Project: Ruana Coat

Weekend before last, one of my favorite crafting partners, my cousin Jenny, came to visit me from Atlanta. We made a stop at REI to get her kids some snow clothes (apparently hard to get in Georgia!) and she fell in love with a wool poncho-type coat. After deciding it was too heavy for down South and just a little too pricey, we left it unpurchased. A few hours later we were in Target and she found this ruana.

(A ruana is a poncho-style outer garment typical of the Andes region of Venezuela and Colombia.)

The plaid was very similar to the coat at REI, but the fleece fabric was much lighter than the wool. Plus is was about ten times less in cost. We thought with a few snaps we could easily turn it into more of a coat like she wanted.

She thought it was just the right weight for “winter” mornings and had a great easy style.

Ruana Coat

Supplies:

  • lightweight fleece 56″ x 48″ or store bought ruana (You could use any fabric you wanted really and make it any size you want. This was the size of the one we bought.)
  • matching thread (optional)
  • small safety pins
  • dressmakers marker
  • 6 heavy duty snaps (or size for your fabric)
  • snap tool
  • velcro (optional)

1. (If you are using a pre-made ruana, skip this step.) If starting with fabric, fold it in half lengthwise. Mark the middle of one side. Cut about 2.5 – 3 inches in on each side from the middle, then curve at the fold for a smooth fit around the neck. (You can just do a straight cut down the middle without losing any fabric, but the curve will lay nicer.)

You can hem the fabric if you wish, but if you are using fleece it isn’t necessary.

2. Put the ruana on and use safety pins to join together where you want your snaps.

For the sides, we put two snaps which divided it into about thirds to create sleeves and close the sides. For the front, we crossed the ruana and put a snap at the top of where we wanted the neckline and towards the bottom of the front piece.

3. Use a dressmakers maker to mark where you want the snaps. Make sure to mark both pieces of fabric so you know where to place the front and back of the snap.

4. Attach the snaps using the instructions on the snap tool.

5. If you find the front piece underneath sags a bit, you can sew or iron-on some velcro at the corner to hold it in place. We didn’t think ours sagged enough to bother.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2017 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: Quick Cactus

I had so much fun with my first fleece cactus that I went ahead and did another one.
IMG_3417

Quick Cactus

Supplies:

  • Fleece (scraps, or 1/2 yd if you are buying new)
  • fiber fill
  • Thread
  • Paper for template
  • Optional: Pot for display (labeled S 4 , this pot is 14.25 inches around the top and stands 4″ tall.)

Directions:

Cut out a strip that is 2″ wide by 18 inches long. At one end of the strip cut a slightly rounded point.

You will need 6 of these strips. Just to make it easy on yourself, fold the fabric in half so you can cut two at a time.

Line up the sides of the strips and sew two together using a small seam allowance. Here I tried to stay consistant at just under a 1/2 inch. Repeat this three times, so you have 3 pairs of strips sewn. (Note, the seam allowances are on the OUTSIDE of this project. They form the ridges of the cactus. ) Next you will combine the strips to form the tube. Carefully separate the layers you have sewn, and match them up with the “pair”  next to them. I started sewing from the “top” (the curved part) because it was more important that THAT line up, and not as important that the bottoms line up.
IMG_3421
Here are all the uneven ends.
Repeat that process 3 times and you will have a tube, open at one end. Stuff the tube with fiber fill.
IMG_3420
Then stick it into the pot. You are DONE.
IMG_3418

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft ’16 Challenge #19 – Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt

For this challenge we were asked to use one or more of this year’s fall fashion trends in our project. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do and then realized we needed a another Christmas tree skirt. (We got a second tree for our travel ornaments last year.) This was a perfect place to use one of the trends. Originally, I was going to do a black velvet skirt (velvet is a trend) with a plaid bias tape trim (plaid is another trend), but I couldn’t find the plaid I was envisioning for the trim in the right fabric. So, I decided to do a plaid skirt with solid trim instead.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Sorry, I didn’t bother to haul the tree out of storage for my photo. As you can see, I have a little bit of the trim to finish, hand sewing binding on takes forever!

Making a Christmas tree skirt is really easy. Pick out your fabric, remembering the diameter of your skirt can only be as big as your fabric is wide. Have the fabric cut, so that it is as long as it is wide. My fabric was 44″, so I needed just under a yard and a quarter.

