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This project is exactly a sewing project …but I’m hoping you won’t mind – it does include some buttons, so that counts for something, right???

My middle daughter Ellie, who’s 5 years old, is quite a crafting officianado.  She is always looking for something to make, draw, bake, sew, you name it.  So the other day, while Rosamund was sleeping and the boys were totally disinterested otherwise occupied, Ellie and I sat down to make some BOBBIES! These are all over the hand-made scene, and some can be super expensive.  Ours, however, were NOT expensive … but you shouldn’t be too surprised by that. =)

Here is what we made in about 15 minutes – and for $8. (Sadly for us, nothing was on sale when we purchased these supplies … so realistically, you could make all this for $4 if you get the pieces at half off.)

I keep these supplies on hand because I like to send them to my Parsimony customers who’s dresses get delayed.  Of course, that almost never happens (cough cough)!  They’re really fun to receive so it’s super nice that they’re so easy.  You can ask the Austin Craft Crowd folks, and they’ll concur – easy breasy fleezy!

You’ll need flat topped bobby pins and items to glue on. At our Hobby Lobby, the bobby pins are $3 for about 12 or 16 pins. These flower dealies were $4 for 6 – you can find them in the scrapbooking section.

See the round disk that’s attached to the top of the bobby? These are SO much easier than trying to finagle something around/on top of a regular bobby pin. There’s only one store in Austin that sells these, so if you can’t find them in a store you can find tons on Etsy. Just search under supplies for bobby pins.

Since the disk makes the bobby pin fall on its side, I like to anchor my pins onto a piece of paper before gluing. This way everything stays upright and the embellishment goes on straight and clean. Plus, it gives them a nice spot to dry.

Yeah, so, this was a mommy-daughter project, but one of us was distracted. I won’t tell you who.

Now, just take your heated glue gun and dab a dollop of glue onto the center of your embellishment – or you can put the glue directly onto the bobby pin. Same results. Turn the embellishment over and push onto the disk. Let dry. Done. Bam. Bang. Finished. You’re awesome.

You’ll get something like this! Ellie refused to have her photo taken, but she did pretty well as photographer.

When we completed the six flowers, we broke out a button jar and glued buttons together then onto the bobby pins. I love these too!

So seriously y’all, don’t delay.  Go get these supplies and make these – then give them away!  Grown ups like them just as much as kiddos.  Just sayin’.  These are really fun to take to a woman who’s just had a baby – what an easy way to look cute without being clean!

Here’s the lowdown:

TIME: We made all 16 in about 15 minutes..and that includes figuring out our button combinations.

COST: in a word CHEAP!  We made 16 for $8 so that’s FIFTY CENTS a piece…. applause please.

Okay – please, if you make these, let me see your work – that makes me sooooo happy!

 

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What should you do when you have 9 minutes to kill …. think, think, think.

You could clean your bathroom.

You could clean out your refrigerator.

You could jog a mile.

OR —— YOU COULD MAKE A SKIRT JUST LIKE THIS!

I really really made this in less than 10 minutes!

If you got ten minutes to spare, read on for how to whip this up and have 30 seconds to spare.

Grab a skirt that comes close to the size you’re wanting and lay it on top of your fabric. Keep your fabric folded just like it comes. I knew I wanted the new skirt longer than the current one, so as you can see I left room at the bottom.

Then just cut out a rectangle-ish piece of fabric. You can see that I cut it a little longer at the top to accommodate the elastic casing, and again, I made it longer at the bottom. (yes, you can also see that I didn’t worry about making it a perfect rectangle. This is a summer skirt – it’s going to be flowy, relax a little!

Fold the fabric right sides together and align the selvedge edges. Serge or sew that edge. (the other edge is the fold so there’s no need to sew – score!)

Next, serge or narrow hem the top and bottom edges.

Your bottom edge is done, finished, bam! The top edge now needs an elastic casing, so fold over the top edge and press.

Sew all the way around the elastic casing, leave an opening at the side seam to insert your elastic.

Use the sample skirt to determine how long to make the elastic. I made the new skirt’s elastic slightly longer than the sample so Ellie can keep growing. (just squint if you’re having trouble seeing the blurry image!)

Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing, then sew closed. Bam, your skirt is finished ….. AFTER you press down that side seam. Look at your clock – it should say approximately TEN MINUTES has passed!

The skirt you see here technically took 14 minutes – but that’s because I was taking photos along the way.  I wanted to see the “real” time so I made a second skirt for my other daughter using exactly the same process.  That time was 9 minutes!  I’m trying hard not to spit my Lacroix out of my nose because this is SO exciting!

