picklesink

A mom, a dad, and two nutty kids.

What’s ha-pinning?

What, me? NO! I don’t know what you’ve heard, but I would never…NEVER!! I SWEAR!! I mean, probably never… NO! There are FOUR LIGHTS!!! I’ll never crack so OMG JUST STOP ASKING OKAY OKAY OKAY FINE I DID IT I JOINED PINTEREST NOW ARE YOU HAPPY???

How do I feel about Pinterest, you ask? I hate it. HATE IT. In a weirdly irresistible way. Do you remember Choose Your Own Adventures? I despised those books. I would read them through once the way you were supposed to, and then I would go back, choice by choice, to read each of the other possible paths in a logical, step-wise fashion, until I had uncovered all of the possible permutations. Pinterest is one giant, frustrating, inescapable, Choose Your Own Adventure. Trying to take it all in is like, as my big brother so aptly described the internet in 1995, drinking from a fire hose.

As a blogger, I decided that I needed a Pinterest presence, so I joined, but I have composed a Pinterest Code of Conduct  to keep my usage under control:

1. I will NOT travel more than 2 layers deep from any 1 pin (if I click on a pin, and it shows me a board, and I click on another pin on that board, I will NOT go any farther).

2. I will ONLY repin those DIY or craft ideas I can envision myself ACTUALLY DOING in the foreseeable future. Or ever.

3. I will NOT repin a pin without first clicking through to the original link, thus saving myself from the embarrassment of repinning something like this

Water marbles

Screenshot of infamous “water marbles” pin.
©PicklesINK 2013

with the caption, “Water marbles! Crazy how a few kitchen ingredients will make these. Weird, I can’t wait to try,” which when clicked, directs you not to the instructions you are expecting but instead to an article decrying the whole concept as a video hoax.

4. If I try something, and it doesn’t work, I will comment on it to save others the frustration. (WD-40 to clean your burner pans? DOESN’T WORK. Just FYI.)

Signed ______________________

I encourage you to take the Pinterest Pledge too!

Having waded through Pinterest for a couple of weeks, following the rules I set for myself, I do have one amazing success story — yesterday, combining ideas from a couple of pins (how to make a skirt out of a men’s shirt and how to make a child’s dress out of an old t-shirt), I FREAKING MADE A DRESS FOR MOLLY.

My to-do list for this week included:

To-do list

To-do list excerpt:
– learn to sew
– make cool stuff
©PicklesINK 2013

Simple enough, right? I had been looking at tutorials for how to make grown-up tank-top/t-shirt/men’s shirt dresses and got all excited to make one for myself. Then I tried to wrap one of Ian’s old shirts around my waist and realized that for it to work, either my hips had to be a size XXXS or the shirt had to be an XXXL.

New plan: Dress for Molly!

Molly in dress

Molly in upcycled shirt(s) dress.
©PicklesINK 2013

Without further ado, I present to you:

How to make a toddler dress out of a child’s t-shirt and a men’s dress shirt.

Please note I am the most NOVICE of sew-ers so my sewing instructions will be vague and the terminology probably entirely inaccurate.

You will need: scissors, child’s shirt, men’s dress shirt, sewing machine, pins.

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Child’s shirt, men’s shirt, scissors (not pictured: sewing machine, pins)
©PicklesINK 2013

1. Cut off the child’s shirt 1″ below where you want the skirt to be attached and cut off the men’s shirt just below the armpits or just below the pocket if there is one.

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Where to cut child’s shirt
©PicklesINK 2013

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Where to cut men’s shirt
©PicklesINK 2013

2. Sew a gathering seam on the men’s shirt: Set your stitch length to a long setting (4 or 5) and sew a seam all the way around about 1″ below where you cut. Knot one end of both threads and then pull on the other end, sliding the fabric back on the thread to gather it. Gather it until it is the same circumference as the bottom of the child’s shirt and then spread the gathers evenly and knot the other end of the threads. If I’m not explaining this well, Google it or check your sewing machine’s instruction manual, but you probably know how to do it better than I do!

