Handmade Gifts for Boys Day 5: Peekaboo Pajamas

To wrap up our Handmade Gifts for Boys series, both Stacey and I decided to sew up some pajamas from Peekaboo Pattern Shop. I’ve sewn many, many patterns from Peekaboo, including countless jammies. Today I combined the Alex and Anna winter pajamas with the Sweet Dreams PJs for a pair of everyday jammies with a hint of Christmas.

Peekaboo Pajamas

Peekaboo Patterns has basically every type of pajama pattern you could want… footie pajamas, zip-up, baby gowns, summer, long johns… everything! Whatever you want your kiddos to wear on Christmas morning, you can find it there.

Peekaboo PJs

I’ve had this red and white houndstooth flannel since last year’s black Friday sale at JoAnn’s, and it feels Christmasy without being too out of season to wear the rest of the winter.

Christmas PJs from Peekaboo Patterns

I made the Sweet Dream pants, without the cuff. The pants are nice and loose for lounging, which is just the type of PJ pants my little guy prefers.

Pajamas from PeekabooThe shirt from the Alex and Anna pajamas is one of those fabulous comfy shirts that my kids never want to take off.

Darth Vader applique on PJs

My little man is a little Star Wars obsessed these days, so a simple Darth Vader appliqué got him so excited to put it on! And hey, anything to make bedtime just a little bit easier, right? ;)

Darth Vader appliqueI found a silhouette of Darth Vader, traced it onto some black fabric, zig zagged it on, and then zig zagged with white thread for the details.

Peekaboo PJs for Christmas

Stacey is sharing the sweet Happy Feet jammies from Peekaboo that she made for her little guy!

Happy Feet Pajamas-37

I can’t believe this year’s Handmade Gifts for Boys week is already over! Tomorrow we’ll wrap up the series with a BIG giveaway, so don’t forget to pop in and enter.

Happy sewing!

Handmade Gifts for Boys day 4: Floor Cushion Tutorial with hidden storage!

I don’t know about your house, but my boys’ toys need constant corralling. And what’s better than storage that doubles as a place to cozy up and read! This floor cushion has a hidden zipper so that you can fill it with stuffed animals, blankets, or the sweatshirts you can’t fit in the dresser. ;)
floor cushion tutorial with hidden storage

Supplies:

  • 1 yard of fabric – I used a thicker double sided knit, but it doesn’t have much stretch
  • 1 package piping
  • 1 zipper around 22in. (if you make your cushion smaller, you can use a smaller zipper, but you want to make sure you have enough space to open it and put stuff in!)

1. Cut two circles (or ovals… I cut mine as ovals that were 25.5 x 22.5)

2. Measure around your circles and cut your rectangle of fabric to go around the outside (remember to allow for seam allowance!)

3. Sandwich your piping in between one of the circles and the middle rectangle (the raw edge of the piping should be facing the outside). Pin all around the circle and fold the ends of the piping in toward the seam allowance. Then sew all around close to the piping, using a zipper foot.

floor cushion step 1

4. Repeat with the other circle and other side of the middle rectangle. This side you’ll be adding in the zipper, so pin that in place first. You want the zipper to be open halfway. At the ends of the zipper, you’re going to pin in the piping. This is a little tricky, so do it carefully. Fold the ends of the zipper and the piping toward the seam allowance. (I used a separating zipper, because this is what I had. But if you have a non-separating zipper, this part would be a little bit easier)

floor cushion step 2
5. Around the zipper, you’ll be sewing one line of stitching on each side of the zipper. Where there’s piping, you’re just sewing all three layers together, as before.

floor cushion step 3

6. When sewing the open end of the zipper, you may have to go over it several times. If you used a separating zipper like I did, make sure your ends line up and that your piping meets up with the end of the zipper and sew the end above the zipper stop together.

floor cushion step 4Then use the zipper opening to turn it right side out!

floor cushion with zipper

Then fill it with something soft – pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, even a large pillow form – and you have a great new place to sit!

comfy floor cushion tutorial

And then tell your kiddos that there’s a fun surprise…

Hidden storage floor cushion

…which could quite possibly blow their minds ;)

Floor cushion tutorial

Tame the stuffed animal madness and create a cozy place to snuggle up with a great book!
floor cushion

Now you’ve got to go check out Stacey’s awesome Lego Minifig doll!

Mini-figure Teaser

Happy sewing!

