Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hot off the sewing machine

I'm not a perfect person, sometimes I like to brag a little. My sewing machine and I are on good terms these days and I've been busy and just wanted to share a little.

Last week was the baptism for a cousin's baby. I made him a little hat and blanket.

The hat might have ended up a little small.

Here is a link to the basic instructions for the blanket. I opted to just use a piece of (wonderfully thick) flannel I bought at Joann's and I ironed fusible fleece on the back of that because the rose swirl minky was very see-through. I also embroidered his name on the blanket. I'm not good at embroidery  In fact, just in case you think I'm lying, take a look at the back of this mess.

Not pretty. 

I covered it with a little piece of interfacing so it wouldn't show through and sewed the backing on. 

My niece's first birthday party is today. I was just going to buy her a toy, then I found this cute bunny flannel on sale and that reignited my desire to sew this bunny jacket I had seen a couple of years ago in a store. The jacket was a super cute little hooded cardigan made from rose swirl minky (like the back of the blanket above) and pink satin lining and a bow-tie closure.

Yeah, I took a picture of it. I always snap a quick picture of store bought clothes I love and want to make some day to keep around for inspiration. Oh, and this little jacket was $50 as I recall.

My plan was to make it for her at Easter, but as a lamb instead of a bunny, but I just fell in love with the flannel (I have a boy, I never get to buy fabric this cute for him so I'm up for any excuse to indulge).


Not bad. 

I made the jacket with some cream ultra-cuddle fabric. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but even though the ultra cuddle fabric feels so soft and wonderful, it is the devil, do not attempt working with this fabric if you are a novice. I made the ties with pink satin. The sleeves are also lined with the satin. I used a raglan pattern in 18 month size. She's a long baby like Michael, so I cut it long. My only fear is that the sleeves aren't wide enough.

Then I couldn't stop... I had long coveted this shiny, stretch denim at Joann's and just had to make her a pair of pants too. I used this awesome, free pattern Jess put out. They turned out adorable and I'm very happy with them.



Oh, and in case you think metallic, stretch pants are too much for a one-year-old, I did float this idea by her mom last weekend and she was ecstatic about it. So it should be well received.

And then I made her a little baby purse out of the denim scrap with pink, satin lining. I sewed a couple of ribbons with snaps on them so her mom and dad can tether some teethers or toys to the purse for fun.

I kinda, almost, wanted to keep the purse for myself. I'm still thinking about making myself one. You know, this would be a great holiday purse (minus the teething rings).

I'm not sure how durable those tethers will be, but the parents can just cut them off when they start to go and just keep using it as a play purse.

I used Rae's Buttercup Bag pattern. This pattern makes a very small purse. It's excellent size for a toddler, although it might be a little large for her yet. Oh well, she'll grow into it.

Michael is modeling the purse.

The set. 

I've also been working on Michael's Halloween costume. It's 97% done. I will have to force myself to finish the last little bit. Then I need to sew the gift for my nephew's birthday for next weekend (if his mother ever gets back to me with his measurements, grumble, grumble). Then it's on to Christmas sewing. I'm really excited about what I'm doing for all the toddler/pre-K boys in the family. I still have to figure out what I'm doing for my niece.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Fall Weekend

We have been on the go over here. I'd say this has been a busy fall, but really, this whole year has been really busy for us. The pace isn't likely to slow down before the end of the year, so I guess I'd just better get used to it.

Anyhow, we took a quick family trip to Branson, MO last weekend. It was beautiful down there. Breath-takingly beautiful. We got to swim outside it was so warm on Saturday. On Sunday we went to Silver Dollar City and the temperature was perfect t-shirt weather (without being hot). And on Monday we were treated to peak fall foliage on a scenic train ride. We don't always get it right, but we sure did last weekend.

The first thing we did at Silver Dollar City was take Michael down into Marvel Cave. Going through Marvel Cave is one of my earliest memories. The giant cathedral room, riding the tram back up. Those things were so impressive they have stuck with me my entire life, so it was really important to me to take Michael through the cave too. He might still be a little too young to remember it, but being in a cave is such a different and grand experience, if he does remember anything from this age, this should make the cut. My only fear as we went through the cave is that he would have to go to the the bathroom and then he'd just have to wet himself because there really isn't another choice. Thankfully, we made it through no problem.

View from the bottom of the Cathedral Room

A waterfall... complete with mood lighting

There are many impressive formations in this cave

The tram that brings you back up to the surface

After the cave tour, it was on with the rest of the park. We took the train around the park and I got us the seat behind the engineer. 

Something was slightly wrong with the train, so I thought it was really interesting watching the engineer get out and inspect the train a couple of times... much better than the silly little train robbery they stage.

"Panning" for "gold". Michael was much more interested in playing with the water than the treasure he was supposed to be finding.

They have a super cool play house for the kids with thousands of these balls and tons of hoses to suck them up and air cannons to shoot them from. It was a perfect wonderland for Michael. 

The baby swings... not impressed.

Bigger swings, but still not impressed.

Impressed! He rode it twice. Turns out we have a ride junkie on our hands. The faster, the better.

Monday we stopped and checked out the Table Rock Lake dam.

Lake Taneycomo downstream from the dam.

Then we went and took a scenic train ride. This was Michael's first REAL train ride and it did not disappoint.

If you have never been to the Ozarks, you probably don't know how beautiful it is here. We may not have beaches or oceans but we have some of the most vast and beautiful deciduous forests sprawling over our ozark "mountains". My heart will always belong to these woods.

The train ride was pretty neat. It took us over 2 huge old tressels and through 2 tunnels. 

Tressel shadows on the valley below.

Perfect weekend.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Remember these?

I started making these Dinosaur Tails last year for my church's Fall Festival (with permission from Jess). But my machine lost it's timing at the last minute and I gave up all hope of finishing them for the festival last year. I got my machine fixed shortly afterwards and I did finish them, except stuffing (cause it's much easier to store 16 flat tails than 16 stuffed ones).

So next weekend is the Fall Festival again and I brought them upstairs and stuffed and closed them all up. Done. YAY!

I've gone from 16 to 13 somehow... I do remember finishing 2 of them last year and giving them away last year... not sure where the other one went.

And now a question... How much do you all think I should sell them for? Last year I was thinking $7 apiece, but I'm wondering if I should ask $10. This is 100% for charity, so it doesn't make a difference to my bottom line but I want all of them to sell. There will be lots of families and grandparents there, so there is a good chance they will all go. They typically serve 1,000+ meals at the dinner, so I feel $10 is probably reasonable, but I've never sold anything, so I feel really selfconscious asking money for something so cheap and easy to make. If anyone has an opinion, feel free to leave a comment.


I've been busy sewing for fall lately too. I have been making projects out of Sewing for Boys over the last year. I have previously reported that I'm less than impressed with some of the projects, but I am totally in love with the Treasure Pocket Pants. They are so cute. It's about the only chance I have to use fun fabric with boys clothes. And the main sections of the pants are smaller than regular pants, so it's easy to make them from old upcycled pants... like the stack of my husband's pants that he has ripped the crotch out of.

 Here are the 3 pairs I have made so far. I could make another dozen of these. Perfect for the toddler/preschool set.

Case pants made from the left over fabric we used in his nursery.

International Harvester pants... my husband isn't super wild about IH but it was about the only commercially available tractor fabric I could find that wasn't John Deere for awhile. This pair is a larger size and shortened. The fit is very poor, so I'm sticking the 2/3T size and just lengthening them. 

Construction equipment made with stretch denim. My favorite pair, by far.


We have been going and doing a lot lately. Some photos for fun. 

Fair time again. Fairs in mid September are the best.

Michael and Bandit, the sheep dog. My in-laws say he's a Great Pyrenees but I'm not so sure.

Michael with a sheep.

Apple picking at my husband's aunt's house. My husband told me these are good pie apples, but they are FLAVORLESS and we have 2 big crates of them. I'm experimenting with them and a bunch of lemon juice later today.