Monday, August 22, 2011

Beth's Gifts and a Tutorial

My friend Tiffany and I threw a baby shower for another friend of ours. Beth is having a baby girl at the end of this month and I am so excited. She has a son Lorelai's age and I'm always excited for mother to get their first girl. Setting up and making treats for this shower were a BLAST but that is a post for another day. Today I want to share with you the gifts I made as well as tack on a little tutorial!

I mentioned Beth has a son who is three. That is a lot of time to be alone with mommy and now a little miss is coming to steal his spotlight. I thought to help ease his pain it would be really fun if he and baby sis had some matching super hero clothes. I used this tutorial to make him some superman shorts...

and I thought it would be so cute to make baby girl a little superman onsie dress. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the super onsie dress (I'm hoping Beth will send me a pic of the two kiddos in their matching digs) but to appease everyone... Here is the tutorial!

Onsie dresses are easily my favorite my favorite gift to give but so hard to find in stores. I can not understand why, because they are just the perfect outfit! All one piece, no keeping track of those matching diaper covers. Simple and adorable. Lets begin!
For these onsies, size 3mos, I bought half a yard of awesome fabric each.
For each dress you will need

  • 1 onsie
  • 1/2 yd of fabric
  • matching thread
  • elastic thread

Before cutting anything, measure from the waist to the snaps and add one inch. For me it equaled 8". Now go ahead and slice those onsies in half.

For this skirt I made two layers. Lay your half yard out and cut long ways. The bottom layer of the skirt is 8"X44" and then the top layer is 7"X44". This leaves you with a little fabric left over which is perfect for adding an embellishment to the finished onsie or matching hair piece.

Fold the top layer in half right sides together and sew a 3/8" seam.

Do the same for the bottom layer.

Press up the the bottom of each layer a half inch and hem.

Then slip your bottom layer into the top layer, with the right side of the bottom layer facing the back side of the top.

Next you are going to switch your bobbin for one with elastic thread. Make sure your thread is wound very loose or your skirt wont turn out.

Now, sewing through both layers sew a line a 1/4" away from your edge and then a second line a 1/4" below that. The fabric should have scrunched up a bit but to obtain optimum schrunch hit those seams with some steam! It is very fun to watch. I don't know the chemistry behind that but it works!
When I tested out my methods I only needed to lines to achieve the necessary scrunch but for this project I found my fabric was a little stiffer and I had two add two more lines.
I like to tie my ends of elastic thread to make them more secure.

This how the skirt looked before the steam.

Pick up the bottom of your onsie and slip it into your perfectly scrunched skirt. The outside of your onsie should be against the inside of the skirt. Pin all the way around.

Once it is all pinned up grab the top of the onsie. With it still right side against the skirt pin the edge to the edge of the skirt. Pin through the bottom of the onsie as well. Make sure the side seams of the top of the onsie and the bottom of the onsie are lined up. When you have pinned half way around the top put all of the skirt in your hand just like in the picture above.

Pull the the free side of the onsie down, and then up the other side of the skirt, turning it inside out. Pin the rest of the way around.

Its time to sew it all together. You want to find ^this^ stitch on your machine. This zig zag will allow the finished garment to still stretch. Sew all the way around through all thicknesses.

Pull the top up and you are left with this awesome finished onsie dress! I hope you enjoy and if you give it a try please send me pictures.

Linked up to : Ladybird Ln's Weekend show of party

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Quick Side Note

While I wouldn't consider this crafty, it has nothing to do with sewing, and I didn't actually do it myself; I wanted to share my angel baby's first hair cut. My husband did it so I guess it falls under the category of "DIY".

Love that boy!

See you Monday for Baby Shower Week!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Dirty Project

AKA: Motorcycle Reupholstering

My husband was "hand-me-downed" a motorcycle. This motorcycle has a bit of a chip on its shoulder and has required some work to get it usable. The one must that involved me was the torn up upholstering. We were trying to hunt down someone who would do it within a reasonable price range when Brett said,
"I wish you could just do it".
I immediately responded with,
"I am sorry but this is way beyond me". The seed was planted. I thought about it for about 30 minutes while he went down the rest of the list of possibilities. After the last on the list turned out to be a dud. I told Brett that I did want to give it a try. We figured we would head over to Joann's and see how much the materials would cost. It wasn't so bad.
I had one major concern; I was afraid my sewing machine's stitches would be too small and would cut the material rather than sew it (it's happened to me before). So I sent my dad a text message about this crazy task I was considering and he suggested I come into his work and use his heavy duty sewing machines. Sweet!
I started getting very excited.
I cut the original upholstering along all the seems so I could make a pattern to work with. When all my new pieces were cut out I called up my dad and he arranged to meet up at his office after hours.
That first night I worked on the seat that I thought would go together most smoothly and things went great! I was riding a sewing high! I was thinking gosh! I really can do this!
I sewed the two sides to the center, did some schmancy top stitching, and then I made the fatal error of sewing the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top. Fail. We left dad's office after two hours of work on a low note but I was still quite optimistic.
I met up with my dad a week later to work on it again. I whipped up a second one and fought the machine trying to get the curves just right all while my baby melted down. Even though my sewing went faster than the first time I didn't get to finish the piece because Kent just wasn't having it! I went hope fairly dejected but dad said we could go back the next day and Brett would be available so I wouldn't have to take ANY kids. I was excited again.
The next day Dad and I went to his office by ourselves to get some serious work done! But I broke five needles and was going crazy. I had made some respectable progress but I thought I would snap if I snapped another needle. I made one last go at it when I broke the final needle. It snapped into different place and literally jumped out and slapped me in the face! I had had enough and gave up for the day. I couldn't believe how poorly that kid free attempt went. I was no longer looking forward to working on this crazy project and didn't even bother calling up my dad.
A couple days later my dad brought it up and asked if I wanted to go work on it that night. I'm glad he did. I needed to just get this all done!

This time I took Kent's swing with us and that made a huge difference. That, and Luke, Dad's coworker fixed our threading problem that caused all the snapping needles.
Like I said, huge difference! Things went so well I finished two of the three cushions/seats.
I knew that if things went smoothly it would only require one more trip to finish the project. But I knew they wouldn't and kept telling my hubs it would probably take two more trips.
I met up with my dad Thursday night and got down to work on the hardest piece. I worked non-stop for an hour and a half and things went so well. I was skipping and my dad was cheering. We left 15 minutes earlier than we had planned and when I got home Brett was pretty disappointed to see me. My dad had texted him saying that I had given up and was coming home. I was so glad because Brett's face when I showed him everything was all done was perfect!!

I'm not going to lie. I am pretty proud of myself. This was not an easy project but I challenged myself and I think I really rose to the occasion.

I love that my husband thinks that I can do anything, and while that can be daunting, I think that this time I really delivered and that made for one happy hubby!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Swim Lessons Summer 2011

My brother Desmond has an extended school year that reaches well into the summer leaving him only three and a half weeks of summer vacation. To him it's "only 3.5 weeks" to me it's "THREE AND A HALF WEEKS?!?!?". JK. It's not quite that bad but all the same, I wanted to find some activities to keep him and Lorelai fairly occupied. It hit me during his first week of vacation while I was watching Lorelai, who, while wearing a life jacket, fearlessly threw herself into the pool over and over again. Hello! We should have signed them up for swim lessons! My friend who is the swim coordinator at the local JC let me know that there was a two week class starting the following Monday and there were still plenty of spots open.
The kids were very excited and that first lesson was so fun.
I was so proud of my brave little girl and when she ran up to me I promptly wrapped her up into her towel and she gave me this less than excited look. Des also really struggled with the whole 'walking while wearing a towel' thing and corralling them into the car was not fun at all. I remembered this pattern by Made that I was impressed by but I thought it wasn't likely that I would need it anytime soon.
I went back to my parents house and quickly convinced my mom that we needed to buy it and some beach towels right away. She was easily swayed to my point of view and I got right to work.
The pattern is for sizes 9mos to 4T so I whipped up Lorelai's first so I could judge what adjustments I would need to make to enlarge it for Bekah and Des.
My printed out patterns ended up looking like this...
Some major alterations were involved but it all worked out. Des got a Transformers robe.
It took two beach towels to make Desmond's and Bekah's robes.
On the inside of Desmond's robe I used some transformers cotton for the lining. On Bekah's robe I used the same orange fabric I used for the bias tape.
Lorelai's is easily my favorite. To line her's I used pink zebra stripe and I think it coordinated so well.
She is such a cutie little poser for the camera. Her robe pooches a little funny in the picture because she is wearing a tutu swimsuit.

All in all the two weeks of swim class were an excellent experience. Even though the classes seemed so short Lorelai learned a ton and all three kids made some major improvements. On the last day all the kids got to jump off the diving board. The guy in the water was not her teacher (her teacher is on the board with her). Lorelai had only met him that day. She is one strong brave little girl. I couldn't be a prouder mama.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wedding Week The Clothes

I love planning outfits when pictures are involved and weddings are pretty much the Super bowl of coordinating outfit picture taking! (I think you know what I mean by that).

Katie knew from the get go that she wanted the groomsmen to wear white church shirts, blue pants, red converse and yellow bow ties. An interesting request but I was excited. How cute would that look on a Kent baby? You be the judge.

I pretty much had free range as far as Lorelai was concerned. I wanted to stick with the carnival type theme and this is what I came up with.
The tutu and giant bow were a must. I made the skirt first. It is a basic tied tulle tutu that I sewed the waistband onto. Then I attached the waistband straight to the bodice. I just pulled out the bodice pieces from a dress pattern I had previously used. It turned out so adorable and Lorelai just loved it too.

Well that's it for Wedding Week. I hope you all enjoyed it. Brett has three more brothers so there are many more weddings in our future! Stay tuned!

Pictures were provided by Diana Nye

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wedding Week The Accessories

Katie had some very specific ideas about what she wanted for her bridesmaids/groomsmen and she banged out some awesome wedding DIY making bow ties for the fathers, pinwheel boutonnieres, and giant pinwheels for the bridesmaids to hold as well as fabric flower head bands for all the girls.

I also had some ideas for accessories for my kids. I ended up making three things.

1. A bow tie... for Kent...
I found the tutorial for Kent's bow tie here. I thought it turned out pretty fab and have made a couple for him since then.

2. A necklace... for Lorelai...
I really love making jewelry though I don't do it very often. I was so excited when I saw this pendant in the shop it was absolutely perfect. Lorelai loves having little necklaces just for her and loves putting them on but she'd kind of a punk about keeping them on. I noticed in the reception pictures she isn't wearing it anymore.

3. Shoes... also for Lorelai...
Since Lorelai was tiny her one true love has been shoes. My cousin Emily bought her a pair of little red high heels that Lorelai wore long before they fit her and long after. By the time Scott and Katie's wedding came around, even though they were sooo perfect, they were just too small. I hunted for another pair online for months but in the end I had to make myself let those shoes go.

I found this little pair at MJM for only $10 and since I found them in town, no shipping!! I didn't like the little decoration on top so I made two fabric yo yo's from the quilt scraps and hot glued them right to the top of the shoe. Then I glued on these red rhinestones and they completed her out fit very nicely.

Well, only one more wedding post left. Friday will bring us the long awaited for wedding out fits! I'll see you then. :)

Pictures were provided by Diana Nye

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wedding Week The Gift

When Brett's younger brother Scott told us he was engaged everyone was thrilled. He had been dating Katie for a short while but everyone could tell there was a special vibe between them. He had sent me a picture of the ring a few days before he proposed so the wheels in my mind started turning and by the time the official engagement happened I knew I wanted to do two things.
1. Knit a set of Christmas stocking. We have a pattern that is kind of a tradition on my side of the family.
2. Make them a wedding quilt in their wedding colors.

It breaks my heart but while I was making the stockings and quilt I couldn't find my camera so I took all the pictures on my phone...Now that phone is out of commission and I can't get any of those pictures. While all pictures of the stockings are lost to the world I did get some completed shots of the quilt.

I used this free pattern from Amy Butler. Here is what hers looks like...

And here it is in Katie's colors. I don't remember the exact finished measurements but it fits a queen sized bed.
It was too small so I added 16 squares and doubled the border.
The best part was that I machine quilted it myself! Field of Fabrics is a quilt shop that has a machine that they let people use after they take a lesson learning how to operate the machine. It is really fun and  I've already gone back with another project, but that is a post for another day!
I asked a friend of mine to embroider their anniversary and my 'signature' and I think it looks fantastic. Except that I feel weird putting my name on the quilt. It feels like bragging to me. But out there in quilt blogger world they say labeling your work is a must. The pattern I used even specified that I sign it because "future generations are gonna wanna know"
My husband helped me take all the pictures so I thought I'd give him a little credit here :)

Scott and Katie were married for time and all eternity on Saturday May 7. 2011 in the Oakland California Temple.
For more information on temples and the plan of happiness go here.