Monday, March 16, 2015

Stash to Treasure: Little Gifts

D2 and I had a couple of parties to attend last Saturday.  I enjoy creating, and really don't like shopping, so I made gifts for both occasions.  I was invited to a baby shower, so I sewed up this little outfit.
I started with the Baby Suspender Shorts tutorial from Crafting Zuzzy.  The 0-3 month size was just right to cut out of a pair of navy blue size 8 boy's dress pants.  Luckily, there was only a hole in one knee.  The pants had four buttons, just like the pattern called for--except that one was bigger than the others.  I found some matching buttons in my jar, harvested from some other pair of pants, I guess.  Then I grabbed one of the Onesies from Grandma O's stash, and dressed it up with a necktie appliqué.  I knew those little straps would fall off without some help, so I added matching loops to the shoulders.  
D2 was invited to a birthday party for a girl in his class.  I always ask, "What do they like?"  And the answer is always "I don't know."  But there was a clue--the invitation to the roller-skating party was decorated with a dolphin photo.  I've never seen a dolphin roller skating, but I decided to send one to the party, anyway.
I used the Playful Dolphin pattern.  Unlike in most amigurumi patterns, the pieces are crocheted flat, then stitched together.  I was a little confused about the directions before I figured that out, but things went well after that.
The dolphin is actually a nice medium blue and white, and the turquoise ball has a fluffy pink stripe.  D2 chose the colors from yarn I had on hand.  I enjoyed making these gifts--I hope the recipients enjoy them, too!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Musical Monday

Spring is here!
 The weeds are going to town.
Hopefully the strawberries will, too.

When spring is here, I always think of this song.  I would never do such a thing to a pigeon, of course.  But I'm about ready to do in the varmints that chew up the wires in the car every winter.  Any ideas?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Origami Valentines

Valentine's Day came a little early this year.  The class parties did, at least.  The boys don't have school on the 13th.  It's one of those extra days built in for making up snow days, I think.  Unlike the eastern half of the country, we haven't had a lick of snow this winter, so it'll be a four-day weekend.  Yay!

Anyway, D2 received a great collection of origami paper for Christmas, so I suggested he make origami Valentines for his class.  He set right to it, and had them done well in advance of today's party.  Rollo, on the other hand, wanted to think about it more.  I don't know what he thought of, but by last night, the obvious choice was more origami hearts.  They were quick and easy, and he could make them all different (which was the only idea I'd heard from him). 

We used the Easy Origami Heart instructions from  I liked folding the corners in to round the hearts off a little, but the boys like them pointy.  They look more like paper airplanes that way, I guess.  I'll have to take a heart for a test flight some time!

Have a happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Shortly before Christmas, 2013, I sewed myself a skirt.  It was very simple: rectangles of lace and fabric, with an elastic technique I hadn't tried before.  I wore it to church, but I didn't like it.  The elastic idea was not suitable for this project.  I added a casing later, but I still wasn't happy with the skirt.

The experience was not wasted.  One reason I sewed the skirt that way was was that a friend had asked me to sew her daughter a tulle skirt along the same lines.  I learned some things, and the tulle skirt turned out much better.  It also looked much cuter on a 15-year-old than this did on me.  The red skirt languished in my closet until this week.
It was time for a makeover.  I decided to use a favorite old skirt pattern, Simplicity 9696.  (It's just a classic pencil skirt.  Why do these patterns go out of print?)  I updated the fit (using techniques I learned from this book), and cut it out of the old skirt, lining first.  I basted the lining, and had Dandelionslayer mark a hem line.  Then I removed the basting stitches, and used the markings to line up the pattern pieces on the lace.  I still wanted to use the border of the lace for the lower hem.  This resulted in the lace layer flaring a little more than the lining, but I like it this way. 
I found just the right zipper from Grandma O's stash, and finished it off.  This time I am happy with my new old skirt!

Sew Your (Pattern) Stash 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

With a Bang!

That's how we started the new year.  Or how Scoot did, anyway.
You should have seen the other guy.

We encouraged Scoot to come up with a really good story, something involving ninjas or zombies or irate soccer moms.  But he's a truthful boy, and the truth is that his face was in the way when his best friend did a flip on another best friend's trampoline.  On New Year's Eve afternoon.  Auspicious, eh?
Scoot is pretty tough, but doesn't like to show off his battle scars.  The next day, he spent some time in the sewing room, and came back with this fleece eye patch.  He did it all on his own, and even wore it out in public.  The band stretched out after a couple of days, and a failed decoration attempt made it look a little worse for the wear.
He decided he wanted something a little more formal for Sunday.  I didn't have any pin stripes available to match his trousers, but I helped him find some black fleece and black elastic, and gave him a few pointers for neatness.  He finished this patch right before church, and looked quite dashing. 

He wore it to school on Monday, too.  And then I took him to the doctor, who said he didn't need it.  The swelling was down, and the bruise had mostly faded by then.  I agreed.  But I am pleased that my boy is willing and able to sew the occasional odd little item.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Crafted

I hope you had a merry, relaxing Christmas.  We did.  I had a hard time getting ready this year.  I didn't have much in the way of plans early on.  Once I had ideas, I also got distracted with a quite different project.  But I did craft a few gifts.
On the phone one day, my sister Vae said, out of the blue, "I need to get a door snake."  Once I oriented my mind to what she had said (Door?  Snake?), I thought I could do that.  So here's her snake, demonstrating its usefulness.
Thinking LaBeq's apartment could do with some draft prevention as well, I sewed her another snake.  They proved difficult to wrap, so I whipped up some bags with these Christmasy panels I'd found in Grandma O's stash.

I took breaks to crochet gifts for a baby shower (I used this pattern for the flower and this pattern for the booties) . . .
and a birthday party for a Pokemon fan.  I mostly used this pattern, but modified it for the chunky yarn I had on hand.
I machine-embroidered these towels for my mother,
and these washcloths to go to some friends with this jam.  I admit that I actually did think way ahead on the jam, but I did the cloths on the spur of the moment.
This, however, was my big project:  Knight Hoodies for all four boys.
Since I ordered the main fabric on a Black Friday sale, this endeavor included planning, waiting, and last-minute sewing.
This is the first time I've downloaded a PDF pattern.  Taping and tracing were just as tedious as I'd expected.  Of course, I would have traced a paper pattern, too, to make the different sizes. 
Other frustrations were more my fault.  I bought just enough fabric, and had to get creative to get all the pieces in.  The ancient laptop that displayed the instructions kept switching off, until I thought to remove the battery.  And there was too much time between measuring the boys and tracing and cutting--I started doubting that any of the jackets would fit.
But they all do.  And the boys love them!  So it doesn't matter that I didn't get the pajamas made, and hopefully no one minds that I didn't bake quite so many cookies this year.
My Christmas crafting was a success!