make: bridal embroidered dish towels

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My friend Catherine is getting married! For her bridal shower I bought her a rolling pin off her registry, but wanted to add something a little more personal. I decided on embroidering some dish towels early on, but it took me a while to figure out what to put on them. I settled on a love theme and sketched a design on the towels using a water soluble pen.

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I picked thread colors to match the towels and got to stitching.

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I used the same split stitch for the whole design, with a few lazy daisies to decorate.

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make: kindle holder

For Christmas Brian got me a Kindle Fire. I had an old Sony eReader, and since Sony had since gotten out of the eReader business, it was starting to not work so well. So the Kindle was much appreciated and enjoyed but as soon as I took it out of the box I started worrying that I would scratch the screen. So I stared looking online for a case. I didn’t want a big case because I wanted to be able to easily slip the kindle in my purse to carry around and read whenever I had a moment. I didn’t want a boring case either, because well… I’m not boring. Nor did I want an expensive case. So I decided to make a case! More of a sleeve really.  I didn’t put a lot of thought or planning in to it, one could say I didn’t put enough, but I think it turned out great in the end!

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I started by finding a movie on TV. I picked The Hundred-Foot Journey and picked out my fabric from the craft cabinet. I decided on some fun batik fabric for the inside, a layer of thin batting for padding and some grey felt for the outside that won’t show dirt. Here is where a little more planning would of come in handy. I just kind of eyed a seam allowance around the kindle and cut out a rectangle.

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I sewed the three layers of each side together on three sides and turned it right sides out. I ironed the pieces and ironed the open ends under to prepare for sewing them together. I put the open ends on the bottom so when I sewed them together I closed the openings too!

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I used a contrasting blue thread for an additional pop of color. To secure the kindle inside I cut a rectangle of leather and sewed one side to the back. I had some large snaps on hand that I decided to use. I sewed the one side to the sleeve and then glued to other side of the snap to the leather. I used my E600 permanent craft glue and so far it has held amazingly well. I can tug the snap by the leather and there is no sign of the snap coming off.

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I think it turned out great and I’ve been using it for a few weeks now with zero issues. What would I of done differently? I might assemble the pouch differently, sewn the outside together than the inside instead of the top then bottom. The Kindle fits perfectly, I would of made it a touch bigger and a touch longer as the end sticks out a tiny bit (good thing I made a closure!).

make: love banner

I fell into a blog hole last Friday. I was clicking link after link after link looking at tons of fun crafty blogs. Somewhere along the way I saw some banners and decided I needed to make one of my own. Then on Saturday I went the the Crafty Bastards Cabin Fever craft show and saw a tote bag printed with the middle of the letters solid and was inspired. Next I just needed a phrase. With Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day coming up I was focused on love. I thought of one of my favorite movies Love Actually and the phrase, Love actually is all around. Well that was just a little too long and I like the sound of Love is all around better. I made a quick paper pattern for the banner part just to make sure the triangle bottom was even. I planned the letters out a little more by creating a grid on a piece of paper the size of the banner and planning out the letters so they would be evenly sized. I cut a strip of 1.5 inch white felt and then just freehanded cutting out the letters. The white felt is stiffened, which made it easier to cut out. Also leaving the middle of the o’s, a’s, r, and d really simplified the process.

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I thought folding up the bottom edge and gluing it would make a more finished look. It was a mistake. I didn’t allow enough felt to fold over and it wouldn’t stick. As you can see below I tried many types of glue, unsuccessfully.  Finally I used the Elmer’s craft bond and binder clips. After drying overnight the felt stuck, but the binder clips left some little marks. If I did the project again I probably wouldn’t bother with folding over the bottom edge. The top hem over the dowel rod worked much better. I folded over about an inch and a half and used the craft bond, it was stuck after 10 minutes.

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I sprayed each letter with the craft bond and they stuck easily and have stayed on great. In the image below you can see a little white along the bottom, that was a glue mistake, but has since dried clear.

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I used pink yarn to tie on each side of the rod to hang up my banner. Now its hanging in our apartment. We could all use a little reminder…

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make: felt jewelry bags

To make my oven bake clay necklaces more finished for gifts I decided to make pouches for them. I got the idea to use the felt with a folded top from a similar pouch I got from Madewell a few years ago with the purchase of some earrings. I put my own spin on them by making them smaller and in all different sizes and by adding a ribbon tag on the side.

The felt I had on hand. I bought it a year ago to make a shave kit for my boyfriend and still had plenty left over. The ribbon I had bought on a whim.  I liked the design and knew I would find a use for it, I just didn’t know I would find a use so soon.

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The best part about these is they each can be a slightly different size, so no need to worry too much about measuring. Just make sure to cut a rectangle not some wacky quadrilateral. The right angles are important. Then it just takes two seams on either side. I put a few pins in them to keep the flap down and the ribbon piece in place. To speed up the sewing process don’t worry about cutting the thread between each pouch and sew all of one side before cutting threads and going back to sew the opposite side.

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They worked great for gifting and made my necklaces feel more professional.

make: camera cuboid

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When I travel I try to fit in with the locals. I’m probably not good at this at all, but I like to believe no one can tell I’m a tourist. The last few trips I took I pretty successfully carried my camera in a larger purse. The zipper broke on the large purse I used when I went to Amsterdam so I went shopping for a new one. I found a pretty brown fossil bag at Macy’s that is a great size. Most bags were either HUGE or tiny, so I was happy when Brian spotted this one.

I’d been thinking of making some type of protective camera holder for my purse for a while (like since I got my camera over two years ago), but I never quite got around to it. So for this trip I decided to make it happen. After a few searches on Google and Pinterest I found a few examples, but nothing I wanted to copy. There were a few examples of more elaborate camera holders made by covering foam with fabric. With these in mind I set to make my own pattern.

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I made some bags with a flat bottom for Christmas gifts last year, so I used the same premise to make the flat bottom. I sketched out my design on newspaper, but when I assembled the pattern it seemed a little big. So I shaved off a half-inch of depth. I basically made a 8x5x5 cuboid by adding a 1/4 inch seam allowance on each edge that would be sewn.

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I cut out four pieces of the pattern material and two of the batting. I used a pretty thin batting because that is what I had in the craft cabinet, but if I was shopping specifically for this project I might buy something a little thicker or fluffier or even a thin foam. The box is made by sewing the sides and bottom of the lining material, then diagonally to sew the bottom corners. I did the same with the exterior fabric and batting. I put right sides together and sewed the pieces together, leaving a hole for turning. I did a quick hidden stitch to finish it off. After finishing I realized it might be easier/cleaner to leave a hole in the bottom to turn, but you decide.

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I’m happy with the result. It fits nicely in my purse with room left for my wallet and other necessities. There is also room in the cuboid for both my lenses if I decide to carry them both around. Its not enough protection for dropping my camera off the Eiffel Tower, but plenty of protection from keys, coins, lip gloss, and gentle bumps.