Designed and Made by J: Monkey & Sheep

It’s been a while since miss J has wanted to sew up something. But, when I told her she could design and create something for her two baby cousin’s birthdays she jumped at the opportunity. She made her drawing (below) and picked out the fabrics from my stash. It’s a good thing I have a lot of fleece and felt for all her projects!

I ended up doing most of the sewing but she did help stuff them. She was so excited to send them off to her cousins! Oh that her little heart will continue to grow big, full of love, spilling over into the lives of others!
-Jess

See more of the Designed and Made by J series here.

Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love Book Blog Hop

Kerry Goulder has a new book out called “Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love” (currently available on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Nobles) and it is absolutely darling! I’m so happy to be one of the twenty participating in the book tour.

 The book is full of 18 different toy patterns and wow is there a variety! Each toy was  created with a story along with the encouragement to write your own story about the things that you make. I let my oldest pick what I should make first and she picked the Mouse Pals: Sherbert and Pistachio.

Kerry shares a beautiful story about how these mice are the gnomes helpers, gathering firewood and berries. But, they never pass up a chance to play before work! As I was making these, I thought of the stories my girls would create themselves. And sure enough, after they awoke from nap time what sweet stories I heard and saw come to life!
Miss J awoke first and decided they would be called Gazelle and Philipe. They were married and best friends. She made them a home from her blocks and dialogued their conversations. Then when miss E came out and Philipe became hers. Her little mouse was soon finding a bed in a shoe that looks like a cat and being lovingly called a bear. They played and played with their mice and even brought them with us when we went out later.

The pattern was incredibly easy to sew up, although I was a bit intimidated by the small size at first. But since I had a quick turn tool c/o Dritz, it made the process a breeze! The directions were also so clear with great pictures to help. I let the girls choose their favorite prints from the ones that we were sent (The Lottie Da Collection by Heather Bailey c/o Free Spirit…ps Heather Bailey wrote the forward to the book so you know it’s good!). I learned a few new techniques as well, my favorite new one being how make embroidered eyes like this. I can’t wait to dive into some more projects now! The girls already have picked out quite a few they want me to make them. Below are a few I really like and look forward to making:

Not only did I get to receive a very wonderful book, but I also received all kinds of goodies to make it possible to make every project in this book! So let me share some love because these products rock and will make creating toys a lot easier. Trust me. I know. Where have these been my whole sewing life? Or more like, why haven’t I bought these yet? ha!

Fiskars on Twitter - https://twitter.com/fiskars_hq

Dritz1. Quick Turn Tools
2. Bodkin
3. Seam Ripper
4. Doll Needles
5. Craft Needles
6. Straight Ball Pins
7. Fabric Marking Pen
8. Bamboo Point Turner

Dritz on Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/dritzsewing/Dritz on Instagram - http://followgram.me/dritz_sewing/

Fairfield

1 Bag of Poly-Fil (not pictured)

Fairfield on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FairfieldWorld
Fairfield on Twitter – https://twitter.com/fairfieldworld
1. Yard Create-A-Pattern paper
They are not on any social media sites (Used to be on FB – but not anymore). They are from my town and will be at both QM and CHA shows! Bob and Roberto are awesome – if you attend either show, please stop by and say hello, or email them. They would love that!
1. 4 Fat Quarters of Heather Bailey’s new Lottie Da fabric

Heather Bailey’s blog: http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/
Heather’s Instagram: http://instagram.com/heatherbailey
The book
F+W Media on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fwmedia
F+W Media on Twitter - https://twitter.com/fwmedia
You can find out more about Kerry and her book here: Blog, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram
Grab your copy and happy sewing!
-Jess

Designed & Made by J: Cotton Candy the Unicorn

Designed and Made by J: Cotton Candy the Unicorn

We have been getting back in the swing of things with some more crafting in our routine lately. Miss J has been bit by the creative bug and has a whole pile of designs ready to be created. This one we are sharing today happened really quick because all of a sudden she is on a unicorn kick. I have no idea where it came from. But she even had me sew unicorn horns on her other stuffed horse she has!

