This one has nothing to do with the traveling theme, but at least I made it this week. This is the simple skirt from MADE. It’s my third time with this pattern, after making two unicorn skirts before. This is such a fast sew. Perfect for this, a birthday gift for one of E’s preschool friends. I used the full width of the fabric, 15 inch length, and 1 inch elastic. Nothing much to say about this one except that I do love this strawberry fabric from Heather Ross. Lovely and light and the colors make me so happy. To go along with the skirt I whipped up some hair bows from the free Oliver+S pattern. Super fast and super easy. Kid’s Clothes Week summer edition + strawberries seems pretty perfect.
Just a little sewing project to share today. These bags are made from the Lil cutie pouch tutorial by Anna Graham at Noodlehead. These are the third and fourth pouches I’ve made this spring. They are really fast.
The pouch is intended to hold a phone, money, makeup or other little things, with a key ring on the outside. The original tutorial is from 2009 and phones have gotten bigger since then. In order to fit a regular iPhone 6 inside, I enlarged the pieces of the black and white pouch a bit. I also cut the lining of both pouches to be 1/4″ shorter than the exterior pieces because the linings bunched up at the bottom of the first two I made.
The black and white one is for my sister’s birthday, matching a bag I made for her a while back. The other one will go to E’s preschool teacher. I might make another pouch for myself or I might just dive in to a project in Anna’s new book.
Also, I thought it would be more fun to take pictures with the kids helping. Ha!
My grandmother was a quilter and an amazing lady. She passed away last spring at the age of 94.
I love that we have so many of her quilts and it made me want to spend my time not only making clothes but making things that we can (hopefully) use for years to come. I decided that it was time for me to finally make E a quilt. I’ve been considering options and planning this quilt for two years while E patiently uses her crib-sized quilt.
Making a quilt is such a huge undertaking and I struggled with the number of options. I considered a rainbow squares quilt, pulled a bunch of yellows to make this picnic blanket, and then finally saw this quilt from Alicia Paulson and decided on simple stripes. I added some more yellow fabrics from my stash and from my grandmother’s shelves. In her last few years my grandmother wasn’t able to quilt and encouraged me to use her fabric in my projects. I love the many pieces from her in this quilt as well as scraps from other projects I’ve made.
To make the quilt I cut four inch wide strips of varying length. I sewed the strips into rows and then pieces the rows together at random. I used a thin cotton batting, machine quilted in the ditch, and then bound the quilt with shot cotton. I’ve made some small quilts before but this was my biggest undertaking. I did recall little tips and tricks from my grandmother but I so wish she’d been here to consult on fabric, help me straighten everything out, decide on a backing, and baste the pieces together. I also wish I hadn’t used so much yellow in the quilt but I’ve learned quite a bit for next time.
I also made two matching pillows. These are 20″ pillows from IKEA with a lapped zipper cover. I used this tutorial from Delia Creates to make the cover. The main fabric is the same as the quilt binding and hopefully tones down the yellow a bit.
Far from perfect, but finished in time for E’s birthday. Finally, a proper big girl bed.
Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! I have two little felt crafts to share today. First, I was part of a mom’s group Valentine exchange. After searching through all of Purl Bee’s wonderful collection of crafts I decided the Sweetheart Charms would be fun and easy enough to make multiple times. So I used wool felt to stitch up 12 little hearts. I used baker’s twine for the loops and skipped the stuffing to make these easier to mail.
Because of the thickness of the felt and knotted twine I was concerned that they wouldn’t lie flat enough in the envelopes. So I cut up some old Nikki McClure calendars to make little envelopes. I love her art so much and always keep her calendars around to repurpose.
And then I mailed these off to other moms around the country (and world!).
When it comes to little crafts felt is always my favorite. Which brings me to my other heart-shaped craft. Last Valentine’s Day I made a heart garland inspired by the one Gail made (that was in turn based off a tutorial from Made By Rae).
I was happy to pull these hearts out again. I love making holiday decorations that you can reuse each year. It’s mostly been up around the window or mirror but O was happy to play with it while reading his farm book this morning.
And unrelated, I realized that it’s been two years since my first post here. What a fun two years they have been. I’ve learned so much and enjoyed getting to know so many of you. Thanks for being along for the ride!
I have two little projects to share today. Both were intended to be Christmas gifts for the kids but I ran out of time before the holidays . For E, I made a little sleeping bag from the Flossie Teacakes pattern. I’ve wanted to make this for years, even since seeing them on Gail‘s blog. Then a friend reminded me about the pattern and it finally moved to the top of my to sew list. This is the smallest of the three sizes, to fit her little pups.
It’s a bit of a tight squeeze to fit in both pups so I’m tempted to make another one with different dimensions. It would be easy to alter the pattern to be extra wide and not as long. This pattern was so easy and fast that I decided to make another one. We’ll probably use this one as a gift for one of E’s preschool friends. I love the Red Riding Hood fabric, leftover from her Red Riding Hood Cape.
For the record, it is a little tricky to get good pictures of stuffed animals. Especially given the serious (melancholy? sleepy?) expression on these little pups. But she loves them so.
Last time I made bibs I struggled a bit to get the bias tape lined up correctly. So this time I tried Rachel‘s suggestion to finish the binding with a zigzag stitch. This was quick, has held up well so far, and I like the look on a bib. Thanks for the suggestion, Rachel! I’m also hoping to try Shelley‘s suggestion soon, as I was able to find some quilter’s fusible edge.
My favorite part of this bib is how well it stays put. O makes no attempts to take it off. The bib itself is a great size and provides good coverage. The armholes are a bit too large, so for kids on the lower end of the size range it might be worth trying on the bib before applying the bias binding. I’d also love to make this again with laminated cotton or iron-on vinyl so that it can be wiped off between uses.
O was happy with it. Especially when I gave him “more” pears. I love his little signs.
I did very little sewing for Christmas other than holiday attire. Once I counted the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas I pared my list down to two projects, both for December birthdays.
First, a Made By Rae floor cushion for my nephew’s birthday. I’ve been saving fabric scraps for some time to make this pattern. This is a big pillow and it takes a lot of scraps (I think I used at least four grocery-size bags). The scraps give the pillow a nice, sturdy feel but they are also heavy. So I altered layers of fabric with layers of polyfil for the stuffing.
The fabric loop for the sides ended up too long and I had to take it in a few times. This may have been a measuring error- I didn’t go back and check. I also had a heck of a time with the piping. It was my first time using piping with cording. If it’s your first time I might suggest making the bias tape even wider than the revised recommendations. Next time I’ll try 1 3/4 inches. I have enough scraps to make another one for my kids. I might scale down the size of the pillow so it’ll store easier. Before wrapping this up my kids had so much fun sitting on this and flopping onto it and climbing around. Hours of fun, for sure.
My other project was for my dear college friend’s birthday She is a cat lover so I knew I wanted to use this Lizzy House catnap fabric. I considered various Noddlehead patterns (as Anna is the queen of bags) and finally settled on the (free) Madras Tote.
I didn’t want to use the print on the outside because I figured it would show dirt too easily. I eventually landed on some denim and plaid, which seemed appropriate given the bag’s name. The playful cat print is hidden inside. The pattern calls for cotton canvas as interfacing but I used a cotton/linen blend instead. I also made handles with the denim fabric rather than use webbing. I’ve made a couple more complicated bags but I really love this one for its simplicity. It is very sturdy, takes no special materials, and is an easy sew.
I took a little break from knitting, but near the end of summer I felt compelled to pull out my knitting bag and get back to work.
I remembered that knitting is the perfect project to have sitting around. I can knit a few rounds while the kids play in the backyard or chase each other around the living room. I’m still kind of annoyed at my lack of control in knitting and the weird holes that always seem to be created. But, I figure I can only get better with practice. I started with a quick little dress for one of E’s stuffed animals. She was given a set of three cat cubs (cheetah, snow leopard, and tiger) and these are some of her most loved toys. Sadly they are tiny enough that they don’t fit into most of her doll dress-up clothes. So I made this little dress (Ravelry notes here), modified from a doll dress pattern I’d used before:
Next, I returned to one of my favorite baby hats, the modern baby bonnet. O’s versions are here (the larger size still barely fits), and the new version was a gift for a friend’s little baby boy. My Ravelry notes for this new hat are here, and O kindly modeled the hat:
I then started a hat for my father’s birthday. He’s commented a few times on O’s cable baby hat so I sized up the pattern to make him a hat of his own. Sizing up baby size/fingering weight to adult size/worsted weight was a bit tricky and I ended up ripping out the top of the hat and adding a few rounds (Ravelry notes here). I hope this will be a good hat for my father’s many hiking and outdoor adventures. This picture is the original version, as I forgot to get a picture of the final hat.
Most of my knitting has been for the kids and I figured it was time to knit a hat for J. So for his birthday this month I knit the Turn a Square pattern with some lovely Malabrigo wool (my Ravelry notes here). I did manage to tangle up one of these yarns into such a mess than it took many hours to untangle, but otherwise I enjoyed the knitting process.
I misread the directions and so the hat is taller than it should be and has an unintended gnome feel, but even so I really loved this pattern. O modeled the hat for some pictures before wrapping up the gift.
I love that little tassel on top. I also didn’t think it was possible to make O’s cheeks look any rounder, but there you go. I was planning to knit this style hat for O but he removed the hat between every picture I took, so I’ve cast on for a hat with an under-chin tie instead.
Anyone else pulling out the knitting needles with the changing seasons?
In my continued effort to catch up on project sharing, I bring to you some sewing for O and for some dear friends having baby boys. The first gift was a pair of pants from the Oliver+S lullaby layette pattern: These are size 6-12 months in Kaufman double cloth in indigo. This double cloth is so soft and cozy and I want to use it for all kinds of projects in the future. You can see the indigo and the white side here: And those pockets. I love those pockets! I’d say the sizing on this pattern is generous because O could actually squeeze into these. Earlier in the summer I’d made him his own pair, in 18-24 months with 12 month length. They’ve fit for a few months now with plenty more room to grow. Here you can see a comparison of the two pants (shortened 18 month on the left, 6 month on the right): For O’s pair I used andover chambray and I love how lightweight but sturdy it feels. I also appreciate that is wrinkles so much less than the interweave chambray and essex linen I’ve used a few times. Here are a few shots of O in the garden this summer, enjoying his roomy pants: For another gift I turned to an old favorite, the divided basket pattern from Noodlehead. This is my fourth go at this pattern (previous here and here) so it came together easily. My only change was to shorten the basket height by 1.5 inches as I’ve done before. The prints were from my stash and the main body is Kaufman essex linen in blue. I loaded it up with some diapers, wipes, zip sleepers, and patchwork wash cloths (you can see them better here) and it was ready to go: Thanks for reading! And now, back to work on E’s Halloween costume…
Just like last year I made my sister a bag for her birthday. This is the convertible clutch from Vanessa Hewell at LBGstudio. This pattern was part of a pattern bundle I purchased last year. I currently don’t have much use for this type of bag, as I’m usually toting around too much stuff. But I figured that she could use this bag for weekend brunch and other such outings.
The exterior fabric is from IKEA, given to me by a friend. The top handle is Kaufman linen in steel and the interior is a green cotton from my stash. The pattern is designed to be either used as a full-size bag (as above), or folder over to make a clutch:
I had a few construction issues due to not reading the directions carefully. I’d suggest reading through the entire instructions and then actually following them…
But all in all it came out just fine. I added a few treats inside and sent this cross-country. Happy Birthday to a wonderful sister and aunt!
With all the gardening happening around here my sewing projects have been slow going. Does anyone else have that trouble this time of year? But I have been saving up a few projects to share, all using leftover crushed walnut shell from this pincushion. First I made another pincushion using the same pattern from Modern Log Cabin Quilting, this time for my mother-in-law’s birthday. This is such a fun pattern and I really enjoyed this method of log cabin square construction.
I also re-stuffed a tomato pincushion made from this Martha Stewart pattern. I’d previously stuffed this with cotton and the walnut shells work so much better. I really want to make an entire family of tomato pincushions in varying colors and sizes (like the pattern shows) but it doesn’t seem particularly practical given how little time I have to sew these days.
I also made some juggling balls using the pattern from Little Things to Sew.
I figured E would enjoy these but it turned out that O was an even bigger fan.
I stuffed a few with cotton, as in the directions, and then a few more with the walnut shells. We all preferred the walnut shells as they are much better for tossing around (and apparently more satisfying for chewing on). I did have visions of my stitching coming out and O ending up with a mouthful of shells, but so far they’ll held strong. And, I believe this brings me up to seven projects completed for the Little Things to Sew: Cover to Cover Challenge. One-third of the way there!