January 10, 2015

Christmas Dresses

I decided to do the DIY Bishop Dress again, this time making matching Christmas dresses. 

It was fun to do it again! The fabric was a seasonal line from Connecting Threads. I made the bias binding, did the plackets the right way this time, and did French seams agan. 

This time I did little metal hooks on the back and it worked great!

I hoping they'll get to wear them a few more times, at least until Valentine's Day, right?

October 21, 2014

Frozen Halloween

I caved. I caved to the princessy, song-stuck-in-your-head-constantly, little girl brainwashing that is Frozen. So, Halloween costumes were in order. Since we have two little girls, it kind of HAD to happen, right?  I used this tutorial for Queen Elsa: http://www.mesewcrazy.com/2014/06/elsa-costume-diy.html

I just modified it a bit for Princess Anna. She has a separate tutorial for Anna's dress, but I cheated and used a second, black t-shirt and cut the sleeves off. I kept the blue t-shirt separate (they can still wear that everyday!) and attached the black shirt to the skirt like the Elsa dress. 

I found everything at Walmart except the gold bias tape (Hobby Lobby) Surprisingly, Hobby Lobby and Joann's were total duds when it came to fabric.  The shirts were around $4 each, the snowflake fabric was in the clearance bin, and most of the yardage was $2. I had the green ribbon and pink for the flowers in my stash. Even the snowflakes were in Walmart's Christmas section. 

For the Anna cape, I took a length of fleece long enough for a cape plus the shoulder drape and marked where the drape and cape would "meet" with pins. I then attached a length of elastic a little bit longer than shoulder-width and gathered the fleece by stretching the elastic and sewing a straight line from one end to the other. I attached a couple of ties, folded the shoulder drape over the elastic to hide it, and, voila!  The fleece doesn't fray and this color from Walmart was PERFECT!

I kept it simple with the flowers. I sewed right down the center of the ribbon and I zig-zagged the flowers down because I was too lazy to go upstairs to get the fusible. 

Two Anna dresses were an easy sew today in between laundry and dishes and Gilmore Girls. It helped to have it all cut out and pinned, which I did after bedtime last night. The Elsa dresses took a day, as well. I do have a few hems left to sew after we had a fitting. 

I did make two Elsas and two Annas because two of everything is required in this household. It's like having twins. Kinda sorta. 

You can do this!  The hardest part is the gold bias tape, but it makes the dress. You could totally do gold ribbon instead and use a black tank so you don't have to worry about covering the edges (I couldn't find one my girls sizes). 

Now, the challenge is to make sure the younger copy-cat is ok with being Anna on the big night!

September 22, 2014

Dress for a Three-Year-Old

Audrey turned 3 at the end of August, and I stuck to the "birthday dress" tradition. I've had this pattern pinned for a while now, while I worked up the gumption to try it. It is the DIY Bishop pattern by Claire Meldrum and can be found in the Sew Beautiful July/August 2012 issue. I downloaded the issue for about $5. 

Now, if you just Google "DIY Bishop", you'll find a handful of posts including Claire's blog about it (http://www.clairemeldrum.ca/diy-bishop-in-july-issue-of-sew-beautiful/),  another blogger who made the dress in green for her granddaughter (http://californiastitching.blogspot.com/2012/06/a-diy-smocked-dress.html?m=1), and the Sew Beautiful blog (http://sewbeautifulmag.blogspot.com/2012/06/diy-bishop-correction-sb-july-2012.html?m=1). These are all important, because there are errors in the printed pattern and concern about the directions. Even reading all of the comments on those posts was helpful!  You can see why I had so much hesitation to get started: there was a lot to muddle through to get the measurements right and follow Claire's lead to not cut out a portion of the neckline. 

I chose to make a 4T, which was a bit big, but she can wear it with a sweater this fall. I LOVED doing the smocking!  I'm a sucker for handwork, anyway, and it really did go fast. It became addictive to see the honeycomb pattern come together. 

Other new sewing skills included sewing in a placket, sewing a thread loop, and French seams (which I added, and love!). I YouTubed all of those until I was comfortable and the placket was by far the most confusing. The pattern does not walk you through it - you are on your own with dress construction. 

The fabric is from Connecting Threads. It's the cutest darker purple I could find. Audrey loved it the day it came in the mail!  Whew!  She's all about the purple right now!

I'll be making this pattern again soon for both girls' Christmas dresses. Once the errors are overcome, it really is an easy sew!  

July 23, 2014

A Quilt for Aven

Our sweet friends from college put off having kids until educations were finished and careers were settled.  

When the time came to try, it wasn't working, so tests were done, and they found out she had a rare form of uterine cancer (rare for someone her age).  Which means hysterectomy.  Devastating.

But they were given a chance to go through a really tough series of treatments and surgeries to give them a chance to have a family.

They finished, and went to the doctor to start blood tests for infertility treatments (a given in her situation), and they were pregnant!  A sweet, beautiful miracle!

I tear up every time I tell the story.  God is so good!

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!