Sew Ready to Play Hopscotch with The Southern Institute

Yeah! Another day of playing!! Today it’s hopscotch! Who doesn’t love hopscotch?? I’m sure everyone who’s been reading my blog remembers my friend Jenny from The Southern Institute! We’ve shared on each other’s blogs a few times here and there. I just noticed that my magnetic bookmark is one of her top ten posts! Very cool! Thank you Southern Institute readers! I have to say, one of the cutest and easiest projects on her blog is the super hero cape project. I made one for my son and he still wears it. And wears it around town. It’s brought many fine memories to our family and I’m sure there will be more!

And without further ado…. Welcome Jenny!!

Hi there! This is Jenny from The Southern Institute and I’m so excited to be a part of Sew Ready to Play. I had a lot of fun coming up with something for last year’s series, and this year was no exception. I really love to sew, and I wanted to incorporate a little bit of practicality in this year’s project. My mind immediately went to Hopscotch, a game that I LOVED when I was younger, and still love to play (although it has been awhile). I cruised the internet a bit looking for some Hopscotch “Pin-spiration” and came across this rug, which I thought was soooo much fun!

It seems to me that kids need storage, places to keep their special things. Storage in a child’s room needs to be fun, so I decided to make this hopscotch hanging pocket organizer! Here’s how I made it.

You will need:
  • canvas background (20″x48″)
  • 7 canvas squares (8″x8″) for the pockets
  • 7 strips of canvas (8″x1-1/2″) for the pocket edges
  • thread
  • webbing or some kind of strap (1-2 yards, depending on how long you want the hanger to be)
  • one dowel rod
The Steps:

Repeat the above steps for all seven pockets.

Isn’t that fun? Let your little ones have fun putting their special things into the pockets. They can practice their numbers while they put their things away! This is such an easily customizable project… make it with any designs that you want and make it your own. Thanks for letting me share with you today! If you haven’t already, come on by The Southern Institute and follow along. You’ll find tons of inspiration there, and a community waiting to welcome you.


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Sew Ready to Play Super Mario Brothers with Skirt as Top

Today we’re being joined by Kristin from Skirt as Top. You’ve got to check out her post from yesterday about ‘The Fantastic Mr. and Mrs. Fox’ from her Film Petite series. I’m so in love with it! I first started following her blog during her run as a contestant on Project Run and Play. And I’ve loved everything since! I’m honored to have her here today!!

Welcome Kristin!!

hi, i’m kristinand i’m so happy to be here!

growing up, i was the kid who didn’t have any sort of video game system at home and was constantly trying to talk the neighbor kids into playing nintendo.  if you were the kid with a nintendo, you probably had an annoying friend like me, right?  i was pretty persuasive in getting the neighbor kids to play (not too difficult), and i especially loved super mario bros.  i’m talking about the original one…super mario 2 was fine, 3 was better (remember how you could drop behind the background?) but the original was the best.  it’s still fun…have you played it lately?  do you remember how to turtle top?  i could never quite get the hang of it.

so anyway, it was almost a no brainer that i needed to make my toddler son a super mario t-shirt for this series!

super mario bros flashback tee

i used my favorite basic pattern, made by rae’s flashback skinny tee, and knit fabric from two sale rack men’s shirts (my tips for sewing with sale rack t-shirts here).  i appliquéd a mario scene right onto the front!  the scene appliqué idea came from my friend cherie, and what exactly to put on there came from a quick google search of super mario bros images.  want to make one?

gather scraps together in the appropriate colors along with some steam-a-seam lite fusible web…

super mario bros flashback tee

draw a grid of 1/2″ squares for the stairs then cut them out, and a strip of woodgrain fabric at 1/2″ for a base.  sketch and cut out clouds, a pipe, a hill, and bricks.  i then added a little stamped mushroom left over from one of my project run & play creations!  i just played around with the scraps until i had the shapes i wanted.

super mario bros flashback tee

add the fusible web to each piece and arrange the scene on the front piece of the shirt, not yet sewn together.  once you have everything where you want it, fuse it down with an iron and then stitch around each item with black thread, for a sketchy outline look.  if you’re good with a free motion foot i’d recommend that here for the little curves, but i used my regular foot and just lifted it up a lot as i sewed around.

super mario bros flashback tee

finish the shirt as instructed per the pattern, slap it on your little guy, and he’ll be looking like a child of the ’80s in no time!

super mario bros flashback tee

i love how this skinny tee clings to his toddler belly…

super mario bros flashback tee

and he likes how soft and comfy it is!

super mario bros flashback tee

ready to play!  thanks so much for having me, louise!!

