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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sew crazy for Disney

I have been neglecting the old blog a bit, but mainly because I am a Disney-obsessed nut. We are going VERY soon and I still have quite a few projects in the hopper. I want to share a few of my favorites while my embroidery machine is busy.

Let's start with Butterick 5659. a cute little tote bag. I interfaced this with Timtex, so it is light, but holds its shape quite nicely.  What's inside? Disney reservation information, my PhotopassPlus voucher, my Unofficial Guide book. ;-)

I got the idea for using Timtex here after making this little pool bag for Gracie. It is the perfect size for her beach towel, goggles, small pool toys. It has her favorite character on it, too!

I adapted this from McCall's 6579, a Nancy Zieman pattern. I had this great mesh I picked up at Loving Stitches in Fayetteville. (I already used some of the red on my park bag for the water bottle area.) I used this for the bottom section of view D and only lined the top portion. There are snaps to help the back both close and create the shape. She can work it easily herself.

The straps are made by sewing two sections of fairly stiff Minnie Mouse ribbon together.

She couldn't wait to use today when we went to our local pool!

I have been hitting McCall's 6548 hot and heavy this summer - it has been my go-to pattern for boys' shorts. I made two pairs of these Star Wars comic print shorts. Jamie appreciates the side pocket on these.

Our last day at WDW will end at Daytona Beach, so I thought it would be fun to do up a mermaid/pirate theme for that day. Benjamin will be wearing this sporty pirate outfit made from Ottobre 2/2005 patterns. The shirt has cool details like the contrast fabrics and epaulettes while the shorts can also roll down to be looong shorts.

I just love this light blue pirate print - so cute (there are even little pirate monkeys!).

I haven't left myself out either. I made this Connie Crawford pattern (Butterick 5503). I didn't do all of the colorblocking on this view because I only wanted to use two fabrics. It made up very quick and easy. I see myself revisiting this pattern. The back is all the Minnie Mouse print.

I also have some darling Tinkerbell fabric that made up cute as a nightgown with Butterick 5723. It's really comfy and just ever-so-slightly supportive with the under bust elastic.

Who says the kids get all the characters? These just make me smile!

Last week, my daughter and I saw the Katy Perry movie - we both really enjoyed it. I loved all the whimsical costumes Katy and her backup dancers wore during the concerts. At one point, though, I realized that the fabric used in one of the outfits was the same Michael Miller fabric I had picked up recently and it was just blinged up a bit!

Here's the inspiration piece (the dress on the far left):
Here is what I made for Gracie:

I made it without a pattern by using a knit bodice that I adapted (which then became the lining on the final dress). I used the curves on my cutting board to draft the skirt as well as an organza crinoline trimmed with ribbon.

There is also ribbon trim on the ice cream fabric as well as everyone's favorite - Minnie Mouse, riding a carousel horse. The blue striped fabric is Patsy Aiken knit. I love that I could mimic the color, pattern, and design of the original pretty closely.

Here is a round-up of the boys' new shirts for our trip. You can guess which one is essentially and homage to the colors of Goofy!
He's GOOFY and he knows it!

I also have done a number of shirts that started off as blanks from Old Navy, Target, or AC Moore. Here are some of them:

I also have a Haunted Mansion themed shirt done but not photographed and a really cute Mickey as a pirate in the hoop as I blog. Plus, there are several cut items ready to hit the sewing machine.One of them is a Grace dress (from along with 8 appliques stitched out and ready to assemble. That one is for a very special event - Mommy & Gracie having dinner with the Disney princesses! (The boys will be off at Disney Quest for a second visit there, so they will be well-covered!)

You might think I am nuts, but for me, half the fun of planning a Disney vacation is in the details before we go. I made some special outfits before I took the kids to California three years ago (which included 2 1/2 days at Disneyland), but this trip is special. It will be our first time at Disney as a family of six - no strollers, just mom, dad, and four excited kids between 5 and 11. It just doesn't get any better!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Boy-wear with character

We have just over three weeks until we head to visit the Mouse and I am having lots of fun making custom outfits for our trip. Today, I am focusing on my boys!

I have 5 shirts in some state of progress: a black and grey soccer jersey which will be embellished with Disney-fied Star Wars designs on the front and back, a black and grey stripe short sleeve hoodie  t-shirt (lined with a yellow argyle) that will have Wall*E on it, a brown/orange/aqua Phineas & Ferb - themed shirt, a Finding Nemo shirt in three shades of blue, and a soccer shirt color-blocked with Goofy's green/aqua/orange, and black palette which will feature a design of the Goof himself flipped over.

So far, Nemo is the most complete. I stitched the color-blocked body pieces together, slightly altering the construction order for the shirt, so I could lay out the characters where I wanted them. For the applique fabrics, I am using a variety of batiks from charm packs - really handy for boy-themed appliques. I love using Michael Miller's Fairy Frost charm squares for my daughter's things, but that doesn't work well for most boy designs.

The sleeves for this shirt are light blue for the right sleeve and medium aqua blue for the left, so that they blend into the design well.

This is the color-blocked front and solid back of the Phineas and Ferb. As I type, Phineas, Ferb & Candice are stitching out on the front. Dr. Doofenschmertz, Perry and "Curse you, Perry the Platypus!" will be on the back. I think this will be a really fun shirt.

This is the Goofy shirt ready to be stitched on. The body will be Goofy green with black near the shoulders, a blue collar, and orange sleeves.

I can do all three of these shirts with aqua blue thread in the serger. Then I will switch over to black for the other two shirts. I still have plenty of pre-Disney sewing to go. I find it a ton of fun, but I think I bit off a pretty big project.

Luckily, all my sewing provides entertainment for my felines. Skippy is upstairs but Molly (fun size) and Winston (super size) seem to be having a good time lounging while I work!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4 parks, 1 backpack

I am getting super excited for my family's upcoming trip to Disney World, and as you can tell, I have been doing a lot of sewing already for the trip. This, however, is a very special project. It is a backpack that is meant to do-it-all at Disney (and the zoo and other tourist-type places). I have used a backpack in Disney before - particularly when I have to tote around diapers and other toddler items. This trip will be diaper-free, stroller-free, toddler-free. With my 10 and almost 12 year old big enough to carry waistpacks and their own water bottles, I do not need to carry stuff for them. In fact, they have double water bottle waistpacks so they have been pulled into big brother duty to help the 5 and 7 year olds. That worked pretty well at the zoo last week.

I do, however, plan to carry a few things and this is where I started designing my bag. I needed it to hold a small wallet, a car key, sunscreen, lip gloss, a tiny first aid kit, my DSLR (a Nikon D3100), cell phone, extra batteries, a water bottle, a small amount of snacks, park maps, ponchos (the cheap kind that they sell for way too much in Disney, but are cheap in Target or Walmart), and possibly a small souvenir or two.

I needed it to have a few separate pockets, but also to be very water-resistant. I wanted soft, comfortable straps, and preferably ones I could adjust and convert to a cross-body type bag.

Here is what I came up with:

The outside is nylon rip-stop from Joann's in a pretty Mickey Mouse red. I drafted the basic back and front panels slightly larger than my backpack purse, but with a much wider gusset to accommodate the size of my camera. All of the lining is a red batik that I fused with a laminating material everywhere it needed protecting (the entire inside as well as pocket linings). I added a dimensional pocket on the front based on directions from a Taylor Made Designs backpack pattern/leaflet, but I changed the dimensions to match what I needed.

I wanted the water bottle to be able to be easily accessible and not where it could leak on my camera. I toyed around with interior sections, but I decided instead to add a mainly mesh pouch to the side. As I was constructing it, I used a small leftover piece of red webbing to attach a plastic swivel hook. This way, the bottle cap is much less likely to get lost. (On a side note, how cute is this bottle? I got it on clearance at the Disney Store outlet in Concord, NC. It is a 25th anniversary edition and the last one they had.)

I also figured the strap would keep the bottle from falling out even though that is pretty unlikely. Inside the bag, the same strap is attached to a metal swivel hook that would be perfect for hanging my car key securely. We won't be using our car much while there (we are staying on-property at the new Art of Animation Resort!), but I plan to keep the key on that hook so I can easily find it when we do need it.

I went a little nuts decorating this once I had the pieces cut out of both the rip-stop and the laminated batik. I serged the raw edge of the rip-stop and spray-basted it to Ultra Clean N' Tear when hooping the pieces. I put cameo Mickey on the front pocket with a trim design of Mickey icons on the flap. Above where the pocket would be placed, I added the 4 parks, 1 world logo. I used Disney script in a 1 inch size to add our last name and then a 1 inch Tinkerbell silhouette to the handle. On the back flat pocket, I appliqued a Mickey & Minnie silhouette.

One of the best things to use when attempting a project like this is Make-a-Zipper. You get 5 1/2 yards to zipper with 12 pulls. It is very easy to work with and you can customize your zippers and make them double directional if you want. I did that on the main gusset and the double bottom.

So, why do I have a double bottom on this bag? Well, I wanted strap options and I didn't want to have dangling, unused straps when I converted it to a cross-body bag. The double bottom can hide any strapping not in use. There is a also a small hiding panel at the top of the back to tuck in an unused top clip.

The straps are clipped on in four places and I chose the directionality for that very carefully. I wanted to be able to convert it, so to make it a cross-body strap (that can be worn front or back), the straps snap together to make one really long strap. Then you tuck the two unused connectors away in their hiding spaces. This way, when it gets hot, I do not have to be all sweaty on my back, I can move that bag.

The straps are also pretty well padded. I had thought about buying 1 inch green home dec foam, but I forgot while I was at Joann's on Saturday. I do, however, have a 5 lb box of fiberfill in my garage. So, I stuffed the straps. I think it will flattened down a bit with use, but fluffy is comfy. On one of the straps I put a zippered (and water-proofed) pocket to hold my smart phone. I added a little Mickey embroidery with some rainbow thread just for fun.

The water bottle holder was almost an afterthought in terms of execution. I was already partially through making the bag when I added this. I used a piece of red plastic mesh canvas and added a round bottom and a cotton batik bag-like finish to the top. I sewed it on to the side gusset during construction. I could have finished it off with a drawstring, but 1/4" elastic works just fine.

In order to it the water bottle on the side, I shifted the gusset so the zipper opening is more to the opposite side. I should also note that while most of the back is interfaced with fusible fleece, there is peltex on the bottom as well as up the center of the back piece to give it more shape.

On the back between the strap-hiding pockets, there is a flat pocket where I can stash park maps for quick reference. I plan to make a coordinating small wallet to use with this bag as well as a pouch for my camera.