Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Top from a scarf

I admit I'm one of the people who got giddy when Liberty of London hit Target. I may have splurged and purchased the rain boots for Rowan, and my printed sewing tutorials are now housed in a Liberty of London 3 ring binder. I confess- I'm a bit obsessed. I carted the adorable watering can all over the store for about an hour, before I reluctantly put it back, realizing I did not NEED it at all. *SIGH*. One thing I decided I did need was the scrappy scarf. Here is the photo from Target's website. Isn't it cute?

Sadly, when you are 5'2", the scrappy scarf is really too dang long. It was just too puffy and lengthy for me to pull off... so I started thinking - what else could I do with it? Knowing that Made by Rae's Spring Top week was kicking off, I decided I'd use it to make a top of some kind. And yes - for those like my husband who need to point out the obvious - Target has actual Liberty of London shirts, in these exact fabrics, that I could have purchased, but where is the fun in that?

For my spring top, I decided to copy a shirt that I've had in my closet for over 10 years...and make my own version from the scarf. The inspiration shirt is too cropped to wear these days, but I can't get myself to throw it out. I traced the shirt, added a few inches in length and gave it a more a-line shape at the bottom. After 2 trials, both in thrifted fabrics, I was ready to cut into my scarf. Here is the finished product - my Liberty of London scrappy scarf shirt.

Yes - heads have been chopped to protect the bed-headed. Trust me - this is for your benefit.

Here it is on a wonky hanger....


I lined the top portion, and added thrifted buttons down the back - none really matching, but all white/clear.

I love it - can't wait to wear it with capris when it warms up a smidge more. A sun tan and better arm definition would make me love these pics more ... but for that I'll need the warmer weather and a personal trainer. The last 2 shots are mirror ones - as the 7 year old was at school taking her spelling test when I finished the shirt, and the 5 year old was too busy drawing dinosaurs to help Mommy take a picture.

I'm liking it best with a cardigan until it warms up more...

Window Screen totes & a playdate

Brooke and I had a little play date today for 4 of the 5 combined beasties. Griffin wanted to bring some dinosaurs along (imagine that) and asked for a new bag to carry them in. Since the sewing machine was already out this morning, I was game. Last night, I had rummaged through my fabric stash for an unrelated project, and upturned the old window screen I scavenged from my mother's garage last fall. It was destiny, I guess, as I've been meaning to make a bag from recycled window screen - ala Soule Mama's Treasure Bag in her Handmade Home book. This is the perfect bag for hauling summer toys - allowing me to shake off the dirt prior to hauling it into my car.

I made Griffin a giant tote from the screen, and while I sewed, Rowan made up her own bag (pinning and ironing done by yours truly, everything else by Miss Row). She even did her first french seams... at 7 years old! I was closer to 30 when I tacked my first ones. I had just enough screen left over to make a mini-dino tote for Cashen... here are the three totes.

I think Cash and Griffin would fit in G's monster size one...check out our bare feet in MARCH in Minnesota! It was beautiful today.


While gabbing and drinking coffee, Brooke and I whipped out the felt and sewing needles. I made Miss V her own felt watch, while BL made felt flower headbands for the girlies. Productive and relaxing? Where are our supermama capes?

I neglected to capture any truly cute kid pics - but they were great today - all 4 of them. Thanks BL for the lovely sunny play date! The kids had a blast and I had some much needed mama time too!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Leftover scraps...

Remember back when I hinted that I may have made something else from the leftover scraps from Q's dresses? After sewing up the dress, I had this leftover.


These colors worked well with a peach colored t-shirt I had picked up for Rowan a few months back on the clearance rack at Target. (I bought 3 of these for $1.74 each). We snipped out a few circles, layered them in piles of 3, stitched them on with some embroidery floss, and Voila! An embellished t-shirt.



Why stop there? We had a few leftover circles, so I stitched them to a rubber band and added a button. It can be used for ponytails....


Or wrapped around a headband.


Someone is quite pleased with her ensemble... especially since it matched this skirt so well.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jewelry Frame

I made this up last week, but just gifted it Friday. What to give to a friend celebrating a birthday who already has custom dabbler-made totes (2 or 3 now) apron and lingerie bag? I went for a "no sew" project and concocted an Jewelry Frame. I have seen these in various forms on different blogs. I read through how everyone made them and came up with my own hodge podge method. As usual :)

Here is the frame for Jen, pictured with some of my baubles (so you'd see how it should/would look):



I used an old frame, painted and sanded it a bit, and then covered it with a glaze. Next up I added the hooks to the bottom for necklaces, and the "eyes" to the top to hold the ribbon. I attached the old window screen to the frame with my trusty glue gun. I'd rather have stapled it in, but my stapler would not fit in the groove where the screen fit here. I think the glue will hold fine - there is enough of it to build a small planet. Last up I added the ribbon to the top and the small ribbon flower to the corner. Voila - perfect for hanging earrings on the screen and necklaces from the bottom.



I think more of these are on our horizon. Both Rowan and I have messy jewelry piles that would benefit from a pretty organization method like this.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Repurposed T-Shirt Dresses for Q

A long while back, (early November) my friend Shari pointed me to the Sienna Dress pattern on the Lil Boo Blue blog. I had to agree with her, it is adorable. I almost immediately bought the pattern and made up a version for Rowan.  Only a mere 5 months later, I finally got around to making a few for Shari's little Miss Q.  While I liked making Rowan's, making them in a mini little size is so much faster and easier.  Plus I learned from the first go around - I starched the heck out of the t-shirts prior to cutting and sewing.  They were much more even, matched up perfectly and were easier to sew.  My serger is feeling icky, so these were made with no seam finishing.  Knit doesn't really need it, and I was busy concentrating more on the cuteness factor.  I used some of Q's shirts, as well as her mom's, and a few from our stash here. Hopefully the wee one will think they are as cute as I do!

First up is Love Bird pink one. The applique was from one of Miss Q's shirts, and too stinkin adorable not to use.  The red/orange shirt and the strawberry ones are from her outgrown clothes as well. 

I was able to reuse the tag from the love bird shirt to decorate it a bit.


The other version is a bit more "fall-esque", and I love it.  For reals, I think I would wear it if I could build it in my own size.  The serged edged shirt is so fun - and I love these colors together. 


I added a reverse applique "Q" on here, and reused a tag from a stash shirt to decorate it a bit more.


I packaged these up to bring to Shari, and then decided to use a bit more of the scraps for matching hair accessories.  (I used some more scraps a little later too, but that is a post for another day :))


The leftover black ruffle is attached to a rubber band with a button, and the headband is a piece of the smocking from the strawberry shirt. Can't wait to see photos of Miss Q in her finery :) 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dinoland Suitcase

After seeing the Dinoland Suitcase entry to So You Think Your Crafty last week, Griffin requested one of his own. He did not want to wait and see if Kalleen won and we could use a real tutorial (which she later did, win, that is, and well deservedly ), he demanded we start IMMEDIATELY. I grabbed an old suitcase and few cans of spray foam insulation and started to craft. After 2 days of waiting for the foam mountains to dry, Kalleen won and posted her tutorial. That was when I realized she had actual structure under her foam. OHHHHHHH.... that sure is smart :) With this in mind, I was able to use the foam cap on the top of my volcano hill and finally get it to hold a peak. We deviated a bit more from the tutorial by using some plastic primer since I need the paint to adhere well to this plastic suitcase. This baby is destined to be a crowd favorite. It is so dang cute.


After a night of waiting for the brown background paint to dry, we finally painted the details today (grass, lake, volcano, etc), added a layer of sealer and glued in the plants. Griffin requested a waterfall, as well as a jungle. It is just waiting to be fully dry - but we could not resist posting about it now.

