Monthly Archives: May 2012

More Coffee Cup Recipes

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A couple of months ago I posted two fun recipes you can make in a coffee cup: Microwave Coffee Cup Scramble and 3,2,1 Cake. Recently The Wichita Eagle published four more. For copies, click on a recipe and it will appear on a new page for printing. The paper sculpture at left is by a MOST amazing artist, Matthew Sporzynski. Oh, yes . . . and here are the recipe notes. ♥

  • A 12-ounce cup works best for these recipes.
  • You may need to adjust cooking times depending on the strength of your microwave oven.
  • The cup and mixture will be very hot, so allow to cool a bit before eating.
  • Each recipe makes one serving.

P.S. UPDATE: Here are even more from a 7-13-12 post by Look What Mommy Made!

Spring Sweater Refashion, Chapter 3

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In between my writing projects and sewing/crafting obsession, I’m going through my closet piece by piece to update the items I don’t wear often . . . or ever!  I loved the feather-weightiness and 3/4 sleeves on this plain white cardigan but not the high, round neckline, so first I changed it to a V-neck following the same technique I used here and here.  Once that was done, I dumped all my trims on the bed and found a length of pastel lace that was exactly the right length for the front, with about 1/2 inch to fold under at the top and bottom.  Next, I removed the buttons and machine-stitched the lace along the button line.  Finally,  I found a variety of buttons the right size to replace the original white ones.  I love how feminine it looks . . . but I think I’ll try a bright trim and buttons on the next one. ♥

Road Trip Flowers

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Here are all the flowers I made on our road trip today! A new trick I tried on some of them was stacking or clustering different buttons, either to highlight key colors in a print or to add a little extra a-la-mode to a solid. Click here for a list of supplies and a link to the tutorial. ♥

Road Trip Project!

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I’m going to be in the car for 7-8 hours tomorrow and wanted to take something to work on. I’ll share what I came up with in case you have a road trip coming up, too. :)

  • First, go to The Renegade Seamstress and check out Beth’s fabric flower tutorial . . . super-easy! (I stitch instead of glue, but either way turns out great.)
  • Go through your remnants and cut out circles–seven of each fabric.  I use a peanut butter jar lid as a template (mmm . . . peanut butter . . . ) and all types of fabrics–solids, prints, wovens, and knits.
  • Put the seven circles in a baggie along with a button, beads, or earring for the flower center and a spool of matching thread.
  • Throw the baggies into your project bag along with a needle and some scissors, and you’re good to go!

I’ll put the pins and/or clips on the back when I get home, and hopefully I’ll have LOTS of pretty flowers to show you! ♥

circlesbaggiebaggies

Surprise Pillow

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This was a quick and easy T-shirt-to-pillow upcycle, but it was extra fun because the person who gave up the T-shirt (my mother-in-law!) thought that one of her favorite items of clothing was heading for the rag bag due to some spots and tears (luckily not on the parts I wanted to use!) and was SO surprised (and happy!) to see it return in its new form. This pretty design, a combination of applique and embroidery, appeared on the front of the T-shirt. A smaller version appeared on one sleeve, which I cut off and stitched to the corner. Oh, and at the last minute I decided to a-la-mode it a bit with some different sizes and shapes of pastel buttons in the centers of the flowers. Now Vida has a little garden blooming on her sofa! ♥

From Old Jumper to New Dress

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My latest refashion project involved a too-large and out-of-date Tencel denim jumper and a too-large-but-good-as-new  jersey tank with a funky print from my closet archives.

First, I cut the bodice off the jumper. Then I took LOTS of fullness from the skirt by taking in the four seams, starting with one inch at the top and diagonaling down to four inches at the bottom. I also shortened it several inches. Yes, this jumper could have doubled as a parachute!!!

Next, I cut apart the tank to make a bodice and sleeves (using a sleeve pattern from another dress I’ve made). After sewing the sleeve seams, I sewed the sleeves to the bodice and then sewed the bodice to the skirt, matching side seams and the center front and back and stretching the bodice to fit. Finally, I stitched the sash that came with the jumper to the bodice/skirt seam most of the way around, leaving an opening for tying at the front. (Click on any photo in the gallery for a larger view.) I can’t wait to wear my new dress with my lime-green cardigan and Aunt Vitha’s fun bead necklace. ♥

Mini Notebooks

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The next best thing to pretty fabric is pretty paper! Although I don’t scrapbook, I love to walk through that department at my favorite craft/sewing stores and couldn’t resist buying this beautiful collection when I saw it marked down from $19.99 to $9.99. (Click on photo for a larger view.) Of course, then I had to come up with a project for it, so here it is! Start by buying some mini composition notebooks. (Target has two-packs for 99 cents.) Then . . .

