Saturday, February 26, 2011

Couple Things...OK, Two

This week was one of those weeks I was far too busy to sleep much less do any dishes.  At this moment my brain is too tired to even remember what else I did, but I do have pictures of these two orders I completed.  The first is a name sign/hair bow holder I made for a customer to give as a baby shower gift.  The colors requested were black and hot pink.  I played around with a white flower and ended up with this black tinted distressed flower as an accent.  What did I do to it???  I will never tell!  It is my most fabulous secret EVER!!!

OK, OK!  I will tell you, but not today :0) 
She also ordered 5 of my satin petal flowers.  I had so much fun making these!  I added the melted leaves as accent and ended up melting my heart just a little bit too :-) 

I took these photos with my new DSLR camera, by the way.  It makes me want to cry how little I know about using the sexy thing!  So much power in my very fingertips and no clue how to access it!  The camera came with a cute little lesson book and a dvd classroom to teach me, but I soooo don't have a spare minute to check them out...not this week anyway.  

I also had an order for this 24" big B.  The customer picked out the font, I blew it up and cut it out.  

I wish my last name started with a cute letter like B.  I would love an S or an M or an E too.  Those round letters just aren't as exciting.  Maybe we will have to make it a legal change to Sew*CakeMaker so I can hang a cute letter on my wall too :0)

I am not even going to start listing all of the other projects I have been working on this week.  
I will tell you that I am finally finishing up the world's larges clippie order after many weeks of struggling with illness and mass chaos.  I am totally thrilled to be at an end of that one.  I will have pictures of that next week...assuming I can remember how to turn this lovely camera on again :0)
Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Derby Pit Pass

Eli's first ever Cub Scout Pinewood Derby was the coolest thing he had EVER been to.  The darling woman that was in charge did such an phenomenal job and the craziest thing was, she doesn't even have a son!!!  She arranged for street cones from the city, bought checkered flag banner to line the track, and had the roster of the boys projected on the wall to show the current standing of the racers.  I was amazed!  

Actually, here is a photo of last year, and it was all done mimicking the first...

Just one of her amazing ideas was to print out photo pit passes of all the boys.  They had their own roped off area where little brothers and sisters were not allowed.  We have tried to keep the fabulousness going so here is this years pit pass.  
I went ahead and made a blank in case anyone is interested in a free copy.  Just right click on the image and save to your computer.  You can either import it into your photo editing software, or print out pictures of the boys and glue them on.  Either way the boys will love it!

We just laminate, punch a hole in the top, then run a ribbon through so it can be worn around the neck.  I think this year we will take it one step further and have staff passes too.

One week to go!
I am in charge of the concession stand.  It was something I did last year after searching for ideas online, but we always try to add a little each year right?  After 12 months of thinking about what I could do next, I am so totally excited to get cracken'!!!
More on that coming up next week... 

Files for download available HERE with Dropbox!

Also download my Black version made in 2012 HERE!

Update****I also have this version available.  Check that out HERE!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Tool! Fabric Circle Cutter :0)

Joann's recently had a sale on their OLFA rotary cutter blades and accessories.  Madison and I were feeling rich that day and decided to give this cool new tool a try.  Since I am without camera, I mooched the photos from OLFAs site.  You can click HERE at to see more, or you can scoot on down to Joanns with your 40% off coupon to pick one up yourself.

