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Posts Tagged ‘sewing’


Projects & Recipes

Ok, there are tons and tons of ways to make sweater socks or sweater slippers, whatever you want to call them.  I happen to live in Northern Minnesota and it has gotten down to 70 F below zero this winter …so I call these sweater socks NEEDED.  Here is the quickest way that I have found and you are only investing about 40 minutes for a pair.  Well, and an old sweater of your choice.  Every spring & fall I hit the cheap-O second-hand shop near me and spend the 5 bucks per garbage bag full of clothing.  I walk in, grab a garbage bag, clear the racks of as many sweaters & bed sheets I can  cram into the bag.  Pay my 5 bucks and I’m a happy woman, other than the fact I get them home and have now added 3 loads of laundry to my day.  But I use the sheets to make summer night gowns for all the girls and if I found “gold” – flannel sheets, they make super soft & warm winter night gowns.  The sweaters are all used until there is almost nothing left but a wayward seam.  Sweater socks, slippers, blankets, mittens, gloves, scarves, carrying bags, you name it the list goes on and on.  Today here is an easy peasy and quick sweater sock.

What you will need:

1 sweater

bout 6 feet of yarn

a plastic sewing needle for yarn

1 piece of paper

 

Doing the deed:

First thing is first, take a piece of paper and trace your foot or a shoe for who yu are making the slipper for.

Take your old sweater and cut off both sleeves. The sleeves will be yur socks.

Take your old sweater and cut off both sleeves. The sleeves will be yur socks.

Next lay the traced peper foot on the sweater and cut out. It is up to you if you want double layer, I certainly do and did make them. Simply cut through both layers of the sweater. Once you have one sole cut, set the pieces to the side and flip the paper foot over to cut the other set.

Next lay the traced peper foot on the sweater and cut out. It is up to you if you want double layer, I certainly do and did make them. Simply cut through both layers of the sweater. Once you have one sole cut, set the pieces to the side and flip the paper foot over to cut the other set.

You now have a left & right sole and double layered if you have choosen.

You now have a left & right sole and double layered if you have choosen.

4th step is to take your sleeves and slide the cuff up your ankle, leaving the rest of the sleeve hanging off your foot.  If you are woking with a shoe for someone, no biggie. Leave a 3 to 4 inch top, where the cuff is, above the shoe.  Trim around your foot, along the side or side of the shoe you are working with, where the sole meets the side of the shoe.

4th step is to take your sleeves and slide the cuff up your ankle, leaving the rest of the sleeve hanging off your foot. If you are woking with a shoe for someone, no biggie. Leave a 3 to 4 inch top, where the cuff is, above the shoe. Trim around your foot, along the side or side of the shoe you are working with, where the sole meets the side of the shoe.

take your tops and match them up to your sweater cut soles and pin.  I suggest start pinning at the toes. Also if you have to be perfect and want to feel clumping sweater around your foot, by all means, turn your pieces inside out for a clean finished look. I was going for the "I don't care, keep my feet warm and I have 5 minutes before the kids go nuclear" way to do these.

take your tops and match them up to your sweater cut soles and pin. I suggest start pinning at the toes. Also if you have to be perfect and want to feel clumping sweater around your foot, by all means, turn your pieces inside out for a clean finished look. I was going for the “I don’t care, keep my feet warm and I have 5 minutes before the kids go nuclear” way to do these.

Thread your yarn needle with whatever yarn you have on hand. Start stitching, you can use a whip stitch or whatever is easiest for you.

Thread your yarn needle with whatever yarn you have on hand. Start stitching, you can use a whip stitch or whatever is easiest for you.

And there you have it!  Sweater socks in 30 to 40 minutes.  If you did turn your pieces inside out, enjoy your clumps, or just trim them down a bit. Carefule not to trim too much or they will unravel when you wash them.

And there you have it! Sweater socks in 30 to 40 minutes. If you did turn your pieces inside out, enjoy your clumps, or just trim them down a bit. Carefule not to trim too much or they will unravel when you wash them.

Soft, warm and double soles feels like fluffy carpet under your feet.

Soft, warm and double soles feels like fluffy carpet under your feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Projects & Recipes

A friend of mine asked me today if I had ever recycled or upcycled a button down shirt into an apron/smock.  Yes I have and you can get some really pretty & functional ones for any size you need.  I made one of our daughters one a while ago and hadn’t gotten around to posting the pictures of just how easy it is to make a shirt apron.  All you need is a button down shirt.  It can be a mens or women’s, plain or frilly.  The shirt is totally up to you.  I have younger smallish children, so for them I use a heavy weight t-shirt.  Kids get into painting and these apron/smocks are awesome for that!

Here is the shirt Isabelle picked out. It is a light weight corderoy with flowers embroidered on it, in a silver green.

Here is the shirt Isabelle picked out. It is a light weight corduroy with flowers embroidered on it, in a silver green.

Start at the bottom hem on the side seam and cut up to the arm.  Follow the arm seam, cutting away to the neckline. Repea on the other side seam of the shirt. Next you  trim from one side of the neckline to the other, right up against the seam to leave a nice finish.  You should now have 2 sleeves and the entire back of the shirt cut off.  Cut 2 strips from the back panel and use those as your ties.  Run a new seam up both sides to the neckline.  I attached my ties to the shirt at the armpit of the old seam.

Start at the bottom hem on the side seam and cut up to the arm. Follow the arm seam, cutting away to the neckline. Repeat on the other side seam of the shirt. Next you trim from one side of the neckline to the other, right up against the seam to leave a nice finish. You should now have 2 sleeves and the entire back of the shirt cut off. Cut 2 strips from the back panel and use those as your ties. Run a new seam up both sides to the neckline. I attached my ties to the shirt at the armpit of the old seam.

See how easy it was and you have a form fitting, stylish new apron or smock.

See how easy it was and you have a form fitting, stylish new apron or smock.

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Projects & Recipes

Sweaters are so cozy, so why not a sweater blanket?  There is no reason why not.  I pulled out some old sweaters I don’t wear anymore but you can pick some up from a resale shop too.  All you want from the sweater is the front & back panels.  It is totally up to you what color scheme, layout design and size you sew.  Here is what 5 sweaters turned into at our house today and you can see the new sweater blanket has already been claimed.  Here is a fun way to recycle or upcycle some old sweaters.

I made mine a stripe blanket, but next time I will try something different.

I made mine a stripe blanket, but next time I will try something different.

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Projects & Recipes

Today I made a purse by recycling old jeans and I have never made a purse before.  If I can do this, anyone can do this.

First thing I did was hit my old jean pile in my craft cabinet. I pulled out 3 different shades of jeans. Next I cut the legs off and started cutting strips.  I ended up with 13 inch long strips to work with. I trimmed them down to 4 inches wide.

First thing I did was hit my old jean pile in my craft cabinet. I pulled out 3 different shades of jeans. Next I cut the legs off and started cutting strips. I ended up with 13 inch long strips to work with. I trimmed them down to 4 inches wide.

Once I knew how I wanted to bag to look with a color range I started sewing. I matched up strips faced together.  Now I had a panel sewn.

Once I knew how I wanted to bag to look with a color range I started sewing. I matched up strips faced together. Now I had a panel sewn.

Front of the panel.  Next I folded the panel over from left to right and cut the the panel in half.

Front of the panel. Next I folded the panel over from left to right and cut the panel in half.

Lay the panels clean  faces together and trim the corners at an angle. At this point my pattern is 13in. wide and 13.5in. long.  I gave myself a 1/2in. allowance. To make a liner just repeat the previous steps with a piece of fabric. I used the back panel of an old shirt.

Lay the panels clean faces together and trim the corners at an angle. At this point my pattern is 13in. wide and 13.5in. long. I gave myself a 1/2in. allowance. To make a liner just repeat the previous steps with a piece of fabric. I used the back panel of an old shirt.

