Minions Run Wild

Before I get started, a round of applause for my amazing sister, Erin, for summoning her inner Jessie Spano and pumping out several kid friendly garments during KCW!  Bravo!  Who knew that sewing with knits would be like crack to her?

My crack is those peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets.  Can I get an intervention please?

My KCW week was consumed by this- Minion costumes for Jet’s 7th birthday party!

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Jet was dead set on a Despicable Me themed birthday party, a theme that is not widely found in your neighborhood stores (though, I bet it will be by next year).  The idea to costume all of the children came from the fact that I really hate coordinating party games.   I was all over Pinterest, trying to get ideas, but I just did not feel like decorating  soda bottles for minion bowling, or pining the scarf on Gru…

So naturally, sew costumes for all, and let them handle the fun!

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Before you declare me out-of-my-gourd, understand that this is not kind of sewing I am proud of.  This was balls to the wall sewing with reckless abandon!   Most of it was done on the serger with super forgiving fleece- no hemming, no button holes, no elastic, nobody cares!

It was totally fun!

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I used the Parsley Pants pattern to draft the bottom portion, and basically attached a rectangular bib.  The long straps took the longest to sew because I used two pieces of fabric and sewed them on the regular machine.  The yellow T-shirts were 4 for $9 at Jo-Ann, and that is where I bought the fleece too (using coupons of course).  The “G” was cut from denim and roughly appliqued.

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My plan worked.  All the boys were so jazzed about the costumes, that all I had to do was supervise the ensuing madness!  That cloud paper was also from Jo-ann’s, and worked well for a photo wall.  Ready for some pics?

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Pei and I attempted to dress as Gru and Lucy.  Yes, I did sew him that scarf.  Avery bailed on her Agnes outfit because I couldn’t get her ponytail to “stick straight in the air”.  #fouryearoldproblems

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A nearly 70 degree day in winter worked to our advantage.  After photos, I just pointed them all toward the door and they ran and played their little hearts out!  We even moved the eating table and pinata out there!

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You better believe we heard lots of “be-do, be-do, be-do”!

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By the way, the pinata and glasses were found on Amazon.

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Birthday boy!

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Little sister!

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Little brother!

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Make-your-own sundaes!

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This was a last-minute paper banner that I let Avery and Jet work on before the party started.  We didn’t finish it in time to hang it.  Oh well.

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The party was a major hit!  I really enjoyed seeing how adorable these little boys were in those costumes.  And before you ask me what I am going to do to top this next year, here  is your answer- Nothing.  We will not be doing the party with all the friends thing every year for every kid.  Keeping it mellow for the next couple years.

I hope that this will be one of those historical birthdays for Jet.     

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He is one incredibly worthy 7 year old.  I Love you buddy!

~Caroline

January Junebug

 Happy New Year Gungie readers!  Resolutions anyone?  Mine are mostly just project lists for each room of our house.  The challenge for me, since I seem to have design ADD, is to just commit to one room, and finish it.  I’m starting with the parts of our home that are exposed to the most general traffic.  I think that’s a smart way to begin.   Hopefully, I will have the nerve to show you the progress as things move along.

As for sewing, well, isn’t it always about stash busting?  Use what you have, and avoid spending on new fabric!  Also, pattern busting for me.  I have been psyched to buy several patterns, but then I strangely avoid them.  I don’ t know why.  My Washi pattern is giving me the stink eye right now!  I’ll get to you, dammit!

First up for both pattern and stash busting is the sweet, vintage inspired, Junebug Dress.  Sewn in Tanya Whelan Delilah Dots, and lined with some pretty floral that I can’t place.

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This was my first time sewing one of Jessica’s patterns.  It went perfectly!  Really well written with lots of pictures.   I sewed the 18 month size  for a dear friend’s first baby, with the thought that she can wear it next spring when she will be walking.  That must be such a strange thing to imagine for the mother of a two month old!  Her teeny little girl will be up and walking this time next year.  Its wild!

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I definitely considered doing the bodice in the floral print, but I waited until I had all pieces constructed to decide.  It came down to the piping.  Doesn’t it always?  I loved the turquoise piping with the turquoise buttons, and those features just wouldn’t pop against the floral fabric.  So red dots all the way!  

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I was hoping Corinne would be up for modeling this, but I caught her too close to nap time.   Wes was my next choice, but I just couldn’t do that to him again.  It’s still too soon.  So, on the hanger it is.

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Ah, it feels good to have one sewing project under my belt in the new year.  What will be next?  Unfortunately, I think it will have to be some theme sewing for Jet’s 7th birthday party.  I haven’t yet seen fabric Minion bunting on Pinterest yet, so I’ll have to think it up myself.

Tell us what projects top your 2014 list!

~Caroline

Bimaa in the ‘Hood

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I was so happy when Sarah of EmmylouBeeDoo and LouBeeClothing patterns asked if I’d like to join her Bimaa pattern tour.  Maybe you have seen this little pattern showing up around blog-land lately?  It’s a hot one right now!  I’m the last stop on the tour (along with Skirt as Top- no pressure, right?), and I can’t believe all adorable Bimaas that these gals have been putting out.

