Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting a Jumpstart on the Easter Bunny- with Bunnies

This week I made these little bunnies, which I saw on MADE, for the kids' Easter baskets.  (Wow, it's really kind of weird to be thinking in terms of "the kids.") 

Looks like my surgery is scheduled for Good Friday, which means we will most likely still be in the hospital Easter morning. So I'll put these in baskets ahead of time with a few other small treats, and Easter is ready to go. 

I did all the face embroidery with stitches on my machine. I'd love to learn a little hand embroidery someday, but for now I am just fine with the easy way out. I kind of like the girl bunny more, I think because I made her limbs chubbier and eyes lower. 

I'm usually not this good at planning ahead, but this is really just my way of procrastinating making H's birthday gift. His birthday is Wednesday and I really can't decide what handmade gift to go with. I like the idea of a big car playmat, but I just can't get that excited about it. Maybe a better idea will come along... maybe you have it... 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3 Things to Look Forward To.

We are going to see the Civil Wars tomorrow night. If you don't know them, you should probably listen to this song. Then you should probably love it.

Reds Opening Day is tomorrow. I would love to take Hendrix downtown for the parade, but it's going to be pretty cold and dreary, and Nick is working lunch anyway. But I can't wait to take him to a game soon. We took him a lot 2 years ago, when he was tiny (he was born on opening day), but not at all last season when he just would have been a pain to look after in the ballpark. I'm thinking this year he will be able to appreciate at least a few innings. He is really obsessed with "bee-boo bats" lately.

And finally, these perfect baby shoes are on their way from this shop. I spotted them a few days ago and caved last night. How could I not?  Per. Fect. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Dress a Week #5 (In which the dress is really more of a baby burrito papoose thingy.)

This swaddler/ snuggler was made using Lotta Jansdotter's free pattern on I went with this orange but feminine print, because I love orange on little girls. 

I couldn't really justify making another dress this week after getting so many cute clothes as gifts over the weekend. I thought this would be more practical. I remember Hendrix loving to be swaddled tight when he was little. It really did work to calm him down, but he was a hulk baby- he's always been freakishly strong- and was wrestling his way out of our tightest efforts by 2 months old. 

This swaddler has lots of velcro, so hopefully it will serve as a more effective baby straight jacket :)

I can almost picture her little head poking out the top of the burrito. 

On this week's agenda is scraping together a 2nd birthday party for next weekend. Remember how some of you guys were a little impressed with his first birthday? Things may be a little different this year... like lucky if anything remotely cute happens. We are really hoping for nice weather so it can be in the park, where slides and swings win over cute every time. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Domestic Goddesses Need a Cute Apron.

My parents came up to visit this weekend so my mom could come to my baby shower. Of course, mom wanted to visit Sewn Studio, and while we were there she decided she wanted to make an apron and we picked out fabric for it.

That night, I searched my crafty online resources for apron patterns, and we decided on this pattern from Sew4Home. 

These are the adorable results. We basically used the pattern shape and changed everything else about the way the apron is made. Instead of using bias tape all the way around, we lined it with another fabric and topstitched around to finish. And we sewed regular straps in between the layers instead of those weird knotted ones.

And I actually taught my mom, the very seasoned seamstress, how to add piping! We used some I had leftover just at the top of the pockets and by the top strap, and it added so much.

She was amazed at the quick gratification of completing a free project found online that wasn't a huge quilt, and I just got to have fun sewing with my mom. I've never really wanted an apron for myself before, but now I might need to make one. Well, after my body is in a semi-normal, non-bloated state. They really are so easy and endlessly customizable. Isn't my mom the cutest?

Friday, March 25, 2011

On the Interwebs- Etsy Baby Edition

Tonight I'm lucky enough to be having a baby shower, and extremely lucky enough that my bestest buddy chose to have it at P.F. Chang's.  MmHmm. So that got me thinking about a little wish list, which got me trolling endlessly through Etsy, which I haven't done in far too long.  So this list is not exactly helpful to anyone attending tonight, but you know... if you've been wondering...

Huggables: This cloud and this kitty

Wearables: This vintage outfit and this yellow sweater

Hangables: Alphabet and The Roots

I'm off to get a maternity massage this morning.  I'm pretty excited, I've never had a massage ever. Or anything that happens in a spa, really...  Have a beautiful weekend, all. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Only Child

I get more excited every single day to meet our little girl. I really can't wait to hold her and kiss her and put a face on her. It's going to be the best ever. But I'm also realizing that this last month of pregnancy is someone's last month as our only kid, our favorite little boy. We are savoring the days together. It's weird how we can't imagine loving another little person as much as we do him. We know it's going to happen, it's just hard to imagine. And it's going to be pretty great. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Chair Story

This blue velvet chair is my very favorite item in our home. 
We bought it a few years ago on craigslist for $30.
At the time, we had just moved in to a 4th floor loft apartment downtown in Over the Rhine, with no elevator. 
We very naively allowed some guy off the street to carry it upstairs for us. 
When he left, we looked at each other and agreed that was really very stupid. 
That guy turned out to be Kevin, our favorite corner drunk over the years.

A couple of weeks ago, Hendrix vomited all over it. The curdled milk kind. 
As I was cleaning him, Nick was cleaning the chair and declared that the damage might be irreversible and the chair might just be rendered trash. 
This news was crushing. 

I cleaned it some more, took the cushion cover off, and threw away the foam inside. 
The cover washed up fine in the laundry, and I kept working on the chair.
I bought new foam from Joann's when it went on sale for 50% off.
The blue velvet chair is still alive. Febrezed and beautiful.

Don't it always seem to go, that you don't what you've got until your kid ralphs all over it? 

What's your favorite thing in your house?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Dress a Week #4

Last week, I got out Hendrix's big tote of 0-6 month clothes to pull out what I could use, or alter to use for a girl. It was nostalgic and sweet to look at his tiny teeny items, but it also confirmed my suspicions that yes, little girl clothes are generally more fun. 

So I made a couple of dresses from nautical-looking onesies of his. This one's skirt was made from pieced old t-shirts. It was inspired by this version, although I put mine together differently. I love the stripes and colors, but when I first attached the skirt, the front of that seam was really jacked up. I was able to pick it out and fix it, but you can see where the old stitches were on the cheap onesie material if you look closely. It's still cute enough for my own kid, just enough of a screw-up that I wouldn't gift it to someone else's kid. 

When I made this second one, I followed Prudent Baby's instructions for attaching the skirt, which made about 159 times more sense. Then I added the purple ribbon just for extra flair. It's her super-hip, mixed prints, chevron and strips outfit. 

And then I couldn't resist sticking Florence Henderson on a onesie, of course. This is what was on that yellow tshirt I used for the anchor dress. It also said "Florence Ya'll" above her face, (you locals might appreciate that) but the words wouldn't fit. This onesie really makes me smile. Hopefully my daughter will grow in a natural mullet like that. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wedding Gift Coasters

We went to a wedding on Saturday and Nick played a couple of songs in the ceremony. I wanted to make the couple a small gift, but didn't really know what. Luckily, I saw these Friday night and decided a little set of quilted coasters would be perfect. We didn't even own coasters for the first 3 years or so of our marriage. In fact, we didn't even own glasses, we just lapped water from our hands... ok, that's a lie. Those were actually the good old days before kids when we could have bought any set of fancy-pants coasters our hearts desired. Heck, we were super-rich back then when I think about it. I don't know if you guys have ever heard this before, but kids change everything. Just a brand new piece of wisdom for you :)

Anyway, I'm no quilter, but these were pretty fun and quick to make. I tried to quilt each one differently.

I didn't take a picture of this, but I also made their card by sewing some of the matching scraps on the front of folded card stock. I played a little with the letter embroidery feature on my new machine and stitched "love" into the corner. I was impressed by how easy it was to program whole words in.

Friday, March 18, 2011

On the Interwebs

Did you happen to see this scrap wood coat rack in the Project Restyle Flickr group? I love it! If only I lived in a place that didn't have paper walls that would totally be collapsed by such a thing.

Made this Spicy Orange Shrimp this week (with rice and edamame). Except I accidently put in about twice as much cayenne as I should have. Still good- some like it hot. 

Street Art you can do with the kids, non-vandal style. What a cool mom. 

Best costume ever.   ("A never-nude? Is that exactly what it sounds like?")

Cardboard! A new creative medium to explore with kids? Yes, if you do it like this mom. You must check out the links at the bottom of the post to all the cardboard things her family has made.

An entire blog devoted to satirizing blogging culture. So funny.

My weekend plans include a wedding, which is very fun, but you know what isn't fun? The fact that I have to go shopping tonight (with toddler) in an attempt to find a dress to fit my whale body. Ugh... wait, I'm not going to start being that whiny pregnant girl around here. Nope, I love being pregnant!! I'm totally not over it!! I wish I peed more at night! In fact, why can't we be pregnant for like 50 weeks instead of 40? Elephants are soooooo lucky with their 2 years of gestation!

Happy weekend :)

***eta: Bit of Whimsy is having a 20% off sale until Sunday. I couldn't resist and just bought a doll pattern and a squirrel pattern.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sewing Lessons: What was the first thing you ever made?

Tuesday afternoon, 2 girls that work with Nick came over for a little informal sewing lesson. I had met them at the restaurant staff party a couple weeks ago and they were really interested in hearing about the kind of things I make and said they wanted to come learn. Of course, I thought they were just saying that, but wouldn't really want to take the time for that sort of thing. But I was wrong. They called and we made plans and they said they'd bring lunch. Fantastic.

So I rearranged the sewing room a bit so that I could set up both of my machines again. (It really came in handy that they each had their own to work on.) They said they wanted to make tote bags, so in my mind I planned the most basic bag possible- like two rectangles of fabric sewn together flat and straps stuck on top.

I really should have had higher expectations for these gung-ho ladies. When they showed up, they had been to Joann's and each bought colored duck cloth. They also bought patterned accent fabrics and matching thread. I was way impressed, as I was just expecting to let them use what they wanted from my stash. Not only were they uber-prepared with supplies, they had also designed their bags in their minds. They wanted them lined, with boxed bottoms and contrasting bands of fabric on the bottom. One wanted her straps going all the way down both sides of the bag, and the other just wanted the straps to come out the top, but wanted to add pockets on both sides.

Turns out, their plans were much more fun than mine. We spent well over three hours getting them used to the machines, learning to measure and cut, and figuring out how to make the bags up to their specifications. It was really fun, and they were really excited about it. I'm so mad at myself for forgetting to take pictures of their finished totes, because they really looked amazing! (Plus I hate putting up a post with no pictures. I'm falling asleep just writing this...) You would never have guessed they were first-time projects. I might have to recreate one for myself and possibly make an instructional to go along with it for you guys.

Anyway, we made plans for another session in a week or two. Here's where I wanted your input. What other beginner's projects should we tackle? What was the first thing you ever sewed and what inspired it? My first project was a pair of curtains for our apartment 3 years ago, and that was just because I didn't like the curtains I saw in stores and wanted to pick my own fabric. (I'm already sick of those, by the way, and really want to make new ones!)

One idea I had is to make pillow covers, both envelope style and with zippers. I figure it might be good to get over the zipper stigma early. We could also tackle piping and bias tape pretty soon, but all I can think of right now is kid's clothes and home decor items. These girls are single with no kids, and I think they live with their families, so what other projects would they want to learn? Give me your ideas and any links to things you have made that had fairly easy instructions!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Squid Softie

I made this from one of Bit of Whimsy's free patterns. I might have to also invest in one of their doll patterns because they are so adorable. But this free little squid was a fun find. 

A word of advice though if you try it. Those tentacles are pretty thin, so you would be wise to learn this turning trick. Actually, you should learn it anyway, because there are many sewing instances where the clothes pin trick makes life a lot easier. 

I felt pretty satisfied with myself after I had easily turned all the tentacles that way, but then I realized they still had to be stuffed. I'll be honest, that part was kind of a bitch, but it gave me a chance to sit and enjoy a couple old episodes of Arrested Development. (By the way, if you love AD, look at these paper dolls!) 

Lots of people use a chopstick for stuffing and poking out corners, but I prefer a bamboo grill skewer. It's longer, thinner, and sharper. 

I also added that ribbon loop on top so it can hang from her infant carrier or play gym. 

Less than 6 weeks left. Holy moly. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Dress a Week #3 (Plus some extras)

I finally got to use some Innocent Crush! I think I have wanted to make a dress out of that particular fabric on the left, probably since I was small enough to wear this dress. Yes, I know that doesn't make any sense, but I also know it in my soul to be true. Got them both at Sewn, of course.

I used this great tutorial on how to make any dress pattern reversible. But I drew the actual pattern myself, which I've never tried before, so I hope it actually fits her at some point in her life. It looks like it should though.

And here's a peek at some of the pillowcases dresses I made for the sew-along. The deadline is this Wednesday to be entered into the drawing for prizes, but the charity is always accepting dresses. I'll keep the button in my sidebar so you can find the info, it's a great idea and a great cause. Plus Vanessa's tutorial and pattern is fantastic anytime you just want to whip up something cute for a girl in your life.

So yeah, a lot of dresses here this week. Poor Hendrix needs me to sew him something manly. But he and I had a great weekend together, including several dance parties to this song:
(and yes, we do like to wear tribal scrappy-fur vests like this, it really enhances the dancing.)

Really, any song with a double-clap is just irresistible.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On the Interwebs

I love every single thing about this home tour.

Movie stars photographed as live-action Disney characters by the great Annie Leibovitz. No, you really don't need any more convincing to go look at that.

This pb&j game is really too cute. I don't think H is at the game-playing stage yet, but I might just play it myself.

Jay McCarroll's new Habitat fabric line is amaaaaaaaaazing.

Look at these gorgeous painted dead trees!

I've made a lot of pillowcase dresses for the sew-along this week, so I might have to take a break from dresses and make baby girl this squid stuffie. It might be the cutest ever. 

And if you love street art like I do, you would probably really enjoy this video of French artist JR. It's 25 minutes, but like I said, worth it if you can't get enough street art... Or if you just really enjoy French accents. 

Have a great weekend everyone. Eat lots of fattening breakfast foods, put off the house-cleaning a few more days, and pretend spring is here by wearing flip-flops prematurely.