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1  Hedgie Pot Holders! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Merripan on: May 06, 2012 12:26:38 PM
So...  I love hedgehogs. And I love to quilt...  And I love to cook...  For my birthday this year, a friend got me some hedgehog print fabric (SQUEEEEE!), and I've been holding off doing anything with it until I was honestly ready.

This morning, I took one look at my old, ratty pot holders, and decided I needed to make some just for me...  These are double-batted with 100% cotton, and one layer of Insul-brite to help beat the heat...

Behold! The 8" squared wonder that is Hedgie Pot Holders!!!

Thank you for looking!
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2  Highwaters turned high-stylin'! - Upcycled tute! in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Merripan on: April 18, 2012 06:55:16 PM
As with most of our kiddos, watching them grow is both joyous and painful...  Joyous to us, and painful to our wallets when we have to buy new clothes. *chuckle*

My kiddo has recently been growing by leaps and bounds and, while she still fit into her cargo jeans, they didn't fit lengthwise on her very well at all...  HOWEVER - I decided, since I had a bunch of trim available, and about 20 minutes, she could have the most original pair of cargo shorts around!

And here's how to do it for your little one...

First of all, you need to decide how short you want to cut them. Since these were well into highwaters, but I didn't want my DD to be wearing hot pants, either, I kept them fairly long...  As you can see, they hit just at the knee, making them wearable throughout the summer.

Once you decide where to cut them, it's time to turn the seams. After trimming the edges of many other projects, I've learned that if you can hide a seam with trim, do it. It cuts down on the amount of fabric you have to repeatedly sew over, and takes an extra step out of the sewing.  So, turn the seam right side out, with enough turn over to make sure that it won't fray, and make sure that your trim is going to be wide enough to cover it.

After you're done with the initial hem, it should look pretty much like this (BTW, you can use this on shirt sleeves, too - wonderful tip!!).

Next you'll want to sew down the trim onto the hem. I decided on a two-step process, because I wanted some beaded fringe trim on here...  If you want to just do a single trim, then skip this part.

If you decide on the beaded fringe, you'll see on this pic that the hem is still showing - that's ok...  Because the trim I picked for it is 2" wide and will cover the hem completely.

Now, sew your trim onto the hem, at each edge...

Once it's done, these pants have been given another summer season's worth of use! Whooty whoot!

Here's a close-up of the trim I used for DD's "new" shorts.

I hope you enjoyed the tute! Have a great summer!
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3  Oven Mitt Help? in Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions by Merripan on: April 10, 2012 08:23:33 PM
This may already have been covered elsewhere, and if so, I do apologize...  But I'm in need of some SERIOUS help here...

So...  I have this oven mitt pattern, which is great. Simple, easy, right?  Errrmmm...  sort of?

I'm running into a few problems...  I think I know most of the issues, but I'd love some advice on how to handle them...

Before I get to the issue, here's what I'm using:

-100% cotton fabric for both the outside and inside of the mitt
-Insul-Bright batting
-Warm tater batting

How I have layered them:
-cotton inside of mitt
-layer of insul-bright
-layer of warm tater
-cotton outside of mitt

Now to the issues I'm having...

1. I used quilting stay spray to stick the layers together...  I *think* this is part of where this issue is stemming from. My sewing machine is not picking up the bobbin thread constantly down below. If I sew the same layers together and DON'T use the spray, I don't have the issue...  So, I will be trying with just a BUNCH of pins and crossed toes.

2. When I turn the mitt right side out, since it has 8 layers, the inset where the thumb webbing would be does not want to turn...  And the thumb itself doesn't want to pop out...

I've honestly never done anything like this before. I quilt, and I sew clothing, but this is an entirely new animal that I have yet to truly fathom. So, any help would be greatly appreciated!

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4  Sewing Kit from a Clue-Print... in Completed Projects by Merripan on: April 01, 2012 07:23:07 PM
I had no idea what I was doing when I made this, but thankfully ended up doing 3 of them, so I now know what to fix the next time around.

The back-story...

I was attempting to match things together and ziplock like (or somewhat like) items together in an attempt to stop the crap-o-lanch from falling atop my laz-y-boy recliner. While sorting everything out, I kept coming across random small bits of fabric too small for me to DO much with, but too big for me (in my poor, befuddled, packrat-like mind) to simply throw away.  I couldn't justify making a scrap quilt, because I'd tried that before, and failed spectacularly.

And then...  In the midst of all of this sorting and swearing, cursing and stuffing everything back into the corner where it was supposed to stay, it hit me...  Many of my friends are members of the SCA...  And many of them have lovely clothing...  And most of them don't, for one reason or another, have a good sewing kit that they can take out of their encampment...

Like a blaze of lightening, I had a clue-print suddenly hit my fore-brain and, before I could duck out of the way, it imbedded itself into my neurons and forced me to create...

A sewing kit.

As you can see, the kit is small, lightweight, and very simple to conceal...

Inside, however, lurks...

A myriad of items bend on mending most items - or, at least, patch it until a sewing machine can be reached.

I chose to hand-sew in the strip where the pins sit, in a random whip stitch, to add to visual interest.

And here you can see the strap that hooks into the scissor loop. The orange loop is actually hand-tied lace-work.

I have made 3 of them so far...  I'm thinking that a lot of people are going to be very happy come Christmas and Yule this year.

So, what think you of my Clue Print?
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5  Summer Dress for DD in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Merripan on: March 28, 2012 01:32:11 PM
In wending my way through the local fabric store, I came across a fabric I couldn't resist...  Camo... and frogs. Together they are so awesome as to hardly be contained!

And here is the result of the awesomeness...

I also made a pair of pantaloons for DD, but haven't yet gotten pics of them - she swiped them out of my hands immediately and put them on. I haven't seen them since...  *chuckle*


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6  Charmed and Pinwheeled... Image heavy in Quilting: Completed Projects by Merripan on: March 23, 2012 09:30:02 AM
A friend of mine works with a physical therapist/chiropractor who recently had a baby boy (like, this last week), and she put off making a quilt for so long that by the time the birth occurred, she was in a HUGE mess of worry, and finally looked at me and asked "Would you?"

Sure, I said, and headed off to the fabric store...  It was standing in the midst of the quilting fabric that it hit me - I have *NO* idea what this new mother wanted for a quilt...  Or liked - or didn't like. *chuckle* 

When asking my friend, she came back with "Creams, greens and browns..."  And then "Think yuppie 30-something organic soccer mom...  She wants all cotton, definitely baby-ish, but no marketed characters."

THIS helped a lot, so I got to wandering through the fabric and found the perfect combination for a quilt.

After it was pieced together as a pinwheel quilt...

I had to make a filler square, as I only had 4 patterns - which meant that it made 8 squares.

Done, with the edging and everything...

A close-up of the tie job I did...

The decorative stitch I did on the binding...  A few spots were a little warbled, but they'll smooth out in a washing or two...

While piecing all of this together, I got a charm packet from connectingthreads.com for $2...  I'd been curious about a charm packet, and figured for $2, I couldn't go TOO wrong, right?

The *softest* flannel I've ever felt came to me, and I decided that I needed to make a mini-quilt for the doctor to use while the baby is still itty-bitty...

The finished quilt - I actually put the quilt batting and the two sides all together, sewed around the edges and turned it all right side out, then hand-stitched the hole closed.

A close-up of one of the charm pieces - Fennic foxes! How cute is THAT!  Oh, and you can also see the machine quilt edging I did to hold everything in place...

Same backing as the other quilt, only a bit pieced together...  A peace print that's been pieced... Ha ha haha.... haha...  OK - bad pun, but hey! It looked cute. You can see a bit of the machine quilting I did on this one, too...  I decided to do a stitch in the ditch on this one, since it was so super small...

So, there you are - pinwheeled and charmed...

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7  New Easter Dress for DD... in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Merripan on: March 18, 2012 07:49:29 PM
So, my daughter decided that I needed to make her an Easter dress this year. She's 4, and apparently has been jonesing for one ever since we went to the mall a few weeks ago and she saw a whole bunch of them for sale. 

She's reached the girlie-girl stage, and everything has to be a princess dress...  I had no clue what to do, because the only dress pattern that was princess-y was the one I'm saving for the flower girl dress I'll be making for a friend's wedding... 

I took DD to the fabric store, where she picked out a color I would NEVER have chosen (salmon with yellow print on it), and then some sparkly chiffon to go on top of it - she even found matching ribbon to go with it...

We got home, and I offered up Simplicity's Pattern #3588 Child Dress or Jumper: http://www.simplicity.com/p-1938-child-dresses.aspx as the pattern...  DD chose view B, but insisted on the sparkly chiffon and ribbon to go on it as well...

This was the end result... 

The dress, just hanging around...

A close-up of the bodice...  The original design was for a stylized mandarin dress, but DD wanted a little more...

A close-up of the sleeve...  Note the colorful sparklies on it...

A delighted daughter in her new Easter dress.


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8  Watermelon Twirly Toddler Dress in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Merripan on: April 13, 2011 08:36:12 PM
So, I was gifted a HUGE box of fabric from my friend. A lot of it was great for quilting, but some of it boggled my brain as to what to do with it.

My dear daughter picked up one 2 yard piece and insisted that I make a dress for her out of it...  I agreed, but it then sat around the house for several months while I thought about what I was going to do with it to make a dress...

I decided on a twirly dress, because she's three, and loves to be the center of all that is the universe. LOL.

So, with no real pattern in mind, I set to work with an old shirt for a guide on how big she was. Four hours later, I had the dress done and on her and she refused to take it off.

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9  I was inspired... in Quilting: Completed Projects by Merripan on: March 07, 2011 12:01:18 PM
So, about a month or so ago, I saw this quilt https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=370827.0, which inspired me to go through all of my scraps, too.

I found two rolls of fat quarters that I hadn't used. Originally, they were to make fat quarter dresses for my DD, but I never got around to doing anything with them.  But the colors were so wonderful, I felt that they would make an amazing quilt together.

Thus, is my "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" quilt, with a matching pillow, to boot.

The batting I used was actually a recycled electrical blanket, with the wires pulled out of it. I've found that it makes a WONDERFUL batting, and is warm, as well as easily washed.  It's also SUPER cheap, which is great for those of us on a budget.  The piping around the edges of the pillow were also hand-made, with scraps of the same blanket.

I hope you enjoy my endeavor.

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10  Miraculous Bridal gown for less than $70 in supplies! in Weddings and Bridal Showers by Merripan on: February 18, 2011 05:27:58 PM
So, here's the skinny on this one...

The bride-to-be and her boyfriend decided, after being together for almost 15 years, that they should probably finally tie the knot now that they're having a baby.

The gown was ordered, and everything seemed to be coming together just fine...  UNTIL... *duh-duh-duhhhhhh!* The call that brides everywhere dread more than seeing gray hair in the mirror the day of the wedding:  The dress had been back-ordered and wouldn't be available for another 2 months.

This wouldn't have been an issue, except that it was 16 days til the wedding when they called to tell her.  Our panicked heroine called her step-sister and asked how on earth she was going to get a dress in less than 16 days...

The step-sister called me, and I said I'd do it, but I would need to know what it was going to be made of, etc...

The dress would be made of cotton, and preferably cream. The bridal colors were turquoise and brown, and while the bride-to-be had originally thought she should be in turquoise, she decided after thinking about it that cream would be best.

The bride-to-be had found a dress she really liked, but had decided against it since it wouldn't have made it in time from China. I took a look at the dress, and realized that I had the dress (well, mostly) in a pattern that's now out of print...

Another little snag in this was that the budget was EXTREMELY small...  $100 at best for the dress...  And they hadn't been reimbursed from the store where they'd ordered the other dress...  EEK!

So, off we went to the local fabric store to see what we could see...  We found exactly what we were looking for, which was surprising, considering. I thought about the color scheme and offered up the idea that the insert in the front of the dress should have some color to it - and we found the perfect way to do that, too, using the bridal colors:

So, I went home and started figuring out how to get started on this dress and make it work the first time around, since we had limited fabric and no way to really fit it to her...

Oh, did I mention that the bride lives about 4 hours south of me? And we didn't have the ability to fit her at all?  Yeah...  I had 3 measurements for her...  LOL.

Luckily for me, a friend of mine almost had the same size everything... *whew* So, I had a bit of a stroke of luck there. :-)

I started putting everything together and it decided not to put up a fuss... I kept thinking that it would - that something would go wrong...  Somehow, it would completely go south on me.  Why? Because that's the way things go when you're rushed and have all obstacles working against you. *chortle*

The first thing I did was the bust...  And I added some ribbon to the front and permanently sewed it on. I think it adds a nice touch to it.

Then I added the sleeves and the skirt to it...  Look - we've achieved a semi-functioning wedding gown!

I kept looking at the sleeves and thinking that it needed something to make them look finished...  I was right - TRIM!

How you know you have true friends - when you're allowed to turn them into dress mannequins to help you out. You can see a close-up of the neckline trim that I put on by hand...

My dear friend, posing as my mannequin, to show how lovely the gown looks once it's done...

The back of the gown, mostly finished...  The last two things I did on the gown was to take the same trim I put on the sleeves, and put it down on either side of the back, and lace it up - no zippers, and a much better way to fit things, in my opinion.

I also wasn't sure whether the bride had anything to wear around her neck...  So, I made a choker for her from some old velvet cream ribbon I had, and some more of the trim I had laying around...

I also made a drawstring pouch for the bride, which I haven't told them about. It's of the insert material, and has scrap fabric from the dress, as well as the rest of the trim. That way, should she wish to, she can make a memory book with it.

So, the total cost? $70 to complete it. And it was done in 7 days...  Would have been done sooner, but I also work...  Sooo...  yeah...


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