Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Boy project! Baylor shorts

It's always fun to switch things up and do something for a little boy. I recently made these reversible shorts for the incredibly handsome one-year-old son of a friend and former college roommate.  


Baylor doesn't license fabric (WHYYYY???) so if you want to sew a Baylor project for a little one, you have to find green and gold fabrics... not always easy, but I thought these worked really well.  I also had the perfect shades of green and gold thread, so the thread is pretty much invisible.  Love that!


I'm really happy with how they turned out.  I used a pants pattern (same I used for H's reversible shorts) and made them into pretty long shorts so they'd be long enough to cuff and still look boyish.  Nothing too fancy, but they turned out as nice and neat as I could hope for a gift, so I was tickled.

Of course, I had fully intended to make these in mid-summer when he would still have plenty of time to wear them, but they're long enough that he may be able to wear them net year, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

a project from a while back

Since I haven't had any new sewing projects to share lately, I thought I'd post about one of my favorites that I did before I started the blog.

For H's first Christmas, I was determined to get her a red-headed baby doll.  This proved difficult to find, especially since I wanted one with baby-safe hair and eyes.  I really didn't want to make one because I was afraid I wouldn't have time, but I eventually decided that was the only way to get just what I wanted, so I decided to attempt the Black Apple doll pattern that is very popular among sewing types.  (Apparently it's been around for a few years, but I only started sewing in earnest last summer, so it was new to me!)

The pattern calls for a painted face and felt hair, but I wanted something softer and less pilly for the hair, and I knew I would make a hash of a painted face, so I opted for felt applique and embroidery for the facial features and a super-soft smooth minky fabric for the hair.

It's quite a bit orange-er than H's real hair, but it's very hard to replicate her sweet coppery color in fabric form!

And the face is definitely a bit wonky (I never said I actually knew how to embroider), but I think that adds to her "homespun charm."

I named her Miss Liza, after a certain somebody I've always admired.  That's Liza with a Z. ;-)

Yikes -- apparently last Christmas I was really bad at photography.  Hopefully I'm a little better now!

I gave her a denim dress with a lacy collar and ruffles, and under the ruffles I wrote a secret message with a laundry marker. I freely confess I stole this idea from these AMAZING dolls. I had wanted to buy her one, but they are in high demand and had stopped taking orders long before Christmas.

Bible verse under the top ruffle.  There's also a little love note under the second one. 
For all that I had hoped H would like her doll, I couldn't have imagined how much she would love her!  Miss Liza (which H pronounces more like Laya or Yaya) is one of two toys that are absolute necessities at bedtime.  She has been cuddled, sweated on, gnawed on, and sneezed on so much that she's already had to go through the wash several times.  As a result, I'm a little afraid that she won't make it through H's childhood intact.  As a matter of fact, she's already got a few seams that are starting to give, and it's obvious that stitching won't do the trick.  We're looking at patches, people.

So now I'm trying to decide: flesh-colored patches or fun, mismatched, colorful ones?  What's your vote?
H and Miss Liza on Christmas morning

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What I've been working on!

I haven't been sewing much lately ... because I've been busy working hard on a major household project: getting organized! We've been outgrowing our house, and while we do some thinking about whether we want to stay put or move along to a bigger place, we've decided to get rid of stuff we're not using and make better use of our available space.

One space that was really becoming a problem was the dining room, which is the room you walk into from our front door.  It had become my de facto craft room, with my sewing machine out all the time, fabrics stuffed into the built-in bookcase, and the dining table strewn with patterns and works-in-progress about 90% of the time.  Something needed to change.

So N and I scoured Craigslist and found this nice armoire for only $175.  New it would have been about $1300.  Of course, it had some pretty deep scratches, but they were mostly on the inside, and it is big and otherwise fits the bill, so we were sold.  N had to do a lot of heavy lifting, but we finally got it set up.





Over the next couple of weeks I used spare minutes here and there to get organized, and N helped me with stuff like installing pegboard inside, cutting dowels to size, and installing the library lights (which we got at Ikea years ago and have used in various places) on the top of the armoire.  There are a couple of things we haven't done yet.  The doors are slightly crooked and need to be adjusted, and N is planning to make me a fold-down table for my sewing machine.  For now I'm going to keep using the cool industrial type cart N made me a few years ago for my machine when I'm using it, and put it in the armoire when I'm not.

I think my machine (his name is Houston) looks so lonely in his new home! I think he needs a brother! (See what I did there?)

The fold-down sewing table will theoretically attach to the left door.  Maybe.  We're still noodling over it.

Now I can actually see all my stuff!  And I have room for so much more! :-)


Works-in-progress can be stashed on the tray on the right side of this shelf (not a great picture, oops) to get them off the dining table.

Now that I can see how much stuff I have, maybe I won't overbuy.  You can't really tell, but there are about 20 packages of elastic in that right-hand bin.
And at the bottom -- three big drawers for fabrics.  Nice not to have them spilling off our dining room shelves anymore.  YAY!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Boy project! Baylor shorts

It's always fun to switch things up and do something for a little boy. I recently made these reversible shorts for the incredibly handsome one-year-old son of a friend and former college roommate.  


Baylor doesn't license fabric (WHYYYY???) so if you want to sew a Baylor project for a little one, you have to find green and gold fabrics... not always easy, but I thought these worked really well.  I also had the perfect shades of green and gold thread, so the thread is pretty much invisible.  Love that!


I'm really happy with how they turned out.  I used a pants pattern (same I used for H's reversible shorts) and made them into pretty long shorts so they'd be long enough to cuff and still look boyish.  Nothing too fancy, but they turned out as nice and neat as I could hope for a gift, so I was tickled.

Of course, I had fully intended to make these in mid-summer when he would still have plenty of time to wear them, but they're long enough that he may be able to wear them net year, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

a project from a while back

Since I haven't had any new sewing projects to share lately, I thought I'd post about one of my favorites that I did before I started the blog.

For H's first Christmas, I was determined to get her a red-headed baby doll.  This proved difficult to find, especially since I wanted one with baby-safe hair and eyes.  I really didn't want to make one because I was afraid I wouldn't have time, but I eventually decided that was the only way to get just what I wanted, so I decided to attempt the Black Apple doll pattern that is very popular among sewing types.  (Apparently it's been around for a few years, but I only started sewing in earnest last summer, so it was new to me!)

The pattern calls for a painted face and felt hair, but I wanted something softer and less pilly for the hair, and I knew I would make a hash of a painted face, so I opted for felt applique and embroidery for the facial features and a super-soft smooth minky fabric for the hair.

It's quite a bit orange-er than H's real hair, but it's very hard to replicate her sweet coppery color in fabric form!

And the face is definitely a bit wonky (I never said I actually knew how to embroider), but I think that adds to her "homespun charm."

I named her Miss Liza, after a certain somebody I've always admired.  That's Liza with a Z. ;-)

Yikes -- apparently last Christmas I was really bad at photography.  Hopefully I'm a little better now!

I gave her a denim dress with a lacy collar and ruffles, and under the ruffles I wrote a secret message with a laundry marker. I freely confess I stole this idea from these AMAZING dolls. I had wanted to buy her one, but they are in high demand and had stopped taking orders long before Christmas.

Bible verse under the top ruffle.  There's also a little love note under the second one. 
For all that I had hoped H would like her doll, I couldn't have imagined how much she would love her!  Miss Liza (which H pronounces more like Laya or Yaya) is one of two toys that are absolute necessities at bedtime.  She has been cuddled, sweated on, gnawed on, and sneezed on so much that she's already had to go through the wash several times.  As a result, I'm a little afraid that she won't make it through H's childhood intact.  As a matter of fact, she's already got a few seams that are starting to give, and it's obvious that stitching won't do the trick.  We're looking at patches, people.

So now I'm trying to decide: flesh-colored patches or fun, mismatched, colorful ones?  What's your vote?
H and Miss Liza on Christmas morning

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What I've been working on!

I haven't been sewing much lately ... because I've been busy working hard on a major household project: getting organized! We've been outgrowing our house, and while we do some thinking about whether we want to stay put or move along to a bigger place, we've decided to get rid of stuff we're not using and make better use of our available space.

One space that was really becoming a problem was the dining room, which is the room you walk into from our front door.  It had become my de facto craft room, with my sewing machine out all the time, fabrics stuffed into the built-in bookcase, and the dining table strewn with patterns and works-in-progress about 90% of the time.  Something needed to change.

So N and I scoured Craigslist and found this nice armoire for only $175.  New it would have been about $1300.  Of course, it had some pretty deep scratches, but they were mostly on the inside, and it is big and otherwise fits the bill, so we were sold.  N had to do a lot of heavy lifting, but we finally got it set up.





Over the next couple of weeks I used spare minutes here and there to get organized, and N helped me with stuff like installing pegboard inside, cutting dowels to size, and installing the library lights (which we got at Ikea years ago and have used in various places) on the top of the armoire.  There are a couple of things we haven't done yet.  The doors are slightly crooked and need to be adjusted, and N is planning to make me a fold-down table for my sewing machine.  For now I'm going to keep using the cool industrial type cart N made me a few years ago for my machine when I'm using it, and put it in the armoire when I'm not.

I think my machine (his name is Houston) looks so lonely in his new home! I think he needs a brother! (See what I did there?)

The fold-down sewing table will theoretically attach to the left door.  Maybe.  We're still noodling over it.

Now I can actually see all my stuff!  And I have room for so much more! :-)


Works-in-progress can be stashed on the tray on the right side of this shelf (not a great picture, oops) to get them off the dining table.

Now that I can see how much stuff I have, maybe I won't overbuy.  You can't really tell, but there are about 20 packages of elastic in that right-hand bin.
And at the bottom -- three big drawers for fabrics.  Nice not to have them spilling off our dining room shelves anymore.  YAY!