Sunday, May 27, 2012

DIY - Sandwich Wraps

In honor of my oldest getting set to start first grade - that's right, first. Where has all the time gone? - I decided to make something useful. He's going to need to bring lunch next year. I'm not sure I'm prepared for that. Anyway, instead of using a million sandwich bags, I decided to make some reusable sandwich wraps.

I saw a craft show a couple years back that featured making your own "fabric" by fusing together grocery bags. The concept is all about ironing plastic between parchment paper to make usable fabric for bags, etc. This gal made it seriously beautiful by using strips and shapes cut from colored bags. I've been dying to try it.

My girlfriend and I were chatting about it and she showed me this one that she bought a while ago. I like how it makes a nice little placemat too.
I borrowed it with plans to copy it. I also searched around Pinterest for some ideas and found this great one from Chica and Jo, but decided to make a few changes. Hers was based on diagonal orientation and I wanted mine horizontal (thinking it might keep the sandwich a little fresher, but I'm not sure that matters).

Here's how mine came out.
Want to make one (or three)? Here's how I did it. First gather a bunch of grocery bags (the Target ones are great because they are made from thick plastic). Good thing I frequent Target on a regular (weekly) basis. Lay out the bags so they're nice and flat. Cut the handles and bottom seam off.
Then cut off the colored part of the bag. You should have a big rectangle. Lay it flat on your parchment paper. I folded it over to make a square and laid another one on top, flipping it over, so you have have a thickness of three bags.
Cover it with another piece of parchment paper and iron it on medium heat (no steam). It will shrink up significantly. Keep fusing it until you have a nice square about 12x12. You can add more bags to the sides if it gets too small. Next, I used my rotary cutter to make it a 12x12 square.
Lay your plastic square on a 14x14 piece of fabric (I found this cool skateboarder fabric on clearance at Walmart for $1/yard).
Fold in the sides until they are even with the edge of the plastic and over once more. Pin in place. This makes a nice edge around your wrap.
Miter the corners by folding the fabric in a diagonal. Like this.
Take your piece to the machine and sew down your edges. Now, it's time to finish it up. Cut a piece of velcro about 2 inches long and sew the scratchy side to the top center of the wrap.
Fold in the sides.
And the bottom to determine the location of the loop side of the velcro. Pin it and sew it down.
You're done.
I made three and even followed a little tip from the Chica and Jo tutorial. I cut out the letters to spell "I love you" from a Walmart bag and fused it in the center. Cute, huh?

Linking to:
Positively Splendid

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We Wear Short Shorts... Um, no.

I had the best visit last weekend with my girl Jessica. It was pretty funny that it only took us about 20 minutes to get back to finishing each other's sentences. Isn't it fun to have a girlfriend like that? She flew all the way out to Denver from Los Angeles to catch-up with me and catch-up on some shopping.

We headed to downtown to hit H&M - I've wanted to go there for years. It turns out I should have done it years ago. Much of the pieces they have are really young and trendy. Not that I can't rock young and trendy, but it doesn't really reflect well on a mom picking-up your kindergartner in a tube top and short shorts.

While I'm on the subject of short shorts (nice seque, huh?), Jess and I shared our rant about pajama shorts being WAY too short. I recently bought a cute little set at for about $7.50. Can't beat that, but when it arrived, the fabric was crazy sheer and the shorts were super short. No amount of Nair was going to make those look good.

(Nair Girls)

Turns out Jess was having the same problem. I'm sure my husband would have liked the Target PJ set, but my kids may have ended up scarred for life. We searched and searched for some cute (and not booty revealing) shorts, but no luck. What's a gal to do? Duh, turn a pair of PJ pants into shorts.

Jess had bought some silly Snoopy pants on sale recently and brought them with her to Denver.


Sunday morning before a last little shopping venture, I decided to cut them off and hem them up for her. While she was wearing them, I made a little cut about an inch and a half longer than her desired length.


After laying them flat to get a straight cut, I chopped those little puppies off. Next, I took them to the iron and pressed in a hem, doubling it over so they wouldn't fray. A couple quick seams and tada! New non-booty revealing pajama shorts. See how much shorter mine were than the Snoopy ones? Yikes! Hello bikini wax.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fabric Covered Notepads

I fell in love with these cute little fabric covered notepads from Skip to my Lou while perusing Pinterest a couple weeks ago and thought they would make great teacher gifts. Since Parker is in year-round school and is off track, he missed teacher appreciation week. He has the absolute best kindergarten teacher.

I decided I should give it a try and made a couple tonight. I'm in love. Want to make one too?

Here's what you'll need:
Coordinating fabrics (1/4 yard makes two notepads)
Iron-on fabric stabilizer (for stiffness)
Spiral notebooks (mine are 4x6)
1/4 wide elastic (optional)
Sewing machine
First, cut out your pieces. You'll need:
7x14 inch piece of main fabric
6x9 inches of fabric stabilizer
2x6 inch piece of coordinating fabric for pen holder

Next, iron on your stabilizer in the center of your main fabric following the instructions on the package. I just eyeballed this step.
I hate ironing - in fact I've been known not to buy things that require ironing - but this step is important. Iron down the edges of your fabric 1/2 inch all the way around. I used the edge of the stabilizer as a guide.
Next, fold in the sides of your cover (this will slide over the edges of your notepad to hold it on). Again, I used the edges of the stabilizer as a guide.
OK. Time to head to the machine. Sew down the seams on the ends of your fabric. Pin down your folds if you want (I just remembered to tuck them in) and sew around the whole thing leaving the smallest border possible. You want your notepad to slide in fairly easy, so if your seams are too big, it will be tight. Don't worry though, you can trim the edges of the notepad cover to make it fit if neccessary (I did it, but just a little ;-)).
Now, let's add the pen holder. Iron in the sides like you did on the main part.
Sew down the top seam only. The others will be sewn directly to the body of the cover. Place it on the front of your cover. Be careful not to sew through the flaps and pin in place.
Sew down the first side only.
Now, create a little pleat to allow space for the pen. Pin down and sew along the bottom and up the other side.
This last step is optional. It will create a strap to hold the book closed while not in use. When I do it again, I will probably attach it to the front of the book, so when wrapped around it will be in the back of the book. See how mine is in front in the final picture? I think it will looks better on the back.
Now, slide in your notepad - trimming if neccessary - and make more. Lots more. I bought four notepads, but I'm heading back to Walmart tomorrow so I can make more.
Linking to: Positively Splendid wednesday's wowzers