Category Archives: bird

sewing angry bird costumes

What’s that you say? Halloween was a week ago?
So it was! But I had a sick child, an eternal doctor’s visit, and a small assortment of other hassles last week that intervened with this writing, so you get it today!

We present Red Angry Bird and Blue Angry Bird, with courtesies to a friend for the photographs:
Red Angry Bird Birdie

Blue Angry Bird Eliot

The costumes were Eliot’s idea. We had to herd him into committing, though, as he was inclined to invent about a hundred other costume ideas between mid-September and Halloween. I liked this, though, because I felt they would be fairly easy to sew (unlike last year’s Buzz Lightyear), and although Angry Birds are very popular, I didn’t think they would be super prevalent on the darkened streets.

I used Simplicity 2070, a toddler chick or pumpkin costume pattern, which I thought would be easy to alter to a bird situation. Red and blue fleece, and I didn’t make legs, because the angry birds don’t seem to have legs, and I didn’t need additional work. The pattern was ridiculously easy, both to cut and to assemble. I probably spent about five hours total on both costumes, plus an additional hour reminding Eliot that he didn’t get to change his mind once I’d purchased the materials to make his initial choice.

my angry birds!

They both seem to really like their costumes and they were adorable, in my personal opinion. Half of the houses we visited knew what they were, and the rest thought that they had something to do with Phineas and Ferb: something about a platypus?

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pulling it all together: pattern review

Gathering ruffles

I am so excited about both of my October sewing projects.

The first is a tiered twirl dress for Bird, loosely based on a particular Matilda Jane dress from several years ago that looked so deliciously twirly and gathered. I found a pattern from Kustom Kids Boutique, the Nini dress, which I don’t see in their shop. I love PDF patterns, because typically they show up in my email box minutes after I buy them, satisfying my desire for instant gratification even if I don’t start on them right away. The pattern was very easy to follow. My only trouble came in gathering my tiers. I sewed all around the bottom tier twice, as instructed, with loose gathering threads. Sat to gather, and the thread broke. And I did this again, with the same results. Mind you, that I’m working with something like 14 1/2 feet of fabric in one tier alone. Everything had come along so easily, including using an overlock stitch feature on my still quite new-to-me machine, that I felt really frustrated.

Finally, I dug out some heavier thread, which worked swimmingly. I also have to credit the shop owner, who answered my woeful email with a couple of helpful tips and just the right amount of sympathy. On the dress, I still have to cover the buttons and stitch them on the straps, then hem it, but otherwise, nearly finished. I can see making another one, but it won’t be anytime soon!

Pics will be up when it’s all complete.


Lazy Saturdays (on somewhat less lazy Tuesdays)

One of my favorite things about having friends who don’t have kids is that sometimes we end up having sleepovers at our house. Usually it involves a lot of alcohol the night before, although this particular time, it involved quite a bit of wine, but also a ton of amazing food at Mangia, an Italian food event that happens every weekend not far from us.

What’s even more fun than the impromptu sleepover is the impromptu lazy day that follows. This is not to say that every minute of our Saturday is washed away by sheer bumming, but we do tend to all lie in, once the children are set up with a video or breakfast, and then we all sit about dazedly gazing at the children, and then eventually we have breakfast. Sometimes followed almost immediately by lunch.

Last Friday, we went out for the aforementioned amazing meal. We woke on Saturday, and I made every adult a delicious egg-turkey bacon-cheese English muffin, once I went to the store to procure more English muffins (a trip I could have avoided had I merely checked the garage freezer). While at the store, I also bought more coffee filters, after reading this blog post on The Artful Parent about coffee filter spider webs for Halloween decoration. Birdie really loves her some cutting of coffee filters, and not being certain we had any (I use reusable ones for my daily brew), I figured I’d pick up some more. $1.29 investment that is unlikely to go to waste.

She wandered in as the adults wrapped up their meal, and I directed her to the coffee filters. She dove in, pulling out the scissor bin, and setting to making webs that looked remarkably like the snowflakes of last winter. We reread the blog post. The crafty member of our friend-set secured her own pair of scissors, and before long, she and Birdie had the hang of spider webs. Bird got distracted, though, by the idea of ghosts.

2011-10 decor (8)

She turned to stuffing one filter into another and tying up their necks with twist ties, thereby clearing out my stash. I brought a needle and thread to the table and stitched up a ghostie garland. Husband attempted a very detailed spider before he and the crafter’s husband took off to play football in the perfect fall air.

Halloween crafting!

2011-10 decor (9)

Birdie went out for a bit, as well, but drifted back to the table several times over the late morning and early afternoon before she and our friend had covered the kitchen window with decorations. Googly-eyed pipe cleaner spiders, coffee filter spider webs, and a choir of ghosts filled every pane above the dog’s level.

2011-10 decor (6)

2011-10 decor (5)

While I’m sure that some of this would have happened at some point anyway, I love that it became a family affair, surrounding Birdie with people who love her and love doing things with her. Except Eliot, who was very very busy.

Parenting by machine.