07 Jul

Crochet Bowl with Bias Trim Tutorial

crochet bowl with bias trim


I needed a sturdy little bowl as a catch-all for my desk, and came up with this lovely little design.  I used crochet over a clothesline to give it strength (and boy is it strong!), and then added a trim of 1/2 inch bias tape in a pretty floral print.




Want to make your own?  Here’s my basic pattern:

Hook size:  J
Yarn:  super bulky (or use two strands of worsted)

Round 1:  Begin with a magic circle, ch 1, single crochet (sc) 10 stitches in the circle, then slip stitch to close your circle.

  • Lay your clothesline on top of your yarn with a little hanging over.  You will make each single crochet over the clothesline so that you trap it in the stitch (see photo below).  stitch
  • As you move through round 1, you can tug the clothesline a bit so that the end gets tucked into the stitches.

Round 2:  Continue around by making 2 singlecrochet stitches in each of the stitches in your magic circle (total = 20 sc).

Round 3:  *2 sc in the first stitch, 1 sc in the next stitch* – repeat around (total = 30 stitches)

Round 4:  *2 sc in the first stitch, 1 sc in the next stitch, 1 sc in the next stitch)* – repeat around (total = 40 stitches)

Rounds 5-10:  1 sc in each stitch (40 stitches)

Finish with a slip stitch in the next 2 or 3 stitches to taper at the top

You’ll want to pay attention to the shape as you go, perhaps tightening the clothesline a bit now and then to keep the shape uniform.

Bias Tape: To add the bias tape, simply place it along the top with the rim of the bowl tucked into the fold.  I found it easier to hand-sew the bias tape in place, but if your bowl is large enough, you could machine stitch it in place instead.  When you reach the starting point, simply fold the raw edge of the bias tape under and sew it in place.

08 Jan

DIY Pen Holder for Moleskine Journal

DIY pen holster for moleskine journalA few months ago I mentioned my shift to using the Bullet Journal method for organization.  I’m still finding this to be an awesome way to keep everything in one place, and my bullet journal goes everywhere with me.

The trouble was, how to keep track of a pen?  Though awesome in literally every other way, the Moleskine Journal still has this as a major drawback.

Naturally, I put my DIY skills to work and created a super functional, super sturdy pen holster for my classic sized Moleskine Journal (5″ x 8.5″).  I wrote a full tutorial and if you can sew a straight line, you can sew one of these beauties for yourself!

06 Oct

DIY Candy Corn Halloween Costume

DIY Candy Corn Halloween Costume

DIY Candy Corn Halloween Costume

With Halloween coming quickly, I needed to do a little sewing to get our little one ready for her first round of trick-or-treating.  This awesome tutorial from Climbing the Willow had the pattern that I needed for a sweet little a-line dress (in multiple sizes, too!).





With pattern in hand, I went about figuring out how to get the proportions right, and a few additional questions.  Here’s what I can share with you:

  • For the 18-month-old size dress, 7″ stripes were just right for that perfect candy corn look.
  • I used inexpensive cotton broadcloth, and because of this, decided to line the dress with an extra layer of white broadcloth.  I still did facings for the neckline and sleeve openings, but used two layers of fabric (striped and white) for the front and back panels).
  • For the hat, I found an extra birthday hat in our party supplies, covered it with white cardstock, and replaced the thin, sure-to-break elastic with 1/4″ elastic (stapled to the inside).  Easy and cute and no big deal if she loses it!
24 Jul

DIY Diaper Changing Pad

diy diaper changing padI really wanted a quick, easy DIY project during my last pregnancy.  When I stumbled across laminated cottons, in all their adorable glory, I knew they were for me.  They don’t ravel, so you can cut and sew and be done with it – no turning, no pinking shears, no fancy hems. And they repel moisture, so you can get them wet/dirty and they clean up easy with just a damp cleaning cloth.

The options are endless for projects.  I made a custom-fit tablecloth, a water-resistant ipad cover, and this sweet little changing pad for our new baby.  This changing pad was especially easy:

  • cut a 21″ square of the laminated cotton
  • cut a 21″ square of coordinating felt (for the back)
  • line the two pieces up wrong sides together
  • sew a zig zag stitch around the entire edge
  • DONE!

I chose felt for the back for two reasons.  One was very pragmatic – I had a bunch in my stash.  The other reason was that felt is pretty non-slip on fabric surfaces.  Since we use the guest bed for our diaper changing station, this worked well for us.

If you have a hard surface, you might want to choose a fabric that is a little more non-slip.  For instance, the material that goes on the bottom of footed-pajamas or slippers. (Yeah!  You can buy that at the fabric store!).

Since there are just two layers in this changing pad, it’s very lightweight.  This makes it perfect for travel – just roll and go.  And travel-size versions would be especially useful for a new mom.

17 Jun

Bullet Journaling

bulletI love technology, I really do. But for some reason, I’ve been unable to find just the right system to help me with time management. I’ve tried a million different apps, I’ve created custom google doc pages to try to fit my needs, and I’ve read, and read, and read. No luck.

About a month ago, I stumbled on bullet journaling. It is old school, pen and paper, in a lovely moleskine journal. I have to say, it’s awesome.

The drawback is there is no built-in month-at-a-glance calendar in the method. So I put in a few hours on illustrator and set myself up for the rest of 2014 (available in my Etsy shop, if you’re interested). I keep two months at a time in my moleskine, with the rest tucked into the back pocket for easy reference. About 4 weeks in, I’m still really happy with this system. Ridiculously happy, in fact.

In the back, I have pages for the classes I teach, for the two vacations we are hoping to take next year, for gift giving, and for craft projects (of course!). I’ve also hacked a way to attach my pen to the cover so that it’s always handy. The whole system tosses easily into my tote, and allows me quick reference on the train, standing in line, or in waiting rooms.

21 May

Crochet Rug from Fabric Yarn (mini tutorial)

Crochet rug from fabric yarnWe needed a little rug for a sweet reading spot in the kids’ bedroom. I wanted something round and something chocolate brown (translation: won’t show dirt too quickly) and something deliciously soft. Very hard to come by, as it turns out.

I kept reading about all these people who make fantastic rugs from t-shirts and scrap fabric and such, but much of it seemed too thin for what I wanted in this rug. When I fingered through a bunch of fabric at my local fabric shop, however, I found this amazing stretch velour! Stretch velour! Just the words sound soft and sink-your-toes-in. And as it turns out, it absolutely is. I bought 9 yards.

Following the very clear instructions on how to cut continuous fabric strips at Micah Makes, I cut 1-inch strips.  I chose to do 1 yard at a time to keep things manageable.  The trouble with this fabric is that it sheds like crazy when you cut it.  One solution is to stretch out those strips outside.  But in the Miami heat, that was pretty uncomfortable.  And it left me covered in chocolate brown lint.  The other solution, which works really well, is to toss the cut yardage into the dryer on tumble (no heat) for about 15 minutes.  This definitely gets the lint out.  But it leaves your “yarn” in a very tangled mess.  So if you’re not a patient person, this might push you over the edge.  For me, it was the perfect thing to do when I was too tired to Crochet Rug from Fabric Yarndo anything else at the end of a long day.

From there, it’s all crochet.  Using a size N crochet hook, I started with a magic loop, put 6 double crochet stitches in there, and then 2 stitches in each of those stitches for round 2.  I continued increasing from there, each round increasing the number of stitches in between:

Round 3:  1 dc, 2 dc in next stitch – repeat around

Round 4:  2 dc, 2 dc in next stitch – repeat around

Round 5:  3 dc, 2 dc in next stitch – repeat around

After 5 rounds of straight increases, I started to add in some rounds with no increases (1 dc in each stitch around).  After each round, I laid the rug out flat to make sure I wasn’t increasing too quickly, or not quickly enough.

Though I’m not quite finished, I have about a yard of fabric to go, I have a lovely rug that’s about 3.5 feet diameter.  My most recent row was 8 dc, 2 dc in the next stitch, so you can see I slowed down the increases as the rug got larger.

