Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pajama Pants

In honor of my most repinned pin on Pinterest (say that three times fast), I decided I had to make these for my weekly Pinteractive post. So far this pin has gotten more than 175 repins! Crazy. I was just looking for a good tutorial on how to make some PJ pants for Parker.

I made him some out of an old Paul Frank robe and they weren't perfect. I wanted to keep the pockets from the robe, so the legs were a little wider than I'd like. Enter the great little tutorial from My Cotton Creations.

Parker likes anything and everything "rockstar" and this fabric was just too perfect. $1.50 a yard on clearance at Walmart. Score. I laid a pair of pants he already owns on top to determine the length. I added several inches for the elastic casing and bottom seams. I also wanted them to be slightly longer since he's growing like a weed.
Like the original tutorial I folded the selvedge edges in toward the middle like this.
But, to make things easier, I folded it over again and laid the old pants on top. Follow the edges of the old pair to make a pattern for the new ones. I added about an inch for seam allowance. Now you'll have two identical pieces - one for each leg.
Next, open up both pieces and lay them on top of each other right sides together.
Pin the crotches together and sew them with a straight stitch. I zigzagged the seams to reduce fraying. If only I had a serger.
Next sew up the legs and zigzag or serge the seams.
Grab your iron and double fold down the hems (so you won't have any fraying). Do the same to create about an inch channel for the elastic (I used 3/4 inch elastic). Sew them up, but leave about a two inch opening to insert your elastic. Measure and cut the elastic and insert using a safety pin. Sew the ends together and close up the whole. Tada! Pajama pants for under $2!
They were so easy and take about 20 minutes. I even made a pair of shorts for Dillon with some left over camo fabric (he loves everything camo). And a pair for me using the fabric I had left over from my simple skirt tutorial. Because I'm only a little bit wider than the boys, I couldn't use the fabric width to make the legs. Instead I decided on the width I needed and folded the cut ends in. It made for easier hemming, since the selvedge end was now on the waist and hem.
I'm going to make some t-shirts to go with the pants using my bleach stencil shirt process. What do you think, guitar for Parker's? Layered leaves for Dillon's?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dinosaur Habitats

The boys have been building "dinosaur habitats" in the backyard for a few weeks now. They are basically a bucket of water, rocks, grass and some plastic dinosaurs. Super cute. Right? The only problem with this is that they want to bring them inside. Uh, no.
So, I was thinking terrarium and saw this awesome one from Yellow Brick Home on Pinterest. I have these glass hurricane vase things from my MIL (they used to house festive holiday decos - like glass ornaments or Valentine's conversation hearts with a candle). They have been collecting dust in a cabinet for a while, so I washed them, loaded the boys up and headed to the Home Depot.

I couldn't find charcoal, so I hope they last. The original tutorial suggested a layer of rocks, one of moss, one of charcoal (for absorbing extra water) and one of potting soil. Since my my hurricanes have a little foot on the bottom, I hope the extra rocks will help with drainage.

We bought some succulents and ferns, moss and potting soil and reused the rocks from the fish tanks that no longer hold fish (RIP Fishy and Happy Fish II). Here's how they turned out. I love them (and those boys).
Here's how we made them. First, we washed the rocks (I was nervous about any residual fish germs). Then layered everything in the hurricanes like this: rocks, moss, potting soil. Next, we planted our little pants. To finish off the look, the boys decorated the top with dinosaurs, rocks and a little patch of moss (that's the grass). We watered them and done. The boys want to put them in their rooms, but I like them so much they are currently decorating our living and family rooms. Here is Parker's (the blue stuff on his chin is marker).
And Dillon's.
And a close-up.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Simple Skirts

I've been making some super cute skirts this week and thought I'd share. I bought this fabric on clearance at Joann's a few weeks ago. It was in the remnants, so I didn't have a choice as to how much I could buy. It was a little under a yard. It's a little shorter than I would normally make, but perfect for spring. And I do like wearing things a little low on the waist.

To make it, I cut two panels of fabric about 1.5 times my hip measurement (I just wrapped it around, no tape measure required).
2. Stitch them together on the sides (a simple straight stitch works great).
3. Next, I created a hem by double folding, ironing and stitching it. I did a similar fold/iron method around the top, but created about 1.5 inch channel for the elastic (leave about 1.5 to 2 inches  to insert your elastic).
4. To add a polished look, I put a quick seam around the top of my channel about 1/4 inches from the top.
5. Finally, insert the elastic (wrap it around your waist to determine the length) using a safety pin and sew the ends together.
6. Close the hole you used to put in the elastic and done. I love it!

I love it so much, in fact, that I made another one, but with pockets! I love pockets. Here's a great tutorial for the pockets. I had to take mine apart three times until I read the tutorial and could finally see how it works. This fabric is amazing - $3 a yard on clearance at Walmart. I bought all they had (2.5 yards) and have enough for some cute pajama shorts (more on those later). Pow! Here it is!
It's two inches longer than the brown one. Wore it yesterday and got tons of complements. Yay!

And there you have it. Two skirts for about six bucks.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Map Art Bridal Shower Gift

I went to a bridal shower this weekend for my cousin's fiance, who happens to live in the Denver area. My aunt came in town and we trekked across I-70 in the crazy wind.

I love personal gifts, but since I just met this lovely gal this weekend, I didn't know a whole lot about her. So, this is what I made.

I've seen a couple of similar ideas on Pinterest. Here and here. They are totally cute, but not exactly what I was looking for.

