Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Silhouette Decorations

While I was making the Halloween Greetings stationary, I was struck with a brilliant idea. Why don't I make the same thing, but as a window silhouette?

Black cats

Victorian Steampunk Couple
You can tell they're steampunk, because I added gears and a compass and cool stuffage.

After washing my windows inside and out, I adhered them to the inside of the windows using Scotch tape.
I closed the blinds super tight, then placed tea lights behind them to back light them. Since I'm fairly certain construction paper is flammable, I used electric tea lights. In theory, when it's dark, the silhouettes should be backlit to stand out really well in the windows and should look pretty neat. Let's see if it worked...

It worked! It looks much better in real life, believe me.

This was super fun and super easy!

©2011 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hand Painted Halloween Shirts

After working on the Halloween Stationary, I still had an itch to do something crafty. I was planning on purchasing the kiddos Halloween shirts, but decided making them would be much more fun.

My chosen method was to hand paint their shirts. Since I am no Michealangelo (as we learned from my last post), I needed to keep it fairly simple and within the realm of my freehand drawing skills. So, I drew a simple black cat for big sissy (age 5) and a super simple spider for baby brother (age 3). I painted them with melted crayons and removed the wax when they were cool. Afterwards, I outlined them with a black marker.

Here's how they turned out:

Black Cat

The tail wraps around the shirt to the back.

Close-up of cat. I was trying to mimic cat hair with my brush strokes, but should probably have done them front to back vice top to bottom.

She looks calico! This was unintentional, as I was trying to get a vintage washed out look. I've also added splatters of purple crayon. This was to add some Halloween-y color and to cover up a few accidental splatters.


Close up of spider. Even though I painted it black, it is in fact a brown recluse. You can tell by the violin shape on his back! (When I said this to my husband, he accused me of being a dork.)

Detail of green and purple splatters for extra decoration (and to cover up a few accidents!)

A few things I learned:

1) Don't use cheap crayons. They bleed when you remove the wax from the shirt.

2) Melted crayons give off noxious fumes. Do this in a well ventilated area.

3) Don't use cheap paintbrushes. I bought some super cheap ones, figuring I would just throw them away rather than clean them. Those paintbrushes were the pits, and were the bane of this project.

I hope the kiddos love their new shirts :)

© 2011 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Greetings

Unfortunately, my sewing machine and crafting supplies are STILL in storage. My husband and I are temporarily at a duty station for less than a year, therefore, we decided to get a very small place. I thought I would be able to sew, but there simply isn't any room! No room to iron or cut material, no room to draft patterns, there isn't even room for an ironing board. We might as well be in a cardboard box :(

I refuse to give up crafting completely. I have a scarf I started last year, which I need to finish crocheting for my husband (tunisian entrelac - that was a mistake!), so I guess I could work on that. I was about to pull it out of whatever box it's in, in storage, when an entirely new project took over my little brain.

As you may have noticed, Halloween is approaching. I usually buy cards for my loved ones, but browsing the greeting card section of several stores, I found that most were...uninspiring. Plus, who wants to pay $3+ for a piece of cardboard that will most likely end up in the bin when the holiday is over?

So, I made my own.

I used simple construction paper vice expensive cardstock. A 40 page pack of various colors was $1.99 at Target. A hobby knife was $5.00 at Micheal's. My own imagination and rudimentary sketching skills were the only other things I needed. Here's what I came up with:

From Halloween Stationary

They're not very intricate, because I lack patience, as my loyal fans already know from past posts. I don't want to sit, cutting out tiny designs for an hour.

This last one is for my husband. He's seen it already, and I suppose I didn't do a great job on it because even with the words, he still didn't know what it was. Here's what it's supposed to be:

In my defense, I was only quickly sketching it. I was also watching a movie about the Salem Witch Trials, so I was a bit distracted. Oh well, I never claimed to be a Michealangelo :)

Here's a hint, score and fold the paper before you cut it. It's much easier to do it first, especially if you have some intricate cutwork. I folded my paper in thirds so that they'll fit into a business sized envelope for cheap mailing. Oversized or oddly sized envelopes cost more than 1 stamp, F.Y.I.

