Vogue V8869 Men's Fedora
What thoughts come to mind for Father's Day gift giving? Do you send or give only cards? Perhaps you shop for the perfect gift and still come away with less than what you wished to give him. Want to know a secret? Men adore handmade gifts from the heart.
Ask a few male friends or family members and they will most likely tell you given the choice heartfelt and handmade trumps store bought signs and mugs that read, "Greatest Dad". Maybe your little ones want to give that sign or mug to send the message they love their Dad and, they still can with a handmade gift from the heart.
A great example is the Men's Fedora Hat by Vogue (left). Toss out the thoughts that you could never sew this hat pattern! With only three pieces, lining and interfacing this is one gift idea to make in a few short hours. My husband gave me a great idea for the fabric with the suggestion of wool shirts and coats from the thrift store! Is there an old coat, tweed jacket, or wool shirt (make sure it's not in use anymore!) that could use new life? Upcycle into this amazingly easy to sew Fedora for Father's Day.
| |From Your Hands and Heart . . .Bring his new Fedora together with a hand knit tie! Knit ties seem to never go out of fashion and many men like to wear them for the versatility provided. I made the Black Wool Knit Tie (Right) based on a favorite tie of my husband. It takes minimal yarn and is perfect for learning decrease and increase in knitting. Knit Picks offers a free pattern or Custom Order a Knit Tie from Day Dreams. | |
| Click for pattern page |
A clever idea is the useful tool belt or apron.
Patterns are not actually a necessity to make a tool belt/apron, but they are handy for beginners in upcycle sewing. An old pair of jeans or two, a little time and you have a terrific gift that will keep giving!* Place your Special Gift Orders Today!
| MacGyverisms - Book Planters |
For the Dad who loves his gardening, this is a great gift idea that your little ones can help make!
Planters can be found in just about any form. Step out of the box and into the creative lanes. Look around your garage, basement, thrift shops and backyard for unique planter ideas. It's upcycling at it's finest!
Grampa deserves time too!
Personally, I am a huge fan of the gift of time. Hold off on the "Honey Do" list for a day and let Dad and his little ones choose how they spend the day together.
The internet holds thousands of craft ideas for making gifts, including the page at Red Ted Art
. With more than 40 links to handmade gift tutorials,
there is bound to be something you and the kids can create for Dad that is sure to fill his heart with love and pride.
Dads adore handmade from the heart; they're kind of cool like that. As you plan, search and create the gift for the perfect man in your life, I wish each of you success, joy and inspiration today and always!
This was a challenge.
In all my years of sewing and DIY projects, I imagine I have enough experience to qualify as a professional "Handy Woman". I adore sewing; however, while alterations are good work with terrific outcomes there is a strong sense of satisfaction and pride from DIY or sewing repairs. Recently, I received a fun compliment when a loyal customer stated,"You are so talented you could make #@#$% look good!"
If I would have taken pictures over the past 30 odd years of all the last minute repairs of melted lace and beads on wedding gowns, torn suits, zippers, torn or shredded upholstery, broken and/or burned furniture, and recently a bathtub (the rust and lyme were so thick it took more than 20 hours of chipping and scrubbing to clean) there would be enough to publish a coffee table best seller! Extreme Repairs include that mess of fabric pictured above. The hood was burned in a welding accident. Metal pieces were melted into parts of the fabric and the poly fibers melted so much it turned to a plastic like material. Ahh yes, well...repairs that are extreme in nature seem to be how I roll!
Challenge: "See what you can do?"
The young man handed me his coat with the, "I can't believe I did this."
sort of look and asked me, "See what you can do with this?"
He bought it recently and was shocked at how fast the fabric melted (Good word of caution there - check the fabrics in your child's coats). First step:
Cut away burned areas and see what's left. I carefully seam ripped the hood off, having to actually cut away some. Once the hood was off, it looked quite repairable.
Second Step: Hood or Collar? I decided on collar since the owner told me he burned the second hooded jacket that same day. Ouch!
Starting to shape up, isn't it?
Cut 3" on the fold for the collar and matched the trapezoid for the burned panel.
I found suitable sport fleece in dark brown to make a collar. Measuring inside and outside the jacket from point to point of neckline, I cut the fabric for the repair. There was another issue; the trapezoid shaped panel (Grey) would need more than patching. It could not be removed as it had melted to the lining, fusing it like plastic in some places. I cut out a soft sport fleece (so not to irritate his neck area) to cover the burned canvas area shown.
Third Step: Home free at this point! The longest part, honestly, was picking out the burned fabric, pieces of metal and preparing the coat to receive a new collar. Once that was finished, attaching the collar was a cakewalk.
Following are a few more shots of the steps I took with some things you may want to watch out for if you have a repair such as this.
That's about it! It's how I roll on a day to day basis around here. There is always a new project waiting on the side lines for those days when I am not crocheting, designing, sewing, etc. Future challeges? Bring 'em on!
Wishing you all success and inspiration today and always,
"Fabric and yarn are my canvas, threads are my paint and notions are the tools I use to create works of art." S. Marchman-Day
As more people upcycle and think of the impact their purchases make on the environment, sewing, knitting and crocheting have increased in popularity with a deeper interest in learning the skill sets of these arts.
When working with serious projects, upcycling or repurposing, each requires a basic knowledge or an understanding of the differences between all the fabulous colors of yarn, wool, fabrics and threads available. If you want your project to stand above the rest, make sure you know how to find information about your materials.
What’s All the Fuss?
Those of us with some fiber art experience have an embedded picture in our memory of a failed project made with the wrong yarn, thread or fabric. It’s a good lesson actually; one that I recommend everyone working with fiber arts experience just once. When you do, you will understand why.
There is a good reason for manufacturer or distributor labels on your fabric, yarn and threads. It’s the same reason all items are labeled – to tell you what you’re buying and how to use it. If you purchase the wrong yarn or wool, you could be in for that failed project mentioned earlier. Take a look at the labels or “wraps” on a few yarns and the information each provides. Most show how to wash, what the weight is, the fiber content and how many yards or ounces you are purchasing. Some show dye lots to try and match materials when you need more.
Tip: If the label is missing and you are unsure of the content of the yarn, try this: Take two ends of the fiber and fray them slightly. Wet the ends and try to rub them together. If they felt together, you have wool. If not, it’s most likely an acrylic or blend of acrylic and other fiber.
Sewing thread has specific labels as well. On the top, have you ever noticed it says, “All Purpose” or “Quilting”? Threads are marked specifically for different projects. Quilting thread is thicker, just as button twine is. All purpose thread is fine, thin and made of cotton or polyester/cotton blends. Threads are also sold in silk and clear vinyl.
Click pic for PDF
Here is a neat little download - a Thread Advisor from Coats & Clark
Tip: If the label is missing from the top, bottom or both, try the burn test. Over a sink or outside, hold the thread in tweezers or hemostats. Light an end. If it melts you have polyester. If it turns to ash, it’s cotton. Some say they can tell by feel, but I’ve found better luck w/the burn test.
| |Regarding fabrics,
one piece can provide a good amount of information, as demonstrated by this post from * iKnitQuiltSew, “What Can A Piece of Fabric Tell You?”
In her post she shares an easy way to learn about fabric by the “label” on the selvage.
Tip: If you have purchased lengths or scraps from a thrift store or yard sale and the selvage is missing (usally the case) you will quickly see if it’s cotton or a blend of cotton and some other fabric by the feel and most times, weight. Polyester (or knit) will have a defined give or stretch to the fabric and there are some that have distinct characteristics such as tulle, chenille, wool, silk, and satin.
You may not have the specific information as to the percentages of blends in your fabrics, but you should have a good idea of what the fabric is and if it will suit your purpose. If you are unsure, ask someone to help you. Many are quite willing to share their knowledge of sewing skills!
To help take some of the mystery out of your fiber(s), why not make and carry your own book of swatches when you are shopping. No need for your swatch book to be large – an address book will work (Yes, they still make those!). Tape or glue swatches of a variety of fabrics, yarns, wools and threads in your book and label with the information you feel is important to you and the projects you frequently make. For example, if you quilt, what is the style, size and type of quilting thread you normally use? For knit or crochet, what is the weight you normally use to make the hot selling baby layette set? You get the idea.
Don’t let yourself be intimidated with all the information placed on the wraps and tags of fabrics, threads, yarns and wool. It’s easy to be confused and when that happens, consult your swatch book, pattern or ask someone in the store. Or, you could always throw caution to the wind and like me on occasion, get daring and purchase that beautiful piece of fabric or hank of yarn (or wool?) knowing there will be a use for it soon!
Wishing you great success and inspiration with your fiber arts today and always,
Last week`s post was a metaphor about having the right tools to achieve a positive outcome for any task or goal a person has before them. "Having the right tools for the job" is not just a metaphor, but a golden rule for any activity, task, project, goal or objective.
A more in depth approach to this golden rule: replace "tools" with "skills" and then "knowledge". The difference is now the golden rule has turned into a metaphor for learning. You are probably asking, "What does this have to do with trends in fashion, sewing, DIY, crochet, etc.?" I will answer with this: if you don't have the knowledge to use the tools, or the skills to apply use to the tools, your outcome will be disastrous. Disasters in fashion, sewing, crochet, knitting, upcycling, and even your employment are costly in time, money and emotional well-being.
| || |
Hand in Hand
It is common knowledge that skills & knowledge go hand in hand. The internet offers a large variety of tutorials and lessons in sewing, crochet, knitting, DIY and upcycling, but what if you don't know what you are reading or watching? Having a foundation of skills to build your knowledge on will save you the frustration and costly outcome of disasters in your projects. There is no guarantee that every project will be perfect - I'm sure celebrity do-it-your-selfers and crafters have had their fails. What I can guarantee: if you have the right tools, skills and knowledge, you increase the chances of success.
Trends & Disasters
A fun little exercise for you is to search for *sewing disaster images* or *fashion disaster images*. If you don't want your project to wind up in the dump or food for mice while in the attic or garage someplace, assess your knowledge of the trends before it becomes a disaster. This fashion disaster cartoon is a perfect example of the disasters I'm talking about. DIY on your own trendy fashion or home decor is okay as long as you KNOW what you are doing and have the skills to do it!
I am a firm believer (my mission) that people can rethink their plan in any arena and design their world to fit them. This does not mean we all fit the same molds in apparel and home decor or crafts. Obviously, though we may have similar tastes and styles, we are each different. The current trend (and it's not a trend to me, but okay, I'll bite...) is upcycling - everything. Good things can go overboard like HERE
with humorous look at a craft fail.
When taking on a project involving current fashions or trends, you may want to consider how much you know about your self whether the new trends fit your style. If you tend toward simple and down to earth you certainly won't wear well this look for Spring 2013.
This is more suitable for casual, yet trendy. FYI, trends this spring are black and white, color blocks, and....Vintage!
Each piece pictured in the spring fashions have a basic foundations - jacket, straight skirt, sleeveless shift, button down blouse, the classic tank. The accessories are those found in about any thrift store in our old bags and boxes of accessories we've stored away.
Where does upcycling fit with these fabulous trends? Many will make their own garments based on these designs and with skill and knowledge they will make most of them from upcycled garments. However, some will try without having the skills and guess where it will end up? With exploration first, find out what you enjoy, are good at or want to learn. Once you have in mind what you want to learn, begin with learning the basics skills and build your knowledge base from there. In crochet, learn to chain; in knitting, learn to cast on; in upcycling you will need several basic skills such as sewing or using hand tools and knowledge of your own personal style and tastes.
My point: as long as you have the skills and knowledge and know your style you can pull any of the trends off with upcycling. Follow the Second Golden Rule.
Home decor this spring features bright colors that pop in frames, throw pillows, blankets, baskets, mirror frames, and other accessories. "What fits me" and, "How can I save money" are the hottest trends in home and apparel fashion. The answer: Upcycle what you have to fit your plan, your dream. http://www.bhg.com/
The Second Golden Rule: Have the Right Tools for the Job.
| |Where Do You Find the Skills & Knowledge?
There is no secret to learning your style or preferences in apparel and home decor. Take a long hard look around your home and in your closet. Are there pieces that stand out to you or grab your attention? Pieces you know you would not want to do without? Colors that are predominate? If you like them, why change them for the sake of the latest in fashion or home decor?
What about skills and knowledge to upcycle, sew or perform other new skills? I would be silly to not put in a plug for the lessons in crochet and sewing
I offer, and there are a variety of places online I *bookmark and use to increase my skills and knowledge base. In fact, recently I took up knitting. There are many garments that combine knitting and crochet, so the logical next step for me was to learn the basics of knitting. I think it's going along quite well! See my progress here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/daysew/unique-basketweave-washcloth
Fortunately after crocheting for many years the technique of knitting was actually easy to learn. Again, if one has the foundation, the rest comes easy in learning any new skill.
Whether you are making changes in style to your home or apparel keep these in mind:
Wishing much success and inspiration today and always,
* Here are my recommendations for places to bookmark when learning a new skills or refreshing old ones.
You Tube - Just about anything you want to try and learn using video is here. It's free and if you don't like one video, try another.
eHow - Videos, step by step tutorials, free patterns - it's all here. I've not found a better source to give me the basics or a quick reminder for a specific stitch, skill or design tip.
About - If you didn't like what you found at You Tube or eHow, try About. Filled with all the same instructions, videos, links, tutorials, etc., another solid source for learning or brushing up on basic skills.
"He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk."
| |I'm back with the bonus post that I promised - number seven of the series, Doodles & Dreams, My Gifts to You
. I'm fairly excited over this post as it's filled with terrific ideas from sites I have found across the web and a few of my own favorites of Day Dreams. Stocking stuffers.
You know how important they are; not only to the traditions many of us revisit each Christmas, but to children. Their stockings and what is found inside are the reward for their efforts through out the year to be good (they do try, Mom & Dad!).
Historically, stockings were the socks of the children (hence the patched socks depicted so many places) and filled with nuts, rare fruits, candies and coins. Today, stockings are embellished and quite personalized, and not just for children. Mom, Dad and even one for the family pet are hung and filled with special little gifts.
I've decided to dedicate this final post of the series to making stocking stuffers. These are not expensive ideas, and much if not all of the materials can be found around your home or local thrift shop.
For Little OnesChildren about the age of 4 - 7 seem to show the strongest interest in gifts and the tradition of stockings. Here are a few suggestions for their stockings.
From all the recipes I've ever found and used this has to be the best I've come across. The trick seems to be the gelatin powder. Substitute a generic form for the brand name and the results are the same.
Colored Bath Crayons
Kids love to play in the bathtub so adding a little creative fun will be no worry with this simple recipe for crayon soap. I made this last season for my grandson and it was a great hit with him (Mom & Dad too!). http://www.ehow.com/how_6519814_make-bath-crayons.html
I have a few tips when making this recipe:
- Use Ivory bar soap when possible. It's buoyant and rinses clean.
- Use only a little water when mixing.
- Be generous when adding food coloring. Only a drop or two does not make vibrant color.
- Not to worry about stains when mixing. It washes cleanly with hot water.
- I froze mine until ready to wrap for gifting. They also dry faster when they are frozen.
The kids in-between 7-12 really understand the traditions and really like the stocking stuffers. They know by this age these are the bonus gifts. This is a great age to show your In-be-Tweeners you know and appreciate their styles!
I've always like this idea of something to hold to while pulling that zipper up or down. I wonder how many zippers would have been saved with using a zipper pull? Use your imaginations on these. I came up with a few good ideas for items to make zipper pulls with. Making these is just a matter of creativity. Your materials needed are probably all around your home and in that junk drawer that still isn't cleaned out (No, I haven't done mine completely either!). Materials you may need:
- Wire (I have used stripped twist ties)
- Wire Cutters (Needle Nose Pliers work well)
- Key chains/fobs
- D Rings, Key Rings or Clips
- Misc. items such as old jewelry, pony beads, toy compass, old toy figurines, mismatched game pieces, etc.
I found a terrific link to a strong tutorial on making a unique zipper pull for all ages: http://www.ucreatewithkids.com/2012/08/diy-bottle-cap-zipper-pull.html
Button Bobby Pins
For a thoughtful and inexpensive gift, make sets of Button Bobby Pins. This is an idea for all ages of girls and young women. Here is a link to a smart tutorial I found on making these with strong tips for making the task easier! http://tipgarden.blogspot.com/2012/04/button-bobby-pins.html
I love hacky sacks! Admittedly I am not good at playing the game but I have made as gifts and incentive rewards many hacky sacks. Instead of re-creating the wheel on the pattern or tutorial, I found a terrific pattern at TLC that uses those stray socks left by the washing machine. A green gift!
| |Fingerless Gloves
Trendy and super easy to make! Click the picture for a tutorial on making these simple handy gloves or click HERE
for the crocheted version - both designed by Day Dreams.
Crocheted fingerless gloves
For A Little Older & AdultsPersonalized Bookmarks
Again, such a wonderful way to express how much you care about your teen or older adult style, likes and interests. Is there a favorite book, author or game character? Bookmarks have the ability to be entirely personalized. Suggestions are:
- Embroider initials, author, or other item on the bookmark
- Make felted bookmarks from wool (use old sweaters)
- Download and print, then laminate (or Mod Podge) pictures of favorite things (fairies, game characters, authors, titles of books, etc.). Attach a tassel at the top.
The bookmarks I made in the past had pictures which came from an old publisher when I lived on the West Coast - Green Tiger Press, http://greentigerpress.com/. The sky is the limit when you create bookmarks. Here is a link to get you started:http://tipnut.com/make-bookmarks/
Locker Magnets (or Home, Office)
There are so many sites dedicated to making these simple little charms for home, office or the student locker, that it was tough to decide on any one link to get you started. They are super easy to make and you can use so many things from around your home to get started. Some use bottle caps with stickers inside, others make more elaborate magnets using scrap fabrics, card stock and over the top embellishments. It's your gift and you know best what the recipient will like. One tip I will offer: Look around your office or home for unused, unwanted magnets and scrap materials to make these with. Magnets can be a little pricey when you find them at craft stores, so I'd try around home first. Ask your relatives or friends if they have a few they are not using.
A quick and easy project to be completely creative with! This is perfect for teens who just started driving (or those who are), lockers, homes, offices, etc. Here is how to make your own fragrant air fresheners:Materials:
- Old scrap fabric or fabrics you want to upcycle (sweats, towels, blankets, etc.)
- Ribbon or string
- Thin cardboard (from cereal or other food boxes, mailers, soft drink boxes)
- Marking pen
If you are not inclined to drawing, download and cut out shapes or trace shapes from an item you want or have. Trace the shape w/the marker onto the cardboard and cut out.
Use the cut out to trace two of this shape onto the fabric you selected.
Fold ribbon or string in half and glue ends together on cardboard cutout.
Glue fabric shapes to each side of cardboard cutout.
When dry, drop enough Essential Oil (they are natural and found in most stores) onto the covered shape. To refresh the customized air freshener, give a bottle of the essential oil
along with several of the air fresheners you have made as a set in the stocking stuffer.
This could be a bit more personal and most likely for the older adults, unless you are making animal or shaped sponges for children.
Soap Cozies, scrubbers and other bath gifts are terrific as stocking stuffers. Make it an entire spa set with this pattern
by Day Dreams and add a little essential oil
to the gift.
If you are handy at sewing, use old wool scraps and make soap cozies by sewing a small pocket for the soap and adding a pull string. The wool will felt naturally as it is used.
There are dozens of ideas for stocking stuffers on the net, but I want to share one of my personal favorites. Here is a link to the Mexican Wedding Cakes similar to those my Mother made each holiday season and would wrap them in pieces of saran wrap tied with a bow. In turn I made the same for my children and this year my now adult children will carry on the tradition for their families.
Wishing you all success in inspiration this day and always,
Click the picture to follow to recipe
Okay, some like getting ties. But let's get creative and move past the ties...
