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Monday, July 7, 2014

Masha and The Bear Dress

Have you heard of Masha and The Bear?  I hadn't, not until my cousins asked me to make up a Masha dress for their little daughter's party.  Apparently Masha and Mishka is her favorite Russian cartoon, so they planned a Masha themed party to celebrate summer. 

Masha's dress is adorably simple.  An a-line skirt, and a deep necked bodice made the pattern pretty simple to draft.  The hardest part was finding the right trims for the sleeves of the shirt, and the hem of the skirt, which I ended up picking up at Joann's, not perfect matches, but they worked.
As far as materials go, I used a pink suiting fabric for the dress, and a white oxford shirting for the top. 

I added a simple button closure at the back of both the shirt and the dress.  

She made an adorable Masha, and her little brother made a perfectly cuddly bear.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fabric Wallet and Smart Phone Case

I think that I mentioned in the last post that I'd been working on a lot of custom project for family and friends, well here's a glimpse of one of those little projects.

My sweet Mother In Law asked if I'd make her a case/wallet for her new iphone. I've made some basic leather sleeve style cases for ipods, ipads, ect, but I'd never made an official case/wallet hybrid.  So this was a bit of an intimidating project for me.  I knew that to get this project right there would have to be a lot of prep work: measurements, patterns, proper order and assembly, and then hope and pray that I remembered to add all of the seam allowances, and then of course hope that the phone fit in the wallet.

When I finally got over my trepidation, and sat down to make the case, it wasn't that bad. I ended up making a tri-fold wallet.  I added a side zipper pocket for coins, and a small pocket for lip gloss.

 In the middle there is a leather sleeve for the phone, but the phone also fits in on the side pocket, under the cards.

I also added a little leather wristlet, so that she can carry it on her wrists on all of her adventures.  I lace and flower were afterthoughts, the pink zipper felt out of place, so I added more of it.

It's not perfect, and there are things that I'd do differently next time, but all in all I'm pretty happy with the finished product.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Summer Blessing Outfit

My sweet nephew was blessed this month.  I have yet to meet him, as he lives far away, but I can't wait to kiss his sweet little cheeks.

His good mom asked me if I'd make him a blessing outfit, and I couldn't say no.  Sewing/crafting is one of my love languages, so to be able to make something special for him on his special day, was a great way to show him and his parents my love and support.

I ended up sewing a simple white satin vest with a pocket square, and a matching bow tie.  The satin shorts are so sweet.  If a baby has thigh rolls, I whole heartedly believe that they should be shown off.

The little newsboy cap didn't turn out as perfect as I'd liked, but was still a sweet touch for the little gentleman, and a bonnet alternative for such a grown up blessing outfit.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Collective: A Crafter and Artisan Boutique -396 Park Avenue Idaho Falls

One of the reasons that I have been a bit MIA lately is the fact that I've been really busy sewing.  There's no time for blogging when you're busy sewing, and I've been sewing for a new brick and mortar boutique that I am excited to be a part of.  

The Collective is a new crafters and artisans boutique located in downtown Idaho Falls.  I love the location of the building, and the boutique itself has even more charm.  The owners have made sure to only allow handmade goods into their store.  It is full of extremely talented local artisans and their creations.  
I painted the logo on the chalkboard using gouache paints.  Don't paint it too thick, or it will chip.  

As soon as I walked into the store, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.  I am part of a couple of other local boutiques, but they allow re-sale products and imports in their store.  This boutique really celebrates handmade goods, and locally made.

I threw my display together in a hurry, and was really fortunate to be able to find some thrifted pieces that made my display come together.

The entertainment center/cabinet doesn't have a lot of charm on it's own, but it is really functional.  It was heavy, and I was able to hang some hooks on the side, a trouser hanger that serves as a scarf display, and a sign on the back.  There is a sliding shelf, which allows for multi-level display, and I've since opened up the bottom doors, hung a tension rod between them, and now display my onesies on the rod.

I had a couple of really great vintage flannel fabrics that I was able to use as linens.  They break up the bold coral pink, and add a bit of feminine flair. My favorite thrifted item is that brown and white polka dotted hat box.  

Trouser hanger, not beautiful, but functional.
 And of course, I had to have something to display and sell at the shop, so I got to play with some new scarf designs. Love them!

If you happen to be in the South East Idaho area, be sure to stop by this fun handmade shop!  You can follow The Collective on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Slush) - A Summertime Favorite

I'll be honest, I've never been a huge fan of watermelon. The flavor is fine, but I've never loved the texture. So I was amazed how much I love a good watermelon drink.  Agua de Sandia is one of my all time favorite summer drinks, and it is so easy to make.

