Archives for category: homemade gifts

For the past month or so, Dexter has been VERY clear with his Christmas list, describing the particular Lego set he wants with great detail to any Santa he sees. Charlotte however has given me nothing to work with. She mentioned once that she would maybe want a baby doll though so I ran with it. I tried to find a nicer one within budget, but those bitty babies and similar are a little ridiculously priced. Even used. I didn’t want just another not so special baby doll, and it had to be SILENT for everyone’s sanity….so I settled on trying to make her one…


I went with Simplicity 2809. She said she wanted a boy and a girl and wanted them to look like her and Dexter…but didn’t want to get too ambitious so I started with the girl doll. It actually sewed up pretty quickly!! I changed the face embroidery a little and constructed it a little different than it said to (like sewing the yarn into the seam on the face instead of hand sewing afterwards and stuffing the arms and legs before sewing them on instead of having to handsew 6 openings like the pattern would have me do). I don’t know if I love it, but she does and tried to steal it already, so I guess it’s a win? Maybe I’ll make the boy doll after all.


For the clothes, I started off with a set of diapers…(scrap flannel and velcro, using the provided pattern)…

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But Charlotte was peeking over my shoulder as I worked and kept asking where her dress was so she could be a dancing girl doll (her way of saying ballerina…I’m trying to get her to change the vocabulary there and she’s not budging).  Unfortunately, the pattern had layette type things…shirts, sleep gown, etc.  No dress.  So I drafted a wrap dress out of scrap fabric starting with the kimono shirt the pattern provided.  I just shortened the shirt a little, added a skirt, and done.  Of course I finished all seams (even though doll clothes are never made with finished seams) because I wanted it to hold up a little better.


It closes with velcro so that there’s a CHANCE that she will be able to take it on and off without me doing it for her (at what age do children dress their own dolls and not just shove them on mommy’s lap and demand that they be changed?)

Of course, that wasn’t enough random side sewing.  I also had planned awhile ago to make Charlotte an apron for Christmas, since Dexter already has one, and she sort of had one but it was part of an old Halloween costume, and I sold the costume, so she was pretty sad that she couldn’t dress up in her apron when helping mommy or playing in her kitchen.  Logically, as I was going to cut the apron out and sew it up, I decided to make her doll one first…but both sewed up in about an hour so not so bad.  The pattern is Simplicity 2492 and I just drafted the doll one freehand.

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Now I swear the pajamas will be next….hopefully….


It has been so long since I have been able to sit at my machine and get some sewing done. A friend of mine had twins a few months back (in November!) and I promised her I’d make her a mei tai baby carrier. We even picked out new fabric and some fun Star Wars print so her hubby could enjoy it too. In the meantime, I let her borrow mine since I didn’t need it yet. Well, here we are, 6 months later and I still hadn’t made it! This last weekend I finally carved out some extra time and I was amazed at how quickly it came together.


great job, mama!

Not only is it adorable, but I was also reminded how much I love sewing! When I was little my mom would make us some Halloween costumes and she used to make my little brother the cutest overalls. I remember mom taking my measurements and standing impossibly still while I tried on dresses with pins all in them. I used to watch her sew and we even made my dolls pillows and blankets, but that was it! The next time I touched a sewing machine was when I was preggers with Starr Lily. I bought an apron pattern and a sewing machine on impulse and just started sewing.


Since then I have been inspired to sew for my little girl. There are so many adorable patterns and tutorials available online too! My machine isn’t fancy, just a singer that makes an occasional clunking sound, but after a little sweet talking and a break, she keeps plowing along for me. After a year, I found a serger on Craigslist (cause all the cool kids bloggers were talking about them) and that’s it! I’m a sewing novice at best, but I love the calm and focus it brings to the fun-filled day with kiddos. I’ve had some big sewing fails but I almost always learn something from it – even if it was to put down my project and go to sleep after a late night of sewing.

I tried to find a picture of a pair of tiny pants that I made a while back that ended up having a tail looking thing on the butt, but alas, the picture is gone. It’s probably for the best though, ha! I can just pretend it never happened.

So anyhow, back to this cute carrier! I made a similar mei tai for myself when Starr Lily was about 9 months following the scandi mei tai tutorial.


Since then I have made a couple more and love how easy her tutorial is to follow. Now that I have the pattern pieces cut, it only takes me a few hours to put one together. I hope my momma friend likes it and enjoys lots of cuddles while wearing her babes. Baby Stone tried it out and gave it his approval!

cropped mei tai stone

Stone is so big!!!

What inspires you to sew? How do you know when to walk away from your machine?

So Mother’s Day snuck up me this year! I hope the moms in my life still know I have nothing but love for them, even if their gifts are a little late, hehe. I didn’t know what to give my mom or mother-in-law this year and my sister came up with a great idea. She pinned this apron from Simply Kierste and wanted to get all the grand-kids to stamp their hand prints on it. Since I live the furthest away it only made sense that I buy the apron and then ship it to my sis, who in turn can give it to mom. And I can mail my mil’s too. So I looked around at some aprons, but nothing struck my fancy and I decided to just sew one. I searched online until I found the perfect one: the purl bee’s unisex apron. It has simple lines and no extra frills. I just skipped the pocket in the front and left space for the kids’ names and hand prints.

The tricky part was finding fabric paint and deciding how to write out everyone’s name. Kierste uses a Silhouette, but I’m not that cool. After a quick trip to Joann’s, I had some Martha Stewart craft paint and some pretty awesome stencils ready to go! Did you know that they also sell tons of adorable trim?! Yep, I scooped up some flower trim to give the apron a more feminine flair too.

During one of Stone’s naps, Starr Lil’s and I started crafting. First, we tried the paint and the stencil on some scrap fabric. And good thing we had some construction paper underneath, cause paint goes right through fabric.


Love her outfit. Charlotte and Starr Lily share the same taste in clothes (everything goes with tutus and jackets, that is)

Then I wrote out everyone’s names while Starr Lily painted and danced and jumped.


The hand stamping was the most exciting part. I asked her where she wanted her hand print and after finding just the right spot I brushed some paint on her hand and on it went. Then she stamped all over the construction paper!


what a great idea!

She loved seeing how moving her fingers around made different shapes on the paper too. I didn’t want to put paint on Stone’s hand since it goes right to his mouth these days, so I painted his foot while he was sleeping. It looks more like a smudge, but it’s the thought that counts, right? My mom’s still needs a few more hand prints from the other grand kids, which my sis will put together, but for now they’re ready for the mail!

So here they are Mija and Nana Starr! Feliz dia de las madres, even if it’s a little late. We love you and miss you a whole lot!


Great job, Mama!


Did you get your moms gifts on time this year? Does grandma have a special nickname in your house?

What do you want for Mother’s Day? Amanda and I were chatting today and reminiscing on all the things we were able to do before little people joined our lives. Here is a short list of things we (or any momma of toddlers or babies) would love for Mother’s Day:

1. A solo morning. Waking up on your own (perhaps in this delicious looking bed) without anyone poking at you and enjoying a nice, hot, long shower.

I imagine there is also a sea breeze that wafts gently through the windows…

2. A cup of coffee out without having to share with anyone. Throw in a scone and a book and I’m all set! (Click on the coffee for a recipe to a yummy coffee, orange body scrub.)

mmmm… without a 2-year-old jumping on my lap….delicious

3. Girls night out. Remember going out and getting all dolled up? Yeah, that was fun. Add some adult conversation with your friends and a glass of wine to really live it up!

I’m sure this women’s small children are just cropped out of the shot

4. Shoes. Pretty shoes! Maybe just a trip to the mall to window-shop shoes. Who am I kidding, a solo trip to the mall would be great! I wouldn’t even need to buy anything!

I’m also content with just trying one pair of shoes without having to stop and provide a snack

5. Have someone else be in charge of schedules, snacks, food, meal time, boo boo’s, and an occasional “Hi love, you’re doing a great job!” would be amazing.

I’m sure this is exactly what it looks like when Doug is watching the kids without me around

Best part, they are all FREE! (wink wink, dads)

Want to take a claim on these freebies mamas? Here is a little coupon book Starr Lily and I came up with. It’s cute and slightly cheesy, but she loved doing it with me!

First I took a sheet of construction paper and folded it into 6 equal pieces: one title page and 5 coupons.


Then I wrote the coupons and gave them to Starr Lily with some crayons. She drew some circles and asked for help drawing triangles, rhombuses (rhombi?), and hearts. It must be all that math love she inherited!


Add a bow and done!


Yup. Drea just made her own Mother’s Day Present and pretended that Starr Lily did it 🙂

Dads, get ready to have these cashed in, duh duh duh…

Happy Mother’s Day!