Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June the last

I told myself at the beginning of this month that I was going to post every day in June, and here it is the 30th, and I have! Yay! Now we'll just see if I can keep it up...

I have recently (courtesy of my fabric diet) found myself very interested in repurposing clothing. I have found some great clothes both in our own closets and at yard sales that I can't wait to cut up and make new. I have done a few things (tees for Logan, polo to dress and shirtdress for Myra). This is the first thing I have done for me. I know it isn't very creative. Jeans to skirt has been done to death. But I like it; it fits, and I didn't toss a perfectly well fitting pair of jeans into the trash, so I'm happy with the result.
I actually wear it quite often; more than I expected to, since I hadn't been much of a skirt person. With the unbelievable heat in Texas this summer I have found the comfort and cool of a skirt to be life saving, so I've been making and wearing them quite a lot.
I think more of my jeans will be going this route...

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Public Service Announcement

I had a very little adventure today and I wanted to share it with all of you. I called Poison Control.As a Pediatrician, I've called them countless times. It was our policy to call with any intoxication or envenomation. I actually called three separate times for the same dumb teenager who liked to hunt rattle snakes. But this is the first time I've had to call as the Mommy. Myra got into some Silica Gel. It's that stuff in the little packets that they put in shoe boxes with "DO NOT EAT!" printed all over it. Fortunately, it is non toxic and biologically inert (which means that I don't have to worry and she'll have interesting diapers tomorrow.), but it could have been worse.

So, my plea to you - if you don't already have it memorized, please memorize the number to Poison Control. Ready, say it with me. 1-800-222-1222. See, easy! And that number works anywhere in the USA. I'm sure they would be happy to help international callers, too. They are unbelievably nice. Now write it down near the phone, so that when you are freaking out about what your kid (or dog or hubby or friend) just ate, you'll be ready.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The birthday haul

Despite all my forebodings I really had a great birthday. Here is the (sewing related) haul! I am really excited about Sew What! Skirts! I have seen so many pretty things made from this book out there in blogland, and now that I have it, I can see why. I doesn't come with pattern pieces. What? Nope, you draft your own from your measurements and based on their very simple method. I can't wait to get started. There are some awesome designs in there and I couldn't decide what to do first, so with my Hobby Lobby gift card (Thank you, Donna, for feeding my fabric frenzy), I got fabric for two different ones.
I also got two new feet for Janome from my Mom. One is a binding foot. I LOVE binding and I am so happy to have this one. The other is a ditch stitching foot. Stitching in the ditch is my favorite way to avoid handsewing without topstitching, so I am really excited about this one, too.
Thank you, everyone!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It came!!!

My Ottobre is here!!I didn't even sew this morning - I just pored over fabrics, trying to decide what to make, and out of what.
Should I start with this cute outfit for Logan?
Or this adorable dress for Myra?
Or what about these awesome pants?
Or these freaking cute shorts??
Ahh! I don't know??? What do you think is the cutest?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fishie shorts

I decided to try my hand at freezer paper stencilling. Thanks to this tutorial from Dana at MADE, it was no trouble! I wanted to start with something simple, and I liked the idea of goldfish (Logan and Makenna have that love in common!), so I found a cute fish picture online, added a few bubbles and we were off. I think it turned out pretty well.Not perfect, but I'm happy with my first attempt.
The shorts are New Look 6641 again. It is a great pattern for basics. I really like this shorts pattern, as it isn't just cut off pants, but a separate pattern in it's own right. I like the shape and the fit is perfect.
Logan wouldn't cooperate with a front view, but you can see that they are workin' for him. He likes the fishie, and I enjoyed the process, so you may be seeing some more of this. You know what they say - Practice makes perfect!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The final piece

