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Showing posts from 2020

Regency Doll Dresses

I've been feeling the need for some quick satisfying projects using things I already had on hand which means...doll dresses! A while back Pemberly Threads on Etsy had a sale on their patterns and I snatched up almost all of the ones she was offering. I just finished sewing the Elinor dress with the optional alternate sleeves pattern as well, using two different styles. Both of these are made in the fashion of the Regency (aka Jane Austen) era. 


This blue dress is made from dark blue satin and embellished with the trim leftover from my wedding dress that I worked on almost 11 years ago! 


This teal dress is made of lightweight cotton that I salvaged from one of Gunnar's dress shirts that he tore a big hole in. It's hard for me to throw away usable scraps of fabric, and this color was just so pretty!

I struggled to style the doll's hair in a Regency Fashion sort of way, but it turned out alright I think. The dresses are just so adorable and make me want to re-watch every…

What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing....for the past few months!

What I've been Reading/Watching/Playing...For the past few months!
Maybe I'll go back to doing monthly ones...Maybe not.

Reading Stormlight Archives 1, 2, and 3 by Brandon Sanderson Lately I've been reading The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson. In February I read The Way of Kings, in March I read Words of Radiance and in April I read Oathbringer. Normally I read a few books each month, but these honking things are like 3 books in one. That said, I really like them! I enjoyed them even more the second time because I knew what to look for and what all the rules of the world were from the beginning, even though I have a terrible memory and had forgotten some of the big reveals. My favorite character is Jasnah, and I wish we got to spend more time following her. When she is around, Stuff Happens. I would totally marry Adolin if given the opportunity and he is generally just such a good guy. His lucky, happy demeanor reminds me of my own husband, actually. I like the oth…

Wide Awake Panda Quilt

Aidan's quilt is finally done! The fabric is "Wide Awake" by Dear Stella Designs. I bought the fat quarter bundle a while ago and Diana picked it out of my stash for Aidan's quilt.
 I actually sat on the fabric for a long time because I couldn't figure out what to do with it. The colors are all pretty light, without a ton of contrast. I didn't want to cut it up too small or else you'd lose the cute little pandas. and could I still use the flower pattern fabric on a boy quilt?? I came ended up dividing the fabric into "teal" and "not teal" and going from there, matching them up into pairs until I felt it looked right. Then I settled on pinwheels because it's one of my favorite baby quilt techniques and lots of pinwheel quilts have a white or solid background to make the pinwheels pop out. And I think it turned out great! It's fairly neutral for a boy quilt, but I think it will go great in Aidan's Winnie the Pooh nursery. &l…

Youtube Spotlight: Tula Pink

First of all, and not sponsored, but I love ordering fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. They ship really fast (usually) and have a great selection of stuff nicely organized and easy to search.

Second of all, I hadn't ever heard of Tula Pink as a fabric maker, but I have actually been using her brand of cool scissors for a few years now and I love them.

Thirdly in a time when I really really miss my friends, her humor and practicality about sewing were a bright LOL amidst the homeschooling, isolation, and endless chores. More on that later.

And finally, if you wanted a quick and dirty lesson on English Paper piecing the fast way, just watch! Actually, I do it the slow way with thread basting, but I would consider her glue method for future projects. And also, I sew like five stitches per inch, not 15. Because I'm not crazy!

So, enjoy!


Masks

Like all the other crafters and seamstresses in the world, I've been using my fabric stash and sewing skills to outfit those around me with cotton face masks. So far I've made about 15...its slow going what with Gunnar still working full time, trying to homeschool two kids, and also taking care of my usual chores, a potty-training toddler, and an infant. 

Also, sewing is one of the only coping mechanisms I have left  (no karate, no mom's night out, no church, no shopping, no friend visits or craft nights or date nights...ya'll know.) so I still do spend some of my sewing time working on other things. I'm sooooo close to finishing Aidan's baby quilt! 


The stress of this time is so strange. I'm a homebody and I love to be home most of the time, but there is a difference between choosing to stay home and being forced to stay home. 

Doll Easter Dress

For my niece's birthday I made some doll clothes for her American Girl Doll! I made three outfits total, but the only  "new" one was this cute Easter outfit. The pattern is 1930's ruffled play dress  from Pixie Faire and the fabric is a bunny print fat quarter that I had lying around from some bundle I bought years ago.The pattern was very simple and straightforward, and it only took a few hours to make the whole outfit.

I put my own twist on the pattern, forgoing the bias trim on the skirt and getting rid of the pointy collar. I also added a bow in the back and lowered the belt to trim the skirt instead.

And I made a cute elastic hairband to match! It's just a tube of fabric with some elastic looped between the ends, but I like how it looks so much I will probably make more out of scraps to match future doll outfits! 



Dinosaur Baby Quilts

This week I finished these adorable baby quilts for my friend's twin baby boys! I love how they turned out and honestly I'm a little jealous that Miles' dinosaur quilt didn't turn out this good!


The backs are both orange minky. The bindings are satin blanket binding...the blue quilt also has a stripe of white because...I ran out of blue and couldn't go to the fabric store because of the pandemic. 


The fabric is the "Roarsome" collection by Camelot Fabrics that I bought off on etsy, and I went with a simple-ish half square triangle design, emphasizing green on one quilt and blue on the other so that they looked different enough but still matchy, which was the maximum fun for twin quilts of course.

Miles testing out the quilt! 

Life Update

We're okay. 
I try to be thankful for the things that are good; our income is secure because Gunnar is essential personnel. I'm glad that as a stay-at-home mom, I'm equipped and prepared to not only care for all of our children, but to homeschool* them and ensure that their education continues in spite of everything. I'm relieved that we are all young and healthy right now and generally low risk. I'm grateful that the rain has cleared up and that my kids can spend so much time in our backyard, or riding bikes, or in the sprinkler. I'm thankful that Gunnar's job gives us access to food and supplies whenever we need them. 
The world has shrunk, in some ways, and I can stay positive when I focus on what has become my whole world--my house, my yard, my kids.  But sometimes I traipse on over to facebook or reddit or CNN and the world explodes open and my heart starts to pound and my head spins and holy shit I am NOT okay. 
I'm terrified for all my elderly an…

Toddler Sunday Dress - The Final Version

I finished Rosemary's beautiful Easter Dress and I am SO happy with it! Several weeks ago I was looking for more Catan Hex fabric and stumbled upon this beautiful Dear Stella fabric yardage at my local quilting store. I didn't find any fabric for my hexes, so I spent way too much money on this instead. Since it was so expensive, I made a wearable mock-up of it out of some cheap fabric from Joann's that I had in my stash, and I'm glad I did. On that one, the button placket is wacky, the underlining is bulky, and the tulle I added to make it puff out a bit was in the wrong spot so the skirt has a little bit of an odd shape. This one, other than one slightly wonky buttonhole, is exactly how I wanted it! I'm really proud of my sewing skills with this one, and it looks great on her too!


Check out those awesome pin tucks! This took a lot of trial and error on practice fabric pieces! Also check out that tongue--she is my little spice all right! 



I bribed her with Disney …

Quick Dog Man Costume

Our Elementary school has a yearly "Book Character Dress Up Day" that my boys LOVE to participate in...which means I have another excuse to get crafty and do some simple costumes! They have both been really into the "Dog Man" graphic novels, and so I offered to make a Dog Man outfit for James! Jack, predictably, wanted to be Calvin (again).  
I was proud that I did't have to buy a single thing for this outfit! I had some blue fleece is my closet from Jack's shark costume and some yellow from a never-made idea to have the boys be Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. 


For the hat I used some heavyweight iron-on interfacing to give it structure, and attached the floppy yellow dog-ears to each side. The badge is just zig-zagged onto the front. There's no lining or anything fancy. 
The shirt is a Minecraft shirt that was the right color. I turned it inside out and basted the badge onto the front with a long running stitch so that I could easily remove it and …

Toddler Sunday Dress - The Practice Version

This past weekend I went looking for some more fabric to make hexes for my quilt that would actually match better, and I had NO LUCK. Instead, I spent too much money on some absolutely beautiful fabric to make a dress for Rosemary. Then, because the fabric was so beautiful and expensive, I thought I should make a mock-up first so I don't mess it up. But I am lazy and I hate making mock-ups, so I decided to make a practice dress instead! Everything in this project came from my stash; some fabric I had from Joann's a fat quarter I nicked from one of my fat quarter bundles, and tulle leftover from who knows what, buttons from my tupperware full of buttons from estate sales, and lining from random scraps in my closet. Yay me! Even the clip and felt I used to make the matching bow were from my drawer of random junk. 
And it turned out WONDERUFL! If I do say so myself, it doesn't actually look home-made at all. I didn't use a pattern, just drafted a little something based o…

What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing January

Reading Starsight by Brandon SandersonAs usual, Sanderson delivers! This is a sequel to Skyward which came out last year and it is just as exciting and surprising as the first one. It's a quick, exciting read and I highly recommend this series if you are interested in reading Sanderson but don't want to try and get through one of his longer more intense series like Mistborn or Stormlight Archives, or if you just prefer sci-fi to fantasy. I read a lot of sci-fi in the past year and Starsight definitely ranks highly in comparison.


Fate of the Fallen by Kel KadeOh man this was terrible and a struggle to finish. The plot had so much potential, but the writing was just so bad. There was a lot of times when something cool would happen...off page. Or something boring would happen, and then the characters would meet someone new and recount what just happened in a very boring way. Even one of the more interesting dynamics of the main character talking to someone that no one else could…

Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #3

Previous Installments:
Starting My Dream Quilt
Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #1
Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #2

Unfortunately, I've had some major setbacks with this quilt. The first is personal: I spent so much of my free tv watching time holding the baby over the past 8 months that I haven't had much time for hand sewing. The second is medical: I have carpal tunnel in my wrists that has flared up very painfully recently and makes basting hexes slower than usual. The third is...design issues. This is what this post is going to be about.

The land continent hexes are all complete and sewn together into large pieces, so I started working on basting the water hexes. I have collected a variety of blues over the course of the year and a half I have been working on this project, and rejected some (the greens in the lower right of the picture, for example) and then decided to go with a more uniform color pallet and started exclusively basting the slate-blue colored waters that you see in the…

Youtube Spotlight: Bernadette Banner

Another costume-maker who I love to watch on Youtube is Bernadette Banner! She lives in New York city and her videos are full of cool historical research and an unbelievable amount of hand-sewing. I would call her crazy, but I'm hand sewing a king-sized hexagon quilt so....I'll call her ambitious and dedicated instead! Really though, her stuff is impressive, her vlogs are interesting and entertaining, and she does most of it in New York city which is basically a foreign country to a suburban Texas girl like me! Check her out!



Teaching them Catan

Over Christmas break, I taught Jack and James how to play Settlers of Catan.

After the babies were in bed, I set up the board and let them choose their colors. The first night we played, it was Catan in the simplest form.  No development cards, no longest road, and no robber until we'd gone around a few times and gotten the hang of it. Trading I let come naturally, when James didn't have the right cards for his settlement and I suggested that he ask Jack if he had one. We only played to five points. It was awesome.

I first played Settlers of Catan in college, with Gunnar and our friends and roommates, and with John and his friends. It became an obsession, and almost every night me and my roommate would set up the board while the guys cleaned up dinner, and then afterwards we would all play these epic long games with two games worth of land tiles, creative setups like "gold island" or "four islands," and lots of fun and sometimes even some arguments.

James,…

New Year New Goals! 2020

I have always been a huge planner junkie, and anyone who knows me knows that I have used a planner every single year of my life since the 6th grade.

Currently I use a customized horizontal Plum Paper planner, unbound, which I then hole punch and put into my original purple patent leather A5 Filofax binder. It lays open on the desk downstairs in front of the computer and I write everything the family needs to do and know in it!

I also love goals and goal-setting, and this year I used the Year Compass free downloadable booklet to reflect on my past year and make plans for the new year. It's very journaling-heavy, but since I also love journaling, it was perfect for me!

Which brings me to my goals! My friend Christina just posted her 20x20 goals for 2020 and while I am very impressed by her initiative, I'm not quite as ambitious! I've narrowed my goals down to a few major areas, many of them are just continuations from last year with a little expansion.

1. Be Black Belt Ready

What I'm reading/watching/playing December

ReadingThe Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

I didn't love it. I didn't dislike it enough to stop reading it, but I definitely only read the bare minimum and it took me almost the entire month to read it.  I'm not even sure what I don't like about it, to be honest...maybe it's too "hard" of sci-fi for me? There is a lot of tactics and warfare. Maybe it's the random use of alternate words for normal things (like calling all the ships moths) that made it really hard to figure out what was going in..I don't know. I do like the main character and the situation she's in, but it's just not dramatic enough, and didn't pull me in.


The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Didn't Finish)

I hated it and couldn't finish. I got about 1/3 of the way through and was so not into it, so I read a bunch of reviews to see if it was going to get better, and the things described in the reviews were not things that I particularly wanted to read about, and…