Sew Fantastic Show Off {Fleece Heart Pillow}

photo 1Tonight’s absolutely adorable Sew Fantastic project was brought to us by FleeceFun.com. (Check out the pattern here.) I teach teens to sew at my library and am always looking for cute and fun projects. This turned out to be a bit more tricky for them than I realized (lots of sewing around curves and fleece is a bit thicker than what they’re used to sewing), but I think they all enjoyed themselves. I know I love my finished project and can’t wait to snuggle with it tonight!

photo 2Joann Fabrics was having a RIDICULOUS sale on Fleece last week and I ended up spending about $6.25 on all my supplies, including fiber fill.  Dax came with me on my shopping expedition and insisted on a “circle pillow” made with baseball fabric for himself. Of course I obliged.

photo 5To make our “circle pillow”, I followed the Heart Pillow pattern’s directions, but instead of cutting my fabric with the heart template, I used our hamper to make big ass circles.

photo 3I wanted Dax to feel like he was helping, so I let him help me set up the bobbin and then stuff the pillow with fiber fill.

photo 4{He’s my good little helper!}

Dax loves his “circle pillow” and I love love love my heart pillow! Thanks FleeceFun.com for another awesome tutorial!

~Christen

 

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{Sew} Easy Pouch with Zipper Tabs

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I first attempted the zipper pouch three years ago. Although the pouch came out fine (especially for a novice), the experience was horrible and I swore off zippers for a loooooooooooong time. This past summer, however, I taught sewing to a group of 7 teenage girls and I decided it was time to bring back the zipper in my life. Have you ever seen a group of teenage girls look at you with anger, frustration, and tears? It’s pretty horrible! But each of the young ladies in my class finished their zippered pouch and the pride on their faces when they saw their finished pouch made the whole experience worth it.

While perusing Pinterest one day for new sewing ideas, I came across a pin for a tabbed zipper pouch. I had never thought to do this, but loved the idea of adding tabs so that my zipper actually opens all the way on my finished project. (True story. The ends of my zipper ALWAYS get stuck in the pouch.) After looking at several different tutorials, I finally put together my own pattern that has worked best for me. Hopefully you all find this as easy as I did. {For this project I have been using my Fat Quarter Bundle of 7 from the Wrens & Friends Collectionby Gina Martin for Moda that I bought from Sisters and Quilter’s Etsy shop.}

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Supplies:

Cut (2) 6″ x 9″ pieces from your outside fabric
Cut (2) 6″ x 9″ pieces from your lining fabric
Cut (2) 2″ x 4″ pieces from your lining fabric (for zipper tabs)
7″ Zipper

Instructions:

1. Cut out all of your pieces of fabric. You will have two pieces of outside fabric, two pieces of lining fabric, and two pieces for your zipper tabs. After you finish your cutting, we will attach the zipper tabs to the zipper.

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2. Take the first 2″x 4″ piece of fabric and fold it in half. Iron on the crease.

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Open up the fabric, fold each side into the middle of the crease, and press with an iron. Then take the two folded pieces and fold them into the middle. Repeat for the second piece of 2″x 4″ piece of fabric.

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3. Pin the fabric tabs to ends of the zipper making sure you do not cover the zipper stoppers.

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4. Sew the tabs onto the zipper.  I like to sew two lines to make sure the tabs are super secure.

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Trim the fabric …And voila!

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5. Now we assemble the pouch. Lay the lining fabric right side up, followed by the zipper right side up, then the outside fabric right side down. Make sure the top edges all line up.

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{Christen cheat. I like to pin everything on the bottom part of the zipper to hold in in place.}

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6. Repeat this process with the other side of the zipper. Once everything is sewn together, iron out the top pieces and topstitch next to the zipper.

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7. Lets sew a pouch!

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OPEN UP THE ZIPPER a few inches! (!!!!!) If you forget to do this, you will not be able to turn your pouch right side out, so please do not forget this step! Next, move your outer fabric to one side and your lining fabric to the other. Start pinning the fabric together, leaving a several inch gap in the lining for turning purposes. When you get to the zipper, fold the seam so that the outside fabrics match up together on the inside and the lining fabrics are on the outside. Pinch it together this way and pin in place. (I accidentally reversed this, so do the opposite of my picture.) Sew the bag up (leaving that several inch gap in the lining).

8. Clip your corners, being careful not to accidentally clip your thread.

photo 13Reach into your opening in the lining and pull the bag right side out. Take a chopstick and push out all of your corners.

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Don’t forget to sew up the gap in your lining with your machine or by hand.

9. Admire your amazing work!

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Pretty gorgeous, right? And hopefully not too painful! Lastly, one final tip: IRON! Iron like your life depended on it. I legit didn’t even know we owned an iron because I never use it… but it makes such a difference when you are sewing. Seriously!

So, what did you all think? This is my first ever pattern and I’m pretty proud of myself right now. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone and happy sewing!

~Christen


He Gives Warm Hugs {DIY Olaf Costume}

OlafMy two year old was very anti costume this Halloween.  In fact, he started telling me in September, “I don’t want to wear a costume. I just want candy.” Sorry kid. It doesn’t work that way. In early October, this Olaf costume pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop came into my inbox and I just had to make it! I showed it to my husband, who laughed and said, “you know Dax will never wear that, right?” Luckily, I have a friend who was looking for an Olaf costume for her three month old son, so I got to make it for him.

I downloaded Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop’s free pattern off of craftsy and was on my way. The pattern was for size 6-12 months, but I had one of Dax’s old 3 month jammies and I modified the pattern from that as was instructed.

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I ended up using this free hat pattern from FleeceFun.com to make the Olaf hat. Didn’t it come out great?

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I actually made the lining of the hat first, then attached the eyes, eyebrows, nose, and mouth to the front outside piece. Next, I attached the twig hair when I sewed the front and back of the outside of the hat together, and finally I finished the hat by adding in the previously made lining. (Does that make sense?)

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This was my first attempt at a costume and I’m REALLY happy with the results! Even the maniac toddler was impressed.

{“You make that hat for me?”

“Would you wear it?”

“No.”}

Lastly, thank you to my friend Sarah and her lovely children for letting me put their pictures of on my blog! The costume is cute, but it’s baby J that really makes the costume FABULOUS!

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 {He gives warm hugs!}

Thanks for reading!

~Christen


Super Easy Infinity Scarf

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Sometimes I think I’m the world’s worst blogger… but I have been super crafty lately and I really need to start posting again.

I taught quite a bit of sewing this past summer to tweens and teens. I had my Sew Fantastic class, for teens in Grades 6-12, meet five Thursdays in a row and then I also assisted with our Sew Together class for younger children and their caregivers. In August we made these super easy (and awesome!) infinity scarves that my boss found on this blog post from Kitchen Counter Chronicles. I loved the project so much that I decided to also reuse the pattern with my teens!  This scarf is fast and easy to sew up and makes a great accent piece (and present).

Supplies:

-2 yards of fabric (Mine is Barbie fabric from Walmart!!)

-Coordinating thread

-Basic Sewing Supplies

Instructions:

  1. Cut a piece of lightweight fabric to 72″ x 14″. (The original instructions said to cut the fabric 57″ x 14″, but I wanted a longer “adult” scarf, so I used the full length of my fabric.)
  2. Fold the fabric along the long edge, right sides together. Pin and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  3. Turn the scarf right side out. You can simply finger press the long edge flat or use an iron to press the scarf. (It will look neater if you use an iron.)
  4. To create the loop, tuck one end of the scarf into the other end of the scarf…creating a loop…be certain you have not twisted the scarf. Tuck the raw edge of the outside piece of the scarf under, about 1″. Pin this edge. Sew along the pinned seam.
  5. Wear your awesome new scarf!

I didn’t take pictures of my steps, but make sure to check out the original blog post from Kitchen Counter Chronicles to get pictures and instructions!

Have a great weekend everyone and happy crafting!

~Christen

DIY Burp Cloths for my Super Spitty Baby

I can’t remember the last time I used my sewing machine.  I think it was when I made Dax’s car seat cover back in February.  Wow!  That was three and a half months ago.  {sad face}  Tonight, my little dude decided that he wanted to go to bed at 8:30, so I took this opportunity to wipe the dust off my sewing machine and make Dax something not sew (ha!) easy.  I pinned this tutorial from Petite Lemon Blog FOREVER ago and I’m excited that I was finally able to make her awesome burp cloths.

