Thursday, November 12, 2009

Miniature Candy Pumpkins

These are really cute to put on pretty much anything- last year I put them on a spice cake, and this year on the pumpkin patch cupcakes. The picture above was made using a spice cake and homemade frosting with honey and spices.


-1 tbs softened butter

-2 tbs corn syrup

-1/8 tsp salt

-food coloring

-1 cup powdered sugar


1. Mix together butter, corn syrup, salt and salt.

2. Gradually add powdered sugar until dough is stiff, then knead with your hands

3. Seperate the dough into sections. Dye some of it orange (red and yellow) for the pumpkins. Dye some green for leaves (I add a tiny bit of yellow and red in as well to make it less bright and more natural looking), then some brown (just combine all the colors and keep adding them until it looks right!). You can also leave some dough white, to make white pumpkins!

4. Roll the orange into a ball, then using a knife press lines around the pumpkin (see picture to understand this better!) Mold a stem then press it on the pumpkin, then mold the leaves.

Halloween Baking/Recipes - cupcakes! #1

I love baking, so when we decided to have a halloween party I naturally started planning what I'd make! I tried some new things this time, and I'd like to share the recipes/creations I came up with you! I found pictures of some of the ideas online, and decided to create them with my own spin. They're really easy and use box mixes (because I was making a lot, so I didn't want to make them all from scratch!). I'll post one a day in the next few days.

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

These cupcakes taste amazing, and they are surprisingly light and fluffy! They are also quite healthy compared to standard cupcakes- the pumpkin puree replaces the oil normally used in cake mix.

- 1 Vanilla or White cake mix
- 15 ounce can of pumpkin (like the kind you use for pie)
- 1 container of cream cheese frosting- or a batch of homemade cream cheese frosting (easy and delicious!)
- 24 miniature edible pumpkins (see next post!)
-1 egg
- a little bit of water
-cupcake pan


1. Preheat oven according to box mix
2. Mix together cake mix, full can of pumpkin, and egg. The batter will be a little thicker than standard cake batter, but it shouldn't be too different. If it is really thick, add some water gradually until it looks about right. This works best if you use an electric mixer and beat it quite a bit; this helps to add the light, airy texture t the cupcakes.
3. Pour the cake mix and fill the cupcake pans 2/3rds of the way full. Bake until done-assume it will be abut as long as it says on the box, but check frequently as the pumpkin may cause them to bake a little differently.
4. Put the frosting in a bowl, then whip it for a few minutes with a mixer. Especially do this if you use store bought frosting. It makes it lighter, airier, and easier to spread. After the cupcakes cool, frost them and top with sprinkles and miniature pumpkin! I frosted these in a purposefully messy pattern, swirling the knife as I went (if that makes sense!)

Meet Butternut!

I've been so distracted from my sewing projects lately because of my new baby- a bunny! I got him when he was 8 weeks old. He's now 11 weeks old, and is growing very fast!

I'm almost done with a couple shirts, complete with ruffles, pearls, and rosettes :). Keep looking!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sewing space FINALLY set up!

I finally have my craft corner set up in my new place- check it out!

The chair is one I got at goodwill and remade. I'll be posting a tutorial on that in the next couple days. I've also been working on my halloween costume, so check back for that! Finally, I have a series of shirt remakes in the works as well that will probably be going up on etsy. Enjoy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More posts coming soon...

I know it'd been forever since I've posted, but moving is crazy and I haven't even set up my sewing machine yet! Keep checking though-more is coming soon, I promise!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Upcycled Dresser using decorative paper - Tutorial!

I got this dresser at a garage sale for 5$. It was completely raw wood, and very dirty! I wanted to find a way to spruce it up without spending a fortune, and managed to do it for FREE, using just the supplies I had on hand. For the paper, I had a piece of scrapbook paper that I loved but didn't know if they sold anymore. So, I scanned it in and printed off copies of it. You can either do that or use scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or anything else you like!
What you need:
- 1 crappy dresser
- interior (latex) house paint
- paper of your choosing- enough to cover your drawers
- mod podge
- brushes: one for paint, one foam one for the mod podge
- optional: contrasting paint for the knobs, new decorative knobs, etc.

Step 1: Prep the dresser. If the dresser already has paint on it or a varnish, you will want to sand it down so the paint will stick. Wipe the dresser down after sanding it.

Step 2: Take the drawers out, and paint the dresser. You’ll want to do several light coats, depending on the color of your paint. If it’s dark, you’ll need less; light you’ll need more.

Step 3: Now’s the fun part. Take the knobs out of the dressers (you might need a power screw driver for this). Cut the paper to size—you can use several sheets to cover one drawer, just try to line the paper up so it matches. Paint a quick layer of mod podge on the wood and press the paper on.

Step 4: Poke holes in the paper where the knobs will screw back in. Paint another layer of mod podge over the paper on the drawers. Next, paint the knobs if necessary, then screw them back in.

Depending on your dresser style, you may need to paint the sides of the drawers where the paper doesn’t cover. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Etsy Shop and Teacup Pincushions

I finally set up my etsy shop! I'm still not done, but it's getting there :). I have some pincushions I made with vintage china that I'm putting up for sale. I really wish I could keep them, but I simply don't have the room or the money to keep making stuff and keeping it!
Check it out at
Here's a picture of the ones that will be going up in the next couple days, curtesy of the Photographer:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ruffle Pillow Tutorial

These are really easy to make, and really cute!

What you'll need:
-2 pieces of cotton in the desired color a little bigger than the size you want your pillow to be
-poly fill/stuffing/batting
-strips of jersey or knit (you can use a t shirt for this!), enough to cover the length of the pillow with them slightly overlapping. The length of the strips should be the width of the pillow plus another half.

Step 1: Sew a gathering stitch down each strip, then gather to the width of the pillow.

Step 2: I forgot to take a picture at this step, but it's pretty straightforward. Sew each of the ruffles to the cotton, slightly overlapping. This works best if you start at the bottom, then sew the next one so the bottom of it slightly overlaps and hides the seam of the first ruffle. I left a slight gap on the top because I didn't want the ruffles to go all the way to the top, then stitched a ribbon along the top ruffle.

Step 3: Sew the two cotton pieces together, making sure to catch the ruffles in the pillow at the right place. Then, stuff the pillow and sew up the opening. You're done!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Projects to come

I've been thinking of more t shirt refashions that I could do, and the possibilities seem pretty endless. Here are some pictures of shirts I'm going to be attempting in the future, as soon as I get my hands on some more T-shirts:

Friday, August 28, 2009

More coming soon... I promise

Sorry about the lack of posts, I've been very sick :(. I will be having some new tutorials coming up hopfully in the next couple days. I'm also thinking about changing my blog name to something a little more descriptive, so if the name changes don't be surprised!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Smocked Dress

I love smocking right now, and am using it on everything! Here's the first smocked dress I made. It was definitely experimental, but I think it turned out well and I learned a lot from it! I love the fabric especially- it is so cheerful and vintage-looking.
I have a bunch of fabric all ready for more smocked dresses- I'm also planning on putting some of them on etsy, since I love to make them but can only keep so many! I also want to make another one of these with the same fabric. Check back to see the polka dot one that I'm working on now...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ruffle Rose Tank - Tshirt Refashion Tutorial Part II

Here's the second part of the ruffle rose tank tutorial - the rose appliques!

Step 1: Pull out those strips you cut earlier. Make sure your top thread matches the fabric that you're using. Grab the end of one of the strips and fold it over into a little scrunched design- there's really no rhyme or reason to this,so just do what you think looks good for the center. Pin it on your shirt where you want the center of the rose to go.

Step 2: Put the presser foot down on the center of your rose, and start to sew. Sew a little ways past the center on the strip, then fold the strip at a 90 degree angle, and sew down a short ways. Flip the strip again, this time at a slightly bigger angle. Continue doing this all the way around in a spiral, until the rose is the size you're looking for. This may sound really confusing, but if you look at the pictures and give it a try you'll figure it out- it's really easy, and the best part is it doesn't have to be perfect. Every rose will be unique.

Step 3: Once you have the rose the size you want, cut the remainder of the strip off so you have about an inch. Tuck it under the last layer in a way that hides the edge, then stitch to the end.You're done! These really just take practice-you can get creative with them and figure out different ways to fold them as you're sewing. Follow the pictures and you should be fine!
NOTE: If you flip the fabric over and look at the back, the bobbin thread should be tracing a spiral out on the shirt. This can really help guide you if your rose is looking a little crooked or lopsided!

Enjoy! Post links to pictures if you make any of these!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Flower Ruffle Tank - Tshirt refashion tutorial, Part I

This project resulted in what is now my favorite shirt. The best part? It cost me 2 dollars and took half an hour. AND, no hemming, because it's a cotton knit!

What you need:
-A blank cotton Tshirt - either new or used, but it needs to be as big as possible. Michaels has them for 3 dollars, sometimes on sale for 2. I wear a small and bought a XXL, but I also only used about half of the extra fabric.
-Thread matching the color of your shirt-A tank top that will be used as your cutting guideline

Step 1: Lay out the tank top on top of the t shirt. Line up the part that goes over your shoulders with the fold on the t shirt. Make sure it's centered, or it will fit weird.

