31 January 2014

KCW day 4

Cupcake's pants and skirts for Trina's two youngest: done, done and done.  Trina had originally requested just the two, but I've realized I've got enough fabric to make skirts for all five.  (They will all coordinate, but won't exactly match.)  And since I have a lot more time than she does, I might as well.  So I'll take pictures of them all complete, and then Trina will have to post them on her girls.
18 months old today, and she discovered she can reach the light switch.

29 January 2014

KCW day 2/3

Even after spending all day at a friend's house, and having no husband around for a few days, I was able to put Cupcake to bed early (since she didn't nap well), and spend the rest of the night sewing away.  Red pants done!  Pictures will happen tomorrow.  The pattern actually worked pretty well, but I'll add a little height at the waist, chop some off at the ends (5 inches of hem is a bit excessive), and add just a little bit more room around the hips for more pajammy-type comfort.  When all said and done, pants are quick and easy, and I had fun making something new. 

I'm making skirts for Trina's youngest two (and possibly the rest of them, because I have plenty of this fabric) - and have everything prepped for assembly.  All six strips cut, pressed, with casings added and hemmed (I know that is a final step, but I find it way easier to do when it's flat, and not ruffled).  I'll likely finish them both tomorrow, and possibly start on Cupcake's flannel pajama pants.

28 January 2014


Meh. You win some, you lose some. I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, sew for an hour today. It was one of those dreary, depressing winter days that sucks all motivation and momentum out of you. All you can do is exist. There's no proper living to it.

That said, I did get into the sewing room for a few minutes at least. SM was griping about being bored and dragging, and I told her I knew exactly how she felt. We need to combat it by creating something. So she and I talked about a headband she's working on from her embroidery kit that she got for Christmas. I got the sides stitched on the nightgown skirt. And I pulled a dress out of the mending pile and put the missing button back on it. I didn't make something from scratch, but there is another article of children's clothing back into circulation!

Better luck tomorrow.

27 January 2014

KCW Day 1

Rough start to the day, with Cupcake being in meltdown mode all morning.  Naptime is precious time, but I used it to finish up a series of paintings for a commission.  With that out of the way now I can focus on sewing for the rest of the week.  The evening was busy, since my husband is going out of town for the next few days, but I did manage to get some sewing in.

First time working with a pattern (ever!) for Cupcake's pajama pants, and I actually enjoyed cutting things out.  (I really need to get myself a nice long ruler for drawing lines instead of trying to fold and iron things square.  It's amazing I don't have one.)  I've done the first three bits of stitching (front seat, back seat, and up the middle of the legs), and just need to do up the sides before trying them on her - no point in finishing them if they don't fit!  Glad I'm doing this with trial fabric first, before the precious flannel. 

I feel like I'm learning lots, and getting excited for future projects.  I'm on the hunt for the perfect dress pattern to go with the adorable green fabric I found for St. Patrick's Day!


Kid Clothes Week day 1: I had nightgown #2 already cut out and even started. But just barely. I was hoping to get some sewing in during JK's nap and she did take a really long one! But other things took priority, like her sisters and cooking dinner. Heh.

I got a good amount of sewing in after they went to bed, probably an hour and a half but I wasn't really keeping track. I got the bodice of the nightgown most of the way done - facing attached, topstitching done, and sleeves put on. Next step is to put in the buttonholes, sew the skirt together, and attach the bodice and skirt. I like my new machine for the buttonholes - I set a couple of things up on it, push a button, and it does the whole thing. My old machine is more old school. I have to change the stitch number for each side of the buttonhole.

This size is for JE and I tried it on SM and RG. I think I can get away with it on RG but SM definitely needs a bigger size. Another pattern to trace! And then of course RG told me that she doesn't want a nightgown at all - she likes the Hello Kitty one she got for Christmas. I don't know what I'll end up doing for her - I'll do her pajamas last to see what she ends up deciding on. I could do a top (like this pattern is supposed to be anyway) with pajama pants.

20 January 2014

baby nightgown

I've said for a couple of years now that I'm going to make the pajamas to give to the girls on Christmas Eve, and haven't gotten to it. This year, someone from church was cleaning out their fabric stash and gave me what seems like an entire bolt of flannel. It's an oldish print - not the greatest in the world. But it's pajamas. So who cares how stylin' it is, really. It's soft and cozy, and will keep the girls warm at night.

My girls want nightgowns. As tomboy as I was growing up, I have somehow produced not one but five uber-feminine girls who want nightgowns and dresses and pink and all manner of ribbons and frills. I have no idea. Anyway, I started with the Playtime Tunic pattern from Oliver + S (that I got on sale - no, I did not pay $16 for a pattern). I used it for the top and sleeves, and the skirt part is just 2 big rectangles sewn together at the sides and gathered at the top to fit the bodice. I just adjusted the length to make a long nightgown and voila! The pattern has a template for the neckline stitching to make a fake Peter Pan "collar." I added the ribbon around the middle for fun.

This is the only one I've finished so far - for the baby. Four to go. The bodice also fits TA - she's 2 but is so tiny she can still fit in 12-18 month size tops for the width. I just need to adjust the length a little bit.

My little trademark - a heart stitch from my new machine. I put it on the hem. It's not the prettiest work in the world - I'm still learning how to control the fabric while the machine is jerking it back and forth to do the stitching. But it's there for my girls to have on their clothes that Mom loves them. 

17 January 2014

Christmas pillows

I doubt anyone else remembers this, but about a year ago, I registered for an online quilting class specifically about sewing on the curve because I want to make a quilt with scallops on it. I did the very first project and never got any further with it because of ... well, being pregnant and then having a new baby, moving, blah blah blah. Fortunately, when I paid for the class, I got all the class files in a pdf which includes links to all the videos. And now that it's January again, NOW I'm going to do the class!

To start this time around, I did project #2 - a pillow with scallops on it. I made it for my sister Tawnia's Christmas present. She went to Disney World with us in Oct. 2012 and all of the fabric in the pillow is from that trip. I made the girls safari vests with flower prints for the pockets for going to Animal Kingdom, and dresses with a fun Minnie Mouse print for when we were at the Magic Kingdom.

I also made a pillow for Adam for Christmas - he wanted a small pillow to put in his camp gear. (He's a Boy Scout leader so he camps a lot.) I've teased him a number of times that I'll make something pink to put in his gear to remind him of his girls back home ... I got around that with no pink. He bought a blue shirt for SM when she was a baby that says, "Everyone loves a blue eyed girl," and all 5 girls wore it. It's totally trashed out and stained but I made sure JK wore it at least once just so we could have all 5 of them in it. I cut the phrase off the shirt and tossed the rest, and appliqued it to the pillow. So he has his girls with him and no pink.

For the quilting class, I did the first project last year - a scalloped bunting to hang up as a holiday decoration. I'm actually going to take it apart and do it again. The plan called for only 6 scallops spaced rather widely. Eh. It's okay. I want more scallops closer together. So I will make more and do it again. The third project from the first week of the class is a baby bib. My kids won't wear them (I've tried) so any bib I make for the class will most likely be a gift for someone else.

14 January 2014

another dress

I liked the tiered dress so much that I made another one (with plans on making even more!).  This one was shorter than the first, and with five layers instead of four.  That meant the hem of the dress was over six feet long!  A bit wider than I'd normally make it, but it used up all of that fabric I had, so it's all good.  I "cheated" and used a cream colored t-shirt for the top - I adore the little flower embellishments!
And I'm definitely looking forward to a year of holiday fun!  Planning on some cuddly pajama pants for Valentine's Day, and needing to go fabric shopping for St. Patrick's Day.

rough start

We're now about halfway into January - my family has spent the whole of it so far being sick. So I'm slow on getting going with my goal list. I've been wanting to sew - just haven't been able to because of taking care of sick kids or a sick husband, or wanting to die myself. And since getting better, I've been cleaning up from The Plague (that nailed everyone but SM). I've knocked out about 15 loads of laundry - mostly bedding and towels - just yesterday and today.

Not that having a goal list has ever done me much good. I just looked over the sewing target lists I wrote for 2013 and 2012 and HA HA HA. Not a single thing lasted more than a month.

But now, I have a sewing buddy! My sister Mindy (who also posts on this blog, so watch the name at the bottom of posts) learned to sew this past summer, got a sewing machine, and is tearing it up sewing lots of things. She's already done t-shirt dresses and skirts for her 1-year-old, a skirt for herself, and a bunch of tote bags. So my goals this year will hopefully have MUCH better follow-through because I have someone I'm sewing with, even if we're in Hartford CT and Calgary AB. It's an international sewing group! For the year, Mindy and I are talking about giving ourselves a challenge to keep us moving forward - I'll talk about that in another post.

I also have 5 sewing buddies here at home. SM got a sewing kit for Christmas from us, and an embroidery kit from our neighbors. She works just a little bit at a time, but she's putting together a hand-stitched headband with felt and ribbon. She's doing a great job. And she did the smackdown on me. I commented to her that she should finish one project before she abandons it and starts another, and she looked me straight in the face and said, "You have stuff that's not finished." Touche'. Indeed I do. I'm working to remedy that.

Little sister's nightgown that didn't make it for Christmas is done. Pictures coming. I also spent some time over the weekend on some finishing touches - my mom made identical shirts for all the girls for Christmas, and ironed in little tags with their initials so we can tell them apart. One of the tags came out before the shirt was even all the way out of the package on Christmas morning, so I confiscated the shirts until I could add some anchor stitches to the tags. Done, and shirts are in their drawers. Next up is to finish digging out the sewing room from the piles o' stuff to see what I even have to work with. Everything is in just a big tangled mess right now because, well, I'm not sure how it got that way or why. But there it is for me to deal with.

ANYWAY, I just caught these posts on teaching kids to sew (which are not on blogs that I normally read) - A Jennuine Life and Welcome to the Mouse House. I linked over to them through No Big Dill to read stuff that wasn't even related. It was fate. I now have them bookmarked to check back on their series(es) semi-regularly to get advice on teaching small kids to sew, as young as 3. SM is 7, RG is 6, and JE is almost 4 so there's 3 sewing buddies right there. TA at age 2 loves to be with the big girls so we'll see how that goes with her in there as well. And JK is 10 months and a chatty little underfooter. These sewing "classes" could be interesting.