xxx ooo

a place where my heart feels the safest

xxx ooo
Halloween sewing is over, and it’s time to make a bunch of wonderful things for little people!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
Shown here: “Vesper”, a four-piece ensemble I was inspired to make based on the baby-blue eyes of this lovely little girl I know. I wanted something in winter colors – here, bluebird, deep cherry, periwinkle, and ivory.

Some sewing-pr0n pix:

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
I made little “fins” out of the interfaced jacket wool, just because. The shell of the hat is a novelty Halloween knit in olive, burnt sienna, bluebird, black, and fuschia. The hat’s cuff is in a jersey knit matching the sweater dress, and the hat is lined in the same periwinkle bamboo the leggings are made of.

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
The sweater dress was actually the inspiration piece for the whole outfit! Now, there is a time for using a serger, but… to be honest… I rarely use mine. I love the hand-finished look of (in this case) traditional zig-zag. The nubbly sweater knit is very light and semi-sheer. You definitely want a onesie under this gear!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
The coat… a Christmas coat in a deep cherry 100% wool, flecked with ivory. Bright red snaps that match the rayon/linen pocket lining and the slipper satin jacket lining. Have I mentioned how much I love slipper satin? It is one of my favorite linings to work with – and it feels wonderful!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
How tiny can I make double-welt pockets? PRETTY DERN TINY! Do babies use pockets? THAT IS NONE OF YOUR CONCERN! I am always improving my welt pocket prowess. These were made using grosgrain ribbon which allows for a very firm welt.

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
OOPS I lined the coat with faux fur! A minkee (I think) to be exact. I’m not sure where or when I got this fur – it was in the last year – but it is so very soft. It’s also very rugged as babies – let us be fair – are pretty messy!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
A very tiny bit of high-end sweater knit – I had hardly any left after making Phee a sweater last May – finishes the cuffs of these entirely-reversible bamboo leggings. No seams whatsoever to irritate baby’s skin. Finished at the waist with a three-step zig-zag:

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble

So… I was just wondering, was that baby cute? Maybe take another picture to see:

Smiling Babe!
Um – yup!

This ensemble is on Etsy, where a steady trickle of sales has helped us keep food in the fridge. And today I’m finishing my next baby ensemble, for a little boy. Stay tuned!

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That

baby angler fish

And I have loved thee, ocean! And my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wanton’d with thy breakers-they to me.

Here’s the thing. I knew I wanted to make a baby angler fish bunting quite a while back. You can easily see why. This little piece is up for sale on Etsy.

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!


This little critter is made from an uber-soft velveteen and lined in one of my favorite formal lining fabrics: a slipper satin, deep purple for this application.

And oh yeah. That is a real glowing lure. I mean COME ON, of course!

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Fins are constructed of a waxed cotton – which makes for a leathery feel and a translucence by light.

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

I knit a little cozy for the lure bulb, which is lit with a battery:

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Fully-lined pockets. Because you know how babies need pockets:

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Teeth: a 10% wool. I needed some ferocity but everything needs to be really safe and soft!
Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!Happy fishing!

 Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!


Itty-Bitty Yeti

Have I  not been threatening for some time, to make a tiny yeti bunting for a baby? Shown here: exhibit Audra, 15 lbs. 5 oz. of adorable. Audra was a champ. Word on the street is she doesn’t like cameras, but she kept her cool today.

Itty-Bitty Yeti

Audra plays innocent here but you know she’s the type of abominable snowman that could straight-up rip your arm from your socket. If by “arm” I meant, “tea scone”, and by “your socket” I meant, “a table of modest height that she was clinging to earlier today”.

Itty-Bitty Yeti

A horn! Done up in melton wool with yarn applique. Pattern designed by Ralph AwesomePants Hogaboom.

Itty-Bitty Yeti

Feet. Designed by MOI. Watch out for those claws!

Itty-Bitty Yeti

What’s the happs? Pearl snaps. BOOM

Itty-Bitty Yeti

So who doesn’t like daddies-holding-babies pictures? If you don’t, you have a lot of growing up to do.

Anyway I wrote a bit about construction in the captions of the Flickr tagset. This bunting is listed in my wee Etsy shop and is scheduled for display at a local business – along with two other “monstrous” offerings I’m currently cooking up.


an eye, but no head, and can hang on a thread

Today I was very pleased to see this in my inbox:


The minion costumes [ these ] were absolutely AMAZING! Thank you so much!! The costumes and treat bags were adorable, authentic and comfortable — my kids loved them! So many complements from our friends and neighbors. Quality, professional work and you were a pleasure to work with. I can’t thank you enough!!!!


