Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cute as a Button I don't have a project for you, but I do have a tip on finding cute buttons!  While it takes a bit more time and effort than hitting the button aisle at your favorite fabric store, I have found some really cute/cool/bizarre buttons for much less than I would usually pay at my favorite fabric stores.  Where to shop........  Goodwill, thrift stores, your own closet, anyone's closet that you have access to and a knowledge of what they want to get rid of!  I have found all kinds of neat stuff, often for under a dollar!  I simply take the clothing item with the cool buttons home, wash well, and cut the entire button band off of the item.  That way, all of my matching cool buttons are still together.  Or, I cut the buttons entirely free of the fabric and put them in a zip baggy.  Yay!!!  Unique and cheap buttons!!!

Purple textured buttons and a nice brown and white combo.  Do note that the cute buttons do not necessarily have cute clothes to hold them, so check everything to find the cute ones!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nothing on a Friday

So, I have lots of half finished projects, but nothing to show today.  It has been another crazy week, and stuff just didn't finish itself like I had hoped it would while I was busy.  D and M both have nasty colds and want lots of cuddling.  I love to cuddle with them and know that one day they will outgrow it, but it is hard to cuddle them both at the same time.  You see, they don't want to share me, my lap, or my arms.  They try to shove the other one away, which really does very little to help anyone stop crying.  W seems to be on a tooth pulling spree(One last Thursday and one yesterday).  And, other people in the family have been sick too.
We did have a good beginning to the week with Shrove Tuesday.  The pancake dinner/Mardi Gras party at church was a blast.  At least it was a blast until M lost it and started screaming when it got close to bedtime.  Other than that, it has been a quiet, stay at home, accomplish very little week.
I hope you all had good weeks and have great plans for the weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Monday

So.... yesterday was a holiday from work for me, and W had the day off from school.  The little ones were with their dad for the weekend, so I had a day to myself, mostly.  I tried to do a great many things, but accomplished less than I had hoped to do.  It was mostly a day to try to catch up!  I started off with decorating a shirt for a little girl. (Not Miss M)  Then, I upped the excitement level by hemming two pairs of pants for my dad.  It was thrilling.  I got the top of a baby blanket ready to go, and made a dish towel for my cousin.  (Yes, Jen, since you read this, I made you something!)  I also made an extender for Oliver's coat, so his tummy strap would be less snug.  Then, I finished the ruffle scarf that I posted yesterday and cut out the fabric for D and M's St. Patrick's Day clothes.

Then, I finished the dress that I started here.  M will be so cute in this when the weather gets a bit warmer!!!

The back crosses over itself and the inside shows, so it is fully lined.  The bloomers match the lining, and the rest of info on that dress will come later!
And now, I have a job before me. It is to help a very small, very weak child.  Details will not get posted on this project, but I hope it turns out well.
Have a great day!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ruffle Scarf

I am fairly certain, without looking, that there are several, if not tons, of similar patterns on Ravelry for scarves like this.  But....  I didn't use them.  I picked out some yarn and needles and got started without a real plan or pattern.  Basically, it was going to be a really long skinny rectangle, but I quickly got bored with that plan.  I knit this scarf longways, so I decided to add a ruffle to one of the long sides.
I cast on about 300 stitches on a 36" 6 mm circular needle with my yarn, Bernat Mosaic in Ninja, held double.  I knit about 1.5 inches in garter stitch and then decided to make a ruffle.  On the next row, I knit two together, knit one, knit two together, knit one......  This cut the length of the scarf by a third.  Then, I kept up the garter stitch until I was about to run out of yarn.  This gave me about a 4.5 inch wide scarf that is about 48 inches long.
W was kind enough to model the scarf for me....

.... until he realized why I was taking pictures!

Here is a close up of the colors.  I am not sure why it was named "Ninja."
Now, to wrap and gift it!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Two Toddler Backpacks

So, during one of my internet surfathons, I found this tutorial and knew that I would need to make it.  D and M watch W leave for school every day on the bus and watch for him to come home too.  They need backpacks so they can be like their big brother.  They already like to pretend, so I think these will be perfect.