It’s a fun project, and I really love how the rug feels under foot. Though I spent less on fabric than I would have on a commercial made rug, the time spent is definitely more “expensive.”  In my case though, it’s exactly what I wanted, so that makes it worthwhile :).

15 May

Free Printable Lunchbox Love Notes for Kids

lunchbox-love-notesOne of my favorite things about sending a homemade lunch to school with my little one is tucking in a little love note among the crackers and juice and other goodies.  He’s a little too small to read, but his teacher always helps him out.  And I love thinking of the myriad ways I love the little guy.

Today I’m making my lunch box love notes available as a free printable here at the blog.  I sell these in my Lucky Duck Designs shop at Etsy in both digital and paper form as well.

If you’d like to print a few and spread the lunchbox love, just click on the image to download the file!

13 May

Fabric Covered Embroider Hoops (a mini tutorial)

elephant embroidery

I love all the miniature embroidery that’s popping up for nurseries, kids rooms, and even adult spaces.  But what I don’t love are those unsightly and boring wooden embroidery hoops.  Yes, they are inexpensive (love that!), but goodness, can’t we do better for framing these lovely little works of art?

I converted the clip art of a favorite artist over at Etsy into an embroidery pattern and whipped up this sweet little elephant.  Isn’t she darling?  Then, using about 25 inches of 1″ single fold bias tape, I carefully wrapped the wooden hoop and turned it into a coordinating, fabric-covered, frame.  Just perfect.  And you can’t believe how easy it is.  You don’t even have to glue or sew the fabric – just tuck under that first piece, wrap all the way around, and then tuck the end right before securing it to the inner hoop.  Everything stays in place!

08 May

DIY Cloth Diaper Inserts

diy cloth diaper insertsWe are a cloth diaper household, a very happy one. The early days are so easy if you’re breastfeeding – just toss everything in the pail. But as those babies get bigger and start venturing into solid foods, it gets a little trickier to figure out how to handle the poop.

Like any new mama, I read and read and read. A diaper sprayer seemed unlikely to be useful in our tiny bathroom. I worried that toilet dunking would be too messy. And liners seemed a reasonable alternative, but flushables were out of the question for our 1950’s plumbing and septic tank.

But washable liners seemed realistic for our plumbing, a reasonable alternative to dunking the whole diaper, and economical. The question was, what material to use?

I ended up purchasing a yard of Babyville Stay Dry Fabric. I ran it through the washer and dryer (using my cloth diaper soap, and no fabric softener – just like I wash my diapers) to see how it held up: beautiful! Almost no shrinkage and NO fraying. So I cut 12″ by 5″ strips with a regular scissors, and started lining my diapers with them. They work LIKE A CHARM. Easy cleanup, in fact, the poop kind of rolls off of them, so I rarely even have to dunk. My diapers stay stain free, the wicking fabric keeps baby relatively dry, and we continue to be a happy cloth diapering household!





Note:  The links to the Babyville fabric, the cloth diapers and the cloth diaper soap are Amazon Associates links.  I only link to products that I personally use and support!

05 May

Crochet Pacifier Clip (mini tutorial)

Our littlecrochet pacifier clip one needed a new pacifier clip when the shoestring we were using (yeah, I know, questionable parenting) got lost on a recent walk.  Knowing we needed something that would “clip” better, I dug through the sewing box and pulled out a mitten clip.


Using a small crochet hook (size F) and some kitchen cotton yarn, I was able to crochet 5 single crochet stitches directly onto the mitten clip.  From there I just used half double crochets until it was about the length I wanted (roughly 12″), using a chain-one turn at the end of each row. In the last row, I did the following:

2 hdc
ch 15
skip stitch
2 hdc
finish off

I made sure to weave the ends in tight.  To attach the pacifier, I just put the whole chain loop through the little hole and then fed the entire length of the pacifier clip, including the clip, through the loop. We are ready to roll once again!