Monday, December 15, 2014

Handmade Toddler Wardrobe

I realized the other day as I was looking through pictures that I made a bunch of clothes for Nola, but haven't shared a single thing. Since I'm in the thick of Christmas sewing and can't *quite* share my latest wedding quilt yet, how about some adorable toddler(!) pictures with some handmade clothes?

This was my first make of the summer, See Kate Sew's Pippa Peplum in Heather Ross's Strawberry knit. I actually made a few of these, but this is the only one I photographed. I love this adorable pattern, but it does get too short pretty quickly, so in subsequent versions, I added about 1 1/2" in length to the top piece.

Next up is the Shwin & Shwin Glass onion top. I used some Cloud 9 fabric I found at Jo-Ann's and sewed up the most simple version: cap sleeve and regular lapping back. I love this shirt, but since I used quilting cotton, the lapped back always has to be ironed. I'm going to try the more voluminous version in some double gauze in the spring.

I've made half a dozen of Craftiness is Not optional's Nessie Top pattern. This is the first one and it's actually the best. I used a cotton jersey from GirlCharlee and she still wears it (over a long sleeve onesie).

I used this beautiful Charlie Harper knit for this version. I love the fabric, but I think it's an interlock? I've found that most designer knits don't work well for this shirt, which is unfortunate since there are so many cute ones! I wish they'd add some lycra to them. I've had some difficulty getting the collar right with this pattern. But you can really see the high/low hem in these.

 And this last pattern I Love with a capital L. It's the Bimaa top from LouBee Clothing. I want to make a ton of these, but I've only managed two. The first she wears ALL the time, the fabric from GirlCharlee is so soft. I was worried the cowl neck collar would bug her, but it doesn't. It does, however, catch a lot of food!

I used the hooded version for a last-minute Halloween costume. It was a use-what-I-have situation, and the white fleece I used was not nearly stretchy enough for this pattern. When she recommends 4-way stretch fabrics, she means it. The hood was also a little large for the size, which apparently she fixed in the updated version, but it worked well for what it was. I hacked the ears into the hood and added a pompom for the tail, and voila, bunny!

Well, there you go, my daughter's mostly handmade wardrobe. I hardly bought any clothes this Fall and I love it!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cotton and Steel Triangularity Quilt

Well, there is another quilt from earlier this summer that I made for my friend's wedding, but I've misplaced the pictures. Bummer. I'm sure I'll find them "soooomedaaay", but for now I'm going to move on to an end of summer quilt. This one was for another wedding - so many weddings and babies this year!!!! My cousin got married in September on fairly short notice, so I'm pretty proud of myself for getting this out to her only a week or two after the event. I stalked her Pinterest pages a little, and I think I captured her style, at least I hope I did.

I used the Triangularity pattern from In Color order. I know this is a pretty straightforward equilateral triangle quilt, but it was really nice to have someone else do the math for me. By the way, I'm dying to do the quilt using the same fabrics she uses in the original. So pretty!

The fabrics are various navy, aqua, mustard and white blenders from Cotton and Steel. I love the way they look together, even though they are all solid or small print.

Cutting the triangles from 1/2 yards left some pretty nice scraps, so I used a long leftover strip from each fabric to break up the solid navy on the back. Since most of her style pins were stripe-y, I thought it fit well. You can also see the quilting pretty well on the back, I quilted 1/4" on either side of every seam.

I did not put one of my usual labels on the back and I'll tell you why: piecing triangles is hard. So hard, apparently, that in a couple of places I didn't quite catch a layer of fabric. I didn't notice until I had already quilted the thing. I tried to hand sew the seams back together, and that mostly worked, as most errors were really small. There was this one area that went together but was big enough and ugly enough to be noticeable. So I hand sewed a mini label over that seam and no one was the wiser. Until I announced it just now on the internet.

I am super happy with this quilt, I just love the way it turned out! I think this is in my top 3 favorite quilts I've made, but I'm pretty biased towards triangle quilts.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Honey Baby

Another baby quilt! This'll be short, because this is another one I just snapped a few quick pics before it was sent off.