This fabric makes me smile – I know they’re technically pears, but they make me think of lemonade!

Would you believe that each skirt cost me less than $2!?!? That’s cheaper than Savers people!

Now, yes, I know that this skirt is a total bare-bones skirt.  BUT WHO CARES!!!!????!!!!  If you pick out fabric that you love, you don’t need crazy ornate patterns, just let the fabric speak for its self!

Here’s the breakdown … and you seriously won’t believe this:

Time:  have I been stuttering?  In case you missed it, these skirts take 9 minutes!!!  (In the effort of full disclosure, I used a serger.  If you use a regular sewing machine, you might choose to do a double folded hem which will add about 2 minutes to the total.  Not bad if you ask me!)

Cost: Under $2!  I bought my fabric on sale for half price making it $3.50/yd.  The longest skirt was cut at 18″, making it $1.75 for fabric.  I had the elastic on hand, so I added just a quarter to the price since I didn’t use much.

These are awesome for a summer fun wardrobe that you don’t spend much on … you’ll be sooooo happy to let them get these all dirty and rotten because the expense and time burden are so super small.  Also, these are awesome for inexpensive but powerful birthday presents!

Lastly – you really really really can do this for a grown up too.  I am working on one for me as I type this – since my serger thread ran out, I thought I’d post the first two first.  Either way, it’s still a 9 minute skirt!

Go grab nine minutes, half a yard of fabric – and have fun!!!

Oh, and by the way – I’m certainly NOT the first person to create a fast skirt … for more ideas on making quick skirts (and a million other things, check out my friends over at All Free Sewing … every tutorial is free and easy!  I love this website!)

 

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Hey there friends and family and mystery sewers … how in the world are you???  I just realized it’s been about THREE WEEKS since my last confession post.  Gosh.  As we say here in Texas, “That ain’t right!”

You’ve probably guessed that my world has been a little rocked by my $35 Strapless Dress Revolution.  You are correct!  I’ve sold 35 dresses so far – HUGE THANK YOU to all of you!  So, I’m a little bit holed up on my sewing wall whenever my lame-non-sewing kids allow me the time.  Hopefully I’ll get caught up soon.

Anyway … I just couldn’t go another minute without passing along another easy project for y’all.  I realized today that I have never ever ever posted a tutorial for how to make a zipper pouch.  Seriously, y’all – how come no one has been harping???  Too late, you missed your chance because here’s a tutorial for how to make one of these little darlings:

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And yes, it's even lined! I know - you're welcome!

How to Make a Lined Zipper Pouch – without a pattern! 

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This may sound strange, but I prefer to start with the zipper .. meaning, the size of your zipper should determine the size (or atleast WIDTH) of your pouch. You'll want your zipper to be LONGER than the width of your fabric by atleast an inch or two on each side. This makes sewing up the sides so much easier!

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I rarely measure, I just make sure that my fabric is narrower than my zipper - just like what you see here. You can make it as long as you want though. Decide on your outer fabric and cut two equal shapes.

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Choose your lining fabric, and cut two more shapes the same size.

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Now here's where you want to pay attention - we're going to be layering, and the order is very important. Start by placing one piece of your OUTER FABRIC face up. Then, along the upper width, place your zipper wrong size up and centered over the fabric.

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See how the zipper pull is on the bottom not the top!

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Now take one of your LINING pieces, and lay it on top of the zipper and outer fabric. You will want all three pieces (outer fabric, zipper, lining fabric) to align at the very top. You can pin if you prefer. No sew the two fabric pieces to the zipper.

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When you open it up, it should look like this.

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Okay, follow closely. Lay the remaining OUTER FABRIC piece face up. Turn your sewn section over so that the zipper pull is now on the opposite side but still facing down. Place the remaining LINING fabrin, on top of the entire set, face down. Look closely at the picture. You are aligning the two remaining fabric pieces at the top of the zipper, while the pieces already sewn are dangling down a little bit in the middle of the fabric sandwich.

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Once you sew up the second size to the zipper, you'll have something that looks like this. Both OUTER FABRIC pieces on one side and the LINING pieces on the other, right sides facing each other.

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And from another angle, this is what you'll see. Get excited now, because you are almost finished!

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Lay out your pouch with the two sides separated. Unzip the zipper about halfway. Overlap the opening ends of the zipper just a bit. Now, sew a continuous seam all the way around the entire project - beginning with the lining and LEAVE AN OPENING for turning. (Apparently, my machine sews a straighter stitch than my fingers can draw one. relief!)

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Clip the excess off the zipper at the sides, and then turn the pouch right side out by pulling everything through the opening. Use a pair of scissors to poke out the corners of the outer fabric.

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Sew up that opening - and yes, duh, clip your fray thread! Then, tuck that little lining into your pouch....

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And you got yourself a pouch that looks like this!

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And it's beautiful on the inside too - are you as ecstatic as I am right now?!?!

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If you want, you can tuck in the corners (okay, you can SEW them in also, but who has the extra 30 seconds to do that!?) and your pouch can stand on its own. Ta Da!

So there you go fun people – your very own lined zipper pouch in less than 10 minutes.  (DISCLAIMER: the first time will take you longer because your eyes get all whomperjawed trying to figure out the order and placement.  Don’t worry, it’s gets WAY faster!)

Here’s the breakdown:

Cost:  about $3 – depending upon which size zipper you get..cheaper if you thrift them or steal borrow them from your mother’s stash.  You can easily use scrap fabric, so there’s no charge there!

Time:  seriously and realistically – TEN MINUTES … if you give yourself a little longer for a time or two!

I love these.  I really really do.  Every time I make one I get a little bit happier in life.  I hope you do too!

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Oh my goodness … the last few days (and by few, I mean like a TON of a few!) have been hectic.  I told y’all that I’d pick a winner for the Boo Boo Bags giveaway two weeks ago … shocker!  I did not.  But I haven’t forgotten!!!!

I’ve been having a blast making dresses from my flash sale a few weeks ago AND >>> I’ve been coming up with a couple of new pieces to offer in my shop AND >>> I’ve been making aprons!

Here is my new Caftan Tunic (also available as a dress and a maxi dress) .. I'll be offering this in lots of different fabric combinations.

Just in case you'd like to see what it looks like on a real live person ... although, I've not had any coffee so I'm not technically "real live" yet! (sorry mom, I keep taking photos of myself without makeup!)

And this is my new Moonview Dress ... available in any color combination - great for those color blocking dreams of yours!

And finally - today's tutorial project : an apron made from a man's XXL button-up shirt. (which was thrifted for $2.50!)

Just like last week’s project, I saw this in a book somewhere … I would LOVE for you to believe that I can look at a shirt and say to myself “hey you, turn this into an apron!” … but I’m a horrible liar!  So settle for knowing that I didn’t create this idea, I’ve simply just executed it.  Just in case you don’t have a bookstore nearby that’s filled with lots of crafting books to read aimlessly, here’s a tutorial for How To Turn a Man’s Shirt into a Woman’s Apron!

Start by raiding your husband's or your father's side of the closet (or a thrift store) for a size XL or bigger button-up shirt. I got mine for $2.50 at Savers.

To make the bodice of the apron, unbutton the shirt, and cut off the lower half of the shirt. I cut up the righthand side to the armhole, then across to the button holes. (Here is the first of several gratuitous blurry photos! Hey, it's a FREE tutorial!)

Now cut off the rounded part at the bottom so you have a square or a rectangle, whichever shape makes more sense for your apron. NOTE: keep the button hole placket in tact.

You'll end up with something like this.

Now go to the back of the shirt - to make the skirt of the apron: cut up the left side to the armhole, then around the armhole to the upper back, cut across the upper back to the other armhole and straight down. Here you can see half of what you end up with.

Then cut a straight line from armhole to armhole. (Yes, you can skip this step if you're good eyeballing a straighline across.)

 

I put a couple of small pleats just off the center of the skirt portion, then I sewed the two pieces together.

If you have a serger, you're back side should look like this.

Now, cut yourself a long strip of contrasting/coordinating fabric to become the tie of the apron. Cut it twice the width you desire + seam allowances.

Sew the tube right sides together, then turn right side out and press.

Center the tube on the apron, and carefully sew it along the upper edge of the skirt - all the way across the seam of the bodice and the skirt - and continuing to the other side.

Tuck in the ends of the strip, press and stitch closed.

Form a casing at the top of the bodice to thread ribbon through. Then, duh, thread your ribbon. You're done! Bam!

Here's your cute little homemaker ditty. So fun, huh!?!

I chose to keep the bottom of the shirt in tact, so it's rounded at the bottom and not straight across. Why reinvent the seam!?!

So there you go … an easy repurpose project for cheap.  Here’s the breakdown:

Cost: If you have scrap fabric on  hand for the tie, then all you’ll pay for is a shirt.  Go cheap – you might be tempted to pay $8 for a nicer shirt but DON’T!  It’s an apron… the fun of this project is not the fabric but the fact that it used to be a man’s shirt … and now you have that shirt cooking in the kitchen!  Ha!

Time: If you are privileged enough to get to do this at one sitting, I think you can easily do this in one hour.  (unless you’ve got Parenthood on in the background)

Are you going to make one???

