Let’s Go Camping!



When I found 3/4 yard of 60 wide,quilted rip-stop fabric at the thrift a few months ago, I just had to have it.  Initially I though it would become a coat for one of the littles next winter, but as camping season approached I realized it had a much higher calling.  “O” is extremely independent and demands her own space at bedtime, so creating a sleeping bag of her very own became a must.  With her first birthday coming up, I decided that this would be the perfect gift for our busy little girl.


This project is a blend of thrifted, repurposed, and new materials.  Of course, the quilted rip-stop came from the thrift, but then I added a insulated center layer made from a repurposed mattress pad and a cotton flannel lining of new material.  On the fly, this looked like a quick easy project.  It really was a pretty straight forward, but it was not a project my old machine relished.  The multiple layers of thick fabric posed a bit of a challenge on my test swatch, so I had to use a few alternative methods of construction.  Instead of sewing all the layers into a sandwich and then simply turning and top stitching as I had planned, I had to size the insulating layer down by an inch on every side and then center it on my lining fabric and stitch the two together.  I then used my sandwich and topstitch method.  Also, the density of my fabrics and lack of a zipper foot made a standard zipper application impossible.  Since I have outstanding faith in my hand stitching abilities, I simply adhered the zipper by hand.  That is the method I usually employ in dress making anyway.

“O’s” birthday is still over 3 weeks away, but having this project finished will be a relief to her daddy.  Ever since I announced that I was creating this sleeping bag, he has asked about it almost daily.  I guess he still isn’t completely familiar with the Ames family genetics that allow me to do amazing last minute work.  Just wait, I’ll go buy wrapping paper at 1 am the morning of her birthday, while her cake is in the oven.


Looking at this last photo, I know I could have done a better job presenting the project for photographing.  It is so bumpy that it almost looks as if a little person has just crawled out of it!  I really wanted to get this blogged yesterday, so it was do-or-die this morning and with the little red battery button blinking on the camera I was a little haphazard.




A Peasant Basic


I’ve been planning to make myself a white peasant blouse for summer and the creation of The Little Gypsy Duo got me motivated.  Since the pattern for this blouse is the exact same format as “O’s” tunic, I really couldn’t find an excuse not to draft the pattern and get moving.  For some reason, sewing for myself is so much harder than whipping something up for one of the kids or the hubby.

Easy and comfortable, just what you want during pregnancy.


For this project I actually used brand new material.  Back in February, when our tax return came in, my sweet husband took me to Billings fabric shopping.  When he told me about his plans for the trip, white cotton gauze was one of the few fabrics on my list; I specifically knew I wanted it for this project and the chances of finding it at the thrift was slim.  I purchased two yard for a total of $8.39 (it was on sale for 40% off), but I wish I had gotten even a fourth yard more since the layout was a bit tight even for my liking.


I drafted the pattern, cut, and stitched the blouse one afternoon last week and then left it sitting on the sewing table to be hemmed for several days.  For some reason, I just stalled out.  Now that I took a few minutes and finished it, I can’t even remember why I was dragging my feet.  Maybe we can just blame it on the pregnancy hormones.