Thursday, October 30, 2014

Super Hero Angry Birds

Pin It

Halloween is right around the corner.  However, we have been preparing for Halloween since August.  Little Man has been planning his costume since November 1st 2013 (he's already talking about what he wants to be next year), but finally settled on an idea in August.  He wanted to be an Angry Bird with a cape.  

That idea evolved into Super Hero Angry Birds.  I managed to convince him that he didn't need a cape (he only has four capes at home).  Not all super heroes wear capes.  Mini Man went along with the idea.  He didn't seem to care much other than he had to be the black bird.  Last week Mini Man did tell me he wanted to be a snake for Halloween and he told my parents he was going to be an octopus.  Fortunately, he didn't seem to remember that when it was time to put the costumes on for our family party.  Both children were happy with their costumes.  

Little Man was fairly involved in the costume design this year.  He drew an elaborate picture of what he wanted his owl to look like (he wants his owl to have a costume too).  We decided on Angry Bird hats to help distinguish the different birds, vests (like Robin), and leggings with the built-in underwear.  The boots and gauntlets were my addition and they very much complete the assembles, in my opinion.  

The hats were the first things I made.  I made up my own pattern for each hat.  Both kids and Husband have giant heads so typical hat measurements never fit.  I used the Angry Bird plush patterns by Obsessively Stitching as a guide for the the shapes of the eyes, beaks, etc.  I had to increase the size of everything, but it gave me an idea of what I needed.  I used the Obsessively Stitching pattern for Angry Birds toys in March.    

The vests were next.  I wanted to make something that adds to the costume, but is practical enough to be worn without the costume..  I opted for puffer vests.  I used the Great Outdoors Reversible Vest pattern by Peekaboo Patterns.  I used sweatshirt fleece (with no stretch) for the outer fabric and cotton broadcloth for the lining.  

The lining is Angry Birds fabric, of course.  The lining for Little Man's vest is the same that I used for his Birthday Pants with the hope that he'll wear the two together.  There are also pockets in the vests which feature the same fabric as the lining.


I lined the fleece for the vests with batting and then quilted simple lines.  The batting and fleece should make the vests very warm.  The vest pattern was easy to follow and offers lots of options for customization such as a removable hood or snaps instead of a zipper.  I appliqued an Angry Bird to the back of each vest as well as the front. 


After the vests came the t-shirts and leggings.  I drafted my own pattern for the leggings and used my Super Hero t-shirt pattern for the shirts.  I added the underwear applique before sewing the pants.  I made pants like this before for Little Man's Super Hero party.  I decided to applique another bird to each t-shirt.  Originally I was going to only applique the vests.  I decided add one to the shirts in case the vests come off during warmer, day-time parties.  


The boots and the gauntlets were made from felt.  The boots strap on over the boys' shoes and Velcro in the back.  I used the gauntlet pattern from my Every Hero's Cape pattern.  

The boots and gauntlets are really the only 'costumey' parts of the costume.  Everything else, I'm happy to say, can be worn again on any other day.  My hope is they will be worn a lot.


Husband and I got hats and matching t-shirts only.  I think that was all we needed.  Husband got a pig and I got a yellow bird.   I think I look a bit like Bert (of Bert and Ernie). 

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bomber jackets

Pin It

I recently made my boys new fall jackets.  I used the P51 Flyer Jacket pattern by Terra's Treasures.  I loooove how these jackets turned out.

I used sweatshirt fleece instead of leather or pleather.  I was able to find medium to heavy-weight sweatshirt fleece with zero stretch.  It is nice and warm and with no stretch it wasn't a pain to sew.  I lined the bodice with sherpa fleece and the sleeves with jersey knit.  I think the jackets should be nice and warm until the snow starts flying.


The zipper is asymmetrical which I love.  I love how the lapels are created when the jacket isn't full zipped.  All the seams are top-stitched, which can be tedious, but looks great.

I didn't change anything about the pattern.  I even added the tabs and snaps which I don't think are entirely functional.  I could have left them off, but they complete the look.  The tab and snap on the collar are a bit too far apart.  When snapped, it makes the collar a bit tight.


The pattern was constructed well and the instructions were clear.  They pdf also has the pattern sizes layered so you have the option to print just one size.  That is very helpful when trying to trace the pattern pieces and there are a ton of sizes.  Unfortunately I didn't notice that was an option until I had printed everything!

The jackets did take a while (about 4-5 hours each), but I think it was worth it.  The pattern goes up to size 16 (12-18 months is the smallest.  I love the broad size range.)  so I definitely will be making this again.

And in case you ever thought these photo shoots look just adorable, here is what ninety percent of the pictures look like:

We are ready for fall!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Elsa Doll

Pin It

Last week we attended a Frozen party for one of our neighbors.  To help her celebrate I made her an Elsa doll.  I debated between Anna and Elsa because Anna really doesn't get much representation.  In the end I opted for Elsa because I thought her dress would be more fun to make.

Elsa with legs

I started with the Knox and Nelly doll pattern from Bit of Whimsy.  All I did to the pattern was lengthen the dress and take the legs off.  Originally I added shorter legs (just the feet), but they were pretty floppy and I didn't like how they looked so I took them off.

I kept the hair the same, but added a yarn braid to one side rather than the pigtails in the pattern.  For the dress I added 'sleeves' over her arms which I appliqued in place.  I then appliqued the dress pieces (bodice, undershirt, and skirt) to the dress pattern piece.

The cape was sewn to the back of the dress for sewing the doll together.

I embroidered the face following the pattern instructions.  I started using embroidery floss, but the floss was so thick the embroidery looked very sloppy.  I ended up using regular thread that I doubled.  I realize I could have just taken a few threads out of the embroidery floss, but regular thread worked just as well.  I am pleased with how it turned out.  

The Knox and Nelly pattern was really fun to use.  I can't wait to try it again.  My only complaint is that the seam allowance is tiny (1/8"!).  I increased mine to 1/4" and didn't have any problems.  


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan - Pattern Review

Pin It

Temperatures are starting to drop around which means time to start wearing some long sleeves (and layers).  I recently completed the Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan.  It is a free pattern and is perfect for fall.  

The pattern calls for light-weight knits and features princess seams in the front with a drapey-scarf neck and asymmetrical bottom hem (longer on the sides than the back).  There are no buttons or closures, it is an open-front cardigan.  

It was incredibly easy to sew and I love how the scarf-neck looks.  The directions are a bit confusing, but the pattern is well marked, so it is easy enough to figure out.  

I used a poly-cotton, jersey, stripped, gradiated knit.  I did a pretty crappy job matching stripes/colors.  Mostly because I didn't have very much fabric and I misunderstood the joining of the scarf-neck to the body.  I figured it out when I sewed it together, but, unfortunately,  the stripes are nowhere near perfect.  If the scarf isn't pulled out it looks ok.  

The stripes on the side-to-back match. (If you ignore the sleeves)

I think I'll be making a couple more of these, probably in solids because matching stripes is a pain.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Heart Pillow

Pin It

I've finished my last and final pillow for the living room.  I believe it is my favorite.  I created a pixelated heart using 1.5" blocks.  It took me awhile to decide on a design.  I'm glad I decide to try something  little different.  I used a variety of solids and the same gray as the couch pillows seen here.  The binding for the pillow is the same turquoise used in the couch pillows.

Do the fabrics on the back look familiar?  They are the same that I used for my tablet cover.  I love those cassettes.  The solids on the front were pulled with the cassette fabric in mind.  

I quilted 1" squares on the diagonal.  I love how they don't match up with the heart squares.  The pillow measures 18" square and looks great on our last living room chair (no pictures because it was cloudy so the lighting wasn't great).   

Now, onto Halloween sewing!  Just kidding, that started a month ago.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Couch Pillows

Pin It

I finally finished the new pillows for our couch.  You can see the first of my  new living room pillows here

I had the hardest time deciding on fabrics.  I wasn't sure if the two pillows should match exactly, or just sort of go together.  I decided to go in the middle, leaning more towards matching exactly.  I also decided to just use two fabrics.  The pillows on the couch will probably be used a lot longer than any quilt that might be hanging on the couch so I wanted the pillows to be neutral (ish) and simple(ish) in design so I won't get bored with them in two years and they'll go with whatever other design changes might happen in the living room.  I will never get bored with gray and turquoise!  Knock on wood.... 

Both pillows were created using half-square triangles with the same two fabrics.  I used this awesome tutorial to make multiple half-square triangles at once.  It really cut down on the time and helped with the accuracy of the blocks.  All the half-square triangles are the same size only arranged differently between the two pillows.  The pillows are 20" square.

I went a little crazy with the fabric on the back. They don't really go together, but for the back, who cares?  I love the craziness. 

The first pillow I made was the ducks-in-a-row triangle pillow.  I love how this turned out and did a pretty fantastic job with the quilting.

I pieced a whale onto the back to go with the wave quilt that is currently on the couch. 

 Also because I love the happy whales.

The second pillow I made was the off-center, bull's-eye one.  It is less than perfection.  I accidentally used a different batting for the second pillow than the first.  The second batting was flimsier and not very sturdy.  I didn't realize my mistake until the pillow was mostly done.  I also had major issues with shifting fabric while I was quilting.  You can definitely see the puckers.  It is cringe-worthy, but I was impatient so I just went with it.  From a distance it is not that bad.  Also for pillows that get thrown around, drooled on, and jumped on, I supposed it doesn't matter much.  

The back of the bull's-eye has more whales.  Love them!

Three pillows down, one to go!