A friend recently had a baby boy, and to commemorate the occasion I wanted to make her a simple gift so I settled on a baby bib. This free pattern from Delia Creates was the perfect solution. I love the simple way it fastens – with a little knot that is pulled through a button hole. My friend’s baby shower was Nascar themed, and the baby’s namesake has to do with her alma mater, so I decided on a football theme for the bib in her university’s colors. I was lucky to find the helmet pattern and then used a solid red for the back of the bib. The pattern was easy to follow and went together quickly.
I think I finally completed the last of my tasks to make my dining and sitting room renovations complete! That task was to make a new cushion for my dog’s awesome window bed (which I made myself). Since I made the bed, she (and the cats) have been sleeping on an old dog bed that I made in our other house. It is a fleece cover with two bed pillows inside, covered by a layer of eggshell foam. It does the job, but the cover is the wrong color now and it has a large indent in the center from use. I bought new gray fleece and nice thick green foam from Joann Fabrics quite some time ago. I kinda can’t believe I waited this long, as it took me less than an hour to make her the new cushion. What a bad dog parent I am.
I bought one section of green foam that was the thickest they had, when it was on sale for 50% off. To make the bed thicker, I also bought two chair cushions that were about the right size. The thick foam wasn’t the right size to fit in the dog bed, so I had to cut it to size. It was so thick I had to cut the top half first and then the bottom half with my scissors.
Measuring the foam to fit:
Molly lays on her old cushion watching me:
After cutting the foam to size, I basically sewed a large pillow case. I wasn’t too concerned with dimensions, just that it needed to be large enough to fit.
After sewing the fleece, I wrestled it over the foam and installed it in the dog bed. Here you can see the nice new cushion next to the old sad one:
And Molly agreed to model for me. She’s the cutest!
Okay, so I only used a small part of a bicycle inner tube to make a phone case.
Next week I start training for a half marathon that takes place in November. I also decided to start using a fitness tracking application called Endomondo. To use Endomondo, I need to carry my phone with me on my runs which I’ve never done before because it’s big and I’ve not a found a good case for carrying it. At the Urban Assault Ride put on by New Belgium brewery, one of the schwag items we came home with was a little pouch made out of a bike inner tube which gave me this idea. The inner tube will help the phone stay dry while I sweat like crazy in the Texas heat.
This weekend I decided it was time to make the phone case with the start of training on the horizon. I grabbed an old mountain bike inner tube and cut off a piece of it. After my first attempt at making the case ended up just a tad too small, I succeeded on the second try.
One of the trickiest parts of this case was the zipper. I had to deconstruct a zipper so that it would be on continuous piece by folding it in half and putting each end into the zipper pull. You’ll see what I mean in the pictures at the end.
First I cut the tube down the middle and washed it. Next, I sewed on the zipper to one side:
Next, I folded the zipper over and top-stitched it:
Then, I added the piece needed to put a strap through (normally I wear a dog leash around my waist, which is the best place to attach a phone). Then, I folded it in half and sewed the bottom together. I then had to turn it to the right side and try to attach the zipper pull, which turned out to be quite tricky the second time. After enlisting the help of pliers and my husband, I got the zipper pull attached and turned the case back inside out and sewed the smaller end together.
After that, I trimmed the edges near the seam and turned it right side out. Complete!
Some useful tips: rubber isn’t that hard to sew, but it’s tricky to get it to feed correctly through the sewing machine. I had to play with both thread tension and the foot tension to get it to work correctly. Sewing through more than two layers gets more difficult.
The average height of women in the US is 5’ 4”. I wish jeans makers would read that wikipedia article.
Anyhow, when I go jeans shopping, I get to look for the length “short” or shop in the petite section despite being fairly close to average height. On my last jeans shopping trip even the “short” jeans were way too long. They fit so perfectly every where else that I brought them home with me and decided just to wear them with heels. Unfortunately only my tallest heels could be worn which wasn’t very practical.
The solution? The internet. It taught me how to hem my own jeans. I found a number of sets of instructions but ended up following the instructions on the Cardigan Empire. Luckily, despite my only mediocre sewing skills, I have a super fancy sewing machine given to me by my mom who used to work at a sewing machine company.
Pinning the jeans to the right length:
The sewing machine all set up with a zipper foot, the needle size for jeans, and some dark gray thread:
The finished product after ironing! I think they’ll do.
Yesterday I made a dog bed cover.
- Measure dog.
- Triple her size.
- Cut a giant piece of fleece, randomly adding inches for the seam allowance.
- Sew the fleece like it’s a pillow case, with the opening on the long side.
- Try to be smart by planning the placement of velcro to close the cover.
- Finish sewing velcro and find out you planned wrong (a usual occurrence in my sewing escapades).
- Give up because the dog doesn’t seem to mind.