Category Archives: Made from Sheets

Star Trek Bag

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I recently took a trip across the country and flew for the first time in 12+years. I’m not deterred by terrorists, I just happen to hate the whole confusing process in airports and the few flights I took as a teen were less than ideal experiences. :/ Anyway, to combat pre-flight anxiety I decided to do some sewing.

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This bag is really just a prototype so don’t critique it too harshly. πŸ˜›

I went with blue and black to mimic the early uniforms in Star Trek Next Generation. If I worked for the Federation in a Sci-Fi future, I’d almost certainly be on the Science/Medical team. πŸ˜€

The badge is Voyager style with a rectangular, rather than oval base. Although, from the way the bag ripples and scrunches it appears more oval in the photo. It really is a rectangle!

I used a recycled pillowcase, zipper and straps for the bag. The blue canvas was new.

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When I saw it was turning out fairly decent I decided to actually take it on my trip as my personal bag. So I added a few quick elastic pockets to a semi-lined interior.

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So yeah, it’s cute and all but I will be ripping it apart fairly soon. I hate the zipper and unfinished interior.

It was totally worth spending the $2 on sale canvas and the 3 hours to whip it up though. I felt pretty special carrying it on my trip. πŸ˜‰

Pokeball and Thomas Train Pillowcases

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Every year for my kids’ birthdays, I sneak a bit more reusable or cloth wrapping into their gift pile. I wouldn’t move away completely from having them tear and toss any paper, that’s part of the fun, but I do aim to keep it at least 50% reused wraps or fabric wraps. So besides the assortment ofΒ  twice used, thrice used and who knows how many times used gift bags we wrapped in I also made a few special wraps this time. It was especially handy since the items I needed a cloth wrap for were sleeping bags. Thus a pillowcase to match was ideal as a wrapping.

For my son I purchased a somewhat holey Thomas and Friends fitted twin sheet at Goodwill for $2. It was a bit tricky planning the case to avoid the holes in my material but still include every printed character. His sleeping bag of course was blue.

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For my daughter, to keep with her Pokemon/Nintendo theme, a red sleeping bag was the obvious choice. I only needed to decide whether to emblazon the case with a giant M for Mario or piece together a Pokeball scheme. I decided to go with a Pokeball scheme since I had extra time that day and not too much in the way of red fabric.

The idea behind the Pokeballs was that with a vinyl circle where the button should be would act as a window to insert Pokemon cards or print-outs to have an ever-changing sham. The circles are sewn onto the pillow in a U shape, leaving the top open for card insertion. As of right now, my daughter has Hippotatas, Lucario and Pink Shellos in her case. I figured this would be a way to keep up with her desire to acquire more Pokemon without actually having the expense of buying them, the time of making them or the burden of owning and organizing them. Having more Pokemon is as cheap and simple as printing a picture from the internet and slipping it in the case.

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Thomas Fabric Cake Topper

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I probably mentioned this before but two of my kids and myself have birthdays three days in a row in December. Even with extensive planning, trying to make the most of the kids’ days while still enjoying mine is a bit overwhelming. Every year I keep trying to make it easier and less stressful for me. So when my son again requested a Thomas birthday cake I immediately knew I was not going to spend hours decorating something. My foray last year into the more “simplified” decorating plan of using a character cake pan(Lightening McQueen) wasn’t the easier choice I thought it was going to be and not something I wanted to repeat. I have a finite amount of hours and I’d rather spend them enjoying him as he enjoys his day rather than dealing with frosting.

So I had the idea to make a vinyl-encased cake topper. Basically I bought a patterned sheet at Goodwill(for $2 and made two items out of it)and close cut a Thomas character from the fabric. If I had had some fray stop it would have been nice to use it but I’m rather cheap about buying supplies so none of that stuff here. πŸ˜‰ I then cut two squares of vinyl. I had purchased a roll of high quality clear vinyl at Walmart years ago with the intention of making removable covers for our sunroom screens to keep the room more comfortable in the winter but I never got around to it before we moved. Anyway, I washed my squares of vinyl and then sandwiched the fabric between and sewed around it and cut outside the seam line. I was trying for an oval but since I was in a hurry I failed at making it very oval-ish. It didn’t really matter though since I layed the fabric decoration on my iced and raked cake and then piped a wide shell border around it over the stitched edge so that it was a true oval and around the borders of the cake. I then sprinkled the piped areas with blue colored sugar and surprised myself with how impressive it really looked. It was easy enough(with a circle cake)to slip the knife under the decoration to cut slices so that we could enjoy the look of it longer than simply removing it altogether to cut.

And I thought I had a picture of the cake decorated but alas I do not see it on my data card. Oh well, you will have to use your imagination. πŸ˜‰

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These have the added fun of being reusable. Simply wipe off with a soapy towel and dry. Paper and print-outs from the computer could also be used instead of the fabric to get exactly what you want.

Simple Hobo Drawstring Backpack

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I’m going to be making at least 60 of these bags for a women’s event in March. I wanted to be sure my concept size would be appropriate for holding a full sized folder, Bible, water bottle and a few personal items before I made all of them so IΒ  whipped up just one. Luckily, my prototype was perfect!

In a nutshell, I cut a long rectangle 13X36 inches. I folded the rectangle right sides together and pressed down 1/2 inch on the 13″ sides.

Then I folded it again 1 inch and pressed again. Repeated for the other 13″ side.

Now, the top part will be the casing for straps so if I was using a t-shirt I could leave the edges raw. However, this is woven cotton. So I unfolded my presses and pressed in 1/4 inch on each casing end then redid my folds so that the raw edge was hidden in the casings.

Next I stitched the casings in place. Then I stitched together the upper bag sides with my regular machine. I switched over to my serger at this point and finished the sides. After turning right side out, I stitched two dime sized circles on the bottom corners through both layers of fabric.Β  This was stay stitching for where I threaded through the straps in the last step. Alternately an eyelet could be used but that would raise the cost and not look as “hobo” as I wanted.Β  I used a seam ripper inside the circle to create a 1/4 inch gash. Then I cut two strips from cotton jersey, 2″ X 60″ each. T-shirts could have been recycled for this at a slightly lower cost but yardage was more convenient for making so many bags. Jersey doesn’t have to be finished and it very comfortable for weight bearing straps. Using a safety pin, I threaded one strap through one side of the casing and all the way around and out at the same side it was inserted. I did the same with the other strap on the other side. The last step was to pull the strap ends through the backpack gashes and tie knots to secure. Strap length is easily adjusted by trying on the backpack and pulling the straps to cinch. Then just retie the knots higher and trim the excess.

I will try to add pictures for these steps as I work on more bags in the next few weeks. πŸ˜‰

A sweet toddler top

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I made this top for my one year old from a pattern and tutorial posted at Prudent Baby.Β  Despite following all the sizing to print directions, my top came out very tight for a 12-18 month sizing. So she only wore it once to a party. At least it was made from a $.10 yard sale pillowcase. πŸ˜‰ And it was super fast and easy to make!

Cloth napkins from a vintage sheet

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One of the easiest projects to make from old bed sheets is cloth napkins.

I found a green floral beauty at a yard sale and paid $.10 for it since the middle was completely worn through.

I cut the best parts into 9, 15X15 inch squares, double folded the edges and stitched.

Super easy and frugal!

~Also in this picture: half a dozen gray t-shirt napkins, half a dozen white dot napkins obtained at auction forΒ  $1, and half a dozen black dot napkins made from a cut of fabric I got in a birthday present fabric basket~

Fleece baby swaddle blanket

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My daughter had grown out of the small Kiddopotomus SwaddleMe wrap so I decided to make her a larger one. I purchased a fleece throw blanket from Goodwill for $1.50 and drafted a pattern from the small wrap. I then enlarged my pattern by an inch all around.

Then I cut the pieces from the fleece blanket, darted, added the grippy patches(found that scraps from a brown sweater seemed to work best), made and basted on the hook velcro tabs, bound the top edges and then attached the two main pieces together. I’m bummed that I didn’t have anything blue that would grip the hook tape as well as this sweater. It looks a little ghetto. But it does work!

And here it is next to the small one I copied.