Friday Favorites No. 328

April is nearly over. Can you believe it? That means we're about to get smacked in the head by May, which has always been a crazy month in our house. I used to think it was because the kids had so much going on with the end of the school year, but even after they grew up and moved out it stayed a little nuts. Maybe it's the transition into better weather so there's more to do. If that's the case, I'm in. Bring on the crazy.

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If you have a kid who likes to carry around a little buddy, and all of said buddy's stuff, this backpack from Crazy Little Projects would be a great gift. Just make sure that backpack is comfortable for you to carry as well, because you know you're gonna.

These bag handles from So Sew Easy are pretty, and a great way to use up some fabric scraps.

What I like the most about these kitchen printables from The Happy Housie is that the background on each makes it look a bit like cross-stitch or embroidery, without the long hours of stitching.

I know it hasn't been very long since I featured a peanut butter dessert here, but just look at these stuffed cookies from Delish. Who could say no to those?

You really have to see the whole line of word jewelry from vanessahandmade on Etsy, but the cheerful orange of this one was my favorite.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Red Leather Coat, Round Two

About a year and a half ago, I cut into a long red leather coat that I’d had for almost two decades but had never worn.  I ended up with a shortened jacket, a purse, a phone case, a loyalty card holder and, of course, a coffee cup sleeve

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 1
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 1

My friend Patty, whose office I volunteer for at my son’s high school, saw all of the transformed items first hand.  It got her thinking about a red leather coat that had been passed on to her from another friend.  That coat turned up at school one day a few months ago in a plastic bag with my name on it. 

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 2
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 2

I decided two things when I saw this coat.  The first was that whatever I made from it was going right back to Patty.  The second was that I was going to try to keep those slash pockets.  The logical choice to reform the coat was a into bag, but rather than draw up a pattern, I decided to let the coat’s shape speak to me as I went.  Very Zen.  I started out by removing the lining and interfacing.  If you ever want to learn a thing or two about clothing construction, try some deconstruction.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 3
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 3

After I’d gutted it, I started cutting.  I originally thought I would keep the button placket but noticed there was some damage around the buttons, so I cut it off.  I also cut across just below the arm holes and just above the fold for the bottom seam.  At that point I was just aiming for the largest piece of leather I could get, but I liked the shape of it, so I stitched the middle together to create the basic bag shape.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 4
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 4

The next step was to cut out the lining, so I used the leather piece as a guide and added a seam allowance.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 5
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 5

I sewed patch pockets onto one side of the lining and added a zipped pocket to the other.  I wanted some reinforcement for the magnetic closure, so I also added an extra strip of fabric to the area where they would be applied.  It also gave the top of the purse a little more body.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 6
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 6

I realized my purse still had a waist, so I gave it some belt loops.  This would also solve the problem of my seams not matching up perfectly in the front because I could cover the area with a belt.  I considered using the original collar as an accent at the top of the bag, but decided even my beast of a sewing machine wouldn’t survive that many layers of leather.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 7
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 7

I finished stitching up the lining and added it to the inside of the bag.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 8
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 8

Rather than make the strap entirely from leather, I used one of the lining fabrics instead and added a strip of leather down the middle as an accent.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 9
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 9

I couldn’t have been happier with the way this bag turned out.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 10
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 10

Of course, I added a couple of little accessories for the inside.  All that remains of the coat at this point is one sleeve.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 11
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 11

This is Patty.  Does this photo give you some idea of how she felt about it?

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 12
Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 12

Yogurt Tub and Denim Drawstring Bag

When I was asked by Earth 911 if I had any good recycled crafts they could share for Earth Day, I didn’t think I’d have any problem digging one up.  I was surprised to find most of my projects that fit the bill were seasonal, and not appropriate for spring.  I really wanted something that was mostly repurposed, didn’t take a lot of materials and was a little unusual.    I think this bag fits. Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 0

To make this, you’ll need a clean yogurt tub (about 24 oz size), a piece of denim (a leg cut off to make shorts will work) and two shoe laces.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 1

Ok, so I know that’s technically not just yogurt, but have you tried this stuff?  Yum.

Measure around the top edge of your tub.  Add 1/2” to determine the width to cut your denim.  Measure the height of the tub, multiply by 1 1/2 and add 3” to determine the height.  Mine came out to 14 1/8 by 9”.

