datestampSep 28, 2009

.:new dresses:.

I have been saving this Amy Butler fabric for a couple of years, waiting for the right
project to inspire me to cut into it.


I used a vintage pattern from the 60's for the first dress and then made one to coordinate for my younger daughter in a more simple style.
I wish I had more time and creativity to do this more often. I know that they won't
be excited to wear my projects for much longer=)

datestampSep 5, 2009

::a "tiny" party::

Martha Stewart is a good woman.
I picked up one of her party kits at Michael's on clearance last year and had almost forgotten about it sitting in my basement gathering dust.
One of my daughters turned five last week so we pulled it out a few days before her party and I was so glad we did.
The theme was a "tiny" party which worked out great for my tiny girl and a few of her friends that were invited with tiny invitations.
When they first arrived, they had some tiny playtime with polly pockets and a dollhouse and colored pictures on tiny pieces of paper. Then they played a few tiny games like sardines and birdie, birdie, mouse (the tiny animals they thought of in lieu of ducks or a goose).
Then, they had a tiny lunch with tiny plates, cups, and forks. We served mini pizzas, tater tots, baby carrots, grapes, baby goldfish, stick pretzels, and mini marshmallows.
We finished things off with some tiny cupcakes, tiny party hats, and goodie boxes to send home.
She opened a few presents and then they all got on the bus together, headed for kindergarten. It was very simple, the girls had a great time, and there was minimal stress and clean up afterwards. I'm not sure if it was the lack of a character to plan around or the novelty of something different but I actually enjoyed the planning AND the execution of everything. And, that doesn't happen very often.

Thank you, Martha.

datestampJul 16, 2009

.::Bake Sale::.

My projects have been few and far between this summer, with the kids all at home and needing my complete attention.  So, I have to take the few opportunities I can find, and run with them.  My son's baseball team hosted a tournament this past weekend and as a fundraiser, a few of us crazy moms decided to host a bake sale.  And, really........can you have a bake sale without matching aprons for the help??  I didn't think so.  
Halle modeled for us while Amy (visiting from Spain!!) got her photo/crafty fix behind the camera.   Oh, the fun we would have and the time we would waste if she were here all the time.
Work it, girl.
The lovely ladies before the big sale, and the big rain, and the lack of customers.........
They made up for it by going mobile......and for good reason.  Could you resist these gals and a box of donuts??  

datestampJun 21, 2009

C {squared}

My neighbor has boy/girl twins who just turned one a couple of days ago.  I refer to them as C-squared:)  I have been wanting to do something like this for them for a while and their mom and I finally put our heads together and came up with these shirts.  I used a blanket stitch around the edges for a change because I am a bit tired of the zigzag stitch and fighting with puckering/tension issues.  I like how they turned out AND I get to watch and see how they hold up after going through the wash a few times.  

datestampJun 3, 2009

b is for bella

What is it about 1st graders and their teachers? My daugher, Emma, absolutely adores her teacher and hangs on every last word that she speaks. Her teacher has a 1 year old daughter named Bella and Emma has been begging me to make her something all year. Telling me that her teacher had "requested" certain things (me knowing that Emma had graciously offered my services on a daily basis). So, last night when I realized that it was the last opportunity to fulfill her wish, at 12:30 am no less, I pulled out my fabric and started thinking.
Luckily I had a spare white t-shirt and some big ideas.  What started out as a simple applique quickly turned into a three hour project with ruffle pants to complete her look.  Why is it that all the good ideas come in the twilight hours?  Anyhow, I snapped a few pictures this morning just to make sure that it all wasn't a dream, and then sent off a very happy 7-year-old girl to her last day of 1st grade.  It was a long night but I have to take advantage of this limited time I have before she doesn't think I'm cool anymore.  

datestampMay 28, 2009


I haven't had much time for the last few weeks to sit down at my sewing machine.  Luckily, a good friend had a birthday and so I had an excuse to use this fabric I have been saving for a while.  It seems like aprons are all I have time to make lately but I have big ambitions to get some fun dresses/skirts done for my girls in the near future.  I didn't use a pattern for this one, just inspiration from a party an amazing friend threw for her daughter (she made aprons for all the little girls)  

datestampMay 18, 2009

sewing lessons

I have great memories of my mom patiently teaching me to sew.  We had a big family so I know that her time was very limited but I am so glad that I learned the basics of quilting, window treatments, embroidery, following a pattern, and sewing.  Aside from those skills, I think the most valuable thing I learned was to have a desire to create in my own way.  I find it very satisfying to see a project through from the vision inside my head, all the way to completion.  Most of the time, my finished product isn't exactly what I had pictured but I learn something new every time I try.  
My 7-year-old daughter has been begging me for her own sewing lessons lately and I have a hard time finding quiet moments to teach her.  I am not ready to let her have free reign over my precious Bernina so I have not been sure where to start.  A good friend suggested letting her draw a picture on some fabric and then putting it into a hoop to learn embroidery.  We tried it out yesterday and she was in heaven.  It kept her occupied for a long time and she has big plans for future designs.   I really want my girls to enjoy being creative and to develop an attitude of wanting to figure out how to do something on their own rather than just buying it off of the shelf.  (Even if it is cheaper and quicker to do so)

datestampMar 30, 2009

Rugby, anyone??

