Showing posts with label No-Sew. Show all posts

Add Stripes to a Lampshade - DIY

You know when you really want to do something decor-wise but you think maybe it’s not a good idea because a few months down the road you might not like it anymore or the winds of change might blow away your old decor with new or future owners might scowl at your decision?  Happens to me a lot.  I always try to make decisions in our current home based on what I like but also what would be the most transitional from decor change to decor change and, because I know this isn’t our forever home, I don’t want to give permanent things a personal vibe…if that makes any sense.  Now I’m not talking about pillows or curtains.  Those things can be switched out on a whim with very little effort (but probably some cash).  I’m talking about things that you can’t change without a lot of effort like the color you paint your kitchen cabinets or the tile in your bathroom or a big ‘ole light fixture in your kitchen.

When I first envisioned this light project, I pictured a really colorful chandelier underneath a coordinating, fun geometric covered shade.  And then I talked myself down from that fun high because, in case I didn’t like that geometric fabric in a year or we put our house on the market, it would take a lot of work to replace all that color.  The lamp shade I made for the kitchen light can’t be removed unless a) you unwire the entire light from the ceiling, b) a hurricane throws our house fifty feet, or c) a hurricane known as ‘toddlers throwing toys in the kitchen and oops’ happens.

So, I decided to go all white with the light and shade and spice things up with some stripes at the top and bottom that I made with…

Kimonos or Robes?

I gave you guys a sneak peek last post at these mini kimonos:

So now let me fill you in with a whole peek and tell ya how you can make one, sew or no-sew!  I made mine with my trusty sewing machine but you guys, I racked and racked and racked my brain on how to make this go either way – sew or no-sew!  I know a lot of you don’t know how to sew (yet) and so I didn’t want this to be a project only to be done with a sewing machine.  Making clothes for kids (and adults) is so fun, but I know it can be a downer when you find out you need to be able to sew to make something cute.  Sew, let’s get our kimono on.
sew or no-sew kimono tutorial
[Hey!  That rhymes!]

The supplies:
-a piece of knit fabric (or a fabric that won’t fray at the edges)
-a scissors
-fringe (optional)
-glue (optional for the no-sew version)
-sewing machine (for the sewn version)
I bought this fabric at JoAnn’s.  It was 50% off, ringing in at $7.49 a yard.  I bought a yard and a third and got two toddler kimonos out of it and two toddler-sized inifinity scarves pieced together with the leftovers (more on those later).  The fringe is also from JoAnn’s. 

First, I cut out two rectangular pieces of fabric that were 23 x 42 inches each.  If you’re just making one toddler kimono, you’ll only need 2/3 of a yard of fabric.  However, it’s worth mentioning that the kimonos I made would probably fit a girl who wears size 5 or 6 pretty well.  They’re a tad large for my size 2T girls.  If you’re making an adult-sized kimono, you’ll need more.  I’d guess about two yards depending on the length you want. 

After I had my two pieces, I grabbed one and folded it in half long-ways with the right sides of the fabric facing each other.  The top of this piece measured 23” and it measured 21” long.  The folded side would eventually go along the girls shoulders and arms.

The Sewn Version
For the sewn version, I measured down four inches from the top of each side and put a pin.  This four inches would be the arm holes.  Past the four inch mark, I pinned the sides together and then sewed them together.  Simple enough, right?

The dotted line in this picture shows where I stitched:

Next, I turned the kimono right-side-out and folded it in half so that the two sides I had just sewn were together.

Then, I cut down the fold only cutting through one layer of fabric (IMPORTANT!!) and only to the top fold.  This gave me the kimono opening at the front.
(So in the above picture, the two sides I had just sewn are laying on the left and I cut through one layer of fabric on the fold at the right.)

After cutting, I laid out the kimono and it looked like this:

The last thing I did was sew a few zig-zag stitches at the very top of the front opening to keep it from ripping.IMG_0015
I don’t know how likely it is to rip but just in case it got pulled open too far (you never know what toddlers are capable of), I wanted to make sure it was nice and secure.

And that’s that!  Because I used a knit that wasn’t prone to fraying, I didn’t have to do any hemming at the unfinished edges.

The No-Sew Version
The no-sew version involves cutting shallow slits down each side and tying.  It’s exactly how I made these infinity scarves for the girls.

Making sure you mark that four inches at the top of each side for arm holes, you’d cut slits down the side (represented by the lines in the picture below) and then you’d tie the sides together by knotting the front and back fabric pieces.
no-sew kimono
After that was done, you’d turn the kimono right-side-out, fold it in half, and cut the front opening just like you would in the sewn version.  Instead of using a zig-zag stitch to reinforce the top of the cut though, you might want to place a dab of glue over it to make sure it stayed put and didn’t rip.

Of course you could probably go the stitch witchery/iron-on hem tape route with the sides if you didn’t feel like tying them or you could even try your hand at sewing them shut just using a needle and thread since there are just a couple of straight lines to be sewn.  However you make them, they’re pretty simple, no?

I wasn’t done with the kimonos there though.  I saw a few kimonos on the web with fringe and other trim at the ends so old horse, new tricks type thing.  I had to try it.  All I did was cut a fringe piece long enough to go across the entire bottom of each kimono and sewed it on with a straight stitch.

Fringe is sold with the strings attached at the bottom with a little thread to make sewing easier; fringe strings all over the place would be a frustrating thing to tame while you’re trying to guide fabric through your machine or out of your way.  So all I had to do once I had the fringe on was remove that string.


So my first thought when I put them on the girls was “Oh my gosh, they look like vintage robes…not what I was going for”, and that’s probably your thought too.  I know.  They’re a tad long.  I’m still on the fence about the fringe.  I think it might just amp up the vintage robe look but for now I’m keeping it on.  What do you think?  Is the fringe too much?  I think I’m going to make them some more kimonos soon minus the fringe and round off the front corners to soften them up.  You know I’ll write about it when I do.  :)


Anddddd…I’m thinking mom here needs one or five too.  Maybe I should grab some more fabric and do the whole matching thing?  “Oh look!  Mom and her daughters in their robes at Target in the afternoon!”  What a spectacle.  ;)


.           .           .

Have a great rest of the week guys!  Anthony just got home today from a 12-day mission trip so I’m sorry if I’ve been semi-absent during the past 12 days!  Now you know why!  He’s currently napping with the kids so I’m playing catch-up and boy do I have lots of things to play that with!  My cousin has been here for the past week helping me and we’ve been doing lots of projects around the house!  Stay tuned!!

Crew Cut

I’m not a fan of crew neck shirts.  They feel stuffy to me.  I’m all about v-necks and round necks and square necks and every other neck (besides plunging maybe because, for one, my kids tend to grab onto my shirt during times of slight duress and OOPS!  HELLOO!)  But, I do own a few crews.  In particular, there’s this hand-me-down:551201_707201945920_1701288495_nThis is the only picture I have wearing it and you can’t even see the crew neck so it should be tossed in the irrelevant category but I’ll humor myself again and post it.  This was when I was pregnant with Sebastian.  I laughed out loud to myself when I pulled it over the bump though because it seemed to add a little vavoom to Audrey’s chest area that wasn’t there before…so I took a picture.  :D

Here’s what it really looks like (except in white):avenue-la-black-t-audrey-hepburn-t-shirt-741540[image via Tradesy]

And why am I even worrying about posting a before picture?  You all know what a crew neck tee looks like!  Silly me!

So anywho, one day post-pregnancy, I decided I wanted to wear that shirt again but didn’t want to deal with the stuffy crew neck, so I just cut it off (and didn’t take a single in-process picture…boo). 

I cut right around the existing neck; cutting off the ribbing. 


Cutting around the existing neck helped me make sure I wasn’t getting a wonky cut.  After I had done that, I decided I wanted it a tad wider so I cut another half inch off; following the circle I had just cut.  Since the tee I cut was jersey, there was no hemming needed!

Here’s how I’m wearing it today:
[My mirror lied when it told me these ancient trouser jeans are still good to wear.  Looking a little shoddy these days…]

And, per J’s inspiration, I threw this altered blazer over it.
Oh, hold on, my super-sleek, company-supplied phone is going off…


Oh wait, that’s just a toddler cry in the arena I call mi casa.

Gotta run.

Infinite Nursing

That’s kinda what you get when an infinity scarf doubles as a nursing cover, right?  Or maybe I’m just confused with what nursing sometimes feels like.  And maybe those feelings are taking me back to nursing the twins at which time it did seem like I spent infinite amount of time nursing.  And maybe I’m just getting way off track here.  Focus. 


A few months ago I was strolling the clearance area of our local Hancock Fabrics when I spotted this striped jersey knit, marked at $3:
It was about a yard of fabric, 60” wide, a deep olive and white (though it looks black in the pictures), and I scooped it up because I can’t say no to oh-so-soft stripes.  A couple of days later I turned it into a nursing cover/infinity scarf and this is the story of how I did it.

nursing scarf

First I squared off the fabric.  The long edges were cut a little quirky so all I had to do was cut along the stripes/sides to get a nice straight edge.  See the crooked edge before?

A cut along the lines made everything much better.
If you’re working with a non-striped pattern, using a cutting mat or a squared edge will help you get straight, 90 degree edges.

Now I had a big rectangle of fabric measuring 36” x 60”; the two shorter ends were the factory-cut edges (or selvage edges) and the longer edges were the store-cut ones/the ones I evened out.  Since the fabric was jersey and wouldn’t fray, I just left these outside, long edges alone after they were cut; no hemming.  To get the infinity scarf, I sewed the two short edges together.  However, this could easily be done minus the sewing with some no-sew tape.  Here’s how:

The No-Sew Version

Place a long piece of no-sew tape along the short edge of your scarf (I used some white ribbon just for a visual).

Making sure your long piece of fabric isn’t twisted somewhere in the middle, bring your other short edge over and lay it on top of the sewing tape.  Your fabric should be laying flat and should be a large tube.  Make sense? IMG_5749

Last, using the steam option on your iron, iron down those two, overlapping ends.  The no-sew tape will do its magic and make those ends stick together and you’ll be good to go!

The Sewn Version

If you decide to sew your edges together, simply overlap them a half inch or so and pin them together.

No need to fold anything; the jersey won’t fray.

Then sew a straight stitch right along your overlapping layers, making sure to backstitch at each end and that’s it!  IMG_5753  
I wear the seam at the back so it’s not noticeable at all.

No baby:
I couldn’t decide which shoes to wear…


And I was going to crop this one but then I just couldn’t because it’s kinda the story of my life – I sit down to nurse and somebody has to go.

What’re you lookin’ at?

Here’s the funny thing about this little project, I was so excited to share this with you guys a couple of months ago when I made it because I really thought this infinity scarf/nursing cover was a genius idea and I thought I was the first to discover it but alas, there are those who have been there, done that.  :)  So great though because, if you don’t feel like making your own, you can find them at these fine shops:

Hold Me Close

Nursing Time

Three 4 Design

.           .           .

Happy TGIalmostF


DIY Faux Fur Tree Skirt

Anthony and I got married a few weeks before Christmas in 2007 and so by the time we were back from our honeymoon and he had moved in, it was time to decorate our first house for Christmas…a.k.a. dole out $25 for a little Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and an extra $2 for a yard of Christmasy quilting fabric that we both picked out together at Walmart and that I wrapped around the base of our little tree.  It wasn’t a tree skirt by any means, just a piece of fabric that was strategically placed to look like one and that left a foot of floor visible at the back of the tree but nobody knew it but us!  Funny thing is, we’ve been wrapping that same piece of fabric around our tree every year since, partly because it has some sweet sentimental value and partly because we’re too cheap to buy a real skirt.  But all that’s changed this year and our new (to us) nine footer’s legs are covered from front to back!  Check it:

Here’s how I made it and how you can make one too! 

I found this faux fur at JoAnn Fabrics.
photo 1 (1)

There are lots of faux white fur(s?) out there but I wanted something that resembled shaggy bear fur vs. a curly or short fur.  Using a 50% off coupon got me two yards of this fur for under $20 (around $17).  The fabric itself is 60 inches wide.  I wanted to be able to bunch up my skirt (in the most modest way possibly) so I bought two yards so that I could use the whole width and make one 60 inches in diameter.  (I think the norm diameter for tree skirts is anywhere from 40-48 inches). 

So first I cut off the excess 12 inches to give me a 60’ x 60’ square.  (The plan is to use that extra 12 inches to make a few lumbar pillows!  Those should be fun!)  Fur cutting tip:  When cutting fur, cut with the backside facing up and cut as close as you can to the backing so that you don’t cut off loads of the fur.  Also, cutting little bits at a time instead of long chomps minimizes fur loss.  Ain’t no Rogaine gonna help if you cut too much so slow and steady does it! 
photo 1 (1)

Next, I went all geometric and cut my future tree skirt into an octagon instead of a circle.  I have a love for all things ‘agon so I went with my heart on this one.  To figure out what length each side of my octagon needed to be and how much to cut, I scrapped my rusty math skills (although I did sit and try to do the math for five minutes) and used the
handy tool from this website to do it for me.  Once I knew what each of my sides needed to measure, I simply folded over my corners until each side measured what I needed it to measure (I think it was 24.5 inches for a 60 inch skirt) and cut them off.
photo 2 (5)

If you want to go the traditional route and cut your skirt into a circle, Holly gives a good tutorial on how to cut your fabric to get that circle.

Then I cut a slit up one side and a small round hold in the middle in true tree skirt style. (Our tree is fake and our trunk is a skinny thing so the small hole works fine.  If you go real with your tree, you’ll probably need to cut a bigger hole.)
photo 3
Slit-cutting tip:  Decide which direction you want your fur to lay before you cut your slit!  For example, if you want the hair to flow forward towards the front of the tree, cut your slit on the side where the fur ‘grows’ away so that that part is at the back of the tree.  Does that make sense?

The last thing I did before dressing the tree was hem the new skirt.  Originally I was just going to leave it as is, with cut edges, but decided after folding under the edges that a hemmed edge looked a lot better.  To make things easy on myself and to eliminate any fur matting a sewing machine hem might make, I used hot glue.  All I did was run a line of hot glue around the edges of the skirt…
photo 3
…and then I folded each edge over onto the hot glue.
photo 2 (5)

I worked in small segments so that my glue didn’t have time to cool before I could hem.  In under five minutes, I had a perfect hem all the way around.
photo 4 (3)

We LOVE our new tree skirt!

The full monty:
(Tutorial on how to make a pipe cleaner tree topper like ours here on love Maegan.)

I mentioned this in last Friday’s post, but I invested $10 at Dollar Tree into a bit more Christmas decor this year.  Along with some new ornaments, I also bought three long strands of gold/silver tinsel garland and strung all three strands down the center of the tree.  It’s hard to see it in pictures but in real life it makes the trunk of our tree look like it’s made of glitter and adds lots of magic!  As much as I love the economical sense of a fake tree, their skinny metal trunks don’t hold a candle to the real thing so adding the garland does wonders!  You can see it in this picture, in between the silver and red ball ornaments:

I had high hopes of making more of this leaf garland to adorn our tree this year too but alas, I didn’t have the time and was antsy to get the ornaments on so we’ll tack that onto next year’s wish list.  :)

Are you a tree-skirter or do you prefer it bare?  Maybe presents are your tree skirt?  Or maybe we’re not the only ones who have done it wrap-style?  Or maybe you don’t even have your tree up yet so that’s the last thing on your mind?  :)

Oh and btdubbs, what’s a holiday without a party?!  I’m skirting into
All Kinds of Things Christmas Link-up and Remodelaholics Anonymous!

.           .           .

If you like it, put a pin in it!  :)
diy fur tree skirt