Thrifty Thursday : Tshirt Upcycle Bag

It’s no big secret to those who know me that I’m all about hitting up the thrift stores. In fact, pretty sure about 94% of everything we own is secondhand. I like to try to get as many things out of my spending money as I can, and my husband can tell you I get A LOT of things.
He’d probably also tell you I get too many things, but who asked him?
Naturally, I’m always searching the wonderful world of Pinterest for new upcycling ideas. I found this tutorial the other day and loved the shaggy, vintage, rockout look. So when I went to the thrift store and scored some awesome band Ts, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

So to start, you need to cut the bottom off the shirt, and I just cut right along the hemline for mine.
Keep this for later.

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Then you start cutting strips. The tutorial said 6 inches up, 2cm cuts. I’m notoriously known for my inability to be precise in measurements, which usually comes back to bite me in the ass. But this time, it’s ok because we’re not shooting for perfection here. I used my cutting board to cut up 6in, and did about a fingers width for my strips.

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Once you’re done with that, you’re going to start knotting the bottom and top strips together. You need to pull on them as you do this to get them tight and give the strips a stretched out look, and yes I did indeed use my foot. If you’re on a table that might be a little difficult, albeit hilarious. Feel free to grab something heavy to set on the shirt as you’re knotting, in case you aren’t so limber.

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This will be your finished result.
Now, do the same thing to the sleeves. Once again, I just cut right along the hemline,and cut right up about where the sleeves meet the bodice. Cut your strips, and knot.

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Because the sleeves are a tube, the end strips are going to be connected into one big strip, that needs to be cut in half so you get your 2 to knot together. I learned through trial and error to go ahead and cut the sides of your sleeves to make them 2 pieces before you cut your strips, t’s much easier than doing it afterwards.

Once you’re done with that, you once again want to cut right along the hemline and cut off the neckine of the shirt.This is your opening of the bag.

So for the strap, in the tutorial I posted she used 1.5in polyester ribbon. I don’t have that. I do have fabric that I could have easily made a quick strap with, but I had children crawling all over me and didn’t have time for all that. So remember that bottom part you cut off in the very beginning? I took mine, cut it in half, and just threaded it through the sleeves and tied a knot. Does it look like the best purse strap ever made? No..but I’m making a purse out of a fits the theme. And works!

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My 3yr old took this shot with my phone, no judgement.

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It was perfect to haul to the pool a couple of hours later!
(I LOVE the south and its 90 degree April weather)

Or apparently it works well as a toddler punching bag?
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Either way, it’s awesome, and I’m off to search for more Ts to make myself one. My mother has laid claim to this, because, in her words, “Come on, it’s Motley Crue!”


Not so Easter bunnies

Just to start, I am fully aware that generally a good diy holiday blog post should be posted at least a week or so BEFORE the actual holiday. That was my plan, but I’m still learning how to schedule my time to sew, blog, and get screamed at by small humans. And while posting a diy bunny blog ON Easter is kind of silly, it is SO me.

So, we don’t really celebrate Easter. We used to do the go-all-out baskets, paint the eggs, do the egg hunts, but I pulled the baskets once my oldest learned the Easter bunny wasn’t legit, and before my middle child knew what an Easter bunny was. Why? Well, the idea of a giant rabbit coming into my house to bring gifts is ridiculously terrifying for one, and secondly the amount of money we were spending on holidays we didn’t really celebrate was getting a little out of hand. So now, we do the egg hunt because those are fun, and this year I wanted to make the kids a bunny because bunnies can be cute, so long as they aren’t gigantic and holding crying infants. So off to Pinterest I went, in search of ideas of how to make a bunny more suitable to my crazy little family.

There are so many out there to choose from. I kept being drawn to these little guys 032c231a3c8cf88a5b3b90cbed215c3f but decided against making my children completely terrified of rabbits. am still having nightmares about them.

So I chose this tutorial instead, because they were cute and looked simple enough, right? Yes, it is in German, but if you use Google Chrome that little handy box pops up asking if you’d like to translate.

2015-03-29 11.07.56So I printed the pattern (and learned a little German), chose my fabrics, and dug out the stack of felt I’ve had sitting there for the quiet book I planned on starting months ago :\

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I used their face templates as a general size guide, by the way an actual marking pen would be best for this, but Nikolai went on a fabric coloring spree with mine so I improvised.

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Going left to right, I used woven, stretch, and flannel fabrics. Cotton worked well, flannel was my favorite to work with in terms of turning it, and you’ll see how the stretch worked out soon.

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Since they’ll be actually played with, I thought it best to secure the felt first with some Liquid Stitch I had from a previous project. After it dried, I just stitched around the felt to reinforce and add decoration.

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Then pin right sides together, sew and leave an opening to turn, and flip that baby right side out. Then you stuff it with some stuffing you can find at any hobby store. You’ll be surprised at how much stuffing these little guys can hold, my basic rule is when you think you’ve put enough in, grab another handful. Oh and one more thing…

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 wouldn’t recommend black pants.

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Tada! Now, you’ll notice that Baymax bunny is looking a tad bit…elongated. That’s because I used a stretchy fabric, and didn’t add any interfacing to reinforce it. It was much easier to turn rightside out than the other two, but when it came time to stuff, there wasn’t anything to keep it from stretching as I stuffed. So keep that in mind if you decide to use a nonwoven fabric for your little guys.

Luckily, my little guy didn’t mind the freakishly long rabbit. “Bobot bunny” is awesome, and I have 3 satisfied customers.

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Well, soon to be 4 satisfied customers. Aiden (oldest) wanted to make Daddy a bunny too, so this little guy is currently en route to Bahrain. Yes, that is Dragonball Z. I know, it’s pretty awesome.

Now again, seeing as today is Easter, this doesn’t really help you out for Easter presents this year, my bad. However, rabbits are pretty cool critters all year long…just sayin 😉

Hello, sweetie!

** If you didn’t get the title reference, you may not enjoy many of the future posts from this site. **

This is the necessary introduction post, where you find out who I am and why I’m sitting here at 7:30am with an 8 month old in my lap, attempting to type this with some semblance of grammar and sense. I should probably begin with my name, which is Casey..nice to meet you 🙂 . Or, have you staring at a computer screen at words that I have typed. That constitutes as meeting these days, right? I can be labeled as many things, Mom, Sis, Wife, Future Leader of the Free World, an incredibly beautiful woman who is aces at sarcasm and wit, but most recently a self-taught seamstress\diy crafter. For those who know me IRL, this last part has come a quite a bit of a shocker because creativity has never really been my thing *insert flashback of many failed Pinterest crafts here*, aside from the occasional short story and developing uniquely beautiful characters in my favorite RPGs. So what brought on this newly found hobby? I became pregnant with my third child, and first girl:11043033_966422996701653_1989052425381909665_n

Isobel Rosalie, seen with my 2nd child, Nikolai Ezra (my third child is 9 years old and is very hard to catch with a camera these days, as he’s usually out galivanting around the neighborhood with the other local minions). After I discovered we were having the girl, of course I was overcome with BUY ALL THE RUFFLY THINGS, and after perusing on Etsy I realized that I either needed to remarry into a wealthy family, or learn how to sew. Seeing as I’m quite fond of my husband for now, I quickly ordered my first sewing machine. And here we are.

This is going to be THE go-to page for my pattern reviews, tutorials, hilarious anecdotes and pictures of my many failed attempts at everything that I do, before I finally get it right. It will probably mainly be sewing, but every now and then I do get it in my cocky head that I’m capable of..everything…so here and there you’ll see my usually failed attempts at refinishing furniture, creating home decor, ruining helping my eldest with school projects, and so forth.

So, to sum up my newly formed blog: patterns, tutorials, pictures, wit, sarcasm, charm, comedic entertainment. Quite honestly, it will become your favorite blog very soon.  Until we meet again!