Friday, October 29, 2010

Baby Yoda Costume Tutorial

We do a Family Movie Night every last Friday of the month at my church (which is where I work as the Children’s Ministries Director). In October, we make it a bigger event by having the kids dress up. This year we’re showing StarWars: The Clone Wars (the cartoon), and challenged everyone to come dressed as their favorite StarWars character. Yay for another costume making opportunity for me! I decided to make a baby Yoda costume for Jace. It was so simple, only taking an hour, I thought I’d share with you how I made it.
But first, the final product:
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And now the process:
I wanted to keep it simple (since I’d made everything new for his Peter Pan costume), so I used a brown long sleeve onesie and pair of pants that we already had.
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Using the hood of another hoodie as the pattern, cut out the two pieces for the hood out of a knit (they will be sewn up the middle).
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Sew the two pieces together around the curved top and side, leaving the other two sides open.
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Fold the front edge under and sew. I used a decorative stitch that looks like I used a serger, but a plain straight stitch or zig zag would work fine.
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Try the hood on your baby (enjoy their absolute LOVE of wearing costumes and getting their picture taken).
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The hood peaked, taking away from the nice round shape of Yoda’s head, so I boxed the corner (which was more of a rounded corner).
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Much better. The picture’s blurry because the dog was trying to lick Jace.
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Since I was using a onesie, the neck was different than what you’d see on your typical hood. I didn’t want to sew the hood to both the back and front of the shirt because I was worried it would limit my ability to get the shirt over Jace’s head (the kid has a big noggin). That meant I’d have to use ties to keep the front around his face correctly.
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If you’re using a onesie, cut two strips of the green fabric, zig zag stitch down the middle (for the fun and look of it).
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Pin the hood to the shirt at the collar, right sides together. If using a regular shirt, pin it all around the neck, overlapping at the front. If using a onesie, only pin along the back and stop a the shoulders. Fold under the remaining fabric that won’t get sewn to the onesie, pin the straps between the two layers, and sew until you get to the point where you’ll attach to the onesie. Sew with the onesie facing up so you can sew just along the line of the original serging on the shirt.
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Now you’re don attaching the hood! Next, on to the ears. I found a picture of Yoda online and used it as my inspiration.
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Cut out a pattern for the shape of his ears and cut 4 of it out of the fabric (remember to leave space for seam allowance). Sew the front and back of each ear together and then slightly stuff with batting.
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Sew about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in from the edge to give some definition to the ear. Because it’s already stuffed, this will give it some nice body.
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Cut two slits in the hood where you want the ears. I had the hood sit folded and used my rotary cutter so I could cut a nice slit in both sides at the same time, making them the same length. Tuck the ear through the slit so the cut edges of the slit and the ear are all facing the same way. Sew the ear to the hood.
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And you’re done with Yoda’s head! You can stop here if you’d like. Or, if you want to add some batting around the ears to help show Yoda’s age, you can. I figured, since my fabric was a darker green, this was a young Yoda.
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I wanted to also add hands and feet, so I cut them out of green felt, and sewed on to the cuffs of the sleeves and feet.
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Finished product!
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I also wanted Yoda to have his robe, so I cut a rough shape out of a lighter brown heavy weight fabric (my mother-in-law gave it to me… it was a table cloth once upon a time!), and sewed it together.
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Then it was a matter of resisting the urge to wake up my napping baby to try it on. He finally woke up, and I was so excited to try it out. This kid loves to play dress up! He gets so excited when I put costumes on him.
Yoda with his light saber.
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Practicing Jedi skills…
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Yoda on the move…
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I’m linking this post up with the Halloween Costume Link Up Party as well as these other great link up parties!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baby Peter Pan Costume

