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!!!

Mommy, Daughter Easter Outfits

For Hannah’s first Easter, I thought it would be fun to have matching mommy, daughter outfits. Silly, I know, but since I never had a sister, this is my chance to do the matchy-matchy thing.

Later this week, or earlier if I get the chance, I plan to post a tutorial for Hannah’s dress for those of you who might want to whip up one of these adorable tiered dresses for your own sweet little girl.

I mostly like how my skirt turned out. The main thing I would do differently next time is use less fabric. It seems a little bulky to me using the standard 2 x waist measurement formula. If I make another skirt like this for myself using a quilting weight fabric, I would probably use 1.5 x waist measurement instead. (I’m sure the standard would work much better for lighter/thinner fabrics.) For a more prominent waistband, I used 2″ elastic.

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.

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!

Peasant Top & Denim Skirt

I found quite a few mommy blogs that have tutorials on peasant tops. They seemed easy and super cute so I decided to give it a try. I used the 3-6 month pattern and sewing directions from the site make-your-own-baby-stuff.com. To add embellishment to my peasant top, I used styling inspiration from the ruffley peasant top collar tutorial on the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional.

After getting everything sewn together, the only thing left was to insert the elastic. Before closing the elastic casings, though, I wanted to be sure that everything fit right. When I tried it on my little one, I had to laugh. As much as the ruffle looked really cute when the shirt was on a hanger, it definitely gave me clown vibes. Maybe it was the red?

Since I wasn’t really loving the clown look, I decided to get rid of the ruffle and do a simple bias tape edge like the sleeves and bottom of the peasant top, which looked much better.

To go with the top, I decided to make a little jean skirt with contrast stitching and a sash tied in a bow. And this is the finished product!


Happy Halloween!

I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The Wonder Woman costume is complete and Halloween pics were a success! Unfortunately when trying to put on her golden headband tiara, the little piece of elastic in the back broke and so she couldn’t wear it in the pics. Oh well, she looks completely adorable anyway!


The little one has yet to work on her first pumpkin but I think I’ll let her take a nap and rest up first. Listening to the Monster Mash with daddy really wore her out. Halloween is definitely more fun with a little one!

Cherry Dress/Skirt

My little one just turned three months old, which I can hardly believe! For her milestone pictures, I decided to get crafty and make a cute outfit for her. While browsing mommy blogs, I came across two dresses that I liked and decided to combine elements of both. The first dress is called the Simple Raglan Dress from a guest post on the blog icandy handmade and the second is called the Vintage Heirloom Dress from the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional (My absolute favorite sewing blog!). I decided to use the Simple Raglan Dress with the pleated sleeve as the main form of the dress but added a lining to the bodice since I was using a mostly white fabric. I borrowed styling from the Vintage Heirloom Dress, using a similarly adorable fabric and the cute button embellishment on the bodice. I was so excited with the way it turned out!


It was definitely a challenge as it was my first attempt inserting an invisible zipper. I had to rip out the seams and try again, but when all was said and done, it looked pretty good for a first timer…at least I think so. I was a little bummed that the red accent fabric didn’t line up correctly in the back. Maybe I got a little overzealous with the embellishments for a novice sewer. Even with that little set back, I was very pleased, perhaps even a little smug that I had created such an adorable dress for my sweet little girl. With that being said, we all know what smugness and overconfidence lead to….

Once I had my little one try on the dress, it was apparent that the sizing had gone horribly wrong. That didn’t stop her from smiling away, though. I swear that she somehow knew I made something special just for her. After holding her in different positions and tugging and tucking fabric here and there to see if there was a way to fix it, I finally admitted to myself that it was a hopeless cause. With this experience, I am convinced that it is almost impossible to make fitted clothes fit correctly on a newborn baby. They are just too amorphous and blobby, especially for someone as inexperienced as I am at sewing.

After admitting defeat, I decided to salvage the bottom part of the dress and turn it into a skirt. I bought some red tulle to add extra cuteness, and in hindsight, I should have also bought some red ribbon for the bow, which would have looked a lot better than the white I had on hand. Although I sort of rushed through it and didn’t quite sew everything together in the optimal way, I think it looks great, and more importantly, it fit! And the cuteness factor was definitely brought to a whole new level with the cherry socks, a gift from my Aunt Pam.