Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hooded Towel

Happy Holidays!!  Pockets here.  Did you all enjoy your turkey?  I certainly did.  One of my favorite parts of having a significant other is that now I get TWO turkey dinners instead of just one.  Score.

Anyway, this month one of my very bestest friends, Bird, is having a birthday party for her darling 1 year old.  Poor Birdlet has been the unfortunate recipient of many of my attempts at baby clothes and also the very first quilt I ever made.  So keeping the tradition alive of pawning off my crafts on her I decided to make a hooded towel.

There are a ton of tutorials for this on Pinterest.  I read a bunch, attempted one, failed horribly, tweaked the directions and ended up with an awesome towel!  So here's how I did mine!

I started with one towel and one hand towel.  Versions 1.0 and 2.0 respectively.

With 1.0, I shortened the hand towel to the suggested length.

However, this left one ginormous end (like the far right edge) that down the line, my machine could NOT get through.  It caused much screaming and frustation.  It also made the design on the hood slightly unappealing to the eye which I'll point out later.

On 2.0 I shortened the hand towel only in that I cut both bulky edges off.  This made it a breeze to sew later and the hood a bit larger than 1.0.

After this fold it in half so the cut edges are together.  Turn it 90 degrees and sew down the two short sides.

This will leave the longest side (the cut sides) open:

Next, put your left hand inside the opening and grab the top right corner.  Poke the corner in so your left hand can grab it.  

Take that top right corner and nestle it up against the inside top left corner.  You'll end up with this:

Pull the bottom right corner, where my hand is, open and your hood will start to form.

(see how one half has that decorative line and one doesn't?  That. drove. me. insane.  I opted for a different type of towel for 2.0 for that reason.  It might have turned out more symmetrical if I hadn't cut the other side so much that the same decoration is actually at the very bottom of the other half.  Also, bulky towel edge. GRRRRRAAAHHHHH)

 Arrange it to your liking.

This next step is important, do it immediately!

Put it on your head.  :D  And then send everyone you know pictures of yourself wearing ridiculous, toddler sized, KKK-esque, towel hood.  Seriously though, it's almost impossible to resist the urge to put this thing on your head at this point.  It's actually really warm, I can see why kids love it.  

Okay.  That's the hard part, now it's easy.  At this point your hood still has an unsewn opening down at the bottom.  The next step in a lot of tutorials is to just sew the hood as is to the towel.  I was completely unable to do this.  The design of the hood makes the two edges very uneven.  I sewed it as is and then had to rip it. I missed sections of the second edge so it left gaping holes.

So I threw an extra step in there and sewed the hood closed.  This is also where it is a god send to cut off those huge towel edges.  It will make the hood a tiny bit bunchy but I think that just adds to the coziness.

Now, sew it to the very middle of your towel.  I was so enraged at my machine not sewing through bulky towel on version 1.0 that I just sewed it on and didn't bother to check or pin.  I just wanted it done.  As expected, it's laughably off center.  I was much more careful with 2.0 and pinned very thoroughly.

I sewed it just one on top of the other.  I did NOT do right side to right side.  I wanted to try and keep the seam as minimal as possible.  After I sewed this I reinforced it with an additional zig zag stitch.  The towel is heavy and puts a lot of strain on this seam.

YOU'RE DONE!  Good job!!

Now put it on again!

An optional step is to add some embellishments.  I wanted to do a decrative edge stitch on the large towel but my stitches were so small compared to the wide edging on the towel.  I decided to attempt a monogram instead.  It turned out okay, not great.

Then I laid it out.  Folded the large towel up in half and then up in half again.  Then I rolled the edges in and tied some scrap fabric from the Birdlet's quilt around it and now I'm party ready!

I can't wait to see how she looks in this thing.  She's only a year old so I think she'll be swimming (hahaha) in it and I expect it to be ADORABLE!  Hopefully Bird will let me post some after pics.

What do you guys think?  Pretty easy craft?  It seems more complicated that it actually is.  On version 2.0 I think I spent, at most, an hour.  Let me know how yours turn out.

Thanks for reading!  Happy Holidays!!!



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dachshund Pajama Pants

I love all things Dachshunds, so when Pockets and I were out shopping yesterday, I saw this adorable Dachshund flannel print at Joann.  I had to buy it!