Maybe you can tell, this baby quilt is a little "above and beyond" what I usually sew for babies. I had originally intended it to be MY baby's quilt. I loved the Honey Honey collection by Kate Spain as soon as I saw it, and since I was preggo with my baby girl at the time, I thought it would make the perfect baby girl quilt. And it does, really, just not for my baby girl.

By the time my girl arrived, I had only finished the top. I figured I had plenty of time to quilt it before she could use it. But after a few months of knowing her, I was pretty sure that, while the quilt is beautiful, it just did not fit her personality. Maybe that's weird, but it's true. Luckily, my friend April had just told me she was pregnant with a girl, so I finished it up and sent it off.


I have picked and cut new fabrics for Nola's quilt, and even started to sew it up, but spent a long day seam ripping when I realized that I really didn't want navy in her quilt. Sigh. She really doesn't need one until she switches to her toddler bed, so I think I have a little time yet. I hope.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Drift Wedding Quilt

Two family friends decided to get married this Spring within a week of each other. We were able to attend one wedding, since it was in Maryland and more accessible, but the other was held in New orleans. While I would have loved to go to that one too, it just wasn't going to happen. The couple getting married lived in Florida and really loved the beach; I've also spent a lot of time on the beaches of North Carolina with the hubby half of the couple. A beachy-type quilt would be perfect! I wanted something that reminded me of waves, so I decided to try a tumbler quilt. While I was trying to decide what fabric to use, I came across Angela Walters' line for Art Gallery - Drift. The colors were exactly what I was looking for and I thought they would be perfect to get across that sunset over the water feeling.

I did a little better with the pictures of this one. I really wanted to take some down at the beach - we're at my parents' beach house in NC here - but I was giving this to my friend that night and the weather wasn't cooperating. So the colors are a little muddy since these were taken under the house.

I wish I had gotten a picture of the back! I was actually really happy with the back on this one. I used the left over fabric to piece 3 horizontal lines placed at a diminishing space apart - does that make sense? Anyway, it kind of reminded me of a horizon.

Here's my hand-lettered and hand-stitched label. I thought the linen would look like sand, but I have to admit the color looked a little out of place on this quilt of soft pastels.

I quilted with long, wavy lines across the center of each row, just to really make it seem more wave-like. It must have come across, because my male friend said, "It looks like waves." I love it when the recipient "gets" it!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Summer of a Thousand (or 4) Quilts

Considering how quiet this blog has been, I've actually finished quite a few quilts this year already. I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing them all (somewhat) on time! Unfortunately, I was not so good about taking pictures. I mean, I did TAKE pictures of all of the quilts, they just weren't the best. For the most part, they have been hastily snapped immediately before they were gifted, handed off or mailed. That is one of my resolutions, to take better pictures of my makes. (Can you have a resolution in the middle of the year? I think so.) I put so much effort in, I really should have a beautiful record of them!

Anyway, here is one of the two baby quilts I completed this summer. This first one was for a baby boy. I have been trying to use up some of my fabric stash, so luckily I had a charm pack of Max and Whiskers by Basicgrey that had been sitting around awhile. I used a broken nine patch pattern with a big border of black essex yarn dyed linen (also from the stash). I gave the linen 1/2" seams and reinforced them with zigzags, as I've heard linen in a quilt can really fall apart with time.

I backed the quilt with white minky for the softness factor. I had originally planned on using some cute paw print minky I found at Jo-Ann's for the back, but then I found out one of the parents is actually afraid of dogs. Hmm. Since I had already pieced the top with fabric containing dogs (and cats and bunnies and fish), I just nixed the paw print backing. I couldn't find minky that matched the colors on the top close enough for my satisfaction, so white it was. That plus the 3-colored binding (woo hoo, more stash fabric!) really brightened the whole quilt up, so overall I'm really happy with how it turned out. I also used basting spray, which made a HUGE difference in the whole process of quilting with minky. No shifting at all! This quilt definitely put minky back in my repertoire.

