Birthday Bears

There was a birthday at our house this summer, and it involved a teddy bear sleepover party.

I wanted to make something fun for all my kids, something that wasn’t too young for the biggest one or too old for the youngest. But I’ve had all four kids at home all summer so time has been limited.

I started with these cute tiny bears. I used the free pattern for Warren the Charity Bear by Shiny Happy World. It is a super easy pattern, and very squeezable.

Birthday bears by The Finished Garment.
These are just right for little hands.

I thought the original pattern looked a bit big, so I scaled the PDF down to 50 per cent. It’s just the right size to be snuggled by my littlest. Instead of buttons for eyes, I just embroidered the whole face and because of the small size, I embroidered the hearts as well.

It’s a bit tough to see, but each bear has slightly different coloured eyes, just like my kids.

Birthday bears by The Finished Garment.
I hand embroidered the faces.

I used some white minky fabric that was left over from an Easter bunny costume (never blogged) for the bears. It’s super soft and cuddly.

The bears were cute, but they took no time at all. So I decided to make them each a sleeping bags. There are couple of cute patterns around, but I ended up using The Three Bears’ Sleeping Bag by Flossie Teacakes.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
This print is Licorice Cats by Anne Kelle.

It’s an adorable pattern. I made the Daddy Bear size. It’s just right for a typical 12-inch baby doll, but mostly gets used for stuffed animals at out house.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
This print is Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler, and the binding is Kona cerise.

I used quilting cotton and batting left over from previous projects, but I matched the fabric in each sleeping bag to clothing that I’d made for each kid, so that they would know which one was theirs. With four sleeping bags, there was a lot of switching thread.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
Here I used Ladybugs by Anne Kelle and Kona in medium grey for the binding.

The pattern was good, but the fabric requirements were a bit off. If you want to make a large sleeping bag, you’ll need 1/3 yard for the sleeping bag lining, and 1/3 yard (possibly a mixture of assorted prints) for the outer fabric, as well as 1/3 yard for the batting.

I made three changes. I quilted the entire sleeping bag, I used double-layer bias tape for the binding, and I machine-stitched the binding in place. I think this last part will make them a bit tougher.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
The print here is Whales in bright by Anne Kelle, and Kona cottons for the pillow and binding.

I’ve seen some very cute versions with quilt blocks for the main front section, but I had to make four, so I stuck to simple single-fabric panels and straight-line quilting.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any action shots of these, but I can definitely say they see a lot of playtime. On any given day, I might find a single bear, a pair of dolls or an entire menagerie of sea creatures inside. And best of all, they are machine washable.

Birthday bears by The Finished Garment.
My first tiny bear. These took no time at all.

I love making toys for the kids. It is so much fun. I have to keep myself away from adorable doll and stuffed animal patterns. They are just way too tempting.

This project was part of the Sewcialist Scraptember Sew Along and the Stashbusting Sew Along Kid Challenge.

Summary

Pattern Review 1: The Three Bears’ Sleeping Bag by Flossie Teacakes.

Fabric: Assorted quilting cotton and batting scraps left over from other projects.

Cost: Fabric: 0$. Pattern 10$.

Sizes: Daddy Bear.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Quilted both layers, used double-layer binding and machine stitched the binding in place.

Results: Cute!

 

Pattern Review 2: Warren the Charity Bear by Shiny Happy World.

Fabric: Minky scraps left over from another project.

Cost: Free!

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Scaled the pattern down to 50 per cent.

Results: Cute and super easy!

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
Hey, what are you still doing up?

Shorts on the Line – The Scooter Edition

My kids always seem to grow like beanstalks over the summer. Inevitably, they grow out of their hot weather clothes sometime around July.

This year, the Shorts on the Line sew along arrived at just the right time to make something for the now much taller, Kid No 2.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
I really love this print. So bright and fun!

For these shorts I used the Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S. It’s a really great pattern, that I’ve used a few times before.

Oliver and S Sandbox Pants
Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern.

I didn’t make many modifications. I shortened the pants to shorts. I also left off the drawstring waist and used a simple elastic waist. I left off the buttons on the pockets as well. Kid No 2 is not a fan of either. Drawstrings and buttons are his kryptonite. They also take longer, so I’m not complaining!

The pattern calls for 1 3/4 yards for the pants, but I got these shorts out of 1 yard of fabric.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
A nice basic short.

The print is Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna. It’s a really nice, smooth organic cotton. I love the print, but unfortunately it was printed slightly off grain, which made cutting and pattern matching a bit of a pain. I’ve used other prints from the collection, without any problem, so I guess I was just unlucky this time.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
Check out the pattern matching with those pockets.

Kid No. 2 loves bright colours and fun, but age-appropriate prints. Unfortunately, most of the clothes in the stores for boys his age are in darker, and/or more serious colours – lots of  navy, grey and beige (yawn). One of the great things about sewing my kids’ clothes is being able to make them the things they really like.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
The pants were a big hit.

This is also a stash-busting project for the Stashbusting Sewalong. I bought this fabric maybe a year ago, so I’m really happy to get it into regular rotation.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
I got these out of 1 yard of fabric.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sandbox Pants as shorts by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).

Size: 6.

Cost:
Fabric: about $16. Pattern: $0, since I’d used it before.

Sewing Level: Advanced beginner.

Modifications: I shortened the pants to shorts, changed the waist from a drawstring to an elastic waist, and left off the buttons on the back pockets.

Results: Great. I’ve used this pattern a few times before and will definitely use it again.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
This is a size 6, and is a bit big, but they’ll be worn again next summer.

Summer PJs

Last week was Kids Clothing Week (KWC), and what did I get done? Not much. I did plan a lot of projects though, so that counts right?

The one thing I did finish, was four sets of pyjamas. The spring PJs were a big hit with the kids, and they needed more so I just did the same thing again.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
All the sizes!

The kids chose the fabrics – all Angry Birds prints. I used the Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, for the bottoms, and appliquéd an angry bird from each print onto store-bought t-shirts for the tops.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Of all the prints my kids chose, this one is my favourite.

I’ve made these pyjama pants eleven (!) times before. Yikes, that is a big number. But they are definitely my go-to pyjama pattern for kids. Quick, easy and great results every time.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Ack! They are always cutest in the smallest size.

Summary

Pattern Review: Bedtime Story Pajamas by Oliver + S.

Fabric:

Fence in White, Stars in Blue, Rainbow in Pink and Rainbow in Purple, all from the Angry Birds collection and all licensed to David Textiles by Rovio Entertainment, LTD. I bought this at the local chain shop.
Sketch in Grey by Timeless Treasures for the waistbands and leg bindings.

Sizes: 18-24m, 4, 6.

Sewing Level: beginner, intermediate if not just the pants.

Modifications: None.

Results: Excellent! I’ve made these 11 times before. I would highly recommend this pattern.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Taking photos of tired kids at bedtime is sooooo difficult!

Just to be clear: The Angry Birds name is trademarked by Rovio Entertainment, LTD and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The pjs shown here are not official licensed products and are not available for sale. But you can always buy some fabric and make your own!

Girls in White Dresses

Warp & Weft Sewing Society
A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project

Nothing says summer like girls in white dresses.

So for the last day of school, and beginning of summer, everyone got a new white dress. Well, except Kid No 2, but he’s more of a summer shorts fan anyway.

This is the first of three dresses, and it’s made with the cutest print. Who doesn’t love ladybugs?

This is one of my favourite patterns – the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern, this time in size 5.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I made the faux cap sleeves from view B of the Geranium dress.

This time around, I made the dress with the view B faux cap sleeves, but with a gathered skirt. I made two changes. I added red piping at the waist, and I added in-seam pockets.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I added red piping to the waistband for a bit of colour.

