Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thinking in twos.

For Christmas (please forgive me for bringing up Christmas on almost March 1st), two little girls had their Christmas wishes come true when Santa left a pair of American Girl dolls.  Santa apparently also felt like the dolls would benefit from a place to rest their heads at the end of long days of wardrobe changes.  It looks as though he set his special sewing elves to work on miniature beds, and miniature doll quits.  

When my ladies opened up these special beds, they told me it looked like something I could make!  I assured them it was not me, but that I had no doubt Santa has elves who know how to sew!  

But in case you have dolls who are missing a place to rest, these cute beds can be found at Ikea.  They come unpainted and rather sadly adorned.  With a bit of creativity, or by sending them up to the North Pole, they can be turned into something rather special.  

If I do say so myself. 

The thing is, this will not be the last time Santa has to think in "twos" when delivering gifts to our house at Christmas time.  We just learned last week, that I am expecting, my SECOND set of TWINS.  By September, our family of six, will grow to a family of eight.  And Santa will continue to deliver sets of toys for sets of siblings!

In case you have wondered in my absence if my zig-zag quilt ever got finished.  I can assure it it has.  I outlined each zig-zag seam with white thread, on both sides of the seam.  The affect is exactly what I was hoping it would be.  To keep with the modern and simple design, I bound it in a solid Kona black, almost to look like it's in a frame.  Someday when I am energized, I will get a picture of the back.  Two yards of flannel with some bits pieced here and there completed the look.

When I am not wrapped up inside of it, falling asleep on my couch, this quilt adorns the couch brightening our winter days.  

But darn it's exhausting making two babies again!  I hope my energy will return mid-March when I enter the glorified second trimester.  Until then, I fall asleep everywhere.  No sewing to speak of.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lego Man Birthday Shirt

**I'm updating this with a link to the Lego Man template.  Just in case you want to make you own.  Look for the link at the end of this post!**

I'm putting up a quick post, but it's not like I have anything major to say or show.  I do have a couple of projects that are sitting on top of my washing machine (my workspace) just waiting for me to have the energy to finish them.  Tomorrow two of my three little ones will be out of my hair for a couple of hours, so maybe I'll make some headway.

Sew for tonight, I only have one project.  It might not seem like much, but know that it was made with lots of love  and actually took a tad bit longer to make then I had anticipated.  (Look at all those pieces I sewed around!!)

My George was invited to his first drop off party this past Saturday.  The party was Lego themed, so I wanted to make a lego birthday shirt to go with our present.  After a quick search on Etsy to see other Lego men shirts, I had a vision of what I wanted.  I drew up a pattern, cut out all my felt pieces, and used a TON of pins to keep my Lego man in place while I sewed around all those pieces.

I had a little t-shirt crisis going into this project.  I usually get my plain t-shirts at Target, but this seasons short sleeve shirts all have pockets on them.  I've taken pockets off before, but they leave small holes, so after searching around I settled on a striped shirt from Old Navy.  Of course, this required a fast phone call to my sew sister while my kids ran wild around Old Navy.  Annee assured me the stripes would work.  And, indeed they did.

And there you have my Lego Man Birthday shirt.  I have two more birthday shirts to make, maybe some birthday crowns, and then I have some cute scrappy placemats to finish.  More to come soon!  I hope!!

Want to make your own Lego Man birthday shirt??  Go HERE and download and print out your own lego man template.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For the love of sleep.

I think about sleep a lot.  This is most likely because I don't sleep as much as I should, and even when I decide to go to bed early (everyone's definition of early is differently and mine is anything before 11 p.m.), baby Hank will inevitably wake me up shortly after I fall asleep.

Sew, for Valentine's Day I decided to make my two big Gs pajamas, and then I threw myself in the mix and decided I needed some new pajama pants.

I *heart attacked* my big little ones, and they were so excited on Valentine's Day to wake up with hearts, chocolates, and new jammies.

George would not stop being goofy.

Grace's tank top straps were a bit long, but I didn't realize this until she tried it on.

I shortened them, and I'm much happier with the fit now.

My pants didn't actually get finished until Valentine's Day night.  Totally romantic.  Actually the Italian had to be out of town for the night, so sewing was my Valentine's Day present.

My pajama pants pattern comes from Amy Butler's In Stitches book.  Great pattern and very comfy.  It does require quite a bit of fabric because the legs are so wide, but that's what I think makes them so comfortable.

"Grace, please make sure you are getting my pajama pants!!"

I do not have the best pictures of me in my pajama pants.  Grace was my photog, and it was getting dark outside as we were trying to get pictures taken.

Then I tried having Grace take my pictures inside.  Still not working so well.

So I resorted to taking my own pictures in a mirror.

Just keeping things real over here.  I'm in my new pajama pants and my eyes have felt heavy since I woke up this morning.  Henry just woke up, and I'm crossing my fingers that he'll sleep for at least 3 or 4 hours before he needs me again.

