DIY · Style · Thrifts

Fall Mums Tank, Eviction, and a Giveaway!

Well, Helloooooooo!

I really did not mean to take such an extended blogging break. I started working on this project, and, as you will see, it didn’t turn out quite like I wanted. So I stopped for a day to think about it, and everyone took turns getting sick (well, everyone except me), and then it was Thanksgiving, and well, there you go. But I’m back! I finally finished this project and can’t wait to share it.

After my last tank project, I knew I wanted to try something similar right away. I thought about a cute pin tutorial that I found a long time ago, and I thought I could recreate it using t-shirts and thread instead of felt and hot glue. And with my love of all things fall, I decided to go with some fall mums colors.

I’ve always loved mums. And they remind me of our second apartment in college. I told you a little about the first one, but I didn’t mention that we got kicked out of that one. Yep, Husband and I, a wild and crazy pair we are.

We were fish-sitting for some friends of ours who were camping. We were going to join them the next day, but we told them we would check on their fish before we headed out. As soon as we walk into their house, Husband stops dead in his tracks. I start freaking out because I think there is a burglar. “What?!” “Shhhhhh!” says Husband. Quiet for what seemed like forever. Finally I say, “Is it a burglar?!” Husband cracks up and says he hears a cat.

We head down to the basement, and Husband finds the cat. It is up above the tiles of their drop-in ceiling, and it is terrified. How it got into their house is a mystery, but we shortly realize that this smart kitty found a loaf of bread on our friends’ counter, tore open the bag and went to town.

We feed the fish. I want to take the cat with us. Husband insists that we can’t, especially since we are leaving the next day. We open a can of tuna from our friends’ cabinet and leave the cat outside by the front door. When we get back from our trip, we stop by, and the cat is still there. We take her with us to our apartment. She stays for a few hours, but Husband insists we cannot keep her. Animals are ABSOLUTELY not allowed in our on-campus apartment. So we take her back to our friends’ house and drop her off. When our friends get back from camping, they call us and say, “Hey, you need to come get your cat.” It had moved in under their car as soon as they got home. So that is how Molly the cat became ours.

We made it about 3 weeks in our apartment before we were found out. The manager left a note on our door, ending the message with “It’s a cute cat.” Hmmph!

So we had to quickly find an apartment. We went to look at two of them, and one apartment was much worse than the other, but it had potted mums outside, which just made it seem so inviting. Husband was realistic, so we chose the better apartment, but I got mums to put outside immediately.

So for today’s project with fall mums, I started with a new tank from Target. I chose a color that looked the most like fall.

On my next thrifting trip, I searched the t-shirts to find some in different shades that made me think of fall.

The dark maroon shirt doesn’t match the purple shade of the tank, but they are similar and work well together.

I started out by cutting out 4-inch squares from the t-shirts. You need 6 squares for each flower. I was planning on making 4 flowers of each color, so I cut out 24 squares each.

Next I cut a 2-inch heart out of thick paper as a template.

To make the flowers, start by folding one of the 4-inch squares in half.

Fold it in half again.

Lay the heart template on top of the folded square, lining up the points. Cut around the heart.

When you unfold the square, this is how it will look. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Repeat with your remaining squares. Yeah, it took a while.

I also created a base for the flowers. I used a juice glass from the kitchen to create a circle template. Mine was about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. You need one circle base for every flower.

Now it’s time to start sewing the petals. Start by folding the petals in half, but make sure the petals don’t line up. You want the petals to fall in between the other petals (see photo above).

Fold the flower in half again.

Use a sewing machine to run a stitch across the bottom corner. To save time, I just ran them all through, one behind another, to create a chain. When they were all sewn, I went back to trim the threads between each one.

Next, I attached the petals to the base. I sewed each petal down before adding another, but for the photos, I’m just placing them on the base to show you how they go.

I like for the petals to overlap a little so there is no gap in this layer.

Continue until you have 4 petals sewn down, covering the entire circle.

For the two remaining petals, I trimmed the points off to attach them more easily. I placed one over the middle of two petals below, hiding the overlap on the bottom layer. I then opened the petals a bit and sewed very close to the inside of the petal.

I did the same thing with the remaining petal over the other two petals on the bottom layer.

So here’s where it got a little tricky. I completed 3 maroon flowers and one red one. My original idea was to have different color flowers arranged around the neck of the tank, starting with maroon in the middle and working out to yellow in a sort of spectrum.

Except it looked terrible. I loved how the maroon looked, and the red was okay, but when I placed the orange and yellow along the neckline, I just didn’t like it. It was too much color – and I LOVE color.

So after a few days of thinking, more days of caring for sickies, and then Thanksgiving, I decided to just stick to the maroon flowers.

I made two more maroon flowers and pinned all 5 along the neckline of the tank. I then VERY CAREFULLY sewed these on to the shirt. I lifted up petals until only the bottom ones were touching the shirt. I sewed a straight line, cut the thread, turned the shirt, and did it again. I made four lines of stitching for each flower, basically in the shape of a square where the lines are not attached. This was not exact – I just stitched until I felt the flowers were secure and the stitches were not able to be seen. I then went back and trimmed all the threads. There were MANY MANY threads to trim. I keep finding a few that I missed before.

It turned out really great! The flowers really don’t match the tank, but they are close, and I like how it looks.

These flowers are quite full, and I like them that way. I know if I wash it, the edges will curl, and it will never quite be the same, so I may end up just dry cleaning this one. I dry clean almost nothing, so I’m okay with it. I mean, I like ironing okay now, but I’m not pressing 240 little petals down. No thank you.

So what about that giveaway, you ask?

Remember how I cut out A LOT of petals? And I only used the maroon ones?

I made a pin out of the red ones!

I have two of these already, and I’ve worn them a lot – pinned to a cardigan, attached to a belt – they are pretty cute.

And today, I’m giving away this one.

All you have to do is leave a comment below between now and midnight PST on Thursday, November 29. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Friday morning. (If you are related to me, you can’t enter, but you’ll probably be getting one for Christmas anyway. Did you see that stack of petals above??)

You can leave any sort of comment, but if you have writer’s block, tell me what you would do with the pin if you won (give it as a gift, keep it, wear it on a sweater, a scarf, a belt, clip it to a headband, put it on your dog’s collar….). Also, make sure you include your email address so I can get in contact with you if you are the winner. (Your email address will not be published.)

Good luck!


11 thoughts on “Fall Mums Tank, Eviction, and a Giveaway!

  1. I don’t have anything catchy to say… but as you know, this will go well with the rest of my wardrobe, my car, my phone, my bathroom and really my life in general is RED. :) I have stacks of projects… i might just need to learn to sew, you are an inspiration!

  2. Very cute! And, I remember when that happened. I also house sat for W&A twice….checking on the fish and such…if I remember correctly, I think a fish died after each time I did…oops! ha :)

  3. I’d attach it to the side of my black hat to wear with my black coat, that goes well with my black and red gloves and that totally match my scarf!

  4. Nicole, you continue to amaze me. I don`t see how you can do all that you do, with those two lovable kids, plus everything else., but you did a fantastic job with this , It is beautiful.


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