Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Playhouse Dress (and some news!)

playhouse dress 5
The Christmas season is upon us, and I'm in full blown Christmas sewing mode...I've just been really terrible at sharing my progress!

In my defense, things have been a little hectic around here. I know I said awhile back I'd be able to share some exciting news soon...and the time has come!

In January 2014 we are moving! We are relocating from South Dakota to Nevada! It's going to be quite a change, but we are so excited! This season has been a little more stressful because of the impending move, but we are making do, and very excited about the future. Christmas is going to be a little crazy this year, as we will literally be packing up right after Christmas--we have the u-haul reserved for Dec 31--and plan on pulling out of SD on January 2nd.

playhouse dress 2

Which brings me to this little dress. I love making my girls' Christmas dresses...but I also hate spending time on something that only gets worn a couple of times.  The last couple years I've tried to make things that were more wintery in spirit, instead of just Christmas, so that items can be worn a full season. This year was a bit more 'challenging', only because our 'season' will be changing much sooner--Winter in Nevada is not quite the same as winter in South Dakota! :)
snowman dress 1

Enter The Playhouse Dress from Fishsticks Designs.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, you should know I love Bonnie's patterns. They are just my kind of sewing--easy, fun, and practical. I love making things my kiddos can wear again and again.  I love making the frilly, ruffly, special occasion outfits too, by my real passion is in creating things that are meant for everyday wear.  And this pattern fits the bill perfectly.  
 playhouse dress 4 
  My little Cecelia is now 15 months, and never sits still, so she's pretty much impossible to photograph! But we tried our best. She is such a busy-body, and this dress is perfect for this age. It's comfortable, but looks adorable. I love the curved bodice and full skirt--it makes it look dressy without sacrificing comfort.  The puff sleeves are also the perfect touch.  With this pattern you can use a combo of knits and woven fabrics, or all knits, as I did for this dress.  I used cotton interlocks in pink and blue, and added a cute lil' snowman with heat transfer vinyl and my Silhouette cutting machine.  I also added a glittery snowflake to one sleeve.  Cecelia is wearing a 2T in ready-to-wear clothing, so for this dress I cut out the 24 months/2T size, and as you can see, the fit is great. It has just enough growing room without looking huge on her.  The pattern was easy to sew and only took a couple of hours. Bonnie's instructions are always very good, and include many pictures. My favorite part about Fishsticks Designs Patterns are the patterns themselves. I really like how the PDF patterns print and are assembled. I know some sewists aren't a fan of nested patterns as the initial printing and taping can be daunting, but I find it so much easier to make changes to a set of nested patterns than just single sized pieces.
playhouse dress 3
This dress will be perfect for our low-key family Christmases, but can also be worn all winter long--and because I did short sleeves, it should work in the desert just fine! :)

I'm working a cute little American Girl Doll tutorial that should be up later this week, so I hope you'll stop by!  

Happy Sewing!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lazy Days Kitty set

Another super long blog hiatus...oops.  I've been swamped since coming back from Sewing Summit in September (which was AMAZING BTW.  I've given up hope on a recap, but it was one of the best things I've done, ever.  I am praying I can make it work out to go again next year!).  First off, we moved! We sold out little acreage, and have moved into a temporary rental in town.  It's been an adjustment--but mostly positive. We are right next door to the kids school, and our those are both nice bonuses!  We have some big things in the works, but I'm not quite ready to share yet...soon though!

The picture above is from Halloween--I totally failed this year at making any costumes, but they were still cute anyways! Braydon was a gladiator, Ashlee a princess, McKenna was a kitty, Jackson a knight, and Cecelia starred as herself (in skeleton PJ's).  It was pretty low-key this year--we just went trick or treating around the neighborhood, but the kids still had a blast.  Jackson only made it to about 10 houses though, before decideing his legs hurt and he would rather go home and pass out candy. :) So Dustin took the big kids, and Jackson, Cecelia, and I stayed in the rest of the night and handed out candy--a first for me since being a "grown-up"! Living in the country we never had any trick-or-treaters, plus we were always out with our kids.  This year was a fun change.

I have managed to get a bit of sewing done though....I've just been horrid at getting pics done!  Maybe someday I'll really get the hang of this blog thing...haha.

Today though, I do have a couple pics to share.  I recently sewed up a Lazy Days Lounge Set from Fishsticks Designs.  I really love all of Bonnie's patterns, and this one was no exception! I made the size 24 months/2T for Cecelia, which proved to be a little big, so next time I may size down.  But she has plenty of growing room in these!  I used a heathered pink knit with kitties on it from my local sewing shop, and used gray ribbing for the bindings and cuffs. 

Cecelia is such a little stinker now, and is impossible to get to sit still for pictures--but I did manage to snag a couple! She loves wearing hats, and this one was a perfect match! (made by the lovely Josie from Payley Knits and Crochet )
lazy days kitty 3
Like all of the Fishsticks Designs Patterns I've used, this one sewed up super easy, and fairly quickly.  Bonnie's instructions are always very clear, with lots of pictures, and make for good afternoon sewing projects. I never seem to have more than a couple hours to spare at one time, and I love when I can walk away from that time with a finished product.  Cecelia loves her new jammies, and I can definitely see making more of these in the future--they look so comfy!

I have also been working on some Christmas presents, and I can't wait to share them soon! Until next time!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three times the fun...

Just wanted to share a couple quick photos of the dresses I made for my three girls for my brother-in-law's upcoming wedding.  I usually steer clear of making 'fancy' clothes for my girls--satin, crepe, chiffon--all those fabrics scare me!  But I was determined to tackle my fears and make three beautiful dresses for this very special event.  I am so glad I did too!!

The pattern I decided on was the Maddie Dress from Lily Bird Studio.  I spent a lot of time deciding on fabics--the main wedding colors are teal & black. Dustin is the best man, I'm a bridesmaid, and Braydon (our oldest son) is a groomsman as well--so I knew I wanted the girls' dresses to at least coordinate with us.  I couldn't find anything in the right shade of teal, so decided to go with this eggplant-purple color. The purple and teal really compliment each other, and will look great in a fall wedding (I think anyways!).  All the fabrics are from JoAnns--I used purple glitter satin (the poly stuff) for the bodice, black satin (again, poly), and three layers of crepe (poly) for the skirt.  
Overall the dreses actually were not that hard to sew up.  I used my walking foot, and the fabrics were pretty easy to work with.  I had a little trouble hemming the crepe--and I'm not totally happy with how they look...but I doubt anyone but me will ever notice!  Ashlee's dress is a bit shorter than I would like, and if I had any extra crepe I would probably add another layer to her skirt...but I don't so it will just have to work, since the wedding is Saturday! :) I'm really happy with how they turned out, and even prouder than I overcame a "fear" that I had.  I definitely don't think I will start making dresses on a regular basis out of these fabrics, but at least I know I CAN do it!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A couple of pouches...

I can't believe Sewing Summit is only a week away!! I'm so so so excited to be going!! I've been working on a few things this week for the summit, and wanted to share.

I joined a swap group on Flickr for the summit--we are each swapping a pouch/mini quilt/cushion.  It's a secret swap, so you know who you are creating for, but not who is creating for you! So far the finished items that have been posted are AMAZING! There are so many talented seamstresses out there--which makes me even more excited for Sewing Summit--I can't wait to learn and see new things!

For my partner I went back and forth in my head about several ideas, and finally decided on a Hexagon pieced pouch.  Specifically the no. 236 The Melinda Zipper Pouch from ithinksew. I was a little wary of the hexagon piecing, but it actually went together very smoothly, and pretty quickly!  I spent the most time cutting--I really tried to be meticulous when cutting out all the hexies. And it paid off; sewing was really easy.  I also marked the 1/4" seam allowance on the wrong side of all the pieces using a fabric marker, which really helped too.

The only thing I added were the little zipper tabs on the top--I just think they look cute, and a little more finished.

 It turned out a bit smaller than I was picturing, so I decided to make a second pouch for my partner.  I made a little business card wallet using a pattern from Michelle Patterns.  I love her patterns--they always turn out great and the directions are easy to follow.  
It turned out really cute, and was really fun to make--plus easy and fast! Win win! I made two in less than an hour (I made them assembly line style).  I needed one for myself of course too! 

And of course I needed some business cards to put in it!  I made some up in photoshop and had them printed at OfficeMax, and I'm super thrilled with how they turned out! I didn't want to spend a ton, and I needed them quickly, so OfficeMax was the perfect choice.  It cost me $16 to get 100 cards, and they had them printed and cut faster than I could even drive to pick them up!  That's service!

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm going to Sewing Summit!!

So, pretty much the best thing happened to me last week.  It's so big, I'm still in shock over it!  You may have heard of a little ol' blog called "The Sewing Rabbit" (ha, like you haven't heard of it!).

Well, she hosted a giveaway--and the big item was a trip to Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City, UT.  Of course I entered...never imagining that I could, or would win.  

Well, somehow the stars aligned, and.....I am the lucky winner!! Look, my name is right there!! When the email came on Wednesday morning, I think my heart stopped. I read it, then re-read it, then re-read it again.  And I then I read it again.  And then I finally understood what it was saying.  And then I flipped out!!  I immediately tried to call my husband...who was in California last week for business...and is 2 hours behind, so it was 7am there.  He didn't answer.  So I called again. And again. And still no answer! Gah!!  Then I just started shrieking--OMG, I Won! I won! I WON!!  At that point my four year old and one year old were looking at me like I had grown two heads.  haha!

Finally, my husband called back, and in a rush I filled him in--he's excited for me, and maybe a bit terrified about taking on 4 out of 5 kids for four days straight--but I know he'll do great! (Baby Cecelia will be flying out with me--she's still nursing 8 billion times a day, and I doubt she'll be weaned in a month!)

So that's my big news!! Yay right?!! I'm "sew" excited to be going--it's really going to be like a dream. I have my flight info, hotel info, and class info--so I'm ready to go! Now I just need to sew up some fun stuff to take along. And figure how what to bring along with me!  Thank goodness I still have a month or so!

As if that weren't enough--my husband gave me ANOTHER surprise when he got back from California...he brought me home a new mixer.

 Not just any mixer either! A brand new Kitchenaid in Aqua Sky.  I'm in love. LOVE!  It's so pretty! And it was just in time too--we had a double birthday party this weekend, so she got put right to work, side by side by her sister...

Yep, I'm spoiled, and I know it.  The white mixer was a wedding present from my Dad..almost 9 years ago.  It still works great, but I have been lusting after a colored mixer for a few years now.  So, now to decide what to do with the white one--I definitely can't part with it--too sentimental..but hubby was talking about taking it in to have it powder coated...just have to pick a color! :)  

We celebrated my two youngest birthday's this weekend, so hopefully I'll get some party pics up on the blog soon!  I can't believe my baby girl will be one in a few days--it was bittersweet celebrating her birthday yesterday!  

Happy Monday!!



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sweet Baby Jane Sunsuit

I finished up this little sunsuit today for Cecelia, and couldn't wait to share!  It's from the Sweet Baby Jane Sunsuit pattern by Sara Norris LTD.  I am absolutely smitten with how it turned out!

In a couple weeks, my little sweetie and I are off to California!  My husband has to fly out there for business, and Cecelia and I will be flying out later to join him for a long weekend. I can't wait!  The sun and surf are definitely calling my name.  :) 

I want to cash in on the opportunity and take some sweet pics of my chunky girl on the beach, and wanted something special for her to wear. I combed the Internet for ruffle butt romper patterns--did you know there are a ton?  I narrowed it down to a couple, and then eventually down to this one--that sweet bow suckered me in. Ha!

The fabric I used is Flower Sugar by Lecian.  I saw a dress made from these prints a few months ago, and immediately ordered some from Etsy!  I knew the pink and yellow would make something perfect for Cecelia--and now I'm so glad that I did. I love the vintage feel of the fabrics.

 On the pattern itself, I would give it a B+.  I found the instructions to be a little lacking and confusing at times, and was a little miffed it did not give leg elastic measurements.  When I spend $10 on a pattern, I expect to have all the info needed to make the pattern.  That said, it did result in an amazingly cute finished product--so overall I'm happy!

 I love the butt ruffles! 
Hopefully I'll have some great beach pics to share in a few weeks!  Now I just need to figure out what else to make her before we go!

Happy Crafting!
Linking to these great parties!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kwik-Sew Jacket (KSWC Day 3)

Today is the third day of Kids Sewing Week.  Are you getting in your hour a day?  So far I've been doing good--I put in way more than an hour yesterday! :) (working on a summer outfit for Ashlee I hope to share soon!)  Today, I finished up a little hoodie for Cecelia.  She outgrew her infant carseat, so she needed a little jacket to keep her warm in her big-girl carseat. (Which is a MyRide 65 from Graco--I got a great deal on from$118 shipped!)  I wanted just a simple zip-up jacket, and Kwik-Sew 3811 fit the bill perfectly.
We took a little ride to get the chickens some food, and so I could get some pictures of Cecelia in her carseat! She was a little tired, but still so cute!
The pattern was really easy to follow, and didn't take too long to sew up. I used some super comfy knits from my local sewing shop--I think they are Patty Young for Michael Miller.  They are excellent quality knits, but they shrunk a lot when I prewashed them--I probably lost a quarter of the yardage from shrinkage.
I pretty much followed the pattern spot on, except for the hood. The pattern has the hood as all one piece--I wanted the inside to be a different print than the outside, so I had to make a slight change. No biggie, and I really like having the dot print on the inside. 
This is also one of those rare items where I'm happy with how the inside turned out. I've been really focusing on making quality garments for the kids.  I figure that if I'm going to spend the time and money to make something, it ought to be the best I can make. 
I still can't believe how nice the zipper looks! This is definitely one of my best zipper installs.  I love how professional it looks.
Happy Crafting!
Linking to these great parties!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Emmy with a Twist

Surprise! Another Emmy for Cecelia!  Ok, so maybe it's not that surprising, haha!  I just love this pattern so much.  In case you missed my other posts about it, it's the Fishsticks Designs Emmy pattern (which is now retired).  It's such a simple, yet cute top, and is the perfect Spring outfit when paired with leggings. 

To make this one a bit different, I tried something new--a little bow (really a twist) in the bodice. It was really simple to do, but it adds just the right amount of sweetness to the dress.  I think it's pretty self-explanatory on how I did it, but if there is any interest I may do a quickie tutorial.

Lots of pics because I can't get enough of this sweet baby! She is such a blessing to our lives--each day is so much better with her in it.  

I love this last pic of Cecelia and Braydon.  He is the best big brother anyone could ask for--so patient and kind. It's amazing to see the bond between siblings--one of the best parts of being a parent.  My heart sings when I catch moments like this.

Today is day 2 of Kids Sewing Week--I'm hoping to get some shorts cut out and sewn for the two oldest girls today--wish me luck!
This is also project 13 in my personal 52 in 2013 Challenge!
Happy Crafting!

Linking up to these great parties!