Mermaid Totoro Party and Dress

How to make a Totoro mermaid dress - Rae Gun Ramblings

Every year my niece L has a birthday and the party is darling I make her an outfit for her party and usually a present too but I immediately dash into costume making mode so sadly her parties and dresses tend not to get blogged. Luckily her dress this year fit perfectly into the pattern mash up theme so I shared her awesome rainbow princess dress tutorial but this fun Mermaid Totoro party and dress has sat on computer for well over a year.

totoro mermaid applique - Rae Gun Ramblings

Thankfully the cute girls of Sew Geeky are doing a Geek Spectacular basically a free for all. So even though last month I share how to make a Totoro costume I figured a mermain and Totoro mash up was definitely geeky enough for the spectacular.

Super easy Tororo mermaid dress - Rae Gun Ramblings

I made the dress very much like how I made T’s rainbow dress. Yes I’ve made a few rainbow dresses. I shirred the fabric (sewed it with elastic thread) then made it a tube, added some straps and lace and then made a little iron on mermaid Totoro out of some fabric scraps and heat n bond. Pretty easy.

Tororo birthday party decorations - Rae Gun Ramblings

And since my mom did the cutest stuff for the party I have to show off all the darlingness. She hung these cute paper Totoros with grass skirts all over.

Totoro birthday party food ideas - Rae Gun Ramblings

As always the food was delicious and to go with the theme it all kind of had a Hawaiian feel. So some yummy noodle salad in the shape of Totoro.

Noodles in the shape of Totoro! Rae Gun Ramblings

There was a Totoro cake. Do you see the dust moots? So cute right?

Totoro Birthday Cake - Rae Gun Ramblings

Any way there it is Totoro plus mermaid equals a 5 year olds amazing mind creation and wonderful geekiness.

totoro mermaid party dress - Rae Gun Ramblings

And yes this was the birthday that I made her awesome Totoro cape. I’m hoping that all made sense and if you got to and are reading the end of this post congrats! I’m officially Halloween order and non-sleeping baby burnt out so I’m going to bed :) Check back next week because I have some SUPER exciting stuff to share :)

Totoro mermaid dress and birthday party - Rae Gun Ramblings

And don’t forget to check out all the other geeky awesomeness over at Sew Geeky blog!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.





Quick and Easy Bat Girl Cape Tutorial

 Easy DIY Bat Girl costume in under 1 hour - Rae Gun Ramblings #halloween #batman #batgirl #superhero

We are all about Super Heroes in our family so when I was invited to join in on the Amelie Cape Pattern Tour I knew I wanted to Bat Girl-ify the pattern. The pattern is SO quick and easy even with the extra steps of my tweaks to add the ears and bat wing lining this came together in less than an hour start to finish! So today I’m going to show you how to make a quick and easy Bat Girl Cape using the Amelie pattern.

How to make a Bat Girl cape - Rae Gun Ramblings

The pattern comes with an option of a darling Peter Pan collar or the hood like I did. It has two sizes 1-3 years old and 2-6 but T is already 7 and almost in 8 year old clothes and it still works wonderfully for her. The pattern is just 6$ so that’s way easier than trying to finagle your own cape.

DIY Bat Girl costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

What You Need

  • Cape Fabric (I used corduroy)
  • Wing Lining Fabric (I used fleece)
  • Bottom Lining Fabric (I used broadcloth
  • Button
  • Ribbon or fabric to make button loop
  • Some scraps of the cape fabric for ears (you’ll have plenty after cutting out the cape)

How to make a bat wing cape - Rae Gun Ramblings

Bat Wing Cape Lining

  1. Follow the directions to cut out the cape pieces. When you have the lining cut out. cut some small curves out of the bottom edge to make bat wing shapes.
  2. Next lay your cape on top of your bottom lining fabric and cut a piece out to complete what you just cut out. Basically you’re putting the lining back together so that it is the same shape as the outer piece.
  3. Pin the wing piece on top of the bottom lining and sew down. Since it’s fleece you don’t need to finish the edges. Now the lining piece should be the same size as the outer cape piece.

