Sewing pants and leggings

My daughter runs a bit on the narrow side, so much so that typically only buttonhole elastic adjustable pants fit her. The problem? She lives in jeans and pajamas and wants to have soft pants and leggings.

The solution?- I need to make her some 🙂

We hit the thrift store together to buy clothes to deconstruct for our fabric needs. I also hit the Internet to figure out how to size things to fit her tall, skinny frame.

After a bit of pattern making, we have a finished pair of green linen pants that she loves and 2 pairs of leggings that are not yet finished.

Here she is modeling a pair of leggings pre- deconstruction, lol.

Here are some in progress and the finished pants waiting to be pressed.

Doll Shoes

Apparently, I am out of the loop enough to not have heard of “Toms” before now. They are some kind of slip-on canvas shoe. However, the 18 inch doll world connects me with such fashionable things through my daughter. This time we found a pattern to make doll “Toms”.

They were not the easiest things to sew and it shows in the final result. My daughter likes them though and I have learned from my mistakes on this pair, so any future pair should come out better. We left off the signature slanted toe pieces because my daughter didn’t like the look of them.

The great part is that Natalie (my daughter’s doll) can stand on her own now because the shoes are flat and sturdy.

Important Things

I had a good, long talk with my daughter the other night about my parenting. She pointed out that I often say I will do things, but then take a long time to get around to doing them.

I decided my parenting could use some help, so I have started to ask the kids to prioritize the most important things they need from me. So far, this has been very beneficial.

My daughter picked her 3 biggest things she wanted me to tackle this week. First, we went for an eye exam for her and ordered glasses. This had been put off because she is not really struggling and life got in the way. Second, she wants me to work on installing the carpet squares in the basement as I told her she could have friends over for a dance down there. Yesterday we bought the metal ruler to make the cutting possible. Third, she wanted me to finish sewing a shirt we had started together a few months ago. Today-It is done!

I used the same approach with my son to find out what was most important to him. Last night, it was getting back to playing games together at night. We played “Apples to Apples” as a family. He also chose to do the first chapter in the programming course he asked for. Today he chose to play our homemade battle card game. We played twice and had a blast!

I am hoping that by encouraging them to tell me their priorities, I can focus on what is most important instead of getting overwhelmed with the beginnings of lots of things and leaving them feeling like I don’t listen or worse that I don’t care enough to follow through.

Boy’s Doll

My son had the idea to make voodoo dolls for Halloween decorations and drew one he thought I could make. After I started sewing it though, he said it was too cute and he could never stab it. He also asked me to change the mouth because he thought it looked sad. Then he declared it would just be a regular doll for him because he wanted to prove the neighbor wrong.

She said boys can’t have dolls.

Anyway, he is finished and my son loves him. His name is Mojo, for good luck.

The quilts are done (enough)

Enough to gift, that is…

Every birthday and Christmas I make a present for each of my kids. Usually they do not know what it will be, but this year I made what they asked me for- quilts for their beds. Being such large items and knowing how I am, I did not try for secrecy! Instead I asked the kids to collaborate with me by picking out the fabrics they wanted for the sashing and setting squares. They also went through my stash of 4″ “I Spy” fabric squares and selected photos of their friends and family members to be printed onto fabric for special squares throughout the quilts.

I used this tutorial from Obsessively Stitching to make a disappearing nine-patch quilt for each kid, but in order to get the sizes they wanted, I used 180 picture squares on each one. The final quilts were just over 60″ X 75″.

I skipped adding a border and due to my fear of binding (and lack of remaining time before Christmas), I sewed them together pillowcase-style and called it a day so we could actually enjoy each other on Christmas Eve. I will finish them up sometime soon, but for now- this is where I got 🙂

Here is my daughter’s quilt:

And a close-up of some of the squares while I was laying them out:

Here is my son’s quilt top about to be layered with the batting and backing.


And a close-up of some of his squares while planning the layout:


The kids love them and wanted to sleep on them in front of the tree.


Spring Clamp Bag

My daughter and her friend have been making lots of forts lately using our blankets and sheets, chairs, her bunkbed, and lots of….

Which. Sticks. To. Everything. And. Doesn’t. Easily. Come. Off.

Enter my solution…a bunch of spring clamps in 2 different sizes to secure all the layers.
They needed a home.
Here is my latest bag- a lined drawstring bag with cute clamps on the outside 🙂

I Spy Beanbags

I received all my lovely I-Spy fabrics from the trade I was in! The kids are excited for me to start on their quilts 🙂

I did decide to do one smaller project first…a gift for my niece and nephew.

My kids love our beanbags for games and battles and I thought I would add a little to these by making them alphabet AND I-Spy.

I printed the letters of the alphabet onto neutral fabrics using fabric dye. Then I paired them with an I-Spy fabric for that letter and sewed them up! They have rice filling because I like the way it feels. Here they are:








There are 13 pairs of colors.

A carrying bag is in the works, but I am waiting on snap pliers because both my husband and my daughter are insisting that that a snap for closure is the right finishing touch. (And I really don’t mind projects that are a great excuse to buy a new tool)

ETA: I finished the carrying bag and funny enough, it looked better without the snap…

Piece of CAKE

This is a simple project from the show “CAKE”. My daughter has been watching the show lately and although I think the acting and scripts are terrible and the laugh track makes me want to pull out my hair, one of the main messages in each show is about being unique and expressing your creativity. Each episode features a craft to help you personalize your stuff.

This one is a simple “hidden” pocket worked into a stuffed animal. My daughter brought me her animal of choice, her horse “Maria”, and we got to work. She picked out a zipper (which matched pretty darn well) and brought me a sock to use for the hidden compartment. It only took about 10 minutes to make a cut, take out a little stuffing, and add a zipper by hand.

She loves it! My husband and son think it looks creepy, LOL.




Couch Cushions Are Finally Done

A local family gave us a couch and table for our front porch almost 2 years ago. I always planned on repainting them and making new cushions for the couch…I am finally partway there, LOL. The paint is still in the garage.

After searching online for replacement cushions, I was shocked at how expensive they were. I was sure I could make some for less. I got a book from the library on sewing outdoor furniture stuff and went to JoAnn’s for fabric with a 50% off coupon.

I started out with a plan for fancy piped edges and a zipper. Then I lost the zipper. Then after doing the piping on 2 pieces decided to lose the piping as well. These are super simple and not the prettiest, but they are done!



Maybe I will use the piping for some pillows. Maybe.

Dog for Dad

My son recently decided that his dad really needs a stuffed animal of his own (to take to work with him). He came up with the idea while I was tucking him in and was so into it that he woke J. up to ask him what his favorite mammal is. “Dog” was the answer.

He created a drawing of a brown dog with a white spot and we went from there. He wanted it to be a 3-D puppy similar to the one my daughter and I made last year.

I wanted it to be a little better made than that one and found a pattern online to work from. I enlarged it and got to work 🙂

My son decided to stick with the brown and white theme and picked out the felt. When I was done sewing it, he was so excited to give it to J.

J. named him “Spot”.


While I sewed on the nose, my son did this…


I Spy Swap

I happened to catch a blog post for an “I Spy” quilt square swap and immediately decided to join. It has been so fun making the different “I Spy” quilts and my daughter has been patiently waiting for one of her own (although a little less patiently this last time). She spent much of the day picking out squares that she wants me to use while I cut out squares for the swap.

Here is the floor scattered with her choices 🙂

Here are the ones I decided to cut and send (20 piles of 20 4″ squares):

Ready to go:

They are in the mail.
Mid-July we should get 400 different squares in return!

“I Spy” Quilt and a Mother’s Blessing

I have been working on a project behind the scenes for awhile as I wanted it to be a surprise for my friend (who sometimes reads my blog). She is due with their third baby this month!

I tried out a bunch of new techniques like photo printing and making binding strips to make this stripey quilt.



I gave it to her after a Mother’s Blessing/ Shower at my house on Saturday. Everyone shared their advice and well wishes for her labor and birth and we got out the henna 🙂


Hey, It works for Hef

My daughter has been into Barbie type dolls lately and I have been helping her gather some from the thrift stores as I find them. She specifically asked for some boy dolls and this week I found 2 of them! Unfortunately, they were both naked. The issue became more apparent after my step-mom helped to try to clothe them in old t-shirt scraps while they were here for a visit on friday.

While at the fabric store yesterday, I decided to pick up a pattern to make them some actual clothes. I started with the easiest pattern- pants. I had an old shirt a friend had given to me that was just begging to be made into pajama pants. Really!



Buoyed in confidence from my early success, I made him a shirt this morning complete with a collar and everything!


Needless to say, all the ladies love it.