Sunday, October 31, 2010

King of the Wild Things!

Yes, you read correctly. This is MDawg posting! I came up with an idea for a Halloween costume for my toddler that I thought would be perfect for him. I saw some costumes online to buy for way too much money. So I decided I could probably make one myself. So, that's what I did. Although each stitch was technically done by me, I had a lot of technical support from my expert mom. I still can't figure out how you girls have time to do all that you do! The only time I could sew was at night when the kids were asleep. And by the time they are asleep, I don't want to sew. I just want to go to bed! Maren, I think it's great that you are happy to make costumes for your kids every year. I told Scott next year if I get a crazy idea to make a Halloween costume to remind me that it stresses me out. I prefer to go the day after Halloween and buy cheaply made costumes for cheap. With that being said, this wild thing definitely did look quite cute (if I do say so myself)!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tutorial: Strawberry Shortcake Hat

Although I have not found a lot of time lately to blog, I have still found some time to sew. Once I catch my breath I will catch you up on some of the stuff I have been sewing lately - including the hair rollers and some burned edge satin flowers.

I love Halloween. I do not, however, love the costumes found in the costume isles or in the Halloween stores for one reason or another (quality, $$$, etc). I especially don't love the costumes for little girls. But I won't go there today. I will just say that I think I will be making Halloween costumes for the rest of my life. And I will be happy to do it.

Bella finally decided, with a little persuasion from me, to be Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween. Her costume was pretty simple to throw together. I appliqued felt diamonds and a strawberry on a plain white t-shirt, bought some tights at one of those Halloween stores, and made a tutu. I admit that I think her costume would be a lot cuter with a simple elastic waistband skirt that matches the hat, but she loves tutus and I know her tutu years are limited. She loves it and feels magical in it so that is good enough for me. When she wears her costume for real I will probably curl her hair and paint a little strawberry on her cheek and maybe give her some freckles. I know there are pink strawberry shortcake wigs out there that you can buy for little girls, but I didn't want to spend the money on one or the time tracking one down. So basically the only thing I was perplexed on was her hat and I wasn't able to find any good tutorials out there for the right kind of hat. So here you go. It isn't the fanciest tutorial, but I hope you will get the picture.

This costume is based on the latest version of Strawberry Shortcake.

First: Make the brim

I got out my daughter's baseball hat and traced the shape of the brim onto a Costco milk box. I then cut it out and wrapped it in duct tape as suggested in this Threadbanger brimmed beanie tutorial.

I then traced around the brim on some wool felt. This is the same felt that I used to applique diamonds on her t-shirt. Make sure to leave enough room around the brim for a seam allowance - at least 1/2".

I actually only cut around the bottom and left the top flat.

Sew around outside edges and flip it right side out so that it looks like this.

Stuff your taped cardboard  brim inside and trace around the inside edge of the brim.

Sew along that line sealing the brim inside. Trim about 1/2" - 3/4" leaving enough material to sew to hat.

For the rest of the hat I took a one yard cut of pink fabric and cut it 10" deep. So I had a strip of fabric 36" x 10". I then cut three 6" slits dividing the strip into fourths. My fabric was folded into fourths already so I cut along the fold marks. Here is a good tutorial that I used for the method. I just had to find a way to make it bigger and floppier.

After you have your sections notched, create a football shape for each section. I folded each section in half and sketched something like this. Cut.

This is what it should look like when you are finished. I must have gotten a little lazy on the last one because it looks more like a triangle than a football.

Next sew adjacent sides together and do a basting stitch along the bottom edge. It should start looking kind of showercapish.

Next take a piece of wide elastic and measure it around your child's head. I happened to have some underwear elastic so that is what I used. Sew it into a circle.

Pin the hat to the elastic, gathering it evenly along the basting stitch as you do so. Sew the hat to the elastic. The other option would be to make a casing for the elastic. I just thought this was a lot easier.

Now, I had pictures for the rest of this process but my own dear Strawberry Shortcake got a hold of my camera and deleted them. Basically I took the elastic and flipped it towards the inside of the hat and sewed it in place. I then centered the brim and sewed it onto the hat above the elastic part so that the elastic part is not visible from the top. 

You are now finished (unless you want to embelish with a strawberry or green felt leaves on top)

Hopefully this picture will give you an idea of what it should look like.

Here is the whole costume. I have debated doing a strawberry purse, but I don't know if I will get to that - maybe when I convince my baby to be Strawberry Shortcake two years from now :)

(Please don't use pictures without permission)


Friday, October 15, 2010

Tool belt

Dean wanted to be a builder for Halloween, and I felt like my alien "tool belt" just wasn't going to be suitable for a builder. A gardener maybe, but not a builder. So I set out to make him a new one. I found one tutorial for a belt similar to what I was going for, but it was a bit confusing, so I ended up winging most of it and added some things here and there. It turned out pretty well for not knowing what I was doing. I was happy with it.

He was eating a Halloween cookie and trying to smile big simultaneously.

This is probably the best view. A nail pouch on the left, pencil holder, tape measure holder, and then a place for the tools.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What I've been crafting update

So I have been crafting this whole time, I just have started and not finished a lot of things.  It was my now 3yr old's bday last week, so these are some things that I made for her:

Potato People, I added accessories (party hats, crowns, ponytail hair, etc.) and hope to add more later too. It was fun how fast they came together.

This cute bag that she picked out all the material for and the flower too.  I made it and this was the flower from two different bags I saw on LeAnne's website- Everyday Celebrations.
I made the flower up from this one I saw, I know the real one is way cuter, but I tried right? (and my 3 yr old picked the colors)
  Thanks for the awesome ideas LeAnne.  I plan on making the tag ladybug next month for my 1 year old's bday.

