amis au fil des ans

just a few good friends, sharing adventures in family, arts, and sometimes heavy machinery

Archive for the month “June, 2011”

coming to a store near you…

…if you live in boston or chicago that is.

i had someone contact me last week about selling my things in her store (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).  i went by this morning with the kids and some items and ended up signing a w-9 and leaving all the items with her.  um….say WHAT?  MY items are in an actual STORE?  i am still in a bit of denial.

here is what they are selling:

and i finally finished what i feel is a good mix of bibs and burp cloths to send to my friend who has the coffee shop / play space in chicago.  here is what she will get tomorrow:

so yeah…somewhere somehow i ended up with my things in 2 stores!  what a wild world we live in!


signed, sealed, and (soon-to-be) delivered!

happy to say that project crib bedding is complete and has been shipped off to cousin-in-law!  i can’t wait for her to get it…i just hope she likes it!

my last few items were a rag quilt (she wanted a large version of my rag lovey’s so i made one the size that i made for my girls), and 4 bib and burp cloth sets.

i really love how the quilt ties in all the fabrics and am very happy that i listened to your advice and stuck with using all the different fabrics for the various items i made.

feels good to be done though!  now…what’s next!?!?

in case you were interested, here is the rag quilt front and one with the back.  it has a solid cream flannel backing and light pink flannel for the middle layer.


here are some links for the crib bumper, crib skirt, and changing pad covers.  let me know if you have any questions!

nursery updates…finally

here are some pics of the old/new nursery space. we moved over the weekend and what a mess i have before me! lots to do for sure. i’m ready for some new creativity too. sarah – i love love your bumper (hehe). i really want to attempt that if i can. now that jordan is bigger, i can move beyond the breathable one. i want to take advantage of the new space and add some things. the first nursery was very basic with my sewing. it was impressive for me to sew a square. i guess i should move up. 🙂

as per my last couple posts…sparce as they are…life has been full…and i mean full. last week, i put in my notice at work. big big decision, but i have an opportunity to work with less stress and i will get to work from home most of the time. i’ve been craving this type of flexibility and opportunity to be with my sweet one more, so i am excited. super sad to leave though. it’s not public internally yet, so don’t go posting on facebook or anything. 🙂

so, here are the pics. first, the old nursery. little one was quite the helper!

then…the new space. i had a hard time capturing the space well. i love the room, but it has become challenging figuring out where to place everything and how to use it well. the ceiling is great. if you have any recommendations, please tell me!


hidin’ hooters

i wanted to make cute hooter hiders for both of my sister-in-laws who are pregnant.  i thought it would be fun to make them in complementary fabric with matching burp cloths, so i whipped these up.  i used the pattern from ruffledbegonia’s etsy store which adds a cute little ruffle to the standard cover.  in general these were easy to make, and i got to use some new materials – namely boning and d-hooks.  the d-hooks were pretty exciting, but the boning was super cool.  i made two big mistakes while making these – for the first one (yellow & teal), i worked past midnight and totally abandoned the directions at the last minute when making the long neck strap.  needless to say this did not go well because the strap ended up looking worse than you can imagine (and i know you have excellent imaginations).  i sat on it a few days, disgusted with myself before i finally picked up the seam ripper and started over.  now it looks much better!  on the second one i made an even more fatal error; when i bought the boning for some moronic reason i asked for 2″ more than i needed.  at the time this sounded like a good idea in case i made a mistake, but instead i forgot that i had more than i needed and used all that was remaining on the neckline for the cover.  meaning: the neck opening is significantly larger, and i fear it may end up being revealing (which by the way defeats the purpose of the cover).  by the time i realized what i’d done i was finished with the whole thing and didn’t want to start over.  i’m hoping its not that big of a deal and it still works, but if not i will gladly take it back and fix it.

the only modification i made was to eliminate the lining fabric because i was afraid it would be too hot.  i also found that my sewing machine will not sew on boning like the instructions imply.   i had to carefully stitch around the outermost edge, which wasn’t easy and i broke my thread at least 4 times.

for the burp cloths i used regular old cloth diapers and added a patch of coordinating fabric.  piece of cake!  it was fun to try and use up all my scraps.  all i did was cut a 4″ strip a little longer than the diaper, fold the edges over about 1/4″ on all sides, press the edges good and then top stitch all the way around.  anybody can do that!

