The Days are Just Packed

4 10 2009

doodle

I love this photo. S is drawing a maze on a breakfast in bed type tray free-hand. He is so amazing at that. I wish I had had a chance to take a photo of the finished product, but I never even saw it before it went off as a belated birthday gift. A and E saw S “coloring” and wanted to join in.

Yard sale treasures

tree

How great is this! I had been wanting a small “plastic” or whatever it is Xmas tree for a decade. My timing was perfect as I grabbed it before she finished putting the “free” sign on it (nicely though, of course. I didn’t yank it out of her hands or anything). With a toddler, two boys and two cats, this is going to be perfect for an out of the way tree. And it was free!

pursefabric

$1.50 for 4 yards of this beautiful creamy flowery fabric. I think I found my purse fabric! While I was distracted with piles and piles of amazing fabric, Z was up to his usual yard sale magic. I turned around and he has this 5 inches from my face…

jaws

“It’s a lemon shark mouth”, he tells me matter of factly. He’s a smart guy and usually right, plus he had this mouth of shark teeth pointed at me, so who was I to argue?

“He caught it himself!” Z continued, “he wanted $5 for it but I talked him down to $3.”

Sewing
pjs

I did it, I made them all matching pj pants. At one point I didn’t think I was going to be able to figure out Z’s but hurrah! I got a twin sheet set at Target for $10 (not a thrifty find to be sure, but I liked the car pattern) and used one sheet, so 3 pants came out to $5.

Mini Golf

golf

This is how we spent part of Saturday. I think A won.

goofball

I have no idea what was so funny, but I love candid shots such as these.

Sneak Peek
I hesitate to post without knowing how it’s going to turn out but here’s your sneak peek.
peek

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Firefly/Serenity Kaylee Inspired Toddler outfit

1 10 2009

kbest

Please note the word “inspired” in the title. I tried very hard to make something more similar but man did I have problems. So I am a huge browncoat, and it’s exciting to say I saw the very first episode they showed on FOX the night it premiered and have been hooked ever since. That never happens, I usually catch on a season or two later. Like, I’m going to watch Fast Forward, really, I just haven’t had time! I won’t be too behind.

Back to Firefly:

Photo courtesy FOX and fan site Can't Take the Sky

Photo courtesy FOX and fan site Can't Take the Sky


I love the Kaylee character and I really wanted to make a few outfits for E inspired by Kaylee’s look.

I ran into a few problems right off the bat. There was this beautiful fabric I’d seen at Joann’s several times but on the day I had some extra money it was nowhere to be seen! And there was no way I was going to be able to explain the fabric I was searching for to anyone that worked there.

fabrick

So sadly, off the top of my head I grabbed two fabrics I thought would work. And I think they did!

kclose
The shirt didn’t give me any problems except one – I used white thread. I didn’t realize it would show up so easily. Oops. It did give me the opportunity to see how messy my stitches were, in case I started to get cocky and think I actually knew how to sew!

k1

The next problem was that I didn’t want to make a jumpsuit. That seems a little beyond me and who wants to put a kinda-sorta potty training toddler in a jumpsuit? So I had the brilliant idea to make a vest instead! You’ll notice you haven’t seen the vest, and you won’t. I made three different versions and none of them worked or fit right. It was getting to the point that I was so frustrated I wanted to quit, and I knew she wouldn’t wear a vest anyway. So what was I stressing over? I’m learning to let go of the things that aren’t going to be improved with my panic attacks/stress and that was one of them.

But I do want to find or make a heart and teddy bear patch, it really won’t be complete till I can do that.

k4

It really need something, especially since the vest wasn’t happening, so with what I believe is Kaylee’s approval, E got some ruffles. S helped me set the ruffles properly, he’s so handy to have around. When I did it they were way way off! I will next time, however, put them higher up. I also used clear elastic for the ruffles on the pant leg and the gathering on the ruffles themselves.

k3

Total cost: $6ish.

I’ve really enjoyed being inspired by Kaylee and I would love to make her “pretty” from the episode, “Shindig”, but that’s biting off a lot for a complete novice. Unless I make a sort of twirl skirt. We’ll see.

Next up: Z wants to learn how to make dolls or juggling balls or something small he can sell, which means I have to learn how to make something easy for him to learn how to make. Any suggestions?





A Sneak Peek

29 09 2009

My latest finished project

blouse

Ta-da! My first peasant blouse I’m alright with sharing with the world. I used another of Vegbee’s fabulous tutorials. (On a side note: I wish blogspot would let me log in so I could tell her how great I think her tutorials are and how much they’ve helped me. Trust me, go read them! On top of her tutes, she just has the most fantastic outlook on life.)

At any rate, I used a pretty little purple flowered remnant from Walmart and what is probably-supposed-to-be-used-under-a-skirt white material that was also a remnant. That’s why E isn’t wearing it. She has worn it a few times, but there is already a tear in the white (and that wasn’t even her fault – bad mommy!) so there’s no point in her wearing it until I can salvage it.

Total cost of this practice garment: $1.50 … ouch. I shouldn’t have used the purple on a practice shirt, it’s cute. I try to shoot for less than $1 per outfit. Oh well, rack this up to another learning experience. I’m even happy with my failures, what is going on?! :p

I like to make a “practice” garment with material that is cheap before I start my “real” project. Usually I use sheets. But all this has been leading up to an outfit for E I’m pretty excited about. I really hope it turns out! I’ll even give you a sneak peek and a hint.

Just a little sneak peek

Just a little sneak peek

And here’s the hint: Firefly/Serenity.

Upcoming Projects

Because my list is getting huge and I need to get my act together, this should keep me on task. I have quite a few presents and costumes to get together before the end of the year!

    September

finish swing skirt
E’s Halloween skirt Finished 9/29/09

    October

My own circle skirt from S’s shirts, using Vegbee’s tute
B’s birthday tutu Or even better, some sort of criss-cross tutu, these are gorgeous!
hoodie for S
pjs pants for at least 4 for xmas 10/3/09 Finished
S wants me to make him a “Gumby” costume a la Monty Python. I’m not sure much sewing is involved, but I better put it here.

    November

Dishtowel aprons for Xmas
Something pretty for my cousin who is having another girl, a blanket? This itty bitty baby dress? Maybe a baby tutu? Suggestions welcome!
This incredibly cute bag for ME! Or maybe I’ll give it to my mother who loves purses the way I love geek stuff. Very special thanks to Jessi Linn for drawing my attention to it.

I’m sure I’m going to end up adding more, maybe a scarf for my mother in law. Maybe something my brother in law can use in basic training. Maybe I can find some inexpensive Betty Boop fabric and make something for my sister.





Sharpie to rocket in 10 minutes

18 09 2009

I did promise to share some of my husband’s crafty projects too, so here is one of my favorites.

launcing2

Here it is up close, and yes, most of S’s non-work shirts look like that.

closeup

The boys were so excited to try it out, so we went to the least populated and least surrounded by trees and wires to celebrate it’s test flight.

watching

I have to admit, it was pretty exciting. True, I was NASA’s live feed of launches, but I haven’t seen anything in person since our 6th grade rocketry section in science class. Even little E thought it was great.

The rocket completed three missions until it went missing.

waiting

Total cost of this craft if you were to buy the materials in stores: $8ish? I don’t know how much that air costs.





Men’s workshirts into toddler swing skirt

17 09 2009

jump

She seems happy eh?

I used a great tutorial from Vegbee and 8ish hours later (hard to judge between driving kids to functions and classes and having a toddler at your legs) this was the end result!

prettysitting

For my first real project of any magnitude, I’m alright with it. I know I can do better. I know the bottom seam is crooked, but I opted to forgo the bias tape or anything that would weigh it down more, so I folded it over. Maybe not the best choice for someone with my sewing skills.

peeking

Also, the butt is shorter than the front, even though she hardly has a butt, even with a diaper! I should shorten the front next time. (I know this photo looks like the exact opposite, it’s just the way she’s standing)

angles

E makes Tyra Banks proud with her crazy angles. She probably needs to work on smiling with her eyes though.

This was quite a fun and frugal sewing project. I used 3 of S’s work shirts that didn’t quite fit him, cut them into strips and sewed those together, then cut them out using a template.

skirtpattern

I could have actually done this with 2 shirts, but I liked the tricolor pattern and I had plenty of shirts to work with.

