Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pokeball Cookies

I've been wanting to make pokeball cookies for awhile.  With a class full of kids, now seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Typically when I dip cookies, I use Oreos.  But for the pokeballs, I wanted to have them be a bit bigger so I could get the details easier.  Instead of Oreos, I used Chips Ahoy Thin chocolate chip cookies.  Personally, while I think the Oreos taste better dipped in white chocolate, the finished product I had was sill very delicious!

First, I heated a whole bag of Wilton white chocolate melts.  I wound up adding 2 tbps of olive oil to dilute it.  It was still too thick.

I dipped half the cookie into the chocolate and put it on wax paper to set.

Once I was finished with all the unbroken cookies, I spooned the rest of the white chocolate into a piping bag and piped white circles for the Pokeball's release button.

When the white chocolate was set, I dipped the other half in Wilton red melts.

Next, I melted about a half a cup of semisweet chocolate chips inside a piping bag.

With them melted, I piped a line between the red and white chocolate, adding a small circle in the middle.

While it was still wet, I placed one of the white circles on top.

They turned out adorable!  And they were very easy to make!  I hope the kids enjoy them!


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dog Bed/Cushion Cover

This year, our classroom inherited a little cushioned bench for our "cool down" area.  The bench, though, has seen better days.

My teacher asked me if I could sew a cover for the cushion.  The bench had a skirt around the bottom that was red and white chevrons, so I looked through my fabrics for something that would match.  After sifting through tons of options, I found this adorable dachshund print that I got at a craft show earlier this year!

As luck would have it, this piece was just big enough to make the top and bottom panels of the covers.  So I found a red and white polka dot cotton for the sides.

I had to get a bit creative with the layout of the sides since I didn't have enough full pieces to fit.  I had to trim the two side pieces and construct the back piece from four smaller cuts.  This worked out okay since I had to add in a zipper to get the cushion in and out.

To start, I sewed the front piece to the long side of the dachshund fabric, right side to right side.

Next, I sewed on both sides, letting the corners overlap a little.

Next, I joined the corners, forming a box.

Now for the hard part, the back panel.  I took two smaller pieces that were the same length as the zipper and sewed them together.

I ironed the seam flat.

Then I sewed down the zipper onto the closed seam, making sure to sew down the opening and closing edges of the zipper to keep my seams from unraveling.

With a seam ripper, I opened the seam in between the opening and closing edges of the zipper.

With that done, I sewed it onto two smaller pieces of the polka dot fabric to get the correct length.  Then I sewed the whole thing onto the back.  Finally I finished up the last two corners.

After that, it was just sewing on the bottom panel.  This was simple since the zipper allowed me to flip my cover inside out.

Now, long story short, I misunderstood the idea of the bench.  The cushion on top doesn't come off!  I made a cushion cover where the cushion needs to be put inside.  Whoops!  So instead, I turned this into a makeshift bunbed for my dachshunds.  I just put two pillows inside, one on either end, leaving a small gap in the middle.  For some reason, they love sinking into the indent.

For the bench at school, I just did the same thing, except instead of adding a bottom panel, I made the sides long enough to cover the bench from top to bottom--almost like an extra long table cloth.  That way, I didn't have to match with the red and white chevron pattern; I used a cute brown swirl fabric for the top, and a brown plaid for the sides (which you can see in the picture behind my doggie)!


Teacher's Apron

For school this year, the teacher I work with asked me to make her a teacher's apron to wear around the classroom.  This would help keep her phone, notepad, pencils, etc. all within reach at any given moment.  It's actually a great idea for teachers to have!  For the project, she provided me with a yard of ASU print cotton fabric.

I searched online until I found a tutorial that I wanted to mimic.  I found this amazing one from Sugar Bee Crafts.  Though their aprons were for working at craft booths, the style was one that could be useful for teachers as well.

I also had a small cut of a maroon fabric that matched perfectly, so I incorporated that into the design as well.

First, a list of materials:

Two 12" x 19" rectangles in the main fabric
Two 9" x 19" rectangles in the contrast color
Two 6" x 19" rectangles in the main fabric

Of course, you can have these all be the same, you can have them all be different.  It's really customizable.

Also, you'll need 3 yards of bias tape.  I found this to be the easiest way to finish the top hem and make the ties that go around the back.

First, start with the two 6" by 19" rectangles.

Sew them together, right side to right side, along the TOP hem only.

Fold it over and iron the seam flat.

Repeat this for the 9" by 19" rectangles.

I used the red on the outside to help break up the pattern, and the ASU fabric on the inside.

Next, measure your 6" x 19" pocket and mark the fabric with pins at the 1/4 point, the 1/2 point, and the 3/4 point (that is, 4 3/4 inches, 9 1/2 inches, and 14 1/4 inches).

Place the 6" x 19" rectangle atop the 9" x 19" rectangle.

Pin them together with the smaller piece on top.  Sew a zigzag stitch from the top of the 6" x 19" piece to the bottom at the 4 3/4 inch mark and the 14 1/4 inch mark.  Your stitching will secure the smallest pockets to the larger pockets in back.

Next, take only one piece of the 12" x 19" fabric.  Place the sewn part on top.  Stitch from the top of the 9" x 19" piece to the bottom at the 9 1/2 inch mark.  This will secure both of the top layers to the bottom.

This gives you two pockets on the middle row, and four on the bottom.  

Now lay the last 12" x 19" piece of fabric atop the sewn part, right side to right side.

Sew down the side, along the bottom, and up the other side.  This leaves the top hem completely open.  Flip it inside out and press the seams.

For the top, you can measure exactly how long you need the bias tape to be in order to wrap comfortably around your waist.  I wanted to make sure there was enough tape to go around the back and to the front again, so I used the whole 3 yards that came in the package.

With the center of the bias tape, pin it to the center of the apron.

Sew a straight seam along the top side the whole length of the apron only.

Fold the tape over and stitch from the center all the way along the right side of the tape until you reach the end.  This secures the other side of the tape to the apron, and also closes off the tape used as the ties.  Repeat from the center to the left side.  At the end, fold the last inch of tape under and sew it closed.

And that's it!  These aprons are cute and functional!  They have many other uses besides just being in a classroom!


Friday, July 29, 2016

Mermaid Tail Blanket

I've seen several articles about mermaid tail blankets, yet most of them seem to be sites that sell them, not tutorials on how to construct them.  When I first saw these adorable blankets, I knew I wanted to make one for Pockets.  She loves mermaids!

First, I had to come up with a pattern.  I taped old printed pages together and outlined how I thought it should look.

Once I got it about right, I folded the pattern in half (hot dog) and cut it out.  This ensured that both my side slopes were even.

With the left over pages, I made a pattern for the fins.

Next, it was time to start cutting out my fabrics.  I found this soft, light, jersey knit that reminded me of scales.  I used this for the tail.

For the fins, I used a solid green knit.

With my pattern atop the fabric, I cut it out, making sure it was aligned as straight as possible.

Then, I flipped the pattern upside down and cut out another piece.  This allowed me to get both pieces out of only a yard of fabric.

After that, I assembled my fin patterns atop the green knit.  I cut out two of each fin at the same time.

After they were cut out, I kept them together to ensure that I could make sure they wound up mirroring each other on the final product (more on that in a bit).

I set up the fins where I wanted them to go (about three inches from the bottom).  Now, I had one piece that was the "front" of the blanket, and the other piece that was the "back."  The front and back need to be mirror images of each other since they will be sewn right side to right side.  To ensure that this happened, I took the right fin on the right tail and flipped it to the left fin on the left tail.  That would mean when these two pieces line up on top of each other, they fit perfectly.  (Even thought both fins were traced from the same pattern, I figured there would still be little inconsistencies.)

Next, I pinned the fins in place, laying them right side to right side with the tail fabric.

Once all the fins were sewn down, it should look like this.

Next, lay the two pieces together, right side to right side.

Starting at the bottom, sew up the right side, around the fin to the top.  Repeat on the left side.  Leave the top open.

To finish the top seam, I used a thin, black bias tape.

And since I had the pattern, I made another one!  The second was flannel.