DIY: Pajama Pants

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Well this is a little later than I planned to post this...but apparently I am losing my mind because I thought I already did. haha Welcome to Christmas craziness at my house!!Start out with an existing pair of pants that fits your child/adult or one just a bit bigger if you want them to grow into it. I used newspaper print to make my pattern (which I discussed the many fab uses for here). So just lay your pants on the paper and trace around it. Be sure to add an extra 1/4" or 1/2" for your seam allowance. If you forget to do this, just add it when you cut the fabric out. When you trace around the pants, be sure to fold it as close to the original seam as you can. Also, make sure you do the front side and the back side. They may vary a bit.
Lay your pattern pieces on your fabric. Be sure you are laying it with the grain of the fabric, aka parallel to the selvage edge. That way it will be stronger and will give it a little more stretch. Plus it just doesn't lay right if you don't. Trust me on this one.
Pin it to your fabric so it doesn't slide around too much and if you cut it out with the fabric folded in half, you will be able to get both right and left front pieces and both right and left back pieces out of it.
Less cutting time equals more sewing time! Plus it just makes sense to do it all at once.
Now take your two front pieces and line up the right sides of the fabric together. The right sides of the fabric is where the print is. Go ahead and pin this to keep it in place.

Now, just line up the inseam part of the pants on your machine. Sew just that short section first. I used a 1/4" seam allowance but use whatever you are comfortable with.
Once that is sewn, do the same thing to the two back pieces. Be sure to put a pin or something in the front piece in the middle so you can keep track of the two pieces, since they will look almost exactly alike. Now pin all the way up the inseam of the legs of the two pieces, right sides of the fabric together. I usually start pinning at the crotch and work my way out on both sides. Just to be sure it lines up evenly there first. Sew together.
While you still have it put together, line up the outer legs and pin. Then sew those two together.
Now for the elastic waist. This is how I do it. I am sure there are other ways, but this is what works best for me. I fold down the top about 1/4" and iron it down. Then I baste/stitch it to keep it in place.
Then I put my elastic up to my pants and determine the amount I want to fold it over again. I used 1/2" non roll elastic for these so I did 3/4" of a fold. I have found that with the amount that is in the "fold" it gives it just enough room and doesn't make it too difficult to get the elastic in there. So go ahead and start sewing in the back of the pants. I usually just do about 1/8" or just a tiny bit more. Make sure you leave an opening in the back. So DO NOT sew it all the way shut. You need to be able to put in your elastic.Determine the length of elastic you need. I do this by estimating how big their pants are and also if I have measured them. Sometimes you can't measure them though so you can go off of how big the original pants are. Once you have this determined, cut it an inch or two longer to make it easier to sew together in a minute. Clip a safety pin on one end and thread it through the casing that you just sewed.Once the elastic is all the way through the casing, line up your elastic on top of each other. (Be sure it is NOT twisted.) Then using a zigzag stitch, I sew the elastic together so it makes a continuous loop. Now work it through the fabric, so that all of the fabric is not bunched up in one section. Sew the fabric shut so that the band of the pants is completely sewn shut.
Now onto the hem of the pants. While the pants are inside out, I roll up the edge to a 1/4" and iron it flat. Then roll it up one more time, another 1/4" to 1/2." Sew around the edge. I make sure I sew about an 1/8" to 1/4" from the inside edge of the roll. (furthest away from the bottom of the pants) This will make sure you catch all of the edges and that none of it will not be stitched down. Some people like to sew another hem around it so it has a double hem. I sometimes do, sometimes don't. I think just whatever you prefer here.
Wahoo! You have completed a pair of pants from your very own pattern! Yay! This is super easy to do and probably only took me at most about 45 minutes from start to finish. This comes in handy if you have the tradition for your kids to open up gifts on Christmas Eve and you give them pj's...which is what we started to do this year.

**These are also a very inexpensive gift idea. Less than a half of a yard of fabric for my baby and probably about 1/2 yard for my little guy. So for less than 5 bucks you have yourself a fun homemade gift.

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Quiet Time

Monday, December 21, 2009

I can think of many times that you are places that you need to keep kids entertained or "quiet," a task that is almost impossible. I always try to have the all equipped bag, filled with just about anything you can think of. (I hate to be caught without something or in need of it.) One of the things I always try to have on hand is different things to entertain my kids while we are out and about. I am sure I will be posting lots of different things I keep in the bag but here is one that I am going to give them for Christmas. I worked on this for a long time and so I figured, hey it is one more present to wrap and add to the Christmas festivities.

I found a ton of sites online that you can print quiet folder activities from for free. Stay with me and I will give you some that I have found.

I colored the pictures, which seriously took WAY longer than I expected. Coloring ceases to be fun when it takes too long I have decided. I had to do it in shifts. Then cut all around the pictures and got it laminated. I called all around at stores and it was going to cost me over $100 to laminate everything. I found an early childhood development place in town that has a laminator and caters to preschools and homeschoolers (and stay at home moms!) that let me come use their machine. It ended up costing me $5 to do them all!! I was SO happy.

Once they are all laminated, cut around them and leave a little bit of an edge. Then cut pieces of sticky velcro to fit each piece. Pull the velcro back off of the soft side and put onto folder.Then put the rough sided velcro on top of the soft side that is on the folder and peel off the backing. Place your piece on it and press it down so it adheres.Then finish putting the rest of the pieces on the folder. Now, you have a simple (and lightweight) thing to entertain kiddos at a moment's notice.Now for cleanup. Those papers stick to just about anything...

Oh, and here are some links to file folder sites:
Enchanted Learning
Preschool Printables
FastQ
Childcare Land
Mormon Chic


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From Paper to Book

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I helped make a gift for a friend's 30th birthday. I was responsible for putting it together. I was trying to come up with a simple, cheap but CUTE way to display it. This post is about how to make the book yourself but as a side note, we had everyone send us what they liked/admired about the birthday girl. Who couldn't use a pick me up these days? I think we all wonder what people really think about us and it was a great way to help the birthday girl know how much she is loved. So back to the book...
First gather up your supplies. I used some 12x12 cardstock, some 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, and two colors of skinny ribbon. You could just use one color of ribbon, whatever your preference is or what you have on hand.I also used some ghetto glue sticks because at first I couldn't find my scrapbooking glue tape. But then I found it, so some sort of glue is needed, distressing ink if you want, and a paper trimmer or scissors.So I cut out all of the thoughts and trimmed around each one. This helped me know how big my book needed to be. I decided to cut my 12x12 paper into 3 strips. Then I cut all of those and then started folding them into thirds.Fold the first one and then use that one to help you make sure you fold the other ones the right direction. Just remember that if your cardstock is textured or has a right and a wrong side to it, you will want all of the right sides towards the front as you glue them together.Okay, so now you have them folded and lined up so the folds are the right direction.Take the end section and line it up with the next one. Put glue on the section that will be on bottom. Then line up the top piece and secure it on there. Keep doing this for the whole book until you have it as long as you need.I went ahead and distressed each of my pieces of words. So do that now if you are wanting to do so. This just helps them stand out a little more and gives them a bit of an edge.Line each of those pieces on and glue them on each "page" of the book.Here is my book all folded up nice and tight. Now how to get it to stay closed and be a tad bit cuter for gift giving....Grab that ribbon and cut 4 pieces off. I think mine were at least 12-18 inches long. Then stick two of the ends underneath the last thought on the last page. If you forgot to do this before, like I did, no worries. Just peel it up a bit, put some glue down and stick them in there. Then attach two of the ribbons to the front of the book with glue, just on the back side of the front cover. Now take the ribbon from the back of the book and wrap it around the top of the front of the cover. I wrapped mine twice around just for dramatic effect and to hold it shut tighter. So the one from the back gets wrapped around towards the front across the cover and then all of the way around again. By the way, I went ahead and put a bit of glue down to keep the ribbon stuck across the front cover. But that is really the only place you can glue it, otherwise you can't open the book. So the ribbon on the front cover gets wrapped across the front towards the right side and then around like the picture shows above. Now you will have two ribbons coming from the backside and two coming from the front. The top two ribbons wrapped the second time will kind of come down to create a "Z" in the back so that you can tie a ribbon near the bottom of the book.
Now go get book making! Super easy and I am sure many of you have scrapbooking paper just lying around waiting to be put to good use!

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New Fave

My new favorite addition to my Christmas decor this year came from inspiration from the Shanty sisters. I just love their blog. Such cute ideas!! The Joy plaques were something I knew I would make as soon as I saw them. (So were the apothecary jars but I am waiting for my mom's next trip out here!) I would have finished these up sooner but the weather was not exactly cooperating with me. If only I had a garage...but luckily for me, the snow melted and the sun shined, and that was the greatest day of my life. Well, maybe not really but at least I was able to go out and spray paint. Hallelujah!

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Wrap it up

Friday, December 18, 2009

I could probably think of 101 uses for this besides what it is originally meant for: printing newspapers on. Oh, wait! Did I mention I was dreaming about newspaper paper? That seems a bit redundant. Not sure if there is a different term for it but I love newspaper paper. Call up your local paper and ask if they have end of the rolls of their newsprint. A lot of them give it away for free. Some charge like mine but it was only about $3.50 for a huge amount of it. I use it all the time and it has lasted me forever! Here are a few things you could do with it: use it for kids drawing/scribbling tablet, paint on it, use it to wrap up breakables in a move, make sewing patterns (I have a great post for this one coming up sometime soon), use as a tablecloth to color on, drop cloth for spray painting and the list could go on and on.

My most recent use for it was Christmas wrapping paper. My picture does not do my idea justice where I am thinking you could take this. My two year old was quite proud of his drawings though so I wasn't about to change anything just for the blog and hurt his feelings. He even had me scribbling on a whim with him. So insert some of your own creative juices here. But I am envisioning stamps or beautiful writing across it in cursive letters. Wrap it up tied with jute, raffia (natural or colored), ribbon, yarn or string. The possibilities really are endless. Slap on a cutesy tag and wah-lah you have yourself a nice packaged package. Man, I am really into doubles tonight.

So run, no, drive down to your nearest newspaper in town and pick up some of that newspaper paper. Trust me, you will thank me later.

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GoInG NuTs!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This week has been crazy busy. Not only did I have jury duty (which I got out of pretty quickly), the hubby had his last finals of the semester too. Life has been a madhouse but hopefully it will begin to slow down with the holidays. Hmmm, who am I kidding right??

Well we spent a good 4 hours last night making treats. Let me just tell you a small apartment sized kitchen is not conducive to making lots of treats at once with more than one person in the way. But we had fun and other than the vanilla they forgot to bag at the store, things were going very smoothly considering.

I thought I would share this yummy recipe for those scrumptious spiced mixed nuts that you can buy at sporting events or other random places like that. Well, you can make them for a lot less. They are also a great neighbor gift if you are still looking for something to give. This is really to hold you over until I can get a few of my other craft posts up here. Yep, that is right. I am bribing you with food.

Spicy Mixed Nuts
1 egg white
2 Tbl cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup walnut halves
2/3 cup pecan halves
2/3 cup whole almonds

Beat egg white and water until frothy. Stir nuts into mixture to coat, then drain slightly in a colander/strainer for about 3-4 minutes. Mix sugar and spices in a plastic bag. (Smells SO heavenly!!) Add nuts and shake in the bag to coat. Spread the wet nut mixture onto a microwave safe plate; microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until its bubbly. (Watch out! It can bubble right off your plate!!) Stir. Microwave another 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and stir separate. When cooled, store in a sealed container. Makes 2 cups.

You can always just do 2 cups of one type of nut. I also tried cashews halves which was pretty darn good. I did spanish peanuts and they were just so so to me. So pretty easy and yummy too. I wonder if we are seeing a trend of all of my microwave usage??! I swear I do cook things outside of that "oven." Enjoy!

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Eating on the Go!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some of you may have seen this here, but if not. Here is my rendition. I saw this and knew I had to have one. Not just because it looked cute, easy and cheap to make. But because I actually need one with two kiddos, and one that is semi-possessive of his chair, this is a fab thing to have. Besides, it looked so easy to fold up and take on the go which is something I love!
I bought a 1/2 yard of two coordinating fabrics. Then pretty much went off of Jill's measurements. Mine ended up being pretty much the same size as hers. Be sure to include enough for a seam allowance. (6x42, 10x20 and 4x7) It fits perfectly. My velcro is 1" wide and 10" long. I also used 2 pieces of batting just to give it a little more cushion.

I wanted something pretty secure to strap them in tight. Just remember, this obviously isn't as stable as a regular booster or high chair. I would definitely exercise caution using it, but it sure is nice to strap in a toddler at a restaurant or have another "seat" to strap a little one in to munch with the fam!

Oh and if your kids are short like mine is, a phone book can do the trick for older ones needing to wanting to sit up to the table.

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