Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sewing Up A Storm

The end of the year always has a lot of projects in store for me. This year was no exception. I have had to slow myself down though because I can't cut out fabric on the floor like I usually do.
This was a jumper I made for Audrey to match the adorable Puddle Jumpers Shoes my Mom picked up for me. They are so cute. And since Audrey still has trouble pronouncing "squirrel" it was too funny not to make her a squirrel jumper. She looks great in it.
I told myself that I wasn't going to get around to doing a Christmas dress for Audrey this year.  I knew what I still had on my plate and with a baby on the way anytime now, I was sure I wouldn't get around.  But then I felt bad and visions of what I could create kept me awake at night even when my bladder wasn't.  So, I went to fabric store and picked up all the supplies for $16.  Not a bad price for a Christmas dress!  I took it as a sign and started sewing.  It is a compilation of 3 different patterns.  It was an experiment that worked.  That doesn't happen to me often.  And I got to learn how to make a couple different kinds of flowers.  Only one of them made it into the final dress.  Since her favorite colors are now dark pink, brown and black I managed to talk her into this fabric combination.  Luckily I have a little girl who enjoys picking out things at the fabric store.

This was a really fun project! It was almost totally done on my new serger! I found instructions on how to make a baby hat out of an old sweater. However, loving my sweaters as I do, I was unwilling to part with any of them. So, I purchased a sweater dress from a local discount store and made 3 hats out of it. Then I added pom-poms out of matching yarn. It was a very productive hour and a half!

This I just finished today. These are the blankets I have made for the new baby. Audrey still sleeps with the blankets that I made for her. Now that this is done and Christmas has only to be wrapped I can relax and wait for the baby.

There are two other projects that I have completed in the last month. However, they are Christmas gifts, so I'll post after they are unwrapped.

Whew! What a busy 2 months!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Becoming 'Belle'

A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders... the Halloween costume is finished!  I am so happy with how it turned out!  It was not the easiest time I've had, seeing as my girl is so skinny I had to do quite a bit of tailoring.  It was my first time using a McCalls pattern and it was a little more complicated than Simplicity patterns.  The only problem was the sleeve.  I couldn't figure it out, so I scrapped it and made my own.  The pattern didn't have the second row of ruffles or the shawl around the top, but I've seen a lot Belle lately (we got the movie) and I thought it made it look more like the 'real' dress.

I made Audrey try it on and be my mannequin while I did the ruffling and pinned the hem.  It was a lot for a three-year-old to do.  But the pay off came when I had been finished for about ten minutes.  She had this gleam in her eye as she studied it (ala Project Runway) and said "It just needs one more thing."  Then she proceeded to pick out necklaces and bracelets to go with it for the next 20 minutes.  It made all the hard work worth it!

Bonus:  I got to use my new serger!  It's really fast and it scares me a little.

Getting Around To Things

With a baby coming before next year (probably) I have a desire to finish up old projects.  Only one of these fits into the that category.  But I am trying to complete my things to do list, since I will probably be otherwise occupied at the begininng of next year. 

Clutter busting.  Cute clips have been accumulating for some time now and I'm trying desperately trying to contain it.  The good news is it's a super easy project and very inexpensive.  All you need is a shape for the top, a picture hanger (the kind with the teeth), a grosgrain ribbon, and a glue gun.  I got the butterfly at Hobby Lobby already painted ($0.67) and the whole thing was done in about five minutes.  Cross another one off my list!
These have been a year in the making.  Well, sort of.  I saw something like this on my friend Ashley's blog last year and I started saving jars right away. (Ashley got it from these two blog entries - here and here.)   Of course I can't just do it like everybody else.  I had to make adjustments.  I am very happy with how they turned out.  Who would have guessed that I would like Modge Podge?  Halloween decor: check.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gifts For Little Ones

It's been a long time since I've posted any projects.  There is a lot of updating to do.  It's project season around here with Halloween costumes, baby gifts (so many pregnant friends!), fall/Christmas dresses for Audrey, and a few things for myself in the works.  Plus I just got my serger today, so projects are bound to flow!

These are just a few of the gifts I've delivered.
My cousin Amanda had her first baby.  (Yeah!)  Hooded towels just say cozy baby to me, and of course a little elephant.
And it's just so fun to make things for babies.  I think I like them because they usually take less time.
Theses were so fun to make because they were going to such cute kids!  Two large elephants for the older siblings and one little one for the the youngest who turned one this summer.  I did have to figure out a way to send them.  But I'm glad they got them and hope they are still having fun with them.  More to come when I get a break between projects.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A New Little Obsession

I mean it.  They really are little.  The finished project is only 4 inches tall.  It's a Heather Baily pattern.  I made this one for a friend's little girl.  It's just the right size to chew on the little nose and tail.  And it's super girly!
I thought it was too cute not to blow it up.  And the results is an equally cute big sister elephant.  Audrey and her little sister are going to have matching (but not in size) pink elephants.  What's more girly than that?  Watch for more elephants.  I'm thinking of starting a pachyderm farm.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Ideas

I get distracted easily.  It's always been a problem for me.  I'm not very good at trying new foods, but new mediums and techniques - I'M IN!  So, the recent obsession has been using terry cloth.  Not just yardage you find at the fabric store, but using beach towels and cutting them up.  It's been great fun!  I hope the recipients of these gifts have enjoyed them, but they were all new projects for me to try out.  The first one is adapted from a cute pattern (remember the baby kimono?), but I went out on a limb for the next one.  I have a friend who can make anything without a pattern, and I decided to try my hand at it.  I used one of Audrey's dresses and traced it and made adjustments and tried to make it cute.  I was very pleased with the end result and my first attempt at no pattern.  There are more to come.  I've got to get sewing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Baby Scarlett

I don't usually go in for a lot of digtal manipulation.  However, when it's necessary for the image, I'm all for it. 

This is really just me playing around with these images.  I had the opportunity to take pictures of a beautiful little girl and these are some of my favorites that came of it.  I can't decide which I like better - pink or purple.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Easter Dress

The Easter Dress was always a big deal as I remember it. I got to look through the pattern books at the fabric store and pick something for my Mom to make. I'm sure some years I made it harder than others. Since I still have the final say-so, I got to pick the pattern, but I asked for input on the fabric. Of course, having the wonderful taste/expensive taste that her mother has, Audrey picked fabric that was about $12 dollars a yard. I would have steered her in another direction if I didn't have a 50% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket. So, I agreed and we made our purchase. I tried to involve more input on the rest of the details, too, but in the end I just went with what I wanted. I'm sure I won't get to much longer. I purchased the pattern back in October at the Quilt Festival and I've been waiting to use it. The dress is the same with the added details of the flower (removable for washing). I love how it turned out, though I don't do her hair like this when we go out. I realized just how big that flower is and how small her head looks with it, so it gets tucked into a low pony tail now. Happy Easter!

Beachy Birthday Party

Birthday parties are always so fun to plan and do all the details for, at least in my opinion. What better way to have a beachy themed birthday than to start with these happy hula folding invites? I can't take credit for them as a whole. This is just how mine turned out. I knew what I wanted to do, but didn't think I could afford them already made so I took some inspiration from the Internet and Martha Stewart Living April 2010 edition.

Step 1: Print out template here and cut it out.
Step 2: Trace on whatever paper you would like. This will be the outside of your envelope.
Step 3: Using a light table or window, trace 1/4" inside the outside edge of envelope template. This will be
the template for the patterned paper inside.
Step 4: Fold all the envelopes and inside papers according to template directions.
Step 5: Cut 12" string. Embroidery thread works well and comes in lots of colors.
Step 6: Assemble. Line up the folds of an inside paper and an outer paper in a folded position. Do not try to glue flat because the paper will not fold when the glue dries. Glue center and 3 flaps down. Insert string between the inner and outer paper on the overlapping flap and glue.
Step 7: Punch two decorative brads through from the outside of the envelope. One on the overlapping flap and one on the opposite flap. Wrap thread between these brads to secure the envelope shut.

Mine had one additional step which were the details for an invitation. I used just a square that would fit in the center and glued it down as well. I think they turned out great and had compliments. I'm going to have to find another reason to use these again.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Side Tracked

While house-sitting I had to change my spare time focus.
No sewing machine.
Much less house work to keep up on.
But I had my laptop... so I went digital.

I was originally creating a family scrapbook on and not finding what I was looking for in the digital world. I started looking into free papers and was surprised how much was out there, it just wasn't my style. So, I invented my own - digital scrapbook paper that is. Well, my intended use is for the covers of my series of family scrapbooks, but if you want to use them, feel free. I did the same paper in a variety of colors.
I'm willing to share!
Free digital scrapbook paper
For this paper, other colors or swatches-
Comment here or email me and I'll attach it to an email for your personal use.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gifts For Babies

I haven't been posting lately, but I've been doing projects. I've been documenting as I go on camera and am just now getting around to posting here.
This was a set of blocks for twin boys due soon.
These are the tiniest sets of blocks I've ever made.
Only because I made two.
Two separate sets that coordinate.
Perfect for two boys who will spend their lives sharing everything.
These sets have the ususal textures I use:
*cotton print (visual)
*terry cloth (absorbant)
*minkee (super soft)
*and the added bonus of crinkle sound.
I've added another interior layer of plastic cut to size.
It is a bit difficult to sew, so be warned.
If it works, though it's an adorable addition.
**Thanks Kerry for the great idea!

More baby stuff:
Another friend is having a baby and it's just too fun to make little girl stuff.
I had a hard time stopping.
I wasn't going to make clothes, but I heard what everyone else was doing and it just sounded like too much fun.
I decided to join in.*The kimono is cotton with a cotton lining. I had a pattern, but decided to double my steps by linging it and then complicate things by making my own bias tape. (Ironically I forgot to cut it on the bias. Oops! It still worked.) I had a pattern because that's the only way I know how to make clothes. But I'm very happy with the results. I almost couldn't give it away. Hopefully it will find a wonderful home being used 1)in the hospital for easy changes, added warmth and no belly button restriction 2) at home as a light robe or 3) a cover up for sunny days at the pool.
It said newborn size on the pattern. Hope it fits! (Summer versions may be coming to my etsy shop. I have to try a few out first.)
*Why stop at one thing when you have so much extra fabric? I couldn't. I had to make matching shoes. These are done in the same fabrics as the kimono with a fleece lining. I had a pattern for that too, but when I made the newborn size, my almost 3 year old was able to put them on. (See why I'm worried about the size of the kimono?) So, I worked some magic and created my own pattern in a much smaller size. I just hope they fit, too!
*A baby toy takes up more fabric. Something for a littl older than newborn. And in the same fabric, so you can remember the tiny little kimono in the hospital and how small she used to be. In case you are wondering, it is a lady bug. (Soon to be seen in my etsy shop!) Grosgrain tags for the legs and minkee for the tummy. This model is the first with a bell inside for a little added interest.
*Finally, the largest set of blocks I've ever made! You can see why. Again, the same fabrics from the kimono, with another coordinate, tags to chew on, crinkle side (Thanks again Kerry!), terry cloth and Minkee. A very absorbant toy for drooling and teething mouths. Washable, though I'd not suggest the dryer because of the crinkle addition. I haven't tested that out yet.
So, that was a good two weeks worth of work. On to more projects. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Digital Collages: Baby A*

One of my favorite things to do when you can't choose just one picture - choose several and make a collage. It can be rather simple with PSE8, especially with the templates they provide. I didn't use a template on these. They were custom for a friend of mine. It's just so fun to play with photos!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Gifts

I ordered the dress pattern to fit the doll I made. I figured, why make things harder than I have to? So, it's not my original design. But I love how easy it was and how it turned out! And with some left over fabric I made Audrey a matching shirt. I absolutely adore this fabric. I seem to have a thing for this style of fabric and I usually like the fabrics done by this same designer, Heidi Grace (available at Joann's). I think it's cute that they match. Audrey hasn't shown much interest. My version has shoes, which is my original design and the bows in her hair were not in the original pattern. All in all a lovely way to celebrate a holiday devoted to love. At least she'll be able to look back and remember that I made her a doll for Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentine's Decor

Easy home-made Valentine's Day decor!
Who doesn't love to be loved? I have few decorations for this holiday, and I felt no desire to rifle through boxes to locate them. So, I spent a pleasant afternoon making "candy hearts" with Audrey. I traced, cut out and wrote little somethings on them, and Audrey colored them front and back. Then we put tape on the back and put them all around the house. There is no door in my house that isn't covered with hearts. It is a great kid-friendly way to decorate and to make them feel a part of it. Also, it adapts easily for any holiday.

Getting around to it

I bought the pattern for these dolls a while ago on etsy. I think they are so cute! Well, the pattern has been nagging me to do something with it and I finally did. I bought more fabric than I needed, though, so I decided to make a second one and post it on my shop. I love how they turned out! The one with darker hair is going to be Audrey's Valentine's gift this year. She's not much of a doll kid, but she usually likes things that I make for her. I also ordered a pattern for a dress for the doll. It's so nice when I can spend more time on the project and less time on making it up for a change.

I love that she's a pirate!
That was actually in the pattern, I swear.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Zipper Pouch #2

The desire to use my new purse was greater than the desire to just improve on my earlier designs. So, I just jumped right in. Here it is.
I tried to find something to match the color as much as I could. The purse is done with an Amy Butler fabric, and therefore has difficult colors to match. I really got lucky when I ran into this courderoy.
The pouch measures approximately 5 x 7" and I added the piping detail since it was for myself. I don't know what it is, but I just love how finished piping makes something look. Not that I really know the correct way to do piping, but I couldn't resist.
Now if you see me out with my new purse, you'll know what little pouch I have hiding inside.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Zipper Pouch #1

To be truly honest, it's not my first zipper pouch ever. It is, however, the first sewing project of this year and my first attempt at this style. I designed it after I something I saw on I got an adorable new purse for Christmas from a site called DSCHICBOUTIQUE but it only had one zipper pocket and I needed a little more storage for those occasional items. So, I gave it a try, and it was super easy - only took an hour. But it is also not completely successful.

Measures approx. 12"x5"
Not lined
Imperfect top stitching
And I assumed I had more crap to put in it, so it's too big for my purpose.

Back to the drawing pad.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


My living room wall got a make-over. Close-up
I fianlly found an arrangement the I love!
Isn't it great when you get a set of portraits that you adore?
Especially when they include you.
I am planning on adding to the arrangement, since my wall looks so bare.
But that is yet to come.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Finishing out 2009

This is my last completed project from 2009 - Scrub hats for my husband.
They are of couse custom - size and fabric choice.
I used a real pattern for this one - McCall's #9123
A few new to add to his collection and a little home made touch to add to Christmas gifts.