Fancy Pants Summer Romper

Sanibel Romber in Liberty (Easy Pattern Hack) | a happy stitch

There is always a little niggle in the back of my mind when I make something for the first time. Much as I love pattern hacking I mostly avoid major pattern tweaks on a first try.  I follow the rules of the pattern on my initial attempt. I do this mostly so I can discern whether an un-altered pattern will fit me as-is and to be certain the pattern makes sense.  It’s very logical but it means I forgo any alterations I want to make.  That can make me eager to stitch up a second option soon after the first. Most of the time, this doesn’t make a ton of practical sense.  Why have two different colors of the same shirt when I really only need one? You know. But, it bothers me, hence the niggle. I have these fun alteration ideas and have to walk away from that particular brain wormhole, leaving behind all these adaptations that never come to be.  The urge was too strong with the Sanibel Romper, though. I was compelled to try out a summer-y version; I couldn’t resist the wormhole so down I went. Enter, the fancy pants summer romper.  (There is also a dress version disaster but I’ll share that later because oof..of course, if you follow me on IG you may have some idea).  (more…)

A Handmade Summer Wardrobe plan

Wardrobe Design for Summer | a happy stitch

Hey, happy August everyone. I figured it was probably about time that I wrote down and owned up to my summer wardrobe planning and scheming.  You know, before the summer itself ends.

The back story is this, during Me Made May I had a bit of a reckoning (it’s not the first time, MMM does this to me). My handmade wardrobe was out of touch with what I actually wear.  I managed to wear something handmade every day in May but I wasn’t always pulling something I loved out of the closet in order to accomplish it.  I realize May was a long time ago in blogger years but the point I am making is that still, even after SO MUCH sewing, I am not that great at sewing for my actual real life.  Considering I’m actively trying to be aware and sew for real life, well…it was a frustrating realization to say the least.  I took a look at those items I did want to wear regularly and realized something pretty quickly; my most-worn handmade clothes are versatile, comfortable and low-key.  Everything pictured below was worn more than once. (more…)

Paint-Dipped Plant Stool

Yellow Dipped Step Stool REscue Mission | a happy stitch project

It has been nearly a year since we moved, can you believe it?! Last year at this time, everything was chaos with boxes all over & I had a minor panic attack.  For real. Not saying that as an expression. I really thought buying a new house had been a huge mistake and nothing was ever going to be put away or organized and it just wasn’t worth it.  Someone casually mentioned that it takes a year to really settle into a house and my panic spiraled deeper. I need it all settled RIGHT NOW (like all of it settled immediately), NOT in a YEAR!  It seemed helpless to try at all.  I finally confessed my agitated mental state to a girlfriend and she suggested I make one area peaceful; she called it ‘making a sanctuary’.

The only spot I could find for this little patch of peace was the tiny landing at the turn of the stairs.  It’s so small it felt pathetic and sad and I thought it almost didn’t count.  I laid down a rug from my travels in India and filled it with plants.  Every time I passed through the landing I was reminded that one day the whole house might actually come together, too.  It worked. I could take a deep breath and calm down. Because of this, I have an odd amount of affection for our landing…just a tiny bit of real estate but boy do I love it.  The landing is a place I want to fill with plants and color and keep it my lovely sanctuary.  So, when my neighbors tossed out an old-beat up stool I snatched it up, repaired it, painted and polyurethaned it for the landing. (more…)

Ice Painted Tee Shirts

Tee Shirts for Boys _Ice Painted | a project by a happy stitch

A few weeks ago the boys and I tried out ice painting and made some really fantastic ice painted tee shirts.  At first glance, they look a bit like tie-dyed tees but they are so much more painter-ly (that a word?) when you look closer.  Awesomer, too.  Way awesomer.  Making t-shirts has become something of a summer tradition around here.  Last year we tried tie-dying and sun printing dyes and loved it. There seem to be these unplanned, looser, low-key moments in summer that allow for messy projects. It’s one of my favorite things about summer with the boys at this age.  I got the idea to try ice painting from a Sweet Paul Magazine video on Facebook, which I unfortunately can’t find anymore. Sorry.

The good news is that I took lots of pictures of what we did and remember it all so I can share our tee shirt making with you. (more…)

Sundressing :: Olive Dress and Book Review + A Giveaway

Sundressing-the Olive Dress | a happy stitch

Happy July everybody! After two weeks at home, the boys are enjoying summer camp run by the town PE teachers and staffed with local teens, half of which play on the football team.  They came home from their first day, yesterday, with skinned knees and dried sweat defining the tips of their hair as well as important updates on which friends are in their group and stories about the cool camp counselors. Remember when nothing was cooler than knowing cool teenagers? Ah, summer.  I can already see it taking shape.  I didn’t plan to slow down on blogging while they were home with me but the pull to sleep in, read with them, play cards (we are loving War and the game Twisted Fish right now) and swim at the town pool was so strong. I have to assume that I needed a break, too.  I did manage to share my boxer shorts but, things were slow around here. Two weeks was long enough, though, and now I am itching to jump back in to sewing, blogging, teaching, sharing and re-immersing myself into this crazy world I made for myself.  And, I’m excited to jump back in with a review of the Sundressing book, a giveaway and a lovely, bug-filled, Olive dress. (more…)

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts in four colors_ a happy stitch

There is something new hanging on the clothesline and it’s for dudes….boxers!  It has been a long time since I stitched something for my husband, K.  In fact, his handmade pajama pants are so well-worn they are nearly thread-bare at the waistband.  I just don’t sew for him very much and to be honest, I find it hard to sew for dudes.  What would I make? He wears t-shirts and neutral colored shorts for the most part. Not that exciting. If I could knit, I think I would have more options but as it is, I am limited.  So, when Betz White asked me if I wanted to play with her new fabric line, Dutch Treat, I decided it was time to make something for K.  Thankfully, I took one look at her charcoal and yellow print and saw boxer shorts written all over them.  Hence, the cheeky name Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts!  I made it my Project Sew It challenge for June to create a boxer shorts pattern that fits him. (more…)

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