Category Archives: Crafts

Costume Party is Over

Time to kick everyone out gracefully, sweep up the cupcake crumbs, collect the empties and pour myself a glass of wine.  The costume party is over and Halloween is behind us once again.

A link to all of the tutorials can be found by clicking on the COSTUME PARTY tab located near the top of this page, right there next to ABOUT.

Thanks for following along!  I’ll bring this up again next year, if I’m still at this, and maybe I’ll even have some more ideas!  xoxo


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Covered Notebook

At our most recent meeting of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, we did a Yankee Swap of handmade accessories for home or person.

I made a covered notebook with two matching pens using this tutorial (minus the button).

It features the last of my scraps (almost – still saving a tiny square I just can’t toss) of Heather Ross’s Mendocino mermaids.  It’s a bit of a funny strip – boobs and butts!  But I knew the designer loving fabric fans in the guild would appreciate it.

Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics snagged it!

after I stole her beautiful scarf made by Emily, that is!  But look at how well it matches my fall coat!

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Dinosaur Hoodie Costume

Here is our most complicated costume yet!  It’s not too difficult to construct (the tail can be a little tricky), but there are quite a few components…

We’ll start with a hooded sweatshirt and add to those:

  • Eyes
  • Tail
  • Teeth
  • Tummy Detail
  • Stripes

and also….

  • Mittens with claws
  • Spats with claws

Read on for tips and instructions!

Continue reading


Filed under Clothes, Crafts, Holiday

Goldfish Costume

Okay today we’re tackling a more complicated costume.  A goldfish!

These are the components you can add to a hooded sweatshirt to make the costume:

  • Eyes
  • Lips
  • Tulle Fin
  • Scales

Read on for instructions on how to make each component:

Continue reading


Filed under Clothes, Crafts, Holiday

Bat costume

Here is a very easy to construct Bat costume that would work for either kids of adults.

Take a long-sleeved black shirt and gather these measurements…

Then using those measurements, cut out a wing shape out of black fleece or felt.  Cut out two layers of fabric for each wing.  I did this by lining up one edge of my wing pattern on the fold of a piece of fabric.

Make sure one of your wings points to the left and the other to the right.

I sew the two layers together (right sides together), leaving a gap to turn the unit right-side out.

Lay the wing over the edges of your shirt and pin in place.  Make sure you tuck the seam allowances of the gap inside the wing.  Sew all around the wing, attaching the unit to the shirt and closing the gap in the wing.

Then add some  decorative quilting to the wing; two straight lines going on a diagonal to the points looks nice and very wing-like.

For a funny finishing touch, why not add a bat mask (sized for children)?  You could also do ears on a headband or a stocking cap.

BTW this was my model, Libby, discovering her bat costume package in the mail.  This expression is priceless and great motivation for making costumes!


Filed under Crafts, Holiday

Unicorn Costume

Here’s a cute little unicorn costume that can be made out of a hooded sweatshirt and scaled to fit either kids or adults.

The components of this costume are:

  • Horn
  • Mane
  • Heart Appliqué (optional)


For the horn I actually used THIS PATTERN for a small stuffed Christmas tree and scaled it down to about 60% on my printer so it would be proportional to a small baby’s head.  Attach to the hoodie using your best blind-stitch.


Do a running stitch sewing together the four layers of tulle. Knot the beginning, but don't knot-off or cut the thread at the other end.

After you pull your tulle together and the length = x, then you can knot-off your baste stitch thread.

After you cut the slit into the hood, fold the raw edges under.

Sandwich the layers of tulle between the folded-over edges of the hooded sweatshirt. Top-stitch to hold the tulle into place and to close the slit in the hoodie.

Heart Appliqué:

A little heart on the chest is a cute touch if the costume-wearer is particularly adorable.

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Yoda costume for babies and toddlers

So yesterday we did Leia, today let’s do Yoda!

The components for this costume are:

  • Hat with Ears
  • Wrap shirt in beige

The Hat:

  • For the hat, I first made the Sweet Pea Pilot Cap in green, with brown ribbing.  I only chose brown ribbing because green was not available.  The free tutorial can be downloaded HERE thanks to Meg at Sew Liberated.
  • For the ears, cut out 2 copies of this shape and 2 copies of the shape in reverse.
  • Pick one ear pointing to the left, and another pointing to the right.  Cut out a piece of batting for each ear.
  • Layer the batting with the ear fabric on top (good side up) and quilt an earlobey type design.
  • For the other ears, cut out stiff fusible interfacing and iron them to the bad sides of the ears.
  • Layer a batting ear and an interfacing ear together, good sides together, and sew all along the slopey ear sides.
  • Turn inside-out and fold the seam allowance inside the ear.  Puff out the ear a little bit, separating the batting side from the interfacing side and sew to the sides of the hat using your best blind stitch.

The Shirt

  • For the shirt I actually used the reversible wrap sweatshirt pattern from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated.   It was a very easy pattern to follow and is extremely forgiving in regards to size.  Being a wrap shirt, it’s very adjustable.
  • Although I HIGHLY recommend the Sew Liberated book if you have any interest in making clothes for children, another option would be to use THIS TUTORIAL or THIS ONE, both available online for free.

May the force be with you this Halloween!


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Princess Leia costume for babies and toddlers

For today’s costume party tutorial, we’re making Princess Leia costumes for babies and toddlers!
The components of this costume are:
  • Hat with buns
  • Dress
  • Belt

The Hat:

  • For the hat, I first made the Sweet Pea Pilot Cap in brown, with matching brown ribbing.  The free tutorial can be downloaded HERE thanks to Meg at Sew Liberated.  Make sure you buy enough of the brown jersey to make buns that will match the hat.
  • Once your cap is completed, cut two long and skinny rectangles of fabric.  I believe mine measured 3.5 inches wide by 20 inches.  Fold each rectangle in half (good sides together) so it becomes 1 3/4 inches wide by 20 inches.  Press flat.  Taper one of the short ends so it looks like this:
  • Sew from the tapered end down the long edge.
  • Turn the tube inside out and stuff not too tightly with Poly-fil (stuffing).
  • You can either machine or hand sew the short end closed.  It will be covered by the coiled bun.
  • Coil you bun in such a way that you cover the short end and you tuck the tapered end behind the bun.   One side of the bun will look pretty,  the other side will be “ugly,” showing the tucked in tapered end of the tub as well as the short hand/machine sewn shut end.
  • Whip stitch the bun from the “ugly” side so that it is a free standing, permanently coiled unit.
  • Sew the bun to the side of your pilot cat by hand using your best blind stitch.

The Dress:

  • For the dress I actually used the sleep sack pattern from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated.   It was a very easy pattern to follow and if you don’t put the elastic in the bottom to make it a “sack,”  it makes a very comfortable and forgiving dress for babies 6 – 12 months.  It has an envelope / onesie type top that makes it very easy to slip onto toddlers and does not necessitate snaps or zippers.
  • Although I HIGHLY recommend the sew liberated book if you have any interest in making clothes for children, another option would be to use a long-sleeved white t-shirt or onesie and to make a simple elastic waisted white skirt maybe by using THIS tutorial.

The belt:

  • From a white fabric I cut a rectangle 4 inches by 22 inches.  Fold the rectangle in half (good sides together) and sew all sides together except for a small gap.
  • Turn the rectangle right-side out through the gap.  Tuck the seam allowances into the gap and press the entire belt flat.  Top-stitch around the rectangle, closing the gap.
  • To add a silver detail I used a slippery acetate fabric I bought on the super-cheap.    Cut two 2 x 8 inch rectangles from the silver fabric.  Place them good sides together and sew all around the edges**.   Trim down the seam allowances to a very tight 1/8of an inch.  Pinch one layer of the fabric from the rectangle and snip a one inch hole so you can turn the entire unit inside-out.   Press your perfect rectangle flat.
  • **You could also do the method where you sew around all of the edges, except for a small gap where you turn the unit inside-out and then either hand-sew or machine top-stitch the gap closed.  I find the acetate a little difficult to work with, so I opted for the method described above.
  • Hand sew the silver rectangle to the white belt.  You could machine sew the rectangle to the belt, but I find the acetate a little difficult to work with in my machine.
  • Attach velcro to the appropriate ends of the belt.  I used fusible velcro.
  • You’re done!  Marvel at your adorable Leia, sure to make any Han Solo swoon.


Filed under Crafts, Holiday, Tutorial

Announcing a Costume Party!

I absolutely love to make costumes for Halloween! In celebration of costume-making season,  I’m announcing how to be jenna’s first ever COSTUME PARTY!

Over the next week or so, learn tips on making tails, eyes, ears, teeth, claws, and more!  With these tips you could make any of the following costumes:

  • Dinosaur!
  • Goldfish!
  • Skunk!
  • Unicorn!
  • Skeleton!
  • Yoda (baby/toddler specific)!
  • Princess Leia (baby/toddler specific)!

Once you master a couple of techniques, you’ll be able to easily make several different costumes!  I hope this helps some of you who are interested in making costumes for you and your families. xoxo

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Spider Web Table Runner

I love decorating for the holidays!  All the better when I can make the decorations myself.

I had cut out the black pleather spider-web shapes and border last year, but didn’t get a chance to assemble the whole runner.  I happily discovered the half-complete project in my bin of decorations and eagerly pieced everything together.

The black is all one-piece, cut out from a bolt of black pleather fabric**.  Pleather just gives off a nice Halloween vibe, doesn’t it?  I pinned the black on top of some gray Quilter’s Linen and simply zig-zag stitched the edges as a means of raw-edge appliqué.  Then I sewed the backing fabric to the front, right-sides-together, leaving a gap where I could flip everything right-side-out.  Then I top-stitched around the edge to close the gap and help the runner lay flat.

What? Your house isn't littered with dinosaurs?

The backing is two strips of black flanking a strip of gray ombre.

**Here are my tips on drawing spider-web shapes for this runner:

Mark where you want your web intersections

Draw five or six lines, meeting at the dots

Draw concave arcs connecting all or just some of the lines


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