Posts Tagged 'handmade'

Date Night: 2010

Okay, you all know I have four kids right? And that they’re all five and under, right? So I think you’ll understand that it’s been YEARS since my husband and I went on a date. Just try finding a babysitter that’s WILLING to sit for so many little kids and, once you do, ask them just how much they’re going to charge!

BUT, a few weeks ago a friend of ours (thanks Athena!) volunteered to watch our monsters one evening while we went to a nice dinner and then to see the Nutcracker at our local performing-arts center. It would be a sort of early Anniversary celebration (my dear hubby and I tied the knot on New Year’s Eve almost eight years ago).

Whoa. This was huge. Massive. This . . . warranted a new dress. I tried Dillard’s first, which, surprisingly enough, has a decent selection of Made-in-the-USA garments. Nothing. I wanted black, and I just couldn’t find anything that worked. Then, on a chance visit to Hobby Lobby, I discovered some ruffled black knit that was probably left over from last season (remember those big pink ruffles from last Spring?). I went home and printed out a coupon (who goes to Hobby Lobby or Jo-Ann’s without a coupon? Seriously, who???), and got two yards for $10.00. Then I went to Jo-Ann’s and picked up several yards of the $3.99 pointe roma for a lining. The next day I simply laid down a well-fitting sheath dress over the fabric and hacked out the front and back (only two pattern pieces) and, using THIS tutorial on lining a sleeveless dress, I was finished with my “date” dress in just a few hours.

I added a belt, necklace, and shoes that I had and WAH-LAH!

Please look only at the dress. I have, after all, had four children. And I have a giant head. But anyway . . .

My daughter told me, “Mommy! You look BEAUTIFUL!” (seriously, doesn’t that kind of thing make you feel GREAT?). And then she took this picture of my husband and I:

I love this picture. And I love my husband. It’s been eight years, and I still think we go so well together. And every time I wear this dress I’m going to think about what a lovely time we had on Date Night: 2010 and what a crazy, fantastic time we’ve been having together since the day we met.

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Summer Sewing Necessity: Child’s Swimsuit

My 5-year-old daughter started swimming lessons this week, and I was surprised at her first lesson by how small her swimsuit has gotten. I mean, it’s really small. The straps pull at her shoulders and the bottom doesn’t cover, well, her bottom. Because I don’t buy clothes that were not made in the U.S. (or internationally by a company whose labor practices I trust completely), I couldn’t run out and get one at the mall or Wallyworld. I searched online, but there were slim pickings. And nobody wants to buy a used child’s swimsuit; we all know they pee in those, am I right? So I was left to make one. Gulp. I’ve never made a swimsuit before, and I couldn’t find a pattern for a one-piece at Joann’s. I couldn’t really find a good tutorial online, either. So, I got some fabric, 1/2 yard of swimsuit material and 1/2 yard of lining, and, even though I was honestly scared to try, I went for it. I used a leotard that fits my daughter well for the basic shape and sort of laid the pattern over her to decide where I wanted the armholes and legholes to fall (ie, how much chest and fanny coverage I wanted). It’s really a simple design, because, like I said, I know nothing about making a swimsuit. I just sewed on and folded over elastic on the edges rather than adding ribbing, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

It has many imperfections, and I spent a good deal of time ripping out errant stitches. She loves it, though, as you can see. Silly girl.

It fits her very well. I didn’t expect it to fit so much better than any of her store-bought swimsuits ever have. I guess that’s what happens when you make something rather than buy it. 🙂

I learned two important lessons from making this swimsuit. First, knit elastic works way better than braided elastic when you’re folding it over on armholes and leg holes. WAY better. Second, you shouldn’t be afraid to try using a new fabric or a new technique. It might not turn out exactly like you wanted it to, but projects are like children; you can’t expect perfection with your first try. 😉

***UPDATE***
Like this and want to try it yourself? Click to Get the tutorial!!!

Done. I think.

I finished two more Buttercup Bags (pattern available for FREE from Made by Rae) last night, and now I’m stressing over which one to give to which mom/mother-in-law.  These bags are super fun and easy to make, unless you decide, like I did, to add interfacing, and another pocket, and homemade piping.  The piping really makes the bag, though, don’t you think?

The first bag uses fabric from the “Shades of Blue” line from Moda.  Living in the high plains of the Panhandle, I LOVE that it features Texas wildflowers.

The second bag is from the “Blush” collection of fabrics, also by Moda, and I have to give you a better glimpse of the lining/piping fabric:

It’s adorable, isn’t it?

Now I just need to convince myself that I don’t need to keep one — or both — for myself.  Sigh.

If you’d like to see more fabulous finished projects from Blogland, visit Amy’s Sew & Tell Friday.


Chaos. Everyday.

Four kids. Two parents. Everyday life. Stop in often for new updates, crafts we've been working on, and a journal of life with four kids age five and under.

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