Thursday, June 26, 2014

easy beach wrap tutorial

... and somehow it's summer again.       
in anticipation for some warm beach days this summer, i made a simple wrap around beach cover up.   
simply modish has a really nice video tutorial here.

this was an easy, hand-sewn project that i mostly did sitting on the couch watching hgtv. i've posted only a few pictures of some of the steps below; i recommend watching the video first for the full tutorial as her directions are nice and straightforward.    

to make this yourself, you want to purchase enough fabric, roughly 1.5 times the circumference of your hips.    
i bought a yard of pink jersey knit fabric (because the width of 54") from joann's for this purpose, which was regularly priced at $13 a yard, but i saved some bucks by using a coupon.   

if you don't have a lot of experience with knits, be aware that it shrinks.  54" would have been perfectly fine for me if it hadn't shrunk several inches, but i was too cheap to purchase more fabric-- as it would have been, at that point, cheaper to buy one of these online somewhere.   even with the shrinkage, it fits fine, however, it doesn't drape as much as i would like.  

it is also normally recommended that you wash your fabric before you use it.  for this project, i would actually recommend that you not, as knits tend to curl at the edges and it will just make the cutting process annoying.  since you're not sewing anything complicated, i would just skip that step and wash your beach wrap after you've made it.           

first cut out the arm holes. i used a salad plate to cut out the arm holes using my rotary cutter.   you could also use a tank top you have as a guide.  you should be cutting one arm hole on each side (on the longer edge).  

from the bottom (opposite side from the armholes), cut the strips to make the straps. i eyeballed the width of the strips, and they were probably only .5 inch thick each at most (width of 54").  i found that three strips braided all together was more than enough to make two straps. 

take one of the edges where the armhole was cut, and tuck it through part of the braid.  pull the edge out far enough so you can fold it over the knot.  

hand sew around the knot to secure the strap.  repeat with the other end of the strap, and then do the same on the other armhole.  and you're done.           

it should look something like this.     

i haven't made it to the beach yet, but i've been wearing it around the house a lot... because, it's just so comfy.

Monday, June 2, 2014

washi tape address labels

if i had my way, everything i could ever need or want would exist on amazon, so i would never have to leave my place to run errands again.  my hatred for errands is far greater than my love for crafts, and because of this, i have had a gift card from michael's waiting, unused, for over 6 months.  but over the weekend, i had a sudden desire to procure some supplies/tools, and out i went.  gift card utterly depleted (+more), i came home armed with some new toys.   

one of my new tools is a xyron 1.5 inch sticker maker, which i bought without really having a need for it, until i was almost home.  as i pulled into the garage, the words 'washi tape address labels' mysteriously popped in my head.  

i used to design and print out my own address labels on label sheets, but since i've been out of labels and my new printer has terrible terrible color output, i've been without since moving to san diego.  
with the image of what these washi tape address labels might look like burning in my brain, i had to make some, like immediately.

my trial run is pictured.  the addresses are printed in grey, on a regular sheet of paper, spaced out in rows and columns.  i trimmed off the excess with my trusty paper cutter, and eyeballing it, stuck on washi tape (that i recently purchased at daiso), as you see below.   i then trimmed again.  i'm a big fan of the city themed washi tape. so cute. 

enter the xyron sticker maker... and i had labels.  i love how simple the sticker maker is.  all you do is put the paper in one end, and pull it out through the other side.  i'm sort of surprised i never bought one before, especially since making stickers was a childhood fantasy of mine. i already want the 2.5" and 5" xyron machines!  

i'm looking forward to making some more real address labels using this method, especially with my recent washi tape purchases.  i don't send out a whole lot of mail these days, so it's nice that i can make small quantities this way with supplies that can also be used for other purposes.    


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