Gift for a friend: Bedtime Bags

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The kids had a party on Saturday and I managed to make some gifts for our sweet friends. It is really hard to make gifts for people, I think. Most of the time you don’t have a lot of notice so not a lot of time to a) come up with an idea, and b) sew it up. These friends are very dear and I wanted their gift to be special, so I agonized a lot over it. In the end, an idea hit me: bedtime bags!

Bedtime gets harder as the kids get older, I find. At this point in the day, they are tired but wired; mine start running all over and shrieking too, which drives me crazy–I’m always scared they will fall and get hurt because they are not very coordinated at that time of day. Enter the bedtime bag.

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It is, basically, a bag where you put goodies that are used during your bedtime routine/allowed only at night, for easy access and to entertain the kiddos while you finish those last few tasks before lights off.

I made mine out of white cotton, using initial printables I found on Heather Ross’ Prints CD and ironed on. I filled it with some goodies my girls enjoy, and made a cute little tag for it. I also made a star stuffie to go with it. Cute!

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I have a tag printable for you, if you wish to try out this idea:

Bedtime Bag Tag

Flip this Pattern: The Roller Skate Dress (and KCWC day 4)

This month, the girls at Frances Suzanne have us all flipping the gorgeous Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress.

It is 9:30 p.m. EST and I am barely making the 11:00 p.m. CST deadline, but I made it!

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This is my 3-year-old (and Rapunzel) modeling size 4T for me. It was a beautiful pattern to work with. The construction was so interesting and fun; it reminded me a lot of the Ice Cream Dress. And, because of this clever construction, I was able to make the dress reversible with a change or two.

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The Fabric: The fabrics are a Black Chambray from Hart’s Fabric and a cotton lawn from Fabric.com.

The Construction: I used DMC silver metallic thread to embroider a Sashiko-inspired design on the neckline of the chambray side, in place of the facing.

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To be able to make it reversible, I opted to have a ribbon closure, instead of a button with a loop.

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Another problem I encountered was the casing. Since both my fabrics were so contrasting, I had a hard time figuring out what color thread to use for the casing. I finally decided to thread my machine with gray thread and sew the casing from the chambray side, while I loaded the bobbin with black thread so that the black would not show on the lawn side.

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Finally, I opted to hem by using a ladder stitch that I learned on my brief foray into toy-making. This stitch seemed perfect because it let me join both seams without having my stitches show anywhere, which was just what I wanted.

It was such a fun project to work with, and I can’t wait to make it again! My five-year-old needs one, too, but that did not stop her modeling this one. I love her props 😉

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Thank you, FrancesSuzanne for the motivation to work with this lovely pattern! Also, thank you Megfor putting together KCWCthat is such an inspiration every time.
And, of course, thank you to Liesl Gibson for such a fantastic pattern!

Flip This Pattern

Make your Getaway Duffle…

… You guessed it: Collegiate Style!

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I have had my eye on this pattern for a long time, back when I first started sewing after having kids and first started following blogs. Jess, from Craftiness is not Optional, had whipped up the most adorable bags for her daughters, and I just fell in love with them and the awesome pattern.

Here is my take on it:

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A couple of months ago we were taking our first trip with our new baby and the week before I realized the baby did not have a suitcase 🙂 So, you can see how quick this bag was to put together that I could do it even with my newborn at home and on a deadline! And, what’s more, I used all things I had at home to do it, so it was a super cheap project.

The fabric was a white twill canvas that I got at my local Hobby Lobby last year when I made the girls Valentine’s Day Drawstring Backpacks . The lining was leftover yellow and white striped cotton from Fabric.com that I had used for these skirts back during Fall KCWC last year. The appliqué was put together from scraps of felt I had around, and the football stamp came from a potato.

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That is what my stamp looked like. Please, ignore the random brown spot on my potato… It was all I had on hand at the time! Anyway, I traced the football shape on to the potato half and carved it out with a knife. Then, I painted onto my fabric pattern piece.

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The other side features a tiger appliqué, with embroidered face and stripes. My husband supervised the colors in the helmet to ensure that our tiger would end up being Mike the Tiger, the LSU mascot, and not a Mizzou Tiger 😉 (sorry, Mizzou fans!)

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I loved loved loved this pattern, and have plans to make one for each of us. It was incredibly easy to make and it is incredibly roomy.

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I made the adult size for the baby because we always have to carry so much for the little ones, and I think it could easily accommodate a well-packed adult for the whole weekend. I pack toiletries and shoes separately, so I think the one bag could hold all my stuff for a week! It is very sturdy and comfortable to hold. The pattern instructions are super easy to follow, and it even includes some troubleshooting tips for issues that can come up while sewing the bag, which were extra helpful to me. This is the second pattern of Gingercake’s that I sew, (I blogged about the first one here ) and I liked it just as much as the first.

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I loved working on this project and would recommend it to anybody looking for a stylish duffle bag to make. Thanks to Virginia from Gingercake Patterns for creating such an awesome pattern!

Linking at:
So you think you’re crafty

Nap Time Crafters

Sew Much Ado

Pattern testing: Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s Ringer Tee

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A few months ago, I had the opportunity to test the fabulous Classic Ringer Tee Pattern by Amy from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop. I had always dreamed of testing out a pattern and it was such a fun opportunity at a time when I was so stressed out by RL, a much needed break 🙂 Thanks, Amy!

Now, this pattern is the perfect blank canvas for any kind of customization you can dream of. I am still getting the hang of sewing for my baby boy, so my ideas immediately ran to football since it is such a big part of our family’s favorite things. We are LSU Tiger fans so I thought a classic LSU tee was in order.

Cherie from You and Mie had given me the inspiration to try and paint some fabric, and I finally got to do it for this project.

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I basically just painted purple stripes, the width of my brush, all over the long sleeve pieces.

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I then dunked the cuffs and neck band in the leftover paint and let it all dry, then constructed the t-shirt per the pattern instructions. It was a breeze!

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Amy had a very clever way of attaching neck bands and cuffs, and the result was very nice–and very easy to make. It came together pretty quickly.

Then, I added a football appliqué with felt, lettering with transfer paper, though my transfer did not work very well with the rib knit fabric I had chosen… You live, you learn, right?

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See? And, half my family got the flu that week. I was on a deadline, however, so I tried to stitch in the dark as I watched them to avoid bothering anyone, thus my stitching is less than even… Thank goodness that baby can’t tell 😉

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And here is a shot of my little guy wearing it. I love how boyish and cute it turned out!

Linking at:
The Train to Crazy

Nap Time Crafters

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!

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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Repost: Peekaboo Ruffles Tutorial

Since Valentine’s Day is coming and some of you are probably thinking of making valentine’s outfits, I thought I would bring back this post from my old blog about how to add a tulle ruffle to your lining.

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I know I have been talking about these dresses for weeks, but I thought I would share how I made the ruffled lining in case anybody would like to try it this way. It was super easy! And I’ll definitely try this again in the future.

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1. Cut your tulle in a long strip, fold it in half lengthwise, and run a gathering stitch through it– it ruffles right away. (Cut two strips. Ruffle each one).

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2. Attach ruffled tulle to the lining, as shown on the picture, matching lining hem to the stitched end of your tulle.

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3. Fold over toward the wrong side of your lining, and run a zigzag stitch to secure in place.

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4. Using your zigzag stitch as a guide, attach the second ruffle on the right side of your lining.

I hope this serves as inspiration 🙂

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Oliver + S Explorer Vest

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Back at the beginning of last fall I made a present for a friend who was turning five. He is a super cute boy who loves to dress well and to dress-up, so Oliver + S’ Explorer Vest seemed to be a perfect match. The project comes from Liesl Gibson’s Little Things to Sew , and it was a great project to work on: challenging enough for me to keep things interesting without it being overwhelming.

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The pattern has an option for pockets with or without bellows. I thought the bellows looked more explorer-like, so I went with those, but it was hard for me to figure out exactly how to make them!

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Still, I prevailed! And the vest did look adorable. Once I had that part figured out, the rest of the vest came together pretty quickly.

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The fabric is a canvas weight from Jo-Ann. To add interest, I added topstitching in contrasting brown. I need more practice, as you can see 😉

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I also used contrasting bias tape to finish the armholes.

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My least favorite part was the argyle pattern I used as lining. I loved the color palette, and it was the most boyish fabric I could find at the moment, but I am not convinced it was the right fit for this pattern. Despite that, I was pleased with how it turned out, and our friend was happy with it too.

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Here are a couple of shots of how we wrapped it. We rolled it up and covered it in tissue paper, like a candy roll. Then I drew a picture of the birthday boy for my daughter to color, and voilà!

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It was a fun present to work on, and a fun pattern. If anybody needs any guidance on working with the bellows pocket, I took step-by-step shots while I was sewing and I could put them together in a post.

Linking at:
Nap time crafters

Sew Country Chick

The Train to Crazy

A belated Kid’s Clothes Week Post

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This outfit did not get finished by the end of last kcwc. It’s still not finished, but I thought I would post it because my daughter has worn it just as is. There is something magical and empowering about your child loving what you make for her, and that is one of the reasons why I sew!

The pattern for “my yellow shirt” is the awesome Flashback Skinny Tee from Made by Rae. I have to say this is a fantastic pattern. With three or four pieces to cut, you have yourself a shirt in no time! I had planned to embellish this one a bit, but my child got to it first. I think this one’s a winner!

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The pants are Oliver + S’s After-school pants. Here is my original post on the project. I absolutely loved sewing these, and will sew them again soon. These two projects were very satisfying. Thanks, Rae, and Liesl, for such fabulous patterns!