Happy Halloween 2014 and some BIG news!

Happy Halloweeeeeen! No I have not fallen off the face of the Earth, yes I have been slacking off in the sewing department! But I have a good reason! Before we get to that I just wanted to share our costumes from this weekend. Of course I always have to pick some sort of ridiculous character, and although my we did a muppets/ sesame street theme a few years ago I stumbled upon this tutorial for the Yip Yip martians! They were/are my husband’s favorite characters from the television show and they are just so darn funny!

The tutorial is pretty great and they provide a free pattern to use for cutting. When I say pattern, it is basically a lay out with measurements to use to make the appropriate cuts in length (no pattern pieces to cut out or trace). This may be confusing for someone not too familiar with sewing and having to somewhat freehand your design, but the pictures make it easy to follow the steps. I found these really easy to make, I finished both costumes in one afternoon.

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Here we are with our belly dancer friend Rosemary! To make the Yip Yips I started with 2.5 yards of fleece for each, a bag of quilting batting (for the mouths), styrofoam balls and felt for the eyes, pipe cleaners and pom-poms for the antennas, and some black tulle to cover the mouth opening. It looks very sheer in the photos, and it was sheer, however it served the purpose. I ended up adding some velcro at the top of the head piece and tulle so that we could have an opening to stick our heads through for eating and drinking. I also cut some slits in the sides for our arms, although the real Yip Yips didn’t actually have arms. It ended up being a very cold night, it snowed! So these fleece snuggy-like costumes were perfect to stay warm.

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So as to the reason you have not seen much sewing or general communication from me for the past few months, we found out in July that we are expecting our first baby! We are so excited to be parents, and feel very blessed to have such great family and friends to support us during this special time. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling too hot for a little while (feeling MUCH better now on the morning sickness front), so sewing kind of took a back seat. My school year also started which has obvious kept me very busy, plus I am taking two classes this semester to start working on my ESL teaching endorsement. So with all the excitement, and a growing belly, I have been working on some more craft type projects instead of my usual dresses and fashion projects. A lot of people have asked why I am not sewing some maternity clothes, but I guess I would rather put my effort (and fabric) into pieces that I know will be useful for longer than the next several months. However, I do plan to share some of my craft  and sewing projects with you along the way, and I promise I will do my best not to turn this into a baby sewing blog!

I hope you all had a great Halloween and please share your fabulous costumes, I love to see all of them!

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Bumbles Bounce!

It s time again for my favorite holiday and ridiculous costume making! Even though it is Halloween, Chris and I decided to borrow a couple Christmas characters this year. My all time favorite Christmas movie is Rudolph the red nosed reindeer (the stop motion animation, not the cartoon) and the Bumble is by far the coolest character, Yukon Cornelius is a close second 😉 I figured we could double up and make some fun Christmas cards with the photos in a couple months.

Bumble and yukon cornelius

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See the resemblance? These were actually pretty easy costumes to make. I made pajama pants with an elastic waist out of white furry fleece from joanns. I just used an old pj pant pattern I have had forever, pj pants are so easy and comfy I really should make some flannel ones for the winter.  For the top, I just used a long sleeved shirt in my drawer as a pattern and sewed it up super quick. I serged all the seams inside so that it wouldn’t be itchy from the fur edges.

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Obviously the Bumble head was the challenging part, but I got him put together in just a day. I started with a cheapo hat that had a brim, and I glued blue felt around the mouth area. Then I cut two pieces of the furry fleece, each big enough to stuff with polyfil and stand up, I glued these on the brim as well. Then I stuffed them full (well, not TOO full- it was kind of heavy!) and sewed the head closed. His face is a piece of foam with blue felt glued on and white felt for the eyes. His nose is another smaller piece of foam with blue felt t give it dimension.  I sewed this piece on the head, and glued on white felt teeth. Voila! The Bumble was born!

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Yukon Cornelius was much easier, mostly because i didn’t have to make most of it. We just found an old blue jacket in Chris’s closet, and I had a black elastic belt. I made his ice pick out of cardboard and duct tape (very fancy) and found a toy gun at the dollar store. His beard is actually crocheted, I found this free pattern online and my mom crocheted it up. She modified it by making his mustache longer with some wire to make it stand up, and she made a red hat with ear muffs to attach to the beard. I think it turned out great, it was pretty hilarious!

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We wore our costumes to a party at glassworks, and we had a total blast! Now that Halloween is over, I am hoping to get in some regular sewing time, my school schedule has been very time consuming so far this year and sewing has been put on hold out of pure exhaustion. Who’s ready for Thanksgiving break? This gal!


With you may the Halloween force be

The In-Law’s Halloween party, disappointing it was not! Oh yes, this year Chris and I (and the dog) did a star wars theme. All the hub’s idea of course! I didn’t want to do the traditional played out Princess Leia with the cinnabuns and Chris only wanted to choose from the original cast characters so I decided that Yoda was the only way to go. Chris chose the rebel flight suit that Luke Skywalker wore, and I left Princess Leia for Harper to wear.

Yoda’s head was relatively easy to make compared to some of my past costumes. I took a beanie and sewed green fleece around the edges and stuffed it full with polyfil. I glued on small styrofoam balls cut in half for each eye and then flued on his featured with leftover green fleece and felt I had in my stash. His ears were shaped with  pipe cleaners and sewed into the seams of the head. I used a robe pattern to make his hooded robe, and I made Yoda feet with foam and extra fleece.

I found some “furry” yard to use for Yoda’s hair on the back of his head. I made sure to leave a sheet of fleece around the bottom with a tie so that it would stay on my head all night.

For Chris’s rebel flight suit I used a jumpsuit pattern from and old Halloween costume pattern his mothe had for a lion. I added the cargo pockets on the legs and the arms. The vest I used some white muslin I had in my stash and I pinned it into “shutters” to create the ridged effect Luke’s vest had.

I left him in charge of the box and gears Luke wore in front, he went to home depot and got plastic tubing, duct tape, and gray spray paint and piece everything together on a tubberware container he paint sprayed.

For Harper’s costume, I used the pattern from her doggie jail suit last year but just used white cotton. I made a belt and added on Princess Leia’s silver details with some leftover scraps of metallic silver material I had from a previous Halloween. I used brown felt and a glue gun and just rolled up some cinnabuns and sewed an elastic chin strap to the bottom.

The party was so much fun, and my Yoda ended up winning the costume contest! There was also a contest for the best Halloween appetizer and the best carved pumpkins. Here are some of the crazy food platters, the first three I made.

Powdered donut hole eyeballs. The irises are melted white chocolate with green and blue food coloring, the pupils are chocolate chips and the blood vessels are red gel.

These are little witches hats I made with chocolate cookies, icing, hersheys kisses, and sprinkles.

These are bloody bandaids, made with graham crackers, cream cheese and strawberry jam.

Here are some of the spooky foods my Mother In Law put together; pumpkin barfing guacamole, and a table full of goodies like pretzel witch fingers, carmel peanut grapes, ghost nutter butters and Franestein and lily’s special brew.

There were so many fantastic costumes including the cereal character gang, Captain crunch, the Trix rabbit, Luck charms and Toucan Sam, as well as Carme San Diego and the USA volley ball team. Two nights before the party we had a pumpkin carving extraganza and carved about 20 pumpkins, it was extreme!

This one was carved by my friend Jackie, she used a potato pealer and some other tools to shave this into an amazing skull. Obviously she won the pumpin carving contest!

More Halloween festivities to come, hope you all have a spooktacular holiday!


Medusa… turning men to stone with Ssssssimplicity 3647

Miss J has been talking about being Medusa for a few years now and I found this pattern for different Greek costumes and noticed Medusa standing in the back behind all the blondes adorned in togas. I showed it to her and she was enthused, so the mythological goddess was made!

This dress looked like it would be super easy to make but I swear this ended up being one of the most difficult pieces I have ever sewn. The pattern suggested linen and satin and crepe, pretty much all different fabrics. She wanted something flowy and satiny so we found this black satiny material which is already a challenge to work with on its own.

The top had a crossover effect and cap sleeves and a long skirt with side slits. She wanted one high slit up the front so I stitched the sides and cut the slit up the front. This was fine, however the material really puckered no matter how much I ironed it so it was less than perfect. The top ended up being really boxy so I took it in a few times, but this dress was meant to be pulled on over the head and cinched so I had to leave a bit a room so it wasn’t quite as fitted as she wanted. The neckline had to be hand tacked down which I am never crazy about doing but it had to be done.  She wasn’t nuts about the big She-ra belt in the photo so we just opted for some black cord as a belt.

