Little Fox Sweater

Things are starting to get a bit chilly here so I thought I’d make up a new little sweater for Zoe. I know it is super trendy right now but I can’t help loving the fox and owl motifs I see out there these days. So stinkin’ cute!

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I decided to repurpose this old cashmere sweater that I had felted in the wash for a diaper project that never came to be. It is super soft! (My husband says that if Zoe won’t wear it I can change it into a pillow case for him.)IMG_1723

After perusing Etsy for a little inspiration I made this little fox applique from other wool sweater scraps.

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For the pattern I used this DIY Peasant Dress freebie from Once Upon a Sewing Machine. Zoe has 3 other tunics in her closet made from this pattern… simple, fast and easy (and it goes up to 4T!)

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The sweater cam together quickly and I added a little embroidery around the neck, passing the embroidery thread just through the top layer of stitches in the knit fabric. You can’t see the stitches on the inside.

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I like that while it is 18M to 2T size it will fit her for a really long time first as a sweater dress and later as a shirt.

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If she wears it at all that is… She begs me to take it off almost as soon as it is on, making a photo shoot, already made challenging by a squirmy toddler on an overcast rainy day almost impossible. She reacts like this to new clothing quite often though, so I’ll not give up hope she will wear her fox sweater too soon.

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No-Sew Child’s Apron

I think I’ve mentioned here before that Eli loves to cook. I have long planned to sew him his own adorable apron. There are all kinds of tutorials and free patterns online (such as here and here), and I will one day get around to doing it. I may even make my first Spoonflower purchase to get a fun fabric of Eli’s choosing for it. But enough daydreaming of future projects.

Eli helping me make play dough. He mixed for about 20 minutes using all utensils in his reach. Yep, he needed an apron... especially during this phase where everything becomes an instant "construction site".

Eli helping me make play dough. He mixed for about 20 minutes using all utensils in his reach. Yep, he needed an apron… especially during this phase where everything becomes an instant “construction site”.

Right at the moment not a lot of sewing is being done by me, and Eli really needed an apron, like 6 months ago, so I grabbed an old t-shirt from the recycling pile and a pair of scissors and within about 3 minutes an apron was born.

No-Sew T-Shirt Apron

Yea, it’s dirty. I didn’t think to take the picture before we made the play dough. Oops!

I can’t claim credit for this idea. I saw it on the cover of a magazine in Barnes and Noble while walking a fussy teething baby around the store in the Ergo. I’m sorry, but I now can’t remember which magazine it was. It’s a simple enough design. Basically this is cut out much like the No-Sew Bibs that I made a while back, except the entire length of the shirt front is used and a strip across the back is left attached to create the ties. Cut around the neck and down the front from the top, and up the sides from the bottom. Just below the the arms of the shirt leave a strip going straight across the back from one side to the other. This you will snip apart in the middle of the back to create your two ties. Since the knit fabric of a t-shirt won’t fray no sewing is needed.

T-shirt apron cutting diagram

An adult medium sized shirt is more than ample enough for a preschooler.

Zoe wants an apron

“Hey Mom, where’s my apron?”

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Sewing Again… Pajama Bottoms

Please excuse the fact that my blog’s appearance may be changing fairly frequently for a little while. I’m feeling the need to tinker, but am slow and inexperienced so it may be  a while before I settle upon something I absolutely love and decide to stick with.

I finally felt up to rescuing my sewing machine from beneath her 4 month layer of dust this past week as thankfully it seems that most of the morning sickness has fled! Eli has been in rather desperate need for more pajama bottoms for quite a while now. In fact I had cut out the pieces for the green pair just before I got sidetracked by early pregnancy. I’m using the pattern for the Kickin’ Back Sweats found in Sewing For Boys. (The green pants were made from a men’s t-shirt and the blue from two men’s button down shirts with incurable cases of ring around the collar. On the back side of the blue pants I used the pocket from the printed shirt as a back pocket on the light blue side.)

It turns out Eli was just fine waiting. It has been so hot lately that he’s been sleeping in shorts and, as you can see in the picture, these size 2/3 pants are still rather large on him… 4 months and pre-recent-growth-spurt ago they would have been way too huge! I’m glad they are on the large side though because I’m sure these will see him through next Spring even if he continues his incessant rapid rate of growth.

My boy is growing up in more than just stature! Whereas before he’d run away from me whenever I’d try to get him to try on something I’d just sewn for him, now he is so excited to do so. Also, he will now actually stand there and let me take his picture! No more chasing a little whirl-wind taking 237 shots just to get one that isn’t blurry of the newest Mama-made project. Best of all, as soon as I helped him pull the pants up he turned around and kissed my cheek! Really, there is no better thank you. 🙂

And for those who’d like a sneak peak at the little one… Here she is last week at the end of her 15th week of gestation. I say “she” as the doctor was 75% sure that’s the case. It is still early to tell gender though, so I’m not getting rid of Eli’s more boyish baby clothes and any baby sewing will stay pretty gender-neutral until after a more definitive report next month (if the baby decides not to be too bashful.)

Greeting Card Ornament

I saw a tutorial at The Space Between Blog where Karah made Christmas tree ornaments from her wedding cards. I have been saving the birthday cards Eli received for his first birthday this past year and thought this would be a great way to use them. I think I will do this every year. It will be fun to pull them out and remember as the years go by.

First I took out the cards and traced a circle around the part I wanted to cut out.

I was bummed not to ba able to use this handmade card from his cousins, but 3D wouldn’t work here.

Then I cut out the circles which I then folded in half.

The resulting half circles were then glued together to form the two halves of the ornament.

Before gluing the 2 halves together I glued in the ends of the ribbon hanger.

Here it is hanging on our tree.

I like how Karah’s ornaments look with the glitter on the edges of the circles. I will probably end up doing that too, but I have to buy the glitter first!

This project is a quicky. I think it took me about 20 minutes start to finish.

Baby Sleep Sack from Quilt

This was one of the first quilts I attempted to make. It contains a mixture of new cloth (some bought in thrift stores) and cloth from worn out clothing. I had been making it for a young cousin, but it contained so many flaws that in the end I could not bring myself to give it. I stopped working on it just shy of finished  and packed it away in a box where it has sat forgotten for the last  seven or eight years. I pulled it out over Thanksgiving and decided I should either bind it or get rid of it. The flaws that bothered me before bother me even more now, but I hate to waste something potentially useful so I decided to make a baby sleep sack.

Here are directions if you would like to make a sleep sack of your own. If you find any of the instructions unclear, feel free to contact me for clarification.

Get a sleep sack  and fold it in half. Trace onto freezer paper. You could use a shirt and freehand draw the sack part but I wasn’t sure how large to make the sack part. Add seam allowance to the shoulder the side edge and the bottom. I added 1/4″ out of habit. I would suggest at least 1/2″ due to the thickness of the quilt. This is the back piece. The edge going down the center will be placed on the fold when cutting the quilt fabric.

Now for the front pieces. Use a new piece of freezer paper. Trace the shoulder and arm hole. Make a mark where the front neckline falls. Remove the sleep sack from the paper and draw a slightly curved line from that mark up to the shoulder.  Put this paper on top of the back pattern piece and trace the sack line. Add a seam allowance to the center line this time.

Place your back pattern piece on the fold of  the quilt you are repurposing. Iron it down so it won’t slide while you cut. Pin it to keep the folded layers together. Cut it out. Repeat for the front piece, but this time place it a little bit off the edge of the fold and cut all the way around. You will now have 3 pieces.

This jacket was fairly new, but the sleeve had an unfortunate encounter with adhesive that couldn’t be remedied. Originally I was going to use the zipper, but I’ve never done a zipper before and feel a bit intimidated. I found this strip of snaps around the collar to use instead.

I cut it out,  put it alongside the middle edge of one of the front pieces and marked the point to which to sew the seam from the bottom up the front.

Sew the center seam to that point. Here is where I wished I had larger seam allowances. I wanted to sew the seam open on each side and continue sewing the fabric folded over all the way to the top. This wasn’t possible so I trapped the raw edge under a strand of ribbon on each side of the front of the sleep sack and stitched down both sides of the ribbon.

 

On the front side attach one side of the snap strip. One edge was already finished so I turned it over and sewed the cut edge down. I also folded down and sewed the raw edges of the top and bottom of the strip.

 

The black snap strip looks rather ugly on this pink and purple sleeper so I wanted to cover the top snap strip with matching fabric. I took some cloth from one of the side borders of the quilt.  Trim the top and the bottom of the snap strip so that they line up perfectly with the other side. Put the snap strip and fabric right sides together and stitch up one edge. Fold the fabric around the back side of the snap strip. Fold over the fabric on the top and bottom of the snap strip and pin. Sew all the way around all 4 edges of the snap strip using a zipper foot to ease by the snaps.

 

Fold over the remaining raw edge twice and press. Snap the snap strips together. Sew down the long edge of the snap strip flap to attach it to the front to the sleep sack.

Pin the front and back pieces of the sleep sack right sides together at the shoulders. The photo shows pins all the way around, but I ended up having to remove pins from the sides to be able to work on the shoulders.

After sewing the shoulders cover the seam on the inside with a strip of knit material. I sewed on a piece cut from an old sweatshirt then trimmed off the excess.

 

Now pin the sides and bottom and sew all the way around from the bottom of one arm hole to the bottom of the other. Use a walking foot as there are many layers of fabric and batting here. I found I needed to go slow, remove pins before the walking foot reached them, and tug the material gently to release any little tucks beginning to form.

Turn it right side out. Almost done!

Now cut a strip of knit material to bind the edges around the sleep sack’s arm and neck openings. A 1″ width strip cut from the bottom of a large t-shirt worked well for me. It was just long enough to bind all three openings with the one strip. I sewed it around the arm opening and then cut the excess instead of measuring lengths. Lay it alongside the edge of the sleep sack arm opening and stitch it down with 1/4″ seam allowance. Once you cut off the excess length fold in the end. Turn the sleep sack inside out. Fold the fabric in through the arm opening, fold the edge under and pin all the way around. Sew it down on the inside. Follow the same process for the neck opening.

   

Here is the finished binding.

While sewing up this sleep sack I found a couple small tears in the quilt. I cut out two heart shapes from the white t-shirt and sewed a patch with embroidery floss to cover each hole.

   

Finally, the finished sleep sack from a repurposed quilt!

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