Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DIY Anthropologie-inspired Hairbows


These hairbows are easy, sweet, and a great way to use up fabric scraps!

I saw this bow on Anthro:

It's cute, but it is 7" wide and 5" tall.  Pretty big bow.  I wanted to make a few last minute bows to slip into Charlotte's Easter Basket - somehow our bows are always disappearing.  I altered the bows to be about 2" wide and 1 1/2" inches tall.  I made two of each color so she can have one on each side.  If you want to make some for your little one's Easter Basket here's what you'll need:

Fabric scraps (at least 3"x2 1/2")
Sewing machine/thread/scissors
Hair clip
Wire (I used the kind for jewelry making)
Hot glue
Paint chips (optional)

Step 1:  Cut out your fabric scraps 3"x 2 1/2".  Cut two rectangles out for one bow.  Since I made 8 bows, I cut out 16 rectangles.

Step 2:  Lay the fabric right sides together and stitch around 3 sides, leaving one end open (like sewing a tiny pillowcase).

Step 3:  Flip it right sides out and turn the raw edges inside.  Press.  Topstitch the opening closed.

Step 4:  Now twist the rectangle once so that it makes a bow shape.  Wrap the wire around the middle a few times so that it will hold it's shape.

Step 5:  Hot glue the bow to a hairclip. 
Let it dry and that's it!

Step 6:  I had a few paint chips lying around so I made some slits in the cards with an exacto knife

and clipped the bows onto them.



Perfect way to slip them into her little Easter Basket!

Happy Tuesday everyone!
jessica

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Pallet-able" Home Decor


While browsing Pinterest the other day, I came across a gorgeous, eclectic coffee table that I just loved.  It was made from wooden pallets, and I thought, "Ryan could make that".  So I showed it to him. 

He had scooped up some free pallets a while back and was excited to have something to do with them. 

This project was super easy and fast - he cut two pallets down to size, then stacked them on top of one another.  He then white washed them with a mix of water and white paint.  Lastly he added the casters so we can roll it to the side for impromptu dance parties. 

It's a very sturdy table, and I love the second shelf , because we can put some of Charlotte's books there. 


It really brightens things up in our living room!


hope you had a great weekend! 
xo
jessica

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Hexie Hairclip - a tutorial

I just love all the hexagon quilts - they are so gorgeous and intricate.  For some reason at dinner last night the idea popped into my head to make a hexagon hair clip for Charlotte.  It took a little trial and error but here's what I came up with!


That is an orange and blue one for Charlotte to wear to Ryan's graduation.  Here's a pink one, because you know - we're girly.

Would you like to make one for the little girl(s) in your life?
Here's what you will need:
scraps of fabric
batting
sewing machine/coordinating thread
scissors/yardstick/water soluble pen

Step 1:  Cut out your hexagon template.  Mine was 1 1/4" wide.  Here's one for you to trace right off your computer screen..

Step 2:  Scrounge through your scraps until you find colors that make you happy.  Cut out 7 hexagons.
Move them around until you are happy with the arrangement.

Step 3:  Cut one square (it needs to be larger than the hexagon arrangement) of the backing fabric, and one square of batting the same size.  Layer them - beginning with the backing right side down, then the batting, then the hexagons - all but the middle one.

Step 4:  Using the zig-zag setting, stitch along the edges where the hexagons touch - sew through all three layers, hexagons, batting, and backing.s
 It will look like this:

Then lay the last hexagon on top, and zig zag around all 6 edges of this hexagon.  It should look like this:
and this (I made 3 clips - this one was the 3rd one and looks the best):

Step 5:  Trim off the excess batting and backing fabric - following the shape of your hexagon "flower".

Step 6:  Zig-zag around all the raw edges.

Step 7:  Last but not least - hot glue the clip to the back of the hexagons.  You can cover the clip in ribbon if you like.

Ta-da!  A cute little accessory reminiscent of a well-loved quilt.


Have a happy weekend everyone!
xoxo
jessica

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time is on your side...


Ever feel like you don't have time to clean?  I do.  Like, every day.
Actually I'd just rather spend my time doing something else.
BUT the cleaning must get done.  Sometimes I have to set my timer every 20 minutes and I will sew/craft for 20 minutes, then clean for 20 minutes, and so on.
So I had fun with the stopwatch on my phone and timed some basic household tasks.  I did not hurry through them.  They really don't take that long (assuming you're not interrupted by princesses or pirates) and make a big difference. Here's what you can do in short increments of time.

Got 10 minutes? 
Clean the bathroom (toilet, sinks, tub, floors, trash): 9 min 43sec

Got 8 minutes? 
Fold a load of laundry and put it away: 8 min 7 sec

Got 6 minutes? 
Vacuum the main parts of the house (living room, play area, your bedroom): 5 min 23 sec

Got 6 more minutes?
Change your sheets:  5min 41sec


Got 5 minutes? 
Swiffer (I don't mop) the kitchen and eating area: 4 min 28 sec

Got 4 minutes?
 Put away the dishes from the dishwasher: 3 min 55 sec


Got 4 more minutes?
Sweep the kitchen and eating area: 3 min 28 sec

Only got 3 minutes?
Wipe off the kitchen counters: 2 min 27 sec


Now that's not so bad right?  If you did them all at once it would only take 46 minutes!  
Just 46 minutes, and your bathroom would be cleaner, you'd have clothes in your drawers, clean sheets on your bed, your floors and counters would sparkle and the dishwasher would be empty!  
I can do that.  It may take you a more or less time depending on your house. Try timing yourself and see.  At least now I have a reference point so when I don't feel like putting the dishes away I can say to myself - "it only takes 4 minutes....get over it."

