December 30, 2013

2013 in Review

I wasn't really planning on doing an end-of-year post since I've hardly posted all year, but I guess I made more than I thought I did.  I even made a blanket not pictured here. So, from the top:

1. I birthed a baby: my sweet Andrea will be 1 year old on Thursday!!
2. My niece Molly's blanket
3. We did a winter garden this year and it was super successful!
4. I've made lots of progress on those hexies.  I will finish it in 2014.
5. I made about 3 sets of these car seat strap covers for the girls.  Super easy.
6. Audrey's dress for her second birthday.
7. Audrey's doll's dress.
8. Andrea's dress.
9. Andrea's bloomers.
10. Vera's blanket.
11. Audrey's 2nd birthday cake and party decorations.
12. Starting with August, I made new shirts for Andi's monthly photo shoots.
13. September shirt.
14. October shirt.
15. November shirt.
16. December shirt.  (I also made one for Audrey).

There are a few things I didn't include, like the 4 sets of hooded towels I made out of necessity for the girls. And the starts of quilts that still need attention.  I actually hope to finish a cheater quilt by tomorrow for a baby shower, so that'll get squeezed in before the end of the year.

The coolest part of my crafting is that I conquered some pretty big garment-making fears and made dresses for my girls. Yay!

The sad part of all this, which will be remedied in the new year, is that I did not make a true quilt this year.  Blankets, yes.  Quilts, no.  So sad.

Thankfully, I have resolved to make quilts for my 2 girls, and oh my goodness EVERYONE I KNOW is getting pregnant.  Lots of quick baby quilts coming to a blog near you.

Here's to a happy 2014!

September 22, 2013

Andrea's Criss-Cross Dress

I bought this pattern at Walmart about 5 years ago when my 
brother and his wife got pregnant with their first little girl. 

 I thought, as a first year student in dental school, that I would make this dress for my niece. 
Ha!  I didn't even make one for my Audrey!  

I finally realized, that if I didn't make one for Andi before the summer was out, I'd probably never make it. And it was Andi's turn for a dress, anyway!

I had also planned to make the very similar pattern by Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots with the perfect diaper cover by Dana Made It. I plan on giving those a try, too. 

My big 8 month old is wearing a size 12 months in most things, and I figured that if this size 12 months was too big, she could wear it longer. 

  Well, it's pretty big. In fact, Audrey can almost wear it as a top. 
But it's still super cute!  And so is my sweet girl!

The only really new things that I did was make covered buttons and buttonholes.

The covered buttons were super easy using a kit I got at Hobby Lobby,
and the buttonholes weren't nearly as scary as I made them out to be. 

I do recommend reading your sewing machine manual and
 testing out your buttonhole stitch on a piece of scrap first ; )

She wore it to church today with a long-sleeve onesie underneath it 
since there was a chill in the air.
Such a sweetheart!

August 28, 2013

Hooded Towel and Bath Mitt Tutorial

There's nothing worse than trying to wrap up a wet, squiggly baby with a small, poorly absorbing towel.  Am I right?  One of the best gifts we received were some beautiful hooded towels adorned with ribbon and lace and embroidery.  As pretty and fancy as they are, I really just needed more big, fluffy hooded towels to get the job done once Audrey got too big for her baby towels.  So I ran to Walmart, bought two bath towels and one hand towel and made up some big girl towels for Audrey.


With two little girls at bath time now, I've needed to make some more hooded towels, so I took pictures as I went in case you'd like to make some, too!

What you need:

2 full size bath towels
1 hand towel
matching thread
sewing machine


(I used 2 bath towels and 2 hand towels so they would match)

1.  Fold your hand towel in half like a hamburger (not a hot dog...) and cut it into 2 halves.

2. Make the hood:  Fold one half of the hand towel in half with wrong sides together, matching up the cut edges and sew a straight line with a 1/2" seam allowance along the short raw edge.    I like to go back and zig zag the raw edge as well.

3. Turn the hood right side out and poke out the point of the hood with a knitting needle.


4.  Find the center of the towel (long-wise) and the center of the bottom of the hood and pin them together with about 1 inch overlapping.  Make sure the pretty side of the bath towel is facing you and the back of the hood faces you, too.  I like the overlap because it gives some strength to the joined towels.


