Friday, June 24, 2011

Making (baby, toddler or) kids pants

               Peanut is in need of new play and PJ pants. I don't think I've ever bought her a pair of pants... except the ones that were with sets bought for birthdays or holidays. She/I have been given enough for normal use and I make the rest. Not being a fan of commercial patterns I make my own. For Peanut I make a new one about every 6 months as she is a teeny-tiny little munchkin. So I figured I would show you how I do that, without using a pair of already exsisting pants. You can google how to make baby/kids/toddler pants all day long and 99.8% of them will have you use a pair of exsisting pants as your starting point. My way, you kind of learn how to draft on your own a bit.

First I should mention that I'll let you know where I made simple little mistakes and what to do to fix them. This may seem daunting but once you do it the first time you'll see it is actually very simple. I would go as far as to say it's good even for a beginner. Second, I don't pin. Like, anything... ever. I used to though so feel free to pin as you need. I just hold the fabrics together and the edges stay together pretty darn well!

So here goes!

Measure your pants recepiant. Peanut's waist is 17 inches around, inseam is 12 inches and total lenght from hip to heel (which I call sideseam) is 18 inches.
With these measurments I know I need to add inches to all measurments to make the pattern.
I used craft wax paper, newspaper, poster board, or whatever I have around. If your lucky enough to have pattern paper, more power to you!

This is the shape you want.

This is how to figure it out. Using a pencil first, draw your top waist piece, this pattern is half of a whole so say your waist measurment is 17 inches, round up to 20 then divide by 4. So your top waist line should be at least 5 inches.
For the rear/groin area take the total sideseam measurment and subtract the inseam, in this case, 18 minus 12. The drop down line needs to be about 2 inches longer than the total, so the drop down line in this case needs to be at least 8 inches long. The curve I usually make about 2 inches in.
For the next line you'll be making the inseam. Peanut's inseam is 12 inches so I make the pattern inseam line 13 inches. Once you have the pattern done in pencil you can go over it in permanent marker and take a picture for future reference, then cut out your new pattern!

To use your pattern you are going to fold your fabric in quarters (fourths, whichever term you prefer). Lay your pattern with the straight side on the edge that contains both folds. (Now here is something important to remember: The pattern measurements are for a fabric that stretches a bit, like jersey. If your fabric does not stretch, like flannel, put your pattern in about an inch from the folded edge to make the pants a little bigger to make sure the pants wearer won't rip the seams when they go to sit down. Again experience!)

Now the easiest way I've found to cut out the fabric is to use my rotary cutter and acrylic ruler. I lay the acrylic ruler down along the very edge of te pattern so as not to cut it. First cutting the long side, then top the rear/groin area. Once it's cut out you should have two pieces that look just like these. (If by some chance you accidentally cut the center seam and ended up with 4 pieces exactly like your patter don't fret you can fix it! Simply sew the pieces together so they do make this. Sew with about 1/4 inch seam though as not to make the pants much smaller. Aren't you loving learning from my mistakes?)

Now you are going to put the piece together right sides together and sew the "J's". Also, serge it if you've got it! If not a zig zag stitch at the edges with work.
This next step will make your pants look like pants. Pick up the pants in the middle of the top layer of fabric.

Meet the two "J" seams in the middle, like so.

Laying them down flat, now you should have this.

I don't know about you but I really don't find hemming a fun task so I make my bottom hems now, before the legs are sewn into legs! For this, just serge (or zig zig) the raw edge. Then sew a half inch hem. Easy, yes?

Now, laying the pants flat like before, you're going to sew from one hemmed bottom to the other, continuous, and easy.

Again, serge or zigzag the raw edge.

Now on to the last part, the waist band. I favor elastic so this is how to do that, if you get adventurous a drawstring works really nicely too. First serge or zig zag your top waist edge.

Since Peanut's waist is 17 inches I cut 17 inches of 3/4 inch wide elastic. Now I do the usual, fold over the edge to make a casing just a hair bigger than the elastic. Sew leaving about two inches open to insert the elastic, and run the elastic through with a safety pin. You can also use this method, which I've tried but still like the old way better. Maybe it'll get more natural the more I do it though!

You should end up with something like this,

You did, right? Of course you did! Now try them on their new owner!

And it is totally optional to let her dance on your desk because she loves the new pants you made!
Oh! And don't forget to keep your pattern in a safe place and mark it as to when you made it or what size it fits!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tooth Fairy pillow

               Doodle Bug lost another tooth yesterday. Unfortunately we also lost his original tooth holder. No worries, Super Mommy to the rescue! The old one was made of super sturdy craft felt and I really like it. I will find it one day, probably stuck into a sock or somewhere else just as strange! This time I let Doodle Bug design it. He wanted a little tooth shaped pillow on a pillow. I did my best to oblige. I added a hanging handle as well though for ease of access. This is what we ended up with.

This is how we did it.
Make a tooth template

Trace template onto felt scrape

Cut out tooth

Stitch tooth dimension then stitch tooth to fabric scrap (leave top open though to stick your tooth in!)

Fold in half, sew edge and bottom, flip right side out

Stuff pillow with small amount of poly fill and stuff a little into the bottom of the tooth

Baste the top closed

Sew on a bit of bias tape

Make a handle with bias tape
There you have it, a tooth fairy pillow made from scraps! Enjoy your tooth-less wonder and sleep tight!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Daddy's 6 pack

               Here it is, my take on "Daddy's 6 pack"! Idea courtesy of Krista at While He Was Napping. She too has a snacker hubby.
               For the box, I used an old puzzle box and taped them together then cut a hole just the right size that it would be a nice snug fit for the bottles. Then covered it with cardstock and decorated with letter stickers and contact paper stars I made with the Cricut. I used bottles from coffee drinks. I made the labels and covered the tops of the lids with contact paper cut on my Cricut. Cute, right?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I've lost my way!

               When I started this blog it was supposed to be a craft blog. Somehow it's turned into a craft-mommy-life blog. Looking back at my earlier posts I was on the right track, but somewhere in there I expanded my horizons. But now I fell like I've lost the craft part, and that really isn't what I want. I want to run a craft blog like the ones I read everyday. I want to do more tutorials and projects that people oh and aw over! Monday's post will be about the Father's Day gift the kids and I have done for Hubby. After that I'm going to try to buckle down and get some good stuff together to keep you guys interested and build my followers! Any suggestions would be appreciated, I want to know what you want to see! Challenge me, I'm up for it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

June grocery budget

               This month I'm shopping a little different. Last month I shopped every week (or so). This month I'm trying to shop for more at a time and go to the store(s) less. So far this month I've spent 288.13. Pretty close to my budget limit but I've got a freezer full of food, a stocked pantry and about 2 weeks of food coming from Angel food. Speaking of Angel food, I don't get to pick that order up until the 25th. It'll go well into July but since I paid for it in June that the month I'm including it for. Also I'm a bit closer to budget than usual at this point because I bought *luxury* stuff for Hubby to grill on Father's day. (His idea, not mine! He just really likes to grill!)
               The remaining 11.87 will end up on milk most likely. ( We get milk for 2.19 a gallon so 2.19*5=10.95 and that about how much milk we use in half a month) So pretty close to perfect! Yeah!
I've spent:
$141.95 at Aldi's
$30.18 at the Meat Market
$116 Angel food

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sewing to sew

First ever thing I've listed on Etsy! For sale right now!
               Unfortunately I'm a people pleaser by nature. I will do what I think people want until I don't remember what I was trying for in the first place. This causes me to lose focus. I'm really talking about my sewing and crafting right now. I'm always scouring the blogs to see what things people like and make and purchase. But in doing this I forget to just make things from the heart. If I make things that are too close to other things that are already out there it's pointless. They won't want the same things they can get somewhere else. When people buy handmade items they are looking for unique, not the same old things they've seen everywhere else! So why should it matter what anyone else is doing or what colors or patterns or whatever they are using? I'm not a "follow the rules" seamstress anyway! I don't generally use commercially sold patterns, I barely ever use straight pins, I sew bias tape wrong (I think), and I don't measure unless it really needs it.
               To lift my sewing block I need to just do my thing. After all that's what people like about my stuff, right? My mom loves her purple patchwork purse, Doodle Bug's teacher loves her sunflower bag and over-the-shoulder water bottle holder. Peanut still loves the kitty I made her for her first birthday. Doodle Bug still loves his pants and multiple crayon, pencil and marker holders. So I just need to get up, shake it off, and sew!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sewing? I do that... don't I?

               Usually I sew without really thinking about it. I just sit down, think of what I want to create and off I go. But for some odd reason, now that I need to sew to make money, I can't! I am by no means short on supplies. It doesn't even have to be sewing, I can't seem to MAKE anything but dinner right now! I did manage to make Hubby some chocolate chip cookies for his birthday yesterday since he likes cookies better than cake though. I do wonder if I ran out of ideas or just don't have enough confidence in the things I make. Even though everyone always loves them I always doubt my skills. I just need inspiration... where to find insipration... I could make something to do with ducks!
              Speaking of ducks, here's Lucky! I can't believe how he's doubled in size. He used to be able to sit in my hand, now he needs both of them!

               We did however make it to the beach on Friday. It was really nice to just go and play and not worry about anything!

               So, I may not be sewing but I'm enjoying having my boy home for the summer!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Today's lesson- Irony

               Okay boys and girls, today's lesson will be short as I'm sure we're all ready to have some summer fun.
The Handmade Happiness description of irony is stuff that is funny but not ha-ha funny. An example of this is:
Dad starts new job on the same day as son starts school- Dad files for unemployment on son's last day of school.
See? Funny, but not ha-ha funny. Life thinks she's so clever but she's really not.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Getting going

               I think if I didn't need to sleep there still wouldn't be enough time for me to feel like I can get ahead of all of my tasks! Right now I'm working frantically to get stuff listed in my Etsy shop. I started getting business cards out to people and now I've got to get stuff for them to look at and buy! Backwards, I know but I really wanted to get some of our school staff before the end of school, which is tomorrow. So in the next week or so if your wondering were I am or what I'm doing, I'll be at my desk, hip-high in fabric, thread, glue, and glitter!
               Once Father's Day is past our summer REALLY gets to start. I'm so excited to get to spend the extra time with Doodle Bug before he has to hit the books again. It's been a long, hard road for him this year and he's done amazing! He has done so much more than we'd ever imaged and succeeded so very well. He deserves a great summer and I intend to help him get the most out of it. Friday we will be going to the beach and doing some gifts to celebrate his achievement, we're all so excited! Even though I'm heart broken about my little boy growing up so fast and his teacher retiring!
So grown up