Thursday, January 29, 2009

Custom Car Seat Cover

Well this isn't a tutorial or really a great how-to, I just wanted to share a past project today that I had done and am proud of. I sold the carseat recently and it made me a little sad because I worked so hard on it! :(

Here's the back story... I had a son and therefore bought a boyish carseat. Then two years later I had a baby girl. Well call me crazy but I don't see the point in buying a whole new carseat when the other one worked prefectly fine! Here is the finished product:

So I took the carseat cushion off and the awning piece (is that what its called?) and then I proceeded to rip the seams apart. I paid close attention at this point to really watch the construction and how it was put together. Once everything was apart, I ironed like crazy.

I bought some pink flannel material with a cute star pattern all over it and I purple cotton fabric for the accent pieces. From there it was pretty simple. I just laid out my "pattern pieces" (the old cushion and awning parts) and cutout the pieces from the new fabric. I also opted to double the fabric for the awning so that there wouldn't be any visible seams as there would have been if I had not. I added a ruffle to the awning for a little cute factor. I used a litle extra quilt batting in the cushion for comfort as well.

That's about it! Here is what the carseat looked like before:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

*FREE* Felt Food Pattern!

This is a follow up to all the wonderful comments and requests for a pattern for my felt play food. This is a free pattern, made by me, for a sandwhich and a bag of chips. Right-click the following three images and select "Save Target As" and save to your desktop. Then from there you can print these images full size.

Basically the construction on these is pretty simple. Everything was handstitched using embroidery thread matching the color to the felt. I only used two threads of the embroidery thread in most cases and I used a blanket stitch on everything. the only exceptions to this are the chips and the chip bag. I whip stitched the yellow circle and white line onto the red bag but I did a blanket stitch to attach the two bag pieces together. **NOTE: You could add a little velcro to the opening of the chip bag if you want it to "close". However, I did not.

Potato Chips and Bag:
The chips were the only thing that were not handsewn. The chips were made by first taking one sheet of felt and cutting it in half to make two sheetsthat measured 6"x 9". Then I placed them together and loaded the sewing machine up with a matching thread color. Then I placed the presser foot along on edge. I sewed vertically following the short (6") end. After I sewed that first line, then I moved the presser foot and placed it up against the first line and used that line as a guide. I continued until the entire sheet was stitched with evenly spaced lines. Using this method the stitch lines end up being about 1/4" apart. Then I used the chip pattern (the cutout shape from the pattern sheet) and laid it on top of the stitched sheet of felt and started cutting. You want to make sure your lines run vertically and are centered correctly on the chip (see the pattern drawing for a rough guide). Because the felt has all the stitching, the chips can be "curled" to look like real ruffle chips!!


For the sandwich, cut 4 pieces of felt for the white bread parts. I wrote on the pattern to cut two strips of dark brown felt in a 14" long by 1/2" wide strip. In order to do this and get it to fit on one sheet of felt, you will have to cut it out on the diagonal. It will take two pieces of felt to do just this part. But don't be discouraged! Save those scraps! They will come in handy for future felt projects I am sure.

Blanket stitch the brown strip onto one side of the white bread part. You can start in the middle of the bottom of the piced of bread or you can do what I did which is start in one of the indented parts of the side. When you go to handstitch the second white bread piece on, leave an opening large enough to stuff batting in. I just used regular Poly-fil. Try not to overstuff it or you will get puffy, swollen looking bread.

Swiss Cheese:
This was pretty simple. I just blanket stitched the holes first (it is easier to hide your starter stitches that way). The I stitched the two cheese pieces together along the outside. That's it!

I blanket stitched the outside first. Then I hand basted the main "vein" going from one end to the other. Make sure that you get a good secure knot to start. Then when I got to the other end of the lettuce, I pulled the thread to get the rippled effect. Don't pull too tight, it doesn't take much to get the ripple effect. I added a few more veins coming out from the main one also using a hand sewn basting stitch but those were decorative and I did not pull those tight. Do what you feel looks best. Some of the veins may need to be pulled a bit to get the lettuce effect that you like best. Having the rippled effect with the basting stitches and not leaving the lettuce flat really gives the lettuce a realistic look and gives it a more three-dimensional look.

This was one of the harder components of the sandwich. I recommend cutting out the parts with an Exacto knife. The tomato consists of three parts. The back is red, the middle is pink, and the top is the red cutout piece. First whip-stitch the red cutout piece onto the pink piece but only stitch the middle parts NOT the outside edge. Then I just stitched some "seeds" using the same read embroidery thread that I just stitched the pieces together with. Then put the back red piece on and blanket stitch the pieces together.

Other Sandwich Parts:
The rest of the parts were all just blanket stitched except for the peanut butter and jelly. Those were a single piece of felt cut out using the pattern.

You can check out the completed pictures here:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Just an update...

Just wanted to give you all a brief update....

It has been crazy with the holidays and then my birthday was on the 11th. Now it has calmed back down to normal again, thank goodness. I have no shortage of patterns and tutorials that I am ready to share and I certainly didn't stop crafting in these last few weeks! SO.....never fear! There will be new posts very soon! I will bombard you with fantastic projects, tutorials, and other cool things I have been working on!

My main goal in the coming weeks is to get my first felt food pattern up that correlates with this project I posted recently. I also have a bunch of patterns I made for kids clothes and I want to get those patterns posted as well. Plus I had a super crafty Christmas and I want to show you all what I have been up to! Anyway, bear with me, I will be posting very regularly again! :)

Adult Pants to Infant Pants

Here is a pattern, made by me, for size 12-18 month infant girls, flare-leg pants. These are best made out of a super stretch fabric like a jersey, knit, or fleece. This pattern can be made to accommodate a non-stretch but you will have to add extra seam allowance for that in some cases. Also, the instructions here are for refashioing adult pants to infant pants. I will post instructions later on how to use this same pants pattern to make pants from scratch using new fabric and not old clothes.

An old pair of yoga pants (or you can just use fabric!)
1" wide elastic (if you cannot salvage the elastic from the original pants)
Sewing Machine

Step 1:
Right-click and "Save Target As" on the following images and then print. I don't recommend printing directly from your web browser because it tends to shrink the image a little in order to put the web page information on the page.

Step 2:
Start disassembling the adult pants by first removing the waistband carefully. I just cut along the seam line. Also cut the tip off the knotted end of the drawstrong (if appplicable).

Note: The waistband on the adult pants had a drawstring built in that I decided to incorporate into the final design. So please keep that in mind when view these pattern instructions.

Step 3:
Seperate the waistband pieces. Then cut the waistband to match the pattern piece. You can use the old elastic or you can buy 1" elastic if you prefer. Basically the elastic needs to be 18" long.

Now, fold the waistband fabric in half, right-sides together, meeting the short ends together and stitch using 5/8" seam allowance. Press open allowance. Now you basically have a circle of fabric. Take the waistband fabric and fold it in half lengthwise, wrong-sides together, and press with an iron.

Take your 18 inches of elastic and sew it with a 5/8" allowance to make it a circle too. Place the elastic inside your fabric waistband all the way up to the crease, matching the seams. Set aside for now.

Step 4:

Cut along the inner leg seam, starting at the bottom and working your way up to the crotch. Cut the front crotch along the seam line. Now make sure the pants are perfectly folded along the exterior seam line. Smooth out the pants getting rid of any wrinkles or creases, pressing with an iron in necessary. Secure the pants near the seam line with a few pins.

Step 5:
At this point the adult pants should be laying down facing up, as in, the front of the pants are facing you and the tush part in touching the floor, table or whatever worksurface you are using. Keep this in mind for the remaining instructions.

Take the pattern and lay in face down on the right leg (that's your right...i.e. the adult pant leg that is closest to your right arm). Place the pattern as shown in the picture and pin through both layers of the pants.

Step 6:
Cut the bottom edge of the pattern and the along the inner thigh up to the crotch, stopping at the point (see image).

Step 7:
This is where it gets the most confusing! Seasoned sewers who have made pants before will totally understand this but it may be really confusing for a beginner. Click on the picture below to enlarge the image and see the instructions. There are several images here to clarify the instructions.

Step 8:

Place the pattern on the left leg now EXCEPT this time, the pattern will be facing right-side up. Repeat steps 6 and 7. You should now have two halves to a pair of pants! We're almost there!

Step 9:

Starting with one of the legs, turn them so that the right-sides are facing together. Match the inner thigh edges together and pin them. Stitch a 5/8" seam allowance as shown in the picture. Do the same for the other leg.

Step 10:
Okay, here's the next confusing part. One pant leg needs to slip inside the other, right sides together, so that you are looking at the wrong-side of one pant leg. Match up the crotch edges, pin and stitch together. It would be well advised to do a double stitch line in the crotch area for reinforcement. I have skipped that step in the past and had seams pop.

Remember to leave the top unstitched for the waist band!!!

I finished the pants without taking pictures of the last few steps. So I pulled out the completed pants to take a few clarifying photos. The problem is that now my camera is possessed and is on the fritz. I was only able to get three pictures before the camera turned off and won't turn on again and those pics are super blurry. I tried to sharpen them up on the computer a bit but, I am warning you, they are pretty awful, so sorry.

Step 11:

Turn the pants right side out and pin the waistband to the pants, placing the waistband on the outside of the pants with the opening facing up. Match the seam of the waistband to the back seam of the pants. Sew about 3/8" from the edge.

Step 12:
Hem the pants to whatever length you need for the child. Trim all the excess thread and you're done! Here's what they looked like all complete:

Friday, January 9, 2009

What now? Will the CPSC's new law put crafters like me out of business?

I am so infuriated about this new law that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has gotten passes. I want my kids to play with toys that are free from lead paint and other toxic poisons as much as the next parent. So that's why I started making playthings myself, like felt food and finger puppets. But now I can't sell it because of this law stating I need to have all toys and children's clothing tested for toxins? I am a stay-at-home mom and full time college student. Where would I ever get the money for that? And why shouldn't I be allowed to craft felt food and sell it on if I want? Will I really be fined and thrown in jail for 5 years as the law states for making unique and imaginitive toys for children? I think the companies who make the felt I use should have to incur that cost not the crafter at home. Well I will say this....F#*% YOU Consumer Product Safety Commission. Read my loophole, I will continue to make my stuff and sell it. If I have to I will sell it out of my garage to my neighbors. Try and stop me. Oh and I will be writing several LONG letters to my Congress person and Senators and any other goverment official with the ability to change this law to take into full consideration the smaller-than-small business home crafter.

You can read more about this law here: