Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mouse House

Years ago I saw a sweet little mouse house using an Altoid box. One day when Miss C gets older, I thought, we could make one together.

Well that 'one day' has arrived.

I bought a box of Altoids, and they are indeed curiously strong mints. Powerful might be a better term.

We glued a piece of felt on top and she decorated it with felt flowers.

Next, we cut out a piece of white brushed corduroy for the mouse body, I stitched on the face and limbs, ears and C stuffed and stitched it closed. We also made a tiny pillow and blanket.

There is an excellent tutorial to make a pocket sized mouse house here

I bought 2 boxes of Altoids so perhaps we'll make another little pocket sized house for a tiny bear next.

Friday, February 9, 2018


I saw some fun little Valentines brooches the other day while surfing for hand stitching ideas that I could do with Miss C.

I came across heart shaped felt with scraps of lace, ribbon, buttons and beads. "Perfect" I thought.

So I made one quickly to see if she's like to make some......

...... and she wanted to make 11 for all her bff's.

Then we decided to make some more Valentines gifts for friends that her brother could make as well.

I bought some lollypops from the bulk food store, trimmed away some of the plastic and affixed them to card stock that I cut using my Scan 'n Cut. The kids has already printed their Valentines wish on the other side.
Lastly we added a bit of green in the shape of a leaf.

Since there was a lot crafty items on the dining table when we were done, Miss C wanted to try her hand at she made a bookmark!

Pioneer dress

It's been a long time since I did a blog post and a long time since I actually did some sewing.  My stash sorely needs busting so perhaps this can be a new trend.

Miss C's class was going on a trip to a heritage school and asked me to make her a dress from the late 1800's.

I showed her all the fabric I had that was 3 meters in length ... never mind they weren't fabrics typical of pioneer time.  She made her selection and together we pinned all the pattern pieces.

We used McCall's pattern 7231, size 12. It went together quickly.

She had a fun day at the school and the teacher was a high school friend of her mother. I remember her well and I'm sure she's a wonderful teacher. 

Note to self: size 12 ran large and long.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

First Communion dress

Caitlin asked for a white dress to wear for her first Communion. That prompted me to think about the dress I wore for my first Communion and the photo of the one my mother wore.

What struck me was the veil we had to wear. I wasn't a fan of it when I had to wear it, the term 'dorky' came to mind and my mother's made her look like a nurse. Beautiful lace though.

So whatever dress I ended up making, I thought, wouldn't include a veil.  I made a hairband fascinator instead.

She asked me to make her a dress that was exactly like her Easter dress which was the Fairy Tale dress. I think I could sew it in my sleep now since I've now made 9 using that pattern.

The fabric I used from my stash was white surface embroidered cotton. Easy to sew with and easy to wash and iron.

At the last minute, we decided the  dress needed a little something else to make it extra special so I hastily, repeat .... hastily,  glued together some tulle and silk ribbon flowers I made plus tossed in some pearls and ribbon for more bling. On the back I stitched a safety pin hoping it would hold.

I found white gloves and she was now one happy camper with her outfit. However she didn't want to wear anything in her hair. Totally fine with me having felt the same way years ago.

It was a lovely service at church, Pentecost Sunday,  and everyone in the congregation wore red to symbolize joy and fire.

Her Godparents came too, one making the trek from far away with her 2 babies in tow on a rainy Sunday morning.

In what seems to be a disturbing changing world, I am thankful for the love and joy that embraces my little corner of the universe.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fairy Tale Dress

The Fairy Tale Dress (Oliver + S) has become my other favourite pattern. It's a bit more time consuming to construct than my first favourite dress, the Bubble Dress pattern, which BTW only goes to size 5. Fortunately, the Fairy Tale dress goes to size 12.

I've made 8 of them since buying the pattern and every single one has turned out perfectly.  As I've said so many times, Oliver + S pattern are truly the best children's patterns. Period.

When Miss C. asked for a spring/Easter dress, she chose the pattern and the fabric from my stash. The fabric is 'Water Lily', Ginger Blossom by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller fabrics.

I also made her a spring coat but haven't had a chance to get it modelled properly. In this photo, she's sporting hair that just came from swimming class and hastily blow dried.
The hem on the coat needs to be shortened.

The pattern is from Ottobre magazine Winter 2006 Issue.

I really like the end product from Ottobre patterns but tracing out the desired size sure makes you crossed eyed.

Here are the 8 Fairy Tale dresses I've made so far.

When the pattern first came out, it was suggested to make a muslin first. I've never done that and like I said before, the dress turns out perfectly every time.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Little dresses

While the Bubble Dress pattern was sitting out on my cutting table I decided to make another. This time, the dress is size 3. It's such a quick sew.

I recently inherited fabric from a neighbours mother. She bought the fabric to make her girls dresses but like all good intentions, never got around to it. Now her daughter has a little girl, so I used some of that fabric and made her granddaughter a dress. Size 3. I used the Building Block Dress book (Oliver + S) for the pattern.
(The skirt got creased while I was carrying it and needs another shot from the iron ... ooops)

On the back, I added a big bow. The skirt wasn't as full nor as long as I would have liked.

And because I had lots of leftover yarn, knit another In Threes cardigan.  

Tidy up time again in my sewing space...............

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bubble Dress

I first made a Bubble Dress way back in January 2010. It's such a sweet pattern and while bubble hems aren't the usual these days, it still looks so cute on wee ones.

Looking through my stash, I happened to find a remnant of the fabric I initially made for that first bubble dress and made it again in the same size for a neighbours granddaughter. She is turning 1 this week.

Since I have learned to knit I made a little cardigan to go with the dress. I managed to use up all of this yarn and if you can spot that tiny bit on the right side of the photo, well, that's all that was left over. Talk about a nail biter casting off!

The cardigan pattern is called In Threes and it's my default pattern ... as in I can knit fairly well.

So here's the ensemble. Dress and cardigan.

Both are size 12-18mos. I recall that this same Bubble Dress fit Caitlin when she was 13 months and she was average for her age so I'm presuming - hoping - it'll fit my neighbours granddaughter just fine.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Adventure Vest

A few years ago I made Mr. A the Explorers Vest from Oliver + S book, Little Things To Sew. He loved it and wore it often.
This the original one I made and he preferred to call it an Adventure Vest.

Well, he's grown and asked me to make another one, larger and also one for his bear, "Perfect Bear".

As good luck would have it, I had plenty of the same fabric leftover to fill the order.  I had forgotten how quickly the vest goes together and made them both in an afternoon.

The bear vest was mostly by guess .... and by golly it fit!

He wanted lots of badges, so he and gramps picked out some images and transferred them to an iron-on sheet.
I didn't add the extra d-rings this time around mostly because I didn't have any handy.  I didn't make the front pockets bellows either. He didn't seem to mind.

And both have the same badges on the back.

He's thrilled. I'm thrilled. Happy campers all around.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Building Block dress

Oliver + S has published a book called the Building Block Dress. In the book are basic pattern pieces and all the information one needs to create just about any style dress.

Oliver + S Building Block Dress

Caitlin saw some grey and red plaid fabric in my stash and asked me to make her a dress. Enter the Building Block Dress book.

She's size 8 for some parts and size 10 for others. So I decided to make a dropped waist dress and for the collar, make a detachable fur collar.

Here's the dress finished.
I used the bodice pieces from the pattern in the book, lengthened and flared them out at the side going from size 8 to size 10.
Also used the sleeve from the book but had to shorten the length. 

I used the collar piece from the book and added an inch at the fold. I cut the lining (cotton) 1/4" smaller than the fashion fabric which in this case was fur.

I did a fairly good job matching up all the plaid and the dress fits perfectly.

There wasn't enough plaid leftover to make a matching dress for her doll however she was keen on using some other plaid that was leftover from a table runner so she made a dress for her doll mostly by herself.
Lots of plaid going on in this photo as we play 'pin the sporran on the highlander' at our Robbie Burns dinner party.

Just look at her "sonsie" face.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sewing 2016

I was completely surprised at all the sewing and knitting projects I managed to do over the course of 2016 when I made this photo mosaic.........

There were a few other things that weren't included like making sheers for the bathroom..... a couple of other knitting and sewing items I just didn't photo document.

Two of my trusty sewing machines packed it in last year; my serger, a Bernette that had to be 20+ years old and my main sewing machine, a Husqvarna Quilt Designer that was 12+ years old.
Temporarily, I used my Husqvarna Iris, again an old machine with limited capabilities but as good luck would have it, my husband convinced me to get 2 new machines.

I took him with the sewing machine store with me because he does not recognize the value of a dollar and he loves anything techy.

When he saw the Babylock Enlighten serger (which happened to be the most expensive in the store) and the air threading technology, (which I totally did not need) he insisted I get it.
Who am I to argue?

Then I turned to the Husqvarna Q Opal 690Q for my main machine. I figured I could use the feet from my previous machine and plus the 690Q had features that I liked in the Quilt Designer.
So I got it too.

Things are looking kind of messy and chaotic on my sewing table but that's how I seem to operate. FYI, my house is perfectly tidy. Everything in it's place and not a dust bunny nor an Irish curtain to be found. It's not the same case for my sewing space.

Once I clear off my cutting table and finish some mending projects I plan to be back to some serious sewing once again.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fairy Tale dress

The O+S Fairy Tale dress seems to be my go-to dress.
This time around I had to make some adjustments: chest, sleeves and length size 8 but waist and hip size 10.  During the summer I could make her a size 6 dress using less than a 1/2" seam allowance and basically cheat to a size 7.

She's grown at least 2 sizes since the summer. Her mom said she's eating ravenously and once produced just a stem from an apple.....she ate the whole thing, core and all. I'd say that's hungry, and no wonder she's grown so quickly.

In my stash I had 2 meters of a beautiful William Morris print and it was enough to do the whole dress and bodice lining but not so the skirt lining.

I had a chance to fit the bodice on her before completing the sleeves and skirt, and it fit. Phew!

I also had in mind to knit a sweater. Cold days are upon us and an elbow length dress made from cotton isn't exactly the warmest.
So I bought some yarn and knit the pattern 'Amy' from Sezza Knits.
However, after I washed it and set it out to block, I noticed a hole in the sleeve.

So I unpicked the whole thing and re-knit it again.

The dress needs grey stockings and light brown boots I think.

Just got the grey tights and brown boots plus she modelled the dress and it fits perfectly.

Anyway, it's done and now she another dress to wear for special occasions.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Music Box Jumper

I'm having trouble finding time to sew. Last week, I caught a window and made this Oliver +  S pattern called Music Box Jumper.

Miss C chose the fabric from my vast stash that doesn't seem to be growing less. More sewing time would help.

Anyway, the little scamp grew 2 sizes in the past month so this pattern is size 8 for the bodice and 10 for the skirt. It's a little long but that's what she wanted ... so that what she gets.

I got the idea for this jumper from here.......

I lowered the neckline on the pattern to look like the neckline on the photo above and added the little side flaps (epaulettes?) too.

Lighting is really poor today and it's difficult to see the check pattern and colour of the fabric.
Maybe this photo is lighter?

At any rate, she loves the dress and plans to wear on Sunday.

Funny thing, I asked her to put on stockings for this photo and while she was reluctant to change from her school clothes she agreed but wouldn't take off her socks. They're underneath her stockings!
But I didn't complain, as I was happy to get a photo.
During our photo shoot, I asked her to look "pensive". Don't you think that's a good interpretation of "pensive" especially since she didn't know what I was talking about?