Friday, November 30, 2012

Board Meeting!

I think these 'board meetings' posts are my least popular posts, so this might be the last one I do in a while. But I thought it would be worth having a meeting today since I have so much to tell you!

You  may have noticed some changes around here.

I've installed a Google Friend Connect widget, so I can get to know you guys! Becoming a Blogger Follower means that I (and all my readers, I think) can see who you are and visit your blog.

Also, I've installed Disqus, a commenting system. I'm hoping this system makes it easier to reply to your comments, and make sure that you see my answers. If you sign up for a Disqus account, you should receive email notification of any replies. If you don't want to sign up, you can still leave an anonymous comment! I'm still feeling up in the air about this commenting system, so if anyone has any advice or strong feelings about Disqus or Intense Debate or any other blogging systems, I'd be forever grateful if you'd drop me a line.

Ok, now that we have the technical stuff out of the way, we can chat about what's coming up for December! I've noticed quite a few posts about handmade gift ideas on the blogosphere lately. Well, I'm saying bah humbug to that, and having a small mini series about things that we want as gifts!

I'm going to try and hit a few different types of hobbies and budgets so all of us 'handmakers' can get something fabulous this season.

And that brings us to the very last thing that I'm excited about this month. Can you guess what it is?

yup! knits! I've been knitting my little heart out and enjoying it so much! This will probably always remain a primarily sewing and serging blog, but I can't wait to share a few knitting projects and patterns with you all this month.

Now it's your turn-- what have you been working on this month (or what are you plans for the holidays?) Do you knit? Feel free to leave a link in the comments below!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Kita Scarf

The Kita Convertible Scarf. Tutorial From Make It Handmade

Finally, just in the nick of time! I had planned to post about my scarf for Rikka's Ring Your Neck Challenge ages ago , but due to holiday induced laziness and procrastination; I'm just now getting to it.

The Kita Scarf is a simple knit scarf with a twist. The scarf is portion is just a simple rectangle cut out of jersey knit. Since knit doesn't fray, I didn't finish any of the edges. The twist is two circles of knit fabric which help convert the scarf into a cowl, headband, shawl etc.
The Kita Convertible Scarf. Tutorial From Make It Handmade

I wanted to show you all the different ways it could be worn... but I'm terrible in front of the camera-- being a hand model for the fingerless glove post was unnerving! Luckily, I just happen to be related to the most beautiful woman in the world!

The Kita Convertible Scarf. Tutorial From Make It Handmade

Yes, I got  my gorgeous baby sister to model for me. Here are the different ways to wear a Kita Scarf.
The Kita Convertible Scarf. Tutorial From Make It Handmade
Clockwise from the top: cowl, scarf, shawl, stole and headband.

To Make the Kita Scarf:

FYI: As part of the challenge, we were so supposed to use a new (or new to us) technique. I've been wanting to try this tip about using tissue paper to stabilize knits  while sewing from Me Sew Crazy.  So, for what little sewing this scarf required, I used my sewing machine and tissue paper-- and I didn't touch my serger once!
  1. Find a yard of jersey knit. I recommend staying away from interlock for this scarf. You want someting with a lot of curl when it's stretched. 
  2. Cut a 24" by 60" rectangle  from your knit, making sure the stretch is going lengthwise.
  3. From the leftover jersey fabric, cut two smaller rectangles 5" by 30" (again with the stretch going lengthwise). These will become the circle pieces. 
  4. Making sure to put right sides together (the fabric will curl away from the right side when stretched) sew the short ends of each rectangle together, making two tubes. Stretch these pieces slightly-- they will curl inward hiding the seam and raw edges.
The Kita Convertible Scarf. Tutorial From Make It Handmade

  1. Wrap the small circles around the scarf like you would wrap a rubberband. 
  2. Enjoy- or wrap up for an easy gift. 
  3. Bonus Points: Send me a picture or link! I'd love to see anything you've made from a Make It Handmade Tutorial! 
The Kita Convertible Scarf. Tutorial From Make It Handmade

To change styles, simply thread the ends of the scarf through the circles as shown in the picture above. For the cowl style, make sure the circles are covering the scarf ends. For the 'headband' style the circles are wrapped at the nape of the neck.

Check out the other scarves over at Ricochet and Away! Thanks for hosting the challenge Rikka!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Mini Crinkle Quilt-- Using A Serger!

Now that the Crinkle Quilt Tutorial is up at Moda Bakeshop, I can finally share the doll quilt that I made as a sample.
 The doll 'quilt' is a very dressed down version of the pattern with just two ruched strips and 3 plain white strips. There is no batting or binding or quilting! I simply sewed the pieced top right sides together and turned and topstitched.

So why share?  The thing that's special about this version is that the ruffles or ruching are done with a serger! I really liked using the serger for this since the gathers came out even and did not shift and move while I pieced the top together.

 If you want to use a serger to do this quilt, here are a few tutorials to get you started:

  1. The Crinkle Quilt Tutorial, of course!
  2. Understanding Your Serger gives an overview how the differential feed on your serger works
  3. The Super Simple Serger Ruffles tutorial is focused on  explains how to use a serger gathering foot, and how to make a test swatch.
  4. Learn to peice the colored strips on your serger so you only have to pull out your machine for the topstitching at the end! 

And just one extra picture showing how pampered my daughter's favorite teddy is.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Crinkle Quilt

Welcome back! Or if you are new here, welcome! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend. We are stuffed!

I'm so excited to introduce the Crinkle Quilt-- a tutorial up at the Moda Bakeshop! This has quickly become a favorite in our house, and it really does come together quickly. I did this quilt up in one Saturday morning while the kids and my husband were watching football. You can take a look at all my quilting posts here.

The quilt has ruched strips going across the length of the quilt. If you are making this quilt-- check out the Rufflicious Series; you can use any of the ruffling methods to make the ruched strips in the quilt.

The fabric line is Simply Color by V and Co, and it's absolutely gorgeous! My kids love the texture and the bright colors of the quilt. In fact, about a week after I finished the quilt, I found a few scraps of blue fabric in Ishaan's 'collection' box. This quilt can also be made with a serger (Mini Crinkle Quilt tutorial).
The Crinkle Quilt by Make It Handmade
I can tell this quilt is going to be a favorite around here for a long time! Check out the Crinkle Quilt Tutorial!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Festive Flatware

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! When I was out shopping the other day, I saw these really cute holiday themed dishes. Alas, I know I don't have the room to store special holiday flatware.
Festive Flatware Tutorial from Make It Handmade. Paint your plates to dress up your holiday table!

But I did come up with an idea to jazz up our table temporarily. Poster paints! I was really impressed with how washable crayola paints were when I used them for our painted rangoli. I thought the same paint would work out perfectly our dishes*. 

Festive Flatware Tutorial from Make It Handmade. Paint your plates to dress up your holiday table!
 *This paint is water soluble and temporary, so don't put food directly on painted plates! 

 These are great for holding wrapped candy, cupcakes, keys etc. The paint will wash off easily in the dishwasher or by hand when you are ready to have your plain white dishes back. It's quicker than shopping-- I did the mug and plate in a few minutes while the kids ate breakfast. I've put together a quick tutorial on how you can do the same for a few dishes for your table too.

Festive Flatware Tutorial

First grab your poster paints. I've read that non washable poster paints or tempra paints should still wash off non porus surfaces (like porcelain , corningware and glass), and give a bit more even coverage. Whatever you decide to use, please test on the back of a plate to make sure you are happy with how they wash off.

Festive Flatware Tutorial from Make It Handmade. Paint your plates to dress up your holiday table!
 For this little plate I decided to simple stripes around the edge of the plate. I almost left it like this because it reminds me of peppermint.
Festive Flatware Tutorial from Make It Handmade. Paint your plates to dress up your holiday table!
 But I decided to fill in with some Christmas green.
Festive Flatware Tutorial from Make It Handmade. Paint your plates to dress up your holiday table!
For the oversized tea cup, I decide to write a little message for my husband.
Festive Flatware Tutorial from Make It Handmade. Paint your plates to dress up your holiday table!

If I was a good blogger, I'd have made some cupcakes for the pictures, but no such luck. :) The hardest part was keeping that mug hidden from my husband until we had tea in the morning.

Tips and Tricks:

1. Test a small area first! The mug I used was porcelain  and the plate was made from corningware and everything washed off without a fuss (and I hate scrubbing dishes!). 

2. I trimmed one of my son's paint brushes to give me a 'fine tip' to make it easier to write with the paint. 

3. I found I got a more even coat by layering the paint and waiting for it to dry between coats. Luckily it dries in just a few minutes. 

I'd love to know if you try this out! I'll be taking the rest of the week off from blogging and will be back with new projects next week. I hope everyone has a happy, warm, and safe holiday! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pretty In Pinstripes

 Happy Friday! It's traditional during Diwali to receive and wear new clothes and I wanted to get some for the kids. After a few hours of shopping and not finding anything (last minute of course) I decided to make up this little dress for Amaani. A few hours later, we were off and picking acorns.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easy Fingerless Gloves from a Sweater

When Anshu from Blooms and Bugs invited me to join her Fall Wardrobe Revamp Series, I knew just what I wanted to make.

I love fingerless gloves. I mean really love them! I love that I can use the computer, sew, knit or use a touch screen or camera all while keeping my hands warm. I love that I can stuff them in my jacket pocket and pull them on over a t-shirt and feel like I'm all bundled up.

Sweater to Fingerless Glove Tutorial from Make It Handmade

And I love to knit them. I've made dozens of these in my knitting days! They are fun, and work up in a few hours of uninterrupted time. Unfortunately, 'hours of uninterrupted time' have been a little scarce lately.  For example, I started this last pair for my husband before my daughter was born and finished just last week.
Sweater to Fingerless Glove Tutorial from Make It Handmade

Not willing to wait a few more years for new pair for myself, I decided to make some without knitting a stitch. I've seen tutorials for making these out of felted sweaters, but I wanted some that had the look and feel of a hand knit. These fingerless gloves are made from the sleeves of an old sweater so they are soft and cuddly and fit just right.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

6 Fun Diwali Crafts For Kids!

It's already Tuesday, but I wanted to share a quick Diwali round up of crafty 'handmade' ways you can celebrate with your little ones!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Painted Rangoli

During Diwali, Rangoli is used to decorate entrance ways and patios in India. Traditionally Rangoli is made with natural materials-- sand, powdered rice, flowers and sometimes even lentils and colored beans.
Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade

Unfortunately, it's difficult to keep little hands and feet from touching colorful things on the floor. Last year's Rangoli was a bit of a mess. This year I thought for a long time about how enjoy the festivities with less frustration. I considered putting the Rangoli up on a table, or out of sight, but I wanted my kids to enjoy it too.   After about a week of noodling, I realized we could use paint!

Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade
I picked up this crayola washable paint from the grocery store, and used the kid's paintbrushes to draw out the Rangoli while they were asleep. I'm happy to say, the kids have been stomping on it all day with no ill effects and no mess. 
  Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade

Here are a few tips:
  • Test a small area of your flooring before painting your entire design. If you are wary of painted directly on the floor, you can also use a tray or plate or smooth cutting board-- anything that can be washed. 
  • I was careful to keep the paint out of the grout which stains pretty easily. 
  • For the orange flower below, I used a template for the leaf shape cut out of construction paper. The purple flower was done freehand. 
  • Since the paint is water soluable; it shows a lot of brush strokes. I had the best luck getting a solid color by letting the paint dry and doing a second coat. 

Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade

Here is a more 'impressionistic' version where I didn't do a second coat.
Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade
I have to admit that one of the things that makes traditional Rangoli so beautiful is the fact that it is temporary. Even though they take hours and hours to plan and create-- they are by definition meant to be enjoyed and not saved. Hopefully in a few years we will be able to have those in the home. For right now, I'll enjoy my kids enjoying these painted flowers.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Painted Diyas for Diwali

I know, I know, it's Thursday! In keeping with promise to be a more self indulgent blogger, I'm going to be breaking my posting schedule a bit for the next few weeks!

I see so many cute Diwali crafts on the net, but it's sometimes a struggle to find crafts that are appropriate for a 1 year old and 3 year old.
Diwali Diya Craft for Toddlers From Make It Handmade

We are lucky enough to living in a city with a few South Asian markets, and last year during the post Diwali sales we picked up a few extra diyas. Diyas are tiny oil lamps traditionally made of clay. I thought it would be fun to let the kids decorate them.
Diwali Diya Craft for Toddlers From Make It Handmade

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Free Printable: DIY Diwali Cards

I love getting Christmas cards from our friends and family; especially the ones with cute little kiddos on them! But I have to admit, I feel a pang of guilt opening each one, knowing that I didn't send a card out. I always promise myself that next year I'll send out cards for Diwali. Of course next year rolls around and I forget all about it.

This year I'm going to break that cycle! A few weeks ago, a friend of ours sent an adorable Halloween card, and I was reminded that Diwali was right around the corner.

I found some fabulous modern Diwali cards at; but my heart just sank when I saw the prices. I still wanted to do photo cards, so what's a girl to do? Make them handmade, of course! 

I (well, my husband and I) put these two cards together for our family, and in the spirit of the season, I'd like to share them with you. These can be printed, or simply make one up and email to your family.  Click on through for the free printables & tutorial!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Board Meeting!

It's that time again! Grab a snack, and let's chat about what we've done this October! I'd love to see what ya'll are up to-- feel free to chat on the facebook page, or leave a link in the comments below!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rest Easy, Gotham City

No need to fear-- Batman is here!

I hate to admit it, but I was a stereotypical stressed mom in the few hours before Halloween.
I grossly overestimated the staying power of safety pins while simultaneously underestimating the ability of two toddlers to wreck havoc on my sewing room.
 I found myself wondering if it was worth it.
It was. The kids were so happy with their costumes.
My blog as my witness, I solemnly swear that I'll be better prepared next year.
These smiles are worth it. :)

Have a good weekend everyone! You can see more of our pumpkin carving adventures at Strawbazies.