Monday, February 28, 2011

Shark/Fishie Hoodie

It's so difficult to find knits for little boys.  Ya, sure you can get teddy bears and "baby" boy knits or jump straight to skulls and cammo, but where are the cool knits for your little dude?? Well, I found some amazing boy knits from Felicity Fabrics.  Many of the knits I purchased were Japanese by design and so cool.  I ordered a few interlock knit fabrics just before Christmas and I am now just getting to them.  

For this hoodie, I used some fabric with sharks and little fishies. 

For the pattern, I used Lil Blue Boo's Hoodie pattern.  I've never actually used the hoodie pattern and made the hoodie part.  So silly, I just always turned it into a shirt.

Connor looked at it and said "I love the hood, Mom.  It's the best part."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Making Play-Doh

We've all been under the weather here.  We're finally getting back to normal and so this morning the kids and I decided we needed a quick little project - make play-doh!

Until recently, I've never made my own play-doh.  I've got to say though, I'm hooked now.  It is super easy, the colors are endless, and it's a pretty fun activity to do with the kids.

Mix together 1 cup of flour, 2 tsp. cream of tartar and 1/2 cup of salt.  This can be mixed right into your cooking pot by the kiddos (off the stove).

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of water, 1/2 tbsp. cooking oil, and add some food coloring for color.  Pour this into your pot.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients well.

Cook the mixture over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it hardens up.  This only takes about 5 minutes and it should look like this.

Turn out your dough onto a work surface and carefully knead in a bit of flour.  I say carefully just because the dough is hot.

Once cooled, let your helpers play with the new play-doh they helped make!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Connor's Messenger Bag

Hi there I'm Vanessa and if you're here from Made by Rae, welcome to Punkin Patterns!  Glad you could stop by and please take a look around.  While you're here take a minute to enter my fabric giveaway - In honor of Celebrate the Boy month, I'll be giving away 1 yard of Curious George Fabric.  Enter here.

Being a mother to both a son and a daughter, I know how easy it is to sew for girls and how it seems that boys are left behind.  I love that Dana and Rae have brought together so many talented women for a second time to make and create for our boys.  I'm so pleased to be a part of Celebrate the BOY month. 

I love sewing and making things for my son.  He's still at the age where he's excited about things I make him and about how it's made.  He's always eager to test it out or to wear it as soon as it's done. 
Car and Truck Stamps

1.  Upcycled Hoodie, 2. Car Mat, 3. Mr. Bear, 4. T-Rex Shirt

For quite some time I've had an idea for this bag in my head.  I went through many variations and options before I finally came up with this:

My son is my inspiration for this bag so I've named it after him - Connor's Messenger Bag.  He loves camping and he needed a great little bag to take on hikes or walks with easy access to his notepad and pencil, compass, camera and binoculars.

Grommets, carabiner clips, and simple contrasting thread details give the bag a unique style.  This messenger bag is fit for any rugged little boy. Connor's messenger bag is perfect to stash all of your cars, pencils, paper, books, leaves and twigs and whatever else your little boy can think of. 

This messenger bag is a simple bag made from heavy twill or denim or even canvas.  The hefty weight of the fabric helps give the bag it's shape.  It is unlined for a quick simple project.    

The green version of this bag is made with a heavy-duty twill.  The bias tape was made from the same material.  It was quite heavy and a little difficult to work with since it was only 1/4" wide, but it has a nice effect.


The other version is made with brown denim.  For this version I used a Alexander Henry's mini 2-D Zoo in Chocolate for the bias tape and also replaced it for the cotton webbing.

I also added a simple pocket and more thread details on the inside. (optional)

For this project you'll need:

Fabric pieces:
9" x 11" front piece
11" x 18" back and flap piece
3" x 27" side piece
4" x 36" strap piece (For and older boy, I'd recommend 4" x 44")
5" x 11.5" pocket (optional)

2 carabiner clips (which you can find at any sporting good store for about $1)
a 20" piece of 1" wide cotton webbing (the kind for belts) OR a piece of fabric 1.5" x 19"
seam binding (see here for a great tutorial on making seam binding), you'll need approximately 100"
7/16" grommet kit (you'll need 5 grommets)
thread (in the color of your bag's fabric and a contrasting color for the decoration)
heavy duty sewing machine needle

Ok.  Let's get started.  There are a lot of pictures here, but trust me the bag is super simple.  The pictures do vary between the green and brown versions, but everything is the same.

First we'll add some of the details to the bag.  Grab the back and flap piece.  Sew on the cotton webbing about 3.25" from the edge.  Sew in place.

If you're using fabric instead of the webbing, take your 1.5" x 19" piece and fold each side under 1/4" to make it 1" x 19".  Attach as you would above.  Set this piece aside.

Now we're going to add the bias tape to the side piece (3" x 27") and front piece (9" x 11").  Grab your seam binding.  (I just love how this looks!)  If you don't know how to make your own seam binding, there's a great tutorial here.

There are two basic ways you can add seam binding.  The first is the quick and dirty method.  Let's start with the side piece. Pin the seam binding around the short end of the side piece. 

Simply sew in place.  This method works well here since we have a small piece and there are no curves.

Trim any excess seam binding.  And repeat for the other end of the side piece and then set it aside.

Grab the front panel (9" x 11").  We'll add the seam binding to this piece now.  This method for adding the binding is a little neater and I recommend using it when you add it to the assembled bag.  Start by opening the seam binding and pinning the raw edges together. 

Sew in the fold.

Next fold over the bias tape and pin in place.

Sew along the top, catching the seam binding underneath.  Set this piece aside.

Now let's add some of the decorative stitching.

Increase the length of your stitch to approximately 6 stitches per inch (this is the longest stitch length on my machine).  Using your contrasting thread, sew three parallel lines on both sides of the cotton webbing (or fabric strip) each 3/8" apart.

For the side piece, sew a line 1.5" from the top and then sew 4 more lines (for a total of 5), each 3/8" apart.  Repeat for the other end of the side piece.

To make the strap:  Grab the strap piece (4" x 36").  Place it right side down and iron flat.

 Fold over lengthwise and iron.

Open it back up.

Fold the raw edges into the center fold and iron again.

Fold in half along the center seam and press again.

Stitch 1/4" in from the end (on both ends) and down the center.

Fold over the end, approximately 2.5" from the end.  Fold 1" of the strap under again.

Sew in place.

Grab your carabener clips and attach them to the ends.

To make the optional pocket:  Grab the pocket piece and fold in half, right sides together.  Sew around the edge with a 1/4" seam allowance leaving an opening at the bottom for turning.  Trim the corners.

Turn the pocket right side out and iron.

Add it to your front piece along with some decorative stitching if you like.

Adding the grommets:  Adding grommets is quite simple.  Make sure you do this on a concrete floor or outside on your driveway.  In your grommet kit you'll get an anvil, an eyelet, a washer and the setter.  Don't forget to grab your hammer.

Start by using the eyelet and trace a circle inside it to mark where to cut.  Center your mark between the bias tape and the decorative thread.

Cut out the marked circle.

Next place the anvil on your concrete surface with the eyelet on top.

Place your fabric (right side down) on top of the eyelet.

 Place the washer on (prong side down).

Place the setter inside the eyelet and hammer to secure the grommet.

Repeat for the other end of the side piece.

Now add grommets to the back/flap piece.  I centered mine in the decorative stitching 3" from the bottom and then 2" apart for the other two.  This is measuring from center to center of the grommet.

Now let's assemble the bag.

Start by pinning the side piece to the front panel along one edge.  You'll be using a 1/2" seam allowance here.

When you approach the corner, stop 1/2" from the end making sure your needle down.

Lift the pressure foot and rotate your fabric.

Make sure that your top and bottom fabric now line up.

Continue all the way around.

Trim some of the excess fabric away.

Now we'll add the seam binding around this part.  I like to use the second method listed above for this step.  When you start out, make sure the top of your seam binding is folded down a little to give it a nice edge.

Start sewing in the fold as before.

When you reach the corner, keep the needle down and lift the pressure foot and rotate your fabric.  Make sure that you fold the seam binding up to the seam you just sewed.

Continue to the end, folding down a bit of seam binding at the end (again to give it a nice clean edge).

Fold the seam binding over and pin in place.

Topstitch around the seam binding to hold it in place.

Go slow around the corners to make sure you don't pucker the fabric.  It looks puckered here, but it's actually not when it's opened.

Finish stitching all the way around.


Now sew on the back/flap piece using the same method above.  Don't forget to trim the fabric around the seam line. 

Now when adding the seam binding around this side, start at the bottom and leave a tail of a few inches.

Start sewing in the ditch (a few inches in from your tail) and go all the way around.  Stop a few inches before you reach the end.  Lay the two tails flat and pin together.

 Pull it out from the edge and sew along your pinned line.

Lay flat again and finish sewing in the fold.  Then fold the bias tape over and secure in place.

Finally attach the strap to your bag and you're done!

Here's a view from the back.

I hope your little boy likes it!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I'd be happy to answer them.

Final bag dimensions: 10.5" l x 2"w x 8.5" h

UPDATE:  I'm entering this bag in the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge

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