This Weekend

First of all, Happy First Day of Fall! I am really excited about the upcoming cooler weather and all the fun fall happenings that go along with it! I need to go get some pumpkins today to bring in the new season.

This weekend is full of events so not too many crafting plans to share, but I do have a few things up my sleeve that I’d like to get done.

  • finish piecing together the guestbook quilt. I’ve been plugging away at this in my spare time and have gotten about 75% of the piecing done so I’m hoping to grab a few minutes to finish this…then to worry about how to quilt the humungous thing on my machine! I will share the finished top with you next week- fingers crossed!
  • tape together and cut out my pattern pieces for the oliver + s bedtime story pajamas. This week’s challenge on project run and play is to make something using a white sheet as your main fabric. What better to make from a sheet than pajamas? Probably not original enough to win but I am excited to see how these cute pjs turn out. It’s my first oliver + s pattern to sew!

Those are my two main sewing goals. Other than that we have: an outing to the park with our church group that a friend and I are heading up, a fun yard sale this morning for some friends heading across the pond, and, of course, church tomorrow. Oliver will be wearing his snazzy new outfit tomorrow. 🙂

Hope your weekend is full of relaxing, fun, and some crafting endeavors! Any big plans you want to share with the class?


Project Run and Play Week 2

Have you heard of Project Run and Play? I had not heard of it until last season when (I think it was) Dana mentioned she was a judge for it. Love the spin-off of Project Runway! Go here if you need more info on it.

I wanted to participate in the home sewalong challenges this season because I knew it would push me to come up with new ideas. Last week’s challenge was to remix a bias cut skirt, and I just couldn’t figure out how to do that in a boy fashion so I sat out that week. This week’s challenge is to pick a fashion icon and make a look that represents him/her. I was drawing a blank until good ol’ Google popped up with a list of top male fashion icons and had David Beckham on the list. I knew Oliver would look super snazzy in a Beckham outfit, and I also knew I had the ability to make this outfit.

Here’s what I made him- bow tie (using this tutorial), vest (remixing my former pattern a bit), and skinny cut dress pants (self-drafted pattern). Pants and vest are made from an old pair of men’s dress pants. I used every last scrap of the pants to fit in both of them! FYI super cheap way to make toddler clothing!

The end result is pretty close to what I had envisioned. I really wanted to make his button-down shirt also but ran out of time. I could not be happier with our photo shoot today though! Little Man was the perfect model and had so much fun running around downtown. He got quite a few admiring looks as well. 🙂 I know I’m biased, but seriously, how cute is he?!

The vest- I cut in the shoulders and made a more dramatic V in front than I had previously. I did not top-stitch because I thought it would take away from the dressy look of the vest. I also added pockets to match the picture. The only problem with a toddler model is that my fitting times are so few and a bit rushed so I didn’t really get a good feel for the fit until we went for the photo shoot. I realized then that the back is a bit wide so the top falls down over his shoulders a bit as he runs around. I am going to take in the back a little at the center seam to fix that problem.

The pants- I learned a lot making my own self-drafted pattern for the first time. I used a pair of Oliver’s pants and narrowed the legs to make a skinny leg shape. I am so drawn to the skinny cut look that is in for boys now- not the “I’m wearing my little sister’s pants look,” but just a nice straight cut that narrows in at the bottom. If these pants turned out, I wanted to use the pattern to make him some skinny colored pants/cords like these ones from Old Navy. I am hoping to make a trip out to JoAnn’s this weekend or next to pick up some fabric for them now that I like the pattern. (Boo that it’s 45 minutes away!) The pants are a flat front and an elastic back. I used the instructions from the Treasure Pocket Pants to help me make the faux fly. Next time I will raise the back and lower the front a little more because they are a bit low-riding in the back= those cloth diapers give him such a big booty. 🙂

Bowtie- super easy and great instructions on tying! I love how it looks and I see quite a few more in his future. 🙂 Also don’t you just love the little extra touch his Chucks give to his look? I picked those up before he was born because his daddy loves to wear Chuck high-tops, and I knew he would be thrilled to have his son wear some also. So pumped they fit him for this fall!

Make sure you head over to the PRP blog tomorrow to vote for the contestants! Also check out the Flickr group to see all the other cool looks at-home sewalong people have come up with for this week’s challenge! Looking forward to the next several weeks and seeing how I can stretch my creative sewing skills!

Open Wide Zippered Pouch- a Tutorial Review

A while back I saw Anna from Noodlehead had posted a tutorial for a zipper pouch with an open mouth. I loved that idea but couldn’t think of a good enough reason for me to make another pouch. Until today, that is. 🙂 I have a sweet cousin turning 13 tomorrow, and I wanted to make her something special for her birthday. She loves to draw, and I had an epiphany last night that an open wide pouch would be perfect to hold some art supplies on the go.

