DIY crutch covers

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my youngest with a hurt knee. It happened on Easter, when she placed a stepstool on her bed, and jumped to her chin up bar in her door. She landed with a straight leg, and hurt her knee (luckily it is just a bruised bone). Consequently, she has been hobbling around on crutches. After the first day using them, she said they were rubbing her sides raw, and were uncomfortable (if you have ever used them, you know what she is talking about). So, of course, it was my sewing machine to the rescue! I made a couple of DIY crutch covers to help ease her discomfort.

DIY crutch covers

We started by padding the handles with a piece of foam I had left over from this outfit. I just used some tape to hold them on.

DIY crutch covers

I then traced around, leaving a generous seam allowance, and cut it out of this fabulous cupcake fabric I bought at the Sew Expo last year. I sewed it up and then turned up the bottom to make a casing. Pulled some elastic through and sewed it up.

DIY crutch covers

It did help to cushion them a bit, plus she looks super stylish with her custom covers.

DIY crutch covers

I truly believe in the power of handmade in aiding the healing process.

Have you ever made crutch covers or custom slings for your kids?

Turmeric Egg Dye printable recipe

turmeric egg dye

Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and Happy Spring to everyone else!

turmeric egg dye

I must admit, with how busy we were these past few weeks, I really had no intention of dyeing eggs this year. Our 11 year old, Falafel still loves this tradition, even though she is allergic to eggs. That always gets me (when one of them wants to still hang on to something we have done every year). As a compromise, we only dyed 6 eggs.

turmeric egg dye

The caveat was, we had to have all the ingredients in the house.

A friend of ours just gave us some duck eggs, so we used those. We didn’t have red cabbage, which has been what we have used the past few years (see recipe here). We didn’t even have any beets (like here).  Luckily, my husband loves turmeric! We had plenty of that.

turmeric egg dye

If you happen to dye eggs on Easter, I have a printable recipe for you!

Enjoy!

Turmeric Egg Dye

Ingredients

  • Hardboiled Eggs
  • 6 TBSP Turmeric
  • 1 TBSP white vinegar
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

  1. Hard boil your eggs of choice, using your method of choice.
  2. Cool, and place aside.
  3. In a pot, combine all the ingredients.
  4. Simmer until everything is combined.
  5. Cool mixture completely.
  6. Stir before placing eggs in the dye. It settles quickly.
  7. Leave them in for as long as you would like. We let them sit in there for 3-4 hours.
  8. Remove eggs from dye, and wipe any clumps off with a towel.
http://www.falafelandthebee.com/2017/04/15/turmeric-egg-dye-printable-recipe/

The Fabric makes the Leo

It is no secret that I am a leotard-making fool, as of late (see here and here)! Well, that hasn’t slowed down much, since the washing mishap (you can read about it here). BTW, when fabric is labeled with “hand wash cold/ line dry“, it is a good idea to follow it. *ends public service announcement* 

Anyhow, after making lots of custom-fitted leotards for my gymnast, I can say that no two fabrics are equal and the fabric makes the leo! Case in point:

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

I found myself perusing The Fabric Fairy website one night, and was blown away by how many fantastic lycra/spandex fabrics they carry and the reasonable prices. Serious rabbit hole of choices. Right then and there, I realized with utter clarity that I needed to work with that fish scale fabric as soon as possible, and it needed to be on a leotard.

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

AND OH MY GOODNESS I WAS RIGHT

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

This fabric is perfect for leos. It sewed up beautifully and has a nice weight to it. Not too thin, which has happened to us a few times with other stores. Thinner fabric will not only be a little tougher to work with because it curls and slips, but it can also be see-through. Ugh. Not the look we are going for. This, on the other hand, is delightful.

The incredibly sad news is: they sold out of it! I told you. Amazing.

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

Sometimes colors on my monitor are a little off when I am ordering fabric, so I always ask if they would guide me to a good match for accent fabric.  I am so glad I did. Originally I chose a different one, and it turns out, it wouldn’t have matched at all. This color matches exactly and is just the small pop it needed.

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

My husband thinks I should make myself a pair of pants out of it. I must admit, I am tempted!

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

The second fabric I used, which is called Wildflower Saturation, was chosen by Falafel. She loves the colors on the cacti! So happy and colorful.

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

This one is slightly more slick, especially on the inside. The 75% stretch makes it a great choice for swimwear. Paired with this accent fabric, it is striking!

