Thursday, January 15, 2015

Christmas dress

[You may be thinking its a little bit late to share a Christmas dress... sorry, not sorry!]

Shortly before Christmas, I finally decided that I wanted to sew a Christmas dress for my daughter. Well, of course I wanted to... I'm not sure why I didn't decide that sooner!

I chose the fabric first, a Cotton + Steel print by Melody Miller. I love the metallic dot accents and the floral border print. I also loved that it included traditional Christmas colors - red, green and gold - without looking too Christmas-y. The dress can be worn any time of the year without looking out of place. 

I went back and forth between trying out a Caroline Party Dress and sewing another Geranium Dress. The Geranium won because I was short on time and already familiar with the pattern. I knew that it would be straightforward to sew and the fit would be perfect. I guess I'll try out a Caroline next time! 

Even though the last Geranium Dress I sewed was the 18-24mo size and still fits, I went ahead and sewed the 2T and am so glad I did. The length is just right and there is room to grow in the bodice.

I love, love, LOVE how this dress turned out! It could be my favorite handmade dress so far. The colors are gorgeous and the fabric fits the pattern so beautifully. I added brass buttons from my Grandmother's stash (always love the chance to add a little bit of family history to a homemade piece) to compliment the gold accents in the fabric.


The gold ribbon around the waist and small bow I added to the front of the dress are probably my favorite features. The gold ribbon just made the dress pop. It was sweet before I added it, but after the ribbon and the bow, the dress was over-the-top perfect.

My daughter wore an ivory sweater from Target over the dress since it's been a little chilly. A matching green headband and ivory tights with sparkly gold shoes completed the look. I may be biased... but SOOO CUTE!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2014 in review

I'm a bit overdue for my yearly review post but I like doing them so I'm going to post it anyway! It's so nice to step back and look at what I've done and accomplished in the past year. 2014 was a busy year. My daughter grew and changed every day, I sewed lots (especially little girls' clothing!) and we went on some great trips. Nothing too out of the ordinary but a nice year overall.

See my past yearly review posts here:

In January I posted about our trip to Iowa when my daughter got to go sledding! Then I sewed some baprons, shared a freezer paper tutorial and got really excited about Kid's Clothes week. I sewed the cute Valentine's Day outfit in the photo above (still one of my favorites!), along with a checked circle skirt and a birthday geranium dress.

February was a fun month because we celebrated my daughter's first birthday. We had a "You Are My Sunshine" themed party and my parents came down to visit for a week. We even took a day trip to Dinosaur Valley. A good month!

In March I kept busy with a variety of projects. I shared the photo board book I had printed for my daughter and the rocking scooter that my dad and husband built for her. Then I shared an idea for a wipes container baby toy that my daughter still plays with almost a year later. I finished my cargo duffle bag, which I still maintain was probably one of the most complicated things I have ever sewed... making it one of my favorite things that I have sewed! Finally I shared springtime flowers, a fun vintage find and some handmade baby gifts.

April was filled with lots of sewing. I attempted a Plantain t-shirt for me, then went to town with little girl clothes - puppet show shorts, a yellow sunsuit, another geranium dress and a bunny skirt (with tutorial!) We also had a lovely family Easter and my daughter loved, loved, LOVED meeting the Easter bunny!

In May I continued my sewing streak, making the izzy top and puppet show shorts set above, along with my first lulu dress and another retro izzy top (love that pattern!). And my cats celebrated their birthdays. Ha.

In June I made a snappy mani pouch, a nessie top and even more puppet show shorts. I also shared some handmade doll clothes I found while antiquing. Toward the end of the month, my daughter and I took a long trip to Iowa to visit family and attend a wedding - so many wonderful memories!

In July I shared a cute infinity scarf that I made, but the highlight of the month was a long driving trip that my husband and I took with my daughter. We spent time at museums and in the mountains and on the beach. So wonderful.

August was hot and I had a little bit of trouble getting back into the sewing swing of things after our multiple vacations, but I did manage to crank out a whale lulu top, a hanami top and a reversible apple pinafore - all favorites that will hopefully still fit in the spring!

