Thursday, July 15, 2010

Organic sewing

No, not organic cotton ... just pure, organic, patternless and somewhat seat-of-the-pants sewing. The kind I seem to excel at. One of these days, I will take a class to better my pattern-following skills. In the meantime, I will continue having fun!

So, my hubby had a bunch of t-shirts he was going to give to Goodwill, but I saved several to play with. I had intended to use them to make some doll t-shirts and pants. Instead, yesterday, I cut off the top half of one and serged the top edge with the brown thread that was loaded. Then, I smocked it, and today finished that and steamed it and tossed it in the dryer to shrink up the smocking.

Um. It was supposed to be a birthday gift for little e, who turns 1 next week. But ... it was only slightly big on Miss E, and after seeing it on her, I decided I'd be wasting too much to hack it up to fit little e, and besides, Miss E got so excited, it turned into her dress. I added brown ribbon straps and a really cool flower right in the middle, with a couple of her beads. I got the flower idea from the Made By Lex blog. She does some absolutely stunning refashions. I can only hope to be that good someday, but it has given me such inspiration! I will definitely be making more of these; they are way too fun and so simple.

Now that I've come up flat on a few different projects for little e, I think it's time to make that cute little tote bag that I know will turn out perfectly. She is just beginning to love putting things in and taking them out, so it should work as a perfect gift.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I keep talking about how I've been sewing up a storm lately, after another hiatus due to sleepless toddler, but I don't think I've really summarized or shown much.


I made ruffle pants for Little Miss e's upcoming 1-year birthday. The ruffle pants are soooooo cute, especially in the tiny sizes! I have been using the Sandi Henderson ruffle pants pattern. Her patterns are incredibly easy to follow and highly detailed and I LOVE them. I was so excited because I think I made this pair in less than an hour and a half. Since it was so simple, I decided to branch out and make a boy version that would be long shorts that have a roll-up-hem option. I stayed up late last night to do this, giddy with excitement. They are adorable.

Now, the sad part.

UNFORTUNATELY, the size 12-18 month does NOT go over my fairly-skinny, 20th-percentile 11-month-old little girl. sigh. I just had my bubble burst. I will either give the beautiful owl pair away or sell them, and now need to make a MUCH larger size for this tiny girl, or else just make a top for her or dress with bloomers. So much for that birthday gift. I'm actually a bit stumped here b/c the waistband comes out about 4 or 5 inches smaller than the elastic length recommended for the same pair of pants. I followed the instructions and did appropriate seaming. Grr. So, there's barely any gathering, and I think they *might* still fit on a skinny newborn, so I'd say they are more like long pants for a newborn and definitely not going to work as capri pants (or long boy shorts).


A couple of weeks ago, I found this simple sundress tut for girls. I made this for Miss E and she LOVES it so much that she barely took it off for the first eight days. No joke. I think I spent about 4 hours on that one; a one-day off-and-on sewing project. Made one for the doll to match in about an hour! I will definitely repeat this one. (She has requested one, and soon.)


I bought Lila Tueller's peasant top pattern for me and made one, with alterations, and have started another. Not the same full details and all as the Sandi patterns, but easy enough that I was able to make myself a shirt for the first time ever!


I also used an excellent Sewing for Dummies (yes, I can be a dummy!) apron pattern and realized it was the easiest ever. I enhanced it with an elastic neck strap so it can go off and on easily with no help, and added a pair of ruffles to fancy it up. I added an oven mitt, too, and learned that was pretty easy, too. I whipped up two of the aprons at the same time, one as a gift for a friend and one for Miss E (long-promised in the cute cat and calico flowers fabric). Miss E's has a cute flounce instead of ruffles because we couldn't bear to cover up the cats.

So, that's where I am. Having fun, as I can, and loving these quick-yet-satisfying projects, even the baby pants, though I'm still growling on that, having just come out of giddiness over them. Hope you are having as much fun as me!