Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

This nutty face is SO HER.

Today my baby turns 5. It's hard to believe that she's so big, although she acts so much older a lot of the time that sometimes we forget that she's not the same age as her sister. She's such a smart girl who is also a total nut. She's very funny - and a complete ham; if something makes you laugh, you'll definitely hear it again. She loves to tell jokes, although she doesn't actually understand punch lines yet. ("Knock, knock. Who's there? Otter. Otter who? Water! Like otter, water!") She loves to read - chapter books, picture books, signs in front of her, anything in front of her face, really. She thinks anything she writes should be spelled correctly, but she rarely puts spaces between the words. She is extremely precise (and expects you to be precise, too). She loves to dance, listen to music, draw, play pretend. She spent the afternoon being a horse riding detective super spy (a change from yesterday's princess detective super spy), and she told me an elaborate story about her laser that could freeze the bad guys. She loves to travel, but when we're home, she'd just as soon stay in the house and play. She wants to go to Rome, New York and Paris. (Apparently Rome "is pretty". I believe the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower are the reasons for the other two.) She plans to be a world traveling horse trainer when she grows up. (Although she is pretty much terrified of most animals.) She's either silent or really loud when she talks, with not much middle ground. She's sweet and kind, and I love her to pieces. Happy birthday, baby!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


For some reason, my kids are convinced that you can only wear pajamas once before they need to be washed. I think it's a remnant of A's toddlerhood, when she would eat breakfast in her pajamas, and they therefore were immediately disgusting. At any rate, we have to have lots of jammies around here. I'm a big fan of Carter's super soft cotton jammies (although A is about to be too big for the sizes they make, sadly). M has recently outgrown most of her sets, so I went digging in the hand me down box. Rather inexplicably, there was only one pair of PJs in the next size up. So what does someone with a lot of fabric decide? I should make jammies, of course!

I actually ended up being totally lazy, though. I was at Target right after making this decision, and I discovered they had tanks and a couple of t-shirts on clearance for under 1.75. Clearly I can't make t-shirts for that price (well, if you discount the fact that I already own a fair bit of knit). So I picked up a couple of tops for M and one for A, and then I just had to make shorts. I also decorated the t-shirt (it was plain and boring). I hit my beloved Burda shorts pattern and voila, three sets of pj's:

Eventually I'm going to have to buy or make more, but these will do until it gets cold. And at the present rate, that doesn't seem likely for a long time!

So far both girls are enjoying school. M can't wait to be the "special helper" in class, and A is busily collecting "cents" (by being good) to earn the privilege of reading a story to M's class. As always, the bus is the most frustrating part of the experience, but hopefully that'll get better after this week.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sniff, sniff

My babies are both off to school. I can hardly believe that my little tiny babies (well, okay, kind of big, fat babies) are both in elementary school! Here they are in their new outfits:

They were pretty excited, so hopefully the day will be excellent!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

School outfit

M's wearing her polka dots for the first day of school, but A wanted a dress. (Also, I figured they didn't really need to match on the first day of school.) She picked out some ballerina fabric that came from my haul from Iestyn's trip to Japan. After some pondering, I decided to go with the Frida pattern from Modkids, and I found some pretty pink that would match with the ballerinas.

Of course, being me, I couldn't possibly follow the pattern precisely... Actually, I really couldn't, because the sizes only go up to 6-7, and A is more of a 7-8. So I had to enlarge the bodice a bit. And I didn't really like the sleeves - the sticking out bit is cute and all, but it was way too much. Oh, and it's supposed to have ties on the side, but then quite a lot of the side is just open, and that's not very appropriate for school. So, there were changes. And seam ripping (and mild cursing) and then more changes. But in the end, it's pretty cute:

Action shots will have to wait until Monday, when school starts. (Yes, Monday. August 9. It's absurdly early this year. It's hard for me to believe that summer's essentially over, even though it's still 90+ degrees outside.) I'm really happy with the way the dress turned out, although I'm not entirely certain I could replicate it. And I need to make a pair of comfy black shorts to go underneath, but that won't take long. (I'm procrastinating because I don't want to change the serger thread...)
I thought M wanted a skirt from the rest of the ballerinas, but now she tells me she wants a "kid purse", whatever that might be. So we'll see. At any rate, I should have more sewing time once the kids go to school, so there may be a big increase in posts here!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


We went on our Disney vacation a couple of weeks ago, and it was awesome. We had such a great time! I thought I'd share a couple of pictures of the girls in their Disney outfits:

The Goofy shirts for breakfast:
We had so much fun with Donald that morning! He was hilarious. :) And Goofy was quite pleased to see the himself on their shirts. (I also whipped up a quick Minnie shirt for myself, so the girls had fun pointing that out to Minnie.)

