Tag Archives: sewing

DIY: Girly Decorative Pillowcases

DIY Pillowcase - Finished Collection Collage

Feeling crafty? I am! Our OKMH gang is getting together for a weekend in just 10 days, and I’m beyond excited. All seven of us under the same roof for the first time ever? It’s going to be epic! As a special treat, I made pillowcases for the girls – bright, colorful, girly pillowcases. What’s a girlfriends weekend for, after all, if not pampering, shopping, cocktails and flashy floral prints?

This is my simple DIY tutorial for decorative pillowcases.

For one queen-size pillowcase, you will need:
one yard of cotton quilting fabric (42″ wide x 36″ long)
one 6″ x 44″ piece of a coordinating solid
one 44″ piece of 1/2″ grosgrain ribbon
thread to match
felt & embroidery floss, to make a monogram (optional)
one tiny color-coordinated button (also optional)

Start by washing and ironing your yard of quilting fabric and the coordinating solid, then trim off any scraggly threads along the unfinished edges.

DIY Pillowcase - Loose Threads

Fold the yard of quilting fabric in half lengthwise with the good sides facing each other. Because quilting fabrics come from the factory with finished edges, this means your longer sides will already be ‘finished’ and only the top & bottom of the pillowcase will need to be edged to keep it from unraveling.

DIY Pillowcase - Factory Finished Edges

Pin the long side of your pillowcase and stitch it twice, so it’s extra sturdy. CAUTION: some fabrics have white edges and print along the finished edges. Be sure to stitch inside that line so this doesn’t show on your finished pillowcase. I’ll show you what I mean.

DIY Pillowcase - Double Stitched Edges

Here’s a simple trick for stitching the bottom of the pillowcase. Because the edges are ‘raw’ they can unravel when washed. I like to use bias tape to cover the raw edge. It helps create really sharp edges when the case is turned right-side out. Place your bias tape halfway beneath your unfinished edge, leaving at least 1/2″ of excess tape on each end. Fold the edges in so they’re flush with the edge of the fabric, then bend the bias tape in half to cover the entire edge and pin it into place. Double stitch all the way across to secure the tape. When done, trim off your thread tails and turn the case right sides out. Use a ruler to push your corners into a perfect right angle, and press your pillowcase.

DIY Pillowcase - Bias Tape Collage

Now we’re ready to tackle the opening and decorative trim. For the opening of the pillowcase, I turn the raw edge under 1/2″ and press, then turn under 1/2″ again and pin it in place. Again, double stitch for a more professional finish.

DIY Pillowcase - Finished Hem Collage

If you’re making a simple pillowcase, you can stop here. But if want to embellish, a simple ruffle with ribbon trim is a great way to go about it.

DIY Pillowcase - Ribbon Collage

1. Fold your solid trim fabric in half lengthwise and lay it on your finished case. I like to place the folded edge about 1″ from the finished opening of the case.

2. Lay out the ribbon, aligning it so that it just overlaps the cut edge. Pin the ribbon and ruffle into place so that the two edges meet at the side seam.

3. Stitch it all into place. I like use a ribbon with decorative stitching, and sew just along both sides of that stitching.

4. To join the two ends, fold one edge of the ruffle fabric in about 1/2″ and press it flat. Tuck the unfinished edge inside to hide it. Fold one end of the ribbon under 1/4″ or so and pin it to cover the other end of the ribbon. To finish, stitch across the folded edge of the trim to close it.

5. One last flourish – monogramming.

Do you have to monogram your pillowcases? No, but it does add a nice finishing touch and it’s easier than you think. Using your computer, open a Word document. Type in the initial you need and change the font until you find one you like. Play with the font size so that the finished letter fits easily on your solid border. Then hit ‘print’ and grab your paper off the printer. Roughly cut out a square around your letter and pin that square onto a piece of felt. Using sharp scissors, cut out the letter. When done, pin it to your solid ruffle and sew it on with your machine OR by using a simple stitch and a contrasting embroidery floss. (This one is machine-stitched. The others below are hand-stitched.)

DIY Pillowcase - Finished & Rolled

I took this one a step further with an iron-on flower and a small felt butterfly because this one is for the young daughter of a friend. I hope she’ll love her butterfly with pearls. For the ladies, I embroidered the monograms and finished them with a cute little button in a contrasting color.

When done, I folded the pillowcases and tied them shut with a coordinating ribbon. Here’s a look at some of the finished pillowcases for our first One Kitchen Many Hearts weekend. I just love how they turned out.

DIY Pillowcase - Finished Cases Collage

There’s so much joy in a handmade gift, and I admit I had a ball making these! Even better, the ladies will all have a keepsake from our first weekend together. Now I just need them to hurry up and get here. Not that we’re watching the clock or anything (we’re all totally watching the clock), but SHAKE A LEG, LADIES! We need to get this party started!

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Fun With Felt: Roadkill Rice Bags

Last weekend was our annual “ladies only” family gathering we call Hoegarden. Since it was held at my sister’s new place in the country, we decided to go with a “Lowdown Hoedown” theme. Food for the weekend included fried chicken, a pancake breakfast, fried pies and waaaay too many snacks. But my favorite thing was the gifts we all pulled together. There was Bacon Grease hand cream, Apple Pie Moonshine and Trailer Trash snack mix. Let’s just say we took full advantage of this year’s theme.

Here’s a look at one of the gifts I made. I hope you’ll take it in the spirit of fun with which it was intended. {I’m talking to you, PETA.}

Road Kill Rice Bags - Tabled

I mean, if you’ve got a boo-boo and you need a hot or cold pack, why not make them fun? Can you imagine the excitement these could cause when someone opens your freezer to find a dead cat or dog? Each is crafted from felt and filled with raw rice. They can be thrown in the freezer when you’re in need of an ice pack OR heated in the microwave for 2 minutes when you need a heating pad.

Road Kill Rice Bags - Turtle & Cat
The turtle went to Sister #5 (The Baby). She was always dragging critters home when she was little. I’m allergic to most cats, so this one is perfect for me.

Road Kill Rice Bags - Rabbit & Mole with Cactus
The mole & cactus is for Sister #4. She has a Loggerheaded Shrike (bird) in her neighborhood that’s famous for impaling moles on top of prickly pear cactus. It has been a running gag since we found the first one last Thanksgiving. Now none of us can drive through her neighborhood without slowing down at the cactus to see if the shrike has been there. Morbid, but fascinating.

Road Kill Rice Bags - Dog, Armadillo, Owl & Pig
That dog was for Sister #1 (Big Sis). Her husband won’t let them have a dog, so I took care of that for her. The armadillo was for my niece, and the little pig & owl were for the grandbabies in the group. They’ll be exposed to our twisted sense of humor soon enough, but for now they get the cute stuff.

Road Kill Rice Bags - Cardinal & Fox
My mother got this cardinal; she’s big on birds. And I love how the fox for My Baby turned out. He’s adorable, even with tire marks.

Speaking of, the tire tread marks were created with a Magic Eraser sponge. I cut three channels lengthwise to create the tire grooves, then went back with scissors and cut little notches along each channel to make them look like tire treads. From there, I dipped the sponge into a charcoal gray fabric paint and painted tire tracks across each animal’s tummy. I’m not going to lie – I could not stop laughing while I was making these.

To package them, I put a toe tag on each critter and placed them into a small black trash bag. Each bag was sealed with a twist-tie and a gift tag.

Road Kill Rice Bags - Tags

The only thing more fun than making these was the squeals and laughter when they were opened. It was hysterical. Yes, we’re kind of weird, but we also really know how to make each other laugh. Roadkill Rice Bags may not be a traditional gift, but they are all kinds of hilarious fun.

NOTE: No actual animals were harmed in the making of this roadkill.

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We love meeces to pieces.

I have four sisters. I am #2 of five. This fall, Sister #4 and her husband built a new house in the country, so for Thanksgiving the entire family gathered to celebrate the holiday at their new place. Being the mischievous crafters we are, Big Sis and I decided to break in the new house with an invasion. Of mice. Don’t panic. This collection won’t require pest control; just some of #4’s time. You see, before everyone left for home – these were hidden all over her new house.

House Mice - The Full Line-Up

This might very well be the first time she’s seen the entire line-up. At last count, one or two still hadn’t been found (4 weeks later). Heh heh. I think everyone in the family is laughing except for her. From what I’ve heard, Baby Sister got pretty creative with hiding places. Those last few may never be found.

I’m sharing this with you because it has been almost torturous to keep this to myself for this long. Our little project started this summer when Big Sis and I found a photo of felt mice on Pinterest which got us thinking. What if we made all types of mice and gave them themes or specific rooms to hide in?