I am fairly certain the man you are looking for a gift for will give a smile and appreciate with love anything you give for a gift, but. . . I'd hate to see the wince this man shows! I'll try to help you avoid that look with ten green DIY gifts he WILL appreciate, smile at and use!
A classic (not the tie - the socks!). Crochet or knit what is sure to be his favorite pair of comfy socks
to wear around the house on those chilly days ahead. Make several pair from this excellent pattern (click pic for link). A nice feature is there are instructions for several sizes.
Maybe he would like a pair of extra warm slippers? Try the house slippers pattern from Day Dreams. It's been a favorite of many (Featured on Craft Gossip!)
and work up quickly. Click HERE for FREE pattern.
2. Speaking of cozy, whip up a set of coffee cozies for him. These can be made from your stash, or perhaps in those scraps of wool. Felt them for extra warmth and durability. Click the picture for FREE pattern.
3. Okay, so we have warm socks or slippers, coffee (or cocoa) cozies and what goes best with all this? Cookie Certificates! Last year I gave my husband a certificate for a full year of cookies. Each month he picks his "Cookie of the Month" (we haven't missed any yet!). Go ahead - Google what gifts men like most. Baked goods are in the top ten gifts!
We're onto something here. Warm toes, coffee or cocoa, cookies...oh yes, the flavored liqueur
for a dash of extra warmth. I found a terrific link for home made liqueurs that are sure to please most palates. Click HERE for the recipes!
6. If the neck roll isn't what you want to give, try a Personal Pillow. Add more comfort when it's made from an old soft sweatshirt, sweater or t-shirt. Put a small pocket on the corner for his iPod, cell phone or other accessories while he naps. There are so many ways to make pillows - this link will help you get started. Click the picture for link.
Okay, he's rested and ready to head outside now and rake leaves or scoop the snow, right? Right?? Sure he is! Make sure he's wrapped properly with what is sure to be his favorite scarf ever! An upcycled shirt scarf
. Soft, warm and made with his favorite topics! Make it a full set with matching cap, ear warmer and gloves. Just click the picture for the tutorial (picture not by Day Dreams)
This is one very easy, cool idea for a Hat Rack. I stumbled across this link and when I figured out what it was made from, I was quite impressed! This is a must to check out. It may not be the perfect gift but I bet the receiver will certainly appreciate its value!Click HERE for link to tutorial.
Well, there you have it. Ten gift ideas to get you started. Each green, practical, fun and useful. Women tend to give gifts "we" want to receive (Yes ladies, we do) so I tried to come up with ideas you can make or your children can make for Dad.
I hope you found ideas for gifts in this series that you can use for year round giving? Be sure to share your ideas with us that you have found for gifts that are green and DIY in our comments section or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, I wish you much success and inspiration each day,
Fabric Coiled Basket available for purchase at my Etsy Store.
Have you ever noticed a current trend that makes you think, "That's not new! I've done that all my life!" I'm watching in fascination as people everywhere are jumping in with both feet to a way of life that so many people my age and older have lived with all our lives. I'm talking about upcycling, repurposing, or what ever name you want to give it, it's the hottest new trend. Bloggers, media, stores, high dollar designers - everyone seems to be wanting to get in on the action.
I grew up with the concept of recycling. My parents survived in their childhood years on the same concept and their parents had no choice but to upcycle, recycle, reuse, repurpose for their survival. Sure, there are definitions to each of these words, but they all point to a common purpose: Make do with what you have. I never imagined my choice in frugal living would be "trendy".
I know...for we old rockers, it may seem sacriligious to tear apart a Sammy Hagar hoodie, but, it's worth the sacrifice to make this project for you. My husband will appreciate the awesome neck roll and pillow he will get from it!
| |Let's Get Started!
You will find PDF tutorials with each pictured gift item to make. Just click on the pictures to download your tutorial. First things first: find an old hoodie you are not afraid to let go of (I have several torn and beaten hoodies that are too comfy to let go of!). It should be in the size of the person you are gifting these items to. Let's get this cut apart into the pieces as shown in the photo. You will want to cut into sections as indicated below:
- Cut hood from shirt
- Cut sleeves at shoulder seam
- Cut bottom band (ribbed) from shirt
- Cut bottom half of shirt
- Cut top and sides of shirt to make square
Click pic for PDF of shirt prep
Fingerless Gloves made from the hoodie sleeves. Very fast project with terrific results!
Click pic for PDF.
Boot Cuffs made simple and quick. These are from the upper part of the sleeve. No one will ever guess!
Click for PDF
Wrist Rests are a necessary item anymore with all the computer work done. A speedy but thoughtful gift to make. Click pic for PDF.
Head Wrap for men, women, teens and children. Keep the winter chill away in this super simple and quick head wrap. Customize with your own patches,buttons, flowers, etc. Click for PDF.
Neck Rolls are comforting with multiple uses: infant support, neck muscle relaxers, back muscle relaxers and more. Click pic for PDF.
That about wraps it up. Simple, quick and very thrifty gifts from one shirt. What else can you create from a hoodie? Share your ideas and you can win a free pattern from one of Day Dreams purchased pattern selections! Until next week, I wish you much inspiration and success!
As promised, today brings you the first of six blog posts focused on making gifts for those on your holiday gift list. The posts are written with two basic assumptions: You can either hand or machine sew and you have a little DIY know how. If neither of these assumptions apply, why not get a friend who can sew a little to join you in making some of the wonderful gift ideas? Make the invite(s), put on the coffee or tea and make it a gift party!
Easily answered with "why not". They are inexpensive, can be made from upcycled or repurposed materials, easy to make, personalized easily, are multi-purpose (after all, they protect us from the scary scenes in horror movies!), and who doesn't like more pillows? (Well...I had to remove a few from the bed. Something about 8 pillows the husband didn't like.)
The Basics of Pillows
Pillows can be personal. Some won't travel or sleep without their own pillow while others love a personal lounging pillow to toss on the floor or couch. By asking and answering these basic questions, you will save yourself from any embarrassment or wasted time when making the perfect pillow as a gift.
- Does the recipient prefer hard or soft pillows?
- What colors do they like?
- Are they a "lounger" or do they prefer chairs?
- Consider their personality: Fun? Serious? Relaxed?
- Do they have allergies to specific materials?
After pondering what would be the best way to approach the basics of making a pillow, I found this site instead of reinventing the wheel: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/sew-your-own-body-pillow#b
With five basic steps the link is a solid way to begin construction of your own pillows and, wait for it. . .
The suggested use of repurpose or upcycled materials to stuff it with!
Click photo for eHow to make your own Body Pillow
| |New Uses for Old Materials
If you haven't read or noticed by now, I prefer to upcycle or repurpose when possible. These pillows made from winter scarves are perfect for all the right reasons
. Additional tips for this great idea:
- I would sew the ends shut instead of using hair ties and not leave so much of the ends (more pillow, less ends).
- Add personal touches close to the ends of the pillow such as a special applique, their initials embroidered or a small pocket sewn to the end with a special memento inside.
- A person could form them in the shape of a neck roll, lumbar support or travel pillow by the filling selected.
- If the scarf was from a popular maker, leave the tag on the end or perhaps remove and re-stitch where it is visible for an extra touch.
On the topic of new uses for old materials, there are plenty of fabrics around your home to use for making most kinds of pillows. Old sheets and pillow cases, those fleece throws, t-shirts, jeans (Yes, denim makes great pillows), favorite apparel (that you haven't worn in 20 years because it will never fit again). Get the imagination going and see what's in the closets before dashing off to the thrift or discount store.
| |A Few More Tips
When I have made pillows or body pillows, there are a few things I have done to make the project simple, fast or less expensive:
- 2 King Size pillow cases sewn together are the perfect size for a body pillow;
- Older fleece blankets make a fabulous body or a few throw pillows;
- Old T-shirts are great for stuffing or for making pillows from. They are soft, pliable and many of us adore the feel of cotton;
- Unless you are making fancy decorator pillows, avoid the designs with too many ruffles, flowers, lace or other embellishments. While they are pretty, they are not practical for comfort.
- I like to put an extra pocket on a front corner someplace to hold things like glasses; teens like them for the cell phones!
While very pretty, not quite comfortable to lay around with.
That's it! Easy, right? The basics are to decide on your material, size, who it will be for, and what to stuff it with. Keep upcycling and repurposing in mind. One more thing: Pillows do not have to be square or round! What about oblong, oval or animal shaped? What pillows you have made that are fun and useful? Have you made one that is still being used for the favorite lounge around pillow?
Wishing you much success and inspiration on this project,
| |"A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere."
This quote by Joyce A. Meyers struck me with absolute truth. Write down your dreams, goals, plans and ideas. Draw them or doodle them. Just get them on paper! Do you write down your ideas? What about your lists of gift giving?
It's That Time of Year . . .
You know the one - the holiday season. There are still a few months yet, but getting a jump on what you will be making or buying to give for gifts should start with writing your ideas down so your best ideas don't land behind the cabinet or refrigerator.
Sometimes the holiday gift giving season can be a strong burden for budgets. Money is tight and maybe there will be fewer gifts; however, they do not have to be less meaningful. I have gifts for you as well!
Meaningful to me and hopefully to you, your family and friends.
The next few weeks I will be posting tutorials, patterns and ideas for giving the best kind of gift: Handmade.
It has been said by many people they prefer to receive a handmade gift than store bought. Why? Because the giver took the time to think of the person before and during the process of making the gift.
Handmade fabric coiled fruit basket. Make it special by using fabrics from favorite apparel or other home decor.
| || |
. . . But I Don't Have the Time or Talent!
Yes, you do have the time to make those holiday gifts. Many of the ideas I will be sharing take only a few hours or less and require only items you either have around your home or can pick up quickly from your local thrift store.
| |Featured Gifts
Below are categories (not necessarily in order) that will be featured in Day Dreaming over the next six weeks. Each week will be a different pattern and tutorial to make the item. A not so surprising twist is each item will involve repurposing or upcycling materials you have around your home.
- Home Decor (Pillows, Table Linens, Bath Sets)
- Apparel & Accessories
- Just for Kids (Toys, Games & More)
- Gifts for the Beloved Family Pet
"I do NOT like this store bought gift at all!"
I wish you success & inspiration,
September is National Sewing Month; however, for me and thousands of others every day is a holiday when it comes to fabric and the art of sewing such beautiful prints into works of art.
There are those days when mistakes in sewing are costly, some embarrassing. To help you learn from other’s mistakes, I have posted below the rules of sewing I have personally learned through experience. Beginners, it’s a good idea to print and post these where you can easily see them as a daily reminder.
Do This . . . So You Won't Do This. . .
Sew only when you are alert and feeling well. When you are overtired you will make mistakes . . .
. . . such as risking injury, cutting mistakes or forgetting a specific change you made to to any pattern.
Read your machine manual to learn how to clean, use and trouble shoot problems you may experience with your machine.
Don't risk spending several hundred dollars in repairs, cleaning or a new machine.
*image from http://bit.ly/Nw0Q3y
Keep your sewing area clean. . .
...if not, it may produce a large medical bill for a needle or pin in the foot!
Change your needle after each project. P.S. Keep extras on hand!
It will save you skipped stitches, pulled fibers (runs) and from a broken needle that can damage the machine or harm you.
(Don't sew over pins!)
Measure twice, cut once.
Measure twice, cut once.
Lest you be more than embarrassed!
*image from http://bit.ly/Nw16zn
Use a Seam Ripper.
Never use knives, scissors or blades. See the cut in fabric where it SHOULD NOT be?
Iron over buttons, zippers or embellishments with an ironing cloth.
You really don't want to end up replacing your iron!
*image from http://bit.ly/NvYMs7
Use ample lighting. If you can, sew by a window. If at night, get a good lamp.
Hard to see isn't it?
Shop for a solid machine with cast iron and solid parts.
The new ones with bells and whistles are nice, but I have found you get what you pay for.
These are only a few of the most important rules I have learned in my 40 years of sewing. A few more are:
What other rules have you found that are important to pass along to others? I invite you to share your rules of sewing with us! Until next week, I wish you all much success and inspiration,Sher