I must have fully embraced the start of Spring this year because every project I've done since has been in fun vibrant Spring colors and flowers flowers everywhere! I can't get enough of this wonderful line of fabric by Melissa Averinos called Sugar Snap. It's her debut line, so check it out in person at Fiberologie (for you locals) or online at Free Spirit, and snatch it up so you can say "I've been addicted to her fabric since her very first line!". By the way, Melissa also has a great blog at www.yummygoods.com!
Okay, so my latest bit of handmade goodness for the baby to be (in Sugar Snap none the less)... a play mat! I’m cheating a bit and getting some help, but I can justify that easily enough. I’ve only made 1 quilt since I started sewing. It was an I Spy quilt I made for Elle’s 2nd birthday. I was very adamant about completing the quilt from start to finish all by myself despite the fact that it was a very ambitious undertaking for someone who had never quilted anything. So I did. I cut, embroidered, pieced, pinned, quilted, and bound the quilt all on my own. Been there, done that, I don’t ever need to do it again! I actually like doing the piecing, I don’t even mind making all the binding & pinning the layers together, but the stitch in the ditch quilting and sewing the binding on is just not for me… it takes way too long!
Enter my good friend and partner in crafting crime, Ann. Ann makes all the lovely quilts for Elle Belle, has a ton of quilting experience, and does an amazing job at it! All of about 3 minutes after I finished piecing this play mat, from Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little One’s book, I had an email out to Ann begging her to quilt and bind it for me… I even bribed her with making and sending the perfectly pressed binding along with the top, batting, and backing. Being the sweet quilting genius she is, she agreed! Yea me!
It went so quickly, I didn’t think to take pictures of the full work in progress. But, I had to give you a sneak peak of the top I’m sending off to Ann just as soon as I get time to sit in front of an episode of Martha Stewart to cut and press binding.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Posted by Stacey - Elle Belle at 11:18 AM
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
If you’ve stopped by the Elle Belle shop recently you may have noticed that it’s kind of slim pickings. I needed a little break after how insanely busy I was during the Christmas rush. My excuse after I had recovered from the rush, was how exhausted I was during my first trimester, and now it’s that I’m having too much fun with all these projects for the new baby. For the first time since I started sewing, I’m doing more for us than for customers and have been really truly enjoying experimenting and taking on new creative endeavors. However, despite the hiatus of sorts I’ve been on recently, I do really love Elle Belle as well and I especially like being part of the Etsy/crafting community. So, I think I’ve come up with a plan to marry these too things that bring so much fun to my life.
For Elle Belle, I’m going to be focusing primarily on slings. I have quite a few new prints to list in the coming months, and am knocking around some new design ideas to add into the mix. In the past, I’ve often considered adding accessories to the slings. There are several people/companies who make slings and include a pocket in the tail so that you can carry a wallet, diapers, etc. with you. I can see the convenience in just having one thing to grab that serves double duty, but I prefer to wear my slings with the tail tucked under the baby instead of hanging down, so having a zipper and/or stuff in the tail wouldn’t really work in that application. Also, if you do wear the tail hanging down (as is the case with the slings that have embroidery on them) having too much stuff in the pocket seems like it would bang around and be sort of cumbersome. So, I’ve decided to instead offer zip pouches that you can clip to your sling. I made this prototype to match a sling I made for myself and the new baby. It’s the size of a standard wristlet so that you can keep credit cards, cash, and a cell phone on hand. I always threw a zip pouch of my own items into my diaper bag so that it was easy to find amongst the sea of diapers, wipes, toys etc. and now I’ll have a super cute one that matches my sling and that I can clip right on.
I’m excited about offering these in the Elle Belle shop soon! I’m still working out a few ideas I have about how to offer them and specific designs though, it may still be a couple weeks before the first ones actually get posted… so stay tuned!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
On Valentine's Day, I posted here about the team I'm a part of, Florida Etsy Street Team (FEST), and the handmade Valentine's cards we gave to the children who spent Valentine's Day at All Children's Hospital. I just got this letter in the mail from them and thought I'd share:
Dear Ms. Whittington & the members of the Florida Etsy Street Team,
On behalf of All Children's Hospital Foundation, thank you for the Valentines.
