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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #72

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #72

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Sewing Machine Review, Because…

The bad news is that my beloved sewing machine of eight years died on me during one of my projects.  :(

The good news is…

Bought a sewing machine from Overstock.com

I got a new one!

I bought it from Overstock.com, which is where I got the old one too.  The great thing is that it’s a model with more features and stuff, but a smaller price.  They were having a deal on it that made it about $10 less than my old sewing machine. 

And I got free shipping, shipping that took longer than normal though.  It took two weeks from when I ordered it to receive my package.  I think this was just bad luck because it normally only takes the usual 3-5 business days.

Unboxing a refurbished Brother sewing machine.

I bought a refurbished Brother JX2517 sewing machine, on sale for $49.99.  Brother is the same company that made my old machine, and my mother’s sewing machine, and my sister’s sewing machine, etc.  Yep, we have a lot of their machines running around here.

It’s been my experience that Brother sells a wide variety of sewing machines that are quite affordable (some more so than others), well built, easy to run and last a good long while.  Which is why I love them. :)

Just got a Brother JX2517 sewing machine.

Anyway, here is my new sewing machine!  Isn’t it pretty?

As you can see, it comes with an instruction book, a DVD, the foot peddle and plug…

Sewing machine accessories.

…and some accessories!

Sewing machine accessories.

Extra bobbins, extra needles, zipper foot, a buttonhole tool, etc.  Plenty to get you going.

The stitch settings on a Brother JX2517 sewing machine.

My old machine was a very basic model and didn’t have many built in stitches at all, but this one has several.  I’ve already tried out a few of them, with good results.  The instruction booklet has a list of all the stitches and their use, very helpful.

What I wasn’t expecting was the deal with the bobbin, it’s a top loader.  I had never used one before, but thankfully, I found it really simple.  The instuctions and markings on the machine made it easy. 

Both threading and running this sewing machine is a breeze.  It runs really smoothly and seems quieter than my old machine too which is a real plus.  I find I do my best sewing at night and a quieter machine is less likely to wake people up.

But, speaking of my old sewing machine…

My poor old sewing machine, lasted about nine years.

Here is the poor thing. :(

It’s a Brother LS-30.  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s an extremely basic machine.  Good for a beginner or for someone who does very minimal sewing.  Though it can work wonders in the right hands, I made this dress with it among many others.

It served me well for over eight years, but it’s time to go.  I will probably donate it or something.  Hopefully somebody else can still get some use from it if they can repair it or just use it for parts.

Saying goodbye to the old sewing machine and hello to the new one.

Goodbye old friend.  You were very useful to me until the very end.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

From Socks to Doll Sweaters

Well, two weeks later (argh!) I finished the next project on my craft list.  A recycling project too!

For this project, I had some old socks and tights to turn into something new and cute.

Doll sweaters made from socks.

Doll Clothes!

The socks became cute little sweaters using this tutorial, sort of.  The pattern for the tutorial was for 1/3 scale ball jointed dolls, mine are smaller than that.  They are 1/4 and 1/6 scale dolls.

So I had to make my own patterns.  If anyone is interested, I decided to post the patterns on my doll blog.

Tights and socks for dolls.

With the tights I made actual doll tights and socks.  Two pairs black tights, two pairs of white tights in two sizes, and three pairs of white sock in two sizes.  Whew!

But they are quick and pretty easy to make, even by hand.  Actually I made all these sweaters and legwear by hand sewing except the first sweater.  Machine sewing is not recommended at all.

Doll sweaters made from socks.

Anyway, this first sweater (for Hikaru) is made from a navy blue knee sock that didn’t fit right.  Knee socks are great for this because you get plenty of material to work with.

The sweater has lace along the neckline and a row of faux pearl bead “buttons” down the front.  It closes with sew-on snaps.

Tights and socks for dolls.

The tights, I think are pretty much fool proof to make.  The material is stretchy enough to fit well and hide any goofs you make while sewing.

Cute doll sweaters from socks.

Now doesn’t her outfit look so cute, and perfect for an Arizona “winter”?

Doll sweaters made from socks.

I made this sweater (for Usagi) with the other navy blue sock.  It has thin ribbon along the neckline and bottom hem and closes just at the top with a snap.  I added a “large” button at the top “to close” it.

Thigh high socks for dolls.

In addition to tights, I made this doll a pair of thigh high socks.  They are basically tights with the top cut across and hemmed, and no elastic needed.

Cute doll sweaters from socks.

Paired with a plaid skirt, it kind of looks like a school uniform.  She just needs more appropriate shoes.

Doll sweaters made from socks.

And finally, I made these two cute white sweaters using little bobby socks.  Smaller socks for smaller dolls.

They are both embellished with ribbon bows and more pearl “buttons”.

Tights and socks for dolls.

The tights came out just as well on this smaller doll as with the larger dolls.  It makes me wonder how easy it would be to make tights for fashion dolls, like Ever After High dolls.

Tights and socks for dolls.

The socks are knee length and are super quick to make.  I found they look cute both when worn to the knee and when scrunched down at the ankle.

Cute doll sweaters from socks.

They both are so adorable now all bundled up.  All the dolls look so cute, it makes me want to make more sweaters.  I guess it’s time to dig out more socks.

Here’s the updated list:

Four down, just two more to go.  And I will either have it done by the end of the week, or just postpone it until January.  Christmas is coming quickly after all, and I need to start working on those crafts.  Look forward to it.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #71

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #71

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

While We Wait, An Easy Fix for Fans

This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my disclosures page for more info.  Thanks!

It’s taking longer than expected to finish the next project on my list.  Much longer, sigh.  So I thought in the meantime I would share an idea I had.  One I meant to share ages ago.

Fixing up fans.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

These are a pair of pretty handheld fans.  The one on the right came from a craft store, and the other came from an Asian grocery store.  Fans like these are easy to find and usually sell for $1-2 each.  So pretty and useful, especially when Spring and Summer come again.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

Just one problem with them.  The little “handle” thing has a tendency to pop off after several uses.  And since that’s the only thing keeping the fan parts together on the pin thing, this is a big problem.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

My first attempt to fix this was to simply thread ribbon through the fan.  This looks nice and adds a useful strap, but it’s only a temporary fix.  It’s difficult to tie the ribbon snug enough to actually work well.

Using jewelry pins to fix fans.

Enter the jewelry pins.

I bought these at Joann.  They’re intended for making earrings and such, but I thought they would be great for this task.  I’m sure regular jewelry wire would work too.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

Just need to yank off that old pin thingy…

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

…Thread the jewelry pin through…

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

…and twist it at the end to secure.

I had to do it at both ends because the eye of the pin wasn’t big enough as is.  I should have measured first.  Oh well.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

I’m sure with more practice (or more skill at jewelry making) I can make these look better.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

But for now I am happy with the results.  My fans work perfectly now.  Now just need to wait for the weather to warm up enough to need them.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #70

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #70

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #69

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #69

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pink and Sparkly, A Knit Dress and a Costume?

The good news, I finished two more projects on my crafts list perfectly on time.  The bad news, I actually forget to post them here.  Several other things came up over the holiday and that’s life.

Anyway, the first project I made was a really cute knit pink dress.

Making a pink circle skirt.

I started with this great knit fabric I found at SAS.  It’s so soft and super stretchy.

Making a pink circle skirt.

I started to make a circle skirt using this tutorial, only I skipped adding a seam allowance and a zipper because I am using knit fabric.  No need for zippers!

Making the top for a knit dress.

For the top, I used a knit tank top as a guide to cut the front and back pieces.  I also cut a rectangle of fabric to cover the middle of the front side.

Making the top for a knit dress.

This special rectangle was cut into strips after sewing to the front of the dress.

Cute "bows" down the front of a knit dress.

Each strip was then gathered in the center like a cute bow.  I added pink rhinestones to the center of each “bow” to make it extra pretty.

Cute pink knit dress with a circle skirt and rhinestones.

After sewing the top to the skirt and hemming everything, here’s the finished dress.  It came out wonderfully and it’s really comfortable to wear. 

The only problems I had with it was with my sewing machine.  I’m afraid my beloved sewing machine is on it’s deathbed.  I will soon be getting a new one.  You will hear more about that later.

Anyway, this new dress isn’t just pretty but very versatile.  It just needs the right accessories.

Making a tulle wrap skirt from a circle skirt tutorial.

I started by making another, larger circle skirt with this sparkly tulle.  It’s leftover from the tulle I used to make a Halloween costume years ago.  For this skirt, I cut it down to open the circle and curved the corners and little.

Making a tulle wrap skirt from a circle skirt tutorial.

Then I added a long ribbon along the waist area and left long ribbon tails to tie it.

Used a candle to seal the edges of tulle.

I made sure to carefully melt the cut edges so they wouldn’t unravel.  I used a lit candle for this, a scented candle.  It was tricky, but effective.

Sparkly tulle wrap skirt.

The result is a sparkly tulle wrap skirt.  It can be easily worn over dresses and such to add a little something extra.

And there’s more accessories…

Making a necklace out of rhinestones and tulle.

I cut strips of some plain tulle and carefully glued rhinestones to it in a straight line.

Tulle and rhinestone jewelry.

After trimming and adding a clasp, I had a rhinestone necklace.  I also did the same thing to make matching bracelets.

Tulle and rhinestone necklace, look cool right?

When worn the tulle isn’t very visible, so it looks like the rhinestone are glued on to me.

Glittery fairy wings from Joann Fabric and Crafts, added more rhinestones to customize them.

That’s not the only thing I added rhinestones to, I added some to these old wings to perk them up.  They are the same ones from that old Halloween costume.  I also added rhinestones to a headband to match the necklace and bracelets.

Add all these accessories to that simple cute dress and…

Sparkly pink crystal fairy costume.  Made up of pieces that can be worn separately.  Nice!

…It’s a Halloween costume!

I dressed as a pink crystal fairy this year.  It came out great right?

The best part is that all the pieces can be used for so many other costumes or for everyday outfits.  The tulle wrap skirt pink dress would be great for a dressy outfit for a Christmas party, maybe with the right accessories?

Here’s the updated list:

  • Pink dress
  • Accessories
  • Socks
  • Headbands
  • T-shirts
  • Tank Top

Three down, Three more to go.  The next one should be up by next week, but hopefully sooner.  Look forward to it. :)

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