Thursday, December 9, 2010

I have an Innocent Crush

I love Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  I mean, really,  I love them. I think I could live in a house entirely decorated with them!  They are so vibrant and interesting that I would never get bored.  So, I was thrilled when Innocent Crush came out and included some options in Velveteen!  I was able to score three yards from Sew Mama Sew when they had their sale a few weeks back.  I love their fast shipping and great customer service!

Anyway, I decided I wanted to make myself the Norma skirt from Ottobre Woman, 5/2010, pattern #2.  The description of their sample said they used stretch velveteen but I decided to try it with AMH's velveteen, which is not stretch.  I took a risk because I do not sew for myself often and I am not a skinny minny anymore.  This was going to take a great deal of attention to detail and patience.

With all that in mind, here is what I made! It was not an easy pattern to follow. The directions did not make sense to me in some places.  I knew how to attach the waist yoke, which was good because Otto's directions were too vague.  And the lining attachment instructions seemed like Greek to me so I made a slip instead of lining the skirt.  The skirt also came out about 4 sizes too large at first so I had to do major alternations on it. 

But, in the end, I now have a skirt to wear to holiday festivities this year!  And I have enough fabric leftover that I will be making a little girl skirt to match soon!  We will both wear our skirts with black tights, black shoes and black tops. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby boy clothes

I have two girls and am done having babies. So, having a friend who is pregnant with a boy, due next month, is a joy.  I relished the opportunity to make some tiny boy clothes!

I made this wee baby jacket from the Ottobre Winter 2006 issue.  It is pattern number 2, the Wraparound jacket.  It is made from the softest fleece I have ever seen.  It is double sided!!  I also made pattern number 4, the Baby Bonnet, to match but gave it to my friend already.  I will get a picture of it the next time I see her.  Her baby is due next month so I hope he gets to wear them this winter!

The father of this boy loves fishing and hockey, so I appliqued some Carter's onesies myself.   My sewing machine went a little wonky on me, and the stitching on the hockey puck and stick show that, but I think they came out well enough to still give to her.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whimsy Couture giveaway on Our Family Treat!

This lovely blogger is having a fun giveway with Whimsy Couture!   Check it out.

Our family treat blog

Whimsy Couture blog

Check out the great patterns for little girls!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peas in a pod!

I got to try out this pattern before it was released.  It is really easy to make and super cute!  I made it a few weeks ago but have not blogged about it because I was waiting to give it to a friend at her shower.  So, here it is, the Peas in a pod from Tiedyediva's pattern.  Super cute, huh?  I lucked out and found this fleecy-type fabric on the remnant rack at Joann's.  I was not sure what to put inside because the mama I gave it to is super crunchy and I did not want to put anything unhealthy inside.  So, I ended up with some cellophate wrap that came with Fabric Fairy fabric and a wee kitty collar bell.  I figured the kitty collar bell is small enough, and packed inside the batting so well, that a teething baby could possibly get to the metal.  And the other two peas have cellophane packed inside.  So, two peas go crinkle and one goes ding!  Heehee!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homemade Halloween

Happy Halloween!

My girls wanted to be witches this year and I decided to make their costumes myself. I bought two long sleeved black tees at Target and some fabric and tulle at Joann's Fabric Store.  We found hats and wigs at various places.  Voila!  Halloween costumes. 

Here is how I did it without patterns!!

Big girl's skirt is lace fabric cut into strip long stripes, each gathered and sewn to the shorter one.  Then, I made an elastic waistband.  Voila!  Lacey tiered witch skirt.  She wears black leggings underneath.  Her top was long sleeved but I cut the sleeves halfway between elbow and wrist and sewed on more lace.  I stretched the sleeves as long as they would go to sew on a circle of lace I had cut and sewed to be 4X the regular length of the cuff.  It worked!  Voila!  Lacy cuffed sleeve.  She is wearing my black velvet gloves from some formal event many moons ago and a cute hat we got on sale last year after Halloween.  She added a velvet vest over the top for detail. 

