no sew

A repurposed handmade costume

I didn’t have it in me to make two costumes this year [without going a little bit insane], so I knew that this year, Luke Skywalker would be walking alongside whatever we could find in the dress up bin.

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tutorial found here

Of course, my plan to have my 3yo be Darth Vader was thwarted by the fact that we couldn’t actually find the Darth Vader mask. So… plan B. A couple years ago, I made a monkey costume for my oldest. It has since been very well-loved. So well loved, in fact, that the monkey hat is currently missing. Hmm…are you seeing a trend?

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monkey costume in action… taffy-eating and all

About twenty minutes before my littles went Trick-or-Treating [which yes, has already happened here... our city does it on the weekend], I came up with this fabulous plan: turn this into an owl!

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Add an owl hat and a [poorly cut] half circle of knit fabric [an old T-shirt or fleece would work great too!] pinned to the back of the shirt, and you have an owl!DSC_0565

Free, no-sew costume for the win! You could easily add this to a T-shirt or sweatshirt straight from your child’s closet too!

Are you making your costumes this year or are you digging through the dress-up bin too?

Cuff Bracelet Tutorial: Because She’s Worth it!

When thinking about what kind of bracelet or zipper pouch tutorial I wanted to share with you as part of the She’s Worth it Campaign, the very first thing that came to mind was a simple cuff bracelet.

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Natural fibers, easy to make, and one that requires little to no sewing skills.
cuff bracelet tutorialSupplies Needed:

  • felted wool
  • twill tape
  • button
  • needle/thread
  • fabric paint
  • paint brush/stamps
  • sewing machine – optional
  • scissors

DSC_00031. Cut a rectangle from a scrap of felted wool that fits around your wrist snugly, but not too tightly. Choose something that’s soft and feels good against your skin – and make sure the fabric stretches horizontally [around your wrist].

DSC_00062. Cut a piece of twill tape that’s a couple inches long, depending on what word you are printing.

DSC_00143. Carefully sew the twill tape onto the center of the rectangle. This could be done with a sewing machine or by hand. [you may find this step easier to do after you paint your letters on - it's your choice] The two cut ends will fray, but I really like how this looks.

DSC_01324. Using fabric paint and either stamps or a paint brush, paint your letters onto the twill tape.

DSC_01365. Cut a small slit on one end that is just large enough for your button.

DSC_01386. Hand sew the button onto the other end.

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DSC_0150Awkward hand shot… definitely no hand modeling in my future, friends.

DSC_0155This one I cut smaller and cut the twill tape on all sides, so that it would fray all around.

DSC_0170Have you made a bracelet or zipper pouch to give to women and girls who have been rescued from slavery? Want to see some other tutorials to get more inspiration? Andrea has made a Pinterest board for the She’s Worth it Campaign, so be sure to follow and get involved. Because she is worth it.

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Re-using Handmade Birthday Decorations [happy birthday, E!]

When my oldest turned three, I went on a little birthday decoration making spree.

I made him a crown.

I appliqued T-shirts with threes on them.

I even made a no-sew birthday banner.

In the past two years, there have been many birthdays, but I have yet to make anything new to add to the collection.

But lucky for me, this little lovey turns three today! And we get to re-use all of the wonderful birthday decor that I created two years ago. [we do use the banner all the time... it's very well-loved by now]

So happy birthday to my Eli! Three years of hugs, laughs, and trains. And just enough nutty to keep mama on her toes. ;) Wouldn’t change it for anything.

Valentine Conversation Heart Garland: a Tutorial!

In the house full of boys like mine, there’s not a lot of opportunity for pink. I think that’s why I end up wearing pink a lot [that and my hubby once told me I look good in pink... totally bought a lot of pink shirts after that!]

So, Valentine’s Day is really the perfect excuse to pink-ify my house. [yes, I made up that word. go with it.]

This tutorial is suuuuper easy. You could make it a project you do with your kids – or not. You could also make it much more intricate. You could even do it no sew.

Start with some felt. I used regular old by the yard felt. Wool felt will be nicer and last longer. Regular felt is cheaper, and I happened to have a bunch of it.

Cut the felt into strips. The width of the strips should be about how wide you’d like your hearts to be.

Fold the strips in half [I did two strips at a time, to make it go a little faster]. Cut your hearts on the fold, so the center of the heart is where the fold is. This is genius if, like me, your hearts are never symmetrical.

