Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!  I stitched this out real quick last night, and I didn't do a great job at digitizing, but if you'd like to stitch it out yourself then you can find the .pes file here.

Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know if the download works!

Friday, October 29, 2010

BOO dress and bodice making tutorial

I love little girl dresses that just slip over their heads, that can be worn with a shirt underneath or without. I made myself an all purpose bodice pattern years ago, it get’s adjusted as the girls grow and is always fun! I like to cheat a bit when sewing, so this pattern is both the back and the front of the bodice:

Since it is cut on the fold, the pattern works this way:

Back ready to be cut

Front cut

I cut 2 fronts and 2 backs so the bodice can be lined. It isn’t necessary to do it this way, the sleeves and neck line are easily hemmed…but I’m a bit of a lazy sewer and don’t like hemming so I just about always line these kinds of dresses.

To make the lined version, you sew the back and front together at the sides, then with the right sides together you sew the neckline and the arm opening. Notice where the pins are at the top of the bodice—you want to leave that part open.

Turn to the right side, press if you need to or just finger press as I’ve done here. Match up the tops of the bodice:

Now comes the tricky part, you want to hold on to the tops as you flip the bodice inside out again—the back will be inside the front tube (or the front in the back, doesn’t matter which way you go, just do the same for both.)

Sew the tops together

Flip back to the right side, and you have yourself a lovely slip on bodice!

The skirt is just a large rectangle; you determine the width (more width, more gather, and more twirl factor) and the length (I like just below the knee on my girlies).

The big Barbie is modeling the finished dress (everyone was asleep when I finished it!), but it fits my girlies well and they just love it!

So do I!

Let me know if there is interest in the bodice pattern by commenting below and I’ll figure out a way to share it with you all!

I'm linking up at &;  & made by you Mondays and all the other great linky parties found on the right side of my blog!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Out of Africa

Years ago, my kids attended a safari themed VBS.  I embroidered this for that event:

The staff hung it on a door and had each child take a picture in front of it. 

It's been years since I thought of this!  I don't even know where I might have stashed the stitch out!  But I found it while looking for another picture and thought I would share!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Quilt

This isn't mine, but I saw it hanging at the local library and just had to snap a picture of it!

I love all the detailed applique!  Quilting isn't my thing, but I so do appreciate all the work that goes into a piece like this!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mommy Monday--cleaning

Me: Ok kids, we’re cleaning the house today

Older kids: cool! Who’s coming over?

Me: nobody

Older kids: but we always clean the house before someone comes over.

Me: well no one is coming over and we are still going to clean the house

Younger kids: why mommy?

Me: because the dust bunnies have dust bunnies

Younger kids: what are dust bunnies?

Older kids: the fuzzies behind the doors are dust bunnies

Younger kids each run to a door and take a look behind

Missy D: we can glue them to our picture! They can be the clouds in the sky!

Missy T: yeah!

Mr. A: I volunteer to help them!

Missy M: No I will!

Me: listen you kids, there will be no gluing of the dust bunnies! (pointing at each child) grab the Roomba and run it in the dining room, grab the vacuum and start on your room, girlies: you clean up all the Barbie clothes in the playroom. Go!

Mr. A: I don’t know why we have to clean if no one is going to see it.

Younger kids: yeah.

Missy M, wisely quiet and lugging the vacuum to her room--being the oldest has the benifit of knowing this is the wrong question to ask.

Me, glaring at the boy, pointing to the mess in the playroom for the girlies, imagining banging head on the wall…when…

Hubby: Uh, when you have a minute could you come and tell me how high you want these blinds hung.

Me (rolling my eyes): I’ve been waiting for you to hang them 3 yrs, so anyway you hang them will make me happy…

Is it any wonder that getting anything done at my place takes forever? Sure, I could run about the house and clean it myself in less time than it takes to argue with the kids about doing it…but then I’d turn resentful that no one ever pitches in and the kids would never learn to pick up after themselves….

Then again, maybe I should get a clue out of that first question…it’s the one always asked when I tell the family it’s time to clean up!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

another Halloween hello kitty dress

 Of course we had to make a dress for the 4yr old too!

I ended up lining the bodice with the same fabric I made the skirt

Over all I like the way they turned out...if you haven't seen the first dress, it can be found over here.

I'm busting up that Halloween stash!  Hopefully by next weekend I'll have significantly less Halloween fabric to pack up for next year!

Some of the other fabric I've been finding...well, it need to go!  So stay tuned for my first give away!

I'm linking up at and all the other great linky parties found on the right side of my blog!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Never again...(simplicity 2289)

I should know by now that any pattern which drapes over my chest makes me look larger than I already am.

Of course, every time I sew one up I tell myself I’ve learned my lesson….sigh…every time.

I’ve had some wonderful results from Patty Reed’s Simplicity patterns when sewing kids clothes, so when I saw this Tunic pattern (2289) I picked it up.

 I didn’t want to cut into my printed polar fleece, so I used this sweatshirt fabric instead.

The instruction, cut, sew process where all easy! I whipped it up in under an hour. Then I put it on.

EEK! Even my kids who usually don’t comment gave me a look: what are you wearing mom?

I didn’t take pictures of me in it, but as you can see from my dress form (which is padded in the same areas I am), the look is not flattering.

I think it would have been perfect on me when I was pregnant. It may even look great on someone with a flatter chest.

It won’t be going into my wardrobe, but it was a good exercise in my continuing quest to improve my sewing skills.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Tuesday?

I'm still on Monday! Hubby's sick, kids are little monsters (but I love them anyhow!) and I can't seem to sit down and post all the great things I've been working on!  Let's face it, for me sewing is my meditation, my relax time, me time--you get the picture.  Without it I'd be a bigger monster than I am these days!

So on the monster theme, check out the tutorial I wrote a while back on how to make your own monster stuffies!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mommy Monday—gotta work on the math!

Sunday morning, husband is sick and barely able to talk. Oldest child has fed youngest child, so parents got to sleep an extra hour—as did MissyD, the 4yr old.

Usually, our daily routine begins with the youngest waking up the whole house, so to say that Sunday morning was a departure from that routine is an understatement!

When MissyD finally woke up, she crawled into my side of the bed and asked (in a whisper) if I could make her breakfast.

Of course I could, up she got and went straight to the dining room to wait for me to complete my morning business.  Once I got to the kitchen I realized that the oldest had already fed the youngest (hence the extra sleep) and left food for MissyD too.


MissyT is playing dollies quietly and I ask if she’d like some more raisin bread and maybe some milk.  At the same time I’m putting another slice in front of MissyD, cut in half.

You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now?

Right away I hear “I wanted a whole piece mommy!”

OK, no problem, here’s a whole.  MissyT’s is cut in half, but she was still playing with her dolls and totally engrossed, so I got away with it.

Then I take the cut in half piece of bread and give each girl a slice.

Now in MissyD’s mind: her sister had three pieces on her plate, and she only has two.

You see where I’m going with this?

There were no tears, but the look on MissyD’s face said: “this is so wrong!”  No amount of reasoning would convince her that both plates had the same amount of food on them.  She sat there pouting, refusing to let me cut her “whole” piece.

Being the good mother I am I gave up and went to check e-mail.

Fifteen minutes later in comes MissyD asking if I could cut her bread in half.  Once the newly cut bread was in front of her, she did the plate comparison again.  Satisfied that she and her sister had the same amount she proceeded to eat, smile and chit-chat.

Ah, balance restored.

Then the MissyT finally makes it to the table—remember she’s two.  She proceeds to tell me that she already had one whole piece, now she’s having another whole piece and a half, for a grand total of two and a half pieces! (the child is beginning to scare me!)

MissyD  tells her that she’s having 3 halves, not a whole and a half.

Balance turned upside down, spun around and smacked on the ground.

“YES, Girls, you are both right!”

Blank looks given to mom.  Mom distracts kids with offer of chocolate milk.

Ah, balance restored….except for that little math thing….guess we missed teaching a child math…probably should do something about that….hmmm, think I could get the two year old to teach her older sister?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

more Halloween de-stashing: ghouls night out vest

I'm afraid to even try to figure out when I bought this vest panel.  I know it was sometime in the last 10 years!

It's a Daisy Kingdom panel, I bought matching "ghouls night out" fabric to make dresses for my girl (now girls!)'s still in my project!  Really!

