On Wednesday of last week I realized that little Bee's birthday party was on Saturday and, well....ummmm....I was TOTALLY unprepared. I had made no plans, bought nothing, made nothing, and was basically in denial of the fact that my baby was turning 1. It was time to get busy!
Belle helped me decided on a theme. Can you guess????
In our family, we don't do big parties with lots of little munchkins until the age of 3 (totally arbitrary rule that we created completely on accident, but we like it, so we're sticking with it), so I didn't need crazy numbers of things to occupy 20 little tyrannosauruses. Just a few party favors for the kids in our life who qualify as "family" even if they aren't actually related. The backyard, all the new toys, not to mention the pizza and cake would provide plenty of entertainment.
We decided that a dinosaur party needed to be green, but then added in a little pink to make it more girly. I raided the stash and came up with a pile of pink and green fabric that was taller than Bee. During nap on Wednesday I drew a few big dino pictures for Belle to color while I cut out all the things we would be making (more on the magic dino pics in another post) .
After 2 days of cutting, pinning, sewing and stitching we were able to put together an entire party with just the things on hand. That's Making Do at its best, if I do say so myself!
As always, if your stash isn't as generous as mine, all the directions below include general guidelines for what you might need to buy.
You will need - lots of pieces of fabric (you can make as many flags as you want in as many different fabrics as you want...mine has 15 flags of 15 different fabrics all backed in white), a long piece of ribbon
1. Create a triangle pennant pattern. I did this with a large sheet of paper. Fold the paper in half hot dog style but crease only about one inch at the edge of the paper. Make a small mark at the very edge of the paper right on your crease. That mark will be the bottom point of your pennant. Then using a straight edge, draw a line connecting that point to each of the top corners of the paper. Cut the excess smaller triangles off and discard (or give to your child to color).
2. Trace your pattern onto the backsides of your fabric pieces. You will need TWO triangles for each flag. You can make the front and back match or pick coordinating fabric for the back sides (I just used white).
3. Place each pair of traingles right sides together and pin down the two long sides.
4. Sew down the two long sides of each traingle, then clip the point at the bottom off (be careful not to clip your stitches) and turn the flag right side out.
5. Press the flag and, if necessary, trim so that the top (RAW) edge is straight.
6. Line the flags up and put them in the order you want them to hang. My flags are all about 1 inch apart. Place the ribbon over the top edge of the flags and pin in place. Be sure that the raw edges do not show above the edge of the ribbon.
7. Use a wide zigzag stitch to sew each flag to the ribbon. If you are using satin ribbon, as I was, it is easier to sew each flag on separately and clip the threads between each one. If you are using grograin ribbon you can sew one long stitch line down the entire ribbon.
8. Be sure to clip any loose threads or strings from the raw edges.
Your bunting can be secured with packing tape to your table, high chair, or mantel. It can also be tied to deck rails, fence posts etc. for an outdoor party.
You will need - large rectangle of fabric (2 per bag), ribbon or cord
1. Decide how large your finished bag needs to be. Mine are 12x16, but you will not likely need one that large for most types of party favors.
2. Add seam allowances...this is a bit of tricky math so I'm going to show you mine:
a. Double the length 16x2=32
b. Add 2 inches to the length for foldover 32+2=34
c. Add 1/2" to the length for seam allowance 34+1/2=34.5
d. Add 1 to the width for seam allowance 12+1=13
e. Cutting measurements are now 13x34.5.
3. Cut TWO rectangles for each bag.
4. Place the two rectangles right sides together and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew all the way around the edges leaving a 4" opening for turning.
5. Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out. Press flat and be sure to press the raw edges of the opening under so they will be sewn closed in the next step. Fold the short ends down 1" to form the ribbon casing and press in place. Then fold the bag in half hamburger style and press...you will now see what your finished bag will look like.
6. Sew across the bottom edges of the ribbon casing. Then, using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew down the two sides of the bag from the bottom edge of the ribbon casing to the bottom of the bag. DO NOT SEW THE RIBBON CASING CLOSED!
7. Cut a piece of ribbon that is the width of your bag + 6 x 2 (12+6=18, 18x2=36, so cut 36" of ribbon). Use a safety pin to thread it through the ribbon casing. Tie the two ends of the ribbon together in a small knot. If you are adding a bag tag - wait to tie the ends together until after you have put it on.
You will need - small scraps of felt, embroidery thread, small piece of ribbon
1. Draw the shape of your tag on a piece of paper and cut it out. Use this to trace a front and back for each tag you want to make. Mine were dinos, of course.
2. Cut out an initial for each tag if desired.
3. Stitch the initial (or other design) to the front of the tag. I used a back stitch, but you can just use a regular running stitch if you want.
4. Put the front and back together WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. Fold a small piece of ribbon in half and insert the raw edge end between the two layers of felt at the top of the tag. Pin in place. Stitch around the outside edge being careful to use neat, even stitches.
5. Slip the ribbon loop over the ribbon of your gift bag and then tie the bag ribbon ends together.
You will need - fabric scraps, felt scraps, stuffing, embroidery thread
1. Design a simple outline on paper. Cut out your pattern and use it to cut two pieces for each softie. Use felt to design embellishments if desired (eyes, spots, spikes etc.). You will need to stitch all embellishments to each piece before putting the softie together. Things like plates or spikes will be sewn in during the final construction step. You can also embroider eyes, patterns etc. at this point.
2. Place the two pieces right sides together and pin. If you are adding spikes they will need to point down into your sandwich and be tucked in completely before sewing. Sew all the way around your softie leaving a 2-3 inch opening to turn.
3. Turn your softie right side out (your spikes will stick up now) and stuff well. Fold the edges of the opening under and slip stitch the opening closed.
Applique T-Shirt: I decided to try to protect the party dress (I'll do a dress post later...I think you'll LOVE it!) from the mounds of cake icing, so I put this together for Bee to wear while she ate her cake.
You will need - a oneise or tee (I keep a stock of the plain white Carters onesies in my stash, but you might need to buy one of these), fabric scraps, iron-on fusing paper (available at craft stores)
1. Draw out your design on plain paper. Be sure that it fits on your tee.
2. Trace each individual piece on the iron-on paper. This will actually end up as a mirror-image, so if you are doing a name or something else that is direction specific, be sure that you create a mirror image of what you want the finished project to look like.
3. Cut around each piece...you don't need to cut on the lines at this point, just cut close to your piece.
4. Place each piece on the WRONG side of the fabric that you have chosen for that part. Follow the package instructions to iron onto the fabric. Now you will need to craefully cut all of the pieces out on the lines you drew.
5. Peel the backs off of all of your pieces and arrange them on your tee. Follow the package instructions again to iron the pieces to your tee.
6. Use a straight or zigzag stitch to sew around the edges of all of your pieces. When you need to make a sharp turn, be sure that your needle is all the way down in your fabric, then lift the presser foot, turn your fabric, and put your presser foot back down before continuing to sew. If you have a lot of small pieces it is easier to use a straight stitch. Large, simple pieces look cute with a zigzag.
TIP - you can use the hand wheel on your sewing machine to sew one stitch at time in small sections if necessary.
Add some ballons and a few pizzas and have a blast at your birthday bash!