Tuesday, January 31, 2012

{DIY} Anthro Knock Off: Sweet Blossom Hairclip

With Valentine's Day right around the corner we needed a great big pink hair clip!
I headed to Anthropologie to see what I could find for inspiration, and I found this lovely hair clip, with the staggering price tag of $47.  
It's sooooo easy to make your own, and I had everything I needed so it cost me $0.
Here's the original:

Here's my knockoff:

I actually cut up an old silky scarf that had found it's way into Charlotte's dress up box.
It worked perfectly, and I think will become a little more frayed, like the original, as she wears it.
Here's what you'll need to make your own:

Step 1 - Snip Snip: 
Cut 3 strips of material 2" x 20", and heat up your hot glue gun.

  Step 2 - Zig and Zag:
Set your zig zag stitch so that it is longer (more space in between each stitch), and zig zag one edge of each strip.  This is basically to keep it from fraying too much, but allowing it to fray a little.
Step 3 - Gather it up:
Now set your regular stitch to as long as it will go (mine's at setting 5) and sew along the other side.  Gather this edge.  Now you have kind of an old school scrunchie thing.

Repeat this process with the other two strips of fabric.

Step 4 - Fun with your glue gun
Begin gluing these strips onto the felt circle. 
Just start at one edge and glue it back and forth to make it look like a flower.

I used the hair clip to kind of poke it down in the center so I wouldn't burn my finger.
When you have glued all three, it should look like this:

You may need to keep gluing pieces down here and there until you are happy with the way it looks.
Lastly glue the hair clip onto the back of the felt circle and let it dry.

Clip your sweetie's hair back and give her a kiss!

have a great day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hey Senorita - make your own corn tortilla!

This week I have been cooking a lot.  and not just the easy 30 minute dinners. 
real stuff.  probably because baby dumpling in my belly is hungry.
For some reason I decided to try my hand at making my own corn tortillas.
They are a great g-free option and the store bought ones are always rubbery and yuck.  
Despite my inexperienced and inadequate hands they turned out very tasty 
- not real pretty, but very tasty.  
I took pictures along the way in case you'd like to try your hand at it.
The cool thing about making things like this is the sense of connection you feel to women from the past.  I could imagine myself in a hut somewhere 300 years ago mixing the cornmeal with water to form one of the most basic doughs ever.  (of course I didn't have to grow the corn, or grind it up to make the flour, or haul the water from a well or stream... ;)

Here's what you'll need:
2 cups Corn Masa Flour
1 1/3 cups warm water (maybe more)
cast iron skillet or electric griddle
wax paper/rolling pin - or tortilla press
2 damp kitchen towels

Step 1: Mix the water and Masa together.  It should form a nice ball of dough - if it's too dry add some more water by the Tablespoon.

Step 2: Form 12 balls of dough and cover with a damp kitchen towel.

Step 3: Go ahead and heat up your skillet or griddle to medium heat.
Take one ball and place it between two sheets of wax paper.
Roll it out into a circle using the rolling pin - unless you are a master at this it won't be a perfect circle, but don't worry about that. 

Gently peel it off the wax paper and place it on a place.  
Cover it with the other damp kitchen towel.
Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Step 4:  Do not put any oil or butter in the skillet!
Gently lay one tortilla onto the dry skillet and let it sit for about 20-30 seconds.  I used a rubber spatula for this part because my tortillas kept cracking as a laid them onto the skillet - so I just patted them back together again with the spatula, it worked great.  When one side is about done, you'll notice steam seeping from the edges of the tortilla, this means it's time to flip it.  Let it sit on the other side for the same amount of time.  They won't be brown, but they will look cooked.

Then you're ready to turn them into something delicious like...

Happy tortilla making!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{DIY} The Patchwork Scarf

I'm excited to share this tutorial with you, because I'm kind of in love with this scarf!
You know my constant knitting woes, so I was really pleased to make a scarf that didn't leave me tangled in yarn trying not to say bad words.

