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Friday, March 11, 2016

Pouf Ottoman

DIY Pouf Ottoman

I found in the clearance section of Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts store a 54-inch wide suede-like fabric for chair/sofa covers, at $7.00 per yard. I thought right away of making a pouf ottoman because the material is soft but thick enough and doesn't need any lining. It's also a bonus for me that it's manufactured in the USA.

The sewing instructions from here was my guide; HGTV pattern is here. I didn't follow exactly as the instructions. I only pasted together 1 triangle and one rectangle, folded the material, made marks where the rectangle and triangles would be, traced the triangle part only, then cut them, and unfolded the material creating just one piece instead of 8 pieces. Leaving the rectangle portion uncut doesn't seem to make a difference on the finished product if it is properly stuffed. Sewing just the triangles probably saved me lots of time. The center opening was left open for filling and hand stitched to close. I still have plenty of leftover material to cover 2 throw pillows and maybe a tote bag too.

I added a button on both top and bottom of the finished ottoman to create a tufted look. I sewed on metal washers first; the leather-covered button is then glued on to the washer and the colorful button is sewed on. It's easy to snip off the washer if I want to change the buttons later.

DIY Pouf Ottoman

I didn't realize how large the ottoman is at almost 25 x 20 inches and it needed a lot of stuffing. I filled it with old towels, old bed sheets that occupy much needed space in the basement, and poly fiber fill from recycled material, also made in the USA. This is my first time making a pouf ottoman and it took 3 hours to cut, sew, and stuff. I'm happy with it and will attempt to make a smaller version with leather remnants in my stash.

Sorry for lack of photos during the process.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Leather USB Cable Organizer

DIY Leather Cord Organizer

USB cables for Android phone, Kindle, and tablets can be used interchangeably [except iPod] but sometimes the gadgets have to be charged all at the same time. So I bought a 4-port USB wall charger and was given free 6 cables with the purchase. Too many cables are all over the place, it's annoying. Getting a cord organizer from the store is not an option because 99% of what you can buy are made in China. I avoid buying Made-In-China whenever possible.

I used a 3-ounce basket weave embossed Italian cowhide and cut a 9 x 18-inch piece. I could have avoided using the sewing machine by just cutting the leather but I want to protect the charger further by creating pockets. I folded the bottom, sewed the sides, and added another stitch a little off-center for 2 pockets.

The organizer has the iPod cable, two 3-foot cables, and one 5-foot cable. I can sew another strip if needed later. For the closure, I cut two 1-inch "buttons" similar to the ones on envelopes, sewed them by hand, and knotted a very thin leather cord to the bottom button. It's easy to wind/unwind to the upper button.

DIY Leather Cord Organizer
DIY Leather Cord Organizer

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Leather Tassel

Leather Tassel Leather Tassel

I made a leather tassel for a recently crafted reversible fabric purse. The blue side I think needs a litte color, although I love its clean look. Leather tassel key holders are very easy and fun to make and can be adjusted to desired size and thickness. For this project I used a piece of pink lambskin. I'm happy with the tassel although I should have cut a longer strip for a fuller tassel.

To make key ring leather tassel:
14 x 4 inch strip of leather (ultrasuede if available)
4 x ¾ strip inch of leather
½ inch 3M 465 transfer tape
metal split key ring
  • On wrong side of the bigger strip of leather, draw a ¾ inch line from one long end which will become the top of the tassel. Draw a vertical line 3 inches from the right edge. Cut this small piece off. Draw guidelines every inch on the wrong side of the leather. With a pair of scissors, cut 1/8 inch wide thin strips.
Leather Tassel
  • Apply a piece of transfer tape on the middle of the small leather strip. Burnish and remove backing. Fold both sides towards the center and press to seal. Fold down to make a loop; sew to the upper left edge of the tassel. Apply transfer tape along the entire length of the ¾ inch section. Starting at the loop end, roll up the tassel. Attach the split key ring.

I also attached a store-bought miniature leather cowboy hat key ring to the tassel.

Leather Tassel

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Cast Iron Skillet Handle Mitts

DIY Skillet Handle Mitt
DIY cast iron skillet handle mitts

I seem to burn my cast iron skillet handle mitts frequently. I get them from Amazon at $7 for 2 pieces. The cost is not much but I find them too long for the short handles. They catch fire easily from the gas burners.

I couldn't find shorter ones from the stores so I bought batting material and made them at least an inch shorter. I've never sewn something with bias tape and found it a bit difficult to handle specially with a multiple layer project which looks simple to make but actually takes a bit of effort. I made a second one without bias tape for under 20 minutes including the time for quilting. I just turned the thing right side out like a sock. The edges are not finished but they are inside and won't be seen anyway.

This is a good project for remnants. 

DIY Skillet Handle Mitt
burnt upper portion of store-bought mitts

Cast Iron Skillet Handle Mitts
outside fabric
lining fabric
cotton batting or towel fabric

  • Measure the handle of the skillet. 
  • Draw a rectangle doubling your measurements on a tissue paper. Add &34; inch on all sides. Cut the pattern. 
  • Cut 1 piece each for outside fabric and lining fabric, and 2 layers of thermal batting or towel fabric. [I didn't like the crinkly sound of the batting with metallic stuff and used 3 layers of the cotton for the second mitt.]
  • Pin the materials together with the outside fabric facing down and lining material facing up. 
  • Starting in one corner, sew straight across to the opposite corner, repeat sewing from the other corner across to the opposite side. Keep sewing on left and right sides until you have created a quilted pattern. 
  • Fold  and pin the upper ¾ inch of outside material over onto the lining. Sew. Fold in half outside material together and pin the open side and bottom. You can either sew straight or rounded bottom. Sew from the bottom to the open side leaving the top open. Turn right side out. 
DIY Skillet Handle Mitt
the batting with metallic insert on the right makes a slight crinkly sound

DIY Skillet Handle Mitt
the DIY mitt is one inch shorter than the Lodge brand but I think it's still too long

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