Archive of ‘D-I-Y’ category

Kindergarten Chair Pockets Take 2

You know that thing that happens when the world finds out that you sew? You are flooded with requests to sew things.  Bless them, right? Everyone means well. Remember those kindergarten chair pockets I made for my son’s class last year? Well, you can probably guess where this is going…at least a little bit.  About halfway into this school year J’s first grade teacher approached me about sewing chair pockets for his classroom, just like the ones from last year (link includes my tutorial on how to make them, btw).  chair pockets perfect for kindergarten classrooms | a happy stitch

Much as I loved making chair pockets for his classroom last year, it is time-consuming, monotonous and costly (it takes A LOT of fabric).  Plus, it seemed inequitable to me.  If classrooms need chair pockets is it fair that the only classrooms who get them have my kid in them? Not really.  So, I suggested that the school identify how many classrooms need chair pockets and write a grant to cover the cost of store-bought chair pockets.  J’s teacher came back and suggested that the ones I make are sturdier than the mass-produced kind.  I was terribly flattered.   I agreed I could make them and quoted her a price per classroom (at 25 chair pockets per classroom) that paid for my time and supplies.  She submitted the grant and it was only after the grant was accepted that I found out that nearly the entire school needed chair pockets, 300 to be exact. Turns out every first grade and kindergarten classroom except for two needed chair pockets….one of those two classroom has special chairs and the other has the pockets I made last year.  Ha! I was totally overwhelmed.  (more…)

Write A Book :: Mini Makers Summer Fun Series

Write A Book! Mini Make's Summer Fun Series |a happy stitch

When my friend Carla from Small + Friendly asked me to join her Mini Maker’s Summer Fun series, she described it as ‘simple projects to combat the inevitable “I’m bored” syndrome’.  I jumped on board and immediately started to think of really elaborate projects that required lots of adult assistance. Yep.  Somehow missing the simple message.  And also forgetting parents want things kids can do on their own, for hours at a time.  After running through lots of very-involved ideas (ooh, what about…dried glue and tie-dye on a t-shirt! Or, windsocks made out of fabric scraps, paint and toilet rolls!).  I decided to run some of these ideas by C, who happened to be sitting happily on the porch writing a book. He looked up when I asked him, “what kind of activity do you think other kids like you want to do so they don’t get bored?” and before I could regale him with my ideas he said, “write books!”  It was so obvious and simple and easy and perfect!  So, this post is brought to you by my ever-astoundingly clever son.  Here is how to write your own story, provide hours of quiet fun, nurture creativity, build writing skills, drawing skills, and inspire a life-long love of books…all without any parent involvement! Can I get a Woot Woot!? (more…)

DIY fabric buckets

DIY Fabric Buckets // a happy stitch

I’m not exactly sure how many years Sanae and Ute have been running the Secret Valentine Exchange but it seems like I’ve managed to miss out on it a million times.  I honestly read Sanae’s blog religiously and every time I see it announced, I intend to sign up and then forget.  But not this year! I signed up and participated and loved it.  I received the best, beautiful suede-like bag and cement magnets from the lovely Aida. I feel so lucky! For my part, I made my secret partner these hand-stamped fabric buckets.  They nest together and form a lovely ombre pink effect when they are all sat inside of each other. (more…)

Hand-Painted Baby Blankets in bubble gauze

Hand-Painted Baby Blankets in bubble gauze // a happy stitch

I have always admired those high-end, gauzy baby blankets from Aden and Anais. You know, the totally gorgeous, clean and beautiful things that seem kind of a silly investment for a baby? Naturally, I wanted to make something similar but could never find good gauze fabric so I was thrilled when Michael Miller Fabrics let me play with some of their bubble gauze, newly released from Sarah Jane. I also made a baby blanket with the double gauze from this collection but more on that later.   For the bubble gauze I decided to hand-paint sweet polka dots. (more…)

How To Be Cozy :: The Perfect Wool Blanket Solution

How to Be Cozy :: Perfect Wool Blankets / a happy stitch

I spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to be cozy and warm.  During my pregnancies I was totally psyched to have an excuse to wear sweatpants in most settings, I started “needing” to wear them at eight weeks.  Everyone else was so proud of being able to still button their jeans and I was bragging, “I have an excuse to wear sweatpants ALL THE TIME!”  Now that I’m no longer pregnant, I’m the queen of leggings and a tunic for my go-to outfit because, as everyone knows, it’s basically pajamas in disquise.  Of course, even sweatpants and leggings pale in comparison to the ultimate in cozy; I’m talking about being under the perfect blanket, of course. (more…)

2015 It’s a wrap :: on creativity and so much sewing

2015 Wrap Up // a happy stitch

Oh my goodness, 2015 was such a wonderful year.  Now that I’m safely on the other side of it I’m so thrilled to announce I accomplished my primary goal for the year. Yep, I did it!

I made a vow at the beginning of the year to buy nothing new with my Nothing New Project and I succeeded.  Every piece of clothing that newly entered my life this year was sewn by me or bought used. (more…)

Radiant Home Studio blog tour :: Highland Avenue Houses

Radiant Home Studio blog tour :: Highland Avenue Houses // a happy stitch

There are lots of lessons to be learned in life.  The lesson I learned most recently is that kids are tacky.  They like to take an idea and really kick it into overdrive…make sure everyone “gets” it.  And that, my friends, is the takeaway lesson behind these house pillows.

I was so honored when Sara from Radiant Home Studio asked me to join her 2nd anniversary blog tour! It’s really exciting because I like Sara and find her patterns so useful and effortlessly classy. (more…)

My project for Mollie Makes magazine

I have been bursting with a secret for about a month now but haven’t been able to say anything. So here it is: I have a project in the most recent Mollie Makes magazine! Issue 58 to be specific.  Well, sort of.  It is an exclusive project, meaning it’s included as an insert, a special gift to subscribers.  But, I’m not one to split hairs especially when it comes to something as exciting as this.

A Happy Stitch in Mollie Makes Magazine

(Look! It’s me!) This is the cover of the insert. I’ve been a long-time subscriber to Mollie Makes and just adore this magazine. It’s so good at mixing old crafts like sewing and crochet with a modern aesthetic and pretty much everyone I admire has been featured there (along with new friends I meet all the time).

(more…)

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