PS – i didn’t even realize when i was making this how close the colors and theme were to narelle’s post from the other day!  woops!  who doesn’t like old school video games, eh?


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Sew Ready to Play Food Plushie Pizza Parlor with Cirque Du Bebe

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! And we’re back for more playing!! First up this week is Sophie from Cirque Du Bebe! Again, I don’t remember how I found her and her amazing blog, but I do remember the first thing I saw that she did. IT was this amazing tshirt with a stuffie phone, the Stuff and Stay shirt. Ya know, I never pinned it, I didn’t bookmark it or any of that. But I have never forgotten it and always remember where to find it! I should pin it though so other people will love it as much as I do! Anyway, Sophie is extremely talented and creative and I’m very excited ot have her here today!
So Welcome Sophie!

 Hello and thanks for having me!

Sometimes it seems the very best games don’t come from a box but from the weird and wonderful world of our kids’ imaginations. I love watching my boys come up with elaborate games using the simplest of props. They can transform a cardboard box into anything from a cubby house to a stair bobsled (the soft carpeted and buffered with cushions kind of stair). And when it comes to less-is-more props for any age then felt food is where it’s at. You certainly won’t find this game sandwiched between Monopoly and Connect Four at the toy shop. It doesn’t come with an instruction booklet, just endless possibilities for dramatic play. And goes by the name of Felt Food Plushie Pizza Parlor!

A typical stint at the parlor goes like this:  Start with the pizza base…

 Add toppings to taste. I’ve tried ordering to specific dietary requirements: Hold the cheese, easy on the onion, that sort of thing. But we tend to end up with ‘The LOT’ a lot: Lashings of pepperoni, mozzarella, red onions, capsicum, mushrooms, olives and basil. Still, it’s nice to have a night off.

 Now it’s time to slice it up using the pizza cutter with the real revolving blade. Seriously, who comes up with this stuff?!

 It’s a tactile wonderland. And it’s not surprising that the senses get confused. It’s all pretty life-like. Especially the crust.

 Can’t taste the flavor the first time? Maybe there wasn’t enough in there…

Well, I wish I could say that I was that genius lying awake at night going ‘ I KNOW, we’ll make the blade ACTUALLY ROTATE!’ but alas it was this Etsy seller and her amazing felt food pdf patterns. I must warn you, felt food is very very addictive. For the cost of a few callouses you can produce a beautiful hand-crafted toy to rival anything store bought. There’s also something very meditative about hand sewing together five hundred olive rings. It’s the slow food equivalent for sewing. And if pizza’s not your thing, just search for Felt Food PDF in the Etsy supplies section and you’ll find dimsims, muffins, shrimp and everything in between. To make this set I bought a kit which includes beautiful wool blend felt, easy to follow instructions and the pattern pieces. The hardest part is letting go and giving over your precious hand-work to the beasts. Just know It’s gonna be loved hard. And probably chewed.



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Sew Ready to Play Impossible Mission with Cook, Clean, Craft

Ready for another installment of Sew Ready to Play??? Today we have Narelle from Cook Clean Craft! If you’ve followed this blog for a little while, you know Narelle and I have become blogging buddies and she’s visited over here a couple of times now and I’ve made a few of her projects! I love the Men’s Jeans to Toddler pants which made some super adorable pants for my kiddo! You’ve got to check out her blog if you haven’t already! So many more tutorials and fun for the boys.

Welcome Narelle!

Hi, I’m Narelle from Cook Clean Craft. After making UNO shorts for Sew Ready to Play last year (I still love them and they still fit – yay!), I really had to wrack my brain to come up with another game. I started thinking back to games I played when I was a kid, and suddenly this popped into my head:

“Another visitor? Stay awhile…Stay Forever” (in a very sinister voice!)

The introduction to the game “Impossible Mission” on Commodore 64, and so the Commodore 64 T-shirt was created:

Commodore 64 T-shirt

Yes, I was a bit of a geek (hang on, I still am…), and loved playing Ghostbusters, Le Mans car racing and Barbie and more on our family Commodore 64.

Commodore 64 Tshirt-010

(Scary to think how much more powerful his toy Leap Pad is!)

I remember the fights my brother and I had playing the C64 version of Monopoly (he’d  sell all my property to himself for $1 when I wasn’t looking). Aaah, the memories!

