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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kindness Ninjas

Finished Kindness Ninja


     A friend who is a teacher wanted something to give her students when they practice a random act of kindness.  She sent me a couple of pictures of something she would like.



     I played around with felt and came up with a sample one.  She liked it so I made a pattern for each piece.  To help her save some money, I had her cut out all the pieces.

Hearts glued on and drying

     When I got back all the pieces, I started working on them assembly line fashion.  First I used Rowley's fringe adhesive to glue on the hearts.  I let them dry overnight and then the next day I hand sewed on the beads, tacking the white part down.

     After that was all done, I sewed a back on, adding a little stuffing in the head and body areas as I was stitching.

All finished

     Result, twenty five kindness ninjas to be given out to her students.  I hope they enjoy them.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Simple Dress

Completed dress

     I made this simple dress in just a few hours.  I had the piece of ponte knit in my stash.  I think I bought it a few years ago at a sewing expo but don't remember why.
     I like the idea of a dress in the summer because they are easy to wear and something plain can be worn so many ways.
Pattern used

     I looked through my patterns and found one that called for the amount of fabric I had on hand.  This one is really quick as it is just two pattern pieces, the back which is cut on the fold and the front that has a seam up the middle to accommodate the tulip hem.
     It went together quickly and fits well.  I did alter the pattern some to adjust it for my smaller top.  I can't wait for some warmer weather to wear this fun dress.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

Skye, chicken and race car all ready fror trick or treat


     This year I only needed to make one Halloween costume, in fact only part of it.  My granddaughter wanted to go as Skye from Paw Patrol.

Skye from Paw Patrol

     She had the puppy costume from her brother that I made three years ago.  I needed to make a vest and a helmet for the goggles.

Vest pattern

     My daughter bought a pattern for the vest which I made up one size to fit over everything.

Puppy pattern

     For the helmet, I used the pattern from the puppy costume.

Vest

     I topstitched the front seams open to help them lay flat since you couldn't iron the fabric.  I was lucky enough to have just enough of the hot pink bias tape in my stash.  I did have to order the zipper from Wawak since we couldn't find one in the stores.  I also added a cotton fabric 'lining' to give the vest more body when sewing on the bias tape.

Gathering the wings with elastic

     For the wings, my daughter wanted a simple thing that wouldn't get in the way.  I just cut a piece of the ripstop nylon into a 'wing' shape and then gathered the center with elastic.  I added elastic loops to the ends to go over her wrists.
Adding the wings


Vest with attached wings

     I then sewed the wings onto the back of the vest, following the line of stitching from the elastic.

Skye's helmet

     For the helmet I used only 1/2" seam allowances instead of 5/8" to make it slightly larger than the puppy hood.  I also didn't sew the seam where the ears would normally go so that they could poke out through the helmet.  In addition to that I cut the hood back more from the face and also at the neck edge so that it wouldn't completely cover the puppy hood.

     I did not make the race car that my older grandson is wearing or the chicken costume the younger one is wearing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Making Multiple Coffee Cozies

Fabric cut, ready for stacking


     Recently I was asked to make 51 coffee cozies, well actually 52 but I got blood on one that I couldn't get out.  When I make these cozies I use a template from Winner Designs.  I love this template because it makes using the rotary cutter so easy to cut the patterns quickly.

Marking the corners for cutting

     The only drawback is that you can't see thru it so if you are trying to center a design when cutting you can't see where it is.  To solve this problem, I traced the pattern onto pattern tracing paper.  I then found the center and drew that vertical line.  Since my design had a flat horizontal line I drew another line perpendicular to the first to line up with the lettering.  I then traced a couple of other reference points so I could align my pattern on the printed fabric.

Detail of marking the corners for rotary cutting

     The first thing I did was to cut the printed fabric from Spoonflower into rectangles, roughly centering the design.  I then cut the Insul-Bright and lining fabric into rectangles.  I placed the see-thru template onto each of the printed pieces and on the wrong side marked the corners with a pen.  No need to use anything special as this was going to be cut off.

Template lined up, ready to rotary cut

     I then layered a piece of the Insul-Bright, a piece of the lining fabric and then the printed piece with the right sides of the fabric together.  I placed the Winner Design template on top, lining it up with the corner marks I had drawn.  Then it was easy to just cut all three at once with the rotary cutter.


     After I got them all cut, I marked where I wanted the elastics, then I pinned the elastics in place and pinned around the rest.  After I pinned a bunch, I would sew them, leaving on opening to turn them.  After all the sewing was done, I clipped the corners, turned them right side out and pressed them.  Then I top-stitched all around and that closed up the opening.  Last was the buttons, which I sewed on my machine.

     Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  I did find it much easier to do each step on every one rather than doing one start to finish.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sewing a Campfire

Building a campfire with a sewing machine

     Most people build a campfire but I was asked my my son-in-law to sew one.  He teaches second grade and wanted to have a fun area for his kids to read.  He bought a tent but wanted something a little more.

Felt fire

     He found this tutorial on line and asked me to make it for his classroom.  He found the woodgrain fabric on line and bought it.  I bought the rest of the felt at JoAnn Fabrics.  I printed out the directions and pattern pieces.  The pattern pieces were a bit roughly drawn but okay.  I traced them onto pattern paper to make it easier to pin to the felt and cut out.

Woodgrain fabric logs


     The fire part went quickly.  I opted to sew the red pieces together with the seams on the outside.  That made for sharper points on the fire I felt and it was much easier to sew it closed on the machine after adding the stuffing.  The logs were easy to make also.  I sewed the long end together and left an opening in the enter of the seam.  Then I added the circle pieces to the ends.  Turned them right side out and stuffed them.  I chose a quick overhand stitch to close them up instead of the hidden ladder stitch.

Felt rocks

     The rocks were much harder as there were no directions for them.  All the directions said were to sew up some bean bag sized rocks.  There were two pattern pieces for the rocks and the supply list said to buy 5 pieces of grey felt.  I chose two different greys to add a little more interest.  After looking at the pictures in the directions and at the pattern pieces I figured you needed to sew the rectangle piece onto the smaller oval piece.

     I divided the oval into four and the rectangle also into four.  I pinned them together and then added tucks and pleats to the rectangular piece to make them fit.  I sewed three fourths of the way around.  Then I turned them right side out and stuffed them.  I slightly gathered the rectangle piece as I sewed it to the oval using the hidden ladder stitch.  I think they look like the photos in the directions so I must have guessed right.

     My son-in-law was happy to get everything.  There were also directions for marshmallows on a stick to 'roast' over the campfire.  Not sure if I will do them only because I am afraid of the sticks and second graders.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dress Appliques

Rabbit Skin blank dress with appliquéd puppy


     When I was cleaning up some things, I came across these blank t-shirt dresses that I had bought when I was doing craft shows.  Since I no longer do craft shows I was going to just donate these dresses.  I realized though that they would fit my granddaughter.

Pretty floral puppy

     She loves puppies, so I chose to embroider a couple of puppies and one monkey, just because the monkey was so cute.  These designs are from Designs by JuJu.  I have used her appliqué designs many times, the last time being in this quilt I made for my youngest grandson.

Spotted puppy dog

     I had a lot of fun picking fabrics from my stash of scraps I keep.  For the lilac dress I chose fabrics that coordinated.  The polka dot fabric worked well with the spots on the second puppy.

Swinging monkey

     For the monkey, I found a brown fabric with flowers and then pulled that pink for the bow.  These kinds of projects are always a lot of fun.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wedding Sewing

Ready for JJ and Emily's wedding

     Our son got married a few weeks ago.  They asked two of our grandkids to be in the wedding party as well as the goddaughter of the bride.  I volunteered to sew the dresses and the vest and bowtie.

Pattern used

     I went looking for patterns with my daughter and then we sent photos of possible choices to my son's fiancee.  She chose this pattern but with the solid back.


Modeling the dress

     She also wanted a sash instead of just the band as pictured.  They sent me a link to colors they had chosen.  I went to our local JoAnn's and picked out what I thought would work and then she went to her local store and made the final choices,

Tied with a bow, sagging down

     After I got the measurements of everyone I bought the fabric and patterns and got to work sewing. I got one dress made before the shower so she was able to take it back home with her to check how it fit her goddaughter.  It fit perfectly so now was the time to make the other dress and the vest and bowtie.  Thankful for Pinterest to get instructions to make his bowtie.

Tied with loops, less sagging but not pretty

     For the sash she wanted this pink tulle fabric but neither of my local stores had it.  They bought the end of the bolt by them and brought it in when they came for the shower.  After I made the sash and tried the dress on my granddaughter, I didn't like how the weight of the bow pulled down the sash.  I tried tying it another way but still didn't like the look.  I sent off pictures and the bride agreed it wasn't quite right.  After playing around with it a little, I decided to add a couple of more thread loops near the center back.  That worked to hold up the bow.  We also tied the bow without a knot first and that helped reduce the bulk.

Ring bearer's pillow

     Then it was time for the ring bearer's pillow.  I still had some of my mother-in-law's wedding dress here.  After more emails and texts to finalize the design I made the pillow.  She didn't want any ruffles so I just opted for a covered cord.  I also added a ribbon loop in the back so my grandson didn't have to balance the pillow.

Vest and bow tie

     The day before the wedding we helped to set up the place for the reception.  At that time I got the first dress back and that afternoon I added the thread loops to her dress.  At rehearsal that evening I gave the dress back to the mom so she would have it for the wedding the next day.

Dress for flower girl

     One other thing I did different was to add two layers of the sparkly tulle to the skirt instead of just one.  I thought it added a bit more fullness to the dress.

Detail of the sparkly tulle

     The wedding was beautiful.  My grandson walked down the aisle like a pro but my granddaughter would not walk down unless she held my daughter's hand.  Needless to say she wasn't able to toss any petals since she was clenching her mom's hand.  The other flower girl got too shy and wouldn't walk down the aisle at all, even with her mom.  Oh well, they all looked cute in the photos later.