Wedding Coozies

I am at the time in my life where all my friends are getting married and making babies. I’m at the tail end of weddings and engagement parties for the year. For 3 different couples I made these ‘his’ and ‘hers’ and ‘hers’ cozies for the engagement parties or welcome dinners.

Supplies:

  1. Black Quilt Fabric
  2. White Quilt Fabric
  3. Satin Fabric (I bought searching through the remnant bin, 1/2 off!)
  4. Lace Ribbon
  5. White Elastic
  6. Flowers
  7. Typical sewing supplies

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First determine dimensions. I cut the back side of each out of white and black; rectangles of 4-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches. The bride front was two white rectangles at 2-3/4 by 9-1/2. Then a skirt was cut at 3 -1/2 by 11.  The groom front were two panels, 4-1/2 by 5 and 4-1/2 by 5-1/2.

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To make the groom front I pinned the two panels together as shown below with a piece of white fabric as the “undershirt” – do not sew.

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For the bride front I first gave the skirt a hem on three sides by folding the edge over twice and sewing. Then I pinned the skirt between the two white panels giving it ruffles and make sure to keep it at least a half inch from the edge. These were sewn together with a 1/4 inch seam.              wpid-20150803_211146.jpg

For each the bride and groom the front was sewn to the back, right sides together. Be sure to pin in the skirt as shown below so it does not get caught up in the hem, and sew with a 1/4 inch seam leaving a 2-inch gap on one short side to be able to reverse the coozie.

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After the coozie is reversed, put the two elastic bands folded in half into the open section and pin. Then give it a hem around all 4 side, reinforce the elastic bands with another pass over that section. For the groom sew down the front along where it should still be pinned, the groom was done with black thread, it was the only time I had to switch thread. The final move is to sew buttons on the opposite side of the elastic.

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The veil was made with one zig-zag seam with the top of the ribbon folded over by a half inch. Then an elastic band was inserted in the loop, and sewn closed. Flowers were sewn along the front of the band. I also put a matching flower on the groom’s coozie in the pocket area.

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Final products shown on a bottle before flowers were sewn on.

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Final products shown on cans.

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Two of three couples that were recipients shown below. They loved it and that was the real purpose of making these!

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Fabric Coasters

I’ve been wanting to make coasters for some time now since the wooden coasters I got in Ecuador are falling apart.  You may think: “Can’t you just sew two pieces of fabric together and call it a day?” Well, no because then you still have condensation seepage through the fabric or heat transfer from a hot cup. I can do better than that.

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First I started with some 4 by 4 squares I had left over from various quilts or other projects. I had a few other small scraps of fabric that I cut into 4 by 4 squares. The fabric color choice was to have a set of multi colored coasters to use while gaming; each person in our group has their own game colors they use everytime. The colors are typically red, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, and black depending on the game. I didn’t have any black scraps ready so I used dark blue. My typical color is blue which is prevalent in every game, Kyle is always orange but will settle for yellow. The coasters will prevent our game pieces or cards from getting wet when we have drinks while we game! The owls are just cute extra fabric I wanted to use up.

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Next I needed some insulation. I used left over fabric batting. Remember – Never throw anything out! These were small and oddly shaped pieces that I was able to cut into 4 by 4 squares.

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Batting still doesn’t account for the condensation issue. I need plastic! I’ve made these before with painters plastic and I prefer to use that. However my stash was out and right now I’m not buying new supplies unless needed. Instead I can upcycle some plastic bags!

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I tried my rotary cutter first and it worked! Shown below are the bags cut into 4 by 4 inch squares.

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Time to make sandwiches! Put the two fabric squares right sides together. Then lay a plastic square, insulation square, then plastic square on top and pin.

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Next sew the square around leaving a gap along one edge for flipping. Then cut off the extra trimmings and thread.

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Next flip your squares so that the fabric is on the outside.

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Pin the mouth shut.

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Sew around the outside edge. (For a wedding present I made some for a friend and I added a 2-inch square seam and it really popped. I’ve also done some with a spiral square seam pattern and that also looks really good. I imagine you can do all sorts of seam patterns to add extra zest to the coasters and to make them lie flatter.)

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Finally a finished product! The coasters work on hot and cold beverages.

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Note: Since there is plastic inside, do not use these as mini oven mitts. They are machine washable, but I’d let them air dry.

Spicing Up Our Pillows

Our couch is old, it has old pillows. But until we buy a house we’re not going to replace it. While looking through the remnant section of Jo Anns, I found some upholstery fabric that i liked! And I decided that this is the time to spice up our old couch. I made two pillow covers out of the fabric.

First I measured the pillow, they are about 18 by 18, so i cut one 20×20 square, then two 20 x 15 rectangles.

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For the two rectangles, I did a double fold under for the hem on one 20-inch edge. I then overlapped those edges and put them right side in against the 20-inch square.

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I was able to sew one continuous seam around the outside edge of the square. Then I snipped the corners flat and flipped it right side out using the overlapped fabric gap.

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Finally I put the old pillows into the new cases and they look so good! It definitely brightens up the room. I don’t care that they do not match my couch mainly because nothing in my living room matches and secondly because nothing could match these old couches at this point.

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More Babies!

I’m at the age where all of my friends are making BABIES!!!! I made another quilt and a second set of hats.

The design is unisex because it was still too early to know the sex, but I have too many project to wait. I’ve had these two color schemes sitting around for just the right project and I think it fits the couple’s style very well. I didn’t except to use the color schemes together but there is no clashing as each is on a different side of the quit.

To finish the quilts I used the tying method with matching colors on the plain pattern side.  I hid the stitches on the gold side that they wouldn’t clash.

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As always Blue was a good boy to model the hats. (He got a treat afterwards.) The first was orange/blue reverse and it was sent along with the quilt. I used the ‘S’ size so the baby will have to wait until next summer to use it. If he/she is anything like the parents the hat will be welcomed for sun protection.

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The second hat is below. I sent this to another friend whose child is under one just because I hadn’t sent her anything in a while. I love to do nice things for people unexpectantly.

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Please ignore my messy sewing room.

Glasses Case DIY

I do actually need glasses, but not to function, just to keep the headaches at bay.  After getting new glasses I wanted a way to hold them at work when I needed to put my safety glasses on. This is a DIY fabric glasses case tutorial.

What is the number one rule of DIY? Never throw anything away. Here I use an old felt/fleece blanket as the inner layer and a fabric square to create the outer design.

1. Cut a 7 by 7 square from the fleece and fabric square.

2. Cut a 2inch by 5 inch (approx) section from the fabric square for a strap.

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Step 3. Sew the strap right sides together lengthwide.

Step 4. Sew the fabric square on three sides giving approx 1/4 inch seam.

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Step 5. Invert both the fabric square and the strap, iron flat.

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Step 6. Fold the free end inward by 1/2 inch and sew the the free edge giving approx 1/4 inch seam.  Start the seam about 1/4 inch from the edge, and end it the same way.

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Step 7. Fold the square so that the fleece is inwards. Fold inwards both ends of the strap so that the free edges to not show. Then place the strap on the upper end of the fabric square “hotdog” as shown below so the ends are at least 1/2 inch into the square. The upper end will be the sewn edge in step 6.

Step 8. Sew along the two free ends (two edge without a seam), sewing the strap into the square as you go.

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Step 9. Always use seam sealer when you are done!

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The finished product:

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Lessons learned: I would probably have used a rectangle about 7 inches by 8-1/2 inches because my glasses fit in this case, but there is no excess room at all. I would rather have my glasses have 1/2 inch or so of free fabric at the end for better protection.

I’ve attached this glasses case to my badge at work and have used it for the exact purpose describe above. When I get on the work site I need safety glasses on and normal glasses safe.

Gloves!

For Christmas I made many pairs of gloves. Each person who received the fingerless gloves LOVED them. I’m finally uploading the pictures. These aren’t even half the pairs of gloves. In addition a few of the skeins of yarn had enough left over for ear covers!

The first pair was for my boyfriend’s Aunt’s 50th! I then followed up with three different colored ear covers as a Christmas gift, the first of which is below.

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A close up of the cover.