I let a few weeks pass before using this because I started having serious doubts it would really work and thought about getting my $16 back(that was after the coupon :0).  However, today Madison came around asking to use it.  I simply could not refuse her and stood in AMAZEMENT when my 12yr old cut a perfect circle!  Ahoy!  We have a winner :0)  I am now totally addicted and I didn't even know these guys existed until a few weeks ago.  
You will probably be seeing more of this my own pictures after Friday when I finally buy a new camera, that is.  Let me know if there are any other cool tools I am missing out on.  
I get a little obsessed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Napkin Folding :0)

This post will probably show what a geek I am, but I have been meaning to surf the web for napkin folding instructions for some time :0)  I watched the movie SALT with my hubbs last night.  I am embarrassed to say that it was Angelina Jolie that reminded me of my forgotten desire.  She was using an online video to fold napkins for a special dinner with her movie husband.  I figured that since my camera is absolutely broken, not salvageable, gave up the ghost due to over-exhaustion and blogger abuse...I would post other people's ideas today.
So, napkin folding!  What a lovely way to show your dinner table a little loven' :0)
When I was in high school I worked at a country club busing tables.  Every day we had to make 300 of the napkin shown above.  I really love it and it is actually rather easy to make.  It is called the Bird of Paradise

We also made The Rose for our buffet tables.  They are a little more tricky, but so gorgeous!

Here are a few more...

This one reminds me of mummy fingers-weird, huh?  Perfect for Halloween though :0)

If this had been my idea I would have named it "Tuts Tomb"

Why don't you do that for the next cub scout Blue and Gold.
I am sure the 8-11yr olds will do just fine with the crystal goblets :0)

I do expect to see this on your dinner table tonight!

Talk about a week too late :0)  

For that missionary going out...

or for the new the drycleaners :0)


So to be certain to cover my sources here, I used the following websites if you want to check out more...

Those are the ones I found in my few minutes this morning.  
Let me know if I am missing any must-do folds :0)
As for you, try a little table-loven' tonight!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ironing Board Face Lift

A couple years ago my husband was laid off by his company in Tempe, AZ.  Did I mention it was the very day our fertility dr. released us from his care-finally pregnant after 7 years of paying doctors to make us a baby :0)  We ended up having to move in with his parents and struggle for nearly a year to find a job that could cover our bills and basic needs. When we moved I had to get rid of many things that just didn't fit on the truck.  My ironing board was in the mammoth pile left on the curb as our Uhaul Pensky drove away.
Finally, we found a job in Arizona and swiftly moved back to re-start life.    
My sweet friend found out I had been functioning without an ironing board and brought me this one.  I do not know why, I must have figured it wasn't in the budget, but I never bought a new cover.  As I have been blogging, I have gone to great lengths to not show this hideous cover in my photos.  If it wasn't avoidable, I would look for a less stained spot, move the project there, and then take the pic.  
Monday Mads and I took a trip to IKEA.  While there I discovered they sold covers for a mere $5!!!
We grabbed the bag and joyfully added it to the cart.
Sadly, when I got home and excitedly ripped open the bag, I put the cover in place only to discover it so didn't fit!!!.  Of course I had already ceremoniously tossed the old one in the trash can :0)
Apparently the Swedish ironing boards are not quite the same as ours :0o  

Now what...Guess it is time to make one of my own!
I hit the web and found a rather good tut HERE at "the purl bee".  After reading through I changed a few things, but got some very useful info from the post.  If you plan on using her tutorial, you should know that the materials are in a separate post.

Modified Materials List:
2yards of 100% cotton
one package of %100 cotton batting(crib size)
(note that Warm and Natural is not 100% cot. unless it says specifically)
4 yards of string

*Hint #1* When pre-washing your fabric, don't pre-wash the batting :0)
*Hint #2* Don't throw away your old cover until you have this cover made
-it makes it hard to iron the seams on your new one :0)
I went with the fabric I did because I knew I would be taking pictures of my projects on the board and I didn't want the cover so busy that you couldn't see the project.  Also, I tried to pick fabric that would hid a little scorching or watermarks so I can love it that much longer.

I skipped the step of making a pattern.  I just laid the batting, doubled over, on my cutting mat and placed the ironing board on top.  

Then I used my rotary cutter to cut the batting the same size and shape as the top of the board.

It should look something like this when you are done.

