Thursday, February 28, 2013

More Angry Birds

As I mentioned back when I made the first "Angry Bird" from M6481, Thing 1 - who had never showed much interest in Angry Birds before - decided that he wanted one, too....Go figure.  He chose view A, the shaggy looking "bird" with no wings or anything else but eyes.  And when we went to the fabric store together, he picked out this green textured fleece for his creature.  We needed 1/4 yard for one creature, but don't be fooled - due to the width, I got THREE creatures out of that 1/4 yard.  I cut out the pieces, and there it sat....for several months....until I decided it was ridiculous, and clearly these needed to be finished in time for the two extras to be used for Christmas gifts (yes, I'm still catching up on those posts).

Once again, I fused the eyes to the fleece via an iron over a press cloth.  Worked great!  I hadn't read the instructions (shame on me) or I would have realized that it actually said to stitch these down.  Oops!  Next time....But Thing 1 is happy, and my little niece apparently loves hers, too!  As does my friend's son who got the last one (and his brother is super jealous - ha!).  So definitely a hit!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Build-a-Fort kits

Thing 2 has a double birthday party to attend, and I wasn't able to get any information ahead of time regarding preferences, colors, etc.  So instead of Pajama Eaters, I thought I would make some build-a-fort kits!  I made one for my boys for Christmas as well as one for a friend's kids (didn't blog either one, apparently), and they were quite a hit.  (Also a great hit with parents - requires no assembly but encourages creativity and imagination, and keeps Mom's blankets from being turned into tents.)

I got the idea online but now don't remember where I saw it.  At any rate, you'll see plenty if you google "build a fort kit" - lots of inspiration, as well as places to purchase!  For these, I combined some ideas I'd seen.  I used two flat sheets, and I turned the sheets under about 2 inches at the corners and the midpoints of the long sides.  I stitched those spots down for about 4 inches - easy to thread a rope through!  I also made drawstring bags to hold the suction cups, clothespins, and larger plastic clamps.  (By the way, I got all these, plus the rope and flashlights, at Dollar Tree.  The suction cups come 9 to a package, the clothespins are 36 to a package, and the jumbo clips are 6 to a package - and I found all those in the laundry section.)  Then I also modified pillowcases to hold all the items - basically, I shortened the pillowcases and added a casing for a drawstring.  This is easy for children to open and close themselves.  It did take time - especially because I made my own bias tape for the casings and drawstrings instead of using purchased - but all in all, I put less than $10 into each fort kit (the sheets were purchased at thrift stores and then washed on hot water).  When your child gets invited to a lot of birthday parties each year, thrifty presents are awesome!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another Emmy dress

I'm not really all that into Valentine's Day, but I saw this adorable argyle heart interlock in the clearance section of JAF and thought that it would be awfully cute for my niece.  I picked up the most closely coordinating pink (sangria) that they had for the sleeves and bodice, used some black ribbing from my stash, and voila!  A new dress for my niece!  (I'm posting about this now, but rest assured that it actually reached her house the day before Valentine's.)  I made the 12-18 month size so that it would continue to fit for awhile.  After all, the dress doesn't scream Valentine's Day.  But it should be a fun dress for her to wear!

Friday, February 22, 2013

New Pajama Eaters!

Do you remember the Pajama Eaters I made a few months ago?  For a birthday party that Thing 2 was invited to?  For a boy-girl set of twins?  Well, they apparently absolutely love their PJ eaters!  Which is totally awesome news, of course - I love hearing that kids love the gifts that I've made.  But they also have a little brother, and he wanted a PJ eater.  And it's not exactly something that you find at Target or Wal-mart, right?  So their mom asked if I'd be willing to make one for him, and of course I was excited to do so!  After some discussion of his likes and some pictures emailed back and forth, we settled on a blue mottled flannel for the body and a sports-playing dinosaurs flannel for the feet and inside.  I think it turned out really cute, and he loved it - which was all that matters!  So this was my first commissioned PJ Eater!  I'm hoping to start an etsy shop and sell some in the future....we'll see....

And of course my guys needed some PJ eaters of their own!  Thing 2 got a ninja PJ eater, inspired by Craft, Interrupted.  He loves the colors red and orange, and I figured red looks more like a ninja to me.  Besides, I have yards of that red mottled flannel. :)  I used a cream felt for the skin around the eyes and a black mottled cotton (not flannel) for the contrast.  It was a hit, as you can see!

And Thing 1 needed a penguin, so I used Craft, Interrupted's owl PJ eaters as inspiration and came up with this!  I really like how it turned out.  Very cute and penguin-like!

Sigh.  I love the PJ eaters.  They just make me happy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

FD Emmy dress

My niece turned one in December, and I had asked my sister-in-law ahead of time if there was anything in particular she needed for her.  One of the answers was dresses!  Fishsticks Designs had a top/dress pattern (Emmy top & dress) out in the past, which I'd heard good things about (and I love their patterns in general - especially the Patrick Curved Raglan tee!), and they were bringing it back for a week as a digital pattern.  After sending my SIL the link and getting the nod of approval, I quickly bought both sizes of the pattern.  (No messing around here.  I've made over 2 dozen PCR shirts for my boys, so I figured that these patterns have staying power!)

