Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Red Riding Hooded Cape

Yet another project from the Oliver + S book - the Red Riding Hood. I envisioned something more cozy for E, something perfect for cooler weather and something to bust through my ever-growing fabric stash, and came up with a plaid, shearling-lined cape!

The shearling was, surprisingly, more of a pain to cut than it was to sew. And, gracias to FreeCycle, all fabric is vintage and was totally free!

I used toggle buttons and added an extra button loop for the closure - when I followed the pattern, the loop was too long and the cape kept falling back and choking Ester! So I cut the loop in half and added a second button to help make it more comfy and secure.
Love how great the lining looks!
And E loves it too, of course! She instantly ran to stand on the coffee table and model her new cape infront of the mirror. I made the smallest size in the book, and it is still a little big - for others making this for smaller kids and toddlers, I would recommend raising the arm holes a couples inches, so their arms can poke through at a more natural height. There is plenty of room to grow, and this will get lots of use over the years to come!
Comfy cozy!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Easy Peasy Halloween

Just a quick post on Halloween before I forget!

Ester is only two, but this year she started to grasp the concept of Halloween. Our favorite video is It's Halloween, and every time we saw pumpkins she would scream, "HowWEEN!" In previous years, I didn't put too much effort into a costume for her, but this year she would be way into dressing up, so I whipped up something cute & easy for her.

A unicorn!

Making the costume was super easy - a white hooded sweatshirt with an assortment of pink sparkly yarn stitched on to form a mane and tail, and a little felt horn - paired with pink jeans and white Minnetonka's - voila!
A grid stitched to sweatshirt hood, to which I stitched the mane yarn.
Unicorn hair!
A warm, cute and cuddly little unicorn, ready for lots of candy!

Hope everyone had a festive and safe Halloween!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Backpack for E & Something for ME!

Have been staying busy crossing little projects off my list - using my new double needle skills to hem all my yoga/knit pants, repainting our hallway, and not to mention a little Halloween costume (details coming soon!) and school and work! Ah, I'm finding that procrastination is a great sort of motivation to finish other chores you have been putting off! (Social science inquiry, anyone? Bleh!)

Which brought me to finally make a backpack for my most favorite little pumpkin.
The pattern is, of course, from the Oliver + S book, Little Things to Sew. This is my fourth time using the pattern, and it is really the best backpack pattern ever (as raved about here), and it is so satisfying to make something so professional! I really, really love this book!
The smaller floral print is vintage, and the larger print is an Erin McMorris print from this spring. The interior is an Echino linen that I "had" to buy and finally put it to good use - I love how all three fabrics came together! 
In addition to the fun crocheted flowers, I included a fun little zipper charm (I get mine from ZipIt on Etsy):
I am so happy to have finally have made something for Ester that I have been meaning to for quite awhile - and she totally loves it too!

I was so motivated after finishing such a daunting project, that I attacked another one - a laptop sleeve for my computer. Not quite as exciting, but just as satisfying - to complete a very practical and necessary project! I am always lugging my laptop off to the library to study while hubby stays home with E, and after one too many leaking water bottle accidents in my purse, I decided this really could not wait any longer!
To make the task more exciting, I used my stash of my most favorite Echino linen - I made my first wallet from this same print, but in the gray colorway - I really love how simple and bright it is. The pattern I got from Sew, Mama, Sew! and is very simple and makes a perfect fit, not to mention, it's free! 
For the lining I used a soft small scale polka dot flannel. Underneath are (perfectly hidden) ugly fleece remnants I would never use, and since I didn't have any fusible fleece, it was a perfect opportunity to get rid of them.

My laptop is snug as ever, Ester now fashionably carries her own diapers and snacks...two projects crossed off the never-ending list. And, now that Halloween is over, just in time for Christmas!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lazy, Lazy KCWC

Despite all my excitement, I only managed to get one project done for KCWC! And I didn't even get it to the flickr board. Boo, me!

Granted, it was a project I'd had in the back of my mind for many moons, so I still feel very accomplished for having crossed one. more. project. off that infinite list! And I tackled my fear of double needles and totally rocked it!

A bunch of old long sleeve tops + double needle showdown =
A bunch of cozy, comfy, FREE leggings for Ester!

See those yoga pants? Used to be a turtleneck!

Getting the hang of the double needling was tricky, but I figured it out after trying some things. For one, the manual to my machine was not clear or even right about threading a double needle! It had me putting both spool and bobbin on the thread bar (I know it's not called that, but KWIM?) and all the thread was getting bunched up in the fabric. 
I eventually figured out, after cleaning, oiling, and throwing said fabric on the floor, that I could load the second thread onto where I wind the bobbin...
...and then thread it to the needle!

Success! The thread no longer tangled and resulted in beautiful, professional stitching.
The best part about double needles is that it creates a zig zag underneath as it picks up the bottom bobbin thread, making it perfectly stretchy for knits! A great finish and makes knits a whole lot less scary, if not more fun!

I made the leggings by cutting the arms off the t-shirts and then turning one arm inside out and the second arm inside it, right sides facing together and matching up the seams. I then traced a pair of Ester's existing leggings onto the sleeves, cut it out, and sewed around the "U" to make the crotch. Turned inside out, made an elastic casing and threaded the elastic, and I was done! Literally made all three in under an hour!

You can learn all I learned about double needles at Make It And Love It!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's that time of year again!

Ester's favorite video ever, resulting in endless hours of, "Pease Hoween?"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vintage Brother

One day I hope to do a tour of all the things we've gotten from our amazing local Freecycle, but I am too excited about this to wait until that day!

