Monday, December 31, 2012

And another year goes by

It's been a good year, mostly I'd have to say because of this adorable and awesome little guy

I hope next year brings him lots of handmade awesomeness (and it will!)

But what did I get up to this past year?  Like I did last year, and stealing ideas from the lovely Sophie over at Cirque du Bebe and fabulous Carolyn at Fake It While You Make It,  I give you 2012!


I made a lot for me this year actually, a number of dresses for my ill fated dress a month challenge (silly pregnancy) plus tops for Rae's Spring Top Challenge, plus several maternity pieces.  Make more things for me was a goal from last years wrap up post, so go me I guess!
Most Proud Of
of My Mad Men inspired dress (top left).  It was my first attempt at a vintage pattern, and I followed it entirely, doing all the silly details that I often cut corners with when sewing modern patterns.  I have a number of other vintage patterns and a pile of fabric for them that I hope to get to this year!  Thankfully most are shirt dresses which are nicely nursing friendly!

Most Worn
Probably my boring brown maternity skirt in the last weeks of my pregnancy, or my Minna blouse (second collage, left) prior to pregnancy as it was awesome for work!

Least Worn
Mad Men dress!  A bit too fancy for work sadly.  And sadly, my blue polkadot maternity skirt as it was really too small and I quickly grew out of it!

Coolest Things that Happened
Got to pattern test the Paloma tee for Sew Liberated and get featured!  Meg is super awesome!
Also got featured over at Burdastyle for my husband's cardigan, and over at Megan Nielsen for my Polkadot maternity skirt!!!

Most Proud Of
Probably the backpacks, and they get the most compliments

Most Worn
His green hoodie, need to make more of these!

Least Worn
His grey shirt, just don't really like it sadly, need to try the pattern again with better fabric!

Favorite Pattern
I suppose that would have to be Made by Rae's Peek-a-boo bonnet.  I may have made more than a few :).  Most recently I sent two more to my niece in Australia that I didn't actually blog about (that will mean I've made her 5!).  What can I say I love making bonnets and people love wearing them!

Coolest Things that Happened
Got to pattern test the Paloma tee for Sew Liberated and get featured!  Meg is super awesome!
Also got featured over at Burdastyle for my husband's cardigan, and over at Megan Nielsen for my Polkadot maternity skirt!!!

And I can't forget my littlest one.  I only got to make him one thing this year, and he's finally got to wear them, although they are still a bit too big on him (and excuse the blurry iPhone photo :).  Don't worry little guy, you'll have more handmade goodness soon!

This year also brought the opening of an awesome local fabric store, Fabrications (if you're ever in Ottawa, you must check it out!)  They stock tons of awesome fabric (included lovely imported Japanese stuff) that will keep me sewing for a while!  And the owners are lovely, lovely people!

AND I totally got a new sewing machine.  Loved my old Pfaff, but it was a basic model (Hobby 1122) and didn't even have any sort of knit stitch or an adjustible stitch width.  I still kept it old school and got a mechanical machine, but this time it has way more stitches and other awesome useful things (it's the Select 150).

Yikes, I totally sewed way more this year then I thought!  And a thanks again to all the awesome bloggers out there that continue to inspire me to get better and better at sewing!  thanks guys!

And what of next year?

Nothing particular I think, just trying more new things, and hopefully sewing something else for my oft forgotten husband!  Here's hoping the kids nap lots :)

P.S. sorry for the ridiculously long post!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New on December 3rd

Little baby E was born this past Monday morning at home as planned.   All went awesome!

Big brother M is super excited, and we're just enjoyed snuggly family time for now!

He's adorableness sure is making me itch to sew again (and on a new machine!  but that's a story for another post)

Monday, November 19, 2012

A plain old brown skirt

I just realized today that I totally never blogged this project.  Probably because it was pretty darn boring.

Because all I did was make a brown version of Megan Nielsen's great Ruched Maternity Skirt pattern.

And well, it's just kinda boring and brown I guess.

Good news?  It still fits me at 36 weeks pregnant! Unlike the lovely blue polka dot one, which I can't get on anymore.   I made this one almost two months  ago, so it's gotten some good wear.  Now I'm off work though, so it's comfy leggings for me till delivery methinks!

I did make the bigger size which probably helped, and visited my sister to use her machine with extra special stretch stitches which made the waistband more co-operative.

Please excuse the crappy pictures (again)  I can never catch good daylight these days, and I clearly should work on my indoor photo lighting skills. :-)

Anyways, this will be it for maternity projects for sure.  I'm taking it easy this week in order to keep this baby inside till at least 37 weeks (little M was early, and I don't want a repeat of that!)

I'm hoping I feel up to finishing some newborn projects, but no guarantees!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blue Dinosaur

Yes, I realize it's been a week since Halloween, but what can I say, I'm slow these days.

So I'll make this post brief, and just show you a few dark and kinda crappy photos of the costume I made little M this year.

It's a variation of the Woodland Animal Costume pattern from Jessica of Running with Scissors.  The same pattern I used to make his bear costume last year.

This year I made it into a dinosaur, but just adding in some spikes along the back, and also make a separate tail using Jessica's popular dino tail tutorial!

I made the 2T because I'm silly, and forget that my kid maybe little, but not that little, and so I should have made the 3T, but it just barely fits.  The hood is really too small, but it was ok.  

He won't get other wear from the costume, but he loves running around roaring at everyone in just the tail and his bear slippers!

P.S. Yikes! time is running short before the baby gets here! (I'm 34 weeks now!)  I'm hoping to get a few more projects in yet.  One more maternity project, and I'm hoping to post up a tutorial on making a shower cap style winter car seat cover (as there seems to be none online?)  There are lots to make blanket type covers, but I need something more tight and windproof here for those Canadian winters, so I'm gonna attempt to make whats in my mind.  Wish me luck?  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

All wrapped up in red

And finally here's my third Megan Nielsen maternity pattern complete!  And it turned out pretty good I think!

Its the Wrapped Maternity top.  It uses a ton of fabric (and a ton of thread hemming the two wrap pieces, but was well worth it.  Still a pretty easy sew, and it looks cute.

It does though take some time to wrap and adjust properly, but I like that I'll be able to adjust the length later and wear it post maternity too.  Its cross over front will make for a good nursing top too!

I made it about 2 weeks ago (pre-KCWC), so that's my 30 week belly, and it's growing these days!

Also a few words on the pants.  I got my hands on a pair of second hand, barely worn Gap maternity cords, and used this tutorial from Cotton and Curls to make them into skinnies.  Perfect for fall!

I had a few more maternity projects planned, but I may give up soon, as I only have 4 more weeks of work left, and a ton of other stuff I need to get done for this baby!  We'll see, perhaps you just start seeing more sewing for teeny babies here instead!

Monday, October 15, 2012

KCWC Days 5-7: Car Pants!

So here it is, the 3rd of 5 planned projects finished within the timelines of KCWC, not too bad right?

Little M is finally outgrowing some of his pants, hence, I needed to make some new ones!  And like many a little boy, he loves cars, so I made car pants.  Shocking, I know.

So I used up more of my precious Echino car fabric, previously used for this hat, and cut out my first pair of the East Pocket Pants from Growing up Sew Liberated.  I like the pattern, it's pretty easy, but cute, things I like in a pattern.  I even did all the details suggested, including the itch free seams, not very lazy of me eh?

I made up the 2T and they, not surprisingly, are still a bit big on my little compact M, but I'm fine with that.  I had to severely shorten the waist elastic and made rolled up the cuff as much as possible.  It's nice to know that he'll have lots of room to grow with them though!

And he likes them, of course, cause there's cars on them.  And just like with his backpack, went around and proclaimed to Daddy that Mama made him pants quite happily.  Makes this sewing mama happy :)

Yikes though, toddlers are hard to photograph, even with cookies.  Add in the fact I have very little daylight these days during the week, and we have slightly blurry and grainy pictures.

Oh well!  That's another KCWC done, with a project list to complete before baby still pretty long!

Friday, October 12, 2012

KCWC Days 3-4 Jailhouse Shirt

Lesson learned:  Think long and hard about which way you wants strips to go on a shirt.  Widthwise may seem like a good idea, but maybe its not a good idea when you have a centre front seam and a grey strip that may lead you to have an uneven shirt the resembles jailhouse couture.

Ha, oh well, at least I finally made the Easy Linen Shirt from the Sewing for Boys book I've had forever!  Good thing though I didn't make it sooner, because my mini 2.5 year old boy still swims a bit in the size 2/3.  I was worried it would be huge on him (this kid still wears 12-18 month shirts after all) but it's not tooo bad!

He isn't really picking his nose...ok maybe he is.

And the pattern comes together pretty easy so I can imagine making more of these in none stripy fabric in the future!  Perhaps I'll even make it with a hood like others have.

I have realized though that I'm definitely a lazy sewer most the time.  Exhibit A:  My reluctance to take out and resew the front seam to even it out (I had cut it out right!).  Exhibit B:  The uneven nature of the collar ends.  I think I realized this shirt would just be my trial version and thus no need to spend tons of time perfecting it anyways!

Next up? Blue car pants!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

KCWC Days 1-2 - Robot Pants!

My KCWC plans are slowing actually becoming things for once!  First up is a lil pair of Quick Change Trousers from AMH's Handmade beginnings for the new bebe.

I had a bit of deja vu making these, as I seem to like to only make them in red and in crazy prints (as seen with last falls KCWC when I made little M these red pants!  Hey, what can I say, I really wanted to use some of this robot Kokka fabric I had, and well, there's red in them!

The other side is some soft cozy flannel fabric left over from this dress.  And the but panel is a bit from Sarah Jane's Children at Play collection.  I have a bunch more of this which I should make something else for my boys from soon!

Tiny pants are cute!  Although I suspect these will be huge on my little one for a good while as I seem to not make particularly huge babies, but that's why you roll up the bottoms right? :-)

So be sure to check out the Elsie Marley flickr group for inspiration, and I'm on to the next item! Here's hoping I make all 5 things by Sunday!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

KCWC plans and some other bits

As usual, I have lots of plans for the Kids Clothing Week Challenge this fall.  Will I meet them? eh, who knows, but at least I'll try.

Here's a little photo to give you a very poorly lit (I do generally sew at night these days after all!) sneak peek.

Quick run down from top right.  Striped shirting will be an Easy Linen Shirt from Sewing for Boys (finally I make something from the book!)  The three fabrics under it, will make up a teeny pair of 0-3 months Quick Change Trousers from AMH's Handmade Beginnings (I seem to like to make these pants in red tones, as previously seen here).  Next up from the light blue is a Baby Sleep Sack from Growing Up Sew Liberated for the new baby.  On the right is a pile of fleece to make a dinosaur costume for M using Jessica of Running with Scissors Woodland Animal Costume (plus one of her dino tails).  And last is the car fabric which will be a pair of Easy Pocket Pants for M also from Growing up Sew Liberated.  And this just touches the surface of my list of things I want to sew for my boys!

For any of you who don't know about KCWC, check it out! link above or on my side bar.

In other news...

I think I never told you all that I'm having another BOY?  Maybe my colour choices above might have hinted, but well I am! And this time I have plans to sew all the things I never got around too with little M!  I always figured I'd be a mom to two boys (my husband is one of two boys) and so here we are!  And M loooves the idea of a little brother, kisses my stomach and asks to hug it all the time, while asking me if he's coming out next week (ha).  This was me last weekend (29 weeks), for those that are curious :)

And last, but not least, it looks like my city is FINALLY getting a fabric store with potential awesomeness.   It's called Fabrications, and it opens in November.  I'm already drafting them up a nice long e-mail full of suggestions of things I think they should carry, but from their description, I think it will be awesome regardless!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Little Amigo for M

I've loved the simple look of Waldorf style dolls, and had planned to make one for little M eventually.  With the new baby arriving soonish (ok in like 2-3 months) I wanted him to have a doll he could take care of and nurture to help prepare him.   He loves other dolls he sees, so it seemed a good idea!  So in stepped the Little Amigo doll pattern from Growing up Sew Liberated, and some serious help from my family.

I could not have made this baby without my awesome sister.  Knitter and sewer extraordinaire, she and my mom have long been and continue to be my inspirations to sew and create.  They can attest to still getting frequent calls for me for advise on things, most of them silly, ie. do I really need to pre-wash fleece?  or other similarly important questions.  And whenever I run into a knitting problem, I just put it away til one of them is over and can fix it for me.

So by no means can I take credit for the creation of this cutie.  This was one serious joint effort! My sister and I got together one Friday and did most of the work on him.  My sister skillfully prepared and sculpted his head, while I cut out and sewed the much easier body.  She assembled him, started on his hair and embroidered his face, I finished that mop of hair and applied his blush.  We also used the braided hair tutorial Meg posted on her blog, not the one in the book.

And my mom?  She made his clothes, a couple diapers, two pants, and two western style button shirts.  Thats right, look close, those shirts have man of the details of big people shirts! (although the buttons don't work, there is velcro hidden back there.

My sister and mom also made this awesome doll bed.

So he sure is cute isn't he?  I love his mop of hair, much like the crazy uncut hair of little M.

When M first got him, he kept snuggling him calling him his baby and that he loves his baby.  Later he named him after his daycare friend Marcus.  Now? well, lets just say it's a developing relationship.  Sometimes it's hugs, sometimes it's throw him on the floor and run the toy stroller over him, but he definitely likes him regardless.  Our cat is also a fan, frequently sleeping on Marcus when he's left on the floor.

