Friday, June 29, 2012

Pink Swimsuit

This was actually the first swim suit that I made Emily this summer.  Its from the Ottobre 3/2011 Mermaid Swimsuit pattern.
It was surprisingly easy to make after reading over all of the tutorials on this blog
The fabric is just bright pink swim fabric from Joann's.  I lucked out though bc there was not quite a yard left so they sold me the whole piece half off.  Remember it only takes maybe a half yard to make a suite this size so I have quite a bit left.
We really like this one but its not super easy to go potty in so we did 2 piece suits for the other two.  I'm just glad to have a few swimsuits that actually fit her well for the summer.  Little bit is a 3t around but at least a 5 in length so ready to wear suits do not work well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

pink polk a dots

This is actually the second swim suit I've made Emily this year.  I'll post about the first one soon I just felt like doing this one today.  This one is special because it was made using all free tutorials.  Don't get me wrong there are some great looking swim suit patterns out there but in all of my stash I had one in Emily's size (that was the first one of the year) so I had to improvise a bit.
I used this free one piece pattern and tutorial as a starting point but I really wanted this one to be a two piece so she would have an easier time getting it on and off for potty trips.  The I stumbled upon this tutorial for making it into a tankini.  I didn't follow it exactly though.  Mostly, I just added an inch or so to the top of the bottoms and then 3 inches and a ruffle to the bottom of the top.  This caused sort of a swim dress effect but I'm thrilled with that.  The bottoms just looked too wide at first so I compared them to a pair she has and ended up taking about an inch out of either side.  I also only used 13 inches of elastic in each leg and probably could have gotten by with 12. 
It fits and works well.  Its also her current fav.  She's really into polk a dots right now for whatever reason.  I think its because she wants to be considered cute these days and thinks that they are cute.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daddy's Girl

I've spent a good bit of time deciding if I wanted to post this and then if so how I would go about doing so. Ultimately, I decided that it was something that I wanted to share both and a project and as an opinion. So here goes. I really enjoy the LilBlueBoo blog in general and I like to see what lovely dresses Ashley comes up with to put in her store. I haven't snagged one for Emily yet though. Some of them are style she would not wear or colors we just don't love. There have been two lately that I really wanted though. One was the Bestest Everest doughnut dress and the other was the Daddy's Girl dress. Both sold out before I had a chance to buy one. It did restock but would not have arrive on time at that point and I think was sold out by the time I saw the post anyways. I really wanted a Daddy's Girl dress for father's day though so I decided to hope that Ashley considers imitation to be flattery and started daydreaming of my own version. I know there are a lot of opinions about copying/inspired by projects in blog land but here are my thoughts.  I think its OK if you are making a project for your personal child but never OK to copy someone else and sell either the product or the pattern. I also think that its more fun to take an idea and run with it then it is to try and make an exact replica.

That's what I did here. I knew I loved the tie so I bought a tie for my silhouette and figured out adding text to it. Then I picked 3 fabrics from my stash that I liked together. I also modified a pattern that I already have. Once my year is over I'll consider buying a few of Ashley's patterns but for now I'm doing my best not to. I used the Olivia pattern but changed it quite a bit. Anyways I would have liked to get the real thing but one of the great things about being able to sew is being able to make things yourself so without further explanation here are some super cute pictures of Father's Day  morning at our house. Hopefully, one of these days a dress will pop up on her site that I just love and I will be sitting at my computer ready to act. I'll certainly keep my eyes open and of course keep reading and following her blog. When I remember I'll even wear my "choose joy" necklace.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Last week we tried not one but two recopies for home made gummie snacks.  Now let me be clear that I in no way think of these as a healthy snack but I thought they would be a fun treat.  I also wanted to see how they worked.  The stars were made using jello and the tikkis were made using grape juice concentrate.  Both were grape flavored so we could compare them more easily.
I got these molds at the dollar tree.  The juice ones were super hard to get out but the kids thought they tasted a bit better.  All in all this was a fun process but not something I'm planning to do again any time soon.  We will be trying to make gummie worms in a few weeks though.  We'll also be using the molds to make bath fizzies later in the summer.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Doll Clothes

