Thursday, December 17, 2009

Felt Reindeer shirt

A couple posts back I showed you this Christmas shirt I made for my daughter Madeline. I didnt want John to feel left out, so today I whipped up a Christmas shirt for him too!
Around Thanksgiving I saw some really cute shirts with turkeys appliqued on, the feathers being made from a child's traced hand. I wanted to make one for Maddy REAL BAD but I just didnt have the time or the right supplies.

Now that its Christmas, the memory popped into my head of making reindeer out of our traced hand and foot prints cut out of construction paper back in Kindergarten or so.

The worst part of making this shirt was getting the hand and foot tracings. John did not want to hold still! I ended up tracing a tennis shoe in his size instead of his foot, so its maybe a bit bulkier than his foot would have been. I love how now whenever I pull this shirt out for future kids I can look and see how big Johns hands and feet were at 8 months.

Another thing I like about this project is the fact that I already had the shirt on hand - it was a Walmart buy, intended for his Peter Pan costume that never really got made. He did wear it on Halloween to keep warm, but other than that it hasnt gotten a whole lot of use. Its almost too small now, but thats okay since Christmas Eve is in a WEEK!

I plan to have both kids wear their Christmas shirts on Christmas Eve, and hopefully I'll get a nicer Christmas outfit made for each of them for Christmas Day. I'm thinking this could be a fun holiday tradition, a new Christmas shirt every year. By the time the last kid makes it through (s)he may have enough Christmas shirts to wear one every day until the 25th!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Homemade Christmas Part III - Mei Tai Baby Carrier

I used this site as a general guide how to make this Mei Tai Baby carrier. My cousin Tiffany made me one and I used it ALL THE TIME with John when he was a newborn. Grocery shopping, story time, around the house when he didnt want to be put down. The Mei Tai is so much more lightweight than a Snugli or whatever they call them (we have an EvenFlo brand that has thick padding and lots of snaps and belts that get twisted). Of course the Mei Tai may not be the best for long-term or long-distance carrying - I had John in it once when we walked to Yokes and back which is about a mile and it ended up being very uncomfortable at the end. On the website I gave at the beginning it talks about the benefits of wider straps, and different sizes for the body part...these straps are about 3 inches wide and the body carrier is 16 in by 18 in approx.
I might try to get better pictures up later, because it really is much cuter than in this shot. The fabric is green with white stripes, which is vintage I guess...Mom says its from her "California Days". She lived in San Diego area from 7 to 14 years old, so that would date this fabric between 1968 and 1975. I never would have guessed its that old because its something you could easily find at the fabric store now. Luckily there's a good 2 1/2 or more yards left, because I'm itching to make a cute matching dress and shorts outfits for Maddy and John!

Homemade Christmas Part II - Capes

A few weeks back we had my niece and nephew come over during the day while they were staying with Kyle's parents. I noticed how much they really liked the PBS kids show Super Why - Teancum sang the entire theme song by himself, well before the show even started. Good thing we have Teancum and Marina's family for the gift exchange because I got the genius idea to make them their own CAPES so they can be Super Readers too!

Originally I had bought a yard of flannel for each kid plus Maddy with the intention of making the traditional Christmas Eve pajama pants. But then I decided that would entail a lot more work than I have time or energy to do...finding out the right size, cutting out all the pattern pieces, worrying about the elastic waistband being too big or too small. As I was searching through craft blogs I came across a few capes people had made and were then selling. FOR OVER $20! Yeah, they were neat looking and all, but I could make it for so much cheaper!

So, I did it. In the last 2 days I pumped out 3 capes, with my own design. I didnt really use a pattern even. Just eyeballed it, which is probably why Marina's isnt as good as I'd like - that and the fabric I used was too stretchy!

