Thursday, September 30, 2010

5 and 6 Down, 1 to Go!!!

Here's the boatneck tee from my list. I'm not going to lie to you, it's longer and more shapeless than it was in my head. It would take me all of 15 minutes to chop off a few inches from the bottom and take in the sides to get that classic boatneck look, but I'm actually completely enamored with this shirt. It's easily the most comfortable thing I own. It's soft, lightweight and breezy. The "mistakes" I made are what make it, in my opinion, more interesting. I've barely taken it off since I finished it. And I'm about to throw on my skinny jeans and take it out for an errand running spin.

Next up is my wide leg trousers. This project is hit and miss. It's my first attempt at adult pants. I made the pattern by tracing another pair of well loved pants and widening the legs. I think the legs are a smidge too wide and the crotch is a tiny bit too shallow. On top of those issues, the seersucker fabric has a strange, almost waterproof-y, texture to it. It sounds weird when I walk. I hate that. Plus they photograph really badly. Boo!Despite all of this, I've worn them quite a bit. Even out of the house. So they can't be all that bad, right? I'm so thrilled that Kid's Clothes Week forced me to make nice with ribbing. I learned so much. The waistband of these pants is 2" wide elastic encased in ribbing, and it's definitely my favorite part. I'm thinking I'll tweak this pattern, try to work out the kinks, and try it again on some interlock knit fabric.

Speaking of interlock knit, I really want to make myself an Acorn Hunting Hoodie. But that would mean buying fabric, so it'll have to wait until I'm finished with my last project - the thermal tee, which is actually no longer a tee, but it is still thermal, so it counts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

KCWC - All Stitched Up

Here's my completed pile from Kids Clothes Week. Pretty stout, right? There are a few things I haven't posted yet, like a few iron on transfers from this, which I've been coveting. Unfortunately I'm no iron on expert. I'll definitely be practicing a bit before I dig into these awesome images again. Anyway, it was a fantastic week. Productive and fun. I got tired of switching out the thread and bobbin, so I ended up just using teal thread for the bulk of the sewing. It, plus the fact that I worked from a few cuts of stashed fabric, makes it seem so cohesive. I kinda love it. It's like the Brewer Fall 2010 collection. Except not fashionable.
There's already some talk of a Spring Kid's Clothes Week next year. I'm so in. And stay tuned, because in the midst of my kid and baby sewing frenzy, I somehow worked on my own list too. I'm so close I can almost smell the new fabric!

***UPDATE*** Check out the newest post over at Elsie Marley. My animal hats were picked for the big wrap up post. Also check it out because of the other amazing creations. There's a lion jacket that is just killing me! Anyway a few people have asked for a pattern for the hats - so I'll try to post a tutorial after this weekend. Wish me luck! And thanks so much to all of you who have shown an interest!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Check this out! Meg of Elsie Marley, creator and hostess with the mostess (mostest?) of the Kid's Clothes Week Challenge had daily giveaways for the aforementioned week. I only entered the running for the last one (lots of them were either patterns - awesome, but a major fail waiting to happen for me - and/or geared toward girls - not relevant to my little world.) And I won! It's a gift certificate to this super mod etsy shop, Junecraft! Check it out, the designs are brilliant. And clearly this little guy is dying to grace the walls of the Brewer home. Right?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

KCWC - The Acorn Hunting Hoodie

Another something for my big boy. It's made from cotton interlock knit, with brown ribbing and a generous kangaroo pocket to fill with the hundreds of acorns we amass each time we leave the house. I just traced another sweatshirt he has, doing my best to eyeball the sleeves and armholes. It worked out surprisingly well. As has this whole Kid's Clothes Week Challenge. It's my first ever sew-along or challenge or whatevs and I've been crazy motivated. I dig it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

KCWC - For My Big Boy and Freezer Paper Madness

Can you tell what fabrics I had a surplus of? This whole Kid's Clothes Week Challenge has been huge for the great fabric de-stash. My drawers are no longer groaning under the weight, or refusing to close under the bulk. Anyway, here's a quick couple of somethings I made for Beckett. A raglan baseball tee and a pair of knit pants. I asked what he wanted to stencil on the shirt - no great surprise - he wanted a fox, but, and here's the great suprise, he wanted his baby brother to have a fox shirt too. So out came the trusty freezer paper and x-acto and soon the boys had matching pjs. Pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself.
I also took the opportunity, while the house was a stenciling disaster zone, to print these two mustachioed characters that have been lurking in my sketchbook. Ever since our little 18 month old Beckett was fascinated/ terrified by the walruses at the zoo, mustaches have been a favorite comedic device around here. These onesies cracked him up, and now he wants his own walrus and "Major Monocle" tee shirts. Of course he'll get 'em, but the cheese factor of having brothers with matching wardrobes is not lost on me. At least I haven't gone completely off the deep end and started making coordinating looks for myself. Or better yet, their tall, dark and brooding dad. Actually he'd probably love a Major Monocle shirt. Ok... you win this time, Cheese...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

KCWC - Animal Hats

These are a little big for the baby as of now, but not by much and not for long. One of these may stem into a Halloween costume? Calder was a slightly more cooperative model, but only slightly. Besides, the hats are too big, so they look a little silly on him. Still... pretty darn cute.Now, despite the pile of cut and ready to sew baby things, and the stack of cut and ready to go onesie stencils, I'm going to spend today working on something(s) for my big boy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

KCWC - Baby Leggings

Look! I actually made something for Calder. I'm feeling pretty sheepish about my general fear of making pants. Not only did Beckett's wedding pants turn out great, and I'm almost done with the lounging trousers from my list, but now I've made legging pants for Calder too. So easy. It was my first time making leggings and my first time using ribbing. I love the color combo and my next project is to make many more of these, with the matching hats, and then to stencil some coordinating onesies. Unfortunately my model was pretty reluctant this morning. Here's hoping he gets into the spirit of Kid's Clothes Sewing Week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

Kids Clothes Week Challenge starts today. The challenge is to work on children's clothes for at least 1 hour every day from the 20th to the 26th. I'm so excited to play along. The timing is a little inopportune as I'm still not allowing myself to buy any fabric, but my stash is bountiful and should prove worthy. Plus making tiny things could help me burn through the scrap pile.

Don't expect anything fancy from me, you know how inept I am at following patterns. But we're a big pj household anyway. Beckett is seriously like Mr. Rogers with his pajama pants, as soon as he's in the door the jeans are off and the "jamm-os" are on. So jamm-os it is.

It's a busy week for us, particularly at the end, but I spent some time today sketching and cutting and I'm optimistic that I'll be able to put in the requisite 1 hour a day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

4 Down, 3 to Go - The Muslin Skirt

My first impression of this skirt was that it was quickly going from "Little House on the Prairie" to Juniper Creek chic. Not my intent. So I tweaked it, tossed the original bias tape idea, and made the stencil design a little more graphic. Now, I'm happy. I love the pockets, and I even like the folksy lace trim. Mostly, I love the stencils. Oh freezer paper, why are you so good to me?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Woodland Mobile with Tutorial

This makes me so happy. It was one of those projects that just manifests so organically. My husband started tossing out ideas for a mobile for Calder. He suggested using twigs or a branch (we're both big fans of branches as decor, a few years ago this apartment was lousy with 'em.) So, as we caught up on a few episodes of Being Human, I made a few owls from the clay leftover from these and these. Thus the plan was set in motion. A few more owls, one nature walk and handful of spare minutes later Calder was cooing up at his owl friends.It's not standard syrupy sweet baby mobile. I'd be stoked to have this in our house even if we didn't have kids. And Beckett is asking for one of his own now too. Wanna make one? I highly recommend it, it's so easy and satisfying. Here's how:

*Disclaimer - This is for decorative purposes only. Do not let your baby pull, chew, grab, throw, gum, suck or otherwise play with this mobile or any of its parts.*

-a branch
-polymer clay in a few colors
-fishing line
-needle nose pliers

-First you'll need to sculpt your objects. Keep it simple, basic shapes look awesome against the intricacy of the branch. In fact, simple spheres would be stunning. Hmm... I may have to try that...-Cut lengths of wire about as long as your object is deep. You'll need one for each object. Make loops in one end of each piece of wire by wrapping it tightly around the tip of your needle nose pliers.

