Wednesday, August 20, 2008


When I was very small I used to love flipping through my aunt's dress pattern books. This is one of my favorites.

It's called "Stitch House: Infant wear by direct cutting" was printed in 1984, was translated from Japanese and is most likely out of print. The back cover reads:

"This simplicity is unrivaled, Mom's sort of excited. You just leave markings directly on the fabric, cut parts apart with scissors and machine them together, that's all. Whether you intend to or not, any of these can be finished in a day. That's direct cutting."

Yes, mom's sort of excited alright. Why I heart this book:
-Cute retro Japanese drawings
-Japlish scattered through out the book. One page reads 'It's all right that you're naughty, but give some thoughts to clothes I made myself. Mom.'
-The clothes are really easy to make and you don't even have to make a pattern.

I used to love this book so much that the first page bears my squiggly childish hand writing stating ownership. Now the book has been passed on to me and I make things for Mari from it.

Soo.. I thought I'd share some of the designs with you all. It's really good for beginners or people who don't have much time. Perfect for mommy crafting. And I needed some motivation to keep updating my blog. So from now on every week I'll try to post a project I made from this book ok?

This week:

I was inspired by a picture of the darling snack smocks on moving hands blog and decided I must make a smock for Mari. I remembered the little smock pattern in the Stitch house book and dug it up. I then simplified it a bit so I could use some of my old t-shirts. Here's the finished product:

This is the original pattern:

Here's my modifications:
-I used old t-shirts, so I just cut straight from armpit to arm pit and discarded the top bit resulting in a tube of fabric with a raw edge on top and a hemmed bottom. I cut the back opening straight up the back of the tube, turning the tube in to one long rectangle. I then turned the top edge down and stitched it in place to create a long tunnel along the top edge, cut out the sleeves according to the pattern and threaded a ribbon though the tunnel running along the top edge.
-Using an old t-shirt means no hemming involved.
-T-shirts don't unravel so I didn't hem the sleeves either.
-No pockets because Mari doesn't use them yet, but they could easily be made using the left over sleeve bits.

So yeah, very very simple. I managed to make one in about ten minutes while Mari was busy pulling books off the shelves!

(*disclaimer bit: I'm posting stuff from the Stitch House book because I assume that this book is out of print and I think the patterns are too good to keep to myself. An internet search for this book turned up nothing, but if you are the author/publisher / or anyone else who owns or worked on this publication and you want me to pull this down or anything mail me and I will do so immediately.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

mommy crafts

Psst!! I've joined a web board that my friend Kat from created. It's called Mama crafty and if you have a little one or are planning to, or just want to join in on the conversation please sign up!

As for me, I have been quite the busy crafter for the last week. I made some dolls for Mari's B-day using the ruby doll pattern from one red robin.

I used odds and ends from my kimono scrap bag and such. I really love how much I have hoarded up. The Mr. says I am a pack rat and I guess I am. A very happy one too.

It's the first time Mari has appreciated anything I made her (she was too youg before). She was asleep when I finished the dolls, when she woke up to nurse I brought them in to the bed thinking I'll surprise her the next morning when she wakes up. As she nursed I made a doll 'kiss' the back of her head good night and she immediately stopped nursing, pulled off and looked at the doll. She then gave me the widest smile and sat up and pulled each doll up for closer inspection.

Have you ever seen such a happy little face?

I don't think I can ever stop making her stuff now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

This time last year.

You were only a few hours old. Learning to breathe, learning to see. I was recovering from a major operation, learning to turn over, to sit up again in spite of the pain. We've come a long way. Amazing that in just a year so much can happen. I would love to write something eloquent that'll express all I feel for you, but as you know I'm very poor with words. Will it do to say that my heart nearly explodes every time I see your face light up? I'm the luckiest mama on earth to have your head to smell as I drift off to sleep. (Seriously, is there some sort of drug in baby hair? Cause I think I'm addicted to sniffing you.) I love to put my nose right near your mouth when you cry so I can catch those baby scented puffs of air.

You're getting so independent now. You've become quite a brave little girl, not afraid to take the next leap. You always knew exactly what you wanted and how it should be done, even when you were wee. At about 4 months you wanted to sit up from lying on your back like us adults, no turning on to tummy and pushing up for you! And you did it too. My little girl never settled. Now you're walking (stiffly) and climbing like a monkey! It's crazy fast. I look forward to (and at the same time dread )your approaching toddler years.

It's been quite a year hasn't it? Thank you for every step you've taken on this road with me. Thank you for letting me carry you next to my heart for so long.

And although you are a big one year old girl who doesn't have to count her age in months anymore, although you will be off riding with the fast crowd on your tricycle
real soon, know that when you're tired and when you need a hand to stroke your back while you sleep, you will still be my sweet little babe.

Goodnight honey.

Happy birthday.

I love you.