Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rainbow Inspired Pocket Pillowcase

My daughter's My Little Pony/Rainbow Dash obsession isn't waning a bit. While poking around in the remnant box at Walmart she found this strip of rainbow flannel: 79cents. There wasn't much to the width or length but she was insistent on buying it. She was too cute about it to say no to. :)
Later, in the remnant corner at Hobby Lobby, we found a larger piece of star flannel for about $2 and figured there was enough between the two to make a pillowcase.

Earlier this year I made my son a flannel monkey pillow, with pockets, for his beanie baby sized monkey.  Click here to see it. So, of course, my dear daughter's pillow had to have pockets as well.

Luckily there was enough star fabric to cover a side and a half...not much of the rainbow material.

 After the "photo shoot," I found myself thinking of Rainbow Bright. Remember her? She was my rainbow obsession. Guess this apple didn't fall far from the tree! lol

Summery Chevron Tote Bag

I was inspired by the Super Simple Summer Sack made at Etcetorize. Its been on my pinterest "Crafts to Make" board for quite awhile. I've been on a sewing tear the past five days and am excited to finally get this project accomplished.

I followed her excellent tutorial as best as I understood it. The more sewing projects I attempt, the greater my sewing vocabulary grows, but sometimes it seems like Greek to me. Mostly I'm not sure that I hemmed up the sides correctly. It turned out functional and cute so maybe its a matter of preference on how you finish the edges?????

I did try to line up the chevron pattern on the front, but the fabric was off. Etceterize did warn that by cutting a diagonal line we were cutting against the bias of the fabric which could result in the material stretching. This is plain cotton (washed and ironed before cutting) and it did stretch just enough to throw the pattern off. Not sure if this problem can be fixed or if its just something that happens and thats that.

hanging empty

hanging full

boxed out the corners to create a
bit more space inside the bag
inside pockets created naturally by the diagonal cut
You can see the liner up above. Its a very light cotton fabric that I had on hand.

This was a fun bag to make and I'd like to try and make more. I think it would be pretty to add a decorative ribbon to the front of the bag along the hem line. Or adding a heavier lining on the bottom of the bag to increase its durability. Its a fun design to play around with.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Turtle Shell Backpack

While looking at My Little Pony stuff in Hot Topic, my son saw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack. Price tag: $44.50. Much too much money to spend on a backpack for a 3 1/2 year old who doesn't really need one. It looked simple enough to make one so I promised him I would...and he didn't let me forget it!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Hooded Backpack
Turtle Backpack at Hot Topic

I started with an existing backpack:

 the plastic cover is slowly coming off, making it the perfect candidate for a makeover.

After cruising google search for "turtle shell backpack," I found a tutorial by The Almost Perfectionist for a turtle costume. Her directions were awesome and only needed a little tweaking to attach to a backpack.

how I tweaked the costume tutorial to fit the backpack

The shell pattern was eyeballed from this turtle color page on

Then, the finished deal. It was tricky to get good pics because my son wouldn't stand still...he's all boy!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Maternity Pants to Maternity Skirt

Can I get a shout-out from everyone who was preggo through the summer heat? UGH! It wouldn't be so bad if we had air conditioning... 90degrees is a bit draining at that point. Thank goodness for fans and freezer pops. Helps get through the worst of the afternoon.

Goodwill find.
Great when it was snowing.
Useless now in this heat. 
These two sites provided excellent tutorials on how to convert a pair of pants to a panel skirt: 
Lisa @
and Lisa also @

"bunny" tail

I also opted to cut along the seam instead of using a seam ripper. I rather liked the look of keeping the seams along the side of the panel. Nice outlining effect.

Lisa wasn't kidding when she said the hardest part was stitching a straight line in the back and avoid puckering. Took a few trips through the sewing machine, but its straight now.

I also kept the bottom edges "raw" and didn't hem. I have several "pre-pregnancy" skirts that have this same effect. I like it. 

Finished Product: 
ahhhhh, so much better now. my legs can breath

hopefully after the pregnancy I'll have a post
on how to convert maternity skirts/pants
to regular skirts/pants

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Going Wild Zoo Animal Dresser

When we first started having children we went with a gender neutral theme: zoo animals. This worked out perfectly because our little girl was quickly followed by a little boy. While our daughter has moved to pink, purple, princesses and ponies, our son has remained an avid zoo animal fan. Especially monkeys. 


This dresser was a freebie from Freecycle. As you can see, it's seen some loving already. I did nothing to prep it except wipe the fronts down. I don't expect the zoo animal phase to last throughout all his years and figured it would make it easier to change it down the road. Ok, actually, I'm just lazy, but he will have the option of changing it when he gets older...he's 3 now. 

It was  bit tricky coming up with patterned zoo animals. Hippos, elephants, and monkeys were out: solid colors. For a brief moment  I considered adding simple faces so I could do a monkey and elephant...but then realized that this was more work than I wanted to put into the project. Mostly because I don't trust my painting skills and wanted to avoid frustration. 

Hence: zebra, giraffe, alligator (per son's request), and jaguar. 

Project was created mostly free-hand, except the zebra drawer, where I relied heavily on a pattern printed from google images. 

The jaguar drawer was a learning experience. I honestly didn't know what a jaguar looked like. Given this pattern below it should be a leopard drawer because jaguar spots are arranged in rectangular patterns.
File:Leopard africa.jpg

Even though it isn't exactly what I was shooting for I am please with how it turned out. The drawer scared me the most because I lack confidence in my free-hand painting skills. Glad I didn't let fear stop me from trying this pattern out!
Photos compliments of Wikipedia.

I love this dresser because it has made putting away and finding clothes easier: 
Your jammies are in the zebra drawer. 
Your socks and shorts are in the giraffe drawer. etc

Painting this bland dresser has added some spunk to his zoo animal bedroom. He loves it!

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