Random sewing and stuff I got done

Well, yet again this past week was busy.  I did manage to eek out a few pair of pants for Kailan.  I have two more pair cut up for him that I need to get made yet.  Then I made the kids their treat bags, too.  That was super simple, so I won’t profess any great sewing ability on that front.  Oh, and I also replaced the leather ties (that wouldn’t stay tied) on Anya’s mask with some of my sewing elastic.  Now THAT was a toughie. 😉

Oh, and here’s the Asian inspired dress pattern and tutorial for Anya’s dress.  I actually got it done in time…amazing.

Now for the pants.  These are the same pants that I made him before.  I just have pictures of the one…I hastily took it this morning on the way out the door.   Not the best picture, but it shows it alright.  I made two at the same time to get it done faster.    Unfortunately the next two pairs are different colors, so I don’t think I will be able to do that for those pants.   On this pair, the corduroy was embroidered with the dolphins (he thinks they are whales, but I think they look more like dolphins…sorta).  Hopefully I will get a photo of the other one by next week. 


In case you want to see more of Kailan’s vest, here are some close-ups.  I made it two years ago and it still fits.  Perhaps I made it a tad big, do you think??  He never wore it, so at least he got some use out of it…finally.  It’s got real leather sewn on it, so it looks more like an “official knight”, right??  He put his costume on in the morning and wore it all day.  At least it was comfortable. 🙂


Kailan’s teacher also asked if I would make some chair back, pocket things for her classroom.  I said yes, but told her I had a few projects I needed to get done first.  I need to get crackin’ on at least getting a mock up for her so I can see if what I make is up to snuff, and more importantly…fits the chairs.

Those baby blankets are looming heavy over my head, too.  They aren’t that hard to make, so whyfor am I not getting it done??  Ah procrastination…you are such a good friend of mine!

Asian-inspired cross-front button-front dress


A sewing forum I frequent is having a pattern contest this month, so I thought I would join in.  I only have to make it in one size, so that takes a lot of work out of it.  I made this dress a few times this spring, so it was something I already made before.  It works well as a jumper in the wintertime to put over a long-sleeved t-shirt and leggings.  I am still working on the actual pattern, so I will post it when it is completed.  I have until October 31st to get it completed.

For the sample dress I decided to use some Asian looking fabrics, since it is kind of a dress with Asian flare to it.  The fabric I’ve had for several years, with the exception of the geisha lady applique.  I bought it this spring at some point.  I really like it, but it just doesn’t look like it will work for clothing.  I will probably end up using the different geishas as appliques.  The ribbon around the middle is kind of hard to get the full effect.  It is chock full of beading and little “jewels”, so it gives the dress a bit of bling.

Click here for tutorial




On a side note…do you see those cute brown fuzzy boots she is wearing in the first two pictures?  Do you know how HARD I had to work to get her to wear them???  Geez…she is an opinioned little princess.  I bet if they were pink she would wear them!

Oh, I also have another one that I’ve made out of it…PINK DUIPONI SILK!  Oh yes, holiday dress is almost done!  The fabric shop by me had their silk remnants on sale, so I got 2 yards of the yummy pink fabric for about $4-$5/yard.  I am going to make a nice white knit dress and leggings to go underneath with white fuzzy minkee at the collar, cuff and hem.  Total cuteness!

BUT first, the little man needs some pants.  I also have 3 friends that had babies recently, so I need to get some baby blankets done.  Stuff to do, stuff to do…

You can never have enough dresses

At least that is what Anya probably feels like.  Well, I guess I do, too, since I have so much fun making them. 😉

I actually made this dress a few weeks ago and forgot I hadn’t posted it yet.  It didn’t get posted with the rest of the sewing frenzy because when Anya put it on it didn’t fit right.  It went in for a bit of surgery.

As you can see the torso part was wayyyy too long, so I brought the skirt part up a bit. I think I needed a bit more coffee because those hamsters running my brain were a lethargic when I was designing this dress.  I’m not sure what I was thinking.

THEN she came home from wearing it at daycare with a MARKER STAIN in the middle of the top (same day as this photo was taken).  At least the marker stain was teal and matched the dress. 😉  I washed it right away and it came out…thankfully. Mama was not happy…not happy at all.

The print is french terry and the stripe is a cotton-lycra blend. I love the feel and weight of these fabrics. The rickrack is chenille.

Here she is playing in it at the park the other day.  Before the snow.  But that’s another post.  It’s not the best shot of the dress, but at least you can see she is wearing it happily. 🙂



On the household construction woes, we spent a large majority of the weekend priming and painting the walls and ceilings in our basement.  My hands were so sore and numb by the end of each day.  My forearms were cramping up on Saturday night.  This would be one of those moments when it would be nice to have family that lived close by to take the kids for a bit.  The kids were “helping”, and it would have gone a bit faster if I hadn’t had so much “help”.  Ah well, we should have the majority of it painted by the time the guys come back on Wednesday.  Then the floor laying can begin!  Progress!

I was a bit worried about the paint color for the main room being too dark.  It is a basement afterall.  I chose a terra cotta color, and it turned out just as I wanted.  Now I just have to draw up some large stencils for the walls that I’m going to put on with a copper metallic paint.  Coolness will abound!

In case you are keeping track…here is a few more items to add to the list of “stuff that has gone wrong”:

  • Our new egress window is not draining…at all.  We had a bit of rain in the past few weeks and it just fills up the window well and hardly drains.  That means we have been using a small pump to get the water out.  Not a long-term solution by any means.
  • To alleviate said window well issues, we need to get gutters on our house.  The gutter man came out yesterday and said we had a really ususual roof line, which would take extra work.  Extra Work = Extra Money.  Great. Fabulous. 
  • There is no extra money for those gutters, so it will probably go onto a credit card and not on our home equity loan that was supposed to take care of all of this remodeling shenanigans.  Great. Fabulous.

If I ever do another home remodel…someone please knock some sense into me.  Especially if it occurs with this house…because apparently we have been cursed by the most INEPT BUILDER EVER.  Most of the issues would not have happened if he had just done the construction correctly the first time.  The drainage issues we have are due to what he did with the fill (i.e. clay instead of sand fill next to the house).  Oh, and apparently our house windows are not supposed to be exterior windows.  Huh. Well, that’s just PERFECT.   Because why would you put exterior windows on a house where it gets to -30 degrees in the wintertime.  No wonder our house has heating/cooling issues. 

Well, we definitely don’t have money for that this year.  Maybe next. *SIGH*

Not much to show for the week

I just have one measly little baby blanket to show this week. It’s cute, is it not? My sister and I went to a baby shower for our cousin’s wife on Saturday. It is their first.  A nice snuggly pink blanket.  The flannel here is really soft, in addition to the cuddle fleece (aka minky, minkee, “soft stuff”, etc.).


Her family seems to immensely enjoy baby showers. They play lots of games. There are people who like games and people who don’t.  My sister and I fall squarely in the don’t- really-enjoy-playing-the-games-ever-ever camp.  I’d rather just sit and visit. 

At this shower they did an hour of games.  Seriously.  We opted out of the one where you had to feed baby food to a partner and then drink a bottle of apple juice. There is a reason I made homemade baby food. I didn’t want to feed something I wouldn’t necessarily eat to my kids.   At least if I pureed it, I knew what was in the mystery mush. 😉


I could have also taken a picture of the 4 pairs of pants I have cut out for Kailan, but I figured that was cheating.  They are currently UFO’s (UnFinished Objects), but hopefully I will get a chance to sew up a few this week.  He is in desperate need of pants.  Poor boy is waking up in pain from growing pains in his legs.  He has only a few pants that still fit from last spring.  He really is growing like a little weed!


Other than that, we are just plugging away on our basement.  After the FOURTH inspection we finally passed the plumbing.  There were some rather unkind words said in the direction of that building inspector.  He apparently just wanted to make friends with Brian, and didn’t know quite how to go about that.  Raising his blood pressure to insane heights was not really a good way to get Brian to invite him over for a beer.  😉 

Hopefully this week the guys will get the rest of the sheetrock up, mudded and then get the texture spray on it.  Then next week we can start painting.  Whoohoo!  I’m still working on the color palette for the main room.  I don’t want it to be too dark, but don’t really want a totally light color either.  I need to start drawing my wall stencils, too.  Fun stuff!

