Monday, July 30, 2012

Pouches Galore!

sometimes i get lots of creative thoughts running through my head and i begin to think, "oh, i need this, and i could use this.  i can make this!"  well, this is what spurred these two new projects.  i decided to make a zippered pouch and an earbud pouch.
i made the zippered pouch to go in my new purse so that i can put my pens/pencils in it.

i was inspired to make the earbud pouch 1) when i saw the tut on Pinterest and 2) because i wanted to keep the cords clean and untangled.

now, let me tell ya three things about me you don't know, and will help you understand why i chose the fabrics i did. 1)my favorite color is lime green, 2)i LOVE tie-dye, and 3)i love me some peace signs.  so, here are the fabrics i chose to use for my zippered pouch and the earbud pouch.
see, now don't these fabrics just fit me so well?! hehe  and of course i had to do a lime green zipper.  also, instead of getting fabric from a bolt i just used fabric quarters.

i found a great tutorial on Pinterest by See Kate Sew to make the zippered pouch and this awesome tut on Pinterest-good ol' Pinterest, by Erin Erickson over at Dog Under My Desk to make the earbud pouch.

for my zippered pouch i used a plastic zipper instead of the usual ones i do for a different feel.

with my earbud pouch i haven't added the split ring b/c i couldn't find them in the store at the time.  i do plan on getting some, though...and i already have two requests to whip up!  a big plus is that these are so easy and quick to make!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Snap-On Cell Phone Pouch

ok, so i finally decided to ignore the urge to procrastinate more and put up this post.  i've had the case done for about a week, or two, but i'm a procrastinator and never wanted to take the time to put this tut up.  so, here we go, finally!

i recently purchased a new purse, the Kavu Rope Bag. 
Kavu Rope Bag - Spring 2012
Kavu Rope Bag - Blue Leaf
it has two pockets on the front and one that can be used as a cell phone pocket, but 1) i didn't like the idea of having my cell phone stuck in a pocket behind me and 2) my phone didn't quite fit in the pocket.  so i came up with this tut so i, and you, can make a cell phone pouch that attaches to the strap at the front.

this tutorial features measurements to fit an iphone 4 with an otterbox defender case on it...but of course you can easily change the measurements to fit your phone.  to make this you will need:
fabric for the exterior and lining (i used scraps for everything)
batting for added protection (i used scrap fleece)
two snaps
bias tape
cell phone

with the case on my phone measures 2.75" wide x ~5" tall.  now, i had to make this case twice before i finally got the measurements right the third time.  it's like Goldie Locks: the first time was too short, the second time was too narrow, but the third was was just right.  so here are the steps to make this pouch.

step 1:
cut out a piece of exterior fabric measuring 4"W x 13.5" L. do the same for your batting and lining, but this time cut them a little shorter (abt 1/4") than your exterior fabric. by cutting those shorter it will prevent your inner fabrics from bunching up too much when all layers are folded.

step 2:
now, sew the short ends of all three layers together.  since the inner two layers are shorter sew one short end together.  then line up the edges on the other end and sew.  once both ends are sewn you'll notice how the outer fabric bunches up when you lay it down.  don't worry, you want this b/c this means the inner layers will fit perfectly when you fold it.

step 3:
once the short edges are sewn together you're going to sew on your velcro.  your velcro can be any size and length you like.  for my length i just cut a piece abt 2" long.  take the soft side of the velcro and center it on one end of your outer fabric.  sew in place.  the top of the velcro is about 1" from the edge of the fabric.  next, sew the other part of the velcro to the lining of the opposite end.  center it and place it abt an 1" from the edge of the fabric. 

step 4:
line up both short ends and pull your fabric tight down at the center.  place a pin at the center.  to help keep the fabrics in the right spot while adding the bias tape i pinned all along the sides.  once you're pinned add your bias tape.  add to all four sides.  i will say, it was a little tricky getting all the fabric inside the tape by just simply sticking the fabric between the bias tape fold.  here is a link to a tut i found on Pinterest on how to attach bias tape.  this tut, or using extra wide tape, would have made things so much easier and would have prevented me from having to undo portions of the bias tape where the fabric didn't catch and started to come out.