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After you have run a stitch all the way around your jean & liner pattern, it is time to attach the liner to your purse.  Just do a quick 1 inch long stitch, lining up the bottoms of both the liner & purse (still inside out, both items) and stitch them together.  The handles are made of jean as well.  I just cut 2 more strips and folded them in to hide the edges and stitched them up.  The legnth and placement are totally up to you. To add the handles fold a 1/4 in. of your top jean edge inside. Hold the end of your handle to the jean and then fold a clean edge on your liner toward your handle and pin in place.  After you have your handles pinned you can sew the top finishing seam.

After you have run a stitch all the way around your jean & liner pattern, it is time to attach the liner to your purse. Just do a quick 1 inch long stitch, lining up the bottoms of both the liner & purse (still inside out, both items) and stitch them together. The handles are made of jean as well. I just cut 2 more strips and folded them in to hide the edges and stitched them up. The length and placement are totally up to you. To add the handles fold a 1/4 in. of your top jean edge inside. Hold the end of your handle to the jean and then fold a clean edge on your liner toward your handle and pin in place. After you have your handles pinned you can sew the top finishing seam.

Poof you're done and now have a cute purse!

Poof you’re done and now you have a cute purse!

The liner turned out great and to give it more pop, use any style printed fabric. Have fun with it, happy sewing.

The liner turned out great and to give it more pop, use any style printed fabric. Have fun with it, happy sewing.

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Projects & Recipes

I needed a carrying bag bigger than my chicken feed bags, an old sweater is perfect for that.  I grabbed a sweater from my closet that I do not wear because it chokes me every time I put the sucker on.  Fixed that sweater, it will never choke anyone again!

Pick out your sweater.

Pick out your sweater.

Turn it inside out to work with it.  First line up your shoulder seams and cut  the inside edge of it.  I saved both of my sleeves for future projects but you can toos them, they wont be needed.

Turn it inside out to work with it. First line up your shoulder seams and cut the inside edge of it. I saved both of my sleeves for future projects but you can toss them, they wont be needed.

With the sleeves gone, fold over a half inch hem.  Stitch around both arm holes.

With the sleeves gone, fold over a half inch hem. Stitch around both arm holes.

Time to cut the neck.  You do not want to match these up. Make sure the sweater is flat and cut around the front of the neckline.

Time to cut the neck. You do not want to match these up. Make sure the sweater is flat and cut around the front of the neckline.

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Fold over a half inch hem and stitch.

Fold over a half inch hem and stitch.

You should now have both sleeves and neckline stitched.  Run a double stitch along the bottom waistband of the sweater from one side to the other.  Turn the sweater right side out.

You should now have both sleeves and neckline stitched. Run a double stitch along the bottom waistband of the sweater from one side to the other. Turn the sweater right side out.

And, like magic you have just made a sweater bag!

And, like magic you have just made a sweater bag!

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Projects & Recipes

We had a backpack emergency happen tonight with the deranged fairy.  So, I pulled out an old pair of black jeans to make some magic happen.

*Disclaimer: No fairy dust was used or abused in the making of this new backpack.

Since we live about 80 miles round trip to a store that even has a backpack, something had to be done before school tomorrow.  Toss in the fact that the deranged fairy goes to bed early this only left me an hour to whip something up for her.  I am not a pattern person to begin with.  Patterns and I just don not get along.  My old high school Home Economics teacher would cringe if she heard that.

I pulled out a pair of old jeans, cut off both legs under the butt area.  This whole projects was worked inside out.  Cut the inner seam away and then ran a new seam down the side after laying both legs wrong side together.  I then cut away a 8 inch wide strip from the ankle to the top.  I took that piece and folded it in half length wise and cut it in half.  Next I pulled out some pink ribbon and used it as trim, instead of folding the edges to make a trim seam.  If I had done that I fear the straps would have been too thin for her.  But, I ended up with two nice straps and she was thrilled with the pink trim.  Remember she is 6 and pretty easy to please.

Next I took the rest of the new wide leg I had sewn and folded it in half length wise and sewed the 2 raw edges together from ankle up.  I left the top foot (12 inches) open without the second seam.  I went back to the left over butt of the jeans and cut the whole behind off.  this turned into the bottom of the backpack.  Next one of the flaps at the top I folded down, making it a 6 inch fold down and sewed it.  Back to what was left of the top of the pants I cut a rectangle in the fabric around the button to the jeans.  I then sewed that on the front of the 6 inch fold down.  Trust me there is no button in this house that could survive the deranged fairy and since this is the 2nd backpack with a zipper blowout in a month … a zipper was not what I needed.  Next I took more ribbon and folded it in half.  Pinned it around both flaps and ran a quick stitch around it.  We now have a backpack fully trimmed in pink, with a button.  Tossed on a fast button-hole and had her test it to make sure she could button the pack closed.  Success!  Next was to attach the 2 straps and make sure they would not come off in a nuclear war.  Once again gave it to her to try on and she started to giggle. The giggleing lead to more attention from the other girls eyeballing the new backpack.  I could SEE and SMELL smoke coming from them as I watched their brains turning.  Last step was to hand it off to her with fabric glitter glue and then she really started laughing.  She had to wait until tomorrow evening before she can add her name.  She wants it added on the fold down flap with the button-hole and she decorated the back  of her pack tonight.  It turned out cute, the perfect size for her and she was with me every crazy, made up step of the way.  Most of all she is beyond thrilled with her new backpack.  The down side to all this is, all the other girls watched me make it and now they want their own personalized backpacks for next school year.  What the hell have I done?  The gas cost to make the 80 mile trip might have been worth it when we are talking about my sanity being on the line.

sm front

sm bottom

sm back

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Projects & Recipes

Macgyver really needed a log tote and today I made him one.  He favors his right arm when taking wood to the furnace room.  The man fills up his entire arm with wood to carry and over time it has hurt his shoulder and it cuts into his arm.  In the spirit of  keeping the husband in good working order for other forms of wifely torture, I made him a helper.  I rolled it out in 10 minutes and recycled/upcycled an empty dogfood bag.

I used a empty dogfood bag for the log tote. I cut the bottom off and a 2 inch strip down the side.  Dosen't matter which side. Toss the bottom you cut off but keep the side panel or panels as it turns out.  They will be your handles for the tote.

I used an empty dogfood bag for the log tote. I cut the bottom off and a 2 inch strip down the side. It doesn’t matter which side. Toss the bottom you cut off but keep the side panel or panels as it turns out. They will be your handles for the tote.

Now that you have all 3 pieces it is time to hit the sewing machine.

Now that you have all 3 pieces it is time to hit the sewing machine.

Fold both of your 2 side strips in half and run a stitch from top to bottom.  Now you have the handles.  Take your rectangle pice of dogfood bag and run a half to 1 inch seam down all 4 sides.  Stitch the handles on and don't forget to reverse stitch it several times due to the weight of wood.

Fold both of your 2 side strips in half and run a stitch from top to bottom. Now you have the handles. Take your rectangle pice of dogfood bag and run a half to 1 inch seam down all 4 sides. Stitch the handles on and don’t forget to reverse stitch it several times due to the weight of wood.

That is all there is to it!

That is all there is to it!

Macgyver sporting his new log tote.

Macgyver sporting his new log tote.

Not bad and works very well for him.

Not bad and works very well for him.

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Projects & Recipes

I am always in search of different slipper patterns to try out.  Why?  Well since I live in North Minnesota, 6 months of the year is cold or winter and slippers are a must.  More of a life’s blood for me, my feet turn to blocks of ice pretty darn quick and I don’t really see that slowing down with age.  By nature I am a crochet person, not a knitting.  Although I do have myself one of those handy-dandy knitting machines, in case I want to test out new swear words.

The other day while combing the internet for something new, I decided to combine a few patterns I already had.  To my surprise my self creation already existed …shocker that others have a brain like mine.  Quite scary to be honest.  Some people call these Norwegian slippers but since I am sitting in Minnesota and not Norway… Here are my Minnesotan slippers. I look step by step pictures with my crappy camera and will now attempt to explain how to do these buggers.  They are really easy to make, it’s all in the folding and stitching at the end that can make or break these slippers.  I will also tell you these slippers can be made with fabric and not just by knitting or crochet 😉

I have no clue on sizes on these, it is going to be pretty much trial and error. I have boats for feet, size 11 in women's and these fit me fine.  I did 4 inch by 4 inch double crochet squares. Two strips, one with 5 and one with 3 squares. I picked for you contrasting colors and horrid stitching so you could see what I was doing. Once you have your 2 strips get ready to slip stitch.