Just in time for the Renaissance Festival

On Saturday we went to the Renaissance Faire.  We met some friends there with their two kids and had a rather nice time.  The kids got to ride an elephant and go on a few more rides.   I love our Ren Faire – it is in a great wooded area and lots of people dress up for it.

At about 11:45 am I decided that I needed to figure something out for the Boy to wear.  We were meeting our friends at 2 pm.  I made him the shirt in about 1.5 hours.  I had to figure out a pattern from scratch…so extra pressure!  It turned out a little wide, but that’s okay.  I have a vest to put over it that I made a few years back that he can wear for Halloween.  It is lined in fleece so it should be nice and warm for him.  You’ll have to wait for Halloween for that one.  His pants are from last year, as is the belt.  He looked pretty cute in it.  It was simple outfit, but it was a warmish day, so anything more and he would have been too hot.


Then here is the Girl’s dress to go along with her fairy wing jacket.  She looks very cute all put together, does she not?


The fabrics have been in my stash for a good year or two and the ribbon is vintage from my Grandma. I’m guessing circa the 70’s. It actually has a lacey blue ribbon underneath the blue/green/white ribbon.

She was quite happy with it, so that makes mommy happy.  She actually liked something that wasn’t pink.  We are making progress here people!



One of the places I like to look at for inspiration is Chasing Fireflies.  They have really cute and original clothes.  I saw this dress and thought it was pretty cute.  Here is my attempt at duplicating it.

I elongated and a-lined a basic long-sleeved t-shirt pattern.  Then I cut a few tiers into the pattern and added seam allowances.  I only did the tiers on the front, but I should have done both the front and the back.  Yet again I made it too wide, so I added shirring to the back.  This dress is a bit heavy with all the ruffles, so if I were to do it again I wouldn’t ruffle so much.  I also added puff sleeves, and a cute little ruffle placket with ribbon on it.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and it should definitely fit her two years in a row.


Now, the not so copycat…

This outfit is an attempt to use up bits of minkee that weren’t enough for a single use. It’s the same crossfront dress and leggings from my post before. I just made the leggings a little wider as the minkee doesn’t have as much stretch as a knit. The floral fabric is a printed sweatshirt fabric. I thought it was a fun print, but was having a time coming up with something to make out of it. I did this design a bit different with the colors, but I think it’s cute.


This next outfit is a tube-style dress which channels the 1980’s era.  I’m pretty sure I wore something like this at one point.  Anya tried it on and was doing the best poses in it.  Note to self: make sure she wears leggings when she wears this outside of the home!  This was pretty simple construction.  I just elongated a long-sleeve t-shirt pattern and added cuffs, a bigger collar than normal and a band at the bottom.  The main fabric is french terry and the pink fabric is rib knit.


This outfit was another creation.  I made the arms and legs extra long since I wanted to have gathers.  Next, before closing up the side seams, I put a few rows of shirring on the outside edges.  Then I covered the shirring with ribbon.  Voila – fun gathers!  The ribbon is also used at each tier on the skirt part of the dress.  You may recognize the fabric from a summer dress I made for myself.  The knits aren’t incredibly heavy so this won’t be a dead of winter outfit.  Not quite warm enough for the negative degrees!


 Then I made two of these rugs.   Yes, it one of the fringe benefits of having a taxidermist as a father.  I get “asked” to sew up the rug that goes underneath his critters.  Lucky, lucky me.  I gave my old sewing machine to my mom so I didn’t have to do them anymore.  **hint, hint, Mom** 😀


The urchins have clothes now

The fruits of my labor.  The urchins now have clothes to warm their little bodies when the weather turns frigid and cold.  Of course, this past week or so summer decided to arrive.  Finally.  Of course I was holed up in my dining room sewing up a storm and drafting patterns left and right.  I wasn’t happy with the fit of all of them and had to do some “modifications” so they wouldn’t fall off, but in the end they are cute.  I have a few more dresses I made for Anya, but I don’t have pictures of them yet.  I’ll get to it, but for now this is what I have.

Cross front dress in knit with minky on the arms and collar.  It has a pair of matching leggings.  I designed this dress to be a comfy play dress, so I didn’t want it to be overly long.


Another cross front dress.  This has a heavier knit for the main body and then a featherweight knit for one arm and the ruffle.  I made a ruffle on the matching leggings, too.


This is a soft mini-whale corduroy fabric.  I love the feel of this fabric and it has a nice drape to it.  This dress is one I designed as sleeveless during the summer, so I just added sleeves to it.  I have a bit of pretty lace at the ruffle line.


This is another corduroy dress with the same type of nice fabric as the dress above.  I drafted it a bit too wide, so I added a channel at the neckline for elastic along the front (the top part is fully lined).  I cut off a few inches from the back and added a not-so-invisible zipper.  I only had a light pink one on hand and I should have really had a darker different color.  This is really, really twirly with 22.5 ft on the bottom 2 layers.


These leggings match the two dresses above


Isn’t this little jacket cute??  I wanted to make Anya just a little throw on sweater type jacket that she can wear around when it gets a bit cool.  Again, I made it a bit wider than I should have (apparently she just grew taller and not outward at all!).  I really like the little flounce in the back.  The fabric is nice and soft on both sides.


Now for Kailan…

Go Packers!!  Amazing that you can find Packer fabric when you aren’t in Wisconsin.  This is a nice warm fleece outfit perfect for tailgating and showing your green and gold pride. 🙂


Another very soft fleece outfit.  These outfits are all from patterns, too.  The raglan tops are from Ottobre and the pants are just from one of the big pattern companies.  I added the pocket on the front and back pockets to the bottoms.


Another outfit from the big pattern company.  I just added cuffs to the top and bottoms and then I drew up a horse head, cut it out and appliqued it to the top.  The bottoms are a plush warm fleece and the top is knit.


I really like how this one turned out.  The pants are the same one I used for his shorts this summer, only I made them longer (just stating the obvious!).   The fabric is a heavy canvas, with a woven elastic waist and faux fly.  The back pockets are from the woven which is a print with different bears on it.  The top is a tan butter soft fleece with a camo knit.


 This little jacket/fleeceshirt is from a pattern, but I added elastic to the back since it was a bit too wide.  I also added one of my drawings to the back that I printed on a fabric sheet I bought at Michael’s.  I couldn’t really iron it on, because that would melt the fleece.  I gave it a light iron and then stitched it on.


Well, that’s it for now.  I feel all productive and everything, but I have really neglected my e-mail and blogs and internet surfing this past week.  I tried to stay away from my computer and just have my nose to the grindstone.  I have two more things I made for Anya that I have to take pictures of yet, and a few more outfits cut out and ready to sew.  Hopefully I will get those made up by next week.


When we were cleaning out the basement I came upon the tub of Halloween costumes.  In it was this lovely little creation I made for Anya when she was 2 years old.

I had made the jacket a bit too big for her at the time.  I’m not sure if the pattern had a smaller size or not, but it fit good enough for her to wear.  In fact, it STILL fits her.  Guess what she is going to wear for Halloween? 

I showed the jacket to her again to make sure it met her approval. 

Anya: *GASP*  Mommy, thank you for making me my costume!

We tried it on and it actually still has room in it.  A pretty twirly dress will be made to go underneath.  I “shopped” in my fabric stash to see what I had, and I actually found a blue and a green fabric that will work with the colors of the wings.  I even have a bit of decorative ribbon that my Grandma Jo gave me that matches.  The dress is all cut out and I have the skirt part mostly done.  I just need to stop and get some more of those little satin roses I have on the jacket to put on the dress.  A rather cheap Halloween costume for Anya this year.  That’s if she doesn’t want another mask when we go to the Renaissance Festival again this year.

