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DIY Iron Board

Hello!

When I was mindlessly going through Pinterest, this pin popped up. I thought to myself that my iron board could use a new cover. But then, I had stacked it somewhere high up which was not readily accessible and I found the iron board with its collapsible stand too bulky to use (the real reason is my laziness).

But, this pin by Ashley was totally awesome!! A table-top iron board removes the bulk, makes it easier to store in the wardrobe and can be brought to the table as and when I needed. Wow!

I had salvaged a piece of plywood a few months back which could serve as the base. A lot of scrap fabrics in the box could easily be the batting. The missing ingredients were hot glue gun and a big stapler. That will not stop me, after all there are always workarounds and alternatives. I took the basic idea from Ashley’s tutorial and improvised to suit what I had.

Things used:

  • Thin plywood board
  • Quick-dry sheet (size: small) [to provide a little cushion]
  • Scrap fabrics
  • Cotton twine
  • Needle
  • Glue

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How I did it:

Step 1: Lay the fabrics flat one on top of the other, leaving out the outermost layer. My faded kameez was my outermost layer, so I kept it aside. The cotton dupatta was at the bottom, followed by the black fabric, then the pink fabric and the quick-dry sheet on top.

Step 2: Place the board on top of the sandwich and cut the fabrics with a seam allowance of about 1 inch on each side.

Step 3: Place the board on the outermost layer and cut it with a larger seam allowance. As it was a kameez, I did not get an even seam allowance on all sides.

Step 4: Stack the layers up with the outermost layer at the bottom.

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Step 5: Cut the corners (triangles) so that they are not very bulky while folding.

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Step 6: Apply glue to the layer which will be facing the board. I applied glue on the quick-dry sheet which will be sitting on the board.

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Step 7: Place the board on top of the sheet aligning with the corners and let it dry. I used my laptop and a few books (they belong to my husband; old books bought long back before eReaders were available in India) and waited for about 20 minutes.

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Step 8: Fold the fabric over and sew the corners together. Once all four corners are done, sew the ends together.

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Looks gross, isn’t it? Thought so.

Step 9: Using a piece of fabric, cover these stitches on the board and hem it with the outermost layer.

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Not so much of an eyesore, right?

Turn it over and you have a new, portable iron board – handmade by you!! Need we say more?

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I used the iron board to fold the seams of the red fabric at the back for hemming. Cool, right?

Thanks for reading my post! I would be very happy to know your comments!

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Refashion adults’ top [kameez] into a little girl’s dress

Hi!

Of course, this is yet another post on how to refashion or upcycle old clothes. Since I made two skirts for my younger daughter Anjana, the elder one, Santoshi, was getting a teeny weeny bit jealous and felt left out. So, I had to do something for her too.

A couple of weeks back, I drove on a puddle of wet paint and skidded off from my two-wheeler, injuring nothing but my pride. There were mild and not-so-mild scratches on the vehicle, but happy to report that the road was unharmed!!

Luckily, we (Santoshi and I) came out of it with only bruises and to my surprise, the salwar kameez that I was wearing remained intact, but the white paint never came off. It was one of favourite set of clothes but the white smear made it unwearable.

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My initial thought was to make it into a nice tote bag, but I knew I will never use it (because I hate oversized, structure-less, open totes). Since Santoshi brought the topic of the skirts made for her younger sister up at every possible juncture, I checked if the kameez could become a knee-length frock for her.

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Looked like it may be possible!!

Things used:

  • The kameez
  • Small pieces of fabric for motifs from the salwar
  • A small piece of fabric for lining the bodice and waist band
  • Zip
  • Scissors
  • Co-ordinating threads
  • Sewing machine

Step 1: Considering seam allowance, mark and cut off the skirt portion.

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Step 2: I used lining for the bodice (since I don’t know how to do bias binding on neck and armhole). Align two pieces of the kameez (front and back) and two pieces of the lining fabric. Fold into half – now there will be eight layers. Fold the frock into half and trace the outline of the bodice on the fabric.

The paint smeared part was right where the top of the bodice was.  So, I used the wrong side of the kameez for the back portion of the bodice. I could not find any difference in colour between the right and wrong sides.

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Step 3: Make another outline for seam allowance and cut. You will end up like 2 sets like this.

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Step 4: Align the fabric and the lining and sew on the marking (not visible on this one, sorry).

Step 5: Cut small triangles out in the seam so that it lies flat when you turn it right side out.

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See the paint smear? So obvious and in the face, right? Gross!

Step 6: Turn the sets right side out.

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Paint smear is not so noticeable, yay!!

Step 7: Repeat for the other side and join the zip on the back portion.

Step 8: Pleat the top of the skirt portion and attach to the bodice.

Step 9: Attach a tube of the fabric as waist band.

Step 10: Align front and back sides and join them.

Step 11: I cut motifs from the salwar and added them to the frock because it was looking weird without them.

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Yup, that’s my baby, not so happy to pose, but I think she likes the frock!!

Thanks for reading my post!

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DIY cloth towels from fabric scraps

Hi!

Another pair of jeans successfully went through an amputation (that is, became a pair of shorts) and I was the proud surgeon, again. (Read this post to see how I did it.)


The left over part of the legs became something else altogether, unlike last time when they were transformed into a document holder.
As I was celebrating Anjana’s clearing the school admission interview process (she will start with kindergarten in June 2017), I started to make a list of items that she and my elder daughter Santoshi (moving to Grade I come June). One important item that needs to be packed for school everyday is a cloth towel (or lunch napkin as Santoshi calls it). While Santoshi needs two everyday (one each for snack and lunch) and Anjana will need only one (no lunch).

The school is quite particular about the size of these towels in order to avoid territorial wars on the snack table (“Hey, don’t you keep your water bottle on my towel!” or “Ma’am, I don’t have a place to keep my snack box, his towel is sooooo big…”). Bottomline, the towels have to be square in shape and measure around 10 to 12 inches each side. 

Luckily, the leftover denim legs were roughly about the same size. And, if (that’s a big IF) I cut them properly, there will be eight towels.
I looked into many pins on Pinterest about DIY cloth towels, applique, perfect corners, etc. I was thinking – there are people out there who sew things perfectly and put tutorial pins up. And, here I am, far far away from perfection, but that’s ok. After trying to do corners with a strip of fabric, I gave up and used serging for the corners. I checked with my daughter and she approved the serged ends, yay!

Now, let’s move to how I did it:

Things needed:

  • Leftover denim fabric from the pair of jeans
  • Fabric scraps for applique
  • Colour-coordinated threads (I didn’t use this)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing Machine
  • Stencil/ template (I used freehand drawing for my shapes)

Step 1: Draw the design / shape on the fabric. If it is a symmetrical design (such as a heart or a butterfly), fold the fabric into half, draw one half of the design on the fabric and cut both sheets of fabric together. I can never draw both sides to be of the same shape or size.

This is the outline of a bird:

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This is one of the wings:

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Step 2: Cut to shape.

Step 3: Arrange on the base (cloth towel in my case).

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Step 4: Sew the fabric pieces one by one to the base. The body first, then the wing on the body, then the tail wing, followed by a small brown triangle for the beak. I used zig-zag stitch in my machine.

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Step 5: Sew the other parts, if required – I did the eye and the legs using the regular stitch.

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Step 6: Serge the ends or use fabric tapes to go all around the edges. I just used zig-zag stitch the one side which might fray.

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And, that’s it, you are done!! Simple, isn’t it?

I did make towels with the other pieces too. I am posting pics of all but one (which is bad, trust me, you don’t want to see it).

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Thanks for reading the post and hope my sewing did not scare you. Please leave a comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Upcycle clothes in to toddler skirts

Helloooo!!

This is a post on how I made suspender skirts for my younger daughter Anjana (2.5 years). One of the skirts came from my top and the other from my husband’s shirt.

Let’s look at the one from my top first. I had ripped the side slit of my top while getting off my scooter and there was no way I could make it alright. Initially, I thought of making it into a trivet, but then I realised that it would make a pretty skirt for the little one.

Before image – my top:

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After image – suspender skirt:

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This was an experimental box pleat skirt, so I do not have any pics of how it became this way from my top, sorry.

But, for the next one, I started taking pics for most of the steps. Also, I decided that box pleat was not my cup of tea and that ruffled (using the pleat-as-you-go method) skirt may be better. Another reason for not choosing the box pleat was that the shirt’s bottom ends were curvy and not flat.

So, this is how it went:

Before image – Men’s shirt:

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Step 1: I wanted the skirt to measure 12 inches from waist down. So, I took the shortest point in the bottom seam and measure 13 inches (12 inches plus 1 inch seam – I am a novice, so I always work with wider seams) and snipped the top part.

Step 2: I cut three more strips – one measuring 22 inches (20 inches waist plus 2 inches for seams) long and about 4 inches wide; two more – each measuring 20 inches in length (17 inches for the suspender straps plus 3 inches for seams) and 3 inches in width.

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Step 3: Start pleating the top end of the skirt to ensure that you are left with the same length as the waist band.

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Step 4: Add the waist band to the top end – align right sides facing each other and sew on the wrong side.

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Step 5: Fold the waist band over to the wrong side and sew together to create a loop for the elastic.

PS: The ends of the waistband connect at the centre – where the buttons are.

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Step 6: With the help of a safety pin, slide the elastic through the waistband and sew the ends together. Then, push the left end of the waistband in to the right and sew.

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Step 7: Sew the front ends together (the one with the buttons and the other with the buttonholes so that my daughter will not be to open the skirt out in the front – accidentally).

Step 8: Make 2 tubes out of the other two strips and turn them out. Attach one end of each tube to the back and attach the other end of each tube to the front while crossing them over at the back (making an X shape).

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That’s it!! (I admit, it is a little high-waisted than I expected it to be).

This is my little darling in the skirt paired up with a light blue Old Navy t-shirt.

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Clearly, she did not like it! But, that’s a different problem 🙂

Hope you liked this post! Please give your comments about what you think of this. Thank you!

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DIY Rainbow Prop

Hello there!

After celebrating colour days for yellow, green, red and blue (in that order), Anjana’s playgroup decided to have a rainbow day. I wanted to make a rainbow prop for her. As rainbow involves curves, fabric was out of question. Hence, paper it was! The prop would be a rainbow (semicircle starting with violet on the top) to be hung over Anjana’s shoulders.

What I used:

  • Cardboard
  • Colour paper [violet, dark blue (in place of indigo), turquoise (for blue), green, gold (yellow), orange (foam sheet with glitter) and red]
  • white paper for clouds (optional)
  • two strips of ribbon
  • a pair of scissors
  • box cutter
  • glue
  • brown tape
  • t-shirt for measurement

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Step 1: Using Anjana’s t-shirt, I measured the approximate size of the rainbow – top starting from below the t-shirt’s neckline.wp-1487909829807.jpg

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I did not have a single piece of cardboard for the entire rainbow, so I glued two pieces together and secured with brown tape.

Step 2: Red being my smallest part of the rainbow, I cut the red paper to shape (more or less a semicircle).

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Step 3: Trace the outline on the orange glitter foam sheet for a semicircle with a radius of about 1.5 inches more than that of the red semicircle. Cut it to shape.

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Step 4: Repeat step 3 for each colour with the same increment in radius. Please note that I have cut the paper in the shape of semicircle and not arches.

Step 5: Paste the outermost colour (violet in my case) on to the cardboard.

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Step 6: Paste the other colours in the order aligning them at the bottom line. Once all the seven colours are glued on, cut the cardboard to shape.  Mine looked like this (not perfect, but this will do).

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Step 7: Add a strip of ribbon on either side and attach it to another piece of cardboard so that the prop can be hung over the child’s shoulders. I used glue and brown tape to keep the ribbons in place.

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Step 8 (optional – for clouds): Cut the white paper in the shape of clouds and attach them to the bottom on the inside.

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All done now!!

Here is Anjana wearing it over her Minnie Mouse frock.

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When I went to pick her up, she was given a cupcake with rainbow frosting. Wow, a tasty way to remember rainbow day!

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Of course, Anjana decided to eat it right away!

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DIY Butterfly Wings Costume

Hi!

This is another diy costume activity and I loved it! This was my younger daughter Anjana who almost 2.5 years old and goes to a play group. Remember when they had the red day? Anjana went in as a red crayon! Now it was blue day and though there was no information from the play group for any costume, I decided to make one anyway.

