Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kid Apron

Big Sis and I had been wanting to make her an apron, and after her birthday party we had some fabric left over that was just screaming to be made into something!  I found it at Beverly's and it is the Hello Tokyo collection from Robert Kaufman.

So, I traced out a pattern on lined interfacing, giving myself about 1/4" - 1/2" seam allowance.  Here are the basic measurements (I say basic because I forgot to measure until after I had finished the apron, so had to go back and estimate based on the finished product!):

I made sure to give myself plenty of room at the top to make a pretty thick hem.  Tracing the pattern in half makes all the difference in creating patterns, because it ensures that the final product is an exact mirror image on both sides.

Once I had the pattern the way I liked it, I folded over my chosen fabric and cut out the design.  Then I went around the fabric and ironed about 1/4" over on every side - even the curved edges, then another 1/4" on every side to create the hems..  At the top, I ironed up 1/4" then a good 1.5" to create a thick hem at the neckline.

Then I sewed the ironed hems with about a 1/4" seam allowance.

 Next I cut a rectangle of fabric to create the front pocket.  This one was about 6" x 9." 

Once again I ironed 1/4" all around, then a 1/4" again.

First I sewed the hem down on just the side that was going to become the top of the pocket.  Then I flipped it over and placed the rectangle on the front of my apron.  I used the fold line to make sure it was centered, then sewed around the remaining three sides.

Then I created the ruffle.  The general guideline for ruffles is to cut a length of fabric about 2x the length that the ruffle will be sewn onto.  I didn't quite have double the length of the fabric, so I just went with the longest piece wide I could get.  I made it 3" high so that I could fold it in half and get a 1.5" ruffle.  I sewed a basting stitch (using the longest stitch on my machine) on the folded piece, then  pulled the ends to gather up the material.  Then I fitted it to the bottom of the apron and sewed it on.

 Then for the tie that goes around the neck: I took a long piece of fabric (about 23") and folded it in half so that it was about 2" high.  Then I took a long, clear quilting ruler and made an asymmetrical line from one end (at about 1" high) to the other (at about 2" high).  I cut that out and sewed up the long end.  

Then I flipped the piece inside out, ironed and stitched down the side.  To do the ends, I stopped sewing a bit before the end and flipped the wrong side in 1/4", then 1/4" again, ironed and pinned, then stitched those down, turning the corner as I sewed to match up the sewing on the side.  I pinned the narrow end to one side of the neck and sewed it down making a little rectangle.  

Then I had Big sis try it on for size and I judged where the other end should be, cutting off the excess and resewing the hem.  In the end, the necktie ended up being 19" including hems.  (I really could have measured better the first time around!)  

I found these totally adorable personalized buttons at Pick Your Plum and was so excited to be able to use them!  So I sewed a button hole right where I wanted it, and sewed on the button.

The side ties were pretty simple: I cut two ties, about 26" x 2", ironed them in half, then ironed a 1/4" hem for each side.  I just tucked those ironed hems inside, pinned and sewed around the three sides.  I sewed them in place with a zig zag stitch for strength.

Ta da!  

Thanks for letting me share!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kokeshi Birthday Party

Big Sister turned 8!

She and I decided to throw a Japanese Kokeshi doll themed party with her closest friends.  My husband and I took a trip to Japan in November to celebrate our 15th Anniversary, and I came home with so much inspiration!

The girls came in and sat for their first craft: painting their own Kokeshi dolls.  Kokeshi dolls are traditional Japanese dolls - they remind me of Russian matrioshka dolls because they are made of wood, do not have arms, and are totally adorable.

I created little "blank" dolls for them by hot gluing wooden beads to little wooden doll forms.  Immediately they all decided to create little pandas.  Such a cute idea!

Then it was time for snacks:

Rice krispie sushi!  I made it with swedish fish and green apple fruit strips.

Then we moved on to washi tape frames:

I got this fab idea from  (We took the picture during tea time and printed it out so that they could take it home.)

Then the girls decided it was time for cake.  So we moved over to our "tea room."

I found the adorable fabric at Beverly's.  It was actually a group of fabrics called, "Hello Tokyo."  I made a tablecloth & double-sided napkins and made napkin rings out of matching ribbon from the collection.

The girls tried Sinbei rice crackers, green tea mochi, Japanese candy and rooibos (herbal) tea.

Then, of course, cake!

I took a class on to learn to make the gum paste flowers.  Have you ever tried a Craftsy class?  They are so fun, reasonably priced, and you do it in your own time.  Big Sis chose the cat for the top at World Market.

I sent the girls home with Blue take-out boxes (from Kara's Party Ideas) filled with personalized notebooks, stationery and stickers, and puzzle erasers.

I made the stationery with my Silhouette using the following files:
and a dingbat font.  (My inspiration was found at - she has such great ideas and easy-to-follow tutorials for paper products!)

Happy Birthday, my little 8-year old!  

Thank you for sharing!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dad's 70th Birthday

It has been project after project here since Christmas!  One of those was my Dad's 70th birthday.  We decided to have the party in a restaurant, so our decorations were simple: flower arrangements, napkins and a banner of pictures from his childhood.

My mom bought loads (and loads) of yellow flowers, and I made skewers with pictures on the top to stick into the arrangement.  I found pictures of some of his favorite activities: fishing, hunting, playing the saxophone and smoking cigars!

I also made a "Happy Birthday" skewer and one with his monogram.  The files are all from Lettering Delights: hunter and fisherman, smoker and saxophone player.

For the napkins, I used the fishing pole from the fishing guy and just cut it out of flocked heat transfer material with the Happy Birthday words.

A few more pics of the decor:

Here is the banner I made - pics of Dad growing up...

Happy Birthday, Dad!