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Sewing

Crafts

Making Your Own Skinny Jeans

August 9, 2013

Because I can’t see the point of spending a ton of money on clothes I’ll only wear for a few months, most of my maternity wear has come from the thrift store. Sometimes, however, it’s not quite what I was looking for right off the bat. I picked up a pair of cute, white maternity jeans for $4, but they were kind of wide legged which made them see a bit dated. So, I decided to experiment as I had seen lots posts online about people turning jeans into skinnies pretty easily.

It turns out that it is really an easy process. I just read several different tutorials on the process before starting to get an idea of what to do. It’s easy to find information on it, and step by step instructions if you’re not especially skilled at sewing.

I started by putting on the pants and pinning them to where I wanted them on my legs. Pretty easy and you can see how much extra fabric there is.

Then, I just sewed along this line on both legs. Really simple. I put the pants on to see how they fit, adjusted as necessary, and cut off the excess fabric.

They’re not perfect but they will work for a few months! Much better than paying full price for a brand new pair of skinnies!

Crafts

Bedskirt for a Box Springless Bed

February 22, 2012

We’re running a little low on space in our tiny apartment (hopefully we’ll finally find a house soon!) so no space can go to waste when it comes to storage. That means that under the bed is prime real estate, space which we’ve already filled to the brim with clothes, a shelf we don’t have room for but want to keep, and various paintings and drawings. All these things fit pretty neatly under the bed, but it’s still not the kind of storage situation that you want to look at everyday. Problem is, our bed doesn’t have a box spring because: A) it is very Swedish and doesn’t require one and B) we are very cheap and didn’t buy one, so putting up a bedskirt that looks halfway decent is a bit of challenge.

We used to have  a pretty standard bedskirt (also from Ikea) on our bed that you can see here, but it was much too long (see how it’s laying on the floor? Yuck) and pretty quickly got dusty, dirty, and gross past the point of no return. So, I trashed that one (trust me, it was time to put it to rest), and decided to make one that was actually tailored to our bed.

Mission one was finding some plain gray fabric, which, believe it or not, wasn’t easy. Joann, among their hundreds of selections, didn’t have a thing. I ended up driving out of my way to go to Hancock Fabrics which had a great color and it was on sale, too! I also picked up several yards of velcro (not the name brand kind, which is crazy expensive) to use to attach my bedskirt to the bed. Sound weird? Let me explain.

There’s a small (1 inch or so) space between the edge of the wood on the bed frame and the metal parts that hold the slats. Perfect for velcroing a bedskirt into place. This velcroed bedskirt won’ t require going over the slats, can be tailored to fit perfectly to the legs and space between the floor and the bed, and will show off the wood edge of the bed. A perfect solution!

I started by getting all my measurements in order, cutting the fabric, and doing one hell of a lot of pinning. Easy work, yes. Fun work, no. This took quite a bit of time and I was super glad when it was all done. You’ll notice that the velcro gets pinned to the pretty side of the fabric.

Next, I took the mattress off of the bed and pulled back the slats. Around the entire edge of the bed, I hot glued the “hook” side of the velcro strips.  I think eventually staples or another kind of adhesive might be in order for long-term durability, but for now, hot glue is fine. There was one hang up in that I didn’t realize the end of the bed had a bracket on it, but I simply loosened it and slid the bedskirt under.

Then, to the sewing machine! I sewed three individual pieces for the bed, one for each side and a short guy for the bottom. Really easy, as it was all straight lines.

I came back into the bedroom to find these shenanigans happening. Uncool, dudes!

After removing the cats from the top of the mattress, I got to work pairing up the velcro so the bed skirt could hang. Super easy to put on and to take off when it needs to be washed. I put the mattress back, and viola! It looks so much better than it did before.

The cat even came back to try out the bed, horizontally this time.

Crafts, Sewing

New Life for Old Sweaters

June 2, 2010

One of the bad things about having pets is that sometimes the little angels enjoy chewing up your belongings. One of my cats decided to chew a hole through a nice sweater– one that was so big it was impossible to repair without looking like a ragamuffin. Rather than throw items like this away, however, you can keep the fabric and make them into something else. I made my sweater into a little librarian-inspired pillow. It’s incredibly simple and lets you keep enjoying your favorite now-defunct items of clothing.

A pillow is only one way to make use of old knits, however, and with a little creativity you can use your wooly items to make a variety of household items. This post on 100+ Ways to Reuse Your Old Sweaters is an excellent place to start looking for project ideas.

Here are a few photos to inspire you to hang on to those less than perfect sweaters to make them into something else.

Sweater not working out for you to wear? Hand it down to your doggie! Photo from Resweater

Felted wool makes a great coin pouch with a little embellishment. Photo from Sesame Seed Designs

This old sweater found new life as a super stylish purse. Photo from Sassy Crafter

Hard to believe this owl used to be a sweater! Photo from Squishyfish Creations

Combine a few different sweaters and make  a cute plush pear. Photo from Whimsy Wire and Wool

Crafts, Sewing

Sewing Basic Panel Curtains

May 25, 2010

This past week I got productive and finally got around to making some new curtains for my dining room. Despite having never sewed curtains before, I managed to do a good job and the panels are actually the same length and seem to be hanging in there pretty well. Making basic panel curtains is incredibly easy and even if you don’t know a thing about sewing you should be able to do it without much trouble. Here are some basic instructions:

  • First, figure out how much fabric you will need. This will vary by window but the basic sizes are 64″, 84″ and 96″. I chose to make 84″ curtains which required just a little over five yards of fabric. That’s a lot of fabric, so unless you have a killer discount you might want to save the $30 a yard patterns for something smaller.
  • After you’ve got your fabric, fold it over lengthwise and cut it into two equal sections.
  • Next comes the pinning. You’ll be doing a whole heck of a lot of this to make these panels. You don’t want the rough edges of your fabric to be showing on the finished product, so you’re going to want to fold them under on all your edges.
  • Start with the long side hems first. On my curtains, I folded over 1/2 inch of fabric once to hide the rough edge and once more to make it look nice. Measure, fold, pin and repeat is the process here.
  • Once you’ve finished the longer sides you can sew those puppies up.
  • Then you’ll do the top and bottom edges. Again, you’re going to want to hide the rough edges, so fold over a half inch on each end to hide it and pin. You can see an example in the lower picture.
  • After that, you’re going to go back and create a hem on the bottom that’s 2-3″‘s (depending on how you want it to look) and about 3″ on the top. Pin it all up and then sew along the edge of the fabric so you’ll create a little pocket for the curtain rod to go through.
  • And that’s about it. When you make the second panel, make sure to compare the length of it while it’s only pinned to the other panel. That way you can adjust if something is off and ensure they’re the same length before sewing.

This project is an incredibly easy one and it only took a few hours. It’s also pretty economical, as the fabric cost less than $30. You can find pre-made curtains for that, but making ones to match your taste and style is more fun.