Posts Tagged ‘fabric’

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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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???


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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I have a small sheet of paper in my handly little note pad where I mapped out all the things I wanted to post for So Celebrate National Sewing Month.  Needless, to say, I have not even come close to completing that list.  Sigh.

One of the things on that list, however, is Fabric YoYos!

I had totally overlooked this on my list until I attended a baby shower on Saturday morning.  Darling Sarah Brumit gave the most darling onesies to our friend Lindsey … one she handpainted the sweetest polka dot trail, and the other she sewed three fabric yoyos across the top.  I so wish I had taken a picture of these little wonders because they were SO cute!

I hadn’t originally planned on doing a tutorial for yoyos – I was just going to show a few ways that they can be used as sweet and sassy embellishments … BUT… when I asked Sarah if she made her yoyos herself, she said no.  What!?!  Could it be that Sarah doesn’t know how?  If that’s the case —- I really need to remedy that for her!  Hence, today’s post – How to Make a Fabric YoYo!

All you need is a circle of fabric, a needle & thread, and an iron.

Press the edges of the circle to the inside just a small little bit.

Take your needle & thread and sew a basting stitch all the way around the circle. When you get back to where you started, gently pull on the thread and the sides will pull themselves into the center!

Tie a knot with the thread, press flat. You're done. Hilarious how easy that is, huh!?!

I added a covered button in the center and attached it to a fast and easy headband for Ellie.

And I made a pin / brooch out of another one. Just cut a circle of felt, sew the pin to the circle and hot glue it onto the back.

Fabric YoYos...any YoYo can make 'em!

There’s today’s little ditty about sewing celebrating.  I hope to see you again tonight… to catch up!?!?


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Oh my stinking gosh, I have fallen sew so far behind in my National Sewing Month’s SO Celebrate Sewing…please excuse me!  Apparently, life with a Kindergartener is much more hectic than I anticipated!

At last count, I was 6 posts behind.  I think that was 2 days ago.  That puts me at about 8 posts behind.  So, I’m going to try my darndest to catch up this weekend.  But – you should know that I have my legs crossed right now so nothing I say can be held against me!

For tonight, I’d like to show off my newest Jelly Roll purchase, and demonstrate how I made a very fast and easy cuff bracelet from just 2 of the strips.

I purchased this "jelly roll" on clearance for $4.99!

I unrolled it to discover this selection of gorgeousness.

I very scientifically haphazardly wrapped my favorite strip around my wrist to determine where to trim off the excess. Cut two identical strips.

I chose my second favorite fabric to serve as the coordinating ruffle that I attached to the top and bottom of the cuff. I folded it in half, pressed, and trimmed off about 1/2"

Sew the ruffle fabric onto the two sides, making your ruffles/pleats as you go. Of course you could opt to make your pleats/ruffles ahead of time, but yeah right! It's much faster just to wing it.

Apply fusible interfacing to the second strip of the main fabric. Then, sew both main fabric strips together, right sides facing.

Turn right side out and press. Next, finish your two edges however you like. (I thought I was going to just serge my edges, but then I decided I wanted a more pristine finish. So, I had to pull back the seams a little at each end, turn down the orange and then fold in the blue on top. Hard to explain, but youll see what I mean if you do it that way!)

Here is what I ended up with ... I like it even more than I thought I would!

To fasten the two edges, I simply attached a snap. (It wouldn't be a true So Sew Something post without a blurry photo of an important step!)

So there you go – a very very very easy fabric wrist cuff / bracelet!  What a great way to show off your favorite fabric …better yet, what a great way to purchase that crazy expensive fabric you’ve always wanted – if you only need 1/8 yard, no big deal for your wallet!

Time: probably took me about 20 minutes.  Remember, the jelly roll people did most of the cutting for me!

Cost: Practically FREE – maybe 50 CENTS total!!!  hollah people hollah!

See you very soon!!!  Feel free to share your own ideas / plans for a cuff of your own!

