Craft/DIY Ideas

Lace Embellished Tee

I haven’t made any good projects involving clothing lately– at least none where I embellish upon something that’s already made. (I have made a few pieces from scratch lately, but that’s for another day.)

Upon seeing lots of cool lace inspired clothing lately, I decided to pretty up a basic long-sleeved T.

lace shirt, wheat crackers 038

It was really pretty darn simple once I got cracking on it.

Here’s the basics of what I did:

lace shirt, wheat crackers 001I started off with a basic knit t-shirt in this blue color. Since I’m a sucker for darker blue paired with white, I pulled out a Goodwill lace table runner thing that had been sitting in my fabric stash.

lace shirt, wheat crackers 002After literally slicing off the longer end pieces off the runner, I pinned them down the middle of my tee, placing the straight sides so they touch. I also left a tail of about 1-2″ at the top and bottom, tucking them underneath into the inside of the shirt. If you do this or something similar, use lots of pins! After making sure everything was in its proper place, I zig-zag stitched down the middle using white thread. This adhered both pieces to the middle portion. Following this I used a straight stitch down the side of each lace strip. I screwed up once and had to break out my trusty seam ripper to fix the situation. Another warning: knit material like this is sorta stretchy while the lace is not, so make you don’t have any bunchiness going on as you sew.

lace shirt, wheat crackers 004

That’s pretty much it. Now I have a new Tee to wear this fall and winter. The only thing I may change is the neckline–I don’t love how it looks just yet, so it may get fixed up a bit more, but I haven’t decided on how I want it.

lace shirt, wheat crackers 030

Paired up with my current favorite pair of earrings (which are a steal on amazon!), I really enjoyed wearing my new Tee to usher in some fall weather.

photo (2)

Craft/DIY Ideas, Parenting Tales

Fun With Tie Dye

One of the items on our summer bucket list was to tie-dye T-shirts.

We took advantage of a nice day about a week and a half ago to do just that, then were able to wear them to Raystown Lake where my side of the family took a little vacation last week.

My crew + 2 nieces
My crew + 2 nieces

I had no idea how they would turn out as I hadn’t tie-dyed a thing since I was in elementary school. Which was, um, quite a number of years ago and I’m sure I was just doing what the teacher instructed us to do.

Thankfully in our tie-dye kit (Jacquard brand) there were clear instructions as well as a pretty informative DVD that showed us how to do the different designs.

Each one is a little bit different, which is the beauty of tie-dye I guess.

We started out with plain white cotton tees. The kit contained a powder (soda ash) that you mix with water to make a solution, then soak your item in it for 20 minutes or so.

When done soaking, you can then make your design using rubber bands. I tried the scrunch method, bulls-eye, spiral, mirror image, and stripes.

tie dye, peas 002

After rubber-banding all of your items, give them another good soak in the solution. In the meantime, get your dyes ready. Our sweet little kit had them ready to go in bottles, you just had to add some water and shake ’em up.

Wring out the excess, then lay on a protected surface. Warning–this is the messy part!! Messy can be fun though:)

tie dye, peas 001

The next step is to add your color. This was by far my most favorite part of tie-dyeing. I don’t think you can really “mess up” as they are all supposed to be unique.

After the color was on, I put each separate piece in a plastic bag to sit for a day. Once the day was up, I took off the rubber bands and rinsed each T-shirt out well, then gave them a good washing in my machine. It was fun to see how our creations came out!

Me and my Fab 5
Me and my Fab 5
...and a view from the back.
…and a view from the back.

As you can see, the kiddos then wore them to Raystown Lake, where we had a good time with family.

My favorite little monsters.
My favorite little monsters.

All in all, I really enjoyed tie-dyeing and would enjoy messing about with it more and trying out some different pattern ideas.

Craft/DIY Ideas, Parenting Tales

Handmade Christmas Series: Kids Pajamas

I wanted to post this before the hurricane hits us within this next day and we lose power. It looks like we are directly in Sandy’s path! Today I’m sharing a project that I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks–homemade pajamas for my kids and all the other little ones in my life. Several of my kids have worn theirs already, but the rest are for Christmas presents. You know I love a good practical present, and you can’t get much more practical than a new pair of PJ’s. I love how these turned out and am gladly sharing the tutorial on how I made them.