Buy or make bias tape to edge trim the skirt. It it pretty easy to figure out how much you are going to need. Multiple the diameter you are planning on making your circle by pi, 3.14 to get the circumference. Then add the the diameter to that total. This is the amount you need to trim the opening. Then divide by 36 to get the amount in yards. You will need about another yard on top of that number to trim the center hole and account for any overlap or joins.

Here is the math for mine.
44″ x 3.14 = 138.16″
138.16″ + 44″ = 182.16″
182.16″ ➗ 36 = 5.06 yards

So two 3-yard packages worked out almost perfect for me. I used a 1/2″ double fold tape.

Fold your fabric in half. Use a piece of string and a pen to draw out a half circle. You do this by putting a knot on one end of the string and pinning in the center of your folded edge.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Attach the pen to the other end of the string one half the width you want your final circle. Make sure to hold the folded end down and in place. Pull the string taut and, keeping the pen straight up and down, draw a half circle on the fabric.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Draw a straight line from the edge of the circle to where you string is pinned at the fold for your opening. Draw a smaller circle the same way using the same center point at the fold the size you need for your tree trunk.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Keeping the fabric folded in half, cut out the large circle, the small circle and down the straight line.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt

Now, all you have to do is trim all the cut edges with your bias tape. I say all, but really this is the most time consuming part of the project.

And there you go, a custom tree skirt.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft ’16 Challenge #14 – Sarubobo

This Iron Craft challenge was called Copycat and we were asked to make our own version of someone else’s project. I went to my “Things to make” board on Pinterest to get some ideas. I wanted to do something that wasn’t knitting this time around and was immediately attracted to the cute Sarubobo on Mairuru. These are her adorable versions.
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According to Wikipedia “Sarubobos are red human-shaped dolls, with no facial features, made in a variety of sizes. Traditionally, sarubobos are made by grandmothers for their grandchildren as dolls, and for their daughters as a charm for good marriage, good children and to ensure a well-rounded couple.” Now they are popular souvenirs and come in different colors to represent different wishes. I just thought they were cute.

Here is my final version. I used her recipe #4 which makes for a fatter sarubobo, the pink one above.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
I don’t know if I think it is quite a cute as the original. My hand sewing certainly could use some work.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
I made two of these. The little one is the same size at the original pattern, about 2″ tall, and made from a light canvas or broadcloth. I thought the fabric was too thick to get pointy hands and feet and a smooth enough head. The larger one, I made from my own adapted version of the pattern and is about 2 3/4″ tall. For this one, I use a jersey material. It was easier to work with, but the stretchiness made my stitches pull a bit when stuffed. I think a light cotton like a quilting cotton probably would have been the best thing to use.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
I have put my bigger sarubobo to good use as a needle holder.

Sarubobo

Supplies:

  • light cotton fabric body and head, you only need about 10″ x 5″
  • scrap of fabric for obi
  • pencil or dressmaker’s pen or pencil
  • scissors
  • thread to match body fabric
  • hand sewing needle
  • stuffing

All seam allowances are 1/4″.

1. Download and print the Sarubobo Pattern. This is my adapted version of the pattern which makes the larger size sarubobo. You can reduce it or make it bigger for different size sarubobo. I also changed the length of the stomach piece to allow for a seam allowance at the top. Use the pattern to cut out your pattern pieces.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
Mark the sewing lines if you desire. I found them very helpful on the body piece, but didn’t bother on the head.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
If you want you can cut the seam allowance between the stomach piece and the body. It makes it a little easier to sew together, but be careful to not cut it all the way across. Also pay special attention when sewing at this spot to not get a hole. I did the little sarubobo without cutting this and cut it on the larger one. It did not change the finished look very much.

2. Sew the body – I sewed each side of the body together in one line, hand, stomach, foot. The original version sewed the hands and feet first and then sewing the sides of the stomach in. You can do whichever way works for you, but I will be showing how I did it.

You will be doing the following all as one long straight seam. Starting on one of the hands, fold the corner in half at the point matching the straight edges. Sew along the seam line for 1″ in small straight stitches, this is the point marked “a” on the larger square.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
Open the seam at the end point. Now fold down the small square that is the stomach so point “a” on it matches the point “a” on the body and match up the straight edge.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
Pinning it in place helped me keep it straight while sewing. Sew the side of the stomach piece in place, up until point “b”.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
Now fold the foot at the point, as you did at the hand and continue the seam to the tip. Knot off.

Now repeat for the opposite side. You will have a hole between the hands at the top of the stomach. Your finished piece will look sort of like a turkey.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - SaruboboIron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
For better points on the hands and feet, clip the seam allowance at the points.

3. Stuff and finish body – Turn the body right-side out through the hole. Carefully work out the points at the hands and feet. Stuff and sew the stomach shut.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo

4. Make and attach head – Sew a line of stitches in 1/4″ for the edge on the head piece. You can use a bigger stitch here than on the body. Pull in to start creating the head shape. Stuff and pull the hole shut. I found sewing across the area where the hole is a few times helped pull it in tight and tuck the seam allowance in.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
Sew the head on to the body, hiding the area where the head is sewn together.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo

5. Make the obi – Cut a rectangle of the obi fabric that is twice the width you want the finished obi plus 1/4″ seam allowance and just long enough to go around the sarubobo’s stomach with a 1/4″ overlap. Sew into a tube and fold so the seam is on the back. Wrap around the stomach and stitch together at the back. Be careful not to sew to the sarubobo.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
Make a second tube slightly skinnier and long enough to go around the obi with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Slide that tube between the obi and the body with the seam facing you. (You can see, I didn’t even bother to sew my tube.)
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo
Fold over the obi and sew shut being careful not to sew to the obi. Work this piece around the obi so this last seam is hidden underneath.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo Iron Craft '16 Challenge #14 - Sarubobo

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft ’16 Challenge #9 -Drawstring Project Bag

For this Iron Craft challenge we were asked to make something that could be used for storage. Last year, one of the lovely ladies doing my Mitten Garland Advent Calendar KAL made me this sweet project bag.
IMG_4131
It is such a handy thing for the smaller projects I do that I’ve been wanted more of them. So, I decided to whip one up using the Doctor Who Toile I made for the last challenge. It was the perfect use for the fabric. Here it is in action at knitting last week.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
This is a relatively simple sewing project, with the gussets at the bottom being the most challenging part (and they really aren’t that challenging). I made it even simpler and used shoelaces I had around for the drawstring. If you want a a fancier drawstring sew one up from one of your fabrics.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag

Drawstring Project Bag

You can make this up any size you want, just keep in mind that you will lose width on the bottom and total height to the gusset. You also want it tall enough to have an inch or two of fabric above the drawstring. I started with 12″ wide by 18″ tall squares, my finished bag is 7″ wide at the bottom and just over 14″ tall.

Seam allowance is 1/2″ unless otherwise stated.

Supplies

  • Enough outer and lining fabric to cut 4 matching pieces the size you want. Use a fabric with a little body, like quilting fabric. My inner fabric is a quilting fabric and the outer fabric is an upholstery toile.
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • straight pins
  • matching thread
  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • hand sewing needle
  • dressmakers pen or pencil
  • stitch ripper or small scissors
  • two shoelaces or drawstrings each long enough to go all the way around the bag with a at least 8″ extra length on top of that.

1. Wash and iron your fabrics if your desire. Cut four pieces of fabric, two for the outside of the bag and two for the inside, the exact same size.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
2. Pin the two pieces of outer fabric together with the right sides facing each other. Sew the side and bottom seams. Repeat with the lining fabric.
3. On the outer piece using the bottom seam you just sewed as the middle point, square off the bottom of the bag by making a triangle on each side. You want to side seams and bottom seam to line up on either side of the triangle. My triangles were 4″ wide at the bottom and about 2″ tall. Make sure they are the same size on both ends.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
Sew the bottom of the triangle. Repeat with lining piece.

4. Iron open the side seam on both pieces as far down the bag as you can. Iron the gussets toward the bottom of the bag. I like to hand tack the gussets into place, just sewing the point to the bottom seam allowance. I think it keeps the bag neater.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
5. Turn the outer piece right side out. Decide where you want the drawstring, mine was 3″ from the top of the unhemmed pieces (after hemming it will be 2.5″ from the top). Use a dressmakers pen or pencil to mark that height on both side seams. Then decide how big a channel you need for your drawstring, it needs to be wide enough to pass two strings through it easily. I used a skinny shoelace and my channel was 1/2″ wide. I wish I had given myself another 1/4″. Mark the width you decide on both side seam. Sew a line 1/4″ from either side of the side seam slightly longer, 1/4″ to 1/2″ more is enough, than the width you are doing your channel.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
This will keep the seam allowances in place and make inserting the drawstring a little easier You can also do this will the liner, but it is not as important since you are only opening the channel on the outer piece.

