Monday, October 20, 2014

Elsa Doll

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Last week we attended a Frozen party for one of our neighbors.  To help her celebrate I made her an Elsa doll.  I debated between Anna and Elsa because Anna really doesn't get much representation.  In the end I opted for Elsa because I thought her dress would be more fun to make.

Elsa with legs

I started with the Knox and Nelly doll pattern from Bit of Whimsy.  All I did to the pattern was lengthen the dress and take the legs off.  Originally I added shorter legs (just the feet), but they were pretty floppy and I didn't like how they looked so I took them off.

I kept the hair the same, but added a yarn braid to one side rather than the pigtails in the pattern.  For the dress I added 'sleeves' over her arms which I appliqued in place.  I then appliqued the dress pieces (bodice, undershirt, and skirt) to the dress pattern piece.

The cape was sewn to the back of the dress for sewing the doll together.

I embroidered the face following the pattern instructions.  I started using embroidery floss, but the floss was so thick the embroidery looked very sloppy.  I ended up using regular thread that I doubled.  I realize I could have just taken a few threads out of the embroidery floss, but regular thread worked just as well.  I am pleased with how it turned out.  

The Knox and Nelly pattern was really fun to use.  I can't wait to try it again.  My only complaint is that the seam allowance is tiny (1/8"!).  I increased mine to 1/4" and didn't have any problems.  


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan - Pattern Review

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Temperatures are starting to drop around which means time to start wearing some long sleeves (and layers).  I recently completed the Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan.  It is a free pattern and is perfect for fall.  

The pattern calls for light-weight knits and features princess seams in the front with a drapey-scarf neck and asymmetrical bottom hem (longer on the sides than the back).  There are no buttons or closures, it is an open-front cardigan.  

It was incredibly easy to sew and I love how the scarf-neck looks.  The directions are a bit confusing, but the pattern is well marked, so it is easy enough to figure out.  

I used a poly-cotton, jersey, stripped, gradiated knit.  I did a pretty crappy job matching stripes/colors.  Mostly because I didn't have very much fabric and I misunderstood the joining of the scarf-neck to the body.  I figured it out when I sewed it together, but, unfortunately,  the stripes are nowhere near perfect.  If the scarf isn't pulled out it looks ok.  

The stripes on the side-to-back match. (If you ignore the sleeves)

I think I'll be making a couple more of these, probably in solids because matching stripes is a pain.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Heart Pillow

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I've finished my last and final pillow for the living room.  I believe it is my favorite.  I created a pixelated heart using 1.5" blocks.  It took me awhile to decide on a design.  I'm glad I decide to try something  little different.  I used a variety of solids and the same gray as the couch pillows seen here.  The binding for the pillow is the same turquoise used in the couch pillows.

Do the fabrics on the back look familiar?  They are the same that I used for my tablet cover.  I love those cassettes.  The solids on the front were pulled with the cassette fabric in mind.  

I quilted 1" squares on the diagonal.  I love how they don't match up with the heart squares.  The pillow measures 18" square and looks great on our last living room chair (no pictures because it was cloudy so the lighting wasn't great).   

Now, onto Halloween sewing!  Just kidding, that started a month ago.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Couch Pillows

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I finally finished the new pillows for our couch.  You can see the first of my  new living room pillows here

I had the hardest time deciding on fabrics.  I wasn't sure if the two pillows should match exactly, or just sort of go together.  I decided to go in the middle, leaning more towards matching exactly.  I also decided to just use two fabrics.  The pillows on the couch will probably be used a lot longer than any quilt that might be hanging on the couch so I wanted the pillows to be neutral (ish) and simple(ish) in design so I won't get bored with them in two years and they'll go with whatever other design changes might happen in the living room.  I will never get bored with gray and turquoise!  Knock on wood.... 

Both pillows were created using half-square triangles with the same two fabrics.  I used this awesome tutorial to make multiple half-square triangles at once.  It really cut down on the time and helped with the accuracy of the blocks.  All the half-square triangles are the same size only arranged differently between the two pillows.  The pillows are 20" square.

I went a little crazy with the fabric on the back. They don't really go together, but for the back, who cares?  I love the craziness. 

