Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Surf Baby" Sack Gown

Couldn't resist doing one more of these. I really do love baby gowns! Decided to take pictures as I went along, seriously thinking about turning the pattern into a PDF. I want to offer some options though, so I need to make another one tomorrow and see how it works out.

I think the options will include round neck or v-neck, facings(like shown) or binding, and then the sleeves can be binded, cuffed or hemmed(like shown).

Should have the pattern all worked out tonight, hopefully version B will work out well. I will let you all know soon!

I chose a Baby Lulu fabric "Surf Baby" for this gown, added a matching stripe and solid for the back. Couldn't have it boring, so I had to have some orange at the collar to "pop"! Added some cute little metal snaps, which thankfully I am getting better at. Took much less time than before. And of course, a knotty hat to top it off!
I wanted to see how other fabrics worked, last time I used interlocks for the duck gown. The lulu knit was a rib, though not super stretchy, the stripe was a jersey and stretchy! They did fine, but I did have to pay much more attention to not stretch the gown fabric while I serged and coverstitched.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sack Gown for Baby's Hospital Stay!

I have been looking all over for a great gown pattern and had finally settled on the ottobre version from 5/2006. My one problem was the gown snaps at the shoulders only and didn't look that easy to get on and off a newborn. Then I remembered a gown that my mom had bought the other day for the baby. It snapped up the middle and looked easy enough, comfy too. So I set about trying to eyeball it and draft a pattern without cutting the thing apart. I am hooked!! This was definitely the easiest gown that I have put together for a baby. I did mine a little different than the one that I was trying to mimic, but I LOVE it!

At first, I was going to just grab any old fabric and then I eyeballed the rubber duck fabric. Great for baby, a really soft interlock knit and I just happened to have a striped interlock that matched it well. And before I knew it I had added an applique of the duck with cotton terry because I thought it needed to be gussied up some. Satin stiched the duck applique on my trusty Singer 503(her name is Lorraine), coverstitched the facings down and the ribbing for the collar, and stitched it up! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! Oh, and then I added some metal snaps with my trusty press(I think He needs a name too!). I sewed up a knotty hat to match and bam! Sack Gown for Baby while in the hospital. I am now debating whether I need a matching diaper.

Now I sit here trying to think of what fabric I can use for another one. I know that I need quite a few because gowns are one of my absolute favorite things on a newborn babe. Nothing like giving the baby a bath, putting on a fresh gown and snuggling!

Doggy "Jamie Jumper"

Someone posted this adorable 0/3 month sized jumper over on Diaper Divas this week and I just couldn't resist trying it myself. I have been looking for something very similar so this almost fit the bill exactly. It's a FishSticks Pattern and you can purchase the pdf in the store below, in the little one Layette and Wee Tot collection.I think maybe the jumper goes up to a 5T or so. Here is her site.


The hat is a preemie knot hat that I found online and downloaded. I wish I could tell you where I found it. I know it was by blesseddesigns.net, but I can't find a link anymore. Super easy on a serger, really only takes a minute or two to sew up.

This fabric was really special to me. I had just heard of ottobre and downloaded their free tank top pattern off line. I went to JoAnn's and there was the cutest little doggy knit for Noah. I bought some material, ran back home and got busy. Sewed the tank top on my sewing machine and when I was done I thought I was the "cat's meow!". Looking back I bet it looked horrible on the inside, but I was so pleased with myself. Made a pair of matching shorts with appliques and a quickie visor to keep the sun out of his face. Looks like my tank top was too short and my shorts too long, but I was just happy that I had faced my fear of knits. I'm so glad that I saved some of this for our new little boy!

I think I may have to do another one of these today. I hadn't tried out my snap press with metal snaps until this morning and now I have the hang of it, I think I will have another go!

I used my coverstitcher and added a .25" or so onto the pattern to allow for the binding.

My Munki Cheese Toast Story!

I am posting this on my blog hoping some poor mama that has this in her stash will feel maybe just a little sympathy for my plight and sell me just a couple of really small squares!

Long ago, okay maybe 3 or 4 years ago, I was lucky enough to purchase a full yd of Munki Cheese Toast cotton/lycra knit by Heather Ross!! I know I paid an unreal price, but I was on cloud 9. It felt like a dream, and I stalked the mailman for several days and finally it was there, I could touch it! Seriously, it was one of those fabrics that I put on my fabric wall, in plain view, so I could walk by and just pet it!

Soon after I bought an embroidery machine. My first task was to go about digitizing a piece of cheese toast so I could make my Noah a tee. It was my first attempt and in my opinion, I didn't too bad of a job. Here is a pic, yes, I saved this on one of my albums. I have went to delete it several times, but just couldn't make my finger hit the button!
Now for the horrible part! I showed Noah and he didn't like it! Didn't want it made into a tee for him!! When I showed my mom(another avid seamstress), she said great embroidery, but why would you want to make that, it's horrible! Horrible??? Did she not see this great piece of fabric, with the coolest color combination ever???? And so my fabric sat, just curing on my shelf.

Fast forward a few years, we buy our first home and hubby loses his job. Desperate to make ends meet, I start selling off prized fabric from my collection. My mom(I do love her by the way, she is my best friend), says have you sold that ugly fabric?? Ugly fabric, I didn't know there was such a thing. Yes, she says, that toast fabric that is so hideous! Well no, I was holding onto that one. Why? Don't know, I just love it.

So you guessed it. I went to my shelves and sadly sold off my entire yd to another mama. I even threw in the tee front that I had embroidered for Noah, that sadly he didn't want any part of. The thought of it going to someone whom I knew was going to appreciate it helped me get over my withdrawal and made me feel a little bettter about the situation.

So that brings me to today. I can not get this fabric out of my dreams. I know I'm sad. Dreaming about Cheese Toast fabric! I can just imagine the cutest diaper cover with an embroidered piece of toast on the bum and a little lap tee with a square of Cheese Toast sewn onto the front.

So I am begging from collector to collector, mom to mom, woman to woman, anyone out there have just 2 squares of Cheese Toast they could spare? They don't need to be big, just 1 square w/cheese toast, 1 square of the toaster. 3, maybe 4" squared, really little, you want miss it.

I will sew for you, trade with you, paypal you, love you for life! Anyone??

Friday, June 25, 2010

Space Invaders!

I totally forgot about this little set! This was sewn the day before we found out what we were having.
I wanted to try out the Darling Diapers free newborn pattern, found here

It's a great one to serge and so tiny! Not sure one of our 8 lb babies will fit in this one! I highly recommend her diaper pattern too, lots of diaper versions and great instructions.

I did a knit outter using this great space invader fabric, some terry hidden and a suedecloth inner. Still need to make a soaker for this one. Matched it up with a fun lap tee sewn from ottobre. So cute!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Going on Safari for Baby!

This set was based solely on one of my favorite PRR(painting red rhinos) fabrics. I tried to sell this fabric last year, thinking Noah was too old for it. I'm so glad that it didn't sell because I just love this print! I dyed it using the tropical green with a little sunflower yellow mixed in, both Dylan dyes. I like how the color came out, almost exactly the shade I was going for. Picked out a cute seersucker plaid out of my stash along with a few other solids and stripes that I thought coordinated well.

I did some of the same patterns from ottobre that I used on the froggy set. I did make a few changes as I went along.

For the jon jon pattern(3/2007), I made the facings smaller this time around and they fit perfectly now. I think for the next one, I am going to add extra fabric at the crotch so I can add in snaps for easier diaper changes. I paired this up with a red tee with a monkey appliqued onto the sleeve. I had a great applique drawn up of the safari truck to add onto the jonjon, but then I noticed how well it goes with my all-time favorite PRR print with the sea creatures. So I have left it plain and plan on using it for mix and match with my next set. I love how easy this jon jon is to sew up!

