E is for Eli!

Due to Eli’s recent growth spurt most of his Mama-mades have been packed away or soon will be. Of course this would be when Eli decides that Mama-made clothing is the BEST.THING.EVER. As in “Don’t even think I will get dressed for pre-school without having a meltdown if there isn’t a handmade shirt to wear today!” Luckily on that morning I was able to dig out one last candidate from the shirt drawer that still fit… but barely.

So between the many pairs of baby pants, nightgowns, fitted cloth diapers and diaper covers on my baby-prep sewing list it has been imperative that I sew a few new items for Eli as well.

Here is his latest shirt.

E is for Eli Shirt

I got the idea a long time ago from Dana’s Sprinkle Shirt, which she published way back in 2008. I’ve loved this idea for a long time and it was one of the first kids’ clothing tutorials I ever pinned. Now that Eli is getting really enthused about letter learning it was the perfect time to give it a go!

The shirt itself is part of my ongoing process of learning to sew from patterns. This pattern is a simple t-shirt pattern from Kwik Sew’s Sewing for Toddlers by Kerstin Martensson that Kelly at ReStitch Me recommended to me a while back. The photos are very dated (1980’s) but the clothing is so basic it still works with more modern fabric and embellishment choices. Eli is already using the largest size in the book though so I will soon be looking for a new t-shirt pattern. If anyone can recommend a particular Ottobre edition for a very basic gender neutral t-shirt pattern I’d be most interested.

I don’t know why I find it so challenging to use patterns, but I do. It seems that I had to rip out and redo almost every part of this shirt at least once. So many stupid mistakes were made, and perhaps part of that can be blamed on pregnancy brain. (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.) I couldn’t very well just give up and trash the project though because Eli had watched me embroider the E with much delight and was following the construction of the shirt with focused attention. I actually cut the tan pieces so short as a mistake and then didn’t have enough fabric left in that repurposed t-shirt to fix my mistake. Color blocking seems to be in these days though, so we’ll just pretend I did it on purpose!

I also used the making of this shirt as the occasion to finally try out the twin needle I bought, oh, probably about a year ago. I found it such an intimidating idea, but everyone else that has used one and blogged about it always seems to say that is is actually rather simple to use and quite satisfying as well. Now that I’ve finally taken the plunge I’d have to say that I agree.

Wearing his E shirt and playing with his train. Please excuse the bed head. 🙂

Since I’ve made this shirt Eli wears it almost constantly. The first time I put it on him he immediately wrapped his arms around my neck in a big hug and then spent the rest of the evening periodically giving my arm little love pats. It requires prolonged negotiations to get it off of him to be able to wash it. He also tells anyone who comments on his big E shirt “Mama made it!” Nope, it just doesn’t get much better than that! I need to make a few more shirts and pronto though so that he isn’t always wearing the same soon-to-be grungy shirt!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sundayjembellish clothes upcycling page, A Round Tuit

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour ProjectsThreading My Way,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Knit Baby Pants: Guest Post from Growing Slower

I couldn’t be more pleased than I am to introduce you to Shannon of Growing Slower! I love her blog which is full of information on green and natural living, especially as it applies to the parenting of wee ones! She graciously offered to do a guest post to help me out during my early-pregnancy-induced break from blogging. While it was hard for me to choose from among the post ideas she offered, in the end I had to go with this adorable knit baby pants. A guest post is really the only way I am ever going to get any knitting on my blog in the foreseeable future, and few things feed baby fever for me as much as seeing knit baby clothing. One day I will learn to knit… in the meantime please join me in drooling over Shannon’s creation! Of course, if you are a knitter, you can do more than drool as she includes links to a free pattern. When you’re done here I highly recommend you head on over to Growing Slower… you’ll be glad you did!

If there is anyone else who might be interested in having a guest post on Folk Haven, please contact me. My schedule’s wide open. 😉
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I’m so thrilled to be guest posting here at Folk Haven! I always love sharing my favorite free knitting patterns, both original designs and those by others, so I knew this guest post would be the perfect opportunity for a little show and tell. 


 
 

I had been eyeing this adorable pattern for knit baby pants long before I ever became pregnant. Of course between pregnancy and then becoming a mom, there wasn’t much time for knitting. I’ve finally started getting some yarn back into my hands and it feels so wonderful! At last I have finished this little project! I knitted the 18-24 month size for my one year old BabyE, so hopefully he will still be able to wear them this fall. 


 
 

The free pattern is available from the ymymmytm blog. If you can make a hat, you can knit these pants.  I used three skeins (615 yards) of Berroco Weekend Yarn in Steel Blue #5930. It is almost a perfect match to Baby’s eyes.  As usual I needed to size down (to US size 4) to get the right gauge. As I was working the pattern, I matched it up to some of Baby’s store-bought 18 month pants to make sure I was getting the right size. I ended up needing to add quite a few rows to match the leg length. I added one more 2-row repetition to the moss stitch on the legs. Then I added 35 extra knit rows to the lower legs. 




This was such a fun project. I’m really enjoying these warm summer days, but these cozy pants are making me look longingly toward fall. 

Shannon is a stay at home mom and architect. She’s passionate about  green, natural, and healthy living; recycling; natural birth; knitting; cloth diapering; and of course her own lovely little family. She blogs about it all at GrowingSlower. For more free knitting and sewing patterns, click to subscribe to GrowingSlower.

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Thank you so much, Shannon! Love, love, love the pants… and your handsome model! It has been so much fun watching him grow over the past year! 🙂

Llama Llama Rag Doll

Eli has been loving the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney lately. So do I. Between the rhythm, rhyme and delightful illustrations they are a joy to read out loud. Which is good because Eli wants me to do so again, and again and again.

In the stories Llama Llama is never without his little rag doll. I thought it would be fun to make Eli his own version.

Illustration detail from Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.

Kinda cute, right?

So here is how I did it.

First I sketched out some pattern pieces. If people express an interest and if I can figure out how to make and attach a pdf file I might be able to make this pattern available to others who’d like to make this but don’t feel comfortable sketching patterns. (Since I don’t feel comfortable doing technological things, that’s a bit of a big IF… but it’s good to make myself learn new skills so I could at least try.)

Then while my wonderful husband followed Eli around Barnes & Noble, I sat in the cafe, retraced the pattern pieces onto printer paper and cut them out. These pieces were pinned to a linen napkin before I cut them out leaving about 1/4″ for seam allowance. I got all on the pieces I needed from one linen napkin. I used a different pink linen napkin for the insides of the ears and some bleached black t-shirt material for the bottoms of the feet, but if I had wanted the doll all one color I would have been able to get those pieces from the one napkin too.

I wanted this project to be completely handmade so everything was hand stitched together.

I also wanted all of the materials to be natural and all things I already had on hand, so instead of using polyester fiberfill or going out and purchasing cotton stuffing I cut leftover scraps of cotton and wool fabric into thin strips to use to stuff the doll. I really like how this resulted in a heavier doll. It just feels good and solid (but not hard) in your hands. It is slightly lumpy, but I like that aspect too as it underscores the “handmade” quality.

The arms were sewn into the side seams of the body, and the ears into the side seams of the head, but the legs and neck and head were sewn and stuffed and then sewn onto the sewn and stuffed body.

Here’s a shot of the head being attached to the neck.

I debated on whether or not to use these buttons for the eyes or to paint on eyes to make it look more like the llama doll in the book. In the end I opted for the metal buttons in keeping with natural materials only decision I’d made earlier. I can always easily change them later, if I find wooden buttons I like better or if I decide to go ahead with the paint after all. These look cute enough for me now though.

Not only did using different fabric for the bottoms of the feet allow for a change in color, but I like how the knit stretches to balloon out a bit. I couldn’t resist adding the belly button.

I used the sewn edge of the napkin to cut small lengths to use for the tail.

Eli likes his little llama and immediately had to “match” it to the illustration in the book.

Llama Llama, nighty night…

 Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

Update: Here are links to download the pattern…

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, Threading My Way

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal