Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crunchy Fuzzy Loopy Tag Blankie Tutorial - Handmade Christmas

Ellie is completely enamored with anything that makes
loud crunchy noises.
She also likes to suck on blankets and put her fingers through anything that loops.
And I'm pretty sure fuzzy things make her really happy.
She hasn't exactly told me,
but I think I'm picking up what she's laying down, if you know what I mean...

I magically fused all of her baby loves together into something I like to call,
"The Crunchy Fuzzy Loopy Tag Blankie".
In case you didn't pull it from the name, the blankie is crunchy, fuzzy, and loopy.
In other words, it's an auditory/tactile playground for babies.

It was also extremely easy to make with minimal materials.
2 pieces of scrap fabric
1 empty cereal or chip bag
ribbon scraps
sewing machine

So easy, in fact, that I decided to write a tutorial for it.

Now, as Willow would say, let's get this party started.

You need:
*2 pieces of fabric (quilting weight or flannel) that are the same size- go search your scraps.
Cut to any size you want.
I used quilting weight for one side, flannel for the other to get some different textures in there.

*1 empty bag of chips or cereal- go search your pantry.
You need any kind of bag that makes a crunchy sound and can get wet.
Clean the bags and let them dry.

Then, cut them up the back seam so they're easier to work with and lay flat like so:
Cut the bag to be the same size as your 2 fabric pieces.

*Scraps of any non-wired ribbon or ric-rac - pieces should be at least 2" long to work well

Cut longer pieces into 2"-4" strips to make the loops.

Take one of your two pieces of fabric and place it right side up.
You will pin all your 'loops' to the right side of this fabric.

Now, take your 2"-4" pieces of ribbon and, one at a time, fold them in half, making a loop.
Line up the cut edges of the ribbon with the outside edge of the fabric,
with the looped end pointing towards the inside of your fabric rectangle and pin in place.
Continue along all 4 edges of fabric.
You should end up with something that looks like this:
Make as many or as few tag loops as you want.

When you've finished pinning all your loops,
take your other piece of fabric and place it on top of the fabric you just pinned the loops to, right sides together.
(So the wrong side is facing up)
Pin in place.

Next, take your piece of crunchy bag and place it on top of the fabric you just pinned.
Pin in place.

You should have a 'sandwich' of those 3 layers:
taggie blankie

Take your 'sandwich' to your sewing machine, making sure the crunchy bag is on top.
Sew together with 1/4" seam allowance around 3 edges.

On the 4th edge, make sure to leave a gap about 3 inches wide.

Now, carefully turn your blankie sandwich completely right-side out through that gap.
Use a pen or the wrong end of a paintbrush to push the corners out from the inside so they're nice and pointy.
Smooth everything out.

To close the gap, turn under the open edges of fabrics 1/4" and pin.

If you had any loops located in the gap, you will need to re-pin those.

Make sure you place the loops in between the two fabric pieces and 1/2" inside (deep), with the looped end pointing out this time.
Pin in place.

Now, stitch just inside the edge of the blanket (about 1/8") around all 4 edges.
Backstitch at beginning and end.

Congratulations... you're done!!!

Now you have a super-fun Crunchy Fuzzy Loopy Tag Blankie to give to a tiny human!

And, if they're anything like Ellie,
they will love it so much that they squeal with delight and whip it around faster than the speed of light to blur the colors and hear it crunch.
Picnik collage

Let me know if you have any questions or if anything is unclear...
I'll leave you be so you can get to work on your new projects.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hunchback of Two Really Cute Girlies...

This may just be my favorite thing of all time:
My Girlies

My girls.
I just love them.

But I love that they love each other even more.

They're perfect.
Big Sister loves Little Sister and Little Sister loves her right back.


It helps that they are the happiest kids in the entire world.
The happiest.
In. the. entire. world.

And funniest.
They crack me up.
Especially the big one.
She's a gas.


Just in case you thought all I was going to do was gush about my beautiful children...psssh.

I thought I had a pillow form for this new little thing, but alas, I do not.
So you will get a 'work in progress' pic instead of a 'finished product' pic.

Willow has one coming, too.
But I think it's got about 2 stitches in it... so it wouldn't be that fun to look at.
Maybe I'll finish it by her 4th birthday... haha.

All my laundry was finished last week.
Now- NONE of it is.
I hate laundry.
I want a shirt that says 'I hate doing laundry' so I can wear it when I have no clean clothes.
So, I guess I would wear it for
10 days straight,
then I would have clean clothes for approximately 47 seconds,
then I could wear it again.
But it would have to wash itself or forget it.

Also... my back is out.
I can't move, really.

