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.

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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.

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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. ;)

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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

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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.

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