Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Make a Halloween Baby Carrier Shark Costume

Get ready to turn heads with the cutest baby in town on Halloween! 

Last year when the cute baby in the photo above was born to my niece, I asked my niece what she wanted or needed for the baby. She told me all she wanted was a baby carrier costume. Music to my ears! Costumes I can do! They're one of my favorite things to create! But a baby carrier costume? I was stumped. I honestly had never heard of such a thing. 

I asked my niece to share photos with me of what she had in mind. She showed me this image of a shark costume. Since the article only explained how to create this costume, but failed to offer a pattern or photos, I'm expanding on this Halloween Baby Carrier Shark Costume idea with a FREE pattern. Trust me, it'll make things a lot easier! 

So... here we go! Get ready to create the easiest, most darling baby costume in town!

HERE is the link to the free baby carrier shark costume pattern. Make sure you print the pattern without shrinking it. 

Let's get started!

Supplies needed

Grey felt
Black felt
Red flat bias tape
White pellon, 1/8 yard
Fiber fill
Grey thread
2 large googly eyes
4-6 Medium to large safety pins


1. Cut out 2 of the bodies from grey felt. Cut a hole for the shark mouth in one of the bodies. 

2. Cut a piece of black felt a little larger than the mouth opening.
3. Cut out teeth from heavy white interfacing like Pellon.

4. Sew the teeth in place. 
5. Sew the black backing behind the teeth.
6. Sew red flat bias tape around the mouth mitering the bottom corners so you get a sharp pointed edge.
7. Right sides facing, sew the grey felt bodies together, leaving an opening to turn them right side out.
8.  Clip the corners and rounded edges.
9.  Turn the shark body right side out.
10. Lightly stuff the shark body with fiber fill.
11. Sew the opening closed.

12. Glue the googly eyes in place
13.  With large safety pins, from the back side of the baby carrier, safety pin the shark body to the carrier.

To complete the costume, dress in black, add swim goggles for you and your little one, and throw on a multicolored blue tutu skirt... you know... because your outfit is going to need a little splash too (pun intended)!  

Happy costume making! And Happy Halloween! 
xoxo Grandma

More costume ideas:

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Flintstones Family Costumes

Are you and your family Halloween fanatics? Are you into choosing a theme for your family costumes? If so, and you love dressing up, you'll love this post. 

My youngest daughter's family loves Halloween and getting all decked out every year. She's a redhead and so is her daughter, so she thought it'd be perfect to choose a Flintstone family theme. To prep her young kids, she let them watch a few episodes of the Flintstones, since they had no idea who they were. Talk about making me feel old!  

The Dino costume was created by using Simplicity pattern #2506, view C. I used a light weight fuschia cotton fabric. If you live somewhere that's colder in October, I'd suggest using fleece. 

The Dino name tag was made out of felt. I cut out two bright yellow circles and with black floss, embroidered the name onto one circle. I added heavy interfacing to the circle and then sewed the pieces together. With black embroidery floss, I sewed the name tag onto a turquoise neckband. The neckband was 3/4" wide and hook and loop were used to hold the neckband together.

On the back of the Dino costume I added random back spots. The black strands on top of the head were made of black fleece. In retrospect, I wish I would have inserted pipe cleaners inside the strands so they would have stood up.

Pebbles shirt was made from a simple lime green cotton fabric. The pattern used was Simplicity #4927, view B. I cut out random black triangles and machine embroidered those onto the fabric before I sewed the top together.  With this shirt, she wore a blue shorts that she already had on hand.

Of course, a white bone is necessary for a cave girl's hair. I cut out two bones out of white felt. Then I sewed the bones together leaving a small opening to turn the bone. I hand sewed an elastic onto the center of the bone to make it easier to attach to hair. If you want to make a bone too, here is the free pattern for the bones I made for Pebbles and the Bam Bam costumes. 

For Bam Bam's costume, I used a basic boy's short pattern. Before I sewed the shorts together, I sewed onto the fabric random, black triangles. The best part is the shorts hem was cut randomly to give it a tattered look. I used a solid brown fabric and cut two slit like buttonholes into the bottom of the strap piece. I made two white bones to put into the slits. 

My grandson's favorite part of the Bam Bam costume was the club. My recommendation for the club is to use a good sturdy fabric. I used felt and felt just doesn't hold up well. I also inserted a dowel into the club before sewing it up, so it wouldn't flop over. The club has dark brown wood type lines machine embroidered onto it. 

Bam Bam's hat was purchased here. I hand sewed the black triangles onto the hat. Then I hot glued a jumbo white pom pom onto the middle of the hat. 

The parents were on their own for their costumes. 

Do your children or grandchildren know who the Flintstones even are? Happy dressing up! xoxo Grandma

Some of the items used to create these costumes can be found here:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Nautical J.Crew Knock-off Sundress

Before this spunky girl went on a trip with her family, I got a request to make her this nautical J.Crew "Knock-off Sundress." 

I made this same dress last summer for two other granddaughters after my daughter fell in love with this style at J.Crew. It was a bit too pricey, even at the outlet, so I figured out how to make it. 

It's summer weather around 80% of the year where my cute granddaughter in these photos lives, so even though it's almost September, she'll be wearing this for another couple of months.

Good thing I didn't wait too long to make it because this sundress arrived the day before her family left on their trip.

I loved and laughed at all the poses this girl came up with for these photos. And don't you just love her choice of shoes? She told her mother that the color matched the dress and who's going to argue with a 3 year-old if they are happy?

The free pattern used to make this sundress can be found here. If you haven't downloaded this pattern, you'll want to. It's pretty simple to make!

The nautical fabric is from Michael Miller and can be found here.

She's such a fun girl! Doesn't her attitude just come right out in these photos? 

How long does summer weather last where you live? Not long enough at my house! 
xoxo Grandma

Link to the fabric used:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Science Lovers Quilt - Periodic Table of Elements

Earlier this year, when my seven year-old grandson requested I make a Periodic Table of Elements quilt for him, I was surprised. I did not know what the Periodic Table of Elements was when I was seven. 

Of course I said yes, not knowing how on earth I was going to create such a thing. I told him it would be his eighth birthday present. That would give me precisely six months to make his requested quilt. 

Now that this quilt is finished, it truly is a perfect gift for my little science lover.

So how did I finally figure out this complex quilt? My first problem to solve was how to get a Table of Elements. I knew I didn't want to spend a million hours sewing all the atomic numbers and all the other details onto fabric. So I searched and contacted several companies that had fabric Table of Elements until I found this washable fabric wall hanging one. It was designed to use in a science classroom. Because it was washable and kids need washable, I knew I had found the key element for this quilt.  

To calm down the bright colors from the Periodic Table of Elements, I bordered the chart with a medium solid grey. This same grey was also used to bind the quilt.

After searching all the quilt shops in my area for a chemistry fabric, I turned to the internet and found the fun beaker pattern from Robert Kaufman called "Science Fair Test Tubes".

I backed the quilt with a black, 90 inch wide minky. In addition to his Periodic Table of Elements request, my grandson requested a warm, soft  fabric for the back of his quilt and minky met both of those requests.

Here's a close-up of the Table of Elements quilted with a random line quilting pattern. This is the first time I've professionally paid to have anything quilted and it was so worth it! I love how the quilting looks symmetrical and professional.

The science beakers are patterns I created. The free patterns for these beakers are located here and here. Theses beakers were cut out of a non fray, white organdy fabric. I cut out the liquid in the beakers from blue and green non-fraying organdy. The liquid was put under the white organdy fabric. The top of the liquid was sewn with thread that coordinated with the liquid fabric color. Then I laid the beaker fabric over the liquid fabric and sewed them together with grey thread. The details on the beakers were added with the same grey thread.

This quilt it going into my carry on luggage in a few weeks, where I"ll  be giving it to my grandson in person. I can hardly wait! 

I had enough of the grey and Science Fair Test Tubes fabric to make him a pillowcase using this technique. Then there was a 14 x 14" square of the Test Tube fabric left so I made this accent pillow:  

I used a black zipper in the bottom of the accent pillow so that a pillow form would be easy to add once it arrives. If you like this design, here is a link to the pattern. With leftover black minky, I added piping around the edge of the pillow. This is the back of the accent pillow:

Do you know of a science lover that would enjoy a quilt like this? If so, please share this post with them. xoxo Grandma

Supplies needed:
2 yards of Science Fair Test Tubes fabric
2 yards of Grey fabric
Scraps of white fabric
Scraps of blue fabric
Scraps of lime green fabric

I purchased these supplies from Amazon:


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Simple Baby Boy Gifts to Sew

Do you need a perfectly simple, yet cute baby boy gift? Today, I'm sharing with you two of my favorite gifts to sew. 

This bow tie and these baby booties both take around 30 minutes to whip up from start to finish, which makes them top contenders for simple baby boy gifts. Plus, look at them... they're darling! 

