Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We're knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able.

Ok, ok, I'm sorry. I couldn't resist the Monty Python clip. I'm married to an Englishman, and I guess after almost 10 years, his offbeat British humor has rubbed off on me! :)

So last week I wrote about my daughter's doggie costume. This week it's my son's turn. He doesn't go for the traditional scary costumes or the trendy Star Wars/Spiderman/etc. In the past he's been things like a dragon, a dinosaur, and last year, a police officer. This year, he chose to be a knight. Without further delay, here's presenting Sir Aidan:

To create this costume, I used Simplicity 5520. I only paid $0.99 for it on sale at my local fabric store. It was an easy pattern to put together. One thing, though....it has a lot of pieces. So although it wasn't hard, it was a little time-consuming. But once he put it on, it was definitely worth all the time....he looked so cute, um excuse me, handsome, and he really loves it.

We borrowed the sword and shield from a friend, and he's ready to do battle with the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog......

Happy Halloween!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Going to the Dogs....

It's that time of year again....the time to come up with the perfect Halloween costume.

Because I can sew, everyone always assumes that I will create wonderful handmade costumes for my kids.....that's not always the case. The truth is, with all the sales, online stores, etc., sometimes it just isn't cost-effective to make their costumes. It just depends on what they want to be and whether I can find it for a steal.

My daughter is a total animal lover and her two favorite movies are 101 Dalmations and the Aristocats. So this year she wants to be a Dalmation.

Now, one thing about my daughter....she doesn't wear pants. Ever. Well, hardly ever. I can probably count on one hand the number of times that she has worn pants. She wears dresses and skirts, and when it gets "cold" (cold in Central Arizona terms is almost comical), she wears tights or leggings. And of course all the standard "doggy" costumes are pants.

But then I came across a costume on some random costume website that was a little dalmation dress. It was cute, but at only $10.99, I was very skeptical about the quality. Besides, it's a dress.....if there is one thing I can sew, it's little girls' dresses. So I decided that I would make it.

First things first: the fabric. I knew I didn't want an obnoxious print, and a quick search on the internet turned up the perfect find.......Michael Miller "Spot the Dog"

Next up: the pattern. I wanted something easy and something that I would use again. So I went with this one....Simplicity 2825

I'll definitely be making her more dresses with this pattern. When they say "It's So Easy," they mean it. This pattern was very easy to follow and went together quickly. It runs large, so next time I'll make some adjustments.

To give the dress some fullness and make it a little special (it is a Halloween costume, after all), I made a petticoat-like slip with some lining fabric and about 8 yards of tulle. It gives it just the right "girly-girl" touch.

Next, I made some doggy ears with a black headband and some faux fur. Add some black tights and black shoes and there you go! A dalmation.

On Halloween we are going to paint a little black nose on her. She also wants me to make her a red "collar" to wear, so I'll be pulling out the red satin ribbon. I'm very happy with the results and think it fits her personality perfectly.

Here she is practicing her "doggy-ness!"

That's one costume down....next up, tackling my son's knight costume!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

By Popular Demand....a Hooded Towel Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Joy, asking if I would share the pattern for the hooded towels I wrote about here.

Well, I don't really have a pattern, but I told her I would be happy to type up some instructions and send them her way. When I sat down to write, I found that some things just didn't make sense without photographs. So I decided to write a tutorial for hooded towels. I'm sure there are many hooded towel tutorials out there, but sometimes a different person will have a different technique/perspective/explanation.

Now, this is my very first tutorial, so please bear with me!

Supplies Needed:

One full size bath towel

One hand towel (this will be cut in half, so one hand towel will make two hooded towels)

Approx. 1/2 yd of ribbon of your choice for trim

Thread to match the towels

1. Cut hand towel in half and serge or zig-zag the raw edge.

2. Fold the finished edge over until it covers the textured border of the towel, about 2 inches.

3. Stitch. Use whatever seam allowance you're comfortable with. I use 3/8" a lot because it's an easy one to measure on my machine....it falls right at the edge of my presser foot.

4. Pin the ribbon along the finished edge that you folded over.

5. Stitch ribbon in place by sewing along both edges of the ribbon.

6. Fold the hand towel in half, inside out (ribbon to the inside), matching finished edges.

7. Stitch along serged (zig-zagged) edge, starting from open, finished side and stopping about 2/3 of the way to the folded edge.

8. Open the hole along the edge you just stitched and flatten perpendicular to the seam.

9. Stitch.

10. Turn right side out, and there's the hood!

11. Find the center of the large bath towel, mark with a pin. Make two wide, flat pleats, each about 2 inches wide and 2.5 inches from the center. (I never measure these, just "guesstimate")See pics.

12. Pin the hood to the bath towel along the finished edges of the hood, right sides together, matching the center seam of the hood to the center of the bath towel. (It will be finished edges that are being stitched together.) Stitch, making sure to go slowly over the pleats (they will be bulky). I like to stitch this seam twice, just to give it some extra strength.

(View of inside of hooded towel after hood is stitched to bath towel)

13. If desired, zig-zag over your stitched seams on the inside (where the hood and towel were attached) to flatten them. Be careful not to zig-zag over your ribbon trim because it would show on the other side!

14. And now your hooded towel is finished!

I always like to fold them up nicely and tie with the same ribbon I used for the trim.....

Happy Sewing!!!!