Sunday, June 24, 2012

make a Puppy Ears card (Craft Camp)

This is a reprint of a guest tutorial I did for Skip To My Lou's Craft Camp. Enjoy!

Hey, Craft Campers! I'm Larissa Holland of mmmcrafts and I'm glad to be a summer craft counselor again this year. Enjoy my earlier Craft Camp paper projects here and here. This year we will make a silly, flappity-eared puppy card that has a tongue pull tab! It's just the thing to make to say Hi to friends you miss, or just give to someone who could use some puppy love. Are you ready?

First things first. Gather your materials! You need:
  • Letter sized sheets of white, blue, yellow, orange and red card stock
  • Scraps of white and black paper
  • Tacky Glue
  • Scissors and/or craft knife (Remember the craft knife is sharp! Be careful!)
  • Circle punches in 1 inch and 5/8 inch sizes
  • Ruler
  • This PDF template
  • Printer

Get Started:

1) Download the PDF template, open it, and follow the directions on the template to print on your card stock.

2) Score and cut out all the pieces as directed on the template. "Scoring" is simply making a dent in the paper so it folds easily. I use a ruler and the back of my craft knife* (not the sharp side) to score. You can also use a regular ol' table knife (the kind you use to spread butter on bread) to score the folds. Keep the extra uncut pieces to make a card in opposite colors later!
*Get a grown-up involved if you are using a craft knife. It's sharp!

3)  Cut the white piece of card stock in half so that you have two pieces that are 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Fold them in half. You'll use one for this card and have an extra to make another card later. 

4) Glue the tongue to the ear piece. Note the writing is facing up on the ears and facing down on the tongue.

5) Glue the semicircle to the bottom of the blue piece, flush with the bottom edge. Note the text is face down on both pieces.

6) Feed the tongue through the slit from the back.

7) Put glue only on the top and sides of the text side of the head and center it flush against the top edge of the blue.

8) Punch two white 1 inch circles and two black 5/8 inch circles. Make eyes by gluing the black onto the white. Then glue the completed eyes on, being sure they are in a spot that is hidden by the ears when they are folded down.

9) Use a template piece to trace a nose on black paper with pencil. Cut it out and glue to the face.

10) Fold over the blue side flaps toward the back and crease them well.

11) Add glue to the back side of each flap, then attach it to the front of the card you made in step 3. It's easier for me to add the card to the back of the puppy instead of the other way round, but be sure you have the card opening on the correct side.

12) Open the card and fold over the yellow flap between the ears and glue it to the inside cover of the card.

13) Test the ear action! Pull the tongue down and watch the ears flip up! Push the tongue back inside and the ears can fold back down.

14) Using a gel pen or thin magic marker (not a permanent marker - those may bleed through your paper), add the word "PULL" to the lower part of the tongue that shows when the ears are laying down. Add a message to the inside of the ears if you like, for example:
Hi There!
Miss You!
Happy Birthday! 
Whoa, Nellie!

Tada! Your Puppy Ears card is now finished! Write a note on the inside of the card and send some silly puppy love in the mail. This card fits in a 5 x 7 inch envelope.

Please enjoy this template and tutorial for your personal use! Commercial use is not allowed. Please don't pin or post any in-progress shots, or repaste my text. Feel free to pin or post the finished card with a credit and a link back. Thanks!

Friday, June 22, 2012

TravelWees pattern available!

Say cheese! *chk-zzh* 

The new TravelWees pattern is now available via download in my Etsy shop!

Did you notice these TravelWees look a lot like my Travel Bugs? Yes, I renamed them because there is a cool geocaching dogtag on the market with the same name. I like the name TravelWee better anyway! It makes them seem maybe Scottish. That blue one looks like he could be a Nac Mac Feegle.

The pattern includes instructions to make what you see, including the poseable TravelWee doll, teeny tiny camera with strap, salad-to-go, and tin liner. It also includes a printable tag for the inside of the tin lid. All designed to fit inside an Altoids® Curiously Strong Mints tin, so young travelers can stow them in pockets and backpacks.

This pattern is for a toy with very small parts and may pose a choking hazard. I would not recommend making it for any globe trotter who is under the age of three.

You can make them seem more girly or more manly depending on the color and thickness of the synthetic shag fur you use. It is pretty fun to style their hair. Jetsam's bright blue hair is very thick, and Flotsam's hair is more wispy.

I recommend using cotton pipe cleaners for their arms and legs. They are available at cigar/pipe shops and also online. They are so soft, have a shorter nap, and seem to be stronger than regular craft pipe cleaners. Though admittedly the color choice is more limited. I did manage to snag a box of IDEAL rainbow assortment off of ebay. But there's always white!

You can use an old map or road atlas to line the Altoid tin. Maybe your hometown or destination city. If you don't have any recyclable maps, decorative paper is also an option.

Here's a closeup of the printable tags, leaves and cameras. I'd love to get shots of TravelWees in exotic locales. I hope you enjoy the pattern!

Monday, June 18, 2012

father's day cards

Fun with paper ties. The one on the right was made by me for the girls to give to Michael. They wrote on the inside:

"This is what our Daddy's SuperSuit looks like."

It is indeed his SuperSuit. He wears it six days a week. But no cape.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

washi tunic and experimental bloomer shorts

More sewing for the oldest from my beloved Girls Style Book, all from the stash. I thought they would make a cute outfit, but really they don't work that well together. They'll be fine as separates. The youngest insists that they will both fit her too, so these will probably pull some double duty if I can't get around to making some for her. Poor kid. I tend to just let her inherit her sister's clothes. I was the youngest of five girls, so I know how that is to want something just for you for a change.

