Monthly Archives

January 2014

KCW: Days 3 & 4

A quick post for what I made yesterday and today.  The pants were yesterday, the shirt was today.

by Adirondack Inspired

Keeping it brief today because everything has taken so. much. longer. than I had planned.

Skinny Jeans and Boatneck top by Adirondack Inspired

Shirt: self drafted with fabric from a clearanced (spell check doesn’t think clearanced is a word…get on that, Websters) Old Navy dress

Skinny Jeans and Boatneck top by Adirondack Inspired

Pants: Ye olde Hosh Pants with fabric from Jo Ann’s

Skinny Jeans and Boatneck top by Adirondack Inspired

I LOVE the pants.  The color is fantastic, they are nice and skinny and she will get a lot of wear out of them.  The top came out nicely, too, and I managed to match up all stripes on the sides and arms, which isn’t hard, but sometimes I don’t take the time to stop and think about those things.  I’ve been lucky in the past, but this time it was intentional.  You can see them on the sleeves in this genie in the bottle pose…

Skinny Jeans and Boatneck top by Adirondack Inspired

I will probably turn the pants into capris over the summer and the shirt into short sleeved number with all the technicality of shearing them off.  Oh, and I also added a little pocket on the shirt, but we were over the picture-taking by then so just use your imagination.

I broke out the twin needle again to tack down the neck band, and I really love how it makes everything lay so much nicer.  Although little things like that tend to result in under-estimating the time the project takes, and may lead to your thoughtful two-year-old attempting to make you a cup of coffee with all her free, unsupervised time.

Skinny Jeans and Boatneck top by Adirondack Inspired

That’s it for now, and possibly the week.  The next couple hours may have to go toward pattern organization and sewing loft clean-up.  I’m at that point where I’m constantly losing the scissors, then the seam ripper, then I can’t find my pins, then I turn around and the kids are playing some ‘elephant-on-a-leash- game with my measuring tape.

Or better yet, I’ll spend that time browsing what everyone else made.

Skinny Jeans and Boatneck top by Adirondack Inspired







KCW: Day 2

Hat and Mittens by Adirondack InspiredSometimes you feel like a sewer (seamstress?).  Sometimes you don’t.

Today took me all day to make a hat and a pair of mittens.  I had planned it to take all of…I don’t know less than an hour.  But when that didn’t happen it got stretched out over far too many hours.

The hat and mittens were both from the Oliver & S Little Things to Sew.  There is something wrong with me, that I do not follow their directions (at least in this book) very well.  Not good on the ego to be trying a pattern rated ‘one scissor’ and getting confused.  It didn’t help that the fabric I used just would. not. sew.  At all.  Well, I managed to get the hat together, but not the mittens.  My machine just wouldn’t sew two layers of fleece together.  Change the needle, rethread, ball point needle, heavy duty needle, more tension, less tension, eff the tension.  It just wouldn’t work.  Missed stitches all over the place.

hat 3

We always need hats and mittens, and one of my goals is to try to work through all the patterns I already own (imagine that!).  The hat sewed up better (I’m not sure why, as I had to sew double layer fleece here, as well), but is a little small.  It doesn’t look it in pictures, but we need more head coverage in these parts.  It looked really cute (and not big at all) on his little sister.  Oh, and it is supposed to have ears, which look adorable, but I didn’t add them on this version.

hat 4hat two

Two patterns tested, one boy warm and happy.  If you count both the hat and the mittens, I’m now one item ahead of my previous KCW record.  Holla.  (I don’t say that in real life.)

KCW: Day One

I always have grand ambitions for Kids Clothes Week, but then the actual week seems to fall in a week that does not lend itself well to sewing.  So, if all I manage from this week is this gem and maybe a hat by Saturday, I’ll be good with that.


Because sewing for the boy was way overdue, and I made a little special something just for him.

The pattern is Rae’s Flashback Skinny T, with some leftover gray knit from Jo Ann’s (also used for this project).  I had planned to make him a little shirt that said ‘more hugs less thugs.’  Just our own personal PSA.  Then I was scrolling through fonts and when I landed on this one, all of a sudden I was hearing the voice of Mr. T ala The A-team.  And this shirt was born.  I wish I had more jewelry because I would have loved to have loaded him up with some gold chains.  A little Mr. T starter-kit.  He could pull it off.

Adirondack Inspired does Kids Clothes Week: Day 1 Adirondack Inspired does Kids Clothes Week: Day 1

I finished the hem, sleeves, and collar using a twin needle for the first time.  I was nervous to use this bad boy, but it was deceptively simple.  Deceptive in the kind of way where I think ‘oh, i got this…’ and the next time I use it my project implodes.  Or something like that.  For now, it’s a major win.

Adirondack Inspired does Kids Clothes Week: Day 1

I have done noooo prepping for this week and not a whole lot of planning.  Because I’m not a planner.  I’m a fly by the seat of my pants girl, moment-to-moment.  Yeah, that’s me….  (name that movie…)  I actually am quite moment-to-moment.  It was too dark to take pics of him this morning, so I sent him off to school with fingers crossed that it wasn’t spaghetti day at school and he wouldn’t come home covered in sauce.  So these pics are straight off the press.

Adirondack Inspired does Kids Clothes Week: Day 1

Time to go see what YOU all have been sewing up!





Outfitting Lily, Take 2

I’m back again, sewing for this girl…

Adirondack Inspired

Here is my second venture in my attempt to secure this little one a wardrobe.  She wears the last ensemble  at least once a week.  After my initial lukewarm reaction, I’ve grown to completely love that little outfit, which says something about the patterns, I think.

Today’s shirt is another from  Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids, and I love it already.  The strange thing is that the first shirt I made from this book was huge.  Much bigger than the accompanying photograph told me it should be, so I’m sure it wasn’t intended to be a tent.  It was easy enough to fix, but I figured they would all be this way.  This sweet little top barely squeaks over her head.  She is pretty top heavy, but no more than other toddlers.  I boffed two parts of the bodice, too, two mistakes that actually gave her a tiny bit of extra room that maybe saved the entire project.

The fabric is both from Jo Ann Fabrics, bought the summer before last and intended to make a stroller blanket.   The little birds on the backs of the animals just reminded me of Lily, so I grabbed it.  It paired quite well, if I do say so.  And the little girl loves it, because what is not to love about elephants and giraffes and lions.  Nothing, that’s what.

Sew Chic Kids Ribbon Tied Blouse by Adirondack InspiredSerious face is serious.Sew Chic Kids Ribbon Tied Blouse by Adirondack Inspired

The patterns have you make your own bias bindings, which is something a lot of patterns have called for, but I always just had some on hand.  I love the tie in the front, and the cute puffed sleeves.  This is the first time I’ve sewn them inset style, and it was some kind of torture.  Probably because it was the last step and I was ready for bed.  The first sleeve was gorgeous and cute and deceptively easy.  The second one involved a session with the seam ripper and the end result was meh, good enough.  And really, it is.  Perfectionist, I am not.


The front and back are both gathered, the front a bit more so than the back.  This pattern would be equally cute shirt, tunic, or dress length, although the pattern is only for the shirt.  I paired it with these little leggings and it was perfect.

Sew Chic Kids Ribbon Tied Blouse by Adirondack Inspired five

And a moment of rest.

Sew Chic Kids Ribbon Tied Blouse by Adirondack Inspired

So far I give these patterns two thumbs up.  The sizing has been weird, but they are a quick sew and just enough added detail to make them something special, while still being able to make 3 (or more…) and not be sick of them.  Classic.  Lovely.

That’s it for this week…  And while I’m working on using up this fabric, I’m also always thinking about buying more.  So far, most of my shopping is done at Jo Ann’s.  I like to feel and touch and see the scale (scale!  I’m so bad at visualizing that).  Anyway, if you’ve made it this far, where are your favorite online places to buy fabrics.  Wovens and knits…



Of Snow and Small Mountain Towns

Sometimes I wish joining the Y wouldn’t involve a two hour round trip.

Occasionally I wish a dentist appointment didn’t take up half a day.

Three times I’ve wished for a less-bumpy, much shorter ride to the hospital.

And then there are days like these.

SkiDay1 SkiDay8 SkiDay7 SkiDay6 SkiDay3 SkiDay4 SkiDay5

Winter Nightgowns

This week is Project Run and Play!  I love that it is occurring at  the start of the new year when my sewing mojo is all ramped up.  It is a theme based competition that encourages everyone to sew along on the sideline.  I love the themes because it plants some  seeds that maybe wouldn’t have come to mind without a lil’ help.

Week one is ‘Winter Wonderland.’  At first I thought I’d make some cute, tailored pj’s, but then a certain Pinterest image popped in my head. (sidenote: I just noticed I have 1.3K pins….whoa.  And about four actual projects done from those pins.  About the number of meals I’ve made from watching Food Network…).  The pin was a sweet raglan nightgown with a tulle inset in the center front.  Looked sweet and simple enough, right…  Perfect winter wonderland sleepwear.

Well, in the end it was a success.  I made it; they loved it. But getting the right look wasn’t quiiiite achieved.  The tulle just didn’t drape correctly.  I’m not sure if tulle comes in different drapiness (does it?) but when I tried to gather it to the amount I liked, it caused waaaay too much poufiness.  My daughter preferred that one better, actually, but it was a little bit lot ridiculous.  If anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear them.

