Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Little E's Finished Robot Costume

As promised, here is Little E (and me) in his finished robot costume. I thought that I was going to have to convince him to try it on for me, but he got so excited when he saw me with the costume.

He bounced around and was saying, "Cheese..." so daddy and Uncle Dave could take his picture. After the pictures, I went to take the costume off and he started to get mad. We negotiated that he could wear the boots for a while.  

Hopefully the weather will hold out so we can take him to a couple of houses in the neighborhood on Halloween.


He is two now and in the "No" phase of his life. But he still loves to give me smoochies and hugs, so the "Nos" don't seem so bad ;) What a joy it is to share my life with such a great little guy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

It has been awhile! I just wanted to let you all know I am loving mommy hood! This blog unfortunately is a casualty to this new found joy. BUT, I am actually getting back to my sewing and wanted to share with you all my progress on Little E's 2012 Halloween costume.

Here is my sketch using the fabulous iPad application called Paper by FiftyThree:

He didn't state he wanted to be a robot exactly, but he has some jammies and a new sheet set with them on it. So I thought I would attempt a robot costume this year.

First I deconstructed a pair of his regular elastic waist pants using the wonderful Kid Basic Pant tutorial by Dana over on the MADE blog (www.danamadeit.com). I used standard quilting cotton material for the main pants, but before I sewed up the inseam and the outer seams, I top stitched down a strip of basic yellow felt across the pant at the knees. I trimmed the extra bulk of the felt inside the pant after sewing up the seams. I hand sewed the round knob on the outside of the knee using the same felt material. The diameter of the circle is between 1" - 1.5". I attached to that circle a 1" strip of the felt to make a knob raised off the pant's surface. I also stuffed it with a little polyfill to give it a little structure.

Pants for the robot costume

Next came the body piece. I wanted basically a sleeveless t-shirt shape. So I just used one of his t-shirts and traced the main trunk/bodice of the t-shirt for my pattern. I left one side open and attached velcro to make it easier to get it on and off of Little E. Felt doesn't stretch to well and I was afraid it would be a struggle to get it on over his head with both sides sewn.

I used a protractor as a template to trace the half circle dial on the front of the body piece. The dial hand and tick marks are black embroidery thread. Since taking the pictures below, I added the three knobs in the red and grey box at the bottom of the body piece. They are similar to the ones pictured on the back of the body piece.

The back red box is raised up from the surface using one flat square of red felt. I cut out squares at the corners and sewed them up like you would do a box corner. I top stitched a ridge around the edge and added a second yellow rectangle of felt. I used some plastic canvas to give it some stability as well as stuffed it with polyfil to give it some height off the surface of the body piece.

The knobs were made in the same fashion as the knobs at his pant knees, but I added white embroidery thread to make them look like they have markings like dials you would see on a stereo, tuner, or old TV.

Front of costume Back of robot costume

Next came his hat. I used a fleece hat pattern to get the basic shape. The pattern has you cut out for pieces to make the hat. You sew up two sets and you get the front and back of the hat. I added the extra stitching at these seams to have the felt seams inside the hat lay flat, but I think they kinda add to the costume; almost like seams for where the metal of the robot come together :)

Robot Costume Hat

Before I stitched together the front and back halves of the hat. I top stitched a rectangle for the eye opening as well as the rectangle for the nose. I hand stitched the black felt for the pupils because I wanted them to look more integrated with the yellow felt of the eye opening. Once again the white thread on the pupils is embroidery thread (hand sewn).

I made a small wire frame for the antenna. Then traced around the wire frame to get the shape for the yellow felt. I used my machine to sew all the way around the oval, but left an opening where I could turn it out and insert the wire frame into the felt pocket. The black stem is also felt I rolled into a cylinder. I closed the side of it by top stitching down the side of it with my machine. The stem of the wire frame slide inside the cylinder easily. I still need to permanently attach the antenna to the hat and the yellow oval to the top of the antenna. I also cut out some felt circles and strips to make the bolts that are on the side of the head of the robot (see sketch above).

My final three items to sew are stripes of grey fabric I am adding to his red t-shirt sleeves, his claw/pincher hand covers and shoe covers in the shape of boots. I am not quite sure how to do the boot covers just yet, but I will monkey around with the felt, velcro and elastic to whip up something :)

All this was made possible by my wonderful new sewing machine, a Janome 7330!

My new sewing machine!

Well that's all for now, but I promise to post pictures of the final costume as soon as it's completed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kaleidoscope Quilt

kaleidoscope Quilt

This is the finish kaleidoscope quilt, with this pattern from bee beautiful, for my Bee Addicted 2 online quilting bee.

The quilting was done by a friend of mine: TL Kennedy Longarm Quilting. Tracy did a wonderful job maneuvering around those tough points where all the piecing met.

Close up of quilting, kaleidoscope quilt

We agreed to leave the kaleidoscope parts not quilted. Just quilting the white background really made that part pop out nicely.

This little beauty went to my co-worker, Penny, who was pregnant with her daughter the same time I was with Little E. We even were in the same birthing class together. Her daughter is such a cutie patootie :) I couldn't resist making this quilt for her.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vintage Magazines and Pattern Books

I picked these up at the AAUW annual used book sale. The two on the right are from the late seventies. They are in excellent shape for their age. The heart pattern one is cool. They take and dress up the heart block with using log cabin strips and also one pattern looks like the heart is laced with a ribbon. Not usually my cup of tea, but I thought it had possibilities.

The crochet snowflake pattern book also has this cool pattern to make a crocheted ball ornament. I hadn't seen anything like that before. My family may be getting these for Christmas this year :)

Nittany Block Party April Block

For Ms. Tracy :) HSTs are my nemesis I tell you! Curses, darn those meddling kids...

Our May block also uses HSTs. I sewed together 28 3" blocks this morning. After work it will be making the second seam on them and then cut, press and put the blocks together.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Me & the Watch Me Grow Chart

Me & the Watch Me Grow Chart
I used the Watch Me Grow pattern on Moda Bake Shop by Vanessa Wilson, a.k.a- Crafty Gemini.

watch me grow chart close-up
As you can see from the close-up I have already marked out my Little E's birth, 4 month and 6 month heights (21", 27", and 29"). The ruler numbers and slashes were not in the pattern. I used my measuring tape to make the tick marks. Then slid the tape measure under the cream fabric and traced the numbers. I used the archival ink pens to fill in and outline the numbers.

The height of this finished at about 79" x 11".

Finished New Wave Quilt Top

Using the New Wave quilt pattern by Oh Frasson. Now all I need to do is make a quilt sandwich since I have the back completed too.

I think I will just outline the waves for this one. Maybe a quilting line down the center of the wave too. Nothing overly complex as I do not wish to take away from the design and the fabric on this one.

**Edited: The finished top is 48.5" X 56". I had to trim a half inch off the bottom of the wedges when I messed up aligning the border fabric. It all worked out in the end :) The mess up was totally my fault for not reading the instructions properly :)