pilot baby hat

My friend Crystal and I met the first day of our freshman year of college. We lived on the same floor in our dorm and as a meet n’ greet exercise each person went around the circle and said something about themselves. She mentioned that she and her family were pilots which I thought was the coolest thing ever.

Flash forward 8 years or so and she and her husband were trying to have a baby. I pinned some cute baby stuff for inspiration, like this hat. They still had a bit of a journey at that point, but when I was hanging out with her and her son about a month ago I remembered the hat.

Here’s my version that I finished last night.

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I have a visit planned in March so hopefully we’ll get to do a photoshoot then ūüôā I’ve told her and her husband that they will need to make the cardboard box airplane. Lol.

We got record snowfall here in Kentucky last night and are expecting more tonight. I am a fan of snow, especially when you don’t get to see it very often. It’s been very cozy to stay at home and work on crafty projects. ūüôā

belated birthday dress and infinity scarf

I gave my mom a store-bought infinity scarf for her birthday and my Aunt Amy, whose house we were visiting at the time, was intrigued by the concept. I am not sure how she hadn’t heard of one before but I decided to make her one with this red flowery chiffon I found thrifting back in Alabama.

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I’d been considering making a top out of it, but am glad I used it for a scarf instead. I probably could have chopped it in half since it was wide, but worried about the fabric being difficult to work with since it felt so silky. I just french seamed the short raw edges together so no threads would escape, left the selvedges alone along the long sides, and it was a scarf!¬†Since the weave was very fine it condenses nicely when worn¬†even with a larger than normal amount of fabric.

While I was at it, I made my little cousin Emma a belated birthday dress in summery plaid. (Also made myself a top that I need to photograph.) The fabric is perfect for summer, very light but not sheer like everything else seems to be this season.

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I had some white eyelet fabric leftover from a skirt refashion (that also needs photographed) so I used it for the yoke to add some visual interest instead of just using plain white.

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This was my second time using the popover dress pattern. I also used it to make her a birthday dress last year. She actually wore last year’s dress for Easter while I was visiting. It was fun to see it in person and she looks so cute in it!

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And here’s my aunt and Emma wearing their new stuff.

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Many more things to blog and photograph as this summer has been declared to be my summer of sewing after a near hiatus over the winter/spring months. Hopefully I’ll catch up a little on posts over the long weekend.

romper from an upcycled pillowcase for Emma

I knew when I bought this strawberry printed pillowcase that I wanted to make it into a romper for Emma. I didn’t realize that it would take me almost a year to find a pattern that looked like what I wanted to make.

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these pillowcases are now an apron, a romper, an a-line dress, and another apron. (left to right)

When Elegance and Elephants came out with their Pleated Playsuit pattern, I knew I had not been waiting in vain.

I cut out the pieces in May and finished all the sewing a week or two ago. If I sat down and worked on it continuously, I’m sure it would have gone along fairly easily but a lot happened between May and August.

My pillowcase wasn’t as vibrant as I remembered it. It is a bit worn, but I still like the cute strawberry print.¬†I used red broadcloth for the lining since the pillowcase was a bit sheer with wear.

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I briefly considered making the whole thing reversible, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around it and preferred to get the project done and finally send Emma everything I’ve been making for her this summer (shorts, apron, hat, romper, doll quilt – yet to be blogged, and some found GAP jean jackets).

This was my first time buying broadcloth that wasn’t at Hobby Lobby. I bought whatever was on the shelf and cheap at Hancock Fabrics and I got a surprise when I put the iron to it.

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I have never had that happen with Hobby Lobby broadcloth and I’ve worked with it a LOT. But the stuff I bought at Hancock Fabrics straight up melted. (Both fabrics are a poly-cotton blend.) I was more careful while working with the rest of the fabric and didn’t have another incident but I won’t buy this kind of broadcloth again.

The pieces had sat in a pile for a while after I cut them so it was fun to see the playsuit start to take shape.

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I didn’t need to make a lot of adjustments to add the lining; I cut one strawberry and one red for all of the bodice and pants pieces, including the back pocket linings and even the leg cuffs. The only pieces I didn’t cut one red and one white of were the front pocket linings and the straps. Then I just sewed the pillowcase and red pieces at the same time like they were one piece and it all worked out.

I pinked the inside seams that weren’t finished, which were all the seams on the bottom and the joining seam.

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And it turned out to be a decent little romper!

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I like the pattern enough to make it again in a different fabric, especially after seeing the people who have linked up their awesome versions with the pattern. I don’t know if I will actually be making another version anytime soon, but the pattern is definitely a keeper. Oh, and did I mention it’s free??

There are great details included, like the pocket lining peeking out…

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and the pleat in the front bodice.

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I also like the little tie spaghetti straps.

Emma should be getting her package in the next few days and I hope she and her parents like it as much as I do! I’ll do a write-up on the doll quilt soon, and there might be another tote in the near future. ūüėČ

camper sunhat

I’ve already made Emma a purple and green reversible bucket hat¬†this summer, but the camper hat pattern at A Jennuine Life was too cute to pass up.

I took a piece of star, sun, and moon fabric that has spent nearly a decade in my stash…

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and paired it with orange and white fabric I’d found at a yard sale.

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It’s an interesting combination, but I think it works. The orange and white was originally going to be some potholders and/or oven mitts so now I’ve got to choose new fabric for those. I just had to use it for this hat!

I used blue thread to topstitch on the blue side and white on the orange side, so there are tiny dots of blue thread showing along the stitching on the orange side.