Signing off from West Coast MOM!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Apron Wrap Dresses

Do you remember the darling Apron Wrap Dresses that Annee's girls fashioned on MoM a couple weeks ago?  I was smitten as soon as I saw them, and when I heard how easy they were to sew up, my curiosity got the best of me.  Grace needed some.  When you find a pattern that is A) easy to sew, B) comfy to wear, and C) is totally cute, you get on it!  You make it.  I made one, and then had to make another.

Sew, if Annee didn't convince you to make an Apron Wrap Dress, here's my attempt at it.  I love that the author of the pattern, Anneliese, says that her mom use to wear a dress similar to the Apron Wrap Dress in lieu of jeans.

I could totally get into wearing something comfy like this.  The Italian might think I'm a little crazy, but that's nothing new.

This Apron Wrap Dress is made with Sandi Henderson's Vintage Dot fabric, an all time favorite of mine. A long time ago, when Grace was probably 2 or maybe 3, I made her a Sweet Little Dress out of this fabric and I appliqu├ęd it with a strawberry.

I miss that little dress, and at times I miss how little Grace was, so I decided that I was going to recreate this little dress.  The strawberry might be a bit young for Grace, but I doubled checked before I added the strawberry and she approved of the design.

On the back of the Vintage Dot I used this fabric.

On both of my Apron Wrap Dresses I did double buttons, so each dress is completely reversible.

My hot tip for sewing the buttons on if you chose to do double buttons like I did, is to sew the buttons loosely together.  The can't be pulled too tight or you won't be able to get them through the buttonholes.  I learned this the hard way and had to resew the buttons onto the straps on the first dress.

Having four new looks really adds some wardrobe options.  Grace is starting to get more and more opinionated in what she'll wear, so having lots of options has become very important in my life.

I'm not sure what up next for my sewing room.  I made a *celebrate* banner this weekend, but didn't get any pictures.  I also cut out pajama pants for myself, but haven't finished, and I'm starting to think it would be fun to have new pajama pants made for my big kids for Valentine's Day.  Pajama pants are easy to make, but I'm not sure if I have the energy to whip them out tonight, so that puts a lot of pressure on tomorrow night.

I'm off to make a plan (or to watch an episode of Parenthood or to listen to my book).  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It doesn't have a name yet...

I got this idea to make a quilt for every season.  I have my summer quilt!  This is supposed to be The Winter Quilt.  It's going to get backed in a super soft flannel just to make sure it's cozy for winter.  I'm already looking ahead to my Spring quilt.  Fabric is starting to arrive in the mail box!  

But wait, let's not forget where we're at:

 This moment of accomplishment should be celebrated!

It started off as a fabric bundle back in October:

Three moths or so later, with a little bit of grey and off white added, it's my new favorite winter quilt...

It's not the first time I've made a zigzag quilt, but it is the first time I've made a quilt with all solids.  It's a bit tricky in the planning stages to figure out how to lay it out.  Lucky for me I found an awesome quilt-along which I was able to benefit from.

Finished size is about 50x60.  Perfect lap size.  It all started with 5" squares.  180 of them to be exact.  I had 1/2 yard cuts of all my colors, and I have barely any scrapes left over.  That was lucky!

I'm a little nervous about how different it's going to look quilted.  I think I have a plan, but I'm not sure if I'm going to love it after it's done.  I'll never know until I try, so stay tuned for the finished quilt.  Hopefully by the end of the week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Heart Party Garland: A Tutorial

In case you missed my guest post on Toddler Approved last week, here's the tutorial for making Heart Party Garland.  I created this party garland to *heart attack* our friends letting them know you loved them.  You could make some to give away or to adorn a wall, window or mantel for Valentine's Day.  I made one version with my 5 year old using construction paper, and then I made my own version using lots of scraps and muslin fabric.

If you want to make your own, here's how you do it:

For little ones

My daughter made her party garland out of construction paper, glue and twine.

One sheet of construction paper (9"x12") turns into 5 pieces of party garland.  Cut out the pieces and fold them in half lengthwise.  I cut out all the party garland pieces.

Then I put Grace to work cutting out hearts.  A favorite activity of my 5 year old.

Then we placed a long piece of twine in the fold of all the paper party garland pieces and glued the party garland pieces together.

Now for my fabric version:

I used the exact same dimensions with my fabric as Grace did with the construction paper.  I used bleached muslin for the white party garland pieces, and fabric scraps for the colorful party garland pieces.

First I folded all my party garland pieces in half lengthwise.

Instead of colored construction hearts I cut tons of fabric hearts out of scraps.

I used a glue stick to glue the fabric hearts to the folded party garland pieces.

Then sewed a straight line down the center of each heart.  

I repeated this over and over and over.

Then I sewed all the party garland pieces together up above the top of the hearts.  

Now it's ready to be hung.

I'm added my Heart Party Garland to my Felt Heart Party Garland.  I've been wanting to clear out my felt box, so I cut hundreds (probably not hundreds but it felt like it) of hearts and sewed them together.

Thanks to all my fun decor, I'm loving Valentine's Day this year.  Not that I have big plans, but maybe I'll make some.

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