... to the kids July 4th outfits was Logan's appliqued tee. He LOVES helicopters, so I made him a helicopter applique to go on the grey tee I made.
For the tee, I used New Look 6641, which is a "unisex" PJ pattern. I put that in quotes because the shirt pattern is simply the top half of an a-line nightgown pattern, and has some flair to it. It's a bit girlie, although in grey with a patriotic helicopter on the front, I don't think anyone will mistake Logan for a girl. Next time I make it I will be straightening out the side seams. Other than that it is a great basic tee.
And here is Logan, modeling his 'copter shirt, while touring a real StatAir air ambulance! How cool is that! Mitch met the company owners one night while he was working in the ICU and mentioned how much Logan loves to see their chopper on the helipad, and they offered us a tour, so we headed out to Killeen yesterday for a personal guided tour of the helicopter. It was WAY cool! Logan didn't want to leave.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Yankee Doodle Sweetheart

Isn't she sweet! I finished her July 4th outfit today.Her dress is the Flower Girl Dress from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing. Since I made Logan's shorts by her Huck Finn pant pattern, I decided to just have a Heather Ross 4th. I did change up the skirt, just making it tiered instead of the basic gathered skirt that the pattern calls for. I also added buttons to the straps. They are quite snug (or they will be once I move the buttons up a bit) and I wanted to be able to get the dress on and off with a minimum of fuss. This is a very sweet pattern. Pretty on, as you can see. It does run REALLY small. Myra (who is 10 months old) is modeling a size 2 for you, but with 1/4 inch seam allowances. I basted them at the 3/8 the pattern calls for and couldn't even get the bodice over her head. Thank goodness it worked at 1/4, or I'd have had to recut the bodice.
I also made her some bloomers. Since she's a crawler and her diaper is bound to show I always make bloomers to go with her dresses. I have been using Butterick 4110 as my TNT bloomer pattern, but I decided to give Ruby's bloomers (from Weekend Sewing) a try. They are great! The legs are elasticized with elastic thread in the bobbin. Couldn't be easier. They whip up in minutes, literally. I couldn't decide which of the two fabrics to make them out of, so on the advice of my excellent Mother-In-Law, I decided to just do both. And they were so easy, it was no big deal.
We are ready for the 4th!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thank you!!

Today has already been so wonderful! I've been dreading this birthday for some reason, but so far it is shaping up to be great! I picked up yesterdays mail this morning, and look what was inside!!Aren't they the cutest!
They are my Pay it Forward gift from Sarah! While I do think they will make sweet chip clips, I also will use them to hang up new creations so that I can photograph them, so y'all will be seeing a lot of these! Thank you so much, Sarah!!
Would you like a free handmade goodie, too? Click the link and leave me a comment. I can still do three more!
And look! My Mother-In-Law brought me a giant bag full of cute fabric that has been hanging around (getting more vintage!) for years. I got it all washed and folded. Isn't it lovely!
Happy Birthday to me, and we haven't even had presents yet!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I won!

I know, two posts in one day, but I am so excited to have won Myra's giveaway! I am so excited about this pattern and can't wait to get sewing for Mitch.Especially since I just got a giant bag of wonderful old fabrics from my Mother-In-Law, which I am currently washing, folding, admiring. I'll show you all those tomorrow! What a great week! And just in time for me to get one year older, too. Maybe I won't be bummed on my birthday after all. New fabric and patterns heals all manner of ills.

Father's Day fun!

We had some serious fun on Father's Day! And I got to sew for it. Double bonus. I found this cute onesie at Target and decided that it would be fun to get the kids in coordinating I love Daddy shirts.
Alas, no such option in the boys department, so I was on my own where Logan was concerned. I decided to try making it myself, with an appliqued heart and some iron-on letters.
I think it turned out pretty well! Pardon Myra's head in the picture...
Here is her whole outfit. The skirt was a bit of an afterthought. I made it VERY quickly Sunday morning so that she could wear her onesie to church. I should have done it earlier, but I just didn't think about it. This skirt was based somewhat roughly on the Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt, except without the ribbon. It ended up so cute and was so easy, I will most assuredly be making another, but at more leisure than before church on Sunday morning!! I'll take some pics for a tutorial next time - stay tuned.
Here is Logan's outfit. I admit, I cheated a bit and purchased the tee, but I made the jeans! The applique is from some scraps I had left over from a pair of PJs I made for Mitch. It was the first thing I ever sewed for Mitch. I'm not sure he noticed that...
Happy Father's Day!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shorts and great plans

Well, after forcing the shorts off his sleeping body (I think he likes them!), I was able to get a few pictures last night. Here is the back.And a close up of the pocket. I think they're a bit wild, but that's OK when you're not quite three, and Logan loves them.
I also went to a yard sale yesterday morning. I'm putting myself on a fabric diet, at least until I can use up some of what I already have. That means yard sale tee-shirts aren't off limits, right? Anyway, I cruised the house for loose change and went. There is always a yardsale somewhere in my neighborhood, and we were not disappointed.
I got two shirts and a skirt (and two rattling balls for the kids) for a buck fifty! Sweet! The skirt is too small, but only by a little and it is long and an a-line, so I am going to chop off the top half to make it knee length and add a drawstring and have myself a comfy linen skirt. One of the shirts is a XXXL size yellow tee shirt that I bet I can get both shirt and shorts for Logan out of. Tons of fabric. The other shirt is a way too small for me button down shirt with row of pintucking and lace insertion on the bodice. I think it will make a very lovely dress for Myra. And all for a dollar fifty! I have to start hitting more yard sales!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I finished some patriotic shorts for Logan last night. I generally take pictures of Logan's clothes flat rather than on him, since this is the look I get when I try to take pictures of him.Ferocious, isn't he? Anyway, this morning, before I could take any pictures, Logan spotted the "star shorts" and had to put them on immediately! So, poor action shots are what we have.
This is the first item in my July 4th series for the kids. I made the shorts by Heather Ross's Huck Finn pants pattern from Weekend Sewing. Hey, what's more Americana than Huck Finn, right? This time I actually paid attention to the instructions and did the topstitching down the side and inside leg seams, which is pretty cute, although it gets a bit lost in this crazy print. The shorts are two coordinating prints, both obviously diagonals. The spacing is different, so since it was impossible to match the strips, I didn't even try. They are sort of a harlequin style, with each leg in an alternating fabric. I think they turned out pretty cool...
There is also a contrast pocket on the right bum, but this was the best shot I could get of it. That kid moves fast!!

Next in the series is a dress for Myra. I'm trying out the Flower Girl dress, also from Weekend Sewing, but as the sizing is a bit wacky, I'm going to have to fiddle with the pattern a bit. There is also an appliqued tee in the works to match Logan's shorts.

I have quite a bit more of this fabric, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I thought about Bermuda's for Mitch, to match Logan's, but I'm not sure he'd wear them (and I wouldn't blame him if he didn't - they're a bit wild), or a tiered skirt like the one from Amazing Mae. Or maybe I'll just hang on to it - Independence Day comes every year...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Butterick 4686

I just finished my presser foot skirt! I was a little worried I wouldn't get done in time since I've had a lot of other projects that called for my attention. Fortunately, this was a quick and easy skirt, although I think it looks more polished than the effort expended. You've got to love that! Skirts are really great for that anyway. This pattern was pretty simple - just a full skirt with a yoke. Nothing fancy, except for my issues with zippers, which I admit are getting a serious workout between Myra's dress and this skirt!I am generally happy with the way that it went together. It was easy and smooth to sew. But that zipper!! How did this happen!!
Seriously, it aligned perfectly when I pinned it, when I basted it, when I topstitched it! Why doesn't it line up, now that all the basting is gone?!?!
Of course, that means that it doesn't line up here, either. At least I'm consistent. I am reminded of clevergirl's recent post about precision and accuracy... It seems I am precise, but not accurate. Alas. Foiled by the zipper.
Sorry about the fuzzy self-portrait, but you get the idea. It fits. I love the length and the swing of the hemline. I cut this by view C, which is actually the shorter of the views, then after the fact had to remove an additional 2 inches. This is NOT a short skirt. I also have a great hatred of both hems and handstitching, so you can imagine my glee when I read that they wanted me to handstitch the nearly circular hem. No thank you. I decided that this was an excellent time to try out the Steam a Seam that I have been reading so much about. I LOVE how it turned out!! No handsewing, but a pretty, invisible hem that won't get caught in my stilettos. Life is good. We'll see how it handles my slipshod laundry techniques...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm a label!

Look what came in the mail a few days ago! Aren't they cute? You can get your own here.If you look closely, you can see one in the last post.
Thank you, Mom!!
And have you cut out your skirt yet? I'm getting there! Just put in the zipper and am trying to figure out if I can avoid hand sewing another full circle...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Look 6785 and My First FBA!

Since Myra got herself a round yoke dress, I decided that I wanted a top to match. I love this fabric and this pattern is so cute, but I knew I would end up looking like I was wearing a tent if I made it by my full bust measurement, so I decided to bite the bullet and try to do a full bust adjustment so that I can make a top that is not a knit that actually fits both my shoulders AND the girls.
And look! It worked!! I did have to readjust the dart (I added a dart!!), after the fact, but otherwise it really wasn't that hard. I used the tutorial here, and did have to add a dart where there was no dart before. And here is my little dart. Not bad, eh? I am so excited about my new skill! Now I can make cute tops that fit!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Giveaway - with twist!

Random acts of kindness have turned into little gifts for you. A great opportunity to get some MoXie swag and pay it forward. I would especially like the opportunity to create for people I've never met (but I'll make stuff for the people I love too!!)

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something handmade by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It'll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to blog. (So obviously you have to have a blog. If your blog is private, tell me so in your comment and I will trust you.)

7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you. (Be sure to include some sort of contact info if your blog profile doesn't link to your email or blog.)

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A visit

My Dad came over yesterday for a short visit on his way to Seattle to see my sister (and take her all of her stuff). He brought me a bunch of stuff my Mom has had hanging around since we were kids. Look at the yummy Little Vogue patterns!!My Mom is amazingly anal retentive and labels all her patterns when she buys them. These are all labelled 1984. I love the smocked dress!! I'm not sure I am up to smocking yet, but maybe by the time Myra is big enough for this dress I will be. It starts at a size 3, so I have a few years. The pleated skirt in the middle is so cute, and I can't wait to make that long dress on top with the pintucked bodice! I'm glad to see some boy stuff, too. Maybe a duckie vest wouldn't be too girlie??

Sunday, June 14, 2009


"For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors,
and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High"

I won't be sewing today, since it is my Sabbath, but I wanted to share with you my favorite way to rest from my labors. Cookies, milk and a good book.
Here is my favorite easy Oatmeal cookie recipe. So easy, it totally is a rest from anyone's labors!

Oatmeal Chip cookies
1 cup uncooked oats
3/4 cups flour (WW is yummy, but AP is fine)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter-flavor Crisco
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, but for the Yankees out there, I guess walnuts are OK)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (or more, I just use a couple of handfuls!)

Throw everything except the chips into the mixer. Set it on medium speed and mix until it is completely combined. You will have a stiff dough with no crumblies at the bottom. Add the chips and mix on the lowest setting, just until they are well integrated.
Spoon onto cookie sheets on parchment paper or silpat mats.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool, if you can.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fluffy stuff

I really don't need more fabric. In fact, I decided last week that I have plenty of fabric and patterns to last me some time, and that I am absolutely NOT going to buy anything except specific notions needed for a defined project, at least until I can fit all of my fabric into the sewing closet. But I am an addict. And I went to Hobby Lobby. I actually went specifically to get strapping for the drawstring in a pair of scrub pants I am making for Mitch, but I made the mistake of peeking in the remnant bin. I adopted these six half yard pieces of fabric for five bucks. Sweet!! I LOVE the green zebra. It is a lovely jersey knit. It will be so fun!! Logan has claimed the duckie fabric, but I'm not sure what to make him with it. What would you make for an almost three year old who loves duckies but might look a bit girly in them?
Then the mail arrived. Oooh. Bee Squared fabric had a going out of business sale, and while I am very sad that they will be gone, I am very excited about the beautiful fabrics I got for a song.
I haven't even washed them yet. I just walk into my sewing room where they sit and stroke them. They are so soft and smell like new fabric. Mmmm. I think the Anna Maria Horner on the bottom is for me. I got three yards. I am thinking a shirtdress, but maybe that would be too busy. What do you think?

Friday, June 12, 2009

McCalls 5568

With all the beautiful round yoke dresses out there, I knew I was going to have to try one out for Myra soon, so when McCalls patterns were last on sale, I picked this one up. I might have kept looking if I had checked out the details, though. This one has a (gasp!) zipper. I hate zippers. Still it turned out really cute, and the zipper went in without swearing, so I may have to thank this pattern for that at least.I really love the way that it turned out, but I have a few gripes about this pattern. That lovely yoke, with no topstitching at all, was ridiculously fussy and involved way more hand sewing then I ever want to do. It went together very strangely and I am not completely happy with it, despite some serious ripping out and re-sewing to get the shoulders to line up. The instructions call for constructing the front and back yoke separately, then sewing them together at the shoulders, sort of like a lined vest, but way smaller (and more complicated!). I must have fudged the seam allowances, because when I got to that step, they didn't line up at all. I had to shave a little off the front and open up the (trimmed!) seam in the back to get them to sort of line up. Very frustrating.
Despite all that, I think it turned out really adorable, and I am contemplating how to adjust it to make it less fussy. I'm thinking that if I get rid of the zipper and put buttons on the shoulders, I can construct the yoke without all that weirdness.
Oh, and the bloomers are my usual Butterick 4110. I'm going to have to retrace that pattern, it gets so much use!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby stuff

I have gained a bit of notoriety here in these parts for slingmaking. I've been making slings for the mommies with new babies in my ward at church and for other friends. I just finished this batik and broadcloth one as a favor for a good friend whose sister is expecting.Since it is a gift, I also made a few burp cloths and an appliqued onesie to match.
I'm not going to talk about the ring sling, but if you want more info about making them, please see my prior post about them here. The onesie is my first reverse applique and I think it turned out pretty cute. She is having a boy so I wanted it to have some "tough guy" frayed edges. I also made some stripwork burp cloths. I left these edges unfinished as well, to coordinate with the onesie. This was my first dip into any sort of stripwork and it went well, although I don't think I'm ready for a full dive into quilting just yet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Anniversary Joy!

I have the most thoughtful hubby in the world. Yesterday was our 8th anniversary. He came home after working all night in the ICU with flowers and doughnuts for me. Then, while we were having dinner the REAL gift came. Weekend Sewing!! I stayed up reading it into the wee hours of the night, but that wasn't enough, so I threw aside the dress I'm working on and whipped up a pair of Huck Finn pants for Logan. They are so cute!!I can't wait to dig into this book some more! I already have some ideas cooking for the Go-Everywhere shirtdress and the Yard Sale Wrap skirt. And those guest room slippers... Too cute!! I think I can wait for my Ottobre with more grace now. I have Weekend Sewing to do!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can't Wait!

I ordered an issue of Ottobre magazine a few nights ago. It is the Summer 2008, and I can't wait for it to come from Finland!!!While I (impatiently) wait for it to arrive, I've been enjoying looking at what some other talented sewists have made from this issue.
Here is a cute couple from Cristas on PR. I love the strawberries!!
I can't wait to see Myra crawling in these little ruffly butt shorts, also from Christas.
But I'm really excited about the boys stuff!! They have the cutest patterns for my boy-o. Really cute boy patterns are so tough to find.
Here are some cute shorts from heatherbelleday on Flickr.
This is from the 2/2003 issue, but it is so cute, I had to share. It was made by Astrid at Connecting the Dots. She makes such beautiful things!
Hurry and get here, Ottobre!!