May 022014

Selfish Sewing Week is almost over, and I managed to only be half-procrastinatey about it… I made a comfy grandpa sweater early, but put off posting about it. heh!
julia cardigan

I got to try the Julia cardigan, and even though I’m not sure if it’s incredibly flattering on me, I’m really happy that I did because it is so comfeeeey. I’ve been wearing it constantly ever since I made it. (Look, my seams almost match up!)
julia cardigan right

I used this two-sided brown and mustard jersey from Girl Charlee — it’s actually just like double gauze because it’s two layers of really thin jersey that’s secured together all over (thus the pin dots). It’s ridiculously soft and cozy, and I love it. I was thinking about mixing the brown and mustard on the outside of the cardigan, but the pin dots are pretty noticeable in person (and made me think of pores…), so I ended up just using the mustardy side. It’s such a pretty color!
julia cardigan left

I made the no-hem, long-sleeved version for maximum warmth. I’m not sure why, but I stared for a long time at the instructions for putting the doubled collar together, and then I still sewed it together wrong at first. Other than that, though, I think my clothes-sewing skills are (slowly) improving because I wasn’t too stressed about sewing the rest of it. :D Since the pattern mentions that the sleeve cuffs are drafted to be loose, I whapped off about 1.5″ off the circumference (I think), and then adjusted the sleeve pattern so it would taper to the narrower cuff. I also sewed twill tape along the shoulder seam allowances (I learned that from the Renfrew Top!) so they wouldn’t stretch out.
julia cardigan laid out

Even though I was a big procrastibug, there’s still time to enter the SSW giveaway, and you can see other great projects on the Selfish Sewing Week Kollabora page. Have fun!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

ssw logo final 350 px
Apr 102014

My old bag was looking rather worn (plus, it’s a little too small for three waterbottles, assorted cars and trains, and my actual stuff), so I made my annual new bag-to-use-daily. I love it! It’s floppy (makes it easier to stuff full), big enough to hold a normal amount of kiddie+me stuff, and comfy to carry. I don’t know if I look doofy being a grown-up who prefers to use a backpack over a normal purselike, but I don’t care because I can’t see myself!
cloud backpack

I’ve been waiting for the longest time to find something I could embroider this cute cloud (free pattern!) on. It fit perfectly on the flap and is in such a cool style. I printed it out on a sheet of Sulky sticky fabri-solvy, which is so awesome, and then just slapped it on the fabric and started embroidering away.
cloud backpack embroidery

The bag itself is actually Michelle Patterns’ messenger bag (retired); I just printed the pattern out at 150% and then replaced the cross-body strap with backpackish straps (which I didn’t make adjustable since it’s only for me). I also made the back pocket zippered — I aaaaaagonized about whether to figure out how to put an inset zipper at the top of the main compartment, but finally decided that having a zipper on the back pocket would be enough of a semi-secure option. (Um. I just noticed the background of this picture — that’s a seed pod, not a dead bug. Sorry!)
back of cloud backpack

Prior to this bag, I thought that elastic-topped pockets looked kind of frumpy, but now I love them! They’re nice and deep, and the elastic makes me feel like things won’t just slide out, so it’s been super convenient just to chuck my phone in there.
cloud backpack front and elastic pockets

Slip pocket, zippered pocket, key dingledangle, as usual. Nice and roomy! I’m a little worried about that white birdy fabric — it’s so bright white that I suspect it’ll look dingy more quickly. Ah well!
cloud backpack inside

I had been thinking about making a backpack without a pattern, but I’m glad that I made this one instead. It came out to be a great size! When I’m on my own, I tend to overestimate how large bags ought to be, heh.
cloud backpack on

In other news, I made another Renfrew top. It’s my funny Christmas version — it’s kind of like I’m wearing a reindeer sweater vest! Mr. Yazoo doesn’t think it’s that funny… :P:P:P
Christmas Renfrew top

Mar 172014

I feel like I’ve been reading for ages about other people loving their Renfrew tops (by Sewaholic), and I totally agree that they look fantastic on almost everyone. (Frankly, that’s not the case for every single pattern out there — I’ve been drawn in by gorgeous samples on pattern covers, but when I google to see real people’s versions and find that almost everyone ended up with a not-so-flattering piece, I know that the pattern’s not for me.) So since I was in a clothes-sewing mood (after feeling all pro for sewing two whole versions of Victory Patterns’ Ava top), I finally made my own!
renfrew top

I think I had 3/4 of a yard of this apple tree fabric, and it was more than enough for one shirt. It fit perfectly straight away — yay for knits and a fantabulous pattern! I didn’t finish any of the inside edges since knits don’t fray, yeah? We’ll see how it lasts though constant washings; since shirts like this are totally my style, I’m probably going to wear this one every week, heh.
renfrew inside out

I thought it was neat that the instructions said to sew twill tape to the shoulder seams so they don’t stretch out. Oh, and I think you can kind of see that I added a second line of topstitching on the back collar so the binding fabric thingy wouldn’t flip inside-out. (Or maybe I just missed that bit in the instructions…)
renfrew shoulder seam

I was so excited about this shirt that I bought fabric to make a funny Christmas version. Now I’m like everyone else who sewed a Renfrew top — I can’t stop at just one!

