swimsuits

Last year, the whole online sewing community became more comfortable with sewing swimwear thanks to Heather of Closet Case Files and the launch of her Bombshell Swimsuit pattern.  I don’t know about you, but I have more confidence than ever now when it comes to sewing swimwear – heck, I made two new bikinis already this year!  They’re not as scary to sew as it seems, and it can be a lot cheaper than buying a new swimsuit off the rack at a department store…plus, you don’t get the “yuck” factor of trying on something a bunch of other ladies have squeezed into before you.

(Funny story – I used to be a merchandising manager for a department store, and would try on new swimsuits I liked as soon as they came off the truck before they hit the selling floor.  That way, no one else would have tried them on before me, they were fresh!  Once July 4 rolls around, the peak of swimsuit shopping season, I don’t recommend trying on swimsuits…if you catch my drift!)

Swimsuit sewing patterns are a lot cuter nowadays, and the styles are really on trend!  It’s easy to copy some of your favorite RTW suits for a fraction of the cost, as shown above.  Here’s the patterns:

1. Bombshell Swimsuit – two different versions, plus a high-waisted bikini bottom
2. McCall’s 5400 – also some cute bikini options
3. Kwik Sew 4003 – my go-to bikini pattern, you can leave off the ruffles
4. Simplicity 1426 – try converting the bra top into a retro bikini top!

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In case you’re in a time crunch and looking for some last-minute gifting or decorating idea, here’s some quick DIYs that can be made in just a few hours (or less!).


DIY Christmas Giftwrap Headband


1. Christmas Gift Wrap Headband


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2. Yarn Ball Ornaments


Boyfriend Scarf


3. Boyfriend Scarf


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4. Quicky Fleece Blanket


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5. Sweater Art


Joan Holloway Inspired Brooch


6. Vintage Inspired Pin

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I’m so lucky to be a participant on Jessica’s blog, Mad In Crafts, for her “Mad For Mad Men” feature! Each day through March 25 (the season 5 premiere of Mad Men), she’ll be showcasing a craft blogger with a Mad Men inspired craft. Click on over today to see my tutorial for a Joan Holloway-esque brooch.

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I guess I’ve always been a fan of Valentine’s Day.  I loved picking out which Barbie valentines I’d give to my classmates for our parties in elementary school, I buy those candy conversation hearts for fun every year, and I always dress up on Valentine’s Day in red with some kind of heart-shaped accessory.  This sequin heart pin adds just enough sparkle to any holiday outfit and has several wearable options- it could be customized to be a hair clip or pendant depending on the size you decide to make your heart.
Materials:
Red felt
Sequin strand, approx. 1 yd
Glue gun and glue inserts
Craft scissors
Paper
Pen
Directions:

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Step 1.  Fold a piece of paper in half and draw half of a heart shape along the crease – you know, like how you used to make hearts in school.  Cut out your shape and unfold it to get your template that will be used for cutting out the felt.

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Step 2. Cut out two heart shapes from the felt using your paper template.  I found it easiest to fold the felt in half and cut out the two shapes at once so that they would be uniform.

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Step 3
. Glue around the edges of one heart and place the second heart on top of the first, creating a heart “sandwich.”  Go back and fill in any holes with more glue so that all edges are securely glued together.

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Step 4
. Place a dot of glue at the center top of the heart and secure beginning of sequin strand.  Carefully apply glue to outer edge of heart and press sequins into glue, making sure strand doesn’t become twisted.

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Step 5
. Continue to apply glue to outer edge of heart until the entire outer edge of the heart shape is covered in sequins.  Repeat again, this time placing glue and sequins next to first row of sequins.  Continue gluing and placing sequins in a clockwise fashion until felt is no longer showing through.

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Step 6.  Secure last sequin with a dot of glue and trim remaining sequin strand.  Your heart should look like the one above.  Once the glue has dried, remove any pesky hot glue strands and excess glue that may have oozed out onto the sequins during the gluing process.

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Step 7. Apply a line of glue to the center back of the heart shape and press pin back into glue.  Wait for the glue to dry before wearing.

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DIY Christmas Giftwrap Headband

Need a festive accent to wear with your “bedazzled” Christmas sweater at the party this week?  My snap-your-fingers easy headband can be whipped up in the time it takes to bake a batch of sugar cookies, and I’m sure you have all the materials on hand in your gift wrapping arsenal…well, maybe not the headband, but I’m sure you have one kicking around the house somewhere.

Materials:

Headband
Metallic curling ribbon
Mini sticky gift bows
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Directions:

Starting at one end of the headband, wrap the curling ribbon around the end and secure with a drop of glue.  Apply more glue to a small section of the headband and wrap the curling ribbon around, slightly overlapping each wrap of ribbon with the next.  Keep applying glue to sections and ribbon wrapping until the entire headband is completely covered in ribbon.  Secure ribbon at opposite headband end in the same fashion as the beginning.
I decided to then wrap additional ribbon in a contrasting color around the headband in more of a “candy cane” stripe style, repeating the same process of gluing each ribbon pass in place with the hot glue gun.
For the mini gift bows, trim the sticky paper (don’t removed the backing!)  to the same width of the headband so that there will be no excess hanging off the headband when the bow is glued on.  Position the bows to where you’d like on the headband and glue them on.

Now you can rock around the Christmas tree in style!

DIY Christmas Giftwrap Headband

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