Saturday, December 25, 2010

Placemat Crochet hook Roll

Using the same basic method as my Crayon Pouch you can make a Crochet Hook Roll.  Just fold up 5 inches from the bottom and sew every inch (or about that much, some may be a little bigger/smaller to adjust for the length of the mat.)  Fold the top down to meet the opening of the slots and stitch the top fold right at the edge.

For the closure, I used 2 decorative buttons and some round black elastic, but you could do the ribbon method from the Crayon Pouch, just make sure to sew the ribbon on first (before the pockets are sewn) and to only attach the ribbon as far as the pouch will roll, not the whole length.  There is probably also a way to do buttons or Velcro closure of some kind. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bib from Dad's Shirt.

I got this idea from another blog, but I didn't use a pattern or their tutorial so I don't remember where I saw it.  If you saw something like this somewhere else, I'm not taking credit for the idea, just sharing my version of it.

My husband was getting rid of a shirt that didn't fit him well anymore.  Aside from some wear in areas from age, the shirt was still good and I thought I could make something out of it.  My first thought was a dress for my 2 year old but seeing as how I was swamped with Christmas stuff, I wasn't willing to commit my time to that.

Therefore we have the Shirt Bib.

All I did was get a bib that I liked the shape and size of and use it as a pattern.  I pinned it  to the front of the shirt where it buttoned and cut it with about 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I bought a coordinating hand towel (probably $1.50) and cut out the same pattern.  I stitched the two together (right sides facing each other) and left a 2-3 inch opening to allow me to turn the bib.  Then I top-stitched around the whole thing which closed the opening and helped the bib to "sit" flatter when on.  Because of where I cut the shirt, there was only one button attached so I cut off another one and it helped to keep the two layers from shifting.  I cut some Velcro for the neck and sewed it on.  The whole thing took a couple of days on and off (like 5 minutes here and there) and I think it looks pretty cute. :)

Sorry for the lack of step by step pictures.  I wasn't sure it would work the way I wanted and didn't think to take any pictures as I went.  But its pretty easy I swear.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Poinsettia Hair/Hat Clip

Using the tutorial from Infarrantly Creative I made my daughter and niece some hair (or hat) clips.  I didn't print out the template ,but used my daughter's head as a starting point for a good size clip.  I didn't have (or remember to buy) a button making kit, so I just used a circle of felt for the top to cover the stitches.   I also added some grosgrain ribbon around the clip so it didn't pull the girls' hair.

My 2.5 year old actually "helped" by pulling the needle through after I had pushed it most of the way, so it was nice that she felt like she could participate in the sewing. 

How to make a travel crayon pouch

I made this for myself and my daughter to eliminate a frustration I had.  She loves to color and will do well coloring at restaurants and places where we have to have her sitting for awhile, but keeping crayons in a diaper bag is not practical.  I had seen many crayon case tutorials online, most of them were rolled up in little spirals and tied with ribbon.  I thought about it and realized I would need something for her to draw on and the paper will get mangled and lost in the diaper bag. So I made a slight modification to what others had done and made this pouch. This way I can keep a small notepad or even folded coloring pages in there and not worry when I get somewhere that she needs paper.   

Difficulty = Easy
Minimal sewing skills are required, just basic knowledge of your machine.  Must know how to make a straight stitch and back stitch, thread and load a bobbin and thread the machine.  Depending on the material of the place mat, mistakes can be easy to disguise.  The type I used is great for hiding flaws.  It is ribbed in texture which helps provide guide lines to follow when sewing and mistakes are not evident if the thread matches.

*A cloth place mat, the kind I've been using is available at Walmart (sometimes) and Target (in solid colors)
*A 16 count box of crayons
*a small note pad (I got a 3 pack of Mead 4"x6" memo pads from the grocery store for about $1)
*Grosgrain ribbon in a coordinating color in 1/4" to 1" width depending on preference or what you have available (black works well for most and a small roll would be under $2)
 *Thread that blends with the place mat
* sewing machine
*Ruler or tape measure
* pins

 1. Fold up the long side of the place mat 3 inches.  Sew along the existing seam or as close to it as you can on both sides.

2. Measuring from that first seam, mark four 1 inch sections for the pockets. 

3. After the 4 pockets measure 4.5 inches from the last seam.  This will make your notepad pocket. 

4. From the end of the 4.5" pocket continue measuring every inch to the last seam on the right side.  If the place mat isn't measuring perfectly within the inches adjust each one slightly to make the pockets look about the same size.  Also, I noticed with the first pouch I made, my place mat was not as long as the subsequent ones I bought and I had to eliminate a whole pocket from it.  It doesn't matter too much because fitting 12-14 crayons will be enough variety for most kids.

5. Sew each line from the top of the flap down to the fold.  Make sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end of the line.  If you're fast and did all your measuring/pinning,  this should only take about 10 minutes..

6. Pin the ribbon tie to the back of the pouch just above the slot openings (about 3 1/4" up from the fold.)

7. If you can, adjust the width of  your stitch to the narrowest width so you can get close to both edges of the ribbon.  Sew ribbon staying about 4 inches from the edge going to 4 inches from the other edge.  Flip around and sew again if you are using a wide ribbon.  For 1/4 inch, one pass will be fine.

Sorry I just couldn't take a clear picture here but you see how close the needle is to the right side (sort of.)

8. Fold the top flap down to meet the slot openings.  Pin this to secure.  Sew right along the top fold to make a permanent crease (less llikely crayons will fall out and more likely it will easily fold to put away.)

9. Insert crayons and pad and fold up.  You're ready to color on the go. :o)

P.S. Suzanne, if you read this, Zach is getting that blue one for Christmas. ;o)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Isabella likes the idea of porridge more than oatmeal.  I made a Quinoa version and I played with it and did an easy oatmeal version.  It is REALLY tasty and all of us really like it.  It almost doesn't seem like a meal but like a treat.

Serves 1 toddler and 2 adults (adjust accordingly)
I would say 4 servings if you had fruit or toast on the side.

2 cups plain oats
2 tbsp quinoa (optional)
1 1/4 c water
1 c milk
1tsp pumpkin pie spice
a little bit of vanilla extract (forgot to measure)
1 tbsp butter
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp sugar (or less to taste, honey or maple syrup are other options)
raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

1) bring liquids just to a boil in a pot.
2) add oats, quinoa, spices, and sugar. Mix
3) bring back to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
4) add butter and let sit for 5 minutes.
5) stir and serve with raisins (unless like my husband you prefer no raisins.)


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