Laura H. Thursday, June 13, 2013

I have this rule for myself. It is called my, "There is no can't' rule. I try (with a few very notable failures, so there is a TRY in my world) not to say I can't do something when in reality it is a 'won't' instead of a 'can't.'*

For the longest time, I said that I couldn't sew for myself. I'm fat (and there is no shame in the word fat. Spades are spades, and I am fat. Not curvy, buxom, or padded. I'm fat. I like cupcakes and cookies too much and if a day ever passes that Dr Pepper doesn't cross these lips at least once, i will be a very sad person. I'm fat. And I don't mind being called fat. End mini-rant.) and patterns just aren't really designed for fat people - the curvy ones, yes. Fat ones, not so much.**

Then I learned how to grade a pattern. Slash and spread method works best for me - measuring a couple of key fit points then cutting the pattern and spreading it apart to match the measurements. But that is time consuming. It takes me DAYS to do that with a commercial pattern. Usually, I will get through about 3/4 of the pattern and be so worn out and sick of it because I'm not even to the fun bits yet that I give up, and wear one of my 4 remaining tops and cut off stretch pants combos.

But I had been thinking for a while that maybe I could do with my own stuff what I had done with Elizabeth's - make a pattern. Only trouble is that none of my stuff fits like I want it to. Sigh. Well, I certainly WON'T be spending boatloads of time on a task I hate for small rewards. So, back to making clothes for Elizabeth.

So I just would not sew for myself. Time consuming, poor fit, and kinda stinky choices for patterns. Nope, I just won't do it. I can. But I won't. Then one day, I am poodling around on Instagram and someone whispers about a grown-up version of Amanda's (of Kitschy Coo fame) Skater Dress. At the time, Elizabeth was messing around the house in a diaper, mismatched leg-warmers (classy) and one of the tees I had made for her from the Skater pattern. Suddenly it hit me. If this really happened, maybe I could.... But I shut that thought down fast. Grading is hard. It takes FOREVER. UGH.

I watched as excitement grew over this Big Girl Skater (as it was called then.) And I kinda got bitten. I've made Elizabeth FOUR of the  little girl dresses, the construction is easy enough for a blind monkey to do it. MAYBE.... Maybe I'll buy the pattern and just *try*. 'Cause trying is allowed here (no Yoda, ya know?) And if it didn't work, I know a bajillion other people I could make skater dresses for. Easy wearing, comfy. Elizabeth loves hers! Yeah, I'll try.

I went out and bought four yards of fabric. Clearance table, half off the clearance price, so $3 a yard. $12 isn't much to gamble on a maybe, especially since I love the fabric. And I came home and waited.

Lady Skater was available yesterday morning.*** I bought it, taped it together and got to cutting it apart. Four and a half hours later, I was done grading. Gears screech to a halt, I take on the look of someone who has just found Jesus, and nearly fall over myself getting to my fabric.

Lets have a picture, shall we?

You will just have to click the picture for all the awesomeness that is this dress. A small image just doesn't do the fabric justice. And A couple of things - 1) we covered fat. 2) i have alopecia aerata. And one more, 3) you can Google alopecia aerata.

SUCCESS!! I am so glad that Amanda lives a whole ocean away. My squealing over IG was bad enough, I'm sure. I would probably have frightened her half to death if she lived any nearer.

I LOVE THIS DRESS. I'm wearing right now. And I see it going to church on Sunday with me (skulls, hearts, and all.) I goofed in grading the skirt, so the sides hang a little weird, but this is me not caring. I have a dress, that I made with my hands that fits and doesn't look like something my granny or a hooker would wear!

Well. Okay. MAYBE my granny would have worn it if I'd asked her to. She was kinda cool.

But wait! There's more! Elizabeth has little Skater tees. Why shouldn't I? Exactly, I should. So I do!

It is a tee. That is long enough! And doesn't look like a tent! See, not only am I fat, but I'm 5'10" tall. Back neck to hem of 29 inches? Might as well be a tube top. I'm considering re-cutting one of my favorite tees into this pattern. I am not sure if it will work but I'm definitely going to give it the once over tonight.

I am the happiest woman alive right now. I have clothes that fit. That I made. THAT I MADE!

* there is one thing I simply can't do. And that is be someone's biological father. Tho, with the way science is advancing, there may be hope.

** some lines have options for bustier gals, but very few allow for room for a belly. Sadface!

*** renaming happened due to questions about it being a 'plus sized' pattern. That is more amusing to me than it probably should be!

Laura H. Saturday, May 18, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Just letting you know, I've joined bloglovin' to keep up with the blogs I read. I'm the worst about updating the list on the side, so that will come soon!

Laura H. Thursday, May 16, 2013

I've not been having a very good week. Things have gone wrong, been stressful, and generally unsatisfying. In the throes of a week like that, sometimes it is the things you think are going to fail miserably that end up being the nicest successes.

First there was this dress. I started it after finding the pink in the remnants at Joann's. I still think the neck is a bit big, and the dress itself may be too big. I cut it as a 4 instead of my usual 3 in this style. And it is also knit. But, even if it is too big, little girls grow. I like how this one turned out but all along the way I kept saying, "Oh no. Oh NO! This isn't going to do at all!" And who knows, maybe it isn't all that great, but it is cute and Elizabeth likes it. Those are the things that matter, right? It is a little heavy (it is interlock knit) so it may be better saved for fall.

Most Thursday's, I find myself at my mom's house around 9:30am having dropped Elizabeth off at her second playschool of the week. They need her at this one - she is the only child that talks in her class. They are all 2, but she's the talker. Well, while I am at my mom's, I usually take something to cut out. I took this last Thursday and got it all cut out, then when we got home, I put it together. SO FAST! And I am stupidly pleased with my 'matched plaids' that are only matched one direction. But hey! They match one direction and I'd never even tried before! Yay me!

Then there is this. I have no idea where the pattern came from, but you better believe that I'm going to make a blue-million more of them. I wasn't sure about it because of the tucks in the front, but now I am converted. Tucks are in, pleats can go rot. But this fabric has been laying around since I first started sewing. It didn't really go with anything and there wasn't much of it. There was barely enough for this dress, and that is with piecing the back! I'm probably going to do a facing instead of bias tape at the neck though. I'm NOT crazy about bias at the neckline anyway. And the buttons are three from the pile-o-buttons that I got from my grandmother's sewing room. And no. The Boy Scout did not pick them this time! He cried off at having too many options.

Really? He just wanted to play Final Fantasy 7 and be left alone.

Laura H. Thursday, May 9, 2013

I did a ton of sewing this week, but the weather has been very Tennessee and I only have pictures of one project. However that project is the one I am most proud of!

I got the PDF Puppet Show pattern last fall and made a dress from it out of stuff I just had laying around. I have wanted to make another because the purple one is WAY too short now. But that just isn't to be, it seems. I keep having mismatches of fabrics AND I'm on a buying freeze right now too.

But, Elizabeth needs neutral shorts. I made the mistake of starting my shorts making with some very limiting (but extremely cute) options. So now we need solids and basics - like brown. And denim.

First, let me start by saying that I always get intimidated by all the little bits and bobs in Oliver + S patterns. I *know*! It isn't hard, follow the directions, it's really all very logical. But it gets me every time! That's why I never made these shorts. All those teeny pieces were overwhelming.

After making six basic shorts, I figured some of her more boring basics could be less boring with a cute pattern. And boy was I right.

I love being right. Don't you?

Ta-da! Now, they are sitting a little low on her in this pic. She's wearing a disposable diaper and the poor child has *no* hips or booty to hold her pants up. And the denim - yeah. Maybe not the best choice for this pattern. I had to trim out bulk til I was green in the face and the waistband still isn't snug enough. But, she wears cloth diapers most of the time (we were stripping them yesterday) so they will be fine with her artificial backside.

And they cost me next to nothing. After the pattern, the shorts themselves are made from a pair of jeans that a good friend of mine gave me to chop up! FREE! Whooo! Thanks Renee!

And yes, cold bribes are used in this house. Especially when it is 80 degrees outside.

I can't believe how big she is getting. Those legs are little kid legs! For real. You can't see it in this pic, but she had a BAD fall at playschool yesterday. There's a big bleedy cut on her knee, a big old purple bruise complete with road rash on the inside of that knee, and her opposite shin is scraped. GAK! went the mommy in me. She seems unphased.

