Book Review: Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids

I’m going to start this off with full disclosure.  Tuttle Publishing contacted me and asked if I would review some of their sewing books here on my blog.  Having flipped through a couple of them in the past, I was happy to do so.  The books were given to me by Tuttle, but the opinions here are completely my own.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 1

I’m starting off this week with the first title that caught my attention, Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids by Ruriko Yamada.  Put a cute kid on the cover and that’s all the marketing strategy you need for me.  Three of them, wearing my current favorite color palette, and I’m all in.  Fortunately, the rest of the book didn’t disappoint either.

If a beginning sewer were to pick up this book and flip through it, they might assume it was for a more intermediate skill level.  The sheer amount of information and diagrams could be intimidating at first glance.  But that’s exactly why this book would be great for anyone.  The sections on basic tools, needles and thread and sewing machine tips bring a newbie up to speed on what they need to know to get started, then the explanations on how to deal with the pattern pieces and fabric bring it home.  My advice is to read it through before deciding whether it fits into your skill level.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 9

The book starts out with some basic information on sizing, then dives right into the simple, clean photos of each garment.  I’m not just saying this – I love every single project.  I kept deciding on a favorite, then turning the page to find another.  I did finally narrow it down to four.

This sweet little dress could be made in so many fabrics and worn with leggings, with a top underneath or all by itself.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 2

This top is really my absolute favorite thing in the whole book.  There’s just something so fun about it.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 3

The author didn’t forget about the boys either.  I remember when my son was small it was always tough to find things to make for him.  These shorts are simple but easy to customize.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 4

This shirt is classic, and yet just a little different with the stand-up collar.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 5

There are 20 projects included in this book.  Needless to say, in order to provide full-sized patterns for each one they needed to be printed in such a way that they would all fit in one envelope.  That means they are overlapped and printed on both sides, so you need to plan on tracing all of the pieces.  If you’ve ever tried to use one size from a multi-size pattern, you know that’s probably going to make your life easier in the end anyway.  You also need to add a seam allowance, which is easy enough since you’re already tracing and is detailed in the book.  The one thing I found odd was that the suggested seam allowance was 3/8”.  I’ve always been told to use 5/8” with garments, but since you’re adding it yourself you can do whatever is comfortable for you.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 6

I’ll admit, I was a bit puzzled when I read the instructions for the first project.  Steps 2 and 4 are on the page, but no others.  It wasn’t until I spotted the guide telling me make it according to the instructions on another project, substituting the two steps, that it all made sense.  Rather than repeat they just redirect.  Again, it cuts down on what would otherwise be an enormous book.  There are handy flip-outs on the inside of the front and back covers to help keep your place when you need to go back and forth.

The layouts for cutting the pattern pieces are very clear and the diagrams for how to complete each step are very helpful.  Like my cookbooks, I want my sewing books to have lots of pictures.

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 7

Overall, I really love this book.  The garments fit kids sizes 2 through 8, and I don’t currently have anyone to sew for that fits that demographic.  However, all of the projects are so simple and classic, I feel like it’s a book I can pull off the shelf a few years from now and none of it will be outdated. 

Sew Chic Kids Book Review - Crafty Staci 8

Next week I’ll be reviewing Happy Homemade: Sew Chic by Yoshiko Tsukiori.  Have you sewn with any of the Happy Homemade books?

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Friday Favorites–Meet the Muppets

After working on my Kermit bookmark earlier in the week, I’ve been having flashbacks to the Muppet Show.  I remember when it premiered.  I had spent my young years watching Sesame Street, and then it was as if someone had recognized I was not a little kid anymore and made a grown-up version of my show.  Yep, I was quite sophisticated for a seven-year-old.

Friday Favorites - 10 Muppet Crafts - Crafty Staci

There are no instructions for these Muppet Show Cookies at 1 Fine Cookie, but if you’re talented with one of those frosting-squisher-outer-thingies you could probably pull these off.

