Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slender Man Mask

For Halloween this year my son wanted to dress up as Slender Man.  He said he would need a white hood-like mask, white gloves, a black tie, and a suit.  I looked around Ebay and found some white gloves and even the mask for not too much.  I felt quite prepared ordering everything weeks in advance.  When the mask finally arrived, it was clear that it was not quite transparent enough.

We thought about ways to fix the mask.  We could make eye holes, but that would ruin the effect.  Remaking the whole mask was another possibility.  Then after looking at the mask, I decided I could simply replace part of the mask on the front side.

At JoAnn's I checked out every white fabric for stretch and visibility.  Finally I found one that seemed better than the original mask.

Replacing part of the mask was a great idea for many reasons.  For one, after removing the stitches, I could use the panel I removed as a pattern.  Secondly, this fix was much quicker than making a whole new mask.  It gave my son better visibility and worked well. We had a Happy Halloween and hope you did too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quilted Totes

After making the little daisy mug rugs, I still had some pink daisy fabric left.  I wondered if I could put together another little something with the leftover pieces.  I decided on a quilted tote bag.  I found lots of different inspirations for them and liked parts of this one pattern.  I settled on a wonky log cabin pattern and quilted along as I went.  I love that kind of quilting.  

The finished size wasn't really a concern of mine while piecing.  I was thinking a rectangle might be good, but I also knew I could just add more strips.  The first one ended up at about 12.5" by 10.5".  The second was 13" by 9.25".

After making my fronts, I decided to just keep the back plain black.  I added batting to each part and quilted them using a hot pink free motion design.  Then I sewed front to back at the sides and bottom  edge, then formed the bottom.  

My surplus of bottom weight material came in handy for the straps and lining.   I also added an inside pocket and made it the length of the one long side.  The straps I sort of followed the quilted tote pattern in that it called for each strap to be 5" x 26".  It's a pretty long strap.  I also made a tab 6.5" by 2.5" for the top of the bag.

The two bags were constructed at pretty much the same time.  I was often two steps ahead on one, then the other.  The first bag was almost done and I showed it to my husband.  Right away he noticed the large black strips on the front of the wonky log cabins and how it stood out too much.  Somehow I had missed that.  I think part of it was the fact I was involved in the construction at that point.  In addition, much of my log cabin had been folded under for the bottom.  This made the top part more prominent.
After considering a few ways to potentially "fix" the big black strips, I decided to add a pink daisy.  I researched a few different options for constructing a fabric flower.  I found one out of ribbon that seemed to be nice.  The one video tutorial I found used hot glue and paper.  As I wanted to have it all washable, I opted to stitch everything down to a felt circle.  I enjoyed learning about this new construction.  Each pedal is shaped out of small 3" pieces of ribbon.  Then the base of the ribbon is scrunched together to give it the pedal shape.

wonky log cabin, ribbon flower button

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pink Daisies

I have been trying to organize my sewing room better, specifically my fabric stash. I purchased some smaller bins and sorted the smaller bits of fabric by color. Already I see the benefit from this change. Yesterday I continued sorting through larger bins that I hadn't looked inside for a while. I got everything sorted by type as well. I have a bin for knits, one for corduroys, another for flannel, a huge amount of fleece, bottom weights and denim, and of course cottons. Seeing all this fabric just makes me think of how much I should be getting out of my house!

As I was sorting, I found a very cute pink daisy fabric. Much of the time I am sorting, I remember what a fabric had been used for or my intention. This pink daisy fat quarter didn't ring any bells. I must have gotten it when fat quarters were on sale.

A friend of mine, Debbie, I met through the organization, the Young Survival Coalition, started a non-profit to help woman diagnosed with breast cancer. It is called the Pink Daisy Project. I thought a little mug rug to remind her that what she does is very much appreciated might be the perfect rainy day project.

Another friend, Melinda, lives miles away, but is a huge help to Debbie too. I thought she might also like to know she is appreciated.

Pink Ribbon fabric is also a part of my stash. I have used it in a number of projects for the Pink Ribbon Walk we participate in May, to a quilt, a baby carrier, and embroidered t-shirts. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many of us feel that the pink ribbon and how it's often used gets to be too much. You can find cute pink items with ribbons on just about anything. When the pink ribbon became a symbol for breast cancer awareness, it was just the beginning of ribbons and awareness campaigns. I can't imagine one person living in our culture who isn't aware of breast cancer. While I do agree that cancer isn't cute and shouldn't be wrapped up in a cute package, the pink ribbon remains a symbol of breast cancer for me.

I also took advantage of my Viking Lily sewing machine's many decorative stitches.

I hope Melinda and Debbie like the little mug rugs and enjoy a nice hot beverage knowing that their efforts are appreciated by many. Thank you both!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Naked Barbies No More!

When my youngest first discovered the one Barbie and multiple princess Barbie dolls we have in the house, she was quite taken with them. Especially their sparkly dresses. Then one day it was as if a switch flipped and they all needed their clothes off all the time.

Sometimes we would be heading out and Jasmine or Cinderella would tag along, in the nude. The naked dolls didn't phase me much, but we did seem to get regular comments about them.

It seemed that they had been naked so long, we had a hard time finding all their pretty dresses. One by one we dressed most of them. A couple were still missing.

With naked Barbies on my mind heading into a naptime, I searched around for easy Barbie sewing patterns. I found two that looked perfect. Jessica's tutorial at Craftiness is Not Optional is clear and simple.  I also liked the bodice idea from Nancy at My Cotton Creations.

A few days later we tried the patterns out. I used the sleeve idea from one, the bodice from another and a nice full skirt. I figured it should take about 15 minutes. Well I forgot how challenging it sometimes is to sew tiny seams and tiny clothes. The sleeves were getting all kinds of caught in the machine and then my sewing opportunity for the day was over.

I was able to come back to the little pink dress today along with my mini helper and it all went smoothly, not taking much time at all to finish. Why not make another! This time I tried just the simple straight bodice and less full skirt. It probably took 15 minutes as predicted. I did put the bodice on Barbie to figure out the darts as the tutorial shows. It all worked well. And the delight on my daughter's face as the dresses neared completion made it an even more satisfying project.