Archive for July, 2009

New Look 6889 in Double Cotton Gauze

far, far away nightgown - 1Pattern:  New Look 6889

Modifications: bias tape hem

Fabric:  Far, Far Away “Field of Flowers–Green” by Heather Ross

Purchased at Sew to Speak

Ah, I finally have a new nightgown and my own piece of clothing in double cotton gauze. I’m feeling very good about this dress, but I have a word of caution.  DO NOT set the timer for two hours and see if you can beat the clock when the front of the pattern claims to be a 2 hour project!  This was the first mistake I made, which caused one, irreparable mistake:  I cut the fabric upside!  You can’t really tell, but the orange tulips are pointing down.  D’oh!

far, far away nightgown - 2

I’m very pleased with the pattern because I measured my bust, then cut according, sewed accordingly, and miracle of miracles, it fit perfectly!  That has not happened for me yet.  So with this simple shape that fits perfectly, I can envision making my own creative modifications on future nightgowns (or dresses).  This was actually a dress pattern, not a nightgown pattern, but I really wanted pajamas made of double cotton gauze because Claire looks so comfy in hers.  Another reason this is a nightgown and not a dress can be seen below:

far, far away nightgown - 3It sticks to your underwear!  This was also lamented by Amy Karol on her blog, Angry Chicken.  She fixed the problem by wearing a slip.

A couple more details:far, far away nightgown - 5

I liked the narrow ribbon tie.

I couldn't figure out how to do the bias tape on the neckline.  The directions were not very clear.  I recommend looking for help on this.

I couldn't figure out how to do the bias tape on the neckline. The directions were not very clear. I recommend looking for help on this.

I finished the seams because the double gauze unravels A LOT.

I finished the seams because the double gauze unravels A LOT.


My Pioneer Spirit, with a Paypal account

There is a dilemma that I can’t seem to shake off.  My thrifty, DIY attitude does not approve of my lust for designer fabrics imported from Japan.  In addition to wanting all the cute fabrics I can get,  I want to make all the REALLY CUTE items I see on other people’s blogs.  Collin asked me this morning why I stayed up so late last night.  How could I tell him that I looked at at least 500 fabric swatches online, dreaming of spending hundreds of dollars of his military pay on imported fabric?  I could just see Collin and Obama shaking their heads at what I propose to do with the economic stimulus money.  I would buy Japanese prints like this:

Hedgehog Clover - Apricot

Hedgehog Print from

Or this cute pattern for sleepy bunnies in diapers:

Baby Binky Bunny PDF printable pattern

Baby Binky Bunny PDF printable pattern from mmmcrafts

Actually, this one is All-American, so it would stimulate the economy, right? But I’d definitely need some Japanese fabric for the inside of the ears!

There is one thing I really cannot do without and it is this cross-stitch pattern:

Gera Cross Stitch - The Giant Turnip

Gera pattern from

This would make a perfect keepsake decoration for Baby Claire.  She is learning her numbers and when she counts, she says “One, two . . . one, two” just like in the picture!  Also, this pattern brings back good memories of learning Japanese.  When I was taking lessons, I read the story “Ookina kabu” (The Big Turnip), which is actually a Russian tale.  Grandfather tries to pull out the turnip and calls grandmother to come out to help and so on.  It’s a really big turnip!  The only word I remember from it is “untokosho,” an exclamation each person said while pulling on the turnip.  I used to throw “untokosho” around occasionally to show off my vocabulary (but remember I don’t recall a single other word from the story like “grandmother” or even “turnip”!)  One day, my neighbor Yoko said, That’s what old people say when they are trying to get up out of their chair.  Well!  I decided then to learn more graceful-sounding words, but this didn’t happen since I learned most words from my Japanese preschool students.

There are some who say they are trying to live an “authentic” life by using natural items in their house or making things from scratch or buying things from thrift stores.  But to me, it is still consumerism to constantly want and buy things, no matter what the things are.  I want to be happy with what I have!   And most of the time I am, until I spend a late evening looking at all the wonderful items that abound on the internet.

By the way, I did buy the cross-stitch pattern after dreaming about it all night.

I don’t even know how to cross-stitch. 🙂

First Quilt Blocks in Far, Far Away Fabric

This is so typical of me–I buy some pretty fabric (or yarn) and then I have to figure out what I can do with it.  I think it would be SO MUCH easier to choose a pattern first, then buy the materials listed (maybe even exactly the same fabric or yarn suggested on the list), and proceed very smoothly with my project.  But no, I decided to buy a fat quarter set of Far, Far Away double cotton gauze fabrics to make my first quilt, a quilt for Claire.  I did not buy regular cotton that is easy to cut straight and doesn’t ravel.  I did not choose an easy pattern in a small size.  I also do not know what I am doing.  But look, isn’t it going to be cute anyway?

After the initial planning period of me staring at the pattern for hours, I figured out which fabrics I could use and where to put them.  I had to analyze the pattern and see what I liked about it and how it worked.  I noticed the color patterns that stood out to me.  I noticed the areas that were softer, and required less contrast.  I learned a lot more this way, I think, than if I would have just followed the pattern and bought the materials listed.  (But my way is so much harder, headache-y, and takes a long time!) This kind of quilting takes planning.  Next quilt project I hope to be more spontaneous and just cut up stuff and stick it together and somehow it will look cute!  Wouldn’t that be nice?  That’s how I do my hair and 50% of the time it works. 🙂

(When I get really good, I want to make this Jane Austen Quilt.)

Heat Index of 98 degrees? Here are three wool sweaters!

 I finished up a few sweaters this week.  It’s a bit hot, but I have autumn’s crisp winds on my mind and future Christmas knitting to start soon.  And okay, I admit this sweater, the Helena, a free pattern on Knitty, was started as a spring sweater and I didn’t finish it in time for Easter.

Sweaters - 4Yarn:  Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK

Size:  18 months (fits my 23 month old in sleeve length and bodice just right) 

Modifications:  I did 4 sets of lace pattern instead of 7.

Sweater #2 I just knitted in a flash and put a button on today.  I bought the self-striping yarn when I was in OH at Craftsman Hill Fibers.  This was a great little free pattern.  The only change I would make is the first row to cast on.  It creates the neckline and it came out way too tight.  I made a loop to button it with and closed up the button hole.  It was too tight and I don’t believe Claire has a thick neck.  So perhaps next time I would cast on more stitches or do it very loosely with a larger needle.

Smock top - 1Yarn:  Adriafil Knitcol (only 2 skeins–100 grams!)

Pattern:  Striped Smock Top by Erika Flory

Size:  Large

Modifications:  I added a button loop.  I knitted  6 inches instead of 5.25 from underarm to use up the little bit left on the skein.

Last but not least is a sweater I forgot I knitted last winter.  It was way too big for Claire then and I had to add it to Ravelry.  So, I thought I would share it with you because it is so pretty!  I can’t wait for Claire to wear it this fall on our afternoon walks when the air is nippy and the leaves crunch under our feet.  I tell you, it’s just a little too hot right now!

Sweaters - 8Yarn:  Peace Fleece Worsted (Katya Pink colorway)

Pattern:  Swing Thing by Theresa Belville

Size:  1-2 year old with shortened sleeves

Modifications:  Just three clasps instead of buttons all the way down and I left out the ribbon work on the yoke.

Sailing . . . Keeps me awaaaaay from making dinner

A new outfit for Claire:  Sailboat Top and Skirt by Oliver + S.  Completed in 2 1/2 days with dogged determination and dinner cooked by Collin.  It’s been a couple weeks since I have made anything and I’m so pleased with the way this turned out.

Sailboat top and skirt - 14

During our trip to Ohio, we made a special trip to Columbus just to buy fabric at Sew To Speak.  This is such a darling shop!  I’m calling it a “fabric boutique.”  This is definitely a candy store a crafter cannot resist.  I bought both of the fabrics at this store and the pattern AND other lovely things that you will see soon.  

Sailboat top and skirt - 11Isn’t it too cute for words?

The skirt is made of Kona cotton, which I keep hearing about for quilting and comes in the biggest rainbow of colors I’ve ever seen.  It is very sturdy, medium weight cotton.  I’m interested to see how the color washes.  

Sailboat top and skirt - 10The kick-pleat is much easier than it looks. 

To make this fit Claire and her cloth diaper, I used the hip measurement to find her size, which turned out to be 2T.  However, her waist is a 6-12 month size.  Thankfully, the back waistband is elastic.  Elastic to the rescue again.  Oh, I hope Claire isn’t hippy like me!  It’s just the cloth diaper, right?  I’m excited to make more bottoms for Claire that will fit her and the cloth diaper exactly.  It has been frustrating to find clothes besides knit pants that will fit. 

Sailboat top and skirt - 02