Getting ready for Halloween: little bumblebee

For the first Halloween ever, I’m planning to have a costume done more than a day/hour before the deadline! ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†Since everything takes longer now I actually began preparing already (and also so that I can post about the costume before the holiday.) ¬†So, I went out searching for the materials that I thought I’d need and had them in hand before the first of October!

The idea is to make a cute little bumblebee costume for Mini (and some rather half-assed matching bee attire for myself.) ¬†For this I figured I’d use: yellow and black tulle, yellow and black T-shirts, black or white tights, wire, headbands, pompoms, ribbon, black shoes, glittery fabric paint, and maybe some fake flowers. ¬†It wasn’t hard to find these things, even the tulle was available in more shades than I knew what to do with, on my first outing to local suppliers. ¬†I’m glad I didn’t have to go online or to the city.

Here are the materials:


I saw the reflective sticky vinyl sheet stuff and decided it would help make really cool wings.

I planned on using pretty brass and copper twisted wire to attach black pompoms to headbands, but another day I spotted the pre-made ones with sequins. ¬†I liked them very much, so now I don’t have to make any. ¬†The tulle is to make tutus. ¬†I envisioned having to carefully cut, pin, and make gathering stitches in multiple layers, but after a little research it seems everyone just cuts and then ties strips onto elastic or ribbon. ¬† The wings will be made of either the black or white pantyhose. ¬†Probably the white? ¬†I’m not certain about the fake flowers and hops, but I’d like to have them on hand to possibly add. ¬†The idea is to stay aways from a cartoonish kind of bee and go more in a fantasy woodland-sprite direction. ¬†That is the reason I ended up purchasing “gold” tulle and vinyl rather than a bold yellow and all the flowers.

I think it’ll be a fun project, but I cannot begin until next week. ¬†Or shouldn’t… ¬†My mother is coming to visit tomorrow and let me tackle big household projects, and I spent the last few days on those and sourcing materials. ¬†I’d hoped to complete insulting, finishing, and furnishing my husband’s office over the weekend, but materials wouldn’t arrive in time. ¬†Instead I have masonry repairs and a lot of organising. ¬†Just as well, because the front steps are a disaster and the garage a complete mess of things to donate or sell or put away properly.

Next week I’ll cut the t-shirts into a striped onesie and bolero. ¬†Hopefully I’ll finish stitching it quickly and can make tutus as well. ¬†The wings are the portion that I’m least certain of how to do or how long it’ll take. ¬†Then the rest is just finishing touches. ¬†I’ll write again soon!

Progress and plans

I just completed the last few centimetres of binding on the poppies bodysuit, and the appliqu√© stitching is all done too. ¬†Today I’ll be able to construct the bolero, and I’m still on target to complete the outfit for the last predicted nice weather which we’ll be having this weekend. ¬†The plan is to go to a pumpkin patch for photos.


Meanwhile, I’ve been considering Halloween costume ideas. ¬†I had nothing, but yesterday I was looking at the bees on a blanket that I made for Mini recently, and the idea of a little bumblebee suddenly seemed nice. ¬†I think it’ll be a great costume for a toddler. ¬†I’m starting to plan it in my head and figure it may involve black and yellow tulle, some kind of black pleather for a stinger, wire and pantyhose wings, yellow and black T-shirts A. Chanin-ed into a bodysuit, pom-poms on a headband, and black tights? ¬†Maybe a few fake flowers? ¬†We’ll see.

This is the blanket. ¬†It’s just one of those no-sew fleece things. ¬†I saw the fabric and gave in to the cuteness. ¬†:shrug:


I carefully cut the two layers and then fringe strips to tie.  It was really quick, and Mini likes it a lot.



That same day I also impulsively grabbed a yard of cheap (97-cent/yard) vinyl that looked cute to make a little rain coat. ¬†I’d been meaning to make a mini-cloak-coat, like mine, for her. ¬†I tackled that and made the pattern right away. ¬†The raincoat is all cut out, but I didn’t sew it up yet. ¬†After all, I doubt she’ll actually use it until spring. ¬†I’d like to make a wool version too, but I haven’t found a large enough thrift coat to cut up yet. ¬†I’m hoping for red, but maybe I’ll find some pretty shade of some other colour.

Time now to sew a little!


Autumn Alabama Chanin style bolero & bodysuit set for baby…

I have such a backlog of post topics! ¬†There are folders of photos ready for the text and plenty of text waiting for photos. ¬†Heh. ¬†I’m working on it. ¬†For example, I plan a bunch of cycling review/information posts, and we had a great test yesterday by biking from northern Westchester all the way to Manhattan! ¬†Today I’ll write about the project that has been occupying me for the last two months or longer. ¬†Now I’m nearing the end, finally, and part of the delay has been that I worked on completing basic bodysuits also so that Mini had more to wear. ¬†(Not to mention that I didn’t want her to outgrow what I’d cut out before I even sewed it all!)

Orange is not usually I colour I like at all, but I have been drawn to it lately and find it compliments Mini’s colouring. ¬†I decided to get several T-shirts in oranges and yellows to use for her wardrobe. ¬†While I did that and cut them up in the summer fall has now arrived, and the ensemble I’m working on seems perfect for the season. ¬†I made a stencil (quite quickly and roughly) of poppy seed pods, but our maple tree now shows me that a Japanese maple leaf motif would have been wonderful. ¬†One day I’ll take time to create stencils which seamlessly match together and work well for stitching, but in this case I could get away with a poorly thought out one for tiny pieces. ¬†I’d first thought about using stencils I already had, but I couldn’t put off the poppies for such lovely colours.




Now I have only a little stitching left on the final piece (sleeve) before I can construct the bolero. ¬†The matching plain lighter orange bodysuit is nearly complete with just a little binding left to sew. ¬†I’m hoping to use the set for photos this weekend.

Here are some shots to show the other onesies:


In Queue

Just a quick update…

I took some time lately to simply cut out a bunch of patterns to have queued and ready for sewing. ¬†This means I haven’t yet finished the lavender basic onesie, but once in a while I rather have a line-up to keep me focused instead of hit by too many next project ideas at once (especially the kind I cannot work on now.)

There are four wrap dresses: in Buddhist monk orange, dandelion yellow, wine red, and pale tan. ¬†This takes a lot of “yardage,” so I needed to shorten or narrow them depending on the t-shirt. ¬†They are the most versatile in size but cannot yet be worn, so I’ll work on them last. ¬†One is the older a-line dress with sleeves and was cut out months ago. ¬†That is meant to be a very embellished two-layer dress sized for later on, and it is of dark and lighter blue. ¬†There are two basic spaghetti strap onesies: pumpkin orange and grey-heathered wine red in a current size. ¬†I was able to fit an enlarged bolero in pumpkin too. ¬†I’d hoped to use it over the pale tan, but there wasn’t enough. ¬†I may find another suitable layer though. ¬†(I sadly messed up when placing and cutting a pixie hat from the remaining pale tan. ¬†Waaah!) ¬†Lastly are two dress-onesies: deep red and a sky blue.

I have a lot to sew now! ¬†It is funny to me that I have yellow and orange, because I have always disliked them strongly. ¬†Maybe not always, because I do appreciate them on certain other people, but I avoid them myself. ¬†Anyway, it’ll be fun to make these for Mini and see her being cute in them.


I have also selected photos for queued up blog posts that I’ll get to eventually. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†They vary in nature from gardening, sewing, nursery items, cooking, or home improvement. ¬†I’m working on it!

The lavender onesie:


Alabama Chanin baby bolero: completed

It’s entirely complete!


I’ll need to grade the pattern a bit larger now. ¬†It fits but rather snuggly. ¬†Gah. ¬†She grew a lot since I began!


That’s all. ¬†I just wanted to share better photos of it. ¬†The next few days are a tad busy for me without leaving much sewing time, but I hope to complete a few basic onesies soon before another bolero or anything else. ¬†I’m also really thinking about some dresses and outerwear for myself, but that’s not so realistic.

Nearly done! (Progress)

I’ve been so slow with this little Alabama Chanin style baby bolero. ¬†It was supposed to be a quick project, ha! ¬†In reality I only pick it up for a few minutes at a time every few days if I have a chance, so I shouldn’t be surprised that it took probably a month (like everything seems to.) ¬†Also, it has the time consuming reverse appliqu√©.

Soon (I hope) I’ll be done and have nice modelled photos, but for now here is a peek:


Baby bolero Alabama Chanin style

I’ve also cut out some simple onesies that truly are fast to stitch. ¬†For these the worst part is pinning on the binding and the decorative stitch for it. ¬†Even very small T-shirts can fit this pattern until Mini grows some more, so I was able to thrift a few very nice colours. ¬†I can carefully fit a bolero jacket too most times! ¬†(She grew overnight from 28,5″ long to 30″ so I am afraid I may be needing new patterns again.) ¬†With the appliqu√© and thickness of layers I found the bolero could use more width in the sleeves and perhaps to be lengthened too? ¬†The pattern is a few months old and this is the first time sewn, so perhaps she is just bigger too, but I had tried to plan ahead of that.

