Surfy Little Pillow

I recently finished up some curtains for a friend’s place (I tend to surf at her break a lot, so it’s the least I can do), so I ended up with some scrap fabric leftover. Just for fun, I wanted to whip up a surfy themed pillow for her beach pad.

Art by Seaweedsa

My inspiration 

I decided to try out the surf primitive style, that uses bright colors and a thick, defining outline on the simple shapes. My inspiration was the art of Seaweedsa, who has done great artwork for our Florida Surf Museum’s events. For my little project, I did my interpretation in appliqué.

I gathered my scraps, a 16” by 16” quilting square (the size of the pillow), some iron-on double sided adhesive for the appliqué pieces, and sketch paper to make pattern pieces to cut out.

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My supplies

I made a simple beachy design, cut the shapes out, and backed them with the iron-on fusible Steam-A-Seam to fuse them onto the pillow case piece I would be making out of one big sky blue scrap. From there, I used a wide satin stitch in black to outline every piece.

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Arranging my pieces

Once I had my pieces where I wanted, I did my black satin stitch around them, starting with the foreground pieces- the surfboards.

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Wide satin stitch

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Outlining

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Adding detail with a Disappearing Ink pen

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Sewing over the drawn details

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Appliqué completed

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After the pillowcase has been sewn up each side, and is still turned inside out (note that I used interfacing on the back to help stabilize the fabric!)

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Hella surfy

 

And, as it turns out, she likes it. Good thing, or I would have been feeling like this dude….

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That pillow looks mighty tasty

DIY Boardshort Pillow

When I was young,  I would bug my patient grandmother to teach me to sew. She was a talented seamstress, and sewed for me the most beautiful dresses when I was younger, one of which I still keep with my wedding dress and formal wear.

Back then, I also remember her making me the coolest “Jams” out of ANY wacky printed cotton combo fabric I wanted in Hancock’s Fabrics. I loved my crazy ass pairs of Jams, and even today, I find myself wearing boardshorts with crazy prints just about every day. Honestly, they’re coastal Florida’s version of sweatpants.

I’ll totally admit that most of my boardshort collection is storebought, since surf companies use this schweet, stretchy, silky material that an average home sewer like me can’t get reasonably. Fortunately, most boardshorts like these are fairly long-wearing if you don’t put ’em in the dryer after washing. Good, since you may need to skip a car payment to buy some of these pairs lately…yikes.

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Loved these

One of my favorite pairs of boardshorts was ready for retirement, but I loved the surfboard print, and wanted to hang on to it in a unique way. So I made it into a squishy pillow that I could use indoors or out.

The stitching is pretty straightforward, I attached the inseam of the shorts up about 2″ from the bottom to make the pillow look more square after stuffing, but the legs are still somewhat distinctive.

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Stitching the inseam up to the mark

 

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2” of inseam sewn together

After this step, it’s a matter of closing up the holes. Just leave the top middle section open to stuff, OR you could stuff through the fly, then sew those openings up. The fly section was going to be too bulky for my machine, so I hand sewed the opening shut.

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Sewing the fly shut on the machine was tricky!

You can handstitch this Pillow or machine stitch it, neither way takes very long. Just make sure it’s stitched up tightly enough to be moderately stuffed, and machine washable. Don’t overstuff this, or it might start looking too much like an ass pillow.

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Stuff a little at a time

 

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Handsewing the top shut

 

Done!

 

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Husband calls it the Butt Pillow

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Another I made for one of my BFFs

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I like my Ass Pillow

 

I have the awful feeling the pillows only get bigger from this point on though….

 

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Yeah, hold da meat

 

 

DIY Upcycled Neoprene Surfing Beanie

In case you didn’t already know, I hate winter. We don’t generally get snow in this part of Florida- just windy, gloomy days with a biting chill that can become unbearable sometimes. At least the winters appear to be getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means I may have waterfront property sooner than later.

Always look on da bright side, yo.

As I’ve been playing with and learning more about Neoprene upcycling, I’ve considered more things I can make, and one thing I NEED is a well fitting Neoprene beanie hat that will stay on when I surf to keep my head warm from the chilly wind. However, most surf beanies are fitted right to the skull- great for guys with short hairstyles, not so great for surfer chicks with ponytails…

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BLEH!!!! NO chinstraps, please

I wanted to make something that had the top open enough to allow my ponytail to poke through, but I could close it up if I had wanted to wear it down. I used plain paper, a pen, and rulers to draft out a beanie pattern that would use 4 of these pieces (this is a good visual tutorial that is similar to my project).

