Monday September 6, 2010

It has been a very long weekend.  My better half went on a 2 day 2 night hiking trip to the mountains, and the very first night he was gone my “bad case of allergies” turned out to be a full blown cold; fever, aches, sore throat, coughing, sneezing… the works.  Jude had gone to my parents house to spend the night with his cousin Jack but I still had the two little ones with me.  I don’t bring this up as an excuse to complain… well that’s not entirely true.  My reasons for mentioning it are two-fold, 1. To complain (it was really really hard!), and 2. To brag about Jude a little. 

When my dad dropped Jude off late Saturday afternoon I have to be honest I was thinking, “Oh no! Another little body to take care of.”   He completely surprised me.  For the first time I realized that he was not just another body to take care of.  He was ready and willing to help out and pull his weight.  Jude took care of Gideon and Eliza, he brought me glasses of water, picked up all the toys in the living room, and helped get everyone ready for bed.  When I tucked him in bed that night I told him that Daddy would be proud of him for taking good care of me.  What a little man!

What does all of that have to do with sewing?  Not much really.  Only that this is the post I had planned on typing up all weekend but was too under the weather.  Justin is home now so I am able to rest and recover. 

So here it is.  The sewing post~

Some of you might remember this little dress I made for Eliza back at the beginning of summer.  I am trying to stick to my “try it twice” rule so I made another one for her, and I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  The pattern went much more smoothly the second time around and I was able to make a few changes to the neckline.


I found this beautiful vintage inspired polka dot material (it is Moda fabric but I’m not sure what line it came from)  at a quilt store in Tucson.  I paired it with the blue and cream check and added natural colored rick-rack.  The pattern is McCall’s M5830 and I made Eliza the large size.  She is 18 months and it fits her well, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any smaller.

I love sewing for Eliza.  It’s so fun and satisfying.  When I sew for her I don’t chose complicated or time consuming patterns for several reasons: 1. I’m a beginner, and 2. She will grow out of them so quickly that it wouldn’t be worth the effort.  Having a small assortment of easy to assemble and versatile patterns is key.  There is an art, or knack to seeing the potential a pattern might have.  Sometimes the pictures on the pattern jacket can look dated or boring.  Choosing the right material and trim can make a so-so pattern into something really special.

These are a just a few more projects I have lined up for Eliza~

Some fabric combos I have picked out to make her a couple of pinafore style dresses for fall.  I am using a sun dress pattern but I am going to make it a size smaller so it will fit more like a shirt.  I thought it would look good over a solid colored long sleeved Tee and dark jeans.  I was hoping to have them cut out this weekend but it just wasn’t in the cards!

I also had fun making some gifts to take to a baby shower.  Friends of ours are looking forward to the birth of their first grandchild (a baby girl) and the shower was this past Thursday.

I made a few Onesies. 

And, as something new; I made a stack of flannel and terry cloth wash clothes.  I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before!  Such a pretty and practical gift.  I used 6.5 inch squares of left over flannel and bought some pink terry cloth on sale a Beverly’s.

The whole gift package: Onesies, burp rags, wash cloths, and two infant headbands (have to throw a little fun in with all that practicality!)

Here is how I make the flower Onesies~

They are so simple but adding one or two to a simple white Onesie makes a very unique and lovely gift.

1. I start with a recycled shirt.

2. I cut scalloped circles out of the t-shirt, starting with the biggest size and working down to the smallest.

3. I stack them together and see how I like the look of the flower.

4. I sew the flower together in 2 steps.  The bottom, bigger layer are sewn together first because they need more support.

5.  The smaller center petals are sewn last and tacked down with a button in the center.

6.  I place my leaves were I want them on the Onesie and then I pin them in place.  Using a coordinating embroidery thread I sew them on with a rustic hand stitch.

7.  Last but not least, place the flower on top of the leaves and secure onto the Onesie with a needle and thread.  Oh I almost forgot; washing instructions- wash on gentle cycle with like colors, DO NOT bleach, and tumble dry on low heat.  The edges of the flower will not fray but they will curl up a bit after it was been washed and dried.

I also squeezed in a little project for me.  I had seen some fun sewing projects featured on some of the sewing blogs I read, made out of patchwork pieces and I was inspired to try one myself.

I gathered a stack of cream, yellow, mustard, and camel colored fabric and made myself a patchwork purse.

I used and old favorite pattern; Amy Butler’s Swing Bag purse pattern, which is one of the easiest patterns I have ever assembled.

The pattern has a giant bow tied to the bottom of the strap but I decided to dress it up with some fabric rose pins.  I have seen these fabric roses all over Etsy and had been searching for a free tutorial online with little success.  All of the tutorials were very involved (precise cutting, ironing, folding, lots of hand stitching) and most had very mixed results.  I’m sorry but let’s be reasonable; you can’t just call any misshapen rolled up piece of fabric a “flower”.  It needs to actually resemble a flower.  But I found this tutorial and decided to give it a try. 

Did I mention it’s reversible?  It is!  Pretty neat trick huh?

11 thoughts on “Monday September 6, 2010

  1. slmret

    Wow — you’ve been busy — all easy and pretty and useful!!!  I love the little sundress pattern — brings back memories of when my sister and I were little, many, many years ago!

  2. georgene

    Precious, April! You’ve got your mama’s ‘eye’! I love the dress! You are becoming quite the accomplished seamstress! Your mama must be proud! Love you!

  3. slmret

    @inanorchard - She made ALL our clothes (2 girls) until we were in Jr High School — then peer pressure added some store-bought clothes into the mix.  I, also, made some of my clothes after that, including a winter coat!  I still sew, but not clothing any more — mostly strip quilting these days.

  4. celebration_of_life

    So I should comment on the post since I loved it and think maybe I should take up sewing more often and then I remember that I have other things I want to do more…
    But really I came over to say that I missed seeing you Sunday! and am so sorry that you were sick while Justin was gone. Hope you’re feeling better…

  5. H0LDfast

    i feel like a broken record … you’re incredible.
    i’ll call you tomorrow … i have a favor to ask you.
    i’m sorry i don’t cook … i could have brought you something while you were sick
    or sheesh at least watched your kids
    and the top picture collage is really pretty
    that’s all … good night ~

  6. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    how very beautiful and inspiring! love all of your projects….

    my sewing instincts have taken a break over the summer, but with cooler weather soon here, and more time inside, i’m getting the urge to sew and create again!

    happy wednesday!


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