After signing up for the Kids’ Clothing Week Challenge at Elsie Marley, I perused Meg’s flickr group to see what-all the others were working on. I felt myself deflating a bit, as some of the lists included more garments than I’ve ever sewn in my entire life. Not that I’ve been much of a apparel sewist, but I’ve been sewing since I was 9 years old. Maybe it’s the first-time mommy thing, but I just don’t know how and where they find enough hours in the day! I am amazed by their superior time-management, sewing, and parenting skills. And, more eye candy for us in the group photo pool, right?
I set out to tackle my one-item list (heh heh) on Monday, tracing and cutting out pattern pieces. Alice is a skinny 16-month-old, so I chose the 12-18 month size of the 2 + 2 top from Oliver + S. I’d say it went pretty smoothly. I sewed a little here and there for Days 2 and 3, then tried it on for fit on Thursday, Day 4. Rut-roh. Apparently Alice isn’t a tiny as I thought she was. Did I check the finished garment dimensions before starting? Um. Well. Nothing a smaller seam allowance on the sides and sleeves couldn’t solve.
The blouse is made from a very lightweight cotton, almost a gauze. Voile? Lawn? Didn’t read the description on the bolt at my local Jo-Ann. I just loved the colors for fall and figured I could pop long sleeve tee under or sweater over it for chillier temps. Dreary morning, so the pictures leave much to be desired.
Another challenge for photos? Baby girl’s still working on her molars, so we get a lot of teethe-y face around here.
I enjoyed sewing up my first Oliver and S pattern. The instructions are great, and there are discussion forums at the O + S site where you can get help from other sewists and from Liesl herself. And there is a huge body of work over at the Oliver + S flickr group for hints and inspiration. All of which didn’t stop me from making bonehead mistakes like sewing a sleeve on wrong side out. But all in all, the seam ripper didn’t get as much use as I thought it might.
I tried out some new techniques with this project, like attaching buttons with the sewing machine (who knew?) and a four-step buttonhole (not my choice; auto buttonhole chose not to work on my machine). As I stated earlier, I’m pretty rusty at garment sewing, but I’ll definitely be getting more practice at it soon. Baby clothes are a little like the doll quilts of clothes sewing. Faster to construct with less space and materials requirements. And oh-so-cute!
Thanks for hosting the challenge, Meg! I really needed the motivation.
Meg over at Elsie Marley is hosting another KCWC!
The idea is that participants spend 1 hour each day sewing for a little person. I’ve been too long absent from the sewing machine. This supposed crafter has a pretty little 16-month-old daughter with nary a garment – even an accessory! – made by her mama. Shameful
I have a wonderful pattern from Liesl Gibson’s Oliver + S called 2 + 2 that includes tops and a skirt. I will sew at the very least a top, and perhaps even a skirt, should the momentum carry me through by the end of the week. My hope is that this will be a catalyst for me to begin making all the little pretties I imagined making for my Future Daughter for so many years. I’ve been unintentionally preparing for this week by organizing all my fabric over the last month or so. No excuses!
Wish me luck! Here’s a photo of the little recipient to tide y’all over. Isn’t she a peach?
She has quite a few dresses and longer tunics that interfere with her getting around. They frustrate her, if not to tears, then at least to loud protests. She grows so quickly that if I put them away until she began to walk, they’d be too small. Rather than putting the dresses directly into the hand-me-down pile without her ever wearing them, I thought about how to keep the fabric from getting under those busy knees.
I thought about maybe sewing buttons on the outside and loops inside to gather the material, but that seemed too much trouble. Sewing ribbons inside and out to tie the skirt up was a little less work, but my lazybones tendencies run deep. I finally remembered some mitten clips I had, and those do the job simply and effectively. (For my friends from warmer climes who aren’t familiar with them, they’re simple short elastic bands with little jaw clips on either end, used to keep kiddoes from losing their mitts. Allegedly.)
To make a baby bustle: attach the clips on the outside, gather the excess fabric up, then clip to the inside of the garment. And she’s off!
Yay, my doll quilt arrived in Colorado, and I can finally post about it. My partner is Wendy of Wee Toes and Noggins. She was a great swap mama in a previous round of the doll quilt swap, and I was thrilled to make something for her.
Wendy’d posted that she loved a certain quilt called Half Moon Bay by Lynn of Craftstew, another DQS alum. Well, I happened to have a charm pack of the exact fabric (April Cornell’s Sonnet collection by Moda from a year or two back), and – AND! – also the pattern she used. It’s the cover quilt from last summer’s Quilts and More mag, a design by Monica of Happy Zombie.
I shared a couple of sneaky e-mails with my inspiration Lynn, who was tickled to be in on the secret and very encouraging of my half-scale version of her lovely quilt. I called mine “Quarter Moon Bay.” Get it?
It’s about 20″ square. I have a hard time with “random” placement of colors in quilts because I rearrange and rearrange and rearrange, so I sorted the colors into the corners and put the lighter cream patterns toward the middle of the quilt.
The back….ah, the back. It’s piece-y, and the label I intended as a main feature was almost my downfall. I made this groovy design and traced it onto fabric with a Pigma marker. Which ran in the wash. Oh. No. In retrospect, I think I didn’t prewash the cream fabric because, hey, who washes cream? So I was really marker-ing on the finish of the fabric, not on the fabric itself. After 3 washings, it’s much lighter, but still legible, so all’s well that ends well. It’s just a little broken in :o)
Anyway, Wendy loves the quilt and wrote me the nicest of thank you e-mails! Whew!
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And if you’ve read alllllll the way to the end of this, here’s a bonus. Some of you may know that I miscarried our first baby on Mother’s Day of this year. God is looking out for us because we’re expecting again. On Mother’s Day, 2009. Please send good baby vibes this way.
I wasn’t sure what to make for Lauren’s birthday, so I called her mom:
Me: Hi, Erin. What’s Lauren’s favorite animal?
Erin: Lauren? What’s your favorite animal?
Lauren: Green! [She's going to be two years old]
Erin: No, what’s your favorite animal?
Erin: No, your favorite animal, like a duck, or cow, or chicken, or dog…
Erin: Definitely dog.
Me: Great! Does she have a favorite food?
Erin: What’s your favorite food, Lauren?
Well, dogs are much harder to draw than a glass of milk, so this is what I made:
It’s done in green seersucker (hmm…does that mean she can only wear it for another week until Labor Day?) and lined with white cotton. I bound the hem instead of sewing it because I like the look and! I hate to iron up hems. So fiddly!
The straps are fastened with snaps. I attached the bottom set first, but then the top edge flipped down, so I added another set above. They have an added and unintentional benefit of letting Lauren’s mom lengthen the straps, so theoretically she could wear it in the spring again. She’s a tiny thing!
Here’s a closeup of the glass of milk. I fused the applique and then added some of the binding as the straw, stitching stripes with perle cotton.
The pattern is Simplicity #3662 (5 for $5 at Jo-Ann last week). I threw the fabric in the wash when I woke up this morning and cut the pieces out at about 9:00. It was only two pattern pieces, cut one each from fabric and lining, so it went together very quickly. The whole project was done by one, so I call that completed in plenty of time for the party this afternoon at 4:00. Last-minute Lisa strikes again.
I’ve been a lucky, lucky Lisa for a good month now, as the mail carrier has brought a steady stream of loveliness to me from all over the country.
It really started about 4 weeks ago, with a package with an Alaska return address. Textile artist Linda concocted this fantasy “wild thing” quilt for me for the Doll Quilt Swap. It’s stuffed hand applique, with machine quilting, and it’s incredibly detailed.
It’s based on a fawn stuffie she’s made, and it’s frolicking in a stand of towering sea oats. Linda’s hand-dyed fabric are exactly the colors I asked for to match my office’s red, green, and black color scheme.
Her piercing “people eyes” took some getting used to, but she’s settling in nicely now. Thank you again, Linda!
Next, Marisa from California sent a handmade pouch in her signature taupes. It’s a quilted pyramid pouch, pictured here on her beautiful blog. I just love that shape! She’s included a sweet appliqued tag with her knockout calligraphy. Thanking you, thanking me, Marisa! I have enjoyed our exchanges and your generosity in sharing your quilting expertise. I just last night finally figured out the taupe-y treat I’m sending to you: a pear! Inspired by your post about Kwoozy.
This week I received an envelope full of my favorite old childhood friends from Lynn, a.k.a. eggmoney. She sent them as a “thank you” for co-hosting the Doll Quilt Swap. Well, it was an honor to have her among our number. Her quilts are real knockouts! She also has an etsy shop full of lovely items. How did she pick these out? They’re perfect for me! Thank you, Lynn!
Georgie Porgie (waaaannnnnhhhhhh!)
Go, Dog, Go! This would make a great congratulations or good luck card.
Marvin K. Mooney (hmph!)
and my favorite friend, George
I dragged Ryan to the theater see the Curious George movie when it came out a year or two ago. We were “unchaperoned” by any kiddies: just a couple of thirty-somethings loving the familiar episodes, as well as the Jack Johnson soundtrack.
Finally, my streak of luck apparently reaches beyond my mailbox. I’ve found some super things at the thrift store lately.
These are 1″ wooden blocks that you can use to make designs. I know I’m supposed to be a grown-up, but it’s been fun to play around with these. They have 4 solid colors and 2 sides with half-square triangles. They’ll undoubtedly come in handy for Kim’s Doll Quilt Challenge. One of the upcoming months will feature the Fresh Traditions quilt, which uses a lot of HSTs!
Look at this little cute bear. He was a dollar. The overalls!
And I had the find of a lifetime: a Gocco printer for $2.50: rhymes with “thrifty.” I spotted the box from across the store and my heart skipped a beat. You know that feeling if you frequent thrift stores. Then you stroll nonchalantly toward your prize and snatch it off the shelf and hug it to your chest, hardly believing your luck. Or is that just me?
I’ve already tried it out on our Christmas cards. We didn’t send any out last year, we were that late. So maybe if I start in August, we’ll be able to get them out in time in 2007!
This design is a tribute to the artist Charley Harper. I’ve only recently found out about him, through Design*Sponge. He sadly passed away in June, but he leaves quite a large body of work. His paintings are everything I love about art: they’re humorous, stylized, graphic, and very very colorful.