Other non-bday project was this pillowcase dress.  I used one of the many online tutorials and thought about shirring it too, but decided to leave shirring for another time.  These are before and after picts.  I really didn't take a good after pict. because I still have plans to make a cute fabric flower for it, so when/if I do a fabric flower I'll take a picture of the final final project.  This is one of the many ideas I want to show at the repurposing class.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

J is for "Just not good enough" I guess.

Oh boy. Did preschool today ever feel like a failure. I thought I had fun things planned, but boy it didn't work out quite like I had envisioned.  Two of the four kids were pretty resistant and kept wandering off and not wanting to participate. I think every child was put into a time out at least once. There were only a few moments of redeeming goodness of the whole 2 hours.

I opened with the Surprise Pumpkin story. It went well enough. The aforementioned resistant kids kept pounding the table, not listening, but the other two seemed to like it.

J is for Jack-o-lantern.
  • I had a paper pumpkin for each child to turn into a Jock-o-lantern. I had a big bucket of shape punches I let the kids use to make different shapes for the eyes and nose and I cut crescents for the mouths. Two of the kids could figure out the punches, but two couldn't. I should have just stuck to the original shape pumpkin idea where I provided basic shapes (triangles, rectangles, crescents, and squares). All the pumpkins turned out cute, but the punches were the downfall on this one.
J is for Jump and Jog
  • I had lots of J's taped to my kitchen floor that they were supposed to jump from one to the next in a circle. They didn't even all make it around once before the papers all started ripping to shreds. Guess I needed cardstock.
  • I tried to play red light-green light while they jogged outside. Once again, two refused to play and just went to the playset. The other two had fun. Only problem with this is that once I let them have a turn being the lights, they'd tackle the child with the lights once they reached them. That lead to punching and a time out. Oi.
 J is for Jerry (of Tom and Jerry because I needed some time to regroup since I felt like that whole first hour was a failure) They watched a Halloween episode of Tom and Jerry and it was fun to listen to their commentary the whole time..

J is for Juice and Jam
  • I had a plate of fruits and veggies to juice, and electric juicer, and a hand juicer.  3 of them liked the idea of juicing, but only Dean drank his juice (and Walter drank the undrunk juice when he woke up). The others said it was yucky. When I asked one what it tasted like, he said, "strawberries and apples". And that's yucky? Whatever.One just ate her fruits and had no desire to juice. I had cut the oranges in half so they could juice them in the hand juicer and she kept trying to eat it, biting into the rind and all.
  • I made toast and put jam on it. Most of the kids liked that, but one had a fit about jam being on his toast. I think he eventually ate it.

5 Little Speckled Frogs Jump
  • They stood on my coffee table for the log and jumped onto the carpet while I sang this. They couldn't grasp the notion to only have 1 child jump into the "pool" so we could count down the frogs. But whatever. They kind of liked being allowed to jump off of furniture.
J is for Jobs
  • I was really excited to try and role play different types of jobs, but once again, only two of the kids wanted to (when it was time to role play, that is--when they were supposed to be doing other projects with me, they kept putting on the fire hat and hard hat and running around). Dean has a jobs book that he LOVES, but the other kids weren't interested in any of the jobs except fireman.  We pretended to be firemen, sprayed a fire and rescued a cat. We also pretended to be doctors and patients, taking temperatures and weighing each kid. This went ok. Just not what I was hoping for. Theme of the day.
At one point, one of the kids threw the fireman hat like a frisbee and it cut the nose of one of the other kids. That poor same kid walked right into the chain of someone swinging when we were outside waiting for parents. He also got conked by the trapeze bar. Poor guy. It was a tough, but we made it through it. I just hope I can redeem my teaching next month! Q & R coming the first of next month.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    I is for ice cream

    It's the first week of the month and I'm teaching preschool again! So, here's the gamut of my preschool today.

    We first did our calendar and weather chart that I made. I am in the process of revamping this so it can double as a chalk board, so I will show you that when I'm finished.

    I is for Insect and I spy:
    • I had some foam sheets with the letter I on them. I let them decorate them with insect stickers and used sticky back velcro to turn them into an "I spy" telescope. 
    • We looked at 1 page of an I spy book and I quickly realized they had no interest. That kind of surprised me since Dean loves I spy books.
    • I had pictures of different types of insects taped on my cupboards.  We played "I spy an insect that..." I would describe an insect and they'd try and find it and swat it with a fly swatter! They liked the fly swatter, but they didn't like that I only had 1 of them and they had to share and take turns.
    • We went outside and had an insect hunt and flew like insects on our playset swings.
    • We came inside and read an Eric Carle book, put on glow bracelets, and went into a semi-dark room and pretended to be fireflies
    Old School Sesame Street Segments
    • I love Old School Sesame Street and fairly despise the Elmo run Sesame Street.  So, we watched an old Grover "i" song and a capital I segment. I thought they'd like the song more, but they really laughed at the other segment more.
    I is for Instruments
    • We made some shakers out of empty water bottles and corn. They were easy, cheap, and fantasticly noisy!  This was the funnest part of preschool today.
    • We turned on some TMBG's 123s and ABCs and jammed out with our shakers.

    I is for Igloo and Ice Cream
    • I made homemade ice cream and carrot cupcakes since one of the boys had a birthday on Sunday.We "iced" the cupcakes (igloos) and put marshmallows all over them to build our igloo.  We ate the ice cream out on my little picnic table I made and it made me happy. =0)