Keeping those hands busy!

When we were heading out on our driving vacation to our friends house in Cincinnatti, we brought gifts.  The night before heading out I realized we didn’t have anything for Kelly (Steve was getting beer…a total man gift!), so I worked on this apron for her.  Again, no real pattern, just made it up as I went along.  I should have made the strap over the head a little shorter, but overall I was really happy with this one.  It is fully lined and looks the same on the opposite side.  I had a ton of this print, so I was super happy to get to use some of it up.


That night I also finally tried making a freezer paper stencil.  Basically, you take freezer paper and trace out your pattern.  Next, using little scissors, cut the pattern out for the stencil.  Then you will use a dry iron and iron the stencil on the shirt with the shiny side facing the fabric.  Next, take your fabric paint (I bought mine at Michael’s) and using a stencil brush gently blot the paint on the shirt.  Remember when stenciling to not load up the brush with too much paint.  Also…IMPORTANT…put something between the layers of shirt or else the paint will bleed onto the back of the shirt.  I just used some cardboard cut to size.  When it is all dry, iron the shirt to set the paint.  I was pretty happy with my first attempt. 


This next item is an embroidery I did in the car while on the trip.  I traced out one of my drawings with a fabric pencil on this Old Navy plain knit shirt.  In order to keep it from stretching too much, I put Stitch n’ Tear behind the drawing and placed it in a small embroidery hoop.  Next, was about 12 hours…on and off…of work.  Yeah, I’m sure she really appreciates how long it took. 😉  I forgot the papers I had printed off of the different stitches, so I did it from memory.  There are some not so good areas, but overall I like how it turned out.  This is post-washing after the first wear…thankfully the stain came out.  Yeah…didn’t take her long! 


Next, I made a few Barbie clothes, but I’m just showing the 70’s wedding dress right now.  Doesn’t Cinderella’s bee-hive hairdo fit it perfectly??  It was mostly machine sewed, but the beading was done during the roadtrip.  There are a few random beads rolling around on Brian’s car floor right now.  😉 It’s nothing spectacular, but for my first attempt I wanted to keep it simple.  The lace on it were lace collars I had sitting around with no use.   They worked perfectly for the dress!  Anya said it was, “Beautiful!” and wants more.  Mayhaps for Christmas.


I didn’t sew anything last week.  I had big plans for the weekend, but they didn’t get done.  I spent some time organizing my fabric and taking stuff out that I wanted to use for the kids’ Fall/Winter wardrobes.  I intend to get things cut up first and then I can sew when possible.  We will be starting on our basement at some point, so I don’t know how long I have before it gets moved to the dining room table and much less space.  If I have it all ready to sew, then it will be a lot easier and less messy.  I actually found an outfit for Anya that I made her this spring…it still fits even!  I will get a picture of it this week to share.  I do have to sew up a Mei Tai for a baby shower present by Saturday.  It’s all cut and ready to sew.  Big plans this week…as usual. 🙂

More dresses for moi

I even hurried up and modeled them for you Internets!   I always feel like such a heel bringing my tripod out in the backyard, but I got them taken. 🙂

I made these dresses this weekend from patterns.  The first one is from a Project Runway pattern by Simplicity #3530 and the other is the same pattern as this dress from before.  I do like how they both fit, with an exception of the billowy front on the blue one.  I bet I could hide a good 6 month baby bump under that.  Oh well.  I really like the fresh looking fabric and it was time consuming with lots of pintucking on the sleeves and the front.  It even has a zipper in the back that doesn’t look too horrible.  The pink one is so very pink…and bright…I’m not sure where to wear it yet. 





Then I made this cute apron for me.  All mine!  When I get home from work I usually don’t change out of my nice clothes before I start in on dinner.  I have on more than one occassion received tomato or olive oil smatterings on my white tops.  Time to make a cute apron!  I really like this fabric, so I made up a pattern (sorta)  and it is fully reversable.  Lots of pleats in this one.


