Sewing: December 2011 Archives
With New Year's Eve almost upon us, I realized how tired I was from the holidays and the party yet to come. I wondered how I would recover. With a toddler, down time is a luxury and recovery time is not abundant. So whether you need to recover from an abundance of champagne or from just being out past midnight, my first aid pillow will speed your recovery and get you ready to break all your resolutions (unless you resolve not to make any). The magic is in the rice filling which holds heat and settles to shape to any part that ails you. Be sure and use only natural fibers because poly blends may melt from the heat. I recommend some of our wool suitings for the pillow case and some flannel for the red cross. Here's how to make one or several for you and your pals.
Materials for one First Aid Pillow:
1-2 lbs of rice
Download your First Aid Pillow Pattern and cut out just the square. Trace 2 squares onto your pillow fabric, cut out squares and set aside. Cut out the red cross and cut out 1 from flannel
Hand stitch or machine stitch your cross centered on your pillow, matching up edges. With right sides facing and using ½ in. seam, sew the front pillow to the back, leaving a 3-4 in. gap for turning and filling. Clip corners and turn.
Use a large funnel to pour the rice inside your pillow, stopping when it is ½ full. Pin and hand sew the gap closed.
Heat your First Aid Pillow for 1 min 30 sec to 2 min and apply.
You can make smaller versions (3-4 in squares) for boo-boo pillows. Make several and keep a few in the freezer for cold applications too.
You may remember my last adventure with Pajama Pants with a pattern from Amy Butler's InStitches. It was not as successful as I had hoped. That was not my first pair of Pajama Pants and certainly won't be my last. I love 'em. I wear them all the time because I am very cold natured. I have flannel pants for the winter and cotton for the spring/summer. They are great for late night runs to the nursery and the sleepy walk downstairs for my morning cup of coffee. I have been on the search for the pattern to make the perfect pair and I am very close. This go-around I made the Kwik Sew Sleep Pants (KP-3882) and I am very impressed. First, these were quick and easy. Second the fit is pretty close but I erred on the side of caution and made the Medium when I was between the Medium and the Small. I think I will make the small next time. Third, the length is pretty good but if I make the small, I will make the pants 1 in. longer since I have a bad track record with too short pajama pants and I would rather them be a smidge too long than too short. The only issues I had were that the waist was too high. I tried on my pants as I made them and realized that if I added the casing and ruffle at the top the pants would go over my belly button. I like mine to sit an 1-2 below my belly button. I did not add the casing and ruffle and instead made a waist facing that was the same length as the waist and 1 1/2 tall. I stitched it to the top of the pants and then folded it toward the wrong side and stitched along the bottom, leaving a 2-3 in. gap to add the elastic. I also did not add the drawstring. My modification still left my pants on the high but not enough to go back and adjust it further. I really love the contrast cuff at the bottom and think it is a fun and easy detail that should not be left off.
These pants feature straight legs and are roomy in the hips and backside. If you are taller than 5 foot 6 inches I recommend adding an 1 to the length so you stay warm while curled up on the couch and lowering the waist. I will be making this pattern again because it has so much going for it.
The fabrics featured in this pair of pajama pants are:
Here is another quick and relatively simple kids' Christmas present by Noodlehead: Bicycle Bucket Tutorial. I say relatively because if you read the directions as written and trust that the author recommends the right products and don't try to "make it better" it will be a fun and easy project. That said let me tell you why I had to cut mine out 3 times and spent the better part of the day making one. Let me add that the mistakes were all mine and I regret using my phone to view the tutorial instead of printing it out so I could read the instructions.
First I decided that I wanted my bike bucket to be SUPER strong and durable so I decided to use Peltex to interface both the lining and exterior. This makes it too stiff and unsewable. I was seconds from smashing everything and jumping up and down on it (begin recut #2). Do not use Peltex at all. The medium weight is perfect even for quilting/light weight cotton. Also, if you do not have double fusible medium weight interfacing you can use one side fusible interfacing but make sure you interface the exterior and not the lining (begin recut #3). Please follow Noodleheads instructions and do not follow my example. Once I had it assembled according to the tutorial I discovered that it is very stable, durable and just right for holding rocks, sticks, buddies, and snacks. Oh, one more tip, sew on the handle bar attachment after you complete the top trim. It is much easier to navigate the around the top of the basket if you don't have the handle bar part getting caught up on your machine. If you want to add a monogram or name tag on the front like Noodlehead's boy version do it on the exterior piece before any assembly. It is easier to center and sew on when you don't have to worry about the basket structure. I really love the wide trim at the top. It really helps to hide any cutting errors but also adds extra color and pattern to make it extra special.
Overall I am very pleased with my bike bucket and next time I will print out the instructions and haul them up to my studio. If you follow the instructions it is a fun and worthy project that any kid will love to call their own. Thanks Noodlehead!
Rarely have I had so much fun in my studio and the cause was the Molly Monkey Doll by mmmcrafts. My Molly Monkey came out just as cute as the original thanks to some very well written instructions and an excellently drafted pattern. I was able to place the eyes just so and get just the right angle of Molly's secret half smile. I loved picking out my fabrics: a combination of chocolate velvet and designer quilting cottons as well as felts in various colors. This project combines a variety of sewing skills from machine to hand sewing and embroidery. I loved each step.
The bonus is not only do you get a very large, 24'', super cute moneky doll but you also get some fashionable accessories to dress your Molly: a smart pair of Mary Janes, one sassy beret and a twirly skirt. The accessories are even easier to make up and simple enough to embellish (rick rack, more embroidery or appliqués) but you can also choose different fabrics for special outfits. I am dreaming of mary janes in faux leather, a plaid skirt and Santa hat for Christmas; black shoes, a lace overlay skirt and basket for Easter; a birthday candle skirt in bright colors and hot pink shoes for birthday parties.
I do have just one tip to make your Molly Monkey last through the years, interface the cotton pieces of your doll. If you use corduroy (as recommended) or velvet as I did, there is no need to interface these fabrics as they are thick, but the quilting cotton is thinner and interfacing it will make it more durable and help reduce a lumpy appearance when stuffing.
My Molly took about 2.5 naps to complete which translates to about 6 hours. This may seem like a lot but there is a good bit of hand sewing and embroidery. However, it is all worth it as you will be creating one of the cutest dolls ever. The hand sewing and embroidery can also be done with a nice cup of Hot Cocoa and a good movie nestled into the couch as I did. I cannot wait for Christmas morning for my little one to open her first Molly Monkey. Thank you Larissa for sharing this wonderful pattern!
Our Blog of the Month is back by popular demand but before I introduce new blogs, I would love to take you back and revisit our previous Blog of the Month winners. First up is StacySews.com. Stacy Sews is one of my favorite blogs because Stacy has sewn everything and sewn it well. But it is not just the knowledge that Stacy keeps in her sewing kit but that she freely shares her knowledge on her blog. Stacy has made Thursday popular because it is Linky Thursday. I love to discover new tutorials and products on Thursday and I am sure many bloggers covet a bump in statistics from Stacy.
If Stacy has made it then she has blogged about it and with her blogs posts come modifications and recommendations but also a cost break down including cost of pattern, notions and fabric. You can also find a reference to where Stacy purchased her fabric in case your stash is in need of some of the same. Stacy has introduced me to many new patterns and pattern companies in the several years that I have been a faithful reader. You can also find more from Stacy in popular sewing magazines such as Sew News, Sew It All, and Sewing Republic.
The latest in our "From Film to Closet" series is a warm-as-toast fleece hoodie inspired by my favorite Disney princess.
As the weather turns cold, I always find myself despairing at having to dig out coats and jackets. Even though I love the coziness of fleece, and I am a die-hard fan of solid black everything, something about having to wear warm layers because Mother Nature has decided it's frost time always gets me down.
This year, I thought I'd try turning my winter doldrums around by making a warm jacket that will make me giggle a little every time I put it on. It's no secret that Snow White is, sans doubt, my very favorite of all the Disney princesses. She's the original, she's raven-haired, she's kind and she can cook. So I decided to overlay the design lines from her iconic dress onto my cold weather gear.
I used a basic hoodie pattern similar to this Kwik
Sew gem, but any hoodie pattern that you like will do. For the sleeves, I dug a
princess costume pattern with a puff sleeve out of my stash and used that in
lieu of the sleeve that came with my hoodie pattern. From there, it was just a
matter of using an assortment of yummy Winterfleece velours, selecting a sport
zipper and voila! Winter princess, at your service.
While this version is an adult garment, just think of the adorable possibilities you could come up with for a child's jacket! Your kid could stay warm through winter's chilliest days dressed as their favorite fairy, monster, cowboy, animal -- you name it!
A few tips for adapting an animated character's look to a hoodie of your own:
- First, identify the primary design lines of the look. What are the details that define the character's design? Those are the key elements to include in your plan.
- If you adapt a princess-style design to a hoodie, be careful about the placement of your sleeves. Since most hoodie patterns have an armscye seam that sits just off the shoulder, a detail like a puff sleeve can become very bulky looking and give the a linebacker effect you probably don't want.
- As always, have fun! A project like this is a perfect chance to really get creative -- let your mind soar, and resist the urge to censor yourself!
I have no idea why but whenever I plan to decorate for Christmas my first thought is: Pillow covers. I guess it is because being a knitter I spend a lot of time curled up on or staring at the couch so of course I want to decorate it first. AND I love a good cozy pillow, so this year when I planned my pillow covers for Christmas I was drawn to flannel. Flannel everything- background, appliqués, you name it. And no zippers as well, they ruin the coziness. No need to take notes, you can just add these pictures to your Pinterest boards. Last year I made a pillow from Velvet with I-cord embroidery and it was soft and squishable as a pillow should be but I was always worried about my little one pulling off the I-cord so this year I went all out. We are talking Heat n' Bond and zig zagging all over the place. I even managed to couch on some yarn for the ornament hangers. All easy and all so soft and cozy.
1 yd of Flannel for pillow cover (I used Quilter's Flannel 90 in. Wide in Natural)
½ yd of flannel for ornaments (I used Cozy Cotton Flannel Grid Marine)
A smidge of wool felt for the hangers on ornament in Red
10 yds of wool yarn in Navy
First find an image of an ornament that you love and print it out. I did a quick search of Ornament Clip Art.
Trace this image onto the back of your Heat N Bond 3 times and cut out all images in one big piece (don't cut out each ornament shape yet) and apply, according to instructions, to the back of your green flannel. Now cut out each ornament, peel off the paper and arrange on your pillow cover made from Hot Patterns Giving Thanks Pillow Cover Pattern in White Flannel. Once you have an arrangement you like, iron your pieces in place. Cut out little squares roughly ½ by ½ in. from some wool felt. Wool felt is a little too thick for Heat n Bond so I like to keep it in place with a glue stick. Zig Zag stitch around your complete ornament. Finish off by pinning some navy wool yarn from your ornament to the top of your pillow. Slowly Zig zag stitch over your yarn keeping an eye on it so it doesn't creep out of place. Trim all loose threads and enjoy!