Recess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack Inspired Recess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack Inspired

Maybe I should have used something tulle-like but that isn’t actually tulle.  I’m not up in my party fabrics.  The gray knit fabric was from Jo Anns and is awesome.  My daughter kept rubbing it and telling me how soft it was, so obviously perfect sleepwear!  Oh, and the top is Kate’s Recess Raglan.  I LOVE this pattern.  I just lengthened and a-lined it out to make it into a nightgown, but I can’t wait to sew up some shirts!

I also had a vision of a bright photoshoot of the girls on the bed with some beautiful, bright light shining in.  But, nope.  It was gloom and doom today with rain and fog (what is UP with this January thaw??)  I did this shoot at three o’clock in the afternoon and it was rough all the way around.  No light, a kid who just wanted to go eat some ice cream already, and a toddler who woke up from her nap like she was in a night terror.  Screaming, crying, sobbing and very angry with her sister for some unknown reason.  She does this every once-in-a-while and it is so bizarre.  She also can’t (can not) be consoled.

Aaaanyway, she declined to be featured in today’s post.

I would wait for better light and happier kids, but come on, when is that going to happen?  So here we are….a couple of winter nightgowns for girls who like a little comfort and a little frill…

Recess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack InspiredRecess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack InspiredRecess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack Inspired

And the one who must not be looked at, spoken to, hugged, or even offered ice cream…



PS: the girls are both fast asleep in their new nightgowns.  all is well.

PPS: got some shots this morning…

Recess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack Inspired Recess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack Inspired Recess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack Inspired Recess Raglan Nightgown by Adirondack Inspired


Outfitting Lily, Take One

My youngest has been sorely lacking in the wardrobe department.  This isn’t such a big deal, since she and I often rock the PJ’s most of the time.  Especially in the winter, when I can tuck her footie pajamas right in her snow boots for maximum polar vortex protection.  But lately, even those pj’s are sporting some holes.  Time to spruce things up for the littlest of my girls.

Sewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids by Adirondack Inspired

I knew immediately that I wanted to crack into this book.


I love everything in this book, and I can’t wait to make some of those dresses, but for now I wanted to start with a simple-enough shirt pattern.  I dove in, but then became a little nervous, realizing the only direction I would be given was coming in the form of little diagrams instead of the good page or three of PDF photographed step-by-step directions I’ve been spoiled with.  My first mistake became obvious when I was doing the front placket (a new-to-me technique).  I had added seam allowances to the entire pattern, including on the fold and the neckline.  I never did fix the neckline…


I really, reeeaaallly wanted to love this top, but I just don’t.  I like it okay, but I don’t love it.  It is one of those cases, where the choice in fabric makes or breaks it.  The photo that accompanied this pattern in the book  was a beautiful navy fabric (linen, maybe?), and I would have run out and bought some lovely neutral linen, except that I’m trying to use the fabric I already own.  I kept thinking that the print with this pattern came off as a little…clown chic, perhaps?  After the photo session, I took in each of the sides by 3/4,” and rolled up the sleeves and I liked it much better.  I actually love the sweet ruffled sleeve detail, just…again…not quite with this print.  Aside from that, I love how simple the pattern is, with just the right little details to make it special.  I can’t wait to sew more…

Sewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids by Adirondack Inspired


The pants are the infamous Hosh Pants from Sarah over at Emmy Lou Bee Doo.  Her measurements matched up with size 2T, but after a fitting, I went back in and took them in by 1/2″ along the leg seam.  This version looks like there is a side seam on the outside, but that is just because I used an old pair of my pants to make them.  I love using old clothing, for details like that.  I also took advantage of the hem, although I had to roll them up here.  I really need to learn how to alter clothing patterns, because while I wanted these a little more fitted, I also would like the waist to sit a little higher in the back and I’m not quite sure how to do these things.  Trial and error, I’m sure…  I’m eager to sew these up again in a wide leg or a little bootcut.  My favorite thing about this pattern was this easy adjustable waistband method.  I have a feeling I will be using this method again and again…

adjustable waistband tutorial

And while I was feeling a little meh about the top, Lily loved the entire outfit.  She calls the top the same thing she calls everything that is not pajamas– ‘pretty dress.’  It will be hard to sew for the other kids, when this kid gives such an enthusiastic response to a mama-made outfit.

Sewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids by Adirondack Inspired

Sewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids by Adirondack Inspired Sewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids by Adirondack Inspired

I took this outfit off of her to tape it on the wall and photograph it (after scrubbing some playdough off the knees), but I grew to like it more the next day as she wore it all day.  I think sometimes I’m much more critical when things first come off my machine than I am later.  I also don’t think that I pay this close attention to anything store-bought.  How about you?  Do you find yourself knit picking details when sewing that you wouldn’t necessarily pay attention to in a store-bought garment?