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Month: October 2017

Sweater-vember: Sweater Pillows

Sweater-vember: Sweater Pillows

Here at Partners in Craft, we have officially renamed November as “Sweater-vember”! All month long we will be shopping for, wearing, and crafting with old sweaters! Bring on the sweater weather! Our first project starts with sweaters that are too itchy, too badly fitting, or too holey to wear. If those cast-offs are wool or mostly wool, you have some crafting gold on your hands! In the next several posts, we will first shrink those sweaters, and then turn that fabulously felted fabric into cuddly gifts!

First step is to gather an arm-load of wool or mostly wool sweaters. We have found that rummage sales are often the best source for old, cheap wool sweaters! Thrift stores are a good source too, but can have higher prices. Don’t forget to check the men’s section!

Wash and dry your sweater on hot (at least once, maybe more) until the sweater has shrunk and the fabric is thick and resistant to unraveling. Next, turn the sweater inside out and lay it as flat as you can. Determine what part you want to turn into a pillow. For this project, I used the rectangular torso section of the sweater. I measured off the straight sides of the rectangle and marked those with pins. (You could use fabric chalk or disappearing fabric pen, if your sweater allows.) I then cut out the rectangle using the pins as a guide.  Save those extra pieces of the sleeve and trim for later!

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping the sweater rectangle inside out, pin around the rectangle in preparation for sewing it closed. Mark about a 4-inch gap on one side that will be left unsewn. (I mark this gap with double pins.) This gap allows the rectangle, once it’s stitched, to be turned right side out and stuffed.

 

 

 

 

 

Time for stitching! Use a scrap of sweater material to test how your sewing machine handles the wool. On mine, I used a zig zag stitch (good for knit materials) and experimented with the stitch size. The bigger stitch didn’t make the seam ruffle as much as a smaller stitch did. Of course, I also used a needle for knit material. (I mean, if a sweater isn’t “knit,” I don’t know what is!) Sew it up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn your now empty pillowcase right side out. Time for some stuffing! I used regular Poly-fil, the same kind of stuffing that can be used for stuffed toys, pillows, etc. I stuffed the pillow so that it was somewhat firm but not bursting. I definitely used more stuffing that I had expected!

 

 

 

 

 Now it’s time to sew up that gap! I folded under the edges of the hole and pinned those in place. Pinning the hole closed was a bit tricky, since the fabric layers were very thick. I used a couple long corsage pins to help, but you could just pinch the hole closed as you sew.

 

 

 

 

 

I stitched the hole closed by hand, and the pillow was finished! I wasn’t done, though, because I started wondering. Could a cardigan have sweater-pillow potential? Since I had a cute rummage sale cardi on hand, I decided to find out! I started out by following the first steps from my previous pillow: wash/dry the sweater, lay it flat, and then mark out the rectangular sides of the new pillow. I used the lower torso of the sweater, from the armpit down. I also trimmed off the ribbed edging at the bottom. I used a disappearing fabric pen to mark out my rectangle, before cutting it out.

 

After the pieces had been cut out. I pinned and then stitched the button-up front of the cardi closed.

 

The next steps were like those for the first pillow. I turned the pieces inside out, pinned ’em closed (leaving a gap!), and stitched up the rectangle. After turning the rectangle right-side-out, I was ready for stuffing!

Just like before, I folded under the edges of the hole and pinned them in place. I wasn’t able to pin the hole itself closed, so I pinched it closed with one hand while I stitched it up. Once the cardi-pillow was done, I worked with one last sweater to create a set of three!

I love how unique and cozy these pillows are! 🙂 They definitely have holiday gift potential, if you know what I mean… (Wink, wink!) Stay tuned for more sweater projects, and Happy Sweater-vember, Everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

DIY 1920s Costume

DIY 1920s Costume

This tutorial is great for Halloween or a themed event. I researched dresses from the 1920 to help me settle on the look I wanted and was capable of recreating. Do your own research!!! Google it, start a Pinterest board, ect. It will be really helpful.

I found three important characteristics of a 1920s dress:

  1. Low, exaggerated, waist line.

  2. Shapeless fit.

  3. Fringe, beads, sparkle! (I mean, why not?)

I took a plain black dress that I had in my closet that had both a drop waist and shapeless fit. I used a beaded collar I had taken off another dress and it fit perfectly with this dress.

For the waist line, I used some shiny silver ribbon to emphasis the low line. For even more drama, I cut some black string and hot glued it to the ribbon to create fringe. (You can buy fringe at craft stores, which I would recommend, but if you’re in a pinch, here’s how I made it.)

It took me quite a while to sew everything on by hand.

  

I added some fringe to the collar.

 

For the back of the dress I attached silver ribbon to the ends of the beaded collar.

 

For the head band: Lace, silver ribbon, black elastic.

I layered the lace over the silver ribbon, sewed it together, and sewed both ends to the piece of black elastic.

    Throw in some long pearls and done!!

Vintage a la Thrift Store: 1940’s-60’s

Vintage a la Thrift Store: 1940’s-60’s

We at Partners in Craft are admittedly thrift store addicts. Give us any minimal excuse to stop by our favorite shops, and we are there. However, Lindee and I have discovered that October is the best time out of the whole year to find vintage and vintage-inspired clothing! Many thrift stores save up costume items for Halloween season, making this the best time to hunt for old timey looks.

Of course, we advise that once you find an item that fits well, is in good condition, and makes your day, you should probably buy it. Do not worry if you don’t have an entire outfit to go with it. These things will come. My two vintage-inspired outfits are great examples of both the shop-vintage-in-October and the buy-it-when-you-find-it principles. Both dresses and the black/white scarf were bought near Halloween. The accessories were found over time.

