Friday, April 30, 2010

Catching Up

Wow, this has been a busy spring.  Really busy.  Here are some of the things we've been up to:

Claire has discovered nail polish, and if I don't have the time to paint her nails then she'll do it herself using marker.  Sigh.  I should have been suspicious when she was quiet in the car for way to long....

We had to put a childproof knob on the pantry because about 5 times a day Claire would come hand me either the oatmeal jar or the peanuts from the pantry and say "eat".  I am happy she has a word, but I began to wonder how much oatmeal a 2 year old could eat.  I guess it keeps her regular...

As I write this post, Kate is proudly helping Daddy fold laundry (have I mentioned how awesome my husband is?  He does over half of the laundry around here!).  This is one of the first times that I have not had to put quotation marks around help.  She's even folding shirts with only a little help straightening from her a bit too Type A Daddy.  Here she is very proudly holding up a shirt she folded.

And of course, if big sister is doing something, Claire has to do it too... after these photos she stood up and said "Dah!" (her version of Ta-da) and then "All Done!"

This morning is Kate's Mother's Day program at preschool, which she is super excited about.  I'm sure I will have many more pictures from it...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Minnie Mouse pillowcase dress

I made this Minnie Mouse pillowcase dress for my daughter.  Sometime I'll put up a tutorial on pillowcase dresses, but I'm really bad at taking pictures through the whole process!!

The red & white fabric is from JoAnn's and is only $4.99 regular price, and I managed to get it for half price.  Gotta love it!

The circle for Minnie Mouses' head is from one of the play dishes from my daughter's kitchen, and the ears are a jumbo size plastic Easter egg.  I traced both onto Wonder-Under, then ironed the Wonder-Under to black fabric and cut around it.  Then, I removed the backing and ironed the circles onto the polka dot fabric so that they looked like Minnie Mouse.  I put a mid-weight stabilizer fabric behind the polka dot fabric and then did a "satin stitch" (a zig-zag with a very short stitch length) over the edges of the circles.  Then, I cut away the extra stabilizer fabric from the back.

The bow is held on with fabric glue (Heat & Bond is not strong enough, you need liquid fabric glue) and I hand-stitched it about 5-6 times as well to make sure it stayed.

For my pillowcase dresses, I sew elastic into the neck and then sew the ribbon to the top of each of the corners of the dress.  I think it looks a bit more polished, and I like that there is less of a strangulation hazard from the elastic than there is from a true drawstring neck.

Now - if only we had the funds to plan a trip to Disney.... :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kitchen Stool Makeover

I finally re-did our kitchen stools.  They have been living in the garage for the past 9 months or so, ever since Mark turned his back on Claire in the kitchen for 2 minutes and returned to find her standing on top of our kitchen island.  However, I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, we are mostly past that stage with Claire and I can now keep the stools at the island.

Here is a "before" shot of the stools - functional, but certainly not pretty.  I got them at a church rummage sale for $1.00 each.

I have been wanting to paint them for a while, but have been slightly challenged by the wicker type seat.

I ended up painting the wooden part of the stool (and some of the wicker seat as well) black.

Then I made a cover for the wicker part out of some old muslin I had.  Here is the final product:

Much better, isn't it?

For the cover, I cut a piece of muslin about 5-6" larger than the dimensions of the top of the seat.  I then cut a 4" square out of each corner of the muslin to accommodate the corners of the stool that stick out.  I did the same thing out of Pellon Fusible Fleece (978F) and then ironed the fusible fleece to the muslin, just to give the muslin a little padding and to make sure none of the black on the seat showed through the muslin.

I searched Google Images for a bird silhouette and found this one that I liked, then printed it onto iron on transfer paper and ironed it onto the face of the muslin.  It was a bit tricky getting the entire image to adhere to the muslin, unfortunately.  Thank God for Sharpie marker to fill in a few missing spots!

I then used a package of extra wide double fold bias tape.  I first sewed 8.5" pieces into each "corner" that was cut out, making a fold where it came to the corner.  Then, I sewed approx. a 22" piece of bias tape over each long straight edge, leaving the ends to serve as ties for the cover.

Here is a close-up of the corner of the cover once it is tied on the stool:

Voila - tie it on.  I had all the materials for this project, so it was free to me, but if you are attempting it from scratch you need the following things to cover 2 stools:

1/2 yard muslin, any width (over 36")
1/2 yard Pellon Fusible Fleece (Pellon 978F or any similar fusible padding)
1 package iron-on transfer paper (can get this at almost any hobby, craft, fabric or even large mass merchandiser in their craft section)
1 package extra wide double fold bias tape in the color of your choice
sewing machine

I did not take pictures of the steps of making the cover, I will try to take them when I make the 2nd cover and then post a more detailed tutorial.  They certainly aren't perfect, but they're much better than the original stools with the flaking white paint!


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