Commodore 64 Tshirt-005

So how did I make it? I used the Raw Edge Raglan T-shirt pattern from the book “Sewing for Boys”. I had the some knit fabric in my stash that was the perfect Commodore 64 screen blue, and some white ribbing (I’m trying really hard to stash-bust at the moment!).

I embellished the front and one sleeve before I did the sewing – freezer paper stencilling for the front (no fancy cutting machine here – it was all hand-cut with an exacto knife – why do I always pick such fiddly designs (like this and this)?).

Commodore 64 Tshirt-002

I made an applique for the sleeve from fabric scraps in my stash – using heat’n’bond lite and a satin-stitch (narrow and short zigzag) around the edge.

Commodore 64 TshirtCommodore 64 Tshirt-001

(a little wonky – don’t look too closely!)

I didn’t exactly follow the pattern for the T-shirt – I just can’t do the raw-edge thing… So I sewed it together with my serger with right sides together (after almost throwing it through the window when I decided to change threads – I’ve never had a problem threading it before, but it was up for a fight this time!), and hemmed the sleeves and bottom. I bravely did some contrasting top-stitching too.

Commodore 64 Tshirt-004

And we ended up with a cute geek T-shirt (for a cute Little Man who didn’t want to model!):

Commodore 64 Tshirt-008

Commodore 64 Tshirt-009

Commodore 64 Tshirt-011

Thanks for inspiring me again, Louise. For more fun crafty projects, head over to Cook Clean Craft. And a parting question: Are we cruel to force our geekiness onto our children?

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Sew Ready to Play Sneaky Snacky Squirrel with Craftiness is not Optional

Please help me welcome Jess from Craftiness is not Optional today! I’ve been following Jess’s blog for quite some time now. Like, for example, I remember when she was fixing up the nursery for her second baby and now she’s two…. Jess is amazing with the amount and quality of projects she has. All the time… Not exactly sure how she does it all! She makes me jealous that I don’t have a little girl to sew for because her projects are just so cute. Like for instance this one…

Welcome Jess!

Hi there! I’m Jess, from Craftiness is not Optional! I’m so excited to be a part of the Sew Ready to Play series-I had a lot of fun with my project and can’t wait to see what else is in store!

My girls both LOVE the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel game! I mainly love it for it’s gorgeous design, I’ll admit…but it’s actually a pretty fun game to play. One of those bearable kid games. 😉

Sadie loves to pick up the acorns with the cute little squirrel, and put them in the right spot on her trunk. My 2 year old, Charlotte, loves to steal acorns from other people when they’re not looking. Which IS actually part of the game…but she plays on her own terms anyways. haha.

I had this awesome acorn fabric that I’d been hoarding for this project for months now! With the fall season coming it was perfect timing for an acorn dress! So I added some simple acorn pockets to one of my dress tutorials, the Nora dress.

I love how the pockets turned out! I have a little pattern and tutorial for you below. 🙂

 You’ll need:
scraps of fabric for top and bottom of acorns
iron on interfacing
matching thread

First cut two of each pattern piece, for each pocket. Also cut two pieces of interfacing with the acorn top pattern.

Then iron on the interfacing to one of the acorn top pieces for each pocket.

Next sew the pieces right sides together, about 1/4″ from the edge…leaving the bottom of the top piece open, and the top of the bottom piece open as well. Did I confuse you yet? 😉

Then turn them right side out, clipping the corners if needed. Press with an iron.

Then press under the bottom of the acorn top 1/4″ like so.

Insert the bottom acorn piece into the top piece and pin together.

Then top stitch around the whole acorn top, making sure to catch all layers of fabric in the stitches.

Lastly, pin the pockets to your dress, and sew around the bottom edges of the acorn with matching thread. I also sewed about an inch up into the acorn top to keep it from flopping around too much. Tada! You’re done!

Thanks for having me, Louise!

Thanks again for playing with us, Jess!! (ohhh, I just had an idea of cute little acorn pants for the little guy….. hmmmm, you might be seeing this project again in a boys version)


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Sew Ready to Play Clue with Simple Simon and Co.

Today’s guests are the ladies from Simple Simon & Company, LiZ and Elizabeth. Thier blog is full of great tutorials, great photography and hilarious commentary! I’ve attempted one of their very easy projects, The Audrey Cape and the Girls Birdcage hat. Both turned out adorable! I just got a pile of fabric the other day and in it was this fur. I sooo want to make myself a cape with a furry Peter Pan collar!

Without further ado, please welcome Simple Simon & Co!