There are really only three things that I did differently on these.  I didn't baste the straps into place before sewing. I just pin away and sew the whole thing.  I also had to trim the front and back panels, as my side piece didn't seem to be long enough.  I don't know if it is the tutorial or me with the problem, but you might want to check the length that your side piece needs to be before cutting.  I think that the next time I make one of these, I will make about a 36" side piece and then decide how much to shorten it.  And, I do interfacing differently.  And, by differently, I mean that interfacing and I have a difficult relationship, and I do it the way I have learned to reduce the amount of ruined interfacing and fabric. I begin by cutting out the pattern pieces from the interfacing.  Then, instead of cutting out matching fabric pieces and then ironing, I iron the interfacing pieces onto the uncut fabric.  Then, I cut these pieces out, and the edges all line up nicely!!!  I didn't take many pictures of the process, but the tutorial link can show you the steps.  Here are the finished products.  I think they turned out very nicely.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday, At Long Last

It is finally Friday!  I had originally planned to have a cute post for today, but that didn't happen.  What happened....  was just life.  We got busy around here.  Nothing bad, and actually some of the week was really really good!  So, instead of something crafty that I did this week, we have cuteness! (Thug M)

W has the last of his Cub Scout stuff this week before he moves up to Boy Scouts next month.  D and M had lots of play time this week, inside and out.  The outside stuff was a blast, but of course my camera was inside.  M loves to pick up tiny rocks and make a pile.  D loves to play in the dirt.  It was a fun week, just not too crafty.  I did start knitting a scarf, but it is not picture worthy yet.   And......  one of my cousins got engaged last night!!!!  We are all super excited for and with the happy couple.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oliver's Coat

Nope, no kids here named Oliver.  But, I do happen to know an Oliver.  My little cousin is his mom, and he is a pig.  No kidding.  A pig.

And, Oliver was found to need a coat.  Apparently pig coats are often custom made and can be quite pricey.  That is where I come in....  the custom made part, not the pricey part.  I have done a good bit of sewing for my cousin before (bedroom decor cannot be found with pig themes), so they asked if I could make one.  I said, "Sure!"  I was referred to a facebook page to see what they were thinking, and I started by getting Oliver's measurements and making a test coat.  I didn't get pictures of the test coat fitting, but I did pretty good for my first pig coat.  So, on to the "real" pig coat.  (Which just sounds funny to me.)

First, I adjusted my original pattern to make it shorter by about 2 inches. I also had to adjust the location of the straps.  Then, we tried the coat on Oliver.  

There he is!!!  Oliver in his new coat!!!  And yes, the Cheerios were necessary to get him to put the coat on.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Angel Birds

The kids all really enjoyed this past Christmas, especially the decorations.  We go all out with decorating the house, which is very festive, even if it is not the most glamorous display.  W has always had fun with the decorating, but this was the first Christmas that the little ones noticed.  One thing that they especially loved was the nativity scenes.  They both love them, but little D really loves the angel.  He calls them birds, because they have wings.  The twins had the Little People Nativity to play with and a larger (think half the size of D and M) Precious Moments one to look at and talk about.  The playing, singing, talking about nativities went on daily in our house until the end of January.  The rest of the decorations had long been packed away, but the babies just loved to have the nativities out.
So, I waited until the little ones were with their dad, and I packed up the nativities that were left.  I want them to be a special Christmas item, so yearlong nativity play wasn't going to make that happen.  After the twins came home, D went looking for his bird to carry around.  He was quite distraught to find it gone.  The more tired he became, the more tragic it all was to him.  So, instead of giving in and unpacking the nativities, I did what had to be done...   I made the babies their own Angel Birds to play with year round!
I began by making a pattern of sorts.  I have not ever made stuffed dolls before, so this was all new to me.  I thought that aiming for the shape of a gingerbread woman would work for the body.  I folded the paper in half to draw and cut out my pattern.  I ended up liking it, except for the flat head.

I decided to use fleece that I already had to make the angel birds, pink for M and blue for D.  I traced the pattern onto the fleece that was doubled and cut out both pieces at the same time.  I also used the cutting time to round out the flat head on my angel bird.

Then, I should have pinned it together before sewing, but I really didn't want to stay up all night making the angel birds, so I just lined up the edges as I sewed.  The right side of the fabric is facing in on both pieces when you sew them together.  Leave about a 2 inch portion unsewn for flipping the angel bird right side out and to stuff it.

