Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mermaid Costume for JJ

JJ wanted to be a mermaid this year and picked this pattern at the store.  The mermaid fever had long passed by this time and there were only two patterns to choose from.  By looking at the picture on the envelope , I was not thrilled.  I mean, the crown and the top make the whole costume look cheesy.  And let's not forget a mom's dismay when I pictured JJ shivering on an October night with this short sleeve dress.
I picked up this blueish green long sleeve top at Target as replacement for the top.  It was bell shaped and needed a little touch of "sea life".
I cut a piece of rectangle, hemmed the long edges and gathered the center line.  Pinned in place.  Turned the top inside out and sewed the two sides of the shirt in 2" (a few inches below armholes) to make the top fitted.

Turned the top right side out, hand stitched the "bras" in place.  Added a piece of sequence at the center.
Worked on the skirt using the pattern.  Instead of attaching the skirt to the top, I added a waist band to the skirt and had the skirt as one piece (thus, no need to sew in a zipper as the pattern instructed.  sweet!)  I did not want to make a dress just JJ's size and only have her wear it for a day.  Thinking like a frugal mom, I sewed the skirt one size bigger.  Of course, my thrifty spirit was challenged when I fitted JJ into the skirt.   JJ's petite and the skirt was dragging on the floor.  She would be tripping over her skirt before she could walk out the front door.  I folded the "fins" of the skirt under and hand stitched to shorten it.  Looked just as great with the doubled up fins.
Right before heading out, I felt something was still missing from this outfit and quickly sewed a scallop with the remanant and attached it to a hair pin.  
Happy mermaid , relieved mom.

deb signature
Follow TingTingMamMa

Friday, November 25, 2011

One Hour Candy Corn Costume

Do you have an indecisive child who could not make up her mind to dress up or not, or what to dress up as until  the 3rd week of October and decided if you love her enough, you'd do magic for her?  Well, I have one whom I love dearly but drives me up thewall with her indecisiveness and the last minute panic inspiration.
Until she made up her mind, I decided to focus my energy on JJ's mermaid dress (read how I "wrestled" with the dress in my next post).
She finally said she "would not mind" dressing up as a candy corn.  Yippe!  The hardest part is over!
was too lazy did not have time to sew the bodice, so I got a white tank for the top. The rest took very little time to complete. You ask how I did it?  Short cuts, short cuts and more short cuts.
Stitch the yellow and orange fabrics (1/2 yd. each) together and press seam open.
Fold the tank to the desired length and use the "new waist line" as guide to draw the two sides of the skirt.  Add 1/2" seam allowance, cut the sides and sew close.  With right sides facing, stitch the skirt to the tank (at your new waist line).
Cut felt pieces to make candy corn appliques.  
Now I have a sweet candy corn.

deb signature

Follow TingTingMamMa

Friday, November 18, 2011

Clowning Around

Our dear friend came over the day before Halloween to drop off these special marshmallow treats for the kids.  The kids oohed and ahhed and had a blast making faces to match their treats.
It amused me to see that each treat happened to match the kids' Ts. ;)

deb signature Follow TingTingMamMa

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mrs. Potato Head Costume

My Sketch of Mrs. P
I needed a costume and I needed one bad.  Our CG was assigned to host the welcoming table at the Family Fun Fest.  And dressing up for the event was a MUST!  I was so busy sewing the girls’ costumes that I only had one night left to come up with an easy custom.   
I searched for costume images and quickly realized that while I could not pull off being a princess, a gypsy or goldilocks, I could, however, be a very convincing Mrs. Potato Head.

Luckily, I had a hot glue gun and enough felt.  It was the easiest costume I've made so far.  Done in 1 hour. Woo-hoo!
The Ladies At The Welcoming Table

deb signature Follow TingTingMamMa

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Aha!--Trouble With Stitches

Who does not love neat stitches on projects and those eye-candy fabrics?  But once in awhile, I’d see these ugly pucks.  And I know, I have stitch troubles.
Ugly in the front. (picture on top)  
Uglier in the back! (picture below)
 I knew this was mainly a thread tension issue.  Tried adjusting thread tension up then down; nothing worked.  But, whenever I took out the bobbin and replaced it with another one, the stitches appeared to be perfect again.  
After a few incidences of having to change my bobbins, I took a serious look at them and noticed the ones that caused the pucks looked unevenly threaded.  Funny that I've ALWAYS used the auto bobbin winder on my machine, and never wind the bobbins by hand...  That's when I realized that I DID interfere with the winding by hand a few times when I was so bored watching the winder.  I thought I was doing the winder a favor by pressing the thread down a few times to get "even" distribution of the thread.  Ha, I was actually doing myself a disservice.
Bobbin on top: what I need.
Bobbin on e bottom: uneven, trouble making bobbin; a direct result of my own foolishness.

The lesson learned: I will keep my hands to myself and trust my machine to do its job.

deb signature
Follow TingTingMamMa

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tutorial--Stuffie Zombunny

Don't ask me why, but my 10-year-old has a passion for "ugly cuteness".  She's been bugging me to make a stuffie from her sketch.  Thus, this tutorial was born.
1.  Determine how big your stuffie would be.  If it's going to be bigger than a 8x11 paper, tape two pieces of paper together.  Mine were landscape (tape the long sides together) since the Zombunny will be quite chubby.

2.  Sketch your stuffie away.  (Mine is a design by my 10 year-old.)  Note that I drew the tail on the Zombunny's tummy to conserve paper.  (tee-hee).
3.  Cut out your stuffie.  (my girl wanted the ears to be separate pieces so it's now a baldie and looks just like a zombie!)

4. Pin the cut out pattern to the wrong side of fabric (leaving enough room for seam allowance).  

5. Use water soluble fabric ink pen (min is Mark.B.Gone) to mark seam allowance all around the pattern.  I eye balled mine to be 3/8"~5/8" wide.  
6. Cut along the marked seam allowance.  
7.  If your stuffie is not symmetrical, be sure to flip your pattern when tracing and marking your back piece.  
8.  Cut out the eye and tongue from the pattern.  Use the cut outs as templates to cut one eye on white felt and one tongue on red felt. (no need to add seam allowance.)
9.  Cut out the tail from the pattern.  Use this as template to cut 2 pieces on the main fabric adding 3/8" seam allowance.  
10.  Sew on the eye (I embroidered the pupil with black embroidery thread .) and tongue using blanket stitch.  Stitch on the X and lip line.  (I use the pattern as my guide for placement).
 11.  Cut four ear pieces adding 3/8" seam allowance.  With right sides together, sew two pieces together to form one ear.  Repeat with the other ear.
Forgot to take a picture of the tail...  With right sides together, sew two pieces together to form one circular tail.
 12.  Turn the tail and ear pieces right side out and stuff them with poly stuffing.  Sew the opening of the tail closed, but don't bother with the ears.  
  13.  Use the (already beaten up) pattern to draw sewing line with a water soluble ink marker. (adult censorship required:  my little one said this looks quite scary...)
 14.  With right side facing, sandwich the stuffed ear pieces in between (placement shown with red dotted line on the picture), pin and sew all the way around, leaving a 4" opening (on a straight line, not on curves) for turning.  Clip all the curves.  Turn right side out.
 15.  If your Zombunny looks asymmetrical, don't worry about it.  It's a Zombunny!  The more asymmertrical, the more zombie-like it will be.   Sew the tail on the back side.
 16.  You may take a tea break.  Now find a helper...
17.  Have your helper stuff the Zombunny with poly stuffing.  (use a chopstick to get to the arms and legs).  Sew the opening close.  
Finally, find a child who will give this Zombunny lots of love and hugs.

deb signature
Follow TingTingMamMa

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Aha!--Pattern Tracing Options

I have been looking for pattern tracing materials everywhere.  Joann carries sturdy plastic tracing sheets for $2-3+ a piece.  Quite pricy, I thought.  
I went across the street to Daiso and found these Translucent Poly File Folders (12.4” x 17.2”, 3pc.) for, yap, you guessed it, $1.50.  I figured that each folder has two sides that I could use.  For 3 folders, that’s 6 sheets.  For the price that I pay for these, it’s a steal.
 I like to reuse my bag and pouch patters, so these plastic folders are just the right size.  After tracing and cutting, I punched holes on each piece of the patterns and use brats o secure pieces from the same project together. 
 The down side of these plastic folders is that the permanent ink does not stay as well as tracing papers.  So I am risking losing markings or notes on those sheets.
 Then I found this: Plastic Drop Cloth from hardware store (10' x 20' for about $3.50). 
Be careful not to be greedy cut too long of a sheet since it's 10' wide.  Otherwise, you'll end up with a mess on your cutting table before you could even start any tracing. 
Lay the drop cloth flat on your pattern, using weights to prevent movement while tracing (as you would with tissue paper pattern tracing).  Permanent markers and rulers are great tools for pattern tracing on plastic. 
 Transfer markings and pattern number, size and details on the drop cloth.  It's surprisingly easy marking on it and the ink stays well.
Storage is a breeze.  You could fold it up as small as you desire.  (this sheet has 7 pieces of pattern on it, and it could still be folded up even more than this).  The beauty of this is when you open the sheet up, no wrinkles!

deb signature Follow TingTingMamMa


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Follow TingTingMamMa