I’ve been taking weekly photos of Dax (post to appear shortly) using different fabric backdrops that my mom buys us from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  Last week, we used this adorable dinosaur flannel and I decided that I would be using this fabric for our burp cloths.

{I love this boy!}

For this project, you need:

-Prefold Diapers (I bought mine from Target!)

-Fabric (I used flannel, but cotton would work, too)

-Thread

-Sewing Machine and Basic Sewing Supplies

Step 1: Wash your fabrics and IRON everything!

Step 2: Cut fabric.  (I sort of just improvised this step.  I knew I wanted it to be the length of the burp cloth and a pretty thick strip.)

Step 3: Iron your edges to make a nice clean line.

Step 4: Trim up your corners

Step 5: Pin your fabric to your prefold cloth diaper.

Step 6: Now get to sewing!!  I sewed my fabric all the way around with a somewhat decorative stitch.

Step 7: Admire your work.

I’m really excited about these burp cloths and I can’t wait to try them out on Dax (aka my super spitty baby).  This is a great pattern from Petite Lemon Blog and a super fast project that would make a great gift for moms to be.  I’m already planning on how I might make some changes to this pattern in the future for some soon to be moms that I know.  Woot!  I rate this pin an Epic Success!

Happy crafting…

~Christen

Car Seat Cover

The compulsion to nest, clean, and create has hit me full force over the last 3 weeks.  For someone who considers herself to be “domestically challenged”, this is all a super crazy feeling.  I woke up yesterday and knew that I would have to spend my day crafting.  I went out to Jo-Ann Fabrics and bought supplies for three projects.  The first project was the Visual Weight Loss Jars that I completed in like 10 minutes yesterday.  The second project turned out to be a total epic fail and left me screaming at my sewing machine.  My third project was to make a car seat cover for my little guy’s car seat before he gets here in 9 days.  I found an amazing tutorial at Make It Do that was easy to follow and yielded some super cute results.

Now normally this is the part of the blog where I start posting pictures, supplies needed, and step by step instructions for the project.  Yeah.  It turns out that being 37 weeks pregnant not only makes you want to nest, but it also takes away your patience. :-/  I was in such a mood after last night’s sewing fail and wanted nothing to do with my camera so I decided it was best to leave the step by step instructions to Make It Do.  Sooooo… now I’m going to show you some fabulous pictures of my car seat cover and if you like it (and want to make one for yourself!), head on over to Make It Do’s tutorial!

First, the fabric:

The top fabric (main fabric) is 100% cotton and has totally adorable monsters on it!  As much as I love cutesy baby fabric, I wanted my cover to have a bit more of an edgy look to it.  The bottom fabric (lining fabric) is 100% flannel.  It’s a soothing blue and super soft to the touch.  I’m also hoping the flannel will keep the baby a bit more warm in his car seat when we go out and about.

Now it’s time for the finished results.  First, the outside of the cover from the front:

Then the outside cover from the back:

And here’s the inside:

Lastly, my Velcro straps (for some reason I am super proud of these!):

and

So, yeah.  Thanks for looking at my pictures and as I said before, if you like what you see, check out the super awesome and easy tutorial at Make It Do!  This Pin is totally an Epic Success!

Happy Pinning…

~Christen

Point and Shoot Camera Clutch

My second Christmas sewing project was for my awesome parents.  After finding out that Dave and I are having a baby, they told us that they plan to help with babysitting Dewey.  YAY!  I decided that since they will be spending so much time with the baby, they would need a fabulous point and shoot to capture all of Dewey’s awesomeness.  Dave and I got them a Nikon Coolpix S6100 Digital Camera from B&H. (We ❤ B&H!!)

I realized after buying my parents the camera, they would also need a case, but I couldn’t find one that I really loved.  Luckily, Pinterest was there for the rescue.  After doing some searching, I came across the perfect camera clutch tutorial found at Karlen Creates.  Although, I’m going to post my step by step instructions, you should definitely check out Karlene Creates for more detailed (and easier to follow) instructions.