I initially wanted to dress her up as a blue bird but the bird wings costume was way beyond my ability. So, I settled for butterfly wings. This time, I did not want to work with fabric or with wire; hence, I had to improvise much after taking inputs from a variety of websites/blogs by searching in google and in pinterest.  I filtered two pins – one to figure out how they got the shape right and the other for putting it around Anjana’s shoulders.

What I used:

  • Cardboard (from an Amazon delivery carton)
  • Blue colour paper (one dark blue shade and the other was more of a turquoise)
  • Black cardstock for the body
  • Elastic band (1 inch wide; about 60 cm long)
  • Scissors, glue, double-sided sticky tape, brown tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Beads for decoration
  • Pipe cleaners for antennae

This is how it took shape:

Step 1: Draw the butterfly wings (top and bottom wings) on one side of the cardboard.

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Step 2: Cut the wings on one side and use it to trace the other set of wings.

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Step 3: Trace the other set of wings and cut.

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Note: I did not cut the bottom to shape because I was too lazy and also because it will not be seen from the front.

Step 4: Sew the elastic band with two loops (to rest on the shoulders). I used the buttonhole stitch in my machine hoping it would hold the band together more firmly than the other stitches.

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Step 5:  Cut a hole on either side of the wings (roughly about 2 inches from the centre and 3 inches from the top) and slip the loops through these holes.

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Step 6: Using double sided sticky tape and brown packing tape, glue the centre of the elastic band to the centre of the wings.  This would be side which will be seen from behind.

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Step 7: Cover both sides of the wings with the blue paper and decorate (the outer side) to your liking. Do remember to slit holes on the blue paper covering the side of the wings (which will face your child’s back) for the loops. With the black cardstock, add the butterfly’s body and stick it to the centre. Paste one end of the pipecleaners to the back of the butterfly’s head using double sided sticky tape and brown tape.

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Slip you child’s arms through the loops and you would have turned your cutie pie into a sweet butterfly. See my blue butterfly here:

Thanks for stopping by! Do give your feedback in the comments section!

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DIY Document Holder

Hi!

After trimming my husband’s favourite pair of jeans into a pair of shorts, the left-over fabric pieces and I were looking at each other. But for the frayed ends, the fabric was good and I did not want to throw them away.

I had always wanted a command centre (based on this post by Trish), I wanted something to store all important documents (my husband’s boarding passes for his weekly travel, my elder daughter Santoshi’s library folder which is due every wednesday morning, other circulars to be returned to her school after my signature, cheque for payment to younger daughter Anjana’s day care, Santoshi’s extra classes, the list is endless). I thought it would be nice to have multiple pockets.

This is how I did it:

Things used:

  • A piece of cardboard
  • A piece of fabric for the base (that was another leftover fabric from a project which did not make it to this blog)
  • Leftover denim fabric
  • Fabric Glue
  • Scissors
  • Packing tape
  • PVC pipe for backing

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Step 1: Cut the fabric into four pieces of equal size. The width of each piece was larger than that of a sheet of A4 paper. The height was about three-fourths of that of a sheet of A4 paper.

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Step 2: Arrange the denim fabric pieces on the piece of cardboard to ensure that there is enough space to fit all four of them.

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Step 3: Pin the pieces in place and sew three sides of each of the four pieces to the base fabric (leaving the top side open). I also used zigzag stitch to sew the edges to the base fabric to avoid fraying.

Step 4: Using fabric glue and tape, attach the base fabric to the cardboard and let it dry.

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Step 5: Attach PVC pipes on the back and secure them with glue and tape. The pipes will give enough support to the holder so that the cardboard does not fold. Doesn’t look good, but no one will see this side, so it’s ok 🙂

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Step 6: Add a binder clip or two to the top of the document holder and hang it using a nail. [I have not done this yet, because I need to have a nail on the wall first, waiting on dear husband to do it for me]. Mine is just resting on the wall atop the shoe rack.

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Step 7: If you have smaller items to place here, use binder clips on the top edge on the denim fabric to hold them.

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Well, what do you think? I would like to hear you comments. Thanks for reading my post!