Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stuffed Elephant Tutorial

I have another friend having a baby in March! She and her husband are having another a little boy and I wanted to make them a little gift. I had made burp cloths with elephants appliqued on them a few months ago and wanted to find an elephant pattern so I could make a small stuffed elephant.
I found the template for this elephant on this website. I did add a few ribbons to it and enlarged the pattern a bit. Mine is reversible (one side is from a repurposed towel and the other is blue flannel).

Steps for this project:
1. Print pattern.
2. Cut pattern out.
3. Cut fabric out around the pattern.
4. Pin fabric in place (right sides together) with the ribbons between the right sides of fabric.
5. Sew around the fabrics' edges, leaving a space for turning.
6. Clip the pointy corners and clip the curves so the elephant lies flat.
7. Turn the elephant right sides out. Use a pencil to poke out the spots like the trunk and legs.
8. Stuff the elephant!
9. Blind stitch the elephant's behind closed.
10. Stitch the ears onto the elephant's head.
All done!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sewing Machine Cover Instructions

I decided to use up some more of my upholstery fabric to make a sewing machine cover. (When we get our new home built, I'll have a sewing area that doesn't involve semi-permanent takeover of the dining room table.)
These are the dimensions my cover had to be to fit my machine (it is a little more generously sized than necessary):

1 piece for the top 9" x 18"
2 (front and back) 18" x 12"
2 (sides) 9" x 12"

To begin, I sewed the front, back, and sides together first in one long strip (right sides together). I zig-zagged all my edges and then I hemmed the bottom.

Next, I sewed the sides together to make a box (no top yet!) I then carefully pinned the top onto the box (right sides together), sewed around it, and then zig-zagged to finish the top's inside edges.

All done! Make sure if you're using any type of striped or patterned fabric, you m
atch the pattern at the edges. This was the first time I had to do that and didn't meet perfectly at all the corners. Oops. Learn from me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stuffed Hippo Pattern

I really like hippos. I made two blue stuffed hippos awhile ago but just posted the picture, not the pattern. Here's a picture of a scrappy pink stuffed hippo I made as well.
Stuffed Hippo Pattern
As for the pattern, I'm sharing it now! Click here to download the pattern!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Taffeta Flower Tutorial

I saw this idea on one of my very favorite blogs, "Make It and Love It". I think Ashley (the author of Make It and Love It) and I would be very good friends if we actually knew each other! I just really admire her blog, blog's pictures, sewing skills, and all her ideas.

Though this was not an original idea of mine, I wanted to make my own tutorial for it because I had some trouble with a few steps and found some solutions that worked for me and might work for you, too!

You will need taffeta (I bought 1/8 of a yard which was more than enough for two headbands and a pin), felt, beads, a headband, candle, and a glue gun.

I used my low-temp glue gun. I highly recommend that against singeing your fingertips on the regular gun.

Cut the taffeta into circles/ovals of varying sizes. I used 3-4 circles for each flower.

Now you need to get your candle going.
I do not recommend children help with this project! I burned my fingers once or twice.
You want to hold each taffeta circle above the flame just until it starts to melt. The edges of my circles did turn black in some spots. If you don't like this, go ahead and cut them off and try again, holding the circle further from the flame.

Here are my melted circles:

To assemble the flowers, I just stacked the circles in descending sizes (smallest on top) and hot-glued each circle to the middle of the last. Then I put a dot of hot glue on the top circle and put beads on top.

I free-hand cut some leaves out of the felt.

I melted the edges of the felt in the candle, too. At first, I just held the felt pieces with my fingers.

Then I got smart and found a kitchen utensil to help me protect my hands.

A picture of the melted leaves:

I hot glued the flowers and leaves to a stretchy headband. Then I put extra hot glue on the back to keep it all together and to keep it from sliding around while wearing it!
Here is a picture of me wearing the headband in my hair. My hair doesn't look this sloppy from the front, I promise!
I used one flower to make a pin. To do this, just hot glue the flower and leaves to a pin back.

Here's the finished pin:
Here's another picture of one of the headbands! I used different beads on this one:
I really love making things I can wear! I have forgotten how much I love doing crafts...I guess I've been doing too much sewing lately!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Felt Block Tutorial

Would your child be thrilled to have some soft felt blocks to stack? (Or to throw?) Here's a quick and easy tutorial for these cute felt blocks!Start with six squares of felt, each cut to 4.5"x4.5". I used my rotary cutter to make them look nice and even.
Then I pinned them together. Since I was using three different colors per block, I didn't want any of the same colors next to each other.
Then I sewed each edge. Be careful at the edges so you don't have gaps. (You'll see what I mean.)
I left one edge partially open so I could turn the whole thing right side out.
Here's a close up view of my gap.
After that, I stuffed them and hand-stitched the openings closed! I think they're cute.
I'm wondering if next time it would be best to use beans or some sort of heavier stuffing. They don't hold their shape all that well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ironing Board Cover Tutorial Improvement!

Did you catch my tutorial about making an ironing board cover from a knit shirt? (Click here to see it.) But anyway, learn from my mistake and don't use knit fabric to cover your ironing board. It didn't fit all that well, got snagged, threads stuck to it, etc, etc, etc.

So! I made a new one. I used some upholstery fabric (if you're a regular reader of my blog, is it starting to look familiar?) which I bought remnants of from Ebay.

Here is the result:

This cover fits a lot better. Part of the better fit is due to the fact that I cut 2" wider than the ironing board's original cover (instead of 1/2" like I specified in the original tutorial).

The other part of the improved fit is because I used elastic (1/8" wide) to hold the cover in place. Here is a view of part of the underneath part just to show how tight the elastic needs to be:
One last addendum to my tutorial on ironing board covers is that I zig-zagged the raw edge before folding it under. This fabric unravels at the raw edges (unlike knits) so it was a necessary step.

Hmmm...still have lots of this striped upholstery fabric left.
What other projects can I come up with?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Most Adorable Booties...

I just found the most adorable booties...

Only problem is, there's no pattern posted...I have got to make these!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Everyone should check out Groupon!

You've probably heard of it, but it gives you great daily deals to local businesses in your city. (Today happens to be a deal for dental work...but most of them are more exciting than that!)

It could be frugal!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cute Little Tote Bag Tutorial

I love thinking about making bags. Today, I decided to make one. It didn't take me that long (my son took an hour and fifteen minute nap, shorter than usual, but I finished this bag during his nap!)
You will need:
2-10"x 14" pieces for the bag's exterior
2-10" x 14" pieces for the bag's lining (I used the same fabric)
4"x17" piece for the strap
Prepare the strap by pressing it in half (the long way with wrong sides together), then opening it up and pressing each side to the middle fold. Then fold it in half again and stitch it closed.

3.5" x 8" piece for the closure
Prepare the closure by folding it in half (it will be 4" in length now), stitching a tube, and then turning it so the seam is inside. Then press the whole thing and the raw edges in and top stitch around the whole thing.
Prepare the both the exterior and lining by sewing the sides and bottom (exception: do NOT sew the entire bottom of the lining. Leave a space large enough to put your hand through for turning the bag later!). Add gussets (for instructions, see tutorial for the small button-front bag tutorial). Clip the corners. Add one part of a velcro closure to the front of the bag's exterior.
Now place the exterior and interior with right sides together. Pin around the top of both. Be sure to pin the bag's strap to the upper edges at the side seams. It will look like this:
Just sew around the whole top. Then, insert your hand through the bottom of the lining and turn the whole bag. Press. Top stitch around the top of the bag. Add the other side of the velcro closure to the bag's closure piece. Stitch the closure piece to the back of the bag and you're all done!
Easy to make, cute, and a great gift.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More Newborn Slippers

I made a few more pairs of newborn shoes to use up some scraps!
The green ones should look familiar; they were part of the dinosaur gift I posted about yesterday.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stuffed Dinosaur Tutorial & Pattern

I wanted to make a birthday present for one of our little guy's new friends.
As part of the gift, I made some dinosaur stuffed animals. They're pretty cute. stuffed dinosaur pattern #dinopattern #stuffeddinosaurI'm sharing the pattern here. Here are the corresponding instructions:

1. After you print out and cut the pattern, cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back. Cut five spikes out of felt.

2. Place them right sides together.

3. Place the spikes pointing down on top of the right side of the front fabric.
Now place the second fabric piece over top of the spikes. Pin each spike in place being sure to pin the whole way through both the front and back fabrics.
4. Sew the whole way around the dinosaur's bodies but make sure to leave a space at the bottom through which to turn the fabric and to stuff the dinosaur.

5. Stitch up the opening! All done!
This pattern is only for your personal use or to make gifts. Don't sell the finished dinosaurs made with my pattern. Thanks.

Here's what the gift looks like! You can find the pattern for the slippers here.stuffed dinosaur pattern

Double-Sided Washcloth

Here is another way to use up a towel that is no longer meeting your expectations! I made a double-sided washcloth. I used some flannel and minky fabric scraps to make the soft front and then I used my towel (see here for my other ideas for reusing an old towel). I made it approximately 8"x8".
These could make cute baby gifts! You could also make them for grown-ups. I think they'd be good for removing makeup!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ways to Use an Old Towel

I have two really nice, fluffy, bath towels that have been ruined (somehow they became stained).

I decided to use the non-stained parts to make some baby things. You could make a changing pad to put in the diaper bag or to further protect your changing table.
Nice and soft.

You could also make burp cloths. I just made one (so far!)What other ideas are out there? I have a few more. Give me a few weeks!