Little girl's tutu is made from strips of tulle cut 3-4 inches wide and knotted onto an elastic sewn to fit her waist.  I took one black and one purple piece of tulle together and knotted them in the middle on the skirt.  It is supposed to look messy and it does!  She did not want lacey sleeves so she is just wearing it with black leggings and a black tee.  Her hat and wig are something I found on sale a few days ago.

I also made myself a witch outfit and will post those pics later.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

From disfunctional to functional (aka, look at my new sewing space)

I have been sewing in the dining room for a year and a half now and the space has become unusable as my stash and project list has grown.  Just look at it!

 As we approach holiday season, I realized I need to do something about my dining room!  So, here is what I did!  First of all, our playroom had an extra wall with nothing on it. 

 And I organized my daughter's crafting area.  Her stuff is now all in the white three drawer bin you can see in bottom right corner of this picture.   
She will have plenty of space to craft and I can use the space now, too!
 I was lucky to have my mom give me her old sewing table.  She prefers the dining room table.  LOL!  So, here it is with the stool from our drum kit.  I am being creative.  I put notions and current projects in the drawers to the right, future projects on the shelves to the left, and the fabric stash in the bins on the far left.  As soon as I clean out the storage closet, they will move into it. 

 As you can see from picture below, I have a nice view of the front yard from our family room basement and I can talk to my cat, Pete, while I sew.
 Hi Pete!
 Here is the craft bar with serger at one end.  Plenty of room for everyone's crafts!

The dining room, all cleaned up!  
Finally, my grandmother's dining room set can be the focus, instead of the mess.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Crafty mama

I have been busy this summer, with camping and swimming and my serger was in the shop.  But, I did manage to get one big project done, my 3 year old's room.  Here are pictures of her room, finally decorated!

It started when cosleeping with me was no longer working and sharing a room with her sister was not an option.  So, we took a small guest room with a queen sized bed and turned it into a room for a three year old girl.  We kept the queen sized bed so we could still have guests come over and I could still cosleep if necessary.  Thus, the bedspread was a big part of the room, being on such a big bed in a small room.  I found this Pottery Barn Kids Quilt, called Betsy's Dolls, on deep discount, and we were off!   I could not find affordable Pottery Barn Kids bedding so I searched Ebay and found some white sheets with lavendar trim, new but very cheap.  After that, lavender became our complimentary color.  So, since yellow compliments it perfectly, the walls are pale yellow. I was lucky to find a cheap twin sheet set on Ebay of the same PBK lavender gingham and turned that into curtains and a bed skirt.

Isn't it adorable, with the dolls?

I could not find shams so I had these custom made on Etsy by Cute as a Button Designs.   
She is great to work with and made adorable shams. 

I found a picture of some wooden flowers on a child's bedroom wall and got Zzbob, on Etsy, to make these for me.  They cut them from MDF, per my measurements and design, and I painted them myself.  They are attached to the wall with this genius product by 3M Command. They make a whole line of products that are not supposed to wreck your walls.  These are attached with velcro that sticks to each side.  Genius!

I think I did a good job!  :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My innocent crush

Well, my serger is still broken.  As of last word, the owner of the shop is back from vacation and has ordered the part it needs.  Should be another week, at least, before I get it back.  How did I ever sew without it!

In the meantime, Anna Maria Horner put out a sneak peak of her new line, coming this fall.  It is called Innocent Crush and I am love!  I love the mix of blueish pinks and blueish greens and blues.  And red!  Heavenly!  Cannot wait for this to come out in November!

On a side note, I want her chair! Oh Anna Maria, you are my fave!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A giveaway. For a whole Flower Sugar fat quarter bundle!

That's right!  One fat quarter of every piece of Flower Sugar 2 (that's 21 fat quarters in all).  We LOVE this collection.  It definitely ranks high on our favorite-ever fabric list.  Bright and cheerful!  This bundle is enough fabric to make an entire quilt top.  So...  check out the Long Ladies on their blog Marie-Madeline Studio to take part in this giveaway!  They have the most lovely fabric! 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Matilda Jane has a lovely little dress they call Ringmaster Ellie.  I decided to make a variation of this cute dress.  I used almost all the same fabrics, by Anna Griffon from her Riley line, and then found a piece of Feelin Groovy by Rosemarie Lavin for Windham.  So, for my dress, the bodice is Packed Flowers in green from Feelin Groovy and the ties, ruffle, and skirt are all from Riley.  I love this circus print so much I am trying to find more of it!   I bought what I have from Treasure Bay on Etsy.  (see side bar for link)

So, here it is!  My Ringmaster Eliza, for my little girl.  

Here are closeups of the pretty fabrics.

And, no, my serger is STILL not working.   So, all these seams had to be bound somehow.  Argh is the only word for that.  Serger goes to shop in about an hour.  

Just for kicks, here is my inspiration. the Ringmaster Ellie by Matilda Jane.  I did pretty good, huh?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A skirt for me!

I finally made something for me.  I have had this fabric for almost a year, having swooned over it at a local fabric shop.   The yellow and pale blue paisley is from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden collection.  I don't recall who made the red paisley.  The green at top is from Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane collection.  I got that recently from Rosebudquilter, on Etsy.

The pattern is the Belle Skirt Pattern by Favorite Things and I am sorry to say that I do not like this pattern much.  Having just completed an apron from an Amy Butler pattern, this pattern does not compare well.  The directions are sorely lacking.  They are so simple as to almost be difficult!  If it were not for the fact that there are some similarities between the apron and the skirt, I would have been frustrated.

The instructions for the waist, for example, just said to attach it to the skirt!  Being as the waist section is double sided, I ended up sewing the inside first and then folding it over, ironing it nicely, and sewing it on the outside.  Then, the direction said to just insert the elastic.  Well, the waist section is roughly 6 inches.  A 3/8 inch piece of elastic would have been swimming in there!  So, I sewed a casing to keep the elastic in place.  (see close up of waist.)  The other thing I did is to make pleats at front and back instead of gathers. I felt they would look nicer because they would lay flat.

The other thing I don't like about this pattern is that the skirt is in four pieces, so there is a seam down the front.  I do like the skirt enough to make it again, but I will cut it in two large pieces, each on the fold, to avoid the line down the middle.

This is not a pattern for a total beginner.  It would be confusing to you to not have precise directions.  Here is a good review of the pattern and modifications one can make.

Casing for the elastic.  Nicey Jane fabric by  Heather Bailey.

Pleats instead of gathers.  Pop Garden fabric by Heather Bailey.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finally! Well enough to sew.

For three weeks, I suffered through a flu which morphed into the worst sinus infection of all humanity.  Now, in week four, I am still recovering slowly but my head finally is not in too much pain to sew.

So, first up, I made the Pretty Knit fabric halter using a pattern from Monkesybug and Tiedyediva on Etsy. I love their patterns; they are fun and easy to use.  I used a small piece of jersey knit from Chez Ami.  Turned out great!

Then, I made an apron for a very nice friend of mine.  Being as she is a domestic goddess, it only made sense to make her The Domestic Goddess apron by Amy Butler, using her Midwest Modern Ohio Sky fabric.  Didn't it turn out pretty! Imagine it on a tall blonde. Gorgeous!

Closeup of fabric

Front and back view

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Upcycle Madness

I have been a bit enamored of the upcycle dress trend of late, especially those from Lilblueboo.  When my hubby came back from New York City last week with I ♥ NY shirts for everyone, I knew what I wanted to do with them:  turn them into dresses!  Lilblueboo's creator, Ashley, has patterns one can purchase from her Etsy shop but, sadly, they only go up to size 6!  My oldest daughter is a size 9, so I set about making my own version of her dress, without a pattern.

Here was my inspiration:

This is a Lilblueboo dress I find cute.

And here is what I made:

And I am never going to sew something without a pattern ever again.  LOL!  This was hard.  I used a bit of an Ottobre pattern to fashion the sleeves but otherwise I built this dress on my 7 year old daughter's body and she was not happy with my pinning!  I also did not trust my serging abilities to make the tiers serged on the outside, as LLB does, so I serged them on the inside as well.   I used rib knit for the red and turquoise and I am happy with that choice as I like the weight of it and the feel of it.  My daughter says it is a very cute and comfy dress and that is all that matters.

Now back to sewing with Ottobre!   More later...........

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Major craft project necessitates longest blog post to date!

I  have not attempted a major room overhaul in about 8 years.  Sure, I do bits and pieces of decorating every year but to take a room and dramatically transform it is not something I do a lot.

So, this project has me a bit anxious!  I am taking the man cave slash den of our home and transforming it into a little girl's room.  Everything had to leave the room. The walls had to be stripped bare of pictures, the curtain removed, and the furniture moved out.  The walls had to be painted, new curtains sewn, bedding purchased, decorations crafted, purchases stealthed from all over the internet in order to keep within budget.  And the transformation, almost complete, is dramatic!

I won't post the before pictures as they are embarrassing.  You just have to imagine a room cluttered with music magazines, instruments, bicycle gear, books, and random clutter.  Walls dinged up from guitar cases.  Children's art taped to the walls.  The carpet hidden underneath teak furniture and dark persian rugs.  The exact opposite, in every way, of what a little girl's room should look like.

It all started with this quilt.  I went a little gaga over it.  The bed, a queen, will be the centerpiece of the room.  A queen seems like a big bed for a three year old but we wanted to keep the flexibility of still having a space for visiting relatives to sleep.  So, the bedding has to be spectacular, what with the bed taking up so much space.  The room is only 10 X 12 but the amazing quilt, Betsy's Dolls, from Pottery Barn Kids, is perfect!  Isn't it adorable!  The quilt has so many colors no one will get bored and the dolls are not so cute that she won't love it for years to come.

So, after ordering custom shams and pillows from Etsy, and finding the perfect white with lavender ribbon sheets from PBK, I moved on to the walls.  What color?  I knew I wanted to do a happy yellow but it took a few visits to Sherwin Willams to sort it out.   I have to say, they are very helpful and have great customer service.  And their online tools are great.   We ended up settling on Optimistic Yellow, at 50% strength, so it is half as dark as this color swatch. 

I chose the Duration paint because it is low VOC  (low stink means fewer toxins to breathe) and it only needs one coat.  True to it's word, it is the best paint I have ever used.  It went on easily and is not nearly as stinky as regular paint. 

Next up, my friend and neighbor sent me a link to a wonderful decorating site.  Oh curses!  So many great ideas I had to use some.  Lucy and Company do amazing work!  I cannot afford it nor do I even live near them but, thanks to Etsy,  Ebay, and Michael's craft store, I can make some of them work on my own.   Aren't these room pics delish?

Did I mention we have my daughter's name in wooden letters already?  I love this desk and shelving unit setup and will be searching far and wide to find something cheap we can transform to get this look. 


I found a seller on Etsy to make me tulips and daisies like these! I will paint and mount them on my own as a sort of mock headboard, just like these.  

I also found a lavender gingham bedskirt from PBK on Ebay and a twin bed sheet set to match.   The bedskirt will fit the queen-sized bed, but the sheet set I will use to make a valence and to cover a bulletin board that I got at Michael's.  If I have fabric leftover, I plan to make a long bed roll pillow like in the picture above.  Such fun!  And I love the old desk transformed with paint.  My friend will help me to find a desk that will suit our needs and then I can paint it to match.  Being as little one is only three, we are in no hurry.  It could even be a small table instead.  I love the covered stool, in the pic of the desk, as well as the bulletin board with the hand painted frame.  Finally, an old table transformed with paint into a bedside table!  What a fun and funky idea.

So many great ideas just from one website!

The first stage of this room transformation will be done this weekend and I will post pics then.  What fun!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I have been busy

Holy cow, has it really been two weeks since I blogged! I was out of town for the week of mother's day, visiting my lovely mother in Oregon.   Upon my return, I have been decluttering and organizing my home like a crazy woman in order to give my soon to be three year old her own big girl room.  So exciting!  But busy. I have also been planting our new food garden.  We have three planter beds now with peas, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, walla walla sweet onions, beets, two lettuces, and two different kinds of carrots.  What a ton of work to turn a section of lawn into planter beds.  Kudos to my hubby for doing the brawny, manly work and leaving the fun jobs (the actual gardening) to me.  To this, we will add our berries and fruit trees. Don't have any new pictures but here are some old ones.

These are berries are from our last year's crop:  Blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, and strawberries.

Here are some pears. I don't know what they are as the trees, which came with the house, have grafts of four different pears on each.

Here is the bedding I chose for my soon to be three year olds new room.  Isn't it pretty?  I love it. It is called Betsy's Dolls and it is from Pottery Barn Kids. I got a great price because, luckily for me, I fell in love with it just as it was leaving the stores and was on clearance!  Had to order it from a store back east but who cares at the price I got!

Her room will be painted a pale butter yellow but I am lost as to what to do for the valence or curtains for her one window?  It has a blind so it only has to be decorative.  If you have any fabric suggestions to go with this quilt of many colors, please send them my way!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I hate rib knit as binding

I officially have a hate-hate relationship with the rib knit I bought to do bindings.  I will not name the company I bought it from but it does not have release in it to stretch back to where it should be.  I worked on this Ottobre nightgown in several ways before giving up on the rib knit bound neckline.  Because I had to cut it off, it made the neckline of the dress too wide.  I solved the problem by using the same lycra as on the sleeves for a wide, v-neck.  It is not perfect but it looks ok.  (especially from a distance)

I also decided not to use the rib knit on the cuffs and just did a simple rolled hem for the cuffs and skirt hem.

I think it turned out ok.  It will function nicely as a nightgown for an almost three year old.  It is, at least, a nightgown not covered in fire retardants and not made from polyester.  That, in itself, is a good thing.  And, someday, I will try this pattern again with a different brand of rib knit.

Pattern is from Ottobre 6/2009, # 36

Simple pants, big mistakes

Ack, I made a mistake cutting out these cute little pants from Ottobre 3/2006.  They are pattern #23.   First of all, I could not follow the directions at all.  I read them several times through but they were just impossible for me to figure out.  Perhaps Ottobre was not so good at English translations back then?  Anyway, I figured they could not possibly be that hard to put together so I decided to wing it.  When I started to sew them together at the seam between the legs, one end was longer than the other! I had already worked hard to get beautiful ruffles and a lovely rolled hem, so I had to wing it again to fix the problem.

To solve the problem, I had to cut that seam shorter on one side but then the whole waist was too short for my child.  At this point, I was enjoying listening to the Wicked soundtrack so much, I decided to just keep going.  I added an extension to the waist to make a basically flat waist yoke.  (I think that is what it is called)  I added the elastic and Voila!  Problem solved.

Took one and a half rounds of the entire Wicked CD to sew these, btw.   Defy Gravity!

Fabric is from Robyn Pandolph's Flirt collection and I bought it from Flame Cranium on Etsy.   
Look for her link to the right side of my blog.

Next up, a twirly dress to go with these pants, same fabric collection.  
 It will be long enough to hide that terrible waist band. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I made another skirt today. It is from the same Etsy pattern mentioned in my last post.  It is such an easy pattern to make and yet it looks really cute and fresh and stylish.  I love it!  And you can see that the new owner does as well. 

I also made a dress for Barbie, with some leftover material.  No pattern, just built it on her.  That was easier said than done when it came to finishing this tiny garment.  But I think it is cute and my little girls loves.  That is all that counts. 

Close up of Barbie in her new stylin' dress.   
Cap sleeves, darts in front to show off her waist, gathered skirt is a bit poofy.  
Velcro closure in back.   Making a ruffled skirt for such a tiny waist is hard!