All mine

Well, I was feeling a bit left out, so I decided to make some clothes for myself.  I haven’t shopped for me in quite awhile since I’ve gotten a little “fluffy” and don’t really want to buy a size up.  Instead I decided to make some tops from shirts I already own and like the fit, and would probably still wear with less fluffiness.

Basically, I just laid the tops out and drew the pattern pieces onto some fabric my Grandma Josephine gave me circa 1985.  Sorry, Grandma…I just can’t bring myself to make clothes out of them. 😉 I’m sure she bought the fabric for us kids and had intended to make something trendy from it but it just never came to fruition.  At least it is getting used, right??

This top is just one big piece for the front and back, plus a band at the bottom and a cowl neck.  I made the skirt a few years ago.  The top actually looks better on me than it photographed…beyond just my lovely “deer in the headlights” expression. 😉  It is super comfy.  The fabric is that really light, soft knit fabric in a heather brown-gray color with an overlay of brown damask with gold highlights.   I should have taken a close up of it.  Not to worry…I have more fabric.  I think it will be a summer knit top, as well.


This top I made from a peasant style top I already owned.  It has the raglan-style sleeve (not a set in sleeve), so it was pretty simple to draw up.  I made the sleeve twice as wide as the original, and a bit longer.  I wanted it more poofy, and I just added shirring at the wrists.  The neckline and waist have elastic in a channel.

The skirt…I had to do a rework on it.  I originally sewed it up, and found I put the seam on the outside for the top part.  Gah!!  I thought I could make it work, did a few more things and tried it on.  Not good.  I took it apart, added the smaller ruffle and made the top a bit smaller with the seam on the inside.  All good.  This has an elastic waist, too, and the fabric has a little stretch.

I didn’t buy these pieces with the intent that they would be a matching outfit, but it worked out pretty well!  I love thise one. I also made the jewelry, too, many, many moons ago.  It matches perfectly. 🙂


I need to finish up those swimsuits that I promised to put up in my etsy (I had to buy some more swim elastic) and then maybe a few more tops for me.  I got a black one made that is the same as the blue top above, but with fabric roses along the neckline.  I need to get a picture of it yet…I’ll probably make a skirt to match and then take a picture.  🙂  I also have some plain white and more black to make some basic knit tops for summer.  I really like the Muse Tee in CAbi’s spring line, but I’m not going to spend $70 plus shipping for a white t-shirt.  I am pretty confident I can make a fairly close replica for about $3 worth of fabric. It’s so fun to be able to do that! 🙂

The stash

Most sewing mavens start out small.  I remember when I was younger, I would buy fabric and actually have a plan for what to make with it.  I would buy the actual yardage needed and only have a few scraps left over.  Ah, the good old days of sensible purchases!

I stopped sewing after college, since I didn’t have a good machine and I was busy working (10-14 hour days).  I had purged what fabric I had at the time I moved, so I didn’t really have anything to sew with.  A few years later I started sewing again and had a few drawers with some fabric…not much really.

Along came the munchkins.  Now, it is out of hand, really.  I mean I don’t need all of this, but I JUST. CAN’T. STOP. BUYING.  I wander into the store and I’m overcome and overwrought with ideas floating in front of my eyes and unwittingly fill my cart up with bolts and remnants of whatever pretties catch my fancy.  At least now I don’t really buy much clothing for the kids.  I feel guilty.  I mean, that’s the reason I bought all this fabric in the first place!

I would really love to get it all organized decently.  Oh, how I long for a finished basement with a craft room!  I’m trying really, really hard to just wait on buying something for storage.  I rather like these glass bookcases from Ikea right now, and with these fabric storage boards I could be so organized!  I could look at all my pretties and they would be away from dust. 

For now, I have these…rather depressing to look at aren’t they?  Kinda messy, too, huh?

I thought I should start to organize, and look at how organized I am!  I turned a box of chaos into a nice organized drawer by just cutting up a few cardboard boxes.  Now I can see all my pretty trims, just waiting for a project.


…And because I can’t have a crafty post without craftiness, look at this cute little taggie blankie that I made for a baby gift (late as usual!).  Her big brother has one I made previously and he really wanted his little sister to get one, too, bless his heart.  I found this flannel and just love it.  It’s so pretty.  I felt it was the perfect choice.  It has blue because her brother wanted her to have one, and lots of girly pink. 🙂


Want to make one, too?  Here’s a quick tutorial on making a taggie blankie.

I have done more in the past few weeks than just this, of course.  I got a lot of scrapbooking done, and I need to pick up some albums to get the pages put away.  I made 2 shirts and one skirt for me.  I made another skort for Anya and am working on a tutorial for that.  I forgot to do something that I was going to add to it, so I may be taking pictures over again.  I have a bunch of swimsuits, a few dresses and a skort all cut up and ready to sew.  Now all I need is a little more free time. 🙂

Super duper twirly Care Bears dress

I don’t think this dress could be any more twirly.  The bottom 2 layers has about 30 feet of fabric each.  Seriously.  This dress was mostly my own design.  I used a pattern piece as the base for the top, but then adjusted it for what I wanted.  I had to expand the back so it would have room for the shirring.  I like the dresses I make to be fitted but still comfortable and allowing movement.

The embellishments on the top…I love.  I sewed a pink organza ribbon on each side and then threaded pink rickrack through the channel.  I used snaps down the front (pink and purple!) at 1.5″ spacing.  The top is fully lined on the front and the back neck facing and arms, I just used bias tape from from the fabric. 

I’ll probably make a few more for summer…just not so twirly.  That was ALOT of ruffling.  Since this was the first time making this design, it took me around 6 hours or so to make it.  The only changes I wanted to make is to bring the front neckline down and have a bit more room in the armholes.  The arms just seemed a little too tight.

She was very happy with her new twirly Care Bears dress. 🙂

 I also have the tankini tutorial completed, too.  Here it is.  As always, you can find all of my tutorials on the “I Make Things” page here.  This is the suit I made while taking photographs.  I also made another one out of the same material in this picture that I may put up in my etsy shop.  I don’t think she needs more than two new suits, right??  Sorry, she claimed it before swimming last night and she was all emotional after just falling so I couldn’t say no, right??”  I’m thinking of making a few and putting them up in my etsy shop, so let me know if you are interested in a 3T-5T (she’s 3.5 and fits in 4T – these should fit that range no problem) suit.  I’ll send out an e-mail when I get them up.  Which will be hopefully sometime before summer.

Odds and ends, bits and bobs, a bit of this and that

Some stuff I’ve done lately…or in the past few months or so.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to get pictures.

A skirt for Anya for Christmas…she wanted a twirly skirt, so I whipped on up the night before one of the family parties.  Finally got to use those tights I bought on sale at Hanna Anderson two years ago.  I love them!  They have red eyelet lace on the bum, too, so when she was crawling around on the floor it was pretty cute.

An outfit I made at some point this winter…leggings and a top with a big pocket to carry stickers.

I had this cut up a few months ago…finally got around to making it a few weeks ago.  It is yellow flannel and a matching knit.  It’s a bright and cheery outfit to keep the spirits up on the doldrums of winter.  The pants ended up a bit too long, so I shorted them.  I think she might be able to wear the outfit next year, so I’ll just bring the hem down at that time.  Again, big pocket for stickers.  I still need to get a picture of her in the other outfit I made at the same time.  And I need to make the two outfits for Kailan I have all cut up, too.  One is a Packer outfit.  Better late than never, right?? 😉

A new swimsuit that fits her better.  The bottoms on her other ones were pinching off the circulation to her little legs.  Since she has to wear it every week at swimming classes, I figured I would make her another one.  She, of course, picked the princess castle fabric.  She might not look like she loves it, but she does!  She just doesn’t love standing still for a photograph. 😉  This was a simple tankini design that goes over her head and the straps criss cross in the back.  I’ll probably make another one.  These are so quick to make up and I have a bunch more swimsuit fabrics.  The only problem I have with some of them is that my sewing machine skips stitches sometimes.  Rather frustrating, really.

