Monday, February 16, 2015

I Love Lucy expanable tote bag

My sister and I are both fans of Lucille Ball and especially the tv show "I Love Lucy". This year, for my sister's birthday, my brother-in-law surprised her with a trip to see "I Love Lucy" Live on Stage. As her birthday drew closer, I was stumped as to what to make her for her birthday. Imagine my surprise when, as I was mindlessly roaming through JoAnn's, I stumbled across I Love Lucy fabric. What luck! The pattern of the fabric was big and bold. I loved it! So I scooped it up without a thought as to what I was going to make out of it.
The time came where I needed to decide what to do with it. I wanted to make little make-up/travel pouches, but the pattern was just too big. I could barely fit one Lucy face on a pouch. Instead, I finally listened to my mother and husband and decided on a tote bag. I wanted to make something a bit more stylish than a plain tote so I thought about how to create a small bag and that could then expand. I was inspired by the Crafty Gemini Inprov Tote tutorial and Deby Coles zipper tutorial to create this.

Materials used:
I Love Lucy Pop Art cotton fabric
Red and white polka dot cotton fabric
Fusible Fleece
Fusible Interfacing
9" Red Zipper (can cut a larger zipper down to 9" like I did)
3/4" D-ring
Swivel Hook
Magnetic Snap for purses and totes
Purse feet
Plastic Artist Mesh/Canvas
I started with 24"x26" fabric for the outside and inside using 1/2" seams. I boxed the corners at 3.5". I cut the handle fabric 2.5" wide, per the tutorial, sewn down to 1.5".

I added a 9" zipper pocket to one side and another open pocket to the other side of the lining that I split in half with a stitch line.

I had seen tutorials on inserting zippers using thin two sided tape, but I didn't have any on hand. Then I remembered seeing someone use scotch tape. So I gave it a go. It worked wonderfully. All you need to do is tape the zipper to the back of the fabric. I did have to adjust the alignment of the zipper a bit, but it was easy to do using this method. The tape isn't super sticky which makes it really easy to move the zipper around before sewing. When you're done aligning your zipper, simply sew as you normally would right through the fabric, zipper and scotch tape. Then just peel off the tape. I have to say, the tape is a real pain to remove, but totally worth the hassle. I would have spent much longer trying to fuss with the zipper if I had used pins and I probably would have had to re-sew it more than twice. With the tape method, it turned out perfect the first time I sewed it.

Once the lining was mostly put together, I added two 3/4" straps with a d-ring at the end of one and a swivel clasp at the end on another sewn to the sides. This is what I used to pull the sides in to make the tote small. Releasing the clasp will allow the bag to be used at full width.

One tip that for the feet and magnetic snap is to add a piece of fleece to the back of each and top-stitch around each to give further stability. Some insutructions for the magnetic snap say to bend the metal tabs out to the sides, but I find that it's better to bend them in to make it stronger.

Here's the finished expandable tote bag. It was a huge hit! Now to make one for myself. :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pretty Little Girl's Spring Dress

Needed a quick and easy spring dress for my daughter to wear to my nephew's baptism. Plus, wanted something she could wear next year too, so I made it roomy. Love the fabric! She looked so cute. Unfortunately I didn't take a good pic of her at the baptism only this crazy one of me trying it on her when her hair was all wild.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Gift Ideas

What to get the man that has everything? Pajama pants? Yup, that's right. And not just any pajama pants. I decided to make manly gift baskets for my dad and for my husband.

First the husband. He loves Superman so I decided to take him to see Man of Steel for Father's Day. I purchased a huge plastic Popcorn tub from Bed Bath & Beyond, put the tickets to the movies in there, popcorn, candy, a huge can of Coke, a movie t-shirt I ordered from Allposters and my handmade pajama pants!

My father loves the Beatles, so I decided to put together a basket of some of his favorite things which include Beatles pajama pants, a shirt I made myself, his favorite snacks, men's beauty products and a free haircut at his barbershop.

Want to know how I made the shirt without silkscreening? Magic! Well, almost. It's called Ink Effects made by Deco Art. All you do is pain the ink effects on a piece of paper, let it dry and then iron it onto a shirt. Since I had a dark shirt, I had to use their base coat spray first, but it was pretty easy, even though my pain brush was way too big for the tiny areas I was painting.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Best End of Year Teacher Gift

Yes, you read that right. This is the best end of year teacher gift ever! And I'm not only saying that because I made it. 

In fact, the idea wasn't my own. Surprise, surprise, I found this fantastic idea on Pinterest. It's basically a really creative way of gifting a teacher a potted plant, only it's handmade.

