Making it on Monday

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– Began work on the girls’ birthday outfits, and please wish me luck as they have to be completed by Saturday, on top of other party preparations.

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The pattern is oliver + s Ice Cream Dress which I had never felt like I needed to buy until I saw this and this.

I am making mine of linen shirting (which is already turning out to be too light and flimsy. I am underlining the whole thing) and cotton facings. The colors are pink and orange since it is a Dora party– I thought it would be a nice nod to Dora without it being too Dora-ish.

Wish me luck!

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Making it on… Friday?!

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We had a bout of the flu at our house this week and that, of course, switched my gears from crafting to cleaning and trying to figure out a good way to strengthen our immune system for the rest of the season.

This is, I’m embarrassed to say, my first pot of soup ever. I have read that bone broth is actually very nutritious, so I made some too, to keep, using a recipe similar to this one.

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Here, Keeper of the Home has some good tips on boosting your immune system during cold season. I will pay more attention next year!

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I did manage to get some sewing done. I was privileged to test an awesome pattern, and I’ll tell you more about it in a future post.

What have you been making? Hope you all stay healthy!

Finally, the Hand-smocked dresses

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I began work on these dresses back in March of last year. Then I got pregnant, and morning sickness hit. It has been such a busy time for us that I had not even been able to take pictures of them, but I finally managed to finish both of them. If not for one year’s Easter, for next year’s, right? 😉

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I had always dreamed of smocking a dress, but with nobody to teach me it seemed like a lost cause. And then I came across a fantastic book by Gail Doane called Sew Cute Couture and I knew that maybe, just maybe, I could have a chance. So I bought it.

The book was a dream. It walks you step by step through many beautiful smocked creations, and I was smitten by many of them. Two problems, however: the bishop dress pattern only came up to three years old, and one of my daughters was already four and way past that size. Problem number two: I did not own a pleater.

What was a girl to do?

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Well, I decided that my eldest did not need to have a bishop, after all. I do like them to match, though, when I make their clothes, so I adapted one of the designs in the book to match the design of my two-year-old’s bishop. Problem solved!

Now, what about the pleating?

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Unable to find anyone locally who would do the pleating for me (and if anybody knows of anyone who does pleat for a fee, please let me know), I set out to pleat on my own. (I will have a separate post on pleating–it deserves its own separate treatment, for sure!)

It was a lot of work–not hard work, just long, especially because I was making two dresses–but I am do happy with the way these turned out! And, the best part, the girls loved them, too.

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The first dress only has pleating on the bodice. The collar features the same buttons as the bishop, with some stitching (this design was supposed to go on the collar of the bishop’s matching jacket that I never made).

This is what the back looks like.

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For a while, when I was in a hurry, I debated whether I should work on that belt detail or just add some ribbon to adjust the dress. Conclusion?: the belt is worth it. It makes this look!

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And here is my darling bishop!

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I love this dress, and I love it on my child. She still looks do much like her playful self in this dress, and it is hilarious to see the traditional/mischievous together.

Here is a look at the back:

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And here are some close up shots of the collar/embroidery of both dresses:

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If you have ever wanted to smock a dress and were daunted before you even began, please consider it again. It is fun and it is not hard; it is just long work, but it is easy if you are shown how. I highly recommend Gail Doane’s book. If I could do it, anyone can do it!

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Mid-week’s fun links: Printing by hand

This week I have been thinking about printing by hand. I did some of that back in college, but somehow it always seemed like you needed a workshop and a lot of fancy equipment to make it work. Not so! These ladies have fabulous printing tutorials that are sure to inspire anybody to give it a try:

A Winter White Project by You and Mie, where she teaches about hand-carving stamps to make a fabulous throw pillow.

How to screen print on fabric by See Kate Sew.

Freezer Paper Stenciling by Dana, from Made.

Painting on fabric again by Cherie from You and Mie.

Stamping on fabric by Skirt as top.

Finally, and completely unrelated, but I found a fantastic recipe for homemade Läräbars that I cannot help but share, here

Happy rest of the week!

Dressing up Dolly at Nap Time Crafters

February is Dress up Dolly month at Nap Time Crafters Amy will be featuring a tutorial a day, all related to dolls! The lineup is fantastic, and I already know I will be using these tutorials in the near future. Yesterday, Amy shared a post on how to make a mermaid tail that my girls will go crazy for.

I am getting ready my first guest post, which will come out on the 14th.
— I am so excited! Stay tuned 😉

Lil cutie Pouch

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I made this lil’ cutie pouch (tutorial by Anna from Noodlehead) as a present for a dear friend. It’s my first completed sewing project since the baby was born, and I could not be more excited!

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It’s such a quick, satisfying sew, and with such a useful purpose. I am sure my friend will get a lot of use out of this one, and they are so easy that I am thinking if making a lot of them to have on hand to give out. I’ll definitely be making one for me!

Anna’s tutorial is quite easy to follow. I had a little trouble figuring out how to stitch up the lining after turning the whole thing right side out but, despite that, the whole project came together in about a half hour.

Make some! They’re beautiful and so easy!

P.S. Oh, I forgot to mention that the tutorial calls for an 8″ zipper, and the only one I had was 22″ so I shortened it following these instructions from See Kate Sew.

Linking at:

Mid-week’s Fun Links: What’s on my browser windows?

I have been distracted by a sick child, so I am a couple of days late posting these, but here they are:

These links are open in my browser right now:

French Knot Heart Pincushion from V&Co
How to unlock creativity in your home from Steadymom
Big butt baby pants from Made by Rae
Lil cute pouches by Noodlehead
Five tips for bloggers from A Beautiful Mess

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Finally, this is a shot of my eldest as she got ready one day, wearing the look I made for her back at KCWC. Since the culture of the handmade is a theme that interests me, I thought I’d share something that happened this week. My three-year-old was admiring a friend’s gorgeous pair of purple pumps, and she asked her, “Your shoes are so cute, did you make them yourself?” It was awesome! I loved it that she recognized how handmade things can be beautiful and it was the first association she made. Priceless!!

What are you making this week? Shoes, anyone? 😉