Laura H. Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Okay, so no stuff I've made this week. Sorry. Not that I haven't made stuff, but I'm just LAZY and want to talk about other things.

The title of this post is a direct quote from one of the other playschool moms. About a week ago, we were all talking about school and where we live and where we are zoned for Elementary school. Also about all the stuff kids have to know before they even start school. And she just said what we were all thinking as we waited to pick up our 2 and 3 year olds.

So where we live now has an interesting policy in it's public schools. There is a uniform. Now, it is a very relaxed uniform policy compared to what I've heard about private schools - but it has to be. After all, these are public schools.

And I recognize that public schools in Tennessee are pretty unimpressive in terms of instruction, but public schools in general are pretty unimpressive right now. But I'm not talking about that stuff. You want that debate, go elsewhere. I know how to sew, not how to fix a broken system.

But, back to the task at hand. Uniforms! The kids on our street all head off in their little outfits every day and surprisingly, there's not a real notion of them all looking like little clones. Cause it is a pretty relaxed policy. It states that Navy, black, or any shade of khaki pants, skorts, shorts, skirts, jeans, capris or jumpers. And it goes on to define the fit of those too - straight leg; if there's belt loops, wear a belt; no cargo pants; shorts and skirts no more than 3 inches above the knee. And shirts have to have to be collared and in approved colors. Likewise with sweaters and sport coats.

Every bit of which is reasonable as far as I'm concerned. Hairstyles and jewelry are limited, too. But they are limited to the realm of reasonable - if it is distracting, don't do it. Common sense.

Well, I'm just over the moon excited! Because there are no specified brands in any of this stuff! They list Dockers as an example, but go out of the way to make it clear that there's no brand requirements. This means that I can make Elizabeth's uniforms! WAHOO!

Not like it is going to be happening any time soon, mind. She isn't even three yet and won't start school until a few days before she turns five. But I have been worried about this. I really love making her clothes and going to school 5 days a week would cut way back on what I would need to sew for her.

Not anymore!

And as if to celebrate, I got an email from Oliver + S offering 50% off my next order.  So I used it to buy some uniform-like basics. Now, I have the Puppet Show set in the smaller sizes and the shorts and top from that will be good for Kindergarten I think. And I have the Sunday Brunch (skirt) and the 2+2 (again, skirt) in the smaller sizes too. But I ordered the Music Class and Hopscotch sets for the top and skirts options in the larger sizes. After all, we've got two-ish years.

And the rule on dresses follows the rules for tops - collars, solid colors as dictated by the school. So you know how many dress patterns I have that have a little Peter Pan collar on them? SCADS. But even so, the Fairy Tale dress and the Jump Rope dress fit the requirements. Although the Fairy Tale might be a stretch - no buttons on the front.

At least one of my friends thinks I'm crazy. Probably all of them do - and maybe I am. But if our bug is going to be in school here, then I am going to make her clothes to be there.

Except the polo shirts. If she wants them, we buy them. I HATE that material and those collars give me hives.

Laura H. Saturday, April 27, 2013

Well, look at this! I'm blogging twice in a week! Who ever heard of such a thing?!

Anyway, business first! Congratulations to Emily (Pickled Weasel) who won the Doli Tank! My initial winner never returned my email, so I picked again and Emily won. Yay! She hails from a place without proper summers it seems, so I hope there will be pictures of layering goodness to arrive in the LouBee flickr pool!

I'm afraid that my turnout for the past three days has not been as impressive as the first three. At least in quantity. And if you could see the inside of one item, quality is lacking as well!

 First up today is this number. It is only two pieces, the top being reversible. That top is just a standard issue wrap-around pinafore. The shorts are my go-to shorts pattern, but I gathered the legs and added a strip of grosgrain ribbon to make them more bloomer-like. They are not legitimate bloomers, though. They just look like it. I'm not sure but once I have more black thread, I may add some grosgrain to the top, too.

 Next is this Popover Sundress from Oliver + S. I made so many last year and even though my pattern collection has grown a LOT this year, I really love how simple this pattern is. And how foolproof! Daddy-proof too. No front or back. But. I'm not completely happy with this one. Construction-wise, I'm pleased. The white eyelet outer and the green gingham (not Gangnam! Sheesh!) inner are separate pieces joined only by the top panels and bias ties. It is pretty flawless. But. I really liked it better in theory than practice. The devil is in the details, I suppose.

