Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Sweater to skirt & legwarmers – Take 1

  • Cut off arms and just under neck opening (this is a size small adult sweater)
  • Sew elastic waistband in skirt
  • Sew thin elastic band into raw edge of leg warmers





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Wobbly teeth are subject of much excitement around here. That is until the tooth becomes so loose that it interferes with eating…then it becomes subject of much whining and discontent. Thankfully that only lasts about 24 hours – at least for my child, who at that point wiggles and tugs so fanatically that it doesn’t stand a chance.

A few weeks ago, our big 6-year-old lost her third tooth.


Our ritual is that the tooth gets placed in our handmade tooth fairy pillow, which hangs at the side of the bed. This makes it much easier for the tooth fairy…ahem…to find the tooth and replace it with a special surprise. Because naturally it would be difficult for a 5-inch-tall, delicate little fairy to dig underneath a big fluffy pillow. Right?



In the morning, awaiting our girl, is a 5 kroner coin (about $1), a tiny note (stating how happy she is to have such a nice looking tooth and to keep up the good work brushing!) and of course…pixie dust.



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…that if you accidentally brew too much coffee, you can pour it into ice cube trays and use it to make iced lattes? This way – as the ice melts, your coffee gets stronger – not weaker. Brilliant, right??

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…that 85% of people don’t wash their cloth grocery bags (a number that included me until recently!)?  I feel so much better about plopping these clean bags onto my kitchen counter.  I am the 15%!!!


…that if a Professional Declutterer/Organizer visits your home, he/she might walk straight to your refrigerator and draw a direct correlation between the number of magnets on your refrigerator and the level of clutter in your house?  <Gulp!>


…if you take an old birthday/holiday card and pre-punch holes around the words/images (with a dull embroidery needle), little kids might spend hours quietly “sewing” next to you on a rainy afternoon?


…that this is what a locust looks like right up close? 


He looks kind of innocent, doesn’t he?  Giving no indication that he would ever think to swarm or ruin, cause plague or famine.  All I know is, I’m going to miss his constant summertime sound. See you next year Mr. Locust. Until then, stay out of trouble little guy!



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For a Small Friend


This is a fun, easy project for those newest little members of the universe. I found the pattern in a library book long ago.  The template shape is so simple, I’m sure you could free-hand it.


  • 2 fleece body pieces measuring approx. 14×12 inches; if the fleece has an obvious pile, this should run down the longer length of fabric
  • 1 small piece of fleece in a light color for the face
  • 1 small piece of pink or red fleece for the heart
  • small scrap of pink fleece or felt for cheeks
  • embroidery thread (gray or black for eyes, red or pink for mouth)
  • small amount of cotton stuffing
  • sewing machine or matching thread and needle for hand sewing
  • Fabric scissors


  • Cut out your fleece shapes
  • Sew heart and face pieces to the right-side of one of the body pieces
  • Sew on the cheeks
  • Using a daisy chain stitch use embroidery thread to create eyes and embroider the mouth using backstitch.



  • Place the doll face-down on your second piece of body fleece and pin and sew, before cutting (shown below), leaving a 3” opening for turning
  • trim along edge and turn


  • Lightly stuff head with cotton filling and secure it closed with a curved running stitch, using double thread
  • Lightly stuff hands with cotton and sew a line of running stitch to close, pull them tight to create a wrist
  • Close your opening using slip stitch.

Last step is to give your cute, hand-made guy to one of the cutest babies around.



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I know you can relate to this…

That frequently asked question…“How do you have time to ______?” Fill in the blank with knit, sew, craft, blog, read, run, etc.  Throw in raising 2 kids, working part-time, being involved at school, traveling, staying married and having friends and I can see how it appears to be a lot.  Although I’m beginning to dislike this question more and more, I usually give the rather simple answer, that these are activities I enjoy and need in my life, therefore I prioritize them highly.  I might also add that I don’t watch TV and that my house isn’t very clean.

I absolutely love Kelle Hampton’s horse race analogy in her Fitting It All In post.  I couldn’t describe it better – especially since she touches on the fact that when someone asks, “how do have time to ____”, or says, “I wish I had time to _____”, it seems a bit like a back-handed compliment.  I know it isn’t intended this way, but it always seems to imply that although they envy the fact that you have time to do this particular activity, they must be doing something more important with that time.  When in reality, everyone (sadly) is busy these days – perhaps on slightly different levels depending on what they choose to take on. But that’s just it…we can all choose how to spend our “free” time.

As this wonderful article describes, we need to stop thinking of being busy as a good thing…especially when it comes to our kids.  We need to give them (and ourselves) a break and not feel guilty about spending time doing nothing.  Perhaps a little “doing nothing” should move higher on the priority list for everyone?  I’m going to try and remember that as we move into the hectic back-to-school season.

Sorry, that was a long introduction to the Pillowcase Pants I made.  But I made these during what I describe as A Day Devoted to Craft.  Something I came up with after having so many projects in my head that I never had time for wasn’t prioritizing.  When this starts to make me feel anxious and I begin daydreaming about cutting fabric and sitting at the sewing machine, I know it’s time to move it higher on the priority list.  So that’s just what I did.  I devoted an entire day to starting (and finishing) numerous crafty projects.  Of course I got interrupted a few times, but the girls ended up enjoying digging through the fabric bin, making clothes for their dolls and being crafty right along side me.  I allowed myself (on this day) not to feel guilty about dishes in the sink, not being outside (doing this on a rainy day might help), prepping dinner or anything else that usually pulls me away.  It felt very liberating.

These ruffled pillowcase pants, along with other projects, transpired from this day. Big sis has had an adoration for ruffled pillowcase skirts (seen below) for a long time now, but since little D favors pants, these were for her.  I adapted the children’s pants pattern found in The Creative Family. The light cotton is perfect for summer.





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Turns out, they are great pants for wandering around the city…doing nothing.

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Try saying that 10-times fast! 🙂

Nothing complicated or innovative here…just another skirt, made from a shirt.  This time, from one of my guy’s tossed aside, yet ever-so soft and comfy t-shirts.  I like skirts like this to wear over leggings in this rapidly changing, rather fickle, Scandinavian weather.

You could, of course, make these for kids, but this one was for me!  Another thing for me!  Wow – I guess I’m feeling a bit self-indulgent lately!

I have been meaning to try my hand at shirring (gathering fabric by sewing with elastic thread), for a long time and I thought this was the perfect project to experiment with.  It makes for such a comfortable waist band on a skirt like this.  I knew what I needed to do, but this tutorial on shirring, was a helpful reminder.

Cut a men’s t-shirt just below the arms.  I also cut off the short sleeves to use as headbands.


I had to cut a couple inches off the side because shirring only subtracts about 2 inches from your width, so the skirt would have still been too wide for me.

So measure your waist and add 2-3 inches and cut the width to match that circumference. (For example if you need 28 inches, cut 14 inches across, since it’s folded.)  Then sew up the back with a simple seam.


Wind elastic thread (loosely, by hand!) onto an empty bobbin.  The top thread can match your fabric.


I only sewed 3 rows of shirring.  You could do more, but I didn’t think this skirt needed it…and I was feeling stingy with my elastic thread.


Simple and comfortable…and notice the matching headband! 🙂

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Well, this was a first.  I set out to sew something for myself!  I’m not big on shopping and I think I’ve mentioned that I certainly don’t surrender to Copenhagen prices.  So, with a bit of an itch for something new for Spring, I made this shirt.


It is basically a pillowcase dress pattern (however, this was not once a pillowcase, but just a piece of fabric, kindly given to me by my mother-in-law).  It took 3 rows of stitching to make this shirt (seriously)…one up the back and the two neck lines.  It is a poly-knit blend with a soft, silky feel, so similar to jersey knit, it didn’t require much hemming (the arm holes were left raw).  I took a peek at this video before I got started.

Since that took less than an hour to make, I moved on to this skirt…


Yes, it was once a men’s dress shirt.  I followed this tutorial, except that I really wanted pockets and they were not included in the tutorial, so I had to wing-it.   My pint-size photographer was kind enough to snap these over the weekend …





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