Sewing Rope Baskets

Remember the change purses I made for teacher gifts? I never had the chance to show you the rope baskets I made for the end of the year teacher gifts. Now that things have quieted down, I can finally do that.

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Baskets

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Bowls

Sewing Rope Bowls

I absolutely adore making these. It is incredibly cathartic. You can see more of these here, here, and here. They make great gifts and you can create any size you want. I think my favorite kind, though, are made with found or recycled rope. Especially if they are stained. It adds such a cool look. So for this batch, I purposely spray painted them with watered down acrylic paint (like I used in my spray paint tutorial). For some of the baskets, I even used blue thread. Ultimately, I think I prefer the white thread, though.

I think for the next batch, I would like to try to make really large ones. Doesn’t that sound like fun?!

What is your most fun sewing project?

On-Our Shelves Sunday: Feeding my inner Survivalist

On our shelves this week is a book that I happened upon at the library, and my inner survivalist couldn’t resist checking it out:

Show me how to survive book review

Show Me How to Survive

*affiliate link*

by Joseph Pred

This book is illustrated with simple universal safety type images, which make my visual heart happy. There are short captions below the images which also help the reader understand what to do. It gives super simplified instructions for everything from making a fire, to catching pigeons to eat, to fending off attackers.Not a complete manual by any means, but a fun and interesting read. Kind of tongue-in-cheek. Note for any parents out there, there are a few graphic images, and some blood in a couple, so not for the visually sensitive child. More of an adult manual (although, our 10 year old was intrigued by it, and read through it a few times already).

I plan to use this book to teach us all how to build a bow drill this Summer. Should be fun for camping!

What is on YOUR shelves this week?

Too Short to Model

Too Short Model dilemma

Looking at that title, you probably are thinking, “What do mean,

Too Short to Model??!”

Well, let me explain. My redhead has wanted to either act or do print modeling for many years. She actually did a runway modeling job last year for Rock it Like a Redhead and again for the Trashion Show this past Spring (both unpaid). Since she was little, she has had a love of acting and being in the spotlight . And I, not being in that field, had absolutely no idea where to start. Now that she is 16, braces off, and an adult size, not to mention that social media makes these things a bit easier, I asked around and found the names of a few modeling agencies to check out.

carsonfrontmgoodm

One of the requirements is that women should be between 5’7 and 6 feet tall. Both agencies had this stipulation. If you are not that tall, don’t bother. Well, I measured my girl, and my ruler said she was 5’6.5, so we decided to take the risk, and go there for the open call. It is only half an inch, afterall.

We filled out the paperwork, I took special headshots and stressed about printing them (it only took about 7 times printing to get it right), we rode the ferry into Seattle, and walked 30 minutes there…only to find out she is too short. They measured her, without her shoes, and said she measured 5’5.5, and sent us on our way without a consideration, and told us that when she grows a few more inches, she can come back.

OK. Well, she is done growing, so that isn’t going to happen.

I was genuinely surprised. I thought, if anything, they would turn her away because of her pale complexion (which can be difficult to photograph), or her wild mane of red hair (which can be equally difficult).

This is not the end of the world, by any means. To her, though, it feels quite devastating. As a parent, I was trying to support my child in doing what she wants to persue, right now. And we both don’t give up very easily.

So my question to you, dear readers is: “Are there any other agencies/ roads/ ways for my daughter to do this, or is this brick wall too thick to bash through?”.

Look for the newsletter next week. I just couldn’t manage everything this week!

On that note, have a great weekend.

Recovered Case

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

Recovered Case using the old case as a pattern

I wish I took a photo of the original cover. It was pretty thrashed. Lots of tears, and the fabric was brittle. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could do this. You’ll have to use your imagination.  A friend of mine runs a non-profit music program for kids, regardless of income. It is pretty wonderful. She has a few of these cases that are extremely worn, and she gave me one to play with. I wanted to see if I could recover it, and you know what? I can!

It is far from perfect, being the first one I ever did, but it totally works, and it looks a heck of a lot better than it did. I completely seam ripped (carefully) the old cover off, and removed all the hardware, and then used the old case as a pattern, adding a half inch seam allowance all around. The best part is, I managed to save the zipper and the straps, and reuse them. It is difficult to find a 52″ zipper, so I am thrilled to be able to use the old one.

One case saved from the landfill! I can’t wait to do more.

Make Dad a Tie: Happy Father’s Day!

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Make Dad a Tie

I must start by telling you that my husband generally doesn’t wear ties. He doesn’t need one for work, and we rarely go to events that require them. BUT I couldn’t resist making him one this year after seeing all the brilliant ties out there being made. Ha!  Plus, it is tradition, right? Give Dad a tie. Or in this case, Make Dad a Tie.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

I found a FREE pattern over on Craftsy by Sweet Shop Sewing.  I made the feather print tie first, using this pattern. Only, it came out too small. It would definitely fit a little boy.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

So I gave it another try. This time I used Four Corners Circles Fabric and stripe gray sparkle fabric by liZ and Elizabeth from Simple Simon. I lurve this fabric.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

I used the same pattern, only I lengthened the back piece to match the front piece. It worked out to be 58 inches long, which is perfect for my 5’11” guy.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Insert your favorite Dad, and you are done!

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Now he is prepared for any occasion that requires a bit of fancying up.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Happy Father’s Day to all you fantastic Dad’s out there! You are so needed in this world, and you are loved.

More Zippered Change Purses

zippered changed purses made with a FREE pattern

Zippered Change Purses

Remember the change purse I made for our friend’s graduation? Well, I thought they would make great teacher gifts, too, so I quickly whipped more of these up to give away, yesterday!

zippered changed purses made with a FREE pattern

I adore this fabric. It is all colorful and happy. We all need more happy, don’t you think?

zippered changed purses made with a FREE pattern

I am also thrilled that I had enough of this pigeon fabric to make another wallet. That bird makes me giggle.

zippered changed purses made with a FREE pattern

If you are looking for Noodlehead’s FREE pattern, click here.

 I cannot believe this school year is over. I think we are all more than ready for Summer.

What have YOU made for teacher gifts this year?

 

Upcycled Quick Sew Tween outfit

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

Upcycled Quick Sew Tween outfit

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know how I feel about upcycling. If you are new here, you can see some more upcycled projects by clicking on the category “Upcycling” under the banner on top of this page. You’ll get the idea that me and upcycling, we are close.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

That means that people give me things. All the time. I end up with linens and worn clothing and all sorts of things that people don’t want anymore, because they know I will do something with them. And you know what? I love that.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

This outfit was made from a small square lace tablecloth, and some mysterious heavier-weight fabric (maybe drapes) that was in my stash. I have no idea of what it was in it’s past life, but it was perfect for the skirt.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

I will start with that shawl shirt. It was so simple, it took literally minutes to make. I turned the square diagonally so it looked like a diamond. I then folded it so the top point met the bottom point. I cut a small semicircle out of the center. Then I hemmed it. I also sewed a straight line from the bottom up to her armpit, on each side. That is it. Because it is lace, it stretched a bit when she put it on, which she loves.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

As an aside, let me tell you that I am still blinking at the fact that my youngest is now a tween and we are all finished with Elementary school.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

Because this girl of mine is now going on to Intermediate school, she is very appropriately more picky about what I make her, more specifically, about what she will actually wear.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

The skirt was a bit of an experiment. I just finished thumbing through Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida *affiliate link* and the origami pillows caught my eye. I could not stop think about making a garment with this technique!

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

I just spread out the front panel of the skirt (much larger than it would have to be to account for the shrinking from the pintucks) and started to fold and sew. It was actually a whole lot of fun. I just sewed it up as a simple skirt (like here, here, and here,)with a casing for the elastic in the waistband.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

I made this outfit, and she instantly put it on, and then wore it to the graduation party we attended over the weekend. I’d call that a success.

upcycled quick sew tween outfit by falafel and the bee

What have YOU made today?

 

Graduation gift idea

I was hemming and hawing trying to come up with a graduation gift idea, when it hit me:

"Give them what they want" graduation gift: AKA Cash

Graduation Gift Idea? Um, Cash. Duh.

I didn’t just want to hand our dear friend money, though. We have known this young lady since she was teeny tiny. She is like family to us. It felt unceremonial to just hand her a bill. So I made her a small change purse using Noodlehead’s FREE pattern. It was quick and easy, and used up some scraps (which I love).

"Give them what they want" graduation gift: AKA Cash

I have made tons of zippered coin purses before, but I love Anna’s version because it adds a little more fancy to it with that handy pocket and pretty closure. BTW, no one asked me to review this pattern, I just was looking for a quick and easy (yet fancy) pattern.

"Give them what they want" graduation gift: AKA Cash

I only had a few small pieces of this Pigeon Fabric, which I adore, and used here for a bowtie and here for some boxers.

"Give them what they want" graduation gift: AKA Cash

The front pocket is large enough for a business card, and the whole thing can attach to some keys.

"Give them what they want" graduation gift: AKA Cash

Very practical for someone who is college-bound!

"Give them what they want" graduation gift: AKA Cash

These would make an excellent end- of-the-school-year gift as well! I think I will have to make a few for teachers this week.

What do YOU give graduating seniors?

Making a tablecloth for a patio table with an umbrella

I made another Instructable! This time it shows how to make a tablecloth with a hole in the center for an outdoor umbrella to go through.

DIY tablecloth with a hole for an umbrella Tutorial

We have this beat up old plastic table that really doesn’t come clean anymore, so I needed a cover for it that would allow us to still use the umbrella.This is a super quick and easy project. It actually took longer to write the tutorial than it did to make it (and I even made the tablecloth from an old bedsheet).

Head over and make a tablecloth or two.