 And I finally made my first pattern from the Sew Fab bundle sale! It is a Go To Shift Dress from Go To Patterns. And I have to tell you that I am stupidly proud of this one. I had just enough of this fabric (it has a teeny flower print on it in white) to do something super simple with. I knew that the bias on this one would make or break it, so I went to the bias tape drawer and nixed green, red, and yellow in favor of this blue. Which I ten decided that I needed to match with some screen printed butterflies! So I added some purple to some blue until I had something close. And I simply can't believe how spot on it is! The length became an issue when I measured for the hem. Elizabeth grew last week and so my hem measurements changed from the time I cut it to the time I stitched it up. Oops! So instead of a hem, it has the same bias tape around the bottom edge. I have plans to cut off leggings into bike-shorts when the hot weather really arrives, so a pair of white shorts will set this off nicely, I think.

 I have never in all my life sewn a pillowcase dress. And the past year, I'd almost sworn it off because they have been soooo trendy and soooo all over everywhere that touts handmade items. Those two things are generally the kiss of death to me. Hip? Trendy? Overpriced boutiquey? Hand me my hatchet! But. I inherited a sizable number of hand-embroidered pillowcases from my dad's mother. And I seem to have inherited kick-butt sewing skills from my mom's mother. So I decided to bite the bullet and just do one. Next time, I won't do this style, but I WILL still use the pillowcases. And I do think this one is pretty cute.

 If you ever meet this Geranium Dress in person, do not turn it inside out. It is BAD. The combo of piping and attaching the lining separately just didn't work for me. Actually, I won't be trying to separate-step lining attachment again any time soon. Ppfftt. Really, I just don't have time for the ripping it out and redoing that it took to get it looking presentable on the outside. And the inside? I will invoke Tarder Sauce and say: NO. This is also the most expensive fabric I have ever bought! It is from the Little Lisette Collection at Joann's and I only got 30% off. But, I had to have it. And it is stinkin' cute! Elizabeth loves it too - I had to make a skirt for one of her dollhouse animals out of a scrap she found. It has about four popsicles on it but she doesn't care. 

So maybe it isn't that bad for three days work. I have another outfit that I worked on just a bit today, but it is extremely fiddly - facings, overlays, and a wave-edge hem. I may have lost my mind.


Laura H. Wednesday, April 24, 2013

** I picked the winner of the Doli Tank pattern yesterday and emailed her, but I have not heard back. Be sure to check your spam folder! If I don't hear from my winner by Friday afternoon, I'll pick someone else.**

In case you didn't know, I am an energetic seamstress and a lazy blogger.

Anyway! It is Kids Clothing Week! Yay! This kind of marks a blogging birthday for me. I've been blogging in earnest for a year now. Not bad! The only two things I've done for longer than a year are be married and be a mom. Well done me.

For day one of Kids Clothes Week, I started a lot of things but only finished one. A Skater Dress made with some of the fabric that I got at Sir's on our Day Out when the Boy Scout was sick. This was the first time I actually did the arm bands (I follow directions so very well, you know.)

And I made this one in an 18 month/2T size. It fits perfectly! The 3T/4T was a bit too long and while this one may not last all summer, it will get a ton of wear right now. It is actually in the wash pile with ketchup on it as I type.

Elizabeth loves it. And I love it because the chance of unintentional moons is slim. This is the only pattern in existence that I can still make her a 2T in and it fit. Everything else is a 3 or sometimes even a 4.

Day Two featured a little less time, but I did finish up what I started the day before.

Pardon the car-hood pic. This fabric is SUPER thin and it is really windy. This is a patternless sunsuit that I put together from an old skirt. The top and legs are shirred with elastic thread and the straps have elastic. And I managed to get some snaps in the crotch (there has to be a better word. Really. We are intelligent people. Maybe we can think of something better.)

The original skirt came from the ether I think. I know that I did not buy it for me or buy it for my pile of recycling things. So I have no idea where it came from. But, it is pretty adorable as a sunsuit.