First, I gathered up the ol’ supplies:

-Two Rectangles of fabric measuring approximately 14 1/2″ x 4.5″

(I like to make a template in Microsoft Word because I suck with my ruler.)

-Batting

-1″ of 1/4″ elastic

-1 button

-Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies.

Start by cutting out your fabric:

and your batting:

Take the two pieces of fabric and lay them right sides facing.  Then lay the batting on the wrong side of one of those two pieces.

Next, peel back your one layer of fabric and pin your 1″ of 1/4″ elastic into a loop on one of the 4 1/2″ sides of the other piece of fabric with the loop FACING IN!!!!!  (I messed this up and had to start all over from the beginning.  Sad face.) Karlen Creates says that she, “found it held best if you use the side that has the batting on top of it.”

(This is the wrong way!!!!  Don’t do this!!!  Face the loop IN not OUT!)

Now we pin…

….and sew (leaving about two inches from your starting point so that you can pull everything through):

(Make sure you go over the elastic with the sewing machine a few times so that it’s really held into place.)

Trim up your corners and the batting, then pull everything through your hole so it’s right side out.  Use a chopstick, pencil, etc. to poke to corners out. Make sure you go back around with your sewing machine, as close to the edge as possible, to close up your 2″ hole.

Here’s a little picture of what happens when you attach the elastic loop the wrong way:

UGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Now you want to fold from the bottom up (the top is where the elastic loop is), leaving about 2.5″ left on the top (I also pinned as I went).  Fold the top over the bottom and using the elastic loop, mark where you want your button to be sewed on.

The very last step is to start at the bottom of the right side of the bag and sew all the way up to where the bottom and top pieces no longer meet.  Repeat on the left side.

Finally, you’re done and your bag is ready for a camera!  YAYAYAYAY!!!

This might have been one of the more tricky sewing projects I have tried.  It was my first attempt at sewing through batting and it made for some interesting cursing and hissy fits.  BUT, I did it and I am super happy with the results.  (Dave liked it so much that he asked me to make a larger case to hold his Tablet.  We’ll see….)

I feel like my instructions are adequate, at best, so please please please check out Karlen Creates’ Camera Clutch Tutorial if you decide to make this case.  You’ll be happier (and less frustrated) this way!

I rate this Pin an Epic Success!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

~Christen

Pocket Hand Warmers

I wanted to make my brother (aka the guy who wants *nothing* every year) a little something for Christmas.  I thought about maybe a hat or a scarf, but then I came across a Pin for Pocket Hand Warmers.  My brother works outside, so I thought these little beauties might be a nice treat for his super cold hands.  Of course, after I made my brother’s set, I realized his girlfriend is a teacher and probably has recess duty so she would need a pair, too.  Then when I showed my mom a picture, she said my dad could also use a pair.  I was so proud of my work, I showed a coworker… and ended up making three pairs for her six year old son to give to his teacher, aide, and the morning car door opener. 🙂  I then showed another coworker, who is a long term substitute teacher, and she wanted a set, too.  Ha!  It became a cycle.  At one point I ran out of rice, but I still have TONS of fabric.  I guess I know what I’m making next year, too.

A great BIG thank you to Blissfully Content for her super easy to follow Pocket Hand Warmers Tutorial!

Supplies:

-Fabric (I used flannel for my brother’s hand warmers, but 100% cotton for some of the other sets I made.  Both work great.)

-Rice (I used just regular long grain white rice.)

-Nutmeg

-Paper Funnel

-Sewing Machine & basic sewing supplies

Optional:

-I also made a 4 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ rectangle in Microsoft Word and printed it up on cardstock… just so I wouldn’t have to keep measuring my squares.

-Ribbon

First, cut out four rectangles (two rectangles for each hand warmer) from your fabric.

Start by taking your first two rectangles and pinning your right sides together…

… and sew.

(Make sure to leave a little opening on one of the sides.)

Turn your fabric right side out and use an instrument (chopstick, pen, etc.) to poke out your corners.

***After making my third set of these hand warmers, I started leaving my hole more in the middle of one of the shorter sides (instead of the corner).  I then ironed out the fabric and then folded my open seams under and ironed them to make a nice even seam.  This made it much easier for me to close up the hole.  Instead of blind stitching the hole, I just did one more top stitch (after I filled the bag with rice) real close to the side with the open hole.  Easy peasey!)***

Now you want to make a little paper funnel and fill the fabric with rice (kind of like a bean bag).  I also added in some nutmeg to make the warmers smell nice.

And now we’re almost done! You can either blind stitch that top hole (like I did for this set) or you can follow my above asterisked (***) instructions and top stitch the hole closed.

Fin!

You will now repeat the above instruction to make bag number two.  After that, I tied mine up with some ribbon to make them look fancy and wrapped them up for Christmas.  I let everyone who received a set of hand warmers know to microwave their bags for approximately 30-45 seconds and that each bag should hold between 20-30 minutes of heat.  (My dad used his set Christmas Eve night while helping Dave scrape the ice off of his windshield before we went home.  Brrrr!  My dad said his hands stayed toasty though.)

Thank you again to Blissfully Content for the super easy instructions.  Not only was this Pin an Epic Success, but it will more than likely be my go to holiday gift for many Christmases to come.

Happy Holidays!

~Christen~

Oh. Em. Gee. I Made a Minky Baby Blanket!

I can’t believe it.  She who sucks with the sewing machine actually sewed a baby blanket tonight.  I am so ridiculously proud of myself and now I can’t stop looking at my new blanket.  I pinned a DIY minky blanket tutorial that I found from Mama Stellato about a week ago.  I really didn’t think I would make the blanket though.  Then I got an e-mail from Jo-ann Fabrics saying that they were having a 50% fleece sale, so I thought to myself, “why not give it a try?”

I bought:

1 yard of animal print fleece

1 yard of brown minky fabric

The fleece was 50% off and I had a 40% off coupon to use for the minky fabric.  I also had $6 left on a gift card, so I ended up spending $8.99 for all of my supplies.  Woot!  I left out the batting that the original tutorial called for because I did not think I would need it.  Dewey Baby will be born in March, so I figured I would not need that third layer.

I prewashed my fabrics and then spread them out on the dining room table:

I then took out the scissors and trimmed my fabric up to the size I wanted:

After that, I began the epic battle that was pinning my two fabrics together (UGH!) and got to sewing:

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to sew in a straight line, but then I realized I could just follow the line of bumps from the minky fabric and that really made all the difference.

After I finished my initial sewing go around, I pulled the right side out, and blind stitched the open seam together:

The last step was to go back around the blanket and top stitch a 1/4 inch around the edge:

I cannot stress enough how happy I am with my finished blanket!  In fact, I can’t wait to make more.  This Pin was by far my most Epic Success.  If you’re interested in learning how to sew a minky blanket, please please please check out Mama Stellato’s tutorial  You will not be disappointed!

Thanks for stopping by…

~Christen~

DIY BabyLegs

I’ve been obsessed with BabyLegs since I learned how to crochet about a year and a half ago.  Once I found out I was pregnant, I knew I would need a collection of BabyLegs for Dewey.  (He will be like Lady Gaga- No Pants!)  Although I knew I could hook up a pair pretty fast, I much prefer the look of fabric BabyLegs to yarn.  Although I’m still pretty new to sewing, I wanted to find a BabyLegs tutorial and give it a try.  I searched through several blogs, but I found musingsfromafrenchcottage’s instructions to be the easiest to follow.

I grabbed my supplies: scissors, thread, and a pair of men’s dress socks that I bought for $3 at Target… (I did not need the pinking shears.)

…Got to cutting…

…Folded the foot part in half and inserted the leg part through the folded foot part (Musings from a French Cottage does a much better job of explaining this step!)…

…And got to sewing!  (You will see that I still have issues with my tension.  I always get those little clumps of thread when I start to sew.)

I then folded the now sewn cuff back up and Voila!  We have homemade BabyLegs for baby Dewey!

You will also notice that my pattern didn’t quite line up, but that’s okay.  I’m still learning and I think the baby will forgive me.  It took me about 15 minutes to make both legs and I’m really happy with the result.  This is so much more fun than just buying BabyLegs.  Plus, I also feel like I really accomplished something by making this for my baby.  I rate this Pin (another) Epic Success!

~Christen~