Saturday, August 27, 2011

3 super boys

Chrissy is a wonderful mom to 3 sweet young boys, two of which love their superheros!!  They wear their superhero costumes year round, they know each character, their powers and their moves.

She was about to order the boys a couple capes from the internet, but before she did, she asked me if I wanted to make them instead.  Of course I was excited for the new project!  I found a great tutorial that helped me do the actual cape, and I figured out the logos and straps on my own.  Initially I was only going to make 2 capes for the older boys to share, but my mother-in-law gave me the idea to make one for the baby.  Since the youngest is too young to fully appreciate the awesome-ness of a cape, and probably wouldn't put much wear and tear on it, I didn't make it as durable as the other two.  Just something simple so that mom could have 3 superboys! 

I knew from the beginning that I was going to make the capes reversible, but it took me a while to decide which characters to use. While I was deciding, my husband gave me the idea to use the same superhero on one side of each cape in case the boys want to be the same guy at the same time.  Great idea!  I chose Superman since he is the only superhero who actually wears a cape (to the best of my knowledge).

I didn't make the baby cape reversible, but I chose Spiderman and Captain America as the reverse sides of the other two capes.  I chose Spiderman because he's awesome, and I chose Captain America because I knew the boys like him, but also because his colors coordinate with superman

I tried putting the bigger capes on my own son to make sure the size was appropriate, but he refused.  I ended up trying it on myself (like I have the neck of a 5 year old ?!?!) and THAT he thought was great.  I ended up "having" to wear a cape around our neighborhood when we went for a walk.  It didn't help my cause when I pretended to fly.....that was just like adding fuel to the fire.


oh boy.

When it came time for the baby cape, I used my daughter as a model.  She quite liked the cape.  She'd take it off of herself and ask me to put it back on her, then take it off and ask me to put it back on, over and over.  very cute!

When I was done, I packed them up in a bag and gave them to Chrissy earlier this week when we were together at an engagement party.  She had wanted to save them for a few weeks until the first day of school, but I think I guilted her into giving them to the boys that night (sorry Chris!). 

To say the cape were a hit is an understatement.  The two older boys light up when they saw the capes and they wore them almost the entire night.  Of all things, Trent wanted a cape when he saw the other boys with he wore the baby cape!  I felt so bad that he didn't have a "real" cape, but he didn't seem to mind one bit.  The three of them ran and jumped and "flew" all over the place.  They were constantly reversing the sides and trading capes.  It made me so happy to see them so happy. 

I have plans to make both my kids their own capes at some point in the near future.  I might even add them to my etsy page.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

under where?

Not long ago, a friend was telling me that her 3-year old was desperate for a pair of Snow White underwear, but no matter where she looked she couldn't find them.  She couldn't find iron-on transfers, homemade undies on the internet, or patches small I volunteered to try to make her some.  She let her daughter pick out the fabric to ensure it was what she wanted.  I was only able to find two helpful, free patterns online.  This one and this one.  Though they are both very similar, they both have their pros and cons.  The second pattern only requires 2 pieces of fabric, which was nice, but the Princesses were upside down on the back.  Upside down princesses on the butt don't bother the 3 year old, so I'm in the clear, but I feel it's worth noting. 

Once I find out if they fit the child well, and/or if she preferred one style over the other, I will make her more and/or make applique's out of the fabric and sew them onto plain undies (kind of like what you see to the left in this photo - that was an experiment).

I found some underwear patterns on sale on that I really liked, but they use all knit fabric, which wouldn't work for this particular project.  I think if my desire to make underwear for my own children was a little greater, I'd buy one of the patterns.  As it stands right this moment, I am perfectly content buying their underwear

Monday, August 22, 2011

bow holder

I've been collecting bows and clips and headbands for Claire since she was born.  Sometimes they come with an outfit, sometimes I buy or make them, other times they are a present to Claire from family.  None of which mattered much because up until recently she didn't have enough hair for the clips and she would tear the headbands right off her head.

But now she has some hair, so I'm working on getting her to leave clips/bows/bands alone! 

Several weeks ago Chrissy sent me an image of a bow holder on etsy, and it was just the cutest little thing.  I was inspired!

And so I made this:

I bought a wooden "C" , spray painted it white, slapped some stickers on it, stapled some ribbons to the back, then added some hanging hardware.  Not much to it really. 

My husband might disagree with that statement, given he stood with me in the ribbon aisles while I took hours trying to find the perfect combination of size, color & pattern.

I would like to add that the stickers took surprisingly well to the spray paint.  I thought I'd have to decoupage it or give it a clear coat, but that wasn't necessary at all. yippee.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

got wood?

I've been known to dabble with wood. 

More recently I made my children growth charts, an art easel, and a step stool.....


...but there's been wood in my past as well.  In 2007 I made a shelf for our shot glass collection and a shelf for my pez collection (with my dads help).

the shelf on the right.  not the two on the left

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

claire's birthday outfit

Back in March my daughter turned 1.  It happened much quicker than I would have liked, but it happened nonetheless.  I decided to make her an outfit for her party.  I'd seen those birthday shirts and onesies around on the internet - you know, the ones with their age on the front.  I decided why not.  Her party was a luau theme so I chose a bright hibiscus print.  I used this circle skirt tutorial to make the skirt.  I used my wonderful serger to do a rolled hem around the bottom with contrasting thread rather than a traditional hem.  I also dabbled with this dying elastic tutorial, but I couldn't get the color just right, so I went with white.  For the top I simply printed a "1" from the computer (from word), cut it out, traced it on my fabric, and sewed it to the onesie.  I knew I should have used 'heat n bond' but I was lazy and didn't.  USE IT!  The "1" started fraying right away!  In addition to her age, I cut out a couple of the hibiscus' from the left over fabric and I sewed them on to the shoulders of the onesie, just for some added detail.  Being March there was still a chill in the air so I threw some tights on her legs and she was good to go!  It was a great party!!!  5 months later and she still wears the skirt.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

great beginner projects

I'm still trying to catch this blog up so I can post current projects only. 

One project I found to be a great beginning sewing project is headbands!  All I did was take some ribbed knit, cut it the length of my daughter's head, cut it the width I wanted, sewed the long ends together, turned it inside-out, sewed short ends together, hot-glued a flower to it.  Easy.

Another lovely beginner project is baby legs.  All you do it cut the toe and heel off adult socks (3 cuts), discard the toe and heel, sew the remaining foot section together (wrong sides together), then sew that section to the remaining sock section (right sides together, raw edges even).

As you can see, I like being festive from time to time. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Turn a Men's Shirt into a Travel Sized Pillowcase Tutorial

My son has been in his toddler bed for eight months now and has gone through a couple different pillows.  First he had the PillowPetz pillow.  Very comfortable.  Very awesome.  Very stinky!  It got pretty gross pretty quick.  Of course we'd wash it, but the smell kept coming back sooner and sooner.  We tried putting a pillowcase on it, but that just didn't work out.  Somehow my son ditched the pillowpet and developed a bond with one of our living room sofa pillows.  This really didn't bother my husband or myself - I mean, the sofa pillow is a great size for his bed and he likes it - but really, we want him to have a proper pillow. 

We knew he was attached to this sofa pillow, but we thought if we got him some cool pillowcases maybe he'd transition to a bed pillow easily. 

But bed pillows are so big in proportion to his toddler bed and his toddler body.

Then one day, while shopping at Walmart (not for pillows) my husband spots a $3 travel size pillow!  In the cart and home it goes!  Now it was time for me to make (eek!!) a case for his new pillow.  It had to be good!  We're in luck - I had spare BUZZ LIGHTYEAR fabric!

I made the pillowcase and he liked it, but not enough to actually use the new pillow *insert pouty mommy face here*.  So now there's an extra pillow in his room and a sofa pillow still in his bed.  But did that stop me from making another pillowcase?  Of course not. 

My husband has this one t-shirt that's been sitting in his dresser forever.  He won't get rid of it because it was a gift, but he's only worn it twice out of desperation, and complained about it both times.  A light bulb went off other night when I was doing laundry and I decided it would make a cool pillowcase for the pillow that really doesn't need an extra case because it never gets used.  (Sometimes I almost ask myself "self, why do you waste your time on these projects" but I stop myself because I know I love the process of sewing, not just the final product). 

