Sew All the Presents:: Head Warmer from P4P

The girls at Patterns for Pirates have put together another week of Freebies for the holiday season!  Five new tutorials will be coming your way this week, and they're all super fun, quick and easy, and perfect for gift-giving (or for making for yourself!). 

Today's freebie is this super awesome head warmer

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This little thing was a super popular make during testing! 

Maybe because it's magical. 

Because it's not just a head band . . . 

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It's also a neck warmer . . . 

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Or you can untwist it into a messy bun hat! 

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Yes, please.

I'm going to need one in every color for dropping G off at 3k in the mornings, haha.  

The head warmers come together so stinkin' fast, and they're perfect for scraps!! Since I primarily sew apparel for myself, sometimes I end up with such big "scrap" pieces . . . this headwarmer is a great way to sew through that pile and start scratching names off your gift-giving list!  (You get a head warmer, and you get a head warmer, and YOU get a head warmer . . .) 

I used sweater knit (which is perfect and cozy), but I know brushed poly was another fabric favorite when we tested these out, and Lord knows, I have plenty of brushed poly scraps, haha. 

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I loved sewing and crafting along with the rest of the Pirate tester team on these projects-- it was so fun to get into the holiday spirit with everyone!  Head over to the tutorial on the P4P site, and make sure you check back over there each day this week for a new freebie!  

I'll be back on Thursday to share another one of my own makes :)

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Fall for Crochet: Extra Large Hook Infinity Scarf

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For whatever reason, ever since I got pregnant, I've been wanting to crochet.  I mean I was yearning to crochet.  It was so weird! Honestly, I've never been super into yarn-ish crafts, though I have toyed around with them at different points-- knitting, crocheting, and even a feverish two months of using those dang Knifty Knitters to make all my Christmas presents (completed while binge watching all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, I might add).  So, while I've been adding plenty of baby items to my list of crochet projects, in typical me-fashion, I took a selfish approach to my first go back on the hook.  The end result was this ultra chunky infinity scarf, in this gorgeous burnt red-- perfect for fall!

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I was really excited to try something new and different, so I picked up this GIANT 25mm (size U) hook.  I couldn't believe how big this thing was.  I mean, look how big it is in my hand! 

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The size hook works great with t-shirt yarn and ultra bulky yarn (one or two  or strands, depending on how thick your yarn is).  But for this project, I worked EIGHT strands of the Red Heart Super Saver yarn.  

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I used four skeins of yarn, and pulled from the outside and the inside of each one.  

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Obviously, you need to be careful about not getting your strands tangled up, or you're going to have a big mess.  I set my skeins up in this crate and gave my boys a serious talking to about what would happen if the crate was disrupted- ha!

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You also need to be careful that you're getting all eight strands when you pull through.  I'd stop and count quite frequently when I felt like I missed a strand.   If you happen to miss a strand, you'll end up with a large loop like this . . .

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Just work it back in, and redistribute that extra yarn into the stitch, and you won't notice it ;) 

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I double crocheted the whole project.  My finished scarf was 12 inches wide by 39 inches long.  But the width was really rather large.  I did 10 stitches wide, but you could easily get away with  6 or 7 (see the end of the post for all the specific details on creating it!).  Because it's so bulky, you actually don't want it too thick, because it isn't very flexible/drapey.  Because mine was so thick, I made it longer than what I was expecting.  If you make yours a bit more narrow, you'll be able to get away with less length.  Just try it on when you're getting close and you can decide along the way how long you want it!

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You could easily work the ends together to make it a true infinity scarf . . .

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But I love the addition of buttons to use as a closure instead.  Choose buttons that are big enough to work with the size of your spaces between the stitches.    

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I love how it turned out!  The big hook means this project goes fast.  Honestly, just like with sewing, I appreciate a project I can finish in an afternoon-- I love the immediate sense of accomplishment. 

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And since this is just made up of double crochet, it's an easy beginner project!  Whether you're brand new at crocheting, or if you just need a crochet refresher I recommend a trip to YouTube. It's so easy to figure out when following along with the videos!  For some intro videos, check out Simply Daisy (Part One on chain stitching and single crochet and Part Two on half double, double, and triple crochet).  

Here are all the dirty details on the project.  I'm excited to try out my new hook on some new items this fall.  Thanks for hanging around! 

Materials

Directions: 

  • Chain stitch 13
  • Yarn over and insert the hook into the fourth chain from the hook, complete the double crochet. 
  • Double crochet each loop all the way to the end.
  • *Chain three for a turning stitch 
  • Double crochet each loop in the row, beginning with the second loop (ie: skip the first loop). 
  • Repeat from *
  • Continue until you reach your desired length.
  • Finish off. 
  • Sew the two ends together with extra yarn and a tapestry needle to complete the infinity scarf OR use coordinating thread and sew buttons onto one end of the scarf to fasten to the other end. 

As I mentioned above, you may want your scarf more narrow than mine.  I'd consider only chaining 9 or 10 in the first step. 

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DIY Screen Printing :: Using your Silhouette

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Watch out, HTV, I have a new obsession when it comes to my graphic tees!

While HTV gives you clean, sharp lines, I love the vintage look of screen printing.  There are a few ways to get the job done, but if you have a Silhouette (or other cut machine) you have a fast and easy way to create your own screen printed shirts.  This is a great method for a DIY crafter who wants to do super small batches. 

I could have (should have?) documented the process once I mastered it . . . but I was feeling bold, so I decided to take pictures along the way to show you the FIRST time I tried this method of screen printing. You'll see the shirts aren't perfect, but they're a total success for a first go around.  And I will mention that: don't expect perfection the first time! Use a cheap shirt for practice so you can get a feel for it.  

I've been wanting to try out screen printing for a while now, and for $30 I was able to buy everything I needed (the frame, paint, and squeegee, all of which I bought on Amazon).  If you're like me and have been Silhouette-ing for a while now, you probably only need a few extra supplies. 

I use a Silhouette Cameo 3 and this heat press (optional) for my work.  

Here's what else you need:

I did two designs-- I Can Make That is a file from my friend Katy over at Thread and Grain, and the Old Fashioned one is my own design (I'm really not sure if people still drink brandy outside of Wisconsin . . . ha!). 

I used Oracle 651. You cut the design like normal (NO mirroring like you would with HTV). 

When you weed your design, you will weed out the areas where you want the paint to be (so again, opposite of what you'd be doing if you were HTVing it). 

Next, apply your transfer tape, the same way you normally would.  The squeegee was great for this whole transfer tape process!

Next, apply the vinyl to the screen. The vinyl goes on the recessed side of the screen (that is to say, within the frame itself). Again, the squeegee was a lot of help. Go slow. It's tricky to get the vinyl to stay adhered to the screen.  I don't do much with vinyl, so I found this step excruciating. If you've done a lot of work with regular vinyl, you'll probably do better than me. 

Now cover all your extra screen with painters tape. You can get right up onto the wood frame at this step.  You don't want your paint to be able to seep through onto the shirt, so make sure you get every bit of space! 

Alright! We're ready to go!  I centered the design on my shirt, and got my squeegee and paint ready. 

Side note: I've since marked the centers on all sides of my screen, so that it's easier for me to center my vinyl onto the screen, and the screen onto my shirt. I highly recommend it. 

Pour a line of paint across the top of the design. 

Using your squeegee, smoothly glide the paint down in an even stroke, making sure to hit all areas of the design. If you have a second people, it's great to have one person hold the frame firmly down. 

I decided to use my second person to take pictures. Oh well. 

But really, it's super helpful to have one person hold the frame down. You need more pressure that I did here. But that's part of the learning curve. You'll learn a feel for the squeegee and how much pressure you need. 

The excess paint on the squeegee can be put back into the container for next time. You'll get a lot of shirts out of this jar of paint!

Lift up the frame, and voila!

All the pictures in this tutorial are from my FIRST attempt at the process.  I've cleaned up since then and worked out my technique and have learned a feel for the squeegee, but you can see these are still totally a success.  I had the expectation that my first go around would be awful, so I was SO happy that I considered both of these totally wearable. 

