Sunday, April 1, 2012

Up-Cycled Cork Board Tutorial

This weekend was a lazy one but we did do a little cleaning and moving around. Me and my husband like to play musical chairs with our house so for the third time since we moved into our home 1.5 years ago we moved our bedroom into another room in the house. 

We really don't have a very big house so its not like we have endless options so lets hope third time is a charm, this also means that my future craft room is only a "queen bed removal away". 

Anyways during our moving around we located our old ugly cork board that we still use from time to time but never had a place to put mainly because it was just too darn ugly to hang on any wall. So what is one to do? Well instead of throwing it out and buying a new one we decided to do a little up-cycling and turn it into something aesthetically pleasing, and if you would like to know how have a look below. 

Up-Cycled Cork Board Tutorial

What you need:

  • An old cork board
  • Trim (if your board does not have it already)
  • White paint
  • Fabric to fit your board
  • Sewing machine to edge stitch 
  • Staple gun or fun thumbnails for keeping fabric in place

Start with an old cork board. Ours had a nice little border frame on it already but if yours doesn't you can certainly add it using trim wood from any lumber or home depot type of store.

First step is to paint it with some white trim paint (or other fun color you prefer). You could use any paint, you may just have to add another coat if two coats doesn't do the trick.

We decided to paint the whole board white so that the brown cork would not shine through my very thin yellow fabric, we just did one coat of white on the actual board, and two coats for the border, if you are using a thicker fabric you can omit this step and just paint the border.

Leave the board to dry for several hours or overnight. Go to work on your fabric in the meantime.
Measure your fabric and cut it carefully with an 0.5" seam allowance. Make sure that your fabric is straight, my cut was off slightly making it look a bit crocket, something to be more careful of next time.
Do an overlock or zig zag stitch all the way around your fabric and place it on your board (when your board is completely dry)
Bend the edge of the fabric (the part that you made an overlock or zig zag stitch on) under itself to hide the stitch.
(Picture left side has been bend, bottom have not)
Get out your staple gun and place staples all the way around. You could also use fun thumbnails to keep the fabric in place if you want to avoid seeing staples on your board.
Now all you have to do is hang your new board and you are ready to pin whatever you like, and if you like this post feel free to Pinterest it :)


Friday, March 30, 2012

Tie tutorial just in time for Easter

It is almost Easter and I have been busy making matching dresses for my girls. They turned out great and I even made myself a fun little shirt in the same fabric to go with the theme, but with all of us girls matching what about daddy for Easter?... So I though a tie for him would be perfect to go with our cute outfits. I searched online for tutorials and came across a couple of boys tie tutorials but I knew I wanted something a little more clean looking and adult sized. I decided to take one of my husbands tie's and start from scratch. Here is my tutorial to share with anyone interested:

What you need:

  • 1/2 yard of fabric (maybe less) pending on how you cut it
  • Interfacing - I used medium fusible but would chose heavy weight next time
  • A lining or coordinating fabric for the back (you can use the same fabric but its a nice touch to add a different fabric)
  • Normal sewing items

Make your pattern:
I want to offer this super easy pattern to download but my printer/scanner is busted so until I get a new one there is no way I can upload it, so for now I'll just show you how you can make the pattern yourself.

Start by grabbing a tie that you like (Don't mind the ugly christmas tie that I used). Place it down on a piece of paper, I used two that I connected with tape. Use your ruler and draw all the angles of the tie.

Next measure the width of the backside of the tie and add this measurement to your pattern (as if it was unfolded already)

Your pattern should look something like this now (sorry its not easier to see)

Next add your seem allowance. I used 5/8" but if you want to use 0.5" thats fine too as long as you know which one you did, a good thing is to note this down on your pattern so you don't forget for next time you want to make it.

Even though you just made a full tie pattern its time to cut it down the middle, this will ensure that both your sides are exactly the same when you cut your fabric. You cut it on the fold om your fabric to make it the same. 

Next step is cutting the fabric for the neck portion (the rest of the tie). So measure your tie, I think mine was 40" from where my pattern left off. Cut a strip of fabric about 4" wide) pending on how thick your tie is. Put this fabric to the side for now.

Now its time to cut the fabric from your pattern. Place the pattern on the fabric and cut it on the fold. 

Your cut fabric should look like this

Next cut your interfacing. Again you can use your pattern, you just use the inner part of your pattern (before adding the backside width and seam allowance). You don't need a seam allowance on the fusible interfacing. 

The last piece of fabric you need to cut is your matching fabric for the backside of the tie, I used a coordinating white fabric and again I was able to use my pattern. Just cut it on the fold using only the bottom portion of the pattern, but cut about 4" up, it should look like the fabric in the right side of the picture. 

Now its time to assemble the tie. Place your tie fabric and coordinating fabric right sides facing, pin it and sew it, only the portion that I pinned in the picture.  Flip it inside out after trimming the edges to remove extra bulk. 

Now you have something like this before pressing it. 

Now press it really nicely and fuse your interfacing to the inside of the tie (inside the little pocked you created). Press the tie sides to line up with the interfacing and open up the tie again (see picture)

Now its time to connect the tie and neck fabric portion, line the two fabrics up together. If you are using fabric with pattern make sure they line up nicely so it does not look too obvious that its two parts connected, don't sew it yet. 

Put the fabrics right sides together and sew, I also did a zig zig stitch for extra strength. 

At this point you should have a really long tie. With the wrong side out place the tie in half and pin it all the way down. Sew the tie with your previously determined stitch allowance.

When done sewing it its finally time to flip over your tie to reveal your result. The easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the one end and guide it through the fabric while slowly pulling the fabric along with it.

And there you have it, the finished tie, press it and enjoy your new creation. The only thing missing is closing up the top end of the tie but you can do that after fitting it on your man to make sure its not too long for him. 

All in all it took me less then an hour to create this including the pattern so its a perfect nap time project.

Oh and here is a picture of the cute Easter dresses I made for my girls, now the whole family is ready for Easter :)

If you have any questions or comments about this projects please post them and I'll be happy to answer them.

Thanks for viewing.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Skirt, Hat tutorial and flower power dress

It has been a busy couple of weeks trying out new sewing projects found on Pinterest. Not sure what I did with my time before discovering Pinterest, but I know my house was a heck of a lot cleaner! At least my girls are dressed in style and are ready for Spring that will be arriving very very soon.

So have a look at the projects below and click on the link to find the amazing people who offered these great tutorials.

Funky Summer Skirt Tutorial:

I though mine turned out pretty well, but I must admit that I was not a fan of the process of making this one. I think next time I will create the skirt first and then add the ruffles afterwards rather then making up the 3 different layers of band and ruffle  and then connecting them, as the tutorial calls for.

Summer hat made to fit Tutorial

Okay so this one I don't have a link for but it is such an easy and quick sew that anyone can do it, I will take pictures next time I do the hat and attach it to this following tutorial for a visual.

1. Start with about 1/2 yard of fabric, you may be able to get away with a fat quater pending on your childs head size.

2. Measure head, my daughters was 17 inch, add 2 inches to that and cut a strip of fabric about 3 inches wide (or how ever wide you want the hat).

3. French seam the stip of fabric - click here for tutorial on french seam

4. Find a bowl that fits on top of your kids head and use it to trace on the fabric, cut the circle and attach it to the hat.

5. Cut another strip of fabric at least 0.5 times as large as your childs head (so 17 x 0.5 = 25.5 inch), the longer the band the more ruffled it will be. Before attaching this strip either serge the edge or hem it, I hemmed it. Then attach to the hat in equal ruffle parts.

6. Your done, go try it out and enjoy.

Ballet Skirt

My oldest daughter had her 1st ballet recital and even though proper attire was not required I decided to make her a ballet skirt as she was the only one without one up until then. It turned out a little longer then I wanted it, but I can always re-hem it later, for now it will do and most importantly she really loves it. 

Dress for Sale - Size 2-3 T

I made this dress with the intention of selling it, I personally think it turned out great, it is my own design and I'm pretty proud of it. I have every intention to sell it, but just haven't gotten around to post it anywhere yet, and not sure if I ever will. I'm thinking Etsy as I already have a store on there for my children's art. I do find that its hard with the competition out there. There are so many super talented people with great stuff on Etsy but really how to you price these things? The amount of work that goes into it would make it a $150 dollar dress but I'll be lucky to get $30. So I guess my question is this, what would you pay for a homemade dress when you can go to any store and pick out an equally cute dress for less then $20 bucks. Put your answer in the comments below.

If it never end up selling at least one of my girls will have another cute dress for their growing collection.

I was fooling around with Picasa's new image settings and found these fun ones to apply to the images

Friday, March 2, 2012


So this week I'm making hairbands. I have lots of left over fabrics from my recent dress projects and with limited time on hand these cute little hairbands are the perfect way to spend a free hour while the kids are napping.