Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baby Gonzo Halloween Costume: Overalls

 I finally finished the first part of the Baby Gonzo costume after some weeks of working on it here and there. Originally the plan was to find a free overalls pattern but there weren't any online that matched up with what I was looking for. And I didn't want to try it on my own just yet. So I found a pdf download on Etsy. It did the job, although parts of it could have been written or drawn a little clearer. I figured it out but it would have saved me a little bit of time. The pattern does have many sizes, so as Rory grows, I can make her lots of overalls!

The pieces were, mostly, straightforward but there were a couple of tricky areas. One was sewing the snaps in the bottom so that I can change her diaper easier! The other was sewing the buttonholes. I've always done them by hand (poorly) but I used my sewing machine this time. Oh my goodness! How wonderful! I will never sew buttonholes by hand again! The snaps were another story...I've tried them in the past with the little hammer tool with no success. I decided to give it another shot and I failed again. Perhaps the fabric layers were too thick for the teeth on the snaps? No matter. I had to find sew-on snaps and I had a lovely 'duh' moment in Joann's. I was confused why the package had only the plug part and not the sockets. I spent WAY too much time staring at all the snaps packages, trying to fit them in other snaps, until I finally asked the woman working with the sewing machines. And she showed me that the pieces are already snapped together in the package. I would've figured it out eventually when I got them home! But they were much easier to put in.

Finally, Camila the chicken! Well, baby chick. Gonzo has a little chicken applique on the front of his overalls. I sketched it up and made my own pieces out of felt and fleece. The butt feathers are a little skinny but oh well. So what do you all think? Close to the original? It will probably still be a little long and wide on her but once she has the rest of the costume on, that will fill some of the bulk. I've started on the next part (blue furry body) so stay tuned!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Baby Gonzo Halloween Costume: Materials

Many times during a project, I often forget to take pictures until I'm halfway through or I've already completed certain steps. It's not like I'm writing tutorials so that's usually fine. And I'm just blogging for my own amusement. But since I'm really focused on sharing the Baby Gonzo costume's progress, I thought I'd share what materials I'm planning to use before I even get started.

I originally purchased a pattern for the overalls but decided to return it, confident I could find something online for free. Well, that hasn't really been the case but I've found numerous tutorials where sewers have managed to construct their own. So I'll just attempt my own pattern and see how it goes! I'm hoping that the overalls can be wearable separate from the costume (because they're so cute!), so they'll need to fit well. The red corduroy fabric will be the main overall fabric and I still need to raid my stash for a lining fabric. The scraps of yellow fleece will make the chicken applique and I found cute yellow buttons to fasten the overall straps. Little snaps will complete the legs so it's still easy to change her. :)

Now for the tricky part: Gonzo's face and fur! It took me a bit to find a fabric that could work as furry muppet skin. At first, I was envisioning something a bit more...furry? Like the thick fake fur stuff. But they didn't have blue of course and I only briefly considered buying white and dying it. Then I stumbled on this blue fleecey fabric (technical terms of course!) and it felt perfect! It has just enough of a pill/nap to it that it can be interpreted as fur and it's the perfect color (cheap too!). I decided to just buy a hoodie in her size (well, the size she'll be around Halloween) and sew the blue fur to the outside of it instead of trying to make a hoodie out of it and line it, add a zipper, etc. I need to think efficient! Thus, the grey hoodie.

Now, for Gonzo's head, I'm going to use the hood as a base and then construct a 3D effect of his nose and mouth with cardboard tubes and paperboard. It need to be light enough that it's not wearing heavily on Rory's head so those materials should be perfect while retaining shape and stiffness. I'll cover the nose, face, and mouth interior with the felt pieces I have displayed (light blue, black, red, pink). As for his eyes, I found the perfect size styrofoam balls. I'll paint the dark iris part and then for his eyelids, I have the felt bits I can use. I want it to really seem like a muppet, not just looking like one. I may even cover the ball with white felt first, use black felt for the eye, and felt for the eyelid. Then it will seem even more like a muppet. Also (and it might be hard to see up there next to the light blue felt and hoodie), I needed to find something to make the little feathers that stick up from Gonzo's head. Luckily, there was a little feathery accent piece on clearance at Joann's that I can snip some from and hot glue on. Hooray!

Last but not least, Gonzo's shoes. Rory may or may not be wearing shoes yet (she has narrow, long feet which are hard to find baby shoes for), but she'll need them to match the costume appropriately. The white and yellow felts in the upper left corner will be used to construct a shoe coverup to match Gonzo's costume.

And so far that's the plan! I need to double-check old episodes of Muppet Babies to see if there are any details on the back of Gonzo's overalls. And now I'm eager to get started with the actual sewing!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Halloween can never come soon enough...

Hubby and I (OK, mostly I) are extremely excited for Rory's first Halloween. I've been vetting costume ideas for a couple weeks in my head since I know I need to get started soon. I'll invariably choose something that requires a great deal of work and would rather not realize I'm screwed around October 15th. Our town also has a Halloween parade with prizes and I wanted to choose something that we could perhaps turn into a family themed costume.

After considering the usual cute baby costumes (a pumpkin, a teddy bear, a duck, and so on), I tried to think of something unique that would represent our tastes. And what better than the Muppets? (Seriously, if you don't know me, I'm crazy about the Muppets) I debated on which Muppet to make Rory (Fozzie is cute and fluffy, Gonzo is quirky, Animal is off-the-wall but recognizable, Kermit is too common, and Miss Piggy is just out of the picture). I would also have to choose one and really, I don't have a favorite. I like them all! And hubby could care less, as long as I dress him up.

