Tag Archive | sewing

Nerd + Crafting

My dear husband, who I promise is an adult and contributing member of society, loves to play D&D with his guy friends.  It is his ‘guys night’ and a bunch of his friends go off and have very creative adventures in the comfort of the livingroom **major bonus of being an adult, they don’t have to be banished to the basement**.  I’ve played occasionally and it is fun enough, but I prefer to have the nice solo night at home where I get to eat a quiet dinner and watch whatever I like on tv.

Anyway, like all hobbies, there are tons of things marketed directly at them.  There are the books and stuff, but then there are the extras and we are the proud owners of a very nice set of spell templates.  They are nicely done truly – you put them on the playing board to show how far your fire ball or ice stream goes.  They came on a giant piece of thin plastic so my first contribution to this was my ability to cut very nicely.

 

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spell sheet from Arc Knight – check them out, they are a great small business

 

The issue becomes how to carry all these bits…  For scale, that Capt America/Iron Man box is the length of a pencil (and is full of guess what; pencils!).  Some of the spells are wide, some are long, some are very very small…. How to keep them all safe?

I happened to have a yard of super hero fabric and my machines were all set up so instead of folding laundry last night I made this;

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Not just a bag!  Imagine how big a fail it would be just put them all in a tote.  The tiny ones would be gone, the long ones would be bent, and one can’t let an opportunity to make tiny pockets pass by.

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First of all, I made the side and half the bottom open for easy access.  Husband has big bear paws and if the chaos he leaves looking for a spatula in the drawer is any indication, he needs the ability to see all the pockets.  There are snaps up the side of the bag and velcro on the bottom (wraps up and around so there is a more secure bottom).  The pocket on the left is for the long thing things, across the bottom are all the large triangles and circles, and the wee little pocket on the top are for the little bits.  There is also room for the dice and pencil box and probably a book or 3.

Do you notice more snaps?  I decided that based on the variety of sizes,  small things would get lost in each pocket and to indulge more crafting energy; all the pockets open up for easy access

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So other than an oddly unfortunate fabric placement that makes all the small spells seem to be stored in The Hulks armpit, and, it isn’t lined, I’m very happy with it and more importantly so is he.

This took less that a yard and if I was starting again I would integrate the velcro better by just making the back longer than the front so it could fold up neatly.  I thought of the velcro after when snaps were not really making it on the bottom once he asked to store more things.

Weekend of work

Poor blog, nobody posts on you!

 

For the second week in a row Lars is out of town and in contrast to last week where I felt like the crazy hub of social activity this weekend we are crazy solo.  All little outings fell through and kids were behaving like it was a full moon (it was) and they had spent an exhausting fun week at camp.  Solo parenting is for the birds (although based on my nesting robins, those chicks keep 2 parents busy in their species too).

In the win column – I have major amounts of garb produced.  Thanks to mom who is quietly producing in NY to supplement efforts here, I think I can put away the sewing tomorrow.  I also have one solid box packed and some bits and pieces getting pulled to a gather point for packing in the near term.

We also did a fair job cleaning up.  When they start fighting I say I need to micromanage and we clean.  Sometimes the mess just moves but it’s almost cute to hear Zoe cut me off mid-word to parrot “do it right or do it twice”.   I also seem to have a relaxation issue when Lars is gone.  Two nights straight I got them to bed with reasonable ease, that at least is not a current issue, and instead of vegging out I power clean.  Last night I seriously intended to just do 10min and then go to bed and there was mud by the door from feet and 30 min later I had the floor cleaned and dry using a washcloth and dish towel since I only was going to do “that spot” but then there was “another spot”.

Today is starting better.  It is not raining, it is not 90 degrees and they let me sleep until 7:30.  And hey, the kitchen is clean, so that always helps the day start nicely.

Ps.  output in the past few days;

2 tunics for Lars, 1 over tunic, skirt and choli for me, 2 kid cholis, 5 kid skirts, a hat, 3 hoods, a chemise, various mending points, and 3 kids that are still alive.

