31 Oct 2014

November Printable Calendar

Just a quick post to share a November calendar with you all.  As soon as I'm done writing this post I have to do some midnight sewing.  Little Pilot goes to a Christian school and today (Halloween) they are having a teddy bear day.  I guess it's their way of doing something fun rather than celebrating the traditional Halloween.  I'm making him a panda t-shirt.  I hope that qualifies as a teddy bear and if it turns out I'll be sure to share a few pics. 

You can find the links to both the English and Finnish versions of the calendar (links are below).  *The calendars are for personal use only.*









Have a great weekend!

28 Oct 2014

DIY 5 Panel Teepee

Today I'm going to share a tutorial on the teepee I made for the boys' birthday party.  I've had a few questions about it and I actually ended up sewing it twice so I thought it may be helpful to some of you if I share what I learnt from my teepee sewing endeavours.  I'm really happy with the end result and hope that you like it too.  

The boys have had a lot of fun playing with their teepee and it ended up being the focal point of the boys' party.  So when my first teepee sewing experience went wrong I didn't have a choice but to try again.  I originally followed this tutorial, but used much thinner poles (1/2").  Well, Little Pilot, being the comedian that he is, decided he would use the teepee as a ghost costume.  He fell with his "costume" and one of the poles snapped in half.  Clearly the teepee wasn't sturdy enough for my boy!  The first incarnation of this teepee also featured pockets that held the poles and I found making the pockets took up a lot of fabric and the teepee became really narrow.  So when I had to replace the poles I came up with a design that used elastic loops to hold the fabric to the poles.  The elastic worked really well.  I was able to get a larger teepee and it actually held the fabric taut along the poles much better.  The second version ended up being much better and sturdier for my boys.  You can see what kind of abuse it's already taken in the photo of Co-Pilot pulling Little Pilot under one of the sides of the tent.  And, yes, Little Pilot still tries to wear it as a costume despite being told not to.

I'm quickly going to talk about the look of this teepee.  The black and white Marimekko fabric was another remnant piece that was sent to me by FinnStyle.  I've had a lot of fun coming up with projects to make out of fairly small pieces of fabric (outdoor art and a beanbag pouf).  I still have another one that I'm working on this week and a great give-away for you as well coming up!  The Lokki fabric that I had for this project was not enough to make the entire teepee, but I like how using it for the front panel really brings your attention to the teepee entrance.  I also feel the wavy black and white lines are somehow really appropriate for a tribal/teepee look.  The white canvas fabric and the fabric I used to make bias tape around the teepee door were both from Ikea.  Ikea really has a good selection of affordable heavier weight cottons that are perfect for a project like this.  The orange leather cord around the top was chosen since orange is Little Pilot's favourite colour.  Making the teepee myself ended up being more work than it should have since I made it twice, but in the end it is one of a kind and exactly my style.  Hopefully, it's the boys' style too.  So far there have been no complaints. ;)

*There are a lot of steps to this project and some parts were a little challenging to describe so please let me know if you have any questions and I can try and clarify them for you

TEEPEE HOW TO:

Materials:
  • 3 meters of a heavy weight fabric (e.g., cotton canvas/upholstery fabric)
  • 1 meter printed fabric
  • 5 - six foot 1" wood dowels
  • 4 feet bias tape
  • twine/string/cord 
  • 2.5 meters 3/8" elastic - cut into 20 2.75" pieces
  • thread
  • drill
  • sewing machine

How To:

Cut the teepee pieces:

1. From the canvas fabric cut out 5 triangular panels.  The peak of each triangle is 7.5" wide, the base of each triangle is 35".  The easiest way to cut your first panel is to fold your fabric in half and mark 17.5" from the fold at the bottom and 3.75" from the fold at the top.  Then you will draw a line connecting the two marks using a long straight edge (e.g., a yardstick).  Draw a horizontal line from each marked point to the fold.  Cut along the marked lines.

2.  To cut the subsequent panels, continue to fold the fabric so that your top measures 3. 75" and the bottom measures 17.5" from the fold.  You will already have the diagonal line from the previous cut to guide you.  Repeat this folding and cutting process for another three times.

3.  Cut out your contrasting/printed fabric panel.  Use one of the panels you cut in the steps above and lay it over your fabric panel.  Use the canvas panel as a guide to cut a panel from the printed fabric.

Sewing the teepee fabric:

4.  Stitch one of the canvas panels to the printed panel wrong sides together.  I used a zigzag stitch around the edges.  This step will create a sturdy lining for your printed fabric especially if it is a lighter weight fabric.

5. Make the teepee door opening:  Draw a 38" line down the centre of the front of the printed panel starting at the base of the triangle.  To reinforce the edges before cutting out the opening, I sewed a long and narrow zigzag stitch one either side of the marked line.

6.  At the top of your marked line, use a tight zigzag stitch to reinforce.  Then cut the opening along the marked line and between the zigzag stitched lines.  *at this point you can sew on bias tap along the opening to enclose the cut edges.




7.  Sew the teepee panels together:  Each seam will contain four elastic loops.  Take one long panel edge and mark the locations of the elastic loops (mine were spaced " apart).  Fold your elastic pieces in half (to create the loops) and pin the elastic loops to the wrong side of the panel at the marked spots.  You want the ends of each elastic stacked on top of one another and the ends lined up with the edge.  Take another panel with its wrong side facing the elastics and the other panel and sew a seam along the long edge making sure to catch the elastics (To reinforce the elastics, I sewed back and forth over the elastic section a few times) *see further notes in the picture below


8.  Continue to repeat step 7 three more times with the remaining panels.  Do not sew the final seam that encloses the teepee yet.

9.  Hem the top edge of your teepee (I used a 1/2" double hem).  Then sew the final long seam in the same way as described in step 7 (insetting the elastic loops).

