I’m the room mom for Elise’s preschool class. That doesn’t really mean all that much; I’m pretty much just in charge of helping to organize their parties, and coordinating the various teachers’ gifts: Christmas, birthday, teacher appreciation week, you get it…
For Christmas, I didn’t do anything overly special. I was overwhelmed with all that we had going on, and ended up just getting them a cute little movie-themed bucket of goodies with an adorable ceramic “Popcorn” bowl from Pier 1. Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas and giving gifts, but I really like focusing on birthdays. The special-ness of it. Christmas is about everyone getting gifts, and I like that birthdays are about a certain someone getting gifts.
I saw Gail post about her On the Go organizers recently, and just fell in love. I thought they would make really great stationery organizers, and combined with some pretty letterpressed stationery, it would make an extra special gift. The Gingercake On the Go organizer is a great pattern that’s quick and easy to follow. I’ll certainly be making more of these.
As far as modifications, I shortened the height by an inch; it was too tall for stationery. I did folded-edge pockets – thank you, Darcy, for the heads up about that. And thank you, most especially, for the OTG organizer that you made for me! I also made my own simple flap, as I wanted to use a snap for the closure, and moved the pockets to be a bit more centered on that divided section.
For good measure, I threw in somegiftcards from Coldstone Creamery and Gigi’s cupcakes. Hopefully they’ll love their birthday presents. One teacher will get hers this week, and the other’s birthday is in about two months – feels good to have it already off the to-do list.
These sewing labels are pretty nice, aren’t they? They’re also quite special to me. You see, this is my first sponsor – see the banner in my side bar –>. What makes this whole thing even more special, is that its my Mom’s company. Her business, CustomLabels4u.com is all about personalization. In the last year or so, she decided to dive in head first into selling sewing labels of all kinds, and she’s doing an amazing job. The variety is incredible, yet very selective, and the customer service, if I do say so myself, is top notch. Here are just a few examples of the labels in what I’ve been sewing recently:
Above is the folded woven tag (found here - center fold option)
These two are the end fold labels, found here. With this style, and the one in the top photo, you can specify your color, logo, font, design, etc. Its almost limitless. Also shown are the pink size labels, found here.
I love these woven name tapes, found here, and the kids’ size labels found here
Another version of the woven name tapes; I believe I got the metallic rainbow on the cream background, but when you order, you can specify exactly what you want. She also has a huge selection of iron on labels, custom satin clothing labels, and even silk screen printed ribbons!
My dear friend Teresa had plans to make Rae‘s Toddler Backpack for her daughter, Lila, for her 2nd birthday. We went together to the fabric store, and she and Lila together picked out such a cute combination of fabric and trim. I shamelessly asked her if I could copy her, and make one for Elise too. Being one of my very best friends, she didn’t mind, or she lied if she did :) I planned to make it a while ago, but as all my plans, I have to add about 5 months to the time frame. Teresa, of course, finished hers in record time. Because, you know, she’s on top of things.
Since Elise is quite petite, I decided to scale the pattern down by 20% to make it just a bit smaller. I love the finished size. Just perfection for a 2 year old.
I decided to add a pocket to the front with a snap closure, and a regular, open pocket on each side.
I also added one of my prized zipper pulls.
And quilted the bottom in contrasting green thread.
The inside is a Sara Jane polka dot print. The exterior is a Kokka canvas/linen (I think).
Love the nylon straps, d-rings and piping. I kinda wish it fit me.
Still a little unsure if I want to keep the side pockets on. Thoughts? Elise loves this backpack, and I’m trying not to hover over her saying “don’t drag it on the ground!” “don’t put dirt in it” “careful! yogurt doesn’t belong in there!” But really, she’s a kid being a kid, so I need to relax. Buts its just so cute.
And how cute is this smocked jumper? Its pretty special to me. Matt’s mom smocked it for him when he was about 3, and wore it for a while. She was able to pull it out of that jumper and transplant it into this adorable jumper. *swoon*
Elise was in desperate need for some lightweight long-sleeved tops for Fall. I had bought one of the mystery mix bargain lots at Girl Charlee, and in it were a bunch of 1/4 yard cuts of wide, cute, lightweight knits. I set five aside and got to sewing. I’ve made the Oliver + S Hopscotch dress once before, and found it so gratifying and a very quick sew – the tops were no different. Only five pattern pieces total! It really turned me on to working with knits, and I find that I’m increasingly more drawn to working with them as toddlers are so busy. and messy. and rough on their clothes.
Love in a Mist pillow using Blend’s Hip Holiday
I’m a member of the West Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild. This is such an amazing group of women, and after every meeting I leave so incredibly re-energized and excited about quilting, and sewing in general. About crafting in general. Blend Fabrics coordinated with one of our members to give each of us a sample of their newest Christmas line, Hip Holiday. This is such a fun collection, with lots of pinks and limes – definitely not your traditional Christmas palette. We were each given 10″ squares of the ten different prints, and told do do whatever we wanted. The only stipulation was that we could only add in solids, no other prints, period.
Before Elise was born, I had made her an heirloom linen dress. ”Heirloom” should be used loosely, as this was my very first attempt, but nonetheless, I was very happy with the way it turned out. It was important for me to make one for Juliet as well, and this one has been in the works since last October when I had the good fortune to take a class Jeannie Beaumeister at the SAGA convention.
These shorts were supposed to be done at least two weeks ago. But I guess that’s a good thing. I learned the hard, tedious, and frustrating way that muslins are so important. Even for kids clothes. Even for you. Even for me. Let me tell you about my epic failure, and why I’m here, making a case for muslins. These shorts were originally planned as part of the Kids Clothes Week, but because the tops took me a bit longer than I had planned, they were bumped to the following week. I printed out my pattern, taped it all together, and got started. These new summer shorts were turning out beautifully. I had them almost 100% completed – just the elastic casing at the waist band and the leg hemming needed to be done. I put them on Elise just to check length, really, and that’s when my blissful sewing (ha!) flew right out the window. These suckers were TIGHT. Really tight. Elise is just shy of 2 years old, and because of her cloth diapers, she’s really a 3T – 4T in RTW bottoms. We were on vacation last week, and had her in disposables, so she was fitting nicely in 18m, 24m and 2T bottoms – just to give you an idea of her sizing.
We put our gDiapers through the ringer. Since we’ve got two in diapers, they are washed constantly, during which time I hear the “cha-ching” of dollars saved singing to me from the laundry room. In our effort to be ever more Mustachian, we recently took on GroVia cloth wipes as well. Needless to say, the cloth as served us well, and we use a lot of it. And we must be real suckers for laundry. Up until recently, we’d been using the gDiapers disposable/flushable inserts at night, placed on top of a cloth insert. The flushies are insanely absorbent; and lets face it, absorbency is important for my sleeping girls to stay sleeping so mommy can stay sleeping. I wanted to reduce how many of these we were using, and bought some organic hemp fleece so that I could whip up some of my own handmade gDiapers soakers. And if I’m going to all that trouble, why not make them look cute? It also gave me a good opportunity to play with sharp curves on my serger – something I’d
been fearing put off learning for quite some time. (more…)