giveaway winner and a painful first

I have had an eventful week! Last night I slipped on the ice and hurt my ankle. I heard a loud crack and then couldn't walk on it. I thought for sure it was broken, but the x-rays were normal and it has been determined to be a really bad sprain. I have a sweet air cast brace and I have never noticed how many flipping stairs my house has. Does someone want to climb them for me?

On to happier news. The winner of my 200th post giveaway is....Julie N! Congrats, Julie. :) I'll send you an email with details. Thanks for playing everyone, and have a happy Christmas!


200th Post Giveaway!

Happy 200th post to me! When I started this blog back in fall of 2009, I was just a knitter. Now I knit much less and sew much more! Hey, I have even made a little money off this hobby of mine. It always amazes me that I get hundreds of blog hits each day for my free tutorials. The baby bonnet, the mini scarf, and the baby cocoon get the most visits. Maybe I should offer some more tutorials in 2014. Who knows what the next 200 posts will hold!

Thank you faithful followers and thank you random visitors for all your support.

Now on to the giveaway! You know how I have lots of dolls for sale right now. Some in stores around Minneapolis, and some in my Etsy shop. Leave a comment below to be entered to win any two dolls from my shop. Just comment on which two dolls you would choose if you win! I will even priority ship so they get to you before Christmas!  I will choose a winner on Friday, December 19th.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

Fine print: I cannot obviously GUARANTEE that it will get to you by Christmas, but I will try! Giveaway only open to US residents. Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you win.

Winter Shirt and Pierced Ears

Today I did something for the third time in my life....something that proves I probably shouldn't have done it...I got my ears pierced. I had it first done when I was 15, and then again when I was 20 because the holes had closed up from me not wearing earrings enough. Obviously I have commitment issues with earrings. I didn't think of it again until my oldest got her ears pierced this fall. She wanted to look through all my earrings, and it made me realize I have a lot of nice ones! Maybe I should get those holes reopened. With that in mind, I dug around in my ear yesterday until I got one side reopened (which sounds really gross, I know, but it wasn't horrible, the hole was still in there, it was just the skin that had covered it). But the second side had no hole anymore, so I went to Claire's this morning and got it redone. I didn't cry AND I got a lollypop :-) Score! 

Anyway. I made myself a winter shirt. I don't know where my camera went, so here is a crummy photobooth pic of it. It's the Washi Dress/Tunic pattern that I have made a million times before, but this time I added a long sleeve to it. I love the drape of this fabric. It's like a suiting material and it's heavy but kind of slinky. Perfect for a sort-of-dressy-sort-of-casual shirt.

Can you see my newly re-pierced ear, too? Here's another photobooth of a custom order I recently made. (paper snowflakes by Oliver)

Check back in an hour for the giveaway! Yes, it involves dolls :)


Dolls in the shop

For those that have asked, I have listed about two dozen dollies in the shop. Thanks for your support! Two more posts until a big giveaway, so stay tuned and have a great Thanksgiving!


Dolls and Mask

I wanted some better photos of some of my favorites I've made this week. Enjoy!


mamas and papas

(sorry for the blur)
While I was out shlepping my fox masks on boutique owners, I got a request for more softie dolls to stock at Mother Earth Gardens. So, I whipped a few (dozen) up. I decided to make equal amounts of mamas and papas. After all...I like equality. I have never sold the boy version in shops before, and I have a feeling it will be popular. Who knows, it might even result in more sales (get a set!).

I always hate getting started with the doll making process, but it is so satisfying at the end. Each couple is so unique and quirky, and many remind me of people I actually know.

In other news, I am four posts away from my 200th blog post! Isn't that super exciting? I might even have a little giveaway...stay tuned. I promise I will get to #200 before Christmas!

I recently joined the Modern Era and got a smart phone. Well, mostly smart. I have no data plan, so I am WiFi dependent, but that's fine by me. The best part about a smart phone is that I am now officially on Instagram. If you like blurry photos of kids, crafts, and muffins, feel free to follow me and I will follow you! My friend list is dismally small right now. You can find me at @tinkerknits.

And to conclude:



Well hello there. You know what? I hate it when people stop blogging. So...I'm sorry. Big cyber hugs to you all, if you have been waiting for me to post something. 

Now. That's out of the way. Let's talk about how trendy foxes are. And owls. People, they are like the trendiest forest creatures of 2013. So I am totally capitalizing on that and making masks to sell. Wrong? Maybe. But my kids absolutely adore playing make-believe with these things!


He wanted to be a bat.

Not Batman, but a bat.

So I went for simple - I bought a black hoodie and sewed on felt wings and ears. Black sweatpants. Easy and done. The next ones will not be as easy, I fear. :)


First Grade

Clara is now a first grader. Let's not talk about it. I'm still adjusting.

I sewed her a skort, because a skirt isn't very modest at school when you sit "criss-cross, applesauce," now is it?

I used the Oliver + S Badminton pattern. It was my first Oliver + S pattern. I like it a lot. It was easy to follow and the instructions were very clear. In fact, I liked it so much that I already made a second one for Clara's uniform for American Heritage Girls in navy blue.

