July 11, 2012

T-Shirt Makeover

I've got lots of old souvenir t-shirts that I can't seem to get rid of. They each hold special memories of some of my favorite places. But, I just don't wear big boxy t-shirts anymore. Hard to believe I ever did! Can you say 'unflattering?!' So, when I saw this idea on Pinterest I thought it would be perfect to try on one of these old shirts.

Hellooo Pikes Peak! Goodbye ugly t-shirt!

This is so simple. And super quick too. It literally takes less than 15 minutes. If you have that much un-interrupted time, that is. Tis rare for me, but I did on this occasion (nap time, yay!). So, you just cut off the sleeves and cut along the top just under the collar.  Slice off the stitched hem then cut a straight raw edged piece about 1" wide. Fold down & the top edge of the shirt about 1", pin in place then stitch a simple casing. Stretch out your hem piece, cut it in half then thread it through your casing, tie at the shoulders and bam! You've got a new tank top!

I've been wearing mine over my swimsuit when we head to the pool. And evenings at home when it's hot and I have to go out and water. Admittedly it does not have a lot of coverage so my modest 40 year old self does not wear it out & about as a "real" top. But I'm sure others could get a way with it, no problem. And my sister gave me the great idea of taking a larger child's t-shirt and making a dress or nighty for my daughter. I think that would be awesome!

July 07, 2012

Iced Coffee Drinks

I guess these are all the rage, they keeping popping up in my Pinterest! And understandably so, they are delish in all shapes & forms. Even though I am a non-coffee drinker I adore them. Of course, the more cream & sweetener they have the better. I've tried THIS and it's delightful. And THIS is tasty, especially with that very naughty evaporated & condensed milk concoction mixed in. And THIS post was my inspiration for my latest favorite. It's more of a mocha slushy shake thing that is wonderful, especially on a 107 degree day like today! Here's how I make it:

Mocha Shake
1 package hot chocolate mix
5-6 ice cubes
1 cup cold brewed coffee
1/2 cup milk
sweetener to taste (I use above said naughty concoction)

Dump in all in the blender and blend it up!

Even the kids love these drinks. I bought some decaf coffee beans that I use when I'm making enough to share. I'm not crazy enough to give them anything that increases their energy level. Save that kinda stuff for Mom!

July 02, 2012

Flag Wall Hanging

A while back, my sister asked if I could sew something for her. A co-worker of hers had recently received her US citizenship, and she thought it would be nice to give her an American flag wall hanging to commemorate the event. I was flattered that she asked, very excited to start, but also a bit nervous, since I've never made a wall hanging before. The first thing I did was find some images online of quilted US flag wall hangings to get some ideas and inspiration. We settled on something this one-

I thought it looked do-able (minus the lettering) and she liked it a lot. So, I sketched out a plan, headed to Joann's, bought the fabric and got to cutting and sewing. Here are my pieces laid out-

The hardest part was the diagonal aspect of the stripes. Stitching them together, then cutting them on the bias makes the edges very susceptible to stretching and warping. And once they are wavy, there's no going back. So, I used a lot of spray starch to keep those diagonal cut rows stiff. And, once I finished the whole flag top, I used some twilled tape and fused it to the underside around the edges to keep them super flat. It worked wonderfully! It kept everything in place during quilting and binding. Here's the finished top-

And here's the finished flag, quilted & bound-

Another great idea that I found online was how to hang the flag. I just sewed some triangle pieces of fabric on the back top corners, then a dowel can be slid up under them for hanging.

I had this flag on my wall for a couple days after I finished (I had to test it out, you know) and I just loved the way it turned out. I still have leftover fabric so I'd like to make another one for myself sometime soon. This was a fun project and I really hope the recipient enjoys it!