Archive for November, 2013

Many many months ago I tested the Keep Clean Bib pattern for Jen of Lea & Lars. Oscar wasn’t quite ready for bibs back then, and it somehow got lost in a mountain of unfolded fabric until just recently. But the timing is perfect – it fits, he’s a slob, and this thing has full coverage!

keep clean bib -- probably actually-1721We had a similar bib from Ikea when Lila was a baby, but this one is better – the front is lined with flannel, and it’s so long that it doubles as bib and napkin-in-your-lap. Which is perfect, since it eliminates the need for the dishtowel I’d been using protect those fancy trousers he likes to wear.

keep clean bib -- probably actually-1883

I bought the Kokka cars when I found out I was having a boy…you know, because I’d heard that boy babies like car fabric. And the green stripes are Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda. Luckily it all coordinates nicely with the new high chair cushion.

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Anyway, the pattern is quick and simple-to-sew, and I think we’re going to get a lot of use out of this bib now that it’s been unearthed from the pile!

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P.S. The winner of the Gingercake On the Go Organizer pattern giveaway is Nichole (#52) – you should receive your copy of the pattern soon!

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oliver + s

I’m over at the Oliver + S blog today, posting about my favorite pattern in the stack….

jumprope -- probably actually-1654

Any guesses? Check it out if you like.

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gingercake organizer -- probably actually-1441

Today I’m joining in on the Gingercake Holiday Gifts Sewing Series with a couple of On the Go Organizers! I’d already sewn two great Gingercake patterns (Love Your Lunchbox the Traveling Changing Pad) – both are well used and loved around here, so I was happy to be part of this series and choose another Gingercake pattern to try.

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I went with the organizer thinking it might make a nice teacher gift, and I must say, the thought of actually having a Christmas gift sewn in mid-November was both novel and appealing.

gingercake organizer -- probably actually-1456

The design is simple and clean, and I especially love how the front cover is pieced with linen to look like a bound book. Heavyweight interfacing and batting give it a sturdy, substantial feel, and after you get everything interfaced it’s quick and straightforward to put together. The multiple layers do get thick, so I used my walking foot in the final stages.

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It’s fun to choose fabric for projects like this because they just take little bits and pieces – it’s perfect for fat quarters and scraps, and so much fun to choose coordinating prints.

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I picked up some fat quarters of Leah Duncan’s Tule line from Lima Sews specifically with this project in mind, but then I couldn’t wait to dive into them, so some of these (the two cover prints – Mojave Illuminated and Windmarks Arid) might already look familiar from recent posts. Lately I’ve become a little bit obsessed with Leah Duncan and her beautiful designs – I love the entire Tule line (as well as her upcoming line, Meadow), and especially how the prints work together. It’s some of the most beautiful stuff out there, in my humble opinion.

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The inside pockets are just right for filling with notepads (here’s the one I’d want in mine, just FYI), cards, stamps, a pen, and anything else you can think of. And if you’re giving it away and wanted to add a little something extra, those small front pockets would be a perfect home for a gift card.

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If you’d like to win a copy of the On the Go Organizer pattern and knock out a few holiday gifts of your own, just leave a comment on this post. The giveaway will be open through Friday, November 22nd, and Virginia will email the pattern off to the winner shortly thereafter. Good luck!

((giveaway is now closed!))

Gingercake Gifts Series

And speaking of winners, one’s been chosen for the Llama Fabrics fabric giveaway! Max (#79), enjoy your four-yard bounty!

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first birthday things

Oscar had a birthday! birthday things -- probably actually-3

So I did a little bit of birthday crafting. Or I cut out a bunch of crowns, anyway.

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The birthday boy photo bunting was inspired by the fabulous hair bow version Danielle made for her daughter – I knew the minute I saw it I wanted to recreate something similar for Oscar (sans hair bows of course, though he’s certainly worn his share). The faces (each one is about 4 inches across) are printed onto photo paper and glued to card stock, then taped to the ribbon.

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I made a simple felt crown (template and tutorial courtesy of Heidi & Finn), and he wore the silly thing all morning long, along with his birthday trousers and a new sweater, knit by my mom.

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There were crowns for the cupcakes…

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Cookies in crown bags…


Crowns clipped to his month-to-month photos…

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And a mother-load of triangles sewn into miles of triangle garland…

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He also got a triangle birthday bib – the fabric (Leah Duncan’s Movaje Illuminated) was the inspiration for the triangle garland.

birthday things -- probably actually-0429

That’s all, nothing fancy. We celebrated with two small parties – just family on his real birthday, and some neighborhood friends the next day. He got a little barbeque trolley and a ride-on bumble bee and was perfectly content just sitting there, enjoying both at the same time.


That’s the thing about this kid, he’s just perfectly content, all the time. We are beyond lucky to have him around. I had forgotten how much fun it is to have a one-year-old – I love all the stages, but ONE! sure is spectacular.

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 p.s. There’s still another day to enter the fabric giveaway – details are here!

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antiop high chair cushion -- probably actually-1358

This weekend I completed a super simple project that’s been sitting on my desk since I printed out the pattern six months ago – right around the time Oscar started eating solids like they were going out of style. He was really scrawny back then, so a little extra cushioning seemed like a good idea. I never got around to it though, and at this point I’d characterize him as semi-plump…but I like to finish what I start, so here it is, just half-his-life late – a quilted Antilop highchair cushion. I know it’s a pretty ubiquitous highchair, so I wanted to share in case anyone wants to pretty-up their Ikea Antilop, too.

antiop high chair cushion -- probably actually-1195

The pattern for the cover is a free download from the BurdaStyle website. It was fairly straightforward to put together, even though there wasn’t much guidance to do so. I had to muddle through a bit to figure out how to piece the pattern together, and you have to add seam allowances (why don’t patterns just come with seam allowances? I’m sure there’s some reason I’m missing, right?). But I like how it turned out. And it’s free. So I guess it was worth the extra little bit of brainpower it soaked up.

antiop high chair cushion -- probably actually-1269

Yes, this is going to get food all over it and have to go through the wash every now and then, but I love to see pretty fabric everywhere I look, and this fulfills that love for the dining room.

I used Joel Dewberry’s Herringbone in Pond – I wanted something simple that I wouldn’t grow tired of looking at after a few months, and this fit the bill. You need between 3/4 and 1 yard of fabric (in length) to make this, and I only had a 1/2 yard, so I cut my 1/2 yard width-wise and pieced it back together the long way. Luckily his little tush will hide the seam.

antiop high chair cushion -- probably actually-1367

The Herringbone came from my sponsor, Llama Fabrics, and that brings me to the really good giveaway. Chio is offering up FOUR yards of fabric to one lucky winner! You can break it up any way you like – one four-yard cut, four one-yard cuts, five different 1/2 yards and a 1.5-yard cut – you get the idea….no equation is too complicated 🙂

You should look around for yourself, but these are a few of my new favorites from Llama Fabrics – Bike Path by Alison Glass:


Anna Maria Horner’s Dowry:


And of course, these brand new Herringbone True Colors by Joel Dewberry:herringbone

She’s also ordered some beautiful fabric that’ll be coming in down the line, like Pat Bravo’s Rapture and Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander. And there’s much more – I’m pretty sure you’ll have no trouble finding four yards worth of good stuff if you’re the winner, and if you’re not, it’s not a bad place to do some shopping – great selection, great prices, and as I’ve come to learn over the past several months, a very kind and generous shop owner.

So browse if you like, and leave a comment here to be entered in the giveaway. International entries are welcome, and I’ll choose a random winner on Friday, November 15th!

And for no reason at all, I leave you with one gratuitous photo of Oscar on his birthday bee…


Oh, and one last order of business – the winner of the Compagnie-M Swing Skirt pattern giveaway is Erin A. Keith! Erin, you should have already received your copy of the pattern – happy sewing!

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compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-0978

I only recently discovered the talented Marte of Compagnie-M – it was this spectacular version of her Mara blouse (made by Laura of Behind the Hedgerow) that first caught my eye – and while it was that crazy-amazing Liberty animal print that drew me in, I was really excited to uncover Marte’s blog and pattern shop as a result. Not long after I visited her blog, she emailed and asked if I’d like to make her new Swing Skirt – and I definitely did. I loved the skirt the minute I saw it.

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There are so many great details – the big wrap-around pockets, the piping, the box pleat, the invisible zipper. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about sewing it – there was that zipper (my first! and it was no big deal, though tragically mine came out a little uneven at the top), and just the fact I’d never sewn one of Marte’s patterns, which meant I was going to have to think a little more than usual. I also knew I’d be sewing it very last minute because the past week has been a whirlwind first birthday around here.

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And last minute it was – I woke up the other morning at 2:45am and decided to capitalize on a few quiet hours and sew this skirt. It’s never really a great idea to sew at that hour, and a few mistakes were made, but I’m happy to report that Marte’s directions are solid – she even goes into extra detail (should you need it) with tutorials on her blog for the piping and the zipper and the optional adjustable waistband. I had a little trouble printing out the pattern – a couple pages printed with the very top cut off, but I was still able to piece them together just fine by leaving a little gap between the connecting circles.

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Also, my waistband ended up a tad too small for the skirt, which caused a little puckering and seam ripping, but it all came right in the end. And while there was really nothing too tricky going on, I will admit that I longed for a few notches while sewing this up – I know not all pattern makers use them, but they really take the guess work out of putting pattern pieces together, and I do love it when they’re there.

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That said, it was really fun sewing from a new pattern maker – everyone does things differently, and while I’m accustomed to a certain style of sewing, picking up something new is always a good thing. Marte has you finish all the raw edges of the pattern pieces first – which, admittedly, I thought was insane as I was doing it, but once I started sewing and had zero seams to finish? Well then it seemed completely brilliant.

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I made a size 3 lengthened to a 4 based on Lila’s measurements, and the fit is really good. A little big maybe, but she likes to wear her skirts low, so it’s just about right. With the invisible zipper there isn’t much room for error in sizing, but there’s also an option to make the waistband adjustable with elastic, so that’s another way to go. One thing though – if you end up lengthening the skirt, make sure you also lengthen your pockets and pocket facings. When you hem the skirt those are supposed to be tucked inside and sewn down with the hem, but mine weren’t long enough.

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And last, the fabric…you probably recognize the blue as Essex yarn-dyed denim (again, yes), and the pocket fabric is Windmarks from Leah Duncan’s beautiful Tule line. I picked up some fat quarters from Lima Sews awhile back, and had hoped to squeeze the box pleat and the pockets out of one of them, but it wasn’t quite enough. So I settled for just the pockets. But not before cutting the rectangle for the box pleat…then sewing it back to the fat quarter so I could cut out two pockets. These are the things that transpire at 2:45am.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-1138And there’s my wonky zipper for the all world to see. I don’t care, I still love this skirt 🙂

Would you like a chance to win a copy of the Swing Skirt pattern? Just click on the link below and you’ll be directed to Rafflecopter, where you can enter the giveaway. It’s open through the 9th, and a winner will be chosen on the 10th!

Swing Skirt giveaway!

That’s all, folks. Visit Marte at Compagnie-M if you haven’t before, it’s worth a trip. And if you’d like more Swing Skirt inspiration, here’s the pattern tour line up – lots of great skirts to behold!


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