Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Making Snowmen from Scraps

If you're like me, you probably have tons of scrap fabrics left over from past projects that you just can't seem to throw away.  I usually make doll clothes out of them, but when I saw this pattern I thought this would a fun and different way to use up those scraps. 

This project actually started back in June. I cut out six snowmen and some clothes for them. And then it got hot and I didn't feel like sewing them, nor did I want to think about winter and snow because that would mean I'd be shoveling and freezing!  I'm really not a fan of winter, are you?

Then a few weeks ago, when the weather turned a little colder, I finally felt ready to sew these together. But, of course, I couldn't find the pattern or the instructions.  After searching and cleaning a bit, I decided that I must have thrown them away. "Oh well," I thought, "it really doesn't matter because I usually change things when I'm sewing anyway." So, below is the outcome of pattern-less snowmen. 

For these snowmen's bodies, I used left over batting and the tiniest of noses from my Easter carrots free pattern found HERE.  For this snowman's hat, I used fur which was left over from making baby booties.  

This snowmen's coat and hat were from a fleece scarf one of my children made in a sewing class.  

This snowmen is wearing a nice warm refashioned wool sweater that a daughter left at home.  I had to work around a few pin holes that the sweater had but don't you think that this little snowman looks toasty warm in his winter looking attire?   

The scarf above was refashioned from a belt that I took off a jacket.  

In several of the snowmen's hands, I found some small ornaments that I attached with a few quick stitches.  I think these scraps of fabric made some pretty adorable snowmen.  Yes, snowmen from your scraps take on lots of personalities and are a fun way to use up your leftovers. 

Now that these snowmen are completed, if my children don't claim all of them, I'll be donating a few to my favorite winter charity, Festival of Trees. Happy scrapping! 
-xoxo Grandma

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter Wonderland Pillows - Add Texture to Sewing Projects

Before I left on my "new grandchild/Christmas" trip last year, I created a little project to take with me, using scraps of fabric and ribbon. This project was very portable; it was small enough that I could carry it in a medium sized zip-lock bag and stuff it into my purse. You know, for those down times when you don't want to watch anything on television or the baby doesn't need changing or it's someone else's turn to hold the baby or the little apartment doesn't need to be cleaned - again.  

I used a Fiber Mosaics pattern #61202, Winter Wonderland as inspiration:

When I opened the pattern, I discovered the pieces were too small for my eyes. So with a copier, I enlarged them quite a bit. Then I changed them just a little, hand-stitched the fabric art and then added some embroidered details.

Here are a few tips to add texture to this and other fabric art projects.
  • Use a variety of fabrics. The hat above is a quilted looking gold fabric stitched over some embroidered hair. I also used cotton, flannel, fake fur and fleece to create the figure's clothing.  
  • Use a variety of embroidery stitches. French knots were used for the pom pom on the bottom of the hat.  The hair was a series of tightly stitched running stitches.  On the ends of the scarfs, I tied a knot and left 6 strands of floss loose so it would look like fringe.
  • Add different scraps of lace to the edge of the clothing.  
  • Use different embroidery thread to add more interest. Most of the details were added with cotton floss but for the skates, I used a shinny thicker silver floss. 

  • Ribbon can also be used for the tree trunks, for windows and even scarfs.

Texture really adds a lot of fun to sewing projects!  With all my children moved out of my house, I've decided it's time to update a few of their bedrooms, and these two pillows make a fun accent in my dusty blue room.  

xoxo Grandma

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Five Super Simple Neighbor Gift Ideas for Christmas

It's that time of year again... when you get to figure out what on earth to give your neighbors for the holidays. It's always a dilemma, but hopefully these ideas will help!

I've put together five super simple neighbor/co-worker gift ideas. And the best part is they all cost under $3 each - easy on the pocket book. To make these gifts even simpler, I've created links so you can download the ready-made gift tags that are pictured with each stellar gift idea.

