Monday, January 31, 2011

Buttoned-up Pillowcase

I had a very productive weekend! (In spite of a very bad case of cough and colds... aargh!) And I'm so excited to show you what I've been working on.

don't you just love my new pillow? I know I do!
I was most excited about this one because I love the way it turned out! I almost violated my "No-Internet-On-Weekends" rule to post about this one the moment I was done.

You see, a few weeks ago, my mom gave me this blouse and told me I can do whatever with it:
She only recently bought it but after a couple of sessions in the washing machine...
Uh-oh... the fabric tears easily... this hole was along the hem at the bottom of the blouse. I initially thought of creating an applique or a patch... but it just seemed so obvious and I know I will never be able to wear it like that. I've been playing around with the idea of chopping the entire bottom half and sew in the bottom half of a t-shirt... but in my head, I don't think it's something I will be able to wear in public :)

So this blouse ended up on my stash and stayed there for a couple of weeks until inspiration hit me last week (don't you just love it when that happens?). I was admiring some pillow projects online and I was thinking of buying fabric to make some new pillow cases for my throw pillows when that blouse popped into my head. It's a perfect match for my current color scheme of cream and gray!

Last weekend, I got to work. I have already worked out the process in my head by this time and this project was so easy... literally only took a few minutes to make.

STEP 1: I laid out the blouse (size 14... though sizes run a little smaller here in Asia) and used one of my pillow cases to see if I have enough fabric for the case I wanted to make (my pillow cases are 16" x 16"):
I did!!! Great!

STEP 2: I pinned my 'pattern' (i.e. pillow case) on the blouse and started cutting around it. I put in around 0.5 inches allowance for the seams.

STEP 3: I now had the front and back pieces of my pillow case. I turned both sides inside-out and sewed along all sides.

STEP 4: Pop open the buttons... turn right side out... insert pillow inside and... I was done!

I admit... I did not hem the edges before I sewed the seams. I thought about it... but I was too lazy and I figured I didn't mind if it frayed inside.

Hope you all had a great weekend. More projects to be posted, this week so stay tuned! :)

Since this is link-party-worthy... I joined these link parties:
CraftOManiac | Sumo's Sweet Stuff | Sew Chatty | It's So Very Cheri | The Tattered Tag | Tatertots & Jello  | Tea Rose Home | Somewhat Simple | The Girl Creative | Sew Can Do |

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Anthro-Inspired Necklace: Trimmed Necklace

    I first saw a tutorial for this on Flamingo Toes last December. I wanted to try it and was able to make a couple for me last weekend:

    Made from turquoise and black faux pearl beads.
    Made from rose quartz beads.

    Looking at the tutorial again today... I realize that the beads I used might be a little too big... that's why I had a difficult time making the loops.

    the flash reflected in the mirror... tsk tsk tsk... but this is the photo where the necklace is most visible so...

    I am linking up to the following parties:

    How to make a Kimono-style top/dress

    Before we start, lemme get one thing straight: I did not make a kimono-top. So why am I posting a tutorial on this?

    Let's start from the  beginning... see, I have this old kimono dress that I don't use anymore:

    It's a little faded in some places... but I really like the print on the skirt part:
    So I decided to make it into a skirt. That part was so easy. I cut of the top part...
    And you get an instant skirt! However, I wanted to replace the elastic. So I also cut off the elastic part and I was left with:
    You can see the faded parts clearly in this photo!
    ... 3 pieces of rectangular fabric. Hmmm... so that's how you make a kimono dress/top! So based on my reverse-engineering (yeah, yeah... call me geek), I put together a simple tutorial on how to make a kimono dress or top.

    You will need:
    • 2 rectangular pieces of fabric with measurement length = measure from below your chest to your back around the same level as below your chest, width = 10 inches (you need to add to the measurement for for seam allowance on all sides, depends on how much you need for the seam)
    • 1 big rectangular piece of fabric with measurement length = 42 inches, width = 22 inches (again please add to the measurement for seam allowance.
    STEP 1: Hem all sides of your fabric

    STEP 2: I prepared a little illustration on what you need to do... I hope this makes sense:

    Click image to enlarge.
    Click image to enlarge.

    STEP 3: Still with me? Ok... I forgot to include the part where you add the elastic in the diagram :-/ You attach it between the skirt and the top (how... uh... it's a little complicated for me to describe, but more experienced seamstresses can figure that out I'm sure).

    And you're done!

    So what happened with my original project, you ask? It was too easy... I simply attached a new elastic to the skirt part and here's what I had:

    Not too long, and definitely not too short... perfect length for me!
    And then.. there was the old elastic in the middle that I cut off...
    I was too lazy to use the seam ripper so I simply cut the section off
     Hmmm... waste not... so...
    ... another fabric flower. I simply cut a small circular piece of felt... and glued one end of the elastic in the center... and then kept gluing in a circle pattern. Last, I attached a pearl bead in the center.

    I have a lot of other projects I'm working on and finished. I just don't have much time to blog. Really busy time at the office. Anyway, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    More Fabric Flowers

    I haven't had a chance to do much crafting this weekend. I wanted to have a slack weekend: no plans, nothing on my to-do list, just enjoy my free time with Andrea without wanting her to fall asleep so I can have some free time :p

    Anyway, I've been working on a few more fabric flowers though. I don't know what to do with them yet, so I'll just throw them all here and post about it again when I find some use for them.

    Scrunchie Flower

    Take one old scrunchie...

    Roll until you get it to look like a rose :) Place a few stitches under to keep it in shape.

    Purple Flowers

    Remember the fabric I got here? After I got them, I really had no idea what to do with them. The fabric flowers, upon closer inspection, weren't that pretty and I had no idea how to use them. So... I removed a few flowers from the purple fabric, cut each petal... and then glued the petals on a piece of felt on a circle pattern.I did 2 layers. And then, I glued a singed fabric flower I made in the middle.

    The singed flower also came from the purple fabric. Turned out that getting the edges of the petals to 'burn just right' is hard work! I won't tell you how much fabric I wasted (i.e. burned!) trying to get just this one flower!

    Since I only had one singed flower... for this other flower, I just glued 2 rowsof flower petals on a piece of felt cut in the shape of a circle. And then, I glued one of my vintage buttons in the middle:

    There we go! I have another t-shirt refashion I'm working on... details still in my head and I have yet to start but hopefully, I can squeeze that in this week.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Spotted: Hello Kitty Car

    I saw this car at a gas station on my way to work this morning:

     Hello Kitty fan :)

    I tried to do an image search on Google for 'Hello Kitty Cars' and was surprised that there are a lot. When I get around to learning how to drive (and not being so dependent on my husband to drive me when I want to go somewhere) and get my own car... I think I want an interior like this.

    And when my husband sees this post, he will tell me again that this is why I should never be allowed to own a car, haha!

    T-Shirt Refashion: Braids

    I've been cooking this idea in my head for a while and was only able to find time to make it happen a few nights ago. Surprisingly, it didn't take as long as I thought.

    This is what I had to work with:
    I bought it last December because it looked so comfortable (loose and the t-shirt material was really, really soft). And it was on sale!

    I actually wore it and found out that there were several things wrong with it:
    Yes, I actually wore it!
    The loose fit added like another 10++ lbs to my frame X( Not good... not good at all.

    I thought about what to with it. I figured ruffles won't work with the fabric design (wide stripes). And then one day, I saw one of my office mates wearing a blouse with braid detail along the neckline. I thought about giving it a try.

    First, I had to do something about the shoulders. I was too lazy to remove the sleeves, adjust, and then sew them back on again. So I "cheated" :) From the inside, I made 3 small folds and then sewed about 2 inches across both shoulders (sorry, I don't know how to describe it... but I hope the photo will tell you what I mean).

    Next, I tailored the sides to give the shirt a little shape.

    And then I cut 6 long strips from an old red t-shirt. I hand-sewed 3 strips together and braided, and did the same to the remaining 3 other strips. And then, I also hand-sewed each braid to 2 sides of the neckline and knotted the ends at the center.

    Here's my finished product:

    See why I don't need the extra lbs??


    I still have a couple more shirts that need work. I need new ideas :)

    This post is linked up at the following link parties:

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Blooming Bookmarks

    I was cleaning my side table (I tend to pile everything there and forget about them) last weekend and I found this:

    "What is that??" you ask...
    there... familiar?
    It's the cardboard backing for Andrea's book, "Sleepy Kittens". (And nope, I haven't seen the movie Despicable Me... I just thought the book was cute with the finger puppets). I wanted to throw it away but was having second thoughts because I could always use cardboard. Looking at it closely I realized that the part where you insert the finger puppets is shaped like a big paper clip... and I've seen those sold as bookmarks.

    *ting!!* Idea!!!
    I made bookmarks out of that cardboard.
    Here's how:

    STEP 1: I cut around the paperclip-shape part.
    These came from the 2 sides... there wasn't enough space to cut around the one in the middle.
    STEP 2: Embellish! I used fabric flowers for mine (I have a lot of those, waiting to be used for anything).
    STEP 3: Make your bookshelves bloom! Since I am embarrassed to show you what book I have on my bed side table (it's reading assignment for work!)... let's use it on this one instead:

    More pin cushions

    If you haven't seen my post about pin cushions yet... here it is.

    Didn't I say they were easy to do? So easy I was able to whip up another one.
    Same style, different color. I'm not really too happy with it.

