Category Archives: Crafts

DIY Pull-over Bib with a Bow Tie

OK, so having a baby now doesn’t give me as much time to do the millions of things I have swimming around in my head. But here’s a project I absolutely forced myself to carve out time for.

DIY Bib with bow tie

The little guy is a big drooler at the moment (he’s almost 4 months now, so I guess teething is a thing that starts around now?) and he basically soaks through 2-4 bibs a day. A lot of the bibs that he was gifted (usually as a set with a matching onesie) are teeny, and not really very useful. But two that we got were basically towels with a hole cut out for his head. Ah Ha. So I decided to try my hand at a cute versionΒ  – with a bow tie! Perfect for those “special” occasions, ya know. (Seriously, with wedding season coming up, not to mention just fun holidays and stuff, this little extra detail will be my one effort to cute-en him up).

 

Pull-over Bib with Bow Tie Tutorial
Materials:
>terry cloth (I bought1/2 yard at the fabric store, but you could easily use a towel)
>backing material (on my first bib, I just used another layer of terry cloth. on this one I used polar fleece)
>double bias tape
>stretchy rib-knit fabric for the collar
>colorful fabric for the bow tie
>thread, pins, scissors & sewing machine

bib fabricStep ONE
Cut out your terry cloth and backing fabric to 15″ x10″

 

cut head holesStep TWO
Cut out the hole for the head. My babe is about 4 months, and I wanted the bib to be somewhat snug while still comfortably fitting over his head. I made the opening diameter 5 inches. Positioned 2″ from the top and centered from side to side.

 

two layers sewn togetherStep THREE
Pin together your two layers (right sides facing outward). Sew a 1/4″ hem all the way around, and radius your corners (I used a light colored pen to mark the corners as a guide).

 

Trim the fabricStep FOUR
Trim your shape to about 1/8″ from your stitching. This will get covered up by bias tape later. Pin around the neck hole.

 

Pin bias tapeStep FIVE
Sew around the neck hole with a V stitch (or use a serger). Then pin your bias tape around the perimeter of the bib. (This is a pretty good tutorial on how to sew with double bias tape and not have it turn out all wonky)

 

bias tape addedStep SIX
Stitch on the bias tape!

 

assembling the collarStep SEVEN
Cut a strip of knit ribbing 2.5″ x 11″. Fold it in half and sew the ends together with a V stitch. Then fold the whole thing over like a turtle neck.

 

pin collar to the neck holeStep EIGHT
Pin the knit collar to the neck hole, matching the tops, bottoms and two sides. This will keep the stretch of the collar uniform.

 

collar attatchedStep NINE
Sew the collar to the neck hole with a V stitch, making sure the sewn part happens on the back side of the bib. (This was probably the trickiest part of this project for me.)
And there you have a functional bib!

…and here’s adding the bow tie detail…

rectangle for the bow tieStep TEN
With your colorful fabric, cut a 5″ x 4.5″ rectangle. Fold lengthwise, right sides facing inward. Stitch almost all the way around with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving enough of a hole to flip the rectangle right-side-out. Once it’s flipped right-side-out, fold in your opening hole, and then stitch all the way around as close to the edge as you can.

sew the tie middleStep ELEVEN
Sew a tube for the middle of the bow tie. I did mine from a long rectangle 2.5″ wide, giving me a 1″ strip when it was turned right-side-out.

pinch the middle to make a bow shapeStep TWELVE
Pinch the middle of the big rectangle (like an accordion fold) and wrap the smaller fabric strip around it. Trim off the excess from the strip, and stitch it into place. Now you have your bow tie!

attatch the bow tie to the bibStep THIRTEEN
Position the bow tie pretty close to the collar and pin into place. Hand-stitch all around to secure in place (this will keep little hands from grabbing loose edges and pulling the bow tie off, with their orangutan strength).

