Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's What I've Been Working on Wednesday! Sweat pants, hats, & mittens

My son is skinny, so it is impossible to find sweat pants that don't fall off of him. Also, I get tired of the wide selection of colors boys sweats come in... navy or red. Luckily he dislikes sweats & wears jeans most of the time, but when he has a gymnastics class or an open gym, he needs to be able to move around comfortably. Today, I made him a pair of sweat pants out of a big, lightly felted, merino sweater. I used a pair of sweat pants that don't fit him as the pattern, tweaking it where it needed tweaking (less waist, more length!). I used the collar of the sweater, folded in half, as the waistband, and I made the bottom of the pants out of the waist of the sweater, so the ribbing is built in. Jack says "they are really comfortable!" & "Mama, why are you taking pictures of my tummy?", lol. I think they turned out pretty good! Please ignore the fact that I need to take a lint brush to them ;) I think i'll try a "karate" style leg on the next pair!

All Christmas, while I worked on Christmas presents, I kept eyeballing this soft, brown, felted sweater (cashmere I am sure, but there was no tag) that was in my stash. I have mentally been making hats out of it for 2 weeks now, and finally had time (made time) to make them. I made a me, Mommy, & dolly set out of them, and even a pair of mittens. I still have to put the button flowers on the girl & doll hats.

I had a couple of requests for neutral/plain hats at the last show, so I made a black one while I was in hat mode.

I even found time (stole time) to make myself a water bottle holder, with hand strap, for my new super cool glass water bottle (I love it!). I got this bottle free with Amazon gift cards that I got from Swagbucks.

It felt good to sew leisurely again, with no deadline. So... what have you been working on? Feel free to show off your finished projects on my Facebook page :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Tutorial Tuesday! Make a felted wool sweater purse!

I am too worn out from the holidays to be creative this week, but luckily there's creative people out there like Jennifer Ofenstein! Ready to find out how to make these adorable purses? Head on over to her blog, Sewhooked!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Off topic Thursday - Jack's new cave

Yesterday we went to the thrift store, and I found some cool orange (Jack's favorite color) drapey fabric, and I knew right away that it was the perfect material for Jack's hidey hole under his bunk bed! A shower curtain rod, and 5 minutes on the sewing machine to make a rod pocket, and he was a happy camper.

Inside there are bins of toys, and shelves of books, so it's a cool little place to hang out. I even put a little lamp in there for him. That $2 piece of fabric was a bargain!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's What I've Been Working on Wednesday!

I finally finished my grandma's throw blanket, after much frustration. I probably shouldn't have tried something for the first time, while learning a new machine, but it's done, and on it's way to Grandma!

I also finished a cashmere girl/doll hat set for one of my nieces. The colors look so much better in real life... chocolate brown & baby blue. I made sure the doll one was stretchy, so whether she puts it on a baby doll...

or a girl doll...

it should fit!

So, what have you been working on this week? Feel free to show off your finished projects on my Facebook page!

ETA: I found a tiny hole in one of the blanket pieces, that I failed to notice before incorporating it in, so I made a monogram over it to repair/hide it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Tutorial Tuesday! Recycled wool doll & bottle scarves

Looking for easy & fast last minute stocking stuffers & hostess gifts? This is so easy, so fast, and a great use for your scraps! You can put them on your bottles & jars to dress up your hostess gifts, or stick them in the kids' stockings for their dolls & stuffed animals! Just take a scrap of felted wool, and cut it into a long skinny strip. The one shown below is 1" x 13" (the one on the doll is 22" x 1 1/2"), but these can be any length/thickness you want.

Now just cut fringes on the ends, and you are done!

Wasn't that easy?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Recycled wool mini trampoline guard

My son has some sensory issues, as well as normal 5 year old boy energy, so I bought him a mini trampoline about a year ago. He loves to jump while he watches tv, and it gets his energy out when we can't be outside. Even the dog likes to lay on it when she's chewing on a bone. Lately, the plastic guard has been cracking from age & use, and the other day it sprouted a hole:

Those little nasty looking metal things look so dangerous! I decided to put all my Christmas sewing on hold & remedy the situation, since winter break is not a good time for a boy's trampoline to be out of order! ;)

It took me all morning, but here it is!

I was able to reuse the elastic on the top, but the rest of the cover was unusable. This project really shows my dedication to recycling! I see these little trampolines at garage sales & thrifts stores all the time for $5 & under, and could have easily thrown this one out & bought a new one, but I wanted to save the frame from the landfill.

Just one thing left... to test it out...

Yep, it works! :)

ETA: I wasn't 100% happy with the thickness of the wool I chose for the top, so I added a circle of wool underneath the rim. Now I am happy! It has stayed in place, so I didn't have to sew it to the cover.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Tutorial Tuesday! Recycled Wool Wreath

I have been too busy to come up with anything new lately, but thankfully there are others out there generous enough to share! This tutorial is from the Wise Craft blog, who guest blogged this tutorial on the Design Sponge blog. Go here for the full tutorial!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Recycled wool action figure capes!

I just had to share. My friend's 6 year old son, made this completely on his own with a felted wool scrap and a felted seam. He hand sewed the seam on. Isn't that fantastic!?

If you want to make these without sewing, you can cut 2 slits into the cape, tie a knot at each end of the seam, and just pop the knots through the slits... think buttons & button holes, same concept.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's What I've Been Working on Wednesday!

Whew, what haven't I been working on this week?! Lol! It has been a busy, busy week, but I managed to sneak in some crafting. This week it was all "project bag work"... stuff I can take in my bag on the go, or when i'm watching tv at the end of the night, & hand sew. I made the button pins for future hats, and always the dryer balls. I didn't make all those dryer balls this week, but they were all in various stages, and I finished them this week. That's it. What did you work on this week? Feel free, as always, to post your finished products on my Facebook page!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - make your slippers non-skid the recycled way!

Ok, this is more of a concept than a tutorial, since i'm not showing you the steps, but I bet you can figure it out ;) When I was in my slipper making hay days last year, we had discussed non-skid options, and several things came up... puff paint, Jiffy grip, etc. I ended up making a trip to the craft store, and using puff paint on my grandma's slippers, and it worked fine, but I couldn't help but want a natural or recycled option. In my stash this week, I had a thickly felted alpaca scarf, and a thick merino, so I decided to make myself slippers. They are SO soft & comfy, but again the issue of non-skid came up in my mind. Finally the light bulb went off! I rummaged through the rag bag and found several pair of my son's outgrown socks with holes in the heels and cut off the non-skid words and sewed them to the bottom of my slippers! They work great (my whole house is hardwood and tile, so I know!), you can put as many on as you want, and I actually think it looks cute like that! If you don't have grippy socks in your rag stash, I see them all the time at my thrift store for pennies, or ask on Freecycle.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I ran a 5k... with lots of wool on!

I ran The Fox & the Turkey 2 weeks ago that was a 4 mile race (my first race!), and today I just finished the Snowflake Shuffle 5k! Even though this was almost a mile less, it was much harder. I ran it in 40 minutes. For those of you who think that's a bad time, most of the course was unplowed slush, I was pushing Jack (my 5 year old) in a stroller, and half the time it was uphill. I really had to push myself with this one! That last stretch was plowed & I felt like I was flying after all that struggling through the snow! Here I am crossing the finish line :)

My everyday hats have been too warm for jogging lately, so I decided to make one just for running out of a super super thin merino I had. I used the pattern from Tuesday's tutorial, but added some ribbing at the bottom, some tassels on top, and appliqued "3.1" (3.1 miles is a 5k) on it. I even made a reinforced pony tail hole in the back. It was absolutely perfect for today!

I was wearing my wool running pants as well. I was trying to see how many times I could wear them without having to wash them, and this was the 6th time i've worn them. They smell fresh as a daisy, but the experiment will end here for now. I've lost weight since I made them, so they are too loose... i'll have to felt them a bit to get them down a size. Can't do that with synthetics! It is fantastic to not have to wash them each time. My synthetic pants get stinky after one run and have to be washed each time. If you have 2 pairs of wool pants, run every other day, and you only have to wash them every 6 times you jog, you will only have to wash them every 24 days!

I also wore a merino wool running top that I was lucky enough to find in my size at the thrift store (no resweatering necessary!). I wore a synthetic jacket over that, but it caused me to overheat quickly & was in the stroller most of the race. The merino top kept me perfectly comfortable. I had my merino runner's mittens on, that I made, and they were perfect. I wish I would have had wool socks on, because that was the only place I felt cold. Next time for sure!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I've Been Working on Wednesday

This week, I made a couple of matching girl/doll beret sets in cashmere (those are $30/set, $25 for wool, since some of my friends were asking how much I was going to charge). Cute, eh?

I also have been working on a cashmere throw for my Grandma for Christmas. She lives in Arizona, so she doesn't need a thick blanket, but thought this would be a nice layer if she gets cold from the AC. Here's a sneak peek at that...

There should be a lot for me to post about next Wednesday, since I am going to make myself seam rip my mistake pile this week, and finish all those half done projects i've been ignoring. I also got my old sewing machine back from the repair shop, so I have 2 machines for the first time!

As always, feel free to show off your finished projects on my Facebook page. I love to see them!