Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cupcakes and Polka Dots

A friend requested this dress for her daughter's first birthday party.
The theme, obviously, is cupcakes and polka dots! So sweet.
The dots are from my stash--a Christmas gift from Michelle last year. Thanks sis! I have used them in a lot of projects. The designer escapes me right now.
The cupcakes are from the Confections line by Caleb Gray for Robert Kauffman.  Don't they look delicious?

The paneled skirt was a happy accident when I cut the skirt panels a little too narrow. I had wanted a full skirt anyway so I cut those oopsie panels in half and cut equal sized panels in the dots. I love the result. And I could pretend like it was intentional but I think there is a lot of value in being humble and admitting your mistakes. Not to mention being able to salvage them and turn them into something wonderful.  That whole process is one of my favorite things about sewing. 
This is the best part of the whole dress.
Sweet girls name hand embroidered on her own yummy cupcake and frosting of nylon chiffon that looks almost good enough to eat.

Happy first birthday sweet Kylee!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is here!

O.k. so it's been here for about a week technically but the weather here has finally started to turn a bit chilly and the leaves on the trees are slowly starting to think about changing colors. More than any of that though, last night I made my first pot of soup. Is there any other more "official" sign of the season change than the return to cooking those comfort foods?

Helping me welcome the season is this gorgeous "poppy" pin in a rusty orange. I'm in love with it. But soon she will find a new home with a dear friend who told me she needed a statement piece to adorn her fall sweater jacket.  This little beauty will serve you well!

Poppy Boutonnière Tutorial courtesy of Grosgrain one of my all time favorite sewing blogs. Check her out, she is amazing. And self taught! Wow.
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Woodland Creatures Itty Bitty Dress

Things have slowed down around here a little bit now that the Apple Festival is behind us. I've made a few things but haven't been as diligent about taking pictures as I should have been.

But this sweet little dress is one that was up for sale and will soon be posted in our Etsy shop!
It's another Itty Bitty Baby dress with a wide ruffle on the bottom,
And a sweet flower pin on the bodice.

The primary fabric is a neutral greenish brown color with outlines of bunnies and owls and snails and all sorts of cute little woodland friends. The fabric lining the bodice and on the ruffle hem was gifted to me and has a vintage feel to it.  I really like the two paired up like this.

I'm working on drafting a pattern similar to this one in 12 month size for a custom first birthday dress right now.  Cupcakes and polka dots!  
Much as I love this dress once that one is done, I'm putting this pattern in the vault for a while and it's going to on to something new! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pleated Denim Skirt

One problem.
I don't have a baby.

And it seems like the easiest way to rectify that is to up-size the tutorial to fit my big girl.
I went simple with this one, no fancy dancy hem like the first one.  Seems like I'm always spiffing things up, but a girl needs some neutral foundational pieces in her wardrobe too, right?  What else would you wear your stripey tights with?
To make a bigger version of the skirt I just measured the Bug's waist, divided that number in half and added an inch for seam allowances then cut my tee shirt waistband to that width.  In hindsight, I could have made it a bit smaller to account for the stretch of the knit. But it works and gives her room to grow--which she insists on continuing to do. Humph!
I made the waist band piece extra tall so it could be folded over yoga style. You can kind of see that here.
I sort of just winged it on the width of the denim skirt piece.  
Eyeball it. 
My favorite method. 
Which is why I am no good at ever replicating anything--in the sewing room OR in the kitchen.

The skirt length was easy, I had an unusually cooperative Bug on my hands that day and was able to measure just where I wanted the skirt to hit.  I added about an inch and a half to allow for a narrow hem and the top seam allowance and I was well on my way.
I foresee this becoming a Fall wardrobe staple.
Just look how cute it is with a pair of leggings! And don't get me started on the striped tights up above. And the possibility of leg warmers? Oh my. . . I can't hardly stand the cuteness!


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Monday, September 20, 2010

The Apple Festival Has Departed!

The Apple Festival has come and gone.  I may or may not be suffering Bayou Billy Cream Soda withdrawal - pure sugar in a tin mug - who can resist? (Note: I just visited the Bayou Billy website for the first time - I would not suggest opening the Mobile Restaurant Menu site - unless you love fake cheese - YIKES! Also of note he has a snow cream cart? Yes please!)

Anyway, I would consider the weekend a success.  I was able to complete the 5k without dying (if I seem  a bit dramatic, you haven't seen me run.)  I learned that my husband is the best encourager a runner can have - he kept me going and I was able to run (never stopped to walk) the entire race - and while my time was not fast by normal standards, it was a personal best, and something I am very proud of.  Plus we had a pretty good cheering section waiting for us at the finish, thanks to the homemade sign from the Bug (my sister and parents may have helped too)!

And while my sister and I may have been a bit ambitious in thinking our booth would sell out on the first day of the festival (which ended up getting rained out.)  We were able to sell a few items (my sister was scrambling to make more flower barrettes to meet the demand) - but more importantly, we were able get our store name out there for a few custom orders (it really is impossible hard to have something in every size and color available on hand.)

The good news is - those of you not able to make it to our booth will have a chance to purchase the items that didn't sell, as they will be going on our etsy site shortly. 
Including this clothespin apron:
I have always enjoyed the style of the clothespin aprons - I remember my mom had one when I was little - though I am not sure if she ever actually wore it - or just used it to store her clothespins.

Anyway, this is my first attempt making a clothespin apron.  I saw the usage of the style, with the deep pocket also being useful when you go out to the garden to harvest your peas, tomatoes, or other fresh produce. (I maybe in the wrong season, is it almost fall?)
I used Robert Kaufman Garden Vegetables and Peas in the Spring color pallet.  I LOVE the brightness of the fabric the colors are so bright and bold (Robert Kaufman does little wrong in my book.)  I felt the fabric itself demanded some bold finishes - fortunately I had this bias tape in the most wonderful shade of blue - from old fabric notions found in my grandmother's stash.  The color couldn't have been more perfect - and I had it on hand - I love when that happens (and in my case it rarely happens.)  I then finished it off with some Kona solid orange fabric at the waist (some leftover from this custom ordered apron.)  The pop of orange really sets this apron off , in my opinion.  If our townhouse had more yard (i.e. space for a garden), I would be very tempted to keep this bright little number for myself.  Isn't that the problem with sewing something you like so much yourself?

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth this weekend - and those that picked up some of our handmade creation!  And an ESPECIALLY BIG thanks to Lindsay's good friend Dawn for giving us this opportunity!  It really was a lot of fun increasing our inventory and preparing for and designing our display! (Most of which was done by my sister - but since we are a team I will take the credit too, right?)


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Apple Festival Has Arrived!

It's here! It's here!

The Apple Festival officially kicked off last night but because of high winds and driving rain we delayed setting up the booth until this morning.
Here she is in all her glory.
Those two purses nearly killed me. First I cut my pattern wrong and didn't discover it until they were half made. Then I sliced my thumb with my rotary cutter. Then I snipped my finger with my shears. And I can't even count the number of pin pricks to my poor fingers.

In the immortal words of Tim Gunn I was able to "make it work" despite all my setbacks and I actually like the shape of the purse better than the original pattern.
This ingenious display idea came to me last night. 
I have a million of them, why not use them?

Thanks Jess for the idea to put the flower pins on sticks in a vase--genius. And adorable.

I am not at all biased when I say, our little corner is the cutest booth out there. We may not have the quantity of items that others do but we have nailed it with the super display and the quality of each handmade piece.

402 ROCKS the Apple Festival
(that was for you Michelle)

An aside: I am totally disgusted with the mass produced crap people are passing off as "craft". Bull. Why does anyone buy that junk? Go to Marshals and pay a quarter of the price for the exact same piece. I think I could count on one hand the number of booths with quality, handmade items.
Buy Handmade people! Support the artists and craftspeople of the world and not some third world sweat shop!
. . .Stepping down from soap box. . .
So visit us at the Apple Festival.
And while you're at it, buy some of these pretty things from my friend Dawn who so graciously allowed us to set up shop on her turf AND volunteered to run the whole booth all weekend.

Dawn, thank you.
Seriously. I never would have done this without your encouragement and it's been so fun. You're the best.

Now I just have to attempt to not spend ALL of my earning on your jewelry.  I have $40 worth of fabric sitting in an imaginary on-line cart and my trigger finger is twitching. . .



Well, "Baby Girl" was born this week.
With one slight wrinkle.

"Baby Girl" was really a baby BOY.
Apparently a shy baby boy who didn't want to advertise his manhood for the ultrasound technician.

As cute as that little red dress is, it would just look silly on a boy.
So last night, I whipped up a few appliqued onesies instead.
I had these little onesies on hand from an embroidery attempt gone awry.
I went with bow ties since I made an actual bow tie for big brother.  I cut each one out free hand so they wouldn't be super matchy matchy.

I am loving them. They turned out better than I had planned and they are so quick to whip up. I hope to do a lot more of these.

As for the cute little dress, I will be putting it out at the Apple Festival booth this weekend for some other sweet baby girl. 


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Chicken or the Egg?

My sister was kind enough to photograph my sweat shop creations so I could blog about them.  She is also in charge of setting up our display for the Apple Festival over her lunch break today.  Many thanks to her for taking care of all of the set up. 
In total I will have 4 aprons for sale, including the apron blogged about below and this previously blogged about, but never sold apron.  The total number is less than I had hoped to complete - but as it turns out September has been my busiest month to date. 
Last weekend we were in Wisconsin for my husbands debut as a Wolfman.  The crazy guy - who can complete something so ridiculous without training, has convinced me to run a 5k with him this weekend.  I have tried to split my free time between sewing and training - but the truth is other stuff piles up too.  It may be time to retire and become a stay at home wife (w/o kids.)
Maybe I should wait and see if the aprons sell first before I quit my day job?
Well one apron I am sure to sell is the one below...why am I so confident? Because my mom has offered to buy it if no one else does.  And if someone else does - she has a custom order placed on it's duplicate - as I have enough material to make another one. SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!!! (So don't be shy in buying it if you are interested - or if it has already sold by the time you make it to our booth, don't forget we do accept custom orders!!)
I am actually really happy with how it turned out, and if my husband's compliments are to be believed (and I think they are, since they don't come unsolicited often) - this is a good one. Though I should also mention that he thought the fabric was of chickens playing golf - until I explained that the "golf clubs" were actually the birds' legs.  Silly Wolfman!
Since this apron was a product of Labor Day weekend, I was able to bounce various combinations off my sister for her feedback.  She has an eye for theses things!  I am very happy with the dots with stripe look at the top.  It is a very wimsy/folky/fun apron - perfect for the chicken or the egg lover in your life!
make it wear it
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Flower Pins!

Simple fabric flowers with pins on the back.
Millions of them.
Or maybe nine.
Vintage buttons in the middle.
This is such a great scrap buster.
Of course it only encourages me to save, save, save those scraps!
Soon we may need to add on to our house.
This "sunflower" is the one I paired with the brown apron knot dress.
Super cute, it's one of my favorites.
Pink with a little bling for those girly girls.
Cute and simple
Favorite. Button. Ever.
All but this gingham one will be for sale at the Apple Festival.
This little beauty is mine. She is living happily on my green fall jacket, making it much more enjoyable to wear and helping me not to lament the passing of summer quite so bitterly.

I promise some selfish sewing soon.
Well, selfish as in for the Bug and not for the Apple Festival.
You didn't think I was going to make myself something did you?


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blue and White Itty Bitty Dress

Another Itty Bitty dress in preparation for this week's Apple Festival!
I'm so thankful to Rae for giving me permission to sell a few of these otherwise I guess I would be well stocked for future baby showers since I can't seem to stop making them!
Like my vintage Bambi hanger? I picked up several off of EBay to help spiff up our display.
I found this pretty blue and white embroidered fabric in a remnant bin in Shipshewana. Good old Yoders Department Store. Can't go in there without being flooded by 4-H fabric shopping memories!

The lining of the bodice and the piping are made from a simple, crisp white linen. Love it.
It makes me want to invite summer to stay just a while longer. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up on these beachy colors just yet!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Baby Jean Skirt

This sweet little number was made from the tutorial on KoJo Designs, (the tutorial was actually a guest post from Homemade By Jill, another really great blog) this skirt is a great way to reuse old jeans and tee shirts.
This one is a 3 to 6 month size. I can't wait to scale it up to the Bug's size!  Heaven knows I have enough old jeans and tees to play around with this a bit (thanks Honey)!
I love the little pleats. Such a grown up, sophisticated look for a little lady.
I added the ribbon hem and I love the detail it adds to an otherwise simple skirt.  I first learned this technique on the Oliver & S Lazy Days Skirt and I love how simple and pretty it is.
And this is my first attempt at a 402 label using another tutorial at KoJo. Obviously, I need to get a nicer fabric marker but I like the general concept. I think the random messy stitching around it is fun, I just need to make the painted numbers more neatly.  I'm not sure if I was just in too much of a hurry or if my paint pen was sub-par but for now, I'm blaming the pen.

At any rate, I like the idea of making my own tags as I need them since I've yet to find pre-made tags that I love and I have a hard time buying in the quantities so many tag makers require anyway.

So thanks for the tutorials KoJo Designs! 

Little known fact: KoJo designed Michelle's wedding invitations.
Who knew?
It truly is a small world after all.