Archive | July, 2012

Sew an iPAD Cover/Case : Razorback Style

26 Jul

Brandon’s padded IPAD case

Brandon was blessed to receive an iPad before Father’s Day.  I immediately thought about making Brandon a cover for it as a Father’s Day present but all of the iPad covers in blog world seemed a little girly.  I knew that I couldn’t make him this iPad bag since it really looks like a purse.    When I found this tutorial from A Step In the Journey I knew it was perfect!  Instead of a monogram on the front I tracked down some Arkansas  fabric.  Oh how I love the internet. 😉

Brandon was so excited with his gift.

As crazy as it is this is the first thing I have ever sewn for Brandon.  Poor guy!  (I do mend things for him often but definitely need to make sewing for him more of a priority.)  The look on his face was absolutely priceless when he opened it.

There is a pocket on the front and the back for storing cords and such.

I found the tutorial to be great.  I loved the idea of using a hair tie instead of elastic.  It’s actually easier because you don’t have to sew the elastic together.  🙂  The only change I made was to sew the button on with the sewing machine in the beginning stages.  I had to guess a little on the placement but it worked out great!  I used a quilted padded black fabric for the inside, a sturdy red fabric for the outside, and fun Arkansas fabric for the pocket.  I love how it turned out.

So thankful I could bless my sweet husband by making him an IPAD cover.



Homemade Bouncy Ball FAIL!

23 Jul

We were both really excited about making a homemade bouncy ball!

I just happen to be a super blessed mommy of a little boy who absolutely loves BALLS!!!  Typical little boy I know. 😉  When I saw this recipe for making homemade bouncy balls from the Money Saving Mom I knew we just had to try it!

Elijah was so excited!

We gathered all of our supplies and headed outside.  If you attempt to make your own be sure to do this activity outside as it can be quite messy!


Mixing…growing more excited with every moment.

I did help stir at this moment.  Just when I thought the consistency was just right:


I don’t who was more disappointed when our bouncy ball didn’t bounce at all!  It just went splat!  Eli picked it up a couple of times and tried again but it went splat every time! 🙂  I have no idea what we did wrong.  We followed the recipe to a T.  You would think for someone who graduated 1 class short of a chemistry minor I wouldn’t have had any trouble with this but alas it was a complete fail in one sense.

Look at that face. It doesn’t work mom!

In another sense our little project was a complete success.  The goal really wasn’t to make a bouncy ball.  Instead it was to spend some quality time with Elijah while making a great memory.  In this sense it was a smashing success.  For the next couple of days every time we would go outside on the sidewalk Eli would talk about how the bouncy ball didn’t work.  He kept saying “It doesn’t work Mom!  The bouncy ball is broke.”  Precious that’s what that is!

Elijah had lots of fun playing with the bouncy ball fail.

Exploring his world.

I’m still not exactly sure what went wrong with our DIY Bouncy Ball experiment.  Maybe next year we will try again.  For now I’m thinking we will try to add making flubber to our to-do list this week.  😉

Sew a Kindle or Nook Cover: Kwik Sew 3924 Review

20 Jul

A Homemade Nook Reader Case

A couple weeks ago we were blessed to be able to travel to visit family in Arkansas.  While there I realized that Mamaw’s Bettie’s birthday was just a few days away.  Oops I totally forgot about that one!  Brandon’s parents were planning on purchasing a Nook Reader for Mamaw Bettie’s birthday.  I decided that our present would be a case for her Nook.  Thankfully I just happened to have Kwik Sew 3924 along with me.  😉

The cover includes lots of pockets and a place for the Nook fastened securely under 4 corners (made with elastic). The Nook can also be placed inside the pocket on the left when not in use.

The pattern that I used is made for a slightly larger reader so I did have to adjust the pattern.  Mamaw Bettie’s Nook measured 5 X 6.5 so I adjusted the height of the pattern by shortening it 1 inch.  This adjustment was absolutely perfect!  Next time I may try shortening by only 7/8″ just to give a little wiggle room.

Side view. I used hook and loop tape for the closure but snaps would also be adorable. I’m currently still scared of snaps!

I was so pleased at how this cover turned out (much better than my first one).  I had a little trouble adjusting the pattern the first time I made it as you can see in the picture below.  My Kindle does not fit near as well as The Nook fits in Mamaw Bettie’s cover.

I should have shortened the pattern about 3/4″ for my Kindle Wifi.

The only thing I would change about this pattern would be adding a small loop or section to attach a reading light.  (My kindle does not have a light.)  I also forgot to sew the fleece inside my cover so there really isn’t enough padding in my Kindle cover.  I recommend using both fleece inside and a medium weight interfacing (sew in or fusible) for added stability.

One difficult aspect of this pattern is choosing 3 patterns which coordinate! Fat Quarters can be used to make this a little easier.

Now if I only had more time in my life to sew one for all of my friends!  😉  A great pattern I highly recommend.  I also purchased McCall 6477 but after reading through the McCall instructions I decided to just stick with using Kwik Sew 3924.

One of my favorite sewing projects this month!

June Reads

16 Jul

This months reads. Half were great while the other half were a huge let down.

A wide variety of books read this past June.  Books on saving money, marriage, sewing, organic food, canning, and theology just to name a few.

June Reads:

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen.  Although I found this book incredibly interesting I only made it through about half of it.  (It was an audiobook from the library and I had to return it before I was finished.)  The book is divided into 3 parts: industrialized food, alternative or “organic” food, and food people obtain on their own through gathering, gardening, or hunting.  Much of the book is spent tracing and discussing exactly where our food comes from.  I found this part incredibly interesting.

Shop, Save, and Share by Ellie Kay and 1/2 Price Living . I just recently stumbled upon Ellie Kay while browsing at my local library.  I read two of her books this past month.  They were both excellent and gave me lots of great ideas on continuing to save money in our household.  I would recommend 1/2 Price Living to anyone who desires to be a stay at home mom or work part-time but feels they cannot afford it.

Confronting Jezebel by Steve Sampson.  This subtitle reads discerning and defeating the spirit of control.  I think everyone struggles with control at times so I was excited to review this book.  The book was written about “Jezebel’s” who try to control everything.  I found the book lacking in Scripture and had some serious issues with how Sampson handles the Scriptures.  All that the book really did for me was make me more fearful about controlling people in my life something that is incredibly unhelpful.  It would have been great if the book had been Gospel centered and addressed to believers who struggle with acting controlling to others around them.  Perhaps it would have addressed various heart struggles involved and how to repent of this sinful behavior to live a life of godliness.  Overall a big disappointment.  I do not recommend this book.  (I did receive a review copy of this book in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.)

Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll.  I found the first 1/2 of this book to be fairly solid and was completely blown away by the second half.  Having read a handful of books on marriage I did not find a whole lot in the beginning that was personally life changing.  The Driscoll’s did a nice job talking on the importance of friendship.  This challenged me to make spending time just as friends more of a priority.  The second half of the book was in fact disgusting.  Revolting might be a better word for it.  I have issue with the way they interpret Song of Solomon and their encouragement of various activities within the bedroom.  If you are looking for a solid Christian book on marriage there are a number of other books: Created to Be His Helpmeet, The Excellent Wife, and When Sinners Say I Do to name a few.  Don’t buy this book!

Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff.  Thankfully I was able to check this book out of the library before purchasing it.  The whole premise of the book was so appealing that I almost ordered it.  It was such a let down.  Most of the canning recipes are for odd, expensive, bizarre ingredients.  Some of the items I had never even heard of!  Almost everyone I know who cans does so to save money so this just seems stupid.  Throughout the book the author does not write as someone with expertise in the area of canning.  Frankly it appears that she knows just a little bit more than I do.  If you are looking for a good canning book just buy The Ball Blue Book like everyone else.  The instructions are great and the recipes are even better!
Sew What You Love by Tanya Whelan.  This was one of my favorite books this month that I had the chance to browse through.  There are a number of delightful bags, children’s clothing (girls only), and attire for thin women.  I was a little too busy with my garden to make anything from this book yet but hopefully sometime this fall I will have a chance to make the Amelie Bag.  I would recommend this book and hope to add it to my library sometime in the future.

McCall’s 5600 Review: Sew a Hanging Garment Bag

12 Jul

The completed hang up bag!

After my successful attempt at making a Vera Bradley knock off duffel bag I decided to tackle a hanging garment bag.  Once again I just couldn’t justify spending so much money on something that I could probably make myself.  😉  I chose to use McCall’s Pattern 5600 which also includes various organizers for your closet.  (Someday I plan on sewing a shoe organizer or purse organizer.)  For this project I sewed View A-the longer length hanging garment bag.  Since I usually take a dress or two along with me when I travel this just made sense.

I lined the inside with a soft flannel fabric.

I did find myself very confused about what exactly it meant by sew-in interfacing.  I tried repeatedly to contact someone at McCall Pattern Company and ask them but they were no help at all.  I couldn’t talk to an actual person after calling three times and could not get an answer when I emailed them.  Lesson learned: stick with Simplicity patterns.  They have the best customer service ever!  I have called Simplicity at least 3 times this year with a question and they have been super helpful.  I ended up using a soft green flannel as the sewin-in interfacing.  You could also use regular sew-in interfacing (Pellon type) but then it wouldn’t be as pretty when you opened it up.  It just seems like it should be lined with fabric in my opinion.

Sewing in the zipper was the hardest step of this project.

I also had a VERY difficult time sewing in the huge scary zipper. ( Once again it would have been great if McCall’s had a 1 800 help number.)  I sewed the zipper in WRONG and had to rip it out!  Yuck!  I ended up sewing step 5 after step 1 (whipstitching across zipper).  Then I skipped steps 2,3,4,6,7 and sewed it my way.  I folded over the fabric 1 1/4″ and then sewed in the zipper.  Much less complicated this way.

I was so pleased at how the upper front turned out.

Once I correctly inserted the zipper the rest was pretty easy.  After step 9 I added a step.  I flipped the piece over and sewed along the edge and again 1/4″ from the edge.  I also found it helpful for step 11 to be careful not to sew across the small circles.  I also sewed the opening at the top by hand.

The finished product.

Overall I was very pleased with the finished project despite the difficulties with the zipper.  My only regret is that I did not add handles to the top and bottom of the bag.  I doubt I will be making this pattern again anytime soon but if I do I will be sure to add the handles.

I couldn’t resist adding this sweet picture of my happy helper. (He thinks sewing is so much fun.)