For this bolero, which was supposed to be oh so quick, I roughly drew a design to reverse appliqu√©. ¬†I’ve found a Sharpie works best for me most times and will not venture into fabric paints for a while. ¬†This pattern did not make an ideal stencil for such stitching and cutting, but I can work with it. ¬†I’ll improve it. ¬†For now it was haphazard, and I also free hand drew random circles to fill the voids a little. ¬† I tried to let loose and not plan ahead like normal. ¬†This means I see less than ideal placement now. ¬†Sigh.


This time I felled the seams, but it becomes very bulky with the layers involved.  You may notice that the pattern pieces look wonky.  I should fix the arms?  Bleh.  So much for copying ready-made clothes for patterns.

The lavender onesie is almost as complete now as this jacket with a few minutes of stitching, hah! ¬†I’m using pink thread for it. ¬†The fabric colour doesn’t show well here at all, but eventually I’ll take decent photos.

That’s all for now!



Two completed dresses! (More Alabama Chanin for babies.)


Look at me! ¬†I’ve been posting and I’ve finished two little dresses! ¬†Yesterday and today¬†Monday and yesterday I even altered some patterns and cut out a couple more pieces to have them queued up for sewing. ¬†(However, I probably haven’t cleaned quite as much as usual or put away any laundry all week, oops.) ¬†So, I was working on the pink wrap dress that only had a tiny bit left to stitch, and that is done. ¬†Let me write in more depth about it…

The pink dress was made as a test for my own, conveniently used scrap fabric, and will be nice for Mini to wear once she is done crawling. ¬†It did work out well in jersey, and I don’t need to change anything about my pattern. ¬†Hers could do with less width in the front panels, and I already made a new pattern piece to eliminate an inch. ¬†Otherwise I love this little dress! ¬†I even like the dusty pink now.

Here are some of the me-sized original versions of the dress as it progressed. ¬†It began as a loose tunic initially, then I made a longer dress with more fullness and sometimes a belt (not shown,) and I turned it into a more fitted and flared medieval inspired dress before finally getting to a more form fitting wrap version recently. ¬† The photos aren’t too good with wrinkled fabric and a less shapely mannequin, but they’ll have to do.

It was fun to do a more elaborate (yet simple without embellishment) dress than the a-line t-shirt style I’d been getting bored of. ¬†I think the design is really cute and more unique and worthwhile to put the work into. ¬†Of course it takes longer at every step and requires so much fabric that most t-shirts cannot be used to make it. ¬†Sigh.¬† It seems that every shirt I grab, thinking “gorgeous colour, yes, this one!” is too small. ¬†It’s disappointing. ¬†I’ll need to seek out some really big shirts and can’t wait to get back to the thrift store. ¬†Thus I also worked out a new pattern and tried it. ¬†I completed the first of that style bodysuit-dress today¬† yesterday too!

I really love this one! ¬†The grey is lovely and with the A.C. type stitching looks so interesting. ¬†I’m looking forward to getting Mini into it and hopefully making more to fill out her wardrobe. ¬†It’s hard to sew fast enough though. ¬†After making this test one I’ve discovered little things to change about the shirring. ¬†It can easily be eliminated to fit into more thrift Ts too. ¬†This pattern eats up a lot of “yardage” too, so this is important although I prefer a little more width personally. ¬† Upon trying it on her for a photoshoot I now know that the dress portion must be shortened more for crawling. ¬†Drat. ¬†I already cut¬†out the next dress, and I hope she’ll be able to wear it before growing. ¬†The entire point was to have things to wear now, so ugh…

I’ve cut another out in deep red and also squeezed in pieces for a matching bolero. ¬†I used blue-grey scraps to make the bolero two layers. ¬†Now I’m in the middle of cutting a scrolling stencil to use on it. ¬†I’ll do a running stitch and reverse appliqu√© and outer felled seams? ¬†Although, after cutting the stencil more I’m considering using a different one. ¬†Once that is settled I’ll baste the layers together and get to the fun. ¬†Here is the way I fit the pattern pieces onto the T-shirt:


I don’t have any more photos so, in the interest of actually getting to post this, that’s all for now.