Sew...a Needle Pulling Thread - A Snazzy Visored Headband Tutorial

The other day as I was perusing through blog-land looking for a sewing project to use up some scraps.  I stumbled across this cute little visored headband.  My girls have also been begging for me to teach them about the wonderful world of sewing, and this seemed like a great project for beginners.  

Now, I do want my kids to learn to sew, because it is such a wonderful skill and I enjoy it very much.  But as I said before I'm pretty impatient {this is something the Lord and I are working on}.  I really don't want my children to learn from an impatient teacher, or one who expects more out of them than they can give at their age.  This is how I was taught and it turned me off to sewing for many years.  

So we started with a small project and lots of prayer on my part.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but instead of me getting frustrated, we had lots of fun!  Who knew?  I'm learning!

Before I posted this I looked to see if anyone else had made a tutorial, but couldn't find one.  So here is what we did.

Visored Headband Tutorial


  • Fabric for headband{use two different patterns for a reversible visor} Cut 2 - 42" x 3 1/2" {I used fat quarters and cut 4 lengths of 22" x 3 1/2" and sewed the ends together} 
  • Fabric for visor {approx. 5" x 10"} - I didn't really measure this part.
  • Iron on Interfacing - {approx. 5" x 10"}
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Washable marker (optional)
  • Pin (pins are always optional!)

* You can click on any picture to enlarge it.

Step 1: Find a visored hat that fits.  Push the visor flat and trace onto piece of paper.  This will be your visor pattern.
Step 2: Add a line 1/2" larger than your first line and cut on that line.
Step 3: Put pattern on fabric, pin and cut, or if teaching younger kids have them trace around the pattern with a washable marker and then cut on the line. Make sure to cut two.
Step 4: Cut interfacing using the same pattern.

Step 5: Cut long strips for head band. 
Step 6: Iron interfacing onto one side of the visor. Somehow I missed a picture of this.  If you have never used interfacing, there are usually directions on the side. Iron the rest of the pieces for good measure.  {This was also a good lesson for the girls.}
Step 7: Take the two strips for the headband and fold them in 1/2 lengthwise.  Cut a curve into the top as shown.  This isn't necessary, but makes the ends look a little more finished.
Step 8:  Pin right sides of visor together and sew around the curved edge.  {sorry, no picture of this either}

Step 9:  Take headband fabric and place right sides together. before you pin your headband pieces together, sandwich your visor in between the two layers. Making sure to match like fabrics together if you are making it reversible. Pin and sew along the side where you sandwiched in your visor.
Step 10: Fold the visor in half and pin in place, like so.
Step 11: Sew along other side of headband, leaving a space to turn your head band right side out.

Step 12:  Turn and topstitch your visored headband.  You are finished - Congratulations!!  
If any of you end up making one of these please leave a link, I would love to see how it turns out.  Also if you have any question feel free to ask in the comments, or e-mail {my e-mail is in the more about us section}.  Happy sewing!

This post is linked up at Raising Homemakers.


Baking with Kids

I don't love to bake. My kids do but I...don't.  Since it is something that means a lot to them, I do try to make a frequent joyful effort.  This past week as we were gearing up for Resurrection Sunday I wanted to include this little baking project I had seen floating around the web.  I am so glad that I did!  The main reason I don't appreciate baking as much as I could is because I am terrible at following directions.  I am impatient and I want to get to the actual 'doing' instead of the 'reading about the doing'.  {Yes, I am a bit of a child.}  This project was a perfect example of my lack of thoroughly understanding a recipe before proceeding.

Resurrection Cookies (original recipe here)
I changed things a tiny bit from the original, according to what I had on hand.

You will need:
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1c. sucanat
zipper baggie
wooden spoons (one per child)
Preheat oven to 300.


Read John 19:1-3
Place the pecans in a baggie and let the kids beat the pecans into little pieces.  My kids gleefully pulverized the little bits of pecans until they turned into dust.  Such a horrible picture of how much we love our sin, and how if I had been there, I would have been the one shouting "Crucify Him!"