You can leave a decorative seam if your sewing machine can handle sewing over it doubled.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 2

Fold the denim with the short sides together.  Subtracting the 1/4” seam you’ll sew in the next step, find and mark the center on both sides.  Unfold.  Measure 2 1/4” down from the top edge at the mark.  Draw a 1/4” line from 2 1/4 to 2 1/2”.  Stitch a 1/4” buttonhole at the line and carefully cut it open.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 3

Fold the denim right sides touching and short ends together.  Stitch a 1/4” seam down the side.  Press the seam open.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 4

Stitch over the edge at the top and bottom with a zigzag stitch or serger to reduce fraying.  Fold the upper edge toward the wrong side 1 1/2” and press.  Stitch 1/2” from the edge and 1/2” from the fold.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 5

Using scissors or a razor knife, cut the lip off the tub.  Slip the fabric tube over the tub, wrong side of the fabric toward the tub and the top edge of the fabric and tub even with each other.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 6

Using a long stitch and a large needle, stitch 1/4” from the edge through the plastic and denim.  Add a pleat to the denim if you need to make it fit.  If you have any doubt at all about whether your sewing machine can survive this, punch holes in the plastic with an awl and sew by hand.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 7

Pull the denim up over the tub, turning right side out.  Feed a shoelace into one of the buttonholes, all the way around through the casing, and back out through the same hole.  Repeat on the opposite side with the other shoelace.  Tie the laces together near the buttonhole and again at the ends.  Pull both sides to draw closed.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 8

I thought I was done at this point, but when I turned around the lid was laying there.  I cut a small flower from it, which I stitched on with a button on top.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 9

I keep imagining taking this to the beach with my sunglasses, bottle of water and sunscreen in it.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 10

If this wasn’t Oregon.  In April.  Maybe a snack instead?

Friday Favorites–My Birthday

I would swear I just had one, but according to the calendar today is my birthday.  My oldest child is graduating from high school soon, so my husband is taking me shopping for a dress.  I feel like I need a button to wear that says “Call me ma'am and suffer the consequences.”  But they’re welcome to ask for my ID, should I choose to order a beverage containing alcohol.  Wait until you see how cranky I’ll get when I have really big birthdays.

I came across a few things that made me much less cranky though.  For starters, how could I, being a crafter, not smile at this little beauty?  It can be found at Joann, and I just can’t get over what a great job Singer did combining the old and new.

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When I was a kid, in the olden days before computers, I actually loved to type.  My husband gave me a tablet for my birthday last year, so this USB Typewriter from Uncommon Goods just seems like a perfect fit.

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Speaking of my little tablet, the reason I wanted one in the first place was to read books on it.  I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I think my next one will be Imagine:  How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.  I always find it fascinating to hear a scientist try to explain why we do what we do.

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If you understand the references on this t-shirt, you know why it’s one of my all-time favorite movies.  If you don’t, go find The Princess Bride and watch it.  Right now.  But don’t read the book – it’s truly awful.  Inconceivable.

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I have ridiculously sensitive teeth.  Not because I’m getting older – they’ve always been that way.  I rarely even bother trying to drink something cold without a straw, so I’m pretty sure I need these Bent Glass Straws from Etsy seller ManyMinis.

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I already got a fabulous coffee cup for my birthday from my sister.  It came from Amazon in a GIANT blue velvet bag, which made it extra fun to open.  In case you’re new here, I’m a big Wonder Woman fan.

Wonder Woman

I’ve been on a search for some cute red heels.  I don’t know where I’m going to wear them, it just seems like something that should be available in my closet when I figure it out.  This pair from DSW might be The One.

DSW red shoes

As a graduation gift, we’re taking our daughter and her friend to Disneyland.  This cute Dooney & Bourke bag might not be in the budget (after high school comes college), but I will have to find it there, just so I can see it in person.  No really, I just want to look at it.  Really.

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When my husband and I got married, almost 21 years ago, we decided we didn’t need or want formal china.  A few years ago, I found my “china” in Fiesta ware.  I have quite a bit of it now, but there’s always a new piece or color on my radar.  Right now, it’s this chip and dip set.  Love.

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Do you remember the brownie/cookie dough/cake dessert from last year?  It was heavenly.  This year, I’m leaning toward these Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars from Made with Pink.  Tell me your mouth is not watering right now.

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I’m off to do some celebrating.  Have a great Mother’s Day this weekend!