Enter the Kitchen Mouse:

House Mouse - Breakfast Over Easy

Her apron, bottle cap skillet and toothpick wire whisk inspired a legion of others – all hand crafted with love and attention to detail. For instance, Big Sis created the Country Mouse complete with overalls, a bucket & straw in his mouth. Perhaps he could sit on a windowsill overlooking their back meadow.

House Mice - The Country Mouse

Sister #4 loves embroidery, so I made her a Crafting Mouse.

House Mice - The Crafter

And since they are voracious readers and the new living room is filled with big beautiful book shelves, Big Sis upped the ante with a Book Worm Mouse.

House Mice - The Book Worm

I responded with The Artist Mouse, because while our brother-in-law is a fire captain by trade, he is a painter at heart and has a new art studio at the house to show for it. Every studio should have a mascot. Right?

House Mice - The Artist

For fun, Big Sis added a few colorful hippie mice.

House Mice - The Hippie Sisters

And I pulled together a teal sweetie pie bearing flowers as a housewarming gift…

House Mice - The Florist

and this little Glamor Puss for their granddaughter, Zoey. This mouse is a diva.

House Mice - The Glamor Girl

Not to be outdone, Big Sis went for broke with the Racy Lingerie Mouse. She’s the floozy of the bunch. It was hidden in #4’s undies drawer.

House Mice - Racy Lingerie Mouse

She followed up with some really psychedelic party mice.

House Mice - The Funky Bunch

I thought we needed a mouse nesting in laundry lint to hide behind the dryer,

House Mice - Dust Bunny

and this one for the pantry. I call him Mr. Beans.

House Mice - Mr. Beans

And there were more. Twenty-two mice in total. All bearing sweet little tags that said “Congratulations on your new home. We’re so happy we could SQUEAK!” I don’t know which mouse was found first, but I do know it made cleaning up after a house full of company a lot more fun. And we had a blast making them.

House Mice - The Whole Gang

Rumor has it they are now populating a Christmas tree. Enjoy your new friends, Sister #4. Congrats on your new home. We can’t wait to visit again.

Until then… leave a light on.

House Mice - The Watcher

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Patching Knees – the NanaBread way

This is my grandson, Jonah Bear. At 5 1/2, he’s smart and funny and wonderful.

{Hi there, Jonah Bear. I love you, buddy. You light up my life.}

He’s really hard on the knees of his jeans. Oddly, just the left knee. It’s his knee of choice, evidently. Jonah Bear L-O-V-E-S his blue jeans. What he doesn’t love is holes in his knees, so My Baby brought a few with her at Easter and asked it I could take a crack at patching them. Here’s what I came up with:

{One, two, three. Three - ah, ah, ah.}

A funny kid deserves funny knee patches. Don’t you think? Something like this. Something that says, “Oh, please don’t go! We’ll eat you up; we love you so!” Can you name that book?

{Don't let the sharp teeth fool you. This guy's a pussycat.}

Or this. Peek-a-Boo! I see you! I’m a little concerned about how these buttons will feel if he slides on that knee. We’ll have to see how this one plays out.

{I'm calling this guy Bashful Buttons.}

And this last one? He’s a cheeky little monkey. All attitude, this guy.

{Double & Triple Stitched - because you know someone's going to pull on it.}

To make these, you’ll need some colorful felt, a few buttons, and a sewing machine. There’s no pattern. I just free-handed it. But I will tell you that it’s MUCH easier to stitch the pieces on to the background color before sewing them into the jeans. If they won’t fit over the base of your sewing machine, you can stitch them by hand. It will take a little longer, but it will work.

Now I just need to box them up and send them to Jonah Bear. I wish I could see his face when he opens them. I have a feeling he’s going to crack up laughing. Man, I love that kid!

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DIY Craft: Zippered Cosmetic Bags

Tired of losing stuff? Need a new bag for your purse or for travel? Want to make a quick homemade gift for family or friends? Well, I have the perfect tutorial for you! Our annual “Ladies Only” family weekend is rapidly approaching so I made these for the ladies. If I can do it, so can you! Same bag; two fun patterns.

Colorful stripes or stylish black & white - both are fun!

Are you familiar with oilcloth? It’s that fabulous retro fabric used mainly to make tablecloths. It has a plastic-coated outer layer and a soft fleecy flannel lining, which makes it perfect for these little cosmetic bags. It’s durable and washable. And if you have a great fabric store in your area, you can potentially find fabulous prints, solids or stripes to work with. You will, of course, need a sewing machine with a zipper foot to create these at home but if you’ve got that, you’re half way there.

For each bag, you will need:

1 rectangle piece of oilcloth (8 1/2″ x 11″)
1 heavy-duty 7″ metal zipper in a coordinating color
thread in a coordinating color
1 6″ piece of ribbon in a coordinating color

To start, cut your oil cloth into a rectangle. I used a standard piece of printer paper as my template, since it measures 8 1/2″ x 11″.

Next, cut the rectangle in half to make two equal pieces that are 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″. You’ll also need to cut two tabs (1.5″ x 1.5″ square) for the zipper.

Using those small squares, you’ll need to stitch them on each end of the zipper. First fold one side under 1/4″ to create a finished end. Place that end up against the end of the zipper and pin into place. You’ll want to do this on both ends of the zipper, then double stitch into place.

Next, grab a side and fold one long edge under 1/4″. With the zipper closed, center the folded edge along one side of the zipper and pin it into place.

Using the zipper foot, stitch along the folded edge making sure you sew off of both ends. Also note that once you get close to the zipper, you’ll need to remove a few of the pins you just sewed over, raise the zipper foot, and unzip the zipper so that you can get past the zipper head without messing up your stitching. Don’t worry. It’s not as scary as it sounds. The pins you’ll remove to unzip the zipper will be in the area you just stitched, so it’s all good. Once you’ve stitched all the way across one side, remove the pins and do the same on the second side.

Using the same method, sew the second side of the bag along the zipper. Once both sides are stitched on, it should look like this.

Now that your two sides are stitched onto your zipper, you’re almost ready to fold it up and sew it shut. One important tip – before you do, be sure to unzip the bag half way. Otherwise, you’ll stitch your bag shut and the zipper pull will be on the inside. Unzipping that bag is going to be really difficult if the zipper pull is on the inside and the bag is sewn shut. (Live & learn, kids. Live & learn.)

So, once you’ve unzipped the zipper half way, fold the bag in half so that the “good” sides are facing each other and pin it to keep it from slipping as you sew.

Here are close-ups of the zipper ends and how they’re pinned.

See that white peeking out of the ends of the zipper? That’s what those tabs we sewed onto the ends were for. They cover that gap in the zipper so you have a nice finished edge when we’re done. I’ll show you another close-up of that in a moment. For now, start at one end of the zipper and using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew around the three open sides of the bag. If you want, you can stitch around it twice. I just use the “back up” button on my machine and go over those top edges and the bottom corners a couple of times to reinforce them.

Here’s a close-up of those reinforced corners. Snip that corner off before you turn the bag right-side-out to get a good, crisp finished corner.

Turn the bag inside out and using a chopstick or other bluntly pointed object, gently poke the corners (top & bottom) to pop them into place. This is where you’ll be really glad you unzipped that bag halfway. Here’s a closer look at how those corners at each end of the zipper should look. It’s also a good look at how those tabs we sewed on in the beginning come into play. They really do help give a cleaner edge to the finished bag.

One last finishing touch – a ribbon as a zipper pull. It’s not necessary, but it adds a decorative touch and it does come in handy. You’ll need one piece of ribbon in a coordinating color, about 5 or 6 inches long. Fold the ribbon in half to make a 3″ length, then roll the cut ends together and poke them through the little hole in the end of the zipper pull.

Here’s another great tip – use Fray Check to seal the ends of that ribbon and keep it from unraveling. You can find it at fabric stores, and it’s worth keeping around. It really does work. If you wash the bag, retouch with Fray Check.

That’s it! Here’s a look at the finished bag.

If you’re going to use a striped oilcloth, be sure to match stripes when you sew these together. It makes a big difference in how they look once finished.

Same goes for those little tabs you sew on each end of the zipper. If you take a moment to lay all this out before you start pinning, you can even line up the stripes on those end tabs so they match as well. It takes a few more minutes of planning, but it’s worth it in the end. Sometimes, it’s the little things.

One last helpful tip. If you’re going to be making multiple bags, it goes faster if you cut each bag and lay the parts for each bag together. I also stitched all of the tabs onto the zippers before I started sewing bags together. It saved time by allowing me to just grab a zipper and go when I was ready for the next bag.

I hope you’ll jump in and try these. They’re fun to make, and don’t really take a lot of effort or time. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. If you make them and post pictures, let me know where I can see them. I’d love to see how yours turn out.

And to my mother, sisters, nieces, daughter, granddaughter and all the ladies who’ll be coming to visit next week – surprise! You’ll be getting one of these. Feel free to call dibs on your favorite – stripes or print. They’ll be filled with swag, and they’re going to go fast.

PS – Do I need to apologize for that nail polish color? It is kind of a spastic, groady green. Sorry you had to see that. I was experimenting for St Patty’s Day. Don’t worry… it’s coming off. It’s true what they say. It’s not easy being green.

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A crafting site you’re destined to love: Lori Holt’s “A Bee in My Bonnet” Blog

My favorite crafting blog - A Bee in My Bonnet by Lori Holt

Are you a crafter? Do you sew, quilt or create? Are you totally smitten by creative people? Well, I am. I consider myself moderately crafty and creative, but there are some out there who set the bar much higher for the rest of us. One such person is Lori Holt of A Bee in My Bonnet Blog. If crafting were a sport, Lori would be an Olympic athlete. A gold medalist of creativity. My big sister sent me a link to her blog last year, and I’ve been a rabid fan ever since. In fact, I would go so far as to say that when (or if) I grow up, I’d be one happy camper if I had even half the creative talent of Lori. Her blog header alone is enough to make me smile. Is there no end to her creativity? I really hope not!

Garden Chair Pin Cushions - by Lori Holt, A Bee in My Bonnet Blog

One of my favorite crafts from Lori’s blog are the garden chair pin cushions made from little lawn chair candle holders she found at a craft store. The cute factor is high, but the creative factor is off the charts. Where most of us would look at these little lawn chairs and think “I don’t really need more candle holders”, Lori saw them and thought “I should turn these into adorable pin cushions for my upcoming retreat.” How did she get from Point A to Point B? Well, she’s a creative genius, that’s how. To see her step-by-step tutorial, which includes fabulous full-color photos, click HERE.

Once you get into her blog, you’d better have a beverage in your hand and a few hours to burn. Lori’s gorgeous website is like crafting crack. You can get gloriously lost in her collection of quilts, crafts, and links. There is so much to explore, you will find yourself wanting to get lost here. Check out her file drawers along the right hand margin to see the collection of topics to choose from. Or click on her links in frames or her clever links set into vintage television sets. There is literally something for everyone.

My favorite quilt (this week) is Lori’s Cake Walk pattern. It’s beyond adorable.

Cake Walk Quilt by Lori Holt, A Bee in My Bonnet Blog

If I had a cupcake shop or bakery, you can bet this would be hanging on the wall.

Love aprons? Well, she has patterns for aprons you can wear, aprons you can wrap around drink bottles, and a wonderfully whimsical apron quilt.

Aprons of Every Kind - by Lori Holt, A Bee in My Bonnet Blog

But enough jibber-jabber. Click on any of the links or photos to be transported to A Bee in My Bonnet Blog. The only thing you’ll regret is not having enough hours in the day to discover it all. Special thanks to Lori Holt for allowing me to highlight her fabulous blog and use her lovely photographs. Words can’t express how much I admire her creative mind and her beautiful website. And a shout out to my Big Sis, who turned me on to Lori’s blog. I can’t thank you enough, Sis! Now… which project should I start next?

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My Creative Moment of the Week: Making a Camera Neck Strap Cover

Do you use a neck strap on your camera? I do. My Canon EOS Rebel T2i came with a heavy-duty neck strap, but it’s lacking in the comfort department. The rubbery back gets hot and sweaty, and the plastic thread holding it together rubs a nasty rash on my delicate swan-like neck. Of course, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek as I say that. I am neither delicate nor swan-like. I’ve been ogling neck strap covers on Etsy for a while, contemplating whether to spend the $25 to $40 plus shipping to order one, or just get off my butt and try to make one. Last week, I got off my butt.

I found the super cute owl fabric at a quilt shop in McKinney during our Hoegarden weekend back in March, and had to have it. I love cute little owls. Actually, I’m a sucker in general for furry woodland creatures (did I mention I hope to start a squirrel ranch when we retire?). That coordinating brown polka-dot fabric is cute, too. With a little cotton quilt batting and some trial & error, I was able to create a reversible padded neck strap cover in less than an hour. It would have gone faster, but my first attempt didn’t fit. What is it they say? “Measure twice; cut once.” Well, do as they say not as I do. Even so, I still had leftover fabric to make a newborn-size baby changing pad for a certain blogger friend who is crazy about owls and expecting her first baby in a few months.

Lessons learned: 1.) pay attention & 2.) sometimes it pays to get off your butt.

If anyone’s interested in learning how to make their own padded DSLR camera strap cover, leave a comment. If there’s enough interest, I’ll post a tutorial.

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