Monday, October 31, 2011

Make It New Monday! Princess Costume for Zoe

I was so excited this year to make a princess costume for Zoe for Halloween!

We have always used hand-me-downs or things we find around the house for the boys' costumes, but I really wanted a girly-girl outfit for little Z.  Well, we were given a size 7-8 princess costume, and I found this fabric in the 50% off section of the fabric store, so I thought I'd try making something out of the two.

First I took off the puffy sleeves. Then I took in the inset, the sides and the armholes to make it smaller. The long part of the sleeves just happened to be the right length for Z, so I just reattached them to the bodice.

I measured Z from waist to ankles and made a skirt from the discount fabric. Then I took part of the old costume's skirt and sewed it onto the front of the new skirt to make an inset that matched the bodice.

I attatched the gathered skirt to the bodice, added velcro in the back to close it, and it was finished! (It didn't come together quite that quickly, but I'll spare you the details.)

Of course every princess needs a tiara. I made this one out of felt, a striped cotton print, and some gold fabric that I had in my stash. I used a patch from the old costume as a jewel on front.

I put a strip of velcro on the back to make it adjustable and easy to get on and off. I could make up a tutorial for the crown if anyone is interested.

Of course after all that, Zoe is equally at home in the Spidey outfit. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fun with Kids! Pumpkin Lanterns

Pumpkins have been a big deal around here lately. We carved ours about a week ago with Grandma and Grandpa B after a trip to the pumpkin farm, and they look great lit up on the porch. But we needed some pumpkin fun inside, so the boys made these Pumpkin Lanterns out of glass jars and tissue paper.

It was a really quick, instant-gratification project, which is the way to go with the boys.  First we cut a bunch of orange, yellow and red tissue paper into one inch(ish) squares.  Then they brushed white glue onto the jars with a Q-tip and randomly placed tissue paper squares onto the outside of the jars to cover them.

They added black construction paper eyes, nose and mouth, then brushed glue over the whole outside of the jar to keep the tissue down and to give it a little shine.

I had been saving this great leaf-shaped jar that came with maple syrup in it. Teddy took his time and smoothed down all the tissue so the veins of the leaf would show.

They put a cross on one side of the jar as a reminder that Jesus is the Light of the World.

We added a tea light to each jar and turned out the lights for some pumpkin glow.

(A word of caution if you make these: the glass gets quite warm when candle is lit, and keeps the heat for a while after the candle is put out.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wee Wonderfuls Wednesday! Haus Spooky Haus with lift-the-flaps

With October 31 just around the corner, I thought a little haunted haus was in order. This Spooky Haus (with lift-the-flap windows and door) is my version of Hillary Lang's Haus Sweet Haus from her book, "Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love."

The Haus Sweet Haus pattern really is sweet, like all the patterns in the book, and such fun to make!

After deciding to make this a Spooky Haus, I started looking for just the right fabric. I found some black and purple batik fat quarters that I thought would be perfect for the main part of the haus. Then I saw this printed Halloween fabric and I knew just what I wanted to do.

My two little ones have been loving lift-the-flap books lately, so I thought I'd add some flaps to this Spooky Haus and showcase some of the cute designs of the Halloween fabric.

Zeke thinks it's hilarious. Of course, he thinks everything is hilarious these days. :)

Zoe loves the spider.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Make It New Mondays! Sweet Felted Bird

Today's Make It New Monday project is a sweet little bird fashioned from an upcycled felted sweater, nestled in a knitted nest of yarn scraps.

My sister and I hit the jackpot awhile back at the local thrift store. Gorgeous wool sweaters, all waiting to be taken home and felted. This little bird (and another for my sis) came from this sweater.

The pattern came from the 2009 summer issue of Sew Somerset and was created by Jenni Horne.

There are only three main body pieces - two bird-shaped sides and a pointed oblong gusset - which are whipstiched together. A seed bead for each eye and fabric wings are sewn on before assembling the body, and strips of felt and yarn are tucked in the back before stitching it up.

I had scraps of some lovely eyelash and fleecy yarn that I thought would make a great nest.

 I knit them together into a long rectangle with tapered ends. Then I twirled the rectangle into a nest shape and secured it with some yarn stitches.

Jenni Horne adapted the pattern from the felt bird in Betz White 's book Warm Fuzzies - a great resource if you're interested in making more items from felted sweaters.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Interior Decorating with Kids

Bathroom Cabinet Soldier

Mantel Dinosaur

Bookcase Hijack

Secret Hiding Spot

Sewing Shelf / Lego Spaceship Dock

Sometimes I dream of this...

But I'd much rather have this!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wee Wonderfuls Wednesday! Elvis Inchworm

For this third Wee Wonderfuls Wednesday, I decided to make the sweet Evelyn Inchworm from Hillary Lang's "Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love."

But an idea got into my head, and finally I just had to go with it. Maybe it's all the thinking about dressing up this month, maybe it was the challenge, or maybe I'm just kind of different ;) something made me want to make -- Elvis Inchworm.

{Elvis voiceover} Thank you, thank you very much.

I used a Merino wool blend felt that I got from BenzieBazaar on etsy. I love this stuff! It's so easy to work with. Whenever I cut felt I like to pin the uncut pattern onto the felt, then cut the two together. That seems to work much better for me than trying to trace the pattern onto the felt.

Once the felt was cut, I whipstiched the pieces together by hand. I'm so glad I followed the tip not to pin it, because it came together easily. It's a very fun, quick pattern.

Then I set to work on creating Elvis' hair. After a lot of fooling around (and googling "Elvis hair") I came up with a sort of "hair cap" that I whipstiched onto the head.

Next came the famous Elvis snarl. Did you know that Elvis snarled with the left side of his lips? I read that 95% of people snarl on the left side. I tried it, and I snarl on the right. Go figure.

Then the jumpsuit. Ah, those white, rhinestone-studded jumpsuits. My favorite is the one with the red, white and blue eagle on it. And you can't forget the red scarf!

Well, there he is. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but it was really fun to make.

And I did make an Evelyn inchworm, too, 'cause she's sooo cute! But I can't show it to you yet- it's a present for someone....shhhhh!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Make It New Mondays! Jeans Wallet

Here's my first project for Make It New Mondays! A funky little wallet upcycled from an old pair of jeans.

I had heard the term "upcycling" before, but I wasn't sure exactly what it meant. I found out that upcycling, like recycling, uses something that would otherwise be thrown away. But whereas recycled materials are usually broken down into something of lesser value, an upcycled item will have equal or greater use or value. I knew a greater good could come from these holey jeans!

I'd been saving this old pair of jeans for a project such as this, and I picked out some fabric and ribbon scraps to use with it. I found a sweet pattern by Lola Nova in the 5th issue of Mollie Makes - a fabulous craft magazine from the U.K. (it's available at Barnes and Noble.)

The inside has six little pockets to hold business cards, Starbucks card :), cash, whatever.

The first one I made was a present for my niece (along with an iTunes card, of course.) There was more than enough jean material to make another one (or six or eight!) On the second one I appliqued wool felt leaves cut from some thrifted felted sweaters (more upcycling:) to decorate the front.

Are you into upcycling?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Fabric Wreath

I SO needed a new fall wreath for our front door. Here is the old one, weathered and all sad-looking.

A friend of mine posted a tutorial for a wreath on her blog, Sunflower Seeds, that uses fabric and ribbon scraps. I sorted through my stash and came up with a fabric pile that I thought was sort of
fall-ish. Notice the coffee cups? Coffee goes with every season:)

I cut them into smaller pieces and chained them together. You can go here for her full tutorial.

Then I hot-glued them to a fabric covered ring and voila! A fresh look for the entrance to our house.

I almost got it completely done during naptime. Thankfully, Zoe snacked happily while I finished it up. I think this would be fun done entirely with batiks or Christmas fabric, don't you?

Nothing like a 75 degree St. Louis autumn, raking leaves in shorts and a tank top! We are soaking it up!