Posts Tagged ‘tutorials’

T-shirt redo & Logo Busting

July 15th, 2011 by zoe 1 Comment

We get lot’s of hand-me-downs, in fact, most of my children’s clothing has been preloved.  I love that – especially because it removes me from having to shop and spend money, or worry about them getting dirty. Not to mention they go through them so fast – just last week I brought a car load of clothes to the Goodwill!  They love to choose their outfits and dress themselves and I have zero interest in getting involved  (perhaps this is somewhat obvious in noticing their mismatched socks and multi patterned ensembles). In truth, I have cherry picked from those wonderful hand-me-down bags carefully selecting the contents of their dresser. You see, I have gotten sick of all the logo’s and team sports, all the drab colors. I guess I just wish little boy clothes were funkier – rather than miniature versions of the latest men’s fashions. There is plenty of time for them to wear the uniform of manhood – um.. hunter green, navy blue, and heathered gray!  At four, I want their clothes to be bright and fun, imaginative and funky. Just like them!

After sorting through a gifted bag of second-hand clothes last night there was a giant stack of really nice shirts all sporting lots of ink and graphics. I got an idea for logo busting.


Note here – a perfectly good shirt sporting a nonexistent varsity football team.

Quick as can be it is now an ultra funky and bright custom star shirt!

It’s pretty darn simple – just cut shapes from old t-shirts and hand stitch them over logo’s, stains or images you just don’t care to broadcast across your children’s chest. I used colorful embroidery floss and stitched it somewhat wildly adding bits of ornamental stitching along the way.

Now how sweet and cute is that, there is plenty of time for them to play varsity football, no?

Woodworking With Kids

July 11th, 2011 by zoe 1 Comment

Kids love doing wood working projects. They don’t have to be complicated or sophisticated to give children a sense of pride and accomplishment.  Just the opportunity to use real tools always gets my children very focused and engaged – I love that!

We have been having a lot of fun with peg people lately. They are great for imaginative play and are the perfect size to fit into most of the toys we already own! Wooden peg dolls can be found at most craft stores (look for them in the unpainted wood section). This shop  Clickity Clack carries a quite a large variety and an impressive assortment of other neat unpainted natural toys.

With some scraps of wood and a few nails we made floating motorboats for our little friends.  I will share the pattern but you could use most any shape of wood and have lots of fun. Any cast off chunk of wood with holes drilled into it could turn into something fun for peg people – a car, plane, or submarine perhaps!

We traced our boat pattern on two 1″ thick pieces of wood scrap. Next we cut out two boat shapes – we used a chop saw but many tools could accomplish this job. I then drilled 1″ holes that would fit my peg dolls completely through only ONE of the boat shapes. We used roofing nails to hammer the two pieces together because their big flat heads make an easy target for young children. I give my boys a ball peen hammer to finish the nailing job because it’s a bit lighter and easier for them to handle. We got out some acrylic paints and decorated them with color. Next we trooped off to the stream and set them afloat. And float they did, our peg people are quite the boaters. Next time we will have to try adding a mast and sewn sails.

Click photo, save to file and print.

Kids Swimwear Tutorial

June 30th, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

Yesterday the boys went to the lake, I stayed home and sewed them up some new swim trunks. They are a tad picky about their swimwear. They don’t like baggy traditional trunks and instead prefer little Euro style shorts.  Mini Boden sells some that are crazy cute but I just couldn’t afford to buy them. Years ago, when I was a young thing, I  sewed all my own bikini’s – I had dreams of starting my own swimwear empire in California!  Ha Ha!

Recently some friends were ogling the cute girl’s swimsuit tutorial over at No Big Dill and I thought, hey, I can just sew up some boy trunks myself!  I’m not afraid of spandex!! So I traced out a  pattern and here are the new pirate trunks for my little mates.  98% of the boys clothes are hand-me-downs so it’s really rare to see them dressed in matching outfits – kind of adorable, no?

Matching the stripes, I cut 2 front and 2 back pieces for each pair of shorts. Next I stitched and serged the bum and crotch seams.

Then I added a little applique, stitched & serged the sides seams and inside crotch seam. I serged the raw edges of  the top waistband and the legs holes. Next I hemmed the legs with a zig-zag stitch.

I cut a strip for the waistband to measure about 2″  inches narrower than the finished shorts.  The waistband for a 4-5T measured about 181/2″ long by about 2 1/2″ wide, I folded it in half and stitched the ends together leaving a gap to pull elastic through.

I folded the waistband over to make a casing for the elastic and serged it around the bottom edge, pinned it to the shorts – stretching the waistband slightly while pinning to evenly disperse the waistband taper, and then stitched the waistband in place (ensuring my elastic hole faced to the inside).  Next I ran my 1″ elastic through the waistband hole and sewed the ends together. Lastly, I hand stitched the elastic hole in the waistband closed.

The striped fabric was purchased at a local fabric store but if you head on over to Katy’s blog No Big Dill you can find some links to find swimwear spandex fabric online.

The black waistband fabric was recycled from one of my workout shirts, it had a couple of funny seams but they aren’t noticeable in the finished shorts. If you are using a really thin fabric you might want to line the shorts, this stuff was really thick and just didn’t need it.

Next time I think I will choose a dark color spandex, the lake is kind of dirty this year and um… my boys are kind of dirty too!

Let me know if you have any questions, it’s a pretty basic pattern so I didn’t want to over word it  – I could also post up a pattern for the shorts (size 4-5T) if anyone is interested just let me know!

Now off to the lake!



Hanging Children’s Artwork

June 28th, 2011 by zoe 3 Comments

The kids have piles and piles of cute little drawing they have done for me that I really do love.  The question always is, WHAT THE HECK to do with it all.

The other night while I should have been sleeping I had this idea and here it is …..

I just sewed strips of fabric onto the tops of the pictures and threaded them with dowel rods and sticks with the bark peeled of. I then strung them up with an assortment of ribbon, rick rack and fabric.  Getting a little carried away I also stacked some colorful flowers cut from felt onto the tacks!

I can see reusing the wooden hangers and easily swapping out the artwork by simply sewing new strips of fabric to the top. Slide on new art work and you have an easy way to display the kids paintings.  I bought these old sheet music scores from the 20′s at a tag sale and couldn’t really get myself to frame them  – now they look kind of fun hanging with the boys drawings.

Make a Magic Paintbrush

June 26th, 2011 by zoe 11 Comments

I cleaned out my basement this week – AMAZING!

Lot’s of stuff went to the dump but I got this idea for recycling the  crusty old paint brushes into something fun.


Recycled T-Shirt Baby Hat

June 23rd, 2011 by zoe 20 Comments

This sweet little baby hat makes a charming gift and can be stitched from simple stuff found around the house. All you need are a couple of old t-shirts, some dental floss, straight pins, a needle and an hour of time to spare. This Alabama Stitch Book inspired cap fits 4 to 18 months.

Click pattern, save to file, print, and start stitching to make your own hand sewn baby cap.