Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rhyl as Tinkerbell, Halloween 2009

There was no getting around it. Rhyl had to be Tinkerbell. So, after much brainstorming, research, sketching, and one fairly unsuccessful dry run with a yard of satin, I made her a costume. Head to toe, it all cost under $3. I used about half of the $3 green fleece throw that I bought from Hy-Vee, some random jingle bells (on the shoe covers, for the pixie sound), and some leftover white fleece scraps and notions from my stash. Here's what she wore:

*Headband with a couple of white flowers, to keep her ears warm
*Dress: fitted bodice, gathered skirt with leaf bottom, and ruffle sleeves
*Wings: white fleece with pipe cleaners sandwiched between them for structure; green and white fleece pompom in the middle, just for fun; pin backs to attach it to her dress/shirt/jacket
*Shoe covers: because she didn't have any green flats to attach a white pompom to, I made green fleece covers with green and white pompoms and little jingle bells. A drawstring around the bottom of the cover kept it over the shoe. She wore them over her red Mary Janes.
*Long sleeved shirt and tights and such, to keep warm.
My favorite thing about this outfit was working with the fleece--it doesn't unravel! I used my pinking shears for a zig-zag edge and didn't have to worry about finishing any edges. Made it that much more fun! The biggest challenge was making wings that Rhyl was okay with. Judging from the last pair I made, they would have to be something that attached to the outfit that she could forget that she was wearing. Mission accomplished. Cost: about 2 hrs, a portion of a $3 fleece blanket, and some leftover notions.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Most Recent Time-Takers

Here's a ratty collection of snapshots from my most recent time investments.
*Curtains for my kitchen window: took 1 hr from cutting to hanging, will redo them someday, but had to have curtains PRONTO! for a church bbq at our house.
*Gus' bedroom wall painting: this tree is NOT how I saw it turning out--should've stuck with the color scheme I had originally planned. Design Sponge had this before and after project that was my inspiration, but I should have kept it at just the inspiration and shouldn't have second-guessed my own project. Hers is excellent, and I love it. Mine... we'll redo it someday.
*Curtains for Gus' room. Still need tie backs for them to let some light in. And new mini blinds to keep the light out. OR... I just need to make up my mind. lol
*A couple of all-in-one cloth diapers for Gus and Rhyl. She refuses to potty train, so she's still in diapers (no advice needed here--trust me, it's flooding in from all directions!) and Gus is a fat little booger, so they can share diapers. Gus appreciates the purple. The lining is an old receiving blanket.
*Chicken wire basket: My mom gets Mary Jane's Farm magazine, and they had some instructions on chicken wire stuff. I'll post more chicken wire projects later, I'm sure. Rhyl snatched this one for a baby bed, so I covered and padded it and here we are, one chicken wire cradle later.
*Rhyl's tutu: I've been afraid of this project for a while. It's tons of busy work, but it's incredibly easy (with the exception of cutting the tulle--THAT'S a pain in the butt--but I think that would be much easier without two kids crawling all over it). And, like the fairy wings, she hates it. ~sigh~ Better luck next time.
*The children: That's an ongoing project. I'm constantly working on them. They'll never be done, but they are perhaps my most rewarding--and HOPEFULLY successful--of creative endeavors.
*And lastly, but not least, I hung a smoke detector outside Rhyl's bedroom. Not crafty. But very important. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Just Hafta Share...

If you haven't noticed by blog list (to the right), you should. If you have any creative inklings, ever, you should go check it out. When I'm short on motivation and searching for ideas or inspiration--or, by some stroke of miraculous luck, I just have a "free" moment to peruse the web--I go thru this list. They are all on my blog list because they've provided a source of inspiration and/or information that has been invaluable to my creative process at least once or twice.

So anyway, I've spent most of my late-evening (kids are in bed, of course) browsing a blog that I found today. It's called Make It and Love It, and it very well may be the mother load of all fun DIY projects that are right up my alley. I want to let the creator know just how clever I think she and her site are, but I feel like, with 2500 followers, she probably gets a mad amount of emails saying just that.

If there's a blog or a site that does it for you, let me know! I LOVE finding new ones. I know that, if there were no internet, I'd still find plenty of creative inspiration (and it might even be more original, due to the lack of dependency on the convenience factor), but seriously--what would we do without the internet?? :D

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Things for Little Miss

I made a felt crown for Rhyl, because her primary reason for stringing my plastics out is for use as a crown. She puts them on her head and proclaims her rights over her kingdom. Cute, until I have nothing to store my leftovers in.

She was crazy about the crown, but not enough to forget about Tinkerbell. Waving the crown in her face, I asked her if she wanted a queen's dress or a Tinkerbell dress for Halloween. It just couldn't be as easy as making a princess gown, which I'd already have the crown for. No! She wants to be Tinkerbell. (Yeah, yeah, I know--I could just make her a queen dress and she'd love it. But I know she'll love the Tinkerbell dress more, so I'll let the 2 year old win this time.) So I made a rough draft of wings, because I wanted to see if I could even put them together before it was too late to go searching And wouldn't you know? She hates them! Wore them for 3 minutes, then wanted them OFF! Perhaps we'll have to make her a queen after all.

More Busy-ness

Always working, whether in front of or behind the scenes. You may not see it when you walk in, but rest assured that there is plenty being done, somewhere, in my modest abode. Some evidence:

Another pin for the MOPS gift basket. Why make flowers the limit? Halloween colors and running stitches are cute, too. It would be most helpful if I knew the ladies who were receiving these baskets and could get an idea of their individual styles. But I can't.

My friend Melissa had me sew some scrubs for her. She had cut out and serged the pieces--a relief, because that's my least favorite part!--and I just put them together. They were great on her. Not so much on the hanger.

Using a pattern was something that I haven't done in quite a while, and Melissa's scrubs inspired me to keep going. As is the case with every sewist at some point, I have a few projects all bagged up and ready to go--the fabric, the notions, the pattern. They're all together quietly pleading from my fabric closet... "Help us, Melody! We're meant to be a dress, but we're just a pile of raw materials! Put us together, please!" So I did. I bought this pattern and then realized that it wasn't something that was going to flatter my figure. Then I had another baby, and my figured changed, and that wasn't the case anymore. At least, I don't think so. Please tell me if I'm wrong, before I embarrass myself. lol

Using patterns is something that I'm okay with, but the enjoyment I get out of a wearable garment when I've free-handed it is just impossible to match. However, it's a real confidence-booster any time I make something that turns out wearable, even if it's just an alteration!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Here are a few things I've been working on since you last heard from me.

The most recent 2 pairs:
I made a few pairs of jeans for my son after my husband took him to church on a chilly day in shorts. (He had pants, but apparently they were nowhere to be found when it was time to dress the baby.)
One is just plain-jane denim, no frills, no extras, go-with-everything jeans. Then there's my favorite! Distressed denim, patched, and trimmed up with this brownish denim that I got for free. Unfortunately, these are pretty big and will take a little time to grow into. But at 8 months, most of Gus' clothes are 18-24 months and he's only getting bigger. I'm betting he'll be in these pants this winter.
All the material, with the exception of the elastic and thread, was free--either given to me, or from Nick's old jeans. So, yay for nearly free clothes! And there's something special about clothing for the kids that was once their dad's. When Rhyl was a lot smaller, I made a dress out of one of Nick's favorite old shirts that was wearing out. It's on this blog somewhere. Anyway, I like doing that.
Boy/Girl Set:
I also made a (size 12 month) dress and pants out of the red/brown corduroy and plaid homespun for my etsy shoppe. I was so happy (and relieved!) when this dress turned out! I didn't use a pattern, or even a tape measure! I just held the fabric up to a dress that was the size I wanted this one to be, and eyeballed seam allowances. Now, if only adult clothing were so easy!

But wait, [sometimes] it is!

Something For Mama:
I am very happy with how this top turned out. Chances are good that you'll see me in many of these this winter. The front and back of this top are exactly the same. It's sort of T shaped. This is another eyeball project. I held up a t-shirt to stretch knit fabric and estimated the width and length. The rough draft turned out a little small, so I held that up to more fabric, eyeballed again, and after some cutting and re-hemming, I had a great little shirt! It looks kind of big and lifeless on the hanger, but my nose is telling me that there's a diaper to change, so more pictures (of it ON) will have to come at a later date.

That's all I have for now. Enjoy your week! And weekend, and whatever that brings you. I might not be back before then. :)