Monday, October 31, 2011

The Family that ROCKS together, stays together

Cam loves guitars, this is a well known fact, so naturally our family Halloween costumes had to ROCK this year. When he said “I wanna be a RockStar!” it didn’t take long for me to figure out our theme. This set of costumes is a mish-mash of patterns and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-and-hope-it-works design.

Introducing….. Dad as Gene Simmons, Mom as Cyndi Lauper and Cam as Sid Vicious!


Cam’s costume was probably the easiest. For the jacket, I altered a fleece hoodie pattern, added a collar, etc. I bought one long zipper and cut the remainder into bits and just sewed them straight to the front of the jacket. Joann’s had by-the-yard cut-apart studs…SO awesome! I just hot-glued them on.

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I picked up the jeans and a tank at the Salvation Army, cut up the pants a bit and painted the tank with the classic “Punks Not Dead” design. He was able to wear some of my old punker accessories, too, which was fun for me.


My costume was also pretty easy. The dress was $6 at Salvation Army and only took a bit of altering to fit over my big preggo belly. I zig-zagged on 4 rows of tulle to the lining, added some tulle bows and Voila! My crowning achievement of the Cyndi costume was the gloves…but I’ll tell you about those later :)

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Daddy’s costume was the most labor-intensive of the family. Nearly every piece was handmade and most were made up! I started with a pair of half-pants out of pleather, using a really old slacks pattern. The boot covers were ridiculously easy…I traced his work boots on paper, added for curvature and seam, and cut them on the fold so the only sewing is the front seam. I couldn’t believe how good they looked for such a simple method.

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The silver vest was my crowing achievement of the Kiss costume. Using craft foam sheets was the key. I cut out the shapes and literally scotch-taped them together, then covered them with the silver fabric, using a combination of spray adhesive (to hold everything in place) and hot glue (to secure the flaps on the back side.

The belt is the same silver fabric lined with a medium weight satin AND I discovered that you can indeed sew through craft foam (at least the thin stuff). There’s a velcro closure at the back and velcro at the shoulders to hold the wings on. The wings are shiny pleather lined with the satin, studded and accessorized with spikey cuffs (which are just cones filled with fluff, gathered at bottom and hot glued).

And here’s the finished product!

Hope your Halloween ROCKS!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Little Fox Halloween

This year I had a hard time deciding what Asher should be for Halloween but in the end I found this woodland animal pattern by Jessica of Running with Scissors.


I’m really happy with the way it turned out, but there were a couple of bumps along the way. Having sewn and made pattern for several pairs of pants I found the gusset method for the crotch a little awkward to sew as well as fit. The bigger problem was the hood. Because Asher is so tall the 4T size was a little short on him. So the original hood was pulled on by the body and whenever he bent over the hood was pulled off his head. So I wrote to Jessica with my problem and she wrote back promptly and with plenty of great suggestions on how to fix my problem. 


Just changing the hood made the whole costume fit better and Asher could now get the hood on and off himself. I also had enough left over fabric to make myself a matching pair of ears and tail. I used the same pattern pieces for the tail and ears lengthening the tail by about 6 inches and sewing the ears to a headband. DSC_0126

My husband found some hunter gear at the thrift store for his costume. Asher insists that he is a Catcher since he tries to catch the foxes. I think it’s so cute I don’t want to correct him.DSC_0082

Thanks Jess for putting out your pattern and helping me when I started to panic. I can’t wait to try out the hipster hoodie. It’s in this weeks queue.

If you think our costumes are fun just wait till you see what Haley whipped up.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Sock Monkeys for Texas

This summer in Texas it has been hot and dry. So dry that Wildfires have burned through 1.4 million acres of land and over 16,000 homes have been lost. In response, Craft Hope, a wonderful website that encourages crafting for a cause, is collecting handmade sock monkeys for children who have lost their homes in these fires.

I started with just one monkey but they are so cute and easy to make that now I have a small family. No doubt more little monkeys are on the way.


