DIY Chesire Cat costume accessories (Crochet)

Its that time of the year again, where I scramble at the last minute to make a Halloween costume!

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This year I’m planning on dressing up as the Cheshire Cat, in the style of the 1951  Alice in Wonderland Disney movie. The Cheshire cat and I go a long way, and if you’ve read this blog long enough you might recall it was once called “We’re all mad here”….a Cheshire Cat quote!

This year I decided to crochet the accessories for my costume, and get the rest of my costume as clothes I’m actually going to wear later. I love dressing in purple, so this is a win-win for my closet!

Here’s what I’ve made up until now:

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Cat Ears : I will start by saying I was super disappointed by most of the cat ears I saw in stores and online, so this was the first element I knew I’d crochet.

I was lucky to quickly find an easy & free pattern on Ravelry for chesire cat ears. The pattern is called “Chesire Cat Headband” and it was designed by  KandJdolls.blogspot.com. What an easy pattern!  My favorite thing about these is the hair band is striped and the ears fold easily. I may make this again in black if I ever need a black cat costume.

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Cat Tail: You can’t be a Cheshire Cat without a tail! Unless you pretend youre a cheshire cat in the middle of a disappearing act and your tail is invisible. Seriously, I considered this because the tail was a tough one. I was super close to buying one of those furry tails they sell at Spencers and Hot topic, but I really wanted the tail to perfectly match the ears, so I made one.

ENTER, furries! I found a GREAT tutorial to make your own furry tail. The tutorial is called “DIY Fox Tail Tutorial” and it was made by Jennifer at “iSaveAtoZ”. The only downsides are that it requires a lot of time and yarn. Since I’m low on free time this week I opted to braid my yarn. I followed one of the tips from the tutorial above and used a clean pet brush to make the end of the tail. Its soooo soft and fluffy. Seriously, if you have the time and need a tail try the tutorial. I may even go Cheshire Cat 2.0 next year just so I can make a proper tail.

I used about 12 strands of yarn, which originally looped around my waist and went all the way down to my knees.  Note! The length of the finished braid will be about 2/3 of the length of yarn you cut, so allow for some shrinkage.  Since I wasn’t very wary of this, I ended up with a shorter braid than I wanted and had to tie it to the back loop of my pants. My original plan was to split the braid halfway and tie it around my waist.

Still, Im quite happy with how this one turned out….considering it was mostly improvised!

Cat…Collar?

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Finally….a peter pan colllar! Yes, we’re mixing up fairy tales up in here!

I realized that the tail and the ears were not enough and I needed to tie my outfit together with one last matched accessory.

So in the middle of the night I made this super easy peter pan collar and alternated the double crochet rows with my chesire car colors. The pattern is called “Crochet Peter Pan Collar” and was designed by Mel Paton. The button is light purple, but if I can I’ll replace it with something more….WILD!

These were all quite easy to make…but my costume isnt finished. Im going to test out some chesire cat makeup and even a chesire cat at home manicure. : D

Are you dressing up this week? Any crafty plans for your costume? Id love to hear from you, dear readers!

Love,

L.C.

P.S. – Oh and in case you are wondering….the top is from Jc Penney online and the pants are a Gloria Vanderbilt thrift shop find!

Zodiac Fuzzy Poster – Complete!

I first shared this poster while it was in progress, about a year ago. I’m happy to report it is now finished and adorning our craft room wall. While I don’t follow astrology predictions, I do enjoy learning about the signs, the constellations behind them and what patterns are observed for each sign.

Fuzzy Zodiac Poster

I used fine tip permanent markers for most of the poster, but for larger sections like the border I used the markers that came with the poster. They are not as high quality, but they were very effective for getting large chunks of work done.

I am particularly fond of the trees in this poster. The marker ink layered up nicely and created unexpected bark effects on the tree trunks. A similar effect happened on the earth globe, where marker layers created an “ocean current” look.

For those interested in making their own: I found this at the kids art section of Bartell’s drug store. I suggest checking your nearest “all in one” drug store to see if you find one similar. If you do, please share!  I think I may need another one soon, this is very addicting. 😀

-L.C.

DIY Tshirt headbands & accessories

I’ve been experimenting with new materials a lot lately and one of them is T-shirt yarn! T-shirt yarn is basically a long strip of t-shirt fabric that can be used as a heavy weight yarn for any craft.

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Last year when I started my venture into designing for Darby Smart, I picked several skeins of T-shirt yarn to play with. I racked my brain for a while on how to use them, and recently came up with several fun ideas: bracelets, necklaces and my favorite…. headbands!

