Category Archives: restyle

Be a Band Geek!

Happy 28th Birthday, Ashley!

So, my bestie from college, Ashley, could give Pippa Middleton a run for her money at party planning. For her 28th birthday, she hosted a High School Reunion themed party – in honor of 28 being 10 years past high school. She asked that all attendees dress in their favorite high school stereotype. [You might remember Ashley from The Rubiks Cube Cake]

I was really torn as to how I should dress. Should I just show up in clothes I wore in high school? Na, that doesn’t really scream anything other than “Ginny!” (which doesn’t work when attending a party with people you hardly know and see once a year). Cheerleader was out, that was Ashley’s thing. Football player, sure I’ve got the jerseys, but that’s not creative. Finally, the night before I was leaving to go out of town, I decided on my costume: A Band Geek.

Now, we aren’t spending $ this year. So my costume had to be stuff I already have, or stuff I could fasten out of stuff I already have. I had two inspirations.
1. Ken, who has taken a liking to wearing bowls and plastic containers as hats.
2. The Waukee Warrior Regiment, and their beautiful hat plumes

Let’s get started.

What you’ll need:

Band Hat Ingredients

1. Plastic Container. I chose Country Crock, CoolWhip would also work great
2. Hot Glue Gun
3. Fabric scraps, solid colors work great. I used t-shirt sleeves.
4. Scissors
5. Pen, Paper
6. Sequins, beads, stringed embellishments
7. Feathers. Lots and lots of feathers.
8. [not pictured] A brooch or giant button

First things first, plug in that hot glue gun. Make sure you have it in an outlet that works. Just a little tip from me to you, this alone will save you a half hour of frantic “OMG MY HOT GLUE GUN DOESNT WORK!”

Next, trace around the bottom of the butter container. Cut yourself a piece of fabric to this size. Set it aside. If you’re using a knit fabric, cut a piece to use as a strap under your chin. Cut it so that it’s stretchy enough to get on and off – this isn’t an exact science. Cut a piece that is like 15 inches long also set it aside for later.

Take a larger piece of fabric and wrap the container. I used a t-shirt sleeve, and it was large enough to just fit the size of the container with minimal extra. I folded the extra and glued it to itself. Fold excess fabric into the hat and have fun gluing. No one will see this part, so do what you need to do to get it to stick.

Next, turn the hat over and glue down the top. I didn’t get an exact photo of this. Just fold and glue it down. Then, take your round piece of fabric, and glue it OVER the ugly part. I got excited and also glued on my embellishments, but you get the idea. See, no uglyness! Now is also the time to glue on any other stringed embellishments you want around your hat. Do it now, before you glue the feathers on.

Up next is my favorite part: The Plume

So, there should be a seam on the side of your hat. We’re going to cover it with feathers. Starting at the top of the hat, glue your feathers on one by one, from the top of the hat, down to the middle. Be generous. You want your plume to shine.

Once you get your feathers on, pin on your ugly brooch. I used this nice gold one. Pin it at the bottom of the feathers, to cover up the uglyness that comes along with hot glue and feathers. You know what I’m talking about.

I’ve also glued on a neck strap. Just more t-shirt scraps. Once I had the hat all decorated, I glued on one end of the strap. Once the glue was set, I held the hat on my head with one hand, and played around until I figured out where to glue the other side of the strap – the catch is being able to get the hat on and off WITH the strap glued on. It’s totally doable. Don’t make it too tight or too loose.

The rest of my costume consisted of black pants and a blazer (Thanx Lindsay!!!), a recorder, black socks and graduation tassels. I was going to wear white socks in spite of my old band director, but I decided to make him proud instead.

I also made cake balls for the party, which didn’t really fit the theme, but did fit my budget and cleaned out my freezer.

That's a lot of balls!

We also ate School Lunch Pizza and Jello shots.

There were also some extra costumes just in case you didn’t bring one. Here I am as a science nerd:

Let's go do science stuff!

Cupcake Wall Hanging

I love cupcakes. I know they are kinda cliche now and way overexposed, but I still love them. You cannot deny how delicious they are.

So, I was on a mission to make something cupcake themed to hang on a wall. I don’t have any canvas, or giant pieces of wood, so painting was out. I also didn’t want to sew fabric on fabric and expect it to hold it’s shape. The final idea was to sew on fabric, attach to cardboard and frame.

Here goes!

Step 1: Assemble the necessary items.
A. Find a frame.
B. Cut cardboard to fit in the frame
C. Print/draw your design (cupcakes)
D. Pick out the fabric (for design and background)

The important about this project for me, was to use stuff I already have on hand.  I spent some time in my scrap box trying to find top and bottom cupcake pieces that all matched, but weren’t too matchy matchy.

Step 2: Start working 
A. Cut out pattern.
B. Pin to background fabric.


Note: there are only three pieces in this photo, not four. I decided to try and tackle the hardest fabric last – so I took this photo before I sewed that one on. And then of course I switched fabrics to something easier to work with.

Step 3: Sew
Carefully sew your design onto your fabric. Take your time. Small corners are fun 🙂

Not much to explain here!

 Step 4: Embellish
As you’ll see in the final photos, I have sewed one button to the top of each cupcake. No cupcake is complete without something on top – a cherry, coffee beans, sprinkles, SOMETHING!

Step 5: Attach
I opted to hot glue my fabric right to the cardboard. To be honest, I was going to staple it out of sheer laziness, but the cardboard was too thin. This was much trickier than I thought it would be.

Once I got my fabric centered, I clipped the fabric to the cardboard on one side, so that I could pull the other side kinda sorta tight, but not too tight. Also tricky with giant buttons.
This step also includes attaching the photo to the frame, if you chose to. I went the route of more cardboard, but attached it so that it could be removed with minimal damage to the frame if necessary.

Step 6: Hang on wall and enjoy

Dresses, boots and peas

I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any new clothes until at least Jan 1, 2011. I failed. But how could I not when Walmart was clearancing this Miley Cyrus dress?! FOR $1. ONE DOLLER.

I know this is a creative arts and blog, so I have a point. This has a racer back (photo), elastic waist, stripes, ruffles and denim. Not sure what else this girl could ask for. 

Before I found this dress on Sunday, I had just (and I mean, that morning) finished the adult version:

This is Simplicity 2375 – I did the unthinkable. I used similar (as close as I could get) fabrics to the ones on the pattern. I know, I’m a traitor to pattern sewers everywhere. But I couldn’t help it, I really loved it! So, black and white stripeys on top, denim on bottom. This pattern was super easy – not only is the zipper a lie, but so is the skirt placket. I can’t wait to pair this with tights, boots and a turtleneck. 

Boots. It’s *almost* boot season. I needed wanted a new pair, so, I made my own. 

Sweater boots! I picked up this kids large sweater for a quarter at a garage sale last weekend (garage sales didn’t count in the no-clothes-buying promise), loosely followed this tutorial, and this is the outcome. I’m pretty jazzed. 

I say I loosely followed the tutorial, because its pretty basic. The photos will explain HOW to glue the sweater to the shoe – use plenty of glue. The last thing you want is your boot falling apart in the middle of the grocery store. I skipped the part about embroidering on the cuff, I chose a kick ass sweater instead. 

One issue I had was trying to figure out which sides to sew together to get the cuff to turn out correctly (as in, right side out). Oh, and before you get to the cuff, you have to turn the boot right side out (after gluing) – this was tough also. So although I recommend using a thicker sweater so the boots stand, a heavier sweater would be harder to turn right side out.

I’ve also been spending the last few weeks working on some recycled plastic bags and purses (entry for later). ALSO, been mass producing baby food – peas, squash, sweet potatoes. Ken has loved every food he has tried (knock on wood).

"More peas, please!"

T-Shirts = Wedding Gifts

To begin, I must make a post-congratulatory statement to Katie and Jason on their nuptials. Congrats kids! Welcome to The Marriage Club! 

First project: The Wedding Shower Gift.

