Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cowboy & Cowgirl Dress-Ups or Costumes

Despite my cultural concerns as a history teacher and my concerns for the environment, I appreciate the romantic aspects of frontier life - the self-reliance, the do-now spirit, the sense of adventure. So I jumped at the opportunity to try out Made's Frontier Vest.

For Battle of the Sexes, the high school I taught at and my kids attended preschool, had a Toy Story theme. So I decided to make a Woody-esque version of the vest for Xavier and draft girly one for Chiara.

I did not have any felt on hand so I substituted Alova suedecloth from my stash. I picked up trim from my local fabric store.

Dana over at Made has an excellent tutorial for her Frontier Vest pattern. If I have any requests, I'll scan the pattern for Chiara's vest and include a tutorial. As long as you use a non-fraying fabric like felt or suedecloth binding or finishing is unnecessary. I chose to sew on the extra frills, but hot glue would work just as well if it was for a one time use.

Then you can have plenty blissful sibling moments like this one:

Monday, October 17, 2011

KCWC Swing Apron Giveaway Results

Whoops! Typo: TheRosary Lady did not get two entries for following the blog; one was for leaving a comment.

Congratulations to Anna Mursin! She is the proud new owner of our first giveaway, a scaled up, reversible version of Amy Karol's Swing Swing Apron. Thank you to everyone who particpated.

My KCWC for the last half of the week are coming soon, but the challenge overlapped with apple pressing. Talk about your late night grind!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

KCWC Day 3 & 4: Paisley Slippers

I have begun to lose a little steam. I am averaging a garment a day, but technically these slippers took me two days. Day three was a little busy with my husband out of town this week I hosted dinner guests solo. Somehow between tucking the kids into bed, doing a sky high stack of dishes, and falling over exhausted, I managed to pick out the project and fabrics.

Chiara outgrew her slippers from last year and now that the cold weather has arrived, the hardwoods and tile are a might chilly. I was originally going to make some fuzzy, felted wool slippers from an old sweater, but it just did not have the "girly girl" look my daughter loves. The day before I noticed a pattern for slippers in the Ottobre I was working on from my son's Vroom! Vroom! PJs, and selected some suitably girly fabric.

I did not have the required "fusible volume fleece" so I substituted stretch terry I had on hand. I added fusible webbing to attach two layers to the foot pad and then lined the top with the fleece. I anticipate tossing these in the wash on a regular basis, so I added quilting to the top as well to help prevent shifting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

KCWC Day 1.5 & 2: Vroom! Vroom! PJ's

Forget sewing an hour a day, I started at 9:00pm on day one and finished at 3:00am on day two!

Xavier's down to just a single pair of pj's and I thought my next challenge garment needed to address the issue. I have stacks of knits leftover from my diaper making days, but nothing large enough for a pair of traditional pj's. Flipping through my Ottobre's for inspiration, I found these patterns in issue 6/2010:

Kuperkeikka and Hippotamus Hoppulainen
(image from

Both patterns feature panels, eight on the shirt, and four on the pants, letting me utilize smaller scraps of fabric.
  • Rib knit print by Baby Lulu from stash, purchased at SewZanne's Fabrics
  • Medium blue rib knit upcycled from Merona t-shirt
  • Light green heather jersey knit from stash, unknown source
The Kuperkeikka pattern does not call for a banded waist or ankles, but I modified the pattern so that I could use the the printed fabric that was a few inches too short.

KCWC Day 1: The Swing Swing Apron Saga & My First Giveaway

Elsie Marley is sponsoring her twice yearly Kids Clothes Week Challenge. She challengers her readers and fellow bloggers to spend one hour a day sewing clothes for their children.

I have decided to challenge myself with a garment a day, and for my first challenge I decided to make my godson's birthday present. After my latest trip to the library, I had picked up Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol (who blogs at Angry Chicken).

I picked out the Swing Swing Apron, sometimes called The Birthday Apron by other crafters. My journey started out simple enough. It called to blow-up the pattern 237%. I decided to use the old grid enlargement method I learned back in grade school since I did not want to waste any sewing time running to the copy center.

I had the bright idea to simplify the process by increasing to a nice round 250%. The resulting reversible apron was perfect, but would fit a first grader; much too large for my two year old godson.  Here it is on my large four year old:

I rescaled it to 200% and realized that it was a lovely size for a baby bib, but much to small for a toddler. I was beginning to feel little like the Goldilocks of pattern sizing when I finally found my "just right" size at 225%.

I was not able to get a picture on my godson, so Xavier agreed to model it for me before we wrapped it up with a few cooking tools.

The Giveaway!

Now I have a lovely reversible version of the apron available as a giveaway! One side features a soft denim with a whimsical turtle pattern pocket, while the otherside has a toss print of baseballs on a medium blue background with a contrasting red pocket. This would fit size 4 toddler - child's medium. It is pictured above on my daughter who wears a girls' 7/8.

  • Giveaway is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents
  • To enter:
    • Post a comment with your e-mail address below OR . . .
    • Become an official follower of the blog.
    • You get two entries if you do both!
The nitty,gritty details:
  • People in my immediate family are unable to enter . . . just ask and I'll make one for you, silly.
  • Please be honest and fair, do not enter more than once.
  • Contest ends midnight, October 16, 2011.
  • Winners will be selected using a random number generator at Monday morning.
  • If technical difficulties, fraud, or any circumstances hinder the integrity of the giveaway, I reserve the right to notify participants and reschedule.
  • I will pay shipping to the winner (hence, limited to US & Canada).
  • By entering the giveaway, you agree to these terms and the following "fine print":
    • LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Promotion; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. If for any reason an entrant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, entrant’s sole remedy is another entry in the Sweepstakes, provided that if it is not possible to award another entry due to discontinuance of the Promotion, or any part of it, for any reason, Administrator, at its discretion, may elect to hold a random drawing from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for any or all of the prizes offered herein. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded. In the event that production, technical, seeding, programming or any other reasons cause more than stated number of prizes as set forth in these Official Rules to be available and/or claimed, Administrator reserves the right to award only the stated number of prizes by a random drawing among all legitimate, unawarded, eligible prize claims.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Inspiration in a Box!

I am so excited about the latest package I received that I declared a break from canning to post about it. Although I have exhausted a shelf worth of material on vegetable gardening and farming, the efforts of breaking ground at the new house has been daunting. Just in the nick of time, inspiration arrived in the form of new reading material geared specifically for urban farming in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

I have really enjoyed Annette & Joshua's blog Sustainable Eats and decided it was time to use the gift card from my students last year to order their book, The Urban Farm Handbook: City-Slicker Resources for Growing, Raising, Sourcing, Trading, and Preparing What You Eat. Your Farm in the City was written by Lisa Taylor and the gardners of Seattle Tilth.