Tag Archives: sewing

DIY Ewok Costume for Baby

ewoks side by side

Although Return of the Jedi is my favorite of the Star Wars movies (which just so happens to feature the Ewok species), growing up in the 80s, it was the made for T.V. movies about the Ewoks that I was really drawn to, specifically the star Ewok, Wicket, and his young human sidekick, Cindel.  I can’t even imagine how many times I watched my VHS copies of Caravan of Courage and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.  Now, 28 years after the Caravan of Courage debut, the Ewoks have found their way into my life again.

Untitled

The seed for this costume idea was planted this past summer when I found the brown furry fabric remnant (shown above) at a yard sale.  It was not a complete piece, but still had some good-sized sections remaining. The woman selling it said that her mom was a seamstress and that this fabric was most likely left overs from a coat lining. I couldn’t argue with the price either ($1).

I was still pregnant at the time but as soon as I layed eyes on it I knew I had to have that fabric.  Jon was with me, and being the voice of reason that he is (he hates clutter) said to me,  “What would you ever do with that?”  After a beat or two I proclaimed, “I’ll make an Ewok Halloween costume for the baby!”  And so, about 5 months later, here we are.

Untitled

To be honest, when I first came up with the idea I had serious doubts that I’d be able to pull it off.  It seemed a little too ambitious and out of my sewing capabilities.  I didn’t even know where to start.

Eventually I decided that my first plan of action would be to deconstruct a pre-existing sleeper in Virginia’s size to come up with the pattern for my Ewok suit, made out of the before mentioned fur fabric.  This is pretty self explanatory.  Find a garment in the size and style you want, take it apart, and use the pieces as a pattern for the new garment that you want to make.

Untitled

Untitled

You’ll want to keep in mind that your “pattern” wont have any seem allowance, so just add that on when you cut it out. My original deconstructed sleeper was assembled with a serger.  If you have one, great!  Mine does’t work, so I utilized the zigzag stitch on my Plain Jane sewing machine and called it a day.

Untitled

The only parts that I omitted completely from the design where the cuffs around the arms and neck.  The neck area will be covered by her hood, and the sleeves could be covered by mittens.  I was going to make mittens, but because of my daughters’ age (3 and a half months) and the fact that she would just be putting them in her mouth constantly, I skipped this detail.

Untitled

Above was my first fitting after constructing the suit. You may notice that there is a fit issue around her left foot. Oops!  I ended up removing that section, cutting out a new leg/foot piece and re-esembeling it. Then I realized that the new section that I just made was for the RIGHT foot! Oops again! eventually I got it all worked out so that she could have a decently fitting right AND left foot. Below is the completed Ewok suit.

Work in progress; Ewok costume!

Now all I had to do was make a hood.  For this I found a medium-sized men’s shirt at a thrift store (shown at the top of this post) in the perfect mustard yellow to contrast with the brown fur.  I wanted the neck opening of the shirt to become the face opening of the hood, so I cut off the sleeves and up the sides of the shirt as shown below.

Untitled

Now all I had to do was shape it. In the back section of the hood I sewed in a small piece of elastic to help make the hood more snug. This is not how Wicket’s hood looks, though many other Ewoks sport this hood style.  Though I did try the hood on Virginia periodically to see how it was fitting, I mainly used a small pie pumpkin to shape the hood.  Not only did the pumpkin stay perfectly still, I could actually sew the hood while on a form.  The hood was mostly hand sewn using brown embroidery floss so as to stand out and look very tribal, much like actual Ewoks look.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Overall, I’m really happy with how this costume turned out.  Seeing that this is Virginia’s very first Halloween, I figured I’d go all out with making a sweet costume for her.  She’s too young to go trick-or-treating, and we don’t have plans to attend any costume parties, but I still had to get in the spirit and make an outfit, if only to share with close family and all of you on the world wide web.

Untitled

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope that if you have been inspired if you are planning on tackling your own Ewok costume.  If you do I’d love to hear about in the comments here!  As always, you can keep abreast of all things Zween by following me on Facebook and Pinterest.  Happy crafting and happy Halloween!

This post has been added to the linky party Made by You Monday on Skip to my Lou.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Hollidays

DIY recycled sweater sleep sack

Untitled

Fall is in the air and it’s time to start thinking about how to keep our new baby nice and toasty warm once the cold weather settles in.

It has been said that loose bedding in cribs can pose a suffocation hazard in babies less than one year old.   So in my quest to negate this issue I came across some “wearable blankets” such as this one by Baby in a Bag and this one by Halo.  They seemed to be good products with good reviews and reasonable prices (about $30 each from what I can tell).  But naturally, I wanted to see if I could make one myself.

Which lead me to my new obsession with Pinterest, where I found this wearable blanket project by Ashley.  In her blog post, she gives an excellent tutorial on how to make a baby sleep sack made with fleece fabric.

I was all excited about this project but…

I had no fleece and did not like the prospect of driving a half hour (one way) to the nearest fabric store.  Wa wa.

But, lets face it, buying new fabric is not my style anyway, so I started to look around at what I already had.  That’s when I discovered two bags of old clothes set aside for donation.  When I found my old cashmere sweater (originally purchased at a thrift store) in the pile I had a eureka moment.  That’s it!  I’ll use this!

Untitled
(see how much she likes it!)

When I started this project I planned on using Ashley’s tutorial as-is, and even found a detachable zipper to use from a hoodie that I was also about to donate.

Untitled

The pink cardigan shown above is what I used as the guide for the neck, armhole, and torso width of my pattern as per Ashley’s suggestion (see Ashley’s original post for further explanation of this point).

Untitled

Notice that I lined up my neckline with the neckline of the sweater.  I also ended up extending my pattern to include the entire length of the sweater.

However, I quickly decided that I would need to make some adaptions to her project since I had a limited amount of fabric to work with.  Since my sweater was only so wide, I didn’t really have enough of it to make the two separate pieces for the front (because I would need about 1.5 inches more in the width).  You see, in the original design, the sleep sack is supposed to have a zipper running down the entire length of the front.  But, since my sleep sack was made from a stretchy knit sweater, I figured, why not make it a pull-over?

So that’s what I did, I just cut two pieces that were basically the same then sewed them together at the shoulder seams and down the sides.  Remember how I used the bottom of the sweater as the bottom of the sleep sack and the neckline of the sweater as the neckline of the sleep sack?  Well, that meant no fraying in those areas!

Untitled

Untitled

The arm holes, on the other hand, were fraying terribly.  So I made a crocheted ribbed edging around them.  Just one row of single crochet worked directly into the sweater and 3 rows of double crochet worked into a “ribbed” pattern.  (first row; sc into sweater all the way around armhole.  Second row; dc in each sc.  Third row; front post dc in first two dc, dc in next two dc, repeat for entire row.  Fourth row, same as row three).

Untitled

Since I used the original neckline, I could have just left that as-is, but I decided that I wanted to open it up a little more. After I cut the neck hole I added a decorative crochet edge (row 1; sc all the way around neckline into sweater, row 2; picot in first st, sc in next st, repeat all the way around).

Untitled

I could have left this project alone at this point and basically have a baby-sized sweater night gown, but I wanted to make sure that her legs and feet would stay nice and warm (that was the whole point after all). So I added a zipper along the bottom edge, which gives easy access for midnight diaper changes!

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

I love how light weight and warm this cashmere sweater is. And oh so soft! As you can tell, Virginia likes it too…

Untitled

to keep up to date with all things zween please like my facebook page.  And, if you’re a Pinterest junkie like me you can find me there too!

Find this post helpful?  I’d love to hear about it, so leave me a comment below!

Happy crafting!

oh yeah, I couldn’t resist making a “night cap” with one of the left over sleeves. Don’t worry this is just for fun and a photo shoot; she won’t actually be sleeping in it.

