The 12 days of Christmas

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Hey all!

I’m guest posting today over at Craftstorming for the 12 days of Christmas sewing series.  Laura and Suz (of Sewpony) have gotten a great group of sewing bloggers together to talk about Christmas traditions and favorite memories… and of course some holiday sewing for the kiddos.

Hop on over to Craftstorming check out my crew decked out in their ‘Christmas Casual’ duds!

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Oh, and Grant has a message for you about fruitcake.

-Erin

Modern Folksy Bunny + a giveaway

When Virginia of the Gingercake blog + shop emailed to see if we’d be interested in sewing one of her patterns for her Holiday Gifts Sewing Series, it immediately conjured up memories.  Every Christmas, my mother tied wide red velvet ribbons around a few stuffed animals and set them in little wooden chairs on either side of our fireplace.  They only appeared at Christmastime which made them seem extra special, and my favorite one was a small white puma.

I just loved it and every time the boxes ‘o decorations made their way from the attic down to the first floor, I would find it buried somewhere and call it my own- If only for the month of December.

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So, when thinking about which pattern in Virginia’s shop that I’d like to sew up, I kept coming back to the Modern Folksy Bunny.  It reminded me of those sweet little stuffed animals that my Mom put out, and something I thought my own children would love to see re-appear at every holiday season…

So this little guy is staying in the family.

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I wonder who will call dibs?

The girl with the matching pants, of course!

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Corinne was pretty taken with this bunny.  She looked at it for a while, but then began to pick at the button eyes and the floppy bow.  She hugged it tightly, threw it on the ground, picked it up, put it in her shopping cart and rolled it around the kitchen… you get the idea.

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(This would be the second bunny I made- I made an ear-error on the first one, but I may finish it up today and show you that one later this week so stay tuned for that…)

This little bunny takes a nice shape thanks to a couple of well-placed darts and a little boxed corner at the toe.  Nice little details that I never would have thought of on my own.

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The body is made of Essex yarn dyed linen in black.  For the ear lining and bow, I used some red tartan that has been burning a hole in my stash for three years.  This might be my new favorite fabric combo, fyi.

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  Those bell-bottoms that Coco is wearing, were made for my older girl back when she was a toddler.  sniff sniff.  I found them the other day in a box of Winter clothes and I knew we had to include them in this photo shoot!

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My favorite part about making this bunny would have to be that cute pom-pom tail.  It was the first one I’ve ever made and I could seriously get hooked!  I used a basic white yarn and wrapped it around my hand old-school style- though I’ve heard there are pom-pom makers out there.

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Would you like to make your own folksy bunny?  Virginia has kindly offered up one Bunny pattern for one of you cool readers.

 Leave me a comment below!

Giveaway will end on Sunday 11/17 at 9 pm and a winner will be chosen at random.

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Be sure to check out all the other great PDF patterns in Virginia’s shop- tons of cute stuff there perfect for a handmade gift!

Happy (Holiday) Sewing!

-Erin

p.s. You can *like* Hungie Gungie on FB now and be up to the millisecond on any breaking news we may decide is important to share.  j/k. you’ll be lucky if we ever remember to post over there.

… hittin’ the big time y’all.

Two new additions

Hi everyone, I’m baaaacckk!  After a long hiatus, I’m finally stepping out of the fog, and ready to introduce you to the little something that’s been keeping me so busy these past few months…

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Isn’t it the most beautiful hallway that you’ve ever seen?!  It is when you’ve been living in 800+ square feet for 6 years!  We added 3 bedrooms and a basement to nearly double our living space and create a small roller-rink below.  Slab basement for now = future cave for stinky teenagers (or home theater, mini gym, sewing studio ;)… endless possibilities).  In progress photo:

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 Living in a tiny house, I learned a lot about organization and space management.  I love getting rid of STUFF!  It is like a giant *EXHALE*

However, even with my diligence to conquering clutter, I was losing the battle.  Pei’s cookbook collection was is getting out of control, my sewing stash was bursting out of our closet, and Jet and Avery would NOT STOP GROWING!

Oh yeah, and there was this other little thing:

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Meet Wes Charles Chang, born November 10, 2012!

I’m such a slacker, he’s already 3 months old.  Best baby EVER!  Don’t tell Jet and Avery I said that.

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So, yeah, just to add to the chaos of living in our home during construction, we decided to bring a newborn into the mix.   The only thing that kept me sane through the holidays was knowing that I would soon have a walk-in closet.  And, a second bathroom! *high-fives with husband*

Slowly we’ve been moving into our new rooms, but we left a lot of the finishing work to ourselves (painting, plumbing, light fixtures, tiling).  And, as most of you know, newborns and getting-sh*t-done don’t really mix! Looking forward to sharing many DIY reveals with you in the future!

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While my sewing machine enjoyed a long winters nap, I did manage to squeak out a few holiday crafts…

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Inspired by one that I pinned, this door mat looked so cool for about 2 weeks.  I spray painted an old one with silver, taped off the triangle shapes, and painted them shades of green.  I won’t show you what has become of it.  Next year, I will leave it on the covered porch that no one uses.

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I made these beaded icicles out of a necklace that my mother-in-law made me.   She doesn’t read this blog, in case you are wondering.

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I wish I could’ve captured how beautiful these looked on the tree with the lights sparkling through.  My photography could not do them justice.

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When Avery decided just days before Christmas that the one and only thing she wanted from Santa was a rocking horse, this one, donated by a friend, saved the day!  But, since Avery was familiar with said friend’s rocking horse,  I needed to give it a new look (on Christmas Eve mind you).

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Ah, the lengths we go to in order to perpetuate a gigantic lie, I mean preserve the magic of childhood! Don’t worry, Avery doesn’t read this blog either.

I will leave you with a few more photos of our new favorite kid.  Did I just say that?  Ha! Kidding! Kind of.

14-chritmas to jets b-day jan 2013 109Wes is wearing a beautiful hand-knit Baby Surprise Jacket (a Soulemama go to), made for him by dear friend, and often-mentioned-here, Grayson Butterfield.  She also made him these:

15-chritmas to jets b-day jan 2013 114This is the Picky Pants Pattern that Grayson and I love.  Could you die?!

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Obviously we are in mad love over here, both with Wes AND our new rooms.  Its shaping up to be a fabulous 2013!  Happy Year of the Snake!

~Caroline

Sweet Clarice Stocking + tutorial

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This stocking has been a long time coming… it’s been floating around in my head ever since last year’s Abominable Snowman was created.

I know I’m not alone in my love for Clarice…. she is pretty, pure, so kind, and has one of the lovliest voices in show biz.  It’s no question that my favorite scene in the Rudolph movie is when Rudolph and Clarice meet… and then when he flies and says “she said i’m cuuuuuuute!”  and then his fake nose falls off.  It’s classic.  I wanted to pay homage to my favorite leading doe, by making this felt stocking for one of my girls (I think Ellery is calling dibs on this one.  Corinne will have to settle for Hermie next year!  Or the misfit doll maybe?).

Do you love Clarice too?  Or do you know someone who would appreciate their very own Clarice Christmas stocking?

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for ya…..

First, go here to download and print this little Clarice pattern I drew up.

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You’ll need wool or wool blend felt.  I love the felt I’ve gotten from Ohma in the past- I used it here for Clarice and for the snowy ground… The main part of the stocking is felt from my local fabric shop, Les Fabriques- it’s not quite as high in quality as the Ohma stuff, but it’s perfectly fine for this project, and it came in a large piece.

  I used Oatmeal-colored felt for Clarice and an off-white felt for the snow.  Bright white for the main part of the stocking- but any backround color would be nice here…. I just wanted to keep it mostly white.  I also used some little bits of white velour for the white parts on her chest and belly and ears, and some white fur for the fluff on her tail.  I used a teensy bit of black felt for her nose, but you can also use a little black craft paint ( which is what i used for the hoofs).

Okay, here we go.  Cut your pattern pieces out and trace them onto your felt with a disappearing marker, or just get crazy and use a sharpie like me- just make sure to cut away black away.

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**note: when you are cutting the legs that are in the background, extend the piece at the top by about 1/4″  since you’ll need to tuck those pieces under the body and then glue them.)**

I started putting Clarice’s head together first- I shaped the eye by going back and forth between many photos of her on the iPad. Glue (using basic craft or fabric glue) the white of her eye down to the head piece, and then glue the back part on top of that.  Using a few strands of black thread, hand-stitch around her eye…and then stitch a few long eyelashes at the top corner.  Her lashes are her best feature, don’t you think?

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Okay, next glue the little white part of her mouth to her head, and then using a tiny piece of black felt, glue on a little nose for her (or paint one on).

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I had used her head as a gauge of how big the rest of her body should be… and then made up the rest of my pattern.  I think she’s fairly proportionate.

Okay, next you need to cut the front piece of your stocking.  You can trace a stocking you already have, or draw one up freehand.  Finished, mine is about 15″ tall, 6″ wide at the center (where Clarice’s body will be), and 10″ wide at the foot.  I cut mine slightly larger at first so I had some room to modify the design later on if I wanted to.

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Next you need to make a blanket of snow for Clarice to stand on.  I cut long wavy shapes and just placed them all across the foot of the stocking.  Just use a bit of glue to keep them in place, then topstitch them along the waves.  (You’ll cut the excess off later.)

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I used gold thread, but you can barely see it.  Oh well…We’ll add some bling later.

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Once the snow was on there, I used my disappearing ink marker to re-draw the bottom shape of the stocking.  Now you can start to glue the deer in place wherever you’d like her to be.  Play around with how you want things placed, how you want the head tilted, etc…

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Using some small pieces of white flannel, felt or velour, glue a bit to her neck, and her belly, and both ears.  Just use these pictures as a general guide for that.

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Then, use a small amount of white fur if you have it to make a little fluff at the end of her tail.  You could probably even use a little bit of a cotton ball if you didn’t have fur.

Check out what my kiddos did to my embroidery floss while I was engrossed in my project!!  ARGH!

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Okay, next… use some skinny red ribbon (with white polkda dots if you can find it- i lucked out and found some at Michael’s in the clearance Xmas section) to make a small bow.  Glue it right in between the ears.  Then use a Q-tip and brush on a little blush below her eye…

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Purty….  :)

Next, you can sew in some snowflakes using a few strands of thread- I used metallic gold… yep, you heard me.  Gold snow.  Er…stars?

You can also use embroidery floss.  Make a cross going one way, then a smaller one going the other way.  Make as many or as few as you want.

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Next up, pin your stocking to your back piece of felt.

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Sew your stocking together, staying close to the edge of your design.  Stitch along the marking on the foot you made, and then cut away the excess….

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Lookin’ good!

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Make a little loop to hang your stocking by sewing 2 rectangular pieces of felt together- finished, you want it about 9″ by 1/2″-3/4″.  Just sew up each side and trim the excess away…

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Bring the ends together and hand stitch them to the back piece of your stocking, at the top right corner.

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You can fancy up your stocking any way you’d like.  Pom pom trim would be super cute…. But I found that icy blue fringe trim at my local shop and knew right away it was meant for Clarice.  I thought it had a little old school charm…

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Hand-sew your trim (beginning at the back somewhere) all around the top edge of your stocking.

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AAAAANNNDDDD… you’re DONE!

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And enjoy having “There’s always tomorrow…. ” stuck in you head for about 3 days after….

Happy Holidays!

-Erin