Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Costumes, Part 2

I finally got my dress and Lorelei's outfit completed.
A black tshirt with ladybug wings 

A rather unflattering stripey bee dress

Now on to the details... just need some antennae, and to figure out what Ivy will wear under her monster dress.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Fun :: Sweet Berry Farm

It's that time of year again, I started making costumes and realized it was time to check out the pumpkin patch. The last two years we went to the Elgin christmas tree farm, but this year I wanted to go somewhere different, because I've heard good things about Sweet Berry Farm, and the Elgin patch isn't really that fun to me.

So last Friday, almost on a whim, we bundled up the kids and some snacks and headed for Marble Falls, about an hour away from our house.

The drive was lovely, lots of wildflowers and an overall nice trip. When we got there we were pleasantly surprised by no parking charges! There are no parking charges and there is no entrance fee, just pay for what you do. And there was a lot to do! For free you could take a mini hay ride, wander around the pumpkins, take pictures, head over and check out the goats, and wander around the wildflowers.

 For charge was stuff like paint your own pumpkin, picking zinnias, stuffing scarecrows, cornfield mazes, and of course buying a pumpkin (cheap compared to the stores in Austin!). There was more to do but I didn't feel like typing it all.

First thing we did was take some pictures, making sure to get at least one family photo.

OK, this wasn't the family photo. But it IS a bit amusing, no?
 Then we wandered around all the pumpkins a bit (there were displays set up with many varieties of pumpkins heaped in all sorts of vessels from bathtubs to old speedboats).

We headed over and said hi to the goats, and then waited for the tractor to take us over to the tunnel

The Toddler's version of waiting for the tractor. I think she was tired.

The tunnel would have been creepy if it hadn't been so short.

You go through the tunnel and there are zinnias, basil and marigold planted for picking your own flowers, so we got a cup to fill ($2) and let the Toddler lead the way through the flowers and point out some to pick.

 At the place where you fill the cups with water, we met a friendly farm cat

Then we headed back to the other side of the tunnel and picked out some pumpkins. By this time I was getting sunburned and cranky so we were ready to head out. Three big pumpkins, plus a tiny pumpkin the Toddler picked out came out to be only slightly over $20 ($21.49 to be exact)

There was some lounging while the kiddo ran around too.

Then we headed into Marble Falls for a late lunch, deciding on River City Grille (not bad, but nothing I'd make a special trip for).

All in all, I really liked Sweet Berry Farms and recommend it. It was reasonably prices for all the activities, and there was also enough to do for a while even if you didn't want to do much in the way of activities. I think we will head there in the spring for strawberry picking too!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Costumes... in progress

I worked for a while yesterday on Lorelei's ladybug costume but was getting irritated trying to make the wings work the way I want them, so started on my from-a-pattern costume today. I often do this when I'm working on projects-- let the problem kinda stew in my mind for a while and do something else that it "easier" or at least different while I work the problem out.

Today my husband took the toddler out sailing, so it's just me and the baby.
She REALLY likes the fabric I'm making my dress out of--- check it out!

"Hi Mom!"

"Oh.. I wasn't supposed to have it?"

"Yay! you didn't take it away!!"

Ah, the relative peace of crafting with a non-crawling baby around...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Costumes, Part 1

I've finished the main part of one of the three costumes I'm making this year. Baby Ivy is going to be a monster, at her big sister's request. This turned out completely different than I originally had in mind, but I'm pretty sure it is better than my original plan.

The basic gist of how I did this was:

1. I traced a jumper of Ivy's for the general shape.
2. Cut two of each side out of this great lime fleece
3. Cut tentacles
4. Sewed the pieces together, wrong sides together with a hole left for turning it right side out. I left the hole in an area where I could easily hand stitch the pieces together since I didn't plan on topstitching them
5. Turned them right side out, using a wooden skewer to help with the tentacles
6. Hand sewed the tops of the front and back together, sewing in the straps
7. Hand appliqued the eye on-- this was easier than a standard applique because I used fleece and felt so I didn't have to worry about it unraveling
8. Hand sewed the front and back together.
9. Tried it on the baby

All in all, it took about 4 hours, not including the scrapped original plan that I started and gave up on. Not bad I don't think.

There are sure to be more finishing touches, but the main part is DONE and FITS. Now on to the main part of Lorelei's.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Made it Monday:: Minky and Flannel baby blanket

For a friend's baby shower, I made her this minky and flannel blanket. The nice thing about making stuff like this is first of all it's pretty easy, and second of all it saves a lot of money.

I made this by simply turning and topstitching. For those who don't know what that means, this is how it works:

  • Cut two pieces of fabric to the same size
  • Place them inside out against each other-- meaning the "good" sides are touching each other and the back sides are facing out
  • Pin around the edges and then sew around the edges leaving a small opening for turning it right side out
  • Turn right side out
  • Sew along the outside again to make a nice edge, making extra sure to catch the edges that were left open when turning it
Then you're done!

There are a lot of different things some people do for each step-- like some people press the fabric after turning it right side out (I only do this with cotton) and some people pin after turning right side out (I only do this with really shifty fabric like satin) but the general concept remains the same for any of it. This technique can be used for so any different things, from blankies to fabric "high chairs." If anyone wants better instructions than this I found this link for you at Prudent Baby

A blanket like this can cost easily $40 with nice fabric if you bought it from a boutique, but you can make it for the cost of only 2 yards of fabric (of course the price varies depending on what fabric what you choose)

Besides the money savings, and complete control over the fabric selection, I also love that it is a simple enough project that little "helpers" can't do too much harm. Lorelei spent as much time as she could petting the minky while I was sewing this, which is the main reason I didn't pin this blanket when top stitching it-- didn't want my helper to get an owie.