Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Quilt for Quinn

Earlier this year I found out (via Facebook) that a friend who I had lived next to for the early years of my childhood was having her first child, a baby girl, and was naming her Quinn.  I decided to try my hand at a basic quilt and after doing a lot of searching, and if I'm honest a lot more Pinning, I decided that a strip quilt sounded simple enough and like something I could put together quickly enough to get to her before the baby arrived.  I found this tutorial from a cuppa and a catchup and was optimistic I'd be able to do it.

I picked out a Jelly Roll of Wooster & Prince Printed Fabrics for Robert Kaufman which I thought was beautiful for a little girl quilt, but would also be mature enough to be loved for a long time:

The quilt came together very quickly and I was in love:
I wanted to personalize it so before I finished sewing down strips I hand embroidered her name onto it:
And finally bound it:
And threw in a giraffe onesie that I had freezer paper stenciled:
The only thing that drives me nuts about this is the crooked name embroidery, but I love it all the same.  It was a very sentimental project, it was crazy that someone I knew as such a little girl was having her own baby girl.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lovely Vintage Finds

I have this real love of all things vintage.  I have a desire to go back to when toys were simple and wood and baby clothing was simple and adorable with small wonderful details.

The first one I found was this adorable little lightweight dress at an antique store right in my hometown.  I love the soft yellow, little cap sleeves and the trim on the bottom but my favorite is the little embroidery details and the itty-bitty pintucks along the neck.
I found this jacket at an estate sale.  It was clear by the woman's collection that she hand sewed a lot of her children's clothes.  She also embroidered and appliqued quite a bit.  I loved the style of this jacket and the little appliqued kitty.

I have a few more items I got from this sale but I'm reworking them so that will be a future project (and post)!  Does anyone else get nervous when reworking something vintage?  Does it ever feel to you a little like you're violating the original creator's plan?

Well I love vintage items and will continue to add to my collection as I find items I love.  What I've found to be key is being very picky with these items so I don't wind up hoarding them!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Trying out a New Option

I wanted a hobby that would be easy to travel with.  I am generally a machine sewer so I didn't want to take my traditional sewing projects on the road but a book inspired me to start embroidering, that book was: Doodle Stitching.  I bought the book and had a long flight upcoming so I read through, printed a bunch of the outlines and prepped a bag of embroidery materials.

First was this puppy, since I have two dogs this was the one I went to first!
 I also made a Onesie with a Mermaid and a Merman on it.  I especially love her hair!
Then I made the hedgehog because, well, hedgehogs are adorable!
This is a fun traveling hobby and the outcome is adorable but I don't think I'll put down sewing to do this as my primary hobby.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Head over Heels

You may remember my First School Days Jacket + Coat well since it made me fall in love with sewing I knew I'd make it again!  I thought I'd try a completely different fabric so I decided to try my hand at a raincoat.

I fell in love with this green apple oilcloth at Haberman Fabrics.  I've since learned that Oilcloth can off-gas for quite a while and isn't ideal for Children's clothes.  To say I was bummed would be a huge understatement!  I may make another out of laminated cotton.

The oilcloth was quite challenging to work with but my New Machine handled it like a champ!

Ahh, in love all over again!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Itty Bitty and Adorable

After doing the circle skirt (times three!) I was onto another classic pattern from a blogger I Pin all the time. Made by Rae had this really cute pattern for an Itty Bitty Baby Dress.  The tie closures and piping had me won over and the pattern was simple enough to give it a try.  The fabric is vintage that I picked up at an Estate Sale.

I made it in the Itty Bitty size (newborn).  For this size I did the piping at the waist and the bias tape hem.

I made a toddler version in the same fabric with the piping in the middle but a normal hem at the bottom.

I like that the bodice is lined so no seams rubbing up against baby's skin and this dress was really simple and super quick!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Circle Skirt Wonder

After all of these patterns I've been purchasing I decided to try a couple free patterns from bloggers I've been Pinning for a while.

One of the patterns I'd been eyeing for a while was by Dana.  She has a really nice and simple pattern for a circle skirt.  She even had instructions for how to make it for adults and children so I did both!

I made one for a friend of mine to wear to a Swing Dancing Event, I was really happy with how it turned out and she loved it as well!
So you know how easy and quick this pattern is; I bought my fabric and elastic the morning of the dance and had whipped up a skirt for my friend, a skirt for myself and an itty bitty one in a matter of a couple hours!

 I think this one is adorable and was REALLY fast!
However, I did run into some challenges with the hem and am still trying to learn more about hemming really slinky fabrics.  Hopefully I'll eventually revisit this and master a rolled hem.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Love Continues

Ah! I swear, I cannot say enough nice things about Oliver + S patterns!  My next purchase was the Sunday Brunch Jacket and A-Line Skirt.  It turned out so cute!  It was such a breeze to work with this pattern as well!  I loved the little pockets and the pleat on the skirt and I tried my hand at covering some buttons and loved the result.

I used the owls' little bellies as the center of the buttons because I loved the little pattern they had.

Oliver + S patterns have the cutest details like these two little pockets on the skirt

This is one I'll definitely make again and again in different fabrics!

Easy Empire Waist Top

I purchased Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones a while ago and have already blogged about the bedding set, Kimono Style PJs (twice) and the Snuggle Wrap.  Next on my list was the  Easy Empire Waist Top.  I had some fabric that I LOVED for this project.

I fought with this one a fair amount.  I'm such a visual person and I really wish the book had more pictures.  However, the result is very cute!  I love the details on this with the collar and the front little tie.  My secondary fabric was a little hidden but you got a big view of those flowers on the back!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cheater Quilter

Okay, okay I know I asked if I was cheating when I sewed those blankets/play pads with the pre-quilted fabric.  This is probably slightly less "cheaty."  I desperately want to love quilting.  When I see beautifully pieced quilts I want to quilt for hours and hours and create quilts that look like works of art.  But (there had to be a but) when I sit down to start one of these quilts that will take me hours and hours (or days and days) I just can't, or maybe don't want to, do it.  I lose all of my motivation and want to walk away from my sewing machine so; I cheat!  I call this less "cheaty" because I actually did cut out squares, lay it out and sew rows together and then sewed those rows together into a quilt.  I enjoyed it, I liked the outcome and I'm completely okay with me not being a serious quilter now.  I'm going to keep trying my cheating methods and look up some very simple quilting techniques and muster up some motivation to quilt!

Oh yeah, I used some pre-quilted backing as well (double-cheating!)

Did I mention I just sewed around the outside edge?  No, well I did (triple-cheating?) I haven't actually quilted anything here.  I still like it!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sewing Honeymoon

Ahh, if sewing the School Days Jacket + Coat our long term relationships has continued and the Honeymoon was the School Photo Dress.  Another ADORABLE creation from Oliver + S with the perfect little details.  My favorite detail?  The front pocket to tuck two little hands you could look at the dress without noticing it since it's tucked nicely into those front seams!

I love how finished the lining makes the inside look
I learned a lot about zipper sewing during this pattern.  I really enjoy how hidden the zipper is and that when it's zipped up it's barely noticeable.  I'll definitely do a lot more with invisible zippers in the future!

I opted for the flat collar rather than the ruffled one but I'm looking forward to doing this pattern again as well!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Falling in LOVE with Sewing

This garment made me fall completely head over heals in love with sewing!  The AMAZING feeling I got upon the completion was so wonderful I wanted to show it off to everyone I knew!

Now for the background.  I'd heard wonderful things about Oliver + S patterns and I decided to try one.  Of course I didn't go with one of their simpler patterns but instead dove right into the School Days Jacket + Coat  that picture on the pattern envelope got me!  My instincts were overridden by the adorableness of that little bitty coat.  When I found the perfect fabric at the same store as I was buying the pattern I knew it was meant to be!  I bought another fabric to make a second version of the coat but I'll get to that later.

Here she is in all her glory:
Oh oh oh the closures kill me!

And the itty bitty hood!  So ADORABLE!

So many parts of this pattern were firsts for me.  First time doing a lining in a garment, first time doing a hood, first time with the closure type and first time with sleeves!  But I have to give Oliver + S a LOT of credit for an amazing pattern with so many pictures and great written instructions.  I especially love that they warn you that certain things may look/feel odd in process but will turn out perfectly!

