Nov 062013

I love how fantastic sewing is for someone like me who has hobby ADD — bored of making quilts? Sew clothes! Bored of making clothes? Sew bags! Tired of making bags? Sew toys! And so I made some monsters for my kiddies.
monster trio

I let them choose which one they wanted (Glowbug got the leftover one), and Cosmo picked the pink monster that’s based on Igor Mousenstein.
googly eye monster

Sunshine chose the one from Make a Monster. I was so surprised that he actually really likes it — it’s been a couple of weeks, and he’s still carrying it around! He calls it his dolly. 😀
weirdo monster

Glowbug got the last one, which I made just so Sunshine would still be able to make a choice after Cosmo. It’s based on a monster I saw on Pinterest, but the link goes somewhere weird… anyway, I think it’s really funny! It’s the perfect shape to put a crinkly thing inside for babies, although that didn’t occur to me when I made this one.
moustachioed monster

They’ve got hearts on their butts because it’s a monster requirement, donchaknow. Picture overload!
moustachioed monster, back
monster pair, back
kiddies with monsters

Oct 302013

Last month, I won a copy of Quilting Arts Gifts 2013 from Esch House Quilts, and when I got it, Cosmo flipped through it with me. We both liked the trick-or-treat bag project, and I managed to make a couple in time for Halloween.

Mr. Yazoo helped by drawing the faces for the bags — he made a meanie face for Sunshine cause he’s been having a little bit of his terrible twos.
halloween bag - grouchy

I found some cute Halloween fabric that I’d hoarded from last year to use for the bag lining, and I substituted automotive headliner fabric for the batting, or whatever it was the project called for. Oh, and I have an opinion about automotive headliner fabric, if you care. 😀

I’ve used both Soft and Stable and automotive headliner fabric, which I bought specifically because I read people on the interwebs saying that it could be used as a substitute for (the expensive and unavailable-locally-for-me) Soft and Stable. I think headliner fabric is fine for small, semi-disposable things, like kiddie treat bags, where you do want it to stand up by itself, but you don’t necessarily want to use your good supplies. However, it isn’t a good substitute for nice bags (like, say, a weekender) because it’s nowhere near as sturdy as Soft and Stable — it’s much, much thinner and kind of fragile. On the third hand, it is a good substitute for grown-up bags IF all you want to do is take a picture and show off your pretty-bag-that-you-couldn’t-get-Soft-and-Stable-for-but-still-want-the-look-of-it. 😉 That’s my opinion!
halloween bag - inside

Anyway, back to the halloweenie bags, Mr. Yazoo draw a happy face for Cosmo since he’s been a sweetie lately. heh.
halloween bag - happy

Happy Halloween (in advance)!

Aug 292013

I finished my August goal, so yay…
books for baby quilt

It’s quilted in a diamondish fashion, and I did manage to finish it in time for Cosmo to use it at school. I was kind of too lazy to put a label on it, but since Cosmo’s stuff is supposed to have his name on it so they don’t get mixed up with other kids’ stuff, I sewed in some twill tape with his name stamped on.
books for baby quilt close up

When I gave it to Cosmo, he flipped it over and told me the robot flannel side is the front, cause that’s the side he likes. I think the robots are cool, too, but WAH. This is what I get for not having appreciated all the stuff my mom sewed for me when I was a kid! Karmaaaaaaaaa!
books for baby quilt with kiddies!

Jul 022013

If you don’t already follow her, LiEr at ikatbag is such an awesome sewerer — she makes clever, thrifty, and just plain fantastic stuff. Earlier in the year, I found out about her hilarious chicken pattern, and I super duper wanted to make it; fortunately, Cosmo’s birthday was right about that time. So I got to make the funniest chicken ever!
the funniest chicken

Doesn’t look funny to you? Wait for it…
chicken feet

It lays eggs! Bwahahaha! There’s a channel going from the top of the chicken near the tail to the place where eggs usually come out. hee hee hee!
momma and chickies

You just have to scrounge around the house for leftover plastic eggs, load up the little chickies, and then squeeze them out! ikatbag’s pattern post has great pictures of the egg-laying process — I was too chicken to take my own (hurk hurk).

