Embroidered Disney Shirts on a Regular Sewing Machine

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Disney monogram shirt DIY

 

There are so many cute Disney embroidery and appliques available, but what if you don’t have an embroidery machine?  This Minnie Mouse monogram was done with my 20 year old sewing machine and one special foot.

This was made with a technique called “couching”.  A good description of it is found here.

For this shirt, I drew the design out on tear-away stabilizer and then pinned it to the front of the ready-made shirt.

Machine embroidery on a regular sewing machine

 

This foot is called a “braiding” foot and has a hole that braid/yarn/cord can go through so you can zig-zag over it to hold it in place.  I did a standard width zig-zag first to get the yarn in the right place and then switched to an open toe applique foot to do a tight zig-zag over it to cover the yarn better.  After stitching everything down, carefully tear away the stabilizer and you are left with a nice raised embroidery design.  To keep the embroidery from being scratchy when worn, I iron on a soft fusible lining material on the inside that can be found at Hancocks or Joanns.

The Minnie ears and bow were easy to draw out.  I made the circle monogram here.

R2D2 Trick or Treat Bucket – Tutorial

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R2D2 Trick or Treat Bucket

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there were other princesses besides Elsa and Anna.   Isabella settled on Princess Leia as her outfit of choice for this Halloween and her costume got a lot of attention in the sea of Elsa’s we saw.

Princess Leia costume with R2D2 bucket

Making her dress was pretty easy, we used the Oliver and S Field Trip Raglan T as the base.  The body of the tee was modified into an a-line shape and lengthened.  The sleeves were also modified to flare out.  A hood was added to the back and the neckline was raised to match Princess Leia’s dress.  The dress was made out of a white cotton interlock from Hancocks which ended up being a good weight for any weather and was super comfortable.

Isabella’s belt was sewn with “outdoor fabric” that looked like leather from Hancocks and was made using this tutorial.Princess Leia and R2D2 toddler costume

On to the R2D2 bucket and a little disclaimer.  Taking step by step detailed photographs isn’t our cup of tea, but we did sketch out the basic steps it took to make this R2D2 bucket.

How to make an R2D2 bucket

Basically, it is an oatmeal box with paper towel tube arms covered in paper mache’ and then painted.  We ran a ribbon handle through the paper towel tube arms before covering them with paper mache’.  The top of R2D2 was a 6″ styrofoam ball with the bottom cut off.  We made a tape hinge so it would open and shut for trick or treating.  Isabella loved it and was asked about it over and over.

R2D2 Halloween bucket

Christmas 2013 Trip Report – Day 2 – Epcot

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Today was Isabella’s birthday!  We woke up and got ready to go to Epcot.  After getting dressed and eating breakfast, we headed over to the Contemporary to catch the monorail.

Contemporary monorail

Of course there were a few photo ops along the way.  Even though we were early getting to the park, it was still pretty crowded.  We saw Pluto immediately after the entrance and had to stop.  Isabella warmed up to him even more than Santa Goofy and liked touching his nose.

Pluto

While some of us were using a Fastpass+ for Soarin, the rest went to meet Chip and Dale.  I didn’t know if Isabella would go by herself to a character!  We went to the Character Spot, where she got pictures with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy.  Isabella officially became character-obsessed!Mickey Mouse

Minnie Mouse

We headed over to World Showcase next.  After a little shopping in the stores at the entrance to WS, we made our way to Mexico to try our first snack, churros.  We then went into the pyramid and rode the Gran Fiesta boat tour.  Isabella liked looking at all the jewelry in the gift shops inside the pyramid.  Outside, Donald Duck dressed in Mexico attire was meeting, so we hopped in line to see him!  He was great – he acted like he fainted when Isabella blew him a kiss.  I think he was one of the best characters we met the whole trip.

Epcot Mexico

Disney World

We traveled on to Norway, where we looked through the Stave Church with a Frozen exhibit and got our second snack, a sweet almond pretzel.

In China, we played with the animal marionette puppets at an outdoor gift shop.  The snacks at Joy of Tea were not that appealing, and most of the tea was caffeinated, so we skipped it.

We stopped for a while in the African Trading Post.  Isabella liked banging on the drums and sitting in the jeep.

