Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Road Trip: Magnetic Games

 One of my biggest secret weapons for this week long, 30 hour car ride, trip, is a magnet board. I have been feverishly working on games to play using this board and have come up with 6 adorable tins. As you can see, most are from repurposed altoid tins, spray painted gold, then modge podged with adorable paper and the title of the contents.

Here's a rundown (from top left, going clockwise): Caterpillar game (six colors of dots, roll dice and try to make a caterpillar with all six colors first), story dice (5 - 3/4" wooden blocks with various clip art pictures modge podged on), camping game pieces, magnetic pattern blocks (along with several pattern block sheets), make a face (various face parts from magazines laminated then glued onto magnet sheet and cut out), and pieces for bug hunt game and dots to play both a monster memory game and a "color" the rose game along with two-color dice for rose game. 

I printed a few other games from as well, without magnetic pieces. I found some plastic spinners at the local teacher store, so created a variety of spinning and dice games for us to play. My mom was kind enough to send me dozens of old calendar magnets which have been perfect for all of these magnetic projects. I am also addicted to spray adhesive which worked perfectly for spraying on the magnets, then placing the paper (like the game pieces and face pieces) on top of before cutting out. Hopefully all this work will actually pay off and my child will enjoy most of these games.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Road Trip: Doll Picnic Table

In order for the dolls to eat in style on the camping trip, they need their own picnic table of course! After searching for a great pattern or tutorial, I came up empty handed. I wanted something light and easy to make that didn't involve wood but was sturdy enough for the three year old to use. I ended up drawing my own template, and used mat board and a sharp X-Acto knife to cut out the 5 pieces. The only modification not shown on the template is that I made small notches on the top of each connecting piece (on the H leg piece) to ease it into the corresponding slot on the table top and bench. I found some wood grained looking paper and decided to modge podge it onto the board and then used modge podge to hold it all together (although it could easily be the kind of table that is collapsable instead). It was plenty stable before the modge podge, and even more stable now. I found some little plates with interchangeable food pieces at the Dollar Tree. I think they are supposed to be erasers, but they make great semi-healthy food for the dolls to take camping!

Here is the template for the table. Enjoy your feast little dolls!

(I should mention that the Road Trip: Camping doll series is designed for 1" scale dolls, such as Ryan's Room and Plan Toys dolls).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunny Inspiration

My crazy 3 year old is full of strong opinions. Many involve sunscreen and photo shoots. Since I love a good challenge, I have been making her wear hats and long sleeves and have been timing photo shoots when she is engrossed in something she loves. 

In an effort to break in my new sewing machine (thanks to the husband and my mother for my early birthday/ Mom's day present), Sora helped me pick out a dress and fabric inspiration. She chose something with much wider sleeves, but I loved the idea of sewing in the knit sleeves. She also technically only picked out the main fabric - she is still working on coordinating fabrics it seems. I added 8 rows of shirring to the front top and 6 to the back. I also added 2 pockets as my crazy kid always needs a pocket for the garbage she is habitually picking up. 

I also decided to throw in a hat. It in no way coordinates, but it is reversible and the two prints kind of how together. Since she needs both long sleeves and a hat to avoid sunscreen, we get crazy combinations like this on an hourly basis (upon which time she gets soaking wet and needs a complete outfit change).

I used an existing bucket hat to create a pattern. I felt like a genius since I even used math to figure out circumference of the circle to make sure all the pieces would fit together, but it did not come together as easily as math would have made me believe and I had to take in a few seams here and there midway through the hat.

She also picked out the fabric for the hat. It took 2 - 1/3 yard strips and I steered her to some duck cotton fabric that was on sale.

And now that the water's gone, we'd better get going! Stay tuned for some car adventure travel tips and craftiness soon!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

J Crew Inspired Dress

 I love the idea of using commercial dresses as inspiration for beautiful handmade dresses. My problem is that I'm picky and usually don't like most dresses. When I saw this Chambray Tunic at Crew Cuts, I knew I had met my match! Of course, it's already off the J Crew website, so I'm lucky I saw it last week. I pulled out some vintage teal dot fabric and set right to work.

I love it! I love the double stitch detail on the pockets and all the contrasting stitching. Unfortunately for me, Sora is already turning into a teenager who only sometimes appreciates her mama's hard work. I did finally convince her to work with me on a scientific experiment to see how much each pocket held, which meant she had to actually put it on.

She fit an average of 4 toys in each pocket. Hopefully her love of pockets will get her to wear this cute dress a little more often!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Road Trip: Doll Mummy Sleeping Bag Pattern

We are less than two months away from another epic road trip! In the first installment of the Road Trip series this spring, I have decided that the dolls are camping with us this year. I am working on some other doll camping concepts, mostly heavily influenced by this concept. I love this idea, but hate the dolls and soda involved. Instead, I decided to sew some mummy style sleeping bags for two of our dolls from Sora's dollhouse (from Plan Toys and Ryan's Room).  
Don't they look snug as a bug?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dress Up Mania

Lately, we have been playing a lot of dress up at our house. Sora's obsessed with acting out scenes from Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood. Our dress up box was overfilled! I finally decided to do something about it.

I have been saving this box in the basement for a long time with a dress up closet in mind. My sweet husband cut the dowel and came up with a system to keep it in place with nuts and bolts. I had wanted handles for the "doors", but it's already full, so maybe having it open isn't a bad idea.
Now that we had more adequate storage, Sora was in need of more clothes for the closet. We scoured the thrift store for some essentials: a medical top, a tiny blazer, a slip, a bathrobe. We also scoured the dollar store and came up with a fireman's hat and a dinosaur head. 

After looking around on Pinterest, I found this tutorial for a reversible play vest. I really liked the red stripe edge from this tutorial, so I combined them by using bias tape around the edges rather than turning inside out. Perfect for both a fireman and a pirate!

 I also found this tutorial for a cape. This might be my new go-to pattern for gifts since it's so fun and easy!

I used laundry bags from the dollar store as my "fabric" for the cape. Admittedly, it's not my best work and I'm hoping to make another royalty-related cape out of actual fabric to make up for it.

I'm sure this will be an ever evolving closet for many years to come!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Twist on a Classic

 I have a basic raglan sleeve dress pattern that I use as a base for a lot of dresses. I use it for my dresses I sell in my Etsy shop. I have made several dresses for Sora and my adorable nieces using it too. In an attempt to make yet another dress for Sora, I learned that it also makes a great top pattern instead!

I love these sleeves and the neckline! I can't wait to make another dress or shirt along these lines again.