This was such a fun present to give to Cosmo. He kept asking us to make the chicken lay eggs, and I loved seeing him carry the chicken around under his arm. It’s big!
chicken with kiddie for scale

He also really liked the baby chickies. Nowadays, he sometimes takes a chick to school to have for naptime. LiEr really made a fantastic pattern — the chicken is high-larious and the chickies are adorable! And a big plus is that if you sew fast and wonky (like me), that just gives the baby chicks even more personality. 😀
cosmo hatched

May 232013

Cosmo wanted a pillow for naptime at preschool, so I bought a super cheap, junky, standard pillow from K-Mart, pulled out the stuffing, cut it in half, and then sewed it into a new muslin case so it would (hopefully) fit in his cubby hole. Then I used Sew Hooked’s tutorial to make a quick pillowcase. I think it makes a nice one!
robot pillow

Then I had half a pillow’s worth of stuffing sitting around, so I used it to make another small pillow to add to Caleb’s birthday present. (This one looks floppier because I tried to make the case big enough to fit a standard pillow, in case he ever wanted to get rid of the halfapillow.)
Caleb's pillow

In unrelated news, I think I’ve landed on a new feed reader! I’d been using Feedly, but recently realized that it doesn’t allow you to search within your feeds, which I love being able to do since I have a terrible memory. After poking around for a bit, I found out that Feedly used to have that feature, then removed it, and is probably planning to put it back in as a feature of paid accounts. Harrumph!

I tried looking for another browser-based reader that lets you search through your feeds, but couldn’t find one. So tonight, instead of sewing, I tried installing Tiny Tiny RSS using Lifehacker’s guide, and I like it! It definitely lets you search your feeds, although now that I think about it, it can only search the blog posts that are still saved in your database. Still, that’s better than nothing! And it’s kind of fun keeping control of your own subscriptions. :)

May 162013

I’m still here! I’m still sewing, too, but I’ve been playing video games instead of goofing off online. :} Anyhoo, I made two kiddie backpacks recently-ish. One was for Cosmo because his preschool said he needed one for field trips, and the other was for a present.
kiddie backpacks

I made both of these by generally following the Owl Tag Along backpack pattern at the Moda Bakeshop. I left off the side and interior pockets, added an exterior zippered pocket, and did the adjustable straps differently. For the car backpack, I used the back pattern pieces, which makes the backpack sit higher up. I guess that’s so your toddler won’t tip over, and it kind of looks okay on Sunshine, who’s two…
car backpack on Sunshine

… but it looks weird on Cosmo, who’s four. Oh, but a four-year-old isn’t a toddler, is he? And I just noticed that I could have loosened the straps for him. User error all over the place!
car backpack on Cosmo

The embroidery on the pocket is Shiny Happy World’s vroom vroom pattern.
vroom vroom pocket

On the pac-man backpack, I used the front pattern piece to cut the back, and I sewed the straps into the top seam like normal backpacks. I think that looks a lot better!
pac-man backpack on Cosmo

I had these grand plans to embroider Caleb’s name on in the style of this google game picture, but then I got lazy and just freezer-paper-stenciled his name on the pocket using a pac-man-like font. I like the way the tutorial tells you to put in the lining — it’s not awful on the inside, the double lines of stitching on the outside look pretty nice, and there’s no hand-sewing!
stitching, close up

I’m often kind of mean about using really cute fabric for linings, but I’d hoarded my whale fabric for so long that it had gotten faded along the parts that were exposed to the window, so I didn’t mind using it all up. O_o
backpack linings

I didn’t put on piping since I didn’t have any (plus, I feel like making piping uses up a ton of fabric!), so the backpacks don’t hold their shapes as well as they could. I did put stabilizer behind everything except the zipper pieces so the backpacks wouldn’t completely collapse. I think it works well enough, especially since field trip chaperones end up holding the kids’ backpacks, anyway!
backs of backpacks

That was an awful lot of pictures just for a pair of backpacks! 😀

Apr 112013

Back at Easter, I tried to get together a variety of things for the kids’ egg hunt, since last year I filled their eggs with only like three different things, and it seemed a little boring when they were opening their eggs up. One of the things I made were wallets (using Modest Maven’s tutorial) since then I could put coins, dollar bills, and coupons for goodies in their eggs.

I modified it a little by replacing one of the card slot thingies with just a plain velcroed pocket for coins. It made the corners of that side of the wallet a little difficult to topstitch through, and I could have avoided that by just adding velcro to the back of the card pocket, but I thought it was nice to have a cute panel of fabric, especially since the kids don’t have many cards to put in those pockets.
wallet, interior

The kids also got bunnies. (There are a bunch of them because I also made some for my little cousins’ Easter presents.) I had a lot of fun browsing Etsy bunny patterns until I eventually found Zooguu’s pattern, which I think has a really cute ball shape. (Oops! I turned their ears up to show the different fabrics I used underneath, but I didn’t manage to catch them in the picture.)

Cosmo super duper likes having his names on things now, so I stamped the kids’ names on their bunnies’ ears.
bunny ears

The pattern was nice and easy, so I almost didn’t mind being a factory with all the bunnies. And it’s fun when I get a lot of use out of one pattern!
bunny tummy

Apr 042013

Dinky project attack!