How to add bat or cat ears to a hood - Rae Gun Ramblings #costume #catwoman #batgirl

Bat or Cat Ears Tutorial

  1. Next sew the outer fabric hood pieces together as directed.
  2. Cut 4 triangle pieces out to form ears. With right sides together sew two triangles to each other. Repeat with the other pieces. Turn right side out and iron.
  3. Try your hood on and mark where you think the ears should go.
  4. lay the hood piece on your cutting table with wrong sides together. Position the ears and make a slit using a rotary cutter just a tin bit bigger than the edge of the ear. You want the slit to go through both sides so they are positioned evenly.
  5. Slide an ear piece into each hole and pin. Fold over and sew closed catching the two hood layers and the ear layers. Trim off any ear pieces sticking out on the underside of the hood. This is the same method I used to make Teddy’s Bear Hooded vest.
  6. Now continue putting the cape together as directed in the pattern.

Super cute and easy Bat Girl cape costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

So easy right? I love how it turned out. All you need to do is add a super hero mask to protect your secret identity and you’re good to go! I think you could totally do the same thing to make a cat cape too! I tried to suggest to T that it could also be a Cat Woman cape if you ignored the bat wings inside but she was horrified at the thought of being a bad guy. Of course my husband had to remind her that she didn’t feel so strongly about being a bad guy when she wanted her Dark Phoenix Costume though. Ha!

How to make an easy Bat Girl Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

I know I costume-ized this cape pattern but it really is just a sweet outwear piece. I plan on making L one out of some really cute polka dot corduroy I found But I think she wants ears too. But really when you have the option of ears or no ears why wouldn’t you do ears am I right!? ;)

To see other versions of the cape hop on over to Amelie & Atticus and check out or buy the cape pattern here.

The fastest and easiest way to add cat ears to any hood - Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


DIY Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial

How to Make a Princess Jasmine Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

I’ve said it before but Princesses dresses are probably may favorite thing to sew ever. But what about those silly princesses that wear pants, well I guess they are pretty fun to make too ;) To day I’ve got a DIY Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial to share with you guys. Last year when the whole family went to Disneyland I made the nieces each two princess outfits. And T picked Princess Jasmine from Aladdin for one of her costumes.

Princess Jasmine Costume Tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

I really love how it turned out and it was relatively easy to make if you just use some patterns or ready to wear clothes as your guide.

Step by step instructions for making a Princess Jasmine Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

How to Make a Princess Jasmine Top

What You Need

  • Shinny fabric (I like Jo-Ann’s Casa Collection, don’t by costume satin it’s awful to sew with and won’t hold up)
  • Lining fabric (I just used broadcloth)
  • Thin gold trim mine is about 1 inch for the headband and the front bodice piece
  • Thick gold trim for the bottom of the shirt
  • Sheer fabric about 1/4 yard
  • A shirt that slips on without needing to be stretched for a pattern (or basic bodice pattern pieces)
  • Gold Buttons for the back

What to Do

  1. Make your pattern by folding your shirt in half at the center front trace around giving yourself a half inch seam allowance. Repeat for the back.
  2. Cut out a front bodice piece and back 2 bodice pieces out of the shinny fabric and the lining. The front piece should be cut on the fold.
  3. With right sides together sew the bodice shinny pieces together at the shoulders. Repeat for the lining.
  4. With right sides together sew the shinny fabric to the lining around the neck and armholes.
  5. Flip right side out and iron.
  6. Sew the side seams by opening up the pieces and placing them right sides together and sewing down the line. You should have a basic top with the back open.
  7. Finish the bottom edge of the shirt so it doesn’t unravel either with a zig zag stitch or serger.
  8. Sew on your wide trim to the bottom of the shirt with a zig zag or 3 step zig zag stitch.
  9. Sew the back together leaving about 6 inches open at the top.
  10. Cut your sheer fabric 5 inches by the length of the fabric. Fold in half lengthwise and sew so it’s a long strap. Turn right side out. Pin in place on your bodice and cut any excess off. you want it to fit loosely around. Sew a small piece of gold trim to hold the “sleeve” pieces to the center front of the boddice.
  11. Fold the left side of the back piece under 1/2 an inch and sew.  Top with buttonholes.
  12. Fold the right side under and sew. Top with  buttons.

