I think I'm pajamaed out

 While blissfully alone in a quilt shop on the night of my birthday, I had a crazy idea. Without thinking, I purchased 3 yards of Bots and Rockets fabric thinking I could go home and whip up a pair of PJs for the child who wears a lot of hand me downs. I could define "whip up" in realistic terms for you, but you'd hardly like to hear about me sewing things incorrectly, letting my house fall apart, feeding the family cold cereal and take out and letting personal hygiene fall way down the list of priorities. So let's all pretend that in my spare time, which I have a lot of because I'm so efficient, I sew these pajamas without a worry or problem. And let's pretend that I didn't stay up until 1 am last night to finish them for first grade pajama day. And let's pretend I'm not insane.
We don't have to pretend that he loves them.

For the doll population of our family...

or the soon to be doll twins.
Pattern: Simplicity 4268, slippers are my own design (so don't look too closely).
Fabric: Riley Blake "Be Merry"

Because Miss A can't read my blog, yet

Here is my one handmade gift to give this season. I usually try to make a few things but am afraid I've run out of creative steam. And my sewing ability is shaky at best lately. I've made a lot of really dumb mistakes while sewing as of late. I wish I could blame it on my machine or someone else but I'm afraid it's just me. I suppose it's time to hit Target and buy the boys PJ's, I just don't think I can attempt to sew anything else until 2010.
I had a lot of handmade pajamas as a kid and I'm pretty sure that 95% of them came from this same pattern. I'm not even kidding, just ask my mom. The fact that it's still in print (after all these years) is pretty amazing considering pattern companies rarely keep patterns for very long. I've used this pattern quite a bit with my boys when making pajama bottoms. It was fun to make the feminine version this time around.

Pattern: Butterick 4222 in a size three. I made view B, but omitted the neck ruffle (I remember not liking it as a kid). Instead of eyelet trim, I used a coordinating fabric and made my own ruffle trim. I used my serger's rolled hem feature to finish the edge and my ruffler foot to gather it all (5 yards after gathering). The pattern was fairly straight forward and not complex. The pants went together very easily, and the top wasn't too bad other than gathering the pieces to the yoke, which wasn't hard- just time consuming. It seems a bit big, but I won't know until Christmas Eve how it really fits her. It might just seem big because the top is so full. Also, because the pattern is multisized and has so many different views, take care when cutting it out. I accidently (as was mentioned above) cut the wrong size out of a top piece and cut the wrong view (thankfully it was the longer view) out on the pants. It wouldn't have been a big deal other than I ended up 4 inches too short on fabric and had to scour every quilt store in the state to find more. Just a hint, finding snowman fabric two weeks before Christmas is not fun....

Fabric: Riley Blake "Be Merry" fabrics. In hind sight. I wish I would have used a fabric for the trim that had a little more contrast. And I wish I had made the ruffle just a bit wider. It's difficult to tell the difference between the trim fabric and the main print.

Posted by Picasa

A Very Pepto Christmas

Miss A's tree is pink. So pink in fact, that even as a person who likes pink, it's too pink for me. She loves it. It makes her squeal with delight. I have found her pulling feathers from the branches and putting them in her hair, or sometimes just petting it. She rearranges it's branches and ornaments at least twice a day. Even though my rule for the kid's trees* is "one new ornament a year and anything handmade," she insisted on getting other pink glittery items for it at the store today. I agreed thinking it would keep her occupied for longer than two seconds (which it did) and knowing that buying glittery things is far less messy than making anything with glitter. Also, she didn't like how I tried to repurpose her magic wand for the star on top and a tutu (which she won't wear) for the tree skirt. The small purchase made her day, and even though it looks like we've had a visit from Interior Designer Barbie, I'm happy that's she's happy. The second the boys got home from school she wanted them to see her "bootiful tree."
I made the tree skirt from a single layer if Michael Miller Yule Trees and a hot pink Pimatex dot for the ruffle. I put some lime green rick rack along the top of the ruffle to make it less pink, if that's even possible. I had grand visions of quilting the skirt, but am glad I kept it simple from a time management perspective and also from a "I may be sick of this by the end of the season" perspective. Overall, I like the tree skirt and think it would look great on a green tree. Maybe after Miss A has finished pulling all of the feathers off on this one I can see what that would look like.
*The kids have their own small trees. It keeps them from playing with the real one. It keeps me from being completely OCD with the Christmas decor.
** The tree is from Micheal's a few years ago. The branches are sort of weird because they swivel around the trunk, which makes it easy to store but a real bugger to keep the branches in place. They all tend to wander toward the middle front.


This is a repeat of the outfit I made for Miss A last fall. Before any of you call "tacky" keep in mind that we live miles away from where we used to, the colorway is different, and no one around here has seen the originals. Besides, it was one of my favorite outfits of all time, and when you find a good thing, stick with it.
It is not however my most well sewn garment of all time. Lots of user error this time around. I was SUI, sewing under the influence of children. Which is okay, that's my job. Just after a million interruptions I forgot where I left off, what I was doing, and skipped some important steps. The houndstooth was really difficult to match at the seams. The print was printed slightly off grain. I really struggled with it, and then gave up. But it looks okay all things considered. And the jacket bottom edges really do match up. The picture makes it look like they don't, but they really do. She's just really wiggley.
Pattern: Oliver + S Sunday Brunch skirt and jacket. I added 2 1/2 inches in length to both the skirt and the jacket.
Fabric: Fine wale corduroy from Farmhouse Fabrics.

I say no so often

Sometimes I say yes to try to redeem myself. I said yes to this flannel mermaid fabric for Miss A's winter pajamas. It's loud and bright, but a better choice than the John Deere tractor fabric she originally wanted. I think they turned out cute, and she loves them so much she won't take them off. With all the sickness at our house lately she's a little bit confused about proper daytime attire. But if I have to look at them at lunch time, at least they don't have tractors on them.
Pattern: Oliver and S Bedtime Story Pajamas. I made a size 3, which was a little sad for me since the first time I made these pajamas I made a 6-12 month size. She is growing. Sniff, sniff. I used ribbon for the ties this time which really helps speed up the process of making them.
Fabric: Michael Miller Sea Beauties flannel, with green dot flannel trim. I was going to make matching pajamas for her baby, but may make these instead.
Posted by Picasa

Our Halloween

Halloween was full of surprises for our family. First, the weather was beautiful. Such a nice and happy surprise after the snow and cold (really, really windy, bitter cold) that we've had here all week. Second surprise was that every seems to be on the mend. All of the kids have not felt well this week, missing school and feeling miserable. Both boys were so disappointed to miss the school Halloween party. So disappointed! It was also an unhappy mother moment for me to see how sad they were.
We were well enough to get dressed up and go trick or treating. The boys had been fever free for 24 hours and were aching to get out of the house. I was excited for them to burn off some energy. The boys filled their bags and will be happily hipped up on sugar for the next few days. It was very nice to have a relaxed and kicked back holiday. I'm glad that the kids got the full effect of Halloween, and are no longer disappointed that we didn't attend every single event that we could have.

Not so surprising however is that Miss A wouldn't wear her cape. I knew it would happen. She wore it when it got cold, but not for long. I tried to prepare her for her role by reading lots of Red Riding Hood stories, but still she could not be convinced. Her Bitty Baby; who she has named Baby Doll- not to be confused with Baby and Pink Baby, happily wore hers. G has always had difficulty when it comes to choosing a costume. Always. This year was no different. First he wanted to be Harry Potter. Next, he wanted to chose something from our supply of costumes. And finally, he wanted to be a robot. Not just any robot, like a box with aluminum foil, but one with working gears and armor. I asked him to draw me a picture, and it was well beyond my creative abilities. We searching the Internet looking for something close, and came upon a C3PO costume. He was in love, so we ordered it. When it arrived, he said, "Let's get working on the modifications." What modifications? "The ones to make it look like my drawing." Sigh. Again he was disappointed by my inability to deliver what he wanted. But working gears? Really? Who does that? And don't send me links of people who do.
S as always, was pretty easy to please. He loved his costume and the wand that makes noises. He told me that next time he gets glasses he wants perfectly round ones exactly like Harry Potter.
 Geez, long post. I have to show you our pumpkins. Miss A wasn't so into the pumpkin thing. It was more of a male bonding experience. Which with pumpkin goo is totally understandable. Here is side one of S's pumpkin. It's Phineas.
And side 2, Ferb. S's black widow pumpkin is in the background.
And G's Bionicle pumpkin is on the right, with my two very simple creations to the left.

Miss A's Halloween Costume, Hopefully

Excuse the pictures taken with the help of the ironing board. Miss A, as of yesterday, won't put the dress on. She very politely says, "No 'ank you" and then runs and puts on a toy army helmet. I made her try it on for size a couple of days ago, and she cried the entire time. I hope she changes her mind by Halloween.
It's Red Riding Hood if you couldn't tell from the pictures. If she won't wear the cape then I guess she'll be a peasant girl, Gretel or some other fairy tale character. But right now, even getting her to wear the dress is a challenge. So she might be dressed as a 2 year old with too many opinions.
Pattern: Simplicity 2571 view B. I was pleasantly surprised at the correct sizing on this one, but it was rather long. I cut almost 4" off of the skirt and pantaloons to get them to fall at mid calf. But I would much rather have it be too long than too short.
Fabric: Really cheap and poor quality broadcloth from Joann and Walmart. But it's a costume that she won't wear, so I like to think that I was inspired to not spend a lot of money on this one.

Great Ways to Learn to Sew

Check out this awesome blog post about learning to sew. And the first two patterns she recommends are FREE and downloadable. You just can't go wrong with free.......

Lining for the Jacket

Here is the removable lining for Miss A's jacket, in all of it's late night/early morning sewing glory. It was simple to put together, especially since I purchased ready quilted fabric and packaged bias. The packaged bias is a bit stiff, which is great when applying it, not so great for wearability. Miss A doesn't seem to mind, and since it's on the inside of the jacket I don't mind that it's a bit wonky. I keep telling myself that she'll most likely use that edge of the lining for a napkin/tissue/pacifier anyway. As long as it is washable I'm okay with less than excellent application.
I should have followed the instructions and began and ended the bias at the hem. It was really early in the morning, and quite honestly I thought the top neck edge was the hem. Again, Miss A doesn't mind. I doubt anyone will examine the interior of her jacket closely anyway, you should feel privelged to be able to see it. So pretend the serger thread is brown too, okay?
It seems very warm when paired with the jacket. Miss A is one of the "hot bodies" in the family, and I didn't want her to be too warm. I'm glad it is all finished.

Jacket for Miss A

 I just finished this jacket today for Miss A. Here's a couple of things I'd like to say about it:
1. I love my walking foot. I just bought one, and am wondering why it took me so long to get one. It really is my new favorite tool.
2. I still love Oliver + S patterns. I've attempted jacket making in the past, and this one was an absolute pleasure to make.
3. I'm still working on the quilted, removable lining. I'd better hurry, the snow started to fly while taking this picture!
4. Miss A is growing like a weed. Clothes that fit her a couple of months ago, when I last cleaned out her closet, are now inches too short. I made this jacket too big thinking that I'd like her to wear it for longer than a month or two....here's to hoping!
5. The fabric is corduroy from Joann and the lining is Micheal Miller's "Birds of Norway." Brent didn't think there was anything Norwegian about it. I think it makes a cute, bright lining; kind of Partridge Family-like.
6. I originally bought a brown and red plaid twill for this jacket. Once I got it home I decided I didn't want to match the plaid design at every seam. And I thought it might make her look like Elmer Fudd.

I think I might be in love.....

 ...with this crazy fabric. You might remember this top and this bag. So when I saw the print in corduroy, naturally I bought some more. I had a jumper in mind when I made it. I was looking for this fabric, and couldn't find it until after buying more of the Carnival Bloom. I really like the mini boden version, but hate to pay that much for a play dress.
Pattern: New Look 6903, I omitted the pocket and hem ruffle.
Fabric: Michael Miller "Carnival Bloom" Corduroy.
*note added later: Here is yet another project made from the flannel type of this fabric that I completely forgot about. Sigh. I must be in a rut!

Labor Day is Done, on to Halloween

Cooler weather has got me thinking of all sorts of projects to make. I'm beginning to wonder why my creativity seems to be linked to the weather.....or the anticipation of it. By the end of spring, I'm dreaming up all sorts of summer outfits for the kids. The end of summer, I have corduroy, jackets, tights, leggings and of course costumes on the brain. Now if I just had more time to make them.

The boys are really wanting to be Hogwarts students for Halloween. I'm good with this, except that when I started pulling together the cloaks, ties, wands, and all it got really out of hand. I'm great at finding patterns, fabric and fantasizing of how glorious their costumes will be. Not so great at executing my plans as of late. I know I have the same amount of time each day as everyone else, but why am I getting so little done? I do realize that time with my kids is not "not getting things done," and I am aware of how quickly they are growing, but sometimes it would be nice to have something tangible to show for my day, besides boogers on my shoulder and crumbs on the floor. Not complaining, really.

So in an effort to spend time with my kids instead of my sewing machine, I am purchasing the boys cloaks. S's arrived yesterday, and though it may not fit my lofty expectations of what a costume could be (and may have been have been made by a child his age in Malaysia), he loves it. G is slightly jealous and his will be coming soon. He was going to use an existing costume from our plentiful supply, but after seeing S's has changed his mind. I'm trying to talk G into being Ron (isn't her sweater and Scabbers great?), but am not making much progress in that area. We may have two Harry's at our house on Halloween, because to have a lightning shaped scar is too cool to pass up, and because G is always the sidekick.

As for Miss A, I'm going to wait and see what comes into my brain. I know this much, nothing itchy (no tulle) and nothing on her head. Which leaves so few options. Any ideas?

Black and White

This dress has been in my "to be sewn" bin for some time now. It was cut out last winter, and once the bodice was made, it was obvious that the pattern sizing was WAY off. According to the pattern it is to fit a child 21-24 pounds and 31-34 inches tall. Miss A should have fit into it perfectly last winter given the measurements, but pattern sizing being what it is, it fits her now with plenty of extra width.
The pattern was pretty straight forward, and I didn't have any difficulty with the sewing. I made a few alterations. The dress is something of a mesh between view A and B. I fully lined the entire dress, not just the bodice. On the skirt lining I added a tulle ruffle to give the appearance of a petticoat peeking from beneath. I liked the front bow off center rather than centered in front.
The gets a lot of compliments and looks really nice especially since the fabric was very inexpensive. She loves the dresses twirl factor, but isn't a fan of the tulle touching her legs. Even though I bought super soft tulle, she says it's too itchy. Once the weather gets cooler, wearing tights should straighten out that problem. I also think I'll add a real petticoat and a shrug (styled after this one) for winter.
Pattern : New Look 6662
Fabric: Cranston Print Works Polka dot from Walmart.


So, I've decided to make some changes with my blog. Originally, when I began blogging, my blog was to be a journal of my sewing projects and somehow it became a family blog. Not that I wouldn't love to continue to have a blog about our family happenings, I just just don't believe I want our experiences and information to be available to everyone, everywhere. So, it's back to the sewing-only blog I go. And maybe someday soon I'll start a private family blog. Until then, feel free to leave me comments, I love the feed back.

Look Quickly, Before She Changes Her Mind!

She's wearing one of the outfits, and smiling too! It's, of course, another oliver + s pattern. I'm really getting a lot of mileage from these patterns. The bloomers that are included in this pattern are awesome. I love them and make them for most of the dresses I make for her. They're not too baggy or old fashioned looking, but cover her diaper nicely. The fabric is Moda's American Jane.
Posted by Picasa

So many dresses, so little time.

 Miss A may have too many dresses. She may not be able to ever wear all of them before she grows out of them. I'm addicted to making and buying them, it's so fun to put them on her and watch her twirl around. Lately she's been exclaiming,"So bootiful. Bootiful dress." My boys never get excited about their clothes.
This dress is another Oliver and S Bubble Dress. I love that the dress is fully lined, and I don't have to spend ant extra time finishing seams because they're all enclosed. Very important to me since my serger is in storage. It's made with "Bubble Gum Basics" by Barbara Jones of Quilt Soup for Henry Glass fabrics. A very cute line of fabrics, I may use this line to make Miss A a quilt for her big girl bed. But I have so many projects on the brain, I better hold off. I love that the red dots have a white ring around them. For the back closure I layered a 5/8" red button on top of a 3/4" white button to mimic the dots in the fabric. It looks super cute, you'll have to trust me because I can't get a good picture of it.

A Gift

To keep my spirits up, I made a dress for a friends daughter. I had really good intentions. I wanted to make something cheerful and summery.

Instead, because of my inability to think straight, I chose fabric that was more spastic than anything. Unfortunately, the loud fabric didn't begin to bother me until 3/4 through the sewing. I stuck with it, and hopefully my friend will still love me even though I made a severely obnoxious dress for her daughter. It's one of those, "it's the thought that counts, I don't really expect anyone to wear this" type of things. On the bright side, Walmart had a lot of really cute brightly colored sandals that would match. So maybe it was meant to be. And maybe my friend will still like it.

I should have slept but...

Pattern: Oliver and S Birthday Party Dress (I cut it out at the same time as the bird one).

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Pimatex navy dot with a red grosgrain ribbon. I originally wanted to have bright yellow ties, but these sandals made me change my mind. I love the orange and fuchsia sandals too, maybe another summer. I have a serious addiction to tiny shoes.

So I Lied...

I obviously make time for the things I want to do. I said I wouldn't have time to sew, and I somehow did. I should have been packing/cleaning, but instead I sewed a new dress for Miss A. And found time to blog about it. Around here we call it the "Bird Day" Party dress. The striped facing shows through a bit, but over all I like it.

