Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Caterpillar Stuffy Fail:-(

Stuffies should not be scary and, yes, those legs are centipede-scary, aren't they?

  • Obviously the black ribbon legs were a huge mistake. Nothing says centipede like a lot of blacks squiggly legs!
  •  Also, while I like the fabric for the body, it needs segments.  Caterpillars must have segments.

 I do like my ribbon antennas, though.  I have got to use up some of my overwhelming ribbon collection.  Did I really just call it a collection?  That's not good.  Supply!  I meant supply!

This began with me trying to steal Sandra's Hungry-Caterpillar-book-with-stuffy gift idea.  I love both of her versions of the caterpillar.  You have to check hers out to see how good this might have been if I had just not decided to, once again, reinvent the wheel.

I can't even bring myself to donate this one.  It would be cruel.  Mine will terrify some poor child who happens upon it lying in the thrift store waiting for it's forever home. 

Until someone comes up with a kiddie book about a lovable centipede, this will will have to go the way of all centipedes--hidden in the far depths where they belong. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tried the Ultimate Baby Bib Pattern (It's a Free Download!)

I think I've downloaded every free bib out there by now.  This one creates a pocket for catching crumbs that unsnaps for emptying and washing.
The bottom gets turned up, folded to the back, and snapped.
It's an easy pattern.  I think the hardest part was thinking through the snap part to be sure I was putting them on right.  My resident dragon agreed to serve as model here. 
The pocket has the advantage of popping open a bit to really catch all those little crumbs which is more obvious in the photo below.
I'd love to tell you where the embroidery design came from, but my sieve-like memory fails me here. Just Google it! Since I did not pay for the pattern, I went searching for that link which is right here.  I sooooo appreciate it when people share their patterns.  That link takes you to the maker's tutorial which includes a link to get the free pattern on Craftsy.
The maker used laminated fabrics which is a great idea.  For my first try, though, I went with cotton and flannel.   Laminated fabrics are freakin' expensive, and I am not experimenting on my tiny, costly stash of them.  Next time, though, I'll try the laminates....maybe.  I have a really hard to actually cutting into pricey fabrics. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I have a blog?

Holy crap!  I almost forgot about the blog.  Nah, not really.  I've just moved the blog down on the to-do list because it was sucking up too much time.  BUT I got some sewing finished that I want to share cuz it's so freakin' cute.  As it turns out, the way to get me into the sewing room is to tell me the recipient's mom is three centimeters dilated.   
 Taggy blanket, pacifier holder, burp cloths, and bib finally finished! 
Got that fairy centered nicely on the bib!
Something tells me IdaMae Catherine (named for a great grandma or something
 like that) will NOT be finding her name on any personalized
merchandise; so I've embroidered it on a few pieces.
I used some of the fairy fabric for the back of the
burp cloths.
Brian says he doubts the parents will recognize this quote from The Hobbit.
Who on earth hasn't read the book or seen the movie??? In any case, I think
the quote is more than appropriate for always-hungry new babies.
Blanket is about 35 inches square with a soft flannel lining,
And the newby's name embroidered on a corner.
My first pacifier holder was quick and easy with the snap
setter and some little clips I got online.
An update for those who sew:  Sometimes we forget or maybe never realize how much our work is worth.  In the spirit of helping sewers appreciate the value of their work, I looked on Etsy to see how much items using similar quality fabrics and embellishment would cost. 34" square embroidered taggy blanket: around $45, pacifier holder: $5, 2 terry backed embroidered burp clothes:  $24, bib: $11.  That about $85! 
Have to share a photo of our neighborhood's summer guest siting on our fence post.   
He was the talk of the town stalking bird feeders (not for seed either), resting on mailboxes, decks, and lawns, using low lying tree limbs as a dining table for his squirrel and chipmunk feasts.  His habit of eating just outside the second floor windows led me to think he preferred company when dining.  He has apparently moved on as juvenile hawks usually do.  We are all sad and miss him--especially Brian who has noted an increase in the number of squirrels that tend to file their teeth on our siding.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Some New Bibs Finished

Lately my sewing muse, Sandra has been making bibs which reminded me that I was supposed to get some of those going, too.  Sandra's bibs are made from old jeans and have sweet designs with fabric appliques and trim.   I used old jeans but decided to let my machines do most of the decorative work by using some of the embroidery designs I had purchased from an Etsy shop and the Embroidery Library.

This first one is for the average, easy-going baby.
Etsy shop embroidery design.  Bib pattern is free from

 This next one is for the feistier baby--you know mild to moderate mood swings.
Again, Etsy shop design

The last bib is for those babies that really need cautionary labeling--like a cigarette pack.  You know the ones that throw food and/or feces around at will.
Embroidery Library design.  Okay, I have to point out that I KNOW I put the snaps on the wrong sides on this one.  Hopefully the mom will be too busy to notice.
New parents who might be reading should not worry too much about these wild babies.  Most of them turn out fine.  Take my niece for instance.  During a short nap once, she decorated herself, the crib, and the wall behind it with the contents of her diaper.  Even though her mother was nauseated by the sight, there was a little maternal pride there, too.  The kid had made her own art supplies!  Today that girl is an art teacher.  There is hope!

There you have it!  Three bibs finished thanks to Sandra's inspiration.

Once last thing--I used my new SnapSetter from Snapsource. com.  It's a low tech one that requires a hammer.  I had one like this from Joann's that was totally worthless, but the reviews for the SnapSetter were great.  I am glad I decided to give this one a try.  It's easy to use and the snaps are nice and tight. 

 Linking up with

The Gunny Sack

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fairy Doors

I have fairy doors--

 all over my house.  Some are as tiny as postage stamps.
 Some are as much as 7 or 8 inches high.
Most of them are in closets,
behind doors, or near heating vents.  Fairies like to be warm, but you know that!
Why is the house filled with fairy doors?  Because little kids love them.  They love searching for fairy doors and hearing stories about fairies.  You can keep kids busy for quite a while as they try to find all those doors.  And the stories you can make up.  I love that part!

To keep the doors from being peeled off the wall (because they are vinyl--our secret), I have devised a story which I am sticking with.  The door are magical.  Only fairies can open then.  If one tries to open a door, said door will turn into plastic and peel off the wall.  Then the fairies won't want to live in my house anymore.  This is powerful.  Who wants to be responsible for driving fairies out of the house?

How do fairies get around?  In my house they ride on dragonflies;-)
My fairy doors are from Wilson Graphics, an Etsy shop.  No relation, money exchanging hands, or freebies for this post, though.  Just including that info in case you want to get some to entertain any little people.

You can also get stuff to entertain the big kids like this piece that I put on the front of my washer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baby Gift is Finished!

When I asked my sewing muse, Sandra of Sandra Sews about her bib patterns because I needed to make a baby gift, she not only gave me links to free patterns, but suggested that I might want to include a taggy blanket, and maybe a little stuffy especially if the fabric had some little beast in it.  Now I have the most adorable baby gift EVER.

 This link has all three of the bib patterns I used.  LOVE them.
I liked the idea of having different sizes.  I've had the Michael Miller duck
fabric sitting in the stash for a while now.  Finally got to use it!
I quilted a heart on the little one.  It's there--really--look closely.
Kind of a funny story on the duck stuffy.  I got the pattern here.  If you look at Mariska's duck and my duck, you would never believe they were from the same pattern.  I enlarged the pattern to 125%.  For some reason, I ended up with a giant head and a small body.  I turned it upside down which looks fine to me.  Since this is for a tiny baby, I embroidered the eyes, satin-stitched the beak in place, and left off the lovely flower.  I also opted for folded ribbon for the feet instead of Mariska's design.  Muse Sandra did a little owl with ribbon tabs for feet that I loved.  Ribbons were easier, too.  I like easy.
I sewed the neck ribbon to the stuffy and
 through the bow itself  so it won't come undone or off.
The duck is made with Minkee someone gave me.  I now know why she gave it to me.  It's not the easiest fabric to work with.  It slides WITH pins in it.  Must go online to find the tricks to working with Minkee before I use it again!

About the taggy blanket...  I made it a bit large.  I had no idea how big a taggy blanket should be.  As I started lining up the ribbons, I decided less is more.  (That sounds better than saying that I was too lazy to put on all those ribbons.  I'm happy with it!  I put the ribbons between the seam instead of on the edge--happy with that result, too.

I even had some matching ribbon in the stash, ducks and bubbles just like the fabric!

 Everything is backed with yellow flannel, the color of the ducks.  The flannel makes the blanket perfect for summer--enough but not too much.   Thanks, as always, Sandra!  I am so freaking pleased with how it all turned out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

That Baby Dress Really Needed this Hat, Didn't It?

The finished dress from my last post was screaming that it needed a matching hat.  I found a free pattern for this one on Prudent Baby.

 Did I make changes?  Of course I did.  The pattern is designed so that the hat can be reversible, but I decided I wanted something at the top of the hat when it was finished.  It needed more cuteness.  My fabrics on each side were so similar that I decided to go for it.  I put a fabric yo-yo on top:

I also wanted ties which the pattern didn't have.  Since I originally planned for this to be reversible, I decided on buttonholes with knotted silky cording.  You can see in the photo below that you can pull the cord to have the knot on either side.  Does that make sense?  You knot both ends of the cording.  Then you can pull the ties so that one of the cord's knots will be on the outside when you reverse it and one will be at the loose end.

Make sure the buttonholes are tiny--big enough for the cording to get through, but not for the knot.  I made a few practice ones and tried it out.  You all know that you need to put some tape on the ends when you cut it to keep it from fraying, right?  The stiffness of the tape is really helpful in getting the cording into that little buttonhole, too.  I'm going to try thin fabric ties with knotted ends on the next one.  I think that would look great, too.