You can probably already tell from the picture that I did not make the shirts. True, I sewed up the pants and found a cool new (and easier) way to make them. The shirts are bought plain T’s that I appliqued a shape on using fabric leftover from the pants.

Here’s a brief how-to on making the pants. I used fleece for some and flannel for the others.

Lay out your fabric and fold one edge in.
Take a pair of your child’s pants and fold them in half. Lay the long edge against the folded edge of fleece/flannel. Use this as a template to mark/cut about 1″ away from the edge of existing pants.
Use the first half as a template to mark and cut a pants half on the other side. Open up both halves and lay them with right sides together.
Sew up the rounded edges on both sides. Do not sew the actual pant legs just yet.
With right sides still together, fold the two halves so they actually resemble pants. Now is the time to sew up along the legs! I did this in one continuous stitch, starting at one bottom, pivoting at the crotch area, and going down the other leg.
Fold up the bottom of each pant leg and sew the hem. (For the fleece I did one fold, for the flannel I folded up @1/2″, then another 1/2″.)
Next you need to create a waistband. Fold top edge down @1″ and sew around the whole thing except leave about 2″ open. Measure your child’s waist and cut an elastic that is 1″ larger. Thread the elastic through the waist casing and sew the overlapping edges. Finish up by sewing the 2″ gap closed. Turn right side out and you’re all done!
Cut out a shape from the same fabric you used for the pants. Iron on fusible interfacing and place on the plain t-shirt. I used a short zig-zag stitch to sew around the edges.

My son Josh has already worn this pair a few nights and is proud of his new PJ’s. It was fun matching different colors/fabrics/shapes to the differing personalities.

These were fun to make and actually pretty easy once I got the pants down pat. I loved the fact that you don’t really need a pattern for these and am contemplating making a comfy pair for myself.

Craft/DIY Ideas

Stenciled Tank Top Tutorial

Ever have one of those clothing pieces that you just can’t bear to part with? Even if you haven’t worn it in quite some time? Well, meet my burnt orange tank top, worn for ?? years, a nice little layering piece that I can’t bear to part with. I recently splurged and bought a set of Martha Stewart’s new stencils and a couple bottles of paint from her new Plaid paint line which can be used on almost any surface. The stencil I bought was called Arabesque because I thought it may be very versatile and the paint color I used is called Metallic Copper, a perfect complement to my orange tank. Check out the results:

The process was so, so easy. Here’s what I did to breathe new life into my boring old tank:

First off, I laid my tank down flat on a table, putting a thin piece of cardboard inside so no paint would soak through to the back side. I chose to start at the bottom corner and taped it down where I wanted it. Then, using a foam brush, I tapped paint onto the design. Since this piece is a ribbed material, it took a little doing to get it evenly distributed. Probably if it was completely plain I’m thinking it would go on a whole lot smoother and quicker. Once that was complete, I just pulled the whole thing off, leaving this…

Then I kept on going, combining this larger design with a smaller one that I felt went with it nicely.

Now it feels like I have a new addition to my fall wardrobe. You’ll probably see me sporting this under a comfy cardigan or jacket!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Embellishing a Plain T-Shirt: Idea #3

2 plain black long sleeved tees

On my agenda this time–ditch my old black long sleeved T for an updated new one without spending much green.  I found a similar black T on the WalMart clearance rack for about $2 and just had to snatch it up. I was plannning to use my old T to cut up and utilize the pieces to embellish the new one.

piles of circles, cut and ready to be used

 I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I’ve been loving all of the floral or almost corsage looking embellished tops out right now. On one of my fave blogs, makeit-loveit, the author did a similar look, but embellished all the way around the neckline. So, first things first, I cut out many circles in two different sizes, one about 2″ around and the other about 3″ around. You will need about 5 of these per flower, so figure on your number from there.