Pattern: Oliver and S Birthday Party Dress , once again I was ridiculously impressed with the pattern. It was perfect! I just may have to sew another one (not before moving of course).

Fabric: Urban Chiks "Sweet" by Moda. I was inspired by this dress, but thought I'd better make it in pink so Miss A could use her pink shoes, and keep me from buying some teal ones.


So, Miss A loves Cinderella. At first I was resistant, because really, she's two. We have plenty of time for her to be obsessed..but now that I'm trying to pack, I've welcomed it all with open arms. I even made her a dress. She loves to wear it and a pair of glass "zlippers" that are at least 3 sizes too big. Today, she put them on and packed a purse full of Legos and stood by the door saying, "S-go Mom, c'mon mom." I'm not sure where she wanted to go, at least she was prepared for any Lego disaster.
Her love for "Cinderella-la" may have come from my sister Megan. For a couple of years Megan has been impersonating Cinderella at parties and such. Megan had an appointment tonight at a local elementary school's literacy night, and asked G to come along dressed as Prince Charming. Why do we have a Prince Charming costume? The reason is two fold, #1 I apparently have too much time on my hands and #2 S spent several years attending princess themed dress up parties and we found that sending him as a pirate (specifically Captain Hook) was not such a great idea. Apparently little girls don't like to be told to walk the plank... Since the costume now fits G, he got to participate. He wouldn't have done it for anyone but Megan. At first when he was asked to go he said, "Will there be a table I can hide under?" Tonight before getting in Megan's car he made me look up and down the street to make sure none of his friends would see him. He did like spending the time with Megan, and it was worth being a little embarrassed to earn a candy bar. Megan mentioned that he spoke with an English accent while there. Too funny...When Megan walked into our house, Miss A immediately looked down at her own clothes and gasped. She ran up to her room and put on her own princess dress. After comparing glass slippers, and twirling a bit, Megan had to get home before her coach turned back into a pumpkin. My kids are so blessed to have an Aunt like Megan.
Also, if I wasn't supposed to be packing I would totally sew these. I'm a little bit bummed that I may not have time to sew an Easter dress for Miss A, but I'd sure like to try. Liesl's patterns are brilliant!I know I've said it a million times, but really they are like nothing else out there.

More aprons

Here's Miss A and Bitty Baby in their new aprons. Miss A's is a bit big, but she should grow into it before I'm ready to make another one. She loves it. I'm not much of an apron wearer, or a cook, so I'm afraid she doesn't really know what it is. She thinks it's a cute dress.
Fabric: Lakehouse Dry Goods "Little Cupcake" and "Itty Pritty Polka Ditty" cotton rick rack, and black ribbon for the ties. I now wish I had made fabric ties, I'm afraid the ribbon may not wear well with Miss A's "on again, off again" personality.
Pattern: Little Retro Aprons
Posted by Picasa

Look who's two!

I think this picture is so funny. The outfit is so much cuter when worn.

Call Me Crazy....

It would be a huge understatement to say that there is a lot going on at our house lately. But for whatever reason, I still am finding projects to make. Here is one of my stress relievers.
I found this great pattern (sweet little dress) on Etsy. It is the easiest dress ever, really. Pillow case easy. It took me about an hour to make. I think I might shorten it and make a top like this one.

What I did instead of doing something nice for my husband's birthday

Typically January is my least favorite month with the cold, dark and gloomy weather. Usually inversions and fog have me feeling blue and dreaming of warmer climates. But with all the blue skies lately I've been cheerier than usual, which has led to some cheerful fabric and pattern choices. Here's Miss A's birthday preparations, a little on the "springy" side for a February birthday, but I like to think of it as winter blahs therapy.

The inspiration for the dress came from here. I'd like to figure out how to do the lacing detail without sewing a million buttonholes on this dress, but I'll just let it go. I have a feeling I could really mess up the dress trying to do it. I'm famous for ruining things by trying to "improve" them.

Fabric: Lecien mini dot from Purl Patchwork.

Pattern: I couldn't find a front wrap dress pattern I liked (I'd still like to find one with sleeves and an A line skirt), but thanks to the idea from this outfit, I used a pattern I already owned. I never would have thought to wear it backwards! I took some of the fullness out of the skirt and added fabric ruffles to the neck and armholes. I added a cardigan to keep arms warm until the snow melts. It's from Target, I replaced the buttons with buttons covered with the dress fabric.