Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is it Summer yet?

I want to sew Summer clothes! They're just more fun. Of course, in the Fall, I think Fall clothes are more fun. I guess I'm lucky to live in a state that gets all four seasons :) I made McCall's 6694 a few weeks ago and wasn't thrilled at first. Here she is:

I do like it now, but only because I took almost 3 inches out of the center back to make it so it didn't literally hang off my shoulders.

I knew going in, though, that the bodice might be big because the model on the pattern envelope looks like she's swimming in it:
One never can tell if these models are just too thin for the clothes or if the patterns are drafted to hang like that. To get it to stay on my shoulders, a huge drape was created in the back neckline. After my alterations, I really do like the dress. It's cute with the belt and boots and it is also cute with no belt and sandals, which will be great for Summer! 

I lined my skirt part with rayon jersey, which is my absolute favorite fabric to line knits with and also to make slips out of. I didn't line the bodice even though my fabric was somewhat sheer, because I knew it would need a cami under it anyway, with that neckline and the wider arm holes. I would have liked to add the ruffles too, but they require a crazy amount of fabric! 

I just bought and downloaded Colette's newest pattern, the Laurel dress!! I have the perfect fabric to try it out with. The selling point for me was the free ebook with instructions for several details to add to the simple design of the dress! Check it out! Funny too because my Mom and I were just talking about trying out shift dresses the other day! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

too pouf, or not too pouf?

I finished my Easter dress sewing and went to work on my little bin of garment fabrics. I've been holding off making things with the more summery fabrics until the Summer pattern lines came out, because I was wholly unimpressed with the Spring lines, for the most part. But, the new Summer lines are not disappointing, I have a running list ready, just waiting for those sales!

I bought Butterick 5892 a few weeks ago, but was unsure of this style on me. In the spirit of branching out, though, I grabbed a lightweight fabric from my bin that I like, but don't love (it's a mystery fabric, but I'm pretty sure it's polyester, which accounts for the not loving part).

I whipped it up and tried it on last night and Casey said, "It's a little too ... poufy?" So I put it aside and tried it on again this morning, with the right kind of top and I decided I like it! (It draped on the step there, in that pic, without me realizing it, it does not stick out like that normally, haha!)
While I don't think it's the most slimming silhouette for me, with a fitted top,  I think it's really pretty and it feel flowy and comfortable. And a bit regal when I walk down the stairs, hehe.

Part of the problem is that I grabbed the wrong size pattern and so was forced to cut a size larger than I would have if I'd bought the Medium size. Duh. Think I oughta know by now, right?

The new Simplicity patterns are up on the site and look great! Unfortunately, there are zero pattern sales in the current JoAnn's flyer. Bummer.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Project Life Knock-off

I am SUPER excited to share this with you. As I gutted my house of junk last month, I was able to put all my finished scrapbooks in one place. Looking through them, I got nostalgic and realized that I really miss scrapbooking! The kids absolutely love looking through the books, I miss the fellowship of scrapping with friends and I just miss the creative process in general. I also really don't like having my photos only on the computer. When I gave up scrapbooking as a hobby several months ago, it was because the stuff and the time and feelings of being behind at something that was supposed to be just a hobby, were becoming overwhelming.

But, I missed it. So, I started brainstorming ways to get back into it with less stuff and less guilt. (I did get rid of a LOT of the stuff, keeping only paper and stamps and tools. All the stuff I have left has a place and gets used by the kids and me or my co op class often).

After searching for ideas online, I was reminded of the Becky Higgins Project Life line of products and got really excited. But, I wasn't going to pay her prices (it's a fast $90, just to get started if you buy those specific albums, inserts and journaling cards!)

Instead, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought an album and photo inserts (all half off). I think this album is just the cutest:
I decided to just start with last year and not go too far back. Organizing pages by month rather than giving each event or group of photos its own page with a complicated layout was very liberating for me! I got some photos printed and cut up a paper "stack" I already had into 4x6 pieces to make it easier to get started. Here's what I did yesterday:

I started with April because that's the month I had all the photos for. I have since began uploading other months to Snapfish to place a big order and have all the photos ready to go.

What I love about this photo album scrapbook idea is that the creative process can still happen--I can decorate (or not) to my heart's content! I can add captions and journaling if I want to and even though I've only done two pages, my kids are already loving looking at those pic from Nebraska last year! I still need to do the Easter photos before April is done, but other months only have a few pictures.

