Monday, December 21, 2009

Babushka/Matryoshka Hot Water Bottle Cover

While surfing some of my favourite blogs and craft websites I stumbled upon quite a few different ideas for making hot water bottle covers.

While some were extremely cute, none of them were really what I was looking for. I decided that I would make a hot water bottle cover but I had no idea what type of cover I would make. Well, I came up with the most amazing (in my humble opinion) idea ever!
A Matryoshka/Babushka water bottle cover! Golden!

So here we have my old sad red water bottle. I don't know who designs these things but they sure don't have a whole lot of style on their own.

I set out to draw a rough stacking doll shape that would fit the bottle with a seam allowance.

Once the pattern was drawn and cut I made sure it was symmetrical.

Next I drew my stacking doll and all of the details that I wanted to include on the cover. Since she is obviously a very stylish Babushka I made sure to draw on eyelashes.

I made individual pattern pieces for all of the parts adding seam allowances as needed. The back could have been a solid fabric but I decided that I wanted to keep the cover as much like a doll as possible. Thus her outfit had to continue onto the back - no cheaping out! The smaller pieces/face and hair are all out of felt as the edges can be left raw, just topstitched and they won't fray.

All of the main body pieces were sewn together first. I topstiched down all of the seams to keep the cover looking flat once it is in use. The face and hair I topstitched into place. As you can see I had to do two layers at the bottom. Turns out the burgundy fabric which matched so perfectly was chiffon. Boohoo. So I used a white cotton underneath which ended up making the colour appear more vibrant. Yippee!

Using fusible glue I secured the face pieces in place before topstitching them down. I think this is the best way to do this type of small work as a pin can shift, especially when it is removed to stay out of the needles way. I used it for the ties on her shawl as well.

The eyelashes, nose and corners of her mouth I drew on with thread. Very cute looking so far!

This is officially my least favourite part of this whole project. Originally I was going to use snaps to close the bottom but after some consideration I decided I would rather put in a zipper. Too bad the bottom of the doll is curved and not straight. As you can see from the picture I used quite a few pins to ensure that the zipper did not go out of place. The whole zipper thing was a pain, but in the end the lining matches great, the colour of the zipper matches great and I think it was a better choice than the snaps would have been.

The finished product! I am VERY happy with how this turned out. She looks a little lumpy as I already put a water bottle inside her - I just couldn't wait! Very cute and cuddly, much better than a plain old red water bottle for sure.

And here you can see the zippered bottom which opens to allow the water bottle in/out. The lining is a dark blue colour. I was going to use white but then thought a darker colour would be better as it would add more interest, and it certainly does! I am pretty excited to be able to use this in the upcoming chilly months of January and February.
Anyways, it is getting REALLY close to Christmas and I will be heading to my parents for the holidays.  I may or may not be posting for a while, although as soon as everyone opens their Christmas presents I plan on posting those for everyone else to see what I was up to this last while.

The Boys

My husband and his brother have taken over the living room with electronics. Yikes!

Barbie Doll Dress from Ladies Capris

Unfortunately I took apart these pants a LONG time ago and so do not have a before picture. Suffice to say that they were a pair of crazy ladies capris that I purchased at the $1 Thrift Store in Edmonton last year. They came with a matching shirt. Ugghhh.

So for whatever reason I decided that I wanted to make Barbie clothes out of that fabric. This is a vintage pattern that I got at The Reuse Centre in Edmonton and amazingly enough it has ALL of the pattern pieces.
Dress #4 is the one I decided to try my hand at.

 Tada! It looks pretty good if I do say so myself. Sewing for dolls is quite tricky though especially as I hadn't done it since I was probably about 10 years old. I will probably get around to making some of the other doll outfits later in the year. Alas I didn't have any Barbie dolls in my house and I actually had to go to Sally Ann and rescue one. I think her previous owner gave her the haircut. Good thing bangs are en vogue.

Recycling Wrapping for Presents

I catch a lot of flak at Christmas time (well and on Birthdays) from family members because I like to unwrap my presents VERY slowly. Not to prolong the suspense or anything, but because I want to save the wrapping paper to reuse later on. Since I have been doing this pretty much since I can remember, people are pretty used to it. In fact as they are opening their presents my family will often throw the wrappings at me rather than on the floor to save me the hassle of picking it up. Lol.
I digress. I have heard different views on the idea of reusing wrapping paper and most often people think that it is cheap or that it makes the presents look cheap. Well folks, as the following pictures will show reused wrappings need not look cheap OR shabby.
Now sometimes the wrapping is really wrinkled from being folded up and stored for a year. Usually you can smooth it out but sometimes I iron it. Make sure to turn te steam off if you do this.

I reuse old tags as well by cutting off the part that was written on and attaching a new string. If I can, I save the tags that I use one year for the next year and eliminate all of the work. Of course it is easy to make your own tags too from old greeting cards or small pieces of leftover wrapping paper.

Here is the tag with a new string.

This is my stash of wired fabric ribbon which I have been collecting for the past 10 years or so. I have bought some of them (on sale) and the rest I received on presents. I also picked up some of it at the Reuse Centre in Edmonton. Wired ribbon is super long lasting and can be used year after year. It also looks really nice on your presents and keeps them from looking shabby.

And here we have our lovely present with recycled wrapping paper and ribbon.

As you can see these presents look just as good as any others. Because the ribbons are tied on and not taped and the tags have strings attaching them to the ribbons you don't get the unsightly tears/pieces of tape showing on the top of the present. It also makes it a lot easier to reuse the wrapping paper in the future.
And in case you were wondering all of the tissue paper is reused as well.
Merry Christmas!

Winter Fun

Dress from thrift store (I shortened it), Belt from thrift store, Tights I have had for about ten years, Legwarmers from thrift store and Boots ECCO.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


So I know this is not totally craft related, but today the Saskatchewan Roughriders are playing the Alouettes in the Grey Cup!!!!

Go Riders Go!

I will be sitting in front of the TV sewing all day watching the game!!

I found this video on the website below:

Go Riders Go!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Summer Blouse Design by Me

So Folks, I have been away for a very long time, I know. I apologize for that. Camp, Christmas and other stuff have come up, Life basically. Anyways, I have a few pictures of some things I did a while ago so I thought I would at least post some of that. I have been doing a lot of work on people's Christmas presents and I can't very well post those on here until after Christmas or it will ruin the surprise!

So this is a shirt that I made quite a while back in college. The design is my own original, pattern drafted and garment sewn by moi. I made it out of a dupioni silk and all of the seams are french. It turned out really well. Maybe when I have a chance I will take some closeups of the seams etc. For now, here it is:

Random Fun Projects

Here are a few things I've been working on since I got home from camp. There never seems to be enough time in the day for all of the things I want to accomplish!

Close up of my paisley crochet cushion. I had this cute paisley fabric but felt it needed something more around the edge. Since I didn't have any lace and it was raining out today I decided to crochet the "lace".

Cushions on the newly slipcovered chair.
This is a grey knit cushion that I made. It was actually something fun to do while I was watching a bit of TV. I didn't feel as bad about sitting in front of the boob tube either since I was doing something productive. I made the inside cushion out of the remnants of a white tshirt from another project and stuffed it with cotton batting. I may not be knitting for a while though- it is quite labour intensive!

Halloween Nintendo Style!

So this year I am in camp for Halloween which means no trick or treating, no monster mash bashes and that I have to work. Horrible. Since I won't be really going all out and dressing up this year I am going to post my costume from last year. Aren and I went as Mario and Luigi and his best friend joined us as Toad. We had an awesome time of course!

The moustaches became EXTREMELY itchy by the end of the night. I wore mine almost 19 hours since I had been wearing the costume at work as well (I got many wierd looks). I don't know how men can do it. I would never want a real stache. Oh and for the record Mario is suppossed to be pudgy so I made myslef a stomach. I was not pregnant (can you believe people asked me that?). I do look like a little boy though.

Of course I couldn't find any of these cheesy cartoon style gloves anywhere so I had to make them. They were so dirty by the end of the night! Aren could not stop pretending to be Italian either - It's-a-me-a, Luigi!

I made all three of our costumes, including the hats. Aren did the form for the Toad hat and I sewed it all together. What a cute little Nintendo family! We were suppossed to have a Princess Peach but he bailed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Refashions for Little Girls - Dresses/Skirts

I was away this weekend at my parents for Thanksgiving, so no sewing. I did however regift my mother's skort back to her in it's various forms. I still think the pig is quite hilarious. So moving on, I stayed at my sister's NEW HOUSE overnight and she was getting rid of a bunch of her clothing. Of course I took some of it to repurpose into fun and fabulous things. I don't know why but I am currently obsessed with little girls dresses and clothing so all three of these projects are for small girls.

The first is a ladies shirt which I made into a little girls summer dress. It was quite simple to do as I only changed the top of the shirt.

The dress ties in the back between the shoulders so that it can be adjusted to fit.

This is SO simple it is ridiculous. This was a ladies short summer skirt.

By gathering it together it is now a toddlers skirt. All season if you sew up some tights/leggings to go with it.

This last one is not finished yet but I couldn't help posting it today. Here you have a women's calf length blue velvet skirt.

And here we have a lovely but not quite done baby dress. The collar and sleeves need lace and I don't currently have anything in my sewing room that matches. Once the weather (hopefully) gets a tad warmer I may venture out to buy something suitable. Until then it remains in the unfinished project pile.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Skort That Never Ends - Potholders Upcycled From Skort

So I am sure you are all laughing at me as I try to use up the remnants of this skort. You won't believe me either when I say that there are STILL remnants. I know, I find it hard to believe myself. While browsing the net I saw these cute quilted potholders at House on Hill Road and thought it might use up some of the short part of the skort. Well it did! My quilting did not turn our quite as nice as I would have liked but that is what I get for using a stretch cotton....
I know you all have seen what this thing looks like, but for posterity I am posting it yet again.

Two lovely quilted potholders! Both sides of the potholder are in the floral fabric. Since it is a lightweight fabric I used two pieces of denim with batting in between for each of the potholders. This will ensure that no one burns their hands when lifting that hot casserole from the oven.

And of course you can set that lovely casserole right on top to keep your counter/table free of burns. The potholder looks rather large in this picture but in reality it is only about 8x8. Stay tuned to see what I will do with the remaining scraps of skort.

Funny Bunny Stuffed Toy

I couldn't resist one more craft before going to bed tonight. I mean it's not like I can do this kind of stuff EVERYDAY or anything. Well that is actually true since I will be away at my parents for the Thanksgiving weekend. Regardless, I decided to do another stuffed animal for who knows what reason. I like bunnies and so I drew this crazy bean shaped pattern on paper and some long ears. It doesn't look much like a bean now since I used three bean shapes and then sewed them together. All of the fabric is from my stash.

Bunny on the edge!
So here is my funny bunny with huge floppy ears. I may or may not sew on a mouth.

Shy Bunny.
Caught on top of the stove, bunny is a little camera shy I guess. Those ears are almost as long as bunny!

I managed to snap this closeup while bunny wasn't paying attention. I machine sewed the eyes and nose on... no I do not have an embroidery machine but thanks for asking. Personally I think the choppy back and forth straight stitch gives it a certain something... I don't know what, but something.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Skort Upcycle 2 - Refashioned Into Apron

As you know I still had loads of this Skort left from my Piggy post. Looking at the back portion of the skirt it occurred to me that it would make a cute and functional apron what with the existing pockets and all. I didn't take photos during but loads of after pictures. I used the hem around the short portion to make the tie.
Pretty easy all in all!

The Old Skort...again! :)

New Apron!

Apron Tie
The waistband contrast fabric is a nice added touch.

Pocket Detail.
The pockets are actually zippered, I guess in case you think you might lose something while cooking.

Do people actually put spatulas in their aprons? It looks like it might be a messy idea...

Flat, folded.
I am really happy with the way that this turned out! Now I should make a mini matching apron for the little piggy. I am only kidding, that would be overkill for sure. Although there are STILL the shorts from this skort to use up. It never ends.