They decided to wear their princess dresses to the Magic Kingdom the first day. (A: "Can I wear my princess dress when we meet the princesses?") Here they are with Mary Poppins and Bert, who were super nice:

The bad part was that it was really super hot, so the dresses were probably a bit much. They wore less the rest of the week! Despite the heat we all had a wonderful time.

And now (amazingly) school is going to start very soon. Of course I have to make first day of school outfits, especially for M, who's starting kindergarten this year. I had ordered some dots from the new Michael Miller knits line to make the girls Minnie outfits, but it didn't end up making it to me in time for the trip. However, I had an idea for an outfit that M liked, so this is what she'll wear for the first day of school:

She's very into ruffles at the moment, so I made up a ruffle skort pattern for her, and then I made her a matching shirt with carousel horse. (They were totally obsessed with carousels on our trip. I'm not even sure how many times we rode the one at Disney!) I finally figured out how to use my serger to do a rolled hem for the ruffles, so I went ahead and lettuce edged the shirt edges. I think I need to work on my skillz a little more with that, but you can't really tell unless you're looking at the inside. I also think I should have made the t-shirt a wee bit shorter, but oh well. I'm not re-doing the lettuce edge now!

A hasn't picked out fabric for her outfit yet. I do have plans for a less ruffly dotty skirt for her (she's not a ruffle girl), but I don't think that's what she wants for the first day. She better pick soon, though - we don't have much time left!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cinderella, Cinderella

This summer, M has taken to wearing her princess dress ups a fair bit. So she dressed up for the Renaissance Festival (which was adorable), and while we were there, she got ice cream all over the dress, which is of course satiny (and originally a Halloween costume), so a little hard to wash. Then she wore a different dress up somewhere else, and in the process, I had an inspiration. I thought the girls needed everyday princess dresses. Dresses they could just wear as clothing, made of soft fabrics and easily washed. So, after conversations with the girls and a couple of trips to the fabric store (with and without them), I had a plan....

I must admit, I got a bit carried away with the trims, so I'm not at all certain how easily washable these dresses are, but they're pretty!

I shirred the back of M's dress so she could easily get it off and on:
Today is the trial run of how comfy they are, but it seems that they're fine. Yay for comfy (yet beautiful ;) ) dresses!

I also made myself a not at all princess-y dress recently, which is super comfy, but I have no pictures of that at the moment. I had the same problem I always have in making the bodice (I really do need to learn how to change the pattern, rather than the dress, since it takes *forever*), but for once the actual dress turned out really well, and I think I'll get a lot of wear from it.

So all in all, I'm a bit less frustrated with my sewing at the moment. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


So, I was all excited about the shirring, right until the moment that I tried it on M, and realized I had cut off too much fabric before starting to shir it. It will go on her, but it's clearly much too tight. Then I was frustrated, and I really haven't been in a sewing mood lately. Plus it's much harder for me to do much in the summertime, with the girls both home all the time.

But the girls have been needing sun hats, and I finally got interested in making some. Last year I more or less made up the patterns that I used, but I decided it would be easier to use a pattern that I already had. Got all the pieces cut out and interfaced, which actually took quite a while. Today I started sewing the first one together, which was a huge pain, actually. (And all I did was attach the top to the crown! But it was super annoying to put together.) So, I took that piece after it was all sewn together, and apparently my children have big heads or something, because it doesn't remotely fit. It should be the right size, but apparently it's not. ARGH!!! So now I have all these hat pieces cut out, and I can't use them. I'm super annoyed right now!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I don't normally post work in progress pictures, but I'm very excited about this. Look what I finally figured out:

I tried it a couple of times last summer, or maybe even the summer before, but I never could get it to work correctly. I have no idea what I was doing wrong, but the fabric just wouldn't gather. But M loves the shirred sundresses, and the pre done fabric is super expensive, so I decided to give it another try. I read a bunch of tutorials, and this time it worked! Of course, the first attempts were so long ago now that I don't actually know what I did differently. Oh well, I'm just glad I don't have to pay $17.99 a yard! (Well, minus 40%. I refuse to pay full price for it.) Plus I have so much cute fabric already - this gives me another way to use some of it!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Under the Sea

A's birthday party theme this year was "Under the Sea". As it turned out, the theme was only VERY loosely followed - usually I make a thematic cake, but this year she wanted the kids to decorate their own cupcakes. So the decorations were about it, really. However, I did have to make the girls their own under the sea dresses (which I figured could do double-duty as Seaworld outfits this summer). I had found a cute, comfy knit dress pattern in one of my Burda magazines a while back, but I hadn't been able to decide what fabric to use with it. Eventually, I came up with a plan: use one color for the dress, another for the ruffles and ribbing, and to do a sea related applique. It turned out a lot more 80s than I'd really planned - good thing that's kind of in style at the moment! ;)

I ended up going with the girls favorite colors - blue for A and yellow for M, and I just did them opposing so that they could coordinate. My original plan was actually slightly different colors (and maybe would've been a wee bit less 80s, although I think the ribbing is the problem! Next time I'll just be using the coverstitch machine, I think....) However, there was some confusion about the price of the knits at Hancocks, which was maybe just as well, since I ended up with the girls' favorites.

I'm pleased with the appliques - these were more complicated than anything I've done before, and they worked out pretty well:

An orca for M, who loves whales:
And a dolphin for A - her favorite sea animal:

I'm all into the idea of applique at the moment - I wouldn't be surprised if more shows up on these pages, lol!

Oh, and I showed the girls their Goofy outfits from a few posts back, and the very first thing A said was "Those look like jammies." And darn it if she isn't right! Now I can't even look at them without thinking that! So... I had the girls use the shorts for under these dresses, as they're the same blue, and I'll be finding something else to wear on the bottom of the Goofy outfit. The tops are just t-shirts, so I figure that's fine - it's really the combination with the shorts that looks so much like pajamas. I thought it was pretty funny, though - my first reaction was more or less"Hmmph!", and then I thought gosh, she's so right. Hee-hee.

Anyway, it was good day - everyone had fun at the party, and the girls like their dresses. And now I'm off to collapse! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm pretty sure I say this every year, but when did this baby:
turn into this great big SEVEN year old girl:

Today, that's when! Happy Birthday to my sweet girl! My first baby - she loves frogs and the color blue; swims like a fish; constantly fills up paper with her imaginative drawing and writing; is sweet to her sister (but definitely thinks she's in charge!); likes to wear dresses while she's climbing trees, riding bikes and splashing in puddles; is quite an athlete, but can spend hours on complicated (often inexplicable) imaginary play with M; and is sweet, loving, funny, and the best big girl I can imagine having. I love you, baby!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hiya, Mickey!

The girls were on a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse kick a while back, and apparently in the course of this, they decided Goofy was their favorite character. So, while we're in Orlando, we're going to have breakfast with Goofy. (And I think Donald and Minnie, too, but Goofy's the one I'm sure will be there.) Anyway, I figured they needed Goofy outfits, so I made these:

The shorts are a Burda pattern I picked up a while ago. I like the pockets, but they ride really low - I think I'm going to have to adjust the rise a bit. Plus I broke two needles making them - one on each pair - so that's definitely not a plus for this pattern! My girls love pockets, though, so we'll see. They were quite easy to sew up, at least, aside from the needle breakage.

Then I made matching shirts and used freezer paper stencils for Goofy:
For some reason I'm a little surprised he actually worked - I really don't know why. Maybe because it was rather complicated to cut out. Anyway, they'll be all set for breakfast now. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You can fly, you can fly, you can fly....

Here are the girls in their Tinkerbell shirts and matching shorts:

The presmocked fabric is totally cheating, but they're awfully cute! And M loves this kind of smocked top - she wears the one we bought in Hawaii all the time.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hawaiian Shirt

(This is the project I was excited about in my last post...)

