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Just a couple weeks back much of the Midwest was engulfed in what was dubbed the “polar vortex”. With temperatures dipping down as far as negative 19 in Chicago-land, it was more important than ever to layer up to keep warm. And that’s exactly what I had to do along with millions of other folks. Slipping into layer upon layer of tights, leggings and socks, it suddenly hit me – I need some old-fashioned legwarmers! So I grabbed an old sweater and got to crafting. Within twenty minutes I was cozied up and ready to hit the great and frigid outdoors.
If you’ve been battling to keep your legs warm this season – give this easy tutorial a try! All you need is a pair of scissors, needle, thread and a chunky knit sweater. If you have any mismatched buttons lying around grab those too for added embellishment. In just a half hour or less you’ll be on your way to a toastier, and more eco-chic you!
- Pick out a vintage or gently used sweater that you’d like to transform.
- Cut off both sleeves – leaving the original seams on the torso. Save the extra fabric to make a pillow or skirt.
- Roll the raw edge until you have a double fold.
- Grab your needle and thread to hem the fold. Start with two regular loop stitches.
- After making the second, pull your needle through the stitch’s loop.
- Pull taught and move on to the next stitch, repeating the process. This is called the “lock stitch” method.
- Grab a handful of mismatched buttons.
- Sew the first button onto the original sleeve hem – not the lock-stitched one you just created.
- Add more buttons and repeat on other legwarmer.
And there you have it! In just a handful of minutes you’ll find yourself donning an adorable and toasty pair of hand-crafted legwarmers! Layer them over a pair of leggings and tall boots or transform your favorite flats into winter-ready apparel. Should your one-of-a-kind accessories get dirty, simply hand wash them in the sink with your favorite eco-safe detergent and set them out to dry.
I absolutely love the look of soft cozy knits in the winter. If it were up to me I’d enshroud my entire apartment in knit blankets, rugs, pillows and drapes!
But since that’s not currently possible – I’ve had to satiate my urges to make everything soft and fluffy in a different way. Rather than go out and purchase a set of readymade holiday decor, I decided to handcraft a set of rustic Christmas stockings on my own. Utilizing pre-loved knit men’s sweaters, these elegant and wintery gift socks were quick to make and added just the right amount of cheer to our fireplace mantle. Follow my easy instructions below to craft a set of stocking for your home or to give as a gift to your favorite homebody!
Supplies you’ll need: Sharp fabric scissors, knit sweaters (you’ll get 2 stockings out of 1 sweater), yarn for hanging, white thread, sewing machine, embellishments.
- Gather up your supplies. Think soft, cozy, and creamy colors.
- You’ll need a stocking template. I used the one off Martha Stewart’s website as a loose guide.
- Cut out the stocking shape using two layers of your sweater fabric.
- Bring the two right-facing sides together and stitch along the sides and bottom, leaving the top un-sewn.
- Cut 3-4 inches of yarn. Fold the top of the stocking over an inch around the top and pin the yarn on either side of the top back seam (the one that leads to the heel of the stocking).
- Sew across the top of the stocking hem using a zig zag stitch. This will keep the top from fraying and separating as you stuff the stocking with presents.
- Choose your stocking embellishments. These will add color, texture and spice to your stocking. You may also want to consider using something that will help identify which stocking belongs to which family member.
- Hang, fill with presents and enjoy!
There are so many incredible DIY craft tutorials out there to try – but how do we scratch that creative itch without compromising our earth-loving-ethics? That’s what the “Greening Martha” series is all about! I take some of the most lusted after Martha Stewart tutorials and give them an eco-friendly makeover, making you feel better about indulging your crafty cravings!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it was high-time to get some seasonal tutorials going. This month I’m bringing you a DIY twist for dressing up your holiday table: the Eco-Chic Autumn Table Runner.
Designed after Martha’s “Festive Fall Felt Trivets“, my rendition of this uber cute seasonal decor utilizes leftover fabric scraps from sweatshirts and t-shirts instead of virgin materials. By using textiles that you already have lying about your home you can spice up your Thanksgiving spread without purchasing new fabric, which wastes valuable resources and pollutes the environment.
For an in-depth account of the full effects of the textile industry, read this report from the Indian Textile Journal, which documents each step of the fabric creation process and its impact on the planet.
So in the true spirit of the “Greening Martha” series, here’s a fun eco-friendly tutorial that will have you jumping for joy with your Thanksgiving table design, while feeling good about your conscious craft choices.
Eco Chic Autumn Table Runner
+ Various fabric scraps or used t-shirts, sweatshirt and other textiles
+ A sharp pair of fabric scissors
+ Fabric chalk, marker, pencil or crayon
+ A leaf (go get one from outside!)
+ A threaded sewing machine or old fashioned needle and thread
- Gather up your fabric, paying particular attention to the color scheme. Warm, earthy autumnal tones are best. Also try to find a variety of fabrics to create a more rustic look. Think cotton, knits, fleeces and other cozy textures.
- Grab your leaf and set it down on your first piece of fabric.
- Outline the leaf’s shape using fabric chalk, a marker, crayon, or anything else you may have lying around.
- Cutout your leaf outline – doubling the fabric if you want to be extra efficient.
- Trim up your leaf cutout to ensure it’s look even sharp.
- Repeat steps 2-5 with your other fabrics.
- Once all your leaf shaped are cut out, set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch pattern. If you’re stitching by hand – skip this step.
- One leaf at a time, stitch across the surface of the shape, lining up your next leaf just after you hit the edge. Alternate the orientations of the leaves with each new shape addition to ensure a more natural pattern.
And that’s it! In fifteen minutes or less you can have an eco-savvy, super chic table runner with which to adorn your Thanksgiving spread. It’s an easy, affordable, and of course, earth-friendly way to liven up your space without compromising your ethics.
Is there a sustainable how-to that’s caught your eyes for the holidays? If so – share the link in the comments below!
If you’ve been looking for an easy 10 minute scarf tutorial – your search ends here!
Boggled by the over-the-top prices of currently trendy infinity scarves, I decided to give a DIY version a go. And won’t you know – the end result is cute, stylish, eco-friendly and el cheapo! So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make your own cotton wrap around scarf, grab a t-shirt and scissors and give this a try!
1) Choose a pre-loved t-shirt that’s nice and soft.
2) Cut off the bottom hem of the t-shirt.
3) Make another horizontal cut, about 4 inches above the first. Try to keep the cut clean and straight.
4) Make a third cut, same size, just above the last.
5) Grab each thick fabric strip and pull taught, rolling the edges. This is your no-sew hem.
6) Double loop the top strip.
7) Lay the double loop over the larger loop.
8) Using a small piece of your cut hem, tie a single knot on one side of the gathered loops.
9) Tie a second knot.
10) Pull the knot as taught as possible.
11) Trim the excess fabric.
12) Tuck the knot under and flip. All done!
Lately I’ve been pining for an over-sized statement necklace that has a rustic touch. After scouring Etsy and local fairs, I submitted to the urge to make my very own. I had something so specific in mind that I knew the only way to satiate the urge would to be create it myself!
Using wooden beads, a unique color palette , and embroidery floss, I was able to create a one-of-a-kind color-blocked neck adornment that was both fun and just the right chunky size.
And the best part? It’s easy to make one yourself! Follow these easy steps to make your own using your favorite colors of the season.
1) Pick up a set of large wooden beads from your local craft store.
2) Tape off a portion of each bead – this part will retain the natural wood.
3) Choose your paint colors – make sure they work on porous surfaces. My favorites are the multi-purpose collection by Ms. Martha.
4) Paint your bead. You may need two coats depending on the color you’ve chosen.
5) Set you painted beads aside to dry.
6) Peal off the tape and touch up as needed.
7) Thread a large needle with your chosen color of embroidery floss and string through your beads.
8) Last but not least, knot a complimentary colored floss to your base piece. Cut off the ends and you’re done!
Have you found a fun way to bring together a popular trend with your favorite colors and textures? If so – tell us about it!
I’ve been seeing these adorable tie tops all over the city, Whether paired with cut-offs or a long maxi skirt, the look has definitely caught my eye. So how could I not concoct a tutorial on how to make your very own?!
Using a pre-loved t-shirt and pair of scissors, you can easily create an airy cotton cut-out top to tie just as you see fit. And with the no-sew instructions below, making one of these cute pieces has never been easier! Read the rest of this entry »