kcwc day 4 – basic boy pants

 

This is my first time participating in KCWC although I’ve been wanting to for awhile.  I just never seem to get in gear.  To be honest, I almost missed it again.  But, I knew I had to start sewing when I saw that elsie marley was using Dana’s Basic Kids Pants in her pre-kcwc countdown.  I love Dana’s tutorials, many of them have been on my to do list, including these pants.  So it was time to start sewing.

I have never sewn pants before, nor had I sewn anything for my son.  So I guess this post has a lot of firsts in it!  I ended up using her pattern as is.  My son is wearing 18-24m sizes right now, but when I attempted to draft my own pattern it was pretty much the same, so I just went with hers.  I increased the seam allowance to 1/2 in. to slim the pants a little and it worked perfectly.  I added pockets too and I love them!  They really finish the pants nicely.

The fabric is a home decor weight that I bought at Joann’s years ago.  But I liked the stripes and thought it looked kinda boyish.  I made a little mistake when cutting the pattern because I didn’t notice the VERY subtle difference between the right and wrong side of the fabric.  Sooo, I ended up cutting the pattern twice and maybe in the future I will sew another pair with a smaller seam allowance when he gets a little bigger.  I used some left over plaid to line the pockets.  The pattern leaves plenty of length in the pants so hems can be let down as your kiddo grows.  I thought I got the hem at the right measurement, but I was little off, so I’ll redo that shortly.  In the meantime he’s sporting a rolled cuff.

 

Here’s the pocket facing.  It’s always a fun touch to mix up the fabrics a little bit, it makes it more interesting.

I love these, I think they turned out great!  I’ll re-hem and we’ll be good to go.  Tell me that hair isn’t awesome.



Paper Butterfly Decor: a Tutorial

When I started decorating my daughter’s nursery, I came across some cute paper butterfly decor (similar) from Pottery Barn Kids.  It’s no longer available, but no problem, use this tutorial to make your own!

Supplies:

  • Butterfly image to use as a pattern
  • Cardstock for pattern
  • Scrapbook paper to coordinate with your decor
  • Scissors
  • Double stick tape

1. Find or draw a basic butterfly silhouette.  I used one that I found on Google Images.

2. Use any editing software to resize the image.  I chose to make three different sizes to keep it simple.

3. Print and cut out one of each size to use as your pattern.  Use a heavy weight paper for the pattern, like cardstock, so it will hold up better while you trace.

4. Trace the pattern onto the printed scrapbook paper you’ve chosen.  Then cut them out.

5. To make the butterflies 3-dimensional, I folded the wings up so they wouldn’t touch the wall.

6. Experiment with doubling up some of the different sizes and colors for a little more interest.

7. Stick them to the wall with double stick tape or wall putty.  I used a foam tape so they were lifted off the wall and looked like they were just flying by.

Voila!  Easy kids room decor for cheap.  This could easily be translated to a boys rooms with airplanes, or a number of other ideas.  Hot air balloons, birds, graphic shapes…the possibilities are endless.

See the rest of my daughter’s nursery here.

Just Girly Enough

When my sweet baby girl was born 3 years ago, I wanted her room to be feminine but not overly girly. While I love the color pink, I’m not a big fan of the all pink all the time for girls.  So I bring you the Just Girly Enough room (that my daughter happens to love).

I found some paper butterflies (which are no longer available) from Pottery Barn Kids.  But they were kind of pricey and they seemed easy enough to make with scrapbooking paper.  See my tutorial for making them.  By starting with the largest size at the bottom and smaller toward the top, it gives the impression that they are flying away.  Love!  I saved one to use at the top of the vintage beveled mirror, it reminds me of the bluebirds in Cinderella flying with her dress in their beaks.

I also made this scalloped ruffled bunting with her name.  This was super simple to make.  I traced half of one of our dinner plates on some cute shabby chic fabric, stenciled the letters using fabric paint, sewed the front and back of the scallops together then sewed a ruffle across the top.

Other personal touches include this amazing zebra pixel art that my husband did in high school, his baby shoes, sentimental photographs and a lovely photo album I received at my baby shower.  And I LOVE these pink poodle bookends that I randomly found at a garden center.  I used all kinds of pregnancy excuses to justify this purchase to my husband.  They are just to cute, they had to come home with me.

Several months after she was born, I finally got around to sewing this box pleat valance for her room.  I thought the brown polka dot fabric gave the room some balance since the furniture is two-toned.  The little bows make it sweet but not two girly.  I tried the bunting under the window too, but learned quickly that my growing babe could reach it and pull it down.  You might also notice that a couple of the lower butterflies are also missing.  The taller she got, the faster the butterflies disappeared.  So sad.

