Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Resweater is on hiatus!

I love blogging, and doing all things Resweater, but I feel like I need a break from schedules (even self imposed ones) for a short time. I will be taking a little break for about 2 weeks, where I will not be posting at all, not even Sweater Sunday. For a week, I may even put my shop on vacation mode for a short time. Please feel free to email me (krisnstevep *at* netzero *dot* com) if you have any questions or anything. I'm still available. I just need a couple of schedule free weeks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Tutorial Tuesday! Recycled wool tanagram magnets

Here's a great project for kids! Kids can make these themselves, or they can be made for kids. Tanagrams are educational & fun! To start you will need some felted wool scraps. You can use all the same color, or use different colors. You will also need some magnets. I used magnets from junk mail.

You'll want to peel as much of the paper labels off as possible, so the magnet is less weighed down, and so the glue will stick better. You don't have to get all of it off... just what you can.

Now you'll need everything in the picture below (tanagram pattern, scissors to cut the magnets & the wool, Elmer's glue, and a Q tip), then you are ready to get started!

Click on the picture below to enlarge the tanagram pattern, and you can print it, or you can go here to find a really large one, if you prefer.

Cut your tanagram pieces out, and use them as patterns to cut out the shapes from your magnets.

Now take your Q tip and thickly spread some Elmer's glue over the entire shape, and press it into the scrap.

You will need to make 2 of the parallelogams, but one of everything else is fine. With wooden tanagram sets, you are able to turn the parallelograms over to use the other side. Since these are magnets, you won't have that option, so you want 2 of them to represent both sides. Did that make sense?

Once the glue is dry, you can cut out your shapes.

Now you can head on over to the fridge or steel baking sheet to play! I made 2 sets, one in different colors, and one with just one color. I prefer the one color, but the choice is yours! Sorry for the terrible pictures, but the lighting in our kitchen is awful.

Here are some tanagram problems, and solutions that you can click on to go to & print. I suggest giving the solutions page to smaller children, and the problems page to older children.

To learn more about tanagrams, why they are so great, to get more patterns, etc, go here!

Not sure if the kiddos will be interested, think you're kiddos will ruin them, or just want to make this super easy? Just cut them out of cardboard instead. If they destroy them, you can always throw them in the recycling & make another set!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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

Since my fitted table cloth from last week went over so well in our house, I made another one! I bought this cute cowboy print (Alexander Henry "Buckaroos", in case you wanted to know) at a garage sale a few years back, intending to make something fun for Jack's room, but he never went through a cowboy phase, and I never could think of something cute to make with it. It is perfect as a kitchy kitchen accessory though! It has been a fun conversation piece at meal times, with my son reading, and laughing at, the names of the cowboys.

I had some of the fabric left over, so I made napkins to go with! This is my first time making napkins, so i'm rather proud of the fact they are the same shape I intended them to be ;). For some reason, it really delighted my son to have napkins that matched that tablecloth, so I was happy to oblige.

So sorry there was no wool in my post this week. I'll work on something wool this week... I promise!

ps. I see some recycled wool projects incorporating crocheting in my future! My son has been asking for knitting lessons for a while now, and I haven't been able to find any, but some classes became available at my local Joann Fabrics. I was going to sign us up for knitting, but the woman suggested crocheting, because it is easier to learn. I signed us up & bought the supplies! I have never knit or crocheted... is it really easier to crochet?

So, what have you been working on?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Tutorial Tuesday! t shirt boxer briefs or wool soaker boxers

Today's tutorial is originally for making boxer briefs for boys out of t-shirts, but you can also use the pattern to make boxer-style wool soakers! Today's tutorial comes to us from Nancy's Couture blog (thanks, Nancy!), an awesome blog for anyone that sews! For the tutorial & pattern for the t-shirt boxer briefs, head on over here. Thanks, Nancy!!

Now if you are using this pattern to make wool soakers, I recommend going a size up from what they would wear in the underwear in all the measurements except the leg width. I also made the waistbands from sweater ribbing, instead of elastic. What's nice about these is you can make 2 of crotch & rear end pieces to make a doubled up soaker area. I did 2 layers, and after I sewed each crotch seam, I faced them in, so there was no uncomfortable crotch seam on the inside of the soaker (did that make sense?). I did make a mistake though, and forgot to use the hem of the sweater for the bottoms of the legs on the first pair, but since it is felted, it doesn't look bad. I think they came out really cute, and look a lot less "diaper cover" than regular soakers for your bigger kiddos that just need a night time solution.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Off Topic Thursday - gardening, running, decluttering & more

I'm not going to post Off Topic Thursday here anymore. I'm going to try to keep this blog strictly recycled wool/sewing related. I have another blog, On A Side Note, that I use to blog about other things i'm doing/interested in, so that will help me keep things separate. On that blog I talk about my garden (i'm always looking for advice on that!), running (again, i'm always looking for advice!), garage sale finds, and my current "hobby", decluttering, you name it! I'll have an accountability post each Wednesday for the decluttering, and one on Thursday for my running. I'll even post when there's a pig in my strawberry patch!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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

Well, since I created the guest tutorial for a play food cereal box this week, and I was working on next week's tutorial (can't show you yet!), I didn't have much more time for other sewing, but I made a couple of practical things this week. One night this week, I was really in the mood to sew something in one sitting, so I made my son another water bottle cozy.