I have no clue on sizes on these, it is going to be pretty much trial and error. I have boats for feet, size 11 in women’s and these fit me fine. I did 4 inch by 4 inch double crochet squares. Two strips, one with 5 and one with 3 squares. I picked for you contrasting colors and horrid stitching so you could see what I was doing. Once you have your 2 strips get ready to slip stitch.

Lay your short strip at the top of your long strip and stitch together.  Yep, you have made a giant "L", flashback of Seasame Street.

Lay your short strip at the top of your long strip and stitch together. Yep, you have made a giant “L”, flashback of Sesame Street.

Take your newly made "L" and turn it like so.

Take your newly made “L” and turn it like so.

Now bring the long tail in 3.5 squares.

Now bring the long tail in 3.5 squares.

Take the short side and fold it over to meet the other side flush.

Take the short side and fold it over to meet the other side flush.

Run a slip stitch from the top left corner along the top and down the center.  This will attach the 2 tails together.  You will have 1 square left over, don't worry, you will be using it.

Run a slip stitch from the top left corner along the top and down the center. This will attach the 2 tails together. You will have 1 square left over, don’t worry, you will be using it.

Flip the whole thing over.

Flip the whole thing over.

Fold the bottom side in so that you get your points of the squares to meet.  See the 2 pink squares? Slip stitch from the points down to the bottom right corner of the gray & pink.  Stick with me and yes when you're donw you can have a glass of wine.

Fold the bottom side in so that you get your points of the squares to meet. See the 2 pink squares? Slip stitch from the points down to the bottom right corner of the gray & pink. Stick with me and yes when you’re done you can have a glass of wine.

All stitched, let's move on.

All stitched, let’s move on.

On the left you have half of a black square that will be a flap for the finished slipper.  The right side will now be folded in on itself.  Your gray square will need to be folded down to the edge of the black below it and your top black square will then run along side of your bottom right, pink edge.

On the left you have half of a black square that will be a flap for the finished slipper. The right side will now be folded in on itself. Your gray square will need to be folded down to the edge of the black below it and your top black square will then run along side of your bottom right, pink edge.

Like this.  Run a stitch from the corner of the matched up gray all the way down the side.  Starting from this left corner you should have gray laid on black and a black laid on a pink edge.  Run your stitch down both.  Doing this will creat the second flap to the slipper.

Like this. Run a stitch from the corner of the matched up gray all the way down the side. Starting from this left corner you should have gray laid on black and a black laid on a pink edge. Run your stitch down both. Doing this will creat the second flap to the slipper.

This is a bottom view for whatever reason :)

This is a bottom view for whatever reason 🙂

Running the stitch and a side view of what I am doing.

Running the stitch and a side view of what I am doing.

The last black square that you will stitch to the bottom right pink edge to make your flap or cuff.

The last black square that you will stitch to the bottom right pink edge to make your flap or cuff.

See, would I guide you wrong?  Once you try it, this becomes much easier.

See, would I guide you wrong? Once you try it, this becomes much easier.

So here is 1 slipper, but you're going to need 2.  Well unless you have 1 foot or 3.

So here is 1 slipper, but you’re going to need 2. Well unless you have 1 foot or 3.

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Once you are done, turn them sinde out and you are done.

Once you are done, turn them inside out and you are done.

Now if you use a wool yarn you can felt them too.  Wet them down with some warm water, lather with a little dish soap and toss in the washing machine for a cycle or two.  Then let them air dry.

Now if you use a wool yarn you can felt them too. Wet them down with some warm water, lather with a little dish soap and toss in the washing machine for a cycle or two. Then let them air dry.

