Summer Sun Wreath

Here’s my August wreath.

If you don’t have a stash of fabric to dig through to make one of these, I’m so sorry to hear that. But you can go to the fabric store and buy what you need. You’ll need about two yards and a fat quarter of fabric, straight pins, a needle and thread, and a Styrofoam wreath form.

Pick out a collection of yellows, I used solid colors, but blenders and calicoes will work too. Buy widths of 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 yard, to come up with a total of 1–1 1/2 yards of yellow. Get the most of your favorite, with other shades just to make it interesting. Find a half-yard of a contrasting print for the center, and select a fat quarter that goes with all of it for the sunspot.

Summer Sun Wreath on Jan Made It

First the Stars and Stripes wreath had to come apart. My nieces were at the house for a few hours one day last week and Riley took it apart for me and started this one by wrapping my handy-dandy Styrofoam ring in a strip of yellow fabric.

Summer Sun Wreath on Jan Made It

Then I ripped different shades of yellow fabric into strips about four inches wide, give or take. Some strips are about 45 inches long, the width of the fabric, and others, from scraps, are shorter.

If you bought fabric, use the 1/8 yard as is; rip the quarter-yard in half; and rip the half-yard three times to make four strips. You can cut some of these strips in half if you want shorter strips for more variety.

I hand-basted a loooong running stitch down the middle of each strip and pulled each into a ruffle. I pinned one end of the ruffle to the wreath and randomly gathered it and shaped it as I pinned it to the wreath.

I folded some strips in half length-wise and then basted, gathered, and pinned them to the wreath; others I left open and pinned them down the middle with gathers on both sides.

Summer Sun Wreath on Jan Made It

Since it was sooooo yellow I finished it off with about a half-yard of orange and yellow calico.  I folded it with the raw edges into the center and then folded it in half and draped it loosely in the center of the wreath and pinned it into place.

Summer Sun Wreath on Jan Made It

I found a fat quarter of batik, red with yellow flowers to make a sunspot on my sun.

Summer Sun Wreath on Jan Made It

I made the sunspot by pulling the corners of the fat quarter—wrong sides under—and stuck it to the wreath with a pin through the center, catching the four corners underneath. I formed it into a little puff, held it in place by hiding a few pins inside the folds.

Summer Sun Wreath on Jan Made It

That’s about all there is.

I’m brainstorming for my next wreath subject.  Something for September before I roll into Halloween.  Don’t know what kind of wreath I’ll make either. So far I’ve done fabric a few times and crochet.  Maybe something with paper?

My only criteria is to make it on this same foam wreath form, and to be able to use the parts for something else once the season has passed.

Any suggestions?

Jan

 

 

Putting a Patch Pocket on Pajama Pants

Found a bargain on pajama pants last week, and I needed some new ones.  On clearance for $8, bright pink and peach plaid.  If you’ve been to Old Navy you’ve probably seen them. They had racks full of them!  No wonder they were clearanced.

Love em!  But they have no pockets, and I need a pocket. I’m addicted to lip balm and need a pocket to keep it in, even in my pajama pants!

No way I could match the plaid, but I have a good stack of pinks and peachy corals, so I found something to match.

I had some little squares leftover from a quilt in progress and thought they were about the right size so I put right sides together,

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

and made a little patch out of a plaid and this funky polka dot.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

I turned it right side out, pressed it and top stitched around the edges of this little square, soon to be pocket.

Now if you’ve followed pattern instructions for putting on a pocket you’ve probably been instructed to cut one pocket and then press back a seam allowance pin it like crazy and try to stitch all those raw edges underneath.

That’s nonsense!

I don’t have the patience to do it that way, so I cut out two pocket pieces. Make a tiny pillow out of them. Press it flat and then stitch it on.

Voila! A pocket. And none of the frustration of lots of pins, and keeping that seam allowance hidden underneath. Ugh! This way is so much easier!

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

I was thinking of those little pocket watch pockets in Levis…. So I thought this would be just right.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

Wrong!

I thought they were “about the same size” and I was right. the pocket and my lip gloss are the same size, which means the pocket is too small.

Maybe it I turn it on an angle.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

Close enough.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

The plaid made it easy to eyeball it so I pinned it and stitched it.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

The little flap is just a smidge off,  but you might not have noticed it if I hadn’t told you.

But this pocket is very tiny.  What if I need a tissue? Or need to have my phone handy?

I guess I’ll make another pocket.

PajamaPant Pocket 11

It pays to have an extensive stash where I can just pull things out at the drop of a hat.

I assembled the pockets (I decided to make two while I was at it) and stitched up my miniature pillows.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

Then I added a cuff on the top.

Now if I’d planned ahead I would have stitched the band on the top first, and then made the little pillow and applied it. But I wasn’t planning ahead so I went the long way around the mulberry bush.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

And I stitched them on, guessing on the placement and aligning them with the plaid. I coulda tried the pants on and marked the pocket placement, but where’s the fun in that? I am quite experienced with the seam ripper if things don’t work out.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

The opening is at the top and the bottom is sealed so I think that’s a win.

