It’s Beginning to Look…

Like I don’t blog here anymore ūüôā
All joking aside, another year down, another triathlon or two in the books.  I love training for those races, but man, it eats up my sewing time.

The family update: My family and I have had a fun summer and fall! ¬†We’ve taken several family trips, had a few local getaways camping and to hot springs, and enjoyed our Montana summer and beautiful fall. ¬†My oldest boy¬†started kindergarten this fall¬†and has already lost his first tooth!¬† My youngest started sleeping (through the night) at the end of the summer, has been at the same Montessori preschool this fall, and¬†is becoming quite the entertainer. The sleeping has been a huge change for us. ¬†I think it had been 5 years since my husband and I slept through the night. ¬†I am finally feeling like a human again without the aid of high amounts of caffeine to function!

Besides the gym bag, I really haven’t done a whole lot of sewing. ¬†I trained for another Ironman 70.3 that was in June, followed up with some local races, and just haven’t made the time for my sewing. ¬†Not that I don’t have numerous projects that I want to get done. ¬†No excuses, I just haven’t gotten to it. ¬†Here’s what I have been up to:

I made a toddler backpack for G’s first day of preschool back in February. ¬†The only modification is the zippered pocket on the front. ¬†img_2207 img_2211

A Peek a Boo Lullaby Line baby gown for a gift.  img_2483 img_2482

And I am currently working on a quilted tree skirt for Christmas for our tree. ¬†It’s my own design, with inspiration from Pinterest. ¬†It has 8 blocks of quilted trees on a white background. ¬†The backing will be red, as will the binding. ¬†I love how it’s looking! This is just a teaser until I get the whole thing done ūüėČimg_2787

And with that, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Cheers and happy crafting!

~Ingrid

 

 

Girly Gym Bag

I’ve been working out. ¬†A lot. ¬†It goes with the territory of training for a 70.3. ¬†My gym bag was feeling a little small to haul around shoes, a swimsuit, and all of the other paraphernalia that I’ve been carting to and from home to workout at the gym. ¬†So I decided I would make a new one.

I’ve been saving some Amy Butler fabric for a bag, but didn’t have a pattern yet. ¬†It was fate when I saw my favorite local fabric store offering a class for the Girly Gym Bag. ¬†I was unfortunately unable to take the class, but I went and purchased materials and the pattern anyway.

I love how this bag turned out! ¬†It’s stiff on the sides thanks to some fusible foam, and¬†large enough to haul swimming gear, running gear and a change of clothes.

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I did make a few modifications to the pattern, based on what I wanted:

I did not add a flap to the outside pocket, as seen on the pattern envelope:

ps035_cover002

I honestly didn’t like the look of the half circle pocket, so I omitted it.

I also made the end pockets mesh instead of cotton.  I really like how that turned out.  The top of the mesh is finished with a piece of fold-over elastic that you can find at almost any fabric store these days.

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The other pattern modification is an inside pocket. ¬†If I were on my game, I would have added a zipper, too, but since it was a new pattern I didn’t get to that. ¬†The pattern itself does not have any interior pockets. ¬†I would have liked to have seen at least one or two.

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While I was at it, I made a small toiletries bag that I could carry from the bag to the shower. ¬†It’s lined with a terry cloth to absorb any spills that might happen, but also makes it extremely washable.

Overall, I liked this pattern.  It was easy to follow for the most part.  I could tell that it was made by a quilter, most likely, because of how the pattern pieces were cut out and assembled.  There were a few things that an apparel company would have assembled differently, I think.

The cons: sewing fusible foam got a bit thick for my machine in a couple of areas. The adhesive got all over my iron (press cloth, anyone?), which I know is my fault, but…

If I were doing it over, I would use my darker fabric for the body of the bag and handles, and lighter fabric on the pockets, just to hide dirt. ¬†It’s great as-is, but that would be a design choice I would make in the future.

I hope you all have a great Easter weekend.  I am hoping to get outside in our gorgeous Montana spring weather!

