Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Candy Girl Tiered Dress

pictures in this post compliments of Dana Monticelli Photography

One of the things I had always planned on doing from the day Nora was born was making tons and tons of baby clothes and dresses for her.  Now that didn't exactly go as planned, as to date I have made exactly three dresses (including these two Geranium dresses), but when her first pictures were just around the corner I decided she HAD to wear a handmade dress by her momma.


I had purchased a bundle of patterns from Ginger Baby Patterns on Etsy a few months back and decided to make the Candy Girl Tiered Dress.  I just love the gathered elastic top detail and the ruffled gathered sleeves.  I was debating on a few fabric options and ultimately decided to cut into my Heather Ross Far Far Away bundle, because every little girl needs a pink unicorn dress in their life.


I just love the fabric flower detail, the dress is great on its own, but the center flower adds just the extra pop this dress needs.  I would highly recommend this pattern, it was a breeze to sew together, oodles of step by step pictures and no pattern pieces!  Everything is straight rectangular cuts of fabric, perfect for this quilter at heart.  It was also a quick sew.  I easily finished the dress in one nap time, having already prewashed my fabric ahead of time.


I'd say Nora is a fan!  I know I missed my window of prime dress wearing weather this year, but I fully intend on wearing this dress through the rest of the fall with a long sleeved onesie and leggings, and I don't think Nora would object.


If you have any toddler sewing tutorials, I'd love to hear about them!  I have my eye on the Little Pearl Dress that Sarah made for her little girl from the Liberty Love book I have on my shelf, now that Nora is big enough to wear the smallest size!

Friday, October 10, 2014

daddy proof changing pad covers

I'm still on my baby things sewing binge and next on the list were a set of changing pad covers.  Throughout the past year as I was actually using the things I made for Nora and her nursery, there were of course a few things that I thought I absolutely would not be able to live without, that ended up hardly being used, and things that I found to be worth their weight in gold.  I really tried to keep this in mind as I was sewing things for my new nephews on their way.


One of those things that I made and absolutely loved, and gets used multiple times daily were these changing pad covers I made using this Prudent Baby Tutorial.  I have lost count of the amount of diapers I have changed on this changing pad, and thats probably a good thing, as I'm sure its an insanely high number, but at least when I am standing at that changing pad, wrestling my now almost one year old daughter, who apparently equates diaper changes to torture, as she channels her inner Houdini to escape, I can  at least look at a pretty cover.


In addition to their super cuteness,  I love the function that the two fabrics give, as its now pretty apparent which end is for the baby's head and which end is for the baby's dirty bottom.  Because there is no doubt if this wasn't spelled out plain as day, I'm sure my husband would decide to change her the other direction, and that would be just gross.  So we'll call these the daddy proof changing pad covers.


It is also imperative to have two covers in rotation at all times.  And from what I hear this is even more so with having a boy, as the likelihood of a surprise "shower" increases 1000 fold compared to a girl.  Two seems to be plenty, as at least for me it seems I am throwing in a load of laundry at least every other day.  Seriously.  Something so tiny amasses an amount of daily laundry that is just impressive.


I just love using minky or a soft cuddle fabric for the main body of these covers, they are so soft and just perfect for baby's skin, I just want to sit there and pet it!  These covers are a super quick sew, I was able to put both covers together (I prewashed my fabrics ahead of time) in one naptime, so about 2 hours.  Win!

 I have a few lingering baby projects to tackle (helllllooo quilts!  where are the quilts??!?) so rest assured, those are on the way!  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged by my good quilty friend Ann to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop!  Actually, I was supposed to write up this post for last week and you bet, I forgot.  Luckily Ann sent me a little reminder email, or this post would have likely never seen the light of day, thanks again lady!! 

Ann lives in Italy (but is from Canada) with her adorable little girl and hubby, so this blog hop has truly come around the world!  Ann not only makes beautiful quilts, but also the most adorable clothes for her daughter Olivia.  When Nora was born and my mind had its first thoughts of sewing, I went straight to Ann, as she knows oodles of great kids clothing patterns and tutorials.  She led me to make the Geranium Dress, which I cannot recommend highly enough!  She's way more brave than me, and has even tackled deciphering a Japanese print sewing book and made the cutest pair of shorts for Olivia.  Thanks so much for involving me in this great blog hop Ann!

1.  What am I working on?


Most recently I finished up this darling little dress for Nora's upcoming 1 year pictures.  Lets talk for just a minute about how my little girl is going to be one year old later this month!

Mind Blown (AT&T Commercial)

Thats how I feel about that.

Anyways, back to the dress.  I haven't done any clothing sewing since the 2 Geranium dresses I made a few months back and decided it was time.  I had purchased this Candy Girl Tiered Dress pattern a while ago and thought it would be perfect to cut into my Heather Ross Far Far Away fabrics for.  I am absolutely in love with this little dress.  Since I've snapped this pic I added the little fabric flower that is pictured in the pattern picture and it is just the little something extra this dress needed.


I've also been stitching all things baby for my two new nephews that are on their way!  The most recent project were these changing pad covers for my sister in laws fire truck themed nursery.  I love the covers I made for Nora's changing pad, and hopefully my sister in law likes these just as much!  Up next are a few Divided Baskets and of course these little boys need quilts!

2.  Why do I write/create what I do?

I think this is the simplest question to answer, and that's because I love it!  It is my little sliver of me time that I get to head to my own little space and just make something.  Life is a little bit different these days, and free time isn't something I have oodles of, or even have every day, so it just makes me happy to be able to spend a few moments working on something I love.  In the past I've gotten bogged down with "commitment sewing", and while that's great to do when I can, I've really learned to say no and only take on commitments where I know I will love what I'm working on.  

3.  How  does my writing/creative process work?

I sometimes think about what it would look like if I could snap a picture of what is running through my mind at any given time, either creatively or not, and I have to think it would just look like one of those crazy flow charts with arrows pointing in every direction connecting to different points and dots that is ever changing.  At least creatively speaking I feel like my "process" is ever changing.  Sometimes it starts with the need for an item.  


I needed a new purse, so I tracked down a pattern I liked, found fabric I liked, and made it.  Pretty straight forward.

Other times it's a particular fabric, or in this particular case, a group of quilt blocks that had been shelved for entirely too long, that the inspiration for a project emerges. 



Sometimes I see a project through from start to finish without setting it aside for something else, and more often, like this case,  I will pull a set of fabrics and set them aside for later use, or collect quilt blocks and set them aside, to work on a quilt top months years later to set that aside and put it together into a complete quilt at some to be determined point in the future.

I think I like it this way.  While it might just seem like a disarray of started and stopped projects, it gives me a choice when I walk into my sewing room to sew about what sort of project I'm in the mood to work on.  Something from scratch?  Something half started?  Something that just needs binding? Pretty sure I have one or more of each of those projects ready to be worked on.  Of course it also makes my sewing room look like it a bomb went off, but we'll just call that a creativity hazard.

I'm going tag my neighbor and quilty friend Amy if she'd like to participate!  This next hop won't be going nearly as far as from Italy to Pennsylvania, but it will be hopping down the street about two houses!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

friends + birthdays


This past weekend I had the pleasure of not only seeing one of my dearest friends who happens to live out of town, but seeing her on her birthday!  As I've gotten older, a lot of the "fringe friends" have fallen by the wayside, but the friends that I still keep in touch with are friends that will be around for the long haul.  Unfortunately many of them now live out of town, so its a rare treat to get to see each other more than once or twice a year!


I was excited beyond believe when I received a call that one of my friends (well call her K) and her family would be traveling through Pittsburgh on their way to a wedding and wanted to get together for lunch!  I of course blurted out "yes yes yes" and did a small happy dance.  When I looked at at the calendar, and realized it would also be her birthday, I decided a little birthday sewing was in order.  


We typically aren't ones to exchange gifts, being out of town and all, so something quick and little was just the ticket (and good thing, too, as Nora decided naps were for the birds that day), so I grabbed some EssexYarn dyed linen in steel and my favorite variegated thread and got to stitching.


I quilted the linen like I quilted my Sew Together Bag, as I have been dying to stitch these organic wavy lines in that pretty thread again.  It of course did not disappoint, and I am thinking I now need a little pouch like this for myself too!


This pouch measures about 6.5" x 5", I had planned for it to be a little smaller, but I'm actually glad it turned out a little larger, as its just perfect to store a cell phone, keys and a lip gloss, you know necessities just for mommy.


K is a mom to 2 little boys (and a baby on the way), so I hope she likes this little pouch that she can slide right in the diaper bag, to have a little corner of that bag all to herself!


It's always great to see and catch up with a friend, and it was incredibly precious to now watch our littles playing together!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Woodwinked baby quilt top


I'm still on my baby sewing kick, and figured it was high time to get a quilt top put together!  This is for my husband's sister and her baby boy.  I was talking to SIL and asking about nursery colors/themes and she's not a super "theme-y" person, and told me they weren't planning on doing a whole lot with the nursery.  She wasn't giving me much to go on, so after much prodding for any details to give me some direction, she said she liked "woodland creatures."  I almost started laughing, as what were the chances that the previous week and had I just ordered a half yard bundle of Woodwinked from Cindy at Rose Room Quilts!  


I've had a triangle quilt on my quilty bucket list for some time now, and though this would be the perfect layout for these fabrics.  I ended up throwing in a few fudge dots from It's a Hoot and yellow pearl bracelets, and those were the perfect additions to help balance the colors.    


I didn't use any sort of special triangle ruler or template, and just used my long 6" x 24" quilting ruler that had a 60 degree marking on it to cut my triangles.  The cutting went incredibly quickly by stacking 4 or so prints on top of one another.  I cut my triangles to measure 5.5" high, so they finish at 5".  Just the perfect size to show off those adorable owls, mushrooms and leaf prints.


I love that this quilt definitely reads "boy" but there isn't one blue fabric in the mix!  I'm digging the cooler fall temperatures right now also, and these fabrics made me want a pumpkin spice latte, like now.


I'm thinking of backing this with some grey minky for a super soft and cuddly feel.  Basting in on the agenda for the weekend, and hopefully will have a finished quilt to show soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dragonfly Fabrics Giveaway Winner


A few days overdue, but I owe you a winner!  The winner of the $25 gift certificate to DragonFly Fabrics is entry #54, Leslie!  Congrats Leslie!  Look for an email from me later today to get your shipping information.  Thanks everyone for entering, and thanks DragonFly Fabrics for a great giveaway!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Curtains to the rescue

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I have mentioned a few times that I have not one, but two sister in laws who are pregnant, and are due about a month apart from one another!  Now that we know we are expecting two new nephews, it is time to get sewing some baby goodness!

My brother is a volunteer fire fighter, so when him and his wife found out they were having a boy, it came as no surprise that they wanted to decorate the nursery with a fire truck theme!  My sister in law had asked if I could make her blackout curtains like Nora's, and while I had a quick internal shudder, as those babies were a PITA, I of course said yes and figured it would go a little smoother the second time around!  But then I remember that they had not one, but TWO sets of windows in the nursery.  Yikes.  Luckily after talking it over with SIL, she told me she only wanted half length curtains, to which my crafty insides did a celebratory happy jig!


I typically am not a huge fan of novelty fabric, so when I set out on the mission to find firefighter themed fabric I was bracing for the worst.  I stumbled upon this Robert Kaufman Ruff n' Tuff fabric and thought it was perfect!  SIL agreed and yards and yards and yards were purchased (which was a good thing, because I'm having a hard time finding some to link!)


I wanted to try doing back tabs on these panels so I followed along with this tutorial  and just altered my finished length to 60" instead of the full length in the tutorial.  Likely due to the combination of making curtains once before and the shorter length, but these came together so incredibly smoothly, and fairly quickly!  I'd put these at a 5 nap sew.  So basically over the course of 3 days with an hour or two here and there, not bad for 4 curtain panels!


The back tabs turned out great, and a bonus that I didn't need to purchase anything extra like grommets to hang the panels.


Mario the cat wanted to checkout what was going on in the nursery, he give them two thumbs up.  He said he was equally impressed that all four curtain panels were the same exact length.  Me too my four legged friend, me too.  That's always my worst fear, is that one panel will end up longer or shorter than the rest, but have no fear, these were spot on!


As I knew they would, these do a great job and keeping the light out.  Don't let this picture fool you, there was a ton of light coming in from the door way.  Like I used for Nora's curtain's I used this Ron-Loc black out fabric on the backside of the curtains, and it really is a winner.  I picked up some at Joann's and used a 40% off coupon.  I can't wait to see their nursery come together, I of course have a few more projects in mind, including a crib skirt, the best burp cloths in the entire world (will share the details soon) and a few Divided Baskets, and of course a quilt or two for each new addition, so the blog will be in baby overload mode for the next few weeks!