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21  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / red red linen dress on: January 16, 2009 12:34:37 PM
I finally got to do a bit of sewing this week.  I have sewing plans for this weekend but I thought I'd share this now.

I originally traced the pattern for this from Ottobre way back in december.  It was intended to be a solistice gift for the monkey.  However, life got in the way, and it wasn't until last week that I got around to cutting it out.

It is princess lenght, btw, for anyone with a preschool girl.  Apparently princesses can not see their own feet or they will faint or sprout warts or something horrible, so my princess can only wear very long dresses.  jsyk.

I chose the red linen to be seasonal, but nixed the sleeves from the pattern and then failed to line it (I used bias tape to secure the neck and armholes).  I like that it will be cool enough to wear in the summer (long enough to protect the legs from the sun) and roomy enough to layer underneath for winter wear.

The back is modified from the original pattern - I just put in two hook and bar sets to keep it closed and curved it instead of having two meeting 90 degree edges.

I couldn't get a good shot of the bodice to show you how many ways the bodice is cut up and sewn together so I played with the colour so you could see.  The bottom is actually in two parts, with the bottom layer cut on the bias for extra twirl.

The whole thing is nicely understated with the solid colour and design... I'm rather pleased and, best part, the monkey likes it and it isn't even pink or purple.  I'm thinking that it needs a little shrug to keep her arms covered in this cold weather.  Something for the bottom of the list  Roll Eyes  I can't wait to wash it too.  Linen always looks best freshly washed and the seams will all settle in with the bias tape.

Comments, questions always welcome!
22  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 34 ENTRIES / plain and simple felt garland on: January 01, 2009 02:56:50 PM
For christmas I gave my mother a found copy (in great condition and in a gift box book cover) of E. St. James' Simplify your Life.  Good book, perfect gift.

To wrap it, I used a lunch paper bag, which had already done it's rounds as a carrier, and my mother's other gift as a ribbon.  The other gift is a felt circle garland for her tree, which my daughter (who is learning to sew - she is 4 yrs old) and I sewed through many a night this past month.  The garland is bottle cap sized felt circles, two back to back, stitched with a blanket stitch (by me) or a slip stitch (by dd).  check here for tutorial:
I topped the gift with a very quick tag, just a piece of felt with my mother's name on it in thread.

I hope you enjoy - it was quite simple, quite inexpensive, and eco-happy with the recycled and found items (book and paper bag).  I wish all my gifts were this satisfying.
23  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / puppet theatre on: December 30, 2008 08:14:53 PM
The in laws did good this year!  My mother and father in law made a puppet theatre for my 4 year old dd, who has been eyeing up the little tikes model in toys r us for months.  The little one told the grandparents she wanted a puppet theatre for christmas and we quietly mentioned to them that something handmade would be best.

And they came through with great style!

the theatre is a simple set up, with openings on the top, bottom, front and back. 

(that would be my brother in law and my son you can see though the theatre)

The top has a few velcro tabs to hang a back drop curtain.  The mil sewed a night scene and a castle scene.

Mil also made some hand puppets to go with, which are the mouse and guy, plus some plush toys she found second hand that she emptied the stuffing from the bodies (but not heads) and then stitched to a glove.

And they put together a string puppet, which was a purchased stuffie girl and dog, with some of the stuffing removed to make her more bendy.  The strings are attached to a couple of paint stirring sticks from the hardware.

grandma in action

I'm so very impressed with the theatre.  The greatest moment was when my dd announced that the handmade theatre was 'so much better than the one in the store'.  yay for in laws with jigsaws!
24  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / solstice cake on: December 21, 2008 10:01:47 AM
we celebrate solsitce with some friends every year and this year everything will be vegan (a big deal for my dd who will be able to eat anything on the table this year).  dh and our friend have been scheming for weeks over the menu.  I just wanted to share with you the vegan ice cream cake dh made before I shower to head over and join them for the celebration.

dh is a designer/draftsperson by trade, so this cake actually comes with drafted specs:

The top is fondant (first time dh has used it), the top layers are cherry, the middle gingerbread cookie, and the bottom is mint chocolate.  he's got more info on one of his blogs here, where he also shares the vegan fondant recipe http://ethicalfoodchoices.blogspot.com/2008/12/solstice-and-my-first-attempt-at.html

I'm going to get some pics of the vegan meal and add to the post later.  In the meanwhile, have a lovely solistice.
25  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / me vs. the blue blue sweater on: December 07, 2008 08:52:35 AM
In my ongoing battle to keep the wee ones warm this winter a felted blue sweater is the latest casualty.  The sweater was a ladies S gap turtle neck.  I'm not sure if it had been felted originally or accidently, but I acquired it in a give away bag from one of my local thrift stores (they were going to send a few large garbage bags to the landfill and I took them instead - I have gotten lots of useful material this way).  The sweater also happens to be the same blue as my house  Smiley

So, this is what my landfill sweater made a few days ago:

Arm warmers for the monkey.  She loves them because they are sportacus-esque.

footed trousers for the birdie.  He wears them outside for the most part overtop of his regular pants to keep his legs and feet warm.  The felted wool is very warm.  (I've made this ottobre pattern before from another sweater http://vegbee-peripheralvision.blogspot.com/2008/11/footed-pants-from-sweater.html and I like it very much.  If anyone wants, I can find which issue the pattern is from)

super warm mittens for the monkey

The mittens are lined with faux fleece.  I used the same method to make them as here: http://indietutes.blogspot.com/2008/11/quick-quick-mittens.html

and my sewing chair got some feet because it was scratching my floor:

I still have a few scraps that are going to make their way into ornaments for solistice (including a little house ornament as a gift for the monkey).  I feel ridiculously happy that the source for my kids' warmth this year comes from something that was supposed to go to the dump.  I'm starting to feel like maybe I shouldn't be buying fabric at all since there is so much of it already out there being wasted.  Something to think about anyway.

As always, questions and comments welcome!
26  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / scrappy ornaments on: December 01, 2008 08:17:21 AM
Just wanted to share the fabric scrap ornaments that my daughter and I created.  The material for it was literally picked out of my sewing room garbage (aka, floor) and from unusable notions.  Something from nothing, hey?

(The wee monkey working on her fabric stack)

What do you think?  I like them, but would they make good gifts?
27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / scoodie lite on: November 17, 2008 01:12:14 PM
I never thought I'd make myself another but last year's scoodie turned out to be too big for me (I gave it to a friend with dreadlocks and it fits her perfect) and I just wasn't keen on the scarf part either.  But I like the hood, so last night I avoided a bit of work I desperately needed to do and zinged up a little hood with just a neck closure to keep me noggin warm.

Good thing too because today has turned out to be a ratty day and it's six blocks round trip to my monkey's preschool.

I put a point on it b/c I was feeling sorta elfie, but I'm not so much in love with it.  Maybe I could give this one away too and make another...

close up of neck closure

how it looks without my head in the way:

comments, questions welcome of course.   Tutorial here for the classic scoodie (she says knowing how silly that sounds) if anyone wants.

28  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / rufflely, tullely skirts on: October 09, 2008 01:51:16 PM
My daugher has a friend that I had promised to make a skirt for but I've been dithering about it for bit.  I don't think the girl the skirt is for has ever worn pants.  She's usually a vision of tulle and tiara.  Sort of intimidating to make something for and actually have her wear it, especially since my attempts at the princess clothes haven't gone over well with the under five set.  I'm more of a recon the punk gig tee to a girl's dress and call it a day.

But, I tried anyway.

I started withgrand revival's ruffle skirt tute (thanks kymy!)

I made one for my monkey but I'm not taken with it.  I thought I would add some tulle between, a la wichitamom, but it wasn't striking me as princess enough.  Plus I melted the bottom fabric with my iron:

yes, dumb.

So, I dropped the second ruffle and added a wide hem, sewing in a layer of organza and ruffling some 2 meters long of tulle.

I'm not sure what she'll think of the stripey material, but I know pink is the right way to go  Roll Eyes

what you think?  Bad move making little skirts in October in Canda?  Cheesy
29  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / drum circle dress on: October 09, 2008 01:26:33 PM
this was a table runner I picked up at a thrift store.  It is part of my never ending tweaking of this peasant dress pattern. 

the monkey tried it on last night and announced that it's her new drum circle dress, hence the subject.  I don't know exactly what about it makes her think drums, but maybe the fabric's pattern?


simple A-line dress.  The sash is sewn on the front and wrapped all the way around to tie in a bow

I lined the bodice with the pink broadcloth and left the sides open (as per inspiration by I forget who... sorry.  Somebody here did so with a dress they made and I liked the look.)

comments/questions always welcome
30  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / wee stripey fleece sweater and wee'er stripey fleece sweater on: September 29, 2008 02:27:25 PM
I've bought some 4 meters of this stripey fleece and I am on a mission to use it all this fall.  Here is my first go: a modified sweater from Ottobro 06/07 and a matching one for her old school cabbage patch doll that used to be mine.

I've gone and done a tute for resizing a pattern here: http://indietutes.blogspot.com/2008/09/resizing-pattern.html

The buttons are all vintage plastic dealies from my late great auntie's stash.  They're all different because they are just the leftovers from her various projects.  Auntie had good taste, hey?  Grin

My favorite part is the bias tape seams.  They're hidden but they make me very happy.

Now, onwards with the chopping and the making of the stripey fleece.  Only 3.5 meters to go.

comments/questions welcome!
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