Travel-Inspired Embroidery Baby Announcement 

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I am oftentimes asked to create something based on a piece of inspiration a person has found. In the case of this project, a friend had seen a swatch of fabric with a pattern made out of travel tags representing cities all of the world.

This friend, Rachel, is a great traveler, and as the birth of her second child approached, she asked me to make a embroidery baby announcement based on the fabric swatch.

Let me tell you, this project was fun!

I asked Rachel to pick four cities she wanted me to represent, and she was kind to let me design the rest. I decided to keep it simple. I used airport codes, but for cities with more vague codes like OSL, I thought it was best to include the name of the city.

I worked to complete the eight tags in the months leading up to her due date, and then finally, once little Elliott was born, I stitched in his name and info. I also did a zig zag stitch to overlock the edges to avoid unraveling before Rachel could get the piece framed.

Felt Dr. Who Christmas Stocking

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The best kinds of custom orders are the ones that give you a topic you could run with. For this project, my friend asked if I could make something out of felt relating to Christmas and Dr. Who. So my first thought – a Tardis Christmas stocking!

The idea was solidified by a picture I saw on Pinterest. (It’s so hard to have an original idea these days.) But in the picture, it looked like everything was glued down, and I decided to sew everything in place instead. Plus, I added the touch of holly and a wreath to add to the Christmas theme.

It’s not a large stocking, but it’ll be perfect to hang at your desk, in a school locker or on a door handle. Send me a message via my contact page if you want to place a custom order for yourself!

A Custom Felt Playmat for my Nephew

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The brainstorming process for my nephew’s 2-year-old birthday present began about 2 months ago. I had seen ideas for a “quiet book” on Pinterest. Mostly made from felt, “quiet books” are these cute flip books filled with little activities that are meant to entertain and keep your kid still and quiet. I liked the idea (especially since Josiah is quite the jet-setter), but I wanted something bigger! (He’s my only nephew to make things like this for!) That is when I had the epiphany to create an awesome, felt play mat – customized for his life.

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I started by purchasing a yard of green fleece. In my opinion, fleece holds up better over time than felt. (Felt can shed and eventually start to ball up.) Though I planned to use felt for the details, I knew fleece would be a better foundation. Plus, fleece is much softer in case my nephew every decides he wants to use the mat as a blanket.

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Cutting out the streets and the buildings took a few days. (And as you can see, I let it take over the floor of my kitchen.) I cut everything by freehand, so I did experience some trial and error. Initially, I cut the streets pretty wide, but as I cut out more and more building, I made the streets skinnier to fit everything on the mat. (Plus, I found this cute wood cars that were the perfect size for my smaller roads.)

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With everything cut out and in place, I used no-heat sewing glue to glue everything down. The glue left marks at first, but they go away as the glue dries.

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Despite everything being glued down, I wanted to secure the felt pieces in place by sewing everything down. (I am giving this to a 2 year old.) I used clear and white thread, and it took about a week to finish since I sewed everything by hand. I also used embroidery floss to add a handful of details – like a sign for the gas station and items for sale at the market.

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The back side of the fabric shows all of the work, but no one wants to see that. So I found this adorable fabric at Joann Fabric that I used as a back piece.

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I customized this mat for Josiah, picking places that he would recognize from his everyday life. And from what I’m told, Jo loves some pizza and ice cream.

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Since they live right on the ocean, I added a beach with the surf club my brother belongs too. For the zoo, I decided to leave the space blank since Josiah has so many small, plush animals he could place there.

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I totally took this gas station/car wash idea from Pinterst. I’m obsessed with the car wash. It’s my favorite element on the whole mat!

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Dad’s office on the left, and a school on the right.

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Their local grocery store is Carrefour. I tired to copy the store’s logo. Though looking back, I’m bet I subconsciously picked a green roof because I shop at Publix. And then with a little extra space, I placed a blue U.S. mail box!

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The train station was a must! And this too is an idea I found on Pinterest. I cut rick rack into piece for the railroad tracks, and then used felt to create an accompanying train station.

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Last time I went to visit my brother and sister-in-law, we walked into the same music shop everytime we walked by it, so it was also a must-have. Plus, I think the little guitar and bongos look super cute in the windows. The fire station was added because I think it’s pretty iconic.

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These three buildings represent Josiah’s apartment on the right. His grandparents’ house is in the middle. And I added a house I thought could represent their good friends, the Wallaces. (Plus, I wanted to use the silhouette of that archway somewhere on the mat since it ties in so closely to where Josiah is growing up.)

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Finally, I added a Medena, or a little market. Of course, this is a lot smaller than the ones Josiah goes too, but I thought it was a needed detail.

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I attached the back piece of fabric the same as if I was making a quilt. I used basting spray to attach the two pieces together, and then I used denim fabric cut into 2-inch wide strips to bind the edges.

A [Felt] Breakfast of Champions

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When my sister-in-law told me that my 19-month-old nephew loved to “cook,” I figured I could chip in a few ingredients. And while Ikea has supplied him with my the basic fruits and vegetables, I thought I would provide a whole meal: felt fried eggs, felt bacon and a stack of felt pancakes.

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The easiest of the 3 items is the felt fried eggs because you really can’t go wrong. I used two pieces of the white felt (cut in any shape) and one circle of yellow felt for the yoke. Once I attached the yoke to one piece of the white felt, I blanket stitched the two pieces of white felt together (using two pieces hides the back stitch from the attaching the yoke and it adds some thickness).

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I created the felt bacon strips next. Again, using two pieces of brown felt to add thickness. I added the line of “fat” using light brown felt.

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For the felt pancakes, I cut two circles of light brown felt as well as “syrup” with dark brown felt and “butter” with yellow felt. I attached the “syrup” and “butter” to one of the circles, and then using a blanket stitch, I attached the second circle, leaving a small hole to stuff the pancakes with batting before sewing it closed.

I don’t know what what could be more adorable. Well, then there’s lunch…

A place for all the pictures

So another school year has begun, and with a new school year, comes a new dorm room just ready for us to decorate. First on the crafting agenda is something I could use to display pictures and letters that looks a little better than a simple cork board. After finding this frame at Hobby Lobby, the design quickly came to me.

I purchased hooks that I then screwed on to the interior sides of the frame. I didn’t worry too much if they were hidden or not.

   

Next, I used basic string and tied it from hook to hook.

For the final touch, I stapled a rectangle piece of fabric to the back.

Add a few clothespins, and there you have it.

Style Your Sole

As a part of Spring Fling, SAC hosted a Toms Style Your Sole party. An event where people could pre-order a pair of white, canvas Toms, and then pick them up and decorate them on the night of the event. It was a huge success. We sold 150 pairs of shoes, and on the night of the event, people were creating some pretty amazing, customized shoes. Of course, I ordered a pair, but being way too busy, I simply let them sit on my desk… until tonight.

Ta da! I feel like it would be no surprise that I chose a stars/constellation theme. And I am so excited in how they turned out.

Step one – get rid of all the white. And how appropriate that the color was called “Midnight Blue.”

Step two – splatter paint. I used this to create the effect of the millions of stars that are out there in the universe. For the color, I chose a silver, metallic paint.

Step three – embroider the stars. On the left shoe, I keep it simple by adding stars here and there (with a shooting star, of course). And then the right shoe highlighted the Orion constellation (one of my favorites).

  

I am simply obsessed with them!

Anthropologie Inspired Tablecloth

I don’t shop at Anthropologie often, because let’s face it, who can afford it? But goodness, do I love that store. My roommate one day pulled out a napkin from the store that someone gave her as a gift, and it sparked my inspiration – a tablecloth made up of cloth napkins. So I went online and found these. The napkins come in a set of 6 for only $32.

With the napkins, I wanted to make a table clothe. My game plan was simple – to sew together the 20×20 inch napkins into a large square and then cut out a circle. With only 6 napkins, I had to do some planning, but first I wanted to make sure I could use every inch of fabric. So I took out the hem, adding about an inch of fabric on each side.

Once I removed the hem, I needed to secure the edges so they wouldn’t continue to fray. This is how I discovered the overcasting stitch feature on my sewing machine (I know this is probably something really basic, but you’ll have to bear with me. I’m relatively new to a sewing machine.)

Once I had stitched over all the edges, I began to lay everything out. I needed to make a 50×50 inch square. So I kept 4 napkins whole and cut 2 napkins in half, placing those on the outer edge. If you notice, that leaves a 10×10 inch square missing, but I’ll come back to that later.

So I got to sewing each piece into place. The napkins’ corners were cut off, which caused a few hole to appear when sewing them all together. But I just decided to embrace the patchwork-ness of it all, and I simply hand sewed it together.

And then using the technique I learned on my last table cloth, I marked the fabric to cut out a circle.

I found this fabric rather difficult to measure and cut. And as you can see, I was unable to cut a perfect circle. But since this is inspired by Anthropologie, why not accept their homemade philosophy. It’s homemade; it doesn’t have to be perfect. (It just has to look adorable!)

Now, back to one of my original problem – the 10×10 inch missing square. Well once the circle was cut out, the missing piece was easy to fix. I simply took  a piece of the scraps leftover from cutting out the circle and patchworked it into place using a simple straight stitch.

For the finishing touch, I decided not to hem the tablecloth, but instead to use the overcasting stitch again. I liked how it makes the fabric look raw, like it’s a scrap piece from another project.

And that’s it. I’ve learned you don’t have to shell out a lot of money for Anthopologie products. You just have to buy the cheaper, simpler ones and make them into something extraordinary.

DIY: Throw pillow with Piping

Last week I ran into JoAnn Fabrics to buy something and found myself spending an hour in the store after I stumbled across this fabric. I finally decided that I wanted to make some pillows, so I purchased two 18×18 inch pillow form, a half yard of the floral fabric and a basic blue fabric to match, and cord to make the piping edge.

Before cutting the fabric, I made a game plan. For the 18X18 pillow, I planned to cut a 19×19 inch square (in the floral fabric) and then two 19×12 inch rectangles for the back (in the blue fabric). And then for the piping, I calculated I would need it to be 72″ long.

Making the piping edge was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I purchased the cheapest craft cord I could find. And for the fabric, I cut a long 2″ wide rectangle. I knew it had to be 72″ long, so with the scraps I had leftover I made two 36″ long rectangles.

I then folded the fabric over the chord, and using my zipper foot, I sewed the chord in place. Back to the fabric of the pillow, I took the the 19×19″ square and used a cup to round off the edges.

I did the same with the blue rectangles, but only on one of the long sides. The other long side I hemmed in place (about 1/2 inch).

Then it is time to assemble it all together. I ending up making two pillows. On the first pillow, I assembled each layer, pinned it down and sewed it all together. The second time, I sewed in parts, and it produced a much better pillow. So with the right (floral) side up, I pinned the piping in place (clean edge facing inwards). And I used the zipped foot again to sew in place.

Then I pinned down the two rectangle pieces, alining them with the rounded corners.

Sew it all together, flip it inside out and insert the pillow form – and you have yourself a pretty adorable throw pillow.

DIY: Tablecloth with Ruffle Edge

Have you ever fallen in love with a fabric?

I fell in love with this fabric one day walking through Hobby Lobby, and I literally spent 2 weeks thinking of something I could make out of it. It didn’t come across as a fabric for a skirt or a dress, so I thought beyond clothes. And the idea of a tablecloth finally became clear. So with some measurement and brainstorming, I headed to Hobby Lobby to buy my 3 1/2 yards of the wonderful fabric.

I assembled everything together in the common room of my dorm room. It was definitely a small space (all my cutting took place on the floor), but luckily I had everything I needed, even a dorm room sized ironing board.

Step 1 was measuring. I wanted to send this to my parents, so I had my dad measure the diameter of our patio table (42 inches) back home. And with 44 inch-wide fabric, I decided to cut the circle with that diameter (since I couldn’t get any bigger).

I used a technique to cut the circle from this website that I found when I was doing some pre-sewing research (see her first sketch). But basically, the technique is taking your fabric pencil and attaching it to a string that measures your radius – like a compass circle. After marking, I simply made the cut.

With the top done, step 1 is complete, and it’s time to more on to the ruffled skirt.

And we start step 2 like step 1 with lots of measuring. I measured two long panels 10 inches high and 3 1/2 yards long. After cutting them out, I sewed the two panels together, making a one 5 yard long panel and began pinning the rik rac on the fabric. I placed the rik rac 2 1/2 inches above the unhemmed edge.

In Step 3, we sew on the rik rac. After pinning it down, I simply ran a straight stitch right down the middle of the ribbon. Then I took the time to go back and sew in the zig-zagged pattern, making sure the edges were securely sewed down.

Then I changed the settings of my sewing machine to allow for a looser and longer stitch. With this, I sewed along the upper part of the fabric, not sewing backwards to secure the ends. Then, taking only one string on the end, I gently pulled on the string to gather the fabric. Continually spreading out the fabric and pulling the string to gather the fabric, a nice ruffled effect is created.

And then with right sides together (ignore the left picture above, it is wrong) pin the ruffled skirt to the circled top. With everything in place, sit yourself down at a sewing machine and sew – using the standard 5/8 seam allowance.

The final step is to sew a hem for the skirt (the easiest part) and iron out all the wrinkles. And ta da! You have yourself a beautiful, spring tablecloth.

Note: I did make this for a 42″ round table and the one picture above is on a 35″ one, but I kind of liked how it looks here. (I’m thinking I might have to make another one!)