Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog Inspiration...

.. I made this little shirt for Zoe after finding this tutorial from one of the blogs I follow. It was so easy and came together in a whim. It is perfect for hopefully these last hot and humid summer days. Can you hear the underlying tone here? Enough is enough I need a season change.
Anyway I added buttons to the front straps as seen here. I used 1/4 inch elastic for the straps in my version and not the recommend half inch elastic. It just seemed to bulky for a size 2T. I am very happy with how this ruffle sleeve top came out. I am pretty sure there will be more of these in the future. Maya of course wants to have one as well.
These shots were taken after there was ice cream and juice. So forgive my messy model.
I guess you can never keep a toddlers shirt clean too long... Just what this was made for.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A little something for my mom.....

... so last week I send of these pillowcases to my mom in Germany. And of course I had to wait until she received the little package in the mail to showcase them in my blog (she is probably the first one I showed my blog to and of course and avid reader). Well yesterday was the day she received the package. She really loved them.

The idea for the pillowcases came from "Last minute Patchwork and Quilted gifts" by Joelle Hoverson. I got this book from my mom for my birthday in April. So obviously the first project from the book had to be for my mom.
Ohh boy do I adore this book. It is absolutely great. The ideas are very inspiring. She even gives time frames in which you can sew the projects.
I think these pillows were in the four to 6 hour gift range. That was very true time wise and they came together really easily. I had to sew a zipper in the back since I couldn't send them with inserts. So obviously that added to the sewing time. But definitely a project that can be done in half a day.
The pillowcases look so funky and modern. Completely different from the usual stuff I sew. Definitely a step out of my comfort zone.

But I like them a lot. And so does my mom.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

For the Love of Burlap..

....and a little more insight into our house...

Lately I have been seeing pillows made out of Burlap everywhere. So of course I had to sew one (or maybe two) as well.

I was in desperate need to lighten our Living Room a bit. Everything is taupe and I really wanted some white/ cream pillows for our couch.

These are simple envelope style pillows with two buttons added. They measure 16x16. So small compared to the last few pillows I made. The pillows came together really quickly and definitely a lot less of a hassle then putting zippers in to the pillow covers. So needless to say these are not the last envelope pillows I have sewn for our house. I think it is time for me to join "Pillowcase Anonymous". Hmmmm... Do I have to worry???

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A new rocker for Maya

So Maya had this little baby rocker in her room for pretty much the last 3 years. A few weeks ago we decided it had to retire into Zoe's room. Hmmm "but Mami where do I sit to read books?". Well off we went to a local consignment store. We found this old rocker that wasn't quite as big as the real adult rocker but still much bigger then her little retired one. At home we decided to spray paint it a plain white semi-gloss. Of course I had to add a little (or actually quite big) pillow. I wanted to try stenciling her name on it to personalize it and to make it her own reading chair. So I got this fabric paint and printed out a font I liked using word and just stenciled it onto a piece of bleached muslin. I added a few straps of 1930's fabric Maya had picked out from my stash. And then of course ruffles... Oh we love ruffles in this house.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More pillows..

... so after making these I kind of got into a pillow rush....
I felt like every room in the house is in desperate need of some new pillows. So the first room I tackled was the playroom/ guest bedroom. The room has a queen size bed on which we read our bedtime stories at night with the girls. To make it a little more cozy I sewed three 26"x 26" pillows with a zipper in the back for easy washing. And of course I couldn't help it to add ruffles to the pillows. Ohhh so so girly. The tutorial for adding the zipper to the back can be found here. I love how these turned out. I will definitely sew more pillows soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

9 Patch Pillows..

... And another one...
So I finished these pillows last weekend. For some reason I haven't gotten around to blog about them.
The tutorial can be found here. I used Denyse Schmidt "County Fair" fabric. I have to say I really love the fabric. I was a bit sceptical about the home decor weight for the pillows especially with the interfacing and the bulky seams. But it really wasn't a problem at all. The fabric feels nice and sturdy. I guess sturdy enough for every day use for my two little girls but yet cozy enough to nap on them. And of course I just had to make 5 of them for our entire sectional. So I guess next thing for on the couch would be a quilt out of the fabric. Hmmmm......

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer project...

.. so Maya got this Butterfly project from one of her friends for her birthday. We finally got around to ordering the larvae. It got here last Thursday. Over the weekend the caterpillars turned into cocoons. Only a few days later the first butterfly emerged out of its cocoon. It was amazing to watch it fly for the first time.

At first I was a bit sceptical about ordering caterpillars and the putting them into this mesh cylinder to watch them grow and turn into a cocoon and later into butterflies. It was weird to purchase caterpillars strictly for that purpose. We watched all 10 butterflies emerge out of their cocoons.
But as soon as they were flying around in their "home" we decided to let them free. Some of them flew out right away, whereas others needed some time and even crawled on our hands and feet. Amazing.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Maya got a new dress....

... finally.

This is still part of her Birthday present. It was a big work in progress. I had it buried in one of my boxes far too long. As part of my cleaning up on Saturday I went through pretty much all my fabric boxes and pulled out all kinds of stuff that was abandoned and forgotten. So I came across the unfinished dress, looked at the smocking and knew I had to take everything out. So I was once again united with my BFF the seam ripper.
After some swearing I was finally able to smock the fabric. I really started to like the result. The dress is similar to this one I made a while back from the book Weekend sewing. This time around I sewed the top down first before smocking. That way it was a lot easier then the first time around.
I also used a different fabric for the straps and the bottom. I love it. And of course more importantly Maya loves it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Max...

.. so today our Golden Retriever Max is one year old. We got him Last November, almost 9 months ago. At first I was a little sceptical having "two" babies in the house. At the time Zoe wasn't even one yet and still on all fours. Max sheds and shed and sheds. So needless to say I was constantly cleaning and making sure the floor was clean and no doogie hair was in Zoe's eye sight. Well it has been a battle and I kinda gave it up. You can never clean enough with Max in the house. And one point I decided to get a little more relaxed. I simple had no choice. Otherwise I would probably be insane at this point. But besides the hair Max is really a great dog. He loves Maya and Zoe. Max is a wonderful family dog.

So this morning I finished his doggie bed/blanket. I think he likes it although he still prefers sleeping on the floor. So time will tell. After I finished his bed I baked him some peanut butter cupcakes and some blueberry ones for us. Hhhhmmmm. I think we all loved our cupcakes.

For Max's doggie bed I pretty much used all fabric from my scrap box and randomly sewed them together and then quilted. The backing is made from a brown sheet I found last night at Wal- Mart after I realized I didn't have enough fabric for the back.
So his bed is basically a big pillow cover. I attached snaps (with my snap press from my diaper making days) on the side so I can take of the cover and wash it when necessary. The inner is made out of two shower curtains sewn together so I can wipe it off if needed. We all really like it.
I hope Max gets acquainted with his new bed soon. If not I am pretty sure the girls would love it in their play room.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wow it has been a while...

... since I last posted. We have been extremely busy around here. Summer is in its full swing. We had my mom and brother from Germany hence the lack of posting and sewing.

They left last week so of course after that I had to get back on my sewing machine.

My first project I wanted to make was a little (or big) blanket/ bed for our dog Max who turns one on Saturday.
So I just started piecing random strips together. I wanted to use some fabric from this big scrap box that was filling up my sewing room. I really liked the outcome and so did Maya.
And of course she wanted to have whatever I was making. I guess she wanted to have the first project dedicated to her after this rather long and not so typical break of sewing.

So we decided (or I guess more she decided) to finish her quilt that was hibernating on my shelf since hmm I don't even know when. All it was waiting for was to be quilted. I just couldn't decide on how to quilt it. I really wanted to try stippling so that was actually a learning curve. But I have to say I really enjoyed it. And I definitely have to make more quilts.

A little detail I added to the top part. Maya was jumping up and down after seeing this.

So I guess I only have a few days left till the big party. Hopefully I can finish Max's blanket/ bed on time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


So a while ago I stocked up on all kinds of red fabric because I bought red Salt Water Sandals for Zoe. There is something about red shoes. I guess it reminded me of my own childhood.
The fabric is a Linen/ Cotton Blend. I have to say I really like the look of Linen. It is so breezy and airy. Perfect for hot humid summer days. It was a little more difficult to sew then the regular quilting cottons I usually opt for. The Blend was softer and smoother and I had to rip out a few seams because it kept sliding off of my machine and I ended up with a few crooked seams.
The pants are basic elastic waist pants. And the top is just a smocked top I made for her in the past. The whole outfit is a follow up on this.

Unlike the muslin/ PJ's version I made the top on this one a little longer and took the sides in a bit to give it a more form fitting look. Overall I like it.

I think Zoe likes it, too. What do you think??

Friday, June 5, 2009

Vintage sheets..

So a few weeks ago I went by one of our Goodwill stores and picked up 2 vintage bed sheets. After looking and contemplating what to do with them for several weeks I finally used them for pj's for Zoe. After my last project was finished, I was a little hooked on sewing more from my Ottobre magazine. I really wanted to sew some shorts for Zoe. So before cutting into the nice red linen I had bought for this project I wanted to make a "muslin" version from the traced pattern. So my vintage sheets came in handy for that. The pattern for the shorts is called "Hennina" in the latest Ottobre magazine. And I only tweaked the pattern a little bit by making the pants a little shorter and I didn't add the embellishment. So basically plain old shorts with an elastic waist.

I think the top and pants together make pretty comfy pj's for her. Pretty light. It seems to be the perfect combo for the hot and humid South Florida summer nights.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ottobre 3/09

So a few weeks ago I received my first copy of the Finnish children's magazine Ottobre. After reading a few blog where Mama's raved about the magazine I figured I have to see myself what the hype was about. So of course as soon as it hit my doorstep I had to sit down and "read" the whole magazine. I was very impressed by all the different patterns (I think about 40 different ones). But then I looked at the pattern sheets and oh boy was I intimidated. All the patterns call for a seam allowance to add but the hem allowance was already included in the pattern. It made no sense to me. So I put it on the pile on my sewing table. It stayed there till a few days ago. I felt very brave that I could do this. So I picked out what seemed relatively simple to me, the "three way dress". There were only 5 pieces to cut out. Hey that sounded good to me. I traced a size 92. I figured Zoe will have plenty of room to grow into the dress. After tracing the pattern I added 3/8" seam allowance all around.

I have to say it came together fairly easily. I had some problems with the underarm seams. It just wasn't a smooth finish. So I just lined that area with some bias tape from the coordinating hem and sleeve fabric. By the way my fabric choices for this little dress where both by Alexander Henry found at my local Joann's.
I finished the little sleeves or frills with a rolled hem on my serger. And I have to say I was glad I decided to tackle my serger with the rolled hem and finally stopped being so afraid to do anything on it but to finish the seams. I really like the end result. Aside from the fact that the instructions are very minimal and definitely much less detailed then in a store bought pattern.

Friday, May 29, 2009

And more "Weekend sewing"

It seems like everything I sew these days involves "Weekend Sewing" of some kind. I guess I must really like it. This is my version of the Flower girl dress. I finished this way back when I first got the book. For some reason I never got around to posting about the dress. But here it goes.
The sizing is off somehow. But if I recall correctly I read that somewhere in Blog land.
After tracing the biggest size on pattern paper I realized it would be too small for Maya. So I just enlarged the bodice and I have to say the sizes are easily adjustable. The instructions where clearly written and it came together in 2 Nap sessions. I guess I just have to seize the opportunity whenever Zoe goes down for her nap. Sewing a few hours straight without interruptions is a rare around here.

Since making this for her Maya has worn it quite often. So I guess she must like it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Girls wardrobe

Every time I go to the mall I end up being frustrated and head back home. I see thing and I am like, well I can do that without paying that much for it. So this summer I told myself I will sew everything the girls need for summer.
So here is a little something I have been working on.

Several action shots..

The skirt used to be a pair of Maya's worn out Jeans with a hole. So I cut off the legs and added some ruffles and denim trim and of course more fabric trim made with my bias maker. The fabric is from Heather Bailey's Freshcut line. I love the bright colors. And so does Maya.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Maya

So last Saturday we celebrated Maya's 6th birthday. She invited the whole class and we had a Pool Party. It was great. I think all the kids and the parents loved it.

I guess the pictures speak more then a thousand words...

Here at the Hula Hup contest...
Maya expected cupcakes. Much to her surprise I figured an Ice cream cake is more appropriate. So I made my version of this in addition to the cupcakes.
It was really yummy. And the look on Maya's face was priceless. Hmmm blue whip cream...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Oh my...

..little artist in training...
I had just finished cleaning and put away the mop.
So what do I do? Laugh or be mad???

I just love my girls...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


....the dresser is done.

Yesterday was Maya's big day. Her 6th birthday. I finished the dresser the night before. I found this last minute decoration idea and instantaneously knew it would be the perfect addition to her room. So of course the pom poms will have an extended stay in her room now.
It looks so cute though. Pretty girly.
The dresser was a fair amount of work. But I think at the end it was all worth it. She really loves it. Finally a pink piece of furniture in her room. Not that there isn't any pink in her room.

I had her pick the shelf liner at Target last week. Polka dots won over flowers. So Polka dots it was.