Halloween Junebug & Halloween Sally

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Our first fall in Nashville has been really great. I’m enjoying our new house and all of the fall related decorating, which you can read about here and here. I’m super excited about my Halloween sewing projects too. These dresses are the first on my to-do list with costumes to come very soon.

In this sweet sister pic, Hannah is wearing a Junebug dress and Katie is wearing a Sally dress. (I promise this is the last Sally Dress for awhile! As much as I LOVE that pattern, I’m starting to experience some Sally overload…)

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While I’d love for you to be amazed at how productive I am in pumping out dresses, in all honesty, I sewed this Sally dress for Hannah last year. My mom sent me the fabric (I think it was from Joann’s?) but I didn’t know what to do with it. I wasn’t sure that it would work for a girl’s dress but I had just bought the Sally dress pattern and was itching to make one. I figured if it didn’t turn out, I just wouldn’t have Hannah wear it. But I LOVED it!

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Here is a Hannah throwback. This was taken at Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, California last year. Hannah and Katie’s first time visiting a real pumpkin patch! Although Katie was fairly young at the time and obviously won’t remember it…

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Again, one of the very best parts of the Sally dress is the pockets. Nothing better than big pockets, except maybe big pockets with a contrasting/coordinating fabric. So much fun!

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For Hannah’s Junebug dress, I used Riley Blake’s Halloween Parade Spider Webs. I really wanted the purple but it was on backorder at fabric.com until November, and I obviously would have no use for it then, so I went with the gray. Thankfully I had some pink buttons on hand because pink is pretty much all Hannah wants to wear these days. The black, white, and gray wasn’t going over too well at first…I think she’s getting over it now… The other day she insisted on wearing neon pink head to toe and could not be persuaded otherwise. Sheesh!

The Junebug dress holds a special place in my heart. This pattern is by Jess from Craftiness is not Optional, my favorite blog of all time! When I was first thinking of learning to sew baby clothes, I found her site and instantly fell in love with the Junebug dress tutorial. I made one using a self drafted pattern, which looked cute but was horribly proportioned and unwearable. I had always wanted to revisit this dress but just haven’t until now. And now there is a pattern, so no more self-drafted patterns this time around! I love the classic look with the buttons on either side of the front placket and the adorable puff sleeves. It doesn’t get much better than this in my book.

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There are only two minor downsides to this dress. The first, that I sewed a size 3 instead of a size 2. Hannah is pretty petite for her age and in between the sizes, so it’s a little roomy. Since it’s a Halloween dress, I could have made it a size smaller for a closer fit without worrying about her outgrowing it quickly. Afterall, it will get put away for Katie for next year in a matter of weeks.

The second downside was that it wasn’t as full of a skirt as I typically prefer, which is partially my own fault. I eeked this dress out of only one yard of fabric! Awesome way to maximize yardage and minimize expense, but the result is a slightly slimmer skirt than the pattern calls for. The next time I sew this dress, I’ll likely make it fuller than even the pattern calls for. I prefer a twirlier skirt and I have found that gathers look nicer and more even with more fabric. But it’s a super cute dress and I love it in spite of these two itty bitty regrets!

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A Sally Dress for a Special Girl

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This is a Sally dress I made for someone very special. J is a friend from our church in California, who from our first meeting when she was in first grade, has always been extremely friendly, helpful, caring, trustworthy, responsible….and the list goes on and on. This past summer, she was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and has had quite a journey, which has included hospitalization and ultimately surgery. Thankfully she has adjusted well and has overcome many challenges in this process and seems as upbeat as ever.

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This fabric was a gift from my dad, one of a few different prints he sent me awhile back. The first time I saw it, I immediately thought of J and of her love for vibrant colors and groovy prints. It had her name written all over it. I never knew what to make with it until I fell in love with the Sally dress pattern. Who doesn’t love big pockets?!

I started making this Sally Dress as a destashing project right before we moved to Nashville (and before any of her symptoms had manifested). Obviously I never finished it before moving and have had it sitting around now for a few months. The other day, while thinking of J, I realized that I really needed to finish it up and get it sent off to her.

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this special girl as she gears up for another surgery (the second of three). I’ve been thinking about how much I love her and miss her and how I am deeply proud of her courage as well as her generosity during this new challenge she faces. Rather than just going through this process, trying to make it day by day, wondering why it happened to her and the normal things we all might wonder, she instead decided to start making bracelets (while in the hospital!) and selling them to benefit the Chrohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She sold them to family and friends and ended up raising $500! Truly a remarkable young woman. I love her and miss her. And I hope that when she receives this dress in the mail next week sometime, that she knows how truly special she is and how much we all love her.

If you would like to learn more about Chrohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, please visit the website www.ccfa.org. And even better, you can donate to support new research that will help people like J!


Sally Dress

 

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I sewed this up and photographed it awhile ago, but here it is finally on the blog after many months…This is the Sally Dress by Very Shannon. I LOVE this pattern! Over the past year or so that I’ve had it, I think I’ve sewn up three. I love that there are no closures and the huge, adorable, kid-friendly pockets are the best. I added the ribbon around the base of the bodice on this Sally dress to break up the stripes and to give it a more girly detail.

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This one I sewed up for Hannah for St. Patrick’s Day with some fabric sent by my husband’s Aunt Pam, who so kindly sends me large packages filled with fabric that she no longer has use for. Makes my day, or really more like my week or even month, when I get one of those surprises in the mail!

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The matching doll dress I made using leftover scraps. I used this tutorial and pattern from the blog Chickadee Jess. It fit Abby, Hannah’s Bitty Baby, perfectly!I changed things up a bit to make it look more like the Sally Dress. I opted for a lined bodice since I wasn’t doing a collar or sleeves and I also added pockets to the skirt. I really wish the skirt was fuller but I was working with scraps…

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Hannah is not much of a doll girl, but she was really excited when I surprised her with a matching doll dress. I always loved it when my mom made matching sets of pajamas for my cabbage patch doll and me when I was little. Nothing better than matching your favorite doll!


