Friday, December 14, 2012

New body for a baby doll

I bought a baby doll for my daughter and it had been, um, well loved.  I knew it needed a new body so I took off the vinyl limbs and cut the cloth body apart.  I used those pieces to make a pattern and then pinned those to suede cloth.  Suede cloth is amazingly soft, doesn't stain easily, and doesn't fray so it's great for doll bodies.  

Here are the pattern pieces I made.  I used card stock to trace and then added seam allowances.  

The first seam I sewed was the middle of the belly.  Then I pinned and sewed the front of the legs in place.  

Pin and sew the doll's bottom on to the back and then pin the front and back together.  Sew the sides together but leave about 1 1/2" at the top for the arms.  

Sew the arms to create a tube and then fold down one end to create a tunnel the zip tie or string can run through.  Sew that in place. 

After that, turn the tube right side out and fold it like below.

Place the arm into the space you left and pin in place.  Sew up the side and the shoulders.  Repeat with the opposite arm.  

Now sew the crotch together and turn up the ends of the legs (like you did with the arms) to create a tunnel for the zip ties.  Your body is almost complete.  Turn it right side out.

Take the neck piece and fold one end over.  Fold it in half and pin it on the outside of the body so all of the raw edges are together.

Sew on the neck piece.  When you get to the end, fold it over so the two ends meet but raw edges won't show.

The last step is to sew over the leg seams.  This step isn't necessary but it will allow the legs to move freely.  If you don't sew them, the doll's legs will always be in the sitting position.  It's up to you.  

You're done!  The doll body is ready to be stuffed and limbs can be added. 

Suck pads for a Kinderpack

I have seen suck pads before and have considered making them.  I guess I thought it was going to be too difficult, but this took me less than 45 minutes!   
You can make these using any fabric and they will work on any 
soft structured carriers, like Ergo, Boba, Kinderpack, Bamberoo, etc. 

Supplies needed: 
Patterned fabric (at least 21" by 13")
Fleece, chenille, or another fluffy fabric (also 21" by 13")
Optional: layer of flannel for the inside
16" of velcro (8" of each side) 

To begin, use something to measure around your carrier's strap.  Mine was 8 1/2".  Add 1 1/2" to that for your pattern's width and make a template using a piece of paper.  My pattern is 10" wide by 6" tall.  Fold your fabric in half to pin in place and cut out both at once.  Use the template to also cut out the fleece or other fluffy layer.  

Now that your pieces are cut out, lay the patterned piece, wrong side down, on the fleece and pin in place. If you're going to add flannel, it should be added to the outside to make sure it will be on the inside when flipped.

Sew around the edges but leave a small space on one end to flip it right side out.  After you sew it, flip it the right way and use something to push the corners out.  It would be a good idea to make the seam on the end with the hole a little longer so the top stitch will catch it when folded.

Pin the hole to make sure it will stay closed, and then pin the rest of the way around to make sure the fabric doesn't shirt while top stitching.  Top stitch the suck pad and cut out velco that is 4" long for each end.

If the end with the hole doesn't look very pretty (like mine above), you should make that end the one that will be on the inside when the velcro is closed.  I should have done mine the other way around.  Pin the velcro in place and test to make sure it will close the way you want it to.  Sew the velcro in place and admire your work!

Two suck pads to keep your straps dry, keep your baby content, and add some pizazz to your carrier!  I saw another tutorial to add a loop to the straps so you can attach toys or a pacifier clip.  That's a fantastic idea and this is how she did it.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rainbow Brite family costumes

It's TWINK!  My daughter's costume is complete, and boy was it a hit!

You can find the tutorial for the body of the costume and the headband here.  
The belt tutorial is here.  The rainbow leggings were a bit of an experiment.  
I tried coloring them with markers, but it all washed out and looked pretty shotty.  
A friend recommended fabric paint.  I owned some textile medium that changes 
acrylic paint in to fabric paint so I gave that a try.  It works really well, but fabric paint isn't 
made for fabric that is going to be stretched.  It would be easier to buy some 
rainbow leggings, but you can do it however you want, haha.  

  Here is my husband's costume.  He is Murky Dismal, the villain from Rainbow Brite.  I didn't do a step by step tutorial for his costume but it was pretty simple.  

I found a long sleeved plain gray t-shirt at Goodwill.  You could even get one with something printed on it and wear it backwards because the cape/vest will cover the back.  I printed off a lighting bolt shape that I liked and cut it out with fabric and iron on fusible webbing.  I just ironed that straight on to the shirt.  I decided to sew some white fabric around the bottom of the shirt, but you could glue white felt and achieve the same effect.  For the cape/vest, I did more work than necessary.  Just make a cape.  It's a lot easier.  On the back of Murky's cape, there is a cloud with a lightning bolt.  You can see it by watching a snippet of a Rainbow Brite episode.  I drew a cloud shape on felt and used more fusible webbing to attach it and a lighting bolt to the back.  For the hat, I found a really cheap and ugly ballcap.  If you're going to throw one away, that would be the perfect candidate!  For the "needle" on the top of the hat, I used toothpicks and tape to make the shape I wanted.  I hot glued it right on the button you find at the top of a hat.  Cut the bill off, and then attach felt.  I used hot glue and it worked fine.  The felt will be kind of bunchy in some places but you can cut it and overlap it at those points.  For the final touches, attach the darker gray pieces, two lighting bolts on the sides, and a white puff ball on the top.  A cotton ball would work fine, but I used a white pom pom ball.  Paired with some black pants, this costume was complete!

So there you have it.  A Rainbow Brite family.  Here's some more pictures, just because :)


I'd love to see how your costumes turn out, so leave a link to your 
blog or pictures in the comments. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Twink costume belt

The Twink costume is almost done, so it's time to add the final touches.  Today, I tackled the belt.  I already owned a basic blue belt so that is my base.  If you've ever searched for pictures of Rainbow Brite or other characters in the show, they are all different!  At first glance, they all appear to be the same, but there are subtle differences in the colors and patterns.

Take Twink for example.  In this picture, his belt is red with a yellow buckle and one blue pouch.  In this one, his belt is blue with a red buckle and a purple star pouch.  And in yet another (this picture), his belt is blue with an orange pouch AND a purple star.  Since I own a blue belt, I decided to go with the last one. 

Supplies needed: 
  • orange felt
  • purple felt
  • yellow felt (optional for small star on pouch)
  • blue belt
  • red felt
  • stabilized felt (if that's what it's called.  It's stiff) 
  • iron on/seam tape
I started with the orange pouch.  
I didn't measure anything, but I had a basic size in mind.  
Here is the shape I began with.  It's looks like a banner.
I added the star because some pictures show the pouch with a star button.  
Fold it to the size you want the pouch to be and crease it so you will know exactly 
where to fold it when ironing it.  
Place the belt where you want it to go.  The iron on seam tape only goes up part of the way so the belt can be looped through.  Remove the belt and iron the sides to fuse them.
Add a piece of seam tape to the tip of the pocket flap and the front to make the pouch.  
It won't be usable, but it's just for show anyway.  Iron that.
Your pouch is done.  Now for the star pocket.  
Start out with these two shapes; a star with one point missing and a house type shape.  
The house part of mine wasn't long enough so I would suggest making yours a little longer. 

Use seam tape to attach the two pieces together in this position.  
After you iron it together, flip it over.  

This is where I had to improvise a little.  I used seam tape to attach another piece of felt to the back of the star.  If you made your tab long enough, you won't need that piece.  
This is the loop for the belt to go through. 

The last thing I wanted to add was the belt buckle.  Felt is pretty flimsy so I used some stiff felt and used seam tape to attach the red felt to the stabilized felt.  

The buckle is about 2 inches by 2 inches.  I rounded the corners and used an exacto knife to cut the slits for the belt to go through.  They are about 1 cm from the edges of each end.  That's it!  Slide all three pieces on to the belt and you're done.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Twink costume body and headband

I made a Rinbow Brite costume a few years ago and just knew my daughter 
had to be Twink so I could wear it again.  I think she rocked it!  

If you found this tutorial, my bet is you saw this one at some point.  
That picture is where my idea to put my daughter in a Twink costume was born.  
I got the same fabric as she did, but I am NOT a pattern purchaser.  
They're not expensive, but I think the craft woman in me refuses to 
follow a pattern.  So, I improvised. 

This is the basic part of Twinks outfit.  As I said, I didn't buy a pattern.  I also didn't want it to be too puffy, but you can certainly add fiberfill on the inside if you do want it puffy.  
I would add 2 inches to the fuzzy fabric if you're going to go that route.

I started out with an outfit that is a tad big on her.  
Fold it in half and place it on top of two pieces of paper, taped together.  
Trace the outfit and cut out your pattern.

As you can see, I made it shorter and a little wider.  
The outfit pictured goes past my daughter's knees so I guessed on the length.  
As far as the width, I added a little for seam allowances.  You're going to need 2 pieces 
for the front (one fleece and one fuzzy fabric) and two for the back as well.

After you get your pieces cut out, pin one piece of fleece to one 
piece of the fuzzy fabric with the fuzzy/furry stuff inside.   
You're only going to sew the bottom, the arm holes, and the neckhole.  
Leave the sides and shoulder straps open.  This is VERY important! 
 I didn't do it that way so my pictures won't be too helpful, but after my trial and error, I know that would be the best method.  Moving on...

Flip your fabric right side out and do the same with the other half of your dress.  
You should have two panels with fleece on one side and fuzzy/furry fabric on the other.  
If you want to fill it with fluff, now is the time to do that. 
Pin the shoulder straps and sides together with the fuzzy/furry material facing each other.  Sew the sides and the shoulders together.  
Flip it fuzzy side out and you're done!  
The seams will be on the inside so they won't show.  
Fleece doesn't fray and neither does the fuzzy fabric.  
Just one straight stitch seam should do the trick.  

After that, it's all about the accessories.  I owned this blue belt already.  
I still need to add the star and pocket to the belt, but that won't be too difficult.  
Just a little bit of felt should do the trick.

The linked costume has a headpiece that most people have tried to copy; a hood if you will.  My daughter will not tolerate such a thing.  No way, no how.  She loves wearing animal ears though so I figured a headband would be right up her alley.

I bought a set of headbands from the dollar store.  
I had some red chenille stems/pipe cleaner.  I used 4 total, 2 for each side.  
Take two stems and twist them together all the way down to the bottom.  
Fold them in half and twist all the way to the ends.  Go back to the end you folded and untwist it a little. I used two colors to show it a little better.
Now you just slide that over the headband and glue in place.
After the stems were in place, I used hot glue and glued my fabric remnants to the headband, folding the ends to the underside and gluing those as well. For the stars, I printed off this template and cut 4 stars out of felt.  I sewed 2 stars together leaving a little space for them to slip over the chenille stems.

It helps to use scissors or something else to open up the hole.  Then slip it over your chenille stem and sew the hole closed.  This will also secure it to the stem so you won't need glue.

Here is the belt tutorial.  The rainbow tights were trial and error.  If you can
 purchase some, that would be much easier!  I actually painted hers with fabric paint.

She got a ton of compliments and just looked perfect!