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.

Anyway.

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!

Hooray!

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! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

sewing for Craft Hope

Whenever possible, I love the opportunity to use my love of crafting for those in need. Craft Hope has made crafting for a cause straightforward yet meaningful, and I have participated in several projects over the years, including sewing a sock monkey, aprons and pillowcase dresses. The most recent project {Project 25} We Are Kenya, is donating items to an organization that works with children in one of Kenya's largest slums. 


One of the items that was needed was reusable menstrual pads... sanitary napkins... whatever you prefer to call them. My first reaction was something along the lines of Why would I want to make those??! And who would, when the other options include sewing sweet stuffed animals or cozy hats and scarves? Well, after reading further, I changed my mind. You see, girls are often forced to quit going to school after their period starts because their family cannot afford to provide them with pads. How very, very sad. 


It is hard being a girl... I remember all the things I "lost interest" in after getting my period. Swimming, dance class, Girl Scout camp. I wanted to avoid the possibility of embarrassment. But having to quit school? That is in another league entirely. I want to help some young girls through this tough time, which is why I decided to take on this project. If my work keeps even one more girl in school, then it was worth my time a hundred times over.


The details: I made a total of 24 reusable pads using flannel (only $3 a yard on sale, so these were really cheap to make!) and snaps. I used this tutorial I found on the blog Little House Living. I followed the tutorial exactly for the blue set, so they are lightweight, like liners. For the purple set, I added a layer of waterproof PUL and a couple layers of cotton quilt batting so that they will work for heavier days. They turned out so nice that I would be lying if I didn't admit that I almost wanted to keep them for myself.


I sent them off last week, so I hope they make at least a tiny difference in some girl's life. Projects like this make me realize how blessed my life really is.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Emily Elizabeth: a Halloween costume

So I went around and around trying to decide what to make as my daughter's Halloween costume this year. (Last year she was a Cabbage Patch doll!) I was planning to do an owl but at the last minute decided that since she LOVES the Clifford books so much, she should be Emily Elizabeth, the little girl from the books! I was inspired by a costume I found on the blog Seeker of Happiness.

 

Emily Elizabeth has worn a variety of different outfits over the years, but I decided to stick with the pink and black ensemble she wears for the Clifford The Big Red Dog TV show because I felt it was the most distinct and recognizable. (And can you say cute!?)

 

The only handmade part of this outfit is the dress. I used the Norah Dress pattern by Welcome to the Mouse House (again, purchased in a pattern bundle). I used a stretchy black knit with polka dots and a white satin for the collar. My "master plan" was that it would be a dress she could wear anytime, not just for Halloween. The satin collar gives it some dressiness, so it turned out looking more like a special occasion dress than a play dress, which is fine, I guess... we just don't have many dressy occasions around here! I loved the pattern and will definitely make it again. My only regret is using the satin for the collar - it was really hard to work with, especially attaching it to the knit, and it kind of sticks out funny. Not exactly the look I was going for but it looks fine as a costume.


I purchased the pink cardigan on sale at Old Navy. It is a little long because they only had a size 3T, but that's fine because she'll grow into it. The shoes are from Target and the leg warmers are from Etsy. Easy peasy!

The best part of the costume is Clifford! I ordered him from Amazon and hid him in my closet until costume time. She adores him and luckily was distracted enough by her new friend that I was able to get her outfit on and pictures taken without any real meltdowns. (She is becoming more and more opinionated about clothing and didn't seem too keen on this costume until Clifford came out.) I hid him again until Halloween tomorrow, but it remains to be seen whether he will work his magic a second time.


"Oh look, a dog!"


"Just like Clifford!"


"Woo-woo-woo-woo-woof!"


Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2014

kid's clothes week: owl bimaa sweater

Two posts in one day!!? What is going on??!

bimaa sweater by loubee clothing, sewed by dandelions and lace

Another project I sewed up for my daughter for Kid's Clothes Week is an owl Bimaa Sweater. It is my first time sewing this pattern by LouBee Clothing (got it in a pattern bundle awhile back) and I want to start out by saying... I LOVE THIS PATTERN! I can totally see why it is so popular. It was sooo easy (and quick!) to sew up and turned out so cute. I will definitely be making more.

bimaa sweater by loubee clothing, sewed by dandelions and lace

I used owl and chevron knits from JoAnn. My daughter is obsessed with owls and loves this fabric, so even though she is starting to have opinions about what she wears, I didn't have any trouble getting her to try this on. It is a slim fitting pattern, so I was slightly concerned about a 2T being too snug, but I went ahead with it and it came out perfectly. I chose the cowl version, but there is also a hood and a shawl collar option.

bimaa sweater by loubee clothing, sewed by dandelions and lace

bimaa sweater by loubee clothing, sewed by dandelions and lace

The theme of this season's Kid's Clothes Week is "Storybook" and even though I didn't base this outfit on any particular book, I thought I'd share a few of our favorite books about owls.

Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan is a sweet story that tells of the forest animals and places that Little Owl visits during the nighttime darkness. I love the artwork, especially the depictions of the night slowly turning into day.

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell tells of three baby owls (Sarah and Percy and Bill!) who wake up to find their mother gone. They become concerned for awhile but in the end are reassured that their mother will always come back.

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na shows the owl observing all the different ways that animals sleep. It ends with the animals waking up in the morning and the owl finally going to sleep himself. Gorgeous!

Do you have any owl books to recommend for me and my little owl lover? I'd love to hear!

bimaa sweater by loubee clothing, sewed by dandelions and lace

kid's clothes week: étage top

I'm making fairly good progress on my Kid's Clothes Week goals... finished the Halloween costume dress (pictures later!) and a Bimaa Sweater (pictures sooner!) and I completed an Étage Top that I started awhile back and have been putting off finishing. It needed a few tweaks as it was one that I started in the middle of the testing process and the pattern was changed slightly. It also needed to be hemmed, and try as I might, that is something I can never get very excited about.

etage top by sew straight pattern company, sewed by dandelions and lace

Anyway... before we start, let me tell you about my morning. So yesterday, some nice city worker left us a note on the door saying that our water would be turned off for 4-5 hours this morning for some work on the water main. Ok, no biggie, I can handle that. 4-5 hours... no big deal, right? Wrong. One hour in and I've already changed a poopy diaper, had to leave the toilet unflushed, handled raw chicken, chopped an onion that left me weeping with no place to wash my hands or face and probably done several more unsavory things that I can't think of right now. BTW, can you get high off of hand sanitizer?? So I decided we needed to get out of the house stat and we headed to Wal-Mart (of all places) to look for stove knob covers because a certain someone has been started playing with them and the gas on one of the stove burners was running all night long a couple nights ago. Yes. I know. Anyway, couldn't find the stove knob covers, but Wal-Mart DID have soap and running water, so I consider it a win. Had lunch out and came back to a house with still no running water and 2+ hours left... 20 minutes at last count... and that's if they actually keep it to 5 hours. It is HARD to be home with no water you guys!! Anyway. That whole story was to tell you that as I was buckling my daughter into her car seat, I realized she was wearing this top backwards... and I had already taken photos, ugh. At the time I was thinking, there is no way I'm taking them again, but when we got back she was still in a good mood (and she hadn't spilled lunch all over her shirt, yay), so we went out and took a few more. So this post includes a mix of photos of her wearing her top both forwards and backwards - see if you can tell them apart!

etage top by sew straight pattern company, sewed by dandelions and lace

The Étage Dress and Top is a new pattern by Sew Straight Pattern Company - find it in the shop here. I already made two Étage Dresses (here and here) so I thought I'd make a top too. It is fun and swingy just like the dresses but can be worn with jeans or leggings, so it is perfect for fall and winter. I used a mix of fabrics this time - Briar Rose Strawberry knit for the top bodice layer, then a fushia knit that came from a dress I didn't wear anymore, and a striped gray and white knit from an old shirt of mine that had a hole in it. I think it turned out adorable and my daughter seems to think it's pretty comfortable.

etage top by sew straight pattern company, sewed by dandelions and lace

I feel like there's more I should be saying about this but my mind is blank. It's been a day. And it's not even 2 pm, lol.

etage top by sew straight pattern company, sewed by dandelions and lace

etage top by sew straight pattern company, sewed by dandelions and lace


[disclaimer: I wrote this yesterday and in re-reading the part about the water sounds a little whiny now... first world problems, I know. But I am leaving it because I feel it's a reminder of how much we should be appreciating our overlooked conveniences like running water. Smile! Life isn't so bad.]

http://blog.kidsclothesweek.com/2014/10/day-six-kcw-fall-2014/

Friday, October 17, 2014

fall and other things

Hi there!

Just thought I'd pop in and say hi. I haven't posted much lately, but that is certainly not because I haven't been busy. I've had lots of projects going... both sewing and otherwise. Here's what I've been up to in the last several weeks.

* A visit to the fair! Yes, the Texas State Fair is in town, so my husband, daughter and I spent a day there two weekends ago. We ate corny dogs, chicken in a waffle, the world's best cinnamon roll and other yummy treats. We visited Big Tex, and the petting zoo and my daughter rode her first carousel (and loved it!). I paid special attention to all the arts and crafts ribbon winners... I just might enter something next year!


* The pumpkin patch! Another fall must-do. My daughter was sooo excited to see all the pumpkins and ride in a wagon, but it got quite hot that day and after a few minutes of looking for the *perfect* pumpkin, we were all ready to grab the next pumpkin we saw and get back to the air conditioning!


* Company! We had visitors for a few days last week... my friend from Indiana and her daughter who is about the same age as mine came to visit. We spent a day at the Arboretum (the new Children's Garden is amazing!) and a day at the Aquarium and lots of time playing at our house. What a fun time. My daughter cried inconsolably after her little playmate had to leave... until I was finally able to distract her with a trip to the library!


* Craft Hope! I'm working on something for the current project - {Project 25} We Are Kenya. I will share more when I am finished. Check out the link if you feel inspired to craft for a good cause!

* Kid's Clothes Week! This season's Kid's Clothes Week starts on Monday, so hop to it if you are interested in participating! I am still working on firming up my plans and goals for the week, but here are some project I have in mind: 1// A dress for my daughter's Halloween costume (still a surprise!). I am trying to make it so that the dress can be worn anytime and not just as a costume. 2// A winter jacket(?). I have the Nituna pattern and am very inspired by this beautiful example. Not sure if I will get to this or not because I haven't yet found the perfect fabric for a coat. 3// A couple long sleeved shirts that my daughter can wear when it starts getting cooler. Planning to use a comfy knit pattern - probably either the Nessie Top or Bimaa Sweater since I already own both of these patterns. 4// Some Go To Leggings
I think these projects will be really doable, especially if I prep my patterns and fabric this weekend. They are all practical items that will get a lot of wear, too, so that is nice. (I also welcome pattern suggestions!)

Well, that's most of what's been on my mind (besides the craziness that has been Dallas during this recent Ebola madness... but I won't bore you with all that!). I'm sure you'll hear lots more from me next week during Kid's Clothes Week!

Friday, October 10, 2014

yellow apple étage dress

Another Étage Dress today! As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the opportunity to help Terri of Sew Straight Pattern Company test her newest pattern, the Étage Dress & Top.

The pattern was released on Wednesday of this week and is on sale through today, so be sure to check it out in her shop!

Etage Dress by Sew Straight Patterns, sewn by Dandelions and Lace

As I mentioned before, this pattern is designed for knit fabrics and the dress has four flowy tiers, while the top has three. Depending on fabric and styling, this pattern can be as perfect for church as it is for playtime. There are three sleeve options - sleeveless, cap sleeve and half sleeve. Just think of all the fun fabric combinations you could make with the different layers!

etage dress by Sew Straight Patterns,sewn by Dandelions and Lace

While I wouldn't call this pattern difficult to sew, it does require some concentration. The layers need to all be positioned just so for the finished dress to have the correct look and there are a lot of pieces to work with. But if you clearly label your pieces, double check your work before stitching and most importantly, take your time, you will fall in love with how quickly the dress comes together.

etage dress by Sew Straight Patterns, sewn by Dandelions and Lace

For this Étage, I alternated an neon colored apple jersey knit with a yellow sparkle knit. It turned out bright and fun. I'm hoping this dress will last my daughter until next summer, because she loves wearing it so much already, and I know she will love it even more once she learns to twirl.

etage dress by Sew Straight Patterns, sewn by Dandelions and Lace

Another fun aspect of this pattern is the fact that hemming the tiers in different ways can give you a completely different look. In my first Étage, I didn't hem the tiers at all. In this dress I alternated a single-fold hem with a lettuce edge hem and really love how it turned out.

etage dress by Sew Straight Patterns, sewn by Dandelions and Lace

I had such a great experience testing this pattern and can't wait to see what the Sew Straight Pattern Company comes up with next!

Be sure to check out the pattern here and remember it is on sale for the rest of today!

etage dress by Sew Straight Patterns, sewn by Dandelions and Lace