If you have part of a watermelon that needs to be used immediately, this is a great way to use it up.  Scoop the watermelon out of the rind using a spoon, or my favorite, an ice cream scoop.  Place it in a blender with a bit of sugar (1/4-1/3 Cup) , and 10-14 ice cubes.  Blend on high until all of the ice cubes are ground, and enjoy.  It's such a refreshing summertime drink.

Agua de Melon (cantaloupe), mango, and pineapple are  also delicious. If you have extra drink, throw it in some popsicle molds, and enjoy the next day as a refreshing fruit-sicle.

Monday, May 19, 2014

August Elliot: Nine Months

It's been a while since I've done a baby update.  I like to write these up for myself.  I'm not a very dutiful journal keeper, so recording them on the blog is at least some type of written record.

In the past month and a half August has hit so many milestones.  It makes me a little bit sad to see my little baby becoming more and more independent. He started crawling at about 7 1/2 months, much later than his two brothers, but I was quite pleased that he waited a little while.  He's pulling himself up to standing, and loves to be walked around the house.  Unfortunately this boys balance doesn't keep up with his eagerness to walk.  He has crazy legs, and I think we are still a ways away from independent walking.

At 7 1/2 months he cut his first tooth.  His second, third, and fourth all cut together on the top.  The week following 2,3,and 4, he cut 5,6, and 7.  Teeth 6, and 7 aren't visible in the picture, but they have cut through the gums on the bottom.  All of those teeth, so close together, makes for a pretty uncomfortable baby.  At least he is working his way through the teething process in an efficient manner.

At 8 months he figured out how to wave to say bye bye, and learned to clap his chubby little hands.  He is so sweet. He loves to play, and smiles easily.

He's slid down the charts a bit in the past months.  All of this teething has killed his desire to eat.  He's weighing in at 23.5 lbs, and is in the 93%.  He's 94% for height, and is 100% for head.  My boys have had big heads, and I blame their daddy!

His hair is coming in nicely, and is a sweet honey blonde with loose curls. 

We sure love our little Gus Gus!  We're so glad he's ours.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Straps

When it comes to sewing, one of my least favorite aspects is turning tubes.  Small, tight tubes can be especially tedious and frustrating.  Today I have a quick trick for you that can help make the process go much faster.

It is especially helpful if you have multiple tubes to turn, like in this sailor's knot headband I made for my niece.

First off, it is a technique that uses an overcast serger.  So, if you don't have one, it is just one more reason to add a serger to your wish list.

You'll need a serger, and a large eyed needle.  That's it.

To sew your tube, you'll serge over the raw edges, with your right sides of your fabric facing each other.   You want to make sure that you leave a long chain on the end of your strap. I'd recommend a chain that is at least six inches.

I used a basic three thread overcast stitch.  A four thread would work as well.

Once you've overcast your edges, thread your chain into the eye of your needle.

 Insert the needle into the tube (same end as the threaded chain). Feed the needle/chain through the entire length of the strap.

As you gently feed the needle/chain through, the tube will turn right side out.  Easy as that.

 In no time you can sew up several straps for your summer sundresses.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Lazy Saturday Maxi Dress: A Pattern Hybrid

It's Selfish Sewing Week over at Imagine Gnats, and I decided it was high time I did a bit more sewing for myself.  So, I busted out some ITY knit that I've had in my stash, and a couple of my favorite self drafted patterns, and created this super comfortable knit maxi dress.  I LOVE it.

First off, you can find the two projects that I combined to make this dress on my blog:  The Easy as Pie Tank Pattern was used to draft the neckline and arms, and the Lazy Saturday Shirt  uses a similar technique to shirr the extra material in the width of the dress. You can find my more information on the shirring technique used, here and here.

The Easy As Pie Tank has a dart included in the pattern, I didn't change that.  The shirring pulled in the extra material from the dart.  Using an existing maxi dress as a guide, I determined how long, and wide  I wanted my dress to be, and cut my fabric accordingly. 

I finished off the neck and arms using a technique similar to attaching ribbing.  The only difference was that my ITY knit didn't have quite as much stretch as my typical ribbed knits, so I used longer strips to finish them off?  Lost?  I'll have to do a ribbed knit technique tutorial in the future.  

The shirring pulls the dress in at the waist, and gives the dress a bit more shape.  After sewing up the dress, at the side and shoulder seams, I tried the dress on, and decided where I wanted my first row to start.  It was really a sew as you go type project.  The important thing to remember is that you don't want your shirred rows to start too high (like my Lazy Saturday Shirt), or the rows will be crawling up your bust.

This was a super quick sew, and well worth the time and material.  I love the finished product.  It might be the only selfish sewing project of the week, but I'm happy with it, so that is a win!