Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Sewing Studio: The Aqua Hutch


Of all the projects in my sewing studio, this one has to be my favorite!  I was searching for something that could do double duty....storage and table space.  I came across this two-piece gem at a used furniture store for....drum roll please....only $15!!  They weren't actually connected, and at first, I didn't even know if they were a matching set.  The owner of the store had accidentally dropped the upper section while moving it one day and had tweaked the hinges.  When I found it, the door on one side wouldn't close properly.  But, for $15, I was more than ready to tackle the project of fixing the hinges.  The funny thing is, though, that I didn't have to do anything at all.  Just putting them on their backs and driving them home in my van did the trick.  When I unloaded the two pieces, everything worked perfectly.  Woohoo!!


I had plans for the lower half becoming a roll-out work table, so I knew the upper part wasn't going to be able to sit on top of it any longer.  So, I gave the sides a decorative cut and fastened the upper piece to the wall.  The original plan was to add a couple of dowels across the lower area to accommodate spools of ribbon, but I decided to scratch that idea for a less cluttered look.


My husband and son helped me attach it to the wall by screwing it to the studs.


I then turned my attention to the base.  I purchased a sheet of 3/4" MDF and cut a new "drop-leaf" table top.  I also cut a couple of legs from the MDF and attached them to the underside of the table with hinges.  When the extended table is not in use, they fold up neatly for storage.


I purchased a long piano hinge and fastened it underneath so that my table could drop down when not in use.  I also added some heavy-duty casters to the base cabinet so that my work table can move around easily.


Once I had it the way I wanted it, I painted the exterior cream, and the interior, along with the table top, aqua.  I also added some gold details to tie in the existing gold trim on the glass doors.  The hardware was sprayed with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.


I covered three of the screws that attached the upper piece to the wall with some vintage buttons.  (The upper screws are inside the cabinet and not visible.)


I found some baskets on clearance at JoAnn's that fit perfectly with my color scheme.  The cupboards below are perfect for storing larger pieces of fabric.


The glass cupboard above showoff fat quarters and other smaller pieces of fabric.   
I also had a friend cut me out a well-loved quote from vinyl to add to the piece.  A small tabletop ironing board was covered with the same material as the office chair.


The top of the cabinet was the perfect place to showcase the Singer Featherweight sewing machine I learned to sew on as a child, along with a few other vintage accessories!


When the table is extended, it makes a great workspace for cutting out and creating projects!


The total cost for this double duty storage and workspace is:

Used hutch.....$15.00
Paint.....already on hand
Half sheet of MDF.....$16.00
Piano hinge.....$10.00
Casters.....$12.00
Baskets.....$12.00
Vinyl lettering.....$12.00
Leg hinges.....already on hand

Total Cost....$77.00

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Modest"ifying a Wedding Dress

A dear friend of mine got married this month.  She is such a sweet person!  In her search for a wedding dress, her budget didn't allow for the dress she really wanted, so she settled for a strapless, tea-length dress.  But, strapless wasn't going to work for her so she gave me a call.  I had helped her with prom dresses before and was more than happy to help out with her wedding dress.  I don't have a "before" picture, but just imagine the dress below being strapless and sans the center belt detail.


I have done this before to strapless dresses and have found that its more comfortable if the fabric has some stretch to it.  If not, then it makes it really hard to move around and lift your arms.  We were lucky that the only stretch "lacey" fabric that JoAnn's carried in a light cream color was exactly what she wanted!  We also picked up a lightweight jersey as lining.  Since we were shortening the overall length, I used the excess fabric to make bias trim for the neckline and sleeve edges.  I also added some small beads to match the sparkle of the belted waistband.


The "modest"ifying is really like taking a fancy t-shirt, cutting away the top of it and attaching it to the lining of the bodice.  In this case, though, we didn't have a fancy t-shirt available and had to start from scratch.  We also had to do a bit of other alterations which mandated us cutting the belt, leaving an unsightly gap at the front of the dress.  We could have allowed the gap to be in the back and covered it with a bow, but that wasn't exactly what she wanted.  So, I picked up some ribbon and a rhinestone brooch, along with a couple of buttons from my stash and covered the gap.


Since I didn't want to hassle with putting in a new zipper, I left the original one in place and closed the new back with loops and pearl buttons (also in my stash.)  If you are lucky enough to find a fancy t-shirt that matches your dress, you would need to cut the back of the t-shirt and add a facing to allow for the loops and buttons.


I was a bit worried about this whole project.  She was only in town for one weekend about three weeks before her wedding, and we couldn't get back together until the day before the big event.  That meant that I had to be precise with my measurements and hope that everything would fit as planned.  Lucky for us, everything went perfectly and she was so excited.  Congratulations to the two of them...they are so cute together!




Saturday, August 9, 2014

Girls Camp Crafts 2014

Summer is a busy time for most people, and I'm lucky to have a portion of my summer spent at Girl's Camp.  And, I'm even more lucky to spend my time at camp doing crafts!  How great is that to do crafts in the beautiful outdoors amongst beautiful young women?!  So here's the run down of what we did this year.

Magnetic Bulletin Boards

The first day we made these cute magnet boards.  We started with a 9x13 cookie sheet purchased from the dollar store and/or WalMart.  We cut our paper to size and adhered it to the back of the cookie sheet using mod podge.


While we waited for the mod podge to dry, we made these cute magnets.  We had already printed the words onto colored paper and a 1" punch was used to cut them out.  The girls glued the circles to the inside of the bottle caps, then once dry, covered the circle with the epoxy sticker.  Magnets were glued to the back using E-6000 glue.


Once the mod podge was completely dry (using a hair dryer, or letting it sit overnight) the vinyl lettering was added.  The last step was to drill two holes and add the ribbon hanger.  One tip:  The holes are actually easier to drill before they start the project, and a small file is necessary to remove any metal burrs that are left as a result of drilling.  


Follow the links below to see where we bought the supplies:

or, you might like these magnets better
as they are smaller and have a lower profile.

Temple Pendants

Day two had us doing these super easy necklaces.  The original idea can be found on SugarDoodle, along with the information of where to purchase the supplies, and also a file for the images used in the necklaces.  Follow the directions they suggest and give them plenty of time to dry.  We let ours sit overnight.



These images were cut with a 1" punch just like the magnets.  These, however, were covered with a glued on glass bubble, as opposed to an epoxy sticker.  Please note, I was unable to photograph these without getting reflective glare on the glass, so please excuse what looks like strange white patches on the photos...they are only an illusion!


The necklaces were super easy and took all but about 5 minutes to complete.  Our girls have several activities available for them during their free time, crafts being just one of them.  So, this project allowed them to experience some of the other fun things at camp.


Design Your Own Pillowcases

Our last project was basically a free project...nice on the budget!  I had done this activity before with a smaller group of young women.  You can view the original post here.  The pillowcases were donated from a hotel chain.  Before camp, we cut off a portion of the pillowcases and then added back a band of bright fabric.  All of our fabric was donated so these cute pillowcases didn't cost a thing!


The only thing purchased for this project was a few boxes of crayons.  Add to the fact that crayons are super cheap this time of year and this project cost us just a couple of dollars!


All the girls needed to do was decorate their pillowcase however they wanted to.  Once complete, we used an iron to heat set the design.  The girls who have done this project before say the pillowcases wash up just fine.


And that's it!  Another successful year at Girl's Camp....looking forward to the next!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Sewing Studio: Lighting


This small, white ceiling fan in my sewing studio has been there ever since the room was first built.  As you can see it had residue left on the blades from when the kids put glow-in-the-dark stars on it...plus a hefty layer of dust!  It was in need of an update.


I began by removing the blades and the globe and painting all the metal parts with oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  I didn't want to hassle with removing the base, so I covered the ceiling around the base and also put some drop cloths on the floor and surrounding items before painting.


I found a "new" globe at a thrift store for $1.50.  I liked the gold painted trim and thought it would fit in nicely with the gold accents in the studio.


I also trimmed out the edges of the blades with some gold paint.


Now the fan fits in better with the studio!


I got the idea for this next light from a flea market.  I found a cute hanging light for $40.00, but decided to pass on it.  I figured I could probably make something I liked for less money.  I spent $2.00 for an outdoor light that originally sat on top of a post.


I cleaned it up, removed the post cap and all lighting parts, masked off the glass, and got to painting.


I needed a chain for my new light.  I priced the chain at my local hardware store and wasn't thrilled with the price of $20.00, so I kept my eye out at the thrift stores.  Lucky me, my persistence paid off and I found a package with TWO chains for $3.75!  Now I have a chain already for the next time I do a hanging light!  I hung the chain over a tree branch and sprayed it also.


I already had a light cord left over from an old paper lantern.  It was exactly what I needed for my light.


Once I put it all together and turned it on, I wasn't happy with how bright it was, and how easy it was to see the lightbulb.  So, out to the shop I went to fix it.  I masked off the beveled part of each glass panel and then sprayed them with frosted spray paint.  I have found that electrician's tape works well for masking off curved areas since there is a stretch to it.  (I know the glass looks black in this picture, but I assure you, it was clear before I frosted it!)


 After spraying each of the glass panels, I put it back together and was much happier with the results.




The last light in my sewing studio is a swing arm lamp that I happened to find at a thrift store for $4.00. I didn't even have to paint it...it was the perfect color already!



Total cost for lighting in my sewing studio:

Paint for ceiling fan....already on hand
"New" globe....$1.50
Outdoor light fixture....$2.00
Light Kit....left over from an old paper lantern
Chain....$1.88
Spray paint....already on hand
Swing arm lamp....$4.00

Total for three fixtures....$9.38

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