a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity


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No-sew t-shirt scarf

I’ve had a gigantic pile of fabric ‘rescues’ sitting in my craft room for ages. Several of hubby’s old t-shirts, torn jeans, a couple pyjama pants that I will never get around to mending, old pillowcases, and sweaters that have been half hacked apart. So I decided to do something useful with one of those items. Behold! A t-shirt turned into a scarf with only the magic of scissors.

I used an easy peasy tutorial from Margo is Crafty and had this sucker done in five minutes. It’s really, really dead easy. While I hacked away at this old shirt, my son puttered around on the floor and I… also puttered around on the floor. But you know, puttered with a mission. Puttered with scissors and a dream.

This scarf is the perfect accessory for a mama who constantly has a Crazy Baby pawing at her face/neck/chest at all times, and/or poking at and fiddling with something (anything!) while he nurses. He can pull on the strands, put them in his mouth, yank them out of shape, drool all over the thing, and it still works. And I can easily throw it in the wash. Win.


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Tutorial: Ergo teething pads

My kid drools. A lot. Whether or not this is caused by teething (he has sprouted his two bottom teeth in the last 6 weeks) is up for debate, though clearly he’s got both going on these days. He puts anything and everything into his mouth. Anything that crosses his little mouth’s path seems to be fair game for a good nomming.

Naturally, when we carry him in the ErgoBaby carrier, he sees those puffy shoulder straps as two big built-in teethers, and goes to town on them. This soaks them instantly. So instead of constantly washing the carrier (not recommended by the manufacturer), I figured I could sew up some strap protectors easily enough. Ergo sells some made of terrycloth for about $20 a pair, which I personally find impossible to justify as a person who owns a sewing machine.

So here’s my version. Took about 10-15 minutes. Sorry I didn’t get any photos of the in-progress steps — I was a woman on a mission and wanted these done, stat.

Materials:

  • Terrytowel washcloth
  • Scissors
  • Velcro (hook & loop tape)
  • Sewing machine & thread
  • Serger (optional)

Step 1. Start with an old washcloth you are no longer using. Cut it in half so you have two identical rectangles.

Step 2. Serge around the edges of each half. If you don’t have a serger, do a zig-zag stitch or finish the edges however you like.

Step 3. Cut 2 lengths of velcro a bit shorter than the width of the short end of your rectangles.

Step 4. Attach the velcro to your terrycloth. Ensure that the soft velcro piece is sewn to the opposite side of the pad as the scratchy piece (so when you loop the pad around your Ergo strap, they will grip together). I did this hastily, using adhesive velcro (which helped to hold it in place for sewing). You can see the ugly stitches that resulted from my haste. (Oh, motherhood…)

Also: I folded one edge over about an inch or two before sewing on the velcro. Part of this was laziness (couldn’t be buggered to measure and cut it), and part of this was my idea that it might anchor the velcro better to have it go through two layers. In retrospect, I think measuring the piece properly (using your Ergo strap to eyeball it is fine) would do just as well — you don’t need both layers. Plus, my wonky fold is not great. When you do this, do it better than I did, please.

Here is the pad folded to show both velcro’d sides.

And joined together, as it would be on the Ergo:

And in place on the Ergo, fresh for the nomming:

So there they are. Possibly the best upcycling of an old washcloth into something that would otherwise cost you $20, amirite? Baby A’s verdict: om nom nom!


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Things I covet: Map coasters

I’ve never really been a coaster user in the past. I think this is due to a combination of laziness and having only ever had cheap furniture around — the kind that wouldn’t have balked at the presence of a sweaty glass on its surface. But having recently purchased some new tables (of the coffee and dining varieties), I am now trying to be good and remember to use coasters. So when I stumbled across this idea from crafting giant Martha Stewart, I raised one or more eyebrows in its direction. It’s map coasters!

As it stands, the coasters we currently have are totally boring.  Just circles cut out of cork board. I think they could use a facelift, stat. But now it’s got me thinking… any kind of paper would do for this.  Do you have any ideas about something that would be good for a coaster topper?  Newsprint? Old book pages or illustrations?  Anatomy diagrams?


