Heart Felt

For Valentine’s Day I thought that I would do a quick craft especially since it is the night before Valentine’s Day and that is all the time I have.  I have been looking through a great book called Plush You! that I checked out at my local library.  The book has some instructions on how to make so of the “loveable misfit toys” but most of the photos are for inspiring your own plush creations.

Taking a cue from the book I decided to make my own plush creation, A Love Bug.  I have a ton of felt lying around in my craft closet so it was the best material to create these bugs from.  First, I started by making hearts on the felt before cutting them out.  To make sure the were all the same I used a cookie cutter to outline the hearts.

 Cookie Cutter Hearts

After creating 2 hearts for each Love Bug, I cut them all out.  Next, I cut 6 matchstick sized pieces of black felt for each Love Bug.  The pieces of black felt were going to be their legs.  I glued down the legs on to the hearts so when I went to sew them the would stay in place.

After getting them all ready I used red thread to hand sew the two hearts together.  I used a whip stitch along the edge of the hearts leaving an opening at the top to allow for stuffing the body.

The whip stitch looked good exposed and it created a little more decoration.  Next, I stuffed the little Love Bug as much as I could so it was a plump little bug.  This time I used polyfill but there are many other things that you can use to stuff a plush, such as rice, polyfill, scrap materials and fabric (perfect thing to do with all those scraps lying around), dried beans, and even plastic bags. 

After stuffing the Love Bug, it needed a head.  Looking through my overwhelming supply of craft stuff I found the ever useful pom-poms.  I attached the pom-pom to the bugs body with some craft glue.  Of course, you can use hot glue which is much easier to do but my hot glue gun caught on fire the last time I used it and I never replaced it.  Anyways, after attaching the head I gave it some googly eyes and antenna which I fashioned from 2 of my pins after I cut off the ends of them.  And so the finally product…

 

A cute little Love Bug which I promptly gave to my Valentine.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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February 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Sew Happy It’s the Weekend!

It was a nice quite Saturday and I thought that it would be a perfect time to finish up my second project, the pleated skirt.  I had already cut out the pattern but nothing else, so the first thing I needed to do was cut out the peices of fabric.  I laid the pattern paper on the fabric according to the insturctions.  After pinning it down to the fabric I started cutting.

 Cutting on the lines:)

There were several lines on the patter indicating where the pleats were going to be so I used pins to mark those spots.  After cutting out the pieces, I began making the pleats.  There were 3 separate pleats on the front and back panels.  I pinned them in place and did some quick stitching on top to keep them in place until I put on the waistband.

 Look at those pretty pleats!

Next came the waist band which wasn’t very hard.  It consisted of two side sewn together to make a double sided band.  The two were sewn so all I had to do was fold one back into the skirt to make the perfect edge at the top.  Then I had to tack the other side down.  The pattern called it stitiching in the ditch:)

Stitch in the Ditch

Now the only things left to do was add a zipper and hem the bottom of the skirt.  I absolutely hate zippers I have such a hard time with the buggers, but this time it wasn’t hard at all.  It must have been that I was actually following the instructions at this point.  Usually, I am so feed up at this point in a sewing project that I just rush through it and it does not come out like it was supposed to.  The moral of the story is to take your time and read the insturctions.

Zipper Time!

Lastly I had to do the hem.  I took the time to press it down so it was perfect before throwing it on the sewing machine.

And then I was done!  And the verdict…

This picture does not do it justice.

It fit and it looks great despite the picture quality. I’ll have to get a new picture that really shows it off.

Now I just have to figure out what is next on the project agenda.

February 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm Leave a comment

Quick Craft #1

Today I thought that I would do a quick craft since I didn’t have a lot of time today because I was baking cookies:) So in between baking batches of my favorite Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies I completed a craft.  Remember the patch that I found at the flea market this weekend?  It was the perfect quick craft.  First, I went and bought a black hoodie sweatshirt the other day. (Because it was a premade piece of clothing I decided that I was not cheating!) Then, I found the perfect position to place it on the back of my sweatshirt.

This particular patch said it was iron on but it also had adhesive on it.  Amazingly, for the patch from the 80’s it’s adhesive still held.

So I peeled off the backing and stuck it down on the sweatshirt. I didn’t even need to iron it. Next, I wanted to be sure that it stayed on so I decided to stitch around it in a contrasting thread.

I used red thread and a zig-zag stitch along the edge.  It only took a few minutes and then it was done and ready to wear.

Looks good, right?

Total time: about 20 mins.

Total cost: $12 ($5 for sweatshirt, $7 for patch)

February 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

Project #2: Pleated Skirt

Now that I am finally finished with project #1: Baby Blanket I can finally move on to my next project.  Project #2 is going to be a Pleated Skirt.  I bought the fabric, which I absolutely love at Wal-Mart for only $1.50 a yard.  Not knowing what I was going to do with it I bought 3 yards.  This was several weeks ago before I swore off buying more craft stuff so I am in the clear on that one, not like the flea market bump in the road.  So here is the pattern and fabric I am going to use for this project:

I love the purple, black and gold in the fabric.  I purchased a basic pattern so I could adjust it how I saw fit.  The biggest thing in buying a pattern for clothing is to make sure you check the measurements.  Just because you are a size 8 in regular clothing does not mean that the pattern for a size 8 will fit you.  It might be a size 12, it all depends on the measurements.  I bought a larger pattern because I know my measurements.  Plus, it is easier to take in the item of clothing than to make it bigger, trust me!  So when going out to look for a pattern measure first so you get a pattern that will fit you because the might have a pattern that fits a size 4, 6, 8 in one and a size 10, 12, 14 in another.  So measure yourself or who ever the garment is for.

