Saturday, March 29, 2014

DIY:: Bean Bags

Time for another project from the sewing roundup I posted here!

Today, I am showing you how I created the bean bags!!

 For this tutorial, I am using the numbered bean bags that I made for Big C to work on his math. I have another set in the works for Little C and a separate, plain, set for a bean bag toss game (stay tuned for that post!).

With this post by Holly at Chez Beeper Bebe as my inspiration, I created these super fun bean bags with more of those pesky fabric scraps that I have lying around. The only change that I made was using freezer paper and fabric paint to paint on the numbers instead of sewing them as an applique. 

Here are the supplies I needed for this project:
  • Scrap fabric - patterned
  • Muslin
  • Freezer paper
  • Exacto knife (or scissors)
  • Fabric paint
  • Paint brush
  • Stencils of choice (optional)
  • Beans!!!
  • Needle & thread

First, cut 10 - 4.5" squares from your patterned/solid fabric and 10 - 4.5" squares from your muslin.

Next, trace your stencil on to the freezer paper.

Using your exacto knife and/or scissors, cut out the stencil and iron it onto your muslin.

After cooling, put the squares on top of a piece of cardboard and paint each stencil with your fabric paint. I put about 2-3 small drops on each piece, then brushed them around.

* Add a second coat if needed. *

Once completely dry, remove the freezer paper.

Now, we are going to sew! :)
Place the patterned and muslin piece right sides together and pin in place.
Sew with 1/4" seam allowance around the square, leaving a small gap on one side for the beans.
Clip your corners.

NOTE: For my second batch of bean bags, I left my gap in the middle of one of the sides. This made it easier to flip and fill.

Flip right side out and push out your corners, making them pointy >
Next, fill with beans, making sure not to overfill. I used about 1/3 cup of beans for each bag.

Hand sew your little seam closed using either the whip-stitch method mentioned in Chez Beeper Bebe's tutorial, or whichever your preference is. I ended up using a ladder stitch to try and hide the seam better.

*There is a great example of the ladder stitch, along with many other stitches here!*

Aren't these fun? And who knew they would be so easy?!? Not only are they entertaining, they can be used for learning and I like learning. Especially when it is associated with play.

I am using these, Little C's bean bags and my next project, the hooded towels, for an Easter gift. It's a ways away, but I need to plan at least a month ahead in my crazy life for everything!!

Hope these bean bags inspire you to create some of your own and please share if you do!

Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY: Fabric Scraps & Wipes Container Toddler Activity

If you remember, I talked about creating this for Cayley in my post here. Well, this is what I have come up with so far! I finished the shapes and will most likely add more soon...can't forget about all those other sewing projects I have on my list!

~~*~~ You can find the original inspiration from Kim @ A Spotted Pony here! ~~*~~

I added my own little twist to this idea by changing the size of the fabric scraps, sewing two pieces together, making both sides the same instead of one piece, and I added shapes.  You can add anything!!! Shapes, colors, numbers, animal silhouettes or other appliques. The possibilities are endless.....

**NOTE**: When I finished my first piece and tested it out in the container, I noticed that the added thickness with two appliques, instead of one, makes it slightly harder to pull the scrap piece out. You may want to test out the double applique before making all of your scraps this way. My next batch will most likely have a single applique to make it easier.

For this example, I am going to be using the star piece!

First, I picked out the scraps of fabric that I wanted to use. Then, I matched a pattern with a solid color. I should say, Carson picked out the pairing fabrics and did a mighty fine job. Better than I was doing!

Next, I cut two, 8 inch squares out of each patterned fabric and set them aside.

Then, made a rough cut of the amount needed for the shapes from the solid fabric. Two for each shape. Basically, I put the template on top of the fabric and cut around it. See the diamond template over the black fabric?

Cut your Heat & Bond pieces around the same size as the fabric you are using for the shapes.
Following the instructions for the type of Heat & Bond you are using, iron the fabric and Heat & Bond together. (Unless instructed otherwise.)

Using a magic eraser pen, trace the desired shape on to the fabric and cut it out. You've now made an applique! Tah-dah! 

Remove the Heat & Bond paper, center the shape on top of an 8 inch square of your choice, glossy side down, and iron in place. Repeat if you are doing an applique on both sides.

Now for the fun part, sewing down the applique! 
**Side note**: There is a type of Heat & Bond that doesn't require sewing, but I have no experience with it. In fact, this is my first experience with this product at all!! It reminds me of freezer paper....
If you try the no-sew version, let me know how it turns out, I may need to use it in future projects!

I used a zig-zag stitch around both stars, clearly not knowing what I was doing. I felt like I was getting the hang of it as I was going along though....

After sewing both stars on to the 8 inch scrap pieces, put them on top of each other, wrong sides together, and sew around the square with a 1/2 - 1 inch seam allowance. I did a 1 inch allowance because I wasn't too concerned about making perfect squares and they were slightly sloppy :/

Don't fear the ugly ends! Because next we are using pinking shears!
Go around the edge of your now, super cute, scrappy square with your pinking shears and give it that extra special touch with the added benefit of less fray!
*Have I sold you on pinking shears?!*

That's it! Only a few more extra steps than the inspirational post from A Spotted Pony! I like having the shapes on both sides, or at least covering up the "blah" side with another piece of fabric, matching or not.

These five scrappy shape pieces are just the start and I can't wait to add more to the batch soon! She loves playing with them, so they are entertainment guaranteed and toddler approved!

All these crazy fabrics, shapes and colors!!! What's a girl to do?!?!?

*Edited to add the pictures of her playing with her new toy! In all the excitement to share this post with you, I forgot them!!!*

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sew Thankful For Spring!!

As most of us in the crafty world know, March is National Craft Month!! 

I have been spending *way* too much of March playing catch-up and finishing items for the Etsy shop. It's time to put the hook and yarn down (I know, this is unheard of and you know I will be secretly picking it up  when I can...), and open up this brand spankin' new sewing machine that I got for Christmas.
Yes, you read that correctly....I received a new sewing machine for Christmas and have yet to use it. Any sewer would be appalled to read that. Please forgive.
My intent was there, really..... 

Isn't she lovely??

This is her first, I literally just took it out of the box to take it. Upon checking it out, I spied the secret compartment and found a bag full of WAY more goodies than I was expecting!

Look at all those feet! And needles!! I feel super novice right now, it's not even funny. Can we say, 'time to study'? The double needle depresses me because I ordered one about a month before Christmas :/ Meh, now I have two!! And this may be the dumbest question right now, but what is an organ needle for??

Clearly, fancier than what I was working with! 
I will forever love this machine, though. It's probably ancient looking to most of you, but its 'simplicity' and faithfulness to me means it's staying until it's last leg. 

Now, to test out my new, beautiful machine with all her buttons, and to clear the rust from my sewing memory, I've picked out these simple projects from my 'Sew Lovely' Pinterest board. 
** As always, click on the title of the project to link to the original pattern and tutorial!! **

Plush Alphabet by Holly from 'Chez Beeper Bebe'
I am debating on making this a magnetic play item or just leave it plush for now??
image: Chez Beeper Bebe
Bean Bags, again by Holly from 'Chez Beeper Bebe'
image: Chez Beeper Bebe
Who doesn't love bean bags and why have I not thought to make these sooner??? How amazing is this going to be?? Can you tell I am excited? I want to make numbers for Big C so we can work on our math and counting & do colors/shapes for Little C. You want to make them now, don't you?

Fabric Scraps & Wipe Container by Kim from 'A Spotted Pony'
image: A Spotted Pony

I already know that Little C is going to have the time of her life with this! She pulls the wipes out *all* the time!! I have been meaning to make this for her for awhile and use all these fancy stitches I have on the new machine. Not to mention, I have more fabric scraps than I know what to do with.

Finally, I spotted these hooded towel tutorials quite a few months ago and will most likely use the old sewing machine for this one since the towels have so much fluff.... but who wouldn't want to make these?? I am going to start with the butterfly one for Little C and the shark one for Big C, adding my own touches, of course :)
image: Crazy Little Projects
image: Crazy Little Projects

You can find these and MANY, MANY, MANY more hooded towel tutorials by Amber (we share the same name, that's how you know she is awesome!) at her blog, Crazy Little Projects

Stay tuned for the finished products!! I have been itching to get started ALL night!!

~~*~~ HAPPY SPRING ~~*~~

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Introducing: Color Swatches!!

I am SUPER excited to announce the newest addition to the shop!


I have been forever wondering how I can share all the color and fiber choices that are out there, especially for all the patterns I use in the shop. Because, let's be honest, we all want options! Maybe you like that blue table runner, but hate blue.... no need to fear, color swatches are here!!!

Here are the first 2 swatches that I have been working on. Things take a lot longer than necessary around here with two little hellians amazing children.....

Both swatches are for size 10 thread in Aunt Lydia's Bamboo and Classic.

 What do you think????

There are MANY more options for the cotton thread, these are just the ones that I have on hand and that go with most patterns that I use.

This is just the beginning!! Thread is my favorite though, so it would be my first choice to test this out on, obviously ;)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Where Does The Time Go?

I ask myself this question often.......

Since my last post, I've started/finished many more creations, dealt with sick kids that had a nasty stomach virus that was going around, *while* I had a mild version of it as well, AND my sweet daughter turned 1. Unfortunately, due to her being sick, her party was canceled and her big day was spent being miserable. If that wasn't enough, once she started feeling better from the stomach virus, she got hit with trying to cut 4 teeth. I couldn't believe it. Thankfully, it's over, she's back to normal and I have been able to pull out my projects now that all the germs are away.

Without any further a-do... Here's what I've been up too:

Adding another Pineapple Doily for the shop, making that 2 in stock!
Lavender/purple crocus doily in the pinning process.....
and nicely laid out on the coffee table! Just in time for adding the spring touch!
With all the cold, rainy weather (Hello, Washington!) and little C growing like a weed, I made her a bow scarf and a flutter vest! You can find the crochet pattern for the Bow Scarf by Chucks for Chancho here; and the pattern for the Flutter Sleeve Vest by Yarnspirations, here. I altered both patterns slightly....for the bow scarf, I used worsted weight yarn with a 'J' hook and for the Flutter Sleeve Vest, I used Vickie Howell's Sheep(ish) yarn with an 'I' hook. She absolutely LOVES wearing it, which surprised me because usually I can't get her to wear hats and things. Either way, they are both perfect additions to this little girls wardrobe!

Since I had so many people loving little C's Bow Scarf on Facebook, I altered the pattern even further to create an adult version! I think they turned out amazing and they are oh so cozy!!

Also, a granny square baby blanket in blues and gray, rightfully named "Little Boy Blue." Not completely finished yet, but I am loving how it is coming together.
Last, but not least, a fox basket! Totally my new favorite!! Won't you agree??
Loooooove it!!
Not too bad, if I say so myself. I've said it many times, I am on a mission and even though it feels like I am sooooooo far behind, making posts like these remind that I am still working hard for what I want to do.

~*~ All good things come in due time. ~*~