I bought a frame at Michaels for 50 percent off. Yay! And grabbed an old driving atlas from 2004. Since it was so old, I figured my husband wouldn't care if I ripped it apart. I also liked that there were close-up versions of each map, so I could get the detail I wanted.

First, I drew out my patterns on scrap paper. I folded it in half (so I could cut two patterns at once) and cut out the girl first. Then took the second pattern and cut off the skirt and hair, so they would be the exact same size. I know, genius.

Next, I located the towns each of the betrothed were from. In my case, Riverside, CA and Northglenn, CO. I placed the patterns on the maps, so I would get the name of the town in the chest area of the cutout, traced them lightly in pencil and cut them out. Here are those.

Nice and neat.

The next one wasn't as easy because the part of the map I needed was along a fold. After carefully piecing it together, I taped my people together, so they were holding hands and placed them on the map. Under the glass, you can't even see the patch job.

The lovely couple met at the National Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, NY. I loved that the map actually showed the location and name of the school.

The maps didn't stand out well on that awesome burlap paper (yep, it's paper), so I mounted them on black cardstock on cut them out again, giving a little black border. I played around with the idea of adding some kind of text, like the wedding date or the names of the bride and groom. But, in the end, I decided that wasn't needed.

The bride loved the gift and it was the most personalized gift at the shower, except for maybe the hilarious "wedding first aid kit" made by the bride's sisters, including "Man of Steel" underoos for my very embarrassed cousin.
wednesday's wowzers

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Favorite Jeans to a Purse

I've told you about them before - my favorite jeans. They remind me of having Parker (at least all the weight I lost so quickly after having him and having to buy all new clothes). I've been able to keep the weight off and he's now five. I even had another kid in there. So these jeans make me feel great.

Alas, they have finally bit the dust. The waistband is falling apart and the crotch is getting a little thin.

I really wanted to do something with them, so I made a purse. It was really tough, but worth it. Here it is:
It's a little bigger than I imagined, but it will be great for summer. I always carry extra stuff in the summer - sunscreen, water, snacks for the park.

Here's what I did (apologies that the photos aren't great, but I got frustrated a few times and had to switch up the plan a bit). First, I cut off the legs, just above the worn thing crotch.

I wanted to add some length to the bottom, so I picked out this awesome outdoor canvas, which I also used for the straps. I only bought 1/4 yard and it was plenty.

I created a rectangle with the canvas and added it to the bottom of the bag, folded up the corners and stitched all the way around to give it strength and stiffness.

I wanted to line the whole thing, so I used some denim I had laying around. I had to hand sew it all in, since it got too thick for my machine. I love the way it came out and use the pockets for my keys and cellphone.

My five year-old took the picture, which I thought was kind of fitting. Even though the picture isn't very good.

wednesday's wowzers

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Bunny Puppets

I've been wanting to make something for my niece for Easter. We always do a little something for each of the kiddos to share at Grandma's house. I saw these on Saturday and knew that was it (and the boys agreed).

Adorable, right? There's a great little tutorial including pattern there, but because I never follow directions, I decided to go for it on my own.

The originals were made of felt, but I made mine out of super soft white fleece. I just drew it out straight on the fabric and cut away. For the accent colors (the boys each wanted orange and I decided on red for my niece), I used some left over felt from our Angry Birds Backpack Pals (found here).

I used some embroidery thread for the eyes and mouth and cut a tiny little triangle of felt for the nose. After I was done embellishing the face, I sewed the color on the ears. Next, I pinned the ears in place and sewed the whole thing together on my machine. I left just about 1/8 inch seam allowance.

At the last minute, I decided to add a couple of cute little carrots for the kids to play with.

Cute, right.

They loved putting on puppet shows for everyone. The half wall at Grandma's made a great puppet theater.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rat's Nest Hair

I'm totally loving this Pinteractive challenge from Nanette at "Say It, Don't Spray It." If you're not familiar, the idea is to actually try the things you're pinning (at least some of them). Get it, Pinteractive? Today's inspiration came from a couple of different of recent pins on Pinterest. Here:
And here:

And the fact that, like an idiot, I cut my bangs AGAIN and am growing them out AGAIN. I've kind of patented the "Becca Braid." A french braid pulling just the front of my hair back and into a pony or bun. I decided to add some style to the Becca Braid/bun combo and came up with this.

I decided it looks like a rat's nest, but, you know, in a good way. Here's how I did it, in case you want to look like a rat made a nest on your head, but in a good way.

First, I did a Becca Braid. Start with a deep part and pull back and clip the hair you want to leave out, out of your way. When I braid, I only add hair from the front, not like a traditional french braid, where you add hair on one side and then on the other. I find it easier to keep out the unwanted hair (keeping the part straight) and makes the braid twist forward a bit making it more pronounced.

I braided all the way to the end and put a small elastic to hold it.

Next, make three low ponytails in back (one should include the end of your braid). I didn't make parts in this step, so it wouldn't show after making the rat's nest.

Take small sections of each pony and twist to form a loop. Pin it in place to hold the loop. I did about 3-4 loops with each pony, including looping the braid itself. I also made one little braid in each section to pull together the style.

Tada! My new favorite style. Rat's nest, but in a good way.

Here's a close-up of the Becca Braid. BTW - Have you ever tried taking a picture of the back of your head?
I rocked this last week with my sundress and sandals (it was 80 degrees) and today, I'm rocking it with jeans, boots, sweater and scarf (because it's Colorado and the weather here can change on a dime).