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thank you foldover clutch

1 Oct

before i show you the sewing, i’ve got a little story.

it’s no secret that my little gal has a strong affinity for elephants.  she has since she was about a year old, and the obsession continues to this day.  it’s pretty cute to have this feminine little girl that loooooves giant gray mammals with huge noses, but hey she loves what she loves!

well.  she has about 20 stuffed elephants, but her favorite has always been Frankie, and E is very attached to her.  Frankie is Real in the Velveteen Rabbit sense – loved to the point of shabbiness.  one day, E dropped Frankie somewhere between summer camp and home, and we didn’t realize she was missing until bedtime.  her absence caused a panic.  E has a huge heart and tons of empathy for everyone and everything, and she was so certain that Frankie would be very sad and lonely without her.  of course, E was very sad and lonely without Frankie.  my husband and i were worried that someone would see a “ratty old stuffie” on the sidewalk and would just toss her in the trash.  it broke our hearts, and after making the walk himself to look for her, my husband even found and ordered the same type of elephant on ebay (though of course Frankie could never be replaced).

fortunately, this story has a happy ending.  in fact, E happened to drop her in front of pretty much the best house possible.  Monica, a mom of three little boys that could see how loved Frankie was, noticed her on the sidewalk and kept her safe that night.  my husband and i actually went to high school with Monica and say hi when we see each other in the neighborhood, and her son was even attending the same summer camp!  it was a wonderful coincidence that the next day at camp (after I had searched the place top to bottom) she came over and said “is anyone here missing a stuffed elephant?”  i freaked out, hugged her, and beelined straight to her house, where she had kept Frankie dry (yet visible!) during the overnight rain…

valley of azure clutch

i mean!  oh man!  it made me cry!  E was thrilled to be reunited with her special stuffie, of course, and thought it was funny that Frankie “spent the night in a tree.”  i had to make Monica a thank you gift.  wouldn’t you??  an especially good deed deserves a handmade thank you, for sure.

valley of azure clutch

i made a foldover clutch from my tutorial (with two tone variation tutorial by Cherie).   Continue reading

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stitched together for rachel: a little star

28 Jul

one of my favorite kids clothes bloggers, Rachel from Stitched Together, is having a baby any day now!  it will be her fifth child (!) and the new little gal definitely deserves some special gifts and attention.

star mobile ornament

another sweet blogger, Victoria, had the idea to make Rachel a collaborative baby mobile and contacted some of Rachel’s bloggy friends to secretly plot and sew.  we set a color theme of navy, gold, mint, white, and peach – all used in a favorite fabric line, ARIZONA by April Rhodes.  i love the colors in April’s line, so this was great news to me!

Continue reading

gold polka dot foldover clutch

18 Jun

i made this little purse for my sister for mother’s day…but i’m just getting around to blogging it now.  meh, happens sometimes.  come to think of it, i still need to blog E’s 6th birthday party too…May was super busy and June hasn’t been any slower so far!

gold polka dot foldover clutch

it’s a little foldover clutch i made using my own tutorial (which i had to refer back to a couple times, haha).  i made it out of a scrap of natural cotton duck from the portside duffle i made my brother-in-law for Christmas.  it’s nice and sturdy, i really like sewing with that stuff.  i got it in the outdoor fabric section at JoAnn. Continue reading

handmade + storebought baby gifts

25 Apr

i’ve gotten in the habit lately (ohhhhh in the last two months or so) of combining a little handmade thing with a store-bought gift for new babies.  i love giving handmade gifts and i’d love to sew more elaborate things for these special little ones, but i’m a bit short on time these days and everything always feels last minute.

here are a couple examples.

baby gifts

for good friends that just had a baby girl, an outfit i would have loved for Em to wear as a baby – a lap shirt locally made by a little lark, some babylegs, and a baby circle skirt!  mostly neutral colors with feminine touches, and just a smidge of coral pink.  ;)

baby gifts

i referenced Dana’s free pattern and tutorial for the skirt, but bound the hem with chambray bias tape to finish it.

baby gifts

for another friend’s baby shower, i bought a trio of classic board books, and made a couple bibs using my free bib pattern.

baby gifts

she doesn’t know if she’s having a boy or a girl, so i kept them as gender-neutral as possible (so hard to do – everything always ends up looking either boyish or girlish to me).  i backed both bibs in gray ikea towel.  the ones i made when O was a baby worked well for the baby spit up phase and still fit him now for popsicles and such, so i know they’ll last a while.

baby gifts

i added a cloud appliqué to the top one.  i love adding appliqué to bibs, and i always forget how quick and fun these bibs are to make.  great scrap buster!  these fabrics are from my hospital bag lining and Em’s “karate dress” as she calls it.

do you have a quick go-to baby gift?



typewriter heart pillow

22 Apr

my little niece turned 3 recently, and a couple weeks before her birthday my sis asked me if i could sew a quilted pillow to go in her “big girl room.”  she gave me a sham from the bedding set she had ordered to coordinate with, and set me loose design-wise.  her new bedding was inspired by the balloon dress i made that she seems to be wearing every time i see her lately – it sure does make you feel good to sew a gift that is so well loved, ya know?  i was actually going to sew her another dress until this request came in.  ;)

melody miller typewriter pillow

i decided to make a simple log cabin pillow showcasing some special fabric.  i wanted it to have enough contrast to stand out against the pink/cream balloon bedding my sis had bought (see below) didn’t want it to be too serious – it had to have whimsy!  and i happen to think typewriters typing hearts with gold polka dots is pretty darn whimsical.

melody miller typewriter pillow

my friend Kelly (nope, Kelly says not her – probably Jess but she can’t remember) had given me a fat quarter of this super special Ruby Star Rising typewriter fabric (Melody Miller for Kokka – couldn’t find the typewriters online but Superbuzzy and Miss Matatabi have some Ruby Star Rising left).  it was so generous of her – i’d never owned any of Melody’s fabric but always admired it, and i’m ridiculously excited about cotton + steel, too!

melody miller typewriter pillow

it pained me to do it, but i trimmed off a few inches on each side, then added a 1” border of dear stella confetti sparkle and then a 1.5” border of kona charcoal.

melody miller typewriter pillow

i backed it with more confetti sparkle and a scrap of kokka polka dots from this coat.  i ended up super happy with this fabric combination…it just made me smile when i brought it all together.

melody miller typewriter pillow

the quilting is a diagonal grid 2” apart – consulted Jess for quilting advice and whether to add the second boarder, sometimes I have trouble with quilting vision and she has it in spades.  it’s hard to show in photos but i love how the darker border splits up the polka dots and makes the front look like it’s floating in a frame.

melody miller typewriter pillow

i also made a little raw edged heart pillow with scraps from Em’s hide-and-seek dress.  it’s got a little Liberty pocket for secret treasures (or maybe baby teeth, when it’s time for her to lose some!).  Em stuffed it for me!

melody miller typewriter pillow

i felt like it needed a special (wonkily) hand stitched touch, so i stitched around the bottom right typewriter heart with embroidery thread.  the pillow closes with an invisible zipper and there’s a down pillow inside (from IKEA).

melody miller typewriter pillow

the little gal seemed to be a fan and it went really well in her room!  these photos were actually taken in Em’s new room (she switched with the boys before C’s birth but i can’t do a proper tour for ya until i sew her some curtains, sorry).

quilted pillows are such a fun gift to give!


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