Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Godzilla": Sew in Tune Challenge

sewintunebuttonwinter200pxWhen I read about the Sew in Tune Series, run by Melly Sews and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy, I wasn't super sure if I would participate. I haven't ever tried an "interpretation" challenge rather than a straight-up sewalong. I felt like I had no good ideas, but now that it's all said and done I'm glad I decided to give it a go, since sewing to a concept turned out to be a lot of fun.

"Godzilla" outfit for Sew in Tune

Inspiration: Will loves Godzilla (he watches the short-lived 1980 cartoon-series Godzilla on Netflix All.The.Time), so I thought I'd use the classic rock, "Godzilla" by Blue Oyster Cult as my inspiration song. I cut out a raglan T (my much-loved Sewing for Boys version) and applied a heat-transfer silhouette of the Tokyo skyline to the front before sewing it up.

Concept: My "vision" (hee, hee--the terminology is a little grandiose for this small project, but still...) was to have Godzilla on a separate piece of clothing to get the whole "There goes Tokyo" aspect of the song. So, I dug out the files for the 2 Little Hooligan's Hooded Vest Tutorial, which I thankfully downloaded when I ran across it last year, as it does not seem to be available anymore.

 "Godzilla" outfit for Sew in Tune challenge
This was the best action pic I could manage of the vest with skyline showing. My model was not feeling cooperative, and it's been too cold for outside pics. 

Construction: For the Tokyo skyline and Godzilla images, I snagged silhouette images off Google and traced them in the Silhouette Design software. When I did this this summer with my Darth Vader image, this process took forever because it included a whole lot of extra "noise" that shouldn't have been traced and had to be deleted manually. After reading another tutorial to refresh my memory on how to trace, I discovered the sensitivity settings, and after playing with them, the software perfectly traced my images with no editing of points by me. It was so easy! Like, less than a minute easy! I may never buy anything from the Silhouette store again! (Does this extreme number of exclamation points convey my excitement level with this discovery?? Probably not--here's another!)

SFB raglan with Tokyo skyline (sillhouette heat transfer)
Raglan T with Tokyo skyline.

Materials: I really had to restrain myself from going out and buying some fabric for this vest, since I wasn't sure the t-shirts I had would work, but I held myself back because I also wanted to be able to use this as an entry in the Love Challenge for the Stashbusting Sewalong (trying to get a two-fer out of this). But aside from being a little bit stretchy, it worked well. I toyed with the idea of lining it with something, but decided that I really wanted this to be a piece Will could wear this spring and even summer if he wants to. Last year, he had a down vest that he got really into and wanted to wear even after it was way too hot.

"Godzilla" outfit--tail wraparound
Here you can see how Godzilla's tail wraps around onto the back of the vest a little. Love this!

So, all of this was made with 3 clearenced-out ladies-sized Tees from  the refashion pile (on the T-shirt I was able to utilize existing hems and sleeve cuffs--score!). The zipper was deeper-stash--I bought it about this time last year, when I first found the Hooded-Vest Tutorial and had planned to make Will a Cars version. The heat transfer material was even on-hand from this summer when I was making the Darth Vader Tee.

A note about the Silhouette: Now that I know the right place to insert my mat, everything has been working great! I cut out Godzilla and the Tokyo skyline with NO PROBLEMS!! I really can't express my relief. It's the first project I've done on the Silhouette that didn't result in extreme frustration. And as suspected, it's been user error all along. Sigh....

Bonus pic of poor Soren's major goose-egg from earlier in the week. Poor baby was climbing on the chair and fell into the table creating a gash/abrasion and then landed on his forehead on the tile floor. Ouch. It swelled up so fast and huge--pretty scary!

Soren's goose egg
Picture does not do it justice--it looked terrible!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shirts for Will: Love Challenge Items

Poor Will only has about 5 long-sleeved shirts for some reason (apparently my buying-ahead at garage sales ended with summer-suitable 3Ts). Although Bil informed me we could afford to, you know, buy him clothes, I haven't done it because I know I can make cuter shirts out of t-shirts I already have on hand waiting to be refashioned. Too bad I don't have the time to get them done!

SFB Raglan with reverse applique dinosaur

Anyway, I did make him this brown and teal one at Christmas (I think to wear under his owl blazer), and he only wore it twice before he stained it with something. ARGH!!! No matter, I thought, I'll just cover it with something. He saw Cation Design's Sewasaurus and said he'd like that on a shirt, so I thought I'd get a tyrannosaurus shape and use the Silhouette to cut some heat transfer vinyl. Well, as usual whenever I go to actually use the Silhouette, I had nothing but trouble. First my heat-transfer vinyl slipped (after talking to Silhouette's customer service, I think I figured out why and got it straightened out), messing up my vinyl. I had just enough to recut, with just a little bit of my dino's foot being cut into, so after talking to CS, I finally got it cut out and weeded, then went to adhere it to my shirt, and very carefully ironed it to the shirt for a LOOOONG time. I was so proud of myself for being so careful. Then I went to peel it off and realized I did not remove the backing paper before I ironed it on. ARGHGHG!!111!1 So, not only was that cut-out ruined, but I couldn't even get it all picked off of the shirt. So, the back-up back-up plan was put into effect--reverse applique to save the day!

Dino detail
(That's just water all around the outside of the applique, not stain)

There's nothing interesting about this, except that I traced it onto the front of the shirt since I needed to be sure my dino covered as much of the stains as possible; most of the directions I've read suggest doing it from the back. I think it turned out pretty cute, though a lot of headache for one little shirt!

I want to love my Silhouette, but I just have such a terrible time every time I try to use it. I think I have a mental block.

Color-blocked SFB raglan with 

A couple of weeks ago, during one of the RSV weekends, I made this red shirt for Will. I wanted to play with colorblocking a bit, and I even took myself to make new patterns for the SFB raglan T, dividing it into hirds horizontally and vertically. While I was making it, Will decided it needed a pocket, so I created a little kangaroo pocket. It's two layers, and I had intended the red layer to be the outside, but I was using a decorative stitch with black thread and something went wrong, so it ended up looking terrible. So, rather than chucking it all, I just went with the black side facing out. I got all fancy and actually hemmed the thing and even broke out the twin needle. Unfortunately the top row of stitching around the neck busted almost immediately. I think that happened last time I used the twin needle. I'll have to do some googling and see if I can figure out what's causing that. It's really annoying!

I have plans for some more Will clothes (involving more Silhouette work--what am I thinking??) that will hopefully happen soon, but in case I don't get to those, these shirts should count toward the Stashbusting February Challenge of creating stash-made items. Both were made from shirts I had in the refashion pile, and the dino applique was made with the scraps left over from the shirt that was made back in Dec.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Butchering

A sad, sad day arrived last week, during the long, lost week of sickness. While I was in the sewing room, Will was in there pestering me and going through every drawer in the desk as usual and started playing with scissors. He asked if he could cut some papers, and since that is preferrable to having him perching on my neck, I said to go for it. He chopped away, and I sewed, and then I realized I was no longer hearing the "snick, snick, snick" of the paper cutting. I had an inkling and yelled, "Will, what are you DOING?" And he answered cheerily from underneath the desk, "I'm cutting my hair!" NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

He cut off quite a bit from one side (the other side was untouched). We had to wait till Thursday to get it fixed (he and Soren didn't go back to daycare till Wed--almost out for a full week!), and the girl had to cut it all off. I think she said it's about a half inch. I am so sad. He looks so much older. And his hair had just attained maximal cuteness after the very bad bangs of last July had finally got grown out. It must have been because I had just commented to Bil like, the day before he did it that he really did look like a little boy model. Sigh.......

Bad hair, Good hair, VERY bad hair, No hair

We have discovered though that without his hair, he actually looks a lot more Yount-ly than we'd previously thought. He looks a lot like Uncle Tony now!

Although he felt a little trepidation about getting it cut, he did a great job of sitting still (ice cream is a great bribe), and it was funny to watch him notice how different he looked whenever he'd catch a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Before bed, he was looking at it and said, "Mom, my new hair looks like Annekin from the new Star Wars!" So, win, I guess?

An amusing tidbit: Will has taken to saying, "Save your friends! Eat zombie carrots!" Bil googled the phrase, and it's from a short called Night of the Living Carrots. Apparently we should be more closely monitoring his Netflix watching.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oliver + S Art Smocks: A Review

Oliver + S Art Smock

I got the Oliver + S Little Things for Little People book last Christmas, had a great time looking through it, and then made nothing from it till the following December. Since Ella and Aubrey had an art-themed Christmas going, we contributed a nice art smock for each of them, using the pattern int LTLP.

I checked out reviews online, and they were all favorable (I don't think I've ever read anything negative about ANY Oliver + S pattern, come to think of it....). I thought it was strange how long people reported these taking, given that it seemed such a simple pattern. I assumed I would be faster (ha, ha--you would think I'd have learned not to tempt fate that way).

Anyway, true to all the reviews, these went together so nicely, the instructions were flawless and complete enough, and the product looks great and very professional. And just like everyone else, I was surprised how long they took to make. Yes, I was making two of them, but I really didn't expect that it would take so long. It took me probably a good, solid 4-6 hours (maybe more--my sewing time was rather interrupted as per usual). It would have gone together faster without all the nice finishing touches, of course, but that's what make this pattern so nice!

