Sunday, November 6, 2011

More Homemade Cookie Cutters

So, I was cleaning up my craft room after making my homemade 
cookie cutter I posted about previously and had a lot of the
aluminum pan I used left over.

 I didn't want to throw it away so I bit the bullet and decided to make 
as many cutters as I could from what was left of the pan.

My niece is expecting her first baby around Thanksgiving so
I made some cutters the shapes of baby items.

Now, I know you can buy cutters in shapes like these but
I was able to choose my own graphics and customize
the cutters to what I wanted rather than what you
get in the standard package of baby shapes.

I was also able to make them the exact size I wanted too.
The bottle cutter is 2.5 inches wide at the bottom and
a whopping 4.75 inches tall!

I made the bottle cutter a little bigger than the other
ones as I wanted to be able to have a nice
big surface to write the baby's name and birth
information on.

The more cookie cutters I made, the faster I got at it! 
I must also confess that making these has become a little addicting!

It's quite fun to watch the cutters taking shape and trying to find items 
to shape the aluminum around to get the proper curves, etc.

Here are a few more pictures of the individual cutters I made.
(The bib cutter is  turned upside down so you see the wrapped edge of the aluminum.)

The thing is, I still have a lot of aluminum left!
All these cutters and the tutu I made previously came from just
the bottom portion of the pan.  I still have all four of the sides left!

If you would like to see a step by step tutorial on how to make these
homemade cookie cutters yourself, leave me a comment saying so.
I'm not sure anyone even knows my blog exists so I won't waste
my time if I don't get any responses.

Oh, and one more thing!
I was so wrong when I said that it would be expensive to make these.
I was assuming that I was only going to make one cutter out of the pan but, as you
can see, I have made 5 so far and still have enough aluminum left to make
at least 4 or 5 more!

The pan I bought cost me $2.19 (I did spot the same pan elsewhere for $2.00)
and lets assume I get 9-10 homemade cutters out of that one pan,
that is only .21 to .24 cents per cutter!
You don't need to buy any other supplies as the aluminum can be cut easily
with ordinary house scissors (I wouldn't use your good ones).

Has anyone else made their own cookie cutters?
Maybe you have a tip or two you could share!
What worked for you and what didn't?
Would love to hear what you have to say!

Until next time, 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homemade Cookie Cutter

I was hooked the minute I saw royal icing cookies I found while blog hopping.
As if I don't have enough hobbies already, now I'm going to add cookie decorating?

Bake at 350 and Sweetopia are two of the sites I adore for instruction and inspiration.
Those are some talented ladies!
They make the most beautiful cookie creations. 

Well, long story short, I got busy and made some of my own.
I purchased the basics (piping tips and bags and some Halloween
cookie cutters) and this is what I ended up with.

Although I have a long way to go before my cookies
look like the ones at Bake at 350 or Sweetopia,
I didn't think they turned out to bad.

I felt like baking today but the only cutters I had were of
the Halloween variety.
No appropriate cutters, itching to bake, what's a woman to do?
Well, if your like me, you make your own!

I had recently seen a post where someone had made cookie cutters and
although I read it, I didn't bookmark it.  I searched but, for the life
of me I couldn't find it anywhere in blogland.

I knew the post said they used aluminum flashing from the 
home improvement store but that was about all I could remember.

I had looked through DH's workshop but couldn't find any flashing.
As he was at work and I was itching to go, I looked around and
found I had some of those disposable aluminum pans on hand.

I printed out a picture of a long tutu that I wanted to use as a template
and went to work on the aluminum pan.
I cut it up, pounded all the little indents out with a rubber hammer, 
folded, twisted, bent, crimped and cursed.
(Don't underestimate the power of a few choice words! I think I ended up
scaring the aluminum into submission!)

After about 30 minutes, this was my finished product.
(The "cutter" side if facing up in this picture.) 

You can see the lip of aluminum I folded over so 
that it wouldn't cut my hand when I pushed on it.

Is it perfect? No. 
Does it work?  Well, you tell me!
Take a look....

Pretty little tutu cookies waiting to be dressed with icing!
I found that the slight imperfections in my cutter (wavy edges)
were almost nonexistent after the cookies were baked. 

Am I going to make all my cookie cutters?  No sirree, Bob.
Getting both sides to be symmetrical was not an easy task. 

