Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jedi Robes for kids

I did it, I made 2 Jedi Robes for my boys for Christmas.  The long brown outer robe and the white tunic underneath, plus a belt.  I made it from a combination of an online tutorial plus my own adjustments for kid size.  This was my biggest sewing project attempt to date.  It even involved a Skype consultation with my mom when I got stuck along the way.  Because these robes were a secret project, I used the boys snowsuits and sweaters to figure out measurements.  I made them deliberately big and hemmed it up a bunch of times so they can still use them as they grow.  The online tutorial I used you can find here and found it very helpful.  I did have to make adjustments with sizing, this was only problematic with the hood.  The hood was way too big for a kid sized costume.  I ended up measuring the along the length of the neckline so get the right hood length and made the width smaller than what their tutorial recommends.  It worked.  Here's a few pictures of my process.

 Ironing the miles and miles of fabric. 

 Cutting the outline using the snowsuit.

 Pinning it together .

 Using a sweater to figure out the tunic.

My little Pad-O-Wan learner on Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Making a Photo Album Book Cover

I'm one of those people who try to figure out how to make stuff off the cuff.  Now that I'm more comfortable with sewing and using my sewing machine,  I wanted to figure out a little project on my own.  So I thought to do this.  Friends of ours have a son who loves taking pictures.  We figured a photo album would be a nice gift for him.  I thought I'd personalize it with an album cover. 
I took a fat quarter and lay the album on top of it.  I cut around the perimeter, giving an extra 3 inches on either side and an extra inch on the top and bottom.  I then sewed up the edges. 

I then measured where the fold would be on both ends, pinned it and sewed up the line.  I checked to make sure the fit was good.

I finished it off by hand sewing his first initial, "B" with embriodery thread.  I'm not great at this yet, but I think it worked out okay. 

The word back from his mom was that he loved the album, especially the B on it. 

Twin Dolls

I did mention that I was making two of those cute little dolls for Christmas gifts this year.  One my niece and another for my daughter.  Here are the two dolls together before I shipped my niece's off to her.

My niece was apparently thrilled with her doll, and said it looked just like her.  Well she does have long brown hair.  My daughter, well, she likes chewing on the legs (she's 11 months old).  I'm pretty pleased with them, I think they are cute.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Purses for Little Girls

I made three of these little purses as Christmas gifts for a few little girls we know this year. I hope they like them. I think they are super cute and were easy and fun to make. You can find the tutorial I used at Skip to my Lou here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rag Doll

One of the little rag dolls I'm making is finished. This one will be shipped off for my niece Sadie to open on Christmas morning. I think she's pretty cute (Sadie and the doll). I followed the instructions and pattern at Make Baby Stuff Dot Com. You can find this pattern here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Aunt Lindy's Paper Dolls

I fell in love with these paper dolls on Etsy. They reminded me of 2 things, one the Campbell's Soup kids and two, the Strawberry Shortcake set of stuffed dolls my mom had made me when I was a kid. They were a fun little project to do and I'm sure my daughter will love them when she gets them under the tree this Christmas.
The boys also had fun helping me make these. They loved the stuffing! They stuffed all the little animals.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Pincushion

I'm still pretty new to sewing.  The pincushion I have is the traditional tomato with a strawberry attached to it.  (I just found out that the strawberry is filled with emery, to sharpen your pins with - I'd always wondered about that).  So the other day, I was searching for a needle for a little bit of hand sewing.  Where the heck were all my needles?  Inside the pincushion.  I took out all of my pins and started pushing into the cushion.  I found a dozen needles trapped inside.  So now, I'm thinking I need a different pin cushion, one where the needles don't get lost.  I did a little google search and found out that this a big thing in the sewing world.  There are all sorts of really cute little pincushions out there.  I'm a little overwhelmed at the possibilities, but inspired all the same.  I'll let you know what I come up with.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Current Projects

Yes, I'm still creating - I've got Christmas in mind right now.  My kids are getting homemade things from me this year.  I've been working on rag doll for my daughter and niece and looking to make Jedi robes for my boys.  The dolls should be done this week (provided my daughter doesn't have any more late for her nights of needing mama) and I'm hoping to start the robes next week (hopefully keeping the secret from the boys). 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Playing with my iPhone

I read an article this week about phone camera photography.  I love photography and my Canon Rebel.  I look forward to the day where my "Kris's Camera Lens Fund" has enough $ in it to get a really good lens.  But let's face it, most of the time my handy camera is the one on my iPhone.  It's always with me.  So I did some playing around with it to see if I could get any really neat shots.  Here's what I came up with:

 This was the first picture that made me think that the iPhone Camera was actually capable of taking good pictures - normally I'd try a shot like this with my Rebel
 I've been trying to play with angles a bit - I like that I caught the angle plus the expression - I think it adds to it
 I think this is a good caught in the moment picture - a great thing about the camera phone is that it's always handy so you can capture your exploring around stuff easily
 I really like the clarity here.
I think this is neat because my son is quite clear, but there's motion in the blur of the rest of the shot

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Great Giveaway and a Great Cause!

