Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WIP Wednesdays

I'm sure lots of people have their own versions of WIP Wednesdays, but I discovered the concept here... so, here's my (semi-realistic) list for today:

sew this quilt top together. Here are 4 of 11 strips, pinned together. this should take less than an hour to sew up, right? then I need to sew the back, so I can baste (spray-baste, but baste, nonetheless) it tomorrow and tie it tomorrow night/over the weekend?

here's my helper, using clothespins to pick up quilting pins one at a time and hand them to me. (the bean was on my back for this...)

I've already cut out, and need to sew the items here...

counterclockwise, starting with the JellyBean dress:

1.The Bean's B-day Party dress, just needs sleeve and skirt finishing, and button sewing-on.

2. a white cotton knit sleepsack for the bean (i'm testing out my pattern with scraps from:)

3. a white cotton knit raglan shirt for D (to wear under his ghost costume)

4. white cotton sweatpants for D (with cargo pockets) (again, to wear under his ghost costume)

the final stack of fabric in the above pic is white textured cotton to make into the Bean's dedication ceremony dress, and some colored felt to make into a game/activity idea I have in my head...

but first, before doing ANYTHING else, I need to sit here for a minute and enjoy my FAVORITE fruit. I LOVE POMEGRANATES. I think I might need to make myself a shirt with that quote...

Good morning!

We've all got colds again. Here it is, 1/2 way through October, 75
degrees outside everyday, but somehow D and I are on our second cold
each already!
I'm working on this jellybean dress for the Bean's 1st bday party.
It's the Oliver+S playdate dress. While I stamped all the fabric, D
painted my scraps, and he got some paint on the otherwise pristinely
white yoke. I love it. I think I'm going to hand embroider her name
and some jelly beans on the yoke near the splotch... Maybe. I was
originally planning on covering the splotch with the ruffles suggested
by the pattern, but it was just too busy.
Clearly I need to think on it more.
My thinking time these days is in the am, with the Bean strapped on my
back (I love my Ergo baby carrier!), while I clean the chicken coop
(and dog poop) and generally just let the chickens have monitored free
time in the backyard. Alice loves it, Carrie refuses to come out of
the coop, and Betty is somewhere in the middle. Alice particularly
loves nibbling on cheeseweed, which is lucky, cause we've got lots o'

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I love all my other pets too!!!
2 pups (Harper is blond, Guinness is dark), 3 other kitties (Kieran,
Tisa, and Murphy), and 3 hens (Alice, Betty, and Carrie).
It's dark outside, so the other kitts are hunting outside, and it's
too dark to snap shots of the hens, so here are my puppies, to excited
to pose.

My helper

I've been switching back and forth between piecing a quilt, sewing for
Halloween, sewing for the birthday party, and knitting. Hence the mess.
But my kitten keeps me company. I love love love this fluffy ball of
orange fur.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

how to make cute cloth booties!

Both my 3 y/o son and my 1y/o daughter needed warm slippers for around the house... so rather than drive 45 minutes each way to spend $40+/each on a pair of Robeez booties (although I do LOVE them, and have several pairs for them, all in the wrong sizes for right now), I made some. They worked so well, that I made these for a friend:

aren't they cute!!!???!!

I put together a tutorial in the most visual way I could.

look at each picture for the directions pertinent to that step.

I forgot to talk about fabrics though... I used high-quality quilting cotton for the floral shoes, and faux suede for the brown shoes. Both pairs are lined with Minkee, and the soles are made from home-dec faux suede... it had a thick backing, it felt a little foam-y, so it provides a little bit of cushioning. 1/8 of a yard (of 60" wide home-dec fabric) is enough to make 3 pairs of toddler sized soles.

Cut all the pattern pieces (the finished pattern is 3 pieces: a sole, a toe flap and a heel rectangle) in outer fabric and a lining fabric. I interfaced one pair, and found it unnecessary. It is necessary to attach the sole pieces together in the middle, just so the sole doesn't slip and slide... I liked the results I got with stitch-witchery.

I know it's a vague tute, but hopefully it'll help. It might be easier to make some of these awesome shoes first, to learn the process (and use their patterns as a jumping off point), and then try adapting them to make my booties.

PLEASE let me know if you need help/have questions...

so far I've made 5 different pairs of shoes, following these steps, and while all slightly different, all have worked out perfectly for the kiddos.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Meringue ghosts

so I saw these... (scroll down to the end of the post)

and was planning on making them, but then, while searching for a recipe, I found these, and I let D decide which he wanted to make...


D put in all the chocolate chips...

aren't they so cute!?!?!?!

D's owl shirt appliqué

D needs more long sleeved shirts to get him through "winter" here in So Cal. I'm trying to make, not buy, so I pulled out my bin-o-knits, and found some jersey heavy enough to withstand all the grubby-little-boy activities he so loves.

One of the bits I found was a shade of pumpkin-y, orangy-brown, perfect to make into a jack-o-lantern shirt. wouldn't that be so cute? I could totally picture the little black appliques turning my boy into a pumpkin.

WHen I asked him about it, he was excited, but also very clear that it had to be a friendly pumpkin, NOT a scary pumpkin face. ... so... I decided to do a search for templates so I could run the design by him.

... while searching for a traditional, happy jack-o-lantern, I found THIS:



I used some scrap bright orange jersey for the owl, and a teeny piece of nice tissue jersey for the branch... traced the shapes (hence the stencil still on the window) onto Steam-A-Seam, (hence the reverse of the stencil, because I didn't really care which way the owl faced), cut the shapes out, ironed them on and you see what we get.

I love the idea of using JUST steam-a-seam, but I totally don't trust it. at least not for something that will need to get thoroughly washed at least once a week)

so I decided to free-motion all over it to hold the appliques down:

I'm in LOVE

isn't it so cool!?!?!?