I know, I didn’t forget!!!

The winner of the giveaway for a set of Boo Boo Bags … is …. SUZANNA!

(Now, usually I’ll choose winners at random, but I feel obligated to choose Suzanna because she was able to identify the book that came up with the project!  This makes me soooo happy because let’s face it – good people give props to good people.  I’m working on being that good people kind of thing!)

Congratulations Suzanna.  I’ll get to work on your set of Boo Boo Bags this weekend!  Send me your address!

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Yes, I’m afraid you did, in fact, read the title correctly.  This here post will in fact most certainly be a project that is … oh gosh..this is hard for me to say … er, um … HAND SEWN.  Yes.  The hands that did the hand sewing were my own.  I’m simultaneously so proud and yet so ashamed of this.  (I apologize to you meticulous types out there but I am NOT a gal who loves to do things the slow way!)

These are Hand Sewn Rice Therapy Bags!

I’ve been intrigued by rice bags ever since I bought these for my sister-in-law for Christmas.  They’re simply nice rectangles of fabric stuffed with rice instead of pillows.  You simply heat up or freeze the bags – then place over your eyes to soothe or over your “boo-boo” to comfort.  I saw this handmade project (almost exactly) in a book at Barnes & Noble, and I just HAD to make a set.

Thanks to Thimble Times for recalling the name of the book - and thank you SEWN BY HAND for such an approachable book on hand sewing!

Here’s how you make these fun Boo-Boo bags:

Choose your fabric - you don't need much. Depending upon how large or small you want your bags to be...I'd suggest between 1/3 and 1/2 a yard. I chose a linen cotton blend for sturdiness and coordinated with a quilting weight cotton (top fabric). HINT: use scraps, like I did, so your project is just about FREE.

Cut out 3 sets of rectangles from 1 each of both fabrics. For this project, I knew I wanted to stack them on top of each other, so I cut them in 3 different sizes. You can, of course, do them all the same size if you like.

Before I started sewing, I stacked them on top of each other just to make sure I was happy with the sizes.

Then, for each bag, sew a running stitch all the way around - leaving a hole on one side for turning. Oh, and you can see how I tripled the thread so that I could have a sturdier stitch. I almost never sew by hand, so I have no idea if this is a necessary step. Anyone out there agree or disagree with loading up the thread?

When you finish, your bags will look like this. Be sure to get those corners really closed up or else they'll pop out when you turn the fabric.

Turn each bag right side out, fill with rice, then whipstitch closed.

The book where I saw this suggested adding a topstitch along each bag. I decided I don't really like that look, so I only did the small one.

As much as I loathe hand sewing - I still really love this set! I mean really, who could resist such darling "ice packs" and "heat packs"..??!!! I'm almost hoping my kids bang their heads on something today!

I love this little set!  I am going to keep it safe and sound until someone I know gets sick … what a fun Get Well Soon present!  Here’s the breakdown:

Time: Okay….sooooo…. this is NOT a fast project – but only because it’s sewn by hand.  If you machine stitch these, you’re done in about 30 minutes TOPS!  Hand stitching is going to run you about 1 1/2 hours.  I’ll let you guess which way I’ll create the next set!

Cost: Rice will cost you about 80 cents per bag.  I used 2 bags.  Since I used scrap fabric and have embroidery thread on hand, this project cost $1.60!  YOWZA!  If you pay for everything, you’re still looking at only paying about $5!

So there you go.  A darling little project … so so cheap … not so quick … but really worth it!  Send me photos if you make one!

Oh…and since you read all the way down … I’ll make a set of these* for on of YOU….IFF: you leave me a comment about why or why you do not enjoy hand sewing!  I’ll choose a winner Saturday night, 1/28/12.

****Here’s the fine print: I am most certainly going to sew these with a machine.  Also, I’ll need to send them without rice so that they’ll fit in the shipping envelope.  All you’ll need is rice and the ability to sew them up.  Sound fair?

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Can you guess I’m excited about this latest project???  I almost never take photos of myself but last night, I couldn’t help it.  I was compelled to be associated with this clutch both mentally and visually!

I was inspired by this little sewing book I purchased from Stitch Social.

It’s a really fun book filled with crazy anecdotes from the 1950’s plus lots of pages to jot down ideas for your own projects.  Most of the stories are excerpts from an article where women shared what they made and how much they sold it for.  Crazy thing – most women were making things and selling them for $1!  Wow, their profit margin must have been AMAZING!

Well, somewhere in the back of the book is a simpler version of what I’ve done here.  The drawing in the book looks similar to my tissue pouches … and it inspired me to wrap up the day yesterday by making my very own clutch.

Don't you just LOVE this fabric designed by Ty Pennington!?!

If you’ve got about thirty minutes …. Why don’t you make one for yourself!

First you need to decide how big/small you want your clutch. I decided that I wanted mine to be half the length of this magazine and exactly the same width. So, I just used this as my template.

You can see I just cut about .5" from the magazine at the bottom and the sides. PLUS: I extended my shape beyond the magazine so that I have a fold over to close up the clutch. My finished shape was roughly 17" x 10".

Next, cut out an identical piece from your lining fabric.

I also knew I wanted to add a little row of ruffles/pleats on the clutch flap, so I cut a strip off the selvege of my lining fabric. This way, I could use the frayed selvege as an accent and not have to hem it!

Get yourself some of this Pellon Decor Bond fusible interfacing. It's pretty rad. It is a lot stiffer than regular interfacing but it isn't crazy stupid stiff!

Cut the Pellon the same size as your fabric - only cut one piece. Fuse it to your outer/main fabric - shiny side down.

If you're adding an embellishment, add it now. Also - it should be noted: if you're going to use one of those awesome purse snaps, do it NOW. I forgot this step last night so I had to come up with something inferior! Read on.

Now pin your lining to your outer fabric - right sides facing.

Stitch all the way around the fabric, leaving an opening like you would a pillow. Clip your corners, turn right side out....and PRESS! I haven't said it in a while, but ....IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO PRESS YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO SEW. Am I clear??? wink.

When you press, be sure to tuck the opening in nicely and press firmly.

Lay your piece in front of you with the lining facing up. Bring the bottom up to form the actual purse part. When you determine how far up you want it, you can pin it if you like. CONFESSION: I didn't use a straight edge when I cut my fabric, so you can see here that I got a little crooked. BIG WHOOP! The flap covers that up! Whew!

Starting with the bottom right corner, stitch all the way up, around over the flap section and back down to the other corner. You're enclosing the purse portion and will end up topstitching the flap portion.

Here you can see how the stitch runs from the bottom all the way around to the top ... and back down again (except that's not showing!)

Be sure to do some sort of reinforcement stitch where the bottom meets the flap. This will get alot of tugging everytime you put something in or take something out of your clutch, so be sure it doesn't start coming apart!

At this point last night, I proudly patted myself on the back and enjoyed my beautiful clutch. Oh. Wait. Yuck. I had forgotten to add any sort of enclosure. DANGIT. So, I was forced to add little squares of velcro. Not horrible but not great.

As a result of that tiny little detail (cough cough), I needed to add something to cover up the seams from the velcro. So, I added a fun little yo yo and a button. I would've added this anyway, but I had planned to place it on the SIDE of the clutch and not the dead center!

I've decided to call it a "happy accident" because I am super thrilled with my clutch! Sorry '50s gals, I'm not selling this one for a buck!

Here’s the breakdown for y’all:

Time: 30 MINUTES!  Seriously.  If you’re super meticulous, maybe (MAYBE!) an hour max.  I triple dog dare you to do it in 30 minutes though!

Cost: Anywhere from FREE if you use what’s on hand…to about $5.  You’re using such a small amount of fabric and a tiny bit of Pellon!

I know I said I want to be generous….but I’m keeping this one!!!

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Wherever you are – will you take a moment to look around for some kind of horn that you can blow really loud?  I really need someone to sound the proverbial alarm today …. why???

I have had this idea for a mug rug in my head since Christmas: a mug rug (which is a small placemat) with an appliqued heart pocket that can be used to send messages/give gifts.  I thought it would be such a cute thing for Valentine’s day … but I also wanted it to be useful for the rest of the year too.  I mean seriously, who likes to spend so much time on projects that can be used/worn once a year!?!

Well….here it is, not even February, and I’ve DONE IT!!!  Insert laughing hysterically here.

I mean really y'all. Who wouldn't love to wake up to this on Valentine's day... or Mondays???

These were really simple to make but they look really impressive (and expensive!)  Read on for how to make these fun mug rugs / small placemats.  (NOTE: you can make these ANY SIZE you want – if you prefer full size placemats, I won’t look down on you!)

Choose your fabric. I made sure to use fabrics and colors that complimented my home instead of being specific to just Valentines Day. You do what you like! Hearts are ALWAYS in season .. just ask Tiffany's.

I started with the hearts. Cut out twice as many hearts as the number of mug rugs you'll be making. I made four, so I cut out 8 hearts.

I used a slippery polyester fabric for the hearts so I made sure to pin them securely. Then, sew all the way around using a narrow seam allowance - and leave an opening. Just like you're making a pillow.

