Archive for September, 2013

September 25, 2013

Panda Hoodie Tutorial

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Well, if you haven’t noticed already, I’m pretty obsessed with pandas. It occurred to me the other day that of all the clothes that I’d made, I still don’t own a panda hoodie. And once this realization was made, the conclusion to make one immediately followed.

This hoodie is made of fleece and is very simple to sew. It’s also pretty light, depending on what type of fleece you choose, but also warm. I made it with one and a half yards of white fleece and half a yard of black fleece.

So without further ado, here is a tutorial on how to make a panda hoodie! Hope you enjoy. If you make it for Halloween, please send me a picture!

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September 23, 2013

9 Halloween Crafts Made with Recycled Materials

Halloween isn’t just about the costumes. More than anything, it’s about the decorations and getting the spooky feel just right. But instead of wasting money on a new set of Halloween decorations this year, why not make your own from recycled products? We gathered some of the cutest crafts from around the Blogosphere, and the best part is they’re all made from recycled or repurposed materials. Check out all the tutorials and projects below.

1. Jack-O-Lanterns Made with Old Lightbulbs

A new spin on the Jack-O-Lantern, these are made from old light bulbs. We all know you’ve got a few hiding somewhere, so whip ’em out, paint on them, and then draw in the details with a sharpie. You can even add embellishments like the one shown in the photo.

LightBulb Jack O Lantern

2. Bat Masks Made with Milk Jugs

Milk jugs are wonderful things to recycle. They are malleable and sturdy and can basically make anything…like these bat masks! Cut out mask shapes, then paint over them and voila!

milk jug bat masks

3. Frankenstein Made with Old CD

The CD once had its heyday, and now there are probably a bunch of them sitting in the corner of a forgotten cupboard in your house. Grab one and embellish all over it with felt and other craftiness to make this adorable Frankenstein.

frankenstein cd

4. Pumpkin Made with Old Grocery Bags

If you’ve got a lot of grocery bags lying around that you know you’re never going to use, cut out a bunch of pumpkin shapes and turn it into this cute piece.

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5. Halloween Garland with Coffin Made from Old Book Pages

This garland is made from some Christmas lights and clothespins. The coffin shapes are made from recycled book pages. The best part is once Halloween is over you can take down the coffin and pumpkins and you’ll be ready for Christmas!

halloween coffin garland recycled book page stamped

6. Halloween Bowling with Used Milk Bottles

Throwing a party? Make up a fun game with these used milk bottles and a jack-o-lantern or ball, and play Halloween bowling!

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7. Old Crayon Boxes into Trick Or Treat Bags

When your old crayons are long gone, save the boxes and turn them into these trick or treat bags.

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8. Mummified Boxes

Grab some old strips of fabric or toilet paper and wrap it around a box or any object to “mummify” it.
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9. Egg Cartons into Bats

You’ll probably never have a shortage of egg cartons. So cut yours up, paint on them, and make these spooky bats!

Egg Carton Bats

 

September 20, 2013

5 DIY Halloween Costumes and Video Tutorials

Halloween’s coming up! It’s like the holiday that’s made for crafters and people who sew. Do you know what you’re going to dress up as? Instead of spending too much money on a single costume you might never wear again, why not put together something yourself and show off your creativity? We’ve put together a list of five sewing tutorials on YouTube. Hope they inspire you to make your own!

Pirate Costume

Threadbanger shows you how to make an entire pirate costume.

Hooded Cape Costume

Capes are simple and easy–to make and to wear. You’ll probably be grateful if Halloween night happens to be chilly.

Mad Hatter 

One of my favorite storybook characters, the Mad Hatter has got to be the coolest costume to dress up as. Learn how to do the makeup also with this cool tutorial.

Poison Ivy

A flashback from the old Batman movies, this Uma Thurman Poison Ivy-inspired costume is cute, sexy, and really creative.

Totoro Hoodie

I love Totoro! Enough said.

BONUS: Dog Hoodie

Dogs love to dress up too. 🙂 Check out this tutorial for a dog hoodie, which includes instructions on how to make your own pattern.

September 10, 2013

Minion Hoodie Sewing Tutorial

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As promised, I’ve finished the video tutorial on the minion hoodie. Check it out below!

September 9, 2013

Minion Hoodie Sneak Peak

IMG_6014Halloween is coming up! Less than 2 months to go, which means the craft blogosphere is about to explode with a frenzy of costume sewing project showcases and tutorials.

To be honest, I was never that much into Halloween. I didn’t like dressing up, the costumes were itchy, and my parents always ended up taking the candy away. While I thought that last part was the most cruel and unusual punishment back then, I guess it was kind of a good thing. That and when I was a kid, Halloween always happened to fall on a night when I couldn’t go, like I had a class or my parents wanted me to be somewhere else. I don’t know why, but as a result, I was never into the dressing up or anything. What was the point, when you’d have to spend all that money on an outfit you’ll wear only once?

This changed, though, when I learned how to sew my own costumes. So much cheaper, funner, and more gratifying. About two or three years ago, I made my Totoro hoodie, so this year, I was inspired to recreate something like it, except with the super adorable Minions from Despicable Me!

Yes, this image above is deliberately dark so that you don’t get to see what the real hoodie looks like, since I’ll be uploading the tutorial later this week. Stay tuned! I’ll let you know through Facebook and Twitter, so check those pages out if you want. Oh, and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you’ll see the sewing tutorial video as soon as it’s up.

Anyway, I had a little bit of a strange day when I started making the Minion hoodie. If I was in a play, it would definitely be a farce. I woke up just feeling a need to sew, so I finally dragged out the yellow fleece and old pair of jeans that I’ve had sort of lying in the corner in wait for this special day. I got to the sewing machine, and of course my needle had to break as soon as I sewed my first seam. I dug in my stash for a spare and by some miracle, since our stuff is still in boxes from our latest move, found one. But when I replaced it, my sewing machine just wasn’t happy. I worked at it for one full, frustrating hour, and finally gave up, leaving the hoodie to sort of sit in a puddle of unsewn parts on my table.

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I finally sucked it up and looked up a sewing machine repair place on Yelp, and came across Albertson Sewing & Vacuum Center in Lakewood, which wasn’t far from me. So I drove there, and they were the nicest people ever–I have to give them a shout-out on here. The guy who helped me didn’t even charge me anything, said it was just my needle, replaced it and then sent me on my way. It took all of about fifteen minutes (not including the driving and getting lost because I have like absolutely no sense of direction).

[Although, he did sort of guilt trip me for not using a good quality needle. But hey! I didn’t even know where that needle had come from. It had just somehow ended up in my stash. I’m pretty sure it was one of freebies that came with my sewing machine when I’d first purchased it. But at least now I’ll know not to torture my machine by forcing it to run on some unbranded needle from who knows where.]

I was so happy afterwards that I sort of had tunnel vision and went home to SEW SEW SEW my Minion hoodie. BUT THEN, just after like three stitches, THE NEEDLE BROKE. AGAIN. Blaarghghhhhh!

So after that, I gave up, and once again abandoned my Minion. For about a week. But I did run to Joann’s to grab some supplies, needle included, and today I came back to rescue the hoodie. Which means you get a tutorial soon! Stay tuned!

September 7, 2013

DIY Planner with Recycled Book and Paper

As a notorious procrastinator, I’m plagued with a combination of contradictory habits: I’m messy but I’m also extremely organized. Or rather, I like to pretend I’m organizing my time and managing my projects, when really, what I’m doing is putting off having to do those projects themselves. As a result, I start a lot of “journals” where I attempt to plan. I’m obsessed with notebooks, pens, post-its, dividers, index cards… Needless to say, my desk is a mess and I hate it but I also love it. It’s quite a dilemma.

My obsession with organization came in handy when I got the itch to stitch make something yesterday! I didn’t just want to buy a new SONY DSCplanner for a number of reasons. Mostly because they are so limiting with pre-filled sheets, and I like some room for creativity.  Plus I knew that my daily planner sheet needed to be specific to what need to focus on to actually get things done. Lastly, I wanted to recycle and repurpose materials that I had laying around my house. I’ve been dying to make my own planner, especially when there are so many free printable planner sheets on the Pinterestosphere. So I finally sucked it up and got to work.

Step One: Decide what sort of planner you need–day, week, or month–and what your pages will look like

Personally, I prefer daily planners. I know there are some of us who like to use weekly or monthly planners, which is fine. But I like to break my tasks up into small, quick-to-finish steps, and a daily planner is more ideal for me. There are lots of free printables, but I wanted something specific to fit my needs and what keeps me on track. I created my own, which I’m uploading here (Day Planner Sheet) for you to download for free if you would like to use it yourself. My daily sheet is based on the “one thing a day” concept. In this day and age where people are constantly running around, getting things done, life can be overwhelming, and just concentrating on one task a day, even if you will obviously do more than that one task, is a relief and gives more focus to your day.

I also created monthly sheets (Monthly Planner Sheet) because even though I need to see my tasks on a day-to-day basis, I also need to glance at the bigger picture now and then.

These sheets are sized at 6.5″ by 9″ to fit the cover that I used, but if you’re using them personally, you can still print them on regular sized paper by adjusting your printer settings so it fits at 100%. These don’t have dates so you can fill them in as you go, and that gives a bit more room for breathing.

I printed these pages on used paper, so it’s like double recycling! You could also print on both sides of the paper to save space.

Step Two: Decide on the cover

My favorite children’s book of all time is Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. I always feel like I’m committing the biggest sin when I use a book for a crafty project (AKA cut it up, rip it apart, completely destroy it). But I had to remind myself that books are for sharing and learning, not gathering dust on your bookshelf. I decided to use my copy of Green Eggs and Ham as my cover for my planner, but instead of just using the cover, I left the pages in the planner itself. I randomly dispersed the pages throughout the planner so the story and the book in its entirety are still part of the final project.

Step Three: Decide on your binding

I punched 2 holes into the pages, drilled 2 holes in the cover, and binded everything with book rings (I bought an assortment from Target, but you can also order them from Amazon). You can also use blinder clips, thread the pages together (Design Sponge has a great tutorial), or use a binding method that you like.

Step Four: Sort your paper and bind everything together

Planner Once I had all my paper cut (since my planner sheets were 6.5″ by 9″ to fit my book, I had to do a lot of cutting. Poured myself a large glass of water and set up my table on the balcony to soak up the sunset and nice breeze), I assembled my pages. I put all the months at the front, then all the daily sheets after. The pages from Green Eggs and Ham were dispersed throughout the book. Make sure the holes are aligned, then insert the book rings or bind them in whatever way you want. Presto, you are done!

I like the way mine turned out, although my printer did cut off some parts at the top and left hand side of the pages. It’s really thick, but that’s because I only printed on one side of the page (since I printed on used paper), but you can minimize this by printing on both sides. Also, I pretty much stuffed it with as many daily sheets as possible so that I don’t have an excuse not to use it.

What do you think? I hope you were inspired to create your own planner with reused materials! What would you make your DIY planner with? If you do, be sure to email pictures or leave a comment below and tell us all about it. 🙂

September 3, 2013

How to Make a Reversible Pencil Skirt

ImageNow that summer is over, it all back to business, at least in my book. I really love fall weather…the nice breeze, the air growing cooler (hopefully!), crunchy leaves, and lightweight coats. It’s also the perfect time to slip into a skirt that works great in the office and for a night out. But to amplify the versatility of one of my favorite pieces, I decided to make a reversible pencil skirt that I could style at least two different ways.

I found the perfect wool houndstooth print at Joann’s and decided I had to turn it into something for fall. The black checkered print that makes up the other side of the skirt is something I found at a thrift store auction and just couldn’t give up. I thought it worked perfectly for my reversible skirt project. I used elastic for the waist to make it even more comfortable.

Check out my sewing tutorial on YouTube to find out how I made it!

September 2, 2013

Wool + Recycled Materials = Eco Friendly Fashion

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What’s not to love about clothes made out of wool?  For starters, the wool fiber is so resilient elastic that it can be bent as much as 30 thousand times without breaking or damaging. Not to mention, that wool can also absorb moisture vapor but repel liquids, making it extremely comfortable to wear.

Lastly, wool is especially famous for the beautiful rich colors that we have come to expect from the high quality fabrics. This comes from the ability that wool has to absorb different dyes so deeply without the use of chemicals. No wonder that clothes made out of wool are so popular today.

Good for Clothes, Bad for the Environment

Regrettably, the popularity of clothes made out of wool fabric is giving mother nature a big headache.  The sheep farming industry has grown so fast that it has outgrown the ability of the land to sustain them. These sheep farms are designed to maximize profits so they overstock sheep to the point that it is also increasing soil salinity, erosion and decreased biodiversity. The Oxford University researchers reported that sheep farming was the major factor responsible for a change in vegetation and erosion that is leading to the formation of badlands or barren areas.  In Patagonia, Argentina the sheep farming operation grew to a scale that the soil deterioration in the region triggered a desertification processes that left more than 50 millions of acres in one province permanently damaged due to overstocking according to National Geographic.

Combining High Quality Wool and Eco-Friendly Materials

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Bumbling Panda Hybrid wool products bring another viable option to stop the destruction that extreme sheep overstocking is causing to our environment. By combining new and recycled wool we can create fashionable products like our item of the week. Our Hybrid skirts are made out of 6% wool, 44% polyester, and 50% of recycled wool.  They are elegant, stylish , chic and not only  are they good for the environment but they also make your wallet feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Our latest skirt combines high quality wool with recycled and eco-friendly material. The best thing about the design? It’s reversible! That means you can style it any way you want…for work, school, play, nights out, and much more. Stay tuned later in the week for our tutorial on how to make this reversible pencil skirt.