Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Katie Makes [2]- Ideas, a tutorial, and a giveaway!

Another Katie Makes post to let you know what I have been up to when it comes to creativity and crafting.  See Katie Makes [1] if you like.

This post was inspired by a special giveaway I was asked to be a part of!  Right now on Instagram through Friday at 4 p.m. Central Time, you have the chance to win all of these awesome handmade goodies:
I contributed these cute things:
-a 8x10" Scripture print of "Put into the deep" (Luke 5:4) stamped onto a vintage Bible page and matted, ready to frame
-three 5 1/2 x 4 1/4" note cards with "Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire" quote by St. Catherine of Siena decorated with a globe made from repurposed maps
-and a 3" metal gift tag stamped that says "Be Blessed"
You can win those, as well as items from these lovely ladies:

All of them are small business owners with beautiful hand-made things- I encourage you to go visit their shops (and maybe start some early Christmas shopping!)

Not one to have idle hands, I needed a portable craft project to take with me on our family vacation to Colorado a few weeks ago.  I packed a couple of atlases and a dictionary.  Factor in a couple of Sharpies and many hours of family Netflix watching, and the result was a stack of fifty-some hand lettered frameables. They were pretty popular at the craft sale we had a couple of weekends ago. :)
 It was very relaxing and the perfect traveling project- it did feel a little weird to be tearing up an atlas while driving around a thousand miles from home.

Next project on the docket was a pretty banner for a friend's sister's Bridal Shower.  She is getting married later this fall and her colors are orange and purple.  I had to dig through my stash for those colors (neither usually my favorite) but I really like how the color combination turned out!

 I mentioned in my last post that this metal stamping thing is getting easier.  I found a bunch of these metal tags in silver and copper for a great deal (an awesome deal compared to most metal stamping stuff), and have been stamping some messages on them.  They are about three inches long, so too big for jewelry, but would make cute bookmarks, gift labels, ornaments, basket tags, etc.  However, I am experiencing some writer's block with what to put on them...maybe because stamping in metal is so permanent?  What would you want them to say?  And what would you use them for? (And don't forget you can win one in the Instagram giveaway!)

 A set of pretty cards including these made up a birthday gift for a friend.  Sitting down with a blank pallet and pretty paper to make cards remains one of my favorite things to do. :)

 I had a extra canvas from some project a bit ago (so many "extra" craft supplies...) a decided to do a little painting one night.  I love this color combination! I wonder, would it look weird to have a painting hung on a door?  Maybe it would be better in an entryway.

And finally, this sweet little pillow.  At a garage sale a couple of weeks ago, my friend was selling some clothes that she didn't want any more, and among them was this super cute mustard-colored-satin-pleated-skit.  I loved it, but it would have been both too small and too short.  When it was still there at the end of the sale, I bought it off of her with the intentions of making a pillow.  I did it, but it was a little more difficult than I imagined, so I thought I'd share how I made it work in case you want to go thrift store shopping and try one yourself!

I was most excited that the new pillow matched the gold/yellow in the vintage fabric pillows I made last summer!

a. So we start with a skirt.  I had a 16"x16" pillow form that I wanted to use.  The skirt was just the right size horizontally, and was about 18" vertically.
 b. I first cut out the lining so that it wouldn't get in the way.
c. I then cut off the cute tie and set it aside to maybe work in later.  Next I decided how to cover up the side zipper without having to deconstruct the skirt.  I knew I could sew over the teeth of the zipper, but was concerned about the bulky pull and case.  I removed the pull with wire cutters and pliers, left the case about 3/4" from the top, and then covered it all neatly using part of one of the ties.  It was going to work just fine, until I realized that the length of the skirt would allow me to cut the entire waistband off, making the pull and case of the zipper obsolete.  Oh well- just a little wasted time, right?
 d. Next I needed to secure the pleats before sewing the sides of the pillow together.  First I did the easy side with the waistband.  I sewed with the pleats, making sure that the spacing was completely straight and the pleats were parallel to each other.
 Here was the result. I then cut off the waistband.
 e. I then did the same on the hem.  This was a little bit more time consuming because I had to sew slow enough to fold the pleats back.  I worked to keep them straight and parallel, just like on the other side.

f. Here is what the skirt looked like at this point.  And here is where I am going to tell you the mistake I made and how you can avoid it. :) The pillow was currently 16" wide (the original width of the skirt) and would be 16" long after I sewed the two seams.  I did so and put it on the pillow form...and the width was way too big.  I knew that the pleats would cause it to be looser in the middle, but I thought the seams would pull it together, and I was wrong.  The pleats added a lot of volume to the width. So I turned it inside out and cut about 1 1/2" off of each side (parallel with the pleats).
I also decided to reuse the ties that were on the skirt to kind of pull the whole thing together.  I pinned them in the side seems perpendicular to the pleats about 6" from the top.
 g. Cue sewing the "new" side seams and finishing the old ones. Because there was no extra fabric to make this more of a pillow case with a flap in the back to keep it removable, I had to just leave an opening to stuff in the pillow.

 h. To provide for the least amount of hand sewing as possible, I only left about a 6" opening, and also made sure to sew about 2" at the corner to help make closing the seam and having a sharp corner possible.
i.  With such a small opening, I got the pillow in by rolling it tight, forcing it through the opening, and then stretching it out once it was inside.  It took a little longer, but saved many minutes of handsewing.

 j.  The original basting that kept the pleats together and the beginning of the seam at the corner made it easy to fold and pin where I needed to close the seam.  I used a blind stitch to pull it all together.
 k.  And finally, I made a pretty knot with the ties and plopped it in my favorite chair.  It is so cute, and I love that it came from a repurposed skirt!  Upcycling adventures are always fun challenges :)

So, what have you been making lately?  I'd love to hear about it.  And don't forget to head over to Instagram for the giveway!


  1. I think it would look great on a door. Possibly. Depends on the door.But, yes, it could totally work.

  2. WOW Katie! You are so talented! I was just talking to my fiancé about how much I want to learn how to sow!! This pillow looks amazing :) I will have to start taking tips now!

    1. Thanks, Elise! You totally should take up sewing! It is a great hobby that is also super practical too. I was fortunate to have a mom and two grandmas who instilled their sewing skills in me, but I bet you could find some great classes or a teacher near you! Give it a try!