Home     About     Tutorials     Recipes     Quilts     Quiet Books    

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Vintage Sewing Machine Mini Quilt

When I made Grace's quiet book sewing machine page a friend of mine joked that she would take a wall hanging like that, so I made one for her as a surprise.

I added some hand embroidery on the "table" below the machine. It says:

Good friends are like quilts- they age with you and never lose their warmth.

I even tricked her into choosing the saying. Heehee!

The background is leftover from Halley's retro apron and the border is pieced from my scraps.  The backing is a cute novelty print I got at Joann's and I thought it went along perfectly! I know it will be against a wall, but it is still cute.

So, there is another quilt I made this year - back in February- that I never blogged about. I doubt I will finish any large ones this year, but there is always next year!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shoebox Sewing ~ 2-4yo girl

I haven't done shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child in awhile, but I wanted to do one this year. I only did one, and wanted to really focus on making it a nice gift.  I started out with a doll that had ladybugs on its sleeper and a toy ladybug. From there, I built the "theme" around it.

I made a felt ladybug softie. It is fuchsia instead of red, though, to match the doll.

We found this cute, sparkly ladybug fabric on clearance at Joann's. It was a little stiff, but it should soften up over time. I downsized my peasant dress pattern, and probably should have decreased the width a little more, but I think it will be fine. Oh, and I also added elastic at the sleeves just because I felt like it.

Then, I made a ladybug tag blanket with some Hello Kitty fabric leftover from an apron I made and some pink minky that was in the remnant bin. I used lots of different ribbons on the edge- I know they don't coordinate, but they are fun!

All the ladybug stuff went together nicely with the doll!

Then, because I was worried the ladybug dress would be too big, I made another dress with some donated fabric. It is a pillowcase dress, but I just kind of made things up as I went along- probably a mish mash of pillowcase dress tutorials I have seen over the years.

The rest of the box was filled with purchased items. I like to stock up on clearance deals throughout the year and I have a storage tote with those sorts of things ready to go. For example, I hit up the "Dollar Spot" at Target when they had 70% off and got Crayola toothbrushes and coloring books for 30 cents each! So, a few of the items came from my bargain tote.

I was surprised at how much can fit in a shoebox! Some things that I took into consideration:

  • In some areas, sanitation is an issue, so you don't want to send a lot of garbage. Removing packaging and labels is a good idea.
  • Soap can stink up the whole box! I left that wrapped and stored it in the soap dish. Also, I thought the soap dish was important because otherwise they might not have a good place to store a wet bar of soap.
  • You don't want the candy making a sticky mess or soaking in the soap smell. So, I stored it in a plastic bag and shoved it down into the water bottle. Water bottles (another clearance find!) are a great way to maximize space. I have seen other people use them to store art supplies.
  • I left the strip in the flashlight to keep the battery from draining. I totally forgot to add in extra batteries for it. So, don't be like me. Send some extras!
  • I know you can't tell what climate your box will go to, but I have seen girls in the Ukraine wearing pillowcase dresses with shirts underneath, so I think it will be OK. Even in a hot climate, I think the super soft and fuzzy socks will be nice.  I just pray that whatever I send will be useful and be a blessing to the child. (Hopefully she is not scared of bugs!)
There are some things I packed that had "walked away" when I took the above picture and it was impressive that everything fit!

For me, the hardest part was actually wrapping the box! I need to look for a tutorial or video on that because I am a terrible gift wrapper! That lid makes it tough!

Next year, my girls want to do more shoeboxes and I think that is a great idea! I hope this post gives ideas to someone else- that is the only reason I am blogging about it. I know I looked at a lot of other blogs when coming up with ideas and started a Pinterest board, of course (see HERE if you want to follow it). Simply Shoeboxes is another great resource. If you have any ideas to share, I would love to hear them!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wave Fabric T Shirt Dress

When I was making Easter dresses this year, I started to run out of ambition. I ended up making a cheater dress for the youngest. She can't voice her opinion yet and my best friend reminded me that there are no others to pass it down to later, so it would get less wear than the other dresses. I liked that logic.

It is just a simple T shirt dress. I got a basic Garanimals shirt at Walmart for the top. I found this navy wave texture fabric in the remnant bin at Joanns for the skirt.

I chopped a few inches off the bottom of the shirt, sewed the skirt in a tube, and then attached them with my serger. It was ridiculously easy.

To add a little something to the top I made a navy, chiffon flower out of some scraps from the bridesmaid dress and sewed it on.

Even with my minimal effort, it is still a cute dress and it is a little more practical for a toddler, too.

So, that is it! These are all of the Easter dresses I made this year. I love the navy and white, which I have mentioned a few times already. You can see the other dresses by clicking on the pictures below.


Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chunky Newborn Beanie Pattern

I love making a little something special for baby shower gifts. My family usually pools together and does a "welcome wagon" for the baby by filling a wagon with assorted baby gifts. I will have to blog about that sometime... pretty sure Mom has some pictures. Anyway, I have done rag edge flannel blankets, but the selection of gender neutral flannel is lacking. So, the surprise gender babies get a hat. I made THIS cute bear hat before, but this time I did not have enough yarn left over for two ears. I had just a few feet and it worked to make a super soft and fluffy ball on top.

Come on, tell me that doesn't look soft and fluffy!

This chunky, oatmeal yarn is amazingly soft! It also makes crocheting a hat really quick, which I love. This one did not take very long at all, which was good because my week was super crazy (Halloween prep + kid with severe poison ivy on her face + applesauce to make = stressed out Mom).

So, here is the pattern for you! I promise, it is really easy! The size worked out perfectly for me, but everyone crochets a little differently, so you might want to look up a size chart to make sure.

Yarn that would be great for this... Cozy Wool, Hometown USA, Wool-Ease, etc. Those are the nice, thick, bulky ones you want to use to get the right size and texture.

Chunky Newborn Beanie Pattern

Make a magic ring (Google it if you need to- these work great!)
Row 1: 7 dc in ring, join with sl st to beginning dc. (7dc)
Row 2: Ch 3, dc in same sp as joining, 2 dc in each dc, join. (14dc)
Row 3: Ch 3, dc in same sp as joining, *1 dc in the next dc, 2 dc in next hdc, repeat from * around, join. (21 dc)
Row 4: Ch 3, dc in each dc all the way around, join. (28 dc)
Row 5-9: Repeat row 4.
Row 10: Sl st in each hdc all the way around, join and fasten off. Weave the end of the yarn into the hat and trim. (28 sl st)

To make the fluffy ball on top:
Take 36" or so of yarn and wrap it around your middle three fingers. Tie it tightly in the middle with a short piece of yarn (about 8 " or so). Use the ends of the short piece of yarn to attach it to the hat. Weave the ends into the hat and trim. Clip the loops of yarn at the ends and fluff it out into a ball.

This pattern is for personal, charitable, and non-commercial use only. If you make one I would love to see pictures!

Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Poofy Dress

So, it is November and I still have not finished blogging about the girls' Easter dresses. The thing about the navy and white theme this year is that they are so versatile. It just looks classy for any season.

This dress turned out so beautiful and - even if the pictures don't show it by her refusal to smile - she loves it! I made a sparkly satin bodice (remnant from Joann's) using The Party Dress free pattern from Cottage Mama. I adjusted it to use buttonholes in the back, though.

The skirt is about 3 yards of shimmer tulle that was cut into strips the desired length, sewn together to make one very long piece, and gathered tightly to fit the bodice. I added a lining with a built in petticoat for a little more "poof" at the bottom. Gathering the tulle was very tedious, but definitely worth it. She calls it her "poofy dress."

The other reason I have not blogged about this dress is because within minutes of putting it on Easter morning, she went up the steps and stepped on it, ripping out a chunk of tulle from the front. I sewed it back together, but it is still visible. It just about broke my heart.

I have been meaning to fix it, but just haven't gotten around to it because I know it is going to be a huge pain in the behind. In the meantime, I have relaxed a bit and if she wants to wear it "just because" that is OK with me. You probably would not have even noticed it before I mentioned it, but now you can't unsee it. Right?

However, she loves it and wears it often. I might get around to fixing it in time for her younger sister to wear it as a hand me down. My mending pile is very neglected. Does anyone else that sews have that problem?

Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Lace Overlay High Low Dress

I should be getting ready for Halloween, but I am procrastinating. Instead, I am backtracking and blogging about another Easter dress.

This was one of the dresses that was completely dictated by my daughter's preferences. It also ended up costing me nothing to make! So, we both won.

The navy lining, made from another layer of my old bridesmaid dress, stops above her knees and the high-low lace overlay is much longer. It is a basic, gathered skirt, but I cut the hem in a curve.

A friend gave me this beautiful lace to work with- it is a heavier, stretch lace, but I didn't use the stretch factor in the design. I just drafted a basic bodice pattern and cut the lace. I left the shoulders and top of the bodice unlined for a sheer lace effect. So, I pieced the unlined and lined portions together and overlocked the inside seam. Then, I used some vintage navy bias tape around the neck and arms. Using wash-away wonder tape was key for holding that in place to sew. The back has an invisible zipper (which I already had from changing my mind last year and using buttons).

One thing I loved about these navy and white dresses is how fun they are to pair with contrasting accessories. The box dress has a yellow tie, the lace and chiffon dress was paired with an aqua statement necklace when she wore it on Easter, and this dress is fun with pink contrasting shoes. It looked a little better back at Easter vs. the fall when I did the photo shoot, but I had put all of her white shoes away (as per the Labor Day rule) and told her to put these on. It is still fun.

Two more dresses to go, but first, I need to finish an Elsa cape. Happy Halloween!

Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...