Little gift for (now) 1 year old Amelia!

This project was the perfect example why I don’t sew gifts anymore. I love making dolls&toys, but don’t love myself so much in the process. Especially when you get the idea at 6 a.m. to make something for a 3 p.m. birthday party, while also attending a 9.30 a.m.-1 p.m. meeting. I made it to the party at 4 p.m…. Should have used my serger instead of french seaming the dress. I love the giant ricrac hair!

Planning to make Little Miss a Tag Along Doll for her 1st birthday. I think I’d make the eyes a little -but not much- bigger. And I’d take a little more time to finish it :).

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A little Father’s Day gift for my two loves: Daddy & Me pajama pants.
Somehow Daddy & Me items in stores are always about father & son, and Mommy & Me about mother & daughter, but of course father & daughter can wear matching outfits too :).

Pattern: Copied from these Coffee&Donuts PJs, a very heavily modified McCall’s 4244. For Little Miss’ version I copied one pair of her cotton pants, and made them wider and extra long, so hopefully she won’t outgrow them too quickly.

Fabric: 3 yards of Robert Kaufman Cozy Cotton Flannel Geo Marine ($6.78/yard). I got this in August last year, as I planned to make the hubby another pair of PJs. The Daddy & Me idea came up when I had enough fabric left over.

It’s hard to find a cute (flannel) PJ print for guys. I really really dislike plaid and didn’t want to go with a solid color. Glad I found this one.

Time Management: I finished them, with exception of the Daddy waistband, in time for the celebration. However, I need to re-hem the Daddy version, they’re just a bit too long.

Aren’t they super cute together? :)

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stroller0During our community yard sale I saw this old stroller with dirty fabric. Not so cute looking and although Little Miss is still way too young for a doll stroller, I thought it could be a nice little project to replace the fabric with something cuter. One wheel axel is bent a little, but otherwise it’s in good shape. It even folds in like a real stroller! How funny :).

When I heard they only asked $1 for it, well…it didn’t need to think much longer!

I started off with a cute fabric, but it just wasn’t working for me:

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This is what I came up with! I’m entering it in the Bari J 10 year / 10 collections contest to win her new fabric line and lots of other really beautiful goodies. I love her fabric designs and just bought the Bijoux quilt kit to make some day (hopefully very soon) for the guest room.

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I thought it would be cute to make some pics with Little Miss pretending she was using it. She loves to stand up (even though she can’t really yet, she’s only (already!) 8 months) and she got so excited when she saw giraffe in the stroller! She’s so sweet, she totally rocks my world :) <3.

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51GnRuj1DGL._SX300_ I got this Tot Tutors book rack for the playroom last week. Seems like an easy way for Miss A. to take her own books out, when she feels like reading. It’s not as big as it looks, only 28×28″ (71x71cm). The colors are cute, but I knew they weren’t really going to match my ideas for the playroom, so I decided to make new ‘shelves’.

An fairly easy project, just 5 pieces of fabric, but my major problems is always that I can’t sew a straight line. They always end up wobbly or slanted. Ugh. Any tips? The problem starts with not being able to cut straight with the ruler and rotary cutter. I follow seam guide lines, but my sewing is never as straight as I’d like. Even when drawing erasable lines….Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

Fabric:
– 1 yard of Bohemian Charms in Cream – Bijoux by Bari J
– the yellow is a vintage fabric I got at a recent ASG estate sale.
– white flannel (lining)

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The first 2 months of my daughter’s life I used a zipperless tote from the hospital as a diaper bag. Needless to say that wasn’t really working and I was done with being a billboard for my L&D hospital. I refused to buy a diaper bag, most of them are ugly and if not, then they are way too expensive.

With travel plans ahead of us, I decided I needed to make the biggest possible carry-on/diaper bag for on the plane. I chose the Cargo Duffle bag by Noodlehead (free pattern) and finished it early December.

supertote6This worked well both on the plane and afterwards as a carry-everything bag. Great for all things baby, but pretty big (more on that bag in another blog). So I knew that at some point I would want to make ‘another’ diaper bag. The Super Tote pattern by Noodlehead became the one. My second and only other make for the SHB sew-along! I almost finished it on April 30th, but needed a seam roll to be able to press the exterior well before sewing the lining in).

(I must admit I recently saw the Aragon diaper bag pattern by Sew Sweetness and may have to try that one too. Bag making is addictive. Bags never were addictive to me, I’m a one bag kind of person, so the 3 bags I’ve made are basically the only bags I’ve got).

