Tag Archives: DIY

My “Plarn” Crochet Beach Bag

23 Jun

So me and the husband decided to take advantage of his leave time and our fairly close proximity to the gulf coast and have a beach vacation. I haven’t been to the beach in ages, and I realized that I didn’t have a beach bag. Gasp! I’ve been working hard to reign in my impulse spending, and since I had already bought a pair of shoes and a dress (both of which don’t really fit in my overcrowded closet), I decided to make my own bag. I’d been wanting to whip my hooks out anyway, and Jeremy was glad our bank account wasn’t going to suffer anymore that week. I looked online a bit for a pattern, but couldn’t find one I liked, so I made one up. My first solo project! (Forgive me if there’s any major mistakes or weirdness…I’ve never written a pattern before.)

First of all, I used plarn (plastic yarn), which I made from old grocery bags. I’ll post an how-to on making it yourself. It’s super easy to do…and it’s a cheap source of yarn. I wish I had kept track of how many bags you need, but like I said, it’s my first pattern.

What you’ll need:
1 large ball of plarn
1 small ball of another color plarn
Size K crochet hook or larger

Instructions:

Chain 48. Double crochet in third chain from hook and each consecutive chain. At the end of the row, chain 2 and turn. Repeat 39 times. (You can do more rows if you want you bag to be taller.) it should look something like this.

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At this point you’ll need to make the panels. I chose to make my striped since my bag was such a boring color. I used brown and white.

Chain 14. Double crochet in third chain from hook and each consecutive chain. Chain 2 and turn. At the end of the second row, pick up the second color plarn. Chain 2 and turn. Crochet two rows then switch color. This is how I did my color switching.

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I didn’t bother cutting the plarn at the end of each row. I just carried it over at each color switch and cut it when I was finished. Alternate colors until you have nine stripes. Repeat for second panel.

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Next, line up one of the panels with the edge of the main section and slip stitch the pieces together around the two long sides of the panel and one short side. Repeat one the other side with the second panel. It should look something like this.

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If you pull the slip stitches to the outside of the main section, you’ll end up with this nifty edging.

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Almost done! Ok finally we need a handle. I used my opposing color in the stripes to make it a little more interesting. Single crochet in each stitch across the top of one side panel. As you turn across the wider side of the bag, crochet 10 single crochet. Chain for as long as you want your handle to be. Count 10 stitches from the opposite side of that same side and complete 10 single crochets. Repeat on the opposite side. When you reach the stitch you began with, slip stitch. Chain 1 and repeat. When you reach the handle, single crochet around the chain handle. I just did singles until my handle felt pretty sturdy. Repeat with the other handle. And that’s it! You have yourself a durable beach bag.

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I got quite a few beach supplies in this baby and it held up great! The best part is that if it gets dirty you can just hose if off and let it dry. I even took it shopping one day. If it can hold the entire contents of my purse, it very well could hold anything!

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An Interesting T-shirt Refashion

10 Jun

Every once in awhile, in my bargain hunting, I buy something that I love and hate at the same time. I love stripes and patterns, and sometimes they distract me from recognizing poorly cut clothing. So, needless to say, I bought a shirt that just didn’t fit right. I really liked the colors of the stripes, so I didn’t want to get rid of it. I was constantly covering it with a sweater or pushing up the sleeves. Finally, I decided to cut it up and make it into something that I didn’t sort of hate. Here’s the original shirt…

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I’m not a refashion expert, and I’m still new to cutting up clothing so I kinda made this up as I went. I starting by cutting the awkward length sleeves into short sleeves. Then I sewed the sleeves together across the front to give it a bow shape in the front.

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Then I cut the weird band that goes around the bottom off. It rolled nicely so I didn’t bother finishing the bottom. I took a piece of the band and sewed a circle around the “bow” I made on the front to cover the stitching.

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I wanted the bow to keep its shape on the front, so I made a small stitch across the top onto what used to be the collar.

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I took the extra fabric from the sleeves and stitched some straps on it. I don’t like worrying about whether or not a tube top is gonna stay on. I made the straps thick, so I can wear it as a tank top or with cap sleeves.

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I really like how it turned out. I wore it maybe twice after I bought it. Since I refashioned it alone, I’ve worn it two or three times. The neutral stripes go great with my colored shorts and jeans.

Putting away my Precious Boots

29 May

Over the long weekend, I finally got a project going that I’ve been meaning to start since last November. It really all started when we moved into our tiny apartment with a pretty pathetic excuse for a walk-in closet. I’d dreamed of the day when I’d have my very own walk-in, so I was a tad disappointed to see that my new closet was more of a stand-in. Regardless, I had a ton of shoes to get in there, and my boots were sagging all over the precious floor space. So I went to Walmart in search of…Pool Noodles! Of course, they just looked at me like I was nuts, because why would they carry pool toys in the winter? So a few days ago, the pool noodle display caught my eye. So I got my boot stuffers just in time to put my boots away for spring.

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My husband cut them into quarters for me. He jumped at the chance to get to use his good hunting knife in the house. (You could definitely cut these with just a box cutter or scissors though.)

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Naturally, I had to make them fabulous. So I got out the leopard duct tape that I bought in November for this project. I ended up having to get a second roll, because I had to mail a few things and apparently I only have one roll of tape in my apartment.

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Now my boots are standing tall.

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Must Have Maxi with Mom

23 May

While at home, I had a sudden craving for a new wardrobe item. I have a tendency to think of something that doesn’t necessarily exist and scour department stores looking for it. My mother can attest to this, since she once had to make me an Easter dress because white with polka dots was nowhere to be found that season. Anyway, this craving was for a colorful maxi skirt. Normally this would be an easy thing to find, especially considering those are trendy right now. But, I’m also notoriously cheap, and since I’m not working right now, I couldn’t justify anything outside of Ross pricing. So I decided to do it myself, and put my sewing skills to the test. (My sewing experience up to this point stopped at making pajama pants.) I found a “simple looking” tutorial on Pinterest and away I went. If you want to give it a try, here is a link to her blog.

My skirts turned out super cute as you can see…

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(You’ll have to excuse the wrinkles…I hate ironing.)

My only problem along the way was that I couldn’t stretch the thick elastic as far as it should have been stretched and I ended up making this random, weird fold-and-tuck technique on the first one. You can’t see it, but deep in my heart (and next to my waist), I know it’s there and I know it’s weird.

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Around this time my mom found some fabric and decided to make a skirt as well. She’s a much more experienced seamstress than I, so I felt pretty relieved when she couldn’t get the elastic to stretch that far either. However, instead of shoving the material in the sewing machine and hoping for the best like I did, she used a real technique. She did four gathering stitches (easy video tutorial here) around the top, and cinched the skirt evenly so she didn’t have to pull quite so hard on the elastic. Now, it’s important that you do pull some, or else the waistband will have no stretch to it when you try to get it on. It’s not perfect but it looks so much neater.

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Another comment I might add is the width of the elastic. The 3-inch elastic is recommended because it doesn’t roll on you. However, I start feeling a little claustrophobic with that much around my waist, so I traded my mom my 3-inch elastic for her 2-inch elastic, and I personally think its much more comfortable. Altogether, the two new skirts cost me less than $10 each including the elastic. If you’re like me, you’ll need accessories to go with your new treasures. (I swear, I’m like the ‘If You Give A Moose A Muffin’ books) So what i did was get a little extra fabric and made a headband.