The Muppet Show Cookies from 1 Fine Cookie

If you’re a knitter, you might want to give these Jim Henson Muppet Charts from Robin Barnhill on Ravelry a spin.

Jim Henson Muppet Charts on Ravelry

There is some debate about whether the creatures from Sesame Street are technically Muppets.  I’m not here to debate.  Jim Henson was a genius, no matter which camp you’re in and I will be referring to all his creations as Muppets today.  That said, I just love this Yip Yip Alien from WikiHow.

Yip Yip Alien from Wikihow

The best thing about these Sesame Street Hats from Girl in Air is that they’re available not only in kid sizes, but adult as well.

Sesame Street Hats from Girl in Air

Can you imagine a more fun way to hold your glasses than a Muppet?  Check out these Muppet Glasses Holders from djonesgirl on Craftster.

Muppet Glasses Holder from djonesgirl on Craftster

Did you see the Muppet commercial during the Super Bowl?  You can print your own Muppet-jacked car from Spoonful.

Muppet Car from Spoonful

With a little shrink paper you can have your own Muppet charm bracelet.  You can find the template on Disney Family.

Muppet Charms from Disney Family

For a quick, easy Muppet fix, try these Muppet Hand Puppets from Spoonful.

Muppet Hand Puppets from Spoonful

Who hasn’t wished at some point they could be a Muppet?  Rad Megan shows you how you can be Kermit for a day.

Kermit from Rad Megan

You guys, you can design and buy your own Muppet!  They’re called Muppet Whatnot Puppets, and they run just under $100 from Fao Schwarz.  So tempting…

The Muppet Whatnot Workshop at Fao Schwarz

Are you going to see the new Muppet movie tonight?

Kermit the Frog Magnetic Bookmark

I just finished booking a family trip to Disneyland for the fall, so I’m definitely in a Disney mood.  With that and the new Muppet movie coming out this week, it seemed like the perfect time to create a craft around my favorite little frog:  Kermit.

Kermit the Frog Magnetic Bookmark - Crafty Staci

This bookmark is made from cardstock and has magnets on the inside so it can hold your place in any book.  For the full instructions and pattern, come visit me over at Undercover Tourist!

Disney Princess Printable Valentine Cards

It’s been several years since my kids were the age to hand out Valentines to all their friends at school.  I actually remember when it ended.  I was sad I’d lost the excuse to go pick out cute, themed little cards.  Yeah, I could say it was about the kids, but lets be honest – it was fun for me too.  And here’s the proof I never really got over it .

Disney Princess Printable Valentine Cards - Crafty Staci 1

Now, at first glance you may be asking yourself what these are.  It started with Disney princess skirts.  Does that help?  And just in case you’re a little stumped on the who’s-who:

Disney Princess Printable Valentine Cards - Crafty Staci 2

These are simply print, cut and fold, but I glued on a few embellishments and liked those too.

Disney Princess Valentine Cards by Crafty Staci 5

You can find the printable to download and more tips on how I made these over at Undercover Tourist today!

Friday Favorites–Super Bowl

I have a confession to make.  I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.  We usually play board games while the football part is happening.  I’ve been known to choose which team I’m rooting for by the color of their uniforms.  This year, though, I’m going with Seattle.  Not because I know anything about them as a team, but because I like Seattle, the city.  I haven’t visited Denver yet, but I’m sure it’s a great place as well.  I know I just made some of you football fan grit your teeth, so how about some Super Bowl crafts and recipes to make up for it?

Friday Favorites - 10 Super Bowl Crafts and Recipes - Crafty Staci

One of the most important parts of any Super Bowl party is the food.  These Pizza Bites from Somewhat Simple would be a great addition to the buffet.

Pizza Bites from Somewhat Simple

Right up there with the food are the beverages.  This Super Bowl Dessert Cocktail from She Knows is such a great decoration it would almost be a shame to drink it.  Almost.

