Kreativ Blogger Award!

What a fun surprise to find out that a fellow blogger has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Thank you to Nice Things In My Life for this honor.

The rules for this award are as follows:

  • Thank the award giver and link back to them in your post—thanks again to Nice Things In My Life for nominating me!
  • Copy the award and post it—above
  • Tell readers seven things about yourself—see below
  • Award seven others and tell them about the award—since I’m relatively new to this blogging thing, I’m not sure if I can come up with 7, yikes! See below.

Seven things about me:

  1. I learned how to sew, or at least the basics, in a middle school home economics class. The first project I ever made was an apron for my mom that I gave to her as a gift for mother’s day.
  2. I married my high school sweetheart.
  3. I’ve lived in every state beginning with an “O”—Oregon, Oklahoma, and Ohio.
  4. I love 19th century British literature and was this close to pursuing an English PhD.
  5. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I was a high school special education teacher for three years. It was a challenging job but overall I enjoyed it.
  6. I hate to cook. I really wish I was one of those wives that has a wonderful home cooked meal on the table every night as my husband walks through the door, but that’s just not me. I do love to eat, though. Not a good combo!
  7. I used to be a really good runner. I ran cross country and track from middle school through two years of college. The funny thing, though, is I never really liked to run. I liked to compete but I was not one of those crazy addicted runners. I go through spurts where I run but I haven’t consistently ran since college.

Blogs I am nominating for this award:

Easter Bargains…continued

I have been a busy lady this week! It sort of feels like I’ve been sucked up into an Easter sewing whirlwind. After I finish up a few details, I will have Hannah’s Easter dress and a little something I made for myself to share with you all. It’s a relief to have made such a sizable dent in my Easter projects list!

For now, I have a follow up on the Easter bargains I found at Joann’s this past weekend. For starters, I made some Easter jammie pants out of the cute bunny flannel. I slightly altered my pattern from the other jammie pants I made so that the legs were a little less wide and the crotch was a little more rounded for a better fit. I can’t wait for her to wear them!

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate the ribbon into Hannah’s Easter “basket.” (She’s actually not going to get a basket. Because she’s cruising all over the place and is eager to explore, I picked up a wagon walker from Ikea—among other things, I sort of went a little crazy—and I’m going to use the wagon as her basket.) I used this tutorial to make a poofy bow out of the rabbit ribbon. I’m going to put the bow on the handle of the walker.

I used the Easter egg ribbon to tie a set of Beatrix Potter board books together. I’m excited for Hannah to have them because they were mine when I was a little girl. It’s so fun to pass down little treasures like these to my sweet girl.

I haven’t gotten to the carrot ribbon (my favorite!) yet. I plan to make some sort of a bow for the rabbit stuffed animal that I also picked up at Ikea. When I get everything all put together, I will share how it all turned out. I hope that Hannah loves her first visit from the Easter bunny.

Tiered Skirts for Easter

It’s time for the big Easter push! I have more projects in mind to do than hours to do them, but I’m going to do my best to get to as many projects as possible and let the chips fall where they may.

The first of my Easter projects are these adorable tiered skirts for two little girls at my church. I used some of my Aunt Pam fabric that seemed perfect for some matchy matchy sister skirts.

There are a lot of tutorials out there for tiered skirts, but I like the easy tiered skirt tutorial on the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional. I think she writes the best and clearest tutorials, which is why I reference her so much. The only difficulty I had was with the measurements. I think her math might have been a little wonky but nothing my nerdy math-minded husband couldn’t help me sort out. What a wonderful and patient man to sit down with me and help me come up with calculations for little girl skirts in the middle of the night!

After some trial and error making these two skirts, I came up with what I think is the best formula for a tiered skirt and the measurements I would use if I make another in the future. Click the diagram to enlarge or click here for a printable version.

*UPDATE* the 1.6 measurement for length makes a very poofy skirt. More so than what you see in the pictures. If you want something a little less poofy I would recommend using 1.4 or 1.5 instead when determining the length of your tiers.

Easter Bargains

Today I went to Joann’s to pick up a few things and I ran across some Easter bargains I couldn’t resist. These three spools of ribbon were only 99 cents each. I don’t know what I’ll use them for yet but I’m sure I can come up with something. My favorite is the one with carrots!

All snuggle flannel is on sale right now for $2.79 a yard, so I bought half a yard to make some cute Easter jammie pants out of these sweet little bunnies.

Flannel Pajama Pants

Now that Hannah has outgrown pretty much all of her pajamas, she desperately needs something to wear to bed. To try out a new pants pattern I have, I decided to whip up some quick jammie pants (as I’ve been calling them) out of some snuggle flannel that I had on hand.