I liked this idea so much that I decided to make a large pot for my daughter's teacher and some smaller versions for the two teacher's assistants.

We gave them to the teachers on Friday and they loved them! Who wouldn't, right?

  • Metal pails (found mine at A.C. Moore)
  • Mod Podge
  • Plant labels
  • Succulents (found mine at a local nursery)
  • Succulent or cactus soil
  • Gravel
  • Twine
  • An old dictionary (found one at Goodwill for only $2.67!)
  • Black card stock
  • Glue stick
  • Xacto knife
First, drill a few holes in the metal pails for drainage.

Then, cut out some pages from the dictionary and glue them to the pail using mod podge. I chose pages that had the words "teacher", "educator", "learning", "fun", etc. I found that it's easiest to cut the pages to the shape of the pail after you've started to adhere them. I used a sharp Xacto knife to do this. Then coat the outside of the pot with another layer of mod podge.

I have to admit, I was scared to re-pot these plants. They seem very fragile and I didn't want to break them. So I made my husband do it. Start off by putting a little gravel in the bottom of each pot and fill it with soil, leaving enough room for your plants. Carefully add each plant and cover it with more soil. He filled it to the top knowing that once we watered the newly potted plants, the soil would get packed down.

Here's what it should look like:

I printed out some small sayings 2"x3" that said "Thanks for helping me grow this year!" and used a glue stick to adhere them to some scraps of dictionary pages 2.5"x3.5". Then I glued them onto some black card stock 3"x4". Punched a .25" hole in the top and added some twine.

I took some white plastic plant labels, wrote "grow" on them with a sharpie and added them to each pot.

I tied my labels on and then watered them. I put them onto a deep dish pizza pan to make sure that water didn't go everywhere until I was ready to take them to the teachers.

Everyone should try this! It's super easy!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

DIY Washer Bracelet

I've been dying to try this project I found on Pinterest.

I used some left over ribbon, ten size 10 washers, three size 8 washers and about ten minutes.

So cute, right? 

Next I want to try adding designs to the washers and use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to make them look more fancy like this.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Quilted Cosmetic Bag

At the last minute I changed my Mother's Day gift idea for my mom. I decided to go with a beauty theme. My wonderful Mary Kay sales rep, Charae, came through at the last minute with a TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set. I then headed to the farmer's market to pick up some of her favorite handmade jersey milk soaps from Shagbark Mountain Cattle. Then I made a really cute cosmetic bag for make-up, jewelry, toiletries, etc. I found a few cosmetic bag tutorials similar to this one and went to town!

Decided to quilt it before assembling it.

Added a handmade label with my logo and I was all set!

And here's the whole gift.

What I neglected to buy, was a gift bag. I remembered seeing a gift bag tutorial and a bow tutorial on Pinterest. I'll be sure to show you how it turned out in another post!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Make Your Own Easter Egg Wreath for just $7

I just couldn't wait until April to make an Easter wreath. Although I thought about making a St. Patty's Day wreath, I'm not Irish and it wouldn't be on my door for long. So I opted to make my Easter wreath early.

Once again my inspiration came from Pinterest. I'm addicted to that website and have decided that if I'm going to waste my time surfing the site for craft and sewing projects, I better actually make some of them. Here's what I saw that inspired me: My inspiration wreath was made using Washi tape. I had never heard of this stuff, nor did I want to buy it just for this one project and then never use it again. So I opted for what I had in my numerous craft bins.

My supplies:
  1. One pool noodle to use as the wreath form. Just cut it to size and adjoin it with packing tape to make a circle. - $1.00 (Can be found at Dollar Tree)
  2. Five packs 18 plastic eggs - $5.00 (Can be found at Deal$ or other Dollar Store)
  3. One spool of wired ribbon - $1.00 (I got mine at the Dollar Tree)
  4. Left over curling ribbon found in my stash of craft items - $0 
TOTAL COST: $7.00!

I really liked the look of the Washi tape around the eggs so I decided to add a stripe of ribbon to each egg with my handy dandy glue gun, before attaching them to my pool noodle base. It took some time to get through all 5 packs of eggs, but it was worth it.

Then I started gluing away with my glue gun. Keep in mind that you want to use a pool noodle that is a coordinating color since you will see it behind the eggs. Or you can just cover it by wrapping ribbon around it. Mine was a red-ish pink, so I didn't have to cover it.

I covered just about ever visible spot, but only the front and sides since the back will be against my door.

Once I was done, I wrapped a single piece of wire around the top if the wreath and made a loop in the back to act as my hanger. Wrapped another piece of wire around the bottom to attach my bow.

Ta-da! All done and ready for the Easter Bunny!