Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Refashion - dress from what?

After all that fun making dresses for the girls I didn't want to be left out.

The Tuesday before Christmas Steve and I were invited out to dinner - a grown up dinner, with no children!  (Well, the baby is still nursing every 2-3 hours, so he had to come, but he sleeps pretty much the whole time) And that afternoon when my mother's helper came, instead of doing any of the 2,001 things I needed to get done before we left for Christmas, I decided to make myself a new dress.
Out of an afghan.

It was something someone had made for us as a wedding gift, but Piper (our 220 lb lab mix) had used an edge of it as a chew toy one time, and I have never been sure of what to do with it.  I didn't really know how to fix the edge (have a mentioned that I cannot crochet?) and I didn't have the heart to just throw it out.  So it's sat around for the last five years, mostly being used by the kids to make tents.
And that day I figured, "what's to loose?"
a puppy's work
I really wasn't sure what it would come out like when I started, but I rather like it.  With knee high boots and a pretty scarf?  Unfortunately, after finishing it and trying it on that afternoon, I realized that there was no way I could nurse in it, short of taking the whole thing off, and so I didn't get to wear it that night after all.  Oh well, one of these days...

Instead of bothering with a pattern, I first cut the muslin slip and basted it together to be sure I had the fit I wanted.  Then I marked the few changes I wanted, and took it apart and used it as a pattern on my afghan. 
It was a really simple pattern - just 4 pieces, so it went together really quick.  I will say that cutting that blanket made a lot of fuzz everywhere!  I was finding it for weeks.

What do you think?

 with a belt?

back view

I still haven't worn it.  Maybe next winter when I'm not nursing anymore.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

she wore blue velvet...

So, now for those Christmas dresses.  

There's nothing like deep blue velvet and white lace.

And how about matching ruffled eyelet pantaloons?

I love it!

With plenty of "spin".

And some flowers of course.

Coordinating hair bows are a must.

Who knew having little girls to dress up could be so much more fun than dressing myself ever was?!

I've had an idea for little matching dresses ever since Joy was born.  It's just never happened before.  However, I happened to be near the fabric store one day a few weeks before Christmas, without children, and I happened to have a coupon, so I bought an armful of fabric and lace, and came home and got to work.
Like I said, I've had an idea and a few sketches for several years now.  I spent a morning drafting the patterns, and then started on the dresses while the kids spent the afternoon at a friend's house.  Another couple nights of staying up til 2am, and they were done!  They really were fairly simple patterns, it's just the material and lace that dress them up so much.  I think the pants took more time than either dress (not counting those hems - I think they're a mile around, altogether!)

I have to say that the evening is my favorite sewing time.  It's so quiet and peaceful after the kids are in bed and the kitchen cleaned up.  And it's such a nice big piece of time - no thinking in the back of my mind "do I really want to start this and then have to clean it up in an hour?", no rushing to finish something before somebody wakes up, or needs something...  Just a big, lovely, quiet time to do whatever I feel like doing.  I do start to get a little tired around midnight, but then I think of Declan's 2am feeding, and decide I might as well stay up until then, and usually get a second wind.
Of course, the next morning can be difficult.  Which is why God made coffee, I'm pretty sure.

But back to Christmas outfits.  Once those dresses were done I found a little blue velveteen outfit that Declan could wear, and then I didn't want to leave James out, so the morning before we left for our trip up north for Christmas I decided to make James a little matching tie.  It was so easy!  I just used one that he already had for a rough size estimate, and this tutorial.  I'll be making him some more in the pretty near future, I do believe.

I love this crew!

If you're interested in my patterns for the dresses, just let me know and I'll see if I can put something together to share.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

more scraps

Another thing on my list this Christmas was a gift for my little nephew.  I have to mail it, so I decided to make a little pencil case he could take to school.  So I pulled out my handy scrap drawer again, and here's what I came up with (inspired by this) --

I'll eat you up!
 I made the "head" from some scrap painter's canvas that I had (by the way - it's the best stuff to make slip covers with - tough and durable, washable, and CHEAP) and added ribbon "hair", a red 7" zipper "mouth" and felt features.  I just glued the felt down, so it didn't take more than 1/2 an hour, start to finish.

Of course, that is just a rough estimate, since nothing ever actually gets done, start to finish, in one sitting around hereMore like start, change a diaper, work another minute, settle a dispute, work another minute, chase the dog and take back the baby shoe he is chewing on, work another minute, get somebody a drink of water, work another minute....  You get the idea.

Then I stuffed in with color pencils, and mailed it off!

And it was a great way to use up little tiny ribbon pieces!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

what can you do with a scrap?

Another thing I had to finish before Christmas were some little odds and ends for a fundraising event I got to be part of.  A group of amazing women have been meeting every week for months, working on some amazing projects to help destitute women and children in India (check out this post and this post for other projects).  Lately we have been working on a huge assortment of doll clothing and other crafts (all from completely donated materials) to sell at a Christmas bazaar, with 100% of the money raised going to help people in poverty.
It turned out to be an amazing event, and lots of money was raised, which was wonderful.  But today I wanted to share with you the one little "scrap dress" I was finishing up, because it turned out so cute I just may need to make one for Ailidh or Joy!

ruffles, ruffles, ruffles
oversized flower
a great color combination
and the ruffle pants underneath...
a little better look

the straps adjust and tie with a bow in the back
so pretty

 Here are some of the other things on display - don't they look mouth-watering?  If you are interested in actually getting to own one of these adorable things for yourself (or a little girl in your life) and helping impoverished people at the same time, check out New Life Frocks.