Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Personalized Puzzle Toy

Today, the amazing Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps is featuring my tutorial for the personalized puzzle toy!
Puzzle Cube 19 Puzzle Cube 17 Puzzle Cube 18
Be sure to go check it out!
I know you will want to stuff a few of these in stockings this year!

I’m linking HERE this week.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

“Witch” Way to the Candy?

One year, I made a bunch of these Jack-O-Lantern pairs for family Christmas gifts. My mom had made the “boy” one when I was younger and she kept if filled with candy during the month of October. It was such a special treat for us and we loved discovering the candy stash each year. I thought it was a fun Christmas gift for everyone as we were starting homes and families of our own. I just didn’t know how long it would take to make that many of these little sets!Pumpkin Treat Bags Decos copy
I let my older girls use these as trick or treat bags for a couple of years. But, I was so worried that something was going to happen to them, that I stopped doing that. Now, these are decorations that usually sit on the piano for the month of October. And, I don’t put candy in them either because I don’t want anyone manhandling my hard work!

Since then, I have made trick or treat bags that are cute, but pretty functional—along the lines of cute fabric, plain bag.

This idea for a trick or treat bag has been brewing in my brain for a while. I don’t like the blood and guts or scary type of Halloween decorations, but I do love witches. So I went with a witch--or at least part of a witch! Witch Bag41
My older girls saw how big it was and were giddy with excitement imagining how much candy will fit in here. Now to decide who gets to use it this year!
Witch Bag43Witch Bag40

Let’s get to the details!
{Materials}
Pattern for shoes HERE
Fabric for bag (2 pieces 16 inches x 16 inches)
Fabric for bag lining (2 pieces 16 inches x 16 inches)
Fabric for handles (2 strips 3 inches x 16 inches)
Purple fabric – skirt (2 strips 9 inches x 44 inches)
Green fabric – ruffle  (two strips 6 1/2 inches x 44 inches)
Purple tulle or net (4 strips 2 1/4 inches x 44 inches)
Orange fabric – socks (2 pieces 4 inches x 4 1/2 inches)
black felt 2 pieces (9 inches x 12inches )
thread to match
Heavyweight (very
water soluble marking pencil or pen
heavy) fusible interfacing (5 inches x 13 inches)
Medium weight fusible interfacing (2 strips 3 inches x 16 inches)
needle for hand sewing

{Instructions}
NOTE: These steps are in a more logical sequence than I probably worked on it so the pictures may look a little ahead or a little behind the instructions. Just hang in there!
All seams are 1/4 inch seams unless otherwise indicated.

Handles
Iron medium weight interfacing to wrong side of handle strips following the maufacturer’s directions for the interfacing. It’s okay if it is a little smaller than the handle piece. It makes it easier to sew a straight line when it is sewn and you don’t have to worry about it lining up perfectly.
Witch Bag 7
Fold in half, right sides together. Sew together lengthwise to make a tube.
Witch Bag 9
Turn tube right side out and iron flat with seam to one side. Repeat for second handle and set aside.
Witch Bag 11
Shoes
Carefully cut out pattern for witch shoe. (It should be roughly 6 inches square.) Trace pattern onto heavyweight interfacing. Cut out interfacing inside the lines you traced. Witch Bag 25
Cut out just the shoe from the pattern piece. Fold felt in half and cut out two at a time so they are exactly the same.
Witch Bag 26
Fold orange fabric in half and sew lengthwise to make a tube in the same manner you did for the handles. The length is 4 1/2 inches—only slightly larger than the width.
Iron flat with seam at the back center.Witch Bag 31                             
Using the pattern as a guide, cut long slits into the interfacing shoe where the sock will be pulled down over the interfacing.
                             Witch Bag 29 Witch Bag 30  

Carefully slide the tube down on the interfacing. Make sure it goes all of the way past the opening in the shoe (where the “foot” is going). Use the black felt to check yourself.
Witch Bag 28
Lay the interfacing shoe with sock on over one black shoe. Trim the edges of the interfacing so it will stay tucked into the shoe.
Witch Bag 27
Lay the second shoe over the top. Iron to fuse the interfacing to the fabric/felt to help hold it together when you sew. Since the shoe was cut apart to fit the sock on, it sticks out a bit. Just squish it together, fuse, and let the interfacing do the work for you.
Sew around the edges of the shoe to hold it all together. I used a zig zag stitch, but it looks like a satin stitch because it was so thick. You will use a longer stitch length than you might expect.

