Friday, June 22, 2012

Free Craft Friday -- Keepsake Pillow

My husband and I first met in person on August 14, 2006.  He work a t-shirt from his favorite band at the time (Lagwagon) and I wore a black shirt with these camoflauge cargo shorts.  We had an amazing first date.  He took me to a restaurant that his family visited every Labor Day weekend.  I joked it was a dive as it was the first time I'd eaten there although I lived much closer to it than he.  We laughed over "stupid ash chicken" they had burnt my orange chicken and went on to enjoy the movie Goonies at the movies in the park in Ogden.  A little over a year later we were married in October 2007.  The t-shirt and shorts were still frequently worn and finally this summer (2012) they both had enough.  His t-shirt had developed holes at the seams and armpits and my shorts finally split down the inseam.  I didn't really want to get rid of either item.  So I asked my husband if he would mind if I turn his favorite t-shirt into a keepsake of our first date.  He agreed and this totally awesome pillow was born.

Keepsake Pillow

-significant clothing from dates, special occassions, etc.
-thread and need or sewing machine

Step 1.  Determine the size of pillow you wish to make.  Make sure you have enough material to cover this size.  You could a pillow form but I decided to just use some extra batting/stuffing I had left over from another project.

Step 2.  Piece your project together.  For me this meant measuring my husbands t-shirt to include the image as well as some material for bordering.  I was then able to piece together a back on the pillow with my shorts.  I cut them apart at the seams and tried to use the least worn pieces for the pillow.  I then pinned the back together and sewed this first (really a mesh of different sizes and shapes).  I pieced the back together making sure that it would oversize the t-shirt piece (size of pillow).

Step 3.  Trim down both from and back pieces of material to be the same size.  In my case I trimmed the shorts to be the same size as the t-shirt piece.  I laid out the t-shirt on top of my sewn shorts and then trimmed off the excess.

Step 4.  Pin both pieces with right sides together and sew along the outter edge with a 1/2" seam.  Leave a hole approximately 2 to 3" in order to stuff the pillow.  If you use a pillow form this "hole" will need to large enough to put your pillow in.

Step 5.  Stuff your pillow.  To finish use needle and thread to sew up the opening in the pillow with an invisible stitch.

*I'm sure there are other ways to form a pillow with remnant clothing, etc.  I simply went with the simplest of ways and one that I knew I would have enough material for.   And yes the pictures are crap on this one...serves me right for using my less than desirable camera.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whip It Up Wednesday: Tusan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Sauce

Like many of my friends I am newly (or not so newly anymore) addicted to Pinterest.  I love to pin recipes that I want to try, home decor that I swear I will use once we're on our own again and crafts that interest me.  But I figure lots of people never even try their pins out...what a waste of time to pin and not use.  My in-laws have recently fallen victim and grateful recipients of my interest to weed out good recipes from the hum-drum stuff.

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce (original found here)

1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli* (I used spaghetti or fettucine noodles also)
1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons white wine (optional; I put milk in instead)
2 medium-size fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish: fresh basil strips

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan. Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish, if desired.
*1 (13-oz.) package three-cheese tortellini may be substituted.
**1 (14.5-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, fully drained, may be substituted.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Buitoni Four Cheese Ravioli and Classico Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Pasta Sauce.

My Star Rating: 4.5
** I LOVED this the first time but it was simply just delicious the second...still would make it repeatedly though; my in-laws and husband also raved about it.  Major is so easy to prepare.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Free Craft Friday: Applique and Disney Outfits

Every leap year my husband's family celebrates their tradition of going to Disneyland together.  I have enjoyed this tradition twice with his family now and I think it's a great way to not overdo Disney and still keep it magical.

For this trip (February 2012...old project haha) I decided to make the girls a Minni Mouse shirt.  I had found some red with white polka dot material in the remnant bin at Hancock Fabrics a few months before and knew I could put it to use for a fun Disney outfit for them.  A couple weeks before the day I found that I hadn't even touched the project so I went to work.  I searched online for a template for Mickey Mouse ears and discovered people wanted to charge me $4 or more.  No thanks.  I hopped on a Google Docs and made a super simple template myself in about 10 minutes. Mickey Mouse Template here (let me know if it doesn't work).

Next I looked up a few different tutorials on doing applique (Plaid Apple and Sew Mama Sew were my go to blogs on this). 
materials needed (polka dot material not present)
Minnie Mouse Onsie / Applique

-onsie or shirt
-red and white polka dot material
-black material
-Wonder Under or other fusible interfacing
-stablizer or you can use lightweight interfacing (keeps your stitches from puckering)
-sewing materials (sharp sewing scissors help a lot)

Step 1. Prewash your fabrics and onsies. I am horrible at this but it's an important step especially with applique and sewing different fabrics together.

Step 2.  Trace and cut your template for applique from the Wonder Under.  Mickey made it easy as I didn't have to reverse the image or such but keep that in mind depending on how complicated you get. Iron on the Wonder Under peice to the wrong side of your fabric.
 Wonder Under cut into pattern and ironed on to "wrong" side of fabric"

Step 3.  Peel off the paper backing of the Wonder Under once your peice has cooled.  This was my first time doing applique and I swear this was not a step in any tutorial and I tried to iron the peice on with the paper attached (silly me). 
peel off the paper leaving the adhesive behind

Step 4.  Iron the sticky side down of your fabric peice to the shirt or item you want it attached to.

Step 5.  Iron on stabilizer or pin it to the inside of your garment.  This will keep the stitching even and prevent ruffle and other uneven looking applique messes. 

Step 6.  Using a sewing machine or by hand, sew around the outside of the applique.  Try to keep your stiches close to the border and very even...overlapping to prevent fray or allowing for fray if you wish, depending on style.

Gathered Skirt (Addition)
After the applique onsie/shirt was complete I used the red and white polka dot material to add a simple gathered skirt to each onsie. Then I simply put a pair of red and black leggings under each girls' outfit and we were good to go. Literally finishing touches (the bows) were added only hours before our flight.

Step 1.  Sew hems on both top and bottom of skirt.  Then sew a long "baste" stitch with your machine along the top of the skirt.  DO NOT reverse stitch or "lock" your baste stitching.
 gather material with a basic sewing machine..."baste stitch" and keep your thread long at both ends

Step 2.  Keep the thread long at both ends of the peice of fabric.  Once you have the baste stitch complete find the bottom/bobin thread (bottom of hem/stitch) and gently pull on this and gather your skirt across. 
pull the bottom thread or threads in this case and voila...cute gathered skirt

Step 3.  Pin the skirt to the shirt or onsie to get your spacing/gathering just right and then sew the back seam together with right sides together.  Once back seam is complete then sew the skirt to the onsie or shirt.  

finished product without the bow

Basing my under $10 estimate on $3 onsie, $2 remnant fabric, $5 Wonder Under (not using nearly all of it) and having some other supplies on hand.
My girls living it up in Disneyland with their Minnie Mouse themed outfits