Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog


How to Wash Stuffies and 5 First Birthday Gift Ideas

My baby girl is about to turn one years old! I can't believe it's been one year since she was born. (Skip to the end of the post for birthday gift ideas!) She's been a fairly easy baby, but that is because she found her own special "pacifier". When she was about 9 mos old she started using the arm of this tiny stuffed bunny as her pacifier. Since she started she has slept and napped well even when she's teething or sick. It's pretty amazing because her siblings never figured that out. But because she sucks on the bunny arm, I have to wash it a couple of times a week to keep it clean. 

  • I have found that it's best to wash the stuffed animals in a hot, regular cycle with mild detergent. Some of our stuffed animals have been in the middle of a sickness so they have definitely needed to be washed. The animals lose a little bit of their softness, washing changes the feeling of the fur slightly, but it's not noticeable enough to my kids. You can also sanitize it if your washing machine has that option.
  • I also dry all the softies that I wash, because my child rarely can wait any longer to get their special friend back. I have never had any issues with putting sofies in the dryer.

  • Each of my kids have a special softie. My son has a puppy, my daughter has a kitty, and my baby has the bunny. If you want to give your child a softie you should check what it's made out of and the care instructions. The fibers should be easy to clean like polyester or cotton. I often ignore the care instructions and do it the way I think is best. After learning about fibers and textiles in college I realize that a some of care instructions are just trying to protect the company. Also, a softie should have no buttons or plastic pieces to fall off and be choked on by little babies and toddlers.

  • My kids get afraid of their softie being washed, so I always let them be apart of the process. They get to put their stuffed animal in the wash and then help move the wet wash to the dryer. They get excited about helping and feel so grown up. It helps them take responsibility about keeping their softie clean also.

Here is the bunny, clean from the washer and fresh from the dryer. The day after I washed this bunny and took pictures, the bunny was literally thrown in the toilet. So right back into the wash it went!

5 First Birthday Gift Ideas
1. Cute Stuffie - I love giving a new stuffed animal to my babies when they turn 1. It's a toy that they'll actually play and snuggle with. I fell in love with this Super Elephant Doll from Estella. I love that it's a superhero and that it's an animal. Estella has their hand knitted items ethically made by women in Peru. Besides being completely adorable, I love supporting companies that manufacture ethically. The little cape is removable. Since I'm giving it to my baby girl, I decided to hand sew the cape on and the knot closed. I didn't want to worry about the cape falling off. 
2. Active Wooden Toy - Both my older kids loved wooden toys that they could be really rough with. (Or as rough as a one year old can be.) My son loved the Pound and Roll Wooden Tower (affiliate link) and my daughter loved the MULA Multicolor Stacking Rings. I love wood because the knicks and scratches just make them look loved and worn. I also love that these toys require imagination and involvement;
3. Lovey - My babies have each gotten baby blankets when they were born. It's so nice to have extra blankets when you need them, but when they turn one it's nice to give them a special lovey for snuggling at night or during naps. I fell in love with this adorable Striped Whale Lovey. I love that the tail comes off the edge for a perfect little hand hold. 
4. Family Picture Book - A lot of our family lives far away, so I love introducing my little ones to all their relatives. I made a soft family picture book with just our little immediate family, but I really want to make one with all our extended family. 
5. Soft Rattle - My baby still loves shaking rattles and making noise so a little rattle is perfect. Especially for those outings where she needs to be occupied in the stroller or in my lap. Rattles are great for throwing in a gift to give it that little extra something. This Pineapple Rattle is just adorable. Estella has lots of "food" rattles, and they are so quirky and perfect. They also have lots of cute animal rattles like this Owl Rattle.
Happy birthday, baby girl! 


Me Made: Three Halifax Hoodies

I've been missing a lot around here lately because we are currently in the market to buy a home. We've found one so we've been working with everything that comes with that along with cleaning and packing. We're hopefully near the end though! 
Luckily, I did a little bit of sewing before I packed everything up. (It's just taken me forever to take pictures of them.) I made three Halifax Hoodies (affiliate link) by Hey June Patterns. A really good sweatshirt pattern has been on to-find and to-sew list for a long time. I purchased the Halifax Hoodie a little while ago and finally tried it out. After three different versions, I really love it. Just like I love all the Hey June patterns I have tried. The first version I made was a navy French terry version. I sewed view A with the neckband of view C. I made a size small and added 1" of length at the waist.
I got this navy French Terry from a warehouse sale near me. It's so soft and comfortable, and the color is perfect. I really love the heathered look. The cuffs and waistband makes this sweatshirt come together really fast. I also added a little tag to two of my hoodies that I got from the Dutch Label Shop. I had some custom tags printed that say "Feathers Flights Handmade" with a simple feather icon next to it. I did a long tag so I fold them in half and sew them into the clothes I make for myself.
Next I made the same style (view A and view C, size small with the bodice lengthened) with a sweater fleece I got from Joann fabrics a couple of years ago. It is super warm and soft since it's fleece, but it looks like a sweater. This color is perfect and I wear it all the time.
The problem I had with this one was since the fabric was a little stiffer I noticed that the neckline was too high. This isn't a problem with the pattern, it was my own fault when combining the two views. I decided to just cut a slit in the front instead of fix it. Maybe I'll go back and fix it one day. I added a tag to this one too.
They fit loose, but it's a perfect fit for a comfortable and warm sweatshirt.
Lastly, I made myself a zip up hoodie. I am really proud of myself for making this jacket! I think a zipper hoodie is a big accomplishment. I mean the pattern makes it easy to make it look nice, but there are a couple techniques on zipper hoodies that can be hard to master. I did view C with added length at the waist. I used a French Terry that doesn't have a whole lot of stretch, but it's still a good fabric. My SIL gifted me this fabric so I can't give much information about it.
I couldn't find any ribbing that remotely matched this turquoise fabric. I knew I wouldn't wear it if I did a coordinating gray and white would get dirty so quickly. I've learned that I will only wear something if it's all the same color, especially when it's a layer. Instead of ribbing I had some cotton lycra that matched perfectly. I did the waistband the wrong length, it's a little too long, but besides that it worked out really well.
I used white twill tape for both the neckline detail and the hood drawstring.
I really wanted a non-metal zipper that matched. So I searched online and ordered one from Etsy that turned out to be metal and more of a kelly green. I tried Joann fabrics again and found a great coat zipper that was the right length and a really close color. I forgot to buy 1" twill tape, so I used some 1" bias strips that coordinated to finish the zipper tape area. I had to sew two topstitching rows next to the zipper instead of one to make the insides look good. 
As much as I want an item to be all the same color, I don't mind a bit of fun on the inside. That's the fun part of sewing for yourself, you can make it to your exact preferences and you can add fun wherever you want.


"Happy" Wardrobe Resources

One thing I've noticed on all those "Capsule Wardrobe" posts is a list of clothing items you "have" to buy. "To have the perfect wardrobe you have to buy all these items that I have in my wardrobe. And I'm going to give you another big list in three months." Now I understand that most of these bloggers need to make money, and they make money through affiliate linking. I have nothing against this since I use affiliate linking myself, but I don't find it very helpful when it comes to a happy wardrobe because all it does is encourage spending and often the items are more than I like to spend.
Well, maybe you do have to buy some things for your wardrobe, but first you have to know what styles you like, what fit you like, and the colors you like. AND you can make, thrift, buy clearance, or inexpensive brands to make your "happy" wardrobe. Also, there are no set rules. You don't have to have certain items, shop at certain places, or have a certain number of pieces. Wear only what you love and what fits you.
I don't have a perfect wardrobe, but I'm happier with my wardrobe than I ever have been. It's simpler, smaller, and all of the pieces are my favorite pieces. It feels like me, and it's way easy to get dressed in the morning. I put together a list of some of the resources that have helped me simplify and improve my wardrobe. Most don't have a list of things to buy but might link to some. I'm not trying to encourage spending; I'm trying to encourage figuring out yourself and your "happy" wardrobe.
1. Colette Wardrobe Architect - I talk about this series all the time, and I cannot sing it's praises enough. It is geared towards someone who sews, but I think it can benefit anyone. There are multiple worksheets to figure out your style and colors. It's not technically a capsule wardrobe, but it's still a great way to define your wardrobe.
2. Un-Fancy Capsule Experiment - This one is mostly reading about someone else's experience with a pared down wardrobe. There are a lot of benefits to having a smaller wardrobe and not feeling like you have to buy, buy, buy. There's also a free Capsule Planner if you'd like to use that.
3. Three Wardrobe Building Myths - I love this article and agree that all these are definitely myths!
4. These next three are all series from Putting Me Together. I love that they don't have set numbers of items, set colors, or a set style. It's about figuring out yourself and your wardrobe and tips to do that. I really love her tips for updating your wardrobe because it makes you be honest with your activities. You love dressing like Kate Middleton, but you work from home. Instead of having a bunch of clothing that's too formal for your life, channel her style into a more casual wardrobe so you can still wear what you love in but it fits into your lifestyle.
Building a Remixable Wardrobe
Wardrobe from Scratch
Tips for Updating Your Wardrobe
5. How I Plan My Way to a Better Me-Made Wardrobe - planning is everything!
6. I love thrifting, but I used to find thrifting overwhelming. Everything is under $5 so why not buy it all? Now that I know my style, I'm strict about fit, and I know my colors. I can narrow down a rack to 5 items I'm sort of interested in which I then narrow down to one or none. Here are some tips about thrifting and it's the best tips I've found. Better than any other thrifting article or post I've read.
How to Thrift Quality Pieces for Your Closet: What to Look For
How to Thrift Quality Pieces for Your Closet: Where to Look
How to Thrift Quality Pieces for Your Closet: How to Look


Me Made: White Linen Spandex Cheyenne

I finished this shirt a month ago right before we went away for Christmas. I LOVE it and have worn it at least once a week since I finished it. It fits perfectly in my wardrobe and goes with almost everything in my wardrobe. I've always loved the idea of a white button up shirt. It's preppy, classic, and versatile. But as I was analyzing my wardrobe and analyzing a white button up shirt, I realized it was a little boring. I think I love the idea of a white button up shirt, but it would end up sitting in my closet. So instead of giving up on the idea I reworked the idea. I love henleys so I thought I would make a white half button up. Once I came up with that idea I knew I would love it.
I had some white linen spandex fabric that I got from Hancock Fabric's right before they closed down. I don't remember what I initially wanted to do with it, but I think I wanted to make a Cheyenne with it. I can't refer you to the fabric but here are two stretch linen fabrics that I found: Stretch Linen White Fabricand Telio Avellino Stretch Linen White Fabric*. I can't say anything for these fabrics since I haven't tried them, but my linen spandex is a medium weight so it is perfectly opaque. (I love not wearing something underneath!) 
I decided to combine both views of the Cheyenne tunic* along with the Dressy Talk Woven Tee Pattern that I used for my rayon challis woven tee. That way I would get a half button placket, the collar and long sleeves of the button up shirt, and the fitted fit with darts. I added length to the waist but none to the sleeves. I can tell the sleeve caps needed a little more height, but it still works. I took about four inches total out of the circumference and added a dart.
I think it's a little tight across my shoulders but the spandex in the fabric makes it quite comfortable. The sleeves are long enough, the collar is perfect, and I love the interest and detail of the half button placket. The hem flips up a little bit which is annoying, but I still wear it a lot. I love wearing it under cardigans or sweaters.
This shirt really turned out perfectly and exactly the way I wanted it to. I think the key to my success was after getting my fabric; I thought about it for awhile before deciding on something. Then I thought about the weight of the fabric, and I planned out my project carefully. Then I used some tried and true patterns to get the fit that I wanted. I sewed slowly and carefully so that I didn't make any mistakes. I wear it a lot, and it just goes with everything. I feel like I finally made a really successful sewing project that I'll wear until there's holes in it.
thrifted drapey cardigan, Skinny Jean*, pajar winter boot in cognac*, crossbody bag*


Sewing Goals and Sewing Plans for 2017

Looking Back at 2016
I think my only goal for this year in relation to sewing is to enjoy the process and only make things I love. I want to slow down and make high quality items that will get a lot of wear. I'm going to be really slow since we'll be adding another baby to the family, so I also want to enjoy lots of family time without the stress or pressure of deadlines.
I did only okay with this goal. I got better as the year went on. I'm in a really good place to accomplish this goal now that I'm starting a new year.

Looking Ahead at 2017
I want to only sew what I want to sew.
I want to create a wardrobe I love and that everything coordinates and is minimalistic. 
I want to only blog when I want to blog.
I plan on buying the majority of my childrens' wardrobes this year and only sew a few appealing things throughout the year.
I want to learn how to flatlock.
I want to make a good jacket that fits perfectly and that I'll 
I don't think I'm going to sew my t-shirts anymore. It's way too hard to get a nice looking hem. I say this and then might change my mind later, I'm just tired of sewing twin needle hems on jersey fabrics.

Twelve Makes for 2017
1. Navy French Terry Sweatshirt - Halifax Hoodie Pattern*: This is actually finished. I just finished it this week.
2. Turquoise Sweater Fleece Sweatshirt - Halifax Hoodie Pattern*: This is also finished. I just finished it this week.
3. Turquoise Zip-up Sweatshirt - Halifax Hoodie Pattern*: I have pretty fabric given to me from my SIL. I just need to buy a zipper and matching ribbing. 
Halifax Hoodie Pattern, turquoise sweater fleece (not available online), navy french terry (not available online), turquoise sweatshirt fleece (not available online)
4. Striped Rayon Challis Shirt - Cheyenne Tunic Pattern*: I have the pattern and fabric. I just need buttons. I've even already figured out how to combine the two looks of the Cheyenne tunic so I get a half button placket and a collar. I will hopefully have a tutorial for you when I get to it.
Cheyenne Tunic Pattern, striped rayon challis (I linked to a different colorway), chambray popover
5. Chambray Rayon Shirt - Cheyenne Tunic Pattern*: I have been trying to recreate the shirt on the right for YEARSI have the pattern and now the fabric. I just need buttons. 
Cheyenne Tunic Pattern, rayon fabric (not available online), chambray look
6. Ikat Faux Suede Jacket - Evergreen Jacket Pattern*: I've had this faux suede ikat fabric for 2.5 years. At first I was going to make a blazer, but in the past six months I realized that the fabric would be two thick, heavy, and uncomfortable. Now my goal is to make an oversized aviator jacket. This will take a lot of work because the pattern is for stretch fabrics. So I have to major muslin to get the right oversized fit for woven fabric. I need to buy the notions and shearling.
Evergreen Jacket Pattern, faux suede ikat fabric (not available online), jacket, jacket, jacket
7. Navy Waterproof Anorak - Kelly Anorak Jacket Pattern or Lonetree Jacket Pattern: I'm leaning towards the Kelly Anorak pattern but I have not purchased a pattern for this project yet. I have waterproof navy fabric and an idea of what I want. So I needs notions, lining and probably underlining. This is a big undertaking, but I'm pretty excited about this project.
8. Striped Cotton Sateen Woven Tee - Dressy Talk Woven Tee Pattern: I have perfected this pattern so this is a really fast sew. And it doesn't need any notions!
9. Dotted Chambray Woven Tee - Dressy Talk Woven Tee PatternI have a small remnant of pretty chambray fabric that I'd love to sew into a woven tee. 
10. Striped Swimsuit - First Crush Swimsuit Pattern: I need to buy the pattern which has almost every modification I could ever imagine. I think I want to make separates, but we'll see how I feel when I get to it. I need to buy lining and elastic, and I won't start this until it gets a lot warmer.
First Crush Swimsuit Pattern, striped swimsuit fabric (not available online), swimsuit
11. Coral Pencil Skirt - Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern: This is one of my tried and true patterns and I've made a ton of these skirts. But I love them. I want to make a pretty pink one.
Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern, coral slub woven fabric (not available online), pink pencil skirt look
12. Ikat Pencil Skirt - Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern: I originally got this fabric to make woven bermuda shorts. But I've since changed my mind, and I'm going to make a pencil skirt instead.
Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern, ikat woven fabric (not available online), ikat pencil skirt
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