Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My three munchkins...

Meet Luigi, Mario, and Toad...well, the asian version.

I was finally able to capture a picture of my boys in their costume this year. This is a rarity.

All three of them decided they wanted to be Super Mario characters and fortunately, it worked out perfectly. E. was Luigi, R. was Mario, and my little A. was Toad.

Just in case you're not a Mario fan and don't know why they keep raising their hands in these pictures, my boys are showing their video game moves (of capturing stars).

Since my hubby didn't like the store bought costumes, I went ahead and found some overalls at the good will store. The t-shirts were bought at Target. I used their Mario caps I sewed them for E.'s 6th birthday party, and sewed the gloves myself. I did buy the original gloves, but they were so huge, I decided to just use some blizzard fleece and make my own. The buttons are made from yellow felt. The mustaches are from the store bought costume which could be easily made from felt and double sided tape. I also made a little stuffed belly for R. since Mario is "chubby."

Oh, if you are wondering whether or not I am crazy to spend $20 for each costume only to use the mustache...don't be. I bought the costumes last year at 90% off. The same costume that is selling currently, I bought for a mere $2.00 so it didn't bother me to only end up using the mustaches. The kids still play with the store bought costume, but they rather wear the one I put together.

Here is A. posing up a storm.

Toad's hat and vest were bought. You can't tell in this picture, but I did embellish the vest a little with some trim. I tea-dyed a white shirt and made the pants from white fleece (basically the only white fabric that was soft and not see through).

Aren't they cute? I'm keeping my fingers crossed they will be a set again for Halloween next year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My yellow apron

Life's been pretty hectic lately. Hence, the reason for no posts last week. Crazy work hours, the kids off on fall break, and hubby out of town made it nearly impossible to spend any hours on extra curricular activities like this blog.

After a week of doing things just for the kids, I dragged the kids, all of them to the fabric store, just for me. There was a huge sale. Needless to say, I walked out of the store with yards of fabric.

I was finally able to get fabric for my craft room curtains. I also let the kiddos pick out their own fabric for pajamas. I came across these fabrics below and nearly spent an hour at the cutting table.

So many colors, but what to make....

An apron it is! I love aprons and I didn't have a half apron so, why not make one. Most of my aprons come from Anthropologie because I love the colors and the style. It still needs some cute buttons on the pocket, but I love it already.

The cutest thing about it is the fact it looks like a skirt.

The fabrics I used were: Quilter's showcase Large Floral white on yellow, Round Tile purple on white, Menswear gray on white.

Total price for this apron, only $4.48 ($2.49 per yard -50% off sale) + 20% off coupon. Cute apron, great price...can't beat that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Faux Suede to Leather

Here is a desk chair my dad made for me when I was younger. When I moved out of his house, I stole it because I loved the clean lines of it. Since then it has been reupholstered numerous times. From the picture, it doesn't look that bad.

However, when you zoom in, this is what it actually looks like

My choice of faux suede was piling where the chair is handled the most. It was now time to reupholster the chair again. Since the kiddos would use this chair the most, I wanted it to withstand kids. I contemplated a fun fabric, but I wanted it to be classic and look good in more than one room if it got moved around so I chose this off white leather.

It was hiding under my bed. I know, its crazy to have a bolt of beautiful leather under one's bed, but I have fabric everywhere in my house. My dad scored this leather when he reupholstered aircraft furniture over 30 years ago. I swiped that bolt and a few others when I moved. He has dozens of bolts, he won't miss the one or two I so happen to load onto the moving truck, right? It only took me 10 years to find a purpose for the leather.

Ok, back to reupholstering. You've probably read a hundred postings on reupholstering cushions. Basically, you remove the cushion. Then remove the fabric. Add a new layer of cushion if it is worn out.

Lay your fabric wrong side up with your cushion and seat on top.

I normally use my handy dandy staple gun, but since my dad used upholstery tacks, I reused the ones that were there. Amazingly, I was able to reuse all but one tack. There's just something about wanting to keep my dad's original handy work, well...his. I remember him upholstering the chair for the very first time. It was this dark blue tapestry which was covered with plastic (yes, back in the 70's, plastic furniture was SO in). Okay, back to upholstering. I didn't hammer all the tacks down until I was completely sure of the fabric placement.

Since leather stretched, I kept on tightening the leather until all the wrinkles were gone. Having the tacks only slightly inserted made it easier to remove and reposition the fabric. Once I was sure of the placement, I hammered away.

Ta da...

I know what you are looks exactly the same, but that is not true! I went from a faux suede that was looking ragged to ...lets zoom in..

A nice new leather chair that will withstand a lot longer than the 10 years its faux counterpart withstood and it is now more comfy. I think the best part about reupholstering this chair in particular wasn't the fact that I got a new chair out of it, but the memories that I had while I was hammering away. This wasn't a new bought chair, but one that I watched my dad put together and upholster. My dad taught me how to upholster with this particular chair and reliving that memory means more to me than any chair I can just buy off the street so it will definitely be staying with us for a while.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My one and a half sleeves

Here's my coat...well, sort of. I bought mine last winter so the belt is a little different. This coat is actually in this season's collection, but close enough. Do you see the long sleeves? They are SUPER long, five inches to be exact and because of that, I wore this coat only a few times.

I decided to finally alter the sleeves. I hate altering sleeves so I usually have it done for me, but since I had time on my hands, I might as well tackle it, right? Of course, nothing ever goes perfectly for me. In the middle of my alterations, my sewing machine went caput! Technically, I really just need to replace only one part, but it stop me dead in the tracks nonetheless so my coat is now looking, well...a bit like this

Can you see what is wrong? I know, it is now totally unwearable. Yes, I can hand sew, but since the stitches are not hidden, it would look REALLY obvious. Do I take my coat in to get it finished or wait for my sewing machine to be fixed? There's no turning back now, I'll wait since I already did one sleeve, I might as well alter the other one for consistency sake. Good thing, winter is still a couple of months away. Its a little too early for my sewing machine to already go into hibernation, don't you think?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Habitat Restore

My Dad told me how great the Habitat Restore is so my sister and I decided to check it out last week. After getting lost (I'll use road construction as my excuse), we weren't disappointed when we saw these.

An aisle full of cabinet doors for a mere 1.00! I was anticipating on building E. a built-in for his room so these doors would save me a lot of time. The built in cabinet doors under my kitchen island took six hours to reproduce so at only $1.00, this was definitely a steal.

My sister and I loaded up a cart full of unfinished doors to be used for different projects. Once I start building, I'll be back for some molding (I'll need my van for those 10 feet pieces) and my sister will be back for her subway tiles (those were only $5 for a box) when she starts her kitchen reno.

Next time you have a home improvement store, check out the Habitat Restore to see what they have first. It may save you some money while helping a good cause.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Picture Perfect Earrings

How do you store your earrings?

My sister made this frame to house her earrings.

She bought a frame and removed the glass. She then wrapped the back of the frame with a piece of fabric and added a layer of chicken wire right on top of the wire.

Her jewelry wall is now complete.

Zooming out some more, you can see her entire wall.

Organization for her jewelry is now complete!

Monday, October 3, 2011

DIY Tea Staining

This is Super Mario's Toad. My kids have decided, this year for Halloween, they all wanted to be characters out of Super Mario world. A. has chosen to be Toad this year.

So, you are probably wondering why this post is about Tea Staining. I searched high and low for a beige shirt in A.'s size. After going to half a dozen stores and googling online like crazy, I was out of luck. The costume only comes with a cheesy vest and hat.

Therefore, I decided to make the rest and bedazzle the vest a bit. Back to the tea staining. Since my search was all for none, I had an idea that I could just stain a white shirt to make it beige. First, I boiled a pot of tea.

I found a couple of packets of breakfast tea and black tea in the cupboard.

I added some salt to the pot. I'm told that it helps it absorb more evenly. I don't know how, but seeing the contestants on Project Runway do it when they are dying their fabrics (last week's episode Anya was pouring salt over her muslim fabric as she was dying it) made me think it was a needed step.

Before staining the shirt, I rinsed it in cold water. I read online that it helps with even dying as well. I wanted a darker shirt so I let it sit in the pot for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often. You can soak it less for a lighter color.

Afterward, I rinsed the shirt in cold water again to remove the excess tea. It's hard to see the color change in this picture, but there was a change.

I then, threw the shirt into the dryer and out came a beige shirt.

You can definitely see the tea stained color against the white door. Total price for the shirt - absolutely free. We had the shirt and the tea bags already on hand. I've sewn the pants and fixed the hat. I just need to add some trim to the vest and this costume will be complete!
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