Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

My girls in their completely mom-made costumes.

The nerdlet and Darth Baby

The bear cub isn't feeling that well.


I am the worst pancake maker.  I don't know why but I just can't seem to get it.  My girls love pancakes and so today, I bought this.

I'm still not great, but the nerdlet especially liked the pancakes that I made.

My second batch at least came out better.

I'm going to look for pumpkin and other flavored pancake recipes now.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Simplicity 4463

This costume is actually for Darth Baby, but she was engaged in a magnet toy and did not want to stop and the bear cub volunteered to model it for us.

The nerdlet then decided that she should model the other version I made.

I made two versions because Darth Baby is Pooh Bear obsessed.  She has three Poohs at our house that go everywhere within the house with her and she gets upset if I even try to wash them one at a time.  She also has a spare one at my mom's for when she visits her.  I figured I'd make the fur one for a costume and the knit one for everyday use, but really all three of the girls really like the minky fur one over the knit version.

The Pooh Bear body is Simplicity 4463, which apparently has been released under a dozen numbers, but this is the one that I used.  The shirt is a fleece shirt that I just threw together for the top because I didn't like his red shirt in the pattern.  The hat that the bear cub is sporting is part of a bought Disney onesie set, but I'll be making the hat from the pattern in the fake fur.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Little Bear Dancer

I have a friend whose son calls Down syndrome 'Dancing Drum'.  The bear cub definitely has Dancing Drum.  Here is a series in the order taken in less than two minutes unedited.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Greatest American Hero

I'm almost finished with the bear cub's Halloween costume.  My sister was visiting and I'm not sure how we got on the topic but we starting talking about the Greatest American Hero.  We have the series on DVD and I put the first one in to watch.  I then decided that the was what the bear cub was going to be for Halloween and immediately started planning the costume.

I still have to make the belt buckle which I will make out of polymer clay.  I'm hoping to get better pictures when I have the buckle finished.  The bear cub likes the costume, but she wasn't particularly cooperative for pictures.  I probably shouldn't have tried when the Fresh Beat Band was playing.  The pants are my first self-drafted pants pattern and the top started it's life as Ottobre 01-2005-12

I also made the top originally to check sizing out of a knit with the same drape.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Nerdlet is Going to Be a Cupcake

The nerdlet is going to be a cupcake for Halloween.  This year my original plan was to pick up costumes from a shop for the girls, but then I visited one and realized that I didn't want my 4-year-old, 3-year-old, and almost 2-year-old to be dressed like hookers for Halloween.  Seriously, I looked at an Elmo costume for a female toddler and it was a mini red, fur hooker costume.  I then looked in the little boy section because the girls like Thomas the Train and other characters and wouldn't care about cross dressing and saw a cute little red, fur miniature Elmo costume from head-to-toe.  I left the store angrily and decided that my money was better spent on fabric than contributing to this sort of thing.

The nerdlet wanted to be a cupcake so I used the infant costume pattern McCalls 6627 for the cherry hat and the cake of the cupcake.  My nerdlet isn't an infant, but she is very thin and since the cake is only half of the costume, I adjusted very little (larger head and longer arms).
I used view H, the one for the strawberry.  I used a very light weight cotton because the nerdlet gets hot and even though fleece would have been a better choice, if this Halloween was a high in the 90s kind of San Antonio fall day, I didn't want her to die of heat exhaustion.  I did make the cherry hat out of fleece.

For the base of the cupcake liner, I used a lampshade turned upside down with the hardware removed.  I sewed pintucks on navy blue twill every 2 inches alternating directions and then handsewed it around the rim of the lampshade at the same time as to the bottom of the fluffy cake section.  I haven't yet done it, but I will also use a glue gun to affix the bottom of the skirt part to the lampshade and on Halloween day, I plan on using sticky foam cut into rectangles for the sprinkles and possible some small colored puff balls that we have from making puppets.

And the result:

Why does it look so squashed on her chest?  This would be the reason.

I'm also working on two Pooh costumes for my Pooh obsessed Darth Baby, one for Halloween out of minki fur and one for daily play out of cotton knit.  I bought some costumes after Halloween last year when Wal-mart had them 75% off and I hope to have the bear cub wear one of those.  If I have time, though I might throw her together one, or she might be Pooh #2 if none of them fit, since the bear cub and Darth baby differ by less than an inch in height and 1 pound in weight right now.

Ottobre 4/2012 - Young Hero Part 2

Pictures of the bear cub in her new jacket.  She didn't want to put it on, but once I got it on her, she won't let me take it off.  I love how it fits her, but it is still big enough that she can grow for a while.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ottobre 4/2012 - Young Hero

I made the bear cub a biker jacket!  I've always wanted to make one of them a biker jacket, but I hadn't seen a pattern and I never got around to drafting one myself.  Lucky for me, Ottobre decided to do it for me.

