Sleeping Beauty Costume

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Hannah wanted to be Wonder Woman for Halloween. She was absolute about it…for a couple of days. Since then, she has been firm on Sleeping Beauty. Of all the princesses, this is the one I was least wanting to sew. The off the shoulder bodice and the peplum skirt just seemed like a lot of work…and they were. But I’m super excited with the final product. The costume I dreaded most of any costume I’ve made so far, but the one that I might be most proud of in the end.

Since I was really unsure of how I would draft a Sleeping Beauty costume, I scoured the internet for ideas. Not many out there, so I bought the Simplicity 5835 pattern on ebay. Don’t get me started on store bought pattern sizing! Again, a total fail with the sizing. So again, I turned to the trusty Geranium dress pattern and used the Simplicity pattern as a guideline.

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I lengthened the bodice a few inches and used a zipper instead of buttons. The zipper was definitely not done in the proper way, but it works for a costume.

For the sleeves, I used a long sleeve pattern I already had. I tried to make a v-shape hem using a facing, but it’s not very obvious. Oh well. It was a last minute thing after I had already attached the sleeves and I was afraid to cut too deep a v shape and make the sleeves too short.

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For the peplum skirt, I used the Simplicity pattern as a starting point, then drafted my own. I made it one piece and attached it to the bodice before attaching the skirt. It was a good natural stopping point for the zipper and looked better without a seam down the middle.

And for the off the shoulder look, I decided to do the easiest thing possible. Rather than do anything to change the construction of the bodice to include a fully attached collar piece, I took the easy route and sewed a fabric tube. I gathered it and attached it to the front bodice along the gathering stitches and then attached it to the back of the back bodice, sewing along the zipper seam line. Easy and done.

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The crown and necklace were pretty quick and easy. I used the Simplicity patterns but assembled them differently than called for in the pattern. I made the crown one piece instead of two sewn together. I also fused the gold lame fabric to yellow felt using spray ‘n bond instead of using stiff interfacing. Even though the crown is fairly floppy, it stands straight up like it should when worn.

And that’s Hannah as Sleeping Beauty. Phew, done with Halloween sewing! Yipee!

UPDATE: If you want to use an inexpensive but beautiful costume fabric that will stand the test of time, I included links to the fabrics I used. After one year of near constant wear and many washings (oxyclean spray ‘n wash, cold water, gentle cycle), the costume is still in excellent condition and looks almost new! I will only use slipper satin from now on for all costumes. The crown and necklace did not survive long but lasted for Halloween, so they served their purpose.

https://www.fabric.com/buy/0290217/slipper-satin-hot-pink

https://www.fabric.com/buy/0290218/slipper-satin-candy-pink

https://www.fabric.com/buy/ee-824/slipper-satin-white

https://www.fabric.com/buy/dh-996/tissue-lame-gold

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Cinderella Costume

 

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When I asked Katie what she wanted to be for Halloween, she said Rella. I was sort of joking when I asked her, thinking she wouldn’t really get it since this will only be her second Halloween, but she seems to understand and has not wavered since I first asked her. Despite Hannah’s daily attempts to get Katie to change her mind for some unknown reason, Cinderella it is.

I intended to use the Simplicity 2563 pattern that I already had, but unfortunately the muslin I made was too wide, even sewing one size down from what Katie normally wears, so I ditched the Simplicity bodice and skirt patterns in favor of the tried and true Geranium dress pattern from Made By Rae. One of the best sewing purchases I’ve ever made!

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To alter the Geranium pattern to look more like the Simplicity one, I lowered the neckline on the bodice about an inch or so to make it more of a scoopneck.

I also made the front bodice two pieces so that there would be a seam in the center front. To do this, I simply added a seam allowance to the fold line of the Geranium pattern, cut two, then sewed them together to create a front bodice with a center seam.

I didn’t do the pointed base on the bodice like the Simplicity pattern because I didn’t want to fuss with it while attaching the skirt.

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The Geranium dress does not include a sleeve pattern, so I used the Simplicity sleeve pattern and followed the Simplicity elastic casing guidelines. I’ve done this before and it’s always turned out perfectly.

For the puffs around the waist, I used the Simplicity pattern piece. They are simply large circles folded in half, gathered along the curved edge, and then basted to the bodice before attaching the skirt. Having the seam in the front of the bodice helps to line up the puffs in the exact center of the dress. A bonus to adding the extra step.

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And finally, the Simplicity headband and a grosgrain ribbon necklace to complete the look.

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And there you have it, miss Katie as Rella. She is one happy girl!


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!


Fall Porch Decor

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I finally finished decorating our front porch, and I love it! I started out with the grapevine and felt flower wreath, which you can read about here, and then went from there.

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The doormat is from Bed Bath & Beyond. Doesn’t seem to be on their website… I love that it will work for the entire fall season.

The hay bales, the mums, and the mini gourds are all from Home Depot. I bought four small hay bales, placed two on each side, stacked one on top of the other with the bottom hay bale a little bit pushed forward away from the house and the top one resting against the house to create a stair step. Then I scattered the mini gourds over the tops.

The gourds are constantly getting rearranged. My girls love to switch them around and to take them all off and pile them up on the top of the porch steps until I insist that they be put back. Katie loves to run around when I’m not looking with random bumpy ones saying “favorite” trying to bite the bumps off until I catch her and convince her that it’s yucky and that she should stop.

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The mums are still in the pots that they came in, which I then put into inexpensive baskets from Michael’s to dress them up a little.

