Leather-Backed Hand-Drawn Fabric Ornaments

Owl with Candy Cane Ornament

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at drawing on fabric with Sharpie for a while to create some fabric with an unique print to sew into clothing for Eli. I just kept assuming the ink would bleed and I wouldn’t be able to get any crisp lines and so I never really have gotten around to actually experimenting. While using a pair of my old khakis to sew him some new trousers though I looked into the waste basket and realized I was throwing away small scraps that would be perfect for trying out my idea.  I sketched a few things and then realized I could put my little experiments to use making Christmas ornaments!

These are quick, fun and easy. As for subject matter you are limited only by what you can draw within a little circle. I made some owl themed ornaments just because… what’s not to like about owls?! Then I made some ornaments for my nieces based on their personal interests.

Step 1

Trace a circle on cloth

Choose some scrap fabric. A tight weave works best. Trace a circle in pencil onto the fabric. I used a biscuit cutter and that seemed about the perfect size for the ornaments I wanted to make.

Step 2

Draw on fabric with your Sharpie

Draw the designs you want onto the fabric with your thin point Sharpie. I’m embarrassed to say that most of these owls I copied from a search I did on Pinterest. I went back to find the sources to give credit where credit is due, but a couple of weeks have passed and the old search results aren’t coming up. Shame… If you recognize your design here or know the source please let me know! The candy cane owl was  holding a little bouquet of flowers in the original source.

Step 3

If you wish you can add a little bit of acrylic or fabric paint.

Paint the ornament design if desired

painted ballerina slipper

Step 4

Here is the point where I forgot to take pictures, so bear with me! I cut identically sized circles from scrap leather for the back of the ornament. You could use fabric and sew right sides together, then turn right side out before stuffing if you want. I liked using the leather because it is thicker and I wanted my sewing lines to become part of the design. I put a doubled length of ribbon in the seam at the top of the ornament before sewing it and started sewing nearer to the bottom of the ornament. I went almost all the way around the circle with a 1/4″ margin and stopped.

Step 5

Stuff the ornament through the gap you left in your stitching.

Stuff the ornament

Step 6

Owl with Candy Cane Ornament

After the ornament is stuffed I sew around and around the outer edge making a line that looks a bit like you scribble-doodled a circle. On this ornament I then went back in and embroidered the candy cane stripes and a thicker red dashed line around the outside as well.

Here are some of the other ornaments I’ve made in this style so far.

Assorted stuffed ornaments

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Fall Into The Holidays

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toesjembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

A Round Tuit,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot GiraffeKammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My HandsHello Weekend,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Adding/Replacing Long Sleeves on a T-Shirt

I’m finding as the seasons change (we’re slow about season changing here in Southern CA) that Eli has outgrown most of his existing long sleeved shirts. I’m trying to go the frugal route these days and as he has plenty of short sleeved T-shirts that fit him well I decided to try adding long sleeves to them.

Here’s how I went about doing so:

I started with this shirt. Yea, already has long sleeves, but they were at one time in the distant past white and no amount of laundering or stain treatment is returning them to their former glory, so this shirt had been pulled from rotation some time ago. The shirt itself is fine though and one of Eli’s favorites, so we’ll just switch out the sleeve.

Carefully clip it free… so much faster than seam ripping!

Open it up and trace it onto freezer paper to make a pattern. I did seam rip the side seam to preserve the side seam allowances. Add 1/4″ at the top to account for what was left behind when cutting it from the shirt. (I think you could probably make a pattern easily enough by tracing the sleeve of a long sleeved shirt still attached, doubling it mirror image and adding a seam allowance.) Leaving the bottom without allowance for hemming was on purpose as I plan to use the hemmed bottom of another t-shirt for the sleeve.

Iron the pattern to your donor shirt. I loved this yellow stripy shirt that became hideously stained by Colic Calm long ago. (Wonderful product… deadly to fabric.)

Open the side seam of your sleeve a little ways.

Sew the top part of the long sleeve to the bottom part of the short sleeve. This can be done by machine. I did it by hand as I was out of brown thread that would have blended in with the existing serged line of stitching and I thought a contrasting machine stitch would just look tacky, especially if I wavered at all which often happens with me. I also liked that the front of the shirt has an embellishment of brown embroidery, and a printed-to-look-hand-embroidered line around Elmo. On the sleeves the darker red stripes are machine embroidered, so I thought carrying the motif over to the attachment of the sleeve with a little pop of red might be fun.

Pin and sew up the sides of the sleeve. For this I did use the machine. (Use a zigzag stitch).

Turn right side out and enjoy the “new” shirt!

I also used the same pattern piece to make long sleeves to add to a short sleeved t-shirt. This time I sewed up the side seam of the sleeve ahead of time and then attached it to the short sleeve by hand. I did it this way simply because I didn’t feel like ripping open the side seam of the short sleeve and I knew I was needing a little handwork to bring along with me for a time I knew I’d be sitting around waiting for Jeff and Eli. The dark blue on the bottom is just some left over neck ribbing from another old t-shirt that I added for an extra pop of color.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful in extending your little one’s wardrobe through another season.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toesjembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities ,

The Cure for the Common Monday, A Round Tuit,

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Crafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWaste Not Want Not Wednesday, The Country Homemaker Hop,

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands, Hello Weekend,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

DIY Leather Journal Cover

My husband and I recently celebrated our 8th anniversary. If you want a refresher on why I have every reason to celebrate this relationship feel free to visit my gushing Father’s Day post. The thing is though, in the gift-giving department my husband makes life fairly difficult. At least he was kind enough to specifically tell me what he wanted for Father’s Day this year, but generally he is hard to get for as he is quite the minimalist, non-materialistic type. He gets more excited about not spending money than about buying something for himself! But lucky for me, he tends to always appreciate a handmade gift.

My husband is a writer, both by profession and in his free time. He isn’t currently in need of a new journal, but he is constantly jotting down ideas, so his current one will have to fill up eventually. When it does, he’ll be ready!

This gift also fits the glorious “no money was spent” criteria for my husband’s optimal enjoyment. Well, almost. I think the blank book ran $1.50 at Michael’s.

The leather came from this jacket that a neighbor no longer wanted. With all of the advertisement embroidery on the back (and front as well) it wasn’t a good candidate for thrift store donation. It worked great for this project though, and I get excited thinking about how many baby shoes I can get out of it as well!

So here is the journal that is really about the last sort of cover most people would think of gifting their husband! I cut the piece of leather from the jacket sleeve.

To create the extra length to wrap around the journal, I cut an additional piece and attached it with a zigzag stitch. I flipped it to create a contrast of textures.

I cut a thin strip of leather and attached it to the inner side, cut a small slit near the edge of the flap and threaded the strap through. The leather strip should be long enough to wrap around the book twice and have a little extra tail besides.

Now to make the inside panels to hold the cover onto the book. I had a bit of this fabric left over from a previous project. It had originally been one of his favorite shirts from Urban Outfitters in Chicago. A lot of good times were had wearing that shirt! I cut two rectangles to fit the inside of the journal cover, turned in the edges and stitched them down.

I figure I’d attach the fabric to the leather with elastic to grip the book.  Here is where I made a series of incredibly stupid  educational mistakes which I will spare you. Let’s just say the gift wasn’t ready for our anniversary celebration which took place a few days after the actual anniversary. Now on to the steps that were actually helpful and don’t require repeated use of a seam ripper.

I slightly melted the edges of my elastic strips to prevent fraying. It gave me another chance to put these really cool matches I got in my Christmas stocking last year to use.

I then sewed a short piece to each corner of both panels of fabric.

The inner fabric panels were then sewn to the inside of the journal cover.

The smooth side of the leather wouldn’t advance through the machine, so I put a piece of paper underneath.

When finished I flipped it over and tore away the paper.

At this point I put the journal into the cover so I could figure how much of the elastic to fold under for a good fit. You’ve probably noticed I haven’t given any measurements. It all depends on the journal. Other journals from Michael’s that I have aren’t even the same size as this one so the measurements would most likely not apply to the next attempt. Actually I did almost no measuring but cut most of the pieces just by using the journal as a guide.

I underexposed this photo hoping you can see the black elastic against the black leather. I couldn’t pin the elastic to the leather before sewing without leaving holes in the leather. Instead I folded under the elastic to the previously determined place and secured it with a couple of drops of glue. I then put a book on each fabric panel to hold everything in place until the glue dried. This held the elastic in place long enough for me to sew it down, again using a piece of paper underneath to be able to slide the leather through the machine.

