Christmas pageant costumes

Greetings! I just realized yesterday that my last post was almost a month ago. I’ve been so busy, in a wonderful and fulfilling way.

I’m so happy in my new church home, and I’ve looked for ways to serve and get involved. In early November, the call for sewists went out – the Christmas pageant costumes were in need of ‘revitalization’ and/or replacement. I went over and, to my surprise, came home with the animals! Talk about a challenge – 3 sheep, 3 cows, and 3 donkeys for the little 3-5 year olds. I haven’t attempted costumes since my own children were that age, long ago. And my only animal was a bunny…

Thank goodness for Pinterest, which opened a world of examples. I chose my models:

And I found two great patterns for the costume basics:

Each costume has a top from S2068 and a hood from S2855, with embellishments. For the bottoms I used True Bias Mini Hudsons. I chose these because the cuffs are easily turned to accommodate our shorter grazers.

Fabric, XXXL Gilden T-shirts, JoAnn
Fabric: Cotton interlock, JoAnn
Fabric, Blizzard fleece, JoAnn

These 9 costumes took me much longer to sew than I anticipated, but I’m really pleased with the results, and I’m excited to see the little ones in the pageant. Christmas Eve will have additional meaning to me, and I’m grateful.

Bye for now – Coco

Must-have holiday sling bag

e1

And of course it’s a gift. I’m sending it this week to my beautiful Ashley, to be enjoyed for the season. I know she will love it!

Background: I’ve made dozens of these bags, many back when Ashley and I had a craft table at charity events. Our logo was ‘Back Alley Five & Dime’, because we focused on small, affordable crafts. This bag was the only thing that was priced above $10. We didn’t make money on our sunk costs, but we did get to make the donations that were our aspiration. Plus we had so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚

square 5x5 rose scroll

The bag – it’s big! The finished size is about 26 ยพโ€ tall including handles, and 18โ€ wide. Remarkably, there’s something about the physics of its construction that makes it feel like nothing on the shoulder, even when packed with stuff. I admit to copying the Amy Butler Birdie Sling (still available online, though not on her site). I simply sought out online photos that gave me clues for the drafting.

drafting

Loving a challenge, I worked on the pattern and construction for quite a while. Result – I love this bag!

On the inside, an interlined bag lining with zipped pocket:

lining

inside pocket

My fabrics are from JoAnnn. One thing they do really well is quilting cottons. They have the best selection I’ve found for holiday prints, and the fabric is very affordable with a coupon. BTW, their online print inventory is nothing compared to what’s available in the stores.

e2

Ashley will be so surprised by this bag, and I know she will use it. We have a shared funky fun spirit – her mixed media gift to me last year. We’ve always danced in the kitchen…

mom-abug

f1

Bye for now! Coco

Is it Christmas yet? Maxi Alder

f1

The time between Halloween and Christmas is my favorite season. So of course I had to make a fun dress to wear!

Actually I searched everywhere for the fabric equivalent of the ugly Christmas sweater. Maybe I looked too soon, but I found this cute stripe pattern, complete with silver snowflakes, at Walmart.

b1

I just cut the Grainline Alder dress to a maxi length. And added a 1.25″ waistband, with elastic, for my first go at a Christmas dress.

f2

f3

It took about 3 yards, but I bought 4, just enough to make a little something else…

Loving the holidays…Coco

Butterick 6107 Shawl Collar Coat

f1

It’s officially fall in the loft, time for a new jacket and a new pattern!

Butterick 6107 is lovely and interesting to sew. I originally bought it with the standup collar in mind, but I was put off by the way the collar looks when it’s open.ย No problem – I love shawl collar jackets and coats!

envelope-side

f4

Sewing notes:

  • My choices: size Small, View A, the length of View C, and the pockets from View B.
  • My fabric is Marigold 100% cotton sweatshirt fleece from Fabric Mart. It has only mechanical stretch and is what I would characterize as mid-weight.

fabric

  • The collar is cut-on rather than attached. I know this scares some folks, but the pattern pieces fit perfectly, and the inside corners were easy to sew. Another nice feature: the upper collar is slightly wider than the under collar to allow for the turn of the cloth. A lot of patterns don’t bother to do this.

collar

  • My buttons are 7/8″ faux tortoise shell, with sew-on snaps for the actual closure. I did lots of looking and found beautiful 15mm bronze snaps by Cotowin on Amazon. BTW, Amazon is a great place to look for studs and snaps, the variety is amazing.

e1

closures

e2

  • The patterns calls for lined pockets, but given the weight of my fabric, I drafted mine with an interfaced cut-on facing.
  • Here comes more fun – the back! It’s plain on the pattern, but I split it into 2 pieces just below the armscye. I think the topstitching on the collar, the hem, and this new seam add a lot of interest to the back view.

b1

Oh, this is such a nice jacket, and I love wearing it.

f2

We had a nice Halloween night here in my little community, complete with a pizza party at the clubhouse to get some food into the kids’ tummies ahead of all that candy. Most of my neighbors have left their decorations in place, I think everyone is simply enjoying the season.

Parting shot: I had to do it, Starbucks kicked off it holiday flavors today with free reusable cups ๐Ÿ™‚ Did anyone else splurge on a peppermint mocha latte?

cup

Ciao! Coco

Progress on Christmas aprons!

cut out

An apron seems such a simple project – but it’s not when one drafts 7 aprons in 3 sizes!

All fun. I serged the ends of my Marshall Dry Goods Dream Cotton and laundered it last week.

This morning I got serious. I needed to draft appropriate sizes for the family and to decision lining fabrics for the basic apron and the pockets. I used broadcloth to line all the pockets to keep them ‘light’ since my aprons are lined with the main fabric.

Here’s a view of the patterns I’m using. Each also has ties and pockets sized to the apron:

3 patterns

I have to credit several patterns for the result. I have Butterick 4585 (an adult and child apron pattern), but the child version is very small. Fortunately, I found some guidelines to help me out with that grandson-size conundrum.

K3247
Line art from Kwik Sew 3247, found by Googling kid’s aprons

basic-apron-pattern-captain-apron-apron-pattern-basic-apron-tutorial
Tutorial from Jedicrafts.com (and she has great fabric craft ideas and tutorials…

All day today I’ve been drafting patterns and cutting the fabric. Just the latter really does take a while. Apron, pocket, waist ties, neck tie, D-ring tab.

And, to my dismay, I found that my 1″ D-ring supply is down to one set! I have oodles of 3/4″ rings, but I like the larger ring for the neck ties. So – I hopped onย Wawak to order more. BTW, Wawak’s shipping cost is really reasonable, plus these were on sale much below the retail store price. And they’ll be here in 3 days. Can’t beat it. I love Wawak!

While I wait for the hardware and generally get over this apron effort today, I’m planning to sew another French terry StitchSisters kaftan. I’ve worn both of mine in rotation for several days, and I’m hooked.

Happy stuff ๐Ÿ™‚ Ciao – Coco