101 Sewing Tutorials for Summer

Liz sent me a link to a  compilation of 101 Sewing Tutorials. I’m pretty sure I will have to quit one of my jobs so that I will have the time to do all of these! I briefly glanced at the list and know I will be starting with the Dita Von Teese Wrap Dress – I love her style and wrap dresses are one of my favorite things.

The list has a lot of simple projects that will get your creativity going, but won’t keep you inside all day at your sewing machine.

Happy summer sewing!

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Homemade Graham Crackers

Joe recently asked me for a recipe for homemade graham crackers. I had never even thought to make my own, so I went to my go-to recipe website to see if there was a recipe out there. I always use the search tool and then filter by highest rated. This simple recipe has a rating of 4.3 stars, and only has a couple slight modifications reccommended by the reviewers (adding cinnamon on top, extra milk, and rolling them out as thin as possible).

I can’t wait to try baking these with Joe, hopefully it turns out okay and I can post the results on here 🙂  I plan on using them for smores, when it finally stops raining and we can have a bonfire!

Let me know if anyone else gives these a try!

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iPad Stealth Case

What’s cooler than having a book with a hidden compartment on a shelf of normal books?

Putting an ipad in that book.

You can modify this for an ipod or iphone by using a smaller book. If you don’t have a dremel too you can use an xacto knife and saw along the pages to get cleaner edges. Sandpaper might work as well, if you have all of the pages glued together and completely dry.

The hardest part of the tutorial is finding a cool book that you can cut up!

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Craft for Charity

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to make a small impact in this world, I suggest sewing a simple dress for a child in Africa. Nancy’s Notions has paired with Little Dresses for Africa to bring dresses to girls in remote villiages of Africa. They also send shorts for little boys, but the pattern isn’t for beginning sewers, unlike the basic pillowcase dress.

Go here to download the free dress pattern. The organization’s website has instructions and a video tutorial for those of you who are visual learners like myself. You’ll need anywhere from 5/8 to 1 1/8 yards, depending on what size you’d like to create. You can also use a new or gently used pillowcase to create the dress.

I’m in the process of putting together an afternoon of sewing these dresses with my church, Tapestry. I’ll post more information about that when we figure out the details.

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Uses for Old T-Shirts

Everyone has a closet full of old t-shirts, I generally use them when I misplace my pajamas (which is often, so good thing I have a huge pile of these things!) and they came in handy on my trip to Nicaragua this year. Still, there’s no need to have 20 shirts ‘just in case’.

So, what do you do with all of those shirts from soccer leagues and summer camps? Threadbanger suggests making a T-Shirt Picnic Blanket. It even converts into a backpack so you can transport it more easily! I love the idea, but I am more amazed at the number of Threadless T-shirts they were willing to cut up to turn into a blanket!

Apartment Therapy turned their old band tees into art. I love this idea, and think I might do this with some of mine. You can buy the frames from Urban Outfitters or Ikea, or DIY it with this tutorial.

And of course there is always the option of the classic T-Shirt Quilt! Craftster has a text tutorial for one backed with polar fleece. Start now and you might just have it done by winter!

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Ice Cream Cake Pops

Today is Day #2 of the 30 Days of Creativity, and our inspiration for the day is ice cream!

The first thing I thought of was yet another creation by Bakerella – Ice cream cake pops. I particularly like the spilled cone, and she says that it is simpler to make than the upright ones!

Here’s the basic instructions for cake pops:

  • After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
  • Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (I use the back of a large spoon, but it may be easier to use fingers to mix together. But, be warned, it will get messy. Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to.)
  • Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
  • Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
  • Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
  • Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
  • Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
  • Place in a styrofoam block to dry

In this case you wouldn’t need the lollipop sticks, instead just put them in the candy coating and then plop them on some mini cones. Dripping is a good thing in this recipe, so don’t try and be neat about it!

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DIY Disc Golf

I got a request from Curtis this morning to create a post about customizing disc golf discs. I’ve done some discing before, growing up with a brother serious about disc golf is probably the reason for that…my favorite disc to use was the Shark, but mostly because I liked the pretty shark on the front. Don’t judge me!

Anyways, I had never heard of customizing the stamp on your disc until this morning. Kind of disappointing, craft community! I did some searching but didn’t come up with much for total, at-home DIY, but there is a really nice website that has tutorials and stencils that you can reference and buy. Check out Custom Disc Golf Dyes for some really cool stencils at pretty decent prices: If you’re a beginner I suggest any of the Star Wars stencils, as they don’t have any islands to worry about. (If you need a refresher course on islands and bridges I posted a link to a tutorial yesterday.

The actual dying process can be done with supplies that you can purchase at your local craft or even grocery store. According to Custom Disc Golf Dyes’ website and video tutorial, all you need is a paintbrush, RIT dye (liquid or powder will do, just be sure to follow the directions on the box/bottle), rubbing alcohol, a cup, a bucket of water, and a disc.

If you want to customize a disc you already have, it is fairly simple to remove the stamp. A commenter on the video claims that champion or star plastic removes the easiest. To remove the stamp you’ll need acetone. The easiest way to get this would probably be to go to Walmart and pick up some 100% acetone nailpolish remover. Acetone is nasty stuff, so just use enough to get the stamp wet. You may need to scrub a bit with an old toothbrush to get the stamp to come off completely.

If you don’t like the idea of purchasing a stencil to use, you might try making one using Glad Press N’ Seal. I have yet to use this product for stenciling (watch out for a post later about how to use it for machine embroidery!) so I can’t reccommend it personally, but I will experiment later and let you know how that goes. If you have any suggestions for making a stencil that won’t leave a residue behind, please leave a comment or let me know. I have used contact paper to do some stenciling on glass, but I am not sure how the plastic would handle it, or if the dye would react. The stencils on the website are made of vinyl stickers, so if you have access to that material, that would be the best thing to use.

Once you have all of your supplies, the dying process is similar to stenciling on a t-shirt using fabric paint – simply paint on the dye, remembering to stir throughout the process, let it dry for 5 minutes, and then fully submerge in water. Wipe off the water, peel off whatever stencil you used, and voila! You have a custom disc golf disc!

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