Untitled

This post has been added to the linky party Make it Pretty Monday week 16 over on the dedicated house, Made by you Mondays over on Skip to my Lou, and Make It Wear It Thursday over on The Train to Crazy, so check them out for some linky fun!

12 Comments

Filed under Tutorials

Pin-spiration; DIY Nursing T-Shirt

Untitled

If you’ve read anything about breastfeeding I’m sure you know about the many benefits to nursing; it promotes bonding between mother and baby, it gives the baby’s immune system a boost, it helps the mother’s uterus to contract after birth and can help with loosing that maternity weight more quickly, plus it’s way less expensive than formula feeding.

But there are also some obstacles associated with nursing; cracked and sore nipples, plugged ducts, Mastitis, more frequent feedings (as compared with formula-fed babies), and the logistics of breastfeeding discretely in public so that you can some day leave your house!  So far, six weeks into baby number one, I have dealt with all of the above obstacles.  And today I’m going to address that last one; dealing with discretely nursing in public.

For some, the answer is using a large bib-like fabric such as a Hooter Hider.  These are great and in fact I have one that was given to me by my sister-in-law.  You can even find tutorials (such as this one) for how to make your own.  But although they are fantastic and have their place, I don’t always want to have a huge piece of fabric draped over me, which can be awkward to maneuver with a hungry, fussy baby.  Plus, I also feel like it draws more attention to what I’m doing; feeding my baby.

This predicament lead me to start searching out DIY nursing tops on Pinterest.  I found several that I thought were cute, but chose this one from Project Open Hearts for my first attempt.  Allison wrote a very comprehensive tutorial on how to make a discreet nursing top using two identical shirts (or two nursing tops using 3 shirts).

For my top I used two shirts that I had on hand that had seen better days to say the least.  The short sleeve top, which is my main shirt, actually had several holes in the front, making it the perfect candidate for this project since that section of the shirt was removed.  Though both of my tops are brown, they are not exactly the same color, but it doesn’t really bother me.  I kind of like how the two tone turned out actually.

Untitled

Untitled

The other way that my top differs from Allison’s is that I didn’t hem the overlapping section of the main shirt that hangs over the replaced section of the shirt.  Also, the long-sleeved shirt, which I used to make the new front panel, was not as long as the short-sleeved shirt.  Though I cut the long sleeve shirt just under the armpits, the fabric does not reach that far up on the finished shirt.  I don’t find this to be a huge problem though, because I did leave a generous amount of length for the overlapping part of the shirt.

Untitled

Below is my finished DIY nursing top using Allison’s tutorial and my own recycled shirts that were on their way to the rag pile.  I do intend to make more of these, possibly with new shirts, but using what I already had was quicker and I didn’t have to worry about messing it up and wasting money on new clothes if it didn’t work out.

Untitled

And here is how it works…

Untitled

And here is Virginia trying it out for the first time!

Untitled

Untitled

See, very discrete.

Thank you for stopping by.  This has been another installment of my Pin-spiration series, where I do a project that I find on Pinterest and share it with you all!  Keep pinning and keep crafting!

Question; are you on Facebook?  Me too!  find me here!

This post has been linked up to Made By You Monday #11 6 over on Skip to my Lou and Make it Pretty Monday #14 over on The Dedicated House!

10 Comments

Filed under Tutorials

Two new friends for baby

Untitled

Meet the two new softies that I recently made my future baby girl.  Both were made from free patterns that I found online.

The doll pattern is by Emily Martin of The Black Apple.  I’ve admired Emily’s work for some time and first learned about her through my favorite craft podcast CraftSanity (check out Episode 75).  Emily even demonstrated how to make this doll on the Martha Stewart Show and you can still find the pattern, tutorial and video on the Martha Stewart site.  For my own doll I made a couple of adjustments.  Instead of painting on the facial features I embroidered them and I also added some pigtails.

