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1  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Simple cupcake toppers for first birthday - owls and critters 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.

2  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Upcycled dress made from men's shirt, with sleeve pants. Ribbons! Reversible! 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.

3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / My Repurposed Babywearing Jacket 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).

4  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Adding quilting to a Target quilt... on: November 06, 2009 04:58:21 AM
I bought the Target "Love and Nature" quilt set, along with all the stuff to go with it. I love the owls and hedgehogs on it! I could not resist.

The thing is, it is not quilted very much, and other reviewers have said that as soon as you wash a Target Circo quilt of pretty much any variety, the batting bunches up because there is not enough quilting on the quilt. This quilt is going to go in a baby/toddler's room, it is GOING to need washing. Perhaps frequent washing.

So...I can sew, i have a very nice embroidery/quilting machine, but the extent of my actual quilting experience is "stitch in the ditch."

What is the best way to add quilting to this quilt? Since it's already got some quilting on there, I don't want to have to remove that so I can remove the back and start from scratch.

My ideas are below:

1. Kind of stitch in the ditch a little bit more than what's already on there. By machine, and what's on there is done by hand.
2. Basically just stitch lines across it, maybe about 6 inches apart?
3. Create an owl outline embroidery pattern (I have software), then hoop various parts of the quilt and just "add owls" in the form of outlines.

I'm thinking that for my situation, the third idea might work best, especially given my familiarity with embroidery, and my desire to not have to remove the back. But, I barely have ANY quilting experience. I hope someone has some good advice.
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / New life to a little tikes table 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.

6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / I have looked everywhere for a chicken shaped bread cozy on: October 29, 2008 07:36:49 AM
I have looked everywhere for a chicken shaped bread cozy.  My grandma always had one of these, and it sat on the bread basket and kept the rolls or bread warm.  She would lift up its wing and make chicken noises while we got out our roll.  Awesome! 

Now I have a small son and I freakin' NEED a chicken bread cozy.  Grandma is long gone.  My google-fu has failed me and I can't find a pattern anywhere.  I did find one already made one ebay once, but it was made with completely the wrong colors.  (I emailed the seller asking about other colors or a pattern but got no response.)  I'm not even sure what these things are called, exactly.  When I've gone into antique shops looking for one, the workers know what I mean when I call it that.  Of course they never have one. 
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