Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cutting Paper = Toddler Fun


Apparently cutting paper is super fascinating and fun. Hailey loved it! I think we need to invest in her own pair of scissors.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

[Tutorial] Munster (Sew-vivor Week 3)

It’s Wednesday again! That means it’s also voting time over at Family Ever After for another week of Sew-vivor! This is week 3 of 4. If I make the cut this week I’ll be in the finals and will compete next week for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place prize. So go vote! (If you missed the previous weeks, here’s Week 1 and Week 2.)

The challenge this week was to sew for charity. It didn’t have to necessarily be for a charity, but to sew for a purpose, for a specific person or persons. I chose to sew up some fun Munster dolls for children at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. I had a hard time coming up with a design I liked. I knew what I wanted, but at the same time I didn’t. I wanted simple, clean, and fun. I searched Pinterest for some inspiration and found a pin from this blog. That was exactly what I was looking for! So, I whipped up my own pattern and went with it.

Hailey named them Munsters. Kyle asked her what they are called, and it came out sounding like Munster. So there you go. Not monster. Munster.

8 monsters
I made a total of eight. Each one is slightly different from the other. The above picture, from left to right, there’s the super hero (complete with cape, it’s just behind him), crazy yarn hair, modern geometric pattern, soft ‘n spiky, mellow yellow, calm blue, eggplant, and the girly girl.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorial // hillmade.blogspot.comThe super hero’s cape.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialThe Munster Bunch 

These Munsters are fun. They have a varying number of eyes and teeth, zipper mouths with a pocket, and red or pink tongues. Each monster also has a tag that says “I belong to” with space below for a child to write in their name and claim the Munster as their own. Kids in unfamiliar places need something of their own to give them comfort. Hailey is all about things being hers. It’s very important to her. She’ll let you know that whatever you have, or she has is hers!

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorial
They love to eat. Anything. But especially their fruits and vegetables.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorial
Want to make one too?

You’ll need:
1/4 yard of fabric (either a regular 1/4 yard cut, or a fat quarter works great)

contrasting fabric for the pocket

small zipper (It’ll be cut down to 4.5 inches- I used a 7 inch zipper because that’s what I had)

white, black, and red felt or fleece

disappearing ink or water soluble ink fabric marking pen

wonder under or similar fusible backing (Get the sewable kind! I didn’t, I used the ultra hold and ended up having to hand stitch instead of machine stitch)

fiberfill (stuffing)

pattern- download here

Let’s get started! (all seam allowances are approx. 3/8 inch- I use the edge of my presser foot)

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialFirst cut out your pattern, pin it to the fabric, cut out fabric, and iron on wonder under to the backs of the eye pieces (leave the paper backing on for now.)

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialStarting with your leg pieces, sew with right sides together, down the sides and around the bottom curve. Leave the top open for stuffing. Notch the rounded edge.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialIron the legs to smooth them out. Stuff them with fiberfill. Set them aside for now.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialPeel the paper backing off the wonder under on the eye pieces. Iron them to the body placing the white part about 1 inch down from the center and 2 inches from either edge.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialStitch around both eye pieces to secure them in place, and to add a little detail. Machine or hand stitch. I was able to machine stitch one, but then ran into troubles after that and gave in to hand stitching the rest. I’m pretty sure this was because I used fusible backing that is no-sew, so it’s extra strong and gunks up the machine. I knew it was a no-no, but tried anyway. Don’t do it. Follow the instructions on whatever kind you buy.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialGrab your zipper. Unzip it just a little bit and tack it just past the metal stopper parts.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialFrom the metal beginning part (so technical- I know…) of the zipper, measure 4.5 inches and tack the zipper just barely past that. Cut the zipper just a little past the tack.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialNow we’re going to make our zipper hole. Take one of your pocket pieces, place it right side up. Draw a box that is 4 1/2 inches wide and 1/4 inch tall. It will 7/8 inch down from the top and 3/4 inch from either edge. (I’m pretty sure it ends up being 4 1/2 inches, but just in case, just measure from the sides and draw your line and it’ll work.) Inside the box, mark a point in the center that is 1/4 inch from either edge of the box. Draw a diagonal line from there to each corner. Then draw a line connecting those two points. I know I didn’t describe that well. It should look like it does in the picture when you’re done. Pin the pocket piece in place approx. 3/8 inch above the bottom of the body piece.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialStitch around the box you drew.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialCut on the inner lines. At the end triangles, cut up to the corners where you sewed, but be super careful not to cut through the stitching!

