I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guess Who Came to Visit??

The divine Miss Ella came to stay with us for the day. Her Mama got a free day to do some carpet cleaning and tasks that are hard with a little one. We had fun playing and cuddling with this little cutie. I have to admit that I didn't do much of the cuddling (or work) since my very able assistants Katie and Rosie were "in charge." 
I was only allowed to photograph the day. They literally fought over who got to change the diapers!
She gave us a thumbs up for being held all cozy for her naps.
She had lots of fun seeing new rooms and playing with new friends.
This is the same basket I used to take pictures of Andy in. The little dress is an antique from a yard sale. The buttons at the neck didn't fasten!
The froggy outfit (in my previous post) is too big. But it should be just right by the time we get spring or summer weather, which is a good thing, because...
we couldn't take her out for a walk yesterday!
We tired her out and she was ready for her Mommy to come pick her up. We babysat her from 9am to 9pm and she didn't cry more than 30 seconds at a time all day. She is a very easy baby. Did I mention she sleeps 10 hours at night? I never had a child do that before a year old (or more!). 

In other news, I am excited to have reached 100 Followers! Thank you!! I will be putting together a give-away SOON, but today I am off for a little trip with the kids while they are on school vacation. Maybe I'll find a nice antique something to include while I am gone.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Froggy Fabric, take 2:

When I first saw this adorable fabric, I knew I wanted to make an outfit from it! Do you remember the little top and shorts I made for Andy?
Well, when that fabric went on sale, I bought more, so I have enough for a few more outfits. Today, I made a quick outfit for Ella, my goddaughter.
The top is from a PDF pattern I bought on etsy: The Mayah Pinafore & Bloomers by Sew Sweet. This pattern is as easy and cute as I hoped! The top took about 40 minutes, start to finish. The back has crossover straps that are adorable!
The only change I made to the pattern was that I taped the front and back together at the sides, making one piece instead of having a side seam. I think the seam would be necessary on the larger sizes, but on this 6-9 month, I was easily able to fit it on a 42" width of fabric. The back ends up being on the bias, but I think that's fine. 
 The top is just 2 pieces, the outside and the lining. Stitch, clip, flip, and topstitch. Add buttons/holes, and voila!!
The bottoms that come with the pattern are bloomers, sure to be very cute, but I wanted short puffy panties instead, so I made up a 1-piece panty pattern. I wanted them to be full, too. I used the zigzag over round elastic technique for the legs. These took about 20 minutes. 
 So, the whole outfit could be whipped up in an hour- and that's with 5 kids on vacation running around!!
Now I want to make Andy another outfit for this summer from this cute fabric! I am thinking of froggy shorts with a purchased t-shirt with froggy embroidery. Since he was potty-trained at barely 2, overalls and rompers are not as convenient- boo hoo. I think Ella will be adorable in this and I'll try to share it modelled once I see it on her.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twin Preemie Blankets

Hubby has a co-worker whose wife had twin boys in January. Due to a rare case of twin-to-twin transfusion, they had to be delivered at 25 weeks. They were only 1kg and 2 kg in weight. When I heard about them, I thought it would be nice to make them little blankets with their names. I'm very lucky that none of my 5 ever spent time in a NICU (or even in the nursery, for that matter) but I can imagine that it would be nice to have something personal in their crib. This doll is about 12" long and is wearing a Carter's preemie sized outfit. The blankets are 24" square.
Their names are Brandon and Alex. I had fun doing their names in Embird Text, using Alphabet #17. I just recently discovered how easy it is to do text of any size/shape with Embird (once you purchase their alphabet!). I have always liked the Curlz font!
This is some of my favorite flannel. I have some pink, blue, and green in my stash. I don't have much blue left, since the first attempt of Brandon's blanket had a "boo boo". I caught the blanket fabric behind the teddy applique- oops. The last set of twins I made blankets for also had this flannel, in pink and green. I love the random polka-dots!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I "Mustache" You to Be My Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!! We had a fun day today. I wanted to show you the fun Valentine's Davy brought to school today. Our school has instituted a no-candy policy (as well as no baked goods and no nuts). So, I knew I would have to make something to go with his cards. Rosie says mustache-themed items are all the rage right now, so when I saw these free mustache props and ruler decorations at Embroidery Garden, I knew they would be perfect. Boy, are they quick to make! I could fit 6 of either in my 6x10 hoop and they are just one color! I made 12 mustache props and 6 rulers. These were attached to the boy's cards. For the girls, I made felt hair clippies. The heart design is from GG's Designs. I took out the Valentine sentiments and changed it to I "heart" school name (blurred for privacy). These were also so quick to stitch. I fit 12 in my 6x10 hoop. I made one hooping for Davy's class and another one with I "heart" dance for Rosie's dance class that she assists in (the girls are 5-6 years old).
 I then had some fun in PhotoShop making these cards. They were going to be backers for the felties, but Davy decided he didn't want to use them. Oh, well, I learned how to do text!
 Hubby took the day off and we had a special dinner with little presents. My Mom brought us this delicious cake from our favorite bakery! Yum Yum!
Hope you had a Great Valentine's Day, too!

