PJ Sewalong: Mission Accomplished!

The task: Sew PJ’s during the holiday weekend.
Personal goal: Sew 11(!) bottoms in the given time period.

11 pair all in a row

The results: 9 (and a half if you count hubby’s almost finished ones) completed!!

My creation

Two each for the kiddies and one baggy pair of Seuss-y shorts for me ;o)

Hubby’s came out HUGE and my pink pair may be a dud. I couldn’t be bothered with finishing them last night, but I might work on them both soon. I don’t know why I cut them all so generously. The last ones I made for the kids were a little slim, so I wanted more room, but I may have gone too far to the other side with these. At the very least, they should fit for a while. If they don’t bust the knees out first.

Seuss Style
Seuss Style
I have recently introduced them to all of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories. I have a very special connection to these stories, especially The Grinch. They are connected to some of my happiest childhood memories. I am so glad to be making new ones that include them.

This fabric costs more than I usually spend on fabric and I needed a lot. I used most of it due to the generous cutting, but I have enough scraps left over to make some appliques for t-shirts to wear with these. And for other cool patchwork projects.

Boys v. Girls
Boys V. Girls
The boys’ match their dad’s. They were supposed to be shorts, but again the super generous cut made them more like slightly too short pants. I expect these to shrink a little with each wash like the last flannel ones I made them all, so in the end they will be exactly as I want them.

The girls’ pants are made from some type of poly blend that it totally unsuitable for pj’s, but I had bought some in another color to make myself a shirt and Missy (the one who is all legs here) asked if she could have pants from that fabric, too. It was only $1.95 a yard so of course I said sure. I don’t expect them to last very long, but for that price they don’t have too.

These make a nice end to a weekend full of food, homemade deserts, movies galore (introduced them to Beauty and the Beast my favorite old school Disney movie) and lots of snuggles ;o)

Picture Day Tie for my Handsome Boy

Guilt no more!!
I was feeling bad about the fact that Missy had something handmade to wear for picture day and Mal didn’t.

Pattern: Purl Bee Little Boy’s Tie
Fabric: Keri Beyer for In The Beginning Fabrics, Rocket Scientist

Picture Day Tie

1. Picture Day Tie, Initial, 2. Picture Day Tie, 3. Picture Day Tie Rocket, 4. Picture Day Tie, join

It’s so neat!!! Look at the back!

My creation

I am super excited about this tie! I didn’t cut any of the pieces on the bias like the pattern stated and there is A LOT of hand sewing. Like 95% of this was hand-sewn. But it was sort of therapeutic. The pressing instructions make it so that all the pieces line up so effortlessly that it’s a gem to sew up. I’ve had this fabric for over a year and I am glad to have finally used it for something. There is enough left for a matching tie for his brother someday. He’s a bow tie sort of boy, I think.


This year it would be incredibly easy to focus on the negative. Things in my personal life, things beyond my control, have some seriously bad spots. But many positives too.

My children, without question, are the most important thing in my life. My belief that parents should do all they can to protect their children has been tested this year. I have had to come to grips with the fact that I cannot protect them from everything. I have had to be okay with that. I have had to get over the fact that I cannot make all things better no matter how hard I try. It’s been a hard lesson to learn, but an important one for me and for them. They are invaluable and I am thankful for them.

My sister is my more than my sister. I already knew this but this year has bonded us even further, which I didn’t think was possible. She is like a daughter/sister/best friend/most honest critic all in one. She gave me a serious pep talk recently. One that I really needed. How did she know exactly what to say? She is me and I am her in so many ways. She is invaluable and I am thankful for her.

My husband is my best friend. He has been there for me in a big way this year. He is working as hard as I am to make all things better and probably having as hard a time as I am with accepting that that is not always possible. We are the same in many ways. Sensitive and stubborn. He is my compliment in so many ways that I think we forget all the ways that we are different sometimes. We are still learning one another and I think that’s the way it should be. He is invaluable and I am thankful for him.

I am thankful for more superficial and tangible things, too. The ability to support my hobbies. The pleasure that your thoughtful and kind comments gives me. Books to read. Songs to sing along to. My warm home. My Wii. My sewing machine. Mrs. Doonan. My brave (for me) haircut….

I’m basking in the glow that good food lovingly prepared gives you. Sweet deserts and tired children. A warm bed waiting and a movie to fall asleep to. It’s been a good day. It’s invaluable and I am thankful for it.

Picture Day Dress for my Missy

Picture Day Dress

1. Picture Day Dress Mermaid Hem, 2. Picture Day Dress Ruffle, 3. Picture Day Dress, 4. Picture Day Dress Neck Detail

Fabric: Stretch Cotton Poplin ($2.95 a yard) and Heather Ross, Medocino for specialness.
Pattern: None. Winged the top and sleeves from a raglan shirt that fit her well and the length and width from the only dress she has that still fits.  I still want to make her a little half slip to wear so it doesn’t cling to her stockings.

She friggin’ loves it!! I stayed up till about 4am working on this. Picture day isn’t until next Monday. The urge to work on it right away came from her totally unspoiled attitude towards what she was going to wear.

It hadn’t occurred to me that it has been a while since I bought her any special occasion clothes until I sent her to find something to wear to her class party tomorrow and she returned with the dress she wore the last two picture days. When I asked what she was going to wear for picture day, she didn’t ask for something new. She went in the room and tried to find something. I knew there was likely not much to choose from she has gown so much lately.

I started looking online and felt that nothing was quite right for the money, when I realized DUH, I CAN MAKE HER SOMETHING. I’m not so smart sometimes.

So I didn’t get her hopes up and then make a dud dress or lose momentum, I started right away and worked straight through. I wrapped it up and wrote her a little note and presented it to her this morning. She is beyond happy. And so am I.

Cowl Love

Thanks so much for all the SUPER Cowl love!! I really appreciate it ;o)
The love was felt over at BurdaStyle, too. My project was featured on the front page!!

I almost missed it since  BurdaStyle’s site was acting like a donkey and refused to load in Firefox. I logged in using Safari and there it was.

In other, knitting related, news I am totally obsessed with this.


Images from designer’s ravelry pattern page: http://stitchmana.com/pattern/spoilt-for-choice/

This is friggin’ awesome! I’m not usually into experimental shapes and designs, but this still seems practical AND stylish for some reason. Whatever it is, it’s worked its mojo on me and I have to have it.

I bought some yarn. I know it’s not fabric, which I have bought plenty of recently. (It was all dead cheap and further discounted with those lovely percentage off codes from my beloved fabric. com, but still it’s money spent.) The yarn is a lovely luxury also at a discount thanks to shopping Ravelry stash sales, $35 for 12. This is the first yarn I’ve purchased since making this sweater. It was also a Rav stash sale and the only other yarn purchase for the year. I have a stunning lack of finished knitting to show. Sewing has moved into the top spot, but knitting is still in my heart!


Fancy-ish Knits

I often spend a good portion of my day perusing sewing blogs. I always admire the beautiful work that I see and sometimes I covet the opportunities that these seamstresses have to wear such special and sophisticated garments.

Sometimes you’ve got to face facts. Even in your crafts. I am a stay at home mom at the moment. I will not likely have a need for a fancy dress even when I return to work. I am not generally the fancy dress type.

Sure I will indulge myself and make something for fun, a special occasion or skill building, but for the most part I will need fancy-ish casual clothes. And that’s okay. Those types of things provide plenty of room for learning, customization and bits of specialness. Case in point, these two tops I made today.

Lydia from BurdaStyle:
Basic White
1. Basic White, 2. Basic White, 3. Basic White

Fabric: Rayon Jersey blend
Pattern: BurdaStyle Lydia

This was the first time I used this pattern. I will definitely go down a size or two next time. The shoulders were too wide and I had fudge a bit to get them to fit. I didn’t want it tight, but there is a bit too much room in the armhole and chest area.

I attached the sleeves flat (thanks to this post at Eugenia’s blog) for the first time and I will never go back to the old way when using knits. It made it much easier to serge them on and as a result the inside is completely finished.

The pattern does not include the little cowl, but it’s easy enough to draft and add. I have so many more ideas for this basic little pattern.

And this one is my own creation. I call it the SUPER Cowl ;o)
1. SUPER Cowl, 2. SUPER Cowl, 3. SUPER Cowl’s super long sleeves, 4. SUPER Cowl

I wrote out the steps to this in case anyone is interested. They are a bit wordy so I think I will whack it into a pdf and add it to the tutorial page.

Things I Want to Remember

I used to do posts about things I’d like to remember about my children. I haven’t done one in a while. They have been a smorgasbord of funniness lately.


Asked me if when he was big like his dad if he could sleep in bed with us. I told him that when he was big he was very unlikely to want to sleep with his parents. He replied “Oh! I know, you can sleep on one side, dad can sleep on the other and I can sleep right in the middle!” like it was the perfect solution. I stopped trying to convince him after that.

Yesterday, his new sneakers arrived. He looked at the puma running on the box and said “Oh, they’re running shoes. That’s clever.” He is five years-old.

I have a teapot that I use when I make the kids tea with their breakfast. It was on their table and I asked them to be careful with it because my sister bought it for me and it was special. He looked at me and said “You have a sister?” I said “Duh, your auntie.” He said “Oh. I thought you were her sister” Priceless.


Son#2 (boy twin):

He walked up to me yesterday and said “Mom, am I four yet?” with his adorable pouty face. I said no not yet and he seemed like it was the end of the world. I asked if he was really looking forward to being four and he said “Yes!”

He loves Mr. Incredible and though he has never seen the movies or TV show, the Incredible Hulk. He has a Mr. Incredible action figure and an Incredible Hulk tshirt that I practically have to dislocate his shoulders to get on it’s so small. Somehow, he has combined the two guys in his mind and now refers to them both as Mr. Incredible Hulk on ocassion.


My oldest girl (nearly 10) seems to finally be coming out of her shell. I am so happy. She is moody like both of her parents but she’s having a much easier time with school (there had been some bullying incidents) and has fewer bouts of bossiness. Nothing makes her happier than standing next to me and pointing out how she is almost my size.

I have loved watching how her artistic skills have progressed.  She is still really enjoying her art classes and has starting receiving an allowance to buy some of the things that she likes. Although lately her love of all things Barbie has returned with a vengance and she mostly wants to spend on that. We have lots of discussions about the value of saving your money and spending it wisely. She has expressed an interest in sewing and has plans to design a skirt that we will make together.

Daughter#2 (girl twin):

This child is the most difficult to sum up. She is truly a little woman in a three year-old body. She has my husband contorted around her little finger. She loves to copy any dance she sees. She is often my singing partner when playing loud rock heavy music (lately Noisettes who we all LOVE). She is something of a master puzzle assembler.

She also like to try to sneak things out from under my nose, like the pencil sharpener that she is not allowed to use because she keeps spilling shavings all over the floor. She still really, really hates to have her hair combed and has so much of it that I’m not really all that thrilled to comb it either. She loves to watch cooking shows and to help me in the kitchen.


There are so many little moments of OMG this kid is crazy/silly/adorable/a pain/the love of my life/the reason I get up the morning/the reason I can’t wait for bedtime. Life’s a whirlwind.

Merpeople. Jacket. Hair. PiBoIdMo.

These merpeople are already headed to Australia!


I really wanted to work on something new for this, but a lack of fiberfill and the time to go and buy some coupled with the looming deadline and distance they had to travel made me take a shortcut (but write a long sentence). These guys have been unloved, stuck in the “hope-to-sell-on-etsy-one-day-please God” bag along with a lot of other stuff that I will be giving away soon. They are pre-school/infant friendly as they have no buttons or small parts to remove. They are special to me because I used my oldest daughter’s drawings to make them. I hope they make someone very happy!

This jacket makes me happy!

Bargains make me happy!

A designer (Ralph Lauren) find on the cheap from the friendly neighborhood thrift store. Seven bucks! I cannot tell you how difficult it is for me to find anything with long sleeves that is also fitted. I have a relatively small upper body, am small busted and have long skinny-ish arms. If the arms are long enough, the body is too large. If the body is just right, the sleeves are too short. This jacket is a happy combo of narrow body and appropriate sleeve length! I’m happy with it. In case it wasn’t obvious ;0)

My hair.
Oh, hai hair ;o)

Still growing. Still learning to care for it in this state. Still a little impatient for it to grow.

Lastly, I’ve kept up with my picture book ideas. I’ve got 2 or 3 really good ones. Two that are extreme crap. And a handful of so-so ones. Notice the conspicuous lack of sewing update, trench coat or otherwise. Since a sleeve sewing error I have been in a sewing wasteland. But I’m feeling motivated! Progress soon.


Today is the day! I started working on my first idea this morning. And keeping true to form, I started with a completely new one. One that came to me as I basked in the silence that comes from leaving your TV off.

I was looking forward to working on some of the ideas that I jotted down briefly over the past week (and prior) but I can pull one of those out on the days that my brain fizzles out instead of catching fire.

The only negative of this challenge is that I can’t (shouldn’t is probably a better word) share my daily idea with you. If you’re curious about my writing at all, there is a sample (a short script) here.

I’m going to get back into fleshing the story out. Then back to my coat.

Have a good time doing whatever it is you’ll be doing!