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The Martha Stewart dimensional silhouette bats were originally on the door, as you can see here. I used the glue dots included in the package but they didn’t survive the afternoon. I then used a little bit of hot glue on the dots thinking that might do the trick. Sadly, no. I wasn’t sure what to do with the bats until a few days later when we had a thunderstorm and a bunch of smallish branches fell from our two large trees in the front yard. While gathering them to put with our yard waste, I realized that they would be perfect for the bats and FREE. A little hot glue and done. No falling off this time. I was originally sad that the bats didn’t stick to the door because I really loved the way that looked, but I think they look way better on the branches!

And the final addition were the pumpkins. A $20 score from our church’s first annual pumpkin patch. Hannah picked them all out except for one. They aren’t really carving size. We might just do stickers at some point and call it good. They’ll last longer that way anyway.

I think the porch is complete. I’m really tempted to make some of these lanterns or these ones to line our walkway, but I’m nervous about using glass mason jars with our kids running around outside. Maybe just for the week of Halloween, or maybe next year…


Halloween Grapevine & Felt Flower Wreath

 

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Halloween is coming! A very exciting time for little ones. Since this is our first Halloween in a house, I really want to go all out with front porch decorations.

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For Halloween porch decor, I decided to start with a wreath (…a couple of mums, a free mini pumpkin, Martha Stewart dimensional silhouette bats…) and then go from there. I bought a grapevine wreath from Micheal’s and then used this tutorial from the Crafted Sparrow to make felt flowers.

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I made the looped mum flower in a yellowy orange, the rolled rose in orange and white, and the scalloped frosting flower in black. For the roses, I glued little black buttons in the centers. It looked great without the buttons but it gave the wreath more of a Halloween look with the added black. To attach the flowers to the wreath, I simply glue gunned them. Easy and done!

One of the great things about this project was that it was really inexpensive. I only had to buy the wreath and the hanger, which were around $7 total. Everything else I had on hand. And since I recently found out that Michael’s will take competitor coupons, I was able to use my Joann’s coupon for 15% off my total purchase, which brought the price down a little bit more.


Happy Halloween 2012!

So…it’s been a very long time since I last posted. But I have very good reason to be neglectful. We are expecting our second child in March! I have been so so tired that I can barely manage any sewing, but with Halloween upon us, I luckily got a little bit of energy and inspiration.

When Hannah and I were perusing at Joann’s recently, we were looking at Halloween prints and Hannah absolutely fell in love with this purple Halloween kitties print. Since she was smiling and hugging the bolt of fabric, I figured I might as well whip up a little Halloween skirt for her. She’s actually worn it quite a few times since I made it a couple of weeks ago and seems pleased as can be every time she wears it. It’s just a simple elastic waistband skirt with a rolled hem ruffle.

The most important Halloween item is obviously the costume! This year was my turn to pick since last year my husband picked (so glad that we’ve moved beyond the receding hairline of last year, lol!). I decided on a poodle skirt getup, which is one of my all time favorite costumes. I’ve been dragging my feet on finally making it, having trouble deciding on a poodle silhouette, until my husband, in a very sweet way, finally told me to go with the one I had already cut out and be done with it. Thankfully I followed his advice or I’d be having a panic attack today still trying to decide!

I used Dana’s tutorial on Made to make a simple felt circle skirt (before attaching the elastic waistband, I put all of my embellishments on the skirt). I laid out my string of sequins, used a fabric marker to trace my layout for a guide while sewing, pinned in a few places, and then sewed the sequins on. Not as hard as you’d think! Finally, I fused the poodle onto the skirt and then glue gunned some rhinestones onto it for a collar.

For the glasses (which she wore for only a little while), I used some dollar toddler sunglasses from Target. I simply popped out the lenses and glue gunned three rhinestones onto each side. Gluing the rhinestones was actually the hardest part of the whole costume! They are so tiny and hard to handle while working with hot glue!

The onesie and shoes were awesome thrift store finds! I wasn’t sure what I’d find at the Goodwill up the street. It’s new and pretty small. I’ve never found anything good there before the few times I’ve popped in for a look, but this time I hit the jackpot! Originally I was really hoping to find a top with a peter pan collar for that classic, old fashioned look but I didn’t think I would be able to, so I was willing to settle for a plain white onesie from the closet…until I stumbled across this adorable and brand new, tags still on onesie. It’s a little big but works perfectly for her costume and she’ll have time to grow into it for future use. The shoes are practically brand new and for $3.99, you can’t beat it. I’m thinking they’ll get some use this holiday season as well.

And there you have it, a very easy and quick costume. Just the kind of thing this pregnant mommy needed!


Baby Doll Circle Skirts

Taking a break from Christmas sewing, which I promise to share soon, I sewed up some quick circle skirts for Hannah’s baby doll. I used a fat quarter from my fabric stash and a scrap piece of elastic and in something like 30 minutes, I had a new circle skirt! I used this tutorial from the amazing blog, Made.

This quickie project was actually a test run for Hannah’s Halloween costume. Last year she was Wonder Woman and this year she is going to be a 50’s girl. I absolutely adore poodle skirts! My mom made one for me to wear to my elementary sockhop dance and I’ve been in love ever since.

And since Hannah is going to be a 50’s girl, I figured it was entirely necessary to make her baby doll a cute little skirt as well. I used some felt from my stash and some fabric paint I also had on hand. (It’s my goal to start making a sizable dent in my sewing supplies. My little cart is already stuffed to the brim!)

Instead of cutting out and sewing on appliques (which I’ll do for Hannah’s skirt), I traced clipart images from Microsoft Word onto some cheap wrapping paper, cut it into a stencil, ironed it onto the skirt, and painted my design. So much easier than fiddling around with such small appliques! I’m going to touch up the black with a sharpie where it needs it. Now I just need to get started on Hannah’s outfit…oh yeah, and baby needs a shirt!!!