Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This week I've started to work on N's Halloween costume. On Tuesday when I showed up for my doctor appointment a day late, I decided since I was halfway there, I'd drive to the Fabric store and find the fabric for her costume. Last week I picked up the Velvet, a lovely deep cranberry red colour, so I just needed the White Cotton and some Red Gingham.

After I washed and dried the white cotton and red gingham I noticed the red gingham looked a lot like a table clothe. hah. However, while my faith might not be too high in my ability to sew a simple dress, over-skirt and cloak, I'm pretty sure that no matter how it turns out, once the red gingham is sewn into the over-skirt, it won't look like a table clothe.

Due to my fear of things not working out, I've only gotten as far as cutting the main dress part from the white cotton. I still need to cut armholes, the sleeves and the ruffle for along the bottom of the dress. The mock up of the dress I did was too short, so this time when I cut out the main body of it I added a few inches. I'll try it on her and then cut off the extra length if needed. :0)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A day of Trial and Error

Every Halloween (all two of them :P), it's a battle to get my daughter into her costume. Actually thinking about it a bit, her first Halloween when she was just 1 month shy of 1, she willingly put on her costume (a ladybug). Last year though, I spent a month (yes you read that right) gradually getting her use to her costume to the point that on the day of her Halloween party with her little friends, she actually wore it and the head piece.

About a month ago I started thinking about Halloween and what she'd dress up as. The store I used the previous 2 years is no longer around and I really did not want to go through the hassle of getting her to like the costume. Soooo I did some thinking and thought "Why not dress her up as a Fairy Tale Character?" She be in 'regular' clothes, not a costume, so **hopefully** she would put it on willingly.

I'm not sure how I came about choosing Little Red Riding Hood, I think it was along the lines of "she likes dresses, I doubt she'd mind a little apron added to it and I know she loves hoods, so the cloak/cape would be something I think she'll love".

This line of thought had me at first looking at the costumes available. Ever Google "Little Red Riding Hood costume"? Yeah, not the best results. So I did a quick search on Etsy and after looking at prices, I decided to make my own. This is where someone should have knocked some sense into me. :P

So I did some more searching, found a cute peasant dress and over-skirt pattern on etsy and found a LRRH costume that I wanted to use as inspiration. Should be easy enough right? Well, while the dress the seller posted in her store was super cute, her instructions on how to make said dress were confusing and complicated. I spent the whole afternoon today doing a 'mock up' dress. The first attempt was an abysmal failure.

Using her 'measurements' for my 3 yr old, the dress was way too short and way too narrow, plus her instruction for assembly left a lot to be desired. After a couple of hours of frustration and tearing out seams, I decided to start from scratch. This time however, I took one of N's pillowcase dresses, measured the width and length, re-cut my scrap fabric, and started assembly. From my trial and error earlier, I figured out how things were suppose to go. The one adjustment I made, was making the sleeves longer instead of short, since she'll be wearing it in October when it's going to be chilly.

Anyway, my mom, friends and others have said a pattern is just one big puzzle. In this case, the pattern itself was a puzzle that you start to put together and then realize you are missing important pieces.

The end result however, is that I completed my mock up dress tonight. I'm quite happy with it minus the fact that it's about 2" too short. :0( Unlike her pillowcase dress, this one has sleeves and the neckline is elastic, so that, and my seam allowance (which I accounted for) had me lose some in the length. This however, is an easy fix, I just made note to add an extra 5" to the length and then I can just cut off the extra after trying it on my daughter.

Next will be deciphering the Over-skirt pattern, which I bought from the same seller.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Olivia the Owl. err Fry.

For a few days now I've been working on this cute little Owl. I bought the pattern over on Etsy after seeing it featured on a blog I read. I thought "he" (she made an Oliver) was super cute and decided I had to make him.

I had some lovely Amy Butler fabric laying around that I thought would work perfect, I just had to make a quick run to Michaels and get some felt. Which I could start another whole entry on about their selection and quality, but I won't. heh

What I thought would be a quick project turned out not to be the case. The pattern was super easy to follow, the pattern pieces themselves matched up great, it was when it came down to the actual assembly that I had some problems.

Sewing in a straight line? Easy. Sewing around curves and in circles? Just a touch more difficult for a beginner like myself. My first obstacle came when it was time to sew on his/her beak. You can't tell from this angle, but it looks like poor Fry flew into a tree. hehe. It's just a touch crooked. But as my husband noted "It's handmade, it's not suppose to be perfect. Nature is not perfect either." It still kind of bothers me, but not too much, my 3 yr old did not notice it, so whatever right? Needless to say, it only intensified the fact that I do not like hand sewing. :P

My next difficult part was sewing the bottom piece on. Seems easy enough, but it was a pain in the butt.

But in the end, she's all sewn up and my daughter took her when I showed "Olivia", said thanks and immediately started calling her "Fry".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Quickie

I've been busy cutting fabric for various projects and this afternoon decided to take a break and make some baby.legs for jellybean. I tried making them when N was little and the "official" baby.legs became all the rage, but for some reason I just could not grasp the concept. I'm not sure why, because after reading this tutorial, it made perfect sense and was so easy! The best part about this project though? I made 3 baby.legs for a mere $4.30/each! Crazy eh?

Instead of going to walmart and getting girls knee socks, I bought women's crew socks from GAP, where I get a 50% discount on all clothing, so it helped to make this project much more economical then paying $12-$15 a pair! Plus the last time I tried this, I checked out the socks at wal.mart & zell.ers for girls and none of the patterns or colours appealed to me. These ones are a bit on the pink/brown side but that's all GAP really has in right now There were some Orange ones, but I really do not have much that would go with Orange. I'm not sure why the pinstripe ones are so much shorter, I know I've bought socks for myself at GAP, all the same kind and they seem to vary in length.