You do want to wash your frame right away, because the paint starts to dry fairly quickly.  I immediately applied my second deisgn and went in for round two. 

Leave the shirts to dry-- it doesn't take all that long. I came back after an episode of The Path and they were good to go. I used my heat press on them for 20 seconds at 320 degrees. You can also use an iron, or even turn them inside out and put them in the dryer. However you do it, you want to apply some heat so that the paint can set. 

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This one didn't turn out as good, but it still worked out.  

I was seriously all kinds of stoked.  

Wear it loud, wear it proud! This is such a cool alternative to HTV.  And while gold HTV will always hold a place in my heart, expect to see a lot more black and white screen prints from me! <3

Did you try it? Let me know how it goes! 

Silhouette Cameo -- Starter Bundle
$219.99
Silhouette America

Five Minute Headband

This post goes out to my non-sewing friends-- those of you that have a sewing machine, but don't know what to do with it! This is such an fast and easy project, not to mention a great way to bust through some scraps and change up a look with a new accessory.  So go ahead and give it a whirl! 

I already posted about the beautiful panels I received from Smoogie Fabric and Design, but I thought I'd show you how easy it was to make that headband! This panel was the smallest size-- just 11 x 19 inches. 

First up, you need to decide what size rectangle to cut for your  headband.

If you measure your head circumference and multiply that number by .85, you'll end up with the perfect length.  For example, my head circumference is 23.5 . . . mulitply that by .85, and I end up with 20 inches for my length! 

My head is big. 

My hair is too. 

Or skip the math, and use these numbers as a general rule:

  • Newborn: 12 inches
  • Infant: 13-14 inches
  • Toddler: 15-16 inches
  • Child: 17 inches
  • Adult/Teen: 18-20 inches

Your width is up to you! How thick do you want your headband? Remember that when you're finished, it will be half the width of what you cut. Four inches is a good place to start for a newborn or infant.  

Since this panel was 11 x 19, it was actually the PERFECT length for a nice, wide adult headband!

So, first up, I cut off the yucky curled edges and most of the selvdge (remember, I have that big head . . . so I needed the extra length, and I knew the white selvedge woudld be covered up at the end anyway.  

How awful is that cutting mat of mine? My kids paint on it :( 

Next I folded it in half, right sides together and sewed down the long edge, making a tube. 

I used my serger because I love it so, but this project is totally made for a sewing machine. 

Turn your tube right sides out and head over to the ironing board. 

Press the headband so that the seam is in the center of the back side of the headband. 

Now, fold it together again, right sides together, and sew the two short sides together.

Again, I used a serger, but feel free to use a sewing machine. 

Turn that baby right sides out, and the main piece of your headband is ready to go!

Now we just need to cover up that ugly seam because it's going to end up being front and center!

You can use a coordinating fabric, or even a piece of ribbon. 

I used coordinating fabric, cut into a piece 2 x 5 inches (I should have done it wider though, since my headband is so wide. At least 3 X 5 would have been better). I wanted it plenty long enough, because it's easy to cut off the extra, but it's not easy if it's too short to begin with. I did the same method of sewing it together down the long side, and then turning it right side out. 

Here is my headband and the centerpiece, both all ready to go.  I used clips to scrunch up the main piece of the headband to make it easier for me to put the centerpiece on. 

Wrap the centerpiece around the main piece of the headband and either hand sew it together or even use hot glue (we're not trying to impress anyone here, ha!). You're using the centerpiece to make a circle around the headband; you aren't actually attaching this piece to the headband at all. When it's attached, twist/rotate/turn it around so that the stitching or glue is facing the backside of the headband. 

And voila! Easy peasy!

The longest part was probably waiting for your iron to warm up!

Now put it on and smile at your masterpiece!

Or, in my case, use it to cover up the fact that I'm on day two of dry shampooing ;) 

Don't forget to check out the original post on all the panels I sewed up!

DIY Easter Egg Bath Bombs

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Guys, this is so easy and fun! I just adore bath bombs. I buy them from a super sweet shop, but I've also made them on my own a couple times now. If you haven't experienced the goodness that is bath bombs, you're missing out. They're anywhere from ping-pong-ball-sized to pool-ball-sized, and you toss them in your bath-- they fizz up, smell amazing, and make your skin soft.  Just add a glass of wine and you're at the ultimate of relaxation.   