I made the size 98 and shortened the sleeves by an inch.  I may have to shorten them more, but I sent off Q with the girls for the weekend, so I didn't have her to try it on.  The main fabric is a faux leather from JoAnn's.  It should be plenty warm for the San Antonio winter, but it is also large enough for her to wear it over several layers.

I also made my first welt pockets and put a zipper in the welt.  this was so much fun to do.  I'm not sure why I have been afraid of welt pockets.

Here is a view of my topstitching.  I used a heavy pink thread.  I wanted to add just a touch of feminine to the jacket.  I don't use the pedal when I sew because I can turn the machine on and off with a button and I turned down the speed almost all the way for the topstitching.

And another view with the zipper unzipped a little and the flap open.  I didn't add the final snap that the pattern asked for because I did't really see the point (and I may have been a little afraid to mess up the jacket after all the hard work).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Making a Underwear/Diaper Cover

I've wanted to make diaper covers for a long time and instead since my girls were so little I could do fine with the newborn and small covers that Gerber sells.  The problem with these is that they fall apart fairly quickly.  Since Jo-Ann's now carries Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) and fold over elastic (FOE) and these are so easy to make, this is the way to go.  Even if you've never sewn before, you can make these.  Since I know a lot of people that need larger sizes that Gerber does not make so I thought I would post a tutorial for making a pattern and sewing these.

1.  First take you child's measurements.  You need three measurements. The first is from the waistline on the back through the legs and to the waist line in the front.  For the bear cub, this is 17 inches and for Darth Baby it's 15 inches.  Since I want these to fit both girls, I went with the larger size for each measurement.  Then add 2 inches for ease and to fit the diaper or underwear.  This should be one side of a rectangle.  (You do not need to add any for seam allowance).

2. The next measurement that you want is the waist measurement.  Measure this without any clothes in the way, with the child relaxed.  Darth Baby is 18 inches and the bear cub is 16 1/2 inches.  Divide the number by 2 and add 3 and make this the other side of the rectangle.  Again there is no need to add seam allowance.

3. The third measurement is down the side of the leg from the waist to wear you want the cover to end.  To this number you want to add an inch.  For Darth Baby this is 4 inches and the bear cub is 5 inches.  You'll want to mark the outside of the leg opening so measure from the top and bottom on the long side and mark this number.

4.  You'll want to mark a third area about a third of the way from one of the leg opening marks to the other.  From the center mark 2 1/2 inches on each side.
5.Then make a curve that is mostly flat on one end curving towards the mark made in step 4 and then going to the other opening mark you made in step 3.

6. Use this pattern to cut out your PUL.  Cut three pieces of the fold-over elastic (FOE).  The first piece should be the waist measurement (slightly smaller, if it is very stretchy soft elastic).  The second and third piece should be the measurement around the legs.

7. Then sew in a zig zag stitch one of the smaller pieces of FOE around one of the leg openings backstitching at the beginning and end, stretching the elastic to fit the curve (if you child is thin, you might have to stretch it very tight.

8. Sew in a zig zag stitch the other smaller piece of FOE around the other of the leg openings again backstitching at the beginning and end, stretching the elastic to fit the curve.

9. Sew one side of the cover with right side facing each other using a straight stitch.  If you have a serger, you can serge it for nicer edges.  A more complicated stitch is not necessary to finish this fabric and it will not unravel.

10. Sew the remaining larger piece of FOE elastic on the waist using a zig zag stitch, starting at the unsewn side piece all the way around, matching the half way point of the elastic to the sewn side seam, stretching to fit.  Again for a very thin child, you will have to stretch this elastic quite a bit.

11. Sew the other side seam using a straight stitch. Again you can finish this seam off with a serger for a more professional look.

12. Finally turn the cover inside out.  After you've done one pair, all future pairs should take 20 minutes or less, even for a beginner and an experienced sewer might be able to turn these out in about 10 minutes a piece if they are done assembly style.

I love these.  They fit so much better than any other cover I've used and look a lot more comfy.  The bear cub is no longer tugging at her panties all day like she was as these actually help keep her panties on (since even the smallest panties are constantly slipping off her little butt.  They can go through the washer and dryer with no problem (though I usually air dry them as they will practically wipe dry).

Here is a finished pair on Darth Baby.  They is a lot less extra fabric on the bear cub and they aren't as tight on the bear cub's waist, but I made them to fit both girls.
I've made about a dozen and have a lot more cut waiting to be sewn, which I hope to knock out today and tomorrow.