Carefully pick up the batting-I fold the sides toward the center to keep the layers from shifting, then picked it up.  Lay the fabric down on the cutting mat, doubled, then place the batting back down.  Center the batting on the fabric.  I ended up with about 4" on each side.  With 2 yards there were 10 extra inches of fabric left over.  If you don't like scraps lying around, you can get just 1 3/4 yards of fabric, but you might be cutting it close. 

Now, when figuring how much extra fabric I needed for the sides I measured the thickness of the board.  The tutorial recommends 2.5", I say no way!  I cut mine at 3" and kinda wish I would have cut it more like 4"  There are a couple spots it is barely over the bottom lip.

Use your rotary cutter again and trim the fabric to 3-4" beyond the batting.  Now, regular 42-45" fabric is just the right size when doubled to fit.  I did not cut the fabric along the long sides.  I only cut where the board began to taper in as I went towards the narrow tip.  I also cut the corners into curves so that they would gather neatly.  

Here is what I got.  
*NOTE* you will have to move your cutting mat, working on one end, moving it, then cutting the other end.  Don't forget to move your mat or you will end up cutting your table.
*NOTE #2* you can get away with only one layer of fabric if you want.  The sandwich thing is not necessary, I just figured you can't really buy less fabric, and now that mine is made, I am really loving the luxuriousness of the thick cover.

I decided last minute to quilt the top.  You don't have to.  My old cover was just placed on top of the foam underneath.  It would make it possible for you to make backup covers and not have to buy batting for each one.  Since I already pre-washed my batting (again, don't do :0) it broke apart a little and I wanted to make sure it all stayed together, thus, I quilted!

I pinned around the edge of the batting to hold that in place.

Next step, do a terrible job of machine quilting, then...

Iron over the edges twice so the fraying edges are inside.  Then sew the seam shut.  I always freak out a little with what is the correct way to sew strange lying/connecting areas.  Here is what my curve looked like at the top of the board.  I kinda just pleated the extras so that I could sew it shut.  Be certain when ironing this edge that you make it wide enough to fit a big safety pin through.

Here is a pic of the other end.  Make sure and leave an inch or two open to insert the string.

I didn't have any string so I used Jute.  I figure it will be very strong.  The last thing anyone wants is for the string to break and the whole cover to have to be re-strung.
Just in case you have never run string/elastic before, grab the biggest safety pin you have.  Either tie the string to the safety pin, as I did here, or if you have elastic, etc. slip the open end of the safety pin in the material and clip shut.  Then you are ready to run the string.  *This is an awesome method for replacing renegade drawstrings in pants or bags*  Push the pin through the opening as far as you can, then while holding on to the pin in the fabric, gently pull the bunched-up fabric so it is no longer bunched up.  Push the closed pin in the fabric as far as you can again, then holding the pin inside the fabric with one hand, pull the bunched up fabric with the other hand until the fabric it is not bunched up anymore, repeat, repeat, repeat.  This was the worst step of the whole project.  I did actually have the jute break off the pin.  I grabbed my seam ripper, cut a tiny hole in the stitching where the end of the jute was.  I pulled the jute out through the hole just enough to re-attach it to the pin, then went back in the same hole and continued on my tedious way.
It was well worth the wait... 
Just to remind you, the before... 
The after!!!
So much better!
Right away I made some little ties for a baby shower that is coming up.  I couldn't believe how lush and nice this cover was to iron on!!!  
So I say, go for it!!!  Replace that old cover with any fabric at the fabric store that catches your eye!  I finished this project in one hour, start to finish, while chasing my 2yr old :0)
You can too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taylor Swift Dress

Madison got this poster from one of her tweeny magazines and spent the next several weeks begging me to help her make the dress that Taylor is wearing.  I finally told her that if she bought the stuff herself, we could make it.  What a terrible mom I am.  I really didn't think we could pull it off, so I told her the best bet for cheep experimentation was a sheet from Goodwill.  Since they didn't have any black sheets the Half-Price Saturday we went, we took a total plunge off the deep end and bought black t-shirts.

