Tag Archive | sewing

Jasmine!

img_4296

This year with all the extra work I’m doing I can’t handcraft each costume so step one was the thrift store for all 3 girls.  We scored on 2 (Amazon took care of 3) and here is my incredibly easy Jasmine costume.

  1. We got lucky at the store to find a women’s skirt in the right color and with gorgeous Indian beading.  I was really just looking for a skirt in the correct color and gauzy fabric so I think that even if you don’t find something beaded you can find something ‘right’img_4236.jpg I took some ribbon and stitched it onto the top to make two straps.  We were lucky that the fit was pretty good otherwise but my plan was to make a few tucks if it was too big.  The extra perk is that the length lets us get away with normal leggings, not poofy pants, and, since it is so pretty she doesn’t notice that it isn’t the belly showing style that Jasmine actually wears.  This works much better for a 5 year old.

2.  For the iconic hair, I got a simple black wig and some foldover elastic in the right color. It was easy to tie 3 spots to make just the right hairdo for Jasmine.  Foldover elastic is easier than ribbon since it won’t slip.

img_4294

3. The key to costumes is getting some details right and for Jasmine, the headband with the jewel is the most memorable.  I used Sculpey clay and got a pack of ‘gems’ that had a big one in the right blue.  The only trick I did was in order of operations;

  • make the round piece of clay and press the jewel into it to make an imprint.  Remove jewel and poke 4 holes in the imprint like buttonholes
  • bake Sculpey clay
  • sew the gold onto a length of foldover elastic, just like a button
  • glue gem into its spot, covering the sewing
  • position the headband onto the wig and pin/sewimg_4295

We tried to make the gold necklace and hoop earrings also out of Sculpey clay.  The earrings worked but I’m not sure they are worth it since the hair covers her ears and the clips hurt her after 10 min.  The necklace was a failure, broke in 5 min so we scratched that and just used the pretty chunky necklace in the right color (also a thrift find).

This entire thing had about 10min of hand sewing, some creative shopping, preschool level sculpting, and hot glue.  I won’t be winning any cosplay prizes but I think she captures the spirit of the princess and she loves it.  It cost about $15 total and I think she will actually wear the dress again and NOT look like a costume.

 

Advertisements

Hello April!

It has been a week and quite a week it has been.  Busy days seem to go faster so the past week has been light speed.img_2342

Last week I had an ‘unplanned’ Friday.  There were things to do but nothing HAD to get done that day until a 3:30 start at school for a major setup and I was ready for a great day of finishing things.  I was still considering my copious options when the phone rang and that was the end of unplanned.  Thus is the life of multi-home ownership, sometimes the washer just dies and because friends live there I moved heaven and earth to get them a washer that day.  Technically I just moved a washer up and down a set of stairs (with help) but in between was a bunch of calls to find a washer and the drive to go get it.  The set up for the carnival went well but ate up the evening and I did finally get a call into my dad to celebrate his 26th birthday.

 

img_2372

he is over 6’…

The weekend was a social blur with the school carnival, great weather, friends stopping over, an impromptu backyard fire where we burned the Christmas tree is spectacular 12 ft flames (only for about 2 minutes).  General peace and happiness for all.

 

 

Monday the kids had off for no apparent reason.  So, we did things around the house but none of the things I needed to get done.  On the other hand, Niamh exercised her creative side with a sewing machine gifted to us by a friend who appreciates little kids learning to sew.  I was amazed that she really could do it.  I know, I personally taught her and she

img_2380

has seen me do it, but her fingers and brain just worked together and she really really did the sewing herself this time.  I have grand visions of her sewing with me now, hopefully getting things done faster.

Tuesday with only one child was still a dervish of activity.  We had our vent hood put in and that went really really well.  We were lucky that there was nothing structural in the way (besides the roof).  There was a crazy moment of fire when the drop cloth used to protect the brand new stove kinda caught on fire because the installer was leaning against the burner dials.  It was seen promptly and nobody was hurt and everyone laughed including the installer.  I also had the over-scheduled day that included a conference for Fiona (she is doing very well), swim lessons for Fiona (also doing well and can even swim somewhat and can actually float on her back!), swim lessons for Niamh and Zoe (they have been good for a while, this is refinement) and finally home for dinner where I tag Lars who has an aerobic class at 6:45.  Quite a day.

 

img_2385

it needs trim, I’m working on that…

 

Wednesday I have no blog excuse except I spent all day working on work and my computer was being a pain.  So were many other programs and I was just done with the computer by the time I got the things done for people who pay me.

Today I did 3 under dresses and the end is in sight for the 3 over dresses – hand sewing only that I like to do while I watch TV.  I ‘wasted’ some time chilling with Fiona in bed because she really needed a nap.  I got a nap at least and in the end, she did too, so I’m stealing some time here to document how not working can end up being very very busy.

The weather is totally helping things not feel too crazy because we can go outside and the kids play after dinner.  It might not do great things for our schedule but they are less cranky overall and while they play I can do things.