3. Pin the top of the men’s shirt (now the skirt) and the bottom of the child’s shirt (now the bodice) together with the outsides facing in to each other.

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The inside of the dress at the waist seam.
©PicklesINK 2013

4. Sew this seam together. I tried to do this with a straight stretch stitch, but I don’t think I was particularly successful (it doesn’t really stretch) and still seams (heheheheh) fine. Now turn it right side out and admire your work!

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Finished dress. PRAISE ME!! PRAISE ME!!
©PicklesINK 2013

5. If there is a pocket, and if you want to, carefully detach the pocket from the leftover piece of men’s shirt and reattach it to the skirt (Molly LOVES pockets, so this was the highlight of the dress for her).

6. Show it to everyone you know, either in person or through the use of social media, because you are SEW FREAKING AWESOME!!!! <—- see what I did there??

Who knows? Maybe there’s hope for me and this Pinterest thing after all.

~ karyn

Four lights

There are FOUR lights (Pinterest logo).
©PicklesINK 2013

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I’m calling it a knight!

I come from a long short well, a line, anyway, of fabulous Hallowe’en costume-makers, ie. my mom, who as well as being a fantastic doctor and a very smart lady is also an excellent seamstress. (Seriously. How can I live up to that?)

Every Hallowe’en my brothers and I would each decide what we would like to be, and mom would make it happen. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Sure! Here’s your giant puffy brown felt shell that fits on like a backpack! Batman and Batgirl? No problem! Have an intricately sewn bat-logo and handcrafted button-up utility belt with loops and pouches for your tools and weapons. (Worn over a leotard and tights worn over a snowsuit. I did vow that I would never make my kids wear a snowsuit under their costumes unless it was ACTUALLY SNOWING). Devil? Okay, one red pantsuit, caplet, tail, and hood with puffy horns coming up!

Hands down, her crowning achievment though was the creation of adult-sized Teletubby costumes using toddler-sized patterns for a sailing regatta costume contest (We won. And immortalized the line, “La-la wants a BEER!”).

Anyway, when it comes to Hallowe’en costumes I have big shoes to fill. This year Molly chose a princess costume at the store and Ben decided that in keeping with the theme Molly had set, he would be a brave knight. (Molly has since changed her mind and decided to be Santa, but that’s a whole other story).

Ben and I looked online for costumes but I was unhappy with the shipping charges. A trip to the dollar store looking for a sword inspired me and I decided that I could make the costume myself, so I stocked up on materials and went for it.

Brave Knight Costume

Materials needed: 1 reflective car windshield sunshade, felt (2 colours), black hockey tape, and scissors.

©PicklesINK 2012

Step 1: Fold sunshade in half width-wise and cut into approximately t-shirt shape, curving down from the shoulders and widening slightly at the bottom. NB – All of these pictures show the costume folded over – the top of the shoulders is NOT cut and it looks the same on the other side.

©PicklesINK 2012

Step 2: Cut pointed strips from waist down with small spaces between them to form “skirt” of armour. Repeat on the other side.

©PicklesINK 2012

Step 3: Edge the entire costume with black hockey tape.

©PicklesINK 2012

©PicklesINK 2012

Step 4: Make a 2-colour design out of felt to be your brave knight’s symbol. I went for simplicity and made a shield, but other options include cross, lion, dragon, or anything your brave knight can think  of of which your brave knight can think. (That’s for my brothers.) I edged and attached it with hockey tape as well but glue would also work.

Ta-da! ©PicklesINK 2012

Add a black belt and weapons and your brave knight is ready to do battle!

I know I hit it out of the park this time when Ben came to inspect my progress as I was half-way through the hockey tape border. His jaw dropped and eyes widened and he gasped and said, “I LOVE it!” Now he has another project for me – he said yesterday, “Mommy, now you have a big job to do – make a dragon costume for daddy.”

MO-O-O-O-OMMM…HELP??

~ karyn

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