Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Child's Apron

I made an apron for my niece with pockets for a pencil and paper to take orders.
Here's what I did.
I used an apron I had made for my 4 year old as a pattern, but I had plenty of this material to use just one kind of fabric, and I wanted a different shape at the bottom.  I folded the doubled up fabric and the apron and stacked them.
I cut 1/2" bigger using the outside top corner, waist, and length for references, and curved in between.

See the 2 layers unfolded?

I took one layer and pinned ribbons in place for the neck (about 16") and the side ties (length depends on child, but I made mine plenty long so they can be wrapped around and tied in front).  I heat sealed my ribbon ends by melting them with a lighter--it will give the ends of the ties from becoming freyed and the insides from freying and pulling out.

Then I stacked the other layer on top, right sides together and sewed the perimeter with a 1/2" seam allowance and left about a 8" opening.  I left it open on a curve which was tricky.  If I did it over I would have left it open on the less curvy bottom.

I clipped curves and corners before I turned it right side out so it wouldn't pucker.

I top stitched around the edges (and hid my opening this way without hand stitching--I just tucked the edges in and pinned them in place.  It would have been so much easier if I had chosen a straight edge to leave open).

I chose a contrasting fabric for a rectangular pocket and long strip that I folded in half and gathered along raw edges.  I sewed the rectangle in half along open sides (leaving a whole to turn), then clipped corners, turned and top stitched one of the long sides.

Hmm...unfortunately blogger didn't rotate this picture.
Then I sewed a ribbon on the apron to make a stem, spiraled my ruffle into a flower and machine sewed it on in a somewhat wonky fashion. Last, I sewed the pocket onto the apron where the pocket wasn't top stitched and sewed along one of the stripes to make a small pocket for a pencil and a wide pocket for a notepad.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Dresses

Our church's Christmas program was last night.  Even though our little one wasn't in the program, we dressed her up too.  I had to get pretty low so I could see her face under that huge bow!
It's hard to get everyone looking in the same direction at the same time.

Doesn't little H look ready to answer a question?

Here is Z's class singing Jesus Loves Me and quoting the first part of John 3:16.  Z can say the whole thing and had a hard time not sharing the fact with everyone...but we are pretty proud of her!

Then there was a birthday party for Jesus afterward, and H wanted to show off her candle blowing skills.  Actually, she hasn't managed to blow out a candle out yet, but she looks pretty cute with her lips stuck out.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Gingerbread House

We red Jan Brett's The Gingerbread Baby this weekend at my mom's house.  Fortunately I had purchased a gingerbread house kit at Aldi's for $7 that was waiting at home to be put together!

By the way Jan Brett has a neat website full of printables, coloring pages, and online activities that features her beautiful artwork and goes along with her books.
So we cleaned up a spot on the table just big enough to put it together.

We hot glue the gingerbread pieces together at my house like we did when I was a little girl.  Who wants to eat gingerbread and candy that has been sitting on the counter for a month anyway (besides, my germaphobic husband doesn't think we should be ingesting the dust that gathers on it...actually, that does sound kind of gross).

The 1 1/2 year old got in on the candy action too...she handed me candy to stick on.  She tried sticking the candy on herself, but she ended up sticking her fingers in the frosting instead.  She thought it was a lot of fun to put candy in a little bowl and dump it out over and over again...1 year olds really don't need toys do they?

She has decided this is her picture face the last few days...I usually don't ask for poses, so I'm not sure where she came up with the idea.

And of course when she is done with that face, she has herself a good laugh.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Birthday Tea Party

The party has come and gone, so here is a promised picture of the matching dresses along with a doll sized party hat.

The kids enjoyed drinking pink lemonade from tiny demitasse tea cups while the adults had hot tea and pink lemonade.  I was fortunate to have some help in making dainty tea treats.
I started making this bunting before our 1 year old's birthday this summer, but had to hang it without letters because I ran out of time.  I should have finished the letters right after that instead of waiting until two days before this party...long night.  It is triangles cut from t-shirts, overlapping slightly, and held together by two rows of stitching and fastened at the end with narrow strips of t-shirt tied in a bow.
                          

We had a tea pot cake made from two bundts, one cup cake, and paper covered cardboard spout and handle.  Unfortunately our camera battery was running low, so my camera didn't get a shot of the cake before it was cut, but we saved the tea cups and I got this picture later.  They are shaved off cupcakes with chocolate piped on top and frosted, broken mini pretzels for handles.  The white things are rose buds...you could tell right?

And after the dainty little tea party, our newly 4 year old had to go out with her dad to shoot balloons with her new BB gun (what a Daddy's girl).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Matching Doll Dress

I made a little jumper so Glendora the Cabbage Patch Girl can match Z at her birthday party.  Glendora is hard to get away secretly for a fitting, but I managed to be sneaky when Arena the teddy bear was sleeping with Z instead of Glendora.  You will have to wait until after the party to see pictures of the models actually wearing their new attire though.

I thought I would document how I put the waistbands together in case I ever decide to make a flat front, elasticized waistband again.  I've seen tutorials for flat front pants, but I haven't looked enough to find a tutorial for a gathered skirt...so here's what I did.  These pictures are from the doll's jumper (on the big girl jumper, I did a better finish than just pinking the edges).
I took the waist measurement...lets call it "w".  The front piece is w/2, the back piece is w/2+5".  Make sure to make the pieces tall enough to allow for your cassing relative to your elastic width, and still allow about 1/2" below to attach your skirt.  Sew your cassing in place on both pieces (on the short piece this is mostly for looks).  The top stitching along the fold is optional, but I like the way it looks and I think it might keep the elastic from twisting as much.

Insert your elastic in the long back piece and gather the material so that the front and back are now the same length.  Pin elastic in place and trim excess elastic if you haven't already.

With right sides together, sew front to back along sides.  (Gives a new meaning to nice threads, huh?)

Now you are ready for the rest of your skirt!

I can't wait to show you my soon to be 4 year old and her baby doll in their new duds, but it will have to wait a couple weeks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Birthday Jumper

I'm so excited about this!
You should see it on little miss Z...except she isn't nearly as excited about it as I am...even though she picked it out.  This is not the material I would have picked for a birthday tea party frock, but it's cute.  She'll wear it with a black turtle neck and black tights.
For the skirt, I pretty much followed this tutorial from The Mother Huddle, but I used 3 1/2" waist band fabric, 6" lining fabric, 7 1/2" outer skirt fabric, and 7" under skirt fabric.  I also did my own thing for the waist band so I could have a flat front to attach the bib to.

The bib is a trapezoid--I cut out 7" across the top, 5" across the bottom, and 10" high.  I made a ruffle and sandwiched it between the elephant trapezoid and the lining trapezoid and sewed them together except for the bottom edge.  Then I made a strap to go around the neck since I didn't have enough fabric left to make straps to cross in the back.  (Can you see that I haven't finished the button closure yet?)

I need to make a matching dress for Glendora, the Cabbage Patch Girl...anyone interested in a tutorial?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Corduroy Birthday Jumper

I've been spending oodles of time online trying to figure out how to make Z's birthday dress/jumper after buying fabric without a plan...we don't make it to the store that often.  So I have corduroy elephants and paisley purple corduroy that I want to make tea party worthy (doesn't sound like a great fit, but it seemed the wrong season for light weight cotton).

I have Alice in Wonderland style dress in mind, but I'm not sure I can pull it off in corduroy.  I think I'm going to make something like this skirt from The Mother Huddle blog with some slight modifications.

Hopefully, when I'm done, the yoke section won't be so long, the front will be flat, and there will be a trapezoid bib attached with criss-crossing straps in the back.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

4th Birthday Party

My 3 year old will be turning 4 soon.  We've been talking about party themes...she has wanted Olivia Pig, a Princess Tea Party, a Star and Kitty Cat, a Pizza, and a House...all in the past month.  I told her we need to be finalizing things and I think I have her convinced to have a Dolly and Me Tea Party. Oh boy, I've wanted a tea party for a long time (I probably should have done that for one of the girl's first birthday parties when they didn't have an opinion).

I've been looking at ideas online.  I like this cake from Our Scoop blog, and this cake from The Birthday Blog.  I've also seen a cake with the spout and handle made from sugar cookies.  I don't want to mess with fondant and I think I will make the cake from 2 bundt cakes instead of cooking the cakes in my mixing bowls.  I'm afraid of burning the outside to get the inside cooked.

I have a problem though...all of our family lives far away so I feed everyone lunch.  In the past I've served chili, or hot dogs, but that just doesn't seem fitting for a tea party.  Can I get any budget conscious, tea worthy ideas?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fixing Mystery Holes in my Shirts

I decorated this shirt after being inspired by a tutorial Disney did at Ruffles and Stuff a while back.
But I found this in the lower center of the shirt before I washed it the other day...

I've been frustrated recently because I've had this happen to a lot of shirts in the same place.  My husband thought it was silver fish, but I thought the placement was too consistent.  I thought maybe it was from my pants rubbing on my shirts when I carried kids, but I normally carry them on my hip (I know bad for my back huh...they don't care, though and dinner still needs to be made).

I finally realized the culprit...no wonder I got a good deal on it at a garage sale.  It looked to innocent.

I fixed that shirt (well, made do at least) by catching loops from the inside of the shirt with needle and thread, but my next shirt was too far gone for that technique to work.  It needed a patch really.  I kept laying a couple strips of fabric on in different directions, but I just didn't like how it looked, and I didn't think I could pull off flowers or ruffles on top of my pant zipper. 

Then I thought of this.

I love the bird and branch silhouettes I've been seeing for a while, but I don't have the guts to put it on any of my walls.  I think I like it here.  It looks like something that I might see screen printed on a shirt.  Here are some close ups.



Monday, October 10, 2011

The Other Jacket

I finally finished my other jacket!  I used one of my 3 year old's shirts for reference, but cut my pieces about 1 inch larger because I wanted it to be able to fit over other clothes.  I cut the bottom about 2 inches below the armpit thinking I was going to make a jacket with an empire waist, but after trying it on halfway through, my daughter and I decided it should be a bolero.
I folded my material in half to cut it out to make sure it would be symmetrical. (note: I cut out two of these)

I took one and folded it in half to cut the front open and lower the neckline.

I traced the sleeve of the existing shirt to get this cutting line too, but I made sure and lined it up with the hem of the shirt I was reusing.

No pictures of the rest of the process, but it was pretty standard.  I basically did something kind of like this link from Crafterhours, but there is no ribbing to worry about.  Then I made bias tape like this tutorial from Craftiness is not Optional, and sewed it all the way around.  Finally, I made a rectangle with 2 button wholes and sewed buttons on both sides of the front opening.


My 1 year old just won't stay away with her books, and you don't want to see the 3 year old's face...well, maybe I don't want you to see her face.