Momma Chef is a new to me blog.  She is hosting her first giveaway of a beautiful nativity set.  You can find her giveaway here.  More importantly, she is selling them with the intention of donating the money to a wonderful cause, Comfort Quilts.    Comfort Quilts is a fantastic project that takes the uniforms of fallen safety officers and turns them into a quilt for the family to cherish.  This is the first I'd heard of this project site, but I think it's a fantastic idea.  I wish them well in their endevours.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Organised

So my husband in a very-loving sort of way suggested that I may want to find a place for my sewing machine and all the projects that I've got on the go. Apparently, he wanted to use the dining room table for eating at or something. And the Rubbermaid tub wasn't exactly what he had in mind for decorating our living room. So, during my most recent mad fit of organization, I cleared out our wooden chest, putting my photo albums and scrapbooks that once lived there into rubbermaid tubs bound for the basement storage area and cleaned it up for my sewing stuff. Looks great don't you think? I also put a couple of dryer sheets in here to keep everything from smelling musty.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Look what came in the mail!

Isn't this the most adorable thing? This my friends is my first etsy purchase. I got it from Sibling Arts. This is their Great Aunt Lindy Paper Dolls, doll set. And they are so cute! My mom made me similar kinds of dolls but Strawberry Shortcake ones when I was little. These dolls are for my daughter and I am so looking forward to making them!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Teapot has a new hat!

Once upon a time I had a beautiful blue teapot with a lovely tea cozy made by my mum. Being a tea grannie, this was one of my favorite things. Unfortunately, there was a small incident involving said tea pot, cozy and a stove burner that left me teapot-less, tea cozy less but lesson learned to not leave my tea pot on the stove. My teapot was replaced with my cute little white one, but for the past year I have not had a cozy to warm my tea. One sewing machine later, I figured this would be a good little learning project for me. I chatted with my mom who makes her own tea cozies and read an online tutorial at The Rusty Bobbin to give me direction and just went for it.  It's made with 2 fat quarters (the inside fabric is a simple teal that matches the ribbon and daisy dots and a little bit of quilt batting.  I know it's a little wonky, but I think it's kinda cute.  It looks like a 1920's hat when it's lying flat.  And now, my 2nd cup of the tea in the morning will be warm.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Creative Son

My 6 year old is really into Star Wars these days. Here's a picture he did of the Battle of Hoth that he asked me to share on one of my blogs. I think it's pretty cool.  (It's about 4 feet long)

My letters are up

I finally put the stuffed letters up above my daughter's crib. I attached ribbons to the back of them to pin them up. The mini quilt below them is one my mom did for me years ago that I just love.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Making Stuffed Letters

I mentioned a few posts back that I really wanted to try my hand at making Stuffed Letters. This was a total, typical Kris moment of "I think I can just do it so I will" - there's always bound to be a learning experience in there somewhere - this project was no exception to that! 
I started by first drawing out the letters to my daughter's name.  It took a while for me to figure out exactly how I wanted them to look (you can see the lines showing through the back of a rejected style).  I would make the letters thicker, were I to do this again.  You'll see why later on,
Once the letters were drawn, I cut them out and began.

I folded my washed and ironed (see I've already learned a little about working with fabric) fabric in half (good side out each way).  I pinned the letter to it and cut that out. 

I then removed the pins, separated the 2 letters, flipped them over, re-matched them so that the rough sides were now facing out and re-pinned.

Then I began sewing all the perimeter, leaving a gap in one part for the later steps of turning the material inside out and stuffing everything.
*side note #1 - don't sew the middle hole of a letter like A - it doesn't work to flip it inside out
*side note #2 - I experimented a bit with how to turn the material when sewing so I didn't have to start and stop and re-start with every angle.  I think I figured out how to do it, but if any of you sewers have tips for me as the the proper way to do that, that would be great.
*side note #3 - If I did this again with the letter A I would leave 2 gaps for stuffing - one on either 'foot' of the A - I ended up ripping out one the foots as I could get the stuffing to go around corners very well. 

