Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sew Easy!

I started off Genny's nap time outside, where our shade is still set up and Glenn was sleeping peacefully on this nice day. I brought out some fabric to cut, enjoying the perfect temperature and the perfect breeze. Since making the two hats (er, two successful hats) I've wanted to make a hat for a few friends and family that have toddlers (yup, if you're reading this and you have a toddler, you may as well expect a sun hat coming soon) I needed to cut the pieces out of the fabrics I had chosen for each child, and thought it would be a nice task in the nice weather.

When I went inside with Glenn to start sewing the pieces together for the hats, I saw some fabric I had purchased for a different purpose at the same time I had purchased the fabric for the hats. Since that project was something that I though would be super easy, I decided to work on that instead of sewing the hats. It's a project that I've had marinating in my mind for a number of weeks now, formulating how I was going to go about making the items, and today I felt ready to put my ideas into motion.

When Genny was taking her Kindermusik class, there was a fun Jamaican song that we would dance to, using streamers to shake, twirl and dance with. Genny LOVED using the streamers. Along with the weekly classes, Kindermusik comes with a dual CD that has all of the songs we listened to in class. Genny and I have listened to it many times, and it surprised me that she remembered the specific activities we would do with the songs. For instance, there is a song about floating down the river, and in music class we would use a hula-hoop as a pretend inner tube, walking in a slow circle as if we were indeed floating down the river. Genny found a piece of plastic from her excersaucer that was shaped in a half-circle, and she would use this to 'float' down the river. So I got to thinking, what can I make to revisit music class here in our own home? Some of the items are easy to acquire: egg shakers, hula-hoop and keys with a bell on them. I figured that the streamers would be fairly easy to make, and I was right! They won't win any best in show awards at the local craft fair, but they seem to do their job (in the few minutes that I've played with them since making them about an hour ago) and we'll see just how much Genny likes them after she gets up from her nap.

Here are the instructions if you'd like to make some streamers for your little one:

What you'll need:
*1/4 yard of light breezy fabric or vinyl in a few colors. I bought three different colors with the lighter fabrics and two colors with the vinyl.
*an old pair of jeans that you don't mind cutting a leg off
*sewing machine or a sturdy needle that will penetrate jean fabric if you want to hand-sew them
*a good pair of scissors (it's best to buy a good pair of sewing scissors that you use ONLY for sewing projects)

1. Cut the fabric in half. (there will most likely be a fold from where the fabric employee folded it up for you, just go by this line, it doesn't have to be perfect)
This will be the length of your streamers

2. Cut about 4 streamers from each of the halves. Set them aside into two separate piles. When you are finished cutting all the fabrics, you will have them separated already.

3. Alternate each fabric. I wouldn't recommend mixing the light fabrics with the vinyl.

4. Using your sewing machine (or your needle and thread) sew the tops of one side of the streamers to secure them.

5. Cut the bottom off your pair of jeans. Make sure to cut off the hemmed sections on the very bottom of the jeans and also on the two seams, this will just make it harder to sew the jean if you keep these on.

6. Using your sewing machine or your needle and thread, secure the ends of the jean to each side of the already sewn ends of the streamers. You will probably need to push/pull this section through your sewing machine, especially for the vinyl streamers. Use a zig-zag stitch to ensure stability. I went over the section twice; sewing once and then backstiching all the way to the beginning.

If these instructions seem too complicated, or you don't understand them, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment so I can clarify.

Happy sewing to everyone!!

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