Little Things to Keep Her Warm

I love fall. That brief moment between too hot and too cold, when every step you make crunch-crunch-crunches. When your nose starts to get just-right chilly – where it makes you feel more alive, but not so cold you want to go hide. And there’s pumpkin spice EVERYTHING everywhere you go! I think it’s short so we can appreciate it all the more.

And, it’s an excellent excuse to start whipping out all the cute little warm things Grace will need through the winter.

I went straight to my Little Things to Sew book from Oliver + S. Partly because I’m sewing along and partly because the winter things are so stinking cute. In not much time at all, I made a matching set of hood, mittens, and scarf for my girl.

First, the hood:


How cute is this? Except… it’s not a bear like the book shows. I tried to make the ears a cat. That obviously failed. I’m not sure what they are now. Sheep? Llama? Anything but a cat. Cute though! I actually like them, they make me giggle. Instead of ribbon, I took scraps of the purple and sewed a long tube, tied a knot a few inches from the end, and fringed that end.



This pattern is mitten perfection. Last year Grace screamed bloody murder every time I tried to have her wear anything on her hands. That pattern continued… until these. They slid right on and she’s been hard pressed to take them off ever since. That’s a win in my book. She can even do buckles with them on, which is all it takes to make her happy.



The concept of this scarf is brilliant. There’s a loop or pocket between the layers near one end so the other end just slides through. Hence the name – “no tie scarf.” It was very “I DO IT MYSELF!” friendly.  This fringe technique is kinda cool; I like it. I just used scraps of the main fabric plus some hot pink cotton I had laying around. Nothing fancy turned out pretty cute this time!

If you’re like me, I had to stare at the diagram in the book for a very. long. time. to understand how to sew the loop. Here’s a quick picture to help visualize sewing the top edge of the loop after you’ve done the long sides. You pull the scarf parts out of the way and only stitch the 2 layers of loop, solid white on mine. You can only see the seam allowance; everything else is inside the tube.

scarf in progress

For all project, the purple is a thin microfleece from Joann’s. The flip side is a white flannel with tiny neon hearts I’ve had around for a couple years; I’d assume it’s from Joann’s too. It’s all warm and cuddly.

All together now!


roll about


And if you’re curious, yes… I can look like a llama too.

meCheck this post here if you want to see a round-up of all my projects from Little Things to Sew

Sewing through Little Things to Sew

I’m in trouble now! Bartacks and Singletack is hosting a sew-along of the Oliver + S book Little Things to Sew! Cover to cover by August 31, 2014. With all the birthdays and baby showers between now and then, I think I can do it 🙂

Because this book is a goldmine.

If you haven’t stumbled across this eye candy yet, Little Things to Sew is from the talented Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S pattern fame. Each project features their clean, classic style and fantastic directions. They walk you step by step. I’ve never done a project and gotten stuck with a “Now what?” Best of all, these are cute and quick projects perfect for gifting.

I’m going to use this post as a “table of contents” if you want to keep tabs on what I’ve done and where I’ve yet to go. If you want to join in, be sure to check out the introduction post and the Flickr group. There’s a couple give aways already planned for participants, including a copy of the book. Below, click on the photo to go to the blog post with more details and lots of photos.

Little Things to Sew: 10 out of 21

1. Mittens


October 2013

2. Tutu

August 2013

August 2013

January 2013 151

January 2013

3. No-Tie Scarf


October 2013

4. Messenger Bag

5. Reversible Bucket Hat

June 2014

June 2014

6. Bias-Trim Apron

7. Bento Box Carrier

8. Play Town

9. Penguin Back-Pack

10. Art Smock

11. Cozy Winter Hood

October 2013

October 2013

12. Messy Kid Bib

13. Juggling Balls

14. Draw String Bag

juggling bag

March 2014

15. Tea Party Doll Dress

May 2014

May 2014

16. Travel Quilt

August 2014

August 2014

17. Red Riding Hood

June 2014

June 2014

18. Explorer Vest

June 2014

June 2014

19. Bear Carrier

20. Bear Puppet Bath Mit

21. Puppet Theater

Lots to do! Let’s get sewing!

Fall Break

I’ve intentionally given myself a “fall break” from crafting and sewing. Remember fall break? Teachers had to go to conferences and you sit around for a couple days? Good times. Adulthood doesn’t have those. But at least I can hold off starting any new projects for a week while I rest and finish up a couple old projects. One is really really close to revealing – after nearly 3 years of effort!

But even in my break, creativity spins on. A quick 5min batch of glitter purple play dough, cherry play dough from a while back, and craft sticks leads to at least 45min of playing Cake Baker and many rounds of “Happy Birthday”! So sweet.

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Autumn Friends

Grace has hit the collecting stage. No matter where we go, she picks up little found objects to carry home as treasures. So it wasn’t surprising yesterday after spending two hours at the park that the stroller was completely full of bits and pieces that just HAD to come home with us:

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And as I was looking at this collection overrunning my counter, I decided to get crafty! For at least a year now, I’ve had my eyes on Waldorf-inspired toys on Pinterest. I’ve read a good bit of the philosophy and decided that Waldorf isn’t the right fit for our family. However, some of their perspective on toys is right up my alley! Simple and natural with a big emphasis on open-ended play. Open-ended toys can be played with in many ways and hope to inspire imagination. One of my favorite Waldorf-inspired toys is peg people. And so finally, Grace has her very own set:.

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It’s surprising how expressive 2 little dot eyes can be!

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This are ridiculously easy. I picked up some doll pins and doll pin stands at my local craft store. The paint I already had. The eyes are black permanent marker. And the acorn caps are collected! I forgot my coupons so I had to pay full price, but even still, the dolls cost about $0.40 each. If you remember your coupons they’re even cheaper.

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Grace painted one herself while I made the rainbow set:

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And I couldn’t leave the perfect acorns alone. They became little friends to join the party 🙂 (paint pen and permanent marker)

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I may have gotten carried away a little bit. But since everything was already in my house, why not? I turned a tray from a Melissa and Doug set into a doll house by slipping scrapbook paper in each side. It isn’t attached, just tucked in, so that the paper can be changed on a whim. The flowers are the garden of course!

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I have at least one or two more ideas for the collected bits, like an acorn cap matching game. There’s 23 doll pins left and I have already designed 4 more based on the characters from Grace’s favorite book series. I’m really loving these nearly-instant gratification craft projects! It’s a nice change from the weeks-long, hours of work, sewing projects I’ve been doing lately.

What are you crafting this fall? I’d love to see!

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Project Run and Play Season 7 Wrap Up

I actually completed an entire season of Project Run and Play! I got close for Season 5, but then life got in the way before completing my signature look. Even though life is nothing if not busier now, I actually carved out enough sewing time AND set realistic expectations for myself. Here’s a quick wrap up:

Week 1: Popover Sundress Remix

Pitty Flowers Cap Sleeved Dress (and tutorial)

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Week 2: Inspired by Candy

Sweet Little Starburst tunic and pants

title image copy

Week 3: Mad about Plaid

Snuggle Bug jammies

dress 1

Week 4: Signature Look

The Little Butterfly Princess


I hope all the seamstresses had fun sewing along! I know I did! Bring on Season 8 – but in a few months, because I’ve got a list of other things to get done now!

The Little Butterfly Princess (PR&P Signature Look)

It seems like all summer I’ve spent the idea of a signature look rolling around in my head. What do I like to wear? What do I enjoy designing? What colors draw me to them? For myself, I have some more pondering to do. For children’s wear, especially dressing Grace, the answer is much simpler:

Classic/Historical Silhouettes. Bright, youthful colors. And the ever important washable and wearable. Those three elements plus hours of pinterest / google image surfing led to this:


I don’t draw inspiration from any one particular fashion era. I tend to gravitate towards 1950s for me, but I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes to Grace. Lately, I’ve really loved the sweet drop waist dresses and giant bows of the Edwardian era – roughly 1905-1915 (the era was longer but that’s when this fashion was on-trend). I mean, how can you not ooh and awww over this cutie? (source link)

Or this 1905 dress, from the Wisconsin Historical Society collections (source link):

circ 1905

The slim bodice with a dropped waist over a fuller pleated, fairly short skirt had a resurgence in the 1960s. I found a few available in modern stores, too. Let’s bring this style back! To me, it’s the epitome of sweet little girl innocence. If you want to see more inspiration images, they’re all on a Pinterest board. I’ve named it The Little Butterfly Princess dress after my all time favorite movie – A Little Princess! There’s some screenshots on my board. It was written in 1904; the film is set in the mid 19-teens. The original Tasha Tudor paintings never fail to stir my heart.


To bring this classic style to the modern era, I chose super soft denim for the main fabric of the dress. I love this denim. I’ve used it at least half a dozen times, maybe more. The bow and box pleats are a neon butterfly quilter’s cotton – the very last scrap from Grace’s baby quilt (which I PROMISE I will finish one of these days. It’s only been 2.5 years… The binding is attached, and about 20% stitched in place It’s finished! See here). If Grace could label her signature style, it would definitely be butterflies!


I started with the Oliver + S Sailboat top in a size 3. I altered the sleeves to my favorite elbow length – so much easier with a messy toddler and frequent hand washing! I cut the shirt tails off straight and attached a box pleated drop waist skirt. I did a lot of math on this skirt to make it come out perfectly. The denim is only on the front face of the pleat; everything hidden is butterfly. There are 8 pleats total – 4 front, 4 back.


I found these little pearly buttons in the depths of my stash. I love how simple they are, yet they really pop!


I toned down the bow a little from the 1900’s look. That was a little overwhelming! Although Grace does have the natural curls to pull it off… I may track down one.more.scrap. to make a bigger bow! Speaking of scraps and bows… the sash was supposed to be out of a pink swirl print used in the quilt. Apparently it all got used or misplaced. The blue is borrowed from the neckline of a pillow case dress and while I love the pop against the denim, it isn’t cutting it. I’ll be taking it off to find something better suited.


So there is is – my Signature Look for Fall 2013! Classic sillouette, bright modern colors, and totally washable and wearable, even if pressing those pleats back into place will be a little time consuming. And now, I think I will give my tired design brain a break! See the other signature looks here.