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

Although Fabric Fairy was kind enough to provide me with this fabric, they have gained a loyal customer. Their fabric is awesome. All opinions are 100% mine.

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

My girl is trying out for two teams this week, and now has some pretty inspiring leos to help her do her best!

Music Skirts

A friend of mine is the director of a wonderful music program for youth (called Kids in Concert), and asked me to make some skirts for a concert they have coming up. Music Skirts!

Music Skirts

These are simple elastic waist skirts. If you have never made them, this is such an easy project, even a complete novice can handle it!

Music Skirts

It is just a square (or rectangle) with a casing at the top and a hem at the bottom. I made these with one  French seam in the back, to keep it neat inside. I cranked out 18 of these, assembly-line style.

Music Skirts

My friend provided me with the girls’ waist measurements, and the length. If you would like to sew one of these up, but don’t have the measurements of the person it is for, this post has a chart for general sizes.

Music Skirts

It was actually refreshing to take a break from what I have been sewing lately (leos and my Trashion Show outfits) and do something simple and repetitive for a little while.

Music Skirts

What have YOU made today?

More Jalie Leos

Whipped up a few more Jalie leos for my gymnast. Turns out, when the fabric instructions say “Hand wash cold, line dry” they mean it! I was throwing her leotards into the dryer, and yup…they shrank!

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

My Falafel choose this screamingly bright fabric that reminds me of stuff we wore in the 80’s, and then proceeded to look like Joan Jett (or maybe Pat Benatar) for all the photos.

Jalie pattern leotard sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Have I gushed enough in the past about this pattern? In case I haven’t, here’s a little more. I love love love this pattern. I custom fit it to my child, and now all of her leos look like, well… they were made for her. The first time I was introduced to Jalie Patterns was for The Bee’s Black Widow costume. Simple and to the point, and really easy to make fit adjustments to.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

It was 40 degrees out and she was wearing only a leo.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I did manage to get a smile from her. This other fabric, she has dubbed her “Oil Spill” suit, because you know, it looks like the rainbow found in oil puddles.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The size I made for her is actually a 5, graded to a 7 in the hips. I lengthened the torso, by splitting the pattern in half at the waist, and adding 4 inches. I did have to lower the armholes for these new suits. She is 11, wearing a size 5, so the armholes don’t leave room for her muscles. It was a super easy alteration that I eyeballed.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

These leotards fit great, which means she tugs a whole lot less! They stay in place, and it really makes all the difference.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen this already. A friend gifted us a 12 foot balance beam, and it currently resides in the middle of the living room.

I have only tripped on it twice so far. Cheese Louise.

Upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

How’s that for a title? ” Upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial” doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it? Nonetheless, it is an accurate description!

Recently, my friend Amos introduced me to this method of no-sew rag rug making that I am completely hooked on (get it? crochet? hook? funny). Today I want to share it with you!

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

All you need is a few t-shirts (depending on how big you want it), a pair of sharp scissors, and your fingers.

Start by cutting a slit up the side of your t-shirt (I went up about 2″, but make you can make the strips any width). Then start cutting (make sure you are only catching one side of the shirt), as evenly as you can. When you get back around to where you began, curve around and continue. You will have to snip off the outer corner.

When you get up near the armpits, slit the sleeves open at the inside seam, and lay them out flat. Continue to cut around, keeping it all one strip.

Don’t forget to trim off the outer corners here, like you did on the bottom.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Keep going around, until you can’t go anymore. I always cut the neckline out and save it in one piece for future upcycling projects.

Repeat for as many t-shirts as you want to use.

You will want to join the strips together (if you are using multiple t-shirts). Place one end on top of the other (both facing the same way). Don’t worry if they aren’t exactly the same width. This is a forgiving craft for sure.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Fold them both over about 2″ from the top. Make a snip in the center. Then place one on top of the other (going in opposite directions), aligning the holes. Take the end of the one on top, and put it through the holes from underneath.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Pull tight! Now you are ready to begin. Have you ever tied a necktie? It is going to be a slip knot like that.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Lay one end out like the above photo.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Flip the tail across over the loop.

 

Bring the tail around the back of the loop, then through the loop and down throught the knot.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Basically you are going to make loops go through loops. Take the loop you made, and make a loop with the long end. Now pull that new loop through the old one. You now have the begining of a chain…of loops.

How many times do you think I will write the word “loop” in this tutorial? Ha!

