Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lego Birthday Party, Post 1 (of 30482309482)

Are you ready for a string of birthday party posts? 

Riley wants a lego party, so a lego party he shall have. Much of our party is inspired Delia's awesome party, including the invites. Delia offers her invite up for download in case you want to use it. Riley wanted a red background, so I took these photos with one of his minifigures, and I thought I'd offer them up to you all in case you have Lego lovers in your house too. The background is embossed Lego scrapbooking paper from Joann's, and the Lego Minifigure is from series 4, which hasn't been released yet according to Amazon. I picked them up at Toys 'R Us. I used picnik to add the text to the image. Feel free to use these for your own lego party invites!

Tomorrow, I'll be talking about what to get 9-year-old (dare I say TWEEN) boys for their birthday. I'm really pleased with all the gifts I got him this year, and I get lots of questions about what to do/give/make for older boys, so we'll cover the giving portion tomorrow. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Let's Hear It For The Boys!

I meant to post about this earlier today, but I've been here all day getting my butt kicked with five (yes, FIVE) little boys.

Have you heard about this contest happening over at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar? It's called "Let's Hear It for the Boys", and it is all about making awesome tops for little dudes.

I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

Cheri has some fantastic judges (including one of my favorite people ever), and there is tons of inspiration to be found in the other entries.

You've still got a teeny bit of time left to enter. Check it out! My current favorites can be found at Sew a Straight Line, Crafty NH Mom, Making the World Cuter, Shwin&Shwin, and Tina's Craft Projects and Other Crap. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Diagnose my Photography Problem, version 2

I also could have titled this post "I've been too busy grading papers to sew anything". ;) 

Side note - please teach your children how to write sentences with a subject and a predicate. And tell them not to start sentences in formal research papers with "So, apparently..." and finish them with "I guess". This does not imbue the reader with a sense that the author knows what they are talking about. 

Trust me, their college professors will appreciate your efforts. ;)


I've been playing around with my (and by "my", I mean Bryan's) camera. Over the weekend I took these pictures of Q in the backyard. On the left is what came out of the camera. On the right, my edited version. Obviously the originals are super washed out.

What's a girl gotta do to keep her photos from being super washed out? Is it too much light (ISO, right?)? Or is it a shutter speed issue? Someday I'll get around to taking a class on the subject, but right now, I hope you'll share your expertise. :)










Monday, March 14, 2011

Flickr Feature - Spring Bag Time!

Is this not the brightest, springiest bag ever? So fun! Amy over at Little Bean Workshop made this using the Grandview Bag tutorial awhile back. 

Don't you love that fantastic lining? I just think this whole bag is so fun. 

Next up is one from Flickr user brendaamanda (click on photo to see it on Flickr). I LOVE this in the light blue baby wale cord. Really springy and so cute. Aside from having fabulous fabric selection, notice the top edge. Remember in the tutorial when I told you not to topstitch that edge? I did that because I didn't want my ruffles to get wonky. But here, Brenda has sewn those ruffles into the top seam and topstitched and it looks AWESOME. So, for those of you who want to topstitch this baby, it can be done. 


This one, from nicoleferg, topstitched just around the back.

MyGrandviewBag Inside

This next version is from Flickr user Seven Gees, and I love how she used a strip of the outer fabric at the top of the lining (a facing, I guess) to keep the lining fabric from peeking at the top of the bag. 


And I love the zipper pocket! These are so easy to do, and you can find a great tutorial for them here.


And finally, here's one from my dear friend Bonnie, who decided to use grosgrain ribbon for the ruffles so she didn't have to finish the edges! Brilliant! 

pink ruffle purse

I'm getting the itch to make myself a new spring bag. I'm thinking maybe one of of these in a spring colored chambray with, dare I say it, RUFFLES. And maybe a tutorial. :) 

What do you think?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inner Hooker Pattern Winners!

The winners of the Inner Hooker Pattern Giveaway are...

Number 67 - Lee! Her comments actually came up twice in a row - pulled 67 then 66 - so I guess she is REALLY supposed to have these patterns!

Number 127 - Pamela! 

Number 16 - Mandy! One of my favorite bloggers, of Sugar Bee Crafts and One Month to Win It

Congrats ladies! I'm sending an email your way!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What Happens When Mommy Goes to the Potty, By Quinn and Sawyer

***Don't forget to enter the Inner Hooker giveaway here. It ends tomorrow.***

"Mommy, I messy."


They baked cornbread. And yes my oven is that dirty. Don't judge. ;)


Sawyer thought it was delicious. Guess he's not on board with my whole "introduce fruits and vegetables first" thing. 


And when they were done, they put the cornmeal away. Along with my (really Bryan's) shoe. How thoughtful. 


I swear I wasn't gone for more than 3 or so minutes. Does anyone else have kids that can destroy a house in less than five minutes? You do, right? It's not just me. 


They're lucky they're cute. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Celebrating the Boy Outtakes

It all started out so well.


Until someone wanted to go play on the flooded playground.




What kind of mean mommy won't let their kid play on a flooded playground?



Oh wait, right, that would be me.



Poor kid. It's hard being 2.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celebrate the Boy: Layered-Look Pirate Shirt Tutorial

Hey there, boy celebrators!

I am so excited to be part of Celebrating the Boy!  I'm Emily, and this is my blog, The Boy Trifecta. If you've never been here before, welcome! I'll tell you just a bit about myself before we get started. I have three fantastic boys - Riley, Quinn, and Sawyer - and they are the reason I taught myself how to sew and crochet. I blog almost exclusively about making for boys, so for me, Celebrate the Boy is better than Christmas! More than anything else, I love making unique, interesting clothes for little men. I try out just about every boy pattern I can get my hands on, and make up my own by trial and error (mostly error) whenever I can. 

Here are some of the projects and tutorials you can find me working on here:

I've also been known to make a bag or two (hey, mamas need somewhere to store all those Hot Wheels I am constantly lugging around!). 

Today, we are making layered-look shirts, and giving them a little pirate flare. 



I LOVE a layered look on little boys, but I can't get mine to stand still long enough for me to get one layer of clothing on, let alone several! Today, we're giving a boring old shirt contrasting, layered-look sleeves, as well as some pirate-themed stencil and appliqué option for the front of the shirts. Because what boy doesn't love pirates? These shirts are quick to whip up and achieve the layered look without the wrestling match with your little guy. So let's get started!

Supplies for shirt:
T-shirt (can be long or short sleeved)
Contrasting knit fabric (or you can just cut the sleeves off another shirt, as I did for one of these)
Seam Ripper (if your shirt has unwanted pockets)
Sewing Machine

Supplies for appliqués:
Freezer paper
Craft knife
Brown fabric scrap
Knit fabric scraps of your choice
Gold and black fabric paint

First, grab your boring old shirts. I got these at Target on clearance for practically nothing. 

I can never find a good, solid colored shirt without a pocket, so I always rip them off. 

But don't throw your pockets away! We'll use them again later. 

Now grab a pair of scissors, and if your shirt is long-sleeved, cut those sleeves off about halfway down. 

Next, cut open the sleeve portion you just removed at the seam. We're going to use it as our template for the contrasting sleeve. 

Using the old sleeve as your guide, cut a new piece of fabric for the contrasting sleeve, leaving enough seam allowance on the bottom for a hem, on the sides to sew the sleeve together, and about an inch at the top. 

Set your sleeves aside for just a second. 

Remember that pocket we ripped off? Let's sew it back on the top of the sleeve. It is way cuter and more interesting there. Don't want a pocket on the sleeve? That's ok - these pockets work great on toys, in jackets, on comfy knit pants, wherever you need a pocket! Don't throw them away!

I found that it worked best to sew from the bottom middle point on the pocket out to the top, and then start at the middle again and sew up the other side. The sleeve on my 12 month size shirt was just too small to maneuver all the way around from one side to the other. However, on the 3T size I did, I started at one corner and sewed around to the other and it was perfectly fine.

Ok, grab those sleeves again. Starting at the top edge, sew the sleeve right sides together for about an inch - not the entire length of the sleeve! You need the sleeve seam to be mostly open to sew it to the main shirt. Having that seam mostly open makes life easier because you can move the fabric around instead of having to sew inside a long tiny tube. 

Now is the time to hem the bottom edge of the sleeve if you aren't using an existing hem from another shirt sleeve.

Grab your shirt, and press the raw edge of the sleeve in about 3/4 inch.

Now pin your contrasting sleeve in to the shirt, making sure to match up the seam of the shirt sleeve with the open edge of the contrasting sleeve (where you will sew the sleeve together later).

Sewing from the inside of your sleeve, sew your new contrasting sleeve to the shirt, making sure to catch the sleeve edge you pressed under in your seam.

Look at that! You're almost done! Your sleeve is attached...

Now just sew up the inside of the contrasting sleeve,

You're done! Now, I think these are pretty darn cute just like this, but if you want to pirate them up a bit, we can do that too!

For the treasure chest, we are going to stencil in layers. Need a freezer paper stenciling tutorial? Dana has a great one right here.

So, print the template right on to the dull side of a piece of freezer paper. Iron it on to a brown fabric scrap (I used brown tweed, which I am sure will not wash well, but looked cute!). 

Stencil the gold sections first.

Then repeat with the black sections, after the gold section dries. I somehow missed photographing this step, but I think you guys can figure it out. After the paint is dry, fuse some double-sided fusible web to the back, cut out the chest, fuse it to your shirt and stitch down. I also chose to stencil the words "Shake Your Booty" along with my pirate chest. 

Want the skull pirate? Grab the template and trace or print onto freezer paper. I use knit fabric for this appliqué, and no fusible at all. However, I love using the freezer paper to stabilize the knit while I cut. 

I also added the little pirate rag-hat thing (what are those called?) just by re-tracing the curve of the head and making some little leaf shapes out to the side.

Pin that pirate skull down and sew.

Guess what? You're totally done! Find some amazingly cute boys to model your new shirts!



Let them tie a random scrap of fabric to their heads and use a toothbrush as a sword.



And ABSOLUTELY let their big brothers convince them to call everyone "scurvy dogs" all night long, just for your own amusement. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, and thank you to Dana and Rae for putting together such a fantastic series of boy projects! I hope you both know how much this series is loved and appreciated by moms like me!
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