Cozy Kimono Cardigan Tutorial

Fall is my favourite season. It’s when magazines are the thickest, you can start to get excited about Christmas, and best of all you get to layer! Hot summer days can be great but by September I just want to be able to wear a sweater and jacket without sweating like crazy. I saw a kimono cardigan in a store and loved it. It looked so simple yet cozy and fashionable so I figured I would try DIY’ing it.

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You will need *fabric *thread *sewing machine *bias tape (optional)

After dissecting the cardi at the store I realised it was made of 2 squares for the front and a rectangle for the back. Now the challenge was to figure out the correct measurements that would give enough drape without looking like I was wearing a sheet. After trial and error these are the measurements that looked the best on me. I’m 5’10” but my model Christa is a couple inches shorter and it works for both of us. Because the back piece is double the front pieces I only cut one 23”x23” square of paper and cut it on the fold for the back.

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The best fabrics to use are light to mid weight because you want your cardi to drape nicely. This plaid doesn’t have much stretch but I’ve also used a cotton jersey to make a kimono cardi and both turned out great. Keep in mind if your using a patterned fabric you might need more if you want to match up the pattern at the side seam and shoulders.

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Once you cut out your three pieces, with right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin the shoulder seams together. Where the front pieces meet is where you neck goes. I’ve found it works best if you pin both the right and left side of the front to the back piece and sew it in one continuous line. I used a serger to sew the shoulder seam but if you don’t have one you could use a french seam, pinking shears, or a zig zag stitch to finish the seam and keep the fabric from fraying.

Using bias tape on the side seam and armholes is a easy way to finish the seam and add a nice feature. I made my own from micro suede.

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Before you sew the side seams you can try the cardi on and see how the drape is. If it’s too long or wide it would be easy at this stage to cut some off the bottom or sides.  Measure 7” down each side staring at the shoulder seam. This will be the armhole. Sew the bias tape around the armhole. You’ll need about 15” of tape per armhole since you want there to be some overlap when you sew the side seam. Now pin the side seams with the wrong sides together and sew the bias tape from the bottom hem to about 1/2” over the armhole bias tape. If your worried about the fabric slipping when sewing on the tape just do a basting stitch first. Then all you have to do is hem the bottom and up the center and your finished! After making the pattern this project took me about an hour to complete.

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Thanks to Christa for being such a great model!

conclusion:

I love quick and easy projects! You can be cozying up in Kimono cardi in no time.

What i made… Leather edged infinity scarf

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The inspiration for this infinity scarf came from one I saw in Le Chateau. It was all black and it looked pretty cool but I thought, I can do this for cheaper and use real leather not this fake looking stuff! Earlier I had seen a beautiful rose colored skull scarf in H&M for $12.95 that I was on the fence about. Now that I had a DIY project in mind this seemed like the perfect scarf to use. Sold!

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This is very simple and quick! First I sewed the two short ends of the scarf together to make it an infinity scarf. Since both ends are finished I placed one end on top of the other and stitched over the thread.  I re-purposed the leather from a long jacket that I never wore and cut it into 1 1/2 cm strips. The good thing about leather or suede is you don’t have to worry about finishing the edge. I just folded each strip in half, ironed it down, and sewed it all around both edges sandwiching the scarf edge between the folded leather strip. Test your leather first to see if you should use a pressing cloth overtop as the iron can sometimes make the leather shiny. Bias tape would also look great and it comes in every color! You can even make your own bias tape if you have some fabric that you like.

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conclusion

I’ve been wearing this a lot! I think the black edging adds more dimension. I like the colors and it’s perfect for chilly, but not too chilly, fall weather.

Decoupage Cell Phone Case DIY

 

Update: This post was originally published in May 2013. Even though I have moved on to a new iPhone this is a creative and fun way to personalize your phone case. This case lasted a long time and the jewels never fell off! Yay Mod Podge! 

Spring has finally arrived and it’s time for spring cleaning, swapping out the winter clothes for the summer ones, and giving things a general sprucing up. Some of these chores might not be fun but they need to get done. My iPhone case was something that need a spring revamp but instead of just picking one out at the store, which I admit can be fun, I decided to personalize one with this quick DIY. It’s also a great way to use an old case that might be scratched or your just tired of the current image. Just make sure you clean it well so the Mod Podge will adhere properly.

Decoupage is an easy and enjoyable way to decorate pretty much anything with a flat surface. It involves cutting out various shapes of paper, usually from magazines, and applying coats of varnish to seal it. I looked through old issues of Instyle and Cosmo to find pictures I liked then used my trusty Mod Podge to seal it.

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After finding some pictures of gems, flowers, and a cat I laid them out over a plain white iPhone case to get an idea for placement. Then I applied a thorough coat of Mod Podge to the back of the cut-outs and stuck them down. Your fingers will get sticky and you might have to carefully smooth out the paper if there are any air bubbles underneath. I wrapped the pieces around the edges of the case to get a full covering. The inside doesn’t look very pretty but no one will see it. Once you have all the cut-outs you want apply an even coat of the Mod Podge over the entire case. This will help the corners not to raise up.

 

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I wanted this case to be pretty girlie so I added stick on gems and glitter! After letting the glue dry for a few minutes (till it was tacky) I placed on the gems. Then I mixed some glitter with the Mod Podge and applied another thick even coat. I didn’t apply the glitter coat to the inside of the case. Let dry fully for a couple of hours and your case is ready for use!

 

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I wasn’t sure how well the gems would stay on. I’m not very careful with my phone, it usually hides out at the bottom of my tote bag/ huge purse, but I have been using it for over a week and they’re all still there! That Mod Podge really works!

conclusion:

We all use our cell phones so much now. It’s nice to have a case that makes me smile and that I like looking at everyday!

What I made today… Washi tape clock

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I bought a clock from Ikea to put in my sewing/craft room. It was super cheap at $2.99 but also super ugly. A clear smokeyish plastic. What a great opportunity to use washi tape to brighten it up! I stuck it on while watching Mad Men. Yay for multi-tasking! To fix the problem of some of the edges coming up off the rounded corners I gave it a coat of Mod Podge.

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conclusion

Now this once generic clock looks like it belongs in a craft/sewing room!

Knitting With Pearls: A DIY Bracelet

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I haven’t knit in quite awhile even though I have a stash of yarn and plenty of needles. While perusing Pintrest the other day I saw a picture for a DIY of a Super Simple Knitted Bracelet, and inspiration struck! If you want to check out the bracelet I saw along with other fashion DIY’s on my Pintrest page click HERE.

I still kept it simple by only using the basic garter stitch, which is where you knit every row, but used 2 weights of yarn to add the pearls and added a buttonhole. The materials I used and directions are below.

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Materials

  • Yarn in 2 different weights, 1 thinner for the pearls and 1 chunkier
  • knitting needles size 3.75mm
  • pearls or beads
  • yarn or upholstery sewing needles
  • button

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Directions

When choosing your yarns it is important that the yarn you pick is thin enough to fit through the needle that also is thin enough to fit through the pearls or beads your using. If you can’t find thin enough yarn embroidery floss would also work well! This is key because you need to string all the pearls onto the yarn before you start knitting. It is better to add too many pearls instead of too little because in order to add more you would have to break your yarn or start all over, not fun. I threaded 40 pearls onto my yarn and pushed them down the length of yarn so I could have enough room to start knitting.

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Holding both pieces of yarn together cast on 40 stitches. If you feel like your wrist might be smaller or larger cast on what you think would fit. Remember that a button and buttonhole is being added so there will be some overlapping! Also when knitting with 2 threads of yarn I try to keep my tension a little looser then normal just to make it a bit easier on myself. You will always be holding the 2 strands together through this pattern.

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Row 1: knit.

Row 2: knit 5 stitches, slide a peal up the length of yarn till it is at the needle. Knit your 6th stitch and as you bring the yarn around the needle bring the pearl with it.

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The pearl should be knit into your piece. Continue down the row knitting in a pearl every 5 stitches or so. Add your last pearl on or before the 35th stitch and knit to the end. You need to leave 5 stitches at the beginning and end of each row without any pearls so you can add the buttonhole.

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Row 3: knit 10 stitches, add a pearl and continue to the end same as row 2. Doing this will stager the pearls so they are not all in a straight line.

Row 4: knit 3 stitches then bind off 3 stitches. This will be your buttonhole! Continue down the row adding pearls.

Row 5: knit like row 3 but when you get to the 3 stitches you bound off cast 3 on and knit to end.

Row 6: Knit like row 2.

Row 7: Knit, without any pearls.

Bind off and weave you loose yarn ends into the piece. Your bracelet is almost done!

If your buttonhole is a little wonky don’t worry! And if some of your pearls poked out the back you can just push them through to the other side, like I did. Here’s the back of the bracelet.

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Using some thread or the thinner yarn sew your button onto the side without the buttonhole.

Now your beautiful bracelet is complete!

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Here’s a little tip: Don’t do like I did and let one of your balls of yarn get all tangly. What a mess! I will definitely be rolling my yarn into a ball before the start of the next project. sheesh.

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conclusion:

This is my first knitting tutorial so hopefully it is easy to understand. There are so many variations for this project. just using different yarn and buttons would give it another look. You could also use sequins or small shells instead of pearls! I just might have to make another!

Getting a little cozy in here DIY

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My sister, Halie, and I have done a couple art collaborations in the past and all have had fantastic results! So when she came to visit me for her reading week, she’s going after her Bachelors of Fine Art, I though it was a perfect time to use the canvases I had and make something for a blank spot on the wall. Of course being the procrastinator I am we didn’t start till the last day she was here. A quick yet still dynamic project was needed. I’d like to say I came up with this fab idea but it was all my sister’s.

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I picked colors that I thought would compliment the living room and other art on the walls. We came up with lots of 4 letter words but finding one that I actually wanted to look at everyday took some time. I finally thought of COZY with a heart for the O. It’s what I aspire my house to be. I think the word you pick should reflect your surroundings in some way.

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Next we painted the majority of the canvas the color I wanted the letters to be. We didn’t go all the way to the edges, just as far as we thought the letter would reach. After allowing the paint to dry Halie sketched the letters onto the canvas with a pencil. You could use any font desired but I think the blockier the better just to make taping easier.

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I only had masking tape on hand to fill in the letters. It worked well but it left a little residue on the Z, so I would recommend using painters tape to insure that doesn’t happen. It actually didn’t take that long to fully cover the letters with tape. To make the curvy parts I just ripped small pieces of tape to follow the pencil line.

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Using different sized brushes we splotched, splashed, and spotted the paint in an abstract pattern, covering the whole surface and the sides. I did the C and Z and Halie did the heart and Y. I think this would also look good if a more constrained pattern was created. you could use the painters tape to make stripes on the letters. Vertical, horizontal, or diagonal would look great! The sky’s the limit!

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After the paint dried we carefully peeled off the tape. The letters looked a tad unfinished so Halie painted a white boarder around them and I love it! Another successful collaboration. I had originally planned to hang the letters in a 2×2 square but after trying out some different formations, including staggered, this side by side layout looked best for the space.

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A big thanks to my little sis for her idea and help. It was a lot of fun! She recently started her own blog so please do check it out! I love the name of her blog! It’s Shouldn’t you be studying? lol http://shouldntyoubestudying.wordpress.com/

conclusion

Two artsy heads are better then one! I hope this DIY has given you some inspiration and ideas to create your own splatter and letters wall art!

To squirrel with love: a homemade card

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Here’s a little fact about me… I hate buying cards. Don’t take that the wrong way because I love giving cards! Sure store bought cards can be cute, funny, and heart-warming. I just don’t see the sense in paying $4.99 on something that I have the supplies and know how to create myself. Also the receiver likes the homemade card infinite times more because it’s customized and I spent all that time making it and thinking about them while I made it! And I mean thinking about him/her in the “happy memories” way. NOT the “creepy shifty eyes gonna peek at you through the curtain” kinda way, I swear!

So when my Grandpa’s birthday came up recently I got out the markers and pencil crayons.

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I wanted to give him a card that would make him say awww followed by ha ha and decided a squirrel with a faux fur tail would do the trick. I’m under the impression that my Grandpa loves squirrels. Or maybe loathes them with a passion? Either way squirrels are always in his backyard and he puts nuts out for them.

I found some inspiration on goggle and started sketching.

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Although the squirrels at my Grandparents are brown I only had blackish fur so I made a grey squirrel. I wanted he squirrel to carry a message in his paws, awwww, but next time I’ll have to make the paper slanted so it doesn’t have a weird crease in it .

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After writing my Birthday message on the back I mailed it off!

Do you make you own cards? What are your favourite cards to give or receive?

conclusion

Q: Why do squirrels swim on there back?
A: to keep their nuts dry…. (I just had to get ONE nut joke in!)