This is for Teancum. The flannel is green with police cars and fire trucks in orange, blue, yellow and white. I used navy blue brushed-something from my mom (leftover from a costume years ago.) This was the second one I made, and I like this shape better than the first. Oh, the neck tie is out of the flannel and has velcro sewed on.
This is Marina's. I wish I had time and energy and supplies to make a better one for her. The light pink is a terrycloth thing, also from my mom's huge supply, and it was way stretchier than I anticipated. Even though I pinned things on very carefully it still shifted so the letter is not centered and things are just a wee bit off. I keep reminding myself a 3 year old isnt going to care, but still. Oh, and the flannel is light pink piggies with a light green background. Super cute.
This one is probably my favorite, despite its flaws. It was the first I made, and I did more of a triangular shape rather than the teardrops I did for the others. I prefer the teardrop; I'm hoping to tuck the corners in to make them rounded like you see the corner on the right, but a little smoother. Also its narrower at the top; I think I like it wider. But I love the strawberry flannel and the hot pink cotton...cotton is MUCH easier to sew than those other stretchy fabrics!
And here's Maddy with another one of her Christmas presents. This is the 3rd doll I've tried making, and the first two were pretty sad looking - its hard to get the arms and legs sewed on just right! This one turned out much better, but she took off with it before I could sew her head shut, if you look close you can see the batting sticking out a bit at the top. She's been carrying it around everywhere, which is nice that she actually likes something I've made her. Now I have to figure out how to make it disappear and wrapper without her realizing its gone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Tree shirt

I didn't copy this exactly, but I did get the general idea from Small Fry and Co. She did a Christmas tree with ric-rac on a white onesie for her new little baby. I thought this was just a tad too girly to do on a onesie for John, but it would look great on Maddy right?! They dont make onesies in monster sizes for Madeline of course, but I figured a T-shirt would work fine. Of course Joanns didnt have any small enough, and I wanted to use my 50% coupon, so I settled for a Youth Small and decided to cut it down and make it a little more feminine looking.

I took in the sides a couple inches, but I also cut off the sleeves, gathered the top of the sleeve, sewed it back on, and then gathered the hem of the sleeve and put some elastic in it. I really like how it changed it from some old T-Shirt to a slightly nicer T-Shirt, and was pretty easy to do. (PS I didnt have any red-red thread which is why I used white there...slightly tacky perhaps, but Maddy didnt complain!)

Small Fry and Co hand sewed her ric-rac on, and said it came out crooked because of that. I tried machine sewing and it still ended up a little crooked. Also, I should have finished the ends of the ric-rac with No-Fray or something, but I thought maybe a bit of fraying would look like a cool tree. It doesn't.
I used sequins instead of buttons, one because the colorful buttons were three times as much as a pack of mult-size sequins. And then I would also have to buy a star button, which would have been another $2 or so. (They didnt come singularly, in a pack of like 4 I think - I already had the gold star in my stash of supplies, but I had to hot glue it on.) The other reason for the sequins is that I thought Maddy would like the shininess more. She did. She loved to rub her hands up and down it all day long, and as a result almost all the sequins fell off.

I intended for the sleeves to be higher up, at the top of the arm like a normal shirt. I just didnt take off enough at the top when I took in the sides. But now I think I'm starting to like it lower like it is. And the more I look at it the more I LOVE the poofed sleeves!

Maddy really did like her shirt, after the initial fight to get her to try it on.
While making this shirt, I didnt have any (willing) model and didnt even have a shirt that actually fit her since I had just finished washing and putting away all the laundry when I put her down for her nap. It ended up being a little too narrow through the trunk, but seeing as she has less than 2 weeks left to wear it, I think it'll be fine. I am a TERRIBLE hand sewer, so thats probably why the sequins came off so easily; they weren't very secure so I'm glad I didnt make one for John or he would have eaten them!
And, contrary to what it looks like in the pictures, the shirt IS a Christmas red, not a red orange. My sister turned the flash on my camera on and I cant figure out how to turn it off so they all turn out a little odd.
This next week I plan to make a Christmas shirt for John, if it turns out I'll make sure to post it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Homemade Christmas Part I - Advent Calendar

I've decided this year to try to have a Homemade Christmas as much as possible. Besides the hope that it'll be cheaper than store-bought gifts, there's also the fact that Kyle works all day almost EVERY day, even Saturdays, so when am I supposed to get out to shop? Even when he has the work car and I have the van, which is only Friday and Saturday, I would still have the kids. I would either have to take them with me (disaster waiting to happen!) or dump them off with one of my kindly relatives, who I already take advantage of way too much.
Luckily, my kids are too young to care if the things are homemade and the people we have for both family gift exchanges seem pretty easy going about those things.