6. Put the liner piece inside the outer piece with wrong sides facing each other. Match up side seams and gusseted bottoms. I like to pin them together at the side seams near the bottom just to make sure everything is in place.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
Fold the top of both pieces inside 1/2″ and pin in place. Iron. Top stitch along the top edge of the bag.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
(Oh, don’t judge my sloppy top stitching please!)

7. Using the marks you made on the side seams in step 5, sew the draw string channel.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
You can see how mine goes through the stitches I made next to the side seams in step 5.

8. With the stitch ripper or small scissors carefully open both side seams at the drawstring channel.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #9 - Drawstring Project Bag
9. Put one shoelace or drawstring through one side seam, work it all the way around the bag and out through the same seam. Put the other drawstring though the other side seam, work it around the whole bag and back out. Tie the ends of the drawstring together on each side and trim if needed.

Fill with a project and take it everywhere!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft ’16 Challenge #4 – Hanging Dishtowel

For this Iron Craft challenge we were asked to use the kitchen as our inspiration. The project could be for the kitchen, made from items found in a kitchen or made using a kitchen appliance. I struggled with and idea for this one and then realized I could make something we really needed, a dishtowel that hangs over a bar.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 4 - Hanging Dishtowel
Now, I realize this is not the most exciting or original project of all time, but it solved a problem in my kitchen. The only good place we have to hang dishtowels is over the handle of the dishwasher. The problem is I am always finding them fallen on the floor. I wanted a way to attach them to the bar, but I didn’t want one of those crochet topped towels.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 4 - Hanging Dishtowel
What I like about how I made my towel is that I used the hem of the towel to hide and secure the ends of the elastic loop. It looks neat and like it was part of the original towel. I went with a simple silver button that blends with the stainless in my kitchen to hang mine, but you could use a really fun button or one that matches your towel exactly. This was a super simple ten minute project, but I’ll walk you through the steps anyway.

Hanging Dishtowel

Supplies:

  • dishtowel with a hemmed edge
  • stitch ripper
  • 1/8″ wide braided elastic
  • scissors
  • thread to match towel
  • hand sewing needle
  • button-One with a shank will be the easiest to button, but any kind will work.

1. Fold the towel in half length-wise to find the center. At the center point, use the stitch ripper to open the hem seam just enough to insert the elastic.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 4 - Hanging Dishtowel
2. Cut a piece of elastic long enough to make a loop that will easily fit over the bar you want to hang your towel on. Make sure to include enough length to insert in the hem of the towel.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 4 - Hanging Dishtowel
Insert the ends of the elastic into the opening you made in the hem of the towel. Make sure it isn’t twisted. Using thread and needle, sew the opening in the hem shut making sure to sew through the elastic a few times to secure it. Don’t cut the thread yet.

3. Bring the thread and needle through the towel opposite the loop and sew the button securely into place.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 4 - Hanging Dishtowel
Now hang a towel that won’t end up on the floor every time someone opens the dishwasher or dries their hands on it.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: A Year of Pillows – State Pillow

I am on a mission to make pillows this year. I see so many that I love around and in the shops. (And they are EXPENSIVE!) So I am going to take it on and sew a bunch. The first pillow in a Year Of Pillows is a lovely state pillow.
Finished Pillow

State Pillow

Supplies:
Pillow

  • linen fabric
  • matching zipper
  • pillow form (or stuffing)

State applique:

  • state shape print out
  • scrap fabric (either one piece or a quilted piece)
  • iron-on paper-back adhesive

Directions:
Sew the pillow cover. (Simple as that?)
For this one I wanted to try a different zipper treatment. I didn’t just do an “invisible” zipper, I did a completely hidden zipper.
Hidden zipper overlap

I sewed one side of the zipper down even with the teeth. The other side I folded and made it overlap so that the fold would fully cover the zipper
zipper detail

State applique:
If you type “(name of state) shape” into Google you will get a lot of choices. Pick one and print it out. Use a photo copy machine if you want to enlarge or shrink you piece.
You could just cut your shape out of one piece of fabric. The silhouette alone would be nice and striking. I wanted to add one more dimension to it, so I made a small quilted piece to cut the state shape out of. To do this, sew pieces of fabric that you like together, and press the seams to get a flat surface.

Quilt piece prepared

Please Note: States (and letters) have a direction (a forwards and a backwards) so it is critical that the State come out on your project facing the right way. To explain the concept lets get some terms down. For the iron-on interfacing there is a paper side and a shiny “glue” side.

Get a print out of your image. If it is not dark enough or the outline is not pronounced enough, retrace over the important lines with a sharpie. This is your TEMPLATE. This needs to be traced to the paper side of the iron- on interfacing. The GLUE side should be “forwards” and the paper side will be “backwards”.
paper transfer

(That is why the outline really needs to be DARK, because you will be tracing it from the wrong side.) Then iron this piece down with the glue side DOWN on the BACK SIDE of the fabric.
shiny side

Cut out the paper and fabric shape along the outline. Then, when you are ready to place the State on your pillow, peel the paper off the State, (now the glue is on the back of the State piece) turn it over so that the glue side is DOWN on the pillow, and now the picture is facing the right direction.

  • print out shape: right direction
  • trace to paper side of interfacing: backwards
  • attach iron to fabric: shiny side down to wrong side of fabric
  • iron on to pillow: right side of fabric

Once the State piece is ironed down, then satin stitch around it for an extra polished finish.
So Cal detail
I love the finished product here. It is whimsical, that is for sure. But I got to use colors that I love but cannot wear. This was a fun project to make.
Finished

Happy Crafting!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: American Girl Doll Mermaid Tail Snugglie

My daughter got an American Girl Doll (equivalent) for her birthday. She is LOVING it.

One of the most popular things in our house (and, on the blog) is her mermaid tail snugglie. So I thought I should whip one up for the new doll too. It was quick and easy and a BIG hit – so here is the pattern.
IMG_8244
Here is a neat fact – this mermaid tail can be made out of the scraps from cutting out the full size tail. So if you buy the fabric for the “big” tail, you can do both!

American Girl Doll Mermaid Tail

Supplies:

  • fleece (Two pieces 21″- 17″ or one piece 42″ x 34″)
  • matching thread
  • paper to draw pattern (an opened up brown paper grocery bag would work)

Directions:
Draw your pattern on the paper.

IMG_8185

Pattern note: the tail shape is pretty wide all the way down because the doll’s feet are flexed and they will need room to be in the tail, even at the “thin” part. Here are the measurements written out on the pattern.
IMG_8204

Take two pieces of fleece and lay them down together, (or fold the one piece in half), place the pattern on top, and cut it out.
IMG_8142
With right sides together (if there is a right side) sew the edges.

I used 1/2 inch seam allowance. Around the top opening, turn under about 1″ as a hem.

IMG_8187

Turn the tail right side out, and push the corners of the tail out to “sharp points”. I gave mine a quick steam so the tail part had a more pronounced shape.
IMG_8210
I hope that your tail is successful and met with the same joy!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: Stadium Seat/Blanket

Many years ago when Matt and I opened an account at a local bank they gave us a stadium seat/blanket combo as a gift. Basically what it is, is a blanket that can be folded into a square and zippered shut to use as a stadium seat. It also has a strap that makes it easy to carry. We have used it for picnics, football game and fireworks. It is just so handy. For Christmas this year I decided to try my hand as sewing some up as presents.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
This is what they look like when folded up and zipped.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Here is one open with the flannel side up. And here it is getting folded up.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Stadium Seat/Blanket
It is the perfect thing to keep in the car for whenever you need a blanket of padded seat.

I used pre-quilted fabric and some nice flannel to make my blankets. The pre-quilted fabric made the quilting really easy for me. You can of course make this without pre-quilted fabric and just add a layer of batting between your fabrics. I would suggest using something like a heavy cotton for the outside.

You could also make this without any batting and use a heavy wool blanket as the inside. They reason I wouldn’t use batting in this case, is because it would make it too thick to zip shut.

Stadium Seat/Blanket

Supplies:

  • 2 yards flannel, 41″ wide
  • 2 yards pre-quilted fabric 42″ wide (or 2 yards backing fabric and 2 yards batting)
  • straight pins
  • scissors
  • thread to match quilting or for quilting
  • sewing machine
  • 48″ dual-separating parka separating zipper
  • small screwdriver (optional)
  • hand sewing needle
  • 1 yd matching webbed strap
  • 2 packages wide double fold bias tape
  • thread to match bias tape

I made two blankets and took pictures as I went, so you’ll see sometimes a green blanket and sometimes a blue one.

1. Wash, dry and iron your fabrics. I’ll warn you up front the pre-quilted fabric shrinks a lot. It’ll actually end up being smaller than the flannel after washing.

2. Quilt the blanket – Put the pre-quilted fabric and flannel together with right sides facing out. Trim and square so they are the same size. (Save a scrap of the flannel, you’ll need it later for the zipper.) (If you are not using pre-quilted fabric, just make a sandwich with batting in the middle.) Pin or baste together. I chose to machine baste the edges to help keep things flat during quilting.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Machine quilt the two fabrics together. Since I was using pre-quilted fabric I just follow some of the lines on it creating 4″ diamonds. I pinned along the lines I was planning to sew to help prevent any buckles or bubbles. (If you are not using pre-quilted fabric, quilt any design you’d like.)
Stadium Seat/BlanketStadium Seat/Blanket
I chose to curve the corners of my blanket for a little less bulk when folded and to make adding the binding a little easier. I just used a coaster as a template.
Stadium Seat/Blanket Stadium Seat/Blanket
3. Prepare the zipper (this took me a few tries to get right, so follow along) –
This should be the zipper you are working with.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
It has two pulls and can be opened from either end, but it will only work one way on the blanket correctly. (Believe me if you do it the wrong way it will not stay closed with the blanket is zipped up into a seat.) When the zipper is closed you will have a pull on both ends.
You want to remove the pull at what you would normally think of as the top of the zipper. I was able to easily pry it off with a screwdriver.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Now you need to close that end so the zipper pull doesn’t come off. Hand stitch the end you just took the pull from to create a stop.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Use a scrap of flannel to make a little sleeve to cover this end of the zipper and sew it on. You don’t need to to this, but it looks more finished and gives a place to hold the zipper when closing it.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Stadium Seat/Blanket
4. Place the zipper on the blanket – Spread the blanket out with the non-flannel side up. You can place your zipper two different ways. Either way it will be along the edge of one of the short sides of the blanket. You can place it so it is in the middle.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Or off to one side along a corner.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Both ways folded up nicely, though the middle version gave a little more of an even seat for sitting on.

Open the zipper and pin the open ends along the edge where you want the middle of the zipper to be.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
Now, you’ll have to play with your zipper a bit to get a rectangle with the bottom and top being the longer sides and the corners being curved. Make sure the other end of the zipper, the one you added the flannel tab to, is directly above the open ends.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
This end of the zipper needs to be placed so the pull is face down.

5. Add strap – Fold the webbing strap in half and pin it in place under the zipper so it’s ends are flush with the edge of the blanket.
Stadium Seat/Blanket
You are placing the strap so it is centered on one half of the longer side of the zipper rectangle, like so.
strap placement
When the blanket is zipped shut the rectangle is folded in half which is why you are centering the strap on half.

6. Sew the zipper and strap into place – I used a 1/4″ seam allowance. Reinforce the stitching over the strap ends.

7. Use the bias tape to bind the edge of the blanket – I was under a time limit so I just pinned it on and sewed through it. If I had a little more time, I would have sewn it on using a hand sewn blind stitch.

Project: Felt Stocking Ornament

Ahhh the stores at Christmas time are lovely. All of the interesting little decorations and baubles are so fun to see. I found a felt stocking at Crate and Barrel that I fell in love it, and  bought it. I wanted to have it as inspiration for the kids to make at school. It is a charmer, so I wanted to share it with you.
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Wool Felt Stocking Ornament

Supplies
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  • cream felt
  • red rick rack
  • green contrast (wool suiting, wool felt, quilting scraps…)
  • red decorative ribbon
  • beads
  • hand sewing needle or beading needle that will fit through the hole in your bead

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Directions
Cut out the stocking shape out of cream felt. (Cut two)
Cut out the trees from the green wool. (for stocking pictured cut 3)
Embroider the trees onto one side of one of the stocking pieces of felt. (I did this with the machine.)
Then add any beading decoration
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Add the rick rack to the edge.  I recommend basting it in place first to just the top layer.

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Cut a short length of decorative red ribbon, form a loop, and stitch this in place. (If you intend to make this a Christmas TREE ornament, I would suggest a shorter loop because you are just going to put a little hook on it. If you intend to make this hang on a door knob or on a mantel display, I suggest a longer loop. ) The last step would be to pin the top to the back and sew them together. I did this on the machine, but this could be done by hand as well.
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I have made this big enough to be a gift card holder too. This would be a nice home-made touch for the teacher/neighbor gifts.

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