Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Sponsored: DIY Elastic Banded Receiving Blanket

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This post is sponsored by Lily Jade. Their bags are fabulously fashionable and oh-so-amazingly practical. With their one-of-a-kind inserts, there’s a pocket for every on-the-go-essential and they’re a breeze to launder.

The top-notch leather construction will have you looking polished while still being prepared for just about every baby contingency!

Connect with Lily Jade on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

I feel like we’ve been out of the little baby phase for so long, I’ve had to re-learn how to pack a bag to leave the house!

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Spare outfit, food, snacks, toys diapers, wipes. And now it’s like I have to pack for two babies. Felix will be in diapers for the next foreseeable future, so double the wipes and diapers.

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With winter in full-swing around our house, I’m finding that I need to pack extra warm goodies. There have been a couple of times that we’ve left the house to find that Penelope and/or Felix underdressed for the weather. In one case we had an extra blanket in the car for Penelope. The other, I gave her my extra layers. There’s nothing I won’t do for my kids. I’m a-okay with shivering if I know my kids are toasty warm. But it’s not ideal with how windy and cold it’s been.

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This gave me an idea. Instead of packing multiple outfits (one for each kid), I’ll just pack a onesie and an extra blanket. ‘ve made a blanket that rolls into itself quite small, but it’s large enough to wrap a nearly-7-year-old that’s crazy enough to forget a coat before leaving the house.

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I made this blanket with flannel on one side and a soft vintage shirting on the other. The shirting has a fairly tight weave and the flannel is warm. The two together cut out quite a bit of wind, providing for a surprisingly warm layer that isn’t ridiculously bulky.

And with the added elastic, it doesn’t unravel in my purse. It stays small.

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The size of the blanket makes it perfect for a tight swaddle. I can wrap her twice so her arms and legs can’t get out. On Friday, we went to see lights at a local shipping center. I wore her in a wrap, but to keep her extra warm (since I couldn’t zip up my jacket at that point), I wrapped the blanket around her and me, tying it in the back. She kept toasty warm during the below-freezing temperatures.

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I have to say, using this purse has been amazing. It’s got something like 20+ pockets in various sizes so everything has a space and it doesn’t get jostled around. I keep thinking, this would also double for the perfect weekender bag.

The leather is incredible, the interior insert is washable! My purses’ interiors tend to get so hashed, it’s great to be able to take it out and clean it up. The multiple handles provide great variety so I can sling it cross my body or just on a shoulder.

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So back to the blanket. It’s ridiculously easy to make, just requires a few simple things. Let’s get started, shall we?

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SUPPLIES

  • 1.5 yards of top fabric
  • 1.5 yards of back fabric
  • 15 inches of elastic (1 inch wide)
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • seam ripper
  • pins
  • sewing machine
  • matching thread

Click through for the full instructions!

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Halloween Recap Part 1: Black Widow Penelope

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Several months ago I found a gigantic black widow spider in the garden. Since then, Penelope’s been obsessed with them. In a I’m-afraid-of-going-to-my-room-alone-because-I-might-get-bit kind of obsessed. When talking to her about Halloween costumes, she asked what was the scariest thing she could be. I returned the answer by asking her. She quickly responded, “A black widow spider!”

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I can’t remember where I put her costume schematics, but she was the one who planned this whole thing out. I just executed. The girl is so creative! I can’t get over it. In a way, I can’t wait for her ideas next year.

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Executing was simple. I bought an over-sized tee, appliquéd with a red hour glass, cut up the sides and inserted the stuffed legs.

If I had been smart, I would have bought a hoodie instead of a tee, so I added a hood to the tee and stuck on some googly eyes. Done.

Felix’s costume was far easier. I bought it from a neighbor. But it turns out that his head was too big to really fit it over his head. We got some cute Halloween photos of him, but not in costume. Next year I may be more on my game. I’m hoping that will be the case anyway.

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In all, the costume took about an hour to complete. It was a win-win. She got exactly what she wanted and I didn’t have to kill myself to do it!

I also love that we now have another gender-neutral costume that can go down the line to Felix and maybe some day Juniper as they get older. I’m a huge advocate of hand-me-downs!

What did you do for Halloween costumes this year?

Sewing: Juniper’s Lawn Gnome Outfit

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I’ve been dying to make a cute little outfit for Miss Juniper. I’ve had this French terry material for some time and I’ve wanted to make a few cute outfits for my girls. Harem pants included.

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On Saturday I had a few minutes to kill, so I drafted up a raglan hoodie and a pair of harem pants. The pleated front of the pants and the pointy hood kill me. She looks like an angry little lawn gnome. Adorable.