Every invitation included a letter. My letter was L. Lamp? No. Laughter? A little too “Uppercase Living” for me. Leftovers? Yes. Legos. YES. Legos won. So I ordered these little guys on e-bay, got them just in time to make their present… WTF am I going to do with a Lego bride and groom?!?! 

Make a Christmas ornament.

Unfortunately I couldn't custom order a Lego Cop and Bride. Had to settle for Bride and Groom.

 

The bride and groom are glued to the paper mache box. I had some other pretties to glue on, but they just didn’t look right. Something about Legos and rhinestones don’t mix. And yes, Katie and Jason looked just as smashing as their plastic counterparts.

Next Up: The Wedding Gift

So Katie, if you’re reading this, feel free to stop by anytime and pick up your gifts 🙂 

Katie willingly provided shirts from her and Jason’s closets. I had to pry some of them out of my husband’s hands because they were awesome shirts. The newlyweds are getting a slew of projects Generation T Beyond Fashion

Project 1: A Time and Place Mat (Project 31)

The book rates each of these a Level 3, of 5. That’s totally correct. These were harder than they looked. The idea of “quilting” on knits is tough because the fabric stretches.

I changed up the pattern a little – instead of layers of t-shirt/knit in the middle I used leftover flannel.

Project 2: Coast to Coasters (Project 33)

These were fun too! These were actually easier than the place mats. It wasn’t until after all four place mats, and all eight coasters that I decided to Google and find out why my thread kept breaking. I thought it was the crap thread, but the good stuff was doing it too. Turns out you need a big needle for knits. Well. Now I know!

Project 3: Running with Scissors (Project 36)

 I LOVE THIS!!! This is a table runner. To be put on a table… or end table… or anywhere you see fit. 
I tried to switch up the directions – but also had to make sure I wasn’t covering anything important (such as the “Cops Love Me” graphic).

And last, Project 4: Stocked Up


Wine bottle holder . Awesome and fun. Go team! These are great, I want to make a bunch just to have on hand in case we need a gift.

______________

Google Fashions

Hello crafters and non-crafters. I am back, altho, I never really left. 

August was full of crafting, Kenneth, running, Kenneth, Iowa State Fair, and the Ray Family Summer Extravaganza 2010. Some highlights included:

  • Kenny finally getting to meet Uncle Andrew and Aunt Leah
  • Kenny seeing his first butter cow
  • Kenny’s baptism
  • Daniel Ray (my dad!) became a two-time BLUE RIBBON WINNER at the Iowa State Fair (some people don’t even get one blue ribbon in their life – and in a food category? That’s even tougher!) [click on the link for the press release]
  • Garage sale t-shirts
  • Not sure this is a highlight, but I am back at work full-time, and Kenny started daycare (and loves every minute of it)

So to start we’re gonna back up. Here’s a couple of projects I made in early August.

The Google Dress

 

This is a super cute pattern from Generation-T, project 22 in Generation-T Beyond Fashion. It’s a cute babydoll dress. I made a few changes to the pattern. First off, the pattern calls for you to use a fitted shirt for the top part, and a baggy shirt for the bottom. I really wanted to use the Google shirt, so I used a pattern (I used this same bust-top pattern for my maternity dresses) for the top. And I added the pockets myself, because pockets are awesome. 

Perfect to pair with leggings or jeans for the weekend. 

One of the best parts about the Google t-shirt is that my super awesome husband got it at a garage sale for a quarter. A QUARTER. I love garage sales.

Stretch & Sew 1308

 

This is a shirt I’ve made before. Classic Stretch & Sew pattern. I wanted to make another one of this shirt because I LOVE LOVE LOVE my leopard print one. But I wanted it longer. So I added three inches. Issue: I love the leopard one because it’s not form fitting while I’m losing the baby weight. Three inches added just enough to make it clingy. Plus the fabrics are different. Here’s the back:

The Back.

 

And of course, your Ken update:

Ken Bear, at the Iowa State Fair

T-Shirt Extravaganza 2010

The T-Shirt Extravaganza 2010 has begun. Obsessed might be an understatement. 

