Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DIY Braided T-shirt Yarn Headwrap

For those of you who don't sew at all - this is a dazzling no-sew project.  Of course, I copied it from Anthropologie.  Are you tired of me doing that?  Oh well, i guess you'll just have to live with it because I LOVE anthro and can't afford to buy stuff there.  So I copycat.  I have seen many tutorials bouncing around about making t-shirt yarn - which I'm all for - but the projects seem pretty lack-luster.  Once I saw this headwrap on Anthro...

I knew it would be the perfect project for t-shirt yarn.  Assisting me on this project is my young lovely friend Lydia -

and we would like you to know that we spent $0 making this project... and you probably will be able to do the same!  Are you ready to make one?  okay....

1 or 2 t-shirts WITHOUT side seams and in the color you want (of course you can always dye it to any color...this is a great time to ask your hubby to clean out his t-shirt drawer)
(I used a men's extra large t-shirt)
Water soluble pen
Hot Glue/ Glue Gun

T-shirt yarn is very simple and fun to make 
and this tutorial explains it well. 

Step 1:  Cut the yarn into six equal lengths.

Knot 3 together and braid it.

Braid the other three strips.  You should have two long braids like this:

Step 2:  Measure one braid and cut it into three equal parts.  Repeat with the second braid.  You will have six pieces of braid that should be the same length.

Step 3:  Heat up your hot glue gun.  You will need something to use as a backing.  I used some leftover pieces of t-shirt (like from the top of the shirt) but you could use ribbon too.  Cut three pieces of backing the length of the braids plus 10".  The extra length will be your ties at the nape of your neck.  Example: my braids were 26 inches so I cut three backing pieces at 36 inches.
Step 4:  Start with two braids and one piece of backing.  Put the two braids right side down (if you have a right side).  Using hot glue, glue the piece of backing to both pieces like this:

You will repeat this step with the other two pairs of braids.

Step 5:  Okay good!  Now you have three double-wide braids.  Lay them together like this:
To secure the end of your wrap, put some hot glue on both sides of the middle double-braid.  Squish them together so that they are touching.  This is really just to secure the end of your headwrap.

Step 6:  Braid the three large braids into an even larger flat braid.

Step 7:  Almost done!  Glue the other ends side by side just like you did the in step 5.  Use a little more of your backing material to wrap around the ends of your braid - secure it with hot glue.  I left a tail so that I would have two tails on each end to make my ties.
Here's what the back should look like:
Here's what the front should look like:

Now you can either wrap it around your head, or wrap it up as a gift for a friend!
good luck, jessica

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Healthier Snacking

You know, by now, that we love football.  A large portion of our Saturdays is devoted to watching it.  AND we like to eat "football food" while we watch.  You know-foods that don't require utensils, like burgers, wings, chips and dip.  We really like to make onion dip and eat it with pretzels.  Usually I make it with reduced fat sour cream - which sounds like a healthy choice to me.  However, in an attempt to be even healthier Ryan and I tried substituting Plain Greek Yogurt for the usual sour cream.  It passed the taste test with flying colors -there was a little more tang, but we liked it over all.  We did add 1 1/2 packets of onion soup mix to compensate for the tanginess.  Anyway here is the really exciting part - the nutritional comparison.  I calculated this for 16 oz. of reduced fat sour cream vs. 16 oz of nonfat plain greek yogurt.

REDUCED FAT SOUR CREAM                                                      NONFAT GREEK YOGURT
Calories: 675                                                                                      Calories: 275  
Fat: 52.5                                                                                              Fat: 0
Sat. fat: 37.5                                                                                       Sat. fat.: 0
Carbs: 30                                                                                            Carbs: 18
Protein: 15                                                                                          Protein: 40

WOW! Can you believe that?!?  We were shocked.  So give it a try next time you're making dip - that way you can have that extra brownie for dessert ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


so you know, some crafty people aren't always the neatest people.  I fall into that category for sure.  I LIKE things neat...I'm just too busy using the right side of my brain to have to worry about structure and organization.  BUT the fact of the matter is...I am happier when everything is in it's place - I have to remind myself that being organized actually helps me craft MORE because I am not spending 25 minutes hunting down the other knitting please don't judge me ;) Here are some BEFORE pics of my crafting space.  Yes I use the top of the piano for stuff...

I don't have a sewing room, this is an area to the left of the living room - I think you're supposed to use this nook for a dining room, but since we have an eat-in kitchen, we decided to use it as a piano room/play room/sewing room.  I know that 3 uses for one room is kind of a lot- so it will really help when it is organized.  Here's what I did:
First I folded the fabric and put it into a little bookshelf turned onto it's side.

I cleaned everything off the top of the piano, and put two baskets up there with the scrap fabric - one basket for cool colors, one for warm colors.
I used a box that had canning jars in it to organize my trims.
I love to hang onto these zipped up plastic bags that mattress pads and other bedding comes it- they are perfect for scraps such as felt.  Once again I have a bag for cool colors and a bag for warm colors.