 

 

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Drafting out my beanie pattern

 

I had an ancient 1.5 mm Hyperflex Neoprene surf vest that had plenty of decent material to use. I made sure to cut away any original flatlocked and finished seams on the vest, so the sewing machine wouldn’t bite on them.

 

 

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Cutting away the neoprene pieces out of the vest

 

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Laying out the pieces and pattern

 

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The four beanie pieces cut out

 

In this project, I used a simple 2-thread overlock on the serger since the total thickness would be 3 mm (1.5 mm for each layer). If it was any thicker than 3 mm in total, I would’ve hand stitched the pieces together. Totally doable with a sharp heavy hand needle, some heavy nylon thread, and a basic whipstitch.

 

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Two pieces of the beanies serged along the edge, with the top left open

 

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Fit check!

 

For the hat band, I used 1″ fold-over elastic in black. I measured the elastic about 3″ shorter than the hat’s circumference, and stretched as I stitched to fit.

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After the hat band (fold over elastic) has been sewed on

 

On the crown, I hand stitched grommets (2 at the top of each quarter, 8 total). I made these grommets so I could pull elastic or a drawstring through to close the crown. I made my own drawstring ribbon from some scrap Lycra in a fun purple paisley print. Just because it’s so freakin’ jaunty. You can use elastic cord, or other drawstring materials.

 

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Different things to use as drawstrings

 

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Last fit check

 

Done! Now, I can thread my ponytail through, and it will help as a pseudo-tether as well.

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Better than a chinstrap

 

Hey, surfers may get a bad reputation as stoners, but at least our beanies and hats don’t turn out like the skiers’ and snowboarders’. Ya hippies.

 

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I’ve skied in one of these, full disclosure

 

Seaside Motifs

One of my favorite bloggers on here is Elenora from Coastal Crochet. She likes to crochet things by the seashore. I like to craft stuff with those same ocean inspired things too, so her ideas are great to explore.

She posted a cute ammonite pattern a while back (be sure to check out her other stuff too!) and I thought it would be cool to work up in my favorite coated nylon Brazilian thread, Linhasita. I also found a simple starfish pattern on Pinterest as well.

For these motifs, I really enjoyed using the Linhasita since it has a stiffness to it, allowing the piece to be shaped by hand. It’s nylon, so blocking it with your fingers is the best option. It also helped the starfish look more real since the arms could be shaped, and looked less “cookie cutter.” I love how the ammonites came out looking very lacy. I used a 2.0 mm hook with these, but I did make some size adjustments for variety. In other words, I had fun, yo.

Just had fun with these

Next, I simply whipstitched the motifs onto little 3” muslin drawstring bags from the craft store. 

Natural thread, natural muslin bags, easy

Used a simple backstitch

Lookin’ classy now. This would be nice to give to a salty, crunchy, surfer needing a little surfer’s tune-up kit (wax, fin screws, fin key) OR collect some seaglass or shells to give to your buds!

Hold yer stuff, man….

Happy Freakin’ Whatever. Let’s surf!

This sums up my ideal PAR-TAY

Quick-N-Dirty Surfboard Sock

Our little surf group is taking a short road trip in the morning, so I wanted to whip up a quick board sock for my 7’0″, since we’ll be stacking boards on the car. I don’t want to get my nasty wax job all over my friend’s board, and a towel placed in between boards just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.

Now, I’ve had board socks in the past mind you, but they were ALWAYS:

  • Too snug
  • Not stretchy
  • A general pain in the ass to use
  • Expensive

Now I need one. Tomorrow.

Glad I picked up a few yards of cheap, but good quality Lycra about a year back. It only cost $3.00/yard, but it is ugly as sin.

I wouldn’t wear it, but for this project, it might work


This Lycra was about 60″ wide, perfect for folding over and stitching up one side. My surfboard is only 22 1/2″ wide, so it only needs to be cut to about 25″ folded, to give me plenty of slop and seam allowance. Working with this heavier Lycra guarantees some movement of the material, so I want to allow some “slop.” Too bad its striped- I’m going to mess up a bit, but oh well, I’m in a hurry.

