Oct 10, 2014

Ghost Buntings

As I was working on pulling out letters from a sheet of fabric that I ran through the Cameo to spell 'Trick or Treat' for a Halloween bunting I saw something on my table that inspired me. Can you see it?
The insides of the letters, aka all the scraps, looked like little eyeballs staring at me! This year we introduced our children to 'Casper the Friendly Ghost' and they are loving it! How fun would it be to turn these scraps into little ghost eyes?! That is how the letter scraps turned into this;

Ghost Bunting Supplies
Black Fabric (scraps)
Iron on Fabric Adhesive (I like Heat & Bond)
White Muslin (scraps)
White Double-fold Bias Tape (1/2 a package or a length of your desire)
White Pom-Pom Fringe (1 contentious scrap) 

Now first off I used the inner scraps of previously cut letters, but you don't need to do this, all you need to do is apply the Heat&Bond to your Black fabric scraps. To see a tutorial on how to do this click over to this Pillow Tutorial. Once you have the Heat&Bond attached to the fabric you need to draw and cut out the eye shapes. If you leave the paper backing on the Heat&Bond you can draw your eyes on the paper and then cut them out. Next you need to make the ghost shapes and cut them out of the Muslin fabric. You will need to cut 2 of each ghost, a front and a back. 
Now you are going to attach a set of eyes to one ghost piece. Take one set of eyes and peel the paper off then place the eyes onto your ghost, with the Heat&Bond side in-between your two pieces of fabric. Once you are happy with the placement, use your iron to adhere the eyes to the ghost by gently pressing on the top of the eyes with the iron. Repeat this process for each set of eyes. 
Now layout your bunting so you can decide on the ghost placement and set the Ghost on top of your pom-Pom Fringe.
Now this was my Hubbies favorite part and he made me promise to include him & his 'brilliant mind' in the tutorial; so the next step is to "castrate the balls" (his words not mine) of your Pom-Pom fringe. They never grow up do they!?! You are going to simply snip off the pom-poms that are being covered by your Ghost shape. 
Now you will layer the pieces so we will start with the Bias Tape. Mark the center of your Bias Tape with a pin or a pen mark and then lay it down with the RIGHT side facing you. Next mark the center of your Pom-Pom Fringe and place that on the center mark of your Bias Tape. Now place your Ghost BACKS under both of these layers in the spots where you have trimmed off the Pom-Poms and then pin them all together.
Now we are going to sew. Using a wide zig-zag, stitch all three layers together for each ghost ONLY. You need to back stitch on each side of the ghost and cut your threads. You do not stitch the length in-between each ghost yet. I would suggest using a narrow foot for this project, it makes it easier to work with the Pom-Pom Fringe.
After each ghost is stitched onto the Bias Tape and Fringe you will want to start at the end side of the Bias Tape and run a long Straight stitch from one end to the other. This will close the Bias Tape and attach the Pom-Pom Fringe to the Bias Tape in the sections that do not have a ghost. When you come to beginning of the Pom-Pom Fringe trim off the last pom-pom and fold the fringe to the inside. Then continue to stitch, forward and backward over this fold before continuing on. Repeat this when you get to the end of the Fringe as well.
Now add the front ghost pieces. First match and pin the Front Ghost pieces to the the Back Pieces.
Then simply straight stitch the Front Ghost piece to the Back Ghost Piece. Repeat this for all your Ghosts and you are done! 
Find a fun place to hang your ghost and enjoy the rest of you day. Thanks for reading along. If you make a Ghost Bunting we would love to see it! Just attach a link in the comments below or post a picture to our Facebook Page.

I will be linking this tutorial up on some of our favorite Linky Parties so come join the fun!

Sep 29, 2014

DIY Fabric Shoe Charms

My oldest daughter just celebrated her birthday. That means that officially 10 years ago I pulled out my grandmothers old sewing machine and decided to make a simple blanket for my first sweet baby. Now I make all sorts of things for all my sweet babies and so I have tons of scraps laying around in buckets. Today I am going to share with you a scrap busting idea that I had when my daughters and I went shopping the other day for birthday presents. The girls saw, at a popular accessory chain store these little charms that they could string onto their shoes laces. They of course wanted to buy them all! But at $7.99 a piece and with 10 little feet in my house-hold, I about laughed in their faces. "We can make those for less!" I said. My oldest two rolled their eyes; this response was not a surprise to them. The surprise came when I actually followed through on my crafting promise and invited them to help. Here is our NO-sew, kid friendly way to make fun and funky shoe charms.

Scrap fabric with a small object print like Frolicking Forest Blue Fox
Cordinating scrap fabric of any kind of print
Phoomph (avaible in out shop)
Fabric scissors
Paper scissors
a Crop-A-Dile
Scotch Guard
a pair of Sneakers with laces (remove laces)

First in case you are not familar with phoomph, let me fill you in on it. Phoomph is a fabric bonding sheet. It has an adhesive coating on BOTH sides and a core (there are different colors) that adds stability and thickness to your fabric. It is really simple to use, but it does junk-up your scissors so you will want to clean your scissor blades when you have finished working with the phoomph. For a fun video and another project that you can create with the phoomph click here. Now that we know what we are working with let's get started.

The first thing that you need to do is using your fabric scissors cut out your fabric object leaving a nice boarder of fabric.
Now simply peel up the paper lining on one side of the phoomph and press your fabric onto the adhesive. Gently rub out any little air bubbles that might form.
Next take your cordinating fabric and repeat this process placing the fabric on the back of your object print.
Now using sharp scissors (I would suggest using paper or project scissors NOT your fabric scissors) cut a closer boarder around your object. **NOTE: Before you cut think about where you want to make the shoelace holes. They need to be away from the edges so that it will not tare out, but you might not want to cover up too much of your image with the holes or the actual shoe lace. This placement will change depending on what your object is.
Next, take your Crop-A-Dile and using the the hole punch that fits your laces (on my Crop-A-Dile it was the larger of the two options) punch two holes for the shoe lace to go through. I made my holes on the glasses right across the bridge of the nose so it would look like the tape that we used to wrap around the frames (did I just date myself?!?). You porbably will need to use your sissors to cut off the circle that you punched out and clean up those little threads too.
Now, you need to protect your shoe charm. I choose to use Scotch Guard and simply sprayed it on and then let the charms dry. I might try Mod-Podge tomorrow; I will let you know how that compares.
After your charms are dry simply string the laces through the holes and tie up you shoes.
We had so much fun making these. They were simple enough that my girls could cut the fabric themselves (I did cut the phoomph because it was a bit thick for them to work with) and my little boys had enough fun picking out the fabrics that they were equally happy. This is also a great way to use up those scraps that you can't bear to part with. I don't expect these to last forever but I was able to get about 25 charms from one piece of phoomph and that is a much better price for a rainy day craft and 10 happy shoes!
Have fun crafting and show us what you create over on our facebook page and be sure to visit our shop Phat Quarters on Etsy for phoomph, fabric, ribbons and more!

Sep 5, 2014

Back to School Clothes, Patterns, and Fabric

I spent a bunch of time this summer playing with my kids but I also spent some time testing patterns and thus creating a great collection of Back to School clothes! It was so much fun to work with so many great designers and to continue to develop my skills. Today I want to share with you my collection so far; yes I have one or two more in the works. I will link the pictures to the patterns which they came from and the fabric that I used. Please take a minute to check a few out and tell me which ones are your favorites.
So many people say that it is easier and cheaper to just go buy your clothes. Well, it might be, but let me take a minute to tell you why I like to sew clothes for my kids. 

(1) I like to be in control of what my kids are wearing and what those clothes say about our family. Sound rude? Sorry, but I really feel like clothing choices say a lot about your style and who you are. I want my kids to be just that, kids! They are just beginning to figure out what style is and how to create it for themselves, but while they will still give me control I will take it. 

(2) I need my clothes to last! While it might be 'cheaper' to go over to a department store and just pick something out (and trust me we do this), I know what I am paying for. The clothes I make are durable. I need them to be, because they need to survive through more than one child and more than one summer. I am not going to make every shirt, dress, and pair of undies that my children wear, but the items I make, survive. 

