Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween
I know that I usually only post sewing for my baby boy, but I couldn't resist showing you my other baby boy's costume.

Noah my 7 yr old desperately wanted to be a Britsh Red Coat Soldier from the Revolutionary War. I searched for a pattern, but after not finding one just winged it. The coat is based loosely from an ottobre jacket, the vest ottobre, and the knickers were a jogging pants pattern from ottobre. I looked online for a while and finally decided just to do our own version. Probably not historically correct, but close enough for my little history buff! Added a couple of bags with long handles to form the X and some boot covers that I hope no one looks too closely at!!

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween!! All treats no tricks!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Festival....16 Yrs Later

Today was the McIntosh 1890's Fall Festival. My mom, her sister and me would go every year when I was a young girl. Rows and rows of booths set up with so many wonderful crafts! At the age of 19, I took my 1st born. Over the years, it seems that many things have changed. Cross stitch used to be the big thing way back when and now it seems that jewelry and purses may have taken over! For my 7 yr old the rubber band gun booth was a big hit. Gone is the day that a rubber band gun was operated by a clothes pin! Now there are fancy mechanisms that allow you to shoot 7 or 8 without reloading! And instead of one style there were at least a dozen to choose from.

But one thing hasn't changed.

My baby boy wore the same patchwork vest that I had made for his brother to wear to the festival 16 years ago. Dustin was about 9 months when he went and WAY chunkier than Tristan, so I added a little elastic to the back of the vest for a better fit. I also decided that Tristan needed a new pair of jeans to go with the vest and at 7 AM this morning, I thought an embroidered tee was in order for the day too!

So after all the preparation, all the sweat, Tristan slept the whole time and I didn't get one pic at the festival!! What a bummer!

I did take some pics this afternoon at home. Hopefully next week we will visit the pumpkin patch and Tristan will stay awake long enough for some pictures then.

Oh and here is a pic of my now 16 yr old a weekend or so ago. It was his first Homecoming Dance and his first dance taking a girlfriend. Hold on to the memories mommas because they grow so fast!! My chunky little baby is now 6 ft tall and has lost his chunk!

Friday, October 22, 2010

2 Months Old!!

I can't believe Monday was 2 months since baby boy came into the world. Time sure flies when you are busy with 4 kids!! I haven't been able to sew near as much as I did before baby, but when time permits I am still sneaking into my studio.

Tristan has been extremely colic-y the last month or so. If you have had a baby with colic you know that it is no fun. It's so hard to see your baby scream and know that you can't do anything to help them.

My mom found a pediactric study done on infants with colic using probiotics. The study found that it helped with the symptoms of colic. So we decided to give it a try. We purchased a box of the probiotics at Target and I have been giving him the powder in breastmilk this week, once a day. I am so hopeful! In the last 3 days, we have had no signs of colic, during any period of the day. Keeping my fingers crossed that this is a cure for us. Here is the study if you would like to read up on it.

I did manage to sew 2 tie dye diapers up this week when I should have been sleeping. I guess mommas always find time somewhere! This was a tee that my 16 yr old wore and now Tristan has 2 diapers from it. I plan on making an appliqued tee later on this weekend. The diapers were knit outer, hidden layer of PUL, hidden bamboo fleece and the inner was microterry. Oh, these are so soft and squishy! They work great too! We went 3.5 hrs yesterday with no signs of leakage or wicking, yeah!!

The tee is a onesie that I freezer paper stenciled before Tristan was born. I cut it off and hemmed it this week so he could wear it with diapers. I used acrylics and next time I will buy the fabric paint. The acrylics tend to fade even after just 1 wash, lesson learned!

Another freezer paper stencil tee and the end of a big smile!

This is a set that I have shown before. Safari tee and plaid shorts, both otto, about a sz 56 I think. The shorts were the ahoy ones and the tee was the sign tee, heavily modified because it runs huge.

Oh and here is a sleepy time pic of Tristan in the first gown that I made him. I love this one! I do still have the plans of turning the sleep sacks into a PDF, I just don't seem to be able to get the pattern sized right for printing out. One day soon hopefully!

Off to sew something up while Tristan is sleeping! Happy sewing mamas!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recycled Tag Blanket Tute
Today was a long day. My baby boy turned 2 months old yesterday and received his 1st series of immunizations today. Let's just say he was a little fussy this afternoon, but thankfully is dreaming sweet dreams now. After I laid him down tonight, I decided to get in my studio and make him a little treat.
I have been saving tags for a while now. You know, those adorable tags that your kids make you cut out of their tees because they itch. When you have 4 kids, tags are easy to come by!

So here is a little tute that I wanted to share. It's not a new idea by any means, but the measurements are listed to help you get started and I just love the look of the recycled tags. I think it turned out really well and I hope Tristan will love it!

Happy Sewing!!


(2) 13.5" square fabrics(minky,woven,recycled tee shirts,etc)
1 snap
1 small scrap of fabric for loop


1. Cut out 2 squares from your fabrics, both 13.5" squared. I used minky because I had it readily available, but it would be really cute with recycled tee fronts too! I may have to try that the next go around!
2. Round your corners on your 2 squares. For this I take a small bowl, place it on the edges and cut my corners with a rotary cutter. Fast and easy!
3. Cut a rectangle 2" wide x 7" long from a scrap piece of fabric. I used a woven for this, but you could use a knit too. Iron the sides in so that they are touching and then fold over again, like you are making bias tape. I then tucked in the raw edges on one end and topstitched with the sewing machine.

4. Now go ahead and pin your tags where you would like them on one of your squares. Pin your strip(the raw edge) to a corner. All of your tags and strip should be pinned inward onto your fabric along the edges.

5. Lay your other square on top, right sides together and pin, pin, pin!! I am a big fan of pinning your work, especially when it stretches like minky does.

6. Take your pinned fabrics and go around them on a sewing machine. I used a small seam allowance because I wanted to make sure that the pictures on my tags showed when sewn. Remember when sewing these kind of fabric, slow and steady wins the race!! Go slow and make sure your edges and tags are all meeting up as you sew.

IMPORTANT: Don't forget to leave about 2 inches free to turn your blanket out at the end.

7. After you have sewn around, leaving a turnout spot, Turn it Out, and topstitch the area closed. I then went ahead and zig zagged around my blanket edges.(this is optional)

8. Add your snap to your loop, one part should be close to the blankets edge, the other close to the other end of your strip.

9. Ta da, all done! Isn't that cute!! You can use the loop to attach the blanket to the carrier, so baby doesn't throw your hard work overboard or you can attach baby's binky through the loop. I don't have a modeling shot of the binky, it's currently in use!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baby Activity Gym/Tummy Mat Tutorial

The other day while playing with Tristan on our bed, I realized that I had never purchased an activity gym for my little guy. He will be 2 months old soon and I think maybe he is getting bored of mommy and daddy staring at him all the time! The poor thing needs something else to stare at!

I went to a few stores and couldn't believe that most of the activity gyms ranged from $50 to $80! Wow! That is a lot of money for a baby toy! So I decided to go home and create my own. I thought maybe there were other crafty mommies out there that would like one too, so I took pictures along the way and jotted down notes too. So here you have it, my 1st Blog Tutorial, free to anyone who is willing to give it a go! Happy Sewing!


1/2 Yd Pieces of Minky, or Cozy Fleece

Assorted Scraps of at least 10" Long by 20" Wide for tubes and loops

1 Yd Batting

1 Yd Pc to Back Top

36" x 36" Felt Piece

2 Pool Noodles

Package Activity Links(optional)
4 Snaps

Assembling Play Mat

1. Using pattern paper, make a point and draw a line 12 1/4" . I used a pc of embroidery floss to attach to my marker to make a nice arch. Draw your lines for the right angle, adding a 1/4" seam allowance to each side. This is your inner pc pattern.

2. Now make another arch 18 1/4" from your same point. This will make your outer pc pattern. Cut patterns out.
3. Cut 4 of the inner pcs. and 4 of the outer pcs from minky or cozy fleece. IMPORTANT: You will need to add a 1/4" seam allowance to the inside of your outer pc arch when cutting out. You can use other materials here, I think flannel would work, even wovens. I just preferred the softness of the minky.

4. I am a visual person, so I took a second to pause and draw out my circle with the pcs. Trying to map out in my head how to lay them out.
5. Now we need to cut our fabric for the loops. I messed my calculations up the first time, so don't mind the pic to much! You are going to cut 4 pcs from woven fabrics, 2 " x 12 1/2" long. Iron them like you are making bias tape. Bringing in the edges to meet in the middle, press, and then fold again, press. You will come end up with 4 strips that are about 1/2" wide.

6. Now topstitch down the edge of your strips. Cut your strips into 2 1/2" pcs. You should end up with 20 of them.

7. Lay out your pcs on the floor exactly how you want your play mat to look. Your loop pcs. should be placed 6 1/4" from the edges of the inner pcs.(8 total loops).

8. Time to sew up the top!

IMPORTANT: Pin, pin, pin!! Don't skip this step. It is so important because the minky will stretch on you while you sewn. I used a serger to sew my activity mat together, but a sewing machine will work just as well. With either, you must pin!!

Pin your outer pc to the inner pc with your loops sandwiched in between. Make sure the loop pc is folded with the raw edges along the edge you are sewing. You do this for all 4 sections. Now sew 2 of your completed pie shapes together, right sides together. And repeat for the other 2 pie pieces. Now sew your 2 halves together, right sides together. You should end up with this.

9. Now cut out a bottom for your mat using your top as a guideline. I forgot to take a pic of me doing this, but just lay your top onto the minky and cut around!

10. Next, cut out your 2 layers of batting using the bottom pc as a guide. I cut out mine and left a little extra around the edges, just to allow for some stretching when I went to pin the bottom.

11. Now cut out your felt using the top as a guide. Again, here I cut out a little extra on the outer edge. Next, I pinned my minky bottom to the 2 layers of batting, stretching a little as I pinned around. Then I trimmed the excess. I did the same thing with my top layer and the felt. I know this takes a little extra time, but I think it allowed for a much smoother finish of the mat with no wrinkles.

12. On your top layer, go ahead and pin your 4 loops to the outer edge of your circle. I eyeballed mine and just made sure they were in between where the other 2 loops above were. But ideally your loop should be in the middle of your outer piece.

13. At this point I removed all the pins(not the loop ones) from the layers that I had used to hold together while trimming the edges.

14. Now pin all of your mat layers together. Yes, PIN! Your 2 batting layers will be on top, followed by your bottom minky layer face down, your top layer face up, and then your felt on the bottom. I pinned mine all the way around about every 2 inches or so. I also put some pins out in the middle so it wouldn't shift while sewing. This is what your layers look like at this point.

15. Now you are going to either sew or serge around your layers. You need to leave about a 6" space on the edge to turn your mat right side out when you are done. I marked mine so that I wouldn't forget. Sew, turn out and topstich your edge together!

We are now done with the play mat!

Sewing the Tubes

IMPORTANT: Measure your noodles before you do this part. My instructions are for noodles that measured about 8" around and about 56" long. If yours are any different that you will need to do a little math to make sure the tubes will fit correctly.

16. Cut out 6 rectangles that measure 8 1/2" x 21". I chose 5 different woven prints. I don't think you should use minky for this because it would be a little heavy for the arches. Now I layed the 2 tubes out. I pinned a loop pc to the 1st and 2nd pc in each row, right about an inch above the bottom edge. Go ahead and sew your pcs together. Taking the first 2 right sides together and then the last one.

17. Now hem the 4 outside edges. I used my coverstitcher because it conveniently had the same colored thread on it. If you are using your sewing machine just turn under an 1/8" inch press and then 1/4" inch and press again. Topstitch.

18. OK. Now you have your rectangles sewn together,you should have the 2 sets of 3. Your ends should be finished off neatly too. Now you need to add loops to the ends of your rectangles. I serged the raw end of my loops first because I didn't want them to unravel. But you could zig zag on a sewing machine just as easy.

19. Now just topstich one loop to each of your four outer ends. Loops should be about 1" from the bottom just like the other ones.

20. Now sew your 2 sets of rectangles into long tubes, right sides together. You should end up with 2 tubes just like this.

21. Now turn them out and scrunch them onto your pool noodles. You should have beautiful tubes like this when you are all done!

22. Now my original idea was to use my plastic links that I had purchased to link the loops on the end of the tubes to the outer loops on the play mat. I did this and it does work. However it made the arches just a little lower than I wanted them to be.

So my solution was to add snaps to each of the 4 loops on the tube ends and the 4 outer loops on the play mat. It works great and it is a lot easier to just snap them off when I just need a play mat and not the gym.

23. Now put that baby under the mat and let them play!! I purchased my toys by infantino super cheap from TJMaxx. I'm sure you could find them anywhere though. If you are really ambitious you could try your hand at making your own. I just don't have the time right now and the 6 toys that I have along with the links cost me right at $20 total.

I would love to hear feedback if you take time to sew this one up! It will help me in the future when I post more tutes!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting Too Big For His Diapers!

Tristan turned 7 weeks old yesterday and I think the newborn diapers are becoming too tight for his little butt! I can remember sewing the LDD Newborn size and thinking no baby of mine will ever fit in these. They looked so tiny. And then Tristan appeared early and was too small to fit into them for the first week or so! We are on the last snap setting and I think the legs are becoming a little tight on his thighs that are beginning to show a little chunk!

For his 7 week picture I decided to sew up some pants with the butt panel on the back. I adapted a Burda pattern and went to sewing. Before long I had a cute pair of little flannel pants! The next go around, I need to adjust the butt panel a little, make the rise a tad longer and make the legs a little less fat. They were still very cute though and oh so comfy too!

Here are a couple of pics that I took yesterday of him in his froggy tee and dipe that I made before he was born. Love the frogs!

Today, my baby boy decided to take a long afternoon nap. I ran to my studio and got to work cutting into some of my new hemp terry and bamboo fleece. I used the darling diaper newborn(the bigger one) and cut the outter layer of hemp terry, hidden of bamboo fleece and the inside of microfleece. For the soaker I used 2 layers of the bamboo fleece, 2 of the hemp terry and the top microfleece. This diaper weighed 6 oz. by the time I finished!!

I think it has to be my best serged diaper yet. I read somewhere this past week that you should put your knife down when serging the diaper. Duh, why hadn't I thought of that! Works much better!! I have also figured out that if you topstitch around the very edge of the diaper, BEFORE you serge it saves you a lot of headache. Much easier and way less stretching out going on!! And I managed to find the microfleece at Target!! They had blankets that were 66" x 90" for less than $5! Wowee! What a bargain!