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself glued to the television and to NPR today.  Much like ten years ago, I can’t seem to hear enough about the details of that day.  It’s funny, isn’t it, how in just a moment or with just a picture we can be transported right back to that day – as if it was yesterday.

I remember that day, even menial details of the day, so vividly.  I’m sure you do, too.  My parents always spoke of the Kennedy assassination by first saying, “I know exactly where I was when I got the news.”  I used to think that was crazy.  Now I understand.  Almost as if frozen in a viewfinder, I can see myself, my husband, our friends visiting from NY, and the Boston skyline.  It began as such a beautiful day, didn’t it.

Well – today it seemed kind of strange and disingenuous to post a How-T0 Craft project … but I also wanted to keep up with Celebrate Sewing month.  So I found a solution.  What I call a “Message Pillow.”  “A pillow that has a message.

I don’t think any sentiment could be more accurate on a day like today.  I know for sure I really will remember that day for the rest of my life.  So, I feel confident this pillow will be an asset to my home!

If you’d like to make one, here’s how I did it:

I created a Word document so that I could print out the numbers and letters to use as templates. (My daughter snuck up and erased one of the 1's...)

Then, just before I noticed that the other 1 was missing, I printed the document on Inkjet Fabric Sheets using the "best quality photo" setting. (These are photocopying pages made out of cotton fabric!)

Peel off the backing on the fabric sheets. Apply Heat And Bond to the message - before cutting out the letters and numbers precisely.

Then, cut out the characters and pull of the backing to th e Heat and Bond. Take a straight edge, and row by row determine the placement of your message.

Iron on the characters row by row. I like to put a piece of cheese cloth over the message first, then do another ironing once they're nice and set.

Your first row will look like this.

Then like this.

You can stop with just the Heat and Bond, but I like to actually sew the pieces to the pillow.

Trim off all those threads, finish up your pillow form and stuff. You've got a message on a pillow.

I love that this technique is SO easy and SO fun – you can pretty much create a pillow to “say” whatever is on your mind…

Like this one from Alexandraferguson.Etsy.com

Or this one from Olivehandmade.Etsy.com

I hope you’ll make one of these for yourself … but maybe one with a slightly more upbeat message …. like


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Tonight I am officially catching up!  No more lagging behind for me!

I thought I’d share that one of my main joys in sewing, maybe what I love best about sewing, is that you can make awesome stuff FAST!  I love knowing that if I’ve got half an hour, I can walk out the door with a finished piece…if you think about it, very few hobbies can boast this – not candle making, not basket weaving, definitely NOT embroidery!

So for posts 8 & 9, I thought I’d share with you two projects that were completed very quickly AND fulfilled a need for CHEAP!


Embarrassingly, this was my kids' playground. (remember, we live on the face of the sun...NOTHING can fix the grass right now!)

Completely by accident one day at Joann’s, I came across the most perfect Outdoor fabric on clearance … $3 a yard, people!  I’m not even kidding!  So I grabbed 6 yards.

I would've had a great time tearing all the torn pieces off except it was literally 108 degrees outside. Literally y'all. No exageration. 108 degrees.

But when you have a HOT husband, all it right with world!

After some simple measuring and cutting and stapling ... You really can replace your tattered playground fabric with new pristine playground fabric. Now if only it were the simle to do something about my landscape!


#2: A really quick DRESS!

We got home at 2:30. Knew we were leaving for Owen's first school football game at 4:45. I wanted to make Ellie and myself a dress in navy for the game. By 4:14 - mission accomplished! I made myself a navy Team Spirit Dress and I made Ellie this fun maxi pillow case dress. I am only a tad bit biased when I say she was soooooo cute!!!

Seriously, just writing down how quickly I made Ellie’s dress has made me love sewing even more!  And when I remember that our two dresses cost $9 total —- HEART THROBBING FOR JOY!!!  I So Celebrate Sewing!

Up for tomorrow… How to make a QUICK NAP MAT!

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