A Simple Cloth Face Mask

Sigh, with the novel coronavirus circulating it’s a good idea to have face masks for the times when we go out to get groceries or meals. I tried a few different patterns and settled on my own version.

The features I like about this mask are that it’s easy to make and comfortable to wear, as well as conserving elastic, which is hard to find these days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Elastic
  • Cord for ties – I used spare shoelaces and some bias tape stitched closed
  • Sewing machine, thread, scissors

Here’s how to make it:

  • Cut a piece of cotton 8”x 16”
  • Fold in half lengthwise and mark the middle
  • Pin the elastic next to the middle on the right side
  • Pin the ties 3/8” up from the bottom corners
  • Fold lengthwise with right sides facing
  • Leaving a 3” opening on one of the edges to turn the mask right side out, stitch around the edges with a 3/8” seam allowance
  • Using the 3” opening, turn the mask right side out
  • Iron the seams flat and top stitch around the edges
  • Pin three pleats
  • Stitch the two sides to secure the pleats

Here’s how I wear these masks and some of the fun fabric and color combinations I tried:

Hope that helps others who are sewing masks. Stay safe, friends!

Julie aka “Jewels”

The Neutral Pillow Project

Whether you lean towards Scandinavian-inspired, Modern Farmhouse, or California Casual, everything light, white, and wood is in right now – and I love it!

While I’m always excited to incorporate new looks into my home, it takes some creativity to do this – we’ve had most of our major furniture pieces for a decade or more.

One strategy that’s easy on the budget and environment is to change out accessories like pillows. Here are some light and bright ideas that you can use to give your room a new look!

Admittedly, my “things I have in the house already” is rather extensive, but I’m still proud that I managed to make all these pillows with them.

Here are the links to a tutorial on making simple throw pillows and tutorials for the window seat pillows, including bolster and flanged pillows.

Starting with: Ribbon-embellished geometric pillows:

  • I started by sewing lengths of ivory ribbon onto a linen-like fabric in diagonal stripes
  • I then cut out panels to create a chevron or herringbone pattern for two bolster pillows to add a neutral accent to my teal armchairs
  • With the leftover sections of ribbon-embellished fabric, I created one more throw pillow for our living room loveseat

Mudcloth-inspired contrast stitching:

Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring! I took some plain canvas fabric I had and, inspired by the oh-so-popular mudcloth trend, cut it into panels and sewed it together with contrasting navy thread:

There are a million more ideas for sewing simple pillows to change the look of your space – and when I try them all, you’ll see it here!

“Jewels”

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Graphic Modern Fabric

Happy New Year!

I am feel super-stoked about work this year. I have my long-time work “family,” and we have added some strong new staff as well. We are moving to new offices, and I am part of building a new clinic, which is a bit daunting but mostly exciting. To help kick off the new year at work, I decided to make myself a cute laptop sleeve.

 

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

I was inspired by this pattern from Mandi at A Beautiful Mess. I made a few adaptations, like a velcro closure, a sewn-in name tag, and a rectangular flap.

To make your laptop sleeve, you’ll need

  • half yard of outer fabric – I used this graphic modern print
  • half yard of inner fabric – I used dark red faux suede for extra protection
  • quilt batting
  • velcro
  • scrap fabric for label and reinforcement
  • bias binding – mine matches the red on the inside

Start by cutting rectangles out of all three materials. For the width, the fabric should be 1 3/4 inches wider than your laptop on either side. For the length, wrap the fabric around your laptop and add about 6 inches for the flap. I’m lucky the print on my fabric worked out perfectly to line up… I mean I carefully planned and lined up the pattern on my fabric!

I made a label out of scrap muslin and put my name and contact information on it, in case I should ever be so unfortunate as to lose my laptop by fortunate enough to have someone host find it… I sewed this onto the lining fabric, as show below.

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

Next, I laid all three layers together and pinned them to keep them in place. I sewed quilting lines through all three fabrics for most of the sleeve, but I did want to sew across my name tag, so for the top section, I used some scrap fabric for backing and just sewed the outside fabric and batting to the scrap fabric, also shown below (folded over).

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

Next, I added the velcro. For the velcro on the body of the bag, I sewed all the way through, since the velcro is on the outside fabric, and I didn’t mind having stitching on the inside. However, for the velcro on the inside of the flap, I didn’t want the stitching to show on the outside, so I used more scrap fabric for backing, and I sewed the velcro to the inside fabric, batting, and scrap fabric, as shown below.

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

You can see the sleeve taking shape now! I finished one short end of the rectangle with bias binding (shown bel0w) and folded the entire piece to make the sleeve and trimmed some excess from the sides for a snug fit. I pinned the fabric in place to form the shape of the sleeve.