In Germany, we got some caramel corn.  The first batch was pretty stale tasting, so we asked for another, which was unfortunately not much better.  Not one of the most successful snacks ever.

Italy was the first country we stopped at that we saw street entertainers.  There were a group of ladies doing an act all dressed in red, the Ziti Sisters.  We got some gelato as our fourth snack and sat to eat it in the back of the Italy pavilion.  After Italy, we stopped at the American pavilion where Isabella ended up taking a nap.

Epcot Christmas

We moved onto Japan where we got kakigori as our snack.  It is basically like a snowcone, which is one of my favorite foods ever.  We watched the drummers perform, which was really neat.  Then, we saw the Holidays Around the World performance where a Japanese lady told the story of daruma dolls.

By that time, we had to head back to get ready for our dinner reservation at 5:45, so we took the boat across the lake from Morocco, where we saw a belly dancer, to Future World.  We rode the monorail back to Bay Lake Tower, changed clothes, and walked over to the California Grill in the Contemporary (see my full review here).

California Grill

The atmosphere was great, but the food was very underwhelming.  It was neat to see the castle all lit up in sparkly ice lights from the roof top.  We saw a bride and groom, and Isabella made friends with a little boy from France.  After dinner, we went back down to the lobby of the Contemporary and met Chip and Dale dressed as toy soldiers!  They were adorable.  We looked around in the gift shops and then went to our villa so that Isabella could open birthday presents.  We finished off the night with another fireworks display from the BLT Skybridge.  Isabella even stayed awake this time!

Disney fireworks

Christmas 2013 Trip Report – Day 1 – Arrival and Hollywood Studios

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Welcome to the Year of Living Disney Christmas 2013 trip report!  I’m going to be doing the trip report 1 day at a time, so stay tuned for the next part coming soon!

Isabella’s birthday happens to be two days before Christmas, so what better excuse to make a trip to Disney World?  We rented points through David’s Vacation Club Rentals to stay in a 1 bedroom villa at Bay Lake Towers at Disney’s Contemporary Resort from December 21 through December 27.  Although this was our first time renting points, the process was very smooth.  We are actually renting points again for our next trip!

We left home after eating breakfast on December 21st, staying overnight in Lake City, FL.

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We got up the next morning around 6 or 7, ate breakfast, and drove the rest of the way to Disney World, which was about 2 or 3 hours.  We stopped at Target for last minute groceries and lunch, and we arrived at Bay Lake Towers via the back way through WDW around noon.  We checked in and were told our villa wasn’t ready yet, so we let the bellhop store our bags and  went out to the bamboo courtyard to eat lunch.  While we were eating, I got a text saying our villa was ready, so we went to the villa and called for our bags.

Bay Lake Tower

Bay Lake Tower was amazing!  The room was huge and I loved the decor of the whole resort.  Read my review of Bay Lake Tower here.

After our bags arrived, we packed a few snacks and headed over to the Contemporary to catch a bus for Hollywood Studios.  We had to stop at a few other resorts on the way, but we arrived at DHS still with plenty of time to do what we wanted.  We stopped for a few quick pictures by the huge Christmas tree at the entrance.

Hollywood Studios

(Twinkle lights courtesy of Google)

When we got inside, Isabella seemed overwhelmed by the crowds, but she just stayed quiet and took it all in.  She wasn’t fussy at all.  We stopped near Star Tours where the Jedi Academy was going on.  She got a little scared of Darth Vader, but seemed okay when I told her he wasn’t real.

Hollywood Studios

We walked down the Streets of America.  We could tell where the Osborne Lights would be later in the night.  We saw Santa Goofy, and there wasn’t much of a line, so we hopped right in!  I wasn’t sure how Isabella would react to him, but she liked him!  She wanted me to hold her while we saw him though.

Santa Goofy

We then went over to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area, figuring Isabella would want to run around a little bit.  It looked like it would be a lot of fun, but it was so crowded that it was hard to explore.  She had fun poking into corners and going down a slide.  We didn’t stay too long, and wandered over into the courtyard by Toy Story Mania, where a Green Army Man came over to give Isabella a high five!  We used child swap and went to go ride Star Tours with a Fastpass+.  I was the Rebel Spy on our first time riding it!  We all met back up in the gift shop where Isabella wanted to collect all of the stuffed Ewoks.

After Star Tours we had a Fastpass+ for the Disney Junior show.  It was a puppet show with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  We didn’t need a FP+ for it, as everyone seems to get in and the FP+ doesn’t get you any better seating.  Everyone sits on the floor.  Isabella knows about all the shows, but she doesn’t like any of them except Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so it was only mildly entertaining compared to everything else.  She liked the bubbles and “coins” they released from the ceiling.  She kept trying to roll around in the aisle, and a cast member kept telling us to stay in the seating area.  Ha!

As it started getting dark out, we headed over to Rockin Roller Coaster to ride with our last Fastpass+.  It was amazing!  One of my favorite rides.  I had expected Isabella to fall asleep at some point, but she never did, and when we came out she was running in circles around the courtyard of RnR.

Disney World

We then went to see the Osborne Lights.  Wow!  They are amazing!  I especially love the songs that the lights are timed to.  There was fake snow, which was cool (literally).

 

After a lot of pictures, we finally decided Isabella was not going to fall asleep at Hollywood Studios.  We took the bus back to BLT.  We ate dinner and when it was time for Holiday Wishes at 10PM, we headed up to the Skybridge to watch.  It was a great place because there were not many people there plus they pipe in the music.  Isabella finally fell asleep on my shoulder, right in the middle of the fireworks.

Hollywood Studios Osborne Lights

When we got back to the room, the Electrical Water Pageant played outside.  We watched it from the balcony and talked about how happy we were to be back in Disney World!

Disney Envelope Art – Dumbo Baby Mine

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Disney Envelope Art – Dumbo – Baby Mine

More mail for Isabella.  This time it is Dumbo being rocked in his Mother’s trunk in one of the most poignant movie scenes and songs of all time for any Mom or Grandmother.

The envelopes are just standard 5×7 envelopes and are handling a very light watercolor wash, but I might have to start making some envelopes out of watercolor paper  so I can get a little more paint on there without worrying about the envelope disintegrating.

Lilo and Stitch week – Day 1 – DIY felt lei

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Isabella has never seen Lilo and Stitch.  However, with summer (and heat) fully rolling in around here, I had to do some tropical crafts and recipes.  What better theme for the week than a movie set in Hawaii?  You could use all these ideas for a Lilo and Stitch movie party if you wanted.

Day 1: DIY felt flower leis

DIY felt lei

I started with various colors of felt cut into flower shapes.  These don’t have to be perfect – no one will notice in the end!

DIY felt lei

I gave Isabella adhesive dots so that she could stick the flowers together in the order she wanted.  Older kids can skip straight to sewing the flowers themselves.  Once we had the flowers in order, I hand sewed the flowers together into a necklace.  If you have a good sewing machine, you could machine sew them, but mine wouldn’t sew through two layers of felt.

Fluff the flowers a bit, and there you go!  Aloha!

DIY felt lei

Smocked Yoda Top with free Smocking Plate

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Smocked Yoda Toddler Tunic

 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I did a lot of smocking and heirloom sewing.  Over the years, my skills have gotten rusty and smocking has fallen so far out of favor that even the venerable Sew Beautiful Magazine is ceasing publication.  One of the problems is that smocking hasn’t adapted to a more modern aesthetic.  The other is that smocking plates with popular characters can’t be sold due to copyright, so there is little incentive for an experienced smocker to design one unless they are feeling very generous.

That leaves it to those of us who are amateurs.  With some smocking graph paper in hand, I took some colored pencils and drew out Yoda.  If you have ever done picture smocking, you should be able to follow the graph.  Yoda’s cane was stitched going across two pleats down the length of the cane.  This will mean doing a few half cables to fill in his cloak.  It isn’t colored in that way on the graph, but, since it is free, who can complain?!

Yoda

 

Originally, Yoda was going to be inset in the yoke of this Oliver and S Class Picnic Blouse, but in a size 3T, the yoke was too short to accommodate him, so he became a pocket.  For a good tutorial on how to do a smocked insert, click here.  The pocket was made by inserting the smocking into a piece of Kona cotton, putting another piece on top of it right sides together and stitching almost all the way around.  It was turned inside out through the opening that was left in the stitching, the opening was stitched closed and the pocket stitched on.

