Thursday, October 27, 2011

Batty Wreaths & Thistle Spiders

I'm so glad I made the time to make my batty wreath, I LOVE it!  I came across the idea on Carina Gardner's site.
I cut bats out of various Halloween papers with my silhouette, glued them onto a vine wreath from Hobby Lobby with hot glue (my hot glue gun is getting a lot of use lately), attached a ribbon and bow and hung it up on my front door.  I already had the supplies and bats cut out, so when I finally sat down to make it, it was 45 minutes tops.

I also made a mini one for my pantry door with smaller black bats and orange ribbon.  I like it, but I like the big one better.   Maybe it needs more color?  I think I'll leave it alone for now, but I can always go at it again next Halloween.

Today after school, we made thistle spiders, 15 of them.  My sister in Utah, mailed me some thistles last week and I was so excited to get these made.  We made them as kids with my mom, so it was  fun to make them with/for my own kids.  I had forgotten about thistle spiders until coming across them in blogland last year, so this year we were ready with the supplies needed.

I pretty much made them how she does in this tutorial on Every Creative Endeavor.  I tried to coat mine really well with the black spray paint, I wanted them nice and black. The kids each picked one out to have in their rooms, one even "watched" S* do his homework, several are going with DH to work tomorrow, the kids want to give them to their teachers and I guess we'll scatter the rest around the house.  We may need to make more next year.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rapunzel {and her hair}

This costume was fun to make.  It mostly turned out how I envisioned, which isn't something that always happens.  At first I was worried.  They no longer had the fabric I originally wanted at Jo Ann's so I had to pick something else, which I like better anyway.  Then I wasn't sure the sleeves I added to the pattern (the original pattern doesn't have sleeves) were going to look right, but they seem to have turned out fine.  I have never added sleeves to something that didn't already have them before.  I used a pattern I bought a few years ago, and it was perfect for this year.  McCall's 5153.  I think it's out of print now.  I have noticed a crisscross ribbon trend in my costume making.  I have unintentionally used patterns with crisscross ribbons for three costumes (rapunzel, bo peep, and a princess). The dark purple fabric is luna blooms by Sue Zipkin for Clothworks. 

After posing for a picture, she twirled.....

and twirled some more.....

then she rested.....

before twirling some more.....

and some more.

I'm so glad that she loves to wear it and twirl around.  Makes having spent the time to sew it even better.

The hair of all things actually gave me more trouble than expected. I started off following the instructions from the Simplicity Disney Tangled pattern, but the measurements were off and I had to mess around with it a bit.  I ended up cutting the yarn for the head band part 34 inches long (the pattern said to cut the yarn 18 inches long, no way that was going to fit her head after it was braided, maybe not even a baby's).  I had a second attempt after the 18 inch failure, which after braiding it, it ended up being an inch or two too short to go around her head.  Rats!  Third time (yarn cut at 34 inches) worked out just about right.  In the pictures above, the second attempt for the headband was loosely attached as the longer braided part to see how it would look.  K* asked if I could make it longer though.  At first I didn't want to waste more yarn to make a longer braid, but on Friday before she came home from school, I decided to make a longer one.  And since she wasn't there to measure, it ended up plenty long, almost touching the ground.  I cut the yarn strands 48 inches long.  After braiding and attaching it, I hot glued flowers onto it and it was ready for the trunk or treat that night.  Maybe next time she wears it, I can snap some better pictures to show the back where it's attached together.  Nothing like a carnival a week and a half  before Halloween to help keep me on top of getting the costume made so I'm not finishing it up last minute on Halloween.  Yay!! I put a picture from that night at the end of this post that shows the finished hair.

I used Carron simply soft yarn in Autumn Maize (hobby lobby).  I'm into my third 6 oz. skein because of mess ups, but you'd probably only need one skein, two tops to be "safe".  I also used light pink offray ribbon and purple & pink rose like fake flowers from Hobby Lobby.  Each section of the braid has 60+ strands.  You could do each 60+ strand section separately and then tie them together to braid (what I did for the head band part) or just divide 180+ strands into three sections to braid (what I did for the long braided part that hangs down).   I nailed two nails onto a long board and looped the yarn around them to make things faster and easier.  I then tied the top off with a piece of yarn and cut the bottom loops before braiding.  I left the tops uncut & looped. I slipped the headband part through the loop of the long braided part to help things seem more secure and to hide where the two ends meet on the headband part.  I don't know if any of this makes sense, but I hope it might help someone out rather than going through some of the trial and errors I encountered when making one.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween skirts & tees

I made these two Halloween outfits  (candy corn & spider) for my daughter and a skirt for my niece in Utah for some Halloween fun in their wardrobe selection.  Earlier this year, I came across Riley Blake's fun & really cute trick or treat fabric line and knew I wanted to make some things out of it.  I also have some of the fabric for a Halloween quilt, but I might not get to that this year.  It's a cute line for kids, but in the future I can see myself using a nice, "softer" orange, cream and black to sew with/decorate some things (I want to make fabric roses in those colors, but probably won't get to those this year either).  I enjoyed sewing these, and it was fun sewing with colors I wouldn't normally make something out of for K*.  I made the outfits big so hopefully they'll fit for a Halloween or two (or three).  Although it wouldn't be the worst thing though if I had to buy cute Halloween fabric again soon. 

