Archive for the ‘Cloth’ Category

more beans

The stack of sweaters was just sitting there looking at me (because I hadn’t put them away yet, ahem) and they suggested I make another bean bag out of them.  So I did, of course…

while Hopper played with Legos.  I love this particular felted sweater.  Hopper asked if I was planning to make this one for the baby.  I told her that we’ll be sure to make some for the babe when the time comes.

When she was done with her Legos, she wanted to make another.  To my surprise (and pleasure), she wanted to be more involved in the actual sewing this time.

She wasn’t quite flying solo, but progress I say.  I only had to rethread the needle about 12 times.  The sensory bin doesn’t look too empty… yet.


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Hopper found this book on in the sun/playroom and fondly remembering our evening of bean bag making, asked to make another.  I snagged my stack of neglected felted sweaters and we sat down to make one.  I thought maybe she’d be ready to sew her own, unlike last time.  I was wrong.  She got a few stitches in and handed it over to me to finish up for her (we’d had enough frustration for one day, I sacrificed the teaching moment for a moment of self-preservation).  Pip was too busy doing something crazy on the computer to be bothered (I wish I could explain the things he does, but they involve virtual machines and operating systems and whatnot). But later, he got on board himself.  Perhaps the lack of sharing by Hopper was his motivation?  Hopper’s is the striped, Pip’s the wine color.  The striped one is nice and thick and doesn’t hurt quite as much when you get hit with it, fyi.

A quasi-tute perhaps?

Bean Bags


Felted wool sweater(s)
Beans or seeds


Cut two of your desired shape bean bag from your felted wool sweaters.  Because they’re felted, they won’t unravel, so you don’t need to turn and topstitch or anything crazy like that.  Holding the two pieces together (pin if you need some stabilty) stitch around with your stitches close enough so your beans don’t escape.  Keep sewing until you have about an inch left.  Raid the sensory bucket* for black beans.  Fill your bean bag.  Sew up the rest of the way.  PLAY!

*We have a plastic tub filled with 25 lbs of black beans and various accouterments (wooden spoons, clean containers, small pitcher, etc).  It is currently missing two bean bags worth of black beans.

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Just a couple months left and I have SO much I want to make make make for the baby.

I specifically bought fabric to make some of these, enough for at least three pairs.

In my quest to decided which carrier I wanted (Ergo… bEco…?) I stumbled on this pattern.  A little ambitious for the next 8 weeks, but I see some sewing time in my future post baby (and won’t really need this kind of carrier for a while since we’ll be living in a knit wrap for quite some time).

And then of course the sweaters.  I already knit one Baby Yoda, raglan style (I worked it out myself, after I successfully knit another, I’ll post directions with the original designers permission).  The Man wants an authentic gray one so we’re probably going to get some of this and I’ll knit another.  Darn, I just realized they’re out until the first of the year.  Hmmm.  But then I also feel like I have another sweater in me, a brown wool one.  I haven’t come across just the right pattern yet even though I’ve spent days on Ravelry looking.  I may have to wing it.

Oh, and for the midwives gifts, I found THE perfect idea – scale slings!

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The Man and I are on a bit of a road trip. I’d been itching to make a new purse and stumbled on this fabulous corduroy at my favorite fabric spot. I got just enough for a pair of pants for Hopper and a bag for momma. I went back for more but, sadly, it was gone. It’s not one of those places that restocks – they get what they get and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Since I’m a gal who tends to need a deadline to really get things done, our little jaunt was the perfect kick in the pants to finally make a new bag.

The basis is Amy Karol’s Pleated Beauty Bag and reduced by about 1/3. I have all the dimensions worked out and will happily share when I get back. I foresee a tute perhaps? While I looove this bag, it is a bit fallish and I probably need something more springy.

And then I needed a wallet of the matchy matchy sort. Being pressed for time I whipped out a small foldover pouch (much like Amy’s Artsy Clutch).

Both are lined with tan micro cord. I really adore micro cord, in case you were wondering.

I’m trying to get back into the swing if blogging, you see, so if all goes well I’ll post more snippets of our wee road trip. For now, I think I’ll nap while the man drives and dream of my next bag.

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I have this really fabulous niece.  She’s 12 going on 20 going on 6.  I’ve had the good fortune of hanging out with her a couple times this week.  I also had the good fortune to get her a basic little Brother machine a couple Christmas’s ago.  She hasn’t used it much – she’s not one for the patience and when the bobbin got wonky she sort of threw her hands up and walked away from it for a while.  Well, Auntie to the rescue.

Friday night I fixed the bobbin and re-threaded her machine for her.  I gave her a few driving tips and she was back on the road.  She constructed this fabulous skirt/shawl out of some fabric and part of an old dress.  She showed me her drawer full of clothing she intends to reconstruct into something else. Of course, she busted a needle into 3 pieces trying to hammer through a ton of layers of fabric to sew on a loop for her button.  I reminded her that if her machine makes that noise, it’s probably best to stop for a second and re-assess.

Last night we were over for her step-sister’s birthday party.  Not surprisingly, in the last 5 days, the machine chucked a wobbly on her and there were bobbin troubles again.  I reminded her there were pictures in the manual which was met with a tiny scoff and “I don’t like to read”.  Pictures dear, pictures.  But I wasn’t just tweaking things to get her back on track again, she had a plan.  A right now plan.  See, Memere got a new cell phone and the niece decided that Memere needed a wee bag for her phone.  She yanked a black something-or-other from her “reconstruction” drawer.  She folded, she cut with her round ended paper scissors, she sewed a bit here and a bit there and voila – a pouch for Memere’s phone.

I envy her; her ability to drop everything else and do what she’s moved to do.  Some might call it ADD, impulsivity, what-have-you.  I call it freedom.

I feel that pang to take a page from her book, to spend some hours up in the spare room finally unpacking and organizing so that when I’m moved to do, I can do.  Do you know how much fabric and craft supplies I have?  A lot.  Do you know how many ideas I have rattling around up there?  A lot.  And how much time to I take to make, to create.  Not much, not much at all.  I wonder why that is.  What do I allow to get in my way?

All is not totally lost.  I’ve been knitting.  Slippers.  See.

Working on a recipe even, so you might make yourself a pair.

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As a working family, the end of the day is a tricky time.  By the time we’re in the door most nights it’s nearly 6.  Then there are the necessary tasks of dinner, making sure Pip’s homework is in the appropriate stage of done-ness, baths and then bed no later than 8.  Not a lot of time to carve out meaningful family moments.

On good nights we are able to create a fabric of time where those connections with them are interwoven in all the ‘task’ type stuff that simply needs to be done.

Last night upon walking in the door Pip asked if he could use the computer, Hopper asked to watch a DVD and momma, not a fan of screen consumption, said “not right now, why don’t you go into the sunroom and play”.  “Play?!?!” says Pip.  This word challenges him to no end because if there isn’t a screen or specific task laid out for him, he feels very uneasy.  I walked out to the sunroom with them to offer tantalizing things such as big paper on the easel, or perhaps a game.  I spotted this book that I’d snagged at a rummage sale a few weeks ago for ten cents.  I handed it to Pip and said “hey, check this out.  See if there’s anything in there you want to make” and since he was without major protest, I retreated to the kitchen to cook.

Within minutes, much to my surprise, he’d identified a project and was ready to get cracking.  Bean bags.  Very nice.  We talked about how felt would probably be best considering the materials we had at the ready (read: not many since the studio/office is yet to be unpacked …gasp…).  We discussed woven fabrics and unraveling and once he was convinced we were heading in the right direction, we got down to business.

Pip, a creature of rules, again surprised me by going against the grain of the book and choosing a square.  I never grow tired of watching him learn to be flexible and creative.

Hopper got in on things too, she wanted a heart shape which I happily cut out for her.  Pip was very concerned about her wielding a needle, but to his relief she got frustrated rather quickly and abandoned her heart with requests that I finish it up for her.  Under different circumstances, I would have taken a little more time and helped her work through it, but I was going between the stove and the two of them, so gave what I could trusting there would be other opportunities.

Black beans, a quick paper cone for a funnel and we had two bean bags.  They spent the rest of the time waiting for dinner squealing with delight and making up games with their new bean bags (with a few pit stops for minor repairs).

I’m surprised at how much easier things are when I let go a little, when I let myself be flexible in the path I’ll take to reaching my goals.  The path to dinner was winding and went in circles at times, but in the end we were fed, they were happy with their new toys that they helped make and we succeeded in weaving in our basic family needs for nourishment of body and mind.  I’m not sure I could ask for much more.

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I discovered this gem a few weeks back at my favorite local rummage sale.  It’s warm, bright, and just the right weight.  It was wedged in a stack of blankets.  I plucked out 3 wool blankets and then spotted this just as I was about to walk away.

See that salmon color fabric peeking out – whoever pieced this together repurposed an old cotton blanket as the batting.  I love how some of my generation who are finding their way into repurposing and reusing and frugalizing and stretching things think they (we?) are such pioneers, and in our generation we are.  But for our grandmothers, great-grandmothers and even our mothers, such ideology and practices were just life.  You used what you had, and reused and found new life for it until there was no life left in it.  And then maybe you asked a neighbor if they had a use for it.

My new favorite place to be is snuggled up under this on the couch, perhaps watching a bit of something on Hulu with the Man, with needles and wool in my hands.

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