The lack of an embroidery machine meant hand stitching the words, but I may unstitch them because they look a bit too sloppy for my taste.

Here’s the “smocking plate” that I drew up.  Feel free to print it out and give it a go.  As Yoda says, “Do or Do Not, There is no Try.”

Yoda Smocking Plate

 

This Disney Look for Less again cost $0.  The green fabric was from my stash and was won in a giveaway several years ago.  The yellow was leftover from a quilt.  The Oliver and S pattern was one I already had and the smocking materials were on hand already as well.

Disney Look for Less – Mickey Jedi t-shirt tutorial

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May the fourth be with you!  To celebrate Star Wars day (May 4th, naturally!), we whipped up a quick little Jedi Mickey t-shirt for Isabella.

Mickey Jedi t-shirt DIY

The total cost for this t-shirt was $0.  Here’s how we did it.  The shirt pattern is the Oliver & S Field Trip Raglan pattern which I already own and use all the time.  The fabric came from 2 t-shirts that had seen better days.

First, I drew a Jedi Mickey Mouse.  Right click on the image below and print it out  if you want to use it to make one for your little Jedi.

Jedi Mickey Mouse sketch

Trace it on to the non-shiny side of a piece of freezer paper.  Then iron the shiny side of the  freezer paper onto the back side of the front of the t-shirt.  This stabilizes the fabric for painting and gives you a pattern to fill in with paint.

Jedi Mickey t-shirt DIY

 

I mixed acrylic paint with fabric medium which can be purchased at any craft store.   The fabric medium turns the acrylic paint into a washable, non-cracking paint for fabric.

Then, it is simply a matter of filling in the image with paint.  Kind of like paint-by-numbers!

If you aren’t using a ready-made t-shirt, all that’s left to do is finish stitching your shirt together, and with this pattern, that only takes a matter of a few minutes.

 

 

Disney Footprint Art – Princess Half Marathon Version

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Disney Footprint Art

Here’s another sample of how we took Isabella’s footprint and turned it into a Disney souvenir keepsake.  We ran the Disney Princess half marathon when she had just turned 2 months old and her tiny footprint was taken at that time.  It was her first, of hopefully many, trips to Disney World as she grows up.

We ran as a team called Team Roo and had hats embroidered with a kangaroo and the words “Team Roo” on them, so of course, her first Disney footprint art needed to feature Roo from Winnie the Pooh.

The footprint was made by brushing acrylic paint on her foot and pressing it down on some watercolor paper.  I sketched out the rest of Roo in pencil using the footprint as Roo’s body.

Footprint art - kangaroo

 

When I was satisfied with that, I drew over the lines with a Micron pen, added the medal we got for finishing and our team name and painted it with watercolors.

It will be a challenge to keep turning Isabella’s handprints or footprints into her favorite Disney character for each trip, but it will be a fun way to watch her interests change as she grows.

If you missed her footprint from our last trip that we turned into Goofy, click here.

We are linking to Memory Keeping Monday on Capturing Magical Memories blog.

Memory Keeping Monday

Disney Look for Less – Mickey Football Sweater

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On our last trip to WDW, we came across this shirt:

Mickey Mouse football tshirt

Cute, yes?  And perfect for a fall game day here in Alabama.  At $40, it was pretty pricey for a toddler to wear, but since there were none available in her size at that time, we weren’t faced with that decision.

On a trip through Target, I saw this sweatshirt on the clearance rack for $6.

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This is one of those times when an embroidery machine would come in handy, but with inspiration from the shirt above,  I was able to make a custom University of Alabama themed Mickey Mouse football sweatshirt with a little time, a regular sewing machine, and some scraps of fabric all at a total cost of $6.00!

DIY Mickey Mouse Football sweatshirt

Here’s how I made it.    I started with an image downloaded here and traced it onto stabilizer.  Starting with the segments of the picture that are the furthest in the background, I reverse appliqued the fabric onto the stabilizer and trimmed away any excess.  It is a technique learned in an online class called “Double Reverse Applique” by Ellen Lindner.

Her technique is designed for art quilts and not kids clothing, so after the applique was finished. the raw edges were covered with satin stitching.  Then the whole patch was sewn onto the back of the sweatshirt.

On game day this fall, Isabella will be showing her #DisneySide.  Roll Tide!