Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Toddler-sized backpack!

The cub and I were flying this summer together, and a few weeks before the trip it dawned on me that since she was now old enough to need her own seat, she was also old enough to carry on her own little bag. That way she could carry some of her own snacks, books, etc. At last some of that space in the diaper bag will be filled up for me to stick in my own snacks and books!

I pulled out my copy of "Little Things to Sew" from Oliver + S and used the backpack pattern found in there. I've read reviews of this backpack being a little small, but once I put it on the cub I found it was the perfect size for her little 2-year-old body. Anything thing bigger would probably knock her over. I didn't add any of the penguin details, instead I used some beautiful Michael Miller Sarah Jane Sommer canvas fabric I had on hand (was earmarked for a different project, we'll see if I'll have enough left or need to buy more now!) and a remnant of solid pink canvas I had picked up somewhere a few years ago. I love love love the Sommer fabric line, but this is the first thing I've actually made with any of the fabric! I lined the inside with a yellow cotton.

Honestly, I'm a little amazed that I made this. It looks really good and I don't think it screams homemade. I did want to try to add a water bottle pocket on the side, but I was intimidated and figured I needed to try just following the instructions as written first, since I've never made anything like this. I would highly recommend this pattern, especially to anyone who is brand new to bags (like me)!

Luckily the cub loves it, she looks so cute wandering around in it. It was used on the airplane, and after we returned from our trip she started preschool one day a week and has been taking it there, too. I think I should be able to just throw it in the washing machine (I hope?) which it's going to need sooner rather than later.

She styled herself for these photos, adding on the sunglasses, hat, and boots. The girl has style.

 A good size for carrying around stuffed friends!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Layette set for Violet

I already shared the embroidered baby shoes that I made for my niece, and finally finished the entire ensemble!

This is for a darling little girl named Violet, and perhaps this color is more lavender, but the little embroidered flowers are meant to be violets. Being named after a flower myself I appreciate using little flower motifs to personalize instead of tacky personalized keychains (especially as I have never found one with my name on it).

The shoes are Twig and Tale's Wayfarer shoes, which are simply perfect for embellishing with embroidery. I love the little ribbon tags to assist in putting them on. Just darling.

The bonnet is the Storybook Woods bonnet by Alicia Paulson. I love the shape of this bonnet and plan to make many more. I made it so it is technically reversible, though I can't imagine not wanting those sweet little flowers showing.

The little dress is the Geranium dress by Made By Rae. This has become my go-to dress for baby gifts, it is so quick and comes together nicely. I did a little fabric treatment to the bodice to make a little tucked chevron design. My original plan was to do a chevron tuck design like I did for a baby dress last year, but my thread didn't match as well this time and I ended up deciding I liked the back side of my tucked pieces instead, so I decided to make it work and went with it! The fabric is a linen blend, it is very soft and I like the feel of it. I used the same cotton print to line the dress bodice and the inside of the little shoes.

This was a bit of a labor of love with the embroidery, but very worth it. I love the end result.

I made everything 3-6 month size, so I hope it all fits around the same time!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Four pairs of Wild Things Shoes!

I have a really wonderful group of friends here and so many of them are currently expecting, so we had a joint Baby Sprinkle (a smaller version of a shower) to celebrate four of them. I have been so fortunate to have made these friends, they are the best support and I am a better mother because of them.

I decided to make each of them a pair of baby shoes, because after making the embroidered wayfarer shoes I was really eager to try the Wild Things version, also by Twig and Tale. I loved choosing a different animal for each of them and fabrics. Projects like these are exactly why I can never seem to convince myself to get rid of my scraps, because they just take a tiny little bit!

I chose to make:

Panda bears


Polar bears

and foxes!

The cub loved these and kept trying to put all them on herself. She has requested a pair, although she keeps changing her mind on which animal she wants. I'm looking forward to trying to make some in her size, all these tiny little baby shoes have been so small and finicky.

Our baby sprinkle was a lot of fun, too. It was Gator themed and we had it at a local donut shop (YUM).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Honeycomb Smocked Top and Shorts

I'm catching up on sharing some of Spring sewing over the next few days.

In early May we went down South to Florida and then up to Charleston for a few days. I was figuring out what clothes the cub would need for the trip (and for summer in general) and figured hey, going to the South? Let's do as the southerners would do and add some smocking to our wardrobe.

I used the Ice Cream Top/Dress pattern from Oliver + S and followed a honeycomb smocking tutorial that I found on their blog. The tutorial is by S is for Sewing, who sews the most lovely things for her daughter. When I first found her blog I spent forever going back through all her posts, her style is just so beautiful and reading her "why" about why she makes clothes for her daughter really resonated with me. Reading her blog actually really helped push me into this journey of making clothes for the cub!

Honeycomb smocking was surprisingly easy, and really looks darling. I used yellow embroidery floss to add a little pop of color on this shirt.

I did add length to the pattern, I generally find I need to add a few inches onto any Oliver + S top pattern to get the fit I'm after.

She's worn this a ton, so here are a few random photos -

This is actually a screen shot from a video I took of her singing the Sesame Street theme song. This cub sure loves Sesame Street!

Painting is such a popular past time around here. 

This was actually trying to get an official blog picture, but she could see the park and only stood here for maybe twenty seconds, and then I realized she had spilled something on the shirt earlier that day...plus it needed pressing...oh well!

I used a cotton fabric I had picked up a long time ago at Hancock, it's light and airy which makes it perfect for summer. I wish I had more of it!

I also made a pair of Puppet Show Shorts (also from Oliver + S) to go with the top. I cut up a pair of navy linen pants I had decided to get rid of and added some blue piping. I made her the 6-12 size because that was where her waist measurement fell, added some length, but I think I should have just sized up in general because these seem a little bit small on her. This is a cute pattern though and and I'd like to make more.

Here the outfit is all together, in a park in Charleston:

And this is a great vacation shot. The cub rocking my hammock, Jeff roasting hot dogs off in the background. So relaxing.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Christmas in July - A Michael Miller Fabric and Sewing Portfolios Blog Tour!

I have a fun post to share today, compliments of this really awesome site I joined a few months ago, called Sewing Portfolios! This site is a really great way to connect with pattern and fabric companies. As an individual you can create a portfolio page to showcase your own work, which helps you apply for tester calls, blog tours, etc.  It provides a great way to collaborate within the sewing community worldwide, which I think is so neat.

So speaking of great collaborations, I'm a Sewing Portfolios Ambassador and so was sent some fabric by Sewing Portfolios and Michael Miller Fabrics. I didn't know what fabric I was going to be receiving, but was so excited to open the box and find some Sarah Jane Nutcracker fabric! I have loved Sarah Jane's designs for years and even have her printable Nutcracker puppet set that is so similar to this fabric line. Her illustrations are so sweet (we used a set of her 12 month illustrations in the cub's room on the wall, and I have a few other pieces of her fabric waiting for the perfect project, too) and her colors and patterns are always right up my alley.

It's a big of a trick to turn my Christmas brain on in July, but gave it a shot. I used two yards of the fabric to make a fabric box, with the hope that it could hold our Christmas books when we bring them out in December. I used the sturdy fabric basket pattern from Craftsy and sized it up a lot. The pattern includes instructions to make the basket any size, but after doing this I would not recommend sizing it up as much as I did. My finished basket is 15x10x10. The basket is not nearly as sturdy as I'd like, though it does hold the books okay. I used Pelton 72F interfacing on the inside, it was just so large and hard to wrangle. (Not to mention I made several errors along the way, the hazards of trying to hurry!)

I do love this fabric! It has the prettiest metallic details. The illustrations are just so darling. I think I will be getting more to play around with, I think a set of mommy/daughter aprons would be the perfect touch for our Christmas baking this December!

You can see how the box bows ever so slightly. Perhaps it's just not ideal for books, maybe I can figure out something else to store in it. The patterns also suggests using an old belt to make leather handles on the side, so I'm going to keep my eye out for the perfect one. 

I had intended to style a nice photograph, perhaps with the fire going in the background. However we just moved into a new condo and it has been a really rough move, so things are still everywhere and I just didn't have the energy to do so. So please pretend that there is a crackling fire and a sparkling tree (okay, I was never actually going to pull my tree out and put it up in July). 

I still have plans for the final fabric I got in my package, but probably won't actually be sewing that one up for a bit. I have so many things on my sewing list, but first need to get actually moved in!

Check out MahlicaDesigns what made for this Christmas in July blog tour too!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Duchess and Hare Blog Tour and Giveaway!

I found Duchess and the Hare's patterns in a roundabout way - first I stumbled upon her old blog, then followed that link to the new one, then realized I had seen her beautiful sewing on Project Run and Play, and then I realized she designs patterns, too! I'm delighted to be participating in a blog tour for Duchess and the Hare, and also excited to tell you that there is a giveaway along with it! More on the giveaway at the bottom of this post - but first, allow me to show off a darling dress.

I chose to make the Petit Four dress, which has two different bodice options. I chose the scallop and love how it mirrors the scalloped border at the bottom of the skirt. The pattern suggests hand stitching the scallops onto the bodice, so that your stitching it invisible. I think that was such a nice touch, and I actually don't mind sitting down with a needle and thread for a bit (as long as I'm not in a rush).

This dress also has a zipper in the back, which I'm usually a little scared of but it was a good reminder that I shouldn't be afraid of zippers, it was easy and it actually makes dressing the cub super easy. The fit on this dress is spot on for my daughter, which really impressed me. I will certainly be making this pattern again.

Here you can see the dress options -

I originally found some beautiful fabric online that I was so excited about, but a few days after I ordered it they emailed to say it was out of stock. I was really, really sad - it was combined with an already hard week, and I was definitely overly upset about it. That night I tried the thrift store and lucked out, found a dress that had a similar look to it. Bonus of the scallop bottom fabric is no need to hem! The white yoke and bodice back are actually from a curtain, also from the thrift store. I'm still disappointed about not getting the other fabric, but happy with how this turned out.

I chose pink specifically because my daughter has been requesting a pink dress. While I was working on it the other day she came over and watched for a minute, then we had the following conversation:

"What are you doing?"
"I'm making you a dress. Do you like it?"
"I thought you wanted a pink dress."
"I need a pink sparkly one."
"I don't have any pink sparkly fabric."
"It's just at the store. We can go get some."

It made me laugh really hard, her favorite aisle at Joann is the special occasion aisle with all the sparkly fabrics, so I know exactly what it is that she is after. Fortunately she does like this dress and there is no fight to get it on her!

Now the extra fun part - a GIVEAWAY!  You can enter to win 5 Duchess and Hare patterns AND a $25 gift certificate to Threads and Stitches fabric! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You should definitely go check out some of the other stops on this blog tour and the lovely dresses they have made!

Monday July 24 

Tuesday July 25 

Wednesday July 26 

Thursday July 27

Friday July 28 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Embroidered Baby Shoes

If you are my sister-in-law please look away because you haven't actually received this gift yet...

I have a sweet new niece who shares her name with a beautiful flower, so I've been working on a special gift for her.

(Which of course means that I meant to have this done before she was born, but instead it has been a slow work-in-progress. But the shoes are done, and the dress and bonnet will hopefully be soon. Let's just say I'm glad I decided to make it in a 3-6 month size!)

I used the sweet little Wayfarer Shoes pattern by Twig and Tale, and I actually was so surprised at how easily these sewed up. It was so fast! Well, it was fast once I first finished the embroidery...ha. I freehanded the embroidery pattern, and I did it before cutting the toe piece out.

I used an old blouse of mine for the top part of the shoe (the ivory swiss dot) and the rest of the shoe is done in a light purple linen blend.

This pattern suggested doing little folded ribbon tags at the backs of the shoes to help get them on and off. For some reason this little detail is just the sweetest thing to me. I think it helps give them an extra touch and make them look a little more professional.

Now that I know how simple these shoes are to make I have more planned as baby shower gifts. There is a cute animal version as well which I'm excited to try (here)! Thankfully these patterns aren't just for babies either, so I'm planning a few pairs for the cub, too.

I actually love doing embroidery and wish I did more of it. Doing this was relaxing and reminded me that I need to set aside time every now and then to do some needlework.