If you would like to participate in this project grab a pair of cool socks (crew length or knee- highs) and get sewing. I used the pattern from the Craft hope Book which you can find with full instructions on Craftstylish. The deadline for this project is November 24, 2011. Thanksgiving.

Learn more about this project and Craft hope on their website. Hopefully you’ll have fun making a monkey soon.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Diaper cake tutorial

Last week I hosted a Dr Seuss themed baby shower for Haley and and our good friend V. Whenever we host a baby shower we like to bring a diaper cake for the new momma. Since Haley and I are two of the organizers for a local mom’s group where many of the members are having their second child. So we have been getting plenty of practice.
Grab a friend (seriously, this is a 2 person project) and let’s get startedDiaper cake tutorial finished
You will need:
Pampers Swaddlers (size 1, qty 234 from Sam's Club: will make 3 diapers cakes (78 diapers each)
6 yards Wired ribbon (2” wide is nice)
14 inch Round cake base (scallop edge is nice)
Yarn or string (for holding spirals together before ribbon AND for anchoring layers to base)
Big crochet hook (for pulling yard through layers)
Small Gifts to attach
Lets make the layers.
For the bottom layer use 45 diapers (reserving 7 for center)
Line the 39 diapers up so that they overlap, leaving about an inch of the folded edge showing.Diaper cake tutorial 1
Carefully, with a friend, turn the diapers on their side and curl into a circle, tucking the unfolded side into the middle.
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Have one person hold the spiral while the other ties some yarn around to stabilize and tighten slightly.
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Even out the diapers so that they are evenly spaced.  The top should look like a spiral.  Diaper cake tutorial 3
Roll the remaining 7 diapers up tightly and stuff them in the middle. Diaper cake tutorial 4
The procedure for the next two layers is exactly the same as the first with a different number of diapers. Middle layer=22 diapers (use 3 for center), Top layer=11 diapers (none used in center)
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Poke two holes about an inch apart in the center of your cake circle and feed a long piece of yarn through the holes so that the ends are coming out of top of the circle.
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Poke your crochet hook through the bottom layer of the cake between two of the spiraled diapers grab one of the piece of yarn from the cake bottom and pull it through the bottom layer. Repeat for the other side of this layer.
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Do the same thing for the middle and top layers and then tie a knot with the 2 strands of yarn. This will anchor the cake to the base and hold it together.
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· Wrap single piece of ribbon around each layer and knot, leaving just enough to tie a bow on. You can use this tighten the layers if needed. Once the ribbon in tied on you can cut the yarn that was previously holding the each layer together.
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Make bows by folding ribbons back and forth 5 or 6 times , accordion style so that you have a stack of ribbon about 6 inches in length.Diaper cake tutorial 12
Using the ribbon from the cake tie a knot around the middle of your ribbon stack and fluff. Trim wire ends that may have frayed.
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Add toys, gifts, onesies, etc...all over cake until cute. Maybe make a cute cake topper of some sort. For these diaper cakes (this was a shower for Haley and another friend) I made some Baprons, tagged balls (just add some folded ribbon to the seams), and a pacifier pod.
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We also included a couple of store bought brightly colored washcloths that were made into flowers using wire and florist tape and a cake topper mini Seuss hat (made by a friend).
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We had found some Seuss foam stickers on clearance and used them to decorate around the ribbons in any area we thought was a little blank.

Here are a few more diaper cakes we have made in the past.
For this bear cake we used a cute baby hat as a cake topper for this one. The set also came with socks for the hands and feet so we stuffed them with a couple extra diapers and attached them with a little wire. No need for a bow on the top tier with this design.

On these 2 cakes we made bouquets of flowers for decoration rolling up onesies, socks, washcloths, burp cloths and bibs and then wrapping one end (or a fold for the larger items) with floral tape and then attaching them with wire. We filled in some bare spots with curling ribbon.image
Here are more ways you can top your cake. Any simple toy will work but you can even just use a card with a little more ribbon.
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Special thanks to Liasa who made an amazing hand model and without whom I could never have made these cakes.
If you make your own we would love to see it. Please add it to our flickr group

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tutorial: Reversible Nursing Cover

As you may have noticed, Ruth and I have been MIA for a while, lately. We’re sorry about that, but trust us, we have good reason! We are BOTH adding new additions to our families soon! I am 31 weeks along and Ruth is 19 weeks, and we’re both super excited.

