Braided Headband DIY

Spring is definitely in the air! It makes me think of fresh flowers, sunshine, sandals, and headbands! Ok, so that last one might just be me, but I was inspired to try making a fun new one this week!

This is a great DIY because you don’t have to sew a stitch! Yay!

Materials:
Fun cotton fabric
Elastic – I used 3/4″ because that’s what I had, but 1/2″ would be better
Ribbon
Thread
Hot glue & gun
Braided Headband Materials

Let’s Get Started:

  1. Cut your fabric into strips, I did 1.5″ by 55″ for an adult-sized headband. I think I might go just a little thinner next time…1.25″.
  2. Secure one end, and start braiding. I enlisted Ryan’s help to hold one end since it gets so long.
    You might notice some fraying on the fabric, but that was the look I was going for. If it bothers you, fold in the sides carefully as you go.
  3. I used binder clips to hold the ends in place once I was finished braiding.
    Braided Headband 2
  4. Use thread to tie off the ends, just loop around a few times and you should be good. Trim thread and excess fabric.
  5. Fold your braided piece in half, then try it on your head. Whatever gap remaining determines the length of your elastic.

    **TIP: Don’t cut the elastic too short. Have you ever have the problem of a headband falling of the back of you head? The secret is that you want the headband to be secure, but the elastic shouldn’t be working hard at all.

  6. Hot glue the ends of your headband to your elastic. I overlapped by about 1/2″.
    Braided Headband 5    Braided Headband 3

  7. Wrap your ribbon around the place the headband and elastic connect. The intent here is to make this look nice. You won’t be able to see it when you have the headband on, but why not make it look pretty! Then hot glue together.
    Braided Headband 4

  8. Plan your spring outfit accordingly!
    Braided Headband Finished 2 DIY Braided Headband

–h

Marvel/Captain America Inspired Applique Quilt – Part II

Pinterest Captain America Inspired Applique QuiltOver the years I have really enjoyed making different quilts for people. When Ryan and I were first dating, I made him a quilt out of black and leopard print polar fleece. Wow, lucky Ryan right? Believe it or not, we use that quilt to this day (some 12-13 years later). He actually did like it, seriously, you can ask him. Seriously!

When I make a quilt for someone it is my way of expressing love. To me, nothing says “I love you” like putting that much time and energy into something for someone else. Even further, I like to think about the recipient as I am working and pray for them. It just feels good!

Anyway, back to work… If you missed Part I, you can read it here.

Sewing the Quilt:

  1. I started by lining up the large gray star on the inner circle of the shield, pin. Then I zig-zag stitched it into place.
    Captain America Star stitching
  2. Take the inner-circle/star piece and line it up on the next circle layer. I measured around the circle to make sure I had it just right. Pin, and stitch the same way. Repeat until you have your Captain America shield sewed together.
    Note: I decided to match thread color depending on which ring of the fabric I was sewing.
    Captain America Shield3Captain Ameria Shield2
    Captain America Shield Finished
  3. Now that the shield is complete, I pinned it to the center of the navy blue background fabric. I didn’t sew it on yet, instead I used to help me decide on the placement of the additional stars. I decided to do three stars in each corner (one Marvel print, one red, one gray). I played around until I liked the look of everything and pinned the stars on.
    Marvel Stars placement
  4. Next I removed the shield from the backing. I left a safety pin to mark the spot (just to keep the shield from getting too beat up). Then I sewed on each star  with a zig-zag stitch all around. I used red thread for all the stars, totally up to your taste how to use the colored thread.
    Marvel Stars sewed
  5. Once all the stars were on, I went back and repinned the shield, zig-zig stitch to attach. Now the face of the quilt is ready. At this point, I pressed the entire front.
  6. Next up is creating a quilt “sandwich.” Lay out your back (pay attention to the orientation of the print). Then layer on the quilt batting. Then top with your quilt front. Voila, you have a quilt sandwich. I do this on the floor of my dining room (after I have swept, I promise).
  7. Once you feel good about the line-up of the three layers. I grab a ton of safety pins and pin all three layers every so often. This makes sure you get the all lined up nicely and that it lays flat without wrinkles.
    Captain America Quilt Ties
  8. I’m not sure if this is the right order of things, but I don’t actually quilt my quilts…I use ties instead. Babies like playing with the ties, and it seems a little easier to me. Anyway, I do the ties last, so normally you would quilt at this stage, but I didn’t I moved onto binding. (See my disclaimer :-))
  9. Once all the safety pins are in place, and you feel good about everything. Take a rotary cutter and mat and trim up the edges. You can pin around the edges or even baste all the way around…
    Captain America Quilt Trimming
  10. Binding:
    • Next I made my own binding out of red flannel. They were 3” wide and you need enough length for the entire perimeter of the quilt. I over-estimate on the length a little bit to make sure I have plenty of binding so that it isn’t too stressful. I attached the lengths of fabric by sewing pieces together at a 45 degree angle. Now you have one LONG piece of binding. Fold in half lengthwise.
      Captain America Quilt Binding
    • Next I worked on attaching the binding. This is a little complicated… On the back of the quilt, pin raw edges of the binding to the right side of the fabric starting in the middle of one side, leaving yourself a few inches to play with at the beginning. Pin all the way to ¼” from the corner. Sew that section.
      Captain America Binding start
    • Once you get to the pin ¼” from the corner, stop sewing. Take the binding and fold it up at a 90 degree angle from the quilt. Then fold back down, pin. These pics should really help…
      Captain America Quilt Binding1Captain America Quilt Binding2
      Captain America Quilt Binding4
    • Pin all the way across the next edge, stopping ¼” from the next corner. Repeat until you make it all the way around to the end. Leave a few inches to play with when you get back to where you started.Captain America Quilt Binding 6
    • Flip the quilt over to the front, and fold the binding over and pin. Some people hand sew at this point, I just machine sew all around. Here’s how you do the corners…
      Captain America Quilt Binding7Captain American Quilt Binding8
    • To finish, I fold the raw edge over about ¼” and tuck the other side under. Sew shut.
  11. I finished by putting ties every so often, usually about where I put all my safety pins. I used red embroidery floss and finished with a square knot (right over left, and left over right).Captain America Quilt Binding Finished

And…

drumroll please…

Here is the finished Marvel/Captain America Inspired Quilt!! And BTW, my nephew loved it!!

Captain America Quilt Done2Captain America Quilt DONE with back

–h

Marvel’s Captain America Inspired Applique Quilt – Part I

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional quilter, any and all advice given is from me, a novice/self-taught quilter that’s still figuring things out. So if you know a better way, do it!! And, to all the accomplished quilters out there, I’m sorry if I’m doing everything wrong.

So novice or not, I do love quilts and blankets. There is something so comforting and so full of love about them. I slept with the quilt my grandmother made me until I was…well…I don’t think we are close enough for me to admit that yet. 🙂

Anyway I just finished a quilt for my newest nephew. Of course, it needed a theme and my nephew’s dad (my brother-in-law), LOVES comic books and such. They go to ComiCon, dress up, the whole thing, they are R-E-A-L-L-Y into it. Because of my brother-in-law, I’ve even enjoyed all the Marvel movies, and Superman and Batman…and I have to admit I’m a fan too.

So, I was at Joann’s looking for inspiration and I found this great Marvel print. Now, it is way TOO much for the entire quilt, but perfect for the backing. With some thought, I decided to make a Captain America inspired applique quilt for my nephew’s first birthday present. And, SPOILER ALERT: It. Is. Awesome.

Materials: (all purchased at Joann’s)
Flannel Marvel Print Fabric
Flannel Red, Gray, and Navy Blue Fabric
Interfacing
Coordinating Thread
Quilt Batting
Coordinating Embroidery Floss

Marvel Fabric

The Plan:
For big projects like this, I like to map out what I’m trying to do. It really helps me think through how much fabric I’m going to need and what dimensions are going to work best. I wanted my finished quilt to measure 54″x 44″ so every subsequent measurement was based on that. I know the circle measurements seem a little odd, but I wanted to make the largest circle in the shield as big as possible given the fabric width, so I started there. Then I decided how big the smallest circle should be and the other two ended up splitting the difference. Anyway here is my plan…

Captain America Quilt Plan

Cutting Out:

  1. I started by creating patterns for my stars. I decided I needed three sizes of stars. The big star for the center of Captain America’s shield (12″), and then two sizes of stars to applique on the rest of the quilt (7″ and 4.5″). Here’s my pattern if you want to use it, Star Template.
  2. To applique the stars, it is important to use interfacing to strengthen the fabric, it also helps give a really clean edge. So trace out your stars on interfacing – one 12″ star, four 7″ stars, and eight 4.5″ stars. I’ve done another applique quilt where I skipped this step, and it’s still on my to-do fix it.
  3. Once you trace out your stars on the interfacing, cut them out leaving at least a quarter-inch around them.
  4. Arrange the stars on your fabric and iron on. I did the 12″ star  on the gray fabric, the 7″ stars on the Marvel fabric (I lined these up carefully), and four each of the 4.5″ stars on the red and gray fabric.
    Marvel Stars
  5. Now you cut out your stars.
  6. Next I cut out the circles for the shield, following the sizing on my plan above. I also used interfacing on each of these pieces, following the same system as the stars. Trace pattern, iron onto fabric, cut out.
    Captain American Sheild
  7. Cut out the front and back pieces. Leave an extra inch or two on the front piece, and a couple extra inches for the backing.

Phew, all the pieces are cut out…we are ready to start sewing next time. You can now read Part II here!

–h

DIY Christmas Tree Skirt

I thought it would be a good idea to wash our tree skirt in preparation for Christmas.

It. Was. Not.

Instead of a clean red and white tree skirt, I ended up with a clean red and pink tree skirt. Now, anyone knows me knows I am a big fan of pink. But I was not happy.

Instead of going out and buying a new one, I thought I could make a customized tree skirt. I know you might be shocked to learn, but I have a black, white, and red themed tree complete with polka dot ornaments. Shocked, right?

Materials:
Coordinating fabric – So I used some fake black velvet fabric and a Christmas print I found at Joann’s.
Matching Piping and Bias Tape or Ribbon
Ribbon to make ties

How-to:

  1. Start by cutting a circle out of your main fabric. Determine the desired radius of your tree skirt (mine was 18”) plus the radius you want to allow for the tree itself (a few inches). Draw out ¼ of a circle on tissue paper or wrapping paper to create your pattern. Lay out your fabric so you have four layers of fabric (fold in half lengthwise, then in half the other way). Pin your pattern and cut out.
    Tree Skirt Pattern
    The fake velvet I used had some stiffness to it, so I didn’t need to do anything to it, but depending on your fabric you might want to stiffen it with some interfacing or a second layer of fabric.
  2. You will need a second pattern for the accent fabric. The easiest way to do this is to use the first pattern to draw a second pattern using by adding 6.5” to the radius measurement from step one. This illustration should help explain.
    Tree3
  3. Cut an opening in both pieces. Again, this illustration is what you are looking for.
    Tree2
  4. Sew the accent fabric onto the main fabric, right sides together.
  5. Next I attached the bias tape between the two fabrics. You could top stitch this in place, but I cheated and used some stitch-witchery to make it easier.
    Tree skirt
  6. Next, I sewed the piping along the bottom of the accent fabric. I love finishing things with piping, it just looks awesome and I like the way it looks better than just a hem.
  7. Then, I hemmed the opening edges.
  8. Finally, I added ribbon ties every 5 or so inches in the opening. You could do buttons too, that would be really cool!
    Tree skirt

And a complete disaster (no, I’m not being overly dramatic) turns into an opportunity for creativity!

Tree skirt

–h

DIY Elsa Inspired Cape

Ok, so I promise that not all of my posts are going to involve Elsa and Disney’s Frozen. Seriously, I promise. But right now, it seems like it is unavoidable. Like I mentioned in a previous post, my niece loves to sing, dance to, and act out the entire scene that corresponds to Let it Go. It’s really quite cute and pretty darn impressive. When I was watching her go through the motions, it became clear, she absolutely NEEDS an Elsa cape.

DIY Elsa Inspired Cape

Materials:

Blue snowflake material (I used some from Joann’s)
Matching Thread
Assorted trims

How to:

  1. Create your pattern. I decided to do a “half-circle” shaped cape to give the cape some good swirl and swish. Perfect for dancing in! Create a pattern for yourself out of wrapping paper or tissue paper. Appropriately for this time of year, I used Christmas paper.
    You are aiming for ¼ of a circle for your pattern (that will fold out to half of a circle). The radius of that circle should be the length of cape you wanted. For my 4 ½ year old niece, that length was 38″. You will do a much smaller 1/4 circle at the top for the head and shoulders. The following graphic should help illustrate what you are going for…
    Cape1
  2. Lay out your pattern on your fabric on the fold. Pin and cut out.
    IMG_4342
    Here is the shape you are going for.
    Cape2
  3. Next, I decided she needed a stand collar. I measured the opening of the cape and drafted a simple pattern (see below). I’m sure there is a right way to do this, but I just measured the opening at the top of the cape and decided about how tall I wanted the collar, and I drew a slightly curved shape within those dimensions. My dimensions were 13″ x 4″.
    Collar pattern
  4. Right sides of collar together, sew the top and two sides. Trim seams, clip corners, turn out, and press. Pin the collar to the cape, right sides together. Sew the seam. Trim seams, press and then top stitch. This helps the collar stand up.
    Stand Collar
  5. Next I hemmed the front edges of the cape.
  6. Now is the fun part, trim!!I promised my niece that we would work on her cape together so I pulled out all the lace, ribbon, trims, buttons, etc. that I could find and I let her pick out how she wanted to embellish her cape. Uh, a bit of a mistake. She ended up choosing red rickrack and black sequins… With some coaxing I talked her into some silver ribbon and white lace, but she insisted on the pink ribbon for the tie. Not exactly Elsa, but you can’t blame a girl for loving pink. You can, of course, use your own judgment on how to embellish.I started with lace along the bottom of the cape and added some silver ribbon about 1/2″ above the lace.
  7. I then attached the pink ribbon around the neck. Along with some sparkly buttons just for fun.
    Elsa Cape

And there you have it, an Elsa inspired cape!

–h

P.S. Can’t get enough of Elsa? Check out this simple Frozen inspired t-shirt!

Tutu Tuesday: Part II No-Sew Tutu

Tutu Tuesday part two, now that’s fun to say!! Tutu Tuesday continues this week with an even easier project!! Be brave, give it a try!

No-Sew Tutu

This tutu is quick, easy, super cute!! I made one for my niece for Christmas a few years ago and my sister also made her one to go with the Elsa Snowflake t-shirt. Now I think Kyrie needs her first tutu!

Materials:
Tulle – yardage depends on if this is for a little girl or a big girl… Start with at least 4 yards
1” Elastic long enough to fit around the waist plus 1 inch.

How to:

  1. Use a rotary tool and rotary mat and cut your tulle into 4” wide strips. You want them to be twice as long as you want the skirt. For example, for a 12” skirt (for a toddler) you will want 24” strips. I cut 12″ strips for Kyrie (she’s in 3 month clothes right now).
    Tutu5
  2. Sew the ends of your elastic together (I promise this is the only sewing). Overlap ½” and sew it together securely. Remember there will be tension on this stitch.
    Tutu7
  3. Use a dress form, stuffed animal, pillow, or something to put your elastic around. Start attaching the strips to the elastic, like so..
    Tutu8
    Tutu2
    Tutu3
  4. Continue until the tutu is as full as you desire. You can fit a bunch of those little strips on the elastic so just keep going. The poofier the better if you ask me!!
    Tutu4

Make it even more fun and mix two or three colors of tulle. Green and red for Christmas, different shades of blue for Elsa, etc.

Perfect Christmas gift for a little girl in your life. Also, a great project you could do work on with a cute kiddo.No-Sew Tutu
(my sweet niece playing in her tutu with her friend, Jessie)

–h

P.S. Did you miss Part I? Or you can read the conclusion of Tutu Tuesdays here.

Monster’s Inc. Boo Halloween Costume – Part III

The long-awaited and much-anticipated final post on Kyrie’s Halloween costume is in!! I know, pins and needles, right?

Teeth, check.
Hood, check.
Now onto the body!

Ok, so I really had to think through the design and construction of this costume. One sleepless night, and I had a plan! It would have been easier if I didn’t want to finish the inside, but I want Kyrie to be comfortable so it just took a little extra brain power to get it right. One thing to note, you don’t actually need three pieces for the body, I was going to put a zipper in the back and after I cut out my pieces I remembered that the hood is attached to the back, so the closure will need to be at the side-seams. Typical me. Oh-well, live and learn. 🙂

Back:
So, I started by just closing that center back seam. You can baste the batting and exterior (purple) fabric together. Then, right purple sides together, sew, trim, press. Then separately (because I want a finished interior) sew the right sides of the exterior (gray) fabric together.

Then right side purple to right side gray, sew one side seam starting 1/2″ from the top (don’t forget the arm hole). This seam will be a finished edge with Velcro to attached the front to the back. Trim, clip curves, turn out and top stitch. Leave the other side unfinished at this point.

IMG_3899     IMG_3901    IMG_3902

Front:
Next, I did the Velcro edge of the front of the costume. Same process. Baste batting to purple fabric. Right sides of purple to right side of gray sew one side seam (the one that meets up with the back of the costume). Again, make sure to do the arm hole. I added an extra half-inch to the “depth” location of the arm hole to allow for the overlap of the Velcro. It’s kinda hard to explain, hopefully this picture helps. Trim, clip curves.

IMG_3906

Now for the top edge of the front of the costume. Don’t forget to insert the teeth between the gray and purple fabric. Then then sew along the top edge of the costume, ending about ¾ of an inch from the unfinished side. Trim, Press. Turn out and top stitch both side and top seams. Next top stitch a channel (3/4”)  into the top front of the costume for another piece of boning. Slip the boning in.

IMG_3909

Next, I connected the front of the costume to the back. This is just a little tricky with finishing and the arm holes. Baste purple fabric to the batting. Purple side to purple side, stitch the side seam before and after the arm holes. Do the same with just the gray fabric. You will now have finished edges other than the arm holes. You can press the seam allowance on the arm holes, clipping curves, and then top stitch the purple to the gray giving you a finished arm hole.

IMG_3933

Next, I top stitched four rows into the body of the costume. I just took the length and divided out four equal sections (taking into account the seam allowance for the bottom). I measured carefully and marked my lines with pins and stitched.

IMG_3935

At this point I sewed on the Velcro to the front and back Velcro edges. Be sure to do the back side of one and front side of the other. I did the back-side of the front and the front-side of the back. Now how’s that for a sentence. 🙂

IMG_3941

Almost finished!! Next attach the  bottom. First baste together your layers. I just did purple, one layer of batting, and then gray. This is one seam I didn’t worry about finishing on the inside, it’s just too difficult to get to by hand, and really doesn’t matter. So right side of the costume to right side of the bottom piece, stitch.

IMG_3883

This can be a little difficult because you are sewing a circle to a rectangle, but take your time, it is possible. Remember that the Velcro edges will need to overlap as well. Trim edge, clip curves, and turn out.

Confession: I ended up sewing this piece and ripping it out four times. Yes, four. It seems like when I’m almost done with a project, I do something to make life more difficult. First time, the piece was a little too big. Second time, still too big. Third time, I sewed wrong side to right side. Fourth time – success! Seriously, it doesn’t matter the project, something always gets me. 🙂 My message to you, measure carefully!

Anyway, exciting, it’s really starting to look like a little Boo monster, almost done!!

Monster's Inc Boo Halloween Costume

Next, I attached the hood to the back of the costume. Sew right sides of the purple side only together, you want to leave the gray out so that you can hand finish that edge. Trim and press the seam. Wait to finish the interior.

IMG_4067

Now we need the finishing touches. Boo’s monster has googly eyes and mop like hair. Styrofoam balls, pipe stem cleaners, floral wire, and some cording accomplished that. The Styrofoam balls I picked were too big, like really too big, so I had to go back and buy smaller, lighter ones.

Finally, hand tack the hood lining along the center back seam and hand sew the seam between the of the hood and the gray back lining.

IMG_4093

Voila, we have a sweet little Boo! It’s far from perfect, but it was sewed with love (and actual blood and tears – see Part II).

Happy Halloween! In case you missed them, here are Part I and Part II.

–h

IMG_4123

 

Nailed it! Monster’s Inc. Boo Halloween Cotume — Part II

Ok, so I have to thank my brother-in-law for this blog title and no, I’m NOT trying to brag.

So… I was working hard to finish the Boo costume in time for Halloween when tragedy struck! I went to sit in the folding chair I had next to my work table, sorta missed it, it folded, and I fell through it pinching my upper arm and ripping off my entire ring-finger nail (like down to underneath the skin).

Yah, gross.

1 quick trip to the ER to “fix” my nail and back to work. That’s what we call sacrifice and commitment to a project, right?? And, like my bro-in-law said, I am “nailing” this costume!! Seriously, I think these things only happen to me.

Ready to start sewing? Cutting out is my least favorite part of a project, so that’s done. Yay!!

Teeth:
Yes, oddly, I did the teeth first because they will be sewn into the body and the hood. So I just drew myself a simple pattern and cut 20 or so teeth pieces out of some white canvas I had lying around (you could use any white fabric that has some stiffness to it – you don’t want your monster teeth to be wimpy). Right sides together, sew the top and sides. Clip curves, turn out, press. I then top stitched each tooth to finish them off.

IMG_3884

Hood:
Next, I worked on the hood. I added just one thickness of batting to the hood. Layer purple fabric and batting together (baste if you would like) and sew right sides together down the center back. Trim, clip curves, press.

IMG_3890

Then separately, sew the right sides of the gray fabric together down the center back. Trim, clip curves, press.

Then place right sides together of the purple and gray adding the teeth in between (you could baste the teeth to the gray fabric ahead of time) and sew together. Trim, press the teeth down.

IMG_3891

Top stitch along the front edge of the hood. Then, about 3/4 inch from the edge of the top of the hood, top stitch across the face of the hood a channel where you can insert boning to give the hood structure. Slip boning in.

IMG_3892

Set aside. Finishing the hood will be the final step.

Note: In order to get the teeth to stay down like I wanted, I put binding clips on the hood to reinforce good behavior. 🙂

IMG_3893IMG_3894

We’ll finish Boo in Part III. Until then, happy creating!

–h