The only items that did not come to me via the thrift store are the white hat and gloves from the fabulous Stormie, the sunglasses, and the daisy pin from my fabulous grandmother! The dress, surprisingly, is not vintage but a very convincing remake!

My next outfit also features a not-actually-vintage dress. All of the pieces, except my dark glasses and gloves, came from, you guessed it!

Vintage looks a la thrift store! 🙂 Happy shopping!

Pom Pom Pumpkins!

Pom Pom Pumpkins!

Although I was the last to admit to the end of summer, I am starting to get excited about pumpkin season. After years of living in the area, my husband and I FINALLY visited Hale’s Apple Farm to pick out a pumpkin! AAAH!

There was a rainbow of pumpkins, gourds, and strange squash! We were so inspired, that we picked out some for ourselves and even forced others on family members! IT’S PUMPKIN SEASON, PEOPLE!!

This fortuitous season has provided many excuses for fall projects! (Just visit Pinterest for a huge waft of pumpkin-spiced crafting inspiration! No complaints from me!) These pom pom pumpkins were a fun and super satisfying afternoon project. (I will take any excuse to bust out the fuzzy yarn and pom pom makers!)  There is a possibility that many people I know will soon be receiving some pom-pom-pumpkin-goodness in their lives…

Pumpkin creation was pretty simple: gather supplies, make pom poms following the instructions, fire up the glue gun, insert stems, and then squeal in glee while taking too many pom pom pumpkin pictures! You can find similar pom pom makers on Amazon (here).

Supplies gathered- check! I used one thin yarn and one fluffier one to create different pom pom textures. I also experimented with pipe cleaners, using the thicker, fluffy ones for the large pumpkin stems and thinner pipe cleaners for the small to medium pumpkins. Next, wrap those pom pom makers with as much yarn as you can! (I am just following the instructions included with the pom pom makers for these next few steps.)

Next, trim it the yarn and tie the pieces at the middle using a short piece of yarn and half of a double knot.

  

Check your pom pom maker’s instructions to see how it disassembles to free that pom pom. Pull that half knotted yarn tight before completing the knot around the pom pom.

Next, cut off the long pieces of yarn (unless you want to tie the pom pom to something later. If so, keep those!) I also trimmed some of the yarn from the bottom and top of the pumpkin to give it a less round shape.

Now it’s pipe cleaner time! I cut off a small piece of pipe cleaner, a little longer than twice the length I wanted for the stem. I folded it in half, twisted it around itself, and left the ends poking outward slightly.

Once I had appropriately sized stems, I put a small dab of hot glue as close to the middle of the pom pom as i could. I inserted the stem into the glue and pushed the yarn up around the stem to cover the glue.

Yay! Now it’s time to add these cute little guys to your fall decor! Yay for pumpkin season!!

Fashion Challenge: Tie Dye Week

Fashion Challenge: Tie Dye Week

 After tie-dying up a storm this summer, we were left with many rainbow-ized garments! Could we style them in ways that were a little less hippy and a little more fall? Time for a fashion challenge!

Britt mixed her rainbow brights with fall neutrals during the work week and hot/sunny weekend.

Lindee added some tie dye into her daily life in the form of pastel neutrals, edgy pants, and a boxy green sweater. Tie dye is a great transitional piece to take your wardrobe from summer into fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              

Statement Necklace DIY

Statement Necklace DIY

They always say that the easiest way to update your look is with accessories. In the name of wardrobe updates, then, I offer the statement necklace! This basic DIY design is endlessly customizable and uses easy-to-find jewelry making supplies. (Use leftover supplies to make multiples for yourself or for gifts!) That said, this is not a beginner beading project. If you are new to jewelry making, search pinterest for “jewelry making for beginners.” You will find loads of projects to get you started. For great photos of some basic techniques, check out this website. http://www.rings-things.com/Designer%20Tip%20Sheets/jewelry_instructions.pdf?vid=bZVtc9pHAo7Rc_0M&chrole=17&ck=uu6m0dpHAozRc-U8&promocode=&cktime=149466&gc=clear&promocodeaction=overwrite

Here are the supplies you will need! I used the small, rainbow flower beads for this tutorial, but plan to use those fun red beads for a similar project! I also used one of my favorite necklaces (previously DIY-ed) as a template. The hardware includes chain, tiger tail beading chord, crimp beads, jewelry pins, jump rings, a clasp, and earring backings. You will also need jewelry pliers and wire cutters, fyi.

 

 

I started by arranging my rainbow beads in the order I liked and threading them onto tiger tail. (I set a few beads aside for earrings.) Next, I used crimp beads to attach a jump ring at one end of the strand. Once the crimp beads were squashed closed, I trimmed the leftover tiger tail as short as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I did the same to the others side.

 

This strand of beads will be the focal point of the necklace. I’m going to add chain to each side of the strand to complete the length. I measured the bead strand against my existing necklace to see how much chain I would need to add.

 

Next, I laid out all the pieces in the order they would need to be assembled.

 

At the top of the necklace near the clasp, I added an extender chain made of short lengths of chain and jump rings (with a bead at the end, bc it’s cute!).  Extender chains hugely increase the wearability of your necklace! You can often purchase them at the craft store, if you don’t want to make one like I did. Here are some details of the extender chain and bead.

 

 

 

 

After attaching all the necklace pieces, it was time to make the earrings! These simple drops were made from my leftover beads, bead pins, and earring backings.

 

Now it’s time to make a jewelry statement! Check out my template necklace to see how larger beads and chain create a totally different look! The possibilities are endless!