{ tutorial } festive candle cuffs

Are you ready to get your holiday crafting on?

I told hubs that I would not be stressing myself out this year with all the Making.  I am going to do a lot of shopping on Etsy.  I am going to set realistic goals.  It is so easy to get overwhelmed with making things.  I have this problem with thinking that since I can make xyz, it is my obligation to do so. 

Oh, the furious last minute late night sessions are fun, but I don't want to be disappointed with myself if I don't do it All.  This should be a time for celebration, not stress.  I need to keep telling myself that. 

So with that in mind, here's a quick and easy totally do-able, 5 minute project.  You can check off 'handmade' without also checking off every night of the week.  If you have your supplies ready, you can whip out several of these while watching Modern Family.

Just saying.


You will need:

Glass pillar jar candles (or just wide-mouth glass jars)
a strip of felt cut to wrap and overlap the jar, about a half inch
lace trim, also to overlap a bit
embroidery floss
spare buttons


Wrap the felt around the jar, pin it, and stitch it closed.  On some I used decorative stitches, but it doesn't really matter.  Also, you can slide the cuff off the jar to stitch if it's easier.


Take the lace trim and wrap it around the felt.  The friction of the felt should keep in place for you without pins and such.


Sew your button onto the cuff, making sure the embroidery floss goes through all the layers.  I didn't use any glue between the cuff and the jar-- or anywhere -- and they appear to sit tight just fine.  Also, this means you can always reuse these supplies later without too much hassle.  (Always a bonus in my book.)


Repeat on multiple jars and candles, mixing up your cuff widths, laces and buttons. 


I have already gifted two of my bigger ones and think I'll be rounding up some more for hostess gifts and friends.  Everyone likes an extra cozy candle, right?

{ tutorial } tee-to-tot sundress

As promised....

That cute shirt in your closet?  The one that doesn't fit right or you're just done wearing or from that special vacation?  Don't put it in the Donate pile just yet.  Time for refashion. Tee-to-Tot Sundress style!

Let's go!


Tee?  Scissors?  Elastic Thread?  Coordinating Thread?  Check? Check! (click on any of these photos to enlarge.)

1. Lay your tee flat, keeping in mind the where the design will hit the shirring.  This was a fitted ladies medium.


2. Cut off the arms, and continue down to create an a-line from the body of the shirt. 

3. Stitch up the side seams & trim.  If I were one of the cool kids and had a serger, I would do that on the sides as well.  But I don't.  And that's okay. 


4. Time to Shirrrrr!  Wind your elastic thread around your bobbin -- not too tightly -- and thread it through the machine as normal.  I would switch your stitch to Elastic or a narrow Zig-Zag to keep the extra elasticity of the knit.  If it doesn't matter to you because the shirring will be enough stretchiness, you can do a straight stitch.  Totally up to you. 

I started at a side seam and went around and around until I had about 4 inches of rows, with about 3/8 inch in-between.  Some people mark lines; I use my presser foot as a guide instead because I'm lazy.  When you are done, iron the shirred part.  Wooohooo!  It shrinks up even more.  It's like a magic trick!  Fun.

5.  Resist the urge to shirr everything in your closet.  {I mean it.}   And I also meant what I said about the serger.  I do a lot of sewing and I have never felt I couldn't tackle a project without one.  That's all.


6.  You'll have these wonderful wonky pieces left over.  Cut the folded hemmed sleeves as close to the hem stitch as possible.  I decided to overstitch the sides of them with a pink zigzag, just for contrast.  I love to 'lettuce-edge' my knits for wee ones.  If you pull on the fabric as you are overstitching, it will create this ripply effect.  Really, it will rock your world.

7. I did not get fancy when I attached these new straps to the front.  I estimated where they should go, as Wonderbaby was sleeping, and stretched the shirred part out a bit while I was sewing them on.  I am lucky they did not end up entirely in her armpits.  I would recommend trying it on strapless first.  ;)


8.  My shirt was way too long for 13-mo-Wonderbaby.  I used another one of her dresses as a guide for length, chopped it off, and overstitched again. 


And that, my dears, is it.

10.  Grab a chair and do a photoshoot!





Bonus round:

Use your leftovers and the same general techniques to make a matching headband:


Have fun!  And let me see what you're up to, 'k?