Feel free to snag my idea, just let others know about me!

© 2011 Pineapple Damask, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quilt Drive for the Children Victims of Texas Wildfire

The wildfire of Bastrop County Texas (Central Texas, east of Austin) is still going strong. Hundreds of homes have been completely destroyed and thousands of people have been displaced. This hits home with me, as I used to live in central Texas and I still have dear friends in the area. I wish there was something I could do to help.

Every little act of kindness counts, and Heather of Modern Day Quilts has come up with the plan to give every child who lost their home in the fire a quilt to sleep under. I think this is an excellent idea. Will you participate?

Each quilt should be 45x60, and twin sized quilts are encouraged. Please mail your quilts to:

Valli & Kim Quilt Shop, Attn: Wildfire Quilts, 700 West Highway 290, Dripping Springs, TX 78620.

See Modern Day Quilt's blog post for information on where to direct questions.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blog Redesign!

I am currently trying to redesign my blog! Please be patient with me as it has been a long time since I've used HTML. I anticipate that I will be changing the blog appearance often until I am satisfied ;)

For Christmas last year, I was gifted with a great new camera. Oh, it's nice! It's a digital SLR and the photos it takes are 14 megs or some crazy huge resolution like that. Some of the more recent photos on this blog were taken with my new camera, and it leaves me completely unsatisfied with the pictures taken from the older camera. So, in addition to a blog redesign, I will also be redoing some tutorials so they will have better quality photographs accompanying them. I am still not completely moved (looking for the perfect place takes time), so it may be a week (or 2...) before I am reunited with my sewing tools and get started on that.

Until then, keep sewing!
As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting anything recently. I have been fighting a pretty bad illness and am doing somewhat better now. Additionally, I am in the process of moving across the country - yikes! So, there will be no new sewing projects for me until I get settled in and can get my sewing machines off the moving van. I hope it's soon, my brain is full of ideas of some great projects I'd love to try! =)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reconstructed Shirt to Sundress

Something I love to do is to reconstruct old things into something new. Remember my tutorial on reconstructing sweatshirts into pillows? (Click here for it) Here, I'll show you how to reconstruct a blouse into a sundress. I picked up the shirt for $3.99 at Goodwill. The fabric was a pique shirt, which I've noticed gave the photographs a weird reflection. I apologize for that.
When looking for a shirt, try to find one that's big, or you will be limited on what you can do for it. This one was an XL and I was able to make a sundress that fit me, even after removing the button placket.

Here's the shirt:
From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

1. After washing and pressing the shirt, I removed the front pocket using a seam ripper.
From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

2. Then, I removed the arms. If you'd like, you can use a seam ripper to do this. I chose to just cut them off with a pair of scissors.

From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

3. I cut the shirt just under the armholes. The top part will become the bodice of my dress and the bottom will be used to make the skirt.

From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

4. I removed the collar and then cut the shoulders off as close to the collar as possible.

From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

5. To make the bodice, I cut off the arm seams and squared up the front and the back pieces. Then, I removed the buttons and cut off the button placket. I sewed right and left halves together where the button placket originally existed.
From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

I sewed the front of the shirt to the back of the shirt, forming a tube for the bodice. The original front of the shirt is now the back of the dress because of the seam. There are now three seams in the bodice : 2 side seams and the back seam where the button placket was located.

6. To make the skirt, I squared up the bottom half of the shirt. Then, I removed the placket in the same way as I did for the bodice. Like as the bodice, I sewed the front half to the back half, forming a tube for the skirt. There are 3 seams like the bodice, and the original button placket location forms the back seam.