Step 2: Cut it out! First, cut the bottom strip off so the length is correct.Keep in mind how tightly the tank top you're cutting around fits, and how much tshirt material stretches (it does, but not as much as ribbed tank tops do!) Either way, leave at least about an inch on each side as a seam and error allowance- you can alter it to fit better later. Make sure that the shoulder pieces stay together (so the back and front are still connected). Cut out the desired shape and depth of your neckline as well.

Step 3: Sew the sides together. Now let's look at the fabric you cut off. First, look a the strip you cut off the bottom. You'll want to cut this in to strips about 3/4 of an inch. You will need at least a couple of these; I would suggest three. If you don't have enough fabric to do this, you'll have to use some of the fabric you cut off the sides for it. These strips will be for the roses, which I'll get to later. The picture below doesn't show these (sorry).

Step 4: Cut the sleeves off of the extra side material you have. Then, cut the shoulder, so it lays flat. Now, you'll cut the ruffles out. Measure around your neckline, from front to back to front again. Multiply this number by somewhere between 1.5 to2 (2 will be fuller ruffles, 1.5 will be a little more subtle), then cut strips from the fabric and sew them together to get the correct length (that got when you you multipled before). When do you this, make sure you cut a smooth line as these won't be hemmed! Any jagged edges will show and look bad.

Step 5: Sew the ends of the ruffle together (so you have a loop), then do a running stitch down the length of it. Gather and pin to your neckline with the shirt INSIDE OUT, and the raw edges together. This way, whe you turn the shirt right side in, you should be able to flip the ruffle over and the raw edges will be hidden. Flip the ruffle, the sew it in place all the way around.
Ruffle pinned to wrong side, before sewing:

And after (it looks a little crooked in the picture, but it isn't I promise!):

Check back tomorrow for part two: making the rose appliques! I promise they're super easy (each one took me about 2 minutes) and look beautiful!

For Part Two Click HERE

Pictures, future tutorials, and etsy!

I'd like to apologize for the poor pictures in all my tutorials. I've been away from my Photographer, and have had to rely on my less than amazing skills. Good news though-I will soon be moving and will be near The Photographer again, so amazing pictures will be accompanying my tutorials in no time at all.

I also will be posting some items in my Etsy shop as soon as The Photographer can take some pictures for me.

Check back later tomorrow for a tutorial of one of my all time favorite projects- A rose ruffle tank refashion from a plain old t-shirt. It will be truly amazing, I promise (and it only takes about 30 minutes to complete).

Also, check out the my mama made it exchange button to the right. Yay for sewing supplies exchanges!

Button up ruffle shirt - Men's shirt refashion tutorial

I have a number of men’s dress shirts that my grandparent’s gave me when cleaning out their closet. They are all made with beautiful fabric, and I’ve been trying to find something to do with them. So, the men’s XL dress shirt refashion was born!The larger shirt that you use, the more fabric for the ruffles and flowers you’ll have.
Here’s a before picture of the shirt I used:

What you need:
- one large men’s dress shirt (the bigger the better!)
- elastic thread (for smocking)

Step 1: cut the sleeves of off the shirt, following the seam closely- the seam should wind up on the sleeve portion, not the main torso. Trim the sides of the shirt to fit you

Step 2: cut the collar off the shirt, then trim the neckline so it matches the shape and depth you want. Cut the sleeves into strips (for the ruffles). You’ll want to measure the length of the neckline, from the front around the back to the front again. Cut the strips to double this length-you will probably need to sew multiple ones together to achieve this length-with whatever width you want your ruffles to be.

Step 3: fold the ruffles in half (width wise), the press and stitch along the top of the raw edges with a gathering stitch. Finish the two edges (turn them in and stitch). Gather. Turn the shirt inside out, then pin the ruffles around the neckline, gathering to fit. The ruffle should be against the wrong side of the shirt.
Step 4: sew the ruffle to the neckline, raw edge to raw edge. Then flip the ruffle over to the right side of the shirt. Now, the raw edges should be hidden between the ruffle and the shirt. Stitch around the neckline to hold the ruffle down, about ¼ of an inch away from the neckline. Pin the edges of the shirt, then stitch them together.

Step 5: Trim the bottom of the shirt to the desired length. There are two things you need to make with the remaining fabric from the sleeves and the bottoms and sides of the shirt: A belt, and the yoyo flowers (four of them). The belt needs to be long enough to reach around your waist and then tie in a bow in front. If you don’t know how to make yoyos refer to my yoyo flower belt tutorial. Cut out the pieces for each of these, and make the yoyos. For the belt, sew the raw edges together width wise, then turn it inside out and finish the ends. Note: I also added a second ruffle just in front of the shirt, because i had extra fabric. I just sewed the fabric together as you did the belt, then ruffled it and stitched it on under the first ruffle.

Step 6: Smock the waistline of the shirt. I did four rows of smocking, but you can do however many you want. If you don’t know how to smock, check out my smocking tutorial.

Step 7: Hem the bottom and armpits of the shirt, then attach the yoyos down the front of the shirt by hand, around/in between the buttons. If necessary, tack the ruffle down in certain areas (if it stands up too much). Now, you’re finished!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Flower Belt

This belt is a really cute addition to any shirt or dress, and it takes very little fabric. I’d get ¼ of a yard to be safe, but you really only need a little over 1/8 of a yard. In this tutorial, the belt is about an inch wide and there are 7 flowers (also called yoyos), but you can vary this however you like. Sorry, I didn’t do a very good job of taking pictures as I went on this one!
Things you need:
- 1/8 – 1/4 yard of fabric (at least 44” will work best)
- 7 buttons (or one for every flower you want to make).
- Needle and thread, sewing machine.

Step 1: Cut out the main belt piece, but cutting a strip two inches wide all the way down the length of the fabric, so you have a piece about 2 inches by 44. Fold over, right side in, and sew. Turn right side out, and iron. Turn edges in and press, then sew to finish them.

Step 2: Make the flowers. I made two sizes. For the smaller size, cut a 1.5 by 6 inch strip of fabric. For the larger size, cut a 3 by 9 inch strip. Fold it over right side in and sew, then turn right side out and finish the edges off like the belt.

Step 3: By hand, stitch a line down the seam, through only one piece of fabric (so, not through both of the pieces. It will gather better this way). Then, pull to gather the fabric into a flower and stitch the edges together. Here’s picture of the belt, with some finished flowers and some in progress flowers.
Step 4: Sew the flowers on the belt. I staggered them up and down on the belt, but you can place them however you want. Then, sew the buttons on in the center of each of the flowers. I made a mistake and only bought 6 buttons, so I’m missing one. Enjoy your new belt!
I made this belt to go with the shirt, which I also made. It has really neat straps in the back, and pleats where the shirt and the straps meet. I'm thinking about drafting a pattern for it; would anyone be interested in one?

Smocking Tutorial

Smocking is super easy, and it’s a wonderful way to make dresses, shirts, and just about everything else. It is really flattering and allows for a lot of flexibility of fit.
What you need:
- elastic thread
- sewing maching
- fabric, or whatever project you’re working on and want to smock

Step 1: Wind the elastic thread around the bobbin. You HAVE to do this manually; if you do it with your machine it will stretch the elastic, which you don’t want. When you wind the bobbin, you want to make sure that it is to the point where it is almost stretching the elastic, but not quite.
Step 2: Put the bobbin in your machine. It’s really important that you do this correctly. Some machines will sew ok with normal thread even if the bobbin isn’t threaded exactly right (mine is like this), but with elastic thread it will not work.

Step 3: Sew! You want the right side of the fabric to be up, so that the elastic is on the underside. As you sew, you should see the fabric bunch behind you. This is what the underside of the smocked material should look like:
And here's one of my smocked dresses:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ruffle Elastic Belt - Tutorial

While garage sale hunting this weekend, I bought some great vintage knit fabric at a dollar a yard. I've been working on several projects-ruffle pillows coming!- and am working on some tutorials. Here's the first!

This project is great, because it gives you two options. You can either make a ruched, elasticized best or a ruffly (also elastic) belt. The only difference is the ruffles, so you can even decide partway through making it which you want it to be!***NOTE: The measurements below are based on me, and on me the ruffle part stretches about 2/3 around my waist. To make your belt fit you, simply take the ratio of my waist measurement and the measurements below and multiply it by the measurement of your waist. My waist measures 26 inches. If this doesn't quite make sense, let me know and I'll try to clarify.

What you need:
-fabric for belt -muslin or cotton works well, 20 inches long and 4 inches wide
-66 inches of of 3/8" elastic (4 times 16.5 for four rows-adjust measurement as needed but keep same ratio!)
-For ruffles: 3 or 4 strips of fabric 32 inches long, 2 inches wide- I used a knit/jersey that worked perfect, because it didn't have to be hemmed. I used three ruffles, but you can use three or four.
-more of belt fabric for the straps: 4 strips 4 inches wide by how ever long you want.