I used the Pinkfig girly skirt pattern for the two green  black skirts and studied a few patterns (mainly Pinkfig's nie nie pattern and a free tutorial from Izzy & Ivy) to make the orange & yellow candy corn skirt since I don't have a pattern for a two ruffle layered skirt.  I'm happy with how the t-shirt appliques turned out, I was having a bit of trouble with the candy corns at one point and had to cut new ones out, but in the end it seems to have worked out.  My original plan was to use a bat, but I'm glad I went with the spider dangling down with a bow, so fun.  Another fun thing I've never done before: tags.  Last time I made some skirts, K* told me she couldn't tell which way was the back and that I should put a tag.  I think they look cute out of Halloween print ribbon.

DETAILS Yellow fabric: what a hoot by exclusively quilters; Orange fabric: scrappy and happy baby #3530 by Jane Selck; Black & green Halloween prints, green dots and tag ribbon: trick or treat by Riley Blake; Black fabric: from my stash; Spider and candy corn shapes: silhouette shapes; Tees: target and the children's place

And a wooden witch hat:
This wooden witch hat is from the wood connection in Utah.  They don't ship, but fortunatley I have family who is willing to send things to me. 
I used black paint, some Halloween paper I already had in my stash, purple paint for the moon, green tulle for the "bow", black glitter over the black paint on the bottom of the hat, a plastic ring spider {since I misplaced the one that came with it} and three gems from some Halloween stamp packages my mom sent me.  I spent the good part of one morning start to finish.  I also kept bugging my sister over the phone about how did she make hers.

Rapunzel is finished too!  Thanks to the school trunk or treat on Friday, I'm ahead of schedule for Halloween as far as having costumes done.  Yay! Pictures soon.  And {hopefully} my tips for braided yarn Rapunzel hair after some trial and error.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Idea from here and here.
Made three of these recently.  Vinyl shapes by Deena Rutter are from here.  Cut the vinyl out with my silhouette.  For this one, I used paper from Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket.  I used various Halloween papers I had for the other two.  The vinyl is on the front of the glass and the paper is modpodged onto the back of the glass.  The frame is from Walmart ($3).  After riping the back off, I hot glued the glass in place (hope it holds).  Another easy crafty project once you have all the supplies.  Seriously, picking out paper (and fabric) can take me longer than making the actual thing sometimes.

On top of all my other projects I have piled up/stashed away, I have a Rapunzel Tangled costume to sew, a Halloween skirt or two to sew, a wooden witch hat from the wood connection in Utah to finish and this batty wreath found here on Carina Gardner's website.  I think I have most of the supplies I need, I just need to get going.  I did have my wisdom teeth out on Friday, so I'm not back to my usual self yet, dry socket on the right side is no fun.

Pencil Roll

This is a pencil roll I made last week for my daughter as a birthday present.  There are a lot of ideas online, I mainly used directions from a book, Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, which I borrowed from a friend.  The fabric is Hoo's in the Forest by Riley Blake.  I LOVE this fabric.  I have a whole stash of it waiting for me to make projects out of.  The pencil roll is 9" by 20".  There are 27 pencil pockets and the pockets are about 3/4 of an inch. The book had the pencil pockets at an inch and a longer length, but I didn't want mine to be so long.  The pencil pockets stitching is one continuos line of stitching; down, across 3/4", up, across 3/4", down, repeat. If that makes sense.  It really went together quickly.  Other than picking out the fabirc and the pencil pocket stitching, it took about 20 minutes.  I had a few issues getting my pocket lines straight when I first started, so I lost track of how long that part took. But once I got going, it was pretty quick too.

Flower Clips

I finally got around to making these two flower hair clips.  I've had the flowers for a few months and finally figured out that I can use buttons for the decorative center.  I had been searching for cute centers to no avail in the jewelery making section, and then if dawned on me to use buttons. Duh!  Basically, I cut the flower off the stem, took it all apart and then glued it back together with my glue gun using a circle of felt and a clip as the back base.  I made these two flowers to go with a few specific shirts, one peach shirt and about four yellow shirts that I own.  One day at Hobby Lobby I happened to pass the peach flower and knew I had to make it into a flower clip.  Each stem has two usable flowers, so I can make two more in the future.  I have a handful of other flowers (black, cream, berry, purple, pink, turquoise) that my cousin made that get regular use.