Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Costumes: Dinosaur

I am all set to quilt my CraftHope quilt for We are Kenya but the quilting foot for my sewing machine is in storage at my in-laws' house an hour away.
This is the state the quilt is in right now; shameful on so many levels, I know!

In the meantime, I have started working on one of my favorite things to do each year: Halloween costumes! The silly thing is: I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I don't like the gore and the sexualization of every female costume over the age of 12. The neighbor across the street hangs decapitated heads from her eaves from October 1 until about December 10 of each year and I hate looking at it.

What I think I really like is the making of costumes part of Halloween. I have yet to follow a pattern-although I do follow instructions, that does make it easier-but I like being fairly creative. That creative part is tumbling down to the kids. While today's post is about my son's costume , my oldest daughter's costume is completely her own. She has designed the whole thing....but we will get to that in a later post.

I wanted to post this first part of his costume so if you are kind of in a bind as to what to make, this is really easy to make and really fast!

What's he going to be? A dinosaur! This is the first part of his costume:

I saw the directions to make this originally on Just Another Day in Paradise. Making the hoodie today, I did make some slight changes to her instructions. These were purely made because of my lack of all the tools I normally have at my disposal for sewing (i.e. a basic walking foot for a sewing machine). 

The main instruction I didn't follow was to add interfacing to the diamonds to make them a little stiffer. 

I take that back. This is the second set of diamonds I made. The first set DID have the interfacing on them but my 1/4 inch foot kept on getting stuck on the interfacing making it pretty impossible to move the sweatshirt along the feed dogs. 

As you can see, the diamonds weren't perfect so when I matched them up to make triangles there was some overlap. I just trimmed off the excess. 

Once the diamonds are sewn onto the hoodie, you just sew the triangles together. 

The only foot I have right now is my 1/4" foot. It does not make life easy on projects where it isn't needed.

I used the edge of foot as a guide to sew the triangles together. 

Looking at this picture again, while the spikes are standing up pretty well on their own, I think the stabilizer would probably help them be spikier in the long run.

One of the greatest parts of this project is I had all the materials for the hoodie already at home! I used green felt because it wouldn't fray (and I have two yards of it for some reason) and the child has 12 billion hoodies. His was a 3T hoodie and I ended up making 8 spikes-keep in mind the spike at the front of the hoodie and the spike on the bottom of his back are about half the size than the rest of the spikes. I did that to make sure they all fit. 

Looking at these pictures, I should have used my pinking shears to cut the spikes. What was I thinking??? Well, I just passed that smart little tidbit onto you!

As I said, this was a pretty fast costume (part 1) to put together. This would make a cute gift for a birthday or Christmas or, if you are feeling super awesome, you could make these for a dinosaur-themed birthday party. 

Again, if you want to follow the tutorial, head on over to Just Another Day in Paradise for the full, and very easy-to-follow, instructions!

I'm hoping to finish the second part of his costume tomorrow. There's not much left to it. I'll leave you with a pic of him looking his most ferocious!

The kid doesn't have a mean bone in his body; this is about as ferocious as he gets!

Happy costume making!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Two Blog Posts in One Day!

Yup, two.

See, I didn't want to take over the post about the CraftHope project I am working on, so I decided to do a second little post for the day.

Don't think that during this time I have forgotten about you or about the challenge I have put out there for all of you! Forgotten already?!?!?!?!?!

I have challenged you to finish one of your old crafts that has been sitting around just waiting to get done. Email me a picture of that craft and a brief description (by October 28, 2014) and I will enter you in a drawing for a $25.00 gift certificate to JoAnns. (I do have to mention it is for US residents only--but if you still want to share your craft with all of us, please do so!).

Let's see...what else?

Right! Remember when I mentioned that the quilt my mom made my son had well, kind of shredded in the wash? Well, I started the process of fixing it. I made some patches and affixed them to the top of the quilt with Steam-a-Seam. All I have to do now is remember how to blanket stitch to finish off the rough edges so they won't fray.  Here's just a few that I made:

I'm hoping that things start to slow down here so I can start working on Halloween costumes-nothing like last minute, right? 