There are two ways to do the ruffling on this belt. You can sew the ruffles on before you put the elastic in, or after. Both ways have their challanges, and I did the ruffles after-which I think is the harder way to do it. I'll describe both ways, and you can decide which you prefer!
Regardless, the first couple steps are the same:

1) Sew your two main belt pieces together, wrong side out. Turn right side out and press.

2) Next, you'll add the elastic casing. Place tick marks where you want the elastic to be seperated (so, divide the height of the belt in half, then half again for fourths). Sew a running stitch all the way down the belt, going in as straight of a line as possible. Note here: no one can sew a straight line. Mine was all over the place, partially because was making this up as I went. If you use the correct width elastic that I designate, than even if you wiggle around a big while sewing it shouldn't be an issue.
3) If you are putting ruffles on your belt before putting the elastic in, it's time to make the ruffles. Do the following for all the ruffles: Sew a straight stitch (on the largest length setting possible) down the edge the strip of fabric, tacking over one end but not the other. Then, on the untacked edge, gently pull the bobbin thread until the ruffle begings to gather. Continue to do this and adjust the ruffle so it's even down it's length until the total length of the ruffle equals the length of the belt piece. Now, pin the ruffle along a casing seam on the belt. Being very careful to follow the casing line, sew the ruffle on (you may want to do this with the ruffle facing downwards, so you can see the casing seam). Note: it's usually easier to sew the bottom most ruffle on, then work up. That way the other ruffles don't get in your way.

4) Now it's time for the elastic. Do this for each of the elastic pieces: Pin one edge of the elastic to one edge of the casing. Put a safety pin through the other end of the elastic, then insert the safety pin in the casing and work it through to the other end. The belt fabric should start to gather. When you get the safety pin out the other side, sew the edge of the elastic in line with the edge of the casing. Then, go back and sew the other edge of the elastic to the other edge of the casing (where it was pinned). If you unpin it first, bad things will happen! Leave it pinned while you sew.Now, if you haven't already sew the ruffles on, you can sew them on in between the elastic pieces. You have to pull the fabric straight on the elastic as you go, because you don't want to the ruffle to be sewn on the bunched up belt. This can be a little difficult; just go slow and stretch the elastic as needed while you're sewing.
5) Now all that's left is to make the ties. Fold the ties over so they form a long, skinnier strap. Sew along the length and one of the edges, then turn right side out and press. You should have one edge open and one closed, like a very long sock (only analogy I could think of...). Now, on the open edge, fold a small amount of fabric inward and press, so it looks like it's been hemmed and doesn't have a raw edge sticking out. Pin the edge of the belt inside of the strip so it's raw edges are also hidden. Do this on each edge, than sew down the edge of the belt connecting the belt and the straps. You're done!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fabric covered pillow topped box with flower - TUTORIAL!

I love these fabric covered boxes- they are perfect for storing craft materials! The best thing is that they cost very, very little to make, especially if you have some fabric stored up :). Here's what you need:

A shoebox
Fabric-preferably cotton, two pieces each about 10 inches bigger then the box and 2 inches biger then the lid on all four sides. The same or contrasting, whatever you want.
Tacky glue
Pencil or pen
Strip of contrasting fabric
Decorative Button
Batting the size of the box lid
Needle and thread

First, glue the square of batting to the top of the lid. It doesn't have to be all that secure; the fabric will hold it down.

Next, place the box in the center of the larger piece of fabric. Place the ruler flush each edge of the box and draw a line from the box to the end of the fabric. Do this on each corner- there should be 8 lines drawn at the end.

Then, cut along those lines. Your fabric should now look like this:

Now, apply tacky glue with a brush on a side of the box and up over into the inside. Smooth the fabric over, making sure the sides are well glued down. Repeat this on all sides of the box.

You can then line the inside of your box with paper, more fabric, ribbon, or whatever you want! It's a good chance to get creative :) for this box, I didn't have the time or supplies to line it so I left it as is.

Next, place the lid on top of the smaller piece of fabric and repeat what you did for the box. You should wind up with a pillow affect on the lid.

To make the flower, take the strip of coordinating fabric and make a running stitch done one long side (you can do this by hand or with a machine, whichever you prefer). Then gather the stitch by pulling on the bobbin thread, until the strip starts to spiral into a circle. Stitch the layers together to form a flower. Now, place the flower centered on top of the box and stitch it to the box, through the cardboard. This should only take a couple stitches. Finally, sew the button on and you're done!
Let me know what you think of this tutorial; I know it wasn't incredibly thorough due to the late hour, so if you have any questions let me know!


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