Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Angry Birds!

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The theme for Little Man's birthday party was Angry Birds.  The kid is obsessed.  To go along with the Angry Birds duffle bag and Angry Birds cargo pants, I made him some actual Angry Birds and pigs.  

To make the Angry Birds (and pigs) I followed the wonderful tutorials on Obsessively Stitching.  The only thing I did differently was to use felt instead of fleece.  I didn't have enough colors of fleece.  The felt turned out fine, but was a little hard to sew for the smaller birds/pigs because there is zero stretch to felt.  

I am in love with all of these.  

Baby pig

King pig

Blue bird
Green parrot
Red bird

White bird

Black bomb bird

Yellow bird

The yellow bird is definitely my favorite.  He reminds me of Bert (of Bert and Ernie).  

After Little Man opened his present we spent the better part of the day stacking boxes, setting up pigs, 

then knocking them down.   

Cheap entertainment.

I didn't make any eggs because it slipped my mind.  I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, but both Little Man and Husband asked where they were.  

Husband thinks I should start making Star Wars Angry Birds now.  I'm not sure if I'm that ambitious.  


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Minoru Jacket, Final Product

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I made another Minoru Jacket (pattern by Sewaholic) using the altered pattern pieces based on the muslin that I made last fall.  Yes, it took me that long to make the final jacket.  

The biggest change I made to the pattern was to shorten the length and arms quite a bit.  Apparently the lady the pattern was made for was very tall and slender because in the size I needed the jacket was down to my knees (hyperbole).  Story of my life.  

I had to reshape the bottom of the coat quite a bit because my shortening distorted it a bit.  The hem flared oddly on my muslin.  The final coat still has a bit of the weird hem-flare, but I feel like it has improved greatly.

For the final coat I used medium-heavy weight, (cotton) sweatshirt fleece. The fleece is heavier than your typical sweatshirt and is very warm.  I am pleasantly surprised with the insulating properties of the fleece.  I was a bit skeptical, but have been rather warm during this very chilly spring.  I lined the coat with mesh to keep the bulk down.  

I interfaced the zipper placket this time (I didn't do it on the muslin and ended up with a wobbly zipper).  I'm very happy that I did.  I originally bought a black separating zipper with dual slides (can be zipped from the top and the bottom).  Unfortunately after my shortening of the coat, the zipper was too long.  Instead of exchanging the zipper for the right size (I had thrown the receipt away at that point) I settled for a regular separating zipper that I already had.  I was disappointed the dual zip wasn't going to work, but not disappointing enough to go back to the store.  I'm not in love with the zipper I used.  It has black teeth and zip, but the tape is white with black polka dots.  Most of the tape is covered so you only see a bit of white poking out and the polka dots were basically lost.  I don't love the white tape, but I also don't hate it enough to take the time to change it.

I also interfaced the collar.  The pattern does not call for interfacing, but after my muslin I felt like it needed it.  

I also decided to add a hood this time.  The collar zips open and shut to store the hood.  

I like the look of the zipper on the back of the collar.  

I misunderstood the directions, however, and screwed it up a bit.  I was supposed line the pocket for the hood and I didn't do that  The lining would hide the inside of the collar.  Now when you take the hood out you see the interfacing in the collar.  Ick.  I probably won't use the hood much as a result.  I think I might just cut it out?  I'm not sure.  

I also added the pockets to the front of the coat (and lowered them a bit).  The pattern has them placed on the inside.  I found the inside pockets to be a great inconvenience.  How annoying would it be to unzip your coat to put your keys in your pocket?  I love the outside pockets much better.

My one complaint about the coat is that the collar doesn't fit super close to my neck in the front.  A scarf is needed on windy days to keep the chill out.  Not a huge problem, just inconvenient.  I'm not sure if there would be a way to avoid that since the placket goes to the top of the collar rather than stopping below the collar.  

Overall, I think it turned out fairly well.  I've been wearing it, so that's always a positive.  

On a side note, please ignore the dead grass.  Hopefully the green grass will be coming soon (if this winter would ever end).  


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Birthday Clothes

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For the boys' birthdays I like to make clothes for them to wear that day (or to their party if they have one).  I made Mini Man a frog outfit for his party last year (and matching shirt for Little Man).  Little Man's birthday clothes last year was the infamous superhero (with matching suit for Mini Man).  This year I only made one outfit per birthday.  For cohesion and simplicity I made the same outfit, but with different accents.


I started with the idea of pants with knee patches.  I like fun fabrics that knees patches can have without being too overwhelming.  From there the idea evolved to cargo pants since cargoes have pieced leg pieces.  I used the Oliver + S Field Trip Cargo Pants for the pattern.  This was my first time using an Oliver+S pattern and it did not disappoint.  The instructions were illustrated nicely and easy to follow.  The fit is nice and most patterns are now available in digital format.

To make the knees I cut out the knee pattern piece from the main fabric then cut the same piece from the quilting cotton contrast fabric.  It is the same fabric I used for the boys' duffle bags.  I quilted the contrast and the main fabric together.  I quilted one inch squares on the diagonal.  After all, what do kids need the most in pants?  Reinforced knees.  The pattern also calls for articulated knees (a dart that creates a sort-of bent knee) so the pants are great for the movement of little kids.


There are also lots of pockets (two front pockets, two back pockets, and two cargo pockets) which is perfect for all the treasures both boys love to pick up.  Little Man is fond of rocks.  The pants have an elastic waist which I love.  They are much easier for the kids to get on and off.  The pattern calls for belt loops, but I omitted these.  I am not a fan of making belt loops and I don't feel like they are really necessary for kids clothes.  They'd probably make the pants look more professional, but I'm ok without.


Both boys' birthdays are in March and you never know what you are going to get weather-wise.  The best solution to that problem is layers!  I made long-sleeved shirts and t-shirts.  The long-sleeve shirts were made using the raglan tee pattern from the Field Trip Cargo pattern bundle. The long-sleeve shirt was meant to go under the short-sleeve and is a straight-forward tee.


The short-sleeve shirt goes over the long sleeve.  I added a hood and lined the hood with the same fabric as the sleeves from the long-sleeves.

I freezer-paper stenciled the age of each kid to the front (2 for Mini Man and 5 for Little Man).

I also stenciled a race car for Mini Man and an Angry Bird for Little Man to the bottom/side of the tee.  I don't have a great picture of the race car, but its not a great race car so you aren't missing anything.


Both birthdays turned out to be fairly chilly so they ended up using their layers.  I love how the outfits turned out.


To round it out they each wore the birthday crown.  We started a new tradition this year with a felt crown I made.  The birthday boy gets to wear the special birthday crown on his birthday.

They both had wonderful birthdays and looked great.  


Monday, March 24, 2014

Duffle Bags

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Little Man's birthday was last weekend thus concluding Birthday Month.  For their birthdays I made both boys duffle bags.  What kid doesn't want a duffle bag?

I did not make matching bags (gasp!), but I did use the same pattern.  I used the free pattern found here from Sew 4 Home.  Each boy had a different theme for their birthday, so I used each theme for the bags.  Little Man's was Angry Birds and Mini Man's was race cars.

The bags are made from canvas that is interfaced with heavy-weight fusible interfacing.  The bottom is faux leather.  They were a beast to sew and I broke no less than four leather needles.

I used themed quilting cotton for the pockets (lined with canvas and interfaced to stay sturdy) and the lining.

I used poly webbing and plastic hardware for all the straps.  The pattern calls for 1.5" webbing, but I could only find 1" webbing in the colors that I wanted.  I think it turned out fine with the narrower webbing.  The pattern does call for the webbing of the handles to be folded and sewn together.  I had a hard time folding the narrower webbing and I thought it wouldn't be substantial enough for handles.  Instead I sewed on scraps of the faux leather.  This makes the bags much easier to handle.

The pattern also calls for only one side zip-pocket.  I added a second zip-pocket because it is my opinion that bags can never have too many pockets.

I used all-purpose, polyester thread for all the top-stitching.  I think heavy-duty thread might have looked better, but I didn't have any in the color I wanted.

The bags were a bit tedious to sew, but I'm happy with the outcome.  The tutorial and pattern are easy to follow and they even have an option (on the webpage) to convert the tutorial to pdf.  I love that.  You can print the pattern/tutorial without all the extra pictures from the blog.

In case you are wondering how big these are, they are big enough to hold a toddler and a preschooler.

Stay tuned to see what else I did with the theme fabric.