April 20, 2017

What I Sewed-- EASTER Edition!

Each Easter I get the biggest joy out of sewing matching outfits for the family.  Sometimes I do just the kids, which is fun.  But this year, I found extra hours in the day and was able to sew a little something for everyone in my family.  JOY!


Here's the breakdown of what everyone was wearing.  

The boys got hand sewn bow ties, from my own pattern on my Etsy shop out of cute nautical seersucker.  And my oldest is wearing some suspenders I made him a couple years ago.

My husband is wearing an actual bow tie.  
The pattern came from this free pattern.

I was so proud I actually learned to tie a real bow tie when he and I tried to put it on.  It took a lot of trial and error, but I've got it now!

For me, I sewed a skirt with a lace overlay from a pattern I bought from JoAnns no less than 17 years ago-- whoa-- right when I was out of high school.  I remember wanting to do some sewing with my mom.  I grabbed a couple "sew and cool" patterns and sewed up a few skirts and dresses.  But I never got around to sewing up this skirt pattern.

About a week ago I decided to give it a try.  It was tricky.  I've become so accustomed to Oliver + S patterns, which carefully guide you through every step with wonderful directions and clear pictures.  Without all my previous sewing knowledge, I'm sure I would not have been able to sew this skirt.  But I figured it out...eventually.  I even consulted the Oliver + S website when this skirt told me to do french seams, but gave no instructions on how to do so. Oliver + S to the rescue, as always!




The girls are wearing dresses I sewed from Oliver + S patterns-- of course.




For my younger daughter I chose the Garden Party Dress.  But this time I decided to try to do some smocking for the bodice. I did the easy version, using elastic thread.  I cut my bodice piece too long, since I was eye-balling it.  So my side seams don't quite match up-- but I'm okay with that.


For my older daughter I tried to make an a-line, fully lined, invisible zipper, gathered sleeves, bias-faced neckline Dress-- Whoa, mouthful-- using the Building Block Dress book.

Because my girl is so skinny-minny the dress looked too baggy on her being just the a-line dress.  So I tried adding a belt to cinch things in and add interest.  That worked much better.



I had so much fun sewing for everyone! 




Happy Easter 2017!



February 22, 2017

How to Make Felt Hand Puppets!



I love making puppets with/for the kids.  This isn't my first "puppet rodeo".
Last year the kids are I made some simple felt puppets, made from their hands, using their own designs.

But sometimes you just want your puppet to be able to open it's mouth.  A puppet that can actually talk is So cool!

I did some looking around the internet and came across this awesome pattern found on Martha Stewart.  




It works awesome.  But to be honest the instructions were a little confusing.  I think if there were pictures involved it would really add some clarity. 

After a bit of struggle sewing this dog puppet, picking my sewing out three or four times, I thought I'd try again.  But this time I'd take notes and some pictures to possibly help future puppet sewers, like yourself.


Materials Needed:
1. Go to Martha's site and print off the pattern. (there is a video, but it's not helpful).
2. Felt or old sweaters to cut up
3. Typical sewing notions 


STEP ONE: Following the pattern, cut everything out. 
I recommend not cutting the eye piece out for the dog, but instead adding your eye detail on top.
 If you're making something other than a dog, try being creative and add other details to make your cute puppet.

STEP TWO: Sew all the pieces of the face and any other details in place through one layer.
I zig-zag stitched most things rather quickly.
Yes, I was too lazy to change threads, so Black it was! 

STEP THREE:  Fold the front face piece in half (right sides facing) and
 stitch along the bottom cut-out piece to make your face stand out. 

STEP FOUR: Place ear pieces together, right sides facing and stitch around the sides, leaving the bottom open.  Fold right side out and press down.
For any harsh angels, be sure to clip your corners.

STEP FIVE:Place the ears on top of the face, right sides facing, and sew along the edge, with an edge stitch.


STEP SIX: Place the face piece over the back piece with right sides facing (ears in between). 
 Sew along the top curve.

Place the front piece on top, with right sides facing, and only stitch along one side, bottom to top (where the curve meets).  Leave the other side open.


STEP SEVEN:  With right sides together place the upper mouth piece on top of the lower mouth piece.  
Stitch along the top, inside curve.

