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Newborn Candy Corn costume pattern

October 22, 2010

What could be sweeter than a three-week-old baby candy corn? Last year I had Grace’s first Halloween costume planned almost as soon as I found out I was due in October. Even before I knew her name. Or that she was a her. But “planned” is the key word in that sentence, because I didn’t end up making this until after she was two weeks old and Halloween was days away. And did I mention she wanted to be held for about 20 hours a day? So I designed this easy bunting, which can be made in one and a half naps (although I make no guarantees, if your newborn sleeps like Gracie did–or didn’t–at that time!).

If you know a newborn in need of a simple and sweet costume this year, here’s my suggestion! Click here to download my PDF pattern and instructions (sorry for the page by page. I wanted to make sure it maintained proper dimensions and Word wasn’t cooperating):

Sula’s Newborn Candy Corn costume instructions

pattern p. 1

pattern p.2

pattern p. 3

pattern p. 4

A few notes before we begin:

Firstly, this candy corn bunting is designed to be worn as a costume only. It is not intended to be worn for sleeping or extended time periods. My goal was to make it simple to sew, and easy to take on and off the baby.

And keep in mind that I am not a designer, so by downloading this pattern you are agreeing to take your costuming in your own hands, and to exercise your slack-cutting abilities in regards to me. In other words, no whining! (That being said, shoot me an email and I’ll try to help however I can if you get stuck somewhere. Because we all know it’s not you, it’s me.)

Secondly, Grace was about 8 lbs. when she wore this. You may want to measure a current sleeper against my pattern to make sure it is long enough.

Thirdly, I ended up adding darts at the tie line on my original costume, but in my test run as I was writing up this pattern I couldn’t figure out why I needed them. The bunting is simple enough that you don’t really need any shaping. If someone makes this and finds that you DO need the darts, please let me know so I can amend the pattern for others!

Fourthly, this pattern is for personal use only. In a similar vein, do not use my daughter’s pictures, but feel free to link to this page.

Enjoy, and I’d love to see your finished project in action! Or just send candy…

A meta moment

October 15, 2010

I come and go as I please on my blog, and I must thank those of you who continue to read for tolerating my apparently capricious posting. My grandmother passed away rather unexpectedly almost a month ago, and losing her made me want to retreat from the big world a bit. So I did, bargaining with myself that I would return again when I could type that sentence. I couldn’t move on with my usual tripe without attempting to come to grips with the loss, but I dreaded acknowledging it in general and here in particular, where words can seem simultaneously too ephemeral to pay adequate tribute and yet too wide spread for something so personal.

Apparently today I am getting ready to return, although what I haven’t figured out how to express is how much she meant to me. I’ll just thank you in advance for your kind thoughts and prayers for my family and promise to come back soon with a little bit of stitching.

Baby shoes, sewing blues

September 18, 2010

The good this week: more baby shoes!

new baby shoe design

It’s pretty obvious that I am obsessed with making baby shoes. I’m just not satisfied with the shoes available for purchase, finding that they are either too stiff, too difficult to get on, too easy to get off, too big, too little, too ugly, too cute, too expensive–gee, am I picky or what?

So I’ve decided to undertake making my own. I used my experience with the cloth baby shoe pattern (which I still love for small babies, by the way) to draft my own pattern based on Gracie’s foot. It continues to amaze me that she is so NOT one-size-fits-all, down to her little narrow heels. Her adorable, sweet, precious little heels. (A little over the top? Hardly!)

My areas of concern: fit, easy to put on (for me), hard to get off (for her), easy to wear, cute without being cutesy, durable for wearing and washing, completely finished on the inside.

baby shoe pattern in the works

Here are my test shoes. I used a microfiber imitation suede for the outer, lined with flannel on the uppers and a sherpa-ish material on the sole. I also interlined the sole with canvas for a little more protection on the playground. There is elastic in the back, and I won’t have ribbons for the final version. It’s a pretty sturdy little shoe, although I hear tell of a leather stash at my mom’s that I may or may not raid when I’m there next month…

And now for this week’s bummer: my beloved sewing machine broke again. That’s the third time in less than a year, which tells me a) there’s something seriously wrong, and b) my $45 flat rate repair guy–we’ve visited him twice already–isn’t up to the job. What’s a girl to do? I’m entertaining the idea of buying a cheap-o machine to get me through and learning how to repair my machine by myself. I could really use your thoughts and advice! No sympathy necessary, though, since I’ve already invested a good part of the last two days in feeling sorry for myself. 😉

Baby, hue make me so happy

September 11, 2010

I never planned to live vicariously through my daughter, but I have to tell you that I am positively reveling in all of the color that she has brought into our lives (both literally and metaphorically, of course).

from Sandra Boynton’s Blue Hat, Green Hat

Rae just wrote about her changing relationship to pink, and I am right there with her. I am having a blast putting together baby Grace’s room, with Michael Miller’s Pretty Bird fabric popping up everywhere.

check out the $10 dresser I repainted! And of course the old standby canvas-covered-by-fabric “art”

I’ve noticed that a rainbow theme is an excellent way to make a simple project exciting, like these little rice bags:

Some of them were supposed to have real pictures of our family on one side, but the photo transfer paper I used to iron on didn’t stand up to the abuse of a teething baby so that idea quickly fell by the wayside. (The unexpected bonus, however, is that I’ve started throwing a few of these in the freezer and they are excellent for gnawing.)

My big color-and-scraps project for the summer was inspired by a fellow blogger. When K at West Coast Creative started her landscape projects this summer, I was intrigued by her every stitch. And although I knew I wouldn’t do hand sewing at this moment in time, I decided to apply some of the free form principles to something that had been stirring in my mind for a while: a color and texture baby book for Grace. No patterns, no forethought, just using scraps as best I could! Some edges I incorporated into the design, others I properly finished, some I just zig-zagged in place. I was careful to stitch everything very securely, especially snaps and buttons. It’s not quite as sophisticated as the quiet book I saw a while ago, but it was age appropriate for her this summer and fun for both of us. I used crumply bags and ahem, cat toys inside a few of the pages for added texture and noise, and it was a hit!


And then there’s the stash enhancement that all of this color bliss brings along with it. I mean, I am using my scraps, but can you imagine how much fun I had when I won the PR Children’s Sewing Contest (the random entry prize, thank goodness, because if I had won for my sewing skills I’d probably have been too shy to share it with you) and got a gift certificate to the Fabric Fairy? Not only did I finally get my paws on an Ottobre, but I also got some fun and funky knits for fall. Thank you, Fabric Fairy and PR!

Why I’m so dull (this time)

September 8, 2010

Today’s amusing and marginally related anecdote at my expense:

After our most recent move, I reveled in all of the organizing challenges and possibilities. One day when my dearest husband came home from his terribly interesting job, I was excited to tell him of my most recent kitchen coup: finding the perfect spot for my potholders. I began to prattle on about convenience, aesthetics, and so forth, only to realize that he had probably saved someone’s life today, and that the location of my potholders was not likely to be high on the list of his concerns. I stopped mid-sentence and said, “Oh, I just realized that I’m so boring!”

To which my dearest darling thoughtful husband replied, “You just now realized that?”

What I heard: “You’ve been boring for the past ten years, what made you finally come to that conclusion now?”

He swears he meant: “What in the midst of the past three minutes of engaging dialogue made you suddenly come to that erroneous conclusion?”

Fortunately at the end of a brief charged silence, I was crying from laughter and promising never to tell anyone about his apparently boorish behavior.

Oops. Got you back.

Big ol’ anyway…

I’m making a winter coat! Simplicity 2812, (here on Simplicity’s site and here on PR) with shawl collar and mini-coat length. No, I’m not doing any sew-a-longs. That would smack of adequate social skills, now wouldn’t it. But I’ve given myself six weeks, which means that my contributions to the blog are about to become rather boring. (Hmm, maybe it’s time for Mom to step up to the plate? Dial up internet and a 6-yr.-old computer are no excuses!)

Here’s my first muslin. I feel slightly like a genius because I cut my muslin out of the fabric that I’m going to use to underline. Sounds good in theory, right?

So, first muslin conclusion: That’s not baby weight, that’s a size too large and I’m guessing too much pattern ease. Stay tuned for my progress over the next six weeks! How exciting for you! Just wait until I reveal the ugly home dec fabric I got on half off the clearance table at JoAnn’s!

Are you sewing a winter coat too? Do you think my idea to use the underlining for fitting is brilliant? Have you ever been accused of being boring? I didn’t think so.

Please, make a hypocrite of me

August 31, 2010

I entered the Sew Mama Sew’s serger contest at the 11th hour! The prompt was to show how a serger would change my life. And you know me, I couldn’t just come out and say it, now could I? It’s a minute and a half, but don’t watch it for the pictures–watch it for the music…

Last year’s bandwagon, and me

August 30, 2010

I’ve decided to concentrate my sewing for myself on pieces that get a lot of wear: jackets, cardigans, jeans (you saw that coming a mile away, didn’t you?).  I made this cardigan–Simplicity 2603, please don’t make me call it a cardi-wrap–for my gorgeous SIL last Christmas (sorry, no picture), and since I already had the pattern cut out and ready to go, last week I cut into a bargain basement white knit and stitched ‘er up. Ahh, the thrill of only being a year or so behind the times!

I think the pose I was aiming for is “thinking” not “nibbling.”

With an actively crawling little girl who desperately wants to be walking, I’ve been getting about five to ten minutes at the machine, maybe three times a week. Thank heavens you taught me to chain stitch, Mom! My M.O. for this project was pin and prep during a nap time, then if I had a chance to stitch a bit while Gracie is occupied with blocks or books or chasing the cats I’d quickly sew, say, the side panels and the cuffs. It was a little strange, but by the end of the week–and probably less than an hour total at the machine–I had a finished project! (Strangely similar is the way I’m writing this blog post: in another tab I have the world’s slowest and least flexible library catalog open, working on the diss. *Sort my search results, hit “next page,” blog a bit,* repeat from * to *. I’m on #50 of 1553. And they only show 10 records a page, with limited limits. And they won’t let me keep a running list of books I want, so I have to download each citation individually. And…there are typos! Anyone else ready to throw something with me, preferably a stack of card catalog cards like the NYPL specter in Ghostbusters? Rant over, Sula out.)

This is probably how I’ll end up wearing it when I realize that those extensions are completely impractical. I finished all of my inside seams, most of them by cutting down one of the seam allowances and folding the other one over it, then stitching on my original stitch line again. I don’t know if that is an official seam finish, but it worked! On the boo hiss side of things, I left the long hems unhemmed on this one (for now). I did a narrow hem on the one I made for my SIL and they turned out surprisingly well, so I didn’t skip them because I am scared. Just ready to keep on moving on, and because I tell myself they are extra flowy like this.

Speaking of moving on, here’s what Grace wore yesterday. It’s Simplicity 3808, a great pattern (with facings!) to make and it wears well. I think this is my favorite pattern for babies I’ve made thus far. Julie bought this fabric for Grace when she was here in April, and we’ve gotten some good mileage out of it! I made it in June and never blogged about it. So I’ll post it here and the skimmers among you (bless your hearts) will think I’ve been super productive!


And finally, to complete my “what the heck, I’ve got no rhyme or reason for today’s post” post, I’m happy to show you the Shetland shorty I cast on for in 2008. knitty pattern link and ravelry pattern link (ps only knitters can get away with saying things with a jumble of prepositions like “on for in.”)

Started this when I knit a lot, thinking it would be quick (ha) and one of those pieces that is nice to have to complete a summer dress ensemble (that I don’t have). Last summer I finally picked up the stitches for the front bands, and this summer I picked up the stitches for the arm bands and wore it for the first time.

Do try not to be intimidated by my blazing speed or inspiring dedication.

Comment recap (a la Kitschy Coo, whose cleverness daily astounds but this idea makes me guffaw): cardigan–welcome to the times, it was cool the first 200 times; Gracie’s frock–oooo, baby clothes! how fun to be gifted fabric; shetland shorty–it took you how long? for that? Also welcome are library/ online catalog horror stories, and encouragement to get back to work!