I decided it would make cute and comfy pajama pants.  So I found a tutorial on Pinterest and got to work!

About 2 yards of fabric
Sewing machine

First, use an existing pair of pajama pants as a pattern.  Fold the fabric over and place the pajamas along the folded edge.



I placed mine a little further from the edge so that the legs would be wider.

Next trace about an inch away from the pajamas; this will give you a seam allowance.

I used a pen, so the lines are a bit hard to see.

Next, cut the line, going through both layers.  It'll give you a weird looking piece like this:


Repeat on the other side of the fabric.

I just put the cut out pattern on the opposite side and traced it that way.

So you'll have to identical pieces:


Place them together, right side to right side, and stitch only along the curve.


So it's only sewn together by both curves.


Now, open it up and place both of the SEAMS of the curves together.



Next, sew up the curve of both legs.  I started at the middle and went down each leg separately, but you could do it from one leg up then down to the other leg.


Flip it right side out, and sew up each leg's hem.  I folded it under twice, then did a double hem.

Make sure you try it on before stitching your hem.  You may need to take more or less depending on your height.

Next, pin the top hem down about an inch (or however much you need to make a pocket for your elastic).


Sew all around the top, leaving only an inch open.


Use a safety pin to get the elastic through the sewed up pocket.  Sew the ends of the elastic together.


Stitch up the last inch on the waist hem and you're done!





They are oh so comfy!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Jellyfish Lamp!!

Hi guys!!!  It's Pockets!!!  Sorry I've been kind of AWOL lately.  I've done a few projects but they had such tight time constraints that I didn't take any process pictures. :'(  I do intend to make version 2.0s and I'll definitely do tutorials for them.

But anyway, I actually did do a tutorial for the project I finished today!  It all started with this:

It is an octopus umbrella.  Buttons' teacher friend drew this and it made her want to draw her own surrealist art.  That brings us to this:

The instant that I saw that jellyfish lamp I absolutely knew that I couldn't live without it.  :D  So I've been thinking about it for a few weeks and this is what I came up with.  I was going to buy a lamp and attach ribbon and beads to it's undersides.  The universe favored me in this endeavor because almost immediately I found THE MOST PERFECT LAMP EVER!!!  Behold!!!

I thought the ridges on the shade would look way more awesome than a smooth shade.  

Next I got some white wired ribbon (it's imperative that it be wired so you can curl it) and a bag of miscellaneous opal-ish colored beads.  This particular bag ended up having five sizes.

Attempt one at beading involved transparent quilting thread and it ended in disaster!  I thought about it for a few more days and decided that I was going to jewelry it up and use wire.  I bought some pale pink copper wire and my very first set of needle-nose pliers! YAY!  This method worked out much better.  I would bead from smallest to largest, make a tiny loop at the end when all the beads were on, and then flip it upside down.  This made a nice looking gradual tentacle and I just cut the wire a few inches above the first bead.

For the ribbon my first attempt worked out pretty darn well with one exception.  Fray check must be used.  The ribbon frays like crazy and looks terrible.  The other bizarre thing that happens is when you curl your cut segment, the wires will come out the other end.  Just snip those off once your ribbon is curled to your satisfaction and you'll be good to go.  I used my trusty Magic Wand:

Attaching these things to the lamp is still in its budding stage.  As of right now nothing is holding the strands to the shade other than a bit of bending and gravity. 

 It makes for an extremely fragile jellyfish.  Buttons suggested hot glue, and I think that would work for the ribbon but I'm not so sure about the copper wire. 

I think I'm going to leave it as is for now (except I'm toying with the idea of adding more strands).  I don't intend to move it much so I'll see how it holds up and for how long. 

Here it is with it's little light shining:

That's my lamp!!  What do you guys think?  Can you tell it's a jellyfish?  Any other animals we can make out of furniture?? 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Princess Peach Dog Costume

While out shopping many months ago, Pockets and I saw blue jumpsuits at Kohl's.  I am not a jumpsuit kind of person, but as soon as I saw them, I though "MARIO and LUIGI!"  So, we bought them and wanted to turn them into Mario and Luigi costumes for Halloween, Comicon, etc.  It's actually kind of funny because she is younger, taller, and thinner than I am.  *lol*  A perfect fit!

