Easter Sewing

Check out the full line up of all the girls’ Easter dresses! 


You guys! I can’t believe I pulled it off, but I got dresses made for all my big girls in time for Sunday. It’s an Easter miracle!

Of course I had planned to make a dress for baby Alice as well, and then decided it wasn’t worth the effort for something she’d wear for 3 months. The first two and a half dresses I sewed at a leisurely pace a week ahead of time..and then the last one and a half dresses I finished on Saturday. At 10pm.  Because if you’re not doing things at the last possible minute, you’re not living, am I right??

I used the Infinite A-line dress pattern and hacked it into a pinafore following the instructions that I posted last week.

My dress is also me made, from a couple years ago (details here).

While I love fresh spring outfits and the opportunity to celebrate with family, around here we try to remember that the real reason for Easter is the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Because of Him we can hope for a future free of pain and suffering. He’s given us hope for a life full of joy with our loved ones and because of Him, we don’t need to fear death!  I can’t think of a single gift more important and life-changing than that.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

(P.S. Baby Alice didn’t make it into the pictures cause she was asleep in the carseat and I pretty much never wake a sleeping babe!)

Easter Pinafore Pattern Hack

Another simple yet adorable Infinite A-line pattern hack – just in time for Easter!

I was really hesitant to commit to sewing everyone Easter dresses this year. After all, I have a newborn and five girls to sew for.  Some people might call that crazy.

But crazy has always held a certain appeal for me.

When designing this dress, I was really inspired by all the gingham popping up everywhere lately; it just screams spring to me! I also really wanted to make another pinafore style like this one I did last year.

This is another Infinite A-line pattern hack, although I decided to keep the back bodice piece on this one instead of just using straps.

To create this style, I followed the Infinite A-line dress instructions for View D and just discarded the side bodice pieces instead of sewing them to the center & ruffles.

Then I loosely followed these instructions to create a waistband and facing.  After you’ve cut them out, you’ll sew the short ends of each piece together, to create 2 loops.  Place 4 pins in the band and facing, all equidistance apart (one pin will be in the seam you just sewed).  Pin the band and facing to the front and back of bodice (as shown in the other tutorial), matching 2 of the pins in band/facing with the centers of the bodices.  Be sure the seam you just sewed is on the side of the dress so it won’t be as visible.  Then sew the bands to the bodices and continue following the other tutorial to attach the skirt.

It’s really a very simple and straightforward dress… the only problem I had was accidentally serging a big HOLE in the center of the waistband after thisone was almost complete! It was also after midnight at the time and I admit, I cried a little bit.

But all’s well that ends well! And now I just have six days to sew four more dresses. I can do it right??

Pray for me.

Get your own copy of the pattern HERE and let me know what you’re making for Easter this year!

(You can find the tutorial for this woven Easter basket HERE – the bottom zips off so that it stores flat!
And be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get all the latest sewing tutorials.

Merry Christmas!

As we head into a magical holiday weekend, I wanted to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas and happy New Year!  This is absolutely my favorite time of year, especially as a mom where I get to see my kids just giddy with excitement and joy over all the holiday gifts and traditions!

Like I’m sure most of you, I try to instill in my children the importance of looking outside themselves at this time of year, to teach them the joy that comes from serving and to remember the very first gift of Christmas, given over 2000 years ago.

I am humbled and awed at the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and how His perfect example and love can help us even in the darkest of times.  Regardless of what you believe, I’m grateful for a time of year when everyone can feel the call to be a little kinder, show a little more charity and be a little more filled with love.

I’m overflowing with gratitude for this little/big family of mine, for my beliefs and for the blogging opportunities I’ve had this year! Thank you ALL so much for reading and allowing me to turn some of my passions into a part time gig.

Much love and peace to every one of you!!

XOXO

Traveling with Kids: You Can Do It!

With a little preparation (and a good attitude) anyone can enjoy a family vacation, even with lots of little kids!

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This year my awesome mother-in-law suggested we all fly to Montana to visit Luke’s oldest sister and have a nice, cold, festive Thanksgiving! We said yes, of course, and the kids were brimming with excitement for weeks!

I, on the other hand, began to feel the vague misgivings of a potential looming disaster.  To say I felt uneasy about the logistics of getting 7 kids through airport security and a flight without meltdowns would be putting it lightly.  Also, I was 7 months pregnant.  You understand my hesitation.

In the end, the flight TO Montana was a dream; everyone was so excited, they were angels!  The flight back was, ah, well…not as successful.  I mentioned to Luke afterwards that overall I’d describe that second flight as “less than painful than 2 root canals”, and he agreed.   Take that as you will.

