Tuesday, April 29, 2014

a sweet simple test.

A few weeks back I stumbled upon an opportunity to test a pattern. I've done this a few other times and it is always so much fun for me. I am very afraid of creating a pattern and I don't know that I ever will (or ever could) develop one, but it sure is fun testing them for someone else who can create them!

This time I tested the Sweet Simple Dress, created by Allison of Freshly Completed. I stumbled upon her blog through oliver + s blog. She was lucky enough (more like talented enough) to be asked to test the 2014 spring patterns. She made the dress that they used in the photo shoot for the front of the hide-and-seek dress pattern. How cool is that? She is a total sewing celebrity!

Back to the dress that I sewed up.

This is the Sweet Simple Dress. The fabric is tutti fruitti from Joann's from a few years ago. The coral is vintage from my stash. Hooray for stash busting.

 I made a 4T intending it for Miss B, but it ended up fitting Miss L nicely. Sorry, Bella, you'll just have to wait until next year to wear it.

 The sleeves have adorable pleats and the ruffle detail is just too cute.

It's an easy sew and there are no buttons or zippers which means that my five year old can dress herself and I don't have to assist her. Yay for children being independent! The dress is adorable and lives up to it's name being both very sweet and delightfully simple.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

The apple-picking dress take 3.

Miss B has been so picky with what she wears lately. I was really hesitant to go to the trouble of making her something for Easter that she wouldn't wear again. I knew whatever I made her must look similar to whatever I made for Miss L, so that meant it would need to be pink and gray and girly just like the garden party dress. I decided on the oliver + s apple-picking dress for selfish reasons, I just love it. It looks like it is really complicated to sew, but it's not and for some reason it just seems like an Easter dress to me. This is my third time sewing this pattern. I made Easter dresses for Miss B and Miss L in 2012, you can find those dresses here.

This time around I decided on a 4T because Miss B is getting so tall! I did a little bit of customization for this dress. Long sleeves weren't an option and I didn't want to make her too hot with 3/4 sleeves, so I shortened the sleeves. Easter just calls for ruffles so I wanted to add a little extra bounce to the skirt. This was accomplished by adding 5 inches to the width of each skirt piece. 

The dress fits her nicely and I like the simplicity of the two colors and how the pink trims the neck, sleeves and the skirt. Again, no official photo shoot, so just enjoy some cute pictures of Miss B on a mission to find some eggs.

What are your creative plans for the coming week? I've got another dress to share soon and am hoping to sew up two more tops for the girls to add to their "mama made it" spring collection.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

We went to a garden party.

I've been so excited to make this dress. As soon as the oliver + s garden party dress was released I snatched up paper copy and started dreaming of the possibilities. I knew I wanted it to be Miss L's Easter dress and I've really loved seeing all the chambray lately, so I thought that something gray with a pink accent would be really pretty. I found some lovely looking gray chambray on fabric.com and ordered enough for all three of the Easter outfits I would be sewing. I got an email back saying that they didn't have the amount I needed in stock and would have to send two separate cuts (I should have taken that as a sign that it wasn't meant to be and cancelled the order). It looked to be a lovely shade of gray but in person it was more blue, almost a violet. It's nice, but just the wrong shade of gray for what I had imagined. It'll probably end up being a skirt for me. Oh well.

I was on a mission to find the right shade of gray and Joann's didn't have anything, so I tried Hobby Lobby and found some broadcloth, it was a little flimsy and I was a afraid it would be too see-through for a dress, so I used a white cotton to line the skirt and front bodice. It was easier than it sounds, I simply cut an extra piece of white cotton for the pieces I wanted lined and then put the main fabric and the lining wrong sides together and basted at the top and bottom to make them a thicker piece of fabric. It solved my see-through problem and gave the dress more stability.

Originally, I was going to use a brighter pink pattern for the contrast, but this pastel pink was just dying to be matched with this gray and I am happy with the result. 

This is a lovely dress, I love the shirring and the length. The sleeves are perfect for spring and summer and the dress is perfectly dainty without being too over the top fancy. Another lovely pattern from oliver+s. Can't wait to make another with some vintage floral voile that has been waiting patiently in my stash for the right pattern, and I think we've finally found it.

We didn't do an actual photo shoot, so these are just random pictures from Easter. Miss L was sharing some of her Easter sweets with Daddy.

Stop in tomorrow and I will be sharing the final Easter outfit, this time it's Miss B's turn.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sewing for the little man.

Kids Clothes Week was my first sewing adventure for my little guy. I made him two pairs of shorts and a pair of sailboat pants. I shortened the pants just a bit so they are either longer shorts or cropped pants, take your pick. I was on a roll and decided I would also be making him an Easter outfit. I finished the vest during KCW, but I held off on sharing because I wanted to have the complete outfit.

I bought the oliver + s Art Museum Vest and Trousers pattern last fall, with the intention to sew a set up for baby B's Christmas outfit. Sadly, that didn't happen. So, I thought sewing it for Easter would be equally as fun and he would be able to wear 12-18m size longer since he isn't growing as fast as a 6 month old does.

The gray broadcloth I used for his trousers and the back of the vest is from Hobby Lobby, it's a little thin, but was the perfect shade of gray so I took a chance on it and I'm glad I did. The light blue fabric used for the front of the vest is from fabric.com as is the fish print that lines the vest and the waistband of the pants. The fish print is Michael Miller, such fun fabric!

Here is my little southern gentleman before getting all mucked up in the red, Georgia dirt. I still, for the life of me, can't get that stuff out of clothes, any tips are welcomed!

Now, forgive me, but the following is picture heavy. I just couldn't help myself. Those diaper buns in little trousers are almost too much cuteness for me. 

The welt pockets, I love them! It was my first experience with welt pockets and I don't know why I hadn't tried them yet, they were easy, but the finished product looks impressive! For the trouser welt pockets I used the fabric from the front of the vest to tie them all in together and I can never pass up an excuse to add a pop of color/contrast. Same with the vest, I used the gray for the welt pockets for a little contrast.

I ended up taking about four inches off the pants, they ended up being the perfect length but in an attempt to keep his new pants clean, daddy rolled them up a little bit.

I'll be posting the girl's dresses soon!


Monday, April 21, 2014


We had a wonderful Easter weekend filled with fun, family and friends and way too much sugar. We went to church on Saturday to avoid the Sunday crowds. After church, I experimented with "natural" egg dying. There are plenty of tutorials out there but I didn't stick to just one.
I started by boiling four pots of water, one pot for each of the below:

1 head of chopped cabbage (blue).
3 chopped beets, (pink).
2 teaspoons of turmeric (yellow).
1 cup of frozen blueberries (purple).

I added just enough liquid to cover the veggies/fruit. With the turmeric, I boiled two cups of water because it seemed like a good amount. I boiled everything for about 10 minutes and then strained each liquid into large glass measuring cups to cool. I strained into glass measuring cups so I could tell how much vinegar I needed to add to each color. The vinegar helps the color "stick" to the eggs.

Every tutorial I read said that you need to add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each cup of cooled liquid. After everything cooled, I added the appropriate amount of vinegar and then I went to town with dying the eggs.

This is isn't rocket science, I simply plunked eggs in, set a timer for 10 minutes, did laundry and other parent things and then came back to pretty, colored eggs.

The cabbage, however, was a bust. After reading more on it, I think you may need to hardboil your eggs in the same water that you are boiling the chopped cabbage in. The strained liquid hardly turned the eggs blue and I left them in for almost an hour. Fail. Oh well, I just plopped them in the blueberry water and they turned a lovely shade of purple. 

Aren't they pretty? I love the speckles and imperfections.

Here are the beet eggs. Such a pretty pink! Two of them took a beet bath and then a quick dip in the turmeric, hence the peachy tinge.

The turmeric eggs are a lovely, vibrant orangey yellow. The variations in color come from the amount of time spent in the liquid. The lighter colored egg was only in the water for a few minutes.

The only downside? The natural dye isn't color fast like the artificial stuff, so be careful around clothing as it will rub off and could stain. 

This was a fun last minute project and will definitely be repeated next year. I am determined to conquer the cabbage.

Here is my bunch for their annual Easter photo, I couldn't have asked for a better shot. I mean, how cute are they?! I'll have separate posts up for the outfits I made for the younger three. 

Hope you had a wonderful Easter! He is risen!


Monday, April 14, 2014

One final KCW post

Well, I survived my very first Kids Clothes Week. I started off with this:

I ended up with this, these, this outfit, four skirts, and finally some KID shorts! I cheated a little with a few refashions but I was really trying to use what I already had on hand. There are even a few more things that are still in the works that I'll share as I finish. 

Here is what I worked on this weekend. An oliver + s sailboat top and pants.

For the sailboat top, I used a vintage cotton from my stash and top stitched with a magenta and added pink buttons for  little color pop. I was going to use yellow and red for a more nautical feel but Miss B vetoed that idea. "I want pink!"

I've had this pattern since 2010 or something crazy like that, and I've never used it until now. I sewed up a 3T, it fits Miss B nicely and will hopefully still fit her when fall shows up.

For the pants, I wanted these to fit somewhat "capri" like, so I made a size 12m for the length. They ended up really cute!

I love the detail on the front, so cute. The fabric was a remnant from Joann's that I had in my stash.

Again, there was no standing from my model.

That's it, my first Kids Clothes Week is complete! Did you participate this time around?


Friday, April 11, 2014

KCW Day #5.

Today is a shout out to Dana from MADE. Dana's blog was on of the first sewing blogs I started following waaaaay back in 2008. She (along with a few others) inspired me to start this little blog here. Dana creates great patterns and tutorials, they are simple, bright, fun and quick. That seems to be her recipe for success and I love it. Her KID Shorts pattern does not disappoint and that is what I sewed up for day #5 of KCW.

I made three pairs. A size 5, and two size 12 months. 

Miss L picked out the fabric for her shorts, it is Premier Prints from fabric.com. It's sort of heavy weight and seemed like it would work well for play shorts. We ran into a bit of a problem with the sizing though, they were too tight for her to wear. Miss L is five and is a completely normal and average size for her age, so, I would say this pattern runs just a wee bit smaller than what I am used to. All was not lost as Miss B gained a cute pair of pink (score) polka dot shorts and Miss L will just have to wait a few weeks and I'll sew her up a size 6.

I made the flat front version of these shorts and thought the white buttons added a nice pop. Since these will take a beating, I made sure to reinforce all the seams by pressing them open and then folding each raw edge under and top stitching them for a neat, finished look. Another option is to serge your unfinished edges together, press to one side and then top stitch.

Next up, the racer shorts with pockets, so fun! The green fabric is from my stash from forever ago, it is almost linen like? The pop of color from the bias tape is awesome, I love that contrast.

I added back pockets and I think I may have placed them a little too high. Please don't judge my pocket placement skills, I need to work on them. :) Good thing that someone has a diaper booty and will make these shorts look cute no matter what.
 Last but not least, my favorite. This is the flat front pattern with pockets. My goal was to make sure that those lines matched up and I think I did ok. I may fall short in pocket placement but I make up for it with pattern matching. :) This is another from my stash, I bought it at Joann's eons ago.

I made all three pairs of shorts in an afternoon with a few interruptions here and there. These are fun to make and there are endless options. For an $8 pattern, I think it is an excellent deal.

This little guy started walking full time this week and of course when I wanted him to stand up and show off his cute shorts, all he wanted to do was sit and play with his shoes. Oh well.

Now, go make some shorts!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

KCW Day #4.

Today was a day all about skirts.

I made four skirts, two for each little lady. I could have made more, but I thought that would be taking it too far. :)
It's hard to stop when you can whip one up in about 20 minutes.

These are all made from fabric that I've had in my stash for a while, so it was nice to finally use some of that up. Clear out the old stuff so I can buy new stuff! I've got problems with fabric hoarding. But hey, at least I can admit that I have a problem.

 Dana, from MADE, has a great skirt tutorial called the simple skirt. Be careful though, once you make one you'll want to make a million.

 Cute skirts! Just in time for a gorgeous Georgia spring, y'all! (on the left is my refashion for KCW day #1)

Kids Clothes Week is halfway over, can you believe it?
What have you sewn so far?
I still have a quite a bit left to complete, including outfits for Easter, whew! Let's see if I can keep this pace up and finish everything.