Tag Archives: Sewing

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables
I’m always looking for ways to teach Jax about what we can do to help our planet. I knew a “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” theme would make a wonderful quiet book theme. Trash and recycle trucks are so much fun for kids to watch, so I had to add one in to expand the project into a fun recycling set.

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables
This is a pay pattern available in my Etsy shop. Purchasing my pay patterns will let me move towards making a living at crafting and give me more time to devote to both pay and free projects.

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables
The 6″ square quiet book features 3  double pages: Reduce teaches turning off lights and faucets to save resources. Reuse promotes using reusable cups and bags whenever possible. Recycle introduces sorting recyclables (and compost items!) into their bins. The cover has a recycle symbol and an earth with a heart.

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables
All of the sorting items can be used with the recycle truck that features a working back hatch. Pull the loop to open the hatch, then pull the ribbon to close it up again. There is also a recycle bin and a felt doll that is compatible with my other dress up felt dolls (fire station and dollhouse.)

I hope you’ll find the pattern files to be beautiful and helpful. A lot of time went into them! The pattern includes a stitch guide and full tutorial with photos and illustrations. You will also receive a coupon for $5 off at American Felt and Craft to help you get started on your felt stash.

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables
You can purchase this pattern for $8 in my Etsy shop, Imagine Our Life. If you would like to sell the finished product, you can purchase commercial licensed version for $20. This is a one time fee, and you’d be able to sell as many weather charts as you’d like after purchasing it.

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables
As a free add-on to this felt set, I am providing my matching 3-part cards and recycle sorting game free for educational use! Click here to download the pdf.

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free PrintablesThe cards and game include the same sorting categories as the felt set, giving you an additional way to teach the new vocabulary. (I include both the North American spelling on “aluminum” and the world spelling of “aluminium”.) The game features illustrations that were hand drawn by me.

Recycling Quiet Book Set & Free Printables

Montessori MondayTo assemble, print out the cards and cut them out. Glue them to card stock backs, then laminate and trim. I use this laminator. To make laminating a bit easier, you can try adding a dab of glue stick to the cards when you position then in the lamination sleeves. It keeps them from wiggling and overlapping.

I purchased two 3-packs of blue drawer organizers from Dollar Tree to use as my sorting bins.

If you liked this free homeschool printable and want more homeschool ideas, visit Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! I can’t tell how much your support means to me. Big thank yous to all of you who are a part of our Facebook page. You have given me so much inspiration! Please feel free to comment here or on Facebook if you have suggestions for new projects. I am sketching patterns and ordering felt for all my fall projects this week. I’ll post some sneak peeks on Instagram. Come follow along!

Recycling Quiet Book Pattern

Sock Penguin Tutorial

Sock Penguin TutorialWhen I found an old pair of rainbow striped socks, I knew I wanted to make a sock animal. I asked Jax what he would like, and wasn’t surprised to hear him request a penguin. They are his favorite animal! I wasn’t sure how a rainbow striped penguin would turn out, but he’s really cute! This works up very quick and easy. It took me about 2 hours of hand sewing to finish.

Sock Penguin TutorialYou could use any size sock, but would need to scale the pattern pieces to match. One knee-high sock is perfect (mine were thigh-high and I had 7″ leftover before the cuff. (See my sock measurements on the pattern as a guide.) I can use two socks if yours are shorter.

Other materials needed are: the pattern, poly fill, felt (white, orange, black and an eye color) and needle/threads.

Sock Penguin TutorialThe tutorial is included in the pattern file, as well as a stitch guide. (The stitch guide is a new feature in my pay patterns. Let me know what you think of this sample!)

If you sew a sock penguin from my tutorial, Jax and I would love to see yours! Show us a picture via our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram.

Sock Penguin Tutorial

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

I keep my sequins in a vintage canning jar beside my sewing area, and all the pretty, sparkly colors have been calling to me recently. I wanted to make a quick project with them, so I combined my love of felt and fun, dangle earrings!

Felt and Sequin Dangle EarringsNo patterns needed for this one – just have fun!

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

What I Used:

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

I started by cutting out shapes in my felt and laying them out with sequins to create a design I enjoyed. I then cut out a second set. Make sure you cut a backing piece for each earring body. Decorate the earring fronts by sewing down the felt shapes and adding sequins and French knots as embellishment.

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Here is how I made mine:

I cut my base out in a rounded teal diamond shape. I had a honeydew green circle the size of a nickel and a blue-gray square, slightly bigger than a sequin. I laid the pieces out and started by sewing down the center square. With the same thread, I sewed on the center sequin. I then switched thread colors and sewed on 4 contrasting sequins around the circle.

With the same thread color, I added a French knot to the center sequin. Switching thread colors to match the circle, I stitched it down. I then started alternating adding matching sequins and stitching French knots.

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Repeat everything for the front of the second earring.

I then created a tassel. I cut a length of three colors of floss, cut those in half and then tied then together at the midpoint. I then folded them in half and used one of the thread colors to tie knot loops around the bundle. After my last knot, I ran my needle up through the top of the tassel and let the tail stick out with the others at the top. I trimmed the bottom, then made a second one to match.

With thread matching my background, I stitched the tassels to the backsides of the earrings. I made stitches that were hidden by the sequin on the front. I then began sewing the front and back together for each earring. I paused at the top and sewed on a jump ring. Make sure the rings face the way they need to in order hang the right way from your earring wires.

Finish the earrings by attaching the earring wires. I had fun with the colors and made a bright pink and purple set that is slightly smaller.

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

I really enjoyed making these and may design some more to give as gifts or sell in my Etsy shop. Let me know if you make some! Stop by our Facebook page or share a photo with me on Instagram or Twitter (username @iolstephanie). Be sure to share the project with a friend who sews!

Felt and Sequin Dangle Earrings

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Tic Tac Yo-Ho-ho!

Jax has recently taken an interest in learning how to play tic-tac-toe (Noughts and crosses, Xs and Os, etc…) so I thought it would be a fun and quick page to sew up. This project would also work great as a stand-alone 9″ square felt tic-tac-toe set. We’ll be going to the beach in September, so I thought up a pirate island theme!

This page can be made as a stand-alone game by sewing it to a 9″ square background.

Pair this page with: The Treasure Quiet Book Page

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

What I used:

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Sewing the Island

Following the template, sewing the tic-tac-toe grid onto the island piece.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Pin down the island with a bit of stuffing or batting underneath for dimension. Sewing it down, then embellish it with French knots and tiny stitches to show the sand texture.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Decorate the water’s edge with blue crystal sequins. Decorate the sand with some pirate’s treasure: gold sequins and pearl buttons.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Treasure Chest

Stitch two gold bands onto each side of the treasure chest. I used thick 100% wool felt, so I didn’t line the chest. If you are using regular felt, place a blank chest piece behind each side of the chest and sew them together along the long top side.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Place the two finished sides together and sew the right sides and bottom together, then place it on the page as shown and sew the left side together through the page. This will make a pocket that is hinged to the page. You can flip it out of the way when it is time to play. Add a snap to the back of the chest on the loose side, then sew the matching half to the page. This holds the pocket still while you flip through your quiet book.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Cross Bones

Using a light layer of felt glue, tack down two of the bones into a cross shape onto black felt. Once it is dry, cut it out and sew it all around the outside. Repeat so you have 5 X’s.

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

Ruby Rings

With on strand of pink thread, sew the gem lines onto each felt ruby. Start with a long horizontal line, then make two V’s above it and one large V below it. Use the template as a guide.

Using a light layer of felt glue, tack down a gold ring onto brown felt.  Glue a ruby on top as shown. once it is dry, cut it out and sew it all around the edges. Repeat so you have 5 O’s.

Arrrrh! Have Fun!

Pirate Island Tic-Tac-Toe Quiet Book Page

 

Felt Sandwich Set

Have you caught the felt food bug yet? Felt food is super adorable and quite easy to make. I’ve been dying to design some for Jax, but needed to wait until he was old enough to keep them picked up. We have a golden retriever who would find felt food equally as fun!

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I had so much fun designing and sewing a felt sandwich set for Jax, that I wanted to share the free pattern with you all. This set includes all sorts of goodies for your sandwich shop: breads, proteins, cheeses, veggies and spreads. And don’t forget chips and a cookie!

Felt Sandwich Set

I’ve also been sewing a lot of sliced fruits to go along with the sandwiches. Follow my Play Kitchens & Food Pinterest board for many of the tutorials I followed. I did create some of the fruits on my own. I can share those later if there is interest.