Ah so in love!  Can't wait to share the next version of this coat with you :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A New Sewing Machine!

I got an award at work which came with a gift certificate of my choosing.  So I used the opportunity to a sewing machine that wouldn't DRIVE ME CRAZY!  I researched and researched and researched and finally chose a Janome.  It was far harder for me to choose a model but I finally landed on the Janome DC 5100.

It's been a completely new experience sewing on the Janome.  I don't have the bobbin issues I had before, it can handle several layers of fabric.  I'll have lots of pictures to show what I've been sewing up with my new machine!
I'm in love!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I really like this fabric but it's so busy I knew I'd want to do it with a simple silhouette.  

This pattern seemed like a good fit, the only detail was some cute pleating on the front.  Actually, learning pleating was a bit challenging at first.  It was tricky to get the fabric to fold the way I wanted it to and it was hard to get the pleats even spaced.  I like the style but the shape is a little wide.  I think it will look cute with leggings or skinny pants.

Unfortunately the back looks pretty messy, I may actually unpick it and re-sew it.

I'm really happy with this.  After the Kimono PJs from the Amy Butler book I wanted to try a kimono style pattern in a knit so I worked with this pattern:

This pattern has a tie on the inside and a button on the outside
Since I'm totally obsessed with owls at the moment this fabric was an obvious choice.
I think the bias tape on each of these really made the garments look much more finished.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kimono Style PJs

This pattern turned out really cute.  It's another pattern from Amy Butler's Little Stitches, the Kimono Style PJs.

I did something pretty silly here and used home decor weight fabric for this.  It's a bit rough and will probably have to be layered over a thin tee or something but we'll see.  I'd like to try it again with a fabric weight.

I made my own bias tape for this one and was really happy with how it turned out

 I love the matching trim at the bottom of the pants.  I've since made a couple pairs of pants using this pattern (including some adorable bee ones) that I'll share soon!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Is it Cheating?

I wanted to make some mats for laying baby on for some upcoming showers.  I'd never quilted before so I took the "cheater" route and used the pre-quilted fabric that JoAnns sells.  They're really simple with the pre-quilted fabric, high loft batting and backed in matching minky fabric:
They turned out pretty cute, I'm not SUPER proud of them but they'll do:
(Backed in matching brown minky)

I think sometimes cheating is fine.  I would have wound up throwing this project against a wall if I'd tried to do the quilting, I'm glad I cheated but I hope to do a REAL quilt in the future.  Baby steps!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Freezer Paper Stencils are Pretty Awesome

I learned about this free animal font on Say Yes to Hoboken.  The whale tee she did was so cute so I decided to try my hand at it.

I bought freezer paper, fabric paints and an X-Acto knife and had at it.

I started with the elephant
And I LOVED it!

 So I made a giraffe
And then a horse

 And then my favorite - the seahorse

Then I had a thought.  I was spending all of this time cutting out these stencils and only using them once.  So I used a piece of our tupperware and traced a rounded edge square and created an inverted version of the stencil.
And I like this one even more!
I think I'm going to be doing a lot of freezer-paper stenciling in the future.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lesson 6: Let the Fabric Inspire the Project

I was in JoAnn Fabrics when I spotted this adorable fabric that was reminiscent of Dwell's Gio Fabric like this Gio Hooded Towel.  I checked the bolt and it was in fact Robert Allen for Dwell Studio.  I LOVED it so I bought TONS of it, yards and yards and yards in the different coordinating patterns.

The fabric seemed so perfect for a nursery bedding set and one of my books had the perfect pattern for it.  So I pulled out Amy Butler's Little Stitches and made a fitted sheet, a pillow:

And the quilt:

 It's not really made by quilting, it uses embroidery ties to hold all the layers in place.

I also made a crib skirt out of the green circle fabric so I could coordinate it with the blue and the pink set.

I made a pink crib sheet and a pillow.
The second time around I realized that when cutting the pieces I had to be careful with the print placement and was able to line them up PERFECTLY on the back!

I love this set, and I am glad that I was able to make pieces that would be useful with both sets to move through the set quicker.