Recent Sewing Projects

20 07 2010

OK, I realize that’s pretty generic.  I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been busy with other things (ummm… like 2 children).  It seems like by the time I get the kids in bed, I have time to accomplish one of the following:

  1. clean up
  2. work on a crafty project
  3. prepare food
  4. blog
  5. waste time on the computer.

At least it’s summer so there’s nothing on tv to add into the mix!  I marvel that people blog every day, let alone carry out the projects described on the blog, but I remind myself that a lot of those are commercially sponsored and therefore essentially real jobs, not just hobbies.  Anyway, I have been hard at work on 4 of those 5 things, although #2 is the only one that I have anything to show for.  Somehow, you can clean up and make food over and over and over, and you still have to do it again!  So here’s what’s been keeping me busy lately:


These are some Tinkle Time Trainers, made in the hopes of getting BB potty trained.  He turns 3 today!  So far, no luck.  He loves them, and wants to wear them, and will tell me all morning “I’m not peeing or pooing in my underpants!” up until he does and then it’s “Mom, I need a diaper change.”  Sigh.  They are not waterproof but they are lightly padded, so these accidents will get his shorts wet, but not the carpet.  Let’s just say it’s working better than real underpants…that was a mess.


So we just made friends with our neighbors, who have a little girl about BB’s age.  They were throwing out a doll stroller and I walked over to their house and snagged it from the curb.  It’s the first time I have picked up someone else’s trash, and I was a little embarrassed, but it was for a good cause.  See, BB always wants to push the stroller if we are going for a walk with LB.  Well, after crashing into this that and the other, it got to the point that I couldn’t take both of them out with a stroller; I carry LB and BB walks.  But, I figured that if BB had his own stroller, then he could push his, I could push mine, and we’d all be much happier.  So I snagged the old stroller.  I don’t have a “before” picture, but the seat was dirty and moldy from being left in the garage, since it was their second doll stroller.  But here it is all spiffed up!  I traced the old seat onto some fabric, bound it up in fold over elastic that I have left over from diaper making, and added this strap from a shopping cart cover.  It feeds through 2 large buttonholes in the seat, and it was the first time I’d done a buttonhole on my new machine, and it was awesome.  I’m very happy with the way it came out, and even more happy that now we can take our walks in peace.


This was a quick one… I picked up some fabric markers from Joann one day when they were on sale, and drew a Lorax on an old undershirt that my husband had sacrificed to the scrap bin.  I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, you are talented to draw something like that!”  Not at all.  How I did it was I printed out a picture, traced in in sharpie to make it darker, taped it under the shirt, then traced it.  I will take credit for a clever idea that made it possible though: I made a light box.  I couldn’t see well enough to trace just on a table, so I set a lamp under a glass coffee table, placed the paper + shirt on top, and voila!  Light box.  The tracing was easy after that.  Then I just sewed it on an Old Navy shirt.  BB loves this too; The Lorax is one of his favorite books and I had been wanting to do this for a long time.  He wore it for 2 days straight.


Then I finally got around to trying out this onesie with binding tutorial that I saw back in February (!).  I love how it came out!  It fits LB like a casing fits a sausage and it’s adorable but I will probably go bigger if I do another one.  It’s his beach outfit!


Finally, this wasn’t a sewing project but it’s also one I just finished recently.  So I bought this white carter’s onesie at a rummage sale, thinking I would dye it and paint it.  Well, when I dyed it, some stains really showed up, taking the dye up unevenly.  So, like before, I decided to paint over it.  And I did it the really easy way…I used the same stencil!  Last time I wanted a painted giraffe, so I cut out a giraffe shape and used the “frame”…well, I saved that giraffe.  This time all I had to do was iron it on, and make a square frame of freezer paper.  I did a gradient of blue to red to yellow, which was supposed to look like a giraffe silhouette at sunset, but BB thought it was a fire.  Hmmmm… Well, anyway, it covers the stain, which was between the giraffe’s legs.  It looks better when he’s standing up, although he can’t really do that yet…Hmmmmm…  Well, it’s cute.  And if he learns to stand soon, it might still fit…

So, that’s what’s new around here!  I will probably try another of the onesies with binding; I think it will be much easier the second time around.  He will look so spiffy at the beach!

Quick teacher gift

1 07 2010

The past month has been a blur!  We came back from vacation, and all of a sudden, I realized it was the last week of preschool for BB!  I had wanted to make some nice teacher appreciation gifts, but it’s hard to do when you realize THE DAY BEFORE that school is almost over.  I had to make something with what we had in the house, and it had to be quick!  When I was a teacher I liked food gifts (this led me to make chocolate covered pretzels at Christmas time for BB’s teachers…that was a fiasco I did not want to repeat!), and I thought I would do something a little more original than cookies, so I made granola.  BB helped me make it, using our regular recipe with a few tweaks.  Because he is my little monkey, I called it “Little monkey Granola”, and included banana chips and other tropical things. 

Little Monkey Granola

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • up to 3 cups nuts and other mix-ins
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix together oats and nuts (I used about 1 cup sunflower seeds and 1 cup cashews).  Then, mix the liquids: oil, honey, extracts, and cinnamon.  Spread in a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 300 F.  Take out and stir to keep the edges from getting overcooked—try to spread the middle stuff to the edges and the edge stuff to the middle.  After another 5 minutes, I pulled it out and added 1 cup of chopped banana chips and 1/2 cup coconut.  Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.  That’s it!  If you smoosh it down with a spoon before it cools, you will get some bigger clumps. 

My next dilemma… how to package it?  I was going to make bags out of the cellophane I had from Christmas (from the pretzel debacle), but when I brought it out from storage it had DEAD SPIDERS in it!  Eeeeeeewwwwww!  So I raided my stash of canning jars, figuring that if I can barely get dinner on the table these days I will not be doing much canning this year.  Here’s the final result:


The tags were a simple watercolor resist, so that was a fun project with BB also.  I wrote “thanks!” on watercolor paper, over and over, because he has lots of teachers, in white crayon, then invited him to paint away with watercolors.  It was not the best gift anyone ever made, but it was do-able in the VERY short amount of time I had!  To top it off, I made a little label for the top so they would hopefully understand the banana granola a little better:


Then we’ve been sick since school let out.  Fun!  I try to work on some projects, but it has been slow going.  I think we are all on the mend and hopefully have some more crafts to post in the not-too-too-distant future!