Friday, November 23, 2007

Paper Bag Brag Books

You Will Need:
  • 3 paper bags (per book)
  • Hole Punch
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Ribbon bits
  • Adhesive (glue stick, glue dots, tape runner, etc.)
  • Embellishments (buttons, brads, rub-ons, stamps)
  • Ink Pads (optional

Making the Books:

  • Fold your paper bags in half
  • Punch 4-5 holes along the crease of one folded bag, then use that one to mark and punch holes on the remaining 2 bags.
  • Using a stamp pad or other inking device, ink the edges of your bags, front and back.
  • Now get creative! Treat each side of your folded bags like a mini scrapbook page and paper, stamp and embellish to your heart's delight!
  • Make large tags out of your left over odds and ends to stick into the 3 open bag ends in your book. Don't forget to put lots of ribbon on the ends to make it easier to pull them back out!
  • To Finish, use your ribbon bits to tie your "pages" together into a cute little brag book that is ready for pictures, quotes, or whatever your heart desires!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hung by the chimney with care.....

OK Divas, our next project is Christmas Stockings! I looked on Pottery
and I found some super cute stockings that we can copy (don't worry, we can make four stockings for less than the price of one of theirs). I love the "Classic Ticking Stripe Stocking," so that's the one that I am going to do.

What you will need to make 4 identical stockings:
(approximate prices are included-everything purchased at Wal-Mart)
  • 1 yard ticking $4.40 (WalMart only has red stripes, JoAnns has more options but it's more expensive. Ticking is the best kind of fabric because it's kind of stiff.
  • 1/2 yard red velvet $2.50 (This will be MORE than enough, so if you want to use some of mine, feel free. It matches the red on the WalMart fabric, but you might want to get your own if you choose other fabric to make sure that they match).
  • 2 packs of Wrights brand Maxi Piping $2.80. The Scarlet color (#303076) matches well
  • Thread to match $1.50 (red or white whichever you like best. Coats & Clark is a great brand)
  • 1 yard really thin batting- Warm and Natural or Warm and White are a great thickness. $2.50.
  • 1 yard generic fabric for lining $2.00 or more (use white, red, or more ticking if you want)
  • 1 package white or cream DMC embroidery floss (the stuff you would use to cross-stitch) $.35
Other Option: Channel-Quilted Stocking

There is a kind of fabric you can buy that is already quilted in straight lines and it already has batting in it. I don't know the price or what color choices you would have, but buying this kind of fabric could simplify the project a bit. If you do get quilted fabric, don't buy lining fabric, or batting. This might end up saving you a little money.

Pattern and Stocking Size:
The pattern and instructions I found were at
You can make the stocking whatever size you want by copying the pattern into a Word processing document and adjusting all three pieces until you get the right size.
The stocking we will be making is about 15 inches tall and about 9 inches wide(at the widest spot). I will provide patterns that are this size.

Cutting Your Fabric/ Getting Ready
  • Fold ticking in half, wrong side together. Pin pattern in place (making sure it is in line with the stripes on the fabric) and cut through both layers. Repeat 3 more times.
  • Repeat process for lining, batting, and stocking cuff.
  • Using the velvet, cut 4 rectangles approx 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 4 inches long to use for the strap to hang stockings by.

Sewing the Stocking

  • Stitch lining pieces together following shape of stocking and set aside
  • Match up one piece of ticking with one piece of batting (ticking right side up)
  • Pin piping through both pieces along contour of stocking. Make sure the loose ends of the piping face out towards the edges of the stocking, with "pipe" on the inside (see photo)
  • Using a zipper foot on your machine, stitch through piping, ticking and batting, following and stitching over the stitch visible on the piping.
  • Place 2nd piece of ticking face down on top of the stitched piece, follow with 2nd piece of batting, and pin all pieces together (see photo)
  • Turn pinned stocking over (you should see your first stitch on the bottom piece of batting) and stitch over your first stitch, following it exactly.
  • Turn right side out

Making and attaching the cuff and loop

  • If you will be hand-stitching names on your cuff, now is the time to pencil on your lettering using a light table or window to trace the name onto one piece of velvet cuff.
  • Sew a small hem along the bottom of both pieces of cuff. (make SURE it is the bottom!)
  • Securely pin both pieces, right sides and hems together, and stitch together on both sides that touch the hemmed side.
  • Pull cuff over stocking (hem down) until top of cuff matches up with top of stocking and pin.
  • For the loop, take one velvet rectangle, fold in half long ways with right sides together and stitch along long end. Turn inside out
  • Fold sewn rectangle in half and pin to cuff and stocking where you would like it to be attached.
  • Stitch cuff and loop to stocking along the top. If desired, use a long basting stitch.

