sweatpants pillow cover tutorial-ish

I am really bad at tutorials.

Almost everything that I do creatively, I make up as I go along. And I mess up, and stop, and change, and undo, and redo, and make up some more, and usually end up with something slightly (or majorly) different than what I originally intended to do but like better.

That process makes it nearly impossible to take pictures of the process or to explain it all and type it all up into a pretty tutorial-style package.

Thus… my sweatpants pillow cover tutorial-ish… thing.

First, pull out those sweatpants that are too itchy/big/small or just plain uncomfortable. Sweatpants should not be uncomfortable. If you have some of those, go buy some new comfiest-ever sweatpants, bring your old sweatpants back to the computer with your favorite hot drink and some scissors and follow me:

Lay your sweats on the floor. Cut along the seams on the insides of the legs. If you are wondering which side of the seam to cut on, just do it by feel – whichever way the seam seems to lie naturally, leave it there. Make sense? If not just make sure you don’t cut through the seam – leave it on one side of the scissors as you cut!

Awesome :) But do both legs! And then cut straight up the front up to the waistband but not through it!

Then cut off the waist band – I cut right below the seam so that the waistband kept it’s shape, in case I ever wanted to use it for something.

If your sweats have an annoying something-or-other sewn/ironed/emblazoned onto the rear end… cut it out. I cut along the outside edge of the legs/hips, just before the seams. You can cut off less than I did, it really depends on the style of your sweats!

Now if you lay out all of your pieces you should have:
– a waistband
– the cut-out butt
– two legs, each cut open on the inside seam

The next part really depends on what kind of pillow you are trying to cover! I covered a square one, so I laid the pillow over one of the sweatpant legs, and cut the leg into pieces that were the same height as my pillow (not the same width! The fabric wasn’t wide enough for that with my pillow!)

Just cut the legs into several pieces as rectangular-ly as possible, then piece them together to fit around your pillow and sew with the right sides facing! (You can make the fuzzy part – inside – of your sweatpants the right side if you want!) Yes, I am assuming that you have basic sewing/stich witchery and tanagram skills. Unless your pieces happen to be the exact size and shape as each side of the pillow that you are covering, no it will not look perfect – but that wasn’t my goal. I wanted it to look cozy. The less perfect – the more seams – the better.

You can sew a patch or two on the front – to disguise old stains or rips or just to add something…

Yes, the pillow next to it is trying on a sweater so that I can figure out if I want to make a sweater pillow cover, too…

I wanted my pillow cover to be removable so I made sure that the fabric would overlap a bit after wrapped around the pillow, and made it into an envelope-style pillow cover. Again, I am not good at tutorials and did not make one for you BUT I would highly recommend this one!


sweater for my mug…

I recently cut up an old hand-me-down pair of sweatpants. They were from name-a-store-that-caters-mostly-to-teens and I don’t know whether it’s just the way they cut their sweats, or if they shrunk a little too much in the wash with their previous owner (but only in the butt region)… I know it is not because of my post-baby (and currently-holding-baby) body just doesn’t work with their style because they were given to me before I was pregnant with Eli and, gosh, those sweats were not even “hipsters” … they were like, below-the-hipsters. “Uncomfortable” doesn’t even do them justice. “Impossible to wear” would be more like it! Unless you have no butt.

And so they got cut up. And I’ll show you kind of how I cut them up in another post because they were used for something else as well. For now I’m just showing you what I did with one of the scraps of cut-up-sweats.

A sweater for my mug. That pretty red material is not my sweats… just some fabric I had laying around. You can see part of the sweats peeking out on the bottom rim.

There is how it is held on to the mug – a button and old pony-tail holder that broke last week thanks to my even-thicker-than-normal crazy pregnant hair. I usually have the gap positioned behind the handle of the mug… it is just turned to be able to show you how it works.

This is what I had originally intended it for, because I had used an old Starbucks sleeve as my template for cutting material, but I must have cut a little off because the mug sweater just slid right off this Starbucks mug. I could probably have put another button on to make it tighter… but I use my own mugs MUCH more often than I ever get coffee so it works out :)

Ahem… and also please note cute tiny thumb of toddler trying to steal my Starbucks cup… he likes to help mommy “make copfee”, and also likes to sit and pretend to drink “copfee” from my empty cups. Yes, we go on coffee dates together :)

Here is the reverse side of the mug sweater.

I roughly used this tutorial, and I would definitely recommend it :)

Things I did differently:
– I skipped the quilt batting. Since I was using sweatpants material, I didn’t need any extra heat-absorption :)
– I did not pin anything. ‘Cause I’m lazy  gutsy like that. (Ha.)
– I used a combo of fusible webbing stuff (the kind you use an iron for) and hand-sewing instead of using my machine… because machines frustrate me…

brown paper packages, sewn up with string {and a sneak peek of the nook}

I may never wrap gifts a different way ever again…

And here is the nook, so far. My wonderful husband helped me to carry that cedar {yes, cedar – I LOVE it} chest upstairs, and hide all of our shoes and boots and scarves and soccer shin guards in it. The quilt was made by my grandmother for my high school graduation, and it is wrapped around a squishy body pillow that I sort of tried to plump up a little, to make a cushion.

I made that pillow in the corner yesterday. The fabric is the same as the hand warmers, and is leftover from the bag that I was making way back last October – as in when I was huge with baby. {I never finished that bag, by the way, because my mom bought a beautiful diaper bag for me… and because, as I said, huge with baby… but I plan on finishing it soon!}

The heart on that pillow is perfectly imperfect… and I like it that way.

P.S. I finally found my camera’s battery charger :) :) :) 

Unwrapping Tuesday {I am slowed}

Today I am slowed…

… to cuddle, wrapped both in a blanket, with my baby boy

… to hand him tiny pieces of string cheese, one at a time, without multitasking (and thank God that Eli can eat string cheese now, for it is the only thing he wants to eat this week) …

… to sit in silence by the Christmas tree and do nothing, even if it was just for two minutes …

… to sew by hand all day long {in between all of those other things up there}, and to sew   s l o w   and lazy, because Eli took almost a two and a half hour nap …

{these hand warmers were inspired by V and Co.’s recent post}

Linking up at Chatting At The Sky.

Sock Tiger

If you were here back in July you might remember this post about a sock tiger I was planning on making for who was then known as “baby” and not Eli.

Well, friends, I must admit that I did not make sock tiger until… well… umm… this week.

He didn’t turn out too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Don’cha  want to cuddle him? I did. Last night. But I did not bring him to cuddle in bed with me (my husband was very thankful for that).

You may notice that Sock Tiger does not have any eyes yet. That is because I want Eli to be able to cuddle his tiger himself before the age at which I won’t be worrying about button swallowing and whatnot. What do you think? Is there a safe way to attach his eyes without needing to worry about rogue buttons?


*Edit: If you would like to make your own Sock Tiger, I would encourage you to check out or buy the book Stray Sock Sewing, Too by Daniel (no, he really doesn’t have a last name on the book… does he even have one?? He has to, right?). I purposely did not put the instructions up here out of love for books and their authors.

Picture post…

So, this blog is looking awfully boring without many pictures. Who wants to just read a bunch of words anyway? Pictures are much more fun…


The top of baby boys head... which is measuring just one day after his due date...



Baby boy's belly... which is measuring little, 18 days after his due date!



Baby boy's legs... which are LONG and measuring 11 days before his due date...


Baby is about 4lbs 12 oz… and the doctor says he should gain about 1/2 a pound a week from now on. My belly is measuring 2 cm small, but he’s measuring fine :) Just below the 50th percentile.


The diaper and wipes case...



The diaper bag in progress...


The diaper bag liner... which is hard to take a picture of one-handed!



The tree... minus it's top...


34 weeks…

… and in 2 days we have another ultrasound :) I forget if I mentioned it before – this ultrasound is to check on growth. The doctor never said that she was concerned about growth… so I’m guessing that it’s just something this particular office does (because I’ve heard that most of the time the 20 week ultrasound is the last, unless there is reason to check on something).

Anyway, who cares? I get to see my baby boy again :)

So, the walls are painted, the tape is all taken off, and the tree is mostly painted (silly top branches that I can not reach!). The closet doors are put back on (we painted the inside of the closet, too), most of the baby clothes are washed (but not put away… I need an organization system. Trying to round up a bunch of paper boxes).

But today… today I discovered that the cat had peed on the boppy… and the boppy was on the bottom shelf of the bassinet, which had a cloth liner in it… and so both things are in the wash and I am just hoping that the pee smell comes out :( Especially out of the boppy itself (which we did not have to buy – it was one of the hand-me-downs from my aunt).

In other, happier news – I made a diaper and wipes case! I wanted to test out the material that the diaper bag will be made of, because my sewing machine is incredibly temperamental. It turns out my sewing machine LOVES the corduroy fabric and did even better when I was sewing through 4 layers of cloth! Yay :)

32 weeks

I re-drew the tree! Promise. But Chris decided to take the afternoon off, and surprised me by walking in the door just after I had finished it, and then I was distracted from taking a picture to prove it…

The next day we painted the other two walls in the room :) But then we realized that we need to put another coat of paint on… and we probably do not have enough paint left to do so. Hm.

So, 32 weeks.

I also cut out all of the parts that I need to make a diaper bag with this pattern :) Before I sew it together, however, I am going to test my sewing machine’s ability to sew through the corduroy material by making one of these. (I figured I’d be a nice wife, and not make Chris take the entire diaper bag to the men’s bathroom if he ever needed to change the baby in a public place… :) ).

This Wednesday we have yet another appointment. I am beginning to feel like I am always at the doctor’s! It’s worth it (especially to hear his little heartbeat)… just strange feeling. I also start working (volunteering) at the church office this Wednesday. Then on Saturday we are supposed to have a baby shower with Chris’ family. I can’t wait to have things to put together the baby’s room with :)

Crafty and apple-y goodness…

After much mental grumbling over the thought of having to use the pickiest, most bobbin-sensitive, old garage sale sewing machine ever – which was kindly given to me one Christmas by someone who didn’t know I already had a nice new(er) sewing machine (which is still back in Illinois, sadly)… I finally pulled the thing down from the closet, carefully set it up, and patiently (ha ha) wound… and re-wound… and re-wound the bobbin, stuck it in… and it worked!

I then got halfway through my project, ran out of bobbin thread, filled it back up again, then proceeded to forget how I got it to work 20 minutes earlier…

… but eventually I ended up with this!

Made with this tutorial for a Book Sling.

I still need to make it’s twin. And buy double curtain rod hangers. And attach them to the wall. After we finish painting baby’s room.

And now for the apple-y part!

On Tuesday night, Chris and I were watching TV. A commercial came on for Tim Horton’s, and all I had to do was say one tiny little thing about how the apple spice muffins looked sooo good, and Chris jumped in the car and drove to TWO Tim Horton’s just to find an apple spice muffin for me. Like I said in my last post, he’s good :) I don’t even have to ask, or even think about asking! And it might have been the best muffin I had ever tasted… until…

… my attempt at making something like Tim Horton’s apple spice muffins. The most exciting part was that I actually got to use the apples from the apple tree in our back yard! :)

The tree that I didn’t know was an apple tree… until it started growing apples!

Apple Spice Muffins

slightly adapted from http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/whole-wheat-apple-muffins/, which was adapted from King Arthur Flour.

King Arthur says it makes 12. Smitten Kitchen made 18. I made 16 (and that’s with the added apple pie filling!)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

dash of salt (I did not measure, just one shake from my salt shaker)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided

1 large egg

1 cup (8 ounces) vanilla yogurt

2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Apple Pie filling (I didn’t measure again… just used some from a can of store bought stuff, then refrigerated the leftovers. I suppose if you are feeling like doing everything from scratch, you could make your own, in which case I would estimate you would need less than a cup total!)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour muffin tin, or put paper muffin cups in the tin, and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the yogurt. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Fill each muffin cup 1/2 way. Make a small indent in the center of each. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of apple pie filling into the indents of each 1/2-filled muffin cup. Top with more muffin mix (I filled mine all the way to the top, and they turned out perfect – but I think the muffin tops are the best part!). Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (besides apple pie filling… there shouldn’t be any batter on the toothpick). Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack (or just a plate) to cool completely.

Oh. P.S. I got the results of the glucose tolerance test back from the doctor. No diabetes! :) I am, however, anemic… which explains all of those times that I crave Arby’s roast beef sandwiches!

crafty things…

So, somehow in the midst of my busiest two summer months (despite not having to work), I found some time to start something old and new…

I re-taught myself how to knit. Re-taught, because my mom taught me how back in high school, but then I discovered how to crochet (much easier in my opinion) and kind of gave up knitting…

… but I’m back at it now and made this very soft handwarmer – it’s twin is still in the making (and they are turning out just a tad big… probably because I strayed from her instructions just a tad and used 5.00mm needles instead of 4.00mm… I’m hoping if I wash them and put them in the dryer for a bit they’ll shrink up a little).

Yes, I know, I know, it is the very hot month of July. Why am I making something that will keep my hands warm!? I’ll tell you why. #1 – I found this really cool pattern that I LOVE and would highly encourage any knitters out there to try :) #2 – In the winter, when I am working on the computer all day, my fingers get very very cold… but Baby is coming in November, so I doubt I’ll have much time to make something like this in the more sensible knitting season that would be autumn.

This second craft is one that I am even more excited about, but had to wait for a book to come in at the library in order to start on it…

Stray Sock Sewing, Too by Daniel

No, apparently Daniel, the author, does not have a last name… There also exists another – his first book – called Stray Sock Sewing :) Personally I like the patterns in Stray Sock Sewing, Too better.

Zen Tiger

Isn’t he cute? Going to try to use these…

Chris' old orange soccer socks