And though it isn't made of wool, i'm still going to show you my fitted table cloth because i'm proud of it ;) . We have been worried about ruining our new kitchen table, and since all the place mats were too big for our table, so I needed table cloths. I looked in the thrift stores, and found nothing, and the ones I found new were just too expensive. I hit my fabric bin, and found this great vintage print fabric that I found at a garage sale a couple of years ago, that I love.

The biggest piece of it overhung the table by just a couple of inches, so it hung weird. I decided to turn it into a fitted table cloth & love how it turned out! I just made a hem, then zig zag (I've been using my zig zag a lot lately, haven't I?) stitched a piece of elastic to the edge.

(inside & outside of hem)

I stretched the elastic as I sewed, so when I was done it hugged the table top perfectly! The upside to the fitted tablecloth is that my wiggly 5 year boy is not making the table cloth move around at dinner time :) .

So what have you been working on? Please feel free to post your finished recycled wool projects on my Facebook page!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Tutorial Tuesday! play food cereal box

Today is the third, and last, installment of my tutorials being guest blogged over at Secret Mommy. If you want to learn how to make this box of cereal, head on over here for the full tutorial. I hope you had fun with these, like I did!

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Feature Friday! - Small Town Frocks

I stumbled upon Lara's blog, Small Town Frocks, and I love it!! The article that landed me on her blog, was this great tutorial on "fibre testing for wool"... a very detailed explanation on how you can test those mystery sweaters for fiber content. Love it!

Lara has a project, where she makes one gown every month, and they are fabulous! You can read more about that here.

I am in love with, and in awe of, the wool wigs that she makes. They are magnificent works of art! These can be found in her online shop, Jayne.

She also makes adorable teddy bears out of recycled wool, which she calls re-loved wool (love that!), which can also be found in her online shop.

Isn't she fun?!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Off Topic Thursday - Guest article by Ryan Halston on crafting

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Ryan Halston. He is an aspiring writer trying to put together a portfolio, and asked if he could guest write an article on recycled or reused materials, and the art of crafting. Here is Ryan's article:

"The scope of products: Reusing material for arts and crafts
As many people continue to take on an eco-friendly and green lifestyle these days, there are a growing number of ways in which we can all have a better impact on the environment. While much of the environmental focus is focused on outdoor air quality, fuel consumption and pollution control, there are a growing number of ways that we can have an impact without making large changes to our lives. One great way to have a profound impact is to use recyclable materials in arts and crafts.
The possibilities of reusing and recycling materials to use in arts and crafts are essentially endless. There are so many things around houses that have great potential to be a part of arts and crafts. Think about the possibilities of the kitchen alone. Maybe there are a group of old jars that may not be useful for food anymore. These can be used to make decorative storage or as candle holders. Old bottles and cans can be used for useful items such as decorative pencil holders or other desk accessories.
The bedroom and clothing also host a number of different reusable craft options. Wool can be used for numerous different items from grocery bags to pillows, and even other usable clothing items. A shirt can be cut down to be used as a pocket square or handkerchief in a way that is not only useful, but often creative and colorful. One of the more common ways to reuse clothing in a crafting sense is to use different shirts for a quilt pattern. This is not only a great way to reuse material, but the end result could be a craft that evokes some great memories as well.
The important aspect of reusing material is to always be smart about what is being reused. For instance, possible reusable materials like older types of paint, felt and other items have had rare cases of voc and asbestos exposure, among other toxins. While instances of this are rare, it is important to be aware of the items being reused. Even though some products may not be able to be reused, there are numerous materials that can be turned around as arts and crafts projects around the house.
In the end, when we reuse materials, it allows us to hold on to items of the past that may have some importance. Even though some things lose their usability over time, they can usually be reused in a different fashion that can bring decorativeness, value and importance. So next time you’re thinking about throwing something out, give it a quick look over and think of something that can be made in the future. Taking small steps to reuse and recycle material can have a great long term impact on the environment. "

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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

I haven't had much sewing time this week (& probably won't next week either!), but I managed to squeeze in a couple of hats. Why hats? I don't know... I just felt like making hats! I promised myself last year, after taking on too many custom orders, that I would just sew what I wanted to this year. It's a lot more fun that way. Anyhow, here's my hats... one classy, one funky...

I think they look so much better with pins on them, than plain, so i've been picking up pins at garage sales this summer to offer to my hat buyers a choice to go with their hats, along with the pins i've made. I made this simple "book" to keep them in for now. It's nothing to brag about, but it's great temporary solution.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Tutorial Tuesday! - Play food

Are you holding your little grocery bags from last week, ready to fill them? Today's tutorial is for Auntie Resweater's Down Home canned tomatoes! Ok, it's just a can of tomatoes, but it's cute, and your child will want to play with it :). Click here to be magically transported the Secret Mommy blog, for my full tutorial!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's What I've Been Working on Wednesday... on Thursday

Oops, i'm a day late with this. Holiday weekends always throw me off ;). Well, last week I showed you my new hutch for sewing/wool storage, and wanted to make some storage baskets for it. I made these...

I am really not happy with them, because they are very loosey-goosey. The only reason they don't look like it in the picture, is because I have wire framed cloth baskets inside of them, like this:

I think i'll just do basket liners, like the ones I made in this tutorial.

Now to find some baskets at garage sales this weekend! Wish me luck! :)