Friday, February 26, 2016

Two Baby Quilts Finished! {February Goal Success}

My February Goal is complete :)

I finished two baby quilts this month. One top was already ready for the quilting/binding process, but I ended up making another top for the 2nd quilt (even though I have several tops ready to go - I really wanted a boyish I-Spy quilt, which I didn't have on hand already!).

Here is the quilt that already had the top and binding ready. All I had to do was baste, quilt and bind. Both quilts were basted and quilted at my parents' house when we were there the first weekend of February. Mom's workhorse of a Viking sewing machine has a much better walking foot than my machine, so I know I can trust hers to work well (and quickly!) for me! 

The top fabric came from Fat Quarter Shop several years ago when I realized I didn't have many fabrics on hand that would work for boyish quilts. This is the second and final quilt made from this line. You may still see a few matching squares here and there in I-Spy quilts, though! 

The backing came from a destash purchase a year or two ago. Both quilts are quilted with straight, diagonal lines... simple yet effective!

 "Oh the Places You'll Go!" Perfect for a little baby boy!

And here is the I-Spy quilt! This baby boy has an older brother who may need some entertaining while Mom is busy with the new baby... so really, this quilt is for both the baby and the brother! 

This backing also came from an Instagram destash back when destashing over social media was just taking off. I haven't looked on the destash hashtag in a long time! But, what I did buy back then has surely come in handy :)

I hope the two babies feel loved and prayed for when they are cuddled with (or crawling over) these quilts!


WIP (works in progress) List
  • Pattern Testing a Dress for E     (Finished! - link and link)
  • Several dresses/tops/etc for E and me (patterns and fabric chosen... need to cut and sew) - up next are the birthday and Easter dresses, but I have a bit of time before they are needed :)
  • Baby Quilt for a friend ~ the top is finished, now to baste, quilt and bind - completed!
  • Baste a baby quilt for another friend... then quilt and bind - completed!
  • Onesies! - 3 finished (link and link), several more to go... the pregnant friend list just keeps growing!

UFO (unfinished objects) List
  • Twin size quilt top needing a border then quilting and binding
  • A quilt top from my grandma needing quilting and binding
  • 5 baby quilt tops needing quilting and binding 
  • A pile of Christmas half-square triangles that need to be trimmed and then organized into a table runner/table topper/pillow/etc
  • A new table runner from a mini charm pack won from a giveaway recently

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Two More Upcycled Onesies

Valentine's Day Weekend was a busy weekend for my friends :) 
One baby boy was born on Saturday and another on Sunday. One was a day after his due date while the other one was right on time!

Both Moms (and one of the Dads!) were teammates of mine in college, so of course both babies needed SDSU creations! 

One of these is already on the way to its new home, but the other will have to wait for a baby shower. 

I still have several cut out and ready to go... more babies are on the way!

Fabric: Upcycled T-shirts along with black, blue and grey cotton lycra from various shops - both online and local

Monday, February 22, 2016

Magrath Dress at Grandma's House {Testing}

We spent two nights at my parents' house during the Magrath testing week, so I thought we would try to take our initial pictures there. 

Well, finding the correct lighting with a "pretty" background is tough to figure out at their house, so here are a few fun pictures to make you chuckle and smile...

I used lace tablecloths taped to the wall and draped on the floor (to cover up some plain oak bi-fold closet doors and neutral carpet).

I raided Mom's vintage hat collection and set up a few hat boxes.

Grandma's shoes, vintage gloves, and a few 5-year-old wedding flowers (Mom doesn't throw away anything... kind of like me, ha!) round out the photoshoot.

All-in-all, it was entirely too busy of a set-up, especially with the lace background, but we all had a good time during it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Magrath Dress {Testing}

Here is the first dress I made while testing Sew Much Ado's Magrath Dress and Tunic.

This floral was a purchase late last summer from an online fabric store that was getting out of the business. I knew it would become something for E, but I didn't have a timeline of when I'd use it nor did I have a specific pattern in mind.

Then, I was chosen as a tester for Sew Much Ado's newest pattern (woohoo! Thanks again, Abby!), and I started rummaging through my stash. And there I found it... the Jennifer Paganelli Emma Vintage Blue from the Lucky Girl line for Free Spirit Fabrics... it paired beautifully with the solid yellow remnant I also had in the stash. All I had to do was purchase the zipper!

I love how the fabric showcases the sweet, classic lines of this pattern. This is View C in dress length with short sleeves. Prior to testing, I was planning out E's Easter dress with other fabric and other patterns. Now, they are not needed! E's Easter dress has been made, and I couldn't be happier with it! Abby's pattern is perfect for sweet spring and summer dresses! (Of course, it is also perfect for fall, winter and Christmas dresses, as you can see from some of Abby's samples plus other tester's creations!)

I had Dan pick up flowers on his way home from church (we were stuck at home as the baby boy had a fever... ugh!). I told him they would be considered my early Valentine's flowers :)

Toddler photoshoots are always a nerve-wracking event... especially when you need to take them inside and the lighting from the window just isn't playing nice. Again, these aren't my favorite pictures, but thankfully you can still see how wonderful a pattern Abby put together. I was also thankful that E was enjoying this shoot, and she loved that Daddy bought her flowers ;) 

Again, here's what is all included in the pattern, along with the normal fabric requirements, cutting layouts, and great instructions:

3 View Options, 2 skirt lengths and 3 Sleeve lengths
Plus, sizes are easy to mash! E ended up needing a 18-24 month width with 1-1/2" added to the bodice and a skirt length cut with a size 3 length.

The pattern is on sale for $7 in celebration of it's release until February 20th. 

Plus, a link to the tunic I made during testing week.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day Tea Party

Tadah released their Tea Party Dress last summer, and I've been wanting to make E one ever since. It has so many neckline and back options! My favorite has always been the boat neck with scoop back, which is what I made here...

It's a pink with gold heart cotton from JoAnn's. I chose the circle skirt option which takes a bit more fabric from the straight skirt, but I think the circle skirt makes for a sweater twirl :)

The skirt is actually supposed to be about 4" longer, but before I put the skirt together, E took a safety scissors to the front pattern piece. Sigh. I know, I know. After several talks with her, I am going to be positively hopeful that she will be more careful with what fabric she plays with. I like curating her creative side, but she also needs to learn what fabric (aka scraps) she is allowed to play with. I love watching her cut and "sew" dresses for me, her daddy, friends and cousins, but in this case, I do wish the skirt could have been the original length :) 

Instead, E has a fun, casual tunic for Valentine's Day!

Happy Love Day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Magrath Tunic {Testing}

Sew Much Ado just released her latest pattern... 

This was the second version I made during testing week. I'll post the other one next week sometime!
View-A Tunic with 3/4 Sleeves
18-24 month width with 1-1/2" added to the length of the bodice and size 3 length of skirt 

The yellow was a remnant in my stash (probably JoAnns), and I had just recently purchased a yard of the border print from my local quilt shop - they send out coupons during your birthday month (ahem, January). It is a batik by Alison Glass. Abby decided to add the tunic length early on during testing week, and I was so thankful... I don't think I could have squeezed out a full dress out of the border print, but I really wanted to use it! Tunic length to the rescue :)

The pink exposed zipper brings out the pink flowers for a fantastic pop in the back! Abby's instructions are wonderful - there is no reason to be scared of this zipper! Really, this will probably be the easiest zipper you ever put into a lined bodice of a dress :)

I added the buttons because the solid yellow bodice looked just a little too plain. E had fun playing with my button jars; I don't take them out as often anymore with a little 9 month old crawling around! To be honest, I keep envisioning making this dress using eyelets in the bodice to make it look like a corset... wouldn't that be so sweet?

Our weather was horrible during testing week... cold, windy a little snowy but still there was ugly brown grass everywhere. Sigh. I love our Midwestern winters, I do, but they are just not conducive to photo shoots of spring and summer outfits! So, it was time to put up our wooden backdrop in the sitting area next to our large window. I'm still not super pleased with the pictures, but hopefully you can see that it really is such a sweet pattern!

Again, Abby has put together a wonderfully versatile pattern. It was released today! Go check it out!!! (Link)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jolie Skirt by FAM {Testing}

Let me proudly introduce a lovely skirt pattern that I helped test...

The Jolie Skirt by Filles á Maman

Currently the pattern is only available in the Australian-based digital magazine of One-Thimble. Be sure to check it out!

The Jolie can be made in knits or woven, which makes it so versatile! You can also choose to have the front pleat or to have a plain front. It has an elastic waistband with fun topstitching. I used a purple plaid from my stash; I believe it is a wool or a wool blend.

I picked up the fabric at a thrift store when we lived in Montana. Even after cutting out two skirts, the hat, the scarf and the hair bow, I still have quite a bit left. I love this skirt so much (and E has even asked to wear it a few times - score!) that I will probably end up making another one next year :)

I had a lot of fun planning this photo shoot. Of course, the week of testing was super cold, but I was still thankful for the snow so it didn't look too brownish-blah out. E did a fabulous job! As you can tell by her pink nose, she was pretty cold, but she smiled all the same - I think she was just thankful to be outside and stomping in the snow (she always asks to go outside "bys mysshelfs," but I don't let her go out when it's too cold outside like it was that week).

Because of the cold, I wasn't sure how I was going to style the skirt right away. Her nice church coat would cover the skirt completely, and her puffy snow coat wouldn't look very nice with the pretty skirt! And I definitely didn't have a nice winter hat for her to wear.... so I made the matching accessories and layered her with long sleeves and sweaters and tights and pants :)

The testing process was a lot of fun. Melanie did a great job at listening to the testing group and updated the pattern multiple times to make sure it was just right. She even changed the shape of the skirt pattern from rectangular to a-line... that is a lot of work for her! The testers just get the fun of sewing, sewing and sewing :) 

I always appreciate the opportunity to test as it always pushes me to explore new techniques. While this time around I worked with wool for the first time, the waistband was the main new technique. I've never topstitched over an elastic waistband like this before, and I was pretty nervous! However, it turned out so well! I love how professional it makes the finished product!

*Skirt (Jolie Skirt by FAM)  *Hat (The Blue Beret - Free! by Lil Blue Boo)  *Hair Bow (Original Design)  *Scarf (Loosely based on the infinity scarf pattern - free from M4M)  *Purple Plaid Wool of unknown content (Montana Thrift Store)  *Black Cotton Waistband (Joann's Remnant) *Black Knit for the Beret (Cotton/Lycra from Purpleseamstress on FB)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Birthday Presents for Lolo

My niece turns 1 today! I was very excited to try out a few new (and a few well-loved) patterns out for her birthday gift. 

 Patterns: M4M Talor (somewhere between dress and tunic length)... SMA Skipper Top... M4M Riley Racer Back Tunic... M4M Bonny Shorties

Fabrics: Riley Blake Vivid Fireworks (Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy), Pink Ruffle Stripe from JoAnns, Riley Blake Idlewild Main (Peekaboo Pattern Shop), Denim-look Knit from Walmart, Solid Cotton Lycras from a local fabric shop

I love the combination of the Idlewild fabric with the denim-like peplum. I have no patience to thread a double needle, so the hem on the skirt is just two separate lines of stitching to make it appear like a double needle :) Don't you think the shorties will add a fun touch of pink under the skirt?!

I have used the skirt pattern of the Riley before when I made the Brooklyn/Riley mash-up for E's Christmas dress, but this was my first time making the Riley Racerback top. I may add a touch of length to the bands... and I will definitely pin/sew the bands on separately instead of pinning all of them and then trying to sew with all those pins!