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

When your chain becomes long enough, you need to start your spiral.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Take the small tail (on the very end of that first loop) and weave it through the begining of your spiral, and knot, to hold it together.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Take your long end and put through a bump in the spiral before pulling through the loop. To keep it flat, I alternate between just putting it through the loop, and putting it through the bump then the loop.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag rug tutorial

Keep going around and around until you have the size you want! This one is trivet size, but my friend often makes them into rugs. I have the Trashion show coming up, so I used this techinique to make a hat to go with the outfit I made!

  upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag hat

Instead of alternating between “stitches”, in the places I wanted the hat to curve in, I just put the new loop through the bump and then the old loop, every time, and pulled them tighter.

upcycled t-shirt finger crochet no-sew rag hat

I hope you try this out. Once you do, if you are anything like me, you won’t want to stop!

Emerald City Comicon Recap

Yesterday, my whole family went to the Emerald City Comicon over in Seattle. My feet are screaming at me today, but we had a great time. A definite highlight was sitting in on a Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy, for those who don’t know him) interview/question and answer hour. Well, that AND the fabulous cosplayers. I enjoy that the most (you can see our photos from last year here).

Emerald City Comicon

EMERALD CITY COMICON

King Fergus and Queen Eleanor (AKA me and my husband).

Emerald City Comicon

This is the only photo we got as a family, and sadly, we were headed home, exhausted.

Emerald City Comicon

My Falafel spied Belatrix and Luna Lovegood, and had to have a photo with them. Super nice Mom and daughter. LOVE that people get into character when you ask for a photograph.

Emerald City Comicon

Uruk-Hai statue at the Weta Workshop booth. It is amazingly huge.

Emerald City Comicon

Curvy Catwoman. Rawr.

Emerald City Comicon

My husband and I were geeking out over these two. Hellboy 2 is one of my favorites, and they did a great job with the costumes.

Emerald City Comicon

Merida, meet….uh, Merida.

Emerald City Comicon

Moana was one of the sweetest women, and she gave my Falafel a green “heart” as a present for posing with her. She was handing these out to kids , and telling them to take care of the Heart of Te Fiti for her. My girl was THRILLED.

Emerald City Comicon

Super tiny-waisted Poison Ivy. Even with a run in her stockings, she looked FABULOUS.

Emerald City Comicon

Me and my Bee (The Queen and Merida).

Emerald City Comicon

Close up of that Uruk-Hai

Emerald City Comicon

This was another highlight. These guys are still rock-stars to me. LOVE the Weta workshop team. I was a little tongue-tied and star-struck. The convention is a little bit of a sensory overload, and I have such trouble focusing. Nothing like thousands of people to throw off my concentration.  He, on the other hand, was incredibly nice and seemed right at home.

Emerald City Comicon

I don’t have a seperate post for my costume because I finished it right before we went (um, like the night before). That dress was a beast to make. I used a Simplicity costume pattern, that I had to muslin the heck out of. The pattern pieces didn’t even resemble the originals after I was done. The wig is actually two wigs. I cut up a black wig to add some length to the brown one. Not being a fan of wigs (I find them cumbersome and itchy), I am glad I don’t need to wear it anymore, but glad it did the trick for my costume.

We were stopped quite a bit for photos, so if you happen to see any on social media, please let me know!

Wee Dingwall cosplay

Today I am sharing the easiest of all our costumes, Wee Dingwall cosplay for our Falafel. You can see Fergus here, and Merida here.

Wee Dingwall Cosplay: From Brave

I had trouble finding the exact tartan for this, so I just went with this flannel. It is different from the one I found for Fergus. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to track down matches for both of them. Ultimately, unless you are obsessed, or looking at a photo, you wouldn’t know, right?

Wee Dingwall Cosplay: From Brave

My girl was trying to make a Dingwall face, but she ended up just being silly. A lot.

Wee Dingwall Cosplay: From Brave

I followed the same tutorial for making her kilt, as I used for this one. And I made her brooch the same too.

Wee Dingwall Cosplay: From Brave

The hair is tricky. We have tried everything to get it to be a different color (without dyeing it), including smashing up white eyeshadow, and making a paste. But nothing worked. So I think she will have to go with her natural brown. I just put a little oil in her hair and used the blow dryer on it for these photos. For the actual day, we have gelatin to put in. That should do the trick.

Wee Dingwall Cosplay: From Brave

For fun and a touch of whimsy (and really just to make her giggle) I used banana fabric as the liner of the sporran.

  Wee Dingwall Cosplay: From Brave

Totally works.

My Falafel wasn’t thrilled with this costume choice, but I think she makes it pretty great. Not too many girls in Brave, if you aren’t Merida. We’ll see if anyone recognizes her!

Fergus from Brave cosplay

Welcome, if you are here from the Cali Fabrics Blog! And Welcome back to everyone else! As you may know, my family and I are headed to the local ComicCon in about a week, and of course, that means I made our costumes. We are going as the royal family from the movie Brave. You can see The Bee’s Merida costume here. I finally talked my husband into doing a Fergus cosplay. It was a bear of a costume. heh.

Fergus from Brave cosplay

 I didn’t realize how many fiddly little components there were, until I started to make it. My favorite, though is his bear cape.

Fergus from Brave cosplay

Cali Fabrics supplied me with this incredible Black Mongolian Faux Fur, that I knew would be perfect. You can read more about it over on my post on the Cali Fabrics Blog. The only thing I did to it, was add a chain to connect both sides. Done and done.

That brooch was made from a yogurt container lid that I cut the center out of and painted. The stick that fastens it is a wooden chopstick painted the same color. I’d say, that component was the most difficult to troubleshoot. I went through all the viable materials, in my head, until I came up with good ol plastic lids (which we seem to never run out of).

Fergus from Brave cosplay

The sporran and sash were made with this dark brown distressed leather look fabric, which Cali Fabrics also provided me with, and sewed up quite nicely. It is more of a grey, in real life, though. Nonetheless, it sewed up like buttah.

Fergus from Brave cosplay

The kilt fabric, I found on Etsy from Fabric LA. It was shipped super quickly and arrived in perfect condition, faster than I anticipated. To make it into a kilt (or a faux kilt) I followed this fantastic youtube tutorial.   I forgot to photograph the back, so you’ll have to trust me. It is pleated nicely.

Jim made the belt buckle by taking the base of a banana holder, and sawing off parts. Then he connected it to a weightlifting belt, and put it on backward. After these photos, I actually stained it a darker color, and like it even better.

Fergus from Brave cosplay

The tunic is a piece of leather someone gifted me on the Buy Nothing Project! It is ideal for this project! I punched holes in it along each side, and then cut a thin strip of leather to lace it up with. No sewing required. And The Bee actually knitted the chainmail. I thought about making real chainmail (for about 30 seconds), and then quickly came to my senses.

Fergus from Brave cosplay

The helmet is a kid’s viking helmet we found thrifting, and the hair is just orange yarn, teased and hot glued on. It is my husband’s least favorite component of this costume. Without it, I think he looks like he belongs on the Game of Thrones (which, honestly, he would like so much better).

Fergus from Brave cosplay

FInally, the peg leg. Cheese Louise, that one was tricky. In the end, I took a stocking, cut it into a tube, slid it on his leg, then stuffed it randomly with batting.

Fergus from Brave cosplay

My husband plans on shaving his beard like Fergus, but he is waiting for the actual day. He doesn’t have as much padding as the character, but I think people will get the gist. He’s “lean” Fergus.

Fergus from Brave cosplay

I can’t wait to share my costume with you, but I suppose I should finish it first (YIKES)! Wish me luck! I will share what I made our Falafel, this week. It may give you a giggle. It certainly does for me.

*********

**Even though I recieved some of the components for this costume, as always, my opinions are mine, mine, mine.

First Sweater

My Bee has been knitting up a storm lately! You can always find her with a project in her hands. Even in some of her classes! She loves it, and she is getting better with every item she knits. She finished her very first sweater this past weekend, for her sister.

First sweater knit by my teen

This sweater was made using the pattern Mud Season by The Brown Stitch. It knit up fairly quick, and you knit the whole thing at once! No piecing (a big plus).

First sweater knit by my teen

First sweater knit by my teen

It is a little large on my Falafel, because The Bee made her a woman’s small. She is nowhere near that size, but surprisingly the rest of it fits. Just really wide. She loves it, though. She said it was “slouchy and comfy”. Plus it is super soft. So there’s that.

First sweater knit by my teen

First sweater knit by my teen

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love the fact that my teen knits. It doesn’t make sense to my brain, and it amazes me that it does to hers.

Any knitters out there? Any favorite patterns to share?