Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Free Swatch Day!

Just a quick pop in . . . I know it's been awhile! It's free swatch day at Spoonflower: one lovely 8x8 piece of the eco-canvas of your choosing. I grabbed this little bit (love Heidi Kenney) that has been in my favorites since forever.

What will you grab? Promo ends in 22 hours. Get it while you can! :)

*Spoonflower doesn't pay me to tell you anything. I just love Free Swatch Day and thought you would too. Cheers, friends!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Mooshy Belly Bunny from a Reclaimed Sweater

I love quick projects.  And to be honest, I needed one.  Inspiration struck quickly and after a brief and mad ransack through the fabric stash this project started to take shape.
Mooshy Belly Bunny Detail
I had bookmarked this pattern long before Pinterest was a twinkle in my eye, but I had just never gotten around to making it.  I confess I didn't read all the directions super carefully.  After all the stuffed toys I have made over the years I felt like I could do pretty well with just the pattern pieces and a glance at certain steps here and there.

Mooshy Belly Bunny Front

While I would have preferred to make the ear fronts from the sweater I had cut up to make the other bunny parts, turning it was going to be too fiddly so I went with a cut up orange t-shirt that I had used for another project so that at least one of the sides had a bit more give.
Mooshy Belly Bunny Back

Of course after I was done I immediately thought of things I would do differently.  Oh well.  Kiwi tested it out and after many hugs I felt like it had the potential to be well loved despite the bunny's shortcomings.

I sent it off with my sister who was on her way to a baby shower for a good friend.  Hopefully this little bunny enjoys hugs from its new owner: little baby girl, name still in debate.


Monday, April 7, 2014

The Abby Tote aka The New Ballet Bag

Given that LM is on her 4th year of dance and we just lived through the winter to end all winters, I decided it was time to make a new dance bag.

Remember this little gal?

Dual Purpose Lunch Bag/Dance Bag

After 3.5 years of weekly use by a kid, the bag still looks pretty good but it's just too small.  If you have been reading the blog back that long (WHOA!) you might recall that this pattern was actually designed to function as a lunch bag.  At the time I had no idea LM would take dance for this many years, so it seemed more practical to make it dual purpose.  After all this time it has not been used for lunch once, but has faithfully housed a leotard, tights, sweat pants, a sweater, a water bottle, and ballet slippers for those weekly lessons.  (Yeah - - it was JAMMED.)  I'm not sure what function it's going to serve now (she already has a pretty kickin' lunch bag), but it's still hanging out in the girls' room.  Kiwi will probably adopt it to carry her dolls around in at some point.  :)

Anyway, I had been itching to make her a new bag all year.  The biggest challenge (as always) was picking a pattern.  I had come across The Abby Tote by V and Co. a long time ago and it was the right mix of form and function for this project.  LM is about to turn 7 and the bow was just too sweet to pass up.
Abby Tote Full

As it is her bag and all, I let her pick the fabrics.  She decided on 2 coordinating prints from Theodore and Izzy (Mountain Meadow Gray and Ditsy Floral Turquoise).
Abby Tote Side
These shots are kind of crummy . . . Michigan is still really trying hard to have decent weather so I have to deal with diffused bad lighting indoors.  (The turquoise of that bow is somewhere between the two pictures.)  Maybe I'll retake some shots when it gets nice and sunny out.  If I remember. 

(Spoiler alert: I will NOT remember.)

This pattern is a nice and easy sew.  It is a BIG bag when it's made (like I auditioned it on myself before I sewed it up, and it felt big on me), and I quickly realized that it was going to be overwhelming on her elementary school shoulder.  Because of this I chopped an inch off each side and took 8 inches out of the middle (yes EIGHT!) before I sewed it up.  The pattern calls for one long piece to be used as the body, but I had already done a join in the middle because my fabric (though it might not appear so from these photos) is actually directional.  If you try this pattern do yourself a favor and get a non-directional print, or keep it in mind when you're cutting your pieces so you don't cut a big ole chunk of oops like I did at first.

To give you some perspective on how this effected the size of the bag, it's still very roomy (holds everything she needs with plenty of room for more if she needs the space down the line).  In hindsight I could have shortened the bow a bit, but I didn't really feel like it was necessary.  Plus, I took a long time to tie that bow on and honestly I did not feel like bothering with it! 

This is also why there is no picture of the reverse of the bag (yes - - this pattern makes an adorable REVERSIBLE bag). 

Anyone else sewing up some fun lately?  I'd love to see what you've been up to!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Katy Kitty for a Little Kiwi

It feels like it's been forever since I actually sat down and made something.  Simple mending, sure (I became my son's hero when I patched his jeans a few weeks ago), but actual sewing had come to a veritable stand-still.  I dismantled my beautiful cutting island before Christmas and gave the dresser half to my girls who are now sharing a room, and the desk half to my eldest who is an art-making machine and was sorely lacking a proper workspace.  My worktop was pushed under the loveseat in my living room and there it sat for the better part of 3 months.

Yes, it was totally sad.

I'm sure I could have overcome this obstacle in and of itself, but the other more pressing issue was all of the storage I lost by removing the island.  11 DRAWERS LOST.  And I was totally haphazard with the way I removed all of the stuff.  My new sewing room (new to you because I've never really blogged about it, but kinda old to me at this point) has a closet which was swiftly jammed with all kinds of crafterphernalia in no sort of real order.  Honestly, I just didn't even want to deal with it, and I kinda lost my sew-jo over it.

Thankfully, I was able to construct a new cutting table recently (more on that in another post), I got *some* of the stuff re-organized, and I started to feel the creative juices flowing again.

Allllllllll this to say, I'm back.  I made something.  And it feels good.

Kiwi's birthday is coming up soon-ish, so I decided to make her a stuffed friend to love.  (I'm actually way on top of things this year, and I've got plenty of time to spare.  Mr. Skooks chuckled a bit when I showed him my completed project.  "Not going to wait until the night before?"  Cheeky.)

In a completely unsurprising move, I selected an mmmcrafts pattern written by my pal, Larissa.  Her patterns are top of the heap, excellent quality, easy to understand, and stinkin' adorable.  I've completed 6 of her patterns now and I just cannot say enough good things about them.  I had toyed with the idea of making another Molly Monkey this time around, but I always like to try something new, so I finally found my reason to purchase and make Katy Kitty.

I was so excited to begin that despite it being late at night with terrible lighting I snapped this little in progress shot to mark the occassion:

in progress

I actually took Kiwi with me to the fabric store.  She charmed the pants off the old ladies discussing quilt sashing at the cutting counter when she slipped a spool of Gutterman thread over her finger and yelled, "OOOH!" while I wandered around looking for an appropriate body fabric.  The pattern calls for corduroy, but I was wanting something much more soft.  (There are probably some soft-ish corduroys available somewhere, but the shop I was in was not one of those places.)  I landed on something in the suede section in a dusty turquoise.  I think it was called "satin backed suedecloth" or something.

Anyway, it's nice and soft.
katy kitty face

I had plenty of fabric sitting in my stash to finish this project off, but of course, I found a little something while I was wandering.  :)  Kate Spain's Daydreams Arcadia in Scarlet became the centerpiece for Katy's clothing.  I picked up a little bit of the same line (Memory in Persimmon) for the sleeves.  I had a small chunk of Nicey Jane laying around (Slim Dandy in Pink) which I ended up using for her fabulous stripey socks.  An assortment of prints from Happy Zombie's Happy Mochi Yum Yum and Deb Strain's Fresh Flowers with a Michael Miller Ta Dot thrown in for good measure rounded out the collage and all appear in her patchwork skirt.
katy kitty full

Larissa always includes such sweet details in her patterns.  I adore the little wingtips:
wing tips

I may or may not have let Kiwi peek at the doll earlier today.  OOPS.  She gave her a big hug after an appropriate shriek of delight, but I took the kitty back to hide away until her actual birthday.

At least I know that it was love at first sight.  :)

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