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!

Wardrobe refashion–Stain removal the easy way?

2 04 2010

Do you have kids?  If you answered yes to that, then you have clothing with stains that will never come out.  Give up now and save yourself the trouble!  I found this great idea ages ago for salvaging those hopelessly stained clothes: paint over the stain!  So simple, and yet so brilliant.  I haven’t had time to sew much lately, so this was a quick little project that gave all the satisfaction of creating a new shirt.

The shirt in question?  This nice, simple shirt that fits and matches most of the pants BB has in his wardrobe.  I was heartbroken to learn that the GRANOLA BAR he drooled all over it was apparently something that does not come out in the wash.  (Bangs head in frustration.)

Before: see the granola-drool track?

So, what should have been a super quick project became sort of involved when I couldn’t find my freezer paper.  It’s a giant box, which tells you how out of control my sewing area had become.  After 2 days of organizing, I located the sneaky box of freezer paper and set to work.  I asked BB what animal he would like on his shirt, and he said enthusiastically, “A lobster!”  He loves lobsters and I think it will be a sad day when he learns the fate of the lobsters at Wegmans, who he loves to visit.  Anyway, I was aiming for “giraffe” because a long thin stain needs a long, thin animal to cover it, so this is an example of why you shouldn’t ask questions you already know the answer to.  I printed out a picture of a giraffe, scaled to cover the stain, cut it out, and set to painting.  And voila!

After: Stain? What stain?

Bits of the stain still peek out a little, but it’s not nearly as noticable as it was before.  As the temperatures start to go up here at last, I’m happy to put this shirt back into rotation!  There you have it, stain removal the easy way not-so-easy-but-still-pretty-quick-and-more-fun-than-scrubbing-with-Shout way!

Freezer paper stencils

9 02 2010

I saw this tutorial a while back on painting shirts using freezer paper stencils, and it sounded like a great idea.  But I never had any blank shirts, so the idea laid dormant in my mind for a long time.  Then I found this tutorial over at MADE, a blog that is having all boy ideas this month… yay!  (Do you get the feeling I spend too much time browsing online tutorials?)  I have lots and lots of t-shirts that are ready to retire, so 2 white shirts and a green one became these:

Blank shirts, fresh off the serger

Then I drew some little robots onto freezer paper, and cut them out.  I wanted something that said “Big brother” and “Little brother”, without using those exact words.  Here’s the final product:

Big robot, little robot

Because, really, what’s the point of having 2 kids if you can’t dress them in matching outfits?