Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Bee Costume

I kind of regret last years Halloween Costume. Not because it was lame but because it was so awesome and so adorable I can’t imagine how I could possibly improve it. But of course I had to try, and so I bring you…
Happy bee
I started by making an inner lining for the costume. I traced the outline of one of my son’s muscle shirts onto one of my old t-shirts. I did extend the length of the tank by about 6 inches to cover the butt. I also added an extra inch to the sides of the back piece below the waist to compensate for the diaper bulge.
057 060
Then I did a four thread serge along the sides and the shoulder seams.
For the outer shell you need to make a yellow and black striped fabric. I used a super soft fleece-like material that shed like crazy when I cut it. I made 4 inch wide strips and then used a four thread serge to sew them together. I also did a 3 thread serge around the edges of created fabric. When I was finished making the fabric, I was covered with just as much fuzz as it was. I though it would be a pain to clean up but I took it outside and gave it a real good shake and 95% of the fuzz blew away in the wind.045
I love these stripes. I was almost sad to cut into it.
To cut the outer fabric I folded the inner shell in half and lined it up along a fold. I cut the neck, shoulder, and arm holes exactly the same. But then I cut a convex curve  for the side lengths. Don’t forget that the neckline is different but otherwise cut the same piece  a second time. Be mindful of the stripes. You want to line them up while cutting or they won’t match in the final costume. I also cut the bottom edge to be 3 inches longer than the inner shell.071
Before it had a chance to shed again I did a serge around the arm and necklines of both pieces.  Then I placed them right side to right side and did a 4 thread serge on both side seams and across the shoulder seam. If you need to, also serge the bottom.
With the inner shell right side out and the outer shell wrong side out place the inner piece inside and stretch pin and sew the bottom hems together
Turn the piece right-side out and put the lining inside. Cut a length of elastic based on your child’s waist. In the final costume it will actually rest mid thigh but the waist measurement should make it loose enough to walk around.  Place the loop between the 2 layers and sew a casing using the excess 3 inches of outer fabric. I basically used the bottom black strip as the casing and managed to stitch in the ditch on both sides.
Add stuffing between the 2 layers to puff up the body then use some ribbing or stretch material to bind off the neck and arm holes. If you live in a cold climate you could add some black sleeves.

No bee would be complete with out a stinger. I took some black fabric and cut a circle the size of a small plate. you will only need a third of it.
Fold right side to right side and sew the two straight edges together. Turn it right-side-out and stuff then hand stitch it to the back of the costume. I had my son try on the costume so I could place the stinger in the right place.


To make the wings get some 14 gauge wire from the hardware store, electrical tape, a pair of knee highs and some black straps of fabric.
Bend the wire into the shape you want  for the wings and wrap the center where the wire ends meet with electrical. Slip one knee high over each wing and tie them together. You may have to reposition the wire after the knee highs are in place.
008 012
I used some leftover fabric to hand stitch a loop of fabric around the joint. Then I cut a length of jersey material to loop behind the back, under both armpits and behind the neck. I tied a knot and then fed the shoulder straps through the loop on the wings.
 002 006
For the Antennae I decided there was no way my kid wound keep on the regular headband variety so I picked up a black hat from Target for $1. For each antennae I folded a black and a yellow pipe cleaner in half and poked each end through the inside of the hat then I took the four ends and did a four strand braid. I hot glued a pom-pom on the end.
Add a pair of black leggings and watch as your baby bumble bee buzzes all around you.
021  055 
If you make your own we would love to see it. Please add it to our flickr group

Thursday, October 28, 2010

¡en español, por favor!

Two of my best friends called me up last night with a last minute costume idea ¡Spanish Punctuation! This costume took less than 2 hours to pull together and is not only completely original but also interactive. 001

We used Freezer paper stencils to make exclamation points on 2 t-shirts. One of them needs to be up-side-down. Then we made some exclamatory Spanish phases in cartoon bubbles using printed paper adhered onto a foam board cut out. Whenever someone stands between them they get to hold one of the phrases.


¡absolutamente brillante!

Feeling inquisitive? Make the shirts with question marks.


Monday, October 25, 2010

The prettiest thing I’ve ever made for dinner

My husband insisted that I share this. I made the Ratatouille tart from Smitten Kitchen. I had to increase the baking time  about 15 minutes. The bottom just wouldn’t brown.


It was delicious.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Boo! Halloween Roundup

I love Halloween! It’s among my favorite holidays…which all, incidentally, occur the last 3rd of the year. Here’s a quick roundup of my projects this month. I have more in mind, so keep watching.

 Pumpkin King Tee


I’m quite proud of Cam’s annual Halloween T-shirt. I love the movie “Nightmare Before Christmas” and, while perusing google images for good jack-o-lantern faces, came across a great Jack Skellington image. I knew right away what the shirt would say, but the font needed to be right. Turns out fontspace has the EXACT font from the movie title. Score!

 Happy Halloween Banner


My sewing closet is blessed with an abundance of extra black duck cloth…not sure why, but it makes for a perfect banner. A simple rod pocket at the top and easy serger edge finishing helped this appliqued banner come together very quickly. I printed out a simple font, traced and cut out the letters on candy corn fabric backed with heavy interfacing (fuse-a-shade) and wonder under. The candy corns are also super simple…cotton in 3 colors (cream, bright orange and light orange…I used a yellowish print), fuse-a-shade and wonder under. I stitched fabric strips together first, ironed on the 2 layers of backing and then drew and cut the candy corn shape.

The letters needed to “pop” off of the background a bit, so I satin stitched them in orange thread. In hindsight, yellow or white would have made the words stand out even more. But I love it anyway!

Matching Candy Corn Onesies

During my in-laws’ recent visit, I decided to whip up a couple of matching onesies for Cam and his cousin Kody, who lives in the same town as my in-laws. I whipped up 2 more cute appliqued candy corns, using the same process from the banner.

  IMGP9810 IMGP9812

After stitching the candy corns down, I added a clever freezer paper stencil ;)


Are these cousins cute or WHAT?!

Happy Halloween everyone!!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Toddler Time

After I wrote up the Party bag post, I had a friend mention she would like to have a watch for her son. Conveniently, his birthday was just two weeks away so I made one. But I also made a time telling chart loosely based on this one made by Cheri from I am Momma Hear me Roar. Since I was going with a time theme for this gift I wanted to make my time chart round like a clock face. I found the Spontan magnet board at Ikea and knew that it was perfect.
The first thing you have to do is find the center of the circular board, so here is your mini-Geometry lesson for the day. The perpendicular bisector of any chord passes through the center of the circle. So a quick way to find the center is to use a ruler to draw a straight line across your circle and find the center of that line and mark it. Then line up your ruler so that it’s perpendicular and passing through your mark. Your ruler is now the diameter of the circle. Cut that distance in half and you’ve got the center. Be sure to mark this point.
041 046
In order to divide the board into 7 sectors either use a protractor and measure 51.4 degree angles from the center or print out a heptagon like this one and center it on your board and use it to place your lines with the pinstripe tape.
At the center of the circle, drill 2 small holes. Be sure to have some scrap wood behind it when you drill..065
To make an arrow spinner I cut a piece of cardboard into the shape I wanted, cut a strip of magnet for the back and punched a hole in the cardboard. I made a fabric covering for the arrow and used a eyelet to reinforce the hole. I also freeze paper stenciled the word “Today” on the arrow then I sewed the arrow on the board through the 2 holes and a button that was larger than the eyelet.
077 079 088 
080I don’t have any fancy vinyl but I do have a sticker maker so I printed the days of the week onto some cardstock  and ran them through. Then I adhered them to the board. If you don’t have either you could just mod podge them on.

Lastly, I made the activity magnets out of shrinky-dinks, gluing magnets to the back after they are shrunk.
That’s it. Hopefully this will help with those “when are we going to _______?” moments.089
I finished it about 10 minutes before I had to leave for the party. Funny how my timing works out that way.090
Happy birthday Annie!