So it has been a pleasure thinking of a few children around the States (and Canada) who had a lovely Halloween – perhaps in part, thanks to my sewing skillz.

In another announcement:

Inside Of Shirt, Clean-Finish

I am going to host a sew-along here on my blog, for a flannel shirt (not the one shown here, but rather in a winter colorscheme). My thoughts are if you’re wanting to make someone a flannel shirt for the holidays? I will be here for you one hundred percent and we can DO THIS THING.

For those who want to get a head start – I will be using Jalie 2111 and you should purchase it – twenty two sizes in one envelope, so after you learn how to make this shirt you can make it for anyone you know! (No I am not an Affiliate or any such thing and receive no compensation for naming a particular pattern etc).

I am going to post a full supply list in a few days. I hope to have a few of you join me!

Back Of Flannel, Bias Yoke

Max’d out

Max From Where The Wild Things Are (Upgrayedd)

Max From Where The Wild Things Are (Upgrayedd)

This is the first year I offered custom costumes online on Etsy. I haven’t done any marketing unless you count the occasional tweet, or Ralph’s Facebook plugs now and then. Now I’m glad, because I have found myself with a good number of costumes to sew this year and I’m late on two. Given this, I am presently only taking ONE more costume item before Halloween.

I’ll be back for Christmas gift awesomeness. If you’ve thought of anything simply wonderful I should sew, let me know.

Today I took pictures in the Max I made for a 9 year old up on Bainbridge Island. I am very pleased with this Max, and I have two more to make – one for a four-year-old, and one for a grown-up! I am also happy to answer any questions you put me on making your own – so you can post them in the Flickr comments or here on this post.

Happy costuming, tweeps. May your sewing machine bobbin run smoothly, and your glue gun not burn your hands.

Max From Where The Wild Things Are (Upgrayedd)

assemble the minions!

It’s Halloween season, and I’m pleased to say I am getting a bit of custom costume business. These two Minion costumes are heading off to Alberta, Canada tomorrow for a sibling pair.



Their mother also requested I make a couple fabric trick-or-treat bags to match.



Sewing, papercraft, glue gun & hand-stitchery:


One of my favorite details: the stenciled-and-topstitched “Gru” logo:


It wouldn’t be a Kelly Hogaboom project without a little bit of papercraft. Just a little.




More construction details in the Flickr tagset.

Next costume up: a Toro T7 lawn sprinkler for a five year old in Palo Alto, CA!

Pack It In, Pack It Out

well and i even have a little left over, to help you

Pack It In, Pack It Out

Today on a Flats walk with our dog and three kids – two of the children mine, one from another family – we came across a dozen pelicans (of at least two species) diving for fish. It was really something to watch, as they hit the water with incredible force, like missiles. Along with the pelicans many species of gulls and other waterfowl messed about, and we spied at least two harbor seals. Obviously, there was a large school of fish in the water falling prey to this predation. In the course of the walk around The Flats, two different men along the trail told me two different stories about the species of fish out there (men love to tell you shit, even when they don’t know the shit!).

My dog was out of his mind with joy. In case you hadn’t been following: he’s been on near-bedrest for a few weeks since his incredible illness adventure with salmon poisoning. Today he was so excited he actually fetched a stick (unheard of) many times. He also played tug-o’-war with me and growled a lot. He has a huge, powerful mouth and very sharp teeth and I’d never heard him growl before. I was a bit unnerved!

The weather on our walk was so wonderful. It was balmy-warm – in fact, it would have been unpleasantly humid had it not been for a wonderful sea breeze. There were so many animals at The Flats – wild and domestic – and not a few people. It was a wonderful walk out and I’m glad I made the time.


Just lately: I am over-worked. Not only physically – besides having household responsibilities, more water aerobics, and two new Etsy sales that have me knee-deep in costumes – I’ve also been working intensively, and I do mean intensively with a new-to-sobriety alcoholic. I am astonished how much work she’s willing to do – but I’m also aware that yeah, it’s necessary. Watching someone reconstruct themselves from near-ruination is an honor and a privilege beyond what I can articulate.