I stuffed the angel birds pretty firm poly fill, so they would hold up to toddler love.  Then, I hand stitched the opening closed as neatly as I could when approaching the middle of the night.

For the wings, I traced the bottom of a circular strawberry basket.  It was about the same size as an ice cream bucket.  What circle to trace is just a matter of how large you want the wings to be.  Again, I traced it on double fleece and cut out both layers at once.  I do wish that I had used a disappearing ink marker, but used a Sharpie.  This meant trimming the tracing off the edges of one circle.

Then, the sewing of the wings.  I did not do this very technically.  I started at the bottom of the circle edge and just bunched the circle and stitched away at it, by hand.  I did do it in little increments and checked often to see that I was bunching somewhat evenly and that the wings would end in a normal wing position.

The faces were added with Sharpie.  I did practice first on a scrap, which I highly recommend.

Then the hair had to be added.  Like I said earlier, I have never made stuffed dolls before.  So, I have never had to add hair to a doll before.  This step included a Google search, reading several tutorials, and then hacking them into something that I felt was doing for me.  The following steps made one angel worth of hair for me.  Basically, I fold a piece of printer paper in half.  I used my angel bird to measure how long I wanted the hair to be.  I cut a bunch of yarn to slightly longer than the desired length, then laid in in the folded paper, trying to get it close together but not overlapping.  Then, I sewed several "parts" into the hair with my machine.  The paper is supposedly needed to keep the yarn from jamming the machine.  Then, carefully remove the paper from around the yarn.  Yay!  You now have doll hair.  If this step makes no sense, please Google "how to make doll hair" and see if the tutorials help any.

I then hand stitched it down the center seam of the hair to where I wanted it on the angels.  Most of the tutorials encourage stitching several seams on the head, but I am not after any doll making awards, just happy kids.  Then, the angel needs a haircut to even up the lengths.

Then, the Angel Birds were done, just waiting on D and M to love them!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Monday, Monday

Yes, I do know that today is Wednesday, but I am going to write about what all happened on Monday.  D and M went to spend the day with their dad, like they usually do on Mondays.  But instead of going to work like I usually do on Mondays, I spent the day at home, with W, who was still sick.  Being as he is almost 11 (I still don't know how that happened), he is pretty self sufficient.  I had to get his drinks and feed him, but he can work the remote for all of the TV/video/game stuff better than me.  So, I had time to make stuff!!!

I bought fabric a few months ago to make the twins new crib sheets.  The fabric for crib sheets has to be at least 45 inches wide, which can be difficult to find in anything really cute.  I have repurposed old twin sized sheets into crib sheets before, but this time, I bought some Soft N Comfy (Joann), and it is wide enough.  So, the first Monday project was crib sheets, using the tutorial from Dana's Made here.  I did shorten the elastic to 72 inches, because I like for crib sheets to fit very tight.  They tested each other's for softness before we put them on the beds.
Here is D showing how to feel the softness.
And M showing how pretty her sheet is on the bed.

Then, it was on to Valentine's Day.  W has declared himself too old for cutesy stuff, so he will be getting a new pillowcase in "his" team's fabric.  Again, I used a Dana's Made tutorial for the pillowcase, which can be found here.  I only used one fabric, so I made my rectangle long enough to be both pieces in her instructions.
I think he will love it!

Then, cutesy stuff for the little ones.  Since complete sentences are still in D and M's future, I can dress them pretty much however I want.  Every now and then they have a problem with their clothes or demand to wear certain accessories, but usually it is all my choice.  So...... matching Valentine's Day clothes.  For D, I made a pattern from a piece of clothing that he already had, so I just had to tweak it for his less than long legs.  Miss M's dress is from Simplicity 6576, size Large.  Again, I got the fabric from Joann.
I know that D's legs aren't finished in this picture, but remember, they were with their dad while I was sewing. D has 12 month sized legs and an 18 month sized body, so I like to try things on him before I hem and put in the snaps.
And now, being modeled by the cuties themselves....

And because Mr. D does have rather short legs, I made him some flannel pants.  There are about a zillion tutorials online for little pants, but I do find that it works best to make my own pattern from a pair that fits hims well.

He thinks they will fit his head nicely. :-)

Then, it was on to another dress and starting another, but those will get shared another day!