Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to Make an Olaf Snowman Costume

If you haven't checked out my post on Halloween costumes yet, check out this one. That'll give you a little bit of background on my love for making Halloween costumes. It'll also show you a cute costume I made for one of my granddaughters.   

The second Halloween costume I created was for my grandson. He requested a snowman costume. Not just any snowman, of course. It had to be one like Olaf from Disney's Frozen, which is a current obsession with him and his sister (and every other child worldwide, right?).  I had hoped he would request a costume I actually had a pattern for, unlike the Very Hungry Caterpillar Costume his sister requested.  Luckily, I did have a snowman pattern. But I was instructed specifically to make it like Olaf.  

Here's how I made my snowman costume look like Olaf:  
I started with the following supplies:
  • White fleece
  • 2 - 1 1/2" wiggle eyes  (if making for a doll use 1.1 inch)
  • Brown felt
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • Black fabric for buttons
  • Orange felt for nose
Patterns used: 

  • Simplicity #9347 - hood pattern piece only...I'm guessing that any hood pattern would work.  
    • Simplicity #8833 - view 1
    • I used this pattern for the basic snowman portion of the costume.  To make this snowman look like Olaf, I added a large black dot (button) onto the top ball and two black dots onto the bottom ball of the snowman.  Since I needed a size 5, I made all the seams 1/4" instead of 5/8". 
    • To the hood I added a semi circle piece that was about 9" wide by 10" high. I sewed the curved portion together, leaving the straight edge unsewn.  I stuffed that piece with batting and hand sewed it onto the top of the hood.  This because the top of Olaf's head.
    • I made a half circle from fleece which looked like a visor pattern to sew onto the hood.
    • I made a rectangular tooth from a scrap of shinny fabric.  I added some thick interfacing into the layers along with a little bit of batting so that the tooth had dimension.  This tooth was sewn into the middle of the visor.
    • I next used the carrot pattern from HERE, enlarged it so that the carrot pattern was as large as possible from a 9" x 12" piece of orange felt.
    • The carrot, nose, was sewn onto the head, resting on the visor piece.
    • I cut our felt circles that were slightly larger than the wobbly eyes and sewed the felt onto the head right above the visor and close to the nose.
    • I hot glued the wobbly eyes onto the black circles.
    • I made brown eyebrows from felt and stitched those above the eyes.

    Before I shipped this costume to my grandson, I had a friend's grandchild try this costume on for me, hoping he'd know this was supposed to be Olaf. He recognized this popular snowman, so that's a good thing.  

     When I showed my grandson the costumes progress while Face Timing, he exclaimed, "Grandma, it looks just like him!"  I have made a 5 year old happy, my work is done!  

    Under the snowman costume he is wearing his new dinosaur shirt.  I made him a brown, long sleeve tee shirt with a mostly white body. That way, after Halloween, he could still wear it. To see how this shirt was made, go HERE.  Happy Halloween!                               
    xoxo Grandma

    Shared: Project Run and Play, Nap Time Creations

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Designing Boys Shirts With Bleach Pens - FREE Patterns & a Tutorial

    I've been working on a way to combine my love of art with sewing. I came up with a fun, artistic way to do it in designing t-shirts. It's been so much fun creating these! 

    I decided to ask my grandsons, who like to receive gifts, what creature they'd want on a tee shirt.  The above image is what they asked for: a dinosaur, a snake (side note: the grandson that wants a snake has a Dad that hates snakes & when his mother reminded him of that, he giggled and said, "Do it Grandma!"....he's a bit of a tease)! The next grandson wanted a sea creature and since the hermit crab his mother suggested was just "okay" looking when I drew it, a shark was what that boy got instead.  My youngest grandson won't care what I draw for him, because he can't talk yet, so I decided to make him a moose just because.

    I've seen a lot of cool looks that others have achieved from using a Clorox Bleach Stick to decorate fabric and when I saw a bunch of men's tee shirts in my charity pile, well, I'm sure you can guess what I used to test out this technique.  If you'd like to make a shirt or two, or practice this technique, I've saved my drawings for you to use. Let's get started!

    First choose an image: 
    • Dinosaur bones image HERE 
    • Rattlesnake - (a non-scary one) image HERE
    • Shark image HERE
    • Moose image HERE
    -Print off the image - remember to not print it using the "fit to page" selection. 
    -Cut out the knit fabric a little larger than the image you choose.  NOTE:  this technique did not work well on light colored knits unless you want a very subtle look.
    -Lay the fabric onto a stiff surface.  (I used my cutting mat.)
    -Lay the paper image on top of the knit.
    -Using the small tip of a Clorox Bleach Pen, draw all the lines.  (I purchased a new pen and found that an older one actually worked better.)  
    -Let the bleach lines sit on the knit fabric for several hours or overnight. 
    -Rinse off all the bleach first in cold water and then in warm water with a lot of good smelling soap.  You don't want any of the bleach residue left on the fabric.  