Insert book and there you have it… a handmade leather journal cover!

Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sundayjembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Llama Llama Rag Doll

Eli has been loving the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney lately. So do I. Between the rhythm, rhyme and delightful illustrations they are a joy to read out loud. Which is good because Eli wants me to do so again, and again and again.

In the stories Llama Llama is never without his little rag doll. I thought it would be fun to make Eli his own version.

Illustration detail from Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.

Kinda cute, right?

So here is how I did it.

First I sketched out some pattern pieces. If people express an interest and if I can figure out how to make and attach a pdf file I might be able to make this pattern available to others who’d like to make this but don’t feel comfortable sketching patterns. (Since I don’t feel comfortable doing technological things, that’s a bit of a big IF… but it’s good to make myself learn new skills so I could at least try.)

Then while my wonderful husband followed Eli around Barnes & Noble, I sat in the cafe, retraced the pattern pieces onto printer paper and cut them out. These pieces were pinned to a linen napkin before I cut them out leaving about 1/4″ for seam allowance. I got all on the pieces I needed from one linen napkin. I used a different pink linen napkin for the insides of the ears and some bleached black t-shirt material for the bottoms of the feet, but if I had wanted the doll all one color I would have been able to get those pieces from the one napkin too.

I wanted this project to be completely handmade so everything was hand stitched together.

I also wanted all of the materials to be natural and all things I already had on hand, so instead of using polyester fiberfill or going out and purchasing cotton stuffing I cut leftover scraps of cotton and wool fabric into thin strips to use to stuff the doll. I really like how this resulted in a heavier doll. It just feels good and solid (but not hard) in your hands. It is slightly lumpy, but I like that aspect too as it underscores the “handmade” quality.

The arms were sewn into the side seams of the body, and the ears into the side seams of the head, but the legs and neck and head were sewn and stuffed and then sewn onto the sewn and stuffed body.

Here’s a shot of the head being attached to the neck.

I debated on whether or not to use these buttons for the eyes or to paint on eyes to make it look more like the llama doll in the book. In the end I opted for the metal buttons in keeping with natural materials only decision I’d made earlier. I can always easily change them later, if I find wooden buttons I like better or if I decide to go ahead with the paint after all. These look cute enough for me now though.

Not only did using different fabric for the bottoms of the feet allow for a change in color, but I like how the knit stretches to balloon out a bit. I couldn’t resist adding the belly button.

I used the sewn edge of the napkin to cut small lengths to use for the tail.

Eli likes his little llama and immediately had to “match” it to the illustration in the book.

Llama Llama, nighty night…

 Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

Update: Here are links to download the pattern…

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, Threading My Way

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

A Little Something to Keep Me Warm

Lately it seems I am always cold. I have a throw blanket that I really like. I love the colors and the design. It is also very soft on the darker side.

Unfortunately it is just a little too small. You know the type, can’t quite cover both the feet and the shoulders at once. Not even when the person seeking maximum coverage is only 5’2″. Sigh…

So it was time for a change. The blanket would have to be sacrificed. I got out my trusty freezer paper and taped together two pieces. I used an oversized shirt I really like as a guide to make a pattern for my new sweater. For the front and back pieces I pushed the sleeves back inside-out to get the curve of the arm hole.

Then I added 1/2″ seam allowance.

I cut out the pattern pieces and ironed them onto the blanket. Then I cut them out using pinking shears to minimize the unraveling of the woven fabric.

The front piece was just like the back piece except that the neckline dipped down.

The two pieces were pinned right sides together then sewn and the seam edges zigzagged. I like the bolder color of the red, but that was also the softer side of the blanket. Since my main motivation for making this is that I’m feeling so chilled as of late, having the sweater fuzzy and soft on the inside won out. This is my hug-in-a-garment sweater.

To make the sleeves, I traced the sleeve onto the freezer paper.

Added the seam allowance.

Cut it out and ironed it onto a folded piece of the blanket fabric. The fold is along the upper edge of the sleeve. When I made the pattern piece I added extra length to fold up and hem at the cuff. I then decided to use the already finished edge of the blanket so the excess length of the pattern piece is hanging over the edge in the photo. Because the piece is on a double thickness of the blanket, I also pinned it in place after ironing the freezer paper on to prevent any shifting about as I cut it out.

Then it was time to sew down the seam at the underside of each sleeve.

Adding the sleeves to the sweater made me very nervous. I had never done this before and I had read that it was a difficult thing to do. Fear of attaching sleeves is the main reason I haven’t sewn sleeved shirts before (other than a raglan PJ top for Eli). It went so smoothly! I’ll be sewing many more shirts in the future.

At this point all that was left was to attach bias tape around the neck and the bottom of the sweater. I was happy to find I had this wide double fold brown bias tape in my stash bought back when Joanne’s was having a big sale. I was happy I didn’t have to run out an buy anything for this project. I have enough left that if I decide I want to also change the way the ends of the sleeves are finished I can.

Behold my new ultra-cuddly, wear a blanket in public, sweater. This is what stands between me and the ultimate humiliation of wearing a Forever Lazy. I know everyone around me is thankful.

This was all that was left of the blanket that gave her all for my obsession with getting warm.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Toddler Pants with Knee-Pleat and Owl Patch

Last week I attempted to make a pair of toddler pants with a knee pleat detail copied from one of Eli’s out-grown jeans. Unfortunately I forgot to add seam allowances when I traced an existing pair of his pants for the patter. In the end the pants were salvageable, but I didn’t think they were worthy of putting out there in tutorial form.

That, however, was LAST week. THIS week I made another pair of pants complete with the beloved knee-pleat detail and feel perfectly confident about sharing the process.

Warning: This is a lengthy post.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First, trace a pair of pants that fit your child well. Add 1/4 inch seam allowance to the sides and around the seat and crotch. If you will be hemming the pants add extra length for your hem. I use a denim skirt for the material and just used the existing hem. Add 1 3/4″ in length to the front pattern piece only. (I know my pattern says 1 1/2″ but I found later on I needed just a bit more fabric in the pleat. You’ll see why.) You do not need to add any extra height for a waistband as you will be making that with a separate piece of fabric later.

I like to draw pattern pieces on freezer paper because then you can just iron it to the fabric you will be using and it doesn’t shift about as you cut it out.
I also like to use fabric from old clothing. You’ll save a LOT of money, keep clothing discards out of the landfill, and if the old clothing had sentimental value you can keep it around that much longer. My friends, family and neighbors keep me supplied with more fabric (for free!) than I can even store well… hence why the blogosphere will most likely NEVER see a shot of my dragon’s lair crafting space. Unfortunately, it is in what was formerly the dining room and is a fully visible part of our home.  I think I may have overheard my husband and Eli discussing whether to call that Hoarders program on me. But I digress.For these pants I used this old denim skirt. I liked how the stitching became an added detail to these pants. I was after a random effect, but needed to cut out the pattern pieces so that the existing seams in the fabric wouldn’t end up making the seams in the pants too bulky. In the end I got stiching stripes down the middle of the front and back of each leg. Not very random, but it I liked the end result anyway.Lay out one of your back pieces with the corresponding front piece on top, right sides together. Match up the points at the crotch then match up the bottom of the legs. The front piece is longer so there will be extra fabric.  Locate where the knee will be in these pants. Eli is between sizes 2T and 3T right now. The knee on these pants falls 7″ up from the bottom.After measuring to find the location of the knee, turn the ruler perpendicular to the pant leg. smooth the fabric from the bottom up until the bump of excess fabric is stopped at the ruler.

Remove the ruler and iron the excess bump of fabric down, first folded up, then down.

Push the excess fabric straight down from the middle so that it is equally distributed over the pant leg above and below the pleat.

Iron it down well to create very crisp folds.

This is what it should look like when you turn the pant leg over.

Here you can see the knee pleat on the inspiration pants. It is sewn on each side. Measure in 2″ from each side. Then mark a line on your fabric 1 3/4″ long both 1/4″ above and below the pleat opening on both sides of the knee. Connect the end of each line to the mark you made indicating the point 2″ in at the side. Sew along this line on each side. (This is where I found I needed the extra 1/4″ in length as sewing on the line would not quite catch the folded fabric underneath. I ended up sewing just inside the line I drew and it worked, but it would have looked a little bit straighter and neater if I had been able to just follow along on the line as I sewed.)

