Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dinosaur Tail Tutorial

Again, this is for a friend, so my measurements are rough. Here is how you make a dino tail for your little one:

About 13" of wool felt (I use wool felt because it is really sturdy and you don't need to interface the waste band.
Velcro: about 6"
Accent colored felt

Sewn and stuffed: My tail measures about 18 1/2 inches long (not including waste band) and 6 1/2 inches wide.

I hand drew my design. So---I would make it about 19 1/2 inches long and at least 7 1/2 inches wide in the widest part for a toddler/young child sized tail.

Waste Band: Cut 2 approx 28 inch length strips. I tapered mine so they were thicker right near the tail and thinner where they cross over with the velcro. Because of the small amount of fabric, one of my strips was 1 long piece and the other was 2 pieces about 14 inches each. I just put the 2 piece ones as the inner layer and you don't even notice. Saved me buying fabric.

1. Cut 2 Tails, Cut 2 Waste Bands
2. Sew Waste Bands together using a 1/8inch seam all the way around. (If you one of your pieces is in 2 parts, sew those together first)
3. Add accents onto tail. You can hand sew or machine sew spots on. I also used pinking shears on some of mine to add a decorative touch. Definitely pin them on to help with movement.
4. Layer Waste Band into Tail and with right sides together sew tail all the way around leaving some room on the bottom to turn right side out.
5. Turn right side out.
6. Stuff and close opening with hand stitching
7. Add Velcro to waste band. I always make sure the fuzzy side of the velcro goes on the part that could touch the child (so the "top" one)
8. Give to your child and Play!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Advent Calendar Making

30 hours of prep work. Amazing moms who participated. 26 calendars completed. 19 moms for a Moms Night In. And...some beautiful results! See the next post for a completed picture of mine! Couldn't have done this/coordinated it/prepped it/sewed for all the non-sewers with my 2 craft buddies, Kim and Betty! Thanks ladies.

All the decorations are set out!

Advent Calendar Tutorial- Sort of

At the request of some friends, I thought I would post some basic advent calendar making steps. This is not a good, detailed tutorial as I kept forgetting to take pictures! Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Okay, here it goes. This is roughly based off of the pottery barn kids advent calendar seen here|4|1||3|advent%20calendar||0&cm_src=SCH.

In the tree above:
Step 1:
Cut 2 trees out of green wool felt. We did 2 different color green calendars. One dark and one light. Both had pros and cons so just got with your personal preference. Our tree measured about 25" wide and 36.5" tall. (The pottery barn one was much bigger than this, we were just trying to save on cost of fabric). You'll also need 1 tree in interfacing. I used deco bond.

Step 2:
Iron the deco bond onto the back of the tree you are using as the front of your calendar.

If you cut the trees like this, you only need 42" of fabric for 2 trees (1 calendar).

(Sorry for the turned picture, my computer wasn't cooperating---imagine this with no trunk please).
Step 3:
Choose pocket colors. We went with 4 different colors. These pockets are doubled normal felt that you can buy by the yard. Our pockets measure 3.5x3. So, if you are cutting 4 colors of pockets you need about 18x7 of felt for 3 colors, and 21x7 for 1 color.

Step 4:
Before cutting your pockets, iron wonder under (you can get this where interfacing is sold) onto 1/2 of the felt. So--for purple for example, iron on 18x3.5 inches of wonder under to one side of felt. Peel paper off, fold over other half of felt. Place a damp cloth or spray steam on felt, iron on top of felt to fuse the 2 pieces of felt together. This makes the felt stiffer/thicker. We found wonder under worked better than spray adhesive.

Step 5:
Cut pockets into 3x3.5 inch rectangles. Double check to make sure 2 pieces are completely fused after you cut. If not, re-iron to completely seal. You should now have 6 pockets of 3 colors, and 7 pockets of 1 color.

Step 6:
Arrange pockets on the tree in the sequence you prefer. Pin. I would definitely make sure it's secure...3/4 pins if you can as 2 made the pockets slide.

Step 7:
Sew the pockets onto the tree. I used clear thread. I'd never used that before and it was definitely a pain. The thread kept breaking. I finally switched to white thread for the last 2 calendars I did (that's what you see in the picture). Either way is fine, it's up to you. Again, totally personal preference. You can choose to do a straight stitch or zig zag.
Step 8:
Sew 2 trees together. I did use clear thread for this and it was fine. I think the clear thread just has issues when you stop and go on the pockets. I left about a 1/4 inch seam all the way around. Don't forget to slip in your trunk. (Oh yeah, sew your trunks together. I used deco bond/interfacing on this as well for support...mine is about 7 inches tall, 3-4 inches wide at the bottom)
Step 9:
As you are sewing, make sure you slip in a ribbon and hook at the top. You don't need to leave much ribbon as the star isn't that big.
Step 10: Decorate!
Star: I interfaced this as well and then just hot glued it on the top.
Pocket pieces: My friend Betty, made the images in pdf form so if you want them, just let me know. We all contributed in cutting out the images to save on individual work. The images were very basic and made out of felt. After hot gluing them on, I accented them with ribbon, sequins, ric rac, puff paint, bells, etc.
Ta Da! Finished calendar! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tutorial in Progress

I'm working on a tutorial for an advent calendar. Some friends and I are creating a fun one based on this one at pottery barn kids (|4|1||3|advent%20calendar||0&cm_src=SCH)

I can't wait to see the finished product! Stay tuned.