Monday, October 21, 2013

Confessions of a Wannabe Seamstress: DIY Toy Story Costumes

I like to pretend that I'm crafty. Sit me in front of a computer with a design program and I can whip up something as quick as a hiccup (or as quick as a pop-tart, as one of my middle school students said). Sit me in front of a sewing machine and I have flashbacks from my 7th grade home economics class where I accidently sewed the two legs of the boxer shorts I was making together. That made for several unpleasant days of unpicking the seams. But with pinterest and blogging, there are so many cute sewing projects out there! I keep wishing that I knew how to sew so I could make this stuff for my kids instead of spending money to buy it. 

Fast forward to a month ago when I decided that I wanted my kids to be Jessie and Woody from Toy Story. I researched costumes online and the money they wanted for these cheap little costumes was ridiculous! Finally, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and sew my own costumes.

First, I sought out my materials. Jessie and Woody make great DIY costumes because you probably have most of the materials already. Jessie and Woody both wear blue jeans (check) and I found a white collared shirt for Jessie at the second-hand store for $2. Woody's yellow shirt was a lucky find at Wal-Mart. I saw the yellow shirt (it has a picture on the front) and decided Woody could just wear it inside out and no one would know--plus then he could wear it after Halloween too. I think the shirt was around $4. Then, I bought cheap cowboy/girl hats online from Amazon. A trip to the fabric store and I found the cowprint fabric and fake leather material. I also needed velcro, ribbon, and red glitter glue. I also bought heat-bond hemming tape as a crutch--just in case the sewing got a little too intense for me--but I'm proud to say I didn't have to use it at all!

I bought a half yard of cowprint and a quarter yard of leather (mistake, I ended up needed a bit more), and I think a quarter yard of yellow as well.
I tackled Jessie's outfit first. I used yellow fabric and a pencil to trace the outline of the shirt. Then I used a pair of jeans to trace the cowprint fabric for the chaps.

Using the pencil, I drew a little detail to the bottom so it would look more like a cowgirl shirt. Then scissors to cut along the lines I drew.
 I realized that sewing onto a shirt was going to result in me messing up big time, so I opted to use velcro to secure the yellow piece to the front. I used the red glitter glue to add more western details to the front of the shirt.
 I also didn't think I could sew shirt cuffs onto the sleeves without majorly messing it up, so I made the cuffs with elastic that just slip over the existing shirt. I used white felt for the fringe.
I also added white fringe to the chaps. This is also where I got into my first problem. I didn't have enough fabric to hem the pants properly. So, I did do a quick seam up the sides so they wouldn't completely unraveled, but they do have a rough edge on them. I am just going to say they look more rugged/western that way ;)
 I didn't want to ruin a pair of jeans by permanently attaching a pair of chaps. So I found this idea there you use a piece of the leater to make a belt that just loops through the jeans beltloops, then use velcro to secure it in the front. I will probably add a belt buckle made from cardboard and spraypaint too.

Woody doesn't need as much for his costume (just a vest), but this part took me the longest. I used this pattern/tutorial for the vest. As a non-sewer I stared at the pattern and reread the directions multiple times, not understanding what I was supposed to to (it wasn't the tutorials fault, it was mine!). Apparently, cutting out 3 pieces of fabric was like brain surgery for me. Finally, I just went for it and started cutting and figured it out. Now, the pattern makes complete sense.

The original pattern uses felt for the vest, but Woody's vest is cowprint. I decided to line it with the leather and instead of hemming the cowprint, I folded over the leather to make an edge. It turned out pretty nice, I'd say (don't look to closely at my crooked lines! Also, I didn't buy enough of the leather so that's the back leather in two pieces instead of one like it should be--oh well)

Finally, after a day of sewing, I was done!

And you know what, I actually really liked this project! It was fun. This might not be the last sewing tutorial you see from me!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Halloween Freebie: Oh what a treat!

I love the month of October. I'm ready for the awful heat of summer to simmer down a bit, and I love the changing leaves. I love sweaters, hot chocolate, and reading a good book next to the fire. I also LOVE Halloween. It's been my favorite holiday since I was a kid. (Although, I may think differently after this year. I decided to sew my kids' halloween costumes myself. Aye-yi-yi! What was I thinking?) So, it's no surprise, really, that I centered this month's freebie around it. Enjoy! Remember to like, pin, and share this with all your friends so they don't miss out! My little shop loves when we're shown some love!

 Also, I've started getting orders for custom Christmas cards. I have tons of new backgrounds, fonts, and layouts for this season and can't wait to start using them! Contact me about your custom Christmas card today before I get too full!

Dowload the halloween print by clicking HERE

Have a spook-tacular month!