Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

My sister is having a baby girl in a few months and I wanted to make her something as she enters her most exciting phase of pregnancy – the nesting phase!  I’m so excited that I get to sew for a girl now!  I love making things for Ethan… but, this is sort of refreshing and different, ya know?  And all the girly fabric out there… oh my, it is overwhelming but so much fun to look at!  Anyway, the first sewing book I ever purchased was Simple Sewing for Baby by Lotta Jansdotter.  I finally took it off the shelf, dusted it off, and made the baby snuggler that I’ve wanted to make for ages!  Actually, I’ve made a couple things from this book before but they were really simple – the giraffe and the simple pants - two of my first projects sewn two years ago. This baby snuggler wasn’t too bad to sew up but it did take some time for me to put together.  I worked super slow on it, making sure the darts and notches matched up.  And I’m glad I did – because I love it!  Hopefully, this baby will like to be swaddled.

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

The outside fabric is from Birch Organic Fabric’s Storyboek II collection called Meadow Friends Shroom.  I just love this fabric!  It’s girly but not so much.  But it definitely has that baby vibe.  The lining is a super soft flannel in ivory by Robert Kaufman.  I bought the fabric from my local fabric shop, Momen+, but you can usually find it online here.

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

Oh, and the pattern is also free here if you’d like to make a snuggler and don’t have the book yet! It’s the perfect newborn gift.

I didn’t have a baby to model so I used one of Ethan’s stuffed friends.  He insisted on being in the photos so here they are!  His favorite part seems to be the velcro.

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

xoxo, Jen

It’s a Spider!

Hello, there!  It’s been a while since I last posted, but I won’t go into detail as to why… Life pretty much just got in the way, and I was taken away from blogland.  Boo!  I know.  But Halloween is this week and I couldn’t go without sharing my first costume I made for Ethan!

He chose to be a spooky black spider and it sounded easy enough to sew up.  I was inspired by the one over at Pottery Barn Kids and wanted to make one similar.  This was a series of firsts for me… and it was an awesome experience!  I drafted the pattern on my own, made a muslin pattern, lined the costume, and sewed a hood!  Pretty cool, huh?  And, it turned out decent!

The legs didn’t turn out the way it’s supposed to but that’s ok.  I had wanted the legs to stick out and bend down, but I couldn’t figure out an easy and safe way to do it.  I tried floral wire but it was too sharp for a kid’s costume.  So I ended up just stuffing it with poly-fil and left it at that.  Aren’t I so original? This spider will just have skinny, floppy legs.  Super spoooooky!

It's a Spider! {chirpy threads}

The outer fabric is fleece (which I love sewing with because it’s so easy) and the lining is a knit jersey.  I lined the entire piece with knit and I loved how it felt inside!  Yup, and I used a plain old regular needle for this.  I had intended to buy a ball point needle after reading about sewing with knits but I completely forgot about it while at the fabric store.  But it turned out fine – no broken needles – yay!

It's a Spider! {chirpy threads}

I made fleece pants to go with the costume.  I used the Playground Longies pattern by Apple Dumpling Gear.  I’ve sewn this pattern up so many times.  It’s a super easy one.  And I just love the contrasting booty part – diaper or no diaper, it’s so comfy as play pants for little ones.  I left the bottom unhemmed because I didn’t realize how tall my munchkin was and made them a tad short.  Oh well, just glad that fleece doesn’t fray!

It's a Spider! {chirpy threads}

Ethan wanted green eyes – so he got them!  Actually, he wanted eight green eyes, which made total sense, but I didn’t feel like sewing eight eyes.  He settled.  Ah, it’s great to make things for him while he’s still so young.  He accepts my opinions… with a little bribe (or two).  Ha!

It's a Spider! {chirpy threads}

Happy Halloween, guys!  It feels so great to be back on here!

xoxo, Jen

Pretty Packaged Invitations

chirpy threads | pretty packaged invitations

A very awesome friend of mine is turning FORTY in a couple weeks and I volunteered to help design her party invitations.  I love doing these sorts of things!  She’s having a My Favorite Things party — and, I had no idea what that was until she explained it to me!  Then, I searched for it and found it everywhere, especially on Pinterest!  Wow, really, where have I been?  It’s super popular!

Anyway, I loved the idea of brown paper packages tied up with string.  It’s so simple, so classic, so PRETTY!

The invitations themselves were simple.  The wording came from here.  Just tweaked it a little bit.  The fonts I used are You Make Me Smile and Janda Curlygirl Chunky.

chirpy threads | pretty packaged invitations

Before I share with you the details of the packaging, a BIG shout out to my friend, the Silhouette Cameo!  Without you, I couldn’t have done it.

chirpy threads | pretty packaged invitations

The envelopes were photo sleeves.  The cards could easily be slipped in and out without having to pull apart the pretty string.  The design came in a 4″x6″ size so I resized it to fit the 5″x7″ invitations.  They were cut using the Silhouette.  I used Kraft card stock – my favorite!  They were so easy to put together.  Just fold on perforated lines, glue down tabs, and you have your envelope.

chirpy threads | pretty packaged invitations

The tags were also cut using the Silhouette.  This was a free design that was already in my library, so if you own a Silhouette, you should have it too!  I cut out the reinforcement circles out of Kraft cardstock for some cute contrast.  The names were each hand-stamped, letter by letter.

chirpy threads | pretty packaged invitations

Now for the wrapping… get some baker’s twine and wrap it around your envelope three times.  Then, insert one end through the hole of the tag and tie a bow.  Add a strip of washi tape on front of the envelope if you wish… and you’re DONE!

chirpy threads | pretty packaged invitations

Pretty and simple!  If you don’t have a Silhouette, you can find other pretty envelopes to wrap in string — it adds some charm and character to an otherwise boring piece of mail, don’t you think?!

xoxo, Jen

Superhero Birthday!

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party

My little guy turned three last week and our superhero themed birthday bash turned out successful!  It was super fun.  And all those late nights of cape sewing were totally worth it. Totally.  But, since I waited until the week before the party to make my decorations, I didn’t get to everything I had planned on my list.  I managed to pull most of it off though!

So….. this was totally a cheater party….. shhh!  If you’re familiar with the Hostess with the Mostess blog (HWTM), you may recognize this theme.  Yup, I borrowed the theme from HWTM!   Actually, while perusing Pinterest, I came across Kelly Noel, who also borrowed ideas from HWTM.  I became so smitten by Kelly’s party that I borrowed most of her ideas!

My focal point was going to be the cake and dessert table so I put in some really good effort into it!  I copied Kelly to a tee on the table backdrop.  The “Super E” shield was created using this font.  I made it as large as possible to fit on the turquoise and yellow cardstock I had on hand and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut it out.

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party

I bought a foam tri-fold display board from Michaels (with a coupon, of course!) and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out 1-inch circles (408 to be exact – wow) out of black cardstock.  Then, off to sticking all the dots I went!  This was a tremendously tedious task that took a few hours total I think.  I had the hubby help out and we sort of had an assembly line going!  I used my large Omnigrid ruler for placement and double-sided tape to adhere them to the board.  I was afraid the dots wouldn’t be aligned properly so I needed something that was less permanent than glue.  And I gotta say, I think the tape method worked like a charm!  I so love that stuff.

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: dessert table

The buildings were boxes I found around the house (some empty, some not) that I wrapped with solid colored wrapping paper I found at Party City.  I used my Silhouette Cameo again to cut out squares and rectangles out of black cardstock and then stuck them to the boxes with double-sided tape.  My best-looking tower was two boxes of flash cards that I stacked together and wrapped – they were the perfect skinny size I needed!