The tunic is view L which I've made before here, here, here and here. Rashida's Washi fabric is so cheerful and bright for summer, and this time I included the ruffles on the sleeves. I used a hook and eye for the closure because I don't like the ties in the pattern and I've learned from experience that if I use a button it continually gets snarled in her tangly hair.

The shorts started out as a straight up pair of simple elastic waist shorts from View K in the book (see photo below). However, once I got them sewn up they seemed so...Golden Girls. They were too roomy overall and too long, and I started to think maybe I could alter them somehow to cute them up a bit.

I started an inspiration search for 'bloomer shorts' and up popped some images of Oliver + S's Puppet Show shorts. Wow, what a cute pattern that is! Tragically it only goes up to size 5. So I decided to alter my View K shorts by cutting off some length, adding side gathers and cuffs at the leg hems and sewing on gathered pockets. I didn't want them as short, but wanted the same look. How hard can it be, right? (I seem to say that at the beginning of many of my design-as-you-go projects. LOL.) I had to rip off the cuffs a few times to get the length right, and had one foiled attempt on the pockets, but I was indeed victorious in the end.

I might need to make her another pair in denim from the ridiculous stash. If I can replicate my process, that is. I feel like I'm finally participating in KCWC, except major points off for tardiness.

Monday, June 11, 2012

summer jammies from thrifted sheets

 Vintage Simplicity 5006

I got around to actually cutting into some of the thrifted sheets I've been hoarding. My mom gave me an old Simplicity romper/bloomer pattern she's had since we were all kids, and I thought it would be perfect for babydoll pajamas for the girls. I was worried at first about the fit since the pattern is size 6, but because of the adjustable design (gathers, elastic) it's plenty big for even my almost ten year-old (who is tall). I didn't even have to adjust the armscye.

Everything needed was in the stash, except I ran out of elastic and had to go get some. The jams look super cute on the girls, really full and swingy and breezy, and they love to wear them. I would feel weird about showing photos of my girls in babydoll jammies, so you'll have to trust me on the cuteness. I made the longer length and it hits their legs about the same spot that is shown on the envelope illustration, only the bloomers show more because I made them very loose fitting for comfort.

The pink/green sets were the first ones I made, and I placed the pocket as noted in the pattern. Kinda high up if you are not six, but hey, not worried about that for jammies. I think the apple looks cute with the plaid, but not with the other fabric. However, if you have two girls then you know that if you put the apple on one girl's pocket, you're very wise to put the apple on the other girl's pocket too.

I don't like having to tie shoulder bows, so I measured and sewed the straps down instead. I moved the pocket lower down on the third set (blue/pink flower print), and did a double cherry applique instead on the fourth set.

It's hard for the girls to tell back from front on the bloomers, so I added grosgrain ribbon tags. I was supposed to edgestitch around the top of the elastic waist casing also to create a neater finish, but I was too lazy.

I enjoy using older patterns to see the differences in the instructions. Some of the methods seem to make more sense than on newer patterns, like the neater pocket hem construction and the use of single fold bias tape to create the elastic casing on the legs, but some of the directions seemed to create more work than necessary, like waiting to trim off the excess seam allowance after you've already gathered the neckline and including the huge seam allowance on the arm holes in the pattern even though they will be bound with bias tape.

I think this is a really cute pattern, and I give it two thumbs up. Worth searching for on Etsy or Ebay. Be warned, same Simplicity pattern number was used for a vampy corset/slip design, so some interesting photos may arise.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

big floral papercut

I worked on this big ol' papercut a while back while I was in the groove of the floral papercut cards. It didn't turn out very well at first, so I put it aside and waited for inspiration to strike so I could finish it.

I love the strong black background and the punch it gives to the arrangement on the mantel. I have a terrible urge to drop what I'm doing and make an applique quilt just like it.

Made from art papers, cut by hand, with colored pencil accents. In an IKEA frame.

(I have felty plans for that bell jar too. Found it on sale at Ballard a while back. It needs something taller in it for sure.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

feather(?) dress

Girls Style Book, View L, front

Girls Style Book, View L, back detail

I noticed that my two gangly, large footed girls are fast growing out of the patterns in my Japanese Girls Style Book (the gift that just keeps on giving, Robyn). I blame their father, six foot four tower of a man that he is. That lit a sewing fire under me like I haven't had in a long time. I really love that book and it made me sad to think I would miss trying any of it. I traced several of the patterns I haven't sewn yet (check back for those in the near future) and retraced my favorite tunic pattern in the largest size. It is on the cover of the book:

You've seen that tunic pattern sewn up several times already here, here and here. I lengthened it to a dress this time by adding 8 inches to the hem and adjusting the angle of the sides so it wouldn't be too full. I omitted the ruffles on the sleeves.

All materials are from the stash. Top part (and some of applique) is from a thrifted sheet and the bottom is lightweight shot cotton I had leftover from another project. It's such a simple pattern to sew and very comfortable to wear. Actually, I've thought several times of trying to size it up for myself and make a shirt. I might just do that.

I wanted to make some feathers after seeing and loving these and these, so this dress was a good excuse. I didn't have any striped fabric in colors I liked so I pieced them from scraps in the stash and then added embroidery stems and details. After I finished them Thing One said "Mom, I like those leaves on the dress." She's right. They kinda look more like leaves than feathers. *sigh* Let it go, Larissa.