Thursday, December 22, 2016

Phichit Chulanont Hamster Hats

The season finale of Yuri on Ice left me with many different emotions: happiness, contentedness, a bit of disappointment, hope for the next level.  But above all others: inspiration!

There is so much about this show that is praiseworthy.  The plot (and plot twists), the animation, the relateable characters, the healthy relationships.  This anime was a powerhouse from start to finish.  It's been a long time since something struck me so deeply.

In the finale, we got a peek into many of the skaters' minds as they performed.  I think I speak for the entire fandom when I say how sweet and perfect Phichit's inner monologue was.  He's such a bright ray of sunshine.  Optimistic.  Confident.  A skilled skater with a ton of potential.  I think the world needs more Phichits to brighten up the day!  His dream of having a skate show because he wants "everyone in Thailand to know how fun figure skating is" can't get anymore beautiful!

And those costumes!  So over the top!  I adore everything about that idea, and would love to see this in an OVA!

Moving on.  Phichit's imagination made me start thinking about the adorable hamster hats, and how easy they would be to make.  Of course, my version goes for ease over 100% correctness, so there are a few modifications from the ones the skaters wear in the ice show.

First, I started out with this template.  I've used it several times for many projects and love how functional and customizable it is.

I traced it onto a bronzeish-brown fleece fabric.

Then I cut two white rectangles for the cheeks of the hamster.

Next, I cut out two rounded pieces in brown for the ears.

They need to be folded over like this.

Then I added a white part in the center.

I used a blanket stitch to put them together.

I sandwiched the ears in between the two brown hat pieces and sewed both sides of the seam.

After that, I stitched shut the V on the top.

Next, I sewed the white rectangles together, right side to right side, along both short edges to form a band.

 I folded the band in half then sewed it to the brown part, right side to right side.

Since the hats are small (and my head is tiny), I folded the brim up.  This gave it a cuter, fluffier look.

Next, I got a piece of white fleece and sewed a line down the middle for teeth.

I cut out a nose and two eyes (and two white eye shimmers).

To save time and energy, I used a hot glue gun to attached all the added details.

And it's finished!  It took me about an hour!

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!