Sarah’s blog is such a good one and quickly becoming one of my favorites- I LOVE what she sews for her cute daughter… like this Sally dress- so great!  And this September tunic- I bought this pattern as soon as I saw her version.  Plus, Sarah is a New England girl, and grew up a New England girl, so… maybe I’m just drawn to her New Englandy-ness?  :)

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, check out Sarah’s blog and pattern shop if you know what’s good for you!!!

Now.  Onto my BIMAA!

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The Bimaa is a slim-fitting sweater with 3 neckline options: hoodie, shawl collar, and cowl neck.  There is no hemming in this pattern- just sewing a cuff band and waist band, which is quick and pretty fool-proof if you ask me… No folding up, no ironing… I love that I didn’t have to get up from my chair and iron a thing!

I made a 2T for my 18 month old and the fit is perfectly…though if you have any worries about the snug fit, just size up in the width. The only change I made to the pattern was to make a little puff sleeve at the shoulder… Just ’cause I love ‘em.  I widened the top curve of the sleeve piece, and added a little length to the top as well- gathered about 2-3 inches at the curve to create the puff, and attached!  Easy.

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This is like the 3rd thing I’ve ever sewn in knit, and I am just shocked that I didn’t have any trouble.  I did use my stretch stitch which I never had before, and it went smooth as butter.  I might try my next one on the serger though just for speed.  Sarah recommends using a 4-way stretch knit for this- I used a stretchy white velour, and a thick gray sweater knit (from an old dress of mine) for the hood lining.

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 I love sewing hoods, so I decided to make Coco one with kitty ears.  I made this before Sarah’s fabulous Add-Ears-to-a-Bimaa-Hoodie tutorial + template, so I used the instructions and pattern pieces for the Cozy Winter Hood out of the O + S Little Things to Sew book.  Both methods are pretty much the same idea.   I used a pink floral quilting cotton for the inside, and shaped my ears to create a point at the top.  Although I wish they faced the front a bit more, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. When they start to flop, she looks like a little lamb.

A twofer!

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Sarah is kind enough to giveaway a Bimaa pattern to one of you readers!  Just leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite Halloween costume was as a child- We’re still undecided here with the costumes this year, so I’d love some ideas.

Giveaway is open to all and will close at midnight on Tuesday 10/22.  Good Luck!

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Oh, and if you can’t wait that long to sew one up, you can purchase the pattern (along with Sarah’s other patterns) HERE.

(And be sure to check out my tour buddy, Kristin’s cowl Bimaa too!)

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Happy Sewing!

-Erin

felt + fabric crowns

A few weeks ago, I gave you guys a little peek of what’s been keeping me busy these days.

And I’m here today to show you more!

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I’ve been into all things floral lately for some reason.  And I love a good felt project.

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And Ellery’s birthday is this week….(our theme is garden-chic.  Okay, I just made that up)….

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So I combined all those things and came up with these sweet crowns to be given as favors at the beginning of the party so the girls can have fun wearing them together.

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They are pretty quick to make, fairly inexpensive, and something that hopefully will get worn over and over again!

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I’m really loving them (so is Ellery), and I thought you might too!

So, read on for a step-by-step tutorial:

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First you’ll need some fabric strips.  Obviously, you can use any type of print you like… I used anything in my stash that was floral, including some vintage pillowcases.  This strip below was cut from the edge of a pillowcase.  I love the subtle colors.

Anyway, your strip should be about 4 1/2 ” wide and about 18″ long.

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Cut a piece of lightweight or medium-weight interfacing and iron onto the wrong side of your fabric strip.

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Make a little crown template on a piece of paper.  Mine is 4 1/2″ wide and 9″ long… this will be cut on the fold, fyi.  See below.

Draw any type of crown shape you like.  I made my center point right on the fold, slightly taller than the other 3 points.

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Trace the shape onto your folded fabric strip.

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Cut it out.

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Lay your fabric onto your felt strip. (I’m using a wool felt blend from Ohma- it has a nice weight to it and I highly recommend that you steer clear of the acrylic stuff for this project.  It’s too flimsy for this.  This yellow felt came in a large square so I was able to get a nice long strip from it.  Oh, and the color is called ‘Butter’… It was meant for me.

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Stitch the points to the felt.  Leave the sides and bottom open for now….

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 Now, I did not get all crazy-good with my top-stitching, and that does not bother me for this project…or, any project for that matter.  I’ve realized that I’m just not a perfectionist no matter how hard I try.  ;)

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Cut the excess felt away, but leave about a 1/8″ border.  Makes everything pop!

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Play around with any trims, lace, ribbon, etc… that you like for the bottom edge.  I’d say about 1 1/2″ high of embellishment is good.  I used 1″ grosgrain ribbon, and some lace.  Just stitch it on however you like, leaving a little overhang at each edge. **i love the look of gold thread, so if you have some, use it!

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I added some skinny ivory ribbon too….

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Cut an 8″ long strip of 1/4″ elastic- that’s a good length for 3-5 year olds I’d say, but if your kid’s noggin is handy, maybe do a little measuring and adjust that by 1/2″ or so either way.  For projects that have thin elastic that is visible, like for a button and loop closure here, or on a bag or the back of a dress, I usually buy swimwear elastic from Joann becuase it’s softer than regualr elastic and it’s not stark white.  It just looks a little more natural.

But, use whatever you have.

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Fold the elastic in half and slip the raw edges into one of the sides between the felt and fabric.

**If you only have wide elastic, like 3/4 or 1″, maybe just use one 4″ long piece instead of folding it in half… and don’t use a button.  Just insert the elastic and both ends and stitch.**

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Go ahead and fold your ribbon trim edges to the underside of the felt.

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Stich the edge down, and stitch the elastic in place.  I’m leaving the fabric edge raw all over.  If you are worried about fraying, dab a little Fray Check on the edges.

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Your crown shold look like this.  Minus the baby-photobomb!

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Next, find a medium to large button that you like.

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Sew it onto the other edge of your crown, so it sits just slightly above the ribbon.

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Almost done!  You can stop there or you can add a cute little ribbon rosebud right to the center.  Or a little bow.  Or whatever strikes your fancy.

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Try it on your kid!  Ellery would not look at me for these photos.  She loves to play hard-to-get.

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Grant wanted in on the action…. I’ve got to make him a boy version ASAP.

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Here’s Ellery “organzing” the crowns and choosing which ones her friends should have.  SUCH a first-born!

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This girl will be FIVE in a week!  No one is more excited than her.  She asks me at least 20 times a day who is younger than her… and squeals with delight when she gets to a kid who has a May or June or July birthday.  Seriously, I’ll be in the other room and I’ll hear her say, “Mommy?” and I’ll start mouthing the words she’s about to say:  “Am I turning 5 before _______ ?”

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“YES, ELLERY.  YOU ARE TURNING FIVE BEFORE ______.”

“heheheeeee yyyeeeeesssss!!  weeeeeee!!!”  :::happy dance::::

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Let me know if you decide to make one- don’t let my long tutorial fool you… they are so fast to make if you have everything on hand!

And I hope all of you KCW -sewing Mamas have fun this week and don’t putter out before the week is over!  I simply cannot get my act together to participate this time around…I am here cheering you on though and can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

Ciao!

-Erin

vintage floral crowns

Hey y’all!

Just popping in to share with you what’s been consuming my evening sewing sessions lately….I’m not sure what inspired these crowns, but once the idea came to me there was no stopping the production!

vintage floral pillowcases + wool felt = soft, sweet, and subtle crowns perfect for Spring.

(side note- no matter how much you wash a vintage sheet, it still smells OLD.  or, seasoned as i like to say….)

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The above fabric is from the same pillowcase that this dress was made from.

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These are going to be for a certain special girl’s 5th birthday party coming up in April.  I am making one for each of her little guests.  Hence the production line!  We’ll be having a little girl’s luncheon in our backyard garden and I’m excited to plan for it- I’m usually not big on birthday hoopla for little kiddos (a ton of work/stress/money- plus all three of my babies have birthdays within a month of each other!) but, now that Ellery is old enough to help me with ideas and planning, it’s actually something I’m looking forward to!  Except that every day she tells me EXACTLY what she’d like her cake to look like… different every day of course!

I like that these crowns (which they can wear for the party AND take home…) don’t cost a lot, but are made with a lot of love.

More to come!

-Erin

Lone Wolf

For three weeks leading up to Halloween, Grant declared “I gonna be a WOLF”.  I suggested he maybe be Batman or Spiderman since we had those costumes handy from his cousin, but he refused.

I had some time one night when the kids went to bed early, so I grabbed my Oliver + S book and fulfilled his request by making the cozy winter hood.  I used some creepy faux fur that I had from when he was a wolf 2 years ago… really…. see below:

Gray fleece for the lining, and charcoal corduroy to line the ears, some brown grosgrain ribbon for the ties.  To keep the ears standing up I hand-stitched a bit around the base of them.

As soon as it was done I was psyched.  Totally looked like a wolf (to me)…but could pass for a donkey as well I’m told. ;)  I snuck into his room and put it on his sleeping head.  It fit perfectly.

The next morning he saw it on my desk and pretty much ran away screaming.  He wouldn’t go near it!  Even after seeing his sisters try it on, me, dad…. even the dog… he was not going near it.

So, I brought it along to my Mom’s 60th birthday party at a local vineyard.  We had no problem getting it on anyone else!

Here’s everyone but Grant gettin’ their wolf on…

My nephew Jet.  Obviously G had no problem being chased by a wolf.

And Avery.  How cute is she?

 Ellery rockin’ the wolf….

And baby-wolf Corinne:

Even my Aunt Joan got into it:

 We offered up 2 other costumes for Grant, which he refused…. until last minute when he decided on a “worker-guy” (construction hat and flannel shirt & jeans) I hardly ever sew for my boy, so it’s kind of a bummer that he wont wear this!

He has since told me he wants a “truck” hat.

Shoulda known!!!

-Erin