zebra fleece hat and scarf

I found a zebra patterned fleece remnant at Hobby Lobby and knew I had to make it into cold weather wear for my cousin Rebecca. She is all about some zebra print.

The scarf was very simple. I made it using the same technique that I used for the fleece cat blankets. I took two long rectangles of fabric, sewed them together around the edges leaving a hole to turn it right side out, turned the seams to the inside and sewed the hole closed, then did a zigzag topstitch to finish it off.

I’d seen people use felt to sew hearts onto hats and gloves, but instead of felt I bought the smallest yardage of red fleece that they sell, cut a heart out of it and topstitched it onto the scarf. If you don’t want your stitching to sew through on the back side, sew the heart on before you sew the rectangles together. Make sure to leave room for the seam allowance and border so you aren’t stitching over the heart. The fleece cost less than a dollar, looks better than felt and has the same soft texture as the scarf. I have plenty of it leftover for another project or more hearts.

The hat was more complicated than the scarf. I tried to follow this Martha Stewart fleece hat pattern, but it looked ridiculous. So I looked at a North Face hat I had and tried to copy it.

It looked like this one.

I had already folded up a piece and sewed it to make the brim on the bottom. The top of the hat was straight across so I cut six triangles out to get rid of some of the extra fabric and make the hat have a closer fit. It looked like a crown with six points, three on the front and three on the back. Then I sewed the edges of the angled pieces on the hat together. First I sewed the left and right triangles to the center triangle on the front and back sides, and then I sewed the front and back sections together making a center seam. This was an last-minute improv solution, so I think this is how I did it, but I’m not exactly sure. Either the initial measurements or my adjustments made the hat a little small for tween Rebecca. The hat wasn’t perfect, but it looked good enough for making it up.

Rebecca liked the hat despite its imperfections. Here you can see the hat and scarf being modeled by the lovely Rebecca, as well as the beaded bracelet I made for her.


infinity scarf from a thrifted sheet

Today I finally wore an infinity scarf I made awhile back.

I found the spring infinity scarf tutorial on The Cottage Home and went to cutting up some sheets to make some scarves. This tutorial was SO easy. Cutting up the sheets was the most time-consuming part of the whole process.

This is one of my favorite vintage sheets I’ve found at the thrift store. The multi-colored dots pattern just called to me.

I’ve only made two things from this sheet so far, so I have plenty left. I made this scarf and a pair of sleep shorts, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with the rest.

I never look as good in pictures as I think I do in the mirror each morning. Not that I have delusions of fabulousness, but the camera seems to captures all your imperfections in any given moment.

But you’re looking at the scarf anyway! A few years ago I wasn’t sure I could wear scarves. After I accepted that I could in fact wear scarves, it took me a bit more time to jump on the infinity scarf train. This is the first spring infinity scarf I own, besides another one I made in robin’s egg blue the same way.

I used a twin-sized sheet for the blue scarves and the whole sheet made three scarves, one regular, one pieced and one really long non-infinity style scarf. I’m used to working with queen-sized sheets, so it was a little strange to use a whole sheet in one go. And I just sent one of the blue ones to Crystal for her birthday. Hopefully she will be receiving in the mail today! (Note: The USPS came through and successfully delivered the scarf.)

*Thanks to the lovely Laura for snapping some photos of me.

diaper covers and peasant dresses

The deadline for the auction items is coming to a close so I kicked it into gear last night. Since I had plenty of extra fabric from the peasant-style baby dresses, I wanted to make diaper covers to go with them. I’m in the middle of another project I’m really excited about and didn’t want to put it aside, but I knew I had to the make the diaper covers soon or it would be too late.

standard version

bias tape version

So last night was diaper cover night. I used the Dana’s diaper covers pattern that seems to be quite popular.

I don’t know if I really wanted to work on a different project, or tiny leg openings are frustrating to turn under on a curve, or I was only doing these because I had to, but I was not feeling this project. The standard was more frustrating, as she warns, because it is a perfectionist’s nightmare to turn under the legs and sew around. Granted, I think it turned out okay, and Dana is right, you can’t tell where the mistakes are once it is gathered. But the process was still frustrating.

