I Think There’s a Wild Animal in my House

August 3, 2009

brown giraffe in the aloe plant 5 Read the rest of this entry »


Giraffes on the Coffee Table

June 23, 2009
Two little giraffes grazing on my coffee table.

Two little giraffes grazing on my coffee table.

A little something for the preschool set. My cousin is expecting her third child any day now, and I thought these little giraffes would be a nice addition to the older childrens’ menagerie.

The pattern is from Burda, and the fabric is leftover from the two baby dresses I made earlier this summer. Just print out the pattern (it’s free!), cut out the little giraffe, and you’re on your way to a new set of animals.

I traced the giraffe onto the wrong side of my fabric, then I added a quarter-inch seam allowance all round. To trace out the seam allowance, make lots of little dots 1/4 inch from the edge of the giraffe, then connect the dots.

You can then use the fabric giraffe as a template for cutting. Put the paper giraffe on each new fabric giraffe and trace around the edges so that you can see where to sew.

You’ll need to cut out two giraffes – be sure that you cut them out so that they face opposite ways – if you put the two giraffes together, rightside to rightside, they should match up.

Sew the giraffes together along the edges (1/4 inch away from the edge – just follow the line you made tracing the paper pattern – and make sure that the rightsides of the fabric are together), until you’ve gone most of the way around. Leave a good sized hole so that you can turn the giraffe rightside out later.

I tried making my hole around the giraffe’s head, and I had to perform emergency neck surgery when I couldn’t get it turned rightside out again. I’d recommend making your hole somewhere around the back or belly of the giraffe.

Once you’ve got the giraffe turned rightside out again, stuff it with cotton and sew up the hole. If you’re feeling ambitious, sew or draw eyes and a mouth. And voila! A giraffe!

New Baby, New Dress

June 17, 2009

Carolyn sewing

I’ve been making oliver + s’s teaparty dress and bloomers for all the new little girls in my life, and I’m really loving the pattern. Everything is so clearly illustrated and explained, and the little dress is so beautiful when it’s done.

The pattern comes with a playsuit as well, which I’m planning to make for the next baby boy in my life. I’m very excited about making things with snaps.

Sewing Vortex

May 30, 2009


Now that my friends have begun having babies, I’ve gotten my sewing machine out in earnest. Tracing patterns, ripping out seams where they go wrong, making buttonholes. I haven’t wanted to do anything else in weeks.

I don’t know why I’ve been so intent on sewing since school let out, but I think it has a lot to do with meaningful work. I find tremendous satisfaction in working through problems – fixing the bobbin, working out the pattern instructions, exercising the spatial reasoning neurons that lie dormant during exams. I like making something tangible – this baby, born in April of 2009, will wear this dress; these people whom I love will eat this pie. Most of all, I like working on my own project, deciding what to work on and how.

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