The free pattern called "Baby Booty" includes a photo tutorial. You'll find this on Michael Miller Fabrics blog. It can be downloaded here.  Once you download this pattern, I'm suggesting you do the following to improve the sewing process just slightly:
  • Step three states to use a seam ripper to rip an opening for the elastic. I think it looks nicer to make buttonholes for the opening instead.
  • Baste the top & top lining and the heel and heel lining before you sew them onto the sole.
  • Add batting between the soles. This gives the soles warmth and cushioning.

This dapper bow tie always impresses a new mom or dad. You'll find the free pattern and tutorial here. For fun, if you have enough fabric, make a matching bow tie for the Dad to be.

Find an hour in your day, grab some scrap fabrics and sew up these two baby boys gifts.

You won't regret making a few extras to have on hand for the next baby shower you're invited to. xoxo Grandma

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Teaching Children to Sew - An Easy Doll Set and a GIVEAWAY!

First things first... we have a GIVEAWAY happening here today! I know you all love giveaways, because I do too. Two lucky readers will have the chance to win one of these cute doll sets I'm featuring here on this post today. But you'll have to read this post in its entirety to find out how to enter. So, stick with me here. It won't take long, I promise.

Now, back to the task at hand... Have you seen these cute doll panels make by Moda? When one of my granddaughters visited us recently, I hoped she'd enjoy sewing one of these kits with me. Turns out, she really did! Keep reading to learn how you can win a few doll panel kits for yourself. 

The panel pictured above is called "Lil' Red Riding Hood." This is what the panel looks like before it's cut out. For this particular project with my granddaughter, I used the panel called "A Walk In the Woods." Before my granddaughter's visit, I cut out the Moda doll panel. Just trying to speed the process along a bit... 

I let my 5 year-old granddaughter be in charge of pressing her foot to the sewing machine petal. After we got a few of the pieces sewn, she sat in the chair next to me and I showed her how to stuff the doll, pillow and the bunny and bear friend with fiberfill

She did pretty well staying on task and as I continued to sew the rest of the pieces from the panel, we talked, laughed and I kept telling her to "add more stuffing."

Her little fingers were perfect for stuffing those small spaces.

When I came into my kitchen the next morning, her doll, Gretel, was tucked under her blanket on the kitchen table with her bunny friend, her head resting on her ruffled pillow.  Also at the kitchen table was my granddaughter. She was busy stuffing Hansel with a smile on her face. This of course melted my sewing-loving heart.

Isn't this doll set just darling? I fluffed the kit up by adding a few additions. If you want your kit to look similar, here's what I did:
  • Cut out the border from the kit and use it to make a ruffle. Sew the ruffle onto the left side of the pillow.
  • Tie onto Gretel's side braids red, organdy ribbon bows.

  • To the bottom of the skirt, I sewed a little left over white trim.

  • Hand sew pom poms onto the backs of the bear and rabbit friends to make a more realistic soft tail.

And there you have it. Your cute little doll (and all her friends) are complete! 

Now... on to the really, really fun part of today's post. THE GIVEAWAY! Thank you Moda Fabrics!

Two lucky readers will win several of these doll panels! So, enter away! Ready, go... 


  • Follow me on Facebook at xoxo Grandma
  • Leave a comment on Facebook. 
  • For extra chances to win, tag a friend or two. 
  • Winners will be chosen on August 1st.
The winners of this giveaway were Kelly Wood and Deanna Lynn.
Thank you to all of you that entered and joined me on my Facebook page.

These panels are an easy tool to teach others to sew - especially youngsters. But if you want to keep one for yourself, I totally understand. Enjoy!
-xoxo Grandma

Here are a few of these fun panels by Moda and designed by Stacy Iset Hsu, if you're interested in sewing one too: 
And fiberfill is a must for this project

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Popsicle Dress

It's summertime and who doesn't love a popsicle or two to cool you off? More than a few have been consumed in my household recently! 

My daughter purchased this fun popsicle fabric while in Korea. The fabric is a double layered gauze which is a perfect fabric for summer. This type of fabric is cool and comfortable to wear, especially when the weather is hot and muggy.

Last summer, I made the knock-off sundress pattern used to create this popsicle dress. You can find this free pattern here.

My favorite part of the dress is the cute knot in the back. The straps are great too because they don't fall off those little shoulders. It's also an easy sew pattern. 

If you love this popsicle fabric, never fear. You don't have to visit Korea to find it. There are a few similar options available on Amazon that are just as cute and summery.

Go grab this free pattern and you'll see why I like making these sundresses. 

Enjoy summer! xoxo Grandma

Other fun popsicle fabrics:

You'll also like this post: