Friday, August 27, 2010

Racetrack Rug

I've had the pattern for this racetrack rug bookmarked for a while. My husband and I picked out some little wooden cars to give our two year-old for Christmas, so I decided that now was a good time to get it done.
I started following the pattern according to her directions. I kept thinking that I wished the rug was thicker, but didn't want to have to deal with trying to make up my own version of the pattern. After about 10 rows, I gave in and took it apart.
I used two strands of thread and a size K hook. I wrote down what I did and planned on sharing it. The only problem is that I have some lumpy parts and other little issues that make it an imperfect pattern. I decided (since I'm not planning on making another one of these just to perfect the pattern....) to tell you to follow Cynthia Rae's pattern and give you a few hints.
1. She has you chain one at the beginning of each row and then slip stitch at the end. It seemed like that made the one end of my track a little bigger than the other. I would just leave out the chain and work in a continuous round.
2. My first row of grass seemed to make the rug really lumpy. If you have this problem, don't go on and hope that the rug will flatten out. It won't Go back and take out a few of those stitches. I know it will be painful - but you'll be glad you did. I sure wished I had.
3. There's a lot of counting in this pattern. To ease the need of keeping track of every stitch, I placed stitch markers (paper clips) at the beginning of each curve. Then, after I had counted my curves, I could just crochet the straight parts without needing to count them; I had a stopper to remind me when to start paying attention again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baby Bibs

I was at Shopko the other day. They had a pack of plain bibs on sale. Actually, all their bibs were on sale, I just didn't like any of the other ones. They all say things like "I'm a Princess" or "Sweet Kitty" or other overdone things.
I just wanted some simple bibs that would get the job done but look good too.
I looked through some fabric scraps to get some ideas. Once I had my ideas, I drew the designs I wanted on the paper side of some Heat 'n Bond. (I've also seen it called Wonder Under). I ironed the Heat 'n Bond to the fabric scraps I chose then cut out the shapes. All I had to do then was iron the shapes to the bibs and sew around the edges. Easy and quick.
I've washed them once. The only bib that frayed was one that didn't have the Heat 'n Bond all the way to the edge, so make sure your shapes are completely covered.
Happy drooling!

Upcycled Crafts

This week, I'm sharing some ideas I've collected from the internet for craft remakes with ladies from my neighborhood. I worked on making a sample of each so I can give my two cents on the projects.

Here's a list of the links and the photos of my projects, along with my two cents for those of you that missed it or aren't in the neighborhood:

The Hooded Towel
I've posted a link to this tutorial before
. I have to tell you it's the best addition I've made to bath time since I bought those bath crayons. It's so much easier to dry off the little guy with more towel to work with. The hood keeps the towel in place while I dry.

This time around, I made the towel more fun by adding some cookie monster eyes. Just cut 4 circles of white, sew 2 (right sides together) leaving a little opening for turning. Add a bit of stuffing and stitch on some black felt circles for
the eyes. I just hand sewed them to the hood. It's now his beach towel.

Next time, I think I'll use a green towel and make a frog.

Here's the tutorial.

Baby Headbands from Knee-High Nylons
This tutorial came from a youtube video. It's really easy to do and the headbands are soft and stretchy. You can get knee high socks from the dollar store even. I also read a post somewhere about a lady that used girl's tights and got 4 headbands from each pair.

Check it out here.

Pillowcase Bag
This one is a Martha Stewart idea. The tutorial doesn't give a lot of details so let me know if you have questio

I didn't actually have a pillowcase that wasn't being used as a pillowcase, so I cheated and made a pillowcase from some fabric I liked, then cut it for the bag.Thi
s would be a fun project for a beginner, or a cheap and easy gift.

Find the project here.

Skirt to Apron
I won't lie. I don't wear aprons much. When I do, I need the full body coverage - not just one of those around the waist things. But I had a skirt that I really liked. There was a tear starting below the zipper that I couldn't get to stop. It wasn't big enough on me that I could sew the skirt together outside the tear. It was either make it an apron, or kiss it goodbye.

So now I have an apron. It's cute enough that I'll probably throw it on a few times a year just because. I can totally see me pulling out a Thanksgiving turkey wearing it. (I won't put it on until it's time to take it out though, so it stays nice for the picture :)

Check out the tutorial here. This lady also has some other fun things you can look at while you're there.

Baby Leggings
This was one of the remake projects that I didn't think I
would use. I don't like them much for boys. Now with a girl on the way, I think I'll keep a pair to try out. Sadly, I don't have a baby around to see if they work very well. The good news is that they're super easy. I had a harder time finding knee-high socks in summer than I had sewing the leggings.

Here's the tutorial.

Pants to Skirt
This idea is from the same woman that made the tutorial for the hooded towel. She's got a whole slew of tutorials you can look at. She posts a few
more every week so keep an eye out.

This project seems like a great way to use pants that get holes in the knee or that get too short even though the waist still fits. The thing that I loved was that all the trickier parts of making a skirt (the zipper and pockets) are already done for me. All I had to do was add a little fabric and I was done.

See the tutorial here.

Men's Tie to Boy's Tie

I put this one last, because it was the last one I finished. It was the trickiest one for me. I bought two ties from the thrift store and used one for a "practice" round. This turned out to be my problem because the fabric was thin and cheap and old. It made it a lot harder to work with, I just couldn't get my knot to look decent.

I finally gave up and started cutting the higher quality tie. Once I got the angles right and pressed it, the rest was pretty easy. So if you try this one, find a tie that feels like it has good quality.

I think this tutorial would come in handy if you're planning a wedding or family pictures or something and you need a boy's tie that matches the mens'.

In this tutorial, the author uses elastic band to keep the tie around the neck. I had visions of my son pulling on his tie all day and stretching it out or choking himself. I used a strip of matching ribbon and a little Velcro instead. He has a tie that closes with Velcro that he wears with no problems. I figure this makes it a little more adjustable anyway.

Check out the tutorial. Isn't her little boy so cute in his tie? I wonder where I can find pinstripe pants?

If you like taking one thing and making something else - or if you just like getting ideas for any kind of craft - check out this blog. It's full of ideas and there are new ones every day.