Adding Detail to a Spring Sweater

I’m a fan of the television show “Castle.”  Mostly, I just want Castle’s ballistic vest that says Writer across the front so I can wear it on ride-alongs with my husband.  But one of the other reasons I enjoy the show is the wardrobe of the female lead, Stana Katic.  Of course, she’s gorgeous and could wear anything she wanted, but I love almost everything they put her in.  I could picture some of it in my own closet.

I mean, just look at this coat!  Photo from ABC.

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One of the things that I like about her clothes are the little details.  Some lacing here, a button there makes all the difference.  I have a light sweater I bought a few years ago that is one of my favorites just because of the little row of buttons at the cuff.

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I have another spring sweater that I want to love.  It’s grey, which I’m really into right now and has a relaxed, comfortable fit, but it’s just boring.

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Blah.  But I realized, the detail I like on the green sweater could be easily added to the grey one with a little ribbon and a few buttons.  Because I found my package of tiny buttons on clearance for $.50 and the entire spool of ribbon was only $.50 (I used 9 inches of the 18 feet), this upgrade only cost me 52 cents.  Can’t beat that.

The ribbon I used is called grosgrain. It’s the stuff with the little horizontal ridges on it. Mine is 3/8” wide, because that is the width of my buttons. You could certainly go wider.

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Cut 2 pieces of ribbon, each the length of the cuff on the sweater plus 1 inch.  Fold the ends under 1/2 inch and press with an iron.

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Flatten the cuff with the seam centered at the bottom.  Pin the ribbon centered on top.

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Stitch close to the edge, all the way around the ribbon.  Stretch the sleeve as little as possible.

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Stitch the buttons on the ribbon.

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I had a few buttons left, so I sewed a few on at the bottom of the v-neck.

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Inexpensive, quick and easy but I think it makes a big difference in this sweater.

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Now, to go figure out if I can applique on a ballistic vest.

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Sunflower Table Runner

This project was inspired by some buttons and the fact that I’ve forgotten to plant sunflowers for the tenth year in a row.

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One of the craft blogs I read is Totally Tutorials.  She has a great Exchange Program, where she links suppliers with bloggers.  The blogger then creates a tutorial using the supplier’s items.  When I saw Lots of Buttons come up last month, I was all over it.

Lots of Buttons is, clearly, a button supplier.  They have a great selection…in fact, almost too good, because it took me forever to decide what to order!

This is almost like making two projects – the “quilt” base and the flower decorations, so let’s get to it.  To make the quilt base, you’ll need:

Fabric A (the green strips on my project):

  • 8 strips – 1 1/2” x 16”
  • 2 strips – 1 1/2” x 22 1/2”
  • 4 strips – 1 1/2” x 12 1/2”

Fabric B (green dots on mine):

  • 9 strips – 1 1/2” x 16”

Backing fabric (I used the green dots):

  • 25” x 16”

Batting (I used Warm and Natural cotton):

  • 25” x 16”

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Make sure to press the seams after each step.  Starting with a B strip, sew 17 strips together, alternating B and A and ending with B.

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Cut to 12 1/2” tall (so in the picture above, cut off the top).  From the smaller section you cut off, cut two pieces, each 1 1/2” tall and 12 1/2” wide.

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Sew a 12 1/2” strip of fabric A to each side of small strips.

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Sew one to each side of the large section.

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Sew the 23 1/2” pieces of fabric to the top and bottom.

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Layer with the backing piece right side down, the batting, then the pieced section right side up.  The pieced section will be smaller than the others, so try to center it.  It doesn’t need to be perfect.

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Make sure all layers are smooth, then use lots of safety pins to hold everything together.

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Quilt through all layers, either by hand or machine, in whatever pattern you choose.  I also like to stitch very close around the outer edge to hold that in place.

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Carefully cut only the batting even with the edge of the top.  Cut the backing to 5/8” from the edge.  Fold the edge of the backing in 1/4” and press.

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Fold in 1/4” again, so the edge is covered.

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Pin in place and stitch near the inner fold.

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To make the flowers, you’ll need this pattern.

Cut leaves from green felt:

  • 1 large
  • 4 medium
  • 3 small

Flower centers from brown felt:

  • 2 large
  • 4 small

Petals from yellow or gold felt:

  • 14 – 17 petals

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Position one large and two small flower centers where you’d like them on the runner.  Pin in place.  Add the leaves on top, also pinning.  Using three strands of embroidery floss, stitch down the center and across the flat end of each leaf.  Remove pins.

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Fold the corners of each petal in to overlap each other about 1/2” in the center.  Pin.

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Place flowers near the outer edge of the center, making sure the entire flat edge is inside.  The number you use may vary slightly, depending on how close you put them together.  Stitch in place, either by hand or machine.

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Place the remaining flower centers on top, stitching around the outer edge with embroidery floss through all layers.

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Group a few buttons in the center of each and stitch with embroidery floss.

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If you’re looking for a quicker version of this, you can glue the flowers and buttons in place with hot glue.

I had some tiny green buttons I had originally planned to sew onto the leaves, but didn’t like the look once I laid it out, so instead I added a little monogram in one corner.

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Somehow, I don’t feel so bad about not planting those sunflowers anymore.

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Thanks to Totally Tutorials and Lots of Buttons for letting me play!

Buttons were supplied by Lots of Buttons in exchange for this tutorial, but all opinions are my own.

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Friday Favorites–Flowers

The winter after my daughter turned one, I bought an amaryllis bulb.  Surprisingly, I remembered to water it a few times, and it bloomed into a beautiful red flower.  It just so happened that Codi had a favorite book, which we had to read every day, that included a flower that looked just like it.  Every single time we reached that page, she’d point to the flower.  The weird thing is, she continued to point at the spot where the flower used to be every time we read the book, long after it was dead and gone.

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In the wake of this same girl turning 18 and every day bringing up a new aspect of what college life will be like, I nostalgically bought another amaryllis last month.  It finally bloomed a couple of days ago, leading me to a realization.  I need one of these every year.  Having that bright flower in the window is the perfect antidote for the dreary, post holiday month of January.  Even without a little blonde girl pointing it out.

For all the beauty of an amaryllis, with none of the watering, check out this lovely pop-up card from CardNotions on Etsy.

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The flower on this Back to School Headband from Brassy Apple is simple enough to make with some motivated little girls.

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I like the way this Fabric Flower from I’m Feelin’ Crafty is cut in a spiral, making it curve perfectly.

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I love a tutorial that has no words, like these Paper Dogwood Flowers from La Manufacture, and what a fabulous re-use of a shopping bag and tissue.

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Do you have an old necktie lying around?  Make it into a cute flower with this tutorial from My Heart is Yours.

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These Felt Camelias from How Joyful would be perfect on top of a gift or attached to a headband.

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I just love the ruffley-ness of these Ruffled Fabric Flowers from Quiltish.

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I’ve seen these rick-rack flowers around, but didn’t understand how they were made until right this very minute.  Thanks to The Crafting Chicks for excellent directions on their Rick Rack Rosettes.

Buttons always make cute flowers, and here’s a slightly different take from Artsy Crafty Babe.

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As if I needed a reason to want a rainbow of duct tape, I’ve added these Duct Tape Flower Pens from Seven Sisters to my want list.

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Here’s hoping you find something to brighten up your day today!

Friday Favorites–Calendars

Ok, I know we’re almost a week into the new year already.  But I’m usually just now realizing I didn’t buy a calendar and I’m scrambling to find one that doesn’t have cats or cars on it.  The upside is, I don’t have to pay much for them.  That’s unless I cave in and use the one from the florist or the tire shop.  Free, but uninspiring.

Despite my inability to read the calendar and know I need to replace it, I have several in my house.  This Perpetual Button Calendar from Craft would be perfect for the sewing room.  I could see this made with magnets and an upcycled baking sheet.

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This Printable Perpetual Calendar from S.C. Johnson is so simple.  It would be great in a little corner where you didn’t need a full-on calendar, like the laundry room.  I don’t know why you’d need to know what day it is in the laundry room, but just go with it.

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I love how colorful and lively this Perpetual Calendar from Sandy’s Space is.