Read John 19:28-30
Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl and Let each child smell the vinegar.
Explain that when Jesus was on the cross they gave Him sour wine when he said He was thirsty.  This was a little lost on my kiddos, because when I asked if they would have wanted to drink vinegar, if they were really thirsty, they thought it sounded pretty good.  Then Charis to drink a small glass of vinegar.  {I should have let her, but we were quickly nearing bed time}.

Read John 10:10-11
Add egg whites to vinegar. {I apparently didn't read this, because I put the vinegar in the pecan bowl.  whoops!}  Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His
life to give us life.

Read Luke 23:27
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand and let them taste it.  Then add a pinch to the bowl. {This refers to the egg white bowl.  Again I put the salt in with the nuts.}  The salt represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.  The kids loved this part, but also really seemed to grasp what was going on with the story.

Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16
Add 1c. sugar. {Where?, who knows - probably the egg whites - note to self:  learn to read directions} Give a little pinch to the kids to taste and yourself of course.  I love this part!  Explain that Jesus' dying for us is the sweetest gift of all!  My kids are still at an age where they don't fully understand why Jesus had to actually die.  It was another great opportunity to explain that we could have never bridged the gap between God and us without Jesus being the atoning sacrifice.
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are
formed. {I had a little trouble with my egg whites, probably because I didn't put the right ingredients into the right bowls.  When I was making this it didn't seem right, but I didn't question it.  Oh well.} The white represents purity and being washed white as snow.  My kids also wanted it to be the clouds, like in heaven.  {Are there really going to be clouds in heaven?  Do I get a harp?  Ok - digressing here!}

Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Fold in broken nuts. {This is when I realized the error of my ways, but I didn't let the recipe know, I just kept on.  Hopefully it will still turn out okay} Drop onto a wax paper/parchment paper covered cookie sheet. {You don't want them too big or it won't work, so says the original recipe}
Each mound represents the tomb where Jesus' body was laid.

Read Matt. 27:65-66. 
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Make sure the oven isn't too hot!  We had a bit of whining at this point.  Well we have whining a lot over here.  We are working on that.  Explain why Jesus' tomb needed to be sealed.
SEND CHILDREN TO BED! {We also had some whining at this point}
Pretending to look sad.
The recipe says to talk about how sad they must feel about leaving the cookies in the oven overnight and equating it with how Jesus' followers must have felt when they had to leave Him in the tomb.  I did explain it, but made sure that they knew that leaving a cookie isn't really anything like mourning the death of the promised Messiah!
Read John 16:20 and 22.

The next morning:
Read Matt. 28:1-9, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.
The surface should be cracked and the cookies should be hollow! 

On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
{Well mine turned out flat and lifeless, but still delicious.}
Note:  Cookies can be left on a very very low temp..like 250 degrees. and be ready
in a couple of hours...when surface of cookie looks dry and cracked....they
are ready to eat!!!!!

Even though the cookies themselves were a bit of a flop, the story of Christ's death and resurrection became that much more tangible to my children, and any project that does that is a winner in my book.  They also got a chance to see what happens when you don't follow directions completely, and it gave me a chance to fail graciously in front of my children.  We will definitely be doing this again!


To Him to deserves all

As I was pondering about posting ... everything I would normally post about seemed trivial compared with what we are remembering this weekend: the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's really only because of Him that we are able to strive to be the women that God has called us to be. I'm so thankful that He bridged the gap - and that I may now have the everyday access to the Holy Spirit that I need.

Today and tomorrow, may His wonderful love and the joy of our salvation fill your heart.

II Timothy, 1:9-10 "He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."


Layered Cakes ... A Tutorial of Sorts

I really like to do layered cakes. Not because I feel like mine always look beautiful, but I like to really emphasize the taste factor going on! Two weeks ago, I made a 1/2 sheet cake for my little sister's senior recital for her college degree. She told me to make something that would "taste really yummy"! I said "I can do that!"

You can make layered cakes any size. One trick to remember is that frosting a round cake is easier to do that frosting a cake with edges. Frosting tends to give trouble around the edges. Double layer, triple layer, whatever you choose!

I do enjoy making cakes from scratch, BUT, even the famed Alton Brown from Food Network sings the praises of cake mixes from a box. Why? Because with baking, measurements need to be extremely precise - it's really a scientific process - and if you use a cake mix, it's hard to mess up! So, especially when I am doing a sheet cake, I often pick a good mix and doctor it up with extra flavorings or add-ins. Less chances of it falling in the middle, coming out dry, etc. etc.

Here's how the cake went:

1. Bake cakes. I baked mine as separate layers, rather than baking one thick cake and slicing it through. Less mess in terms of crumbs, and easy to do with kiddos running around! I always line my cake pans with wax paper when doing a layered cake because they remove so easily and I never fear for it sticking to the pan. I usually bake my cakes 2-3 days in advance and freeze them. You can decorate them while they are still partially frozen, and it helps avoid lots of crumbs in the frosting. Or, if you are cutting shapes from a cake, it is MUCH EASIER to do with a frozen or mostly-frozen cake!

2. On decorating day, pull out of the freezer. Let thaw slightly. While cakes are sitting out, prepare filling. One of my faves: 1/2 brick of softened cream cheese, 1/2 pint of whipping cream, sugar to taste. Whip cream cheese in mixer; when light and fluffly, slowly add whipping cream and beat until whipped through. Add sugar slowly - to taste. You can also add all kinds of flavoring to this: one of my hubby's favorite is 2 T. of strong coffee. Yum. Whipped Mocha Filling.

3. Layer cakes and filling together. Note: I doubled the above filling recipe for two layers of filling on a 1/2 sheet cake. I think I could have tripled/quadrupled it for some REALLY good layers!

4. Prepare desired frosting. Frost/decorate cake - any way that you like! If you aren't serving soon, since you've got a filling with dairy, store this cake in the fridge.

I got some wonderful compliments on this cake. Overall, I was pleased. My decorations never live up to the ideas I have in my brain, but oh well! When it's all said and done, hopefully people leave with a great taste in their mouth ... not just polite comments on the appearance. And if you're not into decorating, you can still make a good tasting and beautiful cake! Just swirl your frosting around as you spread it, making sworls and whorls, put a few fresh flowers on top and you are good to go!



Something I have been pondering about, praying about, and learning about (once again) is friendship. The fact is: relationships are messy. There are misunderstandings, miscommunications, different perspectives, missed moments to be open, offenses, etc. etc. etc.! The flip side is that God created us for relationship, and even amidst the constant challenges of healthfully navigating friendships, being close to people is a beautiful thing. To have the freedom to share with others, to have them share with you ... think of some of the best times you have shared with family, husbands, friends, children - would you trade them? Even though there were probably just as many tough paths that were walked as well?

Hopefully, no. Overall, I am not a person who easily opens up. I tend to process inwardly. When I am down, my initial tendency is to sequester myself away. Big groups sometimes make me feel awkward. I'm not that great at "small talk" and drawing others into conversation. I get nervous! Yet, without friendships and relationships ... I get even more down and more inwardly-focused! It becomes a downward spiral that I have to fight against.

I can think of two specific friends that I currently have, in way different time frames (college and recent) had the guts to confront me when I wasn't being the friend I should be. Who questioned me and drew me out (lovingly) in order that our relationship might be strengthened and not left to wither away. I am so grateful that they did that!

Within the past several weeks, the Lord has been reminding me to pursue my friendships. I get busy - I look at others and assume that they are "busy" too, and don't make a priority to spend time with others, especially other moms. But when I'm not in relationship with others who are in a similar time of life - or just ahead - as I am, then I start to listen to another voice, a deceiving voice that tells me I'm all alone, only I struggle with this or that, only my kids are this trying at times, and it goes on and on and on. And although my ultimate confidence has to be from Him, He gave me the other women around me to be a part of my life ... to cheer me on so I can cheer them on.

I read an article: "A Mom's Guide to Making Friends" in Parents Magazine the other day (I attempted to find the article online and couldn't for some reason ...). It re-inspired me to work harder at making time for my friendships. Some highlights:
- Find a commonality you share (i.e., children, their ages, church, hobbies, etc.) and let that get a friendship or even a conversation off to great start;
- Opt for face time rather than just email/Facebook/phone ("technology is a great added value to a friendship, but it's neither necessary nor sufficient" ... as long as you're in the same town);
- Remember that you can be great friends both with those like you, and with those who are much different. Sometimes being different eliminates competitiveness and enables women to coach each other along;
- Make maintaining friendship easy - not a chore. The author says that "Moms are great at budgeting time for everything - playdates, exercise, school, housework, even sex - but they rarely budget time for friendships". She suggests thinking of a "friendship budget" so to speak ... just making sure time for friends is included in your month - EVERY month.

We all have our priorities. And I'm not trying to add to anyone's "to do" list and make life more overwhelming than it can already seem! Just sharing what God is challenging me with. To not go the easy way for Elisa ... which is often to want to avoid relationship challenges. But that only isolates me and weakens my friendships. Which I don't want! So, I am asking Him to help me stick to a stronger resolve reach out to my friends and let our messy lives intertwine!


Checkerboard Project

Sarah K's tic-tac-toe game reminded me of the quilted checker board I made for my niece's birthday a couple years ago. Don't think of this as a tutorial, because I sew like I fly: by the seat of my pants. But this might be enough for inspiration at least.

* 2 different patterns/colors of fabric: the amount you need will depend on how big you want to make the mat/board
* Sturdier material for the back (I used denim)
* Quilting material/batting (see! I don't even know the right word off the top of my head!)
* Bias tape
* RicRac (ok, so you don't NEED ricrac, but it just makes everything look cuter, so why not?!)

If you know how to quilt, you know how to make this simple checker board!

Playing Pieces:
I was trying to go for a pioneer/little house on the prairie feel with this game, so some of my ideas for playing pieces were larger, older buttons or beads, wooden thread spools, metal bottle caps, round wooden chips, and things of that nature. But, since I usually fly by the seat of my pants, I didn't really have time to scout around and start a collection of those things. So instead I thanked this convenient age and drove over to the Dollar Tree and Michael's. I used glass pebble pieces for the regular pieces, and large wooden ladybugs hot-glued onto 4 pebbles for the Kings, or Queens, in this case.

I probably should have made more Queens...some players are really good!

And with the last little bit of fabric I had left over I made a little bag for the game pieces.

I also included a printed sheet of game instructions. Looking back, I didn't make my board the standard size (it's supposed to be 64 squares and each player has 12 pieces). I'm not quite sure if that has made a huge difference or not in gameplay...

This project was inspired by one my mother made for my sister when we were little. I always thought it was so pretty! My sister has saved it these twentysome years, and I made her take it out so I could get a photo and we had fun talking about it. Mom made it out of a flat, square piece of wood, covered it in fabric, with felt on the bottom, then cut out white squares and put them in the pattern, with glued ric-rac borders. so fun!

No matter how you do this project, you can make it special!


"Teach me Thy Way"

This teaching/learning month seems like a great opportunity to share one of my favorite hymns. I'm currently teaching it to my oldest two, one verse at a time. I love hearing their little voices singing it, and am praying that it is planting seeds of teachability, obedience, and trust in their young hearts.

Teach me Thy Way, O Lord; Teach me Thy Way!
Thy gracious aid afford; Teach me Thy Way!
Help me to walk a-right, more by faith less by sight,
Lead me with Heavn'ly light; Teach me Thy Way!

When I am sad at heart, Teach me Thy Way!
When earthly joys depart, Teach me Thy Way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, Teach me Thy Way!

When doubts and fears arise; Teach me Thy Way!
When storms o'er spread the skies; Teach me Thy Way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, thro' sorrow, toil and pain,
Make Thou my pathway plain; Teach me Thy Way!

Long as my life shall last; Teach me Thy Way!
Where'er my lot be cast; Teach me Thy Way!
Until the race is run, until the journey's done,
Until the crown is won; Teach me Thy Way!

- B. Mansell Ramsey, 1849-1943


Hooray! Banner Tutorial

Banners are a hot trend right now...or so it seems. A friend and I made a "Hooray!" banner for a baby shower that we hosted. We used scrapbook paper and it turned out great. We made a second banner for my mother-in-law and she absolutely loved it! We decided for her birthday that we would make her one out of fabric so it would be sturdier and last longer. Here is the tutorial:

Reversible Hooray! Banner

Materials Needed:
  • Fabric (it is hard to say how much because it depends on how many different fabrics you use and how big you make the banner)
  • Interfacing
  • Iron-on adhesive (optional)
  • Bias tape
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Straight pins

Step 1: Iron interfacing to fabric and trace triangles (our triangles were 12 1/2" on the top and 14" on the sides). We wanted to use as little interfacing as possible, so we cut out the triangles from the interfacing and ironed them to the fabric before tracing the triangle onto the fabric. You will need to do some planning because you only need interfacing on 7 triangles (if you are making a "HOORAY!" banner) because although you are going to cut out 14 triangles, there will only be 7 triangles total.

Step 2: Cut out the fabric triangles. We cut out 14 triangles because we were making a reversible banner that says "HOORAY!". You can cut out more or less depending on what expression you choose.

Step 3: Cut out letters. If you are using iron-on adhesive, such as Wunder Under, you will want to iron this to your fabric and trace the letters before cutting them out.

Step 4: Iron (or pin) letters to fabric and sew.

Step 5: Lay out triangles in two rows...one is the front of the banner and one is the back of the banner. Make sure to spell one of the words/phrases backwards.

Step 6: Pin right sides of triangles together and sew (3/8" seam allowance) the two long sides of the triangle. You do not need to sew the top of the triangle. Cut the tip of the triangle.

Step 7: Turn right side out and iron. Top stitch along the two long sides of the triangle. Top stitching is optional, but we enjoyed picking a fun stitch to use and it dressed up the triangles. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 for each set of triangles.

Step 8: Lay triangles out in order that they will hang. Fold bias tape over the top of the triangles and pin to the top of each triangle connecting the triangles together. You can decide how much space to leave between triangles. Sew bias tape to ribbon using a 1/4" seam.

Forgive me for not having a picture of the final product (or of my mother-in-laws face when she opened it as a birthday gift)! Don't be afraid to experiment with different fabric choices and expressions. I will warn you that this is a time consuming project, but worth every minute!



The theme for this month is going to be "Teaching/Learning". I wish I was able to say that I chose this topic because of my desire to share all the wonderful things God is teaching me or the lessons I am learning every day as I continue on this journey of motherhood. The reality is that I have a couple of projects I have been working on and I wanted to post the tutorials.  

(Here is a tip: I have a folder saved under my Favorites called "Craft Ideas". Every time I find a cute craft that I would like to try some day I save the link to this folder so that I can find it easily without having to spend a lot of time searching the internet for the tutorial.)

Project #1: A denim tic-tac-toe game

I found a tutorial here for a burlap tic-tac-toe game. I can't even remember how I stumbled upon this tutorial, but I'm thankful that I did. I decided to make this game for my niece's 2 yr birthday (I know, not really age appropriate, but I couldn't come up with anything else). I felt like the burlap was too rough, although very cute, so I chose to use denim. Unfortunately I did not think to take pictures while I was sewing this project, so you will only get to see what it looks like completed.

Items you need:
  • denim (30"x30")
  • ribbon (I bought two spools of ribbon, 9 ft each)
  • thread
  • felt

Step 1) Cut denim and ribbon and wash. Make sure you cut the perimeter ribbon an inch or so longer than what you need to make sure that you have enough.

Step 2) Pin and sew perimeter ribbon. I used a zig zag stitch on the top and the bottom of the ribbon.

Step 3) Pin and sew the ribbon that makes up the #.

Step 4) Cut letters out of the felt. I used Century Gothic font (size 400) and I traced the letters inverted on my felt so that there would be no pen marks on the front of the letter. I used "M" for Mom, "D" for Dad, "k" for Katie and "a" for Anna.

I apologize for this not being a very complete tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions.