Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rainbow Unicorn Party

It's only been a couple months since the kids' birthdays, so I figure this is a good time to share about Danielle's party :)

I sewed Danielle a dress and tried to go with something with oomph, like I usually do for her birthday dresses. I used the Kenzie's Party Dress pattern from EYMM and did not enjoy making this dress! The math didn't work out right, and the dress looks a little limp without a pettiskirt underneath. But, my birthday girl loved it and is was very colorful and girlie.

The skirt is made from 12 flounces, which are sewn together into three tiers. The top tier has smaller flounces and the bottom two are the same size. I made this dress using fabric from my stash (because my stash is that ridiculous), except for the My Little Pony fabric which I bought for this dress.

The back is cut low and buttons, and there's a very large sash that makes a very large bow (shown looking tired because it's after the party!). I used some clear sparkly buttons, because sparkles go with rainbows and unicorns, right?

Speaking of, when Danielle mentioned that was the theme she wanted for her party, all I could think about was some cookies I saw on Pinterest labelled "unicorn poop". I instantly agreed with the theme, all because I wanted to make those cookies! And we did :)

I ended up using a sugar cookie mix (which made it soooo much easier), and the dough was kind of limp and sticky and hard to work with, so I ended up having to do my own thing for the swirls  instead of following the directions I found. I love how they turned out and the kids loved being able to say the word "poop". We also made rainbow cupcakes (we being me and D--she was a lot of help with the cookies especially). That was cake batter split into separate bowls, then colored and put into cupcake liners one at a time.

Some fluffy white "cloud" frosting and silver sprinkles topped those off.  Lest you think I'm one of those moms that goes overboard on my kids' birthdays, I promise, I am not! I try to balance making and buying things, and I try to get the most bang for my buck. I usually buy a character banner (that's $5), and then coordinate with solid color plasticware and plates and balloons from the dollar store. Add in a themed outfit which is way cheaper to make than buy, and we've got a party! Since Danielle picked a theme that wasn't character based, I did do something special for her banner:

A rainbow balloon arch! I learned to make balloon arches back in college for our military balls, so I used those long-ago skills, $4 dollars worth of balloons and 2 hours of my time (plus an hour of my husband's because he blew most of the balloons up with his air compressor in the garage) to make this. It was high impact and very inexpensive!

I think the most fun the kids had was with a "Pin the horn on the unicorn" game that I got for less than $2. Even little brother played:

Lots of fun without breaking the bank, and most importantly, my girl was over the moon.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Every blog needs some Jalie!

I got some patterns in the mail today and my first thought was that I should post them on my blog. I thought that was pretty funny because I've only posted once this year (and, as a followup, I should add I did NOT end up sewing any items for the wardrobe contest--accountability, schmaccountability)

Here are my awesome new patterns:

I used to think Jalie patterns were expensive (they certainly aren't as cheap as the $1-$2 you can pay during paper pattern sales) but they're actually priced less expensively than a number of independent lines, and the quality and size range is pretty amazing. I've yet to sew a Jalie pattern up, but I have a swimsuit cut out for myself (Jalie 3134) that I hope to work on this weekend, and I've read many an awesome review on Pattern Review.

Jalie is known for their knit/activewear patterns and they just released this super cute leotard pattern that I want to get if my girl starts gymnastics in the fall. How cool are those stripes that extend down the arms?

photo from Jalie's website

In the meantime I plan to sew up the two patterns on the left in my picture above. I started working out a couple months ago because I figure I ought to get started on losing my baby weight now that my "baby" is 48 months old (the months is supposed to sound better than years...ha!) I've been doing a Jillian Michaels workout video twice a week before work and running a couple miles outside on Saturday and Sunday. I've always worn baggy t-shirts and shorts for working out, but it's too hot to wear anything but a tank top and I think it would actually be more comfortable to run in something fitted. Plus Jillian has been kicking my booty and I need some clothes that won't shift around while I'm busy dying doing my workout.

photos from Jalie's website

The Cora is a pattern for pants or shorts and has some cool color blocking options. The Anne-Marie can be a top or dress. I don't play tennis, so I'm interested in the fitted version of the tank (not shown above). The coolest thing is that the top has a pocket in the back--I run with my iPhone and I'm hoping that will be a great place to tuck it. The shorts/pants also have an optional pocket in the back.

