Handmade Baby or Infant Onesie Part 2

Just a quick post for the second handmade baby onesie I just finished.  This time I chose to use the sleeveless style from the same Mammacandoit pattern found HERE.

I decided to use the same main fabric instead of a woven for the snap area, and I like it much better.  It was a little more difficult to maneuver, but I prefer the way it looks.  It also caused a difficulty when putting the snaps on because it was thicker, but they came out more aligned and more neat than the first onesie.

I wish I had enough matching thread to use in the serger, but I wasn’t about to go buy more just for one project.  Considering it won’t show, the white was fine and more importantly, I didn’t have to change the threads!  

I thought I picked out the same knit material, but I soon realized this one was much thicker and stretchier.  It was a little bit more difficult to work with so I did get some pinching and bunching in some areas.

Loving making these and I hope more of my friends start having babies so I have an excuse to make more!  Next up, I’ll try out the long sleeve style when I pick up more fabric!

Taking a trip down memory lane…

I recently shared this photo on instagram from 2012.  It was one of the first garments I ever attempted to draft completely from scratch.  I had done plenty of items from manufacturer patterns, but this was the real deal.  I draped it on the stand in muslin, did test fittings, etc!  I think this may have even been the first time I tried using an invisible zipper.


Don’t get me wrong, it was far from perfect.  The fit still needed work even after the adjustments, but overall she was happy and nobody would ever know it didn’t come from a store.


In no way do I dream of being a “designer” or having my own clothing line or any of that.  I genuinely enjoy the process.  I love drafting, sewing, and actually seeing the product develop in front of my eyes.  I’ve got an exciting and challenging new adventure in the works, so I’ve been trying to get my focus and mindset back into doing this.  Looking at some of my old pictures is reminding me that I can do it.  It’s most definitely going to be my biggest crafting challenge to date, and I’m sure there will also be plenty of missteps to share along the way, but I’m confident I can do it!

DIY Dog Harness Part 2: Valentine’s Day

Super excited that I was able to fit in TWO fully finished sewing projects this week!  I’m trying out a few different ways to get the perfect fit/style for Karla’s dog harness.  For Round 2, I really wanted to make her a cute Valentine’s Day themed harness (mainly so I could browse all of the cute seasonal fabrics at JoAnn’s).  This dog harness was a major improvement from the first trial, and I can see a few more areas I’d like to adjust.

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DIY Valentine’s Day dog harness with parachute buckle

I ditched the velcro closure and opted for a parachute buckle, which makes the harness way more secure and sturdy.  I didn’t have the adjustable piece for the buckle so I had to make sure the nylon strapping was made to fit.  It’s okaayy, but I think on the next trial I will go ahead with an adjustable option to make for a better fit around her rib cage.  I think the neck strap needs to be shaped a little better as well (although I like that it is a little loose so it’s not choking her).  For the chest/belly strap, I thought I was going to like bringing more of the fabric up around her back, however, I’m still deciding if I’d prefer it shorter with longer strapping.

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Closure across dog’s back…buckle feeds through top strap loop (not shown) before connecting closing buckle

I also added an extra layer of batting inside for extra warmth and comfort.  I also like that it gives the harness a more soft and cushioned look overall:

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Chest/belly side of dog harness includes layers of batting sandwiched between the outer fabrics. Provides comfort and gives shape and stability.

Overall, I’m really happy with this trial harness.  It was totally functional and gave her plenty of movement to run freely.  Hopefully, I can improve this piece even further, and settle on a standard harness pattern with a perfect fit!

Repost: Easy Single Fold Continuous Bias Binding Tape Tutorial — Sew Dainty

I’ve slowly been seeing this continuous bias tape method around the internet, but this tutorial is clearly explained and easier to understand.  One of the best ones I’ve come across.  Check out the post from Sew Dainty:

I love a bit of handmade bias. I have made lots and lots of it over the years. Up until recently they were all for dressmaking and accessories. But last week I used some handmade bias to bind the edge of my first handmade quilt – blog to follow. Whilst it is fairly easy to […]

via Easy Single Fold Continuous Bias Binding Tape Tutorial — Sew Dainty

Project Review: Accordion Coupon/Receipt Organizer

One of the goals I’ve set for myself is to work on projects consistently throughout the year.  I want to make sure that I’m working on SOMETHING weekly, even if my schedule only allows a few hours a week.  Not only is this great for working on technique and fundamentals, but it’s giving me the chance to learn new techniques and processes.  I had some extra time this week so I was actually able to start and complete a project, which is super nice because I’m the type that hates dragging a project out.  I’ve always loved working into the late hours of the night just to see the final product (my lovely eye bags are the unfortunate side effect that I’ve come to accept).

The most current craft I’ve been working on was a sewing project.  I found a pattern on Etsy for a small file folder/wallet that works great for organizing coupons, receipts, recipe cards, etc.  Link to the Etsy shop page can be found here if you’re interested in checking out all of the patterns offered.  It was a great choice because it features a few techniques I’ve always wanted to try but have always avoided, serves a functional purpose for my organization obsession, and is small enough not to spend a fortune on supplies (since it is a trial piece).  I was a little bothered at the instructions as they were not very descriptive, and there seemed to be a few errors which in a way messed up the first attempt.  I took my own notes along the way so that I can make proper adjustments when I make another one.  Although it didn’t come out as I hoped, it’s still functional so I’ll probably use it for awhile.  I also wouldn’t consider it a total waste because above all else, it was practice.  Not everything will work out on the first try, and the only way to improve is through failed attempts like these.