But it’s kind of boring. So back to the stash. This time digging through ribbon and trims.

How about some little pink ball fringe?

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

You won’t find ball fringe like this at any fabric store. I’ve been schlepping this around for a couple of decades.

Decades! I promise you.

They’re smaller than you’ll find today, and not as fuzzy.  And I have about a yard. Had about a yard. Now, after trimming two pockets, I have about two feet of it left.

I stitched it on by hand  so it will be easy to remove if I change my mind.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

If I’d been planning to use this all along, I would have machine stitched them into that seam, but this works too.

What’s with all this planning ahead?

I have another pair of pants that need pockets. They’re white twill, and soooo comfortable, but the pockets will have to be set in the side seams. It will take less than a quarter yard of white muslin. I have some of that in my stash too.  I’ll do that and show you how I pull it off.

Have you had to add pockets or otherwise make amendments to a ready made garment? Was it easy? Did it work how you wanted? Did you wing it, or plan ahead? I’d love to hear how you pulled it off.

Jan

 

 

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A Bird Collar for Sundance

Sundance is my extremely huge long-haired tabby Maine-coonish sort of cat. And one of Sundance’s hobbies is to stalk and kill birds.

This is not OK.

Sundance on JanMadeIt

I wrote about it in my Bad Cat post over on Cottonmouth Creek, my photography blog.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

My solution, and it works!, has been this big, bright fluffy collar. I had something like this in mind and when I googled “how to keep cats from killing birds” I found a Birdbesafe collar cover that works on the same premise.

Birds can see bright colors and this bright mane gives birds a chance to fly to safety when the cat is ready to pounce. I can’t guarantee it will work all the time with every cat, but Sundance doesn’t kill birds when he’s wearing this collar. He did, however, get a snake.  Ick.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

Just in case my cat isn’t the only one out there that kills birds, I thought I’d show you how easy it is to make.

You’ll need elastic, some jingle bells, and a piece of fabric. Use bright scraps if you have them or if you need to buy some, 1/4 yard will do. Use woven cotton fabric for best results.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

The quarter yard will be nine inches wide. Cut that piece into strips no wider than one inch. I used pinking shears but you can cut a straight edge if that’s all you have. Fabric with a tight weave will ravel less.

I matched the elastic to the length of his current collar and found ten inches is the length I need. Overlap the elastic about a half-inch and sew the ends together. You can stitch it by hand, or sew it on the machine.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

Fold the fabric strips in half and loop them over the elastic and pull tight. Cram as many strips on the elastic as you can.

Then with a skinny strip of fabric, a shoe lace, or fishing line, string some jingle bells together in a loose clump and tie them to the collar and slip it on your cat.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

I know some cats take to collars about as well as cats take to water, but fortunately Sundance doesn’t mind. The elastic is loose enough that he can slip his head out if it gets caught.

Montage was a white calico I had years ago. Within a few hours she would get out of any collar I put on her.  This wouldn’t have worked on her, but then she didn’t catch birds either.

After a few months the first collar I put on Sundance got pretty dingy and limp.  Before I could spruce it up or make a replacement a dead bird showed up on the patio. 😦

Sundance 6

Now I make a point to have a replacement handy.  I untied the strips on the first collar and put them in a lingerie bag and washed them. I have them to use on future collars. I used yellow because it was handy, and then I read that red and yellow are the colors most visible to birds. I’m going to add some red and neon green to the next collar I make.

I know, the best thing would be to keep the cat indoors, but that is not possible right now. Fortunately there’s a big back yard and Sundance has Zeus, the Chihuahua and Radley, the Papillon  to hang with.

Jan

Stars and Stripes Hat Band

I love to wear hats!  I have several I’ve practically covered with silk flowers just because I like them.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 14

I got this hat from my brother, David, who died May 7 of this year. It’s a tad big for me, but that cord around the crown threads through the hat to tie under my chin.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 11

That chin strap comes in very handy in the Oklahoma wind.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 08

These are the stars left from my wreath, and the garland I posted last night. This is the kind of holiday hat a man could wear.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 09

To make this hat band, I laid the stars out on the brim of the hat to line them up.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 03

Then with points aligned, I tacked them together with needle and thread.

Stars HatBand oN on JanMadeIt 06

With the fleece fused on the back it was easy to stitch through the backing and hide the stitches.

It doesn’t have to be pretty on the back. And it will be easy to clip those stitches when I want to take it apart and put something else on the hat or do something else with the stars.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 07

I had to match the right size stars and twist them just right to fit in the last opening of the band.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 14

I would totally wear this somewhere, but the only place I’ll be going tomorrow is work.  And if I wore it I’d have hat hair and be stuck wearing it all day, no matter how hot and sweaty it was.

Does everyone have plans for a great Fourth of July? There will be lots of baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and all other things American going on. Be careful with the fireworks!

How do you plan to celebrate?

Jan

 

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