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

I sewed the sides together with a zig zag stitch and then added bias binding to the sides of the sleeve and top of the flap.DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home
 This was a pretty quick and easy project, and I love how it turned out. I think Steve is eyeing the laptop sleeve, and I offered to make one for him, but he does work from home most days and so he has turned me down so far…

Here are some pictures of the finished product!

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home

DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home
DIY Padded Laptop Sleeve in Modern Graphic Fabric | Jewels at Home
Looking forward to many adventures both at work and “at home” in 2016!

“Jewels”

Easy Custom Fleece Christmas Stockings

I made the first of these stockings more than a decade ago, and how our little collection of stockings has grown over the years! I made the first ones when our oldest was born, and back then, it was just Steve, me, baby K, and our old dog Cooper. Over the years, I added extended family for the Christmases we hosted, two more babies, and now, I am very excited to add the stockings for my twin nieces!

Materials:

  • fleece fabric (less than 1/2 a yard per stocking)
  • cuff fabric (only about 7″ long x about 20″ wide – I find scraps for this)
  • ribbon for hanging (5″ long; I also used scraps)
  • iron-on applique letters for name

Instructions:

Make a template for your stocking. I’ve included a half inch seam allowance on my pattern

Use the template to cut out two pieces of fleece.

With the right sides together, sew around the sides and bottom of the stocking, leaving about 7″ open at the back top. Clip the seam allowance around the curves.

Pattern for Easy Custom Fleece Christmas Stockings | Jewels at Home

Cut a cuff that is about 6.5″ tall and 10″ wide. Hem the cuff.

Sew the cuff to the top of the stocking, with the right side of the cuff facing the wrong side of the stocking, as shown.

Pattern for Easy Custom Fleece Christmas Stockings | Jewels at Home

Flip the cuff over as shown. I found it helped to pin it in place for the next step.

Pattern for Easy Custom Fleece Christmas Stockings | Jewels at Home

Line up the edge of the cuff and the stocking and slip your ribbon in, too, with the ends tucked into where you’ll see. Now sew up the last 7″ of the back of the stocking, sewing through the stocking, cuff, and ribbon.

Easy Custom Fleece Christmas Stockings | Jewels at Home

Flip your stocking right side out and iron on the letters!

Easy Custom Fleece Christmas Stockings | Jewels at Home

Easy Custom Fleece Christmas Stockings | Jewels at Home

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!

“Jewels”

Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt

I know it is only November, but I am already getting excited about the upcoming Christmas season. The last few years, I’ve changed up our decorations to have a different theme each season. This year, I decided to go with a retro mid-century Christmas theme. You may remember that I am a big fan of the TV series Mad Men, and I really wanted to have a party to mark the series finale this spring, but life is way too busy, so I decided to have some Mid-Century fun for Christmas. One of my inspirations was this Christmas tree skirt that I saw advertised on mod cloth last year.
It’s sold out now, and it was also smaller than I wanted, so of course I decided to make my own. If you are feeling inspired, here’s how I did it.

You’ll need:

Instructions:

  • I sewed the skirt with the same 60″ diameter as our grey and white tree skirt
  • I then cut out and appliqued the ornaments the way I made appliqued onesies. For the print fabrics, I just did a simple silhouette. For the more solid fabrics, I cut out some shapes, taking inspiration from the Mod Cloth original
  • I sewed the ornaments and ribbons in place, and ta-da!

Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home
Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home  Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home

I’m waiting a few more weeks to set up our decorations, and I am so excited to see this pretty skirt under our tree!

Update: Here are some pictures of the skirt under our tree!

Retro Christmas Ornament Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home


Retro Christmas Ornament Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home
“Jewels”

Sew a Travel Jewelry Case

This travel roll for jewelry is a quick and easy project, proven by the fact I made it the night before we left for family vacation!
Sew a travel jewelry case | Jewels at Home My jewelry roll is perfect for packing necklaces and bracelets, which is what I usually wear.

To make your own, you’ll need

  • 10″x23″ quilted fabric
  • 14″x27″ coordinating fabric for the outside
  • 3/8″ wide grosgrain ribbon, about 42″ total
  • 1″ wide grosgrain ribbon, about 1 yard
  • Thread and sewing machine

I cut the narrow grosgrain into four-inch sections to make the loops.

Next, I lay the small quilted material on the wrong side of the outer material. I folded over a border on all sides, and tucked the loops under the hem, pinning them in place.

Tutorial for a jewelry travel case | Jewels at Home

I stitched down the border, which also secured the loops.

Tutorial for a jewelry travel case | Jewels at Home

To make the outside tie, I folded the wide grosgrain in half and sewed it to one end of the roll, on the outside.