stuffed, sewn, and tied

introducing…the crib bumper!


i put it on one of our cribs and it fit!  whew!  here are the two sides of it.  the ties come out of the top of the sashing so it can be “worn” either way and look the same.


here are some close ups of the ties.  i really like the loop on one end that you tie the ties of the other end into.  i remember with my girls’ bumpers there was always a gap where the two ends meet.  this is a really nice way to make it continuous (no pacis, arms, or legs will escape!).

i am going to continue the steps i used in the original post just to keep it all in one place.  but when all is said and done i would definitely do this project again!  let me know if you have any questions!

in case you are interested, here is the post that details the steps i used to make this.  enjoy!

steppin it up a notch

could use some improvement in cutting skills

this thing is a monster, takes up the whole table

ok so the kids apron was a tough little project, but i survived.  learned a few things, got a little more confident so what do you do next…well, i am tackling yet another advanced project.  this one involves lots of new materials – elastic, nylon webbing and plastic buckles.  i think since i used d-rings in my last project (to be displayed on friday), i shouldn’t have any trouble with these.  where i’m expecting to have trouble is with the self-made bias tape (because i already have a loathsome relationship with the stuff).  also, this project requires a lot more material than i’ve ever worked with, so i’m experiencing the art of bunching up all kinds of fabric under your sewing machine.  it took forever to cut out all the pieces for this project; seemingly because i’m used to cutting out bib-sized pieces, but still.  i ended up needing to take a nap after i cut everything because my back hurt.

anywhoo, my friends asked me to make one for their son and i found this cute fabric called dino dudes with coordinating ta dot teal fabric.  i’m using mccall’s pattern m5721, which includes not only a seat belt for the child, but also folds up into a handy little carrying sack with a shoulder strap .  we shall see how this goes!

go bruins!

or something like that.

also, go me!  i finished 2 changing pad covers today.  completed one at naptime and then one during the 3rd period of the hockey game.  all in all it is a quick and easy project that i think will pack a big punch in a nursery!

i followed the tutorial and try as i might i don’t think i made any changes.  but there is the caveat that i don’t know how well it fits because i do not have a changing pad to test it on.  fingers (and toes!) are crossed that it fits.  i used cotton for the top 1/3rd and a cream flannel for the bottom 2/3rds.


murphy’s law

no matter what project, big or small.  no matter when i refilled my bobbin thread, recently or a week ago.  i always, always, always run out of bobbin thread on my last seam on a given project.  always.

and tonight was no exception.  so i refilled it, finished the seam, and completed the crib skirt!

here are 2 photos with each side of the (unfinished) bumper.


i followed the tutorial pretty much to a tee.  the only thing i didn’t do was serge my edges.  i just did the double fold over.  the pleats were tricky but once i did one, the others were a snap.

here are some photos of the skirt as i was completing it.  let me know if you have any questions!


*** UPDATE ***

after putting this on one of my cribs as best i could i realized that the tutorial is off on the size it has you cut the deck of the skirt.  it says to cut a piece of fabric 28″ by 51″.  issue is that you want your finished product to be 28″ by 52″.  i recommend cutting the deck piece of fabric 29″ by 53″ (assuming you are using a 1/2″ seam allowance).  i was able to make mine larger by cutting it in half and adding in 1″ of deck fabric material and then re-doing the pleats on the long sections.  i didn’t do the short sides since i was just a 1/2″ shy.  let’s just say i am very happy i did the initial version with pleats!

dont you hate when…

…you don’t have enough material?  i sure do..

but at least progress has been made!  i have been sidelined due to a major mis-read in my supplies and i was way short on my sashing fabric.  somehow i missed that it said “2” strips of 3″ by 156″ fabric.  and i only had enough for 1 strip.  sigh…

but here is what i accomplished today:

cut what i thought was all of the material for the sashing and the ties.

the tutorial i am using suggested the following (what i did and recommend doing for this step is in italics):

sashing:  2 strips of 3″ by 156″ – next time i will cut 12 strips of 3″ by 28″.  this will be enough to cover the sashing for both the top and the bottom and will already be cut in the sizes needed.  2 for each end piece and 4 for each long piece (assuming you are placing the ties in the middle of the sashing to allow it to be reversible; if this is not needed for your bumper then you could cut 4 strips of 3″ by 28″ and 4 strips of 3″ by 53″).  

