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Archive for July, 2011

sleeping bag 2.0

Here’s my second go at the Three Bears Sleeping Bag pattern from the fabulous Flossie Teacakes. This one is Mummy Bear-sized and just right for one little friend.

I quilted the top by embroidering circles through all three layers.

And if you’re looking for sleeping bag inspiration (or just want to see something really cute), check this one out – the fabric and quilting are amazing!

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Lila loves her baby dolls and animal friends and takes very good care of them. She especially likes to tuck them in and put them to bed. I remember seeing this post last fall on Flossie Teacakes and wishing I could make one of those adorable little sleeping bags for Baby Girl (we’re not too creative in naming dolls around here). So when the Three Bears Sleeping Bag pattern was released, I was on it.

Here’s Baby Girl, out like a light in her new sleeping bag. She didn’t even have time to change into her pajamas.

I used leftovers from this dress for the quilt, and a scrap from Lila’s Christmas dress for the pillow.

The pattern comes in three sizes (Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear, and Baby Bear). I made the largest size to accommodate her bigger dolls and so that her little friends could snuggle up together. The cuddling combinations are endless, as you’re about to find out…

Here’s her first little bed mate. She had to turn away when Mouse started breathing on her face.

And here she is getting all cozy with Monkey:

Then Owlie and Baby Boy got a turn:

These two both fell asleep right away, so it must be a comfy little bed. It’s probably that velveteen pillow.

And if they’re especially squishy, you can get three in there together!

Here’s the final combo, and proof that I wasn’t playing dolls all by myself. Even though I totally was.

This was really fun to make and a nice way to use up some little pieces of fabric. I did cheat a little on the binding – I stitched in the ditch instead of finishing it by hand, which was really lazy of me, I know, but I’m a little out of practice on my hand stitching.

So if we’re ever brave enough to take Lila camping, sleeping arrangements are covered for at least a couple of her babies. And I’ve already started on a Mummy Bear-sized sleeping bag. Stay tuned….

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all things posie

Two things Posie, anyway.

I would love to learn to knit and crochet someday, but in the meantime, I gather up all my favorite patterns (Pinterest, naturally) and pass them along to my mom. A couple months ago she crocheted this little dress from Alicia Paulson’s Mina Dress pattern.

Lila wasn’t all that careful with her ketchup the second time she wore it, so I washed the dress in the machine with every intention of hanging it to dry. Nope. When I pulled it out of the dryer, it had the texture of a hot pad and the neck opening was about two inches across. Not even suitable for one of her little animal friends to wear. I tucked it away in denial for about a week, and then finally confessed what I’d done to my mom, who graciously offered to make another one.

This time we splurged on some nicer yarn.

So as tragic as the whole felting of the first dress was, I do love this second version. And even though it isn’t my project, I wanted to share.

I don’t know any technical crochet terms, but she took some artistic license and got a little fancy with the hem.

This is the 12-24 month size with a few adjustments based on Lila’s measurements. I can’t really review the pattern, but the fact that my mom made this dress twice (and since she’s on a roll, she even offered to make a third dress in the next [and final] size up!) speaks highly of it.

Here’s Lila picking raspberries in my mom’s backyard.

She isn’t particular about how ripe they are, and she’ll eat them until you cut her off.

And I had to include this photo of Lila holding one of my old baby dolls, Eric. My mom embroidered his name on his body to distinguish him from my sister’s identical doll, Jason. (Good, solid 80’s names we picked, huh?). I think he’s supposed to be yawning (?), but it’s the creepiest looking doll head I’ve ever seen.

Okay, moving on to part two.

So before I really got into sewing, and in preparation for my first nephew, I did lots of embroidery – onesies mostly. I’ve made countless variations of these for baby showers, but it’s been awhile now since I’ve done anything more involved than running stitches. Which brings to me to my second thing Posie – the Daisy Chain Alphabet Sampler.

The finished product is a loooong way off, but I took the kit on our trip to the beach last weekend and started stitching. It’s so great to have a portable project to take along on a trip. Because sewing machines are really heavy.

