a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity


Felt play food

If only my real-life fried eggs turned out like that…

It started with eggs. My son is obsessed with scrambling the eggs we have each Sunday for breakfast. He likes to sit up on the counter right beside the stove and use the spatula to mix and scrape. I think he thinks Sunday breakfast is pretty awesome. And tasty. So I found a tutorial from Wee Folk Art for two sweet little felt fried eggs and it seemed like an achievable little project. And I was right! I even won the crafty inspiration lottery in that I already had all the things.

I didn’t print off the pattern, but instead just eyeballed something egg-ish shaped, which ended up fine.

My freehand blob shapes worked out alright. Rather eggy.

Then the eggs looked lonely. And the second half of that egg tutorial? Yup, a felt bacon tutorial. Had to go for it. I love how these ones use hidden pipe cleaners to achieve authentic bacon crinkles. Genius.

These bacon strips and “fat” strips were also more or less eyeballed. How hard can it be to cut bacon-sized rectangles and some squiggly bits? Not hard.


And then? Then I wanted to make a whole box of play/felt food. I am both blessed and cursed to work for a child development centre that is pretty well stocked with an amazing selection of toys, which means I have all this inspiration that turns into big dreams for what I could make or put together for home. Dress up boxes, kitchen/food boxes, music boxes, sensory boxes (okay, I did that one), craft boxes, nature boxes… my imagination has gotten a bit carried away, really. I do not have the space for several huge bins of toys on various themes. My 2-bedroom condo does not need to resemble a well-stocked child development centre to meet my one kid’s needs.

…But I could at least round out the play food collection with some fruit. Make it a proper breakfast and all.


So I made some strawberries! For these I mooshed together two tutorials I found. One was from While She Naps, which helped me do the main red part, and the other was from While Wearing Heels, which gave me the idea for the subtle ‘seeds’ done with thread. Only difference is I used black thread and didn’t make them as sticky-outy. Then I freestyled the green leafy stems and tacked them on.

I told him to smile; this is what I got.

Anyway, this is as far as I got with my MAKE ALL THE THINGS endeavour. I love the look of hand-sewn felt food. I just need to pin down what else my son would like to play with next. And it has to be doable. Garlic? Delicious breakfast staple that it is…

He actually played with it. Win.

Toddler action shots are always blurry. Because of all the action. Action breakfast!

(Never again to be this lacking in cat hair. Treasure it.)

So there’s the little breakfast plate I’ve made so far. What else would you make next? Bonus points if it’s an easy one. I’m trying to go for foods that my son is familiar with and would eat. Lettuce looks easy but leafy greens aren’t exactly his favourite food (he will very carefully pick them off any other food they might be touching, hand them to me with a disgusted look on his face and simply say “THIS.” as in, get this filth off my food stat!), so I imagine he might not know what to do with lettuce.

What should I make, guys?


The least appreciated toy in the world

My son is getting to that age where toys that are just for grabbing (no matter how many cool textures or grabbable bits they’ve got on them) are just not interesting anymore. I figured he might like a toy that did something. Nothing fancy, of course, as he’s only 10 months old, but he was definitely getting bored of the same old same old in our toy bins, and he was happily attempting to make toys out of all sorts of other things that shouldn’t be toys — The garbage can! The toilet! The houseplants! Oh, the grubby grossness of it all. A busy little explorer needs things to do, you know. And the grosser, the better.

So I went about making him something un-gross to play with. I sewed up some stuffed fabric ‘beads’ (uh, they’re square? yes.) that attached to each other with velcro. Something to stick together and pull apart. I got the idea from Green Valley Crafts. It was so simple! I had the stuff! I even hand-stitched them all closed after I stuffed them, like a boss.

I was able to use some of my favourite fabric scraps in the process (some of which I received as part of my Ravelry group’s swap earlier this year), which made for a bright and sunny set of colours. I noticed after I made them that there are three yellowish/orange-ish ones and three blue ones. That was completely by accident but I love the end result!

Here they are all un-stuck. Please ignore my lopsided velcro placement. Mamas who sew are also mamas who are in a hurry to finish up sewing because they have CrazyBaby trying to chew the power cord off the sewing machine. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But only a little.

And so what did my son think? Unfortunately, his verdict was decidedly “BOOOORING!” I think the sound of the ripping velcro (when I showed him how they worked) actually gave him a small fright. So he was less-than-impressed. How sad!

I had to bribe him to pose with the reject toy by giving him his “chewy.” So he’ll play near the thing but not with the thing. Sigh.

