Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Baby Brown's Quilt

It's finally finished!  A quilt for Baby Boy Brown, due in September.

I guess it didn't really take THAT long - it just felt like a long time because I wouldn't let myself work on anything else until it was done.  I was doing some cleaning/organizing this weekend and found three (!!) quilts I started between 2 & 3 years (!!!) ago in various states of completion.  I couldn't let that happen with this one.

The mama-to-be registered for the two cute sheets below at Target.  I grabbed them along with a coordinating set of flannel receiving blankets.  It's a pretty simple quilt, and I know chevron's a bit over-done at this point - but since the sheet she picked out is chevron, I figured it was a safe choice.

I'm pretty happy with my piecing, too!  Not all the points line up perfectly, but a lot more do than I was expecting to - so it's a win in my book!  The quilting was just going to be 1/4 inch from each seam, but the back was so boring I went back with an orange bobbin and did an extra row "in the ditch" - nice little surprise on the back.

Oh - and the little green "flag" in the top right corner, shown in the top picture?  Covers up an oops.  My mom said every handmade quilt needs an oops, though.  Thanks, Mom.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Evening Bath

Since KCW I've been getting a few more visitors.  Which is AWESOME!  And I figure they (you?) come to see sewing.  Which is also awesome.  But here's the thing: I'm still figuring out what I want this little place of mine to be.  My favorite of favorite bloggers give me a variety of content - and most importantly, a peek into their worlds.  That's what I like most about blogs - seeing people's own worlds the way they see them.  Sewing blogs inspire me in a specific way, but these "lifestyle" posts are what inspire my soul.  So I'm probably going to put some of these posts out there, too, hoping others might enjoy or appreciate it the way I do.  Anyway...that's that.   And why I'm publishing a post with zero clothes in it on my "sewing" blog.  ha!


I don't usually give my kids baths together anymore.  A shower for the big kid is so much faster, and we've been working on him being able to do it all my himself by the end of the summer - last hurdle is thorough shampooing!

That being said - sometimes dinner is done early, and there's peanut butter and jelly (yes, for dinner) everywhere, and it's been a long sweaty day, and we have more time until bed than I can wrap my head around.  And I throw them both in the bath for a little "swim".

I've said it before and I'll say it again - but I really do love photography.  I love the challenge and the capture.  I love the memory keeping.  Jelly smeared, gap toothed smiles.  Knobby bruised knees and little legs all tangled up.  Drippy curls.  My natural tendency would be to dwell on what went wrong, what could have been better - even though I know I should be focusing on what was fabulous.  These pictures make me remember the day by its glorious end, and not by the struggles of the day.  They become the faded, foggy, mostly forgotten memory instead of the other way around.  My pictures aren't amazing photography, but they do a job, and they do me good.  And that's why I love photography.

Pleated Tank - aka "I Have Gingham Issues"

As a preface: I've been using the last week to post about some older projects that haven't made it here because I'm working on a baby quilt.  I'm not a quilter.  I wish I could be, but I get really frustrated by the time it takes.  All I think about while I'm cutting and piecing and pressing and piecing and pressing and quilting and binding is how many garments I could be making in the time it takes me to complete one little baby quilt.  But it's a gift, and all I  have left to finish is the hand stitching on the binding.  Tedious.  Anyway - that's what's up.  I'll post about it once it's finished (hopefully in the next day or two!) and until then, I'm playing blog catch-up.


This top is loosely based on this Pretty in Pleats tutorial from craftiness is not optional.  I made another top last summer strictly following the tutorial - this summer I just went from memory, experience, with a little bit of "winging it" thrown in.

(It was worn and washed a few times before I took these pictures - and pleats are really hard to press again.  My apologies.)

I used a navy gingham (theme?) I picked up at an estate sale at some point, and some pale yellow buttons of unknown origin from my collection.

The problem with using older fabric, is that there are sometimes mystery spots - usually not too large, and usually not too obvious - that seem to show up when I'm about 85% finished with a project.  It doesn't matter how carefully I go over the fabric before hand - POOF - they magically appear at the 85% point.

And so it happened here.  Above the hemline, a couple small-ish brown spots.  Arghhhh!  Instead of scrapping it, or shortening the hem too much - I went ahead and winged it for the win.  It may be hard to see here, but I cut out a couple heart shapes and top-stitched them on.  I didn't use any fusible or put anything on the edges to stop the fraying but I'm okay with that.  They don't stand out very much, and I think a little fray goes well with the navy ginham.

And here she is...or was.  She already looks different to me since this picture was taken a couple months ago!

Didn't I tell her to stop growing?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My "Mock Smock"

Last year Danielle at My Sparkle wrote a guest post tutorial for what she called a Mock Smock.  I loved it.  I was still pretty new to this kind of sewing, but I thought it would be a good challenge.  So I measured, and sewed, and measured, and sewed some more (sound familiar?).

I stepped back, took a look, and that look said HUGE.  I got all the way to the buttons and hemming before I realized there was no way it was going to work...for that year, anyway.  So I put it away, and a couple of months ago I pulled it out, finished it up - and here we go!!

It's so light and breezy for summer.  And I really like the "fit and flare" of it with the little diaper tush.

I wish I could tell you, truthfully, how the tutorial worked out for me.  I think I found it clear and easy to follow, but it was a year ago.  And I have small children.  And mom brain.  It looks good anyway.

These last pictures kill me.  Is she going on 2, or 12?  or 16?

I demand you stop growing, child.  Immediately.  Your mother commands it.  And that makes it law.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Free Art Update

So, back in the day my mom picked up some junk on the side of the road and I made some modifications and hung it on the wall.

Well, I went and broke that mirror.  Oops.  It sat around for a while while I mulled over my options.  This is what came of the mulling:

It's a watercolor washed paper that I used a craft knife on to cut a lovey phrase for my lovey girl, mounted on a piece of polka dotted fabric.

Sweet, just like her.

Friday, July 19, 2013

KCW - Summer 2013 - Days 4 & 5

I'm pretty strictly a weekday sewist, so this outfit is the end of my KCW summer sewing -- although I'm sure I'll be back at it next week, albeit with a slower schedule.  It's an Oliver & S Roller Skate Tunic with Caila Made's free shorts pattern.

It's my first Oliver & S.  A little more complicated and detailed than what I usually do, but great instructions and a lovely finished product.  The floral fabric was a purchase from Joann.  It's actually the only fabric I bought for all of KCW, now that I think about it - yeah stash!!  It's a printed linen (or "linen look"???).  I've had my eye on it for a while and when I walked in a couple weeks ago the "sale" sign was screaming at me.  Unfortunately, sale signs won't be silenced by snacks like little mouths will, so home with me it came.  The fabric for the yoke is a really loosely woven textured fabric that I thought might prove impossible to work with, but in reality was no problem at all.  Whew!

I finished the back with another old mystery button from a previous generation.  I used the free shorts pattern found here.  I think I made it in a smaller 2T size (see her explanation in the directions) but between the time I made the pattern and now, I've forgotten.  The only change I really made was to add a little pintuck at the front and back center line of each leg.  I used some linen I had on hand.

As for the fit - let's start with the womp womp.  Shorts too big - story of my sewing life.  I think I give up on shorts.  For this summer, anyway.  It's not the pattern's fault at all - pattern came together rather nicely. I just should have made them smaller.

The top is a pretty good fit, though.  With a bit of room to grow.  Oh - and the styling choice of the necklace is ALL HER.  I'm in so much trouble, aren't I.

I was a little nervous going into Kids Clothes Week.  It's the first time I've really put myself "out there", if you will.  I'm so glad I did, though.  I got several really nice comments (my first!  so encouraging!) and a lot of people stopping by to check out my little space here.  My first swing tee was even one of the featured garments - eek!!  I've been kind of wishy washy about this whole blogging thing, but I think I'm starting to find a groove.  I'm going to stick with it for now, I think, and KCW definitely helped me make that decision.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

KCW - Summer 2013 - Day 3

Swing Tee - take 2!!  (#1 here)  Love this pattern just as much, if not more.  I did make a slight alteration by opening the arm holes just a bit, so hopefully that will extend the fit.  Although, as soon as she outgrows these, you know I'll be whipping up a bunch more!  To be honest, I may not even  be able to wait that long.

The pocket is the same fabric I used for this dress.  In hindsight, I think the proportions of the pocket are a little off - too tall.  But it's certainly not going to bother me enough to change it.

I love photography.  I am not such a fan of photo shoots.  Not with a 21 month old, at least.  I don't usually struggle getting pictures of my kids that I like and am proud of, but that's because I'm  usually just observing and taking pictures of them doing what they want to do.  Getting pictures of them doing what I want them to be doing is an entirely different story, apparently.

I'll start with the two decent shots I got:

Then I'll entertain you with a narrative...true story:

Me: "Kid, please get off the bed.  I'm trying to take a couple pictures of your sister's shirt"

Me: "Lisi Loo, please stand in front of the bed and look at Mama."
Her: "But I wanna turn around..." (in baby babble)

Me: "Just for a second, Lisi Loo.  Just a couple pictures and then we'll play.  Promise."
Her: "But I WANNA turn around..." (in baby babble)

Me: "Fine, turn around."
Her: "Ha ha, hee, hee, giggle, giggle, [monkey noises]!"

Me = The Meanest Mommy EVER -- at least once a day, every day.

She really does make the best monkey noises, though.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

KCW - Summer 2013 - Day 2

I'm calling this a "pinafore" top - but only because I can't think of a better term.  I don't think this technically qualifies as a pinafore...

The fabric is a "vintage" gingham...from the curtains that hung in my nursery as a newborn!

I made the bias tape from some fabric that I picked up at an estate sale a couple of years ago.  It's pretty thin/sheer and not the easiest to work with, but I love the combo.  Pattern mixing is a weak point of mine so this was outside my comfort zone a bit - I'm so glad I went for it.

The buttons are also vintage - inherited from one of my grandmothers or great-grandmothers or possibly my husband's grandmother.  Old and collected.  That's my button stash.

I can't say 21 months is my favorite modeling age, but we're working on it.  Or I'm working on it.

The back is obviously the main attraction, though, anyway.  

Jeans blogged here.  I love how she's grown into them!  Definitely making more this fall - with a little higher rise in the back, of course.  Crack is whack.  I actually made her a pair of shorts to go with this top - they matched the teal in the trim - but they looked HORRIBLE on her/with it.  I'm okay with that - two big wins and one little loss - no big deal.

Monday, July 15, 2013

KCW - Summer 2013 - Day 1

My plan for KCW this week was simple: 2 tops, 2 pairs of shorts to go with said tops.  But as soon as I saw Mad Mim's Swing Tank tutorial  I knew I had one more thing to add to the list.

I used the 2T pattern provided.  This top came together so easily and has such a great finished look!  I haven't had a chance to try it on Lisi Loo yet - but I really hope it's a good fit because I'd love to whip up a few more of these.

I hope to get it on her and take some pictures Tuesday morning - will update with "in use" pictures then.  With the gameplan in mind, I didn't want to sit on this and fall behind!


So I got it on her this morning...and I love it even more, if possible.

Little Miss Sassy Pants wasn't so into photos this morning.  Luckily Brother's got enough trains and blocks to share and entertain.  Thanks kid!

 He also snapped the following.  I call it: Baby & Mama & A Very Busy Spider by 4 y/o.

It will be a sad day I no longer have babies bringing books to my lap.  A sad day indeed.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Child

I first discovered you are my wild via Small Fry (I love their description of the concept).  Photography to capture the essence of your child.

I know my children.  I know their personalities; I know their quirks and all their little details by heart.  But there's always something startlingly magical about reviewing some quick clicks of the shutter and discovering a gem - a photo that just screams: THIS IS HIM!!!  This is who he is and who he was and who he will always be; who he was born to be.  This is what no words will ever say.

I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favourite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you
MaryAnn K. Cusimano, “You are my I love you”