Then turn the heart right side out and press - make sure to press the seam allowance inside at the opening. There's no need to sew the opening closed right now because you'll do that at the end. Now set that aside until you're finished with the mug rugs.

Now for the rugs ... I used a standard 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper for my template . (confession - I had NO IDEA how big or small to make a mug rug so I guessed with this size. I'm super happy with the result!) You'll need to cut 2 rectangles per rug. Also, I find it's really helpful to cut your rectangles with the right sides facing - this way, you know that each side matches perfectly.

Here are my 4 sets of rectangles. You can see I have them right sides together.

I also decided to round off my corners by folding the set in half and ... rounding off the corners. (most books will tell you to take a plate or a bowl and use that as a guide ... yeah right, just wing it!)

For this project, I discovered something really wonderful - PREMADE PIPING!!! There is a chorus of halelujah's going on right now! This stuff is so fun and really opens up your embellishing opportunities w/o demanding a lot of extra time. I'm super bummed I haven't noticed this stuff sooner! (and again, I used a color that coordinated with my home and not the holiday)

Attach the piping all the way around 1 rectangle. If you don't have a cording/piping foot, I suggest using your zipper foot and positioning your needle close to the piping.

Look closely at how I started and finished the piping - at the corner. Begin with piping hanging off the edge at a corner, and end with it going off the edge as well. Then trim the corner so that it looks just like a rounded edge.

Now... you get to use that bag of FUSIBLE BATTING you've been wanting to get rid of! How cool is this stuff??!! You simply press it onto your fabric and it stays in place as you sew - miracles do still happen!

Cut one rectangle of batting for each mug rug. Fuse it (iron it) to the unpiped rectangle on each rug - according to package directions. Then layer your two rectangles with right sides together.

Sew all the way around .. place your piped rectangle on top so that you can just follow the stitches you've already made. This will be sure you don't sew over/on top of the piping. Leave an open - like you're sewing a pillow.

Turn right side out, press, and sew up the opening. If you're one of those crazy types, you can whip stitch the opening closed. I prefer to just machine stitch it. The batting gives the mug rug alot of lift, so the stitching is almost invisible.

Your piped corner should look something like this!

Give your rug a nice steam press .. and go find those hearts that you probably put somewhere around the house as you were chasing your little people!

Pin your hearts however you want them placed on your rug. I wanted mine to serve as message and gift pockets, so I left the top part unsewn. Use a very narrow seam so that you can make certain to close up the opening in the hearts. AND YOU'RE DONE! You're amazing. Your family will rise up and call you blessed!

Stand back and admire your work. You're a placemat/piping/batting genius.

I'm getting the feeling I need to make more versions of these mug rugs because THEY'RE SO STINKING CUTE!!!

One of these days … probably Valentine’s Day…I’ll post a photo or two of my hubs and my kids sitting down with their mug rugs and their notes and gifts tucked inside.  I’m super excited about that photo opp!

In the meantime – please make these.  You won’t regret it!

The breakdown:

Time:  okay … these are time consuming, and I hate to admit that, I really do.  Don’t confuse time-consuming with difficult.  These are NOT difficult, but the details will cost you some time.  I’m thinking about 2 hours… maybe 3 if you’re unsure about piping.

Cost: CHEAP!  You’ll only need about 1/2 yard to 1 yard of fabric and can get by with scraps for the hearts.  The batting will cost you about $4 if you buy it on sale – but you’ll only use a small portion of it, so let’s say it costs $1 for batting.  The piping is about $2 per package and I needed 2 packages.  So, in total, my 4 mug rugs cost $8.50!!!

Okay friends … tomorrowish I’ll have another project inspired by Valentine’s Day but that can be used (or maybe worn) all year!

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Sometime around Thanksgiving, I just-so-happened to be in a fabric store with all their Christmas fabric on sale for 60% off.  I mean seriously y’all…how can you afford NOT to purchase SOMETHING!?!

I’ve been using one of these fabrics throughout the holidays in just regular off-the-bolt form.  I hung it over a door to serve as a backdrop for fun photos.  I placed it over a table to serve as a table cloth, and I’ve used it as a makeshift tree skirt.  But, the real reason I bought this fabric was to become something for Ellie and/or Rosamund.  I knew I wanted to use some sort of creative energy to make something I’ve never made before….after all, that’s the real Christmas sewing spirit, right!?!

I came up with THIS:  A Saloon Skirt

I don't know what the official name of this kind of skirt it, so I'm calling mine a Saloon Skirt. It reminds me of skirts I've seen in western movies! Except - they probably didn't wear green/red/maroon huge polkadots...but they would've if they could've!

