In Progress

Today I’m showing you some pillows I’m working on for a client.

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I’m making some simple quilted pillows in these fun blue prints, which I think have sort of a nautical style.

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I can’t wait to show you the finished pillows! Come back next week to see some other goodies I’m working on – a little business and a little pleasure.

Have a great weekend!

-Meredith

Round Trip Dress in Liberty

About a month and a half ago, I liked an Oliver + S post announcing the release of a new Lisette pattern, the Round Trip Dress. Very shortly after, my sister said she needed that dress that I ‘liked’. That thrilled me, because I knew what I’d be doing for Emilee’s birthday!

Well its only been a month and four days, but Emilee now has her very belated birthday gift. And it looks darn good on her!

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I’ve been wanting to make a dress for her with this Liberty horse fabric (Kussman) for some time, and I was so happy that Pink Chalk had it. I would’ve gone with the brighter colorway, but Emilee liked the blue one. And because it was her birthday, I obliged. Initially, I was thinking a chambray collar would be fun, but Emilee wanted black. She has waaaayyy too much black in her wardrobe, and I don’t have a single cut of solid black fabric, so I rebelled and used a super dark navy voile. I bet she hasn’t even noticed. :)

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So some dress details… This pattern did not call for any lining, just facings (which by now you know I detest), so I just did what I wanted, and went with a full lining using my trusty Free Spirit solid voile. For me, a full lining means skipping out on overcasting the exposed seams, because there are no exposed seams. Plus it just looks a gazillion times better! I also used a hook and eye for the top front closure after trying out the button and loop and disliking the look. I think it looks a bit cleaner.

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Its safe to say the pockets are her very favorite feature of this dress! In fact, I do believe that Emilee’s motto is that any garment is made better with pockets.

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I think Emilee looks perfectly cute in this dress! I made it to fit her exactly, which meant a good bit of grading and changing. But I’m so glad I waited to sew or finish a particular step for me to measure her when needed because the result is a fabulously fitting dress. And she loves it. Few things beat the feeling that comes with seeing someone love something that you put your heart into.

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I’m sorry things have been so slow around here. I’ve had to more than double my ‘real’ job workload to pay for Baby’s arrival, which unfortunately means house and blog are suffering. Three more weeks of work, and then I’ll have some time off before Baby gets here to jabber on about all the last minute things I’m working on! Come back tomorrow to see a peek of what I’m working on for a client.

Self Drafted Maternity Dress in Liberty

I’m now at the point in my pregnancy that nothing fits. I’m talking my maternity pants are about to reach their limit. When I’m at home, I basically want to wear a tent because it seems that’s the only solution that won’t suffocate me. The issue I’m running into is that I do have to go out in public a few times a week. I really needed to come up with something.

The happy medium to style and comfort I found is a dress. Using a dress I currently have as a rough guide, I drafted my own pattern, and got to work.

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I never go straight into a pattern without making a muslin, so the fact that I went straight for the Liberty shows my desperation for clothing that fits. This dress has an overlapped v-neck and a band with ties, along with some little feminine sleeves. The skirt portion is basically just a ton of fabric gathered up to cover my belly. Desperate times, people.

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I do love this dress! Its so light, which was an absolute necessity for the already hot weather here. I only lined the bodice of the dress (with my trusty Free Spirit solid voile), and left the skirt unlined. All seams are either enclosed with lining, or with French seams.

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The Claire-Aude print from Liberty has long been a favorite of mine, and it definitely makes me feel more glamorous in my current state.

While I’ll get a lot of wear in this dress over the next six weeks or so, I plan to take it in once Baby is here so I don’t have to closet it and just hope for another pregnancy (which my husband has assured me will not be happening). We’ll see.

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This is exactly what I love about sewing. I love the ever present opportunity to just imagine and go with an idea. Its incredibly empowering to have a need (or a want), and then with your own hands to meet it. Perhaps exceed it. For me, its less about fabric accumulation, and more about using a special print in a way that satisfies me. Not just making for the point of using up fabric, but to showcase a loved fabric in a useful way. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to using Liberty in garment sewing. I get to see it as often as I wear it, and since I’ve used primarily Liberty fabrics in my maternity sewing, I get to see those favorites often. And it makes me feel good to wear something so beautiful. Sure, I can make quilts, but where I live, we get so little use out of them, that I would rather use my most special fabrics in a different way.

I’d love to know- how do you use your most treasured prints?

Have a beautiful day!

-Meredith

Things to Come

Since I don’t have any finished projects to show off today, I thought I would share with you some of the fabrics that you’ll be seeing in projects that will be finished in the [near] future. First off, a lovely stack from Jones and Vandermeer.

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The top fabric is a fun print from Yuwa, which was sent to me as a gift. The mint color is fantastic!! I’m not sure what this one will turn into yet, but I’m thinking it needs to be something I see daily.

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Next up is this gorgeous Liberty print, Claire-Aude, which has long been a favorite of mine. This lawn is already in the process of becoming my next dress, which I hope to show you in the next day or two. I’m running out of clothes that fit, so I’m scrambling to make enough to get me through the next seven weeks!

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I told you I was going to have to order some more of this flannel! My word, is it divine! Every time I pass Baby’s blanket I reach out to touch. I just have to stock up on chambray, then this will become a blanket for Layla. It will be bigger, and I think she will get a lot of use out of it. I’m thinking I’ll use a pretty pink to bring out “warmer” shades in this muted flannel. If she gets picky, which she very well may because she is one opinionated child, I don’t have a single problem taking this one off her hands.

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Okay, this fabric. Liberty. Chambray. Together!!!!! Could there be a better marriage of fabrics?! I get a little overwhelmed every time I lay eyes on this fabric, which was a birthday gift. This utterly gorgeous print will become my first post pregnancy shorts. So you won’t see that project for a little while, because things need to get back to their proper size before that happens. But what motivation this is!!

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I hope to be back in the next day or two to show you my new dress! Thanks for stopping by.

-Meredith

 

The softest baby quilt ever…

After a quiet week last week, I’m back with another baby quilt. And let me tell you, its a good one! I definitely need it in throw size immediately.

When I made this quilt a few weeks ago, I was unsure of what fabrics I wanted to use for the solid portions, so I ordered several voiles and lawns so I could make the choice in person. Little did I know the solids would play so nicely together. I chose a few Liberty prints to sprinkle in, and got to work using every solid I ordered.

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This soft little baby quilt measures 27″ x 36″, so it will be perfect for immediate use once Baby gets here. Layla approves of the size of this one, so now I can move onto making some good floor quilts for him to roll around on. Side note: four year old little girls are incredibly opinionated and outspoken. Her little brother already has a very serious advocate, and he doesn’t even know it yet. 

So the back of the quilt…

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Its basically the softest fabric I’ve ever felt. I used Michael Miller’s organic Sherpa which I prewashed because it absolutely does shrink. When he [Baby] gets out, he’ll want something soft, so I thought this was the next best thing to womb. Its totally a guess though. :)

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I did forgo the batting because with the Sherpa on the back, this quilt was heavy enough, especially considering he will be a May baby born in Southwest Florida. And guess what?! I machine quilted again!! I used the walking foot because I think the Sherpa is a knit, and that helped the two layers to stay together evenly. I used the same 28wt Aurifil thread on this quilt as well.

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I’m very happy with the way this one turned out. Getting more comfortable with machine quilting is also a huge bonus! The stitches are very consistent and quite straight which is shocking to me. I didn’t want my standard chunky hand quilting to take away from the softness of the Sherpa, so that was a big factor in my decision to machine quilt this particular quilt.

The big day is getting close! I find out today if they will be moving up the due date since his measurements have consistently been ahead at every visit. I’ll have to let you know!

Have a great Monday!

-Meredith

 

 

PSA

Hey there! While I’m buried under a mountain of work, I thought you should know that while Jones and Vandermeer is on vacation for the week, they are offering 10% off everything! Orders will ship out Monday. And by the way- all shipping is free on orders over $60!

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So go on! Consider yourself enabled.

-Meredith

Baby Sewing: Cutie Patootie Baby Pants

I’m working my way through my latest fabric purchase. Today’s project uses that gorgeous Muddy Works Stars double gauze, and a little Liberty just because. The pattern is the Purl Baby Pants from the Purl Bee.

