Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

I imagine that if I had daughters, my experience as a seamstress would be entirely different. New twirly skirts every week, lots of pretty dresses, and ruffles on everything. Don't even get me started on the custom bedding ideas.

But I don't have daughters, I have sons. And sewing for sons is just. not. the. same. When it comes to Halloween, however, my boys indulge me. I permit them to pick ANYTHING, and then I try to figure out how to create it. My oldest almost always picks something inspired by a LEGO mini-figurine. This year was no exception. He wanted to be the dementor from the Harry Potter set of LEGOs that was released some 10-15 years ago. (Those are grey and the ones released this year are black.)

My youngest wanted to be a mouse, specifically Jerry of Tom and Jerry fame. This I fretted over.

When needle came to thread, however, I found that the mouse costume was a piece of cake. The dementor costume was like a wedding dress. 10 yards of chiffon!

For the mouse costume I followed Simplicity 2506 -- which is a baby costume -- and altered it to fit my very big 4-year-old. I still could have added length in the crotch and legs, but the arms were perfect. The helmet/ears headdress thing was another story all together. My children have HUGE heads. I tried to accommodate this, and it was a little wonky. I think if I were to make this again I would follow an adult size balaclava pattern and just add ears. I also did not piece it together in the way Simplicity instructed. I elected to finish the sleeves and finish the body and then ease them into each other. I believe this makes for a much nicer fit. The pattern called for sewing the flat sleeve piece to the flat shoulder of the body pieces and then sewing a huge side seam that runs from wrist to ankle. Wonky!

The mouse in the pattern could just as easily pass for a monkey. But there is a monkey included in the pattern. I will hang on to this pattern, but my children will have outgrown it by next week. Maybe I'll have nieces and nephews who make a request from it. To Angelina Balerina fans, it would be a great base to put a tutu on. Very cute possibilities there.

For the dementor costume I followed Simplicity 2486. Biggest problem with this project was that it was an adult size pattern and I had to resize it and reshape it for my very skinny 5-year-old. That being said, his head is the same circumference as mine. The pattern called for 10 yards of chiffon. I knew I was in trouble when one of the pieces of the pattern instructed that I cut 12! Each layer has a lettuce-edge, rolled hem. This took hours. And about half way through the adventure it occurred to me that I could have done the entire thing raw edge. In fact, I would recommend this. That being said, this will last longer. But god-bless-it that took me a long time.

Were I to make this costume, again, I would make some fabric choice changes. I would create the first under layer (there are two) of knit. That would include the balaclava piece. Then I would pick varying shades of chiffon to layer. Otherwise all those layers and all that work is rather one-dimensional and looks a little bit like a burqa.

I feel fairly strongly that the pattern could be modified to create fairies and angels. Could really be a cool pattern to have in my stash.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Heart Babies

When I get word of a baby on the way, I get so excited. So for my dear friend Netti, her third child was reason for much planning and designing. I created a diaper bag with messenger bag styling.

The modern fabric inspired me to create one large compartment for all of her big items, I think her wish list included baby stuff, a laptop, and scriptures. Additional exterior pockets circle around the front and sides for organizing small items. These gusseted pockets can easily store mobile phones, drink bottles, diapers and wipes. And larger patch pocket under the flap is big enough for a file folder, magazine, changing pad, or even an extra set of clothes. A small fob and ring under the flap keep keys within reach (or pacifier), but out of sight.

The tough cotton webbing shoulder strap is long enough for across the body styling but also short enough for over the shoulder ease. The flap secures in place with a button and elastic closure and is enhanced with a stylish raw edge appliqué. This new, original design is available for custom order on my etsy site, if you want one too. But I'll try to get a few on there before the holiday season.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yoga Mat Tote: Keep Calm & Carry On

The Carla Yoga Mat Tote bag can be slung comfortably across the body, allowing you to carry a yoga mat to and from class with style. Unique to this style are the hand-embroidered mantras -- show the world what you think with simple stitches. The tote holds a classic yoga mat and has an exterior pocket for collecting your car or locker keys, membership card, phone, and even wallets. The pocket has a flap and velcro closure for security.* The bag has a wide strap that resists rolling and folding, making for comfortable carrying. Great for any yoga or pilates enthusiast.

*Various pocket styles are available in this fabric palette. Please specify your preferences in the notes to seller when placing order. Dimensions: Circular bag that measures approximately 27" long and has about a 6-inch diameter. Care and Cleaning: Spot clean with cold water or dry clean. May be rinsed in cool water by hand and line dried, as well. Warm iron if desired. 100% Cotton. Sewn in my pet-free, smoke-free studio. Hand embroidery is for custom orders, only. Start conversation to learn more and for a more accurate quote.