Fancy Foxes

You wan to know what the most fun quilt ever is: Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Foxes. Yay, now you know.


Sadly blurry ūüė¶

I made this one for a friend’s first baby. I knew the mom-to-be was a veterinarian and that they had rescued more than one wild creature from their backyard. I figured I couldn’t go wrong an animal theme. Plus, I’d been eyeing that fox pattern for a while


Making each little fox face became a bit obsessive ¬†– “just one more and I’ll go to see” – level obsessive. I think that red/orange one is my favorite


No, maybe the polka-dot one.


Or.. oh I don’t know. I love them all.

Kids Clothes Week – Quick Change Trousers

I struggled with Kids Clothes Week this year as my kiddo is at the age where he has very strong opinions on his outfits.¬† There must be jeans, there must be t-shirts.¬† No other clothes are acceptable.¬† It took lovely Ms. Mucho to remind me that there is nothing that says the clothes have to be for your child. So I decided to make a favorite from my own child’s past for a new little one.¬† These are the Quick Change Trousers from Handmade Beginnings.¬† I made the 12-18 month size for my friend whose little Z is just about 1.

Giraffe Pants

The really awesome part of these pants is that they are reversible.  Which makes them a bit stronger for that walking/crawling stage.  Also, gives you more chances to use cute fabric.  For one side I used a giraffe print for the main part of the legs and an olive green panel for extra diaper space.  The other side is a ombre blue leg with a mustache bum.

Mustache Back

What I really like here is that the fabric is left over from a blanket made for this exact same baby way back.

Front side

How cute is the giraffe print peaking out when the cuffs are turned?

April Fools Pranks Played on My Son

The boy has feeling about “eating green things”. ¬†They are not good feelings. He has also just discovered April Fools Day this year. ¬†His joke was “Mom, something happened today. I dropped my Darth Maul lego guy in the toilet and accidentally flushed. APRIL FOOLS DAY!!!!!” ¬†If there had been even a slight pause between the story and the punch line, it would have been a great prank on me.

Clearly, I had to show him how it’s done.

april fools plants

I had seen this on Pinterest and put a plan into action.  I came home, made pudding (with the boy watching the whole time), and sent him downstairs to play with daddy.  I put the pudding in some ceramic cups, the closest to a flower pot I could find.  While that cooled, I crushed some Thin Mint-like cookies and crumbled them on top.  Finally, I added a sprig of mint to each pot.

april fools plants all

I took the plants downstairs and told a nice story about how I had picked these up at the Ferry Building farmers market.  The guy had said the dirt was edible. Do you think we should try it?

“Noooooooo, grossssss”

“Really? ¬†I have a spoon. ¬†I think it might be kind of fun to eat dirt”

I took a bite.  He looked shocked.  I offered one to him.  He said no.  Daddy took mercy and said the dirt kind of smelled like chocolate.  He put it together. APRIL FOOLS!!

Victory is mine.

final reward

Well, those turned out weird

As I have mentioned before (and before and before and before) my projects don’t always work.¬† A lot of the time they are just weird.¬† It’s because I don’t follow the instructions. It’s because I take short cuts. It’s because I didn’t really understand.¬† In short, user error.¬† Every time.¬† I have made these pants before. Before they have worked.¬† This time they were weird. I’m sure it was me.¬† It’s always me.¬† Clearly they are just not long enough for the width.¬† BUT, here is a tip for sewing for boys: if you put a super hero on it, it doesn’t matter that the sewing is wonky. They are his favorite pants. I’ve re-sewn some seams twice now due to active use.


The grey corduroy is the same from the first installation of these pants.¬† I went up a size this time (4/5) so I needed to draw out a new paper pattern. I’m thinking that is where I made they mistake.¬† The contrast fabric is from a Marvel comics print at JoAnn’s that was 70% off.¬† All in all, I think I spent about 5 bucks.¬† Tim Gunn would not be impressed but my little guy was.¬† Good use of 5 bucks.

No-Sew Burlap Bowties

Our beautiful, wonderful nanny recently got married and who was the ring bearer? Why a little boy I happen to know.¬† We could not be more excited to be part of her special day. As the boy said yesterday “my family has a mommy, a daddy, and a nanny.”¬† Truer words have never been said.¬† She is part of our family and, in some ways the most important part, as without her we would probably devolve into feral creatures: unwashed, unfed, and with no gas in our car.

For the big day, I made no-sew (hot glue gun ftw!) burlap bow-ties for the two little boys.¬† I followed the basic instructions here.¬† Burlap is much thicker than normal fabric and frays like a mo-fo.¬† I used lots and lots of glue.¬† To attach to the boys’ shirts I glued the bows to small hair clips like these.


Of course on the wedding day, none of this went to plan.  But really, if something is going to go wrong on your wedding it might as well be some little bow-ties.

27.5 Hours to Cuteness

Time: 3:30pm

I find this adorable Newborn Kimono on Purl Bee. ¬†My friends just had a new baby boy and we are going to visit this weekend. ¬†As it has been known to happen, she finished the baby before I finished the baby blanket I’m knitting (curses on you, garter stitch). ¬†This pattern looks cute and doable in the time¬†allotted.

Time: 5:20pm

I figure out how to print things and get myself a copy of the template.  Note: I am an technology professional and can barely figure out how to print things on paper.  Do not ask me to fix your computer.

Time: 6:20pm

I go to the fabric store down the street from my house. Yes, they are still open! ¬†You, reader, are jealous that I have a fabric store down the street from my house. ¬†I pick up an awesome mustache patterned cotton. ¬†They sadly do not have any bias tape, much less the lovely Japanese ones Purl Soho sells but there is no time to lose… so I choose to use 1 1/2″ ribbon instead, folded over. ¬†I cannot be stopped.


Time: 7:45pm

Wash and dry the fabric.

Next Day AM – go to work


Time: 2:30pm

Come home from work, iron fabric, cut out pattern


Time: 2:50pm

Make critical decision between watching old Firefly episode or old Doctor Who episode. Notes own geekiness.

Time: 3:00pm

Start sewing

Time: 3:20pm

Realize I sewed the shoulder seems wrong, redo the shoulder seems.

Time: 4:00pm

Boy wakes up from his nap, entertain him a bit with cars before heading back to sewing machine

Time: 4:20pm

Start pinning down the ribbon. It’s much more slippery that bias tape would be so pinning is important. ¬†Sew on ribbon binding, be careful of curves.

Time: 4:50pm

Realize boy is stinky, put him in a bath then fix dinner.

Time: 6:25pm

Sew on snaps while boy finishes his dessert.  Attempt to keep his Nutella face and hands away from my handmades.

Time: 6:50pm

Iron and photograph.  Kimono is complete!


Anglerfish Stenciled Hoodie

Hey,¬†do you know that part in Finding Nemo? The part with the anglerfish? I do. I do very well. ¬†On the boy’s list of topics (he only has 4) anglerfish ranks really, really high. ¬†He both loves and fears the anglerfish. ¬†We talk about it a LOT. Today while he was off at the park with his grandparents (thanks, Mom and Dad), I stenciled an anglerfish from the Finding Nemo Best Dad in the Sea¬†book on to the back of his favorite green hoodie. ¬†This way he gets to be super cool by having an anglerfish sweater while not actually having to look at the anglerfish.

First I copied the main body out of the book an onto freezer paper.  I cut out the design with an xacto knife pen thing. You can see the quality of my drawing skills below.  I put in the place for the eyes but did not cut them out. I planned on doing them without a stencil. Then I ironed it onto the back of the hoodie

Freezer Paper Stencil

Oooh, and Joann’s was having a closeout on a bunch of their Jacquard metallic fabric paints ($2.50 each!) so I bought out anything that looked like it might be awesome. ¬†I used the metallic broze for the main body and silver for the spikes and illuminated lure. ¬†I let that dry for a while then went in with blue and added spot details. ¬†Finally I hand painted the teeth and eyes with opaque white. ¬†Hand painting on knits is pretty difficult but I’m not sure I could have done any better with a stencil.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with it. ¬†The boy was stoked, too.

