I am a maker

guest bloggerSometimes a simple desire to bring beauty to a practical space makes for a great sewing opportunity. This month’s guest post from Trina Gallop delivers a simple solution to a decor challenge of making doggie crates more ‘at home’ in her home. What simple projects might be calling to you this weekend?DSC_1834-2.jpg

Makers Gotta Make

Perhaps you have seen these hashtags or blog posts about them throughout this month.

#MMMay16 and #MayisforMakers

Also know as, Me-May-May 2016 and May is for Makers.

I’m not sure who started either of these hashtags but they have been going on for several years now and are meant to challenge and encourage us to sew/knit/refashion clothes and other items for ourselves and to wear what we make and love the items we make.

This call to be a maker really speaks to me. It’s one of the reasons I love to sew (and knit… and bake… and… and…).

In general, I just love to create and make things. It feeds my soul.

I am a maker.

When I see a need for something, to be able to make it myself is ALWAYS my natural response.

My project for this month’s post isn’t particularly complicated, but it’s resourceful and practical. I love that about sewing. Whether it’s making clothes, a quilt, a bag, home decor or something else, there’s something very satisfying about fulfilling a need.

My current project is in response to a home decor/practical home need – and also a good excuse to share a few pics of my sweet basset hound boys (shameless, I know). If you follow my blog over at Will Cook for Shoes, you’ll have already met Buster and Baxter.

Buster recently turned 12 and got an upgrade to his doggie crate. We have been finding that his turning radius isn’t the same and opted for a bigger size crate.

Given the layout of our home, the crates for the boys are out in a well-used area of our house and I needed to find a way to make them blend a little more into the overall decor of our living room. And so began my crate-cover project.

DSC_1781.jpgWire crates aren’t particularly attractive. And dogs like their dens, something these wire crates aren’t conducive to on their own.

You can buy crate covers but then you are limited to colours, materials. I found a lovely modern print and couldn’t resist fashioning my own crate covers. That’s definitely another part about making something myself that I love, there are so many fabric options, colours, textures. You can really add your own style and personality when you make something yourself.

DSC_1782.jpgI wanted my crate cover to fully cover three sides of the crate: top, sides, back. This leaves the front open.

After measuring Buster’s 42 inches x 28 1/2 inches crate, I set about cutting the following pieces:

  • TOP: 29 inches x 43 inches
  • SIDES: 32 inches x 43 1/2 inches
  • BACK: 32 inches x 30 inches

First I ironed the edges that will be hemmed. I turned up a 1/4 inch and then a 1/2 inch. For the top piece, press the hem of one short side (top if print is directional). For the sides, press the hem for both the short sides and one long side (bottom of both pieces if print is directional). For the back turn up and press the hem on both long sides and one short side (bottom if print is direction).

DSC_1784.jpgAnyone else use this tool for measuring their hems? I’m pretty sure I’ve had this little ruler since my home ec days (we won’t talk about how many years ago I took that class!).

Finish the hem by sewing with a 1/2 inch seam allowance around all the sides you have pressed.

DSC_1786Once I was finished hemming all the pieces, it was time for assembly. I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance. The side pieces were attached to the top piece along the long (unfinished) sides. The unfinished short side of the top piece was then sewn to the unfinished short side of the back piece.

Seams were pressed open and the create cover was placed over the crate.

Yes, they still look like crates but the cover adds that “den” feeling that gives dogs a sense of security and truly, the covers do make them a little less industrial.

I think the boys really like their new covers.

They definitely love their crates. I told them to “go to their crates” and they ran to pose for this photo. Okay, I may or may not have also had a treat in my hand for both of them.

DSC_1830.jpgWhat kinds sewing projects do you like to make?

What is your favourite part of sewing?

Who do you sew most for? Yourself? Family members? Your dog? Anyone sew for their cat?


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3 Responses to I am a maker

  1. Linda Fielding says:

    I’m going to do the same thing! Love your fabric choice! Makes the crates look really nice!


  2. Lou Ann Bush says:

    The dog crate covers are a great idea!  My vet told me once that a dog would only eat and sleep if given the choice:)  The most thoroughly wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed.  Nicolas Chamfort


  3. Luanne says:

    As a dog lover, we’ve had a terrier, a Golden and 4 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, of which our oldest is now15. And, I too am a ‘Maker Who’s Gotta Make’…always have been. Some of my best creations were designed and sewn by me. How nice to know there are others like me! I’m happiest when I’m being creative. I’ve sewn many things for my dogs, but not crate covers. These are lovely!


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