Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Witch & Her Witch Hat

If you've waited until the last minute to make a costume, keep reading because this is an easy, one hour witch costume that will be a crowd pleaser.

This granddaughter, pictured above, inherited the The Very Hungry Caterpillar costume from her cousin.  The costume wasn't what she wanted because while she was visiting me a few weeks ago, she would look at me and say, "Dama, do you know what a witch says?"  Then she'd say, "Look at me, look at me," and I'd look at her and she'd say, "He he he heeee....Dama, I want to be a witch!" 

How could I deny this darling girl, who can not pronounce her "G's," from having a witch costume? The next day, this little helper became my "pin" girl and handed me pins and more pins as we refashioned this old black lace dress of mine into her new witch costume:

To make this costume, you'll need:
  • An old black dress or skirt
  • A long sleeve black knit top
  • A dollar store witch hat

To make this costume, here's what I did:

  • Cut off the lace skirt from the dress. 
  • Cut off 3" from the bottom of the black shirt.  
  • Baste over the top of the skirt black, glittery tulle. 
  • Add gathering stitches all around the skirt.
  • Pull the gathering stitches until the skirt is the same size as the bottom of the knit shirt. 
  • Pin the skirt to the shirt.
  • Sew the shirt to the skirt.

The witch dress is complete. Wasn't that easy? 

To glamorize a dollar store hat:
  • From the inside of the hat, tack in place leftover tulle.
  • Tack or hot glue bright orange ribbon and stripes of black glitter tulle to the side of the hat.
  • Tie the ribbon and then the tulle into a knot.
I'm not sure why the umbrella is in the above photo but I do know she loves her "zoo" umbrella and who knows, she just may need an umbrella on Halloween night.  I know, I used one quite often when I was a child but I grew up in the rainy part of Oregon and my costumes were never this much fun!  Year after year, I usually dressed as a hobo.  Yup, pretty boring costume. So, this little witch is much cuter. 

In an hour, this witch costume was ready for this happy little witch whom I'm positive will enjoy this costume and laugh her cute little witch laugh whenever she wears it.  Happy Halloween everyone...he he heeee!  xoxo Grandma

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Make More Monsters

This post is a continuation of this post right here, "How to Sew a Few Monsters." Check it out and then join us back here to learn a few more monster tips and tricks to making your little creations unique. You'll be glad you did, because these little guys are fun to create and are pretty cute too.  All children will love the gift of a monster or two.

You can click here for the free pattern.

In my pile of fabric scraps, I came across the brown fur you can see I used in the monster in the title photo. I've sewn on this heavy fur enough times to know that to machine embroider eyes on this stuff would be a little difficult.  So, this is what I did: 
  1. Cut out an oval from the head area.  From fleece, cut out an oval 1/2" larger that the oval you originally cut out.  Pin the larger oval to the hole.
  2. Sew the oval to the hole.
  3. This is what the face area now looks like from the right side of the fabric. Draw a face onto the fleece, using a fabric pen.  Find some buttons and sew those onto the face.  Sew on a pom pom for a nose.
  4. Sew some arm shapes together.  Turn them and stuff them.  Baste the ends together.  Now pin on the arms to the basic monster and sew the front to the back, leaving an open space to stuff.
My next monsters you can see below were changed a little too from the basic pattern: 

Here are a few more suggestions to changing up your monster's look:
  1.  Use plastic animal eyes. (These are a quick way to add perfect eyes to you monsters.)
  2.  Off-center the eyes.
  3.  Add only one eye instead of two eyes.
  4.  Add pointy horns that look like triangles instead of the curled  horns like in the original pattern.
  5.  Hand sew pom poms onto the monsters for fluffy noses.
  6.  Add ears to the top or side of the monster's head.
  7.  Don't have enough fabric to add the arms?  Just like the furry monster, cut your arms out separately and sew them together, stuff them, sew the arm's opening closed.  Baste them onto the body and you'll have movable arms.
  8. One final monster I created was for a baby, into that monster, I added a few rattle elements. 'Not pictured'
If you think of more ways to make these guys unique, let me know! I'd love to hear all about your creativity! Enjoy creating!  xoxo Grandma

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

1950 - 1960's Doll Nightgown

Last year, I created this pattern for a friend who wanted old fashion nightgowns for her three daughters and matching ones for her girl's dolls.  The nightgown pattern is reminiscent of nightgowns I wore in the late 1950's and early 1960's.  The fabric is obviously not 1950's or 1960's fabric but this sweet pattern is a fun sewing project and looks so pretty on 18" dolls.  This new pattern is now available from my Etsy shop here.

I remember sitting on the heater in the cold Oregon mornings, letting the warm air flow into my nightgown and loving how smugly it felt.  Anyone else out there remember wearing a nightgown with a similar style to this one?

Share with me your nightgown memories or story for a chance to win this pdf pattern for free.  The winner will be chosen on November 8th.  I look forward to reading your comments.  xoxo Grandma 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sew a Winter Coat

This summer was shortened a bit for this cute girl. In July, she moved with her family to a continent that was deep into their winter season.  I knew she didn't like wearing any of her coats because in March I took care of her and her siblings while her parents headed half way around the world to check out their new home.  During my stay with her, I had to beg and plead with her to put on a warm coat whenever we'd head outdoors. The best I could get her to do was wear a sweater that had a fur collar. Her coats just weren't "pretty" enough for her. 

Fast forward to her fifth birthday that she right before she moved. I thought a warm coat might be the perfect gift for this picky, girl who was about to face a cold winter again.

To make this warm winter coat, I used a pattern from Simplicity #1476A.

I lengthened the sleeves by adding 4" to the length.  This converted them into long sleeves, instead of 3/4 length sleeves.  I used off white fleece for the coat and for the lining.  These glitzy buttons once graced an old sweater of mine.  The collar was made from a soft, lush beige faux fur with hints of mint.

When I gave it to her, she noticed some ribbon on my sewing table with pink, purple, blue and lime green stripes that she got excited about.  She wanted me to sew it onto the bottom of the coat.  After much persuasion, and a little creative thinking, I suggested we make her a special name tag to go inside of the coat, using the ribbon instead.  I even let her press the sewing machine pedal to create her name tag for this coat.  She seemed happy about this addition.

She wore this coat off the plane when her family arrived in Australia (where it is currently winter). It's been in the mid 30's at night there.  She's been warm and cozy in her pretty new winter coat which is just my sewing style.  My style is to create things for my grandchildren which make them feel special and loved no matter how far away they live. xoxo Grandma

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Make a Queen Bee Costume

You're going to love the simplicity of this costume.  Make or purchase a bee costume.  

Purchase a crown.  Add additional plastic jewels onto the crown with hot glue. Hot glue 2 jumbo sized yellow pom poms onto the tops of two black pipe cleaners.  

If the stinger on the costume doesn't have any glitz, hand sew tiny clear beads all over the fabric using black thread and wallah, it'll shimmer.

That's it, your queen been is ready for some Halloween fun.  xoxo Grandma

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Raglan Sleeve Dresses

I've had these fall knit dresses sewn for a while, but I was waiting for these cute girls, pictured above, to come to grandma's house to see if they fit.  Last week, after an all day drive, the wait was finally over.  These cute sisters got to come to visit their grandparents.  Big cheer for grandchildren visits!!! 

After a little alterations to the necklines, these dresses are now ready to wear when the weather turns to fall and the temperatures cool down.  As you can see, my older granddaughter is barefoot, so the weather isn't quite there yet.

The grey knit fabric used in both dresses tone the peach and the mint accent colors down and create a casual, comfortable dress for fall.  I used a basic raglan shirt pattern which I lengthened and then added a rounded pocket for their hands or little treasures.

These cute sisters had a hard time holding still for the camera.  What did we expect from a one and two year old?  I suggested giving them a book and apparently this book is a good one.  xoxo Grandma

Monday, September 19, 2016

How to Make a Simple Mexican Poncho

Need a last minute, super easy to sew costume for a baby?  Try a simple Mexican poncho.  Then add a sombrero and maracas and that little one's costume is ready for Halloween in under an hour.

Supply List:
  • Fabric
  • Bias Tape extra wide double folded
  • Mini pom pom trim
  • Thread
  • 2" long x 1" wide triangle of black fabric
Measure your child's length from the top of the shoulder to the middle of the thigh or however long you want your poncho to be.  Multiply this number by 2 and add 1" for the seams.  

Now, measure from wrist to wrist plus 1" for seams.  The will be the width of your poncho.

Purchase fabric according to the above measurements times two if you want the lining to match the poncho.  

In the center of the fabric, cut an oval and a 4" slit. This will be the area the head goes through. Repeat this step for the lining fabric.  

Sew mini pom poms to the bottom of both widths of the poncho.
Now, pin the lining to the poncho, wrong sides together.  Sew around the large rectangle shape using 1/2" seams.  Leave at least a 3" long area to turn the poncho.  Turn and iron.  Baste the neck opening together.  Pin bias tape around the neck opening starting with the slit area and sew.  Sew the black triangle on top of the bias tape ends as shown below.  Wasn't that so simple?

Hopefully, your little one will entertain himself with the maraca and be happy.

 If not, at least you tried, right?  xoxo Grandma