Sunday, November 15, 2009

yummy bird aprons

More Aprons! These are both made from Tina Givens' Fairy Tip Toes collection. I made the bias tape with my new bias tape maker. It saves a little time. Both patterns are from "A is for Apron".

In other news, Pittsburgh has a new fabric shop called Loom! I only got to peek in for a minute last week, but I will plan a field trip soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

new life live

So, I was cleaning out my closet and attempting to organize my shoes. I came across these blue Miz Moos from a few years ago. I love these shoes, but they are shot. Too shot to even donate. I was about to throw them away, and then..

TAA DAA! I glued some fabric on the toe. Who Knew? They don't look perfect, but I can wear them in public now. I wonder how long the cotton and glue will hold up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So sorry it's been awhile! I have been working like a normal person, and man, am I tired! I love my job, of course. I mean I get to touch beautiful dresses that I am so excited about. Take a look at fall! So beautiful! I adore Giddy-Up. It looks amazing on everyone. But, enough about Kelly, this blog is about me, Amy J, so...

Here is my lovely birthday present from my dear friend, Joey! Thank you! The tags are perfect!On a recent excursion to my mother's house, I found this treasure! It was one of my favorite toys as a child. It scares the b'jesus out of Esmé. I have seen a lot of flip-dolls on blogs, but not turn-around-and-lift-up-the- skirt-to- reveal-a-big-bad-wolf-doll. The other side of the wolf is a granny, but I prefer the wolf.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

it is fall

Why hello there! Esmé has finally began preschool and I have been working (the kind that I get paid for) a lot more, so sewing has taken a back seat. I do, however, want to start knitting again. So portable! I did finish the scarf or my mom and will post photos soon. Anyways, I thought that these photos were sweet. Esmé insisted on having her first day of school pictures taken while she was in her car.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

hot mess!

Ok, the main reason for this post is to get those hideous aprons off the top of my blog! I mean, I love the aprons, but those photos are terrible. Something was off with my camera because I was messing with the auto focus, but now all is well. And, here are some well-taken photos of knitting! "What?" you may ask, "You still knit?"
"Oh, sure. In fact, I am making this lovely multi-directional scarf for my dear sweet mother" I answer.
"Still? Wow, Amy, you've really lost it. You used to be such a fast knitter. I had assumed that you completed that project weeks ago!"
"Ha! It was all going along well until my sister's evil cat, Isabella Rodriguez, attacked the delicate two- stranded yarn. Now this is what my progress is after several hours of de-tangling:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

aprons, aprons, aprons!

So, on my quest for making the perfect apron, which will happen some day, but until then I hope to enjoy the aprons that I meet along the way, I took this gem out of the library. I highly recommend this! However, my only beef is that the actual patterns need to be enlarged with a copier and then assembled with scotch tape! That's fine for a waist apron which is merely a gathered rectangle, but the full body bib aprons? Oh well, I guess that it made the book more affordable. Anyway, I made this little number:

It's called "Mango Tango" by Joan Hand Stroh. She has a ton on her etsy site. The hard part was translating the pattern from a page in a book to human scale. Luckily, some measurements were included. It only used one yard of fabric with enough leftover for pockets! But, I spent my $ on nine yards of bias tape for the trim.

And, of course, we can't forget Esmé! So, here is the one I made for her:

I pretty much made up the pattern and used stash fabric, but it's not very complicated. She loves blue, pink and owls, so they are all here in this basic apron. For the owl appliqué, I cut out the pieces and then ironed on some interfacing then used a zigzag stitch.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still gay for totes

This was my first attempt at quilting in a long time. I decided to start small and simple. This one is for my mom since she always bugs me about quilting. It's a nice way to use small amounts of great fabric. Unfortunately, quilting always involves pre-planning, and that is not one of my strengths to say the least.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

finally, shower pics

Ok, I am sure that most of you know by now that Nannie's baby came early, but all are relatively well. Here are some photos of the shower.

Assistant unwrapper
Displaying the attributes os her new bag to the shower attendees.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pre-Father's Day and a scary baby

Esmé giving her dad a sweet kiss after dinner. Happy father's day, Greg! 
Dining al fresco! Esmé is sporting a pillow case dress made from some leftover Amy Butler fabric. She even eats pasta with style.

Hmmmm... I found this young lady in quite a predicament on my buffet. I asked Esmé what her baby was doing and she told me that the baby was "just sleeping in her bed". That's funny because I thought that she looked like she was in a coffin. It's kinda an ongoing struggle that we have. Esmé has this inborn instinct to place her babies in boxes. I think it's morbid. And, see that's me.

P.S. The next day, Esmé lost that baby on a walk. Omen, anyone?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

it's finished!


Side view

Here is an inside view. I am pleased with the outcome! The inside was challenging, but it worked!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I forgot to give props to Ruth. That's her blog, but visit her Etsy store.  She is my fabric source as well as a lovely individual.

aprons and their strings

So, I am always on the lookout for the perfect apron pattern. My Aunt Elma gave me this one, and I tried to tweak it. I don't know why I always have problems making full-sized aprons. I will continue to look for patterns and experiment with said patterns.