He is VERY brave!

This one was a fighter

The baby boom continues around these parts. ¬†And while the robot blanket and the (soon to be completed) moderne log cabin knit blanket went basically according to plan, this blanket fought me hard. ¬†It really doesn’t look difficult but any way it could find to trip me up, it took. ¬†It was sneaky, I tell you, sneaky.

See, it looks innocent enough, with its diagonal machine quilting over a single panel of (very cute) bicycle cotton. Yeah, that took me two tries. See the big border of grey fabric?  That was supposed to go all the way around with mitered corners.

“Not this time” says the blanket. ¬†Not sure how I messed those up, but I REALLY messed those up. So much that I needed to go into the stash and find something to cover up the corners with. ¬†Luckily, this little blue circle fabric matched close enough. ¬†If I was really dedicated I would have blind stitched the corners on but to be honest, I was just about D for Done with this thing. I cried mercy and admitted defeat. The blanket smirked at me, reminded me of my place, and proceeded to turn out pretty darn cute anyway.


Sewing for Boys – Project Three

Yay, three projects from the same book. ¬†This has to be a record! It certainly means I get free reign to buy as many sewing books as I want (right, hunny?!). ¬†I had a bit of trouble with this one. ¬†I think if I go back and check my sizing, I’m going to find that I copied the pattern out a bit snug. ¬†When sewing from patterns in book, I transfer the whole thing onto tissue paper from a big roll. ¬†This way my patterns aren’t creased and folded, and I save any¬†permanent¬†damage to the master copies. ¬†However, it does allow for some “human error”. ¬†In this, I am more human than others. I can screw up almost anything.

Random side note: Shake it Out from the new Florence + the Machine album is good.  Is it just me or is there a kind of Peter Gabriel thing going on there?

Anyway, I had to rip out my side seams and make them much looser if I wanted the boy to be able to wear a t-shirt under it.  I also needed to add an extra inch and half band to the bottom for length.  I used the contrast fabric for my extra length.  I really love it like this.  That alphabet contrast is really subtle just at the neck but would be overwhelming as an all over pattern.  This little touch is perfect.

This fabric is French General from Moda. ¬†The solid fabric has a small detail right at the edging that I loved so I made sure the arms ended right on the edge. ¬†This means I didn’t really hem the sleeves. ¬†They are a bit long but I was not giving up that edging.

I really love this shirt.  I learned a lot making it.  My shoulder stitches are even and clean.  There are no wonky seams.  It looks well done.  Which is totally amazing! Very, very happy with this guy.

Sewing for Boys – Second Project

Looking through the Sewing for Boys flickr group¬†can remind you pretty quick there are a lot of very good seamstresses out there. ¬†I, without question, am not one of them. ¬†Not yet, at least. ¬†I’m working on it. ¬†That said, I love these pants. ¬†I know they are not the best made and are a bit big (that’s ok, he grows) but they are easily the first clothing item I’ve ever made right. ¬†Meaning, I finished all my edges, pressed all my seams, and followed the instructions. ¬†Amazing how much better things turn out when you do that. ¬†And when I screwed up the side panels the first time, I even ripped back and re-did it.

treasure pocket pants

These are the Treasure Pocket Pants from Sewing for Boys.  The gray fabric is a light corduroy and the side panels are a Kokka Japan print from a while back.

The big pockets are perfect for carrying dinosaurs.  Or pumpkin sitting

Lessons Learned:

  • Buy a lot more thread if you are going to finish your seams – you go through a lot
  • Finishing your seams really is a good idea
  • Don’t be lazy