Baby Sundresses

Baby Sundresses


The obsession continues.  While on vacation, I found myself at the Carter’s outlet store in Williamsburg where my mother-in-law and I got a little excited to say the least.  Coming home, I realized that (as fun as it is to shop for baby, and I really do mean that) I can totally sew up some clothes that are just as adorable as Carter’s.  That won’t stop me from shopping there again (I live about 40 miles from the outlet).  But maybe I won’t blow the baby budget out of the water. 😉

I drafted a pattern for these little dresses using a Carter’s romper for basic measurements.  Otherwise, I’d be lost.  I have no idea how big a 6 month old is anymore.  Since the straps are adjustable, these should fit for quite a while.  I could even add a ruffle to the bottom if Baby gets too long.

I’m a bit surprised by how much having a baby inspires me to make stuff.  I have an ever-growing list of things I want to make, and I’m scouring my craft book library once again.




…are so hard to photograph!


Instead of decorating pre-existing curtains, I decided to sew some yesterday.  I mean, I must have been feeling good.

I bought this fabric from Sew, Mama, Sew a couple months ago to put in the kitchen.  Then something horrifying happened that changed my mind: Emily spilled spaghetti sauce.

It was epic.  The sauce got all over the less-attractive-orange-gingham that presently covers the broom closet.  That is precisely where this new, lovely, cream-colored fabric would have been had I felt like sewing in these past months.

Thus the fabric now safely resides in our living room.

It does not match the sofa.

Time to buy a new sofa.

Sewing Nook

Sewing Nook


This little space under the stairs has a teensy bit of my sewing paraphernalia in it, so I’m just gonna call it the sewing nook.  As you can see, there’s no table on which to sew and very little storage for several boxes of fabric.  And I have quite a good deal of the woven stuff.

The doorway with fabric is a boarded up door that apparently used to be the backdoor of the house.  It was closed off sometime after the back porch was turned into a kitchen and another room and bathroom was added to the back of the house (circa 1950).  I can hardly imagine how tiny the house must have felt in its original state.  Of course, it used to be a summer beach cottage.  Neat, huh?

The dressform seems to scare my guests a bit, like there’s a person freakishly lurking in the corner.  But I’m hoping to put her to good use once I get more settled here.  It’s gonna happen.

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Handmade Christmas Gifts


As promised, here’s the soldier I made for Jacob.  This was a quick project I found on Ric-Rac, and she’s not kidding when she calls him a One Hour Softie.

I also made Jillian, my sister-in-law, a “Keep Calm” sign.  Someone, somewhere in my life was bound to get one of these as a gift… seeing as how I’ve been obsessed with the mantra and all.  She happens to be a grad student, and we went to England with that part of our family.  So it seemed fitting. 🙂


These are the handmade gifts I made this year: granny square ornaments, a soldier, a WWII sign, and a Tic-Tac-Toe game.  It all feels a bit Cath Kidston to me, but I do love Cath Kidston and am decidedly okay with that. 🙂

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

Last Minute Gifts

Last Minute Gifts

We’re about to celebrate Christmas as a tiny family tonight, but I thought I’d hop on here and share the Tic-Tac-Toe board and pieces I made for Emily.


The board can double as a potholder in her play kitchen.


In fact, I kind of like it for myself and thought about stealing it. 😉


I also made this little soldier for Jacob at the last minute.  So last minute that I wrapped him up about 5 minutes ago.  I’ll have to take pictures later.

Merry Christmas!


Makin’ it work!

Makin’ it work!


Here are Erin’s instructions for her dress.  She does not want a bow in front. 😉

She sent me a couple yards of textured green fabric, a black tulle skirt, some black satin, and a lighter green ribbon.


So far, I’ve made the bodice, trimmed it with a tulle ruffle, lined it, and put in boning.  The boning is not particularly comfortable.  I rounded the ends, but I guess I didn’t round them enough.  And they are stuck in there (They’re melted slightly to the fabric.  Oops.).  Any suggestions? 😀

A pressing deadline, a PGM dress form, a challenge with a limited budget (I assume) and limited materials… Do you see the PR connection?

P.S. I think I love my dress form.  I’ll have to build up the waist and hips for her to match my measurements.  But still.

It is so liberating to have the right tools.

PGM Dress Forms… Help!

PGM Dress Forms… Help!


Here are two dress forms available for sorta reasonable prices at PGM.  Is one actually better for draping clothing?  There’s an $80 difference in price.  The first has a more defined body shape, but does it matter?  What do you think?



Today I made a collage.


A mood board.


Clothing design is on my mind a lot these days.


Which reminds me…

Do any of you have experience with dress forms?  I’m looking for a good (but inexpensive) one.  I tried the duct tape dress form, and, well, DIY doesn’t always work…

[Mood board clippings taken from Domino Magazine (R.I.P.) and an Anthropologie catalog.  And that’s Jenny Gordy from Wikstenmade front and center.]

Tutorial: Denim Jumper Refashion

Tutorial: Denim Jumper Refashion

1) So I found a jumper at the thrift store (actually, I spotted several that had potential, but settled on this one because it was about $1.25 and needed minimal sewing).


2)  I removed the metal buttons (Is that what you call them?) with plyers.  This left several holes.


3) I dyed the jumper in a stockpot on the stove using Rit’s Denim Blue dye.  I used about half the bottle, and I let it soak for about 2 hours.  This might not be necessary, but that’s what I did.


4) Then I washed and dryed it, of course.


5) At this point, I decided to try it on & decide what next.  In order to not look completely frumpy, I decided it would need shape.  But I had to fix the holes & whatnot first…


6)  Before getting to work I decided to treat myself and get a new sewing machine. I have been struggling with my old one long enough and I just told myself I deserve it. I splurged and went with a higher end combo embroidery machine which opened up some more options for future projects. Anyway back to work; I patched the holes on the straps (but not the sides of the jumper) by setting my sewing machine to zigzag and using the widest possible stitch.  I went across each hole in two directions, as you can see here:


This might look a little sloppy, but my mending will easily be covered by the buttons:


7) For the sides of the jumper, I decided to sew up the unnecessary opening with matching navy blue thread.  I sewed 2 rows right beside the tan stitching, and you can hardly see it.


8) Then I trimmed some of the excess bulk from inside the garment (where the buttons used to be).


9) To add shape to the jumper, I decided to add elastic to the waistline.  I took 1/4″ elastic and wrapped it around my waist to determine how much I needed.  Then I pinned it to the jumper where I wanted the waist to fit.  As you can see, I overlapped the elastic in the back of the garment.  Then I stretched the elastic and pinned it at regular intervals, being certain that the jumper would gather evenly.  (Does this make sense?  I think it should be a separate tutorial…) I used a special zigzag stitch on my machine that is for sewing elastic onto garments, and I sewed the elastic directly to the waistline.


10) I closed the buttonholes on the sides of the jumper by using the zigzag stitch.  You know, since they were no longer necessary.


11) Then I sewed on buttons.  I decided to go with classic, inexpensive, gray buttons and used heavy-duty, tan thread to sew them on.


Mystery Revealed!

Mystery Revealed!


Tah-dah!!!  There you have it.  Appliquéd art.  I’m not sure if I’ll keep it over the bed.  It could be really pretty with the quilt… if I ever finish the quilt…


By the way, I’m considering tying it instead of actually quilting it.  What do you think?  Does anyone have any experience with that?  Aside from it being faster than quilting, I think it will be easier to mend any parts that begin to dry-rot.  Afterall, there are a lot of vintage fabrics worked into this beast.