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: buildings

The jello didn’t quite turn out the color I wanted but I still used it – no one probably cared but me anyhow!  It was a black cherry flavor and the color on the box was red.  Really, it was!  I was fooled.  It ended up being a very dark purple color.  Oh well!  I printed out a bunch of tiny “Super E” shields and taped them to lollipop sticks.  Then, poked them through the (dark!) jello to make them look pretty.  The marshmallow pops were dunked in melted red chocolate and then dipped in turquoise and yellow sprinkles.  This is where I screwed up… I totally meant to tape some flags with superhero words on the sticks but forgot about them during the big morning setup rush!

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: desserts

I set our dining table with these cute “POW” paper plates purchased from Birthday Express.  The plates were topped with shiny eye masks and super shields with each kid’s first initial.  I made eye masks using this template.  I bought some shiny textured cardstock from Michaels and cut the masks out again using the Silhouette.  I then tied a thin elastic cord to them.  The super shields were cut out from red adhesive-backed felt.  I used heat n’ bond on yellow fabric, cut out each letter, and ironed them onto the red felt shields.  The idea was to use them as “stickers”.  I had asked each kid to wear a white (or solid-colored shirt) to the party so that they can adorn their shirts with the shield and other felt tickers.  I made Ethan’s shield slightly larger with a number three on it and sewed it onto his t-shirt.

Guests were greeted with capes when they entered the house.  Yup, these were the capes that kept me up the whole week!  The hubby commented that my work area looked like a factory!  I loved how they turned out though.  The birthday boy had the shiny cape and all the other kids had solid colored cotton ones.  I tried my best to use fabric that I already had in my stash.  I used this pattern again to make each cape, all in different sizes.  But I used only one snap button on each cape rather than the two instructed.  I appliquéd a star inside a circle for each kid to keep it simple.  Yes, I had plans to sew each kid’s first initial on at first, but decided it was too much work in the end!

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: capes and masks

I also purchased these cute candy wrappers from Birthday Express and stuck them to snack sized Kit Kat Bars.  Cookies with the number three on them were also placed on the table for little hands to grab.  The cookies were purchased from Beckers Bakery, a local bakery in Manhattan Beach, CA.

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: sweets

The birthday cake was also purchased at Beckers Bakery.  It was soooooo delicious!  I love the giant icing balls they put on it.  I created the three cake toppers on PowerPoint and printed them out on white cardstock, then stuck it onto turquoise cardstock to give it a contrasting border.  They were then taped to lollipop sticks.  Love how they adorned the cake!  The polka-dotted candles were from Sur La Table.

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: birthday cake

And my favorite part of the party was probably the little photo booth area for pictures!  I purchased a few yards of red and white polka-dotted fabric from Joann and draped it over two foam boards that I taped together.  I made a burlap “photo” banner and attached it to the top of the fabric board.  The letters are fabric that I fused onto the burlap using heat n’ bond and cut on my Silhouette Cameo.

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: backdrop

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: backdrop

I made these superhero props for the photos.  I designed the images on PowerPoint and printed them out on cardstock, cut them out and glued them to large popsicle sticks.  They were so much fun and really added to the photos!  Feel free to use them for personal use if you’d like!

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: backdrop

I didn’t have many activities planned out for the kids.  I figured three-year-olds would rather roam free and play as they wished.  I put out some markers, stickers, and little superhero character notecards on the “craft table” and let the crafty ones go to town.  The notecards can be found here - they are super cute (and all hand drawn too!).

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: activities

I also put out temporary tattoos for the kids.  I love these little callout signs!  I probably would have attached them to everything if I had the time!  I made them the same way as the cake toppers.

Outside, we taped up some superheroes and villains posters and had kids throw water balloons at them.  Super simple and kids loved them.  Although some of the kids got soaked!  Sorry, parents!

