Monday, June 20, 2016

Swimsuits for Dolls

Summer is officially here and even though this doll doesn't swim, she still needs to look stylish in a new swimsuit ...

Or two. Or three. You can't have enough swimsuits, right?

If you'd like to turn a child's swimsuit into a doll size one too, go to this post.

All of these swimsuits were reclaimed from swimsuits my children were throwing away.  You know how an old swimsuit is after a wearing it for a summer filled with water activities. By the time the summer is over, those swimsuits are worn out and snagged.  

So, if you want to make a swimsuit for your doll, forget about purchasing that expensive Lycra fabric. Just use the fabric from old swimsuits to make a swim wardrobe for a doll. You can even work around those worn out areas.
Your doll will love her fashionable swimsuit and I'm positive a child will have fun with this necessary summer wear for their doll.  xoxo Grandma

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nautical Romper

One of my favorite fabric trends this season just screams summer to me! Have you all caught on to chambray yet?  Well, if you're looking for the perfect fabric for a summer romper, you'll want to try chambray cotton... better yet, try it with a nautical print, like this one I used to create this romper

Chambray is like a denim but it's smoother and light weight, making it perfect for summer. Better yet, the more this fabric is washed, the softer it becomes. How can you go wrong with that?

You may recall seeing me using a different nautical chambray cotton a while back to make a dress for another of my granddaughters, which you can see here.

For this romper, I combined this anchor chambray fabric with wooden laser-cut anchor buttons.  These buttons came from a fabric shop near Boston.  I love how they add accent to the front of this romper.

For the ties I added navy bias tape.  I have this compulsory need to keep toddler's shoulders covered and protected from the sun, so I added cap sleeves edged with more navy bias tape.  

The pattern used was McCall's 4136.  It really was an easy pattern to make.  I adjusted the fullness out of each of the legs by deleting about 3" from each leg to make the outfit look more contemporary.  To find this pattern you can go here.

Since I took these photos at the beach, I fully expected this independent toddler to get wet.  I just didn't realize how wet she'd get.  Which was fine because she had a great time digging and splashing in the warm China Sea.

Have fun sewing on chambray cotton this summer and if you get the opportunity, go to the beach whenever you can and get wet!  xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Project Run and Play, May 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Awesome Airplane T-shirt

There's nothing better than creating something for a little child that they are passionate about. This little boy lives on an Air Force base and loves planes. So, I searched the web for an image of an airplane I thought he'd enjoy. So, if you're up for putting a smile on a little child's face, then follow the easy steps below! 

First, copy your image onto a blank word document and then stretched the image to the size you want it.  Print off two images of the design you want.  One image will be your pattern and the other will be used for placement of the pieces. Cut apart the image into pattern pieces.  Now, take those images and cut them out of scrap knit fabric.

Then use spray adhesive and temporarily mount the fabric in place onto the t-shirt.  

Use a fabric pen to draw any detail lines onto the pattern pieces.  To help machine embroidery work best on t-shirt fabric, add tissue paper or tear away interfacing to the inside of the t-shirt.  Using a zig zag stitch, stitch the design in place adding all details.

The above image is how your t-shirt will look from the wrong side of the t-shirt once all the machine embroidery is finished.  Go ahead and tear away any of the tissue paper or interfacing you want, cutting all loose threads as you go.

And, that's it! Pretty easy, right? The hardest part of this entire project is simply selecting the perfect image for the shirt!  Enjoy making these awesome t-shirts for any child with these easy steps.  xoxo Grandma

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Breezy Summertime Outfit

I know we just entered Spring, but I am in need of some serious summertime inspiration already. Maybe it's because I've been spending the last month on a tropical island, visiting my daughter who just had a baby. And I've been soaking up all my visits to the beach trying to forget that its still winter back home. Whatever the reason, I am ready for some warmer weather to stick around. So, if you're ready to kick winter to the curb too, then read on... hopefully you'll be inspired to whip up something to wear in the hot, humid weather. 

The best fabrics for keeping one cool are breathable, breezy cottons.  So, for this outfit, I took full advantage of loose fitting cotton fabrics so my granddaughter can stay cool this summer.

When I broke my arm this winter and couldn't sew,  all my sewing projects got pushed to the back burner. So, I went to the library and checked out a lot of books to keep me busy. Quite a few of these books were about sewing. I came across a book called, "Little Girls, Big Style" by Mary Abreu which was filled with loose fitting cotton clothing ideas and patterns for children.  As soon as my arm healed, I started sewing this little toddler outfit to take to my granddaughter, who lives with her family on a muggy, humid tropical island.

Just look at those cubby arms and that toddling, independent child.  She is loved so much!

These are beautiful Chinese gardens that we visited in March.  The garden isn't in China, but can you guess where they are?  Hopefully this cute, little girl will stay cool in this breezy outfit this summer. xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Threading MY Way, Project Run and Play

Monday, March 28, 2016

Something's Cooking Chef Set for an 18" Doll

To celebrate the birth of my newest granddaughter, today only, I'm offering my newest 18" doll pdf pattern called Something's Cooking Chef Set free. The set includes the chef's hat, a mitt that really fits onto the doll's hand and a custom designed apron that's reversible.  To get this free pattern please leave a comment below and keep reading.

This pattern offers four different views.  The first is the basic pattern, shown above, where I used San Francisco Giants ribbon because, hey... it's spring training.

View 2 shows the addition of a ruffle and a simple applique sewn onto one side of the apron.

View 3 features decorative ribbon sewn above the ruffle.

View 4 has a pop of color added by sewing piping right above the ruffle.
I love how versatile this pattern is and how tiny pieces of trim and fabric can be sewn together for unique looks to fit anyone's taste. Once you're done sewing this apron, both sides are completely finished so you'll have a reversible apron. How fun is that?  
This pattern is now available at my Etsy shop here for only $3.00. Don't want to take the time to sew your own.  As soon as I get back from helping with this darling baby, I'll have a few for sale on my Etsy shop too. If you missed getting this pattern for free, please consider signing up and following my xoxo Grandma blog because you won't want to miss out on getting my next free pattern I'm working on.  Would you?  Let me know if you're making this for your own doll or a loved one's doll.  
-xoxo Grandma

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dr. Seuss Crazy Sock Day

Crazy sock day just happened to land on one of the days I was visiting my daughter's family.  My grandson is only in preschool and this day was part of  Dr. Seuss week at his school. Being resourceful, I looked at what supplies my daughter had on hand and used them to create my version of "Horton Hears a Who" socks.

I began this project once my grandchildren were tucked in bed.  Things seem to move a little swifter when you're free of distractions. I'm guessing you all can relate.  All the hand sewing was done in about 3 hours.  Crazy way to spend a night, right?  

If you're planning on recreating these socks, I'd recommend not using wobbly eyes like I used on the vulture.  The eyes I used for Horton were made from white felt with a green sequin sewn in place with a small black bead. These eyes lasted through a day of preschool playing.  While working on these socks, I slipped the socks onto a round block that was in the toy room which looked to be about the width of my grandson's ankle.  Other than those tips, enjoy being creative with socks, felt, a feather, pom pom, pipe cleaner and whatever else you have on hand to create your crazy socks.  xoxo Grandma 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Green Floral Romper - a Refashion

Time to bring on Spring fashion! The dress on the left met up with my seam ripper because it's time to show you another refashion. For this refashion, I used the free pattern from Elephants and Elegance called the pleated playsuit.  From the original dress, I kept the smocked waistline and the pretty ruffled front.  And let me tell you, I had barely enough fabric from this dress to make a toddler playsuit or as my daughter calls these little outfits, "rompers".

For the shoulder ties, I used the green sashes and a little more of this fabric was used to fill in the low front...can't having a toddle revealing her chunky chest! Then I took off the pearlized buttons and re-positioned them evenly back onto the front.

When I first made this sunsuit, the legs were a bit long but now they fit her perfectly.

Everywhere this little red head goes in a sea of black hair, she's usually surrounded by people wanting to take her picture.  I've wondered what her life will be like when she comes back to the states and she's just a cute little red head that tans.  xoxo Grandma

If you like rompers, see these additional posts: