Saturday, December 31, 2011


This is a tea towel with a 2012 calendar on it:

tea towel

One of the ships on there - look at the month of April - just so happens to be my Sailor's ship. ;) The other ships are regulars around the NY Harbor. Being the nerd that I am I found the Tugster blog last year, which led me to Bowsprite, who paints gorgeous pictures of the NY Harbor area. In November, Bowsprite designed a 2012 tea towel for a Spoonflower contest & I had to jump on a chance to order it to make up some awesome tea towels for my Sailor's mom, my mom, and myself.

Here's the yard - four tea towels! - from spoonflower:

one yard

Well. Guess what, I was a bit rusty on how to get the nice mitered corners and I certainly didn't want to goof these up! Sew Mama Sew came to the rescue with a great illustrated PDF guide on sewing these corners. I followed along -

Put on the 1/4" quilting foot and sew one line around the tea towel, 1/4" in from the edge. Then lift your foot and sew another line, 1/4" inwards from the previous one.

marking fold lines

marking next fold line

Next, draw a diagonal line across the boxes in the outer corner you've made so that the outside square gets snipped off:

mark corner to trim

Fold in at the corner of the inner square you marked:

fold corner

Now fold the edge at the outer stitching line:

fold inwards

And again at the inner stitching line, which will.... MAGIC... give you a mitered corner shape!


Stitch along the folded edge, and all done! Isn't WTGB-109 looking pretty awesome here in April? :)

Sturgeon Bay

If you, too, would like a 2012 NY Harbor tea towel, you can order it on Spoonflower on Bowsprite's Spoonflower page. I have my eye on the Semper Paratus fabric, and I think you might be seeing a skirt from it here shortly. ;)

(For the landlubbers, the name of the fabric, Semper Paratus, is the US Coast Guard's motto, it stands for Always Prepared. Every time the sailor laughs at me for lugging around a big purse with band aids, a water bottle, my evdo, a granola bar, extra socks, the kitchen sink, and so forth I tell him "Semper Paratus!")

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A small jumper

Here is the Chopin dress from Ottobre Summer 2010 again, but without the front pleats. Cat Jumper In this incarnation, it's a little jumper for Anabear to wear to school. I bought the fabric at JoAnn's last year and originally thought I might make it into a dress for Kate. However, I realized that the print is a bit juvenile for her (OMG, my smidgen niece is EIGHT. how did that happen?) and Ana might be more appreciative. Ana is also super attached to her family's cats, so she should enjoy this. I love the full, twirly skirt. I'm picturing this with a little white peter pan collar blouse underneath and maybe a white cardigan on top.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Sewing

Most years I try to sew a bunch of presents, as I'm very lucky to have family that really appreciate hand made coats or tote bags and whatnot. This year I managed one nightgown so far. Um... yeah. I will claim extenuating circumstances this fall- I was in a car accident, there was that huge attack of hives, and now I've caught some ick of the sore throat-fever-horrible cough variety. I give up, everyone gets home made presents for New Years this year. ;)

We did get a tree up with all our Santa ornaments on it. (Our tree is nothing but Santa ornaments. True story, I had friends whose parents put up multiple trees each December and one was only Santa ornaments. It blew my small mind and I promised myself that when I grew up, I'd have a tree of all Santa ornaments. And now I have one of my own every year and it makes me super happy. (; ) Here are a few of my favorite Santas that I photographed last year right before we put it away:

This one was a gift from my family when the sailor and I got engaged. One of my all time favorites.

sea captain santa

Washington state ferry.... I am so homesick this December.

washington state ferry santa

Sweet tooth Santa!

sweets santa!

Anyway. I wish I had gotten some better photos, but Kate wore the 1950s dress and slip I'd made her 2 years ago to the Nutcracker this year, and it still fits her! That kid is a skinny minny. Here is the post from 2009 where I originally made it for her. Kate's favorite part is the petticoat with all the netting, so I've promised to make her another one soon. Her mom says that there is always a big fight when she wears the dress because she thinks the petticoat should go above the dress so that everyone can admire it! So cute. So here she is wearing it at the ballet, totally absorbed in the web browser on my phone.


Kate & iPhone

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What size is Ana?

Miss Anabear is rather skinny and long, so she's been a little tricky to size for a while. I made up a simple white dress to match her sisters, but I got rather worried when it was done that it was too big for her!

This is a size 6 Simplicity 2989, the same dress I love making as seen in One Hardworking Pattern. Again, I used some leftover silk shantung for the fashion fabric and lined it in silk crepe de chine.

Ana dress

It's a very simple style here, with lace on the hem and puffed sleeves. Love the sheen of the shantung.

first dress

But I kept holding it up & feeling like it was just a little too large for the teensy bear, so I decided that since I still had oodles of silk left, I'd make something a bit smaller.

So here is my very first Ottobre! It's dress #25, "Chopin, rose patterned twirly dress" from Summer 2010. I left off the roses & the belt, but I did like the tucks on the bodice, as it adds a nice little touch. It's originally sleeveless, so I added in some little puff sleeves edged in lace. Same as all the others, it is white silk shantung lined in white silk crepe de chine... soooooo much fun to sew up! This stuff is like a dream to sew.

Ottobre Summer 2010 - Dress 25

And of course I had a good laugh when I was done, the two dresses are nearly the same size! Oh well, she will wear them at some point if they are too big right now! And until I see the nieces, I have a pile of silk dresses on my chair:

pile of dresses