a while back, my buddy Anna from Noodlehead asked if i’d help give her newly revamped Sidekick Tote pattern a once-over as she prepared to re-release it, which she did in late November. i’d sewn the Sidekick Tote before and remembered really enjoying it, so i was game. i didn’t remember the pattern having any stumbling blocks the first time, but PDF patterns have come a long way in the last couple years, so I get why Anna wanted to spruce it up a bit. the diagrams are a little clearer, the cutting instructions and sewing directions are a little easier to follow, that sort of thing. this time i thought it’d be fun to try a bit of hand painting on the fabric, inspired by another Portland crafty lady, Anna Joyce. i’ve admired Anna’s work at various craft shows and boutiques around town. i also follow her on instagram, where i noticed lately she’s been doing a lot of simple but graphic handpainting/stamping onto fabric, and it’s the type where i go “heeeeey i think i could do that!” Continue reading
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…
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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. ;)
i referenced Dana’s free pattern and tutorial for the skirt, but bound the hem with chambray bias tape to finish it.
for another friend’s baby shower, i bought a trio of classic board books, and made a couple bibs using my free bib pattern.
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.
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?