From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

7. Then, I sewed the skirt to the bodice, lining up the back seams, and gathering the skirt to the bodice.
From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

8. I cut strips from the arms to make a ruffle for the bottom of the skirt.

From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

9. On the bodice, I made a 5/8" casing for elastic.
From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

10. Then, I inserted a 1/2" elastic band, which was about an inch smaller than my bust measurement.
From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

11. Where the bodice meets the skirt, I added three rows of smocking, using elastic bobbin thread. (See my Smocking Tutorial, How to Smock

From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

Ta-da! Here it is! Ignore my white legs - it's still winter here!
From Reconstructed Shirt to Dress

Have any interesting projects? Click here to post them in the Pineapple Damask Flickr Photo Pool!

How to Make a Fabric Scrap Hair Tie

A great way to use up small scraps of fabric is to make hair ties. Here's how I do it.

1. Select a bit of fabric.
Make sure it's bigger than 6 inches long and about 8 or so inches wide.
From Fabric scrap hair tie

2. Sew the scrap edges.

Using matching or contrasting thread and a zigzag stitch sew rectangles that are about 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Sew about 10 of these long rectangles on your fabric. The purpose of sewing (and using a zigzag stitch) is to keep the fabric from completely unraveling. There will be some fraying, but that gives the hair tie a "shabby chic" feel.

From Fabric scrap hair tie

Here, you can see the rectangles sewn onto the fabric.

From Fabric scrap hair tie

3. Cut out the strips.

Ensuring that you do not cut the stitches, cut out each rectangular strip.

From Fabric scrap hair tie

From Fabric scrap hair tie

From Fabric scrap hair tie

4. Assemble the hair tie.

Use an elastic hair band and tie each fabric scrap onto it.

From Fabric scrap hair tie

From Fabric scrap hair tie

When it's finished it should look something like this:

From Fabric scrap hair tie

Isn't that fun? Don't forget to post your projects in the Pineapple Damask Flickr Photo Pool!

How to Sew in an Invisible Zipper

I have always avoided invisible zippers. They intimidated me, and all the instructions I could find made it seem complicated and not worth the effort. Then, one day, I set about learning and realized, it's the simplest thing! Invisible zippers give a polished, professional look to dresses, shirts, and pants. I encourage you to give it a try.

1. Prepare the zipper.
Lay the zipper on your ironing board, and then unzip it all the way and flip it over.
From Invisible Zipper

From Invisible Zipper

2. Iron the zipper.
Using a synthetic setting on your iron, press the coils flat, so that the stitching next to the coils show.
From Invisible Zipper

3. Pin the zipper to your garment.
Pin the RIGHT side of the zipper to the RIGHT side of your fabric, using a 5/8" seam allowance.

From Invisible Zipper

4. Attach your invisible zipper foot.

This is a special foot that does not come with your sewing machine. If your machine comes with a foot, it is for regular zippers. Invisible zippers need to be sewn almost right at the coils and therefore require a special foot. These are usually plastic and can be found cheaply in the same section where you find the zippers. Attach to your machine, according to the directions, and ensure that the needle is positioned directly over the center hole in the zipper foot. Also, make sure that your sewing machine is set for a straight stitch.

From Invisible Zipper

5. Sew.
Position garment so that the right groove of the invisible zipper foot is over the zipper coils. Sew, remembering to backtack at the beginning.

From Invisible Zipper

Continue to sew until the zipper foot touches the zipper's slider. Backtack to secure stitches.

From Invisible Zipper

6. Repeat with other half of zipper.

Pin the other half of the zipper to the other half of your garment, RIGHT sides together. Ensure that the zipper is not twisted. Position the left groove of the zipper foot over the coils and sew until the foot reaches the slider.

7. Stitch remaining seam of garment.

Close zipper and flip your garment inside out.

From Invisible Zipper

Slide the zipper foot to the left so that the needle goes through the outer notch. Pull the ends of the zipper out of the way and lower the needle, by hand, to about 1/2" to the left of your last zipper stitch. Sew for about 2 inches.
From Invisible Zipper

Then, switch to your machine's regular presser foot and finish sewing the seam normally.

Flip your garment rightside out and check out your handiwork!

From Invisible Zipper