DIY Princess Jasmine Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

This is how the back looks. Sorry I didn’t get any pictures about how to close up the back.

Princess Jasmine Pants - Rae gun Ramblings

To make the pants just get a basic pajama pant pattern and sew it as directed but when it comes to hemming them make a wide hem and add in some elastic to make the genie style pant look.

How to Make a Princess Jasmine or Genie Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

And because I cannot believe how big a difference just one year makes here’s the costume on T while we were at Disneyland. Obviously it’s a lot shorter now!

DIY DIsney Princess Costumes. Tutorials at Rae Gun Ramblings

Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing how I made the Belle dress soon!

Princess Jasmine or Genie Costume Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


How to Make a Totoro Costume

My Neighbor Totoro Costume Tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

Today I’m sharing how to make a Totoro costume. My niece L is a HUGGGGGE Totoro fan and last year she was the cutest Totoro for Halloween. The costume was really easy. Don’t know Totoro? It’s a super cute movie. Learn more here. Of course I was sewing it (and her sister’s butterfly costume) the day before she needed to wear it so I didn’t do the best job of taking process pictures but I’m going to give you a basic run down on how to make your own Totoro. Because really it’s not too complicated.

My Neighbor Totoro Costume Tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

What You Need

  • Gray Fabric (I used a slightly stretchy fabric with a short pile. It wasn’t velour but kinda like that)
  • White Fabric
  • Black Fabric
  • Heat Bond
  • 2 small Black buttons
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Loose fitting shirt (to use as pattern) or tee shirt pattern
  • Hat pattern (I used this one)
  • Batting
  • Gray Pants/Leggings or more gray fabric and your favorite easy pants pattern

Step by step instructions for how to make a Totoro costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

  1. Make your dress/tunic pattern. I did this by tracing a top that fit L and then angling out from the armpit. But you can easily use a basic top or dress pattern. Or you can even use a gray shirt or dress. I used Craftiness is Not Optional’s Raglan Tee Tutorial to make my basic pattern.
  2. Cut the white tummy piece. It should be a basic white circle.
  3. Sew the white tummy piece onto the front bodice piece of the shirt. I used a zig zag stitch around the edge.
  4. Make the little black marks. I used black quilting cotton and heat bond to make iron-on fabric but you could also use iron-on vinyl if you have that laying around. But out the little boomerang looking shapes. Position on white circle and iron on.
  5. Finish putting together the shirt.
  6. Make your hat pattern by extending the normal hat pattern up and making ears. Besides that it’s pretty basic. You could use a number of different types of winter hats you just need to extend the hat up and make ears so if it has you pleating the top or anything like that you can skip that. Just use something basic like this just make sure your fabric is stretchy enough or that you cut it a bigger size. Once your hat is made just shove a bunch of batting up into the ears to help it stand up
  7. The eyes are white circles that you can make like the black marks (either with fabric and heat bond or vinyl). Then sew buttons on for the pupils.
  8. Make a black nose and sew on some folded pipe cleaners (I had to attach them in a few spots) and you’re good to go.
  9. Make your gray pants/leggings according to the pattern directions.

How to make a Totoro costume and leaves too - Rae Gun Ramblings

Finally Totoro isn’t complete without some leaves right? Cut out hearts for the leaves and tape on green pipe cleaners for stems. Or just stick a heart on Totoro’s head and call it good.