Handmade Gifts for Boys Day 3: Snake Stuffie Free Pattern and Tutorial

Welcome back to day three of the Handmade Gifts for Boys series! Awhile back, my six-year-old saw a stuffed snake toy at the zoo, and he cannot stop talking about it. He has been begging me to make one for him. So today I have a free pattern so you can make one too!
Snake softie free pattern and tutorial

Supplies:

  • fleece
  • knit fabric
  • polyfill
  • embroidery thread

1. Embroider eyes onto the snake’s face.

snake stuffie step 1

2. If you want to, embroider a design on the snake’s back.

snake stuffie step 2

3. Put the top and bottom pieces right sides together and sew. Repeat with the snake’s belly

snake stuffie step 5

4. Put the tongue on top of the snake’s face, right side facing the eyes.

snake stuffie step 3

5. Put the top and the belly right sides together.snake stuffie step 4

6. Sew along the outsides, leaving an opening in the center of the snake.

snake stuffie step 6

7. Stuff with polyfill and use a blind stitch to close the opening.

snake stuffie step 7

I can’t handle how adorable this snake is! My little guy is going to love it! The fleece makes it so snuggly.
snake stuffie

Download your free pattern here:

Snake Softie pattern from If Only Designs

Make sure you download it to your computer, don’t print from your browser. Then join the If Only Designs Patterns Facebook group to share your cuddly creation!

Snake Stuffie tutorial

Looking for more softies to sew? Stacey has an awesome roundup of softie patterns, so pop over there to check it out!

softiesewingpatterns

DIY Indoor Hopscotch Mat

It’s day two of Handmade Gifts for Boys, and today I have a fun tutorial to keep your littles busy and active inside this winter. It’s about to get so ridiculously cold in Wisconsin, and I’m always trying to find ways for my boys to exercise inside – preferably in a way that doesn’t involve destroying my furniture. ;) This indoor hopscotch mat is a perfect solution!
DIY Indoor Hopscotch Mat

Supplies:

  • approx. 2.5 yards of fabric for the mat (I used the entire width of the fabric from selvage to selvage)
  • 10 squares of fabric (mine were cut 11in x 11in)
  • scraps of fabric for numbers
  • scraps of non-fraying fabric for beanbag
  • dried beans or rice
  • sewing machine/thread

1.Cut your fabric squares.

2. Cut your numbers (I just drew them freehand, but you can always trace a large number from your computer/tablet screen)

3. Put each number in the center of the squares and zig zag stitch around the edges. Repeat with all ten numbers.

applique the numbers

2. Pin the squares in place on the large piece of fabric in hopscotch formation. Zig zag all around each square.

hopscotch mat step 1

3. Fold over the raw edges of the four sides of the big fabric piece and topstitch it in place to prevent the raw edges from fraying.

4. Cut two small squares for the beanbag.

bean bag pieces

5. Put the two pieces right sides together and zig zag stitch around all four sides, leaving a small opening. Pour in some dried beans or rice. Then close up the opening.

fill the bean bag

Then enjoy your indoor hopscotch game! I do recommend using this only on carpet, as this could get a little bit slippery while they’re jumping if you lay it on hard floor.

Indoor Hopscotch Mat Tutorial

Or if you’re two years old, enjoy throwing the beanbag as hard as you can and jumping wherever you want. ;)

hopscotch mat tutorial

Hooray for indoor winter exercise!

Make an indoor hopscotch mat

Now head over to Stacey’s blog to see her super adorable mini-me apron pattern!

Mini-me Apron Teaser

Happy sewing!

Handmade Gifts for Boys Tutorials and Inspiration

 

Handmade Gifts for Boys Day 1: Trading Card Carrier Tutorial

Today fellow boy mama Stacey and I are back for our fourth annual Handmade Gifts for Boys series! We love this series so much!! We have some awesome tutorials and inspiration for you, plus a HUGE giveaway at the end of the week. So fire up your sewing machines and bust out your craft supplies, and get ready to make some gifts for the boys in your life! (And yes, of course, we know that many girls would love these gifts too! We have seven boys between us, so we like to help out other boy moms and boy gift-givers.)

Handmade Gifts for Boys Tutorials and Inspiration

My oldest recently got into sports. Like really into sports. He loves to play sports, but even more so, he loves to know all the facts and stats about the games, players, and teams. So I made him a trading card carrier for his football cards.