And I’m a bit rueful: in Recovery communities you will sometimes hear those with long-term sobriety say, “I won’t work harder than the new guy!” [Meaning: as a sponsor to help him get and stay sober.] And yeah, I’ve heard it now and then and always thought that’s supposed to mean, Yeah that’s right, tough love, those lazy newbies! Well I never thought of the reciprocal. Because let me tell you, this new gal works like a dog, so that means I am working like a dog. I am not even kidding. Even if I didn’t think it completely unethical to share details, I haven’t the strength to write much about it. It’s working me, right now.

Many reading here won’t understand. [And yet she tries to explain anyway!] A big part of what’s hard on me is going through my own history – memories of what it was like to get sober, of those early days. If you’ve done it, you probably get it. It’s a big deal. Remembering what it was like invokes a kind of PTSD. Today and yesterday I’ve been thinking, Did I really do that? Did I really go through all that? And it’s like – yeah, I did. I felt like crying today and wanted to give myself a hug or somehow take care of myself in ways I neglected before. I had it hard. And I didn’t even know I had it as hard as I did. Does that mean I have it hard today, and I don’t know it, as well? It’s a scary thought. I am tired of suffering. It hurts.

Tonight: I resolutely put aside my fears and my own traumatic memories. I am here now, my children downstairs want me now. My husband is available to me now. A small dish of strawberry shortcake awaits. Hot water and soft pajamas. A warm bed. A curious dog. Purring, comforted kitties.

I am here now. Tomorrow is another adventure.

3 spring dresses for Phee

For my daughter, who doesn’t like fussy dresses but complimented me many times on these.


Measuring Up

Organic Red Cotton Jersey, Fabric Scrap

Dress, Boots

Hand-Embroidered Bleeding Heart


The blue and the deep-red stripe were both from Gray’s General Store. The red organic jersey was bought on sale some time ago.

All three dresses were based on a pattern by Chicken Hill, graded up for Phoenix’s tall, lanky frame. At first I thought I’d offer these to clients, but the waist tie requires a rather personalized placement, so I won’t be doing so at this time.

"Mutant Horse" by Phoenix Fire Hogaboom & Adam Moe

Christmas Gift

A few months ago I picked up one of Phoenix’s beautiful pieces from the many, many we have lying about, and sent an email to an embroidery artist I liked (I can’t quite remember how I first stumbled on his Etsy shop). To my utter delight he took up the commission and we traded emails, then upon completion some cash. About nine days before Christmas I opened one of the happier packages I’ve received in a while. Today the piece was featured on a blog I follow, Mr. X. Stitch:

"Mutant Horse" by Phoenix Fire Hogaboom & Adam Moe

The blog post was the kick in the pants I needed; I figured I’d better throw up the scan and commit to getting this sucker framed. My mom and I tried our own framing for Christmas but it wasn’t quite right. The framed piece is leaning on the kids’ desk right now but I’m going to take it in tomorrow and get a quote.

Here’s the original work:

Mutant Horse by Phoenix Fire Hogaboom

Here’s the treasure hunt “clues” my daughter found on Christmas morning that led her to this present. (P.S. I totally whipped these little clues up fast, no criticizing!):

A gift for Phoenie
A present for you
is hidden away.
First look to where we
your fine art display! [clips]

Patience is needed
if you know what I mean –
go to the locale
where you splash to get clean. [bathtub]

Your brother likes something
with nori wrapped ‘round.
Where is the place
the other ingredient is found? [rice cooker]

Your mom owns no diamonds
their beauty untapped.*
But if she had jewels
where would they be kept? [dish on my dresser]

You’ve been searching and searching –
you must need some rest!
Try a soft, high place
that Harris likes best [bunk bed]

When my daughter found the piece in her room I heard her say, “I can’t believe my eyes! I drew that!” Ha. She was quite impressed and quite pleased.

I feel stunned by the amount of artwork Phoenix produces and how very much she enjoys it. She has been working with a bit of Sculpey clay I bought and shows the same expressiveness, joy, desire, and innate talent. Now she wants more clay. Claywork is more expensive than pencils and pens but I’m going to make it happen, no matter what.

So I might as well put a call out to readers – any drawing (paper, pens, pencils) or clay supplies you can recommend (or those you don’t), let me know! I feel a bit lost in these worlds.

* Not passive-aggressive, I swear!