ties:  24 15″ lengths of double fold stitched bias (or non-bias) tape – i cut 12 strips of 2″ by 30″ and made my double fold stitch bias from that.  then i sewed it into the sashing on the fold so i had my 2 15″ pieces stick out.   

loops:  2 3″ lengths of double fold stitched bias (or non-bias) tape – i cut 1 strip of 2″ by 6″ and will cut that in half when it comes time to sew it in.

made double fold stitched bias (or non-bias since i didn’t cut on the bias) tape for the ties.


sewed 1 30″ tie into the middle of 2 sashing pieces.  repeat for other long piece.
this will be used for the middle tie on the long pieces.  other than the fact that i am not making a patchwork bumper this was where i deviated from the tutorial.  i opted to make this bumper reversible (not having a set front or back so the mom-to-be can select what she wants to use) and place the ties in the top / middle of the sashing instead of between the sashing and a front side of fabric.  also, not having the crib that this bumper was going to go on i had to guess where the crib rails are for the placement of the ties.  i just plunked them smack in the middle of the long side.  hopefully this was accurate and if not hopefully my ties are long enough to cover any error.  (side note:  this was when i realized that i did not have enough material for all the sashing.  grrr…)

cut material for 1 side of bumper.

backing fabric (since i am not doing a patchwork side both my sides can be considered backing):  9” wide x 156+” long (4 strips of 9” wide, 45” long fabric, joined) – i cut 2 pieces of 9″ by 53″ and 2 pieces of 9″ by 28″.  this was based on a 27″ by 52″ crib and using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

sewing right sides together and using a 1/2″ seam allowance sewed the long piece of sashing (with the ties in the middle) to the long piece of fabric.  repeat for other long piece, and 2 short pieces.

cut material for other side of bumper.  again, i cut 2 pieces of 9″ by 53″ and 2 pieces of 9″ by 28″.

sewed right sides together to the sashing.  long pieces to long pieces and short pieces to short pieces.

this was where i had to stop because i ran out of sashing material.  but here is a picture of one long piece hanging over the bumper batting.


all in all i think i will really like this when it is complete!  i plan on making 4 “tubes” first for each side of the crib.  then when i attach one tube to another i will sew in the ties to the sashing.

stay tuned for more on this project when the material comes in!  tomorrow night i will tackle the crib skirt and maybe the changing pad covers…


new fabric came and i was able to continue project:  crib bumper!

i cut the sashing into 6 strips of 3″ by 28″.  then i attached the sashing to a short side of the bumper sewing right sides together to one fabric and then the other forming a tube.  i repeated this for the other short side.  i also selected one tube to be the end and placed a tie in the top and bottom and sewed a seam up the side.


next i sewed a tie into the center of 2 sashing pieces to form one long piece which i sewed to a long side of the bumper.  again i sewed right sides together to one fabric and then the other forming a tube for the long sides.  i repeated this for the other long side.  now i have 4 tubes, 2 short and 2 long.


the next step was sewing the tubes together to make one gigantic tube.  you also had to attach the ties at the seams where the pieces join.  i started by turning the short side that i had closed up one end of and turned it right side in.  then i shoved that into a long tube that was still inside out.  lined up the edges, placed the ties in, and sewed it up.  repeat that for each tube until you have one super long gigantic tube!  stuff it with your batting or foam, place your loops, sew up the end, and you are done!


i wish it was that easy though.  stuffing with the batting was a tad painful as the thing really is long.  and then closing up the end was tough because the bumper is stuffed right to the end.  i ended up folding the foam back so i had more material to work with and then just had to maneuvre the foam back into the corners when it was all closed up.  the other thought i had was to change my foot to a zipper foot but…well…i didn’t do that.  anyway, i am super duper pleased with how it turned out.  even more excited that it fit the crib!  whoo-hoo!

see finished product here.

ribbon blanket

my neighbor came over the other day and said that she thought i should make some ribbon blankets because babies love to pick the blankets up by the ribbon and rub the ribbon between their fingers.  it seemed easy enough, so i whipped one up using some extra flannel and ribbon i had laying around.  i don’t think a baby will mind that the colors don’t really go together.  overall this project was super easy and took no time at all, so i would definitely recommend it for beginners.  the only thing someone could get tripped up on is the placement of the ribbons.  just spend about 2 minutes laying a few out and thinking about how they will lay, and you’ll be fine!

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