Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vermont Yellow Jacket

 Another hooded sweatshirt disguised as a jacket for fall,even though it's practically over.
I thought this would be good for walks in the fall leaves, and that reminded me how I've always hoped some day I could be in Vermont to see all the leaves change...some day.
I think I've mentioned how I don't eagerly use yellow or pink.  They're just colors I usually avoid.  I think yellow and brown were the least used crayons in my box as a kid.
But I do like to see other people who love them, like PinkSuedeShoe for pink, and Dana at made and Sutton Grace with yellow.  What's funny is at least both PinkSuedeShoe and Sutton Grace have written about avoiding red, which is probably my favorite color, so I guess we're the opposites.

If you look in my house, it's mainly blues, greens, and reds.
Anyway, I've been trying to move out of my color comfort zone and try something yellow.
Dana at made's Celebrate Yellow was going on right after I bought this bright yellow sweatshirt fleece and has tons of awesome yellow ideas.
I really liked the charcoal/ yellow combo that's popular and thought it would be good for this jacket.
First I had to tone down the fluorescent yellow by dying it with tea.

I used a pattern for double breasted coats as the base of my jacket: McCalls M5525.  I mainly used version A.  The main things I changed were the length of the arms, and the collar--adding the hood.  I also just did 3 big buttons, rather than the 2 rows of little buttons.  I wanted to look asymmetrical with just the one row of buttons.
Also, notice somehow my pockets are totally off, the left one being a lower than the right.  I should fix that.
Emphasize should but probably won't...at least for a while.

I've had this sewn for a few weeks, but the sad thing is I was so inspired by fall jackets out of sweatshirt fleece, and so made the red one, and this yellow one.
But remember I'm pregnant?  Now my baby gut is too big to wear this yellow jacket or the teal equestrian jacket I made either.  So my little sister Lynette wore it to get some pictures, and I'll pack it away for next fall when it will hopefully fit around me.  I guess it was fun to design and sew despite not being able to use for a year.

I looked for a charcoal fabric to line the hood and make the buttons for a while.  Because everything was simple and plain, I wanted the charcoal to have some geometric print.  I looked for a while and didn't find anything in stores or online, then one day I found a body-pillow case at Walmart clear back during the back-to-school-sale for $3.00  So I used a pillow case for the charcoal.  It worked out well, because there was plenty of fabric from the huge body pillow case, and it's a really soft fabric.
For the buttons, I just used those little kits you can buy to cover metal bases with fabric.  I really like having them in the matching charcoal print.
I also really liked the hood.  My red one was kind of too huge.  But this one seemed to be closer to the right size, maybe on the small side.

To cross the chin pieces of the hood, I did taper the under side down a little as you can see here when it's open.  I didn't want it to be too thick under the chin.  I kind of actually like the look with the top button open and the asymmetry of the button opposite the vertical charcoal stripe.

As always, probably the reason I've been making my own jackets in the first place is to make sleeves long enough.  And I go a little overboard on making them too long.  I made the sleeves long enough with the cuff folded back showing the charcoal.  But then you can unfold the sleeves and it's just all yellow, and they end at the base of my fingers. 

So kind of fun to venture into yellow.
What colors do you never think of using?

90 Minute Boys T-shirt

Using Dana's tutorial from made, I used some old t-shirts to make this little onesie tee.
The main reason I thought I'd make one is my serger is back in business.  For months it's been on the fritz with a whole tension knob off.  I bought it from craigslist for $35 and over a year ago, and finally paid to have it serviced.  Now it's back and working well, so I remembered this tutorial with serged contrasting edges and used the yellow for this little shirt.

The shoulders kind of look weird, like shoulder pads, so I need to adjust the pattern I made.
I also didn't use ribbing for the neck and cuffs, just t-shirts.

But pretty quick and easy project to use your pile of old knit!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Polar Express Painting

One of my favorite Christmas books is The Polar Express.
As a kid we had a set with a cassette tape and a little bell.  I remember sitting in our living room on the couch, the only lights were from the Christmas tree, and listening to the tape feeling like I was really "reading" the book as a little girl.
This story was always really magical to me.


"Santa's Bell"
acrylic on 14x14 canvas


So I wanted a little tribute to the book, and have been planning this painting for a long time.
I traded with my friend Jill a while ago, and I had her make the last line from the book for me in black vinyl.
In the story, you can only hear the bell if you believe in Santa

So it's finally all together.
Rather than painting the whole train, I chose to just paint the bell that's actually the last picture in the book because that seemed a lot easier.

I'm not a great artist, but I like the way it came out.

The first stage:

Next I painted the body of the bell, and realized the whole thing was too monochromatic.
Once I took the picture, the painting was pretty much black and white gray scale. 

So I just added some navy blue to the background to hopefully make the bell pop. 

This painting took place over about a week and a half--when my son would paint on construction paper, I'd sit by him and work on the bell.
One afternoon we were listening to instrumental Christmas music, and I looked over and he'd totally zonked.
Sometimes I wish I could sleep anywhere like kids.

So right now I can't decide if I should hang it on the wall, or keep it on the mantle where it's sitting right now.
Hmmm....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Silhouette Machine Giveaway

Silhouette Machine Giveaway

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winter Tree Throw Pillow

Yet another throw pillow cover for the holidays.  Are you sick of these yet?

We were enjoying this outside all day:
So I decided to make the stockings and tree skirt that's been on my list.  I opened my shoebox of Figgy Pudding fabric (Moda by Basic Grey) I bought last year.  I love this fabric line, and had saved all these little scraps I just couldn't throw away from making this tree quilt last year.

I had kept them to make a pillow, so I again put the stocking/ tree skirt aside for yet another pillow cover.

The construction of the pillow cover is the same from this bird tutorial here.
This pillow was bigger, so I did adjust for that.

The trees are just triangle scraps, with fleece trunks.
You could just top-stitch them on with raw edges, but I chose to use fusible interfacing to have folded edges.

SCRAP TREE APPLIQUES:
All you need:
-scrap triangles
-fusible interfacing/ webbing/ or you could use an ironed dryer sheet as shown here, or even an ironed coffee filter

1. Place the right side of the tree on the fusible/ sticky side of the interfacing.
Sew right along the edge, 1/8" or so. 

2. Trim off excess interfacing and snip corners

3. Puff the pouch, so the fabric isn't touching the interfacing and snip a hole with scissors.

4. Cut the interfacing enough so you can flip the tree right side out.
The fusible side of the interfacing is now also facing out.

5. If you used the fusible interfacing, you can now position your trees where you want them, and iron them on.  They will stick to your pillow, while pressing the trees at the same time.  If you used the dryer sheet or coffee filter, you can just press them flat, then pin them where you want.

6. Sew applique to pillow top.  I chose to just use a straight stitch to sew along the edges.  I also peeled the tree bottoms up a bit to shove the fleece trunks under. 

 I had this white tree.  It looked pretty stark on the white pillow, so I added some cheap red buttons to hopefully add some color and interesting texture.

I think I may go back and sew sloping lines with light blue thread to look more like a landscape, rather than floating trees.  I planned the sizes of the trees would give it dimension, but it may need a little help.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Throw Pillow

I don't have a lot of storage room, so I thought just making a Christmas pillow cover would be a good idea.
Just throw it on a pillow form and after Christmas just fold it up for next year rather than storing an entire pillow.
So I kept it simple:

It's the same pillow from this Bird Pillow Tutorial.
So we needed a break from the bird, and I used the same process in the tutorial to make a pillow envelope cover. 

The only difference in the Christmas pillow from the tutorial, is obviously no bird.
Instead I used freezer paper again as the stencil for the word "noel".
I cut some freezer paper 8.5 x 11" to go through my printer and just printed the word.
I used Tulip brand Metallic silver for the paint. 

So a really quick way to make a new pillow from 1/2 yard of fabric, and a little paint. 
Lot of possibilities.  I thought it would be cool with 3 different sized pillow and a few different holiday words: peace, joy, love, etc.
Simple, quick and easy to store until next Christmas.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Haven't Totally Forgotten Fall

I have been focusing on Christmas, but there is a little corner of our house with fall stuff out.  I like Thanksgiving a whole holiday centered on food--heck yes!  I don't mean to give it the shaft, but I really don't have any thing for it, so I just move on to Christmas every year.
We made these fall leaves melting crayons between wax paper.  The idea and instructions came from Vanessa here at V&Co.
They're fun and easy.  RJ was able to help peel the crayons and snip the thread when we were hanging them.  Just that much involvement was exciting for him. 
We also have a few tiny pumpkins and a leaf bowl of mints, and that kind of ugly "Happy Harvest" hanger thing I painted over 5 years ago. This is by our front door in this weird entry cubby space.

So there's my pathetic tribute to fall...
...now more Christmas to come.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Turquoise Frame Makeover

I found this ugly little frame at the thrift store for $.50
I liked the design in the frame and got it for a little accessory for the baby corner.

I took out the glass and Isaiah, and primed it with the gray spray paint primer. 

The baby stuff is mainly red and white, and a few accents of turquoise.  So this frame is a turquoise piece.
I just used acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush to paint it. 

It seemed a little too bright and flat, so I took some glaze and a little of a lighter blue paint mixed it together.
I used the sponge brush again to just dab it on the surface. 

Then to seal it, just clear spray paint.  There was this old ocean post card in it, I just left it until the baby is born and then I thought a baby photo would be good to fill this little frame. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Handmade Holiday Series

My friend Miranda is having a great series on her blog, Narrating Life with Handmade Holiday gift ideas, tutorials and give aways.

My favorite handmade gift I made for my mother-in-law a few years ago is being featured today!
Hop over and check out her awesome series...but don't enter the giveaway,  because I'm hoping I can win that book! :)

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