my flowers, pinned and ready to go

What I did next was lay out my design, figuring out where I wanted each of my new blooms. I layed out a circle for each spot, deciding on just using 3 to one side of my neckline, 2 of the larger size and 1 of the smaller. Next I folded 4 circles for each flower, folding them in half and then half again (like a pie piece). I pinned these four folded pieces on top of the circles I had laid down originally.  The final step was to actually sew the blooms on. What I did was sew in a concentric circle, starting near the outside (not too close to the edge of the flower though!) and circling in. I did this for each one and then ruffled the outer edges of the petals a bit.

sporting my new T

I loved my new embellished T so much, I decided to go for another one, this time the whole way around the neckline.

Bloomin' green

Just to top things off, and because I had enough of the old black T left, I made up a little skirt for my little girl. For this I simply chopped off the bottom section of my old shirt, made a casing with elastic for the waist, and sewed up a sweet basic skirt. I used the same method to make a bloom near the bottom hem of her skirt.

So there you have it, another simple, easy, and cheap way to dress up your boring threads! As my kids would say, easy peasy lemon-squeezy!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Kids Peeps Bunny T-Shirt

Pink Peeps Bunnies

Remember these guys from a post several days ago? If not, check it out, I had made an Easter/spring bunting or garland from felt peeps bunnies. Well, I was busy cutting out these guys and my daughter was completely enamored with the pink ones. “I LOVE these!” she kept exclaiming (she is 5 and gets very excited about the dardest things). Anyway, I discovered a plain pink T in her stash of clothes and a lightbulb went on in my head. Scary, I know.

Another plain old T


I thought, why not sew up some of those pink bunnies on her T? How easy would that be, and I know she would be thrilled. Now, you may be thinking I don’t do anything special for my boys because I am always posting about my daughter. Hey, I have 4 boys and one girl smack dab in the middle of them all. She is my princess and girl stuff is just much more fun to have ideas for. Don’t worry, those boys get lots of spoiling anyway. I plan on doing a special project for them here soon.

So, I already had pink bunnies cut out from felt from several days back. There is a template you can print out from the tutorial on I just used one layer, not two like you do for the bunting. Now all I had left to do was pin and sew! I lined up 3 in a row, all in different shades of pink, pinned those bunnies on, and sewed around the edges. So very simple, and my little chiquita was thrilled. She even wore it to kindergarten today!

checking out her new T

Of course, no new outfit is complete without a pair of Barbie sunglasses. Apparently someone likes her new career as my model a little too much 😉

Craft/DIY Ideas

Repurposing a Plain T-Shirt: Idea #2

A plain ribbed cotton tank

Who doesn’t have some of these lying in their closet or drawers? I love a good, basic ribbed tank for their comfort and versatility. Not only do I love to wear mine plain in the summer, I also wear them under cardigans, jackets, or just under other shirts that aren’t quite long enough (I am 5’10”, this IS a problem for me!) This particular tank is from Fashion Bug, so it was cheap and long enough for my comfort. Though I like the plummy purple color, I did wish for it to have a little embellishment.

Pretty spring-like fabric scraps, about to meet my scissors!

 I had seen a cute idea in a book called Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan (I totally *heart* her ideas). So, me being a master copycat, decided to mimic her idea on this tank. She calls it a “necklace tank,” I guess becasue all the embellishment is around the neckline. I chose a few scraps that I had which seemed to match my purple tank and cut them all into a half-oval shape.

Lining up my design, ready to sew.

Then I proceeded to arrange the half-ovals along my tank’s neckline, then pinned all of them down. As for the edge actually along the neckline, I zig-zag stiched it once, then I actually went over it again, making my stitches smaller. For the curved portion of the half-ovals, I straight-stitched. This was just a bit tricky because of the curve and because of the knit cotton.

The end result, a "necklace tank."

All in all, this project was fairly simple to pull off. Cute and super cheap to make. I’ll have to experiment with more of these for sure, goodness knows I have plenty of these tanks in different colors. Now for some warmer weather to wear them in!