Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Felt Nativity Ornament

The idea came from Pinterest.  Of course.  Like many of you, I find all kinds of clever and inspiring ideas on Pinterest.  But for once, instead of just pinning that idea, I actually took it and made my own version.

Mary is standing in my version, and I gave her a head scarf. 

I sketched it out on paper and then traced around the "parts" for my pattern pieces.  

A loop of jute was sewn between the layers so that the ornament can be hung around a doorknob or on the tree.  Don't ask why I tied knots in the jute.  It just happened.  :)

And then I made, not one, but two.  
One to keep and one to give away to a special friend.  

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Ottobre Meoow Cat Skirt

When my most recent issue of Ottobre arrived in my mailbox and I saw the "Meoow" skirt with cat face pockets, I knew I had to make it for Emily. As everybody knows, she loves cats!  So here it is, Emily's cat skirt!
Pattern Description:  "The skirt is pepped up with images of the pet cat on the pockets.  The skirt has a separate elastic and drawstring casing at the waist.  The contrast-color bottom-hem facing forms a piping-like trim that gives body to the skirt."

Fabric: grey gabardine from Hancock's with blue contrast cotton for the hem and waistband

Size:  European size 128 (US child size 8)

Changes I made:  I cut a wider hem band than called for so that I could have more blue contrast showing at the hem.  I modified the face of the cat, substituting buttons for the eyes and using a blanket stitch to attach the pockets to the skirt.

Likes:  Ottobre patterns are so simple, but so extraordinary (in my opinion) because of all the little details that are included: the contrast waistband and hem, the topstitching, the ribbon threaded through the elastic casing, the buttonhole where the ribbon comes out at the waistband, and of course the cute kitty face pockets. 

Dislikes:  The skirt is very full!  It's not really a dislike, but I would have preferred less fullness.  The fit of the skirt is determined by the elastic waistband, so a smaller size may have been more suitable for my slender daughter.

Overall, I like the finished skirt very much, and so does Emily.  It will be a great addition to her winter wardrobe.
 The ribbon drawstring casing is added to the elastic waistband for a pretty effect.  

 The cat looks adoringly at the girl who feeds him and loves on him. 

 Three of her many cats.  I'm glad they all live outside.

 Ottobre Winter 6/2013, Design #15, Meoow Skirt

Monday, November 11, 2013

Leopard Spots: Ottobre 4/2013

She chose the fabric for her new dress because "it has leopard spots."  (I think it looks like paint splotches.)  My cat lover of a daughter doesn't differentiate between domestic or wild cats---any cat will do.  And any dress that reminds her of cats is sure to be a favorite.

My! Did it feel ever so good to sew again!  And this simple Ottobre pattern was a quick and easy way to get my feet back into the water so to speak. Yes, it was a simple pattern, but the details of the binding and the contrast pockets make it more than just ordinary.  Once again, I am reminded of why I like Ottobre designs so much!

The pattern:  Ottobre 4/2013, design #13, the Princess Castle dress
The fabric:  lycra jersey knit from JoAnn Fabrics
The Size: 128.  The dress is a bit wide on Em; I probably could have gone down a size.
Modifications:  I lengthened the dress slightly.  I did want to make long sleeves since the cold weather is coming, but I did not have enough fabric.  The short sleeves work better under a long sleeved cardigan anyway.  

The Requisite Cat Photo

Monday, August 12, 2013


The pattern is wonderful. Well-written and easy to follow, but I just don’t feel the love. Maybe it’s my colors, maybe it’s the stripes with the lace---but I just don't love this shawl as much as I thought I would.  I do like how the stitches in the lace sections gradually get bigger, and I do like how the lace is interspersed with stockinette.  Someday I would like to knit this pattern again all in one color or tonal colors, and then I think I would adore it.  

I knit this shawl as part of a Mystery Knit A-long on Ravelry.  Mystery KAL's are appealing to me, and in that sense I am not one bit disappointed in my shawl.  Who knows, maybe I'll even wear it one day.  Definitely, I will keep knitting mystery shawls and mystery socks, and especially those put out by Through the Loops.  Kirsten writes her patterns in such a way that I have never had any trouble understanding the directions, and her designs are breathtakingly beautiful. 

The pattern:  Germinate aka TTL Mystery Shawl 2013
The Yarn:  Cascade Heritage Silk
Needles:  Size 6 (4.0 mm)



Thursday, August 08, 2013

Summer of Jo-Ann Tie-Dye Tote Bag

A Jo-Ann fabric and craft store is coming to my town, and I am so excited!  No more driving over an hour to get to the nearest Jo-Ann's!  It was also exciting when I was asked to participate in Jo-Ann's Summer Crafting Challenge.  The challenge was to choose one of the 72 projects from the Cape Discovery Spring Craft Catalog, buy the supplies, and then create the project with our own twist.

Emily needs a bag to carry her piano books to lessons, so when I saw the tie-dye tote bag in the catalog, I knew it would be a great project for us to make together.   With the generous $25 gift card from Jo-Ann, we purchased the supplies.  Emily picked out the cat appliqué and cat paw sparkles.  Cats.  Of course.  The child loves cats. 

Since I have never before tie-dyed anything in my whole crafting life, I was glad for the detailed instructions that came with the dye.  It was so easy.  So fun.  Such fun that after we dyed the bag we started searching the house to find something more to dye.  

 Two of the Shirts We Dyed

  Jo-Ann's Inspiration on the Left and Emily's Project on the Right

I love Emily's finished tote bag, and now I want to dye everything in sight. I'll refrain, but I won't refrain from attempting more of the projects from Jo-Ann's.  Did I mention how thrilled I am that Jo-Ann's is coming to town?! 

Take a look at the Jo-Ann Pinterest page for more inspiration or search the hashtag #summerofjoann. Also, if you sign up to become a Preferred Customer, you will receive a 20% coupon. 

One thing about the dye kit—it only came with two plastic gloves.  I ended up with lovely blue hands because Emily wore the gloves.  My fingernails remained blue for weeks!   

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Anniversary Shawl

June has been a month of knitting knit-alongs for me.  Two mystery shawls, and two pairs of socks.  Yes, I'm behind, but I rather expected to be.  That's a lot of knitting for me for one month!

I am close to finishing the second pair of socks, and I hope to finish the second shawl before the week's end.  Going on a road trip this weekend will give me additional knitting time.  :)

But....drum roll, please.... yesterday on my 30th wedding anniversary, I finished this blue lace shawl!  I don't even wear shawls, but I am so happy in the way this shawl turned out.  So happy, indeed, that I may just have to learn to wear shawls and be comfortable wearing them.  

The Pattern:  Wendy Knits Summer 2013 Mystery Shawl
The Yarn:  Knit Picks Shadow, lace weight, 100% Merino
Needles: size 5 (3.75 mm)
Finished Dimensions: 68" x 29"

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bucket Hats and Babies

Too Hats
Two Babies
Too Big

The hats are too big.  Good thing babies grow, right?

Thinking they might need some protection from the hot Oklahoma sun this summer, I made two bucket hats for my 2 grandsons.  I don't yet have pictures of the redhead, Grayson, wearing his hat, but it was too big.  The size smaller was too big on the little one, Trey.  

Oh, but aren't these babies just adorable?!  This Grammie sure thinks so.

  First Fight?

The bucket hat pattern is free from Oliver+S, and it is reversible.  It comes in several sizes, from baby to big kid.  It was an easy pattern and fun to sew.  I discovered that I do need to add some "boy" fabric to my stash; I have next to nothing suitable for boys.  


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Skirt Week

My skirt made it to the top 10 at Crafterhours Skirt Week, yay hooray. :) And now I just need all you lovely Sew Chic readers to please head on over to Crafterhoursblog.com and vote for skirt #7, Simplicity 2226. Today is the only day to vote, and I would sure appreciate your vote.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Cat in The Bonnet

It's been awhile since I've embroidered anything.  It felt nice.  Making this bonnet was a bright spot in my otherwise sick-with-the-aches-fever-and-burning-throat kind of day.  And tonight I'm actually going to bed early in hopes of kicking this icky-sicky bug.  

The lovely pattern is from Rosy Little Things, and I think it's adorable.  I sewed it at a friend's request, and I hope she likes it.  I also hope it fits a 3-6 month old baby.  If not, though, I can just make another.  It was that much fun.

No baby is around to model the hat, so one of Emily's stuffed cats will have to suffice for today.  Cute looking cat, wouldn't you agree?

The bonnet is reversible and comes in 4 sizes.  The pattern was easy to put together, has great instructions, and I definitely plan to make it again one day.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Polo Shirt Resized for Tiny Daughter

My daughter is volunteering at the hospital this summer and was issued a size small polo shirt.  She was drowning in the size small; such a teeny little 17 year old!  

Enter Sewing Mom to the rescue! 

This is one good reason I'm glad I know how to sew.  Now I just need to teach Tiny Daughter how to sew.

 The Before Shirt:
(You can't tell but there are a good 12 inches of fabric tucked into her slacks).

And The After Shirt:

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A Favorite Skirt Pattern


I made it last year, and I made it again this week.  Simplicity 2226 is a skirt pattern that I can see myself making again and again.  I like it that much.

The fabric I used is a lightweight cotton with a bit of stretch to it.  I bought it a number of years ago on the remnant table at Denver Fabrics (in Denver, not online).  The border print of the fabric runs down both selvedge edges, and I have enough fabric left to make another 2 or 3 skirts.  Oh, well, I don't need another skirt, but maybe I'll make Emily a summer dress....

Simplicity 2226 is a "Learn to Sew" pattern.  The pattern gives options for two lengths, pocket trim, belt loops, tie belt, and center back zipper. The skirt is designed to sit below the natural waistline. 

Because this pattern is geared for beginners sewers, the instructions are detailed and include step-by-step directions and illustrations. The details and stylish design make it a great skirt pattern for those with more sewing experience as well.

  • I used an invisible zipper on the side seam instead of at center back.  I cut the skirt back in one piece, eliminating the seam so as not to disrupt the border print.
  • I stabilized the pocked edges and the top seam of the waistband with a strip of interfacing to prevent stretching.  I also interfaced the zipper seam allowance.
  • I added a lining to the skirt.  (Does anybody wear slips anymore?)
  • With green thread, I topstitched the hem, the pocket edges, the waistband, and the belt loops with the triple-stitch setting on my machine.


And there you have it!  Now I need to find a green top to match or perhaps a chunky green necklace....something, anything, to give some relief to the black.  :)

Lastly, if you haven't already, head on over to Crafterhours for Skirt Week 2013 for photos of beautiful skirts, tutorials, and inspiration to make your own skirt, not to mention a fabulous contest coming up. 


Thursday, May 30, 2013


My plans to sew a skirt today were sabotaged by an eight-year-old girl!  Am I the only one whose child wants to sew whenever I want to sew?! 

What took up the most time was re-threading Emily's machine numerous times, and me rotary cutting the strips of fabric that she sewed together.  (I don't want Emily using the rotary cutter until I take the time to show her how to use it properly).  After she sewed all her strips, I squared off the piece into a rectangle and showed her how to pivot at the corners as she sewed it into a pillow.  

~stuffing the pillow~

And what a cute little pillow it turned out to be!  Emily was excited when I told her how much I liked that all her little "squares" were cattywampus--a word she had never heard before.  You know how much she loves cats, and any word about cats is right up her alley. 

Okay, I really don't mind that my sewing plans were thwarted.  We had a good time in my sewing room today listening to Pandora while she sewed scraps of fabric together and I made slow progress on my skirt.  In the end, Emily ended up with an adorable little pillow and I got the pockets sewn into my skirt. 

And one day this summer I want to take a few days and teach Emily how to sew something more.  Perhaps I'll take her to "Mom's Sewing Camp" or something along those lines....any ideas?

my skirt - Simplicity 2226