Pre-wash

image Here's the quilt for our baby boy, as designed by me and the Bean.

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C bought me an early birthday present, a walking foot, so this was my first time using it. LOVE.

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here's the back, pieced with scraps.

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here's the oops on the back. just so I don't get a swelled head.

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here's the folded pretty sitting on the porch...

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and the original idea behind both quilts: I cut all these little triangles off as waste from the roof tops when I made this quilt, (Obvi I'm greedier than Angela, as I kept every little bit of these scraps!) and so I sewed them all together, and thought it would make a fun baby quilt, so I ran with it, and now we have 2 matching boy quilts in the house. perfect.

This one measures 50x50 (ish, i'm totally guestimating) and will be for the baby, NOT D.

also for the baby:

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these soon-to-be pants. hopefully done by the end of the week.

 

Baby boy quilt-in-progress, take 2

First, she sorted...

(Well, first I sewed, THEN she sorted)

Then we played.

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This one is much smaller, probably 45x55, so it'll actually be for the baby. But it's the same fabric line as D's quilt, so they'll coordinate. Cause clearly my house is all about coordination (not!) C just ordered me an early birthday present, a walking foot, so I think this quilt will be my test drive, when it arrives...

Finished quilt...

image D requested the black sashing with yellow (perle cotton) stitching to simulate roads....

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I pieced the back with the leftover big pieces....

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It's not super noticeable, because I switched thread color A LOT, but each block is FMQ'ed differently... sort of a practice sampler for me...

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the different quilting is most noticeable from the back, but I think I like it....

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It definitely works on D's bed....

 

 

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even the kitties approve!

A little boy quilt

image I always have lots of scraps (sometimes lots of actual yardage) leftover after I make a quilt top for Robert Kaufman, so I decided to use some of the smaller scraps to make a quilt for the boy I am gestating right now...

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here's the view looking down right now....

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the Bean "helped" me whip this one out...

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of course, as I worked on it, it grew bigger and bigger, so now that it's done (post soon), it's on D's bed, and a new one is in progress for the baby....

Beach School Sewing, finale.

image a set of pencil bags for all the kids in one family (1 boy, 2 girls, all coordinating so they can't fight over them!)

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beachy pot-holders

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vintage-y potholders

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and then just a little playing around... I was thinking of making a little bag for my new phone, but it might need to be turned into a hot-pad or something.  I really like looking at this fabric...

Tooth Monster Pillow

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D's had 2 loose tooth for over a month, and one finally came out today. In preparation for our first tooth fairy visit, d and I made this very simple pillow... The mouth is a pocket to hold a tooth (currently in a little sandwich bag), or an iPod (so it doesn't get lost in bed when he's listening to audio books). Super fast to sew up, and D is super super excited to put it to use to tonight.

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Unedited.

Warning: feel free to skip the words and look at the pictures. Just prepare to be disappointed by my pictures. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I started this blog just to keep track (albeit in a public way) of my crafty adventures. I do not strive to earn money by blogging, nor do I try to entice random subscribers to read. This is a selfish blog. For me to track my own progress, and perhaps to allow me to connect with other crafters out in the world. I am not a professional photographer. I am not a professional writer. I am not a professional crafter. I am a mom. I need to make something, to accomplish something tangible on a daily basis, because being a stay-at-home mom is very hard. Occasionally I get caught up in the lure of professional blogging, and therefore edit my projects, or refrain from sharing something because it is imperfect, or imperfectly photographed. But then when I try to refer back, I realize I never showed that, or worse, because it was finished last minute, and I didn't have the "nice" camera, I never recorded it. Tonight I made a backpack. I want one for me. A light but comfy one (ie, no laptop compartment, but yes wide padded straps), for packing a picnic lunch in, or snacks, etc when we hike about the hill. I used today's junk mail to draw out what I wanted (after looking at pinterest and google images for inspiration first). I raided the garage for some of Grandma's old fabric (I wound up with some kind of weird polyester/wool blend, maybe? Strong and SUPER itchy!), didn't bother ironing it, or checking grain, (even though it's plaid). I had 2 kids "helping" me throughout the drafting, cutting, sewing process, and it's JUST a test. For size, for construction; A TEST. I finished it. D won't pose in it (even though it fits him perfectly), because it is (VERY) itchy (what can I say, I knew I would NEVER use this fabric for anything other than a tester).  So I tried it on the bean. But she's too tiny:

Indietute's Toddler Backpack would be PERFECT for her. but she doesn't actually need  a backpack
Then I took pics on the floor:
At night, with artificial light, with an iPhone.
I tried to improve things by posing the backpack on a toddler chair:
But I haven't ironed the fabric (for the record, the lack of ironing is not ONLY laziness, but also a general fear that this gross fabric might melt and ruin my new Miracle Board ironing cover (which I love) and make me sad).
So it isn't showing up well. Here's the dilemma. Do I hold off posting it, waiting for that perfect day/weather/time/model/setting/cameraso that I can stage it and stuff it and make it catalog worthy? Or do I accept that that time might never come, seize the moment, and just post it as is, knowing that, as it was a success, pattern wise, I will make more, prettier, soon?
Obviously I have decided to post now, unedited. I hope you, dear random reader, will not think less of me for my realistic posts, but rather be inspired to play around, make mistakes, enjoy the process, and share your unedited moments.
I think this is especially affecting me right now because my wonderful hubs, knowing that I want to sell patterns, eventually, has built me a fancy, reasonably professional website. Once I figure out how to do all the fancy things (and import this blogger site over) I'll switch over to that one exclusively... The thing is, while I want to present myself professionally, I also want to show my imperfections... I CAN make a perfect quilt/backpack/dress/mens-shirt, but it takes practice and testing etc, and even when things are made perfectly, they don't always photograph well... So here's my promise (or my threat, depending on your point of view)... I will "feature" my best work, but always post the random/off/mistakes/tests that are so much a part of creating. 
Am I overthinking? probably. Sorry. But professional craft blogging is so prevalent, I feel that I need to shout : THIS IS MY CRAFT JOURNAL, NOT A CRAFT BLOG or something so that I don't get judged for the poor photography, lack of freebies, etc.  and so people realize that I am just a mom, trying to make something personal, record it, and perhaps inspire others to do the same.

 

summer clothes (to be) for the Bean

My daughter has begun to be very aware of her clothes, she is determined to choose her own outfits... (she'll be 18 months at the end of the month.) She's obsessed with PINK! such a girl! I've been so careful to ensure that all the colors of the rainbow recieved equal representation in her wardrobe, but now she is ALL about pink. and layers. (legwarmers, pants, shirt, dress, sweater, hat, necklace, socks, sneakers, no matter how hot it is!)
We went fabric shopping yesterday for quilt fabric, but I caved and finally bought some pink double gauze for her... I'm thinking ruffled long tops, to be worn over leggings (to protect her knees, she's such a climber/runner that she scrapes her knees A LOT)

the red moda on the right is just a regular cotton, but it was really cheap, and she actually pulled the bolt off the clearance rack, and there was only a yard left, so....

this one is actually for D... if you look closely, there are traffic cones in the circles, and race cars, tow trucks, and ambulances with sirens blaring... PERFECT for a little boy equally obsessed with construction, cars, emergency vehicles, and disasters!

here are the cutest for the bean, the frog print in pink from Heather Ross' Far Far Away (double gauze), some really cute apple dots (japanese, also double gauze, with the occasional leaf and adorable worm sprinkled in there), and a pinkish linen (also japanese) with duckies, flowers, and umbrellas. (the bean LOVES ducks)
so I need to pick some patterns and get to it, right?

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And I said baby (baaaaaby) it's 3 am I must be lonely...

You know you're deliriously tired when you can't get old Matchbox 20
lyrics out of your head...

I started out this evening thinking it was gonna be an easy/early night... I made myself a little zip pouch/wallet-y thing as a temporary card holder to keep stuff safe from the Bean while I wait for the metal buckles and frames to arrive in the mail...

I used some denim from an unflattering pair of C's jeans, and some random scrap fabric for the inside...

Then I had C try on the shirt I made last night, for my dad, just so I could see what I needed to change for him.

well, a) I put the sleeves in backwards, so the slip/snap is on top of the wrist... oops! luckily C ALWAYS rolls up his sleeves, so if I give it to him, I don't have to fix it! b) it fit him REALLY well, (I took in the sides a bit, and shortened it so he can wear it un-tucked, but my man has broad shoulders, so I was thrilled that it fit across them!), and he asked for it, rather than give it to my dad...

so I showed C the fabric I had gotten to do HIS muslin... it's bright bright turquoise n white plaid. I LOVE it, and wasn't sure if he'd like it... I planned on making it for him (just to test the pattern) and then stealing it back...

but he really loved it... and he's leaving Tuesday very early for 10 days of filming in AZ, TEXAS, and FL.... so CLEARLY he needs more western shirts... with hand-stitching details.

but it's 3am (330, now) and I don't know which color/design he likes better, so I'll stop now and finish tomorrow... I also need to buy some of those teeny buttons for the collars...

(option a is light brown cotton floss with a little loop in the bottom of the V)

(option b is dark brown crochet cotton all the way around...)

here's the whole shirt, with mismatching embellishments, but lovely anyway, IMHO.

goodnight.

My first western shirt!

I finished the shirt for my dad! I need to work on snap placement/
installation, but it's totally wearable, and it IS just a muslin,
after all! I'm pretty pleased with it. I think I might need my own,
with pretty embroidery... I'm psyched, especially about the pretty
snaps. I used the Dritz #16P Pliers with white, size 16 Pearl Snap
Fasteners(all bought when the notions wall at Joanns was 50%off). I
also got a rolled-seam foot (#64 for my bernina), a per the directions
in my shirtmaking kit. I ordered the flat-felled-seam foot too (my
dealer was out of stock when I went in last week), so when I make the
real one, I'll have that to make my seams pretty.

30-minute pants...

I did my workout tonight (yoga, which I like, but it's 2 hours long! plus a shower, leaving me not much time to play!), and then C said he was coming home from work early (sad that midnight-ish is early, huh?), so I knew better than to start cranking on the western shirt for him...

instead, I did a little more hooky stuff:

and then I churned out 4 pairs of summer pants for D.

Dana, from MADE, has her now famous 90-minute shirt... therefore, these pants must be called the 30-minute pants... seriously, cutting and sewing, all in under half an hour (of course, at this point, I've made about 40 pairs, over 2 years, so I've gotten faster, but even my first time, probably about an hour... Nowadays I don't even use a pattern, I've memorized the proper shape, so I just have to measure down from the top to the crotch to well past the hemline, and cut my "j" to make the right shape... LOVE IT

this time around I did natural linen, black linen, white-dyed-teal linen, and loosely woven green cotton...

They all need hems, but I have to see how long my boy is first, and, as it's midnight, my 3yo is asleep and un-fit-able.

I make them reversible, no outer side seam, just a crotch seam, with cargo pockets on the hip, (not the knee, too low for little hands), simple elastic on the waist, so my 3yo can put them on and take them off all by himself. He's a RTW 6-8 now, 'cause he's so big, but he can't possibly do all the buttons and zippers expected of a 6-8yo, so I have to make ALL his pants...

luckily for me, they're super fast!

Sunhat for a baby with a big head.

D's head is already bigger than mine,(he's outgrown his adult small
bike helmet already), so it's hard to find sunhats that are appealing,
age apropriate, and will fit him. I made up this pattern last year,
but he outgrew it, obvi. Here's the new version. Green cotton
seersucker on the "inside," (it's reversible, but I think the linen
will be shown more), from joanns remnants, linen on the outside. The
train fabric was from Momen, today, but I only got 1/4 yd, so I did
the crown with the linen print, and the rest with natural linen I
already had... If anyone is interested, I can post the pattern... It
would fit an adult, and take about 2 hours to make....

How to make snap crotch for a toddler romper/playsuit

OK, so hopefully you've read the part about how to cut/sew the basic shape of the romper, and all that remains is to make the snap crotch (that sounds so weird!)
so, take one strip of stretchy coordinating fabric, serge the narrow ends, and line the ends up with the ends of one "U", wrong sides together. Clip the ends and the mid-points together like this:

It should seem impossible to sew, but the stretch, assuming you cut it the right way, will STRETCH (and the crotch area is not a good area for oodles of extra fabric... taut is good!).
start serging, and as soon as the fabric is caught by the needle, start stretching the fabrics so they are the same size... (you might want to practice with some scraps, you need to stretch evenly, not pull, which could mess up the timing on your machine...)
just for comparison, here's the fabric, romper on top, edging on the bottom, before I stretch it

and here it is stretched.... see how I make them match up?
Do this to both sides, and you'll have something that looks wonky like this:
Iron your seams down so that the romper is flat, and the edging is creased...
then turn down about 1/3 of the raw edge of the ribbing (just at the ends).
fold over again, so that the edging is folded in thirds, and the seam is covered on the right side of the garment. pin at the ends, and then pin in the middle....
now start stretching and pinning wherever you can (about every inch)
it should feel smooth when you stretch it taut... that way, you can iron it (with oodles of steam), and get something that looks this awesome:
isn't that pretty and flat!!??!!
now, on the right side, SEW down as close to the edge as possible (I love my blind-hem foot for this purpose, and highly recommend them!), and then again, about 1/4 from the edge (lack of a good camera meant all the pics of this were blown out and blurry, so you have to imagine how to sew a straight line along the edge ON the edging, covering the serged seam)
TADA!
now you just have to put in snaps!
Measure the front crotch, roughly in the middle of the edging piece
do math (or just guess based on how many snaps you have...) to figure out where to place the snaps (I did mine every 2.5" and really like that spacing!)
use a sharpie (or whatever) to mark your snap placement ON THE RS OF THE FRONT.
(I'm going to simplify snap parts... there's a flat side, and a functional side (the functional side is either male or female, one of each, obvi, to make a working snap), but as long as you do ALL male on one romper side, and all female on the other romper side, it doesn't seem to matter which is which)
so the RS of the front will have flat parts, and the WS of the front will have functional parts.
I find it easiest to make a hole with a yarn/tapestry needle and then push my flat piece in, but the prong snaps are sharper, and will go through more easily, I think)
when all the front snaps are in, pin the ends of the front and back together, overlapping with the front on the bottom, and (using your knee, or someone else's hands) stretch so the pieces are flat.
now mark the matching points on the RS of the back.
Put the flat snap pieces on the INSIDE (WS) of the back, and the functional pieces on the RS (outside) of the back. this way the crotch strips will overlap in the crotch, which is ideal (if this is confusing, look at some RTW snap crotch pants before you put ANY snaps in!)
TADA! put it on a kid and enjoy!
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Yesterday was productive:

Two shirts for D (more onesie-collars. I can get 1short sleeve and 1
long sleeve out of 1 yd jersey, so at $2.69/yd, these are awesomely
cheap shirts. This green print has small racecars all over. D found it
himself, and loves it)
I also took an old stretched out waistband off one of my gram's
squaredancing skirts and replaced it. New fabric and elastic!
Tonight I took the night off from crafting and read trashy novels in a
hot bubblebath. Fun. Tomorrow I plan on going out dancing, so I'll be
back to show off on Saturday.

Tada!

Ok, so the other day, (gosh, was that just yesterday? yikes!) I showed you this sneak peak...

Here's the finished product!

It's a zip-up hoodie for D. He doesn't fit anything store bought right now, so why buy and alter when I can just make myself (out of superior materials, tailored to my boy!)

He wanted a tow truck, so I decided to make it a working truck, and put the appliques on the pockets,

I free-motion stitched "D's Towing" on it... lettering is hard!

I hand-embroidered the cream/grey chain (using a chain stitch, of course) after everything else was done... I really wanted the chain to connect(match) across the zipper....

I've never made outerwear before (I'm counting a sweatshirt as outerwear, not sportswear, but that's probably because I live in LA), and I didn't have a pattern, I drafted this one myself. (I'm not going to bore y'all with the incredibly long list of errors I made, but the next one should be doable in 1/2 the time, and with considerably less ripping of stitches!!)

It's after midnight, so I'm refraining from waking D up to make him try it on right now. Hopefully it fits and I will be able to get action shots in the am....

I also need to find my camera (I'm pretty sure it's in my husbie's car) so I can show off some other pics I took over the weekend...

various bits...

My husband is very Irish, so I decided to put a little bit of effort into decorating for St Pat's day.

Tada! yup, I am NOT a decorator.

But I am proud of that wreath! it's made out of coffee filters, I just glued them onto a circle cut out of a paper bag, and tied that to a wire wreath frame... I taped the shamrocks to the door, and to the wreath frame... I hope to continue changing the wreath to suit the seasons... not sure if Easter will be eggs or rabbits or...

Here's a sneak peek at my latest boy applique project...

the car will be on one pocket, and on the other pocket:

the tow truck!

like this! I ironed on the pieces using wonder under, but I don't trust that stuff at all, so I've already done all the blanket stitching and thread painting on these, and they look super cool... Now I just need to make the garment, but I'm totally a wimp who's afraid of the dark, so I don't want to go out to the garage tonight to find good colored thread for my serger. this can get sewn tomorrow night...

Oh, and here's the finished Dutch flag onesie for baby Oscar... hopefully he likes it...

And today I did my block of the week for the Modify Tradition Quilt Along... pics here...

Oscar's birthday present

My friend Catrine is Dutch, (like, actually born and raised in Holland). Her little boy is celebrating his 1st birthday this weekend, so here's what I've made for him:

This onesie is still drying, but I've used freezer paper to stencil the Dutch flag (I do know how to spell the word white, but the "e" is covered by the side strip of freezer paper...just FYI)

then I made a cute pair of pants, with some felted wool remnant pieces, and lined them with a mans shirt...

I used scraps of each to applique a matching tie onto a shirt.

I think my favorite part of the pants is the patch pocket on the side... I still need to sew the button on, but look:

It's from the button placket on the front of the men's dress shirt I used for the lining/waistband.

Isn't that cool?!?!

anyway, hopefully he/his parents likes the gift... I forgot to make a little gift bag, guess I still have that to do...