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1  Simple cupcake toppers for first birthday - owls and critters in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Cheesamaburger on: February 06, 2011 05:47:32 PM
I'm not sure if this should go here or in baking...

So, I am pretty much hardly even able to cut in a straight line, let alone a circle. I wanted to make some cupcake toppers for my daughter's first birthday. They're the kind that go on sticks, and then stick in the cupcake. I used some pre-cut shapes and some borrowed scissors and tried to come up with something cute. Yeah, they're a little...freeformed. Here are a few of the results of much deliberation and not much actual cutting and gluing. I made more than this, but these are representative.

The cupcakes are going to be pink.

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2  Upcycled dress made from men's shirt, with sleeve pants. Ribbons! Reversible! in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Cheesamaburger on: February 05, 2011 06:10:54 PM
I had a really soft men's dress shirt in a blue check that I liked too much to get rid of even though it had a small stain. It was a size medium. The dress is a size 18-24 months. This could be a cute long shirt for an older girl, maybe up to a 3T, especially if you used a bigger shirt.

For the facing, I used an old sheet that I really like, but it's the wrong size for my current bed. The dress is reversible, although I haven't made matching pants for the reverse side.

I used a simple pattern that I (of course) changed around a little bit. I cut the front of the dress out of the back of the shirt, and the sides/back of the dress out of the front of the shirt. I angled the sides/back so that one of them has the men's shirt's original front patch pocket. You can see it in the picture where my baby is sitting down and facing away from the camera. I cut the patch pockets from the leftover shirt parts and used the sleeves to make sleeve pants. I added ribbon to the pockets and the hem.

The dress is a little big right now on my daughter because I made it for this coming summer. I think that by this summer the dress will be shorter on her and the pants will be more like knickers (knee-pants, not panties, I mean, pants that end at the knee...American pants...trousers...why does English have to be that complicated anyway?) and less like ankle pants.

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3  My Repurposed Babywearing Jacket in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Cheesamaburger on: February 01, 2011 01:47:34 PM
Time: About 2-3 hours (I had a LOT of interruptions so I have to guess a bit here)
Materials: Old jacket a size or two too large. Velcro. Sewing Machine. Serger. Pins. About a yard of extra fabric. Thread. Seam ripper. Dressmaker's dummy or a second person about your size, and a doll/pillow about the same size as a baby/toddler.
Skills: Just basic sewing skills.

I needed to make a babywearing jacket or babywearing coat to go over my Ergo. Thanks so much to the people who made these and posted pics of what they did! I wouldn't have been able to make mine without that help. I'm posting my pics because I did things slightly differently and maybe it can help someone else. I started with an older Eddie Bauer lightweight l lined jacket, size XL. I normally wear a M to L. At the end you'll see how I added a quick layer for warmth underneath of it by simply using an old fleece jacket from my husband. I'd prefer a fleece that zipped all the way down, but this was what I had on hand. I needed this to be done in time for a vacation.

This is my ergo and "test subject" on my dummy. My baby is a little larger than this, but it worked well.

This is the back of the jacket before cutting. It had shaping seams in the back and along the top. I seam-ripped down the back side and back top seams, but left the bottom 4 inches intact.

This is the jacket flayed open.

At this point I serged all the raw edges of the liner I had to cut through on the inside of the jacket. After finishing the rest of the jacket, I went back and tacked the liner back in. It worked pretty well.

After seam-ripping the jacket, I fitted it onto the dummy and pinned rectangles of my insert fabric (jersey I had on hand), to get a rough fit estimate. I didn't take a picture of the rectangles, but they were about five? inches wide and a bit longer than the length of my seams. I've seen other tutorials that have taken good pictures of them, and mine were similar, but I just used rectangles at this point and didn't worry about any curving.

Then I sewed the insert fabric rectangles to the back flap panel only. Not to the body of the jacket or on top. Then I fitted the jacket back on to the dummy and looked at how much room I had. My daughter sits slighter higher up than Yoda, and also her legs are bigger, so I adjusted a little for that. I had a lot of extra fabric and I adjusted my pins accordingly. These pics show the pins still in the back, so pretend I already sewed that part and removed the pins, and you'll see the idea.

I need the jacket to close up when the baby is not in it, so I removed Yoda and the Ergo and figured out how I wanted to close up the jacket.

Then, pretty happy with how things were looking, I marked the seam lines I desired.

I sewed along all the seam lines I marked. I serged as much as possible since for me it's so much easier to serge when working with knits. I sewed the sides first, then the top. I added a folded flap of insert fabric to the top open edge, and a larger folded flap all along the bottom open edge. Because of the way I opened the jacket, I had to re-sew a small part of the sleeve and shoulder. Then, I added velcro in three spots to close up the top of the jacket when I am not wearing the baby.

This is how the jacket looks afterwards, closed up:

This is the jacket afterwards, with Yoda but without any warm liner in it. There's a bit of extra room, and my baby fills this up better than Yoda. I considered putting some elastic through the top to make it snugger, but it turned out not to be necessary with the baby in it.

To add warmth, I used an old XXL fleece jacket of my husband's. This is a short-term solution because I didn't have a fleece that zipped all the way down, but I need help to get it on. All I did to alter it was to fit it over Yoda and the dummy and cut a slit. It fits pretty well.

With the fleece under the jacket, the fit is good. It's really warm for both of us. For someone without much sewing skill, I really think it would be possible to just get a really big fleece jacket that zips all the way down, and just cut a slit. I don't see a cheaper solution than that (for someone without basic sewing skills).

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4  New life to a little tikes table in Completed Projects by Cheesamaburger on: November 04, 2008 01:03:03 PM
Ok, I'm a sewer, not a craftster.  Really.  I try, though.  

I recently got an old little tikes table and chairs. The chairs were an ugly, faded yellow.  The table was a dingy white with half of the plastic sticker torn off.  I figured I'd try Krylon Fusion on it, then stencil it since my son LOVES animals.  

I probably should have just gone with striping the items, but I wanted to minimize masking due to my fears about the durabilty of Krylon Fusion on little tikes toys.  

My process:
1. Seriously rubbed ammonia-based window cleaner all over the plastic.  

2. Applied many, many thin coats of Krylon Fusion.  I allowed the stuff to cure for a month.  I actually worked for four years in a paint laboratory for a well-known national brand of paint.  In other words, I can apply paint and follow directions.

3. Used acrylic paints to decorate the pieces.

4. Sprayed a satin clear coat on top of that, to seal the acrylic down.

The verdict:
I paid $12 for the table chairs.  I paid $35 for paint, stencils, etc.  Some of this I didn't end up using, so theoretically it's possible to do this cheaper.  Pretty much, this didn't save any money, but I like the cool animals and so does my son.  I wish I was a little more artistically inclined beyond sewing and embroidering.  

I think the Krylon Fusion paint is holding up about as well as if I'd painted wooden chairs and a wooden table.  It will sometimes chip a bit if you bang the items together.  I think it helps that I didn't change the color of the items too much - going from faded yellow to tan isn't that big of a change, and the faded yellow doesn't show through a whole bunch where it has chipped.

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