Sewing ain’t Easy, Wait, Yes it is

I have been honing my sewing skills.

From t-shirt make-overs to pattern making (this isn’t it, later, promise).

I have found the crown jewel of adorable beginner sewing pattern! I’m so excited, I had to share. It is the Abby coat pattern by Shwin Designs.

I’ll be honest, I went to their ETSY shop everyday, trying to muster the courage to buy this pattern. It looks very intimidating! I even messaged the shop, asking a few questions to determine if I were up to the challenge. Sadly, they never responded to my inquiries, which brings me to wonder if they thought I was a pattern writer trying to pick their brains and develop a like pattern (don’t snicker, it totally happens). Regardless, I purchased it, and YAY!

It is super easy to follow. I’ve tried following online patterns before, and it was horrible! I much prefer winging it, or better yet, purchasing a pattern at the store with the super fabulous tracing paper that you use to cut fabric. I find the store bought patterns difficult to understand though. The most difficult part of the Abby coat is cutting and pasting the papers together to cut your fabric. The instructions to cut and paste the tracing paper is really great, easy to understand and great to follow.

Sewing the fabric was simple too. The pattern you purchase has extreme detailed photo instructions. I’m talking about a photo of all your pattern pieces, a photo that shows connect piece A to piece B like so, stitch, iron seam open, etc.

I’ve made so many of these coats. I love the versatility, and it’s so soft and warm. My friend even caught her daughter sleeping in hers, which is the best compliment ever!

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I even adapted the pattern to make a boyish version for my son, complete with glow in the dark collar and elbow pads(ish).

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He loves his coat, and brags that I made it for him wherever we go, total proud mama moment.

I LOVE this pattern! I’m a very slow sewer, but this sews up pretty quickly, and always looks fantastic!

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Have A Crafty Day!

 

Flower Power

I’ve been obsessed with newborn photo props.

Any photographers I encounter at craft shows, always ask for some.

I found this fantastic pattern on ETSY by Crafty girls of Avon. It works up quickly, and uses soft chunky yarn. Although it has a lot of sewing, which I’m not a fan of. I find myself crocheting up all the pieces, and letting it sit, for days, until I sew it up. Not the best strategy, but oh well. It’s great for beginner crocheters, can be done in multiple color combinations, and here’s a little hint, use a bigger hook for a larger size bonnet =)

Did I mention, this pattern is only $3.99!!!

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Have a Crafty Day!

Flower Lovey pattern

I’ve been wanting to post this for awhile now, but it was a gift, so I had to wait until my expectant friend got it. ANNND, she loved it =)

One of my absolute favorite Crochet blogs, is by the talented Miss Sarah, creator of Repeat Crafter Me. I tell ya, I just don’t know how she has the time! Her blog is so professional, and she has such amazing creations. She has perfected the “Lovey,” a fleece piece, with a crochet border, and crochet stuffie attached. For years there have been the crochet Lovey dolls, a stuffie attached to a crochet square. Maybe because Joanne’s constantly has fleece sales, but I just like Sarah’s version better.

I used Repeat Crafter Me’s tutorial for a Monster Fleece Lovey as a starting point. Here’s the thing, I bought a skip stitch blade, BUT, it was the wrong one….of course! On to plan B.

I am not a pro with a ruler, or measuring, or making straight lines. Weird right? So I stitched a long serger stitch around the edge of my fleece with my sewing machine. Using light weight yarn, and a 2.75 metal crochet hook, I crocheted 3 double crochets (DC) in every 3rd sergered stitch. Since the sewing machine already made a hole for the thread, it was easy to make the hole larger to accommodate the yarn. Then I crocheted two more rounds of 3 DC between each cluster. On to step 2. 2014-04-27 17.32.54I couldn’t find a cute, and free, flower pattern so I made one.

Abbreviations: st- stitch; sc-single crochet; dc-double crochet; dec-decrease; * repeat

Petals: Hook- 3.25 mm; I made this in a continuous round, you can always slip stitch to the first stitch and chain 1 in the beginning of each round if you are more comfortable doing that.

