Willy Wonka Party-FI

Dinah is five. FIVE! I just can’t believe it. We are only a few months away from Kindergarten of all things.

Anyway, we had to celebrate in style. I mean, FIVE is a big birthday.

On one of our pizza and a movie nights last year we introduced the girls to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and they were entranced.  It is hilarious how much they love it…even the boring parts at the beginning…even “Cheer Up, Charlie.” (!) Shortly after that Dinah decided that she wanted a Willy Wonka party for her fifth birthday…and I was happy to oblige. Dinah still has many friends of both genders, so we aren’t ready for all-girl parties just yet. That means that I am always on the prowl for good party themes that would be fun for boys too. Willy Wonka fit the bill.

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(For more details about her Willy Wonka dress…please see this previous post.)

I prefer to have birthday parties at a park right now, so we keep things fairly simple. But there were lots of chocolate factory touches.

Over-sized lollipops, gumdrop towers, lots of candy, cupcakes, Fizzy-Lifting Drink, lollipop trees and golden chocolate eggs and more!

Christian, my “party minion” (his words, not mine!) was actually the one who actually made most of everything.  He’s the best!

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For the favors I found glittery top hats for each kid and included a bag of chocolate factory treats. Fizzy-Lifting Bubbles, Chocolate River Milk, Lickable Wallpaper (candy buttons), Wonkavision Goggles (shutter shades), a golden egg filled with chocolate and, of course, a Wonka Bar with Golden Ticket. I made all my labels and thought I would share them with you. CLICK HERE for a printable pdf containing the labels to wrap Hershey bars as Wonka bars and to label the other favors.

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I made two types of cupcakes: chocolate with chocolate frosting and orange with green-colored cream cheese frosting (you know, like Oompa Loompas).

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Friends began to arrive and dug into snacks and favor bags. Park parties are the best because kids can just play and grown ups can chat…no pre-planned games or activities required!


Cupcake time! Everyone’s favorite time!


She’s got a golden ticket!

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Thanks to all our friends and family who were able to come celebrate our big girl’s big day! It was a blast!


Easter 2014-FI

I’m cutting this week’s Project Run & Play challenge deadline really close! I’ve had a lot going on with work at church the past couple weeks, so I’ve only been able to sew here and there in between getting all my other stuff done. I was able to get out this morning to take pictures of the girls in their Signature Style looks and now I am quickly putting together this blog post while the big girls play and Miriam takes a nap. Hopefully she gives me enough time! A crawling baby does not allow mama to work on the computer!

For my Signature Style this cycle I wanted to create the girls’ Easter dresses. I’ve been wanting to sew up a Junebug Dress by Craftiness is not Optional for a long time now and if I was going to make one for Dinah I would need to do it soon. I love this pattern, but I think it looks best on little little ones and Dinah is getting to be such a big girl!

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I’ve always thought this pattern would look great in seersucker, so I chose to make each girl a dress in a different color of seersucker. It is so light and springtime-y and a perfect representation of our style. Classic, simple, easy-to-wear.

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I sewed up the pattern pretty much exactly as it was written. My only alteration (if you could call it that) was to leave out the elastic from the sleeve cuffs. I liked the way the sleeves looked like this better.

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The pattern doesn’t go down past the 18 month size, so I had to size the pattern down to a 12 month size for Miriam.

Miriam is showing all her precious teeth.

The seersucker is slightly see through, so I paired the big girls’ dresses with simple eyelet trimmed slips. I love the look of the eyelet peeking out.

I remember having hats as part of my Easter ensembles (usually sent to us by my Grandma Priest) and thought I would give the girls hats too. Esther opted out of having a hat and requested a bow instead. For Dinah I made the Oliver + S Little Things to Sew Bucket Hat. I added some flat piping between the brim and the crown and a little bow. Miriam’s little bonnet comes from Purl Soho and it is too sweet.

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Let me tell you, photoshoots on location with two preschoolers, a baby and no assistant are a challenge! I was able to get a few decent shots of the three of them together, but no real “money shot.” I’m just glad Miriam wasn’t a total melting down disaster this time. They were having fun together, so that is something.

Happy Easter!

Miriam of the Sea-FI

This week’s challenge for Project Run & Play was for us to design our own fabric and use it in our look for this week. Christian suggested that I actually create a design and have it printed by Spoonflower. I knew I wanted to design something special for Miriam, but I wasn’t sure what at first. Then I started thinking about doing something that had to do with Miriam’s name or her story in the Bible.

For those who don’t know Miriam was the older sister of Moses who followed him as he drifted down the river in his little basket. And Miriam’s name has several possible meanings, but one of which is “of the sea.” Well, that is two ways that water is referenced. That seemed to answer my design dilemma.

I decided to do a wave pattern with two alternating colors. The green represents the Nile River in Miriam’s Biblical story and the blue represents the sea in her name.

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For her dress, I wanted to use a pattern that showcased the actual fabric. I just loved the new Garden Party Dress by Oliver + S the second I saw it and knew that this would be perfect for Miriam’s dress.  I really enjoyed sewing up this pattern (as I do with most Oliver + S patterns) and already have plans to make a version for Esther.

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I actually finished her dress last week, but because of weather and our crazy schedule I wasn’t able to get out and take pictures of her in it until today. And, of course, she started getting sick today. It’s pretty gross…snot, goopy eyes, the works. So, she was pretty grumpy today. I got a few good pics of her and the dress, but as you can see from the last picture, she was DONE after just a few minutes. (Also, she really hates sitting in the grass…you can see her holding up her little foot so it doesn’t actually touch the grass. Silly baby.)

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Poor sick baby. 🙁

A Trip to Italy-FI

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy”

― Giuseppe Verdi

The challenge for Project Run & Play this week was “Spring Break.” We were to be inspired by a favorite vacation spot and create an outfit representing that.

After a couple brief thoughts of the beach (because that is easy in Florida) I remembered that I actually don’t like going to the beach. So, I changed my thought process to be more along the lines of where I would love to go, if I could go anywhere and that led me almost immediately to Italy. I was able to go on a whirlwind trip to Europe with a good friend and her family in 2004 and our time spent in Italy was definitely my favorite. I daydream quite a bit of going back with Christian and of taking my girls there to show them where our family came from.

Italy is the perfect inspiration for this challenge. I had a general idea of what I wanted to create, but I did a ton of research on Rome street wear and classic outfits associated with Italian travel. I had a lot of fun with my Pinterest board with this one and now I want to visit again ASAP!  What I found were a lot of sundresses and striped shirts with a pop of color.

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These styles were really easy to replicate for my girls and the result was a new sundress for Dinah and the cutest nautical-inspired outfit for Esther. I also am lucky in that I actually got to take my pictures in Italy…well, in the Italian pavilion at Epcot at least. I knew were were visiting Disney for Dinah’s birthday during spring break and made this photoshoot one of the things to do while we were there.

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Okay, let’s break these down.  Dinah first…

I found this knit a few weeks ago at Joann and bought it because I thought it would make the cutest dress for Dinah. So, it was the natural choice for this theme.  Based on the halter dresses that I have made previously I drafted up this cross-front bodice. I bound the edges in a peachy-pink knit including making the halter dress ties. The skirt is a half circle (for spinability) trimmed with an unhemmed knit ruffle.

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For Esther, I knew she could pull of this preppy, nautical look (although, I also knew she would be jealous of Dinah’s dress…). I altered the Flashback Skinny Tee to be a boatneck shirt with 3/4 sleeves. (I made the 3T size, but it is on the large side…lots of room to grow!) I attached a pink bow to the shirt for a little detail and to also make it more appealing for my girly-girl to wear. For her pants I created a “Franken-pattern” with the Kid Shorts pattern by Dana at MADE and the skinny jeans pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  I added a cute divided cuff to the legs as well as accented them with sweet, little bows.

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I had so much fun taking these pictures that I started thinking of how I could create outfits inspired by all the Epcot country pavilions.  Maybe I’ll do a series someday…when life isn’t so nuts!

Cozy Tree Frogs-FI

I’m back for another season of Project Run & Play!  I’ve been a bit less organized this time around, so hopefully I can keep up and make all the deadlines!  As with last season, I wanted to combine as many of these challenges with my spring sewing to-do list. Some of them fit the bill perfectly and some are kind of a stretch…but I’m excited to be participating again.

Okay, let’s get started!…The first challenge for this season is “Put Me in the Zoo.” We are supposed to create a look inspired by a favorite animal (either mine or the children’s). I admit this challenge had me completely stumped. My favorite animal is the tiger, and while I love them, any thing I could think of inspired by tigers would be either too costume-y or too animal print-y. So, I started asking the girls what their favorite animals were, hoping for some inspiration that way. Strangely they said frogs…ooookay. And that answer stayed the same over a couple days, which is unheard of. The girls needed new pool/beach robes, so frogs could work, but I was not liking the idea of doing something boring and green. But then Christian reminded me of all the fun, colorful tree frogs there were out there. I especially liked these:

I just love the pop of bright color around the edges and took my main inspiration from that.

I used the MADE beach robe pattern again.  I chose a pale yellow and a minty green color and used a bright pinky coral color for the binding.  I really like how it references the coloring of the tropical tree frogs, with out being a weird froggy costume.

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And now the girls have new cozy robes to wrap up in after all the swimming we will be doing this summer!

They were practicing their “frog faces.” Catching flies with honey. 🙂