Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monogrammed Fleece Blanket

This is my first time making a no-sew fleece blanket. I found a great tutorial for making one at Crafty Chic Mommy's blog. They're so easy to make and they make a cozy, warm gift for the holidays.

This one is for my 11 year old niece. She loves being a "tween" so I chose a tweenish dotted print. To personalize it, I added her name to the bottom-right corner. Here's how I did it...

First I typed out her name in Photoshop (you can use MS Word, or whatever program you have available) using Brush Script font. I normally don't like this font but it seemed to work for this purpose. I made the font really big and had to print out several pages to get the whole name printed. You can make the name as big or small as you like, and if you want you can just do a one letter initial.

I roughly cut out the letters and pinned them to the fleece, then carefully cut out each letter. Some of my letters were attached when they printed - the "ma" and the "nd".

Next, I carefully pinned the name onto the blanket...
And oh-so-carefully machine-sewed the edges of each letter using a purple thread.

That's it! A little "yes-sew" twist on the no-sew fleece blanket.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turkey Door Hanging Tutorial

Just in time for Thanksgiving, try making this turkey door hanging! I tried looking for some Thanksgiving decorations the day after Halloween but they were already sold out. Guess I wasn’t fast enough, so I decided to make my own.

First I “drew” up a cute design in Photoshop.
Photoshop on my lappy
Then I made pattern pieces for my design out of butcher paper.
My ugly butcher paper pattern pieces
Here are the pattern pieces….be sure to enlarge them to the size you want to make or redraw the patterns on paper freehand.

Turkey Pattern


I followed my “use what you’ve got” rule for the turkey and didn’t buy any of the supplies. Luckily I had a lot of fall colored fabric in my stash. You can use canvas, fleece, basically anything you want.  Two buttons for the eyes and some basic sewing supplies, and you're ready to go. You can sew the pieces or glue them if you want to make it quick.
For the tail cut 2 pieces, and cut on the fold. I used a leftover piece of cotton batting for the back and ironed some craft fuse onto it for stability. For the front of the tail I used a fluffy brown fleece.
Now cut the tail pattern on the dotted line to get the pattern for the upper portion of the tail.
Cut the pattern piece out of an orange fabric.
I wasn’t able to cut out the whole pattern with one piece of fabric so I have 3 pieces that fit together. Pin and sew (or glue) the orange piece to the top of the brown tail.  
With right sides together sew the tail pieces together, leaving an opening at the bottom (about 6 inches) for turning.
Turn and sew the opening closed.
Ooh lala Turkey tail!

Cut out 2 body pieces out of tan/brown fabric (I used fleece). Set one aside.
Cut out the waddle and beak. I used orange fleece and red felt. My rough pattern says “gobble” because that’s what I thought it was called before looking it up. Apparently it’s called a waddle, but gobble sounds better J
Position the beak and waddle onto the face of one of the body pieces. Pin and stitch (or glue) them on.
Sew (or glue) some eye buttons on.
Put the body pieces right sides together. Pin and stitch them together leaving an opening at the bottom for turning.
Turn and stitch the opening closed.
Now you're talking turkey!
Cut out 2 feet (I used yellow/orange felt). Position them onto the turkey. Pin and stitch (or glue) them on.

Cut 4 wing pieces (I used cotton batting). Sew 2 wing pieces together wrong sides together leaving an unfinished edge…looks more rustic that way. Then, if you’d like, sew the design onto the wings using the dotted lines for guidance.
Position the wings onto the turkey body. Pin and stitch (or glue) them on.
 Did you know Turkey's can really fly?

Cut out a hat piece (I used some black vinyl) and a buckle (yellow/orange felt).  Sew (or glue) the buckle onto the hat.  Stitch the hat onto the turkey’s head.
I added a gold stitch line around the hat because it didn’t stand out enough against the dark brown tail.
Stitching makes the hat stand out
Embellish with a bow….or buttons, a patch, etc. Have fun.
Getting dressed up for dinner...little does he know.
Now sew (or glue) the turkey onto the tail in a few spots. I stitched them together at the wings and hat.
Attach some kind of hook to the back. Here I used a hangar (use whatcha got).
Find some kind of hook in the house and stitch it to the back

And now this cute turkey greets our guests at the door. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hand Puppets

My mom (the master) made a lot of amazing puppets when I was a kid. She made fun and fluffy characters and Fraggles with ping-pong eyes and fuzzy hair. My parents would put on puppet shows at children’s church every Sunday creating lifelong memories for us kids.
In my first attempt to make a puppet I decided to check online for some pointers. I found a great series of video tutorials on eHow.com for “How to Make Puppets”. The videos come from Paul at puppetsandstuff.com. It is a really easy puppet pattern with a minimal amount of sewing. So get your glue gun hot and ready to go.

(The videos are a bit jumbled on eHow and they aren’t labeled by step so I listed the links here in their correct order.)

My Version:

* I didn't use a hairdryer, contact cement, foam brush, or pink rubber foam. Instead I just used pink felt and hot glued it to the mouth.
* Used an x-acto knife instead of a box cutter.
* Didn't use a pom-pom, just worked with the fleece I had.
* Used black felt cut out into small circles, instead of the adhesive felt tabs.
* Didn't use foam for eyes, used white fleece and stuffing instead.


* I stuffed the arms with shreds of leftover fleece and then hot glued the tops of the arms together on the inside to keep the stuffing in.

* I used black felt and just hot-glued it to the cardboard piece instead.

* I just used pink felt and hot glued it onto the mouth.

* I made the eyes by cutting out big circles of white fabric, gathering the edges together over a ball of stuffing and securing tightly with thread, wrapping the thread around a few times tightly and then tying a knot (Just like he makes the nose). I cut off the excess and hot glued the eyeballs to the head. Then I  cut out small round felt pieces in black and hot glued them on. Lastly I cut out half-circles of orange fabric and glued them onto the eyeballs and head to create eyelids.

* I like his eyes a lot better but I was considering safety of the eyes, in case my baby girl decided to put them in her mouth.

* I just cut out an oval shape of felt and glued it onto the face.

* My “hair” is just some plush fabric bunched up and hot glued onto the head. I used the same plush for his chest hair.

* I skipped this step

The puppet turned out pretty cute and was really easy to make, although mine turned out a lot differently from Paul's. There are probably an endless array of characters you can make from this one pattern. Thanks Paul from puppetsandstuff.com!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hanging Wet Bag Tutorial

Now that we’ve started early potty training we need to keep a wet bag in the bathroom for dirty diapers. Here’s an easy tutorial for making one. It has straps that can snap onto a towel rack and it matches the bathroom! I used two layers of fabric…a pretty cotton print for the outside and a layer of PUL on the inside. If you find a PUL fabric you like, you can just use that without an outer layer of cotton.
You'll need:
  • 1/2 yd cotton print fabric
  • 1/2 yd PUL fabric
  • 12” zipper
  • 2 sets of snaps (3/8” or 9mm)
  • All the basics: scissors, thread, sewing machine, pins, etc.

Here’s how to make it:
Note: Iron the cotton fabric before proceeding (not the PUL!)  
Step 1: You need 4 pieces of fabric - 2 pieces of PUL and 2 pieces of cotton -  that measure 13“ x 18.5”. Since 18.5” is half a yard all I had to do was layer the PUL and cotton on top of each other, cut the fabrics at 26”, then cut them in half again at 13”.
13 x 26" 
Cut four 13 x 26" pieces - 2 of cotton and 2 of PUL
Step 2: You now have 2 sets of PUL and cotton for the front and back of the bag. Take the front set (you decide which on that is) and cut off 3” from the top.
3" cut off the top of the front set of cotton/PUL
Step 3: Baste the PUL and cotton pieces together making sure the waterproof side of the PUL is facing outward. (I used ¼” seam, white thread, and a universal 90/14 needle) * Sewing the PUL works best if the PUL is facing down and the cotton is facing up toward the presser foot.
Baste the PUL and cotton pieces together with PUL facing down toward machine
The sections are basted with PUL waterproof side facing down (out)
Step 4: Adding the zipper:  The fact that the front piece is in 2 sections makes adding the zipper fairly easy. My zipper will open from left to right. Keep track of the orientation of the front pieces to make sure the pattern is consistent.
Zipper will open left to right, fabric pieces are oriented correctly
Pin and sew the top front piece to the zipper, right sides together. It’s easiest if you keep the zipper closed at first, start sewing, and then open the zipper half way through. This keeps the zipper pull out of the way.
Sew with zipper closed at first (I'm using a zipper foot)
Then open up the zipper and continue to sew

Pin and sew the bottom front piece to the other side of the zipper, right sides together. Yessss, the zipper is done.
Pin ans sew the bottom section to the zipper
Yay, the zipper is done! And best of all...it works.
Step 5: Straps - Cut a 2 ½” (½ yd long) strip of fabric from your cotton print. I used a different print for the straps.
2 1/2" by 18.5"
Fold the straps in half lengthwise, right sides together and stitch. Turn right side out (using a safety pin, the Fasturn, or whatever device you prefer). Press.
Cut the strap in half.
Pin the straps onto the top front section as shown.
Pin the straps to the top front section
Step 6: Pin the back side of the wet bag to the front, right sides together. Leave the bottom unpinned for now and leave the zipper closed. Keep the straps tucked inside. There will be extra fabric on the bottom of the back section. Make sure the waterproof part of the PUL is facing outward.
Pin top and sides together, PUL facing out, zipper closed
Stitch the top and sides together.
Reach in and unzip the bag. Trim the extra fabric at the bottom. Stitch the bottom edge closed.
Stitch top and sides, unzip bag, trim bottom and stitch it closed
Turn the bag right side out….almost done!
Step 7: The top straps will fold over and snap together. Trim them to fit around your rod, leaving room for some overlap. Finish one end of each strap. (Fold under and stitch).
Trim the straps to fit, finish the ends
Apply snaps (or Velcro) to the straps using the directions that came with your snaps. My directions said to use a spool of thread and a hammer, but the spool of thread didn’t work so I used a metal bobbin which will probably never be the same again, hehe.
Add snaps
You are done!

Next, I plan to make a diaper stacker that has a built in wipes holder and a place for Ally’s board book. I’m still trying to figure out how to make it. I’ll be back soon with that tutorial J