 

And there you have it! Slip the bib over your little one’s noggin and enjoy the cuteness. (Pay no attention to the crazy-eyed daddy)
bow tie bib

Something I learned while making this bib – terry cloth is MESSY! Cutting it will make a confetti of little cotton snow all over the place. And it will probably take a couple washings before the bib stops shedding them. Pbbt πŸ˜›

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Filed under Baby, Crafts, DIY, projects, sewing, tutorial

First Mate Piggy Costume Tutorial: Pt 2 – Sewing Piggy’s Space Dress

OK! So perhaps you have your Miss Piggy Ears, and now it’s time to get moving on the actual dress of your First Mate Piggy costume.
As I mentioned last time, I’m planning on a Miss Piggy costume for Halloween this year – specifically, in her Pigs in Space outfit. Since I didn’t find much on the interwebz to help me make a costume, I’m writing up a tutorial on how I’m constructing mine! Enjoy πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: I am not an experienced seamstress! Most of my methods are just from figuring things out as I go, so take these instructions with a grain of salt. If you have pointers, tips or other suggestions for folks who may try to attempt a similar costume as the one I’m making, feel free to share in the comments!
Also, I’m about a size 8. This dress design is a loose-fitting babydoll shape until you add a belt, so I’d guess it would work for sizes 6-10. Again, this is just a basic how-to. Please adjust your own costume according to your needs! πŸ™‚

First Mate Piggy costume tutorial – before adding accessories!

Materials:
2 yards light purple fabric (I found a lavender flannel with silver sparkles! what!?)
1/2 yard silver metallic fabric
matching thread
polyfil stuffing
eyes & hooks (or other fastener of your choice)
Piggy Dress PatternΒ as measurement guide

purple flannel and silver metallic fabric

First, using the PDF guide I made above, cut out the dress shape. The front and the back are identical, so you’ll need two.

dress shape cut out

Please ignore the fact that I didn’t iron my fabric (for shame!).

Next, pin the two pieces together inside-out (making sure the good side of the fabric is facing inward) and using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch the sides and the shoulder straps. When you turn it right-side-out, it’ll look something like this:

stitched edges, right-side-out

Next comes hemming the bottom edge. I did a 1/2″ (or so) hem, and used a zigzag stitch so it would lay nice and flat.

hemming the bottom of the dress

You’ll also want to hem the armholes in this way, too, for a nice finished edge. I used a 1/4″ hem for the arms (sorry there’s no photo!).

Soon, we’ll be gathering in the neckline, so the next step is making a slit down the back, so you can fit your head in when it’s done! Find the center of the back, and make a 6″ cut straight down.

6″ cut for the head opening

Pin the edges back about 1/4″ inch and hem it.

pinned – ready to hem

Once that’s hemmed, we’ll begin pleating the neckline.
Find the center of the front, and make a 1″ accordion-type fold, like so:

first center pleat of the neckline

Continue folding pleats on either side of your first one, pinning as you go. Make sure they are symmetrical. I got 5 total pleats.

front pleats, pinned

I used lots of pins, just to make sure it didn’t come apart when I took it to the sewing machine!

sewing the front row of pleats

I was surprised at how well this worked! (haha) It really brought the neckline in, and the dress is starting to look like a real piece of clothing.

pleated neckline – front

And now, because the dress is still all floppy and open in the back, we need to pleat the back, too!
Using the same folding and pinning method, add pleats to the back of the dress.

back pleats, pinned

I got two 1″ pleats on each side of the slit. Pin it up and then take it to the sewing machine!

At this point, you can sew a set of eyes and hooks to the top of the head opening, so that you can clasp it closed.

eye & hook

Next it starts getting trickier, because we’re adding the silver trim to the dress. And I didn’t take as many pictures of this part as I should have. Forgive me!

We’re moving on to the puffy silver collar on Piggy’s dress.
Cut out a piece of your silver material that is 4″ wide and 18″ long. Stitch this into a long tube, with open ends. Then turn the tube inside out. Then you take this silver tube and pin it to the neckline of the dress. (There will be extra fabric hanging off either end)

silver trim pinned to neckline

Stitch them together with a good tight stitch. When you finish this step, you should have something like this:

silver neckline, sewed on

Now we need to stuff that collar! Grab your polyfil and pack it in good and tight through the openings at either end.

adding stuffing to the collar

Once the collar is filled to a uniform density, trim off the excess silver fabric, but leave enough to fold over twice – you’ll sew each end closed this way. Add another eye & hook to the top of the collar for closure.
Here’s what the padded collar should resemble:

padded collar

We’re almost done! Next up we have the silver shoulder loops, or epaulettes if you will, which complete the look. I made a simple template with paper – it’s a 7″ diameter circle with a teardrop shape cut out of the middle. The width of the loop is about 2.5″ and tapering at the ends. Cut out 4 of these in your silver fabric.

prepping the epaulettes

Stitch 1/4″ all the way around, except leaving a 2″ gap somewhere so you can turn the shape inside-out.

stitched up with a 2″ gap at the inner top

Turn it inside out, and it looks like this:

epaulette, ready for filling

Add your polyfil, just like you did for the collar. When it is filled, stitch closed the opening (I used a needle and thread, not the machine, for this).

finished epaulette, ready to attach to the dress

Once you have two of them stuffed and sewn closed, they’re ready to sew onto the dress. Using a needle and thread, attach each epaulette to the top of the shoulder, as close to the collar as you can.

finished dress with trimmings

And there you have it!

the finished dress

Add a belt to complete the shape.

