8 November

sweater 3

I've been knitting really sporadically lately, so in lieu of any kind of finished object made by me, I thought I'd share pictures of baby John in a sweater knitted by someone else. 

sweater 4

A very sweet blog reader of mine from the Netherlands sent along a whole stack of handknits for John, and this sweater is one of my favorite baby things ever. I know the pattern is this one, although I don't know what yarn she used. The orange is so suited to my brown-eyed baby.

sweater 5

I love that he can wear some handknits this autumn even though I'm a bit remiss in completing any knitting lately!

sweater 2

Baby John sure is happy about it, too. Thank you, Mirjam!



Today is my thirty-fifth birthday. First, a little bit of honesty: I have been dreading turning 35, for a long time. Probably ever since I turned 30. It seems silly to say, especially because I'm married to someone ten years older than me. But this was the first age I wasn't looking forward to. (Some people it's 30, some it's 40. For me, 35.)

But you know what happened? The days just kept progressing towards it, and now here I am. 35 full years on this earth. And you know, they have been 35 pretty great years. 



On Saturday, I received a package from my friend Ginny. Sweetest thing ever. I'm so looking forward to starting this next cross-stitch adventure! (Also, she wrote the funniest thing in the card about researching hobbies appropriate to those who have reached "advanced maternal age" [what we've been calling 35 for the last year as we both approached this age with some trepidation], and cross-stitch being the best. So funny.)



good morning, 35

It snowed a foot yesterday. Today everything is sparkling and white and beautiful.


one breath

Last night, I enjoyed a homemade cherry pie with 35 hand-dipped beeswax candles. (I teach until late tonight, so we opted for birthday celebrating last night.) I blew them out in one breath.

And today I don't feel nearly as bad about being 35. 

Stitch along!


Last month I talked about some projects I was planning. Some of the knitting projects are well underway, or even completed. But the Winterwoods ABCs cross-stitch sampler kit, sitting prominently in the picture? Still sealed up so lonely in the package, the way it has been for months. 

Last night, my friend Ginny called me and suggested a brilliant idea. Why not do a stitch along for it? She thought we could start on the first day of autumn and stitch over the next 13 weeks, finishing by the first day of winter. She didn't have to ask twice. I was all in! A perfect project, and so doable.


{image from aliciapaulson.com}

So we decided to open a Flickr group for anyone else who wants to join us for a stitch along of Alicia's extraordinary kit (it really is extraordinary -- the quality of the materials is amazing, and Alicia doesn't miss any details). It'll be low pressure -- no posting requirements. Just a way to share progress, keep motivated, and keep accountable. So that we can actually have the sampler hanging on the wall in time for winter enjoyment!

If you would like to join us, all you need to do are order the kit (or you can also buy just the pattern and obtain your own materials), and join the Flickr group

Though Ginny did contact Alicia last night to make sure this was OK with her (and she gave the project an enthusiastic "yes!"), we are not affilated with her, so we don't get anything if you buy your supplies from Alicia. That said, for the sake of convenience and quality, I don't think you can go wrong getting any other supplies you might need (needles, hoop, even scissors!) from her. Alicia rolled out her new shop in the last week and it is really well organized and lovely!

Ginny's post this afternoon has a few more details and links, so be sure to check there, too. I hope you'll join us!

10 November


On this eve of Martinmas, the feast of the saint who cut his own cloak in two to share with a beggar, I have so much to reflect on in terms of gratitude.

Six days ago, I very shyly posted something I would normally hesitate to discuss publicly. It's maybe a bit gauche to share one's financial struggles with the world. But I had this strong feeling that I wouldn't be able to write authentically for the entire month of November if I wasn't honest about the thing that has been most on my mind lately. And I thought to myself that it was a bit of an elephant in the room, knowing that many of you must have faced (or are facing) something similar.

The response has blown me away. Your comments, your honesty, your willingness to be a little bit vulnerable. And then, in the days that followed that post, friends reached out in prayer, others sent gifts, relatives have given to us even out of their own tight budgets. I was able to get two new Lands' End coats on sale for less than $20 apiece. Another coat has been given to us. I feel like extravagant generosity has been poured out on us from every direction. 

I am standing here in awe, gratitude, and humility. I have never been so amazed or thankful. 

{Also, waffles with fruit compote are a delicious, affordable dinner, that feels like a treat to everyone.}

It's official




Autumn. My favorite season of them all (and I do know that I love them all).

I don't have a lot to say tonight. But I figure, just being here, sharing a stack of photos, is enough, really. Sarah wrote a beautiful post today about this medium, the connections that it has brought many of us, its value in our lives. You should read it. Really. Maybe blogging is getting kind of old-fashioned compared to all the other social media around now. But on the other hand, it has mattered, and continues to matter, to so many of us. 

So look through my photos. Let's pretend we're sharing a meal together, maybe the dal I've made twice in the last ten days. Or sitting on my couch with a cup of my favorite decadent hot chocolate. Or maybe with a cup of tea (Cold Care P.M. is replacing my usual Earl Grey this week), and a favorite catalog to peruse. Talking about autumn, that certain slant of light, those chilly evenings and the days that still hold on to some of summer's warmth. And connecting. Connection is all I've really ever wanted from blogging, and it has delivered a hundred-fold.


Here's that dal I promised. This is the next day for lunch, cold, and even better.


Delicious Mexican hot chocolate, with a generous dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle of my favorite Vietnamese cinnamon.


My favorite way to spend an evening, holed up with tea and catalogs.





Serious, this one.




Autumn, glorious autumn. How grateful I am for this favorite season of mine, and for all of you, out there, reading this, commenting, and connecting. 


Growing Up Sew Liberated

I'm very excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Meg's new book Growing Up Sew Liberated: Making Handmade Clothes & Projects for Your Creative Child

growing up sew liberated4

Meg has graciously agreed to do a Q & A for my readers, and as I was thinking about the questions, I remembered back to a time not so long ago (though it seems like it, in some ways), when I wrote this post as part of her series on motherhood. How much has changed since then! Meg has given birth to not one, but two little men, her two books have been released, and in my own house, we have moved out of those delirious and somehow outside-of-time newborn days into what feels like a very busy world of childhood (currently three hours, at two different pools, five days a week, for swim team and swimming lessons!).

I am humbled to be counted among the friends that Meg has included in the dedication of her very special new book, and I hope that you will all appreciate her thoughtful responses in today's Q & A as much as I do.

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Grace: Thank you, Meg, for taking the time out of your summer routine to answer some questions! Speaking of that, what does your summer routine look like right now?

Meg: Thank you, Grace! Now that we have two little ones, I've been reminded again and again of the importance of a joyful family routine. Children thrive when they can anticipate the course of the day, giving them a sense of control and security. It helps us as parents, too, by reducing the amount of improvisation we have to do at times when we may be very tired. 

At the same time, I am well aware of the obstacles most and probably all parents face in maintaining such a routine. Our routine lately has been a challenge. As you know, our second baby was born in February with a heart defect. Day to day, his most noticeable difficulty is that he doesn't have the stamina to eat a full meal of breast milk by mouth. He takes the rest through a tube, and this means that I have to pump a lot. It's super humbling to have a pump dictate your daily rhythm, but it surely does! 

I wish I could say that we start the day with some guitar playing and singing, or that we spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing our food together. This can't be our reality right now, but it is just a season in our lives, one that shall pass. In this season, as in all seasons of our lives, we do what we can and try not to fret about the ways in which we are imperfect. In this season, we are the grateful recipients of a lot of help from family and friends. Grandma is out for a walk with my toddler as I write this (while pumping!) 

Motherhood is a humbling experience, and right now I can't do all of the things I wrote about in my own book! That said, in this difficult and busy time, there are things that we can do to create a joyful life for our little family. We eat all of our meals together, even if we don't cook them all ourselves. We have a toddler art group once a week. We often eat a picnic dinner at our local park. My husband always puts Finn to bed by telling him stories that he makes up himself. Our boys are learning to enjoy and trust their extended family, and learning that they are loved and cared for by a circle larger than our nuclear family. All of these things are positive, joyful experiences in this season of our lives. I hope the book will be taken in this spirit. Rather than proclaiming that we all must be perfect companions of children, I offer ideas, ideals, and resources for enriching our time with children as we can.


growing up sew liberated3

Grace: One of the things that I think so many people appreciate about your work with Sew Liberated is your thoughtfulness in your approach to motherhood and raising your boys. How has motherhood surprised and challenged you? 

Meg: Before I had children, I was under the impression that, as long as I had my wits about me, I could have a plan for everything. My house would be organized. My homeschooling map plotted from early on. My meals planned. Of course, there would be hard days, but everything would, more or less, go as planned.

Haha. Ha. Ha! Motherhood has humbled me, and made me realize that there are forces at work that are out of my hands. This has been challenging for me, as I am person who likes to have a plan. It has made me realize that being a good mother is a little bit about laying the right path for your children, but mostly about responding with empathy, respect, and grace when your children decide to take an unexpected turn down a different path. Plans can help guide a family, but we have to know when to modify them or decide when they aren't right any more for our current needs.

Grace: We all approach the "big" things in life with some expectations. Can you share how some of these expectations have been met in your motherhood journey?
Meg: I've always had an expectation that I could create a loving, respectful home environment that helped my children develop a sense of wonder for the world. I know I am capable of that, but I know that the most difficult work of mothering is not the aesthetics of the home you build, but rather the supporting structure of that home - the patience and compassion of the parents. The opportunity to become a more compassionate, patient person is the gift that a toddler gives to a parent. A baby whose health is tenuous gives the gift of living in the moment rather than spending too much time thinking about expectations. Motherhood is so much more beautiful than I could have ever expected.
growing up sew liberated2

Grace: Your new book, Growing Up Sew Liberated, is such a delight. What does it feel like to see your designs -- your imagination -- come to life on the page?

Meg: I'm very proud of this book, as I wrote it with my own children in mind. Writing a book is such a long process, from the signing of the contract to the day you hold the completed book in your hands. It's almost a surprise to see everything again! The final book, too, is a compilation of the talents of many people - editors, photographers, and graphic designers - and it's wonderful to see what an accomplished book-making team can do with the creative vision of an author.
Grace: Can you talk about your design process? Where do you get ideas? How do your work out the form and function of your projects?

Meg: I am so inspired by beautiful photographs on blogs (yours included, Grace!) as well as my contacts on Flickr. I tend to be rather insulated in my design universe - I don't follow high fashion or watch Project Runway or anything like that. I do have a style that I would call my own - it's a simple, rustic aesthetic with clean lines. For me, my designs must be both functional and beautiful. For my clothing designs, this means that they must be comfortable. 

When I'm brainstorming a new design, I like to have a brain dump on paper - a collection of words that capture the essence of the finished product. After this, I start sketching. Once I have a sketch, I pick fabrics. Often, the fabric itself will inspire a design. With the final sketch completed, I begin drafting the pattern, either using my hand-drafted set of slopers (basic pattern pieces for tops, bottoms, or skirts) or I drape the fabric directly on my dress form. With accessory patterns, I just kind of wing it, with no guides! Those patterns are more trial-and-error.

Grace: Do you have a favorite project in the new book?
Meg: Yes! The art satchel, followed closely by the doll pattern. 
Grace: Did any of the projects start out as one thing and transform into something entirely different?

Meg: The Irresistible Numbers started out as a framed, functional piece of art in my Montessori classroom. They soon morphed into something much more hands-on and functional - a set of numbers that could be traced, arranged, and played with.

growing up sew liberated1

Grace: As mothers, we all strive to balance meeting the needs of our little ones as well as our own needs. Can you talk about how you find this balance? 

