Friday, September 24, 2010



Enter to win a fabulous cutter!!

It's Autumn!

Oh, kids. Thank goodness for Google Reader. If it wasn't for that...I'm fairly certain nobody would be reading this at all.

I've shown you my craft room. Yes, I have a room all to myself....but I'll be jiggered if I ever get in there. There's a baby gate up to keep the kids out, and so when I need to put something away....I just sort of...throw it in there.


So, the room is a mess, and it's no fun to be in there.

Which reminds me...the kids playroom had the same sort of description two weeks ago. I got upset one day and went on a rampage. Every toy, stuffed animal and block was dumped in a pile in the middle of the room. Only the stuffed animals, blocks, cars, balls and toy food were allowed to stay. Everything else was lumped together in a big cardboard box and shipped off to the garage.

Sounds like my craft room needs some tough love...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thing 30: A House Coat (and a Tutorial!)

This is one of those projects that stewed around in my head for MONTHS before I ever sat down to attempt it. Of course, when I sat down…I had only a very, VERY vague plan in mind.


Like. Really vague.

I wanted something snuggly and warm, but not something that would be too cumbersome. Something just for the kids to wear around the house to keep them warm. So…cozier than a sweatshirt, but less in-the-way than a traditional robe.

So, here’s how I did it.

Step one – Find a shirt that fits your kid. (This housecoat was for Siu Jeun, my little dude.) Lay it out on your snuggly material (I used fleece, but flannel would work as well. Or minky if you’re crazy. Or stretch velour, for that matter, but I won’t admit here that I have some in my stash. Or that it’s purple. Moving on.)

If your fabric allows, fold it in half so you can cut both pieces at once. If not, just cut the Back Piece out first, and then we’ll fold it in half for the next step.


Step 2 - So, lay it out. You’re going to make a really quick n’ dirty pattern here. Use a fabric marking pen to make your cut line for the top of the coat. Leaving a 1/2” seam allowance, trace around both sleeves and the neck. Be sure to mark where the neck begins and ends!


Then, move on to where the armpits are. (I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of this part…but you really can’t mess it up.) You’re going to make an A-line coat, for maximum move-ability. To make this coat (for a 21 month old) I drew a 14” line, angling out from the armpit. Where the line passed the hem of the shirt, it was 2” away. (With those two measurements, you can easily make both sides identical without any tricky folding.)


Step 3 - Now, cut it out! (If you didn’t have a square of fabric big enough to fold in half and still fit your whole coat, take the piece you just cut out and fold it in half, stem to stern. Or neck to hem. Whatever. Fit that piece somewhere on your fabric and trace it out, exactly. Fit it one more spot and trace THAT out, exactly. Cut those two pieces out, and you’ve got your Front Right and Front Left pieces! Make sure to flip it over for the second Front so that you end up with the Right Side of the fabric…on the right side, when you put them together.)

(If you cut out Front and Back together, on folded fabric, take your Front piece and fold it in half, stem to stern, and cut it along the fold. Now you’ve got your Front Right and Front Left. Nice, yes?)



Step 4 – Take a look at your neck line. Do you see where it ends? Now figure out where, on your Front pieces, mid-way down the chest would be. Fold the top corners of the pieces away from the chest, from the edge of the neck to mid-way down the chest. Sew those down. (I like them on the outside, but folding them to the inside, hemming it 1/2” from the edge, and trimming it off works, too!)



Step 5 – Sew it together!! Sew your top seams. Sew your side seams. (Right sides together, please.) Hem up the bottom if you like, and the opening in the middle. Or don’t. Whatever. It’s a housecoat! It’s made of fleece! It’s all good.

Step 6 – Stick it on your kid. For extra fun, get the kid to run away from you after you put it on them. They look like some sort of rich Super Villain. Excellent.



(Step 7 (optional) – make one for big sister. IMG_7181

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thing 29: The Pants from the Shirt that Made the Dress

Do you remember, a few weeks ago, when I made this dress for Ming Wai?


Just humor me here, ok? Tell me you remember it.

Got it? Good.  (I mean, how could you forget those fancy hands???)

So that dress was made from the body of a large men’s polo. The sleeves were saved.


For these.

IMG_6167 IMG_6166

They’re not perfect, by any means (the legs are different lengths!) but I am getting better at making these. The waist fits much better than some of the first shorts I made him.  And I’m kind of diggin’ this cropped length.

Also? Mardi Gras beads – not just for New Orleans anymore! (Gold is rather fetching with navy, though, isn’t it?!)