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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

More baby clothes

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The bunny on the left was leftover peel and stick sewn through to applique on – not recommended. Lettering was done with the Pentel fabric gel rollerball.  The rain clouds are raw edge applique.

The heart is raw edge applique, lettering Pentel fabric gel rollerball.  This one has survived several washings with minimal fraying.  I intended for the fraying to add to the look, and so far it looks good.

The owl and fox are leftover peel and stick sewn through – not recommended. The lettering is Sharpie stained.

The squirrel is peel and stick, the lettering is fabric dye crayons outlined with Pentel gel rollerball.  Thanks to my friend, Anna, for the cute slogan idea.  This one survived the wash ok, but has not been used much yet.

The clouds are peel and stick, the rainbow is fabric dye crayons, and the lettering is Pentel gel rollerball. At least one cloud did not survive the wash. I will fix it up with the Sharpie stained markers. This photo is before washing.

Peel and stick moon and clouds with a few Pentel gel roller details.

Peel and stick acorn, fabric dye crayon leaves, and Pentel gel rollerball lettering.

Fabric markers

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

I purchased some Sharpie Stained markers and stencils for decorating baby clothes. They seem to do a good job with lettering, and they have stayed bright through a few standard washes. I am disappointed that the pink marker only made it through two pieces of clothing before giving out. There’s visible ink left in the barrel, but the brush tip isn’t wicking.

This mandala bodysuit was kind of tedious, but I like the result.  I’m working on one with flowers, but it’s still in progress.

Decorating Baby Clothes with Peel-and-Stick Appliques, Dye Sticks, and Pens

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

I just co-hosted a baby shower for a friend and I chose to be in charge of a “onesie” decorating activity. I thought my notes and my shopping list might be useful to others.

I got the basic idea from several posts like this one about using Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Peel & Stick Sheets to make fabric appliques. Based on this review of fabric markers, I decided to purchase Pentel Fabric Gel Roller Pens in black for fine lines (2 packs of 2) and Pentel Arts Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks (15 color set). The dye sticks are just like crayons, but a little softer, and can be blended, but they do smear easily. The nice part is they clean off of stencils with just a little rubbing with dry paper towels. I purchased some stencils with words like “giggle” and “play”, basic alphabets, sun/clouds/moon, and leaves.

Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Peel & Stick Sheets are 4.25×5 inches, so I figured that quilter’s charm packs (typically about 40 assorted pieces of 5×5 inch fabric squares per charm pack) would be almost perfect. I wanted a variety of prints. This baby’s nursery theme is woodland animals, so I tried to find some fabrics that went along with “nature” and had “boyish” colors, whatever that means. I’m a quilter, so having extra charm squares leftover was not a big deal to me, so I purchased two Moda charm packs.  I washed the fabric squares in a lingerie bag, ironed them, and picked out the ones I thought would work best.  I applied the adhesive to the back side.  I found clip art online of a fox, an owl, a squirrel, a rabbit, a bird, an acorn, a crescent moon, circles, stars, and assorted mushroom caps and stems, and added some freehand clouds.  I traced these onto template plastic and traced the templates onto the adhesive-backed fabric squares.

I purchased pieces of inexpensive white, yellow, and light blue bodysuits, shirts, and bibs in sizes 3 mo. through 18 mo. Light colors were recommended for the dye sticks, and this shower was for a baby boy. I did test runs on a blue shirt and a green bib to see how the dye sticks would work out. I decided that ironing freezer paper on the inside of the clothes and the back of the bibs might be helpful for stabilizing the fabric to make writing easy and to keep the pens and dye sticks from bleeding through. I ironed and washed my test shirt and bib, and the appliques did well, only unsticking on thin parts like an acorn cap stem and a lightning bolt, and one cloud wrinkled. The dye sticks faded, but not too badly. The pen looked almost as good as it did before washing.

Here’s the shopping/source list.  Our estimate was that a maximum of 28 people would show up for the shower, and in fact the total count ended up being about 16.  I purchased enough to make about 30 pieces of clothing, and it was just the right amount for our 16 people with only a few left over.

  • About 30 pieces of light colored cotton clothing in various sizes

various sizes and colors of t-shirts from the Dharma Trading Company
various colors of bibs from the Dharma Trading Company
various colors and sizes of bodysuit from the Dharma Trading Company

  • 6 packs of Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Peel & Stick Sheets
  • One charm pack of fabric (I chose to purchase two for variety, but one would have been more than enough). I chose Moda – Wren & Friends and Kate Spain for Moda – Sunnyside.
  • Pentel Arts Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks, 15 Color Set
  • Two packs (total of 4 pens) of Fabric Gel Roller Pens 2/Pkg
  • stencils to use with the pens and dye sticks (alphabets, sayings, etc.)
  • search online for clip art or buy stencils for making the appliques
  • a piece of template plastic & pencils or pens for tracing templates – available in most sewing and craft stores (I traced the stencils before the party)
  • scissors for cutting out appliques (I cut out the appliques before the party)
  • freezer paper (I cut pieces and ironed onto the back sides of clothing before the party)
  • cardboard rectangles and pins
  • an iron for ironing the fabric squares, adhering the freezer paper, and setting the pastel dye sticks
  • clothesline and clothes pins for display at the party (we draped our clothesline over a curtain rod)
  • paper towels to clean the stencils and to put between the pieces of clothing when you pack up to prevent the dye sticks from transferring from the front to the back of the clothes
  • scent free, dye free laundry detergent for washing the finished products

Check out some of the finished products!  With the exception of the blue t-shirt with a rain cloud and thunderbolt and the green bib with the acorn, these have not yet been ironed or washed.


UPDATE: despite my test run, these did NOT wash well.  The peel-and-stick appliques came off, some entirely, some only partially.  It was a huge disappointment.  I have since decided to do raw edge applique with just plain fabric cut outs using plain running stitch a mm or so in from the edge or blanket stitch at the edge. I did use some of my leftover peel-and-stick shapes and tried to sew through them, but I don’t recommend that – sewing through is painful, although they wash up great!  Also, a friend lent me Stained by Sharpie fabric markers, and they work wonderfully, although the tips are soft so it can be difficult to do fine lines on knits. For that the Fabric Gel Roller Pens are better. The Sharpie Stained markers wash well – the colors stay dark.

Egg-bot plotting on larger objects

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

I purchased some painted foam eggs (“carveable”) that are about 6 inches long and 4 inches in diameter.  We discovered that it is VERY useful to slow down the motors for plotting on larger objects, or the pen will bounce all over the place.  We also discovered that some of our pen arm components were loose.  Brian swapped out the faulty piece that holds the servo motor for the replacement that he requested for free along with the wider pen arm and diamond engraving tip that we purchased.  These eggs are unfortunately pretty wonky in shape, so I’m having some pen contact issues, but otherwise things seem to be going more smoothly now that I’ve slowed it waaaayyy down (50 steps/sec).  I think it was originally on 300 steps/sec, which works ok for chicken eggs.  We also adjusted the current to the stepper motors following the wiki, but I think we probably ended with it approximately where it started.

I have some two piece plastic eggs and some ceramic eggs that are closer to chicken size to try next.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

My creativity has been really on and off these last few months.  I have managed to accomplish a few things, though:

Three French Hens from Jim Shore’s 12 Days of Christmas

I’ve been working on these for a few years – it seems unlikely that I will finish three sets of 12 like I originally planned (oh, ambition!), but I’m still plugging away on set #1. Next up: Four Calling Birds.

felted knit slippers (for me)

Finishing these slippers was a 2012 resolution (yes, I make it easy on myself). I had done 1.5 before running out of yarn. They’re really easy, but running out of yarn sort of stalled me for a few months. Silly, I know.

Cathedral Window pillow cover

The Cathedral Window pillow cover was done by machine piecing the background and sewing all of the windows together with loose flaps dangling before inserting the colored “panes” and hand turning the windows.  The second shot shows my sloppy attempt at an invisible zipper using a regular zipper foot – oh well.  I still love it.

The fabrics on the front are mostly Michelle Hill’s Adelaide Collection and Jason Yenter’s Camelot Collection along with a few bits and pieces of random stuff.  I really loved both fabric collections and bought a fat quarter bundle of both, then realized that quite a few of the fabrics would go together well enough for this project and that the colors would look pretty good with my IKEA embroidered pillows.  I still have a lot of fabric left, of course, since the windows only used a tiny bit of each fabric.  the border was nearly an entire fat quarter, and I was so glad I had enough to do it.  The back fabric is from an IKEA ironing board cover that I bought without considering my ironing board’s dimensions.  My ironing board is significantly longer, but I liked the print well enough to use it for a pillow back.  Overall, I’m pleased.  The cathedral windows were a lot of work, but I did them during the summer when we went to a lot of outdoor concerts where I could sit and work on putting the colored bits in the windows and hand sewing the window frames without distraction.

I want to work on some tile quilt blocks for pillow covers with the remaining fabric.


Thursday, August 11th, 2011

I bought a very pretty clasp at the bead shown in town this spring, and I’ve been puzzling over what to do with it. I did a Google image search for bracelets with three strand clasps and somehow stumbled on chain maille. I decided to try Japanese 12 in 2 chain maille for this bracelet, and I like the way it turned out:

I found the bracelet surprisingly hard to photograph – or maybe I’m just tired. I think it looks better in person.  There are amazing free resources for doing maille online, and I was able to get away with some craft store “bright silver” rings.  If I decide to do anything more complicated, I will have to order some rings in appropriate sizes.  This isn’t too bad, but it’s maybe a little loose.  I did 12 in 1 (one layer of big rings) first, and 12 in 2 definitely gave it more structure.  I don’t recommend going through and adding another layer of big rings afterward like I did.  It definitely would be easier to start out doing 12 in 2.

It’s definitely not perfect, but I still like it, and I think I have the patience to do more maille in the future if inspiration strikes.

Honey, is our refrigerator staring at me?

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

So, I saw this tutorial on making magnetic googly eyes the other day, and I knew I had to do it. I have always thought about putting googly eyes on random household objects. There’s something about them that just makes me laugh, so why not. I purchased a variety bag of “wiggly eyes” for 99c and a roll of adhesive magnetic paper (that was the expensive part). The magnetic paper is fairly thin, like a promotional magnet, and that might be an issue. The magnetic force doesn’t seem very strong. I didn’t have any trouble sticking it to the eyes, though. The adhesive is nice and strong, and eliminates the need for any glue.  I’m not too concerned with  making perfect circles of magnet, so I’ve just been cutting them out with scissors.

So far our fridge, dishwasher, and magnetic whiteboard have eyes. I’m considering carrying a bunch of these around with me to stealth-decorate random metal surfaces at friends’ houses.  Even better, I can use the magnetic paper for other magnets, like photos under glass marbles.

Jim Shore 12 Days of Christmas – 2 Turtle Doves

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Done! I’m cheering myself up about my failure to complete all 12 in 2010 by saying I’m now ahead for 2011 since it’s early February and I’m already done with 2/12. I shouldn’t fool myself – Feb. is a short month. I started 3 French Hens already, so… good work…

Teaching myself new tricks

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I’ve been knitting for at least five years now.  I’ve recently done a couple of projects that involve large fields of stockinette stitch (all knit stitches on one side, all purl stitches on the other) knit flat, and I’ve had to confront my uneven tension in knitting and purling.  I am a loose knitter, and apparently an extremely loose purler when I do the typical continental purl, even if I wrap the yarn over more fingers or pull to try to increase tension.  I finally tried combined purling, and I think I’ve solved my problem.  Now my purls are too tight if I try to tighten them and I’m forced to stay relaxed, which is really better for my hands.  It seems like a really elegant solution, too, since the motion is almost the mirror image of knitting.  It just means that I need to be slightly careful following standard knitting directions for increases and decreases, or I need to reorient my stitches before M1, K2Tog, SSK, SK2P, etc.

It’s not typically a problem when I’m knitting in the round, but I recently made a Christmas stocking that was knit flat and I’m currently working on a short row sleeve cap on a sweater.

Catching Up

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I started this insane 12 days of Christmas cross stitch in March. I don’t think there’s any way I’m going to complete this by Christmas, or do 3 sets! Eesh.