I won the Talor pattern by participating in a month-long Instagram activity that Made for Mermaids organized. It is such a easy and simple pattern, but so perfect for warm weather!

I had a bit of fun and used a decorative stitch to hem it. I look forward to making more Rileys and Talors for E's summer wardrobe. The recipient of these lives in a much warmer climate, so I enjoyed dreaming of warmer weather while it was snowy and cold here :) 

Happy Birthday Lolo! We love you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Mermaid's Christmas

E has this little pink mermaid toy that she received as a prize at the library. So, when Made for Mermaids came out with a free pattern for a Mermaid's Tail blanket, I knew that I needed to make one for Christmas!

The fabric is from JoAnns and the pattern can be found here. It is a very quick sew - I even made the doll blanket along with it. E has wore it/played with it a few times, but I suspect that she will enjoy it more in another year or two. I could have waited to make it, but I had time this year, and I have learned that if I want to make something eventually, it's better just to get it done when I have time - no waiting around or else something else will move ahead of it on the to-do list!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Family Pictures and another Skipper Top

We took family pictures with Dan's family last fall. We chose a color scheme about a week before everyone was coming to our house with plans on heading the park with a tripod and a camera...

She already had the red skirt, the cream tights and the jean jacket but no shirt to go under the jacket. The Skipper Top by Sew Much Ado came to the rescue! Thankfully I had the fabric on hand and even had the lace in my old hat box of trims. She may not have worn it once since picture day, but it was a necessary make none-the-less! 

The weather was perfect on picture day! There were just enough cloud cover to defuse the brightness of the sun and there were still quite a few trees holding on to their fall foliage to provide wonderful backgrounds. Like I said before, we headed to a nearby park and just used a tripod with my camera. My brother-in-law used his graphic designing expertise to help set up all of us.

Gotta love this outtake... guess she was proud of her mommy-made shirt :) 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Goal

A friend is having a baby this month... time for another baby quilt!

While I have several tops all made up, I wanted a special I-Spy quilt for this baby. I like the idea that the quilt can help entertain the toddler big brother a little during nursing and rocking sessions :)

My goal is to finish this by the end of the month! I also hope to have one onesie made to send with it... wish me luck!


WIP (works in progress) List
  • Pattern Testing a Dress for E 
  • Several dresses/tops/etc for E and me (patterns and fabric chosen... need to cut and sew) - up next are the birthday and Easter dresses, but I have a bit of time before they are needed :)
  • Baby Quilt for a friend ~ the top is finished, now to baste, quilt and bind
  • Baste a baby quilt for another friend... then quilt and bind
  • Onesies! 

UFO (unfinished objects) List
  • Twin size quilt top needing a border then quilting and binding
  • A quilt top from my grandma needing quilting and binding
  • 6 baby quilt tops needing quilting and binding - will need 2 done in February (see above)
  • A pile of Christmas half-square triangles that need to be trimmed and then organized into a table runner/table topper/pillow/etc

Monday, February 1, 2016

My First PAB Bodysuit

Right after high school graduation, I starting making a t-shirt quilt. It didn't use as many t-shirts as I had saved, but I couldn't make myself throw out the extras. I finally took them from my parents' house and have been hoping to upcycle them. High school sweethearts and good friends of mine from my class recently had their second baby - a little boy, so it was the perfect time to start using up my old shirts!

I use Peekaboo Pattern Shop's Bodysuit from the Lullaby Line. I used a heathered grey cotton lycra for the back and the bands while the sleeves came from a scrap piece of blue interlock. I used blue thread to accent the top stitching and match the Kam snaps. I made several mistakes, but I still think it turned out pretty well. The pattern itself is very easy to follow, and I look forward to making more!

I just cut out several more front panels from t-shirts... now to cut out the accent pieces... soon I'll be ready for all the upcoming babies that will be arriving over the next couple of months!