kid’s clothes week: just hatched leggings

These itty bitty leggings are just the cutest things, aren’t they?

JustHatchedLeggings_muchoxoxo

I don’t have a serger, and I’ve never really sewn knits on my standard machine (although you’d never know it by the number of them I have in my stash). I’ve wanted to try, but like so many people, I was a little apprehensive to take the plunge. So when I saw this pattern from Made By Rae, it seemed like a good starting point. Simple pattern, and only a small amount of fabric needed. Besides, how can anything so incredibly cute be intimidating? Right???

I read quite a few articles and posts with tips and tricks for sewing with knits (here’s a good one if you’re looking for somewhere to start). After all of the reading (and worrying), the biggest lesson I learned is that there’s really no reason to be afraid of knits! It’s that simple. Test your fabrics. Try things. Expect mistakes, and don’t give up!

My fabrics were all slightly different, and I learned more with each tiny pair of leggings I sewed…

white and black arrow

white and black arrow cotton spandex knit

fawn silhouette

fawn silhouette cotton jersey blend

feathers on silver peony

feathers on silver peony cotton jersey blend

These are so stinkin’ cute, and they come together so very quickly once you get the hang of things. With the number of people I know that are expecting little ones, I can’t wait to make more!

xoxo

kid’s clothes week: harem pants

I’m not sure how I feel about harem pants on adults, but they’re pretty cute on the littles. I knew I wanted to make some pants for my nephew and this seemed like a fun option.

harem pants by mucho xoxo

This pattern is from suburbia soup, and it’s just great! It has a few options to play with, which is always fun. After making the pocket version, I’m thinking I have to do the basic version too!

I chose one of my coveted Jay McCarroll fabrics for this because, well, it’s awesome! It has a graffiti-esque quality that I love, but it also feels somehow tribal. Perfect for the little dude man!

harem pant pockets by mucho xoxo

I was a bit unprepared for how much fabric this pattern takes, and I had to make a slight modification to the back by making it two pieces instead of one (just add the seam allowance to the center cuts). But it’s hardly noticeable with this print, yay!

harem pants back by mucho xoxo

I can’t wait to see how these fit the boy. More pictures to come, hopefully :)

xoxo

kid’s clothes week: little geranium dress

Wow! This week really slipped by, didn’t it? I’ve been having so much fun sewing that I’ve slacked on sharing what I’ve been up to… So here it goes! (I’ll keep it short for now, but I’ll most likely revisit many of these patterns again).

First up, one of the patterns from Made By Rae that I’ve been wanting to try…

geranium dress 1

This is the free version of her wildly popular geranium dress pattern.

It’s tiny, and oh-so-cute!!!

The fabric is Ric Rac Rabbits. I’ve had it in my stash for a while and I just couldn’t resist using it.

muchoxoxo geranium dress2

My gathering skills could definitely use some work, but it’s so cute that I didn’t feel the need to take them out and try again. Oooh! And I finally got the chance to try my buttonhole foot on my sewing machine. And a button sewing foot? I didn’t even know I had that! Am I way to excited about this? Absolutely!!!

I decided to add some little bloomers with my leftover fabric. I used the baby bloomers pattern from see kate sew.

muchoxoxo geranium dress3

They were quick and easy. They’re technically reversible (front to back, not inside-out), but I love the idea of the little bunnies on baby’s bum, in place of ruffles. These would also be cute with a simple t-shirt for less dressy occasions.

muchoxoxo geranium dress4

These patterns were so much fun! I have a feeling that I’ll be making more of both in the future :)

xoxo

it’s kid’s clothes week! hooray!

kid's clothes week

Spring Kid’s Clothes Week is officially kicking off, and I couldn’t be more excited! For those of you who are familiar with it, I’m sure you know why. For those of you who are new to it, it’s a pretty simple and fun idea– for 1 week, dedicate 1 hour every day to sewing for the kiddos in your life. You can read more about it here.

The best part about it is you can do as little or as much as you want, or have time for. And it brings out people of all sewing levels, beginners and rock stars alike. So, just because you’re a newbie doesn’t mean you can’t participate. It’s so fun seeing what everybody does, and I guarantee you’ll walk away with a ton of inspiration!

I participated in the Summer 2013 KCW, but only had time to make one thing– a super cute bubble pocket skirt that I absolutely love. This time around, I’m a little more organized. I have a few things planned out. Potential fabric choices have all been pre-washed. Patterns are all ready to go, and so am I! Now the big question… Where do I begin?

muchoxoxo_kcw

I predict this week will fly by. I’ll be sharing snippets and peeks along the way on Instagram and all of my finished projects right here. If you’re interested in joining in on the fun, you can register here.

Have a great week!

xoxo

radiant orchid quilt: hello triangles!

Can it be? Is my Radiant Orchid quilt finally done?????

radiant orchid quilt front

radiant orchid quilt back

This has been quite a labor of love. And hate. And frustration. And a fair share of cursing. And, well you get it…

radiant orchid quilt When I decided to enter something into the Pantone Quilt Challenge, it was less about winning and more about trying something new. And boy did I!

This was a fairly big step out of my usual color palette, and I have to say it was a fun little trip! I originally thought I would use all solids, but as I started planning my quilt, my little stack of Moxie by Erin McMorris peeked out of my stash and said “hey Amanda, can we come out and play?” I just love the colors and playful prints (you might recognize a few from my bubble pocket skirt). It’s hard not to smile when you look at them. Which is a good thing, because we were about to spend A LOT of time together! I added a few more colors to compliment the prints and radiant orchid hues I had already picked. I also found some beautiful variegated thread to use for the quilting and binding. radiant orchid quilt materials When it came to deciding on a pattern, my only requirement was that I had to try something new. I finally narrowed it down to two options– a triangle quilt, or something more simple and modern. I went back and forth on this and finally decided, why not do both! radiant orchid quilt I’ve never made a triangle quilt and I was looking forward to giving it a shot. I used a dear jane template to cut the 231 triangles, and it actually went surprisingly fast. Assembling the triangles was a different story. It was definitely a struggle in the beginning… Why won’t my pieces work? What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I figure this out? Maybe I should just give up!… Yep, it was a bit of a roller coaster for a while. If you’ve made one, you probably know what I’m talking about. I learned a few things along the way, but that’s a post for another time.

radiant orchid quilt

It took a while, but once I got the hang of it, things went smoothly. And with every successful intersection, I celebrated a small victory! radiant orchid quilt By comparison, the back came together pretty quickly. I love the contrast between the more traditional front and the modern asymmetrical back. I chose to quilt only the diagonals, and I love how the diamond pattern looks on the back. And the variegated thread is beautiful! radiant orchid quilt I also decided to try scrappy binding for the first time. Originally I was going to piece the strips randomly but I decided I wanted to be a little more deliberate with the placement (OCD much?). I really didn’t make things easy on myself. I absolutely spent too much time on this. I love how it looks but next time I think I’ll go for random. radiant orchid quilt binding Looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it? And I even had a label that matched the Radiant Orchid perfectly! radiant orchid quilt label Binding the quilt used to be my least favorite part, but with every quilt I gain a little more confidence. If you’re still struggling with your binding technique, here’s a quick video tutorial that I find very helpful. radiant orchid quilt This project has been quite an experience. It tested my patience. It tested my skills. It even gave me nightmares. Seriously. But in the end I’m very happy with how it turned out.

radiant orchid quilt

Quilt details:

  • Finished size- approx. 77 x 54 inches
  • Quilt design by me
  • Fabric- moxie print and an assortment of cotton solids (kona cotton, hawthorne hues and alissa haight carlton)

If you’re curious what other people have done for the challenge, you can visit the 2014 pantone quilt challenge: radiant orchid flickr group or take a look at the entries at either of the links below. There’s some really nice work!

Linking up with on the windy side and play crafts 2014 pantone quilt challenge Ok, time to curl up with my new blanket!

xoxo

2014 pantone quilt challenge – let’s go!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit obsessed with all things Pantone. Coming from a design and art direction background, it’s become part of my daily life. So it should come as no surprise that I’m always excited to find out what Pantone’s color of the year is going to be. Does that make me a bit of a color geek? Totally. But it’s a badge I wear with pride!

This year, the winning color is Radiant Orchid

Pantone Radiant Orchid

When I found out about the Pantone Quilt Challenge, it seemed like a fun way to celebrate the color of the year, and challenge myself to try something new. I’ve never entered a quilting challenge… Rules? And a timeline??? Ohhh boy, this could get interesting!

2014 pantone quilt challenge

The challenge is being hosted by Adrianne from On the Windy Side and Anne from Play Crafts. If you’re unfamiliar with their blogs, do yourself a favor and go check them out!