So, when we were in Hawaii, of course I had to indulge in my fabric addiction and visit a fabric store. Iestyn went along, and while we were there, he actually picked out some fabric for himself(!) He asked me to make him a Hawaiian shirt out of this very busy fabric:
Naturally I said yes, although I hadn't ever actually made that sort of shirt before. I found Simplicity 5581, which had pretty good reviews on and gave it a whirl. I've actually had it cut out for quite a while - I just hadn't gotten to the sewing together part. (I tend to go on periodic cutting sprees, and it takes a while to get it all sewn together.) I'm really happy with how it turned out:
and so is he. :) However, I have to say that I don't think I could have followed these directions if I hadn't already sewn collars and sleeves. The collar instructions were just confusing. (Although to be honest, most of the collar instructions I've ever seen have been fairly confusing. But the ones in my Vogue jacket are clearer than these.) And then they actually had you do the sleeves flat, rather than as a regular set in sleeve. While I think this is probably simpler than the other method, they didn't actually give any instructions on how to ease the fabric together. If I hadn't done it before, I think my sleeves would have been a puckery mess! I do think the pattern pieces were pretty good, and it's a nice fit, so I'd use the pattern again myself, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it to a garment sewing newbie!

Oh, and I also finally put together a tank top for myself that I cut out ages ago. I found this beautiful knit well over a year ago at Gail K Fabrics, but I'd never been able to figure out how to use it. It's lovely, but it's also completely see through, and I never could find any equally soft lining fabric. I finally gave up and got some not especially soft/nice knit lining so that I could at least use it! I modified a New Look tank pattern (a lot. Clearly not the tank top pattern for me.)
I'm not completely in love with how it turned out - I think I messed up the straps a bit because I was having to pin it on myself - but it's certainly wearable. And I finally used my lovely knit!

I've also just about finished a couple of fast outfits for the girls. I found some super cute pre-smocked Tinkerbell fabric at Joann's, so I made them tunic tops from that and some of my favorite Burda bike shorts to match. (I love that pattern. SO EASY. I don't follow their instructions for assembly, but I swear they only take like 10-15 minutes to put together. And as a bonus, they're A's favorite style of shorts.)

I think this means that I'm about ready for a new cutting spree - I only have one project currently cut out! It's a dress for me, which means lots of fiddling with the bodice, so I'm kind of procrastinating on it at the moment. As always I have lots of patterns I want to try, though, so I just have to decide which ones I want to try next!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Little boxy bag

I remembered to take a picture of the last little boxy bag:

Cute, no? I really do think they're adorable, but definitely a pain to make. Next time I want to make a number of gifts, I need to make a sample *before* I cut all of them out....

I've also just about finished another project that I'm quite pleased about. Pictures coming soon....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No more teachers, no more books...

We're in the end of the year busy-ness at the moment, so what sewing time I've had lately has mostly been teacher gifts. I decided I'd make lined boxy pouches for the 4 main teachers (M has 3, and A has 1.) Unfortunately, I gave M's teachers their gifts this morning without even thinking to take any pictures, and I haven't actually finished A's yet. Possibly there will be a picture of that one! They're very cute, but I have to say, they're a real pain in the butt. I love the way they look, but I'm not at all certain I'll be making more once I've finished these. I think they'd be easier if they weren't lined, but I hate exposed seams. (Although I do think I might make a couple of unlined ones for the girls - we've just started giving them allowances, and they don't really have anywhere good to put their money at the moment.)

I do have a picture of the bookmarks that I made for the preschool art/music teachers:
Super cute and easy-peasy - I'll definitely be making more of these. Plus they're a great way to use up scraps. A bookmark and a Barnes and Noble gift card, and I've got a great teacher gift!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spring Purse

Actually, I suppose I can't really say spring - in Atlanta we're headed right towards summer! But at any rate, I was ready for a new bag - much as I like my old purse, Andalucia Mod Dots in Fire are NOT summery. Plus, possibly even more important, my Kindle doesn't fit inside my old bag. Summer means a lot of time spent hanging out at playgrounds and the pool while the kids play, and I need entertainment if no one's around to talk to! I made my sister a wristlet for Mother's Day from some of my Par Avion in Ocean and remembered just how much I like that fabric, so I decided it was the way to go for my purse.

