Sunday, December 18, 2011

Backpacks and Bags Completed

I finished sewing messenger bags and backpacks for the cousins. They turned out pretty good. It was a chance to make some bags and backpacks so I could work on my sewing skills and not have five copies of the same project around my house not getting used. Christmas was a great reason to make new projects and remake the others.

Enjoy cousins and Merry Christmas!

Toddler backpacks for the younger cousins. (These did not have lining in them yet.)

Messenger bags for the two older cousins. I love the tractor fabric with coordinating striped lining. Cute outside pocket!

 I thought the "appliqued" letter in a colorful circle would be a great addition to the bag to help breakup the pattern. Adds character.

 A look at the inside. This time the inside pocket was inserted on the correct side. I wasn't paying attention too well with the first one (tractor one) and the pocket ended up on the inside/front instead of the inside/back. There is also a pocket on the outside of the bag where the flap closes, it's just not in the photo. (See open tractor bag).

All of the completed bags, including lining for the backpacks.

Filled with goodies!

*The patterns for the backpacks and messenger bags came from a book: Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children by Leisl Gibson. I didn't follow the patterns exactly. I altered/used the parts I liked most and made them my own creation.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Santa Photo: Past and Present

There is a photo of my and my twin taken when we were about a year old. We are wearing yellow overalls and sitting on Santa's lap. I've always thought it was a cute picture and loved the yellow overalls.
For the past couple of years I have been on the lookout for yellow overalls and hadn't been able to find any. I think I saw some at Wal-mart when I was pregnant with my son and at the time I didn't know if I was having a boy or girl or how big the baby would be before it would be able to wear the overalls. When I had an idea of what size I might need for them and went back to get them they were nowhere to be found. It's one of those things: should've gotten when I saw it because it's no longer there when I want it. I hate it when that happens.

So, I've been on the lookout for yellow overalls ever since. Then it dawned on me one day that I could probably make them. I searched blogs and other online resources for tutorials, instructions, and possibly a pattern. Ashley, from Make It and Love It, had made some overalls for her son. She used the same pattern for the pants I was going to use from Dana, She didn't have a tutorial or anything but her post was a great place to get me started.

I found some corduroy fabric in white, couldn't find the yellow I wanted. I knew Dana,, had a tutorial on dyeing fabric so I read that. I even emailed her a question and she answered it. She was very helpful, so thank you Dana.

Getting a response from someone who inspires you is awesome. It's kind of like when I taught gymnastics and one of the women's Olympic champions called to give us some information about a camp the team girls were attending. I'm thinking, I cannot believe I am talking to Svetlana Boginskaya, Olympic gymnast. This is so cool! You know that feeling?

Ok, back to fabric. So I dyed the fabric yellow and eventually got the color I wanted. Then cut out my patten and tweaked my design till I got what I wanted and created two cute pairs of yellow overalls.

 Yea for me!

I took the kiddos to the mall yesterday to see Santa. The main goal was to get a picture of both of the kids wearing yellow overalls with Santa.

Mission Accomplished!

The girl wasn't happy about being left with Santa but the last photo that was taken she wasn't crying. It's a winner! We gave her some bells to play with, which helped calm her down enough to snap the photo.

It's not exactly the same but my goal was accomplished.

You guys look so cute in those overalls!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This...turns into this

I started with this...

 Plain white corduory fabric.

It turned into this...
I dyed it yellow. Lemon yellow.
 It was too lemony for me. So I found some golden yellow dye.

Then, it turned into this. Golden yellow. Or as I call it Sunshine yellow.
No more lemony yellow.
 I know, you can't tell the difference from the photos, but take my word for it, it was lemony yellow and way too bright for what I wanted it to be. It is still a bright yellow and could have used a little more time in the golden yellow dye, but it will work.

And then it turned into this...
Cute overalls for the boy and the girl.

 For the Girl                                                                   For the Boy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Fun

Happy Halloween!
The cuteness continues.

Everyone loved the Scooby Doo costume so much that he was getting a little tired of all of the attention. When we went to the Trunk-or-treat the boy decided he didn't want to be Scooby, he wanted to be Iron Man. So, he wore Iron Man under Scooby Doo. It's his secret identity you know. 

Magic Trick...


Silly Pumpkins.

That's better.

Past halloween fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fabric and Toddler Backpack

I. Love. Remnants. I may have mentioned that before. The first thing I do when I go to a fabric store, or a store that has fabric, is find the bins with the remnants.

Slight change in thought process ahead...You've been advised.

Many years ago I had some fabric handed down to me. I didn't know what to do with any of it, all I knew was I wanted it. So I held on to it until I could decide what to use it for. Having a baby girl and searching online for pillow case dresses definitely got me thinking about this saved-up fabric and what I could do with it. This stash started out as my "practice" fabric. I didn't know if my sewing skills were going to be any good and I didn't want to ruin pretty fabric in case I failed miserably.

I did just fine.

Now, in this stash of fabric I have some that I am at a loss as to what to do with it. Take this fabric for example. It's very girly. It's a slightly coarse fabric, not very soft like nice cotton or knits, stiff, but not hard. It wouldn't make anything that would be comfortable to wear. What was I going to do with it?

Researching sewing projects...

Then, while I was looking on one of the blogs I follow, Katherine at Sew Me Something Good, had mentioned a book she got from the library that had patterns for stuff to make for kids. Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children by Liesl Gibson. She had used it for her kids, but they were grown now and wanted to look through it again and found a pattern to make something for her niece's birthday. She made a messenger bag. I, too, want to make one of those.
Also, on the Made by Rae site she had made some toddler backpacks, and I thought they were neat. There was a pattern in the Oliver + S book for a toddler backpack. Luckily my library system carries this book and I was the next one to get it. I copied the patterns I wanted to use onto white tissue paper and made copies of the pages of instructions. I now had a project in mind for this fabric. A toddler backpack.

There were a lot of firsts with this project.
1. I had not used a pattern or tutorial or instructions that Dana had not posted on her website (
2. I had never installed a zipper in anything.
3. I don't have a zipper foot or walking foot.
4. I had no idea how this was going to turn out.

I was very pleased with the outcome of this toddler backpack project.

I didn't follow the instructions exactly. I didn't add a lining like it called for. I didn't put in a pocket on the inside, just the one on the outside. I didn't follow the instructions for that pocket either. I didn't have the supplies for adjustable straps, so I improvised and made non-adjustable straps. They are big enough to fit over an adult arm but not so big that the bag would drag too far down the back of a small child.

The zipper installation was easier than I thought. I found a tutorial on one of the blogs I follow. Ashley, from Make It and Love It, thanks for the perfect timing. I remembered, didn't memorize, how she said to do it and used her instructions instead of the book instructions. Her instructions were similar to what the book said, but easier to follow. Besides putting the zipper on upside down the first time, luckily I had only sewed one side when I realized it was upside down, it wasn't a bad process at all. I'm sure with practice it would have turned out better but it's not crooked and it opens and closes perfectly. A winner in my book!

 Looks cute on you darling! Thanks for modeling.

One for my son. He saw the first one I made and wanted one as well. I couldn't say no to that.

Perfect fit.

I didn't do a good job of paying attention when I was installing the zipper part to the backpack so it opens and closes on the wrong side, if there is a wrong side to something like that. It just feels strange. But as long as it opens and closes and I can live with it, it works.

Friday, October 7, 2011

We finally wear pants

Cooler weather has finally arrived. My son was able to wear the seersucker pants I made him on the way to see the grandparents. They were adorable on him.

The fall outfit. You can't see the whole thing because it was cold but it looked great.

We went to see Thomas. Hi Thomas.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cute Pants for The Girl

I found some fabric in the remnant pile at Wal-Mart. Inspired by Dana from, as usual, I made a couple of pairs of pants for my daughter.

Pink sparkles and colorful heart kneepads...

 They even look cute on.

This pink sparkly fabric had a very Christmas-y look to them. I thought it would make a cute pair of girly pants for my little tinkerbell.