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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Handmade Happiness

Handmade Happiness

Happy Holidays! As I attempted and failed to get last minute shopping done out there I decided instead to just craft a few extra items, raid the craft shop and and finish this gift giving thing on up! So, while I am crafting a little bit more I thought I would pop in and send some happy wishes and crafting ideas to help you finish up your lists as well. That way we can all get out of traffic and into fabulous fashions with egg nog in hand by nightfall. 

Here are a few fun crafting gift ideas for making the holidays a fun time for those close to you and for crafting up some handmade gifts!  

Gangster Coloring & Activity Book

Velvet Totes

Baby Hip Hop Outfit

So if you are going to go to one more spot..perhaps it should be the craft shop? Here are some hopefully helpful ideas...

For Her-Clutches & Purses perhaps?

Here are the instructions for making the clutch shown above. 
Materials: stiff interfacing, outside and lining fabric, thin batting (optional), scissors, zipper, thread, sewing machine, fabric to make yourself a pattern (optional)
Lay a piece of your outer fabric on the table folded and cut yourself a set of two rectangle that are about 1.5” wider than the size you want your finished clutch to be. Put one of these pieces aside and repeat. Cut out the matching batting pieces (2) in the same manner and size, as well as 2 lining pieces. Cut a front and back front overlay piece that is as wide as the front panel only comes up about 2” shorter in length and if using a batting cut a piece for the front and back of the overlay as well. Cut a long strip for the handle and fold and sew so you have a thin strap. I also like to cut a small front and back plus matching batting piece for a small pocket that I sew down inside the clutch under the outer flap. I prefer to tuck my clutch strap into a small pocket under the front flap but the choice is yours. If you prefer to use a beaded handle or even a strip of a thin gold cord or something it should look fab! For all areas you want to stiffen, cut one matching piece of the stiff interfacing or use a thin but stiff plastic insert (a plastic cross stitch panel for front, back and the outside overlay will work fine for support).

Begin sewing by making the inside clutch handle if needed and put aside. Take the front flap front panel -fabric facing up- and place the piece of batting behind it, and the right side of the back panel facing inward and sew along the sides and bottom. Turn right side out and press and sew the top edge closed. Put aside and take the materials for the pocket, placing the fabrics the same as you did for the flap and sew yourself a little pocket, and then sew that pocket onto the front panel B-which is the front panel under the flap. Make sure you have sewn the pocket small enough so as to be hidden when you have the overlay added on. Take the front overlay piece and with the fabric facing in, line the visible seam side up with the top of the back panel-fabrics facing in toward each other. Sew the seam and then take your zipper, lining up the back panel (with front flap now added) and sew the zipper seam. Add the lining fabric to the other side and sew to the underside. Keeping your zipper opened slightly and the ends lined up properly, add a long seam to the underside of the front under panel B and then add the inside lining piece to the underside as you did with the other side of the zipper. Sew around the outer edges and bottom of the front and back panels so as to keep all of the layers of fabric flat and together, add the handle to the side of the front under panel B at the top where the zipper is going opening is going to be (*sew the handle 1/3-1/2” below the zipper if you have a wider handle) and then turn the piece inside out and open it up so you have the inside of the both the front and back (flap tucked in) and sew around the edges starting on one of the corners of the lining and working your way up towards the outer panel piece, closing up the bottom of the clutch, up the other side towards the inside lining area again and stopping when you have reached the bottom of the other side *leaving the bottom opening of the lining fabric open. Flip right side out and check to make sure no seams are showing and then pull the lining out and sew up the bottom inside and then you have yourself one fabulous clutch!

For Him-Hawaiian Shirt’s anyone? (I'm finishing this one up..photos to come ;)

