Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sew Baby Poncho as a Raincoat {TUTORIAL}

Recently, I got 1 yard of Robert Kaufman "Little Kukla" laminated fabric from Ebay.  It was a lot bit on the pricey side, but I just love Matryoshka dolls, and I had to have it!  

I used the Sew Baby Petal Jacket pattern to make the jacket. When Evangeline was 2 I used this pattern to make her the jacket, which is actually a poncho with sleeves and a hood. She adored it and we always got a lot of compliments on the hippo fabric that was a re-purposed baby duvet I got on clearance at IKEA.

  The pattern is pretty easy to sew up and the directions are clear, so in this post I'm highlighting the additions I made. I opted for a rounded hemline and a fleece lining and I don't intend for it to be reversible so there are no snaps on the inside. I also eliminated the ribbing around the face, as it would get wet in the rain.

Top-stitching was important for the outer laminate fabric, as you can't iron it.  Please don't attempt to iron the laminate because it will melt. After you construct the outer hood, top-stitch the seams.

The first thing I added was a brim for the rain.  After running a few trial brim patterns I settled on one that worked for keeping the rain off of her face. Quilter template plastic made the perfect insert because it can get wet. The pattern for the plastic will be the same as the brim minus the seam allowance.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric for the brim and one piece of plastic.

 Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the curved outer edge.

Turn right side out, clipping seams and topstitch very close to the edge.

Insert the plastic and stitch 2 lines starting 3/8" away from the edge top-stitching and then stitch another line 1/4" from that.

Before you attach the outer hood to body of the jacket, mark the center of the brim and the center of the hood on the outer fabric.  Line them up and temporarily hold them in place using clips, right sides together (quilt binding clips are good for this). The right side will have neater stitching holes. Sew 3/8" seam, securing each the beginning and end of your stitching.

 After you attach the hood and body of the jacket top-stitch around that seam.

Next, I added a loop for hanging up this jacket.  It could be hung by the hood, but it becomes impractical with the brim and loops are easier for a 4 year old to manage.

Cut a strip of outer fabric 1" X 4".  Length isn't really important here because you can trim it after you attach the loop.

Using a washable glue stick coat the wrong side of the fabric.

Fold the two sides in, so that they meet in the middle.

Fold in half and stitch on the sewing machine, close to the edge.  The first time I tried this my feed dogs wouldn't feed the fabric because it was too narrow.  I used a piece of Swedish pattern paper underneath (any stabilizer that tears away will work) and sewed with the paper under the strip of fabric.

Then, I tore away the paper and used tweezers to get the bits that I couldn't get out with my fingers.

In the lining of the jacket, before I attached the lining hood I sewed the loop to the right side of the jacket lining, centered over the center back seam. I reversed a few times to insure the loop was secure.  Here, you can adjust the size of the loop by simply leaving longer or shorter tails.

After you attach the lining hood and body, trim the ends of your loop.

Finish your jacket as the pattern describes, top-stitching all the seams on the outside.

A visit to the Seattle Aquarium on a grey Seattle day.

Action Shot!

Looking at the seals.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Katie Drane from Fun Home Things has nominated Chickadee's Big Ideas for a Liebster Blog Award!  

Thanks Katie! You can check out her Liebster blog post by clicking here.

The Liebster Blog Award is an award given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers, most of whom have less than 200 followers (or have been blogging for less than 6 months). It is to show newer bloggers that they are appreciated, and to help spread the word about new blogs. It was created to promote appreciation and recognition among the blog world. Liebster translates to “dearest” (or favorite/best) in German. It is also known as the Love Blog Award.

What an awesome honor!

The Rules:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.

2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.

3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.

4. Choose 11 new blogs you love and link them in your post.

5. Please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you!

11 Random things about me:

1. I have a dimple in the middle of my forehead.

2. By nature, I'm a terrible photographer but I'm working really hard to take better photos.

Taken Christmas 2011 (My kiddos and husband)

Taken Christmas 2012 (Three of my sisters and niece)

3. I was raised in a very strict, super religious household (you'd never know it now).

4. I am a giant nerd (and not ashamed).  I love technology, sci-fi and fantasy.

5. I love matryoshka dolls (Russian stacking dolls)

6. I keep things that my Granny and Grandmother made near to me because it makes me feel safe and loved.

7. I am a good cook but I don't enjoy it. At my house, its a labor of love.

8. I look forward to the Puyallup (Pew-all-up) Sewing Expo every year like a kid waits for Christmas. It's huge and fun!

9. I went to the Urban Craft Uprising (an indie craft show in Seattle) for the first time this year.  I waited in line for 3 hours in the rain and cold for a swag bag.

