The store-bought wallet I’ve been carrying for a while got a broken zipper recently. I’ve made wallets successfully in the past, but I was kind of tired of the same pattern, plus the cards always seem a little loose in that one. I decided to try a wallet pattern in the Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders book. (Am I developing a slight obsession with those books and their yarn counterparts? I hope not, but maybe. They do always seem to be just-the-right-size projects for the time I have available.) This wallet is supposed to be made out of quilting-weight fabric and interfacing, but I had canvas I wanted to use, partly because of the sturdiness and partly because I had this color scheme in mind. I purchased an embroidery file that I thought coordinated with the black and green fabric I wanted to use for the inside.
The pattern was easy enough to follow, and I thought the machine embroidery turned out well, and did coordinate with the lining fabric. The problem came when it was time to topstitch around the whole almost-completed wallet. The bulky ends of the my canvas made the edges of the wallet too thick for my machine to sew over. I tried it anyway, and it looked awful. Then I realized I also didn’t have enough room to slide my cards inside. I followed the pattern and the seam allowance faithfully, but perhaps my canvas added too much bulk in that regard too? In any case, I had to rip out all the black topstitching around the whole wallet. It was a beast, and it caused snags in my fabric in several places and even one tiny hole in a prominent corner. Sigh. And I’m out of the lining fabric again. Seam-ripping is the worst! The wallet still functions acceptably well, and the places that were damaged due to my ripping out the topstitching could pass as minor wear marks, which a wallet would certainly collect quickly anyway. I’m going to use it for now, and see if my motivation comes back around to try another one in a different style (and different pattern) sometime soon.
This coming cool-weather season has a little bittersweet sense to it for me. In all likelihood, this is the last season I can dress the baby without her input. If she’s anything like her older sister, she’ll be nudging her own little self into the closet by the time her age approaches 2 and then my days of selecting her outfits are over. (You pick your battles, right?) So my hope is to buy her staples like leggings and solid-color bodysuits, then slip sweet little handmade items over them for me to enjoy while she’s still small and has amiable tastes. This dress was the kickoff of what I hope is a cluster of over-dress projects for this winter.
I used the Mandarin Dress pattern from the book Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders. I made a size 2 but cut an inch or so off the hem.
I love the elastic loop and button closure on this pattern, but my little green buttons don’t show up all that well against this busy print. If I make again I’ll choose a tamer print and brighter buttons. It’s a sweet pattern so I’ll probably do just that.
And here’s another project of my oldest daughter’s, because she loves it when I show off her goodies on my blog. She made matching superhero capes for herself and her two siblings. She tells me the “DS” stands for “DeWees Superhero.” Love it!
Daphne has really been on the baby social circuit this spring. While I may not be any sort of homeschool mom socialite, I do at least leave the house dressed as a grown-up sometimes, to go to the Kentucky Oaks or out with girlfriends, or my 20th (eek!) high school reunion. Daphne doesn’t really like it when I leave the room she’s in, and I don’t really like to hook my breasts up to machinery, so my third child/path-of-least-resistance parenting strategy is to just bring her with me everywhere. It’s kind of fun–I’ve become like the Crazy Cat Lady of Babies. And Daphne has been lots of interesting places. These pictures were taken at the Oaks, which is the day of racing that happens on the day before the Kentucky Derby. Daphne and I both wore hats, in keeping with tradition, and I made a little overdress for her with her name and “Little Winner” embroidered on the front. It might be the ultimate one-use outfit, but I justified that it was made with hand-me-down fabric.
This picture was taken on Easter. I might have made dresses for the girls, but when Costco put out cute dresses in both their sizes for $15.99 each I knew that sewing their outfits would not give me as much of a thrill as jumping on that deal. It’s so hard to find store-bought matching clothes for girls so far apart! I did make my own skirt, from the “Flirty Skirt” pattern in the book Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, which is a companion book to the other One-Yard Wonders book I’ve blogged about before. The skirt was the first project I’ve tried from the book and I was pleased with it. It was a little hard to find 3-inch elastic, and I think if I make the skirt again I’ll just use stretchy knit for the waistband, but I was impressed that I got a whole skirt that covered my butt decently and used only one yard of fabric.
Here are some pictures of the crib bedding I made for Daphne before she was here. I made a couple fitted sheets, the skirt, the quilt, the nursing pillow cover, the little bag hung from the end to hold sundries, and the mobile. The quilt is just strips sewn together, cut diagonally, then sewn back together in a different direction. I think the nursing pillow pattern was Butterick. The birds are from the book One Yard Wonders, and everything else was measured to fit our mini crib. The birds on the Love & Joy fabrics go with the bird theme in my bedroom but are girly sweet for Miss Daphne.
*Disclaimer: Before you turn me in to child protective services, the blanket and pillow in the crib with the newborn are for demonstration purposes only, blah, blah, blah…
I made this little jacket for the new baby of a friend. It’s from a pattern in the book One Yard Wonders, which I think I’ve mentioned lately. I got to see it modeled on the new little guy himself last week–very sweet! This was a good baby gift for a friend who knits herself, and thus already has supplied her little one well with booties.
I can’t believe I’m blogging about sewing instead of camping, because we did go camping and it was not a disaster! Yeah! The curse has been broken! I’ll put up photos later, but right now I’m going to share some of the sweet baby crafting I’ve been doing. This fall seems to be a very busy time for babies among my friends and cousins. I’ve been churning out cute little bibs left and right and have finished a couple little projects in too much haste to photograph them, but I did manage to snap these before they were out the door. This is a flannel-lined cotton jacket and booties based on patterns in the One Yard Wonders book. I’ve blogged about patterns from this book before; it’s so great. It’s become my go-to for quick and cute gift ideas. This jacket came together really quickly and could easily be made in fabrics for a boy or a girl. It’s not grouped with the booties in the book but I thought they made natural companions for a gift. These are for the baby girl expected by one of my cousins.
This little diaper kit was inspired by a Pinterest pin. I have always kept little drawstring bags with diaper change supplies tucked in various spots I might need them, and have even given new mothers drawstring bags before with a suggestion to use them as such, but I had not thought of packaging them as “kit” to make a gift. I bought a pack of newborn diapers (and am now, creepily, being sent baby coupons by Target), some individual wipes packs, a box of disposable changing pads and some individually-wrapped hand-sanitizing wipes. To make up the kits I just stick one or two of each item in a handmade drawstring bag and stick on a little printed label. I’ve now used these bags as add-ons to several baby gifts recently. I feel like they’d make a particularly nice gift to a second-time mother who may be over the hassle of a big diaper bag but who still needs to have all the diaper-change goods at the ready.
I wanted to blog about this dress so I used the very high-tech method of setting my camera on the dresser and shooing the dog out of the way to try and take my own photo. I always feel a little self-conscious modeling my own creations anyway, but I feel especially goofy trying to take my own picture. Oh well…here it is. An acquaintance gifted me this brown fabric with little cream-colored flowers all over it. There was a lot of yardage and I really liked the drape of the fabric (maybe it is a rayon?) but I wasn’t into the bland colors. I bought a box of tangerine-colored RIT dye and soaked the brown fabric in a bucket, with the fabric intentionally twisted and wrinkled up, and I didn’t stir the dye. The result was just what I wanted; there are splotches and waves of the orange color swirling through the brown and showing up in the little pale flowers. It looks sort of tie-dyed but dressier. Then I did the same thing to some cream-colored cotton broadcloth I already had on hand, and I cut it up to make bias tape and the bow.
I used New Look 6349 as the base for this dress but I altered it in a number of ways. I had to make the shoulders narrower, and then it still bagged in the front so I put some ruching in the bust area before I sewed on the bias tape. I think my favorite thing about this pattern might be the sleeves. I often dislike commercial pattern sleeves because they seem too puffy, but this one has enough fullness at the top to let me move my arms freely but it doesn’t look like I’m going for some goofy Elizabethan ruffled look. I think I’m really going to enjoy wearing this dress around this fall. I can throw a cardigan over it and wear it all the way through Thanksgiving, with the browns and orange.
I made this fall purse out of a sturdy indoor/outdoor fabric that I’m hoping will wipe clean easily if need be. I used the folklore bag pattern from the One-Yard Wonders book. It could be a little roomier for someone who still has to tote diapers around sometimes for my boy who is afraid of “big” potties (we often travel with a small potty chair), but it’s not a bad size in general and I liked the pattern.
I made a little bag to tuck inside and organize my sundries out of scraps from Belle’s bed. Now I feel all coordinated this season!