Friday, December 24

Christmas Eve Senses

All is calm, all is bright. Here I sit…

feeling the soft elephant taking shape in my hands…


hearing Handel’s Messiah and the crackling of the fire my dad built…

smelling the curry chicken we’ll be eating soon…

tasting the Christmas goodies I’m snacking on right now…

seeing my mom, husband, and kids building a sledding trail when I glance out the window (I think I’ll go join them once the potatoes are done!).


I love moments like this.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1

Wee Felt Friends

There was one more little piece of the Christmas gift for K & S each. What’s a pocket without something to go in it?


I got the idea after a friend sent me a link to a really cute fabric Memory Game.  And when I saw the blog’s header, how could I not click and see what other fabulous things it—Chez Beeper Bebe—had?


Beautiful stuff! Like these spelling bean bags (tutorial included) and these adorable little matchbox monsters

image  image
image  image

…which inspired to me to make some little flower-tummied alien sisters.


I didn’t have any matchboxes handy, but figured they’d tuck nicely into the skirt pockets, along with a little note telling a bit about them.


Working on these reminded me of the felt Christmas ornaments I’d unearthed and finally finished last year. And reminded me how much I do love to sew up and embroider little stuff. Now I want to make a little spaceship for the alien sisters!

But I think sleep will have to take precedence. And unpacking my Thanksgiving trip suitcase that’s been on my sofa since Sunday. And pretty much all the rest of that thing called “my life” that’s quite full right now. Too bad.

Sunday, November 28



Just as I was finishing up some tiered skirts to go with the patchwork applique shirts for S & K, I saw LiEr’s second post about pockets at Specifically, I saw all the lovely pockets on the tiered skirts she made and thought “Of course! Pockets! What child doesn’t love little pockets to stuff stuff into?!? Must add pockets!

So little S got two patch pockets trimmed with the leftover pink ruffles…


…and slightly older K got just one gathered patch pocket.


LiEr is in the midst of posting tutorials for just about every type of pocket you could think of, including one for a gathered patch. Have anything that needs some pockets? Hop on over if you need some direction.

And inspiration. Thanks, LiEr!

Sunday, November 21

Three Down…


…one to go.


Or two, if you take into account that I told Sophie back in April after making Lucy’s Three shirt, “Sure, I can make you a ‘5’ shirt” and was reminded yesterday by a certain someone that I haven’t done that yet. Oops. Poor shoeless cobbler’s children…

At least she and her sisters got some entertainment from the patchwork pieces before I started using them up.

  • Name of the Game: Patchwork Dominoes
  • Object: Connect all squares that are the same fabric; don’t let any non-similar fabric touch.


Fun fun for the whole puzzle-lovin’ family!

Wednesday, November 17

SEWING :: The Anna-phant, Part 2


I finished stuffing and stitching up my “practice” elephant for my niece last week. Unfortunately, he did not match what I had in my head.


So I tweaked the pattern and tried again. Number Two was shaping up—literally—to be much closer to what I wanted. (Yellow pattern piece made blue elephant; white piece made the green one.)


He’s got more of an actual head instead of being a ball with a trunk. I like that.


And much less bulbous overall than Number One. I like that too.


But he’s still got problems. On my paper pattern piece, the belly and legs are flat and level, but stuffing changes stuff. His belly is concave now. And that makes his legs point inward. I don’t like that.


So pattern pieces for Number Three are ready to go…


But instead of cutting into my third trial fabric, I got distracted by all the squares I’d cut out six months ago that might be turning into a Christmas gift or two.


So what do I do now? Finish a “welcome baby” gift that’s about four months late already? Or work on Christmas gifts, which I’d love to have done well before Dec 24 but who am I kidding? : )

Monday, November 15

Rapunzel’s Dress


How perfect is this:

I’m sitting around, wondering what I’m going to make a Rapunzel dress out of, not wanting to buy anything (because I’m cheap and I hate errands) but not having anything suitable in my stash.

My friend stops by, says “I need to get more suitable curtains for the sliding door in our kitchen; do you want my old ones?” and then pulls out yards and yards of a creamy, floaty, shimmery fabric. Yes!

So here is Rapunzel in her not-covered-by-a-tower dress. Or, because I wasn’t about to mess around making a bodice, in her already-had-it-in-the-closet shirt with a little puff sleeve added on, and a big puffy skirt made of my friend’s old curtains plus odds and ends.

The skirt – a full circle skirt – was very twirly. And very swishy too, thanks to the big puffy crinoline I cut off of the lining of my oldest’s flower girl dress to reuse here.


But the skirt was also very plain. Sophie wanted “that stuff that hangs down over the skirt” (explained while making large hand motions from her waist downward and outward). Lucky for her, I had a rectangle of pink sparkly fabric. And lucky for me, who has NO idea how to make a proper overskirt, my basting, gathering, sewing, and safety-pinning in place (see diagram below) worked well enough. Rapunzels-Dress-Overskirt

(The dashed lines are basting/sewing lines. The dimensions are only
included so you can get an idea of how large the rectangle was
compared to the skirt, in case you want to try this for yourself.)

Overskirt accomplished.


The rosette at the waist was made from the leftover circle cut out of the middle of the skirt piece. I guess I was in a drawing mood today:Rapunzels-Dress-Rosette

Then some ribbon at the waist (to cover bottom part of the rosette), some more at the end of the braid, and a bit more as a choker, and Rapunzel was ready (shown here during her Kindergarten Costume Parade, winding through every classroom of her school so the “big kids” could see all the costumes).


* * *

P.S. Here’s the whole crew on trick-or-treating night.


A little too late, I thought how cute it would’ve been to make some coordinating candy collectors, like what Pottery Barn often does. Rapunzel could have had a bucket decorated to look like a tower. The  Witch/Evil Hag Who Locked Rapunzel Up In The Tower could have had something resembling a head of lettuce (which is what Rapunzel’s dad stole from the Hag, resulting in Rapunzel’s incarceration). And the Mermaid – a fish perhaps? Or open clamshell?

Maybe next year… if the costumes are done earlier than two minutes before walking out to trick-or-treat.

Saturday, November 13

Rapunzel’s Tower

So two weeks ago, after the hair was done, I did start in on the tower.


OK, so that’s what it looked like after I photoshopped Paint-Shop-Proed on some brick lines and leaves. I’d planned to have Sophie help me draw them on for real. Unfortunately, it never got past this…


…because Sophie had a change of heart. After trying it on and seeming excited about it and picking out grey ribbon for the “suspenders” instead of the random burgundy I’d selected and then going to bed while I continued to work on it, she informed me the next morning that she didn’t want a tower after all.

Really? {JD, that’s for you! Ha ha!}

Apparently, my comment before we even started making the tower had finally sunk in: “Well, if you wear a tower, you won’t really need a whole dress – nobody will see the skirt part. But we’ll make your top look real fancy!”

To a 35-year-old, a tower is essential to a cool Rapunzel costume. But lose three decades? Then it’s all about the dress! What was I thinking?!?

Perhaps I’ll be Rapunzel next year – the tower folds up flat for storage.


Just might be a wee bit too short for me…

Wednesday, October 27

Rapunzel’s Hair


First part of Sophie’s costume is done. And it’s not even Halloween Day yet! Wait, not totally done – I still have to trim the bangs/pony/fringe and tack the braid in place. And decide if we’re cutting off the stuff that drags on the ground… or pinning it up?

Materials used:

  • 7 oz Red Heart Super Saver yarn, color: Cornmeal
  • old adult T-shirt

A few photos and quick comments of what I did…

Cut one sleeve off T-shirt. Running stitch, pulled tight and knotted, gathers the sleeve opening to make a crude cap.


For the bangs/fringe: Wrapped the hair, put tape on one edge, cut the other.


Sewed along center of tape.


Pulled off the tape and sewed the center of the bangs (where I just sewed) to the edge of the cap. Swept all the strands forward (so half of them are folded over the stitched seam).


For the long hair: Same as for the bangs, except a lot longer. I made the cardboard jagged at one end so there would be “layers” in the finished hair. Thought that would make a tapering braid, if I braided the whole thing. If I were to do it over, I would have probably made it all one length…


Scrunched the yarn at one edge together until it was about the width of the wig base from front to crown. Put packing tape on this edge.


Sewed down the middle again.


Sewed yarn to wig base. I’m wishing I had put the “part” off-center instead of smack down the middle. But then again, another year we can just add some tie dye and bell bottoms and have a flower child wig. : )


Poll was taken regarding “curly” or straight bangs. Straight won out, so under the iron it went.


Since the hair was only attached at the center top “part”, if it swung forward or back, the white cap was visible. If I’d wanted to spend more time and yarn on this (which I didn’t), I would have make some more hair to add under the hair already on here. Two or three rows, probably. But instead, to keep the hair where it belongs, I smoothed the hair down, put more tape (from one ear, around the back, to the other ear), pinned the taped hair to the cap (all while Sophie was wearing the wig), and then sewed over the tape and hair.

So the braid is not just for decoration; it also covers that second line of stitching.


Next on the list: the tower…


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