Jewelry Helix

*Project by ChiWei @ One Dog Woof for the Wild Card Finale of Season 12*

I’ll be attending my first craft show this fall and I wanted to make sure I had a unique way to display my trinkets beyond just laying them out on a table.  In order to create height and interest, I created a Helix Jewelry Display using a table leg and some dowels.  The best part is, if I add a coat of food-safe Shellac on top, I can also use this as a rack to dry some homemade pasta.  Yay for multi-taskers!
As I walked through the hardware store looking for dowels, I came upon the table leg and banister section of the store, where I found a lonely 21″ table leg all by itself, with a big yellow clearance tag on it for $1.  One dollar!  I knew it was destined to become part of my craft project!  The table leg became the center post for the display.  The arms are cut from 1/2″ oak dowels, and I bought a 8″ circular base from Michaels.
I marked the table leg to drill holes in a spiral helix pattern as a nod to my inner scientific geek.  I was lucky that the table leg was already 6 sided, so I did not need to measure angles as I went around; I only needed to measure the vertical distance between each arm.  Then I drilled 7/16″ holes, shoved in the arm dowels, glued them in place, and sanded the whole thing lightly.  That was followed by a coat of primer then two coats of gloss spray paint.
I plan on adding lazy susan hardware to the bottom so that the entire thing can rotate on its center axis.  I think this display will attract attention at my craft booth, show off my jewelry at home, and when I make pasta, will enable me to not clutter up my entire kitchen with drying noodles!  What do you think?

Peacock Dress

*Project by Jessica @ Running with Scissors for the Peacock Finale of Season 10*

I’m surprised I made it this far and I’m excited to be here for the finale of SYTYC!

I decided I didn’t want to go with a literal interpretation of an actual peacock bird, but instead designed a dress that’s thoughtfully been inspired by peacocks in color palate, form, and texture.
The dress is comfortable, perfect for Spring and Summer, and ended up having a 1920′s vibe I really love.
The color palate for the dress focuses on the sapphire body feathers of male peacocks, and the chartreuse detailing in the underskirt and metallic belt  pull the green from the peacock tail.
I chose to style my look with gold shoes and jewelry, pulling in a touch of the warmer golds in the tail feathers.
The silhouette of the dress was inspired by the peacock’s actual form.
The skirt has a subtle high to low hem, which was a nod at the dragging tail of the birds.  I added the chartreuse underskirt to not only add to the color palate, but it reminded me of the hidden aspect of a peacock tail, where the green flashy feathers are only seen with the tail is raised.  The green underskirt is just a little flash of color at the hem.
The longer flutter sleeves were a soft feminine shape and design that seemed to move and flow like bird’s wings.
There’s a lot of texture in this dress.
The bodice has a cross front design with the gathered, folded details over a simple fitted bodice base.
I added pin-tucks everywhere. Each pin-tuck is a small pleat you sew to add the slight raised texture around the skirt that slightly radiates from the center front and back.
The back of the bodice has a radiating pin-tuck design to mimic the shape of the raised, full peacock tail, but in a subtle way.

The fabric was only $4.00 from a thrift store and $1.50 for the invisible zipper in the side seam, making the whole dress only $5.50!!
It’s comfortable, easy to wear, and something you can dress up with heels, or go casual with flats and a cardigan.
It’s been fun to participate with all the other talented ladies this season!
I’ve got a lot more projects I need to run and get working on, but if you’re interested you can catch more sewing, building, crafting and decor on my blog: Running With Scissors
Thanks!
Jessica

Springtime Dress and Cardigan

*Project by Catherine @ CathGrace for the Wild Card Finale of season 14*

Hooray, it’s here! I’m so excited to have made it to the finals, and I want to thank everyone for their votes so far! For my wild card project, I decided to make myself a complete outfit, (it’s actually my first new outfit since moving to Korea almost 8 months ago, since I am too tall and big for Korean clothes, I have one sweatshirt I bought here that I had to get in an extra large, and it fits me like my regular size small in the US would, except my wrists hang out. A LOT.) I wanted to make something that really encompasses my style and philosophy in making things, so this outfit is a combination of my own original design, along with a cardigan knockoff from Anthropologie. (I am personally really attracted to fine fabric and detail work; and I also love the challenge of making something for a lot less than I could buy it for in a store.) AND I am so excited to have the weather starting to warm up, so I can finally wear something that isn’t a coat, so without further ado, I present my Wild Card project, a Springtime Dress and Cardigan (goodness I hope it’s more exciting then the name!!!)
The cardigan was inspired by the Felted Flora Cardigan at Anthropologie, (the picture on the top right is Anthropologie’s version.) At Anthropologie, this cardigan is $138 and made from cotton; my Cardigan began life as a plain beige, 100% cashmere cardigan that I got at a thrift store for $8. I used 5 different colors of wool roving to needle felt the flowers and leaves onto the front, and I changed out the buttons for a set of 1930′s, mother of pearl buttons that were still on the card, (I’m not gonna lie, it sort of hurt me to take them off the card…) I am so pleased with how this turned out, and I actually like the colors on mine much better than the pinks of the Anthro cardigan (and seriously it’s cashmere and the whole thing cost less then $15, that’s a $123 savings over the original one!!!)
I have a very difficult time finding dresses that fit me off the rack, I have a thin rib cage, but I am unusually busty (something I try to minimize the look of) and I am tall for a girl (I’m 5’9″) So in designing this dress, I really wanted to make something that looked like it could have come from a great boutique store, (the one’s that never have anything that fits me) without directly referencing any particular dress. The fabric is a luscious green rayon, with beige leaves, and orange and mustard colored birds in the print. I bought this fabric a few months ago here in Korea at the fashion fabric market (it’s called Dongdaemun) without really knowing what I was going to do with it (actually my husband picked it out) and when I made it to the finals I knew it would be perfect for a spring dress! All of the materials in this dress cost less than $20.
The fully lined bodice is done in a crisscross design, with gathered shoulders and a wide band at the waist. The band at the waist has random pin-tucking done in different angles and directions creating subtle texture; elevating the dress from ordinary to extraordinary in its detail. (Well, at least I think so! I am a huge fan of fabric manipulation rather than always adding extra trims.) The dress is closed by a hidden side zip, and the lace at the hem comes from a vintage slip I picked up years ago at an antique store, attached to the bodice as an underskirt. The leather belt is held in place by 2 hand embroidered loops on the sides (another old school technique that I feel like makes a couture difference when making clothing.)

I am very excited about this whole look, and I will actually be wearing it for our family portrait this spring (I somehow managed to make my husband a plaid vest for his birthday in matching colors, and my son an outfit for Project Run and Play in the same beige and greens, so I just need to get on making an outfit for my daughter, that I already bought the fabric for at the same time I got my dress fabric!) And best of all, I really feel like I encompassed my true crafting style of making something of quality, for less then I could get it from at a store (less than $35 for the whole outfit!!!) that is uniquely my own.

Thanks for taking the time to read everything :) and I would really love your vote!

The Snowball Skirt

*Project by Mandy @ SugarBee Craft Edition*

It’s the finals – eeek!! I just want to say I am SO EXCITED to be here – wow!  I had a tough time coming up with a final craft, especially with no theme to guide me.  I decided to go with a sewing project – it’s probably my favorite crafting medium and I have yet to use it in the competition.

Here’s to hoping I can get your vote for The SnowBall Skirt:

Now, I made this skirt for non-sewers – really!  This is A SEWING PROJECT FOR THE SELF-PROCLAIMED NON-SEWER. I want everyone to know that they can tackle simple sewing projects and have fun creating with a sewing machine.  The skirt is easy – just one rectangle and a little straight-line stitching.  It has a faux-waistband, so you don’t have to mess with figuring out how to make a real waistband or put in buttons or zippers – this skirt is just elastic.

I will show you how to measure for the skirt, give a tutorial on constructing it, and even give helpful hints on the best way to roll tulle rosettes (aka, snowballs – hence the “snowball skirt”).  I will also throw in a how-to on making a bib necklace with your scraps of fabric and tulle.

Sorry about the above pictures – by the time my Kindergartner got out of meeting with a reading club, it was near-dark so the pics are being lit by a street light.  Not to mention it was freezing – you can see that with the huddled-neck of my youngest daughter.  Here’s some details in normal light:

My guesstimate on cost for these skirts (including the coordinating bib necklace) are about $6 a skirt – what a deal, right?  Want to whip one up for that holiday work party??  Or make a coordinating set like me so you can WOW everyone when your family walks into church?? (and when they ask – did you make those?? – you can proudly say, YES I did!)   Vote, The Snowball Skirt

Anthropologie Inspired Knotted Quilt Tutorial pt 2

*Tutorial made by KoJo Designs for their win of Season 5.  Part 1 can be seen here.*

Before we get started piecing a PILE of knotted squares together, do you want the backstory on this little Anthro-inspired gem?

First, you should know that I’m a bedding junkie. I LOVE wandering through Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie (at Park Meadows  in Denver, those stores are all conveniently located near each other as well) to see their bedroom displays. My ever-changing bedding crushes are a constant around here.

So a few years ago, I found this Thai Silk Bedding at Restoration Hardware and fell in love. I have a bad habit of loving expensive things, and this was no exception. We were still in the dual-income-no-kids category at that time and so Adam surprised me with the dream-bedding. *Note, I tried to find a picture for you, but turns out five year old bedding isn’t very popular in google images. ;)

Fast forward to this fall when my oh-so-beautiful Thai Silk Bedding RIPPED. Yep, you read right… it was destroyed, not functional and, worse, not fixable! Since the era of able-to-splurge-on-bedding-we-love is long gone, just replacing the duvet cover is not exactly an option anymore.

But then, of course, I went and fell in love with the rosette bedding at Anthropologie. It shares all sorts of things with my Thai Silk Bedding… it’s beautiful, and lovely, and totally out of our price range. Isn’t that how things go?

When I saw the rosette bedding at Anthro, I had this idea in the back of my mind that perhaps I could try to make my own vision of knots and loveliness… but shelved it to pursue more immediately important matters (like tending to a new born baby, and creating things for sytyc, and getting ready for the parties I was throwing, and trying to stay somewhat on top of normal life). And then we made it to the Wild Card finale for So You Think You’re Crafty. What better chance to try out my crazy bedding-making idea?

And thus the Anthro-Inspired Knotted Bedding was born. Thank you, So You Think You’re Crafty, for giving me a chance to attempt something I might not have otherwise. My husband thanks you too. Because instead of spending $400+ on the quilt at Anthropologie (or, more likely, settling for something we didn’t love nearly as much), I made this little getup for around $30. Glory, sheer glory.

Ok, now onto the tutorial. :)

To put your ‘quilt’ together, you’ll need:
-56 knotted squares from part 1 (for a king sized quilt)
-a king sized duvet (I got the thinnest one I could find at Ikea… it was $29… fabulous!)
-sewing machine and supplies
-TONS of pins

1. Start by piecing one row of squares together at a time. Your finished product will have eight rows of seven squares. Here’s the thing- in order to achieve that wonderful, gathered look, you have to create the gathers as you go. I did this by pinning little pleats in place before sewing squares together. To be more specific, I pinned five pleats along the length of each square (one tip- if you pleat both squares and pin, this will go more quickly). So, pleat, pin (right sides together) and sew.

2. Repeat and repeat and repeat until you have eight rows of seven knotted squares.

3. Now, you’re going to sew the rows together to make a big square-ish mass of knotted squares. It was easiest for me to pin first where the edges between squares met up and then pin more pleats in place. Remember, every time you sew two squares together, you have to ‘create’ little gathers. As you’re sewing the rows together, this means that you have a lot of pinning to do before you sew. Also, be sure to pin the sides right sides together. When you’re finished you’ll have the top part of your ‘quilt.’

4. Lay out your duvet. Place your quilt with the right side (the side with all of the knots) facing down on top of the duvet. Be sure to match so that the longer side of the duvet is lined up with the row of eight squares and the shorter side of the duvet is lined up with seven squares.

Pin all the way around the edges, again, pinning pleats in place. Lucky for me, my duvet was divided into seven sections that matched up with my squares, so that was a good guideline on the short edge to make sure I was pinning evenly. On the long edges, I folded my duvet in half and marked where the middle would fall then folded it in half again and marked the quarters (on both long edges). This became my guide for even pinning on those edges.

Sew around the entire perimeter, leaving one square open. Pull the duvet through the one open square, turning the whole thing right side in. Sew your one square opening shut.

*Note- I can’t say this enough, go over the ENTIRE quilt and make sure you got all of your pins out. Once you sew this baby shut, you don’t want little pins pricking you. And they like to hide in the pleats, so check thoroughly!

5. Fluff your almost quilt. It almost looks right, doesn’t it? Almost done! Now you’re going to pin your rows in place and ‘stitch in the ditch’ (I followed this tutorial on youtube- haha!) so that your squares stay put and don’t shift all over the place. I sewed down every other row, but feel free to do as many as you please.

6. Can you believe it? You’re done! Put this vision of loveliness on your bed and admire!

I am working on shams… I’ll put a tutorial together when I get those done! Also, if you’re looking for part 1, it’s here.

Anthropologie Inspired Knotted Quilt Tutorial pt 1

*Tutorial made by KoJo Designs for their win of Season 5.  Part 2 can be seen here.*

Our quilt won the SYTYC finale! Wow! I kind of can’t believe it. Thank you for voting… And actually, thanks to Missy for hosting. I’ve been wanting to make this knotted quilt for awhile, but making it to the SYTYC finale was the motivation I’d needed to actually sit down and put it together.

Y’all have been too funny about this bedding- thanks for all of your emails and comments and kind words. Wow. It sounds like you’re all ready to make your own as well- want to get started on that?

I should issue a warning up front that this endeavor is definitely time consuming… not difficult, per se, but time consuming for sure. That being said, today’s tutorial is for the how to make the pile of knotted squares that will make up your ‘quilt.’

To make the squares for the knotted ‘quilt,’ you’ll need:
-18″x18″ squares of jersey (I used 56 of these for my king sized quilt)… I got the jersey from two flat king sized sheets and a pile of white t-shirts.
-a 6″ plate
-a fabric pen
-needle and embroidery thread that coordinates with your jerse

*A tip before you start. Make the knotted squares assembly line style. Do all of your cutting, then all of your tracing, then all of your gathering, etc. It’ll make this move a little more quickly.

1. Cut out your 18″x18″ jersey squares. I used two flat t-shirt sheets and a stack of white t-shirts for my jersey. I cut out a sample square, labeled it as such with my fabric pen and then used it as a template to cut around for all of my other squares. One note- with all of the gathering that comes later, the 18″x18″ can be approximate- don’t worry about making perfectly uniform squares.

2. Center your 6″ plate in the middle of your square. Trace with a fabric pen. Repeat (and repeat and repeat).

3. Using embroidery thread, stitch inside the perimeter of your traced circle. Use very long stitches.

4. Pull your thread taut, resulting in a little pooch of fabric. Don’t remove your needle or tie off your thread yet.

5. This next part is a bit tricky to explain, but I tried to get good pictures. You might even find a better way (if so, let me know!) to make the knots.

This is what I did- I pulled the pooch of fabric to a point, Then, I poked down through the top center until the point was back down through the pulled-taut circle of thread.

Then I twisted the whole poked-down mess until it looked knot-like.

Then I secured the fabric with a stitch through the poked down point.

I continued to run the needle back and forth through the ‘knot’ until it seemed secure (usually three or four stitches through the middle of the ‘knot’).

6. Repeat and repeat and repeat. Fifty six times if you’re making a king sized quilt like I was.

Stay tuned for part 2- assembling your ‘quilt.’

ps- I know that many of you out there are actual, legit quilters. I’m sorry if calling this bedding a ‘quilt’ is offensive to you. It’s rows of squares, and I used a bunch of quilting techniques when I was assembling it (which, since I’ve never made a quilt before, I found tutorials for online- haha!). But I am definitely not a quilter and am probably butchering both the vocab and the techniques. Go easy on me, ok? :)

Boy & Girl Room Decor

*Project by Amy @ Positively Splendid for the Season 6 Finale*

Having just moved into a new home, I wanted my final project for the competition to be something fun that reflects my overall crafting personality, but also something practical for our new place. We recently purchased a bunk bed for my older kiddos’ shared room, so I opted to use this challenge as my impetus to get their bedding and decor squared away. I set to work creating coordinating pillow shams and duvet covers, as well as repurposing an old lamp to match and putting together personalized alphabet samplers to adorn the walls.

Shared boy/girl spaces can be a challenge. I wanted the bedding to coordinate, but I also wanted it to be as suitable for a boy as it was for a girl. Enter my little vinyl applique boy and girl symbols on the shams, which leave no question as to just who exactly occupies this space! I opted for turquoise and hot pink as the main colors for each of the bedding sets, tying it all together with a series of orange stripes.

The sweet little lamp on the nightstand is a perfect match.

I created a printable that made putting these alphabet sampler wall hangings together a breeze!

There is nothing more gratifying than seeing two giddy children squeal with delight when they first see their new room! I am as tickled with they are with how this space came together, but the thing that pleases me most is the price tag of this project. Because I used flat sheets instead of fabric by the yard, and because I repurposed items I had on hand and used supplies from my stash, the total cost for this room makeover was just over $50, a typical price for a single custom-made pillow sham!

It has been so much fun participating in this competition! Thanks so much to everyone who has voted for me along the way!

Felt Play House

*Project made by Melissa @ Sew Like My Mom for the Season 6 Finale*

When I was a little girl I really wanted an awesome playhouse. I’d build tents and forts out of blankets and chairs and in my mind, turn them into grand places that occupied my time for hours. So when I started brainstorming ideas for my final project, I decided to build my girls the playhouse I’d dreamed of as a kid.

Made from PVC pipe and felt, this adorable house features 4 different sides for endless hours of play. It is fully customizable to the games they like to play the most.

Already getting plenty of play time, our house has a post office with in and out boxes complete with fabric envelopes stuffed with crayon-scribbled notes of love, a market with fruits, vegetables, and breads, all ready to be selected and enjoyed, a flower shop with gorgeous fabric flowers, and a house with curtains, window box, and a door that really closes.

One of my favorite things about the playhouse is that it can be completely disassembled for easy storage when not in use. Taking only minutes to put back up, your kids can enjoy the house without sacrificing permanent floor space. We’ve played inside and outside and the girls have been having a ball with it. And it thrills me to know we’ll all enjoy the house for many years to come!