DIY crutch covers

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my youngest with a hurt knee. It happened on Easter, when she placed a stepstool on her bed, and jumped to her chin up bar in her door. She landed with a straight leg, and hurt her knee (luckily it is just a bruised bone). Consequently, she has been hobbling around on crutches. After the first day using them, she said they were rubbing her sides raw, and were uncomfortable (if you have ever used them, you know what she is talking about). So, of course, it was my sewing machine to the rescue! I made a couple of DIY crutch covers to help ease her discomfort.

DIY crutch covers

We started by padding the handles with a piece of foam I had left over from this outfit. I just used some tape to hold them on.

DIY crutch covers

I then traced around, leaving a generous seam allowance, and cut it out of this fabulous cupcake fabric I bought at the Sew Expo last year. I sewed it up and then turned up the bottom to make a casing. Pulled some elastic through and sewed it up.

DIY crutch covers

It did help to cushion them a bit, plus she looks super stylish with her custom covers.

DIY crutch covers

I truly believe in the power of handmade in aiding the healing process.

Have you ever made crutch covers or custom slings for your kids?

The Fabric makes the Leo

It is no secret that I am a leotard-making fool, as of late (see here and here)! Well, that hasn’t slowed down much, since the washing mishap (you can read about it here). BTW, when fabric is labeled with “hand wash cold/ line dry“, it is a good idea to follow it. *ends public service announcement* 

Anyhow, after making lots of custom-fitted leotards for my gymnast, I can say that no two fabrics are equal and the fabric makes the leo! Case in point:

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

I found myself perusing The Fabric Fairy website one night, and was blown away by how many fantastic lycra/spandex fabrics they carry and the reasonable prices. Serious rabbit hole of choices. Right then and there, I realized with utter clarity that I needed to work with that fish scale fabric as soon as possible, and it needed to be on a leotard.

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

AND OH MY GOODNESS I WAS RIGHT

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

This fabric is perfect for leos. It sewed up beautifully and has a nice weight to it. Not too thin, which has happened to us a few times with other stores. Thinner fabric will not only be a little tougher to work with because it curls and slips, but it can also be see-through. Ugh. Not the look we are going for. This, on the other hand, is delightful.

The incredibly sad news is: they sold out of it! I told you. Amazing.

the fabric makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

Sometimes colors on my monitor are a little off when I am ordering fabric, so I always ask if they would guide me to a good match for accent fabric.  I am so glad I did. Originally I chose a different one, and it turns out, it wouldn’t have matched at all. This color matches exactly and is just the small pop it needed.

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

My husband thinks I should make myself a pair of pants out of it. I must admit, I am tempted!

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

The second fabric I used, which is called Wildflower Saturation, was chosen by Falafel. She loves the colors on the cacti! So happy and colorful.

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

This one is slightly more slick, especially on the inside. The 75% stretch makes it a great choice for swimwear. Paired with this accent fabric, it is striking!

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

Although Fabric Fairy was kind enough to provide me with this fabric, they have gained a loyal customer. Their fabric is awesome. All opinions are 100% mine.

the fabri makes the leo, and this leo was made with Fabric Fairy fabric

My girl is trying out for two teams this week, and now has some pretty inspiring leos to help her do her best!

More Jalie Leos

Whipped up a few more Jalie leos for my gymnast. Turns out, when the fabric instructions say “Hand wash cold, line dry” they mean it! I was throwing her leotards into the dryer, and yup…they shrank!

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

My Falafel choose this screamingly bright fabric that reminds me of stuff we wore in the 80’s, and then proceeded to look like Joan Jett (or maybe Pat Benatar) for all the photos.

Jalie pattern leotard sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Have I gushed enough in the past about this pattern? In case I haven’t, here’s a little more. I love love love this pattern. I custom fit it to my child, and now all of her leos look like, well… they were made for her. The first time I was introduced to Jalie Patterns was for The Bee’s Black Widow costume. Simple and to the point, and really easy to make fit adjustments to.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

It was 40 degrees out and she was wearing only a leo.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I did manage to get a smile from her. This other fabric, she has dubbed her “Oil Spill” suit, because you know, it looks like the rainbow found in oil puddles.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The size I made for her is actually a 5, graded to a 7 in the hips. I lengthened the torso, by splitting the pattern in half at the waist, and adding 4 inches. I did have to lower the armholes for these new suits. She is 11, wearing a size 5, so the armholes don’t leave room for her muscles. It was a super easy alteration that I eyeballed.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

These leotards fit great, which means she tugs a whole lot less! They stay in place, and it really makes all the difference.

Jalie Leotard pattern sewn by Falafel and the Bee

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen this already. A friend gifted us a 12 foot balance beam, and it currently resides in the middle of the living room.

I have only tripped on it twice so far. Cheese Louise.

Rivage Raglan Pajamas

Lately, I have been doing a lot of sewing for my Falafel. For one, it takes a lot less fabric to sew for her, than anyone else in our family. The Bee, though has noticed this, and made a request that I sew her up some pajamas. How could I refuse my almost adult daughter?!Especially when I really love sewing for her too.

In the Blank Slate Patterns Facebook group, I saw a photo of Melissa wearing a shirt made from her Rivage Raglan pattern *affliate link*, and I knew it was perfect for this project!

Rivage Raglan Pattern review: Making Pajamas

This is one of the most straightforward, easiest patterns EVER! Like all Blank Slate patterns, this one was spot on with sizing. I didn’t even muslin.

Rivage Raglan Pattern review: Making Pajamas

After seeing the cozy fleece jammies I made for Falafel, my Bee wanted some of her own. It was no problem at all to work with the fleece. I did embellish the pattern just slightly by adding rib knit cuffs (there are only cuffs on the short sleeves option), and because these are pajamas, and I wanted the neckline a little higher,  I sewed on the rib knit neckline a little different. I folded the tube in half width wise and sewed the raw edges to the neckline. Done.

Rivage Raglan pattern review: Making Pajamas

For the pants portion, I just took a pair of knit pants that fit her, and used them as a pattern.

Rivage Raglan Pattern review: Making Pajamas

The fleece doesn’t fray, so no hemming required!

Rivage Raglan Pattern review: Making Pajamas

This was the perfect quick project that allowed me to sew something practical for my 17 year old,  while not breaking the bank.

Rivage Raglan pattern review: Making Pajamas

The best part is, she LOVES these. Especially the shirt. She wore it to bed atfer we photographed it, and then to her Archery tournament the next day. She asked me to make her another. THAT right there, is proof it’s a winner.

*Even though I received this pattern for free, as always, all opinions are mine, mine, mine. I love sharing wonderful things I find with you.*

Ginseng Dress made with Cali Fabrics

Ginseng Dress sewn by Falafel and the Bee for Cali Fabrics

Today I am Guest Posting over at the Cali & co blog, sharing the amazing new Holiday dress I made for The Bee.

Ginseng Dress sewn by Falafel and the Bee for Cali Fabrics

I used the Ginseng Dress Pattern by Sew Chic Pattern Company (which she generously supplied for this post). I had seen one that Laura made on her FB page, and fell instantly in love. This dress has a classic vinatge-50’s housewife-cocktail party vibe to it, which fits my (almost) 17 year old daughter’s personality and style. That pattern paired with fabric from Cali Fabrics make my heart swoon.

Ginseng Dress made by Falafel and the Bee using Cali Fabrics

On to the details.

Firstly, all the Sew Chic patterns are paper patterns (opposed to PDF patterns you print yourself), so they mail them right to you. It comes with a handy booklet of instructions, and all the pattern pieces. The sizes go from 2 up to 18, and there are two different views you can sew. I chose “view A” with a collar. It has a side zipper, which gives it such a neat look.

Ginseng Dress made by Falafel and the Bee using Cali Fabrics

I picked out this amazingly buttery beautiful Gold on Gold Damask Stretch Twill for the main fabric, because it has nice drape, and enough structure to make the skirt portion of the dress flare. When hemming circle skirts, I find if the fabric has a little stretch it makes it much easier to get a neat and even hem. I asked Ron over at Cali Fabrics to help me chose the accent fabric, and he picked this Champagne Midweight Bridal Satin. It matches perfectly.

Ginseng Dress sewn by Falafel and the Bee with Cali Fabrics

My sewing machine was being tempermental, and not gathering the fabric as it was required, so the only change I made to this was folding the sash, accordian style. I do like the effect, though. Now that I have sewn it up once, I may make myself one! This pattern is so flattering and classic, especially in this fabric.

Ginseng Dress sewn by Falafel and the Bee with Cali Fabrics

If you would like to see more photos, click on over and check out my post on the Cali & Co blog.

 *Disclaimer: Although I was provided the pattern and the fabric for free, as always my opinions are mine mine mine. I enjoy showing you the brilliant products I discover.

Scrap faux fur project

Since I cannot share a few of the projects I am working on (yet), I thought I would show you what I did with the  scrap faux fur that I had left over from one of them.

What to do with faux fur left over from making halloween costumes

I made it into a cozy throw/ lap blanket!

What to do with faux fur left over from making halloween costumes

Firstly, let me tell you about this fabric. OH GOODNESS it is SOFT. Soft like a cloud, soft. Soft like melted buttah, soft. It is faux luxury rabbit fur that I picked up at JoAnns, and I cannot stop petting it.

What to do with faux fur left over from making halloween costumes

The piece I had left over was an odd size (29″x57″), but just large enough to be a lap blanket. I sewed it (right sides together, leaving a gap for turning) with a piece of blue fleece I had left over from the Kid Wonder Woman cosplay I made, and voila! It is a fleecy furry match made in heaven.

What to do with faux fur left over from making halloween costumes

It is perfect to throw on Sam Elliot (the name we call our chair), and curl up under to read a book with. I mean who wouldn’t want to curl up on Sam Elliot and read under a faux rabbit fur throw?!

What have you made lately with scraps?

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

In my last post, I told you we know three different couples that are expecting (and one has just delivered) babies. I love making little baby gifts to welcome all the new life.

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

I know that getting stuff can be overwhelming for new parents. People love to give baby gifts. So I like to keep it small and simple. The project needs to be quick and easy for me too.

  Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

For the baby booties, I used the FREE pattern by Stardust Shoes.  This patterns fits all of my requirements, and has a high “squeeeee” factor. AND it is FREE. Perfect.

***EDITED TO ADD- the link to the shoe pattern is not working, and I cannot get in touch with the author of the blog. Sorry about that!!******

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

The pants were made using Made by Rae’s FREE Basic Newborn Pant pattern. I have used this pattern many times in the past. The Bee has even made some for her teacher a few years ago. Simple and easy. I always add a few inches, though to the top and bottom, so I can turn under more generously. I just like a wider casing and hem.

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

Another baby gift down, and it may be my favorite so far. I love that fabric. A friend gave it to me for my birthday, and I was saving it for something special. I can’t think of a more perfect use for it.

What do YOU make for babies?

Sewing for my Teen: Bringing home Marbella

A month ago, I shared this Marbella dress I made for The Bee over at Melly Sews as a Blank Slate Patterns Team member. Today I get to bring it home! I absolutely adore sewing for my teen.

Marbella pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Oh my goodness we had fun with this one. When she put it on, she and I agreed that we needed to do a 1940’s-esque photo session. We got some great looks from passerbys in the ferry terminal and in the center of town, for sure.

Marbella pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Believe it or not, this pattern is a fairly quick sew! The Marbella uses knit fabric, and has a collar and front placket. Instead of buttons, I used snaps, because I thought they looked cleaner. Well, that AND I really dislike sewing button holes and buttons. Ha!

Marbella pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

 A really cool feature is the side seam pockets. I took this opportunity to use a fun light blue woven map fabric. It is just a little pop of color that peeks out when she bends.

Marbella pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I folded the hem up, on the sleeves, and topstitched on the right side of the fabric, so that it would have a cuffed appearance. I left the bottom of the dress unhemmed. This knit fabric will not fray, and I didn’t want any bulk down there.

Marbella pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

My girl is all over the sizing chart. Literally. Her measurements spanned across size 4- 10. And not in top-to-bottom fashion, which would be easy to grade out. Over bust is a 10, Bust is a 4, Waist is an 8, and Hips are a 4! So I took her bust measurement which was a size 4, and even though her waist is an 8, there is enough ease to fit her there. All I did was decrease the seam allowance a bit, and it fit beautifully.

Marbella pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

She has already asked me to sew up another Marbella for her (just in time for school to start), which is a sure sign this pattern is a big hit!

This officially is my last post as a Blank Slate Team member. A big Thank You to Melissa for choosing me to be on the team this past year. It was wonderful to sew up your fabulous patterns. I know I will continue to use them for many years to come!

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

 This past week, I celebrated turning 44! Every year I have a themed birthday party to ring in another fabulous year, surrounded by good friends, all dressed up. I love it. Truly, it is the most fun way to age. To prepare, I ususally make myself something to wear (see 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015). For this year’s theme, I was inspired by Bollywood. The colors, the music, the fashion. I turned to Pinterest for some design inspiration, since I knew I didn’t want to make a sari (although it was tempting! Knowing me, it would untuck in the middle of the party, and the whole thing would fall to the ground, and NO ONE wants to see that.). The party would be more of a nod to the genre, and culture. This particluar pin caught my eye. So began my Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

I turned to a pattern I have used before in the book Sew Many Dresses (affiliate link). The bodice has princess seams, and made a good base. First, I started by taping the front and side panels of my paper pattern together, and then cutting the center piece out. This was done by holding it up where it would roughly sit on my chest, and drawing a line around the place I wanted it. The center panel was created by freehanding a sweatheart neckline, and marking where it would be, once it was connected to the (now cut) front and side panels.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

I did muslin this first, and that was a  very good thing. There was a bit of tweaking to be done, because the fit wasn’t quite right, and I ended up with a gap near the armscyes. Of course, I turned to the fabulous ladies over at the Capsule Wardrobe Sewalong FB group for help. And they did! They are some good peeps (I don’t really think I can pull off using that word, but I have made it my goal to work it into my daily vernacular, much to my family’s embarassment). I ended up adding a dart on the side panels near the armscyes and it fixed the problem.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

That skirt was self-drafted. It was just as challenging as the bodice to figure out. I could not think of a way to get the side pieces to look good in the back, so I cut them into two seperate free-hanging panels, and let them cup my sides. I love the effect.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

The outer fabric is brocade from Cali Fabrics, and the gold is silk from the huge rummage sale I attend every year. It is a bit stained, but you can barely see it because of the way I placed the fabric. I hand stamped the pattern on my shawl, with acrylic paint (which you can’t really see from these photos).

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

A realization hit me when I was about to tackle this project. About 75% of my creative process is in my head. I think about sewing something for weeks before I even touch a pattern. I go to sleep thinking about how to tackle any problems, and how I would alter existing patterns to fit my design. I think about it when doing household chores, while driving, and showering. Borderline obsession, really. Then one day, it has gestated enough to the point that it is time for labor, so to speak. I have no idea if this is unique to me, or if others work this way too, but find that if I have enough time to let it marinate (as my chef husband would say), the final result is closest to my vision.

Bollywood Birthday Party

photo credit for above photo: Dawn Weber

Bollywood Birthday Party

The party was a lot of fun, but seriously the strangest weather we have had so far.

Bollywood Birthday Party

It rained, then the sun came out, then it poured, then it stopped. All the guests were very good sports about the whole thing.

Bollywood Birthday Party

YUM.

Bollywood Birthday party

You may recognize this outfit from here.

Bollywood party

My husband wins the year with this outfit, in my book. He is wearing our daughter’s (the Bee’s) pants!

Bollywood party

Another notch in the old aging belt, done with style.

I would love to hear from you…what is YOUR creative process?

Inspired by The Little Mermaid Sail Dress

This post contains affiliate links

My Bee decided to make herself a dress inspired by the one the Little Mermaid wore when she became human. She had been thinking a lot about this, and even worked out where we would photgraph it.

mermaid

She came up with this:

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

(Inspired by) The Little Mermaid Sail Dress

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

I am so impressed (and I don’t impress easily)! She draped the entire thing, which I have never done. My girl did say she would teach me, though. It is so cool! The best part is she used an old curtain (more comfortable than a sail, I would think). You know how I feel about upcycling (just look at the category above if you don’t).

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Here it is without the belt. It isn’t a super complicated dress, but I think, well exectued. She was, at first, unsure about the piece that comes to a point in the front instead of the back, but we both agreed that it works.

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

The sun was in the most inconvenient spot (and I have not figured out how to move it), and we only had 30 minutes to photograph this between activities. It resulted in some artful photography.

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Instead of rope, she used a belt in her closet, for a more modern look .

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Her friend made her that seashell necklace a while ago. Perfect for this!

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Do you recognize this dock? That time I didn’t photograph a mermaid that turned human, though.

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

Inspired by the Little Mermaid Sail Dress, made with an old curtain, sewn by my teen

I love when my girls are inspired to create something solely on their own, especially when it consists of using materials we already have! I am completely ecstatic to support them any way I can when they do this. Whoohoo! Way to go, my girl.

What have YOU upcycled today??