And here's one last totally awful shot. At least you can see the (blurry) animals. I quilted in the ditch for the center, and you can juuuust see the zigzag quilting on the border seam. Just to add one more layer of stability for shifty ol' linen.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Super Diaper Bag

Here is another post BN and AN - that's Before Nola and After Nola. I knew that I wanted to make my own diaper bag whenever I became pregnant the second time around, as I was never quite happy with any of the 3 bags I had for Jack. I bought the pattern for Anna Maria Horner's Multi Tasker Tote, thinking it would be the perfect bag for the job. I still love the pattern and want to make one some day, but as soon as I saw Noodlehead's Super Tote pattern, I knew it was the one. I admit to being inspired by some of the other Super Totes out there in fabric choice, but I love how it came out:

I used some Anna Maria Horner linen for the main fabric with matching Essex linen for the handles and gusset.

The inside is some mystery Ikea fabric I had in my stash that seemed to match well. As you can see, you can fit a lot inside this thing. I have a large changing clutch, a muslin blanket and water bottle in mine. I did put the elastic side pockets inside as called for, but I added a small zip pocket on the inside, too, for things I wanted to keep contained and easily found.

Here you can see I piped the edge of one of my outer pockets. I used a zipper for the other side. I like options. You might also be able to tell that I used a poly filament to top stitch everything. I thought I was being sly, using something that's clear so I didn't have to match the different fabrics. I also thought it would be stronger than regular thread. Maybe it is, but I do see it pulling out at a couple of stress points.

I love the little pleat on each side of the gusset. It really gives shape to the bag. I also love that the big central pocket zips completely closed.

 And here it is 14-ish months later. I still absolutely love it! I get so many compliments and shocked looks when I tell people I made it. It really has held up well, considering I carry it everywhere, all day, every day. It has been washed once, on delicate, and air dried, and it's come through pretty well. There is a bit of bubbling where the interfacing came away, but it's hardly noticeable.

There is one thing that annoys me and it's entirely my own fault. In stitching the handles to the bag, I was so focused on getting the box/x right, I didn't make sure to go all the way to the top of the bag with the stitching. I didn't notice at first, but now that it's been in use, the top flops over in a very unattractive way. I'm sure I'm the only one that notices, but I do notice. You can see it folding in in the picture above. Also, I probably should have stabilized the handles more, as the linen is really crumbled now.

And here it is stuffed with all of the things one needs for a toddler. Including a dirty diaper, apparently. Gross.

I still REALLY love this bag, and I can see myself carrying it long after the diapers are gone, which is just about the best thing you can say for a diaper bag. And more than I can say for the 3 I had before that are now at the thrift store.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Tiny Dancer Geranium in Action and new toddler-sized Geranium

Well, we're going to pretend that I haven't been MIA from this blog for over a posting a follow up picture to the last post. Here's the tiny dancer geranium, complete with adorable baby!

This little girl is technically a toddler now and this top doesn't even fit. Sigh. I do have a friend who is pregnant with a little girl, so I may pass it on. Maybe.

Well, since she's grown out of this one, I of course had to sew up a new one. I was originally going to put her in this one for her birthday party, but I made the dress version in hopes that it would fit longer, and it is a little long for a still-newbie walker. But look how cute!

The bodice is Essex Yarn-dyed Linen in Denim and the bottom is another Cotorienne fabric, Nohara lawn in black. I guess I like my Geraniums in Cotorienne! I'm not super happy with the buttons, but it was all I had at the time that matched. I may switch them out with some wooden buttons later. Also, that linen was a HUUUUUUUGE pain getting the button-holer to work. As a result, they are not my prettiest button holes, and I had to rip a few attempts out, also not easy in the linen. There was also a mishap with the seam ripper while opening up the bottom button hole (yes, I used a pin - it failed me). But it's done.

I don't think that's what the neck line is supposed to look like, but I really like it, kind of a sweetheart shape. I lined the bodice in some leftover black cotton lawn from another dress. I love, love, love the flutter sleeves, especially in this shred-y linen! Mother of the year letting my kid eat rocks, right?