Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sakura costume

A few days ago I talked about the fact that my kids usually ask for more creative costumes for Halloween since they know that I can sew. After my son requested a Naruto Costume my daughter requested a Sakura Costume. Sakura is a female character in the Naruto cartoon series. For those of you not familiar with it, here is a picture of Sakura.

At first I thought about just purchasing a red dress and adding the white ribbon trim and accent, but my daughter really wanted the entire thing to be made of "shiny" fabric . . . so off to the fabric store we went. We found the perfect fabric in the Bridal Department, where everything is shiny or shimmery.

Now, how to make the dress . . .

We looked at dress patterns for a while, but nothing seemed right, and I knew I would have to alter it to have the zipper up the front because there was no way this fabric would stretch so that she could just pull it over her head. Then I had an inspiration . . . why not just use a zippered jacket/sweatshirt pattern and lengthen it to be a dress! I knew that I patterns for jackets like this at home, so we were set.

I just cut the entire pattern out, adding length to the jacket so that it would come down to her mid-calf. I did not sew the side seams up all the way because there is a slit on each side of Sakura's dress. I cut a basic rectangle collar and just rounded the edges, with a little interfacing inside to make sure it stood up. I made the sleeves short, and then cut a "V" into and finished the edges with white seam tape. The zipper in the front goes down to almost her bellybutton, but you don't notice the zipper at all due to the decorative white ribbon that comes across the front of the dress. Add some circles on the front and on the sleeves, and you are done!

I did purchase the black leggings she wore underneath the dress, and later on we did shorten them and add the fabric that is wrapped around Sakura's leg.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Jack-o-lanterns

Since it is less than a week until Halloween I thought I would ask all of you Crafty Chics out there to take a picture of your Halloween Jack-o-lanterns once you carve them so that we can all see each other's work. Post them here or email them to me and I can post them for you.

Here is a picture of a pumpkin that was carved for a recent wedding, but I think that doing something like this in front of your house would be fun too.

You could get three pumpkins, line them up and spell out BOO.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Naruto costume

Since my kids know that I can sew, I never hear a request for “normal” Halloween costumes in my house like a witch, ghost, black cat or vampire. Those would all be way too easy! My kids will request things like dinosaurs, Pokémon characters (but never the ones sold in the stores) and more recently Naruto characters.

For those of you that do not know, Naruto is an Anime cartoon. Here is an image of the main character.

So when my son asked me to make him a Naruto costume I first searched online to see if we could just buy it. We could, but they were selling for a LOT of money. That is when we decided that I would get out the sewing machine and just make it.

Now, I am a smart woman . . . why make the entire thing when you can start with some basics and alter them. We found an orange hoodie to use for the upper part of the costume so that I did not have to make the main body of the costume. Then I removed the hood and the outside pockets, but saved that fabric in case I needed it later.

Next I did the blue accent piece that goes around the shoulders. I got my inspiration from shirts and dresses that I have made that have an interior yoke piece that is usually attached to interfacing. I made pattern pieces out of paper and put them over the jacket while my son had it on to be sure that it would all fit correctly. It took a little bit of trimming here and there, but we got it right. Then I cut two of all of my pattern pieces, sewed them together leaving the collar edge unsewn and turned then turned the whole thing right side out. This gave me a nice clean edge on the outside. I attached this entire piece to the jacket and topstitched it down.

Then I used white fabric to create the collar, along with some of the fabric I removed from the original hoodie. It is just a basic rectangle with pillow filling inside of it to give it the dimension that it needed and I used two layers of interfacing on the inside to make it very stiff so it would stand up. Once I had the basic rectangle sewn and stuffed, I stitched straight lines every couple of inches apart to create the “quilted” look. Then I simply attached the collar where the hood used to be. This also covered up the rough edges of the decorative blue piece that went around the shoulders.

Now onto the accents . . . on one shoulder there is a white circle, which I cut out and attached with an appliqué stitch. Then I used gray thread to topstitch in the swirl inside the circle. I repeated all of this with red fabric for the larger red circle on the back of the jacket. Then I cut a long rectangle of blue fabric, finished off the edges and attached that to the bottom of the jacket.

My son was so happy with the way the jacket turned out, he asked me to make matching pants and shoes. The shoes were more of a challenge of figuring out how to make it all work, but I think I will save that for another blog.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Garland

A lot of people put up garland at Christmas time, but I made some that we put up at Halloween.

I had some left over fabric from multiple projects, and I cut it into long strips. I used black, orange, green and a green and blue netting. Once I had the strips cut, I gathered them together at the top and secured them with a rubber band. I then hooked the rubber band on small nails that I placed just above the door frame. We leave the nails in year round, since no one can see them anyway.

I think that leaving the fabric with the cut edges which will fray a little adds to the Halloween feel.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Scrapbook Layout

Here is a scrapbook layout I did in a book for another family. It is of a beautiful fall day when they went out to pick pumpkins.

I used a tone on tone paper with a pumpkin image for the border, with an accent strip of paper that had shades of green in it. Then, around the pictures I stattered some leaves and tried to make it look as they were blowing in the wind around the images.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I work with someone who just got married and they used pumpkins for the centerpieces and I thought they were so beautiful I had to share them with you.

Since their last name started with an A, they carved some that looked like this.

I am sure that they looked wonderful for the outdoor evening celebration! This idea got me thinking, you could use this idea for Halloween by carving the letters BOO (one in each pumpkin) and setting them out in a row. Or, if you have a family member who has a birthday this time of year, you could spell out their name. And, if you purchase craft pumpkins you could save them to use year after year.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shop with us!

I just set up a new blog where I will post links to retailers called

If there is a retailer that you shop at on a regular basis, let us know and we will try to add them.

Also, if one of the retailers we are affiliated with is running a sale or has a special coupon we will post those also. Subscribe to the blog to get all of the updates!

Harry Potter Pumpkin

Last year my daughter's school had a project where the kids had to decorate a pumpkin in the theme of one of their favorite books. They call it the Literary Pumpkins. Since the pumpkins are displayed at school, they cannot have a flame inside of them, so some people do not even cut into the pumpkins, they just decorate the outside.

My daughter did not want to use a real pumpkin because she noticed that the real ones did not look at nice once they had been sitting out at school on display for a week or more. So we went to the craft store and bought a craft pumpkin, and she decorated it to look like Harry Potter.

I did sew the sleeve and collar for the cloak, but she did the rest . . . drawing on the face and gluing on the black yarn for the hair. She even used modeling clay to create ears and a hand. Then she went out into the yard and found a stick to be the wand. She used my scrapbooking tools to cut out the circles for the glasses.

The best part . . . since it was a craft pumpkin we were able to pack it with the Halloween decorations and we can put it out every year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Embroidery Library

Have you checked out Embroidery Library? I love this site for it's huge catalog of machine embroidery patterns. Right now they have a collection called Autumn Splendor with gorgeous fall leaf designs. There are leaf patterns that you can purchase individually, or as a set. That is one of my favorite things about Embroidery Library . . . if you only need or want one design, you don't need to buy the entire set . . . you can but just the one pattern you want.

The other thing I love about Embroidery Library are their free designs. Each month they feature a couple patterns that you can download for free, which is great for a crafter on a budget.

Monday, October 5, 2009

100th Cartridge

Cricut is celebrating the release of their 100th cartridge, Winter Wonderland, by giving away 100 cartidges over the next few weeks.

You can go here to view the images featured on Winter Wonderland

Halloween Pillows

I saw picture today of a Black Cat Pillow , and the article shows you how to take a simple plain black pillow and turn it into a Black Cat Halloween decoration by just adding buttons for they eyes and nose, along with embroidery floss to create the whiskers. I would think that you could also use items from the doll crafting area of the craft store if you wanted more realistic eyes . . . you could even use the ones that "google" around.

Then I started thinking why stop at black cats . . . get an orange pillow, cut a jack-o-lantern face out of black felt and if you want to make the project kid friendly you can use fabric glue instead of sewing the felt pieces on. What about a white pillow, and make a ghost face on it.

Happy crafting!