3 Things

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weather – seem to be reverting to winter… uncool MN spring

nap – she needs one, she is in her room, I am here typing

House – major shake ups coming, playing room merry go round and kitchen mini reno.

reading – not much!  keep falling asleep too fast

 

  1. This game – Neko Atsume – my mom introduced it to us and it is so fun for the kids.  incredibly low interaction, you really just go look at what cats are there.  You fill the food up and maybe get a new toy out but really all you do is check on the cats.  Purrrrfect distraction for all the kids and certainly makes me smile.IMG_8687
  2. Thing two that is a happy thing is finally listing the rental.  I listed yesterday and its like a feeding frenzy!  4 inquiries in under a day.  I already have a favorite but there is a strong second too.  It is such a relief to have demand!
  3. After a year of sitting on the project, I nearly have bedroom curtains.  Don’t worry, we had shades so the neighbors were shielded from our PJ’s.  I say nearly because I’m still working on some options but they are cut and 90% sewn.

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    not yet perfect but they exist – top is a close up

I’m also looking forward to my MOM night out tonight and I have an excited/scared feeling about taking on my closet.  Its time, its been years since I wore my work uniform of nice pants and a button down that I need to say good bye to that segment of my wardrobe.  I have ignored the closet for years, it needs help, I think this is the time to reclaim it.  Sure, my life is full of glamour and excitement, you should see what I don’t tell you about 😉

Earth day t-shirt upcycle

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Weather; another perfect sunny day, why am I inside?

Nap; should soon change this to ‘quiet’ time  with the occasional sleep

reading; been a while since I noted – I’m done with the Robyn Hobb series(es), I’m in the middle of a Charles Stross series,  Just started the Trone of Glass book 2, and reading my kid behavior books for age 8, 6 and 4.  I’m also reading the Secret Garden to the girls out loud.

 

I’m glad that I live in an age that there was almost always an earth day.  I can’t remember before recycling cans.  I lived with an original upcyclier and while sometimes he basically built traps disguised as furniture the WWII use it until it disintegrates was part of my day to day.

When the kids outgrow things they are usually in decent shape so it can be passed on.  Since Lars and I are not really growing we tend to wear things until they are embarrassing so there is no passing on possibilities.  I’ve made aprons out of jeans, plenty of things turn into napkins (my crusade against paper waste!) but my most recent upcycle is the t-shirt pillow cover.

I’m in my house all day every day so I want it to look nice if I can.  Since pillows are a major part of our life from the mundane couch decoration to the insane pillow forts – they need to have covers that can be washed so this pattern is for easy on/off covers.

Mens shirts work best – this particular shirt was well loved and I think is about 10 years

 

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2009!

old.  Lars was fine with napkining it but I can’t help but remember times like this and now every time I see the couch I remember the fun.

 

 

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2016 – very loved

 

You can either get a new (from the thrift store) pillow or just measure one you like but could use a new look but keep in mind the scale of the shirt and the scale of where the pillow will live.

  1. Start by cutting a straight line from the shoulder to the bottom.  You want to make sure no arm seam is left.  Do the same on the other side so you end up with a long rectangle.IMG_8324
  2. Measure how far down the lowest point of the neck hole is and then move the tape to the side so you can cut off the neck in a neat straight line.  This whole time you are cutting the front and the back at the same time so take care to keep it from wrinkling or bunching on the bottom.IMG_8325
  3. Now you have two pieces!  As you can see on mine there is a hole in the front so I had to size my pillow to avoid that.  Take a second to make sure the graphic is centered (or off centered or how you want it!) and measure the height of the pillow you are working with.  (Mine is about 13 inches)IMG_8326
  4. Hopefully you can see what I mean here because there are a few things going on but nothing is hard.  First, I flipped both sides over.  The front is on the right, you can tell by that nifty little hole.  I folded the bottom of the front up to the measure of the pillow ** I do not cut the front anymore **.  On the back, I cut the fabric to size but I measure up from the bottom so I can keep the original t-shirt bottom edge seam.IMG_8328
  5. I don’t have a picture, but, you now want to put the front on top of the back with the graphic in and the folded section out and the finished/existing bottom seam along the folded edge.  Pin if you like to but make sure it is squared up.
  6. Start at one of the folded/bottom seam corners and sew 3 sides.  You are leaving the bottom open – the bottom should be the folded up part and the original t-shirt seam.  On my machine, I use the stretch stitch, #2, it really is great on a stretch fabric like this shirt.  Make sure to sew the three layers; back, front, and folded part of front, all in one line.IMG_8330
  7. The result; 3 seams and you can see that the folded up section is now a pocket! When you turn it right side out, the pocket is on the inside.  This makes a really smooth looking front  because the pillow goes into that pocket.  Soooo much easier than a zipper and no pillow peeking out the bottom.IMG_8331
  8. And then you get crazy and make 4 more… or five… or some for every season and maybe your husband starts to wonder where his shirts went…

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    there are 6 shirt pillows here… the one from the example is in the top right

And as a bit of a bonus.  Those sleeves you cut off?  Not to go to waste, they make great headbands.  I’ve long passed the point of bibs at my house but there is a lot of hair-in-food situations so having a little pile of these near meal times works nicely.  They don’t just fit kids, I can wear them too, and they might not be the most fashionable they are perfect for working out or in the garden.