Oliver + S Obsessed!

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Over the past 6 months or so I’ve come across countless blog posts about Oliver + S patterns. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about and so I went to their website and immediately fell in love. Although their patterns are pretty pricey, I decided to treat myself to two of my favorites as a gift for Christmas–the Family Reunion Dress and the Ice Cream Dress. Since I was definitely not sewing much at the time due to holiday travels and third trimester tiredness mixed with an energetic toddler, it took me awhile to get sewing.

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I started with the Family Reunion Dress, which I absolutely adore! There is so much attention to detail in Oliver + S patterns that I decided to take my time and just do a few steps each night. I started the dress while I was still pregnant in hopes that it would be an 18 month picture dress for Hannah but I got busy getting ready for the baby and so I didn’t end up finishing it until well after Katie was born and 18 months had come and gone. Oh well! I finally finished it a couple of weeks ago and I’m glad I did because it turned out to be my very favorite dress that I’ve ever made. And that is how my current Oliver + S pattern obsession began.

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So after going on and on to my poor husband about how much I love Oliver + S patterns and how excited I am to have two more (I spent some of my birthday money (thank you in-laws!) on two more), I decided to dedicate an entire month to sewing only Oliver + S patterns! Hopefully this will keep me inspired to post regularly again…fingers crossed.

(Hannah is wearing the Family Reunion Dress and Katie is wearing a circle skirt. The bows are a free pattern from the Oliver + S website.)


Welcome, Baby Katie!

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On March 11th, we welcomed our beautiful little Katie into the world. She has been such a dream baby and I’ve enjoyed every minute since she arrived! I can’t believe that she is already 7 weeks old today.

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My biggest worry was how the adjustment would be for Hannah. After all, it is a big change to go from almost two years of uninterrupted mommy time to suddenly having to share mommy with a newborn who needs to be fed, changed, and held round the clock. But Hannah has been an amazing big sister and absolutely loves little Katie.

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It’s been such a smooth transition that I’ve actually started to sew again! Throughout the later part of my pregnancy I was just too tired and unmotivated to sew most of the time, and when I had the energy and the desire to sew, I was too lazy to take pictures and write up a post.

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This dress was the first outfit that I sewed for Katie. I used the Geranium Dress pattern from the blog Made By Rae. It was so much fun to work on this dress (one of the best patterns I have ever used!) not long before she arrived and to think about what it would look like on her. Thankfully I did get this dress sewn up before she arrived, otherwise I’m not sure what she would have worn for her one month pictures!


Burp Cloths for Baby Sis

We’re having another girl! I’m so excited to go further overboard with the pink and the frilly. Hannah has barely anything that isn’t entirely pink or where pink is not a prominent color. At least my husband adjusted quickly and jumped on the girly bandwagon right away with Hannah. Now he’s really starting to get outnumbered! The funny thing is, he’s the youngest of three boys. He’s a quick learner, though, and a wonderful dad for daughters.

Now that we know what we’re having, I’ve caught the sewing bug! I can’t stop pinning baby tutorials on Pinterest. I’m obsessed! But the good thing is, that means new posts! The first thing I decided to make were these super cute burp cloths using this tutorial at Made. Love that blog! Instead of using regular fabric for the backing, I decided to use snuggle flannel instead. That way they are nice and soft on both sides.

Originally I planned to use white chenille like the photos in the tutorial but all they had at Joann’s was pink. I think the burp cloths turned out great with the pink, though, and it definitely complements all of the snuggle flannel prints I used. One of the great things about this project was that I was able to use some large flannel scraps and small cuts that I already had on hand but that were too small to make new pj pants for Hannah. So if you have some flannel lying around needing to be used up and you have a baby on the way or a friend or family member with a baby on the way, this is the scrap buster project for you!

We’ll see how well they work in action in just a few short months, but for now I just admire the girly cuteness!


It’s a Girl!

I’m so excited for my pastor and his wife who are expecting their first granddaughter this December! Their daughter already has two sons and was convinced that she was having another boy, but surprise, it’s a girl!

With some leftover fabric from Hannah’s birthday dress, I made my very first Janey Jumper to give to my pastor and his wife as a gift. I bought this Cottage Mama pattern forever ago and have been meaning to make one of these adorable dresses for so long but have never gotten around to it until now. And honestly, it was the perfect excuse to test out the sizing to see what would fit Hannah, since I’m thinking a Christmas themed Janey Jumper would be really cute.

The ruffle down the front is different than the one in the pattern since I only had one coordinating fabric to go with the main print. I figured out approximately how wide I wanted my ruffle to be, cut my fabric double that and added seam allowances, sewed the raw ends together with rights sides facing, flipped the fabric tube right side out, and then ironed my fabric with the seam in the center back of the tube. After running a quick gathering stitch up the middle and then gathering the fabric, I sewed it to the front of the dress following the pattern instructions.

The dress was pretty quick and easy. The only difficult part was figuring out how to sew the bottom hem. That took me a little while to wrap my mind around, but I figured it out and had no problems in the end. The  reason it was a little tricky is because the Janey Jumper is completely lined, there are no exposed seams. And so to be able to sew the bottom hem and turn the dress right side out without it getting twisted, takes some creative maneuvering. I’m glad that I read the pattern carefully and only sewed when I was convinced I had completely understood the step. Anything to avoid the dreaded seam ripper!!! Anyway, I highly recommend this pattern. Such a cute dress and it comes with a variety of different embellishments so that you can make endless Janey Jumpers for the same girl and she’ll have a variety of different looks.