Set aside.
Witch Bag 32 copy
Purple Skirt
Sew both strips together on the short edges. If desired, serge or zig zag the edge.
009
Iron seam flat on the inside and outside.
                              Witch Bag 10 Witch Bag 12
Hem one long edge. Fold up 1/4 inch and iron in place. Fold over 1/4 inch again and iron in place. Sew in place.
013
Gather the top edge. (Ignore the serging—it was a mistake!) Start and stop at the side seams so you have two separate sections.

Be sure to use two rows of stitching to gather. Some people use one, but this is “risky” since you have to start over again if your thread breaks. Also, your gathers will lay much neater if you use two rows instead of one. (I use 3 rows for dresses, sew between two of the rows, and then remove the third—this makes really pretty gathers!)
Witch Bag 15
Green Ruffle
Sew both strips together on the short edges and iron seam flat like you did for the purple skirt. Fold in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Do NOT iron the fold in place. Serge or zigzag stitch along the raw edges since this part could show.Witch Bag 18
It happens! Witch Bag44

Gather the top edge as you did for the purple skirt. Set aside.
Witch Bag 20
Purple Net or Tulle
Gather the long edge of the tulle. You do not need two rows of stitching for this--one is fine. Overlap the beginning of the next strip over the end of the strip as you gather.
Witch Bag 4
Do this until you have gathered and connected all strips. You do not have to sew the ends together. If you set your tension to the highest setting, it will do most of the gathering for you without a lot of adjusting later. Set aside.
  Witch Bag 6
Bag and Lining
Lay pieces flat with wrong side facing up on the top piece. Make a mark 2 inches in and 2 inches up on each of the bottom corners. Cut out a 2 inch square using the mark as a guide.
Witch Bag 3Witch Bag 5
Be sure you do this on both bottom corners.
 Cutting Bag and Lining copy 
With right sides together, sew the bag together at sides. Repeat for lining. Iron all seams flat on the inside and outside.

Sew the bottom edge (bag and lining) with an opening in the middle like this:
Sewing Bag and Lining copy
Putting it all together
Adjust the gathers of the skirt so it is about 30 inches around. Pin the purple skirt to the bag. You will have the wrong side of the skirt facing the right side of the bag. Sew in place.
Witch Bag 16
Lay the bag and skirt flat and flip the skirt up. Measure 7 1/2 inches from the seam and make a small mark using ink/pencil that disappears. Make another mark at 9 1/2 inches. You are marking on the right side (outside) of the bag. Do this every inch or so all the way around the bag. This will be the guide for your ruffles.
Witch Bag 21
Adjust the gathers of the green ruffle so the ruffle is about 30 inches around. Slide the top of the bag opening around the arm of the sewing machine. Lay the ruffle on the bag with the top of the ruffle at the marks. Starting at a side seam, sew the ruffle down.

Using the directions for the green ruffle, repeat for the purple ruffle using the marks at 9 1/2 inches from skirt seam as your guide. When you get near the end, slightly overlap the two ends of the purple tulle or net and sew in place. This is what it should look like on the outside.
Witch Bag5

Next we are going to box the corners to give your bag some shape. Turn the bag inside out and grab onto one of the bottom corners. Smooth it into shape. Be sure the ruffles are out of your way so they don’t get sewn to the bottom of the bag accidently.
Witch Bag 23
Grab the corners without seams (in the middle in picture above) and gently pull them apart so the seams meet up like this:
Witch Bag 24
Smooth it flat and sew along the edge.
Witch Bag 22
Insert the witch shoes into the opening of the bag which is still inside out.

The shoes should be closest to the top of the bag and the socks should be sticking out from the bottom opening just a bit. Also, be sure that the seam of the sock is on the same side for both shoes so that it looks like the back.

Slant the shoes just a bit. Pin in place. Turn right side out and check to make sure it is right—trust me on this. It is a little bulky with all of those ruffles, but definitely worth checking! If it looks right, flip inside out again and sew shoes/socks in place along as you sew the entire opening closed. I went over the shoes part again because I do not want them to fall out.
Witch Bag 33 copy
(This picture is essentially upside down. The socks are peeking out of the bottom of the bag.)

Turn bag right side out.

Place one end of a handle at the top of the of the bag about 3 inches in from the left side. Sew in place. I sewed mine down several times because it is such a pain to redo this if the handle falls off—remember how much of a beating the handles will get!
Witch Bag 19
Loop the other end of the handle to the right side (right side of a U shape in the picture above) and sew it down as well.

Repeat this on the back side of the bag with the other handle.

Now, put the whole thing (bottom end first) inside of the lining bag. The lining should be inside out and the bag should be right side out. Once the bag is inserted into the lining, right sides will be together.
Witch Bag 37 copy
Sew the lining and bag together through all thicknesses (the purple skirt and the bag handles. Use a 1/2 inch seam to be sure you get around the gathering stitches. Go slow so that the gathered parts aren’t being pulled funny.

Starting with the shoes, carefully feed the bag through the opening in the lining. As you do this, you will be turning the whole thing right side out.
Witch Bag 38 copy
Once the bag is where it belongs, push the lining inside the bag. Smooth everything carefully and make sure the handles are out of the bag. Topstitch along the top edge. It is very thick so go slow. Smooth the gathers flat as you go.  Witch Bag 39 copy
Slipstitch the opening in the lining together using a needle and thread. Done!!
Witch Bag45 copy
Once I finished this, I start questioning…What if I change the size? Would it work if I made the skirt and ruffles longer? Should I add embellishments to the shoes?

These are the kinds of questions that plague me!

But, this time, I am done. I like it just the way it is--I decided.

Trick or Treating, here we come!
  Witch Bag42

I'm linking HERE this week.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Potty Training--I mean Project

I know.
I said check back later.
And, it is much later.
I was really thinking this afternoon.
Now, it will be tomorrow.
Let me explain...

My three-year-old is the only child in her nursery class at church who isn't potty-trained. And she has a huge class. We've tried to encourage her in every way you could think of without pushing. Last night, for reasons I can't explain, I pushed just a teeny, tiny bit. Okay, it was a lot. I forced her to sit on the toilet after discovering that she is scared she is going to fall in.
I know what you're thinking.
You think I am so mean, but you need a little information before you judge.

My older daughters were very small for their age. When they learned to use the toilet, both of them--on separate incidents--fell into the toilet. And, just for the record, it isn't really falling, it is more like collapsing in the middle. And it is SO funny! Yep, I laughed--a lot. They were fine and didn't even freak out too much. Along comes my youngest and she is kind of large--giant, really. There is no chance this child could fall in the toilet. Nope, not going to happen. Not even if she tried.

So, yes, I forced her to sit on the toilet. First forcibly and then with bribery. And she likes it. The bribery that is. She likes the panties, too. Loves the panties. Loves them so much she has had almost all of them on today. One after the other. Right after she went to the bathroom on our new carpeting. In several places. All day long.

I forgot how hard potty training is for ME.
What was I thinking?

Here's a sneak peek at the project I have for you. Tomorrow--when the tutorial is ready. And that will only happen if my youngest is wearing a diaper. I think we can potty train another day, right?
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I love Blog Land!

WARNING: This post has lots of links--and they are so worth it!

I am so glad for other bloggers with great ideas!

Do you remember when I found THESE at such a bargain price? I wasn't quite sure what to do with them, I just knew I wanted to use them. Then, I read THIS over at Bienvenue. Susie is always so on top of things and her great idea gave me plenty of time to figure out how to use those spider baskets and to be able to actually fill them up.
Treats4 copy   
I borrowed Susie's idea for the popcorn balls, but made them myself (with help from my hubby!) instead. I used THIS recipe which worked out pretty well. I substituted hot air popcorn for the microwave popcorn. We made 2 cups (unpopped) and that was probably too much. I think it would work better with about 1 or 1 1/2 cups unpopped depending on how sticky you want your popcorn balls. And, it made a lot which is perfect for filling those baskets!

I put one large popcorn ball or 3 smaller popcorn balls in a festive cellophane sack and tied it shut with black and orange ribbon (one tulle and one sheer ribbon). After seeing Susie's you would think that I would have picked up on a few things. One of the reasons hers look so great is the cute ribbons she used. {sigh} For me, it's a learning process, right?
Treats2 copy
I lined the bottom of the basket with orange tissue paper to help the spider and the web stand out a little better. I put the treats right on top of that and then added a simple card. Treats1 copy
To make this card, I found the darling little spider printable HERE. I just enlarged it on cardstock, cut around the circle and then glued that onto my purple cardstock. I rounded the corners and added some gold distressing ink for a little interest. The message was actually on white paper--the same size and shape as the purple cardstock--so it would show up easily and I just tucked it inside the purple cardstock and tied it all together with a yellow gingham bow.

So easy and sweet--thanks to other people's great ideas!
Treats3 copy
Thank you blogging friends!

I'm finishing up a few more Halloween projects this week.
I'm hoping to post another one later today so don't forget to check back.

I've got to hurry because I have several Thanksgiving projects in the works.
I'm starting to see other Thanksgiving projects around Blog Land,
but I am fine with waiting until after Halloween is actually over.
Besides, I am never that far ahead in my planning or crafting!

And, speaking of last-minute, for those of you following my Christmas All Year  Planning Party, today is the 25th! I will be sharing a fun gift idea tomorrow instead of today. If you have a great gift idea to share, please link it up in my
Christmas Gift Ideas Linky HERE!
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