Thursday, October 25, 2012

Felt and flannel for the baby

Are you sick of baby projects and posts yet?

Sorry if the answer is yes, but bear with me!

I made my first baby projects that were NOT from the Handmade Beginnings book this past week and weekend.  

These are both free patterns that you can find on the Purl Bee and I just thought they were so cute and would work so well with materials we had here at the shop that I couldn't resist taking some time away from cleaning and bill-paying to stitch them up.

First up we have the felt baby shoes: pattern found here

Wee little shoes are just so high on the adorable scale, don't you think?

We recently received over 30 colors of Heather Bailey's wool blend felt in the shop.  I can't think of any other way to describe it than to say it is simply delicious.  I'm not a "felt" person per se, but these colors are so gorgeous and the felt is so soft it makes me NEED (vs. want) to do something with it.

The baby booties were the perfect project to squelch my felt obsession.

I made one magenta pair with chartreuse stitching for the neighbors across the street who just had their baby girl on Sunday.

I have no photo to share with you of that first pair, as I immediately ran next door with my gift when I saw they were home in the hopes of exchanging the little shoes for a few moments snuggling their baby.  That's how we roll in the Mills: all up in your business, but in the best possible way.

Anyhow, it worked: they have a gorgeous baby girl who got some snuggles in with me and will by no means have cold feet this winter.

This pair is not for my baby but for another set of friends who had a little girl in August.

It's nice to make things for little baby girls, too.


I tend to have little bits and bobs of ribbon lying around and I added a little pull-tab to the back of the booties because I think it will help get the booties on and off but also I love a good excuse to use ribbon: especially an excuse that uses up small leftover bits.

Now I definitely need to make a pair for my baby, too.

Good news: Heather Bailey's felt is available at the shop to local customers in over 30 different colors.

Bad news: we haven't quite figured out how to put the Heather Bailey felt onto the internet shop yet, so they may not be available to internet customers for a while, though you could always special request them from us.  It's a bit of a logistical nightmare to keep track of how many are in stock and to tell one color from another as they are not individually labeled, but one of these days we will figure it out and get it online.  This stuff is just too amazing not to share with the world!


 Before the booties came the felted (or in this case flannel) baby jacket: pattern found here.

I loved this project the minute I saw it, but I believe if you do the calculations and use the Purl Bee's recommended materials you'll be spending upwards of $60 to make one baby jacket.

There's a time and a place for a $60 baby jacket and I am sure the felted wool is AMAZING, but what I immediately thought of for this project was the new flannel we had just received at the shop.

Everyone loves these more "adult" flannels and they have been flying off the shelves: the colors are so subtle and lovely and the flannel itself is so soft you just want to curl up and suck your thumb.

It was the kind of product that once it arrived at the shop and I saw in person how gorgeous and soft it was I immediately smacked myself on the forehead and said: "WHY didn't I order MORE of this???"

Well, there is more flannel on order, I have remedied that situation, but in the meantime we still have quite a bit to choose from.

I used this flannel for my baby's jacket and this fabric for the lining (had been looking for a good excuse to use that fabric, too...)

I loved the project so much I asked Shawna to make up one more jacket as a shop sample, this time in this flannel and this cotton for the lining.

Oh, and I forgot the best part: this jacket costs just $10 to make and I think it is equally as lovely as the $60 version.

As with the shoes where I added my own little ribbon detail, I changed up the Purl Bee's pattern a bit and added a pearl snap to this jacket.

I think the pearl snaps are so classy and neutral enough to go with almost anything, plus the scale was perfect for this project and you set the snap with a hammer, so no hand-sewing was involved.

All in all, these projects were so fun and simple and I think I will reach for them again and again.

I have to hand it to the Purl Bee: it is truly a fabulous resource.

Talk to you all again soon!



Friday, October 19, 2012

Here We Go Bag

The "Here We Go" diaper bag, pattern by Anna Maria Horner.

Here we go, indeed!  

All of a sudden this pregnancy is feeling very "real" to me... 3 babies have been born to friends in the past 8 weeks (there was a bit of a baby boom in the Mills this year, I guess you could say) and I am at 33 weeks myself, with a shower and a due date fast approaching.

I've been told that anytime after month 7 you should have your hospital bag packed, so I guess it's a good thing I've finished the "Here We Go" bag by Anna Maria Horner.

The interior has a divider to keep things nice and neat, plus a little loop to hold a changing pad.
 It's yet another project from her excellent book  Handmade Beginnings.  

I feel a bit like "Julie & Julia," except instead of cooking my way through all the recipes in a Julia Child cookbook I am sewing my way through all of the projects in an Anna Maria Horner book.

And you won't find my normal "novel" that I like to write for a pattern review because I am happy to report there is nothing to report!

Elastic pockets... perfect for mama bottles and baby bottles, too!

I followed all of AMH's instructions and used all of her recommended interfacings and I just couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

I used home-dec weight prints for the exterior and the handles of the bag, but you certainly don't have to.  The bag works just as well in quilting weight cotton.  

The lining stripe is a mystery print from my stash: I truly have no idea where it came from, but I love it.

I can't wait to tote this bag around town AND of course tote the baby that goes with it.

Have a great weekend and I will be back soon!



Monday, October 15, 2012


Has it really been two weeks since I last posted?

I suck.

I won't bore you with stories about how frickin' busy I am, or of how being pregnant has made me uber-forgetful and not quite my usual, semi-organized self.

But let me try to make it up to you, mkay?

There's a giveaway this weekend on Soulemama for the brand new "Poison Apple" fat quarter set.

Then there will be a 10% discount for those of you in the know.

Also I reeeaaalllyyy want to share with you some of the sewing I have finished lately.

I have finished a lot, for me, anyways.

And, as God is my witness, I will share it all with you.

 The irony of doing all this sewing and finishing is that I have made the time to "make," but haven't made the time to blog about it.

You still love me, though, correct?



Monday, October 1, 2012

Guess I'm going through my "Blue Phase"

Sooo in love with this new fat quarter set I put together: the "Requiem" Turning Twenty.

I wanted to do something a bit more edgy than the usual and I was inspired by the "aggressive" Queen Anne's Lace fabric in Anna Maria Horner's "Field Study" collection... I believe it's called "Specimen."

Not sure I want to make a Turning Twenty with this one: maybe something a bit more daring, with smaller, less predictabel pieces.

What do you think?