Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nativity Set for Toddlers

I had so much fun this week making this Nativity toy for Elena. I am so practical sometimes and get so happy about making useful things that are both fun and educational and that fulfill a blog assignment for myself. I think this still qualifies for Katy of No Big Dill's Sew All 26 Challenge.

Last year my mom gave me a pattern for a barn bag with farm animals. It is Butterick 4026 but I can't find it on their website now. Not even in the out of print section so I apologize for that. I modified the decorations on the bag to look more like a stable and I changed the horse into a funny looking camel. The animals for this pattern have a lot of little pieces, but they turned out so darn cute I am not complaining at all.

Can that sheep be any cuter?

The two little girls I babysit really loved it too. Then it dawned on me that the sherpa part is cut from their old Bundle Me car seat cover that had a broken zipper. So I will surprise them this week with one for each of them to take home.

The original pattern didn't make any people but I had planned on making  basic stuffed Jesus, Mary and Joseph characters. After the animals came out so cute, I felt like my simple vision needed an upgrade. You can't have the animals outshining the main characters afterall.

So I dressed up our mom, dad and baby from our doll house. The robes are no-sew. I cut rectangles long enough to cover front and back and cut a slit for the head to go through. Tied it up with a ribbon and it looked pretty good. The head coverings took a little more thought. I made rectangles and folded them in half right sides in and sewed an arc across one narrow end to form a hoody. They looked good but didn't stay on at all so I stretched a piece of elastic and sewed it onto the hoody at about the neck area. It snugs it in enough to keep it on a little. Not a chance of staying on when being played with, but it looks good when they're just standing there. They pose so much better than Elena does. Jesus got some felt swaddling clothes that can slip on and off.

This kind of project is one of my favorites. I like when there is a pattern to start with but then I get to be creative and figure things out. It also cost nothing. Everything single thing I used came from something I got for nothing. My mom is largely to thank. She has a knack for finding great things on the curb, at garage sales, the thrift store, etc.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Toddler Infinity Scarf


I checked a Love of Crochet magazine out of the library, and set out to try some new things. First up, was the Winter Skies Cowl. I made this scarf for Elena, mostly because that's how much of this leftover yarn I only had. A happy accident. I only had enough to do the first 5 rounds, but it wraps around her skinny neck 3 times and looks great with her fleece jacket which was all she needed on a nice 50+  degree day in December. I love it. She looks quite stylish for a slightly ill 2 year old out for a hike at the duck pond and nature center.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Messenger Bag


I am still sewing my way through the alphabet with Katy of No Big Dill. When my high school sophomore daughter said she needed a new bag for school and she wanted it to have a long, wide strap and a flap like her old one, I said, "Sounds like a messenger bag." How convenient, huh? Just in time for "M" week. After all, I am incredibly practical, so I love it when things happen like this. Actually, it happened two weeks ago, but close enough.

She chose the fabrics herself at Joann's. The outer fabric is a very heavy woven with some sort of  felt-like backing - an upholstery fabric I presume. The lining is quilting cotton. She is a wonderful artist and has a great eye for color and pattern. I could, and should, post some of her artwork some day. Really talented. We also used a stiff interfacing for the flap and body of the bag to help it keep it's shape.

The pattern is a free one we found at mmmcrafts. It went together very easily. We worked as a team so we had it done in just about 2 hours. She can sew, but is pretty slow and we were trying to get it done while Elena napped so she was happy to press things and trim seams, etc while I sewed.

The back has one large pocket and the inside has a large one split into two. It has worked out really well for her for school. She doesn't need a large bag. She just wanted something to carry her planner, phone, a personal book, pens, calculator, and some personal items.

She has received many compliments and so now I'm thinking that we have a good gift idea for a couple of her friends for Christmas. And maybe if we leave enough time, she can do some of the sewing herself.