Monday, December 13, 2010

Top 10 - I mean 5!

You're probably getting sick of hearing me say this, but head on over to Fireflies and Jellybeans to vote for you favorite project!

My Butterfly Mobile made the top 5 (usually they choose 10, but they went with 5 this time)...but I really think you should head on over there just to look at the other projects.  Seriously, they are SO creative!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reindeer Bib

A spin on the old Monkey is always in need of bibs, so why not a festive one?
The front is vintage cordouroy, the back is a white T-shirt, and the reindeer is made from various scraps I had laying around.

I even handstitched his name and the year on the back, so I can remember which kid this was actually for!
(Showing this totally goes against the whole "code name" thing...hmmm.  Too late now.)

I think he likes it.  At least, he's always trying to eat it!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sweatshirt jacket to Vest

I just realized, I dont think I've ever put any pictures of my Monkey up on my craft blog.  So, at almost 4 months old, he's making his blogging debut...
 What a charmer!  This is such a happy-go-lucky kid, which is a real blessing considering how busy my other two are!

Do you see the vest my Monkey is wearing here?  I just bought that for him, its size 9 months but apparently runs small.  He'll only fit it a few more weeks.

Which is sad, because I think he looks downright studly in a vest!
I also realized that this jacket of his just wasnt fitting right.  It was tight through the shoulders and arms, but the tummy and length were just fine.  And since its really winter now he wears a heavy coat instead of jackets.


I cut it up and made a vest!

It was really quick and easy, kind of project!

Since this was a hooded jacket, and I wanted a collar, I cut the hood off about 2 inches up from the neckline. 
 Then I folded the top edge (where I just cut) in about 1/2 inch.  Since the hood had been lined, this is what it looked like:
I pinned it in place, then stitched!

And thats it!
 I do think I would like it better if I took it in around the armholes, particularly on the shoulder.  But that's easy enough to do; I'll just fold it under one more time and stitch again (although it'll be thick so I'll have to go slow.)

 Monkey just discovered his tongue, if you couldn't tell.  :)

Now, I guess since its December 1st, I've got to get serious about making Christmas presents.  Anyone else out there feeling WAY behind already?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why I'm a terrible blogger lately...

I've got a few projects I keep planning to post about, but a couple things keep getting in the way like...

1. SNOW.
 Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've been getting hit with some pretty strong winter storms.  In Eastern Washington, where I live, it seems especially bad because we NEVER get this much snow (technically its a desert here - thanks to that lovely Rainshadow Effect) and never in November!  When this pic was taken yesterday, we had about 4 inches.  It continued snowing most of the day yesterday - I think I heard we ended up with about a foot.  I dont dare look at the weather forecast anymore...since my husband's a Driving Instructor, I'd just rather not know.  Driving with 15 year olds is bad enough...driving with 15 year olds who have never driven on snow before is even worse!

Anyways, so we've been spending a lot of time in the snow, which I'm not a huge fan of because its cold and wet and a huge mess to clean up afterwards...but we get a little Cabin Fever going on if we stay inside all day long.  And I need all the sanity I can get!

(And, in case you're wondering, that is my Monster in the pic above, who does happen to be a boy.  I just put off pulling out our winter gear this year, and when I did I realized he's too big for the coat he wore last year, and too small for the next hand-me-down I have for him.  So he's wearing purple...and a flower hat because its the only one he'll leave on his head.  Seriously...I made him one pretty much the same style just more boyish, but he always rips it right off.  Which is why its now in my Etsy shop.)
(Caught this snowflake on the t-shirt I used to cover my camera...I dont think I've ever actually seen a "traditional" snowflake like this!!! )


I've been sewing like a lunatic, trying to stock up my etsy shop because I have a spot reserved in the Somewhat Simple Studio Boutique!  So, on Friday morning make sure to check out Somewhat Simple to see all the fun shops and the discounts they're offering!

My shop, Loved Anew Creations, is under "Baby/Kids" and you'll find a code there to use to get 15% off your order!

PLUS...if you mention in the "message to seller" at checkout that you read my blog (you don't have to be a follower, although thats always nice...I'll just take your word for it!) you'll get a FREE GIFT too!

I'll post more on this Friday morning, I hope, because I've got to get my rear in gear and get back to work!