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The glove pattern is from ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fingerless-gloves-87

The cost of the gloves was about $4 for a skein of yarn, but I never used the full skein. Then about $2-3 for nice buttons. I wouldn’t use my plain buttons, because they just didn’t look good enough, I highly recommend going for the nice stuff.

Total time was about 45minutes per glove. I would consider myself an average skill level.

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We were watching our friend’s dog Walter over the holidays. It just so happens the red pair was for her, so I forced him to be my glove-picture background. The black pair was for my best friend, they look much more snazzy than the picture shows, the yarn is glittery!

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In addition I made a blue pair for another bestie, a matching green ear cover to go with the gloves to my boyfriend’s niece, a brown pair for my boyfriend’s mom and a few more ear covers to use up the rest of the yarn. This pattern was simple and effective, I give it an A+

Guitar Strap

I’ve long expressed interest in playing music again and my boyfriend wants someone to play with him. So this Christmas he got me my very first bass guitar. Now, I’m not a music newbie. I’ve played brass instruments all my life, I can mess around competently with a piano and I had a brief relationship with the double bass. It only makes sense that to play music with a guitar, mandolin, ukulele playing boyfriend that I get a complementary instrument that I am interested in. However the bass came with no strap!  Crafting to the rescue!

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This is the strap I mean to emulate. It’s one of my boyfriends.

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Gather Supplies:

1. Quilting squares.

2. A strap with adjustable end piece.

3. Iron-on fabric pads. (I’ll talk more about these later)

4. Normal quilting supplies.

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1. First I cut the fabric into 3-1/2 inch wide straps. Since I was using fabric squares, a single length would not be long enough, sew two lengths together then cut to the right length.  For me it was about 34 inches long. In hindsight my strap is a bit long, make sure to measure it on yourself or do a mock-up before sewing.

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2. The pocket. This is meant to hold any small things you need. I cut a 3-1/2 by 4-1/2 rectangle.

3. Iron the fabric so that 1/4 of each edge is down.

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4. Sew along the top in a straight line.

5. Sew the pocket onto the strap where you want it around the other three sides of the rectangle. Right now a safety pin is holding the pocket shut, but once I get to the store I’ll buy some snaps and sew them on.

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6. Put the two side of the straps facing each other (pin if you really want to) and lay batting over the straps.

7. Cut batting to size and pin all three layers together. (I actually used 2 layers of batting, use as many as you want! I wouldn’t go above 3 though without increasing the width of the strap.)

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8. Sew down each side of the strap and turn the fabric right-side-out, iron. To sew, I placed the batting side up so that it would not get caught in the sewing machine, but if you do make sure the batting also doesn’t get caught in the foot. Mine got caught from time to time. Sew slow if needed.

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An aside: For the ends of the strap that connects to the guitar I used the iron on elbow pads I had lying around.  My boyfriend informs me that this part of the guitar strap will always fail first. So in the future, when I need to make a heavy-duty strap, I will go with something stronger. However for my needs of playing around the house and with friends, the integrity of my straps should be sufficient.

9. Turn the top edge of your strap (the side that will connect to the neck of the guitar) inwards approx. 1/4 inch. Place two of the iron-on pads “sticky” side together over your end and iron according to directions (approx. 30 seconds each side moving the iron around)

10. For the bottom end of the strap turn the ends in approx. 1/4 inch.  Place a loop of black strap material between the strap fabric with the plastic adjustable piece attached as shown below. Pin.

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11. Sew around the outside of the strap approx. 1/4 inch in from the edge. I did two passes over each end for strength.

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12. Not shown. For the lower side of the guitar strap, the black strap that fits into your adjustable plastic piece. Use step 9 to attach two elbow pads to the end of your [black] adjustable strap. Sew over the portion where the black strap meets the elbow pads for extra strength. I did a square with two diagonal cross sections so that it looked nice and would help with strength. You can see this piece on the bottom in the last photo below.

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13. Cut a slit in each of the elbow pad sections. Sew around the slit if you wish, I didn’t and mine has held up fine so far! I’ll update otherwise.

Shown below is the finished product with the acoustic bass guitar.

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