Tag Archives: t-shirt

Mini Mouse

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Above is the beady little face only a cat can love–especially when stuffed with catnip! These little guys are a bit labor intensive for the small package, but just wait until your cat goes bonkers over them. You’ll be so proud of yourself.

What you’ll need: fabric, twine or yarn for the tail, stuffing, and catnip. I hand stitched these but there is no reason you can’t use the machine for the first few steps, especially if you plan on making many of them.

This project is perfect for an old t-shirt. If you’ve been into making t-shirt yarn lately and have a bunch of sleeves and chests left over without any idea of what to do with them, here is a great use because these mice use up small snippets of fabric. And the t-shirt is nice because it is stretchy and you can make fat little mice.

Start off by cutting two half circles for the body and two small circles for the ears.
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Place the two pieces together. If your fabric has a good side and a bad side, put both bad sides together. Decide which end will be the “head” and cut a slit until about half way down. I only showed one side in the photo above, but you really should cut them together so they are even.

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I’m sorry, I skipped like three steps in the next photo. It’s just that you get really involved in the “production” of them and forget to take pictures. But the next photo reflects what the mouse looks like after attaching the ears and sewing on the tail.

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I will try and explain as well as possible, though. Take one of your little ears (circle) and roll it like a waffle cone so it’s a little wider on top. Take the rolled ear and stick the end through the slit and fold back the half circle so that you are holding the ear inside the fabric. At this point you should see only a small end of your rolled eat and have a seam to sew up along that slit you previously cut into the half circle. Now you have to do the same thing on the other side so that they mirror each other. When you are done with both ears, you will have two semi-circles again, but this time with ears in the middle-ish. Stick them together so the ears are inside.

Next we attach the tail by having one end of the tail stick out the back end. If there is a good end and a bad end to your tail, have the bad end stick out the back. It will be inside when you flip the mouse inside out.

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It may help to roll up the tail so you can keep it all inside if you have a particularly long tail. Starting with your tail end, start stitching along the outer half circle to close up the two sides. Stop at ears. Then sew along the straight bottom edge to close up the seam.

You are now ready to flip it inside out and should have all of your seams closed up except for “face” area.

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At this point, you have to decide whether you want to put whiskers and eyes on the little mouse. Trust me, the cat will play with it regardless, so you really can skip it… But they are so much cuter with the little details.

Now is the time to add eyes and whiskers if you want them. I used regular thread, but if you have something a little thicker, sewing some eyes on the thing will be sooo much easier. The eyes are self-explanatory. Stitch a circle with the thread.

The whiskers, those required more creativity… And explanation. We are essentially going to make one stitch– on the inside. Thread your string but don’t tie it off. Starting on outside of mouse, you want to pull thread through create a small stitch inside and pull back out. Leave the thread long for the moment. About one half inch from one end, tie a knot (enough to not pull through). Now pull through from other end until the knot stops the thread (yay, one whisker has emerged!). As for the other whisker, you now need to tie a knot on the other side of the stitch to keep whisker from pulling through. See the second photo below to understand how the stitch is on the inside and the first photo to see how the knot on the outside keeps it from pulling through.

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Now all of our hard work is done and we can stuff the little rodents. I used poly-fiber stuffing as well as catnip to make them nice and fat. Just shove it in there.

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When the mouse is as full as you want it, stitch up the face. Just pay attention to where the eyes and whiskers are so they line up.

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Final step: find a cat.

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Savvy Save

This basic, ultra-functional, little cotton v-neck was about to become a new headband, or flower pin, or whatever was the t-shirt project of the hour was on Pinterest. I unknowingly splashed some drain cleaner on it the last time I wore it and next thing I knew, it had little splotches on it.

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I thought about trying to salvage by tie-dying, but I don’t really care for tie-dye, so I probably wouldn’t wear it. But, the bleach thing I could work with. Playing with bleach didn’t have to be in concentric circle format, after all. So I took a chance and decided to paint with bleach.

I grabbed a couple of q-tips, a shallow small bowl with a small amount of bleach, and some contraption to keep the front of the t-shirt from touching the back and keeping the fabric somewhat taut. I used a glass baking dish.

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Then I went for it. I tried to use the splotches to guide my design. Obviously, with the q-tips as my “brush”, precision was not going to happen.

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You are only limited here by your creativity, and tools. Obviously, if I had wanted to get really artistic, I could have used a finer point on my painting instrument. I did read online that bleach will dissolve synthetic fibers, so careful, both on the fabrics and brushes you use. Be patient, too. The fabric will continue to lighten and if you keep adding bleach to the design your shapes will run together. As when I was done with my design and satisfied with the bleachiness of my dots, I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed the shirt with water and then threw it in the dryer.

I also found out online that this is old news. I am not a genius. It’s been done before and there are a lot of posts about it. I guess now there is one more!

This was my end product, which I am pretty sure I will wear. If not, I can always make headbands out of it.

Clever Leather(like) fabric roses

Sometimes I make really cool things completely by accident. And since I didn’t intend to make it…I didn’t take before-hand pictures. I was cutting up this old t-shirt to make T-shirt yarn after I saw this done on Pinterest, and had the leftover part with these big shiny black numbers. I separated non-number having t-shirt strips for random projects and also started cutting the numbers into strips. I was left with these shiny 1/2″ strips.

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See, the back is just t-shirt fabric. So, I started with my go-to flower, the rose, and by the time I was done, I realized I had created a leather-looking flower! Kinda cool.

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Tank top up cycle

So I had this ratty old tank with a hole in it that I had been hanging onto for who knows what reason. It was just so soft and I thought a use would eventually come to me.
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See…the hole is pretty obvious. I was finally inspired to cut it up when I saw this great head band idea on Pinterest. This I could totally do. Here is my version of this project.

1) Cut a long strip about 1 1/2 ” thick. Make sure to use the seam here as a natural end for the headband.

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2) Measure the strip so that it will go around your head, but so the ends just meet. The jersey material is stretchy so don’t worry you’ll go too small. Cut the strip into three strips only up to seam. Do not cut through stitching of seam.

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3) braid length of strip making sure it doesn’t get all twisty. Secure end with something if you are not going to sew right away.

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4) place ends together and fold the braided end into the seam so there is a nice, smooth finish.

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I was so proud of myself. These were easy and now I didn’t have to get those elastic headbands from the store. You can get creative, too and make them a little fancier. I took one strip, about 1/4 inch thick and cut that into three really thin strips (like, thin enough to thread beads). Cutting the ends at an angle helps to thread the beads. 20130421-211117.jpg20130421-211719.jpg
I originally intended to do this braided thing where the beads always end up on the outside but my tank fabric was not structured enough for this. So I just threaded several beads per strand and then randomly spaced them out. 20130421-211727.jpgIt turned out really cute.

Of course, this project doesn’t use up all the tank. Even if you made a dozen headbands, you would still have scraps left over. I had the seams from the neck and arm holes and small strips I had cut of from the length.

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I didn’t want to throw them away. So I started making flower pins.

The seams were perfect for a rosette because they are already folded for you! It made a very contemporary, compact flower.
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The strips I ruffled by using a running stitch and then pulling taught until I got the ruffle I wanted. 20130421-211210.jpg20130421-211154.jpg<I then sewed the ruffle around until I got a the desired effect. 20130421-211159.jpgTotally adorable. 20130420-131123.jpg20130420-141521.jpg20130420-141528.jpg

I also made a third type of florette. A simple string of five circles, folded in half and connected with a running stitch.

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