Friday, July 30, 2010

nuances of car play

Next week's theme for shutter love at The Trendy Treehouse is weddings.  Would you believe me if I said I have never taken a decent shot of anything wedding-like?  Well it's true.  I have a lot of awesome shots of my own, but I didn't take any of them.

And so, I found a weekly challenge called "You Capture" over at I Should Be Folding Laundry.  The theme is "play."  And with these two kids, that's all we do around here!

This is an awesome snap of bug explaining the nuances of playing with cars to mini.  I'm not kidding.  He's telling her how to roll them and showing her all the different parts of the car.

(and I love that he's actually sharing of his own accord here.  Not normal.)

I think she just likes the attention, but maybe she does have a deep-seated love for automobiles due to her brother's patience and tutorials.  I guess he's a born teacher.



Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to Stretch a Shirt - Project 6 (for hair - and FUZZ!)

You may have noticed we’re getting down to bits and pieces here.  And you’re probably wondering, “What in the world can she still do?  I thought she had 10 projects with this shirt... That leaves (Quick mental math and finger counting) 5!  5 more!  And she’s got this:
to use!”
Well, you’re right.  We are getting down to the bits and pieces, but that’s where the most creativity comes in, right?
I’ve got a twofer for you today!  One project with the aforementioned thrifted shirt and one from an old shirt I already cut up to make these a while ago.  But they go together.  You’ll see.
AND, furthermore, you’re in luck, because my adorable model is back.  (Sorry this means you will be subjected to way more photos of the item in question than you actually need...)
Have you seen those super cute ribbon hair accessories that are all curly?  Like this one I found on Amazon by Posies Accessories:  
Cute, right?  Well, I figured, why not make one out of my fabric scraps?
And seeing that there is no good reason not to, I did.
Want to make a curly cue barrette?  You’ll need:
fabric scraps (or the remnants of your thrifted shirt)
spray starch (I used heavy, but I’m not sure if this makes a difference?  Hmmm, maybe I should do some research before I parade around like I know what I’m talking about...)
a dowel or pencil or something long and round and skinny
an iron
an oven
alligator clip
OK.  First, make sure your strips are the desired width.  Cut if needed.
Lay a few out on a surface you don’t mind getting slimy.
Spray the heck out of them with spray starch.  

Take one and clip an end to the end of the dowel with a clothespin.
Wind it around the dowel.
Secure the other end of the strip to the dowel with a clothespin to hold it in place.
Repeat until all your strips are wound, working in small batches so the starch doesn’t dry before you can wind them all.
Now here is where I lost my mind completely.  I knew that they needed heat.  I knew that when these are made with ribbon, they are BAKED.  But alas, I looked over and noticed my iron.  And I also knew that irons get really hot too.  So I tried it.
And this was the result.
Hm. So I tried it again.
And this was the result.
Sooooo, moral?  The iron doesn’t work so well on MOST fabrics.
In any case, skip the iron.  It’s a hassle.  NOT WORTH IT.
So, you’re done winding them all up.
Take them up to the kitchen and put them on a cookie sheet.
Turn your oven to 350 and stick them in.  
Set your timer for 15 minutes.
Here is also where I lost my mind.  I was trying to multitask.  I knew I needed to get some gardening done.  I knew our yard looked gross.  So I went outside to garden for JUST A BIT, even though I also knew I couldn’t hear the timer from outside.
FORTUNATELY, I remembered to check on the fabric after not too much time had lapsed - and they weren’t scorched - well, maybe a bit, but not as bad as they could have been.
When they’re done baking, unclip the clothespins and unwind the fabric.
It looks like this:
You’ll notice I have red and orange in there too.  I wanted some variety, so I used some other fabric scraps as well.  You’ll notice also that the orange ones look like yuck.  They were 100% cotton.  Note to self (and everyone else): don’t use 100% cotton.  Luckily, the thrifted shirt you bought was a blend of cotton, lycra and nylon, so no worries there!
Cut a bit of fabric to size so you can cover your alligator clip.  

Hot glue the fabric around the clip, starting on the inside just past the tip and working around the clip.
Cut your curly cues to the size you’d like.  
Gather the bunch up and tie them together in the middle with a peace of scrap fabric.  Tie the scrap fabric in a double knot.

With a dab of hot glue, adhere the bunch to the covered clip.

If your child has hair, that’s it!  You’re done!
Mine doesn’t.  She has fuzz.  Probably till she’s three.  So I had to make a scrap fabric headband to go with.
You’ll need:
A sewing machine
two pieces of scrap fabric (STRETCHY scrap fabric - I used an old lycra t-shirt): 1 piece that is about 2-3 inches wide and as long as your baby’s head is around AND one that is a small rectangle, maybe 2 inches by 3-4 inches.
Cut a strip of scrap fabric long enough to go around baby’s head.  Now, trim it just a bit so it will sit a little tight once on.
Sew a gathering stitch along both ends.
One gathering stitch at a time, tie the threads on one side of the fabric together, then pull on the bobbin thread on the other side of the fabric to gather.  

Once gathered, tie these threads together as well to keep the gather secure.
When both ends are gathered and tied off, tuck them together and sew across.  

Now, take your second, much smaller piece of fabric and wrap it around the gathered mess.  Stick it under the machine and sew the ends of the little piece together.  I actually ended up wrapping a few times then sewing.

This serves a dual purpose - it hides the mess and, because you sewed it in a loop around the headband, you can slide your little clip in there.

And that’s the next step!  Slide your little clip in.
Try it on baby’s head.
This little baby liked to pull and pull and pull.
So some of the curly cues kind of came out a little.  The red ones were not made out of a lycra material, and this makes all the difference, as I have discovered.  ONLY USE STRETCHY KNITS!!
And the headband is cute on it’s own, too!  Well, mini adds a little embellishment, so I guess it wouldn’t be nearly as cute without her.

Once I finally got her to stop pulling on the curls, she decided to eat grass instead.
“It’s delicious!”
And who DOESN’T dress up nice when they’re going to go swimming?  That’s what I want to know.

PS - if you do this with ribbon, you can use a curling iron and hair spray!  Just spray spray spray, and curl!  (Just like with hair, I guess...)


Simpsonized Crafts (and then some!)

Keeping It Simple

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Stretch a Shirt - Project 5 (for YOU!)

You may think that at this point, I was all out of shirt.  Ha!  No way, jose!  I’ve got all of THIS left:
(Plus a few scraps I had inadvertently thrown away that I had to dig through the trash can for...)
PLENTY of fabric for some cool stuff, don’t you think?
Well, long ago (meaning like 2 months or so) I was perusing blogland and came across this post for upcycled t-shirt bangles on LBB.  And I thought: hm.  Easy.
And we know how much I LOVE easy.
I put it on the back burner.  I didn’t have any knit scraps.
Wait, knit scraps.  I have knit scraps!!!  Now that I’ve made 4 projects out of one shirt, all I have are knit scraps!!
So, if you want to see some pretty ones and the original inspiration, go to LBB.
And here's my version - Scrappy Bracelets.
You will need:
knit scraps (or the remnants of your thrifted shirt)
needle and thread or a sewing machine
safety pin
Here are the scraps of knit I used - most from the thrifted shirt, but I did cheat a tiny bit and added some other scraps I happened to find.  I used the longest scrap pieces of my shirt that I had.
Take three pieces of the shirt remnants, laid them on top of each other and pinned them to my pants.  
Pull on them gently so they stretched and kind of curled a bit.
Braid them.
Unpin, measure to make sure it will fit over your hand, overlap the ends a bit and straight stitch (or hand stitch) through to connect them.
And that’s it for this one.  I left one of the ends kind of longer and jagged for fun.  
You saw me wear this back here in this post.

You can make other kinds really easily too!

Take two pieces of contrasting fabric, and lay them on top of each other.
Place them in your machine and twist them together, then straight stitch down the length.

Measure around your hand, sew the ends together, and voila!  
Here’s one I didn’t take pictures of, but it’s an easy concept that you’ve probably used before.  
Pin the strip to your pants.  
Twist the strip, a lot.
When the whole thing is twisted, fold the strip in half and it will twist around itself.  
I made two with just one strip each and then I sewed two of these together to make these:
You can also zig-zag stitch elastic to the back of a strip, pulling the elastic as you sew it down and then sew the ends of the ruffled strip together, like these:
And, not that I would ever wear every single one at the same time, but here they are:
EASY!  And cheap.  And the first of these projects that’s not for the baby in your life!  But that means no cute pictures.  Sorry.  Just my boring old arm.  
Again and again.  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...