Kitschmas Craft – A New Mouse Ornament!

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There is so much fabulous felty goodness in this sweet magazine, but by far the best seems to be the mice ornaments.  Ever since I posted about them last year I’ve been swamped with requests from people wanting a copy of the pattern.  They all remember them from their childhood and want to recreate them.  And I totally get it!  They are sweet as darn pie.  My plan was to make one each year.  Last year I made the elf mouse, and this year I made the mouse in a stocking.

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Aren’t they cute??  You can read more about this project over at No Pattern Required.

I’ve got a couple more ornament crafts to show you in the coming days as well as a new crewel kit reveal!  Yay!!  So stay tuned, friends.

The Halloween Costume

It’s that time of year again… when your old pal Betty’s head begins to build up pressure at an alarming rate with a ridiculous queue of crafty goals for the holidays, until it inevitably explodes in a shower of bakelite buttons, miniature fawns, and knee hugging elves.  Of course, this year is no exception.  The holiday season craft extravaganza kick off, as always, is Little Betty’s Halloween costume.

Let’s review, shall we?

Little Betty’s first Halloween costume was the only one I didn’t make.  I found this totally adorbs ladybug costume and couldn’t pass it up.  Cute, no?

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The next year, however, it was on.  I wanted to capitalize on the very rare couple of years where I got to pick her costume entirely.  What would be super cute that she would never allow me to dress her as when she can express an opinion?  Why, a tiny lady gnome of course!

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Here she is with her little bestie.  I made the hat and the dress.  I am 1000% in love with the vintage fabric I used for the apron.

The following year I found such a precious 1950s pattern for a cowgirl outfit that I couldn’t resist.

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And now I can tell you from experience that sewing a tiny pearl snap western shirt is no laughing matter.  But the end result was so worth it!  I used the most incredible pink western print barkcloth for the yoke and cuffs.

Last year was the first year Little Betty decided what she wanted to be.  I was bracing for the inevitable princess, but thank Jeebus she decided she wanted to be a purple unicorn. 1980′s vintage pattern to the rescue!

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But this year I was not so lucky.  As you may remember from my last post, Little Betty wanted to be Rosie Bumps N Bruises from Lalaloopsy.  Hey, at least I dodged the princess bullet for another year, right?

This:

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Plus this:

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Equals this!

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And here she is with her little bestie again:

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Photo credit Jennifer M. Ramos

 

The resulting little dress is so great that I kinda want her to wear it all the time.  I love the little vintage buttons I used for the back:

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I used a pink and white seersucker and it really is just the cutest thing ever.  Of course, Little Betty much preferred the cheap satin costume that came with the wig and I had to do some serious negotiating to get her to wear the one I made.  The mister had to gently remind me that she is 4 and not purposely trying to wound me to my very core.

And now on to Kitschmas crafts!  My head is swimming, y’all.  I have a LOT of crafty endeavors lined up…

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

I know it’s been pretty quiet around the old blog lately, but things have been nuts at Casa Crafter!   Sadly the vintage store I had been renting space in is closing, so I decided with Little Betty heading off to preschool this year that it was time for me to go back to school too.  I am now once again a Special Education teacher!  So, I have been up to my eyeballs with trainings, getting my classroom ready, and adjusting to my radically different lifestyle, which is why I haven’t been blogging.  But that doesn’t mean my crafty mojo has petered out!  I’ve actually been quite busy.

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I’ve been working on what is maybe the most adorable sweater ever for Little Betty.

I’ve also been planning out her Halloween costume.  She wants to be Rosy Bumps N Bruises from Lalaloopsy:

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Now just because Little Betty wants to be a mass market character does not mean that your old pal Betty is going to forget about her vow to always make Little Betty’s Halloween costume, of course.  (Although I will probably buy a wig – don’t judge.)  Anyhoo – I think I’ve found a pattern that will serve as a basis quite nicely!

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All I’ll need to add is a crinoline, apron and nurse’s hat to view one and I should have a pretty adorable costume for my little lady!  I’m actually pretty excited about it!

I’ve been plotting away on Christmas presents to make, too.  I will tell you that I want to venture into new territory and I’m not at all sure I can pull it off, but I promise to keep you updated, good or bad.

Margot

I haven’t talked too much about making dolls here on the old blog, but I really enjoy it!  Especially the dolls in the most excellent book Wee Wonderfuls – 24 Dolls To Sew And Love.  Each pattern in the book is one I’d love to make, and I have made 6 of the patterns so far, and two of them twice now!  I’d like to show you one of those today, the pattern Margot, which I absolutely adore.

Margot is a “topsy turvy” doll, which means you flip her skirt to reveal a new doll underneath.  When I was little I had one that was Little Red Riding Hood on one side and the wolf on the other.  Margot is 2 versions of the same doll – one dressed up and one dressed down.  I made Little Betty one a couple of years ago.  Please keep in mind that she has been well loved for a couple of years now and has gotten a bit worn!

Here is the dressed up version:

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Isn’t she precious??  I of course used sumptuous heavy vintage fabrics.  Dolls and doll clothes are wonderful applications for vintage fabrics because you can use those small scraps you can’t bear to let go of.

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The facial features are so simply embroidered.  I love them.   It is truly a beautiful pattern.  I used muslin for the body of the doll – I like how the flecks sort of look like freckles.

Here is the dressed down side:

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Well my darling niece recently enjoyed her 1st birthday and I thought her very own Margot would be a great way to mark the big day!  It’s a good doll for small children because there are no buttons or doll eyes or anything that cold be choking hazards.  This is the case with most of the patterns in the book.

Here is my niece’s dressed up Margot:

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I didn’t use vintage fabrics on this one because I thought these would be more her style.  They are still heavy canvas and corduroy, though.  I think the weight works well for the skirt-flipping feature.

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I really love the oversized bow I did on this one – I think it makes her look very 1930s!  I forgot to add the rosy cheeks to this one; however, I still think it looks ok.  I initially tried to use a heavier canvas for the body but after 2 evenings of sweating and cursing trying to embroider the hair I pitched it and started over with muslin.  It was dang near impossible to get the doll needle through with the yarn!

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And here is her dressed down side!  I like the longer braids on this one vs Little Betty’s version, although they peek out of the bottom of the skirt a bit when the dressed up version is out.

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Since the apron fabric was a bit plain I decided to embroider my niece’s initial on it, and I’m glad I did!  It adds a bit of personalization and jazzes it up just a tad.

If you enjoy this sort of thing and need a gift for a little one, definitely check this book out!  There are so many great patterns.

I sewed a dress! It isn’t awesome.

I’ve been hankerin’ for some cute sundresses this summer, but not the tight waisted 50s dresses my closet is full of.  I’ve been wanting 70s and 80s breezy, colorful sundresses.  I have a few now and I’ve been wearing them out!  I’ve had this pattern in my stash for quite some time and finally decided I’d give it a whirl:

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I decided to try it with a cute ikat fabric.  The fabric I chose worked out great – it has a wonderful drape and is light without being sheer.

The dress is not what I would deem a total success, however.  First of all, why can’t my finished products ever look like the cartoon models on the envelope??  I like it much better when they have photos of real people wearing the project, but vintage patterns never do.  Anyhoo, mine turned out WAY too big and baggy – not at all flattering like it is in the picture, of course.  I took the bodice in an inch and a half on each side and that helped a lot.  Still, it’s not something I’ll wear if I’m trying to look nice.  I think it makes me look heavier than I am.  Ok, enough stalling – here it is.

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The bows on the shoulders look and feel a bit bulky for my taste as well.  But it sure is comfy!  It will be great for errands or gardening or loafing.

Next up – I need to take a class on how to custom fit patterns to your own body so I stop investing so much time in clothes that don’t fit right!

Scenes of Summer at Casa Crafter

Ah, the lazy, hazy days of summer.  We’ve been soaking up all the sun and free time with glee around here.

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I’ve even been doing some baby crafting!  I knitted up these cute mary jane booties for a grand niece who will be arriving soon:

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And I’ve been sewing up a sweet doll for my dear tiny niece’s first birthday present:

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We’ve been enjoying the many gifts the backyard is providing:

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…even if that means fighting off a persistently broody hen!

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We also set up shop at our very first antique fair.  It was a lot of fun meeting both the other dealers and the shoppers.  Plus it was pretty profitable!

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We also welcomed a new member to the family!  Meet the incredibly adorable Millie:

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Did your eyeballs explode from the cute??  Even though we are all shredded to bits from her tiny razor-sharp kitten claws, everyone in the houes adores her.

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We plan on wringing every last drop of enjoyment we can out of this summer.  What are you doing to enjoy the summer?

The year of the purple unicorn

It’s that time of year again – when moms like me agonize for months over an idea for a Halloween costume and then slave away for weeks on it all to culminate in 2 hours of a sugar induced frenzy.  This year marked a new era for us at Casa Crafter – it was the first year Little Betty decided on her own what she wanted to be.  I was so nervous, all the while begging internally “Please not a princess, PLEASE not a princess!”  And so I was moderately relieved when she declared she wanted to be a purple unicorn.  And since I am nothing if not an accommodating mommy, I produced this for her:

I used Butterick 3899, size 3.  I definitely could have gone down a size.  It was an easy to read and follow pattern and I had no issues with it.  I used a short pile silky faux-fur with satin lining.  It was not too hot for a Texas Halloween as I feared it might be – maybe because it was so baggy.  Little Betty got lots of compliments and was very proud of her costume!  I was just happy she didn’t refuse to wear it, always a major concern with a 3 year old!

She had so much fun trick or treating with her besties – they were basically beside themselves with glee, zipping from house to house collecting candy with such zeal it was like they were afraid it might run out.  Afterwards we came home where she was allowed to pig out on her loot while watching The Great Pumpkin.  Certainly a perfect night for a 3 year old.

How did your costumes turn out?