Friday, December 2, 2011

Crochet Bitty Baby hat and booties

I've started to crochet, and I LOVE it! I wasn't very fond of knitting when I tried it, but crochet is great. It's fairly easy to learn thanks to all these great internet tutorials floating around.  I can't believe how fast it is too.  I made this hat and booties for my daughter's Bitty Baby from a preemie pattern.  I think the hat took 2 days, but it was the first thing I ever crocheted!  The booties took about 4 days because the pattern had to be altered to fit better and I didn't have a clue what I was doing lol


If you're interested, the pattern I used is here. I used Sugar and Cream yarn that I had leftover from a previous knitting fail (I can't recommend this yarn for beginners, it doesn't slide over the needles like acrylics). I followed the hat pattern exactly, but I don't know how accurate I was! The booties were started with the matching bootie pattern at the bottom of that page, but I realized they were too small once I finished the first bootie. Once I realized how they were made I just added extra stitches and tested it out periodically to make sure it might fit. I basically flew by the seat of my pants and somehow they came out okay haha. Not bad for my first crochet projects, huh?

Now I just need to get up a tutorial and pattern for the shirt and pants. The top was made from a newborn onesie I bought at my neighbor's garage sale for $.25, and the pants were made from an old pajama top of mine. There's a hat that matches the pants as well, but I'll save that for next time ;)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Personalized hooded towels!


My little cousin Sophia turned 5 this past August, so I wanted to make her something special.  She's a little fish, always swimming!  So I decided to try my hand at this awesome hooded towel tutorial.  I made my older daughter one too, since 1 hand towel makes 2 hoods and I didn't want to waste a half a hood!  The names on the back were done by first printing out the letters I needed using Paint Shop Pro.  Then I used a little double sided fusible interfacing to iron them on, and did some free hand embroidery on my plain old sewing machine.  It wasn't perfect, but it was close enough :P  It's really isn't as hard as it looks.  Just set your machine to a wide zig zag stitch with a length of almost zero.  Play around with your machine and a scrap piece of fabric until you get it how you want it.  Corners are tricky, but the key is to go slow and maneuver your towel/fabric like you were going around a curve.  Another tip: If your fabric is light and the towel is dark like mine was, use some white fabric or muslin under your letter so you can't see the towel through it.  Just make a double wonder under sandwich so everything sticks together.




I didn't get any pics of Sophia in her towel, but rest assured she loves it.  She uses it every time we go swimming together :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

T-rex in a tutu!

Elise's first day of preschool was Monday, and she wanted to wear the t-rex in a tutu shirt that I made her :) I wish I had a better, close up picture of it, but this will have to do! All I had to do was:

1) print out a clip art of a t-rex and adjust the size to fit the t-shirt
2) iron some double sided wonder under to my fabric about the size of the t-rex
3) cut out the dinosaur
4) put some fray check all around the edge of the t-rex (since I couldn't do a zig zag stitch on such small details)
5) iron it onto the t-shirt
6) sew around the edge of the t-rex
7) gather a strip of tulle on the machine and
8) hand sew it on!
It's easier than it sounds ;)  I've made so many fun things this summer, but haven't been able to share them because we've been SO busy.  Plus  I'm still having a hard time uploading pics without having to cancel every second upload and restart the modem.  I can't figure out what the problem is, I've tried everything.  I need to call our service provider and see if it's an issue on their end.  Maybe tomorrow :P  I'm exhausted from being up all night with a very sick 4 year old, and the night before with a very sick 1.5 year old.  One week into the school year and we have strep throat already!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Learn from my mistakes - 2

If you're anything like me, you obsess every new sewing project. You want to jump right in and get it done as fast as possible. But when you do it fast you tend to cut corners and do a sloppy job. Then you're disappointed in the end. There's a couple things you can do to ensure a well sewn project every time.

1. Iron, iron, iron. I used to skip ironing when I was younger and I can't even understand why now. It may take time and effort to do it right, but it makes the sewing so much easier and it looks 100 times better!

2. If you're using a pattern, make sure you cut out the triangles and mark important circles/squares/center lines/etc. I admit I still cut corners and I don't mark every single line, but I still mark the important things with a fabric marker with disappearing ink. I tried to skip this with a project just last week and screwed up. You'd think I would have learned by now :P

3. If you're not using a pattern, measure twice, cut once. Actually measure 3 or 4 times (or more) and make sure your estimations are right. I don't know how many times I've jumped into cutting, only to have my project be an inch short or too tight. A big mistake I remember making was this mermaid tail for Elise's first Halloween:


I could barely fit it over her legs! I had to start all over again. And because it was too small, I couldn't reuse the fabric. What a waste!


Here's the finished product :) Nice a roomy and warm for a little munchkin!

Take the time to do your project right and you won't be disappointed. No one ever looks back at a project and thinks "I wish I wouldn't have done such a good job" ;)

Learn from my mistakes - 1

I want to add a little more content to my blog, so I'm going to start writing about mistakes I've made or simple ways to help better your sewing/crafting skills. First up is the biggest mistake I've made, because I think about it every time I sew. If you have cats, or any animals really, LOCK UP YOUR THREAD. Anything long and stringy, thread, yarn, elastic, ANYTHING. Put it in a box with a tight lid and put it out of reach. Put all trimmed threads into a garbage can with a lid or tuck them way down into the garbage. Never leave your machine unattended with the needle threaded, and tuck bobbin thread under a lowered presser foot.

About 5 years ago my cat, Logan, somehow got into my thread stash that I thought was out of reach. I'm still not even sure how he did it, but he managed to find and swallow a piece of thread about 6-8 inches long. I had no clue until the following day, when he started throwing up. We assumed he had a hairball, but by the evening he wasn't looking so good. I took him to the vet first thing in the morning where he immediately found the thread still sticking out under his tongue. I had checked his mouth, but not under his tongue! He needed emergency surgery right away, and $500 later he was on his way back to normal.


I am crazy about thread lock up now. I relaxed a bit sometime last year, and started leaving my thread on the machine again. I walked downstairs one day and discovered thread trailed halfway across the basement. Luckily none of the kitties swallowed any. I'll never make that mistake again!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Almost finished with the Rapunzel dress :)

I just couldn't wait to finish it before I posted. I'm so excited, it's turning out so cute! I just need to sew the velcro closures on and sew the skirt to the bodice, then I'm done. Too bad I have to wait until June to give it to Elise. She's seen me making it, so it's not a surprise...but she still can't have it until her birthday :P

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Barbie couch!

I made this Barbie couch for my 3 year old a couple months ago, but finally took a picture of it. It was a giant pain in the butt! I was going to do a tutorial for it, but I think it would have left people screaming at their computers and cursing me lol


It sure turned out cute though!


This is what happens when I try to take a pic with a doll on the couch haha

I made a little felt pizza tutorial that I'll try to get up tomorrow! I've seen some around the web, but it was easier to just use what I saw to do it my own way. Here's how the pizza turned out:


My 3 year old made the green pepper faces :D

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Birthday planning!

My big girl is going to be 4 this June, I can't believe it! I know it's kind of early to be planning for her birthday, but I can't help it XD I'll probably be planning the baby's 2nd birthday party right after Elise's is over lol. She requested a mermaid party and is VERY excited about it. So far I've made a pennant banner that says "Happy 4th Birthday", which was probably the biggest decoration. I'll be making some big tissue poms closer to the party, and some seahorse shaped white (light green actually) chocolate covered pretzels! I'm making blue frosted cupcakes with sea foam colored sugar sprinkles, plus white chocolate seashells on top! I'll probably make some cupcake toppers for some of them, too. The games and favors are a secret for now ;)

I've also been thinking about what to get my big girl. We were going to get a big girl bike, which she had been asking for. But she recently changed her mind, insisting her little pink balance bike was just fine! She's suggested a few things to us, but she really isn't pining over anything special. She does love Disney's Tangled and all things Rapunzel, so I think I might try making a Rapunzel costume. Bonus points that we can use it for Halloween! I've been looking at patterns and decided McCall's M5954 would be perfect:

The pattern includes an alternate version without the poofy things at the waist, so with just a few changes it can look pretty darn close to this:

McCall's patterns are on sale $.99 each at Joann this week or next I believe. Costume satins and sheers are going to be 50% off the week before Easter I believe (they should be $2-2.50 per yard). Hopefully that can keep the whole project under $20! Joann also advertised some sundress panels with Rapunzel fabric, and I have a ton of 50% off coupons, so I think I'll make her a sundress for her birthday too :) Sundress should be easy, costume definitely won't be. I HATE patterns. HATE THEM! They might as well write the instructions in russian :P

I have a ton of crafts I need to post, but we've been having sleep issues and all sorts of other toddler issues. By the end of the day I just want to relax and watch TV, not upload pics. Hopefully this will pass SOON, and I can get better about posting again!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Last minute birthday gift: Name plaque!

I was having trouble figuring out something to get my 9 year old Niece, who literally has EVERYTHING. I was just going to give her some money so she could spend it on whatever she wanted, but my Sister told me that they're going to be moving soon and she wants to decorate her room. She's doing lilac, periwinkle, and purplish pink colors, and all things mythical. Fairies, sprites, unicorns, and horses (her favorite). I decided to go with a fairy blowing some fairy dust and an elvish looking font, plus some fun little flowers and a butterfly. I was so happy with how it turned out, especially since I started it probably 18 hours before my Niece's party! My Niece and my Sister went nuts over it :) And since it barely cost me $4 in materials (I had a lot of the stuff on hand), I was still able to give her money towards her decorating fund!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm baaaaaaack

I think I have my computer issues fixed, so hopefully I won't drop off the face of the planet again anytime soon! I've been busy the past couple months and wanted to share some of the stuff I've made.


Happy Valentines Day! I made the girl's matching ruffle pants and a pillowcase tunic because I am a huge nerd. They turned out so cute XD


I made a little doll holder for all those princess dolls that are too special to be stuffed in a toy box :P


And a bed for all those Polly Pockets my 3 year old insists on bringing to bed with her.


A wallet that didn't turn out quite right, so I'll be making a bigger, better version soon.


Finally working on some paintings for the 14 month old's room. I made the banner back when I was pregnant :)

I still need to take and post pictures of the stuff I made for my Niece for Christmas (model horse accessories), the Barbie couch and table I made for my 3 year old, and the fabric baskets I made for the kitchen! I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that's enough for now. I'm going to post my first tutorial soon, for a little Leapster travel bag! Plenty of room for games and batteries, and of course the Leapster system itself. Here's a little preview of the inside for now:


I promise the outside is much cuter ;)
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