Feeling Pinspired!

I feel like my crafting goes in drips and drabs – some weeks I’m sewing and creating every night, and other weeks I’m passed out on the sofa early every night.  The past few days fall more into the former category rather than the latter.  I’m in a crafting group on Facebook and we’ve decided to do monthly challenges.  The first challenge was to create something from a pin you’ve had on Pinterest.  We had a few weeks to do this – but of course I didn’t start to do anything for the challenge until Saturday night!

I was kind of held hostage by my job this weekend – the details are boring so I won’t go into them, but I was on call for work and had to be available all weekend for a big project go live that kept getting pushed back.  Anyway, I only mention that because it forced me to not be out and about, so I was able to focus and get to work cleaning up my craft room.  I’m still far from done organizing in here, but it’s a start and I now have some clutter free spaces where I can get busy crafting!

I bought some Michael Miller Super Hero flannel fabric and coordinating orange minky dot fabric about a year ago.  I’ve been intending on making a blanket for Max, like the one in this Prudent Baby tutorial I’d found a couple years ago.  I’ve made a few of these blankets before as gifts, but never made one that would stay here!  This is pretty typical for all of my sewing projects, actually…  So I was pretty excited to finally getting around to sewing a Super Hero blanket for Max!

 

This is such a cozy blanket with flannel, minky dot, and satin blanket binding!

This is such a cozy blanket with flannel, minky dot, and satin blanket binding!

The minky dot is super soft and the weight of the flannel makes it incredibly cozy.  I may need to make one in adult size for me!

The minky dot is super soft and the weight of the flannel makes it incredibly cozy. I may need to make one in adult size for me!

I really love this fun Super Hero print!  Max seems to like his blanket already too!

I really love this fun Super Hero print! Max seems to like his blanket already too!

I’m kind of obsessed with how cute and cozy this blanket is.  I want to make at least two more for Max in other fun flannel prints and colors – one to keep in each of our cars!

I took a day off from crafting on Sunday, but I doubled up my efforts tonight!  Not that I really have some sort of goal of a project a night, but just go with me here…  Anyway, so tonight I was staring at a bunch of socks that I picked up at Target for Max without noticing that they didn’t have skid-free grippers on the bottom of them.  Since we have hardwood floors throughout our home, Max is like Bambi on ice without gripper socks.  So, feeling inspired by I Am Momma Hear Me Roar, I decided to fix the socks with some puffy paint grippers on the bottom!

Here are Max's DIY Gripper Socks.  I tried to stick with simple patterns, since the tutorial I found advised that larger designs tend to crack after a while.

Here are Max’s DIY Gripper Socks. I tried to stick with simple patterns, since the tutorial I found advised that larger designs tend to crack after a while.

So now Max had a new carseat/daycare nap blanky, and some new gripper socks.  The kid was making out pretty well thanks to Pinterest!  But I’d finished up with the socks so early – way too early to go to bed.  So I figured that since I still had a lot of time to craft tonight, I’d knock out another project that’s been on my to do list for a while.  Now that Maxwell isn’t a tiny baby anymore, he’s kind of outgrown most of his towels.  He had a couple of larger towels – given to him when he was born and at his first birthday – but for the most part his towels were getting pretty skimpy on the little man. A few weeks back, I figured I’d do something about that.  Since I’m too cheap to buy him some big kid hooded towels from the store, I decided to DIY one for him like in this Prudent Baby tutorial.  (Can you tell that PB is one of my favorite crafting blogs?)  I bought the towels that I’d need a few weeks back and they’ve been sitting in my craft room since I brought them home and washed them.  The tutorial was super easy and super quick, and about a half hour after starting Max was the proud owner of a pretty amazingly cute bright orange big kid size hooded towel!

A DIY'd big kid hooded towel!

A DIY’d big kid hooded towel!

The hood is trimmed in a fun "fast cars" and transportation themed flannel.

The hood is trimmed in a fun “fast cars” and transportation themed flannel.