So, nothing really to show this week, but I have started sewing again.  Looking at basement stuff has taken up the lion’s share of our free time this past week and weekend.  I am going to put together a design binder for how I’m going to do the rooms when they get finished.  That won’t be for a few months, though.  No construction going on this week, so that will give me a chance to get caught up on the household chores.  Maybe clean a little and find places for the many things lying around and in the way.  I hope that I can get started on some more Fall apparel for the kids.  We will be lucky if we see 80 again, and the kids have grown.  As they do.  Kailan is definitely sporting high waters in some of his pants. 

Time for mama to sew.

Getting a start on Fall

Yes, already.  Since I am planning on making the little urchins wardrobe, I kinda need to get going on making sure they have clothes to wear once the weather turns frigid.

First up is a fleece outfit.  It is meant to have a long sleeve t-shirt on underneath and she has plenty that still fit in her closet.  For now.  The fleece was a huge pain to sew with since it just stretched out so much.  The pattern on the top was Simplicity 3714 and the pants I drafted myself.  The seams look a bit wonky…and well, they are but it will look fine once worn.

The applique on the back is one of my artwork pieces that I printed on a printable fabric sheet I bought at Michael’s.  It should (hopefully) be colorfast.


This is one I found in my sewing room.  I tried it on Anya and it still fits her (yay!), so she will be able to wear it this fall at least.  She like petable fabrics and the minky on the bottoms definitely fills that description. 🙂


Next up is an outfit for Kailan.  As you can see, he likes to get mama-made clothes.  I had this cut up for him last winter and finally got it made, and then added some nice comfy pants to go with it.  Kailan is ALL about comfy.  I used this top pattern quite a bit last winter and will again this winter.  It fits the little guy pretty well.


Some comfy flannel jammie pants for Kailan.  I’m just going to see if I can buy some plain long sleeved t-shirts to go with them and call it good.


Other stuff I’ve been working on or have finished:

  • Remember I mentioned a little photo shoot that I did?  Well, here are a few of the pictures.  Some of you that are subscribed to that blog have already seen them, and I have a few more shoots in the next month or so that are on the books.  I’m hoping my children rate and get some photos, too!
  • I’m working on a little book right now.  It’s a children’s alphabet book with pictures I took, and I’ll have it printed through Blurb.  I plan to give it as a gift and have one for our kids, too.  I’m currently stuck at “R”. I’m sure I’ll find something…can’t use the rabbits…I already have the baby bunny Nest.  I need to get it finished up pretty soon, since some friends and family are having babies here pretty soon.
  • I have a bunch of clothes cut up and ready to rock and roll for the rest of the kids’ cold weather wardrobes. 
  • HOWEVER, I need to get their Halloween costumes done in time for the Renaissance Festival, which occurs first.  Kailan will be a knight and Anya will be………yes!  A fairy princess.  Shocker, I know. 😉  I have ordered Kailan’s “armor”, so I just need a shirt, a jerken and pants for him.  Not sure about his shoes yet.  I don’t really like boot covers, as I’d rather have real boots.  Anya needs to pick out her princess dress fabric, so I’ll see if I have something downstairs that will work before heading to the fabric store.
  • I’m putting together a package for Iraqi Bundles of Love.  If you have extra stash that you just aren’t using, why not send it along, too?

Fun stuff! 😀

The last of the summer sewing

Finally…I got these shirts finished for Kailan.  He has been asking me to make him these shirts for a good month, and I have had them cut out for awhile.   I did them all at the same time, so they went together faster. Now I can start to concentrate on Fall/Winter/Halloween.  Always somethin’ to do!  Kai wants his Halloween costume done in time for the Renaissance Festival this year.  He must have liked all the attention he got last year when he went as a pirate. 🙂

Green Knights

Monsters and Aliens

Cavemen and Dinosaurs

I made these before, but they go with the shirt above. 

He wore it right away.


I also got a Mei Tai made for a baby shower gift last Saturday.  It’s actually gray but it looks a bit tan here…darn lighting.  They didn’t know whether they were going to have a boy or girl, so this was a nice gender neutral one.


Ummm…I have a few more things, but I’ll wait for next week to show them. 😀