Pumpkin and Acorns Embroidery Design {free!}

When the weather turns cool, I always want to do handwork. It just seems right to curl up on the couch watching TV and making something beautiful. Two years ago it was knitting. Last year I worked on hand quilting Grace’s baby quilt (which still isn’t done). This year is shaping up to be an embroidery year!

Yesterday I showed Grace’s Thanksgiving dress – rich chocolate brown accented with leaves and acorns. The skirt on the Birthday Party dress just begs for embellishment. So I embroidered it πŸ™‚

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I knew exactly what I wanted, which can sometimes be a blessing. This time it was not – no where on the wide world of the internet, either free or paid for, could I find what I was looking for. Thankfully my husband uses Photoshop professionally, so I’ve been able to pick up a few tips here and there. Combining a couple coloring book pages (from Google images) and more time that I will admit to, I came up with this:

embroidery

It’s so far from perfect! But all you need for embroidery are the basic lines anyway. Feel free to use this graphic in any way you desire. I’d love a link back to here though!

Use your favorite stitches to create the look you want. I used: stem stitch (outlining leaves and pumpkin), back stitch (outlining acorns), satin stitch (pumpkin stem), running stitch (inside leaves and pumpkin), and a made up long straight stitch for the acorn caps. spinI’m feeling like this will be the first of many embroidery projects this year. It’s very soothing and very portable – good in this busy holiday season. I did the leaves while watching the Doctor Who 50th at a friend’s house. Interested in embroidery? Interested in what I might make next? I have a pinterest board full of inspiration for you to check out!

Have a safe weekend!

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Much to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A time to pause and be with family and just be grateful for the abundance God has blessed us with.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.Β Β For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2-3

Things like enough food to eat…

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The opportunity to share…

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Family time…

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Play and Laughter…

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Spinning!

spinAnd even working hard…

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So from us to you, Happy Thanksgiving! May this holiday season be peaceful and blessed πŸ™‚

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Dress details:

  • Pattern: Birthday Party Dress from Lily Bird Studio; doll’s dress essentially free-handed.
  • Fabric: Seasonal quilter’s cotton; solid brown quilter’s cotton
  • Embroidery: By me – I will post details tomorrow.

I won!

I’m so excited! My Layered-Look Hoodie won in the sew along over at Frances Suzanne!

I’m one of “Father’s Fantastic Five” :). Their dad picks his top 5 looks from the sew along. I think it’s great to be a part of this talented set:

If you want to see the official winners of both the sew along and the designer’s challenge, you can find more at Frances Suzanne – November Flip This Pattern Winners!

Layered-Look Hoodie {Flip This Pattern}

hood up

You know how it goes some times? You have a project you really want to do – say, a competition. And you get all excited about it and make a plan and pull the fabric and all that jazz, and then life gets in the way. And then the deadline is tomorrow and you’ve completely forgotten. Yeah… that. AGAIN.

I love Flip this Pattern, hosted by Frances Suzanne! They’ve picked the best patterns for this competition. One a month every month for a year, you take the pattern and make it all your own. Absolutely fun! Except I always forget that the deadline isn’t the end of the month – it’s in the 3rd week. I sewed along in July with my Bubble Pocket Skater Girl dress – remembering at 10am that the deadline was that very day. Quickest start-to-finish project I’ve done in a while. I’m ahead of that this time around. I actually did all my drafting with over 48 hours left, and there’s still 24 hours before the linky closes. Hey! There’s time to pull off one more!

Which is good, because I have about a million ideas for this pattern – the Hangout Hoodie from Peek-a-Boo Patterns. It’s an outfit style hoodie, which means it’s sized for thinner apparel knits rather than bulky sweatshirt material. I really like this pattern. And, Peek-a-boo has a great community on Facebook with lots of chatter, help, and inspiration. This is my second flip so far… and there will be more! The first was a fleece dress (find it here). I’m seeing one with big pockets next. But not today. Today we have this masterpiece of up-cycled beauty:

front 2

Let me break the elements down a little:

Not Flipped:

  • Hood (only trimmed a little to fit on the fabric)
  • Long sleeves
  • Basic shape and style

Flipped:

  • Split the body into an upper and a lower; the lower has extra width gathered into it to make the top looser fitting. That seam is kind of hard to see in the print – it hits the armhole and a little above the bottom of the placket
  • Flutter sleeves with a lettuce edge
  • Color blocking to create a layering look
  • Reordered construction to accommodate existing shirt pieces

back 2

I started with one man’s white undershirt from my husband. I have a massive pile that are the wrong size or have minimal staining on them. They’re excellent for upcycling. The green butterfly print was a rib knit tank top of mine that never fit quite right but I liked too much to throw away. It looks way better on Gracie πŸ˜€

Here are all my pattern pieces in case you want to flip it this way yourself. You can see that the lower part is directly from the tank; why hem when you don’t have to? I just found the center to cut the placket and lined up the edge for the armhole. The excess was gathered when I sewed it to the upper bodice. The flutter sleeves were the last scraps of the tank after cutting everything else. I have nothing left – about a 1″ x 5″ strip. Part of my wants to incorporate it just to say I did… but I probably won’t.

pattern pieces

I had to change the assembly order a little because of my pieces. Basically I made the whole body section (hood and all) then set the sleeves in after. Amy has you sewing the side seam and the underarm seam in one go, which is way easier but would have involved cutting those side seams open. I hemmed the flutter sleeve (this tutorial explains) and basted it onto the white sleeve, then set them into the body together. Like this:

sleeve with flutter

I made a 4T. It’s big, but I like it that way and so does Grace. She’s been against anything fitted lately. And maybe with some luck it will fit next year. It’s funny seeing her in this with dark jeans; she looks so grown up. When did my baby turn into a big kid, complete with big kid clothes? Bring back the rompers!

full body

In case you’re curious, all these pictures were taken on Grace’s bed. I prefer to do my pictures outside – except it’s November, so it’s 30 degrees and raining. Her tree is the next best thing to a real tree. With a lot of color correction in Photoshop, it’ll have to do. But I seriously don’t recommend putting a 2.5 year old on a bed and asking them to stand still. Out of nearly 100 pictures, the vast majority look like this:

bounce

I can’t wait to see the other flips! If you’re interested, you can find them here: November Sew-Along

 

Autumn Sensory Play {And my favorite play dough recipe}

I almost titled this post, “Come on, people, it isn’t Christmas yet.” Apparently pretty much everyone in retail missed that memo… Oh well. November! The beautiful finale to the masterpiece called autumn. There’s more leaves on the ground than in the trees. The wind turns a little more brisk. Rains keep us inside. Recipes switch to more storage crops – I think I used either butternut squash or sweet potatoes every day last week. Thanksgiving is coming (even if the stores forgot it). We have much to be thankful for πŸ™‚

And much indoor sensory play to be played!

Fall Harvest Sensory Bin

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A friend gave me a gallon bag of field corn, which the kids ADORE playing with. It makes a delightful sound when it “rains.” Everything else is from last year’s bin – silk leaves, both oak and maple; “gumball” seed pods from a tree down the street; and sparkly foam pumpkins. Plus an assortment of scoops and spoons for digging around with.

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For some reason, they’re making soup. The pumpkins are tomatoes. I don’t ask too many questions – I love their creativity! Crazy kids πŸ˜€

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Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

We love play dough around here. Last month we had some random purple sparkly mess that 9 times out of 10 was shaped into birthday cakes. I should have known showing the birthday episode from Little Einsteins would lead to much imagination play. It’s time to move on… some songs get really really annoying about the 3rd time a couple toddlers sing it. When you hit the 30th you decide to set out a new invitation to play.

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So in honor of the mass baking that will be occurring over the next week, Pumpkin Pie scented dough.

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This is my basic recipe for play dough. I always forget it, so I’m posting it here for my reference as much as for anyone else:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 T cooking oil
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
Food coloring or 1 Kool-Aid mix

Stir together and cook over low heat until dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the pot.

I claim no rights to it! I got it from a friend, who got it from a friend, who I think got it from one of the local preschools. But it’s almost identical to several I’ve found online. I’ve tried several different no-cook recipes and they all turn out sticky messes for me. This one has been fail-proof even if it does take a little longer. My first batch lasted 4 months of almost daily use and would have kept going if the toddler hadn’t left it out on the table overnight.

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To make it pumpkin pie scent, leave out the kool-aid. Add 1tbsp ish (I’m not big on measuring) of pie spice blend – store bought or make your own, heavy on cinnamon with a little ginger, nutmeg, allspice, etc. A little food coloring makes it pleasantly orange. On the table, I’ve added a rolling pin, muffin tin, pie plate, small spatula, sil-pat mats, and a couple cookie cutters.

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And after seeing today’s facebook link from The Imagination Tree, shakers of cinnamon and gold glitter πŸ™‚ I buy my cinnamon in bulk at a local warehouse store and it’s over a year old, so it’s time to use it up and buy fresh. This is as good a use as any!

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Plenty of lovely autumn sensory play to get us through the last week and a half. THEN it can be Christmas, folks! It’s just not special if it goes own for 7+ weeks. Besides, I haven’t had my fill of pumpkin lattes yet!

Seeing Spots Fleece Dress

I know I keep saying this, but I absolutely adore fall. It’s the best. Except now we’re heading into November and it starts to get just a little cooler – coats and hats and scarves become a necessity rather than a choice. The piles of leaves get a little bigger; the trees, a little barer; and the park is a little emptier. But I wouldn’t miss it for anything! Which leaves me sewing up something that is both warm and not bulky. Something to keep Grace cozy but won’t get in her way while she plays. And as every former high schooler and college kid knows, that perfect article of clothing is a HOODIE!

front

Except, she’s 2 and a half, so it’s got to be a dress, too.

hood

I used the Hangout Hoodie from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop. Love it. Grand total construction time was less than 2 hours including printing, cutting, sewing, trying on, hemming… Everything. Of course, I didn’t do it in one sitting, mostly because I’m highly distractable.

pockets

I made a couple edits to the pattern. It’s originally sized for thin tee-shirt style knits to be worn as an outfit. I wanted it out of fleece, as a layering piece. Grace measures 18mo on the size chart. I went ahead and made a 4T out of fleece. I lengthened the sleeves in order to remove the ribbed cuff – it’s a simple narrow hem now. They ended up too long though so they’re cuffed for this season. I added 3″ to the hem (she’s so skinny and tall), reshaped the hood a little (see the picture above), and drafted rounded patch pockets.

I reshaped the sleeve cap to add some more fullness. I was worried about the fleece’s lack of stretch. I think it probably would have been ok but I really like the slight puff shape. The new sleeve looks like this:

sleeve edit

Grace was excited by her “park dress” and loved that she didn’t need a coat. It didn’t get in her way at all and I never once heard “I’m cold!” Plus since it’s neon green, I can pick her out quickly from the orange and gray world.

slide

Did you know that the Hangout Hoodie is the pattern this month for Flip This Pattern? I’ll probably go ahead and enter this, even though it’s barely flipped. Now that I’ve tweaked the pattern and know how it fits Grace, I have a REAL flip in mind. I think I can even pull it off, too, as quick and simple as this pattern is! Check back soon πŸ™‚ Now, we’re off to skip some more in the great outdoors.

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