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 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.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sunny Day & a Sesame Street Dress

I normally don't care for novelty prints or character clothing, and was determined to keep characters off the cub's clothes for as long as possible (and maybe even try to compromise with her later to only have them on pajamas). However, we planned a trip to take our Sesame Street-loving girl to Sesame Place, and I couldn't help but start thinking about a Sesame Street dress. None of the fabric I saw really grabbed me though, and then I started thinking about using a sheet, but had a hard time picturing it. Then someone posted a dress in one of the sewing groups I'm in on Facebook using the exact sheet I had been looking at, and I loved it. (I can't find her shop name now, but it was a custom order she did for a client.)

So forward I went, and made my first character dress. The cub loves it and asks to wear it all the time. She's really upset if I have to tell her it is dirty.

I used the geranium pattern, used the collar from the expansion pack but extended it into a long sailor-ish collar (I made the modification using the Oliver + S building block dress book). I added piping at the waist. I made the skirt a little fuller to fit more characters on, but sort of wish I hadn't because they get a little lost in the fullness.

It was absolutely perfect for our trip to Sesame Place, and people were commenting on it all day long. I thought it was so clever until one woman told me she has those sheets, then I felt a little silly (until Jeff pointed out that just means she has super old sheets and needs new ones).

A few pictures Lots of pictures from our day at Sesame Place, because it really was so much fun. The cub was terrified of Cookie Monster (told me "Cookie Monster is SO BIG") but did a little better with Elmo and Abby, although she still wouldn't get too close!

She looks apprehensive here, but it was like her fourth time on the ride and if you know her, this bored look is her normal when going on rides or anything thrilling.

Trying to convince us she needed everything in the gift shop. (We bought nothing, sorry kid.)

Completely worn out.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Midsommar 2017

I was really determined to host a Midsommar party this year,  because I really miss doing it. However  life definitely got in the way, and with work, our upcoming move, and well..everything else so I realized something had to go. This year it was the party. But next year I am determined to have one again!

Anyhow, because we still needed to celebrate we went to the Midsommar celebration in Maryland at Carderock Park. They had fun games, plenty of dancing, and a beautiful pole.

We've gone to this celebration twice before and so I knew better than to try to make our crowns there (never enough flowers). I made crowns for the cub and I beforehand and I was pleasantly surprised that she actually wanted to wear hers.

She is familiar with many Swedish songs and dances, primarily thanks to the two Swedish songbooks we have. They are from the Barnkammerboken series and she really, really loves them. So I could see her excited to recognize some of the dances and she kept turning to me and saying, "I like this one!" At one point she grabbed her little friend's hand and they went inside the circle to do their own thing, which was really cute.

Participation prize was an apple.

Starting the procession!

So much green that you have to hunt a little to find the pole in these pictures...

 I saw this shirt and told Jeff it was #goals and he said, "I think you mean #GGGGOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLSSSSSS"