Monthly Archives: October 2010

Happy Halloween

Since I finished up Halloween before the ‘big day’ I actually had time to sew up something ‘extra’….. Hot Patterns/Fabric.com’s Witch Hat! This pattern was incredibly easy to sew up – perfect for even a beginner and went together surprisingly fast (under an hour)! Since I went with a lightweight material, wound up using a heavy-weight fusible and woven interfacing to crisp it up, although I think it could still be a bit more firm because it eventually flops over after you wear it. In addition to some glittery dot ribbon around the brim, I added a flower and some spiders that I glittered up a few days ago (using spray adhesive and black fine glitter – it was a fun, but messy project).

Now it’s time to carve some pumpkins, roast some seeds, and ‘sample’ some candy. I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Turtle Accessories

Whew, costume sewing is DONE! I managed to find a satin that perfectly matched the fleece for the hood. I used the ‘wrong side’ to keep the shine down. Aside from the snags I mentioned yesterday, this part of the costume went together well, except that I found the elastic in the back of the hood to be a bit too small – it’s stretched so far that it’s over-stretched and really doesn’t do much good. I’m not too concerned, I’m thinking Easton won’t wear this on Halloween anyway.

Finding the “Jiffy Grip” for the boots proved to be a bit of a challenge. I searched several different stores before finally finding it at Joann’s (sold by-the-yard). The search was totally worth it since Easton wouldn’t take the boots off after I made them and I feel like the non-slip surface is a bit more secure than making my own (i.e. using puff paint on the bottom of the fleece). The boots and the shell may be Easton’s favorite part of his costume!

Turtle Body

After finishing up the turtle shell, I intended to work on the feetbooties and hood next, but I ran into a couple of snags. First the booties called for “Jiffy Grip”… one notion I forgot to pick up as I had assumed I had some left over from a project years ago. Obviously, that’s one that I decided to purge several years ago when we moved. The second problem came with the hood and Simplicity’s poor directions. You see, nowhere on the envelope (or even in the directions) does this pattern call for lining – which is funny because the hood needs some lining.
The hood section is made up of 3 parts: two side pieces and one middle section that is gathered all the way around to fit….. it’s a bit bulky since it’s all fleece, but it works. The directions calls for making a ‘lining’ out of…… fleece. Now if the hood is already a bit on the bulky side, what is it going to look like if you make a second layer of fleece to add to it? Besides, can you imagine how bad your kid is going to sweat in that thing? To make matters worse, you’re supposed to make a lining, but they neglected to have you cut a center section to even complete it (this step is missing from the pattern piece itself and cutting directions as well). So, it’s back to the store to get something that will work as a lining material. Ugh.
As for the body of the costume, this part went together without a hitch. The only problem I ran into was trying to find a color of knit that would work with fleece. I never found one so I opted to cut up a pair of camouflage print pjs that I had made Easton last year and that he’s outgrown. Now it’s off to the store for a few supplies and then back into the sewing room!

Linky Thursday

It’s not too late to whip up a costume for Halloween. This tutorial for an fantastic looking Mad Hatter top hat seems like it could sew up in an afternoon.
Through the Needle is a free, online magazine that’s designed to inspire. The second issue is out and available for download (you can also purchase a hard copy at Hancock Fabrics).
I am in LOVE with the latest issue of Ottobre – what a perfect excuse to make something from it by entering a project into their design contest.
Learn how to carve beautiful pumpkins.
A sewing room decoration you don’t have to take down after Halloween – pumpkin pincushions.
Create a cute, poufy petty skirt to go with your costume.
Win a copy of One Yard Wonders.
If you’re looking something a bit spookier to adorn your door, check out this Spooky Skeleton Wreath – awesome!
Planning on being Lady Gaga this Halloween? Learn how to make your own “hair bow”.
I love those ‘cookies in a jar’ projects – especially when they include pretty bows, cute toppers, and fun labels.
Need a trick-or-treat bag as cute as your costume? Whip up a sweet, little candy corn tote.
Win a copy of Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders.
A Ghost Cape – something that I’ve never thought of making, but is a brilliant idea!

One Down

One costume is completely finished! We (aright, I) decided that even though her costume wasn’t really anything in particular (there really was no theme) that a coordinating shirt would look really cute with everything. I decided on Jalie 2805 – (the newer t-shirt pattern with lots of variations) Taylor selected a V-neck style with cap sleeves. I used the stripe for the sleeves and tried to bring in a bit of color at the V-neck by using the stripe material here as well. When I had her try it on to check the fit and the length, Taylor told me that she liked the look of the jersey unfinished at the bottom (it was rolling to the right side of the material) so I didn’t bother hemming it (whew, what a time saver!). We tried to ‘spruce’ up the shirt some by trying out various different ice cream images to use as iron-ons for the front of the shirt, but we never found anything that worked or we likes so we’ve decided to skip it. I think she’s more apt to wear this again without an image anyway.
Even though Taylor’s costume doesn’t have a theme, when everything is put together, she looks very Katy Perry-ish – I’ll be sure to take pictures before she heads out the door. She’s also wanting something else to go with her costume, but honestly, I have no idea what would work….. Taylor thought about ‘crunk teeth’grillz. Um, no.

Hodgepodge Halloween

The day after Halloween last year, Taylor decided that she and her friends wanted to dress up like a banana split. This idea continued on up until a month ago (whew, because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to pull this one off). By that time my swap partner from a Halloween swap had already created a fantastic headpiece for her…. so she decided to build off of that. From there, Taylor decided that she wanted a tutu (I purchased one from Sock Dreams along with some awesome socks, but these are the same kind you can find at Halloween stores, just at a more reasonable price) and leggings – but not just any leggings….. stripe capri leggings. Since I didn’t know of anything offhand that met that description, I decided to make a pair using Kwik Sew 3636 and a cute stripe print from Needle Nook.
I made the ‘close fitting’ style of capri leggings, but after sewing them up, I thought they looked big. Thankfully after having Taylor try them on, they fit perfectly (whew) – and she was thrilled with the length. Next up is a Jalie V-neck t-shirt that coordinates with the stripe print.

Shell Shocked

This weekend was filled with sewing (the first in a long time)- I had a good opportunity to work on Easton’s costume and also give a private sewing lesson (that was LOTS of fun)! I decided to start with the turtle shell since I figured this was going to be the most difficult part of the costume (I always like to start with the hardest first so it’s ‘smooth sailing’ for there on out). I used a fusible webbing to adhere the appliques to the shell – it crushed the pile on the fleece some, but it was well worth it since I didn’t struggle with keeping everything in place (after I was finished I did a combination of raking my fingernails across the fabric and rubbing it on the carpet to get the fabric to stand up some after all that ironing).
I think the overall construction of the shell was just weird – the instructions had you sewing the foam along with the shell, then turning. I’m sure that this is to keep you from having to trim the seam allowance of the foam or having you attempt to insert and position it once the shell is flipped right side out. I think it’s fine since it is a costume, but if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t sew the foam with the fabric (although I was very surprised how easily it went through my machine – way to go Bernina!) One mistake I did make is using fusible Velcro. It adheres fine initially, but because fleece is fuzzy, after ‘sticking and unsticking’ the Velcro several times, it starts pulling away from the fabric. The moral of the story: Fusible Velcro works great on cottons, not so much of fuzzy fleece.

ID Case

I have a new tutorial up on the Sewing Republic website – and it’s one of my absolute favorites…. The Recycled ID Case. My inspiration for this project came from my desire to eliminate purses (after carrying around a diaper bag for two years, a purse doesn’t even sound appealing most days) – after all, all you ‘really’ need is your ID, a set of keys, and something to carry money, lipstick, or even a phone! What makes this better is that you can recycle old silk ties to dress this project up or use some fun fat quarter prints (maybe even your favorite college logo for students).

So Many Pieces

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m in panic mode. With only 10 days left until Halloween, I have a lot of work to do making costumes – and even less if we go to Night of the Living Zoo this weekend! Consequently, I stayed up late cutting out all the pieces to Easton’s turtle get-up and I wondered to myself – “Why, oh why, do I pick costumes that have an exorbitant amount of pieces?”

The only change I made (at the moment) is use fusible webbing for the shell applique. The pattern required some lightweight fusible interfacing, but I think it’s only to keep the pieces from stretching out of shape while you’re sewing down the applique. I thought a bit of Wonder Under would do the same trick and keep all the pieces in place so I don’t have to pin them and worry about shifting. Now let the marathon sewing begin (and put together Taylor’s ‘hodge-podge’ outfit before her party)!
By the way, look for ‘Linky Thursday’ this weekend!

Bunny Hat

I crossed another item off my Wists swap partner’s list – a bunny hat (the one on her Wists was even in a camo print). I used this downloadable pattern for fleece animal hats for the pattern – the only change I made was widening the ears a bit so they looked more like my ‘inspiration photo.’ While my scissors didn’t like cutting through all that fleece (it may be time to invest in a good pair or at the very least a new cheap set), sewing this project was super easy and I highly recommend it for newer sewers (this would make a good teen project). There are a few things I did want to mention:

  • The hats run small. If you’re intending on making one for a guy or someone with a larger head, you may be in trouble. I made the large size and it fit my head (and it’s small), although there was still some ‘give’ to the hat.
  • The instructions say that you can make up to 3 hats from your fabric. I really think that this was intended for the kids version as I can’t see how you can squeeze even two hats out even if you make the smallest size.

With that said, I do intend on making this one up again, well, twice. One for Taylor and another for my Christmas Stocking partner – although you can expect some different designs for both.