Cut as many as you’d like, from whatever colors you’re going to use.

Now write your cutesy Valentine sayings on top of the hearts. I used these Sharpie Stained fabric markers. They are awesome. Regular permanent makers will bleed, so don’t use those. [Also, my white felt had a "flatter" side that was better for writing on - the other side didn't look as nice. This is also a case for nicer felt...]

Then sew them together – a straight stitch all the way across. You can space them farther apart if you want, then just keep sewing a little bit in between each one, so you end up with a “chain” of stitches in between your hearts.

You could also hot glue the hearts to a ribbon to hang them, if you don’t want to sew them. That’s what I did for this no sew birthday banner.

Then enjoy how excited your kids [even boys!] can get about simple Valentine’s decorations.

iPod costume: a tutorial

Um, who else just realized that it’s almost Halloween?  And the homemade costume you planned on making isn’t quite finished started?  But it’s not too late to whip up a quick Halloween costume for you or your little one!  You may have seen me post how to make an iPod (or iPhone… or iPad) costume over on The Train to Crazy, as part of her Handmade Dress up Series [which you need to check out if you haven't yet!] but just in case you missed it, here’s the full tutorial.

If any of you have kids like mine, they love technology.  My one-year-old absolutely loves to take my iPod [he could even say iPod before he could say his big brother’s name!] so I thought it would be so much fun to make him an iPod costume!  This tutorial is super easy and could even be completely no sew.  I made the costume so that it’s easy to get on and off, and could also be put over a winter coat if necessary… because in Wisconsin, you just never know!

Supplies:

  • Black fabric – I suggest using jersey knit, felt, or fleece so that you don’t have to finish the edges.  I love to upcycle, so I used the back of a men’s T-Shirt. [If you want to make this a no-sew project, just use a black T-Shirt that your child will wear instead.]
  • Sewing machine/thread
  • Fabric Glue [I like Liquid Stitch]
  • White and grey felt/knit/fleece for making the “screen”
  • Velcro
  • Fabric Marker – I suggest white/silver/grey – I used one with glitter!

1. Cut a rectangle of black fabric, and round the corners. The length will depend on how tall your child is.

2. Cut  a strip of the same fabric a couple inches wide and long enough to drape over your child’s neck – mine was about 11in.  Fold it in half and zig zag along the long side to sew it into a long tube.  Turn the tube right side out, like in the picture.
3. Attach one end of the tube to the top of the main piece of fabric with a zig zag stitch – near the corner.  This will be the strap to go around your child’s neck.
4. Attach velcro to the other end of the strap (you can sew it on or use fabric glue).  Hold it up to your child to see where the strap will fit comfortably around your child’s neck before attaching the other Velcro piece to the main piece of fabric.  When it’s done, it should look like the picture above.
**For safety purposes, I recommend using Velcro, not sewing on both ends of the strap. This will prevent the risk of choking.
5. Cut felt/knit/fleece pieces to make the screen of the iPod.  Sew them on or use fabric glue to attach.
6. I used silver glittery fabric paint to write the words.  You could also cut these out, but I don’t have many chances to get away with using some glitter on my boys’ clothes, so I went for it. ;)

This is one costume that I could probably even convince my hubby to wear!  Hmm… ;)
Now to get moving on costume number two…. can I add a few more hours to my day, please?

Upcycled and [Nearly] No Sew Playmat!

If you read my blog around Christmas time, you may remember my goal to have an Upcycled Christmas.  One thing that I made, but never posted pictures of, was a playmat for my boys.  Since both of them love cars, this playmat has turned out to be a winner in our house!

The large gray material is a grey flannel sheet I found on a past thrifting adventure.  The rest of the mat is made from mostly upcycled T-Shirts.  I had originally thought I would sew everything on, but time got away from me, and I ended up using fabric glue.  If I could go back, I would sew it all on.  I found out that not all fabric glues are alike.

This was by far the  best of the fabric glues I tried.

The places my kiddos love are featured – the Children’s Museum, Starbucks (not just important to Mama!), McDonalds, Daddy’s work….

… the park, the zoo, the lake, the grocery store, our house, the hospital, Target.

I backed it with some fabulous IKEA car fabric that I’ve had since last summer.  I really love that I didn’t have to purchase anything for this project!  I just serged around the edges to put it all together.

My love of upcycling and my children entertaining themselves.  Oh so lovely.

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