Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Neon is IN!

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So, you're (probably) not going to catch me sporting the new (or is it called "retro" if it harkens back to the 80's?) neon trend.  But you better believe I'm going to take advantage of it for my little ladies!

So here's some ruffled bermuda shorts and a neon top for my aspiring 80's chick. :)  It's a definite change of pace from the Catherine top... tutorial to come soon!

I think it's pretty darn fun for my silly peanut-girl.

Catch that crazy 80's wave!! :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the Catherine Top

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The last four books I've read have all been written by Jane Austen.  I am definitely a fan of good ol' Jane, but it also helps that they're free on my Kindle. :)  I'm currently 86% of the way through Northanger Abbey, and the main character is named Catherine.  So, since I'm spending a lot of time with Catherine, I thought I'd name this top after her.  It's sweet and not overdone or pretentious, just like her. :)


It has a scallop neckline (I know-- two scalloped tops/dresses in a row).  

It's lined with a solid pink, because Riley reminds me-- multiple times a day-- that her favorite color is pink.

It has an easy gathered skirt and this gorgeous Amy Butler fabric.  

The tutorial on this is now HERE, and the Scallop-Edged Dress WILL be coming, I promise!  It's been a little crazy around here.  Keep your eyes peeled, though! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Round it Out Scallop-Edged Dress

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This dress started with the neckline.  Then I thought, Hmmm... what if I just do everything as rounded as I can?

Voila.  Now we know what happens: the Round it Out Scallop-Edged Dress.


 Like I said, I decided on the neckline first-- a little scoop-y. :)

 Yes, we do occasionally drink our tea party tea out of mini beer steins.  Doesn't everyone?

The dress is completely lined, with teal on top and a Chevron-esque fabric on the skirt.  The armholes are finished with bias tape.

My favorite part of the dress-- BY FAR-- is the scallop hem on the wrap-around skirt.

The skirt has two layers of coordinating Lisette fabrics.  It also has an elasticized waist for a more feminine fit.

Just in case you were getting bored of my excess of pictures, here's Little Sister, yucking it up during our tea party. :)

Just one more, for good measure.  It's the perfect dress for practicing ballet, apparently. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Circle the Sea top tutorial

There are all sorts of tutorials out there on circle skirts, but this is kind of a circle top. Riley's been wearing it all day, and I love how it looks. As does she.

Actually, it's kind of like two tops attached to each other-- a tank and a poncho. And it's not overly difficult to put together.

First, to figure out how big you want it, measure the distance from the center of a well-fitting shirt to the edge of the sleeve (or measure your kiddo-- either way!).  For my 3T/4T daughter, I cut a circle with a 17-inch radius.

Use this to make a ginormous circle, just like you're making a circle skirt.  Here's my basic shapes tutorial for you if you need it.  Or there are lots of circle skirt tutorials, and the principle is the same.

Once you have your circle, find the center.  Draw out a hole for the neck.


Now cut a tank top that has the same neckhole.

 **Just so you know-- I started with a tank in the same color but then decided I wanted it in the darker blue... but I didn't take pictures of that one.  Sorry if this is confusing!!

Make sure you leave seam allowance!

See, here's the tank I actually went with.  Sew the shoulders of your tank piece together.

Cut a strip, 2 inches by 16 inches or so.

Run a gathering stitch down the center and ruffle it.

Pin the ruffle a little off-center on your circle's neckline.  Sew it down, following the line of your gathering stitches.

 Now pin the tank to your circle, right sides together, so the ruffle is between them.

If you flip it right side out, you'll have this.

Now this is a little weird, but it works.  With the right sides together, sew up the sides of your tank.  I have my circle stuffed inside it here.  Just make sure you don't accidentally catch it!

Finish the tank armholes and hem, either with bias tape or by folding it in and zig-zag stitching (which is what I went with.  You're not going to see it either, so you could actually leave it unfinished, too.)

Fold your circle in half, right sides together.

Mark a spot, 4 inches down from the top edge.  This will be the armhole. Do this on the other side, too. 

Also mark 6 inches out from the center of the bottom (this doesn't have to be exact-- see how I did it?). 

On both sides, sew from one mark to the other.

Fold the armhole and bottom opening over, so it lines up with the seam allowance you used on your circle.  Finish them with a zig-zag.

It looks like this when turned right sides out.  From here, the idea is to make it look like one continuous stitch, so topstitch from the bottom of the armhole to the opening on the bottom.  You'll have some overlapping stitches, but that's ok.

**The overlap will be MUCH less noticeable if you use matching thread.  I kind of like the contrast, but it's also easier to see for tutorial purposes.  You're welcome. :)

I don't know why I didn't take a picture of these last two steps, but also topstitch your neckline.

Add buttons if you like.

Circle the Sea top-- done!... though if your daughter is like mine, she'll like the top better if she gets to act like a butterfly. :)  She did a lot of flapping.

Mustard Stripes

Wow.  Riley did NOT want to show off this dress for me.  You should have seen the weirdo faces she was making.  (You'll notice that there's not a single shot of her face.  Ha!)

Oh well.  Here's the little dress that I made for her o wear with this adorable Janie and Jack peacoat.

It's a boatneck, which I kind of love.  And it's not overdone, which I also like.  Though, don't get me wrong; I love excessive ruffles, too. :)

She has one little pocket in the front, which, much to the little lady's chagrin, was not big enough to hold her walllet.

I do have some changes I'm going to make in the construction, so the tutorial will be up soon.  That means Noelle gets a dress, too.  Hurray! :)  And I think it needs a fun sash around the waist, too.  I'm excited.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Projects and Projects...

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I currently have two half-finished projects (and tutorials).  Things have been a little crazy around here, what with sickness and general life-with-three-little-ones.  But I think and hope it will be worth the wait.  Here's a sneak peak of one for you!

It's ocean-themed because the little ladies currently love all things swimming-- whales, fish, BIG fish, sharks, Nemo... you get the idea. 

The other one is a dress that I had to make after receiving the most adorable mustard-colored peacoat as a hand-me-down for Riley. 

But besides these, I need to make one of these bustle skirts from some of my favorite bloggers, liZ and Elizabeth over at Simple Simon & Co.  If you want a super cute project, here's one for you! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's a crockpot miracle!

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I've used my crockpot to make dinner the past three days.  Oh, I love my crockpot so much.  But I really really do not love cleaning my crockpot.  I know; I'm kind of a baby, right?  But it's just so irritating to me.  Oh, and I don't have a dishwasher either, so maybe that's why cleaning the crockpot puts me over the edge.

But anyway, I had read, in blogland, about these mysterious things called crockpot liners.  So earlier this week, during a trip to Target, I picked up a pack of four liners.


That's all I have to say.  When the meal is done, and the leftovers are stored, I just lift out the liner (which is basically just a plastic bag) and toss it!  And when I had a monstrous flop of a meal, a couple nights ago, the pain of that fail was lessened by the fact that I could just dump the whole thing without having to then clean the crusty evidences of my disgusting flop. 

So yeah, go get yourself some.  Unless you like cleaning your crockpot.  Then save your cash (and maybe move close to me, so you can clean mine?). :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Reversible knit cap tutorial

Poor Little Man has a serious case of cradle cap. Like, had to go into the doc to get antibiotics bad. It makes me so sad. The doctor told me that it would be good to slather him up with Neosporin and cover his head with a soft cap. We have some caps, but since these are going to get yucky and will need to be changed out, I figured we could use a few more. So here's a nice easy knit cap tutorial!


Oh, and I also like making my own hats, so I can fit them to my child. Otherwise, I find store-bought hats sometimes fit funny.

Knit fabric (a t-shirt works GREAT for this!-- I used two old shirts for the tutorial pics!)
Sewing gear

To make a pattern, trace around a hat that fits your baby well.  Or you can use my pattern if you want a 0-6 month hat!

Cut out four of the pattern, two of each fabric. It's easiest if you cut the main hat first; then cut the little notch out of the top.

Sew the notch together on all your pieces.

Then sew your coordinating sides, right sides together. Make sure you line up the notch seam.

Flip one hat right side out and place it inside the other, so they're right sides together.

Using a stitch that stretches (like a zig-zag), sew along the bottom, leaving a 1-inch opening to turn.  

Turn the hats right sides out.

Press/pin the seam.  

Top stitch, again using a stitch that stretches. 

Quick and easy!