Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brrr... ruff!


Jack, my wimpy (14ish lb.) Pugalier is already getting cold, in and out of the house. I bought him a sweater (size M) at Walmart yesterday, but it has a pumpkin on it. Although witty... a jack-o-lantern sweater on Jack, it is extremely seasonal. I ventured into my sweatshirts and found a $5 plain sweatshirt of my own (size M probably). I looked at the sweater of Jack's and tried to replicate it. This works for a medium size dog. Not sure if this will work for larger dogs since I use sleeve cuffs for the neck opening. This will definitely work for smaller dogs though. So here is how it went.



First I measured the underbelly section and made a template with seam allowances.



My next step was to seam rip the cuff of one sleeve (to use later for the neck). Cut the sleeve up the seam and use your template to trace and cut the underbelly piece.



Next take measurements for your top panel and cut your sweatshirt from the front (including the pocket). Remember seam allowances on all sides, including the neck.



Next, lay your underbelly piece over your new top panel and trace the arm holes onto the top panel. Then trim the top panel.



Next, sew the top panel and underbelly panel together (only one side). You will have two seams, one on either side of the arm holes. You may choose to finish the arm holes with a clean edge, I did not.



Next, cut the other sleeve cuff off, with an inch allowance on other side of seam. Sew the 2 cuffs together. This will be the head opening.


Next, take your pieced panels and give them a clean seam around the neck hole. When finished, pin and sew your cuffs under the new seamed edge.



Next, close up the final side of the panels. When finished, give your top panels extended edges clean edges by flipping over and sewing the rough edge.



And vwalla! You have yourself a doggy sweatshirt, for free. This would work great with old sweaters too.





Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Crafty Scrapy Apron

Yet another additional to my sewing room! This time I used a tutorial, but got lazy. I took the idea, and the measurements of the apron and went on instinct. I'm sure it would have turned out much better if I read the directions, but I was challenging myself. Or was I lazy? hmmm... anyway, I changed things up a bit. I didn't do patchwork, although I LOVE the one in the tutorial. Mostly because I didn't have a selection of scraps that I liked.



If you look closely, there is a small detail that I experimented with. I used the star stitch to create a simple pattern. In hindsight I'd use a contrasting color, but I wasn't as brave when I started. This is a good alternative to creating detail if you aren't patchworking your apron. If you click on the image you can get a closer look.




Now I'm sewing in style.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Jelly Skirt

In an attempt to beautiful my not so beautiful sewing room, I wanted to add in more of the butterfly fabric from the sewing machine cover.

My first project I created myself, not too hard, but I am willing to make a tutorial with measurements if there is interest. Please comment if you'd like me to create a picture tutorial for what I'm calling the "Jelly Skirt." I wanted to dress up a Smuckers Jelly jar to hold my craft supplies. I used elastic around the top. Here's how it turned out.




I'm using an old workbench that was left by the previous home owner for my cutting table. It is truly beat up and ugly. I painted it brown, but I wanted to create a curtain for the back to add color. I also wanted it to be a visual barrier to create definition between the sewing room and laundry room. It's nothing fancy, just an idea if you need to do the same!


Monday, March 9, 2009

I've got ya' covered

Sew this one is from an actual tutorial from a book, the Sew Everything Workshop. I recently set up my sewing room in our unfinished basement, so I wanted to brighten the area as well as keep my machine from getting dusty. It was fun, and it's the first time I used bias tape. There are all sorts of tutorials out there, I just happened to use the one in the book. I did add a handle to the top, which wasn't in the pattern.

I drew my own pattern for the butterfly, actually I just drew half of a butterfly, turned it over and traced it again so I got an even image. This was an easy project and is a huge improvement over the lame plastic one that came with my machine.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Tote-ally Cool

Ok, that title was tote-ally lame. Oh man, I did it again.

This tote project was intimidating, but I am so happy with how it turned out! My thanks go out to Mama's Pocketbook where I got the free pattern & tutorial.

I amended the tutorial a bit and added a zipper pocket on the inside as well as a cell phone/PDA holder. The outside of my tote as 2 lined pockets. I used a thicker fabric, it will wear better over time.

I used a great zipper tutorial to do the hidden zippered pockets.

Good luck! I'm sure I'll be making more of these in different fabrics!



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bear is cold!

My son Wubby loves to "baby" his bear. This is the stuffed animal he sleeps with, we creatively named him "Bear". Wubby is always covering him with blankets and putting him to bed. So with some scraps, I threw this together. I didn't make a tutorial, the concepts are pretty basic. I used 2 colors of fleece and essentially made a sleeping bag with attached pillow. The bear pattern on the front is a reverse applique (see monsters post). I found the image by just searching on the web.

Bear is a little warmer now.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wall-e to Wall-et

This one was an undertaking for me. My first zipper, first snap and first patchwork really. This tutorial is great, but I made some amendments to it. I added a zippered coin pocket with a bill pocket behind instead of the extra credit card slots.