Random aside: I often buy my fabric from a co-op, so I pick up things that are pretty, and then they sit in my stash until I think of a good use for them. So sometimes they sit for quite a while. Or, you know, sink to the bottom of the stash. It's kind of a fun bonus when I rediscover something beautiful. I think that might mean I have WAY more fabric than I need (or, um, could use up!), but hey. Fabric makes me happy!

Anyway, I knew I wanted a messenger/cross body style to tote around my stuff. I have a standard pattern for those that I made up years ago, so I altered that to the size I wanted and sewed it up. Only to find that the strap was all wrong, and I couldn't actually quite close the magnetic clasp with the kindle inside. Eek!

So, I ended up having to take the entire thing apart. Grr! The strap was easy enough - it needed to be a bit narrower and a bit longer. I decided the only way to fix the snap thing was to make a new flap, and then (since it was all apart anyway) I added a couple more pockets to the inside. (I'd put in one small slip pocket for my phone, but I realized the bag was big enough that I needed something for my keys as well. Then while I was at it, I added a pocket for my sunglasses and chapstick.) OH, and then I ran out of the thread I was using! But I found a piece of ribbon that I rather liked on the flap, and I had thread that matched that, so I ended up redoing the topstitching on the strap with a new thread color. The whole process was a major pain in the neck - I actually took apart probably 3/4 of the seams, along with all the new topstitching - but I'm quite pleased with the end result:

It fits what it needs to fit, the pockets are perfect for organizing my stuff, it's comfortable to wear, and best of all, the fabric makes me happy. :) I do think the ribbon could use a bit more decoration - a flower or pretty button - but I'm working on that.

I also recently made myself a new hat. I like to carry a bucket hat around in my purse in case I need it, and I'm a little bored of my old one. Also, I love hats, so it's nice to have a variety. (Please ignore my expression - I hate timer pictures!)

I love it! Except that I used twill for the lining rather than quilter's cotton, and it doesn't actually fit very well in my purse. :( I think I'm going to pass it along to someone and make myself another with a lining that *will* fit in my purse. Because I really adore the fabric. I actually have quite a bunch of it. I'm thinking that I might make myself a skirt with it as well, but I haven't quite decided yet. It can go into the never ending project pile!

Edited to add: Here's the flower decoration I came up with:
I used the same ribbon, a button from Hawaii, and a random button. It's just the touch the bag needed!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Musings

Generally, Iestyn and the girls make something for me for Mother's Day. One year they made a beautiful giant heart that's on the wall in my dining room. This year, A had a whole plan, apparently, and it turned out very cool. It's got something of a StoryPeople vibe, which is perfect for me. (Now what exactly it's supposed to be is a question I can't really answer, but it's cool.) I think I might hang necklaces from it, although it may just be artwork.
There's also a poem on the back, which is sadly pretty much illegible because A wouldn't wait for the sharpie. She knows it by heart, though, so I think I might print it out and attach it to the back. It goes like this:
Roy G Biv
Roy G Biv is an odd name for a fellow
But what its name means is red, orange, yellow
The G stands for green, which as you may know
Comes in the middle of every rainbow.
Next: blue and indigo, more pale than dark
Then V is for violet, and that completes the arc.

I just love how incredibly creative my kids are (even if it means that I can never find printer paper... I finally started buying them their own packages so I'd be able to print!) They're constantly drawing and writing things. A made herself a paper TV at school recently, and then she made paper DS's for herself and her sister. Which they "play" - "Move up. Now right. Now punch!" You can tell we restrict their electronics access, lol. I felt bad that they didn't have a DS for about three seconds, and then I realized that I much preferred their ability to entertain themselves with a piece of paper!

Then there's this card that M made me, which totally cracks me up. One side is decorated with hearts and flowers, and this is the other side:
"Yes M
Dear Mommy
Your the best mom! I'm sorry I didn't come when you called. I could not tell you the thing"

What thing couldn't she tell me? I have absolutely no idea, lol. She tends to say that what they did at school is a secret, so maybe that's it, but really, I'm not sure.

