Archive for the ‘crafting’ Category

or at least I was with my mom’s help.  I am  pleased with how they turned out, the girls love them and that makes me even happier!

Right before we left I figured found a tutorial (HERE) for a skirt that I really liked.  We just happened to have this Moda and Amy Butler fabric sitting around and a couple scraps that worked well for the waistbands and trim.  I love how they turned out.  It’s not easy finding fun patterns and tutorials for the older two that I like as much as they do.  Why do girls at this age go through such odd tastes in clothing?

There are some big things going on right now around here.  Two family reunions within one week of each other,  end of school/beginning of summer, and the biggy is my parent’s restaurant looks like it will only be theirs for a couple more weeks…good, but scary.  So, mom and I do our sewing up there, guess it is time to make good use of the big laundry room I have and re-vamp it a bit.  Nothing like a kick in the pants to get you to do something you should have done before anyways, right?


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I hope everyone gets to enjoy some time with family today, eat a bit of chocolate or a big home-cooked meal.  Most of all, I wish that you all find the peace, joy, and grace that God offered through the sacrifice and resurrection of His perfect son.  Christ is risen, and is as much for you as He is for me!

We went to our local egg hunt yesterday.  It is on the courthouse lawn and due to it being a tad chilly we didn’t dress up.  I’m glad, I forget sometimes how sheltered our home is from the wind compared to the middle of town (it is up on a hill.)   The girls would have froze in dresses.

twins at the hunt, the older two went with daddy to the other side (according to age group)

sitting down at my parents restaurant to inspect her findings

sitting down at my parents restaurant to inspect her findings

Speaking of dresses, the twins really wanted to wear their Minnie Mouse dresses instead of their cherry and lemon dresses.  I figure why not, this is one whim I am more than happy to indulge. Liz is wearing a  skirt I made out of a huge floral print I love (Alexander Henry, again) with a jacket it about killed me to buy at Gymboree:

Corsage Flower Crop Jacket

It’s worth the price, don’t get  me wrong.  I guess once you really start sewing, spending as much as I would on supplies to make a dress and a top is hard.  It’s a great little jacket that will get much use through the years as I know the twins will eventually wear it.  Gymboree is good that way, their clothes wash and wear through a couple kids before wearing out.  I could have tried making it, but was out of time.

Jane has on her “Nancy Drew” dress (chocolate brown plaid taffeta with a matching short velvet jacket.)  It sounds odd, but is very lovely and according to her “okay that it isn’t bright fun colors because it’s brown like chocolate!”   Oh, and it’s a Nancy Drew dress because it has a feel of an era gone by that she picks up reading Nancy Drew…love my oldest gal that way.  Sounds good to me!  Her dress that I was making, well, it didn’t survive and is being completely torn apart.  It was all my doing, I put the pattern together wrong.  Sometime soon, though I hope to have a great Paris Springtime  dress to share.  The fabric is black line art Eiffel towers and these great flowers on a cream background with just the slightest hints of an orangish-pink.  The picture doesn’t do it justice:

Stretch Sateen Print-Paris Springtime

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This little halter dress I am quite proud of for several reasons:

  1. the print is really great with very rich colors (hard to see in my poor photos)
  2. it is my own design, no pattern
  3. the entire thing was completed in about an hour and a half
  4. total cost $0.00!

I did not buy a thing to make this dress, it wasn’t even things found in my stash.  The fabric was from my Aunt, the thread and bias tape trim was picked up during trips to my grandma’s house, and the elastic was in my mom’s box of trim and notions.  Free! 

I like these type of instant gratification projects.  Dresses that drag on for a few days will sometimes wear at my (lack of) patience.   I have plans for another already in the works…pink Scottie dogs trimmed in a home-made bias tape (tan and pink paisley)  for anyone who has perused my stash or remembers projects on my blog.

Pics of Minnie Mouse-type dresses, Tinkerbelle dress, and an Ariel wedding dress coming in near future.  (That is, after a trip to the fabric store for more eyelet and the completion of a certain star-fish.)