OH!  One more thing I forgot...
I joined a Holiday Craft Swap over at the Tshirt Diaries...because I love getting packages in the mail, and I love making things for others!  If you want to join too, click the button have until Dec 4th to join!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Batman Slippers

My hubby L-O-V-E-S comic books, superheroes and all that jazz.  He's passed that love onto our kids it seems; my Munchkin can name just about any superhero by sight but, until we bought the Beauty and the Beast DVD this last week, she really didnt care much about princesses.

Go figure that my only girl just wants to be one of the boys!

Anyways, its getting colder so I thought my little Monkey could use another pair of slippers...since he's only 3 1/2 months old he can wear them anywhere, not just in the house which is great!

I used my tutorial for Wool Sweater Slippers found here.  The sweater I used for these had rabbit hair, so its little fuzzier than I like, but they are so soft!!!!  The Batman Logo is made from recycled t-shirts...scraps leftover from the Batman bibs I've been making.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Iron Crafter Top 10!!

I remember back in college I was astounded by the fact that there was an entire TV station dedicated to FOOD.  No, I didnt live in a cave before then...we just didnt have cable.  And considering how much time my roommate and I spent watching the Food network, I'm glad we didnt have cable - I would have been a hermit!

Anyways, one of our favorite shows was Iron Chef America.  One of the Iron Chefs would face off against a challenging chef and they would have one hour to use a secret ingredient to make all these courses.

The excitement of not knowing what they have to use, and the challenge of using it to create within a short time frame is what hooked me.

Which is EXACTLY why I'm so hooked on Fireflies and Jellybeans' monthly Iron Crafter competition!  I entered my Toddler friendly "Board" game using Paint chips back in August and made the top 10. 

This month's secret ingredient was sweaters, which happens to be my current obsession!  I entered my Wool Sweater slippers and guess what...I MADE THE TOP 10!!

Now its up to everyone out there who wins this contest...go and vote for your favorite (it doesnt have to be mine although I would LOVE as many votes as possible!  But there are plenty of other cute ideas to choose from).  Just click on the link above, and then click on the star underneath the project you want to vote can vote once, and voting closes on Friday.

Go check it out!

Halloween costumes

ALL THREE kids are down for naps...HALLELUJAH!  This NEVER happens, not all at the same time, so I fully intended to use my time taking a nap myself!

But first, I wanted to throw up a quick blog about our Halloween costumes.

Since we are a family of 5 we went as THE INCREDIBLES!

I dont have the best was a crazy afternoon/evening with a crazy amount of last minute costume making.  Theres a lot of things I would do differently if I had more time...the biggest one being put a REAL waistband on my costumes, not just the hem of a black shirt!  I had to safety pin my pants to my shirt and pray really hard that everything would stay in place!  (Which, considering I've had three kids in the last three years, was praying for a miracle.)

Hubby and the Munchkin

Dash (SO appropriate, my Monster was EVERYWHERE and that was before he got any candy!), ElastaGirl, Violet, and Mr Incredible, who is giving Jack Jack his binky.  Thats the closest we got to my Monkey being in a picture; he was so good he slept almost the whole time!

For Jack Jacks costume, I took one of my Munchkins old Pink sleepers and dyed it red.  Since it had bunnies on the front, I took a piece of white T Shirt and painted the "I" emblem on it and glued it to the sleeper.

For Dash, I bought a red long sleeve shirt and red (girls) leggings from Walmart, like $3 each.  If I'd had more time/energy/less kids to haul around I could have found these cheaper at thrift stores perhaps, or found what I REALLY wanted: red thermal underwear!  But these worked fine.  I painted the emblem on the shirt with fabric paint, borrowed a pair of black socks to put over his tennis shoes (he kept slipping on non-carpeted floors, it was really funny!) and made some black "underwear" out of a maternity t shirt.  (I LOVE cutting up my old maternity t shirts!)  Oh, and I took a strip of black fabric and stitched it around the neck.

(She INSISTED on posing like this.  I think we may have trouble with this one as a teenager!)
For Violet, I did almost the same as Dash, except instead of leggings I had to buy tights because they were out of red leggings in her size.  Shes also wearing the yellow sash, which my Monster WAS wearing but managed to pull off at some point.  For the black underwear I actually had an old pair of leggings from my youngest sister that I cut the legs off.  I had planned to use the legs for the high "boots" that Violet wears, but SOMEBODY wanted her pink polka dot rain boots.  Oh well.

For ElastaGirl and Mr Incredible, I made the pants out of two ginormous red tshirts that were on clearance at Walmart.  My black "underwear" were from the old maternity shirt, Hubby's were a pair of black leggings that I never wear.  The legs of those leggings made my "boots" (I turned them around and used the cuff as the top so I didnt  have to add elastic.  I just had to bring it in lower on my leg, which was easy enough.)  The "boots" for hubby were the sleeves of the maternity shirt.

My shirt was a white one I've had for years and had plenty of stains.  I bought Hubby a white shirt at Walmart because I was running out of time and energy.  I dyed both mine and Hubby's, then of course painted the emblem on.  Am I forgetting anything?  Oh the yellow belt thing is knit ribbing I found at Goodwill awhile back.  I made an actual waistband for Hubby's costume using the elastic from an old pair of maternity pants, but like I said I ran out of time to do mine!

I hate looking at these pics, because of how unflattering this costume was on me!  Not that I'm gonna be too hard on myself...its kinda expected to still have a tummy less than 3 months after giving birth - especially when its your 3rd kid!

And you know, being ElastaGirl, some parts are more stretched out than others! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recycled Wool Sweater slippers - tutorial!

 Like I mentioned in my previous post, at my first craft fair on Friday I got TONS of compliments on these recycled sweater booties - but the most common comment was "I love these but I dont have anyone small enough to wear them!"

So, I figured I should try expanding my size range.  Plus, I've got two toddlers that refuse to wear shoes or socks in the house, even when its FREEZING, so maybe if I make them special slippers they'll be a little more cooperative.
This tutorial is from making these purple slippers for my Munchkin.  She absolutely LOVES them. 

Want to make some of your own?!  Then grab an old sweater (it doesnt have to be wool, but wool will give a much better shape and you wont have to worry about it stretching on you as you sew) and lets go!

FIRST.  If you are using a wool sweater, try FELTING it!  I just started felting sweaters in the last few weeks and it is SO COOL.  All I do is cut the sweater apart at the seams and cut off any buttons and pockets, throw it in my wash machine, turn the water to hot and the most agitation possible, add a little detergent and let 'er wash.  It should shrink it right up, making it thicker and also softer.

Even if your sweater isn't 100% wool, you could try felting it if it has a fairly high percentage of wool.  The plum and grey striped slippers above are from a sweater that was like 93% wool.  I had to felt it 3 times I think to get the result I wanted, but it was so worth it!

The only warning I have to give is all the fuzz...there's a lot.  It gets all over your machine, all over your laundry room floor.  And I read somewhere that if you do a lot of felting in your wash machine that it might clog up the filter (or something like that) and you'll have to get it repaired.  I've done 4 sweaters (one of them 3 times) and my machine's still doing great.

Okay, sweater is to make your pattern.  This part is by far the hardest part, but dont let that scare you off!  If making your own pattern is just overwhelming, you can just use any ol' shoe pattern you want.  There's quite a few free ones online, plus a lot on Etsy to buy.

But, perhaps you're like me and you have children with...less than ideal feet.  Alright, I'll spell it kids have fat feet.  (Inherited from my hubby - they also got their cankles from him.)  I wanted to be able to make something that I KNOW will fit my Munchkin and Monster (plus I want to be able to make these slippers to sell on Etsy and at craft fairs) so I knew I needed to come up with my own pattern.

First you need to get your measurements.  I'm going to show you with pictures, and I'll label the measurements by letter.  (I apologize for lack of straight lines, or good angles...having 3 little kids around will do that.)
A - Length of sole, toe to heel

B - Width of foot (at widest part, along the "knuckles")

C - Width of ankle (easiest to get when you trace the foot or shoe, make a mark where the ankle is and the measure the width of the tracing at the point)

D - Circumference of ankle (all the way around)

F - Circumference of calf (where you want the slipper to hit)

G - Floor to top of foot (by the ankle)

H - Over the top of foot (by the ankle)

E - Height of slipper (ground to where you want the slipper to hit)

I - Length of top of foot, from ankle to toe

(I didnt draw a pattern on paper for these slippers (other than the sole), so all these pictures show the actual sweater being cut out.  I recommend making an actual pattern and possibly even cutting it out and sewing it on practice fabric before cutting up your sweater.  Yes, regular fabric will be different than sweater, but it will give you a general idea whether the pattern you made is going to work or not!)

