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Remember this?  Arden modeled Victor Marcus’ cow costume after I had the bulk of it finished.

It was still in progress, and now I’ve finished up the costume.  Here are the final details:

I spent a lot of time deliberating how to make hoof mittens, and then I realized that I could make them two-dimensional and he can just stick two fingers in one side and three in the other.  I think they’re pretty cute, and they’re fleece, so they should be warm!  I purposely left the seams exposed to give them a more rough look.

Here’s a better shot of the hat with horns (remember this was a devil pattern, not a cow, so if the horns look a bit “devilish”, that’s why).

I’m particularly pleased with the little ear tag.  Victor Marcus’ birthdate – February 18, 2008.  My friend Kim doesn’t know I added this little detail; I really hope she likes it.

And finally, the infamous udder.  This was actually relatively easy to put together, I used a salad plate to trace a circle and put four ½” x 2″ darts in the edges.  I don’t remember the exact dimensions of the teats, but they were somewhere around 2″ x 3″ and then rounded at the top.  I stuffed and then hand stitched them to the udder and then sewed the whole shebang onto the costume, stopping about 3″ from the start and stuffing it while still in the machine and then finished the seam. 

I haven’t done a whole lot of sewing with fleece or felt, and I must say it’s pretty fun!  I love how you can leave the seams showing if you want.

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My good friend Kim was lamenting about how she wasn’t able to find a cow costume for her two year old son Victor Marcus  that she liked that wasn’t insanely expensive.  Since I didn’t have anything at all to keep me busy every evening for the next couple of weeks (ha!), I volunteered to make him a costume.  I couldn’t find a pattern for a cow, so I improvised and got one with a devil.  I also couldn’t find cow print fabric in anything besides novelty cotton, so I bought black and white fleece and am adding applique’d spots.  Devil horns look remarkably similar to cow horns, don’t you agree?  I just free-styled the ears, and I like how they turned out.  Arden volunteered to model VM’s costume:

This is also my first post with a collage – do you like it?  I think it’s pretty dandy if I do say so myself.  Totally worth upgrading on Picnik!  I still have a few embellishments to add – hooves and udders.  We got into a long text conversation between Kim, her husband Victor, my husband Dave, and me about cows and horns and udders.  Victor said that boy cows have horns and girl cows have udders and only tranny cows have both.  After I stopped laughing, I responded that most cattle of either sex have horns, so cows usually do have horns and udders, while bulls have only horns.  We all agreed that I would add the udders and they could feel free to remove them if they didn’t like them or thought they looked obscene.  So, I guess I’m off to make me some udders!

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I don’t have any fun projects completed to post, so I’ll just do a quick wrap up of what’s been going on.

We broke ground – literally – on our garage reconstruction.  On Thursday, they took out the old slab, dug for the footings, and put in the foundation walls.  We’re using a treated lumber foundation instead of block cement.  It’s pretty interesting to see.  My brother Jeff is taking a class that was discussing treated lumber foundations, so he came out and took some photos.  On Friday, they backfilled and compacted the fill sand.  The framing and concrete guys are working on other jobs right now, so they’re not expected for a week and a half or so.  But, great progress!

Also on Friday, Arden dissapeared into the breakfast nook and was awfully quiet for a minute, so I went to go find her.  We’ve learned that when things get quiet, somethings up!  Arden had taken all her soft toys out of one of the Tub Trugs we use to store her toys in and dragged it into the kitchen and climbed in.  Of course I grabbed the camera instead of helping her out!

Saturday was CMU’s homecoming, so I took Arden.  I got there just at the right time to get a tour of my sorority house and a cup of coffee before the parade started.  Arden’s favorites were the horse drawn carriages and floats with dogs.  That’s my girl!  I took some photos of her at the house – can I brag a bit about the shirt I made for her, and the sweater I knitted when I was pregnant?  That sweater has fit her (okay, it’s a little small now) for about a year – totally worth the time it took to knit!

After we got home from the parade, I got started on the chairs I showed you from the ReStore.  I got the seat off one and sanded it down.  I probably got a bit ambitious with the sander since I’m going to prime and paint them, but oh well.  I’ve also been working a bit each day on a cow costume for a friend’s son.  I’m pretty excited about how it’s turning out.  I had to use a devil costume pattern since I couldn’t find a toddler cow pattern, and I’m appliquéing (is there actually a verb for appliqué?) on the cow spots since the only cow fabric I found was novelty cotton and not thick enough to keep him warm.  So, I’m using fleece and getting creative with my scissors while watching chick flicks – my husband had started watching Step Up, it wasn’t my idea!  Yes, my husband has — um — varied taste in entertainment!  I guess it’s all fair, since I like to craft, sew, quilt, and knit and also am into marathons, adventure races, and Muay Thai kickboxing.

Arden’s not an exceptionally squirmy sleeper, but she does move around enough to get uncovered and often wakes up cold.  We use sleep sacks – Aden + Anais have nice muslin ones that work great, especially in the summer when you just need a little something – but there are never arms on sleepsacks.  So, I thought I could figure out some kind of a solution to the problem.

My approach to this went through a couple of iterations.  First I was planning to sew buttons to the fitted sheet and then do buttonholes to attach the flat sheet.  I figured I’d have to be sure and use extra-large buttons to ensure they weren’t a choking hazard if one should happen to come off.  I was also concerned that she’d end up lying on top of a hard button and wasn’t liking that so much.  Then I realized I could just use ribbon and not have to worry about buttons at all.  So here’s a little tutorial on how I made stay-put toddler bedding:

What you need:

  • Fitted crib sheet(s)
  • Flat crib sheet
  • About 1 ½ yards of ribbon
  • Sewing machine that can make buttonholes
  • Cute toddler!

I started by first making a cozy crib-size blanket out of snuggle chenille.  We’ve got some super-soft and cuddly blankets that Arden loves, but none are hardly any bigger than her and I wanted this to be a mini-version of an adult bed (minus a pillow).  I also had to make her a flat sheet.  The only place I’ve seen flat sheets for toddler beds is part of a set that includes a comforter and I want to use the blanket from her crib set as a coverlet.  I found a white twin sheet on clearance for $4.99 at Target and cut that down to size, finishing the new edges to match the original.

Tacking Ribbon

Next, I tacked 18″ lengths of ribbon to the bottom corners of the fitted sheets – about 1″ in from the end of the pocket seams. 

And another set about 25″ up towards the middle edges of the mattress.  This length is about the distance from Arden’s feet to her chin.  This way she shouldn’t be able to get her head stuck under the stay-put part of the blanket.

Buttonholes

Then I made pairs of buttonholes on the flat sheet to match the placement of the ribbons on the fitted sheet.  On the top set, I made them about 1 ½” closer to the edge of the sheet so I wouldn’t be pinning her tight to the bed.  My machine does automatic buttonholes using the button to set the length.  I just found a button the same width as my ribbon to guide the machine.

Ribbons Pulled Through Buttonholes

I tucked in the sheet and pulled the ribbons up through each of the buttonholes and tied a bow.

I left the outside center tie undone so we can put her into bed and tie it closed.  I had originally planned to do buttonholes on the blanket as well, but I decided that wasn’t necessary.  As long as the sheet stayed on top of her, the blanket should as well.

I couldn’t resist a gratuitous cute toddler photo of our test run.  She seems to like it, and is snoozing soundly while I put this post together.  I’ll add ribbons to the rest of her sheets, and probably make up another flat sheet with the buttonholes.  Don’t you just love it?  I know I do!

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A local animal rescue sponsors a Dirty Dog run each year where you can run with your dogs on the trails.  Last year I ran with Laser and the oaf dragged me over hill and dale for the entire 5k.  Normally, he poops out and I’m dragging him after the first mile or so.  Turns out he’s not lazy, he’s just bored and it was exciting to run through the woods chasing other runners and dogs.

They encourage costumes, so this year we’re going to try running Sophie and dress her up as a princess to go along with a pea costume I made years ago for a different race where I was the princess:

Princess and the Pea

So here’s how I made Sophie’s princess hat – keep in mind I’m making this for a dog, so I’m not all concerned about finished edges and durability.  This was also a stashbuster project – yay!

I started by measuring Sophie’s head to get the circumference of my hat – 16″ worked fine.  I arbitrarily decided I wanted the cone to be about 8″ tall.  Then I tried to find something round that had a 16″ diameter to use as a pattern.  My chip and dip tray came close, so I used that for starters.  I traced right onto heavyweight fusible interfacing:

Who needs a compass?

I broadened the circle to get my desired size, then I measured the edge of my semi-circle until I got to my 16″ + 1″ and drew a line to the center of the circle:

Rough pattern

Then I cut the shape plus some extra out of my fabric – a bunch of taffetta I had left over from a purse project several years ago:

Press to fuse, and then I turned the bottom edge up and stitched with about ¼” seam allowance.  I didn’t bother to pin or anything since it didn’t need to be perfect:

Turn and sew

For a little whimsy and because I wanted to play with Jane (my new sewing machine), I added a decorative stitch:

Decorative stitch by Jane

Then I added a bunch of ribbons into the top and stitched the back closed with right sides together, keeping the ribbons inside the hat:

Check the fit on Sophie and add some elastic to keep it put:

Princess Sophie

This took less than 20 minutes during naptime – pretty slick I think!  Any suggestions on what to do with another yard or so of the taffetta?