You must know, I make skirts...lots of skirts, because they are fast, stress free (mostly) and cheep.  I have never in my life...wait, once in my life have I ever put in a zipper.  It was a princess costume when my big girl Madison was 4.  I ended up putting the zipper in inside out so the slide was on the inside of the dress :0)  Making a dress meant that I had to finally conquer my fear and stitch a zip!!!

Lets get to the gruel- we started with 4 XL and XXL black t-shirts, pre-washed of course :0)

I started my Lamaze breathing then began the top portion of the dress.  First step, cut apart one t-shirt.  I sliced off the sleeves with my rotary cutter, used the same rotary to slice up the sides, then used my scissors to cut apart the top.

Madison had drawn a pattern of her favorite stretchy shirt on a big piece of craft paper. 
*sidenote* I am going to have to make some of those cute pattern weights.  Have you seen them?  I think it might have been in a Joanns ad, and all I think about since I saw them.  My little bowls will work until the day I have time to make a set....Back to work!
Madison traced half her shirt, then we added 1/2" for a little extra stretch-I was super worried that sewing the ruffles on in the end would make the t-shirt not-so-stretchy and then the whole darn thing would be a waste :
Breath, breath, it was only $4.50 in will be ok :0)

OK, so I cut two of the shirt pattern, then sewed together.  This photo is of the first step of zipper placement. I posted a video tutorial of how to insert a zipper last summer.  I must say-FABULOUS!!!  It really works!  I sewed the zipper area shut...

Pinned the zipper in place, then stitched it on.  Once the sewing is all finished, you run a seam ripper down the first stitched seam and open it all up.  The last step is getting one of your minions to pick out all the threads :0)  Luckily that is one thing I am not short on-minions :0)    

VwaaaallĂ !!!  No, I still don't know how to spell that word, but I did make a smack AweSomE replica of Madison's favorite skinny T.  

Just look at that zipper!  Yes I still need to tuck in the top and hem around the neck, but it zips!!!  
Victory over the Zippa'!!!

Now for the skirt.  I cut up the sides, cut the sleeves off, and straightened up the bottom with my quilting ruler.  I sewed two shirts together, cut sides right-side together.  Repeated, then sewed the two sets together along the straightened bottom seam.  That was the point where I took the photo above.  

When the 4 shirt sides were sewn together like a 4-square court, I folded and folded so the connecting point of all 4 shirt halves meet at a point-kinda like when you make paper snowflakes.  I cut the connecting point off in the shape of a quarter of a circle.  The idea is that when you open the whole thing up you have a full circle to act as the waist of the skirt portion.

I continued the same arc for the bottom of the skirt, cutting off all the necks and sleeve holes :0)
This technique was actually taken from the making of a circle skirt I have mentioned several times.  I first saw the idea at Made.

Now the scary part, sewing the homemade shirt to the even more homemade skirt...Hold your breath and say a little prayer for me, will ya?

Ta-Dah!!!  Madison came bounding out of her bedroom.  It appears we have ourselves a minor victory in the name of CopyCat Crafters everywhere!!!

Mads was all, "I love it so much I am not sure we should do anything else to it!!!"
I take that as a SCORE!
(never mind that white spot on her waist.  It isn't really there on the dress, must need to clean my camera lense :0)

Now for the truly Taylor effect....the tulle.  Lets refresh...

This was the sample dress, row of white, row of black.  Row of white, row of black...
Grab your ruffler, an hour and a whole lotta black thread...and...
It is Madison Swift, ladies and gentlemen!
We did it!  I really can't believe it.  It took most of my free time on Saturday, but Madison was due for a good hunka chunka mom time :0)

She was so proud of the dress she wore it to church on Sunday.  I am so proud of her I think I might wear it next week ;0)
Happy T-Shirt Crafting!

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...