What are your crafting plans for the weekend? 

Happy Crafting!


Don't forget you can always have fun with me on Facebook here, Instagram here, or follow me on Twitter at @SewingByLottery.

Let's Craft Some Hope!

Many years ago-only about six but it feels like twenty-I was a social worker of sorts. I worked for the Social Security Administration and administered a federal welfare program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

I can feel your eyes glazing over but bear with me.

You see, eleven-or-so years ago I graduated from college with a degree in Social Work and one in Theology. At the time I was pretty convinced I was going to go out there and set the world on fire. But, you know....life got a hold of me. Or maybe fear of the unknown---traveling to distant lands and helping others...even if that "distant land" was no farther away then the homeless shelter downtown.

Anyway, I ended up in the middle of Central Washington working for SSA. Don't get me wrong-I worked really hard and tried to help people as best as I could. But before long I was living in the suburbs of Seattle, married and waiting for the birth of my first child when I quit. I knew that my next role was to be a mom for awhile.

I kept on telling myself and others that I would start volunteering again and helping out but that has been just too hard for me to juggle. Having three little kids and a husband who works long hours to provide for his family has not left me a lot of spare time to run off and feed the hungry.

Don't get me wrong: this is no pity party for me or a longing for a "what if" kind of life. Who knows? Maybe my time to set the world on fire wasn't in my 20's but may be in my 50's or 60's. Maybe I'm raising children who will change the world.

What does this all have to do with crafting? I'm glad you asked.

My friend saw something on Facebook and tagged me to see it.

You see, there's this lady named Jade. She's married. Works outside the home. Has four kids. Well, I will let her use her own eloquent words to describe what CraftHope is:

Craft Hope started with 29 pillowcase dresses and one mom's idea that everyone can make a difference. Craft Hope is a love inspired project founded in 2009 by Jade designed to share handmade crafts with those less fortunate. It is our hope to combine our love for crafting and the desire to help others into a worldwide phenomenon. 
Since our beginning we have collected and distributed over a hundred thousand handmade items to charitable organizations worldwide. We have formed partnerships with incredible charities that work in the heart of communities that need love the most. 
We have encouraged people, families, groups, and communities to get together and craft for the greater good. We might not all have money to give, but we have time. And time is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone.  Source

She has 24 projects behind her where she has helped distribute handmade goods to people in dire situations all over the world. She does this all from her own kitchen. She's kind of my super hero right now.

Anyway, her 25th project is partnering with We are Kenya to provide quilts, reusable sanitary napkins, scarves and hats to the children of Soweto, Kenya. When I read her post about asking for help, I knew I had to act. She only needed 25 twin size quilts. I made a comment on her blog and she emailed me a couple of days later saying she would love it if I made a quilt for her Project25.

I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use. I had a jelly roll filled with blues, pinks and greens that is just so happy. As I have cut and sewn the fabric my kids keep on asking me who we are making this quilt for; so I show them the pictures of the children from the We are Kenya website and we talk about how children live all over the world: that not all children have a warm blanket at night, so we will make one. That not all children have food in their bellies every night, so we feed them. That some girls only have one dress, so we clothe them. ("Is it at least a rainbow dress?", asks my oldest daughter.)

I am so happy to have an opportunity to use the talents I have been blessed with to share with others.

Here's the finished quilt top, all that is left is to quilt and bind it.

Happy Sewing,

Don't forget, you can always follow along on Facebook here, Instagram here, and Twitter at @SewingByLottery . 

Friday, September 26, 2014

A New Adventure for Everyone! (And a Giveaway)

I had an idea the other day.

I really enjoy crossing things off my crafting to-do list. Even though I am just cross stitching  all of these old projects, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to finish something; whether it is a project that has been on my back burner for weeks, months, or (let's face it) years, completing something always feels good.

I feel a little selfish having all the fun over here, so I thought I would invite all of you to have fun with me. Here's my idea: CraftBusters. Together we are going to bust all of those old crafts you have hanging around in your house.

