Archive for April, 2008

For Me

I lied. I know I said that I was going to sew Ms O’s wedding dress, but instead I made one for me.

Easy Linen Dress

Nana ended buying Ms O a dress so it wasn’t high on my sewing list anymore. MY dress was next in line and I HAD to make myself something. I tried to find something at the mall, but everything I liked was at least $100. I felt like I could make the dresses myself AND for less money- which usually isn’t often with the cost of fabric these days!

I set about thinking of my dress and I remembered that I had cut out a dress using everyone’s favorite Built by Wendy pattern 3835. I sewed the dress but found that for the wedding, it would have to be out of linen or something nicer than a cotton print.

I bought some decent linen and went to town. It took me an hour and a half to make the basic dress then a little more to add the blue band at the bottom of the dress and for the arms. (Do you see that perfectly matching bias tape on the arms? I made my own bias tape for the first time and it’s just as easy as everyone said it would be!) The dress was done a couple nights ago but I decided to take it in a little because it felt too big.

In the end, I took in about 2 inches and now love the fit. My favorite shirt pattern has now become my favorite dress pattern. Hey, I may even have time to sew Ms O’s dress after all.

BTW- I sewed the band using this tutorial for a twirly skirt with a band starting here. I love how neat and easy it was to sew although I did topstitch.


Finally- Snitches, Wands and Bubbles

Edward, my middle one, turned 4 several weeks ago, but we finally had his party today. We had to cancel it twice due to several bouts of different viruses both of which were extremely contagious and ones we didn’t want spread to anyone else.

After many weeks, we finally were able to gather our family and friends together for some:


Eddie and His Cake

Chris made this “Golden Snitch” cake (from Harry Potter) for Eddie by pouring the cake batter into a large pyrex bowl, baking then inverting it onto a foil covered pizza pan. He made a yellow butter cream frosting and covered it with metallic gold sanding sugar. He used black gel icing for the design on the cake and two gold spray-painted cardboard wings to finish it off. Eddie loved it!

And there were wands:

Carved Wands

These were carved out of apple, maple and rhododendron branches. They were also sanded down and oiled to keep them from getting brittle. These were a hit for all the little ones that came.

And lastly, some enormous bubbles:

Gigantic Bubbles

We did something similar for Eddie’s 2nd birthday and wanted to do it again since he still loves bubbles- who doesn’t?!

Chris made the bubble solution using Joy dish washing soap, corn syrup and water. He made gigantic “wands” out of two sticks and some rope with a washer to help give the rope some shape when forming the bubbles. (I have no idea where he retrieved all his info or else I would link some sites. I do know it was all off of the internet so I’m sure you can find great info too if you just google it.)

Jump for Bubbles

Some tips when bubble making:

  • There can’t be too much wind. The wind pushes the bubbles out too fast and they break before the kids can get to them.
  • When forming the bubbles, keep your wands up high away from the kids. Seal off the bubble, by bringing the sticks together THEN let the kids pop them. If the bubble is popped before it is free from the rope, you will have to re-dip your rope in the solution.
  • You need ALOT of solution and a bucket or pan to dip all the rope into.
  • The colder the weather the better bubbles. Don’t try and do this on a 100 degree day. The bubbles won’t form well and won’t last long enough for the kids to enjoy.

So all in all, Eddie had a great day with lots of friends and family even if it was weeks delayed! Happy 4th my love.

Years Later

Could it be…

Is that a finished sweater? Is that the one I started over 6 years ago?

My First Fair Isle

Yes, folks- I do knit and on occasion, finish a project as well. It took me a long time to finish this sweater, but I’m happy to say that it’s done… except for one thing:

Does anyone know about blocking?

Pattern Close-Up

I’ve never blocked anything so I don’t know what I should do in this case. The sweater is Debblie Bliss’ Shawl-Collared Fair Isle Cardigan from her “Quick Baby Knits” book. (Quick?  Yeah right.)  I used her Rowan Cotton Glace yarn and read that you usually don’t block cotton.  In other places I’ve read that you must block anything that’s fair isle so I’m stuck.

Fair Isle on Ms O

If I block this, then won’t it simply reshape itself after each wash?  Hmmm…  Any thoughts or suggestions?

It IS Easy

Feeling spring-y, I made this dress last night:

Spring Dress

It took me almost 4 straight hours of sewing, but it was fun. I used Simplicity 3511 and actually understood most of the pattern’s directions.  The best part of the pattern are the buttons on the back. Although they aren’t really necessary since I can get the dress on and off Ms O without using them, the buttons are too cute to leave out.

Back Button Detail

I haven’t made a square neck in a while and wanted to make a “practice” dress before sewing the dress which Ms O will be wearing to a family wedding in a couple weeks. I thought about making the practice dress out of muslin as most people do, but I knew that if I put all this effort into making something I wanted it to be wearable even if it may be a little off.

I am so picky about my fabric. For this dress, I used fabric from Denyse Schmidt’s Katie Jump Rope line. I had made myself a skirt out of this stuff last year and really like it because it’s light-weight and super soft.

Overall, easy pattern, straight forward and cute finished product. I’ll be making the actual wedding dress today out of this fabric and can’t wait.

And on a different note, have you noticed my new Sew, Mama, Sew! button in the sidebar? I was introduced today as one of the four Editorial Board Members. When Kristin asked if I would be a part of a new planning team, I about fell out of my chair. ME? Of course I would! Since then, we’ve started brainstorming great ideas for next month’s theme and I can’t wait for it to start. I’m always going to SMS blog for their great tutorials, links, and of course, fabric! I hope you will swing by and take a look as well.

She’s Stylin’

Hey Fini-

These are for you!

More Cloth Grocery Bags

Sorry they’re like *weeks* late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Yes, I still have more presents to sew, but I’ve been lazy.

For the rest of you, these are cloth grocery bags but really they could be used for anything. I’ve used mine for zoo & beach trips, for clothes & toys, and for just about anything that I would normally grab a plastic bag for. The best use is for groceries. It’s nice to have something sturdy, totally stuff-able, and has easy carry handles. I have five of these myself, but only made Fini four. I didn’t buy enough fabric so could only make four plus this little cutie for me. The fabric is Alexander Henry and is the heavier home decor cotton. Fini likes the bright stuff so I thought this would be perfect for her.

Perfect Size!

Here’s a little on the bag’s specifications:

– They are cut from a 20 x 40 inch panel.
– The straps are 1.5 x 26 inches.
There are 2.5 inch guessets.
– I used french seams for the sides of the bag for a neat and clean finish. (Still no serger!)
– There’s a 1.5 inch hem at the top where the straps are tucked into.

That’s it. Really simple to sew-up and totally worth it. Yes, you need to make some and be stylin’ at the grocery store with us!

OR- you can buy some

Feeling Blue

We’re better, but I must still feel a little down because everything I made this weekend was blue.

The first project was matching pj bottoms for one of my daycare families who just had a baby boy. I used this “Britches & Bloomers” pattern for the baby and 4 year old brother, but since the pattern only goes up to a size 4, I used Simplicity 3669 for the 6 year old girl. ( I still added the ruffle from the Britches and Bloomers pattern to the girl’s pants instead of the plain hem from the Simplicity pattern.)

Flannel PJ Bottoms

Yeah, these are way too big. I knew that she’s a “tall” size 8 so I figured I would make the next size up on the pattern, a 10. When she held them up, the waist was at her shoulders! I brought them back home with me so I could “adjust” them, but who are we kidding- I will probably have to resew the whole dang thing.

For her brothers, I used the “Britches & Bloomers” pattern which was reviewed here. I have a hard time with clothing patterns. I think there should be real photos included. You can’t tell a darn thing from the drawings! Since I’ve sewn some, I was able to figure things out, but I would really love photos. The pattern was very simple, but almost too simple. If I hadn’t done gathers before or pants for that matter, I would have had to do some guessing.

I used this wonderful Woolies flannel by Maywood Studio. I love this fabric and would buy the whole line if I could. It’s thick, soft and comes in beautiful colors.

The next project was a lunch sack for my sister-in-law. Elizabeth has this great tutorial which I should have followed better, but I was in a hurry. She calls for a lining and interfacing which I didn’t want to do. My bag doesn’t stand up as nicely because of it.

Lunch Sack

The fabric is the heavier decorator fabric of Amy Butler’s Forest line. It was expensive, but well worth it. I even embroidered her initials to try and add more details to my projects like I promised.

The last project was another try at heat sacks. Remember my last fiasco with these?

Heat Sack

This time, I decided not to take any chances so I didn’t add any fragrance. Instead, I went with straight-up flax seed from my grocery store’s bulk section into a white cotton bag divided into three sections. I remembered from last time that for the size of my heat sacks, 10″ x 10″, I wanted to add some seams so that the seeds wouldn’t all fall to one side while in use.

Inside Bag

Basically, I folded a 11 x 21 panel in half and sewed up the sides. I turned the bag right-side out and added the middle seams. Working with only one section at a time, I added the seed and sewed each section closed before moving on to the next. I pinked the top seam and then made the outside bag to fit with a couple of velcro strips for the closure. This way, the outside of the bag can easily be thrown in the wash as needed and the heat sack is more durable.

Whew- that was a long post! All in all, it was a good sewing weekend even if it was all blue. 😉

Have you seen Craftzine lately? Yahoo!


My plants have been ignored lately with all of us sick and I actually had one die on me.

Plant Kitchen Window

I’ve had these african violets, christmas cactus and rosary plant for years. I don’t know why, but they like me. They bloom all the time, require very little maintenance and water- we get along well. Chris has given me a new violet with the birth of each of our kids so when one rotted because of too much water, I was crushed. I couldn’t believe it died because of too much water, but something was wrong. I need to re-pot all of them asap… as soon as I feel better.

Meanwhile in the next room, the legos have taken over the train table.


I know, there’s ALOT.  And if you can believe it, the boys still don’t think we have enough.  Say what?!