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Monday, November 23, 2015

Once a bride, always a bridesmaid

This is my lovely friend Chailyn. This beautiful woman just had a baby, and when I mean just... I mean her beautiful baby boy is only 2 weeks old. When she mentioned that she needed a dress for a wedding in 2 weeks that was post-baby-body friendly I thought... We all need something like that. I am in that same boat.... only I had my baby some months ago.... Ahem.. 

Anyway, she is in the wedding party and was told to choose a dress that was metallic. Gold or silver. She needed something that would be forgiving and comfortable, but dressy enough to fit in. She's also moving this next weekend, so this project needed to be a quick one. An easy trip to the fabric store and a couple of fittings later we had this:

I took Chailyn unawares this morning when I went over to her house for her final fitting. I knew finding a time in this new moms busy schedule to do a photo shoot would be challenging. Thanksgiving is this week and she is moving two days later... she's got a lot going on. So I took my camera and caught her without makeup and without her hair done. Sorry Chailyn. :)

Next week I'll be back discussing some post-baby-body friendly looks, and my favorite handmade items that i currently wear all the time!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

3 Reasons to make Rice Bags with a free pattern

I have a dozen or so rice bags in my house at any given time. I have big ones, and small ones, and everything in between. And I don't just use them in the winter. I also don't just use them hot... 

I use my rice bags as ice packs. They are environmentally friendly, I never have to worry about the chemicals that are in store bought ice packs. They live in my freezer and the rice gets very very cold, but never so cold that it will burn the skin. It is perfect for kids, and i love that I don't have to wrap it in a towel before i place it on my skin.  Just note that you can't take a rice bag straight from the freezer and stick it in the microwave for a minute and expect it to be hot. Keep some separately in the pantry for that.

Secret tip: "mom! I need a bandaid!" I hear that at least once a day. Even when there is no blood, or skin penetration, a bandaid works magic and they all of a sudden feel better! But I don't want to waste a box of bandaids every month just to make my kids feel better. Try offering a rice bag in lieu of a bandaid. It works wonders on my kids. "Do you need a rice bag?" "yes"(said with a pouty face, and maybe an effortful tear) and BOOM, after a minute their wound has miraculously healed! Or doesn't keep them down.

I have tiny little rice bags that we use as hand warmers. They are great to throw in the kids pockets before they head to school on frigid winter mornings.  

Winter in Colorado lasts a long time, and my feet get cold so easily. I use rice bags as heating up in the microwave and take to bed with me on extra cold nights, sticking them down by my feet. My kids love them too, and sometimes its just the thing to get a squirmy little one to settle in and stay tucked in bed. They also work great as heating pads if you strain a muscle or your back aches. Ooh, and sometimes my son puts one in his lunch bag to help keep a burrito warm. So many uses.

I have included a tutorial, and for those who really want to be precise, but not measure, I have included a pattern, for the sizes that I use most often. Of course you can make them any size you like.

These make great stocking stuffers. My kids love them. 

What do you use rice bags for? Leave your ideas in the comments.

I forgot to show this part when I made the first one. I either have to find something to support the rice (like the storage box from my sewing machine) or I have to hold it with my left hand, as I feed the fabric with my right hand. I tend not to pin anything, but you may want to pin this part, as the weight of the rice can shift your fabric as you are sewing. I hold it pretty firm all along the edge so bits of rice don't slip into my seam. Don't worry, sewing over the piece of rice won't break your needle.

Ta Da! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Christening Gown

We have had a lot of opportunities to make outfits for baby blessings, like a christening. My mother has made all my girls dresses, and they were so beautiful. Should I show you?  Of course I should.

Leah's Was a cream colored under-dress, with a beautiful lace over-dress or coat, with lace trim, and tiny little cream pearl buttons that secured it at the bodice.

I really just put this one in here because I think it's adorable. :)

Colette's was a white silk with a mauve silk sash. It was simple, but so beautiful.

Anna's was a white chiffon with a satin neckline, and smocking around the neckline. It had fluttery little sleeves and was so sweet. 

When I was pregnant with Hazel my mom asked if I would like her to make another blessing dress. I honestly hadn't given it any thought at that point. So i started looking. (I have an entire blessing dress board on pinterest. Check it out!) 

I finally had an idea of what I wanted, but instead of having my mom make it, I asked her to make a baby blanket for her instead... yeah, she's multi-talented.

So I set off to make my first blessing dress.

This is how it turned out!
I chose 1/2 length sleeves, they go to the elbow. I bought all the fabric at Joanns. I think their lace selection is getting so much better than it was 7 years ago.  It is a simple design, and I think what makes it beautiful is the fabric. It's a great embroidered tulle.

I used a rolled hem on the lining, and simply trimmed the tulle around the natural curves of the embroidery. I used the edge of the fabric for the bottom of the skirt for this very reason. 

And the pretty girl in her pretty dress. 

This is the best picture I could get with the whole dress. She is so wiggly! She kept kicking and pulling the dress up over her head. 

I am so happy with how it turned out. And my sister in law Kristina helped me with the flower headband... yes, I have finally succumbed to infant headwear. But only for blessings. I don't have time for that every day!

I hope you are inspired to make something new for the first time! Trying new things is always the best feeling!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Year

I have loved hearing from a lot of lovely people over the past two years since I took a break from blogging.

Good news! I am still here and I have even been sewing!

I am even hoping to start blogging again.

But first I thought I would update you on what I've been up to!

One of the biggest reasons for my absence has been my kids. Yes, these lovely children. Last year we homeschooled, and my husband was in graduate school, And I found out I was pregnant! It was a whirlwind of a year. We spent a lot of time reading... A LOT. We baked and cooked, and built things, and explored the area where we live and learned a lot about our local geography and climate. We even sewed and created in so many ways. I wasn't very good at photographing these moments. I was more focused on making them happen, which was enough for me.

Leah starting her boat out of cardboard and duct tape for our boat racing   

And lets not forget the importance of play as learning in these early years. It was so magical to see them learn to get along and play together... like with transformers in the doll house. :)

And most importantly we added a new little beauty to our family! I can't post newborn photos just yet, because my computer died and I haven't had my files transferred from the past couple months. I'm running on our back up hard drive. :)

H was born in the middle of July and she is growing so fast we can hardly believe it! I have a few sewing projects up my sleeve for her.

So let's count... 1 boy, and 1, 2, 3, 4 girls!!! Yes, I have 4 girls, and no, my son doesn't hate it, his sisters have nerf gun fights, and dig in the dirt, and catch toads, and play legos just as well as any brother would. 

Lots of girly projects around here people. Lots.

More to come. I promise this time. ;)

Friday, June 13, 2014

What I've been up to

Believe it or not I have been sewing things. I just haven't had the time to take photos and edit photos and write posts, etc. But, here are a couple of things I've been up to

A friend of mine has an adorable little Girl, Cora, who was having 1800's day at school where they were supposed to dress like they were from the 1800's. She bought this adorable turquoise floral cotton and a white muslin and I whipped up a little dress and apron for her. This was her before she went to school that day. I made sure I added a wide enough hem that it can grow with her, since she said she wanted to wear if for next halloween as well. She's adorable.

 And then there was Prom. A good friend of mine has a daughter who just graduated. Back in April (was it April?) It was 3 days from Prom and the dress they had ordered weeks previous had not arrived, and they had no hope of it arriving before Prom night. Dun dun dun da! I magically appeared on the scene with a couple Joann coupons and some sewing machines. Want to know what a house looks like when you have to make a prom dress in a day and a half?


I am not even sure what my family ate during that period of time, But they were great sports. My husband was out of town on business as I recall so it was NETFLIX MARATHON!
But, it turned out pretty good. Emma chose a pink chiffon. She looked lovely. Here are some photos her mom took. 

Sewing is really my only skill... as far as useful things go. So I'm glad I can help other people with it.

But sewing that prom dress I had visions of many many prom dresses to come... I have 3 girls, if they each go to two proms, plus homecoming dances, or things like that, thats 12 formals... Oh my.

Monday, March 17, 2014

This is NOT the End

I have to admit something, I love sewing.

I know, you're thinking "Nuh UH!"

But I don't know if I LOVE blogging, primarily because I feel like I am "supposed to" promote my blog. And said promotion means a lot of time on the computer… or at least more than I'd like. Plus I don't want to be a salesperson. I don't want to have to push my product.

I blog to share. That's it.

And I will continue to share.

But fair warning it might not be as frequent as you might want. for a few reasons.

     #1. I only like to make things when they are useful. And I don't always have a need or use for new 
             things. Making them just for the blog seems wasteful. 

     #2. My husband and I have decided to homeschool our children. Which means a lot less time for    
            sewing and blogging about sewing.

But I will continue to sew and love it, and try to take pictures and share them. I might even do a tutorial every once in a while. :)

This is not the end, just a change in direction.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Girls without all the PINK

Sorry for my absence from the blog. There are two reasons for this:

#1. We are hosting some missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I currently don't have a sewing room. it will only last for 2 more months, so maybe i'll get back to my regular schedule by then

#2. I'm conflicted. I don't want to be on the computer all the time and blogging is requiring more computer time than I'd like. I'm considering shutting down the blog, but I'm not there yet.

But I have been sewing! Here is a little project I made a few weeks ago.

I have never considered myself VERY girly.

When I found out my 2nd chid was a girl I was a little disappointed… what am I going to do with a girl?

But I realized this week that I am much more girly than I thought I was…. I just don't like pink. Maybe it's my three girls that have girl-ified me. I don't know.

I still dislike pink.

This week I had a challenge. My husband was going to a baby shower - yes, that's right, I was staying home and my husband was taking my three older children with him to a BABY SHOWER. A colleague of his was having a baby… a girl… but this colleague did not like girly things, he made sure to mention this several times.

I knew three things about her:

She has a lot of tattoos
She loves Star Wars
She likes to punch people.

I'm not sure about that last one.

This is what inspired me:


How to dress a girl without all the PINK: 

1. Focus on comfortable fabrics
2. Use play-friendly styles, with plenty of give and wiggle room.
2. A GIRL CAN WEAR ANY COLOR, and won't look the least bit masculine as long as the style is right.

The difference between boy clothes and girl clothes:

The Cut: girls clothes are just a tad slimmer through the body, or the legs. (and its easy to take in boy clothes to look for feminine without give up comfort or awesome color variation)

The Sleeves: Girl's sleeves are about an inch shorter (depending on size) than boys sleeves. Again, super easy fix if you have a girl who thinks the boys get all the cool clothes

The Color: you very rarely see pink boys clothes, but the colors they do come it are amazing and are as broad as the rainbow. Then how come pink and purple seem to be the only colors for girls clothing (especially in the infant sizes, under 2 years old!) I say, lets give a little more variety to our girls and show them that a sporty or geeky girl is just as girly as a frilly girl. 

This is what I came up with, all for a total gifting budget of $0 (well, it was probably $10, I just already had the fabric):
This was made from a great sweater knit that is as soft as cashmere. No really, it's amazing and I want to make all my pajamas out of it… and my clothes. I thought the yoke and ruffled bodice made it just a smidge girly without being pink and frilly.

For the t-shirt I used a great slub t-shirt that I thrifted. It was in great condition and had a great texture to the fabric, but the style and shape was ridiculous. So I quickly re-made it into an itty-bitty newborn shirt. Then I traced on the words with a sharpie… yep, I'm fancy like that, and I don't have a cutting machine like a silhouette, nor did I have the time to do a freezer paper stencil.  It took me about 20 minutes to trace the letters… praying I wouldn't mess up and ruin the whole thing. :)