But it’s still a sweet-looking little toy. And fits perfectly in our mini Radio Flyer.

Maybe he’ll warm up to it.

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Going postal

My mama friends on Ravelry organized another swap this spring, and I sent a couple of handmade goodies off as a part of my package destined for Emily (and her daughter, M) in Connecticut. Wanna see?

Goodie the first:

A hand-sewn (and more or less improvised) sock project bag with a divider to separate working yarn. Emily knits two socks at a time, like a boss, so needs to keep her two balls of yarn from tangling up. She mentioned she could use something like this, and I figured I could make it happen for her. I loosely based the bag’s construction on the hobo bag I sewed ages ago from Lula Louise’s shoulder bag tutorial, but had to figure out how to incorporate a divider between the two halves. Let me tell you: I am not very spatially adept. This required many inside-out and upside-down steps that hurt my brain. But it basically turned out well! Pretty proud of myself for not accidentally sewing the wrong side of the fabric to the outside. Or to my own hand. (Just kidding. Or am I? I’m pretty tired these days…)

Goodie the second:

My son, A, modeling M’s red ears hat. The hat was hard to part with after this display of cuteness!

A hand-knit baby hat for her daughter, M. The pattern is called All Ears, and is available for free on Ravelry. The hat is very simple and fast to knit, and would make a great baby gift for any expecting/new mama. Or any older baby. Or maybe with some adjustments, any adult. Anyway, I just so happen to have the perfect yarn leftover from a recent project to make another one for A to keep! It’s fate, right? Fate.

I mean come on.

Goodie the third:

A set of small stitch markers, that I (HEADSLAP!) did not get a photo of before sending off!  Whaaaaat? But it’s okay. They kinda looked like this:

Except not. They had blue loops and four had blue beads with the one contrast marker sporting a fuchsia bead. So kind of the inverse colour scheme of this set? You can use your imagination. You will have to! So there.

The rest of the loot:

In the un-hand-made camp, I also sent Emily some tea, lip balm, two books, pacifiers, a silly badge, a baby music CD, some sock yarn, two pairs of BabyLegs legwarmers, and chocolates. Here’s a shot of the stash she took when she opened it:

And here are some pictures of her daughter, M, enjoying her goodies:

Nom nom nom!

And nom some more!

I had so much fun putting her package together and including fun items for both mama and babe. I got so wrapped up in getting it all together that I kept forgetting that I’m also expecting a package someday very soon! I can’t wait to see what my swap partner has cooked up for me. I already feel spoiled just thinking of the mystery goodies coming my way.


Triangle bunting

So remember my Christmas stocking? I hung it and the rest of our stockings up on our mantle for the first time ever. Like, I got myself a hammer and nails and did them up right. Then Christmas was over, and I had stupid ugly nails sticking out of my mantle.

What would a normal person do in this situation? Remove the nails and patch the holes, probably. Or leave them and wait until next Christmas.

But a crafty person? A crafty person’s twisted brain would say “Lo! An opportunity to make a pretty thing dost shine on me here!” and would get busy making said pretty thing. So that’s what I did. I was especially glad to take this on since our mantle/”fire”place (electric joke that it is) was pretty snoresville and plain plain plain before. Needed a little something.

I gathered up a bunch of fabric bits that I figured would generally ‘go’ together in that cool “who knew those would ‘go’ together, but they do!” kind of way. I cut them into diamond shapes that would be folded in half to create triangles. I sewed up the edges and turned them inside out and topstitched in matching burgundy thread, then strung them on some string and hung that baby UP.

Some of this fabric has made an appearance here on the blarg before. The green paisley, if you recall, was leftover from the first pillowcase dress I made, and some of that burgundy/yellowy striped stuff made a ring sling a while back, too. I’m trying really hard to use up some of my fabric stash and it is slow going, friends! But a noble endeavour, as I would like to make some room for, you know, that kid I just had.

So there it is. It hides the nails rather well, doesn’t it? And we can leave it up until next Christmas.


Baby “Link” (Legend of Zelda) costume

Continuing on with my recent theme of wildly outdated and/or seasonally inappropriate posts, here was what baby A wore for his first Halloween (at 3 months old). He went as Link from the popular Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda. As a gamer with a hardcore case of video game nostalgia, this was my husband’s top pick for a costume for A. I was set on sewing him a good costume for his first Halloween, but wanted to keep it relatively straightforward so I actually had a hope in hell of getting it done. It’s tough to find sewing time with a newborn around. I know, shocking news.

The tunic and hat were sewn from a thrifted men’s long-sleeved polo shirt:

Large and green. Perfect for the chopping.

One sleeve was cut off and became the hat:

Chop chop!

Using one of A’s hats to get an idea of width.

I hemmed the bottom edge after I took this picture.

… and I used one of A’s existing shirts to trace as a quasi-pattern for the tunic part.

Had to take the pocket off, since it was going to get in the way of the magic.

I just made it a bunch longer so it was, you know, tunic-like.

After this I just sewed up the sides, underarms and shoulders. I left the collar edge raw and cut a little slit in the front so A’s head would fit through. Baby heads are surprisingly big.

The boots were also salvaged; this time from a brown knitted sweater (that our a-hole cat had chewed a hole into, rendering it scrap fabric instantly). They were based off of a pattern I found somewhere on the internet, but have since lost. (Sorry, blog. Bad linking karma for me.) I cut the boot pattern pieces out of one sleeve and serged them together (making sure the knit stitches didn’t completely unravel). The sash and belt were cut from the other sweater sleeve. Much faster than knitting them, I tell you. The “gold” belt buckle was a simple crocheted circle using some yellow cotton yarn I had leftover from the Republic hat. I machine sewed it on to the belt, then attached some hooks and loops to fasten the belt in place (hooks and loops were all I had on hand — velcro would have been better).

The pants were the only part I didn’t make, so no exciting story there. I think they were from American Apparel? Who cares. BORING.

We took A to a family-friendly Halloween party at our local community baby/parent centre, and of course no one there knew what he was supposed to be. But that’s not terribly surprising, I guess, since most of the other babies in attendance were far more easy to identify (a pumpkin! a cat! a dinosaur!). I might have seen a glimmer of appreciation from one of the other dads well across the room from us. Nerds usually aren’t the most outgoing folks, so I may never know for sure.

But you know what? Obscurity be damned; he was one cute frigging Baby Link. Frig! Right? Frig.


Stocking for the baby

Here’s a festive post for you. I sewed a Christmas stocking for little A the other day on a whim! A whim? I’d almost forgotten what doing anything on a whim was like since A was born… but thankfully my husband was around to take over baby duty for about an hour so I could expend some crafty energy and get A’s stocking happening. It’s his first Christmas, after all, and he needed to claim his spot up on the mantle with the rest of us (heck, even the stupid cat has her own stocking).

Didn’t have time to do a tutorial or even photograph my process, but I basically made this sucker up as I went. I traced my own stocking and cut 4 pieces of white flannelette and 2 pieces of the snowflake fabric. I essentially used the flannelette as batting (since I had none) to give it a bit of structure. The rest was winged (wung?) and turned out pretty alright!  I wrote A’s name on the top white part of the stocking (not pictured) using black fabric paint (because this mama don’t got no time for any of those fancy shenanigans like embroidery).

Ta da! I expect that’ll be all from me until after Christmas (which is in… 6 days. GASP!), so… Happy Holidays, folks!


“Quilted” puddle pads

As we are practicing Elimination Communication with our son, A, we have a definite need for waterproof underpads in this house. I had inherited an old waterproof crib mattress cover from a friend of ours, and as we don’t (yet) have a crib, I was unsure what to do with it. Turns out it had all the perfect parts for me to hack it to pieces and make a couple waterproof playmats or “puddle pads” for A! Check them out:

Here’s how I hacked these together. Keep in mind I’ve got an infant. He cries. Crafting time is severely compromised these days.

I cut the component pieces of the mattress cover apart. There was a waterproof plasticky-type backing and a quilted cotton top (thin cotton top layer + batting). The mattress cover was long enough to give me two roughly square (but not quite square) puddle pads when cut in half.

Using my rough square pieces, I measured and cut the same size from my chosen fabric.

I quasi-quilted the fabric to the batting layer only, to make sure the fabric stayed more or less flat, especially during many anticipated laundry cycles. For this step I just set my machine to a wide/long zig-zag and stitched in diagonal lines.

You can see the “quilting” on both sides here.

Then as a goofy addition, I appliquéd this little lion to the corner using a shorter (but still wide) zig-zag stitch around its edges. I totally improvised this.

Close-up of the appliqué.

Then I serged both the quilted piece and the waterproof piece together, to hold it all in place while finishing the edges.

I then applied bias tape to the edges. Poorly. I’m actually embarrassed with the crap quality of my work on the bias tape edge. I have yet to master applying it well, probably because I insist on machine-stitching the entire thing out of laziness.  Also, I always rush and always kind of hate the result. But in this case, these were going to get peed on. I wasn’t too picky about the end product. Plus, the baby was crying… But I digress. They turned out okay overall!

Here is the finished mat!

… and the other one, too.

These puddle pads have come in so handy for giving A diaper-free time, and we also routinely put one under his tiny potty. He recently developed the ability to pee sideways and vertically upwards (I wish I was exaggerating), so we have more out-of-potty accidents than we used to. It seems I made these mats just in time!

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Pillowcase dress for a new little friend

My lovely friend A had her baby girl, Z, in early June, and I decided to head straight into On The Ball mode and make her daughter a shower gift (she was having a post-birth shower so we had the advent of knowing the gender). So I made her this pillowcase dress from that same vintage pillowcase I’d used for the baby doll smock misadventure. It’s the same Prudent Baby pattern that I used to make my original (and still lovely, though not from an actual pillowcase) baby dress. Which, since I had a boy —

INTERJECTION!!  I haven’t mentioned the baby on here yet!  We had our lovely baby boy, A, at home on July 24th. He is perfect and the chubbiest. We are so in love. He is 9 weeks old now and can lift his head like it’s nobody’s business. He rolled over just the other day. He is about 15 pounds already. He is wonderful. Interjection over.

— since I had a boy, I will be saving in my stash of girly clothes for a potential future daughter. I can’t part with it just yet.

Forgive the lack of ironing in the above photo. I had to snatch it back from my friend A after giving it to her in order to snap this shot of it on her living room floor when I went to visit. I was not feeling bloggily inclined as I finished off this project and I hastily wrapped it up, proud of my impressive On The Ballness, having put together a complete gift (with a card and everything) ready for her shower well in advance. Like, the day before. That’s well in advance for me anyway. I was On The Ball! Also, I had a newborn myself, so really, to have sewn anything was pretty good form.


Tutorial: Reusable produce bags

Here’s a project I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I think I was putting it off because it was so simple that it somehow kept getting p pushed aside by other (perhaps more exciting?) projects. Anyway, today I thought “aw c’mon already, I’m just gonna do this.” And I did!

Reusable produce bags! Say goodbye to excess plastic and/or putting your loose and annoyingly spherical produce on the gross conveyor belt.

Here’s how I made them. (This is really so easy that it barely requires an explanation…)

Step 1. Cut out a rectangle of mesh or tulle. Note: Thinking of ironing out the wrinkles? Don’t go there.

Step 2. Fold the rectangle in half and serge (or sew) the bottom and/or side seams so you have a single opening at the top of your bag. Turn it right-side out.

Step 3. Fold the top edge inward and sew it down to form a casing for the string/cord. (But wait!  See the next photo first…)

Make sure to leave a small gap somewhere along the way (I suggest the side seam) where you can insert the string/cord.

Step 4. Cut a piece of string/cord (I suggest something lightweight) that is just a couple inches longer than twice the width of your bag. Feed it through the casing using a safety pin. Knotting the string is a good idea if it’s splitty.

Step 5. When you get both ends out, tie them together in a knot somewhere near the end.

Your bag should look something like this now.

When cinched, it should look like this!

Step 6. Insert produce and admire  your handiwork.

I made a couple more bags out of white tulle that I had leftover from making a friend a novelty veil for her bachelorette party.

Ta da!

No word yet on how durable these puppies are. I will provide an update in the future once I’ve used them a few times.

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Easy prefold belt

Remember scrunchies? Yeah, this is just a bigger one (the size of a baby’s waist) that holds a prefold diaper in place in a very easy-to-remove fashion. This makes quick trips to the toilet a cinch, since the diaper can be whipped off in a hurry in order to practice elimination communication (I’ve also blogged about EC before). Check out one happy belt-wearer in “action” on the product listing from continuum-family.com!

I followed the general instructions from Noonee Wilga and literally made this in ten minutes. I cut a 3″ wide piece of polar fleece, about 20″ long. Then I cut a piece of 1/2″ elastic about 13″ long. I serged the polar fleece piece together in a tube and turned it inside out. Then I fed the elastic through using a good old fashioned safety pin (so I could feel the end I was guiding through), sewed the elastic ends together, then sewed the fleece ends shut. Done!

It doesn’t look like much, but then again, as baby accessories go, function wins over fashion sometimes.