maya mori

in the midst…

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yes, a teepee.

my daughter recently turned two and for christmas i made her a teepee.  she has a great imagination & loves to organize her things.  i knew she would love having her own space!

years ago, i made a one for the boys, but at some point it was left out in the rainy yard.  i still had the old poles, so we spray painted them to look like new and i started sewing!  i used fabric that i had on hand, so the gift cost absolutely nothing.

it was quite a statement on christmas morning and i’ve been rewarded daily by watching her embrace her special space.  on a gray day it can get a bit dark inside, so i strung a small vintage chandelier inside…right above her wicker chair & basket of bears.

perfection!teepee 1teepee 2frankie & her teepee 1frankie & her teepee 2frankieteepee at night


when it’s cold outside…

one of the projects i tackled this winter was wool felt slippers.  i started out with this simple template & tutorial at martha stewart.  first i made one in my size and tweaked the pattern until it fit & looked the way i wanted.  i made these for a dear guy friend, my brother and my nephew, so i used a men’s shoes sizing chart to create individual, i fused several layers of wool felt together to make it thicker and added a layer of fusible fleece to the sole for cushion and warmth.i cut the fleece 1/4″ smaller than the sole piece, to reduce bulk in the seam and then covered it with another wool felt sole piece.  i sewed the main pieces together across the top seam and the back heel, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.  i then sewed the top pieces to the sole.  this was a bit tricky, but went pretty fast once i got the hang of it. i blanket stitched the exposed seam with a contrasting wool yarn to give the slippers a lovely, handmade finish.lastly, i made monogrammed flannel fabric bags to present/store them in & cute holiday tags from wool felt scraps.  what a fun project & a great gift!

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my husband (micah kassell) gave me a lovely gift for christmas.  he is a wonderful father, talented artist, fantastic musician and amazing husband…lucky me!

he made an art piece in celebration of our family and i plan on using it as a daily reminder in 2012.  he was originally going to put our names on it, but thought that would be unfair to our new baby arriving in march.  instead, it’s stamped with kablamo, an amalgamation of kassell, blatter & mori.  happy new year!

(21″x 29″ on watercolor paper, mounted on wood)



quick little things…

i’ve found so many amazing little items to buy for my two year old daughter for christmas, but this year i’ve made a commitment to the handmade!  i pulled out a book i purchased during the summer, little things to sew by liesl gibson.  i love her oliver + s patterns and was really excited to finally make something out of the book.  also, for free patterns & tutorials check out her blog!

i have seen the cutest animal hats on kiddos everywhere in portland.  here is my take on the cozy winter hood.  i used a brown furry remnant i picked up for $2 at fabric depot, an old sweater & some trim i have found at a garage sale.

i copied the size i wanted onto tracing paper.

it came together in a snap!  took less than 20 minutes.

frankie is very independent and pretty messy.  i had a remnant of cool woodgrain vinyl & decided to make the messy kid bib.  you can also use any fabric & iron on vinyl.  i may try that next.  i paired the woodgrain with a bright teal 1/4″ bias tape & really like the way it turned out.  (i will make my own bias tape for the next one.)

i love babylegs, but i don’t love the price tag, so i figured i would buy some cheap knee socks and make my own.  i used a pair of my own & picked up three more at target for only $5.  i cut the foot out and used that fabric for the cuff.  took less than 5 minutes per pair!


a little bit of vintage holiday cheer.

a few weeks ago, my friend elena gifted me a huge lot of vintage patterns.  i’ve been trying to stay focused on my long list of handmade gifts (& daily chores), but we attend an annual holiday party & i figured it was the perfect excuse to sew something for my girl!  i had a very small piece of vintage holly fabric & decided upon one of the dress patterns that needed the least amount of fabric.

i serged most of the seams & used some leftover red flannel for the facing, which i attached by sewing machine.

i had a thrifted red zipper that worked perfectly.  (if you hate sewing zippers, my friend jennifer at creating bits of envy has a great tutorial for sewing in a perfect zipper)

i top stitched in red across the bodice, neckline, arm holes & zipper.  i had some pretty red bias tape left over from a previous project & finished the hem with it.

it came together in about an hour, cost less than $3 & i absolutely love it!

i made a quick headband, using the fabric & a vintage button to create a flower.  here’s frankie, all decked out & ready for our holiday party! (she was a little grumpy for these pictures, but the dress looks cute…i ended up giving her a cookie, so she smiled for the last one!)

sweet, smiling cookie face!

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skunkboy creatures.

instead of tackling my own list, i was perusing blogs and stumbled upon skunkboy creatures!  oh my, i love love love them!!  (after making zombie felties, i am totally impressed by the perfect stitching, fabric combinations & lovely details!)  if you absolutely must have one (or more), here is the etsy shop.  here are a few of my favorites.

elephant ornament

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i’ve been searching for the perfect thing to bring a little DIY holiday sparkle to my front windows.  i love to look at all the beautiful fabric, yarns & notions at purl soho and found an amazing pattern for a wool felt star listed in their project center, purl bee.  i knew immediately that this is what i wanted to make.  i used ecru wool felt and a beautiful white gold metallic embroidery thread to create these amazing three dimensional stars.  they turned out really lovely and look fabulous hanging in the window!  if you want to make your own, click here for the tutorial.