The pattern I used was from the book Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones. Because I love using patterns where the pant legs are one piece, I modified the pants pattern from the Kimono-Style PJs project. After cutting off the 1/2” seam allowances from the outside seam of both the front and back leg patterns, I taped the front and back pieces of her pattern together on the outside leg seam. I also lengthened the legs. Her pattern calls for a coordinating fabric for trim, but I didn’t want to get that fancy for jammie pants, at least this go-round.

Something I learned on this project: when using one piece patterns for pant legs, you must cut one leg with your pattern on the right side of the fabric and one with your pattern on the wrong side. If you don’t, you’ll end up with two right legs or two left legs. I did that and figured it out when I went to pin the two legs together to sew the crotch seam and they didn’t line up at the waist. Luckily I had enough fabric to cut the other legs out, so Hannah will have two pairs of jammie pants in this fabric.

St. Patrick’s Day Skirt & Shamrock Headband

I’ve never really gotten into St. Patrick’s Day—for no particular reason, I just haven’t—but since it’s the little one’s first, a green getup of some sort was definitely a must. After all, we don’t want any pinching going on in this house!

I was originally going to make a pillowcase dress using my McCall’s 6058 pattern, but after I cut everything out and started putting the dress together, I just didn’t like it. I decided to cut off the top portion of the dress and turn it into a simple skirt instead. To add a fun detail, I trimmed the skirt with some white ric rac I had on hand.

For the headband, I used an idea I saw on Pinterest for making felt shamrocks. I spruced up the shamrock a bit by whip stitching around the edges of the leaves using a contrasting embroidery floss and then adding a button in the middle. I have been reusing the same white elastic headband for multiple outfits. Instead of sewing on flowers or bows, or in this case shamrocks, I just use a tiny safety pin and attach whichever accessory I need for a particular outfit. A time saver for sure!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

What I’m Reading

While taking the little one to the library this past week, I decided to pick up some goodies for myself. I absolutely LOVE the book One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. There are so many great projects that use only one yard of fabric. Some of my favorite projects are: organized bed pocket, hanging laundry bag, hanging wall pocket, origami organizer, laptop sleeve, summer nightie, folklore bag, petite diaper tote, and newborn flyaway jacket. What I love is that this book has a little bit of everything. I also want to check out the previous edition, which I’m sure also has a bunch of amazing projects to add to my never ending list of things I’d love to sew if I ever find the time!

The book Me and  My Sewing Machine: A Beginner’s Guide is such a great overview of everything you’d ever want to know about sewing from parts of the machine and accessories to seams to buttons and zippers to sewing with different types of fabric. The descriptions are really simple and clear and the pictures are very helpful. I was also excited to see that the sewing machine is actually the one I own or one that is very similar.

I’m loving Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss. I taught myself to knit a few years ago. I made like a bazillion scarves and then sort of lost interest. (At the time I was living in Ohio where scarves are a winter essential. Now I live in sunny California and scarves are pretty useless.) This book looks like a great way to get back into knitting…if I can get motivated enough to put in the time to learn new stitches and to figure out the whole yarn weight/needle size/gauge situation. Some of the projects I love are: simple hat, jacket with seed stitch bands, seed stitch shoes, dress with eyelets, and scarf with pocket. So cute!

I’m not sure how useful Adorable Crochet for Babies and Toddlers will be for me. I’ve tried crotchet a few times but I just can’t get the hang of it. To be completely honest, I’m pretty much terrible at it! My biggest problem is getting the tension of the yarn right. This book is more of a dream than a reality at this point, but the three projects I would love to make are: small sandals, Richard Rabbit, and Barnaby Bear. If I could, I would make the rabbit for my sweet girl for Easter. Definitely not going to happen this year. Maybe next Easter?

Simple Tote Bag

The little one absolutely loves to read. Sometimes we read 15 or more books in a single day! She has quite a few books but definitely not enough to keep up with her appetite for reading, so last week I took her to the library for the first time. We checked out a bunch of books, and when I was trying to figure out a way to carry all of them around the library and then home, I realized that Hannah definitely needed a tote bag.

Since Aunt Pam was generous enough to send me a ton of cute fabric, I looked through my new stash to find a fun girly print. I absolutely loved the pink with sparkly wands the first time I laid eyes on it. What girl wouldn’t?! When I look at it I think of princesses and fairies and magic. How perfect for a library tote bag!