Between work and family, I've been keeping pretty busy, but I'm hoping that I'll stick with blogging again. I hope I see you again soon!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I might be crazy!

It's been too long since I posted, as usual, but I have been sewing. I recently reorganized my sewing room (pictures to come in a future post) and decided, quite randomly, to enter a contest tonight. I only have 4 weeks to sew 9 items for myself, *gulp*. I figure if I post about it, though, then I will have some accountability.

Here is my plan:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sewing for Samuel (aka Pattern for Pirates roundup)

Fall is my favorite season, though it is short here in the south! I'm trying to make the most of it, as you might have noticed by the change in my blog's color scheme :) I still have pictures of summer clothes to post, which feels weird because it's fall, so I'm going to shove them all in the next two posts. First up is Samuel!

All of these patterns were tests for Patterns for Pirates. She started off by introducing a lot of boy patterns, many made from knits, and all great wardrobe staples with RTW details. (RTW = Ready To Wear, ie, stuff you'd find in the store). They have a great, modern fit (think longer and slim, vs short and boxy) which I love!

I was so excited about Judy's Buccaneer Basketball Shorts pattern that I bought a dozen different athletic fabrics (from to choose from. It came in handy when she also released a men's version!

This is the Deep Sea V-Neck, with short sleeves, no pocket, and a centered V neckline. There are loads of other options and the shirt is super cute (and Samuel does like it--I asked him not to smile so I could get a non-cheeser picture). In fact, now that I remember it has a long sleeve option, I'm going to have to try to make some of these up for cooler weather!

This pattern was released in sizes 1-4 for an edition of "I love PDF", a digital magazine. It's a tank with some cute side and shoulder panels that can be made in contrasting fabric. I used some athletic fabrics for a muscle shirt, and then used some cotton knits for the striped/animal version. My husband thought the animal knit I used was too girly, so Samuel never wore it, but it was one of my favorite makes of the summer. I thought it was pretty Ottobre-ish :)

These are the Swashbuckler Swim Trunks. They were released a little later in the summer, after Samuel already had store-bought swim trunks, so I made some cute cotton shorts with the pattern.

This shirt is super cool, but you'd never know it by my version! I tested the classic crew neck version of the Wingman Shirt so you need to go check out some of the listing photos so you can see how awesome this pattern is! My fabric choices ended up making the shirt look like pajamas, so Samuel wears it as such, but you can make great day-time tees with it as well. Oh, and super cute, winged shirts too!

You will see these patterns on my blog again, as there are so many options with each pattern--color-blocked swim trunks, button-tab sleeves, pockets... And did I mention I love the fit?! Plus, my sweet boy deserves more mama-made :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fill Me Up, Buttercup

I've been sewing a lot with knits this year. I made myself a dress earlier this year, and I've been sewing a lot for the kids. Today's share is a knit dress I made for Danielle earlier this summer. It's not the usual silhouette she wears--it's A-line and not twirly, but she loves it and insisted on wearing it after the photos.

This is the Buttercup Dress from Cole's Creations. This was actually the first pattern Nicole collaborated on with her mom. Cole and her sisters learned to sew from their mom, and all 3 girls are pattern designers, so I think it's safe to say that this was a natural fit :) Since coming out with the Buttercup, they've put out another half-dozen or so patterns!

The dress has two bodice options--bias down the center front, or just around the neckline. The bias binding is knit, and the directions for how to attach it make it really easy to do. There are lots of options for embellishing this dress and I decided to add the same bias strip around the hem to add some interest. My knits are both from Chez Ami and they were awesome to work with. They're pretty beefy and just feel like quality, if that makes sense:) Though I used "plain" knits, this dress would be super cute with an up-cycled knit as the center front panel. The panel design, and how narrow they are, make them a perfect fit for up-cycling (or for using super pricey knits).

There's still plenty of warm weather here in the South, so we'll get a few more wears out of this dress this year. I've switched my sewing to fall/colder-weather items, but I have a bunch of summer stuff to post on still. Maybe someone in Australia reads my blog and will appreciate it? :)

Just because this makes me laugh :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

3 months and Kindergarten!

Wow, I cannot believe it's been over 3 months since I posted! It's not for lack of content--I have been sewing every week. It's just gotten busy busy around here. One reason is that my girl started Kindergarten!

I was flip-flopping on whether I should make her an outfit and finally decided the night before that I wanted to. I guess I work better with short deadlines.

My big girl on her first day of Kindergarten!

I embroidered a white tee shirt for her and made a skirt to coordinate. The skirt was part of the Addison dress pattern by ModKid. It was the first time I've used one of her patterns and I am in love. The pattern was so nice and and I love the design/presentation of the pattern.  I purchased a few ModKid patterns (I've long admired the Kyoko) and am looking forward to making one up in it's entirety.

The embroidery design is from Hang to Dry Applique. I bought it a couple years ago with the thought that I would use it when Danielle started school. I used some glitter fabric from Hobby Lobby (I found it by the felt) and I can NOT get enough of the sparkle!

Look how shiny it is!!

I struggled to figure out what to pair with the pink and green because I'm not that bold with color and I hadn't realized at first that the "I" was applique and needed fabric too. Then I opened a drawer to get a new bobbin and my eye was caught by glitter sheets and I knew what to do:) 4 out of 4 of my last embroidery projects have involved glitter fabric and/or metallic thread--I think I'm addicted!

The skirt is a basic, two-layer skirt with tabs to pull up the front overskirt. I altered the construction slightly. Instead of gathering the over and underskirt and attaching them to a bodice, I sewed the tops together with the right side of the overskirt facing the wrong side of the underskirt. Then I flipped them right sides out and sewed a casing by stitching through both layers 3/4" from the top and leaving a space open to insert the elastic. The elastic was inserted into the casing between the two layers of the skirt and then the casing was sewn close. Easy peasy! The tabs have the buttons sewn right on them, so no buttonholes, perfect for a late-night project! Though I do love making buttonholes. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Hello Kitty Birthday

My sweet girl turned 5 recently and I wanted to make her a special dress. For her birthday, I like to do something a bit "more"--more ruffly like last year's dress, or more twirly and more pink like this year's. :)

I chose the Peppermint Swirl dress from Candy Castle patterns, so I had Danielle pick the Hello Kitty fabric she wanted for the main print. She chose a sweet pink gingham Hello Kitty fabric and I used a sparkly pink to coordinate. I also used a tone-on-tone white and a hot pink fabric with white spots on it (that reminded me of the strawberries) to round out the flounces.

I didn't get the best pictures--I was sick that week and was rushing to get the dress done on top of the party preparations. That's okay though, birthdays are more important than blog pictures :)

I used a size 4 slim bodice with a size 5 length. It's slightly empire, with a sash between the bodice and the skirt. And oh that skirt! There are 16 flounces, each made of two pieces. I got excited to make her a dress with a 9 foot hem, thinking it would be super twirly. In the middle of hemming it, I wondered why it was taking so long...then I realized I had read the bias requirements too quickly--I used 9 YARDS, which meant the hem was 27 feet around!!

It makes for one very twirly dress! She loved it and it was over-the-top enough for a birthday :) The fit was good but the dress was a little longer than I expected. It hit an inch or two below her knees. That's probably a good thing though--when she gets to spinning, the dress lifts up quite a bit!

She loved her dress and so did a lot of the moms at the party. One of them said she was going to talk to me about a dress for her daughter's birthday. I think she will be scared off when I tell her what I would charge for a dress that takes 4+ hours to make and uses several yards of fabric! It was totally worth it to see my daughter shine on her special day though (cue cheesy/creepy photo effects):

And just because, here's one more picture of that pretty skirt:

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