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Category Archives: Sewing

My Etsy Shop is OPEN!

Exciting stuff is going on that I wanted to share with you. I recently had the opportunity to design and make a window shade for a teacher friend of mine.  At my son’s school, each teacher needs to have the ability to cover the window in their door very quickly in case of a “Lockdown” drill.  Most teachers do this by using a rolled up piece of construction paper, some tape and a clothespin or paper clip. Not the most attractive or reliable thing as you can imagine.

I thought that I could make a pretty, durable, and much more effective curtain so I came up with this…


Now I ask you, isn’t that pretty?  I designed it to hang on two Command Hooks – the kind that you can remove without damaging the door.  To install it, you just unroll the shade, and hook the loops onto the Command Hook.  Then roll it up and wrap the straps around from the back and hook those onto the same Command Hooks again.  See it here closer up…


In a drill, or God forbid and actual emergency, all she has to do is to unhook the straps and the curtain will unroll and cover her door.  Easy-peesy and an added layer of protection from the bad guys.

So after talking with my teacher friend and a few more teachers who gave me some encouragement, I decided to make up some samples and open an Etsy Shop where I could offer these to any teacher who might like one.  I made a whole bunch of different designs, and will be adding more as time goes on, but you will find the first dozen or so for sale in my shop right now.  Please spread the word to all your teacher friends and direct them to my shop at:

Here’s a preview of some of my designs, but I can do custom designs upon request.  In case you were wondering, my kids attend school in North Carolina, hence the NC university designs.

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Please visit my new shop and let me know what you think of it!  Please recommend me to a teacher today.

Thanks all!


DIY Ladies’ Tank Top from Men’s Tee

tee6I went to my college reunion this weekend.  Twenty-fifth reunion from Westfield State College (now, it’s Westfield State University, la-di-da) and I had a FABULOUS time.  I missed my college friends more than I even knew was possible. Can’t wait until the next one! Here we are looking a little fuzzy.  I apologize for the poor focus, must’ve been the camera, or the beers, not sure which…



That’s nothing.  After I’d had even MORE beers, we managed to get this shot off in the photo booth…


So, so proud.

Anyway, while I was on campus, I bought myself this t-shirt.  It’s a men’s so it is both too long and too boxy.


I set out to make it a tad more fashionable.  This whole process took me maybe 20 minutes, and that included me winding my bobbin and changing the thread in my machine.  So I started with the shirt laid out flat like so…


Next, I took my shears and chopped away at it.  I cut off the sleeves, just inside of, and including, the seam that connects it to the body of the shirt.  then I cut the top of the shirt off straight across just under the collar.  Finally, I cut off the bottom hem, and cut another strip off the bottom of the shirt, about 1/2″ wide.  This last strip will serve as the tie at the top that holds your shirt together. tee7

Next, you sew two channels along the top edges so that you can loop the tie through them to hold your shirt up.  I just folded over about an inch and pinned it in place.  I then sewed about 3/4″ from the folded edge.


Once you do this, you’re almost done!  Now you take your tie piece and cut it so that it’s one long strip of material.  Take a safety pin and pin it to one end so that you can easily thread the tie through the channel.  Here you can see I’m all ready to start…


And the finished product!  I chose to tie it at one shoulder with a decorative bow, but you could just as easily either knot or sew the ends together then bury them in the channel to hide the seam/knot.  Or another pretty option would be to use a coordinating ribbon or cord as the tie and gussy it up!  Let your creativity run wild!



There, now isn’t that a bit more feminine?  And much cooler for the hot summer months too.

Now I’ve got my eye on a handful of tees in my husband’s drawer that just might need a little repurposing.


DIY Dog Bed – Part 2

So I’ve got this lovely table that I want to turn into an attractive, functional dog bed for Hazel, the 10 pound miniature schnauzer.

First thing I did, after giving it a good scrub down with some Spic & Span, was to remove the doors.

I briefly toyed with the idea of leaving them on so that I could close them up when I wanted to hide the dog bed from company, but decided that anyone who was invited to my house who had a problem viewing my dog’s bed, well they could just suck it. Get over yourself.

Next step was to sand off all of the varnish. In order for the new paint to “stick” and not “slide off”, I needed to get rid of all the shiny surfaces. When I was done doing that, the side table was even uglier than when I started if you could imagine.

For anyone who’s interested, I used my Dremel, as well as some hand sanding on the moulding, and the little bun feet.

Now, time to start making it look pretty. First I gave it a coat of primer, to cover up the original dark walnut finish.

Next, I filled I filled in the holes left after I removed the door hinges using some sandable wood putty.