I finished Arden’s Halloween costume!  This was so much fun to do.  I also got to try out the embroidery features on my new machine by adding “Chef Arden” to the hat band.  I’m so happy with the embroidery and other features on my Janome Memory Craft 9700 that I’ve decided to name it.  She will henceforth be known as Jane.

Jane's fine work

Pardon the lint, but I think it turned out really neat.  I’m also debating on putting a pocket on the sleeve with the same embroidery.  I did a test run and the piece is large enough to make into a pocket, but I’d have to mostly hand sew it since the sleeves are already together.  I’m also planning to make an oven mitt to go with the costume and become part of her play kitchen.

I also played around with Picnik for the first time.  I don’t expect a camera upgrade in my future anytime soon, so I need to make due with what I’ve got – a Canon PowerShot A570 IS.  I like the watermarks I see on a lot of other blog posts so I added A Jennuine Life to mine.  I also did some fixing and added a border.  What do you think?  And pocket, or no pocket?

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LuvintheMommyhood is hosting a sewing vs. knitting showdown for the month of October.  Count me in!  I’ve got this awesome baby hats book that I’ve been ithing to work my way through.  I love knitting!  On the upside it’s a nice take-along or sit-on-the-sofa project, but it does take considerably longer to finish a project than with sewing.

I made more progress on Arden’s chef costume.  I finished up the pants and the hat and of course had to try them on Arden.  I know most kids don’t like to wear hats and tear them off at every opportunity.  Not Arden.  She’s always liked to wear hats which is great since I like to knit them for her!  It’s somehow very appropriate that one of the signs she’s learned at daycare is “hat”.  That and “bubbles” make frequent appearances.

So I try the hat on her and it’s adorable.  I’m very excited with how the costume is turning out.  Problem is that she wouldn’t let me take it off her all day Sunday.  Here are a couple of photos as a sneak preview:

Chef Arden

Modeling the hat in action in her play kitchen.

Newfound fondess for football

And here she is several hours later while watching some football.  I don’t really follow football, but I miss the sound of a game playing on Sunday – reminds me of snuggling under a blanket with my Dad and a bowl of caramel popcorn.  Arden is not much of a TV watcher, but this seemed to hold her interest for about ten minutes.  Maybe it was the pink the players and refs were wearing for the breast cancer awareness game.

This still took longer than 90 minutes the second time around, but it definitely went together a whole lot faster without having to run to the computer in our office before every step.  Nevertheless, this met the hour-a-day challenge for days six and seven. 

90 Minute Shirt v2.0

 

This was made using a clearance rack Old Navy shirt of mine with an insanely wide rounded neckline that just never worked quite right.  I loved the wide band on the bottom.  This didn’t have the extra-stretchy issues as my first shirt.  I used contrasting off-white thread instead of matching the grey from the shirt.  (Design feature or that I didn’t have any grey thread?  You decide.)  

Trying on for fit

Again, Arden wouldn’t hold still to get a good picture, but she was at least in one place for a moment after climbing up on a kitchen chair.

Following the tutorial for The 90 Minute Shirt on MADE, this meets my hour-a-day requirement for the Kid’s Clothes Week Challenge for days four and five.  I know it’s called The 90 Minute Shirt, but it took me a bit longer than that, and I had to make up my pattern following the instructions here, also on MADE. 

Pattern

Here are my completed pattern pieces.  This part was pretty easy and straightforward.  I used a onesie that fit Arden recently, and then used a shirt she’s wearing now to get the sleeve length.

Double overedge

 Since I don’t have a serger (Dave if you’re reading this – hint, hint for Christmas!), I found a stitch on my sewing machine that I thought made a close approximation – double overedge.

Completed shirt

Here’s the finished product.  I did exactly what Dana warned about and wrapped the envelope backwards and had to tear it out and do it the right way.  This was even after I turned it right side out after pinning.  Mostly I think it was because the shirt of mine I used for this project is ribbed and really stretchy, so my front and back didn’t look all that different.  I have another shirt and different ribbing to try this again, so I’m considering this a trial run.

Mug shot

It fits her pretty well, although since the shirt was super stretchy is looks a bit loose.  If I do this again with this type of material, I’ll make sure when I pin the ribbing on that I keep the shirt from stretching. 

Anyone have any tips on how to get an 18 month-old to sit still long enough to get a decent shot with a point and shoot?  I see all these fabulous pictures you all are taking, and I cannot for the life of me figure how you do it.  This was one instant after I asked her to sit still for a minute, and then she was off again…

Tackling Erwin

See?