Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pod Posey Fabric

The fabric is called "Pod Posey" from Michael Miller. It's bright, wild, and fun. And, believe it or not, I'm going to make myself a summer skirt from this wild fabric! : ) The skirt is already cut out, and from the scraps I made these baby shoes.

A Baby Bootie Contest is taking place at Craftzine, and I just entered my booties. The contest prizes are pretty nice, especially when you like fabric as much as I do. You can take a look at the other entries on the contest Flickr group here.

Now, tell me, can you really imagine me wearing a skirt from this fabric?!


Blue, not White Topstitching

I'm sure you are dying to know what I decided on the topstitching of Ellen's skirt, right? Well, probably not, but I'll tell you anyway. Thank you to each of you who left a comment to help me decide.

After reading your comments, I was gung-ho set on using white thread; I thought it would look fabulous. Both Cindy and Jessica asked what Ellen liked best, so I decided to ask her. Ellen's first reaction was "No way, Mom! I do not want white thread. If you have to top stitch, do it in blue." I tried convincing her, and she started to waver. Okay, I was being a bit persuasive in my arguments for white topstitching... and I started to feel guilty. :-)

As you can see, I ended up using navy blue thread for the topstitching. I'm happy. Ellen is happy. The skirt is happy. Happy days are here again. Yes, I'm being silly, but I am pleased with the way the skirt came out. I know that Ellen will get a lot of wear out of it.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Birthday gifts for Special Little People

A crayon roll and coloring books for little Miss Emily...

Per Mom's advice, I made one for Emily, one for Elliot (someday), and one to put in my etsy shop. Wouldn't it be fun to be a kid again and have one of these for your very own? I still love crayons, and using brand new crayons is one of the best feelings in the world. I was so excited to have a few crayons extra after filling these rolls. Anyone want to color with me?

Next is an apron and matching potholder for one of Justin's little sisters. The colors in this picture are a little off. The pink is much pinker. I designed and cut out the pattern (inspired from a picture of an apron in my Mary Jane's Stitching Room book), sewed the apron, and then re-sewed it (after I realized I'd made it too big), and sewed up the potholder all in one evening. Justin was so nice to watch Elliot and let me sew like a crazy lady.

Finally, I just finished a receiving blanket. This was the first time I'd done one with such chunky thread, but it was fun, and I thought it ended up really cute.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring is really here!

All too soon it will be 100 degrees here and burning up, but right now I'm so enjoying the spring air floating through my house, and the beautiful flowers blooming in my yard. God is good to give us springtime.

Today I finished sewing up a fun gift for a special little sister. Emily is turning 3 next week, and we're having a party! Pictures to come, I'm sure.

One of my new year's goals was to make more/most of the gifts we give rather then always buying stuff. So far, I've done pretty good, but all of a sudden I have an avalanche of birthdays and such upon me. Aaak! I've got to get moving.

I'm thinking about joining allrecipes and posting some of my favorites. Wouldn't it be fun to see how people rate your recipes and what changes they make to them? The recipe for tonight's dinner is on my (rarely updated) cooking blog, The Little Red Hens.


I'm so thrilled with last weekend's garage sale find--a big, old picnic hamper in excellent shape!

Open the lid, and find a darling set of vintage plasticware.

I envision many picnics this year...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

To Topstitch or Not to Topstitch

I'm making a simple 8-gore skirt for Ellen with the same pattern as this skirt I made her last December. The fabric for this skirt is a lightweight denim.

My dilemma: Should I topstitch the seams in white? Should I topstitch along only one side of each seam or two? Or, should I topstitch in navy blue? Or the traditional yellow-gold that you see on jeans? Remember, there are 8 gores, so 8 seams.

To topstitch, or not to topstitch? That is the question I'm asking. Opinions are wanted, please. :-)
I can't continue with the waist treatment until you help me decide.

Oh, and if you have any great topstitching tips or suggestions, please tell me! I've not done a whole lot of this, and I can use all the help I can get.

Note to self: google search "topstitching"

Sample pictures below:

happy sewing,


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fun news this morning!

Oh my, I just found out that my pancakes pincushions are featured on the banner of Whiteley Creek Bed and Breakfast in Brainerd, Minnesota!

Adrienne, the B&B owner, purchased two of my pincushions some time ago and asked if she could use them in her site design. Of course I didn't mind, and am delighted with her photography and design. They look so much cuter on her blog then they do in my photos on etsy!

Now I want to take a trip to Minnesota, because I know the perfect place to stay...


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I've been in the sewing mode....

Yesterday I finished off a couple of mini quilts I started last summer. I was trying to use up some pretty little scraps, and these just sort of evolved. If they don't sell, (they're in my etsy shop right now) I plan to hang the rose one in my sewing room, and the little chick one in Elliot's room.

Some time ago I bought a bunch of flannel at Joann's on a $2 per yard sale. I've been intending to start making crochet-edged blankets like Mom does for gifts and to sell. Today I finally got the 6 blankets cut out and serged. It didn't take any time and now they are ready to start crocheting on!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Even More Ottobre

Every once in a while I find a good fabric at Wal-Mart! This knit fabric came from the $2.00 per yard table, and it's nice! Both the heart fabric and the solid knit came from Wal-Mart, and I also bought another piece in a solid brown. The fabric is lightweight, and sewed up nicely.

From 1 yard of fabric I was able to sew two tops---one for Emmy and one for Ellie. Emmy is wearing the second "Hugs" t-shirt that I've made from the 1/08 issue of Ottobre. The first shirt actually came out better, but I like this version with the knit binding instead of woven. Emily looks like a bit of a sheep dog, but isn't she adorable?!

Ellen is wearing "Daisy," also from the 1/08 issue (the only issue I own at the moment). I measured Ellie to determine her size since I am not very familiar with the European sizes. I ended up making the size 140, but you know, I discovered that I should have measured the pattern piece for length. This top fits Ellen fine, but it really could stand to be 4-5 inches longer. Ellen likes her shirts longer than this, but she can always layer it with a camisole to lengthen the look.

For those of you who sew regularly with Ottobre, can you tell me if the patterns generally run short in length? I lengthened the Rose dress and Misty skirt that I made last week, and I see that this Daisy also needed lengthening. One thing, I will be sure to check length measurements next time!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Pretty Pattern Weights

When you sew, do you pin your patterns to your fabric or do you use weights?

When I discovered pattern weights many, many years ago, I never looked back. Well, I do use pins on occasion---with slippery fabrics, fussy prints, or to hold a pattern piece in place until I mark darts or other markings. But for the most part, I use pattern weights.

Recently I decided to pretty-up my rather boring pattern weights, and I think I went overboard. :-) I now have a few sets listed in my Etsy store. I can't keep them all--just how many weights does a person need?!

I've started a couple new tops, one for Ellen and one for Emily. Pictures will be coming soon, but here's a preview:

Happy Sewing,


Monday, April 07, 2008

Birthday Potholders

Mom's birthday was last week, and I had so much fun making these potholders for her. Vintage fabrics, bright ric's enough to cheer any kitchen up!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

More Ottobre Sewing

Yes, I've been sewing again from my Ottobre 1/08 magazine, and for Emily again. This time I made the "Hugs" t-shirt and "Misty" skirt.

After reading on the Ottobre discussion list about how difficult the instructions were for the this t-shirt, I was surprised how nicely and easily it went together for me.

Instead of putting in a zipper on the skirt, I sewed a bias-cut casing to the top tier and inserted elastic through the casing. I just could not see using a zipper for a 2-year old! I am pleased with the results of the bias casing and elastic. I love how the skirt has an underlayer that is longer than the top layer.

The top is a size 98, and the skirt is a size 104. The knit fabric for the top came from my stash, but I bought the cotton skirt fabric.

I love how this outfit looks on Emily; it will be perfect for the warm months ahead.

Next on the sewing agenda---the "Daisy" shirt for my 11 year old. I have already traced the pattern but probably won't have time to sew until Wednesday or Thursday. Sometimes life just gets in the way of sewing.... :-)


Thursday, April 03, 2008

My first Ottobre dress!

Using some gift money, I recently subscribed to the Ottobre magazine, and I finally got my first issue this week! Excitement! Ottobre is designed in Finland, and I just love the pattern designs. I received lots of encouragement from the ladies on the Ottobre sewing list and the Ottobre Flickr group. Thank you!

This pattern is called the "Rose" dress from the 1/08 issue, and I made it for Emily using fabric and buttons from my stash. The only notion I had to buy was the velvet ribbon. I already had the matching flower that I put at center front.

Changes I made from the original pattern:

  • I used a bias band on the sleeve edge instead of elastic.

  • I sewed a back placket and made a button opening instead of using a zipper.

  • I added a bias band at the hemline with the same coordinating fabric as the neck and sleeve bindings.

  • I made a matching panties cover with the coordinating fabric. (Little girls this age always pull up their dresses--well, at least my little girl does).

  • This dress is a size 98 lengthened to size 104. It's a bit longer than I like on Emily, but she is growing like a weed.

I really like the front gathers on the dress, but it was a bit finicky to get them just right. I think it was a bit more difficult because I changed the method of sewing on the ribbon. Instead of sewing separate pieces of the ribbon to the front and 2 back pieces before sewing the side seams, I first sewed the side seams and then used one continuous piece of ribbon around the dress. I like the finished results a lot better doing this my way, but it did take a bit of playing around and measuring everything correctly.

The dress seems a bit wide through the chest as several people on the Ottobre discussion group have mentioned. I tend to think of this as a design element, but yes, the dress is somewhat wide through the bodice. This would work well on a chubby child, though.

Overall I am very pleased with my first sewing project from Ottobre Designs. Emily didn't want to take the dress off after I took her pictures, so I guess that means she likes it too!