I like the bias tape version better since it is easier to work with the curves of the leg openings. I put the elastic on the inside of the diaper cover since with the bias tape you have the option of putting it on the inside or the outside of the cover. This project reawakened my urge to start making my own bias tape, but the Easter bunny ( a.k.a. my mom 😉 ) is supposed to be bringing me a rotary cutter so I’ll hold out until then.

After I’d gotten the idea to do this, I saw I wasn’t alone in pairing these two tutorials. Amy at Life’s Jewelry Box did the same thing. It looks like she used the 1/2″ elastic for the waistband instead of the 1/4″ I used for the waistband and the legs. I really liked her color choices and the picture of the dresses and diaper covers on the clothesline. (I wish mine looked like that, but I lack a fence, a clothesline, and don’t even own clothespins.)

So here are the pairings:

This standard dress and diaper cover is for a “prairie baby.”

And this more modern print, which reminds me of jelly beans, has rick rack on the bottom of the dress and bias tape on the diaper cover.

Both dresses were made from thrifted sheets. The oval polka dots were my first thrifted fitted sheet purchase. The pattern was so darling I had to have it. I actually tore the elastic off of the sides of the sheet and used it for the legs and waistbands for the diaper covers. It was a solid woven elastic that wasn’t very stretched out and it seemed to work just as well as other elastics I would have used. It was a little bit looser, but it worked for my purposes.

Laura has sent the photos of the dresses in to the auction already and the people running the auction asked if they could buy the dresses! I’m sure they weren’t entirely serious, but I took it as a nice compliment. I showed the dresses to a friend around town when I was out taking pictures of the items and she also asked when the auction would be happening since a friend of hers is having a baby in April.

The money raised for Love Without Boundaries goes towards funding surgeries to repair cleft palates and heart defects for the children in their programs. My best case scenario for the auction would be that these items go to a happy home and raise a good amount of money to help out the children in China! For more about the auction, see the links on my previous post about this crocheted clutch I also made for the auction. I’ll be posting the auction info sometime into April when it goes live.

striped reversible bag

I spent last weekend at my friend Amanda’s house after a fairly long road trip. Since she so kindly offered to put me up, I decided to bring her something I made. I went back to what has already become one of my favorite bag patterns, this simple reversible bag tutorial from Very Purple Person, to whip up a bag for her. It took me just a few hours.

The turquoise textured fabric I found at the thrift store. It was a little more sheer for a thicker weave than I’d thought, but the lining stripes only show through a little bit.

The lining fabric was a remnant from Hobby Lobby. It wasn’t a fabric I would normally pick for myself, but this one jumped out at me. It’s an unusual combination of colors: gray, white, brown, and turquoise. It matched perfectly with the thrift store fabric for the outside.

I’ve been having good luck in the unintentional fabric matching area lately. Maybe I’m just attracted to the same colors over and over so they end up going together?

Here is another shot of the bag where you can see the inside and outside fabrics together.

I was very satisfied with how the project turned out and Amanda was both surprised and happy with her bag.

(If you want to check out another bag I made from this pattern using a thrifted shirt for fabric, click here.)

To me, the satisfaction of making something is knowing that you took a one-dimensional piece of fabric and turned it into a usable object with more value. If someone else appreciates that object, the satisfaction is even greater.

An added bonus is that everything I make helps me pare down my fabric stash, giving me room for more eye-catching fabric I just have to have. Sharing the story and the finished pictures here on the blog is quickly becoming part of that finished project satisfaction.

But the best part was Amanda and I had a fun weekend! Hopefully I’ll get to do it again soon.

fleece cat blankets

I saw some kneading blankets on Etsy, but thought it would be simple to make my own. The cats don’t actually knead the blankets I made (they prefer to knead our stomachs instead!), but they do love laying around on these fleecy creations. The fleece also helps attract loose fur as they shed.

