Last Project of 2011

Valentines Day sewing! (but not so much so that she can't wear it anytime - I love versatility)

 I used the "Oh Deer" pattern from LilyGiggle. Made the swing tunic length with long sleeves. This went together so easily! The actual sewing was maybe an hour, the painting on the details was the time consuming part - but I'm happy I did it! (one day I'll learn how to screen print...). The deer is appliqued on - my very first applique! I'm surprised how well it went, I thought the shirt would pucker and be all weird around it but it's not -yay! Made the babes the 2T size since that is what she wears now and it falls just above her knees.

Oh and did i mention I made this out of old T-shirts! Love cheap fabric and love re-purposing fabric!

Top 3 of 2011

The top 3 posts/tutorials on my blog this year are ...

#1. The modest mermaid doll with free pattern and tutorial

#2. Owl pillow with free pattern and tutorial

#3. Summer love not flamingo with free pattern and tutorial

and to answer a few questions sew mama sew posted:

    1.Looking back at the 2011 sewing scene, what trends stand out in your mind? I think what stands out to me is the chevron, mustaches, and owls.
    2,What were some of your favorite things related to sewing this past year? Love the Silhouette! I am still scared to do an applique though.
    3.What did you make that you’re most proud of? I'm most proud of the modest mermaid doll that I made (see above)
    4.What sewn projects have you seen this year that you absolutely love? I love the little girl dresses at craftiness is not optional,
    5.Do you have a favorite sewing book or pattern from the past year to recommend? I've become a huge fan of LilyGiggle patterns this past year. and I love my book, Little girls, Big style.
    6.Are there any trends you’re over and done with? chevron. I'm over it... well I never really did it but thought it was fun at first.
    7.What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate? I'm so so on it. I enjoy facebook personally, and I love blogging. This stumble upon thing confuses me greatly though and twitter neither here nor there.
    8.Did you have a favorite fabric collection or print in 2011? Love the Valorie wells stuff - such fun colors.
    9.What do you predict for 2012 in the sewing industry? I have no idea really. but I hope to see some more women patterns that are easy and stylish. I also hope to see some more fun with color.
    10.Can you tell us what to expect from you in 2012? Any big projects or life-changing goals? I hope to get out one free pattern a month in 2012. and maybe start a trend? haha. I really do want to try new things with sewing and get over the applique fears I have. I've only been sewing for a year so I have lots of things left to try! I want to do some sewing for myself this year as well. 

Have leftover turkey?

Then come visit me at Naptime Crafters for a turkey pot pie recipe - super easy, I promise! 

I also promise it tastes better than it looks pretty :)

Sugar Cookies! (Dairy and egg free!)

I really wanted sugar cookies and to decorate cookies with the babes - but I'm not sure if you know this but they all have dairy in them! So I played with a recipe. The cookies are not super soft sugar cookies - but firmer ones like Christmas cookies should be, and the icing is also dairy free and dries nice and firm so you can put them all together in a bowl and they don't smudge.

Recipe (adapted to be dairy and egg free)
Original from Julie Van Rosendaal's one smart cookie

  1. 1/4c. shortening (I used lard)
  2. 1Tbsp. canola oil
  3. 3/4c sugar
  4.  zest of 1 lemon (or a tablespoon ish of lemon juice)

Beat together in a bowl and then add

  1. egg replacment (2 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. oil, 3/4tsp. baking powder)
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla
  3. 1 2/3c. flour
  4. 1tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/4tsp. salt 
Refrigerate for a half hour or so and then roll out and use your cookie cutters! Place on a sprayed with oil baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes depending on the heat of your oven - lightly browned on the bottom means done.

The icing is quite simple:

1 1/4c. icing sugar
1/8 c. hot water
1/2tsp. corn syrup
1/4tsp. vanilla

The babes had tons of fun helping me make the dough and did alright decorating until she realized that cookies were just a way to get icing and sprinkles into her little mouth!

Hope you are all having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas! I'd love to hear what you have to do yet

The Merry Moose Ornament (free pattern and tutorial)

Hi! My name is Jen and I blog over at The Crafting Fiend. I'm fairly new to blogging and sewing (less than a year for both). I am married to my first love, a handsome Brit and we have a gorgeous 15 month old daughter who is a climber and seriously lacks fear and finds what should be scary fun (oh boy!). Today I have a tutorial for you and free pattern for making your own merry moose ornament.

To start you will need to print out (or trace onto paper from your computer screen - ya I've done that...) the 

first cut out your pieces. For the eyes I used the nose pattern and just rounded it a bit. 

Stitch on the eyes and then the nose. Use embroidery floss to do the little black bits in the eyes.

Next sandwich the antlers in between the front and back piece and start stitching around. 

Add a bit of ribbon in at the top - be sure to stitch it in securely.

Once you've gotten nearly back to the start of your outside stitching stuff a little polyfill in if you want (I think it makes it cute) and then finish stitching the moose shut.

For your moose's scarf cut a piece of flannel 9.5" x .5", place the fabric right side down and wrap around the moose and knot it. I also gave it a teensy tiny stitch to hold it in place,

And the finished mooses (I know mooses isn't a word but I can't for the life of me remember what the plural for moose is and moses is fun to say...):

(ps. I also cut a little fringe into the scarf bottoms)

Getting ready for christmas - what I've been working on

The babes knit stocking that I made for her! I LOVE it! I wanted to go with a chilly theme and for the sun I was lucky enough to find some knit in colors that reminded me of sunset (since we usually do stocking Christmas eve)

Some close ups so you can see the detail. Love the swirling snow.

A table runner 

I just cut pieces from a jelly roll to 13" until I had enough to give me the length I liked (for me this was 10 strips cut into 13" lengths - you should be able to cut each strip into 3 pieces with a little leftover) and then pin right sides together to the backing, sew around - turn it out and topsticth. done!

For our Christmas decor we went old school. think bright shiny and colorful!

My husband tells me no Christmas tree is complete if it doesn't have Christmas crackers tucked into it

 The stockings that belong to my husband and myself. I made these YEARS ago.

The babes wanted to help add more tinsel. Apparently she didn't think I was putting enough on since she kept signing and saying "more"!

I painted this wooden nativity set when i was still a teenager.  (I actually did 3 - one for my mom, one for my aunt and uncle, and one for myself)

Our tree in all it's gaudy glory. The fence in pots are to try and keep the babes out - they do not work. not even half a day in and I wanted to give up. any ideas how to get a VERY determined and strong willed child away from the tree?

The train in the tree. My husband loves this and so does the babes!

And lastly the felt pocket advent garland I made 
tutorial/pattern for this here. I made my own pattern since it is easy to do and I don't have my own printer.

Pretty Prezzies! Wrapping inspiration?

I am going to just say something - I don't enjoy wrapping presents. However, I do enjoy making them look pretty! This year is a bit more fun due to my new toy (cameo!). 
 One thing I always do every year is do a little add on present on top as part of the decoration. Usually something handmade like an ornament. This year I'm liking a mix of shiny wrapping paper and plain brown paper and of course the custom tags!

The hand toasty and merry moose ornament (tutorial and free pattern coming to the blog soon.) decorate these: 

This next present is for a sweet little girl and so I used monster mitts as decoration 

another idea for wrapping a girl gift - use the tag as a clip holder 

For grandparents I am adding on a photo ornament (picked up those ornaments on boxing day last year - originally $6 for 3 - got them for $2!) Love shopping boxing day for the next years wrapping 'needs' 

What do you do to make your presents extra special? Feel free to add your pretty packaging link! I'd love to check them out and discover some new blogs :)

Coming up on this blog: 
  • our place decorated with extra 'cheese' for the holidays!
  • Merry moose ornament tutorial and free pattern!

I think I'm in love with a machine

 - get your mind out of the gutter! I mean the Silhouette my husband bought me for Christmas on black Friday that I of course couldn't wait till Christmas to open... So easy to use. I was so scared of the learning curve and dreading spending hours learning the program but as soon as I got the software installed I was cutting things out. YAY! 

Thanks tags for things I have sold

 Purse gift box -already has a present in it!

Gift tags for my husband - I colored out the last name but yes, our last name does begin with a T. (ps. any of you that know me in real life - these gift tags are a secret from the husband - shhhh) 

and a bunch of other things I was having fun playing! 

A capelet style jacket

I was lucky to get to pattern test this cape like jacket pattern from lilygiggle patterns. I LOVE how cozy it is, 2 layers of fleece to keep the babes warm - but should still be car seat safe!  It went together so easily. Only a couple hours from start to finish (and that means from taping the pattern pages together, tracing the size I wanted, cutting fabric, and sewing it to completion). The directions are very well written with photos for each step - which is a lilygiggle pattern normal. 

If you are in the market for a jacket of this style for your girl go here.

Ps. I was not asked to write this nor was I paid to do so. I just love her patterns and wanted to share.

Easy-Peasy Cookie Cutter Ornament Tutorial

A little bit about me - since I thought you might want to know.
 I just started sewing in December of 2010, because I wanted my daughter to have pretty things, and not just cheap stuff that anyone can buy, but, quality handcrafted toys and clothing. I also tend to over punctuate or completely forget about punctuation. I've been married for 5years this November to an amazing Englishman who is quite charming (of course the accent helps with that I think) and our little girl is 15months old and a very active little climber. 

Today I want to show you how to make an easy cookie cutter ornament (literally). I love attaching ornaments to Christmas prezzies as gift tags or next to them to dress up the wrapping since I usually just wrap with parcel paper. I love the old school look to parcel paper at Christmas time.

To do this project pic a good sized simple shaped ornament. I used a star.

Trace around your ornament giving yourself a pit of extra space for seam allowance.

Pin the cut out paper shape onto your fabric and cut around your fabric (right sides together). Do not cut closely or around the ornament.

Keep the paper pinned on and stitch around it. (left the extra fabric and did it this way for stability with sewing small shapes)

Leave an opening (see the circle)

Turn it out and stuff, slip stitch the opening shut, and sew a button in the center. then sew a loop to hang your ornament up. 

That is how simple it is to make a cookie cutter ornament!


Well I certainly have had a "lucky" few weeks and won some giveaway! I thought I should send a little love back so here we go!

This tie it in a bow hoodie is from here. I LOVE it!!! It's a comfy material, not too bulky and it is not a wrinkly/creasing material. (ps. please ignore those little paint spots on my grey shirt sleeve.. and the mess on top of the bookcase - it's one of the last remaining spots the babes can't reach)

 fun earrings and a pin from the southern lovely blog - which I'm sure everyone already reads. I LOVE her packaging. I always wonder where people get such cute things to package in...

Fat quarter bundle from sew obsessed! (yay fabric!!! and it is sooo pretty - not sure what I should do with it yet. Anyone have ideas?) 

Lastly, these gorgeous prints for the babes room that I need to get picture frames for yet, they are from Urban Tickle - and Prudent Baby held the giveaway. 

and these thankful vinyls from  the 36th Avenue's blog

In other news, how do you know when it was time to move your kid into a toddler bed or just out of the crib in general?

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