Friday, February 27, 2015

In progress....

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Not to be outdone...

... here's my other glamor puss, Josie. She wasn't quite as cooperative as Annabelle was the other day, but at least she held somewhat still in the hole.

"Can we be done now?"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Glamor puss

As I was taking photos of the frost that I showed you yesterday, Annabelle was on top of the cat tower watching. I couldn't resist getting a few shots of her, too.

Look what I noticed about her just a few days ago... her sides are striped and the patches on her back are pretty plain, not to mention different color. This shot shows it well:

Weird, huh? But then, her coloring has been pretty strange all along. Pretty unique. Or uniquely pretty. :)

She's a very good kitty. Well, except for when she pulls the stopper out of the bathroom sink (Josie taught her that) and leaves it 'wherever'. I've hunted it down many times. Now I try to remember to take it out and hide it when I'm done using the sink. She also likes the scrubber thingies from by the kitchen sink. That's the first thing she goes for when I leave the room a lot of times. Brat. But a very loving brat. :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Back to this

We had so many nice days in January that it seemed like spring was getting close. But February has turned out to definitely have its ups and downs. And way downs. It didn't get much above zero yesterday. Here are some living room window frost shots I took earlier from one of the cold days:

Cool, huh? (Pun intended.)

At least the warmth in January has made the winter seem much shorter. And hey, spring begins next month! Officially, anyway. Mother Nature might have other ideas - ha.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Crafting with Courtney

Or, maybe the title instead should say "Designing with Courtney", because she designed the project, as well as picked out the scraps to make it from. I can't remember if she had it in mind before I gave her the Valentine nighties or not. Maybe they were her inspiration for it, considering the heart.

So... she got this idea from somewhere, and she sketched out a little stuffed critter that she wanted to make. Here's her drawing. It was actually very small, like 2" high at the most.

She dug through an ancient sewing basket of scraps that Auntie Jess had acquired from her grandma many years ago. (Gee, did that make Jess sound "ancient"? It was the basket, though, that was ancient... it had been mine many years before that. My very first sewing basket, in fact. Yep, that's ancient! Or I guess the word is "vintage" these days. Ha.)

This is what the finished project looked like:

The buttons were new, though, as was the fleece on the back side. Everything else came from that basket. Recognize anything, Jess?

I quickly stitched it all together with the sewing machine, in order to get it finished before Daddy came to pick her up. Almost made it! But he was patient and waited till Courtney had stuffed it (her first experience using a forceps) and I sewed the hole shut and had a very fast photo shoot.

I realized as I was editing the photos that I forgot to stitch on the mouth. Apparently Courtney didn't notice it, either. Oh, well... there wasn't room for it, anyway... and it looks fine without it, right? ;)

Speaking of a mouth... Miss C had to do a silly pose, too (terrible lighting). :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

AG Doll Snuggly Summer Nighties and Knickers

Hmm... the ol' blog seems to have gotten sorta neglected lately. By me, at least. It's kind of taken a back seat to a lot of other things. Well, here's one of those "things"!

For Valentine's Day, I did my usual "un-sweet" (as in no candy/treats) thing for Courtney. I figure sewn items are much better for her teeth, etc. And since she got a new American Girl doll for Christmas, I thought that doll needed some new clothes... or something to sleep in, at least. So I made her a valentine-ish nightie!

(Modeled by my doll, Kit.)

And a pair of matching "knickers":

The pattern is from Pixie Faire, as usual. They have the darnedest cutest patterns! It was easy to sew, although I made it more time-consuming, of course, by adding the heart embellishments. I used knit fabrics, and for the bias binding, I used some thin double-knit fabric that my mother-in-law had given me some time ago. It had already been cut into 10" squares for a quilt, but I cut it into strips, and they happened to be just the right length, so I didn't even have to splice anything - yay! However, I've never seen a print so crooked on fabrics before (and I've seen some doozies!). I did have a hard time finding stripes that were straight enough for the binding, but they turned out okay. And the blooper I made on the back of one of the gowns by putting the binding on the wrong way hardly even shows. ;-Þ

Then, I was afraid Courtney's first doll would feel bad about the 2nd one having a new nightie and she didn't, so what could I do but.....

Heheh.... I have a feeling I will be making pairs of any future doll clothes. Which is fine, although doing them "assembly-line" does require lots of thread changing!

So here are Courtney's "Valentine"....

.... all set to "mix or match".

I think Courtney was quite pleased. She said she was going to put them on her dolls when she got home last night. They'll probably get a lot of use, because I think the dolls spend a lot of time in bed - ha! Why not, when they have such cute bunk beds and monogrammed blankies?! :)

My next project is already in the works! But Courtney had her own idea for a project when she got here after school yesterday, and we managed to finish it before Daddy arrived to pick her up. I'll be showing it to you soon!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Outta Time Tote

I finally get to show you my latest bag! It's called the "Outta Time Tote", and it's another test bag for Erin Erickson. Because I was short on time, mainly busy with Courtney's birthday tote, I only volunteered to proofread the pattern, which I did. But after seeing all the awesome totes other testers had made, I knew I just had to make one, too.

The fabrics are by Jessica Jones, from one of her earlier lines (now sold out). The outside is called "Sunflowers"...

... and the inside and straps are "Stripes".

There is a zippered pocket on the outside and one on the inside.

I made it fully reversible...

... and I embellished the flowered outside by adding piping down the front seams, which you can see in the first photo.

The pattern was written by Erin for the Australian One Thimble digital sewing magazine (e-zine), which includes sewing articles, tutorials and patterns. If you like the magazine and want to subscribe, please do so through this link, so Erin will get a commission. If you're only interested in the pattern for the Outta Time Tote, you can buy that separately here without subscribing to the magazine. (Note that the prices are listed in Australian dollars. In U.S. dollars, they are a bit less, e.g. the $7.00 tote pattern comes out to around $5.50 in U.S. dollars, which is a great price!)

I loved making this bag! It's pretty quick and easy to make, and would be a good bag to try if you're a beginner. Erin wrote the pattern in her usual meticulous style, and her many photos are very helpful in getting things just right. I made this bag as a gift for a friend, so I'll just have to make another one for myself... I'm already planning it in my head! If you'd like to know more and see some of the awesome bags others made, check out Erin's blog post!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Just right!

Remember the new book bag Courtney got for her birthday?

Annabelle approves!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Courtney is EIGHT!

Here are some fun photos from Courtney's gift-opening at her birthday party last Saturday. Click on the collage to see the images larger.

Some of her gifts... from left to right, top to bottom:
  1. The tote I made for her to carry her AG dolls in
  2. A blanket for her AG doll that she got for Christmas, with the doll's name, Cecile, embroidered on it
  3. A Lego Friends set
  4. A cute top
  5. A case of embroidery supplies (her other grandma's been teaching her to embroider)
  6. A book bag
  7. Supplies and a book for making Pipe Cleaner Pets
  8. Beados
  9. This is the doll bunk bed she got last year. She had to put Cecile to bed under her new blanket right away. :)
She's one lucky (and loved) girl, wouldn't you say? :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Time Warp is available!

FINALLY, after a long delay caused by a damaged shipment that made reprinting necessary, Jess's new fabric, Time Warp, is now being shipped to stores!

(Photo blatantly stolen from Cloud9)

I can attest to the fact that the barkcloth it's printed on is wonderful to work with! Here's my Time Warp Sunburst Tote:

And the Date Night bag I made:

I know some of you have been anxious to get your hands on some. It's now available online at Hawthorne Threads. It's also coming soon to Fabric Worm, and numerous other places. You can check the Cloud9 website for more information on where to buy it.

I'm looking forward to my next project from this luscious fabric. I'll be starting it soon, and I'll of course show you when it's done!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Takeoff Tote #2, modified

'Bout time I get back on the blog, huh? Goodness, only one post last week. Anybody notice? ;) Hey, I've been busy!! And I finally get to show you some of what's kept me that way. 

This is what I made for Courtney for her 8th birthday, which was yesterday (but the party was on Saturday). It's another Takeoff Tote, from the pattern by Erin Erickson.

Since Courtney got another American Girl doll for Christmas, I made this for her to tote both of her dolls around in... like when she comes to Grandma's house. I made some modifications on it to better accommodate the dolls. I omitted the top zipper and added a flap instead, so they could stick out the top. I left out the inside pocket so the dolls wouldn't get their legs caught when they jumped into it. I also made the straps a little shorter so the bag wouldn't drag on the ground when Courtney carries it. Here's the other side of the tote, and it's holding my little model, Kit:

I only had a half yard of that main fabric, so I had to improvise a little there. I made the bottom out of the same fabric as the straps and lining. I also made both outside pockets out of contrasting solid colors, and each pocket has a zipper, just for fun.

I installed my first-ever hidden magnetic snap closure. I thought Courtney might think it was kinda cool, plus I thought it'd be better than velcro in that it wouldn't catch any of the dolls' long hair. See, you can hardly tell it's there, right?

A closer look shows a bit of stitching, but that's all:

Here's a quick shot of Courtney with Marie Grace and Cecile posing in the bag. They had their lovely long "Frozen" gown costumes on, or they might've been able to stand up a little better. :)

I hope they'll enjoy their rides in the new bag!

I have my next project in the works... needs to be finished by Wednesday, but I don't think I can show you until at least the 15th, as it's another pattern test. And then I have another birthday gift to make..... so blog posting may still have to suffer a bit. Besides, there's not much to take photos of to show you lately, anyway. But I could easily get used to this less frequent posting, I'm afraid.......