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I love the idea of perpetual calendars, which is probably obvious by now, but the problem is you can’t usually write on them.  This Vinyl Wall Calendar from Etsy seller SimpleShapes solves that issue nicely.

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This printable Words to Live By Calendar from Home Made Simple is pretty, but what I really like is all the different ways they show to display it.  They also give you to option to download the pages as desktop backgrounds for your computer.

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This Perpetual Family Calendar from Lowes would be a fun project to make with older kids.

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I’ve downloaded lots of fun backgrounds and screensavers from American Greetings over the years.  They happen to have a large collection of calendar desktop backgrounds, with several for each month.

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You don’t often see a weekly perpetual calendar, but I love this Weekly Calendar from Next to Heaven.

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This Vintage Postcard Calendar Journal from Design Sponge is amazing, and I wish I would have started something like this years ago.

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I did buy a calendar for the dining room before Christmas.  It has nice, big squares for writing on.  The thing is, the front was shown in turquoise, and I assumed each month would be a different color.  Nope.  Every month is the same.  B-O-R-I-N-G!  What I need to brighten it up are these Cute Calendar Reminder Stickers from Etsy seller JoeyDesign.  I might just make up some appointments, just so I can put stickers all over it.

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I hope your 2012 is off to a good start!

Messenger Bag

My daughter saved up some money a few months ago and bought herself a notebook computer.  So far, it’s saved us all some grief.  She can do her homework and keep up with what’s happening on Facebook without anyone in the house losing my mind.  I mean, their minds.

She wanted to be able to take it to school once in a while, but was afraid to try to carry it in any of the bags she has because none of them are padded.  I’ve been wanting to try a messenger bag idea I’ve been carrying around in my head, so we gave it a go.

This project is a little more complicated and has a lot more pieces than most I post here, but you start out with nothing but rectangles and if you read through the directions before you start you’ll get thought it just fine.  I’m going to refer to the pieces by a letter and number to make it easier to follow.  This is also my most photo-heavy tutorial yet.

You’ll need outer fabric, lining fabric, medium weight interfacing and cotton batting or other thin padding.  Here’s the pieces you’ll need to cut from your fabric:

  • A – bag – 20” wide x 15” tall
  • A1 – cut two from outer fabric
  • A2 – cut two from lining fabric
  • A3 – cut two from interfacing
  • A4 – cut four from cotton batting
  • B – top flap – 20” wide x 7 1/2” tall
  • B1 – cut one from outer fabric
  • B2 – cut one from lining fabric
  • B3 – cut one from interfacing
  • C – closure tab – 3 1/2” wide x 11” tall
  • C1 – cut two from lining fabric
  • C2 – cut one from interfacing
  • D  – closure loop – 4” wide x 1” tall
  • D1 – cut one from outer fabric
  • E – tab for strap hardware – 4” wide x 5” tall
  • E1 – cut two from outer fabric
  • E2 – cut two from interfacing
  • F – outside pocket – 12” wide x 12” tall
  • F1 – cut one from lining fabric
  • F2 – cut two 2” square pieces of interfacing
  • G – outside pocket flap – 12” wide by 5” tall
  • G1 – cut one from lining fabric
  • G2 – cut one from interfacing
  • H – inside pocket – 7” wide by 11” tall
  • H1 – cut one from outer fabric

That’s a lot of pieces, so keep the list handy as you go through the instructions so you know which piece I’m referring to.  Everything is sewn using a 1/2” seam unless otherwise noted.  Also, if I tell you to turn and press something, always trim the seam and clip the corners first.

You’ll also need two 1 1/2” D rings, a 1 1/2” button, two 1 1/2” by 3/4” pieces of Velcro and about 1 to 1 1/2 yards of webbing for the strap.

Messenger bag 1

Iron the interfacing onto the back of pieces A1 (the one you intend to use on the back), A2 (the one at the front of the bag), B1, C1 (either one), E2 (both) and G2.

Messenger bag 2

Fold D1 lengthwise with right sides together.  Stitch down long side with a 1/8” seam.  Don’t trim seam.  Turn and press.