As I’ve mentioned, I love every project in Generation T: Beyond Fashion.

Brian and I were trying to come up with a fun, creative house-warming gift for some friends. We decided that we would make something out of t-shirts, so we dug through Brian’s extensive t-shirt collection and found some goodies. Brown and pink tees for an oven mit, and an extra special white t-shirt about balls, and a green tee to match for the apron. 

The apron is a variation of Central Cooking, project 41 in Generation T: Beyond Fashion. The pattern is one-sided, but I opted to make it reversible. I sewed the ruffles on one side, ruffles pointing to the middle, then attached the “back” (front sides facing together). Turn inside out and perfection ensues. 

 

Side A

 

Side B

 

Glad I consulted my mom before starting the oven mit. The recipe calls for regular batting, but my mom told me to get the good insulated stuff specifically designed for oven mits and likewise items. This is Up in My Grill, project 40 in Generation T. I made a second one for Brian. 

All the mits, strategically placed on one t-shirt.

 

This is the brown side.

 

The pink side. As you can see, this side is argyle. On the first one (not shown), I tried to "quilt" on the argyle lines... but knit is tricky. It didn't turn out well. So on the gifted mit, I made swirly lines. These are totally sporadic.

 

Close up of band around wrist.

 

Brian and I were very pleased how these turned out, it was tough gifting them! But I think recipients Joe and Betsy really enjoy them, so it really all works out. I need to tweak the pattern a little, make the hand a little bigger and make the arm a little shorter. There are two layers of t-shirt on each side. I haven’t used the oven yet to try the mit out, but I may consider taking a layer of t-shirt out to cut down on some of the bulk. 

I also made a quick, new-sew halter top for myself!

New Sew Halter

 

This is Pinup Girl, project 1 in Generation-T. This consists of cutting off one sleeve, then cutting the neck hole and other sleeve in a / line. Put the shirt on, putting your head through the arm hole. Should be extra fabric in the back, so pill that forward and pin it. This would make a GREAT maternity shirt, if it were like 7 inches longer. The trick to this pattern is to find a t-shirt with a full design on the front, and possibly the back. If you choose something with a small design, it might not show.

And last, but never least, my little Kenny bear, 2 months old 🙂

I'm cute!

 

 

The Coolest Tote Bag You’ll Ever See

Happy Independence Day Weekend! Today is Monday, July 5th and I am proud to say that I have not left my house today. I got some major sewing done this weekend, so I’m really not complaining. Plus it’s super humid out and my knee hurts, so I didn’t get to run over the holiday (the only bonus to injuries is more time in front of the sewing machine).

First up, a second dress from McCalls 5659.

This one is a little different than first one (see previous post). I skipped the visual pockets and put side pockets in. Also a band at the bottom. I love this! The fabric is a little out there for me – there are Hawaiian looking flowers in pink and teal – I just don’t know about them. But overall it’s great. And my husband really likes it!

A few months ago I mentioned that I bought the book Generation T Beyond Fashion by Megan Nicolay. I’m a long time Tote Bag fanatic. And now this reusable grocery bag trend – I’m in love. So I’m always looking for new tote bags. Why use the same one twice? Kidding (Sorta). So, let me introduce you to the Tote Bag T-shirt! Easy and genius. I made three today. Here are two of them:

Tote, artwork on the front

Manne modeling

 

 The blue one is from a long-sleeved t-shirt my brother gave me about 13 years ago. It’s stretched and worn, and totally soft now. I haven’t worn it in years, and didn’t have any plans to add it to my rotation. But now it’s back.

However, the next one trumps the old favorite t-shirt because its a flipping HYPERCOLOR T-SHIRT TOTE BAG. Seriously. I went from being cool, to ultra cool. And I’m using this as my new purse. 

Up close and personal. See, it's the real thing.

You can see in this photo that there is no stitching around the handles. Awesome. Knits don’t ravel. I love them. 

Manne modeling. This is the coolest tote bag/purse in the whole world.

Go. Make your t-shirt tote bag now, you don’t even have to buy the book – instructions are here! Also, this project takes like 20 minutes!