Thursday, July 24, 2014

a few tiny things

I have rediscovered my love of sewing things for tiny people! I mainly sew for the bigger one since the little has the hand-me-downs, but recently I have been making more for the tiny one and it is so much fun! So rewarding and she can't have an opinion about it yet, so it's much easier :) I can't believe that she will be a year old in a few weeks! More than that, I can't believe I am making her 18 month clothes! Still, her strong opinions will be coming soon so I better enjoy it while it lasts.

Right before we went on vacation we decided to do family pictures with my entire family while we were there. And since we were the only ones traveling, we got to pick our outfits first. I am proud to say that we wore 3/4 mama made clothes! I wore my peasant dress, the bigger one wore her birthday dress and I decided to make the tiny one a shirt. I really would have made a dress, but they get in the way of her crawling so I went with a tunic length roller skate dress. I used a peppered cotton for the outer and a purple gingham for the lining. It's finished off with a little bit of pink ribbon for the button loop and a black button. I really love how it turned out, actually. I would have used the fabric for a shirt for me if I'd had enough, it's so soft, but I guess I'll just have to get more (oh darn...).

She also needed some jammies. She just outgrows the feety ones so quickly, and since she is now in my pattern sizes, I made her a pair of alex and annas winter pjs. I made her the 18 month size which is still a bit big, but I am sure she will grow into them soon enough. I used the serger for these almost entirely and it made quick work of them. It is a pretty simple pattern that comes together quickly. And man does she look cute in her mama made jammies!

Now that those are done, I am trying to convince myself to work on some other things that need attention. Of course, I am pretty easily distracted at the moment, but I do almost have a quilt quilted, so that's something. I really need to sit down and make a list and organize myself for what is to come, so hopefully I'll find some time for that soon.

Monday, July 21, 2014

christmas {cross stitch} in july

Alright, I am not usually into the whole, christmas in july thing, but this just ended up working out. I am entirely finished my Kawaii Winter Sampler cross stitch and I love it so much! It felt like it took forever to make those 10,369 stitches, but this end result is so worth it.

I bought this pattern almost 2 years ago, I think, and had every intention of starting it then; I even got all the supplies and was ready to go. However, I knew I wanted to use a linen, which I had no idea how to do, and got frustrated and we were moving, and it just kind of got shoved in a drawer. And stayed there. But no lie, I am on a ufo rampage and have it all just about cleared out (I still have to tackle the intentioned projects that I have everything for but haven't even gotten as far as any kind of start), so this had to get done. Not to mention it is freaking adorable and I really wanted to be able to enjoy it this upcoming holiday season. So I figured it would be best to just do it while the motivation was there and I am so glad that I did!

I started it about a week into June, I think and got it framed up yesterday, so I guess it didn't take all that much time, all things considered. The linen is tea dyed, with a strange combination of black and oolong tea that I had in the house, and it came out pretty well. The heat did shrink the fabric a bit so that made things a little wonky, but it seemed to work out anyway. As far as the actual pattern, I did use quite a bit of embroidery floss that I already had so the colors for some of them are a bit different (I have one of those inherited old lady floss stashes which a gazillion ancient colors), and I opted to change the one framing color to a slightly darker gray, just because I liked it. The only problem with that was that the penguin is a bit darker, but I like the higher contrast between frames. The white does get a bit lost, probably partly because it is one of those ancient colors I mentioned, and not the bright white called for. Oh, and I used a different metallic gold that is more champagne than gold.

I spent a lot of time debating the frame. That it needed to be square was obvious, so I found one I liked, but the basic color options were not working and bringing out the colors as I had hoped. White washed them out, black was too get the idea, so I bought a white one and spray painted it this lovely deep red. I must say, I think it is the perfect finishing touch. I very much look forward to getting this out every year and enjoying it for the holiday season.

