#swapaddict · Holidays · Newsletter · Swaps

August News

Hello, August!

It’s so cliche to start with “I can’t believe it’s August already”, but all summer I have felt like life is stuck in fast forward. I wrote “June” twice yesterday when signing forms at the doctor.  I am glad I decided this summer to take a hiatus from my craft projects, sewing orders and swaps because my kids are here 24 hours a day, plus I actually like leaving the house in the summer.  While my kids are happy to watch TV all their waking hours so I can work on projects,I do like them to see the sun occasionally. I signed them up for a bunch of small activities, all of which seemed to happen in the last three weeks. We have lived in the car and eaten a majority of our meals as picnics on park benches or en route to the next thing. Thankfully the bulk of the actives are wrapping up and they only have a few things left this summer, but we’re planning some family adventures for August, so I don’t know when I will get back to my sewing room. Continue reading “August News”

Featured · Holidays

Boys Can Wear Pink: My Two Adorable Valentines

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I present my humble contribution to Boys Can Wear Pink Blog Tour presented by Handmade Boy. If you haven’t already, you should check out all the cute boys in pink posted so far! My duo has become accustomed to special outfits for every special occasion, so when I saw this adorable Conversation Hearts fabric, I knew I wanted to make something for them for Valentine’s Day. The Modkid Dapper Bowite and Suspenders was my first choice. I might be a little addicted to making bowties and suspenders, I think I have made them at least a dozen times since I first made them back in November. I love that they are adjustable so they can wear them this year and for years to come. And I love that they can be dressed up or down. Plus, is there anything cuter than little boys dressed up like old men? I don’t think so.

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The hardest part was getting these two to cooperate for a nice photo together. Individually they shine, but together they make goofy smiles and eventually end up with one in a headlock.

But seriously, I can’t handle this kind of cuteness.

I am so lucky both these little guys call me their Valentine.

Make sure you check out all the other Boys Can Wear Pink contributors and enter to win the giveaway!

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Featured · Holidays · Projects · Tutorials

Easy Snowman Tote: 12 Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge

Snowman-Tote

Way back when it was still warm out and the sun didn’t set at 4:30, I was invited to participate in Sew McCool’s 12-Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge. I had big plans to finally finish the advent calendar I have been “going to make this year” for the past three Christmas seasons. This post is not about the advent calendar I made. Yet again, I didn’t get it made. Instead I did a cute craft with my kids. This was crazy easy, relatively inexpensive and turned out adorable. These would be so cute as teacher gifts, grandparents or even to use as gift bags.

For this project you will need:

  • Plain White tote bag. (I bought a blank one at a craft store but you can find about a bajillion tutorials on Pinterest if you would like to make your own.)
  • Scrap of Orange Felt or Fleece
  • Random Assortment of Black Buttons
  • Some sort of super strong adhesive. (or a sewing machine or needle and thread if you’d rather stitch the face on.)
  • Two Scraps of holiday fabric, cut about 2 inches x the width of the bag. Fleece would work well, I used woven cotton and pinking shears on the edges.
  • Small helpers (Optional.)

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I am not a kids-crafting blogger. Or a kids-crafting expert. Or even a regular kids-crafting participant. I tend to lock myself away for my crafting and sewing projects, it is my time away from my kids. Lately, though, they have been begging to help, keep picking out fabric they want made into various things, and are becoming more curious about my sewing projects. This project is definitely one that requires close supervision due to the glue. You could use a regular child-safe glue stick and then stitch the items where the kids placed them, but I just let them arrange things then made them sit back and did the gluing myself. If your kids are older they might be OK but I definitely advise adult supervision with this project.

The first step was arranging the face. I let them try different arrangements, and they actually worked together to decide where the buttons should go and what direction the nose should point. There was some discussion that the snowman should have a mad face, but I convinced them that he should be happy.

 

Once they had the buttons and nose placed, I glued them down. The adhesive I bought said industrial strength, and should hold well without additional stitching, but if I were going to make several of these I might just stitch the buttons and nose on. The “scarf” was the last part and we just glued the ends of each side of the bag. Once it was dry I tied it in a knot in the middle.

 

And that’s it. Simple and cute. My total cost was under $6, and that included the glue, which you could easily do several bags with one tube. The kids loved making the face and asked if they could make another one.

 

Thank you to Deanna at SewMcCool for inviting me to participate and definitely check out all the other projects in the challenge.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with sewmccool.com large

Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Featured · Holidays · Projects · Sew Alongs

Modkid Dapper and Riley Sew-along for the Holidays

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Recently, I was able to team up with Whimsical Fabric to put together these samples for the December Sew-a-long. The patterns called for a brother/sister set so I borrowed a friend’s twins. Another gracious friend took these photos when my own kiddo got sick and we had to cancel our photoshoot last minute. It takes a village, as they say.

