I'm Janimal, happily gainfully employed Momma to a sweet girl. Livin' it up in Atlanta with a great husband and a good job. Sometimes I make stuff and here's my spot to show it off! Life is good, so I'm sharing....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Easy Peasy Soft Animal Toys - Blue The Sheep!

Just a quick tutorial about some super duper easy little softies I made this week.

Meet "Blue" the sheep.

Here's the story of Blue The Sheep.
I fell in love with some cute animal print fabric at my favorite local sewing store. It was a precut yard of adorableness. I had some scraps left from making a Popover Dress (Free pattern here) for Delilah. I had to think of something to do with them.

Oh, you wanna see the adorable cuteness of my daughter in her dress before we get started?!!? Well, if you insist. I can't blame you. She really is the cutest thing going...action shot ahead!

(I have a tutorial to make the Popover Dress here)

Delilah LOVES animals, so I guess it's no wonder I have quite a lot of fabrics with cute creatures in my stash. So I imagine more of these little softies are in my future!
I got started by selecting Blue from the crowd of animals. He stood out. I think it was his blueness that caught my eye.

Then I cut a piece of wool felt roughly the same size as the first cutout.

I drew a sewing line about a half an inch around Blue, and pinned the right side of the fabric to the piece of wool felt. (The key here, is to not have any sharp angles to sew. It makes a difference when turning.)

I sewed sorta kinda on the line I drew, leaving about an inch and half wide opening to turn.

After sewing, I trimmed all around the sewn line to about a quarter inch.

And handstitched the opening closed.
Oh, he is so cute, he may have a permanent home in my sewing room as my little helper.

But then he might miss all his friends.....

I think some of these softies would be a good project for the toy society.
Earlier this week I mentioned a smocket tutorial was in the works. It's almost finished, I just need my little model to wear the final creation so I can finish it off. The smocket tute I am posting is a modification of someone else's pattern. I'll be linking to them, their pattern, and showing you my modifications. Hope that makes sense!
Thanks for stopping by today.
- Janimal


Monday, April 26, 2010

Another TShirt to Toddler Dress

I love turning my old clothes into outfits for Delilah!

Making simple dresses from T Shirts is my new thing. This project can be completed quickly (always a plus for a Mom with limited time) and since I am using a shirt I don't wear, it doesn't really cost me anything. And if I mess up too badly on an upcycle, (and I messed up on this, I'll show you my booboo) it's not like I spent a bunch of money on the fabric. Which reminds me of the $17/yard Kokka fabric I ordered and can't bring myself to cut. I am SO nervous about cutting that stuff - it's too pretty!

Anyway, on with the Dress tutorial. Very similiar to THIS one I posted before, except the sleeves are much better on this one.

Start off with a T. This one was some kind of promo one my husband brought home from work. Too small for me. I like the logo "Tuff Girl".

When I started I wasn't sure what I was doing. I grabbed a TShirt of Delilahs to take a look at how much I was going to cut from this shirt.

I decided that I wanted the black of the sleeve to be just on the sleeve on her dress too. So I had a plan in mind to sew at approximately the lines I drew in the below picture. (What I SHOULD have done, is not shorten the sleeve length. I should have used the existing sleeve hem. Ah well, it turned out ok, and I learned something.)

I cut a bit first. One side at a time.

Ok, cut! Now I had to be sure to sew so there was no black in the side seam. But I needed to be close, to have the dress be wide enough.

Here I start to sew.

Clip threads (here I realized I should have changed my bobbin thread. ) and cut into the corner of the sleeve seam too.

Turn right side out, and we're on our way!

This probably would have been a good time to stop, try it on the child. But she was sleeping. So I forged ahead, hoping this wouldn't be a waste of time. I left the sleeves just cut. The knit doesn't fray.

Now to tackle the length. I got out my handy metal yardstick.

And drew 3 strips using the yardstick as my guide.


I cut the strips and sewed them end to end, to make one loonnng strip of fabric.


Set the sewing machine to the highest possible number, which is the lowest possible tension. And to the widest stitch possible, a basting stitch. Sew down the middle of the 1' strip, and see the magic that happens to the strip of fabric!

And this is my least favorite part - pinning. Pin the ruffled strip to the bottom of the dress.

Now sew the strip to the dress, right down the middle, attaching the strip to the bottom of the dress.

NOW HERE IS THE BOO BOO. I forgot to reset the tension on my machine. Oopsy. The fabric got pulled down into the thingymabob and was stuck. This was not fun to fix. So -- let me give you a warning - check the tension!

Put this dress on your child, and she is raring to go outside and play.

This dress is fun to play in!

Even looks good with sidewalk chalk markings!

Ok, that was fun! Very simple, and I learned a few things.

So far, my TShirt refashions have been very simple. If you want to see some much cooler refashions, you must head to the blog Lil Blue Boo. The MASTER of TShirt refashions for kids! I recently purchased the Sienna Dress Pattern and I am excited about it. I read through the directions and am SO pleased at how simple and straightforward they appear. The pattern is uncomplicated, not many pieces. It is awesome how she makes sleeves look easy!

Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to see your TShirt refashions. And here is a preview of a smocket for a tutorial hopefully later this week - just 1 pattern piece!

The Girl Creative
The Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Craft Hope Bean Bags

One of my favorite discoveries recently was the website for Craft Hope. They have such cool projects for great causes!

I was THRILLED when they announced the latest project. Because it's one I felt reasonably confident I could participate in. Making educational beanbags for orphans in Liberia.

I did a set of bean bags with numbers:

I used aquarium gravel for the filler, and have TONS left. These are cotton with fabric paint using freezer paper to stencil on the numbers. Delilah likes them so I'll be making a set for her next.

It was so satisfying to work on a project like this. Check out Craft Hope. Participate in a project sometime, and I promise it will make you feel FABULOUS! The work done by participants in the projects is inspiring to check out. I just saw some of the other beanbags and they are completely adorable.

Later skaters,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Toy Society Drop

I completed my first Toy Society drop! AND I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO IT TOO!

Don't know about the Toy Society blog? Check it out here. Basically people across the globe are encouraged to make a toy, package it according to the directions from the site, and leave it as an anonymous gift somewhere.

Here is the birdy I made for the drop. Made from wool felt and sewn by hand. Simple, little, cute (I think).

Once the toy is left, the donor is asked to upload it's picture, along with a picture of the drop location and some details, to the Toy Society website. Each toy is assigned a number and shown on the site. Sometimes, (and it's really cool when this happens) the finder of the toy will read the enclosed note and let the Toy Society know they found the toy and those found notices are posted too.
I got my hubby involved and asked him to help me think of a good place for the drop.

Here's a picture of our location:
Good-bye little birdy. I hope you found a good home!