Our final challenge for Project Run & Play each season is our “signature look.” Since (as I have said previously) I am combining challenges with my spring sewing list I thought this would be a good chance to sew Miriam’s Baptism Dress AND show off the big girls’ dresses since I had never photographed them well and shared them here.
Dinah’s baptism dress was pretty much the reason I got back into sewing. I knew I wanted to sew this special gown myself so that was when I set about re-learning how to sew. I actually talk more about Dinah’s dress in one of my first posts.
Esther’s dress I made using the same pattern as Dinah’s…but I eliminated the pleats and tried my hand at smocking. I like how it turned out, but, MAN, smocking is a lot of work! I even skipped the pleating part and just smocked from dot to dot on the swiss dot fabric.
One detail that I included on each dress is some hand embroidery. They are just some simple daisies and leaves/vines. For Dinah’s dress I actually just followed the pattern for embroidery that came with the dress, but I went a little off script for Esther’s by doing just a couple flowers with leaves in the center of the bodice.
Both girls got little matching bonnets as well. These are basically simple rectangles of fabric with casing at the back for the ribbon ties. The fronts are folded back and I added ribbons at the front corners for tying under the chin. Dinah’s was very Amish looking…not on purpose. Basically I made the initial rectangle way too big, so I had to do a double fold which gave it that Amish-y look. While Esther’s was the right shape, it seemed dull to me, so I added some ribbon as trim along the folded back band.
When it came time to make Miriam’s dress, I wanted to do something a little different. I used Simplicity 7189, view A. I did the 1/2 size, but cut it to the size 4 length to make it more like a gown. Her dress was made with a white quilting cotton from Joann with teeny tiny dots.
For Miriam’s dress I had to create my own embroidery design. Working with a tracing of the yoke pattern piece I drew simple interweaving vines peppered with daisies. I transferred that design to the yoke and stitched it with a lovely bright green and light purple.
I loved the simplicity of the tiny dots, so I just kept Miriam’s bonnet plain with satin ribbon ties in front and back.
So, she is just so cute that I couldn’t resist putting in all these pictures! The following will be mostly for grandparents and other admirers of the model. She is just so precious!
I’ve had a great time sewing along with Project Run & Play this season. I was probably the most organized I’ve been and I actually completed all of the challenges well before each deadline. (Mostly because of our trip to Colorado and Disney…I am finishing this post up in our hotel room.) Hopefully all this preparedness can carry over to the next season!
I hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas! We certainly did…we had all the family here and had a wonderful couple of days of food, presents, and time spent with families. And only one trip to the emergency room (Esther got her eye stabbed by her sister’s fondue fork…just a scratch and she is totally fine…could have been so much worse).
I did hardly any sewing for Christmas this year. The one thing that I completed was a stocking for little Miriam.
I didn’t even make Christmas pajamas this year. I had the fabric all purchased was totally going to do it, but then the weather changed to be way colder and the short sleeve shirts and pants were no longer going to be acceptable. So, off to the mall we went to purchase matching fleece jammies…2 days before Christmas. It was a miracle we found some, but we did!
So, now that it is the new year folks are doing round up posts or posting lists what their plans for the next year are. I thought I would take this opportunity to do a round up of several little things I sewed last year, but never actually posted about.
I had several friends welcome new babies last year so I whipped up some cute little baby gifts.
The first was for my fellow Doctor Who watching friend. She recently moved away, but she would come over and watch new episodes with me while Christian was working. So, a gift for her newest little boy was a no brainer. I made a couple Doctor Who themed shirts. For one I bought a TARDIS embroidery design and stitched it onto a onesie with my favorite Doctor’s (Ten) favorite saying…Allons-y! And then I used a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint to make another shirt declaring that “Bowties are cool” as per Eleven.
The other two ladies that I made something for were both having their first little girls after each having two boys, so I felt something cute and girly was definitely in order. My favorite simple dress to make right now is the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. It has the cutest silhouette and is very simple to whip up quickly. I made one alteration that made the sewing time even quicker. I used the pleated skirt pattern piece, but instead of pleating I simply gathered where the pleats would be. So, I still get the streamlined sides of the dress, but it still has the cute girly-ness of the gathers. I have to say, this is probably my favorite way to make this dress.
For the yellow one I also used some piping along the bottom of the bodice just to give it a touch more visual interest. I also used a snap for the closure instead of buttons because this dress was for a smaller baby and I just hate having to fasten real buttons on the backs of tiny babies. It is just so difficult until they can sit up better on their own.
For the pink one, I decided to make a tunic and include some bloomer shorts. I actually made the tunic out of two fat quarters. I had *just* enough to squeeze out a 12-18 month size. For the shorts I just used one of my self drafted baby bloomer/shorts patterns. This friend also uses cloth diapers and I knew she would need the extra room for all the fluff. 🙂
I, of course, also had a baby this year and I wanted to make the girls something special for their big sister presents. They love being mamas to their dolls and animals and as Miriam’s arrival was approaching they were ramping up their pretend play in this area. So, it seemed like a good time to make them their own little carriers. Dinah refused to be photographed this day, so I just have Esther here. But Dinah’s is identical, except hers has a D on the pocket. I used the pattern from Oliver + S’s Little Things to Sew and they really came together so nicely. I always love their patterns, they are so well written and I usually learn a new trick or two. This book is so great and has lots of sweet projects to try. The one change I made to their carriers is that instead of fitting the carrier on them and then placing the velcro, I simply placed a very long strip of velcro on the straps so the carrier can be adjustable. Now they can wear their babies for way longer!
Later on I sewed up one more quick Geranium…this time for my own Miriam. She was “black and white Dorothy” riding on her tornado (stroller) for Halloween. I used a simple black and white gingham and left it unadorned for Halloween. After the trick-or-treating I spiced it up a bit by adding lime green buttons on the back and a cute little lime green and white striped bow on the front. Too cute!
The final project I’m sharing today was I think one of my very few pieces of “selfish sewing” from last year. With the baby and diaper carrying days approaching I knew I wanted to have a larger wallet instead of a purse. Basically something that could hold everything of importance, including my phone, and would become a clutch when I didn’t have cause to carry the larger diaper bag. I scoured the interwebs looking for just the right thing and found the Necessary Clutch Wallet Pattern at Emmaline. It is such a great pattern and for as fussy as it looks, really didn’t take that long to make. For this I followed the pattern straight up, but I think for future wallets I would add a panel of the stiff interfacing to the front and the back of the wallet as well, just to help it be a bit more rigid. I did make this with Joann’s home dec weight fabric and I know that helped with stiffness as well. I just love this wallet. It is light weight, but has slots for all my cards and several sections. There is a zippered center pocket as well as two flat pockets behind each card holder.
Okay, I think that is everything. The only thing remaining is the baby wrap that I made out of gauze and a square of quilting cotton the day before the baby came because I needed something to do. 🙂 However, it is really hard to get a picture of oneself wearing a baby in a wrap, so you will have to content yourself with this picture of Dinah trying it out for me.
I hope your New Year is starting out bright! I am looking forward to what is in store for us too! Coming up…Project Run & Play starts in two weeks! Eek! Get sewing!
…that would be me.
So, I ended up taking a longer break than I had intended from blogging. Sorry to abandon you all, but life seemed to keep getting crazier and crazier. And then the longer I was away the harder it was to come back.
The time away has given me a chance to think about where I want to go from here and re-evaluate some things. I have some exciting plans in the works (if you “like” me on Facebook you got a teaser earlier last week) and the Fall always seems to be my busiest sewing time of year. (Check out the “To Do” list.)
But, for now, let’s recap the second half of my summer.
The biggest thing that I did was coordinate our church’s VBS program. We did a London Olympics theme this year to tie in with current events. We had an awesome week! We made the London skyline along our hallway and each room was a different area of London. Our volunteers did such a great job that I wanted to share some of our work with you.
After VBS my family went on a much needed vacation. We just spent a few days down in Orlando at my parent’s place hitting up some non-Disney things in the area, like SeaWorld and the beach. Last summer I made a robe for Dinah with the Beach Robe pattern from Dana over at MADE. My plan was to make another one for Esther, but just never got around to it last year. I had a little extra time before we left so I went ahead and whipped one up for her.
For both robes I used Ikea bath sheets. I felt these were perfect because they were nice and absorbent, but not very fuzzy. Dinah’s has held up very well through two summers of use.
I love these robes…we have even been using them as bathrobes.
I do have plans to make a couple more with long sleeves to be used for bathrobes instead. Now that I have conquered my fears of bias tape I can complete one of these pretty quickly. Dana’s instructions are really easy to follow and I definitely recommend her pattern.
And the final thing I have been working on is planning and hosting a onesie making party for my sister who is expecting her first little one in September. I decided to make my own invitations for it and I will share how I did them and pics from the party in another post, since this one is already getting too long.
Thanks to those who are still around after my long break…hopefully I will be able to pick my momentum again soon!
What did you make this summer?
Now that the dust has settled from Christmas weekend I have a minute to breath and to blog. I wanted to get this post out before Christmas, but I was working on gifts down to my Dec. 23 deadline and I didn’t want to disappear while we were enjoying family time.
First, I wanted to share a project from last year: our stockings. Last fall I was pregnant with our second baby and I felt it was time to make our family stockings. I grew up with a a crafty mom and we had super cute felt stockings personalized with our names. I loved those stockings, but I wanted a different feel for our family stockings. I looked and looked, but I wasn’t thrilled with many of the DIY stocking patterns/tutorials out there. Until I stumbled upon the Moda Bakeshop. I love this site. It has tons of free tutorials/patterns utilizing the Moda fabric pre-cuts (jelly rolls, charm squares, layer cakes, etc.) and I found the perfect pattern. The His and Her Scrappy Christmas Stockings. I loved the shape and the scrappy look of the stockings. And I thought the plain band would be perfect for embroidering our names.
Since these would be in our family for a long time to come I wanted Christian to have a say in the fabric chosen. We looked and looked at lots of different fabric collections online. The pattern called for a jelly roll so for simplicity’s sake I wanted to stick with collections that carried jelly rolls. Christian tends to prefer more playful Christmas items and I lean towards the more traditional so a compromise was difficult to find. We eventually settled on Makin’ New Friends by Deb Strain for Moda. It was the perfect blend of traditional and playful. And I actually had some foresight and made sure to buy enough fabric to make matching stockings for any subsequent children we might have.
I pretty much followed the pattern exactly…the only embellishment I made was hand-embroidering our names on the bands. Here are the completed stockings…
(I should offer an apology for those photos…they are from last year and not great and I was too lazy to retake them by the time I sat down to actually insert pictures into the post…I promise I will be less lazy in the future!)
Okay, so now this year’s projects which are brought to you courtesy of Pinterest. I only made a couple things in the way of new decorations this year. The first was an Advent calendar. My mom saw this one on Pinterest and had the idea for us all (my sister, mom and I) to make them the day after Thanksgiving.
A few details about them…mom got all the main components together and pre-cut all the pockets and brought them up for the project. We used scrapbook paper and various stickers. Each pocket contains a card with some sort of activity for each day December 1-24. We worked and slaved ALL DAY. Seriously, all day. It was an 11 hour project. I don’t think any of us expected it to be so long! But, they turned out great! Here is all three of ours…
I love how different each one is even with using very similar components. We were all so proud. 🙂
And here is a close up of mine as well as some of my favorite pockets. You can see I opted for uniform numbers on my pockets. It is a sickness of mine.
I also made a couple of wreaths.
One for the front door and one made from live trimmings from our tree. The one for the door was super easy. I just wrapped it in this fun striped ribbon and made a bow. I did want to personalize it, so I painted an “S” and hung it in the middle.
The live one was a bit of a trouble. At first I didn’t think I needed to look up a “how-to”…I mean, I’m crafty, I should be able to figure this out, right? Wrong. I spent a very frustrating hour fighting with sappy limbs and trimmings and all for nothing. It was hideous and I dismantled it immediately in a huff. Christian wisely suggested watching a video or something to learn how (humph.) and so I reluctantly looked up some options. I found a great video that made everything very clear, unfortunately I cannot find it again. Boo. Anyways, it was like an “A-ha!” moment and my next live wreath attempt took maybe 20 minutes. I trimmed it up with a simple berry garland.
The only other thing I worked on (besides gifts) is ornaments. I made the girls’ yearly ornaments and I made some little ones for gifts for my fellow church staff folks and our community group.
I’ve been trying avoid owls since they are so trendy…but they are just so cute! And I decided that having something trendy isn’t so bad for something that represents the year. In 20 years or so when we unpack them we can say, “Remember when owls were so big?”
I wish I could claim that I made up these owls on my own, but alas no. I saw them on Pinterest (of course) and I got the pattern from Juicy Bits. I love how sweet they are!
The other ornaments I made I also saw on Pinterest (again) and they are actually a Martha Stewart craft. They are simply tiny cookie cutters with scrapbook paper glued to the back and tied up with ribbons for the hangers. They were really easy and turned out really cute. (As a sidenote, I purchased a little 4×6 scrapbook paper matstack and it has come in so handy through the whole holiday season. I used it to make a pennant banner for church, these ornaments, gift tags, etc. and I still have a ton of paper left!)
Here are some of my favorite ornaments…
I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year!
Coming in January 2012: Christmas gifts breakdowns, a pattern review or two and more sewing for the living dolls.
We are big football fans in our house. But my husband and I have loyalties to different teams. Most of the time this isn’t a big problem. We tend have wardrobe changes during the day (out of fairness). The girls will be in their Red and Black during my games and Orange and Blue during his. This year I made little dresses for them for Saturday game days. I got little team logo patches from a sports apparel store online and attached them on.
This divided loyalty has caused some confusion in our children though. I’ve taught Dinah how to “Call the Dawgs”
and Christian has taught her to Gator Chomp.
Sometimes this combines…she’ll say “Go Gators! Sic ’em! Woof woof woof!” One day she will do this on camera and we will share.
BUT this is the one week a year our divided loyalties are a problem. Tomorrow is the Georgia vs. Florida football game. So our children have to be divided too.
Basically I took two t-shirts and two onesies, cut them in half and sewed them back together.
I actually made the onesie version for Dinah way back in the day.
The girls will be hanging out with their Granny and Grandpa while we go over to Jacksonville for the Game. We will make sure to get pictures of the girls in their getup tomorrow.