Pumpkin Costume

November 20, 2012

I know Halloween has been over for weeks now, but I wanted to show you what I made for the Baby Girl this year (pumpkins are still seasonal, right?).  The boys went as Spiderman and Batman this year.  I made a few cool leather masks for them to wear (based on these here, but with leather of course), sewed a quick cape, and called it a day.  Batman already had a shirt and wore some black pjs for the rest of his costume.  Easy.  Spiderman wore a crazy-tight (one size too small) store-bought polyester suit a friend lent us.  Of course he loves it and wears it everyday.  I'm over it now, but it took me a bit to embrace the tackiness that is still somehow very adorable on a cute three year old boy.

Anyways, back to the baby.  I had an idea for a rainbow (which is funny because I've seen a few pop up online after I started thinking about it), but I didn't have everything I needed at home the night I came up with the idea and wanted to start work on it.  While digging through my fabric, I found the softest orange cashmere turtleneck that politely asked me to be made into a sweet little pumpkin costume for the Baby Girl.  Of course I said yes! 

I decided to go with a pretty straight forward pumpkin hat.  I used the turtleneck portion of the sweater to make the hat.  The stem is a green felted sweater rolled up and sewn into the top.  I made the leaves by sewing two layers of the same green sweater together, stitching it to look like the veins in the leaf.  I kind of love how the leaves turned out.
 After I finished adding everything to the top, and sewing a little strap to the bottom edge to keep it from falling off, I wasn't completely happy with the overall shape of the hat.  I decided to sew some elastic thread into the back edge to tighten things up a bit.  To give the front some shape, I folded the bottom edge under until it formed a sort of soft brim and hand stitched it into place.  I like it at first, but I really loved it after I made these two little changes.

Instead of making a puffy pumpkin body, I decided to just sew a simple sweater dress hoping that she will get a bit more use out if it this winter.  It is cashmere after all, so it is warm and cuddly.


This sweater wasn't felted and I was really worried that it would stretch a ton as I worked with it.  To combat this I sewed pretty much all the seams with a piece of scrap copy paper underneath to make sure my feed dogs fed it through properly.  It worked like a charm!

The dress came out exactly as I imagined it.


My favourite little detail is the sweet little vintage orange button.  I was too scared to try and make a button hole, so I sewed the button to the top and added a slide closure to the inside.  

Brown Top for KCWC

November 17, 2012

I realize this is at least two months late, but I really did a tiny bit of sewing for KCWC this fall.  The day before we arranged to do our annual cheapskate family photos, I decided to whip something up for Baby Girl.  A few weeks earlier I hemmed a dress for a short friend, and kept the scraps from the brown gored skirt.  The fabric was nice and I thought it would be perfect for a quick skirt or top for the little one since the bottom edge was already hemmed. 

I ended up making a little swing top (could be a short dress with some bloomers for the summer).  It was not quick, mind you, but you know how these things go.  I always wildly underestimate the amount of time it will take me to sew anything.   

I made the pattern by tracing a jumper in her size, and drafting the puffed sleeves based on the arm cycle and guessed at how puffy I wanted them to be.  My first round with the sleeves wasn't puffy enough so I added another piece under the arms.  As usual, I started this at night after all the kids were asleep.  This has many advantages, but this time I was sad I couldn't try in on her earlier on.  Somehow it came out a little too tight across the chest.  I had to do some tricky maneuvering with the back, but eventually I got it to fit sometime the next morning (not too long before we left to take pictures). 


So yeah, not quick.  But cute, right?  I really love the vintage cream button in the back, and the crochet lace trim (also vintage) on the front. 


I really love this lace.  I think it's so sweet.  In addition, I inherited it from my grandmother (Mary Frances of course) when she passed away, and that makes me love using it even more.  It's such a good feeling using bits of trim or fabric that she collected and saved over the years.  I wonder what she had in mind when she bought this particular lace?  I think she would be please to see it on her great granddaughter.      

Rag Rug, or It's Okay to Give Up

November 8, 2012

I started working on this rag rug back at the beginning of September.  I had a lot of pink fabric, and thought that a cute little rag rug would be the perfect thing for my girls' room. 

It started out as an easy project.  I cut three, three inch strips - I think I had nine feet of fabric.  I did that again, sewed the two strips together, and had three really long fabric strips.  These I braided together; it was pretty easy up until this point.  From here, I was supposed to hand stitch the rug together.  It turned out to be trickier than I imagined.  The fabric was too thick!  I was breaking thread, bending the needle, breaking the needle, and really hurting my fingers.  Eventually, I gave up and put the project away.  A few days later, I had a revelation:  I could hot glue the rest of the rug together!  When faced with the idea of never finishing the project, or just doing a half-job, I thought that I should at least finish it!

Okay, if you look really close, you can see a bit of hot glue bursting out.

And here we are!  A hot glued rag rug.  At least it is finished.  It looks cute, and it is a fun place for my girls to sit in their bedroom.  Will it hold up?  Who knows?  But at least it isn't sitting in the corner of my sewing room, barely completed, and never to be looked at again.  I gave up, and it's okay.

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