Category Archives: Sewing

Frodo and a Halloween Food Allergy Discovery

This year, I figured that I would base my costume on my short haircut and large feet and just be a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins, to be exact.


The only parts that I made are the cape and the feet. The rest of the outfit was taken directly from Jim’s closet. For the cape, I used a couple of old stained table cloths from my husband’s job, and my cape tutorial. Adjusted, of course, for my adult size.


Instead of using velcro or buttons, I left the two ends plain (just hemmed) and then put a ring and hair stick over it to secure the two sides {see sketch below}. A leaf pin out of clay would also be a good idea.


Something like this. Does that make sense?


For the feet, I used a pair of Jim’s flip flops (which fit me pretty well-yikes) and glued on a diamond-shaped piece of fur to both.


So there you have it. I am dressed up, but not so far from normal, and I will be warm.


I also want to share something I just read about and is very exciting to me as a person and a parent of persons with allergies! Halloween for someone like us (and apparently 1 out of 13 kids) can be a nightmare. I seriously dread the food part. Delia over at Delia Creates also has a small person who has allergies, and has written about this new and brilliant Halloween tactic to keep everyone safe while still having that trick-or-treating experience. The Teal Pumpkin Project (which you can find more info on here) is for kids with allergies and for those of us that just don’t want our kids eating all that candy. The Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE) are encouraging families that want to participate to paint a pumpkin teal and place it outside so people can see that your house is an allergy safe one. You then offer non-food items to trick-or-treaters so that kids of all kinds including those that cannot even touch the food they are allergic to, can get something too. There is a list on this website that helps you with ideas if you need any.

In our house, our girls have to trade in their candy for something from my prize bin (ie: book or sewn treasure or crayons, etc) which works well enough, but to not even have that candy to begin with (and to not have to get rid of it afterward) would be even better.

If we ever got any trick-or-treaters (which we never have) I know there would be a teal pumpkin outside waiting for them.


Just something to think about!

BTW: No one asked me to blog about this. I am just really excited to share this brilliant idea with you.

Storybook inspired sewing: Once Upon a Thread

That seems to be the theme, as of late, of several series around blogland.

I did sew this (in time for KCW), but it has been dark and pouring here for days. I managed to take these photos in two photo sessions (hence the different hairstyles), just not post them in time.

I also had in mind when I sewed this up, No Big Dill’s Once Upon a Thread series!

 I love love love when Katy does this. I have sewn along every year {check out here, here, here, here, and here}.


This time I chose another Elsa Beskow book. Her old fashioned books translate so well into fabric. At least I think so.

::Princess Sylvie::


::You can see the raindrops on her dress in this one!::


My children are such good sports about posing in the rain. I think maybe it is because they were born out here in rain country. It is very natural for them.


Anyhow, onto the outfit details. I used one of my favorite patterns from Mouse House Creations: The Caroline Party dress {affiliate link}. I have used this pattern quite a few times before (here, here, here, and here), and they all look unique. I wanted this design to reflect the essence of the illustrations and story.


Princess Sophie is about a little girl in a blue dress. While out in the woods she befriends a bear. A lot of Elsa Beskow’s books include children in the woods making unlikely friends.


When we went out for the second time to photograph this outfit we saw a beautiful Buck in our yard, just sitting there. He sat there when we approached him, and didn’t get alarmed until I raised my camera to catch a photo of him. It was then we noticed that he was hurt. He limped away into the forest, but my own little princess was so saddened that she thought about him the entire time we were out there. It actually felt like we stepped into on of these books.


I made this dress from a scrap of blue cotton fabric I had in my stash, along with a strip of left over lace that I had dyed blue, and a bed sheet that was given to me by a friend. She said that it was her Grandmother’s and about 35 year old. I think that is close enough to vintage for this dress.


It is fully lined, and has a blue zip in the back (I didn’t have an invisible one, but like it just fine).


There is so much inspiration to be found in books. The hardest part is narrowing down which one to run with!

What book would you sew a garment from?

Halloween Costume Round-up and Link party

::I am re-posting the round up I did last year, and adding a few new ones from this year::

I like to look at the costumes I made from the year before, when embarking on the costume-making journey of this year. So I put together a little collection for you to browse, for inspiration!


You’ll see there is a theme going here. If you would like to see any of the tutorials or original posts, click on the links below.

Hobbit Feet tutorial,

Merida from Brave

Harry Potter (or just magic) wands

Donkey Head


Little Red Riding Hood

Grey Wizard Hat/ Witch hat


Rosie the Riveter

Vintage Vet

I would love to see your costume creations!!

Veterinarian Costume: AKA Vintage Nurse

Both our children have incredibly strong opinions about how outfits should look. Especially costumes.

Most especially Halloween costumes.

With her older sister’s costume all finished, I could tackle the vision of my 8 year old. She came to me with the idea of being a Veterinarian. I googled some images, and she soundly rejected all of them because none matched the picture in her head. So I asked her to draw me one.

What she drew was a vintage nurse costume with animals on her. When I said this, she insisted that it was a vet.

Who am I to argue? OK it is a vet.


I started with the Ethan shirt pattern by Sis Boom (like the one I flipped here). I flipped it again, in a very similar way, only this time I added belt loops and a belt, and of course, made it all white. Part of her drawing had a patch pocket on the skirt portion of the dress with a red cross on it. So I added that, along with a smaller pocket to the bodice with a snap.


The hat was tricky. I looked for tutorials online and came up short. I didn’t find any! I did stumble upon a Pinterest image (sorry I didn’t actually pin it) that had a photo of the hat before it was assembled. I mimicked the shape on a piece of 8.5″x11 white paper, and played around with it until it came together as a hat. Then I constructed one out of fleece batting and added a felt red cross to it.


This is what I came up with. Feel free to use it.


The rat on the hat (teehee that rhymes) was a pattern I used from the book Fleece Hat Friends: 25+ Easy-to-sew projects by Mary Rasch . I changed the ears so it looked more like a rat instead of a mouse (because my Falafel has pet rats and loves them so). I then sewed it onto the top of the hat.


I do plan to make more animals with velcro straps so that she can wear them perched on her arm and wrist, but I haven’t found a good way to do that yet. The one I tried was so top heavy that it just flopped to one side when she strapped it to her wrist.


She plans on putting animals in her pockets too.


I used a white flat bed sheet to make this dress which made it extra difficult to tell the front from the back when I was putting it together.


It is funny, but all I can think of is Nurse Ratched.  Ha!


But she is far from that, my sweet little vet.


I have a bit more work to do making the animals, and she has also requested a trick-or-treat bag to match, with a red cross on it. But I am thinking we are off to a good start.


What are YOU working on?

Rosie the Riveter

When The Bee announced what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, I may have jumped for joy.

I LOVE that she wants to be Rosie the Riveter for so many reasons. One is that she is a strong woman. Real or fictitious, strong is strong. So many costumes for teens are so short they cannot bend over without revealing themselves for all the world to see. This one is the opposite of that. SO much.


The other reason is that I didn’t have to actually MAKE most of it. I do enjoy making things for the girls, but when they both request intricate costumes for Halloween, my head wants to explode (just a little).


I found her coveralls thrifting, and luckily they fit well enough I didn’t have to alter them at all. I did make her bandana, but it took me all of 30 minutes to whip up.


I took a square of red fabric that I had in my stash, and hemmed all four sides.

Then I grabbed a circle sponge and some white acrylic paint, and got to stampin’. Tossed it into the dryer to heat set the paint, and it was done.

My fair redhead has ultra light eyebrows, so I drew them in for this.


I may draw them a little lighter for Halloween, though. She said that she felt like Groucho Marx.


The coveralls do have a Naval patch (USS John C. Stennis) on them, and I was on the fence about picking the whole pocket off, but The Bee said she doesn’t mind it, so I think there it will stay.


She kept cracking up between photos. Silly girl.


We had a lot of fun with this one.


Another brilliant aspect of this costume is that she will be warm! We live out here in WA state, and almost every Halloween is chilly and raining. It is always a challenge to get anyone to wear a sweater or coat over their costumes (“Aw Mom. It will cover it up!”).


What are your kids going as for Halloween? Do you make costumes or buy them?


Oakshott Table Linens Challenge

I feel so lucky to be chosen to participate once again using this fabulous line of fabrics. Sew Mama Sew put together another challenge, and Oakshott fabrics sent 6 challengers their Lakes fat eighths collection, and asked us to make table linens with them.

I chose to make a table runner for our 8′ long dining table!


It is so long that is was tricky to get the whole thing photographed at once!


I added a pocket at each end (by folding down one corner and then halfway up again, and sewing down in place) to hold whatever we need to put in them! Napkins, silverware, dinner party questions (oh yes, we have done that to our guests), etc.


The colors in this collection are beautiful, and have that iridescent sheen that we love Oakshott fabrics for.


I kept the pattern fairly simple so that you can really see all the incredible colors and their subtle differences.


I always feel so decadent sewing with these fabrics. They remind me of jewels.


Look at that weave!


The dark rains have begun here (I live in WA state), so I couldn’t photograph this inside, but it fits right in with our color scheme in the dining room, perfectly.

Big Thanks to Sew Mama Sew and Oakshott fabrics!

Be sure to check out what the others made:

Mary Claire King Remember Wren

Jessica Skultety Quilty Habit

Nicole Neblett mama love quilts

Sara Peterson knottygnome crafts

Anjeanette Klinder

Bee Project

The Bee had to chose a project to complete for one of her classes, and she chose to make a dress with a pattern (with my guidance). It was not an easy pattern. It included an overlay, lining the bodice, and an invisible zipper. Not to mention the curves that a princess seamed bodice has.


Tricky business. But she did beautifully for her first time.


We actually had to start by tracing a new size because the first dress I made for her using this pattern no longer fit her. She grew out of it in one month. *sigh*


I don’t make as much for her as I do for Falafel. It takes so much more time and fabric. I am encouraging this interest so that maybe she can make her own as well!


Brace yourself for a whole lotta photos.











It isn’t without flaws, but the main parts of the garment are well done. The back parts of the bodice line up and everything. She is so proud of it, she even wore it to school.

Full of personality, this girl of ours. I am always happy to have a photo session with her. and more importantly impart any knowledge I have, that she can use.

When did you learn to sew with patterns?


I have several projects to do this weekend. This one is part of Falafel’s Halloween costume.


What are YOU working on?

Refreshing the seats

I wrote this post, only 2 years ago, about making kitchen chair covers. And since then they have been sat on until now they are tattered and stained beyond repair. We are rough on our behinds, I guess. Or quilting cotton wears fast. Either one.

Time for new covers.

Anyhow… Since I drafted a pattern back then (and saved it), I didn’t have that to do this time. Although I will say that I purposely made them slightly larger than they needed to be this time, since one of the problems last time was shrinkage (even though I do prewash).


Since we replaced our curtains (see Ikea post) and changed up the colors in the dining room, I got to choose new fabric!


It brightens up the room so nicely (and living out in the Pacific North West, we need lots of brightening). This robin’s egg blue/teal is so very happy. It is one color that always makes me smile.


I used the simple velcro tabs again to attach them to the chair and a zipper to close it up.


This is a fairly simple project to take on, that makes a huge impact on the room!


Now, I know I have at least 2 years before I have to do this again.

What colors do you have in your dining area?

Pocket Pillow Post

I skipped Wonderful Words Wednesday this week for a variety of reasons, mainly because yesterday was just too dang busy to do anything else, but also because I want to figure out something dynamic for that day. I love the idea of opening it up to you for a link party, but not sure anyone else really likes this idea. Or maybe it is the subject?

Anyhow, today I am back with a simple pillow cover that I made (with a pocket) from the fabric from this post.


This is the kind of easy project that sometimes, in the midst of meeting deadlines and running around, I need to ground me (or to help me procrastinate). It takes minutes to complete, and is completely satisfying to sew up. Plus, it made Falafel super happy to have a pillow to match her comforter.


There is an envelope back so it can slip off and be washed. Perfect!

What do you sew when you want to procrastinate get your mind back in the game?