Pin the pant leg front and back together along the outer seam and sew.

After attaching the 2 pieces I added 2 lines of top stitching. One of these days I’ll try using a double needle but they kind of intimidate me. Here you can see the sewing on the knee pleat as well.

Repeat these steps with the 2nd pant leg.

I wanted to add a little decoration to these pants so I took some fabric from an old shirt sleeve and embroidered an owl.

I used 2 layers of fabric, both to give the embroidery stitches more stability and because I planned to leave the edges raw and wanted them extra fuzzy.

When I was done embroidering I cut out the owl and pinned it to the side of the pant leg just above the knee, more or less where a pocket on a pair of cargo pants would go.

I sewed around the edges 1/4″ in.  My sewing line is a little wonky, but it won’t really show after the next step.

I embroidered a border line over the machine stitches.

Then I trimmed about 1/8″ of the excess fabric around the owl detail and picked out some of the loose threads. It will get fuzzier after washing and with time.

Now I pinned and sewed up the inside seam of the legs.

Turn one leg inside out and insert it over the right side out leg so that the right sides are together. Pin around the opening, lining everything up from the midpoint of the crotch. When you sew go back and forth a few times where the seams converge in the crotch.

When I make a pattern for a pair of pants with this style of waist band I don’t spend much time worrying about the top of the pants. It just doesn’t matter. Now that they have come together, turn them right side out and trim the top so everything is even.

For the waist band cut a strip of fabric long enough to go all the way around the waist plus 1/2″ for seam allowances. It should be double in width. Since these pants were 11 1/2″ side to side, I doubled that (23″ ) and added 1/2″ (23 1/2″). I wanted a casing for 1″ elastic so I made it 3″ wide (folded in half 1 1/2″ leaves room for 1/4″ seam allowance and 1/4″ ease for threading through the elastic.)

Iron it in half the long way. Open it and join the two ends. Pay attention to the seam allowances being hidden when you fold it in half again. Pin the folded ring of fabric around the top of the pants with the folded edge down.

Top stitch down the seam allowance. I pinned it first.

Open up the seam where you joined the ends of the waist band loop. Measure around your child’s waist and add an inch to determine the length of your elastic. Thread through your elastic. Attaching a large pin to the end of the elastic helps. Overlap the ends of the elastic about 1″ and sew back and forth many times to attach them securely.

When finished feed all of the elastic back into the pants and hand stitch the waistband opening closed.

I restitched the hem of the pant legs.

I didn’t wait until after washing these to photograph them so the chalk lines at the knee are still there.

Here’s the side view.

Here they are being worn by Eli.

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Here’s where I’m linking up.

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Sweet Peas & Bumble BeesMom On TimeoutSomeday CraftsPassionately Artistic, Blue Velvet Chair

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & MeHappy Hour ProjectsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and NonsenseOne Art Mama2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Sunday:

LambAround,  Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes,

Petite HermineMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

{aka}/ designGet Outta My Head PleaseMad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou,

The Gunny SackSew Can Do, Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday,

Tuesday:

Shwin and ShwinAt Home With KThe Creative Itch Boutique,

The Kurtz CornerKammy’s KornerMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,
Funky Polkadot GiraffeHope Studios

Baby Sleep Sack from Quilt

This was one of the first quilts I attempted to make. It contains a mixture of new cloth (some bought in thrift stores) and cloth from worn out clothing. I had been making it for a young cousin, but it contained so many flaws that in the end I could not bring myself to give it. I stopped working on it just shy of finished  and packed it away in a box where it has sat forgotten for the last  seven or eight years. I pulled it out over Thanksgiving and decided I should either bind it or get rid of it. The flaws that bothered me before bother me even more now, but I hate to waste something potentially useful so I decided to make a baby sleep sack.

Here are directions if you would like to make a sleep sack of your own. If you find any of the instructions unclear, feel free to contact me for clarification.

Get a sleep sack  and fold it in half. Trace onto freezer paper. You could use a shirt and freehand draw the sack part but I wasn’t sure how large to make the sack part. Add seam allowance to the shoulder the side edge and the bottom. I added 1/4″ out of habit. I would suggest at least 1/2″ due to the thickness of the quilt. This is the back piece. The edge going down the center will be placed on the fold when cutting the quilt fabric.

Now for the front pieces. Use a new piece of freezer paper. Trace the shoulder and arm hole. Make a mark where the front neckline falls. Remove the sleep sack from the paper and draw a slightly curved line from that mark up to the shoulder.  Put this paper on top of the back pattern piece and trace the sack line. Add a seam allowance to the center line this time.

Place your back pattern piece on the fold of  the quilt you are repurposing. Iron it down so it won’t slide while you cut. Pin it to keep the folded layers together. Cut it out. Repeat for the front piece, but this time place it a little bit off the edge of the fold and cut all the way around. You will now have 3 pieces.

This jacket was fairly new, but the sleeve had an unfortunate encounter with adhesive that couldn’t be remedied. Originally I was going to use the zipper, but I’ve never done a zipper before and feel a bit intimidated. I found this strip of snaps around the collar to use instead.

I cut it out,  put it alongside the middle edge of one of the front pieces and marked the point to which to sew the seam from the bottom up the front.

Sew the center seam to that point. Here is where I wished I had larger seam allowances. I wanted to sew the seam open on each side and continue sewing the fabric folded over all the way to the top. This wasn’t possible so I trapped the raw edge under a strand of ribbon on each side of the front of the sleep sack and stitched down both sides of the ribbon.

 

On the front side attach one side of the snap strip. One edge was already finished so I turned it over and sewed the cut edge down. I also folded down and sewed the raw edges of the top and bottom of the strip.

 

The black snap strip looks rather ugly on this pink and purple sleeper so I wanted to cover the top snap strip with matching fabric. I took some cloth from one of the side borders of the quilt.  Trim the top and the bottom of the snap strip so that they line up perfectly with the other side. Put the snap strip and fabric right sides together and stitch up one edge. Fold the fabric around the back side of the snap strip. Fold over the fabric on the top and bottom of the snap strip and pin. Sew all the way around all 4 edges of the snap strip using a zipper foot to ease by the snaps.

 

Fold over the remaining raw edge twice and press. Snap the snap strips together. Sew down the long edge of the snap strip flap to attach it to the front to the sleep sack.

Pin the front and back pieces of the sleep sack right sides together at the shoulders. The photo shows pins all the way around, but I ended up having to remove pins from the sides to be able to work on the shoulders.

After sewing the shoulders cover the seam on the inside with a strip of knit material. I sewed on a piece cut from an old sweatshirt then trimmed off the excess.

 

Now pin the sides and bottom and sew all the way around from the bottom of one arm hole to the bottom of the other. Use a walking foot as there are many layers of fabric and batting here. I found I needed to go slow, remove pins before the walking foot reached them, and tug the material gently to release any little tucks beginning to form.

Turn it right side out. Almost done!

Now cut a strip of knit material to bind the edges around the sleep sack’s arm and neck openings. A 1″ width strip cut from the bottom of a large t-shirt worked well for me. It was just long enough to bind all three openings with the one strip. I sewed it around the arm opening and then cut the excess instead of measuring lengths. Lay it alongside the edge of the sleep sack arm opening and stitch it down with 1/4″ seam allowance. Once you cut off the excess length fold in the end. Turn the sleep sack inside out. Fold the fabric in through the arm opening, fold the edge under and pin all the way around. Sew it down on the inside. Follow the same process for the neck opening.

   

Here is the finished binding.

While sewing up this sleep sack I found a couple small tears in the quilt. I cut out two heart shapes from the white t-shirt and sewed a patch with embroidery floss to cover each hole.

   

Finally, the finished sleep sack from a repurposed quilt!

Yay! I’ve been featured!

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommywww.thegrantlife.com

Here’s where I’m linking up. (Please see my Linky List page for active links):

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Lovebirds Wreath

I had so much fun making this wreath for my Etsy shop. I can’t wait to share the process with you. All of my materials were things I had on hand other than the wreath form.

I was going to use an old bed sheet for the fabric, but I found a piece of muslin left over from a long ago project and I liked the off white semi-speckled color better. Tear your fabric into strips a couple of inches wide.