Felt Fruit

What I Used

I used a hodge-podge of felts for this project – whatever I had on hand! Some is wool blend felt from American Felt and Craft, some is cheap craft felt by the yard from Joann’s Fabric and the chip bag is thick 100% wool from the craft store. Here is the pattern I made.

Felt Sandwich Set - Breads

Breads

For the pita pocket, I placed two layers together and sewed them together along the straight edge with a blanket stitch. I repeated this with the last two pieces to have the two sides of the pocket. I placed them together and sewed through all the layers along the curve.

Felt Sandwich Set - BreadsFor the sliced breads, I cut two strips of crust for each slice. Using a blanket stitch, one strip got sewn around the top curve of one bread piece and the other around the square bottom. The strips were trimmed and sewn together at the base of the curves on each side. I then blanket stitched the other side of the bread on, pausing halfway to lightly stuff it with poly-fil.

Felt Sandwich Set - BreadsI used artists’ pastels to add shading to the brown toasted bread. I colored lightly around the edges of each side, then “set” it by getting the colored felt wet and drying it overnight. We haven’t had any rub off yet, but Jax is gentle. I do not recommend doing this if any felt food will be in someone’s mouth! And do be sure your pastels are non-toxic.

The cookie is very simple! I cut little chocolate chips and glued them down with a dab of felt glue. I sewed mine down as well. I then sewed the two sides together with a blanket stitch, pausing halfway to lightly stuff the cookie. (All of the items in my breads section were done with cheap craft felt.)

Felt Sandwich Set - Breads

Spreads

For each of the spreads, I sewed the front and back pieces together. On the guacamole, I also glued then sewed down little scraps of red and green felt before sewing the whole piece.

cheese

Cheeses

I made three kinds of cheese, but you could easily add your favorites. For each of them, I sewed the front and back pieces together. On the pepper jack, I also glued then sewed down little scraps of red and green felt before sewing the whole piece.

Felt Sandwich Set - Veggies

Produce

Being a vegetarian, I wanted lots of tasty, colorful fruits and veggies for Jax’s sandwich set. They take a bit more work but add so much!

For the lettuce, I cut mine out with pinking shears for a zigzag edge. I sewed the two sides together with a running stitch (a dashed line stitch that looks the same on both sides.) I pinched the base together into a tiny dart and stitched it to make the stem. I used a running stitch to add veins.

To make the spinach, I stitched three leaves to one of the base pieces using a back stitch up the center vein of each. I then blanket stitched the front and back together.

Felt Sandwich Set - Veggies

When sewing the avocado, I started by sewing the two sides of the avocado flesh together along the straight edge with the pit hole. I then blanket stitched the back piece on to make a wedge, pausing to fill it with stuffing.

The tomato takes a bit of embroidery time. I laid each side of the tomato down onto one of the inner pieces, then sewed down the holes. Using gold thread, I stitched the seeds with a lazy daisy stitch (Bring your needle up and down at the same spot, but before you pull the loop tight, make a tiny perpendicular stitch at the top to tack it in place.) Once all the seeds were done, I stitched the two sides together with a blanket stitch.

Felt Sandwich Set

For the red onion, I made two rows of dashed running stitch to each white ring. I then sandwiched the purple skin piece between the white rings and blanket stitched it together. The purple will show a bit as though you sliced the onion thinly.

The cucumbers started with seeds that were tacked down with glue, then stitched on. I sewed 3 to each side. I then layered the skin piece between two flesh pieces and blanket stitched it all together, the same as with the onion.

Felt Sandwich Set - Proteins

Proteins

I know olive loaf is pretty yucky in real life, but it sure looks adorable made of felt! Jax like olives, so I thought he would find it fun. I cut whole and partial olives, red square pimentos and random pink scraps. I glued and sewed them down to both pieces of a really lovely pale peachy pink felt, then stitched the two sides together with a blanket stitch. I did the salami the same way as the olive loaf, using pink and white random scraps for the little bits in it.

For the two sandwich meats, I simply sewed the two sides together with a blanket stitch. On the turkey, I used the same pastel technique as the toast to add some shading.

Felt Sandwich Set - Proteins

The fried egg is simple. I stitched the yolk down to one side, pausing to add some stuffing. I then sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

To make the bacon, I cut two wiggly pink strips for each side. I glued and sewed them down, then sewed the two sides together.

Felt Sandwich Set - Chips

Chips

I used a very thick 100% wool for my chip bag, so it did not require a double layer of felt. You can double up the same way as with the pita pocket if needed. I also cut my bag on the fold so I didn’t need to sew the bottom. I used back stitch and a french knot to make my chip label. After stitching the lettering onto the label, I stitched the label onto the bag front with a blanket stitch. I then stitched the side of the bag closed into a pocket.

The chips were made by simply blanket stitching two layers of felt together.

There are so many fun combinations you can make with this felt food set – especially if you add some pieces of fruit! Which piece is your favorite?

Felt Sandwich Set

Felt Weather Station Pattern & Free 3-Part Cards

Felt Weather StationLearning about the weather is always fun for kids. It is easy to relate what you learn to what is going on outside the window.

I knew I wanted to create something for Jax to let him explore and learn about different weather conditions. I decided to go with a felt set that can both be used to learn new weather words and to post the daily weather.

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This pattern is my very first pay pattern. I hope you find the pricing reasonable! I am really hoping to turn my crafting into a career that lets me both be creative and have time to be the best mama I can be. I will still be offering free patterns. At this point, I expect 50% will be free. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

You can purchase this pattern for $6 in my Etsy shop, Imagine Our Life. If you would like to sell the finished product, you can purchase commercial licensed version for $20. This is a one time fee, and you’d be able to sell as many weather charts as you’d like after purchasing it.

Felt Weather Station Pattern

This pattern included instruction to sew both a felt weather wall chart and a quietbook version. The wall chart is perfect for classrooms, while the quietbook is a fun way to make learning portable. There are 12 adorable weather condition pieces, along with matching labels printed on photo fabric. (You can also print the labels on card stock and laminate them.) There is a slider that can be set to the current temperature. A special pocket allows children to post the current weather conditions.

I worked hard to really make the pattern and instructions look beautiful. I’ve included a full tutorial and a brand new stitch guide! As an added bonus, there is a $5 American Felt & Craft coupon to help you purchase beautiful felt!

Felt Weather Station Pattern

As a free add-on to this felt set, I am providing my matching 3-part cards free for educational use! Click here to download the pdf. The cards include many of the same weather conditions as the felt set, giving you an additional way to teach the new vocabulary.

3-Part Cards - Weather

Montessori MondayTo assemble, print out the cards and cut them out. Glue them to card stock backs, then laminate and trim. I use this laminator. To make laminating a bit easier, you can try adding a dab of glue stick to the cards when you position then in the lamination sleeves. It keeps them from wiggling and overlapping.

If you liked this free homeschool printable and want more homeschool ideas, visit Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now.

 

Felt Weather Station Pattern

I hope you enjoy this pattern! I can’t tell how much your support means to me. Big thank yous to all of you who are a part of our Facebook page. You have given me so much inspiration! Please feel free to comment here or on Facebook if you have suggestions for new projects. I’ll also be posting sneak peeks at this week’s free pattern on my Instagram. Come follow along!

Felt Weather Station Pattern

A Year of Quiet Book Pages 2013

A Year of Quiet Book Pages 2013

Happy new year!

In 2013 I felt like I always had at least 2 sewing projects going at all time. With Jax turning 3 back in February, my quiet book projects grew with him. For our annual beach trip, I sewed him a large fire station quiet book. I also began a massive project to sew the whole world!

Felt Patterns on Imagine Our Life

With a new year beginning, it’s fun to look back on the pages I made and shared with you, as I did in 2012 and 2011.

Current Top 5

  1. Sock Matching Quiet Book Page – 71,096 views | 18,000+ pins
  2. Bumble Bee Lacing Maze Quiet Book Page – 16,972 views | 2,000+ pins
  3. Autumn Leaves Quiet Book – 8,794 views | 1,000+ pins
  4. Forest Quiet Book Page – 37,092 views | 1,000+ pins
  5. Circus Train Quiet Book Page – 35,987 views | 3,000+ pins

The sock matching page has been the top page for 3 years!The sock matching page has been the top page for 3 years!

