Sunday, February 17, 2013

Her Tote (Week 7, Project 2)

This project was completed in week 7, even though it's being posted during week 8.  I haven't been finding that getting two creative projects completed each week is difficult, but the photographing and posting them aspect hasn't been as fun for me as I had hoped it would be.  I'm going to keep plugging away for now, though...

This project was born when Sister started (trying) to carry around my big grocery shopping tote bags.  She could quite comfortably fit IN one of these totes, to provide scale.  I decided she needed her own Sister-sized tote.

It's the same basic idea as the birthday bags I posted last week, but smaller.  Sister-sized, if you will.  It was all fabric I had on hand.  The ouside fabric I picked up at an estate sale a year or two ago and the pocket with the initial was part of an old handkerchief I'd already cut into; the inside fabric is from a vintage sheet and the pocket is all scraps.  I was just going to line it...then decided to add a pocket to the lining...then decided to make the pocket pretty...until I realized it's completely reversible. 

She's been enjoying toting around her friends...

and her brother's cars.

What a Little Lady...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baby Doll Makeover (Week 7, Project 1)

This is my baby's baby:

She was actually MY baby, many (many!) moons ago.  Her given name is "Baby with the Black Hair" - original stuff, right there.  Last October I passed her down to my little girl on her 1st birthday, along with my old doll cradle, repainted, and some bedding I made.  For authenticity's sake, I gave her in her aged state - ratty hair, funky ill-fitting clothes, 25 (+?)  year old band-aids still affixed.  I didn't take pictures, but to say my husband thought she looked like she might come to life at night and murder us in our sleep should help you with the mental image.  We just couldn't have that!

So I gave her a good scrub (although there's only so clean a doll that old/loved will get) then tamed & trimmed her tresses.  Ready for a fresh new outfit!  I started with some comfy leggings and a cozy new top.

It's the first time I've ever drafted a pattern with out an article of clothing to start from.  I took a lot of measurements and tried to match shapes to shapes I use for kid clothes - just miniaturized.  There were some hick-ups - like a too wide neckline, but I was able to work it out.

Her top is made with scraps from E's lovey top.  Not exactly the same, but similar enough to coordinate.  Look - buttons!  And more important - button HOLES!

I added a little coordinating headband, and the makeover was complete.

She and her mama have similar pose preferences, although she knows how to hold a pose in a way my other model has not yet grasped.

I see a much larger wardrobe in this kid's future.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Her Big Sister's Sweater (Week 6, Project 2)

I've had an unprecidented run of sewing "successes" lately, so I knew I was due for a fail, or at least a less-than success.  Well, I got it.  In all fairness, I knew I was in for a challenge when I picked out a fun but chunky, look knit gray-and-neon-pink sweater at the thrift store.  There were challenges, there were hic-ups, there may have been a little bit of cursing...but I pulled it out...sort of.

I've refashioned quite a few sweaters before, but all with a pretty tight knit.  The loose knit meant the seams stretched and I had to bind them which added some bulk. 

I originally cut more of an A-line shape but it got a little ridiculous, so I trimmed it down.  I've made a few attempts at 3/4 length sleeves now and just can't seem to get the proportions right.  That, combined with the gathered shoulders, makes for some (too) poofy sleeves of an awkward length.

To me, she looks a little like she's wearing her (non-existant) big sister's sweater.  If she's a slim kid like her brother, I think this may work really well for her as a short sleeved sweater as a little bigger girl - maybe next winter or the winter after.


So I'll just hang it in the closet and hope neon is still cute in a couple of years!

'Cause this babe really pulls off cute.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Birthday Bags (Week 6, Project 1)

M has 2 birthday parties coming up for 3 different 5 year olds in the next couple of weeks.  One mom suggested that, instead of toys, workbooks and coloring books and the like would be great gifts.  I decided to make it a project - assembly line style for all 3 gifts.  Birthday bags!

First I collected the fillings.  Each is receiving a coloring book, a work book, a blank notepad, a small book of kid-friendly poems, and a search and find book.  I also picked up a box of 48 crayons and a couple boxes of colored pencils to divide between the 3 kids.

I used the size of the biggest books and the size of my kid to determine the size of the bags.  Truthfully, they could have been a little wider, but I wanted the books to fit snugly so everything would fit neatly, and I worried about a shoulder bag being too cumbersome on a little shoulder.  Then I got to the hardest part - fabric decisions!  

I needed a way to package the crayons and pencils.  As you can almost see above, I went with crayon rolls!  (And modified the dimensions to make pencil rolls, too.)

So each kid will get their own tote bag (technically reversible, but it does have an outer pocket) filled with a coordinating crayon roll, a coordinating colored pencil roll, and a bunch of books to use them in!

I'm not going to lie, it was a lot of work.  But doing them all at the same time helped, and I'm happy with how they turned out, M is excited to give them to his friends, and hopefully their parents will be as relieved as I would be to not have to add another toy to the pile!