Maybe it's that quilt you started a decade ago.  You are going to finish it.

Or maybe that painting you started but then you moved and you can't find all the stuff, so why bother starting it again. You are going to finish it.

 Or maybe it's that craft on Pinterest with the pallets, mason jars and burlap that just sings to your crafting soul but you just can't seem to find the time to get it done. You are going to finish it.

You are going to finish one of these in the next month.

The Guidelines for my CraftBusters Project:

  • Pick a crafting project that you started but just never got around to finishing. It can be sewing, painting, quilting, quilling, knitting, crocheting, binding of books, etc. Whatever. It doesn't matter. Just pick a project that you've put down and resolved to finish it. 
  • Finish that project by October 28, 2014. And I mean FINISH it.  None of this, "Well, I just have to add the binding," or "Just three more coats of laquer and I'll be done." You can look at your creation and say, "This is finished. Nothing more needs to be done." Remember: budget accordingly. If you can't afford to finish this project-pick another one. 
  • By October 28, 2014 email me at sewingbl@gmail.com . In that email, send me a picture of your finished work and a brief description of what you made and what you are going to do with it now (is it a gift? Are you going to hang it on the wall?). 
  • On October 31, I will post the pictures and brief descriptions of what everybody made in the past month here on the blog. 
  • If you finish your project and submit your picture to me I will enter you in a contest to win a $25 gift certificate to JoAnn's. No one is sponsoring this giveaway but my husband and I. I just want to give you a little reward for working hard and getting something off of your to-do list.

That's it. Finish a project. Submit a picture and a brief description. Win a gift certificate (possibly)! 

Don't worry if October is just way too busy for you. I'm going to do this for the next 12 months.

So what do you think? Wanna have fun with me and get stuff done? I thought so!

Questions? Leave 'em in the comments section, I love to hear from you!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bees in my Bonnet

Last week I had a bee in my bonnet. And that bee was the plug to my sewing machine. I wanted it.

I needed it.

I tore my sewing area and bedroom apart looking for it.

My mother-in-law went through boxes I am storing at her house, looking for it.

I complained-both online and off- that all I wanted to do was to finish this ONE project.

I've been cross stitching so many projects--see them here  and here--but not being able to finish them to completion that I think I needed to finish something-anything-to feel like all was right in my little world.

Then I remembered: I am married to a hoarder   someone who doesn't easily throw things away. A man who has been into computes since the 80's. A man who has a shoebox filled with floppy disks. A man who has a legal box filled with adapters and plugs.

He used to have boxes and boxes of wires. 

A man who had not one but two but THREE of the types of adapters I needed.

Once I found it, I was up in running within 10 minutes. You see, last week I had a different bee in my bonnet-it was to use this fabric in order to make a pillowcase to go with the quilt my mom had made my son.
Fabric I'm usin'

Quilt it's going with (I was not an English major). 

He has a nautical theme on his side of the room and I thought the pillowcase would help tie things together nicely. 

Mom told me about this really easy YouTube tutorial she had used to make pillowcases and I had to try it out. 

The pillowcase couldn't have been easier to put together and it looks great. 

I followed the YouTube tutorial (found here) and less than an hour later I had this awesome pillow. 

I love the detail of the accent fabric. 

And it works perfectly with his bed! 

So easy. Seriously, go make a pillow today. All you need is a piece of fabric that is 24" x WOF, a coordinating piece that is 12" x WOF, and a 2" x WOF for the accent piece.

WOF = width of fabric

Not only did I make the pillow this week but I was able to finish my WELCOME cross stitch. 

This is where I was last week:

And here it is completed:
I hate my iPhone camera. 
If you are interested in making this cross stitch it is called "Gardening Welcome" and can be found here. I found it at Hobby Lobby earlier this year. It's been around for awhile-I think Mom made this at least 10-15 years ago.

Next big ticket item to find: the charger for my camera battery; these iPhone photos are horrible!

Until next week!