Cutters are so inexpensive (well, at least the ones I will be buying)
that it doesn't make sense to make all your own cutters as
the aluminum pans aren't cheap themselves.
If I need a cutter I can't find out locally or need a special
design that isn't available already, I will certainly give it another go.

Until next time, 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dress Form Pin Cushion

Isn't this just too cute?
I came across the instruction for this dress form pin cushion
and just had to make on for myself.

I had the whole pin cushion made in under an hour.
That included the time it took to download the pattern and cut it out.

The base is a candlestick holder from the dollar store.

The instructions called to put a mini Christmas ornament in the
opening at the top but I didn't have any of those (come on it's
October for crying out loud) so I improvised.

I used a thimble to finished it off!
I didn't glue it on so that I would still be able to use it if needed.

I added some lace trim at the bottom to soften the hard line
of the form.

The instructions also included directions to make a fabric flower
to place on the shoulder/chest area but I must be a rebel and
decided to use something I already had made up.
Paper flowers that I had made for card making!
This picture shows the truest colors of my material.
It is very soft and muted.
I had a heck of a time taking the pictures today as it has
been raining all day and it is very dark.

Of course, one flower is never enough so I just kept adding more.

 I made these flowers with quilting pins for bases.
Each flower is an individual pin that can be removed and rearranged or 
taken off completely if I decide I want a different look to
the dress form.

The dress form and flowers look so much better in person.
I just couldn't get the colors correct in my photo software
when I tried to brighten them up.

Should you want to make one of your own, check out
The DIY Dish.

The girls have a fantastic video tutorial along with the downloadable
pattern and instructions.
Here is the direct link:

Until next time, 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Like I need a new hobby!

Many years ago, I bought a couple needle tatting books and needles.
When I say many, I mean like 11-15 years.
Well, I read the books and practiced a little but put the
supplies away and never looked at them again until about
3 days ago.

Don't know what I saw that reminded me I had those supplies
put away but I dug them out and thought of all the pretty
trim I could be tatting for some of the clothing
I have been making for my nieces.

I sat down and got to work on a lace collar edging.
(You can just go ahead and ignore that pilled up blanket!)

It amazes me what you can make with just a needle and thread!
Ain't it purdy?

Now it's not perfect by any means but, I think for my very
first tatting project, it's not too bad.

This is the finished product.

It took me two days to finish this piece.

I still need to read up on how to starch it or iron it or whatever
it is I need to do to make it all nice and crisp.

I am going to put this on a top I already have planned out to make but
I would also like to make the girls holiday dresses that incorporate
some tatting.  
Let's see what I can come up with!

Until next time, 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Peasant Top

I've have admired all the peasant tops I have seen on other's blogs and 
thought it was high time I made on myself.  

I wanted a top to match the orange pants
I blogged about a week or so ago.

This was the only fabric I had on hand that matched
the pants material perfectly.

I wanted to make the top with long sleeves but
unfortunately only had enough fabric to
make this length sleeve.

Still need to hem the pants but, pair this up with
a white turtleneck and a pair of black mary jane's
and I think it will look cute on
one of the girls!

Until next time, 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Try try again!

If at first you don't succeed...

Well, those EZ Pattern pants I blogged about yesterday were not
going to get the best of me.

First thing this morning I was back in the sewing room to make my own
pattern for some pants.  

I cut my fabric to the same dimensions as called for in the EZ Pattern
instructions but winged it from there.

Here are the results of my first trial.
(unironed and unhemmed)

I had bought a bolt of this orange fabric when Walmart 
was closing it's fabric department at our local store.
I'm not sure what I thought I would use it for but it
is great material to make muslins out of.

I think they may be to roomy in the seat/crotch area but I will wait
until I try them on my niece (who is still in diapers) before I
make any alterations to my pattern.

 Now I am off to the lake.
We have a park model trailer there that needs winterizing.
I always dread doing this task as it reminds me that
winter is knocking at the door.

DH will be joining me on Saturday to put the antifreeze in the
water lines. The park I have the trailer in will be installing
new sewer lines during the off season so there are
preparations that need to be done to our lot ahead of time.
I will take care of those during the days and enjoying some
nice campfires at night.

One last summer hurrah at the lake before the
sun sets on this season.
These swans have been at our area of the lake for several years.
I love returning in the spring and seeing their new ducklings.

Until next time, 

EZ Patterns Pants

I purchased the "EZ Patterns" complete set back in 2007 off E-bay 
when you could instantly download patterns off the site.

I had only made a jumper from the pattern set and forgot about
them until I was looking to sew a pair of pants for the
Halloween top I had made my 2 year old niece.

Since it had been a while since my last project with these
patterns, I thought I would document the process as I went along
and give my review of the e-pattern.

I am making a size 2 pair of pants.

Here goes:
(Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

The pattern, if that is what you want to call it, consisted of well written
instructions and a crotch template that you print out.

The instructions tell you to cut two pieces of material 
19.5 x 21.75 inches for the size 2.

Then you fold that rectangle in half, long edges together.

Take the crotch template and place it along the long cut
edges and the top of your rectangle, like so.
Note: I turned my rectangle of fabric so that it was
easier to work with.

Then cut around the template.
When finished, this is what it looked like.

Next you will do the same steps for the other rectangle of fabric.

When done, you unfold the pieces and place them 
right sides together and pin, like pictured below.

This pattern called for 1/2 inch seam allowances.
I sewed the two pinned areas together as directed.

The pattern said to sew reinforcement stitches along
the curved crotch area and then clip to 1/8 inch.
I chose to clip my entire seam to 1/4 inch and overcast
the entire length on my sewing machine.

After this the instructions said to open out the pant legs and sew from the bottom 
of one leg, up and around the crotch and down the other leg. Again, I trimmed 
the seam and overcast it although the instructions did not say to do so.

The casing for the elastic waist was next.
I folded up and pressed 1/4 inch. When finished, I folded up another
3/4 inch and stitched close to the folded edge. I left about  1 1/2 inches unstitched
so that I could insert the elastic.   

At this point I clipped a safety pin to the end
of the elastic and threaded it through the casing.  I overlapped the ends
by 1/2 an inch and stitched them together.

To finish off the waist, I stitched the opening that I  used to insert the elastic closed.

To finish up, I hemmed the pants, first folding under 1/4 inch on each leg and pressing with the iron.
Then I  folded up another 1/2 inch, pressed and  
stitched close to the folded, pressed edge.
That completed the pants!

As you can tell from the picture above, the legs on these pants are enormous!
They are as big around as the waist is.

All in all, I would say that the instructions to the EZ Patterns pants
 were very well written but the finished product just doesn't cut it.  
Maybe if you were looking for the boutique style wide legs
 they would work but I still think they are huge for that style also. 

I didn't want to trash pile them after all that work so I decided to add a full
ruffle to the bottom of the legs.  My hope was to make them look like boutique pants.
(You know this is going to end badly, don't you!?  Just admit it!)

I didn't want a lot of bulk around the legs so I decided one ruffle would do.
I wanted to incorporate the lime green and orange from the top so I banded
the main fabric with those colors.

First I cut two strips of the main fabric and two strips of orange at 4 inches.
I cut the length of the strip at 19 inches which was double the circumference of 
the pant legs plus 1/2 inch seam allowances.
For the lime green I used the same bias tape I used in the top.

I folded the orange fabric in half (one on the left) and pressed.
I then folded each edge to the inside center fold and pressed again.
This created a band that was 1 inch wide.

Stitched the lime green bias tape on the top edge of my main fabric 
and the orange binding at the bottom edge.
I then sewed the short ends together with a 1/2 inch seam.

As I had already sewn the seams of the pants shut and overcast them, 
I had to come up with another way to attach the ruffles. 

What I did was take elastic and cut it to the circumference of the pant leg 
and sewed it into a circle. I divided the elastic and fabric strip into 
fourths and pinned them together at the marks.

Lining up the elastic band 1 inch beneath the lime green bias tape,
I zigzag stitched the the elastic to the fabric while pulling it taught to fit the 
circumference of the fabric. I didn't want to stitch the elasticized ruffle to 
the pants itself (in case I didn't like them on there) 
so I used 8 safety pins to temporarily hold it in place. 

This was the finished result!
Enormous pant legs with clown like ruffles!

I will remove the ruffle and these can be play pants for around the house
 or maybe even pajama bottoms!
I will rework these pants to see if I can taper
the legs in to a decent size. I do like the roominess in the
seat area though as my niece is still in diapers.

Well, back to the sewing room!

Until next time,