(1) Use a notebook to make a pattern on a piece of cardboard. Leave a little extra on both sides to fold over the front and back notebook covers, and mark where all the folds should go.

(2) Use the pattern to cut out the scrapbook paper and to draw the fold lines on the back.

Inside Front

Inside Back

(3) Fold on the lines the wrong way and then the right way, making firm creases. Then glue the cover onto the notebook starting with the spine, then the covers, then the flaps.

Following are three additional options you can use to “dress up” your notebook . . . choose one, two, or all three. For me, what I chose depended on the cover design. For example, one has cute little birds on it and a spine cover would have hidden one of them, and another has words on it so I didn’t want to cover them with a label.

OPTION 1: BEFORE gluing on the cover, put a colored brad about ½ inch from the middle of the edge on both the front and back cover. Put a small coated ponytail rubber band  around the back-cover brad and fasten the brad as tightly as possible. Leave the brad on the front cover a bit loose. Then, after you glue the cover onto the notebook, pull the rubber band from the back and loop it over the front brad.

Back

Front

OPTION 2: Choose a contrasting or coordinating strip of paper for a spine cover, prepare the folds, and glue it onto the spine, holding it for a bit until the glue dries.

OPTION 3: Make a small name label out of another scrap. If you like, make “stitches” around the edges with a colored pen.

Your notebook is now ready to toss into your purse or give away . . . perfect for a small hostess or gal-pal gift. Or, turn it into an extra-special greeting card by writing a happy birthday/get well soon/congratulations/thinking of you message on the front page of the notebook for the recipient to discover and putting it in a colorful envelope.  Now, what to make with the rest of this fun paper . . . ♥  UPDATE: Click here for MORE mini-notebook!

Mmm . . .

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I’ve had a whole week of Mother’s Day! In fact, the delectable goodies in the photo at the left arrived today. You can read all about them at my favorite cooking blog, Consumed: My Culinary Adventure . . . which happens to be written by our lovely daughter-in-law Danielle.  And, with sweet emails and phone calls added to all the treasures below, you’ll see why I feel spoiled! ♥ 

More Placemat Tote Bags

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I posted one of these placemat tote bags awhile back (click here for tutorial), and now I’ve finished the last two. It was fun choosing lining fabrics, and I think they make a great set! I may even do something decorating-wise with them . . . we’ll see! ♥

Ruffle Pillow

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As you can tell by the name, this blog started out featuring pillows . . . I’ve wandered a bit, haven’t I? But I still love to make pillows, so I made one this weekend with a small remnant I found in my stash. I added ruffle a-la-mode by cutting strips, stitching the ends together, turning under and stitching the sides so they won’t ravel, “scrunching” the strip as I sewed down the middle, and then stitching it down the middle again as I attached it to the pillow front. Finally, I added a vintage coat button, sewed the front and back together, and stuffed. The finished pillow is 10 x 20 inches. ♥

Necktie Wristlet

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After using the short end of a tie to a-la-mode a onesie I still had the rest of it left, so my next project was a necktie wristlet. I’ve seen some fun photos of these on Pinterest but didn’t have a tutorial, so I made one up as I went along. It turned out great, and I think it will make a fun girly present . . . perhaps with a gift card tucked inside. ♥

NOTE: The numbers on the directions match the numbers on the pictures in the gallery below. Click on a photo for a larger view.

(1) Cut the necktie 16 inches from the large end.

(2) Unsew the tie a bit in order to cut off about two inches of the lining so it doesn’t get too bulky when you turn the end under.

(3) Make square corners at the end, turn under, and hand stitch in place.

(4) Cut 13 inches from the middle (skinniest) part of the tie. Unsew it and remove the lining.

(5) Fold this piece in half the long way, pin it, and stitch the sides together to form the wristlet’s strap.

(6) Fold up and pin 4 ½ inches of the bottom part of the tie with wrong sides together, tucking the raw edges of the strap into the side. Because of the tie’s shape, the sides won’t line up perfectly, but that’s okay. Simply stitch along the edge of the skinnier part, backstitching at the top and bottom of each seam for extra sturdiness.

(7) After selecting a button, make a buttonhole in the top flap.

(8) Sew on the button, being careful to only go through the top layer of fabric so you don’t close up the pocket. I love this feminine button from my grandmother’s collection.

(9) Gather the items you want to carry.

(10) Tuck them inside the two pockets, and you’re ready to go!

P.S. Awesomesauce later made a variation on this tutorial that I LOVE! Go check it out! ♥


Locket Onesies

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After making necktie onesies, I wanted to make a girly version, but what to put for a-la-mode? Ruffles? Flowers? No, BLING! But sweet bling, like embroidered lockets. These were super easy, too.

(1) Lay a real locket on the onesie and lightly trace around it with a pencil.

(2) Embroider the chain in gold.

(3) Embroider the “Mom” heart in hot pink and the “Dad” heart in teal blue. ♥

Grandpa’s Tie Onesies

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I’ve seen the cutest onesies on Pinterest with fabric stitched to the front in the shape of a little necktie a-la-mode for baby boys. Since I now have a bunch of ties from Dave’s closet cleaning project, I thought it would be fun to use those instead. It’s super easy! After you buy a package of onesies and run the neckties through the washer and dryer . . .

(1) Cut six inches from the skinny end of the tie.

(2) Pin the tie just under the neck binding of the onesie, upside down and right sides together, and stitch.

(3) Pin the tie down in place and handstitch to the onesie. (Click on gallery for larger photos.)

I have fun plans for the other parts of these ties, too! ♥

Shirt + Shirt = Shirt Refashion

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I noticed two shirts in my closet archives that could be cousins . . . different fabrics, but very similar colors and patterns. The first shirt was there because it’s too short. (I could only wear it if I didn’t plan on raising my arms for any reason, which is a little silly!) The second shirt was VERY well-loved, but it had some snags thanks to a clothes-eating teacher’s desk I once had in my classroom, so I decided to sacrifice Shirt 2 to save Shirt 1. I love the result, and now I wear it all the time! It looks great with jeans, denim or khaki capris, or a brown skirt. Of course I had to make a flower out of the scraps, too, using one of Aunt Vitha’s (more sedate) earrings for the center. (Click on gallery for larger photos.) Thank you, Shirt 2! ♥

Fabric Memo Board Plus . . .

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Here’s how I actually used the memo board I made . . . to display the fabric flowers I made for my beautiful daughter-in-law Shannon’s birthday! I had fun trying out lots of different kinds, as detailed below. However, I can’t say that I followed ANY of the directions to a T . . . stitching instead of gluing, trimming a bit here and there, that sort of thing . . . and each one has both a pin and a clip stitched to the back so it’ll work as a-la-mode for either clothes or hair.  Also, purchasing the pattern wasn’t a necessity, since tons of free patterns and tutorials are available online, but I found it for $2.99 (marked down from $18.95, which is crazy!) and it got me off to a good start. I’m definitely hooked on making flowers now!  Oh, and here are links to the bloggers who helped me . . . thank you! ♥

How Joyful

Ruffles and Stuff

The Renegade Seamstress

Kimono Reincarnate

Fabric Memo Board

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I’ve always loved fabric memo boards and decided to try making one. It was easy and fun! Here are the directions:

1. Cut a sturdy piece of cardboard to size.

2. Use the cardboard for a pattern to cut a piece of quilt batting, adding a couple of inches all the way around.

3. Wrap the batting around the cardboard, squaring the corners, and tape it at the back.

4. Use this as a pattern for the fabric. You could repeat the step above and tape the fabric at the back, but I used enough to wrap all the way around and then handstitched everything together to help the fabric stay flat and tight.

5. Wrap coordinating ribbons, rick-racks, or other trims in a pleasing pattern. I tacked mine at the back with a few stitches.

6. Stitch a small scrap of ribbon at the back top center for hanging.

7. Tuck cards, photos, and clippings under the trims . . . no pins or tacks needed. Or . . . (see next post!)  ♥

Dresses!

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I had so much fun making maternity sundresses as early birthday gifts for our two mothers-to-be-daughters-in-law! I searched Pinterest for a tutorial and found this super-cute design on the Be Sweet blog. The bodice is a new ruffled lady’s tank, the skirt is refashioned from a new men’s T-shirt, and I added a sash made from a scarf for a little a-la-mode. Happy birthday, girls! ♥