Trading Card Carrier Tutorial

And yes, he’s a Packer fan. ;)

Supplies:

  • Two pieces of not stretchy fabric (mine were 16×18)
  • Clear vinyl
  • Heavier interfacing, quilting batting, or felt — if you’re using quilting cotton, you’ll want something to give the carrier more stability. You can get away with not using this if you are using a sturdier fabric like a canvas, home dec fabric, etc.
  • Snap or velcro closure – I prefer Kam snaps (affiliate link)
  • Sewing machine/thread

1.Cut the vinyl slightly larger than the cards. My vinyl pieces were about 4in x 3in. This gave the cards plenty of room and would accommodate larger cards as well. More than one card can be held in the pockets. For this size fabric, I cut 12 vinyl pocket pieces.

2. Space the vinyl pieces evenly along the fabric in rows.  Don’t pin the vinyl. Either mark with chalk where they should go or use scotch tape to keep them in place.

3. Use a zig-zag stitch to attach the pockets to one piece of fabric. Make sure you back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching (at the top of your pockets), or the stitching will come out as your kids put cards in and out of the pockets.

card carrier step 1

4. Continue until all pockets are attached to one piece of fabric. 12 pockets should fit four across, three down. I spaced them so there was a little bit extra space in the center for folding. I didn’t measure when I placed my pockets, I just tried to keep about the same distance between each pocket.card carrier step 2

5. If you need to use interfacing, iron it to the wrong side of the other piece of fabric now.

6. Take the two pieces of fabric (one with the pockets, one without) and place them right sides together. *If you are using felt or quilting batting, this should go next to the wrong side of one fabric piece. It will end up sandwiched in between your fabrics.* Sew along three sides, leaving one short side open – this should be the side where you want your closure tab to go.

7. Cut two small rectangles of fabric for a closure tab.

card carrier step 3

8. Put right sides together and sew three sides. Turn right side out, press, and topstitch.

card carrier step 4

9. Turn the main fabric pieces right side out and press the raw edges of the open side under. Place the closure tab in between the fabrics and pin. Pin/clip the opening closed.card carrier step 5

10. Topstitch that side closed and continue topstitching around the three other sides, all around the carrier.

card carrier step 6

11. Add a snap or velcro closure – one piece on the closure tab and one on the other side of the carrier. I put one of my snap pieces on backwards – your closure should go on top of the carrier, not inside. (But Kam snaps are awful to remove once you’ve put them on, and for a project like this, I wasn’t going to go through the effort. ;)card carrier step 7

Then grab a pack of sports cards, Pokemon cards, whatever kind of cards your kiddo is into, and you have a great gift!

Trading Card Carrier

It’s such a fun way for the cards to be displayed, but also tucked away and kept safe. They can look through them, but they’re also a bit more protected.

DIY trading card carrier

You can fold it in half…

card carrier

Or you can fold the bottom up and the top down before folding it in half to make a really easy to carry around! I love how small it gets, because then it really tucks the cards inside, and they aren’t likely to fall out.

Folded Up Card Carrier tutorial

An easy way to keep things organized and displayed or safely taken on a road trip or to a friend’s house!
card carrier for sports cards, game cards, trading cards

Now make sure you head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts to see what Stacey made for her boys! And don’t forget, more handmade boy gift ideas tomorrow!

Wooden Scrap Tank Teaser

If you didn’t follow along with our previous Handmade Gifts for Boys years, you can find all the tutorials here.

33+ Handmade Gifts for Boys - Patterns, Tutorials, and More!

Remember, there’s a BIG giveaway coming later this week, so be sure to check back! Happy sewing!

Handmade Holidays Garland Tutorial and BIG GIVEAWAY!

Today I’m over at Skip to My Lou as part of the Bake Craft Sew & Decorate series. I am sharing a Vintage Christmas Light Garland Tutorial

vintage christmas light garland tutorial

These are quick to whip up for holiday decorating and gift giving. In fact, you won’t want to miss all the handmade gift ideas! I have joined over 100 bloggers to share some amazing homemade gift ideas, plus I get to be part of an amazing sewing giveaway too! Keep reading to enter!

giveaway

This machine is sew AMAZING! She is a gem and her name is Rachel.

giveaway

One lucky winner will receive this beautiful Baby Lock Sewing Machine ($799 Value) and $100 Worth of Fabric from Riley Blake Designs.
Ready to take your sewing to the next level? The Baby Lock Rachel is the star of any sewing class, and she’s here to help you. This computerized sewing machine is equipped with 50 stitches and push-button features to make every project easier. The value is $799. Click here for more details.
Riley Blake Designs amazing fabrics include cottons, flannels, sparkle cottons, organic cotton, knits, and laminates in a range of designer and basic prints. I love their fabric and fantastic customer service!

