Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas Projects

I learned how to sew back when I was about 11 or 12. We did 4-H for 4 summers when I was little probably between 8-12 yrs old. Our first 2 years were cooking and the last 2 years were sewing/crocheting. I even won lots of ribbons in our fairs. I didn't always love those projects but those summers taught me life long skills that I appreciate now. I can follow instructions from a cookbook or pattern and I KNOW that I can make/cook anything that has directions. I may not be able to whip something up without a recipe or pattern like other people I know (psst...EmmaLee) but as long as I have directions I can figure it out.

I've loved fabric for awhile and there are some really cool designer fabrics out there lately. They are on the more expensive side - about $9 a yard, but worth it for special clothing or projects. I've been eyeing lots of fun projects to do but needed a decent sewing machine. I've had a crappy sewing machine for 10 years that I bought cheaply and haven't used since we moved to London and then back to AZ - so over 7 years.

I grew up on the classic workhorse Bernina 830 and really wish I had that machine. They go on eBay for over $500 and I didn't want to pay that right now. A cute Bernina store in Mesa was having a really good deal on machines so I got a Bernette - the starter series of Berninas and got it for less than 1/2 off. I've been having lots of fun sewing lots of projects lately and it's a really good machine AND easy to use which is key in my book. I had a bit of trouble with the tension at first but finally it's adjusted and has been sewing really well.

I found a tutorial here of how to make baby leg warmers which I guess are all the rage. I thought they were a good idea for Isabelle because I hate taking on and off her tights for diaper changes, she needs to wear something under her dresses now that it's getting cooler, and they protect her knees from chafing while she's crawling.

The first pair I made was from some old socks of mine. They weren't knee highs so they didn't stay up very well. I got some knee highs from Kohl's the other day and here is her first pair. She wore them yesterday with a dress and they were so cute (even Jordan admitted they were cute)! I bought some more socks from Target ($6 for 3 pairs) that are super cute. I can't wait to make them up. They are on the back burner for now as I have lots to get done before Friday. I'm just so excited because the Baby Legs brand are $12-$15 a pair and I can make them for about $2 a pair. They will also be good to grow with Isabelle. Right now they are a little long so she can still wear them next winter.

The pink is the top part of the original socks and then I added a cuff from the bottom portion of the sock.

I saw a pattern for shoes online a few weeks ago and really wanted to make Isabelle shoes but was a bit intimidated. I found a pattern and made these up. I had a few hiccups and the first shoe I made was too small, but I persevered. This pattern is ok, but the heel isn't high enough to my liking and they kept falling off so I think I'm going to buy this pattern and see how these work out. I can't wait to make some Christmas ones.

I'm not quite done, but I made Isabelle a stuffed giraffe for her stocking. The other side is the pattern the same as her shoes. It looks a little dorky, but Isabelle will love chewing on it. I found the tutorial here. This website has inspired me to try lots of things.

Like a stuffed Mr. Potato Head

and a co-worker purchased this apron from me that I am finishing up tonight.

Additional things on my list to make before Christmas:
-Christmas gifts I can't mention here :)
-The stuffed Mr. Potato Head idea I found for Matthew for church (stocking stuffer)
-Quiet book for Matthew - I got the pattern here (stocking stuffer)
-Fabric blocks for Isabelle but w/ribbons sticking out for her to play with (stocking stuffer)
-Stuffed bunny for Isabelle - got the pattern here (Christmas gift)
-The rest of her Baby Legs (stocking stuffer)
-Design christmas cards and get them printed
-Make a Christmas apron/bow/shoes for Isabelle - I found cute fabric at JoAnn's for 1/2 off

I have lots to do and I have assigned myself tasks every night so I'll be busy up until Christmas. I have a few days off before Christmas so that will help if I need to finish things up.

One thing that we are doing this year that I took the idea from my friend Kris is a sock advent calendar. I found poems, songs, activities and we are doing 1 every night. Matthew knows which day it is and can't wait to do that days item. It's been fun and Jordan even said last night that it has been a good idea. I got some socks in the $1 section at Target but most are different sized ones from Old Navy. I'll have to take a picture and post it. I printed out red and green numbers and punched them into circles and stapled them onto the socks and then pinned the socks onto a long piece of ribbon. This is going to be a yearly tradition for sure.

I love Christmas!!


Em said...

GO KARIN! Everything is sooo cute! The shoes are adorable! I wish I had a new sewing machine! (I'm borrowing my Mom's for a few projects). When are we going to play?

Jacob and Natalli said...

those shoes are so cute. I want some in my size.

Jen said...

We were just thinking back to those 4-H days. As much as we sometimes hated it then I am so glad we learned all those things. I will have to post the cute/easy table runner I did.

Heather said...

You go! I'm so proud of our 4-H buddies and the creativity we are producing! 4-H is genius. I thought we did like 3 years of cooking and 3 years of sewing, but I guess that would make it a little longer than it probably was. Good times!

Flwrgirl said...

Maybe we did 2 years of cooking and 3 years of sewing? Didn't we just crochet for 1 whole summer? I had a scwumpy afghan where some rows were tight and some were loose. I'll have to ask my mom.

Briana said...

You are too amazing! I just want half of your talent okay? :)

kris said...