In honor of this announcement, we have made ourselves (and another expecting friend of ours) brand-spankin’ new nursing covers. We all know that nursing a baby in public can be risky…you never know when you might flash the person next to you. Instead of giving the entire restaurant a free show, we have a tutorial for a really gorgeous cover.

We took inspiration from many sources and came up with a reversible cover, with a strong strap and bit of boning for air-flow and baby-viewing. The cover is finished with contrast bias tape, which we think is the icing on the cake. Wanna make one? Here’s how:

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Supplies Needed:
  • 1 yard of 2 contrasting fabrics, for the front and back of the cover
  • 1/2 yard of a 3rd contrasting fabric, for homemade bias tape, OR 2 packages of store bought wide, double-fold bias tape.
  • 2 – 1 inch D-rings
  • 15 inches of boning
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Cut list:
  • For body of cover, laying the 2 contrasting fabrics on top of each other, wrong sides together (so you can save a step later), cut a 26”x36” rectangle using the width of the fabric for the 36inch.
  • For long strap, cut a 2.5”x27” strip from both contrasting fabrics.
  • For D-ring loop, from one of the fabrics (your choice), cut a 5”x6” inch rectangle.
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To Make the Straps:

With the right sides together stitch the 2.5”x27” inch rectangles with 3/8” seam allowance around 3 sides leaving one of the short ends open. If you want you can sew the other short end at an angle. Trim corners for turning.

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Fold the rectangle so that the 6 inch long edges meet and use a 3/8” seam allowance to sew down the long edge only.

Turn both strap pieces right side out and poke out corners of the long strap piece so it looks nice. Press.

Topstitch around the edges of the long strap and short piece for a finished look.

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Slide the 2 D-rings onto the D-ring loop piece and fold in half. Using a zipper foot (if you have one) or moving your needle as far to one side as possible, stitch as close as you can to the D-rings to hold them nice and tight in the loop.  
Note: The D-ring loop is supposed to be wider than the 1” ring…this can make this step difficult, we know. Just work the loop around the D-ring and do your best. If you get a tuck, it’s not a problem.

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Put your straps together and admire :)

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To Assemble the Cover:

Lay both body fabrics, wrong sides together, baste around the entire cover body, all 4 sides, approx 1/4” to 3/8” from the edge. This will hold the pieces together and prevent shifting when you are putting on the bias tape.

Fold the body of the cover in half, long wise, and find the center top.

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Measure 7 1/2” in each direction from the center mark and place the long strap at one point and the D-ring loop at the other. The 15” in between is where the boning will go later. Baste the 2 strap pieces in place.

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Start your bias tape at the bottom of the cover, leaving a long tail for matching later, sandwiching it over the edge of the cover and stitching it on. Work slowly, making sure you are catching the under side as well as the top. When you get to a corner, stitch all the way to the edge of the cover and stop, clipping thread.

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Fold tape around the corner and make corner angles look nice.

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Start stitching again down next side, repeating at each corner.

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When you have stitched all the way around, stop and leave a long tail so the two ends of bias tape can be joined. Mark the place where the two ends meet and join them together, by either reproducing the angle (shown below) OR simply overlapping the ends, with raw edges tucked inside, and stitching them down to complete the edge.

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Admire your lovely bias tape, and double check that both sides of tape were caught all the way around the cover. If there’s a spot or two that didn’t get stitched, go back and stitch them down. Easy peasy.

Next, fold both strap pieces upward and box stitch them to the bias tape.

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Finally, you insert the boning by ripping a small spot near one strap and slipping the boning piece into the bias tape “casing”. Then restitch the spot you ripped.

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You’ve just completed a beautiful nursing cover than any cow (or human mama) would be jealous of. Feel free to nurse in public with no fear, knowing your cover is totally glamorous AND homemade! YAY!

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If you make your own we would love to see it. Please add it to our flickr group