datestampSep 13, 2010

::little white dress::

I am guessing everyone out there has already discovered the delightful emersonmade website.  I could (and have), spent a whole lot of time looking at each and every beautiful photo.  I love her style and simple, clean look.  I truly wish I could afford to buy a flower in every color and style but alas, I had to figure out a way to do it myself.  I cut out a bunch of templates and then bought a rainbow's worth of fabric to test things out.  Along the way, a friend asked me to help with her daughter's baptism dress......I am pretty sure I steered the design selfishly so that I could try these out!  We went with a simple silk-shantung dress with a little cluster of fabric flowers at the shoulder.

This was such a fun project for me to do.  And, for a beautiful little girl on a special day.  
Now, to build up the courage to wear one myself!

datestampAug 18, 2010

summer "sewing"

I usually tend to put a big hold on most creative endeavors over the summer.  There is just simply not enough time to keep four kids entertained and fed, the house clean (I am using that word very liberally), laundry done,  and surviving our busy sports schedule.  
I occasionally do make a few exceptions.

In this case, I was handed 20+ baseball jerseys with a pile of patches by my extremely generous husband.  By generous, I mean that he is "generous" with my time and talents, ha!  I am usually copied in on all the team emails he sends out but I must have mistakenly been left off the one where he told everyone to bring their jerseys to the next practice so that I could sew on the patches before our World Series.  Not that I minded, it just added to the hilarity of my to-do list on the day before we left for Puerto Rico, where the team was playing.  

 Funny, it actually felt good to sit down at the machine, after I managed to find it under the piles of fabric and other such nonsense that had piled up over the last few months.

And, even though it really didn't put my skills or brain to much work, I enjoyed the process of centering, pinning, and backstitching my way around each patch.  Such a nerd, I know.

My little guy even kept me company throughout the process.   

 So, there you have it......the extent of my sewing this summer.  Although, I just stumbled upon a new project that caught my eye, and my sister asked me to help with flower girl dresses for her upcoming wedding.  I can't wait!  More details to come....after school starts, of course.

datestampMay 31, 2010

For the teachers

One of these years, I am determined to have all my kids' teacher gifts ready before the last day of school.  This year school got out a week earlier than usual so it was a bit hectic trying to fit in all the end of year parties, field days, and presentations.  By the time all that was done, it was the last day and I was caught yet again empty-handed and unprepared.  Lucky for me, I have a good friend and neighbor who is always on top of things like this.  She sent me a great link to a blog named eighteen25.  I know there are a lot of great sites out there with good ideas but I love that they offer printables so that I can pass them off as my is something I seem to excel at.  I mean, why try to come up with something original when someone else has already gone to the work of doing it and sharing it with the world??

Here are the ones I ended up using:

I bought the glass jars at Wal-Mart and then just printed out the labels and used glue dots to secure them.

 I filled up these colorful bags and a few cellophane bags with wrapped gumballs/starburst for the know, the gym/art/music/library teachers, bus drivers, and other people who work with my kids.  

So thank you ladies at saved all our teachers from getting gift cards without anything pretty to go with them!  I am sure I will be stopping by more often to "borrow" some more of their good ideas!

datestampMay 25, 2010

Catching up......

This is the time of year that I really don't have much time for creativity........
I am putting in some serious hours at the baseball/soccer fields.  Of course, when
you spend a lot of time at practices and games, you also spend a lot of time 
hanging out with Mr. Clorox and Mrs. Tide.  So, between laundry, sports,
and school getting sewing "corner" is a dusty neglected place.  

I knew that if I didn't post something soon, it would get easier and easier to keep putting it off.  
So, in lieu of any recent projects, I am catching up on a few that I meant to
blog about and never got around to it.  

Some friends of ours hosted a fun evening at their home last fall and
gave "serious" food assignments to all who were invited.  Serious, as in....
it better be good, or don't bother:)  I was assigned to help with dessert and
really, is there such a thing as just dessert anymore?  I mean, these days
desserts are far more suited to their own table with coordinating decor
and multiple choices for all the guests.  

I didn't get any good pictures but I wanted to share a few that were taken by
our host and some from my phone.  We had a great time putting it all together and 
it really wasn't all that much work.  

We went with a brown, orange, and white theme.  I covered a piece of plywood with 
some orange/white Amy Butler polka dot fabric and then just used a piece of
brown cotton for the main table cover and then folded up an orange matelasse fabric
for some contrast in the middle.  

The treats were all quite simple, the colors and white dishes just tied everything together.
If you haven't tried making cake pops yet, I recommend doing them this
way on the first go around.  It was much easier and left a lot of room
for error.

Again, I apologize for the poor picture quality.  I completely forgot
to bring my camera!

I am not sure if this counts as a true crafty project but it was a lot
of fun and a change from the norm for me.
{The white cake stands are Martha Stewart from Macy's and the
other pieces are from Southern Living at Home.}

datestampMar 19, 2010

St. Paddy's Day fun

I am usually pretty practical with the sewing projects I take on.
But, this year, when my daughter came to me with the idea of making green outfits for
St. Patrick's Day......I must have had a sudden brain lapse.  She had it all planned out
in her head and even found some shamrock fabric that I bought a couple of years ago.  
So, I thought it would be a fun project to do since it was her idea
and I knew she would be excited about it.

I used a Sandi Henderson pattern for the ruffle pants (which I highly recommend).  
I have several of her patterns and find them to be very well put together with
easy-to-understand explanations and good illustrations.  Plus, one pattern
covers a wide range of sizes, from infant to 8 years old.

My younger daughter wanted a skirt and I didn't feel like using a pattern so I came up with this 
based on simple Gymboree skirt I saw last fall.  I just kept the fabric folded in half like it 
comes from the store and cut the length I wanted for her.  Then I cut along the fold so I had
two rectangles, each around 22 inches wide.  I sewed the sides together, 
then just rounded off the bottom edges, 
gathered a strip that was twice the width of the skirt, and sewed it onto the bottom edge.  
For the waist, I folded over the top, pressed, and sewed a basic casing for elastic,
and voila!  Easy skirt in around 30 minutes.  (Good thing when using shamrock fabric!)

For their shirts, they wanted something fancy appliqued but I knew they wouldn't wear
them again so I just made some simple fabric flower pins from a tutorial
on katiedid.  For their hair, I had run out of fabric and had lots of
felt leftover from the playhouse I did a couple of months ago. 
I cut out two shamrocks for each girl and sewed each pair together
with wide stitches of embroidery thread and then glued an
alligator clip to the bottom.  Easy and different than their usual
hair ribbons.  

I had fun with this project and it seems my girls will be
celebrating this holiday all year long!

datestampFeb 11, 2010

A Special Dress

At the beginning of the year, I began my search
for the perfect baptism dress for my daughter. After
scrolling through pages and pages of frilly, over the
top dresses online, and having no luck at the mall, I
finally stumbled upon the Crewcuts site and found
quite a few dresses that were a bit more age appropriate
and less "wedding-dress from the 80's" looking. The only
problem was that I wasn't about to fork out the $150+ it would
cost to get one of their dresses for my 8 year old.

This is the one I was drooling over. The simple design, paired with
the dainty, slightly imperfect ruffles had me at hello.
I was feeling adventurous, even though I have very little experience
working with "fancy" fabric. I stopped at the fabric store and
walked out with a yard and a half of white douponi silk for $15 and not
a clue what I was going to do.

I used one of my go-to vintage patterns for the main shaping, the sleeves, and
sizing. After cutting out the front bodice, I eyeballed a line a couple of
inches below the armholes and cut straight across. This piece now became
my template for the placing of the ruffles. I cut five strips of varying sizes and
just started gathering. (FYI, douponi silk gathers on the grain, so your strips
must be cut lengthwise along the selvedge) I found this out the hard way.

Other than a few stressful moments with the zipper and more than a
few problems with the lining....also a first.....I was happy
with the results. When it was complete, I took it to my
dry cleaner and he steamed it for me for a few dollars. I
didn't even want to mess with trying to press it and he
really gave it the finished look that I wanted.

So, here it is. A genuine Crewcuts knock-off dress.
Possibly the first of many......

And, of course we had to accessorize!

datestampJan 7, 2010

..:wedding attire:..

Last week, my brother-in-law tied the knot with his beautiful bride
at their lovely wedding in Phoenix. As the youngest of five, he has
the good fortune of being the "cool" uncle to 11.5 adoring
nieces and nephews.
I am not quite sure why I volunteered to take on the
daunting project of outfitting these wonderful
children. I think it had to do something with
the fact that black/white/periwinkle are nearly extinct hues
for youngsters during the winter months. Also, it
is quite difficult to find coordinating dress-wear
for the age range of 9 months up to 10 years old.
And, maybe I kind of wanted to take on the challenge.
I blame it on my independent, oldest child, Idahoan
nature that makes me do such things to myself.

Here is the whole motley crew, in what can only
be called a miracle shot, being that they are all
together and happy. Even if they are all looking
at different cameras.......
My niece, Abigail, was happy to strike a pose. She is
a natural in front of the camera, I found.

Here are the girls (minus one very hungry baby).
Please disregard my daughter's navy flower, I have some
color issues. Also, I thought it would be fun to mix
things up with two in skirts and the others in
dresses but after seeing them all together,
I think all dresses would have been the way to go.
I used a simple vintage A-line dress pattern, added a slight
mock-neck collar and some puffy sleeves, and some bias trim
for a contrasting hem.

And, the boys. I made their ties using this tutorial. It was my first time with ties
so they weren't perfect but I found the instructions easy
to follow and I will definitely try it again. My little
guy got a bow tie which was surprisingly easy, a good thing
since it was a 1 a.m.-night-before-leaving-project.

Now, I think I am going to send my beloved Bernina on a little
vacation. At least for a few months because I really
thought she was ready to blow at some point in

cupcake apron

I made this fun apron for a teacher at my kids' school.
Ric-rac just has the ability to make things a whole
lot better.

My New Years Resolution:
Use More Ric Rac. the (sewing) world turns....

Whew! It has been a while. Not for lack of projects, rather, for lack of any time to blog about them. It seems like once October starts, I need to strap myself down tightly in preparation for the wild ride of self-imposed creative stress that comes with the holidays falling right on top of each other until this moment. Now, as the new year begins, I am able to look back and wonder what all the fuss was about and dream of somehow getting an early start next time around.

Back at the beginning of October, a friend invited me to be a part of a local craft show. It sounded innocent enough at the time so I enthusiastically agreed. Fast forward to a couple of days before the show in December, and I was in an absolute panic. Where had all my time gone? I don't know, but there were a lot of aprons and girly head decor whipped up in a matter of hours.
The funny thing is, that after all the stress of wanting everything to be just right, the craft show was not well attended and only a few of my things actually went home with new owners. I was disappointed mostly in the hours I had wasted and the sleep that I missed out on. Luckily within a week, everything I had prepared was sold via word-of-mouth or given away as holiday gifts. I didn't even get a photo of everything but here is a smattering of apron-fun......


datestampJan 6, 2010

last minute Christmas wish fulfilled!

My daughter only had one item
on her Christmas list this year:
Her very own "workshop" 

I wasn't sure what she had in mind,
but I was determined not to add any more 
store-bought mammoth contraptions 
into our house.  I just managed to
get rid of my girls' beauty shop
and baby care center, and the kids
kitchen will be the next to go.  

I saw this card table playhouse idea
a couple of weeks before the big day,
and then skedaddled to get myself
some felt!

After being heavily inspired by this cute etsy shop, 
I sketched out my four walls and started cutting.

After reading through a bunch of tutorials, I think the best
advice was to finish each of the four walls separately
and then sew them all together at the end.

My goal was to make it fun and cute but
not so feminine that the little brother
couldn't hang out as well.

In the end, my daughter was so
excited and proceeded to drag
all of her other gifts inside to
open at her leisure.  

She spent most of the day in her
little "workshop" and even
dragged her blankets inside
for a campout that night.  I
put little tap lights under the table
which really boosted the fun factor.

Not bad for a gift under $30.  Luckily, 
felt (and 5 year olds) are very forgiving so the 
stress/time were pretty minimal.