She Sews: Floral Romper, Take 2

Since the first romper was too small, but oh-so-cute, I just had to try again. And this time, I was successful. :-)

Started — May 11
Completed — May 11

Pattern Info
Ruffle Top Romper tutorial from the Make It & Love It blog

I didn’t actually look at the tutorial this time — I remembered all of the steps. I used the measurements as given for an 18-24 month size. Sprout wears 12-18 month clothes, and this fits her, with a bit of growing room. I’d probably label it as 18 months.

The only modification I made is also one I made last time. Once the dress was made (prior to the romper transformation), I hemmed it with a simple 1″ fold-over hem. This shortened the romper by maybe 3/4-1″. I just love the little ruffles at the bottom, and the finished look of it this way.

Once again, turning the dress into the romper was so easy. I also didn’t have to look through that tutorial. I feel pretty confident I could turn any dress into a romper now. :-) I only put 2 snaps on this time.

I’ve included a picture of the snap packaging. They are probably from the 70s, found in my grandmother’s sewing machine cabinet when I inherited it. At the time, they went for 40 cents. Now, an unused package can be found on eBay for $4-6. :-)

Fabric Info
floral cotton “sampler” and scraps

I used the entire 1/2 yard in the second floral sampler pack for this romper. I had to piece the ruffle to get the length required. This time, I used scraps of the floral fabric for the snap closure pieces instead of the yellow. These pieces don’t show in the final romper, but it does look more professional to use the same fabric in the crotch as in the body of the romper.


She Sews: Toddler T-Shirt

I used one of Sprout’s existing shirts to draft a pattern for a T-shirt.

Started — May 7
Completed — May 7

I spent about 2.5 hours on this shirt, drafting the pattern and sewing it.

Pattern Info
improvised by me

This shirt has a few fit issues. (1) The armholes are too shallow. (2) The sleeves are too tight. (3) The front neckline sags. (4) The body is too tight. However, they are all “wearable” fit issues. They are minor enough that Sprout should get at least a few weeks of wear out of this shirt. Since it was an experiment, and I used remnant fabric, I consider any use a success.

Fabric Info
cotton knit leftover from another project

This cotton knit fabric is very, very soft and only slightly stretchy.


She Sews: Summery Floral Romper

I am so proud of this project. It’s the first garment I’ve ever sewn, and it turned out so great!

Started — May 10
Completed — May 10

I spent about 2.5-3 hours on this project, some of that with Sprout in my lap “helping.” Now that I know how this comes together, I could probably make one in about 2 hours.

Pattern Info
Ruffle Top Romper tutorial from the Make It & Love It blog

The tutorial is written for an 18-24 month size romper and girls size 5-6 dress. Sprout wears 12-18 month clothing, so I modified the starting pieces. I took 2 inches off the width and length of the body pieces, and I took 2.5 inches off the length of the ruffle piece. I kept all other measurements the same as the pattern. I determined the piece sizes by measuring a romper that fits Sprout right now.

There is a link in the romper tutorial to another post on the same blog that details how to turn any dress into a romper (with snaps). That tutorial is fabulous! I used the Ruffle Top Romper tutorial to make a dress, with a 1″ hem at the bottom. Then, I used the dress-to-romper tutorial to turn that into a romper. I preferred the look of the ruffly legs in the dress-to-romper tutorial to the legs of the Ruffle Top Romper.

The tutorial is very good considering it is free. It is not a pattern, more a description of how the writer made the romper/dress. Therefore, it lacks sizing and some details. I did have to guess at a few steps, but it’s obvious I was able to make a romper, so the tutorial is good enough! :-)

Unfortunately, the romper turned out too small. I think it turned out more like a 9-12 month size. Sprout has a little friend who is in that range. I’ll see if it fits her. If not, it’ll get put away, labeled as a 6 month size, for another baby. :-)

Fabric Info
floral cotton “sampler” bought on clearance

The fabric was bought as a “sampler” on clearance at Walmart a few years ago. I bought two packs, each with 1/2 yard of fabric in it. I only needed one pack for this romper. I used some coordinating yellow cotton left in my stash from the first quilt I made.

The snaps came from my grandmother’s sewing machine cabinet. I found a lot of vintage fasteners and such when I inherited it. There were two packs of snaps that have to be hammered onto the garment. I found the instructions on the packet sufficient, and thoroughly enjoyed hammering the snaps in place. :-) I put three snaps on the romper, and purposely placed them close together. I was a little concerned about the legs of the romper being big enough for Sprout’s chunky thighs. I probably could have used just two snaps and gotten about the same effect.


She Crochets: Slippers for Mom

My mom asked me for slippers ages ago. And I finally found a pattern I liked that I thought she might wear. I think these turned out very nice. :-)

Started – April 4
Completed – April 13

Pattern Info
Women’s Button Strap Slippers by Bethany Dearden

This pattern is interesting because it has a double sole, which provides more padding and support. I worried that on a hard floor, the crochet would be uncomfortable to walk on, but I tried them on and was wrong about that. They were just as comfortable on hard floor as carpet.

Yarn Info
Red Heart Super Saver Solids
100% acrylic
aran: 0.05 skeins = 37.2 yards used
coffee: 0.32 skeins = 116.5 yards used

Sorry for the poor quality. I took these with my cell phone, and then mailed off the slippers without taking better ones!

Found on Pinterest: Fingerprint Flowers, Craft

I found this little kid craft on Pinterest many moons ago. There are many similar ones floating around, but this one from the Crafty Morning blog is the one I first found.

Now that Sprout is old enough to do a craft like this (with help!), I used this technique to decorate a picture frame for my mom for Mother’s Day as a gift from her.

She really, really loved dipping her finger in the paint and then “boop”-ing it on the frame to make the dots. I was surprised how patient she was with me as I wiped her finger and readied the next color.

I found all of the supplies at my local Walmart, and they were very inexpensive. In fact, each item only cost me 99 cents! These particular paint colors were on sale, so I just bought the sale colors. The brushes and frame were regularly 99 cents, so it was a done deal. :-)

My only disappointment is that I did not plan ahead well enough. I should have painted the words on the frame before helping Sprout “boop” the flowers onto it — then the word “Mother’s” would not have been wonky. In the end, I think that bit of wonkiness lends it a bit of charm, no?

I hope my mom is surprised to get this in the mail (along with another gift, from me) and can find a nice place to put it and see Sprout’s face all the time!

Happy Mother's Day, Grandma!

Happy Mother’s Day, Grandma!

She Sews: Interchangeable Cords Case

My interchangeable knitting needle set came with two lengths of cords. They came in a clear vinyl pouch with a cardboard insert. It was easy enough to keep the two sizes separate in the same little case.

Then, I bought two more lengths of cords. Each of those came in a plastic pouch with a sticky closure. These are not meant for long-term storage, and rightly so! It is a hassle to wind the cords up and get them shoved into the thin plastic pouch before they come unwound.

A solution was necessary. And this is it. :-)

Started — April 27
Completed — April 28

I made the whole case in one day, but initially, it didn’t have a layer of cotton batting inside, so it was flimsy. After a bit of thinking the next morning, I decided to rip out a few seams and add the batting inside. It is still flexible, but stiff enough to easily insert the cords into their appropriate slots.

Pattern Info
Improvised by me

I may write up a tutorial for making this and put it on my design website, but I don’t have progress pictures, and don’t intend to make another. So I have to decide whether words and perhaps drawn illustrations would be sufficient.

I designed this with four inner pockets. The pouch, though, is sized generously enough that I could add a “page” in the middle in the future, if I ever buy new lengths of cords. With an inserted “page,” I could get 8 more slots. I don’t even know if they make that many different lengths of cords. Alternatively, if the clear vinyl zippered pouch my needles came in is ever not big enough for all my needles (if I ever acquire new tips in a different material, for example), I could see adding little slots for needle tips on a “page” inserted in the middle. It would be very easy to do. I’d make it just like I made the two pockets, but would stitch more divisions. :-)

I used a Sharpie to write the cord lengths on the pockets. It would look much nicer if I had embroidered them on, but this was a quick project, and I was not in the mood for the tedious work of embroidery.

Fabric Info
cotton scraps

I used scraps and remnants for this project. I used a coordinating button from my Nana’s button stash.


She Quilts: Walnut Hill Quilt

This quilt is finally done! I am so excited to share it with you. :)

Started – February 4, 2013
Completed – April 22, 2015

If you had asked me back in February 2013 how long this quilt would take, I’d probably have said a year. But, I also wasn’t pregnant with our first child at the time. :) The piecing took longer than I anticipated. I actually basted, quilted, and bound it in a matter of days.

Fabric Info
Walnut Hill Farm by Blend Fabrics, LLC
Designed by Charlotte Lyons

I adore these fabrics. They are perfectly gender-neutral for a married couple’s bedroom. The backing fabric (shown in an image below) is romantically pretty, to me, and makes the whole quilt seem a bit more elegant. And that is perfect because I’ve always thought our bedroom furniture (was my grandmother’s) has an elegant country feel to it. Perfect match. :)

Pattern Info
Crossed Canoes 6″ block from 365 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks
Construction and arrangement, improvised by me

The finished quilt is very, very far from what I originally planned when I bought this fabric. I intended to do the entire quilt out of the crossed canoes blocks you can see dotted throughout. It soon became evident that paper-piecing is very time-consuming. Each canoe block easily took an hour to construct.

When I had 16 of these blocks (needing something like 150), I knew I had to change my plans! I measured the fabrics I had left, determined how many 6″ blocks I could cut from each, and came up with a layout that best broke up the colors. I even incorporated some of the border fabric to ease the busy-ness of the main fabrics. I had to make 2 more canoe blocks to evenly spread them throughout the body.

The main portion is 14 x 15 blocks, each block roughly 5.5″ square. The border is about 4″ wide. The binding strips were cut from excess backing fabric, of which I barely had enough to make it around the quilt.

It is quilted very simply with diagonal lines. On one angle, the lines are 2 blocks apart. On the opposing angle, they are 4 blocks apart. The quilting is difficult to see in the pictures. I prefer less quilting than is usually done. I think it makes the quilt cozier. :)