Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh Sheet, it's a dress now!


I made Raina this dress, and I think it's pretty cute! 

I didn't use a pattern, I just used one of her dresses as a guide and sort of winged it.  It's made from part of a vintage butterfly sheet from the thrift store, and a yellow rose sheet that was my grandmother's before I stole it for crafting.  :)

Sidenote:  The rest of the rose sheet was attached with spray adhesive to my windowshades during college.  I thought it looked pretty artsy and vintage, but now I wish I had that big piece of sheet back to play with!  It is SO soft and worn in... and I can dream of so many things I would do with it!

Back to the dress.  I made a bodice, and a skirt piece that was about twice as wide, maybe a little bigger so it would make lots of ruffles.  I like to hand ruffle, but you could also do it on a machine.  The straps are from the butterfly sheet, as is the facric rose at the waistline.  It still didn't look done, so a added ribbon and rickrack at the bottom to fancy things up, and some flower trim at the top of the bodice. 

I wish there was enough fabric to make one in my size! 

Unfortunately, I made this lightweight sundress at the end of September.  Poor planning, Mama!  But I could always layer it, or, at the rate Raina grows, she'll probably still be able to wear it in the spring!  Of course, there's always little sister to pass it along to down the road!

I[m also thinking I might want to line it since there's a lot of stitching showing on the inside.  I've never done that before, though, so I'm not committed to it yet.  Maybe I'll do it on a practice dress first.

P.S. - This shot is courtesy of Super Why on PBS, playing behind the camera so that little miss two would actually look at me and humor me for a second while I slipped the dress on and snapped a picture.  Thanks, PBS - you've saved my blog once again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rainbow taggie

Wrapped up all pretty like...
I heart taggie blankets.  And ribbon.  And rainbows.  And minky dot fabric. 

Can you see where I'm going with this?

I have, uh, a pretty solid supply of ribbon.  But with my Etsy shop in a low selling season (www.rainasunshine.etsy.com), I've been looking for some new ways to use all the pretties.  They look lonely just sitting around under my craft table waiting and wishing to be wrapped around a dowel and stuck in the oven!  Answer:  taggies!  All kids love taggies.  Something about the silky ribbon, and the rubbing, and ... I'm yawning already.  It's not just kids :).

So, I thought I'd make my own taggie - pretty simple, and a beautiful result!

Minky fabric, with ribbons pinned in place for sewing

This is one yard of white minky dot, which I could cuddle in for the better part of an afternoon.  I cut ribbons in lengths of approxamately 2.5 inches, folded them in half, and pinned them facing in on the right side.  A matching one yard piece of minky gor sandwiched on top, and I sewed it up until I had about a four inch opening left.  I turned it right side out, closed the opening, then topstitched all the way around - this gives the ribbon some extra stability and also gives the whole blanket a nice finished look.

I loves it.


Some ribbon and topstitching detail

Now, in an effort to be completely honest... I'm not showing you my entire finished blanket here :).  In the center of the front, I appliqued the name of my new baby girl, who is due next week.  (Or tonight.  I'll take tonight.)  It looks beautiful if I do say so myself.  And I do.  I printed letters off the interwebs, traced them onto scraps of fabric in various colors (leftover from fat quarters used in the bonnets), and ironed them on with fusible interfacing.  For lengevity, I also handstitched around them.  BUT... you'll have to wait to see that part.  Sorry :)   Really, I'm dying to tell.  But it's the only surprise we've kept with both girls, and we're so close now...  I can't give in!

I've done a few more taggie projects lately...  more on those later...  and hopefully an update soon with the little lady lounging on her personalized taggie!

Wearing my heart on my... knees?

The first day I had Raina wear these cool kid pants, she was NOT in the mood to model.  She was feeling very 2.5.  She was interested only in the flamingoes, and was pretty annoyed that the rides at the zoo had the nerve to be shut down on a weekday on October.  Nevertheless, I managed to grab a few shots of pants in action...
She is telling me to "Shoo."  Seriously.  Does it get more two than that?!