So hurray!  
Everything is so much nicer 
- once more, here's the Before...
and After...
 YAY!  do you have any organizing secrets?  Let me know!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

DIY Beginners Anthropologie-inspired Ruffled Scarf

Okay my beginner sewers, or those of you who just don't sew often, this is a GREAT project for you.  
You can make one for yourself or this would make an excellent Holiday gift.  

My good friend Laura (the photographer) was visiting this weekend and we made this scarf together.  This Anthropologie Scarf was our inspiration.
Wouldn't you like to make one too?  
Here is what you will need:
 1 1/2 yards of fabric
Sewing Machine/Thread
Yard Stick
Elastic Thread - don't be scared of this it is EASY to use!!
(you will put it on the bobbin)
Water soluble pen

Step 1:  Fold your fabric selvage to selvage and lay it out flat 
(usually they fold it like that when they cut it at the store).  
Using a pair of fabric scissors, split the fabric along the fold.
 You will have two pieces of fabric about 22" x  54". 
Step 2:  Sew these two pieces end to end, so that you have one really long piece 22" x 108".
Step 3:  Right sides together, (the seam you just sewed should be showing) 
fold this piece in half and pin along the edge - it will now be 11" x 108".  

Step 4: Sew a 1/2" seam along the top 11" edge, and the 108" inch side - leave the bottom open.

Step 5:  Flip the scarf right side out and press it.  

Step 6:  When you get to the bottom edge, fold the raw edges inside, press, and top stitch it closed.
Now the fun part!  
Step 7:  Draw two lines with the water-soluble fabric pen.  
Your scarf should be 10 1/2" wide at this point - 
so you will measure 2 3/4" inches in from each edge.

Mark your measurements then connect them with a straight line.  

Step 8:  Using your machine, put the elastic thread onto the bobbin.  
Don't be afraid of this - it will wind around the bobbin as usual.  
Put it in your machine, then thread your machine with regular thread that matches your fabric.  
Step 9:  Sew along the two straight lines that you drew.  

The elastic bobbin thread will gather the fabric as you go.
Step 10:  To make the elastic thread shrink (making it more gathered) spritz the two seams with water.  Toss it in your dryer for about 5 minutes - the elastic will shrink up a bit and you will have a beautiful ruffled scarf!
  You will be happy - like Laura.  

Isn't she a lovely model? 
Thanks for making a scarf with me Laura - and for taking some great pics for this tutorial!
If you are working on one of my projects and get stuck, leave a comment or send me an email - I am happy to help you with any troubleshooting!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Supper

This is what I made last night:  
It was really hearty and yummy!  The spices in the soup are curry, cardamom, and mace - well all I had was curry so I added a little bit of ground cloves instead of the cardamom and mace.  You could probably substitute cinnamon for curry if you don't care for that flavor (mom).  The chicken salad was nice and light - no mayo added - just chicken, nuts (I used almonds), apples, Crasins, and a vinaigrette that whips up in a sec.  Give it a try, especially if you have boxes of apples lying around from an apple festival...
happy homemaking,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Janie and Jack-o-lantern: DIY T-shirt Applique

Janie and Jack is a lovely Children's clothing store.  I always love to go in and browse when I visit Orlando.  Of course, like everything else I like, it is very expensive.  Sometimes you can find a good sale, but I often want what is in season now.  This year they have the cutest Halloween collection.  I really loved this little t-shirt($28).
Appliqued felt pumpkins with the caption "cutest in the patch" embroidered beneath.  So cute!  So the other day as I was organizing Char's closet, I stumbled across a plain white t-shirt, and I was inspired.
The one I made is girly, like the original, but I think with a few minor adjustments it could be made for a little boy too.  If you'd like to make one for your little one - here's the tutorial!
You'll need:
a long-sleeved white t-shirt
orange felt
green felt
black embroidery floss
water-soluble fabric pen
paper and pencil
Step 1:  Draw a sketch of the pumpkins, or print mine out here.
Step 2:  Cut out your paper patterns and trace them onto the correct colors of felt.
Step 3:  Cut out the felt pumpkins.

Step 4:  Thread a needle with 3 strands of black embroidery floss.  You are going to embroider the "inside" detailing of the pumpkins - the lines and the jack-o-lantern face.
Step 5:  Pin the pumpkins to the t-shirt.  I focused on centering the jack-o-lantern and then arranged the other two around it.

Step 6:  Embroider around the pumpkins and stems/leaves.  Don't forget to add the curly vines.  It WILL look handmade - but that's okay.  The Janie and Jack one was made in a factory somewhere - yours is unique and made with loving hands :)
Step 7:  Write the caption under the pumpkins with a fabric pen.

Step 8:  Thread your needle with 2 strands of black embroidery floss and follow your letters, embroidering the phrase.
Step 9:  Rinse the fabric pen off and Ta-Da!! You're all set!

Put it on your little pumpkin and enjoy the fall weather!  Have a great weekend!