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How does that even happen?

I have some crafty stuff I was planning to blog about, but that will have to wait. Today I’m going with the weird.

First, a few days ago, the ignition lock cylinder on my car stopped working. You could put the key in and take it out just fine, it did the dingdingding thing when the key was in, but it would. not. turn. Thankfully it decided to break while the car was at home and not while I was at the grocery store with Beckett and needing to pick up Finn and Chris. A good day’s worth of Chris’s own diy efforts and multiple trips to the parts store by bike and helpful neighbor got my car to be less paperweight-y.

Yesterday we decided to go out for dinner. Chris took care of loading the kids in the car while I locked up the house. When I closed the door, I heard a strange “bang” noise, so I opened the door to see what caused it. Or, more accurately, I tried to open the door. What happened was the door guard lock had swung over and locked us out. If you’re not familiar with that kind of lock, here’s an example http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ultra-29000-Polished-Brass-Door-Guard/19869267. No, I’m not joking.

I called Chris over to see the impossibility and we both tried a couple of times to get the bar to swing back over before deciding to go ahead to eat and deal with it later. I won’t go into all the details of our b.n.e. experience for security reasons, but suffice it to say it was an eventful evening.

I don’t know if someone is trying to tell us something with the lock malfunctions or if I have a house ghost who was trying to reclaim the house. All I know is I am in favor of replacing the door guard lock in favor of a chain. If a chain lock manages to lock me out on it’s own, I will probably move.

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Five minute jogging stroller rain shield

I’m really hoping Friday marked the beginning of a nice, rainy fall. I love rain, but hate driving to pick Finn up from school. The car line is almost impossible to deal with, so I always park nearby and walk up. With the time it takes to get Beckett in and out of the car at home and at the school, finding a place to park and then fighting the traffic to get in and out, I’m almost positive walking is quicker. It’s certainly more pleasant. So, I decided to make a rain cover for the stroller. I don’t mind a little rain, but Beckett hates it. Weirdo.

I went the incredibly quick, made with stuff on hand route. I may upgrade it in the future, but for now I’m sure it will do. First, I took some clear vinyl material that has been sitting in my stash for years now and draped it over the stroller where I wanted it and trimmed of the excess length. Then I measured the sides from the edge of the vinyl to the frame of the stroller (14 inches for each side in my case). That part I planned to do in some sort of breathable fabric.

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To attach it to the frame, I planned to use elastic around the edge. That idea came one day last week when I thought I might have to walk in the rain and discovered that a fitted crib sheet almost fit perfectly in place over the stroller. I have some thrifted sheets, so I found a fitted twin and cut the 14 inches off ends with the elastic. I used the serger to attach the cut sides of the sheet to the long sides of the vinyl. (Note to self: vinyl goes on TOP near the foot, not on bottom.) Once I figured out proper material placement, constructing it took maybe three minutes.

It’s still not snuggly fitted, but with a couple of binder clips to tighten the top edge it would have worked for Friday if I hadn’t chickened out due to the possibility of thunderstorms. Rain I can handle, but dodging lightening is a bit much. I will probably add a few darts or snaps to snug it up some if I think it will be used a lot.


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Nap Time T-shirt to Tunic Dress Thing Refashion

I should really start taking more pictures before I start a project. During would be good, too, but at least a before and after shot. I also need to find my tripod and/or maybe just wait until someone other than Beckett is home to take pictures.

Anyway, here’s the final product:

IMG_4518I’m not sure what my crazy child was doing at the time, but it must have been cute.

It’s pretty straightforward: Two similarly sized/shaped/weighted t-shirts cut across the middle and the bottom of one sewn into the middle of the other. The shirts were pretty big to begin with, so the end result looked like a sack. I serged the sides in about an inch per side with the end result being a slightly less big sack. Not something I see myself wearing out much, but for around the house or running Finn to and from school (hence the super-flattering sneakers) it will get some use. More than the original boxy, awkward t-shirts anyway.

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Nap Time Yoga Pants Refashion

This morning I threw on a pair of black Danskin boot cut yoga pants for the walk to school. They were some of the first new pants I bought after Beckett was born. They fit a little big now, except for the length. They were now cropped in a less fashionable, more “look at my ankle” sort of way.