Too bad he was soo much work, cause I want to make more!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Green Rie

I love green.  It's definitely my favourite colour.  My wedding dress was actually a very pale green even.  So not surprisingly, when shopping for knit fabric for this project I bought green.  Plain, simple, and awesome.  It's a pretty nice shade to I think. Some may think it kinda snotty in colour, but I just think it looks luscious!

And so my maternity sewing continues, not at the pace I would have liked, but seeing as 3 weeks ago we decided kinda last minute to throw our house up for sale in hopes of moving to another lovely house (don't worry it's old too!), my sewing plans have been side tracked.  It's hard to sew when half your supplies are in your sisters basement 20 minutes away so your sewing nook can look tidy.  It's hard to sew when most of your energy (the littler you have) is focused on keep the house tidy in case of a showing.  So it's been a bit stressful, which sewing actually helps, but I think my pregnancy tiredness is making it all harder.

So here's to hopefully selling very very soon (so we can move before I deliver!) and to hopefully more maternity and baby sewing being squeezed in somewhere!

But back to the dress.  It's the Rie Dress pattern by Megan Nielsen.  Another simple yet awesome one.  Definitely nothing too complicated here, and this time I even put on my double needles to sew the hems and neck line!  

I made up the XS like I normally do, but I forgot I have these behemoth shoulders in comparison to the rest of little me.  So at first the bodice was pulling across the front like crazy.  Ack.  So I thought of cutting the next size up in bodice as I have tons of this fabric, but I didn't feel like taking everything out.  SO I thought I'd try resewing the arms with the tiniest seam possible (it's cut with 5/8ths)  So I sewed them in with about a 1/4 seam and undid the original seams, and voila! no serious pulling and it fits just fine!

I also cut the longest length as I usually need it, but I probably didn't as I intended it to be worn like a tunic, but at this length I probably could wear it without tights (or jeggings in the photos, that's right everyone, I bought maternity jeggings, and they are awesomely comfortable)  Don't worry though I'll only be wearing them with long shirts, unlikes all the young kids these days :)

Oh and I thought with such a simple dress, I should make me a fancy belt.  So I used up some scraps of the girliest fabric I could find and made the Empire Cinch from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings book.  It makes me look rather like a present, but hey, I am kind carrying a very important package!

But for those simpler days, I can just belt it like this.  And the good thing with this dress is that post baby, I should be able to belt it at the waist and keep wearing it, yay!

Oh and in case you all don't know about it yet, in a few weeks is the Fall edition of Elsie Marley's KCWC (Kids Clothing Week Challenge).  I'm hoping to get a few things done for this new baby, and maybe something for little M!  Check it out!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Animal Apron

Just a little quick project post as haven't gotten around to photographing my recent maternity sewing project and realized it's been forever since I posted!

I can't believe I waiting so long to make this one either.  Little M loves his play kitchen, and helping Daddy in the kitchen (he's the chef of the house, not me!)  So naturally this kid needed a mini apron.

And finally I made one.

I used the free Child's Apron pattern by the lovely Meg over at Sew Liberated.  And naturally I made it using animal prints.  I suppose food prints would have been more suitable, but seriously, who wouldn't want an apron with frog princes on one side and monkeys on the other.  Right?

M likes it, and that's all that matters!  Isn't he cute (and rather blurry) with his kitchen?  I think so, but I just might be biased.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Backpack with a View

I've been meaning to make one of Made by Rae's Toddler Backpacks up for M since I made the last one in January.  I finally finished it last weekend, and just in time!   Oddly enough, M starting asking for a backpack last week, it was a bit weird, I suppose I must have been mentioning it, but he is getting very observant.  Nothing gets past this little guy.

This is probably the first thing I've made him where he understands I made it, and appreciates it!  Every time he sees it, he states "Mama made the backpack!"  Makes this mama feel nice.

He loves wearing it, and it's probably good I waited a bit to make it as its still a bit big.  With the straps at their shortest, it stays on, but barely.  Regardless, it looks adorable, and he'll grow into it before long.

The fabric is of course, Viewfinders from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Rising collection.  Despite the fact that M was asking for a robot backpack (no idea why) he still loves this pattern, and so do I!    It's just lined in a dark blue cotton. 

Sewing up this one went smoother then the last one, I think mostly because I didn't interface it with the super stiff stuff I used last time.  While it'd be nice if the backpack stood up on it's own more, the thick interfacing last time made a pain to sew so this one was a breeze.  

I can totally see making a school sized one in a few years for him (maybe even in robot fabric).
And he sure is cute wearing it!

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