Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Vacation

This summer is shaping up to be a busy one. I will be spending the warm summer months making new stuff for upcoming shows in the city. So Tutorial Tuesday's will be on vacation until August. That will give me plenty of time to create some new re-purposed items and tutorials. Here is the much awaited line up for Summer 2012.........

JULY 14th,  AUGUST 18th and SEPTEMBER 15th The City Flea in Washington Park

Here's a sneak peak of stuff that will be ready for the summer shows.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easiest tutorial ever

When I think of Spring, I think of garden parties, and pretty place settings. So, I thought I should make napkins for the tutorial today. 

Materials: cotton fabric (I used some old sheets) 

Cut out two 11" x 11" squares of coordinating fabric.

Place right sides facing and pin together.

 Stitch along the edges leaving a 4" opening on one side. By the way, I used a 1/4" seam allowance.

Clip the corners at an angle on all four edges.

Pull fabric through through to right sides facing.


Top stitch along the outside edge of the napkin to create a finished look.

Fold napkin in half and press to create a guideline to do a finishing stitch across the fabric.


Stitch across the napkin to the opposite corner. Repeat on the other corner to create an "X" top stitch. The top stitch prevents the napkin from wrinkling after washing.


 Okay, spring napkin is finished. 

Don't be afraid to mix patterns and colors when creating these napkins. You will be surprised how well they will go together. I make a hobo style shoulder bag that blends together many different fabrics. When I start piecing the bag together, I wonder if the combinations will work, but in the end they do. Thinking outside of the box is a good thing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cork board

 A couple of months ago, I bought some cork pieces and mounted them on the wall. I used the double sided tape that came with the cork pieces, bad idea. All of the cork fell off of the wall within the first week. 

This is what my wall looked like after the cork fell. Now, I have to peel all the tape off the wall. Not a fun job. I decided today that I was going to do something with the cork. So today's tutorial will be a cork board re-purpose.

Materials:   Cork squares (available a craft stores or just use the ones that fall off of your wall.)
wooden frame (I found this frame in pieces in my basement)
spray paint
shelf liner (Another basement find. The liner is from large metal storing shelves.)

Tools:  glue gun
hobby knife

The frame was in pieces, so I had to put it back together with some glue.

I just added glue in the creases, as shown below.

Then I spray painted the frame. I let the frame dry for awhile in the sun while I hunted for something to mount the cork on. 

I measured the liner to fit the wooden frame, then cut off the excess plastic with a hobby knife.

I applied glue down the sides, top and bottom of the plastic and then pressed it onto the back of the frame.

After the backing was secure,  I added glue on the back side of the cork. I placed the cork directly onto the plastic.

I could fit two pieces of cork inside the frame with a little of the plastic showing on the sides.

The fun thing about this project was that I got to go shopping in my own basement. I found things that were just sitting there collecting dust and found a new purpose for them. So take my guidelines, and create your own unique cork board!

Now the hard part, mounting it on the wall.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

T-shirt blanket

T-shirt material is a pretty amazing material. It is soft, stretchy, and looks good with raw edges.  I think that is why it works well for re-purposing. Here is my take on the t-shirt blanket.
Materials: lots of old t-shirts

Cut off the bottom and side seams of t-shirt (some t-shirts don't have a seam on the side), then cut across the top. You will have a square of material. The material pieces will be different sizes depending on the size of the shirt. 

Repeat this process until you have enough square/rectangles to make a blanket about 4'x5' or what ever size you would like.

Start by pinning together a couple of pieces in a row measuring about 4' long. Sew together. Do not worry if the pieces are different sizes, we will fix that later. I ended up with about 5 long rows of material. 

Lay each row flat and cut off any excess material, so the rows will be the same width. Do this on each of the rows.

This is what it looks like after cutting off the excess material. They should be just long strips of material.

I had a couple of rows that were wider than I liked, so I cut them in half to create some smaller rows. That is why there are seven rows in this picture.
Piece the rows together by over lapping the material and pinning. Sew them together. Now you have a blanket. 

Tito seems so thrilled about the blanket.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My pillowcase

The pillowcase covers the pillow that you lay your head on and dream your dreams. Some are soft and worn in, and some are crisp and new. The first set of sheets that I purchased as an adult are finally wearing out. Sad, but true. The bright side, I get to re-purpose my pillowcase into something new. What should I make you ask? How about a skirt.

What you need:    a pillowcase
                           material for drawstring

Cut off the top seam and discard.

Cut about 3" off the bottom. Set the bottom piece aside.

Then cut a two 2" wide section off the bottom. This will be for the ruffle. Set aside.

 Side note: My cutting mat is covered in Purdy logo's. Sometimes, I do my logo screen printing on the mat. So please ignore the messy mat.

The drawstring

Cut a strip of material about an 1" wide. The length will depend of your waist. I just cut a long strip and then tied it around my waist and cut off any excess material I did not need.

Fold over the ends, press and then fold in half. Stitch with a zigzag stitch all the way down the drawstring.  Set aside.

The skirt

Find the center of your skirt and add a button hole. ***I will do a tutorial in the future on how to do button holes*** The waist ties will be pulled through the button hole.

Wrap the tie around the top of the skirt, then fold the skirt down twice over the drawstring. This will enclose the drawstring.

Pull the tie through the button hole and then pin the fold in place.


Straight stitch all the way around the fold. Be careful not to stitch the drawstring.

The bottom of the skirt

Fold the unfinished material under and press. 

Folded and pressed

Insert the unfinished bottom of the skirt inside the finished bottom piece. 

Stitch the two pieces together.

Now for the ruffle

Take your two ruffle pieces and cut them open.

Piece them together. This will create one continuous piece of material. Then fold the material in half long ways and press. 

Turn skirt inside out and start pinning the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt. Pleat every couple of inches all the way around the skirt.  And done.

Stitch the ruffle on the skirt. Remember, be creative and feel free to change anything you would like. My tutorials are just a guideline.

What's up for next week? Good question. Tune in and find out.
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