Oliver + S Art Smock

I didn't get to see Ella's on her, but Aubrey was happy to put hers on and let me shoot some pics. That girl is such a ham for the camera (and an adorable ham!). The size small was just perfect on her. Hopefully the large fits Ella. I love the complete coverage that these provide, and that the neck and sleeves are both elasticized. Floppy sleeves are no good for painting, and this will definitely keep the clothes underneath clean unless it just gets soaked. If it was made in laminated fabric, it would be bulletproof!

So add me to the list of people highly recommending this pattern!

Oliver + S Art Smock

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Scrap Bustin' and Sickness

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I read about Cation Design's Stashbusting Sewalong and want to participate since my SFB sewalong, which I have really enjoyed, is ending. It also seems like a great one since it's about using up your stash, and mine is full and growing all the time! I didn't officially pledge how much I was going to use up, but I am planning to follow along as best I can (ha, ha--how's that for the wishy-washiest pledge ever?). The theme for January (link party here), is Itty Bits.  I have tons of fabric that would fit that bill, so that seemed like a great challenge. When I surveyed my fabric, one piece stood out: the remnant from the ruffle fabric I used to make a scarf for Alisha last Christmas. It was too big to throw away, but it had long ago stumped me on how to use it for anything, since I just had maybe 1/4 yard; plus, there's also that issue that most of my sewing is for the boys, and really, I can't think of any way to incorporate white ruffle fabric into anything for them. Maybe a puffy pirate shirt a la Seinfeld?

Anyway, one of my old college friends is having a little girl, and I realized that I probably had enough fabric to get a newborn-sized dress out of the fabric. I used the Infant Peasant Dress Pattern & Tutorial from Sew Much Ado (completely coincidentally, I was also looking at Sew Much Ado's tip for hemming jeans to utilize the original hem this week, though I haven't used it yet. Hmm, maybe I need to add her to the RSS feeder?). Here's how it turned out.

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I had some trouble with the ruffle that was over the casing. I think I should have moved the pattern up and started it at the top of a ruffle rather than at the top of the non-ruffled line. Because the ruffle was pulled over the top of the casing, it was wanting to flip up once the elastic was inserted. So I had to tack it down. It looks.....well, not good, if you are looking at the tacks up close, though I'm not sure you would notice them at all if you weren't examining it. I'm hoping on a moving target of cute baby, no one will be looking that closely.

casing v. ruffle issues

It needed something to break up the great white expanse, so I added a bias-tape flower (from my now quite ginormous stash of thrifted bias-tape--I just can't seem to pass it up whenever I find any for 10 cents...what can I say?). I also ended up cutting two layers of ruffles off the dress and one row off the sleeves. I was envisioning something kind of tunic length, and it was looking a little more dedication-style when it was long and unembellished.

Since I STILL had more of the fabric left, I made a bonus diaper cover using the pattern and tutorial from Dana at Made. The diaper cover gave me fits and took WAY longer than it should have. I accidentally cut the pattern out with the ruffle fabric upside down, so then it took me even longer to sew it down because I had to make sure each of the ruffles were flipped upside down. This ruffle fabric is so fiddly to work with--I will be very glad when it's gone (and yes, there is STILL some--it's the scrap that won't die!). I think I'll have to use up the rest as an embellisnment on a shirt for me or something.

My friend is also going to be cloth diapering, and I had given her an IOU for 12 cloth wipes (they were registered for some, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy something that I had the supplies for and was so easy to make), and I had quite a bit of flannel scrap left over from other baby shower gifts, so I whipped up some flannel wipes. Some are serged, and then some I decided to turn & topstitch. Hopefully she's not anal about having all exactly the same size and shape!

wipes: scrap busting

After I took this picture, I also made 7 more out of leftover dachshund flannel from Will's Goodnight Sweetheart PJs. I had my whole extra left leg of that. I was glad to get some use out of that screw up!

And, if I was going to fit in another challenge/sewalong this month (in addition to the somewhat more in-depth 2-in-1-Jacket), a small and easy one was the way to go. Soren has been coughing around since last week, and I kept waiting for him to develop full-blown flu symptoms since Will was diagnosed with Flu Type A last Monday, but Soren never developed a fever. He just had a terrible cough and was getting hardly any sleep at night or naptime. I finally took him in Wednesday, fully expecting the doctor to just say, "congratulations, he has a cough" since he wasn't running a real fever, but it turns out he has RSV with bronchiolitis and an ear infection. Poor little guy! RSV is highly infectious, and so I wasn't surprised when Will started hacking up a lung on Wed. as well. They both had to stay home from daycare, so I've just went in only for my classes on Thurs/Fri. Thankfully Annie was able to come and keep them. We are so lucky that she is close enough and willing and able to help out when they are sick! Hopefully they will be feeling better soon, as being cooped up in the house has been pretty miserable for all of us. Pretty sure I'm coming down with it too, but for adults it's just a cold, so I'm not feeling as bad as the boys.

Bonus sick kid pics:

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The littlest ninja and his light saber.

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Looking a little happier today.