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October 23, 2014

Alice in Wonderland Party Dress


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

Frozen Olaf Halloween Costume


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)


Originally I was going to finish off the chin straps with some velcro like the pattern suggests, but after my friend told me her daughter's head measures pretty big for her age, I sewed a little piece of elastic between the two straps to allow for more give.


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

Briar Rose Play Quilt


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

Baby Bragging


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

Sno-Ball Pillowcase Dress



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

Cirque d'Elephant Quilt

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.



April 9, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!


Spring has officially arrived in New Orleans and we've been enjoying temperates in the 70's for the past few weeks (don't be too jealous, because the humidity will arrive soon and I'll spend the next 6 months sweating like a beast, trying (and failing) to keep my pants from creeping up my butt, and getting 3rd degree burns from my seatbelt). There are always a precious few weeks immediately before and after summer where we can enjoy the heat without the sweltering, suffocating humidity, and now is that time. I'm enjoying it while it lasts!


In celebration of spring and beautiful weather, I've been outside a lot (read: not sewing) planting our herb and veggie patch, and trying to convince the hubby to help me transport the prickly blackberry bushes I planted last year that are now big enough to be moved from the raised bed to the ground. No luck on that front yet...did I mention they're VERY prickly?


Merida even has her own little gardening hat now, courtesy of my sweet Aunt Brenda. She sent it last week, and those little knitted flowers and buttons are KILLING.ME.

The boat pattern is from 318 Patchwork Patterns, enlarged to 10.5"

I did manage to squeeze in a little sewing when we had a few rainy days this weekend, and finished two blocks for a new beach themed quilt for Merida. Ray's aunt and uncle recently purchased a house in Biloxi that's on a small, private inlet of the ocean, complete with dock, covered gazebo, and fish cleaning station...so I figure we'll be going out there a lot this summer because Ray and his brother looooove to fish. I want a cute play blanket we can leave there for Merida, hence the water/beach theme :)

Hopefully I can get it finished before the summer's actually over...


April 8, 2014

Quilt Journey

Pattern is from Malka Dubrawsky's Fresh Quilting, enlarged to 120%

I'm getting ready to embark on a self-entitled "Quilt Journey" with a group of my closest quilty friends, and I'm so excited to share my inspiration block with y'all today! I finished this in the wee hours of the night after the baby was in bed (and the hubby was asleep on the couch, ha!). 

A few months ago we decided it had been too long since our last crafty exchange, and instead of doing the same ol' same ol' secret partner swap, we decided to do a traveling quilt of sorts. Each person chooses the color palette and makes an inspiration block, strip, etc. for their quilt, but after that it's in the hands of the group. It's like improv quilting meets round robin swap. 


And to make it even more fun, we're including a journal in each package with whatever we want - more inspiration pictures, big picture ideas of the kind of quilt we'd like, uplifting words for our fellow quilters....you get the idea :)


I'm getting ready to mail mine off today, and after seeing everyone else's starter blocks, I'm practically chomping at the bit to see the beauty of creation at work as each quilt moves along! Especially since my inspiration block is a departure from my normal style. Usually I like bright, bold, and sassy...but this time I wanted a "mama only" quilt with a more romantic and soothing palette. Something I can snuggle under after a long day of being a mama, and all that entails ;)


Can't wait to share the journey with you all! :)

March 20, 2014

Molly Market Tote

I pattern tested my friend Michelle / I Like Orange Too's new Molly Market Tote pattern and it's FABULOUS and soooo easy to make! I finished this last night around 1 a.m. because I had to wait out my family first...once they all fell asleep I was able to sneak off and sew in a semi-lit room like Gollum, lol.


I used a bee print from Echino's new spring line, a teal Echino dot, and a yellow dash print from Michael Miller than reminded me of bees flying :)  I am absolutely in love with the main Echino print...easily my favorite since the other bee print they released back in 2006. Back then I didn't realize fabric had a short shelf life, so I thought I had all the time in the world to buy the yardage I wanted. WRONG. Trust me, not making that mistake this time around!



