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I have a new found love of peasant dresses. Even if the elastic is a pain in the ass to put in and hurts my still healing, post carpal tunnel repaired wrist. And why does my machine not like to sew elastic together??? Wtf is up with that? It will bunch on the bottom no matter how much I adjust the tension. ONLY when I join the elastic. Seriously, it’s f’ed up.

Anyways…I had this amazing fabric just lying around for years waiting for the right project. I just couldn’t justify cutting it up when I was so uncertain what to do with it. I’m glad I didn’t because when I decided to make a dress I knew it would be perfect. It was and it turned into this….

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I followed this pattern by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. It’s a free tutorial and quite easy to follow. The sizing was a bit off for my little one however. I followed the 12-18m size but for my teeny 16mo girl it still fit like a potato sack.

I don’t know about you but the only time I can get some real alone time with the sewing machine is after the kids have gone to bed. Unfortunately that means anything I need to try on them and adjust has to wait until morning and I’m not the most patient person so I get really excited for the kids to wake up after a night of crafting.
Today was no different.

After trying it on her I knew the elastic would need to be shortened and some sort of belt required to lessen the potato-sackedness help give it more shape.

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I sewed the belt right to the front of the dress so I wouldn’t be able to lose it there would be more contrast along with the sleeves.

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The end result was awesome. And she looks SO FRIGGIN CUTE!

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I’m still debating whether putting a strip of contrast around the bottom is a good idea or a fantastic one.

*my OCD got in the way after putting the belt on too low and immediately I had to rip the seams and move it up. Kudos to anyone that noticed the difference between the picture of it on the bed vs on the girl.

I don’t normally start another project immediately following one because I like to revel in the glory of the awesomeness I created but I couldn’t help myself this time. I’ve got the picture in my mind and the fabric ready to go……stay tuned!

I don’t know about you but every time I go into the fabric store I hit up the remnant bin almost immediately. Seriously, I’ve never gone in there without scoping it out. And I’m always digging everything out to see what possible treasures could be hiding down at the bottom. It’s a great place to get good chunks of white material as that is a staple “colour” and there is never less than 4 white remnants in the bin at any time! unless you’re there after me……

I was pleasantly surprised on my last visit to find the remnant bin was 50% off. You just did a little cha-ching noise in your head didn’t you? It’s okay, I did too. For whatever reason the bin itself wasn’t marked 50% off so when the sales lady told me about it I totally felt like I was getting a secret deal that nobody else was privy to because you know that happens ALL THE TIME. I may have spent more time than normal at the bin that day and when I came upon this pretty blue print marked $1.80 I couldn’t pass it up. I didn’t even care that it was less than half a metre, I liked it! And how do you say no to material for 90 cents?

It was a happy surprise to find it was smocked material because I’ve been wanting to make the girl a dress out of pre-smocked material every time I see the stuff at store, yet I’d pass it by each time. For one reason it’s always adult size which obviously wouldn’t work for a 15mo and the other was the print patterns are not that great. Well some “would do” but nothing ever jumped out at me.

I never actually look at the sizes written on the remnants because measurements mean very little to me. For whatever reason I cannot wrap my head around them feel free to furrow your brow at me now and therefore just “eyeball” things. When I make blankets I use whichever bed in the house that suits my design (crib, single or queen) as measurement. And it’s turning out the same for dresses apparently.

When I unwrapped the remnant I found just a smidge over a quarter metre

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Being designed for women’s fashion I had to chop it up in order to make it work for my teeny girly

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I folded the elastic smocked top in half over itself and cut along the fold, trimmed off the bottom geometric design to use as straps and then folded the bottom flowing part in half over itself and cut along the fold here as well. This gave me 4 sections to reattach to go with the design in my head.

I started by reattaching the loose smocking and linen together to form the back of the dress. I used this stitch __/\__/\__/\__ and just randomly bunched the linen section as I moved along the smock trying desperately not to stretch it as I went. It turned out well.

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I then pinned the sides together and sewed them together using a zigzag stitch on the smocked top sections and switching to a straight stitch for the bottom. My little apprentice was helping at this point.

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I forgot to take pictures of the straps! But I folded them each in half and sewed them right sides together, turned them right side out and attached them front and back. I also turned up the bottom and straight stitched around to give it a nice edge

I think it turned out well but this kid is adorable in everything! AND it cost less than a dollar to make! That might be a personal best.

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*After she wore it I decided I wanted to redo the straps and either add some elastic to them or just shorten them. I haven’t decided which would be a better a better fix.*

I made some dresses……

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Made:

One pillow, with circular cut-out, cream on blue. I used a basic, 14×14 pillow form and canvas materials. The pattern was close enough on each fabric that it almost matched. I quite loved this pillow.