This dress was made for Kid No 3, and is a huge hit. She loves ladybugs and the colour red, and recently asked me why she doesn’t have “a dress that twirls”. The pockets are hidden in the gathers of the skirt, and she loves the “secret pockets” too.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Aren’t white dresses adorable? (also a bit hard to photograph)
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Front detail of the Geranium dress.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I used simple white buttons from my stash.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
The pockets practically disappear, but trust me, they’re there.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.

This was a lot of fun to sew. The pattern makes a really pretty dress that’s lined and nicely finished on the inside. But the sewing was quick and problem-free.

Warp & Weft Sewing Society

This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists  and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
She wore this dress for two days after I made it.

Summary

Pattern Review: Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Ladybug Dots from The Red Thread collection by Creative Thursdays for Andover Fabrics. Courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. The lining is white cotton batiste.

Size: 5. (Comes in sizes 0-5 or 6-12.)

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern and I would definitely recommend it.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
And yes, she got a grass stain on it the very first day she wore it. Ooops! One of the hazards of white dresses, I suppose.

Feeling Blue

Yay! My first quilt of 2014! Of course this was supposed to be my last quilt of 2013, but (sigh), life.

Anyway, this is a cross quilt, made using fabric that has been sitting in my stash for way too long. Maybe two years? I am really happy that it has finally been transformed into a quilt.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The fabrics are Kona solids in greys and blues.

The fabrics are Kona solids. I bought them as a bundle, and I had to write to Mad About Patchwork, where I bought it, to find out what was in it, because this particular bundle isn’t even available anymore (though there is one that is very similar).

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The backing is quite bright.

It seems that the colours are some of, but not all of: Snow, Ash, Medium Grey, Coal, Charcoal, Black, Indigo, Navy, Nightfall, Marine, Deep Blue, Ocean, Windsor and Delft. There might also be Slate and Pepper. That’s actually more than the number of pieces of fabric in the bundle I have, so hmmm, I am not especially helpful. But definitely some of those. Clearly I need better record keeping, and maybe a colour card.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The back is Crosshatch Sketch in Royal, and yes, it really is that blue.

This quilt is also a gift for a family member, so yes, there was another quilt dance party. Fun! Hope you don’t mind, mystery family member! The angle of the photo below makes the quilt look small, but it is actually 60″ by 67″ – a nice size lap quilt, perfect for snuggling on the sofa.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Dance party!

I used Crosshatch Sketch, which is the same print I used in my last quilt, but in Royal, for the backing. It is a very bright blue. I had planned to use the same print in the Denim colourway, but couldn’t find enough online. But, in retrospect, this blue is the perfect blue for the person who will be getting it. It really is their blue.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
I used some of the leftover squares for the backing.

For the binding, I used three different colours.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
I used three colours for the binding: a bright blue, a navy and grey.

For the quilting, I just did some simple straight line quilting. Nothing fancy. But I think this works really well with the piecing.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The colours were very hard to photograph because there was so much contrast.

Of course the kids always check my quilts for quality, warmth and general coziness.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Quality assurance testing.

And since this was for a family member there was extra-thorough quality assurance testing.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
More quality testing.

I didn’t really use a pattern, but if you are looking for a tutorial, you can find a good one online here, by Jeni Baker of In Color Order.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Outdoor shot.

Hope the quilt is a hit. I’ll find out soon.

Feeling Blue Quilt

Quilt block: cross, or modern plus.

Size: 60 by 67 inches.

Fabrics:

Kona solids. I’m not sure of all the colours, but I think these are Snow, Ash, Medium Grey, Coal, Charcoal, Black, Indigo, Navy, Nightfall, Marine, Deep Blue, Ocean, Windsor and Delft. There may also be Slate and Pepper.

Binding: Three of the above.

Backing: Crosshatch Sketch in Royal by Timeless Treasures

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Hopefully the quilt will be a hit!