Radiant Orchid is a little out of my color-comfort-zone, so I’m looking forward to pushing myself. I ordered a fabric swatch to take with me on my hunt for coordinating fabrics. I got mine on Amazon but they’re also available through the Pantone site. I haven’t decided on a pattern yet, but I’ve already told myself it has to be something I haven’t done before.

Radiant Orchid Swatch

If you’re a quilting color geek like me, get in on the fun and enter! (Follow either of the blog links above for more info). And if quilting isn’t your thing, why not use Radiant Orchid as inspiration for a fun project of your own! I have a feeling this color will be popping up in a few things I have planned. But first thing’s first, it’s time to get going on this quilt!

xoxo

a toddler backpack for my favorite kiddo

Toddler BackpackIt’s no secret that my nephew is the inspiration for many of the things I make. I made him a quilt last year for his first Christmas (one that I take great joy in seeing him sleep with and drag around now), and I knew I wanted to continue the tradition and make him something special this year.

Toddler BackpackI’ve had my eye on the toddler backpack pattern from made by rae and this was the perfect opportunity to try it! The pattern was easy to follow, and it all came together without too much trouble (which is good, because as with most projects, I waited until the last minute to get started).

I made a few additions, including a flat front pocket and gathered side pocket.

Toddler BackpackI also added zipper tabs. I love this detail, and I predict they’ll be helpful for little hands to hold on to when learning to use the zipper.

Toddler BackpackTwo inside pockets (the lower one is divided in two).

*I turned the backpack inside-out to give you a better look at interior :)

*I turned the backpack inside-out to give you a better look at interior :)

Fabrics: I used Retro Crosshatch, Pezzy Print and a black cotton bottom-weight, all from my stash. Feels great to finally put these fabrics to good use!

I added interfacing to the exterior and lining fabrics to help hold its shape. I’m glad I did this, it was worth the extra effort for sure.

Toddler BackpackConfession: I have never used piping, so I decided not to risk it this time. I love how it looks even without it, but I’ll definitely have to try it next time.

Toddler BackpackAt 19 months, he’s just big enough for this, and it will be a great size for him for some time. It can easily hold everything he needs for school/daycare, a trip to the park, or a night at the grandparents’ house.

Toddler BackpackI didn’t actually get a good picture of him wearing the backpack. The minute he opened it, it was on and he was running around the living room quite happily. That is, after he was done playing with the box!

Toddler BackpackSeriously, how cute is he?!?!

xoxo

flax seed comfort pack

I’ve been wanting to make a heat/cold pack for a while. Once I realized how fast and easy it was, I wish I would have done it sooner! These are perfect for soothing aching muscles, cooling relief for fevers or keeping warm on a chilly night… And they make great gifts!

comfort pack 1

These look so much nicer than any store-bought heat/cold packs I’ve seen. The other great thing is you can customize the size depending on intended use.

comfort pack 3

There are a number of various tutorials out there for heat packs. I used the one I found on fellow fellow as a starting reference.

Materials:

  • cotton fabric
  • thread
  • flax seeds (I used about 4 cups)
  • funnel
  • basic sewing materials (machine, pins, scissors, etc.)

comfort pack materials

Step 1:  cut your fabric to your desired size. I cut mine into two 18” x 7.5” strips (finished size is approximately 15.75″ x 5.75″ x .75″). Place right sides together, and pin. Sew around using a 5/8” seam allowance, leaving a small opening at one end for turning and filling. Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end.

comfort pack step1

Step 2:  trim your corners and turn right side out. Iron flat.

comfort pack step2

Step 3:  mark your sections. I started from the center and worked my way out, making 6 sections that are approximately 2 3/4” each.

comfort pack step3

Step 4:  sew your dividing lines. Be sure to stop each line at least 1” from the sides. You’ll need these gaps to move the flax seeds from section to section. The smaller the gap, the harder it will be to fill.

comfort pack step4a

optional:  you can run a top stitch around the edge to give it a nice finished look. Just make sure to leave your gap open for filling.

comfort pack step4b

Step 5:  use a funnel to fill your bag with flax seeds. Pour in a little at a time and work it down to the bottom section, then the next one and so on, until it’s as full as you’d like.

comfort pack step5

Step 6:  stitch your opening closed and then complete the top stitching. Trim your threads and you’re all done!

comfort pack step6

Keep your comfort pack in the freezer for cooling relief, or microwave it for warm relief.

