Dressing for Spring

One of the best things with having 3 daughters is sewing Sunday dresses for Spring and Summer.

So bright and cheery. So satisfying to make.

And, at this age, they so appreciate it. I am sure that will not last forever.

The pattern is the Miss Mary pattern from The Handmade Dress.

I loved this pattern and will use it again. Well written and came together just how I imagined it.

I bought the fabric a few months back for $1.50 per metre. It's not actually a woven cotton but a thin twill. It is soft and drapes very nicely.

Taking photos of my girl was so fun! Can you tell?

Now go! Sew your little (or big) girl a sweet dress for church! And have fun.


A gift for me...

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone!
When I went to sew yesterday afternoon, look what I found!  My husband went about very secretly and added some wonderful storage areas to my sewing room!  Today is my birthday but he had to do it when I was out and he couldn't keep me from sewing so I got my gift a day early :)

As time goes on I'm sure things will move around to where they work for me.

Now the pressure's on to use the space, which isn't really a problem :)  And I have been doing some quilting/sewing but I seem to keep starting new things and not finishing them - hence the white board!

In the pictures I see 7 projects I'm working on or have ready to start...can you?

Help me wish Suzanne a very Happy Birthday!

She's 28 today!

These are photos of when I visited her (in Nov 08.) We are off to get our hair cut and go fabric shopping.

We had a very good time together.

I love my sister very much. We live a long day's drive apart but we are very close. I thank the Lord often for this gift He's given me.

I can't be there to help her celebrate but you can help me out here by wishing her a Happy Birthday here in the comments.


They don't all work out so well...

I thought I'd make Carolin a cute shirt and shorts outfit using a dress pattern and only fabric I had on hand.

This is Take 1. I underestimated how long it should be and the top came out too short. And I find it too full in the 'dress' part.

Below are some photos of Take 2.

You can see that the shorts are way to big for her. I used a Size 2 and took it in 3inches and they are still way too big. Lesson for next time - measure first.

I added some inches to the shirt. I initially was going to add another tier but I didn't have enough fabric to do so. I was so tempted to buy some more fabric and just turn it into a dress, but I wasn't going to spend any money on it. Besides she has so many dresses already. I used one of my embroidery stitches on the seam.

So, they don't all work out so well. But that's all part of it and I'm always learning.

She did wear the top with a long-sleeved t-shirt under it to Bible Study this week. I even got a few compliments on it.

Pattern for top: Burda 9702

The "Playpen Project"

Remember this quilt?

I posted about it on September 15, 2009. That is over 6 months ago by my calculations. Below is a quote from that blog post.

"I'm really, really happy with how it turned out and is making me excited to make other things. But first I have to finish the playpen project."

I bolded that just now. So why has it taken me 6 months to finish it off?

I sewed something wrong and needed to pick out stitches. I hate picking out stitches. Alot. So there it sat in my WIP bin for 6 months. Ridiculous. Anyone else do that?

This is what the playpen used to look like. My parents used it for their 8 children and now I'm using it for mine. But it has seen better days. It needed some TLC.

See the tape? That's from when my parents had it. I used some duct tape to reinforce where it needed and then made rail covers. Or whatever you might call them.

Patchwork to match the quilt, of course. Snapped on between each rail. So nice to chew on.

And yes, we took the playpen outside to take photos of it. Benjamin was happy to help me with this 'manly' job during Spring Break.

Now that that's done, I should make covers for the crib rails too. Look for an update in say, September. :-)


Thrifty Threads #12

Making his sleeper last just a little bit longer

He was going through the toes. But his mom didn't want him to be finished with this sleeper yet. She's going through denial, you know.

So she extended the life of the sleeper and all is well for now.


Quilt Gifted

Last week I finished up their quilt (put a label on it) and gave it to them. A little over a month early, but I think it's fun for the couple if they get their gifts here and there over a period of time. Makes the last (long) month before the big day go just a bit faster.

And here they are. The happy (acting goofy) couple with the quilt. I hope it gets lots of use for many years.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I give a quilt away I'm always a bit sad. You put a lot into a quilt and then you have to say good bye to it. But this one I'll get to see now and again because they are actually going to live close to us. Unlike some other people in my family. You know who you are. :-)


Thank you!

Thanks to everyone for commenting on my last post!  I haven't bought any fabric yet and am still debating between two colours but I'll let you know when I have it pieced together :)

In the meantime I have some dresses to make...

Thanks again!


Sashing Suggestions?

So...I've finished the blocks for my version of the Paintbox Quilt and now need some advice on what to use for sashing. Can you help? Here are a bunch of options from fabric I had at home but I'm open to other ideas too.
white - I like it just not sure I want white on my son's bed
light blue - I like it but do I love it?
black - I like it but it gives the quilt a very different look (son and husband both like this the best)
bright blue - nice but will the squares with blue on the outside just blend in?
light gray - not so much
gray - before trying anything I thought gray is what I would use...now I'm not sure I like it

I'd love to hear your thoughts!  Thanks!


Thrifty Threads #11 - Skirt Refashion

Like my new skirt?

It used to look like this.

I like it much better now.

What can you find in your closet to refashion?


Spring Break Activities

I had a hard time taking a photo of these, but look so neat hanging in our patio doors.

We took wax paper, an old cheese grater and crayons (old stubby ones.) We grated crayon onto a piece of wax paper. We did different colour combinations. Then put another same-size piece of wax paper on top. Cover your ironing board with an old piece of cotton. Put your wax-paper sandwich on it. Put another piece of cotton on top. Something you don't ever want to use for anything else. Iron it on low, no steam. Take your pressing cotton off and you will have a beautiful pattern of colour. The kids loved it!

Then we traced circles onto the finished wax-paper, cut them out and I sewed them together to form random strings of circles. We had some left-over and I sewed them together on my sewing machine. Much faster! Those ones are hanging in Benjamin's room. Melissa made some hearts which I stitched on the machine. They are in her window.

A fun spring break project for the kids and I!

We've also been to the zoo, played with cousins, read books, played playmobil, gone swimming, visited Oma, cheered on the Bruins (Benjamin) and played games. One more week left. We are hoping to have another good week together. Which means I may not be posting anything for another week. I am managing to sneak in some sewing time though.


More Baby Gifts

It seems there are always babies needing gifts - a wonderful thing!  Here are a few that I've made the past couple of months.

I initially made these little slippers for Sophie to go with this dress but they were way too small, so with the last little bit of the argyle fabric and a coordinating solid I made another little dress in newborn size to go with them.
This is a double sided receiving blanket with bias binding.

And...after many years I picked up this receiving blanket and finished crocheting the edges. I found out I really enjoy doing it and have started another!

I hope you`re enjoying your week!


Thrifty Threads #10 - PJ Pants

Yesterday I was in Superstore browsing at their clothes. They have such nice pj bottoms right now. Only $12. I really needed new ones. But self-control prevailed (this time). I have so much fabric in my stash including some soft cotton knits so I cut apart my old bottoms, used them for a pattern (but I made them smaller - yeah!) and put these together in about 90 minutes. That includes taking care of children in between. And they are so comfortable. I'm wearing them right now. My husband likes them. He called me clever. Clever. I'll take it as a compliment.

The cost for these was about $5 for the fabric. I ordered it online awhile back and it came out to about $3.50/yd including shipping.

To me the real savings is the $12 I could have spent. Yes, I did buy the fabric for them in the past but it could have just stayed in my stash too. That's how I explain it to my husband anyway :-)


Kids Fabric Crafts

My kids love my fabric scraps.  I find them digging in my garbage can by my sewing machine saying "Can I have this one Mom?"  So they "quilt" with paper, glue and fabric!  Here's something we did quite a while ago, using scraps from this quilt, and that I just got around to hanging up and taking a picture.  They are in the kids playroom and are a nice cheerful addition.
(I really can't take pictures in a dark basement!)
The frames are from Ikea and I've had them since I was a teen.  I'm glad I hung onto them :)

Any other non-sewing fabric craft ideas?


Quilt Retreat

Ahh, the quilt retreat. Away from husband, kids and responsibilities for 24 hours. Time to stitch and chitchat with other like-minded woman. Time to work on projects.... Except for the fact that I am one of those people who is much more efficient at home in my own workspace that at a retreat. But that's okay, I expected that. I also didn't take any photos. Just a couple photos of one of the quilts I was working on while there.

While I really love this quilt, I am not sure where to go from here. Add another two rows and make it a twin-size? Add borders and make it a big picnic quilt? Leave it as is, quilt it up and then sell it? Auction it off at our school's fair in May? I guess my problem is that I don't have a specific use in mind right now.

It appears that I am terrible at replying to comments. I do love the comments though and find it interesting to glimpse into your lives that way. Regarding the cake question. It seems most of you make your own cakes, some fancier than others. Way to go!