These window treatments have been bouncing around in my head for the last 6 months or so.  I was dying to incorporate some sort of rugby stripe into the room and this is what I finally came up with.  One thing is for sure, I am NEVER going to repurpose old curtains into something new.  I had picked up a few packages of red Pottery Barn panels at the outlet for cheap with the idea of cutting them up for a future project.  That was mistake #1.  None of the lines were straight and it was a mess trying to get everything to line up the way I wanted it to.  Mistake #2 was trying to use the old boards from my former window treatments.  They were 2" too wide so I had to take them all apart, have a nice neighbor cut them to the right size, and then rebuild them from scratch again.  
I had a hard time getting a good picture of the three windows in the room but here they are.  I am SO glad to have this project done!

fun felt applique


I have been doing a lot of the fabric letter appliques and wanted to experiment with felt.  Some friends of mine (who are sisters) both had babies within a week of each other so these were a perfect little gift for them.  They have a "J" thing into the third generation.  After ironing them on, I thought they needed a little something extra so I hand-stitched around the letters with embroidery thread and I think they look a lot better.  Although, next time I think I would have done the hand-stitching before the adhesive because it was a pain sewing through all the layers. 

datestampFeb 28, 2009

Aprons for Auction

PhotobucketI went out on a limb and made a couple of aprons for a fundraiser we are having for our baseball team.  I don't know why I have such a fear of "selling" my handmade items.  I even have an etsy shop that remains empty to this day.  I guess it comes from not having any formal training other than lessons from my mom or online tutorials/library books.  Maybe I just worry that they will fall apart or not last through the first washing.  Silly.  But, its something I need to get over if I want to keep creating.  I think my first ambition would be to just sell enough things to pay for my fabric addiction......especially because my friends and family are going to get sick of the same gifts for every holiday! 
I made a matching mother/daughter apron and included two rolling pins and Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, "Deceptively Delicious".  It's funny because I wasn't too excited about this fabric while it has been on my shelf but I love how they turned out.  Now I am going to cross my fingers that someone actually bids on this at our auction!

datestampFeb 26, 2009

Cake pops

PhotobucketMy kids' favorite treat to take to school for their birthdays are these fun little cake pops.  This week we had a half-birthday at preschool to celebrate and we had enough left over to send in for a baby "sprinkle" for another teacher.  These treats are time consuming and messy BUT, so fun to make and look at when I am done.  I do have to say that they get easier each time and I have learned several tricks to make the process smoother.   

datestampFeb 15, 2009

Hoopin it up

PhotobucketAmid the craziness that is birthday planning, I decided that we couldn't very well have a basketball party without personalized jerseys to send home with each guest.  Due to the lack of tank top selection in early February, I ended up having to buy a couple 3 packs of Hanes tanks to get the job done.  These were not my finest work but they were fun to have hanging on the railing as the guests arrived.  They each had their own letter and we snapped a photo of each guest for my idea of turning their photo into a mini trading card to send with their thank you note (which may or may not ever happen)  These were a late night-before project with shockingly shoddy construction and most likely won't make it through more than one washing.  but they served their purpose!  

datestampJan 22, 2009

twirly skirt

I made this outfit for my little niece's birthday.  I have been looking for a good twirly skirt tutorial and found a great one here ( I used the extra twirly version)  I changed up the hem a bit and then added a fun little headband.  I was so tempted to keep going and do a fun fabric flower for the headband or some matchy-matchy bows but I am working on knowing when to stop.......THAT is the hard part.

datestampJan 9, 2009

Teacher gifts

Back in the summer, I thought it would be lovely to give handmade gifts to my kids' teachers and to a few friends.  I'm not sure what happened over the next few months but there I was, the night before, churning out 10-12 aprons in record time.  Thanks to a good friend, I had an amazing book to get ideas from, A is for Apron.  Since time was of the essence, there was no patterns being used, no measuring, just lots of eyeballing, pressing, and guesstimating going on.   These are a few of the ones we gave away.  And I am not making another apron for a while!