Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Handmade Gifting: Coffee Cozies 2 Ways

Wow! Can't believe that it's already time to start getting holiday gifts together, but alas here we are again. Originally this was something that I made for myself, but I was so pleased with the results that I wanted to share them with friends! Maybe you'll want to share them, too.

If you're going to drink to-go coffee at least you can cut down on some of the waste in style.
-colorful yarn
-paper coffee sleeve

Step 1:Make a sharpie mark on to the paper cozie where the two pieces overlap. Then pull apart.

Step 2: If the overlap area is excessive trim down to a 1/2" or so. This cozy will now serve as your pattern.

Step 3: Trace the pattern onto you felt and cut out cleanly.

Step 4: If you haven't already done so, make a plan for you design.

Step 5: Choose your favorite(s) and draw them right onto the felt.

Step 6: Stitch in the drawn design with yarn.

Step 7: Now use doublestick tape (or pins) to overlap the 2 ends by 1/4".

Step 8: Quickly slide the sleeve over a coffee cup to make sure that the fit is correct. (If it's too tight or loose make the proper adjustment before going on to step 9.)

Step 9: Finish by stitching across the overlapped area until you're sure the pieces are well connected.

Oh, yeah... as said in the title of this post, I made another one. An easy applique...again in the eye motif; I can't get enough of it! I reused the patterns I had left over from the Eye Elbow Project (and made a few smaller ones, as well). Except this time I played up the colors. A lot.

To make this one, just follow steps 1 through 3 above and then add the eyes as instructed here.

Ha! I look so attached to it already. This is probably the one I'm 
going  to be keeping for myself:) Happy gifting, friends!

-tailor's chalk

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Embroidered Leaf Initial Place Cards

Happy almost holiday, everybody! It's been a crazy/crazy awesome year so we're keeping our celebration laid back and simple this year. Ahh... just the way I like it! In keeping with this spirit, I wanted to create some very natural and colorful place settings, perfect for the mood of our afternoon.  My inspiration has been looking me in the face every time I gaze out of our windows. The big trees in our neighborhood are still covered in the bright yellow leaves. Grab some leaves of your own for this personalized last minute project. They're quick, very cute and practically free!
What you'll need:
-index card                                        
-1 leaf for each person                     
-embroidery thread and needle     
 -double stick tape

Step 1: So the first thing needed to get going on this is a cross stitch alphabet pattern. (I found a lot of great ones here.) Pick your favorite and print out. The one I chose appropriately enough was the "Thanksgiving" stitch. It's 9 stitches high and I enlarged it an extra 35% before printing out.

Step 2: Place your index card on a self healing mat (or if you don't have one, use a magazine). Place the  letter you will need over the index card.

Step 3: Press an awl through the paper at each point of the letter where you will need to make a stitch.
When you pick up the pattern paper, your letter will have been transferred onto the index card.

Step 4: Cut out from the rest of the index paper.
(Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have an initial for each person at the dinner.)

Step 5: Put a piece of double stick tape onto your letter and stick to the backside of the leaf.

Step 6: Lay the leaf on your mat, good side down, and press the awl through each of the holes.

Step 7: Now you're ready to stitch. Separate 3 strands of the embroidery thread and thread your needle. Start on the back and gently stitch through each of the holes. (If you're feeling a little rusty on your cross stitching skills, check out this great how-to on Mochimotchi Land.)

Keep going...
...until you have one made for everyone coming!

*You may want to note that if you'd like the leaves to look fresh, you want to do these the night before and have them in the fridge until the morning of. If you'll be too busy cooking not to do them a bit in advance, not to worry; they look great dried out as well:)

Hope that every one has a terrific celebration. I have a crazy amount of things to be grateful for this year! Not least of which is all of you who take the time to read this blog and reach out with questions and words of kindness. This has been We Can Re-Do It's most successful year yet. Many, many thanks for that:)

Oh, also I have this little dude to be thankful for! My sweet rescue pup, Sharker. Very grateful to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue for saving this hilarious beauty. We've had her for less than a week, but already it's impossible to imagine our household without her. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

And The Eyes Have It: Graphic Elbow Patch Project

Being a fan of pretty much all prints and designs, I couldn't be more psyched that "eyes" are having a major fashion moment this fall! So before it becomes chilly enough that my thermal shirt becomes second skin, I decided to take a moment to give it a little upgrade. This also has some holiday appeal, seeing as we are inching ever closer to Halloween, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be an any-old-day kind of shirt for me:)
What you'll need:
-thermal shirt (or jacket, or sweater)
-felt in 3 different colors
Step 1: First thing to do is make 3 patterns:
-1 small circle (the pupil)
-1 larger circle (the iris)
-1 tear drop shape with points at both ends (for the whites)

Step 2: Trace the patterns onto you felt twice (one for each elbow).

