Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sweet Baby for My Etsy Shop

 I am completely smitten with this sweet doll!  She is 18.5 inches with a thin, baby-style body.  I just listed her in my Etsy shop.
 It took me a looooong time to design and perfect her clothes, but I think they turned out so cute!  Her footed pants are cotton knit, her long-sleeve tee is embroidered, and she wears a pinafore over it.  Everything can be mixed and matched to suit the season and weather.

 I weighted her lightly to give her a nice feeling of "heft."  Her bent arms and legs make her lovely to hold.

 I have been working on designing a new baby body pattern, and I am very happy with the result!  I made a few small changed after I finished this doll and am excited to try it out again :)

I hope this doll finds a forever mama to love her soon, but I will be very sad to say goodby to her!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

KCW Day 6

I will hopefully have another post to put up later today, but first I wanted to show you another outfit I made this week.  This top and pants is for my son Walter to wear to kindergarten.  I absolutely love how it turned out!

The shirt is (again!) from Lands' End.  I wish I could take credit for the awesome bear design, but I took the idea from a shirt I saw online.  I can't remember the company (something like One For Humanity?), but I fell in love with it.  Sadly, the shirt had long been sold out.  So I did what any good DIY mama would do--I made my own :)

I worked hard to size the applique just right.  In the end, I wish that I had made the bear a little larger.  I'm not sure why his haunches look a little wrinkled.  I think it's because I just finished this shirt and didn't have time to launder it before taking the pics.  I rinsed out the Fabri Solvy (a water soluble stabilizer that I use on the back side of the tee when I applique), but I think the fabric is still a little stiff because the stabilizer hasn't been washed away completely.

I didn't originally intend to sew pants, but I discovered that all of my son's brown pants for this fall are way too big!  Fortunately that 's no problem for this DIY mama--I'll just sew him some that fit!  I was inspired to do rounded knee patches like a pair of pants I remember seeing last year at

 When faced with the difficulty of getting an even hem on the curve of the knee patches, I remembered a trick that I learned to help sew curves neatly.  I took my paper pattern and used it as a pressing guide.  I drafted my patch pattern on regular computer paper.  If you are working with a tissue pattern, you can just trace the piece you need onto cardstock.  Cardstock holds up very firmly to pressing.  I slid the curved pattern piece down about a half inch from the edge of the fabric (about as wide as I wanted the hem to be).

Then I used it as a guide to fold my fabric over.  The paper creates sort of a rigid edge that keeps the hem even without having to measure and fold it over with your fingers so close to the iron.  I then pressed over the paper and fabric with my iron.

I let the fabric cool briefly to set the fold, then slid out the paper pattern guide.  I did this on the top and bottom edge of both patches.

The result was nice, even curves with very little effort.  Then I placed the patches where I wanted them on the pant legs and top stitched (with a double needle) along the top and bottom folds.  This technique also works great with curved pockets that are applied to clothes.

Thanks again for stopping by!  I don't know about you, but I feel like my entire week has been spent sewing or procrastinating when I know I should be sewing!  I have let housework and cooking slide quite a lot this week :)  I will hopefully have two (maybe three? Fingers crossed) more things to show off before this epic week ends, so come back again!

Friday, October 25, 2013

KCW Day 5

I am really excited about the progress I've made in sewing for my kids this week!  I planned a lot of projects (too many!), and KCW has been a great incentive for me to get working!

This project is for my youngest, Norman.  He wears lots of hand-me-downs from his brothers, so it's not exactly that he needs a lot of new clothes.  The problem is that by the time the clothes make it down to him, I am sick of them!!!  So this guy probably ends up with more clothes than is strictly necessary.

I designed this outfit after I found the green pants fabric at JoAnn's and fell in love with the color.  I knew right away that the pocket detail on the sides of the pants would be a perfect way to do some top stitching to tie the navy from the shirt in with the pants.

Another shirt from Lands' End, and another applique!  I really can sew other things besides appliques :)  I guess when I started planning things to sew for the fall and winter, I didn't quite realize how many appliqued shirts I would be making!

The pants are flat-front, top stitched with a wide double needle.

And here is the proud owner of the new clothes!  Norman gets super excited when I sew things for him.  He likes to come with me to the fabric store and plan all sorts of fun things that he wants me to sew for him :)

I have two more projects to show you that I finished up yesterday, and I have high hopes for getting even more done this weekend.  Check back soon to see what else I've been working on!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

KCW Week 4

Whew!  Anyone else feeling like it has been a busy week full of sewing?  It is all worth it, though,when I think about dressing my kids in cute clothes that are one-of-a-kind AND affordable!

This is a simple pair of pants I made for my son Walter.   I was careful when cutting the pattern to match the plaids across the front and side seams.  Also, I cut the pant legs so that the main, bold plaid design ran down the middle of each leg, keeping everything in balance.

I found this great yellow sweatshirt at Old Navy, and I knew that it would pair well with pants that have a bold pattern.  The pants are made from gray flannel-type fabric (purchased at JoAnns's), usually used for fall coats or a suit I think.  My son loves them because they feel warm and soft :)

I didn't make these flat-front, so it is really hard to tell which side is the back.  I started adding a loop of twill tape or ribbon to the back waistband to make it easier for my boys to get dressed on their own.