I can’t wait for after Max’s next tubby when I can wrap him up in this oversized-kid-size cozy hooded towel!

Maxwell made out thanks to mommy’s Pinspired crafting.  I’m not sure what the next month’s challenge is, but I hope that I can work some projects in that I’ll get to keep for myself!  I really would like to make myself a new bag, so hopefully I can try and work that into whatever the next crafting theme is!

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Max’s 1st Birthday Party

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We held Maxwell’s 1st Birthday Party yesterday afternoon and it was so much fun!!  Max had lots of friends and family around him to celebrate and he really seemed to have a great time!

I had a lot of fun planning and prepping for his party!  I focused on the dessert table, and I think it turned out fabulously – exactly how I’d pictured it:

I sewed the pennant banners using leftover pennants from when I made one for Max's nursery.  I cut the letters out out of flannel using my Silhouette Cameo.

I sewed the pennant banners using leftover pennants from when I made one for Max’s nursery. I cut the letters out out of flannel using my Silhouette Cameo.

On the dessert table was: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shortbread cookies shaped like mustaches, marshmallows on striped straws dipped in blue colored chocolate and sprinkles, a red velvet with cream cheese frosting smash cake, and some red candy (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Swedish Fish) and some fun non-sweets-treats that guests could bag up and "shave" for later!

On the dessert table was: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shortbread cookies shaped like mustaches, marshmallows on striped straws dipped in blue colored chocolate and sprinkles, a red velvet with cream cheese frosting smash cake, and some red candy (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Swedish Fish) and some fun non-sweets-treats that guests could bag up and “shave” for later!

I really had a lot of fun incorporating some fun mustache details to celebrate “our little man”!

I cut out these little mustaches for cupcake toppers using my Silhouette.

I cut out these little mustaches for cupcake toppers using my Silhouette.

When I saw mustache cookie cutters, I knew I had to have them!  These shortbread cookies were amazing - definitely tasted "like butter and magic" as the girl who I'd gotten the recipe from promised!

When I saw mustache cookie cutters, I knew I had to have them! These shortbread cookies were amazing – definitely tasted “like butter and magic” as the girl who I’d gotten the recipe from promised!

"I MUSTACHE you to do yourself a FAVOR and bag up some treats to SHAVE them for later!"

“I MUSTACHE you to do yourself a FAVOR and bag up some treats to SHAVE them for later!”

Even the tables got mustached!

Even the tables got mustached!

Our guests even got into the mustache spirit!

Mustachioed!

Mustachioed!

Of course there was cake – and Max loved it!

Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday

Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday

Eating cake!

Eating cake!

Cake is good!

Cake is good!

Cake feels cool on your fingers, too.

Cake feels cool on your fingers, too.

Cake monster!

Cake monster!

The kids had fun playing with the ball pit (a kiddie pool – pink was all Wham could find lol! – filled with plastic balls), dressing up with the photo props, and playing with balloons.

OK, this ball pit is fun! Emma found a mustache balloon Not sure what they were doing here, but it's cute!

Max had so much fun in the ball pit, in fact, that he didn’t want to get out of it, so he opened gifts from the ball pit!

Opening gifts in the ball pit, which was too much fun to get out of!

Opening gifts in the ball pit, which was too much fun to get out of!

Opening gifts in the pink clam ball pit lol!

Opening gifts in the pink clam ball pit lol!

Gift opening chaos with the kids - which was really fun!

Gift opening chaos with the kids – which was really fun!

We had a lot of fun and were so happy to be able to spend some time with our family and friends eating cake and drinking some beers or juice!  We’re so thankful for the outpouring of love for our little guy – it was really a great way to celebrate all of us making it through the first year!

Works in progress… or soon to be…

So last weekend when I made my Snoogle cover, I realized that the days of me being able to spread out my fabric on the floor to trace patterns and cut would probably be quickly coming to an end.  I don’t have much of a baby belly yet, but there’s one there and even with the not-yet-large one that I do have it’s already becoming uncomfortable to be sitting on the floor bending and reaching.  So I figured that I better get a move on with any sewing projects I want to get done!

So tonight I started the Margaret Sling Bag by Oh, Fransson!  I’d love to give a link to the tutorial, but she’s permanently retired it, so I can’t.  Here are a bunch of completed ones from her Flickr group.  I downloaded the pattern and tutorial about a year or more ago and it’s been sitting in my DIY notebook in Evernote since then waiting for me to get around to it.  Well, since I was less than enthused about all of my bags recently, I decided that there’s no time like the present!  I had some great fabric left in my stash to use for it too:

Twirly Flowers by Premier Prints - a canvas material that I'll use for the outside of the bag.

Hummingbirds by Michael Miller - a quilter's cotton that I'll use for the lining of the bag.

So I got started on that project tonight.  I have the pattern pieces cut from my fabric, but I started that late and just cutting out the pieces took longer than I expected, so I had to stop for the night before I got too far into the project.  Ah well, it’s a start!

I’ve got a ton of projects that I want to do for the nursery… I want to make a crib skirt using this tutorial for a pleated crib skirt.  I’d like to customize a pull-down roller shade using some fabric and this tutorial.  In front of the shade, I’m torn between plain white panels or DIY-ing some cute but cheap curtains like those in this tutorial.  I’ve got fabric all picked out to recover my glider cushions – probably will make some slipcovers, but this tutorial is very inspiring!  And I’m thinking that I’d like to make a custom changing pad cover, like in this tutorial.  I’ve got a ton of other ideas collected from around the web that I’d like to try (crib sheets!  mobiles!  basket liners!) but those are the big ones.  I spent some time this weekend seeking out fabric for these projects and I ended up with some winners:

Nursery Fabrics - the large red polka dots will be the crib skirt and shade cover. The small I might use, might not... The black and white chevron will be for the glider cushions. The aqua is very near to the color of the walls.

I’d like to find a cute print that pulls in some other bright/bold colors as well… but nothing was striking my fancy this weekend.  Now I’m in the waiting game of trying to figure out exactly how much I’ll need of each kind of fabric and ordering it when it’s the most on sale…

Looks like a lot of sewing in my future!  I hope it all comes out alright!  Also, even though I haven sewn a stitch yet, I feel pretty accomplished for having picked out the projects and fabric to go with them!  Exciting!

DIY Snoogle Cover

So a few weeks back, Target had the Snoogle on their daily deal.  Dodi loved hers and I read a lot of positive reviews online, so since it was on sale for the cheapest I’d seen it, I snagged one.  It was a little hard at first, but after a few nights it broke in pretty well and I really like it – I think that it really helps with hip/back pain.  What I didn’t like about it, though, was the rough cotton cover.  It was plain and got pilled up within a month and it wasn’t the softest cotton in the world.  I figured that those things could be easily solved with a new cover.  Unfortunately, most of the covers I saw on Amazon weren’t doing it for me.  I wanted a flannel cover and there weren’t any available.  There were jersey covers, which would probably be pretty cozy, but they came in exciting colors like sage.  I wanted something more fun.

I figured this could be easily solved with a couple of yards of flannel and my sewing machine.  Unfortunately, no matter how hard I Googled, I couldn’t find a tutorial on how to DIY a Snoogle Cover.  I did find one post on a random message board where a girl posted a picture of one that she’d done and said that she used 2 yards of fabric.  “Perfect!”, I thought, “I’ve got 2 yards of some really cute flannel already washed and ready to go in my fabric stash!”  Yeah… That girl must be a much better seamstress than me (which, I don’t doubt, as I’m a total sewing newb), because I couldn’t figure out any way to make a cover out of only 2 yards of fabric.  It looked like it might just work, but not quite… So to play it safe, I went out and bought 3 yards of fabric, figuring that I’d probably have some good scraps left over.  I also figured that I’d try to document what I did to create a cover, in case there are any other total sewing novices out there who’d like a little bit of guidance on how to DIY a Snoogle Cover…

The original cover on the Snoogle (on my unmade bed...).

So, as you can see from the picture, the Snoogle is large and not a normal or symmetrical shape.  So the first thing I had to do was try to figure out how the Snoogle would fit on the fabric…

Wasn't going to fit this way...

So I tried to fold the fabric in half lengthwise but it was pretty apparent that it wasn’t going to work.  The Snoogle was just too long.

Folding widthwise looked like it might work...

Next I tried to fold it widthwise (with the selvedges of the fabric together).  This was definitely going to work for the length of the Snoogle, but I’d need to figure out something for the curvy ends.  Since I’d bought 3 yards of fabric, I figured there’d be plenty of fabric left over to cover the curvy parts.  So I got to ironing my fabric and laying it out on the floor (the only area large enough to do this) and then I positioned the original Snoogle cover (which I’d taken off the Snoogle) on it.  I got out my disappearing ink marker and began tracing around the Snoogle.  If you’re trying this out yourself, you’ll want to make sure you leave yourself plenty of room.  I had the Snoogle positioned on the fold of the fabric, so I’d only have to sew up one side for the most part (before the Snoogle began curving in), so I was figuring that I only had to leave so much for a seam allowance.  Yeah – don’t forget that you not only have the seam allowance, but the height of the Snoogle to account for.  I didn’t have to redo anything, but getting the Snoogle cover on the Snoogle when I was done was a lot harder than the original cover.

I've got the cover lined up against the fold and scooted down to the end of the fabric, since I knew that I'd be handling the curvy parts separately. Time to trace!

When I got to the curvy parts, I marked on the fabric where I expected to connect the ends.  I also marked on the Snoogle cover with pins, where I expected to pick up the tracing for the curvy parts.

I marked with pins on the Snoogle cover where I'd need to begin tracing again to do the curvy parts.

Here's Fiona helping out while I trace the curvy end pieces.

Then I traced the curvy parts on the end of the fabric that I hadn’t used yet.  After that, I cut everything out.  Then I lined up the curvy end pieces with the main long part of the Snoogle.

Here I'm trying to piece together the end piece to the main piece.

Now, here’s where I probably did things in a weird order.  I sewed the curvy end piece to the long main piece on the side that didn’t have the envelope opening.  Then I pinned the sides together of both of those pieces and sewed around the outside from the fold, around the top of the curvy piece, and then back down the side towards the other end where the other curvy piece with the envelope opening was going to attach.  This part worked out OK, but when you get to the other end, don’t sew all the way to the ends of the sides because you’ll need to leave space to attach the other curvy end piece (hopefully that makes sense…).

The curvy end piece sewed to the main piece (up the middle of the picture) and then both pieces pinned around the outside.

Sewing around the outside edges...

OK now here’s the part where I probably did things weird.  I’d never done an envelope opening before.  First, I lined up the curvy end to the main piece to make sure that everything lined up correctly.

Trying out lining up the end to the main piece.

Then I realized that I had to account for the envelope opening.  So I folded and ironed down one of the ends of the curvy end piece and then sewed it down to make a cleaner looking opening for the envelope opening.

Prepping for the envelope opening.

Well, it was about that time that I realized that I’d need to stuff this end piece inside the main piece to sew it together, and that way when I turned it right side out, the opening with the finished edge would be on the outside of the cover.  So I had to rip the seams out a little ways to account for this.

Ripping the seams to allow for stuffing the curvy end piece into the main piece, therefore allowing the finished edge of the envelope opening to be on the outside when I turned the right-side out.

Here's the original Snoogle cover on top - I was trying to make sure everything was lined up correctly, but it also shows the envelope opening and how the finished edge is on the outside/top.

Then I realized that I forgot to sew the other side of the curvy end pieces to the main body part (the side behind the envelope opening).  So I went ahead and did that and then I pinned around the outsides and then sewed around the entire outside of the curvy end piece and the little bit of the main body piece that I had to rip the seams from before.