I also don't know if it is going to fit. Being patternless, I'm really second-guessing it right now. My hope is that it is going to fit and look a lot cuter on Elizabeth than it does on the hood of my car. I did manage to hold it up to her and I *think* it is going to be okay.

I started by making a dress - shirred top and straps. Then I followed this tutorial on how to turn a dress in to a romper. Well, sort of followed it. Again, with the following directions and just not doing it most of the time.

Then I polished off a couple of more Doli Tanks. Following directions is just not in my makeup this week, it seems. I just tugged too much at the bindings and got some wrinklies and bubblies. But, that doesn't change the cuteness or the wearability at all. And Elizabeth is already fond of the purple and white. She may take come convincing about the black and orange - but thankfully summer lasts until November here.

And today, Day three is Shorts-ageddon. Shorts-isbord. I made a bunch of shorts! The brown, pink, and purple are knit. The others are various forms of wovens. ALL of them are recycled from other things. Yay! For five pairs of shorts for $4!

There was another pair of shorts but it had an unfortunate accident involving a mud puddle and a gust of wind. So no pictures of those until they are washed. But, they original pants from those were free, so that doesn't add a cent to my $4 total.

Gosh, I love being cheap! Don't you?

Laura H. Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You should be more excited about the giveaway really. Cause this pattern is A-MAZE-ING. All I do is sew.

When Sarah at EmmylouBeeDoo asked me to give this pattern a test run, I sort of wibbled then squeed really loud. I hope I kept it together via email, but come on! Who am I? I got this blog, I sew some stuff, and I am alarmingly unimportant.

And here sits Captian Hosh Pants asking me to test a pattern! You would have moistened your pantaloons too, I'm sure.

So I did. She got lucky to catch me at the beginning of the Boy Scout's days off and I whipped this thing out in a morning. Followed directions too! Didn't just *herp put stuff together derp* my way through, really properly put it all together.

Then I had to wait til after naptime for pictures. That was a LONG wait.

But here it is! Elizabeth's first Doli Tank! I didn't really have much in the way of ribbing, so I had to work backwards from what I did have. The red rib went with exactly none of my girly fabrics, so this yard and a half of cheap $1 a yard stuff that the Boy Scout picked out a million years ago was pressed in to service.

 And pressed is the truth! The creases in that thing! YIKES.

Anyway, I think I used *maybe* a third of a yard of it for this. And that includes some very lovely French seams (FANCY!) And I have to tell you, I think I'm in love with this pattern.

Knit bindings. Woven main and back pieces. No facings, no fussing, pure bliss. BLISS I SAY. Do you know how many adorable prints I have in woven fabric that are like a quarter or a half yard? They are fast becoming useless on a growing girl, but that same girl is going to have a bajillion of these tanks. Plus, way less stress than sewing knit on to knit. Only one bit really stretches!

And speaking from personal knowledge, the wide, breezy, touching-no-where-but-the-shoulders style is fantastic for summertime in Tennessee *and* big ole cloth diaper booty. And, since it doesn't touch or rub, she's not trying to strip naked! Hurrah for not being a creeper-magnet!

My fabric choice may be unconventional, but any proper princess is not complete without a few fire-breathing dragons in her story. Don't you agree?

Now, for the giveaway! Sarah has kindly offered to GIVE AWAY one of these tank patterns to someone terribly lucky. All you need to do is follow her on Facebook or Instagram, then comment here and tell me you did and under what username! Ta-da! I'll pick a winner and announce it next Tuesday, April 23.

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who participated!

Laura H. Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Well, just one to be exact.

A billion years ago (last year) I saw Made By Rae's Rainbow Dress tutorial and this year I new that Elizabeth needed one. 'Cause she's gotten in to rainbows BIG TIME. So I started with the tutorial and round about step 1/2 (before I even began) I was already derailed.

Being me, I ran with it! My tiers are all the same height because I can't do math. And that reason applies also to why it's going to be a little tight on our best girl, too. And maxi length. But it was pretty all rolled up back in January when the most pressing thing was for me to be making fuzzy warm leggings for her instead of frilly sundresses.

But now, it has turned off hot and I'm all for frilly sundress action! Ta-da!

Oh dear. Someone was really unhappy about having her picture taken. However, it doesn't compare to the unhappiness expressed when I attempted (ATTEMPTED) to change her after her nap. You would have thought I was sawing her arms off with all the screaming.

Thankfully, Daddy showed up with a kite and Mommy became chopped livers after that. Sometimes, too much togetherness is just too much togetherness.

It is a bit tighter than most of her things, but she isn't complaining about it. She's rubbed on the shirring a little, but I think that is because it feels weird to the touch, not because it's hurting her. And as of this moment, she's sitting shoeless in the sandbox in it and seems very content.

Parting shot was the first one taken and my favorite. I know my backgrounds are not plain, neutral, or non-distracting. This girl is on the move and I have to take what I can get. Especially on a Wednesday afternoon.

Laura H. Sunday, March 31, 2013

Well, here it is! The Easter dress! When I decided to Make this dress, I had no idea that purple was the color for little girls this spring. I just picked it because I couldn't find yellow ribbon to match the yellow bias tape.

Surprise! Every little girl under the age of ten was wearing purple at church today. Ah well. Not all of them were in white eyelet.

I think it is safe to say that she loves it! She twirled and talked about being a princess the whole time I was taking pictures (which was every bit of 5 minutes.) She didn't have fits about putting it on and she didn't have fits about the bow. I was expecting fights. Lots of fighting.

I am so glad I didn't get it!

This dress cost me less than $5. Yep. Less than $5. Here's the rundown:

Pattern: Butterick 4112, size 2. FREE as trade
Outer: Edged Eyelet. FREE as destash
Lining: $.69 a yard bolt-end from Sir's Fabrics. $.91
Ribbon and Bias: Joann's. $3.41 after coupons

I won't be able to make another of these - the pattern came to me cut for a size 2 and with some parts missing, so making another one isn't really feasible. I fill like it is too short in the front, but my mom assures me that it isn't (and that I dress her in Pentecostal-length dresses anyway. *eyeroll*)

I was initially not sure where to put the bow. In the on-the-hanger pics I put on Instagram, I have the bow on the front, but she wanted it on the back. So on the back it went.

I have to admit that on the hanger, it was NOT awesome. And I had a moment of intense pride when we got i ton her this morning and it was perfect. I felt horribly guilty for feeling proud, so it didn't last long.

The only thing I'm not wild about is the sleeves. They look like huge wings. Sort of annoying, but she doesn't seem to mind.

 And I have to tell you. I love that I dind't have to hem anything but the lining. This edged eyelet is super-thin and sort of stretchy, so working with it was tricky. But it really gathered great and got nice and full. And I love that it is pointed instead of scalloped. That seems to make it a little more unique than what I've usually seen.

And seriously. Who still puts a child in white eyelet, even for Easter? Judging by what I saw today, nobody does!

Laura H. Friday, March 22, 2013

We still are not out of the woods yet health-wise. Elizabeth seems to be having a rough time of it now - she just got past a really bad upper respiratory thing, now she's got a raging ear infection in her left ear. Poor kid! It got so bad that her *eyes* hurt her.

Lots of ibuprofen and antibiotics seem to be helping, but she will miss the egg hunt that's supposed to be tomorrow. I can't let her be out in the cold wind with a gunky ear.

But I've been quite busy. Last weekend while she was at my mom's I guilt-sewed up several pairs of shorts (!!??) for her. It was so warn and wonderful outside! 70 degree weather, sunny, wonderful! NOW it is 34 and cloudy-rainy, but then.... Well, so are the wonders of living in Tennessee!

Aren't they cute? I was really worried about them being too big - I used my 4t pattern from late last summer. But my skills are much better this year and these fit great! The green plaid and the Pooh Bear ones are a touch long, but this is Tennessee and Summer lasts until October. I'll make a dress or something to go with the rainbow striped ones - I didn't even try to match the stripes and they don't look great. They were worse before I made them bloomers, tho! WHEW. Some things just don't need to be striped in rainbows!

