Celebration sewing

Some recent activities - birthday celebrations, holidays - have inspired some sewing in our house!  Here you can see the Anna wrap dress from Farbenmix that I made for miss Coco - I have been waiting for 3 years to make one of these, after seeing my friend Jeanne make several of these... when C asked for a dress I knew exactly what I wanted to make!  I really enjoy this pattern because of the simplicity, ingenuity, and the fact that I made it one Friday morning in about 2 hours.  I used these directions from Mama Hen Jen for making it reversible, too, which is so clever.  I used some Kaffe Fassett millifiore fabric that looks like fireworks sort of, and then some amusement park fabric my mom gave me.  The reverse is a yellow calico also from my mom.

Anna wrap dress
I have a feeling I'll be making more of these!

Speaking of making more, I also made miss Mags a first birthday outfit!  I used the same Kaffe Fassett fabric (in two slightly different patterns) and some purple floral fabric from Joann's.  The pants are a pattern I cut from some baby pants a few years ago and I keep making them.  The topic is the Ice Cream Dress - in tunic form, from Oliver + S - this is my third use of this pattern and I love it.  I love the finishing especially, and I tend lately to gravitate towards sewing that I can do when a little overtired and overextended.

birthday suit

And M got a birthday crown like big brother and sister, this one in purple with some of the florals from the Kaffe Fassett fabric as the 'gems'.  She should be able to wear this into adulthood - unless her head is much bigger than mine :)
birthday crown

Haven't gotten the pics of AJ's amusement park board shorts up yet... we shall see!

winter's end?

I've been quiet for many months, as I adjust to life as a mother of three (!) with a full time job.  I'm happy to say that knitting has been happening.  I have a sweater for myself going right now, and did several sweaters for the kiddos...

Winter is finishing up (sort of) in Northern AZ, and I thought I better post some of these sweater projects from the past months.

photos:  boheme sweater for MMP, three baptism sweaters, hiking in red rocks with my little boy

Sewing up a storm

A few weekends ago we had one of those weekend-long blizzards, and I spent a good portion of Saturday and Sunday in my pajamas, ignoring husband and children (and they were happy to let me play!) while I worked on a few dresses for Coco.

spring flower dress

I was tempted to do something in a spring green with that kind of frenchy-home dec type fabric, but after not feeling too inspired by the fabric I was finding, then while looking over my stash I found a yard or so of this Gloria Vanderbilt home dec weight tulip fabric, and felt inspired finally.  The fabric was purchased at a thrift shop outside of Prescott, AZ for a dollar.

spring flower dress

I used the Simplicity Project Runway toddler dress pattern #2265 and found that the pattern even mirrored the tulip shapes on the fabric.  It was pretty easy to make, although I still have to do button holes and sew the straps into place, which will require putting the dress on a wild 2 year old, so that may wait until the last minute.  I found several cute Simplicity Project Runway dress patterns, and lucky for me Joann's was having a 5 for $5 sale on Simplicity patterns so I bought 2-3 different patterns for more fun later.  I like the idea of these patterns, where they give you several different options for 'designing' the dress.  The one dislike was that it was confusing to figure out yardage because they gave yardage for each possible piece.  I did add a rayon lining and I'm thinking about making a tulle underskirt, if I can fit it in before mid April!

spring flower dress

I used lace and some pink satin ribbon to finish the skirt, and added some of the lace on the back. I used vintage Italian buttons from my stash - they are handwash only and figured that would be okay given this dress won't be worn everyday!

spring flower dress

On Sunday I turned to a new to me Oliver + S pattern, the Ice Cream Dress, to make Coco her 2nd birthday outfit.  I have enough fabric to do a coordinated variation for baby #3 (!) for the summer... let the coordinating dress planning begin, I can't resist!  I used some fabric bought on sale at Sew Mama Sew, as usual, including some of the Liberty fabric Marlyebone collection (the floral turquoise/pink).  I really enjoyed sewing this dress.  I have always liked Oliver + S patterns, but I think they get better with each new set released.  The finishing and construction on this one is so smart and neat and elegant.  It was a pleasure to sew.  This is my second item from this pattern -- I also made a tunic for a friend's 2 year old a month ago... sorry to say I was still in test mode and messed up the underarms a bit on that one, but it still turned out nicely.
ice cream dress for birthday #2

The green acrylic button is from a shrunken sweater from Anthropologie - nice to give Coco her first taste of Anthro style :)

ice cream dress for birthday #2

Finally, I made some changes to one of AJ's old winter coats to give it a more feminine look. I used some leftover fabric to make some custom buttons and added some embroidery stitching for decoration. Makes for a vibrant version of this grey coat!
refashioned winter coat with custom buttons

A Year of the Boating Sweater

A year ago, shortly after leaving New England for Arizona, I began planning a sweater for my friend Mary-Jo.  Mary-Jo is almost a second mother to me, and over the past few years she has been a friend and supporter through good times and bad.  She is also a professional photographer, and has been very generous in taking photographs of my family and children.  To thank her, I asked if she would like me to knit her a sweater!

In the warmer months she spends time with her family on their boat.  They often sleep on the boat while docked all around the New England coast.  It was her idea to do a summery sweater that would be good for breezy times on the boat.

We settled upon the Classic Silk Top-Down Pullover by Kim Barnette, and I ordered the yarn, Classic Elite Classic Silk, from WEBS in Northampton, MA.  The yarn has just enough silk in it to be luxurious but also beachy.

Well, it ended up taking me a whole year to complete the sweater!  Due to many, many transitions, changing homes, sides of the country, going back to work and getting back into a routine with daycare dropoff, and I think a needed hiatus, I knit very slowly last year.  I was determined to finish this sweater before 2011, and did so on New Year's Eve :)  Mary-Jo is now in possession of the sweater and I'm hoping she'll send me some pictures soon!  My sister Anna is my model in the photographs, it looks pretty fantastic on her! 

This year feels different. Already I am knitting like my old self.

Catch up

O neglected blog.  Amidst two busy months at work and home, I have connected with my creative side when not completely exhausted :)

First, my Kids Clothes Week Challenge from way back at the end of September.  Yes, I was cutting and sewing this back then, although I didn't finish until early October.  I used fabric from my stash - very please with the color combination.  I have been waiting to use the gold fabric, which is an old old Joann's print, for a long time.  I did make a mistake which happens to me a lot these days when I sneak a few minutes of sewing here and there - cut out the fabric upside down.  Fortunately it is not noticeable!

Puppet Show Tunic
Puppet Show Tunic
Puppet Show Tunic

And then there's Halloween... "Super AP" -- found red clothes, belt and favorite boots from AJ's wardrobe. Red felt mask with velcro closure and red felt arm cuff with 'laser' button. Red cotton bath towel made into a cape - perfect for being a super hero every night after the bath, too!

Super A
ap cape

Now the Rose Bush. She was supposed to be an Apple Tree, but this is what happens when your Joann's is temporarily closed and you buy fleece online where they do not label the colors :) So, an improvisation. The pants, top and cape are based on Making Children's Clothes patterns, and the headband I just whipped up. I expect at least the headband, cape and possibly the dress to be worn throughout the winter.

Rose Bush
Rose Bush sans cape
Rose Bush sans cape

Brown and Teal

Finishing up some summer projects here, well, actually, some early fall wardrobe items for the kiddos. I picked out these fabrics and didn't realize how much the kids outfits would coordinate. Brown and teal.
zigzag pants

Another pair of Oliver + S Sandbox pants for AJ, size 3. These are in decor-weight Nigella by Amy Butler. I love the zigzags. I tend to make crazy pants for AJ :)

playdate dress
And a Playdate dress, also Oliver + S, for Coco. I started this dress before going back to work in July, and it sat waiting for sleeves and pockets. I literally had 30 minutes this past week before husband and kids got home, and finished it then. I was astonished. I 'messed up' as usual by rushing to finish. The hem facing is showing, but I decided I liked it better this way, as I like the way the contrasting fabric looks lining the bottom of the dress. I used two fabric designs from the Bryant Park line, and added some dark green buttons I got at a thrift store.

Coco rocked this outfit over the weekend and will wear the 18-24 month size for a while I think.

perpetual party

It seems that we are in perpetual party mode with all the birthday parties these days!  What a life to have all these special kiddos around. 
miles is 1
gingerbread puppet

This weekend was the party for Miles, who looks like he could be AJ's little brother.  He has a crafty mom who has made him a puppet show stage and some puppets, and I wanted to do a puppet as well.  I wanted to make a gingerbread man for some reason... maybe because his mom is also into baking.  With some felt and some fancy ricrac, enter the gingerbread man. 

I made him a '1' shirt with a nice, oversized '1'. 

sandbox pants
I made AJ two more pairs of Oliver+S Sandbox pants for the fall wardrobe... this pair is made from some Jessica Levitt Timber design, I just love the little 'helicopters' -- is that what they are called?  This remind me of fall so much and will be a nice transition from summer since they are lightweight.  He has taken to wearing 'day clothes' to bed and night and these pants work really well for that, too.  The other pair (yet to photograph) are in some Joel Dewberry decor fabric.  Very wild.  I like wild pants for little boys!