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Tshirt yarn will make chunky and lasting accessories, and if you make your own T-shirt yarn you can easily start a whole collection of color coordinated accessories. This material is also perfect for exercise headbands as they will absorb sweat and are very easy to care for.

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To create any of these, just follow these guidelines. This is the example for a chunky headband, but the instructions are the same for necklaces or bracelets.

  1. Find some tshirt yarn and a large crochet hook :
    1. I used an I size crochet hook, try out some different hooks to find your perfect fit. Usually, the bigger the hook, the looser the stitches will be.
    2. To make your own tshirt yarn check out this tutorial. You can also buy the one I used here.
  2. Start a crochet chain and keep going until the chain is long enough to go around your head comfortably.
    1. For basic crochet tutorials, check YouTube
  3. Slip stitch the beginning of the chain to the end
  4. (Optional) Start a new row over your chain in whatever stitch you prefer. I wanted a dense head band so I made a row of half double crochet.
  5. Try on the headband  as you crochet it, that way if its too tight or too lose you can start from the top quickly.
  6. Once you’re happy with the fit and size of your accessory, cut the end of the yarn and fasten off.

And tah-dah! You’ve got your new t-shirt yarn accessory.

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I took my very patriotic headband to yoga class and it worked like a charm! It kept stray hairs and sweat off my face. It fell off once during a forward fold towards the end of class, but its quite comfortable now so I wouldn’t tighten it any more than it is.  The best thing is, you can hand wash these or throw them in the washing machine, like you would any t-shirt.

I hope you can try this out, let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks!

L.C.

P.S. – This isn’t a sponsored post, but I did get the tshirt yarn compliments of Darby Smart.

DIY T-shirt resizing

What do you do with a shirt that’s too large? Sleep in it? Heck no! You fix that bad boy and wear it proudly. When people tell you how well your t shirt fits you can smile with the knowledge that you fixed it yourself.

Keep reading for a simple tutorial on how to size down a large shirt. ???????????

Materials:

1 shirt to be sized down

1 shirt that fits you well (No, you wont have to destroy it! 🙂 )

thread in color similar to shirt

sewing machine or sewing needle

Tailor’s chalk pencil or  water soluble color pencil

scissors

pins

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Steps:

1. Lay down your Extra large shirt on a flat surface and place the shirt that fits well on top. Notice how much is going to be cut on the sides and (optionally) under the sleeves.

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2.Turn both shirts inside out and pin them against a flat surface, larger shirt on the bottom. (I used a flattened cardboard box covered in cloth, but this optional.) Make sure that you align the shirts from the shoulders and the sleeves are extended.

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3. With a color pencil or tailors chalk pencil mark the outline of the top shirt on the bottom shirt. You can outline the bottom of the shirt but in my case I chose to keep the shirts original length (so no cuts were made at the bottom). Keeping the original bottom of the shirt will also help you line up the sides and keep that nice fold of the bottom.

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4.Remove the top shirt and fix any lines in the outline. Once you’re happy with the outline start pinning along the line you just made.

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5. At this point I suggest carefully turning the shirt right side out and checking that any designs on the front and back of the shirt are aligned correctly. After checking, turn the shirt inside out again and check your lines one last time.

6. You’re ready to cut the extra cloth on the sides. Take a deep breath and starting from the bottom,  cut the sides away. (Optional) If the sleeves are too big, cut them off the torso and remove any extra cloth under the sleeve.

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7. With a sewing machine or by hand sewing, sew along both sides of the shirt, remembering to stop once you reach the sleeves.

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8. When the torso is sewn back together , try the shirt on and see how it fits. If you didn’t cut out the sleeves you would be done at this step.  If you cut out the sleeves and like it sleeveless, you’re also done!???????????

9.  (Optional)If the neckline or design of the shirt is too low, you can cut the seam at the shoulder and remove some fabric. I only removed about two inches from the front and sewed the shoulders back together. This left a little bunching on the back of my arm,but I can live with it.

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10. When the torso of the shirt is complete you can sew back any sleeves you’ve cut off. Align them from the shoulders and remember not to sew the sleeves shut! Tip: Look between the sleeve and torso for any holes and sew them shut as well.

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11. Cut away any extra fabric at the seams and any loose string.

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And that’s it. Remember that you don’t need to do all this at once. You can trim the width, lengths, or sleeves of any t-shirt and see how you like the new fit. Once you try this you’ll wonder why you ever wore a shirt that was too large for you.

 

Peace out!

L.C.

 

D.I.Y. Phone Strap Kit

One of my latest crafty acquisitions has been this fantastic phone strap kit. The official name is “Happy Sweets Elegant Creamy Clay Kit” in Chocolate.

I’ve seen many videos on YouTube about people using these and they make it look so easy! But I gave it a try anyway! Note: You cannot eat anything in this kit!

Contents of the kit

I wanted to share some pictures of what I got, how I used it and what I made with it. Hopefully this will help you figure out if you’d like your own kit!

You can use your own beads too!

Use the lighter, foamy clay (set of 3) to make the cookies and chocolate. You just press the foamy clay into the mold and clean up the edges. This was super easy to do so I went a little overboard. ^__^

 The heavier clay (set of 2, brown and cream/glitter) is for using as creamy filling (to be used with piping bag & tip). I found the piping bag pretty hard to work with and I ended up using my hands to mold clay when the piping bag broke.

The beads you can put pretty much anywhere, but note that you do need glue to make them stick to the clay.

 I had a lot of fun making these! I still have some materials left so I plan on making some more soon. These little gifts are on their way to some special people! 🙂

If you want your own kit they’re about $15 USD (as of 4/20/12) at JBox.

That’s all!

xo,

Laura

P.S. – This isn’t a sponsored post but I do use my jlist affiliate credit to buy some of these items.

Make your own Kutsuwa eraser kit shapes…

I finished making the three “default” erasers in my kutsuwa eraser kit, but I still had plenty of eraser material left over.  (Previous Post)

My favorite color is purple so I knew I wanted to make one of the animals in that color. I just combined my left over red and blue clay to make purple, plus added a bit of white to make it whiter  (and have more material). I ended up with a lovely purple bear!

You can also make shapes by hand…I wanted to make the head of a cat, so I used bear mold and changed the ears a bit. Note how changing the snout also helps change the kind of animal you are making.

Also, remember to combine different colors and see what you get. I discovered a different way of getting lots of purple! Combining dark purple with leftover pink.

This was the end result of my work…a lovely little bear and a cat head! I still have enough left over for one more complete animal, but I’ve yet to decide what it will be.

Hope you liked this second Kutsuwa eraser kit post! Fyi, The whole kit is available over at JBox for around $7 (USD).

Come and knock on our door….

I moved! Just a few minutes from where I used to live, but to such a big and lovely apartment! I cant stop thinking of the three’s company theme song whenever Im home. That’s great, no? [Also, I just realized that the Three’s Company intro cannot be found on youtube, LAME.]

All this love for my home has me in a creative mood. I realized that the bedrooms received a lot of light (which is a good thing), but early in the morning it does get kind of annoying. So I decided to make some new curtains! I got some fabric at the thrift store and improvised some curtains. Im think they cam out quite well! 🙂

Below you can see the guest room:

Guest room with plaid curtains

 And my bed room:

Curtains in my room tied with ribbon

 And I owe this all to my little sewing machine. I got it as a christmas gift from my parents some years ago and its such a great thing to have in my home. Whenenever I need to make a quick fix to my clothes….or improvise on my decoration, its the most useful tool ever.

Have you been creating anything lately?

XOXO,

L.C.

Diy capelet from a sweater Pt. 1

So I was browsing youtube and found a great account call threadbanger. They have great videos on DIY fashion and reusing clothes. The video that got my attention was How to Make a Spring Capelet, which was submitted by a user.

Basically you take an old sweater that is way to large for you…

Fold it in half, and cut along a curve that starts around the sleeve seam,  hits the underarm area and ends in the middle of your sweater.

Then cut along that line on all layers….Open it up and cut along the chest to open the capelet and…

Pretty neat! Next, I’ll add some button/button holes and some ribbon to decorate….:-)

Quick and Colorful Apron!

I’ve meaning to make an apron since I realized that baking at random usually got some of my better clothes messed up with flour. But never fear! The internet is full of fantastic free patterns!

I searched for a while and found many free patterns (check out TipNut for a massive list of patterns). I finally decided on this one from CraftyGal  . With a title like “Dressing for Kitchen Success” I couldnt really refuse.

I chose some very loud fabrics I got for christmas about two years ago and some lace I got from Daiso, my very favorite store.

Here are the results! It was quite an easy pattern!

Lessons learned:

-When the instructions say “waist”, it’s just waist…not your “low rise jeans waist”. ‘Doh!

-Lace hides everything!

Adjustments to make:

-Make sash shorter

-Make bib shorter…apparently my torso shrunk like 5 inches in the process of making this apron.

-Cut off loose strings

Picture time!

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Waist closeup…pretty lace!  (It got folded in the other pics so you cant see it as well)

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Pocket closeup….more lace!

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Side view

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Pretty neat, no? It’s a great first sewing project I think, give it a try. 🙂