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Monday, February 28, 2011

Little baby elephants

I love making baby gifts.  They are always cute and easy, usually pretty quick and most of the time I get to use up some of my cute scraps! 

I also love Stitch magazine.  I picked one up at Hobby Lobby one day and now I am hooked! There are usually over 40 projects inside-something for everyone!  I have even ordered back issues but they aren't here yet...patiently waiting at my mailbox for those to arrive!

The issue that I have has some great baby projects in it.  One of them being this adorable little elephant! 

I whipped one up yesterday for Preston.  His is a bit "J. Crew-ish" with it's classic linen. Love that.

Then, I decided to make one for our little nephew.  He is 3 months now and is going to enjoy chewing on everything as much as Preston does very soon.  I made his out of "stinky hawkeye" fabric as Dustin and Peighton like to say. 

When driving, Dustin will stick his nose up and say "What's that smell Peighton?"  And she will reply very matter of factly "must be the Hawkeyes!"  Ha!  So, this one is a bit smelly. ;-) 

But he's still cute.  On this one I used some corduroy and minky which will be fun textures for him to chew on!

And of course, Miss Peighton had to have one too-in pink!  She picked out some pink camo flannel (not sure what I ever bought that for!).  She also chose the purple polka dot tail.   It's cute. Now maybe she will let Preston have his!

And this was my happy little helper:

She was so excited that she got to stuff them!  

Friday, February 25, 2011

A tiny backpack for our trip with Mickey

In just a few short weeks, we will be setting sail with Mickey, Minnie, and most importantly....

We are getting very excited (mostly because we see a Disney Cruise ship commercial everyday!).

So, I am trying to think ahead and plan ways to make life a bit easier while we are onboard with my 2 monkeys, along with 3 others little ones....all of which are under 5!!!!!
Yes, we might be a bit crazy.

Today, I whipped up this adorable little backpack for Miss P to tote just a few things in.

I'm thinking we will throw in some crayons, markers, stickers, Leapster, etc when we know we will have a bit of downtime and need entertained.
It might also be helpful when we get off the ship for the day. She can put in a few snacks and small toys.
I'm thinking it will be very useful!

I  made it just her size so it will be easy to carry and cannot be filled so full that I hear "It's too HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAVY" a hundred times.

Super quick and easy little drawstring bag.
I used my embroidery machine to do the Minnie head.
We love it!
I should have taken pictures as I made it and made this into a tutorial.
Guess I have to make another!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

DIY American Girl sundress

Here is our favorite little friend, Nellie, once again.
Like our other friend, Peighton, she "only wears dresses."
Good thing Peighton's mommy can whip one up in no time!

Making clothes for the American Girl dolls is pretty simple and most importatly QUICK!
This dress is no exception-perfect for a beginner and for sure a child learning to sew could help with as well.
I think this will be one of the first things I help Peighton a few years, she's not so good with real scissors yet!

 The dress in the first picture and the one I made below both came out of my scrap box too, so it's a great way to use up random cute scraps!
1/4 yard for the skirt
scraps for the chest
scraps of ribbon for the straps
1/8 yard for the bottom of the skirt
Scraps of white/plain fabric for the chest lining
About 8" of velcro (snaps could also be used)

Like I said, most of this can come out of scraps, but you may need to buy a fat quarter for the skirt.
Or, it's always fun to take a child to the fabric store and let them design it themselves...Peighton usually just gets to go to my scraps!
Although she did pick out the bunny fabric below.

Cut the following:
Front chest piece: Cut one 2" x 6 1/2" (also cut the same out of your lining fabric)
Back chest piece: Cut two 2" x 4" (also cut the same out of your lining fabric)

Skirt: cut one 7" x 22"
Straps: cut two 5" pieces of ribbon
OR you can cut two pieces of fabric 2" x 5" for the straps also.

Bottom Band of the skirt: cut one 3" x 22"

Your pieces should look like this now:

First, lay your two back chest pieces right sides together along with the lining pieces.
Cut a small quarter circle out of ONE corner-this will be the armpit part.
If you need to trace something a cup/glass works well.

Next, fold your front chest piece in half (and the lining) and do the same.
They should look like this:

When laid end to end, you should have what looks like 2 half circles, where the arms will go.

Now, take pieces of the pieces of your "pretty" fabric and put them right sides together.
Pin and sew the left and right sides.
Do the same for the lining.
Press the seams open when done.

 Lay the pretty fabric and the lining on top of each other and sew the underarm part.
It's the part that looks like a half circle.

Now pin the straps in place.
Pin them about an inch in from the corner.
Make sure to not twist the strap as you are pinning.
Sew along the side, top and down the other side of the chest pieces.

Turn right side out and press, as well as gently poking out your corners.

Then topstitch.
You don't have to topstitch but it makes it look a lot nicer when finished!

Next, attach the skirt band to the skirt.
Place right sides together and pin.
Sew them together, and then zig zag the seam or use a serger to finish it.
Press and then topstitch if you want to.

 Now, hem the bottom of the skirt.
Press up 1/4" and then 1/4" again.

Now fold in the sides of your skirt piece.
Fold over and press 1/4" and then 1/4" again.

Sew this down.

Next, you need to do a gathering stitch at the top of the skirt piece.
Then lay the chest part on top of the skirt (right sides together) and pull your gathering threads until they are about the same width.
Pin along the entire width of it.
Then sew it down.
Serge or zig zag this seam.

When you turn it over it should look almost done!

Attach the velcro.
I cut a 1 1/2" strip for the chest part and then a 6" piece for the skirt part.
You could also use snaps here or buttons or whatever you choose!

Now try it on Nellie/Julie/Samantha, etc and see your little girl's eyes light up!
Peighton's sure did-she has a bunny dress to match which always makes her smile!

The dress Nellie is wearing in the first picture of this post has a little flower rosette on it.
It's super quick to  make and gives a nice detail to any dress!
Watch for that tutorial to come-mostly because I didn't take pictures this time!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Boys Romper!

I am finding that making things for my little guy is SO FUN!

Making stuff for girls is easy. 
There are a million and one different things to make for girls.
Dresses, skirts, leggings, shoes, necklaces, bracelets, little girly toys, blankets and on and on and on.
I have probably made most of them. And loved every ruffle and bow that I sewed.

But it's quite a challenge to find something cute for the little boys.
Things that aren't actually for girls but they made it in a "boyish" fabric and tried to pass it off as "this is for boys too!"
Nope.  Not buyin it. You can't fool me.

When I saw this tutorial for a BOYS romper I just about squealed with excitement! 
I love dressing Preston in knit one piece rompers.
Makes changing diapers super fast and they don't ride up like t-shirts do.
Had to have one. NOW.

My grand plan is to take these:

and make them into this style of outfit.
How much do I love the middle one that says
"I farm. You eat."
I'm thinking that even the orange striped Polo one might make a good summer romper.

Anyway, I had this pattern for a raglan T that I've used a few times for shirts for Peighton.
It's cute and I like the raglan style.
So, I used that one instead of the one that is used in the tutorial.

Here is what my process looked like (and it was actually pretty quick!):

I used the raglan pattern to do the top part and then layed down one of Preston's 6-12 month rompers from the Gymboree under the pattern to get the leg part right.

These are my front and back pieces.
I also saved some long strips that were scraps from cutting the big pieces. 
At this point I wasn't sure how I was going to do the leg openings and thought those might come in handy-they did!

The arms were cut right from the raglan pattern as well as the neckline.
Then I put it together according to the directions.

I hemmed the front part of the leg opening.
For the back, I attached one of those strips folded in half. I might do this for the front next time as well.
We'll see how this one turns out!

So far it is perfect, the legs are a bit long according to the gymboree romper but I do still have to hem them.
That will be last after the snaps are added.

Which brings me to my next step...but I don't have snap pliers!
I do have a snap press, but it applies colored resin snaps and I really want the metal ones for this.
Guess I have to go to the store!!!

I will update with a picture of my little guy wearing this once I get the snaps on!

I think when I make another one, I am going to use a solid color for the body part and the printed one for the sleeves. 
Then I am thinking I could do some sort of applique/shape/letter on the front in the same fabric as the sleeves.

Got my snapping tool.
Went to work attaching snaps...with this crazy tool....and a hammer.

There were a lot of words I don't normally say spoken as I proceeded to try to put these snaps on!
I ruined quite a few of the snap pieces before getting it right-good thing I bought plenty!
I must say I have a newfound appreciation for all onesies, rompers, etc that have snaps on them!

I made a big mistake with the very first snap I put on.
I put it on the opposite way that I intended to put it on....which led to swear word # 1.

Once you put a snap on though you're kind of commited and I couldn't change it.
So, I just went with it and continued knowing that it was going to be backwards!

Many tries later and quite a few of the pieces tossed into my trash can I did get it finished and then hemmed the bottom.
It is cute.
And I'm probably the only one that will actually see the mistakes.

This picture is not much different than the last, but the legs are done.
I need to put it on my little guy and then take a picture!