I found this bubbly, swirly purple which didn't look too bad with the other colors in the vest and decided to line the vest (even though the instructions don't call for a lining).  All I did was trace the cut out vest peices onto the fabric and cut, sew the lining same as the vest, and put the two together!

Overall, it turned out cute.  I'll be wearing it to the classroom parties I'll be headed to in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween de-stashing...Hello Kitty Dress

How cute is a Halloween Hello Kitty dress?

Dang cute!

My two year old is loving it.

I'm linking over to  & &   and other linky parties found on the right!  Come and join the party!

Thank you Kim for featuring me on Cheap Chic Home!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gymnastics suits

My littlest girls are going to gymnastics. So much fun and joy to be had on their lesson days!

But has anyone out there looked at the prices of gymnastics suits? Even ballet suits?

I don’t seem to recall them being that pricey 6 yrs ago when I bought outfits for my oldest! Too bad those don’t yet fit the littlest of my bunch!

Any who, I also bought a bunch of patterns to make my suits years ago, which needless to say never got done. The patterns have been sitting forgotten in my pattern stash boxes. So imagine how surprised I was to find this one when I recently took to organizing my patterns and pulling out what I wanted to work on this fall and winter!

The thing to remember with BURDA patterns is that there really isn’t a seam allowance. Generally, for me, this isn’t an issue since I tend to cut big.

Round one,  I didn’t cut big enough (or take into account the diaper: child when will you potty train already!)

Round two turned out better, but still a tad tight on the Miss. D.  When I make these again I'll go a size bigger for her.

I finally settled for the blue for trim…but I think I will have to run an elastic through it. The neck line just bags a bit too much without it.

I also think I’m going to do an applique on each suit….maybe an owl? Or bird silhouette?

What do you think?

Monday, October 11, 2010


I’m a mom to 4 little monsters (it is October, they deserve the title), and so I’m dedicating Mondays to all those crazy mommy related things I talk about on the playground, with my friends, with other mommies, to random strangers, to whoever may be or may not be listening…because sometimes, mommies have to VENT share too. :)

So welcome to the first edition of Mommy Monday: 

I’ll brag, my kids are smart.

Maybe in the smarty pants sort of way, but we’re proud of them anyway.  They each have their own quirks and they all have a real thirst for knowledge.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with what they know and where they learned it from.

Being a mommy is sometimes exhausting, and sometimes my brain goes numb.  Did I teach them that?  Do they know this? After four kids, the repetition of each age and stage blends into one another, so I end up relying on the older kids to teach the younger.  Not always the smartest thing.  A couple of years ago I was saying the 2 yr old has the humor of a 6 yr old boy (and it hasn’t gotten much better since).

When I try to realistically look back at all those ages and stages, and evaluate my emotions about them for each child, I realize just how differently I’ve reacted to each child:

  1. When missyM, my oldest was able to recite the alphabet and recognize random letters before she turned two, we were proud.

  2. When we realized MrA, the second child, had such a large vocabulary before the age of 3, we were relieved (the child didn’t talk until 2 and then had a speech impediment, so we were always asking him to use a different word to explain his garbled sentences.  Like the time he couldn’t say “turkey” instead translated “you know that bird we have for Thanksgiving.”)

  3. When missyD recognized all her colors and started telling us what “matched” around the age of 2, proclaiming herself a budding fashionista, we were amused.

  4. When missyT, the fourth child, the youngest, the one who picks up everything from her older siblings does something at, above or below the curve, we just roll our eyes, sometimes burst out laughing or just thank the Lord that this is our last child to raise.

Number four is our stubborn child.  The one I fully expect to give us headaches as she goes through all the fun girl stages.  Hopefully she surprises us only in good ways (knock wood, say prayers, wish on stars...well you get the picture).

But while on the subject of surprises, who thought it would be a good idea to teach that child to count?

missyT: "I want a two egg omelet."

Me: "OK "(as I take one egg out, I know from past experience two eggs is too much for her)

missyT:  "not one egg mommy two!" (Standing at the fridge, ready to pitch a fit)

Me: (too early in the morning for missyT’s fit) "OK, mommy’s cracking another egg, see two eggs."

missyT: (nods looking satisfied, sits to wait for omelet)

Me: (cut omelet in half, serves her up a half)

missyT: (looks at plate, looks at me, puts on angry face and yells) "NOT HALF OMELET! WHOLE OMELET. NOW TWO PIECES!"

OMG! Seriously?  She knows the difference between half and whole?  You bet she does.  Once she got the other half on her plate she happily munched away, sending me the evil eye every so often.

Really, did we really thing it would be a good idea to teach this child anything when it always comes right back to bite us.

I can’t say she’s the best fit pitcher in the world, that honor would go to our son when he was her age.  But it’s never fun to start the morning with her throwing one, and being the stubborn child that she is, we can’t talk her out of her fits once she starts.  It’s her way or no way.

And it’s hard not to give in to the little terror.  Which is funny, because I never gave in to the three before her.

So of course, the morning went according to missyT’s schedual.  I swear she’s smarter than all of us combined to be able to make us all jump at her command.

Of course she only ate half of her omelet…and took a good long time to do it.

 MissyD said it best to all her preschool teachers today:

“daddy had to drive me because my little sister was screaming”

Teachers: “do you mean crying?”

MissyD: “no, screaming.  Nothing gets done when she’s screaming”

Out of the mouth of the 4 yr old…I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Halloween stash continued: the blanket

Once upon a time I bought some Halloween fabric...the next year some more...then some more...then a house remodel had all my fabric crated up for a couple of years. OOPS!  forgot all about that Halloween fabric!

Yesterday I shared some of the border designs, and even though the kids played nice I didn't get to the dresses and skirts.

Instead I did this:

It's a blanket panel I picked up years ago and totally forgot about! 
I didn't even set the serger up for the "correct" stitch--the 5 thread safety stitch was it:

Now I get to call this project DONE!  Out of the stash!

Yes, there is a whole lot of satisfaction in getting another piece of fabric out and into the world--I'm de-stashing bit by bit! 

OK fabric, which one of you is next!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The forgotten Halloween stash…

You know you have too much fabric when you forget what you have! I knew that there was a crate full of Halloween fabric somewhere in my house, and when I pulled it out last week I got so excited!
Look! Look what I forgot about:

Those boarder prints are going to make adorable dresses and skirts for my girlies (and maybe even their dolls!).  I wonder if yesterdays haul has anything I can pair these with?

So off I go, to many projects floating around in my head and the free time to start a few! My older children are occupied playing with friends and the younger are joining in—everyone is playing nicely!

Of course now that I’ve “said” it out loud, the screaming should start any minute.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oh me, oh myo! What did I buyo!

My mission was simple: find a color to go with the purple gymnastics suits I’m making for my younger girls. And if I find giraffe printed fabric along the way, pick that up too.

Yeah…that’s all…really…all that other fabric you see just fell into my cart and accidentally got cut. So of course I had to buy it (hehehe).

I’ve got some fun projects planned for that pink zebra print! My girlies are just going to be rockin’ in their new jackets!

I manage to pick up the fabric I need to finish the gymnastics suits…the colors didn’t come out quite right in the picture, but that’s hot pink, neon-ish green and baby blue.

Now all I have to do is feed my crew and I can get to sewing!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bag for my Ballerinas

I love these little ballerina designs from RetroBoulevard. I’ve used them for gifts, and I made this adorable little ballet bag, that each of my girls has used (currently the youngest is waiting for her lessons to begin!)

I drafted the pattern myself (years ago). I found the fabric in the upholstery section of my local Jo-Anns, and it was a perfect match to some pink denim I had lying around!

There are three outer pockets on the front and the back, trimmed in a pink boa I picked up at Michaels. The embroidered little ballerinas grace both sides of the bad, and one graces the inside pocket.

On the handle I sewed a ballet slipper button and a ribbon bow.

The bag was a great hit with my oldest girl, then her sister, and now the youngest girl is all excited to use it!

I guess some things really are timeless.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pet Shop toys everywhere!

In an effort to help my youngest girls organize their littlest pet shop toys, I’ve latched on to their love of bags and made a lovely (if I do say so myself) little circle bag for all their little critters. Each critter has its own little pocket. Next time I think I’ll run elastic through each pocket to help hold them in a bit firmer. Still, the current pockets seem to hold them quite well.

The bag was a hit! Of course, the organizational concept of it didn’t last long—the girls are 2 and 4 after all! Ah well, I’m glad the critters still made it into the bag, if not their own little pockets.