Infinite A-line Hack: Pintuck Yoke and Puff Sleeves

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I’m back!  We’ve had serious computer issues around here (finally leading to buying a new one- boo!) and I’ve been DYING to show you this latest hack of the Infinite A-line Dress!  I’ve had a great response to the pattern release (thank you!!) and am looking forward to some exciting things on the horizon for this pattern.  If you don’t have your own copy yet, you can find it HERE.

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I found inspiration for this version of the dress on Pinterest (where else??) and have been saving it forever!  It was so fun to figure out how to put it together and create a whole new dress from the same pattern.  Read on for the whole tutorial…

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DIY Baby Headband Roundup

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Having a baby girl is so fun!!  I really did want a little brother for 2 year old Finn but let’s be honest, how can I not love dressing up a little princess??  

I sat down at my sewing machine the other day to make some new headbands for Marilyn and then realized that I’m a little out of practice!  I managed to churn out a couple bows but decided to round up a few great tutorials to help anyone wanting to doll up a baby girl.

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More Infinite A-line Adorableness

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Adorableness is a word, right??  I love, LOVE the indie sewing community online because it’s filled with amazingly talented and awesome women who create clothes, run shops, design fabric, blog, mother, work full-time and all sorts of other incredibly time-consuming things.  I’m in awe of them all!

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The Infinite A-line Dress Pattern and Blog Tour!

 

 

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It’s HERE!!!  I am so thrilled to announce that my very first sewing pattern is ready!  Eeek!!

This little girls’ dress design has been swirling in my head for over a year and after making its creation my one and only New Year’s Resolution for 2015, it’s finally done and ready to share.

For years, every time I sit down to make a dress for one of my girls, I’ve felt like I had to reinvent the wheel.  I usually have a specific design in mind to create and I hate buying a new dress pattern every time I want a unique style.  I also got tired of drafting patterns from store-bought dresses over and over again.

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Eventually I realized that if I could create an A-line style dress with several sleeve and bodice options, I could give fellow mama sewists the perfect pattern they need to recreate the dress they’ve been dreaming of.

Basic A-line silhouette?  Check.  Empire waist with gathered skirt?  Yup.  How about short, long, cap and ruffled sleeve options?  Got it!  I’ve had so much fun thinking up potential variations of this pattern that I couldn’t possibly include them all.

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Instead, I’ll be adding tutorials to the blog regularly for exciting new twists on this style.  Some of my ideas include color-blocking, a V-neck back and tiered ruffles…be sure to subscribe because I can’t wait to show you!

You can purchase the Infinite A-line Dress Pattern HERE.

Also check out our Flickr photo stream to see lots of fabulous creations made with this pattern. You can also see and share pics on Instagram using the hashtag #InfiniteAlineDress

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And now the exciting part…our blog tour!  Four amazing ladies will be sharing their Infinite A-line Dress creations and they’re all awesome!  This online indie sewing community is amazing and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Click on over to visit Cate at From Whole Cloth for the first stop on our tour.  Her chambray version of this dress gives me all the heart eyes!  Then check back here next week for the rest of the stops.

Happy sewing!!!

It’s a GIRL!

 

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BIG news around here…we had our baby and it’s a GIRL!  I had myself convinced we were having a boy, partly because I really wanted little Finn to have a buddy of the same gender next to him in line, just like the other kids do.  But now that she’s here, I couldn’t be more thrilled that I have another little girl to dress up.  Admittedly, I was getting a little panicked that all my girls were growing out of the toddler section at Target.

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Girl Dress Pattern Sneak Peek!

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I have been sewing up a storm of little girl dresses around here lately.  Luckily I have lots of little models that are all too happy to reap the rewards of my labors.

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Girls’ Room Inspiration AKA Early nesting

If you missed the announcement on social media, here it is again, in all its camera-phone glory.

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Everyone is SUPER excited about another baby.  The kids watched Cheaper by the Dozen the other day and then announced that we need to have 5 more kids.  Uuhhhhh… I’ll have to think about that one.   This feels completely normal to me and like I’m fulfilling my destiny by having a big family…but every once in a while I catch a mental glimpse of myself from other people’s perspectives and it’s kinda scary.  No wonder I get googly-eyed stares when we go anywhere.
We are so weird!  hehe

After seriously YEARS of having little to no motivation to do things around the house (I blame having twins), I woke up the other day with this burning desire to finish all the little nagging things that whisper at me every time I see them: missing closet doors, unpainted bathrooms, crappy towels, etc.

The first room to feel my wrath has been the girls’ room.  It was adorable in pink, black and white damask for Juliet’s nursery, and then in bright pinks, greens and turquoise for the twins but I haven’t really done anything to it since all three girls moved in together after Finn was born.

What stays: a set of white bunk beds, this lavender/blue bedding and white and lavender desk that my mom gave us.  I also have a child-sized rocking chair given to me for my first birthday (dumpster dived for back in 1981, no less) that I’m contemplating painting turquoise as well.

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I found this fabulous vintage dresser on craigslist (along with another amazing vintage campaign dresser for the boys’ room!  One of these days I’ll get around to finishing and sharing their room too) within 5 minutes of searching so I decided it must be fate.  It’s much smaller than their previous dresser but I consider that a good thing.  Major clothes purge needed around here.

You can see my paint swatches in the corner…I ended up going with a lighter version of that dark taupe.  Although now that it’s done, it almost looks like a lighter shade of the nasty beige that’s on it here.  Ugh.  Whatever, I’m SO not painting again.

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Some of the inspiration I’ve found lately is just to die for.  Here’s hoping I can put stuff together with minimal expense and make it look as cute as some of these rooms!  Check out my Pinterest board for it here.

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This last one is probably my favorite of them all (or the land of nod room…can’t decide!) I was going for this taupe-y/gray on the walls and don’t think I got it, but regardless, it’s a fabulous room! You have to see the other pictures…follow the link underneath.

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My only caveat is that I need a spot of black or something to ground the frou-frou colors.  I love matchy-matchy rooms but the BEST designs always have some contrast to them.  I’m thinking about adding this rug!

You really can’t go wrong with black and white striped anything, amiright?

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Sew easy

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I got a little burned out while working on some pattern drafting and harder  sewing projects lately so I decided to give my brain a break by whipping out some quick and easy fun projects.

Have you been over to MADE and seen Dana’s new video tutorial series?  They are freaktastically awesome.  And I don’t use “freaktastic” lightly.  They are PERFECT for a beginning sewer or anyone who needs a little sewing pick-me-up.  I’ve watched them all!

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This is what I get when I tell them I’m taking a picture.

One of her videos is a quick and simple rundown of a basic elastic skirt with bias tape trim.  Such a fun summer wardrobe addition that takes literally 20 min (or less!) to make.

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This is what I get when I say “pose!”  I admit I didn’t make that lace one Kira is wearing.  It was an adorable H&M find and the underskirt is actually BRIGHT neon coral.  I wish they had it in my size.

And now that I mention bias tape…she has a video on that too.  And I’ll admit.  I was never much of a bias tape aficionado but she makes it fun.  In fact I just bought several fat quarters to make cute tape with.

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I’m also a huge fan of these lipgloss-holder key rings.  I made a bunch for Mother’s Day gifts for my sisters and SIL’s.

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Aren’t they cute?  Instead of chapstick, I bought fun lipgloss from Forever 21 and just added about an inch to the length of the pattern.

Whew! That was fun!

Now back to the drafting…wah, wah, waaaah!

**For reference, here are the measurements I used for my skinny just-turned-5-year-old:

Raw fabric =  20” wide x 13” long, elastic = 19” long, bias tape = 20” long
Finished measurements were 12” long with an 18” waistband.

15” Baby Doll Dress and Pattern

If you’ve been on Pinterest for like 5 minutes, you’ve probably seen or pinned a tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional.  The blog is as adorable as the writer and she’s got the BEST little girl dress tutorials (and TONS of them!).  A friend commissioned me to make CINO’s Junebug dress for her little girl along with a matching version for a baby doll her daughter is getting for Christmas.
Fun right??
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I’ve made the Junebug dress before for all 3 of my girls and loved it.  It was a fun challenge grading it to a little baby doll size…I haven’t sewn that small since my foray into Barbie fashions in 1992 (yes, I was 12). 
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Vivian loved modeling for it too.  In fact, I should’ve documented the holy terror she became when I took it off her doll.  That must mean she liked it, right??
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Click THIS google doc link for the PDF of the doll-sized pattern.  This free version on Craftiness is Not Optional’s site is a toddler size 2 but for $10 you can buy this full pattern all the way up to age 8!

Keep reading for how to finish the doll version…
For the skirt, I cut 2 rectangles of fabric, measuring 10” wide and 5” long.  Cut them into a slight A-line and sew together.  Follow CINO’s directions here for attaching the skirt and hemming it.  Or if you want to attach a ruffle like I did, cut a strip of fabric measuring 2.5” wide by at least 35” long.  You can go longer for a fuller ruffle but don’t go much shorter.   Sew raw (short) edges together to make a big circle, then fold in half lengthwise (so your strip is 1.25” wide) and press, wrong sides together.  Gather along the raw edge and sew to skirt bottom, right sides together.
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I ended up making a velcro placket on the back for ease of dressing the doll.  So don’t be a dummy like me and go crazy making 6 teeny tiny working buttonholes on the front cause they’ll be too small for any toddler to button anyway.  Just sew the buttons on through the front flap and and side portion of the bodice so that the flap can’t open.
Cut a slit down the back of the finished dress about 4” long (through the bodice and into the skirt).  Then cut 2 placket pieces with the following measurements:
1) 4.5” long x 3” wide   2) 4.5” long x 1.5” wide
Fold #1 in half lengthwise, right sides together (to make piece 2.25” x 3”) and press.  Sew 3 sides together, leaving one long side open.  Clip corners, turn right side out and press again.  You’ll now have a long pocket-like strip with one long opening.
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Now pin it to the left side of your doll’s dress opening in the back, right sides together.  Sew a small 1/4” seam down the length of the slit, attaching only one side of placket to dress.  Fold the other side of placket back around into the inside of the dress and press seam.  Now you’ll just have one raw edge left of the placket on the inside.  Fold a small 1/4” edge of this raw edge down into the placket and sew closed.  Topstitch velcro onto the outside of this placket. 
Now take placket piece #2 and sew it, right sides together, to the right side of the back opening.  Fold it to the inside of the dress, press and then fold the top  and side raw edges of the placket in on itself and stitch those closed.  Add velcro to the INSIDE of this placket.  Then turn the dress inside out and take the bottom raw edges of each placket and sew them together to close it up.  Voila!  All done.
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I realize that those placket instructions sound much harder than they are.  When I get around to making another one, I’ll try to take more step by step pictures but it’s pretty self-explanatory once you get going.
Good luck!
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A Silhouette Princess Shower

The BEST part about having a Silhouette Cameo machine is making gifts and throwing parties.  Baby showers to be exact (I’ve helped out with several this year…all my sisters are fertile women).  When my SIL Anna found out she was having a girl after three boys, I was giddy at the chance to go over the top with girly stuff.  We did this way back in the spring of this year but it would be criminal not to share details of a pink party.
Of course it had to have a princess theme.
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I thought about these invites forever and finally settled on this castle cutout in pink.  Then I added rhinestones to the the door and turrets and glued it onto the invite itself, printed on vellum (um, leftover from my wedding invitations…9 years ago.  Have I mentioned I’m unreasonably attached to craft supplies?)
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Part of her gift included this little metal magnet board I bought from Pick Your Plum a million years ago.  I decided to add baby’s name and this cute little bird in vinyl so that Anna could use it in the nursery to display pictures or whatever. 
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One of my favorite parts was these cupcakes.  My friend Laurie who makes AHmazing baked goods made them for me and then I wrapped them in these crown cupcake wrappers that are just supes fun.  This wrapping-cupcakes-in-cute-shapes thing is entirely new to me and I have to say – I like it.
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There were a few other fun pinky accessories and then I handed out little chocolates made from a crown mold (the mold was borrowed so no clue where it came from, but I’m thinking maybe Michael’s?).  They were ridiculously easy to make, even with 2 colors of chocolate.  I attached a “Happily Ever After” message to it and handed them out in a basket (pink, obv). 
For drinks at the party, I used waterproof sticker paper to add a label to bottles of berry lemonade.  I designed it in Silhouette’s software and then used the print and cut feature on the Cameo to print a Chevron background and words,  and then cut out this crown shape.
Overall it was all crazy fun to do and I got my girly party itch out (hmmm, that sounded kinda weird :/) just in time to have my baby boy.
I may need to sign up for a Silhouette-aholics group.  I just know they’re out there.