Tag Archives: crafting

DIY Baby Pixie Hats from Old Sweaters

2 Dec

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It’s starting to get a bit nippy out here in the sunshine state, and baby Tessa is in need of hats, having outgrown her little infant beenies. But even when they fit it, I’ve discovered I don’t really like baby beenies. They are awkward, they slip off tiny heads, and I spend more time adjusting them and keeping them from slipping than they actually spend on her head keeping her baby ears warm.

I finally decided to make Tessa a couple of bonnet style hats that tie under the chin and completely cover her ears and cheeks to keep her warm on family outings. I was ruing the fact that I am still far too impatient to learn the art of crochet or knitting, and then the lightbulb went off. Just buy some old sweaters at the thrift store and turn them into pixie bonnets! Brilliant! I could even use the finished edges and hemlines of the sweaters for decorative trim! Woohoo!

So, as with every “original idea” I have, I ran online to find that… well, it’s already been done. Many times, in fact. *shakes fist at the internet heavens* So rather than reinvent the wheel, let me point you to a few good tutorials on turning an old sweater into a do it yourself baby pixie hat.

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Ella Bella blog has a great no sew tutorial on upcycling sweaters into pixie caps. The only warning I have with this method is that the fuzzier and looser knit the sweater is, the more likely it is that the “steam a seam” or “stitch witchery” won’t hold. Likewise, some knits don’t do as well and the no-sew method works better. (We’ve used BOTH sew and no-sew methods in making our pixie hats.) Also, this tutorial leaves raw edges on the bottom of the cap, which will cause your hat to unravel and not be machine washable. So do whatever works for you!

I Am Momma Hear Me Roar has a great tutorial that involves using bias tape to edge the hat so it is machine washable. I personally prefer not adding any accents to the hats, but this is definitely a good sturdy tutorial. If you’re looking for a long term keepsake hat, I’d recommend this method.

Sew Liberated also has a sewn pixie hat tutorial, this one from scratch in case you’re itching to use some fabric you had no idea what to do with up till now.

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For my pixie hats, I used the basic outline of Ella Bellas pattern, only I lengthened the points to various legnths to get more of an exaggerated tail and to change it up a bit (I also found that the 6 by 7 inch measurement was spot on for Tessa’s 3 month old head). Then I sewed the seams. For the neckline, I gave it an inward curve so it fit Tessa’s head more snugly. I also turned the raw corners in and hemmed them with very light interfacing so the hat won’t flap around on her when it’s tied, and so there’d be no loose edges for machine washing.

And voila! The husband and I cranked out 6 hats out of 3 different sweaters in about 1 hour on Thanksgiving. (Yes, we have odd date nights, I know.)

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Anyhoo, if you make one of these, post some pix and share! I think they’re crazy adorable!

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Navy Themed Patriotic Lapel Pins

29 Jun

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While making some Lavender Potpourri Suffolk Puff Pouches the other day, I was inspired to make some patriotic bling for my husbands Navy Boot Camp Graduation on August 2, 2013.

The Suffolk Puff pattern, also known as Yo-Yo’s, are used for fabric details from quilting to patches to stand-alone art pieces. I decided to make some individual yo-yos with various Navy themed charms to use for lapel pins, to stick on my purse, or to use as hair accents, and to share with the fellow moms and wives of Ship 2, Division 938 that have been keeping me company and keeping me sane during these 9 weeks away from my husband. I’m also planning on using some for baby headbands for Tessa! How cute will THAT be?!

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So my mum and I went on a mini fabric and charm shopping spree over the last few days, and then wore our fingers to the bone gathering the mini circles, and tacking them down while watching re-runs of Chopped on The Food Network. I would literally break out into giddy oohs and ahhs and smiles every time I would finish a new puff, it was a joy pairing the fabrics to the charms, and exciting to be doing something in preparation for Jonathan’s graduation day. For the charms we used Navy anchors, a nautical rope knot, a heart and a glass pearl.

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These were so much fun to make! Check out my Lavender Potpourri Suffolk Puff Pouch tutorial to see the how-to on the construction. The only difference is, these are not stuffed, and are pinned down in the center.

DIY Lavender Potpourri Suffolk Puff Pouches

27 Jun

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In the very beginning of May I blogged about harvesting fresh lavender for potpourri and aromatherapy at our friends house in Southern California. After letting my lavender bouquets dry for 7 weeks I finally decided to get around to making the little aromatherapy bundles. I was tossing around different sachet patterns and techniques, but ultimately decided to make these very simple Suffolk Puff Pouches.

This Suffolk Puff technique – while very popular in Victorian times – dates back to well before the Victorian era. The very first known ‘puffs’ pattern was recorded in 1601 in Suffolk, England, as a means of recycling old worn out clothes and fabric scraps. Today, the pattern is flattened out (not stuffed) and used primarily for patches, jewelry, headbands and crafting décor. But as I’ve been on a recent Victorian-era kick, I thought I’d give this old school potpourri pouch a go. It’s really extremely simple:

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1. Cut out a circle of fabric.

This can be as large or as small as you’d like. Since I intend to use my potpourri puffs to tuck into my undergarments drawers, I wanted them small enough to just fit into my palm. So I used a medium saucepan lid as a template for my circle (about 6 inches across). Once you’ve cut out your circle, with the wrong side of the fabric facing you, fold over the edge of the hem and with a needle and thread, sew a loose running stitch all the way around the circle.

2. Sew and gather the complete circle of fabric.

Continue sewing your loose running stitch until you’ve completed the circle. Then, pull gently on the thread so that the circle is gathered up into a loose pouch.

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3. Fill with your potpourri.

For my lavender potpourri, I simply snipped the heads off of the stalks of dried lavender, and used the heads intact as stuffing for the pouch. That way, when I want a fresh infusion of lavender, I simple gently squeeze the pouch, crushing and breaking apart the heads, which releases more of the fragrance, and doesn’t dry the oils up prematurely. So I just tucked the heads in whole into the pouch.

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4. Tighten your pouch and finish.

Once filled, simply squeeze the gathered thread till its tight, and stitch it closed. If desired, top off the center pucker with a decorative button and some ribbon. And voila! You have a gorgeous and simple little aromatherapy pouch to freshen up linen closets, drawers, or to keep by your bedside to promote relaxation and restful sleep!

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