Friday, June 12, 2015

The New and Improved Bee Bling Hat

I'm loving my bee hat v2.0. I loved the screen print of our apiary logo & the patch with the alternating blanket stitches. Then I went for the bling. My first attempt was rather meh. Just not taking it to the level I wanted. Then I was introduced to blingy Olive & Pique hats, and my vision was focused.  I went rhinestone shopping on EBay (best craft store ever) and bought a mix bag selection of sew on stones.
I had been wanting to try my new bead foundation material for a while & this seemed to be the perfect starter project. I'm not an expert beader, but I can do enough to be dangerous. Having the foundation and the rhinestones really cleaned up my beading & I love the results.
My selection of sew on rhinestones
I just made up my pattern of random stitching here

steps of the refab... removing the old beading, taping off the sections to be painted & the stenciling with gold paint

The finished result from my first attempt to the revamped version

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spurs Wreath version 2.0

Ok, so you may not remember, but way back when I made a sad little Rag-a-Muffin wreath using scraps of t-shirt.
The Original Rag-a-Muffin wreath

Well, it didn't take long in the San Antonio humidity for those t-shirt scraps to go limp. So instead of a Rag-a-Muffin look, I got a drowned rat look. Not really what I was wanting. I finally got off my bum & decided to fix it. 

Step 1: I took it all off & down to the bare bones (or wire frame in this case). I also purchased some burlap ribbon from the craft store. I had a 1/2 roll of black tulle as well, but in the end I opted not to use it.

Step 2: I began by tying the chevron burlap to the center 2 rings. Being my first burlap wreath ever, I did my research, and watched some YouTube videos on how to make burlap wreaths. They all seemed to recommend a type of tuck and twist method. I really wasn't comfortable with that because it didn't seem secure, and when I tried it, mine was definitely NOT secure. But since I was going to reuse my t-shirt ties, I just decided to tie my burlap in place.  I invented my soon to be world famous "Pucker-and-Tie Method" :-)
Pucker and tie method

Puckered and tied all the way around (you can see the gap of the ends at the top of the photo)

Use the Pucker and Tie Method: I began by tying a short end, create a ripple or pucker with the ribbon and tie - create a pucker and tie - so on and so on until I got all the way around to my starting point and tied the last end. I had just enough ribbon to go around the wreath once. My two ends are just sitting right next to each other, which did leave a small gap, but once I was done I was able to squish them together & now you can't even see the gap. I was actually thinking that if you were to put a flower or bow or something, you would actually want that gap there.

Step 3: I began tying my solid black burlap ribbon to the inner and outer rings. I had more of this ribbon so I was able to go around both with no problem. Same method - pucker and tie.

The back of the frame looks like this
Step 4: Once I had all my burlap ribbon tied in place, I started filling in random areas with more t-shirt ties. I think my t-shirt ties were around 1" x 6" pieces (give or take on the length)
Tie extra pieces where ever you find gaps

Step 5: Hang on a wreath hanger hook
Step 6: Add my Spurs Banner Flags
All done! From droopy to poofy - in about 30 minutes (Well, 30 minutes once I had an empty frame to work from. Un-knotting all those little buggers took some time - and fingernails)

Decimal to Fraction Cheat Sheet

I've been sewing long enough that I'm usually pretty good down to the 8th mark... but I don't always remember my 16ths and they come up from time to time. Here's a handy cheat sheet that you can print & hang in your sewing & crafting space .

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Recipe Test: Vegan & Gluten Free Snickerdoodles

This recipe form Courtney's Craftin & Cookinworks! I've done tested it out. I went off the official "Paleo" ingredients a bit, but my focus was on the vegan & GF aspect of the recipe. My modifications are in the [brackets].

Paleo Snickerdoodles:

  • 2 cup almond flour [Yup, a 16oz bag of Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour - about $10]
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt [as is]
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda [as is]
  • 4-5 tbsp coconut oil (melted) [about 2 oz of coconut oil and 2 oz of Earth Balance spread]
  • 1/4 cup honey [as is]
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract [I was out, so I didn't use it, but I will next time]
  • mix, roll in cinnamon & flatten [as is]
  • bake at 350 for 7-8 mins [yup as is]

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer Convertible Dress

Let me begin by saying - I have a lot of sundresses. I love my maxi sun dresses. In Texas summers, it is a necessity and I wear them on outings, dates, & work. So...While cleaning out my closet, I came across a Target sundress that I bought a couple summers ago, but never wear, and another Target sundress that I bought at a thrift store for a refashion.

Both dresses are made of Rayon, and both were approximately the same length & cut. I like full maxi dresses - my over 40 figure does not like a fitted look - so I never really wore my one dress. But I really liked the fabric on both. My initial idea was to do some rayon palazzo pants, but I opted for a drawstring dress instead.

I've been working on making convertible dress patterns for myself and experimenting with different suitable fabrics for the various convertible patterns. The drawstring dress is nice because it can be tied multiple ways, an works with a wide variety of fabrics (rayon, silk & knits are best). Since these dresses were both basically simple rectangles, a drawstring dress seemed most appropriate.

Here are my starter dresses:
2 Rayon Sun Dresses

  • Use a seam ripper to remove the elastic around the waist (black dress). Cut the tops off the dresses so I have 2 rectangular tubes
  • Turn the tubes inside out & cut off the sewn side seam now I have 4 separate rectangles
elastic and tops removed... cut off side seams .. now laying stacked to be sewn together and truing up the seams for stitching.

  • Sew the 4 rectangles together (long sides) to make a big tube - alternating the pieces: chevron, black floral, chevron, black floral. I sewed mine using the french seam technique.

Sewing wrong sides together first  - then pressing and flipping to sew right sides together to create a french seam on the interior
  • I lined up my pieces so that I was using the hem that came with the dress. In other words, I sewed from the bottom up rather than the top down.
  • True up the top of the dress. On the Center Back seam (in this case it is the original CB of the black floral dress), open the seam about 6" down and stitch across the seam line to create a "stop" - press the seam allowance of the opening to the inside of the dress & stitch it in place. This creates a 6" deep open "V" on the dress, and gives you a place to create the tube for your drawstring to come out of.
  • Fold the top of the dress down 1 1/2" to the inside and press. Then tuck the raw edge up under about 1/4" and press again. this creates the tube for the drawstring. Stitch down your tube about 1/8" in from the inside bottom fold.

That's it. Now you can  grab a 1" wide ribbon, or strip and sew some extra fabric to create a drawstring. I had a wrap style dress already, so I just borrowed that drawstring. Depending on your body size, you will want a drawstring that is 2-3 yards long so you can twist & wrap it around your body to tie it off.

Sorry for the cheesy back yard pics - that was the best I could do at the time. I'll try to get some better pics to post, and I will also tie it up multiple ways and take some pictures for you. I styled the dress with a sweater, heels and jewelry and wore this into the office. I'm also wearing a cami-style sports bra underneath it.
From my Pinterest Board on Convertible Clothing... here's a schematic of a multi-style drawstring dress

Super easy beginner sewing. Very comfy & verstile. Always boho chic!
Stay crafty!