The easiest way to get the sole pattern is to trace the foot and then add enough for a seam allowance (I used a seam allowance of 3/8").  Or you could trace one of their shoes (you probably wouldnt need to add a seam allowance).  As for me, my kids were sleeping when I made these (I actually snuck into my daughters room and measured her feet as they dangled off the edge of her bed!) and her shoes are at least a size bigger than what she needs in order to accomadate the width.  So I freehanded something like this:
I used measurements A (6.5") and B (2.25") , made a "t" and then drew the shape and then added the seam allowance.  It certainly wasnt an exact science, but it seemed to work out.

Cut a rectangle using the following measurements (try to use the hem of the sleeve or bottom of sweater for the top of the rectangle):
(The numbers in parentheses are the measurements I used for my daughter.)

In one of the bottom corners (you'll do it to both), mark a little rectangle like in this picture:
G (floor to top of foot)
C (width of ankle) divided by 2

Now make a little curve inside the rectangle, like the dotted lines in the picture.  Cut out this curve.

Do the same thing to the other corner so you end up with a piece like this:
(except, maybe do a better job at getting it EVEN!  Uggh...well it worked out in the end even if it looks ugly here.)

You'll be cutting out another rectangle to start with.  I didnt take an actual picture of the rectangle, so here's a drawn one:
The "curved corner of the Ankle piece" is what you just finished cutting out in the previous step.

As you can see in my drawn rectangle, I put another dotted're going to curve this rectangle too!  I usually fold it in half and cut the curve that way so its even on both sides.  Its not an exact science, which is why I suggested doing a test slipper out of practice fabric.

Okay, now you have three pattern pieces! 
You'll cut two of each from the sweater - making sure to get reverses of the soles so you dont end up with two right-footed slippers.  (Yes, I'm speaking from experience!!)

Take a quick on to the easy part - sewing!

Cut a piece of elastic to the length of D (circumference of ankle).  I used 1/2" elastic, but a little skinnier might have worked too.

We're going to sew the elastic onto the ankle piece, horizontally, right above the curved corners we cut out, like where this line is:

(Make sure you have the elastic on the WRONG side of the fabric. Again, speaking from experience here.)
1. Using a straight stitch, sew one end of the elastic in place.
2.  Set your machine to the longest stitch length and the biggest zigzag.
3.  Zig zag right over the elastic, making sure to gently pull the elastic so that it stretches the entire length of the fabric.
4.  This is what it should look like when you're done.

With right sides together, stitch along outside edge of ankle piece.
(I like to fold down the top of the slipper a bit, so I usually leave the top inch or so unstitched.  For these slippers, I just didnt sew the ribbing that was at the top.)

If you want to embellish the top of the foot of the slipper, like I did, now is the time to do it.
(I took strips from a pink sweater and stretched it as I sewed.  Nothing special.)

The next part is easy enough, even if I dont make it sound easy.

Your ankle piece should have wrong sides out from sewing the elastic on it.  Its kind of a tube now.  The two curved corners you cut out should  be connected to form a nice arch.

Take the top of foot piece and fold it in half, with the right side facing OUT.  This fold will be perpendicular to the straight edge (folding the curve in half).

Slide the top of foot piece INSIDE the ankle piece, curved edge first.  The right side of the ankle piece should be touching the right side of the top of foot piece.  Also, the straight edge should be lined up with the curved corners.  (You shouldnt see much of the top of foot piece at this point.)

Pin the pieces in place and stitch.  (Sometimes, the straight edge of the top of foot piece is a wee bit shorter than the curved corners of the ankle piece.  As long as its just a little shorter, its usually okay.  Just pin the two centers then gently stretch  it as you pin the rest.)

Now this is what it should look like, with the wrong side out.  The last step is to sew it to the sole!

To line up the top with the sole, you could mark the center of the toes and heels and line up the marks.

OR...fold the sole in half (along the length of the sole) with the right side facing out.  Fold the top part (ankle piece/top of foot that are now sewn together) over the sole with the right side touching the right side of the sole.  You should be able to line it up and pin it fairly easily now.

Stitch these two together....I usually start at the top of the toe and stitch around the outside of the foot down to the heel, then start at the top again and stitch around the inside of the foot down to the heel.  It seems to line up better for me that way.

Turn right side out, sew up the other slipper the same way, and ta da!
You're done!!!

You can use this pattern with any type of fabric really...I've done some cute baby booties out of cordouroy and did a lining from a t shirt!  Once you get the pattern made, its kinda hard not to make a whole ton!!!

If you try my tutorial out, let me know how it goes...I know it works for me, did it work for you?

Fine Craft Guild