The drape piece was also a challenge, it was just 3 long rectangular pieces and two were to connect at the shoulder and have some pleating but this shiney crepe material wasn’t having that. I decided to make it into a long shawl piece. I think this worked better anyhow, she could play around with it and wrap it however she wanted.

Last was the fun part- the snakes! I used a green crushed velour material and wrapped it around pipecleaners. I sewed little heads for them and glued on sequins for the eyes. I made a ton of them so they would cover her head, they looked pretty sweet!

This costume was a challenge, I wish we had picked a linen or even a soft cotton material but she really enjoyed wearing it and got a lot of compliments so I consider it a successful Halloween costume.


Looney Tooney Halloween Debauchery!

My favorite time of the year finally here! Hallloooweeeenie time! This year I picked a looney toons theme so that Chris and I could be the Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote- my favorites!  Though it was a little difficult to walk at times (stairs were problematic) I think they look spot on!

I’ve been working on these on and off for the last month along with my friend Sarah’s Marvin the Martian head. I started with Chris’s costume, I used fleece that I ordered dirt cheap online- I bought 5 yards of it and used every last bit! I never end up using all the fabric I buy on projects, let alone that much of it. I made him some fleece pants with a men’s pj pant pattern- these were really quick but I ended up taking them in quite a bit since he is so slim and the coyote is supposed to be skinny.

For the coyote top I used one of his shirts to cut the front and back and sleeves, and I tried to make it longer than normal since the coyote has the contrasting tan color on his belly. I cut a big round piece of the khaki colored fleece and just sewed on the front.

The head was the fun part, I started with a baseball hat and glued some cardboard  and foam to elongate the rim- I wanted him to have a really big head!

Next I cut 3 half moon shapes to form his snout and his nose. One of them I glued straight on the hat and stuffed it full of polyfil. The other two I sewed on my machine and stuffed as well to make the cheeks- they kind of stick out pretty far, no?

I sewed one last half moon shape to finish the top of his head, and sewed on his eyes. I  made him ears and put a piece of cardboard inside so that they would stand up and flop over a bit. I inserted these in the seam on his head and hand sewed it shut. I wanted him to look more expressive since he is so fully of emotion in his bumbling antics so I made some furrowed  eyebrows and glued them on.

Then I took some thread and pulled it tight to create the ridges on his snout, the last part was his nose which I made with a styrofoam ball and felt.

I made his foot covers with foam that I made a little platform out of and then shaped the toes to glue on top. I covered these with the remaining fleece.

The TNT I used the same method with foam but I tied in some cord so that it could hang around his neck and I added in orange pipe cleaners so it would like like they were about to blow up.

To make the Roadrunner I used the same methods as the coyote, but I had to build the beak a little differently. I cut a triangular shape  and glued it on the rim of the hat so that it would curve upwards. I put another piece on top of this to create the roadrunners smirk.

Then I made the big feather mop on top of his head- I inserted a piece of cardboard in here like with the coyote ears so that it would stand up tall. I sewed this into the top seam of the head.

I made the shirt using a long sleeve t-shirt and I added a feather ridge on the sleeves. I made shorts with a romper pattern but I didn’t put any elastic or anything in them so I just pinned them on my tights.

The feet are the same as the coyote feet, only there was a talon added on the back and I put toenails and drew the ridges on.

The tail is just straight foam with crdboard sandwiched in and felt glued all around. I tried to sew it to my shirt but it was more effective to just pin it on. Here I am playing pool!

Here are some more pictures from the evening, Sarah is wearing the Marvin the Martian head that we made (all foam and felt, and netting on the eyes), my bother in Law Josh is Yosemite Sam (he made it himself! So proud!) and my sister in law Olivia and her boyfriend Morgan are Pepe le Pew and Penelope cat (she and my mother and law made these and they turned out AWESOME!).

And here is Katie and her fiance Chris in the Omeletteville costumes

And last but not least- a video Katie took of my roadrunner dance


Bad to the Bone!

Our dog Harper is a good girl at heart, but  she’s got a naughty side! The offenses: laying on our couches, getting into the garbage, begging for food, eating the cat’s food… GUILTY!!

This year I found the Simplicity 2519 dog patterns, I think this has been around for a couple years but they were all so cute I couldn’t resist! And the best part, they have a Harper dog modeling all the costumes 🙂  I was torn between the rabbit and the jail suit, Chris really wanted her to wear the tuxedo but ultimately the jailsuit won due to it being the quickest one to make.

The costume was simple, I had to cut it a few inches wider than the biggest size since Harper’s a little more rotund than Simplicity’s definition of an extra large dog. Luckily it fit her well! The underbelly closes with velcro and she had plenty of room to move around. 

Unfortunately I didn’t have enough material to perfectly match up the stripes, but I don’t think she minds. The hat was a little tricky because it was super stiff with interfacing,and the top circle had to be sewn to the crown after the crown seam was sewn. It involved some maneuvering around the machine. The instructions said to hand sew the elastic band to the crown, but I just used white thread to match the bottom stripe and machine stitched it, it blends in just fine and is a lot more sturdy. The most fun part was getting to use my font stitching and embroider Bad to the Bone on the front 😀  I had originally wanted to put “Bad Dog” however my brother in law Josh said that Harper would get a complex from people calling her bad dog all night, and I guess he has a point. Bad to the bone is pretty fitting though!

Even though Harper’s gotta do some time, I think she will score big on Halloween treats this year!

 


Bring em on into Omeletteville! Let the Halloween season begin!

It is finally my most favorite time of the year when I get to  break out the hot glue gun and create the most ridiculous costumes to wear out in public with my crunk friends! I am a huge Halloween freak >:)  Many of my friends recruit me to make them costumes and this is my first round, gotta start early!

My friend Katie and I have been obsessed with the Justin Timberlake’s skit Omeletteville on SNL (circa 2003) in which two neighboring breakfast joints Benny’s and Omeletteville go head to head. Its pretty hilarious, definitely Hulu it if you haven’t seen it. Anyhow, after watching this skit about 100 times Katie finally said, Eureka! This would be an awesome Halloween costume! And she and her fiance’s Halloween fate is now sealed. Obviously she is making him be “Benny’s bacon”

For my plan of attack I immediately thought… foam! You can get 2.5 yard rolls of this foam at Joann’s for $10 a yard, however I used 50% coupons. To make the omelette I cut one in half and sewed it together by hand with heavy duty thread. Then I cut the edges off to round it out into an omelette shape.

Since Justin’s head came through the side of the omelette I held it up to my husband to judge where to cut the holes for her head and her arms. The seam to close it would be the “fold” in the omelette where the cheese would be oozing out.

After getting everything cut out the next step was a lot of felt and a whole lotta hot glue. You can buy felt by the yard and get a ton of it for really cheap. It also appears that the bolts for felt are really huge too- bigger than 60″ but maybe I am imagining that- perhaps I should ask next time!  I got yellow for the omelette, I just laid the felt out flat and put the foam on top and just started gluing away. I didnt have much of a strategy except around the holes I cut the felt in wedges like a pizza to curl them around the edges and then just filled in the blank spots with extra. I added some felt to the inside of the omelette where her head popped out so you wouldn’t see the green inside.

Once all the yellow felt was glued on I used the scraps I cut off to make the cheese. I sewed these together into a strip with humps to resemble the cheese melting out, and I hot glued orange felt on these. I then sewed the cheese to the two sides of the omelette to close the seam.

I made the four finger white gloves with white felt on my sewing machine. Here is the final product- sorry for such a grainy photo, this is with my phone, and I am wearing boxer shorts and tank top underneath for the record!

The Benny’s bacon costume was built in the same way. I started with foam but measured it out into 4 strips, the front and back being wider. I held these up to Chris to mark where to cut the holes for the head and arms.

Next I glued on all the felt like I did for the omelette only it took muuuuuuch longer, I cut red and brown felt into wavy strips to look like fat running through the bacon strips. After covering the foam with all the felt I sewed the four pieces together into a block. For the eggs over easy I cut egg shapes and glued white felt to those as well, and made yellow yolks to glue in the middle. The best part about this Benny’s bacon costume is that it is fully funstional. If you have watched the skit there is a point where they get into a physical fight and Justin rips off the top egg leaving him with two eggs on the bottom that resemble… umm the nether region. I just added velcro to the top egg so that Katie could rip off the top egg as in the real skit.

Here it is! I will be sure to add pictures of Katie and her fiance Chris when they rock these out on Halloween with tights and the full get up.

This year my husband and I are going to be the Coyote and Roadrunner, right now a work in progress. More Halloween fun to follow!