Feeling the season

Okay people, who’s counting down to Christmas??  I know, Thanksgiving is next week, but Christmas-time is just such a fun time of the year!

Last year it felt like it all went by at lightspeed.  This year I want to be a bit more prepared.  I have my December Daily book ready to go – only it’s going to be more of a Holiday Season Daily…or so.  We cannot forget Thanksgiving, now can we? 

Here is the Flickr set of the pages in my book.  I didn’t buy anything to make it – I used what I had.  I obviously had a lot LOL!  My favorite pieces are the fronts from Christmas cards we received the last few years.  I either plan to either journal or place a photo of them.  I used a 3 ring binder that was just sitting on the shelf as a dust collector.  It may be shocking to hear that I had lots of extra fabric unused in the basement.  I know!! So shocking!!  I made a binder cover out of this holiday themed embossed felt, and added some ribbon.  Unfortunately it didn’t turn out quite straight, so maybe I’ll redo if I feel like it.  I don’t feel like it right now.

 

Next was the innards.  It is no where near as fabulous as Ali Edwards, but I’m still pretty proud of it.  I can’t wait to fill it!  Now with her tutorial on the December Daily album, she started on December 1.  Our holiday season starts before that date, though.  I mean Santa comes to the mall in mid-November and the Operation Christmas Child boxes are sent out this week of November 17-24. Really its going to be less “daily” and more “the moments” of the season.  At least I’m using the concept, right??  I think having the book and journaling areas ready to go will really help it get done. 🙂

 

Some other things to think about:

  • Operation Christmas Child – the boxes need to be to the distribution areas by November 24.
  • Throw a party for charity!  – I would like to do this again this year, I just need to get a date set.  I’m not sure it will get done, but hopefully…
  • Give charity gift certificates as gifts – With the economic downturn it seems charities need funds now more than ever.  You can do this through Just Give or Tis Best.
  • Clean out your pantry and give to your local food bank.  During the holidays they need your help more than ever.
  • Remember the reason for the season.  

the kids and their Operation Christmas Child boxes

 

*****

Last week we cleaned out the basement and got rid of a whole bunch of baby stuff.  I wish we could have given them directly to a shelter or crisis nursery, but they don’t take used clothes, toys, car seats, mattresses, etc.   Why can we not donate our barely used crib mattress and perfectly fine infant car seats??  Why???  They are expensive items in good shape that should get used again.  The mattress is destined to land in a landfill, since I found no charity that would take it.  It is so frustrating!  It’s not like I’m hocking cholera here…I”m pretty sure I cleaned them up good.  I know if I put them on Freecycle someone would want them, but I’m pretty leary of giving out our address or going somewhere to drop them off.  There’s Crazy out there, you know?  *sigh*  At least the charity we gave everything to will be able to sell it and get money for their cause, which is helping people with disabilities.  I’d much rather give to the charities than spend 10 hours to make $2 on Ebay.  Not worth it!

Pretty Fall Dress and a Dinosaur Vest

I have had this material for a good year, and have had quite the time trying to figure out what to make with it.  I really like the design of it, and it is a nice soft babycord.  It is the perfect little Fall dress and just right for school pictures tomorrow morning.  I made sure to not only check the box that I didn’t want the fakey background, but to also wrote “NO FAKE BACKGROUNDS”.  Think they will mess it up again this year?  Yeah, me, too.

I decided to make it a fitted dress.  I was thinking of making a lovely Asian inspired one from Ottobre, but that was one of my pattern sheets that ended up in the recycling. *dramatic sigh*  I used the pattern I have for her knit tops, but I knew that it would have to have either a zipper or buttons in the back.  I cut the pattern out a few inches below the waistline and split the back, adding an inch.  I also lined the top with a cream soft chamois fabric.  The buttons on the back are vintage 70’s, I believe.  I may change them out for some plain flat buttons, though, since they are bit bulky to be going down the spine.  The bottom hem is a bit cobbled.  I should have made the three twirl layers longer than the 5 inches I cut, so I didn’t want it to be any shorter.  I decided to use a new package of orange binding I had.  There were 3 yards and I was a about 1 yard short.  Think it’s a little twirly? 😉  Good thing I had some cream and brown ends that worked to fill in the gap.

She has a few pair of leggings that will work underneath the dress.  The dress isn’t very long, so she definitely needs some leggings.  I should have made it bigger, though, since I think she will only be able to wear it this winter.   It’s a perfect fit right now, and she looks ADORABLE in it. 🙂

Kailan’s vest is made from a super slippery, very pliable and highly fraying jacquard fabric.  That made it oh so fun to make.  The fabric has a sheen to it and is a bit more green than the pictures show.  I used a vest pattern I had and just made it longer and added the buttons to the top.  It is lined in not one, but TWO different colors of chamois fabric.  Don’t look at the inside…it’s not pretty.  There were several things I did wrong with this vest, but luckily it will probably get worn less than 5 times so hopefully no one notices.  At least no one that didn’t already get it pointed out to on this blog. 😉

Of course, since it has dinosaurs the little man is quite pleased.

I think my serger needs to go into the shop for some TLC soon.  I have a bad habit of not getting pins out of the way in time for them to get lodged into the cutting blade.  It’s having a bit of a hard time cutting right now…of course, the poor thing has had lots of work since I got it out of the box this past winter, too.  After I get a few more projects out of the way I’ll get to it…hopefully.

Our Halloween costumes

Brian and I went as a pirate and a vampiress to our adults only Halloween party on Saturday.  My costume was just pieces from costumes I had in the past, and the only thing I had made was the black cape.

Brian’s costume required a bit more work.  We had to leave for the party at 6:30 and I started it at 3:30.  I made his vest and his pants.  The vest was a material that I really like and found just barely enough to make his vest with it.  It is like suede on one side and fur-like on the inside.  It kept him nice and warm outside.  I didn’t have a pattern, so I had to draw something up.  I made it too small across the back and the armholes too small, as well.  I cut it down the middle of the back and added a piece and then just cut the armholes larger.  That was an easy fix.  We found some genuine horn buttons and suede lacing at the fabric store to complete it.  The pants were just the loose piratey pants – elastic waist.  Very simple to make.

 

I also made a Mei Tai on Saturday morning for a friend that was going to be at the party that night.  I didn’t get a picture since I was so rushed.  It was a chambray blue brushed cotton with a cream duiponi silk panel with blue and tan stripes.  Not “too pretty” for the little guy it was destined for, but still stylish looking.  I am really tired of making them!  My sewing machine hates the upholstery thread I use for them and it is just frustrating.  The only reason I made it was because it was for my friend Bekki, and I can’t say no to her.  Her little nephew definitely has a doting aunt.

Here’s the only other thing I have photos for this week.  This is a dress I made for the Girl from a pattern.  The only modification I made was adding the cowlneck to it.   The fabric has a bit of a sparkle in it.  I made a pair of black fleece leggings to go underneath it, too.  Nice and warm and pretty for winter. 🙂

 

I have several more outfits I need to photograph yet, so that will hopefully happen by next week.  I also need to make the Girl a dress and the Boy a vest for pictures at daycare next week.  I have the fabrics and ideas, I just need to get it done by next Tuesday.  No problem right!

I have been working on my Holiday Moments scrapbook, too, and can’t wait to share what I’ve done.  This has been a fun project and I’m really looking forward to having it all ready to go.  When Christmas is over I won’t have to do anything other than that binder.  Plus I will be able to journal things as they happen!  My plan is to use supplies I have on hand and I don’t plan to buy anything extra.  I have plenty of Thanksgiving/Christmas supplies, so that is making it really easy.  When I have it done I will probably post a Flickr set for it, since it will have too many pages to put in one post.  Hopefully it will give others ideas. 🙂

Warm winter outfits

I have been hard at work preparing some outfits for Anya once the weather gets chilly.  Like now.  It snowed on Sunday.  Blech, blech, blech!

Unfortunately the Prince has notice his lack of new clothes made by the sweat of my brow and has been asking where are his clothes.  Look for boy clothes forthcoming soon, but unfortunately I had to go spend money on fleece since I didn’t have much for boy colors.  He might not like pink clothes.  😉

For Anya’s winter wardrobe I found a shirt pattern that I like and decided to lengthen it, so it is a longer tunic length to go over leggings.  The girl is all about comfort these days.  It has been tunics and leggings this season.  I think I have gotten over my reluctance to sew with knits and to sew set-in sleeves.  I have made her 5 shirts so far and it does get easier with practice.

This outfit is the shirt with a leggings pattern I modified a little.  The sleeves and leggings are made out of fleece and the body of the shirt is made from minkee.  It was the end of a baby blanket that was too big for the print.  I’m glad I kept it since those little pieces can still work for little clothes.  She LOVED it and wore it right away.  Unfortunately it is a tight fit, since it isn’t very stretchy.  I need to make it a bit wider next time.

This next outfit is made from a sweater like knit with animals and a purple fabric that is smooth on one side and fleecey on the other.  Nice and warm!  Both were made from patterns, and the arms were about 4 inches too long.  I love how they fit so true to size (insert sarcasm here).  After I tried it on her and then redid the arms it fits much better.  I couldn’t get the above outfit off of her to try it on though, so look for it in pictures this winter.

This outfit is just cuteness to an extreme.  I love striped knits!  This is the tunic top with a floral purple for the body and stripe for the arms and the leggings.  Pretty much the same patterns as the first outfit only the shirt isn’t quite as long.  She even has a pair of purple and black striped socks that match it exactly.  Wierd but cool. 😉

She does like the clothes mama made for her, but mostly because they are comfy.  I have succumbed to the comfy clothes, darn it.  I do have some beautful dupioni silk that will be her holiday dress, though.  I have some more outfits I need to photograph yet – I made 2 full outfits and one shirt for her this weekend.  I got two outfits done for Kai, but didn’t get any pictures yet either.  He wore them right away. 🙂  I have two more cut and ready to make for him, plus some for Anya, too.  I cut up a whole bunch on Saturday night.  Daddy needs a vest for his costume first, though.  I just need to draw up a pattern for that first. *sigh*  It’s nice when I don’t have to think too hard!

Her pink fairy princess dress

It goes without saying that most of Anya’s clothes cost less than $10 in supplies, or $15 at the most for an entire outfit.  Time, well that is another thing.  After being on the Spoonflower waiting list for several months, I was finally able to order my first fabrics in mid-September.  It took 3 weeks to receive my lovely 2 yards of fabric that cost $39, including shipping.  Yes!  I know!  It is expensive, but it was just personally gratifying to see my artwork on fabric.  I created my designs solely from my artwork using Pantone colors, LAB mode and uploaded as .tiff files, as they requested.  These were my designs and then how it printed.

Both printed less colorful than my files and my damask-like one didn’t print as well as I hoped.  It is less bright than the stripe and I used the same colors for each.

Now, I’m not going to be ordering tons of fabric at this price, but as an artist it is nice to get something tangible from your work.  I ordered pink because Anya is a girl that likes her pink, so I figured she might actually wear her pink dress.  If I’m going to pay $18/yard for fabric it better get used!

She wanted to be a fairy princess for Halloween (YAY!), so I that is what I made with the fabric.  She can wear this as her fairy princess dress and then still wear it next summer. 🙂  I made this the same way I make most of her dresses, only I did strips on the skirt and made it floor length.  I added lots of ribbon and lace to the bodice and apron to dress it up.  Rather boring, aren’t I?  I took apart a silk flower for the lovely little centerpiece and added a fancy butterfly button.  The apron is actually a large pocket…just right to fill up with candy.  This dress is all about girlyness.  The pictures are a little yellow, so the true color is above in the fabric swatches.  We got her accessories at the Renaissance Festival.  The mask is a painted leather mask and the wings are size adjustable so both should last her for a few years.

I also made her a cape to wear with the dress – she is now a superhero. 😉  The cape came with a pattern I had, and I made the size 8 so it was a decent size to cover her up.  The outside is a fuzzy warm fabric and the inside is a pink flannel.  Just a little bit of warm to help chase away the chills.  Of course, it won’t fit very well over her wings, but not much would.   The clasp is a hook/eye button clasp I had in my stash for just the perfect project. 🙂

A few weeks ago Anya got herself dressed to go outside and came downstairs in a pink shirt and pink shorts.  As she bopped around the corner to show me her outfit she declared, “I’m all pinked up, Mommy!”  Now she will really be all pinked up!

If you are interested in another tutorial, I made one for the lens cozies.  The photos are less than fantastic since I took them in the basement and they are SOOC, but they do the job in explaining how to create it.  My perfectionism only goes so far!  Click on this link for the pdf: how-to-make-a-lens-cozy.

Using my stash and saving some moola

After getting a bit of a shock as to how high our credit card has become, I decided to not buy a new dress for the wedding a few weekends ago.  Since all of my other dresses didn’t fit me.  Which sucks.

I delved and dived into my fabric stash of sunken costs and decided to make one on the Tuesday night before the wedding.  I had bought a pretty fabric at the warehouse that was a bit stretchy and had a great texture and sheen to it.  It looked quite elegant on the bolt.  I had to line it though, since the fabric pattern has some holes in it, and I found a lightweight brown georgette fabric for that.  Next was what to use for the accent fabric.  I finally decided to cut into this green brocade beauty that I purchased sometime last year.  I had only purchased 1 yard so I have no idea what I intended to do with it for that small of a cut. It took a few nights of working on it to produce this beauty.

 

The dress looks okay on me – but it looks better on the hanger.  Much better.  I didn’t wear it since it wasn’t exactly pleasing to my figure.  Instead I sucked in my gut and barely got one of my other dresses zipped up, but after almost straining some muscles in the process…it was on me.  I couldn’t breathe too deeply the rest of the night, but at least I had a dress to wear! 😉

That’s the luck you get when trying to make your own clothes – you get winners and losers.  I deviated from the pattern and it was a bit hard to sew.  My serger did not like it one bit and wouldn’t cut it when I was sewing the 4 layers at once.  I have decided that I don’t like sewing with lining – especially a georgette fabric that is slippery.  I think because the fabric is a bit too bulky it just didn’t work for this pattern.  It needs a more flow-y type of fabric that lays flatter.  Dang.  I’m going to try to modify it a bit at somepoint so it doesn’t get thrown in a giveaway pile.  I’ll take out the gathers under the waistband and then reduce the lining.  Then it should look better at least.  A project for a lazy winter weekend…

For the baby boy

Although I have several things I have made lately, I will have to settle for showing just this one thing today because the shots of everything else is lacking.  I made this baby blanket for a friend who had her 2nd little boy in July.  You don’t really need nice warm blankies in July, so that is the only reason it took me this long to make it.  Yeah.  At least I had bought the fabric sometime before July…it takes me awhile to get things done.  This is the soft and snuggly chenille fleece, and just ignore that the pattern has roses on it.  It was the only thing I could find in the store that was a dark blue.  I’m sure he won’t be damaged from it. 😉

If you want to see a recent photo session I did this weekend, you can find it over here.  It was at our friends’ house out in the boonies.  I wandered around in their woods until I found a spot that I liked.  Unfortunately it was around a dried up stream bed, so there were a few bugs.  Just a teensy weensy bit.  We survived…that is the important part. 🙂

Knits galore

Before getting my serger for Christmas last year, I wasn’t a fan of sewing with knit fabrics.  It wasn’t the easiest with my regular sewing machine since they stretched so much and the hems looked all wonky.  Now I have a whole mess of knits that are simply begging to be made into cute little outfits for the urchins.  They all begged me to buy them, too.  I am so weak-willed. 😉   Remember all those bins of fabric??  Most of the knits I have for sewing I bought LAST Fall…or Before the Serger! 