I also made a camera strap slipcover for my camera that has a spot to put my lens cover.  It’s been on my to-do list FOREVER.  I am constantly losing my lens caps.  Of course, I put the strap back on my camera before I took a picture of it and I’m too lazy to take it off again.  Just imagine a really cute green celtic camera strap cover with a little spot of shirred fabric that will fit a lens cap.  Got it pictured?  Okay!

There ya have it! 

Upcoming creativity and craftiness: 

  • I am working on editing a photo shoot for a little 3 year old boy from Sunday.  I have quite a few out of focus…he was a spry little bugger!  
  • I’m going to try my hand at embroidery.  Wish me luck! 
  • I also made a little Barbie wedding dress out of satin that I am going to attempt some beading on it. 

Quite a bit of futsiness on the docket for this week!

A lovely dress

And one that I won’t be wearing anytime soon.  Let me preface this by saying that I really like the dress…just not how it looks on me.  Yes, another dress that looks better on the hanger than on my person!  It was quite eye opening when I took pictures of myself wearing it.  It reiterated the fact that I really need to lose weight.  This picture is the best of the bunch.  I kept one of them as motivation to stay away from the M&M’s.


This dress started out as just a simple shirred sundress.  I was hoping to wear it on the 4th, but it was a bit of a fiasco on it’s first turn.  It also took longer than I anticipated.  First, it took 5 or 6 bobbins worth of elastic thread, and just sewing that took a bit of time.  Then I put the straps in the wrong spot (again I need a dressform!), and had to redo them.  I thought it looked a bit plain, so I added two layers of ruffle on the bottom.  The long ruffle layers have rolled hems on each side, and I had to ruffle it by hand.  Another time consuming task to get them ruffled and even along the hemline. 

Next, I thought it needed something else, so I made an obi-style belt for it.    It was the first time I made one, and I think I drafted it too wide and too long.  It has interfacing on both sides and many rows of stitching of the interior.  It was a learning experience, though, and I enjoyed the process. 


The fabric of the dress is beautiful and soft, but heavy.  I’m not quite sure what type it is, since the fabric is never marked at the warehouse I buy it.  It’s a bit frustrating on these occassions.  I chose this fabric for the dress due to the weight of it.  I knew it wouldn’t puff out like a cotton, and make it look like I was pregnant.  Well, too much anyways.  I tend to think many of the designs these days have the look of pregancy dresses and shirts.  They are nice that they hide the rolls, but seriously…they look like pregnancy garments. 

Maybe someday I will actually wear it out of the house.  That will be whenever I lose the weight I’ve accumulated over the past two years.  I need to get my expanding posterior moving!

Simple summer skirts

Last week I played bunco at the home of one of my neighbor’s.  She is a master seamstress and her daughter’s wedding dress was on the dress form in their living room.  It was glorious.  She had sewed over 1,000 pearl and crystal beads onto it, and it sparkled so beautifully in the late evening light.  She told me that she had about a month’s worth of work in it.  As a master of her craft, she didn’t use a pattern, only being inspired by a $5,000 dress.  Her daughter is very lucky, and I was serious wowed by the amount of work and skill that went into that beautiful dress of lace and satin.  Of course, she is making the 4 bridesmaid dresses, the flower girl dress, her mother of the bride dress and she is making the flowers.  The wedding is at the end of the month, but I have no doubt she will get it done.   I’m rather tired for her!

As for me, my sewing has been very simple and easy lately.  I made a few skirts for me last week, and they were just that…simple.  I even managed to model them…yes, I’m sure you are shocked.  The pictures aren’t top notch, but at least I got them taken.  I made the skirts with a cotton-lycra blend and they have just enough stretch to them.  The waistband is just jersey with elastic.  Super comfy!



Then I made Anya a skort for the 4th of July.  She wore it long enough to ask if she could change into her swimsuit.  The t-shirt I appliqued, as well.

Here she is telling the puppy that is following her that she wasn’t going to share her deviled egg. 😉


That’s about it for me.  I have a few summer dresses that I have all cut and want to make for myself.  Hopefully I can start on at least one of them this week.