This Brother/Sister set is comprised of two Modkid patterns: The Dapper and Riley. Both patterns are available individually or as part of a kit for the Sew-along though Whimsical Fabric. The Sew-Along starts December 1 and includes prizes for participants, so hurry and order before the Thanksgiving break! Use the code MODKIDLOVE when checking out to receive a discount.  The code is good through Sunday, November 30th.

And now for some twin cuteness!

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The Riley Dress was easy to follow and is very cute. The front panel is perfect for showcasing a favorite fabric. The bow allows for some cinching in the pattern so it can be worn for a while, even for growing kids. The dress pattern is size 2T to 10. It can use from 1-3 fabrics for the front/back/sides and has optional hems or ruffles for the bottom and sleeves. The pattern also has short and long sleeve options. I did a hemmed sleeve but added a ruffle to the bottom.

 

 

And the Dapper. OMG I love this. As a boy mom and someone who makes mainly boy clothes I am over the moon about this. (I have already made multiple sets of these!) The suspenders and bowtie are to-die-for cute and all adjustable so they fit nearly anyone. The pattern includes instructions for kids or adults, so everyone can have bow ties and suspenders! The hardware is available from Whimsical Fabric too. I can definitely see lots of these in my future for holidays and birthdays! I mean, seriously, look at how adorable these are!

 

I was invited to participate in sewing up samples for the Whimsical Fabric Sew-Along and received the pattern and fabric at a discount, but I was not compensated for this post. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Featured · Holidays · Projects

Halloween Hack: Baby Strongman Costume

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You might have seen this little guy before, and he’s the lucky recipient of his very first Halloween costume. His mom Amanda is my closest friend and my own personal professional photographer. He is the subject of much affection from my boys, who can’t wait to teach him all. the. things. (Like hide and seek and how hilarious the word butt is.) For now, though, he is 9 months old and ready for his First Halloween.

Amanda asked if I could make him a Strong Man costume. I immediately thought of the Scientific Seamstress Reversible Romper pattern I used to make his Star Wars romper. It would need some modification but I was up for the challenge. Who knew the hardest part would be finding the right fabric. We both agreed it should be vertical stripes, so I searched high and low for red and white stripes. Eventually we found red and black in the Halloween section. It isn’t the best quality fabric, but the price was right and it fit the bill for a short-term-use item.

The romper pattern, like all the Scientific Seamstress patterns is versatile and easy to follow. I have made it a few times in baby through toddler size and it always turns out adorable. It is designed for woven fabrics and fully reversible so it is like two outfits in one.

For the Strong Man, I made a few modifications to the pattern and I actually ended up making two versions. I let her decide which would work best. Both versions I elongated the U shape in the front, which is normally around chest-level, making it much lower. I also shortened the straps and stitched them closed, rather than using buttons or snaps like the pattern suggests. I lined it, it would be completely reversible, but the inside is just grey jersey knit for softness and stretch. Both fabrics stretch enough that I used the size 6 month pattern, even though he is closer to 12M in size to achieve a snug fit.

The outrageously addable baby and the mustache though is all Amanda’s doing. I can only take credit for the little outfit.

Definitely check out all these other fun costumes on the blog tour, and make sure you enter the giveaway! I was not compensated for this post, I purchased the pattern and the opinions are my own. Photos taken by Amanda at Loch and Key Photography.

Blog Tour!

Wednesday, October 1st: Rebekah Sews & Dog Under My Desk Thursday, October 2nd: Friends Stitched Together & Sew Pandi Friday, October 3rd: That’s What She Crafted & Everything Your Mama Made & More Monday, October 6th: Shawnta Sews & Handmade Boy Tuesday, October 7th: Muse of the Morning & Swoodson Says Wednesday, October 8th: Call Ajaire & Sew McCool Thursday, October 9th: Once Upon A Sewing Machine & imagine gnats Friday, October 10th: The Sewing Geek & Feather’s Flights Monday, October 13th: Get Your Crap Together & Needle and Ted Tuesday, October 14th: The Shaffer Sisters & The Inspired Wren Wednesday, October 15th: Pattern Revolution & Just Joshin

Scavenger Hunt!

Time to go trick or treating! Use the Rafflecopter below for a digital scavenger hunt. You’ll be looking at each blog’s posts for the month of September to find this icon: for a chance to win one of THREE awesome sewing prize packs! Three winners will be chosen randomly (and their form completion verified) and emailed within 3 days of the hunt’s closure. A big thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes! Pack 1 { $30 to The Ribbon Retreat +2 patterns from GYCT Designs + 1 pattern from Dog Under My Desk} Pack 2 {$30 to The Fabric Fairy + Kids Pattern Package from imagine gnats} Pack 3 {$30 to Fat Quarter Shop + 2 patterns from Everything Your Mama Made & More +Ramblin’ Raglan Mega Pattern Pack from Muse of the Morning} a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Featured · Holidays

Halloween Hack: Here Comes Santa Claus

I have a confession to make: I didn’t make my kids’ Halloween costumes this year. (Please don’t revoke my crafty mom card.) Both my boys spotted the Star Wars costumes at the Disney Store months ago and have never once wavered from their desire to be a Storm Trooper and Darth Vader. While I could probably have made them, the Disney Store ones are nice, have lots of detail, and I would have spent twice as much money and infinite frustration on creating them, so I feel OK about it. Plus they LOVE them, and they play dress up daily with a dozen clearance rack store-bought costumes so I know they will get used beyond Halloween.