We are also implementing a new system I call the "5 minute pickup".  It happens right before bathtime.  I set the timer for 5 minutes and Mommy, Daddy, and Charlotte pick up anything we have that's lying around the house - toys, clothes, shoes...  It is AMAZING how much of a difference this makes.

Happy cleaning - and if you want some serious cleaning tips, head to Ask Anna... She is kicking my tail with her Spring Cleaning Challenge!
xoxo
jessica 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DIY {30 minute}Tank-Dress

Have somewhere to be in an hour? Nothing to wear?
No problem - you can whip this baby up in 30 minutes or less.





I've been wanting to make one of these for a while, and I must confess that now that I have made one...well my entire summer wardrobe might consist of these.  This little dress is so easy to make, and a great way to revitalize a sad, forgotten tank top.  Here's what you'll need to make your own.
Tank top
1-2 yards of fabric (depending on the size you make)
sewing machine/thread/scissors/yardstick

Step 1:  Cut off the tank top.  Try the tank on, and make a mark just below your bustline.  You could also make it at your natural waistline for a different look.  Take the tank off and measure to your mark from the shoulder seam.  Add an inch, then draw a horizontal line across the tank.  Cut along the line.

Step 2:  Measure the width of the tank top, where you just cut it.  Mine was 14" across.  Double that number (28") then add half (14") + 1" = 43".  This is the width you cut your fabric at.  Just cut it at a long length to begin with, because you will hem it when you try it on. (I cut mine at 43" x 30").

Step 3:  Set your sewing machine stitch to baste (most machine's that is a length of 5). Sew along the 43" inch edge of the fabric.  Pull the strings carefully to gather it down to the width of your tank plus 1". 
(mine was 28" + 1" = 29")

Step 4:  Sew the gathered edge onto the cut edge of the tank top, right sides together (don't forget to switch your stitch back to the regular length).  If you have a knit stitch (usually looks like a lightening bolt) it would probably help to use it.  I forgot to use it on mine, so you can do it without it.  When you've sewn all the way around, begin to sew down the side seam of the open side of the fabric. 

Step 5:  Press the seams well, then try the dress on.  Fold the hem under where you want it and pin it.  Take off the dress.  I cut about 5" off the bottom - you may or may not need to do this depending on the length you would like the dress to be.  

Then press the bottom edge of the dress toward the wrong side about 1/2" inch.  Fold it over another 1/2" and press again.

Stitch the hem - have the wrong side facing you so that you can see the folded edge of the hem.

And that's it!  Throw on a belt to cinch the waist a little and head out looking effortlessly put together.

happy sewing
jessica

Monday, April 4, 2011

DIY- Sea and Sand Throw Pillow

 Happy Monday!  While browsing around on my new favorite place, Pintrest, I found this painting and fell in love.

Isn't that lovely?  I want to be there, greeting the day.  Well, I don't really paint, but you know I love fabric and a challenge.  So I decided to create a pillow for my couch - a nice reminder that summer is coming.  This is what I came up with:



Can you see the sky, water, and sand?  I didn't want it to be super literal - you know like "oh she has a pillow of the beach on her couch....." But I am pretty happy with how it came out.  This design would be pretty in any color combination - I thought about an all blue one - starting with a dark blue and fading into a light.  If you'd like to make one - here's a loose tutorial on what I did.
Step 1:  The basis for the pillow is pleats.  The top, gold portion is all one piece, just folded up to make pleats.  Then I slid in one little strip of blue to mimic some clouds.

I continued cutting strips (about 21" long) and pressing them into pleats....various shades of blue for the water and tan/brown for the sand.  My first layout looked like this:
I changed it a little bit.

Step 2:  Once I had all of the strips cut out, I cut out the front and back pillow pieces - about 21" x 18".  I just used a nice cream.  Then I started at the top of the pillow and sewed the pleats onto the pillow front.

I also inserted those little "waves".  Just a small strip of pleats running the opposite way.

Once all of the pleats were topstitched on, I sewed the back piece on with  right sides together.  
Be sure to leave an opening in the bottom so you can turn/stuff it.  

Step 3:  The waves.  I started to hand stitch the waves on...then got frustrated and pulled out the hot glue gun.  I just glued those sheer pieces on where I wanted them - you can't see the glue and it was super easy.  Lastly I hand-whipped the opening closed, and tossed it on my couch:

It looks a little lonely right now - it needs some more summer/spring pillows to share it's home.  But it makes me really happy to sit beside it and dream of the ocean.  Have a great day!
xoxo
jessica