Dec 232016

This wasn’t actually for Christmas (I made them right after Halloween), but here are some reindeer!

ruby reindeer

They’re made using While She Naps’ Ruby the Reindeer pattern and minky from my local Fabric Mart. I really like how they came out! The pattern instructions were fine, although I only really used them to make sure I put the antlers and ears in correctly.

One not-great thing was that the large body pattern piece was split between two pages and meant to be taped together, but the two parts didn’t line up! The curve along the page join wasn’t smooth. (To clarify: I don’t care about taping pattern pieces together; I care when they don’t match up.) It wasn’t a big deal to fix — I just smoothed out the curve — but it was annoying to find in a pattern that I expected to be professionally presented.

Oh, the pattern instructions leave the eye whites loose, with just the safety eye to keep them in. I ended up sewing the white felt down after imagining little kiddie fingers picking at it. Also, they looked a little weird just sproinging up around the safety eye.

ruby reindeer

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I had initially planned to make just one reindeer for Sunshine. HAH! Cosmo picked the colors for his reindeer — he made it like a Christmas tree! 😀

ruby reindeer

Mar 282016

Back in December, I did one of my I-really-want-this-pattern-so-I’ll-justify-it-by-making-it-for-presents things and made Wee Wonderfuls’ Miss Fox for Glowbug. (Later on, I also made one for my niece so I could feel “thrifty” about using a pattern twice, heh.) I love how it turned out!
Wee Wonderfuls Miss Fox

Like the Elsa doll, a lot of Miss Fox’s parts are meant to be whipstitched on, which is never my preference. Instead, I sewed what I could into existing seams. There are darts in the head that were perfect for sewing the ears into! On my first attempt, I sewed the ear into the dart backwards, though. 😀
Miss Fox's ear

The legs were pretty easy to sew into seam between the front and back body pieces. I did have to check to make sure that they ended up pointing as straight down as possible since the body’s bottom seam is curved, and I think I ended up flattening out the bottom curve a bit. Also, I left openings in the legs’ inseams so that I could sew them to the body unstuffed, and then I stuffed and ladder-stitched them closed after everything was right-side out.
Miss Fox's legs

I did whipstitch the tail on, as instructed. Since it’s pretty large, I felt like enclosing it in a single seam would actually be weaker than whipstitching it around a larger area, especially considering the herringbone fabric’s looser weave. The thing about the tail is that it’s suuuuper cute, but it makes it hard to put the fox in a sitting position. Maybe I could have sewn it higher to make sitting easier? I think it looks like the tail is in the correct place, though…
Miss Fox's tail

I also followed the pattern by making button joints for the arms. I thought about enclosing them in the body’s side seams, but the way it seemed to be reaching out to you in the pattern picture was too cute!
Miss Fox's arms

Miss Fox is made out of some pumpkin shetland flannel that I had in my stash — it’s the perfect color and so soft! I had originally bought a yard of it to make a skirt because it looks so pretty, even though I don’t know what kind of skirt I thought I could get out of a yard of flannel that would be fit to go out of the house with. >_< Anyway, now it's got toy-shaped bits cut out of it, and I'm all ready for the next can-be-reddish-colored Wee Wonderfuls doll pattern to tempt me! Wee Wonderfuls Miss Fox

Feb 022016

More catching up! Sunshine’s Christmas present was a momma and baby kangaroo from ikatbag’s ridiculously awesome Menagerie pattern.

ikatbag's Menagerie: kangaroo and joeys

I always love using her patterns — the instructions are so clear, well-organized, and clever, and the designs have a great sense of humor. Plus, she’s super generous: Menagerie has templates for NINETEEN (or 21!!! depending on how you count) animals, and it starts out with explicit technique-teaching sections that are easy to flip back to refer to.

Also, I love that she makes toys that kids can play with. Legs, ears, tails, and everything attached is machine-sewed into seams — no whipstitching here! And on the fun side, both Sunshine and Glowbug like to tuck the baby into the mom’s pouch. 🙂

ikatbag Menagerie kangaroo and joey

There were a few fights after Christmas because Glowbug kept stealing the joey, so I made her one of her own (and put her initial on it so there wouldn’t be any fights about whose was whose, heh).

ikatbag Menagerie joey

I wish I could have a softie-stuffing lesson — I went a little nuts, and the mom kangaroo looks great, but it’s awfully firm…! Also, Glowbug’s joey is quite a bit bigger than Sunshine’s because I overstuffed it a bit. Oops!

ikatbag's Menagerie: kangaroo and joeys

Oct 202015

I decided that I’d give my nieces and nephews daddy dollies for their 2nd birthdays, so here’s the latest one. Guess what my niece’s name is!
daddy dolly

To make the shirt, I printed out an I Love Lucy logo and used a lightbox to trace it onto some jersey with a gelly roll pen, and then I heat set it with an iron. I read somewhere that once you heat set it, the gelly roll ink is permanent, and although I haven’t run anything through the wash yet, I did try scrubbing at it with a fels naptha bar, and nothing came off. I’m optimistic! I like gelly roll pens because they’re easier to use (and a lot cheaper) than micron pens. :>
daddy dolly

I put this doll’s arms in wrong again (like the last one)! I hope I don’t make the same mistake again the next time I have to sew one of these. >_< daddy dolly

Jun 172015

I changed my blog url just slightly today — from to just I thiiiiiiink everything’s okay, but if you notice anything weird, could you let me know? Thanks! 🙂 🙂 🙂

In other news, I finished my moooonths-long project of knitting monsters for my nephew’s birthday present! They’re all from Rebecca Danger’s 50 Yards of Fun. Seriously, I am such a slow knitter — I bought this book in March, and it’s taken me this long to make five of them.
50 yards of fun monsters

My favorite is the tiny peanut guy in the front — he’s such a cute shape! My kids liked them too, and I ended up making Cosmo a yak and Nikko a ninja in between the monsters, since they’d ask in sad little voices, “is this still for Georgie…?” hah!

I bought a Curious George lunchbox to send these in because my kids love packing toys into the one good metal lunchbox we have (it’s from when I was a kid, so it’s much sturdier than the newer ones we’ve gotten!) and taking it when we go out, like a little suitcase. I hope my nephew has fun with these!
lunchbox of monsters

Jan 292015

I finally got around to using ikatbag‘s fairytale doll set pattern that I bought right when it was released in December 2013. Oops!
fairytale doll whole set

This pattern is awesome. It’s for a doll, five outfits, eighty jillion different hairstyles and shoes, and niftiest of all, a doll sleeping bag / doll+clothes carrying case. This why I love ikatbag patterns — they’re smart and fun and thoughtful all around!
pink dress outfit

I made it for my niece’s 4th birthday (I thought it would be a waste to make it for my own kids, hahaha), and I even finished way early, but I was a dope and mailed it off only five days before, so it ended up arriving two days late! booooooo.
orange dress outfit

In order to make turning easier, the arms and body are cut in a single piece, and then a fake raglan-shoulder-like seam is sewn to make a shoulder joint. I messed up somehow and the armpit seams don’t go up high enough, so the clothes (especially this one) fit kind of funny.
strapless dress outfit

Fortunately, my sister told me that my niece really likes her doll. Yay! Apparently, she’s using the mermaid bikini as sunglasses instead, which I think is awesome.
mermaid doll

I chose to make the yarn hair, but I didn’t quite pay attention to the length that the instructions say to make the wig, which is why her hair comes down a little too far down her forehead. So to my future self: verbatim compliance, always, with ikatbag patterns!
fairy doll outfit

One side of the carrying case is a sleeping bag, and the other side has a zippered compartment to hold the extra clothes. There’s a top flap that you can fold over the sleeping bag side so that when you’re carrying everything around, your doll can still nap peacefully. Fairies and mermaid don’t sleep, though, since they’re magical beings. (Also, they don’t fit in the sleeping bag with their fancy clothes on.)
sleeping bag

I got this whale fabric during our trip to New York when we went to Joanns. There’s no Joanns here, so I went a little nuts! And as always, I grumbled grumbled grumbled while I was making the bias strips. :>
zippered side

I have about two years before the next eligible baby is old enough to possibly like it if I make these again… that’s probably enough time to recover from all the weeny doll clothes, yeah? 😀
cosmo and doll

Nov 202014

(No, not that one. heh!) I’ve wanted to make the Wee Wonderfuls Elsa doll for so long… at first, I was waiting for a time when I could give one to my niece (but then I gave her a daddy doll instead), and then when Glowbug was born, I had to wait till she was old enough to want one. Finally last week she was trying to steal Sunshine’s monster doll, so I knew it was time!
Wee Wonderfuls Elsa doll

I loooove this doll — it’s so cute! It’s the regular (not wee size), and since I worry about little kids playing tug-of-war with dolls, I adjusted the construction so that the arms and legs could be machine-sewn into the seams. Since the bottom gusset is originally a single oval, I cut two half ovals (plus seam allowance) to create a seam to sew the legs into. I also left openings in the underarm and inner leg seams and stuffed them using my hemostats and a bubble drink straw after turning the doll right side out.
elsa legs

It was too difficult for me to try to also machine sew the head on before turning, so I ladder stitched around the neck three times. I made waaaay too many bangs, and I think her eyes are a little higher than they’re supposed to be, but I still love her little face! Yay for a cute pattern! I was sort of going for a forest elf look with the leafish embroidery around her funny little hat; when you look at the embroidery specifically, it’s pretty hilariously bad, but if you just glance at the doll, I think it works! 😀
elsa doll head, head on (hehe)

I also put little colonial knots around the back neck to keep securing the hat, cause I really wanted to make sure nothing would come off. Also, at first, I left the little shoes unattached, but then (after I took pictures) Glowbug started throwing them on the floor and saying, “uh oh!” to get me to put them back on, so I got tired of that and colonial knotted the shoes on as well.
elsa doll head, side view

I’m super happy that Glowbug seems to like her doll — she carries it around and calls it baby! 🙂
elsa doll and glowbug

Oct 302014

Still catching up on things from before our trip! First up, flying squirrels made for kiddie presents. These are hilaaaaaarious! Plus, they’re super easy and relatively fast to make, and the pattern is free!
flying squirrels

I felt an intense need to make travel pillows for everyone (except my kids) — these are for my father-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, husband, and me. My in-laws already had their own comfier and more useful U-shaped travel pillows, but they very politely carried the ones I made them on the plane. 😀 Just in case you can’t tell, two of these have gadget pockets, which I don’t think ended up getting used. On the bright side, my kids liked hugging the grey stars and dadcat pillows during our vacation!
travel pillows

Waaaay before our trip, I got to be a pattern tester for Sew Sweetness’s Crimson and Clover Train Cases. I made the smallest size and stingily did not make proper bias tape, which Sara very kindly didn’t mention. >_< Can't see the bad piping in this pic, though... muhahahaha! small Crimson and Clover train case

Jul 292014

… in both the color and theme! hehehe (<-- only funny to me) For my nephew’s 2nd birthday, I made him a daddy dolly — his sister got one in casual clothes back in January, and even though I heard that he tried to steal it right away, I was was a meanielazysewerer and made him wait for his birthday for his own. (A nice auntie would have just made him one right away.)
daddy dolly in the weeds

This one is supposed to be wearing a Navy lieutenant uniform, but it keeps making me think of an airline pilot. What do you think? I was soooo glad that I made the jacket separately when I was almost finished — after I turned the dolly right side out, I found out that I’d sewn the arms on wrong! They were angled up (like when kids ask to be picked up) instead of angled down like I’d meant them to be. Fortunately, the jacket kind of mushes things into the correct shape. There’s no way I was going to unpick all that back-and-forth-and-scribble-some-more-to-keep-it-in-place stitching!
daddy dolly in action

Even though I tried to draw the jacket pattern so it would end up with wide sleeves, I failed and the sleeves were really tight — I had to pull the doll arms through with my hemostats. Other than that, I was happy with the jacket — I sewed the soft side of the velcro on the inner jacket edge and little dots of the scratchy side of the velcro behind the felt fake buttons. It holds together pretty well… but I didn’t toddler test it. Oh, and can you see the hand-stitched-down collar (or lapel thingy)? I was really pleased with how that turned out. :}
daddy dolly jacket

I started on this dolly a week before I had to mail it, and when I went to get blue safety eyes from my stash, I found out that I only had one left! Yay for responsive Etsy sellers — I found someone who was able to ship the ones I wanted the next day (I didn’t know this, but since some sellers hand paint some of their safety eyes, they can’t ship certain types until a couple of days after the order is placed). This was also the first time I used safety eyes with metal washers (the other ones I had had plastic washers), and metal washers are SO MUCH EASIER to put on. Yayyyy!
daddy dolly on the steps

Gosh, but I was happy to finish this; I have a big pile of apparel fabric that I want to play with, but I keep having to put it off for things like this that I’d feel awful if I didn’t finish first. I think the kids have been eyeing that pile of fabric to use as a leaf pile… >_<

Jun 192014

Again with the catching up on little things — bunnies and hedgehogs from April!

These were Cosmo’s and Sunshine’s bunnies for their Easter egg hunt. I made them following ikatbag’s free tutorial… by the way, I think it’s crazy that this was a free tutorial. I’d totally pay for that pattern! I’m severely 3D-deficient, but still. It’s awesome!
pair 'o bunnies

I used the least stretchy velour I could find at Fabric Mart and poured a whole package of poly pellets into each bunny. I maybe didn’t put as much stuffing into the bodies as I should have, though, cause they get sort of empty towards their necks when they try to sit up. Since I felt a little guilty for not making all of the other neato ikatbag bunny goodies (the bunny bed, bunny clothes, and bunny carrots), I decorated them a leetle bit with the carrot scarf, tummy rainbow, and butt hearts. The whole time, though, I was thinking about all the imaginative play my kids wouldn’t be able to have since I was too lazy to make them carrots and clothes and things…</being slightly sarcastic but also not entirely>
bunnies gotta help each other

Anyway! I intended the white one to be for Cosmo (since he loves rainbows) and the blue one for Sunshine (cause he always picks blue things), but they ended up choosing the reverse. Since he’s older and better at finding Easter goodies, Cosmo found both bunnies first and snagged the blue one. I asked him if he could let Sunshine choose between the two, and so Cosmo showed Sunshine the bunnies, but held the white one out closer to Sunshine to try to get him to pick it, and it worked! Sneaky!
bunny lineup

These hedgehogs were favors for Cosmo to give to his preschool classmates on his birthday. I was feeling toooo cheap to buy stuff for goodie bags, and these were free (aside from the quarters I put in the pockets).
hedgehog class

Not only that, but since I don’t have any good wrapping supplies, I printed out free froggy treat boxes and had Cosmo decorate as many as he could. muhahaha!
free wrapping

Cosmo was paid in (a single new) hedgehog. (Oops, this isn’t a picture of him with his hedgehog.) Fair trade, yeah?
Cosmo, child laborer