Archive | Sewing

DIY outdoor pillows {for -practically- free!}

diy pillows_edited-1

this project has been on my list for a couple years now. has ANYONE ever priced outdoor pillows? i mean, anyone who lives on a normal or frugal budget priced those suckers? i always hope i’ll find them reasonable somewhere but every.single.time it’s just disappointing. probably because i’m barely willing to spend $5 on a pillow- let alone $35-$50. you read that right. outdoor pillows are PRICEY.

so this little project i’ve been planning and preparing for 2 years now…

you think i’m exaggerating, but i’m not. you will see my crazy in a couple seconds…

and, yes! i made these for free!

what you need:

  • a sewing machine, thread etc.
  • 1 yard +/- outdoor fabric (i already had this- hence why it was free)
  • lots and lots and lots of plastic grocery bags <–the crazy 2 year planning right there folks. i’ve been saving those for a while.

you guys. this is super simple and i was able to finish three pillows during a nap time, so you’ve got this.

start by cutting your fabric into the size of pillow you want. i just guessed. my fabric was an old drape that i had originally used sunbrella indoor/outdoor fabric for. you can find this fabric online at your favorite fabric website, even amazon has it. just make sure it’s outdoor fabric if you want an outdoor pillow! basically, i just cut my yard of 54″ wide fabric into thirds. so they ended up being 18″ wide. 2016-06-06 14.43.18 then fold in half, with right sides together and pin.

2016-06-06 14.43.32

then sew your pillow together!

2016-06-06 15.02.05 just make sure to leave a hole big enough for stuffing the pillow. i should have made mine a little bigger, because it was a little tight. 2016-06-06 15.21.50

guys, this is where my *crazy* comes in.

for stuffing, you use a MILLION plastic grocery bags. i have been saving them for years. i am sure there are easier ways to gather bags. but for me, i just tucked them away in my basement like a hoarder and Husbuddy thought there was something wrong with me.

this was my stash: {puppycakes was very confused}

2016-06-06 15.22.10

minus the huge bag i found after i used these up and needed more and then i just saw yesterday that i have another huge bag downstairs after i finished this project. doh. {remember where you stash your bags, people}

anyway, how AWESOME is this idea for stuffing outdoor pillows?

  • it’s plastic so it’s not going to grow something strange and gross if it gets wet.
  • it’s free because stores just hand these out.
  • it’s recycling to reuse them so it makes you a good person or something…
  • win win win!

ha. {side note, i can’t take all the credit for this idea. i’m pretty sure i saw it on the inter-webs around 2 years ago when i started saving these things… ha. but WHO knows where that was. so if i’m not crediting YOUR brilliant idea please, let me know.}

so anyway, here is the first stuffed pillow. you can see it’s lumpy because i only stuffed it like 3/4 full because i was running out of bags already and i had two more to stuff!

2016-06-06 15.26.02

this is where i may have panicked! but then, i found another stash of bags. the day was saved. (drama much? geez lu eez.)  2016-06-06 15.40.37

2016-06-06 15.50.41 then i just slip-stitched the hole closed and whaala:   2016-06-06 16.14.54

we now have the comfort and class of outdoor pillows without spending almost $100 for them. seriously.

i was a little worried that the plastic stuffing wouldn’t be comfortable, but really, i don’t even notice it. it’s super firm so it’s not like i’d want to sleep on it, but for an outdoor pillow that’s just to lean against and mostly for decoration anyway? super fun!

and free!  2016-06-06 16.15.19  so tell me, who’s gonna start saving those plastic bags for this project? OR, who is already crazy enough to have saved enough to start this project today? fess up people. i know you’re out there.

tee hee.

xoxo-kimberly renee
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happy pillows

lately i’ve been a little sad. i don’t know why really, except that the stress level at our house as been through the roof for so many reasons… so it’s also been just a little depressing at home. today, in order to jolt myself out of the sadness, i made myself some instant happiness.

ha. ok, maybe it doesn’t really work that way… but instead of going out for some retail therapy {or lets be honest…eating another muffin…}, i got crafty.

IMG_2300_puppycakes grumpy about pillows

and getting crafty always brightens the mood, dontcha think?

for my craftiness, i made new pillow covers {which i’ve had on my list to do for years…} i kept it simple, if i had more energy i would have wanted to add ruffles…everything is happy with ruffles… ha, maybe next time.


but really, what’s not happy about them?

vintage sheets were used. fabric i’ve had stored because i just loved it was used. they don’t match, but who cares?  gone were the neutral and boring…in with the bright colors! yellow flowers and bright poppies are making life happy around here!

IMG_2301_puppycakes and pillows

can’t you tell how happy the pillows are making Puppycakes? ha. every time he tries to make himself comfy on the couch, he usually fluffs the pillows and sits right on top of them…i think he doesn’t quite know if he’s allowed to do that with the new bright colors.

note to self: don’t put off your happy projects for so long! 


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it’s been a couple of weeks since i started this post…(you can see we’re still unpacking in this picture!)

and i have yet to completely finish this project… but i still wanted to share it. because we have 14 windows in our new apartment, it is a beautiful light-filled space.

we LOVE it.

the only time we don’t love the light filled space is at 5:30 in the morning. it makes us grumpy.

to remedy the situation i bought fabric and prepared to make some drapes for our little bedroom.

i used this tutorial by Miss Mustard Seed. she explains everything way better than i could. i just thought i’d show you some of the photos from along the way. 

the tricky thing with our bedroom windows is that #1-they’re HUGE. #2-there’s the radiator underneath them so the drapes can’t go all the way to floor. boo. i hate it when drapes don’t go all the way to the floor. but it is what it is.

i ordered my fabric from Joann’s. because we live out in the boonies, the closest Joann’s was at least a 45 min drive and  i just wasn’t in the mood and online is just so easy 😉 but, they were having an awesome sale on Waverly Sun and Shade fabrics… oh look! they still are! i really like this sort of old fashioned looking Chippendale Fretwork design. i also bought the cheapest lining material i could find {what can i say? i didn’t have a job yet!}. as you can see from the picture below… it doesn’t do much…how see-thru can ya get?! but at least it will add an extra layer.

first i measured and cut the fabric and lining. i learned this trick from YHL -to use your area carpets to cut a straight line. genius!!

then puppycakes did his part of the project by chewing on the enormously large cardboard tube that the fabric came on. he sure is helpful.

then Husbuddy brought  home a donut. i don’t eat donuts. it’s a rule. they’re just sugar anyway- who needs that?

…unless the donut is pink frosting with sprinkles. i don’t know why. something inside my can’t resist the food coloring and sprinkles… i’m completely pathetic in my ability to resist the pink. and if it’s rainbow sprinkles it’s even worse.

after i ate it i promptly told Husbuddy he wasn’t allowed to buy me any more donuts.

then i got to sewing. i just followed the tutorial by Miss Mustard seed. the only difference was that i had to use the whole width of the fabric to make the panels wide enough. so i sewed right up to the edge of the pattern.

then i got out our ridiculously small ironing board and crouched on the floor for an hour while i ironed all the seams.

can you tell i don’t get out the iron that often?

then i sewed the slot for the curtain rod. the tutorial said to give it an inch or two… i could have given myself a little extra room but i liked the way it was tight and the way it ruffled.

ta da.

now all i have to do is hem it! {the reason it’s taken me so long to post about this…i really thought i’d get it done first… but i’ve given up waiting!} actually… my goal is to find lace to put on the bottom and to use as the tie. right now i’m just using an old ribbon… but i have greater plans that involve lace.

if i ever get around to it.

for now the light is a little better.   it still comes through because i picked such a cheap lining…note to self… there IS  a reason that lining was so cheap! anyway, even so, it helps a lot. it also makes it feel like we have more privacy. and it adds a little bit of cuteness to the room.

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a shirt update

once upon a time, a clutz was born.


this clutz buys pretty shirts and then…without a doubt… spills, splatters, or drops something on the pretty shirt and stains it. this particular story includes a shirt that somehow got bleach splatters on it.

how you ask?

the clutz pleads the fifth and refrains from commenting.

see that stain on there?

original shirt

the lighting is bad in this photo.

i mean right there:

original shirt-edited

and a couple other places that we don’t need to point out..


so needless to say, this shirt hasn’t been worn since the clutz saw that spot because it’s points out what a clutz she really is.


so anyway, one day this clutz had an idea:


cover up  that spot… and others… with a little ruffled lace! all she had to do was cute a little lacy fabric in a straight(ish) line, ruffle the edges and sew it on! easy peasy.

it was an experiment, and I’m not at all sure I love it… but here’s the final result:

finished shirt

and yes. apparently when trying to take her own picture, this clutz likes to throw her hip out awkwardly to one side. but other than that, this shirt is kind of fun! and now it can be worn again.  it may have been a better idea to do a couple smaller ruffles instead of one fat one… but oh well. this shirt will at least be worn now!

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a pinterest challenge

i got really excited about this YHL post last week.

They’re having another  PINTEREST CHALLENGE!  {a “pinterest challenge”  is when you try to make something you’ve found on Pinterest!}

unfortunately, i’ve been super busy with my silly 31 days thing lately. so, I’m a little worn out and I haven’t really had time to work something out…

O, don’t worry. I still made something. 🙂 hee hee. it’s just not as big and grand as i wished…

A couple of weeks ago, actually, a friend and i were inspired to make pinterest t-shirt scarfs!

She had  found a beautiful inspiration of T-shirt braids like this one:


and I found this  T-shirt material+lace scarf which totally inspired me!


they’re both so fun!

Luckily we had that tutorial for the braided one so that we could figure out how to do the lace one.  I’m totally in love with it:

the scarf

{even if my face looks funny} The only thing I’d change is try to find some larger detailed lace like my inspiration page. Next time!!

I loved mine so much that I made one for my mother-in-law for her birthday yesterday! She has a purple one, hopefully she loves it as much as I do! 🙂

xoxo- kimberly renee

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suzyQ & me

SuzyQ is my sewing machine.




there’s something many of you do not know about my past.

in my past life—2nd grade through highschool— i was secretly a sewing 4H freak.

you’ve heard of 4H right? but when you’ve heard of it, you heard about:

cows and horses and pigs and showing all of those animals at the fair… maybe you’ve even been to a county fair and seen all those animals cared for and showed by 4H farming kids… 🙂 well… there’s 4H in the city too, for all of you uncultured city folk that don’t know about it.

Lil’ miss kim was involved in the club, in the city, where we couldn’t have horses, instead we learned about how the club government worked, how to make a  motion in front of everyone else and all the parents, how to sit through ridiculously boring meetings and lil’ miss kim sewed… and cooked… and learned pottery. But mostly sewed.

That was my “after school activity” that was demanded on me by my well meaning parents. They wouldn’t pay for me to attend club volleyball–noooo– but i was right there in every single darn 4H camp that they could find. All my friends were outside playing hopscotch and going for bike rides when i was inside on my summer vacations sewing cute little skirts and dresses.  You don’t understand yet i think. Iwas INSIDE… on a nice beautiful hot Colorado day… INSIDE sewing… not just sewing… but SEWING PERFECTLY–at least as perfect as my mother could get me to.  If there was one little bump in the seam, out came Torture Tool. I had seam rip all the stitches and do them again. And if not perfectly, again.

Apparently, all this pressure made me somewhat good. Because I won some ribbons. Yes, you’ve seen those pretty purple ribbons on the horses and pigs, but did you ever notice them on the homemade dresses? yup. That was my lot in life. To sew and win pretty purple ribbons. O so thankful for that period of my life. haha. Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?  :-p Not at all you say? Good. I’ve covered it up enough.

Anyway, long story of boorishness in my life to bore you… as soon as i graduated from high school i didn’t sew anything ever again! well… until i got engaged.

Then I realized what a useful skill i have.  and i grew thankful that i know how to read sewing patterns and know all the basics of sewing. I decided to make duvet covers and curtains. it saved us some money and my husband to be was impressed! Thanks Mom!

And then, when I graduated from my Masters program my parents bought me my own sewing machine! 🙂

There ya go…now you know the history and the love/hate relationship I have with SuzyQ.

Fast forward to this weekend. I finished the first dress that I’ve made since 4H!

phew! so happy to be past that hurdle.  It only took like 7 months… from the time I decided to make a wrap dress(September-see it was supposed to be for work in the fall) to yesterday( now the fabric may be too heavy for summer…) to finish it. In reality it only took me about 4 days of actually working on it. But it took all those long months to complete it.

And you want to know the irony of why it took me so long?

I had to ask Mommy for help.

😮 haha. Just like those dreaded 4H days. When she visited a couple of months (January mind you) ago I showed her my problem. apparently I had confused the meanings of “pleats” and “darts” -does anyone actually know the difference? ha. So once she showed me the error of my ways, i was back on track… this past weekend(yes, the middle of march…nope don’t procrastinate one bit!).

But it’s DONE! Just don’t look too closely because I did not have the strength to judge myself too harshly after trying to be so perfect on the sewing machine all my life. Remember, I wanted this to be a happy experience.  🙂

sorry to bore you with this story!! This is mostly just to show my Mother my finished product 🙂 So if you made it through that-bravo! 🙂

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