Meg: It is such a monumental task, to carve out some moments for yourself when you have a toddler and a baby. Both my husband and I try to take time to move our bodies every other day or so - whether it means going for a run, a bike ride, a weight workout, or yoga. We find it a valuable stress-reducer and a way to help us maximize our sleeping time. 

In an ideal world, I'd like to have a regular meditation practice. For now, accepting the moment for what it is, I try to pause for brief periods of conscious awareness during the day. 

Reading inspirational parenting books is a hobby of mine (my current favorite is "Everyday Blessings" by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn.) I'll steal some time for reading a book or check in with my favorite mama blogs in the evening after the boys are sleeping. It's so helpful for me to end the day with beautiful photos and wise words.

Grace: Do you have a favorite sewing notion?

Meg: Yes! Embroidery thread! I love adding embroidery to projects - it helps me slow down and appreciate the finished object so much more.

Grace: Thanks so much, Meg! 

Meg: Thank you, Grace!

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Also, for readers of Uncommon Grace, Meg is offering a 20% discount on everything in her store, including her new book! Use coupon code UncommonGrace at checkout. The coupon is good until June 19. Thank you, Meg!

And please be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour -- the bloggers who have gone before me this week were all incredible, and I'm sure there is a lot more fun in store for the rest of the tour!

Growing Up Sew Liberated Blog Tour

Join Interweave Books in a celebration of the launch of Meg McElwee’s new book, Growing Up Sew Liberated. The launch kicks off with a 15-day blog tour visiting education blogs, sewing blogs, parenting blogs, personal blogs, eco-living blogs, and some that are simply a combination of all of the above.  You’ll meet some extraordinary women, see stunning photography, hear inspirational stories from Meg and many of her friends, and of course learn more about the book. Perhaps you’ll find some new favorite bloggers to follow along the way? Join us each day as we visit with:

6/6         Elsie Marley

6/7         Made By Rae

6/8         The Artful Parent

6/9         Rhythm of the Home Blog

6/10       Uncommon Grace

6/13       Frontier Dreams

6/14       Burda Style

6/15       Maya Made

6/16       Wise Craft

6/17       JC Handmade

6/20       Simple Homeschool

6/21       Made

A break sometimes feels so good, and other stuff

Thanks to all of you who have been checking in over the last three weeks in my absence! All is well, we have moved on from the hurt over the job rejection. It's disappointing on many levels, both from a career and personal satisfaction level for my husband, and our family's bottom line (I hate that I always have to be thinking about that, but it's the reality), but we remain hopeful that someday the right opportunity will present itself.

I didn't intend to take a long break, but it was a good thing, too. Sometimes it's easier to "do" stuff without feeling like it needs to be written about. 

But I did "do" some stuff that want to share with you, so here is some of it. (Plus an announcement at the end of the post if you are getting bored wading through all my photos.)



I met someone. We were able to spend one treasured day together while she traveled for work. It's so hard to put into words what it was like to meet Sarah and spend that day with her. We had so much to talk about; a lot of what we talked about was blogging -- our motivations and feelings about the whole thing, the ups and downs, pressures, and genuine pleasures. And not because we had nothing else in common, but because it really is a part of our real lives and it's so good to have someone who "gets" that. I haven't had the opportunity to meet very many bloggers face-to-face. This is due, in part, to the fact that I don't live within close geographic proximity to any of the bloggers in this particular corner of the community (crafty-photo-mama types), and even more, of course, due to the fact that opportunities to travel are very limited given our income. It's just the reality. So, having the opportunity to sit across the table from Sarah, at one of my favorite local restaurants, and take her to my favorite yarn and fabric store, was a real gift ... not one that I'm likely to repeat very often, and I really soaked it up. It was a beautiful day. Thank you, sweet Sarah.

toast for traci3

sid's sweater

sweater teaser

I finished a lot of knitting projects. (And started a few new ones.) More on those to come, very soon! I think I overcame a huge knitting funk that I had been in! 






We played, and played. Indoors and out, with kites, and kitchens, and more.

We had the first (and hopefully only) summer injury, hereafter known as the Red Rover Incident of 2011. 

Swim team season is officially underway and I couldn't be happier! It's my favorite time of year, I think. (I know, I know ... in October, I'll be rambling on about my love for autumn. Let's just go with it.)


The sun, the sun! I'm so happy, here on the cusp of summer.  

I will be back TOMORROW with another post! Yee-haw!

at it again with my favorite habit

habit march1

Well, sickness abounds in our house. I have to say that this might be the worst thing about having a teacher for a parent: he catches, and brings home, every single virus that goes around. I have had particularly bad luck in February and I now have the world's worst cough. I mean, seriously, I'm half-wondering if it's pertussis.

So I'm here just briefly tonight to let you know that I'm back at habit for the month of March and I'm so, so excited. If Molly and Emily ever stop inviting past guests back on an occasional basis, I think I will die of sadness. It is my favorite place on the web, for real!

So, please visit me and the other guests over there. If you are new to the space, you'll be so glad you did. And if you are an old friend, like I am, you already know what I'm talking about.

Hopefully after a day of rest tomorrow I'll be back here at the end of the week.

Edited: I was exaggerating about pertussis. :)


Holiday Essentials Studio giveaway


My friend Morgan designed the most amazing online holiday craft super extravaganza of craft. I mean, it is really very awesome. It's part tutorial, part community share ... with 12 beautiful projects (with all the style that you would expect from one of Morgan's projects). I'm super excited to try some of the projects this weekend!

The entire studio (which includes a chat room and discussion board in addition to the 12 projects) is $16, which is a great deal, but I feel so privileged that Morgan has offered one of my readers a free registration for the studio. Please leave a comment on this post, sharing a favorite holiday activity, craft, food, or tradition of yours. I'll choose a winner on Friday night! Good luck!

Giveaway winner, and a few other things

Random Number Generator picked a winner for the giveaway of Modern Top-Down Knitting, and it's commenter number 102, Angela:

Angela said...

Love your new hat. I got a new red coat this year and that hat would look great with it. You will love it with your new red coat.

Angela, please email me your address and I'll get the book out to you!


On to other stuff:

I have two more things to give away to you! One is another book (yay!), and the other is a great giveaway from a blogging friend! Look for those this week.

(On the subject of giveaways, I am not currently taking sponsorships or ads on my blog. For now, it doesn't seem the right decision for me or the blog. I would only review or mention a product here that I have personally used and like. I am not getting paid to do giveaways. I was graciously given a review copy of Modern Top-Down Knitting by the publisher for the blog tour, although it's a book I would have purchased myself, anyway. The other book giveaway is for a book I had already purchased. The giveaway copies are gifts from the publisher, STC Craft. Anyway, I wanted you to know, just so it's all open, and not awkward.)

Also, my good, good friend Jennifer is hosting a Holiday Home Tour this week and I'll be participating by sharing some photos and details of some of our decorations. If you'd like to join in, hop on over to Mama Urchin and let Jennifer know -- she's making a list. This is such a fun idea. Thank you, Jennifer! (Please let me know here if you decide to join in, I'd love to see your decorations, too!)

It begins

So here I am, on the last night of NaBloPoMo, having made it to the end, and I want to thank you all for being here with me! It makes it much easier when readers are so supportive!


Tonight we are cuddled down on a cold evening, cozy with favorite tunes on the stereo, awaiting the first day of the advent calendar. This year, I feel prepared and at peace, because we have all the supplies purchased and on hand, ready to go for each day. I'm thankful for that! We've done a lot of cleaning and sorting through things over the last week, so I don't feel like I'm decorating a messy house. And I am dreaming about some new decorating ideas ... I love the possibilities.


I am looking forward to a peaceful, hopeful, blessed advent. And I'm wishing you the same!

(And though NaBloPoMo for me has ended, I still plan to be here most days, having started a habit!)

Let it be

let it be

These little prayer flags were a gift from Heather when Fiona was born. I remember looking through the amazing box of gifts -- a virtual baby shower from a group of my "blogging ladies" -- with my midwife when Fiona was about two weeks old, and my midwife loved these.

Anyway, I've been looking at these and appreciating their message a lot these days. I feel like I'm coming up short a lot this autumn. Some of the reasons for this are tangible, and some of them aren't so easily defined. I can definitely use a reminder to take a breath and let things go, though. This NaBloPoMo is proving to be a lot more challenging than last year! But it's a good discipline for me. I actually have some good ideas for posts, just haven't organized my thoughts and photos yet. I'm working on it!

What little reminders are helpful for you when you need to slow down, take a breath, and let it be?

"Being an artist"

I said yesterday that I had eight dolls to introduce to you. A couple of them have not yet arrived at their destinations, and a lot of dolls in one post is quite overwhelming, anyway (I think). I also had some other thoughts on my life with dollmaking that I wanted to share with you. So today I'll share a few, and save a few for a couple of days from now. Today, I'd like you to meet....



Gwen dress

This sweet little blonde is one of my favorite dolls I've ever created. Something about her eyes, I think. And the purple dress and pinafore is one of my favorites, as well.



Violet dress

This doll was extremely hard for Elisabeth to part with. She was hoping that somehow she'd get to keep her, I think (which doesn't happen often!). She named her Violet -- normally I name all the dolls myself (their names just come to me as I'm working on them), and I actually had another name in mind for her. But Elisabeth was so enamored that I let her name the dolly as a concession. Violet lives in Australia now!




Brynn dress

Brynn pinafore

Brynn lives a little closer to home, and actually belongs to a dear friend now. I was nervous about the color combination for the clothes (a favorite combination of my friend's, but I wasn't sure how it would work given the particular vintage red floral I was using), but I ended up loving it. (Hence the extra photos of Brynn & her clothes!)

Five years ago, if someone had told me I would become an accomplished Waldorf dollmaker, I wouldn't have believed them. They really seemed intimidating to me! But necessity is the mother of invention, and out of making my own children's dolls, something was sparked in me that I would never have expected, or dreamed of. I used to shrug off compliments to my work, but I've really come to embrace them over time.

Last month, I attended a fundraiser dinner where most of the attendees were part of a social group that I rarely encounter: middle aged, mostly in academic and business fields, many of whom weren't parents, or had grown children. The man I was sitting next to asked me what I do. Of course, there are so many answers to that question. But in that moment, I didn't hesitate to answer, "I'm an artist." He asked what medium I work with, and I said, "Textiles." And you know what? I felt really good about this answer.

Five years ago, I would not have answered in that way. But thanks to this blog, and all of you -- your support, your enthusiasm, your encouragement -- I am honestly able to say that I'm an artist. And that's amazing to me! No, I don't make a living, or really even pay any of our bills, with the few doll commissions I'm able to take each year. But to know that a piece of me, the work of my hands, a little bit of my own unique perspective and vision, is living on in the hands of some of you and your children, is a true gift to me. I am so grateful and pleased to be able to share a little bit of myself with the world in this way.

Thank you all for being here, and helping me to realize the dream of "being an artist". What a dream come true it is!


Some days, you need a reminder

Today this popped up in my Flickr contacts (Cathy saw it here), and it was just what I needed today.

So, I'm passing it on. Hoping that the person who needs this reminder will see it here today, and remember.


We all need to remember. Thank you, Cathy, for being my reminder today.

Have a great weekend, friends. (See, two posts this week!) I'll see you next week with your request for meal planning tips, such as they are. ;) (Don't get too excited, they aren't that fancy!)

A new habit for July!

Many of you may have heard by now that there is something special going on at habit this month. For those of you that haven't, Emily and Molly have opened a public flickr group and they're inviting everyone to participate in habit this month. They will be choosing a few each day to post on the main habit site. I've been spending some time each evening going through the flickr group and adding many, many photos to my faves! There is so much goodness there. Something about the habit format lends itself to such intimacy ... there are some beautiful thoughts being shared.

habit july faves

And lots of green. And red. And flowers. And kids. (Click image to get photo credits.)

I plan to post to the habit flickr group every day this month myself. Go check it out! (You can follow my contributions here.)

PS: Happy 4th of July!



Sometimes things seem so bad that they'll never be good again.

That's when you look for a bright spot in your day ... you open up ... you realize how much support you really have.

To all who have loved and supported and prayed with and for us, in our family, our community, and my extended community of all of you: Thank you. A million times, thank you.


knitting instead

It's been very cold in my part of the world, so I've been needing to hunker down under blankets on the couch and knit, rather than head down to my sewing room in the basement, where it's cool and humid.

So no progress on the Kids' Clothes Week Challenge yesterday, but I have knitted most of a longie for Fiona in the last two days!

The pattern is my favorite Picky Pants, and the yarn is Beaverslide Dry Goods worsted in Mallard Heather. Hoping to complete it before the end of this cold snap! (And still hoping to make some sewing progress later today if I can get warmed up with my wool and my tea.)

(My tea is Earl Grey, always. With a bit of demerara sugar and a small splash of milk -- usually almond milk in my case.)

Kids' Clothes Week Challenge progress

I had a little bit of sewing time today. I completed a quick and easy pair of much-needed pajamas for James, and a skirt for Elisabeth.

construction pajamas2

construction pajamas4

construction pajamas11

The pajamas were made using some flannel that I picked up as a remnant at JoAnn last year. It was probably about 3/4 of a yard; the perfect amount for a pair of pajama pants for a four-year-old. The "pattern" is an old tracing that I did years ago, and I've been adjusting it since then.

construction pajamas7

construction pajamas10

I picked up the t-shirt at Target a couple of years ago, thinking that I'd hang onto it to applique once it fit him (I liked the color combination of the yellow and navy). It doesn't coordinate perfectly with the pants, but I had it on hand, which made the project easy to start and complete in one sitting!

secret garden skirt

The skirt fabric is My Secret Garden (in blue) by Alexander Henry. I really wanted to get this in the pink colorway but that is nowhere to be found anymore. The skirt coordinates with a t-shirt that she got in her Easter basket this year. (It's in the wash right now, so pictures of the two together will have to wait. Also it's only about 34 degrees today, so this was the fastest spring skirt photo shoot on record!)

secret garden skirt2

I made the skirt in the same way that I made this one (almost exactly a year ago -- and wow, looking at those pictures, she has changed a lot in the last year!), but I used a 24" length of fabric so that it would be long enough for her to wear to church and other "nice" occasions.

On my list yet to complete:

*Two dresses for Fiona -- both are already begun

*One pair of pull-on pants for Fiona

*Two more skirts for Elisabeth (and maybe if I'm ambitious, a dress!)

*More pajamas for James and some for Elisabeth (or nightgowns for her)

*Shorts for James

*One or two shirts for James (maybe the Sketchbook Shirt from Oliver + S, or Kai's Shirt from Weekend Sewing)

I'll continue to post my progress this week, and maybe cross things off in this post as I go.

edited: I almost forgot! Did you see tonight's LOST? I almost died, they were really giving a lot of back story! Woohoo! (And *weep* that there are only two episodes left, EVER!)

My Sewing Circle

No progress to report on the Kids' Clothes Week Challenge this morning. Because instead of doing actual sewing, I spent a lot of time last night on ... My Sewing Circle!

It's the thing that we have all wondered about for so long ... a "Ravelry for sewers"! The site is brand new (just a couple months old), and is run by a husband and wife. They are adding to its features and functionality often -- I think it's going to be really great!

(Thanks to Alison for telling me about it.) You should go check it out!