September was a quiet month on the blog, but a busy one in real life (isn't that usually how it goes?) I did some contract exhibit work and we had carpet put into the entire upstairs level of our house. I also ventured into the world of pattern testing for the first time and made the first of several etage dresses.

In October we had some friends visit at the beginning of the month, plus we did some typical fall-ish activities like the fair and the pumpkin patch. I also revved up my sewing a bit, finishing a yellow etage dress, an owl bimaa sweater and a strawberry etage top for Kid's Clothes Week. My favorite part was making my daughter's Emily Elizabeth Halloween costume - so much fun!

In November I shared the sanitary napkins I sewed for Craft Hope. We also had a lovely family Thanksgiving here in Texas and it was a beautiful month - probably the most beautiful fall in the 4 1/2 years since we've lived in Texas. I also sewed a bunch of felt turkeys and felt pumpkin pies, one set of which I gave away as part of Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day in December.

In December I finally shared the navy natty jane shoes that I made way back in June! I just love them. I sewed up a couple of lua sleepsacks for my cousin's twin boys. And we had a wonderful trip to Iowa over Christmas and New Year's to visit my family. 

So there you have it. A full year. Looking back, I am always surprised at what I accomplished, even though at the time it often felt like I wasn't really getting much done. (Besides the laundry and the dishes. Always the dishes.) I am looking forward to what 2015 will bring. Still planning to sit down and plan out some personal goals for the year... better late than never, right?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

happy new year

Happy New Year from the frigid north!

Whether you are staying up late to watch the ball drop, or going to bed early like we probably will be doing (a long drive awaits us tomorrow!), I wish every one of my wonderful readers a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve!

I'll see you all again in 2015!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

twin lua sleep sacks

My cousin and her husband recently had twin boys and I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what to make for them. I have really only sewn for girls and most of the patterns I own are rather girl-ish...

I finally decided on the Lua Sleep Sack pattern by StraightGrain. I never used sleep sacks with my daughter, partly because by the time I stopped swaddling her it was summertime in Texas (read: h.o.t.) and also I guess I never really thought to try one. But they seem very useful and I will definitely try them if I ever have another baby. Hopefully my cousin and her new babies will love them!

I sewed two sleep sacks in the 0-6 month size. They seem pretty large - mostly long - so I think they will probably last well past the 6 month mark for the twins.

This was a relatively easy pattern to sew up and I sewed the sleep sacks assembly line style, so that made them go even faster. The trickiest part was installing the piping, both times I had to re-do, but I finally got them to look decent. The invisible zippers were fairly easy to install, even though I had never done one. I don't have an invisible zipper foot for my sewing machine, so they probably don't look as nice as they could have, but they zip up and down, so that's what matters, right?

Also, I made one change to the pattern and that was to use heavy duty snaps at the shoulders rather than buttons. The pattern explains very clearly how to attach buttons so that they cannot fall off and become a choking hazard, but it still bothered me to give a handmade baby gift with buttons... especially something intended for a baby to sleep in. If I made it for my own baby I would know the buttons were attached safely, but can I really ask someone else to trust their baby's life to my sewing skills? Simply put, I opted for snaps.

I used organic cotton from Cloud 9 and it was lovely to work with. The blue is Picture Pie by Ed Emberley Racoons and Gray Scribbles. The orange is Picture Pie by Ed Emberley Foxes and Orange Scribbles. I included a layer of 100% cotton batting for warmth. These fabrics were so cute and the sleep sacks turned out so nice that I realized sewing for boys isn't so bad after all! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

giveaway day winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway last week for the felt turkey and felt pumpkin pie! 

Congratulations to Angie Poole Bullard, who guessed the number of pecans EXACTLY - 310 in the bucket. I will be shipping out Angie's felt turkey and pumpkin pie prize early this week.
I was so impressed with everyone's guesses of the number of pecans. Lots of you guessed sooo close and there were only a few that were pretty far off. Thank you all for playing!

