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Family Photo Sewing52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #16, 17 & 18

We took advantage of having all of our children and our granddaughter in this week and planned a family photo session yesterday with the amazing Brandi of Brandi Thompson Photography! After all the planning and sewing that led up to the session, I don’t know how I’m going to manage the couple of weeks that it’ll take to get our proofs back!

I used my Everyday Camp Shirt pattern for shirts for our two youngest boys. When I told Jamie that we were using the colors red, white and blue for pictures, he asked for plain red, with red buttons, and he was not about to be swayed. At least he was okay with me doing the topstitching in white! I actually love the look of a solid colored camp shirt with coordinating stitching. I added a second line of stitching on the sleeve and bottom hems for a little extra color.

For Charlie’s shirt, I chose this red plaid from the Stars & Stripes Collection from Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs, and . . .

. . . added airplane buttons for a little extra fun.

I spent more time on Katie’s outfit than I did on anything else. It’s a little sneak peek at a girls’ (yes, I said girls’!) pattern that I’m planning for the fall. Because it’s a new pattern, I had to sew up a few sample dresses to test out the design, sizing and construction. I’m really, really happy with how the final dress came out. (There will be a few other options with this pattern. You know that I won’t give you anything without choices, right? You’ll have to wait a little while to see the rest, though.)

Katie’s dress is organic cotton from the Chick Chick collection by Nancy Mims for Robert Kaufman. I found it last week, along with the plaid fabric for Charlie’s shirt, when I stopped in at The Quilt Asylum.

It’ll be a little bit, but I’ll be sure to share our photos as soon as they are ready!


Toot Toot Shortalls for Charlie52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #15

Sadly, Charlie is about to outgrow this pattern. It’s definitely one of my very favorites for babies and toddlers, and outgrowing it means that my baby is approaching the end of his toddler-hood. Soon he’ll be a on to big boy things. For this summer, though, I’m going to enjoy how cute he looks in his Buttons & Buckles Shortalls!

These were originally cut out for Spring Quilt Market but time ran short, and they were set aside. I actually think my sweet friend, Michelle, cut them out during out marathon cut-out-everything-that-Bonnie-needs-to-sew-for-Market day! (I love that Michelle had a hand in these, especially since her little guy, Simeon, tends to be the recipient of Charlie’s outgrown, handmade clothes. It’s so, so nice to have a friend that appreciates receiving handmade hand-me-downs!)

Isn’t it exciting when you find the perfect buttons for an outfit? It actually makes me look forward to sewing buttonholes!

You only have two weeks left to sew for the Little Boys’ Shorts Sewing Project at Hopeful Threads. It’s so exciting to see all the shorts that are being added everyday! I hope to have some tips for sewing done-during-naptime knit shorts tomorrow. Be sure to check back in!

Football Backpack for Jamie 52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #14

We have some traveling planned for the summer. Our Florida trip has been delayed for now, but that’s a story for another time.  As I was saying, we have some traveling planned for late summer, and Jamie needed a new backpack. He asked for a football backpack, and it so happens that I had multiple pieces of leftover football fabric from various other projects hanging around my sewing studio. (In addition to being one of my 52 (Family) Projects, this is a stash-only project! That means bonus points, right?)

I love my new Playdate Bag pattern, but the backpack is really too small for Jamie at 5 1/2. So, I sized it up just a little, and I think it’s perfect now for that early school age group! If you have the pattern, it’s really easy to size it up. For Jamie, I added an inch to both the width and the height: 1/2″ on each side and 1/2″ on the top and bottom. To match the flap up to the new width, I added 1/2″ to the straight side of each outside curved piece and increased the back of the flap by 1″ in width. I left the length of the flap alone.  I also added an inch to both the padded strap and the webbing strap.  Here’s how the two backpacks look side by side:

Jamie’s new backpack conveniently matches the crayon roll that was my very first family project of the year.

That means that he doesn’t really need the crayon pocket on the inside, so I modified the inside pocket to hold two pencils and any other little things that he needs to take along, like headphones for his Leapster. Isn’t great how when you sew, you can tailor-make something perfect for it’s new owner?

I finished up a few more family projects this week that I’ll share with you next week. This weekend, I’ll be working on shorts for the Little Boys’ Shorts Project at Hopeful Threads along with a quick tutorial for how you can add another little “extra” to them. These are the fabrics that are in the line-up. Aren’t they fun?

Oh, I have to share a funny story from this morning before I go. Jamie pulled the madras shorts that are in my post from July 1st out of his drawer this morning, and as he was pulling them on I asked, “Do you like those shorts?” The response? “Yep! You let me splash in mud puddles in them!” Don’t forget that the Mud Puddle Splashers pattern is a free download this month to sew for charity and then for your own little ones!

The Sunny Days Waterproof Pool & Beach Bag A Tutorial & 52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #13

The Sunny Days Waterproof Pool & Beach Bag is #13 on my 52 Family Projects list, and I put together a tutorial so you can make one for your family, too!


Do you feel like you have to pack a zillion things when you head out to the pool? I made this bag huge so it holds everything you could possibly need to have on hand . . . towels, sunscreen, water bottles, goggles, snacks, flip flops, sunglasses . . .

I’ve been using mine for our daily trips to swim lessons the last two weeks, and I can’t tell you how much I love it! The outer body and the outside of the pockets are sewn with Michael Miller’s new PUL (polyurethane laminate) so everything inside the bag stays nice and dry, and, if you happen to throw something damp inside the bag, the seat on your car isn’t going to end up getting wet on the way home either! (Of course, you can substitute cotton woven quilting fabrics for the PUL for a non-waterproof bag, if you’d prefer.)


These criss-cross pockets in the front work great to organize those things that you need to be able grab quickly. They look really cool, too!

I put the tutorial together in an easy to read and print pdf. You can find it right here: The Sunny Days Waterproof Pool & Beach Bag.

A Long-awaited Apron for Father’s Day52 (Family) Projects in 2012: #12

When I first announced this project, I mentioned that my business draws my attention away from sewing for my family. That is true, but add sewing for my children to sewing for business, and my poor husband gets totally left out in the cold. He asked me to make him an apron for Father’s Day . . . last year. He might have even mentioned the apron a few more times after the original request . . . Christmas, his birthday, almost every time he’s cooked in the last year. Well, he finally has his apron!

Ray actually does the majority of the dinner cooking in our house, so this apron will be well-used. (He’s been away from home quite a bit lately, and I really miss sharing the cooking responsibilities!) I chose the background fabric for the apron itself, but the kids picked out the pocket fabric. Apparently, they think that Daddy can’t cook anything without peppers and onions.

I used McCalls 2233 which I’ve used a few times before. It’s a quick and easy pattern, and I mostly follow the instructions to assemble it. I was thinking as I was putting this one together, that it would be really simple to make it reversible. Maybe I’ll try that next time.

I think men tend to be harder to sew for than women (and they’re definitely harder to sew for than children). What have you sewn for your husband? Is there something on your list for him? (He’ll probably understand if it takes you a year to sew for him. Just be sure to actually do it!)

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