Archive for January, 2012

While getting her babies dressed the other morning, Lila asked me why Baby Girl doesn’t have any pants. I was stumped. We pawed through the doll clothes and it was true – nary a pair. I told her I’d take care of the problem by the end of the business day.

As it turns out, a pair of doll pants take about 15 minutes from start to finish, so I easily made good on my promise. I used the pattern that has furnished Baby Girl with much of her wardrobe – McCall’s 4338.

After that first pair I made some tiny cords with a miniature back pocket. And no wardrobe is complete without denim, so the jeans came next, dressed up with some scalloped top stitching.

Lila suggested adding the back tags – a girl after my own heart. I ended up swapping out “baby girl” for “tiny pants” to complete the trifecta.

Since I had the doll clothes patterns out I made another little pinafore dress (McCalls 5347) in a print I ordered from Hobby Lobby awhile back.

And transferred the “baby girl” tag over there.

I chose fabrics to coordinate with the rest of her wardrobe so she’d have lots of mix-n-match possibilities….which, face it, is just what every 12-inch doll needs.

Most of the clothes fit her other stuffed friends, too.

A lot of these doll clothes were made over a year ago, but for the longest time Lila preferred her babies to be naked. She’s into them now though, and I’m pretty excited that I no longer have to play dress up alone. While we were trying out Baby Girl’s new duds, Lila fashioned an Ikea tray into a little over-the-cradle diaper changing station, kind of like the one that used to sit on her crib. Then she added the polka-dot tin to collect the dirty diapers.

Almost three is such a fun age…


Read Full Post »

a lotta lotta

I’ve got a decent stack of sewing-for-babies-and-kids books, with pages flagged.

And while I’d love to say I’ve made a least one of those flagged projects from each book, it just isn’t true. I’m working on it, though. I finally broke in Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby, a book I’ve had on my shelf for well over two years.

There are lots of great options in that book, but with a baby shower for twins coming up next weekend I went with the Snuggler, which is a velcro swaddle wrap.

Don’t worry. I wasn’t going to make those poor twins share – I made two, of course.

I needed something gender neutral, and my local Fabric Depot just got the Lotta Jansdotter Echo fabrics in, so I went with that. An obvious choice.

The only changes I made were using flannel inside rather than microfleece (I can’t seem to sew with Minky without it shifting all over the place), and topstitching the whole thing rather than slip stitching the turning opening. Otherwise I just followed the directions and had no problems at all. Simple sewing for baby indeed!

Here’s how they work:

And my neighbor was kind enough to loan me her super happy and cooperative three month old (recipient of the bonnet and booties I made back in August) to try them out – she was maybe a tad long for them already (and strong enough to eventually find her hands!), but she was the sweetest little model ever.

P.S. As I was looking at snuggler photos in the Simple Sewing for Baby flickr pool, I discovered that the pattern is also available here as a free download. If you’re so inclined, you can make a snuggler, too!

Read Full Post »

pasta party

A good percentage of the fun that goes on around here happens in Lila’s play kitchen. The kitchen was a first birthday gift – stocking it has been an ongoing process, and such fun – there are so many fabulous (and amazingly realistic!) play foods and kitchen accessories out there to help fuel the make-believe. I recently sewed up a bunch of felt pasta, and Lila’s been slaving over a hot stove ever since.

Here’s a peek inside the pot:

And the rest of the felt pasta smorgasbord!

I had this pasta on my list of things to make for Christmas, but only managed to get as far as the bowties. Then a few days after Christmas my dear Flickr friend Beth posted a photo of her lovely pasta (we somehow always end up making the same things for our same-named daughters), which inspired me to press on and make the others.

If you’ve got some felt, a pinking shears, a little stuffing, and a needle and thread (or a sewing machine), you’re well on your way to cooking up some play pasta. This stuff was quick and easy. Just google “felt pasta” and you’ll find several tutorials for all of these pasta shapes. I used this one for the bowties and this one for the ravioli.┬áThe rigatoni is just a two-inch square rolled up into a tube, whip-stitched closed by hand. And for the tortellini I watched this video (it’s in Spanish, but it hardly matters) – they use glue, but I stitched the sides of the tortellini by machine, then folded them up and held them closed with little clothespins before tacking the ends together with a few hand stitches.

Time for the pasta party! Pasta for each little friend…

And pasta for each little finger.

Read Full Post »

That’s right, I decided to kick off the New Year by sewing up some toddler undies.

I’m pretty sure this adorable little bum was my introduction to the That Darn Kat underwear pattern, and I knew immediately I couldn’t pass up on that level of cuteness. Can you blame me? They’re just so….irresistible. And ridiculous.

As I started writing this post I realized it’s been almost a year since my first attempt at sewing with knits. It’s not that I was traumatized that first time – my biggest issue with knits is that the selection is so disappointing. I mean, the number of gorgeous woven prints out there could easily send you to the poor house, but it can be pretty challenging to find knits that don’t fall into this genre. Nothing against “LiL FooTBaLL PaLs” or anything, just not my style. Michael Miller has a decent line of interlock knits that includes some cute dots and stripes, but other than that, I’ve found the yardage selection for knits to be pretty uninspiring. The pattern suggests re-purposing knit T-shirts for the underwear, so I went to Old Navy and found a girls’ XL shirt on clearance for $4.94.

I cut three pair of undies from the shirt, making them well under two bucks a piece, which isn’t half bad if you ask me. Yeah yeah, I know I could probably buy them cheaper at Target, but we all know that sewing has nothing to do with saving yourself a dime and everything to do with watching your kid prance around in handmade underwear.

The pattern was great – really simple construction and the end results were highly satisfying. It comes with a little boy version as well (they’re pretty cute, too – check these out for proof). And while a serger would’ve been nice, it’s not necessary – I just zig-zagged all my seams using a very short stitch length.

Never fear, I wasn’t about to deprive you of my own child’s adorable bum (doing some of that aforementioned prancing, no less):

Also, this is surely obvious to those who sew with knits more than once per year, but it turns out you really do need to use a cotton/lycra blend for the the waistband and leg bands, just like the pattern says, and not a 100% cotton interlock like I accidentally used for my first pair. Otherwise you end up with saggy baggies.

And for anyone interested in sewing with knits, you might want to check out the “Knit-erviews” going on right now at Made by Rae. I’m looking forward to reading them myself, and possibly avoiding more mistakes of the saggy baggy variety in the future.

Read Full Post »