    See, I had this idea to make a "Honey Pot" pin cushion from the same empty Gerber bottle. I had something like this in mind:

    the top part can be the pin cushion part
    But I can't figure out the how-to's yet... and I really needed another pin cushion so... maybe next time.

    Anyway, that other pin cushion that looks like a little pillow... nothing special really but instead of polyester stuffing, I used crushed candle wax. I remember when I was in gradeschool... we would always have projects like this. Pincushions stuffed with crushed candle wax because according to our Home Economics teacher, candle wax is good for needles (??? I forget why ???). I don't remember how we crushed candle wax before... it seemed pretty easy then. But when I tried to crush candles a few weeks ago for this project... it was hard! I ended up ruining a cheese grater because I used it to just grate my candles.

    Ok, on to the next projects!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Andrea's "Dora" Weekend

    Last weekend was "Mommy and Andrea's Girl Bonding Weekend". My husband attended this meeting/event which left me and Andrea alone at home (the nanny was there, but she was working on something else last weekend). While we were playing... Andrea kept asking me for "Dora"... which means she wanted me to play her "Dora the Explorer" DVD's. She's crazy about Dora... but I try to limit her TV-watching time. So I tried distracting her with her "Dora" dolls and books instead.

    Dora the Explorer as Little Red Riding Hood
    In spite of the costume, Andrea recognized this doll as Dora when she got it as a gift from one my aunts last Christmas. While Andrea was taking a nap, I got this idea to make new clothes for this Dora to make her look like... well... Dora :) The Dora that Andrea knows and loves that is. So I got to work.

    First on my plate... Backpack! I already featured Backpack on my post yesterday, modeled by Barbie. Here it is again:
    From a small piece of leftover fabric from an old t-shirt, a little red and yellow felt for the eyebrows and mouth, and plastic eyes.
    This time, worn by Dora :)
    Andrea loves that little Backpack! I haven't finished the rest of Dora's outfit yet. I will post again when Dora, the Little Red Riding Hood, looks like Dora the Explorer already :)

    Hmmm... notice that bracelet on Dora's wrist? Looks very easy to do... all you need is a blue flower and yellow beads. So I got to work:

    ta-dah!! Dora's bracelet!

    And here's my little Dora wearing her new bracelet while playing.
    Notice the outfit? That's a little something we did last Sunday. I dressed up Andrea as Dora the Explorer. At 15 months, she recognized the outfit. While I was dressing her up, she picked up her orange shorts and said "Dora!!!". Tsk, tsk... little fan girl!

    She wore her Dora outfit to visit cousin Laena:
    1) Pink t-shirt, check! 2) Orange shorts, check! 3) Yellow socks (i.e. yellow strip of fabric wrapped around her socks and secured with velcro), check! 4) Pink rubber shoes, check! 5) Blue flower bracelet, check! 5) Backpack, check! 6) Bangs... errr... Andrea has wavy hair and bangs won't work for her so let's skip this one :)
    Good thing Dora's costume is simple and easy to put together from stuff we already have.

    That Backpack she's wearing... it's store-bought. And it's not hers, it belongs to her cousin Helaena. We just borrowed it.
    I've been checking the mall for a couple of months now for another one like it for Andrea but it's still out of stock.
    With my little Dora :) (who wasn't in the mood for photos)
    Well, that's it! I hope Dora fans out there enjoy our post. Bye-bye!

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Great Weekend Finds: Doll Accessories

    I just want to share some cute stuff I found at the grocery store last weekend.

    Yep, you read that right... grocery store. See, the grocery store near our house has something like a general merchandise store on the 2nd floor. They carry stuff like clothes, shoes, bags, toys, scrap booking supplies, make-up, accessories, hardware items, school supplies, knick-knacks, kitchen items... you name it... they probably have it ;) So, when I do my grocery shopping on Saturday mornings, I usually browse around 2nd floor first. And last weekend... look what I found...

    A pair of pink rubber shoes for Barbie for P25 (approx $0.50)
    A small denim bag for P38 (approx $0.80)
    A small body bag for P38 (approx $0.80)
    I saw doll accessories being sold separately and they were cheap! The denim bag came in other colors: beige and olive green... but I only bought these 3. And there were other shoes that look like bulky rubber shoes which I don't really find pretty. I've been wanting to go back for the other bags though... maybe I will later. I've been collecting clothes for Andrea's dolls for a while now... waiting for the time that she will start appreciating them.

    Inspired by my finds... I made a little something for Andrea that I know she will appreciate now...
    Hmmm... does that backpack look familiar???
    It's Dora's friend, "Backpack"!!!

    More about "Backpack" on another post... this is just a preview :) Hope you all had a great weekend!