The first pillow I made was the ducks-in-a-row triangle pillow.  I love how this turned out and did a pretty fantastic job with the quilting.

I pieced a whale onto the back to go with the wave quilt that is currently on the couch. 

 Also because I love the happy whales.

The second pillow I made was the off-center, bull's-eye one.  It is less than perfection.  I accidentally used a different batting for the second pillow than the first.  The second batting was flimsier and not very sturdy.  I didn't realize my mistake until the pillow was mostly done.  I also had major issues with shifting fabric while I was quilting.  You can definitely see the puckers.  It is cringe-worthy, but I was impatient so I just went with it.  From a distance it is not that bad.  Also for pillows that get thrown around, drooled on, and jumped on, I supposed it doesn't matter much.  

The back of the bull's-eye has more whales.  Love them!

Three pillows down, one to go!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Black Bear

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Husband's brother and Husband's brother's wife recently had a baby.  It is their second boy and Little Man and Mini Man's third cousin on Husband's side.

I made Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law the Brown Bear quilt for the baby earlier in the summer.  To celebrate the arrival of the new babe I made him some clothing.  It is not exactly Brown Bear, but I think it works.

I started with the pants.  I made pants using this lovely black bear fabric.  I used turquoise rib-knit on the cuffs and waistband.  I did not use elastic.  

Instead of a matching bodysuit I made a little kimono shirt out of linen.  They live in Texas which is damn hot in the summer.  I thought the linen would keep baby cool and the shirt would be easy to get on and off.  I used this pattern by Purl Bee.  

The front of the shirt velcros.  This will help with the quick and frequent changes that newborns require.  

Lastly, I made a pair of booties using the rest of the Eric Carle fabric I had.  I used the Little London Loafers pattern by LivingDIYStyle.

And for Big Brother I made a crown to help remind his parents who is in charge.  I used the crown pattern from my Every Hero's Cape and Accessories pattern.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

State Fair Recap

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The Iowa State Fair is over and last week I picked up the items I submitted to the Fabric and Threads exhibit.  I received 4 ribbons and one Honorable Mention.  You can see the full list of items I submitted here.  The four ribbons I received were for children's clothing.  All were in categories with very little competition and were mostly second or third place out of two or three.  And based on the comments I received I wouldn't had placed at all if there was more competition.  That makes the ribbons a little less special.  Some of the judge's critiques I agreed with, others I did not.  

I received second place for my Batman hoodie (the Hulk pullover next to it did not place):  

Second place (of two) for Elephant shirt:

Third place (of three) for Shark Man costume and third place (of three) for Angry Bird Cargos:

What struck me as funny in the shorts/pants/skirts category there were four submissions. Two of the four were the same pattern.  Can you see the resemblance of the cargo pants?  The other cargo pants received first place.  

I did receive an honorable mention for the quilted pillow I made.  I'm pretty proud of that and am happy with the ribbon.  There were some awesome pillow submitted.  

My Dad did pretty well, too.  He submitted four photos to the photography exhibit and two of his were selected to be displayed.  Only something like 20% of submitted photos are selected.  That is much more impressive than my ribbons for participation.

Do you recognize that butt?

Overall, we had a pretty good time at the fair.

Crappie selfie

Have you been to the fair?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Super Hero T-shirt Pattern with Built-in Cape

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I recently released my second pattern.  The Super Hero T-shirt pattern is available on Etsy and Craftsy.


This pattern is a long-time coming, but I am happy to say it is finally to a point where I can say it is ready to share.  

The pattern includes pieces to help you create a t-shirt (long or short-sleeved) with a built-in cape.  The shirt body and waist may be made different colors to mimic the look of built-in underwear of many classic super hero costumes.  A belt completes the look.  


There are eight applique patterns that may be personalized.  They are inspired by Batman, Robin, Captain America, The Flash, and Superman.  


The pattern is unisex and available in 9 sizes (12M, 18M, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5, 6, 7, 8).


The shirt is great for Halloween, birthday parties, photo shoots, play dates, trips to the park, running errands, and every day pretend play!  With this pattern you can help your little one become whatever superhero you can dream of!

Pick up yours today!