I decided to try again for a friend's birthday present using Anna Marie Horner's Good Folk's fabric. It's simply beautiful.

I am pleased with the results. I played with the skirt a bit by adding a curved waistline and hem. I love it! I want to make a full  skirt for myself with this fabric. The top, as usual, gaps. But, tied loosely, the top it hangs ok.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

progress on mom's tool kit

The exterior and lining fabrics together. I prefer the interior, but feel that I made the right decision.
Here are all of the exterior pieces with the required interfacings and fusible fleece.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

no, not really Mother's Gay, but you get the idea

Here are the promised photos of the matching dresses. Mine is the Anna Tunic from Amy Butler. I love how the button panel turned out. The buttons came from Walmart! Although I try not to frequent this establishment, they were 50 cents! Can't beat that with a pig, no?

Esmé's is a simple pillow case dress. It has one nice sized pocket on the right side from collecting rocks, sticks and such. She prefers we wear our dresses together. Me? No, not so much.

This is a pilot hat that I made for my friend's new baby girl! I based the pattern on Hanna Andersson's pilot hat. Esmé wore them indoor and out for the first year of her life.

There are two hats. The lining is a soy/ organic cotton/ spandex knit, and the mushroom print is woven from Alexander Henry's Tilbrook collection. The ties are just bias tape. 
I hope to make one for my sister's little girl (yea!!!)!

I will soon report the progress on the diaper bag. It's quite a beast!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

a pretty life

So, I have been reading Soule Mama's
book, "The Creative Family", and it has sparked much discussion among my friends. After beginning the book, I have come to realize how much thought and effort she puts into the work she does with her family. But, is it for real or just a couple of pretty pictures and nice captions? For example, look at the photo on the right. Esmé is wearing a dress that I made for her and holding a beautiful flower, right? Actually, she was very sick that day and was unable to attend school. Her face is not in the photo because it was plastered with snot. And, I told her very specifically not to pick that flower, but she did regardless. However, none of these details appear in the photo. 

In fact, I could have described it by using whimsical language such as: Here is Esmé strolling through the garden in Amy Butler's Easy Empire dress. The sun was just begging us to pick flowers that afternoon. Instead, I choose not to do that. My point is, my life's not that pretty, but with the right lighting and a good camera it can look that way for one/120 of a second.

So, what do you think? About Soule Mama,  pretty pictures, mother guilt and blogs? I would like to expand this discussion further in another post as well  once I get some feedback.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mama's Got (or will soon get) a Brand New Bag

My sister, Nannie, is expecting her first child this September. So, I wanted to make something special. A boutique-y diaper bag, perhaps? And, of course, she wanted some say in the design and colors. We finally agreed on this Amy Butler number from her book, "Little Stitches"

I got the fabric and facing the other day, and am going start the project today (provided that I can). I will post my progress.

I have but one concern after buying all the materials prior to reading the instructions. How does the bag close? If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Almost All Better

This is the café curtain I made for Esmé's room.

Here is a close up of the delicious fabric.

Well-worn and well-loved living room pillows.

The back of my dining room curtains.

The full view of the dining room curtains.

Fabric boxes for the living room. Inside is Esmé's stuff, but looks more sophisticated with adult fabric, no? Maybe tomorrow I will find a copy of The Stranger and a pack of Benson and Hedges in the red flower one. It's her favorite.

So, I have not not been up to much except being ill. Fortunately, I have many photos of past projects to share. This one has a theme: Around the House. Enjoy! And, leave with the knowledge that I will be posting photos of the MATCHING dresses that I made for me and Esmé. The original plan was to post them on Mother's Day and entitle the post 
"Mother's Gay?" 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Long Time Ago

Just so no one is confused, this is a current picture of Esmé. I wanted to clarify prior to showing baby pictures of her. Also, this blog is not about her, but the things that I make (for her).

Here is a close up o the sweater. I am not crazy of the flash in the photo, but I like the detail and stitch definition. The nice thing about making items for babies is that they are small, so it's not a big headache to use US size 2 needles for a sweater. Intarsia looks so much better with small needles.
A little girl wore a sweater made by her mom. I couldn't wait to put Esmé in this outfit. I even planned the socks. I didn't make the socks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Where The Magic Happens

This is where I keep my stash o' fabrics, patterns, threads and the like. I am trying to become more organized as I produce more projects and obtain more supplies. I made the fabric (letterbox) box from fabric given to me from my friend Kelly and a pattern from my friend Joey. I would like to make more for my organizational needs.

This here is my sewing area. A desk, a defunct (maybe sometime to be fixed computer), and my machine.

Getting Started!

OK, so I have been saying for years now that I have to start a knitting blog or whatever craft that I happen to be consumed with at the time (currently, it's sewing). Here it is, kids. The two projects here are old. I mean old old. Pre-Esmé. In fact, the sweater was for Esmé. Like I said, I have lost time to make up for. Unfortunately, I stopped taking pictures of my work. But not to fret, pets! I began again. I would like to give a shout out to my girl, Val for kicking my ass and helping me get started. YEA!