Since I wasn't sure of sizing, I made the Christmas dress in the 6-12 month size and the barnyard animals in 12-18 month.  I think they turned out really cute!  I heard later that the 12 month size fit best then, but I haven't heard anything since.  The solid knits were remnants from other projects, and the Christmas knit was the interlock version of the velour I used last year for the boys' Christmas pajamas.  The barnyard animals knit was a lucky find in a thrift store - it had been sewn together double-layer as a some sort of table mat or nightstand cover or something.  Anyway, I brought it home, unpicked the stitches, and had yardage to play with.

As with all of the FD patterns, the instructions were very clear, with lots of pictures, and the pattern came together easily.  This one has a front bodice, back bodice, skirt, and sleeve piece to cut, along with the neckband and sleeve cuffs.  I was very happy with these and will definitely make more for my niece (and any other little girl who "needs" a new dress!).

Monday, February 18, 2013

How to be a good mom :)

My son's classroom earned "Dress Like a Famous Person Day" for good behavior.  And he decided to go with a twist - he wanted to dress up as the school mascot, a gnome holding an open book.  And he only told me about this at dinner the night before - grrr....

The nice thing was that really, all he needed was a fake beard and a pointy gnome hat.  Then he could just wear his school shirt and call it good.  So I consulted Google and found an Easy Santa Beard pattern - which I figured would also work for a gnome.  And I used the basic idea from Tradewind Tiaras to make gnome hats.  However, I didn't have any felt on hand, and I wasn't about to go out looking.  (Not to mention that this was late at night by the time I was able to start.)  My son couldn't remember whether the gnome had a red hat or a blue one, and we couldn't find last year's yearbook to check.  So I ended up making both a red hat and a blue one out of fleece (had plenty in my sewing room), and I also made a "hat insert" out of the stiffest interfacing I had.  So he could slip the insert into whichever hat he wore, and it would stand up as any self-respecting gnome hat should.

He was thrilled, and I heard that his costume was a total hit at school.  One of the teachers took a picture which may end up in the yearbook.  Not bad for no notice, huh?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Baby boots!

So I forget where I originally saw the link, but I found a pattern on Etsy for ruffled baby boots, and I thought it was pretty cool and could make great baby gifts.  It's only $3.50, which also helps, and it comes in three sizes - 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-12 months.  So I decided to go ahead, buy it, and make all three sizes, because, you know, why only do it once. :)  One of my cousins was expecting a baby pretty much any minute,  another had a 3-month-old, and then my brother had an almost-one-year-old.

The pattern prints out well and the instructions are easy to follow.  My only complaint was that the largest size is missing some of the marking dots on the pattern.  I emailed the designer to let her know, but you can definitely wing it by looking at the other sizes, too.  And since I don't have a baby myself, I have no idea how the sizing runs.

This pair is the 0-3 month, for a little baby boy.  I haven't heard back from his mom as to how they fit.

This pair is the 3-6 month, for a little girl.  Her mom said that the feet fit fine, but the ankle area is too big.  But she also said that the elastic length was fine, so I'm not sure what needs to be fixed there.

And this is the 6-12 month pair, for my niece.  They were part of her birthday present, but apparently they were too big for her.  (And I'm not sure how she ranks on average size.)  Granted, that was two months ago, so maybe they fit by now. :)  If not, I might make her the smaller size.

The boots turn out awfully cute, and they are easy to make and use up some scraps.  So the sizing issue is my only real quibble.  I've asked my sister-in-law for a tracing of my niece's foot, so maybe I'll be able to tell better once I have that to compare to the pattern.  Oh, and since she's now walking, I would add gripper fabric to the bottom of the boots.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yes, I'm an inconsistent blogger

I obviously do not make this blog a priority, which is why I write consistent posts for a week and then forget about it for a month.  Oops!  So in other words, I'm still playing catch-up on Christmas gifts (all of which were delivered at least by the middle of January, mind you!).

My good friend from high school got a sling bag this year!  Another friend gave me some pleather that she found at a thrift store, because I was looking for long leather skirts for this bag.  Not exactly what I wanted, but it worked out nonetheless!  (Maybe even better - this is more washable, I think!)  I made the same pattern as before, using the pleather for the outside.

The lining was from a rock-n-roll disco print I had found on clearance at JAF a few years ago.  I had always intended it for this friend, but I had originally meant to use it for a scrub shirt.  Then her job changed, and she is no longer allowed to wear print scrubs.  So instead, I used it for this bag, after first fusing interfacing (Shirt-Fuse?  I don't remember what it was, but it leaves the fabric with a beautiful drape) to it.  As I recall, I put a large elasticized pocket on one side and a small rectangular pocket (with snaps as a closure - for cell phone, wallet, whatever) on the other.  I also included a loop in the side seam for the key leash that I made to match.  I really like how this turned out, and she loved it, which is what matters!

And I made a pair of pillowcases for a friend from grad school.  She currently works for an ophthalmology office, and she had really wanted to find eyeball fabric at Halloween.  So when I saw this fabric on 50% clearance, I snatched some up for her. ;)