    -Once the fabric dries, trim around the image leaving a 1/4" border.  
    -Spray the back of the image with a basting spray. (This will keep your image in place while you sew.)
    -Place the image onto the desired position of your tee shirt.  I purchased my tee shirts for $3 from a local craft store and cut out the sleeves and added colored sleeves, and made a sleeveless shirt for the little grandson who gets to live in the tropics for a few years.

    Using the same color thread as the border of your image,  sew all around the image.

    Easy peasy! That's all there is to it!  Your fun boys shirt is ready to wear! Or in my case, ready to mail to my grandsons.   Oh look, the rattlesnake shirt arrived:
     xoxo Grandma

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Transforming a Camisole Into a Sunsuit - a Refashion & Tutorial

    I know, I know... it's not exactly sunsuit weather anymore. This baby sunsuit is definitely designed for some warmer days.  But rest assured, the little one pictured above is enjoying some pretty sunny weather where she lives. So this suit is perfect for her.  Hopefully some of you reading this are privileged enough to live in that type of climate too.

    Right before my daughter's family left to live approximately 6,443 miles away from me, she went through some of the things she was leaving behind. She threw away a couple of old black camisoles, as well as the cute mint sunsuit (pictured below in step one) because her baby girl (the same one pictured above) had grown out of it.  Of course, I thought what can I do with these camisoles she no longer wants?  Knowing my granddaughter would be living were it was warm and humid the majority of the year, a new sunsuit was the most practical answer.

    I've now created two of these sunsuits for her. They are quick and easy. They take about an hour each to make. The black and white pictured above is the first one I made.  I added some fun white and black dotted organdy ribbon to decorate the front. The ribbon was purchased from Ribbon Retreat just in case you want some of it too.  

    Here's how I transformed a camisole into a onesie:

    1. Lay on top of a camisole a baby sunsuit, putting the top of the sunsuit onto the bottom of the camisole. 
    2. Using the baby sunsuit, (I enlarged the too-small-onesie about an inch in length and an inch in width), cut along the camisole adding approximately 1/4" for the seams.  This image shows how the camisole will look once cut out.
    3. Add ribbon or another trim to embellish the back of the sunsuit along the original hem.
    4. Add gathered ribbon to embellish the front of the sunsuit.  On top of the ribbon, add a smaller ribbon.  Again, I used the original hem for placement of ribbon... no need to measure.
    5. Using 1/4" seams, sew the side seams together.
    6. Pull elastic, the width of your babies chest, through the casing formed by the original hem.  
    7. Sew across the elastic to keep it in place.
    8. Sew double folded seam tape to the armholes on both sides of the sunsuit.
    9. Additional view of step #8.
    10. Sew double folded seam tape to the legs holes, stitching close to the edge of the seam tape.  In the first sunsuit I made, I added elastic into the leg holes casing created by adding the seam tape .
    11. Different view of step #10.
    12. Sew onto both of the top sides 18" of 1 1/2" wide organdy ribbon, tucking towards the back, the raw edges of the ribbon about 3/8" of an inch.
    13. Close-up of what the ribbon looks like once sewn.

    Since Halloween is coming, this tutorial features the second sunsuit I made; the black and orange number.  Good thing my package arrived in time for her to wear her new sunsuits this month - right?  I just want to go there and see her smile in person and kiss those cute little cheeks... sigh!   xoxo Grandma

    Linked to:  Threading My Way, Creating My Way to Success, The Dedicated HouseCrafty Allie
    As Seen On: AllFreeSewing and Totally Tutorials

    Totally Tutorials Blog 

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Fairy Wings Makeover - a Tutorial

    Halloween is just around the corner.  Do your fairy wings look old and worn out? (These wings had rips, runs, and stains.)  Has your little one seen too many flight hours in those old wings?  If so, I've figured out a way to give them a refresh.  

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 1/2 yard of netting 
    • colored feathers
    • matching thread
    • hot glue
    Let's get started:  
    1. Cut off all the old fabric from your wings.
    2. Lay one frame at a time on top of the netting. (Mine separated into four sections.)
    3. Layer the feathers on top of the netting.
    4. Carefully fold over another layer of netting so as not to disturb the feathers.
    5. Pin all around the feathers and all around the wire.
    6. Zig Zag with your largest stitch on your sewing machine, all around the wire frame.  Sew slowly, I broke a needle doing this part... be prepared!  (See below).
    7. With a straight stitch, sew around the feathers.
    8. Trim the excess netting around the outside of the wire frames.
    9. Arrange your wire wings back into place, attaching them with a little 1/8" elastic.
    10. Sew around the attached wires a piece of 2" - 3" ribbon.  
    11. Hot glue a few feathers onto the front of the wings.

    Your wings now should be ready for more flying time. Let your child soar & have fun!

    Let me know if this tutorial is useful.  Like always, if you have any questions, please leave me a comment.  I'd love to help you succeed in this project.  

    xoxo Grandma
    Linked to:  Crafty AllieThe Dedicated HouseNap Time Creations, Project Run and Play

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar Costume

    The theme for week four of Project Run and Play's season 10 was to create something using "My style".  My style is to create costumes and all other reasonable requests by my grandchildren or their parents..  I started creating costumes a long time ago and have continued this practice for my grandchildren. 

