Friday, December 2, 2011

play silks for Christmas

I decided to get my children play silks for Christmas. However, I wasn't prepared to pony up $60+ for the rainbow colored set I wanted. So I googled and read several tutorials on how to make my own silks.

While waiting for the silks to arrive, I ran out in search of Kool-aid, but couldn't find all the colors I needed. So I found an 8 pack of Wilton icing dye to use instead.

My oldest is trying to earn a crafting badge for Scouts, so I recruited him to help for credit.

Once the silks arrived we washed them in warm soapy water. My son remarked that they looked like sails. I'm excited to see his imagination already going into gear.

Then I put in about 1/4 tsp of icing dye, 1/4 vinegar, then filled the rest of these large mason jars with water. The assistant stirred until the dye dissolved.

While the jars are heating up in the jar bath, I put the larger silks into the jar. At first I put in both 1 large and 1 small silk, but discovered it was a bit too tight, and removed one scarf. Basically, just soak the silk in the mason jar till the dye has been absorbed and set into the silk at your desired intensity. Then add more dye if the water has cleared and soak the next silk. 

Using tongues is a good idea if you don't want to dye your fingers too.

I ironed the silks (which was suggested on one tutorial) to help further set the dye. After this I folded and wrapped them up for the kids. They think all of these are for their little sister, but actually, they're getting play silks in their stockings too, as she's not getting ALL of them. A lot of what I'm getting the kids this year are really for sharing. I expect they will all play with these.

So that was fun! We'll have to do that again sometime.  Perhaps I'll make more for Easter.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sewing spree

I'm on a new sewing spree. The baby is a long one, and has nearly gown past the point of fitting into what I define as "real" baby clothes. I like being able to snap him in, or unsnap for diaper changes, yet they stop making clothes like this after the 9 month size. So I've been inspired to build a stash of larger jumper-sleeper like outfits for the cooler weather coming up.

I also made myself another under-nursing shirt. Gone are the shirts with hidden panels, buttons, flaps, and such. Now, I find it so much easier to layer with a soft nursing bra-like shirt under a normal shirt while I'm nursing. I just need to make more so I can cull the nursing shirt collection. 

Monday, September 26, 2011


A friend of mine asked if I've be interested in making some things for her store. You know, every now and then someone will ask me and I'm sorely tempted to start making things to sell again. I decided that I would like to try and make some things for her though. Even though I really don't have any free time, I feel like I should at least try. Yet, I'm torn about stealing time away from the kids and my family for a business proposition that might only be a drain on them instead of an enhancement. I'm dabbling my toe back into the waters and trying to see what I can do. Right now I have 4 bibs I managed to complete this weekend. We'll see how it goes.

There's just so many things I WANT to make, and so many things I NEED to do. And for the first time in my life I feel like I'm maxed to the max, and coming up short from what I've got going...yet, there's just got to be a way to work all that I want and need to do. Maybe, perhaps...well, I'll give it my best try.

What do you think is a fair price to pay for a bib? I saw something similar on Etsy for $9, is that too high? I wouldn't pay that much, of course, I'd just make it myself.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Baby Bunting

A double sided opening on a baby snowsuit is a must in my book. I've had it in my mind to make a new snowsuit for the baby with a cotton jersey lining and a wool shell. I purchased this tan fabric to be the shell, then found it felted up too much in the wash (after I'd already cut out the peices). So I needed to purchase a different wool fabric for my shell (and wash it before cutting out my peices). Not wanting to waste these dark tan peices, I decided to practice with it. This one has a lot of snaps.

The double snap front panel allows for dressing the baby more easily. The snaps along the inseam and crotch allow for diaper changes without having to take the baby out of the bunting.

This particular peice will be just fine for the fall weather, and I'll just need to remember to wash it by hand.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dress of the running child

My running toddler...its not the best picture of the dress, and I have no idea how the color turned out this 1970's yellow shade, but I love these pics of the newest dress none-the-less.

My hands feel old. There's more dressed in my mind than the hands can finish.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I started a cap sleeve Baptismal gown top before my little man was born. After three girls I was sort of geared towards making frilly type gowns. After the baby was born, I decided the cap sleeves were just too girly for him. And I started making another top with straight short sleeves. No frills.

So now I have two gowns. Initially, I thought of selling the extra gown. But now I'm thinking of saving it to give to my middle daughter. She wore the family heirloom gown when she was baptized, and so doesn't have a gown of her own to use for her children. Since there are quite a few cousins who are/ have used that gown, it's doubtful she'll inherit it.

My oldest son also wore the family gown...I'll let any future daughter-in-law figure that out. Women like to get to pick out their baby clothes and gear...usually.

Monday, May 30, 2011

strappy scrappy cami

This was made a few months ago in anticipation of a birthday which I would be too busy to do much for. In fact this was finished so far in advance that I almost forgot about it. It's another cami dress variation. The bodice is much longer than I expected it to be, and so is the entire dress. She calls it her mermaid dress. Honestly, I just guesstimated the whole thing...eyeballed it...didn't measure a thing. So it should come as no surprise, that it looks a little big. I like growing room anyway. I was just trying to use up the rest of this fun fabric and thought would be too short without that eyelet ruffle. lol!

Boy, was I right about being too busy. I've been trying to get to knit all week, and my new baby just won't let me finish his baptismal gown top.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Silk Alpaca Sweater

For Christmas I got a gift certificate from my sister-in-law for a semi-local yarn shop, FiberSpace. So a month or more ago we made our way up to Old Town and I spent my certificate on some super soft alpaca silk, sport weight yarn. I purchased 4 skeins  so I'd be sure to have enough for whatever child-sized project I decided upon. I made this raglan cardigan with just three skeins. So I have one more skein left for a beanie or something...maybe a pair of teeny socks.

This sweater was cast on at the neck and knit on two needles much like a yoke sweater, almost in the round, except it's a cardigan. Then I placed the sleeves stitches on holders (a string of yarn) and proceeded to work the rest of the way down on the straight needs. Then the sleeves were knit with double points. So there are no seams. All I did was tuck in the tails and sew on the buttons after I was done knitting.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Communion Dress

It's just around the corner, First Holy Communion. It's not done yet, but here's what I've been working on this past weekend. I've had this dress pattern for several years, and it looks divine on paper. However, I'm going to have to make some alterations to make this not look like a bolt of fabric on my tall slender girl. I would even say I think it looks lovely on the hanger...but on my daughter, it just looks like some one's wedding dress swallowed her up. I don't like it!

I did consider just buying a dress, there are lots of pretty ones online. But I was afraid they wouldn't fit her well. Well, now look what I went and did! I made a dress that doesn't fit her well at all. Now is this ironic or what!

My absolute nemesis in sewing is zippers. I suck at them! If you look close to the front of the dress you can see where I damaged the fabric when I accidentally sewed over the top of the dress while sewing in the zipper. Please don't ask me to make you a garment that requires a zipper, you'll be sorry!

Lucky for me, my daughter is not picky she seems to think it's nice. I can take it in some in the back, and add a sash or something. Maybe I'll add some beading if I have time or can think of something that would compliment the dress.

Oh, I almost forgot, I did change the pattern somewhat, in that I added some cap sleeves to the dress. The dress code guidance for first communion was "no bare shoulders."

Hair Flowers

When I was a little (roller) skater there were very talented parents who made these gorgeous hair accessories for their skating daughters. And there were crafty moms who also sold their hair accessories at contests too. We all liked to look at all the pretty flowers and hair ribbons. Now, I'm not saying mine are equal to those I remember, but I did try to emulate the flowers from my  memory.

Well, now that these are done, I'm finished with the girls' skating costumes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dress on Ice

The dress had it's test run today. It passed. The head coach (well, the most senior coach in the rink) liked it too. So we're green light, go for coach approval. Yes, I do worry that they won't like my dresses.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

NY NY dress

The back of the dress
At the last contest, the little sister sat quietly in the stands just watching. There were so few skaters in the beginning levels that I thought it was kind of silly I hadn't bothered to enter her into the contest too. She too would likely win a medal for just having shown up...and that might help her get over her feelings of being left out.

So our coach is working with her a little each week and she's going to skate to NY NY at the next contest.

I had this fabric on hand and since everyone in NY wears black...all the time, it was clear the dress should be black. Then I decided to look at dresses worn by Audrey Hepburn for inspiration, because I wanted a "classic" look. I saw a few "Breakfast at Tiffany" styled dresses I liked, but decided that this dress had to have sleeves, and I didn't want to fuss with a zipper. So I came up with a simple off the shoulder scooped neck and back get up. The fabric shines on it's own, so I just embellished the shear and neck line with beads.

Last night I finished her dress and beaded it up. I just have to come up with hair accessories for both girls and this season's dresses (maybe we can eek out two seasons again ;) will be done.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Contest Dress

This is the dress! I've been working on this "classical" polka concept for a while. The music is Tritch Tratch (chit chat) polka by Johann Strauss...and I just love how everything is coming together! My daughter and her coach worked on the first part of the program today...and I'm just tickled pink! I just don't think I could get tired of ever listening to this piece and watching her skate to it. I'm happy with how the dress has turned out thus far.

This afternoon, I'm working on the beads.

And then, I have another dress to make up for her sister when I'm finished...and will have to start this all over again.

Practice Dress

I made this practice dress about a week ago. It was mostly so I could see how the new pattern I bought worked for my daughter's body type. Of course, it needed to be tweaked, but it's easier to buy a pattern and then tweak it, then to try and draft my own pattern. So I needed to start with a practice dress.

Maybe one day I'll be good enough at design and sewing to draft my own patterns from scratch. I'm self taught, so I learn something new with each project.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I don't like it...

Nope, I don't like how this turned out at all. It doesn't appeal to me in the least and I loath how the lines don't connect and how the patterns don't exactly flatter my recipient.

My DH said, "don't worry, you can always make me another sweater."

Ugh...November, December, January, and into February...hours and hours, and hours...and I don't like how it turned out. Oh well...after I finish tucking all the tails, I'm done with this thing.

At least my model is cute! And he did say that he would wear whatever I made for him. What a sweet guy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The sleeves

The sleeves of that sweater are done...finally! Last night I ripped back the neck and picked up the new neck line stitches. I hope to have this sucker finished by this weekend.

Friday, February 4, 2011

skate dress time

 I really was milking it when I got two seasons out of the last dress I made for my daughter. Alas, she's too big for that dress now (nearly popping the seams), and it's time to craft another one. Thus, the planning has begun! I'm kind of nervous. I hope I can pull this one off.