reiny days and mondays


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Valentines shirts

If you know me or have been a reader for any length of time, you’ll understand why I needed to make Liam a Valentines’ Day shirt. It’s because novelty cotton prints are my life.

We’ve been snowed out a bunch lately – yesterday was a snow day (I am able to do work from home though) and today I decided to leave a bit later to allow for the icy roads to melt some. Of course both days I woke up before 7am anyway. After nearly three years of being a mom, I am simply incapable of sleeping in.

So naturally, this morning I woke up and sewed up a shirt for Liam! I may have been feeling guilty because I made a shirt for myself yesterday (scroll down to see it!) instead of making valentines for his little friends at daycare. (Because of the snow day(s), they’re doing the party on Monday so SCORE, I get the weekend to make valentines!)

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I used the Oliver + S Sketchbook pattern that I’ve used a million times.

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The fabric is from (where else?) Jo-Ann’s and is probably on sale/will be on sale soon. I believe I paid around $3 a yard a few weeks ago.

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I decided to finish the hem and armholes with bias tape. I think it is especially helpful for the curved hem of the Sketchbook – I often have trouble making the hem lie perfectly flat by just folding twice and sewing the them down.

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I took a few shortcuts because (a) it’s a novelty shirt, and (b) I was short on time!

1. I didn’t use any interfacing. The shirt seems fine without it: the placket is stiff enough, and the collar is a bit floppy but suits the casual nature of the shirt.

2. I used pearl snaps instead of buttons. I’ve fallen a bit out of love with the snaps since I finally learned how to do button holes, mainly because my snaps pliers are pretty unreliable. I think I ruin 3 snaps for every one I actually get to attach properly. I will probably replace the snaps with real buttons.

3. I didn’t attach the pocket but may do so later!

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I cut a 3T and added an inch to the bottom because this boy is getting so tall! I just the let the hem out of those gray pants a couple of weeks ago and I think I have to do it again!

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Sorry, you’d think I’d clean up a bit for pictures… but no,  you’d be wrong. But THAT SMILE THO.

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Obviously I made myself a shirt with the same fabric. This is the Laurel top, except I redrew the side seams  for some extra ease and added another inch to the hem. Super comfy!

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For some reason Liam was happy to pose this morning! Success!

valentinelaurel3Happy Valentines’ Day, friends!


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Star Wars pajamas

Happy Snow Day, friends! We’re stuck at home with 5 inches of snow. I’m trying to do some work-from-home, Kev is building Liam’s big boy bed (sob), and Liam is mainly trying (and succeeding at) distracting me from work.

I always want to sew something for Liam for special occasions, and I feel like PJs are a perfect Christmas present. (I know I love getting PJs at Christmas, and somehow my family never fails me in that regard. Every year!) So I made Star Wars flannel pajamas for Liam!

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This fabric is from Jo-Ann’s. I’ve been eyeing it for years and finally bought two yards!

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I didn’t make any changes to my Oliver + S School Days shirt hack except for lengthening the bodice, and I cut a 3T using Rae’s Parsley Pants pattern – boy is getting too tall for his own good!

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Not much else to say about these PJs except Kevin said they look like prison pajamas, but he’s evil and mean, so what does he know? Ok, they totally do. But I still love them and I hope Liam does too!

This picture makes me laugh… he’s making the pirate nutcracker ride the reindeer. I think the French nutcracker is helping him up too.

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Oliver + S School Days Coat

I probably use the term “labor of love” way too often when I talk about some of my sewing projects. However, this WAS a labor of love. Ok, probably still overdoing it, but this is definitely the most complicated thing I’ve ever sewn.

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Behold, the Oliver + S School Days coat.

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I knew I needed to make L a jacket because his coat from last year is ridiculously small. And it couldn’t just be a store bought coat because, come on. That would be too reasonable. And I am no reasonable lady.

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I went to Goodwill with my fingers crossed – I just had the feeling I would be able to find a 100% wool coat that I could slice and dice. Spoiler alert, I was successful! I was too excited to take a picture of it but it was a gigantic wool coat for women – calf-length and few darts or other shaping seams so I knew it’d be great. Best part? It was $20!

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I ran it through the dryer with a wet blanket for 1 hour, then I took my seam ripper to it and took it apart as much as I could, leaving the back intact. I discarded the arm lining and the shoulder pads (lol). OBV I kept the buttons, because! I did keep the main body lining which was this lovely herringbone wool – forgot to take a picture! But I will be reusing it for sure. Anyway after I ripped up the coat it went back into the dryer for another hour – this sucker had a lot of gross lint in all the seams.

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The back had these two vertical seams that I couldn’t get around so they stayed – I think they look quite nice there! It looks intentional.

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The lining fabric is the best part though. It’s Michael Miller Little Elephants Toss and I got it from Fabric.com when they had one of their MM 15% off sales. I’ve had this fabric since March and I’ve been saving it for something special… why not a coat he’ll wear everyday for several months? L does a little trumpeting noise every time he sees a picture of an elephant and it is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

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The toggles were from Jo-Ann’s – goodness, I didn’t know toggles were $5+! Good thing this pattern only called for 3 of them. My topstitching on these is pretty atrocious but… it’s not like I can rip them out and redo them since the leather would show the holes. It’s really bulky at that spot!

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I really like the way the hood turned out! I purposely did not topstitch the hood to keep the lining in place because… I kind of want the lining to peek out!

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I think the lining looks really lovely after blindstitching the hem by hand but my gosh, my finger was hurting after that! Note to self, need to buy thimble.

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Also, this was all done in one day – I went to Goodwill just after they opened at 11am, ran a few errands, got home and started work on the lining while the coat was in the dryer (also quickly sewed up a Christmas throw pillow + table runner*), then sat down and worked on the coat until I finished around midnight. Hence, the horrendous lighting on these pictures.

*Yes, Christmas! I am all about Christmas once the -ber months start.

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Also, two days after I finished this coat, Colette Patterns revealed their Albion coat which to me looks like the grown-up version of this School Days Jacket. WANT! I may need to make myself a matching jacket after Christmas…


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Flannel PJs for L

Well, I’ve gone and outed myself to friends & family. I finally let them all know that I blog about my sewing adventures here. I guess I have to stop using swear words. Not that I do much. One time I accidentally dropped the F-bomb when my mom was in the room and she yelled at me to go to my room. This was last year. In my home.

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Anyway it’s been getting cold here so I decided to make some flannel pajamas for L. I hacked the Oliver + S Sketchbook shirt pattern that I just used for Fix-It Felix, Jr. and finally got around to using Rae’s Parsley Pants pattern for pajama pants.

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I found this flannel at Jo-Ann’s – can’t find it online but keep an eye out for sales on flannel! I used two yards.

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Weirdly enough, I’ve never made L pajama pants so it was really refreshing to sew these up so quickly! I also hemmed them by machine while I normally do a blind hem by hand on most of his pants.

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I drafted a new back pattern piece for these pajamas as I didn’t think the yoke and back pleat were necessary, and I just thought it might be a little more comfortable for L. It was a pretty easy pattern hack: I just overlapped the yoke and back pieces 1 inch to remove the seam allowance and followed the pattern edge so they matched up. I cut it with a straight hem all around. I traced it on to freezer paper so I can make this up again quickly! I’m tempted to shove everything off my queue and just make these PJs over and over again.

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I don’t know why PJs always have a little breast pocket. Who would put something there?

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I went with the hexagon snaps again… I can’t help it. Sometimes L is a struggle to get PJs on so I thought snaps would shave off a couple of seconds.

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Oh my God these moose are just killing me.

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This boy cracks me up too.

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I made this the background on my phone, because how could I not smile when I look at this fantastic smile?

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Blurry but MELTS MY HEART.

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These PJs are perfect for snuggling with Daddy.


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Halloween Costume – Fix-It Felix Jr!

Here is L’s second costume – Fix-It Felix, Jr. Have you seen the movie Wreck-It Ralph? Because you should. Just come over any day of the week since we watch it nearly every day…

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For the shirt I used the Oliver + S Sketchbook shirt pattern which I’ve been wanting to try for ages. I used Country Classic Solids from Jo-Ann’s – I believe it was Wedgewood Blue. I really should know since I had to go back for a QUARTER YARD because I messed up the collar really badly, had to trash it, and realized that I must have accidentally thrown out my scraps. Ugh. 1 yard is perfect for the 3T though, in case you’re wondering.

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This pattern is amazing. I feel like it really, really looks RTW which I think is a win. Ok, except maybe the embroidered nametag. I’ll have to work on my embroidering skills. I sewed the nametag on with a very long stitch to ensure it’s easy to remove since I want L to be able to wear it in the future.

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I used black pearl snaps because I stupidly bought three buttons… since Fix-It Felix has three buttons on his shirt. Um, what was I thinking?

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I really like the little back pleat… looks just like his Daddy’s shirts! I think the shirt construction looks so, so professional! Also, gotta love flat sleeves… easy as pie!

I bought this baseball cap from Amazon and I might pick up a couple more! It turns out L LOVES this hat and wears it all the time at home. I just quickly stenciled (freezer paper method) the FF symbol on some leftover Goldenrod cotton from his Dalek costume. It’s a bit messy but it was um… 11pm. I’m normally passed out by 9. I just attached it to the hat with one or two stitches by hand in each corner – I want to make sure it’s easily removable.

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I also bought these little gloves but uh, it turns out L is afraid of them. He keeps looking at the dark insides and refuses to put his hands in them. Oh well. Kid, you’ll need these when I need you to chop wood for me next year, ok? (Kidding, leave me alone, Internet police.) Also spray painted an old toy hammer with gold spray paint. EASY.

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I don’t have many pictures of L in the costume as he mostly wore it during the parade at daycare. I had to do some serious cropping to make sure I didn’t include any other kids here! Oh, and also, Liam hated the parade apparently.

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I made him a little tool belt out of a remnant I found at Jo-Ann’s. Forgot to take pictures of that too, blah. You can kind of see it in the picture above – I included a little pouch attachment and a loop for his hammer. I had no idea what the little pouch was for but it ended up being a perfect place to stash the gloves he wouldn’t wear.

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I’ll have to see if I can get him dressed up again this weekend for a photo op. This time  I’ll have candy to cheer him up!