Sunday, May 17, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Tote Bag

We love our teacher!  My girls have the same teacher because she teaches grades 1-3.  I figured out that she'll be our teacher for 5 years! Because she got our older daughter in 1st grade, both this year and has 2 more years with our youngest.  Very cool!

For teacher appreciation day, I made this Cat in the Hat tote bag for her and filled it with classroom supplies. I haven't heard from her about it, but the kids said she loved it.  I know totes of all kinds are handy for teachers, so I'm sure she'll find a use for it even if she has a bunch of other totes already. Can never have too many totes!

I made it with Cat in the Hat fabric and polka dot fabric for the lining.  I added a pocket on it and I embroidered her name above the pocket.

To embroider her name, I first wrote it in Microsoft Word, then turned it into a graphic. Then I threw the graphic into a free demo version of Sew Art which turned the graphic into an embroidery file.  I put it on a usb stick and put that into my embroidery machine.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Snappy Boy Shirts

Since I have 4 grandsons, I am sewing more for boys now. And I found a winner of a pattern! Charlie loves it! It is super easy.  Often times, easy patterns look very "homemade" because they just don't hang right or fit or fall together the way clothing should. But this one look good. I haven't tried the men's size, but maybe I will since the boys' size came out great. You get both adult and toddler sizes in the same pattern envelope.

I made one shirt for my grandson in March for Dr. Seuss' birthday, which is also Read Across America Day, and is celebrated in schools everywhere.  I looked at the pattern and thought, "this is way too big" so I shortened the body of the shirt. Glad I only made one shirt with that mistake! The shirt fit him great but was too short.

I cut out 10 more.  I mean, as long as I was cutting... why not do a pile of them? I thought I would give him three, he could choose, and the rest of them could go in my Etsy shop.  Now that six of them are done, he wants them all.  That sure is a great compliment!

I used plastic snaps instead of buttons.  Charlie doesn't like buttons, they frustrate him because he has to concentrate pretty hard on getting the buttons through the holes. He can do it, but he prefers snaps. That's the beauty of making your own, if you don't want buttons,  you don't have to use buttons!

He loves his new shirts!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Princess Anna of Airendelle's Coronation Dress

I finally finished it!  It took me months because I would work on it a bit, set it aside, come back to it, set it aside, on and on like that.

Here are the kids when they met Elsa and Anna at Disneyland. This isn't the dress that I made though. This is her winter dress and I made her coronation gown.

I really wanted it to be GREAT! But I haven't been feeling like my sewing is spectacular lately, so I've been sticking to simpler projects. This one was a far cry from simple, and while it still has some issues, it's very pleasing to see how wonderful it turned out!

I started with a prom dress that my mom's friend, Gladys gave to me a few years ago. She was hoping I could find a great project for it and I couldn't at the time I received it. Since then, Frozen came out and Anna's Coronation Dress was the perfect project for the light green flower embossed fabric of the vintage prom dress.  Perfect!
Here is the prom dress before I cut it, and the idea of the dress I wanted it to become.

The box pleats were harder than they looked, especially in the back where the skirt comes together with the zipper. The more I look at it, the more I want to rip it out and try again, but I think for sanity's sake, I will leave well enough alone.

The bodice came out wonderfully!  I embroidered it with a design that is pre-programmed into my embroidery machine and used the coronation dress colors. I think it turned out pretty close to the movie version. Close enough!

The gold piece might look familiar, it made an appearance on the Jasmine, Merida, Captain Hook, and Ancient Egyptian costumes that I've made in years past. Scraps are handy!  The black is leftover from an apron that I made for Lexie for work. She was supposed to buy one, so I made her one exactly like the $30 apron required.

I've worked on this dress for so long that I've forgotten where I got the olive green for the sleeves and skirt pleats. They are different though. I honestly cannot recall. I may have purchased the green in the skirt because it is a perfect fabric for this dress. Or it might have been the piece of fabric that we've been using as a Christmas tree skirt for the past decade. Like I said, I can't remember!

I know there are patterns aplenty for this dress, I saw lots of them around Halloween. But, what fun would that be? I used a regular dress pattern as a guide for sizing and went on my own from there. Plus, I needed the box pleats to be just the right width for the printed stripes on the light green fabric. So, I winged it. The pleats are a bit on the wide side, but the pretty flowers more than make up for it!

Here is the finished dress! A beautiful coronation gown that Libby can spin and play in to her heart's content! She loves it and now I'm a little worried about washing it. I think we'll just spot clean it as needed to stretch the life of it, especially since it is made from scraps and old fabrics!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Grandma Gifts: Lap Quilt and Pillow

I made a throw pillow for my mom out of white minky. I embroidered "Grandma" in the center and then embroidered all of her grandkids and great grandkids names on it. Not all 13 names are my kids, some are my neices and nephews, but they are all her grandchildren.

I had a lot of help embroidering the grandkids names. My six year old chose all the colors, fonts and typed the names into the embroidery machine. She loved helping! It was pretty fun to do this project together.

Can you believe it? I didn't take a picture of the finished pillow before I mailed it. 

I also made a lap quilt for my Grandma. My intent was that this would be a Christmas gift, but we had one little guy who wasn't born before Christmas, so it became a January gift. 

I used some shirting fabric that I thought was a nice light color for the main panel. I wanted the embroidery to stand out and not get lost on a bright color. Turns out, it's hard to see anyway. I should have gone with a larger font, but the list was long and I was afraid it would be a mile long if I enlarged the printing. 

It says "Great Grandma's Favorite Days" and then lists each day that she became a grandma, great grandma, and great great grandma.  I did not list the years, just the month and day. She has 17 dates listed on her quilt and she knew exactly what the list was and who had a birthday on each date. She has a great memory for birthdays! 

I made 9 patch blocks and used some colorful prints and put it all together. The back is a turquoise minky. I did add a light layer of batting in the middle; that's all it needed with that warm minky backing.  It turned out to be much brighter than I had imagined, but that's fine. It looks happy!

Both Grandmas seem to enjoy their gifts! I sure had fun making them!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dog Coats

I decided to make dog coats. I'm not sure why exactly, just because I suppose.

I've had this pattern for a while now, it's been sitting idle for a couple of years in my pattern collection. I haven't even tried it yet! Today seemed like a good time to try it out, so I did.

Now that I have my Etsy shop, I have a good excuse to make multiple items. I chose some fabrics and started cutting. It's nice to be able to use up my smaller pieces of minky fabric. That will make a nice warm dog coat.

The coat looks more like a small horse blanket. Maybe I should make one for Libby's Barbie doll horse. She might like that.

I chose several combos and started putting them together. The pattern calls for two thin straps to go under the belly of the dog, but I think one wide strap would work better.

I finished them off with velcro and then I was ready to dress my dog!  Penny wasn't such a willing participant in my quest to make her adorable. Apparently, she thinks she's cute enough without a coat. Ha!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New Family Christmas Stockings

I'm making stockings like mad. They are fun and easy, so why not!

We are having a low-key easy Christmas this year, and that includes decorating. I decided not to get the tote boxes out of the garage and unpack, decorate, undecorate, and repack. The boxes are staying put. But, that's where our nice matching stockings are stored.


I made new stockings!

All different!  The kids love them! Let's hope Santa fills them up to the top!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Twirly Skirt

Guess what? It's Christmas season and my kids have nothing festive to wear. And, I did the silliest thing ever: I misplaced my Redondo skirt pattern! I've been searching for it for over a month now and still cannot find it!

Out of desperation, I took one of Libby's skirts from her drawer and used it to trace out a new pattern. At least now I have the size 6 version of the pattern. I would freehand it, but it's hard to get the sizing and the swirls just right.

I scored some funky green and red chevron printed fabric and I paired it with some green and red polka dot. It's going to be so colorful and fun!  It will also double up as a Dr. Seuss skirt in March for his birthday celebration at school. Awesome! Love it when I can get two occasions out of an outfit.

I made one Redondo skirt for my daughter, and one for my Etsy shop. I wish I hadn't run out of the chevron print, but I got the end of the bolt so I know that's all there is to that. I only have half a yard left and that's not enough for another twirly skirt.

Merry Christmas and Happy Twirling!