I am so glad to have this one out of the drawer! Now I am just taking a reading break before I start my next long term project: a sweater! I also did get a bit of sewing done last week and am hopeful about finishing a couple more things this week. I really have some quilts that need attention, so we'll see if I can find the attention span to deal with them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

in action

Hey! It's been a while. Between traveling and sickness close behind, I have just not found the time to be in this space. I am hoping we are past the worst and will start getting better soon, but woah, mama and two little girls all sick at the same time, not so good. I am actually finished my cross stitch now and just need to get it all framed up and then I can share that, which means that pretty soon I will start knitting my sweater (!!!) and I am pretty excited. I also have a few smaller things to sew, some cut and others ready to be cut, so things should start picking up soon.

In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of action shots of the clothes I made for the girlies recently. Each of them wore their little dress on the big ones birthday and looked just fantastic. The baby had a bit of a problem crawling with it in the way, so I guess no more dresses until we've moved on to walking. Also, the babe is blurry because she is almost always blurry in pictures, what with always being on the move. Anyway, here they are!

With any luck, I'll be back soon with some pretty things :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

birthday things!

In this second installment of birthday things, we get down to the gifts! Naturally I had big plans and not much time, so I ended up making her two things.

First up was a messenger bag that is just her size. I found this pattern, and was all set to follow it to make a super cute bag, but when I printed out the pieces, I simply could not figure out how the flap would fit on the bottom. So I made some patchwork and instead of cutting it out, I left it larger and it worked pretty well. I still think the flap is too big, but that's okay. And an adjustable strap, that's just sweet! Hopefully it will help the bag grow with her.

She picked out the flap fabric and helped with the coordinates, and I just love it. I have been saving this fabric for just the right thing and this was totally it. So now she is all ready for a roadtrip.  We won't talk about the fact that it is so full that the flap barely covers it....

The other thing I made her was an alphabet pillow. She is totally in an alphabet phase and always points out letters and figures out sounds, and I saw a print somewhere that had the alphabet and then highlighted I and U and turned the O into a heart, so I incorporated that. I used felt and fused the letters and stitched them down with batting and a back to quilt it and give it a bit more body. The back is some argyle I have been saving for just the right thing and she has been asking me to make her something out of it. I used black piping around the edge and a zipper (with a flap) in the back. I couldn't help but be surprised how professional and perfect it came out! I serged all the seams inside to finish the edges too. I am happy to report she loves it!

And with that, happy long weekend! We will be traveling and celebrating and generally being super tired. Travel with little people is exhausting to say the least. Hopefully the baby holds up and we make it back in one piece!  And I am just going to go ahead and try not to think about how I have a 4 year old and that just blows my mind :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

a dress for the birthday girl

I kind of love making dresses for my little girls, and birthday dresses are the very best kind. This is the 4th birthday dress for this little love of mine (others here, here, and here) and it is possibly my favorite yet. It is fun as she gets older to get more input from her about what she'd like. This year the requirement, once again, was a spinny dress. She first was going for something like this, but after I explained how freaking hot all those layers would be in the dead of summer, we decided maybe something a little lighter was in order. Enter the Scene VI dress.

It is perfect. I am not kidding when I say that I want one in my size. We looked through my voile scraps to pick fabrics for the top, opting to omit the piecing and just have one fabric triangles. She picked the fabric placements and chose the color for the skirt, and it is just awesome. And let me tell you, this dress can spin. I wish I had a picture of it, but my model was being uncooperative so I'll have to try again later.

I made her a 3T with the 4T length for my tall skinny girl and it fits perfectly. I probably could have gotten away with the 4 all around, but honestly, I won't mind making her another when she outgrows it. The hardest part was sewing around for the elastic casing (I don't really understand the elastic, but oh well) and I definitely had the skirt get a little wonky. Hemming was another headache, but worth it in the long as you don't look too closely, it's fine. Also it called for 1.5" elastic and I used about half that width. The most exciting part was putting in the bra slider. It was simple and makes this so much easier. That is one of the main problems with kids dresses, the straps are either not adjustable or they tie and come undone.

Really, I hope she has a great time wearing this and spinning in it for her birthday. And I do honestly hope I get to make more of these beautiful dresses in the future.

Friday, June 27, 2014

some sweet bags

I love making bags! So useful, and in this case pretty easy to make. Perfect little projects. Two bags have snuck their way into my making recently. To one of them I say "finally!" and the other, well that little cutie just snuck in there to help me avoid other things.

I don't know how long grocery bags have been on my to-do list. It is definitely a long time though. Deciding on a pattern has been tough, but I finally found one that I really wanted to try. It was a quick make and I love the way it turned out, now I just need to test it for a while to figure out if I want more of that particular kind. I ended up making mine reversible, mostly because I didn't have any big enough cuts for a solid lining. But in my mind there is an outside since on side is linen and decor weight fabric. This bag is huge! I am going to start out by testing it on our trip and then putting it into the grocery bag rotation to see how it goes, but if it works well, I will definitely be making more.

The other bag is a project bag. Because when you spend so much time anticipating making a sweater, and getting yarn and needing to transport said yarn to use your father's yarn winder, obviously it needs a pretty bag. Made from absolute favorite fabrics.

This bag is a mash up of probably 4 different project bags I have seen and liked. I mostly used this one from Very Shannon, but I did the drawstring differently so it is not reversible and figured out my own measurements for the different fabrics.I made a bigger one, using a 16" square. I did interface the outer fabrics and I will say that the essex linen made the drawstring casing a little tougher to open and close, but I love it so much that I don't care. The lining used two fabrics only because I didn't have enough of the flower one to line the entire thing, but I love it and having the darker fabric in the bottom will help hide dirt/fuzz anyway.  It stands up pretty well on its own and is big enough that it should fit a sweater I think. I am so in love with this bag that I know I will find a use for it, whether it involves a project or not. Admittedly there were probably other things I should have been doing when I made this, but I am sure whatever it was got done eventually.

I do still have a couple little pouches that I really should make before I leave, so I should probably make some time and do that. And pack, definitely pack. Next up: birthday awesome! Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

this and that

Do you remember how I said when I felt overwhelmed, it seemed like a good idea to start a new quilt? Because apparently that is actually a thing I do. I thought at the time that it was kind of a one-off thing, like maybe just then because I had been waiting to make that particular quilt or something. But no, I've done it again. Unfortunately, this will not be nearly as quick as the last time, so I may be putting myself in for yet another long term project. I just got this block in my head the other night and So I started sketching and thinking and working out the math and in the morning sewing and ripping and drawing and playing until I had just what I wanted. And I'll tell you, I love it. But they take forever and being the crazy person I am, I really want a pretty big quilt of them. They finish at 6" so it is going to take quite a few of them and this represents all of them that I got made this weekend. So, there's that. On the plus side, it should be a mighty good scrap buster, which I need right now :)

In other news, I am stitching away at my kawaii winter sampler from the frosted pumpkin stitchery. I got it years ago and even got all the materials and everything and it has just been sitting and waiting. Finally as part of my cleaning out all the things, I pulled it out. It is the last thing standing between me and sweater making, so I am pretty determined and have been spending all the time I can working at it. It takes longer than I'd like and I don't think I love cross stitch, but I do absolutely love the way it is coming together and I am very much looking forward to having this one to hang up this winter. Even if I am actually driving myself a little crazy with it right now.  The top left corner looks a little wonky, but I promise it isn't.

The cross stitch is really what is sucking up most of my time right now, but I have some serious cleaning and packing to do since we will be away next week to see family and celebrate a certain little girl turning 4(!!!!). Next week I will finally share the birthday things I have been making her, and let me tell you, they are pretty awesome. I guess after we get through that, I have a certain 1st birthday to prepare myself for....oh boy. I don't know if my mama heart can take all this excitement haha. Anyway, I'll be back soon with some other little things that have been happening.