Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Going to the State Fair 2014

One day in the recent past I was looking on the state fair website to see what I could sew for which categories. Yeah, that was a bad idea. I found 7-8 categories, and there was no way I was about to make 7-8 things. Maybe one year, but not this year.

I am happy to say that I was able to make four things to enter into the competitive exhibits for the SC State Fair. This will be my third year entering things into the fair. The first year I entered one item, a hat. The second year I entered two items, a hat and a peasant dress. This year I am entering a dress, a hat, a baby bonnet, and some baby shoes. I guess I got a little ambitious for my third year. 

Wanna see what I made? :)

Of course you do, that is why you are here. 
Great!



The bonnet is not pictured because I had already put this montage together before deciding to make one.

Here is a photo of all four items ready to go!




I made this bright flowered seersucker First Day dress in a size 5. 



It's so bright and pretty and beautiful. I love it.

For the hat I used a free pattern from Martha Stewart to make some berets. I added the brim to make it more like a floppy newsie cap for the girl. I used some extra gray corduroy from her pea coat I made her last year.



For the lining I used some gray with little light gray polka dots. This hat is adorable, and adorable on her.



*squeal* Soooo cute! I love that it goes with her french bubble skirt.

I also decided to try to make a bonnet. I used a free pattern and instructions from Delia Creates. I love the fabric combo I chose and the end result was pretty good. There are some sewing errors in the finished product, but overall, not too shabby for me.



Excuse the bear for the photo shoot, I don't have infants in my house any more and I finished it after the girl was in bed. She wasn't asleep so I did try it on her head, but I wasn't about the get her out of bed for a photo shoot. And since she is 4 years old and this bonnet is made for kids under 2, it works better on the bear.

I also made some little baby shoes from a book I got from the library a while back. I copied the patterns and instructions I needed, and this one has been sitting around for a bit. I figured now was as good a time as any to try it out.



Tiny shoes are hard to sew. I have got to work on getting the lining right for stuff like this. I always end up with a wave making it seem that the lining is too big. But they are super cute booties.

So that is what is going to state fair this year. Stay tuned to see how they do.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer Recap: 2014 Edition

I am writing this post to keep track of the things we are doing this summer. (Re-read in past tense, I'm not changing it.)

*We went to play at gymnastics. The boy's cartwheel got some major improvement and the girl actually jumped on the big trampoline. We continued our work on pullovers on the bar and handstands. We all had a great time.

*We joined the summer reading program through the public library. And finished the reading program. The kids got medals, certificates of completion, and other little goodies.

*On Thursdays our little library has a summer series of visitors who come to entertain the children. Our first show we saw was by Roger Day. He is a singer/songwriter who takes science and nature and turns them into fun, quirky, educational songs for kids. He was really good. All of the kids had a great time. Check out his website if you have elementary age kids (though I think middle schoolers would enjoy him as well), and see if his show is coming to a town near you. You won't be disappointed. If you are familiar with Hap Palmer and love his work, you will definitely enjoy Roger Day's show.

*I drove the kids to NC for a summer visit. My twin drove in from TX for a visit as well and this will be the only chance I get to see her before she drives back. The kids stayed there while I came back to work my short work week and then the hubs and I will drive back for the weekend. There is a comic book convention in Charlotte that he is planning on attending so it kind of worked out well for us.

* Took the kids back to NC for a visit since my parents were off work and they could spend time together. The hubs' grandmother wanted to have a cookout for the fourth of July, and since it is my short work week and that day is an off day for me, we decided to join her and the rest of the family at her request. She doesn't ask us to do things very often, and great grandparents like to spend time with their great grandkids. My son lost his front teeth: one of the 4th and the other one the next day. He already lost the two on the bottom, one is starting to grow in though. 

                                                             Family photo. So cute.

* Took an impromptu July trip to the beach with a good friend. Her family rents a couple of condos for about two weeks every summer. They had some extra room toward the end of their stay when my friend was going to go down. I happened to be at her house when she mentioned that she asked a couple of her friends if they would like to join her, but they hadn't gotten back to her. I causally mentioned that I wanted to take the kids to the beach again, they had only ever been once, and that I had the whole next week off work. Everything worked out beautifully. Everyone was able to go. So happy that it coincided with my scheduled week off. The kids were wonderful and had such a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves.


We had a fairly good summer. It went by quickly. Looking forward to next summer as well. Hopefully we can pack more fun into that one as well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

She started school, too

My girl has started her school career with 4 year old kindergarten. She only goes for a few hours every afternoon, but she feels like one of the big kids and is enjoying the whole experience so far.


We were excited for her first day. She wore a First Day dress with her mommy-made back pack. She's a happy girl.


I thought a First Day dress was most appropriate for the occasion. She got to pick out which one she wanted to wear. Then, after some photos she was off to school just like her brother.


Her homework was ready, and so was she! Looking good. 
Go get 'em baby girl.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back to School Back Packs

Last year I got the boy a store bought book bag. I was displeased with how well it did not hold up. Before the year was half over the shoulder strap was separating from the bag. He brings home a folder and a few small books, and takes his lunch box, how heavy can all of that be for a former kindergartner? 

So I decided that for the first grade I would make him a back pack for school, and that he could pick out the fabric he wanted. I also make one for the girl as well, because she was going to go to school one day.




I found some free full size back pack patterns online. This is a free pattern here from Pellon. This pattern is a good place to start. It has a materials list and instructions. This pattern is also free and has a simpler design, as well as a materials list and instructions.

I used both patterns as a guide for making my own version. I made the girl's back pack first because I had that fabric first. I picked it up at Hancock's last year when I went to visit my sister in Texas. It's duck cloth so it should be fairly sturdy and last during her early school years.



It's a bit wider than I would have liked it to be, but since it was my first I learned from that and made some more changes for the next one. Also, my shoulder straps are a littler farther away than I had anticipated, but they stay on her shoulders when she wears it, sort of. She's not quite that wide either, but hey, she'll have some growing room, I guess.



This was one of the items that I had Granny monogram for the girl. It came out centered, even, and looks amazing. I added on a front pocket and must say that I am pretty proud of it.

I took the boy fabric shopping and he picked out some camouflage twill fabric. Twill is not as sturdy as I was hoping it was going to be, but it is what he wanted so I made him his own back pack as well.



 I adjusted the size of my pattern to make his back pack taller and slimmer. I think it has more of a traditional back pack shape now. His front pocket could use some improvement. I couldn't find the right size zipper in my stash so I had to go to the store, and they didn't have the right size either so I picked up the closest I could find. It turned out to be a bit smaller than I had wanted. After I finished the back pack I found the shopping bag that had the zipper I was going to use to begin with. Go figure.

Granny also put his initials on his back pack. I put the fabric in the hoop for embroidery, but didn't get it straight so his initials were crooked. I fixed it as best I could by cutting and reshaping the back pack to get the letters to be even. No one will really notice anyway.




Now he has a full sized Mommy made back pack for school. I made sure it was big enough to hold his agenda folder, a few books, and his lunch box. It has survived his first several weeks of school so far. Yea!

I'm glad that my kids like their one of a kind back packs, and I hope that they last a while so I don't have to make another one for them any time soon. 

Now, if I could just make myself one as well. My book bag I have been using since junior year of high school is starting to fall apart on me. And my $4 purse is failing as well. So much to do! :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Who's ready for some football?

I'm still not ready to let go of summer, but man I love football season. And I mean the professional football season, not so much college football. I've never really viewed college football as important as people who grew up in the great state of SC. They love their college football, which in this case means Clemson and USC. It's like no other colleges in this state exist except those two. It's fascinating. And they have all but shunned the NFL home team for the area: the Carolina Panthers. Apparently 20 years (!) ago when the NFL expanded the teams, SC got upset that the team would not actually be placed in SC. The stadium was going to be built in Charlotte, and they got unhappy, but the team does summer camp in SC. I guess that is just not good enough for SC folks. You hardly ever see anything Panther related in this state and it's sad. Charlotte is not that far away people.

Alright, enough about that.

Since I love football, the kids get excited about it sometimes as well. Especially the boy. So I made them some football attire.

I made the girl a box pleated cheer skirt. I found some instructions online about how to do a box pleat. It's not really that difficult and I do love how it turned out for her. I do need to work on my math a little. It's a little bit big in the waist, but that just means she will have some growing room, right?



I used some panther fabric (obvs) for the exterior pieces of the skirt. Then, I used three matching white and blue panels for the interior pieces. The waist band is just two inch black elastic. I even installed a white invisible zipper. I have never done an invisible zipper before, and it is not exactly invisible. Once I had her try it on, I'm not even sure I needed the zipper with the elastic, but it is there just in case.



She is extremely excited about football! Or pony's. Or snack. I didn't make the skirt super short, because she's four, and I think cheer skirts are already too short to begin with and I just wasn't going to do that for her. She looks ready to join any cheer squad.



We got the boy involved as well with his Panther helmet and a matching outfit. I hadn't made his Panther pants at this point. They are cute together...sometimes.

Now the boy is ready for football season with his Panther lounge pants. I made sure they were long enough for him to grow into since he grows up more than out in any given year.