I bought a Liberty of London sample pack at the Tokyo Quilt Festival.  When I bought it, I wasn't really sure what I could make with 50 4"x4" squares, but I was so in love with the colors and it was a great price - I couldn't resist.  I'm glad I didn't, because this scarf turned out to be the perfect project for this little sample pack.  It could also be a great way to use up scraps from your stash.

I backed it with warm and fuzzy wool that my Grandma gave me.  
It was the perfect balance to the soft and silky Liberty prints.
Don't you want to make one?
I know you do.
So here we go....

50 4"x4" squares of fabric
1/2 yard fabric for backing at least 44"wide
sewing machine/thread

Step 1: Design your scarf by laying the squares into two rows of 25

Step 2:  Piece the scarf by sewing 4 squares into one larger square using 1/4" seams, like this:

select the first four squares in the scarf
sew two squares along one edge
be sure to press the seams open

repeat with the other two squares
Sew these four together, matching up the center seam, using 1/4" seam

press the seam open

so pretty!

continue this process until you have 12 large squares and an extra 2 small squares sewn together (that should equal 50).

Step 3: Next, sew the larger pieces to one another, right sides together, to form a long scarf (again use 1/4" seams).

Step 4: Cut out the back - two pieces 44" x 7.5".  Sew them end to end, right sides together, to form one long piece 88" x 7.5"

Step 5: Pin the back to the front, right sides together.

Sew along the edge, using 1/4" seams, but leave about 3" open at one end.

Step 6: Trim any uneven edges (you don't want it making your seams bulky) and cut the corners.



Flip the scarf right sides out.

Step 7:  Press under raw edges of the opening and pin.  Start there, and top stitch around all the edges 1/4".  I used a contrasting thread for this to make it decorative.  This step will take  your scarf from looking homemade to handmade.

And that's it!  Wrap it around your neck, and you're ready for the snow!  If you live in a warmer climate, but still like to wear scarves in the winter, simply back it with something light like a voile, and it will be the perfect weight.  As always, if you have any questions simply email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com.  Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2012!!

Well we did it!  We made it to the Quilt Festival in Tokyo.
My wonderful husband wins the prize - he came along to help me through the train system and to push Charlotte in a stroller.  He did enjoy some of the quilts, but I know he came along mainly for my benefit, which I greatly appreciate!  This was his favorite quilt:

Really amazing.
When we arrived in Tokyo it was freezing cold and raining, but we managed to slosh our way through cold puddles and climb stone steps to make it to the ticket booth at the Tokyo Dome.

I have never been to any quilt show before, so I don't know if they're all big like this, but I felt this one was huge!  Here's a shot from the second floor when we first walked in.

We started by wandering among the display quilts.  There was so much amazing handwork - tiny perfect little quilting stitches that made some gorgeous quilts.

They had a whole hexagon display - I'm a sucker for these.

 That one was hand-quilted.  
Do you hear me?  
Look at all those teeny tiny stitches!?!

Such inspiring detail.  
After we browsed around, it was time for lunch: Bento boxes :)

and of course the Japanese have invented the tidiest way to eat ice cream - a cone pocket encasing vanilla ice cream.  There was no dripping.

Then I went shopping!
I bought some Liberty of London, Moda Japan, and an adorable little kit to make a teeny tiny coin purse.  There were thousands and thousands of people there.  The Japanese have this way of very politely shoving you to the side if you are in the way - so you know, when in Rome.  And actually my baby bump came in handy - I just used it to push my way through all those tiny Japanese women to see what I wanted to see :)

There was one section of the designer's booths.  
Some of them were there to answer questions and give little speeches.  
Here were some of my favorite booths:

 How cute are these little kiwi and orange pillows?

It was a really great day - long and tiring for a Mama almost 8 mo. pregnant, but totally worth it.
So I'm working on a project with my Liberty of London to share with you later in the week. 
Hope you all had a great weekend!

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