Monday, April 30, 2007

More girly garb... and a random tip

Hi everyone! Just a quick post here to show you some fun and girly outfits I made yesterday for my friends' daughters - I had a *blast* making these! Frank was on call (def: we were house-bound), and it was rainy and gross all day... I didn't even notice!

First let me re-introduce you to Cory, our beloved black and white cat. Since finding out I was pregnant, Cory is attached to my hip... or my sewing machine... or my chair... He's everywhere! He's on my pillow at night when I go to sleep and awaken in the morning, and loves to curl his little paw around my arm all night. It's just the darned cutest thing (aside from when I get a genuine "Mama" from Sydney... which is rare...).

Cory loves the sewing table (aka dining room table with a super soft cushy blanket covering it), and I literally have to push him aside and use one of those de-furring, lint brush things to clear off my station. That's typically when he hops off the table, onto the chair (which I'm sitting in), and finds a spot behind my tush to sprawl out. Watch out buddy... that space is going to be getting smaller!

Outfit #1: For Ameila :) Gina (Amelia's mom) and I keep saying that we need to make the patchwork purse panels (see yesterdays post for pics) into a skirt... Gina is taking the kids down to TX this week, where we all know it's a heck of a lot hotter than in NH, so I felt compelled to get this outfit done ASAP so Amelia could start getting tons of wear out of it. I've got to make one for Syd now! I had hoped to get Syd to model it outside, but of course it was raining this morning, and then by the time the sun came out, the outfits were delivered to their recipients. Feel free to click on the pics to get a better look.

I kind of flew by the seat of my pants with this project. I haven't made a lick of clothes before (aside from Jordan's dress last week), so it was a fun challenge. I wasn't sure what to use for the waist, so I crossed my fingers as I headed to my notions box. I found this funky and super functional stuff called STITCH & STRETCH that I must have picked up at one of Joanne Fabrics half price sales. Looked like it would do the trick, and it did! Gathers in a snap - love it! I lined the skirt with a lightweight cotton (this one has pink/white gingham and the other has white eyelet) before top-stitching with the decorative feather stitch (my favorite for this kind of project).

Gina *loves* the Lime Star Paisley fabric from AB, so knew what the top embellishment would be :)

Outfit #2 is for Michelle's Anna, and I used AB Pink Temple Garland and Lime Full Moon Polka Dot. Michelle just sent me over a pic of Anna in it (she loves it!) - all smiles :)

Oh! Before I go, I have to share a random tip. A few months ago I ordered 2 charm packs (? 4"x4" squares") of Heather Bailey's FRESH CUT when they went on sale at Hancock's of Paducah. Wasn't sure what I'd do with them, but they definitely helped in my selection of bolts for my order from Free Spirit (which I'm anxiously waiting for...).

I figured I'd want to wash them first (I wash all my fabrics first unless they are for a project that won't end up in the washing machine), but dreaded dealing with all those darned threads! Well, I had to pre-wash the fabric for the skirts, so I threw the squares into a lingerie bag and hoped for the best. Check out what I found when I opened the bag after a twirl in the dryer:

All those nasty threads clumped together into a separate ball! I was pretty shocked.... I still had to iron all of the squares (didn't take as long as I thought), but my thread issue took care of itself! Now what to make with these... anyone have any ideas?

Gotta run - my little peacock is on the move... check out this 'do! Wakes up like this every morning :)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I *heart* nap-time :)

Nap-time is always a great part of the day - the time to catch your breath, return some phone calls, and perhaps even lay down for a bit... Some days nap-time goes off without a hitch, but others.... well, you know :) The past couple of days Syd has been a stellar napper and I've gotten so much done! Feels great to tackle some fun projects and play with different fabrics. I've actually really had fun sewing lately, and get excited thinking about the projects waiting for me on my table. Don't get me wrong - I always enjoy sewing, but some of what I do can be monotonous and not so much on the creative side....

So onto the goodies! Thursday I finished up a quick bib/burp cloth set and nursing/breastfeeding cover for a friend to give her sister next month at her baby shower.

Friday brought a day filled with rain, so Syd and I stayed in our Jammies all day. Love that! I finished up Cathy's Lotus Pink/Green Patchwork Bag and am in love with the colors. I'm starting up a few other projects with the same colorway - pics to come!

Closeup of stitching:

Closeup of beads:

Inside with cell phone pocket (left) and "stuff" pocket (right):

Inside (2):

Matching Key-fob

Today brought a whopping 4 hour nap for Syd, and me my Madison Bag! (at last!) I *love* it. I learned a bit while making this too - mainly to trust my instincts, and to read the instructions ahead of time.... The pattern calls for boning to be placed in the seam allowance of the flap during construction - it keeps the bag from folding in when you pick it up. Well, I was a little scissor-happy and trimmed before realizing that I needed to actually *keep* the extra. I thought that it would be fine - I used Peltex 70 (similar to TIMTEX, but cheaper), so I thought that would provide enough support. I was wrong!

I took the bag for a test drive at Walmart this afternoon and it drove me nuts that it folded in the middle. When we got home I added the boning on the inside (just sewed it directly on the inside where the flap meets the bag) - I actually added TWO layers of boning on top of each other and it's perfect - I highly recommend doubling it. My other recommendation is to use a magnetic snap instead of velcro. I unfortunately used velcro and wished I had trusted my gut and gone with the magnetic snap. My last tip: if you use Peltex, use THREE layers for the bottom (and one layer for each side and the flap) - it gives the bag great support, and honestly isn't that hard to sew. I've seen so many floppy Madison Bags out there and it's a shame :(

Close-up of stitching on flap:

A new home for my cell phone:

One inside pocket (sorry for the bad pic):

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Girly Garb & A Face to Put the Name to

Yey! We're back up and running :) Seems the server was down a little over a day, but it seemed much longer! Not that my web home page looks any different to you guys... I swear I'll have that darned site finished soon! It's amazing how long it takes to get products entered... of course I should prioritize it a bit more I guess, but there's more fun things that seem to pop up. Like this little ditty I whipped up this morning:

Dress Front:

Back of Dress:

While prepping the fabric for the patchwork pieces for Cathy's green/pink Amy Butler Lotus bag last night, I came across my little stash of Heather Ross' Lightning Bugs fabric. I *love* this fabric and actually had intended on making a patchwork bag out of it for a friend (I made her daughter a toddler tote with the white bicycles fabric and thought it would be fun for her to have a matching mommy bag). Out of the blue I decided instead to make a fun dress for my niece, Jordan. Luckily, I have enough scraps to make the patchwork bag too, and a headband to match Jordan's dress :) I picked up the white top at Target a couple of weeks ago and love how it goes with this fabric. Now I need to make one for Sydney! I know it's no Portabellopixie creation, but I'm pretty darned proud of it anyways...

I'm not sure if I've mentioned Heather's adorable fabric lines, but they are definitely worth checking out. I placed an order for lots of bolts several months ago, but the merge of Free Spirit and Westminster Fibers has slowed down the delivery of the fabric for some reason. Sigh.... I think they are estimating a delivery date in June now. My other favorite Heather's goodies should be here any day now though!

I hadn't planned on making this dress right away, but I seriously dreamed about it most of the night last night. I don't know if I'm alone on this one, but some nights I have such vivid dreams about new fabric lines and creations that I wake up exhausted! You'd think I was Vera Wang or something :) My husband thinks I'm nuts...

Hmmm... re: updates on projects, this week I'll definitely be finishing up Cathy's beaded handle patchwork bag and my cherry wall flower Madison Bag. Everything is cut out and ready to hit the sewing machine!

Over the weekend, I received a (much anticipated) package from a sewing buddy/customer in Singapore, Julia. Julia is a stay-at-home mom and makes adorable boutique-quality clothing for her family and friends. She's aspiring to start her own clothing line and I think she's going to be magnificent! She had talked a bit about wanting to make Syd something for her 1 yr birthday, but I had no idea that her creation was going to be so gorgeous! It's a little big, so I can't have Syd model it... maybe in a few more months - she's growing like a weed!

And don't you just love these cute little fishy stamps? Ours are so boring in comparison...

Recently I've seen that a lot of fellow crafters have posted pics of themselves on their blogs. I've been looking for a recent pic to post and I've come to realize that most of my pics have been of Syd, Syd with Dad, Syd with our four legged critters, and Syd with other family members. I need to get some of me with her her so she knows that I was actually around... I did find this one from a few months ago - we were at a hotel pool and I'm standing a little funny b/c I'm holding Syd in the pic. In an effort to maintain her privacy, I've cropped her from the shot. Note to self: get an updated picture already!

4/25: Okay - just found some more proof for Syd :) (she's about 3 months old or so here)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Computer "Issues"

Mornin' folks! I'm headed to Boston for a few days but wanted to write a quick note to let you know that my website / email server is down. The host knows about the problem and they are diligently trying to fix the problem - hopefully we'll be up an running by the time I get back :) If you've sent emails to, I likely won't get them..... but feel free to try me at

Have a great weekend! It's *finally* going to be in the 60's! Get out the shorts!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A little window shopping...

We've made it a day now without any interruption in power - I think we're in the clear! We've got a HUGE tree that's been uprooted, so once the rain stops, hubby gets to hack it up with a chainsaw before it decides to visit our front porch. He loves to cut down trees... personally it scares the *%&@! out of me, but it's probably a guy/girl thing.

Anyways, while watching "24" last night I got caught up on a stack of catalogs that came over the weekend. A few things caught my eye and I thought I'd share :)

I've been eyeing these sheets from The Company Store for months now... I have no idea what the heck I'd do with them, but they are gorgeous! Curtains? A bag? A baby sling? So many options!

These Rope Knots (can use the small one for a paperweight/ book end, the larger one would be great as a door stop) in the Williams Sonoma catalog look like fun - but the price tag is INSANE!

I always love looking through the BODEN catalog... it's like a European J.Crew. Here's some of my favs (not that I can wear them this summer, but there's always next year!)

Hotchpotch Top

Ruffle Silk Trim Cardigan

New Sailor Skirt (I'm a sucker for long skirts...)

Luxurious Kimono Wrap

Fitted Cord Jacket

A little window shopping is always fun :)

PS: I posted PREORDERS for the new Amy Butler patterns I mentioned in last nights post - can't wait to make one of those Gum Drop pillows!

Monday, April 16, 2007

A quick Hello!....

...before our power tries to go out again :) We actually have fared pretty well with this Nor'easter. Got much less snow than was originally called for, but got tons and tons of rain and wind. Mother Nature is definitely not a force to be reckoned with... We really don't mind being house-bound a bit with this one.

Not too much new to report... I had some "grown up time" this weekend (I know what you're all thinking, but it didn't involve a nice romantic dinner and a movie - that sounds nice though!). I actually had the opportunity to work Sat. and Sun. in my old role as a physical therapist. Loved every minute of it :) Hubby stayed home with Syd, I donned the one pair of "real" pants that still fits (might have to start visiting the dreaded maternity clothes pile soon), and headed out to visit my former self for a while. It was quite a nice visit. I love geriatic PT - love the patient's stories, love making a difference (as little as it might be). But I also loved coming back home to our smiling baby girl - I wonder if she missed me? Hmmm.....

Oh, before I forget, the folks at Amy Butler sent over an email announcing 2 more home dec patterns! They are coming at the perfect time for me - we're redoing our bedroom within the next couple of months and I've been toying with making a new duvet and curtains (the first pattern is for a quilted coverlet, pillow sham with ties, couch pillow and pillow cases). I also love the gumdrop pillow pattern (the second pattern pic)- perfect for the den/playroom! I'll get my order for these out this week :) It's time for '24! Good night!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Nope, this isn't going to be another post about me complaining about the weather... I've had a change for the positive and am reveling in the "perks" of our weekly blizzard:

1: I get to wear my awesome UGG boots again - I splurged this year and snatched these up when they went on sale in the beginning of the season.

2: Sydney gets to wear her fuzzy pink snow bunting outfit again before she outgrows it (love that!)

3: I get to drink hot cocoa with mini marshmallows :)

4: I don't have to worry about mowing the lawn or weeding yet

5: I get to see bright red robins flitting about, competing with the squirrels for the bird food crumbs that litter the snow

6: I get to enjoy the absolute quiet that falls over the house when the snow starts to pile up - it's amazing how that happens

One last picture before I head to the kitchen for some cocoa: This was taken on my AM trip back from the grocery store:

Time to lime *what*?! My margarita / beer? I wish..... (6 more months....)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Love where you live? I'd love to hear about it!

Why do you ask? Here's our Yahoo weather forecast for tomorrow, 4/12:

Snowy and windy. Snow will become heavy at times during the afternoon. Some sleet may mix in. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds ESE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Snow accumulating 6 to 10 inches.

I keep seeing all of these glorious pictures of grass and sun and am quite jealous. I'd love to hear about where you guys live - perhaps we'll be neighbors one day!

I forgot earlier this week to post about a new creation (made it for a baby shower for folks back in NJ)- it's an on-the-go Dipes/Wipes case : it has a removable (clips) cloth strap that is long enough to wear across the front of your body, or at your side; also has an additional front pocket to store creams, money, keys, etc. My Mom made a Nappy bag with the blue daisy AB fabric, so she sent me the scraps to make something. We don't know if the baby will be a boy/girl, so I thought I'd steer clear of bibs/burp clothes.... this was my next thought so I ran with it :)

PS: Thanks again for the gorgeous fabrics Tara! Had to post a pic before I cut into them :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Syd and I headed to Joanne's a few days ago to stock up on some notions and interfacing (gotta love their 50% off sales - and if you didn't know about their VIP program, you should check it out! If you can prove that you're a legit crafting company - show some tax forms, etc. - you can get a card that gives you an extra 15% off *everything* - even sale items!).

Anyways, b/c we don't get to Joanne's very often, and Syd was in a fantastic shopping mood, we decided to browse for a bit and see if anything struck our fancy. Low-and-behold, we stumbled across some Robert Kaufman and Alexander Henry prints! I couldn't believe it... They didn't have a huge selection, but just enough to make my day :) I had been eyeing a few of the prints online for a while, but hadn't bought any (I need more fabric like we need more snow....). It's nice to now have a few new things to add to the collection!

The first print (starting on the left) is one that just makes me smile :) Will be perfect for some cute dresses and kiddie aprons. The second one I was introduced to by ANGRY CHICKEN in this post and was immediately smitten with the fabric. The third one... well, I've been on the hunt for some cute cherry fabric and this is one of the best that I've found yet! There's some cute baby corduroy with cherries on it, but I just can't make myself get it... that's like signing up for a few more months of winter!

Alexander Henry Blue "Apples and Pears"

Alexander Henry "Sunny Side"

Robert Kaufman Blue Cherries (Fruit Basket Collection)

As for what's up next on the project line, I have a few more baby gifts to finish up, a bag for Cathy in Canada (I'll be making a patchwork one like this, but with pink/green Lotus fabrics - I can't wait to see how it turns out!), and for little 'ol me, I'm going to at last make the Madison Bag (Downtown Purse) from AB's Cherry Wall Flower and Cherry Full Moon Polka Dot). I've been itching to make it since I saw the new Madison Bag pattern cover a few months ago - perfect for spring!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter! It was pretty quiet here - Syd had a belly bug and I was under the weather a bit as well, so we took advantage of the free HBO that Direct TV had over the weekend. Perfect timing :)

PS: Almost forgot to mention that Erin from DIAPER DAISY received my wetbags over the weekend and posted them yesterday on her site! If you've ever thought about trying cloth diapers, her site gives lots of info about the benefits of cloth, and she's super helpful with finding ones that will work for you. We recently tried the Happy Heinies and love them. Also check out the BABY LEGS - Syd has some pink ones now and they are adorable (and make diaper changes a snap). There are so many clever moms out there :)

Friday, April 06, 2007


I keep seeing this lemon pound cake recipe in magazines lately, so I had to try it - it's OUTSTANDING!!! Looking for something to bring to Easter dinner? This is perfect :) I used a mini loaf pan to make individual little cakes.

Happy Easter everyone!

PS: We had our first ultrasound yesterday and everything looks great! 7 more weeks 'til we find out if Syd will have a baby brother or sister!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bunny Beanie and Baby Booties

How cute is this?!? Click here for the link to the free pattern :) (size 3-6 months)

I did a search for other free baby patterns and found these too:

Baby Booties