Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category


As the first set of diapers turned out satisfactory, I dug through my stash to locate as much suitable fabric as possible.  I happened to have a large number of receiving blankets, too yucky looking to give away, but too good to toss.  Cut in half, with a piece of cotton batting, they make wonderfully soft, absorbent diapers.  

My little guy is thrilled with the pictures and the fact that I made something for him… now if he would just use the potty!

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sewing diapers


A few months ago I noticed that all of the diapers were wearing thin.  Some even had holes in them.  “No worries,” I thought, “Gideon will be trained before these were out.”

Ha!  I was sooooo wrong! 

Down to a half dozen diapers without too many holes, I broke down and made some new ones.  In the past I have made fitted ones, but they take about an hour each, and I didn’t find that they held up any better than the flat-fold ones I had purchased.  These went together in 20 minutes, and would be much faster with a surger. 

These are made from some 100% cotton birds eye cloth I purchased a while ago.  It was 36″ wide, and I used a polyester/cotton batting down the center for extra absorbency and quick drying time.

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new jammies!


The fabric I ordered a couple of weeks ago has finally arrived!  The kids and I are all very excited, though there has been a lot of mind changing in the past few hours since the fabrics arrival: 

“I like this best.”

“Mom, I changed my mind!  I want this one.”

“Can you make mine out of this?”

“Oh, who is this for?  Can it be mine?”

Yep, they’re children.

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Making a valence, to complete the nursery’s new look, Gideon insisted on sitting on my lap as I sewed.  His attention to detail amazed me.  As I sewed, he observed everything, and pointed out a pin I had forgotten to remove as I sewed. 

I love how he joins in every activity, whenever possible.  I love his interest, in all the things we do.  I love how he tries to copy what he sees us do, and how quickly he is picking up new words.  I think, knowing he is my last, has caused me to pay extra attention to every little thing, and to appreciate each stage as much as I did with my first.

Of course, he is  boy, and that means he is curious as to how everything works, or at least in taking everything apart.  He sat quietly for the first ten minutes or so, then he attempted to dismantle the machine and peel all the stickers off of it.  😉  He tried to stop the thread from turning and pry the bobbin case open; all while the machine was whirling!

I am teaching him the fine art of sitting still, but it is slow going.  The concept seems to escape his mind, unless he is eating, but then he is not really still–just occupied.

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giving thanks: creativity


I am thankful for the ability to be creative!  To make new things, and to learn from others.  I am grateful that everything I do does not have to be perfect…  I am glad for the wide variety of crafts available, and that more are be discovered, maybe even by me!

Without creativity, we would still be living in caves, eating only what grew naturally, in its natural state.  That would be boring, and discouraging.  Because of creativity, there is an endless supply of recipes, architectural designs, and fabrics.  How wonderful is our God!  He gave us creativity when He made us in His image:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

-Genesis 1:26-28

God is the original creator.  We create because He created.  We create, because He has given us dominion over all the earth.  We will never create as He did, by simply speaking, but we will create. We create with our hands, our minds and our skill.  While He chose to speak the universe into being, He chose to shape man kind with His hands.  How lovely is that!  He allows us choose how we will live, what we will believe, and what we will do with the abilities He has given us.  He gives us the ability and freedom to chose or reject Him.  He is the hope that is within me.


I finished the sewing I began for myself last week. The skirt was made according to the pattern, and the blouse I slightly altered, deciding to bring the waist in with tucks and side seam shaping.  They both fit very well, earning me a compliment from my husband.  He is coming around to my way of thinking.

A horse drawn plow.        My new outfit.      Building a smoke box.


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sewing for me


Two years ago, I joined Missus Smarty Pants, for a little fashion advice; and while I enjoyed my subscription immensely, I soon discovered that I had all the relevant information for building a timeless wardrobe. Over the past two years, I have used this information repeatedly. It was relevant while I was pregnant with number five, and then afterward, with an ever changing body. I found that my sense of style was better than I had thought; however, there were a few things I was confused about.  Some things that had always looked good on me, now looked off.  They were my colors and cut, but the effect was not what I wanted.

As I sought this out, I came across The Science of Personal Dress, and learned why my favorite combinations no longer looked good on me.  It seems my problem was balance.  Growing up I had blond hair, but that changed with my first pregnancy.  Now my hair is very dark.  Growing up, my favorite way to dress was in light colored skirts or jeans, and dark tops.  According to Irene, this practice makes me look very unbalanced.  If I want to wear light colored pants, I need to also wear a light colored top, and connect the look, to my hair, with a dark belt and pair of shoes.

Recently I seem to have come to the end of many changes, and now (almost) nothing I own fits, so using the advise I have gleaned, I am setting out to make my self a new wardrobe.  I am back to my pre-pregnancy size, but I have long since gotten rid of most things from then.  

I was planning on finishing my ‘little brown dress’ this month, but my husband has some career related plans that mean something more causal, however, still dressy are in order.  This required sifting through my stash, to see what I had that would fit the bill.  I came up with this chocolate fabric, left over from a friends curtains, to make a skirt out of, and the striped was something I had bought to make my boys, all of them, mountain man shirts with…but them Manny decided he did not want to dress up for Mountain Days, so I have fabric!

The patterns are both from the 1980’s, used several times.  The skirt is a pattern I have used for my mother several time.  The first time, she chose a black fabric with an abstract neon design, and the ruffled version; the last time, I made her the pleated version, in dark green.  It always has fit lovely, and the silhouette is classic.  In the past I have made the red blouse for myself, and used the pattern as a basis for creating my own patterns.  Now I plan on making a simple, undecorated blouse.  I may add darts, I’m not sure yet.  I will probably sew it up and see how it fits.  Now that I have a waist again, tucking it in may not be bad.


Daniel’s second sleeve is on my needles.  I had the sweater 3/4 of the way done when I discovered my design would not work. 

It is going to be a side to side sweater, knit in garter stitch.  I was going to make it in one piece, with no seams.  So, when I had finished the first sleeve and the body, I tried it on him.  It was far too tight in the tummy.  It fit great across the chest.  If it had been for me, it would have fit wonderfully, but, for some reason, toddlers are built differently than women.  (Who woulda thunk?)  My new plan is to make it in pieces, with seams.

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Strange things tend to happen this time of year: all the sunshine of summer, and then cool weather, leads to kids everywhere are shooting  out of their new school clothes, or in this case, last years winter pajamas.

Benjamin has been growing like a little weed lately, so I was not surprised when he complained of his jammies being too small.   I told him we would add that to his Christmas Wish List, and some relative could find him a nice warm pair.  He considered it a minute, then asked why I couldn’t make him some.  I told him I didn’t have a pattern, and all my fabric was girly.  He left to examine my stash, after reminding me that he had plenty of clothes that fit him fine, so I could make him a pattern. (Ahem… Caught)

He didn’t like any of the fabric he saw, so I thought I was off the hook; but then, I decided to get the grain sacks I made.  The discount fabric I had bought to make them with completely appealed to Ben.  “Mom, you can make my jammies out of this!  They will be so nice and comfy!”  So I said “Okay, but help me make sacks first.”

Saturday we began sacks, sewing for several hours, before we had to quite.  (People around here always want to eat.  What’s up with that? 😉 )  This morning he came up in his little pajamas, and asked, “Can we make my jammies today?  I’ll help you.”  Such an earnest face, I decided there is no better time…so this was most of his school today.

To make the pattern, I used the method shown here.  A pair of jeans, simplified, gave us the pants; I traced their basic shape, adding a wide hem and casing for the waist band.  A t-shirt was used for the basic lines in the top.  I changed the center front to accommodate buttons, and enlarged it just a smidgen to compensate for a lack of stretch.

Benjamin worked with me, the entire time.  He helped with the pattern making, asking questions, and making informed guesses as to what would come next.  He read the markings, as I wrote them on and learned the purpose of a grain-line.  He helped to lay out the pattern, learning why we place the pieces in a certain way.  He offered to sew seams by hand, or do anything else that would help me out.  He watched his little brother, and fed him his snack, then when it was time, got lunch ready.  Yet every new seam I pinned, he was there, asking the why, and learning how things go together.

The final result?  He is thrilled, and they turned out better than I had hoped for, fitting perfectly.  Now, do I add PJ’s to his list or not?


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