Add a belt to complete the shape

But of course, the costume isn’t finished yet! Lots of accessories to discuss, next time! See you then πŸ™‚

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Filed under Crafts, Holidays, projects, sewing, tutorial

Tea anyone?

I was contacted recently about making a Tardis Teapot.
I thought, what a wonderful idea! And immediately got to work. Here is what I produced…

tardis teapot by jadeflower

I couldn’t be more excited about the result! It takes the same design as my Tardis coin bank, but clearly with alterations πŸ˜‰

The Tardis Teapot will be available in my Etsy shop shortly, as a Made-To-Order item. But for now I will leave you with a little demonstration of the pouring power of this teapot (i.e. a 14 second video). Allons-y!

 

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Filed under Crafts, Jadeflower Ceramics

Reflecting on July

This month I had another small re-vamp project that was on the list for ages. I seem to have a penchant for mirrors with decorative frames, especially if they are oval. So when I found this large ornate brass-colored mirror frame at Goodwill (for $5!!), there was no way I wasn’t taking this baby home with me.

brass-colored mirror frame

Yes, it also had a mirror, it’s just not pictured here….because – wait for it – I decided to paint the frame! I’m sure you saw that coming. πŸ™‚
The moment I saw it, I knew this frame would look so great in a solid color, to update the look, give it a more modern vibe. It is plastic (not metal), and the brass finish was a bit too grandma’s-house for my current decor tastes. So I settled on a glossy white (mainly due to the fact that M had purchased a can of spray paint in this color recently and there was nearly a whole can of it left over, score!).

So after many many thin coats of paint later:

mirror frame refinished in white

I love how it almost looks like a plaster, with just a hint of gloss.
You may notice in the reflection…yep, those are garage doors. I’m hanging this guy in the garage, in my studio to be exact. πŸ™‚

the jadeflower ceramics studio

My studio space is still ever-evolving in the decor arena; for the most part it is strictly functional. But here and there, I am trying to add little touches to make it a pleasant place to spend my hours. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may recognize some past projects like this and this.

Our garage is a quirky place. Did you notice it looks like outdoor siding on that wall above? Well, M and I have a (strong) hunch that the garage was added much later to the house. Exhibit A: outdoor siding. Exhibit B: that rectangle the mirror is hanging in front of is actually a window that the landlord covered up with a big sheet of foam insulation (and which I then covered up with some striped vintage wallpaper because it was ugly!). Oh funny old houses πŸ˜‰

In unrelated news, we had a busy July. One highlight was a housewarming party M & I hosted, now that we are pretty much settled into our new abode. We celebrated with tacos, fun drinks, and lawn games (with thankfully cooperative weather!). At the end of the evening we lit sparklers saved from the 4th of July! ^_^ Everybody loves sparklers, right?

sparklers!

The party was also to celebrate M and my first anniversary. Awwww πŸ™‚ It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since this fantastic day. My mom and dad brought us a vase of hydrangeas cut from all the plants that were bought the year before; she says that they’ll always have a reminder of our wedding with all the pretty blues/greens/whites of the hydrangeas that now decorate their property.

hydrangeas

A very fun and event-filled month! And August should be just as busy! Until next time πŸ™‚

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Events, Jadeflower Ceramics, projects, Wedding

Made in the Shade – a unique planter pot Umbrella Stand

It’s been a busy month (ahem, yeah, my last post was over a month ago), but M and I have finally been getting this house to feel like a home. One of the projects I really wanted to tackle was for our outdoor spaceΒ  was a stand for my patio umbrella. Here’s how I did it!

DIY Planter Pot Umbrella Stand

I’ve owned this super cute, small canvas patio umbrella for years now, but it’s been in storage for a good 3 years or so because our last apartment didn’t have a space for it. Now that we have a big outdoor area to play with, I really wanted to bust it out!
The problem was, after scouting around to find a nice umbrella stand, I discovered that there are basically two camps: super ugly and cheap OR classy and way too expensive. The other idea was to find a thrifted patio table – the kind with the hole in the middle – but it turned out to be a much more difficult search than expected.

Finally I decided to make my own solution! An umbrella stand that would be unique, changeable, and inexpensive! Here’s what I did:

DIY Umbrella Stand Materials

Materials:
*Large Planter Pot – proportional to the size of umbrella
*Small Cinder Block (8x8x6)
*Length of PVC tubing – wide enough for umbrella handle
*Gravel
*Dirt
*Plants

Ceramic planter with drainage hole

Be sure your pot is a good size. Since it will be outside (and have plants that need water), be sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom!

Planter with cinder block

Place your cinder block in the center of your pot. Be sure it’s in a good position to put your PVC tube right over the drainage hole.

PVC tubing - Painted & Holes Drilled

I spray painted the top portion of my tubing a dark gray color, so the white PVC isn’t so noticeable. I also used a drill bit and my hand-held drill to put a few drainage holes in the bottom of the tube.

PVC & Gravel

With the PVC tube centered over the drainage hole, fill in the cinder block space with gravel until the tube is securely lodged in place.

Adding dirt to the planter

At this point, make sure your planter umbrella stand is located where you want it – it’s about to get really heavy! Next step is adding your potting soil.

pack it in there

Pack the soil in really well around the cinder block – you don’t want it to move!

Planter filled with dirt!

Once you’ve got the block hidden and the planter all filled, it’s time for adding pretty things! I had a few marigolds and snap dragons, but it turned out my planter wasn’t that big, so I just did the marigolds. If I were to do this again, I’d probably choose a trailing flower, like petunias or something, but I do think the happy yellow marigolds are cute. πŸ™‚

umbrella stand planter with flowers

So there you have it! Simple yet effective!
Those flowers will fill in a bit, but even sparse as they are, I really like how this project turned out! And what’s great about it is, since I didn’t use cement or something permanent to affix the PVC tubing, if I get tired of this arrangement, I can disassemble the whole thing and I still have a great ceramic pot to use!

And the break down for price is pretty great:
*Ceramic Pot: $16
*Potting Soil (way more than needed for this project, btw): $5
*PVC tube: $1.25
*Spray paint: free (already had it)
*Gravel: free (gathered from the back alley)
*Cinder block: $.95
*Marigolds: $.95
TOTAL: $24.15

So yeah, good luck finding a nice free-standing umbrella stand at the store for under $25!

Outdoor living, here we come!

And now with the summer weather finally arriving in Seattle (we hope!), we’re one step closer to some awesome outdoor living!

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Plants, projects, tutorial

Mirror, mirror…

I am a self-professed Goodwill (or any thrift/antique store, garage sale) junkie. M will often roll his eyes at me when we pass one, and I say, “Can we look for just a minute!”

I can’t help it, I love old & used stuff.

old metal filigree mirror

So in my last visit to my favorite Seattle Goodwill, as I was scouting for other things on my list, I found this old, heavy, dusty, flaking, gold-colored metal mirror. I am a sucker for fancy filigree, so long as it isn’t cheap or flimsy or fake. This little mirror was darling! and only $1.99 – score!!

So I’ve seen lots of tutorials and before/after shots of SO many household items that have been given a second life with a new coat of spray paint. Until now, I had resisted the temptation to cover every piece of interesting junk I could find with bright colors. But here, I succumbed.

mirror frame, first coat

I loved the weightiness of this mirror, but I didn’t love the worn, flaky gold color. I decided to paint it a teal blue/green to match our livingroom area rug and throw pillows. I asked what M thought when I showed him my bargain treasure find, and he said – Awesome idea. πŸ™‚ That teal is one of M’s favorite colors.

We found a good color match at our local Fred Meyer hardware department – a Rustoleum hue called Lagoon, smooth-satin finish.

Rust-oleum Lagoon

It took me about 10 light coats of paint over 3 days to get the amount of coverage I liked. This stuff was very easy to work with, and it dried really quickly, so I did 3-4 coats each day. It was tricky getting into all the nooks and crannies of this mirror! But in the end:

refinished mirror, detail

 

refinished mirror, Lagoon blue

It looks fantastic! It’s tough to get the color just right in the pictures here – it looks more greenish in real life. And it goes perfectly with our pops of teal in the living room. Now I just have to figure out where to put it… πŸ™‚

gotta love bright pops of color

So I still have a whole can of beautiful teal spray paint…Now, what else can I refinish? πŸ™‚

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