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialPush the pocket piece through the hole and press as flat and neat as you can. (Front and back views shown)

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialTake your other pocket piece and on the right side make a mark 3/4 inch down and centered. I folded the piece in half to find the center.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialOn the tongue piece there is a part that straightens out on the top. Fold this part down, like in the picture. Line up the top of the tongue, where the fold is, with the dot you just made on the pocket piece. Sew the tongue on using a zig-zag stitch.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialHand stitch a few stitches onto the center bottom of the tongue to add a little detail.
Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialBaste the teeth onto the zipper however you want to place them.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialPlace the zipper in the hole you cut out a few steps back. Using a zipper foot, topstitch around the edge of the zipper to secure it in place. Be sure not to sew over the teeth!

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialTurn the body piece over and with right sides together, line up your other pocket piece with the one that is stitched to the zipper. Sew a 3/8 inch seam all around. Now you have a zipper pocket!

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialPin or baste the legs (approx. 1 1/4 inches from the edges) onto the front body piece. I pinned in the picture, but after making a few switched to basting and liked that better. Just don’t forget to shorten your stitch length after basting- I did that one too many times.

20 stitch body, leave gap to turn, knotch curves, clip corners_touch upWith right sides together, sew the back body piece to the front piece. Be sure to leave an opening a few inches wide so you can turn it right side out (mine is where the leg is sticking out.) Clip the corners and notch the curve.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialTurn it right side out.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialStuff your monster.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialHand stitch the opening closed. I don’t know what the stitch I’m using is called. It’s the same stitch I use to sew on binding onto a quilt. Slip the needle into the top of the crease and pull through. Then directly across it on the other side do the same thing. So where your needle left the fabric will line up with where your needle enters the fabric on the other side, so you’re moving in a forward motion. Confusing? Yeah, sorry.

Zipper Mouthed Munster sewing tutorialNow you’re done! Yay!

Ok. Time to vote, vote, vote!

Linked up at:
The 36th Avenue

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sew-vivor: Week 2 (An Easter Dress)

It’s Sew-vivor voting time again! (Today only!) If you missed my project for Week 1, you can see it here.

This week’s challenge was to repurpose something. A couple of weeks ago I found a tutorial from Girl. Inspired. on Pinterest that repurposed a men’s dress shirt into a dress for a toddler. Genius! I thought it was a great idea and so cute! So, I decided for this week’s challenge I would make Hailey an Easter dress.

before and after
Let it be known that I am not a clothing sewer. I just haven’t gotten into it. I would love to! There are so many cute things out there to make, but I haven’t felt brave enough, or compelled enough to try it yet. So, this is the first dress I’ve ever attempted. And honestly, what a great way to go at it. It gave me the opportunity to take the shirt apart and see how it’s constructed. I personally don’t think the pattern pieces to sewing clothes are as straight forward as they are for other things.
I used a shirt and a dress of Hailey’s as my template for creating the pattern. I was pretty unsure by how the sleeves pattern should be made. Then I used my brain and made a pattern of the actual shirt sleeve in illustrator on the computer. I took the measurements from Hailey’s shirt and sized it down from there. Complicated? Maybe. But it totally worked.

