Monthly Archives: March 2012

03.30.12Spring Break Life Saver

{There will be a foreign service Friday post today, it’s just, lets say, delayed ha!}

Are you all ready for Spring break? I ask sadly as I look outside at the rain and hear three shrieking kids running right past a sleeping Chloe’s bedroom. Sawyer’s started today and goes for ten days. Which would be fine if Finn’s also started today, but it doesn’t. Finn’s preschool apparently thought it would be fun to take the week AFTER public schools off. Awesome. So if my posts are a bit incoherent over the next two weeks it is because I am spending the majority of my day pretending to be C3PO or General Grievous or some other random Star Wars character the boys are constantly talking about. Although I finally put my foot down and demanded to be Ahsoka today…. if you have boys you know who that is I am sure. Luckily we already had our little getaway last weekend (more on that in the FSF post). We headed down to Virginia Beach!

Having been raised basically on the beach in Southern California I am a HUGE fan of the place. I think it is one of the best imagination stimulators for both parents and kids. We build castles, we fly kites, we run from the storm troopers ascending on the shore like waves…. oh wait they are waves. The one thing I don’t love about the beach is bringing it home with us. A while back I read a blurb in a parent magazine that suggested rubbing talcum powder on your youngin’ to get all the sand off. Well, my friends, one try and I was hooked! Not only does it get the sand of but it gets ride of the sticky, yucky, sweaty feeling you have when you leave the beach! I mean, the awesome wind blown, fresh out of the water feeling ha! From then on I just kept a huge thing of baby powder in my trunk. Then I saw THIS tutorial and thought hmmmm, instead of lavender why not talcum powder!! I bet I would waste WAY less powder and get the same effect. Um, plus it would be totally cuter then an off brand baby powder bottle and ya’ll know I am ALL for doing things just ’cause they are cute ha! So if you are planning a trip to the beach grab some of your scarps of fabric and make one for each of your cuties. They will love banging them on themselves (and the ground, and the car and the dog) and your car will thank you!

Warning: 8X8 is actually REALLY big. Like, so big I filled it with an entire bottle of baby powder and it still wasn’t full big. I would suggest toning it down to a 4X4. Bet you have even more scraps you can use now!

There you have it! I was so excited to use some of my favorite scraps of fabric for this! And very grateful I remembered them when we loaded up the car after a day at the beach fresh and clean and made the three hour drive home.
Happy Spring Break!

03.29.12Plum Harvest Tutorial


Do you need an Easter Dress but don’t want to fork out the sweet mola? Well good things come to those who wait! This pattern has been a loooooooonnnnnggggg time coming. Like, since last August long time. Wow. There are no words for how much of a slacker I have been when it comes to this dress!

But that is why Sew For Me Month is so wonderful! If I hadn’t teamed up with Kirsten and Jordan for the Sew For Me series I really wonder if this pattern would have ever been made. So here it is, finally, the Plum Harvest Dress.

I can’t get over how stinkin cute my little sister is. That was part of the problem with making this pattern, she is TINY. I had to pretty much completely remake the pattern for us normal sized people ha! In the end this pattern actually runs at about a size 10. I had to take it in a bit to fit me correctly so PLEASE keep that in mind when you make it. Tape all the pattern pieces together, cut them out and at least hold the pattern up to you for sizing. Don’t be afraid to trim off a good amount on the pattern on the “fold” side. There are also darts that will help you tailor the fit to you. I would like to say this dress is easy, but I have to be honest, it has funky sleeves and can be a bit tricky what with the SUPER long zipper. But if you are done making yourself run of the mill average sewer dresses and ready for a bit of a challenge then this one is for you! I would highly suggest making one out of cheaper fabric before you go cutting up that fabric your grandmother handed down to you (I would feel AWFUL if you did that and it didn’t turn out). Alright, now that I have officially terrified you ha!

Materials List

3 yards fabric (I like poplin, heavier cottons etc)

Optional silky lining for your skirt (about a yard)

1 long zipper (depending on your height, it should come from your shoulders down to your bum)

All your other sewing bibs and bobs

The Plum Harvest Dress Pattern

Yes, I spelled circumference incorrectly on one of the steps, what can I say, it is late and photoshop really ought to have spell check ha!

After you have taped together your pattern pieces make sure you cut them out and hold them up for a rough estimate. Again, you may need to cut a 1 to 2 inch strip off the “fold” on the front bodice and off the straight edge of the back bodice. 

You will need a “facing” for your dress that there is not a pattern piece for. This is just a long strip of fabric about 2 inches wide. You will determine the length later. There is also not a skirt pattern piece. This is because it is simply a rectangle made fitted at the top with darts. So lets cut that first. Measure your waist at the widest part ( I know super flattering right ha!) now measure down from right around your belly button to just above your knee. You now have your two measurements. Cut the skirt as wide as your first and as long as your second. I personally cut on the fold and then cut right down the center so I have two side seams. I know, this totally goes against the grain but in this case I think it makes the dress lay nicer and helps me line everything up by having the side seams. But you certainly don’t have to! In any event create your skirt by either sewing up the two side seams or the one back seam depending on how you cut it. If you are doing the one back seam do not sew all the way up. Make sure to leave an opening for your zipper, long enough that you can slip the skirt up on you. If you are sewing with the two side seams:

Once you have your skirt in a place where you can try it on, slide it on and mark where you need to make darts to bring it in. I had two in the front and two in the back. If you would like a lining (which I LOVE having) repeat this process with the lining fabric. Hem both lining and skirt. Once done slide the main skirt over the lining and baste stitch around the top so that you can now treat it as one piece and lay to the side for a moment.

You will need to cut a slit in your waistband ruffle in the same location as the slit you created for your zipper. Just make sure the sides are lined up correctly

Lay skirt aside

Now all you have to do is put in your zipper!!
That wasn’t all that bad was it?
I will try and get a picture of myself wearing mine at the Tulip Garden tomorrow :)
Hope you whip yourself up an easter dress!

03.28.12Pick Your Battles

Evie is a clothes hoarse. What? You aren’t surprised? The funny thing about her is she changes at least five times a day. We start out the day in a cute matching outfit, hair tied up, both shoes matching etc. It is all down hill from there, until at 7:30pm she looks like this:

Yeah……. To Evie this is acceptable attire to go out on the deck and write with chalk. It is her swimsuit but she is ADAMANT that it be called her “ballet”. She takes “ballet” music and movement classes every Thursday. I had mentioned after dinner that we had class tommorrow. She promptly went into her room, got on her “ballet”, her back pack and her boots and headed for the door. I guess the “tomorrow” part was lost in translation. This means tonight after we wrestle her out of her swimsuit and into her PJ’s I am going to have to hide her swimsuit. I thought briefly about letting her wear it. I thought back on how when I was 14 and my little sister was four my mom “let” her wear her princess costume to the grocery store. When I asked my mom why I never got to wear my princess costume to the store when I was little her response was a little gem of an answer “I learned to pick my battles”. I have thought about this often after becoming a mom and I really try to save the fights for the important situations. Unfortunately for Evie I am pretty sure wearing your swim suit to a structured class is one of those battles. Because this:

is just not uniform :) Do you have a hard time picking battles? Are there any pet peeves you just have to fight back on? Heaven knows I have my random quirks.



Taking Notes Revisited


There are only two more Sew For Me posts! I have LOVED this series and working with the wonderful girls over at KOJO Designs!

Today I am going to revisit one of my most popular tutorials. The Taking Notes Skirt.


For some reason when I switched over to the new blog it didn’t bring ALL of the posts (grrrrrrrr). But this was a good excuse to repost it with some upgrades if you will. So here we go with Taking Notes Skirt 2

I hope I answer some of the many email questions I have recieved about this skirt :) I promise it is super easy! I absolutely love rugby stripe fabric but have an incredibly hard time finding it in cute colors. I finally decided just to make my own. The fabric pictured above is just wide strips of quilters cotton Orange and Ice Blue Sewn together. I wish I had made the ties as wide as the original. I think with a waist this significant you need nice chunky ties, no?

What you will need:

1.5 yards of fabric (unless you want a rugby strip like mine then you need 3/4 of each to create the main, wasitband and ties)

1/2 yard light interfacing

a small amount of thin elastic

a zipper

2 buttons

The new and totally improved Momma sized pattern can be found HERE, the daughter’s can be found HERE.
Once you have printed our the pattern, cut two from your fabric and 1 from the interfacing. Then cut out your ties. To make the ties you will need 4 long strips of fabric the same width and length. Create your ties by placing two lengths of fabric right side together and sewing all the way around, leaving one end open. Then, pull the fabric right side out. I then iron and top stitch but that is up to you.
I wanted my ties wide and long so I needed to gather the ends so that it would match up with the end of the top of my skirt.
Take one of the fabric pieces you cut out from the pattern and the one piece of interfacing. Attach the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric following the interfacing instructions. While you are at your iron, iron up the unfinished bottom of both the skirt top pieces. This will give you a nice finished edge on the bottom. Once you are done lay both your top pieces together, right sides touching
Now take the two ties you made and slip them in between the two piece of fabric at either end, open edge peaking out the end just for safe sewing :) At this point you should also cut two little lengths of thin elastic, to create button loops. I put one above the tie on the right side and below the tie on the left side. I felt like this gave the most support.
Once you have them positioned correctly you are going to start sewing. Sew all the way up and over finishing at the opposite edge.
When the whole process is done you should be left with something resembling this:
Now for the skirt portion. I wanted mine to hit right above my knee and be moderately gathered. I made two pieces and sewed them together simply because of the amount of fabric I had. If you only want one seam you can totally use one long piece of fabric. Either way, place your fabric right sides together and sew up the seams. If you have only one seam put in the zipper now. If you have two seams I actually suggest making these be on either side and cutting a line down the center of the back to insert the zipper. If you have two seams and try to put the zipper in one of the seams you will end up with a side zipper (which won’t work) or have a seam right down the middle of the front of your skirt (yuk!)
Now run a gathering stitch along the top. I then lined my skirt up with the top to adjust the gathering until it matched.
Then I turned the skirt bottom right side out and slid it up into the pocket we created earlier and pinned it all the way around
Now you are going to topstitch all the way around until the end. When you are done attache two buttons opposite your little loops of elastic
Now all you have left is to topstitch over and across the top of the skirt. This is optional but I really think it makes it look nice. That is it!
It has been requested that I show a few more finished product pictures so here you go:
the tie and skirt top
the entire skirt a little closer
The only difference between mine and Evie’s was that I did NOT use interfacing on hers. I did on a second one I made her and I think it looked a little “crisper” if you know what I mean?
and this little lady is BUSY, she has lots of calls to make and friends to keep up with
I also made her a little hair clippy out of the scraps and the phone distracted her enough to leave it in for a bit!
Enjoy, and I hope you took notes haaa haa! I am so lame!

03.27.12MIka Rose Giveaway Winner

Alright…. so this was supposed to go up Friday. What can I say? I am a slacker ha! The winner of the Mika Rose giftcard is…..

Joy T: I would love to own one of those dresses or skirts!

Congrats Joy!!