Designed and Made by J: Cotton Candy the Unicorn

I always let her choose what colors she wants for these projects. Even though sometimes I look at it and think um…. I don’t know, not what I would pick. But that is the beauty of the creative spirit. It sees things when others don’t/can’t. She dove into my fabric stash and found the colors she wanted and we started to prepare. We made a simple pattern just be enlarging a silhouette of a unicorn from the internet. We traced it on the wrong side of the fleece fabric, except for the legs. We traced those separately. Then I sewed it together around the head and top, leaving an opening to sew in the legs and tail. Then she helped place the pink dots and we sewed them on. And finally, I just knotted a lot of yarn together and sewed that in place along with the legs. It really didn’t take long at all.

Designed and Made by J: Cotton Candy the Unicorn

I hand sewed the horn on as well as the mane. I created the mane using a technique similar to this that I learned a long time ago. I ended up picking out the yarn myself because miss J was asleep at that time. She wanted fluffly blue yarn, but she liked the multi colored yarn in the end. Hence why she named it Cotton Candy. She said the yarn looks like it has cotton candy on it.

Designed and Made by J: Cotton Candy the Unicorn

Designed and Made by J: Cotton Candy the Unicorn

J wasn’t in the mood for pics, but she did let me snap a few before she went to bed. This unicorn has been her constant companion since we made it now. She wants to make one for her sister next. I love that she thinks that way :)
-Jess

This and That

I just wanted to share some pics from my instagram for anyone who hasn’t seen them yet. Above is a little skirt I made for a one year old’s birthday present. I loved how it turned out and I’m planning on making some like this for my girls.

Made this leather cuff using this tutorial. Super quick and super cute! 

We have been in the kitchen making stuff too. One day we made some yummy strawberry milkshakes together. This girl has such a sweet tooth!

Hubby made us a headboard!!!!!! It’s all done and in place now, but I have to do some finishing touches before I share the whole thing. I absolutely love it.

I took a go at the embroidery hoop art a few weeks ago and did this. I still need to finish it, but it was really fun to do.

This was from when I made all of those pom poms for the mail project. 

This little one has been getting into everything as usual. She loves to climb. I leave the room and come back to find her on top of things.  Nothing like having your heart jump a few times a day ;)

I got some pretty fabrics to make pillow covers for our living room. They are from the Lillybelle Collection by Bari J. I’m ready to add some spring color to our home.

And this little guy was put together by miss J. It was a kit from Target and she had so much fun doing it. There is a talent show at her school coming up and she wants to sew for it! (one beaming proud mom over here for her wanting to do that). At first she didn’t want to do anything, but I guess they were talking to her about sewing for it at school and now she is so excited! I’m just glad that she has found some things that she really enjoys to do. Bonus is that they are things I like too :)
-Jess

Designed & Made by J: Cat-cat the Caterpillar

Catepillar

This week miss J only had two days of school. She is here the rest of the week so we are spending lots of girl time together (with baby sis too of course). I realized today that it was the last day of January and that we needed to finish up her designed and made by J project. This month she went with an easy design.

Catepillar

She drew a cute little caterpillar. I let her pick out the fabric and the color yarn she wanted for the antennae. 

Catepillar        Catepillar

After we finished him, she went and found this butterfly she had and started talking about Cat-cat being in a cocoon and going through metamorphosis. So of course I had to make a cocoon!

I used some vintage chenille I had and just created a simple drawstring bag big enough to hold Cat-cat.

Catepillar

I wanted to show you a little of the process too. Since this was a drawing that I could actually make into a pattern with no changes, I just scanned it in the computer and enlarged it. Then I printed it out and we cut it out.

Then we traced it on the wrong side of the fabric (the marker still showed through, but I just made sure to sew inside the lines so it wouldn’t be visible). Then I sewed on the eyes, mouth, and crocheted antenna. I finished up by placing that piece right side facing on another piece of fabric and sewing right inside of the lines. But, making sure to leave a good 2 inches open on the bottom for turning and stuffing. Then we stuffed him and sewed up the opening. It was a great simple project and one that would be good to teach little ones about the life cycle of a caterpillar/butterfly. Anyone have a special project you did with your child (or a child in your life) lately? Please share :) Link to your post if possible too so we can see.
-Jess

Designed & Made by J: Bruno the Raccoon

We started a new series in October called Designed & Made by J.  This is a challenge to me to take the time to help my daughter, miss J, recreate one of her designs each month. She was always asking me to make her things, so I figured why not involve her as much as she wants and can for her age? This was suppose to be for last month, but I confess I got caught up in trying to make a pattern for it like we did Ellie. I decided that I just can’t fit in making a new pattern each month to share in the way I would like to, so I will just be sharing what she does. I hope that it inspires you to take time to create with your little one, no matter how small or elaborate.