I put three coats of paint on the outside, a Valspar paint with satin finish called Dreamy Caramel (yum!) and three more on the inside, a Behr paint with glossy finish called Vanilla Custard (double yum!). I had the interior paint left over from the trim in our sitting room, which is why it has a gloss finish.

Yeah baby! Now we’re getting somewhere!

One last addition…when I saw the beautiful four paneled interior on the cabinet, I wanted to highlight it with some wallpaper. I shopped around for wallpaper and realized that, holy crap, wallpaper is super expensive. Plan B was to buy some fabric and Mod Podge it to the walls. Here are the results…


I purposely chose this ultra feminine fabric that resembles a vintage wallpaper design.

OK, moving on to the cushion. I went to my local Joann store and spent a ridiculous amount of time hemming and hawing over all the choices and came up with these three fabrics…

The paint chip at the top is the Valspar Dreamy Caramel that I used on the exterior of the cabinet. I should note that I actually chose the paint color after I picked out the fabrics. I do this whenever I have the option because its a lot easier than matching fabrics to paint.

I made a template of the inside of the cabinet using a pieced-together sheet of paper. Just lay it inside the cabinet then crease it along the bottom corners. Take it out, cut along the crease lines then try it out and trim if necessary.

I had made a few box cushions before, but just sort of “winged it”. This time, I went on Pinterest and found a great tutorial that I used for this one. It was at Design Sponge, and it was by Amanda Brown. You can find it here…

Initially, I wanted to get a foam cushion, and cut it to shape, then cover it. I found however that the hexagonal shape made it difficult, and to get the thickness I wanted it would cost a freaking fortune. So I went with a fiberfill stuffing instead.

I made my own bias strips using the plaid fabric then sewed the welting for around the edges of the cushion like so…

And, here is the completed cushion…

Not too shabby!

I made a couple of extra cushions for the sides, because Hazel likes to sleep in a corner, then added a little extra decor and Voila! Completed doggie bed!




That’s it for my very first tutorial. I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful. I think that there is a way to “follow” my blog so that you will get an email when I add any additional posts. If you can figure it out, please do.

Thanks for reading!

Update! The puppy has started settling in with us. When we first got her, she was only 2 pounds 11 ounces, but she goes to the vet tomorrow and we expect big things.

The two dogs have been getting along well and much to my surprise, are sharing the dog bed. They take turns, as all civilized dogs should. When Violet is a bit older, and when I get a chance, I might make a second dog bed, but for now, we are all good.

DIY Dog Bed – Part 1

DIY Dog Bed – Part 1


So, with a new puppy on the way, I have a serious case of nesting. I’ve been to PetSmart (several times) to pick up new dishes, puppy food, squeaky toys and whatnot. I’ve also made a slew of fuzzy fleece blankets, including one with a pocket for her to climb into, and used the extra scraps of fleece to make her a chewy toy. These are, of course, primarily violet in color, in honor of new puppy Violet.


This is a pic of the pocket pillow, just big enough for her to snuggle into if she wants.

So, this teeny tiny dog bed got me thinking…with a little effort I bet I could make a really nice dog bed for my current dog, Hazel. She’s just 10 pounds, so it wouldn’t have to be very big, or expensive to make. And I want to make Hazel feel special, in light of the fact that she’s going to be the big sister and all. Here’s Hazel, cutest dog ever…

She is a miniature schnauzer, and leans toward the small side, even for a miniature.
So back to the dog bed idea. I went online to research and found this bed as inspiration…


Adorable right? I tried to get a link to the tutorial, but Pinterest didn’t have one. If you want to try, put “DIY Dog Bed” in the Pinterest search field and it should come up.

So I started looking for a small side table with either a bookshelf opening or a cabinet. I refused to pay more than a few bucks for it because, lets face it, it’s for DOGS and they’re probably going to scratch it up, chew it and get their stink all over it. I was super lucky to find this table – almost exactly the same as the one in the inspiration model.

Nice Zombie eyes Hazel. Remember this table from the 1970s? I think that everyone we knew had one in their rumpus room, using it to stash the hard liquor. From the time period where big, clunky dark furniture spelled “classy”. Yuck.

I got it at my favorite thrift store, Savers. I could go on and on about my love of Savers, and maybe I will someday, but for now just know that I shop there once a week, buying 90% of all the clothes in my household. Anyway, I had a 30% off coupon on the day I got the table, so I paid a grand total of….

And, when I got it home and flipped it over, holy crap, it’s an Ethan Allen? Bonus!

Next up, turning my ugly duckling of a side table into a cozy spot that’s pretty enough for my pups.