Trick or Treat!

Fall is here in Montana!  The mornings are cool, but the days are still pleasant (thankfully).  Somehow all of September and October have flown by, and here we are on Halloween.  My kids are sleeping peacefully as I write, tuckered out from some mid-day trick-or-treating on the walking mall.   Our downtown businesses are so hospitable, opening their doors during the afternoon for the youngsters.  The kids had a blast playing outside, collecting treats, and walking a few blocks.  It was great.

This Halloween, I thought I was going to have it easy.  Our oldest (still obsessed with firemen) wanted to be a fireman.  We already have that costume.  I thought it would be cute to have his brother be the firehouse dalmatian.  My assistant even loaned out her dalmatian costume to us.  It was too big for our youngest, so F tried it on and decided he’d rather be a dalmatian, too.  I thought that would be fine, I’ll just make a dalmatian for his brother.  Easy.

I went to JoAnn’s and bought a pattern I could modify into a dalmatian.

Simplicity 1351The fox was an appropriate choice.  I only had to modify the ears to make a cute little dalmatian.  I bought the polar fleece and notions to get it done.

After awhile, Finn was asking if I was going to make him a dalmatian costume, too.  My sweet boy loves it when I make things for him.  Of course I’ll make him one, too.  How can I refuse when I know in a few years he probably won’t want anything I make for him?  So back I went to JoAnn’s to get more polar fleece and another zipper.

I had good intentions of starting these costumes in early October, but after a couple of work trips and CE classes, I was down to the last weekend before Halloween.  I was able to start and finish BOTH costumes the Sunday before Halloween.  My hubby was so awesome to keep the kids occupied while I worked away like an elf at Christmas.  It only took 8 hours (THANK YOU SIMPLICITY PATTERNS) on and off that day.  AND, it felt so good to just get them done.  No staying up until 11 or midnight the night before just to finish costumes.  They were so easy, and turned out to be pretty darn cute.  The kicker?  Guess who had to be the fireman…

dalmatians

They’re not perfect, but they’re warm and Finn couldn’t wait to wear his this morning.  So awesome!

Trolley dalmatiansFireman and dalmatians

It’s not Halloween without a pic of at least one kiddo crying!

Happy Halloween!

~Ingrid

Baptism Bear

Super-sweet bear that I made for our godson’s baptism.  I hadn’t made a stuffed animal since I was a kid, so it was kind of a new project for me.  I scoured Pinterest for stuffed animal patterns, but came up empty-handed.  I went to the quilting store, and didn’t see anything I liked there.  Finally settled on this pattern (5461) from Simplicity to make the bear:

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Of course I had specific fabric that I had in mind to use.  Remember the baby quilt I made a while back?  Well, turns out I had enough of the gray minky material from the back of the quilt for the bear,

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and enough of my leftover bridesmaid dress for the ears and soles of the feet!

It turned out to be a much simpler project than I imagined.  In fact, it was down-right quick and easy to sew this bear together.  And I LOVE (LOVE!) the way it turned out.  So sweet.  IMG_0583

I think the hardest parts were hand-embroidering the nose and the extra embroidery I did on the soles of the feet.  But I love it.  And I should probably make my own boys a teddy bear, but they already have their stuffies!

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Cheers to Sammy!

~Ingrid

Back to School

Our oldest son started preschool this fall! We are so excited for him. We fell in love with the Montessori program when we toured the school last spring, and couldn’t wait for him to get going.

As it was his first day of school (ever!), I felt like he needed a little something special from his mama. Enter Made-by-Rae’s Toddler backpack.  I had visions of grandeur about sewing this for him weeks before school started, but (as always) the time got away from me, and there I sat with my fabric and new pattern on the night before school.  I was only going to get as far as I could get, but by 10pm, I was so close to being done.  By 11, I was done…until I realized I had put the straps on backwards.  By 11:45, I was finally done, and ready to send my Big Little boy off to his first day of school.

sock monkey backpack It really is the perfect size for a toddler.  Not too big, not too small.  Just right (apparently he’s a boy goldilocks?)….

IMG_0081No, we didn’t send him to school in his pajamas.  At least we haven’t yet.  That day might come.

IMG_0064Sock monkey fabric from JoAnn fabrics, Red dot fabric (Robert Kaufman, I believe) from the Sewing Palace.  I did have to line the front and back with a heavier fabric to make it a little sturdier.  I didn’t fuse it into place, just basted the lighter fabric to the heavier fabric before sewing the pattern pieces together.

IMG_0062He is still loving his backpack three weeks in.  Success!  And well worth the lack of sleep to see a smile on my boy’s face!

IMG_0077~Ingrid

Craft Table Tutorial

Well, after months of Pinteresting all of the web’s fabulous craft tables, I finally made my own!  I had an idea of what I wanted, it was just a matter of getting it done (and having someplace to put it).

On my wish-list:

  • Storage
  • Counter height surface
  • Laminate counter top to pin and cut fabric
  • Big enough to fit my large cutting mat for quilting

On John’s list:

  • Roll away or fold-away in case we have company and need to actually use our guest room

I managed to get everything on BOTH of our wish lists, without compromising on size.  I am loving it!  And loving my ingenuity!!!  There were no directions out there, so here is my “craft table tutorial”.

finished table

Materials:

  • Laminate counter top to the dimensions that you desire.
  • 2 cube storage shelves.  Mine are 2 wide by 3 high.
  • 2 pieces of scrap wood that are relatively flat and about the same width as your storage cube pieces.
  • Wood screws
  • Brackets or clasps

I ordered the countertop from Ikea.  I was going to have one custom made, but thought I would give the pre made one a shot…the price was right.  I believe I got the cube storage shelves from Target, but any big box store will have them.

Assembly:

As mentioned before, I wanted the table to fold or roll.  I thought about how I would make that happen, and decided it would be easiest to have the countertop come off, when needed.  Here’s how to achieve that with clasps or brackets similar to what you’d find underneath a dining room table.

Lay out your counter top, wrong-side up.

Countertop

Mark where you would like to have the “legs” of your craft table by placing the top piece of the storage cube on the countertop.

As you can see, I am measuring the placement of the unassembled storage cube.  Draw a line along the innermost edge of the storage cube.countertop with board

Place the piece of scrap wood along the line that you just drew.  Screw into place.placing bracing

I didn’t have a piece of scrap wood, it was decorative trim.  It was basically the same dimension on the fat side of the trim as my shelving unit, so I used it.

Repeat the process for the other end of the craft table so that you have two pieces that will brace your shelving units:

Bracings

Assemble the clasp units onto both the bracing and the shelving unit.  Follow the instructions that came with your clasp if need be.  I used 4 clasps for stability.

clasp

4 clasps

Your removable countertop is now finished.  Assemble the shelving units using the instructions they came with.

Shelving unitYou can see the half of the clasp that has already been attached to the shelving unit (above).

Move your craft table to the desired location prior to assembling it.

Attach the countertop, and begin crafting!  finished table

craft table

I am happy to say that my husband had no part in the “wood working” on this project.  I can’t remember where he was, but the kids were in bed early, so I pulled out the saw and the drill and got to work!  We women can do this stuff, too!

Cheers!

Ingrid

Summer Sewing

When I found out that I was going to be the mom of boys, I was a little bummed that I wasn’t going to have girls to sew for.  The clothes for girls are SO CUTE.  The dresses with ruffles and bows.  The tutus and matching onesies.  The baby leg warmers and hair bows.  You get the idea.  Being the mom of boys, I have dressed them in comfortable clothes that are easy to change.  Sure, they have their dress-up duds that keep them looking cute, but our day-to-day look is very easy.  Our three year old picks out (whatever) he wants to wear.  Our one year old is put in something easy.  We are busy people!

I had a lot of fun sewing for my boys over the fourth of July weekend.  They were in need of some shorts with the weather in the mid to high 80s.  And do you know what?  They sure looked cute when I was done with them!  Not ruffles and bows cute, but an awesome boy cute.

I love the shorts that Dana has designed over at MADE.  I bought the Kid Shorts Pattern with some specific fabric in mind to try it out.

G shorts

The first pair, one for each boy, was made from Timeless Treasures Retro Geek print.  I picked up the fabric while we were on vacation.  I absolutely adore it!

flat front short

I made the flat-front version of the Kid Short pattern.  I didn’t change anything about the pattern this go-around, nor did I measure my kids’ waists.  I just made the pattern in their corresponding commercial size.

F retro geek

They fit great!  Of course, I had to appliqué a matching shirt.

IMG_0430This model was getting a little frisky with the camera:

retro geek shortsI love the pockets on those shorts.

The next set that I made was from the same pattern, but just the plain shorts.  Fabric from JoAnns, shirts from JC Penney.

superhero shortsThe super hero shorts.  This model would only pose with food.  My other model was a bit uncooperative.

The pattern was easy to follow and simple to sew.  I will be making it again, probably for years to come as it goes up to a size 8 or 10!  I see more shorts in our future!

