Monday, November 29, 2010

It's time for Christmas sewing! Yay!

Now that Halloween is over and I've given myself a good break, I've got to get going on Christmas presents. I love to make the gifts that I give to my nieces and nephews, but finding something that works for everyone is difficult. I have decided on fabric covered journals this year for everyone. We have a bunch of little artists in our family so I thought a notebook and a cool pen would make a good gift. I have found several tutorials online, like the Bloom Journal Cover and the Kirin Notebook to name a few. These all look really straight forward and easy to do but so far only one of mine have come out right. I follow the directions like it says. I use the same measurements and the same composition notebook but so far they are too big or too small. Uugghh!! I've given myself about a week to relax and think these through a little better and I think I'm ready to jump back in.
Not only am I doing these covers, I think I've almost decided to make little stockings for the kids classes. I say almost cause I spent a few hours the other day cutting out these little stocking shaped pieces out of fabric. Instead of cutting out the pieces for one stocking and sewing it together to make sure it will work, I cut out ALL the pieces for 20 stockings. Then I sewed the one together to make sure and sure enough I screwed it up royally!! Thankfully I still have quite a bit of Christmas fabric so I think I'll try again. If anyone reads this, wish me luck!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Boy is this late!

I am finally getting around to posting the kids costumes. I can't believe it is already Thanksgiving and that it took me this long. The costumes turned out really well. Both kids loved them and they were a hit. Unfortunantly I didnt get very many individual shots as I only had my cell phone camera to use. Oh well.
This one is my favorite picture ever! I just love the look on Amelia's face.
Just a bit of detail for Thomas' shirt.The first picture was taken on day two of trick-or-treating. I'm kinda bummed that the applique didn't last longer but at least I have a picture of it
And here is my witch. She is supposed to have crashed into the ground but between kids and dogs she never stayed there. So I hot glued her to a tire and covered her in covwebs. Sadly enough she is still in my front yard. Some day I'll take her down.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I must be nucking futs!!

I was cleaning out my garage to make room for Halloween sewing. While doing this I found the Halloween fabric I had so nicely folded and put away. I should mention I have about ten yards of fabric devoted to Halloween- if not more- most of it one print. To give me a little something to do when the costumes piss me off, I thought "Oh, I'll make goodie bags for the kids classes! That will be easy and great!" I sent notes to school with both kids asking if it was ok and while I am still waiting for Amelia's teacher to answer me, Tom's teacher sent back an enthusiastic note back, gratefully taking any help she can get this year. I read further along and notice she has 21 kids in class- including Tom- and could get more at any time. I'm thinking "OK, I can do 21 bags." Then I remember, Amelia's teacher hasn't responded yet. Let's just assume she has the same amount of kids in her class too and I make a few extra for each class- you know, for teachers aides and teachers. That is 50 goodie bags! Holy crow, what was I thinking?! I got started on them today. I cut out 108 - 6 1/2 inch squares from the fabric I had the most of. It really went much faster than I was expecting. Thank God for rotary cutters and quilters rulers! LOL! If I hadn't run out of the ribbon I'm using for the handles I could have had 10 of them done tonight. As it is, I have 6 done and the sewed up pretty quickly. I'll get pictures posted as soon as I have some to post.


Well, instead of starting a new post I figured I would just add on here. I was able to get all 50 bags done just in time for Halloween. I told myself never again and now here I am thinking of making stockings for their holiday parties at school. Maybe I'll learn someday. Probably I won't. They all came together rather nicely. I did a lot of assembly line sewing here. First I sewed all the bags together wrong sides together, down one side connecting about 15 bags at a time, then up the other side.

All the squares cut out and stacked.

Sewn together and hung over my back door to keep them neat.

After I did this I cut the connecting strings, trimmed the seams, turned them inside out and sewed them all together again. I thought french seams would look better and I really liked the way it looked, it was just too much work. I did the same to sew up the bottoms of each bag. To add the handles I folded the tops of the bags down about an inch and pinned them in place. Then I cut 10 inch lengths of ribbon and inserted the ribbon ends into the folded over top. once they were in a good place I folded them up along the bottom of the hem so that it became a useable handle and sewed around the bag. I can see tons of different ways this would have worked better but hindsight is always 20/20.
I kept running out of ribbon so I had to use 4 different kinds.
Then I needed a bag for each kid to carry these to school in so I whipped up two simple tote bags out of this super cute skeleton fabric I bought last year. These doubled as the teachers goodie bags. I should mention that it looks a little funny cause it was already stuffed with 25 goodie bags when I took the picture.
I stuffed the goodie bags with a pencil, jelly bracelets, spider rings, small coloring books, and home made stickers. I think I may do the same thing with the stockings. If I'm crazy enough.

Progress pictures

Well, we are a full week into October and I feel like I've gotten quite a bit done and still have tons left. Eek! I was able to get Thomas's tunic done quickly. As confusing as the instructions were I found it really quite simple to put together. Although not the best picture, I want to show it off. All I lack on this one is the hook and eye closure. Then I just need to make a pair of pants and possibly some spats (boot covers), buy a sword and he'll be good to go. Yay!

Amelia's also went together fairly easily. Unfortunantly I was both broke and impatient so I used a plain white cotton fabric for the outer shell of the dress. So we have a really pretty sheer fabric with black velvet roses for the underskirt, a black satin type material for the over skirt, and plain ol cotton for the top. Maybe I should have waited, huh? I don't think it looks too bad and with the right trim and a petticoat underneath it may just turn out OK. I did change up the sleeves for this one. In fact, I just did straps instead. I really just didn't feel up to messing around with the sleeves since the fabric I used unravels easily.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Halloween is coming!!!

My favorite time of year! Yay!! I am trying really hard to clean up the disaster that is my garage so that I can get a jump on costumes. I've already bought the patterns for both Amelia and Thomas and want so bad to start sewing them right now but I can't. Amelia has decided she wants to be a princess this year. I've been informed that since she is a princess Thomas has to be a knight so that he can protect her. Hmm, does that mean I should be a queen?
Amelia chose McCall 6183, the green and yellow dress. She originally wanted pink and purple and blue but I was worried that it might be a bit busy. As we searched Hancocks looking at fabrics to use, I found a really pretty sheer material that had black velvet roses on it for only $2 a yard on sale. I showed it to her and she loved it so I was able to convince her that a black and white princess dress would be beautiful. She quickly agreed. My only worry is that the dress overlays (the green and yellow skirts) are not lined or even hemmed. The pattern suggests using a seam sealent and then sewing the trim on top of that. I am wondering if maybe I can find a way to line it but keep the shape of the overlay and not have too much bulk. Hmm.
Thomas chose McCall 5500, the green one. Since Amelia will be black and white, so will Thomas. After all, a knight should match his lady, right? The instructions on this one are super confusing but only because of the way they sew the lining to the tunic. I looked up the reviews on two said NOT recommended and three said HIGHLY recommended. At this point I've already purchased the patterns and I consider myself commited. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New things for Q

I've been having just a little too much fun with my sewing here lately. I was asked by my husbands aunt to make a baby carrier for her son's first baby, due in Septemer. I wasn't about to complain. I love any excuse to sew for a baby. While browsing for ideas I saw a mai tai tutorial on this site. It was not the only tutorial I found but it looked the easiest to do. Now since we still have a few months to go for the new baby I needed a baby to try this with. Enter Q. He is about ten months now and getting bigger every day but he is still a hold-me kind of kid. Jessie can't walk away from him without him crying and John (BIL) just can't get enough of holding him. So I found about two yards worth of the most neutral material I could find, a yard of muslin and some fusible fleece and got to work. It really didn't take long to put everything togetner. The straps took the longest and then pinning the straps at the right angle and making sure they wouldn't get sewn in the wrong place. That part I didn't like so much. The shoulder straps wound up being about two yards long each and the waist straps about a yard each. On Jessie the waist straps wrap around about three times but she says that is what makes it so comfortable. On John they wrap once but he seemed really excited about having this, which is good because I really made this for him. 
The next one I will make a bit narrower though because this one is too wide and they cannot turn Q around in it.

Now for the fabric high chair I made for Q. I found this tutorial and just had to try it. I used fusible fleece in the middle of it for a bit of padding and some material from my stash. It can fit on any chair with slats and possibly even a shopping cart.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A few new projects

While I haven't been crafting as much as I like to I have been trying to squeeze a few things in here and there. I really like the whole reusable grocery bag idea but have a hard time remembering to take the darn things with me. To try to help me remember I've taken to making my own bags. I suppose the thought is that if I take the time to make them then I will remember. I started small with a bag for taking my lunch/breakfast to work with me in order to keep me from spending money on it. I used a smaller sized plastic grocery bag for the pattern as I've seen on several tutorials. Add a pocket inside for an eating utensil and voila! A lunch bag is born! I just loved this fabric combination but I could never decide how to use it.

Next up is the bag I made for my sister's bithday. We grew up listening to Aerosmith and the like so when I found this knit material at Hancocks a few years back I just had to have it. I made her a tote bag style purse back then with a red satin lining. While it turned out ok it wasn't great. Not only was it my first time sewing with knit fabric but with satin as well. I still had a half yard or so left so I decided it was time for something new. I used some dark stretch denim and red broadcloth and made up a pattern for this one. You can't tell by the horrible picture I have of it but it is kind of like those pleated purses, with an upper band and a "baggy" bottom. That isn't the right word but it will work. She loved it. I even make a clasp-frame coin purse to match but forgot to take a picture. It turned out way cuter than it looks, I promise, and she loved it.

One of my managers at work invited us to her grandaughter's birthday party. Although her words were "If you want you can come to the party. Maybe you can make her a dress or some hair clippies!?" I knew that she really was just asking if I would make her something to give her grandaughter. I generally cave in to all requests to make something new and girly so I went straight to Hobby Lobby and bought 1/2 yard of this ladybug material and some elastic ruffle ribbon, went home and whipped this up. I didn't even need to use a pattern. The little girl was tuning one year old so I just kind of winged the pattern, knowing that she is kind of small. I then added a matching headband and gave it to my manager. She loved it, although it was a little too long.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Not quite what I had in mind but....

it'll work. I started out trying to make a bean bag chair. I already had this fuzzy orange material cut into large circles so I decided to stick with that and make it more of a floor pillow. I had my husband in mind for this as he plays a lot of XBOX360 but he said he needed more back support. That just gives me one more reason to keep craftin. HAHAHA. Anyway, on to the pillow. I bought several yards of this fuzzy orange material at JoAnns when they went out of business here several years ago. Back before I was even sewing because I just thought it was awesome. Before I really understood that material like this is really difficult to feed through a sewing machine. Yeah, sometimes I'm really smart. LOL Anyway, I used the orange circles to cut out the lining, determined how long the zipper should be, sewed it on and then sewed around the rest of it. I pretty much did the same for the lining but left an opening instead of inserting a zipper so that I could add the packing peanuts. Yeah, that was fun. I think I spilled packing peanuts all over the floor twice and with a puppy in the house it was a mad scramble to pick them all up before she could eat them. All said and done it wasn't too bad.
My lining. I used halloween fabric I just had to buy because it was a quarter a yard.
Now, since it had no back support for the man and he didn't want to use it I had to use it for something. So the lucky recipient was- Sadie! It took her a day to get used to the packing peanuts but now she loves it. Yay!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Better late than never

I know it has taken way too long for this but I just got these pictures. These are the Christmas presents I made for my sister's two older boys. As Jayson is a super car fan I figured he could use something to carry them around in that would double as a play mat. I found this tutorial I really liked but I needed it to be bigger. This kid has more cars than a dealership, lol! So, I used one of my sons cars and laid the fabric on top of it to determine how wide the pocket should be. Then I added 1 inch to that. I needed the pocket to hold the car but not cause the case to bulge and wave on the back part. I used denim, quilt batting, yellow dust cloths, and this sparkly checkerboard fabric. On to the pictures!

The straps on the road end have velro sewed on and there is a strip of velcro sewed onto the other side of the pocket end. This was he can carry it and not worry about letting go of a handle by accident and losing cars.
Next up, a DS case from this tutorial. Naturally I modified it a bit to make it suitable for a boy. Donovan got a DS for Christmas from my parents as well as a few games. I figured he might need something like this to help protect it when not in use. It took very little fabric and was really easy to construct. Now I need to make two more for my kids as they both got one too.

All I need picture of now are the girls baby doll clothes and diaper bags.

Meet Sadie!!

Isn't she sweet?!? She is a full blooded lab but doesn't have any papers- which is totally fine by me. They told us she is about 8 weeks old and she is already mostly house trained. Yay!! My mind is already running wild with ideas for sewing projects! I know, I'm weird, right?