A few notes if you're following the tutorial: I cut 10 strips 1.75" wide (but this depends on your seam allowance). Fabric Ax3, Bx2, Cx2, Dx3.

I used this zipper demo to learn, but there are lots of them out there.



Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wall-e and...an egg

Wubby (my 3 yr old) looooooves Wall-e. For Christmas he got a little Wall-e toy. But sadly, he has no Eve. He loves to pretend play while he watches the movie. In place of Eve, he was using a plastic pretend-play egg. It was pretty pitiful. So, if you look online for Eve action figures that size, the price is jacked up. Again, I'm cheap. But I did find this. They charge for the pattern, so I created my own. I used felt for the black on the eyes and hand stitched the blue eyes (I cut out the eyes on the template and traced them onto the felt) and the leaf emblem. Remember to cut out 2 Eve bodys and 4 arms. I just stitched the arms on afterward, but I've heard some people have used buttons, so the arms swivel better.

Needless to say Eve was a big hit.

What a Sham

No, that's not a typo. In the early hours of the morning before I'm forced to get up, I tend to be the most creative. In our current house my nightstand doesn't fit next to the bed. I needed storage at arms length. Our bedding set came with a bunch of pillow cases, including a European sham (one of those big square ones). The sham was currently being stored in a trunk. So here was my innovative idea.

A bedside organizer.

I seam ripped the back "flaps" of the sham off. I used one of the "flaps" to create pockets. I just sewed the perimeter and then sewed lines up and down to create the pockets. Because the "flap" is larger than the area I was attaching it to, I created pleats (I just folded and sewed) in two spots. The second "flap" I used to line the back of the exposed half of the sham. And whala! I tucked the unfinished half of the sham under the mattress. It works like a charm and blends in perfectly with the bedskirt.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monsters for my monsters

I have boys. Boys don't really play with dolls. But they do play with monsters! I'm not the first or the 100th person to make these. These are dolls inspired by the ugly dolls. There is a whole ring of people out there making these monster plushes. For references just search flickr, google image search. Another great inspiration reference is CurlyQCuties.com. I created my own patterns in Adobe Illustrator and printed them. But what is great about monsters, is they can be lopsided, and just plain ugly. A perfect project for a novice.

First...introducing Humphrey!
I used a curly stitch to sew the felt eye ball on. The green part of the eye is a button with the center cut out, and the black is a doll eye. I got a whole bunch of doll eyes from Hobby Lobby, and also found them at my local Ben Franklin (yes they still exist). Doll eyes are great if you want small children to be handling them. The star is a reverse applique. Oh, and he's got a tail!

Humphrey's template. Print on card stock. Please do not redistribute. This is my personal design, use it only for personal use.

Theodore was my second monster born.
Theodore is made of fleece. His back and front side are different colors. I created his circles with a zig-zag stitch in 2 colors. His eyes are obviously buttons.

Theodore's template. Print on card stock. Please do not redistribute. This is my personal design, use it only for personal use.

There will be more where these guys came from. I ordered the book Plush-O-Rama that has got some really inspirational designs- plus patterns!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rings of glory? ...almost


Even though I don't have a baby baby, just a toddler and preschooler, I am fascinated with baby things. Here is my first and not so perfect attempt at soft baby toys. I used a tutorial and used Michael Miller's First Sight series.

I sewed the baby ring, the baby block, and the ribbon ball.

The fabric is really important to me. I think that is the main draw of sewing for me in particular, besides being cheap that is. I'm a graphic designer at heart and am very inspired by beautiful patterns. Oh, don't forget to add bells inside with the fiber-fill.

These toys were definitely a learning experience, I made a lot of mistakes with the ring especially. But onward I trudge!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sew it all starts here

How did I get interested in sewing at age 26 with no one around me that sews? Bottom line, I'm cheap. Ok, a better way to phrase it, I'm a bargain shopper. I was always saying "That's not worth the $, I could make that." We will soon find out the answer to my cocky and naive assumption.

My mom was coming to visit for a few days and I asked her to bring her sewing machine along. All I had in the house was a pocket sized thread and needle repair kit from Walmart.

My first endeavors were a diaper clutch and a nursing blanket (Hooter Hider). It went surprisingly well. I used a free (free-are you surprised?) tutorial. This was an easy to follow tutorial and pretty easy to make. I also added a pocket to the outside (see 3rd picture). Sure beats a $35 Hooter Hider.





And the second project that turned out to evolve into a mini entrepreneurial adventure was the diaper clutch/case.

I used yet another free tutorial, but I changed the pattern somewhat. Anywho...this is the result. If you are interested in purchasing one and supporting my new craft, search wubby & crumb-butt on ebay.








I created a label (FYI: I'm a graphic designer) for my diaper pouches so I can sell them on ebay and give them as gifts. They've turned out really well. I named the brand "wubby & crumb-butt". The "wubby" comes from my first son's nickname who is 3 and "crumb-butt" is my youngest son's nickname, he's 1.