I have no shots of it closed up, since the paint is a bit tacky still here, but it does close up, storing a ton of dinos inside. My paint job is not as nice as the inspiration, but it sure makes the 5 year old happy :)

Griffin is lining up the critters, waiting for the sealer to dry before they can visit their new home. He is bouncing off the walls he is so excited.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

thrifted words of wisdom

While perusing my pics of thrifted goodies, I've noticed a trend. Seems to be a theme -with words decorating my thrifted treasures.

For example, which scouting out a green shirt for Miss Rowan to wear for St. Patrick's Day, I came upon this goodie - very reminiscent of things my own mother used to say, er, threaten.

Too cute - now I want to embroider happy face onions on a bunch of dishtowels and add the same saying. Rowan loves it - and gets the joke :)

On the same thrifing trip, I quickly picked up this trivet because of the yellow colors and the owl, but I took it home because of the saying. This is so my Grandma.


Last, but possibly the best, I discovered this odd shaped cloth hanging with the vintage doilies and linens. At first, all I saw was a corner of the embroidery - an adorable butterfly. I wanted it - right then and there- but could not figure out what it was actually supposed to be - a curtain? doily? teapot cozy? Oh wait - then I read it....duh. It is a tablecloth. Ha!



Fits on my antique sewing machine perfectly, huh? Love it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vintage Swap Goodies

I just heard from Louana that she received her package from me - so it is safe to blog about our swap now! If you remember, I participated in the last Vintage Swap - and am just as thrilled with this round. Not only is the swap itself a reminder to visit the blogroll of amazing blogs on the site, it is a chance to get to know your partners and "visit" their lives a bit, albeit electronically. It is fun to think of others when you thrift - and hope you are "reading" them correctly!

This time, I was paired with Louana. She sent me an amazing package all the way from New Zealand. The doilies are AMAZING (yes, I have amazing on the brain)... I have them all over the house and smile when I see the. She also sent on a great piece of fabric, a fantastic retro apron and some lovely vintage linens. Love them all! Louana included NZ pencils for the kidlets - which the 7 year old promptly brought to school to "show and tell" all about our swap :) Here are my treasures:

Lucky me, huh? I LOVE my new apron. Wore it tonight while stir frying up some veggies and am feeling very June Cleaver-y.

The apron quickly was hung on my apron tree, front and center where I can see it.

For my package to Louana, I sent off some embroidered runners, some vintage fabric, a child's apron, a little bag of mother of pearl buttons and sewing notions - patches, ribbon, etc.

Here is a close up of the buttons. Ack - my hand looks huge here! Ack...

Another lovely round of swapping! Many thanks again to Heather for supreme organization, and Louana for a fantastic swapping adventure!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Deconstruction Crafting

Like so many crafty bloggers, I have been following So You Think Your Crafty both sessions now - and am awed by the talent and ability of the crafters involved. When I saw this de-constructed book Birdhouse, er Bookhouse a few weeks back, I fell in love. Birds AND books? What is not to love? I decided to make one with an old book I found at the cabin... a 1956 Reader's Digest volume. I don't love abridged versions of books, so I barely cringed as I was tearing the pages out. I used Sarah's Lovebird Birdhouse tutorial and whipped up my own birdhouse in less than an hour. My book was so old and damaged, the cover over the binding needed to be re glued on after tearing the pages out. (This helped negate any lingering book-destroying guilt I had left).


I plan to make a fabric bird to live here, but glued this little wood bird on the perch for meantime.



I had leftover "hearts" from making the interior of the bird house. I glued them together in a pillar, tied them with a bow, and VOILA -a cute book page column. Oh - and it is perched on a vintage doily from my Vintage Swap partner, btw. Cute, huh? I'll be posting the rest of my goodies after my package is received.



The column-y, pillar-y thing went together so fast and easy - almost too fast, as I neglected to ensure that the pages were oriented the same way. Some are upside down, but I'm going with that adding to the charm :) Anyone think of a good name for this thing?