Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

    You will need:
  • Heavy gauge wire
  • 1.5 yards of tulle or other “net” fabric
  • 4′ wooden dowel, approx 3/4 inch diameter
  • Twine – I used the hemp kind you get at a garden store
  • Packing tape
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Basic sewing supplies
  • I am the very busy mom of two very young and spunky girls. So, my apologies for not publishing this before Halloween, but I’m lucky I got all my sewing done in time. This was the first year since having children that I attempted to make costumes for the whole family. My 4 year old chose butterflies. So she and I dressed as the afore-mentioned winged insect while my 1 year old went as a caterpillar, and my husband, naturally, was a butterfly catcher.
    I searched the interwebs for one of those fabulous huge nets, but the cheapest one I found was over $30. Not in the budget, I’m afraid. So, in my abundant spare time, I decided to make one. I had most of the supplies and tools I required, all I needed was a nice wooden dowel and some tulle.
    Off to the fabric and hardware stores I went, and $5 later, I was ready to begin. I bought 1.5 yards of tulle which gave me a roughly 54″ by 54″ square. I folded it in half, cut off one corner at a 45 degree angle and stitched it closed on the long side. I have a serger so I used that. A normal straight stitch would work fine too.
    I now had, essentially, a tulle bag. I folded the edge of the opening over about 1″ and stitched along it to create the pocket for the wire frame of the net. I had some heavy gauge wire leftover from a previous project and I used it to create the frame for the net. It’s important to take the time to get the exact shape you want at this stage because once you get the bag on, it’ll be nearly impossible to make substantive changes. Remember that our tulle bag has a circumference of approximately 54″ so you want to cut the wire with plenty to spare for the tang (ooh! S.A.T. word of the day! Is it still called the S.A.T.?) Once you’ve got the shape you want, before bending both ends of the wire to create the tang, thread the wire through the bag’s pocket. This way you can make sure the tulle fits the frame snugly. A pair of pliers is helpful in turning that right angle from the circle to the tang. I also found that putting another 90 degree bend in the wire at the bottom of the tang (perpendicular to the circle) helped keep the frame from twisting and becoming unstable (see photo on left). Once I got my net threaded and the wire bent to create the tang, it was time to attach it all to the dowel. I used a piece of packing tape to hold it all together and then wrapped hemp twine around it to make it secure and give it a more finished look. I started with a standard slip knot so that I could get it really tight and then, maintaining a very firm pressure, wrapped the twine around in a single, snug layer until I got to the end of the tang and then continued wrapping back up to the top. I used the tail from the slip knot to tie the end of my twine to. Trim the excess twine (but don’t get too close to the knot or it’ll come undone!) And, voila! We’re done! Time to go catch yourself some GIGANTIC butterflies!


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    Some fun tutorials I’ve tried lately:
    The Lola Headband Tutorial from Two Little Bugs Clothing is a short and easy to follow tutorial on how to make a variation of those yummy flower headbands (or barrettes) we’ve been seeing all over the place for mad amounts of money. And if you’re sewing-phobic, don’t worry, this project requires absolutely no needles or thread, just scissors and glue.

    The next one is for the plush pumpkins that are so ubiquitous this year. If you missed this one, here’s a really nice tutorial from New House, New Home, New Life. She buys 1/2 meters of fabric, but I’m sure you’ll be fine if you buy half yards ;). These are so easy to make that they’d be a great sewing project for kids and beginning sewers. The hardest part is getting the real pumpkin stems. If you can’t find real ones you can always make them from pipe cleaners or paper maché.

    Edit: if you have trouble finding fold-over elastic locally, www.SewzannesFabrics.com has a great selection of colors.

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    Farthingales Corset Blog (farthingalescorsetblog.blogspot.com)
    Linda Sparks literally wrote the book on how to make a corset (The Basics of Corset Building). She owns the sewing supply company Farthingales, originally based in Canada, they also have a location in Los Angeles. Farthingales specializes in corset supplies. Her blog mostly consists of announcements for the various classes she and others in her company teach. But check out her other sites for great info like the Tips and Tricks page on her L.A. website.

    Good Quick Cheap (www.goodquickcheap.net)
    David T. Howard is a professor and resident costume designer at the University of Rhode Island. His blog focuses on costume design and construction. He posts lots of pictures of vintage and antique clothing from the school’s stock. He also posts some of his design renderings and the photos of the corresponding finished garments. This is a great resource for anyone interested in costume design.

    Oh So Happy Together (ohsohappytogether.blogspot.com)
    Jessica obviously loves to sew for her daughter. This blog is full of tutorials on fun kid- and adult-oriented craft and sewing projects. One of my favorites is The Dress Up Skirt (i.e. Tutu). I also love the photos of a gorgeous, vintage inspired, girl’s sailor dress she made.

    The Sassy Crafter (sassycrafter.blogspot.com)
    is “a writer and crafty gal who loves transforming old things into hip new accessories for you and your home.” Her blog consists of stories and projects about a mix of sewing and crafts. She writes excellent tutorials with thorough instructions and informative photos. Some of my favorites are The DIY Bobbin Organizer, The Executive Chef Apron, and The Re-purposed Top.

    Sew Retro (sewretro.blogspot.com)
    You probably already know all about this gem. Members post their vintage inspired creations. There are a lot of posts that are just ads trying to get you to visit a member’s personal blog but this is actually a decent way to find other interesting sewing blogs and project tutorials. Members also post about occasional freebies and give-aways.

    Threadbanger (www.threadbanger.com)
    Threadbanger is a video blog that focuses on DIY sewing projects. Some are fashion related and some are about home decorating. The videos are made by the Threadbanger staff, by guest artists, and by viewers. So, if you have a super cool tutorial you want to send them, you might be featured on a future episode!

    Custom Costumes

    Photo Gallery

    Sewing lessons


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