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How To Tea Dye

Tea dying is a simple way to give fabric a muted or vintage look.
I love the results I recently had tea dyeing a shirt and some fabric.

I wanted a vintage look and tea dying helped me achieve just that.

 To tea dye fabric you will need the following:
Big pot
25 tea bags (cheap store brand work just fine)
Vinegar (optional)
 Fabric to be dyed

To get started you need to fill your big pot with enough water to cover the fabric.
Set the burner to high and wait for the water to start boiling.
When the water starts to boil turn the burner off and add the tea bags.
Let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
Pull out the tea bags and squeeze the water into the pot.
Add your fabric.  You will need to stir it every 5 minutes or so to ensure even dyeing
Once you get the desired color pull the fabric from the tea bath. 
Rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear.
Wash it in mild detergent using cold water. Add 1 cup of vinegar added to the water this will help to set the dye.
Dry and iron it.

 One of the things that always fascinates me when dying fabric is how different fabrics take the dye.
For this skirt the two cotton fabrics were dyed for the same amount of time, yet they came out so differently due to the different fiber contents. The lace fabric and lace trim took the longest to dye.  I had to leave it soaking in the tea bath over night with some vinegar added into it. I love the end result and the variety of shades that  came from that one tea bath.

Tea dyeing fabric before starting your project can be a little time consuming, especially if your like me. I get an idea in my head and I want to make it immediately. But it is well worth the wait when you get the results you were hoping for! 

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Woolie Woolie

When Aiyanna was a baby she had to wear cloth diapers. She had extremely sensitive skin and was allergic to the chemicals in disposable diapers and wet wipes.  Needless to say I had to find a solution to the problem.  After doing some research everything pointed to cloth diapers.  I was amazed at how quickly her skin healed from the chemical burns.  One of the down sides to cloth diapers is that she almosy always leaked through them at night.  So back to the internet I went for another solution.  And I found a solution the worked.  I made diaper covers. 2 from wool and 1 from fleece to put over her diapers at night.
I have a bed wetter in the house.  I was getting soooo tired of washing 2 sets of sheets everyday. I knew there had to be a solution to this problem.  I was brainstorming and remembered the wool and fleece diaper covers I had made and thought why wouldn't it work for bed wetting. So i grabbed me a felted wool sweater and got busy. 


I used the pattern for the T-shirt Trunks to make these.
Click {HERE} for the pattern PDF

 Using the pattern i cut all pieces leaving an extra 1/2" around all edges.

Follow instructions on T-shirt Trunks Tutorial. Stop when you get to the elastic for the waistband.

Next cut 2 strips 1" shorter than the width of the waist.

With right sides together sew the side seam of the waistband.

Pin it to the top of the cover. Stitch.
 Now you have a night time cover up that will make your life a little bit easier!

These work great if they just have a small accident.  but if they have big accidents there could still be a leak, but not like when they aren't wearing a cover up.

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Chocolate Milk

Dakota LOVES chocolate milk. That's all he would drink if I would let him.
So he was given a shirt when he was 3 years old that was white and on the middle front was this:

What 3 year old wouldn't love a shirt about chocolate milk?! Seriously!
He was so upset when he outgrew this shirt so I knew I had to come up with a way to salvage it for him. I mean it was his FAVORITE shirt.  So I cut out the circle and put it in my pile.  I just couldn't seem to find the right shirt for it.  The original shirt was white and you know that white and little boys are not a good mix!
So white was out of the question, but Dakota likes bright colors so I thought I would do a yellow shirt.  I could not find the right shade of yellow anywhere! Finally I found this brown shirt that matches perfectly.
So here we are 2 and a half years later and Dakota has his "new" chocolate milk shirt.  He still loves it as much as he did when he was 3. We he came home from school and saw it setting on my sewing desk he immediately put it on!  Then I had to wash it so he could wear it to school the next day :o)
Don't you love it when your kids love something you've made that much?!!!

I didn't take pictures of the process but it is so simple.
I just cut out the design I wanted to save.
Pinned it to the new shirt.
Then zigzag stitched around the edge of the cut out design.
I would suggest using fusible webbing on the back of the cut out design and Ironing it in place to the shirt.
It would keep the cut out from moving around and possibly puckering when you sew it.

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It All Started With A Heart

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Now that Aiyanna's a little older and can wear things for more than one season I like to make her holiday clothing that she can wear year round.  I knew I wanted to do some sort of heart applique on a shirt for her, but I had no idea how to not make it scream Valentines' Day.  I was sitting at my sewing desk admiring a pile of lace setting there that I bought at a church rummage sale last year for super cheap. Do you ever admire your lace or fabric or am I just crazy? Then I thought I'd make a patchwork heart with the lace and embellish it.  Perfect for a Valentines' Day shirt without being to holiday looking. Perfect.
After choosing the laces to use I was inspired by their colors to tea dye the shirt to give it a vintage feel.
 And that's how the Patchwork Heart Shirt was born.

It was love at first sight!
After making the shirt I decided to do a Victorian style skirt to go with the shirt.
I tea dyed the fabrics and the laces until I liked the colors. I choose 2 different cotton fabrics and a lace fabric. I love the different color variations!


 Now she has a Valentines' outfit she can wear year round.
I am so glad she will get a lot of wear out of this outfit. It's one of my most favorite outfits I have ever made her.  The only one I like more is an outfit I smocked for her to come come from the hospital in. It is gorgeous if I do say so myself :o)

 She loves tea parties.
  This outfit will be the perfect attire for a fancy tea.
 We had so much fun with this mini photo shoot.

 I had a hard time choosing which photos to post.

 As I sure you can tell by the number of photos here.

 So much ruffle-y goodness.

 Aiyanna loves having her picture taken and today she was extra cooperative.

 Oh, and she informed me she wants to be a Project Runway model.

 I love my little girlie girl!!!!
She is such a blessing to me!

Tip Junkie handmade projectsA Little Knick Knack

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Knee Socks

I love little girls in knee socks!  

I don't know what it is about them, but I just think they are adorable.  I would wear them myself if I thought I can really pull them off without looking like I was 12. I don't see that happening though. So I'll have to live out my love of knee socks through Aiyanna.  Good thing she loves them just as much as her Momma. 

These are so fast and easy to make!  I made 3 pairs in 10 minutes!
The secret is to use outgrown tights.  You know, the ones that seem like they fit when you put them on and when you get to church the crotch is hanging at her knees.   Not pretty.
You also need some elastic and  any embellishments you want to add to them. Lace, bows, buttons.flowers, etc.

Gather up your supplies and let's get started.

Cut tights off at knee length.

Cut a piece of elastic to fit the tights when they are not stretched. Sew the elastic to the tights

3) Sew lace on top of the elastic. Stretching the elastic as you sew.
 That's it!  So simple!!!


 I'll add pictures of the other knee socks I made after they are washed.  Aiyanna has been wearing her "new" knee socks every day. I would say this project was a success in my house.

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