Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gap inspired Cardi-Wrap-Thing

Several months ago while shopping at the Gap outlet - because I rarely set foot in a regular store, but this was an outlet mall trip -- I saw this on the hanger.

My friend Jill tried it on and it looked super cute. When she took it off I opened it up and saw that it was a large rectangle of fabric with sleeves sewn on. SO super stinkin' easy to make! So I did.

Here's my version:

I used Bamboo Rayon/Cotton baby knit (just a fancy way to say Tshirt fabric made from bamboo) and it feels SO good on. Since it's a knit I didn't even finish the edges. I did hem up the sleeves a bit, but the lower edge and the neck are just a rough cut. I didn't want to ruin the nice drape of the fabric with a hem.

So whatchya think? Eh? Eh? EEEEHHHHH??

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gadget Holder {Updated}

I made this for my sister for Christmas. I forgot to get a picture of the front, but she was sweet enough to send me one. Yeah!

It has a wood button/elastic loop closure. You can slide your hand under the yellow strap and carry it clutch-style.

It is roughly the size of a Kindle (which is a fun accident, because she told me AFTER I gave it to her she was getting a Kindle for Christmas! I was just making it to hold a journal.) and has a pocket that's just the right size for an iPhone. I did that on purpose.

It also has two inside pockets to hold other chargers, earbuds, cords, whatever. I love the way it turned out!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Headband Holder for your mama

Organization is a beautiful thing. Especially when it looks like this!

This week I've been on a cleaning and organizing kick, and today I tackled this:

When my husband opens this drawer, he cringes and closes it as fast as he can. I laugh and tell him I know exactly where everything is, and I like it that way.

So maybe I lie a little.

I went through that drawer (in fact, the entire bathroom with it's three cabinets, five drawers, and one large linen closet) and now it looks like this:

And both trash cans are overflowing with expired and unused products. Feels good! Yay me!

I ran into a problem when I needed a place for my hard headbands. I've been wanting to make a smooshy fancy holder dealie and sketched up a design for something like a boudoir pillow and then quickly abandoned that idea at the thought of putting gussets on something that would grace the inside of a bathroom drawer. Then I turned to the good ole blogosphere and found this idea. I decided to use fabric and hot glue instead of paper and Mod Podge.

So here is all you need to make this cutie:

-- Large [empty] oatmeal container
-- fabric - 19 x 15" piece
-- batting - any kind will do. I used high loft and doubled it for more squish.
-- hot glue gun
-- large decorative button

Cut the batting to the size you need for your container. My piece was 34" long and 9.5 wide and I wrapped it around the can twice. Apply hot glue and start gluing and wrapping the batting around the container. You don't need to pull it too tight as you wrap, because you want it to be nice and smooshy.

I used a LOT of glue. For the batting it ended up being quite unnecessary, and really you only need to use one strip of glue around each edge (around the top and bottom of the can).

Here is my double-wrapped batting covered oatmeal can.

Now start wrapping the fabric around. Let about three inches of fabric hang over the bottom edge of the can, and let the other inch or so lay over the top (lid side).

Wrap the fabric, using a strip of glue around the edges. Pull it taut as you wrap, but not too tight. When you get to the end, fold the raw edge under and glue down. That way no raw edges of fabric are exposed. Leave the ends open where they hang over the top and bottom of the can.

Now, start tucking the ends into the can and glue down.

Keep tucking and gluing until you get it all inside.

Here's the inside of the can. It's not super cute, and if you wanted to use the inside for storage, you could mod podge some cute paper or fabric over the raw edges. I'm not planning on using mine for that, so I skipped that idea.

If not, put the lid on and you're good!

Noe for the bottom, use the same tucking and gluing technique as above. Be liberal with the hot glue.

Keep going until you get it all glued down. Notice I was a little too liberal with my glue and it oozed out in a few places. Don't do that.

Glue the button on to cover up the icky stuff in the middle, and voila! Mama's new headband holder!

I LOVE how cute my hair candy looks on it. Meow!

So, let's review.




Monday, January 3, 2011

Super Simple Party Favor Bag

I'm always searching for a way to use up scraps and leftovers, so here's a cute and fun way!

I made these bags for my daughter's 3rd birthday party, just big enough to hold some princess wands and bead necklaces for the girls, and some rocket balls and army men for the boys. And, of course since this is me, they are completely and totally reversible! AND, they take 30 minutes to make. 45 if you're a beginner. I promise!

Ready to make one? You totally can!

All you need is:
- two 18" x 8" cuts of coordinating fabric
- 15 inches of nylon webbing
- scissors
- sewing machine
- straight pins
- iron

note: I used scraps.. which means the straps on my bags varied from 12.5" to 18.5" and they all look fab, so perfection isn't necessary.

Step 1: Gather your materials.

Fold the first piece of fabric over, right sides together, so the fold is at the bottom and the raw edges line up. Press a crease into the bottom. This makes it easier to center the gusset later.

Now, sew up the edges, starting from the fold and sewing about 1/2" from the raw edges. Do this on both sides of the fabric.

So that you have this. The fold is at the top of the picture, and the raw open edges are at the bottom (so the laying bag is upside down in the picture)

Clip the corners off.

Next, to make the gusset, open out your bag, and with one finger in the corner, spread your hands and fingers out to form a triangle. Try to line the seam up with the creased fold and pinch them together. Hopefully the photo shows this better.

(This is how your hand looks inside the bag)

Here is where you pinch the triangle together.

Now, sew a seam across the triangle, setting the point on about the 1 1/4" or 3cm line on your machine's guide plate.

Repeat for the other corner and you have this:

Notice how my left side is horrible crooked. That is because I didn't line up the seam with the crease when folding. I could (should) have gone back and redone it, but these are party favors, and like I said before, perfection isn't necessary!
Clip the seam allowances off the triangles.

Turn the first bag right side out, and see your pretty gusseted bag! Notice at the bottom how the seam and the crease don't line up? The bottom won't be exactly square because of that. I really should have fixed that. Take that as a "what not to do" lesson.

Now do the same thing for your other piece of fabric. Go ahead, go back up to the top and follow the steps again if you need to. I'll wait for you right here.

Ok, now that you have two bags. Turn one right side out and leave one inside out, like shown.

Take the one that's inside out and insert your webbing strap into it. Then line up the raw edge of the strap with the seam on one side of the bag and pin it down. Be sure to center the strap over the seam. Repeat for the other side seam.

Next, insert your other bag into the first one. They should have their right sides together, with the strap in between. Line up the seams and pin both sides.

Now, insert the open edge of the bag over the arm of your machine, and starting about two inches before the side seam, sew around the edges, with about 3/4" seam allowance.

Stop about two inches after the second side strap/seam area and backstitch/reinforce the end of the seam. This is how we are going to turn the bag out.

Turn the bag right side out. You have this when you get it all untangled:

Now decide which side you want inside (but since they are completely reversible, it doesn't matter much) and stuff it inside. Press the corners all the way open with your fingers or a safety pin. If this bag wasn't so small, I would recommend pressing the top edges flat, but it's not necessary.

Insert the open end onto the arm of your machine, and starting on one strap, sew about 1/4" in from the edge.

When you get to the opening, make sure it lines up with the rest of the edges and sew it closed. Use your free hand to guide the fabric and make sure the fabric stays pulled all the way out. Continue sewing all the way around until you meet the thread where you started.


And you have a super cute, really basic party favor bag! Or a little purse for a sassy toddler. Or a holder for army men and crayons.

Now go make a few more!

And don't forget the boys!

Questions, comments? Something not make sense? Comment or email me at alexiajeandesigns at yahoo dot com.
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