Baby Easter romper

When Konik was Sprinkaan’s age, I made him a little suit coat and pants in blue and white seersucker and it was adorable. I looked at that pattern this year for Sprinkaan and I just wasn’t feeling it. Aside from the waistband on those little overall pants being a pain to put together I thought, soon enough and my baby will be wearing “big boy clothes” so why rush it? That’s why I chose to dress him in a baby outfit this year. Our babies stay babies for only so long.

This pattern (Simplicity 4243) was my go-to when friends had babies and I wanted to send a gift. Although it has been several years since I’ve used it, it was still somewhat familiar territory. I chose a robin’s egg blue poly-linen blend for the fabric. There is a zipper down the back and snaps around the inside of the legs. I chose the bear applique because Sprinkaan’s nickname is Little Bear and it’s a shape he recognizes. He probably would have preferred a car because that’s his Absolute Favorite Thing in the World, but alas, the applique selection was rather paltry. I didn’t get many good photos of him wearing his little one-piece suit because he was melting down after church.

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He has changed a lot since last Easter!

Princess dresses

Last year, the girls were not overly happy at the pattern I had chosen for their Easter dresses. With no defined waistline, they said it felt like wearing a baby dress. They’re probably right. So in an effort to redeem myself, I let them choose their pattern and fabric this year. On the plus side, they were both happy. The downside is my girls have expensive tastes. Even after I reined them in a bit! Next year I’m going to have to tighten up the parameters a bit. The pattern was Butterick 3351 — definitely a flower girl dress. The girls chose different bodice views, in which the only real difference was the straps. The pattern itself was actually quite simple to sew. Nothing tricky or unusual, just a very basic dress. It’s the fabric that sets this one apart. Each of the dresses has a sheer overlay on the skirt. In the case of Granota’s dress, it’s a lace, whereas Rana’s is just a sheer fabric with sparkles (we can always tell where she has been when she wears this dress; the trail of sparkles attests to her presence).

IMG_7028  IMG_7029 IMG_7022 IMG_7024 You may notice that Granota’s skirt is a bit fuller. She requested a “foof” to go underneath it. That’s a petticoat to the rest of us. I don’t have pictures of just the petticoat, but I used Sugardale’s tutorial and a soft nylon mesh. Rana didn’t like the idea of a foof, so I didn’t make her one. Since it is still a bit chilly here in the Pacific Northwest at Eastertime, the girls were concerned that they would be cold in their sleeveless dresses, and wearing a big coat over them just wouldn’t be right. I suggested little shawls because I am a glutton for punishment care about my children’s comfort. So in addition to sewing four Easter outfits, I was also crocheting two shrugs.

IMG_7030 IMG_7031 IMG_7025 IMG_7027 Granota’s shawl was from a book I have here at home. Rana’s was from a pattern I found online that I am too lazy to find again (I think it was off of the Red Heart site). Two more happy kids at Easter!

Little boy blue

Here are some more detailed pictures of the suit I made for Konik for Easter. The suit pattern is Butterick 6894 from 2001. I used a cotton bottom weight fabric for both the jacket and the pants. Some might think it’s cruel to make a little boy wear a suit. Let me assure you: there is no “making” here; Konik loves him some suits.

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A little twisted and rumply after a morning in church, but hey, he’s 5. It probably looked like this about two minutes after we left the house.

What is this look?!

What is this pose?!

His shirt was also a Butterick, #2164 from the ’60s by the look of the pattern art. A long time ago I had bought this at the thrift store with some other patterns. I hadn’t had a reason to really inspect the contents of this specific pattern envelope until I went to make this little button-up shirt and discovered that the sleeve piece was missing. After consulting lots of tutorials and making lots of drafts, I finally made a sleeve that would work. I wasn’t 100% pleased with it, but it worked ok. Personally, it doesn’t look comfortable, but Konik claims it’s fine. And, considering that he has worn this entire outfit four more times just since Easter, I guess he’s right because 5 year olds aren’t going to wear clothes that bother them.

IMG_7019The tie was another from Vanilla Joy’s pattern that I talked about in my last post. Konik likes that it looks like an Easter egg.

IMG_7021Still my handsome little man.

Happy Easter 2015

Yes, I’ve been gone. However, absence here means productivity in real life! And I have most definitely been productive. I’ll write at more length later about the kids’ Easter outfits, but I know that there are plenty of people who wanted to see the outcome after a solid month of sewing (and some crocheting).

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IMG_7052Wishing you all a happy Easter!

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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All tied up

It’s easy to find things to sew for the girls. Skirt and dress patterns abound, plus hats, capes, coats, tunics, pants, leggings, blouses… you get the gist. Finding things to make for boys tends to be more challenging and the options not as interesting. Unless the boy is going to a disco or has a predilection for Rococo, ruffles and flounces are out. Embellishments and trims also look out of place on boys’ clothing today. Fabrics tend to be more somber, style lines more plain. I was feeling a little bad for Konik as I was planning to make fancy skirts for the girls to wear at Christmastime. Sew a new button-up shirt? Or pair of slacks? Big whoop. That’s not exciting for the maker or the wearer. But, I found a way to inject a little fun!

Konik enjoys dressing up. He especially loves himself some clip-on ties. He is always the dapperest little dude at church and he chooses his clothes himself. (Did I mention that he’s only 5?) So there was my ticket! A new winter-themed tie.

There are several little boy tie tutorials with slight variations among them. I ended up choosing the one by Vanilla Joy. I chose hers because I preferred the ways she suggested for fastening the tie around the neck. One change I will make if when I make another tie is to make it a tad narrower overall and taper it more severely about halfway up to make tying it easier (and so the knot doesn’t come out so big). It takes a miniscule amount of fabric and it’s a very fast project.

Konik was with me when I went to the fabric store, so I let him choose his own fabric. He found a small snowman print in several different colorways and settled on the blue one. Fine choice, my son. I did have to steer him clear of other, larger prints because the scale never would have translated to something as small and narrow as a necktie, and a little boy’s necktie at that.

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Front

For the lining fabric, I had a scrap of dark blue apparel lining that I had used in a cape for myself (oh man, I still haven’t written about that?!). You can just see a bit of it peeking out at the tips. Using actual slippery lining fabric makes it look pretty legit, I think! I was pleased with that.

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Back

For the tie closure, I decided to go with Velcro, mainly because that’s what I had and I figured it was easy enough for Konik to manage himself, which would not have been the case with button elastic. After measuring around his neck, I made a little strip out of the snowman fabric and put Velcro on the ends. Next time, I need to make the strip just a touch narrower to be fully hidden under his shirt collar. It’s not hugely apparent right now, but it could be better.

IMG_6347Here’s where things got interesting: you have to tie the tie around the little strip of fabric, which is not the same as tying it around one’s neck. I already knew that the latter skill eluded me, but it turns out the former does as well. I called in Mr. Gren for reinforcements. He got the tie tied appropriately and, with a little fiddling, we got the tail piece to mostly stay in the back. What I need to do at this point is just lightly tack it together so that it won’t accidentally come untied.

IMG_6318Konik was happy with his new little snowman tie and wore it proudly to church. He probably needs one for every season now…

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A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
— Oscar Wilde

2014 UFO roundup

Happy New Year!

So, we finally made it to 2015. How many of you are asking for a hoverboard for your birthday this year?

Before I dive into a new year of posting, I thought I’d take a look at my unfinished objects from last year. For those who weren’t around this time last year, I wrote down on separate slips of paper the names of projects I had begun and abandoned at some point with the goal of pulling one new slip each month through 2014 and then completing that project. Some I finished, others never saw the light of day.

UFOs doneThis should be a familiar little collage. We’ll go row by row.

1. The rag rug — slip wasn’t pulled

2. The crochet gingerbread house — Finished! Well… more or less. It got a brief mention on my December 14 photo post. This little gingerbread house pattern was featured in the Crochet Today “Crochet Gift List” special edition from winter 2011 (presumably, since this is a “best of” collection, it was published in a previous issue at some point). The photo in the magazine shows the little house with about 500 more “candies” on it than mine.

gingerbread houses

Aside from being an overall better photograph, theirs is about 1000x more ornate than my sad little house. I do have intentions [suppress your snickering] of adorning it with all the additional candies, but it just wasn’t happening this year. However, I’m still counting this in the “finished” column because it is, technically, put together. For those who wondered, the four walls of the house were crocheted together at the edges. Then I had to slip them over a cardboard frame made-to-measure (I used an old oatmeal box). The roof — also glued to cardboard — is then placed on top. The icicles do the double duty of looking purty and hiding where the pieces meet. For now, the gingerbread house is packed away with the rest of the Christmas decorations, so it’s as done as it’s going to get until after Thanksgiving. And, whenever I do stick on the rest of the candies, I promise to take a better picture.

Ok, back to the UFO graphic.

3. Peasant top blouse — It gets an X because it was a major failure. I pulled the slip, I tried to make it work, but I could have fit myself and two of my children inside this thing. Onto the scrap heap!

4. Rainbow afghan — Well, I worked on it, so I’m giving it a yellow check. Sort of a provisional check mark. I made more granny squares, but I ran out of yarn for the green (and final) round of squares. I wasn’t in a position to buy more yarn for this project, so it is stuck in limbo for the time being.

5. Wheat sweater — never pulled the slip. This is one I actually want to get finished before this winter is over. It sure would be nice to have another sweater to wear.

6. Axl doll — never pulled the slip.

7. Purple sock — never pulled the slip. I am really, really tempted to just pull the whole thing off the loom and start over (there wasn’t that much on there) because I don’t remember what I was doing when I stopped working on it two (or three?) years ago.

8. Stuffed animal dress — Finished! And blogged!

9. Embroidered wool baby booties — Finished! And blogged!

So, five out of nine projects were addressed in some way or another. That’s not a terrible showing, I guess, but I was hoping for better from myself. I think my crafting goal for this year will be stashbusting, mostly in the fabric realm. I have yards and yards of fabric that was purchased with garments in mind and have just never gotten around to sewing them. I could have a pretty nice wardrobe if I’d just sit down and do it! My yarn stash needs busting of some sort, but most of what I have there is a leftover hodge-podge that doesn’t readily lend itself to much of anything. I could populate an amigurumi jungle, I guess. I dunno. We’ll see what I do with that.

January is already looking swamped, project-wise, so I’m predicting that it won’t be until at least the end of February before I pull another UFO slip. How do I get swamped? A few different things — I have a couple of “commissions” that I need to tackle; needs within my own family arise (e.g. Konik needs new mittens; I promised a new skirt to Granota months ago, etc, etc.); also, there are always things to be repaired (and frankly, I’m not so good about getting to those). The good news is, I should have plenty of things to write about! The standing question is, will I find the time? Stay tuned to find out.

December 31: celebration

It’s low-key here, but this is big stuff to the kids — eating sausage, crackers, and cheese in the living room while watching a movie! We’ll have our traditional strawberry floats later tonight!

IMG_6644And, in the spirit of celebration, here is the sign that Konik made for his bedroom door. The party was supposed to have taken place on Christmas day (Christmas music, dancing, and confetti, he said), but we all kind of forgot to attend (he also forgot to remind us). But he still has the sign up and it’s just too adorable.

IMG_6542Go and party well and wisely! Happy New Year!