adventures in sewing, family, and life

And “sew” it starts

Happy start-of-holidays! It’s October, so almost Halloween, then Thanksgiving, (my b-day), and Christmas/New Year’s. Once Halloween hits, the end if the year goes pretty fast.

Not much sewing going on in these parts for the past few months. Work/school have gotten in the way. But, as we enter the season of joy, happiness, and delicious treats – the dust gets blown off my machine and I’m ready!

First up is E’s Halloween costume. She debated between Mulan, Batgirl, and Supergirl for quite some time. I thought Batgirl would win, especially with the Batman t-shirt she gave to her daddy for his birthday. (He’s called Batdad when he wears it.) We made the big trip to get fabric last weekend and got – blue, red, and gold. Supergirl it is!

I bought a blue halter top from a dance store and will affix the logo on the front. I wasn’t thrilled with the blue materials at Joann’s and I am not the biggest fan of knit – sewing-wise. I will be making the skirt, cape, 2 logos and the belt. It also helps my sanity to not make a shirt!

I started by printing off a Superman/Supergirl logo I found online. I enlarged it 40% for the cape and left it as is for the shirt. And then I had 3 seperate epic fails trying to make the logo. After sleeping on it, I finally got it to work! The base is gold spandex and the top is red crushed velvet. I ended up doing a reverse appliqué. I am thrilled that the 4th time worked out. This is the smaller one for her shirt.


I’m looking forward to this costume. E will get plenty if wear out of it with all her activities this year, so I really want it to look great.

Now, let’s have a little chat about the pattern companies Simplicity and McCall’s. These are my go-to books in the store, and I can always find a pattern to help me out. E and I looked through both brand books – Halloween and Fall/Winter – looking for a pattern for a Supergirl/Batgirl/Wonder Woman costume. I like to use the pattern as a base and alter/modify what they have done to make it more “me”. Well, they had a lot of costume patterns for little girls – princesses, fairies, 50’s girl, movie heroines… But no girl superheroes. None. There was one pattern for a cape/mask combo that was not gender-specific and only had 1 girl on the picture – with 3 boys. Hmmm… I hope this was just an oversight this year, because I firmly believe that little girls can be superheroes, pink or standard colors. Sad that it wasn’t an option for Simplicity or McCall’s. So I have a sketch, based off 3 different little girl Supergirl costumes (since I can walk into Party City and pick out a girl superhero costume). I’m winging it this year! So far, I’m happy with it, so maybe it’s a new trend. But I’m still upset at Simplicity/McCall’s.

I should be done with this costume pretty quickly. No ruffles or anything crazy, and now that I know how to do the logo for the cape – life is good!

After Halloween, I’ll be planning Christmas gifts for E’s teachers, friends, and family, and making a new tree skirt for our Christmas tree! I love the end of the year!

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A new friend

I made this doll for E. She’ll be getting a second one with a purple dress and brown hair.


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Baby Gift


Another loopy lovey, flannel toile on one side, dot minky on the other, shades of pink ribbons.


A stuff sack for the older sister, cupcake outer, polka dot lining. Filled with a My Little Pony.

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Oh goody, goody!

I worked in the goody bags for E’s party last night. I’ve got 35 bags! Bags are blue and yellow (both important colors in The Lorax. On the front, I printed off a quote from the book and used fun tape to secure.

Inside the bags, kids will get:
– orange glowstick necklace
– orange beaded necklace
– rubber duckie with recycling symbols on it
– mini Play-doh
– mini bubbles
– stickers
– “Truffula” seeds

The seeds are zinnia seeds, in a little bag with a card quoting the book.


At one point my kitchen looked like this:


Yay for assembly-line!

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Baby boy gift 2


Finished just in time! Next up is the stuff for E’s party! I’ll have a party post soon. I’m still in love with her Lorax shirt!

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Details and baby boy gift 1

Here’s an updated picture of E’s Lorax shirt:


I added a bit if detail on the Lorax and the grass with the new Sharpie “stained” fabric markers. By far the best fabric markers I’ve used yet!

Also finished the first baby boy loopy lovey/burp cloth set.


Several more projects to get done!

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Mom, can you put the Lorax on my shirt?

That’s the first thing E said when she saw her shirt. Not, “wow! Thanks mom!!” Kids these days. Ugh.

Now, I am not an artist. I can draw a smiley face and that’s about all. The Mr is the artist. So I searched high and low online and found a picture of the Lorax that was perfect.


His eyes aren’t quite like the real artwork, but I did what I could.


She’s right though, it did need the Lorax. And the response this time?

“ooh! The Lorax! I like it. Mom, can you put the Swomee swans on it too?”

I just can’t win.

For the record, I said no. And she was okay with that.



“Mister!” he said with a sawdusty sneeze, “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tounges.”


The Lorax is a delightful story. The Mister said I’m trying to turn E into a tree-hugging hippie. I’m good with that. E loves the Lorax, and for her 4th birthday (!) she is having a Lorax party. First up, a truffula tree shirt.

I bought a blue v-neck for E at Old Navy, and using a truffula tree stencil, I made an amazing birthday shirt! I downloaded the template for the trees from Dabbled. The only thing I changed was that I shortened the template a bit by taking off some length of the tree trunks. E is just not that tall – yet.




I am SO happy with it! I did the freezer paper stenciling that I tried out on E’s doctor bag. So easy, although cutting out the trees was a bit time consuming. I also painted a thin coat of white paint before painting the colors because I wanted true color on the shirt. I think this helped on the lavender and light pink in particular. I pulled out E’s book to get the tree trunk right, and they look awesome just like truffula trees!


I’m thrilled with it. Her party is a week away and there’s lots of stuff to do. Order cupcakes, make goody bags, get food… The nice thing about this party is that you can just select colors that compliment the book and you don’t need a character plastered all over every decoration. I have blue and yellow goody bags to represent the sky and the yellow tree trunks. The kids will also be getting some Lorax inspired treats in their bags! I’ll share more as I get things done!

“But now,” says the Once-ler, “Now that you’re here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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Stick it to me

E and I were crafty today. We colored in two wooden animals. Then we thought we needed to do something to make them useful. So we made them into magnets!

1. Color in wood cut out animal or design (available at any craft store).

2. Optional -Adults only – use a coat of spray varnish. Make sure you spray outside in a box so the mist doesn’t go everywhere. I use a shoe box. I don’t think you have to do this, but we used washable markers and since the magnets were going onto the fridge where we have the on the door water/ice dispenser, I thought it would be a good idea.


This is E’s after coloring and spraying.

4. Adult only – attach magnets to the back of the cutout using a glue gun.

5. Optional, but a really great step- Adults only – cut a snippet of fabric and glue over the magnet. I made sure to glue fabric and wood to preserve the magnet strength.


It looks like ravioli on the back!

6. Attach to fridge and admire!

I used 2 magnets per animal to make sure they’d be strong enough to stick. With the fabric backing, you won’t get the black lines on the fridge door. I remember when my mom took all the magnets off the front door when they got a new one and how horrified she was with all the marks. Needless to say, she doesn’t hang magnets on the new front door. But with the fabric backing, maybe she’d change her mind. Or maybe not. But my fridge door is safe.


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Baby Gift #1 – a girl!

One of my good friends had a baby shower today. She’s due in early July and is excited to meet the new baby. I worked until it was time to leave – I almost thought I wouldn’t make it, but I did!! Yay!20120519-224112.jpg

First, a jersey knit pink striped bunny with a floral knit ear lining. I sewed the ears on very well since I think a small baby would probably chew on them.


Next, a light pink tutu, kindly modeled by Mr. Monkey. I figured he was the same size as a newborn. This will be a great prop for photos. It also works, since the mom and I wore tutus to work last year!


A white cotton gauze swaddle blanket with a dark pink appliqué heart. Summer babies need blankets, but not those heavy flannel ones.


A bag for the mom-to-be to take supplies to the hospital in.



Two sets of burp cloths (4 per set). Really, I was surprised at how many we used and that we still have them around! Proved to be helpful when E threw up in her daddy’s car last week.

I added in a ball and nail clippers from the store, but for this gift, it was mostly “me made”. I feel good about that.

Next is Baby Gift #2 and 3. Both are boys. Look for that soon!!

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