Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Various crafting...none baby related

To prove that I am in fact crafting for people other than the baby (ahem, myself), I thought I'd post a few of my recent projects that are NOT baby related. I've got some more done, but won't post those until after Christmas, since the intended recipients are blog readers. Just a note -some of these pictures were taken with my phone, so forgive the lighting/poor quality, etc.

Remember me mentioning that I initially tried to make a tote bag for a diaper bag? Here were the results of that endeavor- both ended up being teacher gifts. I had the black canvas on hand from when I patched Dave's snowmobile cover last year and the IKEA fabrics were both thrifted. When I found them at Goodwill, I was not sure what I'd do with less than 1/4 a yard of each of them, but liked them enough to shell out $1.50 for them both.

While they are not necessarily good diaper bags (no pockets at all) I like how they turned out overall. One I went for LL bean type straps, the other was larger and had simple straps just long enough to throw the bag over your shoulder. I packaged these up with homemade caramels (thanks to Jen's recipe) and the kids said the teachers were happy campers.

Next up is a t-shirt quilt. My cousin Sara is planning to surprise a friend and show up in Hawaii for Christmas to see him. She asked if we could put together a quilt made from Twins t-shirts as his gift. To get the shirts we needed, she raided some thrift stores and her family members' closets and then found an odd man selling 87 and 91 championship sweatshirts on craigslist. She also found a fun remnant of baseball themed fabric. We managed to throw it together in less than 4 hours - backing it with red fleece and using embroidery floss to tie quilt it. Perfect man quilt, per my hubby. Took longer to drive to get her and bring her back home in a snow storm then it did to make the quilt! All worth it - the chatting was great and she brought me all my favorite treats from the Old Spaghetti Factory (where I worked in college and she does now).

See her peeking out over the top? Thanks Sara - have fun in the sun!!

Last up was a gift for my friend Kim for her birthday last week. She had liked the jewelry frame hanger I made for our friend Jen a while back, so I crafted up one for her. I had a frame on hand that I painted white, added re purposed screen to the opening for hanging earrings, screwed in 3 cup hooks to the bottom to hang necklaces or bracelets from and embellished it a bit to match her bedroom. Somewhat sadly, it was gifted while the paint was still a little tacky (nothing says thoughtful gifter then to give something 1/2 done), but Kim is a smart cookie and hung it up to dry in her garage for awhile :) Thanks for your patience Kim! Hope it matches your room!

I've got a few more Christmas related projects in the hopper - nothing says holidays to me than sewing up gifts the day before they are given :) HA!

Diaper Bag, at last

One of the projects I've been both dreading and anticipating was sewing a diaper bag. The thought of interfacing was making me cringe, but I knew I wanted to make a bag and not spend lots of cash on one I would not love. I INTENDED to make one with somewhat neutral fabric so Dave would be happy carrying it, but at 10 pm when you realize you don't have enough of the planned fabric, you sometimes throw your best laid plans out the window and make do. I originally started out with a tote bag style in mind, but those ended up as teacher gifts, as the interior and pocketing process did not work out as I wanted. I'll show pics of those in a later day, assuming the quick pics I took with my phone are decent. I then googled and researched for a while until I found the perfect pattern. Let me caveat this by stating I was more than willing to purchase a pattern for a diaper bag, just could not find one I liked. The various reviews I read on the patterns for sale all seemed to point to something wrong - floppy, lack of pockets, too big, to small... you get the idea. Then I saw this tutorial (FREE) for the "Hip Mama Diaper Bag", and fell in love. Pockets galore, and a messenger bag style - what is not to lurve? The tutorial was dreamy easy to follow (ahem, assuming you read it, I did have 1 mishap an 1 near miss, but neither ruined the bag). The only modifications I made were to use fusible fleece to face the handle (I like a padded handle on my bags) and since I did not have any vinyl for the interior, I used corduroy. It is maybe a little floppier than I'd like, but as I've started to stock it up I think it will work fantastic.

Fabric is Anna Maria Horner on the exterior, thrifted corduroy on the interior. There are magnetic snaps holding down the flap in front, 2 front pockets and side pockets that have velcro to keep them closed. The back has a large zipped pocket and inside has 5 bottle/diaper pockets that have elastic to keep them together.

Front and side pockets shown here......

Back zipper...

Interior shot. Look at all the pockets~! I plan to make a changing pad to fit in here today. Plenty of room :)

Did I mention I love it?

Can't wait for this little one to make her grand entrance so we can use it! Less than 2 weeks til her due date!! Hurry up little Miss No Name, we can't wait to meet you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby bedding and other projects.

I'm getting my baby checklist taken care of - project by project. With only 4 weeks to go, I now have a raging case of carpal tunnel syndrome - had to get new braces for both wrists -so the crafting is taking a little longer than it should. All worth it though :)

I added some length to thrifted curtains for what will be the GIRLS room. The add on fabric was a IKEA curtain that I've chopped into for various projects.

I told myself a baby quilt was not necessary, as you don't actually cover them up, but could not help making a quick one to match their lime, aqua and hot pink room. I used scrap fabrics I had on hand, as well as a pillow case and the rest of the re purposed bed ruffle (I found a twin size one at the thrift store I shrunk down to crib size). Love this quilt. The hand binding was a complete pain, but it kept the insomniac busy last night.

The back is an IKEA sheet that came with a duvet set we never used. Then I used the left over scraps to make a patchworky binding too.

Here it is next to the bedskirt and thrifted crib sheet.

I read about 50 tutorials on making a car seat cover. None really dealt with the wonky handle on our new seat (old one was "expired"??). So, after having velcro straps sewn on that did not work, I ripped them out and added ribbon to tie on for now. Don't love, but it should serve its purpose. Love the Tina Givens fabric though....the back side is some thrifted knit.

And the reverse side...

Last I used this tutorial to make a sheet for our co-sleeper. I used a thrifted flannel sheet and had it done in under 15 minutes. I have enough sheet for maybe 2 more as well. Great tutorial!

I've got a diaper bag and a sling left on the horizon. Tried to make a sling on Monday but something went awry and it doesn't even work for Rowan to carry a doll in. Hmmmmmm....also plan to throw in some Christmas gifts, but we'll have to see how the hands hold out!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tiny Headwear

Yep - you guessed it. I've moved on to baby hats now. Since my previous 2 beasties have had huge heads, I am making headgear larger than normal "newborn" size. (I tell myself their large head sizes are meant to hold all their brains, btw). I found a great crocheted tutorial here to make a basic hat, and despite frequent stops due to pregnancy induced carpal tunnel in my right hand, these hats really fly together.

Here is the first one I did with bright pink yarn. I added a thrifted doily and a vintage button to dress it up a bit.

I made another in brown yarn and then added ears using this tutorial. My ears are a bit lopsided, but I think they will do :) Love it!

Last up was a quick headband. I made some spiral flowers out of some gray wool felt during our long Turkey Day drive. I stitched them on to a piece of striped knit (from a Target dollar land scarf) and for now have tied the bottom together. I plan to sew this when I can actually measure how big Miss 3's head is, but for now will leave it tied.

As a side note, I posed what is turning into the great name debate out on a fun blog - Swistle Baby Names. The blog author and her many commentors help with baby naming. Since Dave will no longer even talk about names with me (he keeps escaping to his basement man cave when I bring it up), it is nice to get some real opinions from those who love baby names. Here is my post....I'd love to hear your ideas as well! We've only got 4 1/2 weeks left!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Onesie Mania

We are scrambling a bit to get things together for the baby. Or maybe I should clarify, I'm scrambling to get things together. Dave is calmly living life "business as usual". Maybe it is because the baby is in my uterus that stresses me out that much more? I've got a hunch she will be arriving earlier than later -which would be wonderful (ahem, tax write off and in time for Christmas!!) - but this early thought is pushing me to get things taken care of NOW. I got around to hanging up clothes in the baby's (shared) closet last week and realized I had somehow attained 4 ugly onesies along the way. Not sure if they were all thrifted? Maybe some hand me downs from cousins and friends? I do know they were all "pre loved" and (I hoped) worth saving. Some had ugly decals, some were boyish, some had minor staining... all 4 needed help, so onesie makeover time it was.

Onesie #1: We spent multiple hours in the car for Thanksgiving, so I was able to make up a pile of these "twisty flowers" to adorn things. I added 3 white flowers (made from t-shirt scraps) to this green and white striped onesie, and then sewed on some vintage clear buttons to create a necklace look. Much more girly :)

Onesie #2: This yellow onesie had some stains in the front. I blanket stitched a "bib" on and then added a ruffle and buttons down the front. Much better! Love the colors.

Onesie #3: I added an appliqued bird and some "ground" to hide stains and make this blue onesie more girlie. The eye is a button and I quickly embroidered something resembling a beak. The legs are just zig zagged on with black thread. I love the bird - I will be adding this guy to some more creations for sure.

Onesie #4: This onesie had an ugly, scratchy decal on it. I added the owl using reverse applique so I could cut out the scratchy animal that was on it already. I added thrifted buttons for eyes and zig zagged the legs (again). In the picture you will see what looks like stains near the "ears", but it was just me dabbing it with water to get rid of the water soluble pen marks. No time to wait for it to dry before pics, of course :)

I dabbled in some headgear for the little miss as well. I'll be posting these goodies later this week! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving holiday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sister Sewing

Rowan has been sewing with me lately...and wanted to make up some baby items. Since my patience is somewhat lacking, I tried to give her projects that would not require a large amount of parental guidance. She did great - I'm impressed with how she thinks through the project to figure out what she needs to do all along the way. So very planful and cautious.

First, Rowan made a "taggy crinkly toy"... not sure what else to call it. One side has her fun fabric and a small piece of minky is on the other side. The ribbons give the baby something to grab on to and play with. Griffin loved the tags on his toys and blankets, so if Little Miss 3 is anything like her big brother, she'll love this. Inside we sandwiched a piece of plastic (the wrap of a bag of microwave popcorn) so it crinkles when it is grabbed. I read a tutorial for this, but can't remember where - the author said she had washed hers multiple times and the plastic was holding up great.

Minky side...

Cotton side....

Rowan also grabbed a piece of scrapped t-shirt and made a newborn hat. She used this tutorial and it turned out adorable. So proud (sniff). It is super easy to make and you use the t-shirts hem to save yourself from having to hem the brim/edge.

Rowan also started on a small quilt we hope to finish this weekend. I'm happy (proud, thrilled, excited, giddy) to say more projects from Rowan will be coming soon :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Patchwork Sleep Sack

Since sleeping is not working out for me of late, I was able to finish and start some projects last night. Ack - I know I will sleep again (and be wistfully thinking about doing it after the little miss is born) but I totally forgot how frustrating it is to lay there and have your mind race and not be able to fall asleep. I keep thinking about expired car seats (who knew they could expire? And what kind of horrible mother am I to even debate if it matters?), recalled crib parts (how did my 2 and their 4 cousins survive in this crib?) and the elusive baby name. Around midnight, I decided that at least this time can be productive. I had started the adorable patchwork sleep sack from Handmade Beginnings this past weekend, and was just waiting to add the Velcro and sew up the bottom. I finished it around 2 a.m after another round of burp cloths and a bib were completed as well. Here is the sleep sack:

And the back side....

A close up of the patchwork (don't look too close though):

Like some others out in blog and flickr land, I made a few very minor changes. The pattern and directions were very easy to understand and follow....even for my uber pregnant mind. Here are my (either of my own or borrowed from others who trod before me) mods:

  • I used 3" squares for the patchwork....hoping to get it done faster. Still tedious, but maybe a little quicker than the 2" Anna Maria used?
  • I used the bias tape to encase both sides/edges of the sack, mitering the corner.
  • I added a bit of piecework the back, mainly to not waste the patchwork I had made and not used.
  • After sewing the bottom together, I serged the edge, since this was the only unfinished edge still showing (though only inside the sack).

I'll admit the fabrics in the sack do match the kimono tops and pant sets I made last week, but the fact that I had already made about 6 yards of bias tape caused me to coordinate all the fabrics around the bias tape. I love the color combination - not too pink and girly, but still feminine. The patch working itself was a bit tedious, but not difficult. I do not claim to be a quilter, so my squares do not always line up, but I love how it ended up.

Here are the other goodies -

I tried backing some burp cloths with a new towel ($2 on the Target end cap, it is the lime green showing) and then did a 2 sided flannel one and frayed the edges (like the pattern tutorial here, where I found the template, actually called for). One more bib rounded out the late night more Tina Givens fabric. Love these. Not sure if I should keep them for me or get them out the door for some baby gifts since there seem to be many of us carrying around baby bumps right now.

I am hoping to get the crib up and bedding made this weekend, so I'll post more details as they are done (probably in the wee hours of the morn).

Oh -and thought I'd share for the sake of my Texan fans (hey Nance) how it looks outside here.... brrrr!! Tell Apple Jack to bundle up!

Friday, November 12, 2010

You guessed it... more baby sewing

Not surprising, there was more baby sewing done here this past week. How could I not make these cute newborn pants from Made by Rae? And of course they needed coordinating tops, so Martha's kimono pattern came in somewhat handy.

One set was made using Heather Ross fabric I've been hoarding for a long while now. I made the matching bias tape to make it fun, and love it. Too cute - though anything this tiny is dang adorable regardless.

The other set was made using Tina Givens fabric - and I realized after cutting out the kimono top that I cut these out so that the front would be upside down. Not a good pattern for a directional print, I guess. I fixed the mermaid version, and tried to fix this one as well, but after cutting the neckline 3 different times, this is how it ended up. Oh well. If baby looks down at herself, it will be perfect :)

I have to stop with making newborn sized clothes - either they will fit for only a few weeks or not at all (if Little miss is Griffin sized). They are just so dang cute....

Here are the kimonos... the pattern is not beginner type easy, or possibly my pregnant brain did not comprehend it all or read it correctly. It ended up ok. I do like them.

Here are just the quick and easy and teensy.

We've got a few more projects in the works... sew more to come.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More baby sewing

What does every newborn need in her wardrobe? Well, if I were to gage things by my girlfriend Brooke, I'd have to say shoes. I remember her being pregnant with her baby girl and making piles of fabric shoes (near the point of obsession). I've made these as gifts for other before, but it is so very much fun to make them for my own wee one.

The pattern is from here, and you can use tiny amounts of fabric to make them funky. I raided my scrap bin for these three pair, and barely used any fabric at all. I made these three assembly line fashion, and while I think I saved a ton of time, I did manage to use the heel planned for one shoe on another, so be careful (Or just don't sew with a pregnant brain).

Here are the three I made on Monday.

Pair 1 is my favorite - and this is actually the pair I added the wrong heel to. It was supposed to have a pink polka dot heel, but now I love the contrast of the green with the brown. The bows are dang cute too....

Pair 2 have vintage buttons and pleather soles. Love them.

Pair 3 is from some of my favorite fabric (Birdseed - Alexander Henry).

Can't wait to try them on some little feet :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby sewing

There has been little crafting here of late, thus little reason for crafty blogging. I'd like to blame it on my pregnancy, which is partly true - I have been much more inclined to read than craft. Just finished the Suzanne Collins Hunger Games trilogy, btw, good stuff. I like to say I am pre-reading these for my niece and daughter, but honestly, I love teeny bopper lit. And being able to do it laying down has saved me so far from the puffy ankles that plagued me with the first 2 beasties.