Right now I sew in our very unfinished basement.  In the near future we are going to have a carpenter friend come over and take a look at it.  He was recently laid off from his work, so we are going to have him work on finishing it up.  We have big plans.  We want a wine cellar, a 3/4 bathroom, a recreation room with a fireplace, and a craft/guestroom.  Hopefully we can get most of it done.  If nothing else, we at least want to get the wine cellar finished up and maybe the bathroom done.  It doesn’t all need to be finished out right away, but getting the sheetrock up at once would be good.  That stuff is so dusty!  Eventually, I know I will be on a few months hiatus from sewing while everything is all torn up.  It will be worth it in the end, but a long process.  I don’t expect much will happen until closer to the Fall, though.  Not to worry…I’ll be taking pictures through the process. 😉

A few for me…a few for Kai

I am hosting Crafty Tuesday this week since Carrie is gone to Hawaii.  Lucky ducks!  I love Hawaii, and hopefully someday we can brave the 8 hour flight again and take the kiddos.  I think they would love to swim with the sea turtles, which was exceedingly cool.  The whales weren’t too bad either.

I thought I would share some stuff I made for moi.  I was selfish and spent some of my precious little sewing time on making some clothes for me for summer.  I definitely have enough fabric for several new wardrobes…..errrrr…outfits for me. 😉

First up we have this lovely green and white outfit that I made a few weeks ago.  Just simple knits, and the green and white one is super light.  No patterns were harmed in the making of these pieces…so it was the usual cut and sew and see how it turns out.


Next are some shorts for Kailan.  I still have to make some of the tops to go with them, yet.  Last week I entered the hallowed halls of the fabric store and found some super duper cute fabric for shirts for Kailan.  Oh, he was happy with the choices.  I have the shirts cut and ready to rock and roll, so hopefully by next week I will have some more boy stuff to share.  

These are from the shorts pattern I used before, only I redrafted it to have the front pockets enclosed underneath.  I like it better that way.  The tops that go with them are just tanks I bought last Fall on clearance with an applique on it.  I had three cut out at once so I made them assembly line fashion.  Much quicker that way!





Anya is feeling a bit left out, but I’m sure I will get to her soon.  I at least need to make her a 4th of July outfit, right??  I think she will just be getting a twirl skort or a simple shirred halter dress.  We’ll see.

What does everyone else have to share this week?

The favored child

Since Kailan hasn’t been acting up and getting all attitudey on us, he has been getting clothes sewn for him.  Anya needs to earn more dresses, even though mommy really wants to make more. 

These shirts are the same pattern as the last one.  I just used buttons instead of snaps and only one pocket.  I finally figured out how to use the button hole thingy on my machine, and it works pretty good actually.  I cut out both at the same time, so I mass produced sewed them at the same time.  Much more efficient use of my time.  There are a few more that I have to cut out yet.  I wanted to make sure he was going to wear them before I made them up, and he has been reaching for them in his closet.  Yay!

He was pretty happy with the shirts.  The first shirt has knights and chinese dragons on it.



This second shirt is poker cards.  He will wear it when Brian hosts poker at our house and be his daddy’s good luck charm.  It doesn’t work so well for him since he stumbled a bit and managed to bite his tongue.  This kid could get hurt in a bubble, I tell ya.  😉



I also made an outfit for Anya (a.k.a. the Toddler-turned-Teenager) in May but never got a decent shot of it.  It is a shirt from Target with a Tinkerbell applique of the fabric.  The skirt is a skort for our little princess that likes to get dirty.  She just looks like an irritated teenager here, doesn’t she?


Then I made myself a few things.  I made a shirt and skirt set, but once they were done I realized that they looked a bit too much all together.  I’ve just worn them seperately.  Of course having pictures of them would be far too organized, so just imagine a white peasant top with a shirred bottom with sleeves in a pretty bright green and white knit.  I did the skirt witht the green knit and made some ruffles.  It’s cute, trust me.  I have several things I’ve made for me that haven’t been photographed.  Maybe I’ll get to it soonish. 

