Tuesday, September 17, 2013


It's been a busy week here, getting used to new routines. Hopefully there will be some sewing time now that the mayhem is starting to settle down.

Happy First Day Of PreSchool, Little Boo!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Boo! And More Pants...

Guess who turned three on Saturday?! We had a wonderful family party for him and a fantastic day together. He ran around the house yelling, "I'm so happy!", so I think it was a success. 

Since my Boo is starting preschool on Monday while deep in the trenches of potty training, more elastic waist pull-on pants have been on my sewing agenda. Look at this adorable little pair:

I made the pants out of a repurposed thrift store pillowcase and used scraps for the contrast. All told, these pants cost me $.50!

The rear view is nice with patch pockets.

Boo loves cargo pockets because his toys fit in there.

I love how the contrast lining peeks out like piping.

All in all, another successful pair.

I'm currently working on a pair of cranberry pants in the same pattern and then I want to hunt down some pants fabrics in navy blue, khaki, and maybe a purple. That should cover all my bases and give a good selection of neutrals and brights.

After the school pants, I think it's time to focus on sewing for me (I want to sew my way through Cal Patch's book Design It Yourself Clothes) and FINALLY getting back to designing children's wear. Boo is starting preschool on Monday which means I have 3 glorious hours to sew everyday. I plan to work really hard on my business and finally get it off the ground. Stay tuned for sneak peeks!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

L'Shana Tova!

L'Shana Tova! Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, ends this evening and I just wanted to show y'all the pretty decorations that my toddler and I made to decorate our dining room for the large family dinners we held for the holiday. Since it's traditional to eat apples and honey to celebrate the new year, because they are thought to symbolize a sweet beginning to the coming year, I decided that apple printing would be the best way to go.

Boo and I printed apples onto white drawing paper with tempera paint in red and green. We each used half of a Fuji apple, and switched halves partway through because he wanted a chance to share. How could I say no to that?

After they dried, I cut out apples from the paper and hung them on fishing line to make garlands. Then I framed a really cool print that Boo had made to use as a central focus to the wall. I hung the print and arranged the garlands in strips around it. It was really cute and made a great background for the shindig.

I also baked two GIANT loaves of challah - aren't they gorgeous?!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pajama Time

Fall is in the air. It's rainy, chilly, and all around lovely outside.

When fall comes, I want flannel pajamas to snuggle in and I've decided that my almost 3 year old son needs to discover the love of flannel pajamas. So I went into my sewing room last night and whipped up two pairs of adorable flannel pants for him to wear to bed.

He had begged me for Monster's Inc. fabric in June and being a huge fan myself, I caved, even though it was purchased on a 90 degree day in July. Well, it was perfect for this project! Aren't they adorable?

This is made of a construction vehicle printed flannel, something Boo also picked out himself. His current favorite things are bulldozers and dump trucks, so it was only fitting to make these now.

I love the two pairs of pants. They took about 2 hours total, from cutting to final pressing, and are folded and waiting for him to wear. I think I need to make him another 2 or 3 pairs, but those might wait for the winter holidays. I still need to make myself and The Fellah some pairs too!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Inspiration: Plimoth Plantation

On Friday, my family went to visit Plimoth Plantation. I hadn't been since I was seven years old, when my second grade class went on a school field trip. I remember loving it there though, and a recent perusal of the Plimoth Plantation website made me really excited to bring my family for the first time.

It's about a 45 minute drive from our house and it was rainy the entire trip. Luckily for us, the clouds parted and the sun came out as soon as we parked in the lot!

We visited the Wampanoag Homesite first, a recreation of a 17th century Wampanoag village. Boo was most excited by the small Wampanoag children running around in loincloths and no other clothing. He thought that was incredibly naughty since he isn't allowed to run around without pants in public. Personally, I was intrigued by the demonstrations of boat burning and the man making his own moccasins. The best part was talking to all the actual Wampanoag Indians who were native to the Plymouth area and working at Plimoth Plantation as reenactors.

Next we moved on to the Craft Center. This is where we spent the most time. It's only one room in a large modern building, but it's where modern craftspeople are preserving the historical skills of the settlers and Wampanoags. There was a potter, a man creating gorgeous feather headdresses, a seamstress, a weaver, and a woodworker.

