Monday, December 15, 2014

the fancy dress

Do all 4 year old girls love fancy dresses? Because even my decidedly not fancy child really does! Since I had some fabric left over after making the tiny ones jacket, I decided I could make a dress for the bigger little. A little bit of spin, a little bit of sparkle, and we are good to go.

The dress is the caroline party dress by Mouse House Creations. The style is perfect and the pattern is simple and comes together great! It has a huge range of sizes so I know I will get to use it again and the fit is lovely. I made a 3T bodice with 4T length for my tall skinny girl and it fits quite well.




She chose the red lining with gold dots and the black sparkly tulle. I hate that tulle, but she loves it so I deal. I installed my first invisible zipper and it is not quite invisible, but it works. She wants a green ribbon for a belt so we are on the hunt for that and she plans to alternate her red tights and her silver tights with hearts. She looks so darn cute in it I can't stand it and happily, she has at least 4 chances to wear it this year! Maybe one of those times I'll even get a good picture!






So that was a fun make and I am already plotting one for a birthday perhaps? We'll see when the time gets nearer I suppose. But anyway, we are in the home stretch here before we leave so I am a bit crazed. I am looking forward to sharing a few gifts eventually too, once they are all given.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

yet another travel bag

Alright, I really have to stop making a new bag for my child every time we are about to travel. It's getting ridiculous! And yes, I am well aware that I made her a suitcase last year, but it has since become the spot for doll clothes, so this year I felt we needed a new bag. A duffle style bag that could be thrown around and squished in the car without fear of its demise.




Initally, the entire thing was going to be a surprise. But as it turns out, I like surprises a lot more than she does and usually she is pretty unimpressed, so I decided to let her pick out the fabrics. She got to pick out all the fabrics and the zipper and then I put it all together. The one piece that remained a surprise was the sparkly ribbon used for the handles, and that part was such a good surprise that I got an "I love mom" song, which I subsequently recorded and then whipped out the next time she hated me (roughly an hour later ha!). Oh parenting....




Anyway, I used the make your getaway pattern from gingercakes in the childrens size, which I have used a couple of times before in the larger adult size. The lining is a home decor fabric that I happened to have enough of and I added a gathered and elasticized pocket, split in half, on the inside. I considered more pockets, but at this point they are just a place for her to hide things and me to have to clean out, so this will be perfect for socks and underwear, and the outfits will go in the middle. I will say that I should have added piping, which might be always true, but oh well. I didn't have any and a run to the store was not in the cards.




So next year I imagine I will make some sort of travel bag for the smaller one. Or me. Or anyone that I might imagine needs one :)  Believe it or not, I still have some things to share so I will hopefully get around to that and also get everything done before we leave. The race is on!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

mama jammies

It is time to start sharing some of the things that I have been making lately. I am going to start with some jammies that I made for myself. I am still really working on making clothes for myself and getting my wardrobe to a better place, and this round of things was primarily to test out some patterns before I make the good version.  I used 3 patterns, the easy t-shirt, julia cardigan, and hudson pants, the last two of which are from one of the perfect pattern parcels. Please excuse the crappy pictures.

The t-shirt fits pretty well. It's a free one drafted only in a Large. My test version has some pretty serious problems. As in, the neckband went so badly that I didn't bother finishing the sleeves or hem since I was just making it to sleep in. That said, it's still comfy. I don't know if it is my perfect tee or not, I have a couple more to try, but it was simple and I like it.



Next up were the hudson pants. I went with the cropped length and a size...12 maybe? I forget, but it ended up bigger than I expected and I might have to size down if I make another pair. I have another lounge pant pattern to try, so we'll see, but they came together pretty well and look pretty nice. What I really need is a pattern I can use to make a pair of non-stretch sweatpants, and this is one I may try.  Made out of an old sheet, these are so comfortable!



The Julia cardigan came about because I wanted something to throw on for colder nights or in the mornings that would be comfy with no buttons or zippers or anything. It is perfect. I made a large and used more of that same old modal sheet that had a hole in it and it is comfy and wonderful. I have plans for another couple, a short sleeve and another long sleeve I think.




So there they are. I have another shirt that I need to find time to take some pictures of while wearing it, and eventually I am going to make some things with the nicer fabric I have. Still to come, a bag, and a dress. I also started another quilt although who knows when I will get around to having that finished. In the meantime, happy week, friends!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I-spy a finished quilt!

Holy crap, it's December already! Perhaps it goes without saying, but it's crunch time. While I have not made it to this space much recently (trying to cut back on the computer time a bit) I have been sewing up a storm! I have made some really good progress that I am looking forward to sharing, and I am going to start with a finished, and gifted, quilt!



I have already mentioned this one a couple of times as I was working on it, but I have finished the i-spy economy block quilt for the preschool teacher and it has been given, and I believe already used for a picnic :)





Despite many many problems along the way, this turned out well. I am glad it won't be living at my house where I can see the mistakes every time I look at it, but it is somewhere that it will be super used and loved. I let the little one help me with laying out the blocks and she did a great job. She has such a good eye and it is so much fun seeing her carefully consider and then choose her combinations, even if it does test my inner control freak a little bit. The teacher was so impressed when I told her that I didn't do any of the color combinations.



I backed it with a polyester microfiber sheet from target, and while it is so cute, it was not worth the hassle. I think I have only really had problems with puckers on the back when using a polyester sheet, so I think I am done going down that road.  The quilting is organic wavy lines across, since I figured that would be pretty secure for a bunch of preschoolers, and the binding is scraps that I had laying around. It feels good to have made a quilt. I won't tell you how many more I'd like to make....but there's a new year coming and it is filled with possibility!

Still to come, a bunch of clothes for me, a holiday dress for the little, and a duffle bag for our travels, and then maybe it will be time to share some gifts. Our holiday journey begins on the 18th so I am feeling pretty pressed for time since I essentially lose a week. And hopefully in that time I will start my sweater so I can work on it while we are gone if I feel so inclined. With any luck, I will be back soon to share some of those other makes!

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 :)