Crafty Kitchen: Turkey Cookies

There are lots of turkey cookie recipes out there, but I wanted to come up with one that was easy and didn’t involve and baking so kids could easily be…

Fabric Corner Bookmarks

Some friends living in South Korea tipped me off to a trend they’ve seen in stores: the corner bookmark. These slide-on bookmarks can be made from fabric or paper, and…

Fabric Pumpkins Tutorial

Looking for an easy DIY pumpkin? Look no further! Here’s a cute way to make them out of fabric. You could even have an older child make or help make…

Thanksgiving Place Setting Printables

Is everyone getting ready for food and family? I know we are around here! To help dress up our Thanksgiving place settings I designed a few printables. There’s the menu:…

Broken Herringbone Quilt

My younger sister and her husband are expecting their first baby next month and it’s a girl! For their baby shower, I made them a quilt with matching pillow and…

Tutorial: Appliqued Baby Onesies

A friend had a baby shower last weekend and I was so excited to make something for her and her little boy! I decided to do a set of embroidered baby onesides along with a combination changing pad and diaper pouch.

I found this great set of onesies at Old Navy just a couple weeks ago. They were available in blues, pinks and neutrals. I liked that they had a little bit of a design and contrasting piping around the edges without having so much going on that they’d distract from my applique. The fabric is from the Dwell Studio line at JoAnns and is a heavier home decor weight.

Check out my other post on how to make an applique if you need some guidance.

Basically I followed those instructions and then finished off the design by stitching around each image. I couldn’t decide on a straight stitch or a zig zag and actually ended up doing both. For some of the trickier turns I had to turn the sewing maching wheel by hand or go very slowly. I also had to put the needle down and raise the foot to turn the fabric around quite a bit. If you click on the photo below you can see a larger version of it where you can see the stitches better.
And they’re ready for the baby shower. Now they just need a chubby little baby in them!
And if you need more ideas, you can find my instructions for a matching diaper pouch and changing pad here!

Tutorial: Plum Peachy Ruffled Pillow

I’ve had the idea for this pillow for a few months and the pillow contest at Sew Mama Sew was the motivation I needed to get me going. The inspiration was Anthropologie’s Smoldering Hues Shower Curtain.

The ruffles in this pillow are all knit fabrics. I thought this would be a fast and easy project and whenever I think that, I’m nearly always wrong. I had to visit 3 fabric stores to find enough shades in the orange/red/purple range to make this work. Once I finally found all my fabrics the sewing part wasn’t too difficult. I used an 18″ pillow form and a cotton fabric for the pillow case.

So, here’s how we get started. For the front of the pillow you’ll cut 7 strips of fabric for the ruffles. Using a rotary cutter, cutting mat and T square will make this a lot easier than scissors. The top ruffle will be 3 3/4″ x 36″ and the rest of the ruffles will be 3 3/8″ x 36″. For any of these photos you should be able to click on them for a larger view.
Cut a 20″ square for the backing fabric. You can also cut it larger and hem in the sides to 20″ if you want to avoid any fraying. Even though your final pillow case needs to be 18″, starting with 20″ gives you a little extra room in case the fabric scrunches up a bit when you add your ruffles.

To make the ruffles put your sewing maching on the largest stitch setting. If you can reduce the tension without causing problems stitching do that as well. Stitch along the length of each strip of fabric twice, once  1/2″ down from the top and again 3/4″ down from the top. You will be removing these threads later in the process so you don’t have to be too precise. Tightly hold only the top or bottom threads (whichever works more smoothly for you) and start scrunching your fabric toward the center. Do this from both sides and scrunch until the length is 20″. Repeat for all 7 strips.

Next, mark the backing of your pillow where each ruffle will be stitched down. The first ruffle is stitched 3/4″ down from the top of the fabric. Every other ruffle is down 2 9/16″ from there but I was nice and did the math for you so see the diagram below. The ruffles should all be lined up along the left side, I just moved them over in the diagram to make it easier to see. The darker border is the seam allowance area. If you’re having trouble seeing the measurements, measuring from the top down you’ll mark a seam at 3/4″, 3 5/16″, 5 7/8″, 8 7/16″, 11″, 13 9/16″, 16 1/8″ and you’ll have about 1/4″ of the ruffle below the seam:

You’ll start with the top ruffle (the orange in my case) and work your way down. To have a nice finished top so you don’t see the stitching you’ll actually be sewing along the bottom of each ruffle. Then you’ll fold them all down so the rows of stitches are hidden under each ruffle. I found it easiest to first sew one direction as close to the top of each ruffle as possible even if I missed a little of the fabric. Then I stitched the other direction 1/8″ below my first seam. Here you can see how the stitches looked on one of the purple ruffles and then the finished edge when it was folded over.

 

Below is how the back of the fabric looked like after all the ruffles were added. You’ll see that the fabric did scrunch a little so I was glad I gave myself 20″ to work with!

After stitching down each ruffle pull out your loose stitches that you used to make the ruffles. For me some pulled out easily and some took more effort. Just don’t pull too hard and damage your fabric!

For the back I did an envelope opening hidden by two ruffles. I cut two rectangles, 19″ wide x 12.5″ tall for the top piece and 19″ wide x 10″ for the bottom. I hemmed the edge that would be showing (1/2″ folded twice) and added a ruffle using the same method I used for the top. If you’re having difficult seeing the diagram below, the top orange ruffle is stitched 3/4″ up from the bottom of the hem. The bottom purple ruffle is stitched 2″ down from the top of the hem.

To finish it off, lay the pillow front down with the ruffles facing up and make sure that the bottom of the lowest ruffle is at least an inch away from the bottom so it doesn’t get sewn in. On top of that place the top of the back (with the ruffles facing down). Lastly, place on top the bottom of the back so that it overlaps the top piece by 1 1/2″. Then measure and mark if necessary an 18″ square. Finally, smooth out all the edges of the ruffles and stitch around all 4 sides.

Then trim off any excess, flip it right side out and put the pillow in!

 

Here’s the finished back:
If anyone makes this pillow using my tutorial I’d love to hear any feedback you have. And don’t forget to send me a link to your finished project!
PS. Also check out my friend Lindsays’s pillow. It’s a great idea to help you keep track of those constantly disappearing remotes!

 

Tutorial: How to Make an Applique

I’ll admit it, I’d never done an applique until a couple weeks ago because I always thought it would be complicated. I was SO wrong! Other than accidentially fusing one piece to the ironing board the whole process was fast and easy. I used Wonder-Under (Pellon 725 Heavy-Duty Wonder-Under Transfer Web). You could also use Heat n Bond but I haven’t tried it and I had no complaints with the Wonder-Under. So here we go!

1a. If you’re doing a specific shape (like a letter) trace your shape onto the smooth side of the Wonder-Under (WU). This is the back so trace your design backwards. Then cut out a piece of fabric larger than the piece of WU so you don’t get the glue on your ironing board. I now know this from experience.

1b. If you’re freehanding or cutting out a design that’s part of a fabric (like my camel below) just roughly cut out your image larger than you’ll need. Then trace that onto your WU and cut the WU about 1/8″ smaller than your outline. As I said above, you want your WU to be smaller than your fabric to protect your iron and ironing board.
2. Use a hot iron (your specific type of WU will have instructions on what setting to use) and iron the rough side of the WU against the wrong side of your fabric. The WU can look kind of crinkly and like it’s not going to turn out well but the iron smoothes it right out.

 

3. After it cools cut out your shape.

4. Peel off the back of the WU and your applique is complete and ready to be used! Part of the wonder is that this is heat activated so after peeling off the backing you have a smooth non-sticky backing.

5. To use the applique, position it onto your surface, fire up your iron again and iron it into place. Now it is permanently fixed in place. If you want you can straight stitch or zig zag stitch around the edges. Because the WU is heat activated it’s not sticky and won’t gum up your sewing maching.

Here’s the finished appliques before they were put to use. To see the final projects visit my posts for LOVE Shirt and Appliqued Baby Onesies.

Tutorial: LOVE Shirt

My sister visited this weekend and we decided to make her a shirt for Valentine’s Day based on the LOVE statue in Philadelphia. If you need more instruction, I’ll do a more detailed tutorial on how to make an applique later this week so this one will be a bit more brief.
First I ironed Wonder-Under (specifically Pellon 725 Heavy-Duty Wonder-Under Transfer Web) to the back of the fabric we chose. Then I traced the letters onto the fabric using a stencil we had created of each letter. You can download the PDF of the letters for personal use here. Then we cut out each letter, peeled off the Wonder-Under backing, positioned the letters onto the shirt then ironed them down. Then I did a zig zag stitch around each letter and project complete! We found the plain long-sleeved gray shirt at Target in the men’s section. They had a variety of colors and they had a few in the boys section if you need a smaller size.
Here’s a close up of the letters. We chose a navy quilting cotton for the L, V, and E. For the O we used a fabric with tiny forks, spoons and knives. My sister is loves to bake (she’s fabulous by the way) and she’s single so this shirt is subtly dedicated to food love.

Tutorial: Custom Tees

I was checking out the Crap I’ve Made blog a couple days ago and saw this great paint product. Tulip’s Soft Velveteen Fabric Paint. After drying you steam it with an iron and it changes texture to a flexible soft raised almost rubbery feel. Despite being the coldest day in ages, my toddler and I braved the weather to go get some of this paint. It was even on sale at JoAnn’s so it was meant to be.

I decided to do an Elmo shirt but just think of all the letter stencils, t-shirts, tote bags, household items, monogrammed pillows, aprons, and who knows what else you could use this on! Char at Crap I’ve Made used it to make letters on a Valentine’s Day bunting (check out the blog link above, she has a lot of great projects and tutorials!).

The shirt I’m using is from Wal-Mart’s Garanimals line. For $3.50 they have solid color boys or girls shirts (the girl shirts are cuter than the boys, as usual) up to size 5T. I found the Soft Velveteen paint in 3 of the colors I needed, red, black and white. They didn’t have orange or yellow to mix with the red so I ended up getting just a matte finish orange.

I started by making a stencil. I then made 4 copies of it and cut out the openings for each of my 4 paint colors. I used card stock paper for my stencil. It worked okay for one use but it did start to curl a tiny bit after the second coat of paint. Freezer paper would have been a better choice.

I pre-washed the t-shirt and I put cardboard inside underneath the areas I was painting. I chose to do a bigger Elmo on the chest and a little one on the wrist so the wearer could see it.
I used Duct tape repositionable Easy-Stick tape to hold my stencil in place. This was especially essential for the extra mouth piece that wasn’t connected to the main stencil. Just make sure to get the adhesive around your stencil so the paint doesn’t bleed underneath too much. You could also use spray glue. Then I used a sponge brush to put on 2 coats of paint in each color.
I ended up doing the red, orange and white with the stencil and just used a small brush to paint in the black. The paint bled a tiny bit under my stencils so I wanted to cover those imperfections accurately when I outlined the whole image in black.
And here’s what I had after all the paint had dried for 4 hours (as the paint label recommends):
Now for the magic. After painting the image was slightly textured from the way I used the sponge brush, but it was still flat. Then I heated up my iron on the steam setting and held it about 1/2″ above the fabric while it was steaming (you have to have steam, just heat won’t work). Then the paint puffed up and turned into a whole new texture! I tried to get before and after shots but it’s still hard to see. The photo was taken when the paint was still hot and a little wavy. It smoothed out after it cooled.
And here’s the final shirt modeled by the lucky (thrilled…) recipient! Other than the drying time in between the different colors of paint this was a pretty fast project.
PS. If you need help finding a kid’s character image try out these websites and the coloring pages:

These two sites have both printable coloring pages and coloring related games such as mazes, paper dolls, bookmarks, mobiles and more:

Just coloring pages (check both PBS links for your favorite show because they each feature different shows):

Tutorial: Cutesy folding changing pad with vinyl on both sides

I’m Lindsay, and I blog over at Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds. I’m so excited that Melissa has asked me to share this tutorial for readers of The Polkadot Chair. I hope it gets you all in the mood for a little travel and exploring (even if you have little ones in tow)!

Psssst. Craft Buds is a brand-new collaboration with my friend and fellow craft devotee, Mary, where we hope to bridge the gap between crafting for pleasure and the business of handmade. (To celebrate the launch, we’re offering a little fabric giveaway. More details on that in a minute!)

Over MLK weekend, I flew to Minneapolis to visit Katie, my BFF from college. Katie is basically a rockstar of a mom. Not only does she have two kids in diapers, but she was getting ready to take them on a 9-hour flight across the Pacific. How does she do it?

Baby Travel Tip: Katie says she packages separate Ziploc bags with everything she will need to feed her little ones, including food, a spoon and a wet wipe. That way, she can reach down with one hand and just get everything she needs, instead of digging in the carry-on. Dirty spoons and wipes just go back in the baggie, to be cleaned up later. Or better yet, use a plastic spoon!

Snack time supplies in individual bags makes traveling with tots more manageable. Reach down and grab with your free hand, and you've got everything you need!


Tutorial: Double-sided Vinyl Changing Mat

Katie wanted a vinyl changing mat that wasn’t so bulky in her purse. A frequent traveler, she also wanted something that she could pull out in a public restroom and not worry about getting the fabric dirty on the back side, like most cute changing pads are prone to.

This is what we came up with!

 

Want to make your own?

Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard patterned quilting fabric
  • 1/2 yard coordinating solid fabric
  • 1 yard 12-gauge vinyl from the craft store, or 1 heavy-duty shower curtain liner (clear). (When buying vinyl, measure the length of the roll to make sure two changing mats will fit. We bought 1.6 yards for two changing pads.)
  • Heavy-duty sewing needle
  • Coordinating thread
  • Velcro strip
  • 1 pack (3 yards) double fold quilt binding

Finished project size: Approximately 24″ x 16″ inches unfolded, 9.5″ x 7″ folded

Step 1:

We traced the shape of her existing diaper mat and borrowed the fold lines, making a paper bag pattern. (If you don’t have a model to copy, draw a rectangle that’s 2 feet long and use a dinner plate to trace rounded corners.)

Step 2:

Cut the oval shape once each from print and solid fabrics. Cut two ovals from vinyl, to make front and back panels. Use scraps of all materials to fashion a rounded handle, about 5 inches by 3 inches.

Step 3:

Play with your paper pattern, spacing the fold lines the way you want. You will later stitch along these lines on solid (light blue) layer to make the mat easier to fold. With your pattern piece taller than it is long:

  1. Fold top edge 2/3 down
  2. Fold bottom to overlap top
  3. Fold left edge 2/3 over
  4. Fold right piece to overlaps left

 

Step 4: Layer one piece of solid fabric and one piece of vinyl. This will show on the outside of your folded mat (our outside is light blue). Lay the paper pattern on top of fabric/vinyl sandwich, and repeat the same fold lines. Mark fold lines with masking tape and stitch fabric and vinyl together along those lines.

Step 5: Layer your materials in this order, to make a “materials sandwich”:

  • Bottom: vinyl stitched to solid fabric, with fabric facing up
  • Middle: patterned fabric (design face up)
  • Top: other piece of vinyl

Step 6: With your materials sandwich, practice using the fold lines you sewed earlier and determine where you want your outer velcro to go. Stitch velcro to vinyl/solid fabric layer only. Velcro will be positioned on the center square (see photo, above) of the solid side of your changing mat. The other velcro piece will attach to the flap, which is cut out but not yet sewn.

Step 7: With one side of velcro now attached, sew binding all the way around the quilt sandwich, to create this:

Tip: I used paperclips to hold the layers together while I attached the binding. This is a great way to keep everything smooth when your fingers can’t get that close. Two large paperclips seem to be the perfect tools for dragging along an inch at a time to smooth the binding and secure the layers.

Image credit: http://moores-sew.blogspot.com

Step 8: Now, it’s time for the flap. Attach velcro a half-inch from the long, straight edge of one vinyl flap piece. Assemple flap into the same type of materials sandwich you created earlier (see step 5) and secure edges with paperclips while you attach binding.

Step 9: Place the flap into position on the changing mat, close enough to the edge so that flap binding actually overlaps mat binding. Make sure velcro strips align, and sew flap to changing mat.

You’re done! Fold up and stow away in your purse or diaper bag for a lightweight, totally portable changing mat that you won’t mind getting dirty.

Thanks Melissa for letting me share this tutorial! Don’t forget to enter the Sherbet Pips giveaway at Craft Buds!

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