Monday, November 7, 2011

{DIY} Woodland Winter Wreath

This wreath is simple and inexpensive ($20!) to make, yet it really has a great impact.

We bought all the supplies from Michaels, and completed it in about 3 hrs.
I made all the felt flowers, and mom wrapped the wreath.  I think the secret is to have lots of felt flowers, even though they take a while to complete.  Hope you like it and feel inspired to get started on your holiday wreath!
Happy Monday!

{DIY} Woodland Winter Wreath

This wreath is simple and inexpensive ($20!) to make, yet it really has a great impact.

We bought all the supplies from Michaels, and completed it in about 3 hrs.
I made all the felt flowers, and mom wrapped the wreath.  I think the secret is to have lots of felt flowers, even though they take a while to complete.  Hope you like it and feel inspired to get started on your holiday wreath!
Happy Monday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

{DIY} Mason Jar Sewing Kit - the tween version

This is certainly not a new idea.  I don't claim to have made it up.  I'm just sharing my version.  I made this as a gift for a girl who just turned 12.  I've seen lots of gorgeous versions online like this one on Anthropologie or this nice DIY one on Martha ,but I needed to make something a little bit more youthful looking - so here's what I came up with!

There's a great tutorial for making a jar lid pin cushion over on Prudent Baby.

This is my top
and this is the underneath side

This is such a fun gift to put together, because it can be changed in so many ways!  Add a small pair of scissors, or a thimble and embroidery floss.  You can really tailor it (ha ha) for the person you're making it for.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

{DIY} Panels with Grommets

Yesterday I shared the little pillow going in Charlotte's 3 year old room when we move to Japan.   
So today I have the matching window treatments.  

A few weeks ago I shared the inspiration for this room...but you know sometimes you get to the fabric store and a fabric just calls out your name and you can't ignore it!  That's what happened when I spotted this Michael Miller.  I knew it would make the perfect drapes for the room!
So I bought 6 yards 
(and I had a 40% off coupon - woo hoo!).  
That's how much it takes to make two panels
(for a standard size window - if your window or rod is placed higher than standard, simply measure from the floor to your fabric rod, then add 1 1/4" - that will be the total length of the drape.  Then add 11" to that number to get the cut for the length.  
Ex: If your rod is 92" from the floor, add 1 1/4" making the finished length 93 1/4".  Add 11" and the cut of your drape should be 104 1/4" long x the width of the fabric.)
Here's the full supply list, in case you find yourself in a similar situation with a fabric that's got your name!

6 yards of 44-45" wide cotton fabric
6 yards of lining fabric
sewing machine/thread/scissors/yard stick/iron/pins
8-10 grommets , depending on how you like them spaced

These are really simple to make - I made them in one evening.  
And you really just need to know how to sew a straight line.  
Seriously - you can make your own drapes.  Are you convinced?  Okay then, let's go.

Step 1:  
"Measure twice, cut once."  This is soooo true when you are making drapes.  You are working with large amounts of fabric and you really want to make sure you have measured correctly before you cut them out.  So here are the measurements.  44"(the width of your fabric) x 95".  Cut two panels at those measurements.  Cut 2 panels of lining 41" x 93".  
(If you are using a wider fabric, just cut the lining 2-3" less on both the width and length)

Step 2:
Along the short edge (44" on cotton or 41" on lining), press up 3" toward the wrong side of the fabric, then up 3" again creating a hem.  Pin in place.  

Do this for all 4 panels.  
Top stitch along the folded and pinned edge.

Step 3:

Lay the lining right sides together with the panel.  
Match up the raw edges along the sides and pin.  Since the lining is smaller than the panel, there will be a little bit of bunching of the panel - that's okay, in fact you want that. Just make sure the raw edges on both sides are lined up.

Sew along those edges.

Step 4:
Flip the panel right sides out.  You should find that when the lining lays flat you get about 1" of panel folded over - that's exactly what you want! 
Pin the hems together so the lining doesn't scoot around on you.

Press it flat.

Step 4: 
When you have the entire panel pressed, measure from the hem until you get exactly 84".  
Place a pin there.

Press the raw edge over 1/2".  Then fold it over at the pin - so the pin mark becomes the very top of the curtain.

Step 5:
Now it's time for the grommets.  You can buy these at any fabric store - Joann's, Hancocks, etc.  They just snap on, and the directions are on the back of the package.  
They provide a template like this:

I place the top of the grommet about 1 1/4" inch from the top of the curtain.  Draw the markings in the template.  I started 2" from the edge, then spaced them 12" apart.  Next time I may put more grommets, but this was what I had and I didn't want to go back to the store.  I don't think my three year old will notice :)  
Then you cut out the holes (I cut it slightly smaller than the traced template because I think it stays in place better)
 (sorry about that blurry pic)

Then push the raised piece through the right side of the panel.

Snap the other piece on (you have to push really hard).
Now you have beautiful professional looking drapes!
I can't wait to hang them up at our new home!
happy sewing!
If you have any questions, email me at 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Details...

Currently I'm working on the soft furnishings for Charlotte's bedroom - so far I've made the curtains (a tutorial on that tomorrow) and I have cut out the quilt.  
With the scraps, I decided to make this little pillow for the green chair in her room.  
It was inspired by this Anthropologie one.
You know, it's the details in a room that make it special and make it look finished.
Well, so that's what I've been up to...I'm trying to really work on the home furnishings while I'm here at my mom's - amidst the mile high stack of military paper work... :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Quilt to Pass the Time...

Throughout history women have used quilting as a way to pass the time
- such as when a husband or son was off at war like the Dear Jane Quilt.
That would keep you busy right?
But what a cool thing to do with your time - at the end of the war she actually had something to show for her time - not just a bunch of worrisome nights.
Well my mom, sister, and I have decided to do the same thing while I am in Japan.  We are going to make 36 quilt blocks (one a month).  We have chosen a color palate so that all of the bocks will coordinate, meaning our quilts will match.  At the end, we will make 3 quilts, 12 blocks each, so that we will each have something to commemorate that time (and use it as kind of a countdown system).  So here are our rules - and we haven't come up with a catchy name for this project either, so if you think of one we are open to suggestions :)
1. Prewash fabrics
2.  Each finished block must be 20 1/2" x 20 1/2"
3.  The color palate is Orange, Yellow, Turquoise, Navy, and muslin.
4.  You must embroider your initials and the month/year onto your block
5.  Your block must be mailed to the next person by the 7th of the month
(we're going to take turns ex: Oct. mom, Nov. me, Dec. joanna, Jan. mom, Feb. me, March, joanna etc. etc.)
6.  We will mail our block, plus the previous blocks to the next person so that we can see the progress, but we will only do this for 12 blocks, then we will start over ( we didn't want to have to mail tons of blocks )
7.  At the end, we will have a bee.  We will put all 36 blocks in a bag and each grab 12 blocks without looking.  Then we'll piece our quilt tops! 
I'm pretty excited.  We will each have a sampler-style quilt at the end of the three years!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

{DIY} Love You to Pieces Skirt

Hey!  I'm excited to share this tutorial with you.  
This is another great way to use up scraps.  

My mom had made a quilt using Anna Maria Horner's new line Loulouthi - and she had some wonderful scraps leftover.  We found this skirt as inspiration on Pinterest 

(how adorable is that?) 
and decided to make our own!  
Here are the supplies you'll need (I made a size 3T):
scraps of fabric that equal around 1 - 1 1/2 yards
24" of 3/4" elastic
scissors/pins/iron/thread/sewing machine

Step 1:  Cut the pieces.  You will need a Yoke Waistband, Skirt Fabric, and Contrast Band Hem.

Okay I know that's kind of a crazy picture.  I pieced a bunch of things because I was working with smaller scraps, but here are the dimensions explained:
Yoke: 5"x 23" (mine were in two pieces 5"x 12" and I had to sew them together)
Skirt: 8 1/2"x 46" when sewn together.  You will need to add an inch for every piece to allow for the seam allowance - when I laid these all out after cutting it measured 53", but after sewing them it measured 46".
Contrast Band: 3" x 46" when stitched together.  The same applies here - you may have to piece a few strips, but once you sew it together it should measure 3" x 46".

Step 2:  Sew all the skirt pieces together.  You should have a long piece that measures  8 1/2" x 46".  Serge or zig zag all of the seams.
 Step 3:  Sew the Contrast Band strips together (right sides together) so that you have on long band 3" x 46".  Lay it's right side against the wrong side of the skirt panel and pin.  
(This may seem wrong, but go with me here)
 Sew along the edge using 3/8" seam.  When you have finished, open it up and it will look like this:

Step 4:  Press 1/4" of the band toward the wrong side.
Then press the band up about 1" and pin it to the skirt panel.

Top stitch it in place.
Here's how it should look: front and back.

Step 5:  Using a basting stitch, sew along the top of the skirt panel twice and gather so that it measures 23".

Step 6: Pin the yoke waistband right sides together along the gathered edge.

Stitch in place.  Zig zag or serge the seam then press it towards the skirt.
It should now look like this:

Step 7:  Press the top of the waistband under 1/4", then pin the edges of the skirt right sides together and sew the side seam.
 Zig zag or serge the side seam.  

Step 8: Fold the top of the yoke down about 1 1/2".  
Leave about a one inch opening, and stitch it in place.

Step 9:  Fasten a safety pin to one end of the elastic and run it through the casing.

Measure it on your kiddo to get the right size, then stitch the two elastic ends together.

Slip the elastic inside and topstitch the opening closed.

Step 10:  This step is optional but it makes the garment look a little more professional and it will keep the elastic from rolling when you wash it.  Scoot the elastic to the bottom of the casing, and top stitch around the top of the yoke, about 1/8" down from the top.

When you are finished, it will look like this: 

That's it! Enjoy watching your cutie spin and play in her new skirt!

happy sewing,