Make, Jane, make!: October 2012


Small Share

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DIY Hallowe'en: The Fit for a Queen Top

I can't believe I finished the kids' costumes early enough this year to make something for myself. It helped that my costume took less than two hours to put together (including drafting!) and I was able to put it together along with DH's crown (the only thing he would consent to wearing) on the morning before our planned pumpkin patch outing. Actually this post took longer to write than the costume construction... although that's partly because we ran out of 8.5 x 11 paper for me to draw the template on [palm-forehead].

I'm going to include a tutorial and my pattern with a few notes:

  • I am about 5'7" and usually a size 10 for dresses and a size L for shirts at Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic.
  • I am wearing a white, v-neck shirt underneath.
  • I used crushed velvet (very stretchy), so I basically cut and sized without any darts or other things that you may need if you choose a fabric with no stretch to it.
  • I didn't put a huge bell bottom on my sleeves for convenience' sake, but if this top had been for an adult masquerade party (i.e. no squirmy babes in arms) then I would definitely have made the sleeves more elaborate.
  • Another modification that would also have worked for the sleeves would be to have fitted forearms/cuffs and a big puffed shoulder/upper arm.
So without further ado....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hallowe'en 2012: Royalty Costume Round-up

This year's jumping off point for Hallowe'en was knights and princes(ses). And after much waiting for better weather and lighting, I finally have some decent pictures of the costumes in action.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

DIY Hallowe'en: Princess of the Autumnal Forests & Bonus Tutorial

I still remember a time when being a princess didn't entail having a specific name, hair colour, dress and prince.  Being a princess simply meant that you dressed beautifully, behaved elegantly, wore a crown and bossed your little brothers around :) Whenever I wanted to be a princess, I just wore my twirliest dress and taped a zig-zaggity piece of paper into a circle around my head. Now with my own brood yearning to recreate ye ol' ladies and knights of yore, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to bring back the old-fashioned princess costume. So here's a super easy princess costume for any little girl whose mommy feels a little nauseated and disturbed by the Disney Princess franchise.

DIY Hallowe'en: The Felt Princess Headband Tutorial

Baby headbands are too cute, aren't they? I used to think they were more or less ornamental, or at the best, they simply served to distinguish a girl baby from a boy baby. However, now I have a baby with fine, sparse hair that is growing long and scraggly, but not growing thick enough to be held back by any hair clip, and I am beginning to understand that hairbands may serve a purpose.

So scratch using a tiara for her Hallowe'en costume because it would not have any hair to be clipped onto. And ditto for the classic circular crown because her crown definitely needs some kind of elastic to keep it anchored on her constantly moving head. The only headgear left is the venerable head/hairband.

This one was particularly easy to pull together because it consists of only three pieces and some fancy cutting.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

DIY Hallowe'en: Knight's Costume/Tunic Tutorial

halloween sword shield tunic helmet

Lucky me! I went to Fabricland and a roll of crushed blue velvet was on sale. None of the other colours or styles were... so I'm not sure if I was the beneficiary of a lucky mistake. In any case, I'll take it because it was so perfect for my little knights' tunics.

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Hallowe'en: Felt and Cardboard Knights' Shields Tutorial

My sons have requested to be a knight and a prince-knight for Hallowe'en this year. You can't have a knight without a sword and a shield. This one is pretty straightforward to make, especially if you've already made the felt sword with the replaceable insert.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

DIY Hallowe'en: Felt and Cardboard Sword Tutorial

The cardboard sword. A staple of every boy's childhood. Easy, cheap, not very durable. Here's my shot at making the cardboard sword a bit more tolerant of the bumps and bruises of childhood fencing.

We've tried heavy corrugated cardboard, thick wrapping paper rolls, doubling up and taping down - but nothing has ever solved the inevitable bending and breaking of our many cardboard swords. So I began thinking about making a sword out of an etsy-staple... felt.

Of course it would still need some kind of reinforcement and thus the felt sword with a replaceable cardboard insert was born. Here's the tutorial:

Friday, October 12, 2012

DIY Hallowe'en: Felt Sword with a Cardboard Insert

Do your kids love swords? My boys do. So I am constantly saving wrapping paper rolls and other strong, sturdy pieces of cardboard to feed their sword-fighting appetites. Now that the two boys are getting older and play-fighting has become a daily occurrence, I have come under the constant assault of, "Mommy, can you make us some swords?"

Of course, there has not been a single sword that I have made or that has been bought that has survived beyond two or three play sessions. Inevitably, every sword (including, once, a little friend's plastic sword [heartfelt sorry!]) breaks or bends or somehow becomes irrecoverably damaged. There's always the possibility of wooden play swords, but I think I would have a hard time explaining to the ER doctor where my young sons got wooden swords to pummel each other to bits with.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Freezing Calzones: A Perfect School Lunch

Ahh, packing lunch for the kiddies... always so challenging. As I mentioned before, my kids always want to have the pre-packaged stuff that their friends get in their lunch bags. Never mind that mommy is trying hard to minimize the amount of (a) factory produced food we consume and (b) waste we produce.

So once in a while, I have to pull out a trump card to get my kids reinvigorated about their Food Inc-wary, stainless steel container lunches. Some good ol' standbys are anything related to pasta, pizza and hamburgers. (Ever notice how kids' favourite foods slowly evolve into a take-out menu? Where has my three year-old, school-naive son whose favourite dessert was red bean buns gone? Apparently, he's been swallowed up by this new SK kid who talks with his friends about how they all loooove ice cream ;)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Homemade Snack Mix

If your kids are anything like mine then they crave the food that comes wrapped in anything crinkly, plastic, foil and/or disposable. Never mind that they will sometimes get homemade mushroom risotto or sushi for lunch - they just want the Lunchables that their classmate is having. Once in a while though, I'll get one of my versions of a popular snack food just right and they'll gobble it up... even in its unattractive, reusable, non-plastic container packaging :)

Such is the case with our homemade Bits and Bites.