Messenger bag 3

Lay out B1, right side up.  Pin ends of D1 8 3/4” in from each end.  It should measure 2 1/2” between the ends when you’re finished.  Lay B2 on top, right side down.  Stitch sides and bottom (the side where you pinned D1).  Double stitch over D1 ends.   Turn and press.  Top stitch close to edge.

Messenger Bag 4

Fold H1 in half lengthwise.  Stitch all sides except fold, leaving an opening to turn.  Turn and press.

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Measure 7” in on each side and 4” from top on A2 (the one with interfacing) and pin H1 with fold on the top edge.  Stitch close to side and bottom edges.  Stitch a row from top to bottom of pocket 1 1/2” from one side.

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Fold G1 in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.  Press fold.  Open, right side up.  Position a 1 1/2” x 3/4” piece of Velcro 1” from edge at side and 1/4” from crease on both sides.  Stitch both pieces on securely. 

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Fold G1 with right sides together.  Stitch around all edges, leaving an opening for turning.  Turn and press.  Top stitch sides and creased edge.

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Fold F1 in half lengthwise with right sides together.  Press fold.  Unfold and turn wrong side up.  Iron a 2” square of interfacing 3/4” from edge and even with fold on both sides.

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Turn F1 right side up.  Pin remaining Velcro 1” from edge and 1/2” from fold on both sides.  Stitch securely in place.

Fold F1, right sides together.  Stitch around all sides except fold, leaving an opening for turning.  Turn and press.  Top stitch edge near Velcro.

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Lay A1 (with interfacing) right side up.  Place F1 4 1/2” from edges on sides and 4 1/2” from top edge.  Make sure Velcro is on the outside and near the upper edge.  Stitch sides and bottom close to edge.

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Pin G1, Velcro down, 4” from upper edge.  Velcro and sides should match up with F1.  Stitch close to top edge of G1.

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Pin both C pieces right sides together.  Stitch sides and bottom end.  Turn and press.  Top stitch sewn sides.

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Stitch a buttonhole the width appropriate to your button (mine is 1 1/2” but you could go smaller) 1 1/4” from stitched bottom end of C.

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Fold E in half widthwise with right sides together.  Stitch long (5”) edge.  Turn and press with seam centered.  Repeat with second piece.  Top stitch both long sides on each.

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Layer these pieces:  A4 (one); A1 (with pocket) right side up; C1 centered, even with top edge and buttonhole end away from edge; A1 right side down; A4 (other one).  Stitch sides and bottom.  Backstitch over C1.  Trim seam.  Press side seams open.

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Flatten bottom corners so bottom and side seam meet.  Draw a line at the point that measures 2 1/2” across (a little over 1” from the corner). 

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Stitch along that line.  Trim off the corner below stitching.

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Repeat the entire process from layering with lining pieces A2 and remaining two A4 pieces, excluding piece C1.  Leave a 6” opening in the bottom for turning.

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Thread a D ring onto each E1 piece.  Fold in half and stitch close to edge to hold.

Messenger bag 21

Turn outer bag, A1, right side out.  Pin each E1 piece onto A1 (on the back – side with the pocket) 1 1/2” from the side seams.

Messenger bag 22

Pin top flap, B, on top, sides matching bag side seams, raw edges even and outer side (B1) down.  Stitch around top 1/4” from edge.

Messenger bag 23

Stitch around bag lining, A2, 1/4” from edge.  Stuff outer bag, A1, inside lining, A2, with inner pocket facing the front of the outer bag.  Pin edges, matching seams.  Stitch 1/2” from the edge.  Trim seam.  Zigzag edge for added strength.

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Turn the bag right side through the hole in the lining.  Push out the corners.  Stitch the opening closed. 

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Push the lining into the bag.  Press the upper edge.  Topstitch close to edge.

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Feed the closure tab, C1, through the closure loop, D1, and make a mark in the center of the buttonhole.  Sew button at mark, so button faces out when tab is fed through loop.

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Feed one end of the webbing through the hardware tab, E1.  Fold the end under about 1 1/2”, then under again about 3”.  Stitch securely through 1 1/2” section in several directions.

I made the strap adjustable using the necessary hardware but it broke the first time she used it because it was plastic.  I recommend adjusting the strap to the desired length, feeding the remaining end through the other D ring and sewing it in place, which is what I’ll be doing with her bag now.