Get ready to flip the material inside out, so that the good side is now showing.

Here's everything turned around.

Now stuff - I found a chopstick very hand for this part.

Now sew the stuffing holes shut and you have a stuffed letter.  On further reflection, I wish I had picked another letter of my daughter's name to show you all, because of all the problems the letter A gave me, it looks a little wonkier than I would have liked, but the final project of all the letters together looks great.

*Update: I posted on "How to Make O's, A's and other tricky letters" check it out here!

Went Fabric shopping - Here's what I bought

I had a lovely day off last Monday. My mom and Nana were in town and took my middle child out for the day. My oldest child was at school. My husband was at the University so it was just me and my baby girl. I really was overwhelmed with the possiblities that lay before me. I seldom get quiet time (not counting my hour before bed). I decided to go shopping. I went back to Sew Sisters. It was so nice to go with time. I'm still new at sewing, but extremely inspired. There were 2 fabrics that caught my eye the last time I was in, but with my boys and their energy abounding I really didn't get to have a good browse. I found the first fabric and ones complimentary to it wrapped up in a fat quarter package. How could I resist?
Okay, well, really only 5 of these fabrics were in the original packet. I found a few more that matched and got them too and then put them altogether once I was at home. But aren't they pretty? I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet.
The real reason I came back was to take another look at this bee fabric. I really, really like it. I like it so much that I found other fabrics that I think go with it. And once I get a better feel for sewing, I have these fabrics planned into my first, me-designed-not-following-a-quilt-kit-quilt. I'm so excited about this. And nervous. But I look forward to it. I like creating and being able to look at something and thinking, "I made that".

Giveaway Alert

I love the blog world community. You have friends who blog who have other friends who blog who have friends that you just know from their blog. This is one of those stories with a happy ending of a giveaway. Visit Me and My 2 guys to find a great giveaway going on now! Right now - here

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Adventures in sewing - baby pants and a headband

I bought this great stash of this purple fleece from the clearance bin. I thought that it would make some comfy pants for my daughter for when the weather got cold. I found the pattern at Make Baby Stuff . Com. It was aa very easy pattern to sew (even for a beginner like me). I kinda wish I had first made a pair with a different material because I found the polar fleece really thick to sew with (especially where the layers doubled up). But I did it! My first pair of pants! You can find the online pattern and tutorial here.

Seeing as I had the sewing machine out anyway...
I stumbled on this really easy baby headband pattern on the same site. This was really fast to make. I think I'll be making a few of these once I get a stash of really cool scraps. This pattern and tutorial are found here

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A couple more cakes

This is one of my earlier cakes and the first one I did with a rental pan. Rental pans are great for easy cake decorating. They come with step by step how to instructions. I get my pans at the Bulk Barn.

If you can see the cake in this picture. (this is what happens when you don't keep good photo files and go searching for pictures). This is my Elmo cake I made for my oldest son's 2nd birthday. It's also from a rental pan. The most difficult thing was getting the icing to be RED. Buy red icing if you can find it! It takes an insane amount of food dye to get a good red colour. I used the thick food dye from Wiltons to get the red colour.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Cakes

If you are visiting from Pinterest, thanks for checking my cakes out! I've updated this post to link back to my recipe site where there are more cake details.
This was my son's 3rd birthday cake, the only thing difficult about it was getting the orange colour.

This is the cake I am most proud of making, it was a lot of work to get the Canucks symbol, but I did it!

This was the cake I fought at making, but it turned out alright. Click here to find my original post.

This is proof that renting one of those cake pans from the Bulk Barn is worth it.

This is my favorite cake. It was so easy and so much fun to do.  Click here to find my original post.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


One thing I look forward to each year is decorating cakes for family birthdays (or other random events that involve cake). These were my boys' cakes for their 2010 birthdays. My cakes are made from scratch and the designs are me being creative. I did take a cake decorating class with my mom about 10 years ago (I can't believe it was that long ago!). She's recently got back into decorating with a group of friends (one who runs her own catering/cake business and makes the most beautiful cakes). I just like to do it when the time calls for it.
If you are visiting from Pinterest, thanks for checking my cakes out!  I've updated this post to link back to my recipe site that has a few more cake details on it.  The Cars Cake can be found here and the Spider-Man Cake can be found here.