So my first set for project 2 is to cut out the pattern.  Then I will continue to work the pattern just as directed on the instructions.  My biggest problem right now that I foresee besides finding time to drag out my sewing machine is the slightly complicated instructions.  Be sure to read the instructions a few times before beginning kind of how you measure twice and cut once when working with wood.  Make sure you know what you are doing.  This pattern seems to be a little complicated in the way it does the pleats for the skirt.  But I will make my way.

February 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

Finishing Touches and Flea Market Finds

As project #1 draws to a close, I am beginning to get excited for the next project which will not include a crochet hook:)  I don’t mind crocheting but it gets to be a boring doing the same thing over and over again. And that popcorn stitch that I loved…well, lets just say that I hope I don’t see it again for a while.

To close out Project #1: Baby Blanket, I finished the body of the blanket and then it was time to do the edging. The edging was again the popcorn stitch in white all the way around the body.  First I crocheted a base for the popcorn stitch by working a single crochet evenly spaced around the outside edge.  From there I went back to the popcorn stitch. Here is a photo of what it was looking like:

I will complete it with two rows of popcorn stitches along the outside edge. And then I will be able to deliver the long over due gift.

And now a confession…like any addict, one might fall off the wagon from time to time and I did today.  I bought some stuff, yes, more craft stuff…well kind of:)  I went to the flea market today and besides getting a 18k gold ring for 50 cents I bought two items that I just had to have.  The problem is that they will be used to make a craft.  Here they are:

 

I love this iron-on patch and I already know what I am going to do with it.  Soon it will be placed on the back of a black hoodie to show off to all my skating friends. Plus, I might be adding additional embelishments to it.

And then there is this…It is a huge rice bag.  It looks pretty old but is in great shape and the colors are awesome.  I don’t know what I will do with it yet but we shall find out soon.

Now to finish Project #1 and start on Project #2 tomorrow.

February 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

Stealing time to craft

Ahhh! I have not as I previously predicted finished project #1: Baby Blanket.  Why? Plain and simple it is life getting in the way.  How dare it:) But I am still work, working away on it and am so close to putting on the border and sending it off to its new home.  Now the tenative completion date will be some time this weekend. 

So how do you make time to craft or work on a project when life gets in the way?  Simply you have to steal the time away.  I like to see how fast I can get ready in the morning so that I have a few minutes to work on anything I want.  Five minutes here, ten minutes there adds up to some really crafting time.  So here is some of the ways I steal time away.  1) In the morning when I am ahead of schedule 2) Break time at work 3) Lunch time 4) While dinner is cooking 5) Right before bed.  If I get at least 5 mins each time I have been able to craft for 25 mins.  Pretty good when I haven’t had any really quaility time.  But of course this only works with crafts that are easy to bring out and put away in a timely fashion.  Yarn projects, knitting and crochet, is easiest, but any time I have to pull out a sewing machine…not so much.

I may not be the fastest crafter, but I know how to steal some time away for it when I can.  But now I have to get off this computer and finish that project!

February 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

Crafting and Stress Relief

I once told a “mental health professional” that I used crafting as stress relief, but in hindsight I was not quite certain that it was the truth.  While most of the time I do find that crafting is pleasurable and relaxing, other times it is most definately not.  There is at times a strong sense of prefectionism that effects all crafters especially when it is producing gifts.  You want everything to be perfect and the person to tell you how great it is and how you’re “so crafty”. But isn’t crafting supposed to be a hobby, something that you enjoy.  Why is it that we put so much energy in making things perfect.

My biggest crafting problem is Scrapbooking.  There is just too much to it and so many tools.  Plus it is really too much stressing because you are making it to show off your photos.  When I first started scrapbooking way back when (when it wasn’t as complicated) I thought that my scrapbooks were awesome. But now you have to see these things…some people I know can spend days on just one damn page and it has to be just perfect.  No offense to scrapbookers but it is just too much stress for me.

But it is not only scrapbooking that can drive me wild. It can be anycraft and it is probably the reason that I have so many unfinished projects.  I get bored or it just isn’t turning out the way I wanted it too.  I get these great ideas in my head but sometimes they just cannot be put together right.  And of course, there is all ways the “I’m too busy” excuse and you put it off until you have time.  I have one such project that has been waiting for seven years! Just never got around to finishing it, but now I will. It will soon come up in one of my projects to get done.

Now if I could just get through the first project, the baby blanket.  I can see the end in sight, just a little more of the same: loop, twist, pull through, repeat.

January 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

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