I've mentioned before that I'm the creative activities leader for my moms' group. Making bath bombs is something I've wanted to do for ages. Well, I've finally set us up to make them next week . . . but I won't even be there!  Ah, well, such is life. I had to make a practice round or two on my own anyway to make sure everything goes smoothly for them. This is a great activity for a girls' night, slumber party, or a large group craft like at my moms' group.  

Today, I'm showing you how we used the plastic Easter Eggs to form the bath bombs. However, there are actual bath bomb molds that you can buy on Amazon (here's a great set on Amazon that I ordered, or these look good too, if you wanted different sizes), or another good option is to line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and press the mixture into them. 

Bath bombs take some time to dry, so using the Easter eggs as molds is perfect for my moms' group-- they're an affordable option to allow the moms to take them home in the eggs, and let the bomb dry out at home (no car or purse  messes along the way!).  I'm going to have each small table make their own batch and mold them at their own tables. 

Ingredients (yields approximately 1 dozen Easter egg sized bath bombs)
Please see the bottom of the post for notes on supplies.  

  • 1 1/2 Cups Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Cup Citric Acid*
  • 3/4 Cup Epsom Salts**
  • 2 tsp Water
  • 1 tsp Essential Oil*** 
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (melted)
  • Food coloring, if desired 

Step One: In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients together.

Step Two: In a small bowl, mix your wet ingredients together. I love using lavender essential oils for mine. Rosemary is another relaxing scent, and citrus oils work well too.  I do like to add food coloring, but you don't have to. Just 4-ish drops is perfect in my opinion.  And it's diluted enough, you won't have to worry about it staining your tub or turning your bath water the bright blue. 

Step Three: SLOWLY add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Do this little by little. Using a spoon to drip it in works nicely. If you go too fast, your mixture will fizz and bubble, which is what you don't want. I found that it works best to have one person whisk the dry ingredients while a second person slowly drops the wet ingredients in.  When you're finished adding it, the mixture will be very crumbly . . . almost sandy.  When you pick it up and press it, it should retain some shape--then you know it's the right consistency. 

Step Four: Pack your molds. Press the mixture into the eggs like brown sugar. Press very firmly. Make sure it's absolutely full when you're closing it because you want the two halves to connect and dry together. Work quickly so the remaining mixture doesn't dry out.  

Step Five: Let dry for a few minutes.  Carefully remove half the egg and then the other. You should allow them to dry outside of the mold.  Let completely dry for 24 hours before using. (For me, I'm having people transport their eggs home closed . . . if you were just doing this at home, I'd recommend sooner than that time frame.)

So, how fun are these?! Package them up in cellophane and add them to your Easter baskets. Or how cute would it be to fill an empty egg carton with these and gift them to a friend?!  Or just hoard them all for yourself and enjoy a sweet bath. Hope you enjoyed this tutrorial-- I can't wait to see how it goes for my moms' group! <3 

Notes on supplies: 

*Citric Acid is pricey here in the stores, so I order this pack on Amazon. 5 pounds is a lot! I wanted to make sure that I'm able to make at least 75 bath bombs. If you have smaller bath bomb goals than I do, here's a 2 pound bag.  

** Epsom Salts! So there are scented epsom salts, and plain epsom salts. Go plain, or your essential oils will be rendered useless. The plain ones are by the pharmacy stuff, the scented ones are typically by the bubble bath. 

*** Essential oils. I'm not here to tell you what kind is "best" or argue for or against them. But, statement of fact: they smell nice. If you want to use the pricey name brand kind, go for it. If you want to use some from Walmart, go for it. I'm not gonna judge. It's just for the scent. It's not like you're eating it ;)  If you want to skip the essential oils, you could try the scented Epsom salts. I haven't tried it, but it could work to replace the EOs with more coconut oil and use the scented Epson salts as your scent. It could be worth a try if you weren't in to the EO thing. 

 

 

DIY Knotted Bracelets

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I'm so happy with how these bracelets turned out!  I'm going to be leading this craft with my moms' group, so I had some friends over last week to try it out. It was a fun little project and so easy too.  I think they're totally on trend and the perfect finishing touch to your spring wardrobe. Let's get started! 

Here is your supply list (see the end of the post for specific notes): 

  • A heavy weight yarn, or light rope
  • Ribbon clamps
  • Jump Rings
  • Clasps
  • Sharp scissors or shears
  • Pliers (I recommend both Linesman and jewelry or needle nose) 
  • Lighter (if you're using synthetic fibers)

 

Step One: Cut 4 pieces of yarn, measuring 13 inches each. 

Step Two: Take one piece and lay it like this:

Step Three: Take a second piece and lay it out like this:

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Step Four: You're going to take the top piece (that I'm pointing to) and go across the loop, going under (a), over (b), and under (c). Follow the picture and the arrow! 

Now it should look like this! 

Step Five: Incorporate the other two strands into your knot, one at a time, following the existing strands. Here's what it looked like after I added the third strand, getting ready to add the forth: 

And after all four strands are worked in:

Step Six: Now that all four strands are incorporated in the knot, tighten it. You'll want to do this evenly. I usually have to to tighten and loosen and reshape until it's laying nice like how I want it. 

Step Seven: Now compare the bracelet to your wrist, and cut off any extra length. Using the sharp shears, trim the ends so that they are all the exact same length. If you're using a synthetic fiber, burn the edges with a lighter or match until they are melted. If you are using an all-natural fiber, consider using a product like Fray Check or glue at the ends.  Here you can see one strand before it's been burned and one strand afterwards. Treating the ends to prevent fraying is highly recommended! Otherwise you'll end up with little pieces sticking out of your clamps over time.  

Step Eight:  One side at a time, line up the four strands inside of a ribbon clamp. Make sure the entirety of each strand is inside of the clamp-- you only get one chance to get this part right! Using a pliers (I recommend a linesman, because it's perfect for these larger ribbon clamps!), press down evenly, closing the clamp. You want the teeth of the clamp to grab the strands of yarn.  Repeat on the other side. 

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Step Nine: Using a jewelry pliers or similar small pliers, add the jump rings, clasps, and/or extender chains. You can see that I used the extenders for the pink bracelet, as well as the cream/white colored one. For the other two, I simply used the clasp and the jump ring. 

You can use just two strands to make a single version like the blue one above.

You can also play around with the colors-- make them all one color, or mix and match colors! 

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I love how they turned out! Next time I'm going to use more of a rope material to make a more nautical-inspired one! OR, I'm going to try it with fabric scraps to coordinate with an outfit I've sewn up! 

If you make one, make sure you let me know how it goes! <3 

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A couple notes on the supplies:

  • I do recommend a synthetic yarn of some sort. What's nice about it is that you can burn the ends so it doesn't fray.  I tried this bracelets with a 100% cotton rope, and it didn't take long for me to have frayed edges peaking out from the sides of my clamps. The yarn I used is from Hobby Lobby, it's a 6 (super bulky) and is 58% Polyester, 42% Acrylic. 
  • As far as size of the crimps goes, I bought my yarn ahead of time and measured it. I knew there would be four raw edges on each end, so I cut four strips of yarn and measured it. Using this particular yarn, I needed size 20 mm crimp ends. If I did the single version, instead of the double version, the 10 mm crimp ends were perfect.
  • I've been trying to make these bracelet's for over a year! My problem was that I knew how to do the knot, but I could never find the right hard wear to finish it off (the ribbon crimps). My local craft stores (HobLob, Michael's and Jo-Ann's) didn't carry any ribbon clamps large enough. I finally found this on Amazon (click the picture below)-- it's perfect. It has everything needed to finish the bracelets, all organized in a sweet little box: the clamps, jump rings, and clasps all in both gold and silver.  I absolutely recommend it for your craft supply collection! However, for my mom's group (30-40 people attending, I'm likely ordering sets from Etsy, so I can order bulk the exact size clasps I need. Just search for ribbon crimps or clamps, in whatever size you need.
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