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October 18, 2013

Sweatshirt to Tunic Makeover

I have a quick project to share today.

It was time to retire this high school sweatshirt, and I have been excited to try my hand at a sweatshirt remake. I have done a few remakes in the past, mostly with mens' dress shirts, but I haven't loved how some of them turned out.  They work, but sometimes working isn't good enough, you know?


With this sweatshirt, I decided to really focus on the fit and make it work well. So here is what I did to it.


First, I removed the emblem and pocket and cut out the hood. I wanted to narrow the shoulder line, so I cut out most of the space where the emblem was, and I added two back darts in alignment with the neckline. These darts also helped narrow the neck because the hoods on sweatshirts is always nice and roomy (not so nice for a new collar). I added a 3" shawl collar in a neon fleece I had leftover from making cloth diapers.

I cut off the sleeves to make the arm hole in the bodice a little smaller, and then I tailored the sleeves a bit by adding a sleeve sloper (the sweatshirt had a boxy sleeve as seen in the before photo), and by narrowing the arm. The sloper made the sleeves much shorter, so I removed the wrist ribbing and added more fleece as an accent. The tunic would have worked just as well with 3/4 length sleeves, but I like having the full length.

I added length to the sweatshirt with another fleece band. My final step was to add an empire waste just under the shawl collar base. It's at an empire level now, with my pregnant self, but I'm guessing it will drop a bit without a belly.


Since this baby is almost here, I wanted to make something that would be useful all winter. I think this fits the bill. Now I can be cozy but not look as sloppy as a big bulky sweatshirt!

(trust me, there are other big bulky sweatshirts that will also see plenty of use too :) )

October 7, 2013

Baby Showers & Mobiles

It's been busy around here! We had future grandparents visiting among two baby showers. It is pretty clear that this kid is well loved by lots of people around us :)  We received many necessities...diapers, bottles, books, clothes...but I'll be honest, the best was an owl cake from our local bakery, SugarBakers, which my sister so kindly "sent" from 1,500 miles away because she couldn't be here in person.

Baby Shower Cake

I also received a lot of support for my love of Hideaway.  One friend made us this wonderful set of three paintings inspired by objects found within the Hideaway line. Part of the decor at another shower included the adorable bunting found in this photo as well, made out of, you guessed it, Hideaway!


I even got some extra shapes, pre-backed with wonder-under, to add to some of our plain onesies.

Onesie shapes

I loaned out the remainder of my Hideaway stash, part of which became this set of wet bags for our on-the-go cloth diapering.

Wet bags

And while I'm hiding away, here is a close-up of the mobile I made for Little One. It is inspired by the Pixar movie "Up" (which we love - old men have a special place in my heart) but with a Hideaway theme. I just made a small model of the Fredricksen house out of mat board, covered it in fabric scraps with glue, and hung it from an embroidery hoop. I added extra strings coming from the chimney to attach balloons, but they are hung with thin thread from the hoop to keep them "floating." This is the back of the house, technically. It kept spinning away from the photo :)


I think that about wraps up our nursery (which also happens to be part unused-dining-room in our one-bedroom apartment). Since it's only part of a room in a rental, there really isn't a whole lot of decorating to do!

September 20, 2013

Goody Two Shoes

I'm back with more baby ware! This time, baby's style is enhanced by a healthy collection of shoes.


I made five (what baby needs five pairs of shoes? mine) pairs of these Teeny Tiny Goody Two Shoes - a pattern by Allison Jones from the book Meet Me at Mike's (curated by Pip Lincolne). I found the book at my local library. Let me tell you, my library really likes to support the modern sewist.


I used fabric from my stash (it's a trend around here), and these cute little green ones are made with fabric that my husband bought for me for Christmas over two years ago. Finally found the perfect use for it :)


I used non-skid fabric for the soles, just in case Babes starts to venture onto two feet before he or she grows out of them. I found this fabric as a remnant at Hancock Fabrics a long time ago, but I haven't come across it since.

But wait, there's more! There are two more pairs waiting Baby's arrival.


Yep, that's right, Little One's very own pairs of Thoms, not Toms (because of our last name).  I used Leisha's free pattern from Homemade Toast for newborn shoes, but she sells a pattern for infant, toddler, and children sizes as well!


Again, you guessed it, stash fabric, along with non-skid soles. These are so tiny, though, I don't imagine the non-skid getting much use. Let me tell you, I battled these shoes a bit. First with trying to print the tags - we were running out of ink, I had three opportunities to print correctly (mirror image in b&w) and of course it took me 4 to get it right :) I also burned two tags while ironing them, which explains why my versions do not have the traditional tag on the side of the shoe.

Lessons learned. But hey, they still turned out cute!

September 17, 2013

Basic Newborn Pants

I wrapped up a few bottoms for Baby today :) I made these little pants using the Basic Newborn Pant pattern from Rae at Made by Rae.  These pants sew up so quickly - 3 seams, 3 hems, and some elastic. It doesn't get much easier.


I would warn any go-getters to make sure you keep track of which seam is the leg seam and which is the center seam; otherwise you may end up with a tiny little rise and butt!

I decided to just use up fabrics in my stash. I admit, they don't match and make a collection, but individually, they are each cute!

The tutorial states that the hip circumference is the same as a 6-12 month pattern Rae sells, so they may work for older babies too. With that in mind, I opted to add a little folded cuff to two of the pants, which can be unfolded when Little One gets too tall for the newborn length. For this, I just took the width measurement at the bottom of the leg seam and created a rectangle with that length and a height of 4-5".


I would highly recommend this pattern - it is so straightforward and Rae makes it really easy to follow!

September 12, 2013

Newborn Sleep Sacks

When I saw these sleep sacks on pinterest, it took me about 2 seconds to decide to make some of my own.  It just took me until yesterday to finish them :)


I had to get the fabric, because despite my stash, I had no gender-neutral flannel or usable jersey to speak of.  First, I cut up a [really] old pair of Care Bear pajama pants because no one my age should own them (full disclosure: they are from college).  I decided to order organic cotton jersey, which was soft, relatively thin, and had lots of movement, along with a flannel in a geometric print. My favorite fabric, however, is Turtle Parade from the Les Amis flannel collection by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller. I've been loving teal lately, and I love turtles. I always have and always will. You may notice the turtle one is a bit special with the fabric upside-down on the back of the arm. I was clearly not paying attention to the fabric direction.


The pattern is from Jessica at Running With Scissors, and I really like how she included a fold-over cuff to help prevent Baby's sharp little finger nails from doing damage. The pattern is for a newborn size, but mine came out slightly bigger than newborn (or at least I hope I don't have to push out a baby that big).  Maybe with a wash, they will cinch up a bit. I used a half-inch seam allowance throughout.


Now all we need is a baby to fill them!


September 10, 2013

Cameo Journals

You may not know this about me, but I dabble in paper crafts. Mostly just making journals and hand-drawing cards for loved ones, but I've been putting some items up for sale in my shop. I just finished my favorite journals yet - octagonal Cameo journals in pink and teal.


Architecture school taught me one very good lesson - precision Xacto cutting. I definitely employed that skill for these journals :)

Hop on over to the PieceGardenStudio shop to check out more details!

September 4, 2013

Triangle Quilt Finish

We spend Labor Day with the same close friends every year, some of whom we only get to see once per year for this one [awesome] weekend before we all head back to our respective corners of the country.  One of our friends has been going through some tough life things since last year, and I wanted her to know how much we've been thinking about her and how much we love her... so I made her this quilt.

Triangle Quilt
(it's fun to have two willing quilt holders :) )

Our yearly weekend is spent at the lake, complete with crazy fun tubing, skiing, and kneeboarding, bright blue skies with epic sunsets, and tons of laughs. I think the colors in this quilt pretty well capture the vibe. I used 11 different Kona solids to achieve the look. This was my first pass at pulling fabrics...I later added the yellow and pale pink.

Triangle Quilt Pile

You may have seen me tease this quilt on Instagram a couple of weeks ago.  I was inspired by this triangle quilt from Happy Together, but I used a few more colors and made mine a little bigger.

Triangle Quilt 2

I used a gray & white swirly fabric for the binding, something I have had in my stash waiting for the perfect project for years. The backing is a cotton/poly blend teal color.  Quilting is just wavy lines horizontally across the quilt.

Triangle Quilt 3

Triangle Quilt
Size: 56" x 60"
Pattern: Inspired by Happy Together
Fabric: Assorted Kona Solids