None of this was completed last weekend, since that was all about the landscaping.  I’m still a bit sore and very sunburnt.  Oh well, it looks pretty!  Hope everyone else had some time to get crafty last week. 🙂

For the boy

I’m not sure how many times last week he asked me if I was done with his clothes…but it was many.  Many, MANY.

Upon further review of his closet last week I discovered that he had way too many clothes as it was, so I don’t feel like I need to make him a ton of things.  They both have a lot of clothes.  To be honest, I really haven’t bought them much RTW clothes from the store in a while.  Except for jeans…I don’t really like to make jeans.  A lot of the shirts in his closet were 4T – both short and long-sleeved.  If we were going for the white-trash-show-the-belly-look, then I guess it would be okay. 😉  I purged a bunch of clothes that will soon be going to one of my friends that has a little boy younger than mine.  There were shirts he NEVER WORE this past winter.  I should feel good that he wore the fleece outfits I made him whenever they were clean, so I will be making him more comfy clothes for this winter.

Without further ado, here is a fun in sun summertime outfit for our little guy.  He was very excited about his new clothes.  Trying to be creative with boy clothes is not easy…but I tried. 🙂  I have a bunch more cut and ready to rock n’ roll on the sewing machine.




I also made him these flannel lounging pants.  They were much adored, as well. 🙂  They are super easy to whip up a pair in 30 minutes or less.   The weather was pretty chilly this weekend, so they were needed!


 Hope everyone else had some time to get crafty this weekend. 🙂

Princess dress

Adding tulle to a dress makes it princessy, right?  Anya had a princess birthday party this past weekend, and they were supposed to wear princess dresses.  Well, I didn’t get this done in time so I sent her in the dress I made her for her birthday.  Hey, it has princesses on it, so it counts!  I actually made this while she was at the party and she was pretty happy to see it when she got home.  It is the basic sundress I’ve made in the past.  The straps are shirred pieces of the main fabric with a rolled edge.  I need to reposition them, though, since they are bit too close to the edge.   That won’t be too hard, though.  I also made sure I had a layer of fabric under the tulle, because that is scratchy.   It had about 24 yds of tulle…so very much full!  I’m so glad that I can get my serger to gather this stuff for me…otherwise it would be a lot of work.  Honestly if my serger didn’t gather for me, I wouldn’t do the twirly as much as I do it now.




She ended up being a bit of an “imp” on Sunday night.  “Imp” is a code-word for mouthy, not listening and being bad.  She lost this dress for a week until she can be respectful to mommy and daddy.  She really wanted to wear it to daycare on Monday, but this was her punishment.  Whatever works to make them tow the line!

Now I really, really need to work on some stuff for Kai.  Not that he will be nekked or anything.  He has been bugging me for shirts for him, so I’ve got a good 4 outfits in the queue.  It’s the boy’s turn now. 🙂

Hope everyone else was feelin’ crafty!

Just a few things…

Okay, seriously…I didn’t get all of this done this week.  I need to eat, too.  😉  I signed up to do a stash sewing competition on a (mostly) children’s sewing forum I frequent.  Basically for the month of May you try to use your fabric, notions, etc. and you get points for everything you make.  Contests are always good motivators for me.  Especially since we are finally getting near warm weather and my kids need some stuff.  Not Anya really, but she will still get cute dresses because I can’t stop sewing the cuteness. 🙂

This is what I have done so far for this month.   I made the kids lined spring fleece jackets from a pattern (New Look 6667).  I deviated from the pattern, and had a few issues with the zippers not lying right.  Oh well, they fit and the kids love them. 🙂  Anya’s is pink fleece with a flannel on the inside.  The zipper was about half an inch too long so I did some pulling of the fabric to get it to work.  It’s not a masterpiece but it is warm!  Kai’s is black fleece with two different dragon woven prints.  I didn’t have enough of one for the lining, so I ended up using two.