Open the "mouth" and place the second bottom mouth piece on top of the inside bottom mouth piece with right sides facing. Stitch together along the outside curve. 


STEP EIGHT: Turn the second bottom mouthpiece right side out to form a pocket.



*****

This part can be a little confusing, so I've tried to take it real slow and add lots of details.  You're now attaching your mouth onto the puppet.


STEP NINE:  Place the mouth inside the puppet, lining up the face piece of the mouth to the bottom of the front piece.  Make sure right sides are facing and pin the top of the mouth to the face.  Stitch the mouth and face in place.

Pin the bottom of the mouth to the puppet front, lining up the curves and stitch the mouth in place along the curve.

One that's done, clip around the curves to add ease to the felt so it will turn properly.



STEP TEN: Sew the other side seam to finish the puppet.
Check to make sure everything is attached!


STEP ELEVEN:  Turn your puppet right side out. 
 Depending on what you're making, you might be done here. 


STEP TWELVE: If you're adding a tail. Cut out two tails, stitch down the sides, leaving the bottom open.  Turn right side out and stuff with cotton.


STEP THIRTEEN: Cut a small snip in the back of your puppet, big enough to fit the tail.  Place the tail inside the hole and stitch in place. 


ALL DONE!


Ha, that wasn't too bad!  And aren't they cute?!



Talking puppets!  Can't be beat. 



"Hey, Mr. Dog. How are you doing today?"
"Oh, I'm fine, but I'm feeling hungry."
"Oh, yeah?  Well, you can't eat me!"


And lastly, I'm trying to learn to use Illustrator. So I thought I'd think up some other idea to make puppets out of, with this basic design:
A bow-tie wearing Bear.



A blue bunny:

 A girl!  
I tried to decide if this design would work for a person puppet. 
 I decided, Yes, it does!
Have fun creating your own!

February 15, 2017

How to Make a Simple Photo/Wood Plaque

Each year for Valentine's day I make my husband some sort of photo gift of the kids and myself for his office.  Some years I've been more simple sending him a collaged picture.  One time I had the kids paint some triangles to add to a mat for a frame. One year I made "super hero cards". Some years I've painted a hand and put a picture with it.  Last year I think I just took a photo and put it in a frame.

This year I wanted to try something new.  I bounced around a couple of ideas using photos and canvases or construction paper...finally I settled on photos on wood!


This was one of those rare super simple projects that was very fast, yet turned out so cute!

MATERIALS NEEDED
1. A piece of wood, mine was about 12 1/2 inches long.  The wood I used was left-over from another project, so it was already stained and sanded.
2. One frame hanger
3. Two photos with the words "We" and "You!" added on.
4. Mod Podge
5. Red paint

STEP ONE:  Measure your wood and nail in the frame hanger.


STEP TWO: Print off pictures with "We" and "You!" printed on them.
Gather supplies.

STEP THREE: Mod Podge the back of each photo and center them on the wood.  
Use one thin layer.


STEP FOUR: Paint on a red heart.  I did two layers so make it nice and thick.  Let the project dry about an hour.

STEP FIVE:  Once your heart is dry, add mod podge across the entire project.  
I added two thin layers.  Let project dry with about 10 minutes between coats.

All done!  Hang it on your wall!

This project was so cute and so fast.  

My husband loved it.  When he got it he promptly hung it in his office at work and took a picture to show me.


Hope you all had a Happy Valentine's day!

February 3, 2017

Christmas PJs!

Every year we give our kids Christmas PJs on Christmas Eve.  It's such a fun little tradition that we all look forward to every year.  I go back and forth each year whether to sew the PJs or buy them.  This year I asked the kids which they would prefer-- of course they said they wanted me to sew them.

In an effort to simplify I decided to do one fabric for all of the kids.  I could barely squeeze these five PJs out of the four yards, but I did it, with a little creative cutting!


For the big kids I sewed up one of my all-time favorite (free) patterns, the Oliver + S's Sunny Day Shorts-- extended to pants length.  For baby I sewed up the Lullaby Layette pants in size 12 months.  They each fit perfectly!


I was going to applique something cute on the shirts, but in typical Christmas season sewing fashion--- I ran out of time.  But they loved the PJs and were non-the wiser.


The kids really love matching!  And this minky fabric is so soft, the kids love it!


Merry Christmas Eve, little sweeties!!