Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Make a Color Block Maxi Skirt From Tee Shirts

Some of the most comfortable articles of clothing I own are maxi skirts. They're great for traveling, lounging around, or to wear to work... or anywhere. I love them. 

I had a bunch of old t-shirts around my house and decided to turn them into a maxi skirt. So, gather those old t-shirts and let's make you a comfortable maxi skirt! You'll need three shirts to make it happen.

From the two tee shirts you want for the middle and the top layer, cut off the original hems.

Next, pin the bottom layer to the middle layer and then pin the middle layer to the top layer.  Sew those layers together with an overlapping stitch.

After unpicking the cowl neck from the moss green tee shirt, I discovered that this fit around my waist.  I cut two inches off of the narrowest part of the cowl neck to create my waistband.  I didn't need to finish the top of the waistband because it's edge (since it was a cowl neck) was already finished.

After gathering the top layer of the skirt, pin the waistband in place and sew onto the skirt.  You should now have a color block maxi skirt to wear.

This project takes about 1 hour to make... unless you unpick a cowl neck.  Add extra time for that fun chore.  Just for fun, here's a few photos of the tee shirt remains after cutting them up to make this skirt:

As you can see, there's still extra tee shirt fabric to make another project or two.  

I have a simple rule I follow when I sew something for myself: For every new item I make myself for free, I get to buy new shoes. I love the new shoes that I purchased for this skirt! xoxo Grandma

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ebleskiver - Breakfast Choice of Grandchildren


We are taking a break from our regularly scheduled craft time to bring you this very important post on breakfast.  Yes, breakfast. These babies in that above photo are the most requested item I get from grandkids to make for breakfast. They are called Swedish Ebleskiver or aebleskivers. They are light, small pancakes, They take longer than regular pancakes to make but they are so worth it!  Just ask any of my grandchildren!

To make these, you'll need a special pan that looks like this:

This is the recipe that I use.  If you want to download this recipe go HERE.
While you're mixing up the ebleskivers, let your pan heat up on the stove.

Danish Ebleskievers

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
3 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon salt
1 tsp. soda
2 T sugar
1 tsp. baking powder

Put egg whites in one bowl and the yolks in another bowl.   Beat egg whites and set aside.  Beat egg yolks , add sugar & buttermilk, then slowly add flour, soda and baking powder.  Lastly, fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Place small amount of butter in each depression of the ebleskiver pan.  Fill 2/3 full of dough.  Cook over low temperature.  Turn with a fork or skewer.  Serve with maple syrup.

I like to make all the batter into ebleskivers and then put the ones we don't eat into a storage bag or container for later.  Later just warm them up in a microwave and watch your little ones be happy because they can eat these every day while their grandmother is taking care of them.  xoxo Grandma

Polo shirt Post HERE
Photo taken by Nu Image Studios

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Make a Fabric Fairy House - a Refashion & Tutorial

You are in for a treat with this project, because although it took me a while to create, this fairy house now tops my list of favorite creations! So who is ready to have more fun than you can imagine creating this gem using a shrunken sweater, a corn meal container and a few odds and ends from around your house? 

Supplies needed:
  • empty corn meal container
  • X-Acto knife or box cutter
  • embroidery floss: 2-3 shades of green, brown & beige
  • felt or felted wool sweater (a shrunken sweater)
  • 1 button (for door knob)
  • beads - from old necklaces
  • fabric water soluble marker
  • 9001 Epoxy Glue, clear
  • thread
  • scissors
  • small pieces of lace curtains or netting
  • optional items: decorative bird and or butterfly (I purchased mine from a dollar store)
  • green felt or felted wool for the leaves
  • 3 pipe cleaners
  • cut 3 pieces of green felt 7/8" x 13", cut one end of each piece like this: 
Download templates for the door, window and leaf foundation color patterns HERE and the basic house pattern HERE.  

Cut two fairy house leaf foundations from felt and one from stiff interfacing.

