Monday, May 16, 2016

Princess Dress Up Skirts

A couple of years ago Frozen was the big thing in our home. I won't be sad if it is a long time before I hear the song Let it Go again. Emma loved everything Frozen and at two and half years old she was just getting into playing dress up. I found some pretty blue fabric,  fabric with glittery snowflakes on it and decided to make her an Elsa outfit.
Because Emma was only two at the time she could pull elastic pants and skirts up and down, but couldn't easily dress her self otherwise. We were also beginning potty training and I didn't want complicated dress up clothes getting in the way. This is how the dress up skirt was born. (In my home anyway. I'm sure this had already been thought of by someone else). I made a very simple Elsa inspired skirt and a cape. It was a huge hit on Christmas morning and it is still affectionately worn by Emma and often times Leah.
As Emma has gotten older she has started to notice and love more Disney princesses and Elsa is not the favorite anymore. As she was approaching her fourth birthday, she asked if I would make her a Belle dress, because "Belle has brown hair like me." I'm always so excited when the girls request I make something for them. Most times I'm forcing (in the most loving way) all this handmade stuff on them.
I took a trip to Joann's and found some really pretty yellow fabrics, but because I had just made up the Elsa skirt I really wasn't sure what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to keep it a skirt, because that has really worked out, but other wise I had no idea how to make it "look like Belle." So I did what I do too often, I just started sewing with no real plan.
Here's what happened.

Note, all pictures she was in motion. This girl loves to dance.

I think it turned out awesome, but that's just my "humble" opinion. I've had several people ask how I made it. I wish I had taken step by step pictures, but I was too concerned with figuring out what I was doing. Maybe one day I will make it again, do a better job, and take pictures with instructions. Maybe.... But for now I will do my best to give my step by step instructions. It was so simple, I kind of hate to share how I did it, you will no doubt think less of my sewing ability. (You will also think much less of my sewing terminology) Oh well, here it goes.....

First I bought 1/2 a yard of the silky yellow fabric (we'll call it fabric A) and 1/4 yard of the shear yellow fabric (fabric B).

I bought my fabric a few weeks before I actually started sewing. When I unfolded fabric A it had natural lines/creases every 8 inches or so running perpendicular to the selvedge ends.

At every natural line/crease I would sew a long running stitch without locking my stitch at the beginning and end. I then pulled on one end of each of the running stitches to create slight gathers.

Once I had gathered ever so slightly all of my running stitches, I started working on fabric B. I stitched fabric B's longest sides right side together, leaving the selvedged pieces open at the end. This created a long "tube" of fabric. I turned it right side out and rolled the seam of the tube to the back.

I took my fabric B tube of fabric and started pinning it to the right side of fabric A, pretty much in the middle of the length. At every running stitch gather of fabric A, I would gather (let's be real, I just bunched it up) fabric B and pin it to fabric A. I then stitched fabric B to fabric A just over the running stitch.

All of this created my ball gown gathers and extra swooping line of fabric like Belle's dress. (Don't you love my technical wording)

After this, it just gets easier. You have your fabric ready to make a skirt. This lazy day skirt (from Oliver+S) is my go to pattern for making an elastic skirt with pretty much any fabric. I only modified the length and hem to make it a long ball gown for my four year old.

I hope this made sense. Dress up skirts are so easy and so much fun for little girls. I would love for you to be able to make a Belle dress for your little girl with brown hair (or blonde, or red, or any color hair!) If you have any questions please feel free to ask! If you make your own princess skirt, please feel free to share what you made and how!

Leah did not want to be left out. This is the Elsa inspired skirt. The cape was made out of the snowflake fabric. It has held up nicely, but I have sworn off ever sewing a glittery fabric again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sewing for Boys

As I've already mentioned I'm in a new season of life. The biggest change lately is becoming the mom of a boy! Being a "boy mom" isn't that different yet. Though diaper changes are different and he does grunt when he baby talks (I'm certain the girls baby cooing was far more dainty). I started sewing just before finding out I was pregnant with our first baby, and it was so much fun and easy sewing things for a little girl. When we found out that our second baby was a girl too, it was even easier and fun to sew more things for her. Then we found out we were having a boy.

I was certainly very excited to be having a boy, but after making his bedding and an additional tummy time quilt I was pretty much out of things to sew for him. First of all it is so much harder to find masculine/boyish fabric. If it is meant for little boys it is usually over the top covered in dinosaurs or cars (or something along those lines). Second I quickly realized the lack of accessories needed for a little boy.

I needed inspiration. I needed fabric. Ok I wanted those things.

About a week ago my husband was cleaning out some clothes in our closet. He handed me about four different button up dress shirts and said I could donate them "or whatever". Suddenly I had fabric and inspiration! I decided we would donate some and I would do "whatever" with the rest.

I love taking old things and making them new. Hence the name old, new, sewn and glued. I found a great and free(!) pattern from oliver+s. The sunny day shorts were just want I was looking for and I had masculine fabric from a men's dress shirt. I was ready to make George something other than a blanket. 

I made the shorts using the 6-12 month pattern and I had a quite a bit of extra fabric from the shirt, so I made a matching bow tie (and I could probably get a few more bow ties out of it too).

The picture doesn't do it justice. The shorts and bow tie are just the cutest paired with this white button up shirt. All ready for church on Sunday morning. I've officially had a break through with sewing for a little boy and I'm so excited. I know I'll be using the sunny day shorts pattern again in the future. (I'll probably make some for the girls too) Plus it is always a bonus when you can use something you already have at home.

Everything was just perfect, until.............. 

Ole thunder thighs (as I affectionately call George) wouldn't fit in the shorts. hashtag fail.

I'm not sure if the pattern doesn't take into account the size of the diaper. I don't know if maybe George is really that big (possibly) or if I was sewing a little too haphazardly and made them too small (most likely). Either way I still love the outfit and maybe we'll have another little boy one day that will look just as cute in it, at about 3 months younger.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Where, What and When

Where have I been? What have I been doing? When did all this happen?

Completely understandable questions. It has been quite a while since I last posted anything on this blog. My last blog post was in December 2013(!) Since then we have been pretty busy with life and I am by no means complaining.

In February 2014 we welcomed our second child and daughter, Leah. Leah is such a blessed addition to our family, but she also didn't like to sleep much. In the spring of 2014 we were also planning our move from South Carolina to Georgia. We made the move that summer and spent the rest of 2014 settling in our new home and getting used to being a family of four.

Moving into 2015 we were just feeling like we were getting adjusted to life in a new place. Robert and I had a fantastic ten day trip to South Africa in March. We were celebrating our upcoming fifth wedding anniversary. I cannot say enough good things about South Africa. We love it and we would love to go back many more times.

April 2015 we found out that (surprise) we were expecting our third child! While we were all very excited, I was also a little (read a lot) overwhelmed at the thought of three children under the age of three. I can certainly testify to God's grace in so many ways and the transition to three children has not been too difficult.

We welcomed our third child, our first son, George in December of 2015. What a sweet blessing George is to our family. He is so loved by his two big sisters, Emma and Leah. His parents think he's pretty great too.

All these wonderful things mentioned are definitely not the only things occupying our time for the last two and a half years, but probably the biggest and most rewarding. As wonderful and full as our life is I didn't have a priority in blogging. Though I still found time to cook, sew, read, and create.

Hear me when I say, blogging will still not be a huge priority in my life. I know my children are growing and changing faster than I even realize. Life is busy and it goes quickly. However part of the reason I want to start blogging again is to record God's goodness and grace in my life. I'm in a new season of life. God has given me a love for creating and making. I also have a desire to share those things with others. I've had times when I had an etsy shop, sold in markets, taken custom orders, and shared in other ways the things that I was creating. All that I do is only by the grace of God and in this season I'm going to share it via this blog.

I want to remember my children's littleness and the fun things I got to cook for them and make for them. Practically I want to remember how I made some things and be able to reproduce them again. I want to remember meaningful books and the fun ones too. I want a place to put thoughts and ideas into writing. Maybe I'll inspire someone else to make something. Maybe I'll help someone else going through similar things. Maybe you'll be able to encourage me. Maybe no one will read this except myself. All of that is just fine!

I hope you enjoy walking through life with me here. Please make this blog a conversation and share what you are making and how God is working and creating in your life.

So without further ado, let me get things moving again and catch up just a bit..........

Here are a few of my favorite things that I made in the last two and a half years. I hope if you like something and are curious about it that you will ask! I might be able to make it for you or tell you how you can make it for yourself.
Note cards and envelopes for a local market I participated in.
An oliver+s dress I made for Leah
Baprons, maybe my best seller and favorite thing to sew and give.
Definitely the most requested Bapron.
The bandana bib started as a favor for a friend. It grew into a favorite thing to sell at market

Snow much fun to be one! Leah's first birthday party

Fabric state maps. I had so much fun creating custom fabric state maps for a local Mom's group fundraiser.
George's Christmas stocking. All three kids have quilted stockings using the same fabric. They all look different but they all coordinate.

Christmas 2014 we started doing advent with our children. Each envelope has a scripture telling the Christmas story. This past year we also had a puzzle piece in each envelope. Each piece has a magnet on the back so it could be put together on the refrigerator. The entire puzzle is a picture of the nativity.
A boy playtime and tummy time quilt.
George's baby quilt.
George has an Explorer's theme nursery

A wreath for the hospital door and our home to welcome our sweet little boy.

Baby mittens.
Maybe my favorite project in the last 2 years. Unique fabric scrap map of the United States of America.

I'm sure I'm forgetting even some of my favorite things, which is precisely why I'm excited about coming back to the blog! Stay posted, I promise the next post won't take me two and a half years to write.