I've actually seen this craft on multiple blogs, and most if not all link back to another blog, so I'm not sure exactly who to give the credit to for this. This is a mini-muffin tin turned into an Advent calendar...genius!! Especially for me, since I got a mini muffin tin for our wedding and hardly ever use it because I HATE washing it! There's just enough room for a few candies behind the numbers, right where the muffins would be.
All the other calendars I've seen actually have the muffin tin sitting vertically, but I put mine horizontally because of how the decorative numbers turned out; I wasn't thinking and did only 4 designs, so all the polka dots would have been in one verticle line, all the green on red in another, the red on green in another, and the trees on another. I like matchey-matchey, but even that was too much matching for me. Horizontally works much better.
All the other ones I've seen use scrapbook paper and either print the numbers off or use a CriCut machine and then Mod Podge over it all and put mini magnets on the back. I do NOT like cutting out paper. (I think I failed that part of Kindergarten, because I seriously cannot cut in a straight line.) So, instead, I used some digital scrapbooking downloads I had and on one 4x6 picture that I printed out at WalMart I was able to fit 6 2x2 squares, so I printed out 4 pictures totaling somewhere around $0.76. Much cheaper and FASTER than if I'd done it the way everyone else does!
I did have to cut out each square, which wasnt great. Some are a bit smaller than others, but you cant tell that in the picture right? After I cut them out, I used Contact Paper to make them more durable. I searched for mini magnets but couldnt find anything small enough. So I bought a sheet of self-adhesive magnet and cut it into tiny pieces and stuck one in each corner of each square. By far the most time consuming part of the project!
I also lucked out and found a cheap easel at WalMart yesterday...$.86, I believe, compared to the cheapest one at JoAnns is over $5.00. Since I'll probably only be using it at Christmas I figured that would work just fine!
I printed off another set of numbers, in case I messed up the first ones. I think I'm going to make up another Advent calendar for Kyle's sister Brooke and her family, since thats who we have for the family gift exchange. They wont be able to use it this year, but they'll have it all ready for next year.
Tomorrow, check back to see what I've done to make this little lovely even lovelier:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cranberry Swirl Loaf

I've never baked with cranberries before, so I was surprised by how many seeds were in those suckers! They all sunk to the bottom, thank goodness.

I hate cranberries.

I really do. Anything with the word "berry" in it should be sweet in my book. Cranberries are not sweet. Ask Madeline; she kept insisting on having one to eat, but as soon as she chewed it a bit she realized how disgusting they really are. (Ironically, she kept coming back every few minutes wanting to try one again, with the same result every time.)
That being said, I L-O-V-E this Cranberry Swirl Loaf. I came across the recipe in the Taste of Home magazine two years ago, so when we were still newlyweds. Kyle kept dropping his not-so-subtle hints that he'd like me to make it. I'm a baker, so I finally relented and gave it a try.
It was a disaster. And I'm not being hard on myself, plain and simple it was horrible. You could tell we were still newlyweds by how much Kyle actually managed to eat over the two weeks it sat in the fridge...he was afraid of hurting my feelings I think.
Anyways, we stumbled across the recipe again recently, and as a surprise I made it for him tonight. He said it was wonderful to walk in to such an aromatic house. The bread had just come out of the oven when he got home at a quarter to 9, so the timing was perfect.
There was just one little problem that I didn't discover until it was too late.
You're supposed to let the bread rise AFTER you put it in a loaf, as well as before. I only let it rise before. Come to think of it, I think I made the same mistake last time too. (Although I made a lot of other ones last time too.)
I should know that. I've only made two loaves of bread every week for the last two months!!!! Oh well, I tried a slice and this time it was SO GOOD, especially warm from the oven. It doesn't look as pretty as the Taste of Home picture, probably because I didn't roll it as thin or zig-zag it as much into the pan...I had two screaming kids at the time, I had to cut a few corners.
Anyways, give it a try! The crumbly topping alone is worth your effort, but the entire combination is quite delicious. We'll see if the loaf survives the night!
UPDATE! So I realized the link to the recipe doesnt work. Sorry! Heres the recipe:
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter, divided
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat the water, milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
For filling, in a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, brown sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, walnuts and lemon juice. Cool.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 20-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spread filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place in a zigzag pattern in a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.
For topping, in a small bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in 1 tablespoon butter until crumbly. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle with topping. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Carefully remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).
I highly recommend going to and search "cranberry swirl loaf" to see a prettier picture of it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Recycled Sweater Hats and Etsy shop

My brother BJ and Maddy
Wearing her looks much better in person!