Super Bowl Dessert Cocktail from She Knows

To protect your furniture and make those drinks look even better, whip up these Burlap Football Coasters from Snap.

Football Coasters from Snap

If you have little ones who might have an even shorter attention span for football than I do, let them play along with these Football Player Peg Dolls from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy.

Football Peg Dolls from Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

I love pickles, so I think this Dill Pickle Dip from Foodie with Family would be a perfect Super Bowl addition.  In fact, if you use low fat or fat free cream cheese, it’s also a pretty healthy one.  Don’t tell anyone.

Dill Pickle Dip from Foodie with Family

Thanks to the chalk-on-green on this Football Field Serving Tray from 504 Main, it could transition right into St. Patrick’s Day after the big game.

DIY Football Field Tray from 504 Main

You’ve got to have some sweets, so my vote is for these Football Macarons from Creative Juice.  They taste like Snickers.  Mmmmm.

Football Macarons from Creative Juice

There are plenty of snacks and utensils that need to be stored on Super Bowl Sunday, so you’ll need a few of these Football and Field Party Cans from Mom on Timeout.

Football and Field Party Cans from Mom on Timeout

Show your team spirit with these Sports Jersey Beverage Holders from Positively Splendid.

I seriously want a pair of these Kids Fan Fingers from Every Day is a Crafting Day.  I guess I’ll have to find out what color Seattle wears.

Fan Fingers from Every Day is a Crafting Day

Good luck to your favorite team (or your favorite commercials)!

Friday Favorites–DIY Gifts for Kids

As I’ve mentioned before, technically I have no kids left in my house.  If I keep saying it over and over again, eventually I might believe it.  Now that my last one turned 18, there’s nothing but adults around here, but I still enjoy browsing fun kid projects.  The day will come again when I get to make things for little ones, but by then I’ll have so many ideas saved up that I’ll never be able to finish them all.  Crafter problems, right?

Friday Favorites - 10 DIY Gifts for Kids - Crafty Staci

This set of Old MacDonald Puppets from Just Another Day in Paradise is adorable, and if you look at each individually they look like they’re pretty easy to make.

Old MacDonald Puppets from Just Another Day in Paradise

A Lego Puzzle Book like this one from Kids Activities Blog would be a great gift for a variety of ages, just vary the difficulty based on the recipient.  I want one.

Lego Puzzle Book by Kids Activities Blog

There are all kinds out outfits and accessories to make for dolls, but this Mermaid Tail from Lil Blue Boo is something I’ve never seen before. 

Mermaid Tail for a Doll by Lil Blue Boo

If you have a future chef on your shopping list, this Apron and Chef Hat from Making it Fun is a perfect gift.  Imagine all the fabric combining possibilities.

Kids' Apron and Chef Hat from Making It Fun

What kid wouldn’t love this Magnetic Me Doll from Creative Juice?  For even more fun, add in some friends and family member dolls.

Magnetic Me Doll from Get Creative Juice

Shopping is boring, especially when you’re small and cart-bound.  Liven things up with this Kids Shopping Book from She Wears Flowers.

Kids' Shopping Book by She Wears Flowers

To really get a feel for how cute and tiny The Penny Coat from Shwin and Shwin is, click through to see it on a little bitty person.

The Penny Coat from Shwin and Shwin

I love the idea of this memory game from The Purl Bee.  All you need are a bunch of fabric scraps.  Not exactly hard to come by.  I could make about a million of these.

Memory Game from The Purl Bee

All the kids on your list might not be small, but there are some great ideas out there for the older crowd too, like these Bias Tape Shoelaces from Clothworks.

Bias Tape Shoelaces from Clothworks

This Acoustic Guitar Bag from Bored and Crafty would work all the way up into the teens and even beyond.

DIY Acoustic Guitar Bag from Bored and Crafty

If none of these work for you, there’s always the classic pajama bottoms – for every age, gender, color preference and climate.  Just ask my not-kid kids.