I'm going to keep an eye out for other colours as winter starts to creep upon us. I remember when N was wee and we were hanging out at home, baby.legs and a onsie were perfect to stay cozy. They worked well under jeans too so that when her jeans rode up while putting her into the truck the baby.legs were there to keep her warm instead of a chill reaching her bare leg.

My almost 3 yr old trying them out:

Ignoring the fact she has no pants on. :p We started potty training over 2m ago and even though she's trained now, she pretty much runs around the house half naked. I've given up trying to keep pants on her unless we are going out. As long as she's wearing panties I'm cool with her being half naked. :p

I have a lot of projects on the go right now - curtains, fitted crib sheets (4), change pad cover, a quilt, a crochet hook holder, another tote, an owl stuffy, birth announcements...yes, I know the design I want and since we are sure jellybean is a girl, I want to get a jump start on them so that all I have do when she arrives is put her name, weight and a photo in the card. First though, I need to find my craft table. hah

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Everyday Tote

If you do a google search for "handmade tote", tons of these cute little totes will come up. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. There are literally tons of tutorials out there on how to make these cute little totes/purses. I'm ashamed to say I can't find the two tutorials I used to make this bag, as well as the bag I saw on a blog that gave me inspiration for mine. I did however just spend 20 minutes bouncing around crafty blogs and bookmarking a couple of other tutorials for possible future projects.

The fabric I used for one of my fabric designers, Amy Butler. I can't remember the particular fabric name, but if you just google Amy Butler Fabrics, so many of her gorgeous fabrics will come up. Sidenote: I found out a couple of days ago she is putting out some gorgeous rugs now! I doubt they will be in my price range but a girl can dream. I think these two fabrics are part of her midwest collection?

The dimensions are approximately 10" wide and 12" high. I've only put in my Sigg, N's KK and an apple but it could hold quite a bit more. I found a pattern today during my 'wanders' that is an organizer that rolls/folds up to fit in this type of bag that can hold your cell phone, wallet and several other things so you are not digging through your tote looking for it.

Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out, but next time I'd like it to be a bit narrower and taller. The tote I saw that I got inspiration from for this one was a Crochet bag. The crafter had made it for a friend who was going to be in the hospital. She included a Crochet book, a needle roll (she used a crayon roll pattern), some yarns and other items to get her started on crochet. I just guessed the dimensions she used but am pretty sure I'm off, as mine's quite short. The next one I make I'd also like to add a pocket to the inside. Although adding a pocket is just a tad past my skill level right now. lol

If I find the post/blog that gave me inspiration and the tutorial(s) (I used 2) I'll come back and edit this post. :0)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Miss Natasha's Party favours

As I mentioned in my previous post, since finding out I was pregnant, I've had the sewing bug bite me. I've made receiving blankets for friends, for me, a fitted crib sheet for a friend and over the weekend I worked on this Crayon Tote to give out as a party favour for N's 3rd birthday.

There are several different crayon rolls, totes, crayon + notepads online, even some free tutorials on how to make them, but none really struck my fancy until I found this one. :0)

I used Michael Miller's Dick and Jane Fabric series for the Poka Dot (Lolli Dot, Dick and Jane block) and Dick and Jane Sentences for the top and bottom bands, the middle red stripe is just some red fabric I picked up.

It holds a 6x8 pad of paper, which I'm not sure where to find (maybe the dollar store?) but for now I just cut up some white paper for the inside.

I'm quite proud with how it turned out and it was not too pricey per child. N is having a small party though, we are not inviting many, so this idea works out nicely.

The inside:

Hopefully it's something that the kids will get a lot of use out of and the mom's will also enjoy! N has one (wallet style with a pad) and she loves it! As a matter of fact it kept her occupied at the doctor's office this morning while we were in the exam room waiting for the doctor. :0)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller??

She's been gone so long, gone so long...

It's been forever it seems since I posted anything. I could lie and say I've been so busy crafting up a storm I do not have any time to post, but in all honesty, I've not been. Some can be blamed on how much sleep I seemed to require for the first 14-16w of my pregnancy and just how much it's been knocking me on my arse. I remember being fatigued with my daughter, not so much with my 2nd pregnancy, but this 3rd time, I'm not sure if it's because I'm chasing a toddler around or because I'm older or what!

My other excuse is that for the last several months since learning I was pregnant I've set to work sewing Receiving blankets, Flannel Fitted Crib sheets, Curtains, Nesting name it, I've got it on my list to do. So far I have finished up 10 receiving blankets (40x40) and this past weekend bought flannel for for 2 fitted crib sheets. I'm kicking myself for not getting enough for 4, as I was buying it during a 50% off sale store wide at my local fabric shop!

And lastly, I've lost my craft room. Starting to feel bad for me yet? hehe Jellybean needs a room of her own and unfortunately that's my craft room. It was never really considered a craft room when we were house hunting, we knew we wanted 2 kids and it was always designated as a kid room. So..because I'm overly anxious, all my papers, stamps etc were packed up and moved out into the basement and put in a corner of N's playroom. I have a plan on how to make it all fit in our Office (which is very small!) but I need to buy shelving to make it work.

So that's where I've been. I'm not sure when I will be back to making any papery crafts, I'm too focused right now on my sewing, but hopefully the papery bug will bite me again soon.