And it definitely looks better when its NOT being displayed on the bottom of an empty juice pitcher! But Maddy is a tempermental model, so i did the best I could.

I know what you're thinking, haven't I had enough of that hideous black and silver sweater yet?! Well, no...there was still some left. Waste not want not and all. So I decided to give hatmaking another try, since the first one was a little rough.

I had already had the idea of making hats from sweaters before this tutorial from Disney at Ruffles and Stuff started making its rounds through the craft blogs. I do my hats a little different, so I'm not copying her exactly, but I just thought if you wanted to know how to make a hat like this you could give her tutorial a try.

I finished the black hat on Thanksgiving morning. Even the ribbon on it is recycled (more ribbon from the wrappings of our wedding presents). It is a little bit loose on Maddy, not too bad unless you pull it all the way down over her ears. I debated sewing some elastic in the band, but I decided it fit Maddy fine without it.

Kyle kept going on about how great it turned out and suggested that I try selling it online. I cant bear to part with this black one, mainly because this is the first hat that Maddy actually likes wearing. But I got to thinking about it, and decided to go with my mom and open an Etsy shop. She's been wanting to sell her hooded baby towels for ages but was overwhelmed by the tech-y part of Etsy, so I signed up and set up a Paypal and all that jazz. We've had her towels listed for a few days now, no one has bought them yet, but we'll see. They really are adorable.

So I went to Value Village on Black Friday (probably the only store that does NOT have any special sales on Black Friday) and found a whole bunch of sweaters. I think I got 8 for just over 20 dollars. I also went through my closet and dug out some cardigans that I kept hoping I could squeeze into again, but who am I kidding, it aint gonna happen!

Anyways, this fuschia hat below is the first one I'm going to list on Etsy. I just finished it this afternoon. I need to write up a description, but the kids arent letting me get to that right now.

I'm considering sewing a big black button in the middle of the bow
I think having the face really adds a little something extra...good thing the marker rubs off easily!
I took 20-30 shots of Maddy wearing this hat, and these are the only two decent ones. As you can see I need a better model, a better camera, and a good photography lesson.

There was a small problem that I didn't anticipate; Maddy suddenly decided she likes wearing hats, and this one in particular is now her favorite. She threw a real fit when I took it off and wouldnt give it back.
I guess if no one on Etsy likes my creations, at least I know my daughter will always look chic.
Here's the address for our shop:
Check it out, even if you dont buy'll add to the number of views we get!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beam me up, Scottie!

I made this sweater dress for Madeline back on Tuesday. I had bought the sweater on Monday for $1.75 at Goodwill with the intention of using it for another craft, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it wasn't going to work. On Monday night I made those Toddler Legs out of the sweater I had used for the Owl Hat. And I had this really shiny sweater now with no purpose, and I figured what little girl wouldnt LOVE to shimmer like that?

My first thought was to just make Toddler Legs out of the sleeves, and stash the rest away for a rainy day. But I just couldnt stop with just the Toddler Legs! I had to make a matching hat (which didn't turn out quite how I wanted, so I may go back and fix it up a bit) and then since there was so much sweater left I thought I could turn it into a matching sweater dress for Maddy. But because I'd already salvaged so much for the other projects, I had to do the dress in a very roundabout way. It turned out alright...I really am wishing I had a serger though! The one thing I liked about doing a sweater dress is that because its so stretchy, I didn't have to do anything like zippers or buttons or snaps to fasten it. Its one solid piece!