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Pumpkin Craft for Kids

This post was originally posted over at Craftaholics Anonymous. I’m sharing it here today, because although I originally posted this as a Halloween craft, it’s also perfect for any fall day. Can’t you picture little rows of pumpkins adorning your Thanksgiving table? So if you’re looking for a craft to keep the littles busy today, bust into your recycling bin for this one.

Kids’ Easy Pumpkin Craft

Pumpkin Craft for Kids

My kiddos love art, and raising creative kids is a high priority in our family. We tend toward free for all art, letting the kiddos have free reign of the craft supplies, creating whatever they wish. But occasionally we do a mom-directed craft, and I decided to add to our fall decor with a kid-crafted pumpkin patch!

Kids Halloween Pumpkin Craft using Egg Cartons Tutorial//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

Supplies

  • cardboard egg carton
  • orange and black paint and brushes (Can’t handle the mess of paint? Use orange markers instead!)
  • small pieces of green tissue paper or crepe paper
  • liquid school glue
  • scissors

1.Cut apart the bottom of the egg carton.

pumpkins 32. Trim down the sections of egg carton, so that they are flat all the way around.

 

pumpkins 43. Liberally apply glue along the edges.

 

pumpkins 54. Press the two sections of egg carton together. Hold them together tightly. I suggest setting it down on a table and putting something slightly heavy on top of it to hold it together while it dries. **If you’re doing this craft with really young kids, do these first few steps for them, as you may have to wait awhile for the glue to dry**

 

pumpkins 65. Once the glue has dried, paint your egg carton pieces pumpkin orange.

 

pumpkins 26. If you want to turn your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, use black paint to add a silly or scary face! It helps (especially for young kids) to use the thinest brush you have. You could also use a sharpie after the paint has dried.

 

pumpkins 87. Cut small tissue paper strips and glue them together onto the top of the pumpkin! You can also use a green curling ribbon if you have it on hand.

 

pumpkins 9Watch your kiddos be creative with their pumpkins! Because who said pumpkin vines can’t be pink??

 

pumpkins 10Once your pumpkins have dried, you’ll have your very own pumpkin patch! My boys love that they contributed to our fall decor. They’re so proud of their pumpkins!

 

pumpkinsAnd bonus for mom, you can use supplies you have on-hand! A free activity that keeps the kiddos busy and happy. Win for everyone!

 

pumpkins 11

Happy crafting!

Black Friday Sale!

The Bottoms Up Pants PDF pattern is on sale all weekend long (through Cyber Monday) for only $5! No coupon code necessary to get this deal.

Black Friday sale 2015 graphic

But if you join the If Only Designs Pattern Group on Facebook, you can find an exclusive code to get the pattern for only $4! (Be patient with me this weekend, if you request to join… I’m a one woman show around here! ;)

Happy sewing!

Crockpot Chicken and Easy Family Dinner Ideas

This time of year, I spend extra time sewing, wrapping, and prepping for all the holiday craziness. I find myself wishing for a couple extra hours in the day, especially that hour before dinner. Seriously, my kids turn into CRAZY people right before dinner. Is that just at my house?? This is why I need a couple of super easy meals a week. It makes me a little less crazy. Crockpot chicken is my go-to sanity saver!Crockpot Chicken and easy meal ideas

 

Crockpot chicken is one of my favorite meals, because it is so.stinkin.easy!

  1. Place chicken in crockpot.
  2. Add desired seasonings or herbs (I used fresh garlic, sea salt, and rosemary).
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Crockpot chicken that's easy and yummy

That’s it! So simple! There’s no need to add any liquid to the crockpot – all the liquid you see in the picture above is made while the chicken cooks. So it stays perfectly moist! You can use whatever kind of seasonings your family enjoys. I typically use rosemary, fresh garlic, and sea salt. I also enjoy using paprika and garlic, or I have a greek seasoning that I love.

Easy dinner ideas for busy evenings

Then add a couple easy sides, like these new Bird’s Eye Flavor Full sour cream and onion potatoes. There are a bunch of different flavors, veggies and potatoes. Pop them in the microwave, and a few minutes later, you have a super yummy – and fast – side! You can find a coupon for $1.00 off here.

crockpot chicken easy meal ideas

Along with some steamed broccoli, this dinner had almost zero prep during that dreaded pre-dinner hour.

Easy meal ideas

I’ll admit, when these potatoes were cooking, I was a little skeptical. The sour cream and onion smell was STRONG. I was worried they would be a bit too flavorful, and that the kids wouldn’t eat them.

easy family dinner ideas

But that couldn’t have been further from the truth! Seriously, my kids DEVOURED them. They ate seconds and thirds and my eight-year-old declared them “the best potatoes he’s ever had in his whole entire life!” No joke.

Crockpot chicken

Between the fall-off-the-bone chicken and the best-ever-in-the-world potatoes, this meal was a total mom win. I love when I can get through a dinner without anyone complaining that they want to eat something else!

crockpot chicken - so easy to make

I’m all about adding some shortcuts in to make life a little easier! Make sure you grab your $1.00 off coupon, because every little bit helps in the wallet too. ;)

viewMerchantCreative

Wear to Where: Date Night!

With four littles at home, date night out is a rarity. So when it happens, I need to get my CUTE on! I want to wear heels and something beyond the usual jeans and T-shirt. I want to look good for my guy! When the adorable and amazingly talented Katy of Wild + Wanderful asked me to join in on her Wear to Where series, my Date Night Out look came together in my mind.Wear to Where Date Night Outfit

This series is awesome – fashion and sewing bloggers sharing their looks for different occasions like date night out, sunday brunch, tailgating, and a bunch of others. Seriously, so FUN! I love seeing all the different looks, both handmade and ready-to-wear.

wear to where if only they would nap

I’ll admit it: I’m obsessed with this outfit. Am I allowed to say that if I made it? Well, it’s true. I am.DSC_2209 copy
The top is the Lane from Shwin Designs that Shauna was so generous to send my way. The pattern is fantastic and the fabric is amazing. I snagged it from the remnant section of Jo-Ann’s, and it’s PERFECT for date night. Sheer = sexy.

DSC_2109 copy

I only made one slight modification to the sleeve,  elastic at the hem. I love how it turned out! The pattern is so perfect for date night, the way it flows.

DSC_2094 copy

I didn’t have quite enough fabric for the whole top, and I thought it would be fun to do a contrast back. The black is a sheer knit fabric, and ohmygoodness the contrast turned out exactly how I pictured it!

DSC_2227 copy

Let’s talk about jeans. JEANS! I’ve made a couple pairs of jeans so far (see them here and here), and I just hadn’t gotten the perfect fit yet. So I decided to start from scratch and make my own pattern.

DSC_2078 copy copy

And they are nearly completely perfect. [insert ridiculous girly squeal here]

DSC_2211 copy

The fabric is from Girl Charlee, and it has great recovery. I can wear them all day and they still fit great, unlike some of my previous jeans. I think I’m finally ready to step into the world of pay-through-the-nose denim, which I think will give me jeans that I really, really love.

DSC_2197 copy

And there I go, putting my booty on the internet again… but a pair of jeans that makes your butt look good is important!

DSC_2186 copy

I’ll definitely be perfecting this pattern so that I can make more.

DSC_2235 copy

If I can go out with my hubby and wear jeans and heels, it’s a good night. Now all we need is a babysitter… which may actually be more challenging than making well-fitting jeans. ;)
DSC_2241 copy

Be sure to head over to Wild+Wanderful or Gardening in High Heels to check out the other brilliant bloggers, sewists and stylistas on the tour, as well as be able to link up your own looks and show us what you would Wear to Where!

Now let’s talk giveaway prizes for this tour!!
For the sewists:
Choice of 3 patterns from Cole’s Creations, Choice of 3 patterns from Made for Mermaids, Pattern of choice from Patterns for Pirates, Pattern of choice from Scientific Seamstress, Sewing-tee of choice from Sewing Stadium, Pattern of choice from Simple Life Pattern Co, Pattern of choice from StitchArt

For the Fashionistas: Set of 6 cards from Designs by Nicolina, 30 minute Social Media/Copy Consult by Gardening in High Heels, Tee of choice from Handmade Escapade, $20 Store Credit from Jenny Penny Designs, Tumbler from Joy+Tren

A big thanks to our amazing sponsors!
Cole’s Creations | Designs by Nicolina | Gardening in High Heels
Handmade Escapade | Jenny Penny Designs | Joy+Tren
Made for Mermaids | Patterns for Pirates | Scientific Seamstress
Sewing Stadium | Simple Life Pattern Co | Stitch Art

Click here to enter the amazing giveaway