Friday Favorites–Halloween Costumes

One of these years, I’m either going to host a Halloween party or find one to attend, just so I can wear a costume.  I’ve had an excuse to dress up exactly twice in all the years I’ve been married and I’m feeling way overdue.  I’m not sure what kind of costume it will be, but it will definitely involve a cape.  I mean seriously, how many excuses do you get in life to wear a cape?

Halloween Costumes

If you have any doubts about the awesomeness of a cape, check out this Little Red Riding Hood Tutu Costume from TrinitysTutus on Etsy.

TrinitysTutus on Etsy

I just watched my first-ever episode of Dr. Who a couple of weeks ago.  How have I been missing this?  I don’t even know where to begin to catch up, but I’ll be figuring it out.  I can’t believe I didn’t understand the importance of this Tardis Costume from Southern Fried Northern Chic.

Southern Fried Northern Chic

One of those two costumes I mentioned I’ve worn was a witch, but my cape wasn’t nearly as fancy as this No-Sew Halloween Spiderweb Cape from Delia Creates.

Delia Creates

This Giggly-Wiggly Octopus Costume shown on Costume Works is so cute, easy to make, and shouldn’t cost much.  Perfect!

Costume Works

I love a Halloween costume that can be used for something after the holiday is over.  These Princess Play Aprons from Gluesticks certainly fit the bill.

Gluesticks

While we’re on the subject, check out these Princess Peasant Dresses from UCreate.  For extra fun, watch the video in the post.  I’ve watched it three times and can’t stop laughing.

UCreate

This couples costume made to look like stick people from Team Ibrahim is funny, but that little stick baby just takes it up a notch.

Team Ibrahim

This great Airplane Costume from Oh Happy Day is actually much easier than it looks, but you’ve got to find the hat and goggles.

Oh Happy Day

There’s something I really love about the feathers on this Peacock Tutu from The Train to Crazy.

The Train to Crazy

Since we’ve already gone to the birds (wha-wha), I’ll show you this cute-but-easy Last Minute Kids Owl Costume from Alpha Mom.

Alpha Mom

When is the last time you dressed up for Halloween?

Friday Favorites–Going to the Movies

I love a good movie.  My favorites are usually science fiction and fantasy, although I’m game for just about anything.  The thing is, I like to watch them in my house, preferably in my pajamas, under my heated blanket, with a snack I didn’t pay more for than I spent on my last car payment.  That way I also don’t have to sit next to someone texting, in front of Mr. Kicky McKicksalot or behind way-too-little kids at an R rated movie.  I don’t know when I became such a cranky theater goer.

Friday Favorites Movie Crafts - Crafty Staci

One of my all-time favorites is The Princess Bride.  I’ve seen it more times than I can count and never get tired of it.  I’d love to have this As You Wish Teaspoon from Zibbet seller BellaJacksonStudios to stir my coffee in the morning.

BellaJacksonStudios on Zibbet

I hate to admit this, but I’ve never seen the last Lord of the Rings movie.  I waited too long after I saw the first two to remember what was going on, so I need to watch all three.  That is a marathon I just haven’t had the time to pull off.  Someday.  In the meantime, I could probably squeeze in this block of the month from Fandom in Stitches, appropriately named The Precious.

Fandom in Stitches

When my kids were younger, we would read The Polar Express at least once every year.  I could never get to the end without choking up.  Then they made the movie and it has the same effect on me.  If you really want to mess with me, make me this Believe Ornament from Crafts Re-designed, then take out the little thing inside that makes it ring.  I guarantee I’ll cry like a baby.

Crafts Redesigned

Because of his loud, Sasquatch-esque performance in the Star Wars movies, “cute” and “Chewbacca” don’t tend to go in the same sentence.  Thanks to this Cuddly Chewbacca from Draw Pilgrim, that’s all about to change.