Since Halloween is on a Sunday this year, Jace will be spending the morning in the nursery at church. I wanted to make him something that would be comfortable to play in. So I came up with Peter Pan! This costume was so much fun for me to make. This was one of the "mommy duties" I've always looked forward to! I finished making his costume last night, and was so excited to try it on him today. Here’s a look before putting it on him:
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I made the tunic and pants out of a knit fabric. I really like the weight of it. It’s the same fabric (different color) that I used for my flutter flower shirt. The belt is a soft, woven cotton ribbon I found at Jo-Ann’s. The shoes are from felt and the ribbon is woven through them so I can tighten them on his feet.
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I used this tutorial for how to make the pants. I used a pair of pants that fit him right now as the patter, but tapered the legs a bit. They were so easy to make (and quick too, a half hour!). The shirt I patterned off of a shirt that fits him loosely because I wanted there to be definition from tightening the belt.
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I made up the shoes as I went. Don’ task me how I did them. I had a very hard time even replicating the first one to make the second shoe. I’m happy with the outcome, though. They remind me of shoes made from leaves.
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These are his accessories: a hat, sword and shadow. The shadow was Nolan’s idea. The hat and sword are made from felt, the shadow from black fabric I used to line a dress I made.
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Yes, this is one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen.
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It fits perfectly. And if how excited he gets when wearing it is a measure of how much he likes it… he LOVES it! I couldn’t get him to sit still for a picture.
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I’m linking this up with the Halloween Costume Link Up Party, as well as many of these other great link up parties!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stair Step Basket

If I let it, the bottom of my staircase would like to look like this at all times:

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It’s such a slob. I’m always having to pick up after it. I would love to have clean staircase, but my stairs just don’t seem to understand.
(Really, the mess is never my fault. I never just throw things on it while cleaning. I never feel to lazy to carry things upstairs while I’m cleaning. And I never just ignore the pile, figuring I’ll pick things up next time I go upstairs.)

I’ve seen baskets like this one, or this one, but spending $40-70 to help deal with my—I mean the staircase’s—problem just didn’t seem reasonable. There are so many better things to spend my money on. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make this:

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First I measured the depth and height of each step I wanted the basket to fit on (guess what! They each were a slightly different height and depth. No wonder I trip on my stairs all the time). The I used the box Jace’s big boy car seat came in:

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I cut open the box and cut out 2 step shaped pieces for the sides, and then smaller pieces to put between those two pieces.

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Because of the way I cut the cardboard (in other words, I did it without thinking through it too much), I used Mod Podge to adhere scrapbook paper to the sides with graphics on them that would be visible inside the box. Then I taped it all together, and applied cloth using Mod Podge to the outside.

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I did mis-tape, or forgot to put scrapbook paper on it, or something (or it was late, and I just wanted to finish it and didn’t care to fix it) on two of the pieces. But I figured the likelihood of the box ever being empty was low enough that I just didn’t need to worry about it.

And here you have it, the final product, all full!

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Walking down the stairs doesn’t seem so scary anymore!

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Check out the great parties I’ll be linking up with!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photo Blocks

I bookmarked this super cute idea quite some time ago. I thought they would be fun to make for mine or Nolan’s moms. Fast forward to this week… my mom was visiting from Annapolis, Maryland, and I asked her if she’d like her birthday gift now, when I could give it to her in person, or in November on her actual birthday. She thought now would be nice. I really wanted to make her something sweet involving the pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch as well as some family pics my brother took of us on Sunday, but wasn’t sure what to make. Then I remembered my bookmark from way back. Only problem—this realization didn’t come until 9 pm on Tuesday. I’d be saying goodbye to her on Wednesday. I thought I’d blown it by offering a gift while she was visiting and then not actually having one. Not sure which is worse—that or shipping her a gift a week after the actual day (which I’ve also done). I think the late gift is worse.

But then, a wonderful thought crossed my mind! Nolan bought all the materials to build me a chase lounge this summer. He got as far as cutting the boards to the lengths he needed and giving them a coat of black spray paint. In those boards was the perfect 2x6. So I ran upstairs to Nolan who was getting ready to work out. Flashed a sweet smile (even though I know it really doesn’t make a difference), and asked if I could use the budgeted money for my mom’s gift to buy a board and some paint off of him. Oh, and could he cut the board into blocks too? He agreed (oh, how I love him). I love having a husband with tools and wood. When I told him that, he gave me a look and said, “Oh fun. I get to use them to make crafts.” [Make sure you read that with a really dry tone.]

Here’s the final product (I let my mom pick the pictures):

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How I did it:

We cut the wood into 6, 8, and 10 inch lengths. Spray painted the newly cut ends, and then sanded all the corners and edges.

Because I didn’t have the scrapbook paper I liked enough for what I was making, I used free digital scrapbook paper and embellishments, and designed each block using Publisher. Printed them off. Sprayed them with hairspray to seal the ink (I was out of varnish and thought maybe hairspray would have the same effect… it did!)

I painted a layer of Mod Podge on the boards and put the pictures on. I smoothed out the air bubbles and let them dry for a little while. In the process of drying, several more air bubbles appeared. I’m guessing maybe air that was in the wood or gas being released as the paint dried more? Painted another layer of Mod Podge (following the instructions for a canvas look from my inspiration blog) and hoped the air bubbles would magically disappear over night. Most of them did, some of them didn’t. I would have liked for them to have turned out a little better, but my mom still liked them, and the flaws won’t be super noticeable when the blocks find their home in her house. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A New Shirt

I’ve been admiring all the embellished shirts ladies in Blogland are making. My bookmarks list has been growing and growing, so I thought it was about time I do something with it. I picked up some knit fabric at Jo-Ann’s the other day (when also getting some for Jace’s Halloween costume… more on that another day!). My original intention was to do something like this from Tea Rose Home:
ruffle shirt But, when I got home, I was worried the fabric I got was a little too heavy to get the right ruffle effect. So I did some more digging through my bookmarks, and remembered this shirt from Anthropology:
anthro shirtOh, how I love the cowl neck, and the way the fabric is gathered at the chest and then falls softly (perfect for hiding the not so pretty post-baby parts). So I got to work, my inspiration picture in hand. I used a shirt I liked the fit of as my pattern, cut the fabric, sewed the shirt together, added sleeves, you know… shirt making stuff. I really liked the way the shirt was shaping up. And then it was time to add the cowl. Ug. I did it once, sewed it on, pinned and pleated, fiddled, wiggled with it on, left it for a night hoping it might magically look nice in the morning. It didn’t. I think it might have looked worse. So out came my seam ripper. We have a love/hate relationship—I love how helpful it is, I hate that I have to use it. I visualized a better way to do the cowl. I did it. It didn’t look any better. Nolan was sweet and tried to be kind while also affirming my thought that it didn’t work. At all. Out came my seam ripper again. Back to my bookmarks.
I debated between this shirt with its fun flutter flowers by Momma Go Round:
flutter shirt
And this one by Diary of a Crafty Lady (even though she made it for her daughter):
ruffle flower shirt
And this petal tank by Down East Basics (SOOOO wish they had a store in Oregon):
falling petals tank
In the end, with no help from Nolan (his comment: I don’t like ruffles. Oh, you have shirts with ruffles already? I haven’t noticed any that I don’t like.), I decided to have fun with the flutter flowers! And finally, third time was the charm, I love how my shirt turned out!
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It has the loose, flowey shape of the Anthro shirt, with the feminine flutter at the neck line (which also mimics the style of a bib necklace). I feel like I’m writing a description for a catalog.
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2010-10-11 020I did two pleats in the back (and still need to find a way so it’s not as loose from behind), and sewed a few flowers on to cover them up.
2010-10-11 009I paired the shirt with some skinnier jeans (I can’t bring myself to wear true skinny jeans), and a three-quarter length khaki jacket. I like the way they all look together.
2010-10-11 021 Oh, and threw on some fun, platinum flats that I bought a few years ago at Payless.
I had so much fun wearing my shirt today, especially knowing I made it. And know what makes it all even more wonderful? I only spent $8 on it! I think I’m going to have to buy a basic shirt pattern and have fun making lots of shirts with different embellishments.
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