I was really moving right along, proud of myself for getting it mostly right and all the seams the right direction, etc, when this happened.

oops

It took me forever to realize that anything was wrong, I wasted so so so much thread doing this. Don’t even ask me how long it took to figure out what was happening. I’m a self taught noob, remember? S knows more about sewing than I do!

sunlight

Total cost: FREE, however, I know my husband’s shirt supply won’t last, so thrift store bought this would be about $12 on a bad day. Yard sale bought? $3ish. I’m definitely going to make another one, but this time in my size. S has 4 or 5 green greyish shirts that will make a very lovely skirt!

(Oh, BTW, I was telling my mom about this and she freaked out, thinking I was using all of S’s good work shirts lol)

Sale at Joanns
Joann’s has all their fat quarters on sale for $0.99. I bought a few really gorgeous patterns and felt spoiled. I should keep better track of how much I’m spending on this crafting I started to save money 🙂

That’s it for now. I’m going out with my mom to buy notions and velcro for her belly dance costume. Now that’s another great story…





A weekend of sewing

14 09 2009

So it’s been a few days since I posted, between a migraine, followed by a sinus infection, I haven’t been up to much at all. Except sewing of course! I spent the weekend hunched over the ironing board/sewing machine.

I learned new things this weekend, which I’m always excited about. I learned how to make ruffles! I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but to me, every new thing I learn about making clothes opens entire worlds of design to me. Now I can add ruffles anywhere I want! Yay me! Plus once I learn a new skill, I can add to it with another new skill. I know I am too excited for my own good.

I made her a top based on the pillowcase dress, I shortened the length and the width and finished it with ribbon.

top1

top2

I wanted to try making her a shrug, so I grabbed an old top of hers that had a big stain down the middle. Excellent, she has a new shrug and that stain is cut out! I had made it while she was asleep and hung it up in the kitchen. When she woke up and saw it, she kept pointing at it saying, “PWEE! PWEE!” which is how she says pretty. Think she likes it!

shrug

Then I moved on to something harder (for me) and a step away from the pillowcase dress. I made her a little playdress, and followed that up with some pants to go underneath. This was where I learned ruffles! I’ve been practicing these attempts using the same sheet, so a lot of her new clothes are matchy.

dress

Sorry for the lack of good photos, it’s rainy outside or we’d go to the park for a photo shoot. Maybe later in the week.

Next I’m going to make another playdress. I guess I like to make everything more than once just to make sure I’ve mastered it before I move on. Any suggestions for my next lesson? I can’t wait to try something new!

Forgot to add, total cost of all this sewing: Free! or about 10 cents of notions
2 old shirts, 1 old sheet set, ribbons and thread.





Superhero Birthday Cape

8 09 2009

About 11:30pm the night before E’s birthday, I realized she didn’t have a birthday crown or hat. Well, I hadn’t bought one because I knew she wouldn’t wear it for more than 10 seconds. So S and I whipped up a quick superhero birthday cape.

Super E!

Super E!

It’s not super-well made, being as how it was late at night and I had so much to do before the party the next day. I plan on making ones for the boys so when I do theirs, I’ll be sure to seam the edges and cut straighter lol

So here’s how I did it: At an Estate Sale Saturday, I ran across some interesting patterned housecoats, the kind my grandmother always used to wear. First, I ripped out the back panel.
tutebackpanel

Sorry for the rather crummy pictures on this post, I was in a hurry.

S cut out the sides to shape the cape, he’s much much better at cutting a straight line than I am!

tutesidescutout

This would be the step the stitch up the sides and make the seams even. You know, the step I skipped!

Next, S traced out the “E” out of leftover from the housecoat and a circle of blue from my stash. Another thing he is very good at!

tutebackpattern

Something I’m not good at: sewing in a circle at midnight. I went back and hand-stitched the circle, this was just a mess!

tutecapestrings

To make the strings for the cape, I took the seam from that leftover blue so I wouldn’t have to iron or fold anymore. Like I said, I seriously got lazy. If I made her another one I would also change the cape, mostly because my family was horrified that it was such a choking hazard. I swear, do they not remember the capes we all wore when we were little?

Total cost: about $0.30 including notions. I am really loving this sewing stuff! I’m guessing a cape at a store would cost at least $15 and be sewn just as well 😉

Also, does anyone know why my pictures are lining up all weird? It is seriously annoying.