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Entries in home sewing (22)

Tuesday
Jan052016

The Girls Very Own Bedroom | Living Small

If you've been following us for awhile, you'll know that the girls have always slept in creative bed rooms. When we first moved into this San Diego House, they slept in this space in the main bedroom.

In the studio they again slept in a closet. And on the boat? They had the quarter berth.

While we don't bedshare (nothing against those who do, it just isn't for us), we do co-sleep (the definition of co-sleeping being sleeping in the same room as our kids), and after five and a half years of having our kids within site of us as we slept, it was time to switch things up. 

We turned the office/guest room into the girls' new bedroom.

Everyone is loving the transition. The girls have their own room to play in, and their own place to go for alone time when they want it or need it.

Eric and I have our bedroom blissfully to ourselves.

It's been a long time, baby.

I took the closet door down, added book shelves on either side of it, and turned it into a reading nook.

Instead of using the closet to store clothes, I got one of these Ikea kids' dressers instead. Each drawer is organized by shirt/pants/pjs, etc, and the girls put away their own clothes when laundry is clean.

The official Women Who Sail burgee hangs proudly in their room. One day it will hang from our new boat.

The piano is a hand-me-down from our friend Taylor. The girls spend a lot of time making music.

I asked my friend Victoria of Red Wave Creative to help me design the text poster. It is from a Serbian proverb, but I added the line about water. I thought it suited us more.

Be humble, you are made of earth.

Be fluid, you are made of water.

Be noble, you are made of stars.

And those awesome mermaid decals? They were a gift from our friend John. He is like the dad I don't have. Thank you, John. 

This is how the girls reacted when they saw the mermaids for the first time.

The mermaids are art from the Sarah Jane Studios' fabric line called Out to Sea. I'm currently using the fabric to make the girls their own quilts. The mermaids on the walls will match the mermaids on their quilts; I die with the cuteness.

Here's a a sneak peek of the quilts before they are quilted to the batting and back fabric.

The bedding is all custom designed by yours truly. We used the same mattress I had made for the space in our bedroom and then I bought two more pieces of foam, one to extend the bed along the far wall of the room and one to create a second 'headboard'.

The girls sleep feet to feet; they get to feel close while each having their own little area of the room.

The second headboard matches the first one. I had JUST enough of the starfish fabric and white vinyl piping to make it work.

Each girl got a custom pillow case too because I just can't leave well enough alone and stock pillow cases are SO.BORING.

These are made with French seams, because life is too short to not have a pillowcase with French seams.

Am I right?!

Being a stickler for always-having-a-spare-set-of-bedding-for-little-kids, I made a second waterproof cover for each of the two mattresses and a second set of sheets. We have green. We have orange. I can't decide which color I like more.

YOU DECIDE.

Green.

Or orange?

Green.

Or orange?

I also made two little draw string bags to hold the second set of waterproof covers and sheets when the others aren't in use.

When I die there is one thing for sure you can say about me, "that Charlotte, she took her bedding seriously."

This what happens when I ask Lyra to stay still for a photo.

Oh, and lastly, we don't sleep with top sheets. Top sheets are a waste of everyone's time. The girls have their own blankets and one thing that drives me nuts about little kids when they sleep is that they wiggle and worm and kick off their blankets. Then they wake up in the middle of the night because they're cold and well, I really appreciate my beauty sleep and cold kids tend to interrupt that.

So.

I sewed their fleece blankets into little sleeping bags and now the girls scoot into them each night. It's really rather genius and honestly works like a a freaking charm.

If I were truly, super cool, I would have sewn them in the shape of mermaid tails, but a person can only do so much. Besides, it'll be fun to have something to look forward to when we kit out their berths on the new boat.

Okay, this post is done, but I'm still curious on your thoughts.

Green.

Or orange?

Tuesday
Jul142015

Custom Curtains for our Lively Living Room

I've been hoarding this fabric since 2007 when it first came out and I snatched some up. My sister stored a few of my things for me when we left to go sailing. Along with memorabilia like my wedding dress, she kept a few of my most beloved fabrics. Yes, to me, wedding dresses and pretty fabric are kinda on the same par.

This is Fredrika trees fabric by designer Helen Trast for Ikea, 2007. Now out of print, I finally found the perfect use for it. I have two pieces of this fabric; one my sister kept for me, another came from a friend. The larger piece was just large enough to make some curtains for our living room.

When I first hung these up I wasn't happy with how the ends flared at the bottom. No problem. I just needed to press the creases, or train the fabric if you will, to hang the right way. I grabbed some clothes pins and rubber bands and folded the fabric the way it should hang from top to bottom.

See what I mean?

PS: I am so NOT going to apologize to you for that dirty window. The outside screens are screwed into the window frame and I've got this much desire to unscrew them and clean it. [How much desire? ZERO desire.]

You don't like my dirty window?

After a day of hanging like that, I took off the clips and left the rubber bands for awhile longer. Basically until the girls couldn't take it anymore and begged me to take them off so they could the curtains in all their glory.

And voilà:

Truly, much improved.

As Lyra says, "I LUB it!"

I added a thick, white lining fabric on the back and used the same fabric to make the tabs.

I realize this fabric is very white. And I have two small children. Don't worry, I have already prepared myself for the invetible little hand marks, marker marks, crayon marks, and chalk stains.

It's going to happen.

We'll probably be in this house for another two years and I'm frankly curious to see how well/poorly white fabric holds up around the kids. It's an experiment, okay?

Who knows? Maybe they'll suprise me.

Probably not.

I can offically say that our living room is complete now. That feels amazing.

For the details on the rest of our living room you can read these posts:

Our Entry Way

DIY Floor Couch

DIY Dress Up Cabinet

DIY Picture Gallery Wall

DIY Mason Jar Organizer

DIY Solar System Chalkboard Wall

Sunday
Jul122015

DIY Floor Couch | Bohemian Style Floor Cushion

When we first moved into the new house this was our "couch." It was just the cushions from the girls' former closet bed and a bunch of floor pillows I had made for our studio.

My brother mentioned he had a full size mattress we could use as a floor couch and I jumped at the opportunity. We already sit around a lowered table to eat, AND we have little kids, so why not keep everything low to the ground?

OMG they are so cute!The foam was in good shape, but the cover was not. I ditched the cover (and saved the zipper) and got out a bunch of fabric scraps to make a new cover.

Before long, this was covered with this:

Of course as cute as this pieced cover was, you are crazy-sauce if you think I'd leave it like that.

Did I mention I have little children?

On went a waterproof covering from Ikea.

And on top of THAT, I found a colorful sheet that would hide marks and stains, and that became the top layer of my DIY floor couch.

I actually bought the full sheet set in that print. I turned the flat sheet into a fitted sheet as well so now I have two covers for when one inevitably gets dirty or needs washing. 

I had made these gorgeous floor pillows for the studio. You can view all the detail photos of these floor cushions at Sew Sew Sew Your Boat. The problem with their size though, is that we just kept doing this when we used them:

Kind of a waste if you ask me. And since I was asking "me," I decided to do something about it

I straight up cut those suckers in half.

After I cut them, I created new seams and now I had a bunch of bolster-sized pillow forms. 

Before I show you what I did with the pillow cases, let me show you the giant body pillows I made as back rests.

Target sells a body pillow for $10. Not a bad price for a pre-made pillow with stuffing. I ordered four.

I knew that one wouldn't be firm enough so I cut them all open and took the filler from one and wrapped it around the filler from another. Then I repeated the process so I had two much firmer rolls of batting.

Those rolls got shoved (with Eric's help) back into the original pillowcases. The result was two very firm back rest pillows. One for our floor couch downstairs and one for the guest room floor couch upstairs (which I have yet to show!).

Eric approved.

I was ALMOST done. I took some spare fabric from the custom sheets I made for our upstairs bed and made the covers for the big back rest pillows, using coordinating fabric from the new sheeet set on each end to get some matchy-matchy going on.

Then I turned my eyes to all the smaller pillows I had created.

I cut the pillow cases in half, just like I had cut the pillow forms. Then I re-sewed them and slipped them back on.

:::::::::::::::Drum roll please:::::::::::::::::::::

Ta-da!

I give you our cozy family, boho-style floor couch.

My loves.

Total project cost was $75. $40 for for the four body pillows I ordered, $20 for the sheet set I got on sale, and $15 for the water-proof cover under the sheet.

BOOM! I may never go back to a real couch again. 

Bonus? It can double as a bed for overnight guests!

Monday
May182015

Tiny House Bed | DIY loft frame, mattress, and bedding

Remember the loft bed Eric and Dan built for our tiny studio last year? 

It was an epic bed set up for our tiny home. You can read about it here. This post is about the foam, mattress, and bedding, you know, the stuff I do :)

We ordered a piece of 4" high-density foam and had it cut to the size of a queen bed. I know people spend thousands of dollars on mattresses, but I have never slept better than when sleeping on this type of foam. We had the same high-density foam in our v-berth on Rebel Heart. It is the best.sleep.ever.

I made a cover for the foam out of some awesome home-dec weight fabric.

The only thing I would have changed about making this cover is to have added handles. I forgot and a mattress without handles is a pain to move.

Next up was making a mattress protector. I had a king-sized white fleece blanket that I thought I'd turn into one for us.

While it looks lovely, and it is, this was a project fail. I first cut it to size (of the queen bed top) and then added satin blanket binding.

The reason it failed? When I added the fabric to tuck around the sides and the bottom of the cover (to turn it into a fitted cover), I miscalculated. I made the measurements from the edge of the blanket but realized I didn't want to sew into the beautiful blanket binding. Instead, I sewed the edge/bottom fabric into the seam of where the binding meets the blanket, moving my math by 2".

See? I sewed the fabric to the red line to preserve the satin binding, but my inital measurements were for the blue line.

Of course this meant that I made the cover too small/tight.

Ugh.

Sometimes, however, perfect is the enemy of done. I pulled an "ain't-nobody-got-time-for-that" and just cut the fabric in a few places and stretched it around the corners, quickly putting our fitted top sheet on to hold it into place.

And that is how the project stayed for quite a while. Technically, it worked. But underneath the fitted top sheet, the messed up project sang to me, calling out to be refinished correctly.

I finally got around to it.

The small blanket came off and I set it aside so I could carefully use a seam ripper to detach the side fabric and keep the beautiful binding intact. Now we'd at least have another pretty blanket in the house.

This time I used a much bigger orange fleece blanket for the cover. (Fleece makes an excellent mattress protector.)

All I did was pin the corners to size and then sew those lines. No chopping, no cutting. When I want to turn this back into a blanket, I can rip those seams and it will be back in business.

Ta da!!

Meanwhile, Lyra is doing her thing in the bathroom. Love that kid.

A perfect, tiny, minimalist bed.

I also made a custom pillow case for my memory foam pillow.

From too-large pillow case to...

A pattern drawn to....

A custom, zippered, matching pillow case to our bedding.

Here is the loft bed in our old studio.

And our bed in the San Diego house. 

I love that it is simple. I love that is comfortable. And I love to put a custom, personal touch on where ever we are living, on land or at sea. 

Monday
Apr132015

DIY Fabric Easter Bags

I included a few photos of the bags I made for Cora and Lyra in my Easter 2015 post here. I've finished a third one so I thought I'd share all three finished products.

Ta da! They are Goldilocks style, with a small one, a slightly bigger one, and then a large one.

I used this image as inspiration and then hand drew my own pattern.

I made the littlest bag first and then expanded the pattern by about an inch and a half for each proceeding bag.

The littlest bag was for Lyra.

The exterior fabric is from a kitchen towel I bought at Target. I was so enamored with the towel that I put it in my fabric stash instead of the kitchen.

I forgot to take a close up shot of the interior but you can sort of see it in the photo below. It's just a nice, soft, yellow fabric with white flowers.

Cora's basket is the mid-sized one. I used some fabric a friend had passed on from her stash and carefully positioned that rocking pink bird in prominence on the front.

The interior fabric is from scraps I had from the bench I made for Mele last fall. The pink is from the piping I handmade for it.

More photos of the bench can be found here.

Oh to have trimmed that one tiny thread sticking out there on the left. The perfectionist in me cries out in protest. The realist in me refuses to get off the couch to take another photo.

Sometimes. Sometimes I dream about fabric.

True story.

Oooh, you can see the interior fabric in the fruit basket pretty well in that photo.

Isn't it cute how they stair-step in sizes?

Being nautically-minded, the biggest basket is my favorite.

The fabric is remnants from the home-dec weight fabric I bought to make a mattress cover for our bed

So, soon. Soon.

I.can't.even. with this lining fabric. Just look at that buttery-pale yellow & white stripe with the little beach terns trailing their prints behind them in the sand.

You may have noticed that I used a zig-zag stitch on the trim for all these baskets. 

Since I knew that the girls were going to be banging their bags around to kingdom-come, and because I want these to actually be used in real life instead of sitting on a shelf somewhere just looking pretty, I opted for zig-zag over straight stitch.

The former will do a perfect job of going the distance and keeping all the layers of the bag (exterior fabric, interfacing, lining fabric, interfacing, & bias tape) together.

The starfish bag is going out in the mail as a birthday present for a friend. I can't say who because that would ruin the surprise.

Also, here is Lyra just doing her thing.

Ta-ta for now!