Saturday, December 31, 2011


I was browsing through magazines at Lowe's, while my husband was checking out, and I saw some framed silhouettes on the cover of one of them. Unfortunately, I can't remember which one now - oops! Anyway, I skimmed the article but didn't buy the magazine. Unlike most classical silhouettes, which are black on white, these were white silhouettes, backed with a bright blue and framed in white. I thought they looked really cool, and I decided I had to try it!

The article had discussed making the silhouettes and backgrounds from artist's foam, so I bought white artist's foam in 12x18 sheets from Hobby Lobby. The profile pictures I took of Things 1&2 were printed out as 8x10s, and I was able to cut both silhouettes from 1 sheet. When we decided roughly where we wanted to put the pictures, I went back to find burgundy foam for the backgrounds, but that didn't exist. It was all bright colors. So I found a mottled burgundy 12x12 scrapbook paper instead. I tried to find frames at HL, but I wanted white, and they didn't have any that I liked in an 11x14 size. Instead, I found these frames at WM.

Originally, we were going to have both silhouettes facing the same direction, but then my husband got the idea to have them face each other and put a smaller color photo of them in the middle. I love this one that I took at the City Museum earlier this fall. They look so happy, and the balls are so colorful - it was a no-brainer choice! I had that photo blown up to an 8x10 and then found the frame at WM again. We'll get these hung tonight, before we ring in the New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sewing for pets

My dog, as has been previously mentioned, is quite senior. And while I'm not into cutesy dog coats and such, she does get cold. After last winter, I vowed that if she made it to this winter, I'd make her a jacket. And, well, she's still here! So time for a jacket. I had picked up Simplicity 952o last spring sometime, as it was the only pattern I'd seen for larger dogs, and it had some good reviews on PatternReview. I wanted to make her view E, because it looked like it would adequately cover her butt and belly but didn't have a hood. It calls for 2 yards of fleece, but it is completely self-lined, so really, I got by with 1 yard of fleece for the outer and 1 yard for the lining. (My lining is plain black fleece.)

This was the perfect length for my dog! It is a bit snug across the back, though. I had made the lining first and tried it on her, and it seemed perfect. But once I added the outer shell, it seemed to pull at the sleeves. So next time, I'll add about an inch in width for the back. But I think that's about it. You can see that the front comes up to cover her chest, coming almost as high as her collar.

Because my dog wears a harness for walks, I ignored the instructions for creating a leash opening for the collar. (Though I skimmed those and thought they seemed like a good way to do it.) Instead, I put her harness on, put the coat on over it (as she'll be wearing it), and then felt for the D-ring of the harness and marked it on the coat. I stitched a large buttonhole in that place and cut a slit opening for the D-ring.

I used snaps instead of velcro to fasten the coat, as I don't like washing velcro with fleece, and this coat will undoubtedly be washed frequently. And I bound the edges with nylon-lycra instead of doing a turn and topstitched edge. It enabled me to have no raw edges on the jacket, and it gave her just a touch more length in the jacket.

I will definitely be making this again! One to wash and one to wear, right? And I'll probably make a single-layer version for wearing in the house - because we do keep it cool inside, and she does shiver sometimes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Thing 1 has outgrown most of his jammies, and even the ones that he can still wear are starting to look like waders on him. Not a good look! And also not so good for staying warm at night when your parents refuse to turn the heat above 65....though they have plenty of double-layer fleece blankets....but still....

Time to have a jammie sewing party! I decided to start with KS 3042 in flannel. The most recent jammie pants from this pattern were a size S, so I traced a size M and added an inch of length. I also traced the size M top in long sleeves but did not add length to that. I had this robot flannel that I purchased early last year. I intended to make him a set from the flannel, but unfortunately I didn't have quite enough. Instead, I pulled this yellow flannel out of stash to make the top. Thing 2 has plenty of jammies that fit, so I wasn't going to make him a pair. However, since I had plenty of both the robot and yellow flannels, I figured why not? He loves new jammies, especially if they match his brother's. So I made his in a size XS - no changes. These fit great, with room to grow! (Which is good, as I have a penguin flannel purchased on Black Friday this year to become jammies for Thing 1.)

I love making/giving the boys a special pair of jammies for Christmas, and I had purchased a Christmas ooga booga knit velour for this year. However, I needed to be certain of the sizing for Thing 1 especially! I have used KS 2275 for the pants and KS 2894 for the raglan shirt. So I made up a pair in a turtle camo waffle knit I purchased on clearance in early 2009. I realize that the waffle knit is bad about stretching in width and shrinking in length (as happened to these shark jammies), but I figured that this particular knit has been washed 3-4x so hopefully that won't be much of a problem. And, besides, at least I could get a good idea of the size on the first wearing, and then it's all fair game. So size M for the shirt and size 7 for the pants - one size up on shirt and two up on pants from the shark jammies - and there is definite growth room in both! Oh, and I realize the ribbing doesn't really match, but it was the best I could do, unless I went with black, and I just wanted to keep it totally bright and cheerful.

And then the Christmas jammies! Thing 1 has fallen in love with the ooga booga fabric and has 2 shirts made from other colorways (grey/red/black and rainbow), and Thing 2 likes them, though I haven't yet made him a shirt from them. So I knew these would be a hit! I bought the fabric from the Sew It Seams coop (formerly This-End-Up) in both interlock (intended for shirts which didn't happen - there's always next Christmas....) and cotton velour, which I thought would make really nice jammies. The larger pair are the same as the turtle camo, and the smaller pair are XS shirt and size 5 pants. Both are definitely a bit big, but that just gives a chance that they'll still fit next Christmas! (Maybe?) And I took their picture beside the tree to go in our (late) Christmas cards.

Monday, December 12, 2011


It's time to be decorating for Christmas - some would say past time! - and I had the sudden realization that we'll be at our own home this Christmas, and that stockings should be hung over the fireplace. And then I remembered that my boys do not have their own Christmas stockings! Fortunately, I had requested the Burlap Christmas Stocking pattern from StudioCherie as my prize for entering the ThinkPink contest at PatternReview. So I got to work on new stockings for the entire family!

The pattern, as you may have guessed, calls for the front to be made from burlap. The "cuff" on the front, as well as the entire back, is made from the fashion fabric, and the lining is from a broadcloth to match the burlap. I want to be able to wash these through the years (we live with a cat and a dog), so I chose a linen blend instead of the burlap. And I ended up with a tan muslin instead of broadcloth, just because it coordinated better and was on sale. And I love the results!

The pattern describes how to do appliques on the stocking fronts, though it doesn't contain any applique patterns. The ornaments on the stocking on the far right are from the fabric used for the cuff and back. The two snowmen are from a wall hanging pattern in McCalls Quick Quilts (Dec/Jan 2012). And the penguin on the left was adapted from the fashion fabric - I scanned the fabric in, cropped out the penguin, and then blew up the image large enough for my purposes. My boys are going to be very excited when they see these!