Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Toddler Pink Kitty Cat Costume

Kitties and puppies...those are my daughter's favorite animals, probably because we have one of each here at home. So for Halloween Ally wants to be a pink kitty. Keeping in mind that she would not wear a typical cat costume (she is in an "I only wear dresses" phase) I made this kitty dress costume for her.

Here's how...

There was no pattern for this costume so I used a tunic to make a pattern and cut out the pieces from some bubble velour fabric I had leftover from Ally's pink room project (a yard is probably a safe measurement for size 3T). The front and back pieces of the dress are the same, cut a little longer than the tunic. The sleeves are cut on the fold (top edge) and are flared at the ends. 

I also cut 2 pieces (front and back) out of some knit fabric to make a lining.

Then cut out a tummy for the front, using a soft pink plush...

Pin and sew the tummy onto the front.

Cut 2 cuffs for the sleeves, on the fold (fold is at the bottom) out of soft pink. I ended up shortening the sleeves so that they wouldn't be too long with cuffs added. Measure little one's arms to get a good length.

Open up one of the cuffs and pin it to the bottom of the sleeve, right sides together, stitch. 

Here's how it will look after it's stitched on...

Fold the cuff under and stitch it again, along the seam. ( Finishing the edge wasn't required for this fabric)

Cut out 2 pieces for a tail, sew them right sides together, turn and stuff it with remnant fabric or polyfill.

Sew the neck edge of the front and front lining, right sides together (the wrong side of my knit has a gold print on it).

Cut a slit down the middle of both back pieces, pin and sew the neck edge, sewing down the sides of the notch as shown.

(The notch will allow little one's big noggin to fit through the neck. You'll be adding a hook and eye here)

Now, sewing the shoulder seams is tricky so I took a picture of some directions from another pattern that may help explain it.

Open out the facing, pin the shoulders together (lining to lining and front to back) and stitch one long seam across both. 

Now, when it's turned right side out, it should look like this.

Pin and baste the arm holes.

Pin the sleeves to the arm holes, right sides together. Stitch. Repeat for 2nd sleeve.

Pin the sleeve seam and the front and back side seam (right sides together) leaving the lining out of the way. Stitch in one continuous seam.  Repeat on the other side.

Now pin and sew the lining front and back on each side, right sides together. This way there are 2 layers to the dress.

Sew the tail to the back making sure not to include the back lining layer.

Now, to make the kitty dress fluffy I stuffed it with some quilt batting. Just cut a layer or 2 of batting twice the width of the dress.

Pin the batting to the inside of the dress, between the outer layer and the inside lining layer.

Stitch the batting to the dress at the bottom edge. I didn't sew the top edge but I did tack the batting to the dress in a few areas so that it stays in place.

Here's the primitive hem job I did. Considering this is a costume I thought I could take a shortcut here. Pull the lining back down to cover the batting and fold the top layer down over the lining. Then pin and stitch.

Hand sew some pink boa to the bottom of the dress.

Finish it off with a hook and eye in the back!

For the kitty ear headband, cut 4 ear shapes out of the pink bubble velour, and 2 smaller ones out of light pink.

Sew the smaller pieces to one set of the larger pieces.

Now sew the larger pieces right sides together and turn right side out.

Hot glue the bottom of each ear onto a headband. 

Then hand stitch some more pink boa to the headband.

For the leg warmers I used some light pink Fun Fur to crochet 2 tubes that fit around her legs.

That's it. I'll try to remember to post some pictures from Halloween night.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Men's Plaid Shirt Pillow Tutorial

I've got a thing for plaid lately and wanted to spruce up the bedroom with a plaid pillow. So, I used one of my husbands old (and too small) plaid shirts to make this sham. We've got a blue and brown theme going in our bedroom so this blue plaid is perfect.

Here's how to make it..

You need:

- A pillow form or old toss pillow
- An old plaid shirt (or some fabric)
- A complimentary fabric (brown)
- 4 buttons
- sewing machine, thread, scissors, ruler, white crayon and pins

I used an old throw pillow that I already had. It measures 14" x 18". Measurements for the fabric pieces will vary depending on the pillow you use. I'd say for a pillow like this, about 3/4 yard of the complimentary (brown) fabric should be plenty.

First I did a rough layout of how I want my pillow to look, using some brown faux suede fabric that I already had, the plaid shirt and some new rustic, woodsy buttons. I want the entire back to be brown, half of the front to be plaid, and half brown. The buttons will be functional and the pillow will be inserted at the button flap.

So I cut the brown fabric to 18.5" wide (1/4 inch seam allowance on each side) by about 23" long, leaving room for overlap and a nice, thick hem.

I cut the back out of the plaid shirt, then cut 18.5" wide by 19" piece. Since the fabric is light, I wanted to double up.

Cut enough length of plaid for a double layer
Here's my doubled up layer. The fold is at the top

Now pin the plaid piece right sides together with the brown piece and stitch. Use the raw end of the plaid fabric, that way the folded end won't have to be hemmed. 

The plaid fabric's fold is at the bottom
Now fold over the free edge of the brown fabric to make a large hem. If you're using a fabric that frays, finish the edge or fold twice. Pin and sew along the inside edge.

Here's the sewn edge, up close...

Now for the buttons. Buttons are tedious, yes. But once they're done it's all downhill. Here's how I put them on. I positioned the buttons on the brown hem where I want them to come through. Then I marked their placement (right and left sides of the button) with a pin. This will be where the buttonholes are sewn.

Place a ruler along the center of the hem area and make sure it's nice and parallel to the edge of the hem. Now mark the buttonholes with a white crayon (or pencil, but I found that a crayon worked better on my fabric).

See how I marked the edges with a vertical tick mark, and a line through the middle. Now remove the pins. 

Make buttonholes at using your machine's buttonhole setting and your marks as a guide. Then mark the plaid fabric where the buttons should line up with the holes, and sew the buttons on (I usually hand sew buttons).

Now, here's how the sham should looks so far. One more step!

Put the buttons through the button holes, turn it inside out and position the sham with seam at the bottoms and the buttons more or less halfway down the middle of the front side.  Pin and sew the side seams.

Unbutton the sham, turn it right side out and then stuff it with the pillow!! That's it.

Thanks for looking!