Friday, March 19, 2010

Painting for a Princess Room!

I never intended to make Raina's room into a pink and purple princess den.  It just sort of... happened!  In fact, when I was registering for her baby shower, i was adamant that she would NOT be surrounded by overly girly things.  Well... I found a pink and purple stroller that I fell in love with, and it's all gone downhill from there!  Sometime last spring, I decided her room needed some mommy-made art.  After searching online for some inspiration, this is what she ended up with!  I'm quite pleased with it, if I do say so myself!

I started with a regular artists' canvas that I found in my mom's basement (from my art school days... looong ago!), and acrylic craft paint.  I drew the letters freehand on drawing paper, then arranged them on the canvas and used carbin paper to get everything in the right spot.  The leaves, flowers, and birds were all done freehand, but could be done with carbon paper, too.  I painted everything in one color at a time, just sort of jumping around the canvas and trying to spread the color out.  At the end, I outlined it all with a black sharpie, added some faom flower stickers, and called it a day (or maybe a week, but who's couting?)!  I plan on making some as gifts, too... we'll see how that goes!

leprechaun pants

In honor of St.  Patty's Day, I thought I'd make my lovely little lady a pair of festive pants.  Out of 2 placemats.  Really!!!  I wish I had thought ahead to my blogging self when I made these and taken pictures throughout.  Sorry, self.  But really...  these pants are made from to super cheap ($2 each!) holiday placemats.  I got mine at an amazing Northeast store called The Christmas Tree Shop, but you could pick them up from a clearance section, home goods store, probably even a dollar store!  I folded them in half, traced a pair of a pants that fit her well, cut, and sewed, then added an elastic waist.  I didn't even change the thread in my machine to gree, I left it white :)  Oh wait, I do that for all my projects?  Yeah, you're right.  Some day I'll be fast enough at re-threading my machine to make it worthwhile to change the color for every superfast pair of kid pants I make!

And there you have it, St. Patty's Day couture!  Paired with a shamrock shirt, shiny shoes, and this awesome headband (I might have one too)... she's a lucky charm for sure!

pot o' gold shoes

recylced tshirt top

I've been working on making a successful final product from Lil Blue Boo's recycled t-shirt dress "Sienna Pattern" for a while now.  I have had... moderate success.  Although I'm fairly happy with the end results, I can't seem to get the last step, the neck, to look right. 

Now wait, I guess I should back up a little here :).  The pattern itself is awesome.  Clear, detailed, lots of pictures.  Definitely worth the price.  I hemmed (Ha!  Sewing pun!) and hawed about buying it for a month or so before I finally did, and don't regret it.  My novice sewing skills are just not quite up to the challenge of necklines and topstitching, I guess!

Of course, I used some of my favorite old pieces of clothing to make this outfit, and I'll be one sad lady if I can't work together with my seamripper and hand-me-down Singer to figure this thing out!  That shirt down there...  see it?  Those pieces are my well loved old H&M flower sleeve shirt, sparkly floral Gap tank top, another soft pink shirt from the Gap, and on the bottom, a light pink with sparkly accents shirt from Charlotte Russ.  Clothes that I have not wanted to part with, even though they look pretty pathetic on my post-baby bod.  By "up-cycling" them (I love that term!), I'm hoping I can get as much joy out of seeing them on Raina as I did wearing them myself.

Side note:  I may get just a *tiny* bit emotionally attached to my clothes.  Weird, I know.  But every time I look at certain (most?) items of clothing, so many memories come flooding back, and I love that.  Putting baby clothes away when they are too small has been EXCRUCIATING for me!!  Hopefully, there's another baby girl in my future somewhere....  :).

So, there's my cutie, modeling her Mama's handsewn creation.  She wasn't really in the mood for a photo shoot today, can you tell?  "Hey, Ma!  I'm tryin' to play over here!"  Below it, the whole outfit, modeling itself on my bedroom floor :).  Ta-da!  The pants, by the way, were super-easy.  They're the sleeves of a shirt used in the top, trimmed together, sewn in the crotch, and given an elastic waistband. 

Okay... time to get friendly with Mr. Seamripper...

snowflake jumper

I love easy projects.  This one is near the top of the list of "easiest craft projects I've ever made."  So easy, so fast, so cute.  I love that combination!

It's chilly here still, but I love Raina in dresses.  I looked through my stash of old clothes waiting to be transformed, and found a pullover fleece with a silvery snowflake pattern on the bottom.  Perfect for a little fleece jumper!

I folded it in half inside-out and traced one of Raina's dresses on it for length and width.  Next I pinned the sides and sewed them up, sewing "hems" on the strap edges, too.  And last (yes, really!) I used some velcro for the straps, so that it can easily go over her head and fasten without buttons or snaps.  Because I am way too afraid to try the buttonhole option on my sewing machine yet, and I have no snaps in my sewing basket :).  I thought about hemming the bottom edge, but decided not to in the end.  The fleece wont fray, and I like the soft look it has without a hemline.  Oh, and I'm lazy.  DONE!

It looks super cute layered up with warm tights and bright long-sleeved onesies.  Thanks again, pile of old clothes!

baby legwarmers

Little chunky baby legs look TOO cute in legwarmers!  I fell in love with all the different colors and patterns at the baby boutique, but the price tag made me gasp a little.  We went home with one cute little polka-dot pair... and wheels turning in my head.  A few days later, at Target, I noticed some fun women's knee socks on clearance.  AHA!  I bought a few pairs, including these fabulous ruffly numbers, and went to work.  It's quite simple, really:  cut off the foot part above the heel, fold over, sew with zig zag stitch.  If you use a straight stitch, which I did at first, there is no stretch at the top, making it hard to get cute legwarmers over aforementioned chinky baby legs!  The zig zag stitch gives them just enough give.  So now we have no more sore knees...  just pretty purple ruffles to chase around from room to room!

rock n' roll pants

Now that I've figured out how to make baby pants without them looking so obviously homemade, I can't seem to stop myself!  I've had this pair of pj pants in my drawer for ages, and they never get worn.  I just don;t like the way they fit.  What I DO love is the awesome guitar graphic at the bottom of the leg.  So instead of letting them waste away in my dresser until the elastic waistband goes all crunchy, turning them into rockstar pants for my little superstar seemed like a good idea!

They look adorable on her... and I even had to tell my husband these ones were homemade!  Here's a few more pairs I've made recently...

Pretty flowery vine pants.  These are made from a tank top I bought once on sale and then never wore because the straps were too long.  I like that they're flowers, but not overly froufrou and pink.  Unfortunately, my laziness at changing thread colors is really obvious on these ones.  I really need to get over that. 

These pants, while admittedly a little wonky looking, are my favorite.  I was IN LOVE with this striped sweater from the Gap for such a long time.  I never bought it during it's time in the store, despite visting it on many occassions.  A few seasons later, I found it in a thrift store for $3.  Yes, you're reading that right.  I wore it a few times a week at first, and while I eventually cut down, it was a staple in my wardrobe for at least 3 winters.  The wool is a little worn, hence the wonkiness, but the brightness and the stripes more than make up for it.  Maybe some day I can catch Raina in a good mood and get some shots of the pants in action :).  Sewing these was a little tricky because the sweater knit stretched in ways I'm not used to yet... but with lots of pinning and careful sewing, I managed to get most of the stripes lined up.  I'm thinking more sweater pants are in Raina's future!

fun with lizards!

hippie chick

flowers and butterflies dresses

flutter bum!

kaleidoscope skirt

country club dress

made from mom and auntie paige's old dress!

posies dress

made from mom's old skirt!

A Pink Poof!

When I saw this tutorial on Samster Mommy's blog, I knew I had to try it:

Immediately.  A ten minute tutu?  For reals?!  So off to the craft store I went, in search of rolls and rolls of tulle!  Oh, how I love an excuse to buy tulle!!  And really, it was indeed a ten minute tutu.  I ended up making two, one to keep and one to give as a gift, that's how simple it was! 
Right now, I think it makes Raina look like she's sitting in a pile of cotton candy :).  She'll grow into it, though!

So, go!  Now!  Read the tutorial, and make a few yourself!  The little princesses in your life will be glad you did.

first attempt - some pants!