Friday, November 30, 2007

opening night

Glenn's stage debut was this evening. I present to you - Young Scrooge.
I wasn't sure what I would be in for on the costume crew - especially once I told people that I knew how to sew, but it was all pretty managable. The only thing that I had to make from scratch were some knickers for Glenn. Everything else was basic - add a little length here, pin something else up there.

A very dark (who'd have thought it would be so hard to get a close up shot in a dressing room filled with lights?) picture of the knee closure on the knickers. Hard to see, but they're sewn of a finewale black cord that looks almost like velvet, but was much easier to work with. Even the back zipper went in without a hitch.

The show went off without a hitch too. All the kids did a great job and I think Glenn has found his niche. He seemed to enjoy autographing programs for the fans...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

more sister outfits

This one's for Carol. More vintage fabric goodness that she sent my way. The outfits are a finewhale navy cord with an early 70's vibe animal print. Both pieces were trimmed out with some vintage white pompoms. Note to self - never use vintage pompom trim again on something that needs to go in the washer. Every laundry day we lost a few more.

Trixie's little sweater once belonged to Chris. All three kids have gotten to wear it. The pompoms don't stand a chance of lasting that long.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

parasol tops

Not the best picure here - I could not bribe Ellie to take off those sunglasses("But mommy, they're pink and they match my shirt!!") and Trixie appears to have had too much of whatever the little drink umbrellas on those tops were sitting in.

I believe these were the first things I used my serger on. Just the side seams (I was still afraid of it this past spring). Carol sent me the fabric after I oohed and aahed over it when she used it to back a cute bib she embroidered for Trixie.
Probably not a pattern I'll reuse soon. I had to lengthen it 2 inches and it still seems a bit short on Ellie. It called for grosgrain ribbon for the ties, which I used, but the front and back don't gather properly on it (I finally tacked it down in place on either end of the casing) and the ties come undone easily.
Still, the parasols look great on the ruffles and the girls loved them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

rachel's quilt

Here's another doll quilt that I made in the spring for our little friend, Rachel, on her birthday. Colors were chosen based on her bedroom colors. I wanted this to be a quilt that would either tuck in one of her dolls or look pretty on her wall when she decided she was too old for that kind of play(hopefully not anytime soon).

At the time I was making some of these it seemed the whole craftblog world was obsessed with doll quilts. The inspiration for this one came right from Turkey Feathers. All the fabric was in my stash and the embroidery designs are from Sublime Stitching. The final dimensions are about 16x20.

Because of their size, these go together so incredibly fast, especially since I prefer to machine quilt. (The one doll quilt that I'm doing by hand was started in June on our vacation. I'm certain that you won't see it's completion before June of next year. That might even be pushing it.)

I love that little bit of Bo Peep fabric above. It's from my Grandma Bev's stash, I think.

A sweet quilt for a sweet little girl.

Monday, November 26, 2007

on pins and needles

A few treats for my sewing room made in the spring. The pattern is by Indygo Junction and the first two are made of fabric from the Building Blocks collection.
This one went home with Trish.

One for Barbara made of scraps from her birthday quilt. (This one is teeny - each edge is about 2 1/2 inches long.)

And the one that gets used everyday. Made completely of vintage goodies that I thrifted.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

buggin' out

With apologies to all of you who did not share my love of and fascination with the 17 year cicadas this summer:
official cicada shirts for the girls
(I'd have made one for Glenn, but I think a 10 year old boy in a flowery, appliqued bug shirt might cause some problems on the playground.)
There's a reason Ellie is backing away from Trixie. Look closely.
She's a tough little two year old.

Friday, November 23, 2007

hand towel apron

Wish I could claim credit for this design. I saw it in Family Fun when Glenn was in preschool(or younger maybe). I've made a few of these for little friends. Add a paint set and it's a great birthday gift. So simple really, you just fold up the bottom of a hand towel then sew the sides and in the middle to create a pocket.

On this one I made a little flower out of thrifted buttons and ric rac.

To finish it off, fold down the top corners and run a seam about an inch from the fold. This creates a casing for the ribbon. Thread it through and you're done.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

baby bonnet

A little antidote to the rain/snow mix we're getting right now-

The pattern is from Angry Chicken's mailorder club. Reproduction feedsack fabric seemed perfect for the project. Actually sewn in the spring. I think I've made about 4 of these so far. Super easy, super fast and they only use a little bit of fabric.

In case any of you might think I'm actually participating in that NahBlahPoohBa thingie, I'm not. I'm just desperately trying to get all of my sewing from 2007 up here before the year is out. Expect a lot of out of season photos in the next few weeks.

deja vu

I feel like I went back in time this weekend. Ellie saw me sewing and wanted to get out her machine to make some clothes for her teddy bear. The girl does not lack confidence. She grabbed some scrap fabric and started cutting out her pattern.
I've been waiting for this day, but didn't think she'd choose to make the EXACT same thing as I did the first time I tried sewing something on my own. I can still clearly remember my little machine with the pink case and the brown scrap fabric my mom gave me. I also remember tracing my doll's legs directly onto the fabric and cutting it out on the lines.

I ran the seams in the same way and needed help at the same place - pivoting on the inside legs. And I decided to hold my tongue in the same way mother did, because sometimes it's just easier to find out why a pattern does or doesn't work by actually doing it.

Her pants didn't fit the teddy any better than mine fit my doll, but she was as proud as I was when she finished.

Monday, November 19, 2007

damn you, hobby lobby clearance aisle

I just had a simple return. The magnetic pull of the sale aisle was too hard to resist. I was doing okay, just had a few $.13 embroidery patterns in my hands. Then I turned the corner. I cannot pass up wood craft stuff. Even for crafts I have forbidden myself from taking up(at least until the fabric stash is whittled down a bit). And the directions looked easy enough... Surely the kids would get some use out of them... I didn't know which one would work best, so better to just get an assortment...

They are easy to use. Now I have what appears to be a child sized leg warmer completed with another on the loom.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

britches and bloomers

Chalk it up to bad timing. This little outfit is up on the wall at the shop to promote a class I was going to teach in a couple weeks using a pattern called Britches and Bloomers. I thought moms or grandmas might want to get a jump on warmer weather and make up some cute pants for the spring. I was wrong. No one has signed up as yet, but that's actually good news. I picked the class date over the summer not knowing that Glenn would be in a play on that very same day. So I guess it all works out in the end. I'll likely rerun the class this spring. With any luck I'll have more takers.
In the meantime, the girls' wardrobes benefitted from my pattern testing.

A fitting end.

welcome home bella and scout

Is it sad that I'm using cats as an excuse to sew? I used up some scraps from other projects to make the cat tunnel from In Stitches. Even had some fake fur from a fabric thrifting trip on hand. The model in this picture is actually one of Ellie's lovies; the real recipients are Trish's cats. Kind of a housewarming gift for them. Yeah, it sounds even more pathetic when I read that.
One end draws closed with some awesome Martha Stewart twill tape (from Michael's).

Pathetic or not on my part, look how cute!
And what good is a new tunnel without some new toys to hide in it?
I made two birds from the Last Minute Patchwork Gifts book. It didn't occur to me to photograph them together and I've hit my photo limit for this entry, so the one will have to do.

Back to sewing for people.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

stitch club

How did girl scout activities go from learning to use a pocket knife, singing campfire songs and doing crafts like needlework to things like scavenger hunts at the mall and picking out a stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear being the closest a troup ever gets to sewing?
All summer the girls on our block would peek over my shoulder to see what piece I was in the middle of stitching. That's when I found out not a one of them had been exposed to anything related to sewing in their scout troops. I just assumed that's where every girl was at least exposed to this stuff. Apparently not.

I can't make them all sewers, but every Friday I'll try my best. Four of them head over after school for Stitch Club to learn basic embroidery stitches and hopefully find a new hobby. If nothing else, I know 4 future women won't be taking every loose button to the cleaners for repair.

And if I'm really lucky, I'll have a group of sewing friends with whom I can stitch for a very long time.

(Yeah, their moms want to learn too.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I could have sworn I posted this last week. Obviously not.
Ellie had a luau party this year(in early October) and I figured I'd better get this up here before she was another year older.
A few fruit slices with those teensy umbrellas that every little girl loves and voila! Hawaiian cupcakes. Those umbrellas would have been better in a few drinks for the moms...

The favor bags were a great way to practice on my new serger. The fabric is folded in half at the base and serged up the sides. The top edges were cut with pinking shears. Guests' names were written on fake leaves with a copper pen. Raffia tied the bags closed. Inside: goldfish crackers, lifesavers, gummy fish, and a tiny set of gel pens. The girls also received a necklace making set in a tube and a lei bracelet to match the leis everyone got. The boys got an octopus bead puzzle and some foam growing capsules that turn into boats.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

open house

Crazy, busy weekend around here. This is why:

I spent all of Saturday and a good portion of Sunday at the shop's Christmas Open House. Talking and sewing all day makes the time fly. I was demonstrating projects from a book called Christmas with Artful Offerings. Not quite the right title for the book as you can see from the projects. I'm thinking the word Cute should have been in the title somewhere. All the projects related to cookies in some way - either sugar cookie or gingergread designs.

Guess what project I picked to sew first?

I adore the fabric in this apron - it's from the Roman Holiday line by Moda. As soon as they don't need it for display it's coming home with me. (Like my poor attempt at merchandising the ric rac into a necklace?)

The little quilt postcard below is actually a gift card/gift certificate holder - it has a pocket in back. The colors are a bit different from what I'd decorate with, but that line sold like hotcakes during the open house and it went well with the ornament patterns.

The ornaments aren't really me, but they're cute. And this guy reminds me of Susie's boys' fleece snowman hats. Back when I thought she sewed as much as I did.

No pictures of the gingerbread patterns I demonstrated during the open house yet. I'll post the model when it's finished.