samantha liz

Archive of ‘everyday life’ category

À la Carte ePatterns, Crescent Moon Yoga Pants, now available!

I’m so excited, I’ve been working on this for literally months and now it’s LIVE!


You can now instantly download your own Crescent Moon Yoga Pants Pattern, complete with instructions, in whatever size you like. Heck, at $2.50 each, get them all. I’m diligently working to make all my patterns available as ePatterns, so stay tuned!

Adding a Little Color to Our Lives

I love our living room. It’s where we all, for lack of a better word, live.Ahh, all balanced again.

The kids build forts,
Hanging at home :)

and dance,
Little Miss Princess

and play swashbuckling pirates.
Silly Faces

Recently I decided that our house needed a little more color in them to match the ever growing characters of the little inhabitants in our lives.

It all started with the big granny square.
Big Granny Square

Which totally needed a pillow.
Chair full of color.

Oh, did I say A pillow? I meant lots of pillows. (Which took me MONTHS to crochet, but I totally did it!)
My favorite crochet project so far. Pillows!
My favorite crochet project so far. Pillows!

It’s been quite a colorful week in our house.

I was in the basement getting out bigger clothes for Marcus (ahem 12-18 month sized) and found this lovely sweater for Molly in my hand-me-down bin.
Lovely Before...

Upon closer inspection, I saw that it needed a button.
Missing a button.

Which got me to thinking…
All sewn on.

Molly loved it. She immediately started to dance,
She loves it so much, she dances.

and dance (check out that pillow, it’s totally setting the dancing mood),
and dances.

I think all the color in our lives inspired a little shimmy,
and adds a shimmy.

and a boogie.
and a boogie.

Marcus James is here! (and a Baby Steps EC Pattern Giveaway) Winners Announced!!

Congrats Claire, Sheryl and Erin! Hope you enjoy your pattern!
_______________________________________________

To celebrate becoming a mom of THREE, and releasing the new Baby Steps EC Pattern, I am giving away the new pattern to THREE (3) lucky ladies (and guys too, equal opportunity sewer here)!

TO ENTER

To enter this giveaway answer the following question in the Comments section of this post:

“What was the last thing you sewed? Did it turn out like the picture? What time was it?”

I made Molly’s Birthday dress right before Marcus was born 😉 I sketched up what I wanted it to look like and went to town, cutting into some pj’s that I bought awhile back. I think it looks close enough to my chicken scratch attempt at a picture. Ummm… it was 3am.

THE RULES

One entry per person, please.

No entries after 2:34 am Mountain Time Tuesday, March 30, 2010 (When Molly was born three years ago!).

Winners will be selected at random (using random.org) and announced Tuesday morning.

Good luck!

February is going to be a busy month!

I’ve running around so fast lately trying to set up everything for the new baby’s arrival, that I haven’t posted here in a while. I was thoroughly freaking out at the beginning of the month, completely unprepared if the baby was coming any earlier, but I buckled down *with the help of my lovely husband* and compiled a list of things I NEEDED to get done before the baby comes. I decided on sixteen things I couldn’t stand if they didn’t get done, and am happy to say that only four are left 🙂

…One of which is to release the BabySteps EC pattern! The testing was a great success and I’m on to my favorite task of prettying up the pattern and writing and drawing the instructions. Stay tuned to the blog for updates! Hopefully you will be seeing this in my store soon! Thanks again to all the lovely testers and their feedback!

Calling all Pattern Testers! New EC/training dipe!

It’s tentatively called the “Baby Steps EC Pants” They are from birth to potty for EC users and make great starter training pants (they can be made of fully outer PUL and child can pull up and down on their own and be snapped off when needed)

[image]
Super Trim Front

[image]
Full Coverage Back

This is a fully T&T pattern. You can make a fitted or AIO with a PUL outer. I need a full range of pattern testers from NB-XL. The sample shown here is a PUL AIO with snaps, however you can also sew with Aplix or touchtape. Instructions and layout are also included in the pattern.