You can still try to win a vintage pattern in my previous post- 2 have been claimed, 1 more to go!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I'm having a flash pattern give away today! I thought it would be fun. I am an avid vintage pattern collector and I'm sure some of you enjoy them, too! I'm offering some patterns that I got as part of a lot. I like them, but they are either duplicates, not a size I need, or just not my style- but maybe yours!
Here are the offerings:
McCall's 7783, size 3 or Simplicity 6211, size 5

S 6072, size 6 months or S 8761, size 6 months
S 1253 or S 2982, both size 8

McCalls 3455, size 1 or S 4073, size Medium (6-8)

S9239 size 4 or McCalls 8439 size 5
 I have mostly girls and babies patterns today. Most of my little boy patterns I like to keep. Some of the envelopes are a bit tatty and I have not checked for completeness (though I assume they are). Free shipping to Continental US only (sorry!) If this is fun for my readers, I'll offer a different assortment next time. Here's how you can win!

3 Ways To Win!!
1. Be the first person to leave a comment stating which pattern you want. I'll disable moderation for today, so you will know when someone has done this.
2. Be the first person to correctly guess my favorite decade in fashion (range is from 1830 to 2000 by decade, ie 1870s). Leave a comment and when someone gets it, I'll let you know.
3. Correctly guess the birth month of my first child- you have a 1:12 chance. 

I thought this would be fun instead of the usual random winner. Let's see how it works out! Be sure to leave the pattern number you want in your comment as well as a way to contact you (through your profile or an email address).

Monday, February 11, 2013

PR&P week 6: My Signature Style

Classic. Elegant. Delicate. Detailed.
These are the words that I hope come to mind when you see my signature style
This Christening Gown is one of my favorite creations. I made it in December for my new Goddaughter, Ella. She was just 3 weeks old when she was baptized. Isn't she adorable?
This picture shows the yoke detail. I spent many hours smocking a "block" for the yoke. Then, much of it was cut away to shape the yoke (and even more was lost in the seams). That was the worst part- cutting away the smocking!
The dress is a classic 28" long and has a machine embroidered cross/floral design with a lacy fancy band and ruffle at the bottom.

 Here is Ella modelling the gown. I love the length on her. It was long enough to go past her feet without overwhelming her little 3 week old self. I took these pictures myself with a new photo light I got for Christmas. I love the way they turned out!
This is one of my favorite pictures from the Christening day. She is wearing a sweater and bonnet made by my friend Shirley. The cross necklace was a gift from me: a keepsake of the day.
My daughter gave her the Christening Bear that day. She looks so cute with a little bow in her hair.
Details on the Dress:
Pattern for Yokes: Chery Williams Baby Yokes, size 3 mos.
Pattern for Sleeves: Ellen Briggs Party Dress, size 1, reduced by 10%
Fabric: Satin Batiste, 100% cotton
Laces: French 100% cotton
Embroidery: Linny's Heirloom by Artistic Designs
 Ella says, "I love my dress, Auntie Lisa. I feel so pretty and girly in it."
"Yeah, Aunt Lisa, you rock!"

Friday, February 8, 2013

A New Look at MAS

Hi Friends,
I am so proud that I figured out how to make a new banner for my blog! I have been wanting to try this for some time and today's snow day was the perfect chance. I installed the Adobe PhotoShop Elements that Hubby bought for me months ago. I wanted to use some images of children from vintage pattern covers and I figured out how to do it!! I scanned the images and cut out their outlines in PhotoShop, then added them to a background. 
 This is an intermediate step to what I really want to do, which will include a "Mommy's Apron Strings" icon and other website updates- like search, tags, and buttons. 
Thank you to all of you who have recently become followers! I click on your profile when you join and I try to "follow back" if you have a blog. It's fun to know that people are reading and enjoying what they see. I think I will have to start planning a great give away for 100 followers!!
Leave a comment and let me know if you like my new banner. Also, what type of give away would you like? Something homemade, vintage patterns, fabric or lace, magazines and books?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"the cicada did it"

Oh, so many good titles for today's story.
"Truth IS stranger than fiction"
"Detector Disaster"
"Alarming News"
We have been battling Norovirus (severe gastroenteritis) for over a week. It went through (pun intended) 5 of 7 of us and it has been nasty. It seemed to hit us at night, so there have been many sleepless nights and LOTS of laundry to do. Also, lots of days missed from school.

(Insert Prologue here) 
Timeline: Christmas Eve 2011, we had to call our fire department because our smoke detectors were going off and we could not figure out why. Small town= dispatch of all 2 ladder trucks, fire chief truck, and police. Turns out one of the smoke detectors had expired and because they are all wired together, we could not shut them off.

Timeline: December, 2012, we had to call the fire department, because we had just put up our tree and the lights were having an electrical burning smell. We were afraid it would start on fire, so again: 2 ladder trucks, fire chief truck, police.

Note that in a small town like this, you see the police around every day. They direct the carpool line at school, so I wave and say "hi" to them all the time.
(end Prologue)

Timeline: Last night, 3am: We are still not feeling great, so due to a late nap for Andy, we were up till 11. Got a few hours sleep, only to be awakened at 3am by a really loud, high-pitched siren. At first, I thought it was the smoke detectors, but only one source of the sound was found: upstairs hallway. As I said, when our smoke alarms go off, they all go off all over the house and they beep. This was a solid, ear-splitting whine. Hubby and I are running around checking the smoke detectors, the carbon monoxide detectors, the security system, the fire sprinkler system (which also has a siren). Hubby checks the walk-up attic, the garage, the basement, the yard. The sound can be heard throughout the house, but is still loudest in the upstairs hallway.

We all go down to the family room, where the sound is less. Another weird thing is that the 2 lights at the top of the stairs went out this week and hubby had determined that it was the wiring, not the bulbs. These lights are right near the sound, as is a return duct for the upstairs heat (furnace in the attic). So, we start to wonder if wiring has been compromised and is somehow setting off a fire or security alarm- but in the wall??

 Finally, we don't know what to do but call the Emergency Dispatch (which is in the next town). Thankfully, he suggested sending one police officer instead of the whole fire department. So, the officer came and he couldn't figure it out either. It has now been over an hour of this siren sounding. The kids and I are waiting in the family room when Pete (17) says "I think a cicada did it- they can be very loud." We all laugh- "do you think there are cicadas in New England in February?" But really, I don't have a better explanation!!

Finally, the noise stops and hubby and Mr. Police Officer (thank God it's not one I know) come downstairs and Officer leaves. "What was it?? What was it??" we ask.

Hubby: "While Officer was checking the attic, I noticed there was a box on the floor outside Davy's room. It was his toy metal detector and it was going off."
Me: "Are you kidding? How could a toy be that loud??"
So, I guess we're covered with our 2013 Emergency Services visit. I just hope our adventure doesn't make out local paper's Police Log!

Monday, February 4, 2013

PR&P week 5: Little Man Nightshirt

I was sad to miss out on PR&P last week. I had great plans, but Norovirus had other ideas. Instead of posting a cute Valentine outfit on Thursday, I was getting IVs. I am feeling much better, but it is still going through our house. Luckily, I had already finished this week's challenge!
As soon as I saw the themes, I knew I wanted to make a Nightshirt for this week's challenge. I have made nightshirts for Andy before (from knits) and they are very practical garments for boys. It is easy for him to go potty and the knit ones are like big t-shirts for summer- very comfortable!
I started with a large flannel shirt. 

I cut it apart at the seams to get flat pieces of fabric. This is a size 3, which is about as large as I could have gone, lengthwise. I kept the front button placket, so that made the finish work super-quick!
I made an inverted pleat on the back and a-line sides to add some roominess. The sleeves are long with plain cuffs.
Check out all the cute entries this week at Project Run & Play!