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DIY Duster

Ever since I found this tutorial on Sew Much Ado for a diy swiffer duster, I've been meaning to make a couple of my own. Of course after seeing the tutorial months ago I thought I would be able to remember the tutorial without looking it up again. 
Mine turned out slightly different but still works like a charm. 

Instead of using flannel I used microfiber cloth. I am sure that these are a lot more expensive but seeing that hubby had about 20 of them stashed away with his car cleaning stuff, I figured he wouldn't notice if a few went missing :)

I cut my microfiber cloths into 6 pieces, each measuring about 4X6.

After mixing and matching colors to get the look you want, stack and sew 6 pieces together. Sewing straight down the center from the top and stopping about an inch and a half from the bottom.

Then flip over the top two pieces of cloth and, lining the center of the swiffer up with the center of the cloth, trace around the swifter. Repeat this with the other side. Now sewing only the two middle pieces together, sew along the line you just drew leaving an opening were the curves are.

Beginning with the top layers, make cuts every half inch or so, stopping about 1/4 inch from your stitches.

Once done, slip in your swiffer handle and get dusting!!

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Elf Stocking

Ok, so I may be a little biased but I think that these have got to be the cutest stockings ever.

You want to know my favorite part about these stockings?? 
They are made from dresses that once belonged to Great Grandma!!
A little over a year ago Grandma gave me a HUGE bag full of dresses and fabric scraps. 
The story from Grandma is that once it became acceptable for women to wear pants, Great Grandma wanted nothing more to do with dresses at all. She gathered up all of her dresses and skirts and gave them to her daughter (Grandma) and wore nothing but pants from then on.
My Grandma had plans of one day making a quilt out of them but never got around to it. They have been sitting in storage all this time. That was until a little over a year ago when Grandma passed them on to me to create something wonderful out of. 
Is that not the coolest story ever!! I love family history. 
Now my girls have a part of their Great Great Grandma that they can pass down to their children one day.

Want to make one of your own?
*Warning: This is a very long post. I made several mistakes with my first stocking so I added tones of detail to make sure you don't make the same mistakes.

First you have to call your Great Grandma and ask if she would donate any of her old dresses. 
If your Great Grandma is no longer around or she does not want to part with any of her dresses you could just use any fabric that you have lying around. 
( I added a few 'newer' scraps to one of the stockings I made)
 I googled elf stockings and found a few adorable 'FREE' pattern.
However, I wanted something a little larger (although I'm sure there is a way to enlarge a pattern on the computer before printing it. But I have no idea how to do that) so I ended up making my own.
I started with a paper grocery bag. Tearing it along the seam in the back that is holding it together. I also tore apart the seams on the bottom of the bag. Cutting might be more productive but I prefer to do things the hard way. 
Either way you do it, You should end up with one large piece.
Now draw something that resembles an elf stocking.
Then erase it.
Draw it again.
Keep doing this until you get it perfect.
I used a plate to help me draw the rounded heal and toe. 
Once you have something you are happy with, cut out your pattern.
Decide what fabric you want to use then cut a few strips 1 1/2 - 3 inches wide. The length of your strips will depend upon the width of the top of your stocking. 
You want your strips to extend about a half inch on either side of your pattern.
Sew together just enough strips to cover the straight part of the stocking. 

This next part is a little tricky. If anyone knows an easier way I would love to here it. 
I wanted my fabric to curve with the heal and toe so I cut the rest of the fabric as I went. 
Laying your fabric down on top of the pattern, decide the size and shape for the next piece of fabric.
Cut. Sew. Then repeat.
I did this for the rest of the front piece.
Sewing each piece on before cutting the next piece.
Sorry! Did not realize how blurry this photo was til I uploaded it
 Once all your pieces are sewn together. Iron your fabric 
(Just in case you didn't know, ironing really old, delicate fabric, is a pretty scary thing. I had the iron on the lowest setting and slowly adjusted it. I was so afraid I was going to ruin it)
Now lay your pattern down on top of your fabric and trace along the entire pattern.

Lets just pretend that this has been ironed and there is a pattern traced on it.
The back was a lot simpler. Decide what fabric you want for the back. Cut your fabric slightly larger than your pattern. 
Lay your front and back pieces together. Make sure the right sides are facing each other. Then sew along your entire pattern. 
:Note: I do not add seam allowance to most of my projects, I just cut the fabric slightly larger than my pattern. Sew right on the line I drew then trim away any excess fabric. This is what works for me.

Make sure you add a few extra stitches to the toe so that it does not come undone when you turn it inside out and iron.
Now you can trim around your stocking cutting away any excess fabric. If you added a seam allowance in the first place this step may not be necessary.

Now onto the lining. 
Trace your pattern onto your fabric but stop before you get to the toe part. 
Her is a photo to show you what I mean.

I know you can barely see my drawing but I hope you get the point.
You don't want candy and toys getting lost in the toe.

Cut another piece of fabric the same size and placing wrong sides together. Sew around your pattern.
Cut away any excess fabric. 
Once I had this complete I placed the lining into the stocking placed it over the edge of counter to admire my progress. 

I was not happy.
I took the lining out stuffed the toe then replaced the lining.
Much Better!

Now onto the cuff. 
Measure the top of your stocking, double it, then add an inch for seam allowance. 
Cut a strip of fabric this length and about 7 inches wide. 
(7 inches worked for my pattern. Use a width that you think will work for yours.)
Now cut and sew a bunch of 7 inch strips of fabric together until you get a length equal to your previous piece.
For example.
My stocking measured 9 1/4 inches.
Double that to 18 1/2
then add an inch to 19 1/2
I decide to make mine easy and rounded up to 20 
This meant I could use 10, 2 inch (2 and a half after adding seam allowance) strips to equal 20 inches. 
If you are slightly off on the measurements it doesn't matter since the seams will be coming together on the back of the stocking so no one will see it anyways.

To make the points draw two straight lines across the length of the fabric then connect them with a  zig-zag pattern, placing the bottom points in the center of each strip and the top points along the seams of the strips. 

Be sure to stop about a 1/4 inch from the ends to allow for seam allowance.

Sew along your zig-zag pattern (double stitching around the corners). Trim off your excess fabric and turn inside out. Iron.

Now fold in half, right sides together, and sew to desired length (when folded it should be equal to the width of the top of your stocking.)

Sorry, due to technical difficulties a few photos got deleted from my camera.

Place the about 1 half inch of the raw edge of your cuff inside your stocking between the outer layer and liner. Make sure that your seam is in the back.  Pin in place. 
Cut a piece of ribbon and fold in half (this will be used to hang your stocking).
Place ribbon between your cuff and liner at the seam of the liner. 

Sorry, still no photos. Hope these help

Cuff tucked into stocking
Ribbon sewn between cuff and liner.

Sew around entire cuff, double stitching over the ribbon. 
Flip your cuff over and voila...


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Advent Calendars

Check out these awesome advent Calendars I found via Pinterest

The Motherload
Things I Made
Narrating Life
At Home with Kim Vallee
The Purl Bee
Southern Savers

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