1.  Extension Cord: $2-$3 - "Extending a Merry Christmas" tag download HERE.

2.  Ice Pack: $2  - "You are Cool Neighbors" tag download HERE.

3.  Lighter and a bundle of wood - The lighter was $1 and wood can be purchased for a reasonable cost or free depending on where you live.  "May this handy tool help to bring light & warmth into your home this holiday season!"  Download tag HERE.

4. Rolls of Tape and Christmas tags- $1 for the tape and about 10 cents each for tags (see THIS post for six tag ideas.) - "Here's a Classic, that no home should be without at     Christmas time." Download the tag HERE.

5. Toilet Paper disguised as a snowman - under one dollar - "There's no hiding it....We know you'll use this gift during the holiday season!"  Download the tag HERE.  The eyes and nose were made from construction paper & glued to the toilet paper.  A regular hole punch was used to create the mouth dots.  I know, a dumb but practical gift.  It would be fun as a gag gift for a co-worker!

Which of these gift ideas is your favorite?  xoxo Grandma
Linked to: Nap Time Creations

Monday, November 10, 2014

Warm Lined Baby Booties - a Tutorial and Free Pattern

Brrr, it's getting cold outside.  Has your weather turned cold already too?  If so, I've just created a pattern to keep your babies feet toasty warm.  You can download the free pattern for baby booties HERE (make sure you do not print it "to fit," just print as is).  These booties aren't your typical baby booties either because these ones actually stay on a baby's feet.  They are sized to a toddler 4 (which should fit a one year - 18 mo. baby).  But feel free to adjust as necessary to fit your own little one. 

Supplies needed:  
  • 1/4 yard of fur (faux fur works too)
  • 1/4 yard of faux leather
  • 1/4" elastic
  • 1 sheet of sticky foam (for the soles)      
  • socks with non-skid soles (hospital socks work great for this) - optional             

Note:  use 1/4" seams  unless otherwise stated.  Cut out all pattern pieces: two from lining and two from outside fabric.  For the outside fabric, I used faux leather on the pair photographed.  You'll need a left and right piece per pair of booties.   
  1. Cut out the pattern pieces.  For the sole, I used a pair of those ugly socks that some hospitals give you when you're having a baby.
  2. Sew the toe lining to the toe piece along the top seam.  
  3. Clip curves.
  4. Turn the toe piece so that the outside fabric is on the outside.
  5. Baste the back pieces together.  Now sew the casing per the details on the  pattern piece.
  6. Photo showing the bottom of the casing being sewn.
  7. Sew on the bias around the back top edge.  Do not sew the bias onto the casing.
  8. Turn the bias and sew to the reverse side of the back edge.
  9. Top stitch around the bias as close to the stitched edge as possible.
  10. Top stitch toe pieces along the edge.
  11. Sew a strip of bias together.  Turn right side out.  This will be your back tabs.
  12. Sew the sole to the toe pieces and then attach the heal... in that order.
  13. Sew a scrap of fabric to the middle of the toe piece as directed on pattern piece.
  14. Photo showing placement of this tab.
  15. Thread 6 3/4" long x 1/4" wide elastic into casing in the back pieces and through the tab just sewn.
  16. Stitch elastic together.
  17. Sew on the tab onto the middle of the upper back pieces. 
  18. This photo shows the foam pieces with the fabric attached to one piece on the right side and one on the left side.
  19. Glue the sole with the fur to the foam sole lining.  You'll want to use a washable glue if you want to keep these booties clean.
Once you're done sewing, you should now have warm, fur lined baby booties that will look like this when they are finished:

Warm feet for my granddaughter!  This little one is learning the joy of creating.  Time to play with chalk anyone?

Don't these booties look toasty?      xoxo Grandma

Etsy shop: xoxo Grandma

Totally Tutorials Blog

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Everyday Tank Tour - SF Baseball Style Shirt

Today I've joined another group of talented seamstress to bring you my version of the Everyday Tank by Sergerpepper:  Top & dresses. If you'd like this free pattern, make sure you keep reading this post because the pattern's designer is sponsoring a giveaway!

Ta da - here's my latest boy's shirt! I refashioned two of my husband's "donation" pile shirts into a one of a kind San Francisco Giants World Series shirt. Last week the Giants won the World Series!  I'm not a huge sports fan, but I watched every game of this series, while I sewed a little of course.  YEA Giants!

The graphics say it's the San Francisco Seals - if you don't know a lot about baseball, then let me explain a few facts. The San Francisco Seals were a professional baseball team that played in the Pacific Coast League from 1903 through 1957. There was even a Seals Stadium which was constructed in San Francisco, California in 1930 for this minor league. The stadium was demolished in 1959.  My husband actually attended his first game with his best friend and his baseball loving mom at this stadium.  Years later, he purchased one of those vintage reproduction shirts, and now he no longer wants it, so I used the graphics from this shirt for the front and the back of my tank/shirt.  

Making this tank had a few challenges.  The hardest part for me was deciding what fabrics to use for my grandson. When I saw these shirts in the give-away pile, I knew just what I was going to do.  Refashion of course!  The next challenge was cutting out the front graphics with the seal on it.  The graphics was high on the shirt and I needed the shoulder parts to fit per the pattern.  That is why I divided the center front piece into two sections. The black at the top gives the whole shirt's front graphics a framed in look.  If you want to try this technique, simply fold the pattern piece into two pieces and add a seam allowance for each pattern piece. The only bad part of using these two colors of fabric together was I choice to change the thread colors often depending on which color fabric I was sewing on made this a time consuming task.  

If I had to do it over again, when making a shirt for a boy, I would raise the front neckline. As the pattern is made, it's too scoop neck for a boy.

I shipped this shirt off to my far away grandson, and was hoping it would fit him!  What do you think?

If I had to do it over again, when making a shirt for a boy, I would raise the front neckline. As the pattern is made, it's too scoop neck for a boy.

One question, did you watch the World Series at your house, if so, who did you cheer for?

For all of those that want to make this easy tank, because it was really easy to sew up, save 40% off your purchase by entering this code: BLOGTOUR40    Hurry you only have until November 9th!

You can purchase the Everyday Tank Pattern from:
2 Everyday Tank patterns will be given away to two lucky winners.  Go here to enter: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway  If you don't win a pattern, you'll want to purchase this pattern.  Trust me on this one.
xoxo Grandma

Shared:  Creating my Way to Success, Nap time Creations

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nautical Dress - Blaverry Ansley Pattern Tour

Today I'm part of a blog pattern tour. That basically means a bunch of different bloggers are trying out the exact same pattern in different ways.  Fun idea, right? The pattern being tested is the Ansley twirl dress pattern from Blaverry. The fun thing about this pattern is it gives you a lot of different design options. This week, Blaverry is offering a discount on this pattern so if you like cute, new patterns and want a discount, go to the end of this post for a code to save you some money.

I had my almost 11 month old granddaughter in mind for this cute dress. I made the 12 month size for her. She's in the 95 percentile for height, so the dress had to be long enough for her.  After consulting with my daughter we decided to make a dress with a straight hem and the elbow length sleeves with the cuff. I really appreciate that this pattern is packed full of a lot of design choices, so we could tailor it exactly how we wanted.  

My first choice was what fabric to use.  For Mother's Day, one of the gifts I received was three nautical fabrics and some laser cut anchor buttons.  If you sew, you'll agree with me that this was an extremely thoughtful gift!  I wanted to use these items to make something classic.  When I saw a request for volunteers to test a new pattern, I hoped that one of these fabrics would look fabulous with it.  I ended up using two of these fabrics, the ship chambray fabric accented with the rope fabric.

The dress sewed up easily, but there were a few details of the sewing process I'm going to show below because I like things spelled out a little more in the instructions.

First the tab detail: I wanted it to look more finished.  To do this, I only sewed one seam to the bodice and then tucked under the bottom seam and sewed it by hand.

With the cuff, I turned one seam under 3/8 of an inch and ironed it. Then I sewed the edge not turned up to the sleeve.

The final step was to hand sew the ironed cuff edge to the seam.  This way your cuff looks finished if you choose to fold the cuff up.

At this point, I had a few choices to make and believe me, this pattern is full of tons of choices. 

Choice one:  cuffs up or down.
Choice two:  cuffs with buttons or without buttons.   

Choice three:  large button ( see photo above) or smaller button (see photo below).

To solve this dilemma, I took the above two photos and sent them to my daughter to let her decide. After all, this dress was designed for her little girl and I wanted my daughter to like it. Here's my adorable granddaughter modeling her new dress: 

Her mom stated that the only way to keep her still in one place was to let her pull out her books. She's a girl after my heart.  

Here's what my daughter chose: cuffs up, one small button, basic straight hem, no collar, 3/4 length sleeves and bias tape to finish off the dress.  It's little long but she's got one more month until she's supposed to be a 12 mo. size.  Oh well, this dress will just fit her a little longer than most of her clothes. Another great thing about this dress is that it can even be worn as a tunic once it gets too short to wear as a dress, because it is so roomy.  

If you'd like to purchase this fun pattern go to BLAVERY.  Use the following coupon code "ILOVEBLAVERY10" at checkout for a 10% off during this blog tour.  

To see the other versions of this pattern, check out the following blogs:

November 3rd

November 4th

November 5th

November 6th

November 7th
Let me know what you think about this cute pattern!
Side note, I just opened an Etsy shop, please come by and take a look.
xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Nap time Creations

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nativity Finger Puppets - a Free Pattern

I few years ago, I created these nativity finger puppets for my grandchildren.  Since they take a little while to create, I thought this was a perfect time to share this project with you.  I bet you're wishing that I would make a set for your little ones too!  Sorry, not going to happen but I will provide you with a pattern so you can make them instead.  This free pattern is my 2014 early, early Christmas gift to all my readers as my way of thanking you for your support and encouraging comments.  Make sure you print this full size by making sure the "fit to paper" is not checked.

To create your finger puppets, start by cutting out the pieces from felt.  Joseph's hair is 1/2 the head, with a triangle cut from the center straight edge.  Cut from brown felt.  Next, assemble your pieces by sewing (using 1/8" seam) or glue the bodies together. I will show you how to put this project together using glue. 

Next, hand stitch the details like wobbly "sew on" 7/8" eyes, sequins and the raffia (hay) under baby Jesus' bed. Here's a little tip to make your finger puppets dimensional: I added a tiny bit of batting under the noses. Please look at the photo for the details.  

I enjoyed this message about Christmas time and thought I would share it with you:

"Create a spirit of love that will “fill our homes and our lives and linger there long after the tree is down and the lights are put away for another year.” 

"Let it be a time that lights the eyes of children and puts laughter on their lips,” he said. “Let it be a time for lifting the lives of those who live in loneliness. Let it be a time for calling our families together, for feeling a closeness to those who are near to us and a closeness also to those who are absent.  “Let it be a time of prayers for peace, for the preservation of free principles, and for the protection of those who are far from us. Let it be a time of forgetting self and finding time for others. Let it be a time for discarding the meaningless and for stressing the true values. Let it be a time of peace because we have found peace in His teachings.

“Most of all, let it be a time to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the Wise Men.”          Thomas S. Monson 

Have fun creating these finger puppets for your little ones.  May they be a reminder of the real reason for Christmas!   xoxo Grandma

Etsy Shop: xoxo Grandma

Linked to:  Threading My Way, Nap-Time Creations