Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Diaper Bag

 I took me a week longer than expected to get around to this project, because I was sick, but it's finally here. I used this tutorial : and only made two adjustment. One, I skipped using interfacing because I used canvas, and two, I added 8 inches to the strap.
 I am awesome and managed to line up everything. There are velcro pockets on both sides, as well as two on the front.
 Can you see the pockets? The Flap attaches to the front with magnetic snaps.
 I put two elastic pockets on each side of the interior. ( It's bigger than it looks, the elastics just scrunch it closed a bit)
And on the back is a zipper pocket. Voila! My green diaper bag. I'm very happy with how it turned out. For the last two years I've been using the kids backpacks instead of a diaper bag, because my dog ate a whole in our old one, while trying to get some cookies from the side pocket. This bag not only fits enough cloth diapers for an outing or day trip, but my water bottle fits perfectly in the side pockets. Also... I made it <3

Monday, April 28, 2014

Who Made Your Clothes?

Look! I made a lovely...inside out shirt! Ta-da!

While I'm more than pleased with those tidy seams (Jess you may have converted me to the enclosed seam cult), that's not why I'm showing you this view of my sewing. A blog I follow had posted about "Who Made Your Clothes?" with her own inside out garment and this quote:

 " The goal is for all of us to stand together for a united cause and help to show sewing (in all its forms) as an ethical and sustainable alternative to fast fashion and mass consumerism.  It’s one piece in a very large puzzle but by showcasing home sewn items we will help spread the word that in some cases the answer to ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’ can proudly be answered, “ME!” "

(For more information and the article this quote is from visit: )

I missed the actual day since I only heard of it while it was happening but I felt it was an important enough question to justify joining late. I also thought it was interesting timing since I was posting some more of what I'd made using the 3$ fabric. 

Here's what it actually looks like
It's impossible not to want to use the cute little kid prints on occasion, but that's not the sort of thing that turns up in my refashion pile very often. There are wonderful sites out there selling ethical and sustainable fabric, but they are well above my budget. Realistically, with the amount I'm saving on her wardrobe right now I could splurge on a bit of fabric here and there. I just don't think I could bring myself to let my kids out to play in a 30$ t-shirt!  

(The top button is different, I'm such a rebel!) I'm working on alternatives though. I played around with fabric markers on the reversible animal hoods. I compulsively horde any old clothes with cute prints. I save cute baby clothes that end up stained to use small pieces in other projects. I buy material second hand at thrift stores, garage sales or charity events and sometimes get lucky. I contemplate researching farmland when my husband says things like "You should sell things made from all natural materials someday!"  (Ok, maybe I only contemplate growing cotton for about 30 seconds at a time...)

So Sophie got her green bunny shirt and it's one of the few items of clothing she's been really excited about. I'm about as proud of this shirt as I could be, since when I first got this pattern book I saw this shirt and thought "Oh. that's cute but I could never do that." :)  There was some serious anxiety about those buttonholes though. Why do they have to be the last thing you do?
(This is also from Handmade for Children, the same book as these pajamas. It's the cover photo.)

A little apology to anyone waiting on the edge of their seat for the doll clothes pattern ;) I'll make sure they're the next post. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Love My Sister Enough to Spend an Entire Month Making Her Baby Clothes...

...but I also love her enough not to make her keep them!

Yah... I went a little nuts
So my wonderful sister was having a baby and none of us could make it to meet the new arrival. Something would clearly have to be done about this and since it couldn't involve planes I used Facebook to recruit one of her friends in town and we threw her a baby shower (from across the country on my part). Now this little lady was to be baby number three, and I knew from repeatedly prodding my sister that she didn't need much of anything. So I gave people the option of knitting/crocheting for the babies at the local hospital.

Yes, I know that I'm insane. Let's just move on shall we?

I couldn't quite resist making a few small things for baby Hunter, but I tried to keep them useful. She got a carseat blanket like this adorable little one, but without the hood (I was worried about it getting in her face as a newborn) (,  as well as a travel highchair (this is how you use it Jess lol). These are great, they fold up into nothing in your diaper bag.

This bunny was actually her Easter present, and the one thing Jess requested. I've made weird little stuffies for each of her other kids as babies as well. It's like a strange tradition or something now.

Sophie wanted to keep bunny :)

I knew that I couldn't forget Katie and DJ, so I made their Cabbage Patch Kids some clothes. Want to try some of your own? I'll tell you how I did them on Monday!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Layers of Ruffles

I seem to have been on a theme lately... maybe spring is making me crave girly things?

 This is a shirt I finished for Sophie. It's re-sized from an adult shirt (Freecycle bag strikes again!). I wanted to save the fun embroidery but needed to hide some light stains on the body of the shirt. I actually have a fourth ruffle kicking around but that seemed like overkill. I figure I'll save it and use it to lengthen the shirt when it starts getting short. If she hasn't destroyed it by then!

The back has a button so that there is a wide head opening. Sophie looses her mind if a shirt gets stuck on her head while she's putting it on. One of the nice things about making a bunch of her things is that I can tailor them to her personality, not just her size. 

Super classy bathroom selfie. Possibly not an improvement on the hallway mirror...
Look! I made something for me! This one's a refashion actually, that's how most of my "me" projects go. This was about saving some pieces that I liked but couldn't wear anymore.  Did you guess by looking at them that you were seeing the remains of two tops and a skirt? (What a gruesome way to phrase things lol!) 

So the white bodice piece it the top of a t-shirt, the brown and cream layers were a skirt and the red pockets and connecting piece were from another shirt. You should have seen me cut the red one, I was pretty ridiculous! I'd originally put it aside to remake for Sophie and I wasn't quite ready to give up on that idea so there I was carefully unrolling the hem and trying to use the least conspicuous place to cut the pockets from...
Ya, watch me never even use it after all that ;)

I really love this dress. It's making me want to sew more for myself. That or the fact that living out of a suitcase is making me want to burn my wardrobe and start over! I have two beautiful dress pattern books that I'm determined to use this summer. The real problem is that I don't always find skirts to be practical with young children. Maybe I'll single handedly start the trend of wearing Mama-Bloomers underneath. You can thank me later. 

I loooove these bloomers + corset

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hand Sewing Cards

I always add a little something extra at Christmas and Easter for our various God-babies (none of whom are babies anymore, I really should stop calling them that!) . This year I made some little hand sewing cards with holes punched out for them to thread some yarn through. Sophie caught sight of them and wanted to keep them, but I've been planning to let her try some (well supervised) real sewing soon :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Reversible Animal Hoods

I"m pretty pleased with these if I do say so myself. They're based on the sheep hood I made Deacon for Halloween. I wanted something I could tie onto him, since that's the only way to make sure a hat comes home with him! I made some sweet little bunnies for Easter...

...which you flip inside out to find bear ears! The kids are going to go nuts over these :)

Add caption

Want to know the best part? I'm going to show you how to make them!

I used sweatshirt material for these and fleece for the original so if you're using something else you may need to finish your edges a little differently in places.  The first thing you need is to make your pattern. Start by grabbing something of your child's with a hood and trace around it. Next, draw some animal ears in proportion to your hood. You obviously aren't limited to bears and bunnies! The measurements for your ties will vary  depending on the look you're going for. You need to add the length of the hood plus however much length you need to tie your bow/knot. (I was using sweatshirts so I just cut a strip off just below the hem, hence why mine are a little long. You could easily shorten the straps so only a little bit on the front overlaps and add a button/snap/velcro, or even lengthen and widen it for a scarf-like look. 

PLEASE NOTE: Obviously anything that ties around the neck is not recommended for babies or un-supervised small children. Use your own best judgement here.

These are what my super awesome pattern pieces looked like, drawn on a cereal box. Add your seam allowances around the shapes you drew.

If you can make your ties one piece, that's great. If not add just add an extra seam at the back like me. 
 Fold your first colour in half (or lay out your sweatshirt for a refashion). Trace and cut out your hood, tie and do the ears TWICE (4 ear pieces total). This is what you should have when you finish: 

Place the right sides together. If needed, sew tie seam. Sew curve of hood. Sew around ears, leaving the bottom open. Notch curves.  

Turn hood right side out. Press. If your tie has a seam, match it with the seam on the back of the hood. Sew the tie to the bottom of the hood.

Turn the ears right side out and press. Top stitch around. Zigzag the bottom closed and trim any excess.

Next we'll attach the ears. This is the only part where things are slightly different for each side. Pin the ears to the hood, but make sure that the seam that attaches the ear to the hood won't be in exactly the same place on each side (ie. bear ear seam on top of bunny ear seam) or else it will be super bulky! See how the bunny ears hang down and are sewn high on the hood, and the bear ears point up and are sewn on lower down.

For the bunny ears just sew them onto  the hood and that side is done. For the bear ears I did some shaping.

As you can see in this first picture I folded the corners towards the center before pinning. Sew down like you did for the bunny ears, then look at step two below.

Next fold it back out, pin, and sew down a second time. This makes it stand up a little better.

Now go back and do the exact same thing for with your second colour/animal! Done now? Good. Put the right sides of both hoods together and pin around. Sew around, leaving room open to flip it inside out. I left my space near the center back.

Turn right side out. Press. Top stitch around, paying special attention to closing the hole you used to turn it.  

Voila! you did it! As a bonus for making it this far, here are some close ups of the two hoods I tried my fabric markers out on. These are the 10 pack of fine tipped Crayola fabric markers. As you can see, they apply really nicely. (I should also add that I bought come of the "bright" ones meant for dark fabric and was seriously unimpressed.)