5.  Using a zig zag stitch, sew along the four sides of the rectangle created by the joining of the hood and towel with the 1" overlap.

 I usually do the edge along the bath towel first, then flip it over and do the 2 short sides and the edge of the hand towel next.

6.  Wrap up your wet little one and snuggle!

You can always pretty these up with trim or fabric!

I found these fluffy striped bath towels at Walmart and bought a bath towel and hand towel of each color so they could each have the stripes.  There was plenty of towel left over to make a couple of bath mitts to add to our wash cloth collection!

1.  Fold the towel in half with right sides together and trace your hand with a fabric marker.  Be sure to add a 1" seam allowance and flare out quite a bit at the wrist to give your hand room to go in.

2.  Pin the pieces together and cut out along your line.

3.  Sew the pieces together with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving the bottom open.  Zig zag around the outside.

4.  Turn right side out and scrub a dub dub!

August 23, 2013

Finish it Up Friday - The Curtain Dress

Pinterest strikes again!  I found a pin linking to this tutorial and decided to give it a whirl.  Turns out the dimensions for the dress they made was for a much older girl than my little 2 year old, so I had to do some finagling to size it down.  Aside from an attempt to make a Biblical times costume for VBS when I was in high school (very sad fail...), this was my first attempt at garment sewing.  Yay!

It walks like a dress, it talks like a dress, it must be a dress!

It's all straight line sewing, so it was super easy.  It really is a curtain with a ruffle at the top , sewn into a tube and hemmed.  You put some elastic in the casing where the curtain rod would go and add some straps. The tutorial had the width of the body of the dress at 36", I tried it on her at 30", and took off 6 more inches before being happy with it.  There was just too much bunching under her arms and I think it was bothering her.

It falls at her knee, and I wish I had made it a little longer so she can grow with it, and there's not much hem to let out, either.  But Andrea can always wear it ; )

 I made this dress in a few sittings while she was a the sitter or napping, so I did a lot of guessing, measuring dresses that fit her, and two quick fittings to get the straps right.  She cried and tried to take it off during both fittings, so I was a little nervous that she wouldn't wear the dress, so I decided to make a matching dress for her baby from some of the scraps as an incentive to wear it.  It worked ; )

It's a lot easier to get the doll to model, than an active 2 year old! 

The doll's dress was a quick 20 minute project and I'm so glad I did it!

I made this dress for her to wear at her birthday party, but I'm really wanting her to wear it to church ASAP...we'll see if I can hold off!  I think there's one in Andrea's future!

August 21, 2013

Potty Training - We'll Try Again Later

In preparation for potty training, I read countless articles and stories and talked to moms about their experiences and just knew that we would be able to train our bright, mature, sweet little 23 month old in 3 days like everybody else and their kid.


It didn't work.  And that's ok.



I just wanted to put that out there for any other mom who was (or is) all gunned up about training their bright, mature kiddo, and finds that it just wasn't the right time.  She had all the signs that said she was ready, but really, she wasn't.


It was hard to stop.  We gave it a good 6 days before putting the diapers back on.  We had 2 successes, but not enough to keep going, and not enough communication that she really understood what "needing to go" felt like.  We did a combination of methods with the main goal of getting her on the potty as fast as possible when she started peeing and praise her and reward her for getting it in the potty.  It didn't work.  She started to hold it, which means she can control it, but just wouldn't try to get to the potty.  AT. ALL.  She would pee on the floor 1 foot away from the little potty.


So, take heart.  If you have to put the diapers back on, it's not the end of the world.  Since then, she is waaaay more aware of what is going on down there and will even "watch" as she tee-tees in her diaper.  She knows when she's pooped and doesn't like the feeling or the smell.  She'll go in her potty if she needs to before bath time, even.  She has lots and lots of signs that she's ready, but I just don't think she's ready...yet. We still talk about it and encourage it and let her sit on that potty whenever she wants...and we reward her : )  Still training, just not formally.


(And, yes, I did roll up the rug!)