DIY Totoro Halloween Costume Tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

Cutest little Totoro ever right?

I’m sharing this as a part of Sew Geeky’s Studio Ghibli Month. And let me tell you the other ladies totally ROOOOOCCCCCKED it this month. Make sure to hop over and check out the other awesome creations. Click each picture above to check out the stars of this episode of Sew Geeky!

How to make a Totoro Halloween or Cosplay Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


DIY Dark Phoenix Costume Tutorial

Dark Phoenix Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

One of the first things Daniel did when we first started dating was to show me all the X-men cartoons from the 90’s that he had lovingly recorded off of the TV years ago. Being a lover of kids with powers, how could I not fall in love. So when the eldest niece T announced that she wanted a Dark Phoenix outfit how could my aunty heart not go pitter patter?

How to make your own Dark Phoenix costume. Perfect for cosplay - RaeGun Ramblings

There’s very little I love more than making costumes for my family and taking ridiculous pictures of them. But sharing my love of kids with powers, super heroes, kick-butt girls and all that with the next generation too comes in pretty high up there too.  This costume was so easy to make and T absolutely loves it. You can do one in a kid version or adult the steps would be just the same.

DIY Dark Phoenix Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

Dark Phoenix Costume Tutorial

Dark Phoenix vs. Professor X DIY Costume remake - Rae Gun Ramblings

What You Need

  • Red and Yellow Knit
  • Yellow Cotton piece (for emblem)
  • Heatbond (for emblem)
  • Long sleeve shirt pattern
  • Basic Elastic Waist Pants Pattern

dark phoenix tutorial Collage

What to Do

  1. Cut your bodice piece of your shirt pattern out of red fabric.
  2. Mark on your sleeve pattern where the gold should be angled. Cut the gold fabric. Cut the maroon fabric so that it is straight across and will extend under the gold fabric.
  3. Lay the gold on top of the maroon. Pin and top stitch along the gold edge to attach the gold to the maroon and form one long sleeve piece.
  4. Continue to assemble the shirt like normal.
  5. Lay the pant pattern out and mark where you want the gold to be for the the “boots” look.
  6. Cut out and sew together like you did for the sleeve pieces.
  7. Continue to assemble the pants like normal.
  8. Cut a long sash out of gold (mine is just a long strip.
  9. Make the emblem but making some iron-on fabric. To do this iron some heatbond to the back of plain cotton yellow fabric.
  10. Then I used my Cricut by downloading a Phoenix emblem and cut it with the fabric side up positioned on my cutting mat. If you don’t have a cutting machine  you can do this step easily by tracing on the paper side of your iron-on fabric and cutting with scissors.
  11. Peel the paper off the back and position on the center of your shirt and iron down.
  12. Top stitch around the edge of the emblem.

Handmade Dark Phoenix costume with full tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

Sew Geeky Series

I’m sharing this as a part of Sew Geeky‘s August Theme: DC verse Marvel. If you have a special place in your heart for crafting and geeky goodness you’ll want to go check out Sew Geeky. And make sure to visit the other bloggers playing along with the theme this month!

 Dark Phoenix Costume - Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


How to Use Kid’s Art in Sewing Projects

Tips on incorporating kids art into your sewing (this would be so cute for grandparent and teacher gifts) - Rae Gun Ramblings

One of my favorite projects was my kid painted dresses from a few years ago where I had the nieces paint on fabric and then I sewed them dresses from the fabric. It was so fun and they proudly wore them. Now that they’ve been really getting in to drawing I thought it would be fun to do a spin on that project. My friend Veronica of Sew Very released her awesome Sunny pattern and I thought the neck ruffle provided the perfect canvas for my little artists. I showed them both the picture of the pattern and they got excited.

Get kids to draw on fabric for an interesting and fun pop in a sewing project - Rae Gun Ramblings

This was so easy. You can have your kiddos design some fabric to integrate into your sewing either for their own garments like I did or how fun would it be to make something up for grandma our your favorite teacher. But I do have some tips to set you up for success.

Convert kids art into fabric designs for their own clothes or unique gifts - Rae Gun Ramblings

What you Need.

  • Fabric Markers (I found mine at Jo-ann Fabrics and Crafts)
  • A sewing project cut out
  • Packing Tape

Tips on using fabric markers - Rae Gun Ramblings

What to Do

  1. Start by picking a project that has a section you’d want to feature kid art. I recommend starting small like the neck ruffle, a pocket, or border hem.
  2. Cut the pieces out and then tape the piece you want them to decorate right side up to a table. This will stabilize the fabric making it easier to draw on. I also recommend taping over any space that you need for seam allowances (you don’t want to cut off their masterpiece). I did not do this but both girls made designs that had a center so I wish that I wish that I would have marked the center on their fabric. T’s was a bit off so I just hacked off some of one of the ends of the ruffle so it would fall more center.
  3. Then let them go at it!
  4. After that all you have to do is assemble your project like normal.

Sunny dress featuring kid art on the ruffle - Rae Gun Ramblings

Now a little about the Sunny pattern. It comes in both a top and a dress with an option for ruffle and one without. I did both dresses with ruffles since that’s what the girls picked. It came together super fast. The directs are really clear and I think this would be a doable project for a beginner. I think the girls might be able to sew their own with a little help on the ruffle part so I think an adult beginner with a little patience can totally do this.

Darling Sunny Dress sewing pattern - Rae Gun Ramblings

T is 7.5 and L is almost 6 and based on their measurements I sewed up the size 6 and 7 and I think it fit them really well. After I was done taking pictures T said “this is really comfortable I’m going to just keep it on” yay. Really there’s not much more you can ask after you sew a kiddo something than that they actually WANT to wear it.

Sunny Dress sewing pattern with ruffle - Rae Gun Ramblings

Enter to win your own copy of the Sunny Dress and Top Pattern in the rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much to Veronica for inviting me to try out your pattern! And if you want to sew your own you can get yours here. And as a part of the pattern turn August 11th – 17th, use code SUNNY20 at checkout to save 20% off the regular price when you purchase the sewVery Sunny Dress & Top Pattern. Be sure to wee how the other bloggers sewed up this pattern too!

How to turn kids art into fabric designs for their own clothes or unique gifts - Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.





Two Teddy Bear Kid Projects AKA Party In a Jar Book Review

Darling Teddy Bear beach snack cups - Rae Gun Ramblings

If you haven’t already heard of Party In a Jar by Vanessa Rodriguez Coppola you are in luck. You probably recognize Vanessa from See Vanessa Craft. Well she’s written an adorable craft book perfect for families. It’s the cutest book full of projects and recipes that kids can do using jars and other upcycled containers. And there is not one but two Teddy Bear related projects so of course we had to try both out ;)

Great resourse for Summer break! Party in a Jar 16 awesome projects for kids - Rae Gun Ramblings

I thought the idea of this book was so fun when Vanessa told me about it while it was in the works but when it appeared in my mailbox I was blown away by the awesomeness of this book.

My mom and I were flipping through it both gushing over it’s cuteness. Not only are these projects super original but they are quick and easy projects that the kiddos can do. In fact I did these two projects with the nieces on a weeknight after dinner.

 Party in a Jar book review. Adorable book full of kid crafts and recipes - Rae Gun Ramblings

We had so much fun and can’t wait to get to the rest of them. The girls are extra excited for the tutu-ed smoothie jar.

There are 16 projects and most of the projects include both a craft AND recipe aspect so it really is jam packed full. If you will have kids at home this Summer pick up Party In a Jar as a preemptive strike against bored kid whining. And if you want a signed copy Vanessa will be sending out super cute signed mason jar bookplates to stick inside the books. To request a bookplate, email with the subject line BOOKPLATE. She’ll need proof of purchase (Amazon order screen shot, photo of receipt, etc.) and a shipping address.

