Thursday, April 26, 2007


I finished a bunch of slippers yesterday. This photo just shows the ones in Thing 1's size. I made other sizes in both shades of blue, but really, you get the idea with these. I had some trouble with the lighter blue - my zigzag stitches kept skipping. Since the others did fine (both before and after the light blue troubles), I think that it's that particular fleece and not my machine. Fortunately, that fleece is now used up! The grey ones in the lower right are made from a sweatshirt fleece I bought on eBay about two years ago. (I got either ten or fifteen yards - don't remember which. This is great stuff!) I should have made those a size bigger, as the sweatshirt fleece doesn't have as much stretch. They fit Thing 1 great when they're on, but they are really hard to get on! We're going out of town for a few days, but I'll cut out the next size when we get back. He loves those, as they match a sweatsuit I made him a few months ago.
I've thought about putting gripper fabric on the soles but haven't gotten any yet. Our house is almost entirely carpeted, so traction isn't too much of an issue here. And since Thing 1 wears these like socks, I'd hate to add any bulk and make it difficult for him to get shoes on over them. But I think that it would work just fine to add gripper fabric, or even paint the soles with fabric paint. I love the ease of sewing this pattern - there are three pattern pieces, and it literally takes me about twenty minutes to sew a pair. The pattern does not recommend using a serger, as the serged seam can feel irritating to the skin, but I serge them anyway for Thing 1. I tried it on his first pair, and he isn't bothered by it at all. For mine, however, I just use a narrow zigzag stitch.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More Christmas in April!

I think that these turned out rather nice! The top picture shows the large ornaments, and the bottom one shows the mini ornaments. We had a lot of fun painting these, and we plan to do more the next time my friend comes to visit. (The mini ornament that is second from the right in the bottom row was Thing 1's doing - but the color combination really grew on me.) The tutorial at StacySews is very good, and I would only offer a couple of additions to it. The first is that after cleaning out the ornaments with vinegar, you can make sure that they are dry by putting them in the oven at 180 or 200 F for about 10-15 minutes before getting ready to paint. (Even after I've had them draining for a day or two, I sometimes still have a drop or so of moisture inside. This takes care of it.) The second can be inferred by the photos - use muffin tins to hold your ornaments! My mini ornaments fit great in mini muffin tins, and the large one fit great in the regular muffin tins. I set them in these to bake out the moisture as mentioned above and also when I think they're about done drying after painting (I'll leave them like this for a few days before I put the tops back on).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Christmas in April?

I have a friend in town for the weekend, and we are having fun painting Christmas ornaments. (Talk about ridiculously early, I know!) I was inspired around New Year's by StacySews, and I made these at the time:

This weekend we're having fun experimenting with more non-traditional colors, like shades of blue, purple, and yellow. But we're still having fun! And we'll display these proudly on our trees. Thing 1 enjoys helping, too - he chooses colors for each ornament and provides the proper "oohs" and "ahhs" - always important, right?

I'll post pictures of the new ornaments when they're dry.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I haven't finished any sewing projects in the last week, and I really haven't even sewn much in that time, either. I have, however, been working on cutting out a new pile of stuff. Somehow, I get motivated to sew much more if I have at least a few things cut out to sew. Thing 1 needs new play and dress pants for the summer, since he's grown and all of last summer's pants are getting short. They're okay for now, but I'm sure they won't be by the end of summer! I'm using the side-seam pants pattern from Kwik Sew's Sewing for Toddlers book, but I'm adding slash pockets a la RTW jeans. (I literally took a RTW pair of pants and laid them beside the cutting table to figure out how to do this.) I figure that I'll sew up the first pair and see how things turn out, then cut out a bunch and start an assembly line.

I've also been cutting out fleece slippers. Thing 1 loves to wear his slippers as socks (he can even wear them with shoes!), so when I saw remnants on clearance for an additional 50% off (or was it 75?) a few weeks ago at Joanns, I snatched some up. I use the Green Pepper Polar Slippers pattern, and it works great for him. I've already made him six pairs, but like I said, he wears them as socks, so....he needs more.

And Thing 2 is outgrowing his solid-colored knit pants, so I'm testing the next size in the Kwik Sew Sewing for Babies book. Have you ever noticed that it's easy to find RTW knit pants in pastel colors or in prints, but hard to find in primary or dark colors? I realized recently that I've never seen RTW knit baby pants in black, and I've only rarely seen red or green. Is it just me? Anyway, I plan to rectify this. :)

Hopefully I'll have finished projects to show soon!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Knit PJs

We visited DH's family for Easter, and they like to do gifts in the Easter basket. Last year, I was caught unprepared and made a last minute trip to the store for items for Thing 1's Easter basket. This year, I was ready in advance! Thing 1 loves trains, and I had a remnant of knit train fabric in my stash.
I used the Kwik Sew Sewing for Toddlers book and made a pair of PJs for him. I wanted to make a long-sleeved shirt to go with the long pants but was hampered by fabric size. It's a fairly thin knit, so probably better for summer use, anyway. I made a straight size T4 in both and used a cotton lycra ribbing for the cuffs and neckband. I love the patterns in this book and have had great success with them before. These turned out great, and Thing 1 loved them. I plan to make more knit PJs like this soon, since they turned out so well.

Simplicity 3935

I finished two PJ shirts for Thing 1. These coordinate with two of the PJ pants I finished last week. I plan to make another (in green) for the third pair of pants. I used Simplicity pattern 3935, which is for family PJs - unisex PJ tops and pants in child, teen, and adult sizes. I like the way the pattern turned out, but I wish that the child sizes were smaller. I used size XS (4-5), but these are still pretty big on my just-about four-year-old. On the plus side, they are wearable, and they should last quite awhile! And Thing 1 loves them!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Thing 1 needs some new PJs. The ones I made him two years ago are starting to look a bit short, and he's looking kind of cramped in his sleepers, too. So I decided to go through the stash and cut out some new stuff. I found two pieces of flannel that were big enough for new PJ pants, and I also bought another print at Joanns yesterday for a third pair. (I had zero intentions of getting more flannel for pants, but I was surprised to see that Snuggle flannel prints were on sale for $2/yard, and the alien print was so cute that I barely resisted buying enough for ME!)

A few hours later, voila!

These are made from Butterick 6887, which is now out of print (but still available at the moment on eBay). It's a father-son PJ pattern, with both long- and short-sleeved options. This is the second smallest size in the boys' pattern. My only change was to make the fly a real fly, as I didn't see the point of using as much effort to make a mock fly. I used the directions from Simplicity 9958 for the fly.

Next up, coordinating PJ shirts, from Simplicity 3935!

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I kept saying that I had no interest in putting myself out there on a blog, but here I am....We'll see how much I actually wind up doing with this in the end.