After seeing some pants to leggings tutorials, I decided that was the way to go. With fall arriving any day now (please!), leggings will get more use for under skirts and with tall boots.

I didn’t take any before pictures. This is the inspiration tutorial. Instead of only trimming from the inseam, it looked better if I took some from along the outside, too. To keep it even, I did one leg, tried them on to make sure it fit, then folded them in half and used the finished leg as a pattern for the other leg. I had planned to add a cuff using the fold over waistband. It was black on one side and grey with multicolored stripes on the other. I thought it would be cute and add length. I tried it on one side, and decided I didn’t like the way it looked. With the tighter fit, they actually stay down at my ankles anyway.

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The left leg is rolled up to show where the yoga pants were hitting me. Not a flattering look with a boot cut.

One thing that’s really nice about making the leggings this way is that the yoga pant’s fabric was heaver than most leggings, so they offer more coverage as long as they don’t get stretched too tight. Definitely cut a little bigger than you think. You can always take more off easier than fixing something that is too small.

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Side note about the shirt I’m wearing: I really want to do something to make it less boxy, but I can’t. I’m afraid I might make it un-wearable. Normally that wouldn’t matter too much with a free t-shirt. This one is special, though. Right after Beckett was born, Finn and my mom went to the grocery store to get a few things we needed at home. Someone offered Finn a free t-shirt. He politely turned it down, but then said that maybe his mom would want one, so they gave him one for me. For a while afterward, any time I wore this shirt, his face would light up and he’d say “You’re wearing the shirt I got you!” So, yeah, I will probably wear this shirt as-is until it starts falling apart. Then I’ll turn it into a pillow or something to keep forever.

Also, Beckett just woke up from his nap, hence the no-pants look.

I did learn just how sharp my fabric scissors are while working on this project. I was snipping some threads at the end and managed to catch my finger. I can totally vouch for their razor-sharpness.

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Naptime Project–Hanging Cup Holder

I have a Jeep jogging stroller that I love. It’s made walking Finn to and from school with Beckett much more pleasant. I especially love that I found it at Thrift Town for $30. Yay!

There’s only one downside to it:

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Too small cup holders.

Sure, it has a generously sized basket under the seat, but sometimes water bottles get leaky, and carrying anything that isn’t 100% spill proof is out of the question. Thanks to this tutorial from Sew Can Do, I was able to remedy this problem during Beckett’s nap.

I did make a few changes. Rather than using laminated cotton, mostly because I don’t have any, I used some old jeans. (Yay for upcycling!)

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My straw cup is bigger than most water bottles, so I made the pocket a little bigger. If you’re needing to do the same, trace a circle about .5 inches bigger than your cup. To figure out the long side of your rectangles, use the formula 2 x 3.14 x r to find the circumference. (If you’ve slept since geometry class, r is the radius or half the distance across your circle.)

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I also replaced the snaps with Velcro. I had both on hand, but the thought of setting snaps through two layers of denim was not appealing. I have enough trouble setting snaps through thin fabrics. Besides, I figured it’s easier to rip out stitches if the Velcro doesn’t hold than it is to pry out the snaps if they don’t work out.

I’ll get to try it out this afternoon, but so far it looks good. If it doesn’t work out on the stroller, it does fit on my elliptical machine that also needs a cup holder.

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Attempt #1: Blue shirt sewing project

I need some cool, cute but relaxed fitting, nursing-friendly shirts for the summer. I decided to try making a few with my overflowing fabric stash.

I’ve been working on this shirt from Simplicity pattern P1969 for about a week during Mr. B’s morning nap times. I had a little trouble understanding some of the instructions, but I’m sure a more experienced seamstress could have easily finished it in a couple of hours or less. This slightly flawed version is straight from the pattern. It’s such a basic design, though, that I would like to try a few variations with it.

I actually haven’t had the chance to try it on yet, but my lovely torso double Athena stepped in to model it for you.

Note: it’s best to use the handle to pick up a hot iron.