Monday, September 22, 2014

you'll be gladder without your bladder


Gladder. That's not a word but it's funny. I quite enjoyed making these cards for Chelsea and Mattheus. It was a nice break from Christmas ornaments. My niece Chelsea has recently parted ways with her recalcitrant gall bladder...

(if you didn't know, this is really and factually what a sick gall bladder looks like)

 ...and neighbor Mattheus had a birthday.


Both cards are 4.25 x 5.5 inches folded (that way you can get two cards from one 8.5 x 11 sheet of card stock, so I prefer this size). You can see I was feelin' the black/chartreuse/green/orange color palette. The paper eight and the gall bladder were drawn and cut from card stock and then enhanced with colored pencils and punches. I used foam pop dots to elevate them on the black card stock and then added white gel pen details. Taped an iTunes gift card inside and voila!

FYI: If you are wondering about a felt color collection for Turtle Dove, Renae at Benzie Design is working one up as we speak! Great choice if you would like to make some Turtle Dove ornaments that are the same colors as mine. The felt bundle (with matching floss) will be available in her shop soon. I'll post about it!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Turtle Dove pattern in the shop!



I'm done, I'm done! Here's the second ornament in the Twelve Days ornament series, Turtle Dove. (Here's the post for the first set, Partridge & Pear.) I'm really happy with the way this turned out and I'm still loving the Sulky stabilizer which makes this handmade ornament series so so easy to make. If you can handle basic embroidery stitches you can totally do this project, and do it well.


The key is the Sulky Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy, a ridiculous name for a wonderful felt crafting stabilizer. You simply print my ornament pattern on the water soluble stabilizer, adhere it to felt and then embroider right through it. No tracing or transferring complicated embroidery patterns by hand. Outstanding! Read through this earlier post to learn more about how the process works. I've listed some sources where you can purchase the stabilizer in the pattern.


You can purchase this instant download Turtle Dove pattern PDF in either my Etsy or my Craftsy shops. Go to the listing to get more details on the pattern itself. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

what we're up to



We are enjoying our summer school break! I'm busy sewing up ornament samples and tweaking the patterns for Turtle Dove, French Hen and Colly Bird. The picture above is wool felt that is drip drying in my laundry room. (Pre-soaking the felt is an important step that ensures your embroidered creations won't shrink when you soak off the Sulky stabilizer!)


You can see that after a quick press it's back to looking exactly like it was before the soak!


While I'm upstairs banging away at the patterns, Thing 1 is learning to touch type. She's doing really well! She's also reading The Hobbit to gear up for her first year in a homeschool academy starting in September. Middle school, here we come.


Thing 2 is busy playing Monopoly with her Equestria Girls. I'm sure there are some educational benefits to that. Economics. Math. Real estate. Funology.

And in other news, my Schmoopie bought me a bike! It's the kind that you can sit upright on and has a bell. Ding! Just like the one I loved during my family's brief move to Holland. And my favorite part is the huge, cushy Oma seat. Aaaaahhhh. I've been having fun riding the bike trails around here with him. I forgot how much I love to ride a bike. It's the one athletic ability I have.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

new pillas for the living room



Late to the party with summery pillows but even so I forged ahead. I'll just bring them out again next spring. I don't think the wild combo of prints works as well with my decor as I thought they would, but they certainly are cheerful. The fabrics are mostly economical Premier Prints cottons.

The 18 inch square covers are simple and quick to make: just two 19 inch square fabric pieces sewn with a 1/2 inch seam allowance and a 16 inch zipper on one side.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ok, last go at summer jim jams


The last two stragglers from my stash crashing pajama makin' palooza. It's been difficult to get a snap of them since they are always being worn. We stay in our jammies a lot around here. Sorry for the lag but we got busy and then made a little trip out of town to Cincinnati/Petersburg/Lexington. (Thank you, Jessica, for all the great big city recommendations and if you ever make your way across the river and down to Lexington go to Wallace Station for lunch and then go here and get some chocolate covered potato chips and chocolate covered grapes. Alan, thanks again for turning us on to these gems! It was great to see your family.)


This plaid seersucker for the youngest is another modified shorty set based on the Simplicity pattern from this post.



This unfortunate pattern pairing of the Swedish print and the red gingham seemed like a good idea at the time but yikes. The top is actually a Wiksten tank (XS) that I altered a bit for my oldest. I got bored with making the other top and I figured once I worked out the Wiksten mods for her that I could make her actual public clothes. We do occasionally leave the house. I had to add a last minute lace insert at the neckline because I didn't bring it up enough. And that's it for the jammies!

Twelve Days ornament enthusiasts: I'm currently knee-deep in the Turtle Dove, French Hen and Colly Bird ornament patterns and making great progress!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

awesome birthday mixtape!


Allergies? Clogs? Ratchets? All awesome. Because EVERYTHING is awesome! It's time to wish my very first baby girl a happy birthday. She's twelve. Which means she experiences everything with varying degrees of embarrassment.


As I popped this custom mixtape CD in first thing this morning and played it at tooth vibrating volume to serenade her, she shuffled out of her bedroom (wearing her handmade jammies) and rolled her eyes. She also gave me several scwinchy-faced mean mugs as each new song came on, so in the language of twelve year olds everywhere I know it was a huge success! Awesome.

*Late note: This CD has been worn out since this morning and she is singing the songs to herself as she putters around the house. Awwww. (some.)*

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

yes, sorry, more jammies.


Here are a couple more jammie sets, both loosely based on vintage Simplicity 5006. This time not made from thrifted sheets! I've about run out of those. (Patting self on back for  using up stash.) But I still have an embarrassing amount of random printed cottons, so this post was made from the stash, no purchase necessary. Fear not that it is late July. It stays warm here through September/October so these will get lots of wear. Also I confess they pull double duty as we have been known* to stay in our jammies all day around here.

*But only on days that end in Y.

This first set for Thing 2 is made from super cute pennant IKEA precut fabric bundle I picked up maybe five years ago as a random impulse buy. (As I'm typing this I realize the last couple of times I've been in there I haven't even seen bolts of fabric. Have they gotten rid of their fabric lines? Maybe I just missed them. Please tell me I missed them. *hyperventilating*)

As you can see, I didn't have enough fabric to pattern match the shorts, but I think it looks fine. Thing 2 absolutely loves wearing it. When I sew her anything she says 'thank you thank you' over and over again and gets really excited. That's nice.


I did do a killa job at matching the stripes on the top's side seams. I forgot to take a photo from the side, but trust me, it looks aces. I found some bits of this nice cotton gingham bias trim I used on the neck and pocket. The straps are regular ol' prepackaged poly bias binding.


Here's a set for the oldest. She's a tween now, you know. She informed me that she doesn't prefer the billowy full look of the first set I made her. She likes shorter and less full now that she's almost twelve. Less, you know, 'girly'. *turning away to sob into own shoulder* So I redrew the top pattern and took out some width and length to make her this non-babydoll version.


The brown and blue flowered fabric. Oh, I love it. I've been hoarding it for years. Do you remember Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope? It's one of my favorite fabric lines. I get fabric nostalgia when I dig through my shelves. The top is made from a solid lawn from the stash with prepackaged brown bias tape for the straps.

This basic shorts pattern is a no brainer, as easy as shorts get. Two pieces. Three seams. However I did have to modify it again because after seeing the first couple of pairs on the girls I noticed it needed a shorter rise in front. For some reason my girls wear all their shorts and skirts slung underneath their belly buttons.

I'm not done showing you jammies yet. Sorry.