Making these blankets was as easy as I had hoped.

First, buy some polar fleece. You need enough to cut two rectangles of the same size, however big you want. Sew the rectangles together on three sides and part of the way on the fourth side, leaving a hole big enough to turn the rectangle inside out.

*If you wanted to make a thicker blanket, you could include a layer of batting when you sew the layers together, or stuff the blanket after you turn it.

Clip your corners and turn the blanket right side out. Make sure your corners poke out all the way and hand sew the opening closed. If you have a wide enough seam allowance, you might be able to get away with not sewing the opening closed since you’ll be putting a border around the edges.

*If you stuffed the blanket, I would push the stuffing to the middle before sewing the border so you aren’t sewing through a thick layer of stuffing.

Now you are almost done. Pick a fun stitch on your sewing machine and sew around the edges. Your pet blanket is complete!

I used a honeycomb stitch on the red and black paws and a zigzag stitch on the zebra fleece. The zebra fleece is leftover from hat and scarf project for my cousin that I’ll talk about another time.

I made a couple of these blankets for my two cats (more about them here!) and a couple more for the two cats my brother and his wife have. They moved into their first house not too long ago so I sent these as a housewarming gift. Maybe they’ll prevent the accumulation of cat hair on the furniture in their new place, as much as it can be prevented anyway!

They got these blankets a few days ago and my brother’s wife, Jess, was kind enough to send me pictures already! The cats seem quite happy with them.

Sophie is on the left and Caroline is on the right.

I was tickled to see these photos of Sophie sleeping. She is a skittish former street cat, so when I’ve gone to visit she is usually in hiding. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her at rest, but she seems to be quite content on her new blanket(s).

peasant-style baby dresses

I don’t have nor know anyone who has small babies currently, so I’m not sure why I had pinned this pattern for a peasant-style baby dress from Sew Much Ado. But when I was looking for items to make for the Love Without Boundaries auction, mentioned here, this dress pattern popped into my head. (I also decided to donate my bias tape bag to the auction.) I used fabric from some of the thrifted sheets I’ve been accumulating to make these two dresses.

I saw this sheet at the thrift store last weekend and knew it had to be made into one of these darling baby dresses. I had white rick rack already from making aprons. (This sheet will reappear in a later post.)

This dress was from another sheet that I used to make a couple of aprons. I wish I had some border left to use on the bottom of this dress since it was a nice contrasting reverse red on cream design.

For me, the hardest part of making these dresses was sewing the elastic together since the armholes are so tiny (the size is 0-3 months or 8-12 lbs.) and I was working with 1/4″ elastic. I sewed straight across the two pieces to hold them together before I did the zig-zag stitch. If you aren’t using rickrack for your hem, make sure you realize that your dress will be a little shorter and you may want to cut it longer. I didn’t read all the way through the tutorial before I started and found that out in the middle.

Overall, the dress was very simple to make and came together more quickly than anticipated. I hadn’t used rick rack for an edge before and was pleased with how that looks. I will most likely be using it for other items in the future.

My goal for next week is to make matching diaper covers for each of these dresses, before the auction deadline of April 1, using this tutorial from Dana Made It. The cream dress with red print will be standard, but for the polka dot oval pattern I’m going to try the bias tape version since I have leftover white bias tape.

crafting with cats

After reading the Cation Designs blog this afternoon featuring her cat, Walnut, I wanted to give a shout-out to my cat, Jackson. He follows me around all the time, so he’s always near me (getting into my stuff) when I’m working on my crafts. Plus my craft room is also in the “cat room.” Here are some pictures of him in action.

Jackson approves of my gathered clutch.

Jackson inspecting the oven mitts and apron I made for my sister-in-law.

Jackson unraveling my ball of yarn for a hat I’ll post about later.

Jackson inspecting a cat nap sack, another post for later.

This my other cat, Harvey, hanging out on the cat nap sack. She likes chasing my scissors and chewing on my cardboard cutting mat, but doesn’t get into my business as much as Jackson.