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Shirred summer skirt

Well, I clearly couldn’t get Dana’s summer skirt tutorial out of my head since I posted about it the other day… so here is my new shirred summer skirt!

I ended up sewing this skirt from two of the second hand bed sheets I picked up from the thrift store not too long ago (the inside is lined with plain white to make the skirt less see-through). So while it’s nice and flowy, it’s also relatively substantial.

You’ll notice I opted for no pockets. No huge explanation behind that, except that I wasn’t so keen on giant pockets and they seemed a bit complicated to sew on. So to the chopping block they went!  I rarely have the patience to finish something with those kinds of details anyhow… I just get too excited about being done my project!

Also, verdict: Shirring is way easy, guys.  You just buy some elastic thread, wind it loosely around your bobbin (by hand), and sew as usual with normal thread up top.  It’s like magic.

….Pssst!  I’m participating in:
Sumo Sweet Stuff Photobucket
Photobucket


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Baby leg warmers from knee socks

Got some nice lookin’ knee socks with busted toes or heels kickin’ around?  I do.  Or rather, I did.  But then I gave them a new purpose in life: baby leg warmers!  You know, like BabyLegs, but without the  $12+/pair price tag.

I followed this excellent (and so so easy) tutorial from Everything Your Mama Made and More, and was done two pairs in about 15 minutes.  And the most time consuming part was changing the thread on my sewing machine, so… I think these could conceivably be knocked off in about 5 minutes a pair.

Baby leg warmers are great for practicing elimination communication, as they allow easy pottying without having to wrestle the baby’s pants off first.  Or, if you’re diapering, they allow for easy diaper changes (or diaper ‘whip-offs’ if you are attempting to catch what my lovely friend Emma calls “pottytunities”, ha!).  And when your baby grows out of them, your older children can use them as arm warmers!


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Things I covet: Wrapped hoop earrings

If you’ve been reading this blog with any regularity, you will know by now that I have major appreciation (aka mad props) for projects that require no special materials. I must be the world’s laziest crafter, because my eyes go wide when I realize I can make something with the crap I already own! So my latest addition to the long and ever-growing list of things I covet is this: knotted, trimmed, crocheted and wrapped hoop earrings by Jessica at Happy Together!

Catch that sweet, sweet tutorial (okay, it’s more like four tutorials in one, because that’s how awesomesauce Jessica is) for yourself!


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Hankies from an old pillowcase

If you know me, you know I have a fairly long list of allergies. Foods and inhalants are my biggest ones. Easily controlled by not eating or breathing, mind you, but wouldn’t you know my luck?  I need to do both those things.  Consequently, I often have to be blowing my nose, and have been getting more and more uncomfortable with the amount of tissue I go through in the process.  A few friends of mine have gotten on the hanky train in recent years, and I recently decided I should make the switch as well!

So this afternoon I decided I would chop up an old pillowcase and make myself a few.  Here’s how I did it:

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Puff paint pottery

Alas, a way to decorate your home for $10 or less!  All you need is some old bottles (or cans, not shown here), some puffy 3D paint (fabric paint will do), and some white spraypaint.  Ta da!

This project was inspired by a similar one over at P.S. – I Made This…, and I was lucky to be the recipient of the necessary materials as part of my crafty-themed Secret Santa present this past Christmas (thank you, Laura!)

I’m so happy this one is finally done.  It ended up being a minor headache for me, as far as crafts go. Turns out spraypaint is a bit of a twat!  You spray too much, you get blobs and drips.  You spray too little, you end up doing so many coats your brain explodes from the time commitment (and the fumes, don’t forget the fumes). Finding a well-ventilated place to spraypaint something is actually quite challenging.  A well ventilated place where you don’t care if things nearby get accidental drive-by-shooting type of painted.  Note, this does not generally exist indoors.  Outdoors is also a pretty garbagey option because of flying dust/debris/shit from trees, so neither location is ideal. I ended up using a big cardboard box (with the flaps taped up so it was as tall as possible) but I did so many coats in that thing that it got a thick layer of sticky paint on the bottom which ended up pulling chunks of paint off my bottles wherever they were resting. [Insert eye roll/oy vey/bitch please here.]

So, a complex craft disguised as a simple craft.  At least I learned that spraypaint and I don’t get along so great. Learning experience!