I couldn't resist doing another striped romper! Same pattern as the froggy striped one(1/2009), modified at the shoulders and this time I added extra length to the back of the crotch. I think it worked much better where the snaps meet up. I have decided the next time I do this to omit the binding at the crotch. My coverstitcher just doesn't like all the layers, so I am going to add plackets the next go around.

The diaper is a QSFW that a mama over on Diaper Divas created the pattern for. She has a great tutorial and pattern over there. http://diaperdivas.proboards.com/index.cgi

Great site to join if you are interested in sewing your own cloth dipes! This picture is of the inside when the diaper is all laid out. Really fun to sew and easy to dry I would think!

Then I decided to make some quick mix and match tees and shorts. Both tees are the ottobre pattern that I cut down to fit a smaller little guy(3/2009). The shorts are the baby ahoy shorts(3/2009), with all the pockets left off this time around. Just plain and simple!

Now I think I'm ready to dive into something else. I have a few more patterns marked that are a little trickier and time consuming. I may have a try at those in the next few days. I also have a diaper bag pattern that I have been wanting to have a go at! I think I will go West!

Friday, June 18, 2010

As Oprah calls it, my Ah-Ah Moment

So all of this sewing brings me up to last week. We had the sonogram on Friday at 27.5 weeks along, and found out this new one would most definitely be a boy. At first, I think I had a little sense of loss. I really did think that I was carrying a girl and I had already given her the name Clara, after my grandmother that passed 12 years ago. But one look at my 7 year old, who was smiling from ear to ear, told me that I was so glad this was a boy and he was getting the younger brother he wanted so much! He is so thrilled at the idea of teaching his younger sibling to ride a bike, swim, go down a slide, build legos and so many more things! I hope this little guy realizes what a great older brother he will have.

So back to my ah-ah moment or an epiphany as some would call it.

Sunday morning we had our usual waffle breakfast. I cleaned up and decided to steal a few minutes on the computer. I came across a photo that my oldest son had pulled up last week and posted as the screensaver. One of my favorite photos of Noah at 22 months, wearing his Gymbo froggy tee w/matching hat and the shorts that I talked about earlier. Those shorts that I had to make myself because I couldn't snag the real ones.

The picture brought me back to all of my kids. Ever since my oldest, now 16, was about 3 we had been a Gymboree kind of family. I loved their clothing and felt giddy in their store staring at all the mix and match combinations. My daughter had worn mostly Gymboree and she loved going into the store with me and picking out matching purses and shoes. And when Noah was born, I loved shopping for a little guy. I even learned how to resell on Ebay and I think I actually made money on his things in the long run.

A sadness slowly came over me. I knew it was silly, but I couldn't help feel sorry for this little guy growing inside me. This past year has not been a good one for us, and I knew that I would not have the money to shop in Gymboree or any other trendy place, like I had done with all of our previous kids. Tears were coming down my face and I felt a dark mood come over me. But that is when I remembered those little shorts. I remembered how excited I was to create something for Noah with my own 2 hands. And even though they didn't fit him as they should have, to me they were the cutest pair of shorts ever.

Ah, ah.

My mood instantly lifted. I could sew anything my little one would need and it would all be special because it was from mama with lots of love. What could be better than that?

After all, I had the machines, more fabric than anyone could ever use and a creative brain with some talent that God had gifted me with. I didn't need big brand names with flashy price tags or sale signs that tempted me with their deals to be had. I had me, a sewing mama. I would sew everything for the new baby and not buy anything from the retail stores. Our baby could live on mama made for at least the first 365 days of his life! Really. I could sew all the cloth diapers, all of his clothing and well thankfully I even provide the milk!

So I grabbed all of my ottobre magazines and thumbed through them, marking pages as I went. I gathered my tracing supplies and began tracing cute pattern after pattern, mentally noting what a baby might need.

And then I remembered the froggy fabric. The fabric that I had purchased for Noah, but sadly didn't use until he was over his frog phase. I had saved just a little of that fabric, hoping one day to be able to use it for someone special. This was my chance. I chose another few fabrics that seemed to coordinate well and set everything on the cutting table. It was late and I could not wait to get up the next morning and begin!

Monday morning I cut everything out with a smile on my face, my family thought I was a little too happy! I started with the striped romper first, a cute stripe that was overrun from Chez Ami.

The pattern is ottobre 1/2009, #3, modified to be a lap shoulder style, so that I could omit the zipper in the back. I really don't like zippers on little baby clothing. I appliqued a cute frog that matched my fabric and added a hat too. The hat was a free tutorial, I can't find the link but it was from blessdesigns.net I think. The ottobre pattern looks to be true to size, maybe a little big. The one thing that I noted was the front crotch where the snaps go, is longer than the back. Something to change before I sew the next one.

On Tuesday, I decided to dive into the tees. I had cut 3 out using the ottobre sign tee from 3/2009. Note to all: It runs huge! I traced the size 62 with no seam allowances and it still looked like it would fit a 1 year old if not 2! I stopped and recut the pattern using the chest and length measurements from their lap tee pattern and went back to the drawing board. Luckily I was able to recut from the mess up tee,not wasting my precious froggy fabric. I then made another one in white with a frog on the front and one in black with the frog on the sleeve.

Tees sew up quickly, so I was still able to sew up a diaper from the froggy fabric. This one is cut from the free darling diapers newborn pattern, although I highly recommend purchasing her diaper unlimited pattern. Loads of diapers, great instructions, very visual, if like me pictures work for you! You can find it here and somewhere there on her website you will see the free download.


For this diaper, I used a knit on the outter, 2 layers of knit terry for the hidden and a layer of suedecloth for the inner. I really like how it turned out and think I need to make a couple of more to match the other pieces.

On Wednesday, I set about sewing up the shorts and romper out of a cute striped seersucker. I love seersucker. Something about newborns just makes me think about jon jons and seersucker!

The jon jon is from Ottobre 3/2007 and I traced it with no seam allowance sz 62. Please note on this one, ottobre messed up when doing the facings. They cut them out of the fold which is great, however they didn't account for the seams that the outter fabric uses down the middle. So when I got to the last part and sewed the facings on they were to big for my jon jon. I made it work, but noted next time to make sure and cut them smaller to allow for the s/a on the outter.

The shorts are the baby ahoy shorts ottobre 3/2009. These sew up very quickly and I ommitted the back pockets on mine. Very cute and easy too!

The last thing I did was to sew up the terry pants from ottobre 3/2006. I don't care for these at all. I traced a sz 62 with no seam allowance, but really your baby would have to have one big bottom to fit in these. They look cute with the tee, but I think I will cross them off my list!And here it all is together. My first collection, all for my little boy. It may not seem like much, but to me, it is a new way to look on life. I have realized that sewing from the heart is one of the best gifts I can give to my new one. One day I can tell him the story about how I realized that having all the money to buy things for him would not bring me happiness. But being able to give him all of my love would bring me the greatest joy in all the world!
Now I am off to sew! I picked out another fun fabric from the shelves yesterday and dyed it a fun new color. I have already started planning in my head and can't wait to begin cutting!

Feeling the Bamboo Love

During all of my reading, I kept hearing mamas talk about bamboo and how soft and wonderful it was. I couldn't help but think, I needed to get ahold of some and try it for myself!

I ran across some bamboo fleece being sold over on hyenacart, a fabulous work at home mom site, featuring loads of earth friendly products. You could look all day here and not get bored. So many talented women, all in one place!

I couldn't wait for it to get here and the day it did, I chickened out! Took it out of the box and it sat in the corner of my sewing studio for weeks! Shame on me!

Then one day, I told myself go get it wash it up and let's have a go at it! So my first step was washing the bamboo on hot and drying it, I did this 3 times for shrinkage. Then I thought I would try something that I had been wanting to do for a long time, shaving cream dying! Here is the link if you want to give it a go. I do mine a little differently with dylon dyes, but this is the way it is supposed to be done.

And one more tute that I am told is really great, that a fellow sewing mama did. I think this one is a little more well explained and visual.

I decided to sew my prefolds up first and then dye them. Here is a link that I came across explaining how to sew them.

Here is my first go at it. I used a blue and green with this one and then embellished it with one of my all time favorite prints, the original ooga-booga! And I couldn't resist adding a lap tee, they are just too easy to sew up!

For my next go at it, I decided to do something girly. At this point, we didn't know what we were expecting and EVERY dream that I had up to then, had shown a baby girl. Shows what dreams know!

For this one, I kind of did the reverse. I wanted a lot of pink, so I dyed the background shaving cream hot pink and then swirled white into it. Didn't come out exactly as planned, but I think it works.

I was having so much fun I decided to have another go at it. This time wanting to try 3 colors at once. As I walked into my sewing studio to stare at my fabrics, I remembered the pajama tops that I had purchased to cut up and sew with.

These are not just any pajama tops you see. They are some of my all time favorite prints used in the Munki Munki pj line by Heather Ross. She is absolutely fabulous and I would love to pick her brain. I just drool at every drawing that she does, such a brilliant artistic mind! All 3 of these are from collections long ago. You may be able to pick some up off of ebay, but they won't be cheap.

So the first one I chose was the doggy top. I love the orange, blue and brown together and couldn't wait to see how it turned out. It's definitely among my top 3!

And then my favorite print from her pj line, the Martians. Love the colors and I can't wait to see my little guy in this one! The green didn't come out as well as I had hoped, but I will just have to live with it.

And then the VW campers. This is such a cute print. I couldn't resist using different colored binding on the tee to bring out all of the great colors. This was my first one using 4 colors. I think the red and orange blended some, but it doesn't effect the cuteness factor!

Remember the "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute" owl, a favorite of mine. Here he is saying "Lend a Hand" "Care for the Land". The colors didn't turn out as deeply as I would have hoped on this one, next time I would leave it sitting a little longer in the dyes.

And then a couple more girly ones. I love this one, skull fabric and hot pink and green swirls. I need to sew up a lap tee for this one and put it in my hyenacart store since we won't be needing pink!

And lastly Tinkerbell. I love this little fairy. Purple and green swirls, this one will be going into my shop too.

I really enjoyed making all of these. Each one turns out so unique, I felt like a kid in the candy store just waiting patiently to see how each would look after they were washed off! I see a lot more of these in my future.

I think for the next go around I will order some bamboo double sided loop terry and see how it dyes. I have heard that it is a great material for prefolds.

Wool Interlock Soakers

After reading up on the subject, I decided that cloth diapers would be the way to go for this baby. We are not doing as well financially this year and I thought cloth diapers would go a long way to save some money. I started googling and reading all I could about their construction and came across this blog http://katrinassqs.blogspot.com/2007/10/free-soaker-pattern.html
for a free soaker pattern.

I then asked around at sewingmamas, another great forum,
and some mamas were nice enough to let me purchase some wool from them to try these out.

Now soakers are what you put over cloth diapers to help contain everything. Supposedly they are very good for hot weather because they let the baby's skin breathe through the natural wool. I sure hope so, because FL is not know for our cool weather! So here are my first attempts sewn with the smallest pattern from the download.

For the first one(this is the back side), I used a kumquat knit for the lap tee(ottobre 5/2006, modified) and some nice chocolate interlock for the bands of the soaker. This was also my first attempt at dying wool. I used dylon dye and although I like the color, the red really didn't come out as deep as I wanted.

The next day I decided to do something girly. I have had this cupcake fabric sitting on my shelves for a little while. Not sure why, I think I just had to have it because it was so sweet! Another ottobre lap tee and this time I had some scraps from another mama that were already dyed. Made the project much less time consuming! I also had some predyed infant prefold lying around that I purchased from another mama, so I decided to spiffy one up a bit! I cut out a layer of flannel and the knit fabric, serged them together and then stitched them down the middle of the prefold. I decided the prefold was a little too long in the rise, so I rotaried the top and bottom and serged them with matching thread. Easy peasy and cute too!

The next try was with some of my favorite Mighty Mouse fabric. I just loved Mighty Mouse when I was a kid. Same concept as above, lap tee, embellished prefold and wool soaker.

This one is just a lap tee and soaker. However, when I did the red this time I used koolaid for dye. It came out a lot brighter than the first try, but not very deep red, more of a cherry. I am beginning to see that this dying business takes a lot of trial and error!

Overall I don't think I did too badly for my first attempts at wool. The soakers go together well with a serger and really don't take that much fabric or time to sew up. The most time consuming steps are the dying of the wool and the applique.

I can't wait to see them on a fluffy butt! Lots more of these still left to do!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Before We Knew the Gender

Along the way, before we knew the gender of our little one, I couldn't resist sewing here and there. You see, I come from a long line of seamstresses and it just seems natural to sew.

I started years ago with little quilts to hang on my mother and grandmother's walls. When I stopped working after Noah was born, I quickly picked it back up, this time choosing to sew diaperbags and purses. And then one day, when Noah was about 22 months, I had to have a pair of shorts for him. The trouble was, they were sold out and I couldn't even win them on ebay! So what is a sewing mama supposed to do, but go out and find some fabric and make the child a pair. After that, I knew that I had found something that I wanted to do for a long time. I loved sewing for little boys. In fact, I started doing it well enough that I was able to sell boutique boys fashions on ebay. I sewed for 5 years straight until this past December, making lots of friends along the way. I enjoyed every minute of it, that is, until my 1st trimester.

I decided to take it easy and just sew for fun. I was tired a LOT and that doesn't make for happy sewing. Around February, I started to feel much better and needed to make something to keep me busy. I decided to sew for both genders and just have fun!

The first thing I did was a little 2 pc set, based on one of my favorite PRR prints. PRR stands for Painting Red Rhinos, a children's clothing company that has went out of business now. I purchased overruns of their fabrics and thankfully saved some.

I don't remember which pattern this was from, but it was a big 3, McCalls, Butterick, Simplicity, one of those. As usual it looks to run HUGE and really needs to be taken in some, that is one my list of to-dos! I hope to do a whole layette based on this fabric. I love the colors!

Next, I decided to do something for a little girl. I picked a Baby Nay elephant knit w/matching stripes and solids, a set out of Ottobre and went to tracing. The issue was 5/2006, I modified the 1.Body and cut it shorter to make a tee length and then did 3.Baby's Knit Skirted Pants. The diaper is from the Darling Diapers pattern. It was my 1st try, but I think it turned out pretty okay. I digitized an elephant and embroidered it on the bum. The outter layer is PUL, the hidden is terry and the inner is suedecloth.

My next attempt, wool interlock soakers. Those will have to wait until tomorrow morning. My 16 yr old is not so patiently waiting for the computer.
We are Expecting a BOY!

First let me start by saying that this baby, though very unexpected, is very much wanted and loved. From the moment I suspected, I have loved this child with all of my heart and soul.

We are as of today a family of five. My husband has a daughter that will be 22 this August, I have a son that is 16, a daughter that is 14 and together we have a son that just turned 7. We are very blessed to have so many great kids and I know that this one will be no exception.

Here is the 1st picture taken of our little one, this past January. Looks like a tiny bean! It's always such a great feeling to see that little flicker!

We were asked to do a level II ultrasound this time around because I am now 35 and because our AFP blood test came back positive.

So this past Friday, the 11th, I went with our 7 year old Noah, to get one done. Noah was sure this was a boy, in fact, he wasn't settling for anything less. I went in just praying please Lord, let this baby be healthy. Both of our wishes came true! And now I have this picture to look at, wondering what color will your hair be? what color eyes will you have? will you look like me, daddy, your brother, your sister? But as they say only time will tell.

Now we are having the name dilemna. When you have this many opinionated people under one roof, there are bound to be different ideas. Hopefully by the time he makes his way into the world, around the 6th of September, we will have a name ready for him.

For now, we call him "Squirt". It's mine and Noah's nickname for him from about the time I was 13 weeks along. It seems to fit just fine for now.