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One prefab baby blanket. I am not usually a fan of these because the “creative” work is already done, but how cute is this? I machine quilted and hand sewed the binding. New and recycled materials were used for this project.

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Both of these items were donated to a fundraiser to be auctioned off to raise money for the revitalization of a local town park. I hope they do well!

Halloween is approaching once again and the fun of costuming my willing little partner began…

He had a hard time choosing this year jumping back and forth between Mario to a “Transpormer” and then to Spiderman and Thor (only because of the giant hammer!) and back to Mario…… I had to step in.

My mother and I went on a scouting visit to Value Village to see what was available there for a feisty five year old. I discovered that unless I wanted him wielding swords, hammers, knives or any other weapon I needed to keep looking and that’s when I found the used costume rack for kids (YAY! for people who take care of stuff!). I found a Mario costume in really good condition for only $5.99. Sure it was missing the hat and fake mustache but like that would stop me! So after purchasing the costume and some black makeup for a mustache we were off to Fabricland.

And $10 later we had a pattern and some material.

I took a few pictures of the progress….

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Don’t let the pictures fool you, this pattern was a bitch to follow for a non-patterny person such as myself, but I muddled my way through and the end results are fantastic.

Costume and Makeup – $6.50
Hat pattern and fabric – $10
The boy’s pure awesomeness – priceless.

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*Burda Kids pattern 9507 “D”
*Boiled Wool, red.

As per usual I waited until the last possible minute to complete a project or two….

Today is the boy’s very last day of junior kindergarten (insert major sad face here!).

He’s actually kinda sad about the whole matter because he really likes going to school despite having to follow rules and do work and all that stuff. I have a feeling he’ll be asking every other day if he “gets to go to school today?” And when I say no he’ll be sad until I can distract him with swimming or …swimming it’s summer, the pool is really the only place I want to hang out!

Leaving things until the last minute greatly diminishes the options I have for making things as well. Since I had only 6 hours or so, minimal options and somewhat limited materials, I decided to make pillows small ones.

The boy helped pick the materials and sort of coloured in the butterfly and bubble letters that I drew, then I did my part sewing and stuffing.

This is what we came up with….
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I made this awesome purse for someone at work. I loved this bag and almost almost regret selling it because I loved it so much.

She didn’t like my original design colours (grey and something) and then started asking for red/black or vibrant colours and it needed this and needed that and I was like okay nevermind I am so not making you a purse anymore……I don’t like people infringing on my creative process.

 

So after much thought and sifting through my fabric stash I found this red and black awesomeness and received some free stash from M that I used for the liner. It was a nice heavy fabric that gave the bag a nice weight and made it “more winter/cold weather friendly”. I also used some of the wool from my old winter coat for the bottom, sides and button clasp as well as the button, it came from the coat also.

You like the little bird right? I use them on all the projects I am really proud of they also came from M’s stash way back in the day

The end result was simply fantastic. One pocket on the inside running the length of the bag, a pocket on either end all with elastic tops to minimize things from falling out. Button closure. Two medium length straps perfect for keeping the bag under arm or to hang at a reasonable height from your elbow. Seriously I loved this creation.

Today is the boy’s sharing day in JK. This month they are sharing favourite nursery rhymes and are to recite their personal favourites to the class. Sounds very cute except that there is no way my son’s limited vocabulary and pronunciation will ever allow that to happen. The note he brought home mentioned the kids could bring props……so I made him one.

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The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout….
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Down came the rain and washed the spider out….
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Out came the sun and dried up all the rain….
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So the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again….
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I made this cute little tote bag “on the fly”. I didn’t have a pattern but I had just made myself an Osoberry bag so I had a premise to follow. I believe I wrote down all the lengths of my fabric cuts somewhere but do you think I could find them now that I’ve finally gotten around to posting this? No. I’m sure they will surface as soon as I press the publish button.

I used the same main fabric on the inside and outside. So it essentially looks the same inside and out which makes it tote-ally reversible! Not that it wouldn’t be reversible with differing fabrics I just really like these stripes!

Also, my main fabric used to be a pillowcase! Which was the perfect amount of fabric for this experiment!

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Yes, again.

There was a serious flaw in my strap design which coincidentally I had foreseen but hoped wouldn’t happen. Sadly, the only way to fix the problem was to take it apart and try a different approach.

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This time, the fabric store had the materials and I was able to get the proper size rings. I got rid of the adjustable aspect and made the strap solid, attaching to the square rings on either side.

I like this strap version best of all and am definitely not changing it again! In fact, I may make more bags with a strap like this!

(notice the derby love? GO DISLOYALISTS!)

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