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Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Wrap top

Over the weekend I was looking for a quick project that I could post about, and ran across this free pattern by Megan Nielsen that I had bookmarked a few weeks ago.  I had some purple jersey fabric left over from another project, just enough to whip it up!

How I wish I had made this top months ago!  I love that it doesn’t matter how much bigger my belly grows, it will keep fitting!  That also means that it fits my rule for maternity clothes: I want to be able to wear it both before and after the baby is born with minimal altering.  It seems like such a waste to spend time making a top that, at this point, I could only wear for another 8 weeks!  Pardon me while I go and freak out for a minute…

As the date for baby’s arrival gets closer and closer, I am finding myself nesting more and more.  I spent the better part of the last two weekends cleaning, purging, and organizing.  It has helped that it is finally starting to feel like spring around here, and I can partially blame my frenzy on the “Spring Cleaning” bug.  Hmm, maybe this is how I freak out?

wrap top, profile

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New Stash

Anna Maria Horner, Good Folks Fabric

Hello Everyone, I hope all of you who celebrate the holiday had a happy Easter!  A little package finally arrived in the mail the other day…a little spring to brighten my week!  This is my new Anna Maria Horner Good Folks stash.

Settling on bedding for my little one has been one of the hardest decisions for me so far (yes I know, compared to all the questions about how to be a good parent/how to raise a child, this might seem like a very small dilemma…).  You know that I finally chose colors for the baby’s room, and I thought these fabrics went perfectly!  My plan is to sew a fairly simple quilt, that is bordered in little triangles of this colorful fabric.  Something like this:

Baby Quilt Plan

I love the little triangles, and I am going to echo that design by making triangle fabric flags out of the scraps to hang around her room.

Originally, I was planning on using the fabric that I designed to make bedding for my little one, but I was really getting stuck on the color and trying to make the pattern “just right”.  I decided that instead of stressing about it, I would use fabric that I already know I love, and use my fabric design as an art print for the wall.  Luckily, my fabric has little triangle flags on the hot air balloons, which I think will tie in perfectly with everything else in the decor.

Anna Maria Horner stash

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Kimono Pj's detail

After my mixed experience with the “Easy” Empire Waist top pattern by Amy Butler, I was a bit wary of trying any more of her patterns.  I kept looking through the book, though, and could not resist giving one more pattern a try.  I made a promise to myself before I began that I would trust my instincts, and if the instructions did not seem right, I would do what I thought I should do instead of blindly following.

I am so happy that I tried out this pattern for the Kimono PJ’s.  It was much easier to follow, and I only had to rip out one seam (my fault, not hers)!!  What is even better, is I was able to complete this project in one day.  It was very exciting!

I chose a rich, soft, brown linen for the main fabric for these pj’s.  I wanted to use a natural, breathable material that could be worn in multiple seasons, since I have no idea how big my friend’s baby is going to be, or when he will fit into this outfit.  The trim is an Echino cotton double gauze (mine is the blue, not the purple, but I could not find the exact fabric I used online).  I have used other prints in the double gauze and I just love how soft it is!  Perfect for lying against a small baby’s skin.

I loved sewing this pattern so much, that I am already planning on what fabrics to use for a set for my little one.

Kimono Pj's

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Wipes

Mike and I have made the decision to only use cloth diapers and cloth wipes with out baby.  The initial cost of using these two things is the one con that I see to using them.  To help with that, I decided to make the wipes.

I found this blue flannel fabric at the LA Garment District for about $2.  And no, I’m not talking per yard here…it was $2 for about 2.25 yards of fabric!  That is my kind of deal!  In my opinion, I don’t really care what color the flannel is, or how it looks because it will  be used primarily to wipe up poo.  So blue?  Not a problem for me at all.

I made the wipes using these instructions for two layer, turned and top-stitched wipes, and nothing could be easier, or quicker to put together. In one hour, I was able to finishe 4 wipes, and cut out 20 more (and the cutting took the majority of the time).  To moisten the wipes we will try a few combinations from some wipe solution recipes that I found online.

For those of you will kids, do you have any idea how many wipes I might need to start out with?

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Empire Waist Top Detail 

I received Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones this past Christmas from my sister-in-law, and have since looked through it nearly every night, planning projects for our little one.  One of the first pattern’s I tabbed was this Easy Empire Waist top.  I love that the top is obviously a girl’s top, without being too frilly.  When I stumbled on some Anna Maria Horner Little Folks fabric at my local fabric shop, I knew it was time to start working on this.  I bought the contrasting blue fabric at JoAnn’s a while back.  It matches the blue in the Little folks fabric perfectly, and I love the contrast between the geometric and floral patterns.

I would not exactly call this pattern “easy”.  The directions were a bit confusing to me at times, though I suppose I am used to seeing patterns in more of a “tutorial” layout with pictures as well as descriptions.  I had to rip out a few seams, but all in all, I am very happy with the way this little project turned out.  Also, I’m not sure I would call this a top…it seems more like a dress to me…

The original pattern has long sleeves, which I decided to leave off.  Instead I chose to make some binding from the contrasting fabric to make the dress more summer friendly.  Now that I got the hang of it, I may just have to make a second!

Empire Waist Top

A little bit more about the book…Many of the projects are really darling, and I would make nearly every one of them.  However, there are not as many clothing projects as I would have liked.  Many of the projects are for room decor and toys.  Also while there are a few clothing projects, many of them can pretty much only be used for girls.  There are two dresses and one hat for a girl, as well as another hat, some pj’s, and booties that could be used for either a boy or a girl.  Also, as I said earlier, the instructions can be a bit confusing at times because there are not many pictures of the process, but if you are really experienced in pattern reading this might not bother you at all.

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The number one thing people want to know about the baby is, “boy or girl?”  People have been making their predictions since they first found out I was pregnant.  Well, we are about 85% sure our little one is a girl, pending a follow-up ultrasound in a couple of weeks!

I feel confident enough about her, well, being a “her” that I have started my sewing projects.  It has been so hard waiting on some of the things that I want to make.   I have a huge list going of all the fun free patterns that I have found in various corners of the internet, and I can finally tackle it!

Blue baby dress, detail

I decided on this little dress from Made by Petchy for my first project because of how easy it looked.  Pair that with a June birthdate, I thought it would be perfect for her to wear through the summer.  The fabric is from my trip to the LA Fashion district.  At the time I went, I did not know whether our baby was a boy or a girl, so I just bought fabric that was soft and made of natural fibers.  What is funny is that when going through my fabric again, I noticed that many of the ones that I purchased were “boy” colors, mostly blues and greens.  I must have been subconsciously thinking about a boy at the time!

I really don’t mind using boy colors for a girl, though.  I am actually not the biggest fan of pink, or even purple unless the colors they are paired with are just right.  For the main body of the dress I used a super soft cotton knit that has a subtle dot pattern on it.  I made the binding from a striped open weave cotton.

Blue Baby Dress

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Detail of Sofa Pillow

One of the many pieces of advice I have heard everywhere regarding the pregnancy is to get myself a body pillow.  I heard this from so many people and read it in so many books that a few months ago I decided that I could not live without one and picked one up at Target.  Unfortunately the body pillow was not my passport to comfort and deep sleep.  These people and books all forgot to mention the other thing that comes with a body pillow…extreme heat!  And I already feel like my body temperature is about 10 degrees above normal.

But oh well.  It was worth the try.  I found another great use for the body pillow when I took it out to my living room and found that it fit the back of my sofa just about perfectly.  Mike and I tried sitting on the sofa with the pillow behind us, and it was oh so comfortable! 

I covered the pillow with some fabulous fabric that I found shopping at the Los Angeles Fashion district (yellow, of course, and only $2 a yard!!) while visiting family.  One of these days my living room is going to go into yellow overload, but maybe I can squeeze just a tiny bit more of my favorite color into it…

I made up the pattern for the pillow as I went along.  I measured the length and width, and cut the front rectangle from that measurement.  For the back, I divided the length in 2 and added a couple inches, and overlapped the pieces to make an envelope style closure.

Sofa Pillow

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As my belly gets bigger, I have less and less clothes that fit me.  Both buying and making maternity clothes seems like such a waste to me sometimes, since I will only be able to wear the clothes for a few short months.  Because of this, I have started planning clothing projects that I will be able to wear while pregnant, and also after I have the baby.

I found the free pattern for this top on Burda Style.  I like the loose-fitting style, and the fact that it is made with knit fabric instead of woven.  To accomodate my tummy, I added about 4 inches to the length of the top so that as I get further along, I will not be showing skin along the bottom.  After I give birth, I will likely bring the bottom hem up again.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easily this project came together.  I was also happy with the fit.  There was only one size given with the pattern but I decided to go for it anyways, and it ended up fitting perfectly.  I also like that it hides the size of my belly a bit…at least when you are looking from the front.  I think I will end up making a couple more of these shirts because of how great the fit is.

On a side note, can you believe that I am wearing a tank outside in the winter!?  The weather here has been very mild.  I think someone must have heard my wish for less snow a couple months ago!

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This year I participated in Sew Liberated’s Holiday Traditions Exchange.  I know that my partner recieved her package, so I can post about this ornament that I made.  It is inspired by an ornament that I loved growing up.  I think I liked it so much because it was so delicate and detailed, which I tried to duplicate with some success.

To make the butterfly, I started with some plain red fabric and embroidered it with many colors of thread.  I then cut around the embroidery in the shape of a butterfly, and cut a second piece of the red fabric to go on the back.  I stitched the two sides together with some orange embroidery floss, and stuffed the ornament with some bamboo stuffing.  I made the little tassle on the bottom with some more embroidery floss.  Finally, I attached a gold thread to outline the butterfly.  It is stitched on with orange embroidery floss as well.

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Curtains

First off, I want to say thank you to all of your sweet comments about my news.  I am so lucky to have you all!

This weekend I finally completed the task that has been hanging over my head since we moved…I finally made curtains!!  Like most projects I tackle, this went fairly smoothly, and the hardest part was actually starting it.  I don’t know why, but I always have trouble getting started on a project (oh, and I guess I also have trouble finishing them…). 

Luckily, a friend of mine needed to make curtains as well, so we jumped into the project together.  This time it was easy for me to finish because my family arrives for Thanksgiving today!  I am so happy to have a “completed” living room and dining room for them to hang out in (I say “completed” because it seems there is always something to change or improve on, and it is always hard for me to be satisfied with things, but this is the best it has been yet!).

Another project Mike took care of this weekend was painting all our side tables black, to match the strip of black fabric on the curtains.  I think this really tied everything together nicely.

I hope all of you enjoy the holiday this week…spend lots of time with your family and eat as much as you can!

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