{ giveaway } Herringbone Lane Frock

size 3 charcoal

The mini-boden challenge is still underway. And I am still working on the coat.  The gorgeous faux rabbit fur arrived yesterday and it is PERFECT. 

But oy, that coat has slowed me down.

So let's make this fun again, shall we?

size 3 charcoal

I'm going to give away a PPF charcoal gray toddler dress, size 2-6, just like this one.

It's made of the softest herringbone suiting fabric ever.  I know, you don't think suiting = soft, but take my word for it.  This Is Luscious!  Perfect with leggings or tights or jeans or bobbie socks.  Dress it up or down... and throw it in the wash when you're done.  Doesn't get easier than that.

size 3 charcoal

Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post for one entry.

gonna be a giveaway!

And link back to the this post for a second entry...

and share it on Facebook for a third!

(ok, I'm having a hard time figuring out who has shared it or liked or whatever on FB.  Any tips here from those of you who have?)

I'll announce the winner Friday morning.  We can celebrate while I'm on my way to Seattle for the Dottie Angel Workshop.  Wooohoo!




{ love this! } things I'd like to try + a baby blanket

blanket for ella

As if a mile-high stack of clothing projects in the sewing room, kitchen makeover planning, that etsy shop that keeps staring with sad doggy eyes, and a new workout regime weren't already fighting for every spare minute of my time... I keep finding little projects here and there and adding them to my list.


This tiny little play house at house wren studio

Alicia's wrist cuff tutorial

Dyeing trim and what not a la Beki

Crochet a flowered baby beanie cap once I have figured out how to crochet.

The Japanese coin purse at Purl Bee

the nursery is red and black and white

And I have been terrible about reading up on everything these days, so I'm sure there are more fun projects out there.  What are you wanting to try???


Photos are of a baby blanket made for Fidget's former teacher, Miss Andrea.  Fidge was so excited to attend her very first baby shower.  

Like the blanket that Jade made for Wonderbaby, this one is backed with a fuzzy minky fabric, turned inside out and topstitched around the edge for closure.  There must be something to it, because WB kept wanting to snuggle it, too.

Happy Weekending! xoxo

{ sewing } mini boden challenge

Did you think I had forgotten?

so close. but I'm all coated out tonight.

Because I so have not.

I have, however, gotten all up-to-my-ears in this coat for Fidget.  As I was waiting for the Duffle Coat pattern from Oliver + S to arrive, it occurred to me that I had never used the Wanderings Coat pattern that I bought two years ago from Sugar City. 

While I am very impatient, it seems I also procrastinate.  Ha ha!  I'm so complex. 

At any rate, Fidget's new Wanderings Coat is very close to completion (and I kind of want one for myself).  It is taking longer than the usual one or two-day project, so if it weren't so yummy and delicious I would have put it down a while ago.  My goal is to finish it this week.  

So, no.  I don't have anything new to show you.


I am thrilled that a few of you have posted some of your own back to school wardrobe knock-offs in the Mini Boden Challenge Flickr Group!  Woohoo!

 Emily is busy making adorable pants for her handsome crew:



Jill tackled ruffles (love!) and took them on overdrive with this sweet swingy tunic:



mcholley1 made her own little elephant jumper (with vintage denim, to boot!):


What clever, creative mamas you are! 

[ Got a knock-off up your sleeve?  Doesn't have to have mini-boden, my friend.  Anything!  If you said, heck, I could *make* something like that, and did, join in in the fun.  Make sure you link to the original, and I'd love to showcase them here! ]

Have a happy and productive week~

(oh and thanks for the sweet comments on the nursery!  It might be my favorite room of the house.)

miss chris

{ home } Wonderbaby's Room

15 months ago I had a baby.  Since we didn't know for certain (although Hubs 100% suspected) that our newest little bundle would be yet another girl, the nursery sat unadorned for many months.  

Many months.

And then I started picking away at it. 

Knowing that by the time it was complete, she would be quite past the new-baby stage (sigh.  Do not let me go There.), I didn't want to incorporate anything that we would have to switch out again for a few years.

Also, there was the color palette. Deep Red.  Aqua.  Bright yellow.  Pink.  An overscaled Heather Bailey Pineapple Brocade!  I could even do it from my stash, as there was serious yardage left over from a project for the teengirl that took a u-turn long ago. 


Honestly, when I shared this with others, there was often a courteous smile and nod. I am positive they thought I was creating some kind of circus-like nightmare. Giant pineapples in a baby's room. Heavens to Betsy!


Neveryoumind.  I knew what I was doing and marched on, albeit with some trepidation.


There is a mini down comforter for which I made a duvet.  Wonderbaby likes her blankets and coziness.  The bedding is simple.  I made a pink bedskirt and added coordinating ties to a simple pink yard-sale bumper.  The framed crewel piece is one of my favorite finds from a local thrift.  I've had it for years and it works perfectly in here.


The window faces east, so it is lit up with the most gorgeous sunshine in the morning.  Makes getting decent photos a bit tricky for some reason... seems like there is either a lot of light in there, or not.  At any rate, The exposure meant that the floor length curtains needed a heavy duty lining.  I tried pleating the curtains for the first time, and they are quite far from perfect, but I like how it reduced bulk at the rod.  And it gives a playful print a more tailored look.


The dresser was picked up for $25 and given a new life with paint.  I love love love this color.  It's not too bubble gum or cadillac.  The hardware is original.  I know, it was perfect.   I say it all the time, but  they just don't make furniture like this anymore. They don't.  It is so solid!  (Do you like the finger smudges on the mirror?!  Good.  I'm just keeping it real. )

crib corner and wall art

There are plenty of blankets that get moved around and used all over.  One is a gorgeous quilt made by Beki, another is a red baby blanket from miss laeroport, one was picked up in the nie-nie auction in 2008, and a couple others are vintage finds that I had to rescue.  They take turns in the crib and out and sometimes covering up with white rocker that has seen years of constant use.  Jade made us one as well, but babygirl has adopted that as her snuggly favorite and it is never around for a photoshoot. 


My favorite corner of the room is this, which is directly in front of you when you are walking up the stairs. The print is from Elsie, and I picked it up at the Red Velvet Art brick and mortar store when home in Springfield last year.  The red shoes are from Jen.  I made the green dress in a last minute mad dash for St. Patty's wear.  The deer was picked up antiquing with my mom in Florida two years ago.


I still love embroidery.  The simple stuff especially.  I'm breaking tradition and by putting it up there, but I really like how her name became art so easily. 


My mother in law made a cross stitch birth announcement for the wall, and it hangs by my rocker with this felt circle garland (from the Craft Hope for Haiti fundraiser) that I love but for which I can't seem to find a home.  That moves around the room and sometimes comes downstairs for parties.  Lucky garland!

The nursery is not finished, of course.  What room ever is?  I have a vinyl cuckoo clock decal on it's way from Etsy to go over the mirror, and some day I would love to replace this carpet and/or get a pretty area rug.  But for now, it's all good. 


It's a happy little space and Wonderbaby wakes up cheery every day. 

{ thrifted } Supplies for the Dottie Weekend

Thank you so much for the sweet comments left about Rory's baby quilt.  It was a joy to make and design, but a girl still has self doubt.  I do. I don't often blog about blogging... it's a bit to meta for me, but I do think about it all the time.  The tiny impact that little comments and encouragement leave on a person. Or negativity for that matter. It's so much more than virtual.  I know you know what I'm talking about, so I'll get on with things.  In short, thanks.  It means a lot.  xo

Jade called me out (on FB) when she said the Rory quilt was Dottie Angel-ish.  I do have her aesthetic on the brain, as we are getting ready for our weekend retreat on the 24th. (With Beki too!  Look out, Seattle.  You have no idea what havoc awaits.)

Amassing the supplies has been terribly fun. So far they have all been found thrifting.  This is my stash of trims and binding and hem tape. 

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

There is talk about refashioning a slip and making all sorts of lovely things from a variety of scraps and grannyish doohickies we were told to bring along.  I'm quite sure everyone in my day to day life who has heard me rambling on about this is hoping they don't end up with some stranger's upcycled undergarments for Christmas this year.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

I have had very good luck finding the doilies and trimmings. Pillowcases and whatnots.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

The stool, not so much.  I thought I could fashion one myself.  One with removable legs that I could fit into a suitcase.  There is still time.  It will involve power tools.  Hubs doesn't like it so much when that happens.  I'm clumsy.  I don't have to bring one, but I love a challenge. 

