hand sewing

Fourth of July Embroidered Fireworks T-Shirt

At the last minute [oh you know, 9:30 last night...] I decided to fancy-up a T-shirt for my nearly two-year-old. We don’t have big plans for the Fourth of July, but who doesn’t love a patriotic outfit?

Embroidered Fireworks T-shirtWith a few quick stitches, I added some fireworks to a plain blue T-shirt.

DSC_0176Well, fireworks… or spiders? Hmm. Multi-holiday T-shirt maybe??DSC_0163Even if they turned out a little bit wonky, I like them. And it was an easy project to do while watching mindless television, which this mama really needed yesterday.DSC_0142Happy Independence Day, America!

A 30 Minute Spring Wreath: a tutorial at Simple Homemade

Today I’ve got a tutorial over at Simple Homemade that is quick and easy and will give you a super fun addition to your spring decor.

DSC_0470So click over to Simple Homemade to get the full how-to!

 

Hanging Hearts [a mini tutorial]

When it comes to home or holiday decor, I’m super cheap frugal. I don’t enjoy spending lots of money on things that are either only going to be up for a short time or have the potential to get broken by my [super lovely and amazing] boys who don’t care so much that mama’s decor isn’t supposed to be used as a weapon.

The two things that I love adding more of to my home: natural fibers and elements of nature. Bonus: both can be cheap or free!

hanging heartsThis project took me about an hour [with some Downton Abbey distractions thrown in there] and it gave me exactly the look I was going for.

DSCF7420Here’s all you need: felted wool scraps [you could do this with craft felt or fleece, but it will look much better with felted wool - trust me] and embroidery floss.

DSCF7440Cut some hearts out of the felted wool. These were scraps from old sweaters that I had felted and turned into diaper covers.

DSCF7428Use your handy dandy blanket stitch [tutorial found here if you don’t know how to do it!] to sew two hearts together.

DSCF7434With your needle, add a little embroidery floss to make a loop for hanging.

DSCF7431And then hang them on a branch! Natural fibers always seem make my home feel a little more peaceful. Which is something that makes this mama happy.

How to Sew a Blanket Stitch

Have you ever used or seen a blanket stitch before? You probably have at least seen one, even if you don’t know what it’s called.

I’ve used this stitch for lots of different projects, frequently with projects made with felt or felted wool, as it’s ideal for fabrics that don’t fray.

how to sew a blanket stitch

All you need to start out with is your fabric, a needle, and embroidery thread.IMG_7180 1. Tie your embroidery thread at one end. Thread the other end through the eye of your needle, pulling it a couple inches out of the needle.IMG_7182

2. Wherever you want to begin your stitch, start on the inside of the fabric, in between the two pieces. [you can also use this stitch on just one piece of fabric, then you would just begin on the back side of the fabric] Push your needle through the fabric.

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3. Turn the needle and go through both layers of fabric, facing away from you.

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4. Don’t pull the thread tightly – leave a small loop. Your needle is now behind the two layers of fabric. Take it over the top of the fabric and go down through the loop.

IMG_71915. Pull the thread a little and then you are going to do the same thing – put your needle through both layers of fabric, pointing away from you.
IMG_71956. Leave a little loop in your thread. Go back over the two layers of fabric and take the needle through that loop.
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7. Now pull your thread tight. You’ll see that the thread lays along the edge of the fabric. If it doesn’t, you can always adjust it yourself so that it does.
IMG_72018. Keep continuing those same steps. As you sew, it will look like this!

blanket stitchAnd when you sew all around your fabric, it looks oh so lovely. :)

Coming soon: a few Valentine-y projects where you can use your newfound blanket stitching skills!

A Valentine Hoop

I really enjoy decorating for Valentine’s Day. A whole day devoted to love… and a reason to add pink hearts to my boy-filled house.DSCF7313This year I whipped up a little Valentine-y hoop to add to our holiday decor. Oh how I love holiday decor. :)

DSCF7312Super simple: fabric in the hoop and felted wool hand-stitched with embroidery floss.

DSCF7311A sweet [and easy!] way to celebrate the one you love… but I like it so much, that it just might stay up year-round.

Embroidered Necklace Tutorial

I’m not very good at accessorizing. I tend to default to scarves and … that’s about it.

So, in an effort to broaden my horizons, I decided to make a simple DIY necklace that was easy to wear with my everyday not-at-all-fancy outfits.

A while back, Pick Your Plum [a daily deal site for crafters!] had a variety pack of different pendants.

Truthfully, I had no idea what I was going to do with them when I bought them. But when I saw how deep this one was, I decided to embroider some fabric to put inside it.

Remember that embroidery from my previous post?

Now, I use the term embroidery a little loosely. I have no technique. I have no skills. It’s all pretty random but intentional stitching [if that makes sense]. I used a jersey knit fabric, but only because I liked the color. It wasn’t ideal. A non-stretchy fabric would work much nicer for this project.

After cutting the fabric to the shape of the pendant, [which I definitely recommend doing before gluing ... my shape is a little off, because I glued it in first without making sure the size was exactly right] I used this Fabri-Tac glue to attach the fabric to the pendant. I like that this stuff is strong and the fabric is definitely stuck to the pendant. It dries really quickly, though, so you have to get your fabric onto the pendant fast. And you have to smooth it out, or it is a little “lumpy” after it dries. You can peel the fabric carefully off the pendant after it’s dry, if you need to, but then you’ll have a layer of dried glue on the back of your fabric.

All ready for a chain!

Look at me, all accessorizing.

Simple Hair Band Flowers: a Tutorial

Alright, last-minute-gift-makers… here’s another easy gift for you to make today.  This one is super fun, and can be done while you’re watching your favorite Christmas movie or even riding in the car.  Simple hair band flowers, made from jersey knit or even T-shirt scraps.

 

1. Cut three circles of your knit or T-shirt fabric, varying the size.  [If you cut lots of circles at one time, then you can make a bunch of flowers really quickly.]

 

2. Stack the circles together, with the largest on the bottom.

 

3. Pinch the bottom of the circle, “scrunching” the layers together.

 

4. Take your threaded needle and weave in and out of the pinched layers, pulling your thread tightly as you go. [But not too tight - you don't want it to break... not that that's happened to me or anything...]  Do as many times as you’d like, until your flower looks like you want it to. [The more you sew in and out of the layers, the more "scrunched" your flower will look]

 

 

5. Sew your flower onto your hairband.  You could also sew it onto soft elastic or a large strip of jersey knit to make a headband.

 

6. Admire your handiwork :)

 

7. Make a bunch more, because you just might become addicted…