 

I hope I’m doing my part for the earth!  and I hope this tutorial helps you upcycle some beloved shirts too.

 

 

Three things Thursday

Woo hoo!  Another good day in a great week!  I mostly count days because all the nights still have someone(s) waking me up so focus on the positive 🙂

#1 in addition to all the normal cleaning etc I can’t help but get wrapped into Halloween too.  It is October after all.  This year we added throw pillow covers made from 18m Halloween shirts.  There are 2 on the couch and one on my bed and I love the little extra touch.  Super easy to do, I hand sewed them shut top and bottom with easy to remove stitches and for the top I wrapped the arms up ‘artfully’ to cover the neck hole.  I have a few covers for these pillows but for a dollar each from Ikea you could make the covers permanent if you have the storage space.

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#2 – Fiona’s room has FINALLY transitioned.  The crib is upcycled to her walls making cool rails for hanging things and the toys are rationalized.  This took way longer than I hoped, but it did include minor construction and furniture purchases.  I think she needs a new picture in the middle, or, at least for me to re-center that one but I was just excited that I can walk in there now and all the toys have HOMES so clean up is actually possible and even easy.

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#3 Nerdcon check in complete!  We have a best case scenario of missing the first 20 min tomorrow just for school timing so I drove down today and checked us in so we don’t loose time.  It was a fun mini-adventure with Fiona and she charmed the people working.  We even actually saw Hank Green but I didn’t say anything because I’m sure that is annoying.  I can’t wait for tomorrow!

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We are also busy with little things like sign and costume making, but none of those are actually done yet…  Time to get kids settled and move on to the next to-do list 🙂IMG_6696 IMG_6693 IMG_6694

Three things Thursday

After my condemnation of Slumberland yesterday I need to pour a little extra positive into today, good thing it’s Thursday!

#1  Halloween costume shopping is well underway.  I’m going with 3 totally different costumes, no common theme but they are all fun.

Niamh wants Pocahontas – very easy; dress with fringe that will go to the dress up bin after and I’ll buy brown boots she can wear for the season and embellish with some fringe.  Since Pocohantas doesn’t wear shoes in the movie I’m allowed to make that part up because in MN you HAVE to wear shoes…

Zoe switched around a ton but finally settled on an Owl.  She has always loved owls and I’ve always wanted to make one of the cool cloak of feathers costumes.  I went to the store undecided between fleece and felt.  Fleece is washable making the cloak a longer running garment but it tends to be more expensive.  Lucky day (kinda) fleece was on sale and the exact same price as felt.  For the body I’m making a big ‘sack’ style tunic with elastic at the bottom and top and post-Halloween I’m going to sew up the arm and head holes, add a zipper to the bottom, and voila! A new floor pillow in minky pink and brown.

Fiona wants to be a RED Superhero.  Not a specific superhero at all, she has no idea about lava girl and never saw Firestar (who is mostly yellow anyway) so I get to be as creative as I want with hers.  Its gong to be the least sewing costume of them all, just a red tutu and I’ll buy pants and a shirt and I already have a cape from SheRa.  I’ll be crafting the accessories so that will be fun.

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#2  I’m mid-project for upcycling the crib.  I hope to finish it up today and I’ve had fun with the puzzle of what hardware to use because my goal is that if we need to, it can be a crib again (but its so useful now!)

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#3 In the general category of organizing the garage for winter (and while I’m glad its happening it isn’t exactly fun) I actualy successfully sold this monstrosity on a garage sale site.  I got a whole $15 but I’m really just glad its OUT of my life and I smile every time I see the 5 square feet it used to take up empty.

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Honorable mention is my new Daisy girlscout, I’m happy to have a daughter follow in my scout footsteps and I’m more happy that I don’t have to be the leader.IMG_6660