Category Archives: Sewing

Red Velvet Holiday Dress

I made Falafel her Holiday dress using the same pattern as the grey dress I made her. She wanted a fancier version to wear at Christmas, and I happily obliged mostly because I adore this pattern (and my daughter, of course). I made it using this incredibly soft red stretch velvet.

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I did raise the neckline because my Falafel has narrow shoulders, and it was an easy fix. This fabric, however, was NOT easy. Yikes. I thought for sure it would be like sewing with any other knit, but it likes to stick to itself, and no amount of pinning prevents this!

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Despite the sticky fabric, I think it came out rather well!

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We had fun with this photo session.

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And then she discovered she could see her breath…and that made it even more magical.

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The kids are ready for Christmas.

How about you? What have YOU made today?

Holiday Lady Skater

**Sorry about the late posting. I had this one already to schedule, and when I went to press the button, the power went out. Crazy wild wind and rain storm last night. Today all is calm**

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This year, The Bee asked if I would make her a holiday dress. Only she didn’t want it to be formal or kitschy (heh, I just realized I wrote that) like this one. She specifically asked for a dress like the one I made for the Challenge Create competition.

So I whipped out the Lady Skater Dress pattern by Kitschy Coo and traced her size.

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I just happened to have a few yards of this black jersey in my stash, and then I had a few pieces of the grey sparkle knit from Falafel’s Uptown/downtown dress.

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Then she had the brilliant idea of pairing it with this overlay we found thrifting last year.

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I love the science-fictiony feel of it.

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This is such a fun holiday outfit. It is dressed up without being too formal. And she can wear them separately if she wants.

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I can’t believe that tomorrow this girl will be 15. Time is flying for sure.

Every day princess

I recently won this pattern from Sew Straight and Gather: The Uptown/Downtown Dress !

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Oh. My. Word. Goodgolly I love this dress. I WANT ONE FOR ME!

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There are several extensions to this pattern that give you so many options to customize this dress. I chose the maxi length with long sleeves. My girl didn’t want to cowl neck (even though it is absolutely adorable).

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All I can think of is Princess Buttercup.

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I used a heavier grey knit fabric (that has sparkles in it) and love the weight of it. It flows when she walks like some medieval princess. Only for every day.

Actually I can envision this pattern making incredible princess costumes.

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The neck does run a little wide for my narrow-shouldered girl, so the next one, I probably will raise a few inches. Oh and there will be a next one for sure! She has already requested that her Christmas dress be made from this pattern, only out of red or green or shiny fabric instead.

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I told her that she could even wear THIS one for Christmas. She replied “No way. This is for every day“.

UGLY skirt Challenge

More than a month ago, Audrey from Skirt Fixation asked me to be the very first to take part in her new series The Ugly Skirt Challenge.

This is how it works: She mailed me an ugly skirt, and I had to make something with it. That is it!

 Here’s the Before:

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As you can see, this comes up to the armpits on my 5’5″ girl. Those ladies over at Skirt Fixation are TALL!

This is a fuchsia colored, snakeskin printed, very sheer skirt.

And I had NO IDEA what I was going to make with it!!?

But after weeks of marinating ideas, I came up with a great plan for this skirt. And although it looks like Halloween is back, I can assure you, this will be worn all times of the year!

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OK. Let me break it down. Since the skirt had two parts to it, (a lining and outer layer) and they were both sheer, I made the outer into wings, and the lining into an overlay for a skirt.

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I first cut down the side of the skirt to open it up, and cut off the elastic waist band. Then I lay it on it’s side. I hemmed the new sides and sewed a gathering stitch up the middle. I used FOE (also known as Fold Over Elastic) and made loops for the shoulders and sewed them in place. Next, I made a loop at the wrist, and folded the elastic over the top of the fabric. I sewed it straight across until I got to the other end, and then made another loop for the other wrist.

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And for the skirt, I had this taffeta that someone gifted me, in my stash, and it happened to be the same color as the lining!

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It is simple, but pretty.

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Then my girl flew around the yard in her new wings.

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Yes, it was raining.

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Thank you so much Audrey for inviting me to take this challenge~ it truly was challenging, but so much fun!

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Around the World Blog Hop

Stacy from The Land of K.A. invited me to join the Around the World Blog hop, so of course, I said Yes! Stacy is fabulous.

Here are the questions I was asked:

What am I working on?

The question should be What am I NOT working on right now?  I feel like I am working on EVERYTHING! Between Christmas and the myriad of Birthdays I have so much that is in progress. Both girls want Holiday dresses this year, and there are teacher gifts, and a request in for PJs, and all the crafting I do for friend gifts.  I am taking it day by day though. It is the only way to save my sanity.

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This is one that I will share with you this week.

How does my work differ from others?

Hmmmm. I suppose my work is quirkier than some. My aesthetic tends to be a tad, um… eccentric at times.

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Why do I create what I do?

 I suppose like most people that make things, I NEED to create. It is also how I show that I care about people. It is incredibly fulfilling to make something and give it away. I have always been drawn to the arts. Sewing and crafting combines my very practical side with art. Perfect.

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How does my creating process work?

 I think. A lot. At night I peruse Pinterest, and other blogs for inspiration, even if I don’t need it right now. My mind never shuts off that part. When I find something that moves me, I pin it, email it to myself, and log it down in my notebook (or on our white board on the fridge). Then when I come across materials that speak to me in some way, I match them with the project.

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That was fun! Thanks Stacy. Now it is my turn to pass the baton.

Be sure to check out Skirt Fixation. I tagged those lovely ladies next!

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12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge

Today I am participating in Deanna’s (from Sew McCool) 12 days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge.

Each of us had to come up with a Christmas project tutorial, and at the end of the 12 days, you’ll get a chance to vote for your favorite project and THE WINNER GETS $100.00! How very cool is that?

Without further ado…..

My tutorial is:

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This is a utensil holder for a place setting, but it would also make a fantastic gift card/ small gift holder too!

Let’s get started.

You will need:

The free Elf Stocking pattern (download here)

2  different fabrics approx. 8×11 each (2 pieces each)

small amount of stuffing (optional)

bells and O rings (optional)

Sewing machine (or needle and thread and more power to ya!)

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OK. I made the pattern fit onto one page so there is less printing for you.

You can trace the different pieces on tracing paper, or just cut 4 of the curly toed pieces and then trim the lining to the inner line.

You need to add a seam allowance to your heel pocket pieces (I would add 3/8″ all around it).

When you have all your fabric cut, you should have this:

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Now, grab those heel pieces. With right sides together, sew across the top (the part that faces the inside of the stocking).

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Clip around curves (I like using pinking shears) and flip so the rights sides are facing out.

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You can press it flat, and top stitch (optional).

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Now pin in place on the right side  of one of the outer elf fabrics and baste or stitch in place (close to the edge).

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Lay the other elf piece on top (right sides facing), and sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn.

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Clip curves and turn right sides out (not pictured). Make sure that toe is completely turned out. I like using a chopstick and gently push.

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Grab your lining pieces, with right sides together sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn along with a space on the toe.

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With right sides facing, slip the outer piece inside the lining. Make sure to line up the points on the top AND make sure the toes are facing the same way.

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Sew around completely. It should look like this. Make sure you clip or pink the edges to make those points nice and crisp when you turn them.

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Now pull everything out through the toe of the lining. This is the time you would take a small amount of batting or stuffing and stuff your curly toe if you wanted. I didn’t for mine, but I have for others. Either way they look pretty cute. You also want to get inside and turn those top points out with that chopstick. Once everything is facing out, tuck the raw edges in on the toe, and sew the toe closed (either hand sew, or machine- no one will see it).

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 Push the lining inside the Elf stocking. You can top stitch around the points (optional). Fold the top down.

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That little pocket is perfect for place cards, or even a note. Maybe a sprig of evergreen? Really, put your creativity to work!

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This one I did with no pocket, but added jingle bells using jewelry O rings. I just pierced the O rings through the fabric and hung a bell on each. Easy peasy. *Although, if using where small children will be, I would leave these off because they are most definitely a choking hazard.

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Place some silverware and a napkin inside and lay on a plate. Your table just got whimsical!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and will come back to vote.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with sewmccool.com large

Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Ralphie the deranged lamb bunny

A few weeks ago, I came across this tutorial for a Faux Fur Hood by Lemon Squeezy Home. I could not stop thinking about how adorable this is. Did I need to make one? No. But did I NEED TO MAKE ONE??!! Absolutely.

So I did.

I happened to have this shaggy white fur in my stash, given to me by a close friend of ours. I started by washing it. Then I threw it into the dryer, and something interesting happened. It turned from shaggy fur to this balled up soft lamb-like fur. I guess that is what you call a “happy mistake”, because I love it so much more now. Plus, it didn’t get tangled in my machine (which the longer fur normally does). It did, however, shed as much. I looked like a yeti when I was done.

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All I see when I look at her wearing this is Ralphie from A Christmas Story. She looks like “A deranged Easter bunny“. Of course it isn’t pink. I have no idea why this reminds me of that. Also. my girl thought it was a lamb. So maybe a deranged hybrid Easter lamb bunny?

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Anyhow, the pattern does not include bunny ears. I just took the dog ears and lengthened them. It has an element of ridiculous about it, and yet my daughter LOVES it. Maybe even because of the ridiculous.

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She has been cooped up in the house with the flu, and this was the first day she got to go outside and touch the snow. She was thrilled!

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Well, this is a fantastically whimsical project that Falafel refused to take off. Even in the house. I call  that a huge success!

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And it makes me giggle to see her fangs with this. Let’s add Bunnicula to the list.

What have YOU made today?

Unitard Pattern Review

My Falafel does gymnastics and loves it. The only outfit she is comfortable wearing, though, is a unitard. They are made of spandex like a leotard, but unlike a leotard, they don’t ride up while you are tumbling around because there are shorts attached!

So naturally I decided I should make these, because they are not cheap, and that way they could be customizable for my little flipper. But when I searched, I couldn’t find a good pattern! Seriously.

Then I stumbled upon the tumblentwirl Etsy shop for Mountain Ash Designs. Emma has such a wide variety of patterns there, it was like I struck gold. She not only had one unitard pattern, but several to choose from… and they all looked great!

I chose the Casey Unitard Biketard pattern to try out. And it did not disappoint!

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First let me tell you, this pattern goes from size 2 up to 14! AND it comes with two different options. This one that I sewed up, and one with a thinner spaghetti-type strap.

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This pattern was super quick and easy and gives you a really professional look. In fact, when The Bee got home from school, Falafel was wearing her unitard and when I told her that I made it, she said “Wow I thought that was store-bought!”. Falafel even said that it was EVEN BETTER than her store bought one! It doesn’t get better than that.

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 I sewed up a size 6 based on her measurements, and it really fits perfectly.

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The spandex I bought at Joanns. I found that the requirements she gave in the pattern allows for more than enough fabric to make this, and because of how I folded it, I think I can even make another. And it was only about a yard total!

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I had enough to make a matching hair scrunchy (which she likes to wear on her wrist) out of the scraps.

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I am so very happy with this pattern and I will be getting plenty of use out of it! I highly recommend it.

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Do your kids do gymnastics? Do you sew their outfits?

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*I contacted Emma about this pattern and she graciously gave me a copy in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own, as always. I just wanted to share my fantastic findings with you. And when I find a good business, it is totally worth sharing.*

If you haven’t check out Mountain Ash designs Etsy shop, be sure to!

Procrastination: Take Two

I did manage to begin a few projects that have deadlines, yesterday between all the phone calls I had to make, and taking The Bee to the doctor. She has a fever and nasal congestion and a sore throat, and general ick. Turned out to be a sinus infection. This child rarely ever gets sick, so I told her to relax, watch some DVD’s.  and let her body heal. She has totally embraced it.

The temps here have dropped severely and it has been lower than 32 degrees (which is mighty cold around these parts). Falafel and I each enjoy a good warm rice pack on our feet when it is bedtime. The night before last, when she took hers to bed, it had a hole and rice poured everywhere. I grabbed one for my bed, and the same thing happened. I decided that it was time to make some new ones.

So as The Bee lay convalescing, I whipped up some more warmies (as we call them). Just like these, these, these, and these. Yup we love our rice packs.

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I usually make these from any sturdy material I have in my stash. The last couple were made from old jeans. This time I used some corduroy I had left over (that I didn’t dye) from this project.

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With these cold temps, and a hard-to-heat house, I am so thankful for these buggers.

And they totally helped me procrastinate once again.

You know what you are looking at? It starts with a “P”

That “P” is for one of my favorite words lately:

PROCRASTINATION

Yup, you’re looking at it.

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I have, literally. piles of sewing to do, and yesterday all I could think about was making Falafel’s doll a gymnastics leotard. (??!!) And really, when your mind will not stop thinking of a project, I have found that it is just better all around to get it out of there and into reality. Then you can move on.

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I have the Coco Cay Colorblock tankini pattern by Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop which I haven’t gotten a chance to sew up until now, and it comes with an 18″ doll pattern! I just fused together the top and bottom parts and created a one piece pattern. I also just cut out two fronts and sewed them together instead of using the racerback piece. As for the fabric, I used the liner from an old bathing suit of hers.

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I skipped the elastic and left the edges unfinished. How’s that for simple?

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It makes my girl happy, and it freed up some brain space for me.

What have you procrastinated with today?