Sunday, December 18, 2011

Windy Days Quilt Feature!

I'm excited to share that my Windy Days pattern is being featured on Pink Chalk Studio's Countdown to Christmas today!

In case you are hopping over from Pink Chalk Studios or Moda Bake Shop, I wanted to point out these additional instructions in case you are using yardage for the background rather than 2 solid charm packs.

If you are looking for a little inspiration, head over to flickr to see some of the other Windy Days quilts that have been made! Such a variety! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Little Things to Sew: Red Riding Hood

The adorable Red Riding Hood cape is a pattern in Liesl Gibson's Little Things to Sew book! It's on the schedule for a little gray's sew along in March, but I couldn't wait!

The plaid is a cotton flannel, in her favorite purple of course!

The lining is a purple dotty quilting cotton.  I added a button on the lining side too so the cape is reversible!

Another cape is on my to do list!

Little Things to Sew: Bias Trimmed Apron

October's Little Things To Sew-Along project was the super-cute Bias Trimmed Apron! 

I found this cute cupcake-printed canvas and knew it was just perfect for my little M! She LOVES cupcakes and I used the same purple swiss dot fabric I used on her hooded cape (still need to post about it!) for the bias trim. My bias tape machine came in so handy! :) 

If you haven't picked up Liesl Gibson's Oliver + S Little Things To Sew book yet, do it now! Back in April when I first got my copy, the Bias Trimmed Apron was my project! Here it is. :)

Be sure to head over to the Little Things to Sew-Along link-up post at a little gray and see all the other cute aprons! November's project is the Puppet Theater! It's going to be my big Christmas surprise to my kiddos. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Homemade Spray Starch

I don't typically use starch when sewing or ironing, but when making a shirt with homespun plaid it became very evident I needed some! I'd seem homemade spray starch recipes before, so instead of running to the store, I just whipped some up at home! The extra benefit to making my own (besides the cost savings) is that I was able to use a starch safe for my allergic little guy. :)

This is the recipe I used:

* 1 cups water
* 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch (you can use corn starch instead)

Bring the water to a boil and dissolve the starch completely. Let cool and transfer to a spray bottle.

Shake your bottle before use, spray generously on fabric and press with a hot, dry iron.

It created such a stiff fabric and made placket and sleeve cuff insertion so much easier! I've seen recipes say to only keep this for a couple days, then make a new batch, because it may go rancid. I haven't needed to use it again much since I mixed it up about a month ago, but did check mine and it seemed absolutely fine. I probably will go ahead and mix up a new batch just before a project requiring a lot of starch, just to be careful.

Orange Plaid Sketchbook Shirt

I had always planned to make my little guy a few more Oliver + S Sketchbook shirts for the cooler weather, but when I happened upon this lovely orange homespun plaid, I knew I'd found the perfect fabric! He ADORES orange and I can't resist a nice plaid, so it was a perfect match.  

The homespun is so very soft! But that also means it ravels a lot! The Oliver + S patterns hide most the seams, and I always do French seams wherever possible, but that leaves the edges around the sleeve seams raw. I usually just do an overcast stitch there, and the fabric doesn't fray much in the wash, but this time around I wanted to make sure everything was really covered. I made a narrow bias tape (finished to 1/4"), trimmed the sleeve seams by just about 1/8" after stitching (to removed fraying and threads), then applied the tape. I love the result!

I'm happy to say he LOVES his extra special orange shirt! As you can see, it's perfect for doing a little victory dance….

Or just standing around looking cool!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Little Things To Sew: Backpack - Cars version

The September Oliver + S Little Things to Sew-Along project was the adorable backpack! I was running late of course, and despite sketching out my idea in August and gathering supplies in early September, I didn't get around to actually sewing until the last week of September, and finally finished up this morning.

My little guy LOVES the movies Cars. I knew when I got Little Things to Sew I wanted to make him his own backpack to take to the library and to doctor's appointments, but one day mid-migraine I realized that Lightening McQueen is rather backpack shaped. :) So I was determined to take Liesl's cute pattern and give it a special spin for my obsessed little guy.