Sizing:

Newborn Small Medium Large XLarge
Weight 6-14 lbs 12-22 lbs 18-28 lbs 24-40 lbs 39+ lbs

You will receive one size of your choice by Friday (November 20th, 2009) AM, along with abbreviated instructions. (probably lacking pictures, so you will need to have experience with general diaper making)

What I need from you:
1) Your email addy.
2) The size pattern you would like to test.

By Tuesday (November 24th, 2009) of next week, you will need to email me @ patterntesting @ samanthaliz.com (the same place you will receive the pattern file from)
3) Your child’s current measurements and weight. (I’m looking for waist, thigh and rise here)
4) Pictures of the completed diaper, both modeled and not.
5) A general review of how the construction went.
6) A personal fit eval since you are in person, and I can only see pics.

Reply here (I won’t approve, so your info will remain private), or email me @ patterntesting @ samanthaliz.com with your info!

A Windows 7 kinda cupcake, yeah, you’ve read correctly.

And now for something completely different.
Well, not COMPLETELY 🙂 But it’s not sewing for a change. Tom decided he wanted to have a Windows 7 Launch Party and was selected! Soooo, I needed to bake something extra special. Out came my Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook and came up with Fauxstess Cupcakes.

I got out all my yummy vegan ingredients.

Tied on my cupcake apron. (Check out that belly, and I didn’t even eat a cupcake yet!)

Sifted my dry ingredients…

Mixed them with the wet 😉

Baked and Filled!

And don’t forget to add icing and arrange on lovely fiesta plates in the shape of the windows logo!

Voila, Windows 7 Cupcakes 🙂

Complete and Utterly Blatant Spam

The lovely ladies over at the Inspired Congo asked me if I would do a guest stocking so I decided to do it right and offer up a lottery for 2 patterns completely free and sell 4 others at the lovely price of $10 each free shipping 🙂

http://hyenacart.com/Inspired/

They go live today and the lottery lasts till Tuesday! Sign up over on hyenacart.com is easy and free, so be sure to enter!!

Stellar Sprightlys, or is it Sprightly Stellars?

Well, whatever it is, it’s Molly ASKING to go on the potty!

That’s right 😉 our 23 month old started asking to go on the potty herself about a month ago (when she was 22 months, lol). A neighbor of mine asked if we could have a sewing session and we made up some training pants for her son using the Sprightly Soaker & Underwear Pattern and the free add-on.
The Sprightly Soakers we made.

Add on soaker pads sewn to inners!

I WAS totally set to sew Molly up some cloth diapers using the Little Half Moon pattern for outings (I even cut them all out), but she had her own ideas! Molly started asking to go on the potty out of nowhere and wanting to wear Thomas’ underwear. She needed her own and fast! Never being able to leave well enough alone, I decided to make her some Stellar Transitions
but I wanted to make them without waterproofness and without FOE.

I grabbed my Sprightly Soaker and Underwear pattern and used the bands for the size medium using the same length, but cutting the width down to about 4″ for the waist and about 3″ for the legbands (She’s tiny, lol… She’s in 18-24 month ST).
Sprightly Stellars

They fit PERFECT! I have since made her 5 more pairs of Sprightly Underwear with the extra layer, and she is doing great! I foresee some regular Sprightly Underwear in her very near future! Note to self: must get cracking on child #3 so I can keep on sewing cloth diapers! Totally kidding, of course, I think… lol!

Making your own cloth diapers

So you have a sewing machine that your Great Aunt Elda gave to you when you got married (or you stumbled on a great deal on craigslist). You could be just starting out; only ever using it to fix some seams on some old shirts, or maybe you have lots of sewing hours in, making dresses for your daughter or even yourself. You find yourself saying; “It doesn’t look that hard.” when you look at a cloth diaper. Well, the truth is, it’s not… If you know the right terminology, that is.

Being a pattern designer, my email is filled with questions daily: “How do I T&T?”; “Does this come with an insert pattern, as well as the pattern for a cover?”; “What’s the difference between inner fabric, outer fabric, hidden inner fabric, soaker fabric? How many of each do I need and where do they all go?” All of those are questions I actually just replied to from my inbox, and I will address them here along with a few others.

How do I T&T?
Simply put the first T stands for turning and the second T is topstitching. Basically you sew the diaper right sides together, leaving an opening somewhere described in the pattern; turn it right side out, pin together the opening so it matches the rest of the edge and topstitch around. A turning tool (I use a bone folder, but a plain old chopstick works great) will really help the wings stay even when turning, so I highly recommend that.

TWH
The Tighty Whitey Hipster pattern is a freebie T&T pattern, you can see some pictures of how to here: http://makingitlittlebylittle.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/oldies-are-goodies-but-freebies-are-oh-so-sweet/

Does this come with an insert pattern, as well as the pattern for a cover?
Mostly these questions come from folks that aren’t familiar with cloth diapering in general. Most of my diaper patterns include instructions for making All-in-One diapers (like a disposable), Fitteds (absorbent only, requires a cover of some sort), Covers (waterproof only, needs an absorbent inside. Can be a fitted, or even prefolds). For greater detail in descriptions of types of cloth diapers and add-ons (like inserts) check out http://www.zany-zebra.com/types-of-cloth-diapers.shtml.

What’s the difference between inner fabric, outer fabric, hidden inner fabric, soaker fabric? How many of each do I need and where do they all go?
Wow, slow down there! That’s actually a bunch of questions! LOL Okay, so from the outside of the diaper towards baby: outer fabric, hidden inner fabric, soaker fabric, then inner fabric. Some recommendations for the ladder are as follows;
All-in-One(AIO)/Pocket outer fabric: PUL or Polyester fleece works great. You can use Alpine, Blizzard or Anti-pill fleece from Joann’s for an inexpensive route (find coupons!) all the way up to Malden Mills 200-300wt Polartec works well. You can’t use wool as the waterproofing fabric, because it requires different care then the absorbant materials.
Fitted outer fabric, AIO & Fitted inner fabric: Cotton, Hemp, Bamboo knits work well here. Fun prints for the outers of the fitteds are always a big hit with the kids. If you are going for the “I can’t feel wet” idea, which works wonders for overnight and outings, get some microfleece. Knits, such as interlock, jersey, velour, etc, will give you the largest range of fit. For frugality, it’s totally fine to go with wovens such as flannels and birdseye for full body layers (if you are using wovens and want the “I can’t feel wet” effect, try suedecloth), and pretty cotton quilting wovens for outers. Heck, while we are on the topic of cheap, search through old clothes, t-shirts work WONDERFULLY, and are found a plenty, look for natural fabrics and make sure you are using fabric with no more the 20% polyester content.
Hidden inner fabric: Remember those cotton t-shirts you found? Use the discolored and stained ones here 😉 No, really, you won’t see them and they are just added to stabilize the soaker fabric. I won’t tell. (or you could use similar fabric to your inner, you know, whatever you are comfortable with. LOL)
Soaker fabric: This is where you get most of your absorbency from. Some folks like microfiber (towels in the car section) and zorb, others like french terrys and fleeces(cotton, bamboo or hemp here, not poly fleece!), and others still like birdseye and warm and natural cotton batting. Try a few out and see what you like best!

As far as numbers of fabric for each layer; there is a balance that you need to find between bulk and absorbency, for a “general average wetter” you should be fine with 3 body layers (outer, hidden inner, and inner) and a 3 layer soaker (microfiber, zorb, french terrys, old towels, lol, you get the idea) for the thicker fabrics or 6 layer for the thinner (birdseye, flannel, jersey) ones. Sew one up and see if you need more or less. For example, french terry is very absorbent and thicker then birdseye, but thinner then terry toweling. Birdseye is absorbent and about similar thickness flannel.

Just a couple last things to remember when sewing your own.
1.) Ballpoint needles are your friend. They don’t pierce the fabric they “push” the fibers away to go through, not causing runs (think those pesky stockings).
2.) When sewing on knits, a stitch length of 4 or greater for a straight stitch is where you want to keep your settings. It will provide enough stretch so that when you pull the fabric, the stitches will move with it and not break.
3.) Remember to relax! Sit down when the kids are in bed with a cup of tea and read the instructions. Reread them. Read them one last time for good measure. Pattern designers sometimes take weeks upon weeks to write these up making sure they are both informative and easy to follow. Don’t ask me how I know. 😉