Saturday, April 25, 2015

Designer Pattern Swap- Renaissance Maiden from Muse in the Morning

It has been a long time since I've sewn anything non-doll related, so I jumped at the chance to join in on the Pattern Swap. I had the privilege to try out Muse of the Morning's Renaissance Maiden Outfit pattern. I have to say, I was so pleasantly surprised by the ease that this entire outfit came together and the fit is perfect! 

Yeah, that's how we roll here.

I must admit I am not exactly the best when it comes to following directions or even reading directions, but this time I made sure to read thoroughly and do it right. It was easy to behave with this pattern, the instructions are easy to follow and not once did I look at a piece and wonder "what do I do with this?" That is actually a big deal, because confused and impatient is my most common mental state when I try to make clothes, so the fact that I managed not only a single item, but a whole outfit, is close to a miracle and definitely a testament to the awesomeness of this pattern. 

My favorite part was installing the eyelets, it was a first for me, so of course I was bubbling with pride when I managed to pull it off the first time. 

Lil is beaming in her new outfit and my boy's are now looking at me to get working on their costumes. I fear they might start expecting more planning ahead then my usual night before sew-a-thon, prior to our yearly Renaissance Fair weekend. To bad they wont wear dresses, 'cause I'd be set.

If you'd like to get your machine working on the Renaissance Maiden's pattern, Muse in the Morning has it on sale for 30% off now until the 30th!

Also check out the other swap participants over at Pattern Revolution and enter in the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Pattern!!

The Mama and Baby Otter pattern is now available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops!!

This cuddly pair of otters are a lovely project for both experienced and novice makers alike. Mama Otter is about 12" long and her Baby Otter is just shy of 8". They can be made with minky or fleece ( I used some super plush cuddle fleece). They are easy to assemble with minimal sculpting, which I show you how to do with easy to follow instructions and pictures.

These two are as fun to make as they are to snuggle!

Aside from it's obvious cuteness and it's beginner friendly simplicity, this pattern is a big deal for me personally. It's the first pattern release of 2015 and the first pattern release since my husband's diagnosis in October. It's proof that we are heading towards the light, that healing has begun and it symbolizes a lot of hope for the future. 
Yes, this a lot of feeling to put into such a small thing, but it's not so small when you look at it really close. When you look at the hours put in here and there between the chaos and confusion that became life. This project was my goal for so long and now it is here. 
Thank You !! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Opposing Forces of Stretch

I had a Eureka moment the other day, quickly followed by a swift palm slap to my forehead. How is it possible that it took me this long to figure out? I've been making and designing softies for years and I'm sure in the back of my mind I knew this, but the fact that it took so long to bubble to my consciousness is a bit embarrassing. 
What is this revelation I am talking about? 
Stretch and the use of opposing forces to counter balance each other, thus making a well rounded shape easier to obtain then ever before.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about (using the soon to be released Otter pattern)

With the stretch going vertical the head ends up quite elongated with a fairly large forehead. It also took a lot of squishing and careful stuffing to keep a consistent 3D shape.
* His missing eye is not a result of the stretch, but a great example of the importance of very small holes when placing safety eyes.*

  I ran into the same problems when I had the stretch going horizontally, but instead i got a really wide, squat head. Keeping a smooth 3D form was even more difficult with this one, as you can tell by the wonky shape of his head. 
With both of the examples the head ends up flat and it would take a bit of sculpting to get a decent round cheek shape.

Now if I cut the face (front) and the back of the head with opposing stretch directions, they work to balance each other out. This little change results in a much easier to stuff foundation and rounder, smoother 3D end product.

The vertical stretch in the back keep the horizontal stretch in the front from stretching to wide and vice versa for the length

I hope this little tid-bit of knowledge helps you in your future softie and doll making ventures. Keep your eyes out for the Tiny Otter Pattern set to release tomorrow April 14th!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


  It has been six long hard months since my husband's diagnosis and my last blog post.
 This experience has taken more out of me then I ever thought I had and sometimes I feel completely drained. At the same time I find myself overflowing with gratitude and hope. It is confusing and exhausting, in general completely overwhelming.

  The great news is; so far it looks like all of my husband's treatments have worked. We haven't had the official scan yet, but we will soon. He underwent major surgery (12+ hours) in November to remove tumors from his tongue, floor of his mouth and lymph node. They also had to remove a large portion of his tongue, which they then reconstructed from a section of his forearm. I am still in awe of what the doctors were able to do for him. After about a week in the hospital, we were able to go home and heal before he began his radiation and chemo. His seven weeks of chemo and radiation began the week of Christmas.

   To say the least it has been a long dark winter, but it wasn't without it's bright moments. We have been shown so much kindness and caring, I could never properly express the humbling and gracious feeling that comes with being on the receiving end of charity. It may be a terrible situation, but we've been blessed with good people that have made it much easier.

  There is still a lot ahead of us, we are by no means out of the woods yet, but there is hope that one day this will be behind us.

In the mean time, I'm slowly working on new designs and soaking up any knowledge I can, as I hope to move forward as business owner. I haven't really had the time to finish anything yet, but when I do finally get there, it will be awesome.

Thank you all for your faith, prayers and well wishes.