No excuses, play like a champion

A long time ago, I purchased a pattern from Etsy for Maxaloones (baby/toddler lounge pants). I then joined a Facebook group for people who make these pants. For months, I observed, and oohed and awed over their photographs. The week after Christmas I decided to give the pattern a shot and I was blown away by the result. I’ll go more in detail about why these pants are the best pants ever for little kids next week when I launch them in my Etsy shop, so stay tuned.

Yesterday, while procrastinating on other projects, I decided to see if I could make a pair of Maxaloones out of an old t-shirt. A quick walk through my closet and I knew just the shirt. I measured to make sure the front logo of the shirt would fit on the bum of the pants, and to play it safe I made them a size larger than what my son currently wears (a decision I now regret, but he’ll grow into them). So, here they are! I used a cotton/lycra jersey blend fabric for the waist and ankle bands. The lycra helps it to have a great stretch, making it so elastic or a draw string isn’t necessary. Overall, I’m pleased with how they turned out. It’s always great to be able to reuse something old and give it new life.

2015/01/img_4905.jpg2015/01/img_4907.jpg2015/01/img_49271.pngIt’s becoming increasingly difficult to photograph my child these days…

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Christmas Recap

When I was little, my mom always made me a special Christmas gift. The year Zac turned one, I started that same tradition myself and made him a sock monkey. Last year, I upped my game and made him a truck quilt. This year, I really struggled as to what to make. I wanted it to be something useful, and the child did not need another blanket. It was over Thanksgiving, while I was packing his stuff to go visit the grandparents, that I realized Zac didn’t have his own suitcase. There was my answer! I spent the drive to my parents’ house browsing the web for patterns. A friend shared a link to Sara Lawson’s page, Sew Sweetness. My friend has made a few of her patterns before and assured em they were great and easy to follow. After browsing the different patterns she had on her site, I decided on her Aeroplane Bag, and immediately went to fabric.com to pick out fabric. Sara’s pattern was great and gave exact dimensions for your stabilizers and fabric pieces, and I was able to order it all at once. Because this was a bag for Zac, I wanted something fun. He loves trucks, and a quick search led me to the Riley Blake, “On Our Way” collection. It was perfect!

My fabric arrived about a week later, and I let it sit while I finished up Etsy orders and t-shirt quilts. Like last year, I greatly underestimated the amount of time I would have between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get work done for others. I was a bit of a crazy lady, and apologized to my husband daily for the disaster that my office (formally known as our dining room) had turned into. Exactly one week before Christmas, I got started on Zac’s bag.

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My friend was right, and the pattern was incredible easy to follow. I consider myself a pretty advanced sewer, but I’ve never done anything like this, but I think I did pretty well, if I do say so myself! I messed up once while adding one of the inside zipper pockets, and I’ll confess- I was too frustrated to fix it, so Zac’s bag has one pocket instead of two. But, I finished the bag in about two days, and for a rookie, I don’t think I did too shabby!

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This bag is the perfect size for a weekend trip away. It holds all of his clothes, plus books, a blanket, and bedtime essentials. It’s soft, but with the stabilizers, it holds its shape really well. I hope that this bag lasts him for years to come.

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A Very Special Bridesmaid Dress Quilt

I met my best friend in February of 1986. My family just moved into our new house and Jaime knocked on our front door and asked (she loves this story BTW) “do you have a little girl my age I can play with?” The rest is history. My family moved from Ohio to Georgia in 1994 and our moms made sure we were still able to visit. She flew to Georgia to be in my wedding in 2005 and I was in Ohio when she married her husband 3 years later.
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I am over the moon excited for Jaime and her husband Mike as they’re expecting their first baby. I’ve known for over a year that when she got pregnant I was going to cut up my bridesmaid dress to make a quilt for her. I was so excited after seeing this idea on Pinterest that I actually bought the fabric before she was even pregnant. (Hi, my name is Melissa and I am a fabric hoarder…) I went neutral with greys and yellows, knowing that she wanted the gender to be a surprise. This quilt is different from a similar blanket I made last fall in that I used the satin material from the dress as slashing to go between the cotton fabric squares. I love how it turned out.

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Preschool…

My little guy started preschool this week. I had great intentions of writing this post when I got home from dropping him off on Tuesday, but I spent the first hour pacing the floors, and when I got over myself and decided to get some work done, I received a phone call that he never stopped crying and it may be best for me to come pick him up. Thankfully, he had a much better day on Thursday and, to everyone’s surprise, he made it the whole day. He woke up today asking to go back. Let’s hope he’s this excited next week!!

I’m not sure how it is in other parts of the country, but here preschool registration starts in January. Yep, I said January. School starts in September… As a first time mom, I completely missed the boat on that one, and the preschool across the street from our house was full. I had a moment of panic where I actually cried, thinking this would somehow affect where he went to college, before I put on my big girl panties and started talking with friends and calling other schools in the area. They say that everything happens for a reason, and I truly love the school where Zac ended up. They have 8 students with 2 teachers in their 2-year-old classes. I don’t know anywhere else that has that ratio. Additionally, he has music and spanish classes once a week. So, we signed him up, paid our registration, and then somebody pressed the fast-forward button on life, because in the blink of an eye, this week arrived.

Me being me, I made sure that Zac was ready with all the personalized school gear that one embroidery machine could create. I made him a shirt and matching shorts for his first day of school, I embroidered his name on the fire engine lunchbox he picked out, and then I embroidered an appliquéd patch and his name on his book bag. Let me talk a minute about this backpack- I posted a picture of this on Facebook and immediately had friends requesting them too. They’re now listed on Etsy and quickly became my top seller. They are so easy to do, so I need to remember this for next year. Last, but certainly not least, I need to introduce my newest baby- the Silhouette Cameo. This machine really needs her own post, but I’ll work on that for next week. It was a complete impulse buy, but I used it to slap Zac’s name on his water cup for school, as well as make a little welcome gift for his teachers too.

If you have questions about any of the items pictured below, please leave me a comment. I need additional practice with the Silhouette, but I hope to create some things to list on Etsy for the holidays. Till next time, friends!!

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Jersey Knit Pajama Pants, tutorial

Earlier this spring, I purchased a serger. I justified this purchase by telling my husband I could start making clothing items for Zac and to list on Etsy. Easier said than done… Well, last month I ordered him a pair of jersey knit lounge pants from another Etsy shop and I made a shirt to match.20140806-072315-26595662.jpg

After looking at the pants and others we have here, I realized that I needed to bite the bullet. There are lots of sellers that make embroidered and appliquéd shirts, sellers that make pants, but few that do both.

I searched and searched for a pattern to make the pants and came up empty handed. So, I decided to make my own. I cut up an old pair of Christmas pajama pants and saw that this wouldn’t be as difficult as I thought.

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Looking at a pair of existing pants was incredibly helpful. I serged the legs of each piece of fabric, and then (carefully) pieced the two together and stitched the front/back/crotch together. Word to the wise: the serger will cut through straight pins, so remove them as you sew (lesson learned the hard way).

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Next up was the waste and leg cuffs. I cut 7 inches of the polkadot fabric, folded it over and serged the seam. I measured the waistband of another pair of Zac’s pants and serged one to match. I did the same with the leg cuffs.

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I was so anxious to finish at this point that my last pictures were taken after the fact. I lined up the waste (seam in the back) and serged that on, pulling it tight as I went. I repeated that with the legs, making sure the seam lined up with the inside seam of the pants.

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I designed the shirt to match and used some of the polkadot fabric from the pants too. I am in love with this set and I can’t wait to make more!! I am working on making a downloadable pattern for the blog, so check back soon. Until then, don’t be afraid to cut up a pair of pants and make your own!! For those who don’t sew, this set will be listed on Etsy soon.

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My model was less than cooperative…

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Going back to school in style

I don’t want to believe it, but my little guy starts preschool in just a few short weeks. I am mixed with emotions over this, but decided to channel my energy for good. I started looking at backpacks that I could embroider with his name. After all, what good is an embroidery machine without using it myself? I found this backpack at Walmart and my son fell in love. He carried it around the store naming all the trucks. Because the pattern is so busy, I knew I’d need an appliqué frame to help the name stand out. I was scared to hoop this bag and embroider directly on it, but the front zipper came down far enough that it was fairly easy. So easy in fact that I went back to Walmart to stock up and picked up a girl bag too. These are for sale in the etsy shop, and don’t forget about the code SUPERBLOG for 15% off!

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I swish my cape at you!

I am the mom of a 2-and-a-half year old boy. My house is filled with planes, trains, and automobiles. We are also a lover of the Disney movies Cars and Planes. I’m not ashamed to admit that I often bribe my son on shopping trips, “if you sit nice, we’ll walk past the toy aisle on our way out…” Well, on a recent trip to Walmart, they had all the new figurines for the Planes 2 Fire & Rescue movie. I think the folks at our local Walmart took this as an opportunity to clean out their storage room because they also had figurines from the first planes movie too. Let me introduce you to El Chupacabra.20140730-122442-44682694.jpg

Next to Dusty Crophopper, El Chu is my son’s favorite character from the movie. I have been looking for the El Chu toy for awhile and with the release of the new movie, haven’t been able to find the toys from the old movie. Needless to say, we haaaaad to buy him.

Zac and El Chu were inseparable for a few days. Everywhere we went, he came with us. During this time, I was working on a superhero cape for an Etsy order and showed it to Zac. His face lit up and he said “Cape!!! I, I swish my cape at you” (a line from the Planes movie). I made two capes for Zac last summer and he had no interest in them whatsoever, until now. Now he wants to wear a cape because it makes him like El Chu.

He’s worn this cape multiple places over the past few weeks. It’s been worn to a birthday party, grocery shopping, on evening walks, and today he wore it to his Gymboree class. Zac’s latest “trick” is running circles around the house and making his cape fly. Secretly, I love it!!

Shameless plug- the red superhero capes are available for order in my Etsy shop. Today I also added a superhero onesie. I think these would make an adorable combination for a big brother/little brother photo session. Use the code SUPERBLOG for 15% off any order.

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