Your thoughtfulness towards the children we care for is especially meaningful and greatly appreciated. Every gift counts when it comes to the care and well being of a hospitalized child. The generosity and kindness of friends like you helps to bring smiles to our young patients... easing the anxiety they face with being away from home. The families of our young patients are also grateful for the wonderful outpouring of love and unselfishness that our community shares with All Children's Hospital.
Thanks again for your generosity and for thinking of All Children's Hospital.
Director, Telethon/Annual Giving
Friday, March 20, 2009
I’m not proud of it, so I’ll blame postpartum hormones, for a little melt down I had in the days after Elle was born.
We knew we were having a girl and had a closet and dresser full of adorable, mostly pink, outfits waiting for her to wear. During the “nesting” stage of my pregnancy, I washed and ironed every bit of clothing before hanging it on matching hangers in her closet and taking a picture for her scrapbook. I brought tights and booties for her to wear with a little knit dress home from the hospital. She was never seen without a bow in her hair or in her pajamas. Every morning, even in the first week, we would get up, I’d change her diaper, and put the next pretty little something on her that I couldn’t wait to see her in. The melt down occurred about 3 outfits into her closet. I put her in a little shirt and skirt set and yet again, for the 3rd time in a row, the sleeves were too long and she was swimming in the outfit. I hadn’t bought any Newborn clothes because they all said “up to 8lbs” and I was pretty sure she would be at least 8lbs when she arrived (my side of the family has big babies), but even though she was 8lbs 4 oz, the 0-3 month clothes were still too big for her. My Doug walked into the nursery and saw me crying over her as I rolled her little sleeves up and I had to confess that I was just so upset that she didn’t fit into any of the sweet clothes I was excited to see her wear… the poor thing had entered this world without a stitch of clothing that was just the right size for her.
This time I’m prepared! I have the absolute cutest little eyelet bubble suit picked out for her to wear home from the hospital (I’ll post a picture after I actually buy it… it’s online and they only have 2 left, so I can’t post it until I’ve sold a sling and can justify spending the money for it) and I bought two onesies that I’m modifying too. All in size… you guessed it… Newborn! I’m completely fine with the fact that she’ll probably only get to wear these outfits 1 or 2 times. It will be worth it to see her tiny little body in all its infant cuteness, and we’ll save those itty bitty outfits to remind us of just how little she was when we have a 6 and 3 year old that seem like little adults.
So here’s the first of the modified onesies. It was a really simple project, just make a sack with ribbon casing at the bottom, cut the bottom half of the onesie off, sew it to the sack, and iron on a little appliqué. Melt down averted!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Check out this blog giveaway to win an ipod shuffle http://blog.alice.com/2009/03/16/spring-cleaning-giveaway-ipod-shuffle/
Contest ends tomorrow, the 19th!
Monday, March 16, 2009
The first of the projects for Baby Girl Whittington, the Amy Butler Kimono set from her Little Stitches for Little Ones book. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! I had lots of fun making it, it wasn't super hard (the instructions weren't terribly clear when it came to binding the edge of the top, but I did what made sense to me and re-read the instructions and I'm pretty sure I did it the way Amy intended), and seriously could it be any cuter?! I can't wait for chubby arms and tiny feet to be poking out of it :)
Friday, March 13, 2009
I recently worked on a fun embroidery project for my Dad and thought I’d share.
My Dad was on the football team in high school and was really active in school, so he was pretty bummed when they changed the name and mascot of the high school not long after he graduated. His letterman jacket was the last piece of “memorabilia” from his high school days, and he wore it until he jumped out of a box truck one day at work and irreparably ripped it.
Last year for Fathers Day I thought I’d try to find an embroidery design of something similar to his high school mascot and embroider it on a sweatshirt for him. I should have guessed that there really isn’t such a thing as a “Kay Hawk” or anything even close to it. So, plan B was to find this mythical Kay Hawk online somewhere and have it digitized. Uh, yeah, apparently a Kay Hawk/cartoony hawk isn’t a popular mascot for any school and no one maintains a website for his old high school. So, plan C
was to let my Dad in on the surprise and see if he could find a picture of the Kay Hawk one of his old year books or something. He found an old football program, scanned it into his computer, and turned it into a file. I sent it into my digitizer extraordinaire, Angie of AK Designs, and I added the name of his school.
The Kay Hawk lives on!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Everyone loves FREE stuff... especially FREE Elle Belle stuff right?! Check out the Florida Etsy Street Team (FEST) blog www.etsyfest.com to win the Elle Belle giveaway and 4 other fabulous FEST artist's giveaways. Run along, you only have until March 15th!
Friday, March 6, 2009
I heart Etsy sellers! It's such a happy little community of creators :) Case in point, the LivvySue Etsy shop. When she found out I had featured one of her items in my blog post below (the adorable kimono top) she asked if she could offer a discount to my blog readers... uh... yes please!
So, go shopping at the LivvySue shop and get 10% off your total purchase and free shipping to the US and Canada for orders over $20. Just enter eb10 in the comments to seller when you check out and wait for an adjusted invoice.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
We just had an ultrasound a few days ago and I'm so super excited that I'll get to have two little cutie pies in tow! I'm also super excited that I'm fully immersed in all that is Etsy this time around (I wasn't introduced to Etsy until Elle was a year old). I already have visions of handmade ruffle butts, felted booties, and quilted play mats dancing in my head and on my Etsy favorites. Check out my most favorite baby girl goodness on Etsy:
Monday, March 2, 2009
Elle was invited to her good friend, Maya's, Princess birthday party. The girls were supposed to dress in a Princess dress, so Elle and I designed hers. Elle picked the color of tulle she wanted, the ribbon, and the flower. Putting it all together was super easy (it's no sew!)here's how:
1. I used 125 yards of 6" wide tulle. You can find the tulle on spools in the wedding section of Jo-Anns. Elle picked purple and pink and I added some ivory.
2. Cut the strips of tulle 2 times the length of the dress plus an inch and a half. So if your Princess is 26" from underarm to ankle, you would cut the strips of tulle 80 1/2 inches long.
3. Stretch a piece of 1 1/2 inch wide non-roll elastic around your little one across their chest and just under their arms. Cut the elastic and stitch it into a loop (if you're sewing challenged you can even staple it closed instead).
4. I found it easiest to tie the tulle on when the elastic was stretched around something that was the right diameter... I used the back of a chair, but you could try a lamp shade or a garbage can maybe?? Stack two strips of tulle on top of one another. Fold the strips in half and place the folded part of the tulle under the elastic. Pull the ends of the strip up, in front of the elastic, and through the loop created by the fold. Pull tight.
5. Repeat a bajillion times until you can't see anymore elastic.
6. Unroll a bit of satin ribbon from the spool (don't cut it). Wind the ribbon around the elastic and between each of the tied strips of tulle. Cut it when you've made it all the way around the tutu and tuck the starting and ending bits into the ribbon.
7. Cut a length of ribbon, fold it in half and tie it around the elastic in the center front of the tutu to create the halter tie.
8. Cut a length of wider ribbon for the belt.
9. Snip the stem off a silk flower, drill a hole in the plastic cup that holds the petals and thread the belt ribbon through the flower.
10. I also found some crystals with adhesive backing. I placed them randomly throughout the tutu by sticking one crystal to the front side of a piece of tulle and placing another crystal on the back side of the tulle in the same spot, creating a crystal-tulle-crystal sandwich.
There you have it... go make the little girl in your life the happiest Princess ever!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I'm not much of a talker... well let me rephrase that... I'm not much of a talker to strangers. You won't find me chatting up the checker at the grocery store or having a heart to heart at the water cooler, but I'll talk as long as anyone will listen about my latest creative endeavor or Etsy. I may find myself with less time to day dream in line at the grocery store, more friends at work, and maybe even more sales in my Etsy shop if I kept one of Donna Pool's I <3 Etsy buttons on hand.
Browse around Donna Pool's shop for super fun buttons and some great little vintage finds too!