Here's the side view ... and what give this skirt it's personality. The seam allowances are sewn down to create two casings on each side. Those casings are given ribbon which is then tied at the bottom after the fabric is rouched. I just love this angle of the skirt!

I’m certainly not the first person to make this kind of garment, but this IS the first time I’ve made one myself.  I didn’t use a pattern, I just used the technique as best I figured it could be done.

The awesome thing about this skirt – it can be for a GROWNUP just as easily as for a LITTLE’EN.  I’m already thinking of a linen version for me!

If you’re intriqued—– read on for a free tutorial.  It’s the same tutorial no matter what size you make.  The only difference in the sewing is the size of the rectangles that you start out with.

To begin, cut yourself 2 rectangles of fabric. For my 4 year old, I cut the fabric approximately 30" wide and I have no idea how long. sorry. For your skirt, you want it to be no longer than waist to floor length...probably a little shorter. Keep in mind that you'll be scrunching up the sides so you MUST make the beginning rectangles longer than your desired finished length.

Now, you have to hem the bottom edge of both pieces. It may seem weird to sew the hem first, but you must for this skirt.

Next - sew the sides together ...BUT START AT THE BOTTOM, matching the hemmed edges. Usually I recommend sewing garments from top to bottom...but allow me a crazy diversion here! You want your sides to match up perfectly. Sewing from the bottom up will allow for this! NOTE: use a wider seam allowance than usual so you can be sure to fit your ribbon through there.

It's been a while since I've said this ... say it with me ... "If you don't have time to press, you don't have time to sew!" So now go press your two side seams open. I also like to tuck the sides at the hem inside so that they don't get any ideas of peeking out after washing.

The next step is to create the casings for your ribbon drawstring. Do this by topstitching your seam allowances closed. I always prefer to sew with the rightside facing me ... but if you're unsure of yourself, you can get by with sewing on the wrong side...just this once! This could help you enclose that seam allowance more easily.

Cut yourself 4 equal-length strips of ribbon (or you could make ties about of fabric). I cut mine about 2 or 3 inches LONGER than my skirt.

This picture is hard to make sense of ... but I'm threading my ribbon through the casing using a large and long safety pin. Start at the top and thread the ribbon all the way through to the bottom. Each side will have 2 ribbons.

After you've threaded your ribbon, be sure a little bit is peeking out at the top and secure them in place with some stitching. Then you can trim the excess. (only at the top!)

At the bottom, just let your ribbon excess hang out. You can trim it once you've tried it on and know how long or short you want the ties to dangle. DO NOT secure the ribbon here, let it remain loose .

Now make your waistband casing for the elastic..leaving the opening to thread your elastic through.

Insert elastic and close up the hole. You are ALMOST FINISHED...HOLLAH.

Hold both ribbon ties in one hand, and push up the fabric with the other. Keep pushing up the fabric until you get it to the right height. Tie the ribbon into a bow. Repeat on other side. Give yourself a huge hug...you made yourself a super-fun drawsting Saloon skirt!

Here's what the side will look like. For this skirt, I wish I had large black Satin ribbon on hand, but this narrower version will work.

Ellie's going to wear this with a long sleeved black T and black leggings. What's awesome is, when she tried it on she said, "Wow, this is the coolest skirt EVER!" Mission accommplished!!!

Just in case you missed it, here is the full view again!

and just for grins…I had to add a tattered rose headband!

This was really fun to make.  I am pretty sure more of these are in my future…I’m wanting a long one for me to wear with my riding boots.  Hmmm…I need to get of this computer STAT!

Here’s the lowdown folks:

TIME: This took a bit of time, but I think it’s because I was figuring it out as I went.  I’m guessing for an experienced sewer – about an hour.  For a newbie – about 2 hours.  But the 2nd, 3rd and 4th versions will go much much faster!

COST: about $5 if you have ribbon and elastic onhand.  YOWZA YEAZERS!  About $8 if you have to buy everything assuming you stick with sale priced fabric!

There you go…will you make one of these, please!

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Sewing Season Christmas Season is in full swing, isn’t it!?!

I don’t know about you, but the craziest gifts to come up with are not for family members or friends … but for the millions of SIX teachers I get to give gifts.  I am already pretty close to being out of budget for all gifts…so what’s a mom to do???

COVERED BUTTON PUSHPINS – BAM!

These are really super easy and super cheap – yet they really make people smile!  I have already delivered 5 of the 6 of these gifts, so I’m speaking from experience when I say that they don’t look like cheapo gifts – and the recipients are pretty stoked!

