Progress on Christmas aprons!

cut out

An apron seems such a simple project – but it’s not when one drafts 7 aprons in 3 sizes!

All fun. I serged the ends of my Marshall Dry Goods Dream Cotton and laundered it last week.

This morning I got serious. I needed to draft appropriate sizes for the family and to decision lining fabrics for the basic apron and the pockets. I used broadcloth to line all the pockets to keep them ‘light’ since my aprons are lined with the main fabric.

Here’s a view of the patterns I’m using. Each also has ties and pockets sized to the apron:

3 patterns

I have to credit several patterns for the result. I have Butterick 4585 (an adult and child apron pattern), but the child version is very small. Fortunately, I found some guidelines to help me out with that grandson-size conundrum.

Line art from Kwik Sew 3247, found by Googling kid’s aprons
Tutorial from (and she has great fabric craft ideas and tutorials…

All day today I’ve been drafting patterns and cutting the fabric. Just the latter really does take a while. Apron, pocket, waist ties, neck tie, D-ring tab.

And, to my dismay, I found that my 1″ D-ring supply is down to one set! I have oodles of 3/4″ rings, but I like the larger ring for the neck ties. So – I hopped on Wawak to order more. BTW, Wawak’s shipping cost is really reasonable, plus these were on sale much below the retail store price. And they’ll be here in 3 days. Can’t beat it. I love Wawak!

While I wait for the hardware and generally get over this apron effort today, I’m planning to sew another French terry StitchSisters kaftan. I’ve worn both of mine in rotation for several days, and I’m hooked.

Happy stuff 🙂 Ciao – Coco

Christmas is coming!


I know fall is still ahead, but Christmas sewing for others does take some planning. I think I start planning right after New Years Day 🙂

Creating that special something for my special loved ones is so important to me. I simply enjoy the entire process – thinking about a gift, messing around online looking for ideas, landing on a decision, and making it happen.

Which is why I’ve already purchased fabric, and I’m ready to get going.

This year will feature some repeats of things I’ve sewn for family. Actually, requested. Wow. Be still my heart.

Aprons for everyone, based on the classic Williams Sonoma apron (and copied from my own apron purchased years ago), and on Butterick 4585. This year I’ll draft a version for my grandson. Nothing brings family together like cooking in the kitchen or on the grill.

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williams sonoma classic apron

A couple weeks ago I ordered 16 yards of Dream Cotton from Marshall Dry Goods, and it arrived in just 3 days. Dream Cotton is, to my eye, indistinguishable from Kona cotton, except in price. MDG’s version is only $3.99/yd. I have white yardage in both Kona and Dream Cotton, and I actually wrote the brand in the selvedge with a Sharpie, for reorders.


I also ordered camo knit jersey from Girl Charlee. It’s on presale at the moment, but will be here soon. This is for True Bias Hudson pants for my son and Grandson. The pattern is available for both adults and children. A pic from a couple years ago in black jersey:

hudson 1


Recently I made Ashley a pair of Mc2 sarouel Afghan pants (to match my own), a birthday gift, and she loves them! She was here recently and picked out a stash French terry fabric (Fabric Mart) for Christmas, with the proviso that I have a matching pair. Fortunately I was able to cut them both from just 3 yards! And mine will be in time for Jungle January 🙂


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That works for me! To round off the gift lists, catnip snakes for the 6 kitties (a link to my post on the snakes and some cute mug rugs here).


And a big cushy pillow for the Frenchy pup. He loves pillows. Mine won’t be this fancy, but he won’t know the difference. A pillow is a pillow, big and soft are the most important elements.


Such fun. I’m blessed.

Ciao! Coco

My Christmas dress – finally!


Christmas isn’t over yet –  I just finished my holiday dress today!

I had planned to wear it up in Orlando later this week, my Christmas visit with David and Preston. But the weather is not cooperating – it will be too cool. Instead, I’ll be in leggings and long sleeve tunics. Not a problem – there’s always Valentines Day 🙂


I fell for this cotton/lycra poplin from Fabric Mart the moment I saw it. Sewing stretch wovens is generally not something I enjoy, but the print was reason for an exception. I was careful to practice tension, presser foot pressure, needles, and stitches before I began. And I staystitched all the edges that had any bias to them.


Not wanting something too fussy, I chose an old favorite, the Serendipity Studio Diane dress (last version here).

Diane Envelope Pic

As before, I raised the neckline, but I didn’t do anything fancy aside from rotating the print on the waistband.


I love Christmas, it’s simply my favorite season. And it’s just about the only time I paint my fingernails, mostly because sewing is brutal on nail polish! But my toe nails are always red. Florida is sandal city all year…

Polish: China Glaze “The Heat is On”

So, I managed to make this dress without too many major oops, although my seam ripper got a workout from time to time. I blew out my first waistband because the button holes were in the direction of the stretch, and I made a mess of them. Rather than replace the entire waistband, I practiced a bit, chose a heavier stabilizer, and made new button holes in a 4″ long patch. After getting it into the band, it’s not at all noticeable.


On to new projects for the new year! I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful season.


More gifts – a travel jewelry wallet


Brrr…baby, it’s cold outside! What a snow storm, I hope everyone is OK and not stressed by it. Here in deep south Florida, it’s only 63 degrees as I write – and it’s going down to 43 tonight and tomorrow night. My heat will be on as soon as the house gets chilly 🙂

Gifts! I don’t remember what triggered this project, but it was a lot of fun. I think most women carry their jewelry in their handbag when they travel. How about a travel jewelry wallet to keep those goodies safe and protected.


Open, this measures 7 5/8″ wide and 9 7/8″ long. Closed, it’s only 3 1/2″ long! I used size 4 snaps for the closure, instead of the usual ties, because ties would come undone in a jiffy in the bottom of a bag.


So – the construction. I did a muslin of this wallet with old zippers and remnants, and I really learned a lot. Most important lesson – to cut everything a bit larger than is necessary, because things get off-square pretty quickly when 3 zippers are being added.

How I cut the four pieces that form the inside zippered pockets:

Cutting layoutIn addition I cut the shell fabric, fusible fleece, and pocket lining at 8 1/4″ wide and 10 1/4″ long. And a 38″-long bias binding strip, 1 1/2″  wide.

The fleece is fused to the shell and quilted diagonally with 1 1/4″ spacing. I like using the quilters chalk pencil, because the chalk pretty much falls off after the quilting. Any remnants can be brushed off.


I used 9″ long zippers – there’s no need for a new stopper at the top because it gets stitched in place a couple times.


Here’s a view with all pieces (shell, lining, and inside) stacked, basted together, trimmed, and ready for binding:


I sewed the binding in place on the inside, using mitered corners, then turned it and sewed it by hand on the outside.



Ta dum! I like this so much that I want one for myself!!


Ciao! Coco

Gifts – mug rugs and baby snakes!



Ha! I finished my last DIY holiday gifts!

I always do kitty thingies for Ashley and Darrin, parents to SIX kitties. And, yes, sometimes it’s hard to find something new. But I lucked out this year – two cute gifts.



First up, mug rugs. Actually, these could be used as treat mats as well. I started with a cat pocket pattern that I found on SelfAssemblyRequired’, no charge, courtesy of Emily. It’s adorable.


And the size is perfect for a mug rug.



I used 2 layers of fabric, with fusible fleece on one to add a little body and support the quilting. The rug was sewn right sides facing, turned, topstitched around the edges and quilted in the center.

Easy peasy 🙂 And a very quick project.

I did a variety of themes, including The Walking Dead (of course) and a Peeps version to match Ashley’s scrapbooking apron.


Thank you, Emily!

Second gift, and this one is for the kitties themselves, Catnip Baby Snakes from Sew4Home (here). I’ve become addicted to this site – what great DIY ideas and projects.


These are about 10″ long and are stuffed with poly filling and a generous portion of organic catnip. OK, a pause. What catnip isn’t organic? Anyway, these are so merry and different!

I used cotton calico paired with sherpa fleece. And I made a real mess with the catnip. But the suggested funnel didn’t work well for me, so I just used a spoon and smushed it inside. Plus, I didn’t mind the mess – DIY is supposed to be messy.


I used a tube turner to turn the snakes inside out, and a chopstick to stuff them.


Parting shot: he just knows Christmas is coming.


Bye for now – Coco