Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Doll Swap

This year I participated in Aunt Pitty Pats Halloween Doll Swap. This is my second doll swap and probably my last for awhile. Unfortunately nothing ever materialized from the first doll swap (don't you hate putting time and energy into something and getting stood up by your partner?) The worst part about it was that my 7 year old daughter had her hopes up that we were going to get this great doll in the mail. She checked the mail everyday and it never came - despite numerous emails from my partner and long lists of excuses. I can understand how some people get caught up and over extend them selves, my daughter does not understand broken promises... it's heart breaking. So I decided that with this doll swap I would make an extra one so Paige won't get stiffed and when my new partner comes through Paige can be surprised. This is what I sent my partner in NY:

Isn't she adorable? (I have to say that Aunt Pitty Pat does try her best to see that those who get stiffed get something, but I never informed Aunt Pitty Pat trusting that my old partner would come through, I'm a dumb girl, I know) Anyway, In the swap they give you a pattern to use, I didn't really use mine. I had an idea of what I wanted to do from the start and some of the pieces made no sense, and others I changed to fit what I needed. This is how she ended up. But I really thought she needed a hat, to be considered a true witch.

This is the doll I kept for Paige. She is slightly different then the one I sent out. AND she has
a hat. I found a good basic hat candy pattern from cheeky magpie (she has GREAT ideas for paper arts and numerous crafts with some free patterns), but again morphed it in to a great hat that works wonders and can be crammed into a box during off season.

This might be my favorite part. I love her shoes and tights, they are so fun.

Being a true apronista, I completed her outfit with a small green apron. I think she is perfect. I'm actually considering creating my own pattern/tutorial and posting it on this site (for free) so you can try your hand at creating a fun Halloween doll.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Casey declared on Sunday that he wanted to do a Halloween craft. So we headed outside and gathered some small tree branches, painted them black, painted an old plant pot purple and made some fabric flowers. I added some stretched-out-batting to make cobwebs for a spooky look and the black ribbon for a not so spooky look (I didn't want to scare any children with the spookiness). The shiny purple pot is my favorite part and the poorly crafted flowers are my least favorite.

How cute are these little booties. Pirate booties. Get it? I was perusing the fat quarters at Joann's, like I usually do, and found the red and black stripes and thought they would make super cute shoes. Five minutes later I saw the skull fabric; perfect.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Little Cupcake

So, I really got into the sewing groove last night and went to town finishing up Elsie's Halloween costume and at 2 am I finally finished it. I am in love that I just can't wait til Halloween to show it to you guys. I tweaked it a bit so that it was different that the Pottery Barn costume and Ty keeps telling me that it is better than the Pottery Barn one, which really made my day.

There is no doubt that this costume was an adventure because there were many times that I just wanted to throw it out the door and never touch it again but because I had already blogged about doing it, I had to follow through. From the second I saw this picture:

I couldn't stop thinking about how I was going to construct the whole thing. That was how I would fall asleep at night and it was the very first thing in my head when I woke up in the morning. It haunted me, which is pretty appropriate considering it is for Halloween right? Here are some thing that I learned through this adventure:
1. When I was starting out and I thought it was going to be a breeze (bah, what a joke) I was so naive I actually said to Ty, "I may actually sell this pattern when I am done." 20 hours and several yards of felt later, I hope to never have to duplicate this pattern for any other size other than a 15 month old named Elsie.
2. I regret ever saying in my geometry classes in middle school and high school, "When will I ever need to know this crap?" OH MY GOSH!!! I actually had to look on the Internet for the formula to figure out the diameter of a circle when you know the circumference. I actually had to bust out Ty's compass to get a perfect circle. I actually had to use geometry.
3. I learned that we actually have a compass in our house, all these years and I had no idea. And I actually remembered how to use it. Amazing!
4. I am not a pattern maker. There are people (my sister, several of my SSC sisters) who can make up their own patterns with no problem and the end result looks amazing. I am not one of them. I'm okay going to the fabric store to pick out cute, coordinating fabric for a project while someone else figures out the hard, boring, mathematical stuff.
5. I can't believe all that I have learned about sewing just from making aprons. I suggest to anyone who wants to learn to sew, to start with an apron. They are so easy and yet a great way to get introduced to the sewing lingo and techniques.
6. Working with felt is the only way to go. I wish everything can be made out of this glorious material. No need to finish edges, no ironing. Except picking out mistakes is not the greatest thing when you have battle the felt fuzz.
7. Getting measurements from a 15 month old is just plain insane. Trying to get her to stand still for a fitting is probably the dumbest idea I have had through this whole thing. Here's hoping it fits right and that she will actually wear it on Halloween.
So there you have it, lessons learned from a crazy, overly ambitious, silly-to-think-she-can-make-her-own-patterns, Halloween obsessed, mother who is going to have the cutest, little Cupcake on Halloween night.
Here's one last picture for your enjoyment (or maybe only for my own):

Another Great Website

I love how talented people are. And even more than that, I love when these ubber-talented people share their talents with us!!! I found another e-pattern website that has some of the cutest bags and baby shoes. I had to wipe the drool off of my keyboard with each pattern. Take a look at what I mean:
The 3 Button Baby Boot

The Baby Sneakers

And my favorite, The Pleats Shoulder Bag

I know, this one took my breath away as well. I love the delicate look of the pleats and shape of the bag (very Buttercup-ish huh?) with the industrial look of the buckle! I have to have this one!!!!
So go ahead and check out all the other treasures offered at ithinksew.

All photos came from ithinksew

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Check out Heather Bailey's Store! She is having a 20% off sale until tomorrow night! Just enter the coupon code: onedaysale

Oh and don't forget Midnight Madness at Joanns this week. :) Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wippee Case

So, I thought I'd introduce my Colorado Chapter sewing partner! This is Jamie! I've been so thrilled to find someone willing to sew with me every Thursday night. I've sent the invitation out to a couple gals, but no one else has responded so enthusiastically! We've made a purse, now diapee wippee case and we have the birdie sling and the rev. apron on our project list! Can't wait! Thanks girlies for instilling this sewing passion in me! It's something I always look forward to.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Twirly skirt fun times

This last week I finally finished skirts I had promised to my nieces back in August. When I saw the Edith Twirl Skirt (thanks Fabritopia)- I knew that was the skirt I want to make for my 3 year old and 2 year old nieces. And these fabrics* are so fun! It's so girly, twirly, and fun. I'm sad I didn't get pictures of them in the skirts, but that's okay.

1. I did a couple things different then the pattern suggests. I chose to make actual bias tape and attach it following basic bias tape procedures (unfold, sew, refold, sew again - Angry Chicken tutorial is a classic!)... the pattern has you line up the raw edges and sew it differently. The finished product has the same basic look, but I feel more confident sewing it the traditional way.

2. I used a bed skirt bought from a thrift store to make the lining for the skirt instead of following the pattern directions for making a new one. I love to repurpose fabric and sew frugally! Also, the bottom of the bed skirt had these great folds that simplified and balanced the contrasting fabrics.

3. The last change I made was to use a contrasting fabric (same as the bias tape) for the waistband. These pictures were taken before I added the elastic to the waistband. So they would have been gathered an additional 6 inches or so.

WARNING: This skirt is exactly what it is advertised - TWIRLY!! You gather close to 88 inches of fabric... it way more then the pictures gives it credit for. It is the little girl dream skirt I never had as a child, but will definitely be making for both of my girls. It only goes to size 6, but I think the sizes run large and you only have to add a few inches to the length and enlarge the waistband to accommodate larger sizes.

* the pink & cream butterfly/flower prints are from Hobby Lobby (bother/sister label) and the brown diamond shape I think is a Moda print I bought at a local store 3 Dudes Quilting.


(picture taken from sew4home site)
Christie - I had to check them out as well. They have ENDLESS tutorials that are wonderful and so easy to follow. This is my favorite thing on the Citrus Holiday site. You can make your own practical collapsible storage  container. Best of all it can match all your cute bathroom/sewing room/kids room stuff or you can just give it away as a gift, or use it to put your darling gifts in. So many endless possibilities... You can find the fabulous tutorial here. Really cool stuff.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Hi Christie! Guess we are both up blog surfing! I found this adorable apron a couple days ago and I've been searching the web like crazy for the pattern. Yet, to no avail. The apron is designed by Lotta Jansdotter . I found her web site at and the pattern is in her book. So, I requested the book at the library but of course, not there for a couple weeks. I found the cutest fabric and can't wait to do the applique on the other side. I'll be sure to share the finished product when it gets done. I just love this apron!! And I think I won't ever want to take it off. Who would?


picture from here

Check out this adorable apron! I am quite in love with the big bow at the neckline. It's downright dreamy! You know what's great? There is a free tutorial for this sweet Citrus Holiday apron at Sew4Home. You can find it here! While you're there, check out all the great tutorials they have. I could get lost for hours on that site.

Hmm, all the kids are sleeping. Should I take a much-needed nap, get started on this Citrus Holiday apron, fold laundry, or blog surf? Decisions, decisions.

Monday, October 5, 2009

cute guy in an apron

I was looking online to learn how to open a pomegranate and happened upon this guy (Ray) on Youtube. He has a series of podcasts about selecting, storing, cutting, peeling, weighing, eating - fruit. It's like have your own personal produce guy. You can click on either photo to be taken to his site or just click here.

His podcasts are a crack up. I kept watching them because not only is he giving good sound advice, but he's quirky and fun to watch - most of all, he's wearing an apron and who doesn't love a cute guy in an apron?

Friday, October 2, 2009

BOO Banner

I don't have anything glorious to show, but just to prove I still know how to sew, here is my latest project. I bought this fabric last year after the holiday for dirt cheap and decided to whip up a banner with it. I made another hodge podge Halloween banner that is cute too but can't get the pic to upload.

No matter how long of a break I take, sewing is like riding a bike. It just comes back. And boy did it feel good to sew!

The Phoebe

So, last month, I officially started the Colorado Chapter of the SSC. Our first project was the Phoebe bag. See the finished product. I love it! I can say, however, that now I am an expert on darts. I learned the hard way, but now I can do them. And, well, I'm quite proud of myself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

...speaking of costumes

I'm looking for tutorials or do-it-yourself costumes for my kids. We are trying to be the McMillan's this year. My kids want to do the old school Star War thing - James dressed like Luke, and Paige - Leia. We're still trying to decide on what will work for Abbey. I love dressing up, but what options are left? C3P0? I just don't know about that. I've wanted to be the Queen of Hearts for the last couple years - but that just doesn't jive with my kids.

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