Tag Archives: children

Sewing Birthday Gifts December 2014

21 Nov Sew20Something

Every year as October approaches I start to plan out my gift ideas for my nieces’ and nephew’s birthdays.

I also plan Christmas at the same time, because they all fall very close together. I have to plan ahead if I want to be prepared, and I try to be as frugal as possible. I always try to use fabrics I have, and this year I was successful in not even having to buy any notions! I patted myself on the back.

Anyway, I am completely done with birthdays and really, almost done with Christmas! This year I even have enough time to sew my own kid’s P.J.s for Christmas! I’m so excited.

Ok, here’s where I warn the family members, if you have a child that I know and love and their birthday is coming up in late November or early December, I am spoiling things for you. If they are puttering behind you as you read this and you want them to be surprised on their birthday, close the window NOW!

If you want to be surprised on their birthdays, close the window NOW!

If you are a completely random visitor to my site and I do not know you personally, welcome, I’m glad your here, continue reading if you’d like, but don’t tell my nieces’ and nephew what they’re getting unless you want to break their hearts. (Don’t do that, I love them, and I do not want their hearts broken)

So here goes:

Birthday #1 is for my niece who is turning 2 (WHAT?!? that’s not possible, I still call her a baby). I used this free pattern from PiePie Designs. It’s called the Izzy top and I love the price tag on this top pattern. The instructions were simple and well done, but not printed with the pattern, she has them as a sew along on her blog. I ended up making a few of these in varying sizes for assorted birthday and Christmas gifts. This one is a size 2T

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I used an old sweater that I accidentally washed and shrunk for the front bodice and a really springy, GLITTERY, knit for the skirt. I nixed the button closure in the back and made it all one piece all the way across because I was using knits. I also altered the pattern a bit and lowered the neckline in the back, that way her adorable noggin won’t have any trouble getting into it.

This little one’s birthday is in late November, but she celebrates with her brother and sister in the beginning of December, so she’ll receive¬†this just in time to wear to all of her happening Christmas parties, and she’ll happily spread glitter everywhere she goes. Don’t worry, I asked her mom first if this amount of glitter was ok. She said yes.

I also made this one at the same time and with some of the same fabric, along with the same pattern.Sew20Something

This one was for Olive, to wear to Christmas events (her birthday is in March). She has been eyeing this fabric for a year or so, hanging in my stash, and she loves all things glitter. She is very excited, to say the least ūüôā I used a pink cotton for the top here, and completed it as the pattern prints, with a button closure. She just loves it!

Next up are the twinnies. One boy and one girl, turning 4! They have early December birthdays and their mom put an idea in my head that they don’t have big kid hooded towels. I just happened to have inherited some half finished towel projects from one of the grandma fabric stashes, which means I didn’t even have to buy terry cloth! I was beyond thrilled, but I had a challenge, What can I make with these random towel colors? I laid¬†them out and played around. ¬†This is what I came up with.

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The clouds are from an old fleece robe I cut up ages ago that had fake lambswool around the cuffs and collar. Just enough for a grouping of clouds on each towel. I love how they turned out, so sunshiney. And the personalized monograms int he middle of each sun makes it all theirs (except that their initials are both M, haha).

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Last but certainly not least is my niece who is turning 5. Goodness, these kids are growing fast. For my sweet, soon to be 5, niece I made a blinged out purse. She loves pink and all things sparkly. I actually made this sequined name applique last year, but failed to finish my hand sewn birthday/Christmas gifts (oops), so it got turned into a new thing for this year. I had a lot of fun sewing the sequins on, and I know I got the idea from Pinterest…. somewhere…. but it was a year ago and I honestly don’t remember. I do, however, remember where I got the bag design! I read through this whole “course” on ikatbag, and followed her instructions. What a great resource! I’ll be heading back there again, to get more practice making different kinds of bags!

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That’s it! I finished early this year, and I think they all turned out pretty well. I’m excited to party party party!

Next post will be the handmade Christmas gifts for the kiddos (which might actually include my own children this year, yay!)

I Drew a Line, I Drew a Line for You

5 Mar

And it was all yellow:)

I have been absent from documenting, but certainly not absent from the sewing machine! There are so many things I sew for gifts and secrets that I would ruin a surprise if I blogged about it right away!¬†I also have a¬†commissioned¬†project that’s going on right now that is taking up most of my time, and I am loving ever second of it!

In little spurts I have been sewing little things here and there, like a baby shower gift, and Love’s yellow dress to wear for her yellow themed 2nd (what?!?!?!) birthday party next weekend. It was such an easy, simple design, and I am thrilled with the result! Once again, I was able to use fabrics I had in my stash. The neon yellow skirt bottom came from my sister in law who actually got it from her grandmother (my sister in law had this hanging up as make-shift curtains in her master bedroom right after they built there house, and it turned their whole room neon, lol)

The bust and bow fabric is from my great grandmother in a box of unfinished quilting she had.

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I just love using these fabrics. I love knowing where they came from, and how many hands have touched this fabric,¬†contemplating what to make with it. I love knowing that my mother’s mother’s mother had UFOs (unfinished Objects) just like me. Maybe she would prefer WIP (work in progress), maybe she wouldn’t, she was¬†pretty¬†feisty:)

Simple Yellow Dress

She used to watch me when I was 3 or 4 and I always loved sneaking into her sewing room. It was a tiny little room that had a mini door leading to it (she was under 5 ft, and her husband was over 6 ft, so I¬†imagine¬†this was quite an escape for her, as he physically wouldn’t be able to fit in this sewing room). I often wonder if these UFOs were sitting there while a secretly glanced around, allowing me to experience this fabric in two different ways within one lifetime. 24 years later I am helping Granny make use of this yellow fabric that she probably lost interest in finishing after chasing after me:)

Simple Yellow Dress

I find it lovely to have these connections with people through fabric, and I pray that someday my children will find¬†unique¬†connections to me and my mother, and her mother and so forth. It may not be fabric, or even something¬†physical, and that’s ok. But for the record, there will probably be a basement full of fabric for them to inherit:)

Under Pants

11 Jan

Love has¬†eczema. Severe eczema. And you know what? It’s¬†awful. Awful for her mostly, but for us as well {her parents}. She itches something mean 24 hours a day and if she can ever barely see the skin on her legs, she scratches down to the bone. It’s heart breaking to watch her go through this, and I am always looking for an answer. A way out. A way for her to¬†experience¬†life without the constant irritation of painful, itchy skin, or scabby legs.

We are trying two things right now {we’ve been trying things her whole life, so this is actually normal around here}.

1. only 100% cotton clothing {but mainly on her legs, because that’s where her skin is effected the most}

2. no wheat {I can’t even begin to explain the crazy links I have read about, linking everything to the cause of eczema, so we give each one a try}

So far the wheat is working ok, it’s not been long enough for me to tell if she is itchy or not. But Keith and I both noticed she had been in a better mood since we stopped buying grocery bread. We haven’t officially transitioned fully to no gluten, she still has some snacks. So time will tell with that one.

What is working is the 100% cotton. She is still itchy, but the cotton doesn’t irritate her skin, and as long as she doesn’t have access to scratch, her legs look close to normal {!!!} However, it’s actually difficult to find clothing for kids that is 100% cotton, especially pants! And top that off with it’s actually IMPOSSIBLE to find socks that doesn’t have a “filler” we were running into a problem with her being able to get at her legs to scratch them to pieces. So, mama, the sewer came up with these bad boys:

Under Pants! Made from 100% cotton ūüôā

They are working like a charm, and I couldn’t be happier. Now if only I could figure out the root of the eczema so she doesn’t have to feel the urge to scratch, we’d all breathe a little easier!

P.S. I drafted the pattern myself. And I’m proud of it. Woo!

Christmas Gifts Finished, Finally.

12 Dec

My family is no longer allowed to have children. Seriously, that’s a lot of pajamas!I’m not joking! {OK, I’m joking, I love all these kiddos and I want more more more!}
2 boys and a thousand girls {6 girls} Christmas pajamas have been sewn. I started planning this in September. And I will do it again next year:) I am hoping they will wear them Christmas eve!

Hand dyed flannel fabrics: Purple/Pink/Blue

Jersey fabrics: Green and Dark Purple old jersey sheet sets.

Florals: Already in my stash from grandma’s and such.

DIY ombre dye! Had fun dip dying the skirt fabric before I cut out the pattern.

DIY ombre dye! Had fun dip dying the skirt fabric before I cut out the pattern.

Vintage floral pattern was used to supplement my lack of purple fabric. I simply love the way this one turned out.

Vintage floral pattern was used to supplement my lack of purple fabric. I simply love the way this one turned out.

This is not my favorite style, but I was so happy to learn how to sew this!

This is not my favorite style, but I was so happy to learn how to sew this!

Oldest cousin's dress. I couldn't decide if she would like pink or purple better, so i did both.

Oldest cousin’s dress. I couldn’t decide if she would like pink or purple better, so i did both.

The Green accent in this dress actually pulls in the rest of the collection. {accidental, but I love it}

The Green accent in this dress actually pulls in the rest of the collection. {accidental, but I love it}

The simplest of the bunch for Eli.

The simplest of the bunch for Eli.

Special hem!

Special hem!

Fleece Pajamas

Each child that is receiving a separates set has a special stitch design.

Each child that is receiving a separates set has a special stitch design.

Olive's didn't get a bow, because when mommy is the seamstress, she skimps on yours! Promise I won't do this next year!

Olive’s didn’t get a bow, because when mommy is the seamstress, she skimps on yours! Promise I won’t do this next year!

Fleece Pajamas

Bow on the back of the booty, to match her newborn sister.

Bow on the back of the booty, to match her newborn sister.

Since this set is for a newborn, I add a bow on the bottom of one of the pant legs.

Since this set is for a newborn, I add a bow on the bottom of one of the pant legs.

This collar didn't exactly turn out perfectly, but I ended up liking the look.

This collar didn’t exactly turn out perfectly, but I ended up liking the look.

Fleece Pajamas

And ruffles:)

And ruffles:)

This very special girl loves the color green, so she got the green jersey instead of the purple!

This very special girl loves the color green, so she got the green jersey instead of the purple!

Lessons learned:

  • ask for waist measurements of all the kids {some of them might be too big}
  • This pattern’s torso length is insanely short. {Ruffles, and special hems were added to extend the length for the kiddos because I could feel it in my bones that they are going to be belly shirts)
  • Ironing freshly RIT dyed fabric results in discoloration.
  • Sewing the armseye on a size 5 or smaller is difficult unless you sew it flat}.
  • Sometimes I hem one pant leg in the rong direction, which means technically one pant is sewn on backwards. Thank goodness this pattern has a similar front and back.
  • I will not put in as much effort for my own clothing {or my own children} as I do for sewing gifts for other people. I hope to improve this.

So what do you think?

Snow White

14 Nov

My niece’s birthday is coming up in December and I’m ashamed to say I missed her in the planning ahead part of my sewing list. Between 3 other niece/nephew birthdays and 8 niece/nephew Christmas gifts, I missed it. But! That was in September, and I remembered her birthday in November, which is still a month ahead of time, so I really could have done worse! Anywho, she’s all about dress up. She was Cinderella for Halloween and I asked her mom which princess dress she would like that she didn’t already have. Snow White! I used the dress pattern that I will be using for her Christmas pajama dress, so it really worked out perfectly. The only thing I changed were the sleeves and collar.

 

Olive is modeling it here, she’s a whole size and a half too small for the dress {and she is a cranky little munchkin today} so bear with me and the quality of the pictures:)

 

 

Super, cranky. “Maaaammmmmaaaaaaa, soooooocccckkkkks” She really wanted socks on.

I even made a little red bow and slid it onto a clip. 

The sleeves are pleated in the actual fashion of Snow White’s dress. Box pleated at the arm cuff, and opened slightly to ease in the armseye.¬†
The lion was the model before Love woke up, and frankly, he might be a better model. I’m not sure:)

 

Sewing a T-shirt V-Neck Band {Tutorial}

1 Nov

I am making a billion {8} knit pajama tops for Christmas gifts this year, and I have gone from feeling intimidated by neckbands, to feeling pretty comfortable with them. I thought I would share my step by step with you, just in case someone out there might need some second reference. I am using a walking foot, and crazy old leftover jersey sheets. This is a 4T sized neckband, so don’t be alarmed at its size:) I mainly use the lighting bolt looking stretch stitch on my Bernina, and a stretch needle. I wish I had a ballpoint needle {you’ll see why later}.

Overlap your neckband. Right over left, or left over right, do what you please.

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Baste the ends of the neckband together along seam lines {I did 5/8in}, though all thicknesses.

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Basting the second side, forming an X.

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Then Baste up the center, to make a star {*}

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It will look this when you are finished. I also reinforced the center front of the shirt. I was careful not to stretch the fabric, and I used a normal stretch stitch. Then I snipped the V right to the dot, being careful not to snip my stitches that I just sewed.

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Next up, I made sure to complete the neck hole, by joining the sleeves right sides together. No I’m ready to put the band in!

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It’s really hard to show this in pictures, but I did my best, so here goes.

With right sides together, pin the neckband to the neck edge, matching center back notches, and aligning the shoulder seams with the dots that match. Match the center front dot on the shirt front with the center of your star, and pin.

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Here you can see how I pinned the V. {There will be a lot of extra fabric in the V on the other side, I made sure the head of the pin was lined up in the center of the star and went all the way through the center dot to match them up, then the rest of the pin goes through to keep the pin in, not to hold the gobs of fabric in place}

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On the wrong side, start sewing at center back, adjusting the fabric as you go to match notches, and dots accordingly. {The band is slightly smaller on purpose! That ensures it to lay flat when finished.} When you get close to the V, take the needle that is matching the star and center front dot out half way. Keep the needle poking out so it still keeps the matches together, but doesn’t direct the rest of the loose fabric. {Watch out! It’s pokey}

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Sew along the 5/8in {or whatever your seam allowance is}. Keep the raw edges together, you will still be sewing a straight line, and the shirt front will be flat against the band, where you are sewing {but not on the other side of the V}. Sew until you hit the center of the V, which is also the center of the star, keep your needle down and get ready to pivot. {I can not say the word pivot without screaming it in my head like Ross from Friends}

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Needle down still, lift your presser foot up. Rotate the neck so that your now facing the rest of the V. You’ll want to adjust the¬†excess¬†fabric so that this side now lays flat and the raw edges¬†align. Lower the foot, and sew the rest of the neck, all the way around, easing in the shirt to the band and¬†continuing¬†to match dots and notches.

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This is what it will look like. {hopefully} Sometimes I mess it up, and I rip it out and do it over. Or, I call it a feature, convince myself I like it better than the normal and leave it. It happens, we’re human.

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Then I sew another reinforcing line just inside the original line.

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Rip out the basting seams. There are three, and go carefully. You do not want to rip out the ones you just worked so hard to get right. I will actually pull out the baste  seams when I can, grabbing one of the ends and pull slightly, sometimes they pull right out, sometimes they need the seam ripper.

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Then you have this beautiful V. {I was using a stretch need but it’s not ballpoint. I recommend a ballpoint if you are worried about the basted lines showing}

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Here’s what it looks like on the other side.

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I pressed it.

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Then serged it. If you don’t have a serger, you don’t need one. Just go straight to the top stitching.

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And the other other side’s view.

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Topstitch. Use a fun stitch that has a stretch to it, this one is slightly thicker of a stitch. I start at the center V and just go around if I am using a crazy stitch and just overlap them at the end. I like the look and it’s easier than trying to guess when the needle is going to be going forward or backwards. If your using a regular stretch stitch or zig zag, you can get fancy, start at the center back and then keep your need down when you get to the point of the V, rotate and have a lovely finished V.

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I saw that some of my foundation stitches showed through here, so I ripped them out, and used some water to erase my water soluble ink dot.

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And here it is!

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He Finally Settled for a Lobster

31 Oct

 

 

I was SO excited for Halloween this year. E’s first year in preschool, and I just knew they would have a costume party. They did, but the ride to get a costume that E wanted to wear was a mess. He changed his mind more than he has about anything else. Usually he knows what he wants and sticks to his guns, but not this time:) He was finally excited when the time came. He even wanted to get dress at home, before he saw other kids wearing costumes!¬†

Add a whole lot of “I don’t want to dress up as anything!”s in between, and this is how our Halloween costume conversations went.

1: Alpha Pig (95% made) 

2: Lobster! (Changed his mind, no lobster)

3: Wyatt from Super Why (Made the Cape, and he refused to wear it)

4: Lobster! (Success!)

We had a better set of eyes but they got lost when we went to the trick or treat at the zoo. That night was a disaster filled with freezing rain and 3 vendors that showed up because of the rain, when there should have been hundreds (which meant barely any trick or treating).

My sister found a red pajama onsie at a thrift store, so really this last minute costume came together in a flash. I just sewed up a stuffed lobster tail, and two big pinchers, then pinned them on using safety pins. I thought about sewing it right on, but my nap time sewing time slot ran out, so safety pins won!

Eli attends a preschool at our local Career and Technical specialized high school. His teachers are mainly high school students who are learning Early Childhood education (he also has two adult certified preschool teachers who manage the highschoolers and guide them in their teaching the children. Seriously, I love this program. It’s amazing. Anyway, this brings awesome¬†opportunity¬†for him, and today, it meant they got to tour around in a costume parade to the whole school! Teachers and students loved seeing the wee ones all dressed up as they went door to door trick or treating.
The high schoolers learning to be firefighters dressed in full gear to hand the kids candy, and of course the kids went crazy over it! Seriously a blast! I love how Eli’s little lobster claw has to reach in to grab the candy!

We still¬†have¬†trick or treating in our neighborhood to do tonight, which would make 3 costume wearing events this year for Eli! 2/3 he has worn the costume. Here’s hoping tonight will make it 3/3!

 

July Handmade Gift Number 3

17 Jul

Here’s the finished product! This was a quilted bow clip holder for my niece turning 5! ¬†I learned from the first one I did. I cut the batting thickness in half, started the ribbons from below the embroidery, and omitted the hanging loops on the back since those didn’t get used. I made a little clip to put on this time too, which I would love to make more of!
One thing I messed up on was the binding. I¬†attached¬†it to the wrong side of the quilt first, so the top stitching didn’t look very clean as I finished it off. So next time, I’ll make sure to do it right! I didn’t take a picture of the hand stitching I did for her name, but it was a block lettering, and I thought it turned out to be really cute! I centered everything correctly this time, and did the piecing BEFORE the hand stitching, which turned out much better. The next one I’ll make will have wider strips at the top for larger name embroidery, and at least one headband ribbon running down.

Any other suggestions??

July Handmade Gift number 1!

14 Jun

Shhh, Don’t spoil the surprise, but here is my first handmade gift for the lineup of July birthdays!

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May Pattern Review

4 May

May Pattern Review

Cost:¬†$10.15 online ¬†{I got it from Joann’s in-store and paid around $4, so awesome!}

Size: N/A

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