Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Lalaloopsy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Jewel Sparkle and Peter Pan!

I am inclined to put a theme to my kid's costumes and have them go together. Like when they were Snow White and Dopey or last year they were Princess Peach and Mario. This year when Drew wanted to be a Lalaloopsy doll, I just couldn't give Nash a lame costume just so that he coordinated. So no theme this year, which is cute in it's own way to have two random characters.

There was no wavering in her mind about which Lalaloopsy doll she wanted to be. It had to be Jewel Sparkle because she is the prettiest and wears a crown. The dress was so much fun to make. I would never sew anything so frilly, ruffly, and pink for normal wear, but maybe I should because she was thrilled with all those things.

I made the wig too. I am not a wig maker. Nor do I ever want to be again. I tried several things to get it to work but what I ended up doing is attaching all the yarn pieces to an old wig after I cut all the hair off of it. It stays on her head pretty well but she doesn't like wearing it because it is too heavy. (It's not that heavy.) She complained about not wanting to wear it for our church's Trunk or Treat party last Saturday to which I told her, "If you don't wear the wig then you don't get to wear the dress." I'm mean that way. But number one, I put too many hours into that darn wig. And two, the wig is what makes the costume in my opinion. So she wore it and was the talk and envy of all the little girls at the party!

And my little Peter Pan. It's his favorite movie and Peter Pan is pretty much his hero so this costume was a no brainer. I sort of used this tutorial for his hat and shoes (both made out of felt) and the tee and leggings are just quick sews out of green knit.

They will be thrilled to dress up again tonight! Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

10th Annual Patterson Pumpkin Carving Contest

That's right. This is the tenth year we have held our annual Patterson Pumpkin Carving Contest (PPCC). We look forward to it every year and each year we stay up into the wee hours of the morning, carving our hopes and dreams into the fleshy orange gourds. It always turns out to be one of the best nights of the year!

To see a review of the pumpkins we've created in the past, go here.

To see last year's pumpkins, go here. 


This year we have two fine contestants for your vote.

Hailing from the rolling patches of West Virginia, Peter Peter is proud to participate in this historic 10th annual contest. Although Mr. Eater does enjoy his occasional squash and gourd (who doesn't?), he is using his new found stardom to set straight all the bad publicity that he has received since the early 1800's wildly popular nursery rhyme. He wants to ensure the public and his fans that he has not had any trouble keeping his wife and that she has never been put inside a pumpkin shell. She lives comfortably in a 4 bedroom on Maple Ave in West Virginia. His attorneys claim that it was Miss Goose who started that ridiculous rumor after unsuccessfully trying to seduce Mr. Eater with her voluptuous and silky feathers. When asked to comment, Mr. Eater was recorded as saying, "They were a bit saggy and disappointing. She is just an angry vindictive hen." As for why he goes by Peter twice, nobody really knows but it is rumored that Peter was the name of his first two pumpkin victims.

And his worthy opponent...

Cavity Sam, aka "that operation guy",  is simply lucky, or unlucky, to be alive. Ronald Mitchel, his birth name, was sold by his parents at the tender age of 8 to Dr. Milton Bradley for $2.50 during the great depression. Dr. Bradley soon discovered that Ronald had a gift of being able to remove his organs and replace them without dying. On Christmas eve during one of his experiments, Baxter the dog ate Ronald's nose and devoured it while it was lying on the operation table requiring Dr. Bradley to replace it with a red christmas bulb. Ronald learned of Dr. Bradley's plan to create a children's game using him. Demoralized and depressed at the thought of having thousands of children laughing as they removed his body parts, Ronald attempted suicide by electric shock. Unfortunately this only added to his lure by causing him to light up and buzz any time his skin was touched with the forceps. Ronald just hopes that winning this contest can bring him some peace.


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Skirted Pea Coat Sweater

This look I sewed for Project Run & Play's Signature Style challenge. I talked a lot about my signature style in this post and how I like to make mini fashion. I think the only thing that has changed since then is that I now put an even greater emphasis on comfort. My six-year-old is so quirky about her clothing and how it must feel. I have made too many things that go unworn because something or the other doesn't feel exactly right.

In my book, style is still number one, but comfort is the very close runner up. Practically tied. Sometimes style even takes a back seat if it is going to threaten the comfort.

So this Skirted Pea Coat Sweater mixes style and comfort perfectly! I wanted the look of the structured pea coat, but something soft and could be comfortably worn during a Phoenix winter (which is absolutely beautiful, by the way). It is made using the softest organic cotton sweatshirt fleece, got it here. It is heavy enough that it still holds structure, but it sure is stretchy, soft, and breathable like your favorite old sweatshirt is.

One way I gave this sweatshirt fleece a structured look is through all the lines and the double stitching. Because of all the different pieces to this coat I had to switch from my double needle to single needle over and over again to get just the look I wanted. Painful but oh so worth it.

The metal zippers in the pockets and on the sleeves also add more structure and interest. Not to mention they are gold and amazing. This was my first time sewing zippered pockets and it was so easy! This tutorial was great. To make the zipped up sleeves I basically did the exact same thing as the tutorial shows for the pockets, but just modified it a bit. Don't ask me how. It was one of my last steps to finish on this beast of a coat and I was basically just trying. to. finish.

Look at all that double stitching, oh yeah.

Looks cute worn buttoned up or open.

I also made the feather pants which didn't end up quite as I envisioned, but I still really like. I got the fabric from here but didn't read the specs very closely. There is only a 30% stretch to this knit (feels like even less to me), which means the knit is definitely not suitable for the leggings I wanted to make with it. But for someone like me who believes in miracles, I felt the un-stretchiness of the fabric, cut out my usual leggings pattern, sewed them up, and prayed that by some power she would come home from school and they would slide on her like a glove. Of course her foot only made it about halfway through the leg hole until it got stuck in place.

But my unanswered prayer meant that I got to make these trouser-like pants with cuffs at the bottom. Drew said they looked like pajama pants, but hey, she was going to wear the feathers one way or another and it sure wasn't going to be in leggings! The pants are not my pattern, they are these from Figgy's patterns. I don't usually buy patterns because I'm cheap, but oh man was it nice to have all the work done for me.

And my Nash doesn't make it on the blog much because I don't usually (or ever) sew for him, but he is very, very loved around here and is the light of my life.

How did I get so darn lucky?