And then I remembered Muppet Babies - what a perfect costume for Rory! I could be Nanny because it's super easy and I won't have time to go crazy on mine. The dilemma was which baby should Rory be? Fozzie, again, is adorable and fairly well-known so I don't think most people would assume she's a teddy bear (at least, I hope not). But baby Gonzo is just ADORABLE with his tiny red overalls and baby chicken (Camilla) that he carries around. In the end, the red overalls won me over and the excitement over replicating blue fur and Gonzo's nose. Baby Gonzo it is! And the overalls will still be able to be worn after Halloween. Win-win!

Hubby's costume was a little trickier to decide because he's not exactly a baby....for now, Scooter fits his personality best and we'll see if I have time to worry about his. We can certainly make it simpler than Rory's costume (find a shirt with the right colored stripes and hubby can wear his glasses, make his hair stick up a little or find a beanie).

I'll post pictures as I work on the baby Gonzo costume so you all can see how it's going!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." ~ A.A. Milne

So if you haven't been able to tell, my blog has been on a bit of a hiatus due to the arrival of my daughter! Rory Louise made her debut on Memorial Day and we've been busy spending all of our time with her. She was a small gal, 6 lbs 8 oz (thank goodness!) and either 19.5 inches or 18.75 inches long. There is some debate over this between the hospital measurement and the pediatrician's measurement. We are completely enamored of her and I will do my best to keep this blog from revolving around her. Hard, I know! But we have a separate blog to gush over her for family and friends, so you all should be safe. :)

There are so many things I could say to just tell you a little about her, but I'm too overwhelmed to just choose one. I'm trying to adapt to my time at home with her, soaking it up as best I can while still trying to find time for myself (today was my first visit back at the gym, courtesy of the nursery they provide their members!). I hope to begin many more crafting projects and continue to do my home improvements, or just posting about whatever strikes my fancy. So hang in there, I'll be back little by little!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Finished is way better than perfect!" ~Anonymous Quilter

Just a little over 4 weeks to go, dear readers! Until the due date that is. ;) Who knows when she'll actually arrive. She's been fairly stubborn so far for many of her exams and ultrasounds so I wouldn't be surprised if she either decides to arrive early or clings to the inside of my uterus for extra days on end. I thoroughly expect a very stubborn child!

Last month, right before my very own baby shower, I finally finished the quilted gift that I started LAST year for a friend's baby shower. At least her son didn't need it yet, right? ;) I thought I would share the finished product with you all since I *did* share teasers when I first started it. It was my first attempt at a quilt and while it didn't turn out perfectly, I am hooked! I can't wait to make more--though I might start with little small swatches now to get some of the techniques perfected. A crib-size quilt was a perfect size to start with. My friend's nursery is Super Mario Brothers themed, so I wanted to go along with that. A green mushroom seemed perfect!

Looking at it from far away, I like how the mushroom looks ultimately. While I worked on it up close, I wished I had gone with fewer colors.

A wee bit more of a close-up so you can see the tiny squares. 30x30, all hand-sewn. It was a bit of a pain and part of the reason it took so long.
I don't have any pictures of the back, but the green front and brown back were both a soft plain flannel. Much of the quilt is hand-sewn, particularly because I had trouble with my sewing machines until I finally bought a new one in January/February. The quilted designs on top were done with the sewing machine, but the rest of it, including the finished edging, was done by hand. It was just easier that way. I don't think it would have turned out as nicely if I had attempted all of it on the sewing machine.

It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to start something new. Perhaps a small wall hanging for the nursery (which is pretty much done so I should stop adding things). Pictures of that to come soon!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"There are two ways of being creative..."

"...One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish." ~ Warren G. Bennis

(I'm just looking to make a little girl flourish, not necessarily be a singer or dancer. I DO hope she gets my creative genes though. ;) )

Hello blog. I miss you. I miss having more time for crafty projects but it's been full speed ahead with getting the nursery set up and decorated. Plus we had a nice babymoon to Mexico and then hubby was in the hospital with pneumonia (not from the trip). With the third trimester starting, my energy levels are tanking again so I doubt I'll suddenly get a second wind for writing.

But to keep you all eagerly waiting for more, here is a glimpse of the fabric I'm using for the roman shades in the nursery. I'm about half way done with them and once I get them hung, perhaps I'll share a photo of the room. I'm also using the new sewing machine I got over the holidays, which is AMAZING. It's a simple Janome but when you have two at home already with issues, it's so nice to just be able to sew something without running into problems. And not hand sewing it either!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby Pickles is a Girl!

Happy New Year, folks! 2012 is coming in with a bang for me and hubby. We celebrated the new year with our annual party with friends. Though small and tame this year, it was just perfect for my level of exhaustion. It's full-speed ahead in baby land! We've begun work on clearing out and decorating the nursery, our new crib is set to arrive this week, and I'm suddenly a bit larger. To top our new year off, we were able to find out that Baby Pickles is a girl! (The delightful news is still sinking in....we'll have a daughter...that seems so strange!).

Courtesy of Once Wed
I've been thinking all sorts of thoughts for simple decorations in the nursery and my first project is going to be these lovely fabric pomanders. Just a few hanging from the ceiling by some ribbon will be darling. The instructions are quite simple and I'm eager to go find some fabric and lanterns. I'll let you know how they turn out!