Monday, December 31, 2012

Apron times two

As my last post of the year, I wanted to share the two aprons I made for my youngest's daycare teachers. Both were based on this vintage pattern, though I made enough changes to the first apron that it's virtually unrecognizable as the same style:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hands down, my favorite decoration for the house is this advent calendar, made three years ago.  I based it on my in-laws wood version, but ours is all felt, with tiny rick rack, ribbon and seed bead decorations for the ornaments.  Clearly made before child #2 came along, each number was hand cut with an exact-o knife from freezer paper and then stenciled.  I still can't believe I went through all that trouble!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dumplings for Christmas

Other than the tree skirt, I only set out to make aprons for my son's daycare providers for Christmas this year in a conscious effort to reduce holiday stress.  The 2 year old goes to a Japanese immersion small family daycare**, and the teachers wear cute little cobbler-style aprons every day.  Clearly, I had to make one for each of the two main teachers!   So, in preparation, I purchased Japanese import fabric months back and ordered a vintage pattern from overseas.  After a few muslins to try out the pattern and making some alterations, I sewed up the first apron and it just fit oddly (though admittedly, I was trying it on and I'm not the same size as the ladies to whom they will be gifted.)  I loved the fabric so much, though, that with some scraps left over, I scrambled and made some cute little dumplings using this tutorial (and thanks to my Sewing Buddy, Jennie, for pointing me toward it!).  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas tree skirt

After seeing this tutorial, it was immediately imperative that I make a tree skirt.  Not that we needed one; on the contrary, I own a beautiful skirt with rows and rows of cute little pompoms that I actually like quite a bit.  No, I had to make one because despite not being a matchy-matchy type of person, I had some extra fabric left over from the stockings I made for the boys in previous years and I just really wanted it to be made-by-me!  Here're the boys' stockings (I designed them myself, so no pattern to reference):
That 2-D Zoo (Alexander Henry) was just spot-on perfect for my animal-loving eldest, and well, the youngest just got a pattern that matched his brother's!  I love rick-rack, so it had to be incorporated into the skirt.
The original pattern called for ties to close the back of the skirt, but I chose to do buttons and loops to make it look more clean.  With all color options laid out on the skirt, I opted for a light pink to make it modern and pull from the 2-D Zoo print.
Here's the whole lot together, in all their matchy-matchy glory!
Notice, mom and dad's stockings are missing.  I made ours many years ago, and my husband insists that I keep them as-is (though I think I've convinced him that they need to be pulled apart and stiffened with fusible fleece so they aren't all floppy).  
Unfortunately, we have this big, tall tree stand, and the skirt is definitely not designed for that kind of thing, so it doesn't lay as nice and neatly as I'd like.  Oh well...once it's buried under a heap of Christmas presents no one will care anyway!  

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cozy PJ bottoms

I bought that sweet mug at a student pottery sale at my college yesterday!  
Even in a land where I know the location of 3 pairs of sunglasses and no idea where my umbrella is (and it's currently raining), cozy pajamas are a must-have in the "winter".  I purchased this fabric (In the Clearing Winter, part of the LouLou flannel collection by Anna Maria Horner) online, not knowing that the printed flowers were in lines across the width of the fabric , and not as an edge print.  Luckily I'm short, so I was able to cut the pattern using the width of the fabric, placing the floral pattern at the sides of the pants (the back matches the front).