I have a few different ways that I reinforce the knees on my boys' pants.  I didn't want the hassle of doing a patch knee for these because I didn't feel like working to match the plaids up perfectly.  So what I did instead is fused medium-to-heavy weight interfacing on the inside of the knee area.  Then, I took my water-soluble marker and drew lines about every 3/4" and stitched across with a straight stitch.

You can see that my interfacing is a little wonky, but I was careful to line up my stitching lines with the plaid print in the pants so that the stitching doesn't stand out too much.

Thanks for stopping by!  And my marathon week of sewing is not done yet--I have another shirt and pants at my machine, ready to be sewn!  Stop by again soon to see more of what I've been working on!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

KCW Day 3

I have a really simple project done today.  I feel like it's kind of cheating--just call it "semi-homemade." :)  I bought a plain-front baseball-style tee from Old Navy and used my machine to embroider a VW van silhouette.

 Sadly, I was pretty disappointed with the quality of the t-shirt when it arrived.  But, my 5-year-old son, Walter, started kindergarten this year and really needed some school clothes, so I went ahead with the project.  Although I'm sure that it would have been much better to make the tee myself, a little handmade is better than nothing, right?  At least he'll be wearing something unique that nobody else has.

I found a printable coloring page of a VW van online, and I loosely based my embroidery pattern on it.  I first drew my design on regular paper.  Then I traced it onto Sticky Fabri-Solvy, a product by Sulky (purchased at JoAnn's).  It kind of looks like interfacing except that one side is paper-backed with sticky adhesive.  I removed the paper backing, positioned it on the shirt, and then stitched over the traced lines.  I used what I call the triple stitch.  It's a stretch stitch intended for knits--it is one stitch forward, one back, and then one forward again.  It makes the stitching lines more defined.  I then pull the threads to the back and tie off.  The Sulky product then rinses away with water and just leaves behind the stitched design.  After washing the shirt, I backed the design with Tender Touch, another Sulky product.  It is a soft tricot iron-on interfacing that keeps the stitching from irritating the skin.

As you can see, my stitching isn't quite perfect :)  It's easy to be overly critical of my results, so I have to remind myself of how much I love seeing my kids wear things I've made for them, perfect or not.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  It has so rewarding to share my projects with the KCW community!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kids' Clothes Week Day 2

It has been so much fun to be a part of KCW!  I am excited to show you my second project for the week:

It's another outfit for my little man Norman.  The sweatshirt is from an Ottobre pattern, Spring 2011 issue.  I was really intimidated when I saw the pattern sheet and cryptic construction directions, but the sweatshirt actually came together very easily!  I altered it for winter by lengthening the sleeves and adding a cuff detail.

I made the body of the sweatshirt from red french terry and lined it with heathered gray knit from

Using the pants print as inspiration, I appliqued a little elephant onto the sweatshirt.  I was hoping the stitching would stand out a bit more rather than blending into the fabric.

I really like the stitching detail on the cuffs and hood because it kind of looks like a coverstitch.  I only have a four-thread serger, so I can't do a real coverstitch.  I really liked the look of this though, and I will definitely use it again for hemming knits in the future!

Norman loves his "elephant pants."  I went out on a limb and used home dec fabric for these, and I think they turned out great!  Like most of the pants I make, they are self drafted and based loosely on Dana's tutorial at

I love how the white piping detail turned out!  I also love how I was able to do the placement of the elephants on the pockets--it looks like they are talking to each other :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Come back again soon--I still have lots of fun things in store for KCW!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Kids' Clothing Week Day 1

I am so excited to be participating in KCW this year!  I've enjoyed following all of the other bloggers and their amazing sewing in years past, and now I get to be a part of it too!  I knew this would be a busy week, so I have worked ahead a little bit.  But I will do my best to keep my commitment to sewing for my kids one hour each day :)

This is my first project:

It's an outfit for my 4-year-old, Norman.  I have three boys, and I LOVE to sew for them!  I like to sew for my daughter too, but boy's clothes are definitely my favorite.  

I purchased the shirt from LL Bean and then embellished it with a vintage television applique.  I had a really fun time playing around with the colors for the screen.  My stripes got a little wonky on the bottom row, but I still think it turned out great.  I have appliqued tons of tees for my boys over the years; this is definitely one of my faves.  I drafted the pattern for the applique myself.  I will ask my husband if he can help me make it into a PDF download so that you can make a cute tee also!

I have always loved engineer-striped denim because it reminds me of my grandpa who wore striped overalls to work on the farm almost every day.  I have looked for years to find fabric like this without luck.  But this fall Robert Kaufman came out with the perfect fabric!  It is denim weight, Railroad stripe fabric in navy.  I always reinforce the knees in my boys' pants to give them some extra wear.  For these, I also embellished the knees with some double needle stitching.  I used the widest double needle I could find (luckily my machine throat plate can accommodate it!), and I love the final look.  The pants are self drafted, roughly based off of Dana's pants tutorial at  

Thanks for stopping by, and come back soon!  I have lots of fun things planned for this week :)