Monthly Archives: April 2013

And it’s almost May…

Just under the wire…

‘I, Lyn of poofytail, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013.’

This is my first year participating, so I thought I’d better keep it simple. Hopefully this challenge will help me find (and maybe fill) the holes in my handmade wardrobe.

And in other fun news, I finally learned how to add widgets to the sidebar. Yay!

Sweet Stuff

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Much to my surprise, I was nominated for a Liebster award by the lovely Sara and Elizabeth of hamiltonchicklets. I’m still amazed anyone actually reads this blog, so the award was a sweet surprise. I’ll write a post soon to answer the nomination questions. In the meantime, I’ve still got two baby quilts to finish! I’m making progress though…

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The tops are finished, and the quilts are sandwiched and ready for quilting. I’ve actually got about 5 inches of one corner quilted so far. Kiddo is either going to have to take longer naps for me to get this done, or I’ll be doing the quilting at night. I can’t wait to see how the finished quilts look!

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Some other sweet stuff showed up on my doorstep today. My order from Sweet Little Chickadee (an online shop I recently found) showed up. I just ordered a pattern and a kit, but it was packaged up so nicely I had to show it off.

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There’s candy in there with my order!

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I’m excited to try out the Tiramisu by Cake Patterns – I’ve read nothing but good things about it. And the dragon, well that was an impulse buy. It’s just so darn cute. And since my son was born in the year of the dragon, I can claim that it’s for him. Though he’s a little young to be playing with a stuffed animal that has glass eyes. But who knows, it may take me so long to get around to making the dragon that he’ll be old enough by then.

And now, back to the quilting…

* I think I’m supposed to put in here that I wasn’t compensated by any of the businesses mentioned in this post. I just felt like writing about them.

Garden Tool Apron

This is the view outside my window right now.

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So, since I can’t actually do anything in my garden now, I thought I’d inspire myself by making something to use later. Like when all the snow melts. Since I have a tendency to put down my pruners while gardening and then wander off to a different part of the yard, I thought a tool apron to tuck them in would be helpful.

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Those are actually scissors in the pocket. The real garden tools were all out in the cold garage.

The fabric is a piece of Marimekko cotton that I bought at a Crate & Barrel outlet several years ago. Yea for stashbusting! The waistband is actually from a pair of jeans that were converted to maternity pants last year.

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I though the belt loops were interesting, and since I had to use a seam ripper to detach them anyway, to save enough of the jeans for adding the maternity band, I just ripped the rest of the waistband off too. I had vague ideas of using it for an apron, but hadn’t gotten around to making anything yet.

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The apron is pretty basic. I cut a rectangle about 40″ by 22″, folded it in half and stitched it together on two sides. Turned it inside out and topstitched the bottom edge with a leafy design (since this is a garden apron after all).

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Leaves! With pink chalk line for pocket stitching…

Then I just folded up the bottom edge and stitched lines up the folded portion to make the pockets. I curved the top of the apron slightly to match the jeans waistband, then inserted it into the waistband and topstitched to close it up and hold everything in place. Easy!

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Actually, to be honest, my sewing machine kind of hated the fabric, so that part wasn’t so easy. The cotton marimekko fabric has a very tight weave, and for some reason, my machine was really having trouble with the pocket stitching lines (where it was four layers of fabric). I have an older Pfaff and it sews just about everything, so I was surprised it didn’t like this fabric. After re-threading, and fiddling with the tension a bit, I ended up swapping in a microtex sharp sewing needle. That seemed to help, though the machine still protested a bit. Had it not been for the fabric issues, the apron probably would have been finished in half the time.

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Even so, it was still a fast project. And very satisfying to use supplies I already had on hand!

Stashbusting!

A very dear friend of mine is due with twin boys fairly soon. So all other projects have been put on hold while I try to get a couple of baby quilts finished in time to mail. I’m really happy with how the quilts are coming out, and will have pictures soon.

In the meantime, it turns out I can justify the warm weather sewing from last month. It falls into the March stashbusting theme for the Stashbusting Sewalong! Nevermind that I haven’t joined the sewalong yet. Minor details…

I really like the idea of sewing down my fabric stash. Thanks to a few fabric store closing sales over the years, my stash is seriously out of control. So, this is the year. There’s no way I’ll be able to sew through it all (I really meant it when I said it was out of control), but I’d at least like to make a dent, and at the very least prevent it from getting any bigger. So, better late than never, I’m joining the sewalong.

“I, Lyn, commit to using 25 pieces of stash fabric in 2013. I also commit to not buying any new fabric except for supplies needed to finish a project or fabric to make things for other people until the end of the year, with the exception that I can buy one new piece of fabric for my birthday.”

So if I’m counting any sewing done this year, that means I’ve already used at least three pieces from my stash – two pieces for t-shirts, and one for a baby sleep sack. I’m not going to count any fabric I’ve swiped from my mom’s stash.

And, now that it’s nearly halfway through April, I need to get cracking on sewing something bright! Just as soon as the baby quilts are done…

Wearable Blankets (or Baby Sleep Sacks)

My son is still at the age where it’s recommended that we not have loose blankets in the crib – thus the baby sleep sack. We got a fleece one for the winter that’s worked really well so far. But having only one means it has to be washed same day when he spits up on it, or his diaper leaks. While I do significantly more laundry now than I did before having a baby, it’s still a pain to have to wash something immediately so he can wear it again that night. Plus, he’s growing like a weed and I don’t think he’ll fit in his current sleep sack much longer.

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All that said, I figured I’d just make a couple more sleep sacks for him. They’re pretty basic. Really, just a sack with armholes and a zipper. I traced a rough pattern off the one we already had and just sort of made it up as I went along.

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The first one was out of some blue checkered fleece leftover from a jacket I made years ago. Yea for stashbusting! The separating zipper was also in my stash, though in hindsight I should have used a shorter one. The zipper (which unzips from the bottom for easy diaper changes) goes all the way to the bottom of the sleep sack which just makes it a little more fussy to unzip. Also, I forgot to lower the front neck opening.

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For the second sleep sack, I made a few changes. I used a shorter zipper this time, and it ends an inch or so above the bottom of the sack. I also put in a zipper facing, so the inside of the zipper doesn’t scratch at all. I’m really pleased with the zipper facing. It’s the little things, right? And I remembered to lower the front neckline, so it doesn’t sit right under the chin.

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Since both sacks are fleece, I just turned under a quarter-inch hem at the arm and neck openings. That’s pretty much all there is to it. He’s been wearing them both pretty regularly and they’re working out great! It was good timing too – he’s definitely too big for the original sleep sack now. Of course, I actually finished these a few weeks ago, so now I need to start thinking about making larger, lightweight ones for spring. I’m beginning to realize that sewing for a child is a never-ending cycle of making things and then making them again just a bit bigger. Ah well, good practice.