Welcome to Once Upon a Thread!! It's been far too long since the last one, so I'm glad it's finally here. Our first guest is Delia of Delia Creates. I've never actually met her, though we've tried. Our attempts have always fallen through (between funerals and new babies, it just never happened!) but I'm determined to meet this creative mastermind in person one day because I feel like we've known each other forever. Please welcome Delia!
I am so excited to be here for Once Upon A Thread!
Today, I am going to sew through a few of the tales or...tails? of Skippy Jon Jones by Judy Schachner. Skippy Jon is a lovable little Siamese cat with unusually large ears who thinks he's a Chihuahua, and takes wild imaginative adventures in his bedroom closet to Mexico, to school, to Egypt, to the age of the dinosaurs and even to Mars.
It's mostly written in English but with smatterings of Spanish and Spanglish woven into the dialogue and it is Funny with a capital F. Funny for me and funny to my kids, on different levels. We love these books so much that when I saw them on sale as Kohl's Care books last year, I bought a copy of each book they had without batting and eye.
They are hands down my favorite books to read to my kids because they are so fun to read aloud. So, when Katy asked if I wanted to take part in Once Upon A Thread this year, I said, "Yes, indeed-o!" and immediately thought of Skippy Jon Jones as one of my top book ideas.
The writing is a witty whirlwind of fun, fast- paced, and even tongue twisting entertainment. Judy Schachner has a few audio book versions (make sure it's the one read by her and not another narrator) that are incredibly hilarious. Hearing her audio books are a must because you can get a feel for how she meant for her stories to be told. Whenever I read the books I try to channel her cadence and inflections and my kids love it. It is directed to the early elementary school aged child, but to be honest Reid, who is four, loves it as much or even more than Owen (age 8). I would say it's slightly boy directed as well, but not totally. I mean...I love them. :)
As we were taking pictures, Reid relished in reenacting each scene. Especially defeating the Great Bumble-beet-o.
Which is actually supposed to happen more like this...
For the Great Bumble-beet-o, I made a bumble bee back pack. I used the Oliver+S penguin back pack pattern from Liesl Gibson's book Little Things to Sew ...added some pieced stripes to the front, quilted white wings to the sides and ta da!
It was such a fun project, although time consuming. There are a lot of little pieces, but Liesl's attention to detail with each step is what makes your project such a rewarding finished piece. I think I will add extra interfacing to the bottom panel next time for extra body and strength. I also won't quilt bumble bee wings again. ;)
I used black twill and yellow duck cloth. The bottom panel was a home dec fabric. I think that is where I went wrong. More duck cloth reinforced with more interfacing would have been better. The back pack strap slides are actually from a camping/rock climbing store and were pretty inexpensive (it's been a while but I think $3 for a bag of 6?)
Now that guy next to him, is Skippy Jon's favorite stuffed animal. When he goes to Mars, he meets his martian twin who tries to fight him for it with a little game of tug-of-war...
But he does not let that Sock Monkit-o go to anyone else.
So, I did this project partially because it's apart of the books and partially because I just wanted to make one! :) I made one years ago but the poor thing is wearing out. It got it's start from worn out socks after all. So, I got legit sock monkey socks from The Ribbon Retreat (sponsor) last year, and finally made time to make one. It was surprisingly refreshing to do some hand sewing. There are a lot of tutorials online, but the socks also come with a brief how to in the tag, so I just used that. The pack comes with two pairs of socks, so I think I might make another one a little more girlified for my daughter, Natalie.
Other Skippy Jon necessities, aside from his mochila and his sock monkey, are his mask and cape,
and his plantano which he uses to pacify the grumbling tummy of the wooly bully on his first day of "school."
The mask I just quickly cut out of felt and sewed elastic onto. The eyes are a bit wide, but also look a bit cat like so I went with it.
The cape looks like it's knotted in the front, but it's not! It has a knot in one side that passes through the other. Curious to know more? I just posted about it yesterday and shared a FREE pattern. Go HERE.
My favorite material to use for capes is clearance fabric with a bit of drape. I got this mystery polyester knit-ish fabric from the $1 bolts at Wal-mart.
Skippy has a silver sword, which Reid insisted on substituting with a plastic screw driver. :) Hey...handymen are heroes too.
Oh and this post wouldn't be complete without some bouncing! If you know Skippy Jon, then you know he loves to bounce...
Thanks for letting us bounce over to your blog to share our favorite book series Katy!
And remember to bounce over to my blog for a free "Knot-Knotted" Cape pattern - HERE.
Happy Once Upon a Threading!
Delia, you seem like the most fun mom a little boy (or girl!) could have, and if you'd like me to be your witness, I'll happily volunteer ;). Thank you for your creative ideas and soaringly fun photos (as usual!)