One of my favorite games growing up was the game CLUE.  It was just so thrilling to move around the game board, going into mansion rooms and then taking those tiny weapons (those were so cool) to make “who dunnit” predictions until one person got to open that mystery envelope in the middle of the board.  Ahhhh, those were the days…..

And then when the movie came out?  Even more love for the game.  I remember the first time I watched it was at a slumber party—and there were a bunch of tween girls all sitting around screaming every time the lights would go off during a scene.  (Man, am I dating myself right now.)

But, back to the point.  I LOVE the game clue.  So, taking inspiration from my favorite character (I loved Colonel Mustard–weird, but true) I give you…..

 I decided to make an outfit based on Miss Mustard….but a bit more tame (no weapons)….

I made a simple front button shirt dress with a piped peter pan collar, a piped belt and some vintage buttons that I recently scored.  I love piping, it is such a simple but fun detail to add to any project and makes it look like you spent a lot more time than you did.

I have a previous collar tutorial HERE if you want to learn to add piping to your next project.  Trust me, once you start with piping—-you will be piping EVERY. THING.  (Sorry about that….)

I loved making this little dress.  It was such a fun project to think about the CLUE characters….and you just might be seeing more inspiration from the character cards soon.  Wouldn’t a Miss Scarlett outfit be so fun?

But now I need to know…..who was your favorite clue character?

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Sew Ready to Play Killer Bunnies with Delia Creates

So I’ve been wracking my brain about how I first found the awesome blog, Delia Creates. And I can’t remember. But what I can say, is that Delia is awesome. Oh, did I already mention that?? How I found her doesn’t matter, but that I did find her is what counts! One thing that I love about her blog is her boy projects! And everything on her blog is just so pretty. Be sure to check her out and to watch what she comes up with this season of Project Run and Play!

Welcome Delia!!!

Isn’t this series so fun?

Our family is definitely a game family. We play at least one game almost daily, whether it be War with just me and my almost four year old, or a family round of Blokus.

So, trying to nail down one as an inspiration for this project, was tricky.

I finally landed on this one…

Killer Bunnies. Have you heard of it?

It’s kind of an obscure card game. You certainly can’t hop over to your local big box store and pick it up.

Don’t let the bunnies aspect fool you, it’s for ages 12 and up. Yep…teens and adults.

It’s basically a super silly game about bunnies taking each other out with anything from a kitchen whisk to a nuclear weapon all in the name of finding the magic carrot.

So, I thought I would make my own magic carrot in the form of a cute, cuddly plushie/chew toy for my baby.

I kept the face, sweet and simple, unlike the game. Making plushies are SO fun, basically because you can personalize it to however you like it, so easily.

Here’s how to make a Magic Carrot plushie:

* Cut a section of and old T-shirt. I used a thrifted newborn onesie.

* Sew a face on with embroidery thread.

* Layer two pieces of T-shirt on top of each other (making sure lines match up if there are some), right sides facing.

* Draw your desired shape around that face, with a disappearing sewing marker.

* Pin around your lines. Leave the top open for the leaves.

* Cut some leaves out of another old T-shirt and sandwich it between the two carrot layers. Make sure the top of the leaves are facing inward and are encased by the lines you’ve drawn and pinned.

* Pin and sew all the way around, except for a small opening on the side.

* Trim away the excess and cut small triangles at the curves so that it lies flat when turned right side out.

* Turn it right side out.

* Stuff it with poly fill.

* Sew the opening closed.

More tips:

The eyes are french knots. Purl Bee has a great tutorial for that here.

The corners of the mouth are also French knots but smaller. I wrapped the thread around the needle four times for the eyes, and just twice for the mouth corners.

To close it up, I used a ladder stitch. Go here for a tutorial on that.

As you can see…my ladder stitch still needs a little work. 🙂

And that’s it!

My killer bunny seems to like it.

“Who me? Killer?”

🙂 Couldn’t be.

Thanks for having me over to play Louise!

Thanks for playing, Delia!

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Sew Ready to Play Tic Tac Toe with Joe

Today I’m welcoming Joe from Simple World 123! Joe is not only the creative guy behind Simple World 123, but he’s also my husband! I was artistic and crafty and did some sewing before I met my husband, but for years it had been on the back burner. That is until we started hanging out and then living together. We would spend hours in our basement making art. We had separate rooms, but would chat back and forth while making art. We’ve always bounced ideas off of each other and if you follow our work over the years you’ll see images from my pieces show up in his pieces and images from his pieces show up in my work! But our work is very different!

