Category Archives: baby things


It’s been unseasonably cool this last week. I wore my new cowl, made a giant pot of chicken soup with lots of greens and garlic leaves from the garden and made angel baby a new bonnet.  I was cranky about the lack of muffin-like things in our current diet, until I found this recipe for Morning Glory Muffins and was somewhat appeased.

I’m working on the cowl pattern now.  I don’t like it when I design things that I then have to model.  It’s awkward.  Perhaps I should stick to writing children’s patterns?

I haven’t been doing much reading, just listlessly paging through random books from time to time, preferably the kind with pictures.

Oh, and I don’t think I ever posted a full length picture of Mairi Rose’s birthday dress, so there is one above.









The Handcrafted Wardrobe

A Washi Dress in gorgeous blue linen, wrinkles and all!  It was not wrinkled in when I put it on, but you pick up a toddler once or twice and this is what you get.

I used the large bow from view A, and the sleeve from view B, both from the Washi Dress Expansion Pack, as well as adding in hidden nursing access, as per this tutorial.

The bow felt….risky.  I went back and forth on it many times before deciding to be adventurous.  I think that having an already worked out nursing variation tipped the scales for me.  What do you think?  Honestly, I really like it.  I don’t always tie it in a bow, sometimes I just tie it in a knot and let the ends hang down.

I had rather a lot of fabric left over and as it turns out, it’s a good thing I did, because I can’t tell you how many times while making this I was approached with the same remarks, “That be mama dress!  Makin’ Serassina dress soooon!”, stated with great certainty while emphatically nodding her head.  Since she left me very little room to refuse…

Hers started out as a very simple peasant dress, that didn’t even come close to fitting, as I well knew it wouldn’t.  Why do I persist in thinking that pattern designers know what will fit my kid better than I do?  Rather than start over from scratch, I chopped it up and inserted several big panels; flat felling the seams to make it a design feature and topped it off with a bow and a frill.  I’m glad the original didn’t fit.  It’s much more interesting this way!

Share your own wardrobe crafting thoughts below by clicking the blue button and adding your link!


May Day

I’m so pleased with everyone’s enthusiasm for The Handcrafted Wardrobe project!  I am ridiculously excited about it.

I have no brain for original blog post titles.  I’m worn out today.  It’s been raining constantly.  It’s kind of depressing.  And soggy.

By carrying Elijah’s sweater vest about with me through out the day and knitting a stitch here and there, I think I’m on track to finish on time for his birthday.  fingers crossed.  I’m starting to think about projects beyond.  There are three sweaters I want to make myself.  Alright, there are thousands of sweaters I want to make myself!  But, there are three that I want to make right now.  Which is not in line with my current no-yarn-money status.  I’m making an effort not to resent my doctor for taking my yarn money.  I know he’s just trying to help me.  But if he comes in to my next appointment with a fabulous new hand-knit sweater, we’re going to have words.

May Day was beautiful. Not the weather of course, though it didn’t rain too, too much.  I taught Mairi and Galen how to knit i-cords and they made us garlands like these to wear.  I didn’t bring my camera; which fell somewhere between consciously deciding and outright forgetting.  I wasn’t sure how much I would be up for; my strength waxes and wanes, so I brought a sleeping bag and spread it on the grass beside the maypole and tucked sweet Miss Seraphine up with me.  But when everyone grabbed a ribbon, she jumped up, declaring, “Serasina need to get bow!” and ran off to join in.  She held the tail end of Mairi’s and she danced the entire time.  In the very last 30 seconds or so, when everyone was rushing around trying to tie up the band standing under the maypole, as is our tradition, a friends scooped her up and ran the last lap around with her.   I have requested at least one photo of her epic dance from someone who did take pictures.  I would like a memento of that for posterity’s sake.

I’m currently reading Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.  Sad but true: I am a hopelessly disorganized and chronically messy person who reads cleaning and organizing books for pleasure.


Our baby turned two…

Her last hour of being one.

And if you were to ask her about it, she would say, “Seria burday March! Get wet. Go creek.  Shovel keep going!  Seria get.  Maia Rose get.  Iain carry home towel.  Have bath.  Pop-pop come Seria burday.  Talkin’ Me-mom on tv!  Open presents, rip, rip!  Have treat.  Eat Booberries.  Blow candle *blowing noises*, sing (actually singing now) ‘happy burday to you!’”

The waterfall that she so adored the week before was no longer running, so they cleared away the debris and as the flow returned dubbed it “Phina’s Fall”.

She was in constant motion; dancing, laughing, singing; too excited to go down for her nap.  We did and ate everything that she likes best.

Galen made her leg warmers.  When she opened them she exclaimed, “baby warmers!” and quickly pulled them on.  Since her birthday was the day before Easter, he also made her a basket out of cordage plied from dried iris leaves.  Mairi Rose embroidered a tiny violet on some felt and strung it on embroidery floss for a necklace.  She also brought her own five dollar bill to dance and from the stock of used dance clothes picked out the tiniest pair of ballet slippers she could find so that Seraphina could have her own dance shoes when they put on shows at home.  My mother crocheted her a beautiful afghan, using this pattern and Swish DK yarn in ‘Sugar Plum’.  If hand-made = love, this child goes beyond being adored, she’s downright worshiped.

My parents were supposed to stay with us for the weekend to help celebrate, but my mother became suddenly ill and couldn’t travel.  My father still came for an abbreviated visit and we manged to work it so that my mom could take part in the day through skype.  Hence the “talkin’ Me-mom tv!”

Her darling lamby!  Dear Melanie agreed to make that little lovie for her.  She has been a very happy addition to our home.  I found my sweet little violet contentedly “nursing” her earlier.

I’ve been admiring the work of Little Edith’s Knit since Seraphine was wee, so when she released one of her playsuit patterns in English, I just knew it had to be her birthday sweater.  If you are at all inclined towards baby lust, do not click through to that site.  Just trust me on this one.  It was also made from Swish DK, in “Carnation” this time.  The bonnet is a pattern I’ve been working on and hoping to send to test knitters soon, shown here in Reverie ‘Melon’.

How can it be that this tiny little love of mine is two already?!?  It’s all going much too fast for me.



Easter Sewing and Celebrating

A few of my necklaces were taken off the market, due to little people that I love being too attached to them.

Elijah finished sewing his shirt.  He consulted with me from time to time, but did all of the work himself.  Button up shirts are hard!  I consider that quite the accomplishment.  He used  Simplicity 1327, which we adjusted to fit him.

Dresses for my girls…there is kind of a funny story behind these.  Last year our friend and neighbor was here helping us with some carpentry work when, because sometimes I forget to just keep these things in my head, I exclaimed, “I really just want to make a baby dress out of your drop cloth!”  And of course somewhat to my embarrassment, she insisted I take the drop cloth.  And because it was a big old sheet, there was enough for two dresses and head scarves as well.  I used Simplicity 1264 which is a reprint of a ’50′s pajama pattern.  I simply lengthened the tops a bit.  I also put them together with total disregard for pattern instructions, just piecing it however seemed quickest and easiest. More on the bonnet in another post.

Let’s see, what else is new?  I’m currently completely lost in this book, working on Mother’s Day gifts for the shop, trying to get the gardens and yard cleaned up in preparation for planting, obsessively spring cleaning and trying to fit some remodeling projects in.  I’m seriously considering just assigning the kids some books to read and math sheets and devoting all of next week to decluttering, deep cleaning and repairing the house and yard.  I have this huge desire to get life in order right now.  I have such trouble finding balance in this season.  There is so much I wish to accomplish.  The pull outside seems at odds with the desire for that big push in the final months of the school year to try to fit in everything I would like.  Do others struggle with this?


Spring Headwraps for the Shop!

Looking for last minute gifts?  Now in the shop, a collection of headbands and headscarves for little girls, with Easter baskets in mind….

Color-grown organic cotton in both long and medium length styles, in sizes from baby through adult.

Child sized in a pretty spring green daisy print.

Darling bunnies with vintage ric rac trim for that special baby or toddler in your life.

And a fun floral headband.

There are still many lovely spring treats in the shop, with more appearing everyday.


More Shop Goodies….

The Mama Collaborative shop is now open for business!  Just in case I haven’t sparked your interest with my last couple posts….

How about some adorable toddler tote bags?

Reversible baby smocks in darling prints?

What say you to gorgeous wool art bracelets?

Handwoven organic cotton washcloths anyone?

Patchwork bibs and burpcloths?

Head scarves in pretty prints?

Hand embroidered fabric covered buttons?

Vintage inspired patchwork potholders?

Or perhaps some adorned with Sashiko stitching?

More yarn?  Seriously, who could say no to more yarn?!?

And so much more!  We’re working to get our listings live for you this morning.  All told, I think we should have around 70 items out there, so stop by and have a look around!


Mama Collaborative

I am so excited, pleased, honored and proud to be announcing the grand opening of Mama Collaborative!

A couple of months ago I was invited to join a group of extremely talented and creative mother-artisans in a virtual community of support.  Together we’ve quietly been working behind the scenes in preparation for our shop opening on March 1st!

I have to tell you, all week I’ve been watching drafts of listings piling up and I am just gobsmacked.  The beauty created by these women is mind boggling.

For our first stocking we had kind of a loose spring theme.  If you are looking for little toys to slip into Easter baskets, fresh accessories to wear for an Equinox celebration, decorations for your nature table or supplies for you spring crafting, look no further!

Email Address:  

*A note to gmail users: with the new gmail layout the newsletter may be delivered under your “promotional” tab.  You can drag it to your inbox so that future newsletters, full of crafty goodness, will be delivered directly to your inbox.  

You can also help us to get the word out by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram.  And please do stop by our shop on Tuesday, March 1st and see what all the fuss is about!

And now let me introduce you to my partners!  I suspect you’ll recognize a couple of them as some of your favorite bloggers…

Kim: I am a homeschooling mama to one, a writer, nature lover, dreamer, foodie, lover of all things handmade, and a creative doer. I am happy to be here with these other inspiring mamas. Kim blogs at

Melanie: Home school mama to five in New England. We spend our days together creating all sorts of things, attempting to garden, reading good books,and observing the natural world, where we draw much inspiration.

Tonya: So happy to be working with these other women to share our creative pursuits. As a mom of seven children, I find joy and beauty in the daily ordinary of raising a family, keeping up with our homestead dreams, and helping to run a family business. Tonya blogs at

Jules: Hello, I’m Jules and I’m delighted to be with these inspiring women. I am a mama, a wife, and a shepherd who loves all things woolly. We are raising our three kids on a farm in BC, trying to make as much of our own food, clothing, and furniture.

Kris: I am a mama to four and farmer’s wife who loves all things handmade. We live on a small farmstead in Vermont where we attempt to grow most of our food and raise veggies, milk, eggs, meats and maple for our community.

Elizabeth: Mama to three unschooled boys :: Tiny house living :: Off grid homesteader :: Lover of wool :: Maker of natural goods :: blogs at

Taisa: I am a mama to three, living in a cabin in the mountains where we homeschool, make stuff and grow a weedy little garden. I am delighted to be joining these amazing, creative mamas in this collaborative.



Christmas 2015

I never plan to take a giant blog break at this time of year, sometimes I even make an effort not to, but it always happens anyway.

I opted out of sewing Christmas pajamas this year, both because I had other projects to concentrate on and because I had something specific in mind that I very much did not want to make.  We purchased double thick, wool-cotton red union suits for the kids.  The making of which would have required sewing about a gazillion button holes in stretch fabric.  My brain translated that as akin to being trapped in a medieval torture device while forced to watch people burn perfectly good yarn.  No, no, and no I say!  It was a good purchase.  They will wear them under work clothes, under snow gear and around the house all winter long.

I was, however, content to do a little Christmas knitting and since the suits we bought came in sizes to fit everyone except for dear Seraphina, I made her one.  Very cute.  And I was right, that Hollyberry is an amazing color for her.

The whole time I was planning for Christmas, I was thinking in terms of keeping everyone warm for the winter.  Steve and I decided together that it was far more important to us that they feel well cared for than entertained.  We gathered together coats and wool socks to go with those woolly suits.  Wool on wool on wool, to shelter our babes from the harshness of a New England winter in the mountains.  On Christmas Day we beat the long standing record high by something like 15 degrees.  I walked barefoot in the garden, mostly so that I could say that I had.  It was far from unpleasant, though a little moist.

Don’t be too freaked out by the shorts and the fan.  It wasn’t that warm!  But I’ve noticed that teenagers tend to exaggerate these things for effect.and there was a smokey kitchen mishap (one of Galen’s precious pies bubbled over).

Some of the kids were devastated by the idea of a truly green Christmas, but they appeared to have a good time all the same.  To me it actually seemed the grandest of gifts.  It will be a story to tell, a memory to share, “Remember that Christmas where we were out playing football in tee-shirts?!?”  After a full summer of not really having the strength to step outside, much less enjoy the weather, I hoped and prayed for a long mild autumn.  And when I was granted it, I found my days too full of trying to play catch up to go out and enjoy it.  But on this one glorious day, I had nothing much left to do and I just reveled in it.  And, well, finally harvested my horseradish…