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All 4 of my Appletons were in heavy rotation before the washer died leaving me unable to easily pull my otherwise ironables from the dryer and hang them directly. They are being worn almost exclusively now.  That’s a lot of wear and I don’t want them to wear out, so it’s time to sew up some of the Appleton fabrics I’ve been stockpiling.   Fireworks (O named it) is cut at the 18 g/h bust with a 16 waist and hip like my first two Appletons.  This time, however, both front panels are cut as the wider size because I still have one who likes to hide under mama’s skirts.  .

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This one sewed up incredibly well. This was my first set of knit hems for which no wonder tape was used to help in the hemming.  The fabric, painted daisies from Craftsy,, may not be available anymore as it was a sale item when purchased, but it is a rayon/lycra blend.

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This shoot had a lot of little helpers.  O was wearing his butterfly shirt and A one of her dyed onsies, which happened to have been a previous batman logo iron-on project.  Dad understood that  he was supposed to get a picture of the dress.  Apparently including all of my head and not cutting O off at the elbow should have been specified.  This picture managed two out of three.  On the long list of things needing to be repaired is my camera, which has a non-functioning auto-focus, so iPod photos by my husband, headless and bodiless though they may be, will have to suffice until a reputable camera repair shop can be located.

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Gingham Along


It’s waiting…all of this lovely gingham.  It’s also asking for more gingham with larger checks (preferably some Sarah Jane Sommer), but it’s not picky (so it claims).  Then along comes the Gingham Along.  Sew up something in gingham by 13 September?  With 2 projects already lined up and a new washing machine finally on order that should be doable.  My commitment is to make a gathering apron like this one,  but I’d also like to make a summery top-the Simplicity 1692 Vintage 1940’s top with short sleeves to be precise.  The blue gingham is very light weight and will, hopefully, serve the second purpose before it gets too cold for summery tops.  Come sew with me?

Gingham Along Apron

The red gingham was insisting that it wanted to be a shirtdress even as I was cutting out an apron.  Who knew gingham was so opinionated?

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A few orange leaves…that’s how it started.  Just a few bright spots dotting the trees as we drove north to play in the fountain for what was only the second time this year.  Summer flew by and now it is just days until O starts Kindergarten.  Looking at the calendar, I realized that the next ten weekends are already scheduled.  Don’t tell anyone, but unlike the summer my 2 daycare days a week this fall aren’t completely full…yet.  They’ll be shortened with school drop off and pick up and a few items have been or are waiting to be penciled in.  Fall is going to fly by.

To prevent limit holiday stress, it is time to start planning.  Very few gifts will be hand-made this year.  I need a break, and we are adding a lot to our plates already with school.  Ornaments for the kids are a must though.  When they put up their first trees of their own, I want to be able to hand each of them a box of handmade ornaments that will remind them of each year we put up a tree together.  Maybe that year a matched set of ornaments will be able to accompany the box, maybe not.

In past years,  Mill Hill Beaded ornaments ( here, here) have been the thing, but they are time consuming.  Looking through my holiday stitching folder, Prairie Schooler animal ornaments jumped out at me as quick and easy, but also allowing the kids to have a choice in their ornaments this year.  They are at the age where animals are all the rage and the bunny and chicken options seemed like they would appeal.  O chose either the squirrel or the black swan, until A chose the squirrel too-two squirrels it is.  Daddy requested a quail (aka partridge).   This much I can handle: three ornaments to cross off the list in early fall, while I’m pondering gift ideas.

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Swirly Flowers

Swirl Flowers Pillowcase WIP 1

While old projects are still at the top of my to do list, none of my existing embroidery projects were camping (without running water) friendly.  Luckily, just a few days before our trip a friend had gifted me with a set of stamped for embroidery pillowcases.  Washable, not irreplaceable (I think the run about $4 on ebay) and kitted.

swirl flowers package

That’s what I thought, but I’m much happier with my not pink and turquoise version.  A few stitches are different too. Shown above is the first of 3 repeated sections that make up the design.  Pillowcase one is almost finished.  Everything has been fun from substituting colors to stitching by lamplight.  Should I go ahead and stitch the second when I’m finished or to try to make some more progress on my grapevine tablecloth?


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Butterfly T

O has a pile of new school clothes waiting and while A had heaps of hand-me-downs, she went through a growth spurt and suddenly didn’t have clothes in her size for fall/winter.  Taking advantage of some sales, she got shoes a few pair of tights, 3 pair jeans and 2 long sleeve shirts.  One of those shirts features 3 butterflies.  As soon as he saw those butterflies O wanted the shirt-whether it would fit him or not.  Luckily part of his new pile of clothes consisted of a pile of white undershirts.  They were perfect for embellishment with a green butterfly.  Using an iron-on had to be one of the easiest projects I’ve done in some time.  O was thrilled.  Watching his face light up made my day.

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KCW Sewing Alternatives

Rinsed Onsies

Kid’s Clothes Week  started Monday.  I was still camping with 4 other families.  The plan was to come home, put my pattern together while washing my fabric, then sew begin sewing on Tuesday while responsibly doing all of the laundry from camp (which turned out to be about 15 loads).  Unfortunately, my washer died before a single load got done and while 15 loads were running here:

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My Sarah Jane was sitting in at home.

Sarah Jane In Waiting

No fabric=No sewing.

Hmm. What to do instead.  Well, a small pile of stained onsies from O were waiting to be dyed for use by A.  A request was also made for a shirt with a butterfly.  So this KCW I’m not joining in the sewing-I’m running my own alternative KCW of the non-sewing variety.

Apparently directions are just silly.  Recipes are also unduly complicated.  30-60 minutes of cooking?  The whole process took about that long.   Just dumping colors in until a paper towel came out nicely seemed to work.  I wish I had more stained onesies to dye.

I even figured out what I’d like to do with a green linen maternity shirt I couldn’t bare to throw out.  Dying is complete and iron-ons have been printed to create brother and sister butterfly shirts.  Tomorrow will be hand washing the dyes to see how they’ve set, ironing on the butterflies and checking the Lucy pattern against the maternity shirt to see if it’ll work.  Now, I’m off to begin assembling the Lucy before date night.  Dinner and Suicide Squad.

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Faking It

Faking It Concord

Appleton.  Washington.  Concord.  Upton.  Springfield.  5 patterns so far have been brought to us by Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette.  The Appleton is 5 stars all the way.  The Washington, I’m still on the fence about, color blocking and mixing wovens with knits…  Upton, may be another 5 star.  There are some beautiful versions out there and it’s a style I really like.  I’m curious to see what little tweaks Jenny has included to make this particularly curve friendly.  Springfield.  I’m seriously doubtful.  There are a lot of simple tank patterns out there, but those rear princess seams are intriguing.   All of that brings us to Concord.

This is a wearable muslin from a knit  that is a bit lighter than I would ideally use for a tee, but which was plentiful in my stash.  The shoulders and sleeves fit nicely.  Those telltale need an FBA wrinkles are not Jenny’s fault.  According to the pattern envelop.  I’m a 16 G/H bust and fall right between 14 and 16 for the waist and hips.  Seeing as  this was a first go round I started with a straight 16 G/H.  Crazy me, who finally decided wardrobe creation was a must because I couldn’t get a t-shirt to come near to fitting and still have it cover my belly button, decided to start with the longest length to try out the curved hem (which isn’t very curved).    Do you see that funny bump across the middle of me above?  That actually isn’t the waistband from my skirt, but rather the folded up excess fabric from the Concord.  I was trying to figure out who long I’d actually like it to be and if I feel it is worth hemming again.

Concord Tee

This is what the shirt actually looks like on me.  I can’t believe I got up at 4am to finish this.  It could be worn as a nightgown and if it were just a couple of inches longer  I wouldn’t even feel weird about it.  FYI:  I’m 5′ 6″

 Will I make this again?  Probably, but at a much shorter length with either a self drafted curved hem or the straight hem option with a lower scoop and it would be from a heavier fabric.  Rather than a light to medium fabric, I believe this would be best in either a medium or even a heavy fabric provided the heavier fabric had lots of stretch to it.

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