I’m itching to sew a bit again. It’s kind of tough though, as sewing itself would be fine, but sitting and cutting requires a lot of movement. Still, I did spend some time cutting out a girl’s dress this week which was only four pattern pieces.

And I had some works-in-progress that had been languishing in my closet since we moved, even though all that needed done was sewing on the waistband and buttons. I tackled these Oliver+S Sleepover Pajamas last week. After all, April is a good time to make flannel pajamas, right??

Unfortunately my model was not cooperative and kept running or walking.

Sleepover Pajamas

When I finally convinced her to pose, she insisted it be in the darkest spot in the house.

Sleepover Pajamas

My second model was a bit more cooperative, but he refused to smile. Or to let me comb his hair.

Second Sleepover Pajamas

And the youngest members of the family were not be left out – they got a knitted baby blanket. Some day I will tell them how half this blanket was knitted while I waited in the hospital for monitoring.

Chevron Baby Blanket

Oh and just for fun, here’s an oldie but a goodie – a smock I made a couple of years ago has been refound and reclaimed by a child who is a much more enthusiastic painter.


And that folks, is whole lot of crafting for one week. Although that’s because 97% of it occurred in other weeks…

P.S. Why is Flickr so annoying at times? You preview the entry – the photo is there. Then it’s gone. Then you put it back. Then it’s gone again. ARGH!

Playground Pants

I usually shy away from the novelty print pants, but I couldn’t resist the idea of a pair of paints in these mousey print from Heather Ross, especially after I spied it in person at my lovely local fabric store, Spool of Thread. It’s from her Nursery Versery collection, which is quite adorable.

I mean, if you were two, wouldn’t you want a pair of pants with mousey fabric? You’d probably want them if you were five too, so rest assured P got a pair in a different colourway, though I didn’t get any pictures of his.

Because the kids’ clothing situation is a bit dire, so I chose a very quick and easy pattern from my Japanese children’s pattern book, Hand-made for Children, which I was able to whip up on a Saturday morning.

My one complaint is that the pants were shorter than I expected even though they should be bang on, given that the patterns are “sized” by height, and given that I cut a size that was a few centimetres taller than each child. I think they’re fine now, but I’d planned to leave a generous hem so I could take them down, and there is almost no hem at all. However, I like the overall shape of the pants, and so I will simply add a cuff once they start ankle creeping, and next time I make them, I’ll size up even more.

Playground Pants

Daddy Long Legs

Whoa, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I added anything to my Flickr sewing album. Work, moving, not feeling great – I have many excuses. But in the meantime, my kids pants are all ankle-length as they have undergone some major growth spurts!

And so I present, les Cargos Pants! (Does it sound better when I make it seem French?) I was so thrilled when the Oliver+S fall line included a real “boy” pattern… and then I was inspired by the girly floral cords featured on the blog. Love this pattern. Had to have it.

Oliver + S Cargo Pants

In case you can’t tell from his face, he does actually love these pants. And I made the top too using the raglan t-shirt pattern that goes with it. I made it in a slightly heavier material and added a little band at the bottom to make it more sweatshirt like. P chose the anchor fabric and he loves wearing them. Yikes – looking at this pictures makes me realise that even his socks are too small.

Cargo Pants!

I’ve got another pair on the go in a very dark chambray. The good thing about moving is it forced me to go through my fabric. I got rid of loads of scraps as they were taking over, and frankly I’m not a huge quilter, and I might as well accept that. Only the real gems, like the Heather Ross stuff scraps, got saved. I also rediscovered tons of gems hidden away in my fabric closet. Half got packed to the rental, and half got stored away until we move into our permanent house. I tried to store some of the good stuff, so when I open that box it will be a bit like Christmas.

Bucket List

I am a delinquent blogger these days. I was going to take pictures of my fabric buckets that I made and tell you to all come take my fabric bucket class! But then… I didn’t. And now the class is over, though it was lots of fun and the buckets turned out really well.

We are moving in just a few days. I am feeling very sad about it, partly because we haven’t found our next place yet, so we’ll be renting for 6 months. I’m a homebody, and I get such energy from my messy little nest. I feel a little discombobulated being in limbo – not knowing what school district we’ll be in next year, or what part of town we’ll live in. I want to take pictures of every corner of this little house – like the frog tiles in the shower that M and P love, and the spot on the floor that is stained, and the curved countertops. And the flies caught in the light fixtures. Then I would make a Youtube montage with some sort of dramatic operatic music in the background, and it would end with a video of a small plastic bag drifting slowly across our lawn.

I haven’t been getting much sleep lately. I think I need to cut out coffee completely or something. If I drink more than half a cup I wake up at 1 in the morning and my thoughts race through my head for five hours. Work and kids and work and things I wish I hadn’t said 16 years ago. With that I should go to bed, but hopefully I will be back sooner this time.

Back to School Wardrobe

In preparation for the kids’ “back-to-school” wardrobe I decided to audit the kids clothes. Since I’m still on my make-everything-for-a-year plan, I figured I’d have work to do.

I decided, basically because I’m quite lazy about laundry, that they each need a weeks worth of outfits. For P that means 7 pants and shirt combos for P, and same for M, although some of her outfits might be dresses. As well, each needs 3-4 sweaters and enough pajamas to get through the week (so maybe 3-4).

One day at M’s naptime, I kneeled on the foot of her bed and packed away several pants, tops and dresses that were too short. And after all that culling, it turns out… they don’t need anything! Some of P’s pants and sweaters will likely be too short in a few months, and they could both use some cooler weather pajamas. I will also try to make M some more ‘fancy’ things, since her sweaters are mostly sweatshirts. But there are no immediate necessities required, so I can get to those ‘in due course’.

I was amazed that almost halfway through this challenge it’s been really easy to keep up with what they need. Although when I mentioned that to my mother her reaction was: “You CAN’T send him to school in homemade pants.” Why not? “You just can’t.” After considering that for about 30 seconds, I decided, if he’s traumatized at age 22 because someone made fun of his funky pants, I’m prepared to deal with the consequences. Strangely he was wearing home made shorts the day she made that comment, so I’m not exactly sure how to take it, but probably best not to think about it too much.

Since I didn’t need to make P a new back-to-school outfit, and part of my goal here is not doing too much work unnecessarily, I opted for a “retrofit” or something store-bought. Took about 30 seconds to stencil a little “P” on his Gap tee with fabric paint. I also wrote “I love you” on the (inside) collar with a Sharpie so that he’d have the message with him on his first day. That kind of counts as hand-made, right?

First Day

Oh, and the sign says “I’m starting kindergarten. When I grow up, I want to be a: Personal who sees what’s in the ocean and the moon.” I’m feeling like the overall concept would have worked better if he’d just answered Astronaut, or Marine Biologist, in which case I could have written it all in larger, more readable font. However, he would not be limited to those obvious choices.


We sold our house! That has been eating much crafting time, as time I’d usually be at the machine is spent poring over housing listings. It’s a little disconcerting to sell before you buy. We’ve never done that in the past – we’ve always known exactly where we were going. But now we’re on somewhat of a deadline to find something new, and that can be stressful.

But it does allow for a lot of dreaming about what will come next, which is always nice.

On the knitting front, I cast on the Levinwick pattern recently and am about a third through that. I keep meaning to knit stuff for the kids, but I just keep making things for me. I’ve also had the Wiksten tulip skirt cut out for ages, but haven’t started sewing it yet.

I need to make a list for fall of the back to school clothing the kids will need… that will motivate me a bit to get back to the machine.

More Bucket Hats

The Oliver+S bucket hat is now a free download! I made this pattern last year, but you can never have too many sun hats.  This one is made out of Heather Ross fabric, with the inside lined with some sort of newsprint/cars print that I impulse-bought on Etsy.

Bucket Hat

Bucket Hat

Pattern: Oliver+S Bucket Hat
Level: Must be comfortable with curved seams, as the assembly is a wee bit tricky.
Fabric: Heather Ross and ??
Price: A fat quarter of each did it, so what’s that… $8?

I also made one for Miss M, but I’m not sure if I have pictures of it yet.


I feel like I have to ‘fess up as I went clothes shopping today despite my one-year challenge. Not for the kids, but for moi. I have been in court quite a bit in the last while, which has reminded me that I am desperately in the need of a new suit. I didn’t get a suit but I did buy two blazers and a dress that will tide me over until I can find the right suit. I want to buy something that will last 10 years, sort of like the last really good suit I had.

While I did sign up for an online suit jacket course, and have watched some of it, I do think a blazer is one of those garments worth paying for.

While shopping, I realized that this four-month clothes shopping hiatus has really changed my attitude about what to buy. First, I rejected several extremely well-priced items where the fit was a teensy bit off. Also I found myself checking what everything was made of before buying. Also, I’m feeling good that these are sort of legacy items as they are all extremely well-made and quite classic. They’re more expensive (though it was a 50% off sale) than I usually buy but that was okay since I’ve been so restrained lately on the clothing front.

There may be a few more work-related items purchased at some point in the future this year, but no impulse buys. On the kids I have remained strong and plan to buy nothing unless it’s something I really can’t make… haven’t even caved on socks yet.

Grassy Green Halter

I feel kind of like this shirt is my Moby Dick. I made it ages ago, but have yet to get a good picture of Miss M wearing it, partly because the weather has not been good this June (so there were few opportunities to wear a halter) and partly because she has become a bit more resistant to posing.

Grassy Green Halter

This pattern is a free one, and great for people just getting into sewing clothes. The construction is kind of nifty, and to keep it light and airy, the edges of the ruffle are left raw, but cut on the bias (diagonal) and secured with a seam to prevent too much fraying.

Pattern: Oliver + Ruffled Halter! FREE
Skill level: Novice (I am going to start saying Novice rather than beginner, because I work with very beginners just learning to thread machines and sew straight, and I wouldn’t suggest they tackle this kind of pattern)
Fabric:Some kind of green dot thing; can’t remember where; feels lighter than a quilting cotton. Quite possibly not 100% cotton.
Time: I can’t remember now, but in the range of 2 hours.