January 6, 2017

Handmade Gifts

I really love to make gifts whenever I can and since I have a whole lot of time on my hands I try to find ways to craft as much as possible!  When we were getting Christmas ideas from my family, my sister-in-law talked about how Piper didn't really need anything.  Her favorite thing right now is Elmo and she has all of her brother's old Elmo toys to play with.  So I started trying to think of something I could make for her for her Christmas gift. 

Last year for Christmas, she got a play kitchen so I had found lots of patterns for making play food out of felt.  When I found this tutorial for felt cookies, I decided to take that and run with it and I created a box of Elmo and Cookie Monster fun.

I started with the cookies and decided to make them counting cookies.  So I made 10 cookies with the numbers 1-10 on them.  I put a certain number of chocolate chips on each one and then used embroidery thread to stitch the number onto the back, so if you count the chips you can then check yourself with the number on the back.  Piper is just starting to count, but I figured she can use the cookies just for pretend play and then work on counting whenever she wants to!

I also made her an Elmo hooded towel using a pattern from the same site I've made hooded towels before.  And I found this tutorial for making an Elmo hairbow, so I made her 2 Elmo and 2 Cookie Monster hairbows.  And I threw in stuffed animals of Elmo and Cookie Monster from Target to complete the Christmas package!

For her birthday, her mama said the main thing she could use is clothes.  They are taking the kids to Disney World next month, so I decided to make a few Disney inspired shirts for Pie.  Their parents were originally planning on telling the kids about the Disney trip on Christmas, but they still haven't decided when they are going to tell them.  So I actually made My First Disney Trips for both kids and will give them to my sister-in-law to give to them whenever she wants:

Piper's is Minnie Mouse with a Purple Glitter bow and wording, I used some of the leftover purple glitter vinyl to make a matching hairbow too.  Chase's is Kylo Ren who is his favorite Star Wars character--he asked for a Kylo Ren costume for Christmas so he can be him next Halloween, so I found a cut file for Kylo Ren with Mickey Mouse Ears on Etsy, so I bought it and cut the vinyl.  These were made with Heat Transfer Vinyl that I bought from Expressions Vinyl.  I designed them and cut the vinyl with my silhouette and then ironed it on the shirts.  They were super easy to make!

I also decided to try my hand at a few Applique shirts for Piper that I will give her for her birthday this weekend.  For both shirts, I used the directions from Step by Step Guide to Appliques.

First up was Minnie Mouse.  I actually had both of these fabrics already, so I just bought the Wonder Under and a t-shirt.  I printed out the picture and letter and traced them by hand instead of using my silhouette since it was a fairly easy pattern.  Then I pressed it on.  I used a zig zag stitch to go around the design for the applique to help it hold up to washing, etc.  I went very slowly so that it would get good coverage of thread around the design.  

I looked at several applique tutorials on Pinterest and unfortunately I didn't save them all, so I can't remember where I got these specific tips from, but the 2 biggest tips I used were 1. Always lift the presser foot and turn the shirt/fabric so that you are sewing in a straight light.  So many of the designs have curves and when I try to just go around the curves the thread gets messed up.  So this was a good reminder for me to constantly stop and turn and it worked out so well! 2. Don't backstitch at the beginning and end of the applique stitching, just start and then end.  After you're done, use a needle to pull the top thread through the shirt and tie it with the bobbin thread and then cut it--makes for much cleaner stitching lines!  These 2 tips made a big difference in how the designs turned out for me!

 I also decided to make her an Elmo shirt since she is having an Elmo party.  I used the pattern from this tutorial and again I just traced and cut everything by hand.  For this one, after I ironed on the pieces, I used a straight stitch around all of the edges.  Since there were so many little pieces and curves I decided this would be easier than trying the zig zag stitch and it definitely was!  I'm looking forward to trying out so more applique designs in the future!

We also bought her an Elmo flashlight that has a regular light and projects pictures on the wall-- since clothes aren't the most fun 2 year old birthday gift, we had to throw in something extra too!

I had a lot of fun trying out some new projects for our sweet niece!  Now back to all the projects I'm cooking up for Cooper!

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