Project run & play “hand – me – down” makeover

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For week two of Project run & play we were given the challenge to sew something from hand-me-downs or thrift store finds. I had decided beforehand that this week would be about the boy, so I asked my husband to weed out some things from his closet which he no longer wears and wouldn’t mind me using. He gave me four Jcrew t-shirts, an Abercrombie cable knit sweater (from high school!), and I also had a thrifted wool sweater plus some scrap leather which I forgot to include in the picture. To add to the challenge, my sewing machine was in the shop and I could only use my serger or sew by hand! Thankfully everything I wanted to sew primarily required the serger anyways.

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From my husband’s Jcrew t-shirts I made a raglan color-block tee with leather patch pocket, and a pair of drop inseam sweatpants. The pattern for the raglan tee was the Field trip raglan t-shirt by Oliver + s in size 2. I sewed it using the two green and beige tees in a very cool color-blocked style of different colored sleeves. I found the look on Pinterest and just fell in love so I had to recreate it!

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For the sweatpants I sewed them from the striped Jcrew t-shirt using a self drafted pattern. They have a drop inseam, cutout bum color-blocking, back patch pocket, faux drawstring, and bottom cuffs. They are ridiculously adorable on if I do say so myself and the kid has been living in them since I made them! (Edit – there is a new pattern out that is a very close to these pants called the Mini Hudson by True Bias).

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Detail shot of the leather pocket. Since my sewing machine was out of commission I made sure to cut the bottom edges of the shirt and sleeves from the already hemmed edges of the tees so I didn’t have to worry about hemming them. The patch pocket I stitched on by hand and I really love the look!

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Detail of the pant back pocket.

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From the Abercrombie cable knit sweater I made a henley style pullover with leather buttons reclaimed from an old sweater of mine, plus leather elbow patches which I stitched on by hand. There was a fair amount of hand stitching on this sucker, but the finished look is so great! I think it may even have turned out better than if I had attempted to use the sewing machine on this thick knit. The pattern for this was self drafted with reference to the Oliver + s jumprope dress pattern for constructing the placket.

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Last but not least I made a slouchy beanie from the thrifted wool sweater. This pattern was also self drafted and very simple!

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And finally the completed outfit! Prepare yourself for an action shot photo bomb 🙂

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Elbow patches!

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I seriously love that tee! And those pants. And that beanie. And that kid 😉

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Oops took my hat off! But don’t worry mom, got it back on. 😀

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Heart breaker.

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Week two done! If you want to see the great things sewn for this week by the competitors you can check them out here.

I can’t wait to get cracking on week three! See you then!

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Sweet dreams bedding

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I had mentioned in an earlier post that I had made a mattress protector from a thrifted wool army blanket (courtesy of my mother-in-law) for my daughter’s new mattress. Here’s a few photo’s of it!

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It was pretty beat up and full of holes, so I patched them up with some wool felt hearts that I cut from my stash. Pretty adorable right?

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The edges are a little raggedy and I may decide to serge the edges next time I take it off her bed to wash and lanolize it.

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Twin sheets were also needed, so I made her a fitted sheet and pillowcase from the new Heather Ross far far away line that just was released. I am a huge Heather Ross fan, and I’m so glad she re-did these prints from her first two far far away collections in quilting weight cottons.

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For the fitted sheet I followed this tutorial, but with a few modifications of my own such as stitching elastic around the entire edge of the sheet rather than just the corners.

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Sheets on the bed! Now I just need to finish her matching quilt that I started oh, two years ago! Nope, no slackers here 😉

Have you thrifted for any projects? What kinds of things do you like to repurpose?

A sweet dreams mattress tutorial

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I almost didn’t think it could be done, but here it is at last; a handmade organic rubber and wool twin mattress! Martha Stewart eat your heart out. In case you may be wondering why anyone would ever want to make a mattress, may I direct you to some information on conventional mattresses here, here, and here. Unfortunately conventional mattresses are a petroleum derived chemical bomb that are chocked full of toxic substances that we breath in and absorb through our skin as we sleep. Studies even reveal a link between mattress off-gassing and SIDS! This is some scary stuff that I absolutely want to avoid where I can. So when the time came to buy my daughter a big bed I was faced with a dilemma; buy the conventional mattress (at 40% off!), buy an organic mattress (for $1bazillion) or try to make my own. And so I embarked on the epic quest of making an organic chemical free mattress and hopefully this will help you get started on making one of your own too!

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For this mattress we’ll be using rubber as the base. There are a few places online that supply real rubber (like from a rubber tree) mattress topers in various thicknesses and firmness. I decided to get a 1″ medium firmness topper for the base of my mattress from here. I would recommend getting a minimum 3″ thickness for a mattress intended for an adult.

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Since this rubber is a natural material and subject to biodegrading I decided to sew a cotton slipcover for it to help protect it. The slipcover was sewn from an old duvet cover found hiding in storage. Done and free 🙂

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For the shell of my mattress I used cotton ticking from here. Ticking is traditionally used in mattress making plus for furniture and pillows. It’s a thicker densely woven fabric which helps keep your stuffing from escaping. You will need about 5 yards for a twin sized mattress.

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Cut two rectangles the dimensions of the mattress plus 1/2″ seam allowances. Then cut one very long strip 7″ tall and long enough to go around the entire edge of one of the rectangles. I had to piece this long section together to make it long enough to go all the way around. Sew it on with a 1/2″ seam and then placed the rubber mattress inside as the first layer of the mattress.

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Next comes the wool. This is what a 20 pound bag of organic wool looks like. And also this is what a cute boy looks like. 😉 I bought the wool from here. You’ll want around 18 -20 pounds for a twin.

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Layer the wool on top of the covered latex pad…

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…until all 20 pounds of it is neatly laid down.

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Look at all that wool! Looking pretty comfy already.

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If you’ve never smelled wool before, it’s seriously wonderful. It has a sweet honey straw smell that I adore! I decided to accentuate the earthy wonderfulness of the smell by spritzing some lavender chamomile essential oils throughout the wool. Essential oils aid in relaxation and sleep, as well as have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. If you decide to include essential oils go ahead and spritz them into your wool!

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Now it’s time to close this sucker up! Lay your second cotton ticking rectangle on top and pin the entire circumference to the side, taking in the height of the side if you’ve got too much slack. You don’t want the fabric to be droopy.

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Once pinned to satisfaction get some thicker thread such as cotton hand quilting thread and a sewing needle and ladder stitch the circumference.

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All sewn up! We’re almost done.

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Last comes the tufting. This is an optional step but it helps keep the stuffing inside from shifting or clumping, so I decided to do it. I followed this tutorial here, using buttons to help with the pressure exerted by the thread.

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Look at those button tufts!

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The finished mattress. Success! You will want to use a water resistant/proof mattress protector to keep moisture from getting into your mattress. I made one from an up-cycled wool army blanket which was water-proofed with lanolin.

This was definitely the oddest thing I’ve ever sewn. What’s your most adventurous sewing project that took you way out of your comfort zone?

 

A winter coat

I would say that I finished this coat late except for the fact that it is snowing outside right now. *sigh*. As my husband said “Winter and spring are having a battle and right now winter is winning, but not for long”. He’s from Montana and perhaps it’s that mentality that keeps Montanans from going totally bonkers while waiting for spring to finally come, and stay, for keeps. Well at least my son will be able to wear this winter coat for a bit longer this season.

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This is the Oliver + s School Day’s Jacket sewing pattern in size 2. It’s pretty huge on my son which is exactly what I wanted since I was sure it wouldn’t be done for this winter and it would need to fit next year. Well looks like the snow is sticking around and he can wear it for both!

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The coat is made from a lovely 100% melton wool in dark gray from http://www.nyfashioncenterfabrics.com  They really have the most fabulous wool! The lining is Meadow Friends from the Storyboek 2 collection of organic fabrics by Birch.

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I decided to do the removable quilted lining with sleeves because, let’s face it, it get’s COLD here. I quilted together Nani Iro pocho double gauze in color soda and Foxy Floral also from the Storyboek 2 collection. The binding is Moda Bella solids in Steel.

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I finished the shoulder seams in bias binding as well to give it a more finished look.

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And of course, the finishing touch, a little hand-stitched label for my Mr. Fox 🙂 I think this is one of my favorite projects yet!

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