Draw Pilgrim

I’ve talked about my history with Harry Potter before.  After reading all of the books aloud to the kids, watching the movies had to happen.  I thought they did a good job sticking to the established story line and I actually liked how the movies darkened along with the books.  I should make this Harry Potter Chess Set from carrielynneh on Instructables for those times I get nostalgic.

Instructables carrielynneh

This is probably no surprise, thanks to the number of Disney-related crafts I’ve shared with you, but I’m a big fan of Disney movies.  One of my more recent favorites is Tangled, so this Rapunzel Hair from Made by Jen caught my attention.

Made by Jen

I didn’t think I was going to like Despicable Me.  I don’t know why, it just looked weird.  Turns out it was pretty cute.  And tell me we all don’t need our own minions?  Now you can make a few with this Make a Minion tutorial from MollyMoo.

MollyMoo

I read the first Hunger Games book before I saw the movie, so I feel like I need to get started on the second before its movie is out.  Of course, that’s the beauty of watching from home, I have to wait a little longer anyway.  That gives me plenty of time to make this Hunger Games Bracelet from Hunger Games Crafts.  I love the mini books.

Hunger Games DWTC

When I was a kid, there was no streaming movies, or even DVDs.  We didn’t even get VHS until I was nearly in middle school.  I lived too far out in the country for cable.  So, if you wanted to see a movie, you either went to the drive-in, the theater or waited for it to make it to television.  There were a few that popped up at the same time every year, like the Thanksgiving season showing of The Wizard of Oz.  This Somewhere Over the Button Rainbow from Lines Across reminds me of a time when patience was not optional.

Lines Across

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I’m a superhero movie junkie.  Give me a Thor, Batman or Captain America any day.  I’m hoping eventually someone gives Wonder Woman her moment.  Rather than having to choose, I can show my love for a bunch of them at once with this Avengers T-Shirt from Doodlecraft.

Doodle Craft

What’s the last movie you watched?

Friday Favorites–It’s Not a Party Until the Police Show Up

I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a police lieutenant.  We live the life of a law enforcement family, which means:

  • You celebrate holidays and birthdays when you can, not necessarily when the calendar says you should.
  • You don’t get too comfortable when you go out to dinner and he’s on the SWAT team because you might not even make it to ordering, much less eating.
  • You might as well get used to killing spiders and managing catastrophes on your own, because odds are it’s going to happen while he’s on duty.
  • You find bullets in the laundry.
  • Your kids have played bad guys and victims for training scenarios.
  • Date night is a ride-along.
  • Your Christmas village has more cops than civilians.
  • Between the duty belt and ballistic vest, saying goodbye is like hugging a robot.
  • Teachers and other parents at your kid’s school are surprised to find out you’re not a single mom.
  • If your husband isn’t home after his shift is supposed to be over, you turn on the news to find out where he is.

Every single one of those has happened to me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love our life, and I couldn’t be more proud of my husband and the work he does.  My son plans to follow in his footsteps and my daughter is marrying a firefighter, so we’re all in. 

I would have put this Crochet Cop Hat from Etsy seller ktandthesquid on my son every day when he was a baby.  So cute!

ktandthesquid

When he was little, my boy went through a Superman phase.  For his birthday, we bought him a Superman action figure, along with one of the villains.  He was upset because he didn’t want a bad guy, but I tried to explain that without bad guys, the good guys don’t have anything to do.  This Bank Robber Money Bag from Craftapple might make it a little more fun for the kid who has to take a turn being the bad guy in cops and robbers.

Craftapple

This Police Birthday Party from Crack of Dawn Crafts is full of fun ideas, but my favorite is the badge, notebook, etc. the kids were given upon arrival.

Crack of Dawn Crafts

My poor future grandkids might get a few more police items from me than their parents might like, but just look at this Police Officer Baby Bib from Etsy seller CarolynsClassics!

CarolynsClassics

This Pin the Badge on the Lego Police Officer from Stockpiling Moms would be great for a police party or a Lego party.

Stockpiling Moms

This Easy DIY Police Hat from Darien Dot Mom would be perfect for a party or as the start of a Halloween costume.

Darien Dot Mom

This police car shirt from Made it on Monday is adorable and would be pretty easy to make.

Made it on Monday

I want this Police Bunting from Etsy seller Maycasews for my police Christmas tree.

Maycasews

This Superhero/Police Party from Hostess with the Mostess…just, wow.

Hostess with the Mostess

When my husband was a new police officer, I remember walking into the department and seeing a tall wall full of patches from places all over the U.S. and the rest of the world.  When they moved into their new P.D. last year, my hubby painstakingly transferred each of those patches into a floating frame and they’re displayed throughout the building.  Those patches are important.  This Police Patch Quilt from Quilting and Life is another great idea to show off a collection.

Quilting and Life

Just to show I can be somewhat impartial, next week look for some firefighter crafts in my Friday Favorites!

Yoda Purse

I don’t make many crafts for little girls, because I don’t have any mini models readily available. But when Undercover Tourist asked me to make something to celebrate Star Wars Weekends at Disney World, I knew two things:  it was going to involve Yoda and it was going to be for a girl. 

I grew up with Star Wars.  Back before all that Jar-Jar nonsense, everyone wanted to be Princess Leia, marry Han Solo and have Luke Skywalker as a brother.  But my absolute favorite character was always Yoda.  There’s just something about that little green guy.  “Do or do not.  There is no try.” Words to live by.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 1

To make Master Yoda, you’ll need:

  • one black felt scrap
  • one white felt scrap
  • one green felt 9 x 12” rectangle
  • 3/8 – 1/2” wide grosgrain ribbon, 60 inches or less
  • black embroidery floss
  • you may also want green and white floss or thread if you’re sewing your bag
  • this Yoda Bag pattern

I chose to sew my bag together, but you also have the option of using craft or hot glue. Everywhere it mentions sewing, just run a bead of glue instead. Just be sure to let it dry or cool completely between each step. This small bag is not meant for large or heavy items, especially if you use glue.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 2

To cut the purse shape, fold the green felt in half and place the bottom edge of the pattern on the fold.  Cut four eyelids and two ears from the green as well.  From the white felt, cut two eye whites.  Cut two eye centers from the black.  Decide where you’d like the bag to hang on your body or the body you’re making it for, measure the ribbon to that length and add 6 inches.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 3

Place the eye whites on the front of the bag as indicated on the pattern.  Sew in place.  I used white thread and hand-sewed.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 4

Place the black eye center in the appropriate place over the white and stitch.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 5

Slightly overlap the eye with the top and bottom eyelids.  Stitch in place.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 6

Stitch a mouth using the black embroidery floss.  If you’re gluing your bag, you could carefully draw the mouth on with a black Sharpie to keep this a true no-sew project.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 7

To form the ears, fold at the line shown on the pattern.  Use a few stitches or a bit of glue to hold the fold in place.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 8

Turn the upper edge of the bag to the inside 1” on both the front and back.  Stitch near the edge of the felt.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 9

Lay the bag out with the face closest to you and the inside up.  Pin the ribbon next to the edge of the back on the right and left, extended down 3”.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 10

Place the ears as indicated on the pattern, on top of the ribbon and sticking out on each side. Make sure the edge of each ear extends about 1/2” into the bag.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 11

Fold the front of the bag up over the top of the ribbon and ears.  The top edges should be even. 

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 12

Stitch 3/8” from the edge, then again just over 1/8” from the edge.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 12.5

Because I have no little girls, this bag is hanging in my sewing room.  I’m seriously considering using it myself when we go to Disneyland next summer.  According to Yoda “Size matters not.”  Well, I think in Disneyland, age matters not.  Right?

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 13