Have hot glue, will travel.

I’ve been home for 3 days in a row because of the ridiculous weather we’ve had. We’re two weeks away from the official start of spring and there is 5″ of snow on the ground. Ugh. I’m also holding down the fort for a week while my mom is visiting David & Maggie on the West Coast. So in addition to cabin fever, I’m also an extremely introspective person, alone with her thoughts for a week.

Such potential for bad.

20150306_133152In that spirit, I’ve done my best to stay busy. I have a ton of projects I’ve started, or intended to start, but never got around to finishing. One such project: sorting, purging, and organizing the contents of my closet. With weight loss and finally unpacking from my move (4 years ago *shame*), I have tons of things that no longer fit or are no longer my style. Buh-bye!

Tell me if you’ve heard this one: you hang up all of your clothes in the closet. In defiance, they slide right off the hangers, onto the floor. You then hulk out in frustration and demolish a small village. There are angry villagers and pitchforks involved and your weekend gets way more interesting than you planned.

Solution: hot glue. Seriously.

Simply apply a bead of glue along the top edge of each plastic hanger and it becomes instantly non-slip. Voila!

20150306_133555

A couple notes on hot glue:

  1. The name is not a misnomer. This stuff is hot, so this isn’t really a kid-friendly project.
  2. The glue cools really fast, so make sure you get it where you want it, and nowhere else.
  3. This isn’t exactly a permanent solution. If you’re gentle on the hangers, the glue should last indefinitely, but it may eventually get brittle and start to come off.
  4. Allow the glue gun to cool completely before you put it away, being especially careful around the metal tip.
  5. Don’t have a glue gun of your very own? Please don’t spend a fortune on one. I have a mini high temp glue gun (like this one) It cost me about $3, and I’ve had it for almost 10 years. Unless you need an industrial size gun for some reason, this works beautifully.

Once I got into a rhythm, it didn’t even take that long to get all of my hangers done. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.

Pssht…I could do that….

GOOD MORNING!!!!!!!!!!

Too early for that?  Sorry.  Let me try again

*good morning*

Better?  Good.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  As you may have read on Friday, Emily and I were supposed to have a crafting weekend but since she bailed on me  couldn’t make it, I crafted alone.  I finished two projects and got materials for two more, and all in all, I think it went quite well.  The project I want to share with you today is a tee-shirt scarf/necklace thingy.  It has some interesting origins, kind of a right place, right time, deal.  Obviously, I just finished my Tee Shirt Quilt, and I had leftover tee-shirt pieces from the project. Then, I was trolling around Pinterest one day and I saw this:

Blue Ocean Fabric Necklace

Pretty, no?  It’s lovely, but the link goes to an Etsy store, and not a tutorial (Click the photo to see the original posting).  I didn’t really want to buy one, when I was sure I could make one just as easy, so I did.  There you go. Now, the original necklace is just made of soft jersey, not tee shirts, so it’s a little different.

I started with the bottom parts of 4 different tee shirts.  Because my shirts are different brands/sizes/colors/materials, they have different stretch capacities, and didn’t all turn out the same length. I like it a lot, but  if it bugs you, make sure you use identical shirts.  Also, I only had the bottom third or so of the shirt to use, but if you’re starting from scratch, you can use the entire torso from under arm to hem.  Just don’t actually use the hem, it won’t work.  I collected my shirts, creating a nice color palette.

Then, using sharp fabric scissors, I cut the shirts into 1″ ribbons but left them whole, so that I had loops.  Don’t cut up the sides of the shirt, no bueno.

PS: Now is as good a time as any to talk about scissors.  Having a good sharp pair of scissors that you use for fabric is essential.  You should never NEVER cut paper with your fabric scissors, because the fibers in the paper will dull your blades.  If you find that your scissors aren’t cutting as well as they used to be, don’t get new ones, just get them sharpened.  Fabric stores have periodic scissor and knife sharpening events and it’s inexpensive.  My local Joann’s is having one this week, but check with your local craft or sewing supply store to find out when they have these kinds of events.  Or, if you live in/close to a large city, you may have a full-time sharpening shop.  Do some research.  Trust me, it’s easier and cheaper to get your scissors sharpened than to buy new ones.

I made the ribbons into yarn by tugging on them.  When you pull, they’ll curl up on themselves as if by magic.  It’s actually pretty cool….

I gathered them all together and braided them a little.  Because the pieces are loops, and not straight, if you braid it on one side, it braids on the other. Embrace it!  I secured the braids with masking tape until I was ready for them and then hot glued a spare piece of shirt to hold the braids.  Yes hot glue, I already had it out for another project and I didn’t feel like sewing it!  Don’t judge me.  If you’re a purist, you could certainly do a few stitches to secure.  I might even do that at some point in the future.

Et Voila! Scarf, or necklace, or whatever.  All in all, it probably took me about half an hour, and mostly that because I had to figure out the placement of the braids.  I’m psyched for the arrival of cool fall days when I can add this to my accessories wardrobe!

Happy Monday!

My Secret Shame

I’m not saying that I can’t sew.

I’m just saying that I can think of about 274 less terrifying things to do with my time.

In my defense, I have made things before.  When I was initiated into my sorority in college, I made the dress I wore.  And it was complicated.  It had darts.  And….things. AND there’s no reason I couldn’t be an excellent seamstress if I really applied myself.  My mother and grandmother are both accomplished in this way. AND I am a smart, accomplished professional with many crafty talents.  So…there.

In that spirit, I decided to try some sewing because, well…why not?

Oh the horror.

Really, it wasn’t so bad, and anyone who can sew a straight line can make this skirt.  The problem is, I can’t really sew a straight line.  But we’ll get there.

Note*  This project is inspired and roughly adapted from this project by Papernstitch.  The original design is SOOOOOOOOO cute, but when I made it, I couldn’t figure out how to get it on, so this was my way of making the original project work.  Also, I’m no delicate flower, and tons of gathering looks pretty horrific on curvier girls, so I reduced the amount of fabric I used, but adjust accordingly.

1 Hour Skirt

Here’s What You’ll Need

Fabric (Something with a bit of weight and NOTHING THAT STRETCHES, enough to wrap around yourself about a time and half)

Pins

Scissors

Tailor’s chalk

Sewing Machine

A skirt you already own, whose length you like (optional)

Here’s What You Do:

First, you’ll need the back seam. Your fabric should come pre-folded, right sides together.  Unfold it and refold, wrong sides togther, and after measuring it about 1 and half times around your body (for a fuller skirt, add a little more) and cutting off the extra, sew a straight seam along the cut end (from the fold to the selvage).  Now you’ll have basically a tube of fabric with the right sides out.  The raw edges go on the inside of the skirt.

Next you need to deal with the length.  Depending on the width of your fabric, the length might already be perfect, in which case, skip this step.  If the length isn’t quite short enough, lay the tube down on a flat surface and put a skirt you like on top of it.  Measure the length of the skirt and then add about an inch, for seam allowances and things.  You’ll be cutting from the selvage end of the fabric, not the fold.   If you want, you can run a single row of stitching all the way around to use as a guide when cutting, but like I said, straight lines aren’t really my thing, so I used tailor’s chalk to mark the line before cutting.

Once your length is just right, measure the elastic for the waistband.  Make sure that when you’re buying elastic you get the kind that is supposed to be used for exposed waistbands, and not the kind that is meant to be sewn into things.  Measure the elastic around your waist and the pull it another inch or two tighter.  It will stretch a bit when you sew on the fabric.  Just like the skirt, you’ll want to put the ends together and stitch a straight seam to make an elastic band.

Then the slightly complicated part starts.  You need to attach the elastic band to the skirt tube.  The problem?  There will be more skirt than elastic.  Never fear!  Remember that you’ll be pinning the fabric to the inside of the elastic band.  Start by lining up the two seams and pinning them together.  That’s the back of the skirt.  Then find the front (the “other end” of both pieces) and pinning them together.  Then find the centers of the two sides on both pieces and pin them together and so on and so forth until the skirt is attached to the elastic all around.  Run an elastic stitch (or zig-zag) around the edge pulling the elastic taught enough the keep the fabric straight.  For this skirt, I tacked on a satin ribbon in the back seam to be tied in the front, but that’s up to you.  I’ve made two of these so far, and once you get the hang of it, it really is very simple.

Even if you can’t really sew in a straight line….

Made some bread over the weekend, new post soon!