Travel size pillows are perfect for toddler beds, travel, nap time at school or daycare, sleep overs, and accent pillows.  Even if my son won't use it now I figure we're bound to use it at some point.

So here's a tutorial on how to turn a men's size large (or larger) t-shirt into a pillowcase for a travel size pillow!

~ size large (or larger) t-shirt
~ basic sewing supplies
~ sewing machine

* you can easily use a woven cotton fabric in place of the t-shirt during this tutorial.  The amount of fabric required will depend on whether or not you're using the same fabric for the front and back of the pillowcase.


*before you begin, please be aware of the orientation of your t-shirt's image/pattern/text/logo.  In most cases (like mine) the image is going to be portrait style - not landscape style like store-bought pillowcases.  If this doesn't bother you please continue!

1. Lay the t-shirt as flat as you can get it on a cutting mat.  I pinned the bottom of the shirt together to keep it from shifting.

2. Cut a 25"x15" square through both layers of fabric.   Include the bottom hem of the shirt if the image on the shirt allows!!!  If you're anything like me you aren't the best at sewing knit fabric, so this will make the pillowcase look so much nicer.  In my case, I did not use the t-shirt hem :-(

 3.  Pick up the fabric and turn it over.  Now the image is face down on the mat and you are looking at the outside of the back of the t-shirt.  Cut 4" off the upper edge of the  top layer of fabric.  Do not cut the bottom layer (which is the piece with the image).  Are you still with me? 

(if you weren't able to use the bottom hem from the t-shirt, now is the time to finish those edges.  Take one piece of the fabric and serge the bottom edge.  Fold the edge 1/2", pin, press, sew.  Repeat on the other piece).

4.  Now you have to reposition your pieces.  You want right-sides together and you want the upper raw edges to be even.  Your finished bottom edges will be 4" apart from one another.  Pin the upper raw edges together.  Sew, using a 1/2" seam allowance.  Serge (optional).

5.  Peel the top layer of fabric back to reveal  the right side of your image.  Fold the bottom edge up 4"

6.  Drape the top layer of fabric back over the bottom layer so that right-sides are together again.  Now your bottom edges should be even (the upper finished hem should be flush with the folded crease of the bottom layer).
7.  Pin your sides together.  The bottom 4" will consist of 3 layers of fabric.   Start at the upper edges and sew down both sides.  Backstitch at the beginning and end.  Serge (optional).

8.  Turn the pillowcase right side out and stuff a pillow inside!

Now you have a very comfortable pillowcase for your travel-sized pillow!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

past patterns

I first discovered patterns at the same time that I discovered the $1 pattern sales.   You can look at the hundreds of different patterns available either online or by looking thru the catalog books at the fabric stores - and believe me, patterns can be very addicting when you first get into it....especially when they are only $1!  Needless to say it didn't take long for me to collect a modest little stash.  In the beginning, I only sewed using patterns - I didn't know any other way (and to be honest I hardly knew that way).  Below is everything I've made using patterns over the past year.  You'll notice how many there were in the beginning and how they tapered off fairly quickly.  That's not to say I dislike patterns; On the contrary, I quite like patterns - I've simply been experimenting with different methods, like tutorials and what I like to call the "winging it method" ;-)

stuffed elephant
Simplicity 2613
October 2010

boy pants
Simplicity 2907
October 2010

monkey shoes
Simplicity 2491
October 2010

jumper dress
McCalls 5916
October 2010

fleece hat
Simplicity 2494
October 2010

Simplicity 2698
November 2010

Simplicity 2526
November 2010

holiday dress
Simplicity 2668
December 2010

coordinating jacket
Simplicity 2668
December 2010

Shopping cart cover.  It's reversible, has 2 pockets, 1 bag, and a safety strap
January 2011
McCalls M5721

Shopping cart cover.  It's reversible, has 2 pockets, 1 bag, and a safety strap
February 2011
McCalls M5721

dinosaur rag quilt
Simplicity 2493
April 2011

art smock
(not my pattern - i don't have the info)
March/April 2011

turtle rag quilt
Simplicity 2493
May 2011
 So now you're up to date on my past pattern usage!  I have several *wink* unused patterns sitting in my little pattern bin, so hopefully I will have more to share with you in the near future!