Saturday Pattern Sharing 10/8/11

Ruffle Fabric is a huge craze right now!  You can see it being used in a myriad of ways on Etsy — including the petti ruffle romper and the ruffle bubble romper in the Stitch To Stitch shop.

So when I find free tutorials like this Ruffle Fabric Skirt for WOMEN it makes me giddy! 

Now I just need to figure out if I can pull this look off or if I’m too wide through the waist/hips for it.  Hmmm…

Happy Sewing!

4th of July Fun

This year for the holiday, I was determined to make something cute for my girls.  In the past I’ve always relied on something fairly inexpensive I could purchase from the store (t-shirts from Old Navy, etc.) but this year I wanted them to have outfits that were unique and somewhat coordinating.  At the same time I wanted to use fabrics that had red/white/blue but not stars and strips.  This would hopefully mean they’d be able to wear them after the 4th without looking like they were stuck in a time warp.

At one of my ever so frequent trips to the fabric store I stumbled upon an adorable print a couple of weeks ago that I knew would be perfect!  So last week, in between sewing to fill orders I crafted a couple of things for the girls.

I knew our day would include the parade and a BBQ with friends so I opted for pants for Big Girl instead of a skirt/dress.  Less chance of accidental underwear flashing that way.  And at almost 5 years old I’m getting a little particular about keeping her skirts/dresses down. I used Whimsy Couture’s pattern for Ruffle Capris and Pants.  It’s a super easy pattern and I love being able to customize the length.

 

Ruffle Capris using pattern by Whimsy Couture

 

 

For Baby Girl, I wanted a bubble romper.  Even though she’s not (overly) mobile –but certainly working on it– I didn’t want to hassle with making a diaper cover for a dress.   I also used another one of Whimsy Couture’s patterns in this case too, but modified the top slightly so it wasn’t all one fabric.  Since Big Girl’s pants had the solid blue ruffle I felt it would look better if Baby Girl’s incorporated the solid blue too. The top was also shirred more than in her tutorial.

 

Bubble Romper for Baby Girl

 

I love, love, love how they both turned out! Both pieces got a ton of compliments throughout the day.  Big Girl has even asked that I make her some more pants since she liked her new ones so much.


 

Saturday Pattern Sharing 4/9/11

In a rare event, last Saturday I took the day off of sewing for someone else and actually sat down and worked on a project for myself.  Myself!  (And truth be told, I’ve sewn stuff for both girls this week too.)  My husband could hardly believe that I’d spent so much time doing something for no one other than me.

When it was all said and done it felt wonderful.  I need to do projects for myself more often.

About a month ago I splurged and bought myself a new camera.  As soon as I started playing with it I knew I had to dress it up a little.  That plain, oh-so-boring black strap that comes standard just wasn’t going to cut it with this girl.  And I knew that if I made something pretty and maybe even ruffly my husband would be less inclined to want to play with MY camera.  :)

Lucky for me I had a great tutorial already bookmarked on my computer.

Lindsay over at The Cottage Home shows you how to make a fabulous Gathered Camera Strap Cover.

 

I had won some fabric in a giveaway last summer/fall that was still sitting in my fabric stash, waiting for the perfect project.  I deemed it the perfect fabric for this project.

 

I can’t wait to make more!

Saturday’s Pattern Sharing 2/19/11

Now that my lifestyle once again requires the use of a diaper bag, I’m always searching for something that looks great and is functional but doesn’t scream “diaper bag”.  Extra points are given if it’s something that could be used as a bag after I no longer need to haul diapers around.

When Big Girl was born we used a traditional diaper bag for the first few months, switching back and forth between two different ones that were given to us.  After a while I ordered a custom bag that allowed me to pick out the colors, specify the design and even embroider her name on the side.  While it was super cute it wasn’t something that my husband liked to carry around so it wasn’t used as often as the price tag warranted.  I finally settled on using a messenger bag that I’d purchased while in grad school.  It definitely met the needs of being functional but it lacked in the “looks great” department.

I find myself being much more of a minimalist this time around.  Instead of carting half of baby’s wardrobe and the medicine cabinet around my stash includes 2-3 diapers (more if I’m going to be gone longer), wipes and a change of clothes.  So I wanted something for a bag that was big enough to contain this stuff yet small and stylish enough that I could grab the whole thing to run to the store by myself without it screaming diaper bag.  I’m too tired to be switching out bags every time I need to go somewhere but I carry just enough stuff with me sans baby — wallet, cell phone, keys, chapstick, lotion — that I can’t just pull it all out of the bag and go.

The free “Diana Hobo” pattern by Think Liz has proven to be the perfect solution!  It’s the perfect size for what I need and the straps are a great length, just long enough that it fits comfortable against your side.

Diana Hobo

 

I started working on it a couple of weekends ago and finished it one night last week.  I’m still trying to find time to sew with the baby.  Especially since my sewing machine now has a dedicated space other than at the kitchen table.  It was almost easier to sew right in the middle of everything.  😉

Overall the pattern was well-written and easy to follow.  The sewing itself was fairly uncomplicated too, making it a fairly quick project to finish.  I would say it took me a couple of hours from start to finish but that takes into account 3-5 shorter, interrupted sewing sessions.  It would have gone much quicker had I been able to do it all in one sitting.

In true Amanda fashion, I made some slight changes.  The pattern calls for one fabric for all of the exterior and a second fabric for the interior.  I chose to use 3 fabrics instead of 2, giving the bag more personality.  I also added the optional pockets to the inside but put a double pocket on one side instead of 2 smaller ones, one on each side.

The pattern has the option to use heavyweight interfacing or canvas as a lining to give the bag its structure; I chose canvas solely because it was in my fabric stash, negating a trip to the store.  I’m all about simplicity and saving myself time when possible.

One of the nicest features about this bag is the mitered/boxed corners.  They help to widen the bottom of the bag, making it easier to see what’s inside and giving it a nicer, more finished appearance.  The pattern links to a tutorial on mitering corners if you’re a novice.

I can’t wait to make more of these!  On future ones I might try adding a small pocket to the outside for a cell phone or keys.  Personally I like to be able to have them easily accessible.  The mitered corners *might* allow a pocket on the side to not look out-of-place.

And maybe if I start making them now I can get some done and set aside for Christmas presents.  Maybe.

Saturday Pattern Sharing 1/29/11

To change things up a little today, I have a no-sew project!  The link isn’t a step by step tutorial or pattern but more a platform for your own creativity.  All you need is some felt, scissors and a glue gun!

Personally I’d love to start off making one a touch smaller and less intricate.  Big girl received a small herd of Littlest Pet Shop toys for Christmas so this would be a perfect project for us.  Now if only I could find the time…

A big thanks to Kim at A girl and a glue gun for this adorable Littlest Pet Shop Felt Activity Mat!

Littlest Pet Shop Felt Activity Mat

Saturday’s Pattern Sharing 1/22/11

Valentine’s Day is hurdling towards us quickly so it’s the perfect time to start working on (if you’re not already!) some cute ideas for the favorite people in your life.

I try to do little crafts that are quick to put together and can be stashed away to be pulled out for future use.  Those requirements makes these Valentine Pins from the purl bee a perfect item to throw on my to-do list.

Valentine Heart Pins from the purl bee

Happy sewing!

Saturday Pattern Sharing 11/6/10

I sit here this morning, sipping my coffee and watching the sun bounce off the frost that blankets the grass in our back yard.  With low temperatures in the 20’s and snow flurries forecasted on Monday and Tuesday I know that the inevitable is coming — winter is on its way.  With it comes the layers upon layers of clothes and the struggle to get my child to keep a hat on her head.

When I came across this tutorial in my blog reader this morning it made me smile.  Perhaps something cute like that would help coerce the (not so) small one into putting something over her ears.  And!  How adorable would a newborn look in one scaled down for him/her?!  (I think my “before the baby arrives to-do” list just groaned at the thought of taking on another task.  Hehehe.)

 

Today’s Pattern — Adjustable Ear Warmers by Elizabeth at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas

 

I made some really cute fleece scarves last year at Christmas time and still have leftover fabric — this tutorial would be the perfect matching accessory!

Saturday Pattern Sharing 10/30/10

Another great Christmas craft idea for all with little ones in your lives!

 

Crayon Roll by Skip To My Lou

 

I discovered early on that it was imperative to keep a small notebook and some writing utensils in my purse for entertainment during doctor’s appointments, waiting for prescriptions at the pharmacy and waiting to be seated at restaurants.  Typically the request is for something different than the boring black pen that is a staple item in my shoulder bag.  I try to keep a small zip top baggie instead that contains the remnants of free restaurant crayons but that often gets chastised as boring too since the colors are limited.

A crayon roll would certainly cut down on the use of the term boring when stuck waiting.  Perhaps I should add this to the list of projects to complete before the holiday.  😉

Juggling

I’ve hit that point where I’m trying to find the right balance between working on STS projects and getting stuff done around the house in preparation for the baby.  It’s not all baby-related projects but more a medley of projects that I’ve been setting aside for the last year (since my brain surgery) that haven’t been completed.

I’ve been sewing baby blankets, fixing ripped comforters (and recursing at my dogs for ripping them to begin with), completing projects for friends and their upcoming babies, sewing STS dresses, making hooded towels…I’m beat.

But this kind of cuteness makes it worthwhile!

Cloth Baby Shoes

I used a pattern downloaded from the Micheal Miller Fabrics website.  Overall, the pattern is great and I’ll be keeping it to use in the future (i.e. after this baby is born and I know what colors to make baby items in — we’re those crazy people that wait until delivery to find out if its a girl/boy).  The pattern is written in a way that is super simple to follow and the list of materials is short and simple too.  Sewing these itty bitty things takes a little bit of time and patience though.  They’re definitely not something that I could just whip right through.  Maybe with some practice the process would go much more quickly.  That being said, I was trying to sew them, manage rotating loads of laundry and oversee a toddler craft project all at the same time.  Surprisingly everything came together without too many mishaps and no need to pull out my seam ripper.

I chose not to line them with interfacing (I didn’t have any and was too lazy to load us into the car to drive across town) like the pattern states.  If I was using a less structured fabric, instead of corduroy, I might choose to line them so they have more stiffness in the fabric.  I also didn’t have any cute buttons on hand to put on the top so I skipped those too (once again, too lazy to load us into the car to drive across town).

Even with those changes I still think they turned out super cute!

The biggest drawback to this pattern is it’s only sized for 0-6 months but I think that could easily be remedied by increasing the pattern piece sizing on your copier/printer to get a bigger size.