Sunday, February 6, 2011

Oven Mitt for the Little Man

So James and I are working on building a play kitchen for Isaac from Ana White's plans (which are awesome by the way, and I am so excited to finally be building something after over a year of day dreaming). We built the basic shape of the sink - still need to get a sink basin and faucet for it, and we still need to paint it. But, we're on our way. Of course, we do everything in fits and starts, as we both have to be in the mood and Isaac has to be snoozing in order for us to work on it. So, while the kitchen itself waits this magical combination of events, I went ahead and got started on the really fun part - accessories!

Isaac loves to play with my oven mitts - and boy is it adorable when he sticks his arms all the way in them. But I thought, wouldn't it be great if he had his own? Well, now he does :)

And here is a little explanation of how it's done, if you want make one for your little kitchen helper:

Important note: This is intended as a TOY, not as actual protection from hot pans and such. Though the tutorial explains how to construct this with padding, as an adult-sized oven mitt would be, it is simply not safe to allow small children to handle hot objects. Don't do it. The end of the important note.

First, gather your materials:
- Cardboard
- Fabric - 2 coordinating fabrics, if desired, or just one
- Batting, felt, or other padding
- Thread, scissors, other sewing accoutrements

Grab yourself a mitten that fits your little person, or if the wee one will stay still long enough, you could trace their hand. I used a mitten. Trace it onto your piece of cardboard, then modify it so that it looks like a basic oven mitt shape. Cut it out. Mine looked like this:

Trace your pattern onto your fabric. I folded my fabric over, right sides together, and cut two at once to make sure I had one going each direction, as my brain tends to muddle things like that. I chose to use two different fabrics, so the inside would be different from the outside, but that's totally up to you. You will need four pieces total, however you choose to arrange them. Cut around the pattern, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Trace your pattern onto your batting or felt and cut around, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Cut two.

Now you should have 6 pieces, like so:

It only gets easier from here. So, now you just take your  pieces and make a nice little sandwich - inside piece, padding, outside piece. 


Then, take that puppy over to your machine and quilt it together, any way you choose. I chose to do criss-crossing diagonal lines, classic oven mitt style. Go ahead and do this twice, so you have two sides, like so:

At this point you can also choose to sew around your edges with a zig-zag stitch, just to give it a nice finished look.

And now, just put your two piece right sides together (the side you want to be on the outside will be on the inside).  Starting at the bottom of the thumb side, sew all the way around, stopping at the top of the straight side. Hopefully the picture will help explain this:

Ok, so now, cut a strip of your contrasting fabric, whatever you want to form the trim of your oven mitt, and cut a piece 2 inches by about 8 inches or so. Fold it in half (so you form a 1-inch by 8-inch strip) and iron it, then open that and fold the edges toward the middle, so that the cut edges are no enclosed, and iron. Take this piece and pin it around the bottom, unfinished edge of your mitt. Leave a little tail on one side, like so:

Sew this down, sticking as close to the edge without missing the trim. You will have quite a bit of a tail left over on the other side.

When you get to the end of the other side, form your loop by making a fold of your trim piece and tucking it inside.  


Sew closed your open side, trim off the excess tails, and you're done!

 Enjoy playing with your little kitchen helper!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pep Talks

Anyone else out there have to give themselves a pep talk when crafting? I do. Tonight, the mantra I kept repeating to myself was "I am not hopeless."

(Full disclosure, I started out saying to myself, "I am not retarded," but even just saying that in my head made me feel pretty unkind - especially when probably many mentally handicapped people would have no difficulty doing what I was struggling so so hard to do tonight.)

Anyway, after I edited myself, I just kept repeating "I am not hopeless, I am not hopeless..." as I tried desperately to create this flower , created by Tanya of Trey and Lucy. If you take a look at it, see her very well-illustrated tutorial, and even watch her video tutorial, you will know why the mantra was necessary. I mean, this does not look hard. Many, many people seem to be pulling it off no problem. And here's me, unwinding and starting my rose over and over again.

Well, this story has a happy ending, because after hours (Yes, that's literal. Hours.) of going "half twist... half twist... what the heck am I doing wrong?!?!?!" I finally caught on and created this masterpiece:

In case you didn't quite catch that, here it is from another angle:

Oh, you'd like to continue admiring its hard-won beauty? Ok, here's another shot:

Still not enough for you? Ok, one more:

Sigh. I'm not hopeless.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Refashionista Day 3: Another "Instead" Project

Today's project by Suzannah from  Adventures in Dressmaking was indeed very cool. She took an underused skirt and transformed it into a pillow. Check out her tutorial. I didn't really need a pillow, but I did have a project I've been meaning to get to. So I'm refashioning along to the beat of my own drum again today. Thanks, Suzannah and Cheri of course, for the inspiration.

We bought a piano a while back and have great intentions for learning how to play it. We even have some piano books with simple songs and theory and whatnot to help us in our endeavor. We just had nowhere to put said books. Then I found that one of those milk boxes from Costco was actually just the right size to tuck under the piano and hold all our books. It just wasn't very pretty. Case in point:

So, I grabbed some fabric I'd bought a long time ago (oddly enough, I originally thought I'd make pillows out of it), some Heat'n'Bond, and my trusty iron and went to town. I like using Heat'n'Bond cuz it's easy, fast, and I get crisper results than I ever do with Mod Podge. I am just bad at gluing I guess. Anyway, here's the box now:

Here it is a little closer:

Much prettier, don't you think? Of course, when you start with a cardboard milk box it's not hard.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Refashionista Day 2: In Which I Do Not Follow the Schedule

Well, the refashionista event was never really about "refashioning along" and doing all the projects, but I was sort of planning to do that anyway. But, well, so much for plans--today's tutorial was for a (very cute) little girl's dress, and I just have my one little dude. So, it didn't "hit me where I live" so to speak. (What does that mean, anyway? If someone hit me where I lived I think I'd feel violated... anyway...). I still wanted to do a little refashioning, so I decided to dive into a simple little project I've been meaning to try for a while. Make It and Love It has a great little tutorial for repurposing a short-sleeved shirt into a long-sleeved one. It's getting chilly around these parts, and I thought it would be great to get Isaac's wardrobe ready for winter.

So, I took his my favorite of his shirts and took it from this:

To this:

Hurray! I'm so grateful for all these awesome ladies who take all the time to create things and then go the extra mile and share it with the whole internet. What a great time to be alive, eh?

Oh, and here's a picture of yesterday's scarf, in action. Oh, and me. I'm in it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Refashionista Day 1: Fun with Disney

I was excited to see that Disney from Ruffles and Stuff would kick off the Refashionista Event at I Am Momma. I love her blog and adore her style. I've been meaning to try one of her projects for forever... well, actually I did one - I made a version of her Birds on a Wire that is admired all the time by visitors to my home. I can't claim the credit for the creativity, but at least the sticks came from my yard. :) Anyway, I've never tried one of her clothing refashions - until now!

I'm not usually a scarf girl*, but I loved the unique look of the one that Disney created. I've got a soft spot for buttons . . . and pockets. Anyway, I was very tempted to run out to Dollar Tree and see if I could grab the same scarves she used and just make a duplicate. But then I decided that since refashioning is all about using what you have and making something great out of just regular old something, I decided to shuffle through my scraps. I found some fleece and some felt and ta da! Here's what I came up with:

I thought it turned out pretty cute. Sorry for the not so great picture - it's ten o'clock at night after all, and we don't have the best lighting in the craft room. Maybe I'll get some pictures of me wearing it tomorrow. We'll see.

Anyway, so looking forward to seeing what else comes up in this Refashionista event. Maybe this is just the thing I needed to take me from dreaming/planning to doing.

*I feel an urge to explain, for some reason: I love scarves in theory. They keep your neck warm, but they're removable for when your neck gets too hot. Versatile. But, for some reason I never seem to want to wear one. I think this one may change that. :) Happy.

And a side note: as I was finishing up, my husband turned from his Civilization game and asked, "So what are you doing anyway?" After I explained and showed him my cute scarf, he said, "Oh great! That'll help me with my whole Peter Bishop look." If any of you are Fringe watchers, maybe you'll have the same giggle that we shared over that. Peter Bishop - always seems to be wearing a scarf  and always seems to have his hands in his pockets. This look would totally simplify things for him. But, while I think my version is possibly manly enough, this baby is totally mine. Sorry, Husby.

Refashioning Along

Yeah, so... this blog sort of died before it was really alive. But here I am to try to resurrect it again.

Cheri over at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar is doing a Refashionista event, with guest bloggers and her creative self posting daily tutorials for refashioning. I have decided I'd like to refashion along, so at least this week there will be posts of my adventures :)

Head over to I Am Momma to learn more about it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tie Onesie

I've been meaning to do this one for a while, and learning to use my new machine's applique stitch was just the motivation I needed. I used this tutorial from Crap I've Made to make an applique tie onesie for the wee guy. Here's the handsome model himself:

By the way, there is enough fabric in a charm square to complete this project. This project could also be done without sewing, if you trusted the iron-on stuff.