Joel and I have been working on a super-secret birthday surprise for Isaac: an A-frame tent.
Joel built the tent frame using this tutorial as a guide. He added a brace in the back and the silver caps to both ends of the top pole, so the tent can’t be easily knocked over or accidentally collapsed. I made the fabric cover from an IKEA fitted sheet and some navy quilting cotton I had in my stash. I used a bias tape maker to make the ties that attach it to the tent frame. The green matches the PLUFSIG gym mat nicely.
I also made a pretend marshmallow roasting set, which makes for a super cute picture but I’m sure it will be dismantled in seconds. The fake logs were cut from a (surprisingly sturdy) wrapping paper tube. I doodled a faux bois pattern on them with a Sharpie. The campfire is a string of battery-operated LED lights inside a half-pint canning jar, surrounded by tissue paper fluffs. I knit a pair of marshmallows out of single-ply yarn and stuck them on twigs I found in the yard. I fully expect the twigs to be used as weapons within the first 2 minutes. After that they’ll be returned to the yard.
If you want to knit your own marshmallows, see my pattern post here.
I finished Kid’s Clothes Week with an Oliver and S Nature Walk shirt (http://oliverands.com/product/OLV-OS022NW.html) in size 4T. I used two Birch organic cotton prints that I had stashed for about 3 years. I think I bought the fabric intending it to be a size 1 Nature Walk shirt. It feels good to have finally put it to use!
My model refused to wear the shirt. Last week his favorite colors were orange and brown. This week he only likes “bright colors” and is on the record saying “that brown is not bright enough.” Maybe next week he’ll like brown again.
I’m super happy with the results of my Kid’s Clothes Week – I finished FOUR garments. None of the garments adhered to the theme, though. I’ll make that a goal for next time.
Kid’s Clothes Week is off to a good start for me! I finished an Oliver and S Field Trip raglan shirt for Ethan that he can wear NOW. It’s the 6-12 month size, and it just barely fits over his big noggin. I shortened the sleeves about an inch. I used fabric I bought at the Textile Center garage sale a couple years ago.
I also finished a second raglan shirt, size 12-18 months, for Ethan to wear later. These shirts take an hour or less. And I made these two shirts from scraps leftover from other projects.
And I finished an Oliver and S Secret Agent Trench Coat, size 4T, for Isaac. It’s a little big for him right now, but I think (hope) he can wear it later this spring and into the fall.
This trench coat was a warm-up for making a jacket/blazer/coat for myself. Some day. Soon. I hope. After finishing this I feel pretty confident about my top-stitching and button holes.
I recently learned from the Bobbin Doctor that I could use my blind-hem foot as an edge-stitching foot. Just move the needle a couple positions to the left. This goes in the “Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?” category.
Perfect edge stitching, every time! This made the drool bandanas for Ethan even easier. I’ve been using this hack for cloth napkins and top-stitching pockets, too.
Ethan has been sporting a few handmade garments lately. I’ll start by playing catch-up.
A pair of Quick Change Trousers, 3 month size, from Handmade Beginnings by Anna Marie Horner. He outgrew these pants about a month ago.
A slightly modified Tummy Warmer vest, size 3-6 month, knit using S. R. Kertzer Down To Earth Cotton. This still fits but it’s getting short and snug.
A sunbonnet by Purl Soho, size 0-3 months. This is too small for him, but I made him wear it for a walk last week because all his other hats are too big.
Ethan is sporting drool bandanas most days now. He is teething and drooling like crazy, and these are much easier to make than bibs. I used this tutorial by How Does She. I started with a 12.5″ square, because I have a 12.5″ square ruler.
For Valentine’s Day I made Isaac the little elephant he’s been requesting. Since Christmas he knew he was going to name it Cherry Larry. First Cherry Larry was going to be black, then yellow, then finally he decided on (what reminds me of) a Delirium Tremens pink elephant. With cherries.
And a flower.
Foxy Loxy and Cherry Larry are best friends. Both of them were made using the Heather Bailey elephant pattern.
They’re quite sturdy. They have already survived a few fights.
November and December were extra busy for us, making Christmas gifts and cookies and decorating in between bouts of cold and flu. This weekend we just finished packing away the Christmas decorations and downloading photos from the camera. I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from Christmas.
I started an advent calendar for Isaac, but for this past Christmas it was just a small holiday garland. I made 14 mittens in total, so I just need 10 more for an advent calendar for next Christmas. The pattern is Smitten. I used assorted wool yarn leftovers and US3 needles. I love it! I plan to fill each mitten with a little craft project or holiday activity.
I also made matching pajamas for the kids. Isaac’s are Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas in size 3T + 1 inch in length and Ethan’s are Reversible Baby Pants in the 6 month size from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings. I’ve made both patterns so many times I barely look at the instructions any more.
My favorite gift is this little elephant. It’s a Heather Bailey pattern that Isaac and I made together. Isaac said he wanted to give Ethan a soft elephant for Christmas, just like one I made for Isaac’s friend years ago. Isaac picked out the fabric, I sewed it and he stuffed it. Isaac was so proud that he could help make something for his brother. While Isaac was stuffing the elephant, I asked him what he wanted to name it. He thought really hard. “Umm… … …Foxy!” You got it! “And next I want to make a black and red elephant for me and name him Cherry!” Ok… I guess we’ll be making another elephant early this year. Isaac is not forgetting about the elephants. He now calls Ethan’s “Foxy Loxy” and his will be “Cherry Larry.”
This time around I used glue-basting for the elephant, which made the process faster, more accurate and meant a whole lot less seam-ripping. Win!
I’ve been working on a new pattern, and it’s finally ready to share! It’s a set of paper piecing templates for 14 different bottles and jars, and 15 different labels. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure kind of a pattern – you can mix and match the labels and containers, or make containers without labels. My favorite block I’ve made so far is the little red jar of cherry pie filling.
A close runner-up for favorite is the little blue jelly jar.
The little round spice jar is the smallest block, measuring just 2″ x 2″. I’ve been slowly gathering more text prints, to make cute labels like the one on the right.
The milk bottle is the largest block, measuring 4″ x 7 7/8″. The tulip jar on the right is modeled after the Weck canning jars that are so popular now.
I used the blocks to create a table runner, 12″ x 40″. I used straight-line quilting, spacing the lines using the edge of my walking foot.
This was such a fun pattern to make – drawing all the different jars and labels was quite addictive. I want to turn everything into a paper piecing pattern now!
You can find the Pantry Staples pattern for sale at Craftsy and Etsy.
The fall Kids Clothes Week was a two weeks ago. I had intended to finish a bunch of garments for both kiddos but I managed to finish only one simple shirt, another Simplicity 2907.
This one is size 4T with an extra inch of length. I used snaps instead of buttons this time. It took me 4x longer to find the snaps and snapsetter than it did to install the snaps – I love snaps!
I used to love candy corn. I would eat multiple bags of candy corn during the month of October. In the last few years I have lost some of my sweet tooth, and now I have a more common reaction to candy corn – just thinking about it makes my teeth hurt.
I still like the idea of candy corn, and I try a few pieces every year. And I love Halloween. This year I’m not making any elaborate Halloween costumes (Isaac wants to be Spiderman, available at Target for $14.99), so I’ve been working on a couple other Halloween projects. The first I finished is a candy corn hat for Ethan.
I used Woolly Wormhead’s Rocketeer pattern, with size US7 needles and Cascade 220 yarn. I worked the pattern for a 16″ head circumference, making 2 extra short rows in each section. He has a 15″ head now, and this fits perfectly. To used intarsia to make the candy corn colors. 10 stitches are yellow, 14 are orange and 10 are white.
The second project I finished is a set of trivets with some Halloween fabric scraps (including a candy corn print!) that I’ve had in my stash for years. The pattern is from the book Patchwork, Please! It’s a paper-piecing pattern and it worked out just perfect for using up the little scraps of fabric I had. I want to try this pattern again with fussy-cut prints in the center.
I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy corn 😉