I made another pair out of an old mens wool blazer I had in my craft tote.  I did mark out the size of the squares on the strip of fabric, just so I didn't twist my brain completely.  Have fun and keep warm!

I made another pair out of an old mens wool blazer I had in my craft tote. I did mark out the size of the squares on the strip of fabric, just so I didn’t twist my brain completely. Have fun and keep warm!

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Projects & Recipes

Years ago I made some hand warmers to put in my pockets or mittens and today I made some more.  I recently made a post for a homemade heating pad seen here https://crystalrayneauthor.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/diy-heat-compress-or-heating-pad/ .  I used the very same method but cut out shapes to fit my hands.  This afternoon I made a bunch for the kids and they love them.  You can made them out of old sweat shirts, blankets or felt.  Pretty much whatever thick fabric you have works great.

Cut our the shape you want and then sew around the edge.  Make sure you leave an opening where you can fill your pouch with rice and then sew it shut.

Cut our the shape you want and then sew around the edge. Make sure you leave an opening where you can fill your pouch with rice and then sew it shut.

Make sure you do NOT pack your pouch too full.  The rice needs room to move around and you don't want a ball in the middle of your palm.  Heat up in the microwave for 20 to 35 seconds, depending on size.  Enjoy!

Make sure you do NOT pack your pouch too full. The rice needs room to move around and you don’t want a ball in the middle of your palm. Heat up in the microwave for 20 to 35 seconds, depending on size. Enjoy!

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Projects & Recipes

This evening I tried my hand at taking an old UGLY dress and recycling or upcycling it into a woven basket.  I have never made a woven fabric basket before.  Yes, I recently made a woven duct tape basket, but cloth, no.  Since I had not a clue how to do it I can only assume the next one I make will turn out much better.  I do apologize for the photos.  At some point I will get a new camera, I hope.

You have to agree, this dress is horrid.  something had to be done with this thing.

You have to agree, this dress is horrid. something had to be done with this thing.

First I cut the skirt off and then into 2 inch strips, 20 of them I figured would be enough.  It was.  Next I folded 18 of the strips in half and put a seam down them. The extra 2 I used for the top rim and the handle.  The rim piece I ran a seam down each side after folding the edges over.  The handle I folded both edges in and then folded the entire piece in half, then ran a seam down it.

First I cut the skirt off and then into 2 inch strips, 20 of them I figured would be enough. It was. Next I folded 18 of the strips in half and put a seam down them. The extra 2 I used for the top rim and the handle. The rim piece I ran a seam down each side after folding the edges over. The handle I folded both edges in and then folded the entire piece in half, then ran a seam down it.

After all seams were sewn, I laid out 5 strips horizonal and wove 5 strips vertically across them.  Tried really hard to keep it in the center of the strips.  The next step took me off the grid a bit.  I needed a form to follow to make my basket.  I walked in the pantry and found one of those HUGE cans of ravioli and sat it on top of what I had woven.  Pulled the strips up and used a elastic headband to hold them to the can.

After all seams were sewn, I laid out 5 strips horizontal and wove 5 strips vertically across them. Tried really hard to keep it in the center of the strips. The next step took me off the grid a bit. I needed a form to follow to make my basket. I walked in the pantry and found one of those HUGE cans of ravioli and sat it on top of what I had woven. Pulled the strips up and used an elastic headband to hold them to the can.

Next I took some of my other strips and wove them around the can.  Stood the ends up, pulled them tight and trimmed off a bit.

Next I took some of my other strips and wove them around the can. Stood the ends up, pulled them tight and trimmed off a bit.

Grabbed my rim piece and pinned it around the top and slid the can of ravioli out.

Grabbed my rim piece and pinned it around the top and slid the can of ravioli out.

In this step I folded my rim over and ran a stitch all the way around the top.  Added a piece for a handle and POOF!  Ugly dress no more.  The dress has been recycle/upcycled into this cute little basket.

In this step I folded my rim over and ran a stitch all the way around the top. Added a piece for a handle and POOF! Ugly dress no more. The dress has been recycled/upcycled into this cute little basket.

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