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Bandito Bib

Updated on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 09:13AM by Registered Commentercounterpane

So I have a strong sense that our third babe, Mr. B, is a bit of an outlaw. Now this may be my fault as I often let him out into the wild (our house) to fend for himself among the other local criminals (his big bro and sis). But whether nature or nurture, I can't shake the feeling that this kid is tough. Really tough.

With this impression somewhere in my heart and mind, and a rack of bandanas staring at me in a tourist shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I came up with the idea for this bib.


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Two Days, Two Dresses

So we came home from vacation to a calendar full of family reunions, school ceremonies, birthday parties, and bar-b-q's all begging the question: what to wear?

I am terrified of making adult garments, but find myself up at night drawing children's clothes and scouring the web for interesting patterns for my daughter S. One such evening, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the Daphne Dress here, and knew I had to make one. After purchasing the Daphne Dress pattern, I dumped half of my fabric stash on the floor, and mixed and matched until I found the perfect combination of fabrics. Then I tweaked the pattern a bit, adding length and subtracting width until I knew it would fit my string bean of a girl. Finally, I began sewing. That was early Monday evening, and by 9pm, I had this:


Now, on a normal evening I would have smiled and gone to bed early, pleased with myself, and with my new friend Daphne. The problem was, that while sewing up sweet frilly Daphne, my subconscious was designing a completely different dress altogether. This dress was modern, edgy, and begging to be made immediately. So I threw Daphne down the stairs towards my daughter's bedroom, turned on some White Stripes, pulled out my new favorite fabric by Jay McCarroll, and started to cut. No pattern, just an old knit dress to use as a guage, my bin of leftover bias tape, and a brand new pack of black piping still fresh in its cellophane. This morning at 10:30 am I had this:


Perhaps I should name it the Meg dress, for Meg White.




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Headphone Bags

So we are headed off on a family vacation tomorrow, and though I love almost everything about raising children, I must admit that I do NOT love flying with them. So what do I do about it? A big nothing. I ignore a plane trip completely until it's a day or two away, and then I deal with it.

To deal this time around, with a five year old, three year old, and 9 month old on my lap, I plan to rely on a few of our favorite products from Apple (sounds like a kids company right?). For my plan to work, we need headphones. Lots of headphones. And that brings me to the topic of this post...

Headphone bags! After purchasing children's headphones, I realized that they did not come with a bag or case to protect them from the otherworldly mess that collects in a child's backpack immediately upon take off. So I made these headphone bags in a mad dash, late at night, and I love how they turned out. 


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Lavender Sachets

So I love lavender. Aside from smelling great, it is purported to be a very relaxing and restorative little bud. I have read claims that is helps with headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and many other maladies. And who better to give something with so many relaxing properties to than mothers and teachers?

That is why with Mother's Day and Teacher Appreciation Week right around the corner I decided a batch of handmade lavender sachets was the perfect little scrap busting project for me to follow fabric covered buttons.

A week ahead of time I ordered a few pounds of English lavendar buds grown in France from Limauge boutique. They reek, and I mean reek with heavenly lavender power. That may explain why I was so relaxed sewing these little sachets up...

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Fabric Covered Buttons


Patchwork Girl's Skirt

So my daughter S is five, and for Mother's Day a few months back we went to Purl Soho. S loves Purl almost as much as I do, and when we go together I usually let her pick any yard or bundle of fabric she wants with a promise to make her something special. This time, S chose a precut bundle of Remix by Ann Kelle

In the car ride home she turned that bundle of precuts over and over in her hands and announced that she had a vision for a skirt that looked liked a quilt, and would I make it for her? Big smiles, and our first true sewing collaboration was underway.

S made a sketch:

I cut the fabric into 4" squares per her specifications, and she organized them in an order all her own:

After she went to bed, I got busy sewing, and a few hours later viola:

I think the skirt came out a bit too long, but S insists it will be perfect for school this fall. Upon trying it on she told me, "it's a little too big, or maybe I'm just a little too small right now. That will change soon." And of course, she right. 



Handmade Shoelaces

So I have a twin sister and these are our feet.

My sister and I have the kind of relationship where she gets a new pair of converse, she texts me a picture of them, I immediately text back: "You know what those need? Handmade shoelaces.", and 2 weeks later she comes to visit and we lace up. Strange for many, normal to us.  

When I look at this photo I see a portrait of who my sister and I are: similar in appearance, but made of different material.


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Girl's Shirt Dress

So I save things. I'm not a hoarder. Really. I'm not. But I save things sometimes, you know, just in case. 

Some of the things I've been saving are a few dress shirts that have been worn, at some time or another, by myself or Mr. T, to work and other not-so-much-fun places. These shirts are most often stained or ripped, and therefore prime candidates for a new life as a girl's dress destined to be worn to much-more-fun-i-promise events like birthday parties and kindergarten graduations.  Sweet seamstress that I am, this Saturday I gave a stained old chambray shirt a new life as a dress for my daughter S.  If you are interested in how I made it, or want to make one of your own, them please check out my Girl's Shirt Dress Tutorial.





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El Porto Duffle Bag by Studio Tantrum

So I love the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon of Studio Tantrum and Sabine Pollehn of Farbenmix a little too much. But not for the reason you may think. 

Yes I think that the clothing patterns featured in the book are beautiful, and I really do intend to try many of them before my children grow up and have children of their own. However, for me, the item in the book that makes time stand still is one that appears in many photos, and yet is never mentioned. Not once.

That item is the El Porto duffle bag by Studio Tantrum.

I located and purchased the pattern after some online sleuthing, and sewed one up last weekend. My version of the El Porto duffle bag is a bit different from the original pattern: I omitted the media pocket on the shoulder strap, and I replaced the interior zip pocket with an open pocket for easier access to my iphone. Also, my version is sewn entirely from worn clothing, sewing scraps, trim, and iron-on decals that I already had in my sewing room. One pocket is made from a tiny pair of jeans that my baby grew out of last week.



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So this is one of my little people, Z. 

Z loves pirates, and I love Z, so I have been taking pirate picture books out of the library, peppering my speech with "arr" and "matey", and naturally, I made an eye patch. 

Z is more of a lover than a fighter, so I made him an eye patch for Valentine's day with a heart and crossbones. 

Then I saw Alexander Henry's Pirate fabric over at Purl Soho's online shop and decided it was high time for a family field trip to Purl. So we went, and I got me a yard each of the Multi Pirate Flag in Tea, and the Old Red Pirate Grid. I took out the super simple Reversible Pant pattern from Dear My Kids easy wear and set to work. Knowing that for Z more is more, I added some velour iron on transfers I had in my stash, and this is what Z had hanging on the doorknob of his closet when he woke up Sunday morning.

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