February 2, 2015

Andrea's Room and Two Embroidery Finishes

My youngest is now 2 (!), and it's time for a big girl room. We're keeping the crib for a while and we'll make it a toddler bed soon. We moved her to the other side of the house next to sister so they can be close and share a bathroom.  Maybe we'll regret that when they are teenagers!

Here's the view when you walk in the door. 

I fell in love with these sweet prints from Rifle Paper Co. They're sweet and girly, but vintagey and grown-up enough that she can have them for a long time if she wants. 

They *just* fit in these little frames from Ikea that I reused from the nursery. We might redo the lamp, too, but it's looking just fine right now. 

Here's the corner across from the crib. We found the sweet faux silk curtains at Target. We brought the rocker from the nursery so we can read books and we stole one of Audrey's dressers. 

I did these little name embroideries for each girl. I designed them myself, or rather, I found a decorative letter that was embroiderable, a font that I liked for the name, and the meaning of their name and a verse to go with it and typed it all up. I then traced it onto a piece of fabric with a wash-away fabric marker.  Then I borrowed the colors from those sweet prints and -tada!

Here's Audrey's:

I still need to hang this cross stitch. My mom did this ages ago as a baby gift that never got gifted. I found it stashed away in the trunk in my old bedroom. It just happens to be the bedtime prayer we say with the girls!  So Mom let me have it and here it is!  I reused a frame from the nursery as well. 

In order to frame these stitchings, I used a tutorial from Needle n Thread http://www.needlenthread.com/2007/12/finish-work-how-to-frame-piece-of.html

Erik ordered this fabulous monogram on eBay, painted it, and mounted it on this faux palette he distressed after watching several YouTube videos on "making old wood". Didn't he do a great job?  We did some extra backup mounting into a stud since it's pretty heavy and, well, hanging over our sleeping beauty. 

She loves her new room!

January 31, 2015

Mimi's Christmas Quilt

Mimi is the sweet lady who kept our girls during the day. Audrey started with her when she was four months old and stayed until she was 3 and started preschool. Andrea started staying with her when she was 2 months old and started preschool at 2. Needless to say, she was a big part of our girls' lives and she gets a quilt!

Mimi is a lover of Christmas, so she got a Christmas quilt. Her family makes and sells Christmas Yard Art at Canton every year, so for about 1/3 of the year, they are pretty festive in their house. 

I received this panel of snowmen years ago as a bonus with an order of fabric from a small online shop that doesn't exist anymore. I knew I wanted to cut it up and make a table runner or quilt, but it languished in the sewing room forever. 

Of course, I decided a few weeks before Christmas that this was happening, so it became a late January Christmas/farewell present. 

I fused and then raw-edge appliqu├ęd the snowflakes and then hand-quilted around them. 

I used white DMC pearl cotton size 12 to outline all of the straight lines as well. 

Here are the happy snowmen!

I used some leftover red bias tape I had for the binding. 

I backed the quilt in a flannel Christmas sheet I got on clearance at Target many years ago. It's super soft and warm!

...And the really hard to read label.  I took the girls by after school to give it to her and visit a bit. She loved it!   

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!