10. I'm the oldest of 6 children, with 4 younger sisters and 1 younger brother.

11. I've been wearing glasses since I was 11.  My nephews think I look really weird without them.

My questions from Katie:

1. When and why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in October of this year (2012) as a creative outlet. I'm always doing something crafty and what better way to connect with other crafters than a blog!

2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

In my 5th grade yearbook I wrote that I wanted to be a teacher or a singer. I really enjoy singing but it's definitely never going to turn into a profession for me. Teaching in a traditional school also wasn't in the cards but I taught adult learners, the differently abled, my own kids (during summers) and now my blog readers. There are many roads to get where you want to go. I've just learned to expand my horizons.

3. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas! It always feels so magical.

4. Do you work outside of the home or are you a stay at home mom?

I'm lucky to stay at home with my 4 year old daughter and 8 year old son. I worked full-time when my son was little and he was in daycare. Being a single mom was one of the hardest things I've ever done! When my husband and I married I quit working outside of the home.

5. If you could meet a famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

JK Rowling. Not only am I an avid Harry Potter fan (nerd alert!) but her story is inspiring.

6. How old were you when you went on your first date?

19. I was a late bloomer.

7. What is your favorite book?

Reading is my other hobby. I like to read what my son is reading because it gives us something meaningful to talk about. We read tons of series including: Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Fablehaven, The Tapestry series, 100 cupboards - really anything fantasy. If I had to pick a favorite book, right now, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood would top the list. It's technically juvenile fiction but a bit too tedious and wordy for my son.

8. What is your favorite song and why?

Right this minute, in the spirit of the season, Auld Lang Syne by Andrew Bird. Hands down, the best version of this song I've ever heard.

9. Do you have a blogging schedule or do you blog when you feel like it?

My creative mind that is all over the place, so I'm finding it difficult to get myself into a blogging schedule. My #1 New Years resolution is to set a blogging schedule and stick to it.

10. Are you a city girl or a country girl?

City girl! I grew up rurally and the city always excited me. I like the hustle and bustle and the availability of everything.

11. What do you love most about your family?

We are a blended, bi-cultural family and we pull it off pretty well (for the most part).  We are lucky to live in Seattle where having a blended family is normal and accepted.

My kiddos and husband, Aaron at the Seattle Aquarium.

11 questions for the people I nominate:

1. Why do you blog?

2. What are your top 3 must read blogs?

3. What is your favorite day of the week?

4. What is your guilty pleasure?

5. What is the best costume you have worn?

6. What room in the house do you most like to spend time in?

7. What job have you been procrastinating?

8. What song do you love to dance to?

9. If money were no object, where would you live?

10. Do you have any special talents?

11. If you had one wish, what would it be?

11 blogs I love and nominate:

7. Twilltape

Nominees: Please leave me a comment with your Liebster post, so I can read up on you! Also, please leave a link back to this post on your blog.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fabric Giveaway

I was soooo excited to win 6-1 yard cuts of FreeSpirit Piourette by Verna Mosquera in the November giveaway from FreeSpirit fabrics. Wouldn't you know that it arrived today, the day after Christmas, when I'm ready to get some new projects going. The fabric is so sweet and girly I'll be using it to make clothes for Evangeline but i know you could make so many other cute projects.

6 yards is a lot of fabric and I have no plans for a new quilt anytime soon, so I'm giving away some fabric! 2 people will win 6 fat quarters each. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter. The giveaway runs for 2 weeks so lots of people have a chance to enter. This is my very first giveaway so please share with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day of Silence

A day of silence for the precious lives lost in Sandy Hook.  This horrific event has rocked me to my very core and I am taking a few days to enjoy my children and get back into the swing of things.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homemade gift ideas- that even you would like to receive {TUTORIALS}

Homemade Gift Ideas

In an earlier post, I talked about how my Christmas giving was on a budget this year, so I've been planning and working on homemade Christmas gifts for a while now. These are all things I would love to receive or have given in the past to great reviews!


Everyone uses aprons around the holiday and they make great hostess gifts or gifts for kids.  Remember to tailor the style to the person for whom you are making.

Girl's Apron from FreeSpirit Fabrics and Fat Quarterly. Free Pattern 

Cottage Chic Cooking Apron Tutorial. Free Tutorial

Kitchen Confections in Moda's Vintage Modern: Pleated Apron Free Tutorial

Knitted gifts. Warm and cozy are always in style.

Colorful socks by Kristin Nicholas Free Pattern. This was the first sock pattern I ever knitted and has kids-adult sizing. It makes a fantastically warm sock. Make it in one color or 3.  Add stripes. Mix it up!

Coffee cozy. Practical and eco-friendly. Free Pattern from Leisure Arts

Hand Knitted Ornament - DIY Tutorial with Free Pattern from Molly Sews

Quilted and Sewn Gifts. Here are a few small projects you could pull together from your stash.

Zigzag Patchwork Journal by Stitched in Color. So cute and perfect for an artist or writer.

Ruffled Mini Wallet from Amy at Stichery Dickory Dock. So very cute!

And of course, how could I leave out my bow-tie tutorial?  Perfect for any man (or little man) in your life.

Get to crafting those last minute gifts and please share what you are making this Christmas.

This is a link up with Mom of 6 on Getting Ready For the Holidays.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Feeling a little Funky {Share Your Life}

I've been feeling a bit "funky" and out of sorts lately.  As you know, this is a terrible time for a crafter to be unmotivated!

The dark days have set in here in Seattle and just like every year the kiddos are so surprised by the depth of the winter night. Today Ari exclaimed "It's only 5:00? It looks like midnight!"

 It really doesn't help that the days are so grey as well. I love the rain in any form but something about a drizzly, dim day just makes me want to curl up in warm, cozy flannel sheets and read in bed...all day. If only it weren't for those pesky responsibilities!

Yep, I'm in a Washington winter rut and its time to shake it off. So, here's my plan:

1. Embrace the Christmas spirit. Do something Christmassy everyday!
2. Get up earlier to catch the morning light. (Well, the morning grey)
3. Spend time actively listening to my kiddos. They just bring me so much joy when we really engage.
4. Try to spend some time every day in my crafty area.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Matchbox Advent Calendars {TUTORIAL}

This year I made up my mind to make the kids their own Advent Calendars and just adored this matchbox one I saw on CountyLiving. It's not too late for you to make one too!  Just double up for a day or two and you'll be all caught up.

Matchbox Advent Calendars {TUTORIAL}

You will need:

  • 24 Matchboxes
  • Glossy Acrylic Craft Pain in several colors
  • paintbrush
  • Glue gun
  • Ribbon
  • Scrapbook paper

The first thing I had to do was locate Matchboxes.  Easy, right?  Well it turns out they aren't carried by any of the grocery stores in my local area.  My next move was to check Amazon (of course) where they wanted $$$.  One of the reviewers mentioned that you could get the same matches at the Dollar Tree for a fraction of a price.  Bingo!  I put in a call to the store up the street and they assured me they had an abundance in stock.

For one Advent calendar you will need 24 matchboxes.  Empty all the matches out and separate the outside and inside boxes.  In the inspiration picture the inside boxes are left plain but I decided to paint mine.  Using a shiny gloss acrylic craft paint and a small brush paint one of the short edges.  I used 4 different colors.  Set them aside to dry.

Arrange your outside boxes in a shape you like.  I made a Christmas tree and a Snowman (which kind of looks like a Christmas Tree as well).  The Christmas Tree shape was much easier to wrap with scrapbooking paper.  

Using a hot glue gun, glue the matchboxes together in rows.  Make sure you keep the boxes lined up evenly as you join them together.  Holding the boxes together in your hand on a flat surface helps.  Also, apply the glue to the middle of the box taking care not to get too close to the edge so the glue won't show.

Cover each row in scrapbook paper, using the hot glue gun, again keeping the glue away from the edges. Glue the boxes on top of each other.

Next, on to the inside boxes.  Cut 24 small pieces of ribbon.  Fold them in half and put a tiny spot of glue to keep the edges together.  Use another very small dot of glue on the bottom of the box near the painted edge to attach the ribbon.

Use a sharpie marker to number the boxes from 1-24.  Fill with small candies, money and toys. I will be also be using little pieces of paper with activities like making cookies or  "snowman soup". The best part is you don't have fill them all at once.

Now what to do with all the matches?  Suggestions?