Archive for the ‘Sewing for Kids’ Category

I decided to close my little etsy shop a few weeks ago because I’m back in school now and my free time…well, I need to be careful with it and not “give” it away to strangers who want Yoda hats or fairy wings or castle tents and such.  Although it wasn’t a huge time-sucker (except for around the holidays), I figured just closing it up would be best for the time being.  I miss it though, not the sewing since I’m always sewing, but the seeing…the seeing of finished projects all tied up neatly with a bow (figuratively and literally sometimes).

What people don’t tell you when you go into stay-at-home parenting is that you will actually complete about 2 things per year that actually stay done, well maybe more than that, but still. Not that the temporary things aren’t sometimes more important: the dinners that will be eaten, the made bed that will instantly become un-made in a single pounce, the faces that will become re-covered with pesto in two seconds, etc.. But a person likes to look around sometimes and see that something got done and stayed done for more than a minute.  And for me, the “around” was my etsy shop.  So, more for me than for anyone else, I’m setting up a window into my old shop/ brain right here on this blog. That way, I can look at this stuff whenever I feel like I’m running in circles….because I will tell you what: I know I (can) do more than wipe faces, but sometimes I forget.

The Plush Fireplace Project

My father builds fires at his house and the kids help a little, but my mother and I like to think that fire and kids isn’t always a match (sorry) made in heaven.  Thus, I made a soft, plush, kid-friendly version.

The logs are just stuffed, tube-shaped sticks, but I halved one log and did the flat side in a wood grain fabric (just to be extra nerdy about it).

The fire comes on thanks to battery operated tea lights that we had left over from Halloween lanterns we made one year.


I got the idea from this magazine snippet and thought I could go reeeally low budget if I went with flannel instead of stone or marble for the hearth;)


The hearth is basically a slip cover for a tallish table we were given.  I created a casing and filled it with a swim noodle to make the arch. then I added batting to the back and sort of quilted the design of the flower and the moldings.



Now before you decide that I have too much time on my hands, I would like to remind you that it would take me much longer to find a babysitter and then go out and somehow earn the thousands of dollars it would cost to build a real fireplace, so in effect this is quite practical if you do the math.

(Although as a heat source, it’s pathetic.)


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How sad is this little thing?  It used to have lots of  bright yellow attachments (which have long since become robot parts wrapped in layers and layers of tape) and a black hose which someone hit me in the leg with once and was never seen again. (It stung.) Anyway, sad indeed. Rescued multiple times from the Goodwill box (I mean it still turns on!), it eventually went (insert sad music) down to the basement where I suppose it’s been talking to all the other mistreated and neglected toys in a Woody and Buzz kinda way. *Sniff*

But things started to brighten up for it  last week when my daughter developed an urgent need for a pink vacuum cleaner toy and I was really in the mood to spoil her (I got stuck in the hospital for a while and she reeeeaaallly loved that I was finally home).  So that very minute we jumped into the car and went to MANY toy stores and found NOTHING that was pink. We even hit Goodwill and several consignment stores and niente. I gave up and started adding stuff to my Ebay watch list thinking maybe I’d try again at Christmas.

So this morning, I was in my crazy studio (room heaped with fabric organized in no particular way) looking for some felt for her to cut up and glue and I saw the sad little vacuum and brought it up with the felt. She started cutting and I started cutting….

     I found some other “attachments” and in about 15 minutes, she had a new little pink vacuum cleaner (well, new to her).

Anyway, she’s very happy and I am very happy. In fact, I so love that it was so easy to keep something so big and plastic out of the ground that I’m going to make it a weekly tradition. Nothing huge, but I’m going to try and do something little to refresh something that’s already ours and currently, well, gross.

I mean, don’t hold your breath or anything. We’ll see. I say I’m going to do a lot of things. Meanwhile, I’m being told I should also be vacuuming.

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Whether you are getting ready for Easter dinner or Passover, there are miracles in the air. I hope.  As usual I have gotten good and sick when there is much to do, but my hopes for tonight and tomorrow are high. I am a last minute kind of girl and I bet you I can do this. The “this” is a play store I hope to create entirely out of fabric, not wood, based the general idea of this “seat” we saw recently in a garden we visited:

And also on this general idea:

Source: http://domesticcandy.blogspot.com/2009/03/emils-kinderzimmer.html

As I gaze lovingly at the picture above, I am trying to sketch out a way to include the features of this store in an all fabric design that will fold up and not have to be a permanent feature of our already crowded little house. Maybe you could clap now?  I don’t mean because I’ve done anything, but kind of in the way that they clapped to keep Tinkerbell alive in the stage version of Peter Pan.  I really want to do this. Please send me get-well vibes, baby.

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Life is really short.  If your kid wants to wear flip-flops in winter or way-too-early-spring, I say let them.  I get it: once you learn to flip AND flop, it’s hard to go back to shoes that just shuffle around under your feet.  But  it just doesn’t seem right letting a kid freeze their toes off just to look cool (unless they are on campus and they feel the need to prove just how much they NEED their high priced education). So, they need at least some socks!

Here’s what you need:

  • a pair of socks
  • a bit of cardboard
  • a marker
  • a pin
  • a sewing machine
  • scissors

First, trace the foot on a piece of cardboard (not just paper) and be sure to draw between the big toe and the “other” less important toes (a good time run through Bill Murray’s speech from Stripes).

Now cut out the pattern.  You will use it like this for one sock and you will flip it to make the other one (unless your kid is like the guy from Best in Show, hopefully with slightly thinner eyebrows).

With the sock inside-out, you slide the cardboard in like this to make it look like a duck flipper.

Now make your way to the machine, and locate the point where you need to start sewing (a little insurance policy to keep you from sewing the cardboard to the sock, which would be so frustrating that flip-flops might be banned from your house all together).

Now let the needle down as close as possible to the pin, remove the pin and sew a “V’ shape between the toes, back stitching carefully to keep the sock from raveling once you cut it. Then cut a slit, turn the socks inside out and repeat with the other sock.

There.  Now she’s ready to go out into the snow.

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