When one of my friends pinned dyed bottle brush trees on Pinterest I went “SQEEEEEEE I gotta make that!”. I bought a bag of 21 bottle brush trees at Michaels for about $10 on sale. Basically you chuck your green “snow” covered bottle brush trees in a bucket with water and bleach and it bleaches them to a cream color. Then you use fabric dye like RIT to color them. Super easy!
One note is that you need to take the cream color of the trees into account when dying them. I wanted to get teal trees and when I used teal dye I ended up with green trees because teal + yellow = green. I ended up redying them with the royal blue dye. To get teal I had to use a sky blue because sky blue + cream = teal. Yay! Next time I do this I will also try to get my trees a bit whiter. I ended up using Clorox laundry detergent instead of straight bleach because that’s what I had on hand.
I added a bit of holographic glitter to this tree. My other trees my get a glitter bath next Christmas.
When Fabric Depot had 50% off christmas fabric I decided it was time to pick up fabric for a few holiday decor projects. Both print fabrics I used in these projects are from Moda Fabrics Aspen Frost collection.
The first thing I decided to sew were some Christmas Stockings for me and my cats. (Yes, the cats need stockings). I got the idea for the bow cuff on the stockings from A Subtle Revelry, but I didn’t follow her directions. I sewed the cuff/bow pieces into the stocking as I did the side seams. I used a free pattern from Positively Splendid to cut out the stocking shape, but once again I didn’t use their directions.
My other sewing project was to whip up some quick envelope pillow covers for my couch. I’m glad that when I made these pillows I used pillow forms. Creating new covers is quick, cheap, and easy way to dress up my oatmeal colored sofa.
The one project I didn’t get to is sewing a Christmas tree skirt. I bought this awesome Kate & Birdie fabric but I didn’t get enough! I need to do some sort of hexagonal or octagonal shape so that the larger clusters of poinsettias are on the outside. I should probably head back to Fabric Depot to see if I can buy some more!
I also picked up this adorable Christmas light fabric at Joanns. It was on super sale so around $2 a yard and bought whatever was left on the bolt. I think it was just over 2 yards. I’ll have to think of something cute to make next year. Maybe a Christmas Washi dress?
I did a lot less holiday knitting this year, but I did make some hats for my closest Portland friends.
This fall I taught Sheri all about rocking the slouchy hat so I knit her one in a green tweed yarn from my stash. Ravelink
I knit Megan a hat using some lush Malabrigo that’s been sitting in my stash. It’s a gorgeous grey/purple/taupe yarn that is super soft and smooshy. I used the Giftie Slouchy Beanie pattern but I did modifications in the decreasing on the crown. I hate when you work everything in the pattern and then do the top in boring stockinette. Ravelink
I was in Jo-Ann yesterday to pick up some black thread cones for my serger, when I decided to look for some fabric for a Thanksgiving skirt. I ended up picking up 2 amazing fabrics. The first thing I found was this drapey grey knit fabric with black sequins. It was $11/yd but I had a 40% off coupon. I have no idea what I’m going to make but I loved it so much I got 4 yards. Then I was looking for some fabric to make a Liesl + Co Everyday skirt and I ended up grabbing 2 yards this thick metallic heather knit fabric. It was 50% off so I paid around $7 per yard. When I got it home I realized it was too awesome for a mere skirt and started looking for dress patterns. I think I’ve settled on making Vogue 8787 view B. Thankfully Vogue Patterns go on sale for $4 at Jo-Ann on November 23.
My friend Sheri & I have been talking about baking a rainbow cake for ages, so when Megan’s birthday came around we knew we finally had a reason to break out the food coloring!
I never use boxed cake mix, but because I knew we would only have a couple of hours to bake this I decided to go with Betty Crocker White cake mix. We used 2 boxes. To make up for that we also made a massive amount of delicious Swiss Meringue Butter Cream. I used Sweetapolita’s recipe which turned to be pretty much exactly what we needed.
I have three 8″ round pans so we were able to bake all the layers in 2 batches. Then it was a matter of cooling, leveling, and slapping them together with some frosting. I also used some straws for stability as this monster is close to 8 inches tall! We crumb coated it, which Sheri never heard of, and popped it in the freezer. I frosted the top and coated it with rainbow nonpareils. I had seen someone coat the entire cake in them and it looked cool, but was a little rainbow overkill for me.
Our last step was to frost the sides with scallops. Oh Happy Day has a tutorial. With me piping the dots and Sheri wielding the small spatula to create the scallops, it was quickly done. We had just enough frosting left to add some dots along the top to hide where the scallops were off line.