Here's the back of the Snoogle cover with the curvy end piece sewed to the main body. The other side of this is the envelope opening, so isn't sewed to the main body.

Here's the front of the Snoogle cover with the edges sewed completely around and ready to be turned right-side out. If I'd thought about it ahead of time, I would have finished off the edge of the bottom piece of the envelope opening too.

When I was done, the main body piece had both curvy end pieces sewed onto it, with the flap for the envelope opening the only thing that wasn’t sewed to the main body.  The outside edges were sewed the entire way around.  At this point I was ready to turn it right-side out.

Here's the Snoogle turned right-side out. You can see the envelope opening. Were I to make another one, I'd make sure that the "underlapping" piece for the envelope opening was longer and that I finished the edge of that as well.

I was happy with the way the Snoogle Cover turned out.  I think it looks really cute on my Snoogle and it’s definitely cozier than the original!

Here's the finished Snoogle cover, on my Snoogle, on my still unmade bed. I think it's adorable and it' super cozy!

Now, a project wouldn’t be complete without a post-mortem lessons-learned wrap-up, right?  So what would I do differently?  Well, I don’t know how I could have done it without 3 yards of fabric, so I definitely would get 3 yards again.  I’d make sure to leave a lot of room when I trace around the original Snoogle cover onto the fabric, so that it wouldn’t be so difficult to stuff the Snoogle into the cover in the end.  I’d also make sure to overlap the end pieces more so that when I create the envelope opening, I’d be able to finish off the exposed end of the fabric pieces.  Overall, though, I think that it was a pretty good job for a first attempt – especially by a novice sewer!

You Can Indicate Anything You See

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This is in progress… And it was done on a random scrap because I always intended it to be practice – but I like it. I had the lyric, “You can indicate anything you see…” from “Dig a Pony” in my head for a while. Then I started to imagine the pony… A cute innocent little pony. And it started me thinking about a whole series of images of cute and literal representations of Beatles songs and lyrics. So this is my first attempt. I messed up the letters a little. I’ve been intending on filling them in with a satin stitch, but nervous to attempt it. It *is* a practice attempt so I will attempt, eventually. Right now I just like looking at it because it makes me smile.

Me, I'm just the lucky kind.

I kept seeing embroidery projects all over the web the last few weeks (apparently, February is National Embroidery Month) and it got me thinking that learning to embroider might be the perfect companion craft to sewing. Since I’m a beginner sewer and tend to pick projects that don’t incorporate a lot of embellishment in the patterns themselves, I could add some cute embroidery to them to really finish off my projects.

So here’s my first attempt at embroidering. I found a simple shamrock clip art file online (after discovering that my drawing skills are so nonexistent that I can’t even freehand a shamrock) and printed it out with the word “Lucky” underneath in a simple font. Then I traced the design directly onto my fabric. I backstitched the entire pattern because it was the only stitch that I could figure out how to do by reading instructions I found online.

I think it turned out cute! I definitely need to keep practicing and working on making my stitches uniform and learning more stitching techniques – but I enjoyed the project (nice to have a “portable” craft) and I like the results. Since I’m a little addicted to buying picture frames, I’m planning on putting this in one of the cute frames I have at home that’s currently pictureless (that drives Alex crazy that I collect picture frames and don’t fill them right away, but I love the frames and I’m picky about what pictures I’ll put in them). I really like the way it turned out – a cute little reminder that I’m the lucky kind when I’m feeling down.

Excited to try a Beginners Embroidery Tutorial on @PrudentBaby since I'm obsessed w/the designs @sublimestitchin!

A few posts back, one of my favorite crafty sites, Prudent Baby, showcased some designs from www.sublimestitching.com and I was in

Amplify’d from www.prudentbaby.com
Start Stitching! (A Beginner’s Embroidery Tutorial)

It is National Embroidery Month, don’t you know?

Embroidery is a beautiful, versatile craft that requires just a few basic supplies.

Read more at www.prudentbaby.com