Saturday, June 30, 2012

Diaper Clutch

 After I made the nursing cover, I decided to make a matching diaper clutch. Fortunately, someone else had already posted a pattern and tutorial so I just had to cut it out and sew.
Another quick and easy project. 

Nursing Cover

I have a baby shower to attend and thought that a nursing cover would be a good gift for a couple of reasons. They are very handy, not just for being covered while nursing, but they also double as a light blanket or floor mat when the child is a little bigger and sitting or playing with toys. They are also really easy to make. I am still surprised when I see $40 tags on them. So I shall show you how I made this one.
 I started with a large rectangle of fabric. The measurement I chose for this one was 40"x28", but you can adjust that measurement to whatever you would like. (I realized later, that if I had made it 38" wide could have used the scraps for my straps. Since I had oodles of fabric, I wasn't as concerned about conserving fabric, but if you only have a yard to work with it is very doable). 
 I hemmed the bottom and sides.
 Then I ironed down the top. First a 1/4", then about 1/2"-3/4", to give it a nice finished edge.
 Then it was time for the boning. I used the tip I found on this other nursing cover style and used 15" of boning in 16" of casing. I tacked the boning so it was centered, making sure that when the top was hemmed down, the boning would curve the right direction. 
 Next came the straps. Mine were 4.5"x28". Fold in half and sew along one edge, gradually narrowing to a point (as shown). Trim and turn right-side out.
 The other strap is only 4.5"x8". Stitch along one side. Turn right-side out and iron.
 Slide two D buckles in and fold in half (Walmart has these in the notions section).
 I basted the bottom edges together so that they would be easy to work with. Then stitch near the top- at the point just before the fabric all starts to bunch around the buckle.
 Pin one strap on each side of the boning and sew the top hem closed.
 Fold straps up and sew in place.
  Like so.
 There you have it- one nursing cover. I am pretty sure it took less than an hour.
For fun, I sewed a little bag to store the nursing cover in. I took a piece of fabric 12"x8", folded it in half the narrow way, sewed along the bottom and side, hemmed the top, and turned right side out. I then made a little velcro strap so that it could be attached anywhere (car seat, diaper bad, stroller handle, wrist, etc.) It is just a narrow piece of fabric, about 1.5"x10", sew along the edge, turn right-side out and iron, tuck in ends and  top stitch, add velcro on opposite sides. After attaching the velcro together so it formed a loop, I folded it in half and stitched that point to the seam of the bag.
 Voila! Quick bag for carrying around the nursing cover.

Portable Doll House

 Kitty was invited to a birthday party (four year-old girl). While I was debating what to make, I remembered this dollhouse that I had seen here. I have been wanting to make one ever since and figured this was the perfect excuse. I am going to admit, it isn't my favorite work. I was very disappointed in how my project turned out. When I have a little time later, I think I shall try again.
 The tutorial is found here. It is pretty good for getting the pieces of plastic canvas, but leaves much room for interpretation on the fabric pieces. I made a guess (I went with a 1" buffer on each side- I shall try .75" next time), and think it was a little too big- My house ended up more puffy than I wanted.
 Next time I think I will also double up the plastic canvas pieces and have two in each side- it just seemed a little flimsy to me.
My husband assures me that the little girl will still love it, and since the party is today and I don't have time to do anything else, I hope he is right.


 With the scraps left over from my purse, I decided that I should make a checkbook cover (my checkbook at the time was just tossed loose in my purse with no cover or anything- it was a sorry sight). A quick internet search revealed a simple pattern (found here),  Since I only had scraps, I did a little applique work. 
I added a pen holder to the pattern. It is just a little strip of black bias tape that I tacked to the inside. I also added some snaps to keep it closed. My checkbook is much happier now.

Handy Towel

This project was inspired by a niece who was forever driving her mother batty by dropping the hand towels on the floor and in the sink. My children were having a similar problem, so I decided to do something about it. I simply took my hand towel and some heavy duty snaps (notions section at Walmart or Jo-Ann's) and (following instructions on snaps) attached three snaps across the top of my towel. I confess, I didn't even really measure and just eyeballed where I thought they should go.
I was a little iffy on if the snaps would stand up to the abuse of my children, but it has been several months and several washes and the towel is still going strong. .

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The cows came home!

 Years ago, my sister made this purse/bag. I am pretty sure it is the pant leg from an old pair of jeans, covered in fun stripes, with the jean's pocket with another pocket sewn on. (The pocket tucks inside the purse- I just flopped it out for the picture for visualization purposes.) If you know me, you know that I have been carrying this around since then. I love it. It has been very handy.
However, the other day I was feeling like I would like some change in my life. Instead of chopping off my hair like a normal female, I decided to make a new purse, and I had just the fat quarters I wanted to use.
If you know me well, then you also know I have a weird love of cows (they are all called Norman- it is a City Slicker thing), When I found this fabric I had to have it, but didn't know what to use it on. Now it has a home, and I udderly love my new purse. I ended up using two fat quarters- the cows and an accent swirly print, and some scraps of black fabric I had lying around.
 There were a few modifications that I made to the original bag. I decided that I wanted more pockets because I am forever losing my phone and wallet and keys into the depths of the bag. I cut out the main body parts and liner (mine were 19"x12"), a strap (from some scraps- it started out about 6"x36" so it could be folded over a couple of times for extra durability, but ended up a little smaller than that), and the pockets. For each pocket I cut out two scraps black fabric and one from my accent fabric 6.5"x8". I ended up with one cell phone, wallet, pen pouch pocket cut from the cow print that was 10"x about 5". I added interfacing to the outside body fabric, and the pocket pouches.
 For the cell phone pouch, I ran a gather stitch across the bottom, and an elastic casing across the top. Through the top I ran 8" of 1/4" elastic and stitched the sides to the elastic would stay put. I laid my cow print on the accent pocket and adjusted the gathers on the cow print so it would fit. and sewed a line 1.24" in from one side for a pen pocket, and another line 3" in from the other side for a cell phone pocket. My wallet fits in the space between. So that it wouldn't shift in the next step, I sewed along the edges and bottom, using a scant 1/4" seam allowance
 I hemmed my accent fabric and then layered and sewed together (so stacked that was one black piece with interfacing, interfacing side down and right side up, accent pocket with cow print-right side up, with black piece-wrong side up. Sew around sides and bottom. Turn out).
 See how nicely they fit? I did the same thing for a pocket pouch on the other side of the purse, just without the cow print pouch.
After that I stopped taking pictures. I sewed along one edge of the strap and turned it rightside out. I sewed along the sides and bottom of my interfaced body fabric, and just the sides of the lining. I decided to add a zipper, which was overly complicated and could be skipped. Basically, the last step involves layering all the parts together and pinning- verify that it is pinned correctly- then sew along the top edge. Turn it out. Fold under the lining bottom edge, and sew it closed. Tuck lining back in purse with pockets.
I think I am going to find a carabiner to somehow attach inside near the top, probably in the side seam, so I can have a quick place to clip the keys so they don'e get lost. And I may use my scraps to make a matching tissue cover, like this one, just because I am silly like that.
Did I mention that I love cows? Especially the rouge brown bull in the middle of all the cows. I am pleased with my new creation (-as is Kitty. It might take some convincing so that she knows it is MY purse, and not hers).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Meow! Cat Neck Pillow

I know, I have done a lousy job at posting lately. I blame Laziness. Pure Laziness. I have done several projects, just haven't done a very good job of taking pictures or documenting them. Oh, well.
This cute little cat was a birthday present for a five-year old girl. I found out about the party Thursday evening, and the party was Saturday afternoon. So Friday, I whipped this kitty up, mostly from stuff I had on hand. I did have to go and pick up some batting, and I got some buttons for the eyes. All my children wanted to keep it and hold it (I think I will be making more if I ever get around to it). If you are wondering where to get a pattern so you can make your very own, this one is the Simplicity 5310 view A (the pattern also has alternations for a puppy, monkey, and lion).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I don't know who really gets the credit for this salad, but since it was very tasty and I don't want to loose the recipe:

6 C Spinach
2 C Sliced Strawberries
2 TBS Sliced Roasted Almonds
1/4 C Apple Juice
2 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Honey
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
1/4 tsp Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste.

I just mixed up everything from the apple juice on down, and poured it over a bed of spinach covered with the strawberries and a sprinkle of almonds. It was not only tasty, but also very pretty.