Archive for Sewing

Robot Boy

This semester is so much lighter at school that I am getting back into my sewing groove. I made this yesterday for my boy.

The pattern is from the latest Ottobre Design magazine.

For years, we have been teasing Oli that he has a “skipping button” since he skips a lot. Oli decided that the green button is his real “skipping button”. We pressed it many times this morning and it does, in fact, work. I can’t wait to see what his other buttons do. Good thing I sewed each one on firmly — I predict they will all get a bit of use.

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Holiday Crowns

I made these in anticipation of New Year’s Eve. I’m not good at keeping secrets, especially fun ones, so I let the kids have them before Christmas.

The crowns are made of cotton flannel with a stiff layer of interfacing in the middle. I plan to cut numbers and decorations out of felt to stick on them — this will be one way we can pass the many hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve. We’ll start that day with 2009 on them and, come midnight, we can replace the ’09 with ’10. Presto, chango! In the meantime, the crowns are being worn and enjoyed undecorated.

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Homemade Gifts

I’m still crafting like a crazy woman…..and loving every minute. John and Uncle Bob took the kids off to the movies. I was left with an entire afternoon all to myself. It was bliss.

This was fun to make because it involved cooking and sewing — an apron and home made play dough.

This is a gift for a pre-schooler though I imagine Oli would go crazy over it. In fact, I went a little crazy over it and played with it a bit before packaging it up.

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Christmas Chicks

Our hen house has been empty for months now but our house will have chicks for Christmas! No, not real ones…..these ones.

The pattern is from Martha Stewart. It is very easy to sew. In fact, Mojo made the one on the bottom left. That girl…..seeing her get excited about sewing and the enthusiasm with which she tackles her projects just makes my heart burst!

Our little flock is multiplying. We added another few since yesterday.I think there will be a chicken in every box this year. And, yes, children, these ones can be house pets.

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Dog Food Bag Recycled

John was refilling the dog food tin yesterday morning. I noticed that the bag the food came in was made out of some thick, waterproof, plastic-like fabric. It seemed a waste to throw it away. I decided to repurpose it into a messenger bag. This is one quick and easy project and only requires basic sewing skills.

First, get a nice durable dog food bag. I’m partial to Purina dog food mainly because it’s affordable, my dog loves it, and they are a local company.

I cut the top off the bag, and then cut the remaining bag in half. This one was about 20 inches long, leaving me with a bottom that was 10″ high and a top piece 10″ high. The bottom will be the “body” of the messenger bag. Decide which part looks more attractive and keep that for the back since the front of the bag will be partially covered by the flap.

Examine your top piece and decide which portion will look best as a front for your bag. Cut this panel out. Flip the panel over and use a drinking glass to draw a curve to the bottom edges. Cut along curve.

This curved piece will be the flap of your messenger bag. It would look nice if the edge were finished with bias tape. Since I had no bias tape on hand and was too lazy to make my own, I cheated and just serged around it.

Pin this flap to the back of your bag and sew it on. Just for reference, I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn under a small hem all along the bag edge (1/4 inch is fine) and stitch in place. Now it’s time to make the strap.

Using the remaining portion of the top of the bag to make strap. I cut the remaining piece width-wise in half and then sewed them together to make one long 5″ wide piece.

I turned under a small seam allowance on each edge, then folded the piece in half and sewed the seam shut. This made a strap that was about 2.25 inches wide. This seemed like a good width to me. Alternatively, you could also use belt webbing to make this look more professional.

Sew the strap firmly (I triple stitched) to the sides of the bag.

Voila! You have saved a bag from the trash bin and created a very cute and useful carrier for leashes, frisbees and tennis balls.
Off to the park we go!

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Summer “Go-To” Gifts

My kids are invited to many summer birthday parties. I am a big fan of personal, hand-made items. Each season, calls for something fresh and new. Something that is as much fun to make as it is to receive. This season, for girls, it’s beach towels.


Inspired by a tutorial from Anna Maria Horner. I made one towel using her easy-to-follow directions and then modified the pattern to make it even more easy and brainless so I can whip these out in no time. This seems to be the perfect gift for the newly nines since they love going to the pool in packs and carrying one’s own stuff is very cool.

And for the upcoming first graders, nothing beats a number shirt. This has been a birthday stand-by of mine for years.



With name embroidered on back for the first day of school — so the teacher can learn your name quickly.

Now if only I could come up with an easy and acceptable gift to make for 11 and 12 year old boys. I am open to any and all suggestions.

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Spring Sewing

It’s been a while since I’ve sewn anything. I seem to have been in a winter knitting spell but my sewing machines? Abandoned. A few weeks ago, I cut out some spring kid clothes but the pieces just sat there. Ignored. I’ve been waiting for them to call to me and yesterday they did. In one morning, I made Mojo three dresses and a shirt for Oli.

Here’s one of the dresses.


Mojo called it the “tacky dress.” I think it was said affectionately but I’m not sure. Regardless, she snatched it up to wear to school this morning.

Oli, of course, gets more pirate wear.


I feel my sewing groove creeping back in. On the docket for today? More sewing!

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