If anyone tries making their own hoods and has any questions just leave me a note in the comments and I'll see what I can do to help you :) 

I also have serious respect for bloggers who post tutorials regularly. It probably doubles the time of both the project and blogging!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cutting off My Daughter's Hair

So I finally did it... I took my little girl to have all of her hair cut off, just like she'd been begging me to.

Here's her goofy little "before" picture, just to show how long it had gotten. But oh how she hated that hair! Hated brushing it, hated having it put up or fussed with and just cried when she was outside and the wind would blow it in her face! It's only the last few months that she's been asking to have it gone but it's been bothering her for much longer than that. I think it just took her awhile to figure out the solution. (Having a baby whose short hair is never in his way probably helped.) So we went out and did it, because I realized that the reasons I wasn't had nothing to do with her and were all about ME liking her hair the way it was. And really, it's not even on my head. 

I was worried about how she would look with short hair, but I was surprised to catch a glimpse of someone I thought I'd seen the last of; baby Sophie :)

Same big eyes and little smirk, significantly closer to the ground in this picture though ;)

I'd joked about cutting her hair with a few people during her "I want a Mohawk" phase and I heard a lot of "I could never do that!". Even the hairdresser was pretty horrified. She spent as much time trying to gently talk me out of it as she did cutting her hair! You know what though? All of the reasons (She'll look like a boy with short hair at that age. It will take so long to grow back. When she goes to school all of the other girls will have long hair. It looks so nice that length.) were about other people, me included, and their expectations and comfort zones. When I realized I was putting it off I stopped and though; what if I added up all of the times she was upset about her hair? All of those moments she lost playing or enjoying being outside because the wind was blowing it in her face? All of the mornings where just having it brushed upset her before we'd even left the house? Days and weeks and months and years worth of those moments. All because she's already being told what she's supposed to look like, even at three years old. So today we went to the hairdressers for her first real haircut. She sat beautifully, barely cringing at the sprayed water and the scissors near her face. And on the way home she ran in the wind, laughing, with nothing in her way.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

KCW Pinafore

I'm pretty excited, this is my first time sewing along for Kids Clothes Week (KCW) because it's the first time I've had someplace to show off what I've made! I'm actually behind schedule. Day one was a sick day, day two I spent washing and ironing fabrics so I guess that still counts, this lovely pinafore is the result of day three but most of my sewing is done at night so I couldn't show it off until today.

I used this tutorial from you and me  and shortened it to shirt length. (Turns out Sophie has almost no shirts in her next size and quite a few of the boring-to-make things. Oh darn.) This was really easy and super cute!

I do have a confession, this technically isn't done. Sophie was quite firm on it having snaps instead of buttons and my snap press it in storage right now. She's getting very picky about what she'll wear these days. She told be the other day that she only likes green and black and things with bunnies on them. We managed to expand this to include buttons and apples. When I popped into the fabric store (just for thread I swear! lol) and saw that they had a rack of discontinued cotton on for 3$ a meter... well this fabric is all buttons and another was green with bunnies. It was fate I tell you! Here are a few close-ups just because I'm in love with this, and I'll leave your bonus post at that! With any luck I'll keep the KCW sewing ball rolling and have more to show you later in the week :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Possibly the Strangest Raincoat Ever...

I don't think I'll tell you why just yet though, see what you think of it first.

The real point of this project was to use the orange fabric you see inside as the lining for something coat-like. I'd taken Sophie to pick some fabrics for her new car coat. The outer fabric that she chose is nice, a kind of teal-y blue. The inside was this. Super synthetic, bright orange, with this weird raised pattern to it. I was afraid to iron it people. I just couldn't bring myself to put the work into a coat and hate half of it, and so the raincoat idea was born.

I used this tutorial here : (I think I have this pinned about three times, It's just so sweet!)  I didn't want to invest a lot of time into these fabulous materials so I went with the easiest options. I didn't even add the buttonhole, I just sewed a loop of elastic into the seam. I chose the cape version instead of the arms, but I did do some stitching to create some sleeve-like definition and keep her arms dry if she reaches for something.

Look closely and you can see the weird texture to the lining in this picture.

Have you guessed what makes it so strange yet? (I know, that orange stuff should count on it's own!) Notice I didn't mention the outside fabric? It's one of those flannel-backed dollar store tablecloths.  Possibly not the most durable choice but it's not like I'll be heartbroken if she wrecks it. The real question should be what kind of person looks at a plastic tablecloth and sees clothing ;) 

But really, how could you say no to this face?

Friday, April 4, 2014


I realized we had crammed a few too many things in our week when trying to head out the door (yet again) one morning ended in tears before the pajamas even came off. So we cancelled our plans, had a snuggle and talked about  what she would like to do instead. Balloons.

Like our chair barricade along the back? Jury-rigged baby proofing at it's best! 
We got ready and out the door in our own time, bought two packs of balloons and blew them up when we got home. I have to admit that I thought 20 balloons would take up a bit more space, I was envisioning a more ball pit-like effect. My lungs however felt that we had blown up about as many as they needed ;)