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What a quick and satisfying project this is!

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Its funny, because my first thought about these pants, besides them being cute was “Is that butt panel a little much?” And I probably only thought that knowing that I’m having a boy… and that may just show my limited knowledge of little boys, because he will be an infant and won’t care a bit, I’m sure. My darling little family answered my thoughts. My husband’s response was something like “What is that for? Sliding across the floor? Will he be crawling then?” [Yeah, hope not since they're size 0-3 months. lol] And Layla’s reaction to them was, “Mom. I don’t like those for Baby. They’re ugly.” Yes. Expect nothing but brutal honesty in this household.

I think they’re precious, but before I go nuts I think I’ll wait until he gets here and can model them. That way when he looks dashing in them, I can make as many pairs as I want and my family won’t argue. Aside from the style itself, the fabrics are so nice!! He will be so comfortable wearing this lightweight, super breathable double gauze through the harsh Florida summer, and I can’t imagine anyone complaining about Liberty. If you need a quick handmade shower gift, I highly recommend this free pattern. I had it cut and sewn in probably half an hour. You can’t beat that!

Have a great weekend!

-Meredith

Baby Sewing : Nano Iro Whole Cloth Baby Quilt

Hey there! So today I’m showing you something that is altogether new to me. And I’m kind of smitten! Remember this stack of fabric? Well I’ve been working my way through it, and I began with that gorgeous Nano Iro flannel from Jones and Vandermeer.

I knew I didn’t want to cut it up, so I decided to make a whole cloth quilt with some Chambray Union fabric. It actually ended up being a whole cloth blanket, but the quilt was my initial intention. I prewashed both of my fabrics knowing that the blanket would eventually be washed, and I expected the flannel to shrink. Better to preshrink than to have a surprise later, I think!

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To make this blanket, I placed right sides together, and sewed all the way around leaving an opening for turning. After that, I edgestitched the blanket all the way around, and followed that up with a 1/2″ stitch all the way around.

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I then used the 1/2″ stitch line as a guide for my embroidered edge. I had not done this sort of stitch before, which I got from the Purl Bee. It was easy peasy, and in a short amount of time, I had a finished blanket. I did say that my original intention was to make a quilt. Well I knew I didn’t want batting, because I was just going for a simple and lightweight covering. And after I had completed the stitching around the edge, I didn’t want to overdo things by adding stitching to the flannel. That print is so gorgeous, I didn’t feel the need to crowd it with stitching.

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This blanket is for Baby, but Layla wanted to claim this blanket immediately after I finished the last stitch. She loves soft things, and said she has to have one. I think when I can, I’ll purchase 1 1/4 yd of this fabric in the pink and soft blue colorway, and surprise my Munchkin with a big girl version! Its a terribly practical covering for our part of the world, where its too hot to use a full quilt most of the year.

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Come back tomorrow to see some really darling baby pants!!

-Meredith

Birthday Sewing : A Messenger Bag for Layla

Remember this bag? Well I thought it was utterly darling, and I wanted to make Layla one like it. After all, I am the one who ends up toting most of the stuff she absolutely has to take when we go places. And my bag is the one that fills up with her things. It was high time she get a bag of her own!

I fell in love with Sarah Jane’s latest line, Wee Wander, and I’m finding it to be so perfect for Layla projects. She’s my horse loving adventurer! I ordered fabric based on the requirements in Little Things to Sew, but I guess I didn’t account for the fact I was making the larger bag. The first time I made the bag, I just used fabrics I already had in my stash and didn’t bother measuring the amount beforehand. All that to say this, there was certainly not enough fabric to make the bag work! But with no time to spare, I had to improvise. (I’ll admit that in that short amount of time, I did let the bag languish for a whole day while I racked my brain for a solution I would be happy with since I couldn’t get the proper yardage in time!)

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The solution that I ended up being okay  with ended up being possibly more awesome than if I had never needed to improvise. So I used the main fabric for the back/flap (which you’ll see has a different fabric as well), the side pockets, and the front pockets and flaps that are under the big front flap. I used the pink feather fabric, which I had initially intended to be my lining fabric, only for the lining, rather than for the insides of the pockets etc. I hope I’m not losing you! The white floral was bought to be made into bias tape and straps. But I ended up have some left over, so I was able to use it for the background (which is hardly visible) of the front pockets, the lining for those same pockets and flaps, and the lining for the side pockets. And that wonderful floral ended up being my major sanity saver when it served as the extra length I needed for the back of the bag/flap! What?!

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I had to make it look like this was all on purpose, so as a last minute addition, I embroidered her name onto the front flap. And I got away with it. I’m really not an improv girl; I love planning and getting things right. I’m even less of an improv girl when I have to do it out of necessity, because then I get frustrated at myself for not getting things right to begin with. But I’m so happy I was in this position because I love the embroidery so much! I love that it adds an interesting pop to the bag.

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Layla’s new bag was filled with lots of goodies, and I’m happy to report that its already getting some love. She has to take it everywhere!

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Also, this bag has so much bias tape its crazy. But the second go round was easier than the first. And making it [the bias tape] wasn’t bad at all. I love that I’m getting more comfortable doing something that seemed so very cumbersome so me not so long ago. I mean, I had made plenty of bias tape for garments, but that doesn’t even touch the amount used in this bag. But that is why Liesl Gibson is so good at what she does. She makes a kick butt pattern that makes you try new things, and she makes it seem so very doable because she writes her patterns as though she’s sitting next to you holding your hand and cheering you on. And then you realize, that thing you were really dreading to try for fear of messing up, really is doable and even easier than you initially thought. And when its all said and done, you’ve just learned a new skill. That is awesome.

I’ve made a ton of Oliver + S patterns and I’ve also made several of the projects from Little Things to Sew. If you’ve not had experience with either, you’ve got to look ‘em up and give them a try! You’ll be so glad you did.

I’ll be sharing a blanket I made for Baby this week using a new fabric that I’m now obsessed with, along with a couple of other goodies. Thanks for stopping by!

-Meredith

Happy Birthday, Layla!

Wednesday was Layla’s birthday. I can’t believe I have a four year old. For some reason, perhaps because I know I’ll have another one in just two months, this birthday has been easier to accept than any in previous years. I didn’t cry. So that’s definitely a first. But perhaps the reason is because I know she is most definitely four now. She’s a big girl and she likes to do big girl things. She is the most independent, fierce little girl I’ve ever encountered, and she does think she’s the same age as I am. That part’s a little very scary. I already know our son will basically have two mothers. :/

We had a wonderful day celebrating her. She and I spent most of the day together anticipating her party (she only knew she was having a party- not who would be there or where it would be). We read the Dr. Seuss birthday book, and she and I hung out and chatted while I burned off some of my nesting energy doing some much needed cleaning.

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As opinionated as she is, I’m so glad she is appreciative. This year things are incredibly tight with having to prepare for Baby, so I didn’t even have coordinating plates and cups. She didn’t care a bit, and that totally made my feelings of guilt melt away. She loved her Brave cake, and thought the frosting was fantastic. Of course she didn’t eat any cake!

We went bowling with both sets of grandparents and aunts. Layla just sort of chucked the ball however she felt she could, and I think she beat almost everyone’s score. The bowling guy only had to go get her stationary ball twice. I can’t knock her. Even though there were a few times we thought she’d be five by the time the ball got down the lane, she did a heck of a lot better than most of us. She loved every second, and seeing her eyes light up every single time a pin fell made my heart so full. I want to bottle that excitement and keep it forever. Her innocence and youth is so precious.

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Layla was showered with many gifts. I think she likes the thrill of opening more than the actual gift. I need to remember that if I want to gift handmades, I need to do that just with her, not in a party scenario because they will most assuredly get passed over for that high quality WalMart stuff. Remind me of this next year, okay? I gave her her Liberty quilt which she has been sleeping under (the animal backing was a big win), and a messenger bag filled with goodies. I’ll be showing that off on Monday.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading, even though this post was probably more for me than anything. I’m sorry its been so quiet this week! Now that we’ve passed the big day, hopefully I’ll be able to focus on other projects a bit more.

-Meredith