Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How Tuesday: Upcycled Owl Plush

Apparently the owl craze hasn't reached its end in Winnipeg.  I must have been asked a zillion times at Scattered Seeds if I had anything made with owl fabric.  So I guess I'll jump on the bandwagon just this once and share an owl plush tutorial with you all today.

Everyone meet Dayna:

She is my latest owl invention and she's going to help you learn how to make your very own upcycled owl plush today.

Materials needed:

- Page 1 of the pattern downloadable here
- Page 2 of the pattern downloadable here
- Various knit scraps (or felt if you prefer to make this owl in felt)
  (I recommend using the knits from old baby clothes, blankets, sweaters, whatever you have around your house that isn't being put to good use anymore.)
- fibre fill or more scrap fabric to stuff the owl
- thread
- embroidery floss if you want to sew the pieces on by hand

Time Needed:
If you sew this owl by machine it takes about half an hour.
If you sew this owl by hand it takes slightly longer - about an hour

Skill Needed:
Super easy!

Step one:
Gather up all your knits and your pattern. Cut 2 owl bodies (on fold). Cut two wings, cut one owl belly (on fold), cut one eyes piece and two eyeballs.  Cut one beak.  Experiment with various materials to get the colours and combinations you like.

Step Two:
Sew the belly piece onto one of the body pieces along the top of the belly.  You can either machine zig zag it across, or hand stitch with embroidery floss for a more patchwork look.

Step Three:
Sew wings onto the same body piece as the belly along the inner edge of the wings.  Again either zig zag by machine or hand stitch.

Step Four:
Sew eyes piece and beak onto the middle of the owl face.  Place eyes pieces and beak where desired and either zig zag or hand stitch in place.

Step Five:
Sew eye balls into place.  I experimented a little with the placement of the eyeballs to give the owl a little character.  Try pointing them upwards, or cross eyed.

Step Six:
With right sides together sew the back body piece to the front body pieces, making sure to leave a couple of inches hole at the bottom for turning and stuffing.

Step Seven:
Clip curves, turn the owl right side out and stuff with either fibre fill or scraps of fabric.  Stitch the hole closed.

Easy Peasy isn't it?

And oh so cute!

When you're done, try out another combination of upcycled fabrics.

Or try them in felt!

**** Use can use the pattern in any way you feel like.  That means you can make these owls as a gift, as a chew toy, for yourself, your cousin's best friend twice removed esquire or you can make them to sell. Because honestly, if you are even half decent a sewist, you can easily make this pattern for yourself. It's not rocket science people!  Enjoy! ******


Linking up with:
Lil' Luna Link Party - Lil' Luna

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pre-School Play Clothes Fix

Little Lane was on her way to pre-school the other day when her teacher came up to her in the school yard and showed her a brand new princess dress for the school play clothes rack. 

Lane's face lit up when she saw it.  It was a beautiful red with a big flower on it.  So pretty!

There are 7 little girls in Lane's preschool class and one boy - so you can imagine that new princess dresses are much in demand.  Teacher had found one at the local thrift store and knew that it would have a good home.

Only one problem:

It was huge!

Uh oh.  Too long and way too wide.  :(

Good thing teacher knows a mom who can sew!

She sent me home with the dress to give it some major alterations.
The little girls all expressed their love for the bottom of the dress which flows out like a princess dress should.  So I couldn't just hack it off and hem it.

So I removed the skirt and flower and shortened the middle without wrecking the zipper in the back or the lovely gathering on the front, back and sides. 

Then I put darts in - two in the front and 2 in the back to make sure that the shoulders wouldn't slip off during play.

I reattached the flower and then gave the bottom a 2 inch hem.  It still flows out behind the princess, but is much more wearable for the energetic 3 or 4 year old.

Ta da!

I took the picture before I hemmed it, but after taking a billion pictures of Lane in her mermaid costume (you'll see those on Halloween) she didn't want to pose for any more in another satiny creation.

Teacher specified to make it large on Lane since most of the girls in pre-school are already 4 years old and a couple of inches taller than her.  I think it will be a lovely addition to their play clothes collection. :D

It sure feels nice to use my sewing skills to help out at Lane's pre-school. I often forget that not everyone can sew and that my skills are much in demand.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Food Friday: Beef and Bean Chimis


The whole family loves chimis. Chimichangas if you will.

Logan even asked for these as his birthday dinner one year.

And remember when I posted the recipe for fresh salsa and realized that I hadn't posted this chimi recipe?  Well I found out that the reason I haven't posted it yet was that I didn't have very good photos of them. :(

But I'm going to post anyhow.  The photos don't do the recipe justice.  I actually took these ones of leftovers because I had forgotten the day before to take a photo of them out of the oven. 

- lean ground beef (whatever you got)
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 3/4 cup diced green pepper
1 1/2 cups kernel corn (I use the frozen stuff)
- 1 package taco mix
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 can refried beans
- 8 soft flour tortillas (or whatever tortillas are your fave. The chimis photographed are made using pesto tortillas I think)
- 1 package shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or for added spice get the Tex Mex stuff)
- 1 tablespoon butter, metled
- salsa, sour cream, lettuce and diced tomato on the side for garnish

  (this recipe makes a lot so you might get 2 meals out of it)

- pre-heat over to 350 degrees F (180 C).  Did I mention that these were baked instead of fried? Awesome!
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain excess grease, add the onion, bell pepper, and corn. Cook for about 5 more minutes until veggies are tender. Add the package of taco sauce and the water it says on the package to add with it.  Season with chili powder, garlic salt and stir until blended.  Cook until heated through and the taco sauce thickens.  Add the can of refried beans and thoroughly mix. Remove from heat.
- Spoon the beef mixture down the centres of the tortillas and top with as much shredded cheese as you like.  Roll up the tortillas and place them seam down onto a baking sheet.  Brush the tortillas with the melted butter.
- Bake for 30 or 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with salsa, sour cream, lettuce and tomato.  (or if you're really on a roll, make the fresh salsa recipe that I posted a few weeks back and serve).


Wednesday, 24 October 2012


I know it's Wednesday Weigh In today.

But I've been a very bad girl.  I haven't done my work out for weeks.

I've been going to my weekly aerobics class on Monday evenings, but other than that, I haven't done a thing.  Too busy doing prep sewing for a big craft show this past weekend.

Today will be the first day that I start back into it, so I promise to put up all the stats next Wednesday before I start in on the Halloween candy hehehe

At least I haven't gained any weight since stopping the work out schedule. 

I haven't lost any either.  Boourns.


I've been working on that owl tutorial I promised you yesterday.

I thought I'd give it a try with different materials.  You saw Ginger and Sugarpants yesterday made out of felt.

Now meet Gianna.  She's made out of some of my "to upcycle" knits that I've been stockpiling for a cute project such as this.

Awww... I think she turned out super special because I remember wearing that green sweater and Lane used to wear that pink flowered dress. 

Just tweaking the pattern a little bit and I'll post it up for you on Tuesday next week.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Iron Craft #21: Felt

This week's challenge:

"It’s time for a materials challenge. This time we are using a favorite of crafters, and one that is so versatile, felt." (Courtesy of Just Craft Enough)

Oooohhhhh! I love felt!  It's one of my favourite materials to work with.  It doesn't need finishing, it comes in every colour, it's so fun and easy to cut out. 

Love Love Love Love it!

Of course, I had a busy weekend at Scattered Seeds and weeks of prep for the show, so I didn't have much time.  I actually thought about, created the pattern for and sewed my project yesterday.

At the Scattered Seeds show I must have been asked if I have anything with owls on it about 674,932,067 times.  Apparently Winnipeg hasn't realized that the owl craze is over.


I thought my kids needed some owls.

Meet Ginger and Sugarpants.

Lane named hers (the purple one) Ginger.  I have no idea how she came up with that name.  Logan named his Sugarpants - ummmm.... yeah.....

Here's Ginger.  Made out of felt. Hand stitched belly, wings, eyes and beak.  I then put a back on her and stuffed her a little bit with scrap fabric. 

Logan came home from school for lunch yesterday and demanded that I make him one because Lane's was so cute.  So here's Sugarpants.  Made the same way. 

I will be getting the pattern and tutorial ready for Tuesday next week, so if you'd like to make a Ginger or Sugarpants of your own, you'll be able to :D

To follow all the Iron Crafters and their crafting with felt, please check out the Flickr Group.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Big Show - A Lesson in Terror

So yeah... have you missed me?

I haven't posted for nearly 2 weeks!  Ooops.

And I bet you're here to see what my final collection for Project Project Runway looks like. Sorry to disappoint, but I've been waaaaay too stressssssed to think about anything of the sort. :(

And this is the culprit:

I was accepted into the Scattered Seeds Christmas Craft Show and Sale just last month. I've only had a few short weeks to sew enough stock to sell at this big show. Check out my website for more details (including my plea for Slurpees).

Gah! My fingers are sore from sewing and my poor sewing machine needs a break.  But I'm ready! :D

See? I'm even packed up and ready for Terry to come home from work. We'll head down to the exhibition grounds and set up my half of booth 154.  And then if I don't pass out from terror and nervousness, I'll be putting in 12 hour shifts on Friday and Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday. 

As you may have guessed from the lack of posting, my anxiety level is at an all time high. But as you might also know if you're a regular reader, these events cause me ultimate stress before they actually happen so that when I get there, everything is fine.

I just need to convince my brain of that fact - before my heart explodes. 

I'll see you there right? And you'll bring Slurpees?  Yes?  Please?  Is this thing on?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Iron Craft #20: Edible Crafts

This week's challenge was waaay out of the box for me:

"For this Iron Craft challenge let’s play with our food. We want you to do something we all do everyday, cook, but we want you to use your craft skills to take that dish to the next level. Decorate a cake, sculpt with chocolate, create a creepy skull out of meatloaf, make beautiful rosettes from radishes…" Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough

I'm not really the type who pretties up the food I cook or bake.  I'm just not good with icing and I don't really have the patience to do anything too piddly.  So my project was the perfect compromise - easy and crafty! :D


Do you like food that can look back at you?

Made with white powdered donuts, Lifesavers gummies, M&Ms and strawberry syrup.  Unfortunately, we ended up with the only bag of M&Ms in the world that only had 4 brown ones.  WTF?  So we made 4 real looking eyeballs.

And several alien eyeballs!

And then we gobbled them all up.  I might be persuaded to make another batch closer to Halloween though.

To follow all the edible delectables that the Iron Crafters have come up with, check out the Flickr Group.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Project Project Runway: It's Fashion Baby

This week's challenge was a rather odd one.  But I guess that's what happens when Heidi is looking for free designs for her own fashion line:

"Ok, we don’t want you to have go buy a baby doll for this one challenge and we’ve already done a busy mom type look. So, if you have a baby doll you can design a baby outfit for it. If you don’t have a baby doll, you can design a high-end maternity look for your regular model (yes, give your model a baby bump)." Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough


I  admit - I did not have time to do this challenge.  I have been so busy sewing and sewing and sewing for fall shows that are coming up quick, that I haven't been able to focus onmuch else.  And I still have to get to Halloween Costume sewing -ACK!

Thankfully - last week, I had a very discerning mommy client in my studio demanding a dress be made for her baby doll.  You got it. Lane was my picky client. :D

Here's what I came up with according to her specifications:

It had to be made out of Dora the Explorer fabric.  And it had to be blue.  It also had to be easy enough for multiple wardrobe changes.  Remember, a three year old needs to be able to pull it on and off in a hurry when baby doll is fussy and wiggly heehe.

So it closes with Velcro and the skirt is simple elastic. Not exactly high fashion, but it'll do.

I think she loves it.  Even though I was busy doing prep for shows, who can say no to that face?  I just had to quickly design and sew something cute for this sweet little mommy.


To view all of the Project Project Runway designers, please visit the Flickr Group.