Monthly Archives: October 2008

Saturday Hike

_Peter's leading the wayWalking with Daddyfirst encounter with mossElla and Peter at the Lake

Peter loves the lakeElla loves the lakeSomeone's making a tipi


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Inspiration on my bedside table


I just received my (signed) copy of Seams to Me, the new sewing book from Anna Maria Horner.  The projects are adorable, and I think I may actually make a few!!  I’ll definitely make the two clothing items, and I’m going to try her appliqué dishtowels (I love dishtowels!)….I may even try to quilt something….though that may be pushing things a little far.

I do love the book.  I actually couldn’t sleep last night, just thinking about the gorgeous pictures inside, and honestly, with that stack of Garden Party next to my bed, I was itching to sew.  Too bad Ella wasn’t going to let me get out of bed to sneak away and work on any projects.

Maybe soon.  In the meantime, a girl can dream.

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I’m featured in an etsy treasury!

Wow, what an honor. I’m just delighted!  Doesn’t Ella look sweet there, right on top in the middle?


This reminds me to get some more things listed!


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Felted Wool cut-out lace jacket

I was so inspired by the Ottobre version I made for Ella that I knew I wanted to try this technique out on one of my own patterns.  The jacket doesn’t fit Ella well, because it starts at size 92, and even graded down t an 86 it is too large.  It’s also intended to have a fully buttoned front, but I really liked the look of it with a single button closure.

When a friend of mine was looking for a very special gift for a friend’s little daughter, I jumped at the chance to make this style my own. 

I started with a nice basic shirt pattern for a little one (9-12 mos.) from a French book Everything for Baby that I like very much for baby clothes and accessories. I turned the opening around to the front.  I curved the front opening slightly and added a nice overlap at the collar, just big enough for a button.  Ella’s is a bit sloppy (not Ottobre’s fault!  Mine!  for doing suck a hack job trying to get a 2 year old into a jacket for more like a 3-4 year old!) and I made a celtic-knot inspired lace design for the sleeve detail.  I am quite happy with how it turned out.

Sleeve DetailLisa's jacket, awaiting buttonHere are the sleeves, up close

Forgive the picture quality – I was so excited to get these to my friend that I didn’t do a very good job of staging this jacket in a more appropriate setting.

I learned that I actually love to do handwork.  Trimming all those scallops and cut-outs was a real joy!

Ella is watching Muzzy.  She loves it.  I discovered that the Vocabulary Builder DVD has 5 choices of languages, so she’s listening to German right now.  J wants to learn German, since he works there so often, and despite my history teaching at Berlitz (German and French and ESL), I don’t know if I have it in my to teach my husband from scratch!


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Teatime Pinafore and Party Dress, Together at Last!

Finally, I have the two pieces manifested as they appeared in my head together and finished. The dress is just how I wanted it, from the wide, round collar to the curved hem, to the puff-cuff sleeves, and the pinafore makes Ella dance when she wears it.


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Trying to figure out where to go next

I have ideas bursting in my head and I need more practice translating them to paper!

I am pleased with the way my last two projects came out…fabric to paper to clothing.  I’m finding I need to take more time to document finishing steps as I go.  I’m learning a lot from a book I have recently devoured, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, not the least of which is “write it down!”  I learned more reading that book than I have in the past 10 years regarding business and sewing.

I know I’m not a stellar patternmaker, but I am trying to realize my designs as I dream them.  I also come up with changes and improvements each time I sew something new, so I’m working really, really hard on writing down my changes.

I have always marked my patterns clearly, but I’m going to really track the development of my designs more….sometimes being methodical in practice can open up new pathways to creativity.

Coming soon I’ll have a cape and a yoked, scalloped edged wool jacket based on this:



The pattern I used here was from Ottobre Designs Winter ’07 Magazine.

I had to make some changes to it already, but it’s not my design.  A size 92 is the smallest available so I tried grading down.  I still had to take a pretty large tuck in the back to make the collar fit Ella.  I used a single button from my Grandmother’s button stash. The original design has buttons down the front, but I really like the open look here. I also found the perfect button and didn’t have any others to coordinate.  Maybe I rationalized myself into the single button?

Then I simplified the scalloped edge in the pattern by using the pre-scalloped stitch on my machine and then trimming it away.  I didn’t trust my own sewing skills on freehanding larger scallops, even following a traced edge!  I love the technique I learned to cut out the lace, and I will definitely employ that one in my own design!  I also love the jewel neckline, but this could be fantastic with a bit of a collar too (and possibly more useful from Autumn to Winter as an actual Jacket and not just a sweater).

I made Ella’s Birthday “Party Dress” out of stretch corduroy and Anna Maria Horner’s Garden Party fabric in Polka Line.  I just happened to have tights that match perfectly that I picked up in Amsterdam last year on a bit of a legwear-purchasing-spree!  Here are pictures of Ella in her Party Dress and Teatime Pinafore…tomorrow I’ll try to get them together.

13 TeatimeandMeiTai 036

Those adorable fairies came from Aunt Stephanie and she got them here. I don’t know who loves them more…baby or mommy!?

Speaking of fairies…I did make Ella her requested fairy costume, but she refuses to wear it (yet)….maybe I should place it on Formella and entice her that way!  *sigh*  Here are the two layers of the underskirt.  The overskirt is a gorgeous flower print georgette, and I whipped up a little peasant top to go with it, since the whole thing did not go as planned.  Mostly because it wasn’t planned.

Ella 2nd Birthday 001

So, coming back to writing things down, planning projects on paper, and making conscious design changes….the fairy costume was one accident after another…if nothing else, I learned to make notes on my sketches.  Let’s hope that lesson learned translates into more productive time and even better design work!

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my baby is two

It seems like just yesterday that I made it through another 16.5 hour (plus) labor.

I cannot believe how quickly she has grown, and how magical her presence has been in our lives.  She’s surely the Family Spackle we expected she’d be.

Ella 2nd Birthday 011 Ella 2nd Birthday Brothers

Ella 2nd Birthday Bike Ella 2nd Birthday 002

I love this little one. I am in awe of her sense of humor, her love for her siblings, her imagination, her compassion and her creativity.


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