Tutorial for a jewelry travel case | Jewels at Home

And that’s it!

Easy and pretty!

Tutorial for a jewelry travel case | Jewels at Home
Tutorial for a jewelry travel case | Jewels at Home  Tutorial for a jewelry travel case | Jewels at Home
Tutorial for a jewelry travel case | Jewels at Home  

Happy travels!

“Jewels”



  


Big Fleece Blankets for Little Superheroes

My little guy, L, just turned eight, and he’s been planning his first sleepover party for most of the past year! I like to make a special gift for our birthday boy and guests, and L requested a reprise of the fleece blankets I made for his big brother’s party a year and a half ago. He calls his “super,” and sleeps with it every night. I wanted to grant his birthday wish, but I didn’t want to make the exact same project, so here’s this year’s superhero version of our fleece blankets.

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Instead of fringed blankets, I trimmed the fleece in binding. L loves the superhero action words on his original blanket, and that’s no surprise, given he’s such a bundle of energy. I found the same print in a cotton fabric, so I used that for the binding. For each large blanket (60″x72″), you’ll need:

After prewashing the trim fabric, I ironed it and cut 8″ wide strips. I joined the strips and ironed it to make 2″ wide double-fold binding.  I then sewed this to the edges of the fleece blankets that were each 2 yards long.  L requested this longer blanket, since he sleeps with his, but you could use  1.5 yards of fleece for a throw blanket.

To add the monograms, I sketched each boy’s first initial and a large circle (I traced a plate) onto Heat’n Bond, ironed on to some other and bright and superhero-themed fabrics, cut them and appliqued onto the blankets (instructions in the post from our onesie decorating party).

Here are some more pictures of how they turned out.  The boys love them!

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Superhero-themed monogrammed fleece blankets for a boys' sleepover party | Jewels at Home

Hope you are staying warm as winter warms into spring!

“Jewels”

Modern Gray and White Christmas Tree Skirt

For many years, I decorated for the holidays with the same traditional red and green Christmas color scheme.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course – traditions become traditions for good reason!  But after more than a decade of the same style, I decided it would be fun to change up our Christmas look.  Last year, I edited and updated our decorations for a red, turquoise, and silver Christmas.  And this year, I’m in love with a simple gray and white Christmas color scheme.  It makes me feel like I’m getting back to the tranquil snowy outdoors – even if I am in California!

Like last year, when I reinvented many of our decorations with silver paint and ribbons, I wanted to work with a lot of things I had, while adding a few new items.  I’ve also been trying to keep my fabric and craft stash in check, so I pulled out all the gray and white fabrics I could find around the house and started to sew!

First up was a new Christmas tree skirt.  I sewed our original tree skirt 18 years ago, when I was more fond of a cute and country look, and I took this year’s skirt in a complete different direction, making something very sleek and calming.  I started with a grey faux suede upholstery fabric sitting in a corner.  I had bought it to upholster our dining room chairs, and then I decided to make them more whimsical with a printed fabric.

Materials:

  • Grey faux suede fabric, 60″x60″
  • White cotton fabric to make a wide bias binding (I forgot to measure, but I estimate I used a little over a yard of 42″ wide cotton)
  • Narrower white bias binding

Instructions:

  • Cut a 60″ diameter circle from the main fabric
  • Cut a 6″ diameter hole from the center
  • Cut a straight line from the perimeter to the center

Tutorial for a simple gray and white Christmas tree skirt | Jewels at Home

The basic shape for the Christmas tree skirt.

  • Make 5″ wide bias binding from the trim fabric
  • Iron the binding in half to a make 2.5″ wide strip
  • Sew the binding to the two straight edges that makes the opening of the skirt, sewing on the back side of the main fabric with the raw edges lined up
  • Wrap the binding around to the front.  Pin and sew to the front of the skirt
  • Add the binding to the outer edge of the skirt the same way, stretching the edges of the bias binding as you go.
  • Use the narrower binding to finish the inside circle

Tutorial for a simple gray and white Christmas tree skirt | Jewels at Home

Sew the doubled bias binding to the underside of the skirt. Then, wrap the binding around to the front and sew in place.

That’s all! Here’s our new Christmas skirt!

Tutorial for a simple gray and white Christmas tree skirt | Jewels at Home

Modern gray and white Christmas tree skirt.

Tutorial for a simple gray and white Christmas tree skirt | Jewels at Home

Tutorial for a simple gray and white Christmas tree skirt | Jewels at Home

 

Tutorial for a simple gray and white Christmas tree skirt | Jewels at Home

I’ve got a few more white Christmas ideas coming up, and you can start your holiday shopping over at Zulily:

“Jewels”