Category Archives: Sewing

DIY Advent Calendar

Happy New Year, everyone! Since we are already in January, I figured it was time to share one of my recently completed crafty projects – a felt Advent calendar.

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

This daunting project started roughly 2 years ago when I saw this Pottery Barn Advent calendar and decided “Oh, I can make that”. (famous last words!!) I decided to purchase the best quality felt (100% wool) because I wanted it to be *perfect*. Well, by the time I had purchased all the felt and other miscellaneous items – I had spent well over the $65 price tag that Pottery Barn charges. Woops. But uhhh…this will be HANDMADE! Passed down for generations! Something like that, right? ;)

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

Anyway, I did NOT come up with these ideas on my own. A few of the pockets I sketched out and came up with – but most of them were derived from ones I found all over the Internet. So please, do not give me credit for all these cute little felt creatures! I just copied and cut them out best I could :) (thank you, Pinterest – I have included a full list of links at the bottom of this post for all the ideas I found out there!)

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

FYI: I recommend using 100% wool, high quality felt for this project. It was so great to work with and it looks amazing. MUCH better than the cheap felt you can find in stores. I searched on Etsy and found a bunch of sellers that offered wool felt. I’m glad I went this route – it really made a big difference.

Now for the numbers: the problem with this project was that I started it roughly 2 years ago. I started strong but before long life got in the way and I never picked it back up. It sat for well over a year, and then we moved, etc. This year I decided it HAD TO BE DONE. With Brooke being 3.5 years old, I knew she would be totally into it. I buckled down in late October and decided I needed to make a few sacrifices if this puppy was getting finished. First: I couldn’t hand stitch everything. I started using my machine for a LOT of the stitching. It still looks totally fine – and I’m SO glad that I allowed myself to do this. Second: I could NOT even try to cut out or even die cut the numbers…OR better yet, hand sew them. No way. I threw in the towel and purchased some cute, pre-cut wool felt numbers on Etsy. All I had to do was glue them on!

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

This project was a combination of hand & machine stitching, hot glue, and a little bit of fabric glue. I created all 25 pockets, then machine stitched them to the tree. (tree was traced and cut out mostly free hand…I was going for a whimsical look). Once the pockets were all stitched on, I took the time to go back and add little embellishments such as buttons, sequins, etc. Hot glue was my friend!

We used this calendar leading up to Christmas and it was A HUGE HIT! Brooke was totally into it. She loved having something waiting for her each day in those pockets. We don’t really do candy in our house, so some days it was a small little trinket – but most days it was a note that was left by “Christmas Magic”. The notes had different activities for us to do: things like craft projects, baking cookies, going to see Santa, etc. All in all – this was a PERFECT project to do when you have a toddler in your home!

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

Below is a list of all the various Advent Calendars that I pulled inspiration from for this project:

Lil’ Luna
Rain Drop Stops
Inchmark

Brooke’s Big Girl Quilt

I finally finished sewing a Brooke for her new bedroom. I am so picky (ha!) that I didn’t really love any of the bedding in stores. I suppose that is what happens when you’re crafty, right? Anyway, when I was about 39 weeks pregnant with Henry I got a HUGE burst of energy and did a ton of sewing. I completed this quilt top in just a few hours. It was a SUPER fun quilt to do – I just followed the Jelly Roll Race pattern and video from MSQCO. The fabric is a jelly roll from Riley Blake called “Simply Sweet”.

It took me a bit longer to put together the backing, have it quilted and then bind it…but we were just a little bit busy moving and enjoying our summer 😉 Anyway, it’s all done now – here are some pics. I am hoping to complete decorate Brooke’s room. I will try and post pics when it’s complete!

Front:

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Back:

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some detail shots…

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up close of the quilting. I used Missouri Star Quilt Company quilt by mail service. They were GREAT!! No, I don’t get any compensation from them for saying that (I wish!) – I paid for them to do it, as I just don’t have a sewing machine that can handle quilting such a large quilt. I chose the flower quilting pattern and I think it turned out so cute.

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Brooke approves!! :)

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Henry’s Quilt

Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that a few days after my last post we welcomed our new baby BOY to the world! Brooke is now a big sister to a sweet baby boy named Henry :)

When I was still pregnant, I put together a quilt top for Henry – not knowing whether he was a boy or girl. So this is my 2nd gender neutral baby quilt (see the first one here). I sent it out to a long armer to be quilted before he was born, and then got it back sometime in March. After the craziness of moving and having 2 little ones, I was finally able to bind the quilt and complete it a few weeks back. Here is the finished result:

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and here is Henry (who is over 4 months old now!! Crazy) posing on his quilt:

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Since the big move, pretty much all of my crafting items are still packed up in boxes. I haven’t had time to even decorate the house, let alone craft. However I have been getting a bit of sewing time in here and there when I can. I will try and share sewing projects with you soon.

:)

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Sewing Project: Super Hero Capes

OK now that Christmas is over, I can share all of my handmade gifts with you!

This all started with Pinterest (shocking, I know). I saw these adorable Superhero capes and was inspired to make some for my nephew. He is just over 2 years old and is ALL boy. I wasn’t quite sure how hard these would be to make, so I started with something simple: Batman!

(don’t mind my mini ironing board and cardboard boxes peeking out from the bottom. I had to use them as a non-moving target/model)

I found a sewing pattern from McCall’s at my local Joann’s for the cape, but there are plenty of free cape tutorials out there. I improvised just a bit by adding a hem through the top part of the cape for the tie string. You can use velcro to close these capes if you want, there are many variations. I just created a tie string with a piece of fabric and threaded it through my top hem. I did a quick stitch in the middle to keep the string from pulling through either side.

My template for the Batman logo was another Pinterest find – this lovely blog has FREE printables for you to use as Superhero logo templates – it made is SO easy to cut out from some felt. From there, I just sewed it down with my sewing machine and then sewed it right to the back of the cape.

For the mask, I used that same McCall’s Superhero Costume pattern and traced the mask onto some felt. I traced 2 pieces of felt out and sewed them together, sandwiching the elastic in between as I went along.

After I completed Batman, I got brave.

My nephew’s most favorite thing in the world right now happens to be Super WHY – so I just had to try to create him his very own Super Reader cape! Here’s how it turned out:

Unfortunately, the Super WHY logo is NO WHERE NEAR as easy as the Batman logo. LOL. I mean, let’s look at how much is going on in this logo…

THANKFULLY I found this wonderful person who created a free printable Super WHY template. I used 4 different colors of felt to create this logo – just traced them onto some cardstock and did my best to cut them & sew them all together. I layered them all on top of one piece of green felt. I did this for a few reasons: a) it was much easier to sew the smaller pieces to one piece of felt instead of directly onto the cape and b) The logo needed something to make it stand out from the blue fabric of the cape.

The KEY to all of this was: FREEZER PAPER (found right next to the Ziploc bags in your grocery store aisle). Makes life a lot easier when working with felt. Trust me! (and thank you to the many sewing YouTuber’s who pointed me in the direction of freezer paper. It’s amazing.)

Here is another shot of the cape, showing the green color on the inside. I just love the shimmery/shiny fabric that I used for this. Makes me want to create lots more Superhero capes. I will most definitely be creating one for Brooke some day.

The mask was another template from the McCall’s pattern. Pretty straightforward.

The good news is that the capes were a hit with my nephew…especially the Super WHY one! He opened it and yelled “WHYY!! WHY!!!”. Here he is, in all his Super Reader glory:

A perfect fit!! :)

I hope this has inspired some of you to try some homemade gifts for your loved ones – I am by no means an expert seamstress – so if I do these…well, anyone can! 😉