Oct 302014

Still catching up on things from before our trip! First up, flying squirrels made for kiddie presents. These are hilaaaaaarious! Plus, they’re super easy and relatively fast to make, and the pattern is free!
flying squirrels

I felt an intense need to make travel pillows for everyone (except my kids) — these are for my father-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, husband, and me. My in-laws already had their own comfier and more useful U-shaped travel pillows, but they very politely carried the ones I made them on the plane. 😀 Just in case you can’t tell, two of these have gadget pockets, which I don’t think ended up getting used. On the bright side, my kids liked hugging the grey stars and dadcat pillows during our vacation!
travel pillows

Waaaay before our trip, I got to be a pattern tester for Sew Sweetness’s Crimson and Clover Train Cases. I made the smallest size and stingily did not make proper bias tape, which Sara very kindly didn’t mention. >_< Can't see the bad piping in this pic, though... muhahahaha! small Crimson and Clover train case

Oct 162013

Mr. Yazoo has a dadcat crazy shirt that he looooooves — he’s seriously worn it almost every weekend since Cosmo was born.
dadcat crazy shirt

It’s getting just a leetle stanky after four years, and since I haven’t been able to find a new one to buy him, my sister (the artist) helped me make him a dadcat pillowcase!
dadcat trio pillowcase

She drew a version with three kitties (for our three kids), and then I blew it up and thread sketched it onto Essex linen. I didn’t stabilize the linen with anything, though, so it came out pretty wrinkly. Good thing Mr. Yazoo’s not too picky about things like that!
dadcat stamp

After I gave Mr. Yazoo his pillowcase, I felt like doing some commerce, so we went down to SlumberWorld so he could pick out a new pillow. That was some fun shopping, but I quietly had a heart attack when I realized that his pillow cost a hundred eighty dollars. gahhhhhhhhh…

Then, to add insult to injury, the (standard length) pillowcase I had made was too short for Mr. Yazoo’s new queen-sized pillow, so I had to unpick it and sew on the extra dark blue bit at the end. That took me an hour, which I laughed and laughed about the next day when I watched that episode of Project Runway where the designers on the bottom remade their entire dresses in an hour. >_< dadcat trio pillowcase close up

Aug 142013

Waaaay back when Glowbug was just born and I wasn’t too fond of sitting, I found this adorable littleoddforest seat cusion that I totally wanted… except $40 is an awful lot for something that’s so easy to make. The genius is in the design! But still, easy to copy. So Cheapie Yazoo struck again!
tree cushion

I bought a round cushion from the hardware store and some super cheap corduroy from Fabric Mart, then used a stash zipper and ribbon. This was right after making my brother-in-law’s pillowcase, so I still knew how to make a neato zipper flap (I’ve forgotten already by now!) to hide that pink zipper. The ribbons are there so you can tie the cushion to a stool’s legs.
tree cushion zipper

It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round, yeah? I’m a little mosquito in the crafty world, buzzing around to bite your creative ideas. Don’t worry too much, though — I’m much too lazy to make more than one copy of a thing. 😉
tree cushion

May 232013

Cosmo wanted a pillow for naptime at preschool, so I bought a super cheap, junky, standard pillow from K-Mart, pulled out the stuffing, cut it in half, and then sewed it into a new muslin case so it would (hopefully) fit in his cubby hole. Then I used Sew Hooked’s tutorial to make a quick pillowcase. I think it makes a nice one!
robot pillow

Then I had half a pillow’s worth of stuffing sitting around, so I used it to make another small pillow to add to Caleb’s birthday present. (This one looks floppier because I tried to make the case big enough to fit a standard pillow, in case he ever wanted to get rid of the halfapillow.)
Caleb's pillow

In unrelated news, I think I’ve landed on a new feed reader! I’d been using Feedly, but recently realized that it doesn’t allow you to search within your feeds, which I love being able to do since I have a terrible memory. After poking around for a bit, I found out that Feedly used to have that feature, then removed it, and is probably planning to put it back in as a feature of paid accounts. Harrumph!

I tried looking for another browser-based reader that lets you search through your feeds, but couldn’t find one. So tonight, instead of sewing, I tried installing Tiny Tiny RSS using Lifehacker’s guide, and I like it! It definitely lets you search your feeds, although now that I think about it, it can only search the blog posts that are still saved in your database. Still, that’s better than nothing! And it’s kind of fun keeping control of your own subscriptions. 🙂

Apr 042013

Dinky project attack!

Item 1
My brother-in-law is studying Russian for a year, so I made him a pillow cover with Russian phrases stenciled on it for his birthday (I cut the stencils out of freezer paper). I found this wonderful forum where people are willing to do free translations, so I asked how to say, “tummy tight. purple cup.” That was because my niece had recently had a sore tummy, so my sister gave her some flat ginger ale in a purple cup. She liked it so much, that afterwards she kept saying that to try to get more yummies. 😀
tummy tight. purple cup.

On the back, I put a normal proverb, “East or West, home is best,” and my brother-in-law recognized it, yay!
East or West, home is best.

I used House on Hill Road’s tutorial to put a zipper flap on the pillow case. It took me a while to understand what was going on, but once I did, it was neat! I like that now I can put nice closures on pillows without having to stock up on invisible zippers, which I don’t normally use.
Russian pillow, zipper flap

Item 2
Cosmo was asking for a star since he was good, so I used Wild Olive’s star template from her Rainbow Road Coffee Cuff project to make him a wand. It only cost me a dollar or so for the whole thing since I just had to get a dowel from Lowe’s, and I managed to make it in the half hour I had before picking him up from preschool. (Amazing for me, cause I’m slooow.) I still have two thirds of the dowel left rolling around my kitchen counter — no one’s needed more wands, yet!
star wand

Item 3
Cosmo had a field trip to an aquaponics place, and since they were going to do fish paintings, he was supposed to bring a big shirt to use as an art smock. I’ve been keeping my eye on art smock tutorials, though, so I wanted to make him one, but now that it was time, I didn’t want to use nice materials for something that’s meant to get messy. Scroogey Yazoo strikes again! Serendipitously, I stumbled upon one dollar shopping bags at TJ Maxx, and used one to make an easy, super cheapie art smock.
art smock, untied

All I did was:

  1. Chop off the edges and the handles
  2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bag
  3. Resewed the bottom, since the seams unraveled a bit after I cut the hole
  4. Melted the ends of the handles with a match (too lazy to fish out the fray check from my notions box)
  5. Sewed the handles back on for waist ties

And voila — one dollar art smock! Which Cosmo didn’t end up using, because the aquaponics people didn’t give the chaperones any time to put them on! Anyhoo, here’s Cosmo using his model posing skillz.
art smock, model pose

Feb 202013

Tah dah!
Kakashi pillow
For like two days after I made it, every time Mr. Yazoo passed this pillow, he’d pick it up, grin, and say, “that’s so cool!”

As a bonus, here’s a Yazoo tutorial on how to make a four-seam, butt-easy project like this take an hour and a half (or more):

  1. Order an extra large t-shirt with your favorite anime character on it.
  2. Put the shirt in your scrap bin “to sew with later,” and then forget about it for about a year.
  3. Find the shirt again when you’re rummaging through your scrap bin for hexie fabric.
  4. Buy a 14″ pillow form because it’s cheap and the 12″ one is definitely way too small.
  5. Cut the side, neck, and sleeve seams off the shirt.
  6. Even though you know that you bought a 14″ pillow form, measure the pillow a couple of times to check that it’s really 14 inches.
  7. Measure a 15″ square around the best part of the design on the front of the shirt. Measure it twice more, just to be sure.
  8. Cut the square out of the front of the shirt.
  9. Decide to add interfacing to the front square of the shirt so the design won’t stretch and look weird.
  10. Think about your decision for a while.
  11. Decide you’ve made a good decision, cut out the interfacing, and iron it on.
  12. Think about using the serger to finish the inside raw edges of the pillow cover.
  13. Vaguely remember that serger stitches aren’t stretchy, so google how to finish the raw edges of your knit t-shirt square (just in case you ever wash the pillow cover [which you won’t]).
  14. After a good while of googling, remember that knits don’t unravel. DUH.
  15. Dither for a while about whether to put in a zipper or make an envelope enclosure. Decide on an envelope enclosure because it’s for you and you’re lazy.
  16. Realize you can use the finished bottom edge of the back of the t-shirt for the outside of the envelope enclosure so it looks pretty. Pat yourself on the back and take a snack break for a reward.
  17. Decide to make the inside bit of the envelope back 10″ tall.
  18. Waffle forever about whether to make the outside bit of the envelope back 10 or 11 inches tall. Seriously, FOREVER.
  19. I’m not kidding; keep waffling.
  20. Finally decide on 11 inches, because you can always cut off more, but you can’t add any back.
  21. Cut out your two rectangles. Bam!
  22. Pin the heck out of the three pillow pieces so they line up perfectly. Goodness knows you can’t afford to be off by any little bit, considering you’re sewing a fabric that will stretch to fit the pillow, and you’re using a measly half inch seam allowance.
  23. Unpin and repin the pillow pieces because you put the nice, finished, bottom hem from the t-shirt on the inside.
  24. Sew those four seams!
  25. Wahoo! An hour and a half later, you have the most awesomest pillow in the world that your husband will love the most of everything you’ve ever made, ever!

And here’s that fancy dancy envelope back thingoo.
Kakashi pillow, back. BOOYAH.

Dec 212011

This week, I realized we needed a present for my friend’s ten-year-old daughter since she’s visiting from Japan. When I was thinking about what to make for her, I decided that I also wanted to make her another dresden pillow so that my friend can give it to her since he misses her so much.

Sorry if this is cheesy! It’s the kind of cheese I like, though. 😀

(Hm, looking at it again, I wonder if I should have put that exclamation mark. Dither, dither, dither…)

I heard that her favorite colors might be pink and purple; hopefully she likes this! Mr. Yazoo wanted me to put her name on the pillow somewhere so it would be more personal, so I stamped “for [her name]” on the back, under the flap. I don’t like to put kids’ names in really visible places in case there are suspicious people lurking about. >_< Oh! Can I just say that I love my local Fabric Mart? The last pillow I made, I had to get the form from a different store that was open at 8:30 pm (Fabric Mart closes at 6 pm), and that pillow form was flat, yucky, and $8 for a 12×12 inch one. This pillow form is nice and fluffy, and only cost $5 for a 16×16 inch one! Harrumph, other store. Here’s our actual present: a buttercup bag made from Made by Rae’s free pattern. I found out about it reading Kati’s blog, and it really is the perfect size for a little girl!

Uh, you might notice that my wall looks kind of pink. I was messing with the picture in gimp, trying to make the bag fabric come out the right color. It’s close, but now the wall looks funny. :]

Dec 032011

I don’t know why, but I imagined “dresden” being moaned like “zombiessssss…”

So, at 8pm on Thursday night, Mr. Yazoo got a call from his sister to let him know that their dad was treating family dinner the following night as their grandma’s early birthday. Bwhuh? No notice! Ever eager as I am to justify my piles and piles of fabric, I dashed out to buy a pillow form and then made this cover (using Amy’s terrific tips) before I went to bed.

I had visions of making a cute, modern, hand-quilted pillow cover, but 1) the dresden I made took up most of the blank space and 2) I wanted to get at least four and a half hours of sleep before work the next morning. :>