Okay, back to the pants.  These are pretty basic pants.  I traced a pair of Raina's pants onto this fabric, which I love, and which JoAnn Fabrics is now completely sold out of.  Apparentyl a lot of other people like it too.  Fortunately, I had the foresight to buy 2 yards of it, so I'm making it last!  You may remember it from my last post, where it made an appearance on a few bonnets.  You'll likely see it again soon.  Here are some close-ups of it's loveliness:
Can't get enough of it.  Any thoughts on more projects I should use it on?

Wait.  Pants.  Wasn't I getting back to the pants?  I traced a pair of Raina's pants onto the folded fabric, right at the bottom.  No hemming!  Raina is lanky, and has a pants problem.  As in, the don't fit her.  Ever.  Pants that are the right length literally fall off her bottom, and pants that fir correctly in the waist are capris.  So I make her pants.  I love the pants I make her, and she tolerates them.  :)  I sewed the front and back pieces together, inserted an elastic waistband, closed the seam... PANTS!  But they were missing something.

When I was little, I remember my mom making (what I remember being) some pretty sweet knee patches for my pants out of iron on bonding material... those patches sold to reinforce knees, elbows, and other parts of clothing that get worn quickly (are there other parts?)  Mostly, I remember them being cat patches... which seems weird looking back since my mom is totally not a cat person, but wharever.  My point:  knee patches.  I decided these pants needed some decoration in the knee area.  The heart patches are made from heavy-ish red jersey, reclaimed from a red t-shirt that's been in my "do something with this" pile for a while now, and can finally breathe a sigh of relief, knowing it will be loved again.

Knee patches, on cute pants.


PANTS!  Displayed lovingly on my kitchen floor, because my camera is dying and that's where the light is best :)
I give these pants an A+.  They are soft, comfy, and go with lots of Raina's shirts.  I especially love that they go with the Big Sister shirt.  Raina loves that they are pink and have a heart on them, thus making them "princess pants."  Whatever works, right?

Big Sis, princess pants, and the zoo Jeep... and a SMILE!

Monday, October 24, 2011

In my fuzzy bonnet...

So.  It seems that when I start making something new, I make it to death.  Not necessarily a bad thing, just a trend I'm noticing.  Hairbows?  Yeah, we've got a few.  Now my workspace (um, kitchen table) is covered in fleece and pins and flanel in pretty little girly prints.  I figured I'm expecting a girl, and they're cute, so if I'm making one...  why not make 15 more? 



I was browsing the interwebs one day (thanks, Pinterest!) and found a super-cute baby bonnet tutorial on Prudent Baby, a blog I am completely addicted to.  I started looking into other bonnet utorials, and I was hooked.  I am a huge fan of hats on babies, but the ones I like always cost eleventy billion dollars and are sold at specialty boutiques that don't appreciate visits from a harried mom and her spirited toddler :).  SO, as always, I thought "I CAN MAKE THAT!"  (My husband's least favorite phrase by now, for realz.)  I played around with all the tutorials, gave my seam ripper a good workout, stabbed my fingers with pins a lot, tweaked, played... and ended up with, in my opinion, the most awesomely adorable and cozy reversible baby bonnets in three lovely little sizes! 


                                                       (showcasing the reversible-ness)

My first tries (and actually, one of my top fave bonnets) were made from cotton fat quarters, but since it is getting chilly here, it seemed like a good idea to try out some fabrics that would keep little heads toasty warm in the upcoming months.  I ended up making flannel/fleece bonnets in newborn and 3 month sizes, and cotton ones in a 6-ish month size.

And can I just say - I am in LOVE with these bonnets.  I donated some to my church craft fair to raise money for the Susan G. Komen foundation, and they were (to say the least) well received.  It helps that about 8 women in my church have young babies or are expecting, but seriously - the requests to make a sweet hat for all the little ladies at church were more than I expected!  Also, Raina has requested a purple hat that is "just for Meow.  No baby."  Stat.  I love that little girl! 

                                Meow, modeling a rainbow version while he waits on his purple one.

