Thursday, May 31, 2012

flip flop fix

if he's not wearing them out, he's outgrowing them - it's so hard to keep Leo in shoes!  I was glad for sandal weather until I saw how much little flip flops are - jeez!  he's in that perfect size that either everyone else is also and they're all gone, or they're more than I'm willing to pay for a month or so's worth of wearing.  I happened to find his size at Old Navy (not in the colors I wanted but still cute), and though they don't cost much, I don't want him to wear them out with everyday use.  I went to the dollar store and found the smallest size I could (which was 8, but they're not that much bigger than what he wears) and added a head band to the backs to keep them on.  now he can wear these out in the backyard and to the park and save his nicer looking ones when we  go out to lunch or shopping.


Monday, May 28, 2012


Matt and Leo got me a Babycakes doughnut maker for Mother's Day :)  they had them on sale at Kohl's and I pointed it out to Matt while we were dress shoe shopping not long ago.
I don't think I'd use the box mixes again, and until I find a good recipe this might end up just being used to make quick muffins or pancakes, but they cook up fast (6 in about 3 minutes) and are really cute. 
I made a scratch recipe I found online - not good at all despite what everyone said about the recipe :( - then I did the cinnamon sugar and chocolate mixes I got with the maker.  the vanilla base with cinnamon sugar topping was alright.  I ran out of the mixture halfway through the doughnuts, so I dusted the rest with powdered sugar.  I wanna try the vanilla recipe from scratch and see if it's better than the boxed mix.
I think the best was the chocolate, but not because they resembled anything that of a doughnut besides the shape, but because it was like eating a chocolate cake :)  they were Leo's favorite, too.
I wanted to see how a muffin mix did in it - pretty much tastes like a muffin.  my favorite doughnuts are glazed blueberry cake, and if I could adapt a mix to make my own I'll be... well, super fat, but happy while I'm eating them, anyway! ;)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

tuxedo shirt

I made this tuxedo onesie for a friend's baby shower in May, and I couldn't resist making Leo one, too :)
I used white iron-on vinyl that I cut out with my Silhouette, and I put their names in the back with a scripture verse.
I'm out of white vinyl now, so I think I'll get some printable stuff so I can do some other designs I have in mind!

Monday, May 21, 2012

belts for Leo

Leo is in a long and skinny phase where for his pants to be long enough they're too big in the waist, so I made him some D-ring belts.

to make a simple ribbon belt you'll need:
  • ribbon (grosgrain works best for me, but experiment and find what you like)
  • D-rings
  • sewing machine/needle & thread
  • optional: fray check or lighter
determine the length you want the belt to be (I made Leo's  24" long), double it, and add 3/4".  cut to size and melt the ends of the ribbon if it's synthetic, or glue them if it's natural fibers to keep them from fraying.
overlap the D-rings by 1/2" and sew across. with the other end, fold in half and overlap the end you just sewed by 1/4" and sew across really well.
sew from the end with the d-rings all the way down to the other end. turn and sew across the folded edge, then turn again and sew back up the other side to the d-ring end. turn again and sew across to where you started from, back stitch to secure your stitches, and that's it! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

t-shirt refashion how-to

I got this shirt a few years ago with the intention of making it over.  after wearing it as-is for a while I finally changed it up, and it was so simple I wish I had done it forever ago!

supplies needed:
  • 2 t-shirts (or 1 t-shirt and scrap fabric of the same or similar fabric type)
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
lay the shirt flat, line up the seams at the shoulders and smooth down to the under arms. cut through both layers following the curve of the sleeve and taper in toward the neckline. cut the shoulders apart, fold the front down and re-cut the back so it's more narrow than the front.
pull the top part back up and trim the front so that it follows the back angle if you want to use the neckband as your casing, but I didn't like how it gathered so I cut off the neck band from the front and back making the front more of a straight line.
sew a hem on both sides going from the front to the back (or just leave it unfinished), then fold over 1/2" on the front and sew that down to make the front casing.
for the back casing cut a scrap of fabric to the same width as the back of the unfinished part of the top of the shirt (remember to add some for the seam allowances) and twice as wide as you want your casing to be.  if you want the back of the shirt higher make the casing long, and if you want it lower in back make the casing shorter. hem the sides of the scrap and fold in half.  with the unfinished edges together, line up with the raw edge of the shirt and sew across (I don't have a picture of that - sorry!) then flatten out the seam and sew across so that it lays flat.
braid 3 straps of the scrap together, sewing across the ends and cutting them straight.  put a safety pin on one end and fish it through the casing on the front and back of the shirt (no pic for this either) and mark where to cut it so the straps are the right length. straighten out the braid so it's not twisted and stitch both ends together so they're flat, and pull it back through the front casing to hide the join.
this step is optional:  take more scrap fabric and make a band for the bottom by cutting two rectangles that measure half of your hips (or wherever the shirt hits you) plus 1/2" for seam allowance, and twice as wide as you want the band to be.  put the rectangles right sides together (I used the wrong side of the fabric for mine) and sew along the short sides, then turn the tube down in half to make the folded edge.
insert the shirt into the tube so that the raw edges of the band line up with the bottom of the shirt, pin at the side seams and find the halfway points of the front and back on the band and the shirt and pin those spots together. stretch the band as you sew to make the fabric line up, then turn the band down.
I love the design of this shirt and will be making more of these for the summer :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Mixbooks

I did photo books for our mothers last year, and I told myself I'd work on the next ones along the way so I'd be ready for Mother's Day this year... didn't happen, but I was still able to throw a couple together and get them ordered in time! I didn't put as many "stickers" in these books, but I had a lot more pictures to arrange. I still like how they came out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

knot for Leo

I made Leo some friendship bracelets to wear last summer that are now framed and up on my Leo wall of fame in the living room.
he was a sport and wore them for 4 months without a problem! I'm trying to make it a summer tradition to make him new ones every year and these are what I did for 2012.
the top one is a zigzag pattern in yellow and black, the middle one is basic letters that I made on a grid, and the bottom one is a 5-strand flat braid like I did on my flip flops strap. I finished them all off by leaving tails to tie together that I fishtail(or fishbone?) braided.
I tried the same 5-strand flat braid with 7 strands for a friend. I'm sure it could be done with many more and I want to try a really wide one... some day.
I was worried that because Leo's older he might mess with them, but he actually seemed excited to wear them (maybe he remembers) and sat still with his arm out for me to put them on! he doesn't seem to notice they're there now.

if you're new to friendship bracelets, here are the 4 basic knots:

Monday, May 7, 2012

earring hook & hoop how-to

I make jewelry for my mom and Matt's mom a few times a year (birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas) and my mother-in-law likes a smaller wire hoop instead of a traditional fish hook earring, so I started making the smaller open hoops, and here's how to do it.

you'll need:
  • wire cutters
  • flat nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • size 13 knitting needle
  • ear wire or pre-made wire hoops
  • file (optional)

I use a pre-made wire hoop from the craft store, but you can use regular ear wire.  wrap the wire around a size 13 knitting needle so that it overlaps past the point that it makes a full loop.
trim the wire a 1/4" beyond the overlap. make a loop on the end you just cut with the round nose pliers, turning away from the opening of the hoop.  shape it so it lays flat and is open enough for your earlobe.

another earring I like to make it is an angled ear hook - it's pretty easy.
I take the pre-made hoop and stretch it out so that it still has a little curve to it.  if you're using plain ear wire cut a length that's twice as long as you want your hook to be and make a loop on the end with round nose pliers.
hold the wire between your finger and thumb and pinch so that the ends are even as they come together until they cross.
open the hook up slightly, take the flat nose pliers and turn the loop so that it's flat, then use the round nose pliers to curve the loop inward.
since I use pre-made ear hoops I don't need to finish the end that goes through the ear because it's already rounded, but if you're using ear wire by itself you'll need to file the ends so they aren't sharp.
it's a very simple way to give earrings you make (or already have) a more unique look :)