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.
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!
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
This past Sunday we celebrated Hannah’s first birthday. Her actual birthday is this Sunday, but I thought it would be fun to coordinate Hannah’s birthday party with our July potluck at church. It was a day of good friends, good food, and a refreshing swim in the church pool.
I can’t believe I planned my first birthday party and lived to tell the tale! It was so much more work than I thought it would be, and what I did was incredibly simple compared to the so many talented mommies out there in the blogosphere. I’m proud of what I put together, though, since party planning is really not my thing.
Although I had grand plans to make the cake and cupcakes from scratch, I ended up using cake mix. Thank goodness too, because even that took forever. For the cupcakes I used a yellow cake mix—I’m not a big fan of vanilla—and a chocolate fudge cake mix. And for the cake I used chocolate fudge mix also. The trouble I ran into with the cake mix was that it’s so light that I had a heck of a time moving the cake layers from the pans, to the cooling racks, and then onto the cake plate in one piece. Oh well, nothing that a little frosting couldn’t hide.
And speaking of frosting, I did actually make my own. It was delicious! Not sickeningly sweet like so many recipes out there but definitely sweet enough to satisfy the sweet tooths in this house. I used this recipe and this tutorial with my 1M frosting tip to get the rose effect. It was my first time ever piping frosting and I never had a mess up. Super easy and quick! My only complaint was that I put too much red dye in my batch of pink frosting for the cupcakes and it turned out more coral than pink. At least I got the cake frosting right.
For the table layout, I used two desert towers from Joann’s to display the cupcakes. I didn’t really love the way the yellow and chocolate cupcakes looked side by side but this dilemma was unavoidable since I wanted people to be able to choose from two kinds of cupcakes. The cake was was just a simple two layer cake with frosting, sprinkles, and a target candle. The pictures were Hannah’s birth announcement and her 1 year announcement/invitation. How I love those Costco photo cards! And lastly, one of the table centerpieces, a tissue pom flower, so that the centerpieces on the tables would match the birthday table.
Hanging above the birthday table was a collage of Hannah’s first year month by month. I mounted 5×7 prints on scrapbook paper with double sided tape and then glued them onto posterboard. To make the garland, I traced and cut letters from my scrapbook paper scraps and glued them to a long piece of ribbon.
For the tables I made really simple but somewhat time consuming tissue poms. There are a bazillion tutorials out there, but I came across this video on youtube, which was pretty straightforward and easy to follow. The vases were 79 cents at Ikea!
I didn’t really have a super cohesive theme, but I was sort of going for pink and yellow floral to match Hannah’s dress. Overall I’m pretty pleased with how things turned out. There were a few bumps in the road along the way but I’m just glad that I got everything done and that we had a lot of fun celebrating Hannah’s first year!
Happy Independence Day, everyone!
We took Hannah to the local 4th of July celebration. She participated in the Diaper Derby for 11-24 month walkers. Although she got last place, she seemed to enjoy it. She took one or two steps and then stood at the starting line looking around at the onlookers while the much older babies tottled to the finish line. Oh well, better luck next time. She got a ribbon for participating, though, and she was really proud of that!
After the Diaper Derby, we took Hannah to the playground area where she got to swing for the very first time. She LOVED it!
She also had fun on the slide.
Overall, it was a really fun day. Hannah seemed to enjoy her first 4th of July. She will obviously be in bed during fireworks tonight but maybe she’ll be able to stay up next year.
What a wonderful day! And let us not forget those who make days like this possible. Thank you to all of the men and women who serve this country, including my brother, Jeremy, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. How truly blessed our country is to have such brave people defend our freedom each and every day.
And, yes, I did make her dress. More details on that soon!
I can’t believe that my sweet little Hannah is turning one next month! Since her birthday is fast approaching, I’ve been slowly but surely working on the party planning. And one of the most important things to me is the dress!
As soon as I came across the Piper’s Stripwork Maxi Dress pattern, I knew that it was perfect for Hannah’s first birthday. And lucky for me, I won the pattern—and two others—in a giveaway on the Create Kid’s Couture blog! So exciting!!!!
The pattern directions were very clear and easy to follow and the dress turned out amazingly well. I am absolutely in love with this dress! A really great thing about this pattern is that it includes sizes 6-12 month through size 8. I will definitely be using this pattern many more times in the years to come!
The big difference between the dress I made and the pattern is that I didn’t use 7 coordinating fabrics to create the stripwork effect on the skirt portion of the dress. I love that look but I really wanted to showcase the beautiful flowers on this fabric.
The most time consuming and challening part of this dress for me was figuring out how to do a rolled hem on my serger for the first time. I tried many different settings but couldn’t get it quite right, so I took to google and found a wonderful mini tutorial that was a real life saver. Now I’m super excited to try rolled hems again. Anything to avoid measuring and ironing hems whenever possible!
Speaking of my AMAZING serger, I can’t help but admire the beauty that is a serged seam on the inside of a homemade garment. So much better than zig-zagging! Thanks again to my husband for getting me such a great birthday present!!!!