CLEARLY I need to do more of these... I might need a shirt this cool for myself.

(assuming, of course, that this shirt actually gets sewn and fits well, etc)

I'm waiting to decide if I should put in the moon, I have some white jersey.... I'm also thinking about stamping in some little stars (in lieu of the dots)

HELP! advice/input appreciated!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Homemade geo-board!

Oodles of fun, and oh so easy to make.

Knit sewing trick

I checked out a semi-cool place near me called Knit Sewing Club. I
guess they're huge in Japan (like over 60 locations there). Here in
Torrance, we have 2 (1 Japanese only, one English). The idea is cool,
the techniques are cool, the designs are attrocious (all drained with
the "mature woman" IMO. Way to frumpy for me!).
One awesome tip I did pick up, though, I thought I'd pass along: when
working with knits, it's not a great idea to pin with...normal pins.
They can put holes in the fabric, snags, etc. It's much easier to pin
with CLOTHES pins! Pin your fabric together just as you would with
straight pins, remove as you go, and voilà!

Toddler/prechool number/counting activity bag

I made index cards with numbers 0-10 (underlined), and put the same #
of stickers on the other side. I pulled 10 large white buttons from my
button jar, and the idea is for D to see a #, and count out that many
buttons, then check his work by covering the stickers on the other
side. I tried to arrange the stickers so that he'll memorize the
grouping to make life easier later. (so 9 are lai out 3x3, 7 is a row
of 3, with the other 4 staggered below, etc)

Toddler/preschool magnet activity bag

I got my jam-lid wand from my canning supplies, and some big round
bulletin board magnets, and his cute little super-strong Japanese
magnets from Marukai. He can sort the types out (penguin, frog,
turtle, car), go fishing, find other magnetic objects around the
house, etc.

Toddler/preschool pairing sorting activity bag

More hardware from my dad's box: I plan on using thisi one in several
different ways: pairing, arranging by size, sorting out similar and
different (hexagonal vs square vs wingnut).
He can do this one by hand at his table or he can use his magnet or
tongs, maybe even tweezers to sort...

Toddler/preschool motor activity bag

Nuts and bolts! I raided my dad's box of random hardware, and came up
with these. I left some of the washers and nuts ON the screws, and
took some off. Not only will D have to find the ones that fit, but
we've been working on "righty-tighty, lefty-loosy" a lot lately.

Toddler/preschool phonetic alphabet activity bag

This one is a matching game to work on his beginning sounds. I cut
pictures out of grocery store mailers and used packaging tape to
attach the pictures to blank index cards. On the back I labele the
objects in lower and upper case. I also made corresponding alphabet
cards that have an upper and lower case letter (underlined, so he can
easily determine the letter)
The game is for D to match the object to the letter it starts with.
Here's a picture of the b words I found (I have at least one object
for 6 letters right now. I'd like to get 5-ish per letter,
eventually):balloons, bread, bananas, and broccoli.

Toddler/Preschool Activity Bags

I've decided to bite the bullet and start actively preschooling D. By
which I mean turning our home into more of a Montessori environment
than the chaos that it now is. To that end, we're garaging most of his
toys (not his trains, of course, or his seasonally almost appropriate
arctic animals), and I'm going to start providing him with activity
A quick google search this afternoon gave me lots of ideas, so here
are the ones I whipped up tonight:
Matching UPPER and lower case letters. I found a decorated chipboard
uppercase alphabet at Target for $.99, and then I wrote the lowercase
letter on a blank index card. D will match the upper and lower cases.
Since some letters (a, g...w) are tricky, depending on fonts, I put a
different version of the lowercase letter on each side of the index
card;eithe will count as D doing it correctly. I also drew a line
under all the lower case letters so d could more easily distinguish
between d, b, p, and q.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I made a pair of pants (bean birthday pants) tonight, and a onesie,
...these booties, for my friend Leslie's 2 kids....
I'm working on the tutorial for these, so my normal start to finish
time of under an hour was tripled. But I got them done, they're super
cute, and I have all the photographs ready to make a tute!

Monday, October 12, 2009

so excited!

as much as i love making clothes for my baby girl, there's something ridiculously adorable about a just-diapered baby.

she's beyond excited because she managed to hold not just one, or two, but THREE whiffle balls. those are her favorite. she loves the little golf whiffle balls, and the big baseball whiffle balls.
...even more exciting is banging them together.
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My homemade baby!

Cloth booties, sweater pants, dyed onesie, sweatshirt. I think she's
even wearing a homemade diaper!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm just so darn proud of this!

To make this:

and this:

You need these:

my wonderful dad cut the little wood pieces for me, and I just used regular old rubber cement to attach the pieces. don't they look nice and fancy!?!?!?!
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Fun with a sweater:

I started with this. a 100% wool JCrew sweater, sized adult M, $6 at a local thrift store. I LOVED the fair isle on the top, but assume the sweater was donated because of these hideous elbow patches?
close up of the fair isle...

so I cut it up to make the bean a pair of pants:

and after I took the picture, I realized something...

one person's hideous elbow patched sleeves are another baby's knee patched babylegs!

I serged the tops, but I think I should add elastic at the top to help them stay up. Not sure yet whether to make a casing for elastic, or get some of that clear elastic like in strapless dresses...

I have about 5 square inches of this sweater left... yay wardrobe refashion!

My night:

Lots of strips (Twice Broken Dishes quilt blocks); a wardrobe
refashioned pair of pants for the Bean, a pair of turquoise double
knit pants for the Bean, and a turquoise double knit raglan t-shirt
for D.
I want to go to bed, but the Bean is awake and crying in her crib,
and I'm trying to wait her out. We're going on 45 minutes right now.
...Time to knit some more.