! Of course, it means that I sew and do other crafts in fits and starts, but it's more than worth it.

At the sewing machine today, I was listening to her "jump-jump-jump" in her Jenny Jump-Up as she giggled and squealed. Suddenly I became aware that it was very quiet. My heart skipped a beat. How long had it been that quiet? But when I got to her, she was just sitting there with her thumb in her mouth and half-open eyes. Poor little Pooka-Dooka. Now that she's down for her nap, I can write today's tutorial for you. Today we're going to make soft baby slippers, also called ballet shoes.

Let's get started!

First, the pattern. In order not to violate the licenses of the many baby-shoes patterns I use, I decided to demonstrate this one with a Simplicity pattern. Because I make so many baby shoes, I trace all my patterns onto card stock. So that's where we'll start.
 Trace around your pattern and then cut it out. (Don't use your good sewing scissors for that! Card stock can dull a pair of scissors pretty fast!)

 Now that I have my pattern, I need my fabric. I've chosen to use lime-green fleece and turquoise and white jersey knit (an old t-shirt, actually).
 Turning the t-shirt inside out and placing it on the folded fleece will give me four layers to cut through. Pin them together so that they don't shift while you cut.
 I use both a rotary cutter and a pair of scissors, so which one you use on this project is up to you. I cut my straight lines with the rotary cutter and the curved lines with the scissors.
 Once you have them cut out, here's what you have. Separate the pieces. You should have eight.
 Line the edges of the heels up on one shoe upper and using a 1/4" seam, sew them together. Don't forget to reverse your stitching at the beginning and end of all seams to "lock" them. Otherwise, they might become loose or even fall apart as you manipulate the shoe. Repeat with the other three uppers.
 Now take that upper and putting right sides together, pin the sole to the upper from the sole side. Then using a 1/4" seam, stitch all the way around the soul.
The next two pictures show you what it should look like from each side.

 On the fabric you have chosen for the lining, leave a 2" gap so you can turn the shoe right wide out once they are sewn together.
Here you can see both pieces turned right side out. Can you see the gap in the side seam of the lining where I've left the opening?

 Turn the outside shoe inside out and fit into the lining. (Sorry I don't have a picture of that step. Husband is home and son—Remy's daddy—is here, too, and they keep distracting me.)
 Using a 1/4" seam, sew all around the part where your little one will slide her foot into the slipper.
 Using a ladder-stitch, hand-sew the opening in the lining. Then push the lining into the outer shoe, and there you are!
 Easy-peasy, huh? Reversible, soft baby slippers!
 One last note. These will fit a toddler. If you are making them for an infant, you'll definitely want a strap, ribbon, or elastic to make sure they stay on. We'll tackle making reversible Mary Janes next week!