All Time Top 10

  1. Sock Matching Quiet Book Page – 32,292 views | 9,000+ pins
  2. Forest Quiet Book Page – 37,092 views | 1,000+ pins
  3. Circus Train Quiet Book Page – 35,987 views | 3,000+ pins
  4. Sandcastle Quiet Book Page – 35,333 views | 7,000+ pins
  5. Let’s Cook Breakfast Quiet Book Page – 28,227 views | 4,000+ pins
  6. Mailbox & Letters Quiet Book Page – 27,230 views | 2,000+ pins
  7. Treasure Quiet Book Page – 26,466 views | 3,000+ pins
  8. Cookie Shapes & Colors Quiet Book Page – 25,461 views | 2,000+ pins
  9. Astronaut Quiet Book Page – 22,976 views | 1,000+ pins
  10. Dump Truck Quiet Book Page – 22,073 views | 1,000+ pins

The dump truck made the all-time top 10 for the first time in 2013.The dump truck made the all-time top 10 for the first time in 2013.

10 Most Popular from 2013

  1. Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook – 18,854 views | 1,000+ pins
  2. Bumble Bee Lacing Maze Quiet Book Page – 16,972 views | 2,000+ pins
  3. Felt Fire Station – Fire Truck & Dalmatian – 10,259 views | 1,000+ pins
  4. Autumn Leaves Quiet Book – 8,794 views | 1,000+ pins
  5. Felt Fire Station – Cover – 7,289 views | 298 pins
  6. Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 6,989 views | 675 pins
  7. Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 6,657 views | 661 pins
  8. Felt Fire Station – Garage & Locker Room – 5,299 views | 876 pins
  9. Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 4,631 views | 512 pins
  10. Animals of South America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook – 4,522 views | 395 pins

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with PrintablesThe Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook posts got a combined 52,682 views this year!

Overall, I’ve shared 62 quiet book pattern posts with you since I started sewing them in September of 2011, including 4 multi-page books. Wow! You can check them all out here.

Click a thumbnail to visit a post:

Felt Fire Station - Fire Truck & Dalmatian  Ready to fight fires!  Felt Fire Station - Kitchen

Felt Fire Station - Office & Bedroom  Felt Fire Station - Cover  Bumble Bee Lacing Maze Quiet Book Page

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards  Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map  Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of South America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Autumn Leaves Quiet Book & Fall Homeschool Unit  Animals of Asia for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I’m always taking suggestions for new page ideas. Join our Facebook page, or leave a comment here!

Small Sewing Projects

Along with quiet book sewing, I also did a long of small sewing projects in 2013. My Little Ponies are a common project for me, thanks to my niece who adores them. I also do a lot of ornament sewing every Christmas.

Top 10 Sewing Projects in 2013

  1. Wee Wonderfuls – Sewing Rag Dolls – 11,512 views | 897 pins
  2. Pillow Quiet Book Cover – 5,550 views | 218 pins
  3. Felt Valentine Play Set – 5,155 views | 3,000+ pins
  4. Christmas Tree for Toddlers – 5,137 views | 179 pins
  5. DIY Rainbow Dash Plush with Goggles – 4,383 views | 324 pins
  6. DIY Sewing Labels - 3,444 views | 330 pins
  7. Make the World’s Best Robot Costume! - 2,890 views | 82 pins
  8. Mini Advent Ornaments Set One - 2,331 views | 97 pins
  9. Felt Caterpillar Coin Purse - 2,283 views | 238 pins
  10. DIY Felt Poppy Headband - 1,811 views | 199 pins

Mini Advent Ornaments Set FourOur Reader’s Choice project this holiday was the Christmas Tree Play Set!

Preschool Handbells: New-Sew Felt Musical Notes and PrintablesHonorable mention to this no-sew project: our color-coded handbell music note set!

Thank You!

A big thank you to American Felt and Craft for supplying felt for many of my creations! Their wool blend felt is just so nice to work with. And thank you Safari Ltd. for helping me make a lot of my projects more exciting and educational!

Thank You!Thank you American Felt and Craft!

Top 5 Referring Blogs in 2013:

  1. The Quiet Book Blog
  2. American Felt and Craft – The Blog
  3. Living Montessori Now
  4. Lapappadolce
  5. Proverbs 31 Woman

Let’s Be Friends!

Stephanie Segall

Want to get social? I’m the best at responding on Instagram, but you can always email if you don’t mind waiting (Sorry about that!) You can join my Facebook page or message me via Twitter. My personal site is Stvlive.com. I’m on Pinterest, and I host a large quiet book board. I also love postal mail! Jax enjoys postcards from around the world. Our mailing address is here.

Jax is growing up (he’ll be 4 in February!) but he hasn’t outgrown quiet books. But, you may have noticed that I am tending towards educational projects and larger multi-page books.

Upcoming projects will include a bit of everything: a weather page and money page that can be used in homeschooling, the last installment of the world map (Australia!) and something donut-themed (the birthday party theme Jax chose!) Have an idea for me?

Happy New Year!

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Time has been flying by with lots of projects on my plate. I can’t believe it is nearly Christmas! But I finally have the last two polar family felt ornament patterns ready for you to enjoy.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

This year’s theme is Polar Families, inspired by some of the animals Jax and I have been studying in homeschool with our world continent project. There will be four designs: a penguin daddy and chick, a narwhal family, a pair of penguin mates and a polar bear mama and cub. The latter two are featured here.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

What I Used

I am listing all the supplies I’ll use for the 4 ornaments, noting the ones not needed for these two.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins  Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

These beautiful sequins are a new offering of American Felt and Craft!

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Penguin Daddy & Chick

 I cut a rounded strip of white felt for the snowy ground and tacked it down across the bottom of the white background felt with felt glue. After I cut out all my pieces, I tacked them into place as well.  Then I trimmed down the background felt so there was just a small edge around the penguins.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

For the penguins, the heart and the top of the snowy ground, I stitched all the edges down with matching floss. (I use 2 strands.) I stitched crystal sequins randomly onto the snowy ground using 2 stitches each. I also added them to the heart. At the end of the scarf, I made upside-down V stitches as tassels. I made French knot eyes on the chick.

On the white background, I stitched snowflakes: a plus sign shape of four stitches, all stitched towards the center, then four more longer stitches on the diagonal in between.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of orange whip (coral orange) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Narwhal Family

I love narwhals! They live up in the Arctic ocean, so I was happy to include them in this polar series. Narwhals are brownish grey, and they turn speckled white with age. I stuck with my color scheme, as they look blue gray under the ocean water. I had intended to use two shades of brown sequins for the adults’ speckles, but I ultimately decided to skip them. I found them distracting. [ You can see what they look like here and decide for yourself. ]

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

There aren’t a lot of narwhal pictures out there. I was very inspired by this drawing. Narwhals don’t typically stay in family groups, but I wanted to show all of their forms in this ornament.

I started by tacking everything down to a dolphin teal-gray background with a light layer of felt glue, including a pointed strip I cut out of lemongrass to be the male adult’s tusk. I cut the tusk into two pieces and layered part behind the heart and part in front so that it looks like the heart is pierced. I stitched around all the edges, and added sequins to two of the hearts. The eyes are French knots with little stitches in one corner of each. The tusk was done with diagonal stitches running across it.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

After sewing everything down, I cut around the outside of the ornament to trim it down, then sewed crystal and mermaid sequins on as bubbles. Add as many or as few as you’d like. I overlapped and grouped mine.

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of blueprint (blue-gray) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Are you an Etsy or craft fair seller? Would you like to sell these ornaments, or any other item sewn from an Imagine Our Life pattern? Visit my Etsy shop and contact me for custom commercial licenses. All authorized sellers get featured on the website.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

If you make one of these ornaments, I’d love to see it! Stop by our Facebook page, or mention me @iolstephanie on Instagram or Twitter. (If you are private on Instagram, I’ll have to request to follow you to see it.) Happy Holidays!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

I can finally mark a major sewing project off my list holiday season! It was one that was chosen by my readers in our Facebook page: a felt Christmas tree play set! I hope you’ve been sewing along with me as I’ve shared the toddler-friendly tree pattern and tutorial and the first, three sets with you. But it’s not too late to join in! These mini ornaments bring a whole lot of holiday cheer and work up fast. Choose a few to stick in someone’s stocking or tie to a present as a gift tag!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

I designed 24 ornaments, and I’ve been giving Jax one to unwrap every day leading up to Christmas. I shared the ornaments in batches of 6. Ornaments 19-24 are: a fireplace, a lamb, a rocking horse, Santa, gifts and a reindeer.

To see all the posts in this series, click here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

What I Used:

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

For all of the ornaments: I cut pieces of baker’s twine, doubled it over and tied a knot in the ends. When stitching the tops of the ornaments together, I made sure the knot of the twine loop was inside. I also made sure to stitch through the knot to secure the loop.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

19. Fireplace

Fore the fireplace, I tacked down with glue the logs and flames to the black fireplace area, then stitched everything down. I stitched the black area to the bottom center of the front of the bricks, then stitched the front mantle on along its bottom. I glued down three stockings, then sewed them down with a sequin on the toe of each. I did a long stitch at the top of each for a cuff, and a single loop of a lazy daisy stitch at the top corner. On the back, I stitched the back mantle on along the bottom, then stitched the front and back together, catching a loop of twine at the top.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

20. Lamb

Oh, this sweet little lamb! She is quite simple, but you can believe me that all those crystal sequins are a labor of love. I started by gluing the heads onto each body piece, then sewing sequins onto the whole thing. (I provided a basic body shape in the pattern, but I found it worked best to trim the body into wooly bumps freehand.) I took the legs and folded them in half, gluing them down then stitching all around. I stitched the body of the sheep together with the twine loop at the top and the legs at the bottom. I stitched the two sides of her face together. I glued the hat brims onto the hat sides, then layered them around her head and sewed them together and onto her head.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

21. Rocking Horse

I started this cute rocking horse by gluing the saddle on, then sewing it. I added two green sequins on each side, then bordered it with French knots. I gave him black French knot eyes. I sewed the two sides of the main and tail together then glued them in between the two finished sides of the horse, as they are too small to pin. I stitched all around the horse catching a twine loop at the top, skipping the ears, but making a little brown stitch in the center of each. Using gold floss, I made an anchor stitch under his chin then looped the floss around his muzzle, then made a French knot on each side. I then loosely looped the floss behind his neck and made an anchor stitch to keep it from pulling out.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

22. Santa

Ho, ho, ho! I had to do Santa! I started him by gluing his beard and mustache onto his face. I stitched them down, then added some crystal sequins to his beard. I made two straight pink stitches for his mouth, a peach stitch for his nose and two blue French knot eyes. I stitched the beard to his red back piece around the outside, the stitched his face and corners of his ‘stash onto one of the hair pieces. Then I sewed the back hair piece to the front. I glued the hat brims on and stitched crystal sequins to the front one while sewing them down. I layered the two hat sides onto his head and sewed them together and onto him. I added a white pompom to the tip of his hat.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

23. Gifts

These three little gifts could be made in any colors. I went with a classic Christmas palette. I stitched each of the two larger gifts separately, then stitched them together, only going through one layer of felt to hide the stitches. The corner of the red gift got the loop of twine. For the two bows, I decorated each loop with a sequin, sewed the two sides together, then stitched them on with some crossed stitches only in the center. On the gold gift, I glued down a strip of red felt as a ribbon and trimmed it to fit. I sewed a trio of sequins on to decorate it. I put the back and front together and started sewing them together with blanket stitch at the bottom, then laying it on the other two gifts and sewing through bother the gold gift and the top layer of felt of the other two while sewing the last three sides. I finished it with a plastic holly embellishment that I stitched on with red thread around the berries.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

24. Reindeer

I started the reindeer by gluing the two layers of each antler together and setting them aside. I made sure to glue them edge-to-edge as I wasn’t sewing them together. I decorated the front of his face with a red sequin nose and brown sequin eyes. I glued then sewed the inner ears to the front ears, then sewed the front ears to their backs. I sewed the face pieces together with the antlers and a loop of twine at the top. I stitched the ears to the front top of the head. On the top of one antler, I made a line of back stitch running down, across and up to the top of the other. I stitched colored sequins along the way, using only one stitched in each so the dangle like holiday lights.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

And now all the ornaments are complete! Which have been your favorites? It is so hard for me to choose, but I’ve really liked the tree truck, the dove and the hot cocoa cup. This project and its patterns are completely free for you to use for personal use. If you’d like to purchase a commercial license, visit my Etsy shop and contact me if you don’t see a current listing for it.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

If you are making a set, I’d love to see your finished ornaments! Tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (if you are private, I’ll have to request to follow you), mention me on Twitter @iolstephanie or post a picture on our Facebook wall. I love what I’ve seen so far! If you’d like to support my free site in other ways, visit my support page. If you’d like to get my posts the moment they go live in your email inbox, sign up here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

I’ve been giving Jax his ornaments in little origami boxes (mine use 6″ papers) with printed numbers on top. I have them all in in a Christmas basket and he finds the right one each night. I started out adding candy treats in there as well, but he lost interest so I stopped. He’s really gotten into opening them and asks me all day long if it is time yet.

http://greeneyed.com/2010/12/page/3/

Happy holidays!

 

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

My large sewing project this holiday season was one that was chosen by my readers in our Facebook page: a felt Christmas tree play set! I hope you’ve been sewing along with me as I’ve shared the toddler-friendly tree pattern and tutorial and the first, two sets with you. But it’s not too late to join in! These mini ornaments bring a whole lot of holiday cheer and work up fast.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

I will be designing 24 ornaments, and giving Jax one to unwrap every day leading up to Christmas. I’ll be sharing the ornaments in batches of 6. I am planning two more sets next week to finish the project. Numbers 13-18 are: a drum, a truck with a tree, a dove, an ice skate, a snow globe and a wreath.

To see all the posts in this series, click here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

What I Used:

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

For all of the ornaments: I cut pieces of baker’s twine, doubled it over and tied a knot in the ends. When stitching the tops of the ornaments together, I made sure the knot of the twine loop was inside. I also made sure to stitch through the knot to secure the loop.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

13. Drum

My husband is a drummer, so we already have a few little drums for Jax. All that aside, this little drum came out much cuter than I expected! I started by gluing down the red and green bands to each side of the drum, the stitched them down. I also added red and green sequins. I stitched the drum heads on, then made rows of gold French knots along their edges. On the front of the drum, I back stitched two drum mallets and used red sequins for the heads. I stitched around the edge of the drum, catching a loop of twine at the top corner.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three  Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

14. Truck with a Tree

We haven’t gotten our Christmas tree yet, but I’m really anxious to! I was inspired by all the cars and trucks taking home their trees, so I designed this truck. It had to be red- Jackson’s favorite color!

To sew the truck, decorate each side the same. Tack down the parts, then sew around the fenders and windows. Stitch green sequins into the cents of each tire. Put the two sides of the truck together, and sew each pair of tires together, going through all the layers on the upper halves. Sew the truck sides together, leaving the truck bed an open pocket and catching a loop of twine in the top of the cab.

For the little tree, I stitched green sequins onto each side. I then tacked the two sides of the truck together and stitched them around the edges. I layered them between the two tree sides, and stitched it all together. The tree can stick into the truck pocket, or come out!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

15. Dove

I am in love with this little dove! To begin, I stitched the outer piece of each wing with stripes of back stitch. At the end of each line, I stitched a crystal sequin. I left the bottoms of the sequins hanging free. I did the same rows of stitches and sequins on the tail of each body piece. I sewed each decorated wing piece to a plain one, then stitched them on along their fronts. I stitched sequin cheeks onto the dove’s face on each side, and added brown satin stitched eyes. I stitched the two sides of the dove together all the way around, catching a loop of twine in her back and the two beak pieces (sewn together) in her face.

To make the olive branch, I rolled the branch felt lengthwise and blanket stitched up its length. I then worked my way back down, stitching leaves on in a staggered pattern. I coated each leaf with felt glue and let them dry to make the sturdier. If you have a younger (or rougher) child, you may need to skip the delicate olive branch. Once the branch was dry, I stitched it to the under side of her beak.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

16. Ice Skate

For this little ice skate, I glued together the two sides of the gray blade using a thicker layer of glue than I’d normally use. I didn’t want stitches taking away from the crisp look of the blade, so I made sure they were thoroughly glued together. I then tacked the tan sole pieces onto either side of the blade and stitched them on along the sides and bottom. I decorated each of the sides of the boot with a crystal sequin and some stitches and French knots. Then I layered the two sides around the sole and blade and stitched them on along the sides and bottom, catching a loop of twine in the upper back corner. I left the top open, like a real skate. I used white floss to stitch zig zags along where the shoelace would be, and stitched on a looped bow. I finished it off with a mini white pompom.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

17. Snow Globe

I have to give credit to American Felt and Craft for the idea of a snow globe ornament. This is my (mini) version!

I started by prepping the two sides of the red base with some stitched on sequins. I then glued the snow and trees to each of the blue globe backgrounds and letting them dry. I stitched each of the trees down, but didn’t stitch the snow as only a bit of the edge was exposed. I thin layered the two pieces back-to-back and sandwiched them between two circles of clear vinyl. Starting at the snow line, I stitched up and around through all the layers, catching a loop of twine at the top. I used a blanket stitch and pulled it firmly. I went all the way around the blue edge and stopped at the other side of the snow line.

I turned the snow globe upside-down, and carefully poured a little crystal glitter in to each side (about a 1/4 teaspoon – whatever fits but doesn’t obscure the view too much). The glitter won’t really move around, so having see-through glitter is key. Keeping it upside down, I sewed that bottom edge closed. I then sewed on the red base.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

18. Wreath

The wreath is quick and easy, but very pretty. On the front, I took a little bow I’d tied in ribbon and stitched it down using tiny stitches around the knot. I then stitched colorful sequins around the ring on both sides. I stitched the fronts and backs together, making sure to catch a loop of twine at the top.

 Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

Which one is your favorite of this set? What would you like to see next? I have to design 24, and your idea may be one! Stop by Facebook or Twitter, or comment here with your ideas. I have a couple planned that were reader suggestions!

If you are making a set, I’d love to see your finished ornaments! Tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (if you are private, I’ll have to request to follow you), mention me on Twitter @iolstephanie or post a picture on our Facebook wall. I love what I’ve seen so far!

I have to say a quick happy birthday to my fabulous big (and only) brother! He is so wonderful, and a big reason why I’d love a sibling for Jax (the husband disagrees.) He has been a big help on all of my more technical projects and is very creative himself. Check out his puppetry!

Happy birthday big bro!! Love you! <3

 

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Are you ready for the next installment of the Montessori wall map? This has been the most epic sewing project ever… If you haven’t been introduced to our Montessori wall map and quiet book yet, you can read all about it here. This post is for the continent of Europe.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Our Europe 3-Part Card Tray

Every continent (and the oceans) will have landmarks and animals. Europe has so many amazing landmarks! I ended up choosing an even mix of animals and landmarks for this project.

Overview and Map PatternsAfricaAntarcticaAsia • Europe
North AmericaOceansSouth America

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Those of you who follow along on Facebook or Instagram have been seeing what I’ve been creating for Europe. Things are definitely a tight squeeze when you put everything on the map at once. There is just so much awesome in a small area! I made: the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, a harp seal, a mallard, a hedgehog, and a grey wolf. My choices were influenced by which figurines were available from SafariLTD’s TOOBs.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables
This project is totally free for you to use (though commercial use requires a license.) If you’d like to support my designs, one way is to make a purchase off of Jax’s Amazon wishlist. I use his list to bookmark school and craft items until I am able to get them. For more ways to contribute to this site, visit my support page.

Materials I Used

The Pattern (see the first post for the main patterns)

Felt from American Felt & Craftbig apple [red], cilantro [olive green], pastry [golden taupe], gold nugget [gold], chocolate [deep brown], fresh linen [off white], chai [taupe], doe [brown], jade [green], sparrow [light blue], ice [aqua blue], stone [heather taupe], elephant [charcoal], graywhite and black.

Hook & Loop – I used white snag-free Velcro on the backs of all these pieces and red hook & loop (loop only) on the front of the Europe puzzle piece. My red hook & loop was from here.

Felt glue to tack down the pieces before sewing, printer fabric for the continent label, embroidery floss in colors to match the felt and micro tip scissors.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

For the Europe quiet book page, I sewed a running stitch (dashed) outline around the Europe pattern piece and sewed down snag-free Velcro to line up with the Velcro on the back of the Europe piece.

Europe: (Felt used: big apple red) For the Europe continent puzzle piece, I sewed down pieces of red loop Velcro. On the back, I sewed strips of white snag-free Velcro to correspond with the Velcro in the quietbook and the wall map. I finished it by sewing the two sides together around the edge with a blanket stitch.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Label: (Felt used: big apple red) For the continent label, I folded under the edges (just a tiny bit to hide the rough edges) and creased it with my nails. The printer fabric held the folds nicely without ironing. Then I stitched the label to some red felt and trimmed it down to be a border. I cut a matching felt rectangle for the back, sewed snag-free Velcro to it and then sewed both sides together.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

For all of the animals, I started by gluing the pieces down to a scrap of background felt with a very light amount of felt glue. I glue multiple animals at a time to give them time to dry. I sewed them down, trimmed the background and cut a matching backing piece. I sewed snag-free Velcro to the back and sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Harp Seal: (Felt used: fresh linen off-white for the baby seal, white for the background) The harp seal is super simple! I tacked down his body with glue and sewed around the edges. I made a small stitch for a mouth and satin stitched a nose. His eye is a black French knot.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

We love this animal encyclopaedia!

Hedgehog: (Felt used: stone heather taupe for the body, doe brown for the ear and legs, fresh linen off-white for the face and cilantro olive green for the background) I first glued down all her parts in the proper order, adding the ear last. I stitched all the way around the edges and made a stitch at the base of her ear. Using brown, I made a French knot eye and satin stitched nose. On her back, I used dark brown and cream to make stitches to show the texture of the spines.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Grey Wolf: (Felt used: gray and elephant charcoal for the body and white for the snow and sparrow light blue background) I started by gluing down the front leg piece and the face (using the back/chest pieces to find the positioning. I then glued down the back/chest, followed by the hind leg and the ear. I cut a curvy piece of white and glued it down over where his feet would be to make the ground. Once it was dry, I trimmed around the wolf and stitched everything down. While stitching down the darker gray piece, I made my stitches longer and a little “sloppy” to make his fur look shaggy. Along the underside of his tail, the edge of his face and under his chest, I made light gray stitches the same way. His eye is a little stitch to make it look closed, his nose is satin stitch and his mouth is just lined with two straight stitches.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Mallard: (Felt used: gold nugget gold for the beak, jade green for the head, chai taupe for the body, chocolate deep brown for the chest and wing and ice aqua blue for the water and background) I glued down the body and head pieces, then glued the chest and wing on top. I cut a thin, wavy blue strip for water and glued it down over the bottom edge of the mallard. I stitched down all the mallard’s edges, then using dashed stitches, I stitched through the center of the water wave. At her neck, I made two long stitches in white. The eye is a French knot in brown, with a tiny stitch for a nostril and two long stitches to make the beak opening.

Sewing the Landmarks

For all the landmarks, I started by sewing the front piece. Then I cut out a backing felt to match the final shape and added some snag-free Velcro to it. I finished sewed around the whole edge, switching colors where needed. For all of the detail work, see the photos for a sample of where to stitch.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Colosseum: (Felt used:stone heather taupe for the building and sparrow blue for the background) I glued down the building and stitched down the edges. With brown floss, I stitched 3 rows with back stitch. On the lower three levels, I stitched arches using a lazy daisy stitch that is open at the bottom. On the top level, I made tiny vertical stitches for windows.

Tower of Pisa: (Felt used: gray for the building,  white  for the ground ,cilantro olive green for the ground and sparrow blue for the background) I cut out a small green piece for the ground, then glued it down with the white ground on top. I glued the building on top. Using a medium gray floss, I made long stitches across the building to make each level. On the bottom level, I used it to make vertical stitches for columns. On the top level, I made an arch with an open lazy daisy stitch. I switched to white floss and made the rest of the columns.

Eiffel Tower: (Felt used: chai taupe for the structure and sparrow blue for the background) The Eiffel Tower is tacked down in place with glue, then I stitched around all the edges. I made criss-crossed stitches all over it similar to the beams it has. In some spots I made long horizontal or vertical stitches to make the real tower.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

The beautiful landmark replicas seen here were provided by SafariLTD. I am working with them to make this project the best it can be.

Eiffel Tower: (Felt used: pastry golden taupe for the building, white for the clock face, elephant charcoal for the roofs and sparrow blue for the background) For Big Ben, I glued everything in place then stitched down the roofs and the sides of the clock square piece. On the tower, I made rows of back stitching with long, vertical stitches in between. I stitched black clock hands on, then stitched a square around it in the taupe floss. Using dark brown, I made little windows above the clock. Using gray, I made the points coming off of the roofs.

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Montessori European Animals 3-Part Cards

The series of 3-Part cards I am making for this project is something that Jax will be using for many years in homeschool. I have been focusing on the animals in these posts, but at the end of the project I will make a set featuring all the landmarks we sewed. Eventually, we will expand our collection of cards even more to include cultures, more landmarks, and so much more. Three part cards are extremely flexible learning tools.

 Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own animals of Europe cards. To make mine, I cut them out, glued them to red construction paper (to match Europe’s Montessori color) then laminated them. I use this laminator and I’ve been very happy with it. It makes everything so shiny and strong! My photos come out slightly faded from the printer (I use normal paper) but turn gorgeous after lamination. (Quick tip: Add a dab of glue stick on the back of your pieces before you place them in the lamination pouch to keep them from sliding around as you feed it through the machine.)

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Our main way of using the cards for now is to pull out our SafariLTD’s TOOB figurines and  match them to the pictures. We like to watch short videos about an animal, then study some pictures and draw our own. The TOOBs we used for these animal cards are: River TOOB (mallard), Arctic Toob (harp seal, wolf – which is actually a husky!) and Pets TOOB (hedgehog).

SafariLTD kindly provided the World Landmark TOOB and the Around the World TOOB for this continent. We are working with them to make this project the best is can be!

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I know many of you are sewing along (or plan to after the holidays!) If you are, stop by my Instagram @iolstephanie and leave a comment on one of my photos (I can’t see your photo if it you are private, but I can request to follow you temporarily if you leave a comment on mine about it) or share photos on Facebook. You can also email me. I love seeing what others make from my patterns!

Animals of Europe for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Please be sure to visit the other ideas featured on Montessori Monday. There are many great links!

Montessori Monday

Make the World’s Best Robot Costume!

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

While I’m sure there are more spectacular versions out there, seeing Jax in his homemade LED robot costume rocks my world! I mean, seriously? The cutest! Jax can’t wait for Halloween, and neither can I!

Last year for Halloween, Jax was a train engineer wearing a cardboard and duct tape train I made with dollar store supplies. And it was fab! In fact, Jax loved it so much that it took me 6 months to convince him it was okay to be something new next year. When he chose to be a robot, I did a happy dance! While cardboard robot costumes are great, I wanted to sew this year. And because I love e-textiles so much, I was ready to go all out!

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

Exhibit A: Jaxbot3000. Cute overload imminent!

I’m going to do my best to explain everything I did to create this costume. I will include the supplies I used in each section, but there will also be a master list sorted by purchase location at the bottom of the post. Fabric yardages and product counts are the totals for what I bought. I do have leftovers of everything but the fleece. Please feel free to contact me with questions. I’m easiest to reach via message on our Facebook page.

Prototype & Prime Directive

This costume uses a combination of LEDs sewn with conductive thread, ready-made LED components and glow sticks. There is a plain shirt and pants set with a decorated tunic/jumper for the main body that is worn on top.

The back of the body includes a sound-activated LED faux-equalizer. The head is a soft helmet-style hat with some decorations and LEDs. In addition, I got Jax a souvenir space laser toy on an outing. It matches the retro styling perfectly.

Manipulator Arms & Dynamic Locomotion Limbs

Supplies: silver pleather (~ 1.5 yd.)

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!Also known as the arms and legs! For Jax’s costume, I sewed a very basic long sleeve shirt and pants set using a silver metallic pleather. I requested 1 yard and was given about 0.8 yds more for an additional 50% off because it was the end of the bolt.) As it is a non-stretch fabric, I had to keep that in mind while sewing the top.

The pants are very simple, made in an elastic-waist pajama style. You can find many toddler pajama pant patterns online. I cut my own pattern by tracing Jax’s existing pants and adding extra for seam allowances and wiggle room. Simple pants are actually very easy to sew!

For my shirt, I used a toddler long sleeve t-shirt pattern from here. It just happened to be the right size for Jax. Because my fabric is non-stretch, I made a long slit going down from the back neck. You could add a hook and eye closure, but I haven’t bothered so far. Getting the shirt on takes a little shoulder wiggling, but work just fine for us. You might want to wait to finish the slit’s edge until after trying on the shirt. That way you could make it long enough for ease of dressing. If you go with a stretch fabric, then you don’t need to worry about a slit.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

Central External Casing Assembly

Supplies: dm red anti pill fleece (~ 0.5 yd.), batting (~ 1 yd., from stash) silver rope trim (unknown, from stash), clear vinyl (scraps), reflective sew-in piping (2 packs), red velcro (6″)

Otherwise know as the main body! I started designing the body by measuring Jax. I knew I wanted it to be boxy, so I took measurements based on where I wanted it to hang. I sketched out my idea and noted the measurements. I designed it to be narrower at the top and slightly a-line at the bottom, but still keeping a very boxy shape. The shoulder straps are double thickness and Velcro to front to make it easy to step into.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

Chest: (This is sewn on my machine.) I cut one layer of fleece and two layers of batting for each of the 4 body pieces. On the top and bottom edges, I cut the batting slightly smaller so I could just fold the fleece in over the batting and hem. I didn’t bother to line the body, as I was saving on fleece and Jax will be wearing the shirt underneath (to spare him from the itchy batting.)

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

I folded over the tops and bottoms of each section (towards the inside where the batting was) and hemmed them and top stitched to make a double seam. Then, lining up the bottoms, I sewed the four sides together into a rectangular tube. Along the bottom, I attached some of the reflective piping as a trim by folding over the piping seam allowance and zigzag stitching over it. At the top, I sewed two 3″ strips of Velcro, one on each end of the front panel. These are for the straps.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

At the sides of the front and back panels, I tried added a double seam along the sides to give the body sharper corners. But what worked better was pinching the seams into corners and hand stitching through all the layers to hold the pinch in place. I did this at the tops and bottoms of each corner.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

Straps: (This is sewn on my machine.) For each strap, I cut two pieces of fleece and two pieces of batting. To sew a strap, I laid two pieces of fleece with right sides facing, then added two pieces of fleece on one side. I stitched around both long sides and one short side. I turned it right side out, then top stitched around the three sewn edges, pausing at the top of the strap to add Velcro. I repeated for the other strap. Lining the straps up with the Velcro on the body, I pinned and sewed them in place.

Arm Hole Trim: (This was hand sewn.) I then added silver metallic rope trim from my sewing stash all the way around the arm hole, including the outer edge of each strap. I just folded the ends of the rope towards the inside of the costume and stitched them down.

How to: Make LEDs Sewable

I chose to go with regular LEDs (as opposed to ones mounted to sewable boards) for two reasons: they are much cheaper and I love the large, domed look of them. But because they aren’t intended to be sewn, you need to do a little “jewelry making” to prepare them.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

An important note about LEDs: the longer wire is the positive wire! The shorter wire is the negative wire. You have to connect the correct sides to you battery’s two sides, or else your circuit will fail. To keep the sides distinct but still create a way to sew them on, it helps to curl the positive wire into a round coil and the negative side into a square coil. I used two jewelry making pliers to do it. You’ll need to do this for every LED you sew, but it is very quick. Sew the photo tutorial above to learn how to prepare your LEDs for sewing.

If you plan to mount the LEDs with the wires hidden, cut holes in your fabric (use Fray Check if needed on the hole’s edge) and sew the wires to the back side with the LED dome sticking through. I felt my wires went well with the robot look. I did mount my battery holders to the back side for both aesthetics and safety.

How to: Create E-Textile Circuits

Sewing circuits for your LEDs is easy, I promise! Let me show you the basics, so you are able to easily understand my circuit plans. Disclaimer: I am not an electrician! My programmer brother helped me to understand the basics over the course of all my e-textile projects. I’ll be explaining in non-technical terms.

Basic circuit examples.

Basic circuit examples.

Both the battery and your LEDs have positive and negative sides. Both sides need to be correctly connected to work. Take a look at the examples above to get an idea of how LED circuits work. You are basically making a chain going away from the battery. You must have separate lines for the + and – connections, and the cannot touch or you will short your circuit.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!When you are making a simple line of LEDs, you can see how easy it is to sew your circuits. It gets a little trickier when you start arranging the LEDs into different shapes. It helps to sketch out your plan so you can be sure you have a clear path for each line that doesn’t touch or cross. Additionally, you need to consider the voltage your LEDs run on. This is something new I had to learn through experimenting this time! My red, orange and yellow LEDs ran on a lower voltage than my green, blue and pinks. (I’m very glad my LEDs came with a chart that helped me piece together the problem!) While my batteries appropriate for either, if I added a lower voltage LED to a chain with higher ones, the voltage was dropped down to the point where the higher ones turned off. With that in mind, I had to separate out my LEDs based on voltage.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!Here is my final plan for the LEDs on Jaxbot’s chest panel. My little man loves rainbows, so I made a rainbow. I had to keep the green/blue/pink separate from the other colors. I kept the color-change LEDs separate, then did all the red/orange/yellows together. Notice how each circuit is a chain, even if I had to stitch around the battery holder to get to my first LED.

I started the chest panel by cutting a rectangle of gray vinyl that fit well on the front of the body.
Mine was [6.5" x 8"]. I rounded the corners.

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Color Change Power Tubes

Supplies: circuit plans, LED – 5mm Cycling RGB (slow) x4, Coin Cell Battery Holder – 20mm SewableConductive Thread Bobbin, Light Pipe – White Core (3.5mm, 1′ long), plastic glow bracelet connectors, reflective tape

Special Tools: round nose pliers, jeweller’s pliers, super glue, sand paper

Color Change LEDs with Ropes: (All LED work is hand sewn with conductive thread.) I prepped the 4 “slow change” RGB LEDs for sewing. These are special LEDs from SparkFun that slowly cycle through different colors. When combined with fiber optic light rope (which lights up when LEDs shine into the ends), the effect is super cool!

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To sew my circuit, I positioned my battery holder in place on the back of my vinyl and taped across the center to hold it. I threaded my needle with conductive thread, knotted the end and made about 5 stitches on the positive side of the holder (you’ll see a plus on it). Following my circuit plan, I stitched the positive line around to the first LED. I flipped to the right side of the vinyl, then stitched several times through the positive loop of the first LED. I then stitched to the next LED and repeated until I had all the LEDs sewn down through their positive loops. I tied off my conductive thread and started a new one. I then repeated the whole process, starting on the negative side of the battery holder and working my way around to each LED, sewing through their negative loops. When both lines are complete, you can pop in a battery to test it. (Note that I had an older version of the circuit plans in these photos, but it is the same.)

 I sewed a strip of reflective tape in between the LEDs for a little extra flash.

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To make the “power tubes” glow, I started by sanding the surface of two lengths of light rope. Sanding the surface causes more light to “leak” out, which makes them look brighter. I cut one of my pieces a little longer than the other using sharp scissors so they could criss-cross. For each tube, I took one of the little drinking-straw-like connectors that come with glow bracelets. The perfectly fit my 5mm LEDs! I used 3mm light rope so it would be more flexible, so I couldn’t just still the rope into the connectors. I took Super Glue and put a pea-sized glob on each end, then stuck them into the connectors. I made sure they were at the angle they’d need to be when on the LEDs. After drying overnight, they were ready to stick onto the LEDs.

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Controller Button Pad

Supplies: circuit plans, 5mm Assorted Clear LEDs (8 Colors, Pack of 80), Coin Cell Battery Holder – 20mm SewableConductive Thread BobbinButton Pad 2×2 – LED CompatibleButton Pad 2×2 Top Bezel, 4 jewelry making head pins, 4 beads, reflective sew-in piping

Special Tools: round nose pliers, jeweller’s pliers, super glue, sand paper

SparkFun sells so many great components to go along with LEDs. The majority are meant for traditional LED use, but I’m crafty – I knew I could adapt them! I absolutely had to have an LED button pad on Jaxbot. The button pads are molded white silicone with domes that go over the LEDs. Then you add the black plastic bezel over top (I skipped the bottom bezel.)

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I first sewed the battery holder and LEDs in place according to my plan. This section shares a battery with the first half of the rainbow above, so I needed to stitch down a ways from it. You need to be fairly precise with the the LED placement so they fit into the button pad grid. Using ssss decorated with red beads, I attached the button pad to the vinyl through the 4 corner holes. I used a sew needle to punch a hole for the wire, then used jeweler’s pliers to bend the wires into a coil.

For a more finished look, I sewed some reflective piping around the edge of the button pad, tucking the seam allowance towards the pad to hide it.

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Rainbow Central Processing Unit

Supplies: circuit plans, 5mm Assorted Clear LEDs (8 Colors, Pack of 80), Coin Cell Battery Holder – 20mm SewableConductive Thread Bobbin, large heart sequin, nail polish

I had to include a rainbow since I had the right colors. Jax loves them! (There is an LED in the set that seems like it is violet. It is actually ultraviolet – think blacklight – and not as bright as the others. I used the pink instead.)

When sewing the LED circuits for the rainbow, you have to do them in two parts. The red, orange and yellow LEDs will become a second chain coming off of the button pad’s battery. You then need to start a new battery holder and LED chain for the green, blue and pink LEDs.

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Circuits are sewn, but ow, that green is bright!!

One thing you might notice if you scroll back up and look at the LED chart, is that the green’s millicandela (mcd) is higher than most of the others. The mcd is a measurement of the LED’s intensity. Woo, that green is painfully bright! I tried various things with the circuits, such as adding a resistor, but ultimately I called on my craftiness again.

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I grabbed to dark gray nail polish I’d just bought and coated the top 1/3 of the green LED with it. I thought for sure it would dim it too much, but it was perfect! (The LED set I got comes with 10 of each color, so it was easy to do some testing to see what worked. I started with a sheer glitter polish, but the very dark one was what I needed.)

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I sewed a large heart sequin (from the thrift store) under the rainbow.

Here is my circuit plan overlaid on top of a photo of my circuits. You can tell where my LEDs are by the thick clumps of stitching. You can also see the attachment points of the two knobs, which I will explain next.

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Volume Control and Power Level Adjustment Knobs

Supplies: Red Knob – 15x19mm (2), shank-back buttons (2), wire scraps

Special Tools: round nose pliers, super glue

The knobs I chose are red and smaller that you might guess. But they are adorable and just the right scale for Jaxbot. They also come in black. They are intended to be placed onto a post that has a screw hole in the side, so you can screw the knob on and the whole this rotates. I had to be crafty to get mine attached but still able to turn.

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I ended up digging through my button jar to find two shank-back buttons that were slightly smaller than the indent in the back of the knobs. I used super glue to attach them and let them dry overnight. Using sharp scissors, I cut a hole in my vinyl. Then I used a scrap of wire to hold them in place on the back side.

Communications Center

Supplies: scrolling LED name badge

I’m all about simple and inexpensive when possible. There was no way I’d be able to figure out programing my own LED display (though SparkFun certainly sells what you’d need!) I knew that LED name badges existed, so I started searching Amazon. When I found one for $10 from the same seller I was getting my LED equalizer (I’ll tell you about that soon!), I decided to try it despite the 1 star review. I always read product reviews, but that one’s only complaint was that it was hard to figure out.

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I was expecting instructions in broken English and a unit that took 2 weeks to figure out. I seriously understood it in a minute. Read my Amazon review at the link above for more details. This badge is held on by a magnet panel. I placed it between the knobs.

Details and Attachment

Supplies: printables, photo fabric, gray felt, red felt, silver pleather scraps, square sequins, reflective sew-in piping, wire scraps, seed beads, tiny red button

Special Tools: round nose pliers

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I added some details to the chest panel next: a row of square sequins; some felt gears with silver pleather circles sewn in the centers. Then I hand stitched some reflective piping around the whole edge. Using my sewing machine, I sewed two tall, skinny clear vinyl pockets for glow bracelets, leaving enough room for the control panel to be in the middle.

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Final placement of the panel and Dial. Everything in the dark. Everything in a flash/headlights.

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!I printed out the printables onto photo fabric then cut out the front dial with a 0.5″ seam allowance. I added a layer of white felt behind the photo fabric before folding back the seam allowance. This gives it dimension and keeps you from seeing the folds through the fabric. I folded under the allowance and pinned the dial in place with a strip of reflective piping along the curve. I hand stitched along the curve to sew it to the chest.

I then laid the control panel in place at the bottom of the dial, and hand stitched along its piping on the top edge to attach it to the chest as a big flap. You need to be able to get to the back side of the panel to insert batteries, so I added 4 sew-on snaps to hold it in place (bottom corners and one on each side.)

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To make the dial’s needle, I made a loop at the end of a piece of wire, then loaded it up with red seed beads. When it was nearly long enough, I made another loop to hold the beads in place. I then placed it on the dial and sewed a button on, making my stitches all go through the bottom loop of the dial needle. This lets the needle turn. You may want to curve it in towards the chest a bit so it doesn’t flop down.

Midpoint Illumination Band

Supplies: LED shoelaces (only used one of them)

Also known as the glow belt! When I saw LED shoelaces in Target’s Dollar Spot, I grabbed a pair in red. I wasn’t sure what I would do with them, but they are basically a cheaper version of fiber optic light rope. If you can’t find them at Target, amazon has similar items.

I turned one of the shoelaces into a belt. It was just the right size! I just had to find the point on the A-line shirt that it was a perfect fit. Then I made little stitches around the tubing to hold it in place. The little power unit is not actually attached to the shirt. It is held in place by the tubes, but you can also pop it off to change the battery.

Audio Input Visualizer

Supplies: LED sound-activated equalizer panel, black elastic scrap, red fleece scrap

I definitely wanted the back of Jaxbot to light up, but I didn’t want to have to wire LEDs on both sides. I knew I’d seen sound-activated LED t-shirts before, so I did some hunting. It turns out, you can purchase the LED panels separately from the shirts for $7! It does need you need music or noise to have the panel light up. I plan to load my phone up with robotic songs and keep a custom Jaxbot soundtrack going as we trick-or-treat. Loud voices can trigger it as well.

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There isn’t a lot you need to do to the panel. You do need to make sure you plug it in correctly. The plug isn’t labeled and if you do it upside-down it with light up oddly. It comes with sticky Velcro (ugh, always annoying!) that you can press in place. I found it didn’t stick that great, so I spent an uncomfortable hour stitching mine down with an old needle. I threw the needle out afterwards, as it was all sticky. You may want to ditch their Velcro and use the sew-on kind (loop side). I added some black felt scraps to fill in the corners of the panel area, then surrounded it with reflective piping.

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I cut a slit in the tunic and fed the cord through. I basted a scrap of fleece inside so I could keep the excess cord neat and out of Jax’s way. I clipped the sensor unit to the back collar and added some elastic to keep it from flopping.

Fuel Cells

Supplies: printables, glow braid, clear vinyl, glow tubes (red and blue)

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To decorate one side panel of the body, I machine sewed a clear vinyl pocket with a divider in the center. I made the two sections large enough to hold standard glow stick tubes. I took the “fuel cell” printable and stitched over the letters with glow-in-the-dark braid.

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You could leave your printout as-is, but I was running out of yellow ink and mine printed too dark. I stitched the label in place above the pockets. When we put the costume on, I activate two glow tubes to act as our fuel cells!

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Fuel Gauge

Supplies: printables, photo fabric, reflective sew-in piping, white felt, wire scraps, seed beads, tiny red button

Special Tools: round nose pliers

This gauge is made the same way as the one above the control panel, except you add the reflective piping all the way around. I added a layer of white felt behind the photo fabric before folding back the seam allowance. Then I sewed it down with reflective piping, beaded a gauge needle and sewing it on with a button.

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Head Encasement Unit

Supplies: printables, dm red anti pill fleece (~ 0.5 yd.), silver pleather (~ 1.5 yd.), batting (~ 1 yd., from stash), gray textured vinyl scraps, mesh tubing, red pompom, large circle sequins (2), reflective sew-in piping (2 packs), photo fabric, red felt, gray felt, pipe cleaner, glow bracelet, sew-on snaps (4), 5mm Assorted Clear LEDs (8 Colors, Pack of 80), Coin Cell Battery Holder – 20mm SewableConductive Thread Bobbin, helmet circuit plans

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That’s the helmet! I didn’t use a pattern for this. I took basic measurements of how long and wide the top of Jax’s head is, then cut a rounded-corner rectangle slightly larger than that. I cut 1 layer of silver pleather, 2 layers of batting and 1 layer of red fleece. I zigzag stitched all the way around the layers.

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I then used a sewing measuring tape to measure the circumference of the of the helmet top (add 1″ for seam allowance) and the height of the distance from the top of Jax’s head to his shoulders (add 1″ for seam allowance) I cut this long rectangle out of 1 layer of silver pleather and 1 layer of red fleece. With right sides facing, I sewed along one of the long sides. I turned it the right way and top stitched along the hem. I then sewed it into a tube, making the fleece the inside, and then sewed the tube to the helmet top.

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I cut my face hole afterwards. I used the same rounded rectangle as the top of his helmet. Try making the shape out of paper and holding it up to your child’s face first. Once I cut it, I carefully folded in both layers of the hole’s edge, layering reflective piping between them. I machine sewed it in place, but hand sewing might be easier. It was slow and awkward, and I had to go back and hand stitch some places.

On the right side of the helmet, I sewed two large round sequins, A loop of mesh tubing and a red felt gear with a silver pleather center.

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On the left side of the helmet, I sewed down the dark gauge with the edges folded under. I didn’t line that one. I cut a length of mesh tubing long enough for a glow bracelet and sewed the top end to the helmet.

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I cut two squares of gray felt and cut a hole in the center, large enough for a glow stick to fit through. Then I cut a strip of felt to be a cover over the hole and sewed all around the edges to hole it together. I sewed the other end of the mesh tubing to the top of the felt square (the side without the cover) and sewed four snaps to the bottom. I figured out where I wanted the tube to be positioned and sewed down the other half of the 4 snaps. You’ll have to sacrifice a glow bracelet to get the positioning just right, so be sure you have an extra.

To make the antennae, I folded a pipe cleaner in half and sewed a casing of silver pleather around it. at the top, I sewed on a pompom. I cut out a circle of gray vinyl and made a hole in the center for the antennae. I put the antennae through the hole, sewed the end to the center of the helmet and then sewed down the vinyl circle.

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Helmet Circuitry: The helmet circuitry is hard to draw because at one point the lines go up either side of the antennae to an LED sitting on the pompom. Take a close at both the helmet circuit plans and the perspective view above.

I’ll try to explain best I can. I placed the battery holder just outside the gray circle towards the back of the helmet. I sewed the positive side of the holder down with several stitches, then stitched a line out and over to the antennae. On the back side of the antennae, I sewed a line of stitching up to the pompom. Make sure you only go through that side of the pleather so the folded pipe cleaner acts as a barrier between the circuits on each side of the antennae. I brought the positive thread up through the pom pom about 1/3 of the way in from the far side of it and made a few stitches. You can’t stitch super securely on a pom pom, so I tied off and put some Fray check on the stitching. I started another conductive thread and connected it to the positive line at the base of the antennae. I stitched around to the front in an arc and the straight out to the front of the helmet. I stitched through the round positive coil of the orange LED then stitched over to the yellow and did the same. I then stitched back to the orange over top of the stitches I’d just made. It’s fine because it is the same circuit. I continued my stitched out to the red LED, stitching through its round positive coil and tying off.

I started the negative line by stitching several times in the negative side of the battery holder. I stitched out in an arch to the front side of the base of the antennae, making sure to stop before reaching the positive line. I stitched up the antennae along the front side the same way as the positive line, this time attaching the negative side of the LED. I started a new conductive thread and linked it to the negative line at the front base of the antennae. I stitched out parallel to the positive line and then went around the outside of the LEDs as shown, sewing in each of their square negative coils.

I hope that made sense!

And now you should have…

The World’s Best Robot Costume!

Make the World's Best Robot Costume!

Final Shopping List

Joann’s Fabric

Amazon.com

SparkFun.com

American Felt & Craft

Target

Dollar Store

  • yellow glow bracelets (3)
  • glow tubes (red and blue)

Unknown/Already Owned

  • silver rope trim (unknown, from stash)
  • jewelry making pliers (round and flat)
  • large heart sequin
  • large circle sequins (2)
  • red pompom
  • pipe cleaner
  • shank-back buttons
  • black elastic scrap
  • red seed beads
  • tiny red buttons (2)
  • jewelry making head pins (4) and wire (2 scraps)
  • glow braid

What do you think of Jaxbot 3000? Do you think you are up for the challenge of sewing your own? I’d love to see photos of your little one’s home made costume. Stop by my Facebook page and post a photo to our wall, or tag me in an Instagram photo @iolstephanie.

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