-Push the straight end of each piece of wire into one of your objects. Now each of your sculptures should have a little bit of hanging hardware.-Bake your objects according to the clay manufacturer's instructions.

-Next you'll make the hooks. I did this by curling wire around my chapstick tube, then making a loop in the end with my pliers.

-When the baking is done and the clay has cooled, tie each object to a hook using fishing line.

-Then hang your sculptures on your branch.I didn't take any progress pictures, as I hadn't intended to make a tutorial, but my tutorial photos are usually less than great anyway. If there's anything that needs clarification, please leave a comment and I'll gladly address it. Thanks and enjoy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Calder's New Mobile

I love this so much. So does Jonesie. I'll post details later, maybe even a tutorial?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Two Piece Tank Dress

3 down, 4 to go. This is my guillotine dress. It's a wrap panel skirt, attached to a much beloved (and bleach stained) tank.There's something that isn't quite working for me on this one. It's a little too cutesy, maybe? Too apron-y? Springy cotton dresses are fairly impractical for me these days, not to mention seasonally inappropriate. Most of all, no matter where I attached the skirt to the bodice it seemed to accentuate my every post-baby lump. Not cute. That's why I went for the wrap deal, to add a little cinch action. Better, but still not cute.It looks ok on Helen though, which gives me hope. I'll hang it in the closet and maybe by March we can be friends. If not, oh well. I still learned a lot. Like mitered corners - not as tricky as I had led myself to believe. And ultra soft, lightweight jersey is a giant pain in my arse. And I think I'm over the guillotine dress phenomenon. At least for now.

Monday, September 13, 2010

2 Down, 5 to Go

Amazing what one can do in a few hours. Today was Beckett's first full day of preschool, giving me 3 full hours with just the baby this morning, and giving me the chance to work on my list. This is the short sleeve wrap cardigan. It's made from navy blue interlock cotton, and has trim and side ties from this great bird print I scored on ebay a while ago. I have to get going on the other projects, not only because I'm itching to go fabric shopping, but also to remind myself that I like to make things other than these wrap cardigans. At least, I think I do... don't I?Apparently September is National Sewing Month, which in part motivates me to sew like crazy, and in part makes me want to burn my bra and take a sledgehammer to my sewing machine. What can I say? My latent feminist has a will of her own. Also, this awesome sewing blog,, has a kid's clothes week sewing challenge. I'm thinking about it. The boys could use some new duds. Anyway, I'm loving September and B's new school and I hope it proves to be a productive month.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wanna See Something Cute?

Its been so long since we've had a mellow Saturday at home. I chucked my to do list and spent large portions of the day just staring my boys. I couldn't help myself.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ok... One More Wedding Post

Of course, had the place been devoid of flowers or favors, it still would have been the party of the year. I wish I had pictures of all of my loved ones, friends and family that made it such an awesome event. I do have a few pics of the wedding party and the bride's family that I'd like to post. Seriously, could the bride be any more lovely?The lighting wasn't quite right for these outdoor pictures, taken directly after the ceremony, but they're priceless despite the high contrast and the fuzzy filter action.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Project Wedding: The Bouquets

This'll be my last project wedding post. Though I'm sure I'll post more of the loveliness as more pictures roll in. It really was such a beautiful event. My sister said it was absolutely, without a doubt the happiest day of her life. Yay!!! Anyway... the bouquets.I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed this project. By the end I had convinced myself that I'd found my new calling. A very close friend of my mom's, Linda, had her own floral design business for years, and she still had the wholesale flower market hook up for us. Plus she knew all the tricks of the trade like binding, ribbon wrapping and preservation. I learned so much. Now, I could geek out here and list off the names of each plant, but I'll spare you. Please ask if you're curious - you know I'd be more than happy to expound.I was so honored that my mom and her uber-talented friends let me play chief designer, and that I got to make my sister's bouquet. How special is that? It meant a lot to her too. All in all, we made the bridal bouquet, 10 bridesmaids bouquets, 5 junior bridesmaid bouquets (the ones with the pink zinnias), 2 mother's bouquets (the mostly green ones) and 12 boutonnieres. They all turned out so beautifully. I was so proud to carry mine around all night and it's now sitting on our nightstand. It's still gorgeous. I'm seriously considering a new career.