Materials I’ve used: Kaufman Essex Linen and Koi, Pennants Waving quilting cotton for the exterior, various fabrics for the lining (all fabric was stash fabric, hurray!). Various thicknesses of interfacing (SF101 and Pellon Craft Fuse 808), elastic and a key swivel.

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So bright and cheerful and unlike the diaper bags in the stores.

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I wasn’t sure how often I was gonna need this large front pocket, but today on the first day of using the bag, I already put something in it!

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I added an extra pocket for a bottle or sippy cup. Why oh why is the front sagging on top (between the handles)? Is it, because I didn’t reinforce the lining? Or does the 2 layers of interfacing not do the job?

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I only realized while editing these pictures that I made a mistake with the gusset pleat, because it looks funny. Oh well….I’m letting go of my sewing perfection. Perfection takes away all pleasure for me, so I’d rather finish and be happy with something imperfect, than spend hours being frustrated. Perfection is an impossible goal anyways.

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Soon after finishing I discovered this ‘dead pixel’. Ugh. It wasn’t there while sewing…

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supertoteI love recessed zippers. I got this mint green heart fabric from my grandma’s stash. I didn’t think I would ever use it, but it’s the perfect match! The pictures don’t really show it very well, but some of the waving pennants are mint green.

This bag seems huge next to me, but we’ll have to see how it works out in person. I only want to carry one bag, so it will have to fit a few of my personal items too. So far so good!

SHBsewalongbadge1When I read about the Small Human Being (SHB) sew-along on Polkadotoverload, a blog I’ve been somewhat silently reading the past few years, I immediately knew I wanted to take part in this sew-along in the month of April. The sew-along is also organized by Cation Designs and Clio & Phineas. Sewing together and having a deadline makes it easier for me to finish things.

Or that’s what I thought…because in reality April went by so quickly, in my head I’m still making more plans for the sew-along :). Teething and an arthritis flare-up were what April was about…together with lots of fun: jumping in the exersaucer, reading at home, singing in the library, making all sort of baby food and in all honesty, also enough challenges.

April wasn’t so much about sewing. After cooking meals, laundry and dishes, there isn’t enough energy in the day to make me sew. Somehow it was easier for me to sew when my daughter was 2 months old (still have to blog quite a couple of projects), than now that she’s 7 months old…. I also haven’t read that many blogs lately, I mostly just look at the pictures. I’m really trying to sew a little every day, even if it’s just 15 min. Something I read about on VintageModernQuilts and I quit like that idea!

kansiBack to the SHB sew-along: I got really excited about this sew-along when I saw the prizes. A subscription to Ottobre magazine (a Finnish children’s pattern magazine) is just such a cool price! The Scandinavian style and versatile patterns are a welcome change from the other US children’s patterns that seem to be the standard for handmade and I see all around the web and in little boutiques. I just can’t bring myself to dress my daughter in ruffle pants and these kind of outfits: see here, here and here.

Alright here’s my first make for the SHB! At the top of the baby sewing list were bibs. We were in dire need of them for a couple of weeks, when I finally sat down on a Friday evening 3 weeks ago to make a few.

I think I could still use a few more. The pattern is copied from a bib I got from a friend and my baby well. I’ve sewn a lot of baprons in the past and have several cut, ready to be sewn, but my dislike for bias tape is growing every single sewing project….

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5 bib fronts

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and 5 bib backs (so reversible if I like)

Here are the bibs in action, we tried many new foods this month, including:

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avocado: deemed OK, right between carrots (like) and peas (dislike)

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and pear: though she seemed very offended by the taste & texture, she really enjoys eating it now, as do mommy&daddy :), taste just like Festini pear ice, but better.

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Gotta wear the right bib with the matching food :).

p02jb97wThe Great British Sewing Bee is back! Oh, how I love this show! :)

Apparently though I seem to have missed the second season…that’s a bummer, as I can’t find it anywhere online…

(update: you can watch season 2 here!)

With a proxy you can watch the third season on the BBC website or else, here on Youtube (the top banner is annoying, but if you watch full screen it’s fine). Happy watching!

I know there is currently a Dutch version of this show on RTL4 (Door het Oog van de Naald), it’s OK (in case my proxy works), but not quite as enjoyable. Also, I’m no saint myself, but there is so much vulgar language in it, it’s quite disturbing. The Great British Sewing Bee: it’s that BBC quality that no other channel can quite deliver!

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