Archive for March, 2012

This could be my most ridiculous project to date, but from the moment I finished those first Simple Sewing for Baby Snugglers, I knew I had to work out a doll-sized version. In fact, I’ve had trouble thinking about much else. I got it figured out just in time for Lila’s birthday.

Now the easy way to do this would’ve been to print out a scaled-down version of the pattern from Craftzine, but try as I might, I couldn’t get my printer to cooperate. So with Baby Girl and the original pattern pieces as guides, I sketched out a 12-inch doll-sized snuggler pattern.

I sewed up two – one for Baby Girl, and one for Baby Boy.

Don’t they look snug and cozy all swaddled up?

The snugglers are constructed (and function) exactly like the original,

just in miniature.

I’ve been talking about this project for months now and even started it a few times, and last week Lila randomly asked me, “Where’s my baby’s snuggler?” I told her I was working on it, and asked if she thought Baby Girl would still like to have one. To which she replied, “Oh yes, I think she’s really going to like it. I think she’s going to freak out.” I couldn’t ask for a better reaction than that!

If this isn’t the look of a doll freaking out, I don’t know what is…


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cloud crayons

Lila is three today!

Yesterday we celebrated with some friends and family. I haven’t sifted through the party photos yet, but last week I made some party favor crayons – they were way easier and more fun than I’d anticipated, so I wanted to spread the word!

From the moment I saw this DIY crayon post on Homemade by Jill, I knew that somewhere down the line I’d be making crayons for one of Lila’s birthday parties. And when I found cloud shaped candy molds, I figured this was the year to try it. It turns out that candy molds come in more shapes than you could ever imagine – there are pages and pages of them to choose from. Endless possibilities.

I didn’t get a lot of great photos of the process, but everything you need to know is in the post I linked to above. Here’s the general idea:

Start by peeling your crayons, breaking them into smaller pieces, and separating them by color.

I enlisted my mom and Lila to help with the peeling – it was the most time consuming part of the process, but we made it our after-breakfast activity for the day. Also, Crayola = good for peeling. Rose Art = pretty much impossible to peel. I used our existing tub of crayons rather than buying a new ones, and we happened to have a set of 120 Crayolas and some random Rose Arts. We gave up on the Rose Arts pretty early on.

Your trash can will look like this:

Next, melt a handful of similarly colored crayons. I melted mine in an aluminum can sitting in a pot (don’t use your nicest pot, it gets a little messy) with a couple of inches of boiling water – double boiler style. You can use the same can throughout the process without washing it in between – just start with your lightest color and move through in rainbow order. That way it won’t matter if a little of the previous color ends up in the next batch.

I used a wooden chopstick to stir, then poured the melted crayons into the molds. When they’ve set they’ll pop right out – placing the mold in the refrigerator speeds up the process, but even sitting out on the counter they didn’t seem to take more than 5 minutes or so to set. By the time my next batch had melted on the stove, the ones in the mold were almost ready to come out. There really wasn’t much waiting around at all.

And before you know it, you’ve got cloud shaped crayons! I’d say we peeled maybe 90-100 crayons, and I got about 45 clouds – so about two crayons per cloud.

I packaged them up into sets of six or so, and made little cloud notebooks (and cloud cookies) to go with them.

Okay, now I can cross homemade crayons off my list and move on to the next thing….

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Oh, this dress.

It’s consumed a lot of energy, mental and otherwise, but I’ll spare you the details. This is the finished product, and I’m sticking to it. It’s not the finished product I’d envisioned, but it’s been a good lesson in being okay with things as they are, and not making myself crazy. Because I think it may have been heading in that direction.

The pattern is the Oliver + S Ice Cream dress, minus the notches, in a 2T. I made the shirt version last spring and have thoroughly enjoyed the pattern both times – it’s so smart and simple, with lots of fun possibilities for variation. This time I used various shot cottons (aqua for the dress, steel for the band) and pieced the pocket yokes (in steel, sprout, mushroom, ice, and raspberry). The shot cotton is soft and light and flowy, which fits with this pattern, I think.

Here it is before the madness began. I had a million different ideas for how to finish this dress, and tried several of them, but nothing really worked.

Then I got tired of thinking about it and added the gray band to the bottom. Lila’s happy that her dress is blue and has treat pockets, and that’s good enough for me!

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I love March because it means I get to drag out my paper crafting supplies and make invitations and decorations for Lila’s birthday party.

I tend to consider the whole month of March her birthday, rather than just the 19th – I start my crafting early and leave the decorations up way too long afterwards.

Every year I’ve kept the party simple and small – just family and one or two neighborhood friends – which makes stamping the invitations easy enough to do. I love hand stamping, because no matter how precise you try to be, the end result is always pretty wonky and each one comes out looking a little bit different.

These skinny washi tapes were a birthday gift from my sister (last year it was baker’s twine in every color – she’s good!)….I can’t seem to stop washi taping everything.

So far they’ve taped up the clouds on the invites, decorated a kraft paper L, and striped up some¬†wooden forks.

Though I can’t decide what to do with the forks…washi tape or stamps? Maybe some of both. I carved that little raindrop using an exacto knife and a pencil eraser – my first rubber stamp!

The big clouds are double sided with two different patterned papers – they’re paper versions of the fabric clouds I made last year for Lila’s reading nook. I’ve got a few more to cut out, then I’m going to put some of last year’s twine to use and hang them from the dining room ceiling.

Would it be wrong to want another baby so I could have two birthday parties to plan every year instead of just one?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By the way, if you’re local and looking for some nice party supplies – I picked up the forks, straws, and treat cups at a little shop called Fancy That (they also sell online), which is part of Bliss Bake Shop. Lila got a pre-birthday blue-frosted mini cupcake out of the trip, so she was happy. I might have had one, too.

P.S. It sounds like people are up for the tiny tea bag tutorial – it might be awhile since I’m knee-deep in washi tape and clouds right now, but I’ll get to it!

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I haven’t sewn an article of clothing in almost three months (unless you count those undies), and I’ve missed it. Last month I started a Burda pattern and ended up abandoning because I couldn’t decipher the (lack of) directions. I guess I figured I should be able to follow a commercial pattern by now, but apparently I can’t, and I was pretty bummed. So it’s back to tried and true Oliver + S, which is just what I needed. I bought myself the Class Picnic Blouse pattern for my birthday last week, and it’s an instant favorite.

I love the wide hems, the 3/4 raglan sleeves, and the way it pulls on with elastic at the shoulders. And the fact that it only took a few hours from start to finish.

Here is it with her chambray Hopscotch skirt, which magically matches everything. I think I’ll make the Picnic shorts from the same fabric for the summer.

The green and aqua plaid is a lightweight shirting I found at Fabric Depot and bought with St. Patrick’s Day in mind. We usually gloss over the holiday since Lila’s birthday is two days after, but I always appreciate an excuse to sew something green. I cut the yokes on the bias (to avoid matching plaids, mostly) and lined them with Honeydew shot cotton, which you can see peeking out in the top photo.

I made a 2T but cut it to a 3T length. Over the last couple months Lila has shot up in the way that almost three-year-olds do, mainly evidenced by her upwardly creeping pant legs and shirt sleeves. She needs clothes that fit, and I see many more of these shirts in our future. I’ve seen some great versions in the Flickr pool with piping under the yoke (this one, for example) – I want to try that next.

Okay, I think that covers the shirt from just about every angle. Now for the action shot….

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