Saturday, February 27, 2010

Grandma's slippers & random stuff

Sorry i've been mia for a couple of days, but I was making my Grandma slippers for her birthday, and getting ready for fiber fairs. Here are the slippers I made for her. I had extra of that sweater, so I made another pair to sell at the fairs, plus started on a child size pair. I stuck a glove in each of my grandma's slippers, so they wouldn't look so wonky for the picture.

I officially sent in my forms yesterday, so it looks like i'll be at the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair July 16-18, and Fiber in the Park September 18th! I'm so excited!

Friday, February 26, 2010

New winner of the longies giveaway

The winner never left a contact or responded, so I had to use again. The winner is :
Congratulations Ryan! Please contact me to claim your longies (krisnstevep at netzero dot com)!

Ryan said...

I like the plaid blanket (528). And I have *two* kids who could wear those longies :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Off Topic Thursday - World Food Programme Feed Bag

Want to end world hunger? Buy a cute tote bag! I did! The bag you see above (the one I ordered) is available on Amazon for only $35. Your purchase of this World Food Programme FEED bag feeds one child in school for one school year. Isn't that amazing? They have more bags available in different styles, that each do something different and wonderful.

This simple tote, at only $25, includes a donation to provide 3 school meals and 3 local language books to children in the developing world.

Were you planning to send more to Haiti? For every FEED Haiti bag purchased, 50 school meals will be donated to the UN World Food Program's School Feeding initiative.

For more ways to give, make sure to check out FEED's website!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - Easy wool pajama shirt

As most of you know by now, my son wears longies (sweater pants) to bed at night. I normally pair them up with an organic cotton pajama top, but I thought it would be nice to have wool tops too. Why wool for pjs? Wool wicks away sweat for a more comfortable rest, wool is dust mite resistant (especially wonderful for children with allergies & asthma), wool is naturally fire retardant (no nasty chemicals needed to safely wear wool!), and wool is insulted (keeps you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold). This tutorial will work for making regular shirts/sweaters too, and is super easy. This project took me 20 minutes start to finish (not including felting time in the washer/dryer), including the time spent making the pattern. Sorry for the lousy pics of the process, but I had bad lighting.

Step one: Pick your sweater. I highly recommend a large merino wool, because it is very soft and thin. I used 2 different sweaters to get a cuter 2 toned look. I picked a v neck for the body, so I could incorporate it into the top. Note that a tight neck hole will become tighter when felted.

step 2: Felt your sweater... lightly. You don't want to felt it until it is stiff. It generally takes one hot wash/dry to get it perfect for a project like this, where it won't unravel, but is still stretchy and floppy.

step 3: Take a pj top that fits well, and trace the body and the sleeves separately, adding 1/4 for your seam. That is your pattern. I actually went beyond the length of my pattern, so I could use the hem of the sweater as the hem on my pj top, but you can always sew the hem back on if you need it shorter. I didn't want it to be snug fit, so I purposely chose a top that was a size bigger than he wore in the snug fit cotton.

step 4: Use your pattern to cut out your sweater pieces.

step 5: Turn pieces inside out and sew up the side seams on the sleeves and body (not the arm holes!!).

step 6: Sew your arms on and you are done. Easy, eh?

I could get a good picture of it on him to save my life, but there it is on my wiggly ham of a son! He has worn it to bed the last 2 nights and loves it! He doesn't like snug fitting clothes, and usually asks for "regular clothes" right away in the morning, but the past 2 mornings he's been hanging out in his longies & new shirt! It's nice to put a pajama top on him that is comfortable, is safe, and I don't have to worry about nasty fire retardant chemicals (that are required by law to be put on ALL children's sleepwear that is not snug fitting or wool).

Monday, February 22, 2010

recycled wool longies & soakers (diaper covers)

Since I plan to sell at some local shows this summer, I figured it would be a good idea to have a variety of finished products to sell, so i've been making some diaper covers the last few days. They are especially fun to make in the smaller sizes! I experimented with a few different styles and variations, but I keep coming back to Katrina's free soaker pattern (thanks Katrina! You rock!). I am really happy with how a lot of these came out! Many of them are made from merino, which is super soft, but also thin, so I made them 2 merino layers thick, or a layer of merino & a layer of lambswool.