Make 5 sc in magic loop (6)

*2sc in same st, sc in next 2 st* (8)

*2sc in each st* (16)

*sc in each st* (16) *repeat for 2 more rows*

*sc in next 2 st, scdec* (12)

Repeat previous row (9)

I slip stitched the ends together, you can do this or just bind off, these will be hand sewn. to flower face. Leave long tail to sew. Make as many as you want to get the look your trying for (I made 12).

Flower face: Make 2

Make 6sc in magic loop

*2sc in each st*

*sc in next st, 2sc in next st*

*sc in next 2 st, 2sc in next st*

*sc in next 3 st, 2sc in next st*

sc in each stitch for 2 rows

Bind off, leaving a long tail to sew.

Here is what you have, a whole lot of small pieces, AAAAGH!!!

2014-04-23 12.27.24Now you will sew your petals to one side of the face. I used a whip stitch, but really, any hand stitch will work. 2014-04-23 12.30.152014-04-23 12.30.58If you want eyes and a smile, now is when you will sew it on one of your flower faces. Then you will begin stitching your faces together. When you have about a couple inches left to sew, now comes the stuffing. I used the poly-fill for stuffed animals, you can get it at any craft store. I also put a bell in the middle of the fill to form a rattle effect.

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All what’s left is to stitch it up, and sew it onto your fleece.

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FYI, I used some fleece from another project, I didn’t measure it, I just used what I had left =)

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Have a Crafty Day!

Fairy Beach Garden

Spring has sprung and I’m trying to decorate accordingly. That being said, I can’t wait till the summer. Even though the humidity here means no need for a sauna, I love the heat. So I decided to go beachy with my next fairy garden.

I paid attention this time, and planned ahead so I could make a semi-tutorial for ya’ll, yeah me!

Supplies: popsicle sticks, shell, hot glue gun (and hot glue…duh!), sand, dirt, pot, birdhouse, and plants =)

 

IMG_1126Dollar tree is a great place to get the tidbits you need to make your garden; most craft stores have unfinished wooden birdhouses for about a dollar.

IMG_1124I have discovered that pruning shears are perfect for trimming the perch on the birdhouse, and cutting popsicle sticks.

IMG_1127 I decided to use un-colored popsicle sticks to make that wooden plank look, which really wasn’t necessary, but so what.

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I used orange popsicle sticks to make the door, and the cut bird perch made a perfect handle.

IMG_1128I decided on a shell roof. Sounds easy huh? NOPE! The odd shapes of the shells made it pretty difficult to form them together.

IMG_1129See? When in doubt, just add more….

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and more….overlapping them until you get the look you would like.

IMG_1132 I decided we needed a bench. In order to do this, I needed extra hands for the drying process. Thank you honey =)

 IMG_1131I used small shells for the back of the bench.

 IMG_1133Lovely.

IMG_1135Buttons + jewelry wire = Fairy sized bicycle.IMG_1141

Here we are. I hot glued 3 sizes of shells together to form a mini shell fountain. I just can’t get tired of these little darlings. Now to find a bikini clad fairy.

Have a Crafty Day!

A busy February

Oh my! Is it possible that I have not posted this entire month? WHA…..

Well that show’s you how busy it has been around here. I had anticipated having free time with the holiday and holiday orders over. I’m still waiting for that free time, lol.

February is one of our family’s birthday months. My nephew, niece and my little guy are all February birthdays. They are all so close that it becomes a juggling act between my two sisters and myself over party dates. Since I am on the opposite coast, this wasn’t an issue. To tell you the truth, it made me pretty sad, and what was an inconvenience, and often times a headache, is sorely missed.

My son likes all the standard things a boy his age likes; Thomas the Train, Super Why, Doc McStuffins. One of his favorites is Jake and the Neverland Pirates. It wasn’t a leap to figure Pirate theme, especially when my son squints his eye and says “ARGH! I a Pirate” and hooks his little finger to form a hook. So between the planning, and online shopping for pirate booty, I have been majorly occupied.

A few days before his birthday we had a knock at 5 am, it was….wait for it….MY MOM AND BROTHER! They took a red eye to surprise us! AND they kept it a secret from everyone! I’m telling you, NO ONE know. It was an amazing and overwhelming surprise. It made my little one’s birthday that much more special.

Back to the party planning. I love themed parties because that means I can dress up too. There was one catch, my daughter did not want to be a pirate. Really? Someone suggested making her Tinkerbell. Duh! Neverland, Tinkerbell, duh! It was too close to order her a costume, break out the hook and the tulle.

I figured the easiest bodice to make would be a rectangle in a cute stitch. I decided to finish the back with some satin ribbon for a corset style.

IMG_1004Then I added a tulle skirt. Cutting double the appropriate length, folding the tulle strip in half, and using a crochet hook to put it through the bottom stitches. I didn’t like how the knots were showing so I added a row of double crochet to the bottom, embellished it and it was done.

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Would Tinkerbell wear this? Who cares! My daughter adored it. We had a terrific Pirate time with pirate sail cake pops, a treasure dig, Walk the Plank game, and tons of sword fighting.

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My son was to busy playing for a Pirate family photo. If you haven’t made a tutu dress before, here is an awesome Youtube video to get you through it by HairHardware.

Have a Crafty Day!

DIY Ugly Sweaters

Happy day after Christmas. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season.

This year, my husband and I were invited to our very first ugly sweater party! A few years ago is when I first heard of this mastermind event. One of my sister’s was asking around for an ugly sweater, I was both humored and a little offended that she would think I actually had an ugly sweater, I mean, what does she think about my wardrobe, SHEESH! I in fact DO NOT have any ugly sweaters, so this meant a DIY project, YAY!

Step 1: Decide how you want your ugly sweater to look. This is a lot easier then you might think, we simply Google searched ugly sweater and got tons of images.

Step 2: Find a couple old sweaters to convert. I couldn’t see buying a new sweater to make it “ugly” nor did I want to spend my free time scouring thrift stores.

Step 3: A trip to the Dollar Tree! Hello, L-O-V-E the dollar tree, it’s the one place I can take the kids and tell them, “you can each pick out one thing, anything in the store.” I found these great Reindeer ear headbands that I took apart to use on my husbands sweater.

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Step 4: Decide how you will attach your felt/ornaments/buttons/ribbons. I went with a hot glue gun due to time constraint. A word of caution when using hot glue on a sweater, put a barrier between the front and back (I used a piece of cardboard) or you might glue your sweater closed.

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Step 5: Create!

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I love how they both turned out, but my husband’s Reindeer butt won the ugly sweater contest unanimously! Now the question is, will I keep these for next year or make new ones?

Have a Crafty Day!

Exclusively for Dads

So with doing crafts with my sister, she does the sewing and crocheting, I did the knitting. Since I’ve moved and we won’t be readily available to each other, I’ve started spreading my wings.

As you well know, I have been getting good at my crochet stitching, even creating a few designs on my own, applause. Now there’s the sewing…….

I know how to sew. My stepmother is an accomplished seamstress, doing everything from tailoring to full weddings, including making the DRESS to the bridezillas specifications. Naturally I left the sewing aspect of our little business venture to the daughter of the seamstress. So buckling down with my Joanne’s coupons, I set out for fabric and OH did I find some…TONS!

Designer baby burp cloths are very successful. My sister has a tutorial on her blog. She usually uses a minky or chenille backing, but I needed practice, I went with a simple terry cloth.

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Cute, but girly. Most of the burp cloth sets are girly or unisex. Is unisex even really unisex? Or is it just a way for Mommy’s to keep Dad’s from saying “Heck No!” “But it’s UNISEX” right? I’m not sold. I felt Dad’s needed me to be their voice in the one of a kind craft section of today’s Etsy shopping world. So Dads, this is for you. These will soon be featured in our Etsy shop for sale.

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Have A Crafty Day!