Here’s a little peek at my progress so far. I’ve been jumping around and doing the easy stuff first. And I had to quit mid-way through the G due to French knot exhaustion.

In conclusion, and having nothing to do with the Posie theme, here’s Lila in her twirly skirt, wading in the Hood Canal.

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a beach robe

I think I just made something useful (as in, not another skirt)!

Okay, maybe not useful in the way it was advertised, because wearing a bathing suit on the Oregon coast is practically unheard of. But we did need an upgrade from the hooded towels we’ve been using since Lila’s first bath, and a little robe seemed like just the thing. And she was into the idea, too. As I was cutting out the paper pattern pieces she held them up to her body and said, “Can I wear my robe now?”

This robe from Sir Bubbadoo was my inspiration – I loved the gray and yellow with the dots, and I came really close to using my same old blue polka dots for yet another project. But I fought the urge.

The lined hood is clearly a case of form over function – terry cloth makes much more sense than quilting cotton for drying hair after a bath. I couldn’t help myself though, the robes are so cute that way.

The fabric is something I’ve had around for a few years (I can’t read any info on the selvage past Windham Fabrics), and I had just enough to line the hood and tie and cut two little strips of bias tape for the sleeves. The rest of the robe is bound in the plain old yellow packaged stuff.

I chose my towels before purchasing the pattern, so I hadn’t read the thinner-is-better tip. It all worked out just fine, but yeah, I can see how thinner would be better. The whole thing came out a little less polished than I would have liked, and I’d love to blame that on the plush towels rather than my mediocre sewing skills! The towels were from Target and measured about 30 x 50 inches – it took two to make a medium robe, and there wasn’t a whole lot of fabric leftover.

The medium fits well everywhere but the hood, which is a little short. Lila’s height is pretty average for her age, and she doesn’t have a huge head or anything, so I’m not sure what happened there. She certainly didn’t need the larger size anywhere else, so I think cutting the hood longer would have done the trick.

Here’s a sassy pose, along with a very small taste of the mess made during this project:

Anyway, it’s a great pattern with amazingly detailed directions and tons of photos, just like all the tutorials you find on MADE.  Sewing the robe together was a breeze, but I’m tuckered out from all that bias tapin’!

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(not so) twirly skirts

I can’t say we were in need of a skirt over here, but thanks to Trinh I was inspired to further expand Lila’s skirt wardrobe.

This is a modified version of the twirly skirt from House on Hill Road. I think this might be my new favorite method for making a skirt – I love the hem and waistbands, and how it ties at the side with a drawstring or ribbon.

The prep and sewing were so quick and simple. I made a couple of changes when I sewed mine (one intentional, one careless mistake). The tutorial called for twice as much fabric as I usually use for a skirt, and I thought all that fullness might swallow Lila up, so I just used the width of the fabric from selvage to selvage. The result is much less twirly but still a nice full skirt.

I used Riley Blake polka dots (same fabric I used here), Moda Bella solid, and grosgrain ribbon.

My actual mistake was sewing the waistband to the hem and the hem band to the waist. By the time I figured it out there was no going back, so I used 1-inch elastic and a 1-inch ribbon in the waistband. Fat waistband, skinny hem band.

Not a huge deal, but also not what I intended. A second skirt seemed like a completely reasonable way to right my mistake.

There. That’s what it’s supposed to look like. The fabric for #2 is Noguchi by Alexander Henry with the same Moda Bella solid as the first skirt. I’ve had the AH on hand for years and it was nice to finally put it to use.

Anyway, we’ve got a pretty good stack of skirts going over here.

I think it’s time for a moratorium.

In other news, we set up an outdoor chalkboard on the fence in our backyard. It’s just a piece of plywood painted with chalkboard paint, a la Angry Chicken. The paint was spendy but it only took one coat, so there’s lots leftover for future projects. I only wish the board were twice as tall so I didn’t have to squat to use it. I’ve sort of been monopolizing it lately, as you can see (and I didn’t erase very well, either), but we do let Lila use it, too. We’ve got rags and paintbrushes and spray bottles, and it’s so much fun. Chalk + water together are so divine….

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