Feb 272014

Gah! Life’s been happening and I haven’t been able to sew while everyone’s asleep, so I’ve been knitting and crocheting (fits in during lunch break and car rides) to get my hobbying fix.

Posy cardi (came out too big for Glowbug, haha):
big posy cardi

Posy cardi (the right size!):
smaller posy cardi

Mini ballerina sweaterish thingy:
mini ballerina sweater

Christmas stocking hat:
Christmas stocking hat

Longcat scarf (I managed to make it a proper loooongcat!):
longcat scarf

Rainbow unicorn:
rainbow unicorn

Hopefully I’ll be able to find the time to sew soon… gahhhh.

Jan 242014

A couple months ago, Mr. Yazoo had to go on a work trip. Cosmo had been a little clingier than usual, so I made him a daddy dolly to hug while Mr. Yazoo was away.
daddy dolly

I actually had really wanted to buy a doll pattern (I love any excuse to buy a pattern), but for various reasons, I ended up making my own. I fixated on being able to make sticky-forward feet, and I was so happy when I kind of managed it!
daddy dolly feet

daddy dolly feet from the side

I even prototyped them first, which is the kind of practice and planning that’s practically unheard of in the Yazoo workshop. hehe.
daddy dolly prototype feet

Later on, I made another daddy dolly for my three-year-old niece whose dad is in the navy.
george dolly

And then recently I made a Luffy dolly for Mr. Yazoo’s friend’s baby’s first birthday party. (They were having a One Piece-themed party.)
luffy dolly

Sorry about the pictures! I finished up at 3:30 in the morning, which gave Mr. Yazoo just enough time to wrap it before dashing to work to give it to his co-worker. But I wanted to show you the hat, too! :D
luffy dolly back

Dec 092013

Small projects, go!

Mom asked for a water bottle cozy. Blammo!
bottle cozy

As part of my de-bag-lady-ifying effort, I replaced my Freestyle (pumping stuff) tote with a Pink Penguin bag.
gnomey bag

There are gnomies on top…
gnomey bag, top

… and I put pockets inside to hold storage bags and pens and things.
gnomey bag pockets

Finally, I knit some Christmas stockings for the kids. I initially thought I’d sew them, but then I read people saying they loved their knit stockings since they streeeeeetch. :D

Cosmo keeps wearing his like it’s an actual sock. hehe!

Nov 062013

I love how fantastic sewing is for someone like me who has hobby ADD — bored of making quilts? Sew clothes! Bored of making clothes? Sew bags! Tired of making bags? Sew toys! And so I made some monsters for my kiddies.
monster trio

I let them choose which one they wanted (Glowbug got the leftover one), and Cosmo picked the pink monster that’s based on Igor Mousenstein.
googly eye monster

Sunshine chose the one from Make a Monster. I was so surprised that he actually really likes it — it’s been a couple of weeks, and he’s still carrying it around! He calls it his dolly. :D
weirdo monster

Glowbug got the last one, which I made just so Sunshine would still be able to make a choice after Cosmo. It’s based on a monster I saw on Pinterest, but the link goes somewhere weird… anyway, I think it’s really funny! It’s the perfect shape to put a crinkly thing inside for babies, although that didn’t occur to me when I made this one.
moustachioed monster

They’ve got hearts on their butts because it’s a monster requirement, donchaknow. Picture overload!
moustachioed monster, back
monster pair, back
kiddies with monsters

Oct 302013

Last month, I won a copy of Quilting Arts Gifts 2013 from Esch House Quilts, and when I got it, Cosmo flipped through it with me. We both liked the trick-or-treat bag project, and I managed to make a couple in time for Halloween.

Mr. Yazoo helped by drawing the faces for the bags — he made a meanie face for Sunshine cause he’s been having a little bit of his terrible twos.
halloween bag - grouchy

I found some cute Halloween fabric that I’d hoarded from last year to use for the bag lining, and I substituted automotive headliner fabric for the batting, or whatever it was the project called for. Oh, and I have an opinion about automotive headliner fabric, if you care. :D

I’ve used both Soft and Stable and automotive headliner fabric, which I bought specifically because I read people on the interwebs saying that it could be used as a substitute for (the expensive and unavailable-locally-for-me) Soft and Stable. I think headliner fabric is fine for small, semi-disposable things, like kiddie treat bags, where you do want it to stand up by itself, but you don’t necessarily want to use your good supplies. However, it isn’t a good substitute for nice bags (like, say, a weekender) because it’s nowhere near as sturdy as Soft and Stable — it’s much, much thinner and kind of fragile. On the third hand, it is a good substitute for grown-up bags IF all you want to do is take a picture and show off your pretty-bag-that-you-couldn’t-get-Soft-and-Stable-for-but-still-want-the-look-of-it. ;) That’s my opinion!
halloween bag - inside

Anyway, back to the halloweenie bags, Mr. Yazoo draw a happy face for Cosmo since he’s been a sweetie lately. heh.
halloween bag - happy

Happy Halloween (in advance)!

Oct 282013

I’m totally one of those women you see walking into the office carrying two to four bags: one regular purse, a tote bag with stuff I need for the office but doesn’t fit in my purse (like lunch and emergency candy and assorted snacks), and yet another bag with current-crafting-project stuff. I really wanted to make a new weekender for when I went back to work a couple of months ago, but I didn’t get around to finishing it until this weekend (because I wanted to be able to use it at the speech tournament I helped judge at, since speech tournaments are another occasion when I carry around a lot of stuff just in case I have a bye round). I stayed up all night and just barely finished in time, even though almost everything was already cut out and basted. Six hours to sew basted-together bits together! Whyyyyy am I so slow?!
homelike weekender

I loooove my homelike weekender, though. It’s got crazy fabric, but I realized that the bags I love best are the ones where I just use fabric I adore, rather than trying too hard to make things coordinate, and then ending up with something kind of boring. So for this one, I used a funny [easygoing, homelike] cat panel (bought from Super Buzzy a long time ago), Heather Ross ugly ducklings, some hoarded Japanese canvas, and silly retro kiddies. They make me happy!
homelike weekender, diagonal view

Here are the retro kiddies in the pockets:
homelike weekender, inside of exterior pocket

I cut apart my old weekender in order to reclaim the zipper I love — that previous weekender was really heavy when it was empty and the straps were too narrow. This time, I used Soft & Stable instead of all the interfacing, and it’s so awesome for this bag. That included using Soft & Stable in place of the three layers of interfacing on the zipper panel, and that was perfectly fine (it wasn’t too puffy or anything). I followed the regular instructions for making the exterior zipper panel, but since I didn’t want saggy baggy lining this time, I basted all of the lining pieces with the exteriors. For the zipper part, I pressed the straight edges of the lining pieces, basted them to the underside of the zipper, inserted that muslin bit in the space between lining pieces, and sewed the zipper+lining normally to the exterior. Clear as mud? Picture is better!
homelike weekender, main zipper

What I meant to say (and missed in rambling off) was that using Soft & Stable makes my weekender super light and still shapely. Super light, yay!

My bias-bound raw edges look terrible, as usual, but I care more about having lining that stays put than funny-looking edges that I don’t notice when I’m actually using the bag.
homelike weekender, crazy inside big pockets

I even ran out of bias tape and used not-matching, leftover quilt binding to finish up. I was seriously falling sleep at the machine — I kept veering off the seam allowance and just sewing the bias tape to itself. But! The lining stays put!
homelike weekender, crazy inside birdy pockets

I didn’t even have to make (or, really, steal-from-my-old-weekender) the false bottom, because it’s totally stable enough.
homelike weekender, bottom

I made the straps with rectangle rings (the way Pink Chalk did), which is fantastic because it was easy to adjust the shoulder straps when I realized they were too long, and also because I can hook a cross-body strap into those rings when I need it. Have I mentioned how much I love my new weekender? Also, I’m totally getting my money’s worth out of this pattern! :D
homelike weekender on a swing

Sew Sweetness
Oct 282013

Whether he’s doing it purposely or not, my oldest son is great at making me want to sew things for him — he cuddles with stuffed animals I make him (for at least a day after I give them to him, heh) and loads his toys up in bags I sew. He’s in the four-year-old class in preschool this year, and a couple of weeks before the beginning of the year, I got it in my head that I wanted to make him a quilt for naptime. Commence no-sleep-for-me week!
books for baby quilt

I made him the Books for Baby quilt from Patchwork, Please!, and even though I didn’t do a great job of putting together fabric that would emphasize the bookiness of the design, I really had fun sewing it up. My OCD self loved how tidy using a pinking rotary blade made the back of the top look!
books for baby, back of the quilt

When I gave him his quilt and asked him to help me take pictures of it, he kept trying to flip it over to the flannel side, saying that the robots were supposed to be the front. Hah!
books for baby quilt close up

Oh well, I still send it to school with him every week. :D
books for baby quilt with kiddies!