Materials: Fabric, interfacing, thread, buttons, sewing machine
I picked out this tropical fabric a while back and have been meaning to make my cutie a Hawaiian shirt so here we go! I happen to have made a Hawaiian shirt pattern I personally like for him but you can easily pick one up at the fabric shops. Altering based on the needed size is not too hard either. I find cutting the materials a bit larger will ensure the item will fit in the end as I can easily size it down as I go and pattern sizes tend to be smaller than the finished garment you were shooting for if you simply follow the sizes on the back. The pattern you are using may or may not have you top stitch those outer seams but I think it looks really nice so assume a smidge larger and your finished project won’t be too small for the person you’re making it for. If you want a specific size for a friend but don’t know how big that is in real sizes, judging the pattern along with the American sizing standard (wiki it-it’s easy ;) will prove useful in that area. Usually if you cut the materials a smidge bigger you’ll be alright when finishing it up and don’t forget cotton will shrink so I always like to remind you to either wash your fabrics before you sew them or make the items with the shrinkage allowance taken into consideration. These shirts might seem rather detailed and time consuming but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I originally expected. I learned from the first shirt I made that I should have made the collar and lining a smidge bigger when originally cutting the fabric but other than that, it was not too challenging. When top stitching the seams I definitely recommend ironing the seams before sewing them down so you get a nice straight stitch. Also, take your time and make small clean little button holes and it will look professional and like something he will want to wear.professionng that the gifted party will actually want to wear.
And then we have a few gifts for everyone, because they’re awesome…

Footsie Pajamas-Grab yourself a sewing pattern at your local sewing shop for a pair of adult zipper down the front pajamas. If you are unsuccessful at finding a pattern for this style in the pajama section of the pattern books then check out the costume patterns section for adults and you will find an appropriate pattern to use. Don’t forget to pick up about ¼ yard of additional fabric if the pattern you are using does not include footsies. When making the feet to add on you are going to want to cut an upper foot piece to add on and then a bottom piece that is the full size of your foot, or the size of the foot of the person you are making them for. Cut the feet big-you can always size them down-and though everyone likes the slipper bottom foot material, I always found a soft material best so my feet don’t sweat from that thin pleather-type fabric used for the pjs when I was a little one. Don’t forget to pick up a smidge of elastic (under a yard will do) in order to add hidden elastic around the ankles of the pjs. You can add the elastic around the ankles if desired after you have made the rest of the outfit. A sewing pattern like this will work... http://goo.gl/fUH92

Pillow Cases with Messages-Whether you are hoping to bust out some Star Wars themed gear for the friends or ‘wake me for kisses and coffee’ messages to your sweetie, it’s not a bad gift giving idea and all you need are some plain pillow cases and some fabric paint, a paint brush and a stencil and you’ve got yourself a sweet set of pillow cases as gifts. They will make all your non-messaged pillow cases seem boring I assure you and if you want to craft yourself up a few new plain pillow cases it’s even nicer-all handmade baby! All it takes is about ¾ yard of fabric and some thread and sewing the inside seams, folding over the top opening and then adding your images or designs is easy peasy! If you’re planning on making your own pillow cases then I recommend adding the designs to the fabric panels before sewing them together but if you happen to have a set of made pillow cases you won’t have that option. Everyone can use pillow cases and if you theme the gift appropriately such as chemistry designs for the chemist and such you just might have yourself a winner. Ohh you think this idea is dull do you? Let’s just see what old images I have kicking around here that will work for these…

Ohh yeah, the Ponch will do just fine for these...
Uh-huh. Not so bored now are you?
I didn’t think so.
Now go get crafting ya maniac, and think up something clever for your ohh so funny friends…

If you have art work you would like to add to a pillow case then I always recommend taking a photo of the art and printing it on iron on material (don’t forget to reverse the image first so it’s the right way when the print is ironed on) and then sewing the pillow cover front and back panel together but again, if you are working with pre-made pillow covers then slipping the pillow case over an ironing board with a towel or layer of cotton fabric on the underside will do the trick. Follow the directions on the packaging for iron on transfers. http://twistedsifter.com/2010/06/the-saturday-strip-week-11/

These images work well added to glass prayer candles as well ;)

Gangster Coloring & Activity Book-Do you know how difficult it is to find yourself a Gangster Coloring Book? It’s really rather difficult. I saw these years ago and totally wanted to give a few as gifts but they were at one point apparently voted one of the worst gifts so they seem to have fallen out of circulation since. Lame. So I made my own and it is totally awesome! Once you’ve finished laughing feel free to make you own. The real question is how creative are you? Imma listenin’ (continues to color)…

Here are a few photos from mine to help you along...

Happy Holidays & Happy Crafting!
Thank you so much for stopping by. As I finish up this post I would like to wish all of you the happiest of holidays and a fabulous New Year.  For any of you looking for last minute gifts I have a number of items shown in this blog post listed in the shop so order away and for those of you crafting your own, best of luck but I know you won’t need it as your items will look great no matter what you decide on whether it's clutches, pjs or even Baby Hip Hop styles for the munchkins!  
xoxo-Lindsay ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stuff It, Wrap It & Send a Bit of Cheer!

Happy holidays my fabulous crafters and creative guests.  The holidays are upon us and I am still listing new items in the shop! How very slow of me, I know. But I am planning on making up for my last minute procrastination by whipping up a bunch of handmade gifts and you can too! Let’s start by making ourselves some stuffed animals and wild creatures…

Stuff It! You are going to want to start by grabbing yourself a whole mess of fabrics, scissors, stuffing, and either a sewing needle if you are sewing these by hand or your sewing machine so you can whip up some creatures of your own! Begin by making the ‘add-ons’ such as the legs, tails, arms, etc. and sewing them to the panels before sewing the panels together-leaving just enough of an opening  in order to be able to turn the creature right side out again, stuff, and then sew up the small opened area. One of the best ways to delve into this project is to check out stuffed animals online and then go from there. You can toss a squeaky inside while stuffing, you can leave out the stuffing if desired, you can add plastic eyes for those that prefer the look, whatever your crafting heart is content with really.


Supreme Leader

Tiki Mouse, Squiggles and Azteca in the upper right...

Clarice Woot! is so happy it's the holidays! 

This is what my bat wing looked like for Batzie before I sewed them on...

Batzie & Hip Hop...

MC is in the house...

& the whole gang...

Materials list for making your own: A whole mess of different fabrics, Stuffing (optional), Thread/s, Scissors, Sewing needle or sewing machine.

W(rap) It! I will share a little something with you here. I totally love rap and hip hop and last year right before Christmas I thought up the idea of what I call my Chicken ‘n Waffles Gift W(rap). I never actually got around to making any (the downside to coming up with a cool idea a week before the holidays) but this last Thanksgiving when Macklemore tweeted how he was thankful for Chicken ‘n Waffles I was like “that’s it! I’m making my Chicken & Waffles Gift W(rap) this year!” I love these and they even work as tablet/ electronic pouches after you’ve given the gift so if you are thinking you need something super fresh to give to a buddy, I say Gift W(rap) that present!

Front cover...

back cover...

You like? 
imma show you how to make your own ;)

Materials:  fabrics, scissors, thread, Velcro or a snap for closure at the top, and a cd or dvd cover so as to get the appropriate shape for your gift w(rap).

grab yourself some cd's, books, dvd cases, etc for size.

(imma put that outcast cd in while working-recommended ;)

cut your felt accessory pieces like this

cut your pocket front and back pieces as shown above 

and then lay your accessories out on top...

1) fold over the felt, line up the plastic to the back and sew the side seams.
2) sew the red tab so it's doubled up and then add the red tab & snap 
3) ready to gift w(rap) my friend...

like this...


How-to: Cut the fabric pieces for the front and back, leaving a little extra on the sides for the seam allowance and depth needed, cut a half pocket for the back (optional),  and a tab at the top to close the pouch with either velcro or a snap to hold it closed once the gift has been inserted. You are also going to want fabric paint to get the waffle print on and clear plastic if desired. I went with yellow and red for colors to brighten up the neutral colors of the Chicken and Waffles. I also imagined that when my brother opens his gift w(rap) the first words out of his mouth are going to be “what the hell is this?” I solved that with the star on the back. That’s right, it’s Chicken ‘n Waffles yo! (just in case you’re blind…) And if you were wondering if I put a copy of The Heist inside that Chicken ‘n Waffles Gift W(rap), you know I did ;)

So go be awesome and buy yourself some sweet music and then wrap it all nice! You owe it to yourself and your friends not to be boring. Were you just going to wrap your presents in paper? Boring. Fabric even? Fine for those who sew, kind of odd for those that don’t. If however you think Grandpa and even Uncle Mason aren’t  going to have the same affection for Chicken ‘n Waffles Gift W(rap) then do something like wrap the present in a simple cotton shopping  tote perhaps? They are a cinch to make and instead of wrapping items in paper or fabric, you have managed to also give an additional gift that they will be able to use all year long. For the gift wrapping for the guys I like to tone down the prints. A friend might love guitars but that doesn’t mean he wants to carry around a guitar tote to the grocery store so solid colors and the idea of keeping it simple works. For those friends and family where I know one of them is more often to do the shopping I might specifically go with the colors that person likes. So if I know my brother’s girlfriend’s favorite color is pink, I might make both his and her gift totes both pink so as to give her a matching set. It’s also an excellent opportunity to tease my brother about how I made his pink so as to match his princess outfit :p

& Send a Bit of Cheer… Along with making stuffed creatures and gift wrapping awesomeness, a little note card always brightens someone’s day so craft yourself some fabulous little holiday cards and note tags and such will prove useful and fun as well. If you don’t want to make note cards then you are free to skip this part and just supplement with bottles of alcohol or desserts. Trust me, it works ;)

Supreme Leader insists that you love these Holiday UFO Greeting Cards!

