Saturday, July 31, 2010

Not a single serious shot

I did a little photo shoot today at the zoo of a dress I made several months ago. It's the Oliver and S Playdate Dress, which seems to be discontinued now. I've sewn it several times now and really like it, especially this one even if it does look slightly amish. I love classic styling on children. I found this linen at Joann's where I'm sometimes surprised (pleasantly) by their linen solids. And, of course, she enjoyed wearing her new fall boots with it. Only in San Francisco can you get away with fall boots in July (in the western hemisphere anyway!). Oh gosh, I need to sew something for my son (something I constantly feel guilty about, but don't seem to do much to alleviate these feelings!). I actually have some cute pants I made many months ago for him....will post pictures soon just to make myself feel better. And I'm sewing for myself, well, I've cut out a couple of dresses for myself. Hopefully, it will amount to something wearable.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crafting saves lives

I admit that I am a craft book junkie. I am truly tortured by all the new craft books coming out that I cannot afford, so when this book arrived on my doorstep a few days ago I'm pretty sure I squealed. I'd forgotten that I preordered it several months ago from Amazon. Oh man, it was worth the wait. It completely reaffirmed how much I love Hillary's style and I enjoy making softies probably above all else (kids' clothes run a tight second). Every single pattern is adorable. I think Olive and Archie was the first doll I ever made. After that, I was hooked.
Here are just a few of our favorites. I absolutely love her ideas for hair in this book. I've thought of using fabric scraps and of course felt and yarn, but check out the ribbon hair below or the absolutely adorable little boy doll with faux fur hair (my 8-year-old son who is a bit beyond stuffed toys asked me to make the 'naughty boy' for him...notice the crayon scribbles on the wall next to him?!). My daughter cannot stop talking about the sleepover dollies. I am quite in love with the Little Miss Storybook with her appliqued cape. Recently, I started making capes for my dolls, but this one with the hood is beyond adorable.

Many years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said "Art saves lives." I thought about it for a long time and did not know exactly what that meant. When I was looking through this new book with my kids (trying to negotiate which one I would make first with them), I suddenly thought of that bumper sticker and knew exactly what it meant. When I began sewing 5 years ago while pregnant with my second child, it really marked a new beginning for me and, as silly as it sounds, making things really has saved my life. It has made me a little more excited to get up each day (so many projects to finish or start or both!) and has certainlymade me think of 'things' in a whole new way. I look at mass produced clothing, toys, furniture with a more critical eye. Whenever I talk to a friend who is down, I suggest trying to embark on a creative task to help get out of their funk. I know creativity means different things for different people, but there is something downright therapeutic about making something with your hands. Oh, I just love it so.

And the love that my children bestow on the softies I've made over the years has made me so incredibly proud. I know they will remember this about me ("mama and her sewing" they sometimes say) and hopefully carry a little bit of craftiness with them throughout their lives as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Brother and sister

I recently made these dolls for a brother and sister. I just love how they turned out. I used the Poppy Doll pattern from Hop, Skip, Jump. I've made this doll several times and it always comes out cute (and slightly different, which is what I love about making dolls). I struggled with the boy clothes and just settled on these overalls I had from a doll pattern. I wish they were a little more "boy", but time was limited. I'd like to create a cute (but not too cute) boys' outfit sometime. I like coming up with my own doll patterns, but also really like using patterns from others since I enjoy learning a new way of putting a softie together. Just like I keep ordering patterns from Oliver and S because (I keep telling myself and my husband), it's cheaper than sewing classes and buying all the adorable kids' clothes out there! Speaking of which....I may be starting a patternmaking class soon. I am excited beyond belief!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Favorite holiday (for the color scheme!)

I can never resist making a new dress for the 4th of July. I'm always drawn to red, white and blue; it just says summer to me. Such a great combo, no wonder it has been chosen for so many flags around the world. I used this free Oliver & S pattern and I'm quite pleased with the result. I have a stack of patterns I'm just dying to get to work on, but I'm in the midst of a deadline for some adorable dolls. Be back soon.