I think it has something to do with Ellie going from
sleeping through the night
not sleeping at ALL through the night
which meant I fell asleep in a sitting position while holding her because she wouldn't let me put her down.
So now I'm stuck in a sitting position while attempting to stand.

That, and the fact that I'm getting old.
Don't even get me started... please. This upcoming birthday has got me all messed up.

Just call me Quasimodo... it's more fitting.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sneak peek because I can't wait any longer...

So, remember when I was all excited about showing
you guys my new
on a budget which was completely underway and actually
almost complete
but then we moved, so I had to
start all over
in a new room in a new house?
Before it was finished?


Well, I'm almost done with the new Big Girl Room.
Which no longer has '/Nursery' attached to it
because Ellie's crib is in our room.

I couldn't imagine Ellie sleeping in a room that we were not sleeping in.
It's just too weird.
Willow slept in our room forever.
She even had her own room and then we just ended up putting her big girl bed in the corner in our room.
She ended up in there at some point every night anyway...
But she's getting bigger, and therefore needs her own room.
Sniff. Sniff.

Well, since I'm not completely done with her room,
but can't stay away from the blog any longer,
but am super-swamped with holiday sewing and 'our' projects that need finishing up,
and can't contain my excitement for that much longer,
I wanted to give a little sneak peek into Willow's Big Girl Room:


It's almost all handmade/DIY, free, thrifted, repurposed, or upcycled.


And most definitely within a new (even lower) budget- just to see if I could do it.


It's turning out pretty sweet.


I'm pulling inspiration from lots of places...


And Willow has even been creating some art for her room.
I love that she loves making stuff as much as I do...


I just have a few things to finish up and then I can't wait to post the finished result!


- once I get the new room finished up and posted-
I'll be posting some tutorials for everything that we made.
That way you can have a super-cute room too without spending a wholelotta moola.
Yippee for everybody.

And I'm still working on making a PDF sleeve pattern for that upcycled dress.
Don't worry.
I didn't forget.
It's just a busy time of year. I'm sure you all can relate.

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

All Hallows' Eve

Halloween 2011.
It was a blast, I must say.
Willow was an 'Owl Princess'.
In case you're wondering... the pink pumpkin jack-o'-lantern candy thingy was a must-have.
Not orange.
That's what made the 'princess' part of the costume.
Picnik collage

And Ellie was our little Screech Owl.
Believe me, she definitely earned the 'screech' part of that title.
Girl's got some lungs.
It was cold,
so there's not so many pictures of Ellie in her full costume...
which is a total bummer,
because she looked stinking adorable.
One of these years I will get all the pictures I want before the trick-or-treating begins.
You just watch...


At first Willow was going to be Elvis.
Hilarious, right?
But then I saw some owl costumes,
particularly this one and this one,
and persuaded her to change her mind.
I thought it would be a LOT easier to make an owl than it would be to make an Elvis,
not gonna lie.

It was super easy.
And way cheap.
The only thing I bought was the felt for the wings.
I used this pattern for wingy inspiration.
I used the general wing shapes the website provided,
-but I thought the directions were very Martha Stewartish-
which makes sense, considering it's her website...
So I just kinda winged it.
Get it?
Winged it.
I know. I'm hilarious.

I chose the colors based on those leggings, which I thought looked very Owl-y.
Cut all the 'feathers' from scraps.
Sewed them all onto an old t-shirt of mine that I cut the sleeves off of.
And I used safety pins to make it a bit smaller,
as well as attach the wings.
It's all about using what you have...

I think she liked it :)

She flapped away from almost every house.

Some of the houses were on a slight incline, and she ran down their yards
so fast
after each house that we had to kind of
block her from the road and act like buffers
just in case
she gained too much momentum and couldn't stop.
Or if she took a digger.
Which she did.
A few times.
It's all good though... CANDY!

Favorite shot of the night:
I'm pretty sure she's thinking, "Alright... I got this!".

Hope everybody had a Bewitching Halloween!!

And just for fun, here's a picture of Ty and my hubby,
-aka Dumb and Dumber-
all dressed up in their Halloween costumes:
Picnik collage

Orange and blue tuxedos (made from a men's suit pattern)
complete with
matching orange and blue shoes (old shoes and spray paint),
orange and blue canes (dowels and a railing piece from Home Depot),
orange and blue tuxedo shirts(old button-down shirts dyed and ruffled up with cut up t-shirts),
and matching orange and blue bow-ties and top hats (pattern).
Just add a blonde wig for Harry and a blacked out tooth for Lloyd and you're ready to party...

Do we know how to Halloween or what?
Good times...