So, you may be wondering about the title...I finished the whole project Tuesday night, which also happens to be the day that the new Star Trek movie came out on DVD. Kyle and I never got out to see it in the theaters, so he put it at the top of our Netflix queue forever ago...and we got it on Tuesday! We were so excited to watch it...I grew up watching Next Generation with my dad after dinner, mmmm William Riker....anyways, while maybe not full-out-costume-wearing Trekkies, Kyle and I both LOVED the new Star Trek! They did such a good job! But I was finishing up the dress and forced Maddy into as we were reminiscing about the old Star Treks and I realized that in the sweater dress Maddy looked like she could be aboard the Starship Enterprise. Maybe its the shiny late-80s-early-90s-ness of the sweater, or the way that the sleeves and back are (see picture below - Maddy wasnt a cooperative model AGAIN so thats the best I can show you).
(above) This is the top part, see what I mean about the sleeves and stand-up collar looking Trek-y?
So, I was worried about the skirt part of the sweater dress being too narrow and tight on Maddy's thighs, so I decided to throw in this pink sparkly fabric (leftover from aprons made for some of my nieces) to add color and width. It was supposd to be in the front of the dress but thanks to two screaming kids who woke up early from their naps I got mixed up and it ended up being in the back. I thought I might like it that way anyways, but I really don't. But I'm not sure I want to unstitch it and turn it around either, thats a lot more work and Maddy doesnt really care either way!

The best shot I could get of the Toddler Legs and Sweater Dress. I had the pink leggings already, and they matched so nicely! I'm not sure how I did the flower on the dress, but I dont think I like it. The edges are unfinished anyways so if I were to leave it on and wash it, it would unravel. So it'll be coming off and I'll do something else. Maybe a bow, but probably another - better - flower.

She was distracted drinking her milk cup and watching Super Why.

She does really like to look in and play with this mirror...its over the door that goes into the storage room, in my craft area, so shes not usually allowed near it. This is the best shot I got of her hat. It was a fight to get the hat on her, but after it was on she enjoyed it for a few minutes. I had to throw a flower on there because one side ended up flatter than the other...dont ask me how! I was worried about making the hat too big, so instead it ended up being too small almost. Oh well, live and learn and keep crafting anyways, right?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Toddler Legs

I've been busy the last two days, but since I'm feeling sick today and my mom was so nice and took the kids to let me rest, I might as well take the time to put these projects on this blog.

The first one I did I like to call Toddler Legs. You may have heard of Baby Legs. Before I had Maddy, I was told by multiple people that I HAD to get some because they were so much better than tights and everything...but I never got any.

Now my baby is a Toddler, and she has larger-than-normal thighs and cankles. (Totally from her father, in case you were wondering. No, really, its a plague that a large number of the Anglesey family seems to have inherited.) She also has WIDE feet (again, from her daddy) so she doesn't like to wear shoes or socks or actually pants most of the time either. Lately she's been fighting me if I put anything but stretchy leggings or dresses on her.

On Sunday I saw that my mom had pulled out her old Leg Warmers, vintage of course. She said she's seen in the Sunday ads how "in" they are so she dug through her stuff until she found the ones she'd had on her mission in France. They still look pretty good I must say. I'm not a big fan of the leg warmer look, but it got me thinking...I had the rest of the mustard-yellow sweater I made John's owl hat out of. The sleeves were intact, that would be just right...

Here's the general how-to of how I made Maddy's Toddler Legs:

Cut the sleeves to the desired length (I left a lot of extra for seam allowance, since I don't have a serger and this stuff unravels really easy). Then I trimmed off the side portion there so it was more of a rectangular shape.
I turned right sides together and stitched it up.

For the top ribbing, I cut out the collar from the sweater. I'll show you why in the next pic. (PS I should have left more fabric underneath for seam allowance. Just FYI.)

This is the collar part; as you can see it is hollow inside. A ready made elastic casing! One step saved, how many more to go?!
With right side together, I pinned and sewed the collar/elastic casing to the leg warmer. Maddy was sleeping at the time so I didn't get to measure her legs...a mistake! I underestimated the size of her thighs. I threaded some thin elastic through and when she woke up tried it on her and found at first it didn't need elastic to stay up. (She wore the Toddler Legs all day yesterday, however, and they started falling down more and becoming more like leg warmers so I'm going to go back and put elastic in anyways.)