Happy crafting,

Ingrid

 

 

 

2015 in Review

Yes, it’s February. ¬†I have a million reasons why I haven’t posted in 9 months, but I’m sure we all have a million reasons why we don’t keep up with everything in our lives all the time. ¬†I’ll try to post more this year.

Last spring, I decided to train for an Ironman 70.3. ¬†It took up a lot of my free time that is usually reserved for sewing. ¬†The race was in August in Lake Stevens, WA. ¬†I trained with a good friend. ¬†We took selfies biking 40 miles before work, swam in lakes, and raced until we almost dropped. ¬†Going into it, I thought I’d do one and be done,¬†but now I am planning on doing another 70.3 in June. ¬†It’s addicting. ¬†(For those who don’t know, an Ironman 70.3 is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run…and it’s as crazy as it sounds.) I had some serious bike envy at the race with all of the NICE bikes there. ¬†But at the end of the day, it’s a hobby, just like my sewing. ¬†I don’t need a seven thousand dollar bike or sewing machine to get the job done, but boy, they sure look (and I’m sure function) nice!

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I did end up doing some sewing throughout the year, I just didn’t find the time to post it. ¬†Here’s my year in review in pictures:

Numerous¬†Peekaboo¬†Alex & Anna Winter PJ’s:

 

And several Peekaboo Lullaby Baby gowns created for gifts:

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And a ruffled diaper cover, appliquéd onesie, and crochet hat, also for a baby gift:

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The ruffled diaper pattern is a Tie Dye Diva pattern from Craftsy, I believe.  The crochet beanie is a modified pattern from Inner Hooker, which can be found on Etsy.

That about wraps up my sewing for 2015. ¬†I started making a tree skirt at Christmas time, but have yet to finish it. ¬†It will be lovely once it’s done, but it still needs to be quilted.

I believe that’s about it! ¬†Shoot me questions in the comments if you want!

Ingrid

 

Retro Dress for a Wee One

A while back (a long while) I had a friend ask if I could make a custom dress for her daughter for a wedding. ¬†I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it time-wise, but when she said she didn’t need it for 9 months, I hopped on board.

She wanted me to create a dress similar to the one that she would be wearing in the wedding, and didn’t want to shop around for a kids version.

This was the inspiration for the dress:

1198-Skelapparel-Vintage-Design-Polka-Dot-High-Collar-Swing-Dress-for-Women-2

I promptly headed to JoAnn fabrics to see if I could find a pattern with something similar to it so that I didn’t have to start completely from scratch. ¬†I found a Butterick pattern that had the nuts and bolts of what I was looking for, Butterick 5980:

The black and white polka dot was from fabric.com. ¬†Michael Miller’s Dumb Dot in Black/white. ¬†I believe the lining was from JoAnn’s, a basic black, as was¬†the tulle for the petticoat.

Getting back to designing the dress, the challenge was to create a collar and a full back, while still keeping the front fairly similar.  The butterick pattern had an option for a bodice, so I used that for the back of the dress.  I created a front bodice piece similar to the inspiration piece, and a collar modified from a shirt pattern.  I moved the back zipper to the side for ease of construction with the collar.

Here is the finished dress:IMG_0639

I like to finish seams with my serger so that it will wash and wear well. ¬†I pre washed all of the cotton prior to assembling to make sure the black and white wouldn’t run or fade easily.

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Close-up of the collar:IMG_0642

The black bow was made out of excess material from the lining and hand-stitched in place.

It turned out well, and I even got it to the recipient with a few months to spare ūüôā

Here it is in action with it’s cute model ūüôā

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That’s all for now!

Happy crafting ūüôā

Ingrid

Big Butt Baby Pants

More baby clothes! ¬†I bought the BBBP pattern from Made by Rae¬†when F was a baby. ¬†I don’t think I ever got around to whipping up a pair for either of my little chunks, but finally did for a friend’s baby shower. ¬†They are super cute AND easy! ¬†Bonus points for the instructions being easy to follow and pieces easy to assemble. ¬†I think the instructions had even been edited for troubleshooting. ¬†So awesome.