Raccoon
Real life raccoon picture from here

Above it our inspiration board. We began with her making a drawing. She’s been on a raccoon and skunk kick lately, so I bet the skunk will be what she wants next! We went through my stash and found some fleece material to use and she picked out the eyes.

Raccoon

Then I created a pattern, trying to keep it as close to her drawing as possible.

Raccoon

She didn’t want to trace the pattern on the fabric this time, but she did sit on my lap and help with a little bit of sewing.

Raccoon

Bruno has been all over our yard and house since being made. Miss E (little sis) keeps trying to get him as well! Let’s see if I can get in one this month. I’m hoping we can, but I cannot believe how busy this month has been! Please share if you made something with your little one last month :) I would love to see!
-Jess

Designed & Made by J: Ellie the Elephant

Ellie the Elephant

I am very proud to introduce the very first in a new series that miss J and I will be doing. As you know, this girl is all about making things and is always asking me to make her things. I figured it was about time she started to make some of these ideas reality herself. She is a big girl at five years old now :) So I told her once a month she will design something to make (whatever she wants), I will create a pattern as close to the drawing as possible, then we will make it together. Last month she wanted a pink elephant. I first had her draw what she wanted it to look like. As you can see above, she said she was inspired by Horton and wanted a pink Elephant. We picked out some fabrics, then I created a pattern.

Ellie the Elephant

I had her trace the pattern pieces on the fabric. I was also going to let her cut them out, but she lost steam at that point and said she wanted me to. Later that night after miss E was put to bed, we got to sewing and in less than an hour Ellie was created.

Ellie the Elephant

She was so good as she sat in my lap and helped sew. She was also in charge of stuffing all the legs, trunk, and body.

Ellie the Elephant

I think that my favorite part is the ears. I’m so so so happy that I took the time to do this with her.

Ellie the Elephant

I desire to create special memories with each of my girls to remember when they are older.

Ellie the Elephant

I have so many of things like this and I want to pass it on.

Ellie the Elephant  Ellie the Elephant

Oh, and check this out. I also helped her make a little tag with some binding and a fabric marker. Afterwards though she says, “We shouldn’t put a tag on it because now everyone will think I bought it at a store! My friends won’t believe I made it!” Most people want handmade things to look more store bought, so this made me laugh!

Ellie the Elephant
It’s these moments that I love most. We will soon begin on another for this month. I wonder what she will come up with this time?

-Jess

Deers for my Dear

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There have been three sweet little deers that have been patiently waiting on a shelf in my office since February to be finished up. Yes, since February. Almost a year. After ignoring their calls to be finished, I finally did it. They are now complete.

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These little misses were suppose to be for oldest daughter’s Valentines last year, but morning sickness had the best of me. Now they get to be stocking stuffers. The cute and free pattern is found here.

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I love the tininess that they are.

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I know they are just elated to become a four year old’s present. We shall see how long they last ;)

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They are a great little project to whip up fast. You could even sew the entire thing by hand if you don’t own a sewing machine. But even with sewing some of it, there is quite a bit of hand sewing involved.

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It’s a great way to use up fabric scraps as not much fabric is really needed for them.

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Now they await again in the office on a shelf for Christmas. But this time they are complete.

“As the deer pants for streams of water,
   so my soul pants for you, my God.” Psalm 42:1

For the Kiddos

A few things I have whipped up for some of the youngen’s.

Tie Onesie

This is a onesie for a little boy in the family. I used this tutorial to make it.

A Pink Horsie

This is a horse for my cousin. Last year I asked her what she wanted me to make her and she said a horse. So, I completely winged it and this is what it came out as. I like the whimsical look. My daughter says she wants a purple one, so we’ll see if I can make her one too.

Ducks in a row Baby Blanket

And last, this is actually a baby shower gift. I used one of those quilt packs from JoAnn’s to make it. Really quick and cute. I love the feel of the different fabrics!