I used Dana's KID shorts pattern to make the pants. I just extended the legs down enough to make them a good fit for the boy.

We are definitely ready for football season. Not so much Fall itself, but football is welcome.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

More First Day Swing Dresses and an A-line Dress

Here are a few more First Day dresses that I made. I couldn't stop at just one! Check out the first post here.

I'm pretty sure this cute pink fabric with sweet flowers on it came from the remnant bin at JoAnn's. It was only a yard so I had to carefully cut it out to make the size four pattern of the First Day Dress and Top pattern for it to work.


I couldn't decide between the purple or blue button for the back closure. Some fb friends said purple, and I figured that that is what the girl would chose, because pink and purple are her favorite colors, you know. The blue would have been a fun pop of color, too.


In the end she chose purple, so purple it was. I ended up having to piece two corners of the bottom part of the skirt together, but you can't tell once it was all together that it is not one piece. And even if you did notice, it looks great anyway.


She looks adorable in it. It was getting dark outside so these are not the best photos, but I just love her poses and her sassiness in them. Ha! :) I love the flowiness of this pattern. It suits her well.


Now this fabric was made for this pattern. I love it so much! So bright and summery.



This fabric is from JoAnn's. Seersucker Tutti Frutti. I think I bought two yards because I definitely wanted to make sure I had enough for this pattern, even before it was released, and some extra for another project later on, like maybe a skirt.



I took extra time making sure I sewed everything smoothly, including the lining, and was very pleased with the outcome. So much so that this dress will be an entry into the SC state fair competitive exhibits. This one is a size 4 as well.



More twirling! So beautiful.

I found this fabric at Hobby Lobby in NC. It's cute! I knew it would be absolutely perfect for the A-line dress part of the First Day Pattern. This one is a size 5.


I left the cap off of the sleeve to give the dress a more tank top look, and so that she could wear it in the fall/winter with a long sleeve tee and leggings for a cleaner arm look.

When I finished the dress I noticed that the fabric had a flaw in it during manufacturing. Some of the dots colors run to the next dot and up a bit. :( You can't really tell unless you are close to the dress and look for it, but it is noticeable. 

The next one I make I will double check the fabric for flaws, and follow the pattern instructions more closely. I didn't get the full and crisp A-line look that I was hoping for. An error on my part. The dress is still cute, though.


She's part flamingo, you know. :)

I have one more Swing dress to make. This one will be the size 5 and it will be adorable as well.

Here is the last Swing dress (size 5) I have made. I LOVE it!

I got this awesome fabric from JoAnn's online as part of my black Friday fabric shipment a while back. 



I noticed that I left off the cap sleeve. I was pretty sure I cut one out for this dress, but I couldn't remember. I did end up finding the cap sleeve. It was buried under something else on my sewing table. Of course.

I attached it later, and here is the result.



Ha! So adorable!



I found this fabulous button in my stash. I think it came from a lot I got at an antique store, or from a building co-worker. I don't remember, but it works for this project.



She loves the swishiness of this dress and so do I. Twirly and swishy...dress perfection!

I enjoyed sewing these dresses for my girl, since she loves wearing dresses. I am looking forward to Fall projects, but no so much the season. Don't get me wrong, I love Fall, but I am not ready to let go of Summer just yet.

So, enjoy your last bits of summer, and I will be getting ready for Fall projects.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Random Kid Moments: #4--Because kids can talk

 I love the things my kids say sometimes, I love it even more when they don't miss a beat either. Ha! My girl was being especially cute one day after I got home from work. I was putting her to bed and she was still being cute and silly.

Me: You're so cute.
Girl: And smart, too!
Me: lol. And so funny.
Girl: You too, Mommy.

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The boy was wearing some swim shorts and put on a messenger bag that I had brought home from work from a coworker.

Me: What are you doing?
Boy: I'm going to work!

I hope this "job" pays well. :)

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Boy: Mommy, you look like you are 19.
Me: Aww, thanks Buddy.

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When my son started kindergarten, my girl would start missing him sometimes and would ask if we could go pick him up from school. Sometimes it wouldn't even be close to lunch time and she would ask if we could bring him home. Awww. Mostly, she wanted someone to play with her.

Now that she has had him around the whole summer she has been asking if we can take him to school. Usually around lunch time as well.

Girl: Mommy, can we take him to school now?
        Mommy, is it time for school?
Me: No, not yet sweetie. We still have a few more weeks.
Girl (mad, stomps foot, clenched teeth): I want him to go to school. 

Now that he is in school she is enjoying some alone time...until she starts 4 year old kindergarten. She is looking forward to it as well.