Saturday, May 1, 2010

First outfit made from a pattern!

A few weeks ago, Joann’s had a crazy sale on McCall’s sewing patterns—only $.99 each! I had never sewn anything from a real pattern, but I really wanted to try it, so I looked for some toddler clothing patterns. There were a lot of cute ones, but I managed to limit myself to five, and I bought fabric and notions for one of the patterns. I fell in love with this adorable watermelon fabric and found a nice contrasting pink. The pink fabric was near the end of the bolt, so the fabric cutter offered me the rest of the bolt for half price. Sure why not? With a second girl on the way, I’m sure I’ll find plenty of uses for pink fabric!

I didn’t get around to opening the pattern envelope until last week, and when I started reading the instructions, I immediately ordered a copy of Sewing for Dummies, because apparently I am one. But I got tired of waiting for the book and I wanted to get started, so I did the best I could interpreting the instructions. And I did it!

I just love that fabric! It’s so summery and cute, and Taylor looks so sweet in it! I took a few liberties with the techniques recommended in the pattern instructions, but I think it came out pretty well for my first attempt. In case you’re interested, this outfit was made using McCall’s pattern #M5416 in size 2. It’s a bit large on her right now, which is perfect because it should last the summer. To get a better picture of the shorts, I asked Taylor to find her belly button:

This was a nice pattern to start with, because I had the opportunity to try a few new things—an elastic waistband, patch pockets, iron-on interfacing, and the amazing automatic buttonholer on my sewing machine. Who knew buttonholes could be so easy? And I may or may not have fused my first piece of interfacing to the press cloth—but I’ll never tell.

Now that I know I can muddle my way through a pattern, I’ll be on the hunt for more adorable fabric to make cute clothes for my girls!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Taylor's "puffy hat"

Taylor loves to watch the Backyardigans, and one of her recent favorite episodes is “Samurai Pie,” in which pie maker Tyrone tries to teach Austin to “make pies like a samurai.” Austin must try to make The Great Pie for Empress Tasha while ninjas Uniqua and Pablo try to steal the pie! I shouldn’t admit this, but it’s very cute and one of my favorites, too. Taylor likes to dance and do the martial arts movements along with the characters, and she says “Pie-ya!” All of this is adorable, and we gave her a plastic bowl and big spoon so she could also pretend to make pies.

But what really got my crafty juices flowing was Tyrone’s “puffy hat,” also referred to as his “puffy baker’s hat” (Austin eventually earns one, too.). I know I could just buy a kid-sized chef’s hat, but what fun would that be? I downloaded a free chef’s hat pattern on and got to work. I found the pattern a little confusing at times, and I think it assumes the user has a little more knowledge than I have. For example, it never tells you to remove the basting stitches, but it makes sense that you should, so I did. Is it common knowledge that basting stitches are always temporary? I have no idea, but apparently I should.

I made the toddler-sized hat, which is kind of big on Taylor, but she can grow into it, and she loves it anyway. She didn’t want to take it off, and this is not a child who likes to wear hats!

She looked more like a pilgrim than a chef until I smooshed the hat down a little.

I should have waited until morning to give the “puffy hat” to Taylor, because once she saw herself in the mirror, she wanted to watch “Samurai Pie,” but it was bedtime. I think my little baker will be making lots of fake pies tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fun spring giveaway at Create Studio!

Sarah at Create Studio is hosting a "Get Out and Play" spring giveaway of a Little Tikes slide! It folds up for easy storage and can be used inside or outside. There are three ways to win, so check out her blog for more details! I know my little one would love this slide; wouldn't yours? Good luck!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Felt radish

I’ve determined that the third row of vegetables in Taylor’s felt garden will be radishes! I don’t think she has ever seen a real radish, but she has seen drawings of radishes in her Peter Rabbit book. When I gave her the felt radish, she took a big fake bite with her usual “hup!” So apparently she knows it’s food.

The toughest part of making the radish was getting the bottom to look pointy. It came out more like a little nub, but I think I know how to fix it next time. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but the leafy top is actually three separate floppy leaves, and Taylor likes to tickle my nose with them!

Now that I’m rolling on the vegetables, I need to start brainstorming ideas for the garden itself!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Car and crayon caddy

In search of project inspiration, I’ve been following several awesome crafting blogs and checking out their archives to see what I’ve missed. I just loved this little car and crayon clutch made by Sarah at Create Studio, and I had to make one for my car-loving cousin, Ian. What a perfect distraction for a 4-year-old in a restaurant or anywhere else he’s getting bored and antsy!

I wanted to use black denim, but the fabric store didn’t have any, so I went with corduroy instead. I did find some Disney Cars fabric, which was perfect since that’s Ian’s current favorite movie. I stupidly guessed on the measurements, which resulted in my caddy having only three car pockets instead of four, but that was the only major problem I encountered.

I made the crayon pockets wide enough to hold two large washable crayons each, but they’ll also fit 3-4 regular crayons each when Ian is a little older. The crayons are safely tucked under a Velcro flap. I found a great Disney Cars notebook to go with my theme, and the center section of the caddy has both top and side pockets so that different types of notepads can be used.

Little hands can easily fold up the caddy and Velcro it shut for some fun on the go! I finished off my caddy with a sweet Lightning McQueen patch.

Thanks to Sarah for the inspiration!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Felt potato

So I thought that round (or roundish) vegetables would be the toughest to make out of felt, but it turns out that might not be true! The potato was so easy to make that I made two!

I studied a few pictures online of other crafters’ felt potatoes, and I noticed that many of them used only two panels to form the potato. The nice thing about that is you only see two seams, but I thought four panels would help give the potato the roundness that I wanted and the seams would hopefully not be too distracting. I think it was the right call; the potatoes look nice and full. I added the “eyes” after stuffing the potato so that I could tie a knot and then pull the thread through the inside of the potato to make a little pucker at each eye, creating the lumpy look of a real potato.

I’m so happy with how the potatoes turned out that I’m mentally planning some apples, oranges, tomatoes, pears, and other round fruits and vegetables. So far, I have two carrots and two potatoes for my felt garden. I’ll make one or two more of each of those, but I haven’t decided which other vegetables to “plant” in the garden. I can’t think of very many recognizable root vegetables; I’m pretty sure Taylor would not know a turnip or a radish if she saw one. But I suppose that’s how she’ll learn, right?

I had some free time to shop alone today, thanks to my wonderful husband, so I went out in search of the perfect baskets for my garden. I think I found them at Building 19, though I wish the store had two in the smaller size.

I settled for one of each size for now, but I may be checking out another Building 19 next weekend in hopes of finding another small one. It’s nice that these two nest together for storage purposes, but the smaller one is the perfect size for little hands, and two the same size would prevent any fighting over the bigger, better basket. Since the baskets say “Country Market,” I guess I might have to construct some kind of a farm stand as well. Hmmm…I’ll have to mull that one over.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Felt corncob with removable husks

In the play garden at Kaleidoscope, there were several cornstalks with felt corncobs attached magnetically. I thought a cornstalk or two would be a cute addition to my felt garden, but after attempting my first corncob, I can say with confidence that there will be no cornstalks.

My corncob project was delayed two separate times when I ran out of yellow thread and then green felt. It was also very time-consuming to stitch the kernels and the lines on the husks. I was working without a pattern again, so I had to make it work as I went. The bottoms of the cob and husk were especially challenging, and I just did the best I could to make them semi-presentable.

I finally finished it today, so here it is, my felt corncob with removable husks!

This will be my one and only corncob, and I’ll be sure to choose a simpler vegetable to attempt next, because this one was a big pain!