Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Deep breath.


June was quite the month around here! I finally launched the store, and I even made a few sales, which still makes me feel a little bit giddy.

I created patterns for doll diapers and bibs, and I have a baby bib pattern in the works and a felt donut pattern almost ready to go (just a bit of editing to do on that one).

So many blog posts! So much done!

And so much more to come. A couple of orders for local folks to wrap up. Gotta finish the wedding present for my brother and his lovely new wife. Want to make myself a new diaper bag, since it's been all of three months since I had a new one. A dozen new patterns idea swirling around in my head.

And did I mention that we're currently trying to stage the house to sell? That's going to be fun, packing up everything except my sewing essentials.

More pics and fun to come tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pattern writing - doll bibs

The doll bib pattern is ready! now for sale in the shop; buy both the bib and the diaper pattern and save!

Very cute, if I do say so myself!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Doll Bibs

So the dolls all have diapers, but what about when they're eating? Why, they need bibs, of course!

I put together the pattern for the bibs last night. For once I got it right almost immediately - the initial design was almost right and I only had to tweak it twice before it was right, which is somewhat amazing. Especially considering I'm having a HELL of a time getting the pattern for regular baby bibs to look right! I'm on about attempt number 20 with those, and there's still something off.

Seriously, how cute is this set? My daughter was so excited when she saw the little bibs this morning! Lucky girl gets to play with all the test attempts, although since this time I only had to make two I'll have to sit down and make a few more just for her.

Gonna make up a bunch more little diaper and bib sets over the next few days, since I picked up a ton of cute flannels a couple of days ago. Also I need to write up the instructions for the bibs, photograph the steps, and get the PDF ready - I figure I'll offer a deal if you buy both the diaper pattern and the bib pattern.

And I really need to get the baby bib pattern right! I want to offer that one as a freebie.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The garden

We got caught outside early this afternoon in a massive thunderstorm. And yet somehow, when we went by the garden later on, it was clear the rain did NOT actually fall there! So we still had to water.

The heat wave we've been having has been pretty good for the plants! Check out the Nasturtiums, which just started blooming. And the tomatoes are looking great. I've added the netting for future use supporting the plants, but I'm going to run down to Lee Valley and pick up some tomato spirals for the plants that won't be under the netting.

The peas. I find them such an amazing plant to watch grow. I still haven't managed to improve the trellis, though!

The whole thing. The lettuce is starting to turn bitter, so I should really pull it out and stick something else in there. I'm also trying to decide what to do about my peppers - they just aren't growing at all. My zucchini is also making me sad - the fruits are just yellowing and falling off, which is sign of various potential problems with the soil, so I may not get much out of them. Ah well, there's always next year!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More doll Mei Tais

I've had this fabric in my stash for a while and finally got around to using it to make a couple of doll Mei Tais for the shop - and wouldn't you know, but this one sold within 24 hours of being listed! apparently I should have made these up sooner!
Reverse is marbled pink, very pretty.

Same pattern, just the solid fabric for the straps rather than the flowers.

Now I need to dig through the stash again, I have some more fabric I meant for doll Mei Tais, I just can't remember where I put it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pattern: Doll Diapers

It's ready! WOO! I am extremely happy with this pattern. It's a PDF file so I can email it to buyers pretty much as soon as I check my email and see that the payment has arrived. You could buy this pattern and be sewing a diaper within minutes.

Available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Update: October 12, 2009. This pattern now includes a second, larger size, for fitting bigger dolls! Available for the same great price.

Doll Diapers

I finished tweaking the pattern! Don't they look pleased.

I picked up this flannel for only $2 a metre at Fabricland. Their flannel is always really hit and miss, you never know what's going to happen when you wash it, but this stuff is GREAT. Washed up really nice and soft and fluffy. I'm going to go back to pickup some more. I just love this apple pattern, and it'll make beautiful burp cloths, bibs, changing pads, and so forth. I can do up a couple of gift sets for the store.

Teeny tiny diapers! So cute.

These should fit most dolls, not just the Cabbage Patch Kids.

I have to take a few more photos and do some editing, but the final pattern will be available soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pattern writing - doll diapers

Excuse the bizarre face tatoos on my model, I have a budding artist in the house.

So this pattern writing thing? Awesome. I can combine my love of sewing with using the computer! Seriously, it's really fun. Plus I'm resurrecting my long-unused vector graphics abilities.

So here's the work in progress, a pattern for doll diapers:

Numerous test runs, none of them quite right. I think, though, I've finally finished tweaking the actual pattern! Tonight I'll photograph all the steps, make a few samples in something more interesting than white fleece, put together the instructions, and PDF-ize the whole thing.

Edit: Changed my mind about the free download - since I'm going to be selling these diapers in my Etsy shop, I'd like to restrict use of the pattern a little bit. So it'll be for sale for a small fee in a day or two.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Baby bibs

Every bib I've ever purchased has been disappointing in some way. You wouldn't think something so simple would turn out to be so problematic! But it's true.

My personal bib preference is for something with a water proof back, since daughter #2 is a drooler, and just slapping on any old bib will still mean soaking wet clothes once the drool hits it. But most store bibs have cheap vinyl on the backside, which starts to disintegrate after maybe 2 trips through the wash.

These bibs use Procare on the back - a truly waterproof fabric that is designed for use in diapers and mattress pads, and can stand up to as many trips through the wash as you want.

The flannel on the front provides absorbancy.

And come on, how cute are these frogs!

Have I mentioned how much I love my labels? Oh, I have? Well I still love them!

The other thing I hate about most bibs are the velcro closures. The velcro gets stuck all over everything in the wash, and it's just a generally huge pain. Snaps all the way, baby. And since these snaps are generally used for cloth diapers, they will also stand up to being washed over and over and over again.

I think I'll probably PDF-ize this pattern and offer it as a freebie, so that can people can see my pattern making style (lots of pictures, lots of detail!). Plus it'll be good practice in making a pattern that has to span over two pages.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Not only is the zucchini NOT dead (woo!), it's already blossoming!

And check this out:

I'm successfully growing stuff! Now, most likely in two months when we're up to our ears in zucchini I'll be somewhat less excited, but for now this is pretty thrilling.

Bag: Lily

OK, I have to admit, I'm not as productive as the last run of posts might suggest! Most of what I've been posting lately are things I've completed over the last few months, but never got around to photographing. My actual sewing lately has pretty much been all diapers, since the baby is ready to move up a size. And 57 diaper posts in a row would be kind of dull, so I'm saving those photos until I get a whole bunch done and then I can just do one post.

Anyway, this is Lily. This is a pattern I designed for a LARGE messenger bag. LARGE. It's LARGE. Did I mention LARGE? This is the diaper bag you want if you cloth diapering and going out for an entire day. Maybe two days. Or you are diapering twins. And you need to carry the entire contents of the nursery with you. And maybe you want to stuff a toaster or two in there because you really like toast and are worried about maintaining your access to toast at all times.

It's a big bag, is what I'm trying to say here. Also, it's possible I didn't get enough sleep last night (toast?).

Ahem. The details. Fabric is black twill and IKEA PATRICIA. Yes, it's the return of IKEA! I realized the other day that I live within a reasonable driving distance of four IKEAS. Granted, two of them I've never been too, but if I really wanted to I could go to four IKEAs in one day.

Is it just me or is that excessive? Also I think I may not have needed that third cup of tea this morning.

Back zippered pocket. It is what it is.

This bag is a bit less structured than I usually do, so she's kind of soft and, for lack of a better word, floppy. She doesn't hold her shape unless she's stuffed full of stuff. But since she's intended to carry lots of stuff, I think that's OK.

Hardware detail. I love these triglides, they have opening just slightly larger than two inches so I make the straps exactly two inches wide and they fit beautifully.

Inner is some sort of twill, although I don't recall if it's 100% cotton or a blend. Couple of elasticized dividers. Woo.

Front, behind the flap, features two flat pockets and a pen pocket. The side pockets are elasticized for bottles or sippy cups or small loaves of French bread.

Yeah, I definitely didn't need that last cup of tea.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bag: Marissa

Marissa is another of the Craftapple bags. Cotton outer, some sort of mixed fibre twill for the inner (I'm not sure about the fibre content, it's something I picked up at the thrift store for next to nothing - I LOVE finding yardage at the thrift store! Most of the time the fabric they get there is hideously ugly, but sometimes there are some gems, and this pink is definitely a gem.)

It has pockets on either side. These are flat pockets, just because for various reasons I couldn't deal with making them the more usual elasticized or gathered way.

The new necessity, a cell phone pocket! Man, I love these. I don't even really use my cell phone that much, except to check the time and occasionally send text messages, but having a specific place for the damn thing is so helpful. Now I only lose it about half the time, instead of 80%.

Key loop. Label, of course. Have I mentioned I love my labels?

The inner, with two additional pockets.

I think overall this is a very nice bag!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hot weather is here - just what the garden needs!

Finally the weather is getting warm and sunny! Which is just what the garden needs. I swear in the last 48 hours everything has suddenly gained 1/3 in size. Of course, no rain means heading over every day to water and check on how things are progressing.

The peas. I need to make their trellis a little less half assed. That's a project for tomorrow, I also need to get some more decent stakes.

Cauliflower! These are growing REALLY nicely.

The tomatoes and peppers. Some of the tomatoes are growing better than others, but they're all growing, and some are flowering already. I cannot WAIT for fresh tomatoes.

Peppers, eh. Not really a fan, frankly I'm only growing them because my husband eats them and I got the plants for free. That's why there's only two pepper plants and a zillion tomatoes.

Another view. The lettuce is looking great!

Well, it looks great except for this. Which used to be an unbroken line of lettuce. I suspect bunnies - do they steal entire heads of lettuce?

The spinach is finally looking a little better. Not sure what's going on with it, it just wasn't growing at all until the last couple of days.

Fresh herbs in the herb garden! Now I just have to remember to actually PICK some.

The whole garden (or at least most of it, there's a couple of plots not in this picture). So much amazing stuff growing! It's going to be fun to take this picture again over the rest of the summer and compare how it looks!