Untitled

I’m really happy with how she turned out, but I do admit that the pattern was a little challenging to use.  It was a free pattern after all, so I’m not complaining, but if I were to make this doll again I would re-draw the head and body pattern pieces with a seam allowance.  There are no seam allowances in this pattern.  Emily addresses this briefly on the video and suggests tracing the arm or leg right onto the fabric than stitching on the line before cutting it out.  Well, this works great when dealing with the small arms and legs.  But when it comes to putting the whole doll together at the end I would have had an easier time lining things up had there been a seam allowance given.

The owl was created from a free pattern by Ruth over on Hammer & Thread.  The pattern along with the tutorial was very easy to understand and follow, so my owl came together much more easily than the doll, that is until I got to attaching the tail section.  To be fair, Ruth clearly warns that this is the most challenging part of the project and she isn’t lying!

Untitled

So if you’re looking for a softie project I would suggest that you put these two on your to do list.  They are cute little items that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.  And although I really enjoy creating my own patterns and designs, I am a newbie when it comes to sewing three dimensional items like this, and I feel that following patterns can be enough of a challenge in this area.

Thank you for stopping by.  Happy crafting!

Untitled

This post has been linked to:
Sew Cute Tuesday (6.5.12) on Creative Itch

Leave a comment

Filed under Pattern

Recycled Fabric Changing Station

The other day while at the Library, I came across Amy Butler’s book Little Stitches for Little Ones and got inspired to make this changing pad using only materials that I already had lying around.

Amy Butler creates some of the most beautiful fabric patterns that I’ve ever seen, but when I found this project I immediately got really inspired to do some upcycling.

I really like the look of vintage bed sheets and have amassed a good quantity over the last several years.  Most of the ones that I’ve purchased from thrift stores are full or queen sized flat sheets as well as some pillow cases, since fitted sheets don’t tend to hold up very well over the years.

Amy Butler’s Changing Pad Pattern calls for a piece of mid-weight printed cotton for the exterior and coordinating solid-color terry cloth for the portion where the baby will be placed down for changing.

For the mid-weight printed cotton I used a very retro butterfly bed sheet in browns, orange, and gray set on a cream background.  This was a sheet that I cut up years ago to make curtains with (note to self; curtains are probably not the best application for vintage bed sheets).

For the terry cloth I used an old brown towel.  I chose it because it was nice and soft but we don’t ever use it for showering, as we have about 6 really nice fast-drying towels that where recent gifts.  Also, I figured that the dark color would mask some of the inevitable stains.

The pattern also called for two pieces of batting for the inside, which I just happened to have from another project, but if I wouldn’t have had enough of that I would have used pieces of an old felt-like blanket that I’d already cut up to use as batting for another project.

My finished piece is just a little bit different from the original pattern.  For instance I ended up making the changing pad two inches longer to coincide with the width of the towel because I couldn’t see just wasting those two inches for no good reason.  The second thing I changed was the tie.  In the pattern you are supposed to make the tie with the printed fabric and this gets velicroed to itself around the mat when it’s rolled up.  Since I didn’t have any sew-on Velcro to use but did have a spool of brown grosgrain ribbon I decided to use two lengths of that and make it tie closure instead.

Now we’ve got a changing pad to use on the go that’s completely washable and almost 100% upcycled!

This is a great project for people who have a sewing machine but who aren’t that ambitious or who feel overwhelmed by the thought of following a sewing pattern.  I for one usually have a hard time following sewing directions, but even this wasn’t too much of a challenge. (bonus points for my first “quilting” project!)

What have you made for your little one out of recycled/ reclaimed materials that you have found indispensable as a parent?  I would love to hear about it!  I’m looking for some more things to make and would love some inspiration!  I think that one of the next things I’ll try making are some fitted crib sheets (there’s a pattern for those too in the book mentioned above).  Something tells me that you can’t have too many of those!  I’m thinking that my vintage bed sheets would be a great application for baby bed sheets.

*This post was just added to The Inspiration Board Link party over on Homework!

4 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Pattern