My gift recipient’s¬†nursery has a retro/bike theme, and I just happened to have the perfect flannel sitting on my shelf for it!

BBBP

The pants turned out great!  The big butt part accommodates a cloth diaper nicely.BBBP close up

I added an appliqué onesie of the bike to make the outfit complete.bike appliquéoutfit

A couple matching burp cloths and bib later,burp cloths

and this baby gift is good to go!

bike bibs

You can find instructions on how to make the appliqu√©d onesie here, and I believe I’ve mentioned how to make a bib here.

Happy sewing for your wee ones.

Cheers!

Ingrid

Pajamas!

Hi ladies and gents,

I realize it’s been awhile. ¬†The thing is, I’ve been sewing. ¬†I just haven’t had time to post about it. ¬†Fear, not! ¬†I am back…

I made my kids some pajamas for Christmas, and they love them! ¬†I think that’s what inspires me the most about sewing for other people–seeing the excitement they get from something I made. ¬†It makes me happy.

These pajamas are awesome. ¬†I used Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop‘s Alex & Anna Winter PJ’s pattern. ¬†It was easy to use, especially since it’s a PDF download. ¬†And it comes in a huge range of sizes!

Finished jambesThe¬†monster knit fabric and ribbing was from JoAnn’s. ¬†They didn’t have actual ribbing, so I bought a knit with good stretch for the cuffs and neck.

ShirtThe best part about these pajamas was that I got to use my serger for the ENTIRE project. ¬†I’m pretty sure (two months later) that my regular machine didn’t even touch a seam, except to sew on the label.

cover stitchI even got up the nerve to use the cover-stitch on my serger for the hem (i.e. read the manual to use that stitch!). ¬†It top-stitches on the outside, and serges on the bottom to create a stitch similar to using a twin needle. ¬†It’s freaking awesome!

And the sizing was spot-on!  No adjustments needed, as demonstrated by my two models:IMG_1108

After seeing how well they fit, I promptly went out and bought more knit fabric to make a couple more pairs of jammies!

Cheers!

Ingrid

Christmas Stockings

I made some beautiful quilted stockings for a friend, and a couple for a gift exchange.  They turned out well, and are very easy to make! In my last post I said that I would get you directions for how to make your own quilted stockings, so here we go:Christmas stockingsMaterials:

  • Numerous fabrics to strip quilt the stocking¬†front (a fat quarter of each is sufficient)
  • 1/3 yard of material for stocking back
  • 1/3 yard of material for lining
  • 1/3 yard of batting
  • Stocking to trace for a pattern or download one from the web

First, cut out strips of fabric for the strip-quilted front of the stocking.  Mine were two inch strips.  For my stocking pattern to fit, I needed 13 strips.

Lay out the strips and then sew together using a 1/4″ seam.

strip quiltingPress the seam allowance one direction, just to make it easier to sew.back of strip quilting

After you have enough strips for your stocking pattern to fit, cut out your stocking front. ¬†Remember to leave a 1/4″ seam allowance if your pattern doesn’t include it.Stocking frontCut out¬†the remaining pieces for the stocking so that it can be assembled: ¬†1 stocking back, 2 batting and 2 lining.