This outfit is one of my favorites.  I love this blue fabric, it is one of those “pet-able” fabrics that are so soft and fuzzy and WARM.  She loved it too and wore it to daycare the next day.  The black is a plain knit.  I used a pattern for both the top and the bottoms.  The top didn’t have a hood, so I stole it from another pattern.  I also put pvc grommet tape along the sides of the pants, which I just love how it all looks together.  I tend to buy embellishments with no notion of where to use them.  This is exactly why I buy things I like…so I have them when needed.  The only problem with these pants are they are too short-waisted.  I didn’t follow the pattern exactly, so I need to redo the waist and add some fabric on it.  An easy fix.

This next outfit is another soft knit fabric, just not quite as “pet-able” but nice and warm.  I modified a leggings pattern to add the flare to the legs.  I was going for a more “yoga pants” look.  The inside of the vest is a nice soft tan chamois fabric, and I have a brown long sleeve thermal t-shirt she can wear with it when it gets cold.  The vest was supposed to be open with no button.  I can only assume the vest wasn’t supposed to be worn for more that 5 minutes with that design, so I added a “vintage” button.  Vintage means it was in a big bag of mismatched buttons my Mom and/or Grandma Jo gave me.  I’m pretty sure it’s older than me.

This next outfit I didn’t make the shirt (an ON blank slate), but added the ribbon and buttons…to hide a stain.  You know how it is.  The pants pattern is the same as the top outfit, but I added ribbon along the side seam and pockets to the side…and made it correct this time.  Again, I just happened to have ribbon that matched in my stash.  🙂  She thinks her pants are all too long for her, but when you grow 2 inches in 3 months Mommy wants to make sure they last the winter!

 

I’ll have more to show next week! 🙂

As an aside…on Friday night we met a couple at our friends’ house that go to the same daycare as us.  Their oldest is a little younger than Anya and they have been in the same class before.  We were talking about that and she said she loved all of Anya’s unique outfits and our host, Kelly, walked by and said, “Oh, Stacy makes all of her kids clothes!”  Well, not quite!  Anyways, she had thought I bought most of Anya’s clothes at boutiques LOL!  Um…we aren’t rich. 😉

A pretty present

On Saturday one of our friend’s turned 29…again. 😉  I hadn’t made a necklace in a long time so I decided to pull out my beads and see what I had to work with.  The necklace and earrings I made are bronze beads with silver findings.  I  couldn’t just leave it at that, so I made a satin jewelry pouch lined with velvet to go with it.  A lady needs some prettiness! 

Sorry the picture didn’t turn out too clear.  I should have taken it on a solid surface, but I thought the stone had a lot of the same colors.  Unfortunately they all kind of blend together.

I am hoping to accomplish a few projects this week while I am on vacation.  I am going to try to paint part of the basement, though, so I may not get as much done as I want.  I got all the many, many spiders vacuumed up yesterday, so I’m off to good start, right??  Generally when I take a week off, I keep the kids in daycare so I can get things done like painting, sewing, etc.  I try to be productive and get caught up with life.  I hope I’m successful!

A lacy little number

As per the usual, when I go to create something I keep on changing it up as I go.  I started out planning on making a simple twirl skirt.  Well, then I looked at the box of laces my Grandma Jo gave me, since she wasn’t using them, and decided to throw some of them on there for the hem.  Well, then there was too much lace for it to be a full twirly thing, so I cut a section off, added it up top and decided to do some shirring, which made it too long to be a skirt and not long enough to be a dress, so straps were added so it looked like a jumper.  Then I added these little trinkets where the straps attached to the top that jingle as she walks.  Unfortunately the straps didn’t stay up very well.  I should have criss-crossed them in the back.

I wanted some white cuteness for a photo shoot I wanted to do with the kids so I could order a picture as a canvas.  I’ll show you the one I chose on Thursday.  Oh, the suspense! 😉

jumper

jumper

She’s just too dang cute for her own good. 🙂

cuteness