I seem to fall into a bit of a rabbit whole every time I start sewing doll clothes. It starts with just an outfit or so but then it grows and grows. These are not even all of the things I've made lately. I did have fun though. Found some great tutorials and started a pin board all about doll clothes.
These were made for my Emily's friend Beca's Birthday.  The top is the Liberty Jane free tee.  Seriously, even if you have a tee shirt pattern you should download this one its awesome.  Its the only American Girl tee I make.  The denim skirt is from this tutorial.  The other too I just made up.
This is for the doll swap on Sewing Mamas.  The dress is from the CarlaC pattern.  The bag is from this tutorial and the headband is modified from this one.  I hope the headband works since I didn't have a doll to try it on.
This is a Bitty dress for the same doll swap.  Its made from an old Cabbage Patch Kids pattern but fits our Bitty well.
More for the Bitty swap here.  The tee shirt is my own pattern!  Seriously, can you believe it?  I sat down with my drafting book and Bitty's measurements and made my own shirt.  I'll be sharing it for free here soon.  I need to take pictures of the process.  The skirt is from this tutorial though its not as fluffy bc I felt like ti would be way to short.  The leggings are from a big 3 pattern.  I don't think the two work together but both are cute with the top.
This was supposed to go to the swap but Emily insisted that Bitty loved it so I ended up letting her keep it.  The dress is the CarlaC one with a bit of extra width.  If you don't know yet Bitty babies are wider then American Girl dolls.  They are built more like babies after all.
Last but not least the final doll swap outfit.  This one was made using this tutorial though I made myself a pattern instead of just using the arm cutout on the fabric.  I also shirred the bloomer bottoms and the arm wholes instead of making an elastic casing.  This is much easier as long as you do the shirring while the fabric is still flat.

Sadly, that is not everything. Bitty has another new outfit, a dance outfit that still needs bloomers, and a new nightie made from my tee pattern as well. I'll try to get the tee tutorial done in the coming weeks. Summer is pretty crazy here. In the mean time if you know of any other great doll sewing tutorials I'd love a link. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Summer has come and we have been busy here. I actually have a few posts in progress but I decided to get this one up tonight. One of the things I'm working on this summer is actually using some of the things I pin and deleting some of the ones that I know I will never do. This week we took on making playdough. Technically as a veteran preschool mom I have done this before but it was always a huge batch of all one color late at night right before it was due is school. Or sometimes a day or so after it was due but we won't talk about that. We used this tutorial. Its really just your basic cooked playdough but it worked well. We mixed a double batch then divided it into 4 bowls to color it with food coloring. I thought this made it easier to cook as well bc this meant I was cooking a small quantity in a little sauce pan 4 times instead of trying to stir a huge amount. Emily was skeptical but helpful. She even brought me a can of the real deal to show me what it was supposed to look like. Elijah was very helpful as well though at 9 I'm sure he won't tell his friends all about it. All in all having them help was fun but messy and the dough is great. It actually works much better in our playdough ice cream shop then the real stuff.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Singing in the Shower

Those who know me well know that I cannot sing. I love music, I really love show tunes, I love to sing along, but it is not a pretty thing when I do. With that bit of information its not shocking that I enjoy Smash. Honestly though I didn't really pay much attention to the costuming until Gertie posted about the on her blog. I still didn't really give it much thought until I found out that Sew Weekly was having a TV themed week then after much debate I decided I needed my very own cherry dress. I'm sure you can tell but mine is not exactly like hers. First off I do not have Katharine Mcphee's body and while I like my body a lot I knew that I would not be comfortable in such a fitted wiggle dress. I also wanted to work with a pattern and fabric that would not be too difficult so I found some cotton Lycra cherry knit and used Simplicity 3503 which is one of my favorite patterns. For this one I used the front of view B and the back of view F. I also put the top on before attaching the waist band so that I could decide exactly how much cross over I wanted in the front. I highly recommend doing this if you make a dress like this. I put on my favorite bra stood in front of a mirror and played with it until it was exactly how I wanted it. Then I pinned the front carefully took it off and basted that part. You might have also noticed that my dress is pink not white. I did an etsy search for cherry fabric and when this one popped up I simply had to have it. After all pink is my favorite color plus I didn't want to have to make a fully lined dress and worried that anything with a white background would need to be lined. Hope you like. I've already worn it once and felt both comfy and pretty all day so Yay! This is my 3rd run at this pattern. You might remember it from the bird dress and the gold dress. This one was actually a combo of those two views.  I've got some more posts coming soon we've just been super busy since school got out.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Fake Lace Dress

Another week another Sew Weekly post. Its taken me a bit to settle into the process but now that I have I'm really enjoying the weekly challenges. Among other things I've accepted that my posts my never be the most glamorous, its pretty much a given that my photos will not be the most exciting, and while we're on the topic I may never be one one of the featured dresses but oh well life goes on and the fun part for me is figure out how I can make the challenges work for me. I mean lets me honest the last time I got truly dressed up was for a wedding about five years ago so most of my clothes need to also work for things like sitting in the dirt filling up water balloons. I love my life though and am enjoying wearing my own creations while living it.
This week's challenge was to make something inspired by a member of the Brittish royal family. I've never been particularly into royal watching so I started by doing a google search and finding a lovely lace mini dress that Kate Middleton wore at some point. I know that mine is really different but her dress reminded me of this lace print ITY fabric that I bought during the winter. I used the dress part of Simplicity 2443. I bought the pattern last year because it reminded me of some of the cute Athleta dresses. I'm really pleased with the results. The strap part is a bit of a pain in the rump to sew though. I sewed the shoulders then sewed the lining and strap fabric together in a big circle at the neck line. Then some creative folding and turning allowed me to get a nice clean finish for the arm holes. It didn't look like it was going to work there then all of a sudden it did. Attaching the bodice to the straps was also not easy but carefully pinning and taking it nice and slow worked out. The only changes I made were leaving out the pockets and zipper. Since my fabric is a knit I didn't need a zipper and the pockets hung funny so I took them out. I'm sure that I'll wear this one again. Even my mother in law said it looked nice on me.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gack take 1,2,and 3

I've become a bit of a pinterest addict lately. If you want to follow me here I am. I've noticed though that pinning has become a bit like pattern buying used to be for me so I decided to take some time this summer and probably beyond to make an effort to use my pins. I've also been organizing them a bit which has lead to a lot more pinning but oh well at least pinning is free.

For my first official using my pins post the kids and I tried three different Gack/Goo/slime/flubber recipes.

From what I can tell the big question is weather you want to use borax or liquid starch. I could not find liquid starch locally but I ordered some from for less then $5.00 including shipping.   This tutorial had the kids mixing the ingredients in a large freezer. The kids enjoyed this for a while and its a good way to work on finger strength. It was pretty stringy and slimy when we took it out of the bag though. We played with it for a bit and then put it in airtight containers. It was less slimy and more fun on day two and is still doing well a week later. This purple stuff is made with borax using this tutorial. I barely even stirred it because the kids were yelling for me to help them while I was mixing it. It is not as stretchy or slimy but has a nice soft consistency. it was fun day one and also continues to be. I also used this tutorial but it was pretty much just like the other liquid starch one except that you just mix the ingredients together instead of using bags. Probably better if your kids aren't helping.  Now that its all made we hide plastic frogs and marbles in ours. Picking them out is fun and good for fine motor skills. So for now I think we'll be sticking with the borax type. I've got two more types to try plus some fun other kinds of dough and what not.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last Day of School Dress

A few weeks ago when I was planning my 1940s dress I spent some quality time looking at vintage patterns on Etsy. I didn't buy any but I loved this one and this one. I don't think I could have resisted if they had been Emily's size but since they weren't I decided to see what I could do with what I have here already. That was the point of the no new patterns challenge after all.  I looked through my stash for a pattern with a similar bodice and settled on Simplicity 2265

I took some pictures of the process so I could tell you how to transform your very own modern pattern into a 1940s style sundress.

First, I used my curved ruler to mark where I wanted to to put the ruffle into the bodice.  I'm pretty sure the original had real princess seams but I've yet to meet a 4 year old who needs these so I just cut a curve and added seam allowances. 

I didn't use the same part of the curve for the back but I did make sure that both curves intersected the shoulder notch so the pieces would line up.
I made the ruffles really long so they would be super fluffy.  The bottom tapers down to just the 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Here are all the bodice pieces and the sash laying out together.  The sash is a full width of the fabric and about 3in wide.  I really just eyeball these things so I don't have an exact measurement.  As you can see I also added length to the bodice.  Emily is tall and I wanted it to come to her waist.

I sewed the front and back inner pieces together at the shoulder.
I decided to do the neck with ric-rac instead of lining.  I forgot to stay stitch though and I really should have.  I also trimmed the ruffle with ric-rac then gathered it and sewed it to the inner bodice.  Do remember to finish the seams before you put the ric-rac on though so you don't get strings.

Then I sewed the shoulder seams for the outer bodice pieces.  I marked the back so I wouldn't get confused.  I also trimmed the arm wholes with ric-rac.
It was hard to get a good picture of this but all you do now is sew the outer piece to the inner piece with the ruffle sandwiched in the middle.   

I had to fold the sash a little to put it onto the waist band.  I like this look though.

I didn't take pictures of the skirt but its pretty simple too. I wanted to do a full width of fabric for the front and the back which would have been super full but I cut a piece wrong and had to use half widths. The ruffle is twice the width of the skirt so I used two width of fabric but if I hadn't messed up I would have used 4. I hope you like it. I absolutely love this one. Emily does too but she was pretty sad about the last day of school so she wasn't a great model. Let me know if you have any questions.