Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Camera Strap Cover Tutorial

Today I'm hanging out a few of my favorite people on Oh My Handmade, we've been sitting around the campfires, climbing mountains, and earning badges at Camp #OMHG. But how is anyone going to know what merits we're earning if we don't have a place to proudly display them? A throw back to our days of Girl Scouting inspired the design of this simple camera strap cover and I'm teaching you how to do it step by step. Whether you're a pro sewist or just beginning, I promise this is one project you'll be able to pull of.  All you need: Fabric, Iron, Fusible Fleece (optional), Scissors, and Needle & Thread.

I've been working closely with Kimberly Kling, designer behind Joyful Roots Studio- and I'm beyond excited to introduce you to her & her work! I promise that we have even more awesomeness in store for you. That's Kim over there -> isn't she radiant? (She's also wearing a No Sew Tshirt Skirt) As I mentioned, we've been working together on some new projects and between emails, phone calls, and a 3 hour time change difference I'm helping Kim learn to sew. I've been encouraging her to share her journey with that sewing machine on her blog- so be sure to check it out and cheer her on!

The fabrics I used for the Campers Camera Strap are her fabric designs and are available along with a slew of other amazing prints. I know you'll love retro pine cones as much as I do. You'll also want to check out what the Geek Chic Cats.

Are you dying to find out what Kim & I are working on together? Well, okay then I'll give you a tiny peek...
Look for our Lumber Jack Attack themed collaboration in September- including tees, screen prints, fabric, and much more!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Heirloom Clothing, Passing 'em on, Crying Your Eyes Out

Last week I rounded up some t-shirts and the boys and we headed out for a day on the town. The mission was to shoot some product shots for my back to school tees. The majority of new styles were either too small or too big for Tristen to model. So I brought along some of his own shirts- I didn't want him feeling left out and you can never have too many pictures of your own kids, right?! It wasn't until after I got home and started editing I realized how many tshirts have survived the hand-me-down abuse from these 2 rascals.

Today I'm sharing some of the photos from our shoot and some throwbacks too. What a great way to tell the stories behind our own tshirts and a testament to the craftsmanship and durability that I promise each and every time I create one for you.
This yellow hot rod car was my 3rd automotive design- it's a hand-me-down and is actually almost 4 years old.
(Photoshoot/Irregular Newspaper 2013)

You can see how the car design has evolutionized over the years. The red car is another hand-me-down of the newer design (that's currently available for custom orders in the shop) Originally designed and worn for Sams Hot Rod Birthday Party.

Originally designed for Sam 2011

So here's a bit of TN2T history- you may already know the story, but basically the whole business was started after designing the first Monster Truck, shortly after that I made this flamed Mercury Lead Sled design which was never offered in the shop. After that came the blower motor car (yellow) which evolved into a mustang looking muscle car (red.) Below is T riding at the skate park in his Lead Sled tee.
While digging through the archives I also found this gem, which includes the blower motor car with matching pants (I offered these made to order when I first opened shop!)
There are so many more TrashN2Tees tees that have been passed down, including a few BMX bikes, monster trucks, and ninjas. It's always bitter sweet, sometimes its easy to convince yourself that the kids aren't growing at lightning speeds- but it always seems to hit me when I'm able to put something Sam wore onto Tristen. I'm wondering if anyone else gets those sappy feeling when it comes to passing on clothing. What types of items do you find you're most sentimental about?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Building Character and Confidence in a Teekini

As soon as I finish a project I want to to hurry up and share it with all of you. I think that's why I love Instagram. However, this has taught me a few things about my maker schedule and I've learned to plan accordingly. For instance: no sewing at night- because there's not enough light to take pictures and because I'm grumpy if I don't get enough sleep. (Who isn't?!)

Last week when I finished up this teekini tutorial, I also learned another valuable lesson. Even if most of the time you're exuding self confidence- parading around your back yard in a bikini can build character. Now most of you are probably thinking, why the heck would someone be self conscious in their own back yard? Well as it happens the particular afternoon I was outside shooting images for the Teekini Tankini tutorial everyone on my block decided to watch from their windows (creepy!!!)

I get that its interesting, I'm styling and shooting photos all the time in my yard and around the neighborhood but give a girl some privacy. Sheeeeesh. That moment certainly made me homesick for our secluded (and sprawling) yard back in Kentucky. I survived though, after a mild bout of anxiety and insecurity and a little camera help from the mister. Recalling how anxious I felt and feeling a bit silly. Reminding myself again today- how lucky I am to have a healthy body that's weathered the storms of child birth: stretch marks and all.

Last week when I shared the selfish sewing post, I talked a little bit about the bathing suit design and the idea of needing a swim suit that could handle the "Picking-Up-and-Carrying-A-Kid-In-Midst-Of-Full-Blown-Tantrum-Because-We're-Leaving" test. And today you'll find the complete upcycled tshirt teekini tankini bikini tutorial available on the Bernina blog We All Sew.

I hope you'll take a look in the mirror today, and remember how beautiful you are inside and out. Then grab a few tshirts, make your own swim suit, and take a picture to celebrate.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Work in Progress: Selfish Sewing

You're tired of me talking about how I'm going to do some selfish sewing and design summer clothes for myself aren't you? I've had some good excuses and lame ones too. But finally after months of talking about it I finally sat down with my new machine and started sewing.
 My first task was drafting my own shirt pattern. I figured it was a good place to start and if I did it right the first time I could alter the pattern to make pretty much anything I wanted: tshirts, tank tops, dresses, vest, hoodie, long sleeves... you get the point. Now if the idea of drafting your own pattern seems intimidating- really, it's not. It's a matter of taking measurements and plotting them out onto a piece of paper then playing connect the dots! (I used parchment paper... because that's what I had on hand) Mad Mim had a good tutorial for drafting your own tshirt pattern.
I also decided hemming and finishing edges is for the birds. Read: I'm picking up this roll & shell hemmer foot Saturday.
Here's the finished tank, along with a sneak peak at an upcoming campers camera strap project (yep, even more selfish sewing!) you'll see on Oh My! soon.

Searching the webbernet for some more fashionable freebie patterns to try out- I stumbled upon Made By Rae's  Spring Ruffled Shirt on Sew Mama Sew. I can do that, I thought. And I did- whipped it up using 2 vintage bed sheets. Which between you and I are the BEST resource for beginners (and advanced) sewists alike. You'll be able to find them for a few dollars at the local thrift shops, yard sales, or even in your own closet. Added bonus if you mess up, you're not out $30 worth of fabric.

And finally, I made a bathing suit... from a tshirt! I kept seeing all these itty bitty teenie weenie bikini tutorials made from tees, and hello! I'm beyond the days of string bikinis! It has less to do with self image confidence (but trust its lurking in the background) and more with the fact that any bathing suit I wear needs to withstand the "Picking-Up-and-Carrying-A-Kid-In-Midst-Of-Full-Blown-Tantrum-Because-We're-Leaving" scenerio or you know anything similar to that. (pictured below with the No Sew Skirt) You'll be able to find the Teekini Tankini Tutorial on WeAllSew.

 So, there you have it my selfish sewing spree and all done in a matter of a week. What can I say the sewing bug bit me and the mosquitoes too! What have you been working on?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Boredom Busters for Boys

If I hear, "Mooooooooom! I'm bored!" one more stinking time... can you relate? I'm torn between wanting to drop everything I have going on for a few minutes of playtime or cuddles and running away to hide in a closet, rocking myself back and forth. If homeschooling the boys has taught me one thing... it would be always have a back up plan. That translates into a dozen or more 'keep my kids busy so I can sew this one last shirt' activities that are scattered around the house, in my studio, or used when we just need to get the heck out of the house! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite Boredom Busters for Boys-

1. Have/get/make a costume box. Immediately. Ours is always growing and includes anything from super hero costumes/masks, neck ties, suits (because sometimes they like to be Bruce Wayne), pirates, athletic jerseys, and of course they're are cloaks & capes. You can grab costumes on clearance after Halloween for a few bucks but I always seem to find the best ones at thrift stores & yard sales over the summer.

2. Kidsbowlfree.com the website pretty much says it all- check it out and see if you have a local bowling alley participating in the summer program.

3. Make a time capsule and bury it in your yard.

4. Give them a camera. Photography is a great skill to learn and I'm continually amazed (and grateful for the chance) at seeing the world through their eyes. Some days we'll set up in the studio and take photos of their favorite toys, like this picture of the Ninjago Zane- it was taken by Tristen. On days that this isn't enticing enough; I'll jot down a quick list and have the boys go on a photo-scavenger hunt around the house. Take a picture of an action figure on top of something, fruit in a bowl, a lego sculpture etc.