Attaching the Lining

  • Leave lining wrong side out and pull over stocking, cuff and loop. Pin along the top.
  • Stitch lining to stocking along top (similar to when attaching cuff and loop)
  • Pick open stitching on lining along flat foot section, and pull stocking through opening.
  • Now that the lining is right side out, stitch opening in lining foot closed, and insert into stocking.
  • To finish, stitch a line around the top of the stocking about 1/2 inch from the top to secure lining and keep cuff from rolling down into the stocking. Hand stitch name onto stocking cuff if desired and you're done!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hooter Hiders

You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 yards of fabric (if you want a different fabric on each side of your HH, then buy 3/4 yard of each fabric)
  • 2 D-rings for the strap (they should be at least 1" to 1 1/2" wide for a good, sturdy strap width)
  • Approx. 10 inches of boning for the stiff section between the straps that lets you keep an eye on your baby. (boning should span the space on your chest between your bra straps)
  • Thread to match your fabric(s)
  • An iron & ironing board

Making the Main Section:

  • Cut your fabric(s) into a 35"x25" rectangle. (Rectangle size can be adjusted for taller/shorter, larger/smaller mommies).
  • Place the right sides together and stitch all 4 sides together, leaving a 5 inch section open.
  • Through the opening, pull the fabric right sides out, and press.
  • Center the boning at the top of the fabric and mark where the casing will start and end.
  • Through the opening, insert boning and center between marks.
  • Stitch casing around boning.
  • Stitch opening shut.

Making the Strap:

  • For strap, cut a length of fabric approx 50" long, and between 3 to 4 inches wide (depending on the width of your rings).
  • Fold in half with wrong side of fabric out and stitch the long side and one short side together.
  • Turn inside out and press.
  • Cut a 4" length off one end (to hold the rings)
  • Trim long strap piece to desired length, and tuck and close any open ends on both strap pieces.

Putting it all together:

  • Insert short strap piece through both rings.
  • At one end of boning casing, fold 4" strap section over the top of the fabric so the ends are even on either side, and rings have plenty of room to move at top of fabric.
  • Making sure they are even, stitch strap ends to main body of fabric.
  • Pull one ring down to front of fabric so it rests on top of stitching just made, and stitch another line above it, creating a small casing (this will prevent the rings slipping through each other as you try to work the strap).
  • At the other end of boning casing, position one end of long strap piece even with the strap piece just finished and then stitch to fabric.
  • To complete the ensemble, weave loose end of long strap through both rings, and then back up through one and TA-DA! You're done!

Extra Tips:

  • It may be worth spending a little more money ($1 or $2) to buy a fabric that has been slightly coated to resist moisture and stains. I prefer a fabric that is just the tiniest bit stiff for better ventilation, but some women prefer softer, lighter fabrics.
  • The boning that seems to work best is RIGILENE. It goes for about $2.99/yd but you will need less than 1/3 yard for one HH so it works out to be a little less than a dollar.
  • Another boning tip. Hot gluing the ends of your boning and/or sewing the casing slightly longer than the boning will prevent the plastic strips inside the boning from poking through the fabric over time.
  • Large, plastic "o" rings are cheaper and just as cute to use for the strap. Plus, using these rings eliminates the need to sew a casing on the short strap to separate the rings.
  • To help your HH maintain its shape over time and washing, continue the bottom stitch line of your boning casing around the entire perimeter of the fabric, creating a sort of 1/2 inch "hem" (It's best to do this before sewing on any strap pieces!)