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: activities

Lastly, I had other various decorations around the house that I wanted to share with you.  I hung up some of Ethan’s Batman books on a string as decoration.  Thought it looked cute! I framed this awesome happy birthday subway art and also designed my very own “welcome all superheroes!” art.  Feel free to use it for personal use.

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: decorations

And BOOM!  There you have it — my little superhero’s third birthday party!  Thanks for stopping by!

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday party :: backdrop

xoxo, Jen

Birthday on the Brain…

Well, hello there!  I’ve completely skipped a month on here.  It’s been that busy.  Ahhh.  I had my family visiting us from the east coast in April and it was so much fun showing them around Los Angeles.  But as soon as they left, I began to freak out a little.  Just a little.  Maybe a lot.

My baby’s birthday was around the corner and I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do for him.  I had toyed with a few ideas throughout the year, but didn’t have anything firm.  Ethan is really into Batman.  I mean really into it.  He loves pretending he’s a superhero.  I hear about his adventures everyday.  It’s so adorable.  But gosh, it’s so big boyish!  He’s a little dude now.  And he’s not even three yet!  I had envisioned his third birthday party to be cute and sweet… you know, still sort of a babyish type party.  Nope, not for Ethan.  No spring theme, no animal theme, no nautical theme.  None of that.  He insisted on a Batman party.  Ok, we can make that work — a cute, vintage superhero party!

So off to pinning I went… every night, I would spend hours perusing the many superhero themed birthday parties on Pinterest.

So there you have it!  I had birthday on the brain for the last few weeks and was on party planning mode (aka pinning mode).  But, I did create an invitation!  Nothing fancy.  I used PowerPoint to create it.

{chirpy threads} superhero birthday invitation

And, I also made a shiny superhero cape for Ethan!  The first one I made him last year was a little short, so I added an inch to this one.  Should have added more length though.  Oh well!  It’s still pretty darn cute, I think!  It was also my first time sewing with satin.  I nearly ruined my machine!  For some reason, I thought I needed a special needle for satin.  I thought a sharper Microtex needle would work.  Um, nope!  Don’t ever use a Microtex needle with satin!  It kept pulling all the threads out of the material.  So there’s my tip of the day!

{chirpy threads} reversible batman superman cape

And that’s all I’ve done so far… sadly.  Less than two weeks left!  I need to zoom into action quick!  Wish me luck!

xoxo, Jen

Easter Treat Bags

Easter Treat Bags {chirpy threads}

Oh yes, I realize it’s the day before Easter, but I still want to share these simple little treat bags I made for Ethan’s Easter playdate!

They are merely little muslin drawstring pouches but were such a joy to make.  These bags are blank canvases so you can embellish any way you’d like.  I appliquéd a small egg onto each one — a simple look but that’s what I love about it!

These bags are so versatile and an easy project for those just beginning to sew!  Want a quick tutorial?  Ok, here it is!  Finished size is about 5″x6″.

Materials:

  • 1/2 yard of muslin (this will make 4 pouches)
  • scraps of fabric for your egg appliqués
  • heat n’ bond lite
  • twine or ribbon
  • safety pin

Easter Treat Bags {chirpy threads}

1.  Cut your muslin into 6″x15″ rectangles.  I doubled up on my fabric to create a more durable and less see-through pouch, but you can totally just use a single piece of fabric.  So I cut out 8 rectangles for my 4 pouches.

Find some cute spring-like fabric from your scrap stash and iron on heat n’ bond lite to the wrong side of the fabric (as per package instructions).  Cut out an egg shape.  I used a home decor weight fabric for the eggs but any lightweight cotton will do just fine.  The scraps are Kokka Japan except for the all yellow one.

2.  Take two of your rectangles and put them together, back to back.  We will be working on this as if it’s just a single piece.  Fold the rectangle in half widthwise.  Peel off backing on eggs and iron on to fabric where you want your appliqué.

3.  Sew the egg onto the fabric.

Easter Treat Bags {chirpy threads}

4.  Open up your rectangle.  Fold down an inch on both sides of the rectangle.  Press with iron and then sew down with 1/4″ seam allowance.  Sew again about 1/4″ from the top.  You should have two stitch lines.  This will form our casing for the drawstring.

5.  Fold rectangle in half again, right sides together, and sew down both sides.

6.  Now you have your pouch.  Turn it right side out.

Easter Treat Bags {chirpy threads}

7.  Attach a safety pin to your twine or ribbon and carefully insert through the casing from one end to the other, then continuously back around through to the other side.  You should finish with two strings on one side of the pouch.  Tie a knot to secure.  Then, do it again for the other side.

8.  And that’s it!  You’ve made a pouch.  Now you can go fill it up with Easter goodies, pull the drawstrings taut, and you’re good to go!

Easter Treat Bags {chirpy threads}

Happy Easter!

xoxo, Jen

DIY Felt Bunny Ears

DIY Felt Bunny Ears {chirpy threads}

There are so many cute DIY bunny ears out there, like this one (Kate’s Creative Space) and this one (Finley & Oliver) – two of my favorite blogs!  But, of course, I needed to make things more complicated for myself because I just love the extra work!  Ha, so kidding.  I had a vision in my mind and needed to see it through!  So, in case you’re interested in how I put mine together, here it is!

Materials:

  • headband that will fit your child
  • bunny ears template
  • cream colored felt for outer part of ear (or any color of choice)
  • gray colored felt for inner part of ear (or any color of choice)
  • two pipe-cleaners
  • heat n’ bond lite
  • fusible interfacing
  • essentials: sewing machine, thread, needle, scissors

Ok, let’s get started!

1.  Print out the bunny ears template on card stock.  I got the template from Martha Stewart.  Her version is super cute and EASY too.  I enlarged my ears a tad bit because I was making it for an almost-three-year-old.  The outer ear part was about 7″ long and 2.5″ wide; the inner ear part was about 5.5″ long and 2″ wide.

2.  Cut your cream felt into four strips of about 8″ x”4″ and iron strips of interfacing onto it.  Cut the gray felt into two strips that are slightly smaller and iron the heat n’ bond adhesive onto it.

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

3.  Grab your templates and trace the outer ear onto the cream pieces and the inner ear onto the gray ones.

4.  Cut your ears out.  You should have four cream pieces and two gray ones.

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

5.  Iron on the gray inner ear pieces onto the cream ones.  The remaining two cream pieces will be the back of the ear.

6.  This part is optional.  Sew along the edge of the gray ear to secure onto the cream felt.  The adhesive should hold the piece in place just fine without any sewing, but I wanted it to be extra secure in case it gets tossed around by my destructive little boy.

DIY felt bunny ears {chirpy threads}

7.  Next, sew the back piece of the ear to the front along the sides only and leaving the bottom open.  Take two pipe cleaners and twist the ends to join them to make one long one.  Bend at the middle to form a pointy top and insert into the ear via the bottom opening.  Now you can sew the bottom closed.

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

8.  Grab your headband.  I got mine at the dollar store.  If it has any embellishments on it like mine did, make sure you cut or pull them off so that you have a clean headband to work with.  Wrap the pipe cleaners around the top of the headband to secure the ears.

9.  Cut 1 inch wide strips of felt long enough to cover the length of your headband.  You should have two pieces to sandwich your headband in the middle.  Now cut two slits on the top of one of your strips.  Make the slits wide enough (but not too wide) to slip the ears through.  Slip the ears through.

10.  Hand stitch the strips together with the headband sandwiched in the middle.  And you’re done!

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

I’ve now succeeded in making the world’s most complicated felt bunny ears!  I’m certain there is a much easier way… and I’ll probably figure it out a couple years later!

DIY felt bunny ears {chirpy threads

DIY felt bunny ears {chirpy threads

Happy spring and have a great Easter weekend!

xoxo, Jen