Can't wait for her to finalize the pattern and share it with the world :)

OH...and here's a picture of our favorite furry friend laying on it this morning. *sigh* I had it sitting on the back of the couch so I could switch out my purse contents, walked away for 2 seconds to grab something for the baby, and when I came back he was laying on it. I get no respect....lol! When I tried to shoo him off he just turned around and looked at me like "ummm...excuse me...but were you actually attempting to take something out of the house without some of my fur on it? I.don't.think.so"




March 10, 2014

Mommy Bag


I've been so bogged down with Etsy orders the past few months (they've been keeping us afloat since Plaid Baby's arrival), that I can't remember the last time I made a project purely for pleasure...even longer if I try to think of one that was for pleasure and myself (that sounds a bit dirty, doesn't it?)


So when I stumbled across Denyse Schmidt's new Piccadilly line in Joann's last week, I just HAD to sit down immediately and sew something for myself with it. I didn't recreate the wheel here since it had to be something I could finish within Plaid Baby's 2 hour afternoon nap, so I went with a fold over zip clutch. It's nice having something that isn't meant for shlepping around 2 tons of baby accoutrement. And bonus, we have a Parent's Night Out coming up at our church this Friday, so I'll actually get to use it soon!




I haven't purchased any of her fabric since Hope Valley because I just haven't been feelin' it, but I knew when I saw pictures of Piccadilly on her website that I NEEDED that dainty navy floral. Of course I promptly forgot all about it 30 minutes later (mommy brain...), so I nearly peed myself when I spotted the bolt on the shelf a few days ago. It's such a cute print and reminds me of the glory days of Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope :)

February 12, 2014

CREATE Pillow

Just finished up this pillow for a friend, and it will be on its way to its intended just as soon as I can get the Plaid Baby all strapped up and ready for the post office.


I used a text print from Art Gallery's new line Littlest for the background, and an old Denyse Scmidt print from one of her Joann's lines for the appliqué. Photos really don't do it justice, but I really love the background color on the Littlest print. It's not white, but has almost an antiqued/yellowed look to it like a page in an old book.


I echo quilted the scissors for texture, since the pillow itself is very simple and I felt it needed a little more "oomph"


Normally I don't quilt the back, but I did for two reasons. One, this fabric is very thin - think original Heather Ross lines - which makes it perfect for clothes and light summer quilts, but not so hot for home decor sewing. I was worried about how well it would hold up with repeated sofa lounging and abuse, so I decided to give it some stability and quilt the back as well.


The second reason I decided to quilt the back is because I wanted to do an inset zipper, and it would look all uneven and weird if one side was quilted, and the other was plain ol' fabric.

Isn't that zipper adorbs? I bought it from ZipIt on Etsy - they only have one size (12") with two color options (aqua and purple), but I couldn't help myself and got a few of each :)


February 10, 2014

Mixed Nuts

Whenever I thought about the wild variety of stuff I made this weekend, mixed nuts is what came to mind. And now I'm really hungry for White Chocolate Macadamia cookies for some reason…good thing I don't have any handy, because I'd probably convince myself it would be okay to eat 2 dozen since I'm breastfeeding (because apparently in my mind, the extra breastfeeding 500 calories/day = 5,000 calories/day).

But I digress. Commence the recap.

Worked on restocking the zip pouches in my Etsy shop. I felt all trendy making them in the Pantone color of the year Radiant Orchid…maybe that buys me a few fashion points since I rarely change out of my pajamas these days (did I mention I quit my job? Because I QUIT MY JOB!)


I'm also working on building up a stock of wet bags for a new project (more to come on that later). 


And then there's a quilted pillow and an elephant baby quilt in the works.



Hoping to finish the pillow today and the quilt tomorrow. I don't think I ever formally mentioned it on here, but I joined Instagram about a year ago and you can follow me by clicking here  or the button at the top of the right sidebar. I post a lot more progress photos and whatnot on there in case you're curious what I'm up to :)
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