Monday, November 28, 2011

Pleated Lace Headband

I'm reposting this tutorial I did over at WhipUp a couple months ago -- just in case you missed it. 

Today I wanted to share with you a very simple project:  a pleated lace headband.  Super simple, but so elegant!  It's a very easy project, perfect for a beginner or the seasoned pro. 

pleated lace headband, view 1

It's great for little girls or big ones too!

pleated lace headband, view 3

To make a pleated lace headband you'll need lace, a headband, fray-check, glue (either hot glue or fabric glue).  You'll also need a sewing machine (or needle and thread).  Note:  You could substitute fabric for the lace cutting it about 1" wide or to your desired width and then fray-checking the raw edges if you desire.

pleated lace headband, view 10

We'll start by pleating the beginning of the lace (as shown) with your hand.

pleated lace headband, view 9

Place the pleated section under your pressure foot and start sewing slowly down the center of the lace (alternatively you can sew down the pleats by hand).  Continue pleating the lace as you go by lifting up a section of lace

pleated lace headband, view 4

and fold it down so the fold goes under the pressure foot. 

pleated lace headband, view 5

Keep going until you have a length of pleated lace 2 inches longer than your headband.  You can use fray check on the ends if you like.

pleated lace headband, view 8

Using hot glue or fabric glue, place a line of glue along the center of the headband making sure you wrap a small bit around the bottom.  Continue all the way around.

pleated lace headband, view 2

You can add a bit of buttons or small ribbon flowers if you like.

pleated lace headband, view 7

And you're done! 

pleated lace headband, view 6

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Mine was quite busy.  Even though I didn't host Thanksgiving dinner this year, I ended up with a very busy day.

little pilgrim, view 1

This little pilgrim dress I made for Gwyneth on Wednesday.  She had learned about the Mayflower and pilgrims in pre-school and wanted to have a dress like them.  This is my version of a pilgrim dress.

I made it out of brown and cream interlock knits.  The shirt portion was made from a modified Lil Blue Boo t-shirt hoodie pattern.  The neckline was kept simple.

little pilgrim, view 5

I added a skirt to it and a built in apron.  Pay no attention to the turquoise leggings and pink crocs.  I'm sure all pilgrim's had those.  :)

little pilgrim, view 4

The bonnet was made from inexpensive felt using the pattern from Martha Stewart, although hers used paper and glue and I used felt and sewed it into place.

little pilgrim, view 2

Gwyneth was so excited to wear this on Thanksgiving she wore it almost all day on Wednesday.

little pilgrim, view 3

Well, Thanksgiving morning came and I woke up early to clean up a bit around the house then the kids and I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade (well, about half of it).  They lost interest and started making necklaces (according to Connor: "like the Native Americans").


I began working on a last-minute centerpiece for the table.  I wanted to make my own version of the Mayflower similar to one I saw here -  of course mine only cost about $3 to make.  For this I made my own pattern and it came together quite well.  The center dowel holding the sail is being held up by a plastic cup filled with home-made play-doh.

Mayflower centerpiece

Just as I was finishing this up, I got a call from my mom.  She needed a ride to urgent care - so my lovely husband stepped up and while I was gone he made the stuffing, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts.  It turned out that my mom had pneumonia - so she ended staying back at her house after and my dad, brother and sister joined me and my husband's family for thanksgiving dinner.

When I arrived at dinner Gwyneth plopped down in my lap.  She sat on my lap most of the evening.  She had a little fever.  She's ok, but spent the majority of yesterday in my lap or my husband's napping and hanging out.  She's fine now.

I found these photos on my camera.  Connor had taken photos of the four pies I made for Thanksgiving, because he knew I didn't get a chance when I ran off to bring grandma to the doctor.  Wasn't that sweet of him?? He did a pretty good job.  (If you're wondering the pies were apple, cranberry chess, and two pumpkin).

pies - by Connor, 6

My husband and Connor took advantage of the unusually warm weather here to hang the Christmas lights outside the house.  They looked great. 

christmas lights

Connor now has a fever, but happily playing Rocket Math on the iPad behind me. 

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying the weekend.  Despite all of the unexpected changes to the day, our Thanksgiving was really nice.  We enjoyed the company of family and had delicious food!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Groovy Hoodie

guitar hoodie, view 4

Connor is in need of a few new shirts. I thought he'd love another hoodie.

guitar hoodie, view 5

The pattern is Lil Blue Boo's t-shirt hoodie pattern.  It's hard not to think about what Ashley's going through right now. Ashley - our thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy and full recovery.

guitar hoodie, view 3

The guitar interlock knit is Groovy Guitar from Michael Miller (with the coordinating light blue and black). I used this same fabric on a set of pajamas for a friend's little boy. You can see those pj's here.

guitar hoodie, view 1

Connor really enjoyed his new hoodie.  Somehow, the front collar was laying funny while we took photos, but it does lay flat.  Really, it does. 

guitar hoodie, view 2

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What do you do with yards and yards of tulle??

 Make a tutu - that's what you do.

tutu, view 1

In less than a week, Gwyneth will turn four.  One of her favorite things to do right now is dance or should I say spin and spin and spin and spin to any music.  So the perfect gift for her is a tutu.

tutu, view 4

The instructions for this tutu came from Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson.  I don't think I've ever sewn with this much tulle in my life (and I can safely say, I probably never will again.)  Although the pattern is quite simple, it was definitely a two person job to get all of the layers (and multiple yards) of tulle layed out and pinned together right.

I love the colors.  There's a very light yellow-brown on the top, with various shades of dark to light pink underneath.

tutu, view 3

The ribbon I used was satin instead of the recommended grograin.  I knew it would be more difficult and might slip more, but it was the perfect color.  I kept the tails of the ribbon long too, because she loves ribbon right now.  It actually turned out similar to color as what's in the book.  I would have loved a tutu like this when I was little.  I hope she likes it!

tutu, view 2

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Little Wall Love

A couple of months ago I was contacted by the company Walls Need Love offering me a chance to try out their wall decals and share my experience.  Well, I totally jumped at the chance.  They have a large selection of vinyl wall decals.  I had such a hard time deciding what to try.  I knew which ones I really liked, but then I had to choose the colors --- well I had to decide where to put them first so I could figure out what color I wanted.  Another tough choice.  Well, I finally decided and I love them!

The first one I chose was Love Bird Branch in Chocolate.  The decal was quite large, measuring 24" x 48" and used transfer tape - basically the vinyl was sandwiched between two pieces of tacky paper to help you transfer the image without distorting it when you put it on.  This was definately a two-person job.  Thankfully my husband was home at the time and helped out (and Connor too).

I did have trouble with a few tiny spots where the decal didn't stick.  It sort of bubbles up, but they're two tiny spots that probably wouldn't bother a normal person.  I just smooth them out every time I walk by.


I chose to have a doorway frame the decal.  This is the view when you come in the front door of my house.  Nice effect.


The other choice I made was for the Bamboo Wall Decals in Warm Grey and Grey.  The Warm Grey is the larger size shown (36" x 18" sheet) and the Grey is the smaller one shown (24" x 12" sheet).  These were very simple to put on - just like stickers.  Peel and stick.  That's it.

There was a lot of flexibility to this decal since each segment of bamboo and each leaf is put on separately.  I cut a few so that the images wouldn't all line up and be the same height. 


I put these in a little nook in the kitchen  - under the decal is a small built in desk where the kids have all there coloring and drawing supplies.  I choose the colors warm grey and grey to coordinate with the clock we have hanging there.  I think it looks really nice.  I also chose to wrap the decal around the corner.


Gwyneth really liked this one.  As I was putting it together, she recognized it as bamboo and immediately ran off to get her panda bear . . . . so he could have a snack!


Walls Need Love has kindly offered you (my lovely readers) 20% off everything on their site.  Simply use this coupon code:  novblog20.  This code will expire 12-01-2011.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adding Grommets

Adding grommets to your sewing can be a simple way to add style to a project.  They can also add function (to hold a strap for a bag, for example) while doing it in a unique way.  There are two types of grommets: metal grommets (my favorite) and there are also so snap-on plastic ones.  My experience with the plastic grommets isn't quite as positive.  Although they are easy to install and you need no tools - just cut your hole and a simple snap together and it's on, I've found it can easily snap apart or the fabric slips out from between the two pieces or maybe that's just me.  Needless to say, the metal grommets add a certain style the plastic ones cannot. 

messenger bag

Adding metal grommets is quite simple.  Purchasing a kit to start is the best because it will contain two tools you'll need.  In your grommet kit you'll get an anvil and a setter(your tools) and also several washers and eyelets.  You'll also need to grab your hammer.

Lay the eyelet piece down where you want your grommet to be and trace a circle inside it to mark where to cut. 

Cut out the marked circle on the line you have drawn.  A really sharp pair of scissors helps here.

Next place the anvil on your concrete surface with the eyelet on top so the eyelet sits in the groves of the anvil and will stay in place.  Make sure you do this on a concrete floor or outside on your driveway - it can damage your table or other soft surface.  I do mine on a small section of concrete flooring in our basement (simply because eight months out of the year there's snow outside).  

Place your fabric (right side down) on top of the eyelet letting the eyelet push through the hole.  The hole should be just large enough for this.

 Place the washer on (prong side down).

Place the setter inside the eyelet and hammer to secure the grommet.  It may take several hits with the hammer - it just depends on how aggressive you are. 

Remove the setter from the attached grommet.  Sometimes it can get a little stuck, but a gentle push from the front side will help it come out.

And there you go!  A perfectly set metal grommet to add style to your sewing project.

Details:  The project featured in the photos is Connor's Messenger Bag.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Recovering a Chair

 chair recover 1

We have two folding chairs that sit in our (my husband's and mine, that is) office.  He sits at his computer with one - me at my sewing machine or serger with the other.  They're functional, but they were in need of new padding and covers.  Recovering a chair is very simple and I thought I'd share with you how you do it!

First unscrew the cushions from the chair frame.

chair recover 5

With a pair of pliers, remove all of the old staples holding in the old fabric cover and throw it away with the old foam that was used.

chair recover 9

Cut a new piece of high density foam or similar to the size of your seat.

chair recover 8

Wrap the chair bottom (with cushion) in the new fabric and secure in place using a staple gun.  Make sure your staples aren't long enough to go through the seat bottom (usually 1/4" works well for most chairs).   For a chair that will be used a lot, a home-decor weight fabric is best.

chair recover 7

Secure the corners well, making them smooth on the finished side.

chair recover 6

Trim any excess fabric and re-attach with your screws to the chair base.  And your done!

chair recover 3

Repeat on the other chairs too!

chair recover 2


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