Thursday, June 30, 2011

you guessed it....

...another one.
Ring Around the Rosey, take 3.

bias taped armholes, random stashed red fabric, and some DS Quilts for the collar... size 6, and, now that it's been tried on and then hemmed, it's on it's way to D's best girlfriend....
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

and another one....

I found some red seersucker in the garage today, and was looking for something to go with it, and realized that the 4th of July is this weekend... we don't have any real plans, other than to climb the hill in the backyard to watch the fireworks in the port (and maybe the ones off the Queen Mary, Knott's Berry Farm, and Disneyland, depending on how clear the sky is)...

isn't it patriotic? I used some white sashiko thread from my Cathedral Windows quilt to backstitch a star on the pocket (and I only did 1, despite protestation from a certain little miss)

she really really likes the star, though, so I think we found a compromise.

I love how she models despite distractions from big bro.

and here's the back view.
I've already started working on the pattern!
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I was working on a big quilty project last night, but at around 9, I couldn't resist the pull of a new idea anymore, so I grabbed some old (not-particularly-Bean-friendly) fabric scraps and in less than an hour, I had this:

I've seen (and made) similar styles with knits quite often, but rarely have I seen it done with quilting cotton. So I'm quite pleased with this, and especially the lack of itchy parts... I was able to finish or encase all the raw edges, so the Bean thinks it's quite comfortable, and actually wants to wear it, despite its color. (She likes blue, but the floral background is a mottled beige color....)

See how much she likes it?

it's stretchy enough to EASILY fit over her ginormous head, but snug enough to stay on her tiny shoulders.

it has 2 pockets

it's long enough to cover her underpants, even when she uses the pockets to lift it up

(she's pouting because I asked if I should take it off her and put her in a different dress. So I think she likes it!)
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Monday, June 27, 2011

done! (sorta)

Do you all remember the story of HennyPenny? where the sky is falling?
my kiddos loved that when they were JUST starting to listen to stories... I think they're favorite part was me getting all tongue-twisted as I tried to say HennyPenny, ChickenLicken, GooseyLoosey, etc....
ANYWAY, here is the latest dress pattern, the HennyPenny dress.
random striped seersucker from stash
 It's really simple, but with nice details... shirring, french seams, bias bound seams, and more, all explained thoroughly (I hope), in a quick and easy project that can be made extra quickly if refashioned from an adult-sized skirt or dress. (it's also a great project for those random 1 yard cuts you have in your stash...)
refashioned skirt
I've sent it out to a few testers, but would love some more (the more the merrier, right?)
please EMAIL ME if you want to test it. Commenting doesn't give me your email! (comments are welcome, I just want to explain why I haven't responded if you have commented in the past. I can't.)

refashioned skirt (I was able to make two size 3T dresses from this one skirt!)
with a ruffle!

Reversible! (tutorial coming soon)

the reverse.
illustrator drawing. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sharing (sometimes)

My little sprite "let me" use "her" crayons this morning, so I sat out in the sun while the kiddos chased bubbles, and colored.
There's something about rainbows... Yesterday we tried to find rainbows everywhere we went, so today I colored them. Not sure where I'm gonna go with it though... Too many ideas!
I have my next pattern, now called HennyPenny (so named for the simplicity of each), almost ready to send to my lovely testers, but my computer chair was usurped by your daily dose of kitten (and his surrogate father/mother. Killian is a 5year old fixed male, NO relation to Radiator.)
So now I'm off to bed. Good night all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

science experiments

I've been have been really unhappy with my elastic shirring lately. I've been doing everything the same way I always have, but getting saggy results. I noticed that my elastic thread (dritz brand, maybe? whatever they sell at my Joanns) is skinnier than it used to be... and then I was downtown a few weeks ago, and I bought this HUGE cone of it (no name brand, but the store was called ACE Sewing, and the people were really nice). So D and I conducted an experiment to test the difference. (Click the pictures to see them bigger)
2 pieces, taped together at 1 end, cut to the same length. (I'm holding  the taped end down with my foot)

Contortionism! D took this picture. the skinny one doesn't stretch NEARLY as far as the new thick stuff.

after sewing, before shirring. all on a simple muslin rectangle.

close up of basting stitch (my machine calls this stitch length 5) before steaming

close up of regular stitch and a single basting stitch, before steaming.

after steaming! (the pen marks show the length before I steamed.)

such a difference!
So I have no idea what brand to use, but different brands make a HUGE difference! I'm sorta thinking of selling my kind in small lengths on etsy, since it's so good....
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easy as Pie dress...