5. Build a fort in your living room, bedroom, outside. Fort building can happen anywhere.

6. Pick Sticks Lego Creation, always popular. We have a can that include words/pictures of different nouns, the boys have to pick a stick and build whatever it is.

7. Ride a bike. You may already know that we spend time at the local bike parks- they're great for giving mom a heart attack and for the guys to get some time hanging with the boys.

8. Attend a Make & Take workshop for kids- check out your local Lowes, Home Depot, Michaels, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby Craft Stores for more info.

9. Play in the mud. It's a right of passage for boys to squish mud pies between their fingers! Just in case you need to ease into this idea here are 30 ways you can play in the mud

10. Set up an obstacle course.

11. Call for reinforcements! Make a date with friends and play together. Need game playing inspiration? I gotcha covered there too- check out the TrashN2Tees We Play. pinterest board.

12. Make homemade ice cream in a zip lock baggie - You'll love this recipe.

13. Have a dance party- it's crazy right? But I stop whatever I'm doing to host an impromptu dance off and I promise it makes any crazy stressful day 100x better.

14. Make a tshirt together, okay I'm partial to this one. Sam is always drawing up new ideas for tshirts in his notebook or you can pick my Monster Truck Applique pattern (Over 5,000 Ways to Design & Customize your own monster truck!) but worry if you're not into sewing.. why not tie dye, fabric paint, or freezer stencil some style.

15. Make a museum. Ask the kids to curate a collection and take you on a tour. I've visited rock collection, Lightning McQueen curations, and it's always hilarious to hear the stories behind why they included an item or what it means.

We're halfway through summer vacation, what have you been doing to bust up the boredom? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So that happened...

This always happens. I go on a barrage of fun adventures and then never get the chance to share the experiences with you here on the blog. Here we are again with another installment of ... so that happened!

I've been making an effort to make healthier food choices, which ehhh is going okay. It has less to do with the idea of looking good in a swim suit made out of tshirts and more with the fact that I want to feel better from the inside out. Energy wise right? I hit a wall daily around 2pm. One of the great things about our recent (okay maybe not so recent) relocation; is that Easton, Pa is home to the oldest open air market in the US. It's always great to get out on a Wednesday or Saturday to mingle with the farmers and artisans while picking up the locally grown food.
Someeeeetimes I even spot TrashN2Tees customers using they're reusable produce bags! (so that happened!) Even with all this goodness, I still find myself frying up a pork roll sandwich and I'm absolutely certain I can not give up my all time favorite... pizza.

You'll find me pinning delicious food, drinks, and snack recipes on my I (try to) Cook. Pinterest Board. With this summer heat, who wants to cook? This lettuce wrap is looking delicious right now.

 1/2 cup chopped chicken, 3 Tbsp Fuji apples chopped, 2 Tbsp red grapes chopped, 2 tsp honey, 2 Tbsp almond butter. Mix and wrap in a Romaine lettuce leaf.

Do you have a favorite recipe made with local produce? Please share! Want to join me for a slice of pizza heaven? Even better!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hit the Road, Jack

School's out and for many folks its time to pack up the family & hit the road for a fun summer vacation. I wish I could say we're heading to Disney or even to the beach for a week but not this year we must first find a home.

Secretly. I'm yearning for a cross country adventure, so much so that I tried to convince my hubby to buy an airstream instead of a house. While I think it would be an awesome experience to travel, work, live, stay and go wherever we want, Nick prefers to have roots. (Party pooper!) Despite the fact that I've to 25/50 states I know I've not nearly seen it all. If I had to make a short list of must stop road trip destinations these 5 would be on it:

Creative Commons Photo Credit: John K

Photo Credit: NPS Photo

Creative Commons License photo credit: Sebastian Fuss

Photo Credit: Coral Reef Park Company

John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Florida 


Photo Credits Mobil Travel Guide/TLC
Assateague Island, Maryland/Virginia

Where would you stop on a US road trip?

If you're heading out on an open road adventure- you can download my FREE Get Up and Go Pattern on Pellon.


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