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The pattern was simple to follow and came together easily, though ironing the seams on the top of the hat was a bit tricky. I might topstitch the seams on the upper part of the hat if I make this pattern again, but I didn’t want to deal with sewing that curve this time around. And definitely make sure to mark the bottom of your four hat pieces! The sides are really hard to tell apart from the bottoms unless you do.

So now Emma also has an orange and blue sunhat (once I send it to her) and a purple and green bucket hat. I hope she likes all the bright colors!

pillowcase dresses for Haiti

I read this post on Alida Makes (and later on The Sewing Rabbit) and set to work cutting out some pillowcase dresses.

I had a large piece of thrifted fabric that I’d tried to use for me and knew it would be better off as some cute little dresses. I used the Prudent Baby tutorial I’d used before to make little dresses for charity¬†but in a toddler size this time.

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I didn’t have any coordinating fabrics or ribbons in my stash so I kept it simple. The blue bias tape ties were in the vintage sewing supplies from Kathy’s mom; I was on my way out to door to buy ribbon for the ties when I checked that stash and they matched the blue!

This purple heart covers a small hole in the fabric.

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I hope they get lots more dresses for the little ones there! The deadline is at the end of June if you want to participate.

I’m well on my way to my goal of doing six charity projects this year. So far I’ve made baby bibs for China, zipper pouches and crochet bracelets for She’s Worth It, a quilt for Quilts for Kids, hats and scarves for Romania, and these pillowcase dresses for Haiti. I’ve already got a Project Linus quilt in mind…

striped summer shorts

Even though I sent off her birthday package, I haven’t stopped sewing for Emma yet. I found a cute piece of fabric in the magical endless bag of goodies from Kathy’s mom and I wanted it to be a pair of striped shorts for Emma. I used this tutorial from Caila-Made.

I made this pair reversible like the popover sundress I sewed for her; the fabric definitely needed a lining so why not finish all the seams the easy way by hiding them on the inside?

To make them reversible, I tried to place outside and the inside right sides together, one inside the other, and sewed the bottoms of the shorts together. This did not work.

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What did work was sewing them right sides together at the cuffs this way, without having the two pieces inside of each other.

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I encased the elastic between the two layers at the top of the shorts.

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The inside of the shorts. They aren’t totally “reversible” because the outside fabric sticks out a little at the top and cuffs.

I cut my elastic about an inch smaller than suggested because otherwise my shorts would have had no give at the waistline. I guess the waist is higher up because I didn’t turn down a lot of fabric for the casing since they were lined? (I just figured that out as I was writing this post.) I also extended the leg line a bit.

I hope they fit, but they turned out cute even if, unfortunately, they aren’t wearable. That’s the disadvantage of long-distance sewing. I might have to try this pattern again in a darker fabric that won’t need a lining.

I like how the shorts have more rise in the back, and the tutorial had good instructions. I was easily able to get a finished product.

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Voila! Love that striped fabric.

I’m adding these to Shorts on the Line even though I’m sure their simplicity won’t net me any awards.

It’s kind of like my entry for Skirt Week; I participated and got a cute final product and a chance to share my stuff with the sewing community. That’s good enough for me! I hope to work my way up to sewing more complicated items with fun details soon.

tops for emma

One day while thrifting in Alabama, I found a handmade navy wrap skirt with green hippos printed on it. I’d recently seen this hippo dress¬†at¬†Cation Designs¬†and it inspired me to scoop it up. I’d planned to make a simple tank top from it for at least a year, but decided a hippo top for Emma would be cuter and get more wear. I used the free toddler swing tank pattern from true bias, but cut the tank to keep the original hem of the skirt. emmahippotank01A The skirt had a hand-stitched vintage hem, but I tore it out and sewed it on the machine for looks and toddler durability.

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hand-stitched

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machine-stitched

The pattern was easy to follow. I didn’t cut the back as two pieces so I stitched the lower part along the seamline, pressed the extra to the side, and topstitched it down.

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I like how the hippo peeks out of this seam.

Then I cut on the fold at the top where the button attaches and followed the directions to finish the edges.

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I found the perfect button in my stash for this top!

emmahippotank05A I used store-bought bias tape to finish the edges, and it came out clean and simple. Plus I still have plenty of hippo fabric left for other projects. On to the second top!¬†I was checking out the Pleated Penny pattern over at Shwin&Shwin when I discovered the free Black Bird Tunic. I was printing it out minutes later and sewed it up quickly. I used this recently acquired yard sale fabric to make up the shirt, and a large red button from my stash. A scrap of red broadcloth was perfect for the pocket. blackbirdtunicA If I was making it again, I’d move the pocket to the other side to balance out the button, but I’d already sewed two rounds of topstitching on the pocket when I put the button on and realized all the red was on one side.

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Here’s the whole lot together: the tops, popover sundress, stuffed owl and bucket hat. emtotalpackageA Both tops look super cute on Emma. ūüėÄ (I need to remember to enlarge the armholes in my next projects for her.) emmagifts01 My aunt said she put her new clothes on right over her pajamas when she opened the package! And then she sent me proof!

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new owl, hat, and top! and check out those cute elephant PJs! (though I didn’t make those.)

She now sleeps with the stuffed owl I made her AND she took it to sh0w-and-tell, so it’s a win all around. Her birthday present was a month late and took four blog posts to cover it all, but I’ve finally wrapped it up (though I do have a couple more things in the works for her). The vintage curtain bag giveaway, a recent Goodwill trip, and some things I made for me will be appearing next!