I wanted to show this room now, so I could savor the memory of her sweet arrival and the home we made for her.  As she is now approaching 3 and a half, I am starting to think about what her new big girl room is going to look like.  I guess this time she will have some input on the decor, but I am looking forward to it because she is such an imaginative little girl.

Mommy’s Little Hero: Fireman onesies

My entry into Shwin&Shwin’s Link Party  sponsored by Appliances Online.

When my sister in law announced her 4th pregnancy was going to be a boy I knew almost instantly what I wanted to make for the baby.  Fire trucks are always a cute choice for little boys, but when your daddy is a fireman, well, then fire trucks are a must have.  I’ve been wanting to try freezer paper stenciling, and this seemed like a good time to try it out.  And I thought adding some personal touches would make for a sweet gift and keepsake.

So with this idea monopolizing all my waking thoughts, I set off to try my hand at freezer paper stenciling.  Awhile back I pinned this awesome tutorial from Made.  It was super easy to follow and she has some cute project ideas too.  I kinda want to stencil everything now.

First order of business was to find freezer paper.  Um, not as easy as you might think.  Traditionally used for packaging meats, freezer paper would surely be sold in grocery stores right?  Wrong.  Target?  Um no.  Drugstore?  Nope.  Seriously I went to 5 stores looking for this stuff and finally found it at a…hardware store!  Thank you True Value for being my local go to for all the things I need that big box stores can’t be bothered to carry.

Okay back to stenciling.  With all my supplies finally in place, I set out to tracing and cutting my stencil.  I say stencil, because my original plan was one shirt, the one with the firefighter emblem on it.  But then I thought, ooh, I can add a name to the back.  Ooh, and what about a little fire truck.  And so on, and so on.  So I made 4 shirts, I love them all and I’m glad I did them.  Just note, this is a highly addictive craft and you will want to keep going.

I found the images on Google and then used Word to write out the names and phrases.  The hardest part was tracing and cutting out all the details, that took the longest.  After ironing the shiny side of stencil to the shirt, I covered it with two coats of paint and let it dry overnight.  I think it took me 2 or 3 evenings to make these and they all turned out perfect the first time.  Which is a good thing, since I am a procrastinator and peeled the last stencil off the morning of the baby shower.

They’re all so cute, it’s hard to choose my favorite.  I love the “L’il Engine #4″ with the old fashion fire engine.  Of course the emblem has daddy’s ladder “L-5″ and name on the back just like a real firefighter.  It’s hard to choose.

I’m very happy with how they turned out.  My sister in law and I both cried when she opened them, sappy right?  I’m not even pregnant.  I can’t wait to see the little bugger in them.  I’ll add a photo of him once they fit.

I love seeing clothes on baby bumps!  Isn’t she gorgeous?  Hard to believe there will be a new little bundle in just a few weeks!

This post was shared over at Shwin&Shwin, Link Party #33.

Skirts, skirts, skirts

So now that it is finally summer around here, I thought I should finish up some sewing before this short season ends.   So I scoured my favorite blogs and Pinterest in search of something fun to make and came across these adorable Simple Skirts from Made.  These have been on my list for awhile, which is ridiculous considering how easy they are to make!

Seriously these can be whipped out in an hour…if you have that much uninterrupted time.  Which I don’t, so it took two evenings.  I want to make like a hundred of these.  They are so cute, they are easy and Delly loves them.

For my first attempt I made a simple single layer skirt using this adorable purple kitty cat print.  It’s been in my stash for awhile and I new Delly would love it.  I love Dana’s tip about top-stitching around the top of the elastic casing to make the waist stand out.  I will be doing this again for sure.

I also made a double layer skirt using some yellow gingham and checkered print fabric I picked up at a rummage sale.  This fabric has a really nice drape and it looks wonderful even after a day with a three year old.  This has quickly become my favorite skirt.  Not only for the cuteness factor, but because I finally got the nerve to try out my new serger on this project.  And I fell in love.  It is amazing, it makes the skirt look even better.  The serger seriously makes my little homemade hobby look professional.  I LOVE it!  It still scares me a little, but I’m trying out some different things to see what it can do and get more comfortable with it.

So, there you have it, my version of a simple skirt.  I’m looking forward to making a fall version with corduroy or chambray.

Color My Summer Skirt

Summer is an easy time to add color to a wardrobe.  There’s nothing like a bright and cheerful print to get you outside and enjoying the beautiful weather.  I’ve had this Heather Bailey Lindy Leaf print in my stash for quite awhile and I decided it was finally time to make it my own.

I came across this older tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew!, and thought I would give it a try.  It’s a simple gathered skirt with a shirred back waistband.  This gave me a chance to try out some new sewing techniques like shirring, as well as adding an underskirt for lining.

It took me a few evenings to pull this together, mostly because I spent several hours trying to figure out how to use elastic thread in my bobbin for shirring.  I scoured the internet for tips and tutorials and still I’m not sure how to do this.  I did manage to get a shirred look, but it wasn’t as tight as I hoped it would be and I haven’t been able to recreate the look.  Apparently Brother sewing machines are very difficult to use elastic thread with.  Bummer, because there are so many cute little girl dress with shirring that I would love to make.

I paired the skirt with a cute aqua blue ruffle tank, I think the colors complement each other and really make them pop.  I was looking for more of a muted dusty blue color, but I guess that color isn’t “in” right now.  I will definitely be packing this for my vaca in San Diego next week!

The Pillowcase Dress

I love the simplicity of a dress.  They’re so easy and versatile.  And what could be more simple than a pillowcase dress?  I’ve been wanting to make one for quite awhile, so when I came across this sweet set of pillowcases during my last thrifting expedition I thought I could sew up a perfect summer dress for Delly.

The dress is simple to put together which is why the style is so popular.  It’s basically just a casing around the top and armholes.  Measurements don’t need to be exact,which is right up my alley.  Although next time I will trim the sides of the pillowcase a bit, so the bodice is slimmer and add bias tape around the arms for a more finished look.  I left the the full width of the pillowcase and it’s a bit large for Delly, but I guess this way it will fit her for quite awhile.

It’s a perfect lightweight summery outfit.  Now if we could only get some consistent sunshine here in the northwest, she could actually wear it!

There are dozens of tutorials and inspirations available.  Some of my favorites include these by Aesthetic NestPrudent Baby and The Mother Huddle.

Junking Jackpot

I don’t get to poke around garage sales and antique stores as often as I like.  So when I can find the time, I try to make the most of it.  Last month, I found myself in a pinch.  One of my fav annual rummage sales was scheduled for Fri. & Sat., and of course we already had plans for the weekend, so Friday was the day.  The problem was that I had to take both of my kiddos, ages 3 and 1.  Yeah, not ideal…at all.

But I had a plan.  It included one stroller (which I ditched half way through), a lot of snacks (which I ran out of) and we started in the kid section (new toys first!).  Even with this plan, I found that I was the crazy lady with the kids, spouting lots of apologies as I awkwardly trudged through the crowd.  But, I was determined and nothing was going to get in the way of me finding some killer deals.  We made it through in record time and I scored some of my best deals yet!

I don’t even know where to start.  I was giddy with excitement when I found these vintage patterns.  10 cents each!  Are you kidding me?  Yes, I will take them all, are there any more???  And the vintage linens, I only wish I had more time to go through them.  The printed sheet has already been turned into The Twirl Dress and that vintage pillowcase was destined to be a simple pillowcase dress.  I love the antler candleholders which will be having a date with gold spray paint very soon.  And that darling frame with the engraved tin matte will be getting an update too.  All in all I am very happy with my loot.  I even found my daughter “reading” the words in her new Charlie Brown dictionaries, be still my heart.

Now If I can get my butt in gear, maybe I can sew up one of these cuties for Vintage May over at Craftiness is Not Optional.  Hmm, I think I want to start with that cute shorts jumper in the top left.

Vintage Sheet to Pretty Twirling Dress

Admittedly, I am a newbie sewist and I am learning along the way.  I am absolutely one of those people who sees something and says, “I could totally do that”.  Never mind that I’ve never sewn, knitted (insert any craft here).  I can figure it out.  Usually this involves lots of trial and error, a trip or two to JoAnn’s, constant approval seeking critiques from my husband and an end result that looks kinda sorta the way I was hoping.

But not this time.  This time I feel like I got it right, and I’m pretty excited about it.  Of course there are still some techniques to improve on, but we’ll get to that later.

The Twirl Dress

I think this dress was meant to be.  Within a week I found this beautiful dress that inspired me AND I happened upon an amazing fabric score.  I picked up a super cool printed sheet at a rummage sale…for $ .50!  I know, amazing.  I have always been so envious of the fabric deals other people find and now I have one of my own!  But, most importantly I found the time to sit down and make the dress.

Inspiration Dress:  www.joules.com

www.joules.com

I didn’t follow a pattern, I traced the outline of an existing dress and added seam allowances.  I had trouble figuring out how to sew in the lining and how to use elastic at the waist to make it easier to get in and out of.  But, I think next time I will add a zipper to the side seam, I just couldn’t make the elastic work the way I wanted.  I will also add bias tape to the arms and neck opening to give it a more finished look.

But for now, I’m very happy with the dress.  My daughter loves it and it has excellent twirl capabilities!