hey there

remember me? still alive over here, just been busy with life, ya know? i would like to say something prosaic about how not having a camera has made me slow down and participate more in life but that would be a total lie. still twitchy and still harping on it (i borrowed from a friend this week). the good news is that i have reacquainted myself with the sewing machine!! yay! something even more exciting? i have been having sewing lessons with an old friend. so good. sewing, learning, talking. fun fun, but i wont say more on that until i finish my project. ssshhh. in the mean time i will tempt you with what else we have been working on around here.
from the back
i made this little green smocked dress for arlo and i have to admit i am surprised at how successful the first go-round was. i was poking around on craftster a few weeks ago and saw some talk of machine smocking with elastic thread. hmmm. so i bought myself some elastic thread, some cheapo test fabric at joanns and just started sewing. pretty much all i did was cut out a long rectangle, hemmed the bottom and tried to over stitch the top with zigzags (i never get good results with this, it always just looks chewed up, but thats what tests are for right?). the only time consuming part was hand winding the bobbin with the elastic thread. then i set my machine to the longest stitch it had and just started sewing. done and done. you can see things a bit more close up here and the inside here. then i sewed up the rectangle, added straps. all and all it probably took me thirty minutes, and like i said i was surprised at how well it went. i have some more expensive fabric that i am going to try out for collette, and get a little more bold with the smocking, some contrasting thread so it really stands out. i realized too that before i put the straps on it would also work great as a skirt for collette.

it was nice to be back at the sewing machine. i have been neglecting it for months, and it shows. everything was covered in dust and just as messy as when i left it. time to do some organizing. even if i cant make it pretty in the basement, i can at least make it so i can find my seam ripper (i hope). eliot asked me to make him some pants, this is the first time ever. no pressure or anything. i might like to smock up a skirt for myself as well. i really like anything based on a rectangle. i have learned from sewing with jenny that i am a lazy sewer that needs practice and attention to detail and quality of work. ouch. at least i can admit it. so anyway the haps around huffmania are pretty much the same. the only exceptions being that arlo can walk now and david cant. he sprained his ankle playing basketball. i think things are on the up and up though, he has been hobbling around the house a bit like a peg-legged pirate. awesome. oh and if you are in kc, and can play ping pong, get your tushie (eliot's new favorite word) down to habitat tonight for first fridays. beat the boss at ping pong and get 50% off a pair of shoes!!! dang! i will be there working, so come say hi at least, if you are afraid of taking on john. 85 degrees and sunny on saturday and sunday... THAT is what i am talkin' about people...



Blogger Heidijayhawk said...

super sweet hannah! i am going to have to try that smocking. anything that requires only a rectangle of fabric is right up my ally.

9:36 AM  
Blogger bet(h) said...

hannah-i love that little green number. arlo wears it so well, too!-beth

9:56 AM  
Blogger bet(h) said...

and one of the cutest walkers, ever!

9:58 AM  
Blogger mollyandbrandon said...

That little dress is just about the cutest thing ever. How can you keep from squeezing Arlo long enough to take a photo? You have some kind of willpower, lady.

And those videos! I think I actually squealed. SO cute.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah,
the dress is really cute and you made it sound easy enough that I'm tempted to run out and get some elasticized thread. My 3.5 year old boy may have doubts about the outfit though! I posted a comment on "Good" post, asking you a question about quilting with my email address. Your blog is great by the way.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

so good so good! gotta try this. someday. soon.

have fun tonight

12:10 PM  
Blogger a friend to knit with said...

sooo cute!
I love things without patterns (since I have the hardest time reading one).......I want to try this now! .....maybe someday!

12:27 PM  
Blogger beki said...

What a cute little dress? I've been on the lookout for elastic thread because I want to try something like that, but I never seem to find it. Perhaps that's because I keep getting distracted by pretty fabrics, which isn't hard to do!

12:35 PM  
Blogger beki said...

Oops, that was meant to be a "!", not a "?". Of course it's a cute little dress - no question about that!!

12:36 PM  
Blogger kimberly said...

I do much better sewing with a friend too. I am such a sloppy seamstress, I tend to not measure anything and not pay attention to the majority of what I'm doing. smocking...so ambitious! love it.

1:37 PM  
Blogger MWM said...

wow. smocking has always been this mystery thing to me -sort of like the "quilting" part of quilting.
The dress is adorable -I love the green.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hannah, you sound so chirpy and happy! Must be that spring weather. (We are in the sad decline into Autumn here, I know a lot of people love it, but to me it just means winter. And that is depressing).
That dress is great, by the way. Even in cheapo fabric.
And, I was reading this post thinking, surely that standing up girl isn't Arlo? She can't be that big already. But walking to boot! Just amazing, and just so, so gorgeous. Oh, I'm gushing now.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Arlo has grown up so quickly. I love the little dress, just so cute. You make it sound so easy to make too. I cant wait to see what you make next.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh.my.goodness. LOVE Arlo's dress. And I just bought the same shade of green to make a skirt. Melissa looked at it in my shopping cart and said, "That's the kind of green Hannah likes." =)

And how fun to be getting some sewing tips from Jenny...I bet you are going to whip up some fantastic clothes!!

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

such sweet smocking - and walking! so many thanks for demystifying smocking - elastic thread is now on my list.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Chara Michele said...

That smocked dress turned out so cute! I am tempted to try to make a smocked dress in my size:)

9:14 AM  
Blogger ke said...

arlo is looking like an expert walker now! i love smocking. i might need a little lesson... the dress looks great!

11:05 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

She looks so cute! My mother made me a whole series of those dresses when I was very small - all in gingham with matching frilly underwear! Funny memories.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you have a future in making clothes for the kids-- sloppy or not, you're willing to give it a try... and look how it turns out!! goodness. all goodness.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that dress...and that photo...and that Arlo is walking...and I'm imagining those chubs walking around and can hardly stand it!

6:36 PM  
Blogger molly | mommycoddle.com said...

there's just too much goodness in this post! I LOVE arlo's walking video, and I love the fact that the other videos to choose from at that google sight were, "Walker Texas Ranger". funny.

the smocking is amazing. I've always wanted to learn this. When's the tutorial coming out??!!

12:01 PM  
Blogger j. vorwaller said...

ooohhh to be able to use a sewing machine, and well!! :D you make it look so easy . :D

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks soooo cute and she is adorable in it! But I think the proper term is shirring. To my understanding smocking is a lot more elaborate with hand embroidery.

5:08 PM  
Blogger julieree said...

arlo's dress is so awesome!! love the green. I want one like that. :)
Can't wait to see what you and Jenny come up with.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooh! i've been wondering about that technique too-- that dress is fantastic! the part i was most worried about was what you mentioned- winding the bobbin with elastic thread. how the heck do you do it? any tips?

8:52 AM  
Blogger Mama Urchin said...

I've been wanting to try the elastic thread too. What I am scared by is knowing how much the fabric is going to squeeze up.

10:11 AM  
Blogger picperfic said...

now I want to have a go at that technique, I did it years ago, an identical pattern too, so much fun and it looks cute! Timeless fashion!

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, my question, too...how much extra fabric do you allow in contrast to the measurement of the chest...? And, do you wind the bobbin thread tightly or w/o tension...? Am I making this more complicated than it is :^)

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am soooo going to try this!! OK, so, elastic bobbin thread. Hand wind. Zig-zag stitch. Right. I can do this! Thanks for your inspiring blog!

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Sydney Hotels said...

Such a nice dress. The color is so cool. It beautifully fits to Arlo.a

1:58 AM  

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