Another Aunt Pam goodie was the multi-colored cat print. I knew that it was destined to become something for my mom since she loves cats so much. Anytime I see something with cats, the first thing I think of is my mom. I couldn’t figure out what to make, though, until I got the idea to make a tote for Hannah. A tote bag is so functional and since my mom loves to travel, whether it’s a day trip or a week long trip, a tote bag is a great thing to have on hand. I’m thinking of whipping up something else for my mom too with the leftover cat fabric. More to come on that another time!

To make the bags, I used the tote bag tutorial from the blog Skip to my Lou. There are a ton of tutorials for totes but this was perfect. Super quick and easy, and by that I mean no interfacing. Wahoo!

I followed the tutorial completely for the cat tote bag. For Hannah’s bag I increased the size by two inches on both the length and the width, and I sewed the bottom corner two inches instead of one and a half so that the bag would have a wider base and could hold more books. I also made an interior pocket for Hannah’s bag because I wanted a place to store CDs and DVDs where they would be at least somewhat separated/protected from the books.

And what girly tote would be complete without some fun bows!

Crib Rail Teething Guard Tutorial

(It’s so hard to get babies to hold still for pictures! Please ignore the strangely blurred baby hand!)

Supplies You’ll Need

fleece (I used a fleece blanket from Ikea)

sewing stuff

As shown in the picture above, you’ll need two rectangular pieces of fleece to cover the rail and a bunch of fleece strips to use for ties. So let’s get cutting!

For the front rail of my daughter’s crib (Davinci Kalani Crib & Changer), the rectangular pieces of fleece to serve as the main body of the teething guard measured roughly 50×16 inches. I figured out these measurements by draping the blanket over the crib rail. Luckily the length of the blanket was pretty much a perfect match to the length of the rail.

To determine the width I needed, I lined up the edge of the blanket with the bottom of the rail (see above were my fingers are holding the edge of the blanket in place) and then marked with a pin on the other side of the blanket that was draped over the rail where I would need to cut for it to line up with the other side of the rail. I then took the blanket off the rail, laid the fabric flat on my cutting mat, and measured the width I had marked. I added about an inch to the width for seam allowances and then cut out my two rectangles of fleece according the dimensions I had measured. (If this is confusing, which I’m sure it is, feel free to ask questions by leaving a comment!)

The above picture shows how the two sides of the rectangle meet about half an inch below the rail once it has been cut to the correct size.

To make the ties, determine the size and number of strips you’ll need. My strips initially measured 8×2 inches, which was a little on the long side so I trimmed off about 2 1/2 inches from each strip after I had sewn everything together. Because I wanted ties between each of the crib slats, I needed a total of 30 strips—15 for each side of the teething guard.

Now that you have everything cut out, it’s time to start pinning the ties in place. To do this, I took one of my rectangles of fleece and draped it over the crib rail. Then I started pinning ties so that they were spaced between each crib slat. (Sorry that the persective is a little off in the picture above. One of my goals is to get much better at photography!)

Once I had all of the ties pinned on one side, I laid the fabric flat on my cutting mat and set–I did not pin–the remaining ties on the opposite side of the ties I had pinned. Then I removed the pins holding the other ties in place.

Now you’re almost ready to sew! Place the second rectangular piece of fleece on top of the other making sure that the ties are tucked in. So that I wouldn’t sew my ties on the ends into the side seam, I moved them about 1/4” away from the edge. Since fleece has some stretch, it won’t affect the way the teething guard fits the crib.

Pin around the edge making sure to secure each tie in place. To remind myself not to sew around the entire perimeter—which I’ve done many more times than I care to admit—I put two pins about two inches apart on one of the ends.

Sew around the perimeter, making sure to leave a small opening. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance on each end so that I wouldn’t catch the ties in my seam. (The reason this was a problem for me was because the length of the blanket I used didn’t really give me much room for seam allowances on the ends). I used a 1/2 seam allowance for the lengths.

Turn right side out.

Pin the opening so that the unfinished edges are turned under.

Sew around the entire perimeter with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Tie your teething guard onto your little one’s crib and pat yourself on the back for saving a ton of money!

Crib Rail Teething Guard

*For tutorial, see this post.

Now that the little one can easily pull herself up in her crib, she has developed an appetite for crib rails. She loves to gum them. So far I haven’t spotted any tooth buds, but it’s only a matter of time until she has teeth and starts taking chunks out of her crib. You should see the pics on google images of what kids can do!!! This inspired me to make a crib rail teething guard.

A couple of months ago, I bought a light blue fleece blanket from Ikea for $2.49 and tucked it away for a future project. Since it matched the blue accents in Hannah’s crib set, I used it to make a teething guard for the side crib rail. It was super easy, didn’t take very long, and used very little fabric. A good combo if you ask me! I will probably make a teething guard for the front rail too. We’ll see how the side one works first. Happy chomping, little one!