Star Trek Bag

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I recently took a trip across the country and flew for the first time in 12+years. I’m not deterred by terrorists, I just happen to hate the whole confusing process in airports and the few flights I took as a teen were less than ideal experiences. :/ Anyway, to combat pre-flight anxiety I decided to do some sewing.

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This bag is really just a prototype so don’t critique it too harshly. :P

I went with blue and black to mimic the early uniforms in Star Trek Next Generation. If I worked for the Federation in a Sci-Fi future, I’d almost certainly be on the Science/Medical team. :D

The badge is Voyager style with a rectangular, rather than oval base. Although, from the way the bag ripples and scrunches it appears more oval in the photo. It really is a rectangle!

I used a recycled pillowcase, zipper and straps for the bag. The blue canvas was new.

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When I saw it was turning out fairly decent I decided to actually take it on my trip as my personal bag. So I added a few quick elastic pockets to a semi-lined interior.

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So yeah, it’s cute and all but I will be ripping it apart fairly soon. I hate the zipper and unfinished interior.

It was totally worth spending the $2 on sale canvas and the 3 hours to whip it up though. I felt pretty special carrying it on my trip. ;)

Nintendo Powerstar Plush

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This has to easiest toy to make for any Nintendo fan. Cut two simple star shapes with rounded points from fleece and make two long oval eyes from felt or fleece. I didn’t spend more than 20 minutes on this and it was a big hit with my daughter.

I took this picture after a month of play and it’s holding up nicely.

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Pokeball and Thomas Train Pillowcases

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Every year for my kids’ birthdays, I sneak a bit more reusable or cloth wrapping into their gift pile. I wouldn’t move away completely from having them tear and toss any paper, that’s part of the fun, but I do aim to keep it at least 50% reused wraps or fabric wraps. So besides the assortment of  twice used, thrice used and who knows how many times used gift bags we wrapped in I also made a few special wraps this time. It was especially handy since the items I needed a cloth wrap for were sleeping bags. Thus a pillowcase to match was ideal as a wrapping.

For my son I purchased a somewhat holey Thomas and Friends fitted twin sheet at Goodwill for $2. It was a bit tricky planning the case to avoid the holes in my material but still include every printed character. His sleeping bag of course was blue.

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For my daughter, to keep with her Pokemon/Nintendo theme, a red sleeping bag was the obvious choice. I only needed to decide whether to emblazon the case with a giant M for Mario or piece together a Pokeball scheme. I decided to go with a Pokeball scheme since I had extra time that day and not too much in the way of red fabric.

The idea behind the Pokeballs was that with a vinyl circle where the button should be would act as a window to insert Pokemon cards or print-outs to have an ever-changing sham. The circles are sewn onto the pillow in a U shape, leaving the top open for card insertion. As of right now, my daughter has Hippotatas, Lucario and Pink Shellos in her case. I figured this would be a way to keep up with her desire to acquire more Pokemon without actually having the expense of buying them, the time of making them or the burden of owning and organizing them. Having more Pokemon is as cheap and simple as printing a picture from the internet and slipping it in the case.

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Plush Velcro Yoshie Egg

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I’m so glad my daughter likes stuffies because they are fun to make. This one almost kicked my tushie though as I made over 4 prototypes before hitting on the best proportions. I don’t know why it’s so easy to make a ball but so hard to make an oval. At least, hard to make an oval that doesn’t resemble a football anyway.

I had to make it big enough to encase any of her collection of 7″ Yoshi plushies and a way to keep them in. I decided on hook & loop tape over a zipper in this case. It seemed easier and I didn’t have a white salvaged zipper in my collection anyway. :P The egg is fully lined to add more stability to the thin fleece. It would have been nice to find a lighter green fleece but I have one fabric store within 20 miles of my house and that’s the dinky section at Walmart. I have to take what I can get, especially when I only need a fraction of a yard. ;)

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Toys really are fun to make and extremely frugal, I think, from fleece. This item only cost $1.10 total to whip up(lightweight fleece at $4yd and I have some leftover). Fleece is especially nice to work with since it doesn’t fray like crazy, is easy to needle and forgiving because of the fabric stretch in the finished item. Handstitching a toy is so calming to me. :)

Thomas Fabric Cake Topper

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I probably mentioned this before but two of my kids and myself have birthdays three days in a row in December. Even with extensive planning, trying to make the most of the kids’ days while still enjoying mine is a bit overwhelming. Every year I keep trying to make it easier and less stressful for me. So when my son again requested a Thomas birthday cake I immediately knew I was not going to spend hours decorating something. My foray last year into the more “simplified” decorating plan of using a character cake pan(Lightening McQueen) wasn’t the easier choice I thought it was going to be and not something I wanted to repeat. I have a finite amount of hours and I’d rather spend them enjoying him as he enjoys his day rather than dealing with frosting.

So I had the idea to make a vinyl-encased cake topper. Basically I bought a patterned sheet at Goodwill(for $2 and made two items out of it)and close cut a Thomas character from the fabric. If I had had some fray stop it would have been nice to use it but I’m rather cheap about buying supplies so none of that stuff here. ;) I then cut two squares of vinyl. I had purchased a roll of high quality clear vinyl at Walmart years ago with the intention of making removable covers for our sunroom screens to keep the room more comfortable in the winter but I never got around to it before we moved. Anyway, I washed my squares of vinyl and then sandwiched the fabric between and sewed around it and cut outside the seam line. I was trying for an oval but since I was in a hurry I failed at making it very oval-ish. It didn’t really matter though since I layed the fabric decoration on my iced and raked cake and then piped a wide shell border around it over the stitched edge so that it was a true oval and around the borders of the cake. I then sprinkled the piped areas with blue colored sugar and surprised myself with how impressive it really looked. It was easy enough(with a circle cake)to slip the knife under the decoration to cut slices so that we could enjoy the look of it longer than simply removing it altogether to cut.

And I thought I had a picture of the cake decorated but alas I do not see it on my data card. Oh well, you will have to use your imagination. ;)

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These have the added fun of being reusable. Simply wipe off with a soapy towel and dry. Paper and print-outs from the computer could also be used instead of the fabric to get exactly what you want.

Pokemon Toys: Ash’s Hat, Pokeballs and Rattata

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Here’s a little something I made for my daughter’s birthday in December:

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My 8 year old absolutely loves Pokemon! Now she can really play trainer with an Ash Ketchum hat, zippered Pokeballs and a Rattata. She has other Pokemon toys to play with as well but this and a tiny Victini from Hong Kong are the only two that will fit in the balls. She’s satisfied with that. ;)

The hat was simply a Goodwill buy and it was actually new with tags still on for $2. I used some cheap fleece to cut a semi-circle for the front and hand-sewed it on. The C was just freestyle and very easy to do and also hand-stitched.

The Pokeballs were simple to figure out since I’d made fabric toy balls in the past. These however were lined and needed to have a zipper so that a small Pokemon toy could fit inside. I used two salvaged zippers from clothing items and cheap fleece from Walmart. As you can see, the button accents are different on the two balls because I wasn’t satisfied with how the zig-zag stitched edge of the first turned out. The black wasn’t bold enough for me so I made the second button with a black fleece backing.

Rattata was something my daughter has been asking for for two years. As far as I know, there has never been a plush Rattata toy manufactured so I resorted to altering an online pattern(found here:http://www.allcrafts.net/crochetsewingcrafts.htm?url=sewingstars.com/mousepattern.htm   )to make this one. Alterations to the pattern included enlarging the ears(which I did make too big really), adding little felt claws and whiskers and freestyling the eyes to more closely resemble the Pokemon. It isn’t a fantastic facsimile but my daughter knew exactly who it was and was thrilled. That’s good enough for me. :)

Finally Moved to Our New Home!

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So most of you know how backbreaking and demanding moving can be. After coming across the country in April to stay in a rental while we looked for a new home, we again packed and moved across town a few days ago.

We looked at over 30 houses in person that met my extremely picky criteria and were in contract with another house until early September. We ended up canceling on that place over delays that prolonged the sale by almost two months without the needed repairs. Which was a blessing really because I prefer the place we found immediately after the cancellation. :)

The only real sacrifice between that house and this house is that there was a finished family room and guest room downstairs in the cancelled house. That was to be our media, guest and sewing rooms.

The house we just moved in to has no finished bonus rooms. Every room is being used for its purpose except one.

BEHOLD! My new sewing room!!!

*sigh*

Not much to look at right now is it? At least the lighting is very good, there are heat vents and we’re in the Midwest so I don’t have to worry about mildew and mold. The hydrometer assures me of the very safe for fabric percentage of 26% down there yesterday.

I’d love to actually finish it and my hubby is keen on that idea(so he can share the space with a wet bar and guest couch). I have a hard time with the idea of spending $10K on a hobby that I do for enjoyment but also to save money. There is no way I can save $10K on sewing for the next 15 years we plan to live here. Hubby assure me that we will recoup some of the finishing expense on the eventual resale of the house and I’m sure he’s right.

I’ll just have to think about it for a while and see what I can do and how it can function with what I already have. Can I paint concrete? :P