Tag Archives: sewing


Day 104/365: Apr 14, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Finding things on my “hopeful” list at the store.
  • A ridiculously helpful and sweet taxi uncle.
  • My first sewing adventure in our new home.

An evening of sewing + supportive hubby = successful project.


Day 67/365: Mar 8, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Blueberry pancakes (made by my better half) to start the day.
  • Silly smiles despite the crusty snot dried on the toddler’s nose.
  • Finishing my first project using knit fabric, happy with the results.

Yay – another nursing friendly top to add to my collection.


Day 32/365: Feb 1, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Finished projects.
  • Fun fabric prints.
  • Nieces & nephews as good excuses for the first two bullet points.

(Will share more pictures of this project in the next few weeks…)

Old Jeans Become Birthday Gifts

It always drives me crazy trying to think of ways to make Andrew’s birthday, January 9, special after Christmas just passed. So far, my experience on December 26 (or soon thereafter), is, “I’m glad he liked his Christmas gift. Oh no! What am I going to do for his birthday.”

This year was no different. Less than a week to go till his birthday and I was coming up dry with fruitful ideas.

So I did what I should’ve done. I prayed about it. I know it seems silly for something so small, but I asked the Lord to give me inspiration for a gift for Andrew or something to make his day special. Then I thought of it:

A pair of old jeans

On first inspection this looks like one of Andrew’s old jeans. (One that doesn’t fit him now.) But that is only what it used to be. Now it really is:

A laptop sleeve, complete with pockets for all sorts of electronic knick knacks.

That’s right, I refashioned his old jeans into a sleeve for his laptop. I lined it with some blue fabric that I had in my stash. And then I took my embroidery thread that I rarely use and did a fun blanket stitch around the edge.

Blanket stitch

(The blanket stitch was inspired from this laptop sleeve tutorial by Sweet Verbena. Thank you Pinterest. I also found a picture of a jean-made laptop sleeve, but no workable source or tutorial.)

And when the new laptop sleeve isn’t in use, it rolls up nicely.

Rolled up jean laptop sleeve.

After I was done with the laptop sleeve, I was left with plenty of jean material and a little inspiration.

Jean/denim scraps (note the frayed edge, good thing he didn’t need or fit them!)

I went searching Pinterest (again!) for ideas for kindle covers and cases. I came up with two promising candidates:

Harmless Color: Blue Jean Kindle Cover Tutorial & Mommy by Day Crafter by Night – Kindle case and tutorial. Of course, I had my own measurements and ideas that I wanted to integrate into the final product, but fellow bloggers’ tutorial are always a great starting point!

Research, another crafting-filled-nap-time, and voila:

The laptop sleeve had a matching friend.

I suppose the re-used belt-loop gives a clue to where the material came from, but otherwise I think it’s pretty styl’n.

Masculine too.

Now, the kindle has a nice comfy new home.

Custom fit jeans 😉

And as a bonus, the new kindle friend fits in the laptop sleeve back pocket.

Well, it sort of fits…

In any case, I am thrilled to have found a way to put this pair of jeans to work without looking baggy on my handsomely fit hubby!

Laptop sleeve and Kindle cover = success.

And as best as I can tell I think he liked the gifts.

Gripping his old jeans in a new way 🙂

Happy Birthday Andrew! I’m so thrilled to be celebrating another birthday of yours! Looking forward to another year with you.

Gifts for Gideon

Gideon is a smart little cookie. That being said, I don’t think he has quite figured out that birthdays are associated with gifts. Nor has he developed a materialistic longing for birthday gifts. Thank goodness. However, I thought it would be a good idea to catalogue a few of the gifts I made for him for the special occasion of turning one.

Hoodie Towel

The first gift I made, I confess, I let him use a few weeks before his birthday.

I have made several a hoodie towel. In fact it has become my semi-tradition to make new towels for new babies (ie: nieces and nephews) that come into the family, and I have also made some for a few friends’ babies. But I hadn’t made one for my own son. Part of that is that he had two baby hoodie towels. I really didn’t think he needed a third! But as he already grew out of one quite a while ago and the remaining one was getting harder to wrap him up in, I decided it was time to make him a big-boy hoodie towel.

I perused countless descriptions, tutorials, and blogs that touted all various different styles of hoodie towels. I picked out what features I wanted and set to work making a hoodie towel that Gideon would be able to use for years to come.


Too excited to stay still for a non-blurry photo

Too excited to stay still for a non-blurry photo

The new addition to the towel that I hadn’t done before was to add hand-pockets to the upper corners.

Less blurry and more cooperative, but not as cute as the 1yr old

Less blurry and more cooperative, but not as cute as the 1yr old

Gideon is too young to use them, but they work great for me to use to for my own hands as I dry him off! The towel wins as the most used of his three homemade gifts from me.


His next gift was a not entirely handmade, but rather a modification of a pre-existing item. I took a blank white onesie and set about embelishing it with the word “one” for a outfit for him to wear on his birthday.

One one year old wearing one one-sie

One one-year-old wearing one one-sie

I like how it turned out. However, there are some things I’ll change next time I attempt this style appliqué: especially on knit fabric, I will use interfacing on the main fabric as well as use interfacing to iron/stick the applique to the main material before I stitch around it. That would’ve helped the fabric not pucker as much. Lessons learned or not, he’s gotten a lot of wear out of the modified “one-sie” besides on his birthday.


I had eyed this adorable little tie tutorial a while back. Although Gideon hardly dresses up, I thought a little cotton tie would make his polo rompers slightly more snazzy for church. (Not that he cares.)

The tutorial was really straightforward to use (though I made minor modifications to a few of the pattern/size descriptions). And after a few nap times (filled with other household chores beyond just sewing!) I had a completed little tie fitted with velcro in the back of the tie for easy on/off access – key for dressing a toddler.

His first day wearing the tie he got lots of compliments at church.

His first day wearing the tie he got lots of compliments at church.

The first outfit he wore it with, someone remarked that he reminded them of Fred Flintstone. Although the effect was completely unintentional (and I hadn’t thought of it till they mentioned it)… I had to agree.


Gideon’s look-a-like character.

In order to rectify the issue, I had him wear it with a different polo romper the next time he donned his special tie.

Wearing it with a different outfit.

Wearing it with a different outfit.

This time there were no issues of looking like a bygone era, cartoon character! Phew!

I’m happy with how the tie turned out. And even happier that Gideon doesn’t dislike it 🙂

Peek-a-boo Curtain

When we moved to our current apartment our plan had been to give Gideon the “guest room.” As we sorted through furniture and rooms we realized that what had been a study room would work well as a small nursery for the little guy. The downside was that the room had a window that opened up into the dining room area. That would not be conducive to a darker room for Gideon falling asleep. Our temporary fix was to jerry-rig a curtain by tacking a blanket in the cracks of the window. Eventually we upgraded to a blanket on a tension rod.

The pseudo-curtain

The pseudo-curtain

Finally, the majority of boxes were unpacked, and I could start to work on sewing. I went to the local fabric shop and asked about blackout fabric. I was pleased to discover that they did carry it. My pleasure was quickly diminished when I asked how much it was. The gentleman informed me that it was $28/meter! I wanted new curtains in Gideon’s room, but my little guy wasn’t going to care enough about the curtains in his room for me to spend that much money!

Instead I went to IKEA and picked out a fun but simple black and white pattern for his curtains. I bought some cheaper black fabric for the back.

Curtains BandW

Despite the curtains being a simple project, it took quite a few “nap times” for me to take the time to measure, cut, pin, and sew the fabric.

Cutting + pinning > tedious than "sewing"

Cutting + pinning > tedious than “sewing”

Eventually, all the aforementioned tasks were complete and I was ready to hang up the curtain.


Hurray - No more blankets!

Hurray – No more blankets!

It took Gideon a few weeks to express his pleasure in the curtains, but he finally found a way to let me know how much he likes them.

He does it by playing peek-a-boo standing at the end of his crib and lifting the curtain to say high to whomever is in the dining room. The first time he did it, I heard my sister start laughing in the dining room calling me over. The histerical laughter that he received every time his smile peeked out from the other side probably reinforced the behavior. But we couldn’t help ourselves – it was quite comical!

The first time he discovered he could peek out

The first time he discovered he could peek out

I scooted his crib as far as it could go away from the window (about 10 inches) and that seemed to hold his cute but naughty behavior at bay for a little while.

This morning though Andrew and I were getting some things done as we were waiting for Gideon to finish his nap. We were waiting to hear something before getting him up so we could head to the pool.

Well, little did we realize that the little rascal was already up. Andrew looked up from his computer to discover that his son was spying on him from his room. The cheeky little man would put the curtain back, then lift it back up and grin at his parents.

Tongue out and all...

Tongue out and all…

I’m probably naive in expressing this desire, but I hope he only does this behavior only when he’s ready to get up from nap. Or else this mommy is going to have to get creative as to how to keep him from curiously peeking out from under the curtain!