Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Harry Potter Costume December 5, 2014

Filed under: costumes — faithandfamily @ 7:04 pm

My son and his best bud are all about Harry Potter right now. My friend and I made our sons a couple of great Harry Potter costumes for Halloween, but it’s taken me a while to get it up here on the blog.

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The hardest part was figuring out how to make the robe. I didn’t find any tutorials online, but I did find this image, which helped a ton:


I used the ideas from this image to create my own pattern. My friend had gobs black fabric given to her that was perfect for the robes. I used a loose fitting oxford shirt of my son’s to make a a pattern for the robe, and I just extended the sides down, letting them flare out. For the sleeves, after I traced the oxford’s arm holes, I just free-handed the length and tapered bottoms, making the long part of the sleeve extend approximately to the fingertips and the shorter side (top) more wrist-length. For the hood, I traced a hood from a sweatshirt, but he really wanted a pointy tip, so on the crown part of the hood I drew it pointy, rather than the way this pattern shows.

I had thought that I would just find a gold or maroon-colored tie and use colored duct tape to make stripes, but I didn’t have any success finding a discarded solid-colored tie. Instead, I found this reasonably priced, perfect tie at I thought it was a great deal at $7.95, and it’s a very nice tie.

The Gryffindor patch was just $2 plus shipping, from an online seller.

I didn’t want to spend a lot on the glasses, and we have a quirky little store around here called Wilson’s 5 and 10 (an old dime store), where I found gold “Santa glasses.” They were round and looked about right, so I bought them for a dollar or two and used a black permanent marker to make them black rather than gold.

The wand? Just a stick from the yard made fabulous after a few moments with an orbital sander.

My son dressed as Harry, and his best bud decided to be Neville Longbottom. Those two were absolutely adorable and had a fabulous time. Time and money well spent, I’d say.

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Ballet Stocking December 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 3:25 pm

My daughter is involved in a “Secret Santa” exchange at her ballet studio, so I scoured PInterest, trying to find a cute idea for a unique gift. I saw this idea for a ballet-inspired stocking on Martha Stewart’s website, and, in my maybe-not-so humble opinion, I like mine better!


I drew the foot and tried to make the foot a little prettier and the ballet shoe a little more realistic-looking than Martha’s. We used ballet pink, because who wears blue ballet shoes anyway? My daughter did the sewing on one, and then I quickly made two more, since my youngest wanted one and I decided to make one for her ballet teacher’s baby. These came together so quickly that I made the other two in about 10 minutes. We used felt and skinny ribbon. These will be a nice gift during Nutcracker week. Maybe we’ll fill them with gifts from the Land of Sweets!


Belated Crochet Hat Post September 21, 2014

Filed under: crochet — faithandfamily @ 8:09 pm

A few posts ago I shared about the crocheting binge I went on during Christmas break last year. I taught myself how to crochet using blessed youtube videos and online tutorials. (Thank you, internet! I love you sometimes!) I made several scarves, and then one of my brothers asked me for a hat. I was pretty nervous about trying something else, but I decided to give it a try, and it worked!


For future reference for myself (and anyone else who might want to try a beginner-level hat), here’s what I wrote down to help me remember what I did:

I started with a chain 12-14 inches. (This is going to be the length from the crown of the head to the end, including the folded up part.) Then I stitched rows until it was about 21 inches wide or the circumference of a head. (Remember there will be stretch due to the ribbing.)

I used this youtube tutorial as a guide:

Happy crocheting!


Quilt for My Youngest

Filed under: quilts — faithandfamily @ 8:00 pm

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Partly because my sewing machine hasn’t been too active, and partly because I’ve just neglected to post about some of my most recent projects.

I am so proud of this quilt I made for my youngest daughter.

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I decided to go with the color scheme of orange, pink, yellow, turquoise, and lime green, and then I went to my stash and tried to use up scraps from other projects. This quilt took a lot of fabric, so I ended up having to buy several fabrics to get the amount I needed. But it is neat that there are so many scrap pieces in it that remind me of other projects I’ve made.

I used this tutorial for my quilt blocks, although I made them bigger. I decided I needed a sashing around the blocks to really define the blocks, but the quilt blocks were so big that I used a very skinny sashing to avoid adding a lot of length or width to the quilt.

For the actual quilting, I love the hearts that I made. I learned how to make the hearts using Leah Day’s online tutorial. Instead of outlining the hearts 3x though, I liked the look of two outlines. I tell my daughter that each heart I stitched means “I love you,” so there are countless “I love yous” woven into this quilt!


Made By Me January 5, 2014

Filed under: kids' stuff — faithandfamily @ 7:05 pm

I recently bought the book Made by Me by Jane Bull for my oldest daughter.


It is full of really cute craft and sewing projects that creative little girls will love. The book has sections on cross stitch, sewing, and knitting. So far, my daughter made a dolly for her little sister and three little outfits:

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If you have a creative little girl in your life, this book would be a great resource full of fun projects that you can do together.


I’ll Never Buy a Scarf Again

Filed under: crochet — faithandfamily @ 6:54 pm

I’ve tried to learn crochet a few times in my life and had always decided that it wasn’t for me. I was content to limit my creativity to fabric and a sewing machine. But recently I’ve been wanting to try again. I saw a few things on Pinterest that made it seem doable. I decided to spend some time during our holiday travels, sitting in the car or in front of the TV with relatives, trying again. And….I’ve been successful! I used this tutorial for the Pavement Infinity Scarf and found it to be really clear and easy to follow. I love it that she has written directions, a photo tutorial, and a video. Here are my first two crochet projects, ever:


The first one I made seemed a bit wide. I used the leftover yarn on my skein to make a mini scarf for my daughter.


I made three more, but instead of making 5 “V’s” in each row, as described in the tutorial, I used only 3. I like the thinner style a bit better.

If you’re interested in learning to crochet, I recommend that you give this tutorial a try. Now that I’ve got the hang of it, it only takes me about 1 1/2-2 hours to make a scarf. I made the black one last night while watching a movie with the family. I was a beginner before trying this tutorial. I knew how to chain and had attempted a double-crochet stitch before, but that was about it. I did have to google how to tie off the yarn when you’re all done, how to switch to a new skein of yarn,  and how to stitch together the ends to make it an infinity scarf, but there were lots of instructions out there, and none of those steps was hard.

Happy crocheting!

*Note to myself: Start with a chain of 11 (rather than 19) to make a thinner scarf that has just 3 V’s.


Adam’s Quilt August 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 7:36 pm

I recently finished a quilt for my brother Adam. When I told him last Christmas that I was planning on making him a quilt, he already had an idea in his head of what type of quilt he would most like. He sent me this picture from the internet for inspiration:


He told me that he wanted it to look like something you would find in a country lodge or cabin, and he wanted it to have appliqued animals on it. I had never done applique before, so I was a bit intimidated, but I was willing to give it a try. First I shopped for cute plaids, then I did an internet search to look for some applique shapes that I could use on the quilt. I used this tutorial from the internet to learn how to do machine applique. It was pretty easy and fun. In the square with the log cabin on it, I also used a technique called paper piecing to to make the log cabin. I had done paper piecing years ago, but I watched this youtube video to refresh my memory on how to do it.

And here is the finished quilt:


I’m very happy with it, and, if I do say so myself, I think it’s even cuter than the quilt that I used for inspiration!

Sweet dreams under your new quilt, little brother!