I'm thrilled that this is fun for me again. If you're curious about Project Life, you can order those products on Amazon--the photo inserts aren't too expensive and come in more layouts, but I wanted to keep it simple for now and use what I could get cheaper at Hobby Lobby. There is a lot of inspiration for this concept on Pinterest too! Check it out here :)

As an added bonus, my girls are getting into scrapbooking too, so this can easily become something we do together! Scrapbooking at home when my kids were little was next to impossible, so this is exciting for me :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ninja Layla

What a lovely day!! The weather today is even better than yesterday! And, even though my kids have a minor cold, it was a good excuse to be able to sit out of some commitments and be slow. I've sewn, done laundry, made tea in cute kid mugs and poured baths with extra bubbles :)

I have some awesome pics of my awesome Layla girl in her Taekwon Do uniform! She had been asking for awhile if she could take "ninja class". She was invested, checking out books from the library, studying the moves of the Power Rangers and attempting them herself on a daily basis. Thankfully, there is a studio literally a mile away and so we signed her up. She's been taking classes for 5 weeks and is learning so fast, I'm super proud of her! Not to mention how adorable she is when she yells hiya and keeps up with the boys when they run laps!

I finally got some pics of her in uniform. So, Grandparents, enjoy :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


We are getting a blessed taste of Spring time here in Colorado today. The crazy snow from last week is almost melted, the kids are playing outside with no jackets and with Daylight Savings coming up this weekend, it feels like winter may just be over. We'll see ;)

Natalie has gotten very into American Girl over the past year. We pick up the books second hand whenever we see them and she delves into the pictures and time periods of each character, even if the stories are just ever-so-slightly above her reading level for right now. I know the quality of actual American Girl dolls is superior to all the others, but we were not willing to shell out the $120 for one. A friend tipped me off about Tuesday Morning having some of the Target brand 18" dolls before Christmas and so I went and snapped up the brown haired, blue eyed doll for Natalie's birthday.

Seriously, she could not love this doll more. She dresses her according to whatever we are doing and carries her everywhere. She's named her Victoria. I am absolutely thrilled that she is so in love, because all my sewing time in February was devoted to sewing up several outfits. I had a blast making them and she had a blast styling Victoria for her photo shoots yesterday :)

 Layla chose the salon chair as a birthday gift from her and Kelby. I think it was a great choice :)
 Boot envy, anyone?? This was my first time sewing with leather. With the right needle, it went swimmingly.

 Her nightie and bathrobe.

 I made her a Colonial dress because Natalie really likes the Felicity character and we recently watched the movie from the library.
 I didn't make this next one, it's what she came in.
 And of course, a winter coat.
 A Summer dress...

That's all ... for now. I plan on making an Easter dress to match Natalie's very soon! Also before Christmas, I came across an 18" doll at Savers. She has blue eyes and blond hair and is the Toys R' Us brand, Journey Girlz. She didn't have clothes and her hair isn't perfect, but for $2.99, I bought her to save for Layla. Natalie and I are going to fix her up for Layla for Easter. I read some great tips online about doll hair maintenance and I'm going to make her a couple outfits. She'll look like new when we're done! Natalie's excited to be a part of the surprise and that they will both have dolls to play with together :)

I'd like to share, too, if you're waffling about which doll brand to go with--the main difference in quality between American Girl dolls and the other less expensive brands, is the hair. American Girls have wigs, while the others have plugs. BUT, when I read and researched that you can buy the nicer quality doll wigs online for as little as $10 (just google it, there are lots of places) and replace the hair pretty easily, that sealed the deal for me going with the cheaper doll.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Natalie's 8!

We had quite a birthday week for Natalie last week. This girl was born to plan parties, I thought she was going to lose her mind with anticipation for her party on Friday!! She had some definite ideas for how everything would go down, too. I think it lived up to her expectations, it was super fun. Everyone we invited came, so we had 11 girls. And Kelby, but he disappeared downstairs after awhile--too many girls for him ;)

Here are some pics of the highlights! I know it's a lot, but the girls got really into the photo booth and it was hard to choose :)

The washer/nail polish necklaces worked out beautifully. I'd link to the instructions, but they're all over the place and it's pretty self-explanatory anyway :) For snacks we made fruit kabobs and trail mix.

Natalie and I had a little fashion show with her new doll in all the clothes I made her so that will be up next!!