This is quick-n-dirty, yo.

Nice and stretchy

I cut about 2 1/2 yards from the length for my sock. My board is 7’0″, so that gives me extra for the seams, and also a casing at the bottom for a drawstring.

Rotary cutters are best with Lycra

Prepping to sew- it’s a lot of material

Since this was heavy Lycra, I used a 90 ballpoint needle with a longer zig zag stitch using a roller foot. A walking foot works best, though.

I’m so Klasse…..whatevs

About a 1 inch seam allowance

Lycra’s on the MOVE!!!!

Next, I wanted to put a little curve in at the nose of the sock, not as if it was really necessary. Since the board’s nose is pretty wide, I honestly guessed and marked it out with my pen while the sock was folded over. Then, I cut it and clipped it (don’t pin Lycra, it can snag).

Guess marks- sooooo professional

Prepping the nose for sewing

After the main sewing is done, I serged my seams. You can just clip them, since Lycra doesn’t fray.

Serged seams

For a drawstring, I used some old 1/4″ craft bungee cord I had saved. So what if it’s blue??? I had it on hand.

Doesn’t match. So what.

I made a simple 3/4″ casing by flipping up the bottom edge of the board sock, leaving a section open, then feeding the bungee cord through.

Clipping off the casing at the bottom

Used a narrower zig zag stitch

Sewing the casing

Threading the drawstring

Make sure to double knot the ends!

The finished product rolled up pretty compactly.

But does it fit???

This afternoon, after I got back from surfing, I tucked my Funshape into the boardsock to check out the fit.

It’ll do for now


Big at the nose

BUT, it was a breeze to get on, and it will be soooo easy to pop in the washing machine. Schweet.

I’ll can fix anything needing tweaking on the sewing machine later. ‘Cause I’m going surfing tomorrow, and to quote George Costanza….

No Sew DIY Bikini Top Conversion

Like a lot of surfers (really, people in general), I won’t pass up a chance to score something I need at a reasonable price.

I run through swimwear like water since I try to be surfing or paddleboarding as much as possible. A while back, I had picked this bikini top up at a local swimwear shop in Cocoa Beach called Mar Chiquita. It was in the clearance bin for only $5, locally made here in CB, and PURPLE. I’m sold.

The only thing that bothered me is how it tied. I am not a huge fan of the neck tie, the knots, and all the extra tie string leftover. I’d like to make it into an over each shoulder style, meeting in the back. I’ll make this fitted for me and something I’ll put on over my head (no clasps).

Just not a huge fan of this configuration

Now, if you do not have a dress form like in the pics, get a trusted friend or significant other to help you either mark where you want your knots. You can also have that person make the following knots while it’s on your body as well to ensure proper fit. Here’s how I did mine on my own.

I want the straps to go over each shoulder

Pinning everything in the correct placement

I made a square knot using the side ties to tie everything together

By using a square knot instead of the bow tie knot that was used previously, it’s so much more comfortable on my back.

Now, I’m going to get rid of the excess ties and secure the bundle into a little tassel. This part really doesn’t require sewing, since you just wrap the ends together several times with matching polyester thread, then knot it off to secure. You really don’t even need a needle.

Getting ready to wrap the tassel

Tassel wrapped

Done!!!

Back

Front

Now, this doesn’t mean anyone will see my fresh n’ fly knotting job on my bikini, since I almost always wear a rashguard. I mean, yeah, sun protection is great, but I wipeout I lot, and no one needs to see my boobs.

How I roll

Deluxe Beach Cover Up DIY

Even though I’ve made a simple one of these beach cover-ups before, I wanted something a bit more substantial. I also wanted one that was a bit wider for getting into and out of my wetsuits easier. Wider. Yikes. I also wanted to put a hood on this one in case the wind is howling in the parking lot when I get out.
So, I procured a couple of big beach towels from the local outlet store. Outlet stores are the best for good towels- they’re as cheap as Walmart, but last longer since they’re made for a department store. Just don’t get picky about what color/print/etc. For the hood, I went to the clearance bin and found a single hand towel with a funky fiesta print.

My beach towels are approximately 32″ wide by 66″ long

For this project, instead of sewing down each long side (which is over 5 feet long, remember), I’m going to make the side seams the short edges of the towel. 32 inches will be plenty long enough to cover me, but not so long that it will be difficult to change with.
First thing, I cut off any tags on the towel- I don’t want to take the chance and sew over the extra bulk.

Nautica doesn’t make these cover ups!

Next, I pinned (technically clipped) one of the long sides together with the LOOPY SIDE OF EACH TOWEL FACING OUT, and the groomed, soft sides together,. This seems a little weird, but the loopy side is the most absorbent. The other long side will be the bottom opening of the cover up when we turn it inside out. I pinned/clipped all the way across, but the middle 12 inches I marked off on each side with a yellow butterfly pin to tell me not to sew this part. This section will be the head opening:

The no sew zone. Gotta get my big head in there somehow.
For my project, my middle twelve inch opening for my head started about 27 inches from the outer edge.
Download it, rent it, whatever

On a side note- if you are getting into sewing for surfing, I recommend going to your library and picking up Sandra Betzina’s More Fabric Savvy. It is a great reference for unusual fabrics, and since we’re not at a freakin’ quilting bee here, it’s VERY useful.
Also, please note that in the sewing pics below I was using a walking foot. A lot of people shy away from these, and I don’t know why. It takes about two seconds more to install than a regular presser foot, and, BOOM! huge difference in the feed of stuff like terrycloth, knits, neoprene, and other non-quilting-craft-cotton. Which leaves the fun stuff to sew. Try one!
Back to the good part….

So I used the finished edge on the towels as a seam guide. DO NOT try to sew or even fit this bulk of both finished edges under your machine! The needle WILL break, and you may do serious damage to the delicate machinery, or put an eye out, like Santa told you. I used a Heavy Universal needle (at least 90/14 or above) and set the machine for a straight stitch at 3.0 in length.

Sewing along the finished edge of the towel

Remember to not sew all the way across, or you wont leave a head opening! Also, don’t try to sew the far edges together by machine. Either hand sew them together, or leave them as is, like I did:

Don’t sew through that gnarly bulk! NOT worth it!

You don’t have to do this part, but I wanted those seam allowances sewn down. I went back and put a simple wide, long, zig-zag stitch down each allowance, stopping at my mark for my “headhole”. Remember, sew the part that’s towel, NOT the finished edge (the finished edge is light blue here):

Opening the seam allowance and stitching down each edge until you get to the head opening

Zig-zag down each side- as long as your thread matches, it won’t really show.

When I did get to the head opening, I split off one side and turned a seam over that matched the allowance I had been sewing before the split:

Starting the split
After doing the other side.

Neckline “Inside Out” with the seam allowances stitched down to minimize bulk.
Neckline turned right side out, finished.

Here, you can decide if you want to sew down each short side, leaving the top fold open down at least 12 inches for “sleeves”. Originally, I left mine open on the sides, but I liked it better sewn up the sides.
At this point, I was ready to add my hood. Of course, you will have wanted to have measured your hand towel to make sure this works. For me, the hand towel I bought eased just fine around the 12″ diameter neck. Here is the hand towel with the pink finished edge on just the short sides, the long sides had no additional bound edge:

 I folded the towel in half, the two pink bound edges together (loopy side OUT), pinning/clipping the top edge together. This top edge is what I’m going to sew, which will be the TOP of the hood:

Getting ready to sew the top edge by using clips instead of pins
I’m using the finished narrow edge as a seam guide when sewing.

Once that seam is finished, I pinned/clipped the bottom edge of the hand towel to the neckline of the big towel cover up. Make sure your seam will be on the INSIDE of the cover up once the hood is attached. Make sure you pin/clip A LOT, and SEW SLOWLY. It’s not a race. It’s probably flat out there, that’s why you’re reading this. No rush. Use a long stitch, and go back over it to secure:

The bottom of the hood took up almost the entire neckline. Perfect!
Sewing right inside the finished edge. Slowly.

Again, I don’t try to sew over the thick ends- leave them open, and save your machine. If the bound ends have enough of an opening, thread a LONG shoestring through them and you can pull the hood a little bit closed (not too much, depending on how thick the binding is). That’s it! Enjoy the pics!

Hood applied to the neckline, then turned right side out.
Front Side Finished
Back Side Finished
With a hood, it’s easier to hang up to dry.
If Star Wars was in an “Alternate Lifestyle” Universe, this is the Obi Wan special. 
NOT a man bun, thank you very much.