Cheers!

~Ingrid

 

Junk in the Trunk

Our family went on vacation last week.

We had a grand time in Harrison, Idaho biking around Lake Coeur D’Alene for my mom’s birthday.  There is a Rails to Trails system from Wallace to Plummer, Idaho–it was so fabulous!  I wish we had something like that closer to home.

John bike

Bikers

We then headed over to the Oregon Coast to where John and I got married.   Our kids had a blast on the beach playing, making sand castles, and stomping in puddles.  We stopped by Nehalem Bay Winery and bought a few of our favorite bottles to take home with us.  We hiked.  We had great seafood.  And it was so good to just get away.

Hike

On the way home, we stopped in Portland for a few hours.  I got to take a tour of the new dental school that is being built on the waterfront.  It really is fabulous.  Those students will be spoiled with all of that new equipment!!  (I am only slightly jealous, as part of the reason for our vacation was an equipment install in my office!) After Portland, we gunned it to Spokane and stayed with some good friends who had moved there last year.  Good company!

Vacation was awesome, but man am I glad to be home!  Our youngest might have screamed a lot in the car.  And both kids might have gotten car sick on one leg of the trip.  Regardless, it was good to get away!

Our junk in the trunk (a whole SUV full of diapers, bags, toys, etc) reminded me of a project that John helped me with about a month ago.  A pinterest hack, if you will.

Did you ever see those trunks made into lateral filing cabinets on Pinterest?

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I really wanted to make one.  Find a trunk at Target, get some rods for it, and voila!  A new filing cabinet.  As I was pondering this project, I was also in the middle of some spring cleaning.  Of course I saw our old trunk sitting in the living room and thought, “Bingo!”

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We went to Lowes and found some cheap metal rods and decorative wood pieces that would work to slide them into for the supports.

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John screwed the wood pieces into the existing wood supports inside the trunk.

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I helped putting the rods in. (It’s not very pretty, but it stores files!)

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And it was done!

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Not quite as cute as my pinterest find, but it’s a filing cabinet!  And I am already using it!  Best part was that it cost less than $8!

Cheers!

~Ingrid

 

Baby Gifts Galore!

The last few months have been busy.  Baby gifts coming out of my ears.  Well, not really out of my ears, but out of my sewing room.  Most were easy basics like burp cloths and bibs, but I did get a cute hat made for a dental friend.  And when I say cute, I mean super cute!  I can’t wait to make a couple for my own boys!

Burp cloths

These burp cloths are my favorite.  Super absorbent, large, and multi-purpose.  I was given a few when my oldest was born, and have been making “knock-offs” since!

Bib/burp setBib, burp cloth and onesie set, just in time for an Easter babe!

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Flannel applique on onesie, using my appliqué t-shirt method.IMG_0119

Flannel burp cloth…another favorite!IMG_0117And a flannel with terry cloth bib.  When making bibs, I just trace a store-bought bib and add 1/2″ rough seam allowance.  Super easy and awesome!

Baby girl hatThe cute baby hat.  I am in love with this hat!  I had all of the fabrics on hand. The main body was a fat quarter I had on my shelf, while the purple and pink were remnants from other projects.

IMG_0180A slight gather in the lining…but it still looks great, and it’s in the lining.

The boy’s version of this pattern is pretty much the same, but without the ruffle.  I think my boys need super hero hats and matching pajama bottoms!

Cheers!

Ingrid

Spring Top Sewalong

I have been reading Made By Rae‘s blog for several years now.  She always has some awesome projects going on, patterns to download and tutorials to follow.

Spring-Top-Button-2014-300

This year I decided to participate in the Spring Top Sewalong!  It’s basically an excuse to sew a new top for yourself….not that I need an excuse….but it definitely gave me a goal!

I have had this pattern in my stash for a year or so, hoping to get to it someday:

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I really liked both the short and long sleeved version, as well as the skirt.  I could see myself wearing something like that to work, if I weren’t sitting with my legs spread-eagle every day while I work on patients.  The skirt–not so practical for me.  The blouse–it’s a go!

I ordered some tan lace from Fashion Fabrics Club that would go with a floral fabric that I purchased from JoAnn’s.  I have used Fashion Fabrics Club before, and even ordered the silk chiffon for my wedding dress from them.  The prices are reasonable, but the shipping seems to take forever (yes, I am spoiled by Amazon Prime).

The pattern itself was easy to follow and simple to put together.  I did French seams and serging on raw edges to finish my seams.  (The floral would have freyed if I hadn’t done something to finish the edges.)

New look pattern

The fit is pretty darn good.  I probably could have gone a size up just for a bit more room, though.  (I am still adjusting to my post-babies-figure and sizing, even though my youngest is over a year!)

Spring blouse

Future adjustments to the pattern: give myself a bit more ease in the sleeves. They are a bit tight if I bring my arms forward.

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However, I like how it fits and have worn it several times already!  All-in-all a great top and fairly easy to make!

~Ingrid

T-shirt into Baby Gown Refashion

I am sure that you have gathered that I enjoy making things for the babies and kiddos in my life.  I absolutely adore something handmade for a brand-new baby!  Whether it’s clothes, hats, burp cloths, car seat covers…I love it all.  Not to mention that most baby projects are pretty fast and easy, which works for me these days!

One of John’s band member’s is expecting his second child in May (or rather, his wife is expecting…).  The little pup’s gender is currently a surprise.  I wanted a gift that was fairly gender neutral, but definitely wanted to use a Clinton’s T-shirt.

I found the Rockin’ Baby Gown Tutorial awhile back and knew exactly which shirt I was going to use for it.  This is a great tutorial from thismamamakesstuff.com.  It was easy to follow and the pattern didn’t have any hiccups.

I used my Sellout Tshirt, but of course didn’t take a before photo.  (Shameless plug:  you can find your own copy of Sellout at www.clintonsband.com)

But here’s the after:

Sellout gownThe main body is from the original t-shirt.  The blue sleeves and collar are from a second t-shirt.

Gown backThe pattern came with the fold-over sleeve modification, which is perfect for new babies so that they don’t scratch themselves.

IMG_0073Just a close-up of the sleeve.  I used a twin needle to hem the sleeve and neck, which gives it a nice professional-looking finish.  The blue material was a little more difficult to sew because it stretched a lot.  I had to decrease my presser foot tension to feed it more evenly.

Folded sleevesI modified the neck edge slightly to accommodate the contrast knit ribbing instead of hemming the neck edge.  Other garment finishes included serging the edges after sewing the seams at the proper seam allowance.

All in all, an easy tutorial to follow, and great up-cycle.  The finished product is also awesome!  I loved these type of gowns when my boys were newborns!  They made middle of the night diaper changes super easy–no snaps or zippers to deal with!

~Ingrid

 

Applique T-shirt Tutorial

I am posting today about how to make an appliquéd T-shirt.  It’s pretty easy to do, and doesn’t necessarily require sewing.  I usually sew around the designs that I put on, but if you choose the right bonding, you don’t have to.

GoCats Applique

Materials:

  • T-shirt
  • Fabric scraps for design
  • Adhesive–I use Heat N Bond Lite because I sew around it.  You could also use Heat N Bond Ultra if you didn’t want to sew around it.
  • A design to appliqué

First, draw or print a design from it’s source (the internet).  Make sure that it will fit across your T-shirt, especially if you are sewing for kids.

Go catsAs you can see, mine is a sports logo from the internet.  (Go Cats!)  If you want the orientation the same on the T-shirt, turn the design over and trace it.  If you don’t care about mirroring your object, feel free to skip the next step.

TracingTrace the outline of the design in pen so that it will show through the adhesive.  I am planning on layering this with two fabrics, so I have two outlines to trace.

Trace onto adhesiveTrace the design onto your adhesive, allowing for a small border around the design when you cut it out.  You are tracing on the paper side of the adhesive.

Cut out tracingCut out the designs, leaving a small border around each.  This helps to ensure that the entire design will be well-bonded to your fabric appliqué.

Bonding designBond the design to the wrong side of your fabric following the manufacturer’s directions.  Allow it to cool.

Cut our your designCut out your design (on the lines) and remove the paper backing from the adhesive.

IMG_0032After removing the paper backing, place the fabric design on the T-shirt where you want it.  Iron in place, following the manufacturer’s directions again.

ironing imageI am layering my designs.  I ironed the first design (blue) in place, and then placed the yellow on top and bonded it in place.

If you are not planning on sewing around your design, you are done!  If you are, sew around the design following the contours.  A decorative stitch or zig zag stitch works best.  I prefer a blanket stitch on mine because I know where the needle will end up after each portion of the stitch, making it more accurate in my hands.  (Yes, I am type A.)

GoCats AppliqueAfter sewing around the border, you are done!  Put on willing recipient and repeat after me:  Go CATS!!

IMG_0042IMG_0051This is Finn’s second Go Cats shirt…He out grew the first!

Happy crafting!

~Ingrid