Pikachu Costume!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}Hey there! This year, Ethan wanted to be Pikachu for Halloween! Although he is only four, and doesn’t know too much about Pokemon, he loves this cute little yellow character. It was between a moth and Pikachu, so I’m happy with his decision! This will be my second Halloween sewing him a costume. Last year, he was a spider – which was also really fun to make.

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

I made this Pikachu costume virtually the same way as the spider costume. It is a pullover hooded vest that is cinched on the bottom with elastic. The pullover from last year was self-drafted and I basically just used that as a guide and made it a little wider and longer for this year. All of the yellow fabric is anti-pill fleece (from Joann) and the brown and black details are felt material. The top of the lightning bolt tail, which is stuffed with poly-fil, is sewn into the back to keep it from flopping down. It still flops, but from side to side. The ears are also filled with poly-fil. There he is in the above photos, being silly and trying to do a handstand!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

The hood is lined with a yellow cotton interlock that I also found at Joann. For the pants, I used Dana’s basic pant pattern and just made it a tad bit wider and longer. Super easy sew. The shirt, which is also made from the yellow cotton interlock, was made using Rae’s flashback skinny tee pattern. This was my first time sewing a shirt – and although there is a lot I need to improve on, it turned out not as bad as I thought it would! I used a regular sewing machine and I didn’t even need to change my needle! Crazy, huh. I think it was because cotton interlock is a thicker type of knit. Anyway, it was a breeze to sew! I also didn’t hem the sleeves as it turned out to be the perfect arm length for Ethan. I guess I could have added cuffs but I was too excited that his costume was finally completed and actually wearable!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

I also made a Pokeball trick-or-treat bag to go with the costume. Pretty basic stuff – just a huge 14×32 rectangle folded in half and sewn along the edges with the corners boxed. I used duck cloth for this so it is very sturdy and holds well. The pokeball is appliquéd on in pieces of red, white, and black felt.

Pikachu Costume / Pokeball Bag {chirpy threads}

And now, I have a cute little boy running around the house shouting “pika, pika” all day! He sure loves getting into character!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

And I leave you with this last photo of Ethan cooking up some tasty spider, cockroach, and glow-in-the-dark fingers stew! Delicious!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

Happy Halloween, guys! Be safe out there!

xoxo, Jen

Birthday Dragon Cape and Party Invitation

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

We celebrated Ethan’s 4th birthday last weekend with a dragon themed party and it was so much fun!  He had been really into dragons for awhile and chose the theme a few months ago… and, much to my surprise, stuck with it without changing his mind.  And so… I had to make him a dragon cape!  Yup.  And guess what?  He loved it!  That always puts a smile on my face.

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

Once again, I used the superhero cape pattern by Georgia Leigh, in a size 4.  I cut the cape in half to add some little felt triangle spikes and wings that I loosely drafted by looking at an old dragon costume that Ethan wore two halloweens ago.  I also attached a tail to the bottom of the cape.  Both the green tie-dyed flannel fabric and forest green felt came from Joann.

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

I had to hand stitch the wings to the cape at the top to keep it from flopping down.  I also sewed some vertical lines on the wings to make it appear more dragon-like.  Not sure if it worked though – people kept asking if he was a dinosaur!  Um, dinosaurs do not have wings!  Come on now, people!  Haha!

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

DSC_0142 EditedCT

I love this pattern so much.  It’s so versatile – and, as you can see, it’s not just for superheroes!  I’ve used it many times (herehere, and here) and with different types of fabric!

Anyway, back to the party… this is the invitation that I created for Ethan’s birthday party!  I bought a set of dragon images from this Etsy shop.  The dragon, cake, presents, and stars are from this set which was customized for me.  I put together the invitation on PowerPoint and made the tower and flag banner using the shapes on the program.  The fiery font I used is called flames and can be found and downloaded here for free.

dragon birthday invitation {chirpy threads}

Details of the party to follow very soon!

