Big Sister Baby Brother


This May marks ten years since I graduated from The University of Illinois.  (How is this possible I ask you?  Oh my!)  In honor of our decade since graduating, and the birth of the 15th baby born to my group of college girlfriends, we gathered in central Illinois for some food, fun and fabulous conversation.

And of course with every new birth, there must be presents.  I had a bit more vintage fabric in my closet, so I decided to try my hand at a stuffed animal for the new baby, and why not a skirt to match for the big sister?  I used the same variation on the Butterick pattern I mentioned in yesterday’s post for the Big Sis Skirt.  And I played around a bit and came up with the following process for the stuffed owl.  I hope you enjoy!

Step 1:  I took a wool sweater I had already felted (I washed it in warm water, then let it dry.  Repeat this step several times to shrink the stitching up a bit.), and using the edge of the sweater as my fold, I cut 2 4″ X 8″ strips.


Step 2:  Placing right sides together, sew around 2 sides of the strip, leaving the top open.  (I actually sewed two lines of stitching to strengthen the edge.)


Step 3:  Turn right side out, and stuff the “legs.” Set aside.

Step 4:  I then used the cuffs of the sweater and cut out two ovals.  Then take remnant fabric and cut out two more ovals a bit smaller than the first two.  Stitch the smaller oval on top of the larger, sew on a button and your eyes are done.

Step 5:  Again using remnant fabric, cut out a triangle for the nose.


Step 6:  Draw an owl pattern on a large sheet of paper.  Take a large piece of fabric, fold it so the right sides are together, trace the owl pattern and cut out both pieces.


Step 7:  Sew the eyes and nose to one of the owl cut outs.

Step 8:  Place one owl-shaped piece down on a table (right side facing up).  Pin each leg in place along the bottom of the owl.


Then place the second owl-shaped piece on top with the right side facing down.

Step 9:  Sew around the outer edge of the owl, being sure to capture both legs in your stitching.  (Again here, I also sewed two lines of stitching to strengthen the edge.)  Be sure to leave about a 2″ opening so you can feed the fabric back through and stuff the owl.

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Step 10:  Feed the fabric and legs through the opening, and remove pins.  Stuff the owl and then sew shut the opening.


Spring Sewing

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I can feel it.  Spring weather is on its way.  It has surely been slow in coming, but I think it is just around the corner.  For that reason, I tucked myself in behind my sewing machine to craft some Spring goodies for my girls.  Using vintage fabric I found at a thrift store, I made a slightly adjusted version of Butterick B5757 for my oldest daughter.

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And then I made a mini-verson of the maxi dress from this wonderful blog for my youngest.  I kid you not, both of these pieces took under 30 minutes total time to sew.  This mama has got to make a few more of these quick projects to finish off the girls’ spring wardrobes.

Valentine Number Two


My youngest daughter’s Valentine idea yesterday led me to another idea I could use for my oldest daughter’s Valentines.  I used a similar play on words, changed sew to sow, and voila…2013 Valentines are done.  Here’s how to do it…

Step 1:  Cut a length of ribbon that will fit around your chosen seed pack.  (I gave myself an extra inch.)


Step 2:  Put a dot of hot glue on one end of the ribbon and attach it to the seed pack.  Then use another dot of hot glue to attach the other end of the ribbon to itself.  (This way the seed pack won’t slip out of the ribbon.)


Step 3:  Print your text I’m “SOW” happy you are my Valentine! onto these labels.

Step 5:  Place one label on the seed pack, over the seam of the ribbon.

And that’s it!


Happy crafting!

Valentine Number One

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I needed to peruse the internet for some fun, creative Valentine ideas.  Well, before I ventured into cyberspace to find ideas, I first went to my three year-old who is never short on a few ideas of her own.  Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I did.  That little lady had such a cute idea, and I bring it to you here today.

She told me, “Mommy, I want to use my new sewing machine and sew hearts for my friends for Valentine’s Day.”  And that’s just what we did…

Step 1:  Trace heart shapes onto a piece of felt.


Step 2:  Cut out the heart shapes using pinking shears.


Step 3:  Sew a zig zag stitch along the outside edge of each heart.


Step 4:  Print your text I’m “SEW” glad you are my Valentine! onto these labels.

Step 5:  Place one label on each heart, reinforcing it with a brad of your choice.

And that’s it!


Happy crafting!

Her First Project


As I mentioned on Tuesday, my three year-old received a sewing machine for Christmas this year.  Now, many of you may be wondering, “Why on earth did this crazy mom buy her three year old a real sewing machine?”  Well, when researching the kids-type sewing machines and speaking with the lovely gals at my local sewing shop, they informed me that many of the machines geared towards kids will fall apart over just a short period of time.  They told me that by spending just about $40 more, I could get a nice, quality machine that can grow with her.

Obviously, this real sewing machine (as my daughter refers to it), involves a lot of assistance from mama at this time, but I have no doubt that in a few years this little lady will be sewing away all by herself.  But for now, I run the pedal, and she feeds the fabric through the machine, with mommy’s hand gently atop hers to insure it doesn’t get too close to the needle.


The week my daughter returned to pre-school after the holiday break, they were suppose to bring in a toy they received for Christmas for show-and-tell.  So, my tiny seamstress wanted to make a quilt, and bring that quilt in to show her class because “Mommy, my real sewing machine is too heavy to bring into my classroom and I don’t think it will fit in my school bag.”

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So we worked and worked on a cold afternoon, while Big Sissy was at school, and we created this tiny little quilt.  She is so very proud of this crafted bit.  She has been taking it everywhere, and showing it to anyone who will look.


I just had to add this picture here at the end.  My daughter told me she had to iron her seams with her iron to make sure they were flat.  Quite the professional little seamstress she is.  I’m such a proud mama.


All of us mamas need our space now and again.  A place where we can just sit, and be still.  These times don’t seem to come often, but when they do arise it is so very nice to have a place to call our own.

Last week, my girls and I were completely worn out by the extreme heat, so we decided to spend an afternoon in the basement.  Once we were in this nice, cool space for an extended period of time, we realized the place needed a little pick me up.  We spent the afternoon organizing, all while Belle (aka Beauty) and her gang sang to us in the background.  When we were finished I realized that maybe, just maybe, there was a way I could set up my sewing machine in the basement in a permanent space.

The girls and I got back to work and moved furniture around a bit, which they loved because we discovered lots of lost treasures hidden beneath couch cushions and tables.  And we also realized there was, in fact, a bit of space available amongst the chaos for a tiny sewing nook.

I shared this idea with my mother and father-in-law and to my absolute surprise, three days later my father-in-law had built me an absolutely fabulous sewing table!  He is one crafty guy I tell you.  So I then went rummaging through my parents’ basement, found an old abandoned chair, painted it and now I have a cute little space to call my own.

I can’t wait to start my first project 🙂