Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Handmade Christmas

So I had a plan to make something for my family in town this year.  And I actually succeeded!  The planned projects changed in a few cases, but in the end I was pretty happy with everything, and I think the recipients were too.  So just cause I want to, I'm gonna show you some pictures and a bit of info on the things I made.

First up in no particular order, a chair organizer for my Father-in-law made using this tutorial at Sew for Home

Gardening aprons for my sister from the pattern in One Yard Wonders.  Fabric for all of these are various Amy Butler designs with some co-ordinating fabric purchased from a great local quilt store.

One for My Mother-in-law

And 0ne for My sister-in-law

An apron for my Mom (last one she had was made by my sister some 20 years ago) of my own concoction, as I couldn't find anything I thought she would like.  Every pattern was either too simple, or two frilly.  I'm not super happy with it, but I think she like it.  Fabric is from the Metro Cafe collection by Robert Kaufman, purchased from the the lovely Fresh Modern Fabrics

Manly cowls for Mr. Bear and his brother using this tutorial for the Boy Trifecta (fabric for both is soft brushed cotton from the local fabric chain store)

I also made a notebook envelope (from One Yard Wonders) for my cousin's 9 year old daughter as part of the Sinterklaas gift exchange with my extended Dutch family earlier in December.  These pictures are way awesome than mine because my cousin is a great photographer!  I aspire to eventually take lovely pictures like her!

And lastly, my Mother-in-law had a birthday early in December so I made her a tote bag.  She loves dusty rose pink and tealy blues, hence the fabric choices.  The main fabric is Amy Butler with some other fabric bought along with the tote bag pattern again from the local quilt store

Phew! Glad that rush is over, now what to make next?  Maybe something for the boy?  Or for me?  If you check out my boards on Pinterest, it may become obvious I'm currently obsessed with shirt dresses, particularly vintage shirt dresses, maybe I'll have to make one of those next!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Midwest Modern Baby

I've been sewing up a storm lately, but alas, I haven't been able to blog most things due to their gifty nature.

But finally I can start!  I gained a new niece back at the very end of November, and so I sewed her up a few cute girly things and sent them off to Australia.  It's nearing summer there, so I thought she needed some sun protection, hence an excuse to make another of Rae's Peekaboo Bonnets!

Note how I was actually able to centre and line up the fabric nicely in the different sections, I wasn't sure it would work!  I also just piped the printed side, because I like the look better, and just lined it with some left over yellow fabric.   I love piping, and in hind site,  I wished I'd made piping, as the pre made colour selection at my local fabric store is pretty lame!

And of course, I needed to make something to go with the bonnet, so I made up a little jumper.

It's a slightly modified version of New Look 6576.  I reversed and rounded the button closure, and added a pocket for extra interest, inspired by these jumpers I saw on Soulemama. I had dreams of trimming the whole thing with bias tape, but that turned out to be a very silly and almost impossible (at least for someone of my current skill level) idea.  I'm loving the look of piping/edging things, so I'll have to try again with something else soon!

The fabric is both from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern line, and I thought it was perfect for these, as my brother doesn't like pink, and I thought my sister-in-law would like it too!  Not your typical baby clothes fabric, but for that I like it!  And I have a super soft spot for bluey greens!  While they aren't perfect (like looking at it now, the pocket might be a bit of kilter and maybe should have been put on a bit higher), I really love these pieces, and I hope my little niece (and her parents do too!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm dreaming of a tealy blue Christmas

It's Christmastime!  Just a quick post to say that and show you some of the felt ornaments I made using various inspiration/tutorials I collected over on my Holiday board on Pinterest.

I made them in a bid to make our tree more toddler friendly.  Did it work? sort of, at least when he pulls them off and runs around with them, injuries are less likely :)  Otherwise I've just cut down on the number or ornaments/decorations, and try to distract him away!  Good luck to me I say!

Either way, some of them turned out, some not so much.  And there are more I'd like to try next year.  One bonus with making your own ornaments is you get to pick the colours you want, and I love my teal blue, green and bronze colour scheme, but finding nice tealy blue ornaments was hard, so these ones have upped the tealy blue ornament quotient on the tree.

Yay.  Next post up will be my first one showing the gifts I've been making for people.  Most I'll have to wait to post till after Christmas, but a few can come earlier!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I heart books shirt

My it has been a busy few weeks.  I'm not really clear on where November went.  Not much time to sew, or thing really.  But the next few weeks will be crazy busy for sewing as I have a not too short list of Christmas / Birthday / Sinterklaas (Dutch St. Nick) presents to sew up!  And it will all be awesome!

But before I get started on my gift sewing, I thought I'd procrastinate and make myself a shirt.

I really love books.  I have a ton of them.  And while trying to declutter (and update on which will come soon as progress has been made!)  Books have been the hardest.  I packed a TON of them away, and have 4-5 boxes to give away, which is pretty huge for me!

So in a nod to all those books, what could be more appropriate then for me to make a shirt with books all over it!

I picked up this fabric in the summer, it's a Victoria and Albert Museum print actually, so historical to boot (and we all know how much I dislike history :P)

I really want to work on bettering my sewing skills for me, as I tend to avoid making anything for me that is too fitted.  I am a skinny thing (despite my love for all things fattening) and even the smallest pattern size is too big.  I'm not very confident on altering patterns yet, so I find patterns with elastic and ties!  That way if it's just a bit to big (which this was) I shorten the elastic, and voila it pretty well fits!  The fabric is a bit stiff for this, so this shirt might make me look pregnant again from some angles, and I did sew it up pretty quick, so it is far from perfect, but too bad.

I like the books :)

Oh and the pattern is just a Butterick one (can't recall the number right now!).  I like the little pleats at the shoulders.  If I use this pattern again, I'll need to use plain fabric so you can properly see them!

Back to gift sewing now!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gifting a figure eight

Just a quick post today to show you the scarf I made my cool sister-in-law for her birthday.   Yes blog readers, this a post with adult clothing, shocking, I know...

I just gave it to her today (a few weeks late, sorry sis!) but I hadn't quite finished it last I saw her.  I blame the hand stitching required to finish it up and leave the fabric loop open and have it sit nicer :)

Either way, now I can finally blog it!

I first saw this scarf on Made by Rae, and though, oooo pretty.  She used Anna Maria Horner's blog tutorial found here to make her scarf, so I did the same!  AMH uses a lovely voile and velveteen combo, and I did something similar, using those pretty fabric I've been meaning to make something with for a while (which I think could be called a voile, or close to it anyway), and some plain purple (yes it is purple, despite what my crappy quick shot above makes it look like) velveteen from the local chain fabric store.

The velveteen definitely makes it cozy, with the light voile keeping it light.  But boy, that velveteen can stretch if you let it!

I love this scarf, and will definitely be making myself at least one, very, very soon!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where has all this fabric come from?

The fabric I ordered a few weeks ago on Etsy from Fresh Modern Fabrics has arrived!  And boy it's nice looking.  Originally I had just planned to order some of Melody Millers "Ruby Star Rising" Transistor radios and viewfinders for Squiggles.  But then I saw that they still had some of Lizzie House's Castle collection.

Let just say I really really like castles and Medieval stuff, so I had to get some.  For what? Not sure yet, but I wonder if I can pull off making something for me from it?

The other bit of fabric is for a christmas gift.  We plan on a pretty minimal Christmas this year.  We are only buying a few things, the rest I'm making.  And I'm not necessarily making that much either.  We really want to move to quality, not quantity and start to teach Squiggles that he doesn't need to get lots of stuff to have an awesome Christmas.

I also visited a local quilt shop to buy the rest of the fabric for the handmade gifts.  This store stocks some of the nice designer fabrics I see online.  Like Amy Butler, as seen frequently below.

They also had this awesome fabric with a print of an old paris map. Awesome.  And since then, I've seen online that the same collection (3 Sisters for Moda)  includes fabric with old building plans on it.  Even awesomer, I'm hoping they get some of that.  And if so, I will be buying a bunch to make something for me!

I do heart fabric, yes, yes I do...  Anyone else already planning/making Christmas gifts yet?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Attack of the robot pumpkins?

I finally finished one of the other projects I had hoped to complete during KCWC.  Ah well, maybe next time I'll live up to the challenge more.  What can I say, it was a crazy week!

And this week?  Fall is definitely in full swing, which meant Squiggles needed another sweater!  This kid dirties up his clothes like there is no tomorrow, so despite my hopes of keeping his wardrobe trim, it's hard when everything gets dirty so quick!  But at least it is an excuse to make more cute things.

In this case, a robot hoodie!  Inspired by Cirque du bebe's awesome hoodies, I bought the Heidi and Finn Comfy Yoga top pattern.  I've seen their Urban hoodie everywhere in crafty blog land, but I'm still a bit scared of button holes to attempt that one.  But this one was pretty easy!  Except that, like my inspiration hoodies, I used a woven cotton on the outside, with yet more of my stash green knit on the inside.  And, well, just don't look toooo close there are some pulls on the knit that I didn't care to take out :)

Either way, cute no?  Maybe its a bit much as the white background is quite bright, but who cares, I think it's adorable.  Oh and the fabric is I heart robots by Timeless Treasures, designed by Rashida Coleman Hale.  And as I made the size 2, theres room for him to grow into it all winter!

And bonus?  It's looks adorable with the knit pumpkin hat and mittens made by his Auntie at our visit to the pumpkin patch yesterday!

In other news, last week one of our local schools held a fabric flea market.  It was crazy busy, but I manage to snag some good basics like a pile of corduroy for future Squiggles pants, and a piece of pretty knit for something for me for next to nothing.

Not too bad eh?  Now I need to wait for my other recent splurge to arrive in the mail... my first venture into online fabric buying... lets cross our fingers and hope it doesn't get lost in the mail!

Hmm I may just have a fabric buying problem (although I do have plans for it all!), but at least I come by it honestly, ask my sister and mother whats hiding in their closets!

Friday, October 14, 2011

KCWC Days 1-5 - Red Pants!

It's day five of Elsie Marley's Kids Clothing Week Challenge.  And I now have something to show for it.  Where did day's two to four go you might ask?  To a crapload of tracing and fabric cutting!

I've decided I generally dislike fabric cutting, and I'm also super slow at it.  It's kinda a downer, after the excitement of finding awesome fabric and a great pattern, you then have to risk life and limb but cutting into said fabric, hoping desperately that you'll do it right and the finish product will look great, and that you don't later realize you had some other different and potentially more awesome project to use that fabric with.   BUT when the project gets finished and it looks awesome, all is sunny happy times again! yay!

So speaking of sunny,  I cut into some of my super cute stash fabric (in this case some Kokka trains, and Sherbet pups by Aneela Hoey for Moda) and made Squiggles red pants!  That's right, red pants.  The red was my first experience with Kona cotton... soooo much nicer than the standard cotton available at my local chain fabric store!

Pattern seems to be a perennial favourite of many sewers, Anna Maria Horner's Quick Change Trousers from Handmade Beginnings.  My first attempt at them and they were pretty darn easy.

I made the Size 2, which I knew would be long of Squiggles, and boy was a right!  But hey, he'll grow into them eventually.

So That's all I have to show for KCWC so far, not much, but many more things are now cut out ready for the upper of sewing them together!!  If I'm lucky I'll finish one more thing before Sunday, but I'm not holding my breath!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Works in progress..

KCWC has started, but have I? well barely...  This is the current state of my projects..

Some cut, most still at the pattern tracing / still a big hunk of fabric stage.

We went to visit some family this weekend, and got back far later than planned, thus the slow start.

But things should pick up.  And to encourage this, I shall refrain however from posting again until something is finished!  Likely that green stripy thing on the right will be first

The family visit did allow for some lakeside knitting though... very nice.

Back to tracing...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A coat for fall

Last weekend's chills really signalled the start of fall.  And that meant I had to sew a new coat for Squiggles!

Ever since seeing the Baby in the Hood jacket pattern in Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings, I just had to make it.  I thought it might be a bit tricky, what with a button placket and all.  But I am happy to report it is not tricky, her instructions are awesome, and I am super proud of it!

It's a bit stripey, but I love the blue and greens!  I lined it with a a cotton flannel for some coziness like she suggests in the book.  The main fabric and lining is some stuff I found in the local big fabric store, and the accent hood and placket fabric is from the Liesl Gibson (Oliver + S) Modern Workshop line.  It reminds me that I really should try an Oliver + S pattern one of these days!

And isn't Squiggles cute in it?

I only wish I had made the hood elastic a bit shorter so it could snug up around his face more.
He's also wearing it with a pair of Rae's Big Butt Baby Pants that I whipped up with added side pockets.

The photo makes them look weird, but they are just made out of a dark blue corduroy.  And um, well it appears my pockets are uneven.  Heh, oh well.  I do love corduroy for fall though... must get more in other colours for future pants!

I'm also currently planning my projects for the Kids Clothing Week Challenge (aka KCWC).  I plan to give you a preview on the weekend.  Happily it is a long weekend here in Canada (Thanksgiving) Hooray!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Little Bear

I did warn you I had stuff in line to blog about didn't I?  I know, two posts in two days, crazy but true!

This time it's all about bears!  Well a bear costume on a cute little dude at least.  And his dad is affectionately known as Mr. Bear.  That's a lot of cute bears I think.

So I got a chance to test Jessica of Running with Scissors new Woodland Animal Costume sewing pattern last week!  I totally love her Hipster Hoodie pattern, and now I'm totally ahead of the game and already have Squiggles' Halloween costume done!

You should check it out.  It's relatively simple (although it was my first attempt at a gusset, and only like my 5th at putting in a zipper)  And I made it from pretty stretchy fleece...ooops (it was super on sale!)  But it generally went well, and it was super cool to help test it out and give her feedback, and get a planned project (making his costume) done!  I added in his Converse shoes, because every little bear needs good shoes, and the outfit was complete!

I also made the red hood to make it an Ewok costume like Jessica had done for her son, but wouldn't you know it, Squiggles rips it off when I put it on the costume.  Not a Star Wars fan yet I guess?

The pattern also has a variation for a wolf and super cute fox included, so I may just have the next two years costumes already planned out!  I'm thinking you could also probably make other animals using the basic suit pattern too! yay!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Presents for Boys

I made some stuff to give to some boys over the last little while.  So I thought I'd share.

I made another Hipster Hoodie for one of Squiggles' little fiends birthday.  I actually used my machine this time, not my mom's like with the first one.  And I think I got the settings right because it turned out just as good!  This one used some more of my stash green knit along with a hacked up H&M t-shirt.  Didn't end up being able to get the stripes on the left angled as much as I wanted, but it still looks good I think! Right?

I have a one of these cut out for Squiggles too.  I might just make it during Elsie Marley's Fall Kids Clothing Week challenge.  Want to join in?  Check it out here, or click on the image on the right!

I also made another one of Make it Perfect's awesome Peek-a-boo Toy sacks for another one of Squiggles awesome baby friends (see previous sacks here).  I used some of my recently acquired new fabric.  Love the plaid!

Lastly, I made a certain Mr. Bear a little something.  A simple little wallet using this tutorial on Noodlehead.  His old one was falling apart, and he wanted something not to bulky.  So I cut into some of the awesome Kokka robot fabric I got in July along with a little co-ordinating plaid, and voila!

My cutting wasn't super square, I was in a hurry to make it in the hour and half I had while Mr. Bear took Squiggles for an evening walk.  One thing would help my crooked cutting though... Family members take note:  I would like a rotary cutter, self healing mat and one of those see through quilters rulers for Christmas please :).