The pattern is basically the same, with just some added appliqués. I did have to lower the front pocket to accommodate the eyes. :) Most of the outer fabric is twill, but some of small appliqués are quilting cotton. The white zipper is his mouth which my girls think is alternately hilarious and creepy.

I ordered the strap adjusters from and went ahead with a few extras anticipating making more backpacks in the future. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Things to Sew: Bucket Hats

This one should have a subtitle… you can't make just one! Two complete, plans for at least 3 more in the near future! 

First I finished the green and blue star hat. It reverses to a solid light blue and has green topstitching. 

And my little guy had to have an orange hat of course! I embellished it with a motif from the same line as the orange star print, Riley Blake's All Star 2.

It reverses to a nice blue chambray/crossweave with a similar appliquéd motif.

I was brave and used orange topstitching! A medium orange for the blue side and a lighter orange in the bobbin for the reverse so it shows up a bit better on the print.

And because these little hats are just so fun to make, I picked up these two lovely fat quarters today! The folded up one is from Jenean Morrison's Silent Cinema line, but to me it looks just like airplane propellors and ties in nicely with the adorable paper airplanes and paper hats on the unfolded fat quarter. I didn't get the selvage end, but managed to hunt down that this cute-as-can be print is by Sarah Jane Studios. Plus I have fabric set aside for hats for my girls too!

Now what exactly got me making all these bucket hats? Well the Little Things To Sew-Along at a little gray, of course! Click over to the Bucket Hat Link Up to see all the hats created this month during the sew-along!

If you don't have Oliver + S Little Things To Sew yet, you can now test it out and get the bucket hat pattern for free! Take a peek at the Oliver + S blog regarding a recent AP article that included a link to the pattern. :)

Music Box Uniform Jumpers

This year my girls needed uniforms for school and I was determined to make as many of them as possible. The Oliver + S Music Box Jumper makes a perfect uniform!

Here is View A, with all the inverted box pleats, as modeled by my younger daughter.

I hemmed it for my older daughter to wear, but little M loves it just the same. :)

The best thing about making your own uniforms is hiding special touches inside. I tucked a bit of pretty pink dotty trim inside the bodice seam and also at the hem.

Here you can see the jumper isn't really all that long. :)

At first I thought View A was my favorite, but after making View B I changed my mind-- see how sweet it is?! Just one simple box pleat and then an A-line silhouette.

I took the inside embellishment a little farther on this jumper too. :) Since the bodice has a facing I was able to a little appliqué around the edge of this fused heart.

More uniforms to come another day! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Birthday Outfit!

My oldest's birthday was this weekend and that requires a special outfit, don't you think?

A few weeks ago I'd picked up some cute Sweetwater Sunkissed prints off Above All Fabric's Value Wall and I knew right away that I would pair them as an Oliver + S Hopscotch skirt and 2+2 blouse. I think it turned out so cute!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Central Park Sudoku Quilt

It's finished! :) Kate Spain's Central Park line is one of my all time favorites, so when I received the Central Park Sudoku kit as an especially thoughtful gift, I simply couldn't resist diving right in!  I chose Moda Bella Basics Stone for the sashing and borders and the purple daisy print for the binding.

I sent the quilt down to my mom's friend for long arm quilting and she did an amazing job! The feathers have little hearts snuck in and the design in the sashing and borders is separate from the 9-patches. I picked the quilt up on our recent visit and then hand-sewed the binding on as my husband drove us back home.

I just had to do a pieced back on this quilt again, and I absolutely love it! The big floral is my favorite from the Central Park line and I put the tiny 2 1/2" sample squares from the whole line to use too!

Pieced backs make me so happy! :)

Puppy Pips Family Reunion Sew-Along Dress

For the Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress Sew-Along, I used the adorable grey Sherbet Pips Puppy Dog Tails print by Aneela Hoey and with every stitch I took, I really do love this fabric more and more! I'm so happy I have some good sized scraps of it left!

