Friday, December 28, 2012

Perfect Paper Snow Flakes

This is a fun craft to do with the little ones (as long as they can use scissors) as a Christmas break craft or anytime during the winter season.

You know how paper snowflakes always look a little first grade no matter how fancy your cutting is...

Well here's a way to make them look picture perfect.

A perfect snow flake!

-All you need for this one is some plain computer paper 
-and Scissors

Start with a regular 8 1/2 x 11 piece of computer paper.

Then fold the bottom left corner to the top edge and cut off the excess to make a square.

Then fold the corner on the top left down to the new corner on the bottom right.

Now this is what makes the snow flakes look so good- Your going to fold the bottom right corner up two thirds of the way to the top right corner.

Next fold the other side down to meet the other edge. (It took me a few tries to make the sides match up right, don't be afraid to refold.)  Once you have that, cut off the points so you have a nice pie piece shape.

Now this is where you can get creative, try different cuts and sizes. 

For the snowflake shown above cut this design on the open (not folded) side.

Now remember each snow flake is unique so just try anything and it will look like a 
Picture Perfect Paper Snow Flake!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

One of our family Christmas traditions is to open one gift on Christmas Eve and the gift is always Christmas PJs!

So this year I am going to make the pajamas for everyone out of cotton flannel.

 Little ones and big ones.

 PJ pants for the whole family.

Some fun Christmas fabric.

-PJ fabric: enough to go from waist to floor 2 times, about 3 yards for grown ups
(use some fabric with a bit of stretch)
-Elastic to go around the waist
-Tissue paper and felt tip pen 
-Sewing supplies 

Making a pattern;  I've found making your own with pants that fit well works better then using a store bought one. I draw my patterns on tissue paper because I never have any regular paper big enough.
Make sure to leave room for seam allowance and ease (if your using a woven fabric like I am).

Then use the pattern to cut out two pieces of the fabric -make sure to put the straight side on the fold. 

  This is what both pieces should look like.

Double fold hem both of the pant legs, press and stitch.
Then sew the sides (which is really in the seam at center front and back).  

To make the waist band, fold down the top 1 inch twice, press and stitch. 

Make sure to leave a gap in the stitch line to put the elastic through.

Thread the elastic through, sew it together and stitch up the gap.

Fold it so the seams are laying on each other and stitch the inner leg seam. 

Be careful to catch all the layers at the crotch, I always stitch that spot twice just to reinforce the stitch. Then zigzag or serge the raw edge.

It's the same for grown up pjs just bigger and you might need more ease in the rear. (When in doubt, it's best to go big rather than small.)

A great Christmas Eve gift!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Baby Jammies into Dress*

Last time we altered some cute winter baby clothes (found here) that were too small for my little girl. We are going to do another one today however it's a little more complicated.

But still do-able!!! 

So here we go on part 2!

She likes the pockets!

Little winter dress.

- Baby jammies (with feet or without)
- Sewing supplies 
- You may need some extra matching fabric
for the collar or the ruffle

This is what it looked like before 
(I just altered it to make it bigger not to change the look).

First I started with the neck which was too tight. 

This one had a separate yoke type neck piece. There are several ways to make the neck bigger. I decided to detach the yoke piece, make the neck hole bigger and re-attach it. 
(Now, if you don't have a way to alter the neck yoke detach it and use another piece of fabric like a binding.)

After removing the yoke turn it inside out, and stitch the neckline in about a half inch. 
Then trim the edge down to 1/4 inch.  

Next find the middle of the yoke and mark it with a pin and open it up.
After removing the yolk the shirt neck was too loose, so I sewed a basting stitch (long stitch length with no back stitching) and left the thread ends long. 

Find the middle of the neck and line it up with the middle of the yoke (where you put the pin). Pin the yoke on with right sides facing each other, pinning from the middle front to the back.

Now because the neck line was bigger there will be some extra fabric, that's why we did the basting stitch.

To get rid of the extra fabric pull one of the end threads just enough to gather the neck to fit the yoke. Make sure to gather it up evenly, and pin together the gathered areas. 

When you get to the ends make sure the yoke is sticking out off the neck line a 1/4 inch. Then sew it on.

Then flip the neck yoke up, fold the yolk right side together and sew the 1/4 inch edge hanging off. After that turn it right side out making sure the corners are square.
Turn the whole yoke collar thing so the right sides are facing out and sew it on covering up the raw edge. 
I stitched the right side up so the stitch line was neatly on the edge of the collar. 

Now for the bottom which was too short and too tight on the bum.

I wanted to make this a dress to keep those cute pockets, so I cut the legs off just above the snaps. I couldn't use the snaps so I cut them out entirely. To put in a ruffle on the bottom with the extra leg fabric  I cut the leg into 3 inch sections as you see below.

Take the 4 middle sections and discard the hem pieces, they won't work. Sew the 4 pieces in a strip.

Then single fold hem the bottom (I used a decorative zigzag stitch for fun), and sew the strip together to make a loop.

Next gather the loop to make the ruffle. 
(Tutorial on gathering found here and one on ruffles found here)

Gather ruffle so it fits and is even all the way around, then pin it on the right side facing.

Just press the seam facing down and we're done.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Baby Jammies into Shirt

My little one had some cute Christmas clothes when she was a baby, and I just loved them. Now they are way too small! 

So rather than just tossing them, I repurposed! 

I'll show you one today and the other one on the next blog.

A cute Christmas time shirt!

With fun little buttons.

-Baby jammies (with feet or without)
-Small buttons of matching colors
-Sewing supplies 

The too small jammies before.

The neck and the sleeves still fit but the body and the legs weren't long enough. So I decided to make it into a shirt. I measured the length of a shirt that fits, added a 1/2 inch for the hem and use that as the length measurement. Then cut it. 

Next fold up the bottom of the new shirt a 1/2 inch and press it (I just pressed it down with my finger).
This will be a single fold hem, if you want to do a double fold hem add an inch to the length measurement instead.

Sew the hem.

Make sure not to pull the fabric as you sew it or it will ripple like mine did (unless you want it to).

For a bit of fun add some buttons to the design on the shirt.

I added two buttons for the eyes and one in the center of each snowflake.

Now she can wear this cute shirt during the holiday season!