Archive for October, 2011

Halloween Countdown…


Panicking, trying to get the last bits of the costumes together before the big Variety party tomorrow night. I initially thought Charles and I were going as Alexia and Lord Macon from Soulless (a fabulous series we read this year), but realized no one would ‘get’ it. So I joked to my sister that we were going to be Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace, and she said “You HAVE to do it.” So I am working out how to make a cravat for Charles. He found this awesome tutorial, and I’m trying to work my way through.

Then I told my mom, and she asked if people would really get that any more than the other.  But I am going to do QR Code nametags that link to their wikipedia articles, so at least I won’t have to describe it.

This has been probably the most challenging bunch of costumes since we did Darcy and Elizabeth (or possibly since I helped Kate do a Kaylee costume, that was pretty tricky).

But I just want to show off the best buttonhole I ever made (though I’ve done about thirty now on the various costumes this year so it turns out that practice does improve ones’ ability – quick, someone tell parents and music teachers everywhere!):


It turns out I didn’t need to be afraid of doing the buttonholes after all…

Crafty Fundraiser


I was racking my brain for something I could do for the $10 fundraiser table at the upcoming silent auction benefiting my kids’ public school, which has been hit pretty severely by budget cuts this year.  The idea behind the table is to replace the ‘buy it now’ table we had last year with a bunch of items that could all be sold for the same price: $10.  Since a lot of the items on that table were handcrafts like knit hats, scarfs, etc., I thought maybe I could do something (though I don’t yet know how to knit).

But as I was doing Rose’s hair the other day, inspiration struck.  Grandma Vickie had bought Rose some cute little hair gadgets at a fundraiser, and I realized I could make them myself.  And since they used small amounts of fabric, I could basically just use scraps from past projects to assemble them, so they were really low cost, just the elastic hair bands!  I think we are going to sell them three pairs for $10, so the goal was to do at least 60 of the individual gadgets.

Super easy, and illustrated in the photo here: first, cut out circles of fabric.  I used a cottage cheese lid as my pattern.  Then, do a simple in and out stitch around the outside of the circle.  Pull to gather, and voila!

You can just knot the gathered thread, stitch an elastic hair band to the other side, and be done with it, but on some of mine I thought it would be cute to add a button for some contrast and/or bling (depending on the button and the fabric).  So you can stitch that on during the band-attaching process.  I can think of a lot of other cute ideas to play off this – my mom just suggested jingle bells with Christmas patterns – that could be adorable!

But the key to the whole process was inviting some friends over (thanks, Kate, mom, and Glory!) and spreading the labor out a little bit.  I had almost all the circles cut before they got there, but the four of us worked for three or four hours and made almost 100 individual gadgets, fifty pairs!  I finished up the last of the circles today and as my mom is still coming up with ideas, this might not be over… but this is a great start for the fundraiser, since I only invested $5 for 100 hair elastics.  It would have cost me more to make a couple of pans of brownies, and this is going to make way more money for the school!

  Now just to figure out how to display them all on the table – I don’t want to leave them in the mixing bowl!




Saver of the Day


My husband is the greatest.  I think most guys these days, if you said, “my sewing machine is jacked up,” might not be able to look at it, identify the problem immediately, send me out for a part, and fix it, thus saving my weekend.  It is the only soccer-free, gymnastics-free weekend we have until Thanksgiving and I really wanted to work on the Halloween costumes.

  So he’s awesome: smart, handy, and he can reach the stuff on the top shelves.  A man among men.  That is all.


Rockford Peach Costume


So, just in time for Halloween, I finished the Rockford Peach costume I was working on for my friend Nicole.  I started it a long time ago, but the cancellation of the costume party we were going to led to a long process of procrastination and fear.  But to refresh your memory, this is what I was going for:

Madonna in a League of Their Own

Obviously, the movie “A League of Their Own” and the overall idea is sort of out of vogue, so there was no pattern that I could find readily available to make the costume.  So I used Butterick pattern 5598 and sort of modded it to make this:

The modifications I made to the pattern were to drop the double-breasted style of buttons, elongate one of the lapels and make that fold-over thing (I am highly technical with my self-taught sewing knowledge), and add sleeves.  I just worked it out as I went, and I think it turned out pretty decently.  It looks okay on me, I really hope it fits Nicole well, since she’s a little taller than I am…  I’ll post an update picture in the future if I can get one of her wearing it.