I wanted to share some of my favorite tips for surviving travel with the whole family!  Or even just a handful of the family.  Or even just ONE tyrannic toddler.  Read on for some ideas that really can make or break the trip…

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  1. If staying in a hotel or rental property (vs. staying with relatives) pack toys, food and baby feeding supplies.My big kids love a pack of cards or some books; a couple of action figures, pocket-sized dolls or matchbox cars work well for the younger crowd.   We prefer to stay in rooms with a kitchenette if possible and always buy some snacks and cereal to tide kids over between meals.  Make feeding time for the baby or toddler easier by packing the special spoons, sippy cups and bibs that you usually use at home.  And check out this portable booster seat!  Genius.
  2. Make sure you’ll have everything necessary to keep the littles happy at bedtime: a portable crib, pacifier(s!), favorite blanket and white noise machine (we love this one but sometimes even use a white noise app on our phones!) are our favorite tools for a peaceful nighttime routine, even in a strange place.  Think about your own child’s evening habits and make sure you can replicate them as closely as possible while on vacation.Finding a dark, quiet place for a baby or toddler to sleep can be the trickiest step.  My ideal place to set up a portable crib is in a large walk-in closet!  I’ve also had success putting a crib between the decorative and blackout layers of curtains in a hotel room, shielding baby from both the morning sun and the TV or hotel room lights.  I even once put a infant to sleep on a thick blanket in an empty bathtub!  We turned on the bathroom exhaust fan and closed the door and she slept like a dream.  (This only works with very little babies who are non-mobile, obviously!)
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3.  Be sure to pack well for your children, without going overboard.  This can be hard to do but I generally pack something like this:
Kids ages 7+: 1 shirt, pair socks and pair underwear per day and 1 pair of pants for every other day
Kids ages 2-6: 1 full outfit (shirt, pants, socks, underwear) per day PLUS 1 extra outfit
Kids ages 2 and under: Same as above but bring TWO extra outfits

Obviously this can be adjusted depending on how long you stay, whether or not you have access to a washing machine and the likelihood of your children ruining outfits (muddy or snowy places, etc).  And don’t forget to pack each day’s clothes up together by taking everything your kid will need for 1 day and then rolling it all up tightly.   Then there’s no rummaging around suitcases looking for stuff!

4.  Lastly, if you’re going to be flying with your crew, don’t be tempted to overpack!  There are a few essentials you want to have with you, but the less crap you have to haul through security and 4 miles to your gate (which, when traveling with kids, will always be the furthest one possible, obviously) the better!

Here are my essentials: Drinks and snacks (especially if your airline doesn’t provide much, and nowadays most don’t!), a new toy, coloring book (with attached markers/crayons if possible!), movie or games on a device (don’t forget headphones and a splitter if needed), and a book for older children who can read.  My hands-down best trick for keeping kids happy this trip?  A giant bag of little suckers.  I’ve learned to let go of my control freakish tendencies when traveling and just give the kids whatever keeps them happy….within reason.
Also check out this post for my favorite household items to entertain squirmy toddlers on a plane!

Comment below with any other tried and true tips you have for making family vacay fun and easy!

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Best Black Friday Deals!

Once you’re over your turkey-coma this weekend, you’ll probably end up at least thinking about doing some holiday shopping.  Even though I REALLY dislike packed parking lots, holiday shopping never fails to get me in the Christmas spirit!

I’ve collected some Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals from a few of my favorite stores below.  Here are some great places to start, whether you’re looking for the hubs, the kids, the in-laws or even yourself (wait – am I the only one who shops for herself on Black Friday??).

TARGET
Running a 10 days of deals promotion…check them all out here!
Toys are 20% off through Wednesday!

Check out the widget below for some of our faves.  That pink kitchen is adorable and we LOVE Magna-Tiles & Nerf guns.

 

AMAZON
My favorite place for pajama-clad-lazy-mom shopping!
Check out all Black Friday deals HERE
And some great sales on Amazon devices HERE

Kindles have been BIG hits at our house…plus they make reading more fun!

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NORDSTROM RACK

Traditionally one of my go-to places for grown up gifts:
stylish clothes and accessories for those of us on a budget.
Check out their gift guide HERE
And the widget below for some things I wouldn’t mind if Santa brought me…

KOHLS
All Black Friday deals HERE
I always love Kohl’s for holiday gift shopping – great deals and you can buy everything there!

Some of my faves are below:  Essie nail polish, cute neutral Nikes, KitchenAid, manly watch for the hubs, and the Batman cave and plasma cars have been hot toys at our house for years!

Holiday Food Delivery (& Tutorial)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone.
#ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias

Make delivering treats and meals to neighbors easy this holiday season with Rubbermaid TakeAlongs and a simple tote tutorial!

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Undoubtedly, my favorite part of the holiday season is the food.  Mmm, the foooood!  Thanksgiving feasts and cookie exchanges and Christmas parties and treats from neighbors…it’s all just such a glorious season for celebrating with delicious things.

While the cabinet where I keep my plastic food storage containers is always a big fat mess, I find myself running out of containers more and more at this time of year.  Whether it’s delivering treats to friends and family or storing leftovers from all our parties and big dinners, I never seem to have enough containers to store food (to say nothing of matching lids…where do those things GO?!).