Now I think I’m actually going to have to make something new, since I don’t have anything waiting in the wings to post.  I should have broken this up in a few posts, huh? 🙂

Oh, and the CPSA has delayed execution of the new rules until next year.  Yay, for the mom and pop shops!  Now they just need to amend the legislation, so the testing is done at the supplier level.  This is a good article on the state of affairs as they stand right now.

A few new bags

Here are some bags I made over my vacation.  I wasn’t taking the best care in taking pictures (lazy me!), but you can get the gist of them.  They are upholstery weight fabric, and the handbags have silk for the pockets.  It is the same style of bag I usually make and they have pockets on the inside, too.  They are much prettier in person. 🙂

Birthday present for my sister…

My mom wanted one, too, sooo….

A gift for my aunt…

…and some Ipod cozies


Speaking of bags…  I am very excited about a new project I am working on.  I designed some fabric patterns for a gal that makes photography gear bags.  She wanted some exclusive fabric designs for her products, so I worked on a few damask designs and she bought two of them.  She liked my fun take on damask.  🙂  As soon as she gets them printed and on her bags I will let you all know!


Oh, and my local fabric warehouse had a moving sale.  Squeeeeeeee!!!!!  Unfortunately, since I didn’t want to brave the arctic weather last week all the silks and minkees were gone by yesterday.  Dang it.  I did, however, manage to fill two largish bags full of fabric, most at 70% off.  I need to start working on summer in the next few months so the girl isn’t naked, right?? 😉  I got some really fun prints and trimmings.  I can’t wait to get started!


PS…Sorry for being behind on stopping by my fellow bloggers.  I’ve been taking work home pretty much every night the last few weeks, stopping only to work on fabric designs.  I have two sets of auditors bothering me and then I get to start on pulling together information to send to our tax preparers.  This is a fun, fun, fun time of year, I tell ya.  April 15 can’t arrive fast enough! 🙁 

Fancy Nancy just got fancier!

This is my first attempt at making some doll clothes.  As I wrote previously, I wanted to get Anya a Fancy Nancy doll for Christmas, but the extra doll clothes were a bit too expensive.  I bought the dolly, took her out of the excessive packaging and measured her all up.  I sat down at the kitchen table to draw the patterns and cut them out.  Anya was there and was very interested in the “baby” patterns I was making.  Soon I won’t be able to pull the wool over these little eyes!

Later I cut out the pattern pieces from some of my many small bits of extra fabric…before I tested to see if at least one fit.  Silly, silly me.  The arms were a bit too narrow and too long and the pants were too long.  Fairly easy fixes, and I didn’t have to recut too many pieces.  It was nice to be able to use the many, many scraps in my big bin to make clothes.  Plus they will match some of Anya’s clothes.

In this situation, bias tape is your friend (narrow double-fold).  That and rolled hemming on the serger.  Some of these little tiny seams are a bit of a bear to do.  The backs of most of them are open all the way down so it is easier for her to put them on and take them off.  I used snaps for closures.  I had a bag little buttons and some satin roses I used to pretty them up.

I just need to figure out how to make her some new shoes.  I’m sure there is a way, I just need to figure it out.  I’m definitely not buying a $20 outfit for a doll so it can have shoes.

This was such a fun little project.  It makes me wish I were a wee little girl so I could play with dolls again. 🙂  The first picture shows her “suitcase” that I found to put all the clothes into.  It was a nice little suitcase-like box that is light enough for a little girl to carry around with her.  Anya was very happy with Nancy and her new doll clothes, and she even got a few new Fancy Nancy books for Christmas from Grandma Joan.  She all set for much playing. 🙂


Just an FYI, if you had bookmarked my Sundress tutorial…I deleted that post.  It got linked on Stumbleupon and on another site and got around 4600 views.  And not one thank you.  That annoys me to no end, so if you need it, just look on my “I make things” page – it’s at the bottom.  I really don’t mind putting the work into doing a tutorial, but people are so rude these days.  I guess if I didn’t get any thank you’s, then it wasn’t worthwhile so I might as well pull it.  Of course, I did get one comment that the dress was “sooooooooooo uglllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!”.  So…yeah… *DELETE*

A craftless Crafty Tuesday

I have no new creations to share this week.  The days just went by so fast, and I didn’t get photos of creations I have finished in the past month or so.  There are two or three of Anya’s outfits that I need to photograph.  They will be well broken-in by the time I get them on the digital card.  A certain spunky doll needs to model some clothes for me, too. She’s having a hard time fitting me into her busy schedule. 😉

I also produced nothing new this week.  I have been trying to pace myself and not stress myself over the holidays.  I know I have time to finish up those last minute holiday projects/gifts.  Anya, my beloved little buttercup has also decided she likes dresses…and twirling.  This is the same girl that turned up her nose at all the skirts and dresses I made for her last summer.  I just need to get her in some more cute twirliness now that her attitude has changed for the best.  😀


One thing I did “create” this weekend were pictures of a little newborn babe. She wasn’t all that thrilled about having her picture taken, so I hope that doesn’t show in the shots. She was three weeks old and quite perturbed she wasn’t allowed to nurse the entire time.  She’s one of those boob babies.  I know that type well…they are content to just nurse all day long if allowed. 

I also really like this picture I took of Anya’s shoes, so that was my little bit of creativity last week, too.  She wore those black sparkly shoes to threads.  Now that I have it documented I can finally throw them away.  Target really needs to make their sparkly shoes with some sort of coating on them.  I was filling in with a permanent black marker after the first wearing.  The red ones from GAP have a nice plastic coating over the sparkles, so I’m hopeful they will last longer than a month of constant wearing.


As I promised to share…here is a very bad picture of Anya in her outfit from last week. I didn’t manage to get a better one this weekend.  I think active little girls that like to crawl around on the floor and duiponi silk may not be mutually condusive.  One of the straps and a patch of ruffle are starting to rip out after two wearings.  Into the patching pile it goes.  She did the same thing to the front ruffle on the corduroy dress, too, so it is just her trying to play on the floor and then standing up while she’s still on her dress. *sigh*  My work is never done!


Starting next Monday, Brian and I are taking vacation for about two weeks. It has become an annual routine, and much needed.  We need some downtime to recharge.  Starting January 1, I can look forward to about three months of taking work home everynight…and very little crafting time.

I love to have this time during the holidays to relax and enjoy being together.  I’ll be able to finish up holiday presents that I have been setting aside until I have time during my vacation.  We’ll be able to do some fun things together, most especially if I can find a gingerbread house kit.  I have been wanting to do one with the kids.  Hopefully we can make it downtown for the Christmas lights parade they have during December.  They would really enjoy seeing that.

I’m sure by the end of the two weeks they will be asking us when they can go back to daycare…to see all their buds.  We are rather boring, don’t you know?

I’m counting the minutes…


Here is a craftiness roundup from this past year.  I got a lot done!

PIF exchange dress Dora Dress  Piggy dress greentoile Purple swirl dress Fairy dress Fairy pants and shirt alissa's purse beth's apron lilac swing top portrait dress Fairy fabric pinafore Mary Engelbert Outfit Blue/Green flowers Capri reconstruction toile froo froo Paisley and Dots Sundress  Trip purse Try #2 new suit Action shots 4th of July short set 4th of July skirt set Baby blanket Showing shirt Rockin' the dress - self portrait Ruffle skirt White shift dress A lacy little jumper a blue hoodie outfit Pink/brown animal print outfit Pink/tan camo details Purple stripedness Pink fairy dress Cape Little purple animals Fuzzy pinks 20081111_4006 Twirling Black dragon outfit Navy biker outfit Okay momma I will stand still for a second Little biker boy Holiday finery in duiponi silk

Holiday finery

Here is Anya’s Holiday outfit.  She will be wearing it much, and it should hopefully fit her next year, too.  It was made from three different colors of duiponi silk that I bought on sale at 50%/60% off.  Yay!  Silks vary in their degree of fraying.  The blue one was really bad in the fraying department and it is the softest one of the three.  I just had to watch it and the hems are all serged.

The bodice has the three different colors.  I have runching and pintucking and yo-yo’s to decorate it.  It is lined, as well, and has covered buttons in the back.  The straps were originally too long so I just sewed them up on the top of the shoulder.  If I need to lower them eventually it shouldn’t be difficult at all.    The skirt has all three colors and is fairly full.  The silk ruffled exceedingly well on the serger.  It actually ruffled too much so I really had to be careful that I had enough fabric.  I could have made the skirt fuller rather easily.  Oh well, too late now!

I made some pants to go underneath the dress, and I’ll just put a cream shirt underneath, too.   I have a hard time with dresses in the wintertime since I want her to be warm.  The silk is like wearing AIR so I knew that wasn’t going to be warm at all.  I wanted to line the pants, but I didn’t have anything on hand.  I’ll just have to put tights on underneath or something.

Hopefully I will have pictures of her wearing it this week, since tonight is their Holiday Program for daycare.  We’ll see if they actually sing this time. 😀

It’s nice to be appreciated

Boy clothes – they are a bit harder than girl clothes.  With girl clothes you have various lovely patterns for different kinds of tops and dresses, skirts, pants, gauchos, leggings, etc.  With boy clothes you have pants and shirts.  Not much variety there.  One pattern company I love for their boy clothes is Ottobre.  They are in the form of a catalog and you have to trace the patterns from an enclosed pattern sheet, which looks somewhat akin to the flight patterns of the entire USA.  Just a little confusing, but do-able.  Plus, for around $15 an issue you get lots of boy, girl and baby patterns so they are useable for quite a while and great when you have boys and girls.  Somehow two of my pattern books were recycled last year…after having them shipped from Finland since you can’t find them here.  I’m not naming names as to who did this, but you know who you are. 😉

Since I have one left – the SUMMER one, I tried to see what they had for their boy stuff.  One of the winter ones had these great pants for boys.  *elaborate sigh*  Since I’m just using fleece right now to make him some warm clothes, I used a t-shirt pattern with a curved raglan sleeve and just elongated the sleeve length to fit.  I drew the front pocket and pants pockets, which are lined pieces.  Boys need pockets to carry their treasures.  I used two different patterns for the pants.  The blue One has 4 pieces for both the fronts and the backs, and that seemed like overkill when they were all the same color.  You can’t really tell.  The black one has just two pieces, so that worked much better.

The appliques required a little special attention.  Fleece is synthetic, which doesn’t respond well to high heat.  You may notice a slight iron outline on the back of the black outfit.  Learn from my mistakes LOL!  I had to make sure when I applied them to not go on the non-appliqued surface.  I forgot to use applique paper/tissue underneath while I was sewing on the appliques, too, so the stitching is a bit stretched dang it.  Silly me.

Kailan was VERY excited to see I made him his clothes with his bikes and dragons.  Especially since he loves his “soft pants”.  I made these about a month ago and he loves to wear them.  The first time he wore his dragon outfit to daycare he said his friends “loved” them.  Yeah, dragons are cool. 🙂

Of course, who doesn’t love fleece, too??  If I worked at home I would wear them from sun up to sun down.  Unfortunately my sewing machine did not love the black fleece, which seemed the softest of the bunch, since I had much skipped stitching and broken threads.  At least I just had to hem them on the sewing machine, since the serger did fine with it.  It was still frustrating though.

This past weekend I also replaced the zipper in his winter jacket.  This is winter #2 for his jacket so it apparently couldn’t deal with the stress.  That zipper sure wasn’t going to fall off, though.  I had to rip through 3 seams to get it off.  That was the hardest part of replacing it.  Of course, I had to venture into the fabric store to get the zipper…and it would have been cheaper to just buy him a new coat. 😉  Oh well!

Oh, and go check out New Green Mama’s new etsy shop.  She has some uber cute stuff mostly made from recycled fabric.  I love seeing those types of projects – green AND cute!

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!