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Seriously, this girl has my heart. I can’t get enough of her. I want to make more cute little snuggle outfits for her!

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Unfortunately when I asked Penelope if she wanted something similar, she said no. She’s getting her own opinions on her clothes, it’s kind of a bummer. I’d love for them to be twinners! Oh well. We’ll see if I can convince her to agree with something similar. Fingers crossed!

Sponsored: Leather Folio Tutorial

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jo-totes

This tutorial is sponsored by Jo Totes. They have a wide selection of fashionable camera bags in both genuine and vegan leather. My favorite of all is the Siena bag - an italian leather bag that ages beautifully. I use it as my every day bag. It fits all of the essentials! The structured body allows me to easily find all of my purse’s contents quickly.

Stay up to date with Jo Totes on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

My purse essentials (beyond baby stuff): my instax camera, a notebook, pen, chapstick and gum.

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For a while I had my notebook just floating around my purse naked. The problem with this was that the top page would frequently break off, wrinkle and just get disgusting. To remedy the problem, I hand-bound a folio where I can just insert the notebook I’m using and protect it from the contents of my purse. I’m constantly ripping out pages and tossing them, so it’s nice to have something reusable instead of having to bind a new journal every time I run through my pages.

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The original version I bound was a traditional 3/4 rounded back bind with cutouts and pockets. I thought about sharing how to make this, but as I broke down each step, I realized that I had very specific bookbinding tools and the steps would take 5+ hours to photograph and explain. I ditched that idea for a simpler sewn version. It’s not as rigid, but it’s still quite sturdy and can be completed in well under an hour. You could opt out of real leather and use an industrial felt instead. I’m not sure I would recommend a vegan leather as it doesn’t tend to wear well over time.

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This would be a great gift for a guy or gal. Christmas gift perhaps? It’s just over 2 months away, so time to start planning! I’ve already taken care of a couple of Christmas gifts already. I feel way more on top of things this year. Don’t worry though, I have plenty of time to procrastinate and get behind on my gift-giving.

So would you like to make one with me? It’ll take you about 20-30 minutes. If you’re making a bunch all at once (which I would totally recommend!) it’d take less than that for each one.

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Supplies:

  • ruler
  • rotary cutter (and mat)
  • bulldog clips
  • thread
  • leather needle (or topstitch needle)
  • elastic
  • button
  • hand-sewing needle
  • x-acto knife
  • pen
  • bonefolder
  • leather
  • sturdy canvas or a fabric wallpaper*
  • notebook**

* I used fabric wallpaper for this. I scored some years ago from design centers in SF. Just ask an interior design company if they have any wallpaper samples that are being discontinued that you can have. Alternatively you can fuse any kind of fabric to Ultra Hold Heat ‘n Bond with regular copy paper.

** My favorite paper is the Rhodia pad or Clairefontaine Triomphe paper. They come in plain, grid, dot grid and lined.

Read more for the full tutorial.

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Sewing: Maternity and Beyond Silk Kimono

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When in LA earlier this summer, I found the most gorgeous silk print for $5 a yard. I snatched up two yards for the sole purpose to make a kimono out of it. After seeing Leanne’s amazing kimono (tutorial here), I’ve been on the hunt for the right fabric to make one. The stars aligned!

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Because of the nature of the print, instead of only using a yard to construct the kimono, I ended up needing all two yards and even then I barely had enough to match up the patterns symmetrically.

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I wish I took a photo of the front, but the patterns match up perfectly along the front as well for the perfect balance.

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Between the the print and the silk, this piece took significantly more time to cut than to construct. Instead of just measuring out the pieces and cutting directly on the fabric as it instructs in the tutorial, I made pattern pieces so I could get perfect placement of the print. It also proved to be helpful when cutting the layers of silk out as the pattern pieces and weights provided stability while cutting.

I was stoked Leanne published her measurements for her pattern pieces. I ended up using those measurements exactly to put together the kimono. It’s sort of a one-size-fits-all piece, so I figure it would work well. And it did!

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It’s the perfect layering piece without adding warmth to my outfits. The fewer layers I can wear, the better!

I didn’t mean to have such an annoyed look on my face when I took pictures today, but 99% of them came out looking like this. Perhaps I’m a little impatient to get this little one out of my belly and into my arms? I’m hoping this weekend is the weekend. Thursday would be perfect because it’s my grandma’s birthday. And that would be pretty sweet for the two of them to share a birthday. I share a birthday with my aunt, and it’s pretty awesome.

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Outfit details:

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Was that a contraction I just felt?!? Oh don’t get my hopes up little one!

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