Thursday, October 30, 2014

Do you want to Sew a Snowman? Doll Outfit Tutorial & Free Pattern

Do you want to sew a snowman outfit doll size?  After making my grandson's Olaf, snowman costume, I had some white fleece leftover. Using my experience from making his costume, I created a snowman costume and pattern for a doll. Sometimes its fun to have matching costumes, you know?

For your own enjoyment, this free pattern can be found HERE.  Print off this pattern at full size, making sure that the "fit to page" is not checked.  Cut the pattern out according to the notes on the pattern.  Follow along using this step by step tutorial as I show you how to make this adorable doll costume:  

  1. Sew all the upper body pieces together as follows:  Sew together two pieces without arm openings.  Sew next piece leaving an arm opening on the left side facing. Sew next piece without an arm opening.  Sew next piece with an arm opening on the right side facing you. Sew together all five pieces of the lower body so that they are one long piece.
  2. Sew on two black buttons to the lower body.
  3. Sew one button to upper body onto the piece that is in between the arm openings.
  4. Sew together the upper body so that it looks like image 4.  Sew together the lower body so that it looks like image 4.
  5. Sew together the upper body to the lower body with a 5/8" seam; this will form a casing. 
  6. Sew the hood seam together.
  7. Attach the middle of the hood to the middle back body and ease the hood around to the front of the body
  8. Sew together the upper body to the lower body with a 5/8" seam,  
  9. Sew as close to the edge of the above seam.  This will form a casing.  Leave an opening to put elastic through.  The elastic for the middle casing is the waist measurement plus one inch.

10.  Add seam tape to the bottom of the body.  
11.  Fold seam tape up and stitch close to the edge to form a casing.  Leave an opening to put the casing through.  The elastic for this casing needs to be the circumference of the doll's legs plus one inch.
12.  Add 1/4" elastic through all casings.  Sew the elastic together.  Sew through the openings to close the casings.
13.  Sew together the visor by attaching the strip.  Trim the seam.
14.  Sew onto the center of the visor strip a tooth made from heavy pellon type interfacing.  Tooth size is 1" x 1 1/4".
15.  Sew the other visor piece around the half circle.
16.  Turn piece right side out and stuff with a little batting.
17.  Sew felt stick hair enclosing pipe cleaners inside the felt.
18.  Pin the stick hair to the center of the top of the head.

19.  Stitch around the curved area of the top of the head leaving the straight edge open.  Turn right side out and stuff.  
20.  Attach the visor to the middle of the hood and sew.
21.  Sew on seam tape to the edge of the hood. Iron the seam tape toward the inside of the hood.  
22.  Sew the edge of the seam tape to wrong side of the hood.
23.  Add elastic cord to the top casing.  Leave enough elastic that the cording can be tied off and adjusted once on the doll.
24.  Add eyebrows to the top of the head as pictured.  Pin the top of the head onto the top of the hood.
25.  Hand sew this piece onto the hood.
26.  Sew a carrot.  Attach the carrot to the middle of the top of the head so that it's resting on the visor.  
27.  Make sure the seam of the carrot is down.
Finally, attach 2 wobbly eyes onto black felt and them glue onto the top of the head right next to the nose.

Finally, you're finished! Go ahead and try it on your doll - it's super cute, right?  To make the costume extra cute, make pants from white fleece too and maybe a white shirt that has brown long sleeves.  Oh and what about brown mittens too?  (To make mittens from a sock, see THIS post.) 

I hope you had fun making this snowman costume. If you hadn't already guessed, its supposed to look like the popular Olaf from Frozen. Hopefully you already figured that out though!  Would love to know who downloads this pattern, so for those who do, please leave a comment.  Thanks!

xoxo Grandma

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Pinkalicious Outfit - Kids Sewing Week

Last week, I sewed along for Kids Sewing Week where you commit to sew 1 hour a day for 7 days.  I'm taking Sunday off - it's my official "day of rest" but trust me, I've put in way more than an hour a day sewing. I spent one of the days doing nothing but cutting out fabric for projects, which is definitely my least favorite part of sewing. 

Anyway, here's one of my latest creations I concocted for my very girl granddaughter. Its a pink fleece jacket, a pink and white shirt with lace accents, and pink tutu pants, which are a staple in her wardrobe lately.  She likes anything frilly, pink and with ruffles. So these items fit that mold. I try to accommodate her likes into what I sew for her as she has developed quite the opinion lately.  

I used the book "Pinkalicious" as my inspiration.  This particular two-year-old loves this book.  After I made this jacket, I found out she also loves to practice her zipping skills. The jacket is modeled after this one I made her older brother, included with the letter "A" for her name. 

After the jacket, I made her a white and pink long sleeve top.  I inserted a three inch lace strip onto the top of the bodice for some extra girly flair.  For the tutu pants, I gathered some pink lace and pink netting, both of which were the same length and width.  When I cut out these leggings, I eliminated the waist band so that the lace could be inserted into the top of the pants.  I then cut out a wide waistband and sewed it on top of the tutu. This cute little lady owns a few other pairs of tutu pants, and wears them almost daily. I was happy to help expand her wardrobe a bit with this new pink pair. 

After she received her box of new clothes, included with a few Halloween surprises, she called me to thank me for her outfit.  She said she would wear it.  For an opinionated little girl who has three favorite outfits, that is huge news!   

I'd like to thank her mother for taking these photos of her.  She's not easy to get to hold still, unless she's being read to or looking at books in her comfortable pink chair.

Are your children or grandchildren opinionated too? Heaven help us all! - xoxo Grandma

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tickle Monster - a GIVEAWAY, Costume Tutorial & Free Pattern

My Halloween costume-making frenzy continues!  Check out this post and this one to see other costumes I've made this year. 

This next costume has a GIVEAWAY included, so read on my friends for a wonderful surprise that could be yours! 

This particular costume is for my rambunctious two-year-old grandson. My daughter suggested that I make him a monster costume for Halloween.  Knowing how two-year-olds can act, I decided he needed to be some type of kind or silly monster, so he wouldn't torment his baby sister. Then the idea hit me, why not make a Tickle Monster costume? Have you ever heard of the Tickle Monster? I hadn't either until my daughter received this book and Tickle Monster gloves as a baby gift: 

It's a colorful, whimsically illustrated book about a monster that tickles. The boxed set comes with Tickle Monster gloves too, so you can tickle your little one while you read to them. Isn't that the cutest idea for a kid's book?  I love it. The set makes for a fun interactive read.  It can be purchased from the publisher, COMPENDIUM INC.  The exciting news is, you'll have a chance to WIN this gift set... so keep reading to find out how!

Firstly, here's a photo of the Tickle Monster, so you can see what I used as a guide to make the costume.

Next, was the fabric selection; I found a colorful stripped shirt which I used for the horns and tail. I used some scrap white and black fabric for his eyes, turquoise fabric for his ears and then purchased soft blue fleece, orange fabric and red fluffy yarn. I drew the pattern for his horns, ears and eyes HERE. (Free download, just make sure the "fit to page" is not checked...print full image.) 

From the shirt, I cut a squiggly shaped tail as wide and long as possible, making sure the stripes matched up.  Once that tail was cut, I then cut out the horns.  The nose was an oval, 6 1/4 inches x 8 1/2 inches. The hood pattern came from the crab version in this pattern: 

Here is a step by step tutorial of that process:

  1. Cut out all the pattern pieces.
  2. Cut out the nose.
  3. Sew the following together, once sewn, turn right side out: 

  •  the black pupil onto the eyes. 
  •  add the batting to the ears and stitch together.  
  •  sew the horns together, clipping the top so it'll have a pointy top. 
  •  sew the tail together, matching the stripes.  

    4.  Sew "ear" details using a sewing machine.

5.  Make a gathering stitch along the orange oval nose. Pull the stitches enough so that fiber fill or batting can be added to make the nose a nice round shape.
6.  Stuff the horns and the tail.
7.  Pin on extra wide white rick rack - 3 teeth per side.
8.  Here's how the back side of the rick rack looks before it's sewn to the hood.

9.    Decide where on the hood you want the eyes to be sewn.  Using pins, mark the spot.            Now, cut straight across the place you marked.
10.  From the right side, push the eyes through the opening you just cut, leaving the bottom of the fabric 1/2" past the hole. Sew the eyes in place.  ow stuff those eyes just a little.  Fold down the overhanging fabric and stitch closed. This step will hold the stuffing in place.
11.  Onto the lower middle of the hood, hand stitch the nose in place.
12.  Sew Velcro to the chin strap on both sides of the hood. 

For the yarn, I used Yarn Bee, Fleece Lite, color Stoplight #62, all of which I found at Hobby Lobby.  Then I made some light blue shorts.  Onto those shorts I attached this tail.  My grandson got shorts because he lives on a tropical island and I didn't want him to be too warm in his costume.  I was told he likes chasing his tail, around and around in a circle.

The jacket was an easy sew, I used a size 3 from this pattern:

The only thing I changed was to make the back one pattern piece instead of two.  My little Tickle Monster told me his jacket was soft like his blanket. 


If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll answer as soon as possible.  

I'm now done with my Halloween costume making for another year.  May all the sweet, little monsters in your life enjoy Halloween!    

Now, for the giveaway: to enter to win this Tickle Monster Kit (a $34.95 value), follow the rules below.  This kit has graciously been donated by COMPENDIUM INC..    If you don't win or want another kit for a gift, Compendium is having a sale starting November 1st for all their family and friends.  You can save 30% off your order by entering the code "thankyou30".  I was told that this is one of the few sales they have all year.

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Follow xoxo Grandma on Pinterest.
  3. Pin your favorite image from this post.
  4. Leave a comment & let me know who you want to read this book & tickle.  Include your e-mail so I can contact you if you're the winner. 
  5. U.S. Resident only, DPO & APO welcome to participate.

You have until October 31, 2014 to enter. The winner will be announced on November 3, 2014 at 8 a.m. Eastern Time.  Best of luck!  - xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Project Run & Play

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