In retrospect,  I think I should have put the buttonholes up a bit higher.  That would allow the sides to flare out a bit more for sun protection.

All in all this is a great pattern--soooo easy and cute even without the yo-yo really.  If you read through the comments on the Prudent Baby post, you will get some idea on sizing.  The pattern can be enlarged or reduced to fit your needs.

Now don't they look just perfect together?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sweetest Little Dress

Look what I made!  Is this not the sweetest little dress?   I used Jackie Clark Designs' pattern appropriately named Sweetest Little Dress.

The fabric, Junko Matsuda Tip Top Elephant Stripe in pink, and pattern were both from Pink Chalk Fabric.  I used one stripe for the bodice and put a few of the others together for the skirt pieces.

The pattern  has a hand embroidered design included, but I wanted to use this fabric which certainly doesn't need any embroidery.   My original intent was to put a blue ribbon across the bottom but Melissa talked me into something red and suggested the buttons be red as well.  The red was a much better choice.
This was my first time using rick rack.   It was really easy to work with, and I love the additional detail.

In the pic below you can see how I  cut the fabric so that a pink checked stripe would fold under for the hem.

The pattern is really simple for the most part.  I did have a one problem with it.  There are no markings for the buttons.  You have to wing it.  I was not really comfortable with that. I have never had a pattern without button and buttonhole placement before.   I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. Finally, I emailed the designer who suggested folding the fabric to find the center placement for the middle button.   It's fairly easy to figure out the placement across the shoulders.

 I was more nervous figuring out how far IN from the edges to place the buttons and buttonholes. The designer didn't answer this part for me (although I emailed her again).   I don't have baby clothes sitting around the house to use for comparisons or the little person here to serve as a dress form.  I finally just guessed at it.  I hope it will look as good on the wee person as it does on the hanger.

According to the designer,  button placement would depend on the size and shape of the button.  The pattern, however, lists quarter-inch buttons.  I would have preferred having the markings for the quarter inch buttons.  If someone wants to change that, they should be the ones that have to spend time figuring out how to make it happen.

Another thing is that the sizing is quite vague.  The pattern is listed as being for "up to 24 lbs."  Since it sure isn't for a newborn, I don't know what the starting number would be as in maybe 12 to 24 lbs.  As I said, I don't have any baby clothes around to compare it with.  I think it would be better for the company to determine the comparable sizing used as in 6 to 12 months or whatever along with a beginning number for the pounds.

Will I use the pattern again?  Probably.  It's a cute dress.  I will be able to make changes in the button placement if I need to.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Reading Boat and Book

I made this a while back with my niece when she was working on her master's in education.  She wanted to make something for special needs kids who needed help in defining where they should be during a given activity.  While is is great for these kids, really any little guy will enjoy and benefit from it.

The boat is a really simple design with a back V-shaped panel that gives it depth. There were no little people around to demonstrate it,  so my plushy monster, Elliot is in there.  There is a pocket on the center where the lifesaver is for the book that goes with this.

The book was done with appliques and iron-on transfers for the lettering.  I covered the binder clips with cloth tubes to prevent the shiny chrome from vying for the kids' attention.  The overall purpose of the book is to teach the child about patience and the value of staying focused and on task.    It also, as you will see, contains a number of learning activities as well.
Inside the cover is a long poem that is probably NOT going to be read in one sitting at first!  It can be read  in part as the child is being introduced to the idea of using the boat, getting the boat out, and as the child gets settled into the boat.    The poem explains how another child named Patience Bean learns about being patient.  Over time, as kids pick up the rhymes, you should be able to read more and  more of the poem.  If the little one is getting impatient, read the important parts, explain the gist of the it, and move on to the rest of the book.  Click on any of the pictures to enlarge it for reading.

The actual story has few words and lots of activities.  Our "Patience" was drawn by my niece and painted on a little stuffed pillow form, but you could use a photo or scan in a picture for iron-on transfer.  That dot next to her is a Velcro dot.  Kids can move Patience from page to page as you read.
Here Patience asks the reader to look in the pockets for her treasures.  The pockets have different kinds of openings--button, snaps, Velcro--for practicing those skills.  Each treasure is a different shape and primary color so you can get some practice in on those.  Be sure to change up the placement on occasion.

The next page has zippered pockets.
Here a plastic side pressure buckle closure is used to hide the treasure.

 Last is a bottle with a message tied with a ribbon (tacked to the back) that has washed up on the beach.  Plastic cut in the shape of a bottle is sewn on with a zigzag stitch just as the appliques are.

How cute is that!  My niece is so creative!  The message in the bottle for the little person congratulates their patience and perseverance.
If you can't read it, again, just click on any of the pictures to enlarge.

We thought about making oars for the boat but decided against it.  Kids can make imaginary oars that won't accidentally hit someone.  The whole thing folds up nicely and goes into this tote with Patience Bean's name embroidered randomly across it.

If you want to give this a try for personal use and need any information, let me know. ( Please don't make these items for sale.  Thanks.)