10.  Enclose the seams on the right side of the teepee:  You should have visible seams on the right side at this point that we want to hide by enclosing them.   Turn your teepee fabric wrong side out and fold the two adjoining panels at each seam right sides together.  Sew a 1/2 " seam enclosing the raw edges and elastic ends inside.

11.  Hem the bottom edge and make pockets for the poles:  The bottom hem in the teepee is completed one panel at a time.  Since the bottom hem is angled you will have a little extra fabric as you shorten the length (i.e., hem it).  This extra fabric is what you will use to create pockets to hold the ends of the poles.  You will first want to iron a 1 1/2 " double hem all around the bottom of your teepee fabric.  To make the pockets I hemmed each panel separately.  I placed a pole inside my hem at the seams at either end of each panel to use as a guide for how large to make my pockets.  I pinned the hem in place around the poles marking where to start and stop my stitching so that the pole would fit in the hem. I stitched from one mark to the next and continued to stitch the remaining panels the same way one at a time.  *Just to further clarify:  There is no sewn hem at the pocket spots.

12.  You may have already completed this part, but I sewed my binding on the opening at this point which reduce the bulk at the bottom hem.

13.  Assemble your teepee:  Slide a pole through the elastics from the top.  Place the end of the pole inside the pockets you created in step 11.  Bind the tops of the poles together using cord/rope/twine.  You will want to tie the teepee poles at the top at height that will give enough tension to allow the panels to sit fairly taut.  I had my husband help position the tops of the poles while I got the sides in the right position.  To make it simple to assemble each time drill holes through each of the poles at the height you determined above.  It is also helpful to tie your cord around and zigzagging through each of the poles to keep it taut.



I still have a couple more DIYs to share with you from the party and the actual party photos.  There's also the Fall In Love Room reveals coming up next week so there's more kitchen and more party posts coming your way.  I hope you don't mind!

20 Oct 2014

DIY Feather Headband Costume

We had the boys' teepee party over the weekend and the boys just loved it.  I didn't have time to go through all the photos to share the whole party with you yet.  I do have a little feather headband costume that I made for the party to share though.  Both boys wore their headbands at the party and the next day too (when I took the photos you see below).  This was a super easy DIY that you can make in 5 minutes or less and was really the cutest thing ever on all the little party guests.  It would also make a really simple diy Halloween costume/accessory for both kids and adults.  I don't know if you really need a tutorial for this headband since it is so simple, but I thought I'd share a couple of tips that you may find helpful in the how to below.  It's also a good excuse for me to indulge in some pictures of my little tribe members.



DIY Feather Headband How To:

*I didn't take photos as I made the headbands so the photos below show the steps on an already completed headband (in step 2. the feather should not already be on the band)*

1.  Materials:  You will need: - thread + needle/sewing machine, 1" braided elastic, hot glue + glue gun,  large feathers (I found my glitter and dipped feathers at Michael's)

2.  Measure and cut a piece of elastic to approximately the circumference of your child's head.  Sew the two ends together by overlapping them by about an inch.  Use a zigzag stitch if possible.  This will allow your stitching to stretch with the elastic.

3.  Attach a feather to one side of the headband using hot glue.  I attached mine at the part where the "hairs" started on the feather to allow for a little more surface area for the glue to stick.  *Depending on the shape of the wearers head/neck, you may need to trim the pointed end of the feather off so that it doesn't press into their neck.  It is recommended that you trim the sharp end off for small children for safety.
*I did this for my older son(seen in the photo above) and will be adjusting the one that my younger son is wearing in the photos as well.

The hobby horses were made by my mom for the party and were also a huge hit.  I'll be back with more details on them soon!

14 Oct 2014

Kitchen Progress: Countertops and Backsplash

We have been SO busy over the past couple of weeks with three birthdays, Thanksgiving, our ongoing kitchen reno, and party planning for the boys' teepee shindig this coming weekend.  I hope you can forgive me if I'm a little more MIA lately.  I'm just trying to somehow get everything done!  I hope all of my Canadian friends had a really lovely Thanksgiving.  I spent my Thanksgiving day cooking Thanksgiving dinner and re-sewing the boys' teepee.  The teepee suffered a little accident and required some tough enough for rambunctious little boys reengineering.  I am happy to say the teepee is finally done and hopefully ready for this coming weekend.

Today, I wanted to share a little on the progress of our kitchen.  It is really starting to look like a kitchen now.  The doors are all in place, but still need a little adjusting in a couple spots.  The biggest change is definitely our countertops and backsplash.  It took us forever to find the slabs we used.  They are statuario marble and they balance both the hubs' and my tastes.  He liked the marbles with the really heavy veining and I prefer a relatively quiet marble.  I find these counters have enough of both to satisfy both of us.  We decided to forgo the traditional backsplash tile and just had a piece of marble cut for the backsplash (which is 20" high for anyone wondering ;) ).  I really like how it goes with the overall minimal look I'm trying to achieve in our kitchen.  Here are a few pictures of the counters and backsplash. 


I'm super happy with our progress so far, but there's still a lot to do/missing:
-floating shelf to the right of the uppers
- adjustments on some of the doors and drawers
- lighting: sconce and pendant (still haven't decided on the pendant!)
- fix the flooring in the opening to the dining room (we enlarged it to allow for flow to the new walkout)
- paint all the walls and trim (I've picked up Farrow and Ball's All White and am excited to see how it looks!)
- move and/or add the pot lights 
- install the hood fan and venting for it
- order stainless steel panels to line the inside of the hood fan cabinet
- electrical (keypad and wire an outlet)
- paint french doors
- decorating/styling (the fun part) :)

I'm really not sure how I'm going to be able to get it all done by the Fall in Love Room deadline, but I'm sure going to try! 

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