While I didn’t make my own kids’ costumes,I did make a couple Halloween costumes for other kids, so I guess I can keep my crafty cred. I am thrilled to share these. The first is one of two Halloween Hack PDF Costumes and might be one of the most original requests I have had to date. A few months ago a college friend contacted me and said her 7-year-old daughter wanted to be Santa Claus for Halloween and could I make her an outfit she could wear for Halloween that could also be Christmas pajamas. Hmm, sure, why not? Then I spent a few months thinking about the logistics of such a request.

I decided on the Scientific Seamstress Bowling Shirt and Easy Fit Pants, both of which I have made dozens of times so I know the patterns well. I was able to make some adjustments and I love the way it all came together. The bowling shirt pattern is short sleeve, so to start, I lengthened the sleeves and added a cuff. I dug through my printed patterns to find one that was a similarly sized long sleeve and franken-patterned a sleeve by folding the long sleeve and taping them together in the middle. Very low-tech. Because it has a fleece cuff I didn’t have to make a sleeve placket. The main fabric of both the shirt and pants is solid red flannel, which should be soft and warm as pajamas later on. The trim is white fleece.

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In addition to elongating the sleeves, I also added a few inches to the length of the bowling shirt and extended the placket a few inches too.  In addition to the 4” I added in length, I also added a 4” band around the bottom before I added the placket. I just measured the finished length before I cut the fleece plackets. I skipped the interfacing that is normally in the placket so keep it soft and fluffy.

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The Easy Fit pants make awesome flannel PJ/Lounge pants, and I did them with the standard directions plus the cuff. It should add longevity to the pants since it can be unrolled for a few extra inches in length. The whole thing should be roomy enough to layer or stuff a pillow in for trick or treating, then cozy up around the tree come Christmas.

Since I live in Chicago and the little girl I made this for lives in Kansas City, a local friend kindly borrowed me her similarly-aged-but-slightly-smaller son who was willing to model. (Thanks, P!)

And just like that, Ho-Ho-Ho! I hope she absolutely loves being Jolly this Halloween. Check back tomorrow to see the other Halloween Hack costume. You won’t want to miss it!

Definitely check out all these other fun costumes on the blog tour, and make sure you enter the giveaway! I was not compensated for this post, I purchased both patterns and the opinions are my own.

Blog Tour!

Wednesday, October 1st: Rebekah Sews & Dog Under My Desk Thursday, October 2nd: Friends Stitched Together & Sew Pandi Friday, October 3rd: That’s What She Crafted & Everything Your Mama Made & More Monday, October 6th: Shawnta Sews & Handmade Boy Tuesday, October 7th: Muse of the Morning & Swoodson Says Wednesday, October 8th: Call Ajaire & Sew McCool Thursday, October 9th: Once Upon A Sewing Machine & imagine gnats Friday, October 10th: The Sewing Geek & Feather’s Flights Monday, October 13th: Get Your Crap Together & Needle and Ted Tuesday, October 14th: The Shaffer Sisters & The Inspired Wren Wednesday, October 15th: Pattern Revolution & Just Joshin

Scavenger Hunt!

Time to go trick or treating! Use the Rafflecopter below for a digital scavenger hunt. You’ll be looking at each blog’s posts for the month of September to find this icon: for a chance to win one of THREE awesome sewing prize packs! Three winners will be chosen randomly (and their form completion verified) and emailed within 3 days of the hunt’s closure. A big thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes! Pack 1 { $30 to The Ribbon Retreat +2 patterns from GYCT Designs + 1 pattern from Dog Under My Desk} Pack 2 {$30 to The Fabric Fairy + Kids Pattern Package from imagine gnats} Pack 3 {$30 to Fat Quarter Shop + 2 patterns from Everything Your Mama Made & More +Ramblin’ Raglan Mega Pattern Pack from Muse of the Morning} a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Etsy · Holidays

Decking the Halls with Custom Aprons

I am chipping away at a pretty long to-do list, happy to say these custom order Christmas Aprons shipped out yesterday. I love these little Gingerbread Men and Women, they will be so cute come Christmas Cookie time for all the littlest helpers. I added them to my Etsy Shop and will be accepting custom orders from now until the holiday ordering deadline in December. How fun would a Ginderbread House party be with all your kids’ playmates in custom aprons?

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com