For Eloise, The Warrior

I'm putting a very special package in the mail today... 2013-08-18_0001

Yes, that's right... sometimes I still sew. I'm actually doing a lot of sewing lately, but this particular project was at the top of my priority list. One of my best friends, Heather, recently had her first baby. It was a difficult pregnancy and while it was expected that she would go into early labor, going into labor at 26 weeks wasn't exactly something you can prepare for. Her baby girl stayed put for a couple more weeks, but decided she couldn't wait any longer to meet her awesome parents and made her grand entrance at 28 weeks.


Scary early.

She was so tiny, but man was she a fighter. From day one, that much was clear. And that's why her parents named her Eloise - which means "warrior." I've honestly never heard of a more amazing premie... aside from being small and needing to develop a bit longer, she had zero serious complications and has been home for a few weeks now.

I was actually hoping to have this done by the time she got home, but let's be honest, I'm rarely ever that on top of things. Anyway, here it is... a special quilt for a very special baby girl. I hope it brings her comfort in those rare moments when she's not feeling so strong.





(For those that are curious, I used this tutorial as my starting point, and the fabric is Lotta Jansdotter's Glimma collection. The font is Janda Elegant Handwriting, and I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to applique it to the quilt. I also used a machine binding technique for the first time, thanks to this tutorial. I think I prefer finishing the binding by hand, but machine binding is definitely a huge timesaver.)

monogram ruffle butt onesies

There are few things I love making more than gifts for my friend's babies, so when I found out that one of my oldest friends in the world, Stephanie, was coming to my baby shower I got to work on brainstorming something for her beautiful new baby girl.  Applique onesies are always a solid choice (quick, easy, and a great use of scrap fabric) but I wanted to jazz them up a bit this time.  I started out with a basic monogram applique using Steam-a-steam fusible web and a zig-zag stitch around the letters...

And then things got crazy...

RUFFLE BUTTS!  Seriously... these ruffle butt onesies are pretty much the cutest things I've ever made.  I take no credit for this brilliant creation - as far as I can tell that credit goes to Char from Crap I've Made.  I followed her tutorial to a T and it turned out even better than I hoped.  I used the serger approach, since I've been waiting for an excuse to practice using my new serger.  Here's a close-up...

As fun as it was to make these onesies, it was even better getting to catch up with Steph (we hadn't seen each other in about 9 years)... it's amazing to think about how far we've come since we first became friends in the 2nd grade. It seems like just yesterday our biggest concern was making sure our Trapper Keepers were organized just-so, and now we're approaching 30 and our lives are consumed by babies.  Ba-na-nas.  But good bananas. :)


the first batch of christmas crafts

My ability to blog about this first batch of Christmas crafts sadly means my short trip to Michigan to visit my best friend, Lindsey, has already come and gone. (All you girls lucky enough to live in the same town as your best friend - stop reading this, go over to her house and give her a big fat hug, because you are very very fortunate!) I have a small tendency to spoil Lindsey, especially since the birth of her son Will, so I tried to scale back this year and focus more on craft than cost. Will's presents were easy - Amy Butler's Little Stitches provided plenty of inspiration and baby clothes are so small they require very little fabric. I decided on the Kimono PJ pants and used Moda's Funky Monkey fabric in Sock Blue, Cream Counting Monkeys and Brown Sock Texture (for the cuffs.)

I used leftover fabric from the pants to applique coordinating onesies:

Here are the finished sets:

A couple tips for these pants... 1) Use 3/4 inch wide elastic or make the casing for the elastic a little bigger because the 1 inch elastic was a really tight fit. 2) Make the pants about 1-2 sizes larger than you think you'll need. Will is 5 months, a bit small for his age, and just started wearing 6-9 mos. clothes. I thought I'd be safe making the pants size 6-9 mos. but they were pretty snug around his diaper. They'll be fine for him for only another month or so, which is why I'll be making him 2 more pairs in a bigger size.

For Lindsey I aimed for a combination of pampered and practical. I'd been dying for an excuse to pick up Amy Butler's new Love collection, and thought it would be perfect to use for a little library tote since Lindsey's a regular at the Berkley Public Library. I used Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Tote pattern as a starting point, and added lining using some leftover fabric from Lindsey's Weekender Bag.

This bag was super easy to make and the lining added a nice finished look to the original pattern. I used the bag as gift wrapping and threw in some Philosophy Amazing Grace bath products (the pamper part), and the Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus DVD (the practical part.) Lindsey loves working out but as a new mom doesn't have a ton of time, so the 10 minute workouts on this DVD are a great solution.

More Christmas crafts to come... :-)

ties and dachshunds and spartans, oh my

As if I needed another excuse to craft, my best friend gave birth to her first child this summer... a handsome and happy little guy named, Will. I am a firm believer that stuff is just cuter when it's small, so when I saw the appliqued tie onesie tutorial on Crap I've Made, I could think of nothing cuter to make for the new man in my life.  I used some of my hubby's old clothes for the fabric, and followed Char's instructions to create onesie #1:

But why stop there when onesies come in packs?  :-)  The dog in Will's life is a sweet little dachshund mix Lindsey's parents adopted named Kallie, so I created my own doggie template and used one of the hubby's old dress shirts for the fabric.



And lastly, I had to make sure Will was decked out in some one-of-a-kind Spartan gear - which Lindsey was sweet enough to put on him when he went for his 3 month pro pics.