Thursday, March 29, 2012

Navy and Pink

Yay! I finished the skirt for my other niece. I started it at night and stayed up til like 4 in the morning because I just couldn't go to bed until it was finished. When I leave unfinished projects, I dream about them and it really  interrupts my sleep!

Isn't it cute? A flower! And a matching bow headband!

It was a very simple skirt idea that I got from this tutorial and used my niece's measurements to make the 2 tiered skirt.
How adorable is this flower detail? A flower just makes a simple skirt so much more fancy. I put it on a pin so they can take it off before they wash the skirt.

And a bow headband! I can not wait to see her in this outfit. She is going to be so cute!

One last look. I love it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yellow and Grey Skirt

I completely love yellow and grey together. I have a really pretty yellow scarf that I never wore until I realized how great it looked with my white shirt and grey I love it! But, I digress...

Today I made a skirt without a tutorial or a pattern...just by using knowlege that I have picked up by reading countless blogs! I adore it! I made this one for my 9 year old niece. She is living in Germany right now with her family (my brother is in the army) and I can't wait to send it to her.

I got all kinds of pretty fabric on sale a few weeks ago at Joann's and this was one of them. It looks awesome with a knit waistband made from an Old Navy shirt that I wore once or twice!

I ruffled up the skirt fabric, but it seems like some of them fell out as I was sewing on the waistband. I do go with the imperfection is perfection rule of ruffling but this one seems to have a few wonky pleats. Oh, well, I still love it!

Easy little flower for her hair.
And check out this adorable bow on the skirt! Who doesn't love a little extra detail? (And really, it helps show what is front and what is back since I don't have any much as I want some!)

Now to make something for my other niece...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Paisley Purse

After I made a purse for my littlest sister, my middle sister wanted one too! I used a pattern that I bought at Joann's during their $.99 sale and some paisley fabric that I bought on clearance at Walmart.
I feel like the pictures are a little misleading on the color of the purse. It's much brighter in person--I feel as if it looks a little pastel in the pictures.

I has some pleats on the front and back has contrast band and handles.

Oddly, I used the interfacing on the lining and not on the actual purse. If making again, I believe that I would stablize both pieces. Maybe it's just because the fabric that I picked is pretty light, but it feels kind of droopy and light to me---but it will probably be better when there is something in it!

I added the buttons with embrodiery floss and called it complete! My sister loves it which makes me happy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Polka Dot Tote

Several years ago, my sister and I were shopping before Christmas and we saw this Kid Rock tote bag on clearance. My mom loves Kid Rock (yuck) so we picked it up for her from my sister. Since then, she has been carrying it to her factory job everyday, carrying 6 packs of soda bottles in it and many other things! Recently, she requested a new bag since hers was looking a little worse for the wear.

Naturally, I searched around and found a great tutorial on pinterest. After many hours on this site, and cutting and sewing (and a break to make stromboli), I finally finished!
I used a heavy duck cloth that I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $4 a yard. Even though I bought a yard and a half, I only need a yard so the base of the bag only cost $4.
It has a pocket on the outside and is fully lined. The webbing for the straps cost $8!!!! It kind of makes me crazy to think that the straps cose twice as much as the bag! I decided to cover them with the matching fabric and I love how it looks!

The inside is fully lined and I would change that if I made another tote. The pockets on the inside make the sides of the tote sag and fold down. In the tutorial, the lining isn't attached at all to the sides of the tote, but I added a few stitches in each side seam to attach it better. I think I would use some stabilizer on the lining fabric and try to make sure it fits very snug inside. I think it will work fine in this bag--and it's my first time putting in a zipper!

I love the dots and inside stripes. I am very proud of this project!

All ready to go!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Menu Planner

My sister has been trying to plan and cook healthy, well-rounded meals for everyone in her house (there are 4 adults and a 3 year old--as well as the 5 month old baby!) and I found this great idea to make for her. It's a really cool meal planner with pockets for a grocery list and 7 individual pockets for the recipes or meal cards.

I had some really cool skull fabric that my mom had given me and paired it up with pink polka dots and black and white polka dots to make one that fits her personality!
I love how it turned out! It just screams her name and she already loves it--she will really love it when I remember to get some magnets for the back and give it to her!

I admit, I was a little confused by the directions on the above website. I felt like I was missing something or I just didn't get something, so I modified it a little bit. I also added some cardboard in between the layers of the large rectangle pieces to give it some stability. The cardboard is a little smaller than the rectangles and it kind of bothers me, but I am sure it will fit the bill of what she is going to use it for.

How cool are those individual pockets?!? She can either put recipe cards or just write down what they are going to have that night. I am thinking that I could laminate those large notecards and buy her a wet-erase marker and she can write it down and re-use them each week. I can see my 3 year old niece getting involved and pulling out the cards for her--which I think will help her start to recognize the days of the week!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Flowers and Polka Dots

Saturday after I finished my sister's purse, I started (and finished!) a dress for my niece. I used a Simplicity pattern that I got at Joann's a while ago when they had them all for $1!

I adjusted a few things to fit what I like and I think that it turned out pretty good!
When I matched up the floral and the dots, I thought they were an exact match. However, after I started stitching away, I realized that the dots were a bit more bold and bright in the green color than the floral. I keep looking at it and being kind of frustrated, but I think it will be okay--who is going to tell a 3 year old that she doesn't match!
I added navy blue bias tape to the arm holes and the ruffly sleeves. I think the boldness and the structure that it gives the top of the dress. I had to kind of go stitch crazy on that part because I should have added the sleeves before I stitched on the sleeves, but alas, I didn't and it's a little stitch crazy! Again, who is going to critique the little lady's dress?

See what I mean about the greens? It kinda drives me crazy but I think I can let it go...especially because I am NOT ripping that dress apart!

And an outfit is not complete without the matching hair clip! I really think that my favorite part about sewing...I can make hair clips to coordinate perfectly and the whole look will be complete!

My mom has requested a new bag to take to work--she works in a factory so I am going to try to find some heavy duty fabric that fits my mom's not-so-girly personality and make her a nice tote bag!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Birthday Purse

My sister's birthday was last month and I have had a purse on my mind to make her, but I just haven't had the time. Last night and today I finally got it finished! I used One Yard Wonders to make it. I like the book a lot but it just doesn't have the most clear directions and I had to use the seam ripper a lot of this project!
Mine didn't turn out the exact same shape as the one in the book even though I followed the measurements they listed. Alas, it looks pretty good and I am sure that my sister will love it!

I added a little ribbon detail on one of the straps and it looks good with the interior fabric on the purse.

It's so bright and pretty and will make the best belated birthday gift!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kira's Rainbow Birthday Party

Saturday marked the 3rd birthday party for my lovely, talented, sassy, silly niece Kira! She is a little spitfire and always makes everyone laugh. We celebrated her big day with all things rainbow.

First, a few pictures of the birthday girl! I made her tutu and hairbow and bought her sweet leg warmers here--they were $7.50 when I got them and they were so worth it! They looked perfect!

And some sweet rainbow decorations...most via pinterest! Check out my inspiration board for the original sources and many other fabulous ideas.

The ceiling treatment was hard to get a good picture of but we draped plastic tablecloths from the ceiling fan in the center of the room out as far as they would go, then left a little extra hang down for the effect of a tent.

And the cake...oh the cake!

Isn't it fabulous!?! I spent last weekend making and freezing 6 layers of cake, 3 in an 8 inch square pan and the bottom  in a 10 inch sqaure. I used Wilton gel coloring to get these great colors. I used a super yummy buttercream for the filling and then to put a good layer on the outside before covering it in fondant. The fondant wasn't perfect (especially the spot I stuck my finger in) but it looked decent and no one judged me too harshly! :)

I also made the decorations for the cake, but I used gum paste for them. My lovely hubby helped me mix up all of the great colors and I cut the stars with a cookie cutter (easier and quicker than using my Cricut Cake) but I cut Kira's name and the #3 using Birthday Cakes. I also shaped the rest of the gumpaste into a sweet rainbow for the top and used marshmallows as the clouds!

My niece kept yelling "Aunt Manda! Aunt Manda! Dis is the best cake you have EVER made!"

Fill up the cake table with rainbow candy, rainbow sugar cookies and birthday cake popcorn and you have a sugar high worthy of a 3 year with a major sweet tooth--Kira!

Isn't that cookie so cool!?! Again, the amazing hubs helped with those and I got inspiration from Pinterest.

The birthday was a success! My niece was over the moon about everything, I took care of the cake, yummy goodies and outfit, my mom and sisters worked on the food and decorations and my hubs helped with cake duty at home and cuddling my nephew so we could work!

Yup, that's the face of 2 very pleased rainbow girls!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Floral Dress

Early this morning (bout 2:30 a.m.) I decided that I was going to work on a dress for my niece. I had bought the pattern and material a few weeks ago and it was just calling my name. I cut out all the pieces and started on the bodice. I successfully screwed up everything about the bodice and threw it away at about 3:30 and decided I should just go to bed...

This afternoon (ironically at about 2:30 p.m.) I started again...

I love how it turned out! I adapted a few things from the pattern and added a flower pin.

The original pattern called for buttonholes and tying the straps in knots on the front. I wasn't feeling that so I just put on regular straps.

I couldn't resist making a cute rolled flower to add detail to the front...and make it easier to determine which was the front!

Even though I only did one size bigger than my niece's current size, I can't help but think that it's going to be too big. I could be in denial about how big she is getting, but I wonder if this one might be put away til next spring!
And, of course, a little hair clippie to go with it. I mean, an outfit isn't complete without accessories, right? The pattern includes a matching bag which I might make since I have plenty of leftover fabric (apparently I can't read the pattern right b/c I thought I got the exact right amount! :)