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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Baby “Link” (Legend of Zelda) costume

Continuing on with my recent theme of wildly outdated and/or seasonally inappropriate posts, here was what baby A wore for his first Halloween (at 3 months old). He went as Link from the popular Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda. As a gamer with a hardcore case of video game nostalgia, this was my husband’s top pick for a costume for A. I was set on sewing him a good costume for his first Halloween, but wanted to keep it relatively straightforward so I actually had a hope in hell of getting it done. It’s tough to find sewing time with a newborn around. I know, shocking news.

The tunic and hat were sewn from a thrifted men’s long-sleeved polo shirt:

Large and green. Perfect for the chopping.

One sleeve was cut off and became the hat:

Chop chop!

Using one of A’s hats to get an idea of width.

I hemmed the bottom edge after I took this picture.

… and I used one of A’s existing shirts to trace as a quasi-pattern for the tunic part.

Had to take the pocket off, since it was going to get in the way of the magic.

I just made it a bunch longer so it was, you know, tunic-like.

After this I just sewed up the sides, underarms and shoulders. I left the collar edge raw and cut a little slit in the front so A’s head would fit through. Baby heads are surprisingly big.

The boots were also salvaged; this time from a brown knitted sweater (that our a-hole cat had chewed a hole into, rendering it scrap fabric instantly). They were based off of a pattern I found somewhere on the internet, but have since lost. (Sorry, blog. Bad linking karma for me.) I cut the boot pattern pieces out of one sleeve and serged them together (making sure the knit stitches didn’t completely unravel). The sash and belt were cut from the other sweater sleeve. Much faster than knitting them, I tell you. The “gold” belt buckle was a simple crocheted circle using some yellow cotton yarn I had leftover from the Republic hat. I machine sewed it on to the belt, then attached some hooks and loops to fasten the belt in place (hooks and loops were all I had on hand — velcro would have been better).

The pants were the only part I didn’t make, so no exciting story there. I think they were from American Apparel? Who cares. BORING.

We took A to a family-friendly Halloween party at our local community baby/parent centre, and of course no one there knew what he was supposed to be. But that’s not terribly surprising, I guess, since most of the other babies in attendance were far more easy to identify (a pumpkin! a cat! a dinosaur!). I might have seen a glimmer of appreciation from one of the other dads well across the room from us. Nerds usually aren’t the most outgoing folks, so I may never know for sure.

But you know what? Obscurity be damned; he was one cute frigging Baby Link. Frig! Right? Frig.


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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!