Sewing a Shirt for the Japan Earthquake

On Sunday I mentioned that Living with Punks was hosting a Sew Along for Japan. I had all of the supplies on hand, so I thought I would join in. Here's the shirt I made.

I think it's adorable!

Thanks Pink Fig for the pattern and the great idea of a very tangible way to help!


Paula's Pillowcase Project Sewing Pillowcases for Kids with Cancer

Sewing Pillowcases for Kids with Cancer

Last year, I participated for the first time in my friend Paula's Pillowcase Project. You can read more about it here .

Paula's son was diagnosed several years ago with a rare form of cancer called Sarcoma. While he was in the hospital getting treatment they realized how uncomfortable the pillowcases were on bald Chemo heads and Paula's Pillowcase Project was born.

For the past three years Paula has gathered her friends in the community to a two day event of cutting, ironing and sewing pillowcases to be hand delivered to kids with cancer at Children's hospital in Seattle. I was happy to be a part of it again this year.

Paula (the adorable red head) started our day off by explaining how to sew the pillowcase.

On the first day, helpers take pre-washed fabric and cut it down to size and lay the three pieces in a set to make the assembly line process of pillowcase making easier.

It's then taken to a group of pinners who pin the three pieces into place so that it's ready for sewing.

This group of teenage girls were awesome helpers. The adorable girl in the yellow headband is named Taylor. She was diagnosed with cancer just before her 16th birthday. Two failed bone marrow transplants later, she's 19 and in remission! It was exciting to talk with her about her plans for college in the fall.

These two lovely ladies were my "team". Debbie who is seated, did the pinning for me, and Brenda, Taylor's mom, (standing) did my ironing. Boy, I wish I had them at home to help me out with my sewing sometimes!

Lots of ironing...

lots of sewing...

and some more cutting happen

while the sewers stay busy sewing pillowcases at various stages of completion.

Once a pillowcase is done, someone rings the bell and makes a tally mark. It's such an awesome way to hear progress throughout the day. That little bell ring in the other room is music to our ears!

There is also a group of faithful women who make beautiful cards that are attached to each pillowcase. Not only are the cards beautiful, each is handwritten with a heartfelt sentiment.

It's always nice to take a break for lunch

and yummy desserts.

Sometimes having a conversation over the hum of the sewing machines is a bit difficult!

Then we head back to work putting bows and cards on each completed pillowcase.

Since there are many cancer parents and kids that participate each year, Paula is able to immediately hand off the pillowcases for delivery to Children's hospital.

We hope the kids that are the recipients of these pillowcases feel the love that went into making them on such a special weekend. Thanks Paula for all of the work you do!


Our thoughts are still with Japan after the Earthquake in 2011

We've all been watching the heartbreaking coverage of the disaster in Japan unfold. We continue to watch the reunions and the stories of survival during the rescue efforts. It's hard to see the videos and not be moved.

Just this week our cousin Chad has been deployed (in that sweet ride!) from his base in Okinawa, Japan into Atsugi (just outside of Tokyo). He's already hard at work with the Nuclear Decontamination crew and will be helping to plan the safe exit of our troops from the disaster area when it's time. As you can see, he has a sweet one year old daughter (she didn't get to go with him, just liked playing on the steps like any one year old!) and another sweet kiddo on the way. Please join me in praying for his speedy and safe return.


Chelsea from Pink Fig was moved to design this t-shirt with the hopes of spreading love from our side of the world, to their side of the world. Susan at Living with Punks is jumping on board to host a sew along this week. Head on over and join her tomorrow as she starts this opportunity for you to join in helping out in your own creative way.

Don't forget the Nutro giveaway ends tonight. I was excited to read that Nutro is fueling the rescue efforts in Japan by supporting canines in the Search Dog Foundation (SDF). What an amazing mission these rescue dogs and their firefighter partners are preforming together in some of the most difficult circumstances.


Peep Bunny tutorial

I stumbled upon these adorable Marshmallow Bunny's and think they would be a great addition to anyone's easter basket.

Add a squeekie to the inside and you have a puppy or baby toy.


My Pottery Barn Knock Off was a Fail

Spray Paint Doesn't Work on Plastic Easter Eggs

I knew when I saw these cute eggs at Pottery Barn that I had to make some!

I was so excited when I found plastic eggs with holes in the top at the dollar store. And I even scored some white spray paint at Wal-Mart for 98cents!

I was not so excited when the paint did not adhere to the plastic eggs and my eggs turned out like this.

So instead, I will share with you this lovely vignette from the DIY showoff.

Bummer. No Pottery Barn knock off for me this year (maybe after when I can score the paper mache eggs for pennies!). Go check it out here and be inspired. She probably did a better job than I would have anyway!


Altering a Dress to Make it Fit Your Style

Altering a Dress to Make it Fit Your Style

Earlier this week, I blogged about how happy I was to be "or current resident". I've really been enjoying the inspiration that the catalogs are giving to me.

These three pictures were torn out of the Victoria's Secret catalog as dresses I liked.

Then, I remembered I had this beauty!

I got it at a garage sale for 50 cents a few years ago. It's the wrong length (it hits mid calf) but to me, it looked similar to the dresses I ripped out of the catalog, so I thought I could work with it.

And work with it I did! I took off the bottom half of the dress (nothing fancy, I literally just cut it off!) and was left with this.

Ah, much better!


Side Ruffle T-Shirt Upcycle

Since we have moved one of my favorite things is getting the mail (not that it wasn't before, who am I kidding!). One of the reasons though, is the "or current resident". You see, the previous owners of this house got a TON of catalogs.

Since I rarely buy on-line or through catalogs, I don't get on those lists. If I sign myself up for those lists, I never buy anything and end up getting dropped within a few months. (Really, Pottery Barn, what makes you think I would never order anything? O.k., they are probably right!)

Side Ruffle T-shirt Refashion

One day, I got a catalog from Victoria's Secret. Actually, everyday I seem to get a VS catalog. I think they miss the old homeowner. Anyway, I saw this shirt that I loved. I thought I would try to knock it off.

This is my version. What do you think?

I actually started with this long sleeve Gap t-shirt (thanks Betsy for letting me go through your Goodwill pile!)

I took the sleeves off and then finished the sleeve edges that would now become a tank.

Then I started cutting up the sleeve at the seam. I cut on the other side of the seam to get rid of the seam all together.

This is what I was left with. Then I put both of the sleeves on top of each other

and stitched up using a ruffle stitch (highest tension and length setting on your machine) from the bottom up.

This is what it looked like. Don't you love the ruffle stitch trick?

I then laid it out as straight as I could on my cutting mat

Then cut off the extra length at the top where the arm hole used to attach to the shirt. I then lined it up with my shirt body and used the ruffle stitch again to attach it to the shirt.

After the ruffle was where I wanted it, I stitched the ruffle on.

I checked it next to my inspiration photo and thought it looked pretty similar.

I had to crop my head out of nearly all of the pictures. Not quite sure why I was giving the stink eye the whole time!
That's it! I'm ready for spring!

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