Do y'all have a Rolled Hem foot for your sewing machine? It makes this dress take about 30 minutes to sew, (and it's also incredibly useful for lots of other garments). I've basically stopped doing all other sorts of hems, I love this foot so much. (I have the high-shank one, for my Bernina, but the actual FOOT part looks identical).
Anyway, for $6 on Amazon, I can HIGHLY recommend it.
I'm working on Illustrator today, while the Bean naps, and D plays with bungee cords in the backyard....
I'm loving Illustrator!
Isn't it pretty!?!?!
I whipped up a size 6 too, (and timed myself, <30 minutes, including cutting and ironing), so now I need to find a size 6 little girl to try it on.
fabric from my Gram's stash
I'll be needing pattern testers later this week! (Basically after I find a size 6 to test this dress!) I'm drafting it from 18M to 6T, because I feel like this simple dress is suitable for that age range, but if you are the mother of an older or younger (or, rather, bigger or smaller) girl, and would be interested in this dress, PLEASE let me know via email!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

D's birthday shirt

Ok, business first... If you responded to this post in the comments and haven't heard back from me, that's because you didn't leave an email address, and I can't find one on your google profile. Please email me using the link on my profile page! ALSO, I'm about a week away from finishing a very VERY easy dress pattern, and need testers for that too. so please CONTACT ME DIRECTLY and let me know you're interested! thanks!
Last week was D's 5th birthday, and he told me he expected to get a new birthday shirt (last year he got this one, and it's still a hit, but it's getting REALLY short on him). So I made this one, remember?
Today was the first time I got a picture of it on him, and I'm LOVING IT! (luckily, he is too!)
back view (I need to make coordinating pants!)

front view!

celebrating the big 5!
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Jury-rigging a 5

no sewing tonight. (other than maybe a quiver.... we'll see how my indoor (as opposed to garage) sewing machine likes sewing vinyl... it might happen tomorrow instead)
ANYWAY, tonight is all about the cake.
(two little cakes, 1 for each child tonight. btw, the pans are not the same size, but each have the same amount of cake batter.)
 Last year, I discovered this GORGEOUS book, with this amazing cake. and my boy wanted a "farm" themed party, so we bought the book, and I made a cake shaped like a 4, we decorated it, it was cute. easy. 
this year, he's turning 5. 5s are curvy. (see the curve?)

this book says you need a ring cake tin. I'm not buying a ring cake tin (I admit, I looked for one, but neither Jo-an's, nor Target had one, and that was as much looking as I was willing to do).  Nor am I buying a cake tin shaped like a 5. 
a round cake tin with a parchment-paper wrapped, water-filled jam jar in the middle.

Daily dose of kitten.

I love kitten bellies.


Fabric is Honk-Honk (brown) by Michael Miller, trim is a blue/brown shot cotton, pattern is my own. 
Radiator and Killy aren't related, but ARE a huge dose of fluffy orange goodness
Between the new kitten (shown pestering his adult doppleganger, my Killian), C's birthday (last week), D's birthday party (tomorrow), D's birthday (Sunday), father's day, and my wedding anniversary (next week), things are a little hectic here....
I did manage to make a birthday western shirt for D though...
He found scraps of the Honk-Honk print under my cutting table, and wanted to know what I was "going to do with this cool fabric..." I think I convinced him that it's for a surprise present for C. But at least I know he likes it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

the PERFECT beach hat


with a wide brim

a pocket for keys

raggedy edges (inspired by those old straw hats)


soft and cushy
and in colors to match D's school!
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