Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tis Nearly the Season

I realized that I never followed through with making any more elf stockings for our Christmas mantle.  It's the story of my crafting life these days.  As a refresher, I made this stocking earlier this year:
It's super skinny.  I can't even fit my hand down to the heel.  It doesn't matter, really, because I doubt anyone will ever put anything in it...It's my stocking.  I have since added a bell and patched a hole with some velvet ribbon.  It's ready to go!

I decided to tackle the other stockings before my Xmas crafting season gets underway.  I really should've started the gift making first, but this was much easier and more fun.  For the next two stockings I used a commercial pattern:  McCall's M5261 (out of print).  I had to flip the pattern so that the toe pointed to the right, though I really only used one piece of the pattern in order to get a better sized stocking.  

I marbled four pieces of fabric when I took that marbling class.  I used the gold piece in the above stocking.  I used this piece for the next stocking:
 It's a sturdy polyester, so it held up a lot better than the gold when I was sewing it.  And here's the result:
I changed the toe from the original pattern for a more elfin appearance.  I love all these colors!  I used faux purple fur from a failed bunny costume from a few years ago as the top cuff and I embellished it with some weird strands of home dec rope things:
I backed it with some light green that I had to piece together to make enough to fit.

I added some decorative stitches to the toe because the fabrics were a bit warped at that seam.  I still need to add a bell to the tippy toe, but I only have red or gold bells and it needs a silver bell.  Actually, I think I have one silver bell somewhere -- it was the bell from the cat's broken collar.  I figured I would find a use for it instead of throwing it into the landfill, but it's small and I can't remember where I stuck it.

As it's been hanging on the mantle for a day or two, I realized that the stocking needs more sparkle, so I may add some sequins to some of the seams.  I have those strands of sequins, so it would be a really quick and easy addition.

I also want to find some little craft letters for each of our initials and glitter them up.  I thought they could hang on the same hook to designate each person's stocking.

Stay tuned later this week for Stocking #3!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Color Update

Six months ago I found an umbrella stand at an antique shop and the goal was to spray paint it a new color this summer.  I never got around to it in the summer, but since our autumn has been so mild, I ended up doing it a few weeks ago.

I had three extra cans of spray paint left over from the play house renovation, so I took them back to the hardware store and exchanged them for a can of gold, a can of teal, and a can of clear.

 Teal and gold!  I left the interior black and I didn't do anything with that silver top piece, see below.  I need to find a little finial thing to screw into it, but I don't think I need to spray it. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015


My toddler...wait, she's no longer a toddler.  I keep forgetting that.  My nearly four year old daughter has never been allowed in my craft room, but this weekend I let her in.  She asked me from outside the gate for something special from within the room, so I lifted her up, put her smack dab in the middle of it, and said, "Now, something special is in my room."

She wasn't impressed.

She quickly honed in on every single pokey, sharp, dangerous implement in that room.  Pincushion?  Yup.  Seam ripper?  You betcha!  Ugh.   And then she found the dollhouse that I plan on refinishing.  She was pretty smitten and started playing with all the little pieces of furniture that came with it.
So cute.  She then asked me to make her some people.  Double cute!  So I scoured the mess and spied some empty thread spools and a blue Sharpie.  Instant people!
So now I have to get on this house again, but not until after Christmas.  Maybe I can do it by her birthday?  I don't know.  I had other plans for a birthday gift (puppet theatre?), but I don't think I can do both.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Here they are!  The Rainbow and Little Sun:
I took inspiration for the rainbow from A Subtle Revelry,  Costume Works, and a pinned Etsy item that is no longer available.  I took one large half circle of the red for the backing, then I sewed some heavy interfacing to that, and then I started working on the front of the rainbow.  I sewed a line of each color, slightly overlapping the first.  Then I added a line of clouds and stuffed that to give it some puffiness.
There's that shiny pot of gold!  Anyway, then I just repeated the process for the back.  My favorite parts, though, are the straps:
Rainbow elastic!  What a good little find at Treadle Yard Goods.  I don't know if she took much notice, but I was thrilled about it.  Red would have made the straps blend in with her fleece, but...rainbow straps!

Anyway, I sewed up from the bottom to almost the armpit to keep the rainbow from flopping about too much.  Here she is from the side:
The clouds are sewed on at the peak of each puff -- some of them came apart when she wore the outfit to her class party, but they were easily re-tacked.  

As for that little sun, I took an oval of heavy interfacing, sewed a yellow oval onto it and then sewed on orange and yellow triangles.  I glued on the face.
There were elastic straps at the shoulders and sides, but she cried like crazy when we wore it out to ZooBoo and then one of them snapped when she resisted efforts by her teachers to put it on for her class party.  I tricked her into wearing it for Halloween pictures by using diaper safety pins and attaching it to her coat.  She whined a bit when she saw it coming, but it didn't seem to bother her once it was on.

Her bucket was a pail that I glued stuffing onto.  She never went out for candy, but it served as a cute prop and it can easily be turned back into a pail.

Here are the costumes from the back:

And one more shot of cuteness:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Process Shots: Pot o' Gold

The big day is coming up!  We actually had a dress rehearsal today and it went pretty well.  We went over to Como Zoo's ZooBoo and it was kind of neat, but the lines were bonkers long.  Maybe if we try it again, we'll go on an earlier day (today was the last) and we'll try going after 6pm.  We'll also try not having a cantankerous 17 month in tow, because she was pretty miserable and fought every minute of her costume.  It doesn't surprise me, because she bitches if she gets marker on her finger or fuzz between her toes.  She's very persnickety to begin with, so the costume only irritated her some more.

Anyway, Z is a rainbow and, on the shuttle over to the zoo, I got a little nervous because I saw her eyeing some princess costumes.  It was her choice to be a rainbow, not mine, so we've been very committed to this. I've got a playdress half made, but I've held off finishing it or showing her the progress, because I have not wanted to divert her from the rainbow goal.  I also got a little hoity-toity with a lady who complimented her on her rainbow princess costume.  WTF says princess about a literal rainbow?  I don't know. 

Anyway, she's a rainbow with a pot of gold.  We were going to make the toddler into a pot of gold, but my good friend put it best:  a pot of gold is just a prop and Trix does not want to live her costumed-life as a prop to her older sister.  So the pot of gold got moved to the treat bucket and that is what I have to share with you today.

I found a plain black cauldron for cheap at the hardware store and then I needed to find coins.  I tried at the dollar store, but didn't like the looks of them.  My husband suggested poker chips, which we found at the goodwill for $4.99, which was $2.99 more than I wanted to pay.  I traded in some unused spraypaint from the playhouse makeover for some gold metallic.
I went with the white chips, because I figured that any missed spots would not be as blatantly obvious.  
That gold is so shiny!  I didn't think that it would really be that perfect, but it is.  I worried about having all this gold spray paint leftover, but my friend says that she has used gold spray paint a lot over the years for various costuming needs.

I don't have any in process shots of hot gluing the coins onto the cauldron because the lighting was poor, but I can tell you that I hot glued some fabric around the opening and then glued the coins to the fabric.  Here's the finished project (forgive the dim lighting):
We lost one gold coin today, but otherwise it held up well.  It's currently filled with treats, which she thinks she's having for breakfast.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Process Shots: Rainbow

I finally made it into my craft room for some costume making.    Z wants to be a rainbow, so that's what I'm working on.
My outline is six inches long and cut on the fold.  A twelve inch rainbow base worked for even color distribution of about two inches each.
I'm marking from the edge of each color at the 2.25" mark to keep the colors as even as possible all the way around.
You can see the elastic rainbow straps at the top of the red.  Very cute.  I'm actually done with one side, but haven't yet taken any pictures.  I'm thinking of adding a cloud base.  It was my initial idea, but since I snipped pretty far into the green, it's become a much stronger idea.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Wish I Could Do This


What fun!
We got to try it out at the local Monarch Festival.  Pretty!  So this will go in the girls' room.  I need to find a frame and I'd like to scour the Goodwill for one instead of ordering from Amazon.  Amazon is more evil by the day.

In other news:  I planted one milkweed plant this summer, so hopefully it will come by next summer and attract some friends.