Thursday, January 31, 2013

Costume Tutorial: Plump Pumpkin

Last Halloween my bigger boy wanted to be a monkey so I snatched up a super cheap costume at Old Navy (they carry a pretty cute assortment every year and they usually go on sale before Halloween, just FYI :). 

I'm all about dressing the babes in things that I know they won't want to wear later and I never like to spend a ton, who knows if they will be awake to wear Plump Pumpkin costume was born. It was easy and relatively quick. The wedges take a bit of time, but the 3D texture is totally worth it. This is a good project to do during naptime with a few episodes of Downton Abbey rolling!

Can anyone resist a little, fat baby dressed as a pumpkin?

You Need: 
1 Yard of orange fleece and a few scraps of green (I had some leftover, but add a little extra if you're
      making a larger version, my little guy was wearing about a 3 month size here)
polyfill or scrap batting
snaps (sew on or with a snap setter, you could probably get away with velcro)
matching thread, sewing machine, etc...
*Sleeper, sweatpants, tights or other clothing of your choice to go under the costume. I had a cute orange and black striped sleeper that worked perfectly. What we are making here is sort of a jumper. 

To Make:
1. Build the Foundation
Note: You could skip this step if you have an orange onesie-bought or dyed-that you want to use.

2. Make the wedges
Each wedge is two pattern pieces sewn with right sides together. Leave a small opening to turn right sides out and stuff with polyfill or scrap batting. Then stitch the opening closed. They should look like crazy carrots...

The number and size of the wedges depends on the size of your child and your preferred spacing. I wanted them very close together and the largest two are a little longer than the length from neck to crotch opening.

I used two extra large, four large, four medium and two small wedges. You want to end up with this.

The largest center wedge reaches from the neckline to the crotch opening (one in front and one in back), then they descend in size-the smallest being under each arm. Use the onesie to estimate the length of your wedges, width is up to you. Here they are all laid out so you can get a feel for the variation in size and how many you will need (these are sewn together but not stuffed yet).

After you complete the wedges, pin them in place on your foundation onesie (photo above), adjust as needed and sew them on by hand. I just did a few little hidden stitches at the top and bottom of each wedge. You could get fancy and sew them on in other spots as well or use some fabric glue, it really just depends on how you want them to lay, how active your child is and how finicky you are as a sewist/mama. I didn't mind a little twistage. :)

Fun, simple costume with lots of room to personalize. Link back and leave comments or send pics if you make one! I'd love to see it!

I'll be back this week or next with the hat pattern and tutorial! Gotta love a pumpkin hat!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013: Cherish

Last New Year's, I saw a blog post about choosing a word to be a sort of theme for your year. I chose "Abundant." When I wrote that post, I had just found out that I was expecting Baby V and was feeling a tad overwhelmed. I knew we had a move coming up and a very busy 19 month old boy. This was exactly the word I needed for last year and I tried to apply it to life. It's so easy for "work at home" moms to get into the habit of "woe is me" type thinking. Because we are basically on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we have to schedule around naptimes or hire a babysitter to be alone for five minutes (that includes a shower :); we can really get into a funk and take it out negatively on the people around us. To be able to stay at home with my babies is an incredible blessing, I know other mamas who would trade anything for that and I don't take it for granted. I don't want to just appreciate, as I said last year, I want to "revel in the blessings" that God has piled into my life. 

One of my favorite moments of the day is around 6:30 am. V usually wakes up about 5:30, I cuddle him in bed with me and he will usually doze until P wakes up and runs to our room. He jumps into bed and I hold V on one side and P snuggles up on my other side. There is absolutely nothing like it. I know in my head that I am blessed with two sweet babies, but being physically smothered in blessing is something else. Sometimes I can't catch my breath because I'm so overwhelmed with the joy and responsibility and privilege of being their mama. I lay there and bask in the feeling of those two little bodies curled up around me--one wiry and strong and never still and the other soft, limp-limbed and heavy with sleep. 

Then the sun comes up and I speak unkindly to my boy when he disobeys or I complain to my husband that I didn't have a moment of peace all day. At these moments my heart and words are so ungrateful. In thinking selfishly of myself, I lose an opportunity to cherish these crazy moments. It's not going to be long before my little guys aren't dumping 1 lb bags of sunflower seeds out on the kitchen floor or getting out of bed just for a hug from mama in the middle of the night. This year my word is going to be "cherish." I want to record and soak up and live in this busy, busy year. I'm going to sew projects that I don't really have time for because my baby asked for a cowboy fireman's hat. I'm going to stay up late after they go to bed and read "Growing Kids God's Way" because I want to be the best mama I can be and because I cherish their little hearts and souls just as much as their little bodies. I'm going to scrape crayon wax off the dining room table and paint off the floor. I'm going to do hundreds of loads of laundry and bury my nose in the smell of fresh, clean clothes on the bodies that I love so much. I'm going to try some messy new recipes and let my baby help me cook, even though it will mean some wasted ingredients and a little extra clean-up. I want to cherish his enthusiasm and curiosity. 

This year I want to cherish my children and my husband, but my goal also is to cherish my relationship with the Lord. I'm going to spend more time in His precious word, the way He's chosen to reveal Himself to His people. I want to cherish the word and store it up in my heart so that in moments of stress or craziness, He is what pours out and not ugliness.

Cherish 2013: I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Hooray! Replacement for Picnik--that's one item down from my list of New Year's Resolutions.

Check out this magic...

And just because I can: 
      a collage
      rounded corners

Can't wait to do a new tutorial and fancy it up!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I'm not one for grand resolutions at New Year's, but there's something about starting a New Year with little ones (especially an almost 3 year old, what?!?) that makes me want to set some goals. Life flies by so fast that it makes sense to have a few specific things that you want or need to accomplish before it's too late. Here are a few of mine in no specific order:

1) Potty Train P (He will be three in June so that's the deadline! I will most definitely have some funny anecdotes coming with this process. He's a stubborn one and very verbal about it.)

2) Find a replacement program for Picnik. Seriously my poor blog has suffered like crazy since Google bought Picnik and took away my access to the free, easy, photo-editing world. I have tried lots of other things and it's all just blegh.

3) Speaking of the blog, I want to keep it up more regularly like I did last year (and before baby was born) but am considering a new blog name that includes more aspects of my life--not just the sewing/crafting part--because there is so much more going on right now!

4) Teach my child some skillz. We are setting aside 30 minutes to an hour every morning to draw, memorize, look at maps, count, learn letters, sit still, etc... every day. It's been good so far and something that both I and P enjoy, it's good for us to have some one-on-one while V is sleeping.

5) Work out! I got an elliptical machine for Christmas so that's also part of the daily routine, so nice to be able to work out at home. It's definitely the easiest way to consistently exercise with kiddos.

6) Be more consistent and intentional about studying scripture, add memorization to my routine.

7) Keep my tone of voice kind no matter what the scenario, with friends, husband and little ones.

8) Projects: Re-vamp the first floor bath, paint and fix up my bedroom, pare down and fill in gaps in my wardrobe, make a lap quilt, work on summer/spring clothes for P, start some musical projects (arranging or writing or something).

9) Work on being positive. Negativity and criticism goes a long way (not a good thing) and can be so poisonous and contagious--it's easy to get in the habit of being negative in conversation and about life in general. I want to be infectiously positive (my friend Caris is like that!).

Happy New Year! Have fun everybody!