Saturday, August 6, 2011

she wanted an american indian costume


Aud's microsuede poncho is based on this simple tutorial, the skirt a basic, elasticized waist style with an uneven fringe. I made the headpiece by braiding and tying long fabric strips embellished with feathers and a few spare beads I had around, with bits and pieces of the same for the necklace pendant. The moccasins are by Minnetonka. Birthday and Halloween knocked out in one 2 hour punch? Check.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

handmade birthday for the two year old

 Painted wooden lizard by Aud...

Painted ceramic bobble-head robot by Gage...

and a squeezable, wool felt and fleece monster friend by me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

simple yoke dress and blouse

My search for a simple, adaptable, yoke dress pattern for Aud eventually found its answer in a nightgown pattern, Simplicity 8488. (This sleeve, btw, is not the one in the pattern.) The fabric is a lightweight corduroy I found at JoAnn's. In the winter, we layered it with a brown, long sleeved tee, tights and boots. For spring, this dress and shiny, fuschia Saltwaters make for a easy, cool outfit for church or play. 

I made this version last fall from an Amy Butler Lotus fabric and the skirt from a Denyse Schmidt County Fair dot, which, serendipitously, matched perfectly, and were both in my stash. Love when that happens. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

easter sewing for the boys

Long overdue Liberty tie for the big boy using this tutorial...

A matching tie-appliquéd tee shirt for the little boy using my favorite appliqué technique from Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts...

And a simple pair of pants made from yellowish tan pinstripe denim. 
(Not the best color description. It's actually a nice color.) 
I made these from my trusty, cloth diaper ready pants pattern, 
but cloth and I are on a break, hence the rolled waist. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Austin, Round One

Rich and I went to Austin last 4th of July weekend. He dragged me around to various cycling shops (which I secretly enjoyed) and the capital (many, many steps) and I dragged him through quirky antique stores, handmade boutiques and fabric stores (at which point he decided to nap in the car). If you ever get a chance to visit Austin, I highly recommend it! Only an hour or so into our visit, we began reworking our 10-year plan to somehow accommodate an extended stint in this super cool city. 

Some of the highlights of our weekend:

Mellow Johnny's, the bike shop/training center/cafe owned by Lance Armstrong, the kind of shop that makes a non-cyclist (like me) seriously consider making the change. Good coffee, too, always scores big in my book.

South Congress Street, also known as SoCo, home to iconic Allens Boots, curious goods and kitschy antiques at Uncommon Objects, St. Vincent de Paul, a vintage thrift store that my high school friends and I haunted back in the day (still going strong), locally handmade goods at Parts and Labour (basically felt like walking into Etsy embodied), and Amy's Ice Cream (mmm...Coffee Toffee...). Just to name a few.

And then there was Stitch Lab. Okay, so we're driving down some random street in Austin, just taking in the sights, when we pass a cute, little blue bungalow with a sign out front that says Stitch Lab. What?! Totally forgot that this shop,  which I'd heard about for years, was in Austin. Our lucky day! (Right, honey?) Upon entering the store, I walk smack into the middle of a sewing class being taught by none other than Tina Sparkles, whom I used to watch on Stylelicious along with her other Austin Craft Mafia buds. An hour and a half later, I blissfully emerged with several cuts of lovely fabrics, Sublime Stitching patterns (love!), a stack of wool felt and a recommendation for what turned out to be an amazing local Indian restaurant. I have to tell you, I totally geeked out in there (as evidenced by the fact that I took a picture of the girl cutting my AMH voile; note the graciously tolerant smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes). This is what becomes of a person who lives in a city with no decent - modern - fabric shops and sewing classes.

Couldn't get a decent shot, but I had to share this great collection of vintage embroidery...

The haul:

And the perfect finish: sharing Indian takeout on the grounds of the Long Center, unparalleled people watching (picture an old hippie/cowboy in skintight jeans dancing the two step alone with his eyes closed in the street for a good hour or so, just by way of example), listening to the Austin symphony bang out Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture with real cannons, and watching fireworks light up the Texas sky. So good.

hanging with the other freeloaders outside the fence...

On the off chance you haven't wandered over here from mmmcrafts, the reason I dug these old pictures out from last July is that my bff Larissa and I have a trip planned to Austin in May! I have been trying to get Larissa to Austin for a crafty girl weekend for, like, ever. This is her teaser. And, as if Austin didn't have enough to offer already, it just so happens that this year's Renegade Craft Fair coincides with the trip I'd already planned to visit my folks who live down the road, so I talked (pleaded, cajoled, demanded) Larissa into flying over to meet me. Yay! I feel a serious geek attack coming on.

Monday, April 18, 2011

hankies for dad

I made these simple handkerchiefs recently for my hankie-toting dad. Best I can recall, they're the first handmade gift I've given him since painting a rock in his image complete with sunshine yellow hair and a black-red slash mouth back in my kinder years. (Dad's hair was black at the time, but the black and red had run together, so obviously yellow was the next logical choice.) That rock was an overwhelming success. I know that because it still resides on his office desk.

These handkerchiefs are simple 16x16-inch squares with a 1/4 inch hem. One new technique I tried out was to sew along the raw edges half an inch in using my machine's seam guide (making what would become the new finished edge) before turning the hem. Doing so made my pressed edge much crisper and saved me from all of the precise measuring and marking that typically go along with hemming. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

patchwork shower curtain

My kids were enchanted by their cousins' bathroom last time we visited their house. My sister-in-law has transformed the small utilitarian space into an underwater paradise complete with a swirly, turquoise faux finish on the walls, ceramic tropical fish hanging from the ceiling and every fish-themed bathroom accessory known to retaildom. Very nice and very kid-centric. And while I greatly admire her generosity, both with her time and an entire room of her house, I'm not quite there. This was our compromise. 

(Excuse the poor photo quality. This bathroom is dark with a capital D. I did my best for ya.)

Funny thing - I actually found a shower curtain that I LOVED from Target after I'd already raided my stash for the fabrics for this one (inspired by AMH's Seams to Me curtain). The Target curtain was right there, so affordable, so cute, the perfect colors (more on that later) and (drum roll, please) ready to hang. I snapped a shot and sent it to Larry then and there to share my good fortune, snatched the thing up and bought it lickety split. It was only after I left the store that I got her response which basically ran along these lines: "Love it. So much I bought it myself a few weeks back." 

And now you know at least 40% of the story of our friendship. Is every BFF relationship so simpatico? It's a good thing we lives several states apart and have to do most of our communication via email or we'd basically be the same person. 

In the end, because I am the Queen of Indecisiveness, I went back to my original plan, which was to make my own customized, patchwork shower curtain. I've been drawn to this color combo for some reason lately - pumpkin, turquoise, and spring green with bits of brown. Since I have one girl and 2 boys, I tried to give a nod to all three in my fabric selection, since it is, after all, their bathroom. Theoretically speaking. 

Bits of  floral Liberty print for Aud, fun little cars and vans for Ash, and simple plaids for Gage, my big kid, plus a few more of my favorites. 

Construction details: The strips are ripped and top stitched down. So simple. I made the entire project even simpler by purchasing a super soft, creamy twin sheet from Target to use as the background fabric. (It was one of these, but my flat sheet was packaged separately, so I didn't have to buy an entire set. Cha-ching!) I didn't want to piece lengths of fabric together for the wide curtain and I really didn't want to buy major yardage, so a sheet was the perfect solution at about $10. 

I flipped the sheet upside down so that I could use the nice wide top hem as the bottom of the curtain, cut off the narrow hem (formerly the foot of the sheet), adjusted the length and added a simple rod pocket. I wanted it longer than a traditional shower curtain, so I hung an extra pressure-mounted rod and raised it up about ten inches over my existing rod and liner. The width of the sheet was perfect - when it's completely closed, it's very slightly gathered. 

I'm in love with John Golden. His "By Order of the Management" prints suit my benevolent dictatorship style of parenting perfectly. It was so hard to decide. They're genius, I tell you. Brush Your Teeth, Wash Your Hands, Mind Your Manners and Go Ask Your Father went across from the sinks.

Wash Behind Your Ears and Wipe the Seat went beside the shower and over the toilet. (Two boys, remember? John, how about a Lift the Seat sign next?) 

By the way, if you like these prints, I just saw that JG has a store wide 25% off sale going on over at his Etsy shop. I think that started the week after I ordered my prints. Nice, huh? Still love him though. 
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