Monday, November 17, 2014

one more for the small one

I thought I was done making things for the littlest. And then, it turned out I wasn't. She needed a jacket, and while outerwear is something I go back and forth on being willing to make, I figured I could handle a little between seasons number for her. Enter the Urban Weekender Coat by Heidi & Finn, a perfect fall coat.

I honestly was not entirely sure that it was going to look the way I imagined with a more drapey fabric, but actually, it's better! I had this fabric laying around that I got on clearance with the thought of a jacket or skirt or something, and decided a soft fluffy lining was in order to add some warmth, so I got some smooth minky stuff. I like the sparkle outer a lot and it wasn't as bad to work with as I was afraid (spoiler: the other kid is probably getting a holiday dress out of what I have left). In fact the coat came together perfectly. I made the 18 month size, and I probably should have gone up a size to fit more layers under, but this keeps it slim which is good for the carseat, so there's that.

The buttons were perfect and have been sitting in my stash for ages, so that was pretty happy. I love the cowl collar and it looks so cute on her I can't stand it! She looks so grown up! All in all, a very satisfying afternoon sew.

Next up: a quilt top, and then some mama clothes sewing!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

quilt blocks!

No kidding, guys, I've actually been working on a quilt! And since I don't know when I will get around to another, I am really trying to enjoy this one. I started collecting I-spy type blocks a while ago with the idea of making a quilt for my little people at some point. Then the little one started preschool and her teacher is amazing and I saw the picnic blankets they were using, and well, I am sure you can see where this is going.

So I am making an economy block quilt, using 5" squares for the center, with blocks finishing around 9" when I sew them all together. 81 blocks should make a very respectable quilt, I think.

As far as fabric, I cut a square from everything I had that would work for a center and bought a small charm pack on etsy to fill it in. Then I cut all the squares for the surrounding pieces and let the little on match everything up however she wanted. My only rule was that they couldn't be so similar that you couldn't tell the squares apart, and it worked out pretty well. She picks such amazing combinations and I love watching her think about it and decide what goes with what.

So now I just have to get these turned into a quilt top, and then a quilt, hopefully pretty soon. In the meantime, I have one more thing to sew for the littlest before I start on my clothes and then some giftish things. I think having this quilt top out of the way will free up some mental space and help me feel like I am getting things finished, and it will be even better when the whole quilt is finished. Slowly but surely, progress is made.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

drachenfels {the finish}

I am a knitting madwoman! Let it be known that even though it took me days to block and photograph this beauty (thanks crappy weather), it was finished by the end of October, which is what I was aiming for. This is the drachenfels pattern, by Melanie Berg. I kind of love her patterns and do have plans for others eventually. I fell in love with this one as soon as some test knits started popping up, and it was a long wait before it was published, but oh it was worth it!

I admit my color choices are a bit suspect and more of a throwing together of what I had instead of a careful selection, but I love it. I used knitsomniac designs plushy sock yarn in stormy weather and sea glass, and a skein of plucky primo in miss manners. An odd pairing, to be sure, and definitely a bit more spring and less fall, but I can't even begin to tell you how soft and wonderful this thing is.

It did turn out a bit smaller then the pattern said. I used a fingering weight yarn but the swatch was fine once I blocked it and all measurements are right except for across the top, which is substantially shorter. However, it is still plenty big and I am not in the least worried about it, just thought I would mention it. I think something about my increases was too tight so that top edge doesn't have the stretch it is supposed to. It was a super easy and enjoyable knit and I already kind of want to make another one.

Between this, the zilver shawl I made at the beginning of the year, and my rayures cowl, I think it is time to stop making things for my neck for a while haha. Instead, I am moving on to a pair of fingerless mitts, which seem a bit intimidating, but I am going to give it a go. I may also sneak in some top secret holiday knitting if I can manage it, but we'll see how time is going I guess. Also, I have actually been using my sewing machine and making a quilt! Seriously! Proof will be coming soon :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

the dragon and the princess

I learned a very important thing about myself last week. I really hate making costumes. I don't even know why, it's not hard and it's not that different from clothes which I generally don't mind making, but for whatever reason, I really dislike it. I am not ridiculous enough to say that I am never making another, because I am sure it will happen, but I just want to put it out there that I don't like it.

That said, I spent last week making costumes for the kiddos and I must say, they came out pretty cute. The big one wanted to be a dragon because her name means "little dragon" and since her sisters name can mean "princess" it just seemed too good to pass up. Initially, daddy was in charge of costumes this year, but in the end, he didn't have time or know how to use my sewing machine so I helped. A lot. I got a pattern for the dragon from joanns and modified it so I didn't have to make the entire body suit, which I didn't have the fabric for. I had a ton of felt so we picked the colors and I made a hood, tail, foot covers and mittens, and daddy made the wings. It came together pretty nicely with some things she already had and I think she made a pretty great dragon. The fire was obviously the coolest.

For my little princess I used the piece of cake dress by anna maria horner (again). I made the 12 month size since that is the biggest and just added a bunch of length. The fabric is an old curtain so I didn't have to hem and I put a panel down the front with some lacy bits to princess it up. The hat obviously makes it. I covered her birthday hat and added some elastic and the little fabric piece coming down. I admit I was really surprised that she kept the hat on most of the night. It was terribly cute and naturally she had a sign.

Sure wish I'd gotten a good picture of them together, but I'm pretty sure that's the story of my life. In case you are wondering, daddy and I had signs too and went as villagers haha. They looked cute and had a good time, so I guess that's a win no matter how much I didn't like the process. Now I am going back to my quilt. Yes, you read that right, I am working on a quilt and it is wonderful. It is my break before I jump into a bunch of the other clothes/gift stuff on my list.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

wee{ish} little clothes....

So, apparently it is Thursday already? Somehow that happened. I am not entirely sure I know how. But anyway, here we are. I would like to state for the record that these cute clothes I am about to share have been done for a week, and I even snapped some pictures before life happened and did not allow me to post them. These are all for the tiny one, who, as it turns out, is not actually tiny. I used 18 month for all of these and they fit a bit too well, but hopefully we'll make it through the winter. Thankfully winter is short here and they are quick and easy to make if she does outgrow them.

First up, a set of flashback skinny tees. The bird one is a knit from joanns that I've had lying around, and the other is one of daddys old t-shirts that ended up in my pile. Don't tell him, but it looks way cuter on her :)

Next on the list was a pair of jammies. These are the same alex and anna winter pjs that I have made her before, and they are still slightly large, but they work.

Finally I found this hoodie pattern at joanns (yay $0.99!!) and decided to give it a go. I do prefer the digital since the instructions are always better, but I made it through and ended up with a cute shirt. I almost wish it was my size, I just love it. I only had enough of this great pink/silver stripe fabric to make something for her, and I am glad I found a worthy project before she outgrew it. The sizing is a bit funny, and I made her the 1 size and it is a bit big, mostly in the sleeves, but dang it's still cute.

So that's my main accomplishment recently. I think I am going to finish my shawl this week and then I just need to figure out where to block it. Currently, though, I am stuck in costume making hell. I am not sure how I got sucked into this, but I think next year we may just buy the costumes because this is really not my thing. As long as it is reasonably cute and she has something to wear tomorrow (ahh!!!), I guess it will be alright. Once I get that done, I am totally stealing some quilting time! I have some blocks waiting to be sewn that have been taunting me all week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

a big, boring list that doesn't even have pictures

I have spent the better part of the past day or two, considering the things I need to get done. I am overwhelmed, to say the least, and at this point I have no idea what is a realistic goal, which is killing me. Obviously, I thrive on lists, goals, order, and finishing things, so this spot I'm in, it's not great for me. I have so many big things that will take a while and not much that I can finish to propel myself forward, and the things that need doing span so many categories. It isn't even really a WIP post since most things aren't even in progress at this point. It is making me feel crazy and scatterbrained, so I am going to try to list things out and get a handle on them. There is always the possibility that this will make things worse, but I am going to have to face it all sooner or later, especially since I'd like most of it done by the end of the year.

economy block for the preschool teacher: I have all the center fussy cut squares, and have started the outer squares, but I need time to finish the cutting and get to sewing. I'd like to give it before winter break.
DWR: I am almost halfway done the arcs and I need to test out a block to make sure I can handle this. I have also had the low volume pile for the centers sitting around for months and I would like to be able to use them for other things....
scrappy pinwheel things: this may get rethought, I don't know yet, but I think it may end up on the babies bed when we convert it to a toddler bed

clothes (babe) {I just cut these out yesterday and hope to start sewing them up today maybe. Poor thing really needs some warmer clothes.}
flashback skinny tees

clothes (me)
julia cardigan: I have the pattern printed and I think I have some fabric to use
hudson pants x2: I have the fabric for a pj test pair and then I'd like a sweatpant pair
wrap top: I have fabric but need to order the pattern still
easy t-shirts: my next attempt in trying to find the perfect t-shirt
lane raglan: yes, I need another.

gifts {this is as far as I've gotten on this list but I'm sure it will grow}
duffle bag for the little: the plans are set, the zipper and straps are purchased, lining decided, need to get going
stuffed cat
stuffed dog

little's book: need to order more pictures and make it and pretty much everything
littlest's book: the pictures are all in the book! now for journaling and decorating and such.

drachenfels shawl: I am making good progress on this, and hopefully will have it done by the end of the month
fingerless mitts: pattern and yarn selected, this is coming next so I can wear them when it's cold
grace cardigan: this will be my long term winter knit I think, so whenever the mitts are done, this will begin.

And this is the realistic list with the things I know I am going to make, not even the wish list! I'm trying to convince myself it's really not that bad. And hopefully I will hit a productive streak and it will start going faster, but I still feel a little like I am drowning. I am going to take this week and try to finish up the baby clothes so she has more than one pair of pjs, and some shirts, and then decide what I can manage next. I also got a totally brilliant idea for how to make the t-shirt quilts for the girls out of their old baby clothes, but that has not even made it to the list yet. As ever, more ideas than time. Happily, I do feel better now that I've gotten all that out and have picked my starting point, and it is one that should produce some finishes pretty quickly, so hopefully I'll be back with those soon :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Baby books in progress

Hey friends! I just thought it was time to pop in and say hi. I have been doing so, so much but have very little to show for it. I have continued knitting up a storm and am still hopeful that I will have my shawl done by the end of the month.

A large portion of my efforts, however, have been poured into a scrapbook of the littlest babe throughout her first year. I have spent the last few weeks collecting pictures and scraps of paper with notes about her on it and am now putting it all together. I am a bit over halfway done putting the pictures in and then I have to go back and do the journaling.

I am doing it like a homemade smash book. I took 12x12 scrapbook paper, figured out how many pages I needed, glued them back to back to make single pages, got some chipboard for covers and had it bound at fedex. I love the binding, I just hope the paper will hold up and the pictures will stay on through the little people looking through them.  These are just a couple pages I love, out of the 30-something I've done so far...and there will be a total of 76.

It seems pretty impressive, what with her only being 14 months old at this point, but I still haven't made one for the first kid, so that's up next. I had a box of things for her but when I went through it I realized I still need more pictures printed. Soon I will get that all sorted out and eventually these will be done! I also have clothes to make, at least one quilt, a bag, and some holiday gifts. I think perhaps my next task will be to make and prioritize a, I do believe that is how I will get next week started. For now, I will try to finish up all these pictures and hopefully enjoy a lovely fall weekend with my sweet little family and visiting brother-in-law. Happy weekend!