Monday, January 31, 2011

I’m Just a Little Obsessed!

T-shirt tote 26
I was so distracted last week. I came back to this post that I featured HERE again and again. I am so in love with the idea of making tote bags out of T-shirts. But, I wanted really sturdy bags and no raw edges. It spun around in my brain for a few days and then I had one of those magical *a-ha!* moments when it all became clear. I didn’t have 2 t-shirts, though…

I had to stop by Old Navy for some new jeans anyhow so I sifted through the clearance stuff and found a few cheap (so cheap—they were all on clearance and then 40% off of that price!!) t-shirts to work some magic on. I won’t lie, I bought so many of those cheap shirts that I got a funny look when I was paying for everything. I explained what I was doing—kinda embarrassed—and the salesperson was so excited for me. She thought it was a great idea. And then I got even more excited than before!!

I could hardly wait to get home to sew! It went so quick and I am still in love with this idea—even more than before!

T-shirt tote 30 TutorialMaterials

2 t-shirts that are the same size (or really close!)
T-shirt tote 1


Snip a tiny hole along the armhole seam on the outside (right side) of each t-shirt.

T-shirt tote 2
Carefully cut off the sleeve by cutting right next to the seam, but make sure the serged edge stays with the sleeve section.
Do this for both sleeves on both t-shirts.

T-shirt tote 3

Cut off the binding around the neck edge the same way as the sleeves.

T-shirt tote 4

This is what you should have after removing both sleeves and the neck binding.

T-shirt tote 6

Lay the shirt on a flat surface and smooth it down so the back and front hems line up and the armholes and side seams are lined up and flattened out. Cut out the back neck opening section so it matches the front neck opening.

T-shirt tote 7

Sew the hems together on one shirt using a 1/4 seam allowance. You can double stitch this to reinforce the bottom of the bag.

T-shirt tote 8

Stitch the corner at an angle and trim off the corner. This will help eliminate the bulkiness of the corners and give your bag a more rounded shape. My stitching started about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom, but I wish I had done a little more – maybe as much as 3 inches from the bottom.
T-shirt tote 9

Trim the corners.

T-shirt tote 10

On the other shirt, stitch the hems together in the same manner except leave an opening in the middle large enough to fit your hand through the opening.

T-shirt tote 19

Insert one shirt into the shirt with the opening so that right sides are together.

T-shirt tote 11

Line up the armholes and pin at the shoulder seam and the side seam.

T-shirt tote 12

Starting about 1 inch down from the shoulder seam, sew around the armhole opening ending about 1 inch before the shoulder seam. You will have a gap of 2 inches with the shoulder seam in the center of this. Repeat for the other armhole opening.

T-shirt tote 13

Sew around the neck line in the same manner as the armhole openings; start one inch below the shoulder seam and end one inch before reaching the opposite shoulder seam. Repeat on the back side of the neck opening.

T-shirt tote 14

Carefully cut the shoulder seams off individually. (The light pink is inside of the dark pink, but I am not sure how or why it got turned around for this picture.)

T-shirt tote 16

Turn the bag right side out by pulling the inside shirt (dark pink) through the opening in the outside shirt (light pink).

T-shirt tote 15

Pull out the handles as well.

T-shirt tote 17

Put the shirt with the opening in the hem in the inside of the one without the opening. Then reach in through one of the handles (There is an opening here where you cut off the shoulder seams and left your gap when sewing the handles.) to grab the inside shirt and pull it out so can finish the hem on that shirt. With right sides together, sew the hem opening completely shut and push it back through the handle so it is inside the other shirt again. This is the key part that makes your bag truly reversible.

T-shirt tote 18

Now, smooth the handles in place again like this.

T-shirt tote 16

Pinch one matching set together and move the other set out of the way.
Sew these with right sides together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

T-shirt tote 20

Be patient with the second set—it’s a little tricky to maneuver into position to sew together without the first set getting in the way.
 T-shirt tote 21

Lay one set of handles together (wrong sides together) and tuck in 1/4 inch seam allowance through the section which is open on each side of the handle. Pin in place to hold it. I also pinned from the opposite side to be sure my shoulder seam was lined up since knit is a little temperamental and has a tendency to slide, shift and stretch.

T-shirt tote 22

Topstitch around both armhole openings and the entire neck opening. As you topstitch, you will sew together the open parts of the handle with the folded in seam allowance.

T-shirt tote 24T-shirt tote 23

I added my own tag to both sides of this little creation…

T-shirt tote 25

It’s done! Now you can turn it which ever way makes you happy! (Or the cleanest side!)

T-shirt tote 28T-shirt tote 29

In an ideal situation, you would be recycling old t-shirts.

Either way…It’s cheap, sturdy, reversible, and fun!

I didn’t have to convince this little one. She laid claim to it and loaded it up right away!

T-shirt tote 27

It’s a good thing I bought so many of those cheap t-shirts because I can’t wait to make more of these bags.
 I'm just a little obsessed right now!

WaitI did make more! My daughter told me it looked like a tank top so I made it out of a tank top, too!
AND, I used those sleeves that I cut off from the first reversible bag. Be sure you save those sleeves!

I will share a tutorial for this little beauty next!

Tank Tote 1 Tutorial Blank

Tell me what you think—are you madly looking for a couple of t-shirts to make your own Reversible T-shirt Tote?

I'm linking HERE this week!

Friday, January 28, 2011

And the Winner Is…

CSN 1-28-11_thumb[3]

Congratulations to A (Daily) Woman!! It looks like you can start on your new workbox system!! Please email me to get the code to use when you check out.
Thanks so much to everyone who entered the CSN Giveaway!

Did you get all jazzed up to buy something new? And, if you didn’t win, you still want those things, right? has generously offered my readers a one-time
10% discount off of all purchases (excluding movies, books and electronics). 

If you are not familiar with, they are an online retailer offering everything from diamond rings to sporting goods. And what's even better is they offer $2.95 shipping regardless of the size of the order.

I'm checking their furniture department since I still need that armless chair for my family room. I love this one, but it might be too busy for my already-busy space!
Tapered Signature Chair with Pillow

I also love some of the jewelry they have and the prices are amazing!

Cara Shell and Bead Memory Wire Cuff Bracelet

And, who couldn't use more lighting?
Vesper 1-light Mercury Table Lamp

By using the code 121745, you will receive 10% off all Overstock products (excluding movies, books, and electronics).
This discount code never expires, however, it can only be used once per email address.

You can also receive free shipping for electronics by using the promo code 202234.
DISCLOSURE: All ideas and opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for doing this post, however, I was provided with a discount code.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time for a Change! Show & Share {1}

I've been collecting your wonderful ideas for some time now. I get so many ideas from your stuff and I am so impressed with what you create. I'd like to take some time each week to share some of the projects that inspire me.
So, every Thursday, I will highlight a few of the ideas that caught my eye and went into my file of things to try!

Check out these yummy napkin rings on Taylor Made. What a great idea!

I know there are multitudes of bibs out there, but these are ADORABLE! And, Brittany from Craft Phesine makes her own bias tape (I have to get one of those contraptions!) so everything goes together perfectly and is so much more interesting than regular bias tape.

I am dragging around on doing anything new for Valentine’s Day this year, but this Valentine’s Wreath at Clumsy Crafter makes me think I just might start!
wreath2size Valentines Wreath Tutorial

Alison from Oopsey Daisy made an amazing Gospel ABCs Scrapbook to teach her son about their religious beliefs. What a great teaching tool!

Isn’t this baby quilt from Flexible Dreams (love that name and all it implies!) gorgeous? What baby wouldn’t want to be here?? And, she didn’t even use a pattern to make this!

This Pom-Pom Scarf (or garland!) from Bubbly Nature is so cute! I know a little girl at my house who would love to make one of these for herself. What a great idea! Be sure to stop by Rachel’s blog to see how cute it looks on her daughter!

Don’t you love this ribbon ruffle heart from Just Drink a Coke? Quick, easy and BEAUTIFUL!
Valentine’s projects are looking better and better to me!

I L.O.V.E. these tote bags made out of t-shirts and polos found at Maple & Magnolia! They are super easy to make and so practical. I am definitely going through the stash of t-shirts to make some of these beauties!

Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!!

If you were featured today, please grab a button to display on your blog!
(Be sure to use the scroll bar to get the whole code--it's long!)

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src=""alt="" width="150" height="150" /></a>

Felt Cake Decorations

I hope you’ve already made a felt cake and frosted it with some delicious felt frosting from THIS tutorial. Today, we are going to talk about decorating that cake! The possibilities are nearly limitless so this is really just a start.

Decos Tutorial
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this whole thing is made up of small parts. Please choose decoration parts wisely for young children! I do not recommend using most of the following parts for young children who still put everything in their mouths.

hot glue
clear sticky back velcro dots (available at Wal-Mart stores with craft sections—thanks Amy!)
small round magnets
red fabric scraps
polyester fiberfill stuffing for strawberries
lace, ribbon, trim, beads
buttons, flowers and other embellishments

To make the candles:

 Cut scraps of felt into 2 1/2 inch squares.
Cut a small flame shape with a little “wick”.

Decos 27

Hot glue a flame (wick on square, flame hanging off square) onto the top center of the square then roll the felt square tightly.

Decos 28

Hot glue along the long edge to hold it closed. Trim the bottom if necessary to make it even.

Decos 29

Glue a small round magnet to the bottom of the candle.

(I used the super strong ones, but had to replace all of them with the not-so-strong ones. When the super strong ones got anywhere in the same room, they were instantly attracted and ripped the magnet away from its candle so they could cling tightly to each other. They were almost impossible to pull apart. The not-so-strong magnets still hold well to the top of the cake and didn’t have such serious mating problems!)

Decos 3

To make the strawberries:
I made these basically the same way I made them HERE using a tutorial by V and Co. found HERE. I modified it a bit to make it easier for me so I will include my version here.

Decos 8
Cut fabric into a cone shape by measuring 4 inches along the bottom and 4 inches up the side at a 90 degree angle. Then measure 4 inches out from the center of the 90 degree angle. Make a curved line along the top from one point to the next.

Decos 2
Leaving a 1/4 inch space for your seam allowance when you sew the sides together (not yet) at the beginning and end, sew a gathering stitch across the top, curved line. It should also have a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Do not trim threads.

Decos 18
Fold cone in half with right sides together and sew side with raw edges (not the top) with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Be sure to pull the long gathering threads out of the way so they don’t get sewn into this seam.

Decos 19
Measure one inch up from the bottom point and mark. Sew a straight line across the bottom of the cone shape at the mark.

Decos 20

Trim off the extra fabric from the point.

Decos 21

Turn strawberry right side out.

Fill with polyester fiberfill stuffing. Mine were stuffed pretty tightly so the strawberries would hold their shape well even after being played with a lot.

Decos 22

Pull the gathering threads to tightly gather up the top of the strawberry. Tie them together in a secure knot to hold the top together. (Sorry, no pic.)

Cut a square of green felt. Use pinking shears to cut leaf shapes with a zig zag edge.

Decos 23Decos 24
Use hot glue to attach the felt to the top of the strawberry. I pushed the gathered fabric to the inside and squirted the glue all over the top then put the felt right over this as I squished it all together. The felt helped hold the strawberry down, too. Then, put hot glue on each leaf and glue it down over the top of the strawberry.

Decos 8

To stick embellishments to the frosting piece:

Decos 14
Use Velcro dots along the cake where you want to stick embellishments. Be sure to put the soft side on the frosting piece so it doesn’t stick to itself and rip at the felt when it is folded (or stuffed!) inside the cake box.

On the side of the cake, I measured how far apart I was placing the dots so that I could match these up with my trim. Mine were about 4 inches apart along the top. The bottom ones (just above the ruffled frosting) were also about 4 inches apart, but were centered between the top ones.

You will need to let the Velcro set for 24 hours so that it sticks well to the frosting and doesn’t come off with the embellishments. Most of mine stuck really well, but I hot glued a few. (When in doubt, hot glue!) I still like these dots better than regular velcro dots, though, because they are so thin. I did use the thicker ones on the chocolate cake, though, because I wanted a dark color on the frosting piece.

Decos 5
For some of the trim and embellishments I used a whole circle and for some just a half circle was fine.

Decos 6
To make the flowers:
I bought flowers from the “Favorite Findings” section (in the button section) at JoAnn’s. I hot glued some together and left some single. Then, I hot glued pearls for centers on some of them.

Decos 9 
Hot glue a Velcro dot (scratchy side) to the individual pieces.

Decos 12Decos 10

I used flower trim to make individual flowers and a long strand to make a flower frosting.

Decos 13
On some of the trim I put Velcro dots all along the trim spaced the same as the dots on the side of the cake (about 4 inches). For others, I just put a dot at the beginning (soft side) and the opposite dot (scratchy side) at the end so it could fit around the cake and attach like a belt.

Decos 7

I used flower buttons (hot glue the Velcro on these for sure or don’t use any at all and they can just get stacked on the top of the cake.) and packaged flowers that I purchased.

Decos 11Decos 16

I used all kinds of ribbon, lace, beads and ruffles that I sewed to add to the stockpile of cake decorations. It doesn’t all have to have Velcro dots or be a certain length.

Decos 17Decos 4

You will be amazed at what your children think up to use the bits and pieces that are available to them!
Whatever you decide to use, it should all be able to fit inside the cake box so the parts have a place to go when it's cleaning time.

Decos 15

This is definitely my kind of project...
It is all kinds of fun when it is out, but it cleans up quickly and easily!

What do you think? Do you love it?

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