Sunday, May 20, 2012

Felt Eye Patches

For the pirate party, I wanted eye patches. Every good pirate has at least one eye patch (and two in the case of the one pirate in How I Became a Pirate). But I HATE those cheap, plastic eye patches that are so uncomfortable to wear. Maybe that is a bit strong, but I really don't like them. So I decided to make my own. As a bonus, they ended up being so much cheaper to just make, and they are extra comfy to wear. What's not to like? I went through a couple of designs before I finally came up with this one using black felt, 1/4" elastic, and an empty soda bottle.
I found an eye patch  to use as my template. It turns out, bigger eye patches are a lot more comfortable than the smaller ones. For each eye patch, I cut out two pieces of felt. I then made a second eye patch template about 1/8"-3/16" narrower on all sides and cut those out of a plastic bottle (I think this one held root beer at one point- I guess that makes this an upcycled project).
 The plastic is to help give the patch a little form so that it doesn't press against your eye (very uncomfortable, trust me), I cut a slit half way up, and hot glued it over on itself. 
 So that my patch would also be more rounded I sewed a dart in it. I just folded the felt in half, and starting in the middle, sewed a slightly angled line. It is possible this step could be skipped since the plastic makes the eye patch rounded, but since I didn't ever try it that way, I don't know.
 I repeated the above step for the back side of the patch.
 Then I sewed them together, making sure to insert a piece of elastic in the top "corners" (also making sure the elastic formed an untwisted loop). I would sew along one edge (about 1/8" seam allowance so that the plastic fits inside), then insert the plastic and finish sewing around the remainder of the patch. I believe I cut my elastic (1/4" black) at 14 1/2", but that measurement can be adjusted based on your pirate's head circumference.
For durability, where I slid the elastic in I reinforced my seams by going over it a couple of times. 
There you have it: inexpensive, comfortable felt eye patches. I contemplated painting on some skulls and crossbones, or cutting something out with my Cricut to iron on (that would need to be done after sewing the dart, but before inserting the plastic), but decided to just leave them plain, but if you want to jazz them up you are more than welcome to. Whatever floats your boat (which any good pirate can tell you- it is a very good thing to have your boat float).

The eye patch template here is about the same size as what my plastic inserts ended up being. Just draw a line about an 1/8"-3/16"" out around one of the patches and there is your felt patch template. I did make some using that template (with the dashed line being my plastic template) and they weren't too bad. They are just a little more comfortable in the larger size.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Healthy "Cookies"

I've been trying to eat better. which doesn't always mesh so well with my love of snacking. In order to feel better about my snacking (and not feel like that mile I just ran/jogged/walked went to waste) I made these "cookies". The inspiration came from Pinterest here (that is calling them Breakfast cookies, but I've not made a batch yet that was still around in the morning to be breakfast). I just added to the recipe a little. Most of the things I didn't really measure, like the spices. I just sprinkled them on till they looked and smelled good (more cinnamon, just a bit of nutmeg and cloves, and just a tad of vanilla). I had nuts on hand, so a added those too. (Just for fun, I also sprinkled a little ground flax seed on the mixture, in honor of my father).

2 ripe bananas- mashed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups oats (mine were regular)
handful of craisins
chopped pecans
ground flax seed

Mix everything up well and drop on cookie sheet (I spread mine out to make some cookie bars) and bake at 350 F for about 35 minutes. Technically, these cookies can be gluten and dairy free, if that is what you are looking for. I just like that they are a cookie I can eat with no guilt.