Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

Hump day crafts: puppet theater

April 6, 2011

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but my 5 year old daughter, Thing 1, loves to craft. She has her own craft table and hates to throw any of creations away. I thought maybe I’d help her graduate from papercrafts to something a little more durable. Something the Cat will be less likely to throw in the recycle bin. So I asked her if she would like to learn to sew. As if I didn’t know the answer.

For help, we turned to Wendi Gratz’ Shiny Happy World.  I’ve been using her embroidery school videos to help me get a little further with my embroidery skills. Her sewing videos and patterns were just what I needed to get my daughter started. It seems in kindergarten, there’s always a friend’s birthday right around the corner, so we decided to make some gifts. I choose the finger puppets (an affordable pattern from Wendi) and the puppet theater (a free pattern from Wendi). They were simple, but great patterns. We made the pirates and ninjas that Wendy had drawn. Then we got creative and I drew a fairy, mermaid and princess set of finger puppets. (The book How to Draw Fairies and Mermaids was very helpful given my lack of artistic skills.) Thing 1 did much better at sewing than I expected. She never pulled the thread out of needle, kept her stitches right on the line and only stabbed herself one time through the two puppets she completed. Her stitches were a little large and she wouldn’t do any backstitches, but I still was proud of her. And she was proud of herself.

I finished up the other puppets and quickly stitched up the “theater” to hang on tension rods. The only thing I added was some elastic slots to set stick puppets or scenery into. Oh, and of course some bags to gift and store in. But before we wrapped it up, we had to try it out ourselves.

We gave them to one of her best friends last weekend. Although the party was a madhouse (what party for a 6 year old isn’t?), they seemed to appreciate the effort and result. And now Thing 1 wants to sew more so we can have some for our house. I guess she has yet to learn one of the most important things about crafting: you hardly ever get keep anything cool you make.

Happy crafting!


Hump Day Crafts: Electronics Organizer

April 14, 2010

Taking a break from the paper crafts this week. Had to clean off the craft table and drag the sewing machine out to make a few gifts. Here’s one of them: a hanging organizer with pockets for keeping all your electronic charging stuff in one place.

It was a gift for my brother-in-law. I made it, with a few changes, from a free pattern I picked up in the aisle at my local Joann store. I’d love to give you a link to the pattern, but I found searching through their patterns online impossible! It’s not large, only 3 pockets, but I did add a large pocket to the back to hold extra cords and things. If I made another one, I’d probably add a line of stitching to make the large back pocket into two to avoid sagging when full.

The strap on top and the straps holding the power strip have velcro, so it can accommodate hanging anywhere and holding anything. Really, you could take any pocket organizer pattern and add the velcro straps on the bottom to make it an electronics organizer. I hope this gets your creativity and sewing machine moving.

Happy crafting!

You cleaning, Mom?

July 15, 2008

As I leave Thing 1’s room at bedtime, this is how our exchange goes these days:

T1: “Will you leave my door open a crack, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, dear.”

T1: “Where will you be? Will you be downstairs, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, honey.”

T1: “What will you be doing? You cleaning, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, sweetie. Good night.”

I really was planning on it. After all, the movers come in 2 weeks, the Cat is out to sea, and naps and bedtime is the only time I get to go through things without little paws pawing at my clean and dirty piles. But yet, somehow, I come across this:

Don’t ask how. Just know that I got on the internet with the best of intentions to look up something move related. The time I spent looking at this blog, however, was not move related. In fact, it made me want to unpack my sewing machines (ha, as if they’re packed yet!) and work from an inspired place. Her stuff (and her daughter) is beautiful and makes me feel…slow. I couldn’t sew one dress in a weekend, much less three. Plus, my attempt at making a dress for Thing 1 without a pattern didn’t turn out as well as I would’ve liked:

blue dress

blue dress

Not bad, but rather boring. Plus, I was aiming for size 2 and it’s about a size 4 with a 18 month neckhole. We’ll see what happens with it. Perhaps if I keep checking back and being inspired by Kathleen’s blog maybe I’ll learn something. After all, my next dress attempt turned out a little better, even though I started with (and then deviated from) a pattern.

Spring dress

  (It looks better in person. Really.)

Of course, with the move it’s going to be awhile before I get time for that. Maybe I’ll just win some of the dresses she gives away on her blog. I think that’s the best solution. Especially since, for now, I’ve got to get back to cleaning. Because tonight Thing 1 asked me what cleaning I was going to do. I think she might be planning on checking up on me.

Becoming a part of a community

June 14, 2008

Somewhere in Hawaii (or anywhere in the world, for that matter), there will be a double size quilt that I helped with. Sure, the basting stitches I put in will get pulled out and my fingerprints will be washed away, but I know I helped baste all the layers together. I had very little idea of what I was supposed to be doing on a quilt for a woman I barely know, but it was a community effort in quilting class, so I jumped in and helped. How fun is that?!

It was a beautiful green on green money tree design. It was done so well you couldn’t even see the applique stitches. (I can only dream of the day!) I haven’t made much progress on my project, although I did learn how to applique the valleys in the design today. Hopefully I can finish it before we leave. The Cat’s been great about setting his schedule so I can go to class (we had a lot going on today!), but he’ll be gone much of July, so I’ll need to ask the neighbors if they can babysit.

First on The Hawaii List

June 10, 2008

This week I’m getting to work on my Hawaii list – things I want to do before I leave Hawaii.

I started on Saturday with my first Hawaiian quilting class. I was the only new student; all the others were older women working on much bigger, more beautiful wall hangings and quilts. My neutral color pillow looked pathetic next to their work. And that was before I started. Now it looks worse. But, everyone has to start somewhere, right? And if I don’t take the class now, where else am I going to find a Hawaiian quilting class? The only problem is I discovered I’m very slow (and bad) at hand sewing. I just hope I can finish the pillow in the suggested six sessions. I really don’t want to leave here with a half-finished pillow.

Here’s what it looks like starting out:

 Hawaiian quilt pillow week 1

The pattern is a leaf. For this, I folded the fabric in quarters and traced and cut the pattern. Next, I basted it to the background. Now I’m working on appliqueing the design to the background. I think the quilting comes after that.

Here’s a close up of the one leaf I’ve worked on so far: Hawaiian quilt close up wk 1

I only know how to sew the points, not the inverted corners, so it’s a pretty sad right now. The instructor did the point on the right, so of course it is the best, but like The Cat says, I can only get better. Hopefully. Well, no matter how it turns out, I’m really glad I’m doing it. It’ll be nice to take something away (no matter how ugly) besides memories from my Hawaii List.

Next up: surfing!