I spent about 30 minutes chatting with the seamstress and the weaver. I love historical costuming. I learned all about card weaving, an art that I'd read about but never seen. Now I can't wait to give it a try. As for the garments, I've made the same clothes that she was sewing as I'd worked on The Crucible in the past, so it was fun to discuss historical resources and technique.

My husband and son spent the whole time chatting with the woodworker. He was building the most amazing carved chairs, tables, and chests. I can't wait until my husband retires so he can start building like that in his free time!

We also visited the potter and saw all of his gorgeous wares. Boo immediately asked for a potter's wheel when "he was a big boy", and of course I said yes. Even if he never uses it, I will! I love to throw pots, even though it's been almost 15 years since I last got to play with clay.

Lastly, we visited the recreation 17th Century English Settler Village. We poked our heads into all the different homes and buildings in the village and chatted with all the costumed historical reenactors. Boo got to help a housewife made bread and loved poking the dough. He also loved climbing onto all the cannons in the fort. The Fellah loved talking to the settlers about the politics of 1627 and examining their gardens. I just loved talking to them about their crafts, be it sewing, knitting, barrel making, or cooking.

All in all, it was a really fun visit. We spent about 3 hours there, a long time for a 3 year old toddler. We left around lunch time, just when the crowds picked up, and made it hope in time for nap. I spent the rest of the afternoon looking up all the things that got me inspired! I now want to make preserves and pickles, sew more clothes for my family, get back into spinning, convince The Fellah to make all of our furniture, and of course, bake. Luckily I need to bake 4 challah, an apple pie, an apple cake, and a lemon birthday cake, all in the next 6 days. That should give me a good fix!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Backpack For Boo

My little guy is turning three in just a few days. In addition to planning his birthday party - A Tiny Foods themed party - I'm getting ready for him to start preschool. What does every little boy need for the first day of school? A new backpack!

I decided to make the Toddler Backpack from Made By Rae. This is my first time using one of her patterns but I read all of the positive reviews on them and I'm excited to give it a try. It's all techniques that I'm comfortable with - piping, zippers, linings, straps - so I know I can muck my way through any unclear instructions. Besides, the pattern is SO CUTE. And I have the CUTEST fabric.

Since my fabric is heavy in weight (a non-woven medium weight utility fabric) but sheer, I decided to flatline everything with a white cotton. I'm so glad I did. The extra heft is pretty nice:

So far I've got the pieces cut:

The zipper inserted:

And the front piece piped:

Doesn't it look great?!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Baby Present

I whipped up this baby present for a family friend's new little boy, and I'd love to share it. It's all my favorite essentials for a new baby, done up elephant style. I just think the fabric is adorable!!!

There is a changing pad:

A baby cocoon/swaddle:

A diaper pouch:



Wash Cloths:

There's also a binky strap, but I didn't get a good close up of it. I tossed in some diapers, binkies, wipes, and onesies to finish it off and I wrapped this all up in a re-usable box from Ikea. I hope she enjoys the gift as much as I enjoyed making it! I need more babies to sew for.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Project Quandries

Which came first, the project or the fabric? For me, it's usually the project that inspires the fabric choice. Hence, a major question this week.

I found two great fabrics at the thrift store. (Fabric Grab Bags for the win! More on that in another post...) What do I make with them?

The first is a great heavyweight upholstery fabric covered in really pretty fuchsia flowers and I have about 2/3 or a yard of it. I got the piece for $.99! I'm thinking a bag perhaps, but even so, what style? Hobo? Messenger? Clutch? Lunch tote? No idea...

The other great fabric find is a cotton print of knights, elves, wizards, and dwarves. It's a great bit of fantasy and perfect for a little boy. I've got close to a yard of it in three smaller cuts. Pajamas? The lining of a jacket? A bookbag?

I need ideas! Where do y'all go for inspiration when it comes to finding the perfect project for a great fabric find?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fabric Store Happiness

I finally had a chance to visit SewFisticated Fabrics, a fabric store in Somerville, MA. I haven't been to that fabric store since I lived in Somerville so it was at least 6 years. It kind of slipped my mind that it existed since I do most of my fabric shopping either at Joann's or from online fabric stores. SewFisticated shouldn't be forgotten though! It's amazing in there!

Firstly, they are inexpensive. I don't know how they do it, but you can find designer fabrics at incredible prices. Knits are $3.99 - $5.99 a yard and knit remnants are $1.99 a yard with a 2 yard minimum. I found Heaven and Helsinki there! I got a great cut of giant red flowers on a black jersey knit.

Quilting fabrics are $2.99 - $3.99 a yard and quilting cotton remnants are $2.49 a yard with a 2 yard minimum. I saw everything from basic batiks to Michael Miller designer prints. I got Boo a few cuts for back to school shirts.

I found denims for $1.99 a yard - I got two cuts for pants for Boo. I found wools for $5.99 a yard. Flannel are $3.99, home dec fabrics are $5.99, sweatshirt knits are $2.49, and shirtings are $3.99. It was just awesome!

They also have a giant array of dressier fashion fabrics the range from $3.99 - $8.99 a yard. They hav silks, rayon prints, satins, sequins, bridal fabrics, lace, dancewear...everything you could think of! I even snagged a few zippers which are sold there by the inch! Only $.05 per inch!

Clearly, I had a blast. I can't wait to go back. I focused on fabrics for Boo clothes this time but I have a sew-for-me project brewing for October and I KNOW I'll be heading back to SewFisticated to get some of my fabrics.

Oh, and I'd originally gone into SewFisticated as part of my quest to find some nice cotton twill without having to order it online. Sadly, cotton twill was the only thing I couldn't find there. I guess I'll be placing an order at Fabric.com after all!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Complete! Coastal Cargo Sew-Along Was A Success!

The Coastal Cargo Sew-Along hosted by Melissa of Melly Sews was a complete success! I LOVE my finished pants.

  1. The pattern had clear directions and was easy to follow.
  2. The garment came together quickly.
  3. The garment has amazing details that add so much interest to both the sewing process and the finished product.
  4. My color combination and contrast fabric choice work together to make me so happy.

Things I'd Change Next Time? (And yes, there will be a next time and soonly!)

  1. I'd make the zipper fly differently, the way I was taught in college. The pattern pieces would be the same, just the order of construction would be different.
  2. I'd skip the contrast front pockets and only use the contrast for the front pocket lining. Design fail on my part, but I love the pants anway.
  3. I'd use a fabric with a tighter weave. The loose weave of the cotton I chose made the pants a little more fiddly to sew than a nice twill would have, so I'm planning twill for the next pair.

Ideas For My Next Pair?
  1. I'm jonesing for this elephant patterned twill that I saw online at Fabric.com. I think it would make fantastic pants, especially with a contrast bias in a crazy color like lime green or day-glo orange.
  2. A cranberry colored twill with a rusty orange colored contrast bias.
  3. A navy blue twill with a fishy patterned contrast fabric for the cargo pockets and no bias seams. 

This pattern can be used so many ways - I'm really pleased!

Now for my next project, another pair of Burda pants, with a false fly and elastic waist. My little guy is potty training so easy-on pants are a must these days! They aren't as cute as the Coastal Cargos though, so I'll be making another pair of those next week!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Coastal Cargos Update

Well, I've spent the past few sewing sessions working on my Coastal Cargos and so far, so good.

First, I put in welt pockets and it was love at first sight. Then I attached the side pockets and those were super cute too.

Second, I put in the fly. That was one snafu after another, but the end result wasn't bad. I know what to do next time.

Third, I prepped my bias tape.

Fourth, I put in adorable side seams bound with my homemade bias tape. They came out fantastic and I love the way they encase the seams.

Lastly, I put on the cargo pockets. I lined them with the contrast cotton print. I'll get a picture of the insides soon but trust me - it was a good choice.

I'm really happy with these pants so far. I definitely want to make them again, soonly. I'd like a second crack at the fly to prove to myself that I can do it right on the first try. I'd also like to shuffle around where I put the contrast print for added pop to the pants. Either that, or I'm going to cave and buy the elephant print twill I'm craving and use that as the main fabric and a nice solid color contrast bias...so many ideas!