Finished product, back view (I was considering this a practice run for a better project, which I will show you all later, so thats why I didn't bother to make the stripes match up very nicely. Next time I'll try harder.)
Finished product, front view. The cuff of the sleeve is now the bottom of the Toddler Leg.

Blurry beyond belief, but gives you the idea of how my daughter felt about wearing them the first night. She LOVED them the next day, but it was a little discouraging to finally finish only to have her scream and cry when I tried to put them on.

John was a much more willing model. Poor kid, just wait til you see what else I put on him to take pictures (if you look at my other blog you'll get a glimpse). From now on I think I'll just make clothes for him.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Owl Hat

I don't know how I had time to do this craft. I didn't have time, really, I just neglected a number of other things. Which I do everyday pretty much.

Anyways, a big THANK YOU to Megan for finding this tutorial after I spent forever searching for it and not locating it. It was pretty easy to do, I just didn't have EXACTLY everything I needed so I compromised some things so mine doesn't look as good.

Here's the tutorial from Ruffles and Stuff. And here's my version.
I used this sweater, bought at Value Village for $1.50. Its not as cool as the sweater vest originally used, and the fabric was a real pain to use (stretched really easy while sewing! And edges could easily unravel) but it was cheap and easily accessible.
So as per the tutorial I cut out two pieces using a beanie as a pattern. That left a hole in the sweater, which Maddy tried to put her beanie in it to fill the hole (the purple thing behind her). And then she brought a whole bunch of foam letters and toys and carefully placed them all over the sweater...she had a very specific idea of where everything went, but it didnt make any sense to me.

And here is the finished product:

(John was already screaming when I put it on him, its not that he doesn't like that hat. I hope.)
A few things to point out about this project:
-Because it would unravel easily, I used a zigzag stitch since I don't have a serger. I should have made the hat bigger (figured in a bigger seam allowance) because it is almost too small for Maddy (who I intended to make it for) and just a bit big on John.
-The tutorial said to hand sew the eyes and nose on. I say HECK NO. Thats why God invented the sewing machine! It worked pretty good, especially considering how horrible of a hand-stitcher I am.
-I didn't use felt for the ears as instructed because I didn't have a color of felt that would look good. I cut pieces from the sweater and used those, which was okay, but I would have like felt better I think.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I am so mad.
Somewhere in the last month or so I stumbled across a tutorial for turning an old thrift store sweater into the coolest owl stocking hat and scarf. It really was adorable, and I'm not all that into the Owl stuff that is so in. But I never get out, never go to thrift stores anymore (which makes me very sad...I love finding a good steal!) so I didn't think to bookmark it because I figured I never would be able to do it.
We went to Value Village yesterday. It was 50% off all clothing.
I now know what Heaven feels like.
Of course I think I have a small glimpse of what Hell feels like too because it was so CHAOTIC. Apparently EVERYONE likes a good Value Village sale.
We were looking for some shirts for Kyle and onesies for John and a few other random things. We found what we wanted and more, and all for great prices. (I know some would look down their noses at wearing thrift store clothes but here's what I think: John is just gonna puke and poop and pee all over, so no way am I paying full price. And thrift store clothes are newer and in better shape than all the clothes that Kyle owns (he still has a number of shirts from before his mission. And he's almost 34. Sad, I know.) Kyle and I also don't agree entirely on his style of clothing so at Value Village we can each choose something out that we like for him to wear, and we'll still be spending less than if we went to Walmart even for one shirt. And sometimes you can find really nice brand name clothes for really cheap!
But back to why I'm mad. We found all the stuff we wanted and were going to check out when we pass a rack of assorted sweaters. I found a pretty one that I like and will probably wear (Kyle told me AFTER we bought it that he thinks its ugly...what does he know?!) for $2.50 (after the 50% off).
And then...
I found THE PERFECT sweater for the owl hat/scarf project. It cost $1.50! You can't buy a good hat and scarf for that price!
But here's my problem...I CANT REMEMBER WHERE I SAW THE TUTORIAL!!!! I have wasted way too much time surfing all the craft blogs, and now I'm gonna pay for it. I've already spent a good 45 minutes looking through the usual blogs I look at; I have a bad habit of clicking the blog links to a different craft blog and looking around, then click another link there, and another and before you know it I have no idea where I am and how I got there.
So, I guess this is my plea....if there is ANYONE out there who reads this and has seen or knows about the owl hat craft that I'm talking about, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saturday Night sewing

