Friday, January 31, 2014

kid's clothes week: valentine's nessie top + leggings

I had so much fun with my next Kid's Clothes Week project. I made a comfy Valentine's outfit for my daughter and I just love how it turned out.

I was a little nervous to start because I have never really sewn with knits before. I have been wanting to try it out for awhile and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a shot. Knits are easy! Well, they are a little harder to handle than woven fabric because of the stretchiness, but they are really not bad at all. If you have been dragging your feet to try sewing with knits, just do it! I even learned how to use a double needle. And succeeded! (Just don't look too closely at any of my seams, haha!)

For the top, I used the Nessie Top pattern by Craftiness is not Optional. Let me just say that I LOVE this shirt! What a great pattern. It was so easy to follow (even for me, a knit beginner) and it turned out looking SO CUTE. I added the optional peter pan collar and a couple of vintage white gumdrop buttons, along with the 3/4 length sleeves. And I especially love how it fits my daughter. I made the 12-18 month size based on her measurements, but I was a little nervous, because she's pretty big for her age and a lot of patterns run kind of small. I was happily surprised to find out that it fits her perfectly, with room to spare. I will definitely be making more of these tops. Highly recommended.

For the leggings, I followed the Super Simple Leggings tutorial by Make It And Love It. I drafted them by tracing some of my daughter's store-bought leggings, and it was seriously so simple. They turned out cute, but I think next time I might purchase a pattern. (I've heard good things about the Go To Leggings pattern...) Because the tutorial I used is made for baby leggings, the front and back of the pants have the same amount of room and my daughter needs a bit more room in the back and a bit less in the front, if you get my drift. Also, I need to work on length. I meant to make them longer. Still very cute though.

Fabrics: salmon knit re-purposed from one of my old shirts, white knit with hearts from JoAnn.

Stay tuned for more Kid's Clothes Week projects, coming up soon!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

kid's clothes week: checked circle skirt

I've been having all sorts of fun making clothes for my daughter during Kid's Clothes Week! (It's a whole week with the challenge to sew clothes for your kid(s) for at least one hour each day). So far, I've made three articles of clothing for my baby girl, and I have plans for at least one more.

circle skirt

Today I am sharing the checked black and white circle skirt I made with vintage fabric and 1" fushia elastic.

I used Dana's tutorial at MADE and it turned out just perfect. I had a little trouble hemming the bottom in a circle, but I suppose that's to be expected and imperfections will never be noticeable in such a flowy skirt anyway.

However, sewing is the easy part compared to doing photo shoots with my wriggly little munchkin. She is a full-blown crawler and just wants to go, go, go!

Lots of fun and so quick to make! I think I will be making many more of these over the next few years!


I guess that means it's time to go! But I'll be back soon with more recently completed projects. :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

tutorial: pattern cutting with freezer paper

I have been busy cutting patterns and fabric for Kid's Clothes Week - it starts on Monday, you guys! I don't know if cutting in advance is considered cheating... but if it is please don't tell me, haha!

Anyway, I recently discovered an amazing shortcut that I just had to share.

Hands up if tracing patterns and cutting fabric is your least favorite part of sewing. *my hands are both up!*

If you have a method that works great for you and you love it, then this tip might not be for you... but if you just can't figure out why cutting fabric seems so easy for everyone else and so annoying and time consuming for you, then read on!

cutting a pattern using freezer paper

Freezer paper. You may have heard of it. There are lots of crafty applications that I am only just discovering. It is cheap and easy to find - in the section of the store by wax paper and plastic wrap and tin foil. This roll only set me back about five bucks and it will probably last forever.

It is extra wide and infinitely long (well, 100 feet long, to be precise), so it is probably big enough to trace nearly any pattern onto - especially kid's patterns, but probably most adult clothing patterns as well.

cutting a pattern using freezer paper

To start with, place your pattern template under your appropriately-sized piece of freezer paper and trace the template in the desired size onto the paper side of the freezer paper.

cutting a pattern using freezer paper

Cut the freezer paper.

cutting a pattern using freezer paper

Now for the amazing part. The plastic side of the freezer paper can be ironed directly onto your fabric. So line it up and iron that baby on.

cutting a pattern using freezer paper

This makes it super easy to cut out your fabric around the pattern.

cutting a pattern using freezer paper

When your fabric is cut, just peel off the freezer paper and you're ready to sew! TaaDaa!

cutting a pattern using freezer paper

The freezer paper can be used over and over many times. I ironed a piece 4 times and it is still good to go.

This method may not be the most efficient for large pieces or for straight pieces that can be cut with a rotary blade, but it is perfect for small detail pieces or pieces with lots of curves. It sure beats using a pencil or a disappearing ink pen and then trying to make out where your marks are hidden in the colors of the fabric...!

Hope that was useful to you! Now get sewing! :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I eased backing into sewing after my winter recess by sewing a stack of Baprons (baby aprons!). The pattern is from Craftiness is not Optional and, speaking as the mother of a messy eater, these are the best bibs ever! They offer great coverage to help protect clothing, and they can't be pulled off, even by the most persistent of babies (like mine). Win-win! And they come together so quickly... I just wanted to make more and more!

The pattern was originally offered for free, which is when I printed it and sewed a couple for my daughter. Now it costs $6 to purchase, but don't let that hold you back, because they are so worth it. Plus, the Bapron now comes in 2 sizes: the smaller size goes up to 18 months, and the larger size fits from 18 months to 3 years. I am going to make a couple of the larger sized Baprons for my daughter shortly, as she is quickly growing out of hers. Not only will the large size make a great bib, but would also be perfect as an art smock or apron for any type of messy project.


Two of these bibs will be going to a baby-to-be. The other two will be headed to a baby who is starting solid foods soon. I'm sure both mothers will appreciate these useful and pretty bibs.

All fabric is from the remnant bin at JoAnn. Bias tape was purchased pre-made.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sorry for the random..

...but random is the way my brain feels right now, so random is how I blog. :)

* Now that the new year is here, I need to get back into my crafty groove! When I am crafty, I am inspired to blog, and my goal is to blog at least once each week. (Twice if possible, but I will consider once a success!)

* My daughter's favorite new thing to do is to crawl down the hallway to my craft room and then gaze up at my spool holder filled with thread. She loves the colors. I can't blame her, though, because I like to do the same thing! (minus the crawling, of course...)

* Speaking of my craft room, it desperately needs to be organized and tidied up. The holidays did a number on it. And it might benefit me to purge a bit of stuff as well... hard for me to do, but I always feels better after I get rid of some things. Helps me feel like I can breathe again.

* I am gearing up to participate in Kid's Clothes Week at the end of the month. It runs from January 27 - February 3 and for those of you who haven't heard of it, here's the run-down. Basically it's a week where you spend an hour (or more if you want!) a day sewing clothes for your kid(s) and then share your creations with the rest of the KCW community. The idea is that with some concentrated effort, you can get quite a bit done! I am making a list of all the projects I want to do, and I think I am probably being a bit over-ambitious...

First priority is a birthday dress for my February birthday girl. I have decided on a "You are My Sunshine" theme for her little party because it is her very favorite song. I am having a little trouble finding the perfect yellow fabric for a dress, and still haven't decided on what pattern to use - thinking maybe a Geranium dress? Suggestions are welcome for cute dress patterns in 18 month size!

Also thinking I might make some baby leggings, a few circle skirts, possibly a baby cardigan. And I love the new Natty Jane shoe pattern by Delia Creates, but I'm not sure if I'm quite up for that. Is anybody else participating in Kid's Clothes Week this winter? Are there any fun new patterns I should be aware of for my almost-one-year-old?

* I'm hoping to make some design changes to my blog in the coming weeks. I'm kind of an amateur at this, but I would like to update it a bit and make it look more fresh and clean. Maybe that will inspire me to write a bit more!

* And I think this is the year that I will finally take a photography class! I think it will be fun and if I take it in the late winter/early spring, I should have lots of good photo subjects here in Texas. Now to find a good online class...

 Getting off the computer now so I can go be productive!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

26. Go sledding

Well, it's here. D-day. The big 3-0. And I only have 14/30 goals in my 30 before 30 list completed. Maybe it should have been a 6-year goal list instead of a 3-year goal list, ha. I guess I underestimated how much being pregnant and then taking care of a baby would slow me down. And working. And life in general.

It happens.

Anyway... I am still working toward my goals and I will still post as I accomplish them. I am considering re-focusing them into a new list, but we'll see. Any ideas, stories or inspiration on how to stay excited about this project even though I missed my deadline?

I did go sledding, though.

Well, actually my daughter did, but I was there. I even pulled her for awhile. I've been sledding many times in my life (just not in quite a few years!), so even though I didn't get in the sled myself this time, it counts for me. Because I say so.

While we were in Iowa on Christmas, my mom pulled out a cute little baby sled that she had purchased for this very reason. Baby girl fit perfectly and off she went with Grandpa! It was snowing and pretty cold (though nothing like the negative temperatures they are experiencing there today, thank goodness!) and she wasn't quite sure what to think about the experience.

Everyone, including Daddy, took a turn at pulling her through the snow. She couldn't seem to figure out whether she should laugh or cry... I think she was just in shock, haha. BUT, every time she stopped moving, she started getting fussy, so I am taking that to mean she enjoyed it.

Next year maybe we'll try out some hills! :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 in review

I like to do a yearly review post at the end [or in this case beginning!] of each year. I find that it really helps me to take a step back and realize what I accomplished throughout the year. 2013 was a big one for my family in that we had a baby... so of course this year my review is very baby-centric. But we also had some fun travels, I have started to move in new directions with my sewing and I even spent some time making goodies in the kitchen. A good year overall.

January was all about the bump. I felt like I was just waiting for baby to arrive and it is also when I started feeling really big and uncomfortable, haha.

In February, this happened. And that is all I really need to say. The birth of my daughter was hands down the best event of the year.

I spent the month of March snuggling with our new addition during my maternity leave... and loving every minute of it!!

In April I began to get back to bloggy and crafty mode. I shared some projects from my daughter's nursery, including the DIY book wall, scooter mobile, and crib sheets with ruffle. I also shared my egg-less cookie dough recipe, which has become one of the most popular posts on my blog.

In May, I discussed how blessed I was to be a mother and celebrated my first Mother's Day. I also made whoopie pies, though I didn't actually share them on my blog!

In June I officially became a stay-at-home mom. It has been a wonderful experience overall, but it did take me awhile after that to find my groove.

In July we traveled to Iowa to visit family and also celebrated our daughter's baptism. It was a wonderful trip full of great memories.

In August, I was still taking a summer break from blogging. 100+ degree days are just not very inspiring, haha. Baby girl was learning to sit up, which was very exciting. Also, by the end of the month, she had started eating solid foods! 

In September I began to get my craft back on. I whipped up the curtains for my daughter's room, which had been languishing in my craft room for months, and also finished some decorative hanging pom poms.

In October, I sewed my first dress!! And then another! I also posted my favorite caramel brownie recipe and then sewed a couple pillowcase dresses for Craft Hope. Then I dressed my daughter as a cabbage patch doll for Halloween. A productive and fun month!

In November, I sewed my baby girl an adorable reversible wrap top. I also shared my story of milk donation and completed my granny squares.

December was a busy month and not all of the busy made it to the blog. I sewed my daughter a Christmas dress, shared a no-bake recipe and then participated in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day. We spent a week and a half in Iowa over the holidays and had a wonderful time.

A good year, but I am looking forward to what 2014 brings. My prediction is more dresses, more cupcakes and even more fun!