It is so hard to get the twins to take a decent no-flash photo with my automatic camera.   The natural light shows the rich colors better, but then it does also show the creases I didn’t get ironed out…oops.  Photographing clothing just isn’t that easy, anyone have any tips?

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I feel bad for reader’s looking for raw milk articles, ferments, and handcrafted butter or bread.  Those posts are there, please search if that is what you are looking for.  As of late, though, I have re-discovered my love of sewing.  It satisfies the creative and practical side of me in one fell swoop.  I can’t help it, I love it.  Before kids I sewed, quilted, painted (oh my poor paints that are likely crusty with my dear brushes at their side), and all sorts of creative endeavors.  No schooling or training on it, just a love for it.  Sorry dear readers, but I promise with spring on the horizon the food related articles will return.  Meanwhile, you have sewing projects, homeschool, and Adventures in Daddyhood to look forward to.

All that to say, I made two more dresses that I LOVE!  The worst of it is that I have to send them away, but I can cope.  The best of it is they are going to the sweetest twins that were adopted the same time my girls.  Really, what are the odds?   We actually met up at the Hanoi Embassy without really knowing each other would be there.  We have kept in contact and it is great to have someone in a similar boat to talk to.  Her girls are a month older than mine so it is like a heads-up on things.  This family has been so gracious to us in the past I wanted to do something for them.  Long story short, she ordering some amazing Heather Bailey Fabric (Pop Garden) and I made these…I hope you like them!

the pics do not do them justice…flash (obviously) and me in a hurry

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Yesterday and today, my mom and I have been sewing.   We went to the big city (not just a big city, but The big city around these parts) on Friday to see what we could find.  We left with enough fabric, patterns, and trim to make 11 items, plus I have two items at home that I am working on.  Here is our progress:

  •  2 Easter dresses for the older two, needs elastic in casing and they are then they are done…can’t wait to share these!
  • 2 apron dresses for a fellow twin mom and friend, bodice is complete and skirts are coming together nicely, will be done today
  • 4 dress-up dresses (Tink is done, Ariel and  2 Minnie Mouse are cut, but not sewn)
  • 3 summer dresses are cut and one 75% done
  • 2  nightgowns cut, but not sewn (when the twins ask Grandma for something, she delivers!)

It sounds odd and incomplete, but we are doing what we can to not waste steps and get it done (in the end) in less time.  For instance, our machine’s are similar so one machine is the strictly white thread machine and the other we change out threads if need be.  We cut out everything all at once while we were in pattern and rotary cutter mode.  The Tink dress got done first as we are using the same pattern for two other dresses out of nicer fabric and wanted to check sizing….no time for making a muslin! 

Talking Tink, we used the Miss Lily pattern (which is on sale now!) that I really am liking and altered the sleeve to make it a mock spaghetti-strap style dress out of a shimmery green cotton we found.  Add to that the sparkly green sheer leaves and you have a very cute and more importantly, comfortable Tinkerbell dress. 

Today I look for us to have this as a finished list:

  • Tink
  • 2 Easter dresses
  • 2 apron dresses
  • 3 summer dresses
  • 2 Minnie Mouse dresses

I don’t expect to get Ariel done today as it will be an very involved dress (plackets, contrast panels, zipper, peplum, and star fish applique.)  Yeah, this one is a ball-gown style and fancy for my oldest.  Also, the nightgown’s are low on the priority list, so while they will not take long, they will likely be last….it’s too chilly to wear cute nightie’s right now anyhow.

To those that made it to the bottom of this post: I must guess that you are either an avid sewer, good friend, or trying to avoid doing something else.  I congratulate you for reading the Tale of Two Days and would award you some fabric scraps if the girls hadn’t already made plans for them.

***right before publishing this post my mom called and she has come down with the flu!  She kept getting chilly yesterday and was tired, but this morning she is in bed sick : (  Wish me luck, I’m still going to go tackle what I can, though that “finished” list above, will likely be cut in half.

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I am a sewing machine!  Ummm, okay, no I am just a dork.  But I am sewing quite a bit and loving it.  Today, I almost finished the knot dresses (pics below) and cut out a couple of the Miss Lily dresses for the older girls.  I then went out to go to my Grandma’s house to sort through and swipe some trims (thanks Grandma!) from her two drawers full!  Some of the laces she has were made by my Granny (who was born in 1896 if memory serves me right, she lived to 103!)  After that I helped my mom cut out two dresses for each of the older girls, nightgowns for the twins, a Disney-type dress-up outfit for each of the four girls. 

Busy day and, thankfully, an easy school day.

The two knot dresses that are what I call blog finished.  There are still gathering threads that need cut, a hem stitched in (instead of done easy- peasy like the pattern calls for because I didn’t order enough of that print), and buttonholes sewed.  Pretty enough to show on the blog and share for those interested.  I am SO glad I started out sewing my twins’ dresses as this pattern runs small, yikes!  The other twins that will be receiving a dress in the same pattern/different fabric are just a tad bigger than my two and I am not sure this size would fit them.  CeeCee and Brie can slip it on over a shirt…barely.  No shirt underneath and it will be fine.  These dresses will not be around come fall, I am sure of it. I am really hoping for a nice sunny day so I can get some good pictures of dresses and kids.  Flash inside just is not as pretty, but it will have to do. 

Enough blabbing, here are the dresses:

Neither apron is done like the pattern says, after the trip to Grandma’s I simply couldn’t resist a bit of embellishment.  The trim on the Joel Dewberry dress (orange and brown) is an old one of my Grandma’s and a lovely creamy color.  On the Jennifer Moore dress, the apple apron has a green ric-rac edging on it that doesn’t show up well in the photo but looks really cute in person.  The twins, of course, are pleased with their dresses…I’m just hoping they don’t grow out too much soon so they can get some wear out of them! 

For anyone reading that is beginning to sew or has a question about sewing,  be sure that you check out Sew, Mama, Sew.  They have a blog and a forum that have been a huge help to me in refreshing my skills and filling in where I lack skills.  There are wonderful people there sharing great projects at all skill levels.    I’ve learned so much and am off to find a better way to gather a waist, there just has to be a better way!

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I could not get to sleep last night…so I sewed.  I am making four scrappy apron dresses off of the same pattern (Forget-Me-Knot Dress.)  There were a few things I weren’t sure about on the fit, so I am making my twins’ dresses first.  When I am done and made any alterations I need I will be making the same pattern again for two other set of twins.  I am tired this morning, but it feels so good to have such a jump start on this project! 

Fabric (Joel Dewberry) for dress #1:

Joel Dewberry Aviary Sparrows Almond (1/2 Yard) Joel Dewberry Aviary Rose Damask Orange (1/2 Yard)

Joel Dewberry Aviary Woodgrain Orange (1/2 Yard)  Joel Dewberry Aviary Sunburst Chocolate (1/2 Yard)

I wasn’t sure about the sunburst chocolate or the woodgrain, but I love them!  This is Brie’s dress and she picked the orange woodgrain…I liked the birds so just went with it from there.

Fabric (Jennifer Moore/Joel Dewberry) for dress #2

NEW from Jennifer Moore of Monaluna, Metro Market, Hens, Summer, 1 YardRobert Kaufman Metro Market Apples Aqua (1/2 Yard)

NEW from Jennifer Moore of Monaluna, Mingle, Circles, Leaf, 1 Yard   Joel Dewberry Aviary Sunburst Chocolate (1/2 Yard)

I wasn’t sure what to use for the 4th fabric with the Hens that CeeCee was so adamant about getting.  She was the one determined to have the “wemons” on the last set of dresses.  The hens are not my usual colors or something I would pick.  The sunburst pattern ended up looking really great with it, helped to pull it all together, actually. 

While the rest of the state was sleeping last night, I finished both bodices, have the skirts sewn, and searched like a madwoman for some ric-rac or trim in my stash.  I hope to have the dresses finished by this afternoon.  I am anxious to share pictures and even more anxious to start the next set using Heather Bailey’s Pop Garden!

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