The verdict…delicious and beautiful! Megan loved it!
When I moved across the country last year it was mostly without furniture. I have slowly been furnishing to the point that the only thing I have left to do is reupholster the chaise I brought along! But one thing that was missing was an ottoman. My coffee table is glass and not super sturdy so putting your feet up on it is a no-no. However I knew somewhere in my pattern stash in NJ was Amy Butler’s Gumdrop Pillow pattern that I never got around to sewing. My mom kindly dug it out and mailed it to me.
I found this bold floral print in the home decor section of Joann’s on sale for 60% off. Then I meandered over to the batting section and picked up a 10lb box of polyester fiber fill..on which I used my 50% off coupon! Putting this together was pretty easy. I traced the pattern doubled onto craft paper so I wouldn’t have to do any folding. Then my rotary cutter made quick work of cutting it all out.
This pattern is very easy to sew and quick to. It probably took me longer to get it stuffed than to sew. I used a little more than half of my box to stuff this large pillow. I wanted it to be pretty firm so it could also be used to sit on. I love the way it turned out! It gives a pop of color and pattern that ties my room together. I think I’m going to use the scraps to sew a cover for my cat’s bed.
Last Saturday I took a ring soldering class at Dava Bead. It was pretty awesome. I ended up making seven rings and I love them all!
The class was 5 hours and it cost $60 + materials. I probably spent $30-40 on materials which included some gold-filled wire but you could have chosen cheaper materials. There were 6 people in the class, all women.
Kate, the instructor, took us through the basics of making rings out of wire and sheet metal. Then she let us loose to create. I made 4 hammered rings – one silver and three gold. I also made 3 rings out of a 1″ x 3″ piece of 22 ga silver sheet metal. 2 pieces I textured using different texture plates and one I textured with hammers.
I am really excited about my new ring making skills! I bought a few sheets of copper to play with and I have some sterling silver and copper wire back in NJ. I just need to get all my jewelry making stuff back to Portland! I already signed up to take the Enameling workshop at Dava Beads next month.
Earlier this month my college roommate’s daughter Quinn celebrated her first birthday. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure which day in June her birthday was. I had to go back through Christina’s Facebook timeline to figure that out..but now it’s in my calendar. Forever.
Anyway I wanted to make a gift and ithinksew had recently put out a cute but simple children’s dress pattern called the Camilla Dress. It also helped that it was 50% off! Next I had to search for fabric and I found this adorable bunting print fabric in the quilting section of Joann’s and it was also half price. Score!
It’s a very easy dress to make. It probably took me under 2 hours and I could make another one even quicker now that I know how it works. My one issue with the pattern is that it gives one length of fabric to purchase – 1 1/4 yards. I made the 12 month size and I’d guess I used no more than 3/4 yd of fabric including making the bias strips for the arm binding. I’d suggest ithinksew put fabric yardages by size on their patterns. No one wants to waste money!
Has my craft blog turned into a sewing blog? Seriously! After seeing some great looking tops on blogs, I picked up the Sewaholic Renfrew top pattern at Josephine’s Dry Goods a few weeks ago. It’s kinda pricey at $17 for a top but it seems pretty versatile.
I have some gorgeous Italian striped jersey knit fabric I’d like to use for this top, but I wanted to try it out first to see if I really needed to do that full bust adjustment. I was hoping the knit fabric would have enough give to let me skip it (spoiler alert: nope!).
Anyway I’ve have a bunch of this cute apple print knit that I picked up super cheap in some forgotten location. I probably used about half for this top. I skipped the sewing machine and used my serger for sewing everything except basting the cowl, cuffs and waistband together. Once I got in the groove of serging, this top practically made itself!
I had actually planned to make it with 3/4 sleeves, but I didn’t pay attention when I was tracing the pattern pieces. So what about the fit? Turns out I probably do need a full bust adjustment on this top. I can wear it but it’s definitely straining those apples! So this is going to my mom and I will give it another try for myself this time with a FBA.
I really needed coasters for my new place, but the only store I’ve seen them in recently was Jonathan Adler. Do you want to know how much 4 ceramic coasters were on sale? $60! So if I decided to make my own. I wanted a more modern look so I searched on Ravelry until I came across the Citrus Coasters.
I went to Knit Purl, which happens to be about 6 blocks from me, and picked up a couple of balls of Rowan Cotton Glace. I ended up only using the teal colored yarn and an F hook to get 5 nice sized coasters. Love em!
Here is the ravelink to my coasters - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/citrus-coaster