The "kick in the pants" I guess I needed to get some sewing done was 2 fold. First, Dave painted my craft room for me and I spent at least a week getting it completely in order. I'm talking seriously in order here - fabrics sorted an folded by types and colors, yard and embroidery gear separated and sorted by colors, jewelery and other crafting materials sorted and stashed away in organized fashion. I'd post pics here, but since it is in the basement and a smaller room, it is very hard to get decent shots. Trust me, it is much better than crafting in my entry way or front room... I love that I can close the door and head upstairs in the middle of a project and not have to put it all away. The second kicker was reaching my 32nd week. 32 WEEKS Pregnant?? Where has the time gone? I alternate between feeling this pregnancy is crawling by and trying to slow it down since it is probably (ok, most certainly) our last go around. But 32 weeks means it is time to get my tush (pregnancy sized tush and all) in gear.

Since Dave was out deer hunting last weekend, it was perfect time for some baby sewing. I perused the downloaded baby tutorials and patterns I've found on the web over the past few years and scoured the web for some new ones as well. Rowan and I both got our machines going and kicked out a bunch of projects. I'll save hers for a day she can "guest post". Here are some of mine...I'll be posting more in days to come.

Burp Cloths....I found a great template (and blog) here. I did not follow all the directions, mainly because I was trying to use only things I already had, but the shape and size of this burp cloth is perfect. Maybe I'll try some flannel and fringing in the future.

One side is some Tina Givens fabric and the other is a thrifted chenille bedspread. I used some tags gifted to me from my mom on the chenille side. They were quick and easy and would be a great baby shower gift.

Then, using basically the same materials, I made some bibs. These are just little infant-y bibs for early on. They are backed with the same chenille bedspread and I used velcro to close them.

I found the template online but sadly cannot locate it. I think tracing an existing bib would be easy to do as well. Since my other two are 6 & 8, we don't have many bibs (any at all) around here to trace, so a template was necessary.

Last, but not least, I made some Pacifier clips. I saw the idea on the
wonderful blog Made, and really just winged measurements to fit the suspender clips I had on hand (one of which, the red one, was still attached to some thrifted suspenders, when I discovered the tute).

I know these were extremely valuable with Rowan, so I was excited to make them from scratch. Griffin was (and still is) a thumb sucker, so while this was easier on us (can't lose a thumb) the habit is lingering and hard to break for him. I confess to having a soft spot for finding him asleep with his thumb in his mouth. Still makes me think he is a little guy... but I'm sure the dentist would not find it as endearing.

I'll do some more posting this week with the rest of our projects! Since we have more deer hunting weekends to come, I'm sure more crafting will be in the works! Gotta get prepared for little miss "namehasevadedussofar".

Thursday, September 30, 2010


We've had a malfunctioning laptop here - it has been back and forth between various Geek Squad locations a few times in the past month and a half, but I'm happy to say it seems at least 75% repaired. I think it is dying a slow death instead of the quick one it had suffered - but at least we have time to prepare (i.e. back up the data and save some cash to buy a new one) for the end. For now, I'm just appreciating reading crafty blogs and watching Glee on Hulu again. Hooray!

While I was out of touch cyberly, life has gone on. Not only in my house, obviously.... I have been reading pages and pages of my favorite blogs and wondering where all the time went? It seems everyone has kept up their uber crafty life while I've grown a monster size belly and read a ton of books. Humph. I can already feel a little crafty itch today - so hopefully the game is back on.

To catch up on our past few months, here are some of our somewhat recent events.

Lots of time spent at the lake...

Redecorated the antlers we inherited from the old cabin owners. Dave says he doesn't love them, but I find them much more tolerable with a little Anna Maria or Amy Butler fabric, don't you agree?

Rowan returned to school (second grade!!), while Griffin went to kindergarten for the first time.

We celebrated Griffin turning 6 with a family party at the lake - yep, the theme was dinosaurs.

In all this time, the little wee one inside my belly has grown a ton. We will hit 27 weeks on Sunday! It is both flying and crawling by.... we can't wait to meet this little one who still refuses to be named :)