Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cars on the Go

Today I'm posting a cute idea - and there's still time before Easter for this quick project!

This isn't my great idea for a project, but from my mom. :) She made this for my nephew (her grandson) for a quiet toy. Perfect for any boy who loves cars and can be entertained by them for a while - and it wraps up neatly to fit right in your bag.

untie it and open it flat...

Unroll it...
and play!
I love the little "garage pockets" for the cars to "park" when it's time to roll it up and clean up!

Here's how to make it:

1/2 yard print fabric (Cars fabric here)
1/2 yard quilt fabric (red fabric here)
1/2 yard black fabric
Grosgrain ribbon- 5/8 inch white
Grosgrain ribbon 5/8 inch colored for ties
thread (black and white)


Cut quilt fabric 13 inches by 16 inches

Cut print fabric 21 inches by 16 inches ( I cut the 16 inch edge on the selvage - this avoids having to finish the edge inside the car pockets)

Cut black fabric:
(2) 7 inch by 9 inch 
(1) 7 inch by 11 inch

Cut white ribbon in 2 inch strips (these will be for the 'lines' on the road)

Fold black fabric in half right sides together, and stitch 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving 1 side open.  Turn and iron flat.

(raw edges will be covered when we sew the road on)

Pin on to right side of quilt fabric.  1/2 inch in from edge of fabric on sides and top, put raw edge side under finished edge as you pin around.  Sew down on quilt fabric.  (A zig zag stitch will provide the best security)

road sewn down:
 back of fabric:

Place white ribbon strips in middle of black fabric for road lines.  Use tiny zigzag stitch to sew down strips.

Fold print fabric up 4 inches, wrong sides together. Iron in place/ pin in place.  (This will be for the outer part of the car pockets later - it will be folded up again to complete the pocket.)

*If you cut your 16" side along a selvage, this is where you want the selvage to be used.

Put right sides of print and quilt fabric together- the folded edge of print fabric will be longer at bottom.  
(Road is the right side of quilted fabric - the long side of quilted fabric that does not have a road piece should be positioned towards the extra of the print fabric.)

 Sew from edge where folded piece meets quilted edge sew up one side, across top and  back around to where folded up edge meets bottom of quilt fabric. 

Clip corners (get ready to turn right side out)  

  Turn to right side. (Fabric extension showing, road section is hanging off opposite edge of ironing board)
The print fabric extension should naturally fold along the sides where the seam allowance continues toward the selvage of this piece (see picture below)

Fold up print fabric (along the crease that was made before sewing these two pieces together)

 Flip up print 4 inch piece again onto the bottom edge of quilted fabric.  (This creates the pocket for the cars)

Pin every three inches, and sew along side edges and at where the pins mark to create pockets for cars.

Sew colored ribbon on each edge for tying up car mat for storage.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jean Repair - Belt Loops

My husband is constantly ripping his belt loops out of his blue jeans. (Well, maybe not constantly, but it feels like it is!)

So, here is my method for repairing it. (It's not the bible on jean repair - just one idea on how to do it.)

First, cut a square of denim a little bigger than the hole. (I cut it much bigger because I wanted to be fast and not have to be careful of placement.)
 Zig zag (or serge) the edges - or just let it fray inside your jeans - it'll get sewn around the hole.

I always save pieces of old jeans (usually the legs, or sometimes I just throw the entire pair into my box for repairs later) - if you don't have old jeans in your scrap box, you can buy a jeans patch or you can use some other fabric (it won't really show through under the belt loop - and under a big hole on the legs it could be decoration!) - or you could go to goodwill and grab the first $1 pair you can find, wash them, and use them for repairs.

 Place the patch on the INSIDE of the jeans to cover the hole.

Hold it in place and stitch around the hole. (As close to the hole as you can will make it less visible.)

How it looks on the inside (yeah, I cut way too much) :)

Now, put the belt loop back where it should be. And sew it down.
I sew back and forth (straight stitch) and then some zig zags (again, going forward, then backstitch) - that stitch is NOT going to come out again. :)

How it looks on the inside.

How it looks on the outside. (Done)

Works for holes in other places too.
 Doesn't take care of erasing the hole, but it makes sure the hole doesn't get any bigger and that whatever might be under the hole is covered.

I would say I do this to my son's jean's knees...but I don't - I just let them go until summer and then we buy new jeans before fall (he's still young and growing) - and he likes a hole in his knee. 10 year olds...go figure. :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Beaded Socks (Crochet)

I looked and looked for how to make these online, and although I could find a few patterns, the picture of the finished product was not very clear (to know if I liked it or not) and for a (VERY) beginner crocheter like me, I needed a few more pictures! Plus, they all had you string on a bunch of beads before crocheting - I can't estimate well and that took forever.

So, turns out, a friend at church that does...everything sewing? :) knew how to make them and showed me an easy way, so I'm here to pass on how to...it took me about an hour per sock (and I got a little faster).

What you'll need:

  • crochet thread (I used DMC 30)
  • tri-beads (or any other bead with a big enough hole for the crochet hook to go through)
  • size 5 crochet hook (for thread, not yarn)
  • socks - preferable fold-over cuff with ribs (bobby socks)

Start by making a slip knot and putting your crochet hook through it (tighten it to be moveable on the hook but with little gap).

 Poke the crochet hook through one of the ribs of the sock (really, the space between ribs is where it goes in). 
Have the long thread going back over the sock away from you - your left hand will end up holding onto this piece of thread - I twist it around a few fingers to keep it taut.

Bring the long thread (still connected to your spool - the other is your tail - ignore the tail) - over the hook from behind, and catching in it in the hook. (from now on, "yarn over" is the crochet term I use for this)

Pull it back through the sock. (You should now have 2 loops on your hook.)

Again, yarn over - this time pulling it through both loops that are on the hook. ("single crochet")
(I was trying to crochet and photograph at the same time, so I pulled the thread over the from the front for the pic, so the second is a much-later-in-the-process picture but shows the thread from behind - I like it better this way.)

It should look like this now: (and you just did a single crochet)

Chain 4. (Yarn over, and bring it through the loop on your hook 4 times) 

Now, put on a bead

Yarn over 

Pull thread through the bead (you should have 2 loops on your hook - one of them coming through the hole of the bead.)

Yarn over and pull the thread through both loops (single crochet, essentially). It will be a little tight with the bead up against the hook.

Chain 4:
(that means, yarn over...)
(...and pull thread through loop)
(and repeat 3 more times for total of 4)
(honestly - if I did it too tightly and it didn't seem the same length as the chain on the other side of the bead, I chained one extra - not counting the first chain on this side of the bead in my 4)

Poke hook in the rib 2 away from where you poked the first time. 
(Make sure the thread is being held behind where you are working so it doesn't get tangled and pin things down where you want them hanging.
Note on options/preference - You can do every other rib or every fourth rib - You'll go around the sock twice to make two rows - I did every other rib and the second time around, I hit those that I skipped the first because I wanted a very full look. You could do every 4th the first time, and get the center of the skipped 3 ribs the 2nd time around the sock, so there would be finished every other rib. This variation would be faster, but less full. Whatever you like.

Again you're going to do a single crochet:
(yarn over and pull through the sock...)
 (then yarn over again and pull through both loops on hook.)

Repeat this pattern of SC (single crochet), CH 4 (chain 4), insert a bead on hook, CH 4 (chain 4)....all the way around the sock. (I rotated 3 colors in a pattern.)

(Here are some more pics of the process just to help:)

When you get all the way around, you can tell you're there because you'll be 2 ribs away from where you started:

Poke the needle through the same rib/hole where you started

Make sure the thread is behind and in between the threaded beads - when you yarn over this time, you'll need to make sure you don't catch the threads from the bead-chains (thread with blue/red beads below) into your crocheting - if you do, they won't hang properly and it will look kind of...wonky (couldn't think of a good real word for the look). :)

Follow through with the single crochet, just as you've been doing all around (just with thread and beads on either side of where you are working).

Now, we're ready for the second go 'round. (Row 2)

For this row, you're going to alternate between crocheting in front of the beads from row 1 and behind the beads from row 1. 

To crochet in front of the beads, fold back the triangle of thread/bead (or bead-chain as I'm calling it)...
(See the pink bead to the left and the red bead to the right? The blue bead on its chain of thread is folded back to the inside of the sock. We are going to do a single crochet into that empty rib centered under the bead.)

Single crochet in this skipped rib of the sock:
(Insert the hook in the empty rib between the two "legs of the thread triangle" that are holding the bead, yarn over, pull through the thread, 
yarn over again, and pull through the two loops on the hook.)

Now you're ready to chain 4 (just as we did the first time around)

At the end of 4 chains, put a bead on the hook, single crochet (to secure it onto your thread), and chain 4.

 You're ready to go back through the sock, but this time with the row 1 bead folded to the front.
(Can you see the blue bead still pushed toward the back? The pink bead from row 1 should be folded to the front. The chain of the red bead just attached (hanging to the right of the hook in this picture) is going to be single crocheted into the rib centered at the pink bead - which, I repeat, should be folded to the front.)
I hope I'm making sense. (Continue as you have been - single crochet into the sock rib, chain 4, attach a bead, chain 4, single crochet into the next free sock rib, etc) 

For one more picture on this process:
I attached a blue next (pink is folded to the front still), and I will attach it under that next red bead, which I will fold to the back.

When you get all the way around to where Row 2 started, find where the first crochet of row 2 is - that's where you want to put your hook. (Single crochet like you have been to secure this last bead/chain into the sock.)

 Now, do a slip stitch - (don't go through anywhere, just yarn over and pull the thread through the loop on the hook), but before you pull the thread through the hook...

 Clip your long thread (detaching from the spool) - and pull. It should make half a knot.

Take this tail and the first and tie them together into a good knot. Clip off any excess thread.

And you're finished.

Now, make another.

The pattern:

Disclaimer: Please correct me if you read through this pattern and notice I got anything wrong or worded oddly - I can read crochet patterns, but I have never written one.  I learned this by watching someone and turned what I learned into a tutorial, but making it into a crochet pattern is another thing entirely.

Beaded Sock Crochet Pattern
(Start with a slip knot on the hook)
Row 1:
SC in rib of sock
*CH 4
Put 1 bead on hook, SC 1
CH 4, skip next rib of sock
SC in rib of sock*
**Repeat all the way around, SC in every other rib of sock (with a bead chained in between ribs) until you reach the first rib you began in.

Row 2:
Fold bead-chain from row 1 to inside of sock.
SC in very next rib of sock (centered under this bead-chain)
CH 4
Put 1 bead on hook, SC 1
CH 4, skip next rib of sock

*Fold next bead-chain from row 1 to outside of sock.
SC in next (empty) rib of sock
CH 4
Put 1 bead on hook, SC 1
CH 4, skip next rib of sock

Fold next bead-chain from row 1 to inside of sock.

SC in next (empty) rib of sock
CH 4
Put 1 bead on hook, SC 1
CH 4, skip next rib of sock*

**Repeat all the way around, alternating where row 1 is folded and SC in every other rib of sock (with a beach chained in between ribs) until you reach where row 2 began.

Cut thread, leaving a tail. Sl St. Knot the tails well and trim excess thread.

Now, make lots and lots of pairs for all the little girls you love.

My 3-year old calls these her "singing socks" (because of the noise they make when she jumps and bounces around).