There still are two weeks, after all.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

Until then, I have some crochet videos to watch. Apparently the needles have not yet seen the last of my lame attempts at blanket-making. Need I remind you what happened last time? The giant ruffle that would. not. stop. Miss Dottie Angel has her work cut out for her.

miss chris

{ sewing } mini boden challenge: party skirt

We're plugging along here at the Fence, chipping away at the Mini Boden Challenge tear-out stack that is taunting me from the corner of my studio.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

Is it ever so fun.   And some of you have joined in!  Woohoo!

I went ahead and set up a flickr group, so we can all post our knock-offs and pat each other on the back and talk about how clever we are, over coffee.  Won't it be exciting to see how productive we've been? 


Today's inspiration was regretfully left out of the initial post.  It is a "bubble/balloon" skirt with a fun print that could easily get dressed up or down.  I didn't use a yoga-style knit waist like boden did, and I think that it would be a nice way to relieve some bulk at the top.  However, I did some pleating before running my elastic casing through the waist, so it isn't nearly as bulky as it could have been.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

I think this would drape and swish better if done in a rayon or washable silky blend.  I do have some of that, so we might just have another go-round.  This was pretty quick, once I had my head around the logistics of it!

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

[ Fabric: Caitlin Blooms in Spice from Alexander Henry.]

There is a little removable rosette for the front for some texture.  It matches the quick hair bows I made for the pony tails.  After our little photo shoot, Fidget told me she "just loves looking beautiful.  Like this, mommy.  I love it when I get to dress up in pretty clothes you make for me."

Well then.  Okay.  How could I ever resist that? 

Moreover, Why would I want to?!

Happy Weekending, peeps!  xoxo
~miss chris

{ sewing } boden challenge dress 1

Isn't it funny to hear how many of us look through the mini Boden catalog for inspiration?!


Since announcing my obsession with the catalog on Sunday, I have completed my first attempt. 

Don't be too impressed,though.  It wasn't much of a challenge because I am a Butterick Sew Easy B5119  veteran and have made this enough times to know exactly how to modify it to get what I wanted. 
My biggest complaint with that original pattern is that the recommended allowance for neckline elastic is crazy long.  I almost cut mine down by a half. 

Anyway, take a gander at the inspiration photo:


And the B5119/ 1 hour result:


A fair comparison, in my book.  :) 


  • Fine Whale Corduroy from Joann's, marked down 50%.  I used about a yard.
  • Butterick, Sew-Easy, B5119 (it's a nightgown pattern)
  • Omitted ruffles
  • shortened sleeve length to the gather line + turned fabric for casing and elastic.
  • length is approx between the A and B views.
  • I always mark the back with some ribbon.  This one is easy to get turned around while dressing a squirmer!
  • That is my old jewelry box.  When I was 5, I wrote my name on the bottom.  The ballerina still works.  I love this photo of Rachel's.

OK.  That's it.  On to my next challenge.

I'm curious.  How many of you are doing this same thing?  From the sound of the comments for my last post, there are quite a few.  I'd love to start a mini Boden rip-off flickr group.  :)  hee.

{ hmmm, I can do that } Mini Boden

The mini Boden catalog arrived a few weeks ago.


I love her hair.  And that gappy smile.  She is adorable.

I also love, love, love their clothes. I keep coming back to the Funky Duffle Coat, in particular.


Geez-o-pete. $88 for a jacket for a jacket that will only fit for 6 months?  It's not even a super dressy coat. Or down filled. However, those Boden people know how to make things irresistible and I do love the juicy color combos.

And I keep thinking I can make one. Or two. Like with the School Days Coat by Oliver + S. 

Am I crazy?  I certainly do not have so much time on my hands that this seems necessary, but my mind is spinning with the idea of coordinating little girl jackets for the girls.  Obsessing about it may be as far as I get.  Maybe. I love the finishing details of an Oliver + S pattern.  It's tempting.  I already have some gorgeous heather grey wool that I got thrifting this summer for $1.50  I know, crazy, right? 


What about these little dresses?  Is it just me or could this Simplicity pattern 2484 result in a similar pinafore w/edgy zipper combo?  I certainly think so.


Let's also talk about this fine whale corduroy dress: 


Does it not look eerily similar my favorite Butterick 5119?? It might be first on my list for Wonderbaby.  Yes, I'm pretty sure it is.

Moving on.


These apple applique skirts are just plain cute.  And easy.  Why not buy a $10 skirt at the store ( cheaper if you can find one at the Thrift), remove the pockets and add some smashing appliques to the backside?  Why. Not?? 