The hardest part of this pouch construction was deciding which fabrics to use. My cousin is not super girly so I didn’t want anything too pink. I love the combo I decided on- artsy and cute, but not over the top. Aren’t those birds great?

My thoughts on this tutorial: It’s very well written with lots of pictures to help explain the directions. The one part I struggled with was on the top-stitching around the zipper pull. I ended up seam ripping and doing that little part over again. I also wasn’t super careful to get my gussets exactly even so there’s a bit of fudging on the lining inside to have everything meet up- totally me rushing it (Little Man woke up early from his nap and I rushed to finish it before getting him out of bed) and nothing to do with her instructions.  Other than that, super easy and fun. Now I really want to try a few of her other patterns/tutorials. Have you seen the gathered clutch, zippy wallet, and the 241 tote to name a few?

A Handmade Fall

Well, folks, it is now mid-September which means that the time has come to put away all remnants of summer and bring out the fall decor. After the extreme heat of this summer, I must confess that I am looking forward to the cooler temps. Today I pulled out the fall decorations and thought that I would share some of the handmade items. These are all made over the last couple of years. I would like to add a few more things this year, but we’ll see if I have time.

First off, I have a thing for wreaths. My door happens to have a wreath hook on the inside and outside which means both are normally in use. Only bummer is that we never use our front door so that outer wreath doesn’t get seen a whole lot. Last year I saw an idea for a wreath made from fabric strips tied to a frame. I can’t remember where I found it or I would post the link. However I loved the idea and it was a super easy project since I used all my scraps and a frame I had in storage.

For the inside wreath I just wrapped a wreath form with some burlap ribbon and then tied a fall ribbon around it in a bow. Very plain and simple but it adds a little touch of fall. Please ignore the fact that our door is unfinished. We moved into a foreclosure 2 years ago and are still remodeling!

On the dining room table is a runner I made last year. I like the fall print but am not super happy with the runner because I used some old fabrics for the solids, and they look really worn. Eventually I want to make another one, but who knows when that will happen.

And now on to the living room. I have vintage windows hung on the wall, and I like to change them out with the seasons. I don’t have too much there for fall yet, but am working on some more ideas. I  want to fix up that wreath on the right with some little pumpkins or acorns or something.

On my mantle I have a glass jar filled with fabric balls and pumpkins I made last year. I am fairly proud of those because I saw them in a snazzy home decor store last year for a ridiculous price and thought, “I can make those.” And I did. 🙂

Well that’s about it for the house tour… I did pull out some fall pillows but they are not handmade so they didn’t make the photo shoot. 🙂 I don’t know about you, but there’s something nice about seasonal changes. Gives me a chance to sort through all the junk that accumulates over several months and make everything nice and clean the fresh looking. Love getting rid of clutter! How about you? Got your pumpkin on the front porch yet or still holding on to the last vestiges of warm weather?


Baby Shower Gift

A friend and her husband came into town for a few days and we attended a baby shower for them. Because they are flying back home, we were advised to give gift cards or other small, portable items. I had the idea to make her a wet bag for the diaper bag since I know they are planning on using cloth diapers. I have made small fabric pouches before so I figured I would do the same thing- just using PUL for the lining and increasing the size of the bag. I made the bag 13×16 because that was the size listed on the Amazon baby registry. The outside is cotton fabric from my stash. I sewed some velcro onto the strap to make it looped for convenience. The only note I would have about this project is that PUL is fairly slippery so you need to utilize quite a few pins to keep the fabrics lined up. This was a very quick and simple project and I’m happy with how it turned out. Hopefully they are as well. 🙂

Tova Tops

I had so much fun working on some selfish sewing for Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong 2012. I have never had much luck making clothes for myself but after attending a workshop by Rae and Karen Lepage (more on that later), I was inspired to try my hand at it again and am so happy that I did. This was an excuse for me to purchase the Wiksten Tova top that I’ve seen popping up all over blogland. I made 2 versions: one in Anna Maria voile and the other in some DS Quilts cotton. I really enjoyed my first time working with voile and hope to get my hands on some more soon! I modified the pattern a bit to suit my needs. I shortened the sleeves from 3/4 length to short capped sleeves. I also added a gathered band around the hem. The original top is fairly billowy and that doesn’t look too great on my post-baby figure- I try to avoid all appearance of maternity tops to reduce suspicion of curious individuals who can’t wait for baby number 2 (Hi, Mom:). I’m really happy with how these turned out and I see more in my future. I will definitely make a 3/4 sleeve one when fall rolls around. Here’s the finished pics of my tops.

My yellow tova- Love how light and airy the voile is! The day was rather sunshiny so excuse my squinty eyes.

The DS Quilts cotton Tova. I love Denise Schmidt’s fabric lines and was happy that I had an excuse to buy some for myself.