Thursday, February 13, 2014

Make this! DIY bow scarf.

Listen up! Because I spent 34 years living in the desert Southwest (Arizona) I had NO IDEA that scarves were anything other than a sometimes sweet fashion accessory. But NOW? Living in the Midwest, I KNOW they are a ABSOLUTE cold weather necessity. Since moving here, my girls and I have become obsessed with finding the holy grail of scarves that does its job to perfection AND looks super cute, to boot. I'm not entirely POSITIVE that this prototype right here is the HOLY GRAIL OF SCARVES because I am merely a beginner scarf wear-er, but I contend that the style is pretty darn good at keeping you warm AND I love bows more than I care to admit (as a grown-ass woman.) Plus, this scarf is SUPER cheap and SUPER easy to make. Its like the scarf-trifecta!

To make one scarf you will need:
  • a women's sweater - long sleeved, medium weight sweater, sized medium or larger
  • 1/4 yard - 60" wide velour or cotton knit fabric (you can use anything that has some stretch)
  • common sewing supplies: scissors, ruler, straight pins, sewing machine, thread, marking pen, etc



I purchased these sweaters at a thrift store ($2.49 each!) which is OBVIOUSLY a great place to get sweaters that you are going to cut up :) Look for bright or unusual prints and stick to the more tightly woven knits - that will make it SO MUCH easier to cut into the sweater without the entire thing unraveling. Also, make sure the sweater isn't ITCHY! It is going to be up against your neck. Also, keep in mind the color of your everyday coat - my coat is black felt so I tend to wear scarves that are more brightly colored. But if you have a purple or red coat? Maybe stick to a neutral color, you wild woman, you!


First, you are going to hack up your sweater: Cut the arms off, along the black line as shown. If you are working with a cardigan, cut off the band. If you are working with a pull-over sweater, after you cut the arms off, carefully cut up the middle of front.



You should end up with something like this - a beautiful sweater vest shape. Don't worry- this is not some diabolical plan to trick you into wearing a sweater vest! This is only a temporary situation.


Next, cut open the shoulder hems. Then, turn the mangled sweater inside out, line up the bottom hem and pin the arm holes closed. You are working to achieve a rectangular piece of knitted fabric. Sew the armholes closed, while maintaining a straight line from bottom hem to shoulder. You may have to sew down each side, in its entirety. Then, trim any excess.


You should hopefully have a piece that looks something like this. Isn't this pattern amazing?


Now, trim your piece down to approximately 20"x30", making sure to keep the seams on each side as even as possible by trimming off of both sides. (you should size down for kid sizes.) Now, fold your rectangle in half, right sides together. Pin and sew a straight stitch, leaving a 4 inch gap open in the middle.


Now, you will create the bow ends. Take your piece of stretch fabric and , with right sides together, round off each end, as shown. Pin and sew. There is no need to leave an opening. Once the entire piece has been sewn, fold and cut in half at the middle. Turn bow ends right side out.


Next, adjust the placement of the seam on the sweater piece so that it is in the middle-back, as shown. With it still turned inside out, place each of the bow ends inside the sweater tube, as shown, and pin in the middle along both ends. (There is no need to leave the tails out, as shown, that was done to further illustrate the step.) Sew along each end. Turn the whole thing right side out through the opening. Finally, either whip stitch or machine stitch the opening closed.

I wish I could say that I think that scarf weather is almost over..... but yeah, no. Its 8 degrees as I sit here, typing this. At 2:20 p.m. Today's high was somewhere around, ummm, 8. That's without the windchill, my friend. So, viva la scarf!

I've made about 6 of these so far, with no end in site. (PSST - if you crochet or knit, you can whip up a tube out of thick yarn if used apparel freaks you out. And then just sew in the velour bow ends. You wouldn't need to worry about raw edges so just stick the right-side-out bow ties in the ends and top stitch in place. I made my girls some of that variety for Christmas. Not to say that much skeeves me out. I am pretty much low skeeve.)

(mad props to my youngest for braving the elements ( NEGATIVE 11 DEGREES) to model for her crazy mom.) 
But seriously. Doesn't her neck look WARM? :)










Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A perfectly HILARIOUS last minute, very low effort DIY Valentine's gift idea


I gave my husband his Valentine's gift early this year. Its the MAGICAL ability for him to put words in my mouth or thoughts in my head anytime he wants = every man's DREAM COME TRUE!

...

Ok. It's just a freaking framed dry erase board with my picture in it and a thought bubble coming out of my head but ITS AS CLOSE AS YOU'LL GET, MISTER COE. I think its pretty hilarious and so does he. He can take it to work and think about what he wishes I would say or think, til his heart is content. Lucky guy.

I made a similar pic for my mom for Christmas, with a picture of my grandmother.

Yes. I sent it to my mom just like this, complete with the caption. Especially hilarious because Nana was a nice lady and she didn't especially have a potty mouth. Who doesn't want to put words in their mother's mouth? (If it's not one thing, it's your mother - AMIRITE?)

I also made a pic of my father in law. He was such a nerd, he was actually cool. (At least, that's what my husband says.)

Find the entire ticket-to-hilarity tutorial right here:



http://experts.sheknows.com/post/how-to-and-diy/diy-dry-erase-valentines-day-gift-idea

Happy Valentine's Day, friend.





Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hot glue or fabric? Not this week! Let's have fun with SCIENCE.

I was assigned some science-y themed articles a couple of weeks ago for SheKnows.com and was up to my EARS in experimenting and researching and BEGGING my 16 year old son for help. It was actually really fun. Do you have a kid that needs some science fair ideas? Well, this might be YOUR LUCKY DAY.

Have you ever wondered how antacids work? Also, learn how to make a simple universal indicator using red cabbage RIGHT HERE.



Ever thought about making your own crystals? (NOT THE ILLEGAL KIND, MOM.)
Just salt and water and food coloring and a cup. Learn exactly how (and why) it works RIGHT HERE.



What's that, you say? You've always been mesmerized by the wonder of a hovercraft? ME TOO! Check out the (basic) mechanics and a kick-ass poster idea RIGHT HERE.


And HONESTLY my fav of the bunch was this idea for a Student Council election poster. This project right here made my oldest daughter want to run for student council president :) Show your children WITH CAUTION if you don't want a politician in the family! Get the deets to make one just like it RIGHT HERE.

Are you EXCITED for science fair season or DREADING it? Me? I am that mom that seriously lets their kids do LITERALLY ALL of their own project work, solo, no matter how much crooked letters or smudges or less than perfection bugs the crap out of me. So my kids projects look like.... KIDS DID THEM. Crooked and sometimes messy. But NO STRESS and my kids learn ALL. THE. THINGS. I repeat to them, frequently, I ALREADY PASSED (insert applicable number) GRADE. At this point, they know: I am a mean mom. Are YOU a mean mom? We should start a club or something.



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