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I’m pretty sure it took me a lot longer to write this tutorial than it did to actually make this bag, so don’t be intimidated by the length of these instructions.  One step at a time, and you’ll be carrying your notebook in style.

Shamrock Barrette

When I was a kid, you didn’t dare go to bed on March 16th without something green on.  “But, I have green eyes!” didn’t cut it.  My red-bearded, last-name-starts-with-Mc dad would leprechaun-ninja attack in the morning with a pinch.  We took the holiday seriously.

In the interest of saving my poor defenseless daughter (have I ever mentioned she’s a black belt?) from getting pinched this week, I created this little bit of greenery for her to wear.

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To make one for yourself, you’ll need some fabric, a button, hot glue, a tiny piece of green embroidery floss or thread and this pattern.

Cut the shape out on the fold, as indicated on the pattern.  You’ll end up with a weird looking shape like this.

Shamrock barrette 1

Press, if needed, then fold with right sides together.  Stitch around the edge with a scant 1/4” seam, leaving both ends open.  Clip the corners and curves.

Shamrock barrette 2

Turn right-side out and press.  You’ll need something pointy to push out the circles and stem.

Shamrock barrette 3

Turn the end near the stem to the inside about 1/4” and press.    Feed the other end inside that, creating a circle.  Stitch the two ends together.

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Hand sew a long running stitch near the bottom edge, all the way around.

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Pull tightly to gather.  Knot the thread to hold it.

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Stitch through the button holes with the embroidery floss and knot on the back.  The reason I don’t stitch it on is that it’s difficult with the hole in the middle of the shamrock to catch enough of the fabric.

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Since we wanted to make this into a barrette, I glued the ends of a 1/2 by 1 1/2” piece of felt on the back to feed a bobby pin through.  (Note to self:  find out if those are still called bobby pins so we can avoid the whole thong/flip-flop fiasco again.)

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Glue the button on the front.  Here it is, shown on my lovely model and the shamrock’s future owner.

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Erin Go Bragh!

Love Note Coffee Cup Sleeves

Did you ever have a project that just seemed doomed from the start?  Did you power through anyway, sure that it would work out in the end?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, you understand my week.  Fortunately, it was worth the struggle.

This is a revisit to a project I showed you last month, Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeves, but a little more advanced version.  One thing I will say right up front, do NOT make this using burlap, like I did, unless you’re up for a challenge.

You’ll need two pieces of cotton fabric (or one cotton and one burlap, if you’re ready for that ride) and a piece of InsulBrite*, cut using this pattern, making sure you flip it over so the two pieces of cotton are opposites.  Don’t use the pattern from the previous sleeve, as this one is a little bigger.  One of the many lessons I learned along the way while making this thing.

You’ll also need about 14” of bias tape, a small piece of clear vinyl (cut from the pattern), two 5/8” or 3/4” buttons and a small piece of elastic or half of a stretchy hair tie.

*InsultBrite is insulated batting.  It has a shiny silver side and feels crunchy when you squish it.  If you’d rather use the batting/ironing board fabric method I used previously, follow the instructions here.

Love Note CCS 1

Sandwich the upper edge of the vinyl into the fold of the bias tape.

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Stitch close to the edge of the fabric.  Cut the ends off even with the vinyl.

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Press one end of the remaining bias tape under.  Slide the left side of the vinyl into the fold, lining up the pressed end with the top.  Place the vinyl on the sleeve according to the pattern.  This part is tricky because you can’t pin the vinyl, so you have to hold it in place while you stitch around the remaining three sides, near the edge of the bias tape.  Fold the tape around the corners.

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When you reach the end, fold the end under.  I clipped off the corners so they wouldn’t show.  Stitch the remaining tape down so it matches with the top of the tape on the vinyl.

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Stitch around the three sides again, close to the outer edge.  Stitch the corners if necessary.

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Lay the piece with the vinyl on it down, window up.

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Add the piece of elastic on the straighter end, with the loop to the inside.

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Add the other sleeve piece, face down.

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Next add the InsulBrite.  Pin everything in place.

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Stitch around the edges with a 1/4” seam.  Back stitch over the elastic.  Leave an opening at the bottom the size of the vinyl window.

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Carefully turn right side out.  Press, turning in opening.  This is where my burlap got a little ugly.

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Stitch all the way around near the edge.  Ordinarily, that would be enough, but because my burlap went a little crazy, I also did a zigzag stitch over the edge to keep it from unraveling.

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Mark the spot for the button as shown.

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Stitch the buttons on, one on each side, sliding a toothpick under each so there’s room for the elastic to loop around.

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Here’s a page of printable love notes I made that fit inside the window.

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And, of course, it’s still reversible.

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The pocket is also a great way to give a coffee gift card.  Just know that the card is flat and the cup is not.

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Or maybe you just need to identify your cup.  With a unique sleeve like this, though, that doesn’t seem likely.

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Friday Favorites–Bracelets

I love bracelets.  That’s probably obvious, considering I’ve covered paracord, recycled T-shirt and braided leather versions and included a couple of them in my Quick and Easy Gifts on Friday Favorites .  I don’t usually wear them much this time of year because I’m completely cold-blooded and can’t even think about short sleeves until at least May.  But there are so many cute ones out there, and we need time to get them made, right? 

I love the simplicity of this Button Bracelet from Little Miss Momma.  I could make this without even going to the store.  That’s always a good thing.

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I keep trying to get my daughter to make one of these Soda Can Tab Bracelets like the one shown here from CraftyPanda.  Another user on the message board suggests a product for painting the tabs.  Go look…they did red, my favorite!

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I have to try these Yarn Bangles from Keely’s Korner.  A few basic bangles and some cute yarn and I could have them to match everything I own, including a few scarves.  My kind of jewelry.

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How about a gift of money and jewelry at the same time?  Sounds extravagant, doesn’t it?  This Money Bracelet from Under the Table and Dreaming makes the idea a little more accessible.

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You know I’m a sucker for repurposing old jeans.  This Denim Bracelet from Mich L. in L.A. makes me want to go tear a pair up.

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This is cute.  It just is.  Find the instructions for this Fun Circles Wrist Cuff at Crochet Spot.

I want to try making a Chain Maille Bracelet like this one from Ellifolks.  I just need to get together all those rings.  And I need them to be in colors.  No problem, right?

I love these Fabric Cuff Bracelets from Etsy seller Ponder and Stitch.  Check out the ones with embroidery.  So pretty.

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I’m sure this zipper fad is winding down, but I still like them.  I’ve had my eye on this Zipper Bracelet from Cut Out and Keep for way too long.

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This last bracelet, called Lederschleifenarmband, is from a German blog called Maikitten.  Of course you can translate it, but there’s really no need.  The photos tell the whole story.

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I have a new tutorial I’m excited to share with you next week.  This post might give you a hint as to what it is!

Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeves

I’m gonna tell you right now, you can’t throw a rock and not hit a tutorial for a coffee cup sleeve out there on the web.  Reversible, not reversible, buttons, Velcro, skinny, wide, you name it.  For that matter, you can probably work a pattern out yourself.  However, just in case your rock lands here, I’m going to share my version with you.

I’ve made a few of these for Christmas and birthday gifts.  You can see the one I made for my grandma here.  I also have a few in my Etsy store right now.  I made a holiday version for myself, but I realized in the middle of Starbucks last week it’s not Christmas anymore.  One more decoration to store for next year.

I was trying to decide which fabrics to use for a new one and my wandering eyes landed on my seasonal fabric stack.  I must have one for every holiday now!  Yeah, we’ll see about that, but I’m all over Valentine’s Day.  And if you’re looking for a gift, nothing says “I Love You” like keeping their coffee warm.  Well, it would at my house.

To make one, you’ll need this coffee cup sleeve pattern .  As when printing any pattern, make sure it doesn’t scale down to print.  The pattern should measure 10 3/4″ straight across the top (corner to corner, not on the curve) and 9 1/8″ across the bottom (again, corner to corner).  It’s just barely under 3″ wide.  I use “borderless printing” in my print options to make sure the pattern prints full size.

Cut one from cotton batting, two from ironing board cover fabric and two from cotton fabric.  Make sure you flip the pattern piece over to cut the second pieces, so they’re opposite the first.  Another lesson I learned the hard way.  You’ll also need a coordinating elastic hair band and two 5/8” or  3/4” buttons.  I prefer buttons with two holes because they’re easier to stitch on.

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I happen to have scraps of batting and ironing board fabric, but if you don’t and will be buying the supplies, another product you can use is InsulBrite.  It’s insulated batting, usually used for things like potholders.  If you use it, replace the cotton batting throughout the instructions with a piece cut from InsulBrite and leave out the ironing board fabric.

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You’ll only need half of the hair tie, so zigzag stitch through the center, about 3/8” long, then clip through the center.

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Layer the pieces:  first, a piece of ironing board fabric, face down.

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Next, cotton fabric, face up.

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Place the hair band in the middle of the straight end, with the ends even with the edge of the fabric.

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Next, the other piece of cotton fabric, face down.

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Second piece of ironing board fabric, face up.

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Last, the batting.

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Pin in place.  Stitch around the edge with a 1/4” seam, leaving about 2” open on the bottom edge for turning.  Backstitch over the elastic when you reach that point.  Clip the curves and corners.

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Turn and press, turning in the opening.  Stitch all the way around, close to the edge.

Lay flat.  Fold both sides in so edges meet.  Stick a pencil through the elastic and mark the farthest point it will reach without stretching.

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Stitch a button on each side over the mark, sliding a toothpick under each button.

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After stitching, remove the toothpicks.  Wrap the thread around under each button a few times before knotting the thread under one of the buttons.

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The hardest parts?  Remembering to ask for your drink without a cardboard sleeve and remembering to remove it before you throw away your cup.

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Friday Favorites–Christmas Ornaments

We’re getting our tree this weekend, so I have ornaments on the brain.  I try to add a new one or two each year, but I can never bring myself to get rid of any.  I’m either going to need a bigger tree or a taller ceiling.

When my kids were small, AOL was at it’s peak.  They were sending us a CD once a week, trying to get us to sign up for their service.  I could never bring myself to throw them away, thinking they would be perfect for a future craft project.  We used a few of them over the years, but I really wish I would have seen Helenismos’ Quilted CD Ornaments before I tossed the rest.

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I already made one of these Yarn Stocking Hat ornaments by Craft Elf.  They’re really cute and would be a great kid project.  Just make sure you read all of the directions, instead of trying to finish it without completing all the steps.  I don’t know who would do something like that.

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I. Have. To. Make. This.  We have ornaments representing the interests of everyone in my family, but I don’t think I have any sewing-related ornaments.  I love this Cute as a Button Ornament from Zakka Life.  I need a whole tree of them, in every color of felt I can find.

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This Royal Icing ornament from Food Mayhem looks so delicate, which is kinda what I like about it.  This is a top-of-the-tree ornament, so the kids won’t break it and the dog won’t eat it.

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This is actually a pattern that’s available for purchase from Rosie Little Things.  I can’t even tell you how much I love the red coat.  In fact, I wish it came in my size, complete with the mittens.

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I just like how these Paper Mache ornaments from Blue Cricket Design look.  That simple.  This would be a great way to repurpose old, scratched up ornaments.

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I try not to include something from Martha Stewart in every one of these things, but there’s a reason she became a bajillionaire by making stuff.  This Button Wreath ornament would be another good one to make with the kids and the color options are just about endless.

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I had to include these Mason Jar Lid Ornaments from Fun on a Dime because I remember having something like this on our tree growing up.  I think ours had photos of us in the middle, but I like the idea of using old Christmas cards.

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Anyone who sews has fabric scraps.  Unless you’re making big rectangles.  A few of those scraps and a foam ball and you have this cute fabric ornament from Jody on WhipUp.

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Argyle was popular for a while in the 80’s.  I don’t think I ever let it, or plaid, go.  No, I’m not sitting here in my neon tank, off-one-shoulder Flashdance shirt, zipper-ankle jeans and legwarmers.  You can’t see me, right?  Like everything I just listed, I think argyle is back and I couldn’t be happier.  This Argyle Applique ornament from So September is both current and nostalgic, making it a perfect fit on my tree.

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