Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

A busy weekend...I have been trying to get myself organized and motivated to set up a shop on sweet friend Briana (check out her blog... Union Studio) has offered to help me out with the graphics...these are some of the ideas for projects that I'm working on to put up for dresses...for now...many more ideas to come

isn't this little snail so sweet?

a trip to the farm

playing in the rain

and last, but certainly not least, Mia and I got baptised pictures of this, you will have to trust me when I say that it was lovely and I feel so blessed to belong to the congregation of St. Peters...I have never met a nicer group of people :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Miss Maddie and her Mermaid Coat

This is our very sweet friend Maddie...and the mermaid coat that I made for her the other day. I can't take credit for the fabric...Maddie's mom Keri picked it out...such great fabric and such a great pattern, thanks to Amanda at Kitschycoo. Isn't Maddie the most gorgeous little thing?!! We love her so much and so look forward to the days when she comes over to play!

Monday, May 25, 2009

What I do during nap time when I'm not blogging :)

I finally got some photos of the things I have been working on...

This is a little dress that I actually made during the winter...used a no longer worn cashmere sweater...LOVE to repurpose beautiful things! This is the back view...I added a little gusset in the back so the dress wouldn't be so "tubey"
Last week my plan was to make pajamas and nightgowns...I made my mom hers,the shirred top and capris and then I decided to make Mia and Lily some nightgowns...I wanted to use Amanda from Kitschycoo's shirred sundress instructions but I didn't want the straps to tie ,for safety I made the straps in two different ways...first I just attached the strap from the front to the back...I came up with the length for the straps by measuring from collarbone in front to the top of the shoulderblade in back...for Mia the measurement was 13 inches and 7 inches for Lily.

Lily LOVES this teddy bear fabric and is insisting on wearing it during the day :)

Then I made little sleeves in a half moon shape and just tacked them on, front and backThe only problem with this nightie is that it looks so cute that I can't resist using it as a dress...and so Lily still has no's such a very lovely gauzy I decided to make it into a hat to match...

This little dress is headed for my Etsy shop...if I ever get it up and running.....

And last but not least, I made myself a skirt! Yay!!! ...I used the instructions in Anna Maria Horner's book Seams To Me...I made my own pattern based on my measurements (oh my, i think I am a whole new body shape...tubular)...the skirt is so cool and comfortable...I will be making more...perfect for the summer!
sorry for the crappy photos..I especially like the drainage tube in the background here...

Another work in progress for me has been trying to figure out a way to continue giving sewing classes....and I think I've got a great solution to the problem of WHERE (thank you Jamie!) and now we just have to come up with, to be posted soon...sewing class details!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My boy's work

Lee took the day off from school yesterday and spent the morning with me. It's not often that he and I get time lucky when we do :) Lee had to take some photos to finish up his portfolio in art class...Aren't they beautiful?? I think he should get an A+++++++++

Monday, May 18, 2009


These are my girls...seeing them hand in hand brings tears to my eyes... A thought keeps popping into my mind over and over lately..I keep thinking how happy I am with my life just the way it is...what a lovely and different feeling it is for me to be content.


I woke up in the middle of the night last night with the startling realization (ok, maybe a bit dramatic) that I forgot to mention exactly HOW the sleeves are attached to the pajama, this should be inserted into instruction Step 14....The sleeve/ strap ends should be pinned on so that they come about 1 inch down from the top edge on the inside. When you start sewing around the top , you will catch the ends of the sleeves, front and back, in the first two rows of the shirring stitches.

Hope you all had a good weekend !

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shirred Pajama Top and Cropped Pants Tutorial Part II - Sewing

Welcome to the sewing portion of the tutorial! If you have any questions please feel free to email me. I do want to mention that you can use these instructions to make pants and tops and dresses, on a smaller scale of course, for kids...just use clothes that you already have for approximate measurements and go from there :) Here goes!...

1. Fold each pant leg so the right sides are facing one another and sew the inner leg seam. Finish this seam off by going over it again with a zig zag stitch or just use pinking shears...depending on the "frayability" of your fabric.

2. Turn one pant leg right side out and insert this leg into the other leg so the right sides are facing one this curved seam and sew from front to back and finish seam to prevent fraying....
3. Pull inside leg out and go to ironing waistband iron down 1/2 inch all the way around and then fold this down a further 1 & 1/2 inches to form a channel for the elastic to be insert ed into. Flip your pants so your are looking at the bottom of the legs and iron down 1/2 inch and then fold down and iron down another 1/2 inch...this is your hem...

4. Sew 1/8 inch from the edge of the waistband starting at the back center (crotch seam) and leaving a 1 &1/2 inch gap that you don't sew so that you can insert your elastic. Sew 1/8 inch from the folded edge of the hems on the pant legs.

5. Measure your a comfortable stretch around the waist and add 2 inches

6. Put a safety pin through one end of the elastic and thread it through the waistband channel...being careful not to lose the other end into the channel..and also being careful that it doesn't get twisted....when it is all the way through overlap the ends about an inch and sew together down one side and then the other to make it very secure...let it go back up into the channel and then sew down the opening that you left....voila!!! pj pants

7.Now for the the side seams together and finish by zigzagging, pinking or serging

8. Hem the top and the bottom the same way you did the hem on the pants...fold and iron down 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch and sew this 1/8 inch away from the folded edge.

9. Now, take your sleeve rectangles and iron down both of the long sides 1/4 inch and then 1/4 inch again to create a narrow hem...stitch these edges down very close to the folded edge.

10. Wind your bobbin by hand with elastic thread...use regular thread for your top thread

11. Set your stitch setting to the longest, basting stitch you can and sew one or two times down the long sides of the rectangles, making sure to backstitch back and forth a couple of times at the beginning and end to ensure the threads are secure...your sleeves will look like this:

12. Lay the body of your top so that the two side seams are at the sides and then fold in half again so the center front and back are to the right...lay this flat and then find the center of this and mark with a pin...measure about one inch closer to the center fold and mark this with a pin...mark all four layers with a pin at this point...this is where you will center your sleeves:

13. Open the top body up with the side seams at the sides and pin your gathered sleeves from front to the back centering each strap where the marking pins are, like this:

14. Now, for the final step, starting at one side seam, and making sure to backstitch securely, sew around and around your top using the elastic thread in the bobbin and the sewing machine on the basting stitch until you are satisfied with the amount of shirring...i shirred 5 times around so the gathering would fall above the breast line but you can do as much as you like... each time you go around,when you get to the side seam that you started on just take the needle out of the fabric, lift the presser foot , move the top over about 1/2 inch, use your presser foot edge as your guide ,presser foot down again, needle down, and off you go....

just make sure to check the amount of elastic thread in your bobbin as you wouldn't want to run out mid go-round...make sure you securely backstitch whenever you have to reload the bobbin and at the beginning and the end...and there you have it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My first award!!!! ...I'd like to thank....

Iris from Not Perfect But Nice! You are so sweet to think of me :) So, now I have to list seven things that I love....

1. My beautiful family

2. Tigre and Leo, kitty cats extraordinaire

3. Cherry blossoms

4. The way my baby crosses her feet one over the other and skooches her bum up in the air as she settles down to go to sleep

5. Good bread and butter

6.A nice cold glass of white wine

7. Making something for the first time

And now I would like to give this award to......

fine little day
scent of water

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shirred Pajama Top and Cropped Pants Tutorial Part I - Cutting Out

First off I have to thank Amanda from Kitschycoo for introducing me to the technique of shirring in her excellent Shirred Sundress Tutorial. Truly, this opened up a new world of sewing for me.

What follows is the first part of a two part tutorial. Today, we cut out...using a pair of pj pants that you already own as your guide...if you want your new pj pants cropped and your pants are full length just fold them up until they are the length you want.

1. For pajamas(top and bottom)for a woman (size med-large) you will need approximately 3 and 1/4yards of fabric.

2. Lay your fabric on the floor/cutting table and fold it over from the selvedge like this...see, my toes are pointing to the folded edge
3. Fold your pj pants as shown with the outside edge of the pant on the folded edge of your fabric...if you need your new pants to be a little larger as I did, just move the pants a little bit away from the folded fabric edge...i moved mine about 4 inches in.

4. Cut around the pants about 1/2 inch away from their edge to allow for a seam allowance and on the waistband area cut about 2 inches above the pants to give yourself fabric to turn under to create a waistband. DO NOT cut the folded edge. You will end up with a piece that looks like this:
5. Using this piece as your pattern cut another one out exactly like it making sure to position it on the folded edge...these are your 2 pj pant pieces.

6. Using the extra fabric left over from cutting out your pj pants cut out two 6 inch by 18 inch rectangles...these will be your little shirred cap sleeves...they will look like this:
7. For the body of the shirred pj top take the chest measurement around...bra size plus a couple of inches.... and add to it 1/2 of that measurement. For example: I used 36 inches and added 18 inches to that to get 54 inches.This means that before shirring, the top will be approx 54 inches around(it will get significantly smaller when shirred - don't panic) Then, measure to determine your desired length ....add 2 inches to this length for hemming the top and bottom....I wanted mine to be 23 inches long so I added 2 inches to get 25 inches. So, using these calculations I needed a 54 inch wide by 25 inch long piece of fabric for my top. Since my fabric was only 45 inches wide I had to cut out two 27 inch wide by 25 inch long panels which when sewn together to form a tube will be just a little under 54 inches wide (taking a 1/4 inch seam allowance into account) and 25 inches long. Mine looked like this:
So there you go...all cut out! I'll post the sewing instructions very how I'm being noncommittal? Baby bird is not sleeping very well lately so I'm not getting my sewing/blogging time without a struggle...sigh...I'll post it just as soon as I can :)

Monday, May 11, 2009


.....such sweet kids and such a jewel of a husband....they gave me a really wonderful Mother's Day! Everything I so blatantly subtly hinted would make me a very happy mom was presented to me, wrapped so beautifully, and they even remembered cards!! Now I have to come up with some projects for my Anna Maria Horner fabric! I think a bedroom redo may be in order! But that will come later...first things first...this week is all about pajamas and nightgowns. My Mom's birthday is in a week or so and she has somewhat of a PJ, I am going to make her a set and share the process with you all. I also need to make some nightgowns for Lilykins and Minkie...summer is fast approaching and the flannel and fleece jammies just won't do. I will do the tutorial in two parts and tomorrow or Wednesday I will post how to cut out the pajamas without using a pattern...something I am often wont to do...can you tell I've been reading Jane Austen?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Some scenes from my garden today...

Violets are everywhere this year...

and the most beautiful flower in the garden
my little garden helper... she's taking a break here...she's been working very hard all day :)

So, Mother's Day is tomorrow...I've been thinking all day about what I would like to post...a story? a list of Mother's Day gifts that I made? some deep thoughts on motherhood? No, none of those...just a big Happy Mother's Day to my Mom and all of my wonderful friends, old and new,
who are sharing this very wonderful journey with me...I love you all <3

The people who made me who I am :)

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Heart

Today I thought I would share with you some things that I am currently madly, yes, crazy in love with...

*The reversible asymmetrical jacket that I made for Lily from an AWESOME pattern by cute and the pattern was very easy to follow AND I finally got to use a beautiful vintage toile that I have had in my stash for years....the other side is a "Fairy Tiptoes" fabric by Tina Givens....

*Tina Givens fabric...just amazing...all of it...this is what I have at the present...I am plotting ways to get more :)

Of all of the Tina Givens fabric, I am most in love with what is the MOST perfect, for me, fabric I have ever seen...chocolate brown birds on a cream background with raspberry polka dots...

I used it to make this makeup bag and tissue holder for Dibby for Mother's Day
and first attempt at a garment for myself...

I plan on making Lily's autumn/winter coat with it and will line it with a chocolate brown fleece ...

*Anna Maria Horner fabric... especially the Good Folks line and her lovely book Seams To Me ...I have announced to anyone who will listen in my house hinted that I would be a very happy mom indeed if I received either for Mother's Day...fingers crossed!

*My "Hearts of Mary" flowers in the garden....thank you to Iris for the new and lovely name
*And of course, I am always, madly and most of all, in love with my sweet husband and my little birds...


beautiful her with my new plants for the window boxes....

coming very soon...a tutorial on how to make some lovely pajamas for yourself...happy spring!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

new day

Sweet little girl

Welcome to my new blog! It has taken me quite some time to get up the nerve to write a post but here I is the day! I have been reading the blogs of many talented and eloquent women over the past few months...Amanda from
Kitschycoo, Iris from Not Perfect But Nice and Anna Maria from Anna Maria Horner to name just a few. These women are such inspirations to me for so many reasons. They balance a full family life with creative work and they make such. beautiful. things. So, I thought I might share some of my projects and ideas, thoughts and inspirations. I have been sewing, knitting, decorating and mothering for what seems like forever. I began when my two oldest children (almost 13 and 17 years old) were little and now, with a new husband and a new baby, I am rediscovering the joys of being creative in all aspects of my life.

Here are some photos of a recent decorating redo of my beautiful "big" girl Mia's room. Done on a very strict budget, I made a duvet, bedskirt, new curtains from an old coverlet and a bunch of "monogrammed" pillows (made with big "M" appliques). It was a surprise for her when she returned from a weekend away.

Curtains made from a re purposed matelasse coverlet