Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Make a Christmas Fairy Cottage

It's time for another fun project, but this time with a Christmas twist. I've joined with bloggers around the world to bring you a few weeks worth of Christmas fairy projects (see the complete list at the end of this post).  

Today, I'm sharing with you how to make a Christmas fairy cottage.  This makes a cute decoration or toy or it can easily be turned into a night light by adding an LED light.

Do you want to join in the fun?  To begin this project, download this free Christmas fairy cottage pattern here. You'll also want to go to this post for additional free patterns and instruction to make this and other snugly fairy abodes.

Supplies needed:
  • 4) .875" (2.22 cm) bells
  • Embroidery floss:  green (several shades), brown, white
  • Felt scraps, green(s) and white
  • Pipe cleaners, any color
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • 1 wool sweater or felt
  • Scrap of netting or tulle
  • Batting
  • Heavy pellon interfacing
  • Empty salt container

If you're using an old sweater, you'll need to shrink it in hot water and then dry it using a hot dryer setting. A wool sweater work best. Now, cut off one of the sleeves.  I cut my sleeve down to 17 inches long.  This sleeve will be the basis for your Christmas fairy house. If you're using felt, cut a rectangle the width of your container and the height of your container plus 8 inches to wrap all the way around the container. 

Cut out 2 pieces of your felt scraps and one of interfacing to make a door.  Sandwich the interfacing between the felt and sew using a blanket stitch, either by hand or with a machine, all around the door.  Stitch by hand around felt leaves (I used 7 leaves) and cover the door by slip stitching these leaves in place.

Cut out two windows and sew some tulle onto the wrong side of the openings.  To hide the stitching, hand embroider around the windows using a blanket stitch.

Embroider around the door frame using a blanket stitch.  Now pin the door in place.  Sew the leaf door to the door frame.  Add a bead door knob and a latch because a fairy needs to keep the cold out of their house in the winter.

Decorate your cottage with additional felt and embroidered leaves, snowflakes and at least one felt Christmas stocking.

At the top of the sleeve, cut four even stripes 8 inches long by around two inches wide. Sew pipe cleaners into the top stripes making a tube.  The pipe cleaners allow the top pieces to curl and take shape.

Take your empty salt container and with the tip of a seam ripper or large needle, poke holes around the Windows and door opening.  Using an exacto knife, cut out the openings.

Slide the decorated sleeve/felt onto the prepared salt container matching up the openings and glue or stitch these two items together.

For the base, layer one piece of heavy pellon between two layers of batting.  Sew around the edges using white thread.  Now, sew the cottage to the base, tucking the raw edges of the sweater (or felt) under the salt container.

Fairy cottages are just so much fun to make because there's no right or wrong way to do it.  If you make one, make sure you leave the door open at night so a fairy can have a warm place to spend a winter's night.  xoxo Grandma

Please plan to visit all our Fairy Merry Chistmas Participants!    

Nov 16: Millie @ 2 Crochet Hooks  "Kids and Fairy Doors"
Nov 17: Maria @ Sew Travel Inspired 
Nov 19: Joanita @ Creative Crochet Workshop
Nov 20: Alayna @ Alayna’s Creations
Nov 23: Laura @ My Husband has too many Hobbies
Nov 24: Sarah @ Sarah Celebrates
Nov 25: Stella @ Purfylle
Nov 27: Beverly @ Across the Blvd
Nov 30: T’onna @ USS Crafty
Dec 1: Joanita @ Creative Crochet Workshop
Dec 2: Keri @ One Mama’s Daily Drama
Dec 3: Darlene @ Let it Shine
Dec 4: Donna @ Two Chicks and a Mom
Dec 8: Sarah @ Sarah Celebrates
Dec 9: Stella @ Purfylle
Dec 10: Pili @ Sweet Things
Dec 11: Millie @ 2 Crochet Hooks

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Autumn Overalls - a Refashion

These autumn overalls started with a pair of adult jeans, which I could have sworn I took a "before" photo of, but imagine with me coral women's skinny jeans.  I took those skinny jeans and turned them into warm looking autumn overalls, perfect for a toddler.

These jeans once belonged to this little girl's mother (my daughter).  While I was at her house, helping with her new baby, I consulted with my daughter about using these old jeans to make these darling overalls.  I even took my daughter fabric shopping and she found this black and white plaid shirting flannel to use as a compliment to the coral jean fabric.

I first unpicked the original pants back pockets and scaled those down to fit a toddler.  For the pattern, I used a pair of my granddaughter's jeans and then laid them on top of those old skinny jeans and cut away.  One portion of the original waistband was used for her waistband in the back of the overalls. The rest of the waistband was turned into the straps.  The bib was formed by opening up an inside seam and centering the bib so that the middle of the outside seam was in the middle of the bib.  

I used this wonderful flannel fabric for pant cuffs, pockets, and to line the bib and the straps.

I made the mistake of adding elastic to the back of the overalls and then sewed a stitch up the middle of the elastic.  When these overalls came off my granddaughter, I confiscated them, pulled out my seam ripper, and ripped that mistake away.  They look so much better without that seam and the elastic.

I foresee that these overalls will be perfect for autumn and maybe into winter or until she becomes potty trained and has to learn to unbutton these straps herself! Didn't they turn out so cute?  xoxo Grandma

Monday, November 9, 2015

Baby Blessing Dress Using Mommy's Wedding Dress

My daughter's wedding dress was a classic: lace with short capped sleeves.  Since she was getting married in October, she wanted the dress to look more like fall. So, we paid to have the dress altered and had the cap sleeves removed from the dress and replaced them with lace, elbow-length sleeves (as seen in the below photo). I asked that the original sleeves be saved and given to us, just in case I might ever need to use them. Those original cap sleeves were my inspiration for this baby blessing/christening dress.

To make this blessing dress, I took those original lace sleeves and cut them down to make the sleeves for this baby blessing/christening dress.  In an ideal world, I would have had more of the lace to use, but I can't say I didn't try. I even went to the dress shop where I purchased the wedding dress to see if I could purchase some. Sadly, the store informed me that it could take up to three months to get orders from this company and suggested that I cut into the train of my daughter's wedding dress, which I did not dare do.  So instead, I cut the leftover lace into pieces as shown below and then pinned those pieces onto the bodice in a random pattern. I tried an organized pattern but it looked awful!  Then, I sewed all those little pieces in place - a very time consuming labor or love.

The pattern I used was the same one I used to make my daughter's blessing dress over 30 years ago (photos of that original dress can be seen here). 

I altered Vogue pattern #2878 slightly by adding pleats to the skirt instead of ruffles and shortened the dress by about 18 inches.  My daughter felt the original dress was ridiculously long. 

After finishing this dress, it needed a slip to add some volume to the skirt. But I wasn't in the mood to make the slip that came with the pattern because it was almost like making another dress.  Instead, I made a skirt and then sewed it to the bodice of the dress.  Of course I didn't think of this step until the dress was completely finished, so I ended up hand sewing it into place.  

Just look at those old looking hands, those are my hands holding this precious baby on her blessing day. Didn't the dress turn out so lovely?

So grateful that my husband and I had a lot of SkyMiles so we could be there when our newest granddaugter was blessed by her dad at church - it was such a special day!  xoxo Grandma

You might also like theses blessing/christening dresses:
Heirloom Dress

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Make a Super Simple Horse Ornament

Do you have any horse lovers in your life? I have quite a few in mine. If you have some in yours too, this is one ornament you'll want to make because it's so simple to create.

Supplies needed:
  • Plastic horse - I found this one at my local dollar store
  • Silver spray paint
  • Eye screw, 1/4" x 2"
  • Spackle or putty

Fill in the area where the plastic pieces of the horse have been joined together with a little spackle - you know, that same stuff you use to fill in holes in your walls before you paint.  I used DAP Fast and Final Lightweight Spackle for my filler. Trust me, you'll want to putty it before spraying it. 

Add an eye screw by twisting it into the plastic. From there, you'll want to add a piece of decorative ribbon or twine to hang it to your tree or onto a gift. 

Your horse ornament is finished as soon as the paint dries.  xoxo Grandma

Monday, November 2, 2015

Make a Chic Multi Strand Bracelet

Anyone here like nice jewelry, but don't want to pay an arm and a leg to buy it? I'm raising my hand over here!  Well, I saw a bracelet for $140 that looks a lot like the one I just created. The instant I saw it, I knew it was an accessory I wanted to create myself.  If you like the chic look of this multi-strand bracelet, then keep on reading. I'll show you how to make your own bracelet for a fraction of the cost.

Supplies needed: 
  • Leather pieces, cut 2 pieces 2" x 1 1/4"  (I used scraps leftover from making "Warm Lined Baby Booties". To get your leather for a great price see this post.)
  • Needle
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Beads
  • Leather Cording
  • 1 button
  • 2 or 3 different beads, 6 mm

1.  Fold the leather pieces in half, width wise.  Measure for hole placements, 1/8" in and 1/4" apart. Push a heavy needle through both layers of leather. Now thread the needle with six strands of embroidery floss.  Attach the floss by making a slip knot at the end of the leather.  