The Sprinkle print is a cotton from Joann - I only got a remnant and it shrank so much when I washed it that I didn't know if I could get a pair of shorts out of it. But I did and they are adorable. And yes, we've made all the right jokes about carrying sprinkles on one's booty. The rainbow stripes are that wal-mart sheet from last summer. I have another whole sheet left so I'm thinking about making some sundresses to sell out of it. The green and the Pooh's are both recycled from old pants. The denim on Pooh is so soft! Elizabeth really likes these, but alas, hasn't gotten to wear them yet.

I also finishedup the Mickey Dress for the fundraiser auction! It turned out really cute - I used Rae's Geranium Dress pattern and added a collar to it.

You can tell that I don't really know much about adding collars. This was the first one I've ever drafted myself and if I'd been thinking, it would meet at the center. As it is, there's a little gap. I'm going with 'it's a vintage look' instead of the 'I'm kinda dumb and don't plan stuff very well' explanation. They have gotten it now and seem quite happy with it. I hope it will bring a nice high bid!

I've got a lot more stuff I've been working on - like Elizabeth's Easter dress and about four thousand Skater Dresses, but all the skaters are dirty and the Easter dress is not quite done (it needs buttons and my Boy Scout is at work.)

Laura H. Sunday, March 10, 2013

I worked on this dress off and on for weeks. Then, on the last day of my Plague, I got it out and finished it. And now two weeks later, Elizabeth finally got to wear it!

I took these pictures today as we were leaving for church. It was so windy! Elizabeth is not a big fan of wind (tho if she were more a fan of headbands, her dislike of the wind could be decreased) but she was a trooper about having her picture done. Once she was bribed with some weedy flowers, she romped and played and I snapped pictures.

This dress is really a cobbled-together thing. I started with the Go-To Dress from Go-To Patterns. I used the cap sleeve with rib option and hacked off about three inches from the hem. Then, after seeing several patterns with the top shirred and showing, I decided that I would use that at the high waist mark. And I've been wanting to do a bubble skirt for a while, so the skirt is gathered and 'bubbled up.' I even eyeballed the button placement. While doped up on Nyquil, no less. Someone give the girl a cookie!

I will confess that I was TOTALLY winging it with this one! Why did it take weeks? Well, first the knit I had on hand is Evil Knit that stretches when you look at it. Next, I had just enough white rib, but I had to seam it together instead of folding it over because I'd cut it for something else initially. Somehow, I guessed perfectly on how much to cut off the hem, because this dress's finished length is 22 inches from the back neck - just what I want for her warmer weather stuff. Then there is the shirring - which itself is NOT hard for me. (I have a cheap machine therefore I get best results with cheap elastic thread.) But attaching the skirt at the waist after I had put the hemline together with the bubble proved both nerve-wracking and curse-inducing. Silly Evil Knit!

I was really happy with this little dress and was really looking forward to her wearing it after she got home. Then she got the Plague from her daddy, so she didn't get to wear it right away. It hung in our dining room the whole time, and several times I caught her admiring it. She LOVES the buttons and will tell anyone around that there are two yellow buttons on her dress.
The back isn't much to look at, but you can see the effect of the shirring a little better and the white rib on the sleeves.

I posted a crappy picture of this dress to my facebook account and something unexpected happened. A week before the Boy Scout interviewed for the job that moved us closer to my family, two things happened - one, an AWESOME couple got married and two, there was a fundraiser auction for Elizabeth's playschool. I had made a black and lime green Popover Sundress and donated it to their auction. Folks were very complimentary and I offered to do another dress this year. Good to my word, I contacted them a couple of weeks ago about when the fundraiser would happen, but I never heard back.

Until I posted that awful pic to facebook. Then the playschool's head teacher asked if I would do another of these dresses for the auction.

Of course I said yes. But, what they don't know is that they will get a very different version. No knits, no sleeves, and I'm adding a collar. I haven't decided whether to bubble it or not. This Mickey fabric (Hobby Lobby, by the way) is 100% cotton and just after going to church and lunch, it looks like she slept in it for three nights. I'm taking input from anyone who wants to give it! Bubble, no bubble?

And yes. She's wearing the crazy shoes. They don't match or blend well at all, but she's going to wear them!

Laura H. Saturday, March 9, 2013

It has been pretty bad health-wise for our little family the past two weeks. I've had the flu and an upper respiratory thing, Elizabeth had an upper respiratory thing, and the Boy Scout let his upper respiratory thing go so long that an excess of boogers has caused him to get pinkeye.

