January 15, 2016
Hi again! Things have changed just a *little* bit since I last posted in 2014. Most importantly, I have a new little member of our family to introduce to you! But we'll get to that. So where have I been? Well here's the past two years in a nutshell: I had my daughter, quit my full-time corporate job, and had to take a part-time job working nights and Saturdays 4 days a week, which effectively destroyed any free time I had to sew. What little time I *did* have was dedicated to being a sewing minion for other people on Etsy so we could afford to pay our crushing mortgage until we could sell our home. I kept up all of this while caring full-time for a toddler and being pregnant with our son, who was born in September of last year. By the grace of God, we sold our house right after he was born, and now I don't have to work outside the home anymore. *phew* Because let me tell you, I was about to drop dead.
And that's it! I'm finally getting my creative sewing mojo back, and shutting down my Etsy shop because, quite frankly, I might shoot myself if I have to sew one more order for someone else. It's time I sewed what *I* want to sew. Here's to a new year and having free time!
Oh, and before I forget, here's what you all really want to see...meet Plaid Baby #2! This little (well, 'little' compared to an adult. 'Hulking' or 'swarthy' might be more appropriate words if we're comparing him to other 4 month old babies...) guy was born in September of last year. For the record, I do not recommend anyone being full-term during the hottest months of summer in New Orleans. Imagine living on the Equator, and then someone sets you on fire. That's about what it feels like.
October 23, 2014
The Plaid Baby's big birthday is coming up next month, and I'm so excited about the theme I couldn't wait any longer to make her dress! I've had it in my head for months, and was just dying to get it out of my head and into my hands :)
My husband and I are both huge, HUGE fans of Lewis Carroll (my husband especially loves the Jabberwocky poem), so we decided on an Alice in Wonderland theme because it's something we could both get behind and enjoy planning together - yay!
I stumbled across the Caroline Party Dress pattern by MouseHouseCreations on Etsy a while back, and knew as soon as I saw it that it was perfect for what I'd envisioned. The pattern is great and super easy to follow - it included detailed measuring charts, multiple design options, and step-by-step color photos to help along the way. So, so grateful I found this pattern because this was only my second attempt at making clothing, and I'd never done an invisible zipper either, but this pattern walked me through all of that!
On top of all that, I'd decided to use some of the solid Anna Maria Horner voile I'd been hoarding for years (color is Pond), knowing that gauzy fabrics like voile can be a bit tricky since they're so lightweight. After reading some nightmarish tales on the internet about attempting to serge voile I was more than a little terrified, but figured I'd give it the old Irish try before giving up. I can honestly say my fears were unfounded, because it only took me 5 minutes to find the proper tension/stitch settings and this stuff is an absolute DREAM to sew with. It's sooooo buttery soft, and the way the fabric hangs is just gorgeous. From here on out I'm going to make as many of her dresses out of my AMH voile stash as possible!
The only thing that wasn't included in the pattern is the apron. I actually didn't use a pattern for it at all - I just took a few simple measurements of the finished dress and winged it. The neck of the apron is a halter that snaps in the back, and I added the grosgrain ribbon hearts for a little pop of color. My local Joann's had some 2" red grosgrain ribbon by the yard, so I bought a short piece, cut the hearts from it, and burned the edges with a lighter to prevent fraying. After creasing them down the middle, I did a little straight stitch down the center to affix them to the apron, which gives them a cool 3D effect that I know the Plaid Baby will enjoy investigating ;) (not to mention the shimmer tulle peeking out the bottom - I'm sure she'll try to lift that up and cram it in her mouth the first chance she gets, lol!)
October 22, 2014
One of my friends messaged me a few weeks ago asking if I could make an Olaf costume for her 1 year old, since her 3 year old already had an Elsa dress from an earlier trip to Disney World. To be honest I had no idea how I was going to pull it off, but I couldn't resist the challenge since 1) I love Frozen, and 2) the results had the potential to be adorable. Who wouldn't love seeing a baby plodding around as Olaf with that cute, awkward little walk they have?
Naturally, I turned to Google since it holds the power to answer any and all questions (unless it's medical - then you should stay away at all costs because it will convince you you're as good as dead). After staring at about 50 million different pictures of Olaf, I decided the best way to go was a hat with a chin strap. I found a free tutorial (including printable templates - SCORE!) here, and the rest is history!
The exterior is white minky, and the interior is plain white Kona cotton. I made the appliqués from Kona solids as well (except for the "hair" sprouts, which is felt), and freehanded all of them except for the eyes. Those were traced from various round objects I scrounged up in my sewing room, which may or may not have included the end of a spool of thread, a bobbin, and an empty tube of washi tape. I kind of felt like MacGyver (although, I have to say I prefer Stargate SG-1 Richard Dean Anderson to the be-mulleted MacGyver version)
And here's the onesie - pretty simple. Just three "coal" appliqués with some fusible knit interfacing on the back. If you're ever doing appliqué on knit, I highly recommend using some because it keeps the fabric from stretching out and getting all wonky (I used Pellon EK130 White Easy Knit).
Tomorrow I'll be posting pics of the Plaid Baby's Halloween costume / 1st Birthday outfit (which is coming up in November - eek! I'm in total denial!!!) Oh...and just for good measure, here's a pic of the Plaid Baby wearing the Olaf hat - couldn't resist a trial run before turning it over to the new owner ;)
May 21, 2014
Because I'm insane...COMPLETELY INSANE...I decided the day before the Plaid Baby's 6 month photo shoot that I *needed* to make a quilt for it. My internal monologue went a little something like this:
Right Brain: Crap! I forgot to make that Briar Rose quilt for her pictures in the park. There's no time...NO TIME!!!!!
Left Brain: Well, it's not until tomorrow at 6...and it *would* only be a small, play mat size....
RB: No...NOO! There's NO TIIIIIIIIME! Plus you have that custom quilt due for a baby shower on Saturday that you haven't even started yet.
LB: But she would look so cute laying on it in those pink bloomers with the green & yellow tulle tufts on the butt! Maybe I could just....
RB: NOOOOOOOOO! This is madness, MADNESS I TELL YOU!
LB: But she'll only be a baby once, and the thought of her in those bloomers on a Briar Rose quilt in the grass is making my ovaries explode. You'll regret it if you don't!
RB: You don't have time to make 2 quilts in 2 days, plus you'll screw your neck up again!
LB: FAKE IT. FAKE IT ALL! Ovary explosion, here we come!
So there you have it. The completely irrational side of my brain won, as per usual, and baby girl got her adorable Briar Rose quilt for the photos. I had one charm pack on hand so that helped speed things along, since I only had to cut 4 more squares from each print after that.
I copied Made by Rae's quilt design, except I reordered several of the prints, plus removed most of the prints with a lot of white in order to make the quilt more saturated.
I backed it with my absolute FAVORITE print from the line, the strawberries on green, and bound it with some hoarded KJR posies. LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! For once I'm glad I gave into my crazy whims, because the photographer gave me a quick preview of some of the shots and they nearly made me pass out. Seriously.
April 18, 2014
Today's post has nothing to do with sewing/quilting, and everything to do with my little peanut turning 5 months old this week!
The hubby and I *really* won the lottery with her, because she has been an incredibly easy baby with the sweetest, happiest temperament. Every time she makes eye contact with one of us she bursts into a huge smile, and it melts me :)
I've been taking photos of her every month on the baby quilt I made for her, and plan to do so for her first 2 years. The month badges are fabric, and I downloaded the design and made them with the Silhouette Cameo I got for my birthday (I spent my birthday in the hospital because I'd given birth to her the night before, so I never really got around to blogging about that, but I will soon!)
And speaking of Etsy shops, my friend Caitlin of I Don't Do Dishes is getting ready to open her own brick & mortar store, so she's trying to lighten her fabric load and everything in her shop is 25% off right now! There are some seriously great deals to be had like True Colors yardage for $6.75...run, don't walk!
April 14, 2014
So I finally made my first outfit for the Plaid Baby! I've made baby clothes before, just none for her (despite my best laid plans). I wanted a cute 'n' quick summer project I could whip up while she was napping, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with a pillowcase dress with sparkly sno-ball appliqué ;)
Sno-balls are a HUGE summer staple here in New Orleans - so much so that the iconic, high end New Orleans jeweler Mignon Faget has a series of sno-ball pendants in her stores. And true to the decadent nature of the city, they even dress them up with sweetened condensed milk poured on top. Dairy poured over flavored ice sounds crazy, I know, but after a couple years I finally tried it and they're DELISH!
Can't wait to post pics of the Plaid Baby in her new summer finery! And I even ordered an ADORABLE customized headband from Bubba and Vi on etsy to match. Her shop's brand new and she's a super sweet gal, so you should definitely check her out (no, she's not paying me to do any of this - just tryin' to help a fellow etsy mama out!) If you're a Heather Ross fan, she has a Goldfish in a Bag headband/clip that is TO.DIE.FOR. And bonus, if you start following her on Instagram she has a code for 15% off any purchase (COUNTRY), plus another coupon for 20% off a $40 purchase (SPRING14). Whatcha waiting' for!
April 10, 2014
Now that I have the Plaid Baby, I feel strongly that she needs to "test out" all present and future baby quilts ;). It only seems right...can't send people defective baby quilts, now can I?
I ain't gonna lie....I'm one of those horribly, horribly Type B people that Type A people either want to a) strangle, or b) hang out with to relax them (I think that's why Angela and I are friends...she helps me organize my crazy, and I bring her rhubarb pies and random (hilarious) stories about perverts in New Orleans...or at least I used to before she moved. I like to think of us as the quilting version of Ron and Hermione, except I'm a girl and I do my own homework)
Anyway...as you can see my mad scientist brain is already getting off track. The point is, it often takes me forever to do stuff, mostly because I forget, get distracted, over-commit myself because I've forgotten about all the other things I already committed to, or get sucked into an awesome new show on Netflix and lose 3 days in a time warp where I barely eat, sleep or shower. That's kind of what happened with this quilt, except instead of one of those reasons, it was a combination of all of them + having a baby. So here I am, 5 1/2 months after my friend Sharon's baby is born, finishing her shower present...*sheepish grin*
My friend picked out the pattern, and I supplied the labor and zig zag stitching. The pattern is called Cirque d'Elephant and was purchased from Sew Much Ado on Etsy. She's very sweet and gracious...I would know because there might have been an incident where I messaged her about an error in the pattern before I realized I'm an idiot that can't read diagrams. And she was nice enough to point out the pattern was right in a way that didn't make me feel like a complete boob (in defense of my sewing honor, I was operating on about 4 hours of sleep/day at that point).
I used a mishmash of prints for the front, my favorite baby boy backing by DS Quilts for Joann's (even though the bolt was printed seriously crooked and is a huge pain in my can to line up straight), and a Michael Miller print from one of their nautical themed collections that I can't remember the name of because I stole it from my friend Heather at our last quilt guild meeting...
And just for good measure, here's a picture I took of the Plaid Baby that I couldn't help but caption and send to my friend Sharon.