Also, while we are on the subject of pecans, here's a short public service announcement... If you are on the lookout for a good pecan pie recipe, try the Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie. I baked this recipe at Thanksgiving this year and can honestly say that it AH.MAZ.ING. and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Probably the best pecan pie I have ever eaten in my life. Just FYI. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

navy natty janes

Today I am sharing a project that I made way back in... well... way back in June. That's a little embarrassing. It happens though.


natty jane shoes, pattern by Delia Creates, sewed by Dandelions and Lace

I made my daughter a pair of leather Natty Jane shoes (pattern by Delia Creates) to go with the Summery Geranium Dress I sewed for her to wear to a wedding this summer. I used a metallic navy leather that I ordered from Etsy and I just LOVE how they turned out. Super adorable, especially with the pearly white snap.

This was really my first foray into sewing with leather and it is a lot harder to work with than cloth! For one thing, you can't make mistakes, because every needle hole is visible on the finished product. Also, leather needles (they have a tiny blade on the point to go through the thick leather) are a must, but leather can still be super tough to sew through. I ruined my first pair of shoes because my little blue sewing machine just couldn't handle all the layers. I bought a new sewing machine in the middle of this project (coincidence? I think not.) and it worked so so so much better. Maybe someday I will share more about my new baby, lol.

natty jane shoes, pattern by Delia Creates, sewed by Dandelions and Lace

Anyway, the shoes were perfect for the wedding. My daughter wasn't quite walking yet, so I didn't even have to worry about them getting very dirty! I sewed a size 4 and I am sad to say that she has grown out of them now, and probably outgrown the pattern - she is just on the verge of needing a size 6, and the pattern goes up to a size 5. I can't wait to make some shoes as baby gifts, though... people need to start having some baby girls, that's all I'm saying!

Oops! Almost forgot to mention that the leather bow was made using the free pattern at Oliver + S and inspired by Craftiness is Not Optional. Easy peasy.

Back to work now... my daughter's Christmas dress isn't going to sew itself! Can't wait to show it off! Hope everyone's Christmas projects - crafty and otherwise - are going smoothly. :)

{Baby photos (doesn't she look so little?!?) taken by my talented sister: Sarah Krumm Photography}

Monday, December 8, 2014

it's giveaway day!

It's that time of year again! Yes, it's Sew Mama Sew's semi-annual Giveaway Day!


For those of you who have never participated, it is a day (well, actually a whole week!) where lots of crafty blogs get together to give away finished projects, craft supplies, fabric, books and all sorts of fun goodies!

Get your giveaway fingers ready to type, because there are hundreds of giveaways on these lists here and here! (Believe me, I will be entering as many as I have time for... I just can't resist the chance to win fun stuff!)

I have decided to participate again this year (I gave away a Christmas apron last year) by giving away a finished project. It is kind of a silly thing, but I decided to give away a turkey! And a pumpkin pie!

Well, they are not real.. but they are fun because they are made from felt! I got the bug to make my daughter a felt turkey before Thanksgiving (from this free pattern from Charming Doodle) and I had the crazy idea to make as many as I had felt for... that meant I made FOUR turkeys! And then I decided she needed some pumpkin pie to go with her turkey (free pattern here!), so I made THREE pieces of pumpkin pie!

When my felt holiday meals were completed, I wasn't quite sure what to do with all my extras, so I decided to give some away!

These are perfect for kids' imaginative play, especially if they have a play kitchen or dishes. They are also kind of fun to set around during the holidays as a decoration/conversation piece.

The details:
* One person will win both a felt turkey AND a piece of felt pumpkin pie sewed up by yours truly.
* This contest is open to both U.S. and international friends.
* You are not required to follow my blog to enter, though I would love it if you took some time to look around!
* The contest will be open from Monday, December 8 through Friday, December 12, after which time I will select and contact a winner. If the winner does not reply to my email within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.

So how to you enter? Well, I thought it would be fun to have a little contest. You see, I've been collecting buckets of pecans from my FIVE backyard pecan trees. (Yes, I'll be cracking nuts all winter long.) The person who can most closely guess the number of nuts in this ice cream bucket full of pecans above will be the winner. Happy guessing! :)