Item 1
My brother-in-law is studying Russian for a year, so I made him a pillow cover with Russian phrases stenciled on it for his birthday (I cut the stencils out of freezer paper). I found this wonderful forum where people are willing to do free translations, so I asked how to say, “tummy tight. purple cup.” That was because my niece had recently had a sore tummy, so my sister gave her some flat ginger ale in a purple cup. She liked it so much, that afterwards she kept saying that to try to get more yummies. 😀
tummy tight. purple cup.

On the back, I put a normal proverb, “East or West, home is best,” and my brother-in-law recognized it, yay!
East or West, home is best.

I used House on Hill Road’s tutorial to put a zipper flap on the pillow case. It took me a while to understand what was going on, but once I did, it was neat! I like that now I can put nice closures on pillows without having to stock up on invisible zippers, which I don’t normally use.
Russian pillow, zipper flap

Item 2
Cosmo was asking for a star since he was good, so I used Wild Olive’s star template from her Rainbow Road Coffee Cuff project to make him a wand. It only cost me a dollar or so for the whole thing since I just had to get a dowel from Lowe’s, and I managed to make it in the half hour I had before picking him up from preschool. (Amazing for me, cause I’m slooow.) I still have two thirds of the dowel left rolling around my kitchen counter — no one’s needed more wands, yet!
star wand

Item 3
Cosmo had a field trip to an aquaponics place, and since they were going to do fish paintings, he was supposed to bring a big shirt to use as an art smock. I’ve been keeping my eye on art smock tutorials, though, so I wanted to make him one, but now that it was time, I didn’t want to use nice materials for something that’s meant to get messy. Scroogey Yazoo strikes again! Serendipitously, I stumbled upon one dollar shopping bags at TJ Maxx, and used one to make an easy, super cheapie art smock.
art smock, untied

All I did was:

  1. Chop off the edges and the handles
  2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bag
  3. Resewed the bottom, since the seams unraveled a bit after I cut the hole
  4. Melted the ends of the handles with a match (too lazy to fish out the fray check from my notions box)
  5. Sewed the handles back on for waist ties

And voila — one dollar art smock! Which Cosmo didn’t end up using, because the aquaponics people didn’t give the chaperones any time to put them on! Anyhoo, here’s Cosmo using his model posing skillz.
art smock, model pose

Jan 242013

I had fun sewing a bunch of little things over the holiday weekend, but my brain was totally broken!

First, I made my cousin his zippered kleenex cases. I was all proud of myself for thinking of stamping his initials on the twill tab… but his initials are KF, not KW! Doh!!!
KF's zippered kleenex cases

Then I made a munster for my little cousin. That went fine — I made her the purple one, and the green one is actually Sunshine’s Christmas present that I hadn’t taken a picture of before. (Sunshine’s does have a big mistake, though: the tutorial tells you to put the zipper pocket fabric the wrong way up initially [it should be right side down], and I hadn’t sewn in months, so I didn’t remember that it was wrong til too late.)

After that, I made a bunch of mini pleated pouches.
mini pleated pouches

I bought the pattern and a bunch of pearl snaps on Michelle’s $5 Fridays and thought it would be cute to use the snaps on some of the pouches. But I wasted at least four snaps because I kept installing them wrong! Quite a while ago, I treated myself to a prong snap installation kit:
snap installation kit
… and somehow got it into my head that I was supposed to use the long metal bit to pound in the socket part of the snap. Well, that widened and ruined the snaps I tried to put into my pleated pouches. (What am I supposed to use that metal bit for, anyway?) After some dithering about whether to buy snap pliers, I finally remembered my original snap installation tool: the unbeatable empty thread spool. That worked perfectly! So, note to myself: these are the best snap tools evar:
best snap tools

Finally, I made my mom a mouse pincushion. I had mentioned that I’d finally found crushed walnut shells at the pet store, and my mom said she’d like a pin-sharpening pincushion. Amazingly, I didn’t make any mistakes on this one! 😀
mouse pincushion

And that was my very fun, broken brain, holiday weekend sewing!

Jan 092013

I made tooth fairy elephant pillows for part of my little cousins’ Christmas presents this year, really because it gave me an excuse to get Melody Miller’s cute (but not cheap) pattern. (Actually, I conned my sister into buying it for me… heh!)

elephant tooth fairy pillows, front

Overall, I like this pattern; it’s just a little different from what I’m used to. For instance, there are a bunch of pattern pieces (like the main elephant shape) where you were supposed to keep the outside frame part and discard the inside piece. After going through the instructions, I understood why she made that choice, but I still found those pattern pieces to be floppy and annoying to use and store, so I ended up reprinting them so that I could keep the normal inner pieces.

An awesome thing about this pattern is that it includes a page of cute little cards addressed to the Tooth Fairy that you can print out to give along with the pillow!

elephant tooth fairy pillows, backs