Anyway, it was a lovely Mother's Day - I had a soccer game, then after I had brunch with Iestyn and the girls, I went over to my mom's for some fun crafty time. And in the evening we had a lovely picnic with my family, my mom, and my sister and her family. I finally got pictures of the owl dresses - sort of. M was in nutjob mode, so she was running away from the camera. Notice A dutifully smiling, and M running:
Then A tried to restrain her sister for me:
I love these girls so much!

Thursday, May 6, 2010



We're going to Disney World this summer, and I've been busily planning some cute outfits for the girls. I got a wee bit carried away and bought some Mickey Mouse fabric from Hobby Lobby, and it turns out that I really didn't need it. So I decided to make the girls some Mickey jammies:
I tried to get a better picture, but honestly they were total nutjobs by this point in the evening, so I gave up after a while. I should have made the shirts a little longer, but oh well. (I just extended the pattern from the top of a dress, and I didn't add quite enough length.) The girls like them, anyway, and I used up some of my fabric!

Actually, I've been busily sewing this past week. Soccer's FINALLY over for the girls, thankfully, so I'm a little less tired. I also made them each a round neck dress using Robert Kaufman On a Whim owls in aqua. The girls claim that the dresses are "beautiful", but I don't think M has even tried hers on yet. Harumph. :) I also made some shorts to match - Burda 9615, which is a great pattern. The shorts are very reminiscent of the Hanna Andersson bike shorts, and I used a super soft knit from Gail K's. I'll definitely be making more of these. Plus they were extremely easy to make, which is a definite bonus!

It's getting harder and harder to tell apart the girls' matching clothes, so I'm working on a new system so that I can figure it out. In the new jammies, I used scraps of knit to make tags - A's are blue, and M's are yellow to go with their favorite colors. For the bike shorts I used different buttons, which is probably the system I'll continue with. Plus it helps them identify the front of the shorts. I have to get some more shaped buttons, though - apparently they have to have the same shape. (If I could roll my eyes in print, I'd do it now!)

I also tried to make myself a tank top from a New Look pattern, which was a gigantic fail. The straps got really stretched out when I was trying to sew them together, so that part was my fault, but also the pattern itself apparently didn't fit right. Oh well. I guess I'll be doing some alterations if I try that again!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dancing Queen

I have no idea why she wanted to pose all disco :), but here's a view of M's version of the colorblock dress. I'm so pleased! It makes me kind of want one myself....

Sunday, April 25, 2010


We're a soccer family in my house. Which is generally fun. However, this spring, I'm coaching both girls in soccer and playing on a team myself. That kind of moves things beyond fun and into the realm of insanity. Last weekend we had 5 games between the three of us. Someone has some kind of soccer 4 days a week. It's a little nuts. Oh, and I'm also training for a sprint triathlon at the end of May. All of this is to say, I've been tired lately, and so there's not been so much crafting going on. Actually, I have been doing things, but I haven't been photographing them. I'm SO looking forward to the first weekend of May, when the girls are done. My season doesn't finish for a while, but it's fine if it's just me! But all the games were canceled this weekend due to rain, so I have a little catch up time!

So, here's a sampling of (some of) my recent craftiness...
I finally finished a skort for myself - I started it before Hawaii, but it required some reworking:
I like it, although the skort part rides up a bit. Considering I pretty much made it up, though, I'm certainly happy with it!

I also made the girls a colorblock dress similar to this Hanna Anderson dress. Mine are much simpler, though. A's was really too big (I should have used a different size on the bodice pattern), but she likes the length, so I just fixed the bodice yesterday. This picture is pre-fixing:
She looked SO sweet in the big mass of azaleas in our front yard... I also just finished a yellow/orange/red version for M today. I love it, but she hasn't had it on yet.

And then, I also made two sets of matching girl/dolly "puffy sleeve" dresses. The girls put theirs on yesterday, then promptly went out into the rain to play, so I have no pictures before they got soaking wet. I did set up a photo shoot with the dollies, though:
So, imagine similar knee-length child versions of these... :)

I have about a million other things planned to make. We'll see how the progress is, though - the triathlon training is taking up a lot of my usual sewing time when M's in school. And once that's done, they'll both be out of school for the summer, so I guess I'll just have to see how it goes. Annoying when life intervenes in the craftiness! ;)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Long arm quilting

Here's a picture of the cute dress on vacation:

Hawaii was fantastic. It's taken me a bit to get back into the sewing groove, but I'm finally there. The big project I've been working on (since before Hawaii, actually) is a baby quilt for some friends. I finally got it all pieced, and my friend with the long arm machine offered to let me try it out. So this is my quilted almost final product:

Pieced back (because I didn't realize how much wider the backing needed to be to go onto the machine. I like it, though.):

The long arm machine was SO COOL! It takes quite a while to load, which I didn't realize - the top, batting and backing are all on separate rollers, and it's some work to load it all on - but the actual quilting was really fast. I just stippled it - very meandering, but I'm really pleased with how it came out. And it's way better than doing it on my machine. Not that I've even tried anything but stitching in the ditch on my machine, but I really don't like that at all. Shoving all that fabric around on my machine isn't at all fun for me. This was fun! I even put a little heart (more or less) at the bottom. And the best part is that my friend told me I could use it again if I have more to quilt. I'm definitely doing that! It's much better. I'm thinking next time I'll try spirals or something. I still have to square this up and do the binding (soon, since the new baby girl came this past week), but I'm super happy with it!

And now it's time to start back into the little girl clothing factory. I actually made a dress/matching dolly dress for a birthday present this week, so I'm kind of in the mood. I have a bunch of fabric calling out for spring outfits for my girls - gotta get on that!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

By George, I think she's got it!

I actually managed to make a dress! A cute dress! Which I will wear! Ta-da:

It's a Burda pattern (which I altered. Of course. Why do I feel the need to do that every time??) And it's made from a super cute knit that I got at my beloved Gail K Fabrics. I completed it in time for my trip to Hawaii next week, and I'm quite excited about it! Plus it's super comfy. So yay! I'm inspired to make more dresses, but we'll see... ;)

I also completed another hooded shirt from the Burda WOF pattern from a few weeks ago:
The original version of this picture had a head, with an admittedly slightly goofy smile. However, my six year old started laughing like crazy when she saw it, so I decided it would be better to just show the shirt!

I have a bunch of other projects I'd like to do in the next little while, but we'll see what I get done in the next (busy) week!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Well, after my horribly distressing day of sewing on Friday, I decided I needed to stick to more basic projects for a bit. Plus I'm feeling a need to finish up things I've been meaning to do. And I've done a fair bit of that so far this weekend, so I'm feeling a bit better! :)

After my Project Linus experience a while back, I decided that I should do more crafting for charity. I'd also read about the One Million Pillowcase challenge, so I decided to make a stash pillowcase. I cut it out a while ago, using some cute birdies and hearts, but I finally sewed it yesterday. Here it is, neatly folded:
I still had some leftover bad sewing karma, apparently, since I had to use my seam ripper while sewing a pillowcase, of all things, but it seems to be working itself out. (I did French seams, and I messed up on the band the first time around. It could've been worse.) I'm planning to make some more pillowcases; I have plenty of stash fabrics that would be fun. And I found out that Intown Quilters, my favorite local quilt store, is accepting the pillowcases for the challenge, so that's easy enough.

The next quick, easy, lately postponed project was a baby gift. One of M's friends has a brand new baby sister, and I've been meaning to make her something. I've thought of a number of different plans, but in the end I made a simple little taggie toy from some fun Japanese jungle canvas:

I have absolutely no idea why these pictures are sideways, because on my computer, they aren't. Anyway, very simple little circle - maybe 4ish inches diameter - but I like it. Although the next one I make will probably be a square or triangle - I wasn't able to make the circular stitching very neat.

Since Christmas, I've been meaning to applique a little birdie on a t-shirt for myself, and I finally just now got around to it:
I'm a little photographically challenged today, so the colors are off, but I like him. Although wow, I'm about the worst embroiderer in the world - I'm apparently completely unable to make my stitches even! Good thing it's only his legs!

And lastly, I completed the skort I mentioned the other day, and I LOVE it.

Here's a closeup of the flowers.It's pretty much exactly me, and I'm so happy!

I have other projects sitting on my table, but this was pretty good progress for one weekend!