Monday, November 21, 2011

The Knitted Owl Hat Pattern!

For some reason, my toddler is obsessed with owls!  She just loves them, which is fine with me, because there are tons of cute owl fabrics available in the last two years.  Recently, I saw a little boy in the grocery store wearing the cutest little crocheted owl hat.  I prefer knitting, so I went looking for a knitted owl hat pattern.  I couldn't find a free one that was exactly what I wanted, so I made up my own pattern.  I looked at tons of different pictures, so this is inspired by lots of beautiful hats seen on Etsy and Ravelry. 

You can find it as a google doc here.  It fits all the entire family, circumference wise, but it is too short for older siblings and adults.  If making it for older kids, I would make it 9" tall instead of 7".  Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tutorial: Funky Upcycle Accessories

Funky Upcycle Set: Armwarmers, Hat, and Necklace Plus a Bolero

1.  Find a great shirt at the thrift store -- I like them to be stripy!  This is a women's size small.

2.  Cut the sleeves off at your desired length for the arm warmers.

3.  Turn the sleeves inside out and serge a new side seam so that the sleeve gets narrower as it approaches the cut end.  In this picture, the sleeve on the right has already been narrowed in this way, but the left sleeve has not.

4.  Cut out a triangle shape to make the thumb shaping.

5. Serge around where you just cut out the triangle.  Then turn right side out.  The cut edge will be unfinished so it curls over time, which means you are all done with the  armwarmers!

6.  Now, for the hat.  I wanted to re-use the hem of the shirt as the bottom hemmed edge of the hat.  My daughter was not around to measure her head circumference, so I just traced around a winter hat that I knew fits her well. 
This shirt has a curved hem, so I cut the hat so that the longer edge would be in the back of the hat, and the front of the hat is the side seam of this shirt.  This shirt has decorative contrast stitching, which will now run right down the front of the hat. 

7.  Turn the hat inside out and serge the cut curved seam.  Make sure to secure the serging at the ends of your seam, of course.

Here it is turned right side out -- all done!  The front of the hat is on the right in this picture.

8.  For the necklace, cut wide strips from your shirt -- 2 or 3 inches wide.

9.  Then cut the strips at one side seam to make 3 long pieces of fabric.  In this picture, only 2 of them were cut open so far.

10. Lay all 3 strips on top of each other and sew them together along one short end.

11.  Now braid them loosely. 

12.  Form it into a loop, and sew or serge both ends together.  Finished!

13.  Your hat, necklace, and arm warmers set is done, but you have enough of the shirt leftover to make a cut little bolero style cardigan.
14.  Just cut directly up the middle.

15.  Then add a snap or button to close it.  Leave all the edges raw to curl.  This will look so cute over a white t-shirt!

So, out of one women's small size shirt, you have made a hat, arm warmers, necklace, and short sleeve bolero.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Funky Upcycle!

I just LOVE when kids are dressed in funky, colorful, unique clothes!  Of course, I think I am the only one in this particular suburban community who feels that way, so sometimes my kids stand out.  Is that bad?  I hope not!  So, I have been thinking that my 7 year old needs some arm warmers (fingerless gloves), and I was thinking they should be stripy.  Oh, also, cheap and easy.  And, as long as I was going to make arm warmers, I figured I should make a hat and a braided knit scarf/necklace, too.

I headed to my local thrift store in search of a stripy long sleeve t-shirt, and this is what I found:
Perfect!  You should have seen how excited I was!  Here's the finished product:

Plus, there was enough of the shirt leftover to make a bolero!

Look for the tutorial on Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Exploring Shapes

Don't you just love natural learning opportunities? I do!  Today, while I was making dinner, my son was playing with a plastic beaded necklace on the kitchen floor.  He was all excited about the funky shapes he was creating.  He was creating some really unusual ones for which I am pretty sure we do not have names.

So, I asked him to make a triangle.  It took him a few seconds to figure out how to pull the necklace to make a triangle.  I know you are thinking that it sounds pretty simple, but it requires you to figure out how many sides and how many "corners" the shape has. 

Next, I asked him to make a square.  Even though he has known all of his basic shapes for at least a year (or maybe 2), he couldn't figure it out!  We had to look at other squares and count the corners before he could create one on his own with the necklace.  For some reason, creating the shape with the necklace forced him to think about the number of sides and the number of corners in a much more concrete way than just drawing a shape with a crayon or pencil.

I think maybe it is time to pull out the Geoboards!  They are a fun way for kids to explore shapes, all while playing. 
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