Due to the pinkeye, Elizabeth and I ran away from home yesterday. Every errand that I have been putting off and every errand I was planning for the next month got accomplished yesterday. We burned half a tank of gas, ate everything that was bad for us, and had a great time! I think my girl was just happy to have her mommy all to herself without any of the silly at-home stuff (chores, sewing) distracting her and I had a great time with her cause she's just awesome.

In our ramblings, we first went to our local Hobby Lobby. I've agreed to make another Mickey Mouse dress (post coming soon)  for the fundraiser auction that Elizabeth's previous playschool has every spring. I needed the Mickey fabric for that. Then, while my girl ran around and around the racks, I looked at the bolts on the wall and found the other two. The tiny hearts print is what I tried to talk Elizabeth in to picking out, but she clearly has a better eye than I do - she picked the adorable vintage looking one with the animals and babies on it.

I have a couple of patterns in mind for that one! SO stinking cute! The hearts I'll save for August - That's the next time the color of the month at playschool is red. And I'll make that one a Geranium dress. We also got her some Angry Birds stickers which she loved.

Our next stop was for milkshakes, then a 45 minute drive to the closest Stride Rite for some summer shoes for Elizabeth. Now, everyone knows that I DO NOT spend much money on her wardrobe. Clearance racks, thrift stores, and buying a size too big abound. So how do I justify spending $30+ on shoes for her? She has my feet - long, narrow, flat as pancakes. Until she outgrows them, we will get her main shoes from there. Usually, we just get sneakers and other everyday shoes - like this time, we were gunning for summer sandals and fall sneakers. What we walked out with was a tiny bit different!
Sandals for everyday this summer, nice and sturdy and cute.

Then there's THESE! She found them, sat on the floor, put them on and would only take the display ones off after the sales-gal brought her some in her size! I don't do dress shoes from there as a rule, but she's going to wear these every chance we get until she outgrows them. They go with nearly everything, so we will make it happen!

I'm such a pushover.

Next we had pizza for lunch and I got Birded on my leg.She must have out half of her new stickers on my leg. I must eat very slowly, but when I have to cut hers first and make sure she doesn't dump water down her front, it kind of slows my own progress.

Next up was a quick trip home and to the grocery to get a balloon and some juice for the Boy Scout (which we left on the front porch.) Then we were sort of at loose ends. I asked her if she wanted to go on a loooong car ride and she was peppy and glad to go. So we traveled to Fayetteville, TN to this place that I really love, Sir's Fabrics. It is right downtown in this pretty small town, but OH MY! They are celebrating this month - 65 years of business! WHOOO! So there were some things on sale and I was pretty happy just going in. They were not busy and ALL the employees we saw were thrilled with my little bug. I'm sort of outside of their target demographic, so I don't think many toddlers come in. Certainly not many who are as chatty and content as Elizabeth was.

But the best part? On the first table that I came to, just inside the door, was the biggest pile of adorable knit fabric I've seen! And every bit of it was $4.99 a yard! 60 inches wide, $4.99 a yard! I decided we could pick two of the kid prints (most were spring pastels and kid prints, but there were some grown-up ones too.) Lizzie picked the first one and I found the dogs. She was excited about both! So I let her pick which one was a dress and which was a top.

Dogs for a top (or maybe two!) Flowers for a dress. Now, to just decide what top and what dress patterns to use. I may do another Skater dress (we already have two, and one tee made from the same pattern) and I just don't know for the top. Maybe another Banyan? Or wing it for a strappy tank and make two? Who knows!

I just know that I really waffled about driving the hour and a bit down there, because we'd been in the car ALL DAY. but I am SO GLAD we went! And on the way back, Elizabeth caught a little nap. Short and unsatisfying, but she managed.

And she was really amazing all day. I was concerned about attempting this, but she proved that my worries were for nothing. She only fussed a small bit when she was tired and really enjoyed herself everywhere we went. When we pulled in at home, she cried and asked to "Go on AVENTURR again!"

That is my best girl.

And as of this writing, the Boy Scout is crust-face free, and slathering himself in hand sanitizer every time he touches his face. And without a minute to lose, too. Elizabeth woke from her nap today crying for him.