Step 3: Cut out cleanly.

Step 4: Assemble the small circle centered over the larger one and pin.

Step 5: Whip stitch together by bring the needle up the outer edge of the smaller circle and over onto the larger one.

When you're finished the two pieces will be securely attached to one another.

Step 6: Now repeat steps 4 and 5 to connect the circles to the largest piece of felt. This time you will be whip stitching over the edge of the larger circle. 

Steps 7: Repeat steps 4 through 6 on the remaining pieces of felt. When you're finished, you will have two finished eyes!

Step 8: Find proper placement on one of the sleeves. (You'll probably want to out the shirt on for this part to make sure you correctly found where the elbow sits.)

Time to stitch down! Start by sticking your hand into the sleeve. You'll want to do this to separate the front of the sleeve from the back of the sleeve, otherwise you may accidentally stitch them together. 

Step 7: Starting in the corner, push up from the bottom of the white felt with your needle and begin a simple running stitch around the perimeter of the eye.

Step 8: Every time you go back down with the needle be sure to go down just deep enough to go through the felt, as well as catching a bit of the shirt fabric. Immediately come right back up through the felt about a 1/4" away. When you gotten back to your starting point, tie off on the underside of the white felt.

Step 9: Now stretch out both sleeves flat...
... and use the placement of the first stitched eye as a guide for symmetrically placing the second. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to finish!

Yeah, eye can definitely see this thing being a new fave.

-needle and thread

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ombre and Color Block Yarn Wrapped Hangers

Got some slippery blouses and dresses that spend more time on the closet floor than the hanger? The nubby texture of yarn might be just the thing you need to make them stay put! But while you're at it, you might as well make it pretty though, right? By using colorful yarns to do the wrapping you get bold, modern (and yes, pretty) results without any extra effort. Love when that happens:)

*It's probably worth noting that while this project couldn't be easier, it's not the quickest. You may want to multi-task by getting them done while watching a bad movie and having a glass of wine (aka: my favorite way to craft).

Color Block Hanger

What you’ll need:

-a hanger
-yarn in various colors (3 to 4 arm lengths for each color)

Getting organized:
Because the more yarn you’re using, the more unruly this can become. Make things much easier on yourself by taking a minute to get it all organized!

-To do this cut a small rectangle of card board and snip a slit at the center.
-Put one of the cut ends into the slit to hold it place and then wrap the rest around the piece of cardboard. Create one of these for each color of yarn you are using.

Step 1: Tie the first strand of yarn onto the hanger with a double knot leaving a 1-2” tail.

Step 2: Create a loop over top of the hanger by draping the yarn so that it looks like a backwards “P”.

Step 3: Insert the loose end of the yarn under the hanger and up through the loop.

Step 4: Tighten the loop around the hanger, making sure that it is also tightening around the tail.

Step 5: Slide the loop up the double knot. Repeat steps 2 through 4 until that color has reached the length you like it.

Step 6: When you’re ready to add a new color, begin again at step 1 and repeat through step 5. In addition to covering the tail you will also be tightening the loop around the yarn color that you are not currently using. This is the process every time you want to add
on a new strand of yarn.

Step 7: Once all of the strand are added you can pick up any strand you want and begin knotting anytime you’re ready to change up the color. Don’t be afraid to try making sections of varying lengths. There’s no wrong way to do this and variety will add a lot to the finish!

Step 8: As you near the end of the hanger, go ahead and cut off any strands that you know you will definitely not be using.

Step 9: Cover any tails, then double knot tightly on the back and snip away the excess with scissors.
**If you have any worries about the knot slipping, secure with a small dot of glue.**

Ombre Hanger
This project uses a similar technique as the color block, but with a slightly more subtle finish resulting in a lovely ombre pattern.
What you’ll need:
-a hanger
-yarn in 4 different shades of the same color 

Step 1: Beginning with the darkest shade, tie the end of the yarn onto the hanger with a double knot leaving a 1-2” tail.

Step 2: Create a loop over top of the hanger by draping the yarn so that it looks like a backwards “P”.

 Step 3: Insert the loose end of the yarn under the hanger and up through the loop.

 Step 4: Tighten the loop around the hanger. Be sure that it is also tightening around the tail and pull up.

Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 until it has reached a length of 2 ¾”.

Step 6: Tie on the next darkest shade, repeating steps 1-5.

Step 7: Tie on the next shade, again repeating steps 1-5.

Step 8: Then add the lightest shade. The steps are the same as the others, except you’ll continue this shade all the way across the bottom of the hanger.

Step 9: Now work backwards now from lightest to darkest, to mirror the look of the other side as closely as possible.

Step 11: Finish by tying off into a secure knot. Add a small drop of glue if needed.

**My closet feels happier already**