All pieces

Arrange your “outside” stocking pieces so that they can be sewn together: ¬†1 layer of batting, topped with the stocking back, topped with the stocking front (right sides together) and topped with the final layer of batting.Stocking layersSew together using a 1/4″ seam. ¬†Trim/clip curves. ¬†SewnTurn right side out and iron.right side outNext, assemble the lining. ¬†Place the lining pieces right sides together and sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance. ¬†On one side of the stocking, leave a 3-5″ gap.liningLeave the lining as is, and do not turn right side out at this point. ¬†Stuff¬†the outside of the stocking into the lining. ¬†Right sides should be together. ¬†IMG_0975Line up the top edges so that they can be sewn together. ¬†If you want to add a ribbon or bias tape to hang the stocking, do so now. ¬†The looped part will be placed between the lining and the quilted layer, with the loop pointed down and the ends of the loop into the seam. ¬†Match seams and pin into place.Line up edgesSew around the edge, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. ¬†Reinforce seam where ribbon or bias tape hanger is located in the seam.Sewing edgesTurn right side out using the gap that you left in the stocking lining. ¬†Lining and stockingHand sew the opening closed. ¬†Iron the lining flat, and then insert into the “outside” of the stocking. ¬†Iron again, and you are done!Christmas stockingsSuch a simple, but beautiful way to decorate for Christmas. ¬†And functional, too!

A couple of notes:  The outside could be more elaborate with quilted blocks or even an appliquéd design.  The assembly would still be the same after the front of the stocking was completed.

I also added my label to the inside of the stocking, rather than drawing attention to it on the outside. ¬†I sewed it into place prior to assembling the lining. ¬†One could also add a secret pocket to the lining for money or other Christmas treasures. ¬†The sky’s the limit!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

~IngridSanta Pic

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

I can’t believe there are only five days until Christmas! ¬†I always seem to have a few projects to get done around the holidays, and this year was no exception. ¬†It’s really too bad that I usually give these items as gifts or donations items…one of these days I should really focus on sewing for myself!

I made this beautiful Christmas table runner for my Soroptimist International of Helena holiday gathering and auction.

Christmas table runnerThe pattern is from the Recipe Bunny blog.  She had a great tutorial on layout with yardage and instructions.  It was very easy to follow, and fairly quick to make.

I’ve also made quite a few of these stockings. ¬†I need to make my youngest son his own stocking, so this was a nice project to get things going. ¬†I took enough pictures that I will probably make a tutorial¬†for my next post…hopefully before Christmas!

Christmas stockingsNext up (before Christmas) are pajamas for the boys for Christmas eve, then a Christmas stocking for G so that he doesn’t have to have one of the dog’s old Christmas stockings…I think if he knew, he might be offended…but then again, he’s not even 2.

Merry Christmas!

~Ingrid

 

 

 

New Headboard!

Have you seen those cool headboards on Pinterest?  Earlier this summer, my Pinterest feed had several examples of awesome, padded headboards with tutorials.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 6.17.56 AMpadded headboard exampleAfter seeing a few, I knew I needed one.  I found some awesome floral fabric on Fabric.com, purchased it, and then let it sit on my fabric shelf for a few months.

After awhile, I decided our bedroom needed a makeover. ¬†It was looking a little drab, to say the least. ¬†Old bedroomWe’re pretty simplistic when it comes to furniture and decorating, but this was getting a little old. ¬†So off I went to Lowe’s to pick out some new paint colors. ¬†I didn’t even realize our walls were gray until I started painting the new paint on!

cream against grayI even painted the ceiling and took down the old ceiling fan.IMG_0657And added an accent wall to make the headboard pop!

IMG_0667At this point, the headboard was already made, but I’ll get to that soon.IMG_0670New ceiling fan! ¬†Good bye 1980’s ceiling fan!IMG_0668Our awesome new paint colors!

Okay, now onto what you’ve been waiting for: the headboard! ¬†I could do this as a tutorial, but I’ll walk you through the steps with pictures and minimal captioning.

IMG_0942The finished product. ¬†So happy with it, even if my mom says it looks a little hippy.IMG_0685First things first, deciding on the dimensions of the headboard, and shaping the corners. ¬†I used 1/2″ plywood for this project.IMG_0686Cut your first corner, and then just flip it over and draw a line for the opposite. ¬†I used a jig saw to make the cuts.IMG_0688Finished cutting the top of the headboard.IMG_0687Next I marked where I was going to put the tufting, and drilled some large pilot holes to make threading the buttons easy.IMG_0689Time to pad the headboard! ¬†I used a cheap foam mattress topper, and covered it with batting, and then stapled it in place.IMG_0690Cut off the excess…it doesn’t have to be pretty at this point. ¬†I repeated the process with the fabric, but on a clean work surface. ¬†IMG_0936Don’t mind the legs on the headboard just yet…we’ll get to that. ¬†I apparently forgot to take a picture of the covered headboard back, but you can see how much I overlapped the fabric here.

Next I added the covered buttons for tufting. ¬†(I also forgot to take pictures of this!) ¬†I used upholstery thread, waxed it so that it would stay better, and threaded my covered buttons through the pre-drilled pilot holes. ¬†John helped me staple them in place on the back.IMG_0934Then we added the 2×4 legs to the headboard. ¬†You could also just hang your headboard on the wall if you didn’t want to add legs and attach it to your bed frame.IMG_0937I covered the legs with a little foam…you know, so it wouldn’t knock against the wall, if you know what I mean ūüėČIMG_0938Finally, I covered the raw edges with an old sheet, just to make it look pretty. ¬†Not that anybody will see it…IMG_0940John attached it to the bed frame with a couple of screws with washers. ¬†It’s pretty darn secure.IMG_0942Yay! ¬†It’s finished!IMG_0941You can find more detailed tutorials on how to make your own padded headboard by searching the web or on Pinterest. ¬†As far as expenses go, I think I¬†spent $50 on fabric, $25 on wood and screws, another $25 on batting and foam, and $15 on buttons and upholstery thread. ¬†Not too shabby for a new headboard!

Happy crafting!  Cheers!

~Ingrid

Trick or Treat!

Fall is here in Montana!  The mornings are cool, but the days are still pleasant (thankfully).  Somehow all of September and October have flown by, and here we are on Halloween.  My kids are sleeping peacefully as I write, tuckered out from some mid-day trick-or-treating on the walking mall.   Our downtown businesses are so hospitable, opening their doors during the afternoon for the youngsters.  The kids had a blast playing outside, collecting treats, and walking a few blocks.  It was great.

This Halloween, I thought I was going to have it easy. ¬†Our oldest (still obsessed with firemen) wanted to be a fireman. ¬†We already have that costume. ¬†I thought it would be cute to have his brother be the firehouse dalmatian. ¬†My assistant even loaned out her dalmatian costume to us. ¬†It was too big for our youngest, so F tried it on and decided he’d rather be a dalmatian, too. ¬†I thought that would be fine, I’ll just make a dalmatian for his brother. ¬†Easy.

I went to JoAnn’s and bought a pattern I could modify into a dalmatian.

Simplicity 1351The fox was an appropriate choice.  I only had to modify the ears to make a cute little dalmatian.  I bought the polar fleece and notions to get it done.

After awhile, Finn was asking if I was going to make him a dalmatian costume, too. ¬†My sweet boy loves it when I make things for him. ¬†Of course I’ll make him one, too. ¬†How can I refuse when I know in a few years he probably won’t want anything¬†I make for him? ¬†So back I went to JoAnn’s to get more polar fleece and another zipper.

I had good intentions of starting these costumes in early October, but after a couple of work trips and CE classes, I was down to the last weekend before Halloween. ¬†I was able to start and finish BOTH costumes the Sunday before Halloween. ¬†My hubby was so awesome to keep the kids occupied while I worked away like an elf at Christmas. ¬†It only took 8 hours (THANK YOU SIMPLICITY PATTERNS) on and off that day. ¬†AND, it felt so good to just get them done. ¬†No staying up until 11 or midnight the night before just to finish costumes. ¬†They were so easy, and turned out to be pretty darn cute. ¬†The kicker? ¬†Guess who had to be the fireman…

dalmatians

They’re not perfect, but they’re warm and Finn couldn’t wait to wear his this morning. ¬†So awesome!

Trolley dalmatiansFireman and dalmatians

It’s not Halloween without a pic of at least one kiddo crying!

Happy Halloween!

~Ingrid