Slipcover for Ikea Poang Kid Chair

October 21, 2015

This isn’t a tutorial because I followed this one from Just the Bee’s Knees almost exactly, so go over there and follow her fantastic directions.  I skipped the piping and used indoor/outdoor fabric b/c I love using that with little ones around.  Things wipe off SO easily.  It’s like magic.

These slipcovers were super duper easy.  (I made two.)  It was another one of my maternity leave projects that I completed shortly after I gave birth and ended up using it for Z’s monthly photo.  I love looking at her progression from not being able to support her head to climbing in and out of the chair like a big girl.  (I loved it so much that I’m cautiously posting photos of her online!)


monthly photos

More From My Blog Hiatus – Spice Jars

October 21, 2015

I did a lot of organizing during my maternity leave since I only had one baby 😛 this time.  I installed laundry shelving the week after I gave birth, considered installing moulding, but instead turned to my disaster of a spice cabinet.  I buy most of my spices in bulk in small amounts so they stay fresh.  So, I wanted small jars – 2-3 ounces each.  I read that opaque ones are better for preserving your spices, but since mine are in a dark cabinet, I thought glass would be fine.

I like the oval ones from Crate and Barrel because they use space efficiently, but they were only available online.  I didn’t like the frosted label part of the Ikea Droppar ones, though now in retrospect I kind of like them.  I ended up ordering these from Cost Plus World Market because I had free shipping and liked the pop of color.  I also picked up a couple turntables at the Crate and Barrel store (Copco brand – they aren’t on the website anymore, but are available on Amazon) so I could get to all the spices, something that was very challenging before.  I originally used paper labels, which was fine, but then I got this sweet label maker.  It’s not the highest quality machine – I had to get a replacement after it stopped cutting properly, but I love the retro look.  The click sound is very satisfying.  There are still some spices and seasonings that are just too big for spice jars (hello Costco), but overall, it’s a vast improvement.

20150529_204549 - Copy 20150529_204622 - Copy

spice jars 20150529_231819 - Copy

Quick Update and Backpacks

October 1, 2015

Are you wondering where I went? Did you think I stopped doing fun projects and started going to sleep earlier?  Well, I’m happy to report that I have continued adding and checking off things on my project to do list, but have been terrible about blogging about them.  I’ll be posting about them soon … hopefully!  In the meantime, I made a lot of backpacks during my blog hiatus – 5 to be exact!  I made a few for birthday presents and then new ones for my twins that are bigger than the ones I made before.  I even figured out how to add pockets!

bunny backpacklining 2 duck backpack lining








lion backpacklion backpack




















DIY pillowcases

May 31, 2015

My kids’ pillows always end up out of their pillowcases by morning, so I decided to make them some fun envelope style pillowcases.  Fleece was also on sale at Joann’s for 60% off, which helped motivate me to get my sewing machine back out after a long hiatus.

(Please excuse the terrible photo quality and angles.  It was nighttime and I only had my cell phone camera, but you get the idea!)

From this cute fabric


to these cute pillows that won’t fall out by morning.


Note: There’s another way to make envelope pillows where the fold is on the inside, but I prefer the look of this way.  Plus, my kids are less likely to stuff random things inside when the envelope is the way I describe below.

Step 1: Measure your pillow and cut your fabric

Each pillowcase takes 1 yard of fabric.  I discovered there wasn’t really a standard size pillow, so I measured the ones that my kids currently use, which used to be on our bed and are a different size than our new ones.  Weird, right?  Any way, the ones on their bed are about 17.5″ x 26″.

After washing, the fleece I bought was about 40″ wide and 35″ long.  I folded this in half hot dog style (yes, I used to teach middle school) and cut 2″ off the selvedge edges so the fabric was 36″ wide.  Then I trimmed the bottom of the fabric so it was 34″ long.

Now, cut 7.5″ on the folded seam and cut out that rectangle, so one side is 26.5″ long.

Step 2: Hem

On the shorter side, cut 1/2″ on the half seam line and hem this.  On the longer side, fold over 1/2″ and then another 1/2″ so that the cut edge doesn’t show.  Hem this.  At this point, the shorter side is 26″ long and the other side is 33″ long.  One of the great things about fleece is that it doesn’t fray, so you don’t have to worry about serging or zig zag stitching the raw edges.  I do like the look of a finished edge on the part of the envelope that will show.

step 2

Step 3: Fold and Sew

Fold the long side up so both sides are even.  You should have a rectangle that is 36″ x 26″.

step 3a

Then fold this in half right sides together so you have a rectangle that is 18″ x 26″.  Now you’re going to sew a 1/2″ hem around 3 sides (not the side with the envelope opening).  Yes, you do have to hem the side that was folded because this keeps in the envelope in.  Your pillowcase is now 17″ x 25.5″, which is a tiny bit smaller than the pillow so it fills out nicely.

step 3b

Step 4: Flip and Stuff

Flip your pillowcase rightside out and put the pillow in.  Ta da!

finished pillow

I’m back (almost)!

May 26, 2015

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post.  I  gave birth in October and Z is such a chill baby, so I was out and about a lot, building shelves, planting a garden, taking a Coursera class, doing Zumba, so blogging kind of slipped my mind.  But, the good news is that I have a lot of DIY on my to do list, so hopefully I’ll be posting some tutorials soon.  Teaser – think placemats, outdoor reupholstery, coasters, pillowcases, bags, skirt, ironing board cover, … Phew, these should take me into 2016!

DIY Christmas Stockings

December 7, 2014

stockings 2

Sorry for the long absence, but I had a baby!

I am not going to post pictures of my process because this tutorial from Sew Like My Mom (what a great blog name!) does a really good job of that.  I tried to wing it on my own before finding that tutorial and had a few fails where my stocking was sewed together or there were two stockings like conjoined twins.  Do exactly as she says and it will turn out great.  Don’t think or ask questions – I didn’t understand the ribbon placement at first, just went with it, and it turned out perfectly.

Since the tutorial didn’t have measurements, the ones I used to have a final stocking that was 6″ at the top, 9″ at its widest point, and 16″ long were:

  • 2 – 10″x17″ outer fabric
  • 2 – 10×17″ inner fabric
  • 2 – 7″x8.5″ cuff fabric (or you can use 4 – 7″x4.5″ that you hem together)

The only tips I have to add are:

  1. Make a pattern of your stocking on paper.  Then trace around it adding 1/2″.  Then use that piece of fabric as your template to cut the rest of your pieces.  I found this easier than making a template that accounted for the 1/2″.
  2. Definitely use a bigger hem for the lining like she suggests.  It makes it really easy to fit the lining into the stocking later.
  3. Don’t leave your opening at the toe.  It’s much easier to leave your opening in an area that is straight so when you flip it right side out and sew it, it’s just a straight line instead of around a curve.  I left my opening just above the heel.
  4. After you turn the stocking right side out, iron it.  It’ll make it much easier when you are fitting the lining in.
  5. If you are trying to use up scrap fabric for the cuff, you can use four pieces that are 7″x4.5″ each.  Sew two together for each side.
  6. If you are sewing in trim to hang under the cuff, you need to use four pieces to make the cuff instead of two (see #5).  Sew the trim in between the two pieces, BUT see #7.
  7. It’s much easier to use a glue gun to attach pom pom trim after you’re done sewing than to sew the trim in.
  8. If you want to add initials or names, adhesive felt is great.  Print your names on paper, then trace them with scissors or a exacto, and stick on your stockings.

Have fun!


DIY Lined Back Tab Curtains

September 8, 2014
Recently, had a sale on Premier Prints fabric in advance of Premier Prints’ permanent retail price increase.  I couldn’t resist and bought 5 1/2 yards of Zippy (big zig zags) Slub (looks like linen) in Navy to make new living room curtains.  zippy slub navy
There wasn’t anything seriously wrong with my living room curtains, but I couldn’t resist the easy room refresh, so I decided to make new curtains and fix a few things that did irk me about my old curtains.  Here was my list of “complaints”:
  1. They didn’t have back tabs, so they didn’t drape exactly how I like (I didn’t know what back tabs were when I made them).
  2. You could see the lining from the sides because the fabric and lining were the same width.
  3. The rod was too close to the window.
  4. The rod was too narrow.
  5. The rods had no finials.

Useful measurements

  • Curtain fabric: 55″ wide, including selvedge) x 100″ (2.75 yards plus an extra inch)
  • Lining fabric: Cut to 53″ x 100″
  • Each finished curtain: 53″ x 93″.

Step 1: Sew sides

Line up the right sides of the fabric and sew a seam down one side.  Then line up the other side and do the same.  Since the lining fabric is 2″ narrower, you need to move the fabric over to line up the 2nd side.

Flip your “tube” right sideout and iron both sides so that the side borders are the same width.  (Sorry, I am having trouble embedding this photo, but it’s pretty straightfoward.)

Step 2: Sew top, including tabs

Since my fabric is patterned, I needed to make sure the pattern started at the same place on both curtains so they’d look exactly the same.  To do this, I folded the top over about 4″ and then matched where that same pattern fold was on the 2nd curtain (about 6″).  Iron seams.

Iron a seam on the unfinished edge.

Cut 11 pieces of ribbon (about every 5″ apart).  The length depends on how wide your panels are.  Sew the wrong side of the ribbon ribbon to the right side of the fabric along the unfinished edge – both right sides are facing you.

curtain tab bottom

Fold the other end of the ribbon under and sew just below the 4″ seam.  Make sure you don’t sew it too close to the ironed seam because you don’t want the ribbon to show at all from the front.

curtain tab top

Fold 4″ seam over and unfinished edge seam under.  Flip to front of curtain and stitch across bottom seam.  This is the only seam that shows from the front.
Do the same thing with your second curtain making sure everything is the same because when they’re side by side, you’ll be able to tell if your two panels don’t match!

Step 3:

Hang your curtains up and mark where they’ll just hit the ground.  you can measure 93″ from the top, but I found actually hanging the curtains on the rod more accurate because the curtain may hang differently depending on where you put the tabs.

Iron bottom seam and raw edge.  Fold raw edge over and hem bottom with a straight stitch or if you want to be fancy, use a blind hem stitch at the bottom and fold in each end to make a small triangle.  (If you don’t know how to do this, google it.  It’s really not that hard and a good stitch to learn.)

Ta da!


(I know, I know.  Now that the curtains look really nice, our couch looks even worse.  It’s like when I painted the front door and then we had to paint our entire house!)

Budget for Curtains

  • Premier Prints Zippy Slub Navy, 5.5 yards – $40
  • Ikea Bomull, 5.5 yards – $11
  • 1 1/2″ wide ribbon – $1.50
  • Needles, thread – had these – $0
  • I purchased a new sheer curtain because my kids ripped the old one and buying one was the same price as making my own.  Ikea Vivan – $9.99
  • Total: about $63

Budget for Hardware

  • Curtain Rod for curtain – Ikea Hugad $5.99
  • Curtain Rod for lining (I could have spraypainted my gray one, but since they’re so cheap at Ikea, I just bought a new one) – Ikea Racka – $4.99
  • Curtain Brackets (The Hugad was too big for my old bracket, so I had to get new ones) – Ikea Betydlig- $1.98 x 3 = $5.94
  • Total: about $17

So overall not the cheapest makeover, but one that I hope will last a long time and way cheaper than buying such long curtains retail or from Etsy.