Of the oh maybe two or three people out there who read this, do any of you remember the joy that is the American Girls Doll collection? I read ALL the books back in the day, and signed up for the catalog (which I get randomly every once in a while, sent to Cassie Elliott of course and to my parents address) and I would spend FOREVER drooling over all the cool stuff, but most particularly over her:

Meet Kirsten. MY American Girl. I don't know why she became my favorite, I mean she's blonde. I usually detested anything blonde, since I am brunette and my seemingly perfect younger sister is blonde. Oh well, for whatever reason Kirsten captured my attention and it has been love ever since.

I was always going to save up to buy a Kirsten doll. But anyone that knows me knows that I am NOT a patient person. I was worse as a child. And $100 (plus tax and shipping & handling!) is a LOT of money for a little girl who doesnt get an allowance. I did have a paper route with my dad for awhile, but that money seemed to disappear real fast.

I never did get my Kirsten. I compromised at one point and ordered a Megan doll from the JC Penneys catalog, one of the Magic Attic Club girls or something like that. American Girl wannabes! I saved a whopping $25 by getting that imposter, but to be fair I did really like Megan. She's a brunette. I still have her, and she's nice, but just no Kirsten.

Now, my littlest sister Hannah has fallen in love with the American Girl Dolls (via one of those random catalogs addressed to me that showed up at their house some time back). Hannah's much smarter than me. She made a deal with Mom & Dad that if she came up with half the amount for a Julie doll (she's a Flower Child one, she wasn't around back in my day) she would get the doll as a birthday present. The kids now get an allowance (I've already expounded to my parents how unfair that is, to no avail) and my mom had a paper route during the summer that the three youngest kids took turns helping with and got some money from.

And Hannah stuck to it! She saved half the amount, and so yesterday was her birthday so she got her Julie doll! She was SO EXCITED...Mom had told her earlier in the week that she needed to have a clean room so that she had somewhere nice to put the doll. That bedroom was spotless within 2 days, and has STAYED spotless. (It was a disaster beforehand.)

So, I decided as a birthday present for her I would try my hand at sewing some doll clothes. I discovered I like sewing doll clothes...I don't have to chase the doll around and force her into the outfit to see how its fitting. Megan doesn't move, what a nice change from Maddy!!! I didnt get to this project until Saturday night, and spent a good 3 hours doing it so that it would be done for Hannah's birthday yesterday. I did run into a few problems, but I'll explain later along with the pics because this post is getting long enough as it is!

First, I was going to make a tutu. I didn't use elastic, like the tutu I made for Maddy, because my doll has a hard plastic body and American Girl dolls have cloth bodies, so I didn't feel like risking it. The gold tulle is from my wedding (kinda...the first wedding planned my colors were gold and a deep red, so my mom bought 10 yards of gold tulle; about two weeks later we called the wedding off. In the end we got married in May, and the colors looked too wintery to me so we used a light pink instead of gold. So now there's 10 yards+ of gold tulle to get used.) The ribbon around the top was more ribbon that was used to wrap some of our wedding presents.

It looks really cute on the dolls, but I was too lazy to put it on, plus I haven't made a leotard yet.

This is Megan, wearing the dress I made FROM SCRATCH WITHOUT A PATTERN. Well, let me rephrase that...without a bought, tried-and-true pattern. Megan came with a pretty long sleeved dress and I used that to make a pattern for this one. The problems came when I realized that the fabric I used was not stretchy like the dress I patterned it after; and when I sewed it in the order you would sew a full size dress: I sewed up the sides of the dress before I sewed on the sleeves. OOPS!!! It was REALLY hard to sew those sleeves on then because they were so tiny!

Back view, the green ribbon is from our wedding as well...I'm so glad I'm finally getting to use some of it!!

Despite the issues, I was so thrilled with how this dress turned out. I have pictures that I'll post in another blog of some of my teenage attempts at sewing doll is really humorous, even I can laugh at myself for it now!