step 5:
now it's time to make and attach the back strap.  cut out a piece of 2" x 6" farbic.  with right sides together sew along all three edges but leave abt an 1" opening in the middle of the long side.  trim corners and turn right side out.  sew up the opening.  i then presed my fabric to lay the edges flat.  next fold your strap in half and mark the center.  now you're going to attach the strap to the pouch fabric.  to find out where to attach the strap on the back i put my phone inside the pouch and marked on the outside where i would like the strap to be.  once you have the placement attach the strap by making a 1" wide rectangle.  i then went back and did an 'x' in the middle for added security.  then you'll need to add your snaps to the strap.  to figure out where to place them i folded the strap aroundthe strap of my purse and marked the two spots on the bottom piece of the strap.  then i simply followed the instructions onn the snap attachment tool, and voila!  now it's time to finish up your pouch.

step 6:
to create the pouch simply stick the velcro pieces together so you can decide placement for the flap.  once things are in place fold up the flap so you can sew the middle section.  to do this i sewed just along the inner edge of the bias tape.  start above the top edge of the short end to make sure you get the corners.  once both sides were sewn i went around the edges of all the bias tape with fray check just to make sure none of my seams came out.  once you've made the actual pouch portion you are done!

slide your phone in and admire your new cell phone pouch!

here is a pic of the pouch actually attached to the strap of my purse.  now i have easy access to my phone and i don't have to worry about my phone being all the way around my back.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jazzed Up Sunglass Case

so i bought some prescription sunglasses recently and i started to grow tired of looking at the standard black case.  i had some scraps of fabric stashed away so i decided to spruce up my case. 
here are the instructions on how you can spruce up any of your cases.  to do this you will need some Mod Podge(i used the one that says fabric), fabric of your choice, and a sponge applicator like these, which you can get individually at Joann for like $.69.

to begin with, you'll need to take out the inner lining.  mine is plastic and was simply glued in, so with a little force i was able to pull it out.

to start covering your case you'll want to start at the back, where the hinge is.  you'll notice you can't slide fabric between the hinge and the case so you'll have to cut your fabric to fit around.  to do this simply lay your fabric over the hinge and trace around the hinge.  by placing the fabric on top of the hinge you're leaving enough fabric on the side that will be tucked inside the case.
after you get that traced cut out the rectangle section.

now, brush some Mod Podge on the case under the the hinge and glue your fabric down, lining up the edge against the edge of the hinge.  you'll also see how you have the tabs sticking up on either side of the hinge.

next, cover the large section of the case in Mod Podge.  glue your fabric down, making sure you smooth it out flat.

now you're going to cover the front edge of the case.  here you'll need to make sure to pull your fabric tight so it is smooth.

after you've glued the front edge you're going to do the round edges.  starting with one side you're going to pull your fabric tight to the inside.  by pulling it tight it allows you to get the fabric as smooth as possible so you won't have a lot of pleats.  on a couple sections, though, you may get some pleating but that is ok.  repeat for the other side.

once the sides are covered, pull the fabric back on the inside so you can cover the inner edge with Mod Podge and get the fabric glued down.  when i did the second side i discovered it's easiest to glue the inside of the front edge first, cut off some of the excess fabric, then glue the rest of the sides.  then cut away as much excess as you'd like. 

once you've done all that, you're done!  my lining was still pretty sticky so i simply stuck it back in there.  add someglue or Mod Podge if yours doesn't stick as well.
now, i haven't done it in the above picture, but i'm thinking of adding a sealing layer of Mod Podge on top.  thiis step is completely up to you.

i hope you enjoy your fancy case as much as i will mine!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stripey Stripes

so for my latest dress i was inspired by the renfrew tank dress Andrea from foursquarewalls made.  i love how it's simple, yet sassy.  plus, i've been needing more dresses for summer so my wheels got to turnin'.

first off, i went to Girl Charlee to get some cute fabric for my new dress.  i saw plenty that i liked but the striped fabric Andrea used really caught my eye.  so i ordered two yards.  i'll say, too, that Heather is awesome at providing high quality products and delivering fast!

i found Tally's Treasury while doing a search for a pattern i wanted to use for my dress and from her post it inspired me to make a dress without a pattern.  so i went and grabbed one of my dresses that has a shape and fit that i love and traced that to make my new dress.  so simple!  why didn't i think of this before?! duh!

now that my farbic was in it was time to make my dress.  to start, since my fabric is striped, i took the extra time to make sure all my stripes lined up.  yeah it was a little tedious to do that but the end results were fantastic. 
since the skirt on the dress i traced was wider than my fabric i traced the bodice of the dress and freehanded a simple a-line skirt.  to hem the skirt i folded up the amount i wanted and used my good friend stitch witchery to hold it. 
once i tried the finished dress on i added side bust darts to get rid of the gaping.  to finish the neck and armhole edges i attempted to do the technique Andrea did on her dress, by adding a band of the fabric attached to the raw edges and sew in place.  it worked out great on the armholes, but it just made the neck edge gape more.  so i simply folded the banded edge under and used my good ol' stitch witchery to hold it in place. 

once the dress was finished i went back and added side pockets...using this great tut i found over at Tally's Treasury.  first time for side seam pockets!  i'm kind of obsessed now with doing side seam pockets since i know they are so easy! and for my pockets pattern i simply drew a shape along the edge of my paper and made it have a 6" opening.  voila!  that dress was simple enough!

and since i ordered two yards i had a little over 5/8 of a yard left over.  what did i do with it, you ask?  well i made a skirt of course!  two garments, two yards of fabric!!

for my skirt i just did a simple a-line cut.  i wanted to do a circle skirt but there wasn't enough fabric :(  once again, i took the time to line up my stripes and i inserted side seam pockets.  to finish it off i did a white elastic waistband.  i got lazy and for my skirt i didn't do a hem.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Seein' Stars

4th of July is coming up, and although i have to work i wanted to wear something patriotic.  i bought this star-covered white chiffon a while go from JoAnn but could never decide what i wanted to make out of it.  i remembered my Simplicity top pattern and decided to make a tunic top since it's so hot here in TN.  this way i can wear the top with my red bike shorts and a cami underneath.

my basis for the top was letter 'd' of the pattern, but i made some modifications.  i cut some material off the arm holes to make them fit a little bigger, and i also cut off some of the neck so that it falls lower around my neck.  i also decided to bo black bias tape around the arm holes and neck.  and to add a little spice i used red buttons.  also, for my seams, i did the normal 5/8" seams and then with back with my serger to prevent fraying.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

d.i.y. tree straps

ok, i figured it was time for me to stop procrastinating and finally put up this tree strap tut...which is why i'm typing it at 11:50 at night. lol

so i made myself a hammock, even though i have nowhere at my house to hang it, and here is a tut on how to make straps to hang it up with.  the idea for this type of suspension system came from the slap straps by ENO.  it is basically a pair of polyester webbing straps wrapped around trees and attached to the hammock.  using straps like these also help in preventing damage to the trees since the webbing is wide and lays flat on the tree trunk.  so, in going along with my d.i.y. i decided to make my own slap straps, and by doing so i was able to make them personable to me...which of course meant tie-dye!  so on to how to make the straps.

to make your own pair of tree straps you will need:
polyester webbing - @ least 1" wide (i used 1.5" wide)
heavy duty thread

if you want to purchase fun webbing, Strapworks is a great source for that.  that is where i bought my tie-dye webbing and they have LOTS of patterns you can choose from!  they're also good for other odds and ends, too.  i used two colors of webbing to make my straps.  the straps are tie-dye and so for these you will need to get 18ft(6yds).  if you want to use a second color like i did you will need at least 4ft(1.3yds).  how much you get of the second color will determine how long your loops will be.  my loops were cut into 5" pieces b/c i didn't buy enough webbing; but it still turned out good.  if you're just going to use one webbing color simply add the additional length onto the 18ft of your main straps.

step 1:
take your 18ft and cut it in half to make two 9ft pieces.  make sure to burn the ends of every piece of webbing, too, to prevent fraying.  now that you have two 9ft pieces fold over 3" of one end on each piece to make a loop. sew in place.  i sewed mine in place by doing a box then doing an 'x' in the middle.
once your loops are made measure the remaining length of your webbing.  since i made five loops out of my black webbing i divided that measurement by five to know where each loop will be placed.

step 2:
take your other webbing, in my case the black webbing, and cut it in half.  then cut both pieces into 5" pieces.  so you will then have 10 pieces total.  finding your first mark on one main strap, fold the black piece of webbing in half and sew to the main strap.  repeat for the remaining four on your first strap and the other five on the seonc strap.  when it's done it will look like this:
and voila! you've made your own set of tree straps!

to hang your hammock, simply wrap the straps around your trees and feed the end of the strap through the loop of the main strap.  then you will put the carabiners on your hammock through a black loop.  that's all that's to it! and now you can enjoy your hammock!
i wrapped my straps around two doors for demonstration purposes.  i definitely did not get in it!  but, this is what your hammock and straps will look like when hung.

*also, when my straps are folded they fit perfectly into the attached bag on my hammock.  so you can store everything together.