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I love these Rubbermaid TakeAlongs from Walmart because they’re available in festive red, green and holiday prints (from now until December 24th!), are available in tons of sizes and they’re affordable enough to give away!  They’re super easy to open and close securely, and they can safely go in the freezer, microwave and dishwasher.  (You can find them on an end cap in the housewares department.)

I recently found myself wishing I had the perfect tote to carry several food storage containers so that I could more easily deliver dinners and treats to friends.  So today I’ve got a tutorial for a quick and easy solution!  This tote is the perfect size for the biggest of the Rubbermaid containers (as well as perfect for hauling a 9″x13″ casserole pan) and deep enough to stack several on top of each other.  There’s room for an entire dinner for a friend (with room for entree, side salad and dessert) or just use it for delivering several containers of cookies!

Click Read more for the tutorial…

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Family Pictures: Dressing the Clan

Fall is the quintessential time for family photo shoots: temperatures have cooled off, you’re gearing up for the holidays and prepping to send out greeting cards.  But along with family photos comes the stress of all the prepwork!  There’s the photographer to choose, location to determine and, worst of all, the outfits to coordinate.  Ay!

I’ve got some tips today for how to dress your crew for the perfect family photo shoot…whether you have 1 child or 10!

 

family-picture-collageFind your color inspiration.  Sometimes this comes in the form of an outfit you already own and want to use, sometimes it’s a dress you see in the store or some other random print!  This year I used the ottoman in my daughter’s room as inspiration and decided to go with gray, berry and blue tones.  

While sometimes a wide array of colors can work for a large group, you’ll generally want to stick with no more than 3 colors (or color families).  Also, be sure to choose colors that are in style for the season!  You might want hot pink and royal blue for your Christmas cards but if those colors aren’t in stores, you’re going to have a hard time finding outfits for everyone.  This fall you’ll find lots of gray and blue tones, maroon and berry colors, blush pink and dusty greens.

Dress the hardest body first, and build around that.  Since I’m pregnant this year, I had considerably fewer options that I felt comfortable in, so my outfit got chosen first.  This could also be a child who has fewer clothes than the others or one whose outfit you already know you love and want to use.

Neutrals, neutrals, neutrals!  Beware of too many prints and colors; neutrals help ground an ensemble and will balance out all the other busyness.  It’s tempting to dress everyone in a cute print or color but in order for everyone to work together, there has to be places for the eye to rest.

Once you’ve gathered all the outfits you own that you want to use, pack them up and go shopping!  You can also take a picture of the outfits to reference while in the store, but having the actual clothes with you makes it MUCH easier to mix and match.  My favorite places to shop for the whole family are Old Navy and Gap since they have clothes for every age and use the same color scheme throughout the store each season.  This makes it a cinch to coordinate for the whole family!  It also helps to have an idea in mind of what you’re looking for…a printed dress with berry tones or a neutral button down, etc.

Be sure all the outfits work well in any combination…in other words, make sure the girls look good together, the boys’ outfits work next to each other, mom and dad’s colors blend, etc.  You want to make sure that no matter the configuration your photographer is shooting, all the colors meld well.  

In the example above, I put mom and dad in neutrals, with a colored cardigan and shoes for mom.  Then assuming there are 2 boys and 2 girls, I put one of each gender in a neutral and one in a colorful outfit, with just 2 simple prints.  No matter who gets photographed together, it will look great!

If you need more tips for how to survive family pictures, be sure to check out this post as well.

And to watch me walk through the process of selecting our outfits for this year’s pics, watch this FB Live video!

Girls and their dolls

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The holiday season is creeping up and I’m getting so excited!  I fully realize that we still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through but Costco’s decorations and toys were already out today so I couldn’t help it!

And if you’re in the market for gifts…everyone knows handmade is always better!  Have you guys seen See Kate Sew‘s new line of doll fabric and coordinating prints?  Seriously the cutest, most genius idea ever.  The dolls come pre-printed ON the the fabric, so all I had to do was cut them out, sew them together and stuff them!  My kids went crazy over them!

Click read more to see all the pics!

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Easter & Pattern Updates!

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I apologize ahead of time for the ridiculous onslaught of pictures in this post.  Prepare to be bombarded.

Here are all our Easter pics plus more shots of and details about the updated Infinite A-line Dress Pattern!  Check them out!  (Click Read More)

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DIY Easter Basket Gameboard

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EasterSweets #CollectiveBias

#shop #EasterSweets #DIY

If there’s anything more fun than sewing in general, it’s sewing for holidays!  Spring is almost here and I’m having a great time getting ready for it.  Today’s DIY is a fun Easter project that I’m really excited to share! You ready for this??

#DIY #shop #Easterbasket

It’s an Easter basket that unzips to lay flat!  Awesome, right??  I hate storing baskets and buckets for holidays so I’ve been brainstorming this project for a while.  But not only is this basket easy to store, it can also be used as a gameboard!  I’ve included a printable with 4 separate game ideas to play on the basket with some yummy Easter candy as game pieces.

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