A few things about the bonnets...
1.  Each one has a piece of elastic sewn inside the two layers so that it fits better across the back of the baby's head.  Without the elastic (which was a huge headache at first!  There is NO good way to do this step, but it really is worth it) there is a funny gap at the back of the neck unless it is made to fit each individual baby. 
2.  I used ribbon for the ties.  Long pieces of ribbon.  In no way would this pass any child safety standards.  I know that.  But I also know that I'm not going to put my baby to bed in a bonnet, and I know that I keep a close watch over babes in my care.  Babies should not be left unattended with long pieces of string.
3.  Two pieces of fleece sounds cute and cozy, but in my experience it is bulky and hard to work with, especially in the tiny sizes.
4.  Fat quarters are perfect for this project.  They give you about enough fabric for 2 bonnets, or one and a ruffle if you are haphazard with your pattern placement, like I am sometimes :)  You get lots of variety without a big pricetag, and you wont get as tired of the fabric as if you had bought a yard off the bolt.  Or maybe that's just me.

I think that's it.




                             A few of the cozy reversibles...  my faves, and a holiday version!

So basically, I adapted this pattern:  http://www.prudentbaby.com/2010/01/fleece-bonnet.html
This is the pattern from prudent baby.  (Also shown on their blog in cotton in another post).  This is what is, in my research, a 6-ish month.  I scaled it down a few times to make tinier versions, leaving the length of the pattern pieces intact, but tracing in about .5 inches on the sides/top.  It was trial and error.  I'm really not a pattern maker or follower.  I made the ruffle strip longer and wider, 'cause I love me a good ruffle.  After one successful attempt at their binding and elastic method, and a few frustrating ones that left me with what I considered to be under-par results, I changed the last few steps to be as follows:
1.  After making the inside layer and outside layer, and ruffling the ruffle... I made a sandwich.  No, not PB&J!  Two layers, right sides facing, with the ruffle facing in and sandwiched neatly in the middle, and two pieces of ribbon pinned in at the bottom edges right next to the ruffle (which were inside the layers when it was sewn).  I pinned the crap out of it and sewed all the way around, leaving just enough space to turn the whole thing right side out. 
2.  Once it was right side out, I inserted a piece of elastic about half the length of the back piece and sewed it into place with some barely noticeable tiny stitches.
3.  To finish the opening, I folded the edges in and slip-stitched it closed.  No visible stitches anywhere on the outside.

(I am pretty terrible at explaining my steps.  If you have questions, feel free to ask!)

Ta-da!  Bonnets!  Lots of them.  Seriously, lots.  My baby is going to have one on at all times.


Two of the cotton versions - I loved mixing and matching the patterns for these!  Seriously, fat quarters give you so many options! 

Side view, on a wine galss.  I love the way the elastic gathers at the back!

Side view of my first (and maybe favorite), on a worm model.  That butterfly fabric.  I want it everywhere.

Embellished with felt "buttons," sewed on securely!



More details of my fave.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sigh.

I was doing so well at this blog thing for a few months there.  Then I went and got preggers again.  Suddenly, morning sickness and exhaustion took over my world... mucking with my blogging and being an awesome momma.  I think we spent most of last spring slo-mo-ing through the mornings, finalling rolling into Dunkin Donuts every day around 10 for bagels.  Bagels were all I could eat for months.  I was pretty sure when I had my first ultrasound, it was going to be a bagel on the screen instead of a baby.  Instead, it's "probably a girl," and probably due any time now!  Officially, my due date is Halloween, but I'm pretty done and would take a baby over a pumpkin in my shirt any day now. 



Lately, I've been felling pretty good... that whole nesting thing.  With Raina, my nesting was "The Three C's" ...cooking, crafting, and cleaning.  I've decided to lighten my load a little this time around, so I've decided to skip the cleaning part.  :)  I feel good about that decision.  My next few posts are going to show some of the projects I've been working on...  which currently number about 57.  Yeah.  Crafting ADD. 

Hopefully you can get some inspiration to get your own craft on, and maybe forgive me a little for my extended absence.  Because, let's face it:  I'm funny.  You missed me.  Right?