Isabella’s constant companion since our last trip to Disney World has been her new Shellie May bear. She came home with several outfits for her, but the choices are limited, so we have to DIY them for special occasions.
We were headed to go see Moana, so Shellie May got her own special outfit.
Here’s a brief “how to” of how we made her outfit. The top was a rectangle of fabric (approx. 19 x 3.5 inches). The back of the top is shirred with elastic thread and it opens on the side with a velcro opener. We added a strap, but it isn’t necessary to keep it on.
The skirt has an underskirt with an elastic waist. Shellie May’s waist is about 14″. We stitched raffia on to the underskirt before inserting the elastic, which was cute, but started breaking apart over time. A synthetic raffia type material would be better. The overskirt with scarf attached is tacked to the underskirt and closes with velcro near the scarf knot.
Some of our stockings didn’t really coordinate with the new Christmas tree skirt and we had a little fabric left over, so, with a little help from a free fun font called “Mouse Tags“, we were able to make new stockings!
We took a basic stocking pattern and cut it out. Then printed off icons from the Mouse Tags font at about a 400 pt. size. With a light box underneath, we laid the stocking on top of the printed icons and used disappearing ink to trace the design. We quilted it in matching grey thread and then assembled the stockings using the Cluck Cluck Sew Stocking Tutorial.
One stocking has the Polynesian Resort icon.
The other has the sorcerer’s hat.
It’s beginning to look and feel like Christmas and this year, we have a new Christmas tree skirt. The idea was to make one that looked kind of like a Disney viewfinder reel.
The pictures in the viewfinder reel are all paper pieced quilt blocks sized to 10″ square. Most of the patterns are available free on the fabulous Fandom in Stitches website. It is a treasure trove of paper piecing and embroidery patterns for fans of everything from Harry Potter to the Muppets to Disney characters. Alice in Wonderland was a previously untested pattern from the very generous and talented Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting. In addition to her patterns, she has held a year long “Stretch Your Skills” series that has been really fun to learn from.
Here are what some of the blocks that Alida designed look like closer up:
Pluto was a relatively easy block to make if you have any paper piecing experience.
I didn’t do a good job picking a background for Mickey because his white gloves don’t show up well enough, but it seemed like a lot of work to go back and remake it, so it is staying put.
Alice was a challenge to say the least. The pieces are TINY and there are so many of them that this was the most difficult block of them all. But, Isabella had such a fun experience with Alice in Wonderland on our last visit to Disney World, so I persevered.
Here’s hoping that it looks good under the Christmas tree with the Monorail running around it!
Some of us were born minimalists and others of us had to learn it. The good part about a more minimalist home is that it is easy to keep clean, you know where things are, and shopping doesn’t hold much appeal. The bad part is that it makes it harder for people to know what to give you as a gift so our family loves to give and receive the gift of an experience more than anything.
In 2013, our Disney trip was over Isabella’s birthday and Christmas and our daughter came up with the perfect Christmas gift for us:
We received an envelope that contained a Disney gift card and a card our daughter made with a Contemporary resort graphic with instructions for how to use the gift card.
It was the gift of a an experience sampling foods from all the countries in Epcot. We had so much fun and the memories of doing that as a family are more precious than any item we could ever receive.
We’ve already started sewing for our next Disney trip (or just for playing princesses every day!). This shirt came about when we saw these Tulip Glitter Iron On Sheets at Hobby Lobby.
First, we cut a simple cap sleeve t-shirt out of white cotton interlock. Here is the pattern for the t-shirt that we drew:
You will need to draw it out full -size with each square equaling one inch. Cut out the t-shirt and apply the glitter applique to the front before you sew it together.
We just did an image search for a castle silhouette and traced around it onto the back fusible side of the shimmer material. Then, cut around it and iron in place.
Sewing the t-shirt together is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Just follow the instructions on the diagram.
Everyone deserves a little sparkle!
We play a lot of “Disney World” at home in between trips. Stuffed animals are buckled in to the Mine Train (aka the couch), laundry baskets become It’s a Small World boat, and some “rides” even require the use of a fast pass.
So, we made our own “fast pass reader”.
It is made with a simple tap light similar to this available at Home Depot, Lowes, or even the dollar store:
We lightly sanded the underside of the dome and painted it with acrylic paint before re-assembling it. If we were doing it again, we might paint the Mickey outline with a brush and spray paint the rest with a yellow/gold paint to get a smoother finish, but Isabella doesn’t seem to mind the uneven paint job.
And at least we’ve found a way to play with the little collection of Magic Bands we are starting to acquire!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.