Sunshine, grass stains and a pixie hat…

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We had a lovely weekend visiting family this weekend.  Q and I did a day trip (2 hours each way – which, when you have a child who turns into a gremlin the second the car seat buckles, can make for a fairly brutal trip.)  But we braved the gremlin’s car horribleness, listened to a lot of raffi (god help me), ate a lot of snacks (cut up olives and broccoli are the current fav), and stretched our legs at a rest stop where mama got to eat a jumbo pretzel at 8am while the babe showed off her newfound walking skills.

But getting to see the cousins while playing on grass in 60 degree weather more than made up for the car ride hell.

IMG_3755(as we’ve been buried under an enormous amount of snow for the past 5 months, i cannot tell you how happy i am to see grass stains – even on white pants.  yay)

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The babe is sporting her pixie hat.  Still.  Because it was snowing when we woke up this morning.  At the end of march.  I love the hat but I am so ready to put it away for the season.

That said,  here are the details:

The pattern: Stella Pixie Hat

The Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Raspberry Mousse (my fav colorway that I’ve been hoarding ever since Rhinebeck three years ago – but I think this hat, and babe, are Raspberry-Mousse-Worthy.)

Modifications:  I modified the buttonhole rows slightly.  On the buttonhole rows, I worked 4 stitches even, then K1, YO, K2tog, worked rest of row even.  On the following row, I worked all stitches in the K1, P1 ribbing.

Also, I followed the mods I found here (thanks!) – http://www.pinkyogurtblog.com/2010/09/cutest-hat-ever.html.

The verdict:  The pattern came together quite quickly and the yarn, as always, is an absolute dream to work with.  Its a basic rectangle sewn together with the kitchener stitch (I used this tutorial to show me the errors of my ways after my 5 first failed attempts at kitchener stitch.)  Who knew kitchener stitch could be so amazing (genius, in my opinion), therapeutic (you’ve really gotta pay attention to what you’re doing), and satisfying (no visible seams!!)  Seriously, ingenius…

The most annoying part of this project was sewing the neckband onto the hat.  But that is more of a me-problem, not a pattern-problem.  I just simply do not love seaming knits up.  Its a thing of mine.

But as the day wore on and the sun came out and we reached a whopping 62 degrees, the hat came off, the babe started rolling around the lawn, and we enjoyed a beautiful day in the sunshine.

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DIY Latch Board

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or alternatively titled, “What an increasingly inquisitive toddler who has gotten bored of her current toys, 14” of snow on the ground hence the need for a good indoor project, and a hubby just itching to bust out his new power drill will get you.”

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These latch board suckers are all over Pinterest and I figured it was high time we got on the bandwagon.  Especially since Quincy would rather play with anything other than her baby toys these days.  Wooden blocks, nope.  Fun stackers, nope.  Bongo drums (yes, we got desperate), not so much.  Figuring out how to open the kitchen cabinets and unscrew (yes, unscrew) the Pine Sol container and pour it all over herself, well, that was a winner.  So we decided to try to harness her desire for all things latched, screwed on, and just plain scary looking and created our own latch board.

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So, with the temperature dropping and a massive storm heading our way, the hubs ran out to Lowe’s to buy all the gadgets to assemble this little gem.  Because, in the event of a storm, we could do without bottled water, but the thought of being stuck in the house with a restless toddler was enough motivation to get moving on this project.

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Because its -6 here right now.  And I’d love to say we’re the type of family who gets outside every day to brave the elements no matter how frigid the weather.  But we’re just not.  I’m a wuss.  And I’m okay with it.

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Hence the indoor project for the babe.

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Admittedly, our version isn’t for everybody.  See how those light switches have those scary metal parts protruding?  Its not ideal, but we figured the kid can’t impale herself on it and given that she gets herself into worse scrapes on an almost daily basis, she can handle some scary metal bits here and there.

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The winners:  the hinges.  Hands down.  Quincy LOVED the hinges. We’re going to have to go buy some more and install them.  She also loved the little mirror and the light switches.  The window lock and the chain lock are a bit too difficult for her to manuver right now, but I like the fact that she can’t do everything on here so easily just yet.  She’s got lots to discover on this one.  Which will hopefully provide hours of entertainment.  Ok, she’s 15 months old, I’ll take 20 minutes…

IMG_3173(check out the babe’s first haircut.  i think she looks very dorothy-hamill-esque.  poor thing.  sorry babe.)

 

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Geranium Dress… Christmas Style

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I meant to post about the Christmas Geranium Dress way back when (you know, at like Christmas time), but well, it just didn’t happen.  So, here goes…

It was time for Christmas photos thereby making it time for a new dress for the babe.  Which, of course, meant busting out the Geranium pattern again.  I love this pattern.

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The pattern:  Made by Rae’s Geranium Dress

The fabric:  Moda Essential Dots / White & Black

The modifications:  Adding a red sash to give it more of a “Christmas” flare

I really do love this pattern.  Its turning into my go-to baby dress.  Which makes me smile because I have a TON of ideas for fabu size 18 month dresses to make for the babe for the spring.  Which makes me curse our current sub-zero weather because I’m itching to get this kid in some more versions of the Geranium.  But not even I could subject the babe to a short sleeved dress in this weather.

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So, I’ll just keep putting her in this gem with her little grey sweater and wooly stockings til we get some kind of  spring thaw…

and my favorite shot…

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in love with posy

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its official.  i’m in love with aneela hoey’s posy collection.  i’d seen it online a few months ago and had been drooling over it ever since.  but i hadn’t pulled the trigger thereby successfully keeping my fabric diet intact.  until my oldest friend in the world announced she was expecting a baby girl and i needed to have it.  to make a quilt, of course.

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because if there’s one thing i love making, its baby quilts.  small, patchwork, all that pink…  just love it.  i think the beauty of baby quilts is that when you think you just might be tempted to get bored with the monotony of all those straight lines, you’re done before the tedium sets in.

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I just love these fabrics.  love love love.  as in, i just bought another charm pack.  because who knows when the next little baby girl will be arriving – thereby requiring yet another posy quilt.  because i could sew these suckers all day long.

And the finished project –>>

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Geranium Dress

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I finally got on the bandwagon and whipped up an adorable (if i do say so myself) Gernaium dress.  There’s a lot of hype online about this pattern and I now know why.  Its that awesome.  Truthfully, its very similar in construction and fit to the Oliver + S Bubble Dress (which I love!)  Cap sleeves, gathered skirt, lined bodice…  There are a few differences – the Bubble Dress has a fully lined skirt and an obvious bubble on the bottom of the skirt.  And while I did love the ease of the construction of the Gernaium dress, the finished project of the Oliver + S pattern does produce a slightly more refined and polished end result.  The construction of the back enclosure and the way the bodice is attached to the skirt produce a more professional looking finish, but honestly, the speed with which I was able to churn this sucker out trumps spending THAT much more time getting the more finished look.  I think its worth it.

The pattern:  Made by Rae’s Geranium Dress

IMG_1485its a little tough to actually see the dress in this photo, but it was just too darn chilly to subject the kiddo to the elements in a short sleeved dress.  Not that I didn’t try…

The fabric:  Wild World – Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics.  Westminster Fibers – Flower Child

The modifications:  I followed the pattern as written.  Although, next time I will use probablyactually’s suggestions and add flat piping to the dress.  Because it just looks so darn cute.  But also, it will eliminate the need to stitch-in-the-ditch when attaching the bodice to the skirt.  Because while it doesn’t look awful, I’m just really not digging the part of the pattern where you attached the bodice.

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The Verdict:  There will be more Geranium dresses in our future.  Without a doubt.  In fact, I already have the next version in the queue.  Its a random yard of Liberty quilting cotton I picked up at my last fabric store run – it just screams fall Geranium dress to me.  Paired with woolen stockings and a knit cardi perhaps?

IMG_1924and i think the birthday girls digs it… 

 

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Ice Cream Blouse

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I’m in like.  Not in love.  With my latest Oliver + S creation.  Which is tough to say because I do so love all things Oliver + S.  The fabric, the designs, the pattern constructions, etc.

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IMG_1114(see how Q likes to poke her baby doll’s eyes out – baby doll already has one lame eye.  sadly, Q likes to poke real babies’ eyes out too.  which can get a bit embarrassing during playgroup.) 

And I love so much about the Ice Cream Blouse that I sewed for Quincy.  All except for one tiny detail – the part of the design where the back yoke gets attached to the bodice at the center.  It just looks a bit unfinished as you can see a bit of an actual unfinished edge in the construction.  And normally, my confidence in Liesel and her designs is so strong that I’d label this a simple user error, but in checking online, I’ve noticed many others who have struggled with the same point in this pattern.  And its a bit disappointing.  Because the blouse is super cute and my love affair with Oliver + S will most certainly continue, but I’m not 100% loving this finished result.  But hey, life’s not perfect and nor are sewing patterns, so for the cutenss of this latest little gem, I’m going to have to just suck it up and accept a little imperfection.  Probably not a bad life lesson.

IMG_0513(see where the unfinished edge peeks out at the join in the middle of the back yoke?  grrr)

The pattern:  Oliver + S’s Ice Cream Social Dress (in View C – the blouse)

The fabric:  ummm, no clue.  apologies.

The modifications:  none, but if anyone has any tips for how to avoid that little snafu happening at the center back yoke, bring it!

IMG_1066(she digs it)

The verdict:  its an adorable little shirt that will hopefully fit the babe this coming winter and spring.  I’m thinking it will look adorable with a long sleeve t-shirt underneath paired with a skirt and leggings in winter, and with a pair of the chambray sailboat pants in spring.

Because these sailboat pants are our most worn garment this season.  Most worn – as in any garment, store bought or hand made.  And with a closet full of adorable Ralph Lauren hand-me-down dresses, that’s saying a lot.  We’ll pick a pair of wrinkly chambray pants over Ralph Lauren any day around here…

photo-109(hmmm, i guess they’re getting a bit snug on the babe.  time to whip up another pair for next season.  as if i needed another reason to dive into this pattern again.  love.)

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