The next one will be better.
I just found the pliers I wanted at Amazon!  They look MUCH easier to use than my hammer thing!
I can't wait to make another!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A new dress for Peighton

My inspiration for this dress came from Me Sew Crazy. I ADORE her blog.  So many fun things to make!

This little number caught my eye and I could not stop thinking about it!  I do love orange and blue so that might have helped a little.  That bow in the middle is simple lovely though.

I did not use her pattern, I had another similar one already cut out and I didn't want to print out another one. So, it's very similar and I'm sure her pattern is great, I just used my own.
I did not like how the arms are finished though.  Next time I might use some bias tape made out of the main fabric or something else.

I loved the bow in the middle and the classy little pleats in the skirt of it.  We had to have one.

Here is what ours looks like:

I simply adore the belt and bow in the center. fabulous.
The buttons down the back are pretty great too.

And since Miss Peighton will ONLY wear dresses I am sure this one is going to get worn a lot!

I think I am going to make another one with the classic "school-girl" pleats on the skirt for lots of twirling fun!
Or maybe add some pockets, or a sweet little apron. 
So many options!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A new bag for Spring!

I love a new bag. 
Especially when it's bright and springy and big enough for everything a mommy needs!
Oh and it's got to be cute too.

Here is my new bag:

Definately cute and springy and seeing how it's as wide as my chair it is for sure big enough!
That's my favorite chair too if you were wondering.

I got this pattern (and 2 others) from The Tiny Seamstress .  Love her patterns and her blog is super cute!
She has a lot of very fun girly bag patterns. 
This was The Darling Bag and it was pretty easy to make. Although I could probably make a bag with my eyes closed by now-I LOVE bags.  There were no zippers or anything crazy to put in though.

So, although I really love my JuJu Be messenger bag that I use as my diaper bag, I will be throwing this one in every now and then too! 
There are far too many cute bags out there to use just one!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Upcycled T-shirt dresses!

I must be feeling Green lately-I did another recycled clothing project and this one might be my favorite so far!

I used the Sienna T Shirt dress from Lil Blue Boo as a pattern.  Great pattern as far as the pieces but to be honest I never opened the file that has the directions!  I've made enough shirts like this that I didn't want to read the directions-I just wanted to start cutting!

When I was at Goodwill looking for my Men's shirts for this project I also picked up a bunch of fun T shirts with The Sienna pattern in mind!  I found some great ones!  The four leaf clover with Cy in the middle is probably my favorite!

The only semi-difficult/annoying part of this dress was doing the neck.  I took my seam ripper to the original neck line so I could use it again.  I dislike seam ripping.  But the end result was worth it and looks really good.  I had to make it smaller to use the old neckline though. 

Here is my first attempt:

She LOVES it (as do I!!!!) and I am probably going to have to wrestle this one off her to wash it!
The pink stripes were left over knit from another project and there wasn't much left-that is why the stripes are vertical on the chest part but I really like it!

One of the best parts about using old T-Shirts is that you use the original sleeve for the new, smaller sleeve, which means the sleeve is already hemmed for you! Bonus.

The one on the left of this picture is one I learned from but I will share anyway.  The design on the shirt was too far up, like right at the neckline.  So, part of the design ended up in the neckline.  It's just ok-nowhere near as cute as the green and pink one!  But still a good play dress for this summer.

And the dress on the right was my second attempt at making a dress out of a Men's shirt like I did here yesterday.  Still needs hemmed (that is one crazy LONG men's shirt) but I want to try it on Peighton before I hem it.  I even used some of the leftover purple stripes from the first dress!

I got quite a few more T-shirts that I'll be hacking up someday soon-I can't wait!
I even got some boy-ish t-shirts to make into hoodies for my little guy! 

I would definately recommend this pattern-it is quick, fairly easy, and uses up old T-shirts you probably have laying around!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Men's Shirt to Child's Dress!

I went to Goodwill in search of some fun men's shirts to make into dresses for Peighton.

I had seen this tutorial on the Made blog and thought what a great idea and so inexpensive, not to mention a great way to recycle!
I picked up this purple one and a really cute orange and white striped one that I thought would turn into some fabulous dresses!

I started with a pattern that I already had and liked.  Probably could have done it with just a shirt of Peighton's though too.

Oops. This one is upside down!  But you can see all my pieces.  I cut the turquoise knit off another shirt to use as a waistband and give it a little pop of color.

 When I got to this point I thought how cute the bottom part would be as a skirt!  Next time.

It turned out so cute!  I have since added a little flower rosette to the middle with a little button in the center. I thought it needed a little something. 

What a fun summer dress this turned out to be!

I loosely used the directions on MADE for this one although I did the waistband with knit on mine.  I think on my next "Shirt to Dress" project I am going to try doing the waistband on top of the dress as she did in her tutorial!

I also picked up about 10 other shirts while shopping at the Goodwill-I can't wait to start cutting them apart too!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cookie Cutter Painting

Yes, another painting activity.  The girl loves to paint. 
And so we paint.

Today, we busted out some of my hundreds of cookie cutters-no joke.  I had a bridal shower where everyone had to bring a cookie cutter along with thier gift. I pretty much have any cookie cutter we could ever need!

We chose a whole lot of SPRING cookie cutters (and some random lips) because we are really looking forward to spring.  Yesterday, Peighton showed me a spot where "there's no snow so we can probably get my pool out tomorrow."  Ummmm....not yet my friend.

This one's pretty simple.  All you need:
Cookie Cutters
Paint (we used finger paint)
Some big paper
Paper Plate

Spread the paint on the plate and let em go!

This is great for making your own wrapping paper-what Grandma wouldn't LOVE that!!!

 She was displaying the Lips cutter here.  We should have used those for Valentine's cookies!

 We spread the paint a bit on the plate to make it better for dipping.

Love the Springy prints she made!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shiny Milk Paint

Just a fun one we like to do!  And I love that we can just go to the pantry to do this one-no crazy ingredients needed!

Shiny Milk Paint

Sweetened Condensed Milk
Food Coloring

Mix them together in a bowl or tight fitting lid.
When the paint dries it will be a nice and shiny!

Peighton was in chrage of putting in the food coloring which is how we ended up with these colors!

She was too busy multitasking with her valentine sucker to take a picture!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart mini meatloaves!

I got this idea and the fabulous recipe from my wonderful friend, Kathie.  Her blog is just fantastic and we are always trying out her recipes!

Love her mini meatloaf recipe and the fact that we used a heart shaped cookie cutter just made Peighton's day!

They were super yummy!  I am seeing many more "shaped meats" in our future if Peighton has any say in it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Floor Nanny

This crazy thing called The Floor Nanny came through my inbox one day from one of those supersaver baby sites.  (I'm not sure they really save me money because I seem to be a sucker for kid gear and simply MUST have things that look fun and useful-especially when they tell me it's on sale!!!!) 
Anyway, it looked useful and pretty cool-until I saw the price tag!  The main part is $75 and the slipcover is another $35!  And all it is is a stuffed square of fabric!!!!!  Thought to myself....I can totally do this.

And I did.  The dimensions of the real one are 38 x 38.  I bought enough fabric to make a perfect square when folded on the bias. Most fabrics are about 45" wide, so I bought 45" of two fabrics. I did one flannel, one just quilting cotton so that it's reversible of course.

I made this a few months back so I did not take pictures of the process, but really it's pretty straight forward.

I took my squares of fabric, put right sides together and sewed around the entire square leaving an opening for turning and eventually stuffing.

Then, turned right sides out and pressed.
Next, I measured in 8" from each corner and marked a dot-this was to make the inner square that makes the "floor" part of the floor nanny.  Another way to do this is to make an 8" square out of paper, put it on each corner and mark the inner point.

Next, I connected my 4 inner dots to make my inner square.  I used a fabric marker and a yardstick because I wanted it to be as straight as possible and I don't always sew straight!

I sewed that square all the way around leaving no opening, this does not need stuffing.

Next, I stuffed the entire outer part through the hole I left.  THis was a bit hard-it's hard to get your arm in all those angles!!!!  I stuffed it pretty full because I wanted it to support the baby well while he was learning how to sit.  Once it was stuffed to my liking I closed up the opening and it was done!

I did not make a slipcover for it.  Just didn't want to.  I figured I have so many big baby blankets (who doesn't have like 20 or so of them?!?!?!) that I can just throw one of those over it and that's what we do-works great!

 He loves it!  It's nice that it's not as restrivtive as the Boppy-which we use too-but this is a bit better.
He's getting better at sitting but still does his share of flopping over, but that Floor Nanny cushions his fall every time!  And instead of crying he just smiles or plays on his back for awhile.
 I pulled the blanket back in this picture-you can see how the middle square I sewed is well defined here.

 It keeps all his toys right there beside him too! Bonus.

It's even good for lounging!  Man he's cute too.

I also whipped up a smaller one for traveling to Grandma's house, friends houses or just to use on a different floor of our house! We love it!!!