I've been busy these days, the change of seasons is inspiring I think, so I will have lots more to show you all soon.  And I might even have actually almost cleaned and organize up our office (previously seen in it's clutterly glory here)  yay!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I realize it is a little girly

But I don't care, who says boys need to look all boyish all the time!  The fabric was cute, and I wanted to try out Rae's Charlie Tunic pattern, so I did, and I think it's adorable.


I wanted to make something for Squiggles first day of daycare on Tuesday so I tried to whip this out quickly. Well it was ready for his second day, and I was reminded that I should not try to sew up a new pattern in one evening.  I also should make sure I have matching thread.  Just using cream that kinda matches seemed like a good idea at the time.  "It will add some cute contrast ono the facings I said"  And sure it kinda did, but I think if you're going for contrast it's gotta be more "contrasty", and less "looks kind out of placy".


Either way, It was a good trial run for the pattern, It fits Squiggles better then I thought it would, and aside from a few trickier aspects (vent facings and sewing down the skinny sleeve seams, ack!) it's relatively straight forward.  I have fabric I like a lot more to use for the next one which is more boyish and for which I will buy matching thread for!

But for now enjoy a final blurry picture of Squiggles wearing it with some boyish cargo pants :)  (Note: the pictures are questionable because I used my iPhone camera in not so good light.  Mr. Bear had the camera and I was anxious to make sure I got some shots before it got dirty and then sat in the wash for a week :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summer Vacation

Summer is almost over.  Or should I say summer vacation is almost over.  As my teacher husband likes to remind me, summer continues until September 21st!

With September only a week away, my time for projects will likely diminish a bit more.  Squiggles will be starting daycare, and my work hours will get a bit longer, and the days will get shorter, and our spare time even shorter with Mr. Bear back at work.  Hopefully soon, regardless of this, we will find some spare time to do a few long over due clean up and fix up projects on the house.

I also have a slew of sewing and a bit of knitting in the cue for the winter, some for me and more for Squiggles!  But for now, I thought I'd wrap up some of my summer activities.

Our first vacation in July brought us to our usual lake resort.  And with it brought some free time to knit some Monster Chunks!!  With the ever patient assistance of my sister to help me learn to knit in the round, and an emergency trip to the local discount store to buy some stuffing, embroidery floss and felt to finish them of.  And so we photographed them on vacation.

These were from one of Rebecca Danger's awesome free knitting patterns.  I love all of her monsters, and hopefully there are more in Squiggles future.  For now he likes to call them "balls".  But then again that was his word for almost anything remotely round for a while!

Our second vacation in August was to the ocean!

The south Maine coast in particular.  And while we were there and since we practically had to drive past it, a stop at Alewives Fabrics was a must.  And they were successful in forcing me (haha!) to buy this lovely stack of fabric.

There is no fabric store like it anywhere remotely near me, not even in Toronto and Hamilton.  Although trips to three different stores in these cities at the end of our first vacation did garnered me this stack.

And so, just what will I make with all this fabric?  You will just have to stay tuned.  Some of it does have a predetermined purpose, but a bunch does not, so feel free to leave me some ideas in a comment!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pretty in a bonnet

I've decided bonnets are adorable on little girls.   Ever since Rae on Made by Rae posted her pattern for a Peekaboo Bonnet, I knew I had to make one.  But, since I don't have a little girl, I made one for Squiggles' little girl friends!

Her mom loves hats, and loves taking photos of her cute daughter in said hats, so it was perfect (All the photos here are ones she took!) Super cute I think!

I love Rae's patterns, and this one is no exception.  It's pretty easy to follow and super cute!  The only tricky thing was putting the piping on both sides.  The pattern calls for it only on the plan side (The bonnet is fully reversible), but explains you can add it to both side, it just requires some hand stitching, which I'm not that great at, but it works, and I do LOVE the look of the piping on the bonnet!  I think in future I might just switch it around and put the piping only on the pattern side and leave it off of the solid side.  In this case the pattern side is the prettiest anyways!

Now, who to make one for next? Well, friends of ours just had a baby girl last week!  So I'm thinking she needs a teeny tiny one!   And I just bought some pretty cute new fabric on our holidays that just might work!
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