I'm pleased to say the dress is a hit with my little Miss M too! :)

The red topstitching is one of my favorite things about this dress!

I'm so happy I decided to switch to red buttons instead of the brown buttons I'd originally chosen! It's hard to see in earlier photos, but the tiny buttons on the front tab are little hearts. :)

Last but not least, the 2 Family Reunion dresses together in action! :)

I've finished posting sew-along steps on Above All Fabric's blog, but there's still time left to finish up your dress and be eligible for the prize! Plus, you don't want to miss all the great inspiration in the  Family Reunion Sew-Along Flickr group!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Family Reunion Blouse - gathered neckline modification

Are you joining in the Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress Sew-Along?

Inspired by a purchased shirt with a similar neck facing, I wanted to try out a gathered neckline with the Family Reunion blouse pattern. I pulled a pretty, but random no-name print my stash to use as my test fabric.

I used the same Family Reunion pattern pieces, but omitted the button tab/center ruffle.

I didn't bother marking the pintucks, and only sewn from the notch about an 1 1/4" in. I included the pintucks solely as a quick way of making the body of the blouse fit the neck facing without having to fight the gathers.

Rather than pressing the pintucks towards the sleeves, I pressed them open, thinking this would better distribute the gathers.

Attach and turn the neck facing just as in the instructions.

Just below the bottom of the pintucks, but within the area that falls inside the area to be covered by the neck facing, sew a basting stitch. (You may want to stitch 2 lines of basting, with the 2nd below the neck facing, but I found the single basting stitch worked well.) Pin the neck facing in place, evenly spacing the gathers in the pintuck area. Edgestitch to attache the neck facing and remove the basting stitches from the inside of the garment.

This particular shirt should have been made a size 5 rather than a 6 for my girlie, but I think it still turned out pretty cute! :)

If you haven't joined the Family Reunion Dress Sew-Along, it's not too late! Pick up your supplies and start as soon as you can! :)

I'll be posting steps to help guide you along in following the already wonderful Oliver+S instructions every other day on Above All Fabric's blog! You can keep right up as I post the steps, or catch up later if you don't have all your supplies yet! As long as you submit a finished project image to the Family Reunion Sew-Along Flickr group

Monday, June 13, 2011

Two Popover Dresses!

Summer sewing is in full swing here! Last Sunday I whipped up these 2 adorable Oliver + S Popover Dresses!

One dress with a cute print and some leftover bias trim from the Windy Days quilt!

And another from a summery purple strawberry print and the same red dotty fabric I pulled out when I made my 1st Family Reunion Dress!

I had to add a bit more inside even, it's just so cute! :)

I can't believe it took me so long to try this pattern! It's super-quick and such a cute result!

My sewing spree isn't over, not even close! I have a few more fun projects in the works, plus I just bought fabric to sew my girls school uniforms for next year, so I have lots of sewing to do! But, 1st things 1st, it's time for the Family Reunion Dress Sew-Along! I'm so excited! Are you joining in?


I'll be posting steps to help guide you along in following the already wonderful Oliver+S instructions every other day on Above All Fabric's blog! You can keep right up as I post the steps, or catch up later if you don't have all your supplies yet! As long as you submit a finished project image to the Family Reunion Sew-Along Flickr group by July 15th you'll have a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to Above All Fabric! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Another Ice Cream Dress

So after one Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress, I was hooked! I just had to make another! For this one, I picked some of my very favorite prints from Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet line.

I ordered this beautiful splashy rose last year for a summer dress but never got around to it, so I knew it was time to take the plunge and cut into it. It's paired with 2 other Meadowsweet prints, including the leaf Henna Garden print that I should have bought a bolt of, I love it so much. (It coordinates beautifully with Kate Spain's Central Park too!)

Little squirrel joining in on this photo….

My girlies love their Ice Cream dresses! :)