Then I made Kai some shorts from the latest Ottobre pattern magazine to match one of the shirts I had printed for him at  I think these are pretty cute and they mostly fit him.  The pattern was impossible to trace, so I think I traced off a wrong piece.  They are a little tight, but they fit since the black denim has a little stretch.  I will make the next pair a little bigger. 


These are those super duper luxury “spa” neck wraps that you can throw in the microwave for two minutes.  They are so simple to make.  I used Jasmine and Basmati rice (they are rounder so they don’t poke through the fabric) sprinkled with a little essential oil.  I bought the essential oil in the candle section at Micheal’s, and I got Lavender, Fresh Linen and Relax.  They smelled so purty!  The three together were Mother’s Day gifts for my Mom, Brian’s Mom and my Grandma Jo.  The pretty fabric is a cover they can throw in the wash, too. 

The next one was a gift for a friend that is incredibly late.  I made her a “spa package”, complete with a little silk makeup bag filled with SkinMedica products.  Hopefully that makes up for it being so late!


I made four pillows for the couches at work, too.  They asked me to make some that matched the remodeled decor from last summer.  We have couches the guests sit on and they were a bit plain.  I bought some 20″ goose down pillow forms and some wonderful olive embroidered and gray duiponi silk.  They feel so luxurious and look a lot better in person.


Love it when I can work with luxury fabrics and don’t have to buy them myself LOL!  Silk frays a little, but other than that it isn’t too hard to work with.  I made them one evening after the kids went to bed, and I could have gotten them done much faster if I had done it more assembly line.  Oh well. *yawn* 😉   There’s even a little bit of fabric leftover that I can use for some of my projects (another makeup bag, perhaps?).  They got me some very nice Vera Wang Calla Lilies for making them.  Don’t they look pretty on our new countertop? 🙂


 Then I made a few things for myself.  I’m still…ermmmm…”fluffy” from the winter.  During the two hot days last week Ii realized I have hardly any warm weather shirts for work that fit.  I like to keep my tummy rolls to myself and hidden under loose fabric whenever possible. 

I didn’t have patterns for these items and just used some stuff I had for the sizing and to draft up the pieces.  The red shirt and white/black shirt are actually the same pattern.  I just changed it up a bit. myshirts

Then I made a dress for me, which I used a dress I bought at Ann Taylor Loft for the measurements.   It was a bit more involved than I thought it would be, but I might make it again.  We’ll see.


this picture is little since I didn’t have any makeup on and hadn’t showered 😉

Okay, that’s it!  My to-do list is a bit long, so I have more on my sewing table.  *sigh*  Always more to do!

More birthday bling

On Sunday the Princess had her party with friends.  The occassion warranted another dress, of course.  This one has a bunch of butterflies on it and is seersucker.  It’s very twirly, too, of course.  The same self-drafted pattern as the last one.  The seersucker definitely gave it some volume…beyond just being twirly.  It was plenty full.


See…very twirly.


And very full when you are trying to decapitate the Mermaid.


For the little girls decending on our home, they got little treat bags.  I got these pink bags at Michael’s for a few bucks each.  A little fabric paint and the girl’s have their personalized pickin’-up-the-pinata-loot bag. 


I painted their faces at the beginning of party…7 little faces…one superhero and 6 butterflies.  Can you guess who was the superhero?


Anya got some fun presents from her friends and hopefully they enjoy their little bags of goodies.  They got candy from the pinata, we decorated some foam butterflies with glitter stickers, and they got Ariel bubbles and an Ariel bracelet.  Fun stuff for little girls!  Kailan got a blue bag, of course, and I put some little knights in it for him.  He was very happy with that.

I have more sewing to show, but I’ll just leave it at this for today.  Hopefully I will have a big long post next week full of goodies. I should be able to get some sewing time with the long weekend ahead…I hope.  Kailan is sorely lacking in the shorts department, and summer might just sneak up on us! 🙂