A lovely surprise

Yesterday I clicked over to Indie Tutes and found that I won a drawing for her first pattern-zine.  Yay me!  Take a wander around her blog and store.  She is a great seamstress and shares freely with her tutorials on all aspects of sewing for little ones.  I found her site on Craftster, which is a fun forum website where people share all manner of things they have created.

Last week I did not get the sewing finished that I had intended.  I still didn’t get to bed until after midnight each day, so I must have been doing something!  I was probably busy itching after I got bitten by chiggers last Monday evening in our yard.  I’m still itchy…nasty little buggers.  They got Anya, too, but not as bad, thank goodness.

I did make two lens cozies to put in a purse-modified-camera bag.  I was going to use that purse as a template to make one, and then just thought, “Why bother, I have so much more to do right now!”  So…I gave myself a break.  It did need some cushion for my lenses, so I made these little lovelies.  Some fabric scraps and extra pieces of 1″ cushion that I knew would be useful someday.  It took me about 10 minutes, though, so I didn’t go overboard on the crafting this week.


Thanks to everyone on the compliments on my new blog layout.  Is that craftiness?  I guess it might be a bit.  I am using a purchased theme (link in the blog footer at the bottom), which allows me to do some fun customizations.  I bought it mainly for my new photography blog, but decided to put it up here, too. 

Speaking of my photography…here’s my new blogsite, complete with pictures from the Blessing ceremony on Saturday. 


Let me know what you think of it.  That is where I will be posting my photography sessions and an occassional favorite photo, so it won’t be incredibly active since I don’t do many photography shoots.  I have no comments over there, so it needs a little blog-love. 🙂

A few more items for mommy

I made these a few weekends ago for me.  I didn’t make anything last weekend, because I was very busy doing something I hadn’t planned or wanted to do.  I have a post about that lovely experience set up for Friday.  Curious? 😉

This is pink froofrooness, and that is a non-word.  It describes this skirt well, though.  It has two layers of ruffles at the bottom with lace over the seam on the top ruffle.  This is not a skirt that can be ran in, however.  Walking fast is even a bit of a challenge, but I still love it.

pink froofrooness

This skirt is another for my business wardrobe.  A similar tube with a gathered layer.  I wore this at the conference last week, and I unfortunately made the waist a bit too small.  I was a bit uncomfortable sitting around in it all day…ah, the price of beauty. 😉

 black skirt

This week I really need to make a baby blanket I have been putting off and then I want to make a bag for my lenses.  I have another committment ceremony I am shooting this weekend.  When you are in the midst of an event it is really hard to drag a big bag with all your lenses with.  I love my J.Jill bag, but it is a bit too big when I’m trying to move through a crowd.  I have an idea for a small bag, and I’ll hopefully have it to share next week. 🙂

I made a haul

Last week I had a few days off on vacation since my office was being recarpeted.  I needed to vacate the premises, so what better reason to take some time off?  I made my annual trek up to a fabric outlet in the northern suburbs about 20 some miles away.  The mileage isn’t so far,  but it is on a pretty busy road which can get backed up a bit.  I don’t go in that traffic unless its on off times.

Anyways, I spent about 2 hours there.  You have to cut your own fabric, mark it and return it to the shelf you got it from, so it takes a bit longer to get your lovelies.   Add that to the fact that it is a huge warehouse in a fairly dishelveled state, which happens with people having to “put it back where you got it from”.   Some people are just plain lazy.  The first time I went there I came home with only a measly couple of yards.  I think I was too overwhelmed.  This time I had a plan!  I deviated from it, but at least I had a plan!

I was looking for knits for winter clothes for the kids, and the stretch rayons and jerseys for skirts and dresses for me.  I bought…a lot.  It took me awhile to cut it all up and only got interupted a few times by the newbies mistaking me for the hired help. 

When I come home with my fabrics I always wash and dry them right away so they are ready for me to cut up and sew.  After 2.5 loads of laundry, I started in!

I made myself 2 work skirts and 2 black knit jersey skirts.  I’ll post pictures of my stuff next week (hopefully).  I also made Anya a simple white dress.  I drew up the pattern, and made it in less than a hour.  I tried it on Anya that night and she didn’t want to take it off.  She slept in it and wore it later the next day.  I think she likes it. 😉


white dress

She is not so fond of the dresses I have made her with quilter’s cottons.  She’s all about comfy knits right now…those darn kids and their opinions!  I’ll make up a few more dresses for her with some of the knits I bought. 


Today I’m on my way to Cali for work.  A wonderful boring conference, as they all are…regardless of whether I need to know the information…which I know I do.  I’m hoping to get in some good drawing time on my flight.  This time, I am actually going to be renting a car and driving instead of taking a cab.  I hate driving in strange cities (especially the big ones!), but the directions I have don’t sound too hard to follow.  Wish me luck!  I’m hoping to find a good sushi place for dinner tonight, too.  Mmmmmm…sushi!

A plethora of pretties

So what do you think?  Would you choose these colors for a baby girl blanket?  It is again the ultra soft cuddly fabric.  You just want to curl up with it and go sleep…even though it is 90 degrees outside and incredibly humid.  This is their first girl and first child, so I figured they would have pink overload.  I was just trying to balance the universe with something that had a bit of appeal to an adult.  She’s also a fellow Ren Fest luva, so I figured she might like the vibe of this print.

baby blanket

This next item is a shirt I made for my sister.  She wanted a fancy shirt for showing her horse.  They have fancy shirts and jackets when you are showing horses…and they cost fancy money.  My sister-in-law has used this pattern before and has made a cute shirt for our niece out of it.  I am not entirely thrilled with how it turned out,  but it is what it is.   The french cuffs are way too big and need to be toned down.  I had to tear apart a not-fitting-anymore-because-I-washed-it shantung silk skirt to get some of the fabric for the cuff, collar and facings.  Oh well, I wasn’t wearing it anymore!  There are some sparkly bits on the fabric, too, but that didn’t show up very well.  Hopefully it fits her, which I’m not sure it will.  I’ll fit it on her this weekend and make any alternations that may be needed.

show shirt

This next dress is for moi.  I love the styling on this dress with the contrast accents.  I made a similar look to one that is on the pattern envelope (yes…I used a pattern!).  It is a knit dress with 100% cotton on the accents.  The white cotton also has an off-white pattern on it that has similiar curls on it.  They match up pretty nicely for being completely separate fabrics and patterns.  I probably could have made this a size or two smaller, but better to go big and cinch it in than to not be able to wear it at all.  It has too much fabric in the back, but since it has a tie it still looks fitted enough.  I have another neat knit in my stash, so I may make another one off the same pattern.  It was pretty easy to put together and all told probably took me around 3 hours to make it.  I finished it up around 11pm on Sunday night and wore it to work on Monday.  I’m all about instant gratification! 🙂

Here’s my best Zoolander interpretation.  You should have seen the hair flip – it was seriously fabulous. 😉


 This is a striped brown skirt for moi.  Very simple – it’s just a tube with an elastic waist and unfinished ruffle.  The ruffle is serged on either side, gathered and just zigzagged onto the bottom hem.  I have a nice Ann Taylor wool skirt that has a similar ruffle and I really like the look of it.  This is a heavy stretch fabric with a cream stripe going through it.

brown skirt

Oh, and the shoes…I can’t walk in them and can’t find the receipt to return them.  They didn’t seem so bad in the store, but I brought them home and holy OWIE!  Maybe I can get store credit and swap them out for shoes that I won’t hurt myself in.  I’m sure a sprained ankle would be in my future if I wore them outside the house.

Next is a hat for Baby Boy T.  His little noggin is pretty small and they haven’t been able to find a sun hat to fit him.  Hopefully this fits him, but I think it will *just* fit him.  Anya has a doll with the exact same measurement as his head and it is just right.  If it doesn’t fit, I’ll just make another.  I had to redraw this from a purchased pattern.  The pattern was too big, so I made it smaller.

 new hat

I also made a new pair of bottoms for one of Anya’s swimsuits.  They pretty much look exactly the same, only a little bit bigger.  The others were just too tight on her little legs.

That’s it…I may take a small break this week.  I do need to make another baby blanket, though.  Our friends just had their 2nd – a little boy.  Congrats Mike and Nicole!  I think I will make another little hat just in case, too, since I will see his Grandma and Grandpa this weekend.

Just so you know…I didn’t do much other than sew this weekend.  That’s how I could be so productive.  I was just itching to make some stuff for ME and get some “to-do’s” off the list.  I feel like I got that accomplished, so that’s a weight off my shoulders. 🙂

4th of July outfits

Just in time for the 4th I got these outfits completed.  I only had the fabric since about March.  This year I am the queen of squeaking by.  Wait…maybe not.  I’ve been woefully behind on birthday presents/cards, my scrapbooking is seriously getting behind and I can’t seem to find time to work out.  Which, my friends, I really, really, really need to do.  I’m a bit over-committed right now. 

Did I mention that I’m on a bocce ball league this summer?  Every Wednesday night I play bocce ball, drink a beer (or two!) and then go out with the girls afterwards.  Even though it is fun and relaxing, I’m losing a night of productivity during the week.  I think I need to chill out a bit, because I shouldn’t be feeling guilty about taking a night for momma.

On to the sewing!

For both the kids’ outfits I purchased plain white shirts and just modified them.  You can buy them fairly cheap, so it isn’t worth it to take the time to make them myself.

Anya’s outfit is a double layered skirt with a drop waist.  Very twirly.  No pattern – I just used some measurements.  The print has all sorts of patriotic happenings on it, so although not red, white and blue it is relevant to the holiday.  The top I appliqued one of the scenes on it.

 skirt set

Kai’s outfit is a pair of shorts and top with an applique of the fabric on it.  The shorts I used a commercial pattern for the basic pieces, and added pockets to each side in a denim lined with the print.  Then I hemmed with enough room for a channel to put cording through.  I added the white cording I had in my stash of supplies to make them more fun.

 shorts set

This week I have to finish up the dressy horse show shirt for my sister and make a baby blanket for one of the daycare ladies that is about to go on maternity leave.  She’s had both our kids in her class and I really want to make something for her for that at any rate.  Poor lady has been sick her whole pregnancy and they may take the baby early because she just isn’t gaining weight like she should.  I’m down to the wire on that present.  Maybe I can actually get it to her before her child is 3 months old, hmmmm?? 

Going swimming!

Crafty Tuesday, again!

So, here is this week’s swimsuit.  I made it on Sunday night.  It felt good to get crafting again.  I haven’t really done much at all in the past few weeks.  I was asked if I had a tutorial on making a swimsuit and I don’t right now.  Hopefully I will find some time this summer, but the next few weeks are pretty much full up.

take 2 swimsuit

fairy buttons

This suit is another one I drew up.  I tried to make the bottoms so they fit her better, but I think they need a bit more ease.  My plan was to have the “3” be on the center of her bottom, but the cut of the fabric wasn’t going to let me do that.  Darn it!  The top is a halter top with a tie across the middle back.  I was going to use swimsuit hooks, but the fabric needed to be wider.  Next time I will make sure to do that.  Hopefully she will be able to wear some of these next summer, too. 🙂

Notice how well she stood still for me?  Yes, I do get blurry pictures, too. 😉

action shots

The next item is a baby blanket I made for a neighbor.  They had girl #2/ kid #3 this May.  Of course, I am behind in getting this done – I’m perpetually behind over here.  The pink is a wonderfully soft minkee fabric that you just want to curl up with, and the other side a cotton batik print with a metallic gold running through it.  As Anya said, “Pretty!”

baby blanket

This week I have to make:

  • 4th of July outfits for Kai and Anya
  • Show jacket/shirt for my sister

Wish me luck!  I’m gonna need it!

New suit

Per tradition, I made my little blondie her swimsuit.  It’s a tradition if you do it two years in a row, right??  I don’t like the little hoochie girl bikini’s in the stores and one-pieces are too short and irritating to get off when potty time comes.  Therefore, she gets two pieces made by mama.  I also just squeaked by in getting it done in time for her first water day at daycare.  I got it done in time…that is the important part. 🙂

Here is the first one.  I bought a half ton (slight exaggeration) of swimsuit fabric and this is the one she chose as her favorite.  Shockingly she chose pink…her most favorite color in the whole wide world right now. 

High quality picture taken in the bathroom before daycare.  Sorry I was too lazy to get a better one!

 new suit

I drew this up, using a pair of her undies as a template.  I made them too wide, so there is a seam going down the middle.  Then the leg openings are a little too small, so I adjusted that on the next one.  They don’t cut off her circulation, but they aren’t incredibly comfortable either.

For the top I was going for ease of dressing.  I made the back of the tank so it opens and it has three large snaps for the closures.  This fabric curled something awful, so I just cut some fabric pieces, let them curl and attached to the top.  The top has two layers as it was a thinner fabric.  I just serged the edges for a little bit of an unfinished look and the top one I did it in an erratic pattern and pulled while I serged it.  I like how it turned out, and she looks cute in it.

I need to make another one, because you always need a spare.  There are times when the laundry just doesn’t get done in time.  It will give me quite a bit of laundry lee-way. 😉 

Another bit of sewing I did last week was neighbor girls swimsuit top.  We are all about swimsuits this week aren’t we??  Her two piece had the bottoms fitting, but the top was about 2 inches too big and a bit too much skin showing.  She popped over after dinner on Tuesday night and I fixed it up quick for her.  I love being able to help people out…especially when it was such an easy fix to just add a new seam. 🙂


Thanks for all the well wishes for our little man.  He is better now and back at daycare today.  He slept on it wrong and wrenched his neck.  He was immobile most of the day on Sunday, but he started to move around yesterday a bit.  He didn’t want to go anywhere without his heat rice neck wrap.  We pretty much had to pry it from his hands this morning. 😉

I think it will fit this time (I hope)

This is dress #3 for my friend’s daughter…I’m pretty sure it will fit this time.  In fact it may actually be a bit big for her, and that is a good thing.  At least she could grow into it!  I did the same as last week, but also added some little satin roses at the center front and top of the sleeves.


This is the dress for my neighbor’s girl that watched Kitty while we were on vacation.  She LOVED watching kitty while we were gone.  You should have heard Kitty when we got back.  She was meowing like you would not believe, and I believe she was saying, “Bring those kids back that petted me!!  Bring those kids back that petted me!!”

She wanted bright pink.  I was going for a confortable dress.  I made this pattern using her measurements.  I am a bit worried that the armholes are too small, but that is fixable.  I’ll see how it fits her this week.


Catching up in the sewing room

You would think that after such a nice vacation I would be well rested and ready to tackle this list.  Well, I did make a little headway, but not much since I added new things to the list.

First off, I made this purse the Thursday night before our trip, since I needed a bigger “hold-it-all” purse.  I really like how it turned out, and it has gotten much use since I made it.  It is quite the well traveled purse now at a mere few weeks old.  I put a magnetic clasp in the top, which is the first time I tried that.  It was actually pretty easy to do, and not as daunting as it initially appeared.  This decorator fabric has a nice sheen to it and is a very nice quality.  The cream is silk, and the handle is moleskin (suede-like fabric).  This bad boy was my carry on to the plane and it was stuffed FULL with a large hardcover book, my camera, a bag with all my plethora of cords, my wallet and the various sundries that ladies carry in their purse.  I couldn’t actually close it, of course, but it held it all.


Next, this was try #2 for making a dress for my friend’s daughter.  I still made it too short.  Back to the drawing board – it’s about an inch too short.  Talk about frustrating.  I’ll probably put it up in my Etsy shop.  It is pretty similar to this one, just a different fabric and I made a tie for the waist that can be used or just taken off.   Sooo…I’ll be making yet ANOTHER one of these soon.


This outfit was quite the compromise for me.  Just because I love my daughter and it was her birthday did I stoop to making something with Dora.  I am not a big fan of commercialized clothing, but my kids love these characters.  She was so excited when she saw this fabric, so it was worth seeing how much joy it gave her.  I’m a sucker for a happy face.  She even took the fabric over to her daddy to see Boots and Dora and the horsie. 

dora dress

dora dress 

I really don’t like the quality of the fabric, though, since it isn’t very soft.  I tried to offset the incredible pink-ness of this fabric by using a neutral cream for the top piece.  This was the first time I tried pintucking (those many, many rows of stitching) and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  It just took some measuring and ironing and time and patience to get them to come out evenly.

Hopefully I will have time to do more sewing this week, but most likely I will be PLANTING.  We have lots to do outside, which is nice to get out and get some fresh air. 🙂

I’ve been productive

Last weekend I went on a sewing binge and did some fun sewing.

Toile Froo Froo

I thought I would use a shortcut and take a major brand pattern company’s bodice pattern for sizing and use that to make this dress.  Big mistake.  It was way too big.  I will have to rip apart the bodice on this little number in order for it to fit Anya.  The bodice is too wide and the straps too long so it pretty much falls off of her.  I’ll need to fix that…before summer.  I have time!

toile froo froo 

Bubbles Recon

This outfit is a pair of too short 2T Levis that will still fit her in the waist.  I turned them into capris and added a ruffle and some rick rack.  Then I took a plain Old Navy t-shirt (bought on clearance last Fall) and added the same fabric in a circle applique and added the little flower applique I bought for 50 cents.  A cute casual outfit! 

capri recon

 Bleu et Verte Chemise (blue and green dress – it seemed to need a fancier name 😉 )

My design…similar to other dresses I have made.  It is a fitted dress with a shirred back and lots of ruffles!  I actually had some matching ribbon for the little ribbon on the front.  A pretty twirly dress.

blue and green dress

Mary Engelbert Outfit

This turned out so cute!  The fabric on this little number is by Mary Engelbert.  A cute red plaid with a coordinating print.  It’s a basic peasant top, and I added shirring to the bottom hem to bring it in.  The skirt is just a simple ruffle skirt that I designed.  Skirts really aren’t too difficult.  All you need is some measurements and do some math (addition, subtraction…really not too hard). 

mary engelbert dress

 Now, I have to work on a project for Craft Apple.  I agreed to test sew a car organizer, so I need to get on that!  I just really had an urge to make some little girl outfits this weekend, so I put off other things I should have done…like usual. 😉