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Kids can be pretty unpredictable at times, but there are a few things about Joshua that you can count on:

  • He will always eat rice and tofu (and be excited about it).
  • He will wear his pajamas all day and night, if allowed.
  • He will find a way to read about, draw or play pirate every day.

Hmmm, I wonder what Joshua will want to be for Halloween this year???


“Ahoy thar, me hearties! I be a pirate now.”

I wasn’t going to do much sewing for his costume, but then I saw the red and white fabric and couldn’t resist. I was a little afraid of the crappy slippery polyester fabric. It didn’t defeat me, but I won’t be sewing with it again anytime soon. It may suck to sew with but it makes some pretty rockin’ pirate pants, don’t you think?

The wool felt for the hat helped make up for the polyester. I started to make the hat with craft felt, but didn’t like the feel of it. Not to mention, I was sure it would not stand up to the amount of play for which it is destined in this house.


Not very pirate-y, but a pretty cute model, eh?

The skull and crossbones scarf and the hook were both gifts. Abby found the scarf at H&M and couldn’t resist.  It has been a mainstay of play ever since.

I bought the hook, on behalf of my sister, just before Joshua’s birthday. Despite his presence in the store, I managed to buy it without him noticing. (He was too busy changing from a pirate costume into a Viking costume at the time.) When he opened his presents on his birthday he exclaimed, “How did they ever know that I wanted this hook?!?”


In an attempt to avoid a mad rush to Target on October 30th, I started working on Halloween costumes a few weeks ago. I started with Lizzie’s since it required the most work from scratch. Lizzie decided she wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. Admittedly, I planted the seed, but didn’t realize how into the idea she would become. Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that she could be insisting on dressing as a Bratz character or puffy, pink, princess poo-poo. I am thrilled to be sewing prairie clothes.

Lizzie is very well-versed in the Little House stories. We started reading the picture books when she was around 2 years old. Once we decided on Laura, she set about looking through our books to decide exactly what her costume should entail. Should it be more like Going to Town or Winter Days in the Big Woods? We went to the fabric store and she picked a blue calico. All the official prairie girl costume patterns called for set-in sleeves to which I said, “Not a chance”! I used Simplicity 3610. This is just more proof that simple patterns with the right fabric choice can yield great results.

After the dress I tackled the pinafore. At least that was my intention…
“Laura doesn’t wear a pinafore, she wears an apron. I just want an apron.”

“Bu, bu, bu, but the pinafore is so cute and I just bought this pattern!!”

The “discussion” quickly spiraled downward until there were three adults and a 7 year old battling it out with no fewer than a dozen books (picture books and full-length books) strewn about the living room floor.

“Look, here she is wearing a pinafore!”

“That’s not a pinafore, it doesn’t go all the way around in back!”

Eventually it dawned on me that an apron would be WAY easier to make! So, I abandoned the pinafore pattern and turned to my handy, dandy copy of Bend-the-Rules Sewing. Whipped out an apron in an afternoon. I just used muslin. Slightly stained muslin, at that. I figure it adds a hint of authenticity.

Next up, a bonnet. Another opportunity for Amy Karol cuteness. Unfortunately, I am not a mailorder member, but I ordered the bonnet pattern when the reprint became available recently. The corduroy I used was too heavy, but I made it work. It is a bit wonky in places, but good enough for Halloween.


I have a growing love for bird images. They are rising in the ranks to contend with hedgehogs and elephants in the kawaii (cute) quotient. When we decorated the nursery for Sarah, we included a bird mobile (a family favorite) and framed prints from this set. I have been adding bird fabrics to my stash at an alarming rate and have only the vaguest notion of what I will do with them. A swatch portrait to add to the nursery, perhaps?

I made thank you cards for Sarah’s birthday:


And a t-shirt as a birthday present for one of Lizzie’s friends:


I originally sized the images to use on a onesie for Sarah. Clearly the issue of scale escaped me when I decided to use them on a t-shirt for an 8 year old. The branch is painted on with a freezer paper stencil and the bird and leaves are applique. I am really loving the combination of the stencil and applique techniques (thanks for the inspiration, Sarah).

I embroidered this little tree + birds recently, too.


What’s next? Maybe elephants (like here, here or here).