1.  Draw the door onto a corn meal container.
2.  Turn the container upside down, using a sharp box cutter or X-Acto knife, cut along the door lines.
3.  Tape the windows in place and draw around the window pattern.  
4.  Cut the windows out with the box cutter.

5.  Wrap the felted sweater around the container. Cut enough fabric so it goes around the container and add at least 3/8" for a seam allowance.  Cut the felted sweater as follows:
Now, pin the door onto the fabric and cut out the door opening.
6.  Pin the window pattern directly over the cut out on the container.  Trace around the pattern with a fabric marker.
7.  Cut a small hole through the back side of the fabric and cut around the traced pattern.
8.  Cut out the door from felt. With a fabric marker, trace the wood lines onto the felt.

9.  From old lace curtains (or netting) cut 3/4" overall larger than the window pattern.  Pin over the window openings and sew in place.
10. Using two contrasting colors of embroidery floss, chain stitch around the openings of the windows.
11.  Sandwich interfacing between the 2 felt doors and pin. Zig zag using various widths the wooden lines onto your door. 
12.  Finish the edge of the door with a blanket stitch.

13.  Stitch the fairy house together to form a circle. Using a straight stitch, sew the door to the left side facing on the door opening.
14.  Blanket stitch all the way around the door (I hand embroidered this area.).
15.  Pin the door over the cut out area.  Add elastic cording by machine stitching to the right side facing of the door 3" from the bottom. Add random beads around the door opening.  Hand sew a button for a door knob to the door.
16.  Sandwich interfacing between the fairy house leaf foundation and sew around the edge at 1/4". Now sew the centers of the leaves. See the pattern for all the leaf details. This pattern is the actual size of the foundation.

17.  Blanket stitch the felt around the pipe cleaner.  

18. Pin the leaves to the top of the fairy house.
19. Stuff the felt vines into the hole at the top of the house.
20. For the rose leaves, make a stem that you'll attach the leaves to by cutting off some of the "fuzz" from the pipe cleaner.  Then apply some tacky glue to the pipe cleaner.  Now, wrap reddish brown embroidery floss all around the pipe cleaner.  I wrapped 3 1/2" inches for my stem.  Add the rose leaves to your house and glue on a rose or two.  
21.  Put strong adhesive all around the outside edges of the corn meal container, especially the windows and door.  Pull the house over the container and press the edges into the glue.

22.   I added paper clips to the door area to hold the house tightly against the corn meal container.  Set the house aside and let the glue dry.
23.  Add the house onto the leaf foundation and pin in place.
24.  Sew the leaf foundation to the house.
25.  If desired, add a few additional extra leaves, a butterfly and or a bird to your house using your adhesive.

26.  Create several fairies and watch your child or grandchild have fun!  For fairy creating tips see THIS post.

This fairy house is for that child in your life that likes playing in a world of make believe. You can turn this into a darling night light by tucking an LED light through the door. Just look at the soft glowing light that comes through the little windows once the light has been added:

Take your house outside for a while and see if any fairies want to take up residence in this cozy, whimsical little home.

If you don't want to take the time to actually make a fairy house but love this one, please stop by my Etsy shop.  xoxo Grandma

Linked to:  Threading My Way

Monday, April 20, 2015

Annie's Dress - a Refashion

A while ago, one of my friends mentioned that her daughter would love to learn to sew.  I've know this cute eight year old since she was a toddler. She's a darling, polite young girl and I love her and her family.  I was curious to see how hard it would be to teach a young girl this skill.  So, a few weeks ago, Annie came to my house for a lesson in refashioning.

Before we got together to sew this dress there was a little preparation which took place. First, I had her mother pin ideas for me to look at so I'd know what style she liked for her daughter.  Next, after selecting this idea, I needed something to refashion.  I found an extra large teen's dress made from soft blue chambray cotton for $4 from a local thrift shop. Lucky for us, it looked like the same fabric as the dress her mother had pinned.  From this dress, I cut off the arms and elastic. Then I took a pattern and the dress over to her house to see how this pattern might fit her.  As you can see from the above photo, this girl is not large, she's simply tall and skinny so we had a lot of extra width to take off of the original dress. Before she arrived for her lesson, I cut the dress out and pinned the seams together.  

Her mother suggested a flutter sleeve on the dress.  My pattern didn't come with this type of sleeve so I drafted my own pattern for it.  I used the original sleeves to make her new sleeves.

Once Annie got to my house for her sewing lesson, I discovered that she knew quite a bit about sewing.  She was careful, cautious and quick to learn.

Three hours later, this is what her new dress looked like:

My favorite part of making this dress with Annie was explaining to her about the alphabet on the sewing machine and how we could make our own special tag for her new dress. I know she liked making this tag and punching the right numbers to get the sewing machine to spell her name.

Last Sunday, Annie walked into class wearing her new spring dress.  She had the biggest smile on her face.  I practically melted seeing her wear it. There is a great satisfaction in helping others succeed. There is also great satisfaction in creating.  Wouldn't you agree?  xoxo Grandma

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Bike Lovers Sling Bag

After making my first sling bag over the weekend, I realized I had enough materials on hand to make one more. This biking fabric was my inspiration for this sling bag:

If you want to make a sling bag too, go to Sugar Bee Crafts to get a copy of this free pattern.

This time around, I turned my black and white strip fabric diagonally before cutting out the basic fabric. I joined the side panel pattern pieces and made one large panel.  Then I got down to some serious fabric embellishing using hand and machine embroidery, ribbon and tiny silver rick rack for the bike's chain.  I love how using different embellishments transpose these hand drawn images into both a vintage and contemporary looking bike.  

I also added a large black button to the panel with the vintage bike and an enclosure loop to the other panel to keep this bag's contents inside.

To this bag, I added two pockets about the size of a cell phone onto the sides of the embellished panels. I know a lot of kids have cell phones but I'm betting my granddaughter would rather have her pockets filled with her favorite books and maybe even some crayons.

I'm really happy with the way my bike lovers sling bag turned out! Don't be surprised if I make another one of these bags, this pattern is just so much fun! xoxo Grandma

This project has been linked to Project Run and Play April project, Nap-time Creations, Crafty Allie.

You might also like these related projects:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Sling Bag

What says spring to you? Is it caterpillars emerging into butterflies, the color of green grass, flowers blooming or maybe it's a new bag with pockets? These are things I thought about as I designed this reversible spring sling bag.

This is the first sling bag I've ever made and only my second attempt at even making a bag.  This basic project was selected by Mandy with Sugar Bee Crafts as April's Project Run and Play project.  The pattern was easy and fun, so hop over to Sugar Bee Crafts and download your free pattern. 

To start off this project, I knew that pockets were an essential item to add to any bag so I added two pockets to my sling bag.  For the first pocket, I had a little fun using the Sharpie fabric art technique found HERE and added an image of a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly. To make the image pop, I also added a few embroidery stitches to this design.  The second pocket was taken from the bodice of a knit tee shirt which was left in my refashion pile. I loved the floral sewn design on the fabric and thought it would make a fun pocket on the black and white stripped side. I simply took a little of the knit fabric and finished off it's edge and sewed it onto the bag.  I also love the details the buttons gave to this pocket.

I love that the bag was designed to be reversible. 

If you decide to make this bag, here's something you may want to consider: turning the bag inside out is TRICKY! As I was turning the bag right side out, it was incredibly difficult to reverse it!  I'd cut the pattern down quite a bit because my granddaughter is a petite four year-old and the bag pattern was designed for a 9 year-old. Plus, I'd added bulk with the addition of the pockets. So, the entire time I was trying to flip it, I was thinking it wasn't going to work. Relief washed over me as I finally, FINALLY got it after much tugging. I agree completely with the directions as they state it's tricky to do this.  

I love this little spring sling bag and have already started another bag, which I'll show to you soon!  xoxo Grandma

This project made it to one of ten selected for voting, please go HERE to vote for it.  Thank you!

You might also like these projects:

Linked to: Nap-time Creations, Crafty AllieProject Run & Play