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

Felt New Year’s Eve Party Hat for Toddler

NYE party hat

Wow…this is it — my last blog post of the year!  In case you didn’t know, I’m a very last minute person.  We went to a party store just today to look for party hats and favors and, not surprisingly, they were sold out of many New Year’s items.  They don’t make much for little ones either.

So we dashed home so I could make Ethan a hat before we went back out for New Year’s Eve festivities.  I really wanted to make a classic black top hat, but I didn’t have any black felt on hand (boo!) so I used light heather gray instead.  The letters were cut using my Silhouette Cameo machine.  It’s actually the first time I’ve used it and I’m in love!  No more tedious tracing and cutting out letters for me again.  Yay!

I used these instructions here and here to make the hat.

NYE party hat

Now I'm ready to party like it's 2013!

Now I’m ready to party like it’s 2013!

Happy New Year!  Be safe!

xoxo, Jen

Royal King Costume

This year, Ethan all of a sudden turned into an opinionated and imaginative little boy.  When we asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween, he insisted he wanted to be a dinosaur… that lasted for about one week.  He changed his mind several times after that — a doctor, then a monster, then back to a dinosaur.  Since I was too lazy to make him a dinosaur costume (they’re a lot of work!), I scoured the net to find him the perfect dinosaur costume.  I finally found one at Pottery Barn Kids, only to find out they were out of his size!  Ugh.  So I asked if he wanted to be a dragon instead and he willingly agreed.  I ordered it from Old Navy.  Done!

So when we had a Halloween event to attend and the dragon costume hadn’t arrived the day before, I panicked … just a little.  It was a costume party and my little boy didn’t have a costume to wear!  I thought fast and came up with something fairly easy – I’ll make him a crown, cape, and pants, and he will be a royal king!  He could always wear these simple pieces again when playing dress-up!  This was actually already on my project list, so it was one thing I could finally cross off.

For the crown, I used felt, muslin, and elastic for the band.  I made up my own pattern for this one.  I traced my pattern onto the felt, cut out two of the same pieces and sewed them together.  I cut out three diamond shapes and sewed them on to the front of the crown for a regal look.  I also sewed some pretty gold rickrack along the bottom of it.  I then made a muslin tube and ran elastic through it for the band. It was super easy.  I know I’ll be making more of these in the future.

The cape was made out of a crushed panne velvet found at Joann – on sale and super cheap.  It’s basically a big rectangle with elastic for the neckband.  I sewed some of the gold rickrack along both sides of the cape.  Simple and easy and it looks great!  I’ll probably be making more of these in different colors too.

The pants were made using the simple pants pattern by Lotta Jansdotter in her book Simple Sewing for Baby.  It’s basically two pieces sewn together along the outer sides and inside curve of the pants.  When I first saw this pattern, I couldn’t believe how simple it was.  They really are simple pants!  I only made a few changes.  I sewed the casing for the elastic a half an inch from the top of the pants to create a little ruffle effect at the top.  I did the same for each of the pant legs so that they could be hiked up just below the knee.  Of course Ethan didn’t like this idea – he kept trying to pull both pant legs down so they ended up being an awkward length!  But I think they still looked cute on him.

And that completed the outfit!  I didn’t have time to make him a scepter like I planned – but he wouldn’t have held on to it anyway!  Total cost of costume was less than $5.   My kind of project!!

Happy Halloween!

xoxo, Jen

Simple Art Smock / Apron

Yes, after a crazy long hiatus from blogging and sewing, I am finally back in the game — and it feels so darn good!

The last few months have been pretty chaotic – we moved from Michigan to California and have been acclimating to the area and culture out here – but I’m happy to say that we are mostly settled now.

And that means… back to sewing!  Yay!!  Now let’s get to the important stuff.

I recently enrolled Ethan into a Messy Art class and he is loving it.  I thought I’d make him his very own art smock or apron to wear to class and also at home on those crafty days.

There are so many amazing toddler patterns out there to choose from but in the end, I decided on something simple — just your plain old classic apron that ties in the back.  So I created my own.

I love the photo in the middle.  That was Ethan “striking a pose”!  Gotta love the mind of a toddler!

The apron was super easy to make.  I cut out the shape of the apron and then sewed bias tape around the entire thing.  I even added a pocket at the bottom to store his little goodies (which are mostly rocks these days).

I took Ethan to this cute little fabric store I discovered in the area (called Momen+) and he chose the laminated monkey fabric for his apron.  I was ecstatic – I loved the fabric too!  It’s from the Urban Zoologie collection by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman.  The entire collection is super cute.  I was excited to find fabric that I actually liked for boys.  Total win!

I was a little nervous about sewing with laminated fabric but the bias tape made it a little easier as I didn’t have to sew directly on the laminated surface.  My needle did break for the first time though – and I wondered if it was because the needle type wasn’t compatible with the fabric.  But it was an easy fix – luckily I had one more needle at hand!

I’m pretty happy with the results.  It fits Ethan perfectly.  I sewed at night and wasn’t able to get his measurements so I took a t-shirt and based the sizing on that.

This is really such an easy project – perfect for beginner sewers!  I think I’ll be making more of these in the future!

And I leave you with a picture of Ethan getting busy in his art class! MESSY!!!

xoxo, Jen

Personalized Felt Gift Bag

We had another birthday party for Ethan and his friends this past weekend.  It was a joint party for six kids who were all turning two in the months of May or June.  Since we know so many kids who are all the same age, it was appropriate to throw one big bash for everyone together.  Each kid would receive one birthday gift from one friend rather than five.  Doesn’t that make so much sense?  Otherwise, we’d we broke buying gifts for everyone each week!

We agreed to list the kids’ names in alphabetical order;  the first on the list would buy for the second, the second would buy for the third, etc.  It all worked out perfectly.

Since I had so much felt in my fabric stash, I decided to make a gift bag out of it.  I know every kid loves to rip open paper from presents but I really wanted to make a bag that was eco-friendly and reusable!  It was super easy too.

I chose the colors blue and green for a boy.  I made the bag striped because I just love stripes but you can make it one solid color too. I also chose to personalize it with the birthday boy’s name.

I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures because I made it last minute but I’ll quickly give a brief tutorial.  I didn’t take down the exact measurement of the bag but I think it was about 11.5″ x 17.5″.  Although a little snug (as you can see from the photo above), it was large enough to fit a hardcover book and boxed toy.  I would have made it bigger if I wasn’t in such a rush!  This is really just one big pouch. 🙂

Materials:

  • four felt craft sheets (approximately 9″ x 12″ – found at any craft store)
  • heat’n bond lite (for letter appliques)
  • string for the drawstring
  • the essentials – sewing machine, scissors, thread

Cut your felt sheets in half horizontally (so you should have strips that are approximately 4.5″ x 12″).  You should have a total of eight strips now (four of each color).  Then take two of the strips (different colors) and put one on top of the other.  Sew one of the long edges together.  I used a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Keep doing this so you end up with a block of four strips.  This will be the front side of the bag.  Do the same for the the back side.

If you’d like to personalize it like I did, the next step is to applique your letters. I had fused heat n’bond to an oatmeal colored felt sheet, then cut out my letters from the two layers.  Iron on the letters to the front side of your bag and sew them on.

Now you are ready to sew the bag together.  Fold down the top of both front and back pieces of the bag about 3/4 inches and sew.  This will create a pocket to hold your drawstring.  Next, place front and back pieces right sides together and sew along the sides and bottom edges closed.  For the sides, you will sew up to where the drawstring pocket starts, maybe leaving a 1/4 inch space in between.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Finally, insert your string — attach a safety pin to one end of the string and insert it through a hole on one side.  Once you’ve reached the other side, insert it back in to the closest hole on the other side (sort of like doing a U-turn).  Leave at least 5 inches of string on each side, then cut and tie together.  Then, do the same for the other side.  Insert another piece of string into the opposite side you started at.

And there — you should have one huge drawstring pouch!  Now go fill it up with whatever your heart desires!

And now I leave you with a photo of the adorable 2-year-olds and some yummy goodness from the party!

xoxo, Jen