October 14, 2014

Pete the Cat Four Groovy Buttons Costume

My kid cries over spilt milk. That's why I love Pete the Cat. This series of children's books has an underlying message of don't sweat the small stuff. The repeating line from the four groovy buttons book is a repeating line in our household as well.

"Did Pete cry? Goodness no! Buttons come and buttons go." 

The four year old has multiple costume parties this year and asked if she could be Pete the Cat for the Halloween party at the library (and Frozen's Anna for the school party and trick-or-treating). Loving the character, I was more than happy to oblige and put this entire costume together for less than $7.

In the Four Groovy Buttons book, Pete wears...
- a yellow shirt with long sleeves and a collar
- four groovy (aka large) buttons: teal, dark blue, green, and red
- Optional red sneakers. Pete is barefoot for most of the book, but the opening page shows him wearing his famous red sneakers. (Which he also wears in several of his other books.)
- Pete has blue fur, a white nose, and yellow eyes.

Our costume....
Yellow cardigan - $5 Walmart
Yellow sunglasses - already owned
Red sneaker shoe slipcovers - 2 sheets of red felt $0.23 each and spool of white ribbon $0.44 Walmart (template to follow)
Blue cat hat - scrap fabric (template to follow)
Four groovy buttons - scrap fabric and Cheerios box
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To Make Buttons
Trace and cut four circles from an empty cereal box. Glue teal, blue, green and red fabric to cardboard circles. Paint on button holes with white paint. Attach to shirt with safety pins.

To Make Pete the Cat Shoe slipcovers (for child size foot)
1. Cut two of the following shapes from each sheet of red felt. You will need four total. Fold felt in half hamburger style before cutting to get matching shapes.
2. Cut small holes for shoelaces.
3. Hot glue along back seams only. Also add a small piece of scrap felt to the bottom center.
4. Using child's shoe as a sizing guide, attach strap to other side.
5. Use ribbon to lace shoes in the oh-so-cool (but not very practical) horizontal bar way that Pete does.
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Blue Pete Hat
If you use polyester or fleece this hat is easy enough for even a beginner like me because it's all straight lines and you can cheat and leave unfinished edges because polyester is a non-fraying material.
I am not a sewist -See? I don't even know the correct term!- so I am not even going to attempt a full tutorial on the hat. But I will share my crappy scribbly template sketches - just to give you an idea of what shape to cut your fabric. Don't forget to measure your kid's head! (My kid has a huge head!)

You will need TWO of each piece. I should note that the seams for the top of the hat will be at the sides and the seams for the ear flap pieces will be the center of forehead.

*If I were to do it again, I would make the ears a bit smaller and reposition them more medially.
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
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August 26, 2014

Sibling Footprint Art - You Are My Sunshine

There are hundreds of creative ideas for making handprint and footprint art, but I haven't seen very many sibling varieties- incorporating prints from brothers and sister into a single piece. That is why I was so excited when I saw this idea by Pitter Patter. Here is my version of the "You Are My Sunshine" sibling footprint art.

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The footprints were done in alternating shades of yellow paint while the sun's center was cut from scrapbook paper. The graphic and text was done with my Silhouette Cameo's sketch pen function. For size reference, my canvas size was 12" x 16" and my four year old wears a size 11 shoe. (And baby sister was three months old at the time.)

August 10, 2014

Sharpie Tie Dye Shirts

Ever since the baby was born, I've been making a deliberate effort to carve out some one on one time with my older daughter. We call it Mommy-Daughter Dates. Sometimes its simple, like going to the grocery store while Daddy stays home with baby. Sometimes we go to the pool or do a craft. This week we made sharpie tie dye shirts.

The idea for this shirt came from Butterfly Jungle's Fireworks t-shirt who shares a great tutorial on the subject. Basically, you take a Sharpie or other permanent marker and make dots and lines in a small circular pattern. Then you use a medicine dropper to drop rubbing alcohol onto the center of each circle. The rubbing alcohol makes the colors bleed, resembling a tie dyed shirt.

This was a fun and simple craft that my four year old and I enjoyed doing together. And the results were quite impressive. Even better than I had hoped. Look how pretty her shirt is!

Although a word to the wise .... don't skimp on the heat setting part! Butterfly Jungle recommends 4 min of ironing followed by 20 mins tumbling in a hot dryer. I only did a quick ironing and skipped the dryer. Results? The colors bled just a smidge during the first washing. My daughter hasn't notice the difference, but next time I will follow the directions a bit more thoroughly :-)

August 3, 2014

Was it Worth It? The Five Sewing Projects I Made for Baby

During the last trimester of my pregnancy I had an overwhelming desire to make stuff - specifically to sew stuff. Now that I've had a few months to put my hand crafted items to test, I am thought I'd share which projects were worth the time and effort and which items were not.

Car Seat Canopy
Skill Level: Easy
Time: Under an hour
Tutorial Used? Not really, but heavily inspired from tutorials like this one and this one
Tips/Suggestions: Don't make it too long (or it will touch the ground and get wet/dirty)
Would I make it again? YES. I almost didn't make this project because I got along just fine without it the first time around, but let me tell you - second babies are different. When you only have one child you can choose to stay indoors if it's raining buckets. But your second baby gets trekked all over town- rain or shine - taking big sister to preschool, story time, playdates, etc.

Burp Cloths
Skill Level: Easy
Time: About an hour start to finish
Tutorial Used? Yes, this tutorial by Dana Made It
Would I make it again? Maybe. Great tutorial (especially her tips on packaging burp cloths for gifting and selling) and they look super cute, but I've found that I actually prefer using the boring white trifold cloth diapers over fabric lined burp cloths. Just personal preference. Except for in public. Then I use the cute ones :)

Fitted Crib Sheet
Skill Level: Moderate
Time: One evening
Tutorial Used? Yes, but I wouldn't recommend the one I tried
Tips/Suggestions: Use elastic all the way around, not just in the corners
Would I make it again? No. It was kind of a lot of effort and I wasn't pleased with the results. It didn't fit as snug as I would have liked. So my recommendation is to buy some cute crib sheets at Target. It's a lot easier.

Crib Skirt
Skill Level: Easy
Time: Under an hour
Tutorial Used? Here is the tutorial I wrote on how to make an easy flat panel crib skirt from a $5 Walmart Bed Sheet.   
Tips/Suggestions: Using a bed sheet for you fabric source saves time compared to buying material at a fabric store because you can utilize pre-sewn hem lines.
Would I make it again? Yes. Easy, cheap and now I can use the under crib space for hidden storage.

Equilateral Triangle Quilt
Skill Level: Difficult
Time: About a month working a few hours at a time here and there.
Tutorial Used? No, but you can read about my quilt here.
Tips/Suggestions: Don't iron/press the dimensional minky fabric. The little raised circles will flatten out.
Would I make it again? Yes. This project required the most effort, but it was also the most fulfilling to make. The colors and fabrics totally fit my style and I love that my daughter has something handmade by mommy.

Bonus, it makes a good photo backdrop.