Super cute teddy bear projects that the kids can do - Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



He’s Here! Meet Baby Teddy

Rae Gun Ramblings baby boy

In case you didn’t hear the news over the Instagram or the Facebook the baby came this past Saturday. I would love you to meet Theodore Graham Fischer. We’re calling him Teddy for short. Yes, we did name our child Teddy Graham.

Teddy sI’ll write more of a recap later but the gist of it is that after my water broke at 1:30pm Friday the little guy finally decided to make his entrance late Saturday morning. We are doing pretty good considering I had 4th degree tearing (wahoo) and we’re still figuring out the nursing thing. But we’ve gotten out of the house every day so that is a good sign.

Teddy-002sAnd I’m doing my best to sleep as much as I can so I still haven’t gotten through emails and all of that if you’re waiting to hear from me hopefully I’ll be able to catch up soon enough. We’ve had finally meeting our little guy and the whole family is just in love. The nieces are so so cute with him I know they are going to be the best cousins ever! I can’t wait to share more about my adventure with my little guy. He’s proving himself to be pretty awesome already!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


White Christmas Sisters Feathered Fan Tutorial

White Christmas Sisters Fans Tutorial

Today I’m hanging out over at The Crafting Chicks as a part of their AWESOME Christmas Traditions series. I’ve really been loving it so many great recipes, projects, and activities to do with the family. Plus those crafting chicks are pure gems. Some of the nicest girls around! I am sharing my family’s love for the classic movie White Christmas. To try and pass down the obsession to the nieces I made these really easy Sisters Feathered Fans. How many of you are White Christmas fans? Well click over to see what I said and catch my tutorial. Hope on over to see my White Christmas Sisters Feathered Fan Tutorial.

While you’re there make sure to take some time to click around and check out the other great contributions to the series. They have all been great. You’ve probably seen a bunch if you follow my Pinterest :)

And just for a bit of extra fun how about a little performance from the nieces :) PS the video is SUPER short some day I’ll get a smart phone and then I’ll be able to Instagram their antics ha but I couldn’t figure out how to convert it to the right format.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

Naughty Time: Hello Kitty Fashion with KuKee

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and KuKee, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay

KuKee Clothing #hellokittyletsplay #PMedia

Last weekend I took the nieces for the afternoon and we did some fun aunty stuff. Cooking, crafting, and shopping. I’ve never taken them shopping without my mom or sister before but it was so fun to just let them pick something out that they loved.

Kids love KuKee

They are both Hello Kitty fans and while we were at Macy’s they each wanted one of these cute Tutu dresses by Evy of California.

  KuKee Hello Kitty Clothes

Little did they know when they picked them out that each of the dresses came with a special label that would launch a fun app. But when we got home we downloaded the app from Itunes onto my sister’s phone and and all kinds of silliness ensued. With the Hello Kitty Let’s Play Dress Up line of clothing it launches this super cute app where you get to pick Hello Kitty’s dress, crown, and accessory. After you do that you’re able to take  picture. It was lots of fun.

Hello Kitty and kukee

T’s dress came with an extra velcro dress for hello kitty that can be added or removed it is SO cool.  It’s kind of crazy how cool clothes are today. I remember when I used to get clothes for Christmas being okay with it but not only do these have style the girls love but the fun app games that come with it make it more fun to give as gifts.

 kukee email blast ALL

 In addition to the games there is a fun scavenger hunt using this cute markers like the ones below. Pssst you can get a bunch of the markers to start the hunt on the KuKee App Pinterest Board.

kukee marker notebook

If you have a little lady who might love this it’s perfect timing because Macy’s will be having great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the Hello Kitty Let’s Play items.

kukee Let's Play Dress up

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.