The shirt from the pattern, however, was not a winner. It was very wide and fit her funny, so I scrapped it and we went with a store bought Hello Kitty shirt (to match the ribbon I sewed around the skirt).

See the first day of Kindergarten here. And then cry because she looks so much older this year.


Little Boxes

You know what I hate? When bloggers take extended "breaks" from blogging. Don't they know that I love to read blogs? But alas I have gone and done that very thing. I have been sewing a lot. Honest. I just haven't been blogging at all. Sorry about that. I'll try my hardest to remedy that this fall, but truthfully I am feeling a bit overcommitted already.

School starts next week for my oldest (FIRST grade. I am going to miss her!) and the week after for my middle (3-day morning preschool). But I have agreed to a lot of volunteer posts this year, as well as going back to the U of M for my Masters in Literacy Education. Busy.

Anyway. I made boxes. Mostly to store bento lunch box supplies. The tutorial was very easy to follow. I skipped the handles and added a few stitches to the corners to help it keep its shape. Next time, I will add cardboard to the bottom between the fabric layers so it holds up better.


Koala Ears

My daughter has been in Theater Camp all week, and last night was her big performance in their show, "Bear Hugs." She was in the group that performed the book Koala Lou. It's a cute story. Before the show, Clara had a freak out - "I NEED A KOALA COSTUME!! EVERYONE WILL BE WEARING ONE BUT ME!!" Gah. Way to freak a mom out! Since I wasn't about to whip up an entire costume or go shopping two hours before the show, we compromised on koala ears and a gray outfit. I think the ears turned out great. (And, by the way, she was the ONLY child in a koala costume. Go figure.)

I did a quick Google image search for koala costumes and found this one that I used for inspiration. I happened to have some gray and white knit fabric, and a gray headband I could use. I mimicked the ear shape and added stiff interfacing inside them so they wouldn't flop around. Then I made sure they were placed in the right spots (location is key in a koala mask!) and attached them to the headband.

Now she is asking to be a koala for Halloween - fine by me!


Infant Sun Dress and Diaper Cover

A couple of weeks ago, I wanted a quick little project. I decided to play around with a couple patterns and see if I liked them. This dress, and this diaper cover.

The beauty of infant clothes is that they come together quickly. Very satisfying. 

Luckily, my neighbor has a new baby, so I gave the outfit to her in exchange for some photos of them. Isn't she the cutest baby?

The patterns were easy to follow. I will probably make both again, but I think next time I will skip the ruffle on the diaper cover. It made the back waistband really bulky. 


Easy No-Slip Tablet/Phone Prop

Honestly, this might not even be worthy of a post, but I was feeling pretty proud of myself when I made this little prop for my tablet, so I thought I'd share. I have a Color Nook and I was finding myself grabbing random household items to hold it up while I emailed or what have you at the dining room table. Eventually, all the things I grabbed would slip and not stay put. Frustrating! Here, friends, is my solution to such a stressful first-world problem. :)

How to Make an Easy, No-Slip Tablet/Phone Prop

You will need:
1 rubber bouncy ball
serrated knife

1. Cut small edge off ball so it doesn't roll (I lopped off about 1/5 of the ball).
2. Prop up your smart device and feel happy that it is staying at the perfect angle.

Happy Tuesday!


Chevron Dress

I've been wearing this dress for about a month straight now - that's how much I love it! Yet another variation of the washi dress, and my favorite one so far! For this one I skipped the bodice facing and just finished the collar with bias tape. 

Also, you will notice in the photos that my summer look includes pig tails and no makeup. :) Welcome to my world. I can't be bothered with those details when there are berries to pick and children to chase.


Four Newborn Bonnets

I decided to reopen my etsy shop and list a few 0-3 month bonnets in it, if you are interested! My favorite is the hand-stitched flower yo-yos on the sides. I never get tired of making yo-yos!

Go check it out.


I made a bag for a teacher.

Hello! Despite my silence, I have been making things. Many things. A dress for me. A dress for a pregnant friend. A stack of baby burp cloths and two changing pad covers for a different pregnant friend. Alas, no photos. If I made you something, feel free to take a photo of it for my blog :)

I am working on a quilt for my own bed, which I hope to have finished by August. This pattern using this stack of pretties. It is a rather time-consuming project.

Tomorrow is my daughter's last day of Kindergarten - sniff - and as usual I procrastinated until the last minute with a gift for her teacher.

I decided to make her a bag using this pattern. It turned out very nicely.

I added more pleats on the outside and less pleats on the inside, but other than that I followed the pattern.

I also made a little stuffed mouse for her teacher's assistant, who has been in the classroom every day all year as well. But--big surprise--I forgot to take a photo before wrapping it. I guess I need to work remembering to document my craftings.

Happy June (feels like April up here in MN).


Tooth Fairy Dreams

Someone finally has a loose tooth! It has been a year of wiggling every tooth every day, in an attempt to loosen one. A year of watching all her classmates lose teeth, while she still has a full set. Now, it is her turn! Hurrah!

Such an occasion obviously calls for a tooth fairy pillow! The front of the pillow is a little tooth pocket for her tooth and a fairy treasure, and the back is made of 1" squares.  

I wonder what the tooth fairy leaves these days?