Here’s how to make them…

In addition to buttons to cover and thumbtacks , you'll need something to remove the shanks. I prefer to use one of these jewelry plier thingies. I have no idea what it's called but here's a photo. For gifts, I think 4 buttons should be the minimum. Give as many as you want, but 4 is a nice gesture. =)

Just grab the shank of the back of the button with your plier thingy and pull. Sometimes you have to kind of jiggy it a bit! Just do whatever you have to do to pull that out!

You'll end up with this - a button back and a loose shank. You can throw that shank away!

Now simply cover your button as usual. If you need a tutorial for that, go here.

Now you're ready to glue your tacks tot he back of your button. I prefer to use these heavy duty home decorator pushpins, but regular thumb tacks work too. (If you use a button larger than 3/4", I'd recommend these heavy duty ones b/c the smaller ones look pretty wimpy)

Put a dab of hot glue in the center of the button back, and then push your pushpin right in there. EASY PEASY HUH!?!

You'll get something like this ... except yours probably will not be blurry!

To up the wow-factor for the gift, just grab some cork squares from your hobby store. Cut them in half to get two small cork rectangles. Insert your pushpins and add a fun tag. done.

You can see my first five sets here.  I put them inside little fun cellophane bags.  It was really a fun project to make and to give.  I am fairly certain Ellie and Rosamund’s teachers felt loved.

Here’s the breakdown:

Cost: 5 covered buttons will cost you about $1.50.  Cork squares – about 25 cents when cut in half.  Thumb tacks – about 10 cents.  Fabric – SCRAPS so free!  Total cost (at most) per gift is under $2.  LOVE THAT!

Time: about 10 minutes per gift…depending on how crazy those shanks are to remove.

I hope you’ll make some …you probably have these materials on hand already!

Merry Christmas Sewing Season!!!

PS:  We made these at our Craft Crowd’s Make It Merry Christmas… head on over to their blog to see more photos!  (If they’re not there, check back – I’m looking for my camera uploader thingie!)

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Oh my stinking goodness y’all – I don’t even remember the last post I made … much less my last tutorial!  It has been steadily increasing in crazy around here.  Strangest thing has been happening.  My baby doesn’t sleep ALL DAY anymore.  Weird.  I might need to take her to the doctor.

Anyhoo…tonight….because I’ve been developing hives from non-blogging-activity….I decided I simply MUST share a really fun (and of course FAST, CHEAP AND EASY) project for baby girls in your life.

Believe it or not, but in about 15 – 20 minutes, you can turn a cheapo / boring onesie into a faboulous, one of a kind DRESS…. like this…

Here’s how to do it …

Start with a Onesie. Duh. (sidenote: you'll probably want to choose a size bigger than your baby)

Fold the onesie in half lengthwise. (this is sort of optional, but folding in half guarantees that the sides are cut at the same place)

Cut that onesie at the waist. Of course, I just guessed where I wanted to cut...but feel free to measure if you're into that sort of thing.

When you open the two halves up, this is what you'll have.

Now, pull out some great fabric that you've had in your stash for a while. I chose a very lightweight cotton print ... but just about anything will work. Heavier fabric will produce a fuller skirt! Cut a rectangle - I use the entire width of the fabric and cut a length of about 12-18"..but again, I don't measure. I wanted the skirt to be long, but any length will work.

Join the two selvege edges, sew. Then, finished the bottom hem of the skirt.

Sew a gathering stitch / basting stitch along the upper edge of the skirt.

Now you're ready to assemble your dress. Take the bodice of the cut onesie and turn upside down.

Turn the skirt wrong-side-out, pull the gathers, and then pin the skirt to the bodice - right sides together.

Now take the bum half of the onesie. turn it wrong side out - making sure to put the back side with the back side of the bodice -t then pin. You will have a sandwich: Inside - bodice, right side out. Middle - skirt, wrong side out. Outer - bum, wrong side out. Sew three layers together using a BALLPOINT needle.

And you're done! That's it y'all. I mean seriously - let me hear you holler - AWESOME!!!

And...if you've got an extra 5 minutes, add a fun fabric flower for an added punch. If you don't have time, don't ever think about it again - no big deal!

I love this more than just simply making a skirt because everything it attached - so much easier to create an outfit!

Seriously - loook at your watch. If you've got 20-30 minutes and a ballpoint needle, you can DO THIS!

Here’s the breakdown…

TIME:  Like I said – about 20-30 minutes…unless you can’t decide on a fabric!

COST:  About $2.  TWO DOLLARS!!!!  The only cost is the onesie because you probably have enough fabric on hand to make the skirt!

I think I need to go now because I want to make about 30 more before I go to bed.

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