Friday, November 1, 2013

No Parking Backpacks

I made this sign to encourage my kids to stop putting their school backpacks all over the kitchen floor.  I grabbed a few images from the internet and combined and edited them.  It took about 10-20 minutes.  I love Photoshop.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Head Jewelry for Renaissance Festival

We were planning to go to the Renaissance Festival this fall but decided last minute not to. I made a piece of head jewelry for each of my daughters plus an extra.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Katara Costume Pajamas from Avatar the Last Airbender

My oldest wanted a Halloween costume as Katara from Avatar the Last Airbender, but this last Halloween was not the best time for it- (not that Christmas time is much better!)  I bought a pajama pattern to use to make it and ended up not even opening it.

First, I found a dress and shirt that I knew fit her well and used them as the base for the pattern. I allowed extra room around the chest and waist since these are pj's and she is very particular about comfort.

Pattern like I want it to look before adding seam allowances and pattern pieces

I drew with rulers and careful hand the entire layout of the dress. Then I folded it down the center and made sure it was symmetrical (change drawing/trim to even out).

Paper placed over Pattern and traced to make smaller pieces of the pattern.

Next, I put the tracing paper over the full drawn dress and made each piece by tracing and adding seam allowances.

 Always remember to do seam allowances if you make a pattern!

Close-up to pattern pieces
Purple pieces
White trim pieces
Cut and Ready to Sew

Cut and place on the appropriate fabrics and cut and sew!  If you have a basic knowledge of how a garment is pieced together, you should be fine.  This one didn't have sleeves! Yea! That's the beauty of making your own patterns- you make them as simple as you want.
She loves wearing this to bed, and it looks so cute on her!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Space Ghost Costume for my Hubby

I made this Space Ghost Halloween costume for my husband about 7 years ago.  He's a comic book nerd who likes superheroes, but I like him.  I made every bit of the costume.  I used red plastic school binders for the wrist bands and yellow craft foam for the 'buttons'.  Walmart had some white sweatshirt bargain fabric.  Most if not all of the fabrics I used were $1-2 per yard.  It was a good project.  Plus, it made my husband happy.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Halloween Craft Activity- Black Widow Spider


One Halloween my sister put together some Halloween crafts for her kids and my kids to do.

 We all made spiders out of pipe cleaners and pompoms with wiggle eyes. Most were 'daddy long legs' with one middle body. This is what I did for mine. There is a magnet on the bottom with 4 pipe cleaners bent to look like 8 legs, and 8 wiggle eyes of 2 kinds, red felt hour-glass for a Black Widow, and 2 pompoms large and medium sizes. Easy peasy.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Easy Pioneer Trek Skirt Instructions DIY

My aunt needed a couple of trek skirts for the stake youth conference coming up, but they were for unspecified young women.  I have no idea the height or weight of the girls, so I had brain storm an idea so that it would fit anyone or most anyone AND look a little attractive so that they would wear it.

Here is the pattern I came up with.  It has a waistband in the front and a drawstring/tie back.  The back half extends to 40 inches in length from one side of the front to the other.  The front is about 14.5 inches across.  That is about 54 inches, give or take for the waist expansion.

I used a Full Size Bed Sheet.  I used the top and bottom edges for the hems of the skirt.  The + 2.5" hem is the extra length needed if you are NOT using a bed sheet.  I made 2 skirts- one for a 5'8" girl and another for a 5'4" girl out of one bed sheet with a little extra leftover.  I apologize if these are confusing patterns or instructions- someone with a little knowledge of basic construction should do okay with it.  Most of the 'how to' is with pictures.  If you need clarification, just let me know!
Here are the measurements and instructions

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Earth Day Activity for Kids- Recycle and Grow

Wow- the beans sprouted within 3 days!
For Activity Day Girls, we planted seeds in aluminum cans.  We also had a short lesson on Faith is like a Seed.  Here are the results, and my daughter's plant above (only a week later!)

Adults should do the holes
We used 16 oz. cans.  If they have a ridge on the bottom, you can use a bottle opener/can piercer to poke it.  If not, just use an ice pick and hammer.  I used the cheapest dirt at Walmart- less than $1 per small bag.  We used yogurt or sour cream lids as water dishes/catchers.  Water it a little everyday to keep the dirt moist until the seeds pop up.  My daughter and I kept ours inside by a sunny bathroom window that tends to be very warm (almost like a greenhouse).
After we planted the seeds
If you want to use the 'flags' here is the document:
Cut just below the upper word 'grow'.  It folds down over the popsicle stick and then tape/glue.

Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lucky Four 4-Leaf Clovers

#1 & #2 clovers
I was taking my normal morning walk and happened to glance down at a patch of clovers and noticed one that was larger standing out above the rest.  I thought, "What a perfect clover... wait! There are 4 leaves on that clover!"  And just inches away was another one just about as big and proud.  What are the chances of that?  Not one, but two 4-leaf clovers without even searching!  I don't know how many hours I spent as a kid looking through clover patches and never found one.
Look in the very center- #3 clover
About a week and a half later, I found another one a couple blocks down the path by just glancing down again but decided to leave it.  I went back to save it from the lawn mower a couple days later, but was too late.
#4 four-leaf clover with the first two clovers
So, I went back to the original patch where I found the first 2 and... Voila! Another one!  And it only took about 1 minute or less to find.  I don't know whether they are more common than I thought or if I am more uncommonly lucky than I thought.  Four 4-leaf clovers in less than 2 weeks!  Wow.

I'm going to press and dry them for good luck!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Putting Sleeves into a Sleeveless Dress

A friend of mine needed sleeves added to a dress she was wearing to wedding.  This was the right color, just no sleeves.  I hunted all the local fabric resources and found some fabric that was the same color at JoAnn Fabrics.  It was knit, so I was happy because that's what I work with mostly right now with my nursing shawl business.

First we determined how far down from the top of the armhole we needed to make the sleeve.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Denim Quilt Red White and Blue

It was probably over 1 1/2 years ago that I started this quilt with a friend, who has posted on this blog once- the dumpster truck cake.  I would teach her to sew and help her do projects while she taught my kids to play the piano.  I wouldn't recommend making a denim quilt the first sewing project for someone because she's lost the taste for sewing for a while.  (Quilts aren't my usual project of choice.)

We used her husband's old jeans and bought some red and white fabrics to use in the middle and for the bias tape (which I can post a how-to-make-bias-tape post if anyone is interested.).  She had her 12-13 year old girls church class help tie the quilt at an activity.

Here it is!
Almost King-sized- backed with flannel
Center- long yarn stitching on the red fabric
back of quilt- long yarn stitching

Yea- it's done!
My website

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gold Coin Gypsy Head Jewelry

When I was a teenager I went to a local Renaissance Festival and fell in love with head jewelry I saw there.  I wanted to make some ever since.  Last year I finally found affordable supplies to make some to sell in my etsy shop.  I've also grown interest the last few years in India and Pakistani traditional clothing, along with other cultures in the regions round about.  So, here's a 'gypsy head jewelry' inspired by the coins and bells that you might see in current 'tribal' or 'gypsy' belt jewelry.  I originally bought the 'coin' charms/tags to stamp letters and words on.  I'm just a renaissance festival nerd.  I love dressing up!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tag Turtle Toy for Babies

Here is a 'tag toy' I made for a cousin's baby out of my mother's scrap polyester knits, ribbon, and batting. It was way easy especially since I left the raw edge out. You can get away with that with double knit polyester! I also used a straight 'stretch' stitch to make sure the ribbons and head were secure. It's about 6 inches long tongue to tail.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

How to Make a Children's Elf Cape

This fits kids sizes 4-5.
I've been admiring the sweater elf dress/coats on Etsy. I don't know when I will be able to try to make one. I also have seen my daughter use an off-center skirt (longer on one side than the other) as a poncho on her shoulders. I thought about making an 'off-center' circle cape on purpose for my kids, and this is what became of it.

Here is a basic guide to make it:

The fabric I have used is about 54"wide lightweight knit. I folded the fabric so that there were 4 layers. After making the circle and cutting, I opened it an cut an 'off-center circle large enough for a neck and seam allowances.

Here is a trick for making a circle: Tie a sewing marker to the end of the cord. Measure the length of the skirt you need, allowing for waistbands, etc. from the point of the marker. Hold it at the central point (corner of double folded fabric) and carefully draw across the fabric keeping it tight and upright. It's a simple compass!
I used the extra better-looking scraps from around the circle as a hood. (I was looking a book once about medieval clothing construction one time and it suggested that the tailors used the leftovers from around the circle to make the dramatic long-pointed drop of the sleeves. Maybe they did this for their cool hood-capes.)
Make sure to sew large side to pointy side of the hood.
Fold the selvage front edge of the hood to the 'right' side, sew, and cover with lace.
Finished Hood. Yes, it looks a little tall, but that will make it look more romantic.
Cut a slit in the front to allow the head to come through along the grain of the fabric. Fold to right side and use a zigzag stitch to cover the raw edge, and to finish the middle of it. Cover with lace.
Use long stitch and make 2 rows of stitching along collar edge to gather. Gather it until it is the same length as the hood bottom. Pin with lots of pins.
HINT: Maybe everyone does this, but sew between the 2 rows of gather-stitching; it prevents as many folds being sewn down. Top stitch or trim excess if you like.
Sew lace on bottom using a zigzag or creative wide stitch, covering raw edge under lace about midway. Superfast and easy!
Grab the little kid and have them model it!