I tried my hand at some appliques (I swear I made the star for these shorties before I saw Banbutsu's shop!)... front & back...

some basic soakers (the little tan one is double layer cashmere)...

some little longies with hearts appliqued on, and some yoga pant style ones...

... and some more longies. These I really love because they are SO soft (I can't even describe how soft they are) and stretchy, and I love the way the cuffs came out. The cuffs are made out of a v-neck from another sweater (I love it when piecing things together works!).

If you cloth diaper & use wool covers, can I ask you some questions? I'm trying to get a handle on what I should be focusing on more, and would really appreciate the feedback. If you were in the market for some recycled wool diaper covers and came across my booth at a fair, would you be more likely to...

.... buy longies or a soaker (keeping in mind that all of the fairs will be held in mid to late summer)?
.... buy soaker style longies, like the soakers in this post, but with legs, or longies like the ones I made in this post?
.... buy soakers/longies with a single layer for trimness, or double layer for extra protection & night use (keeping in mind that the double layer will cost slightly more... probably $2 more for extra material & time)?
.... buy soakers/longies with cute appliques and fun colors, or plainer, but less expensive ones?
.... buy soakers/longies with a double layer short waistband, or a single layer fold over long waistband?

I really appreciate any & all feedback on this!

ETA: I made a few more! All of these are double layer cashmere, except the black/gray striped one.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winner of the longies giveaway

The winner, picked by, is Jae!

"Jae said...

I tried to follow your blog but couldn't find the link so I became a fan on facebook! =) "

Jae, you didn't leave an email! Please email me for your longies, krisnstevep at netzero dot com.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The saga of the recycled wool purse

So... I bought this purse a few weeks back with badly stained fabric, but really great handles. I figured I would just whip up a new purse with wool, and have a super cute new purse in minutes.

My first mistake is that I got cocky & decided I was going to make a lining for it out of a piece of very non-stretchy cotton I had. I forget how forgiving wool is, but how unforgiving fabric can be, and messed that one up! Nope, not showing it to you. I accidentally (on purpose) forgot to take a picture of it ;)

Next I decided to make it reversible, and just do 2 layers of wool using the original purse as the pattern. That turned out great... until the purse handles broke. Wahhhhhhh! I think I may sand down the rough edges & figure out a way to still use them later.

Finally, I came across this purse this week,

... with stained horrible fabric, but lovely handles, and voila... I FINALLY have a purse! Had I known, I think I would have just left the original purse on the shelf ;)

Friday, February 19, 2010


I just love cute recycled wool clothes on children, so I was happy to find this fabulous Etsy shop, Banbutsu. Each piece is more adorable than the next!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Off topic Thursday - the 5 minute Robot costume

My son is always pretending to be one thing or another, and lately he's been a robot. He wanted me to make him a robot costume out of boxes, so I did! It was really easy... cut a hole for the face in the small box, attach it to the big box (packaging tape), and cut holes for arms. Also I cut a door on the back, so he get get in & out of the costume by himself. The cardboard tubes on his arms were his idea, and I later added (sorry, no pics) metal cabinet knobs I had laying around for dials. Had this been a Halloween costume, I might have covered it with tinfoil, added antennas, and used shiny flexible tubing for arms (danger Will Robinson!), but he is happy with it the way it is, so I left it be. This kept him busy for days! You hear that moms with bored kids? Days!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Georgie Girls Originals

If you haven't noticed yet, I love purses & bags. I'm on the verge of needing a 12 step program for it, so when I saw these totes I think I drooled a little. Not only are they recycled wool, and beautiful, but they are so practical! As a busy mom, I love a good sturdy tote bag. You can find these beautiful bags in Georgie Girls Original's Etsy shop. They will be adding mittens and larger tote bags soon, so keep checking back! You can also follow them on their Facebook fan page for updates!