I was pretty nervous about the dress fitting. I felt the same way when I made Hailey’s Halloween dragon costume. I guess I should just trust myself more, because they both came out fitting just fine. There’s so much less pressure when an exact size isn’t important!

detail collage
The details. I used only the original shirt material, but added fun purple buttons for some accent. I added elastic to the waist so the body of the skirt was loose. I put ruffles along the waist band for some girly cuteness, and sewed on small decorative pockets to the chest. The sleeves are 3/4 length and cuffed, so it still has some shirt feel to it. One last detail, I curved the hem up slightly to add a little bit of interest.
I think it’s a fun dress, and definitely a lot cuter than the shirt it started out as!

I’m pretty sure Hailey is tired of putting it on. On and off, on and off… poor girl. She was a trooper.

Alright- there’s the dress. Now go vote!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

[Tutorial] Toddler Messenger Bag

FYI: This tutorial DOES NOT include instructions for the front flap with zippers on the side and the crayon holder/pockets. The tutorial is for making a simple, unembellished messenger bag (the light canvas colored bag in the last picture of the post.) 

Today is the start of the Sew-vivor competition on Family Ever After! Go to the blog and vote for me! Voting is today only, so don’t put it off! (Only if you think I deserve it, of course.) For some reason it looks like the voting isn’t live yet. I expected it to be live at 6 am MST. I’ll update when it is. The poll is up! Go vote!  Thank you for your votes! I made it to the Top 8! Another week, another project. Voting will be next Wednesday (April 11.)

The challenge for week 1 was to use or base our project off of a tutorial from one of the judges’ blogs. 

Remember the backpack Kyle made Hailey? Since he made that, we’ve thought it would be fun to make her a messenger bag. Ashley at Mommy by Day Crafter by Night had a messenger bag tutorial. Perfect! So I began with her tutorial and scaled the bag down to Hailey size. After working with it, it transformed into my own project.

And I love it! I think Hailey thinks it’s fun. After I finished it she took it into her room and filled it up with her shapes. She was excited to show me what she had done.

 I made the bag specifically big enough to fit her coloring book, without making the bag too big. It’s also deep enough to hold a few books or other toys. I included an extra front pocket that unzips to show spots for markers or pencils, and two pockets for crayons or whatever else Hailey wants to put in there.

toddler messenger bag 05_touch up
The zippered front pocket is open at the top so we can access the pocket without unzipping it.

Want to make your own toddler messenger bag? I’ll show you how to make a simple bag. How you embellish it is up to you.

You will need: These yardages are estimates. I had 1/2 a yard of all three fabrics and was running a little low. It worked, but I had to piece some pieces together to make them long enough, so that’s why I say possibly 3/4 yard. If you use a one directional print you may need even more. But don’t quote me on it, direction didn’t matter on my prints.

1/2-3/4 yard of heavyweight fabric for bag exterior
1/2-3/4 yard of fabric for bag interior
1/2 yard of fusible fleece (to add stability to the inner bag)

Cutting: Cut one of each piece in the fabrics listed after the dimension, except the strap- you need 2 of those! I would also recommend cutting the side piece and strap first- they need a lot of length! Before you cut, if you are using a one directional print be sure you measure so your print is going the right direction- I’ve made this mistake many times.

Front body piece: 9.50 x 11.75 (heavyweight fabric, interior fabric, fusible fleece)
Back body piece with adjoining flap: 11.75 x 19.0 (heavyweight fabric, interior fabric, fusible fleece)
Side piece: 2.75 x 32 (heavyweight fabric, interior fabric, fusible fleece)
Strap-cut 2: 2.75 x 26- you may need to lengthen or shorten this length. My 2 year old daughter is a size 3T. Measure your child to be sure. (heavyweight fabric, fusible fleece is optional if you want to add more padding, I chose not to.)

01_inner piecesPictured are my pieces for the lining (interior fabric and fusible fleece.) The pieces for the outer bag are the same size, but I just used heavyweight fabric, and no fusible fleece. Iron the fusible fleece to your interior fabric using the instructions it came with.

Follow the rest of the instructions for the both the outer bag (heavyweight fabric) and the lining. I’ve only pictured the lining construction, but it’s the same for the outer, so just repeat the steps.

02_circle traceOn both your exterior and interior fabrics you will trace a rounded edge. Do this using a mug, cup or something else round, line it up so it just touches the edges of the fabric. Using a disappearing ink or water soluble marker, trace around the curve of your object. Do this to two corners of the front body pieces (the small horizontal rectangle) of both fabrics (the top corners won’t be rounded.) Round all four corners on your back body pieces (the big vertical rectangle.) Cut along the lines with scissors.

02a_circle traceHopefully this picture illustrates that well enough.

03_mark inner back piecePut your smaller front piece over the top of your bigger back piece and line up their bottom edges. Make a mark on your back piece at the very top of your front piece. Do this to both sides. I show marking on the backside, but it really needs to be on the front side. Sorry.

Now we get to start sewing! Yay! Cutting and prepping is my least favorite part. All seams are approx. 3/8 inch. I prefer to use the edge of my presser foot as a guide. It ends up being somewhere between 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch. Either seam allowance is fine, just be consistent.

04_sew side piece to front of inner bagWith right sides together, sew your side piece to your smaller front piece. I really should tell you to pin. But I didn’t pin. I try to avoid it. The rounded corners can be a little tricky, so if you’re not comfortable sewing rounds I would recommend pinning before sewing. It’ll make you happier.

05_trim side excessAfter you get all the way around your front piece, lay it on your cutting board and trim off the excess fabric. I gave a little bit of extra just in case it didn’t line up just right after sewing the corners.

06_match top edge of side piece to mark on the back pieceSorry this really is not the best illustrating picture. You need to take your side piece (which is now sewn to your front piece) and with right sides together, match it up with the mark you made on your back piece. Pin it in place so it doesn’t move, or hold it really tight and get it under the presser foot as fast as you can (like I do.) Pin your back piece to your side piece. Sew all the way around. The other edge of your side piece should match up with the other mark you made on the back piece. Or at least be pretty darn close.

07_sew strap togetherNow to sew your strap. I did it the hard way. With right sides together I sewed the two strap pieces straight down either side. Then I had the dreaded tube to turn right side out. I chose to do this because I think it just looks nicer than the alternative (which I’ll explain), but holy cow it that heavyweight fabric was extra difficult to turn right side out! Instead of sewing a tube, you can use your iron to press the edges down 3/8 inch and sandwich your two pieces together with wrong sides touching (so the right side is facing you.) Then topstitch them into place.

08_top stitch strapAfter turning your tube, iron the strap flat and then topstitch to keep it tight and secure. I topstitched at 1/4 inch.

09_pin strap to sides of outer bagPin the strap to your outer bag.

10_put outer bag into inner bag With your outer bag right side out and your lining inside out, stuff your outer bag into your lining. The right sides of the fabric should be touching.

11_pin strap between inner and outer bagTo keep the strap extra secure so it doesn’t shift while you sew, pin it to the lining as well. The strap itself should be stuff in between your two fabrics right now. You don’t want it visible or it’ll end up on the inside of your bag!

12_pin inner and outer bag together, leave double pins for turningNow pin your bag together. I definitely recommend pinning for this step. Remember to leave a few inches open so you can reach inside and turn the whole bag right side out. I placed double pins on the side of the flap to remind myself to stop before I sew the whole thing shut. Stitch all the way around the bag until you get to your gap where you’re going to turn it right side out.

13_leave needle in and pivotWhen you get to the spot where you’re sewing on the flap and turning to sewing onto the side of the bag, this part can be a little tricky. This is the one part of the bag I haven’t nailed down yet. Sew about 3/8 inch past the top of the side, leave your needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and pivot your fabric so you’re sewing across the side. It’s a little bit awkward and there’s a little bit of bunching fabric.

14_Notch rounded cornersAfter you sew all around the edges, notch the rounded corners on the flap. Turn the bag right side out! You’re almost done!

15_iron bag edgesIron the bag edges, turning the unsewn portion in.

16_topstitch bag edgesTopstitch all around the bag edges.

You’re done!

17_two bags
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