Author Archives: lena

Toddler skirt – knit and sew

I’m a fresh knitter. I mean I’ve tried to knit so many times, but crochet has always been easier for me.
Finally got it last winter. There were these beautiful wool yarns I couldn’t pass and once they were mine, there was no turning back. Hope to have the time to keep mastering my knitting this winter in the evenings.

I’m a slow knitter. Very slow. So adding a small knitted pockets to a skirt is totally fulfilling for me at this stage :-)





Berry Picking Skirt

Fun boy’s room pillow

I’ve tried paper piecing few times and it’s a love-hate relationship.  As much as I love the tiny pieces of fabric and the pictures they create, I hate when I make it wrong and need to take the seam ripper. Actually I hate ripping seams, so most often I’ll start it from scratch. That’s exactly what happened with this robot paper piecing. Three times.

The pattern is wonderful – all is numbered and clear, if only there was anyone to follow the numbers.

Anyway, I did it right finally and I love the result! Made the backing from a black dot minky fabric.

The lucky boy loved it too :-)

Boy's room decorative pillow

Cute robot paper pieced boys room pillow

Boy's room decorative pillow

Learning new techniques

I’ve been exploring the new to me field of paper piecing with a pattern of my awesome friend Rumi from Right Patterns and got in spring mood… Check out her blog to see her wonderful mini quilts with urban twist.

Here’s what I did with her patterns:



I was quite intimidated in the beginning, since I’ve never done paper piecing, and all those tiny pieces looked impossible to piece accurately, but it’s actually super easy and great fun! You should try. And the best part is I’ll get to use those bags of scraps I’ve been collecting for years!

A sun beam at last

Last two weeks have been a challenge for the whole family. First my little one got something, the pediatrician called virus pneumonia…. then I got it from her. I’ll say no more.

Then today, my first day back to normal, I received a wonderful inspiring bundle from Hoodie.

I’m sure you’ve seen her gorgeous fabrics! Well, I’ve got some today :-)

I stumbled upon her blog and fell in love with her fabrics! I’ve contacted her  regarding one of her designs and got the chance to get these for some new sewing projects. Can you imagine how I feel this morning?!  Thank you Hoodie for being a sun beam !!!



Perfect applique tutorial


I have sooo many fabric pieces. Most of them are wool and wool blends. Now that cold winter steps in, I want to make wool stuff. One of the projects on my mind is a quilted wool blanket. Since most of the wool fabrics are dark and grayish, a good idea is to use applique to lighten it a bit. So I was wondering how to do it without the applique making a bulk in the already bulky wool and came up with this idea. I’m sure I’m not discovering the wheel, and probably someone already came up with this idea, but since I searched the web and didn’t find it, decided to share it with you as a tutorial for the perfect applique.

As much as I LOVE the raw edge kind of applique, there are cases, when classic applique with folded edge is better or required. I think a play mat , that will be heavily used needs just that, or I’ll have to constantly make repairs.

The difficulty I find in applique is the time consuming shaping of the curves and the often teared inner angles. I choose to show you exactly this kind of shape – curves and angles, that will be hard and time consuming to shape with the regular cardboard and iron, or paper  and glue  method…

The whole trick is in a material I use on my embroidery machine – water soluble fabric. This is a non-woven fabric, that can be stitched and then rinsed leaving no traces. It’s a magic material I fell in love with, since it is helpful in so many things!

There are two kinds of water soluble stuff used in embroidery – the non-woven fabric, which you can sew a garment from if you wish (don’t go out if it’s cloudy! lol) and the water soluble foil, that is used to keep the embroidery on top of the fabric when terry cloth or velvet is the embroidery base. I’m using here the non-woven fabric, since the foil is too thin and flexible – like an ultra thin rubber sheet.  The fabric kind looks and behaves like some of the non-woven fusible interfacing.

Here is the tutorial:


Here are the materials you’ll need: water erasable marker, applique fabric, sketch of the shape, water soluble fabric


Trace your drawing to the water soluble fabric


Pin it to your applique fabric. The applique fabric right side should be facing the water soluble fabric


Using tiny stitches, go over the line of the shape and close it fully


Cut around the stitches, leaving only around 1/8 in and cut deeper into the corners, only don’t touch the stitching.

Clip crosswise a tiny opening, just enough to turn the piece around through it.


Use blunt pencil to help push the fabric all the way to the seam.


Here it is turned around.  If you wish, press without steam.


Place your applique on the desired place and pin.


Again, using tiny stitches go around it, very close to the edge. Decorative stitches can also be used here.


When you finish, pull the bobbin thread from the back side and it will pull a loop from the top thread.

You can tie a knot from the two threads and there will be no visible start or end of stitching on the face of your applique.