I love this one as well, and I think it is because of the similarity to the B5119 pattern.  It is simple and versatile and I'm pretty sure you could make it for less than $48.


The dress here -- view A -- in this Simplicity 2321 pattern would make a cute dress.  I'd probably mess with the sleeves a bit, but it looks pretty straightforward as well.  Add leggings and some boots and I think we have a winner.

Any patterns you all are looking at for the fall?  Please share!!

{ craft hope } project 9: pillowcases

Have you heard about Craft Hope's Project 9 Pillowcases!?

ConKerr Cancer was started back in 2002, when Cindy Kerr's son was hospitalized for cancer treatment and she brightened his room with a fun pillowcase.  Once she saw how much Ryan loved it, she began making pillowcases for the other children in the oncology unit.  Since then, over 210,000 pillowcases have been made for sick children all over the world

Wow.  (Seriously, I challenge you to read through their website and not get choked up!  Especially the tribute to her son.  *sob*)  Most of the time when I read stuff like this, I just get overwhelmed.  I want to help, but I don't know how to reach out.  You know what?  I can make a pillowcase.  So can you. 

This is a quick and easy project.  Once you have your fabrics washed, it really only takes about 15 minutes to make one.  What a great way to use some of that stash fabric, too.  :)

I've challenged myself to make four cases: one for a teenage boy, a teenage girl, a little boy and a little girl. 


So far I've got the boys done.  A Mizzou-inspired simple combo (Go Tigers!!) and a Spidey. 


Up next, some pink and florals. Girls. They're so easy.

Pc 003

Want to join in?  ConKerr Cancer has the super simple directions on their site and the Craft Hope project deadline is September 15.  You may, of course, continue to make pillowcases for them as long as you want! 

Please send your finished pillowcases the address specified by your regional coordinator.

(I was thinking about upping the ante on the free book drawing -- like telling others on your blog or facebook about Craft Hope's Project 9, but I have no idea how to keep track of that stuff.  But why don't you it anyway??  Spread Hope!!!)

~ misschris

{ sewing } another pillowcase nightgown

It cracks me up every time I arrive at a shop counter with an armful of linens.  Most of the thrift shop keepers where I find my best stuff are quite familiar with me, my gaggle of girls, and the stacks of florals and embroidered pretties I bring to the checkout counter. More than once I have been asked, "Do you actually use all of these?"

Well, yes.  Of course I do!  Just not always on my bed.

it is as soft as it is pretty.

Vintage sheets and pillowcases can be so very soft if they are of good quality and condition.  Hundreds of washings add another dimension of softness that just can't duplicated with new fabric.  

And then there is the nostalgia factor.

There was nothing like the feel of my grandmother's sheets in the upstairs bedroom that my mom and her sister had shared as children.  My sister and I would share that same room with the windows open, the sheers catching the night breeze. The twin beds just fit under the slanted roof and the walls were a pale aqua that is so popular these days.  After rubbing our fingers over the nubbiness of the the Martha Washington bedspreads, we would pull them back all the way.  The windows might be open, but it was still hot.  And then we would lie there, under the cool softness of the cotton sheets, whispering to each other until one of us fell asleep. 

Do you have memories like that? 

ruffle trim is way high up on that sweetness list. pretty 

Bedrooms were so different 'back then' before the invasion of licensed character bedding!  Who started that?  Was it Star Wars?  Hollie Hobbie?  Raggedy Ann? 

Anyway... at the risk of sounding like a broken record, (or a scratched CD, or an infected MP3, or what even works for that anymore?) this particular thrifted king size pillowcase was begging to be 'nightgowned.'    

nightgown - bias tape + trim

I cut a yoke out of white sheeting and edged with bias tape made from the pillowcase.  There is a keyhole in the back and it attaches with a simple button and loop.  You could double the yoke and self-line it, but I didn't want that much weight or stiffness on the top of the nightgown.  It's so hot, why add extra bulk?

Pre-made eyelet ruffle is my new favorite thing.

vintage pillowcase nightgown

And now Fidget has a new favorite nightgown.  I hope she and Wonderbaby will have sweet summer bedtime memories of their own someday.  Fidge already has plans for bunkbeds. 

fidge liked it.

I have a few more ideas, so prepare yourself for a few versions over the next few weeks.  If I'm not careful, I am going to become known as the crazy pillowcase lady. 

On the other hand, maybe I already am!  Oh well.  I'm okay with that.

miss chris