Warming instructions:  warm in microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Shake and microwave another 20 to 30 seconds until desired temperature is reached. (Depending on your microwave, you may need to adjust these times). Take care removing your pack from the microwave as it may be hot.

*Do not leave your comfort pack in the microwave unattended! And do not overheat your comfort pack, as this could cause the flax seeds to scorch.

comfort pack 2

Looks pretty cozy, huh? Enjoy!

xoxo

color pop quilted stockings

Christmas is coming, it’s time to get into the holiday spirit! Why not add a little pop of color to your decorations with these candy-colored stockings!

Color Pop Stocking

My family is pretty big on stockings. We’ve had an odd assortment over the years, some made by mom, some store-bought. So with the addition of my awesome little nephew to the family last year, it was the perfect opportunity to make a new one, not just for him but for everyone. I knew I wanted something fun, non-traditional, and of course, easy to do (I was making 6). I decided to use a technique that I absolutely love for quilts. It’s pretty straight-forward and just takes a little patience.

The great thing about these stockings is how versatile they are. I chose jewel tones for ours, but you could also go with more traditional holiday or winter color schemes as well. The options are endless.

Materials:

  • exterior fabric – approx. 1/2 yard per stocking
  • lining fabric – approx. 1/2 yard per stocking
  • coordinating/contrasting thread in a variety of colors (I used 5)
  • batting
  • basic sewing materials (machine, pins, scissors, etc.)
  • basic stocking pattern (available here)

Stocking Materials

Step 1:  print your pattern (make sure printer is set to 100%, not fit to page). Line up pages where indicated and tape together. Cut out the paper stocking and set aside.

If you want to pre-wash your fabrics, do that now. I chose not to. Just keep in mind that if you don’t, your stockings will shrink if/when you wash them.

Step 2:  quilt your exterior pieces. You’re going to do this BEFORE you cut them out. I was working with approximately 1/2 yard pieces of fabric, so I simply cut them in half. But you can really make them whatever size you want, as long as it’s larger than the stocking. As you can see from the image below, I’m working with a piece that is larger than I need. I’ll use my leftover quilted fabric for other projects (more about that later).

Stocking Pattern Piece

Cut your batting to size with your exterior pieces and pin-baste together in a few spots.

I opted not to trace my stocking onto my fabric before I quilted. I kind of like being surprised. And since I will use the leftover fabric, I just want to quilt the whole thing evenly. If you’re going to trace the stocking onto the fabric, don’t forget to flip it on one so you have mirror images.

Now it’s time to sew! If you have a walking foot, break that baby out now.

Choose your first thread color. You’re just going to make your way back and forth at a slight angle across the length of the fabric. When you get to the end, work your way back across. Repeat on your second exterior piece. Change your thread color and repeat. Continue until you’re happy with how it looks.

Stocking Quilt Detail

This is my favorite part. It’s also the most time-consuming step. With all of the back and forth and changing threads, it can get a little tedious (try making a whole quilt this way!), but the end result is totally worth it.

Stocking Quilted

Step 3:  cut your pieces. If you have good scissors, you can cut your exterior pieces at once, but that’s up to you. If you’re going to cut them at once, place them right sides together and trace your stocking. I used a few pins to hold the pieces together while I cut. If you’re going to cut them one at a time, don’t forget to flip your pattern! You want your exterior pieces to be mirror images of each other once they’re cut.

Stocking Pieces

Place your exterior pieces right-sides together and pin. Set aside.

Stocking Pinned

Repeat these steps with your lining fabric.

Step 4:  sew your exterior pieces together. Using a 3/8” seam allowance, sew around your stocking, leaving the top open. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Repeat this step for your interior fabric, but make sure to leave a 3-4” opening in one side for turning (indicated below).

Trim your fabric and clip/notch your curves where needed.

Stocking Cut Trim

Turn your exterior piece right-side out and set both stocking pieces aside.

Step 5:  make your hanging loop. Cut two strips of fabric to 1 3/4” x 7” and place right-sides together.  Stitch down one side with a 3/8” seam allowance. Iron open. Press each raw edge in towards the center to line it up with the interior raw edge.

Stocking Loop 1

Fold in half and iron (finished size will be approximately 3/4” x 7”). Stitch down each side, close to the edge, then again down the center.

Stocking Loop 2

Fold the strip in half to create your loop and press again. If you want, you can stitch the loop closed. This helps keep it from slipping while sewing.

Stocking Loop 3

Step 6:  attach your hanging loop. Line up the raw edges of the loop and stocking and center on the back seam and pin into place.

Stocking Loop Pin

Use a 1/4” seam allowance to attach your loop. Go back and forth a few times to reinforce this.

Stocking Loop Sewn

Step 7:  attach your lining and exterior pieces. With your lining inside-out, and your exterior fabric right–side out, tuck the exterior into the lining.

Stocking Step 7

Line up your seams and raw edges and pin into place.

Stocking Step 7b

Sew all the way around with a 1/2” seam allowance. I would recommend backstitching over the loop again once or twice to reinforce it.

Step 8: use the opening in the lining to turn your piece right side out. You’ll end up with the exterior fabric and lining pointing away from each other.

Stocking Turned

Iron your opening and then stitch closed. I hand stitched mine closed but you can do this on the machine if you prefer.

Stocking Opening

Step 9:  push the lining into the stocking and smooth out your fabric.

Stocking Lining

Iron your stocking. Top-stitch around the top edge to finish it off.

Stocking Top Stitch

And you’re done! Hang your stocking and enjoy!

Stocking Details

Have a colorful Christmas!

Stocking Colors

xoxo

vampire bat softie

Halloween is tomorrow (ahhhhh!), but this vampire bat softie was just too cute not to share!

BatSoftie_gifs1

This little guy is fairly easy to put together, and makes a great toy or decoration. And adding crinkle material in the wings makes it even more fun!

Materials:

  • black/red felt for body and pupils
  • white felt for eyes and fangs
  • coordinating embroidery thread
  • stuffing
  • crinkle material (optional)
  • basic sewing supplies (machine, needle, scissors, pins, etc)
  • pattern (available here)
materials

* I used two different shades of red, just for the purpose of this tutorial.

Unlike the eyeball and candy corn softies, I did most of my assembling for this on the sewing machine.

Step 1:  print and cut your pattern, then cut your felt pieces. I’d recommend cutting both body pieces at the same time, as well as each pair of wings.

Step 2:  place your wings right sides together and pin (if you cut them at the same time, you can just leave them as is and pin).

batsteps1

Step 3:  sew each pair of wings, leaving the straight end open for turning. Remember to back stitch and the beginning and end.

Step 4:  trim your corners and clip/notch your curves.

batsteps2

Step 5:  turn your wings right side out. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze so take your time. You can use a chopstick to help with the corners.

batsteps3

Step 6:  iron the wings and then topstitch. Again, leave the straight end open.

Step 7:  stuff each wing with a small amount of crinkle material (optional). You can use a chopstick so make sure it’s spread evenly and reaches the tips.

batsteps4

Set the wings aside and move on to the body.

Step 8:  sew your face to the front body piece. I placed my eyes first and then drew my mouth with disappearing ink and used a simple back stitch.

batsteps5

Step 9:  once you’ve finished the face, you’re ready to assemble. I would recommend stitching the ears and wings into place. I did this on the machine with a larger stitch, as close to the edge as I could get (indicated by the dotted lines below). This will ensure that nothing moves around while you’re sewing the body.

batsteps6

Step 10:  time to pin! Fold in your wings so they are as compact as you can get them. Pin all around. Where the wings stick out will be your opening for turning and stuffing.

batsteps7

Step 11:  sew the body. Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end. I also backstitched over the edges of the wings, just to reinforce them. Trim your wing excess and clip your curves when you’re finished.

batsteps8

Step 12:  turn your bat right side out.  I’ve found that if you hold the opening with one hand and gently tug the wings with the other, it will start to turn fairly easily. Once it’s right side out, give the ears and wings a little tug to make sure they’re fully out.

Step 13:  stuff with crinkle material (optional) and stuffing. Use small pieces of stuffing to ensure you get it nice and full.

batsteps9

Step 14:  when you’re done stuffing, close up your opening with a ladder stitch. If you’re unfamiliar with the ladder stitch or need a refresher, check out this great tutorial with very clear step-by-step instructions. You may want to add a bit more stuffing as you close the opening. Once you’ve reached your starting point, tie it off, bury your thread and trim. And that’s it! A little vampire bat buddy to keep you company!

batsteps10

So much cuter than the real thing, huh?

BatSoftie_gifs2

Have a Happy Halloween!

xoxo