Category Archives: Sewing

All Things Halloween

At the pumpkin patch

At the pumpkin patch

Copying Isabelle

Yugoslavian finger squash

Tiger pumpkins

Pumpkin carving with our homeschool group

Giving Nathan a go at carving

Carved pumpkins

Ready for trick or treating

I was looking at Halloween pictures from last year and it makes me wonder if I’ve been slacking in the blogging department for over a year. Must be. Because last year I made a big Halloween post as well. I jammed all Halloween events into one big post…like I’m going to do today.

This year, we didn’t go to the pumpkin patch with our homeschool group. It had been raining the night before and I didn’t feel like dealing with slippery mud and a closed corn maze again. Party pooper.

So, we brought the kids to a pumpkin patch on our own. That was not the best idea because went on a weekend. I wish we had taken a family picture there but it was hot and crowded and I didn’t think of it.

A few days later we did meet up with our homeschool group for pumpkin carving. Isabelle carved a pumpkin. Yes! She carved her pumpkin mostly on her own this year! She only needed help in a few spots. The last few years she really didn’t have any interest in carving. So, I was happily surprised this time though she still did not want to touch pumpkin insides.

Then on Halloween I was sewing up Nathan’s costume…oh my gawd I was sewing it up right until we walked out the door and it wasn’t even finished. That’s why we didn’t take any pictures before we left the house because as I said, sewing right up until we left!

When we were walking around trick or treating, I really didn’t take any pictures because it was dark and my little dinosaur wanted to be carried in between the houses. Alan and I switched off. I don’t know why we didn’t bring a stroller. If we had gone out towards Alan’s sister’s, like usual, that would have been ok, carrying Nathan. But we went out by my friend, Veronica’s, and the houses were further apart and oooh my arms are sore today.

So, what do I want to remember for next year? Well, I need to start sewing Halloween costumes earlier (though I’m sure I say that every year) or I need to just buy them. Also, though I’m really really hoping Nathan will walk around on his own next Halloween so we shouldn’t need a stroller. But just in case…remember to bring a darn stroller. Third, take more pictures even if your arms are tired and it’s super scary dark. Because when I don’t take pictures I always think, oh I wish I had taken more. When I do take a lot of pictures I never think, oh I wish I had taken less. I really need to learn that lesson and take more pictures. And that was our all things Halloween this year.

Isabelle Saves the Day

I’m having a hard time with the last Hawaii post. I have all the pictures together but there are a couple of unedited videos I haven’t touched. Every single time I sit down to post it, I remember those videos, so posting does not happen.

So…I’ll talk about something else. Yesterday was my friend, Olinda’s, birthday. Last Tuesday, she came upon a picture of a crocheted unicorn and asked me to make it for her. The problem: we were going to visit her on Saturday and I don’t crochet that fast.

I crocheted and crocheted and my hand hurts, I hooked so much. But I couldn’t finish it on time. And all the time I was working on it, Isabelle was asking to make something for Olinda too. I let her help me stuff parts of the unicorn and choose the colors so she would feel included but that wasn’t enough. She REALLY wanted to make something.

I got her started but she was struggling on her own so I told her that I would help her when I was done with the unicorn. When we woke up Saturday I still had a body to crochet, the limbs to add, and all the finishing touches. It wasn’t going to be done before we left.

So, I helped Isabelle finish her gift. Days before I had told her to draw out what she wanted to sew.
Softie concept

Isabelle chose her own fabric and I showed her how to sew it up. It was a bit challenging since she was eye patching and her vision was reduced. On Saturday morning she had an arm and part of the body sewed. So, with a little help from me, we finished her softie.

Isabelle's softie

I think it looks great! I was thinking of embroidering the mouth on but we didn’t have time. Isabelle just drew it on.
Isabelle's softie next to the concept

Then she made a card, decorated a bag, and packaged the softie all up along with her original concept drawing.
Isabelle's softie, packaged up and ready for gifting

Isabelle totally saved the day. Without her present we would have visited Olinda empty handed. Well, not really empty handed. Pieced unicorn handed. I brought the unicorn bits and yarn along hoping to finish it while we were visiting.

And finish it I DID. The only hiccup was: I forgot to bring stuffing. The little unicorn was stuffed with cotton balls from Olinda. COTTON BALLS.

Hermione unicorn

Hermione unicorn

Hermione unicorn

Isabelle loves this unicorn. She wants me to make her one. I do not love this pattern. I found the attaching of the limbs an interesting technique but very fiddly. Maybe Isabelle will go for Ana Paula‘s unicorn. Now she writes a good pattern.

Project Notes
Pattern: Hermione the Unicorn by Dawn Toussaint
Yarn: Unknown wrapperless yarn
Stuffing: cottonballs!!

Vogue 1094

Yesterday was the color grass/forest green for Shutter Sisters color month. I knew exactly what I wanted to get a picture of, something I’ve been meaning to take a picture of for weeks. And FINALLY, here it is. The dress I made, Vogue 1094.

Forest green for Thursday

Next time, I should really take the picture when I originally wear it. That would make soooooo much more sense. Then there won’t be any procrastinating since I feel awkward whenever I take pictures of myself in clothes. Ok, that came out weird. I don’t usually pose nude. Wait. That’s not right either. I DON’T POSE NUDE AT ALL. What I mean to say is, when I’m taking pictures of myself, wearing something I’ve made, I feel all gawky and unnatural. And, yes, I do know that I take pictures of myself in our family photos but for some reason that’s different.

Neckline close-up

But anyhoo, let’s move beyond my strange hangups and talk about the dress, shall we? I cut out size 20, that’s based on my bust measurements. But recently I read about pattern ease and the finished measurements of a garment. Well, with Vogue 1094, the finished measurements for the size 20 would have been too big for me. So, I went with an 18 instead and it worked out just right.

Just right except I didn’t finish it properly. I almost finished it the way I wanted but I ran out of time. First, I forgot that I wanted to put pockets in it. I realized after I serged up the seam allowances. Ooops.

Then I didn’t add the grosgrain belt piece inside. I decided not to line the dress and you could see the belt so I left the belt out.

And, also, I didn’t do the hem quite right. I serged the hem and then folded it once and just basted it up like that, not properly sewing it down. I was so tired towards the end, that I didn’t even realize, I did the hem wrong. I was supposed to use horsehair in the hem. I realized I missed the horsehair step when I saw Nathan running around with it.

At this point I don’t even know if adding the horsehair is an option because I cut the dress length. And cut it by A LOT.

Side zipper

I’m not that tall. I’m about 5’4″. Like the last time I sewed myself a dress, I bought the correct width of fabric yet when it was time to cut it out, the fabric wasn’t wide enough for the amount I bought. So, I left out about 3″ on the hem. Then when I tried the dress on, it still felt too long to me. It was down to about my shins and I thought it wasn’t as flattering, so, I took off more to bring it up to my knees, another good 4 inches. Am I really that short that I took away like 8″ from the original hem?!

At the wedding, I was wondering if the hem was turning up and everyone could see the odd serging. But am I going to fix it? I think if I try to put the horsehair in now, the dress is going to be too short. So… so… yeah… there it sits. Basted hem. Don’t think I’ll ever finish it properly.

Speaking of the wedding, the kids looked so cute! You already saw them all fancied up.

Thought the live music was AWESOME


But you didn’t see Alan. He looked so handsome in his suit.


Too bad I didn’t get more pictures of Nathan in his little vest and clip on tie. He didn’t wear it for very long.

Photobooth pic

He probably was sick of it since he wore it the entire ride up to the wedding and then through the wedding.

In the kids favor bag

We weren’t planning on getting him dressed until we arrived at the church but when he saw Isabelle all dressed up he wanted to dress up too.


Mr. Sleepy with daddy

Hey I forgot I’m missing a photo from color month. This was lime green.

Lime green on Wednesday

And now…and now….

I’m so glad I mostly finished the dress. I borrowed a dress from my friend, Bridgette, just in case I didn’t finish in time. It’s funny, I liked the dress I borrowed, but Alan said it looked like a robe. He has this thing with wrap dresses looking like robes to him.

He much preferred the dress I made even though I did wear it with a petticoat. I thought the dress looked a lot better with the petticoat. He doesn’t get why I like that style. But I do. I like the 50s silhouette. It’s curvy and feminine. That’s such a weird thing for me. Do you know I used to wear jeans and t-shirts and basically borrowed clothes from Alan at one point? Now my mom uniform is skirts and dresses.

Can you tell I’m totally stalling?

Well I am.

I told you I had weird hangup about taking pictures of myself in clothes. And this is why I’m babbling. Final picture. Me in my dress.

Vogue 1094

Have a good weekend everyone.

Project Notes
Pattern: Vogue 1094
Fabric: Slippery shiny I can’t remember what

We Should Really Stop Throwing the Baby

I made a poncho cape for Nathan.

My little Batman

It took me two years to make. TWO YEARS?! Yep…sort of. I started this cape for Isabelle a little after this post. But something went wrong. It was too short because it turns out I didn’t buy enough fabric. I meant to go and buy some more to start over but I never did.

Then a few weeks ago Nathan wanted to put on his little cape, the cape that only goes with one particular shirt, the Batman shirt that was IN the dirty pile. So, I decided it was high time I made him his own cape. I went digging around in my stash and the only black fabric was this old unfinished cape. And it worked just right. It wasn’t too short for Nathan.

I still didn’t have enough fabric for the collar though. So, I dug out and cut up an old tank top. It’s not really my best sewing but it works. I never got around to putting on the Batman logo but Nathan loves it. Given a choice between his old velcro onto the shirt cape vs this poncho cape, he’ll choose the poncho.

Go Batman! Go!


Look at him fly.
Fly little guy
Oh wait. Batman doesn’t fly like Superman! I really wish I had remembered that before we started throwing Nathan around to get pictures.

It’s hard. He’s heavy. Trying to aim him for the mattress every time was tough. We might have missed a couple of times. But it’s ok. He has a hard head.

Just kidding. It was like when we “threw” Isabelle. It was photoshopped. You can rollover the pictures to see the originals. But seriously, I wish I had remembered that Batman doesn’t fly like Superman before I started photoshopping. Photoshopping takes time.

I only planned to do one flying picture, the second one. But, like usual, I wasn’t really planning ahead. I decided to take pictures on a whim. I didn’t use a tripod which would have helped. And of course Nathan would have a shirt with a logo on it that made it harder to photoshop. I worked up to a certain point then gave up and did the other picture. But when I was done I thought I’d go ahead and share both of them since I spent so much darn time on it.

Ok. Enough blathering. Have a super weekend! Super! Get it?! I’m a goober. :)

Sewing for Halloween

Alice in Wonderland dress
For Halloween I sewed Isabelle’s Alice in Wonderland costume. I didn’t plan very well this year. I figured Nathan was too young to want a costume or to really go trick or treating. I was right about one thing, the trick or treating part. But I was wrong about wanting the costume part.

I found that out quite quickly when I was measuring Isabelle for her costume. As I was measuring, Nathan wanted to be measured too. Every single time I tied some string around Isabelle to measure her, he wanted a piece of string tied in exactly the same way. And if Isabelle tried on the muslin, Nathan wanted to try it on too. Oops. I felt so bad. I should have started costumes early and made one for him too. But there was no time. We ended up going to Target to buy his costume.

There was no way I could have made his costume too. That is because, this year, I thought I wouldn’t go with a pattern for Isabelle’s. I wanted to try making it straight out of my head. I knew I could do the bottom, I was planning on a circle skirt, but the bodice would be the challenge.

I have a drafting book for sewing but have come to the conclusion I suck at drafting (or caved under the pressure of getting it done by Halloween). My front piece looked ok but the back piece looked crazy. So, me making a bodice went out the window. I went and dug up a bodice pattern from one of my Japanese craft books. I used the sleeves from there as well made up a collar and I then added a circle skirt. And I winged it with the apron.

I think it looks a little large but it isn’t all bad. My favorite part of the dress is the underskirt thingy, that’s what I’m calling it. I love how the trim peeks out on it. That trim costs just about as much as Nathan’s costume.

I was hoping the dress would poof out more. But it’s only a little poofy. I even made a petticoat trying to give it some more poof. But my material choice didn’t cut it. I didn’t want to use crinoline or tulle because of the scratchiness factor. I used yards and yards of muslin instead and well…no poof.

But look how happy she is.

Alice in Wonderland and knight

She said, “thank you mommy! I love you!” and gave me a big hug. :)