I will be back this afternoon/ tomorrow morning with another fun post on additional holiday gift gear (the post was simply too long so I’ve split it into a part I & II essentially) so check back then and for anyone still looking for last minute gifts I am still shipping items, and am shipping all packages usps priority 2-3 day delivery in the states so you are safe to order items and receive them before Christmas. And yes, you will DEFINITELY see new items in the shop up until Wednesday. I know it’s last minute but that means super deals for you and you still get the items by Christmas.  Not such a bad deal for all of you, despite this slow elf’s crafting production! You can find the shop here > www.Craftzies.etsy.com

Is this a lounging/ activity mat for my sister's rabbit? 
Why yes it is! Now that's what I call making it magical ;)

Have an awesome day & happy crafting-Lindsay ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Custom Dining Room Slip Covers

-Personalizing Your Style-

Nothing is more exciting than decorating your home and adding your own personal style to that design process. Throughout  the last few years I have made a variety of dining room slip covers and I wanted to share a few of those images with you, as well as show the various styles available for you to choose from in the event that you are interested in having slip covers made for yourself.

This morning as I meandered the internet for slip covers for chairs I found quite a variety. This is also consistent with the variety of requests I receive from customers, each one a bit more different than the last. In short, I can pretty much make any type of chair cover. Knowing what my customers are looking for when it comes to style helps a great deal but despite that, I am always happy to help guide those that need it through the design and ordering process because I know it can be rather overwhelming. 

The time I invest in putting together the project details behind the scenes once your measurements have been received including the yardage that will be calculated, fabric picked, and creating a pattern to fit your style requests take a decent amount of time on my part and so it is my hope that this particular post will serve to lead you through some of the basics so that by the time you are ready to contact me for an order, you already have an idea of what you would like in the way of style.

The chair style for your dining room chair covers is either going to be the general Parsons styled chair, or other. If it is different, then I require an image, and you are free to send that along via etsy or via email (Craftzies@gmail.com). I just ask that you message me via etsy-my favorite mode of communication when it comes to orders on Craftzies-and let me know you have emailed me an image. 

Knowing the quantity of slip covers you are looking for is necessary when determining the fabric you would like for two important reasons. First, I need to make sure there is enough fabric available for the project you are interested in and I cannot do that until I know how many slip covers you need. This mainly comes into play with upholstery fabrics at local shops such as Mill End where they purchase a limited supply of a particular fabric and they either have enough of the print you are interested from their availability at their one store, or between their two stores.

If the shop does not have enough of the fabric you have selected in order to fulfill your request, you can either decide to mix that fabric up with another fabric, or go with another fabric print altogether in which the yardage needed is available for your entire order. The second reason why the quantity is needed in order to determine the yardage is because multiples of slip covers in conjunction with upholstery fabrics picked, ends up leading to less yardage needed for the project. That means that if you want one upholstery slip cover you may find it requires two and a half to three yards of fabric in order to complete the project but the request for a set of six may in the end require only 14-15 yards of fabric.

Measurements are essential for determining the specific yardage needed though many customers ask what the general yardage is for one slip cover, and also for multiples up to sets of 8 and I would say you are looking at about 3 yards of medium weight cotton fabric needed for a parsons styled slip cover that is full length with a draw string, hidden elastic or side ties to cinch up the back. That does not include the fabric needed for a set of 4 rosettes in back which is about  an additional half yard and usually an alternate fabric option. Slip covers that have arms also require around half to ¾ yards of fabric to cover the arms per slip cover.

Fabrics that are on the bolt usually have a width of around 44/45” and require more yardage than the wider fabrics that are of upholstery quality. The general yardage needed, based on my project notes, is about 15-16 yards of fabric for a set of 8 full length upholstery slip covers. If you were interested in a set of 6 to 8 slip covers in medium weight cotton fabric with a print, you can expect a minimum of 2.75-3 yards of fabric per slip to compensate for the narrower width and the pattern being matched up throughout.

If the chair style you are looking to cover differs from that of a standard parsons styled chair then I really like to have an image of your chair, whether it is an image you pulled off line from the manufacturer or one you took yourself. Many customers like to save themselves some time and send over the measurements from the manufacturer. Images are fine but I usually ask for additional measurements as what they provide is usually just so you know if the chairs will fit under a table or in the space you have, and are not enough to get a solid fit on my part when making your new slip covers.

The fabric you pick will determine not only the yardage needed, but if more than one bolt of fabric is needed for the project as you can expect about 12-15 yards of fabric on bolts in the fabric stores. In some cases they may have less though places like Joann’s usually carries about 14-15 on full bolts when they arrive in the stores (that’s what they say at least). Again, upholstery fabric in quantities yields less yardage needed, fabrics on the bolt as opposed to the rolls usually has a narrower width and that-along with fabric patterns in which the pattern needs to be matched up-alters the yardage needed. In many cases customers like to send me fabrics they have picked and I have no problems with that. You will see details on ordering and sending fabrics and such in my other blog posts, and I have listed those below for quick reference.

Upholstery Fabrics- http://www.craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/07/upholstery-fabrics.html

Fabric Bolts! Fabric Bolts!- http://www.craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/07/fabric-bolts-fabric-bolts.html


The real question is what style you are interested in? Here are some options to ponder:

Full Length Slip Cover-This style offers a straight, simply skirt with a cinch in the center back that is by way of a drawstring, hidden elastic or side ties.

Short and Simple Slip Cover-This style is similar to that of the Full Length Slip Cover described above however the skirt on this is much shorter, falling anywhere from about 6”-12” in length. The skirt can be gathered, pleated or with all sorts of frills and other such details as well.

Chair Back Slip Cover-This is a style in which only the back of the chair is covered. This requires much less fabric and prices are lower than the full length versions.

Seat Slip Covers-This style is where only the chair seat is covered, attached via ties or snaps.

 These slip covers are usually machine washable and can be made in solid colored medium weight cotton, medium weight cotton print, or even an upholstery fabric. Prices for solid cotton is the lowest price, cotton prints slightly higher, and then upholstery is priced higher. Upholstery fabrics picked are priced slightly differently than the cotton fabrics chosen in which I charge you for the fabric needed and then a flat rate for the work. You can also expect to pay the shipping fees that the postal service charges me and in some cases I am able to offer you an estimate of what shipping costs will be. My price is around $15-$20 per slip cover for the work, not including materials or shipping for upholstery fabrics, and I have on Craftzies an estimate of around $55+ for slip covers in upholstery weight fabric as fabric priced around $17/ yard + ends up being around that $55 for a finished, full length slip cover similar to what you see in teh images below.

Whether you would like a shorter chair skirt, a simple no-frill styled skirt, tiered layers, zippers to cinch up the slip cover backs, draw string to cinch, hidden elastic, side ties, or something entirely different, together we can design something perfect for your slip covers.

For example, the customer who ordered this set of slip covers had a set of twins and opted for the hidden elastic in order to cinch the back up because she didn’t want her boys to go around pulling out the ties in back whenever she wasn’t looking. Hidden elastic in back solved any potential problems there.

This customer only wanted the back of her chairs covered, and she needed them to be tight because her cat was on a personal mission to destroy the chair backs. A tight weave from an espresso suede cloth and wide wraps around side ties with a big button solved continued cat destruction.

Here are a few more from previous orders to give you an idea of fabric choices and styles.

The budget you are working with is also important to keep in mind when planning your project. Upholstery fabrics tend to run about $17+ per yard, and you are looking at about 2.5-2.75 yards on average for one full length slip cover and around 12.5-13.5 for sets of 6, and about 15-16 yards for sets of 8, give or take a bit based on additional details. Medium weight fabrics in solids are usually the most economical based on price per yard, especially when comparing those prices to the yardage for upholstery weight fabrics, and prints that are more referred to as quilters cottons have a tendency to require around 3 solid yards per slip cover and that does not decrease all that much when you increase the quantities because of the narrower width and in the case of prints, the extra materials needed in order to compensate in that regard.