Friday, September 15, 2017

The Flintstones Family Costumes


Are you and your family Halloween fanatics? Are you into choosing a theme for your family costumes? If so, and you love dressing up, you'll love this post. 

My youngest daughter's family loves Halloween and getting all decked out every year. She's a redhead and so is her daughter, so she thought it'd be perfect to choose a Flintstone family theme. To prep her young kids, she let them watch a few episodes of the Flintstones, since they had no idea who they were. Talk about making me feel old!  



The Dino costume was created by using Simplicity pattern #2506, view C. I used a light weight fuschia cotton fabric. If you live somewhere that's colder in October, I'd suggest using fleece. 



The Dino name tag was made out of felt. I cut out two bright yellow circles and with black floss, embroidered the name onto one circle. I added heavy interfacing to the circle and then sewed the pieces together. With black embroidery floss, I sewed the name tag onto a turquoise neckband. The neckband was 3/4" wide and hook and loop were used to hold the neckband together.


On the back of the Dino costume I added random back spots. The black strands on top of the head were made of black fleece. In retrospect, I wish I would have inserted pipe cleaners inside the strands so they would have stood up.


Pebbles shirt was made from a simple lime green cotton fabric. The pattern used was Simplicity #4927, view B. I cut out random black triangles and machine embroidered those onto the fabric before I sewed the top together.  With this shirt, she wore a blue shorts that she already had on hand.

Of course, a white bone is necessary for a cave girl's hair. I cut out two bones out of white felt. Then I sewed the bones together leaving a small opening to turn the bone. I hand sewed an elastic onto the center of the bone to make it easier to attach to hair. If you want to make a bone too, here is the free pattern for the bones I made for Pebbles and the Bam Bam costumes. 


For Bam Bam's costume, I used a basic boy's short pattern. Before I sewed the shorts together, I sewed onto the fabric random, black triangles. The best part is the shorts hem was cut randomly to give it a tattered look. I used a solid brown fabric and cut two slit like buttonholes into the bottom of the strap piece. I made two white bones to put into the slits. 


My grandson's favorite part of the Bam Bam costume was the club. My recommendation for the club is to use a good sturdy fabric. I used felt and felt just doesn't hold up well. I also inserted a dowel into the club before sewing it up, so it wouldn't flop over. The club has dark brown wood type lines machine embroidered onto it. 



Bam Bam's hat was purchased here. I hand sewed the black triangles onto the hat. Then I hot glued a jumbo white pom pom onto the middle of the hat. 

The parents were on their own for their costumes. 

Do your children or grandchildren know who the Flintstones even are? Happy dressing up! xoxo Grandma

Some of the items used to create these costumes can be found here:
  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Nautical J.Crew Knock-off Sundress


Before this spunky girl went on a trip with her family, I got a request to make her this nautical J.Crew "Knock-off Sundress." 

I made this same dress last summer for two other granddaughters after my daughter fell in love with this style at J.Crew. It was a bit too pricey, even at the outlet, so I figured out how to make it. 

It's summer weather around 80% of the year where my cute granddaughter in these photos lives, so even though it's almost September, she'll be wearing this for another couple of months.




Good thing I didn't wait too long to make it because this sundress arrived the day before her family left on their trip.


I loved and laughed at all the poses this girl came up with for these photos. And don't you just love her choice of shoes? She told her mother that the color matched the dress and who's going to argue with a 3 year-old if they are happy?


The free pattern used to make this sundress can be found here. If you haven't downloaded this pattern, you'll want to. It's pretty simple to make!

The nautical fabric is from Michael Miller and can be found here.


She's such a fun girl! Doesn't her attitude just come right out in these photos? 

How long does summer weather last where you live? Not long enough at my house! 
xoxo Grandma


Link to the fabric used:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Science Lovers Quilt - Periodic Table of Elements


Earlier this year, when my seven year-old grandson requested I make a Periodic Table of Elements quilt for him, I was surprised. I did not know what the Periodic Table of Elements was when I was seven. 

Of course I said yes, not knowing how on earth I was going to create such a thing. I told him it would be his eighth birthday present. That would give me precisely six months to make his requested quilt. 

Now that this quilt is finished, it truly is a perfect gift for my little science lover.

So how did I finally figure out this complex quilt? My first problem to solve was how to get a Table of Elements. I knew I didn't want to spend a million hours sewing all the atomic numbers and all the other details onto fabric. So I searched and contacted several companies that had fabric Table of Elements until I found this washable fabric wall hanging one. It was designed to use in a science classroom. Because it was washable and kids need washable, I knew I had found the key element for this quilt.  

To calm down the bright colors from the Periodic Table of Elements, I bordered the chart with a medium solid grey. This same grey was also used to bind the quilt.

After searching all the quilt shops in my area for a chemistry fabric, I turned to the internet and found the fun beaker pattern from Robert Kaufman called "Science Fair Test Tubes".

I backed the quilt with a black, 90 inch wide minky. In addition to his Periodic Table of Elements request, my grandson requested a warm, soft  fabric for the back of his quilt and minky met both of those requests.


Here's a close-up of the Table of Elements quilted with a random line quilting pattern. This is the first time I've professionally paid to have anything quilted and it was so worth it! I love how the quilting looks symmetrical and professional.


The science beakers are patterns I created. The free patterns for these beakers are located here and here. Theses beakers were cut out of a non fray, white organdy fabric. I cut out the liquid in the beakers from blue and green non-fraying organdy. The liquid was put under the white organdy fabric. The top of the liquid was sewn with thread that coordinated with the liquid fabric color. Then I laid the beaker fabric over the liquid fabric and sewed them together with grey thread. The details on the beakers were added with the same grey thread.


This quilt it going into my carry on luggage in a few weeks, where I"ll  be giving it to my grandson in person. I can hardly wait! 

I had enough of the grey and Science Fair Test Tubes fabric to make him a pillowcase using this technique. Then there was a 14 x 14" square of the Test Tube fabric left so I made this accent pillow:  


I used a black zipper in the bottom of the accent pillow so that a pillow form would be easy to add once it arrives. If you like this design, here is a link to the pattern. With leftover black minky, I added piping around the edge of the pillow. This is the back of the accent pillow:


Do you know of a science lover that would enjoy a quilt like this? If so, please share this post with them. xoxo Grandma

Supplies needed:
2 yards of Science Fair Test Tubes fabric
2 yards of Grey fabric
Scraps of white fabric
Scraps of blue fabric
Scraps of lime green fabric
Thread
Batting

I purchased these supplies from Amazon:

 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Simple Baby Boy Gifts to Sew


Do you need a perfectly simple, yet cute baby boy gift? Today, I'm sharing with you two of my favorite gifts to sew. 

This bow tie and these baby booties both take around 30 minutes to whip up from start to finish, which makes them top contenders for simple baby boy gifts. Plus, look at them... they're darling! 



The free pattern called "Baby Booty" includes a photo tutorial. You'll find this on Michael Miller Fabrics blog. It can be downloaded here.  Once you download this pattern, I'm suggesting you do the following to improve the sewing process just slightly:
  • Step three states to use a seam ripper to rip an opening for the elastic. I think it looks nicer to make buttonholes for the opening instead.
  • Baste the top & top lining and the heel and heel lining before you sew them onto the sole.
  • Add batting between the soles. This gives the soles warmth and cushioning.

This dapper bow tie always impresses a new mom or dad. You'll find the free pattern and tutorial here. For fun, if you have enough fabric, make a matching bow tie for the Dad to be.

Find an hour in your day, grab some scrap fabrics and sew up these two baby boys gifts.


You won't regret making a few extras to have on hand for the next baby shower you're invited to. xoxo Grandma

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Teaching Children to Sew - An Easy Doll Set and a GIVEAWAY!


First things first... we have a GIVEAWAY happening here today! I know you all love giveaways, because I do too. Two lucky readers will have the chance to win one of these cute doll sets I'm featuring here on this post today. But you'll have to read this post in its entirety to find out how to enter. So, stick with me here. It won't take long, I promise.

Now, back to the task at hand... Have you seen these cute doll panels make by Moda? When one of my granddaughters visited us recently, I hoped she'd enjoy sewing one of these kits with me. Turns out, she really did! Keep reading to learn how you can win a few doll panel kits for yourself. 


The panel pictured above is called "Lil' Red Riding Hood." This is what the panel looks like before it's cut out. For this particular project with my granddaughter, I used the panel called "A Walk In the Woods." Before my granddaughter's visit, I cut out the Moda doll panel. Just trying to speed the process along a bit... 


I let my 5 year-old granddaughter be in charge of pressing her foot to the sewing machine petal. After we got a few of the pieces sewn, she sat in the chair next to me and I showed her how to stuff the doll, pillow and the bunny and bear friend with fiberfill

She did pretty well staying on task and as I continued to sew the rest of the pieces from the panel, we talked, laughed and I kept telling her to "add more stuffing."


Her little fingers were perfect for stuffing those small spaces.


When I came into my kitchen the next morning, her doll, Gretel, was tucked under her blanket on the kitchen table with her bunny friend, her head resting on her ruffled pillow.  Also at the kitchen table was my granddaughter. She was busy stuffing Hansel with a smile on her face. This of course melted my sewing-loving heart.


Isn't this doll set just darling? I fluffed the kit up by adding a few additions. If you want your kit to look similar, here's what I did:
  • Cut out the border from the kit and use it to make a ruffle. Sew the ruffle onto the left side of the pillow.
  • Tie onto Gretel's side braids red, organdy ribbon bows.


  • To the bottom of the skirt, I sewed a little left over white trim.

  • Hand sew pom poms onto the backs of the bear and rabbit friends to make a more realistic soft tail.

And there you have it. Your cute little doll (and all her friends) are complete! 

Now... on to the really, really fun part of today's post. THE GIVEAWAY! Thank you Moda Fabrics!

Two lucky readers will win several of these doll panels! So, enter away! Ready, go... 

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY:

  • Follow me on Facebook at xoxo Grandma
  • Leave a comment on Facebook. 
  • For extra chances to win, tag a friend or two. 
  • Winners will be chosen on August 1st.
The winners of this giveaway were Kelly Wood and Deanna Lynn.
Thank you to all of you that entered and joined me on my Facebook page.

These panels are an easy tool to teach others to sew - especially youngsters. But if you want to keep one for yourself, I totally understand. Enjoy!
-xoxo Grandma


Here are a few of these fun panels by Moda and designed by Stacy Iset Hsu, if you're interested in sewing one too: 
And fiberfill is a must for this project

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Popsicle Dress


It's summertime and who doesn't love a popsicle or two to cool you off? More than a few have been consumed in my household recently! 

My daughter purchased this fun popsicle fabric while in Korea. The fabric is a double layered gauze which is a perfect fabric for summer. This type of fabric is cool and comfortable to wear, especially when the weather is hot and muggy.


Last summer, I made the knock-off sundress pattern used to create this popsicle dress. You can find this free pattern here.


My favorite part of the dress is the cute knot in the back. The straps are great too because they don't fall off those little shoulders. It's also an easy sew pattern. 

If you love this popsicle fabric, never fear. You don't have to visit Korea to find it. There are a few similar options available on Amazon that are just as cute and summery.

Go grab this free pattern and you'll see why I like making these sundresses. 

Enjoy summer! xoxo Grandma

Other fun popsicle fabrics:
  

You'll also like this post:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Teaching Sewing - to a 4-Year-Old

Teaching sewing to a 4-year-old can be a lot of fun. Preparation is the key to teaching any child to sew. The first step is to ask the child what they want to sew and have easy sewing projects ready to suggest. The other night, I asked one of my 4 year old granddaughters what she wanted to help me sew when she comes to my house this summer. You can be sure that I'll have everything cut out and ready to go when she comes to visit.

When my grandchildren come to visit, they usually ask if they can help me sew. I let them put their foot onto my sewing machine's petal. Before they get this chance to help me, we talk briefly about being really good listeners and obeying quickly. I tell them that if I say "stop", they must take their foot off the petal. When I say "go" they are to press their foot onto the petal. This is a perfect first sewing machine lesson for 4-year-olds.


The first of this year, I went to visit my daughter in Okinawa. Her son, a 4-year-old wanted to make a toy for his little sister. I asked him what he wanted to make and he said a rectangle. So, we cut a simple rectangle out of white and blue felt. Then I threaded a large needle and I showed him how to sew around the shape.


He next wanted to add sequins to this rectangle. I explained that his little sister might put them in her mouth so if we added sequins, we had to sew them on so they would be really strong. Then in his mother's sewing box, I saw some jingle bells.  We sewed those into a small bag and put them into his rectangle. Then I let him add what he calls "fluff" or in others words, fiber fill to his rectangle.. 

He knew all about fiber fill from watching me stuff Christmas ornaments last fall at his house. He and his 2 1/2 year old sister would throw the fiber fill all over my daughter's living room and pretend it was snowing!


When his baby sister woke up, he gave her this toy.
She rewarded his efforts with squeals and smiles. 



4 Year Old Sewing Lesson Tips:
  1. Ask the child what they want to make.
  2. Let the child offer input on their creation.
  3. Double thread the needle for the child so they don't loose the needle when sewing.
  4. Help the child make a dimensional creation by stuffing it with fiber fill.
  5. Add a bit of glitz by letting the child sew sequins onto their project.
  6. Teach your child to make things for others. This helps the child feel the joy of sharing.
Teaching a 4-year-old to sew can be a lot of fun. It's good to see their imagination work as they learn to create three dimensional gifts. 

Additional post on teaching children to see go here.  xoxo Grandma

Supplies used for this project: