I’ve sewn sewn sewn away but haven’t given you all some pictures lately. Here are a few goodies:


A hoodie with secrets! The idea here is your iPod (or whatever) is snug in a secret inner pocket. It stays out of the elements and the cord snakes up through the neckline, where it is secured by little earbud holders! Observe:

Earbud Holders

This way the headphones won’t get caught or pull on anything. Also the little safety-pin deconstructed sleeves, which Phoenix loves – and a secret sleeve pocket. The entire garment is lined, no seams felt on the inside.


Not-So-Scary Red Monstre

Not-So-Scary Red Monstre
Commissioned for an expectant couple down in L.A. Outer shell is wool, inner shell super super soft Michael Miller cotton knit. YES HORNS TOO. & mittens. Tiny, wonderful-to-knit, mittens.

Brown Bear!

Brown Bear
A relatively conservative design all my own. Reminiscent of a very early bunting I made Nels so long ago.

it’s better than bad, it’s good!

So today I’m wiggling my ass because I’m pretty proud of a coupla things I sewed the kids recently (both made with the perfect amount growing room):


Like the artfully disinterested poses? Yeah, me too.

The dress (made up using a vintage McCalls pattern) featured my first thread-drawn applique. I am pretty pleased. You’d probably be surprised how quickly it came together for me, from sketching to completion. But then, I’ve put in many years of general technique which came in handy. I didn’t even look for a tutorial, I just figured shit out. Turns out shit came together pretty good considering it was my first try!

Bleeding Heart Motif Closeup 1

(Seriously – I’m so excited about this and look forward to trying some more soon!)

OK, as for Nels. Simple longsleeved t-shirt, right? Kinda but – the fabric I found for this is quite lovely – an organic hemp/cotton blend sweater knit. My son commented on how much he liked its look and softness right away. The only thing more fun than sewing up something that feels good and comes together nicely is to have one’s client really like it.

So here’s Nels. With a large sheet of bark he scavenged from the old LaVogue’s room that we weren’t technically supposed to be in (don’t ask). Looking all sad. But I swear he wasn’t! He had his sheet of bark! He was solid gold!

Log From Blammo!

Nels’ shirt – Homesewn listing; Flickr tagset

Phoenix’s Bleeding Heart Dress – Homesewn listing; Flickr tagset

The Flickr tagsets generally include more construction detail, should you be interested in such things.

And finally – here’s something I feel good about. After I finished the dress I asked Phoenix if she’d rather have the garment, or have  me list it for sale to go toward paying off our layaway on the rather choice bike we have reserved for her and partially paid. Now I know she wants that bike –

but I guess she wanted the dress more.

She’s been wearing it ever since.


(diamonds at the ill-used railroad tracks:)


Blue Goth

My children are not too particular nor focussed on fashion; perhaps having a mother who could literally sew them anything they wanted (because I really could!) grants them a luxury of some kind. More likely, at their young ages and not surrounded by commercialism and materialism as much as others, it’s just not their interest. They have preferences and garments they particularly like, but neither kid could ever be described as particular or fastidious dressers.

That said, Phoenix cites a few colors and a few styles as ones she likes – and I still remember pulling a frilly skirt off the sewing machine and realizing at that moment she wouldn’t care for the frippery (my son was down with it, however).  Favoring soft, pull on garments with simple pockets and clean lines, my daughter’s tastes are easy to consider.

Today’s hoodie dress had popped into my head a while back (thanks to reader Jenn for her suggestion of this lovely cotton velour).

Pensive At The Coffee Shop

OK, that’s the pensive/arty shot. Here’s some tried-and-true authentic Phoenix:

Piratey... & Lovely

The sleeves and hood were both lined fully; there are no seams to be felt therein. The double-knotted hood of the Farbenmix: Olivia pattern really works for me. I can’t just have a regular boring round hood – at all:

Double Knot!

The dress hem and sleeve hems left raw – an advantage of sewing with knits. The trickiest part about a garment like this is the layout and cutting – making sure the knits are perfectly on-grain (seamsters will note there are cross-grain stripes on the Michael Miller stripe and lengthwise grain stripe detail on the velour). Once I’d cut and marked, the dress went quite quickly.

Phoenix was very happy with her dress and played, read, ran, ate, and tended naughty chickens.


She only took the garment off briefly to wash the dishes (and she did a bang-up job of those).

Dishes, By Phoenix

Dishes, By Phoenix

Dishes, By Phoenix

All-in-all, a successful fashion adventure for the girl and I.


In other sewing knews: Patterns by Figgy’s announced their upcoming Sewing For Boys book; a project I’ve been busy helping test for (Nels will be featured in the lovely pictures therein). I haven’t been able to share any pictures of resultant garments and I’ve been agonizing to! Having some intimacy with this project and with the women helming it, I can say I’m very excited to be involved – and gladdened to see these ladies’ dreams coming to fruition. craftivism w00t!


I’ve sewn a few quickies since my last slightly-ambitious project. Including: two hats!
On The Sly

The green was entirely designed by myself; the blue, only slightly helped by a six-gore hat pattern. YES on the blue bunny I totally made those circular hand-stitched tucks, and the bunny ears, and HELLS YES do both kids love the results! (More construction detail if you’re clicking away and looking for it.)



Close-Up; Lined

My kids are all busy growing up and it kills me.


Proud Of Her Papa

(Shoutout to Ralph for the above-pictured Hoquiam tourist brochure, which he designed. It’s making its rounds out in the world today… here Phoenix is looking it over approvingly (and adorably, if I do say so!) at the new Tully’s)

springtime! early! damn your eyes!

I finished a little dress for Phoenix today; I worried she wouldn’t enjoy it because she’s been quite distasteful of anything “girlie” lately.

But, I was silly to worry. She said the dress is Beautiful! then: Cool! (both just like her). Verily I present thee SKELE-PHONE DRESS, made from a Norman Rockwell licensed phone print, and an Alexander Henry “Born to Ride” motif featuring skeletons and roses. The entire dress is lined in a black quilting muslin, making for a wonderful weight.


The pattern is a vintage Simplicity 4924 – way, way out of print (the original pattern cost was 60 cents) that I purchased from kalliedesigns on Etsy. Older patterns usually have only one size in the envelope which makes for a much more fun experience sewing (for me, anyway); I made her a size 10 and added a bit of length, for the perfect amount of growing room.

Ralph took our daughter out this morning and later told me with all the drabness seeing her in her bright dress was like a “beacon of hope”. She was instantly complimented when they hit the grocery store.

Ready For Action


Thrifted buttons, of course:

Vintage Buttons

In other news of sewing-awesomeness, I finished a lovely but strange item – the Miniature Giant Japanese Baby Bunting:

Soft, Soft, Sturdy

It’s made from a Japanese import fabric (cotton canvas) including motifs of – wait for it – skulls, the American flag, shamrocks, strawberries and flowers. OF COURSE.

The bunting is lined and underlined in fleece, making for a very sturdy piece. I experimented with some quilting too!

Back Seam

Zippers, buttons and snaps were all bought from thrift stores – vintage, frugal, FTW!

Vintage Button

You can see more details of each item at my Flickr tagsets: dress, bunting

what’s in your head, zombie

What’s that you say?

Bunting 002: All Hallows' Eve

“That is so fucking cute, Kelly-goddamned-Hogaboom!” Yeah. Well at least I think so. In fact the only thing I liked better that picturing this bunting from the very second I saw the fabric at Hart’s website was every detail of construction. Like underlining it with fusible wadding and appliqueing bright orange stars and then basting in the pumpkin-orange zipper and waxing thread to finish with handsewing while watching a soccer game:

On My Way

and of course the super-super soft and deep green fleece I lined the whole thing with.

So. Soft.

Oh right, forgot to mention – I thought I’d make another one, a bit less sweet and a bit more gruesome:

Bunting 001: Zombi (Looming)

My sewing room and I are like a couple honeymooners. I can’t wait to get back there and mess around. OK, ew. So what I really mean is, I’m having such a wonderful time making exactly what I want. And you know what I want? More babies, out and about, everywhere. These buntings are so warm they can be out all night trick or treating. Until they fall asleep while nursing in the sling.

I’ve put these abovepictured items up for sale: All Hallows’ Eve and Zombi in my wee little boutique. I’ve already got my next projects – seasonal for the approaching cold weather – out on the slab.

Deeply, truly good times.

Hat Et Al


for bowling, or just in general being awesome

I continue to now and then write reviews for, or as I like to call it, “Thin mid-to-upper class white women who sew tailored dressy stuff get all the attention and no one gives a damn about my whimsy!“*  Today Nels is sporting the rather way-too-awesome Ready Set Robot shirt:


Zig-zag topstitching, which is a THING I ADORE:

Can't Get Enuf Zig Zag Topstitch

Nels can, & does, like to button:
Buttons Well With Others

OH SNAP did I line that front placket up perfectly? WHY YES

Rockin' The Center Front!

Tuff, but fair:


Best thing ever is that Nels loves the shirt. This is a good thing; he literally will not wear something I make if he doesn’t like it. Yay robots, red, and orange!

* For instance arguably one of the awesomest things ever sewn, my Narwhal baby bunting, only reaped one comment up in that site.  Seriously, people? GAH!

River Sun

little owl

Up this morning, just before breakfast

Up this morning, just before breakfast

I finished the knickers and cami set from Ottobre magazine (04/2004, designs #38 and #40). I have a touch-and-go relationship in sewing with knits. Mostly things have been rather successful – but a bicycle jersey I recently finished had popping at the hem seam – and I don’t know why).

I am also a novice at the serger, but in using it to finish the leg hems of these little knickers, it really made for a beautiful treatment:

Softly Softly

Softly Softly

The 100% cotton owl print is very, very light and soft, yet was relatively easy to work with – on the serger especially.

Beautiful Girl

Beautiful Girl

My daughter, of course, loves the set. What more could a seamstress ask for except that her customer is 100% satisfied?