Attach the end of a strip of fabric to the wreath form with a glue gun. Wrap it around the form and tack down the end with another drop of glue. Attach the next strip and continue until the entire wreath is wrapped.

 

To make the nest take a few pages out of an old book and cut into thin strips. Scrunch up the strips to form a loose ball.

Cut a small circle of fabric to use as a base. Spread hot glue over it and press the paper ball onto the glue.

  

Find a couple of sticks that appeal to you. I glued one to form the branch for the nest to rest on and placed the other in the position that seemed best to me.

Glue the nest onto the wreath.

Now it is time to make the birds. I like to draw the pattern for each bird freehand so that they are a little bit different from each other. Here is what a simple bird pattern looks like. (Note, this notepaper is 4″ x 6″.)

I did see a bird pattern here from Spool Sewing that can be printed out. I didn’t print it out myself so I’m not certain about the size. You could reduce it on a photocopier if need be.

Sew your birds and stuff them. This fabric came from one of my favorite shirts that is no longer wearable. I used buttons for the eyes of one bird and beads from a broken hair clip for the other.

 

Glue the bird into the nest.

Glue the other bird wherever it looks best to you.

Now it’s time to add a bit more texture and decoration. I wound some twine around part of the wreath, and added a few beads attached with glue.

 

Attach some method of hanging to the back. I used a bit of leather cord knotted at the ends and glued.

Update: I found that gluing the branches and hanger wasn’t enough. I went back in and sewed them onto the muslin with invisible thread for added strength.

Thanks for reading!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Grab Our BadgeMaking Monday Marvelous Linky PartyConfessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Hope StudiosBLOG TITLEshabby creek cottage

2805www.thegrantlife.comChic on a Shoestring Decorating<br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>Feathered Nest FridaySix Sister's StuffThe Shabby Nest

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Falling Leaves Bunting Tutorial

It’s been time to decorate for Fall for a few weeks now. I’ve enjoyed seeing so many Autumn-themed bunting projects in my jaunts around blogland. I decided to ride the wave of inspiration and create my own. Here is a tutorial showing how I made my Falling Leaves Bunting.
Draw leaves of various shapes on a piece of freezer paper. better yet go on a nature walk and collect leaves to trace on your freezer paper. Think about how large you are going to make each triangle in your bunting and how much you want your leaf to fill up that space.

Choose your colors of knit fabric and iron the freezer paper leaves to the cloth. I used the t-shirt sleeves to leave the rest of the fabric for other projects.
Iron Wonder Under or a similiar product to the opposite side of the fabric. Cut out your shapes.

Cut a template for your bunting triangles. I used a piece of stationary and traced from each corner at the top to the middle of the bottom edge. I then traced this shape onto a cereal box and cut it out.

Figure out how long you want your bunting to be and how many triangles you will need. I made mine 3 yards long, the length of one package of bias tape. If you prefer you can make your own bias tape following this tutorial  by Dana of MADE. For my bunting I needed to cut 8 triangles.

Trace your stencil on your fabric. I cut out a few layers at a time so after I traced on the top layer I pinned the layers of fabric together  and cut it out with scissors. A rotary cutter would work better for regular fabric, but I was using old pants and a shirt that I didn’t want to bother cutting carefully all apart beforehand. My third  fabric was an antique linen napkin.

Peel the paper off the Wonder Under, place your leaves as you wish and press with a hot iron. Sew leaf vein details onto the leaves. I sewed up from the stem through the center of the leaf to the tip, turned the leaf and as I traced my way back down the center vein I stopped to stitch out and back for the side veins wherever I wanted to put one. Once I arrived back down at the stem I began stitching around the outer edge of the leaf. I used a variegated thread that changed from beige to dark green and back again. I like how the effect is similar to the variations of color on real Autumn leaves.
Next sew a single line down each side of the triangle to add a bit more color and to stop any fraying from the raw edge of the fabric.
Tie off and snipped the ends of the thread on the back side of the triangles. Put the triangles through a wash and dry cycle to give the edges a soft frayed look. After the dryer, iron them well.
Lay out the bias tape and positioned the triangles evenly spaced along its length. Sandwiching the top edge of the triangle within the double fold bias tape, pin each triangle in place.

Almost done!  Finish the ends of the bias tape by opening the tape flat and folding it back in on itself leaving the raw edge inside when you refold it. Pin in place. (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of this step.) Lastly stitch down the length of the bias tape, reversing back and forth a couple of times over the ends.

Here is mine displayed on a mantle. Happy sewing!
If you should wish to purchase this one instead of making your own you can find
it in my Etsy shop, Folk Haven Creations. But really, they are so much fun to make you should probably make your own!
Link Partyits so very cheri
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Fluffy-bottom Sweater Pants Tutorial

Before Eli was born I sewed a lot of fitted cloth diapers using the Mama Bird diaper pattern. While cloth diapering saves a lot of money over using disposables, sewing your own also saves that initial investment that comes with buying your cloth diaper stash. In the end I found I needed more than I was able to sew so I have also used some gDiapers, prefolds, and a few Kushies that were given to me.

The main drawback I have found to cloth diapering has been that Eli’s pants don’t fit over the bulk of the diapers he wears. We also had trouble getting him to fit well in his car seat while wearing the cloth diapers. If we have another child I will research other trimmer brands and look for a new cloth diaper pattern. With Eli I am compromising by using the cloth diapers when we are home and using ‘sposies when we go out.

During the summer it isn’t any problem letting Eli go just diaper clad down below when we are at home, but now that cooler weather will soon be here I’ve been wondering how to keep him in cloth diapers yet still keep his legs warm. These pants are just for knocking about the house, not for out on the town wear.

My solution? Fluffy-bottom Sweater Pants!

I took a pair of sweat pants (made from the sleeves of an old sweatshirt) that fit well and trace them on the sleeve of a retired sweater.

Cut this out adding 1/4 inch seam allowance along the crotch/butt edge. No  allowance is necessary at the bottom of the legs as the existing cuff makes hemming unnecessary. I also don’t need any allowance along the top as I will be adding fabric for the elastic casing later. Trace this leg onto the opposite sleeve and cut that out.

Using the upper part of one of the sleeves cut a wedge shape as tall as is possible. It can be trimmed down later. This will be added to the back of the pants to make them nice and roomy. Here is the tutorial where I first encountered this idea. Turn one leg inside out and pull it over the right side out leg so that the fabric is now right sides together.


Sew from the crotch up one side to create the front of the pants.

Cut into the pants on both sides of the unjoined back pieces so the resulting area into which you will sew the wedge shape is more of a U than a V.

Add the wedge shape. This is where you will cut it to fit. Match it along the waistband edge at the top of the pants. Trim the bottom corner so that it will fit into the space length wise. Leave an extra 1/4″ at the bottom before trimming for your seam allowance. Sew from the waist down.
Repeat with the other side of the wedge. Then sew over the seam at the bottom of the crotch back and forth a couple of times to close the bottom of the U and to reinforce it.
Zigzag (or serge) to finish your seams. Turn the pants right side out.
Now measure the width of the top of the pants and double the measurement and add 1/2″ for seam allowances. Pick a coordinating soft fabric for the waistband. (I’ve done this with both knit and woven fabric.) I used 1″ elastic so I cut my waistband fabric 2 1/2″ wide (1″ + 1/4″ seam allowance, doubled).
Sew both ends together to form a large loop.Fold the loop in half the narrow way, wrong sides together. Pin around the outside of the top of the pants, the open edge of the loop of fabric toward the top edge. Place the seam where you formed the loop in the center of the back of the pants.Sew all the way around. Zigzag or serge to finish the seam. Fold the waistband up into place. Top stitch so the finished seam lies flat on the inside. I found I had made my pants a little short to rise and cover the bottom area well so I repeated this step with an additional piece of fabric.

Use a seam ripper to open the inside of the waistband to insert the elastic. Measure around your child’s waist and add an inch to determine the length of your elastic.
Attach a large pin to one end of the elastic and feed through the waistband.
Sew back and forth where the elastic overlaps a few times. Sew up elastic opening in the waistband.

Catch toddler. Insert one foot into each leg of sweater pants. Pull up to fully cover cloth diapered bottom. Step back to fully appreciate the cuteness. You’re done!
Here are a couple other pairs of sweater pants that I’ve made.
Clothes Upcycling Projects

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