(3) Making my own clothes also teaches me how to repair and mend store bought clothes so that I can use them for more than one summer. I am a use it until the wheels pop off and the engine falls out kinda girl. If I can fix it you better be sure that I will and the skill of sewing and mending is a great skill to have!
(4) It's fun! It keeps me thinking and learning new things. It makes me prioritize my time and guess what, I ENJOY IT! 
Frolicking Forest - Blue Fox by Camelot Fabrics

(5) I LOVE FABRIC and color and mixing & matching textures. Sewing clothes gives me a very particle and necessary reason to use fabric, which means I have an excuse to buy fabric; Yes, I know this is woman's logic, but when it works it works.
If you want to more about these patterns before you buy them check out or Phat Reviews. But I will say right here and now, that all of these patterns are fantastic! The designers are amazing and of course the fabrics come from this great little shop, called Phat Quarters, that I would highly recommend and they happen to be running a Back 2 School Sale right now!

Aug 26, 2014

The Henday Zip-Up Hoodie by Gracious Threads - A Review

The sun is beginning to set just a bit earlier up her in the PNW and school is right around the corner. So to round off the items on my school 'To-Make' list I just had to throw in this amazing hoodie by Jessica DeWitt at Gracious Threads. The Henday Zip-Up Hoodie.

This is yet another pattern that has been put into my must-make-again drawer. (To be quite honest I already have 2 more cut out for my other ladies and then I also bought fleece to make 5 more...I know, I have problems!) The Henday Zip-Up Hoodie is a pattern that you can use for the little ladies in your lives and for the little men too! Check out the one that Joanna McAlister made for her little man at her blog Gal Originals Creations. It also is diversital in the fact that it has two length options; Crop and Regular. I choose the Crop version and am delighted with the results!
Not only does this pattern have two length version but it also has the option to include welted pockets. What is nice about having options is that you do not have to include them. If you are a beginner with fabric and a sewing machine stick to a pocket-less version, like I did. But, if you want to challenge yourself a little then try the welted pocket. They really are fun and can be used on all sorts of clothing pieces and with Jessica's instructions you will be sure to figure it out.
Also included in the pattern, are the lovely details of a bands. I love how they create 'the look' and yet it are very practical up here in the north come fall and winter when you want to keep the cold air away from you little ones' body. The simple band around the wrist on the sleeves keep the crisp air out and traps the body heat in and looks so stylish; a definite win-win!
 As always Jessica has created another pattern that is easy to follow with detailed instructions and clear visual images. Using any of her patterns you are sure to stitch up fun and exciting pieces of clothing that your kids want to wear! So zip on over to Gracious Threads and grab this awesome pattern and then come hop over to our shop, Phat Quarters for some great fabric and get those sewing machines working!

Aug 11, 2014

Elastic to the Rescue!

One of the things that my family enjoys in the summer is swimming in the pool! My mother and father in-law have a great pool that is warm, clean, and always crowded with family and friends. My in-laws have a bucket filled with old-school snorkeling goggles for the kids to use when swimming. But after a long summer of swimming with 15 grandkids, it is rare to find a pair of goggles that are not on the brink of destruction!
And so it was the other day when we had our official last family swim party of the summer. My 7 year old lady pulled on her goggles and the plastic band that secures it, snapped. This resulted in pure devastation for her. The "WHOLE SUMMER" was ruined! Ahhh what is a mother to do?

Refer to the  matriarch of the family of course. And Grandma to the rescue it was! She ran into her sewing room and came out with a scrap piece of banded elastic. Off came the sun-dried broken plastic band and on went the elastic; the "WHOLE SUMMER" was saved by grandma's ingenuity and elastic! 

The elastic worked wonderfully! I was worried about it pulling out of the clasps but once it was wet it swelled up and never budged. It was supper stretchy which made it easy to swap between the kids with out having to adjust it and it was much cheaper than running out to the store to find yet another pair of goggles.

Does your sewing room ever come to your rescue? We would love to hear your stories in the comments below. Enjoy the last days of summer!

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