(Click pictures to enlarge/view captions.)

 

Why buy when I can DIY…

Super excited that I finally got around to finishing this project.  It’s something that’s been on my to-do list ever since we brought Karla home back in July.  With the adoption, we received a free collar and leash from the spcaLA that worked fine, and most importantly, didn’t cost a cent!  I quickly grew tired of looking at it, though, as I felt it was drab and didn’t give her any pizazz.  Yes, I could save myself the trouble and just buy a new leash for cheap, but why not make it personal and one-of-a-kind?

Although it’s kind of a basic project, it was a great way of getting baimg_2219ck into crafting/sewing mode while not breaking the bank.  It requires just a few supplies, and if you wait for the right sales or coupons, it’ll hardly cost a thing.  Since it’s small and only requires a few steps, I was able to finish in a couple of hours while watching the Boo save Gotham in Arkham Knight.  I used this really cute paw print fabric, but a strip of ribbon would work and be even faster.  I figured out a few little tweaks I will try out when I make the next one.  I got all of the supplies from JoAnn, and I have some leftover fabric so I’m thinking of making a matching treat bag or new collar to match.

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I swore I’d NEVER be one of THOSE people that make a fuss about my furbaby’s accessories, and yet, here I am.  I’ve already made a trial beanie and sweater that just needs some tweaking to the patterns for a little better fit.  I was so busy during the holidays that I didn’t have time to take progress pictures or blog about it, but I did post it to Instagram.  I was pleasantly surprised when the JoAnn Fabric and Craft account asked to repost it on their page!  Someone even asked if there was a pattern!  It definitely gave me a little confidence boost.  I hate the color of the yarns, but I just used some scrap yarn I had on hand since it was just a sample to figure out a pattern.

Feels good to get some practice in, while also making things that are useful!

The Journey Begins…or continues…

For as long as I can remember, I have always had this undying love for making things.  As a kid, I was always the one staying inside coloring in her new coloring book while the other kids chased each other.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I spent my fair share of freeze tag, playing softball and such, but there was nothing so satisfying as quietly perfecting my shading and outlining techniques with a fresh box of Crayolas.

Obviously, just about any child loves drawing and coloring (which is evident from the one-of-a-kind masterpieces covering the walls around the house from my nieces), but for some, it becomes so much more.  I very soon realized how fascinating it is to see an image completely unfold right before your eyes.  To be able to create something from nothing…to create a tangible expression of the vision in your head is nothing short of exhilarating.  For me, drawing was only the beginning of the creative outlets I would adopt.  Although it still remains my most beloved hobby, I have long since put aside those childhood dreams of working as a Disney animation artist.  Sometimes, life pulls you in directions you never saw and pretty soon, you’re a full-time college student, working nearly full-time at a lousy pizza joint with no time for the things you once loved.  Unfortunately, all too often this is the reality for a lot of us.  It’s okay though, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Every moment has led to wonderful memories and opportunities that have shaped who I am.  I digress.

My first true experience with the handmade world began fairly early.  I can remember watching my mom sit for hours surrounded by various colors of half-used yarn balls, and the clanking together of her aluminum crochet hooks.  I remember all of the dainty little doilies and reusable dishcloths throughout the years.  I’ll never forget how instantly I grew obsessed with practicing.  The repetitive action of stitching, unraveling, stitching, unraveling, there’s something almost therapeutic and meditative in the process.  Although this remained my mom’s preferred craft of choice, I craved to expand further.  I figured, if I can crochet, why can’t I knit?  I made a trip to the craft store and picked up my first set of knitting needles, 1 skein of cheap yarn, and a good ol’ copy of Knitting for Dummies.  Jokes aside, the Dummies series are a great start up tool for those unable to attend any formal lessons/classes.  I was also amazed at the incredible amount of online tutorials and guides that make learning a cinch!

The interest I would later develop for sewing sort of happened by accident.  It wasn’t until some time later (in my mid-20’s) that I realized how cool and how possible it could be to learn.  I think for most of us that aren’t raised learning a specific craft, or have no previous introduction, it appears much more intimidating than it actually is.  I remember having a pair of jeans that were, like most are for us 5’2″ ladies, too long.  Sure, I had previously attempted (successfully) to hem a pair by hand but I thought, “What if I had a machine, could I do it and nobody would tell the difference?” and “What else could I possibly make with it??”  Combine that crafty impulse with an amazing almost 50% off Amazon discount and I became the proud owner of a Brother computerized sewing machine.  Here I was, a brand new fancy-shmancy machine and no idea what I was doing.  Sewing for Dummies to the rescue!  After all, it worked for my knitting, right?  Countless YouTube videos, craft blogs, hours of reading various techniques, project after project and I still have so much more to learn!

It would be impossible to bring this post to a close without touching on my most recent endeavor: paper crafting.  I remember I had first been exposed to the awesomeness that is scrapbooking sometime around my freshman year in college.  I made a few basic attempts but believe me, NOTHING to rave about and certainly should not pop up in a portfolio.  Nevertheless, it sparked this feeling of joy and contentment and that’s when I knew I needed to continue to learn more.  I couldn’t believe the endless possibilities that existed and the variety of ways people could manipulate paper!

Perhaps as equally thrilling as seeing your creation come to life, is the sense that you’re creating something that is one-of-a-kind.  Even with some similarities, there will always be some subtle differences that make each item or piece unique.  That is the beauty of handmade.  It represents passion, sweat, love, drive, and a desire put one’s own individual twist into every project.  Each item carries a small piece of the crafter, a small story that is expressed in every color, every stitch, every aspect.