    This year's costume making started a few weeks ago.  Let me explain a few things about this three year old in the above photo. She loves, loves, loves books.  She is also learning to read and is doing really well at it... it's really quite amazing!  Luckily, she got to spend several weeks at my house this summer while her family was in-between moves. 

    When I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween, her first response was to be a princess. She quickly changed her mind when she saw a picture of the "Very Hungry Caterpillar". Creative, right?  We had to purchase green fabrics for this costume and I wanted her to help me in the selection. So, I took her to a fabric store and oh my, she was in heaven! She had never been to a fabric store before and loved touching all the fabric and seeing all the sparkly things.  It was quite entertaining to watch her delight as she explored.   

    The logical next step to make this costume was to search the internet for a pattern. But wouldn't you know, after quite a bit of searching, I came up empty handed. Then I decided to wing it and see if this grandmother could figure out how to make a caterpillar all on her own.  I started by making a long dress with a green bodice and ruffled layers of three different green fabrics.  Then I added a little elastic vertically and then horizontally to make the costume poof-up.

    Next, a sparkly band of wide green ribbon was added because she loved the ribbon!  I added brown fleece sleeves to keep her warm on Halloween night.  I sewed six extra legs onto the costume because a caterpillar has six legs attached to it's body and 10 pro-legs attached to it's abdomen.  That's a lot of legs!


    Onto the body of the costume I sewed six more puffy parts to make her look like she was a long caterpillar.

    The first time she put on this costume, she crawled around my house like any creeping caterpillar would do.  She fully played the part of a long, creepy bug.

    For her hat, I originally wanted to purchase a red knit one but I couldn't find one in August...go figure!  Then it dawned on me that I had some red fleece left over from making my long legged Santa's.  I figured I could make a hat from that fabric and use left over fabrics for the eyes and nose.  The antennas were made from sparkly purple ribbon sewn together over pipe cleaners.  And voila! There you have it!  Another Halloween costume for the books!  I love how it turned out!  And my granddaughter did too, thank goodness. 

    This hungry caterpillar indicated she was very hungry and needed some bread.  Good thing I brought along some bread to feed the ducks on this photo shoot.

    I hope you enjoy this costume because my style is to be creative and what better way than to make a costume. Below are a few other costumes I've sewn over the years:


    Happy creating!  xoxo Grandma
    Crafty Allie

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    Halloween Card - Cackle, Cackle, Cackle!

    Halloween is such a fun time!  And I'm always looking for a reason to brighten someone's day with a card and a goody. So, here's another free card I've created to share with you. Add it to a little festive treat and you've got yourself a great little card to give away. Go ahead and downloaded your free copy HERE.  You can thank me in the comment section. xoxo Grandma

    Linked to: Threading My Way, Crafty Allie, Diane Rambles, The Dedicated House

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    Easy Fall Baby Dress - a Refashion

    Here's a super easy idea on how to make a fall dress from a women's top.  I stated this project with a three-fourths length sleeve, Banana Republic women's shirt.  Below my granddaughter is modeling the top before I refashioned it.  Don't you think, it's so stylish over her pajamas?

    I'm going to use this tutorial to show you how to turn a women's top into a baby or toddler dress:

    From the shirt you're going to refashion, cut off the sleeves and set aside.  

    1. Fold the shirt you are going to refashion in half & lay on top of that shirt a shirt that fits your child.
    2. Use pins to mark where the arm hole needs to be.
    3. Cut out the armholes where you marked them.
    4. Pin the shoulder seams and the side seams.
    5. Sew the shoulder seams and the side seams.
    6. Pin the arch of the sleeves.
    7. Cut the arch of the sleeve out where you pinned it.
    8. Even up the sleeve seam so that it's straight.
    9. Turn the dress right side out.
    10. Sew the sleeve seam.
    11. Pin the sleeve to the arm hole and sew.
    That's it, your dress should be finished.  If the dress is too long, you can cut off part of the hem.  On the navy dress, I used two stripes of the hem which were 2" wide, sewed them together to make one large ruffle along the bottom of the dress.  I think Banana Republic should have a line of children's clothes, what do you think?  This shirt turned into one adorable Fall dress with very little effort.

    Styling her new Fall dress with her new peacoat.  (To see more photos of this peacoat, go HERE.) I know I've said it before, but isn't she so cute in her new Fall dress?

    Two lessons learned from making a dress like this:
    1. If the child is still in diapers, make the back of the dress a little longer.
    2. If you want to take photos of one of your grand daughters in something you've made, do not attempt to do this right after their parents return from a week without said grand daughter.  It  will result in plenty of tears, maybe a tantrum especially if that child is a two year old and no photos of the plum dress on this child.  (That is what I tried with the plum dress & it was a disaster.)
    xoxo Grandma
    Linked to: Nap Time Creations, Threading My Way, Creating My Way to Success, Lou Lou Girls, Crafty Allie, The Dedicated House