2.  Add one bead onto the floss then tie a knot as close to the bead as possible.  Pull the thread tight.

3.  Keep adding beads until your strand of beads is at least 5" long.  (These strands should go a little more than half way around your wrist.)

4.  Sew a button onto the back side of of one of the leather pieces.

5.  Cut two small slits in the leather and attach 8" of leather cording into the slits.  Tie the cording into a knot at the base and again 5/8" up.  (See the bottom title photo.)

Enjoy your chic multi strand bracelet! You'll look like a million bucks wearing it! xoxo Grandma

*I've added some of these chic bracelets to my Etsy shop, just in case you don't want to make your own and they are reasonably priced too.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

1 1/2 Hour Toddler Dress

This cute little dress you see here is another project I finished in time to take to my granddaughter on my latest trip overseas. Notice the sand sculpture on the right side of the photo? My grandson and I created that sand gecko one morning.  I laughed when I came back to the beach later that day and saw that others decided to embellish our creation with a little seaweed on it's head! Now back to this simple dress....

In an hour and a half, I turned a men's button down dress shirt into this cute toddler dress.  Grab a men's shirt and have a little fun dolling it up for your favorite toddler!

Supplies needed:  

1 men's dress shirt
1/3" wide white lace
3" wide lace x 3 1/4 long (for pocket)
Single fold bias tape about 8"
Pattern:  Holiday Dress by Stitched by Crystal (bodice - add two inches to the length of the bodice).
Cut 10 - 12" from the bottom of the shirt up - depending on the length of your toddler's waist to knee measurement plus 1/2" for the seam allowance. 
1 1/2" x 8" rectangle cut on the bias for the skirt placket

Cutting basics:

Once you have cut the skirt from the bottom of the shirt, cut out the bodice and the lining as follows:

After cutting everything out, you'll embellish the buttonhole placket by adding 1/3" wide white lace, stitching along both edges.  The lace adds a lot of charm to this dress.

Next, pin the 3" wide lace onto the right side of the bodice (the side with the buttonhole placket. Turn all edges except the top under 1/4" to form a nice pocket. Sew the pocket in place next to the edges.  For the bodice sewing details, see Stitched by Crystal's instructions.  

To the top center of the skirt, you'll need to add a placket.  I found a good tutorial on how to do that step at Sew Sweet Patterns.  Once the placket has been added, gather the skirt and pin it onto the bodice.  The skirt placket needs to be lined up with the button placket on one side and the buttonhole packet on the other side.  
Baste the skirt to the bodice.  Once happy with how that looks, trim the seam to around 1/4", restitch this seam with a finishing edge and iron. Hand stitch the bodice lining to the bodice enclosing all the seams inside - which gives you a nice finished look.  

Now, on the outside of the bodice, topstitch 1/4" from the seam's edge.  Guess what, you're finished!  How long did this dress take you from start to finish? 

The best part of making this dress is that it looks like you spent a lot of time creating it, but you didn't because the buttons, buttonholes and skirt seams were already finished for you.

Now is all you have to do is sit back and enjoy whatever sun is left in your part of the world!  xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Threading My Way

Friday, October 9, 2015

Dress Into a Romper in 30 Minutes or Less

This sweet little butterfly dress was a hand-me-down from a cousin.  When my daughter asked me to make this little girl some rompers, I remembered seeing a post on turning a dress into a romper at Make It & Love It. I wanted to try my hand at doing the same thing.  The only problem was, I don't own one of those snap attachment tools that you need and didn't want to buy one. I really don't want anymore stuff!  Never fret!  I figured out how to make it without one!  So this tutorial will show you how to make a romper in 30 minutes or less without that tool. 

First you'll cut a semi-circle from the middle bottom of the dress.  Then you'll want to add the ruffle to the legs.  If the hem is wide enough (this one wasn't), simply add elastic the width of the calf plus 1" into the existing hem.  If your hem was only clean finished like this dress, add a casing around an inch above the hem by sewing bias tape, then add the elastic and you'll have cute ruffled legs.

Now, in place of that little snap attachment tool you'll need to purchase some snap tape.  Snap tape is simply tape with the snaps already in place.  How convenient, right?  All I did was finish the edge of the cut semi circle and then sewed the snap tape to that edge.  Make sure the snap tape edges line up so the bottom will snap together properly.  

And that's it. Really. That's it. Pretty simple, eh? Yea for super easy projects!

That's really all there is to this refashion.  In 30 minutes, I had this cute romper to take my granddaughter.  Two weeks my husband and I headed overseas to visit this adorable girl and her family. I got in some grandkid time, and she got some cute new clothes. Win, win.   

Enjoy this simple project!  And if it also leads you somewhere exotic to drop off your finished product, then I'd definitely love to hear about it.  xoxo Grandma