Here’s your perfect applique :-)

Fabric origami butterfly hair clip tutorial :-)

I’m inspired lately to make hair clips for my little one. No wonder if you only look at her hair! She’s going to kindergarten each morning with one or two braids and a handful of hair clips to hold the hair in place and while she gets to the door, her rebellious hair is already in a desperate need of a re-do… This is every morning! I would’ve let her hair to play with the wind, but it’s the kindergarten policy to have it on a ponytail or braided.
I’m not a big fan of the ribbon “sculpted” hair clips. I like the lined ones, but that’s it. I’m a felt and fabric person. So I made this fabric origami butterfly hair clip. It can go on a brooch too, or even on a dress or hat.

It’s super easy!

I’ve used two different colors taffeta. The size I’ve cut my rectangles  is 2 1/3 by 3 1/2 inches or 6 by 9 centimeters – ratio 1 to 1,5 .


Place both pieces together with right sides of fabric facing.


Sew around all sides, leaving an opening on one of the short sides. My butterfly is so small, that I left the whole side open.


It looks like a little baggy thing. I’ve clipped the corners and turned it around. Pulled all corners and ironed.

Iron the opening seam allowance (1/4 in – 6mm) toward the inside and  top stitch at 1mm from the edge.


Iron the rectangle. If you’re using a thin sheer fabric, it”s a good idea to add a fusible interfacing before cutting the rectangles, so it makes crisp creases.

Next, fold in two (meet the short sides) and then one more time in two, again the short sides meet.Fabric-butterfly-origami-5



Make a fold, bringing the upper fold corner to the center, like shown on the picture.

Repeat the same with the second fold corner and you should have a house shape.


If needed, pin the folds. Iron each fold.


Here’s the house!


Now take one of the center folds in the bottom middle and fold a triangle inward.


Like this^


Do the same with the second corner.

Sorry for the blurry picture – winter time here with very little light today…  Anyway, open the triangle fold just made and stretch it toward the center of “roof” of the house shape.


Open the second fold too and pin to hold. The taffeta didn’t take well my pins – you could probably see the holes in the fabric.


This is the back of the butterfly at this stage.


Fold the center triangle downwards and pin.


Now take your butterfly to the machine and make a seam right through the middle between the wings. I’m using an embroidery thread for the whole project here, but chose white , so you can see it. It would be better to use a matching color or a complementing one.


I made another seam under the bottom wings to hold them in place.


I’m using a double pointed flower stem for the antennae.  Sew the butterfly to a hair clip. The hair clip I’m using has 3 holes in the base. That’s all!


Ayosa Musk (Muks?) finished

Well, I didn’t get to make good pictures since it was too dark, but instead of waiting for a moment to be able to do that again (probably through the weekend), decided to go with these. Will try to make better with the bed.

Still not clear what her last name is, but the first is Ayosa.


Doll Body

Doll Body

DSC06443 DSC06446 DSC06449

What?! Doll?!?

Yes. A Doll. With a capital D.

It’s a doll for my little one.  I have to admit and may be upset some of you, but I honestly can’t stand Barbie dolls or any other close looking dolls. I’m from those weirdos that believe the aesthetic we teach our children affects them for life and actually affects the next generations in a way. If I scale down to my little girl, I’d love to see her healthy and self accepting no matter what.  So I’m now making a new doll for her. Human doll. The Waldorf one I made last year is waiting for a serious bath. ..  and repair :-)

I started making her yesterday from white Belorussian linen and got to the clothes. Sewing them now. There is yet hair to be sewn or crocheted, haven’t decided yet on this. In the mean time my husband made a wonderful wooden rocking bed for her. The mattress and pillow are already made and I need now to make little quilt. Any ideas about it?

Here some WIP pictures. Have a great day!


Doll Body

Doll Body

Doll face primed and painted

Doll face primed and painted

Machine embroidery

Well, I said I’ve been doing a lot of things and it’s true. Aside from drawing and sewing, I started turning my drawings into machine embroideries. It’s called digitizing and it takes quite a lot of time, but the results are so satisfying, that I’m already hooked. It’s hard for me to tell which I like better – the embroidery machine applique or the raw edge applique done with regular sewing machine. I guess both have their place when accent is needed and it depends on fabrics and the effects that you want to achieve.

I definitely don’t like the looks of cheap embroideries, mostly on kids clothes, that the market is so flooded of and may be this is partially what keeps me from placing them on clothing I sew, they just overdid it! I’m trying to find the thin line before it gets too much.  From another point an illustration with good esthetics will not be overdoing it if made properly. It’s very challenging, but it’s worth.

Yesterday I made a mushroom applique to go on a toddler’s pants, around the knees (see the picture?)  and a mushroom and clovers embroidery.

I’d like to make a quilt with some embroidered center squares and thought, before going bigger, like a child’s quilt, maybe try it on something smaller, like a table mat or some other small project.

Now here are the pictures I took yesterday. Have a wonderful day!


Toadstool Applique

Toadstool Applique

Toadstools, bee and clovers

Toadstools, bee and clovers