I recently picked up this beautiful gem, and the best part - it works, and does so beautifully!
Brother Galaxie 230
It's a 1959 Brother Galaxie 230 (in my favorite color too!). A heavy, solid piece, complete in it's own table! I think my mom still has one of these, tucked away under her newer machine. I love how the table folds out and is flush with the needle plate - so great for sewing wallets and large pieces like quilts.
Add caption
I love all the knobs and settings - it makes me feel like I'm stepping into another, forgotten world for a brief moment.

Where are all our sewing shops now, DC? And what happened, Good Housekeeping?
And what I love the most are the extras - complete manuals and a little wooden box full of attachments and feet! How cool!
I don't even know what all these feet are for. 
How cool is this?
A welcome addition to my little sewing world - a beautiful, strong (not to mention turquoise) machine that has stood the test of time. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'm doing it! Yay, so excited for my first Kids Clothes Week Challenge ever! I plan on making a plaid hooded cape lined in a soft faux fur and, if there's time, flannel pajama pants for Ester - I figure those will be simple and fast enough, and definitely much needed. I also have a denim dress for Ester that I cut out but never assembled - because I didn't buy enough fabric! Hopefully I can find a match and get it finished.

Anyone else signing up?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We are fine, but it was still quite the scary experience - I had never been in one before! E's first earthquake as well - thank God for husband who knew right away. Nothing broke, but lots of shaking and lots of adrenaline - the combination is quite disorienting!

We spent the afternoon cuddling on the sofa and I let E watch all her favorite movies (like My Big Fat Greek Wedding) - poor thing was pretty freaked out. And I, of course, had a bag packed by the door with water, bananas, and diapers.

Hope that's the last time!

E's New Bedding!

Whew! Thanks for waiting through that brief pause with me - my card reader wasn't working and I had no way to upload photos from my camera. Panic! But I stayed busy with some projects and we are back in action!

We painted an accent wall in E's room in our new apartment a beautiful, peaceful light aqua. Her old elephant green crib bedding, in combination with the blue walls and nature theme we have going on, suddenly felt to 'boy'. I am all for defying gender stereotypes, but I wanted a touch more girly for her bed.


I went with a red and pink butterfly print by Michael Miller for the crib skirt, and I really love how it turned out! I only sewed three sides to save on fabric, and am thinking of making her a big girl pillow with the leftover fabric.
Close up of the adorable butterfly fabric!
And I made my first quilt! I am so excited for it and I am really really happy with how it turned out. I followed the Disappearing Nine Patch tutorial on Distant Pickles - the directions were so helpful and thorough, with tons of information on different sizes, binding techniques, etc. And I used the Riley Blake Sweet Divinity fat quarter pack that I won this summer from True Up - the first blog giveaway I ever won! I am in love with this quilt!

I used about 20 different fabrics, and I really love how crazy it looks! I used the scraps from cutting the squares to make a fun binding, and quilted with the tying method (since my machine doesn't do free motion quilting) - it reminds me of blankets by my grandmother, and DD likes them too!
Close up of tying

Riley Blake Sweet Divinity fabrics
And for the back, I pieced together a few yards of bright flannel. I used Robert Kaufman in aqua and berry, which turned out more red than I was hoping - I was thinking more pink when I ordered it, and was kind of freaking out as I was putting it all together. But it works and I'm now happy with it - it picks up the red in the quilt and the crib skirt.
I even embroidered a special corner for her.

E loves it, and there is plenty of room for it to grow with her - from snuggling to building forts to playing peekaboo to staying at grandma's. This was a labor of love for my one and only!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too cute for Words!

Some people might use "adorbs" or "ca-uuuute", but I feel these serve no justice for what you are about to see.

Presenting, the Apron Top!
 Ok, it wasn't my idea, but I saw it linked on another blog to the original tutorial by Everyday Chaos here, and knew I had to do it immediately. Forget the pile of "ideas" gathering dust on my ironing board, or fabrics strewn in the corner, or E's one curtain that has yet to be finished and hung, this was top priority! Also I forced myself to finish a project I had been avoiding (more on that later), so I wanted to *treat* myself with something "adorbs", haha.
I reworked a dress I had made for E earlier this summer, posted here. It was a good idea in my head, but I never really loved it once I finished it, and she only wore it once. I followed the Prudent Baby snappy top tutorial, which is great, but I had problems with the neck and feel it would be better with a corduroy or something heavy as a jumper. It wasn't summer enough for me. Fortunately, there was enough fabric in the dress to salvage and rework it into this!
Fun, light, perfect for summer!

Halter neck ties, but I may cross them and attach to the back to make a more comfortable fit.
The bodice is an Echino cotton linen blend that I really love, but I used up my last bits making this!
If she was about one year younger and I had more of either fabrics, I would totally make matching bloomers to go with it, but I think it looks great with leggings...and could maybe stretch into early fall layered with a sweater.
Did I just say the "f" word?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

No Green Thumb

I tried, and sadly, I failed.
RIP basil, lavender, thyme and cilantro. 

But I tried my best, goddam it!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happiest Birthday Backpack

As some of you may know, I am obsessed with Japanese fabrics. Love them, the prints are perfectly gorgeous! When I came across Horaguchi it was love! The details are amazing, the pattern so fresh and perfect for kids. In conjunction with my recent acquisition of the Oliver + S book, my birthday gift of the year was born - birthday backpacks!

This is the second I have made, this time for little Sophia's fourth.
Oliver + S backpack in Horaguchi Selling Flowers in White
I love the pattern, the finish is so professional and I even learned how to do a blind hem stitch!
Vintage paisley silk!
I made her a coloring wallet to match, pattern by JCasa.

Homegirl is a natural model!

Cutest birthday gift! I love it so much - can you believe I haven't made on for E yet? I'm waiting for the perfect fabric to come along...

Until then, keep stitching!

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