Thursday, July 8, 2010

McCalls 5791

View B, again. I seem to get stuck in ruts when it comes to patterns. I don't know whether that's a bad thing or not, but it definitely helps me learn. Plus I feel much more confident when I've tried a pattern out and know it's okay. Kind of boring though, huh? However, I do LOVE this dress...

Trev's brother was getting married so I made this little dress to coordinate with the wedding colours. I love love love the fact that this dress is fully lined. It makes a much more special, professional finish and is probably more comfy, too.

All my fabrics were from Joanns, except the lining which was from a thrifted white bed sheet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

blanketty blank

This is very simple picnic blanket that I put together. It is backed with denim and tied instead of quilted (I need to add some more ties before I wash it) It's not the cutest blanket ever but it looks quite nice and does its job. I'd like to make a few more of these to have around- in the car, for camping, even for when we have guests sleeping on our living room floor...

Friday, July 2, 2010


Yet anther sweet little dress/top, except this time, I varied it! Woohoo! According to the pattern, you're supposed to put elastic in the sleeves, but I didn't. Partly out of experimentation, and partly out of lack of time. It's actually quite cute, don't you think? The fabric is very lightweight gingham, which I suspect won't hold up all that well, but it should last for the rest of the summer. I do love the colour!

In case you're interested (and you should be- this pattern is great) visit Leila and Ben on Etsy for the pattern. Also, one of my favourite blogs, Brown Paper Packages, recently did a pattern makeover month using this pattern. There are all kinds of variations you can try, to come up with cute and unique clothes for little girls.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

finished at last

I've been working on lots of things lately but haven't been posting stuff. I keep making the classic mistake of sending off gifts without remembering to photograph them first.

Today I finished up this little jacket that I knitted before Christmas. All it needed was a zip, and yet it sat there waiting for me to sew it in for over 6 months. Lame! I think it's because I don't really like it. It didn't turn out quite how I hoped, so I didn't have the heart to finish it. But at least now it's not taking up space on my desk. And you know- Lainey might wear it once or twice. For camping, or something.

I'm really still a 'beginner' when it comes to knitting, so the two-colour pattern took forever! I did enjoy doing it though.

Lainey does this really cute thing when she's trying on a new piece of clothing. She sort of shrugs her shoulders a few times and then strokes her belly. Adorable!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I've been inspired by the ladies over at Making more with Less. They are having a mending week (actually it's over now) It's been  a good excuse to get out my 'boring' sewing projects and clear some room in my sewing basket!

This week I have mended two pairs of Lainey's pants, hemmed a couple of trousers for Trev, and fixed the binding on one of Luke's fleecy blankets. Thanks girls for lighting a fire under my butt!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring dress

Even though Easter fell on the Sunday of General conference (meaning no church) I still wanted to make her an 'Easter dress.' It's lucky there was no church because the dress wasn't finished until 5 days after Easter. So, I'm calling it her 'spring dress'.

I have to say...I love this dress. And I really like the pattern (McCalls 5791) I made view B. This was an easy dress to make. I wouldn't say it's a beginner project, but I think anyone could give it a go and end up with something cute. The dress is fully lined, with a zipper in the back.

On a lot of sewing blogs, I see beautiful dresses and tops made without a pattern! I really envy the women who have the talent to do that. I'm still stuck in the land of patterns. Maybe one day I'll become a little braver...

Friday, March 26, 2010


Here's another Sweet Little Dress. I think I might be addicted to this pattern. It looks so cute on- the little sleeves are feiminine but not frilly. Also- it's wicked easy to make and comes together quick. As can be just sitting there thinking maybe you'll make another sweet little dress, and two hours later you're looking at the finished product. Not too shabby eh!

I do make a couple of modifications each time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I've come to claim...

I made a 'zippered pouch'! It's something I've been meaning to do for a while, and my brother's birthday gave me the perfect excuse. I used this tutorial. And just like Dana, I filled mine with edible goodies- specifically Reeses products which are not available in England. I hope Lee likes it.

You might be wondering about the lettering I have on there. It's freezer-paper stenciled. This was another thing I had been meaning to try for a while. I used these tips. Of course, you can always trust me to complicate things by choosing a difficult design. so it did take a while to cut out all those little letters, but I think it's worth it.

'What's Rightfully Mine' is based on something that Lee used to say when we were kids. He's five years older than me (the next child after him) so he was somewhat of an idol for the rest of us. He would sometimes let us have things from his bedroom- toys, books all kinds of stuff. Before you admire his generosity, though, I must point out that every now and then he would come hunting for the things he had given away, with the famous line 'I've come to claim what's rightfully mine'.

So, there you have it, a little story from my childhood.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

birthday skirt

Here's the skirt that Lainey wore on her birthday. It was inspired by this skirt over at Pink Picket Fence. (Dana has recently made the style popular with her Can-Can Skirt, but I saw the Pink Picket Fence version a while ago and tulle seemed easier)

It was so easy! I simply cut strips of tulle and sewed down the middle with a long stitch. Then I gathered them and attached them to some pink fabric. Added some elastic and....job done!

Friday, February 26, 2010


For Lainey-
Simple snuggle dollies in, for peekaboo, to have on hand for unexpected messes, for 'picnic' blankets, to become attached to- whatever she chooses to use them for I'll be happy.

These are backed with soft flannel. They measure approx. 21in x 24in.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

hot stuff

This was supposed to be for Trev's grandma. Her favourite colour is green, so I pulled out an array of greens from my stash and began piecing. I was really pleased with the pieced front part, but when I stitched the layers together, things went pear-shaped.

It's at times like this that I wish I was truly talented. I get so many ideas for things I want to make, but the execution of those ideas always falls short. Still, all I can do is keep trying, so that's what I'll do.
I was afraid that my gift would be late if I tried to make another potholder, so she got these covered button magnets instead.

At least they're green. And as a grandma and great-grandma, she has an abundance of pictures on her fridge, so cute magnets are a must!

Monday, February 8, 2010

p-p-p-p-p-p-p-pick up a...

Here is what I made for my little brother for his birthday. I haven't sent it to him yet but I'm pretty sure he doesn't read this blog (or know it exists).

A few years ago, when I still lived with my mum in England, I bought this penguin fabric. I think I bought it from Ebay, but anyway, when it arrived, Guy saw it and told me that he really liked it. He wanted me to make him a tie out of it, but there was not enough for a tie. Somehow the fabric came with me when I moved over here, and now it is going back to England as this drawstring bag. Hope he likes it!

We bought Guy a couple of games to go inside. Rook is one of our favourites...

The bag is lined with pale yellow. It was the most coordinating thing I had on hand.

And as you can see from the photos, we've finally had some sunshine! It is so lovely.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Covered notebook

This is a gift for Trev's youngest sister, who is turning 14. I used this tutorial. You should go and have a look, and while you're there, check out the rest of her site. Plenty of tutorials and inspiration.

When I made the decision to give handmade gifts this year, I didn't really take into account how frequently birthdays pop up in our families. It's keeping me busy! I also just finished pj bottoms for Trev's brother. They're boring so I'm not going to bother with a picture.
Next up, stuff for my brothers, and Lainey's birthday in February.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas PJs

Simple flannel bottoms made using a pattern (simplicity, I think) There were going to be tops too, but I couldn't find my pattern for that. I had it all cut out and ready to go and some green knit fabric which coordinated with both of the flannel prints. Oh well.

Then Trev asked for a pair, too. I made a BIG mistake, probably one of the biggest mistakes a wife can make- I underestimated my husband's height! I didn't buy quite enough fabric. I made it work by adding this extra strip on the bottom (which was cut from the scraps I had left over) I added some piping to make it look like it was done on purpose, although I should have taken the time to match the pattern on the fabric. Ah, it was a busy time, those last few days before Christmas.

Trev loves them, and he wears them all the time. He also got compliments from his brothers, which has led to a request that I make them each a pair for their birthdays. Joy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

On the neeeeeedles

Eeek! Look at what I've been doing- knitting with two colours! And, so far, it's going well. My stitches are not perfect, they're a little uneven in places, but hey- if I wanted a perfectly knitted item I would just go and buy one. This is going to have handmade written all over it :-)

It's quite a slow process, for me. But I'm loving seeing the pattern emerge. I think that's why it's so slow- every row I knit I have to turn it round and gaze lovingly at it. I can't wait to see it as a jacket for my little princess to wear.

The pattern is from Debbie Bliss's 'Quick Baby Knits'. It's a lovely book and I'd like to try pretty much every single design in there. ~Sigh~ if only they were really quick...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Felt play food

Yeah, I know. I'm probably the last crafty person in the whole world to get on board with the whole felt playfood thing. But really, my kids are only just old enough to start using it. See? I was just waiting for the right time :-)

Anyway, on to what I've been up to. First up, we have choc chip cookies, fresh from the oven...

And sugar cookies too, for some variety...

If you're after something a bit more substantial and healthy, you can have a sandwich...

With doritos of course (well nobody can be 100 percent good all the time)

Hope you enjoyed your meal. We'll be adding more choices to the menu soon!

I also made this little apron for Luke (for real cooking/helping in the kitchen.) It is made from a dishtowel from the dollar store, I simply cut the top corners off and added a strip of binding on each side. So easy and cute!
Ps. All the food is handsewn, mostly blanket stitch. I like to handsew when I can, it's relaxing and takes me back to my roots!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Knitting Pattern Review- Two-Hour Scarf

I have made this scarf twice now (and forgotten to photograph it both times!) I love this pattern. It is so easy, is knit with one skein of Lion Brand Homespun yarn, and comes out unbelievably soft. It makes a wonderful last-minute gift!

Image from Lion Brand Yarns
It is knit on enormous needles (mine are sparkly plastic ones!) Which makes it knit up quick, though the needles are a bit heavy and cumbersome. I'm sure you could find some lighter, aluminium ones or something.
You have to try this pattern!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Manly blanket

This was one of my Christmas gifts for Trev this year. A manly blanket, lovingly crocheted by his adoring wife. What more could a guy want, right?!

The thing that still amazes me is that Trev had no idea that this was coming. I managed to complete the whole thing in my spare time (!) during the day while he was at work.

After sewing in all the ends (whew), I opted to crochet the squares together, using this great tutorial. Lucy is amazing!

I actually love the ridges it creates on the reverse side. Kinda makes it seem more rugged, don't you think?

The blanket measures about 50 inches by 45 inches.

Some thoughts-
  • I wish I'd have followed advice to sew ends in as I went along. That was a boring task and almost became my downfall.
  • I enjoyed buying the yarn on sale but it did lead to a rather un-coordinated colour scheme. Next time, I think I will plan it out and buy yarn in advance.
  • I'll also play around with hook sizes- the fabric of this blanket is quite thick and heavy. I think it would be fun to do something lighter-weight.
  • I also think it would be fun to do something very colourful, like this, maybe. Obviously wouldn't have worked as a Manly Blanket, but I do believe I'm next in line for an afghan.
  • Trev likes it, and he uses it, which is what I was going for :-)