Anyway, I still need to make my Mario hat, and I'll try to get to it this week.  Still, wanting to stick with the theme, I decided to make Friday, my 7-year-old female Dachshund, Princess Peach!

I saw this outfit on Pinterest (you can buy it from Etsy), but I wanted to try my hand at making my own.


I chose fleece to work with because I already had a ton on hand (from my Pikmin hats over the summer) and because it's a very easy material to work with.  It doesn't fray, so you don't need to worry about hems.

First, I cut out the body, going to form a loop around Friday's neck, then down to her hips.


Friday is not the best model, so sometimes it was hard to get her to sit down.  Because of this, Mr. Smith--my 8-year-old male Dachshund--got to try on his sister's pretty princess outfit.


On the neck bands, I sewed two Velcro pieces--one inside, one outside--so the pieces would match up.



Next, I added a band around her waist to keep the garment in place.  I sewed a strip to each side.


Found where they met in the middle.


Trimmed it.


Then sewed on Velcro pieces.



Now, I had to make the neckline.  Peach has a dark pink collar at the top of her dress. For this, I bought four pieces of $0.34 felt at Joann.  I cut out the pieces to be elongated half circles.


I sewed them both on with just a straight stitch.



Peach also has a jewel on her gown.   I cut it out of yellow and blue fleece.


But I saved adding it for later, because I used the iron-on method instead of sewing.

Now I had to make the skirt.  I took the same pink fleece and cut out a rectangle that was nearly twice the width of the body.


I gathered one edge of the rectangle.  To do this with a sewing machine, you can use a ruffle foot.  I don't have that, so I had to gather it differently.  I started by straight stitching a seam all along one edge of the rectangle.  When you do this, you need to make sure the machine's stitch length is set to as long as it can go.


Then, once your stitch is complete (and DON'T backstitch at the start and end of your stitch; the thread needs to be loose, not set in place), pull on one piece of the thread to make a small gathered area.


Repeat this step, on both sides of the rectangle, moving the gathered portions towards the center of the material.  Once the larger rectangle is about the same width as the body, stop.


Pin the skirt to the body and sew!


Now the skirt ruffles.  The same sort of elongated half circles are used to create the skirt ruffle, but slightly bigger.  This was the hardest part of the outfit, getting these sewn on, on top of the gathered section.


Sew on with a straight stitch.


(notice my buttons rug under my sewing table?)  :D

For the crown, I wanted a 3D one to sit on top of her head, but I needed felt, and I didn't have that in yellow.  So I settled for a 2D flat piece.  I cut out the crown with three spikes, then sewed on two skinny, long threads to either side.  The threads could be tied under her chin to keep the crown in place.



Now for ironing on the jewels.  I bought a bunch of iron on fabric (Pellon Peltex 2), with adhesive on both sides, so it fuses your materials together.  It's very helpful when dealing with tiny fabrics.

I took my blue and yellow jewel for the dress and put the adhesive on the blue oval.


I placed it on top of the yellow.


Then, I covered the fabrics with a cotton buffer cloth (fleece will melt if it comes into contact with a hot iron).  Spray the buffer cloth with water, so it's damp, and iron.


Next, I flipped the jewel over, so the yellow side is face up.


I placed the buffer cloth back on top, dampened it, and ironed again.

With another piece of adhesive, I placed it on the dress, and the jewel on top.


I covered it with the damp buffer cloth, making sure to cover ALL the fleece!




Flip over, and iron again.

Do the same for the jewels on the crown.  Peach has a red one (I used dark pink) in the middle, then blue ones to either side.  For a full crown, the jewels would just switch between red and blue.  I only needed three; one for each prong.

(I wanted to use up my scraps.)

Put the adhesive side down on the crown.


Iron with damp buffer cloth.  Flip over, and iron again.  And then you're all done!




This was a VERY easy project.  It took about an hour, or an hour and a half, from start to finish.  The fleece made it super easy to cut and sew pieces together.  The hardest part was getting Friday to stay still long enough to try it on!

Maybe now I'll have to make Mr. Smith Bowser.  Hmmm...