Category: Homemade

Prince Costume Tutorial

Prince Costume Tutorial by The Mommy City

Ethan’s school is having a Disney Prince and Princess theme day which means mommy has an excuse to do some sewing. I have been so busy lately I haven’t used my sewing machine in months and after a few hours spent on Pinterest, I have plenty of new projects planned. During my search, I was surprised by how few posts there are for boys dress up costumes. Desert Chica has good no sewing required tutorials for Prince Charming and the Snow White Prince, but besides those, not much else. Like Karen, I chose to make a costume for the Prince in Snow White. He wasn’t given a name in the original book, and apparently since he was so difficult to illustrate, he only had a small part at the beginning and end of the story. He was thought to be later named as Florian or Ferdinand, but I’m just going to call him The Prince. My little prince did enjoy dressing up with his sister for the photos and even though there were no toy fire engines in Snow White, he has to have a car in his hand at all times and I guess it’s better than a sword.

I chose materials for the costume from my stash of fabric and sewing supplies as I really need to start using what I have (and in any event, I couldn’t find anything nicer from a trip to my local fabric store). As I started making the costume, I changed some of what I was going to originally use and you should do the same. See what works and what doesn’t for you. I don’t have a pattern or measurements as I used my son’s T-shirt, but will show how I made it as best as I can below. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could make the same from felt, hand-sewing where required.

Prince Costume Tutorial by The Mommy City

1. Materials: I used my stash of polycotton blue and red fabrics for the tunic and cape. Brown ribbon for the chest straps, thin gold ribbon for the edging, thick gold ribbon for the belt, tan felt for the buckle and red felt for the neck trim. I secured the belt with blue snaps (or use velcro). You will also need matching thread, scissors and a sewing machine.

2. Tunic: Lay two pieces of blue fabric on top of each other. Fold the fabric in half right sides together and pin to secure. Place your child’s T-shirt on the fold and you it as a guide to generously traced around it to make your tunic. Since I used a thin polycotton, I decided to cut two identical pieces to sew together. This would strengthen the tunic and I wouldn’t need to hem the fabric. If you are using thicker fabric, you can rather use one piece and hem all sides.

Prince Costume Tutorial by The Mommy City

3. Trace around the neck, arms and curve the bottom edges. Even though there are no arm holes, the shaping around the arms sits better on the body. Unfold the fabric, pin the two layers right side together and sew around the edges (except the neck) leaving a 3 inch gap. Turn the fabric right side out through the gap and press with an iron. Tip: pin the edges, trace and cut the one arm hole. Flip over and use this piece of fabric to trace the same shape on the other arm.

4. Cape: Fold the red fabric in half right sides together. Place the folded tunic on the fabric and trace around it to create the shape of the cape, adding 1 inch on all sides and an extra 2 inches of length at the bottom. Pin right sides together and sew around the edges leaving a 3 inch gap. turn the fabric right side out through the gap and press with an iron. Top stitch with red thread around the edges of the cape, closing the gap along the way.

Prince Costume Tutorial by The Mommy City

5. Straps: Pin 2 pieces of brown ribbon (or closest colour, as you can see mine is more tan than brown as that’s what I had) from the middle of the neck to either side under the arms. Stitch in place.

6. Edging: I used gold ribbon, however bias trim would work better. Stitch the ribbon along the front edge of the tunic, except the neck. Instead of pinning the ribbon as it was so narrow, I slowly fed the ribbon in place as I sewed along the edge.

7. Belt: There are a few ways you can make the belt, depending on what materials you have available. I stitched gold ribbon along the front waist of the tunic, leaving 5 inches on each side. I cut a rectangle out of tan felt and stitched in the centre as the buckle.

8. Ties: Fold over the ends of the ribbon twice and stitch. To secure the belt to the back of the tunic, I used matching blue snaps in two positions so it would fit different child sizes. You can use velcro instead of snaps. Alternatively, use a long piece of ribbon which ties at the back in a bow.

Prince Costume Tutorial by The Mommy City

9. Neck: Cut a thin strip of red felt, fold in half and stitch around the neck. You can use bias if you have. I used the colour red as the cape in the illustrations of The Prince, ties to the front of the neck.

10. Cape: Sew the cape to each shoulder of the tunic. I wanted the costume to be in one piece as it had to be easy for my 2 year old to wear, and for safety reasons I didn’t want a loose cape hanging around his neck. The weight of the cape off the shoulders does mean the tunic pulls back a bit. If you want the cape sitting more forward around the neck, spend a little longer in step 4 tracing around the neck hole so the cape comes to the front more.

11. Costume: Now you are done, you can sit back after the 4 hours it took to make it, and admire your work. Match with a white long sleeved top, grey/blue trousers, and boots. What I like most about the tunic (besides being fairly easy to sew) is that it will grow with your child. You didn’t put all that effort in for them to outgrow the costume in a few months. If you ensure the neck hole is generous, the costume will last a few seasons and be handed down to friends and family over the years. Enjoy playtime!

Prince Costume Tutorial by The Mommy City

Sunflower Bandana Sewing Projects

It’s Bandana Day today! You may well be wearing a bandana today and I sent the kids off to school wearing theirs. This year I sewed 4 projects using the colourful bandanas, with a focus on handy household items. I started by making a foldable shopper so I also have a bag with me with a go shopping.

Sunflower Fund Sewing ProjectsMy next project was a reversible bowl cover with two different colour bandanas, using the tutorial by A Kitschy Kitchen Blog. These bowl covers replace cling wrap and ideal for keeping the flies off your food and make for a pretty dining table. Use over bowls filled with chips, bread or rolls, salad or pasta. Pop them in the wash if they get dirty, but since they aren’t coated, rather use on drier food items or on bowls with a deep dish.

Sunflower Fund Sewing ProjectsWith my fabric scraps, I made a plastic/grocery bag holder for the kitchen. Even though I try use reusable bags, I still sometimes get plastic bags at the shops and they are also so handy to use around the house. These two tutorials by the Craftiness is not optional and Make It and Love It blogs will help you sew this easy project which is so useful and brightens up your kitchen.

Sunflower Fund Sewing ProjectsThis project isn’t for the home, but I couldn’t resist making this pattern which I found through Pinterest. One Lucky Day made a bunch of these purses for her girls and I just love the flap in front and how it shows off the two different bandana colours. These would make brilliant gift bags for Christmas presents.

Please show your support for The Sunflower Fund by wearing your bandana or trying out these sewing projects. You can find out more about this cause on their website.

Sunflower bandana shopping bag

The Sunflower Fund Shopper by The Mommy CityIt’s Bandana Day on 12 October and The Sunflower Fund have released their new bandanas on sale for R25 at Pick ‘n Pay stores, Round Table Southern Africa branches, Zando and their offices in Westlake, Cape Town. Last year I started using the bandanas for various sewing projects inspired by Paige and Ethan. This year I want to once again show you how to transform these bright squares of fabric into fun and useful items for your home. The proceeds of bandana sales go towards the costs of registering bone marrow donors, and helping to save lives. So please go buy your bandanas and wear them, sew with them and show your support for this great cause.

Reusable shopping bags are the way to go but I often forget them in the car if they don’t fit into my handbag and my last roll-up bag eventually broke. Stitched by Crystal has a lovely tutorial for a reusable shopping bag which rolls up and is secured by elastic which you sew into the seam – such a clever pattern. I added a snap button to close the bag and it looks really striking in the purple and orange bandana fabric.The bag was smaller than I wanted, and I would add another 4″/10cm to the length. Check out my Pinterest Bandana Board for more sewing tutorials and ideas.

The Sunflower Fund Shopper by The Mommy City

More bandana sewing projects:

The Sunflower Fund Bib by The Mommy City The Sunflower Fund pant by The Mommy City The Sunflower Fund apron by The Mommy City

More Sew Useful storage solutions to sew for the home

Sew Useful book review - The Mommy CityI am back at my sewing machine, working my way through Debbie Shore’s new book Sew Useful (Metz Press) with 23 simple storage solutions to sew for the home. In my first review of the book I had completed the toy bag and liked that I had learnt a few new things and added some new items to my sewing supplies. My next project was the nappy holder, as it is really handy for storing Ethan’s nappies and it has freed up space on his shelf. The velcro straps allow the holder to be strapped onto drawer handles, the cot and on a hanger. It’s particularly handy being able to move it around and if you have a particular place you want to hang it, like the cot, just measure the length so you can adjust the straps if need be.

The book has a variety of storage solutions and Debbie’s fabric combinations have encouraged me to be more bold with my choices, as you can see from my gift wrap pouch. I would never have thought to put these 3 shweshwe patterns together, but it works and I’m so happy with how it came out. The pouch is made using an embroidery hoop and has the main pouch for wrapping paper, and pockets for storing cards, tags, scissors, sticky tape, and anything else you like. My pouch looks shorter than the one in the book, and I would probably make it longer if I sew it again. The jewellery pouch is a pretty presentation pouch for jewellery or any gift you want to store in it. It has 7 compartments to keep jewellery from scratching and also makes a nice travel pouch. They are fairly quick to sew and I may make some more later in the year in Christmas fabric to use instead of gift wrapping, and is a present in itself.

Each project in the book comes with step-by-step instructions, full colour photographs, tips and all measurements are in cm and inches. If you want your own copy of Sew Useful, it’s available in all leading bookstores and Metz Press at a reasonably priced R175. Available in Afrikaans as So Nuttig.

Sew Useful book review - The Mommy City

Sew Useful storage solutions to sew for the home

Sew Useful book review - The Mommy CityI have been busy at my sewing machine thanks to Debbie Shore and her new book Sew Useful (Metz Press) with 23 simple storage solutions to sew for the home. As soon as the book arrived to review, I pulled out my fabric and started choosing between all the projects. I decided on the toy bag to start as I’ve been wanting to use this A-Z printed fabric and thought it would suit perfectly. The projects have been designed for use on a home sewing machine, with step-by-step instructions and there is something for sewers of all abilities. This for me is important as I’m still learning to sew and even though I’m confident with the easier projects, I also want to challenge myself and learn as I work through the book. So far I have already added 2 new items to my sewing kit – eyelets/grommets and fabric glue – and there is a section on learning basic techniques and stitches.

Our toy bag holds the kids’ Lego and you can make them a little bigger to double as a play mat. It’s practical, easy enough to sew and will make nice gifts as well. I did need to learn to use eyelets and since my local fabric store didn’t have, I bought a Grip Grommet Kit from Builders Warehouse (in the hand tools section). I practised first with scrap fabric and found that it worked best if I placed a strip of felt at the back of my fabric for thickness and added fabric strength. Another addition I made was using toggles to help fasten the cord and prevent the tied ends from being pulled through the eyelets. I am very pleased with the result and want to make a few more.

There are some handy storage projects for the nursery including a nappy holder, toy hammock, laundry bag, storage cubes and hoop baskets for little bits and bobs like cotton balls. I’ll share my other completed projects in the next few weeks and if you want to buy your own copy of Sew Useful, it’s available in all leading bookstores and Metz Press at a reasonably priced R175. Available in Afrikaans as So Nuttig.Sew Useful book review - The Mommy City

Sunflower bandana pants

The Sunflower Fund Bandana Pant by The Mommy CityThis Sunday is Bandana Day and to support The Sunflower Fund, I have been busy sewing and so far have made dribble bibs for Ethan and a reversible apron for Paige. With my pink and purple bandanas, I used this tutorial by Blue Yonder to sew some play pants. A little crazy but oh so fun and lightweight for summer. I had to cut down the bandanas as they were too big to make pants that would fit a 2 year old, so I recommend using a pair of your child’s pants as a guide with the tutorial. You can purchase your bandanas at Pick ‘n Pay stores for R25.

The Sunflower Fund is committed to help educate, recruit and raise funds for the South African Bone Marrow Registry. This non-profit organisation has a vision to give all South Africans diagnosed with leukaemia and other life-threatening blood disorders the chance of life, irrespective of their race and financial circumstances. Their work is crucial as the chance of finding a compatible bone marrow donor is 1:100 000 so they need as many donors as they can from all ethnic groups. Signing up and donating is easier than you think so please take a look at their website to find out more about what you can do to help.

Tatty Teddy nursery

Tatty Teddy Nursery - The Mommy CityDurban based Bronwyn Goble, and friend of mine, has shared some pics of her gorgeous tatty teddy nursery. Bronwyn just last week gave birth to her precious girl, Charlotte, and both mom and baby are doing well. I love to hear the stories behind the spaces parents create for their children, and what makes them feel ‘at home’ in the room.

Tatty Teddy Nursery - The Mommy CityBronwyn’s inspiration for the room was simply that she loves tatty teddy and thinks he is the cutest bear. They decided not to find out the sex of their little one so decided to go with yellow, grey and white. Many hours were spent searching on Google and Pinterest for ideas, and I think they got the room just right.

Tatty Teddy Nursery - The Mommy CityThey were extremely blessed and lucky to have the help of their family and everything you see has actually been made or fixed by someone in the family. Bronwyn’s mom did the embroidery and made all the linen, her sister made the cute nappy bag and door stop, her mother in-law made the curtains and her dad and husband sorted out all the furniture (the cot was second hand which they fixed up). Bronwyn did some of the sewing and made the wall art which was printed by Fotomax. And the lovely maternity photos on the wall were taken by her sister, of Melissa Palmer Photography. What a talented family!

Want to feature your nursery on The Mommy City? Please send an email to sarah@themommycity.co.za.