Saturday, May 21, 2011

T-shirt Blanket: Veronica's MASSIVE Blanket.

Status update on my sister's blanket - I would say it's 85% done. I need more shirts in the one corner, so I haven't finished sewing the reinforcing stitches, outlining every shirt with the zig-zag stitch. But, taking a step back, here's the process:

  • First, I cut the shirts. I don't cut them down to a size, but I cut them leaving the most room around the graphic, and focus on getting the sleeves off, the collar off, and anything that really doesn't have a place in the blanket.
  • Then, I play around with arrangements. This is the tricky part. In some cases, like in the Pittsburgh Blanket, the shirts all fit the same size square, and then the blanket can be nice and square. In the case of Veronica's blanket, she had already cut the shirts, so I had a lot of wonky shapes.
  • Then I start sewing. I use a normal, straight-line stitch, and sew on the backs of the shirts. I place the right-sides together (the sides that you want to see), and sew on the back. I work my way around the entire blanket like this. 
  • After that, I sew the t-shirts to the backing, which is usually a few yards of fleece cut and stitched to size. In the case of Veronica's blanket, I sewed around with the right sides of the blanket, close to the edge, because those stitches would be covered with the ribbon edging. In the Pittsburgh Blanket, I sewed the blanket inside-out, and then did a hidden stitch after I flipped the blanket back out.
  • Then I do the reinforcing stitch. This isn't always necessary, but in the case of Veronica's blanket, where shirts were cut with very little excess in some cases, stitches can easily pop, so it helps to hold the blanket together. It's also a nice border around each of the shirts, and can give it a more polished look. For this, I use a zig-zag stitch and trace around the shirts on the right side of the fabric (so it's going through and showing on the shirts and the backing - I do it this way because I like the 'quilting' effect on the backing).
  • Lastly, I sew on the ribbon binding (that's probably not the correct name, but it's the stuff at JoAnn's that's always right next to the zippers and by the thread).
Is that clear? If not, please don't hesitate to tell me! I can break this farther down into pictures if it'd be helpful. Update: I broke this down into a three part series. See here for the prep, the sewing, and the finishing steps).

I need more shirts at the bottom left, and then to line it all with a purple ribbon I found that matches her favorite shade. Almost there.

Update: I took the blanket home, and it's taller than our 7 foot ceilings. It's definitely bigger than a king-size blanket, and Veronica is very excited. Check it out on her bed in her picture blog.

And hey, if you've popped over from Pinterest, why not hang around for a bit? I've got tutorials, random life posts and pictures of my apartment for you to virtually house creep. Is it just me, or does everyone love a good peek around a new house? It absolutely fascinates and inspires me. Now that we've got that out of the way... Welcome!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jersey Bracelets.

I. am. obsessed. with these bracelets. They are SO easy to make and look awesome. Just awesome.

Horrible picture, but super cute, right?! And it's all a weaving technique, so it's more like a boxy braid than a regular braid. I did the 2-finger technique on from this tutorial. The only piece I didn't understand (and therefore didn't do) was the part about pulling the bottom strip through the slit. I really didn't need to cut slits, because I didn't use them. Maybe I was following the wrong directions. If you like these, skip down to the part where the yellow material is used - you'll be golden.

I can't wait to get more colors and make more. So perfect for summer.

Mary loves her bracelets:

Phone Case Splurge.

I don't know what got into me last night. I was packing and preparing for a week of travel to my grandparent's and to home, done with what I could do on my sister's blanket, and then I got the idea that I could finish four phone/ipod cases for my sisters and mum. I had other things to do - sleep to catch up on, packing, cleaning, and preparation for teaching a pre-K class all day tomorrow. But i decided that I could do it quickly and then accomplish something else. My mum has been wanted a case for her ipod and phone for little bit now.

I was already sick of the machine from my sister's blanket and looking forward to a break, but here we are - I can't wait to give them to everyone tomorrow!

I wish I could give a detailed tutorial, but I forgot to take pictures.
  • Two of the cases are made from cutting pieces of identical length and width and sewing them together. I'm not very precise and just measured by laying my phone on the fabric and flipping it side by side three times. You want the fabric to be as long as three phones, with a little extra on all the edges so as to fold and sew and get crisp edges that won't be able to fray. I ironed down a very small piece so the edge would be a fold. I'm not very good at measuring - I don't have the patience. I would estimate it was about a quarter-inch. Then with the folds in, I sewed along one of the shorter edges (the width of the fabric), which would be the edge of the pocket. I then folded the fabric so as to create the pocket and sewed the three sides.
  • The other two were made from one piece of fabric. Instead of having two pieces, I just had one piece the length of flipping my phone down it six times. I then folded it in half, and tucked in the cut edges for crisp sides and no fraying. You don't have to sew the edge of the pocket in this step because it's a fold. So then you fold the folded edge of the width up to create a pocket and sew the three outer edges. In both cases, the bottom of the pocket is a fold, and isn't sewn. 
  • I bought clasps at Jo-Ann's and sewed them on by hand. Voila! A little protection and cute and easy way to find your phone fast in a bag full of too many things.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I purchased some letter stamps a couple weeks ago to help make some fun cards.

I'm all about the brown and colorful paper juxtaposition right now.

I didn't put as much effort into these as I could have. I really like the stamped letter and the cursive writing though. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

T-shirt Blanket: Slave to the Machine.

Don't think that because I haven't posted in a while that I haven't been busy. But I guess a lack of post would suggest that I am busy.


Here's what I've been busy with:





Sunday, May 1, 2011

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies.

My friend sent me a list of the top chocolate-chip cookie treats. This, quite possibly, could have been the culmination of two of my greatest loves: lists and sweets. I will say here that sweets is a bigger pull for me that chocolate chip cookies. I do quite enjoy them, I just do not crave chocolate chip cookies the way I crave sugar. Pure sugar.


I used my mum's tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe to make some regular and Oreo stuffed cookies today. That being said, I did not alter the recipe at all for the Oreo versions. All that's done there is smashing cookie dough around an Oreo as best as possible. I meant to take pictures, but my hands were covered in the gooey dough.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 sticks real butter (unsalted)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
24 oz chocolate chips

Cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. (Hint: I soften the butter by putting it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.) In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and stir. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoons onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Do you see the size differential here?!

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