He isn’t a blogger and doesn’t have a website, but he does have an etsy shop! I’ve gotten some fun feedback from his t-shirts, so I thought it would be fun if he joined in with us and shared a game design. And he did… Today he’s sharing a Tic Tac Toe design. You can do anything with it, but we made a Tic Tac Toe shirt! Joe came up with the design and the idea of having it as a removable piece of the shirt and I did the sewing!

So technically you can print the design and use is as a paper project with no sewing. Or you could make the whole design like I did and not have it on a shirt. Maybe a take and go game for the car or restaurants. Anything really. But Joe’s idea was to make the shirt, so that’s what I made. Feel free to use as much as the tutorial as you’d like!

So if you want to make what we made, here’s how we did it!

Step 1: Gather Materials: Fabric for binding, Fabric for envelope back, printable fabric, t-shirt, velcro, thread, rotary knife and seam ripper. And you can print the images here.

Step 2: Print the design onto printable fabric. Follow your paper’s directions on how to set the image.

Step 3: Cut the pieces. Cut the tic tac toe board to 7.5 x 7.5 inches. The binding needs to be 1.5 x 35 inches. Cut two pieces for the envelope back at 7.5 x 6 inches. For the play pieces cut (5) 2 1/4 x 2 inches squares for the carrot back piece and (5) 2 x 2 inch squares for the bunny back pieces. With the velcro I used (2) 6 inch pieces and (2) 2 inch pieces.

Step 4: Hem over one edge of each of the envelope backing piece.

Step 5: Sew on the velcro. I offset mine about a 1/2 inch from the edge.

Step 6: Iron over the binding.

Step 7: Sandwich the fabric pieces together with the pieces wrong sides together and add the binding.

Step 8:Sew velcro to t-shirt.

Step 9: Sew the play pieces together. Follow these directions!

And there ya go! I debated putting snaps or buttons onto pieces and the board so that they can attach. I debated long and hard over this part of the deign! I decided that the piece just won’t stick to the boarg…

And will you make yours a Tic Tac Toe shirt?

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Sew Ready to Play Memory!

Welcome to the 2012 Series of Sew Ready to Play! I’m kicking it off with Memory!

Most of the projects for the series are sewing projects ‘inspired by’ a game, not the actual game itself. But…. I’ve always wanted to make a fabric memory game from my son. The other day we were at Target and there was a Dr Seuss Memory card game in the little dollar section right when you walk in. I was torn! You know I LOVE Dr Seuss. It was only a dollar. Do I just buy it and forget my handmade version??? No! I held on to my dreams of making my own game!

I also love the fabric I ended up with. I went around to a couple of shops and didn’t find the perfect material. So I headed to JoAnn’s. My son and I found a great fish fabric that would be perfect. Ok, it would be perfect for a memory game, but the design just wasn’t me. I wasn’t in love with it. So we decided to make one last stop. A new little fabric shop and it had just what I wanted! PERFECT! I love this fabric! It’s called Forest Friends for Northcott. Love it! Did I mention that I love this fabric???

And I love my little game. It’s so simple to make, I can’t believe it took me this long to actually do it. Like I said, it’s simple, but takes a little time! So here we go!

Step 1: Materials. Fabric, the card side and the back side. Scissors, Thread, Rotary Knife, Seam Ripper (or whatever you use to pull corners flat).

Step 2: Cut the squares. Mine are 2.5 inches.

Step 3:  Sew two pieces together, right sides together. Leave a hole, about 3/4″, in one side.

Step 4: Clip the corners.

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Sew Ready To Play is Here Again!!!

Summer is coming to end, the days are getting shorter and school is starting…. But I’m not ready for any of that, and I never am… Which makes this the perfect time for the Sew Ready to Play series! Let’s just keep playing some more!!!

The series is a series of sewing projects inspired by your favorite games!! I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with this year! The line-up is awesome (as was last year’s…)

Monday the 10th, I’ll start off the series

Wednesday the 12th, Joe from Simple World 123

Friday the 14th, Delia from Delia Creates

Monday the 17th, LiZ and Elizabeth from Simple Simon And Co

Wednesday the 19th, Jess from Craftiness is not Optional

Friday the 20th, Narelle from Cook Clean Craft

Monday the 24th, Sophie from Cirque Du Bebe

Wednesday the 26th, Kristin from  Skirt as Top

Friday the 28th, Jenny from The Southern Institute

Monday, the 1st, Ellen from The Long Thread

Wednesday the 3rd, A GIVEAWAY!

Friday the 5th, the recap!

And just in case you missed last year, be sure to check out all the awesome tutorials, at the Sew Ready To Play tab up top!