Miss Katie J. celebrated her 4th birthday early this month, and since she adores everything My Little Pony, she needed a pony-covered party dress! As seems usual lately, my schedule kept me hopping until the last minute, so I opted for a party dress pattern that I know well and can sew quickly – one that happens to be named for the birthday girl – the Katie J. Jumper!…
I’m the first stop on the Indygo Junction Crossroads Blog Tour! Since my tour date happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day, I couldn’t resist choosing Midtown Moss for shorts for my two youngest boys. I used my Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts pattern and paired the shorts up with store-bought tops. Now my boys are ready to celebrate their Irish heritage in handmade style!
Ready for another simple handmade home project? One of the things on my to-do list in preparing for our foster family homestudy was getting beds ready. Foster families rarely know what age children are going to be coming into their home, so having beds and bedding in every size from crib to toddler to twin is a necessity! Add to that, the fact that you’ll need bedding sets for boys and for girls, and the cost for comforters or quilts can really add up. (Experienced foster parents will tell you, too, that you quickly become a master at rearranging every bedroom in the house in a few hours!)
I had a terrible time when I started my hunt for toddler bedding. Cute, quality, non-character toddler bedding is really hard to find at a reasonable cost. So, I went to work making a couple of simple quilted blankets using measurements to fit a toddler bed, and I snapped some pictures along the way to write up a tutorial for you!
My second Handmade Holiday idea for 2014 is this Lego on-the-go Travel Bag! This tutorial originally appeared on Today’s Creative Blog in July of 2013 as part of their Celebrate Summer Series, but it’s a great gift idea, too … says the mom who has stepped on a billion and one Legos in the middle of the night. It’s a good thing to give those little things their own special storage space!
I’m over at Skip My Lou today with a brand new gift tutorial as a part of this year’s edition of the Bake, Craft, Sew & Crochet Along! Just click right here to find the Jungle Jalopy Zippered Pouch Tutorial. Read on for your chance to win a beautiful new Babylock Sewing Machine!
This is one AMAZING giveaway! She is a beauty and her name is Rachel.
Do you love giving handmade gifts for Christmas? I do, too! But, who wants to spend the whole holiday season in their craft room sewing? Quick-sew projects that result in gifts the recipient will use and enjoy are the best! My Go Fish Patterns are some of the quickest around, and at a cost of only $4.25 each, they’re inexpensive, too! I thought I would take a bit of time to sew up a few Go Fish projects and share some gift ideas with you! Most of these combine a little something store-bought with something handmade. You don’t have to add extras, of course, but sometimes those little things round out a gift quite nicely.First up, check out those Grab ‘n Go Drawstring Bags in the title image above! Santa Sacks seem to be the “in thing” this year, and you can sew your own in no time at all! Use one to carry gifts to a party, or sew up one for each of your children to leave for Santa to fill on Christmas Eve. Drawstring bags make great reusable gift bags, too, and it’s really simple to change the dimensions to make whatever size you need!
Since we’re already chatting about drawstring bags, they’re a gift that can work for many people on your list! Fill a pretty flowered drawstring bag with yarn and knitting needles for your daughter, or sew one using a transportation print to fill with Hot Wheels cars for your grandson. We have this silly annual Nerf gun battle on Christmas morning at our house, and I’ve learned that little drawstring bags are perfect for keeping track of those little foam darts! Once you start making these bags, you’ll start finding tons of uses for them.
A teen or college-age niece would be thrilled to receive a handmade Wherever You Go Wallet with a gas card or even cash tucked inside! Choose a fabric that fits her personality, and maybe add a matching key fob using my free tutorial, too.
Pack a Fun-to-Go Kids Tote with activity books, little toys and snacks instead of filling a stocking, and you’ll have a gift that can be used all year long.
Give a set of Time to Go Shopping Sacks with a grocery store gift card for a practical and environmentally friendly gift. Don’t feel like you have to use traditional fabric on these like I did! One of my customers sewed Spiderman grocery sacks for her mom who loves comic book superheroes. It’s way more fun to shop when your bags make you smile!Sew a Beauty to Go Clutch and fill it with new makeup brushes, add your favorite facial wash and perhaps a gift card from your favorite independent beauty consultant or your local cosmetic store. (Support small business owners whenever you can!)Potholders are a fairly traditional handmade gift, and you can really never have too many. What couple wouldn’t enjoy a gift basket that includes a set of Momma’s Go To Potholders, along with utensils and mixes for their favorite foods? You could even add a Go Bake Something Apron … or a matching set of aprons for husband and wife?
The Fold & Go Art Kit with crayons and new coloring books is a quick and useful gift for preschool through elementary. You could even substitute mini colored pencils or mini washable markers.
Finally, the quickest sew in my Go Fish series – the On-the-Go Travel Pillow! This one could easily become your go-to night-before-the-party project. Add a couple of age-appropriate books and this makes a great gift! These are new books, but be sure to check your local used bookstore to build up a stash. Ours carries Little Golden Books for $.50 each! Oh, and these pillows don’t just work for little ones, even teens need a place to rest their heads on trips and at sleepovers. Just choose a fabric that personalizes it for the receiver!
Now all you need to do is go buy your Go Fish patterns, find the perfect fabrics and set aside a little bit of time for sewing! I would love to see what you sew! Add a link in the comments, or come join us in the Fishsticks Designs Sewing Group to share!
Have you seen the great collection of handbag patterns that are included with Pattern Parcel #7? You can pop over and check them all out by clicking the image below, and read on to see my version of the Daphne Bag from Clover & Violet!
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.
Friday, November 7
I’m so excited to introduce you to my newest sewing pattern, the Lovely Long Skirt. You can find it in your favorite quilt shop and book store … in a book written by my friends, Caroline Critchfield of Sew Can She and Sarah Markos of Blue Susan Makes. The book is called Just for You – Selfish Sewing with Your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it! (Keep reading to the bottom to find out about the giveaway … actually two giveaways!)This new book is filled to the brim with great patterns designed by some of your favorite bloggers, and they’re all patterns for you to sew for you!
The maxi skirt pattern that I designed for the book works perfectly with all of the lovely designer jersey knits on the market. I absolutely love sewing with knits, and I’m a big fan of knit skirts with yoga-style waistbands. When you wear them, you look stylish and pulled together, but you feel like you’re wearing your PJs! The Lovely Long Skirt is a gored skirt that has a slim fit at the waist and through the hips with a flattering flare at the bottom.The rolled hem takes advantage of that roll-y nature of jersey knits. You just leave the hem unfinished, then wash and dry it! Easy peasy!My pink skirt is sewn with a Michael Miller jersey.
Samantha’s dotted skirt is made with Riley Blake jerseys. I love how a simple change in fabric completely changes the look of the skirt. Mine is sophisticated. Samantha’s is fun! (I adore the extra splash of color in the yellow waistband.) Now for the giveaways! First, I get to giveaway a copy of the book! US winners will receive their very own paperback copy, including full-size paper patterns, courtesy of Stash Books. International winners will receive the eBook version with patterns that you print from your home computer. To enter, just leave a comment on this post, then come back up to the Rafflecopter and register your entry. (Don’t forget to do the second part, or you won’t actually be entered!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Second, Caroline is giving away a prize package which includes a copy of the book AND fabric to sew the Chevron Shrug, the Lace Infinity Scarf, the Bella Pouch and my Lovely Long Skirt! To find out how to enter Caroline’s giveaway, just click the collage below: Finally, don’t miss the rest of the blog tour! Each designer will be introducing and sharing a bit about her project from the book and giving away a copy. There’s plenty of inspiration and more chances to win coming up! The link list below will fill up as the posts and giveaways go live.
Happy Halloween from our family of Doctor Who fans! This is the first time in a very long time that we’ve dressed up the whole family with a theme. We had so much fun with it, though, I think we might try to keep doing it, at least for the next few years … until another one of my kiddos is all grown up.
If you’ve read this blog over the last few months, then you probably already know that we love the Doctor. One of my favorite things about how this all came together is that our teenagers chose the theme themselves and divided up all of the characters before they even came to me. I didn’t have to mediate any disagreements, I just got to help pull everything together!
We’ll go in age order since that’s the easiest for me:First up is Charlie as Rory – the Last Centurion. On our first thrift-shopping-for-Halloween excursion, we found a plastic chest plate and sword for $2.99 at Goodwill, and I knew that it would be perfect. The chest plate was the wrong color, though, and it had a big lion emblem attached.We solved that problem easily by pulling off the lion and spray-painting the shield. (This paint did start to chip off right away, so I wouldn’t use it for an application that needed to be permanent. For Charlie’s Last Centurion costume it worked just fine, though. The chipping gives it a pretty cool aged look.)For the “kilt” part of the Roman centurion uniform, I cut pieces from vinyl that I purchased at Joann’s and then used duct tape to secure them to the back of the chest plate. We also added an additional strap to the back of the plate because the original shoulder straps didn’t keep it on very securely. For the shirt and cape, I modified my Charlie Tee pattern. I replaced the original collar with a higher, wider version that folds down, and I sewed the self-drafted cape into the back and sides of the collar. I used a polyester blend interlock, also from Joann’s, primarily because it was the right color, but I love the drape that it has. It’s perfect for our little Last Centurion. (He was so cute at our church’s fall festival when he would try to explain who he was!)Next up, is Jamie as the 11th Doctor. I just adore little boys in bow ties! We found Jamie’s black skinny jeans and canvas boots at Crazy 8, and I love that he can wear them everyday. I purchased the suspenders at Amazon, and I sewed up the bow tie from red Kona cotton to match.The hardest part for Jamie’s costume was the tweed jacket. We searched every thrift shop and resale store within easy driving distance, and just couldn’t find something that didn’t require some significant alterations. Soooo …. we brought home this:It’s just a little big, isn’t it? I’ll start by saying that since this was a costume, I didn’t worry too much about making the jacket look perfect. I used my Which Way Out Jacket pattern sort of placed on top of the original jacket to get an idea what the sizing should look like, then I chopped it all up. I forgot, though, that I needed to add a seam allowance in the back because I was using two pieces, so the back is a bit narrow. I sewed the lining pieces back together, then the outer pieces, just sewing the pockets where they fell. Rather than trying to completely re-do the collar, I just cut it in half in the back, serged the edges, and stitched it back together. Then I pressed the seam allowance open and stitched down each side to keep those edges tucked under. It actually turned out pretty well for a few hours worth of work! Allen’s 10th Doctor costume was by far the easiest! He already had the Chucks, the dress shirt and the dress pants. We found the pinstriped jacket and the trench coat at local thrift stores, and he borrowed one of Ray’s ties to pull everything together. I didn’t think I would have to do anything crafty at all to his outfit … until he wore the jacket to youth group and came home with a huge rip down one of the front seams. Urgh. Boys. So, I ripped the lining open to stitch the jacket back together, and then I just slipstitched the lining back in. Maybe he felt left out of the whole creative process?
We had a blast wearing these costumes to two different Trunk or Treating events last weekend, and we’re excited to get to wear them again tonight for some Halloween fun! We hope you and yours have a great night filled with memories and laughter and only as much scary stuff as you want to enjoy!