Tomorrow is Niamh’s birthday so all the while we have been counting down.  We have done shopping, there are plenty of gifts even though 9 is a really hard age to shop for.  Breakfast is planned and tonight after my school board meeting I’ll be getting the traditional balloons ready for breakfast.  The day will have to be shared with a road trip because we are off to an event for the weekend.  In her honor, we got a fun hotel with a pool with slides and there is a plan for cake by the pool at 9 pm CST (parents and sisters note for calling in)

Now I have just a few minutes before they come home and we need to scoot to a friends house for a final fitting and then to my ‘date’ core conditioning class.  If I want to add pictures and maybe spell check I need to leave things here semi unfinished (just like my life!)

Nerd + Crafting

My dear husband, who I promise is an adult and contributing member of society, loves to play D&D with his guy friends.  It is his ‘guys night’ and a bunch of his friends go off and have very creative adventures in the comfort of the livingroom **major bonus of being an adult, they don’t have to be banished to the basement**.  I’ve played occasionally and it is fun enough, but I prefer to have the nice solo night at home where I get to eat a quiet dinner and watch whatever I like on tv.

Anyway, like all hobbies, there are tons of things marketed directly at them.  There are the books and stuff, but then there are the extras and we are the proud owners of a very nice set of spell templates.  They are nicely done truly – you put them on the playing board to show how far your fire ball or ice stream goes.  They came on a giant piece of thin plastic so my first contribution to this was my ability to cut very nicely.

 

img_2256

spell sheet from Arc Knight – check them out, they are a great small business

 

The issue becomes how to carry all these bits…  For scale, that Capt America/Iron Man box is the length of a pencil (and is full of guess what; pencils!).  Some of the spells are wide, some are long, some are very very small…. How to keep them all safe?

I happened to have a yard of super hero fabric and my machines were all set up so instead of folding laundry last night I made this;

img_2257

Not just a bag!  Imagine how big a fail it would be just put them all in a tote.  The tiny ones would be gone, the long ones would be bent, and one can’t let an opportunity to make tiny pockets pass by.

img_2259

First of all, I made the side and half the bottom open for easy access.  Husband has big bear paws and if the chaos he leaves looking for a spatula in the drawer is any indication, he needs the ability to see all the pockets.  There are snaps up the side of the bag and velcro on the bottom (wraps up and around so there is a more secure bottom).  The pocket on the left is for the long thing things, across the bottom are all the large triangles and circles, and the wee little pocket on the top are for the little bits.  There is also room for the dice and pencil box and probably a book or 3.

Do you notice more snaps?  I decided that based on the variety of sizes,  small things would get lost in each pocket and to indulge more crafting energy; all the pockets open up for easy access

img_2258

So other than an oddly unfortunate fabric placement that makes all the small spells seem to be stored in The Hulks armpit, and, it isn’t lined, I’m very happy with it and more importantly so is he.

This took less that a yard and if I was starting again I would integrate the velcro better by just making the back longer than the front so it could fold up neatly.  I thought of the velcro after when snaps were not really making it on the bottom once he asked to store more things.

Weekend of work

Poor blog, nobody posts on you!

 

For the second week in a row Lars is out of town and in contrast to last week where I felt like the crazy hub of social activity this weekend we are crazy solo.  All little outings fell through and kids were behaving like it was a full moon (it was) and they had spent an exhausting fun week at camp.  Solo parenting is for the birds (although based on my nesting robins, those chicks keep 2 parents busy in their species too).

In the win column – I have major amounts of garb produced.  Thanks to mom who is quietly producing in NY to supplement efforts here, I think I can put away the sewing tomorrow.  I also have one solid box packed and some bits and pieces getting pulled to a gather point for packing in the near term.

We also did a fair job cleaning up.  When they start fighting I say I need to micromanage and we clean.  Sometimes the mess just moves but it’s almost cute to hear Zoe cut me off mid-word to parrot “do it right or do it twice”.   I also seem to have a relaxation issue when Lars is gone.  Two nights straight I got them to bed with reasonable ease, that at least is not a current issue, and instead of vegging out I power clean.  Last night I seriously intended to just do 10min and then go to bed and there was mud by the door from feet and 30 min later I had the floor cleaned and dry using a washcloth and dish towel since I only was going to do “that spot” but then there was “another spot”.

Today is starting better.  It is not raining, it is not 90 degrees and they let me sleep until 7:30.  And hey, the kitchen is clean, so that always helps the day start nicely.

Ps.  output in the past few days;

2 tunics for Lars, 1 over tunic, skirt and choli for me, 2 kid cholis, 5 kid skirts, a hat, 3 hoods, a chemise, various mending points, and 3 kids that are still alive.

3 Things

status

weather – seem to be reverting to winter… uncool MN spring

nap – she needs one, she is in her room, I am here typing

House – major shake ups coming, playing room merry go round and kitchen mini reno.

reading – not much!  keep falling asleep too fast

 

  1. This game – Neko Atsume – my mom introduced it to us and it is so fun for the kids.  incredibly low interaction, you really just go look at what cats are there.  You fill the food up and maybe get a new toy out but really all you do is check on the cats.  Purrrrfect distraction for all the kids and certainly makes me smile.IMG_8687
  2. Thing two that is a happy thing is finally listing the rental.  I listed yesterday and its like a feeding frenzy!  4 inquiries in under a day.  I already have a favorite but there is a strong second too.  It is such a relief to have demand!
  3. After a year of sitting on the project, I nearly have bedroom curtains.  Don’t worry, we had shades so the neighbors were shielded from our PJ’s.  I say nearly because I’m still working on some options but they are cut and 90% sewn.

    4921FB3C-095C-4670-883E-D5961C5327AD

    not yet perfect but they exist – top is a close up

I’m also looking forward to my MOM night out tonight and I have an excited/scared feeling about taking on my closet.  Its time, its been years since I wore my work uniform of nice pants and a button down that I need to say good bye to that segment of my wardrobe.  I have ignored the closet for years, it needs help, I think this is the time to reclaim it.  Sure, my life is full of glamour and excitement, you should see what I don’t tell you about 😉

Earth day t-shirt upcycle

status

Weather; another perfect sunny day, why am I inside?

Nap; should soon change this to ‘quiet’ time  with the occasional sleep

reading; been a while since I noted – I’m done with the Robyn Hobb series(es), I’m in the middle of a Charles Stross series,  Just started the Trone of Glass book 2, and reading my kid behavior books for age 8, 6 and 4.  I’m also reading the Secret Garden to the girls out loud.

 

I’m glad that I live in an age that there was almost always an earth day.  I can’t remember before recycling cans.  I lived with an original upcyclier and while sometimes he basically built traps disguised as furniture the WWII use it until it disintegrates was part of my day to day.

When the kids outgrow things they are usually in decent shape so it can be passed on.  Since Lars and I are not really growing we tend to wear things until they are embarrassing so there is no passing on possibilities.  I’ve made aprons out of jeans, plenty of things turn into napkins (my crusade against paper waste!) but my most recent upcycle is the t-shirt pillow cover.

I’m in my house all day every day so I want it to look nice if I can.  Since pillows are a major part of our life from the mundane couch decoration to the insane pillow forts – they need to have covers that can be washed so this pattern is for easy on/off covers.

Mens shirts work best – this particular shirt was well loved and I think is about 10 years

 

IMG_3727

2009!

old.  Lars was fine with napkining it but I can’t help but remember times like this and now every time I see the couch I remember the fun.

 

 

IMG_8323

2016 – very loved

 

You can either get a new (from the thrift store) pillow or just measure one you like but could use a new look but keep in mind the scale of the shirt and the scale of where the pillow will live.

  1. Start by cutting a straight line from the shoulder to the bottom.  You want to make sure no arm seam is left.  Do the same on the other side so you end up with a long rectangle.IMG_8324
  2. Measure how far down the lowest point of the neck hole is and then move the tape to the side so you can cut off the neck in a neat straight line.  This whole time you are cutting the front and the back at the same time so take care to keep it from wrinkling or bunching on the bottom.IMG_8325
  3. Now you have two pieces!  As you can see on mine there is a hole in the front so I had to size my pillow to avoid that.  Take a second to make sure the graphic is centered (or off centered or how you want it!) and measure the height of the pillow you are working with.  (Mine is about 13 inches)IMG_8326
  4. Hopefully you can see what I mean here because there are a few things going on but nothing is hard.  First, I flipped both sides over.  The front is on the right, you can tell by that nifty little hole.  I folded the bottom of the front up to the measure of the pillow ** I do not cut the front anymore **.  On the back, I cut the fabric to size but I measure up from the bottom so I can keep the original t-shirt bottom edge seam.IMG_8328
  5. I don’t have a picture, but, you now want to put the front on top of the back with the graphic in and the folded section out and the finished/existing bottom seam along the folded edge.  Pin if you like to but make sure it is squared up.
  6. Start at one of the folded/bottom seam corners and sew 3 sides.  You are leaving the bottom open – the bottom should be the folded up part and the original t-shirt seam.  On my machine, I use the stretch stitch, #2, it really is great on a stretch fabric like this shirt.  Make sure to sew the three layers; back, front, and folded part of front, all in one line.IMG_8330
  7. The result; 3 seams and you can see that the folded up section is now a pocket! When you turn it right side out, the pocket is on the inside.  This makes a really smooth looking front  because the pillow goes into that pocket.  Soooo much easier than a zipper and no pillow peeking out the bottom.IMG_8331
  8. And then you get crazy and make 4 more… or five… or some for every season and maybe your husband starts to wonder where his shirts went…

    IMG_8496

    there are 6 shirt pillows here… the one from the example is in the top right

And as a bit of a bonus.  Those sleeves you cut off?  Not to go to waste, they make great headbands.  I’ve long passed the point of bibs at my house but there is a lot of hair-in-food situations so having a little pile of these near meal times works nicely.  They don’t just fit kids, I can wear them too, and they might not be the most fashionable they are perfect for working out or in the garden.

 

I hope I’m doing my part for the earth!  and I hope this tutorial helps you upcycle some beloved shirts too.