Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Confession #42: Aprons make geat summer dresses

Follow Me on Pinterest
I recently decided my craft closet needed a good once over and in doing so I came face to face with all my unfinished projects. I decided to focus on finishing them before starting anything new. Which is really hard because I just picked up some super cute fabric from my local thrift store.
Simple apron
Among one of the unfinished projects was an apron I purchased at said thrift store over a year ago. With the intent of turning it into a summer dress for my daughter. Well, I am happy to report, such project it finally finished.
It turned out to be a rather easy sew. I had no pattern, I just had to wing it. But sometimes that makes the best stuff. I was so excited about this project that I failed to take any photos of the actually process. But I am going to try to recreate it for you the best I can.
I started with a simple apron like the one pictured to the right.  

I first cut off the long ties (but save them you will use them!). I sewed the two sides of the apron together but leave a 3 or 4 inch gap at the top so you can add buttons or a zipper.

I then finished the gap with coordinating bias tape. and a cute button with elastic. I decided to go this route because: a. I'm scared of button holes and b. the dress was a little snug and this added just the extra give that it needed.

Next up I cut one of the apron ties in half and used that for both the dresses straps.

I than stuffed the remanding strap with thick elastic and sewed it tight to make a headband.

I looked up some ideas for making flowers and found this great tutorial. I used red fabric that I had on hand (make sure you use something that doesn't fray). I added a flower to both the dress and the headband. I also added a little red bias tape to line the pocket the apron came with. I thought it made the dress stand out a bit.
My intention is to make a pair of matching red leggings for this outfit. But I promised myself I wouldn't start anything new until I finish all the other projects. So those leggings will have to wait.

Don't mind the hair, she "fixed" it
I think this turned out great. It took me less than 2 hours to do the dress (including making the flowers). My daughter was excited because we made it during her brothers naptime. And she got to help! I love having her be a part of the process.

So keep your eye out for cute aprons, because where there once was an apron, there could be an adorable dress.
I love her funny faces

There's nothing better than running in a flowing dress. Except maybe doing it barefoot.

Now for some unfinished stuffed turtles.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Confession #41: I love patterns! EYMM Kenzie's Party Dress

Follow Me on Pinterest
My husband's little brother is getting married next month and my daughter was asked to be the flower girl. My first thought was: I get to make a flower girl dress! I checked with the bride-to-be for the colors: meadow green, silver and white. The dress that came to mind was a dress my daughter was given back when she was just a baby. It had tulle, rose petals and a big bow on the back. It would have been the prefect flower girl dress. But it also made a wonderful first Easter dress.
Liana's first Easter, and the inspiration for the flower girl dress. 
Adorable, right? So, I had the dress idea I wanted. I just needed a pattern to put my idea in action. And a the perfect pattern presented itself. Kymy over at Everything Your Mama Made and More was looking for people to participate in a blog tour of her Kenzie's Party Dress. This is the dress Kymy came up with for her fifth and final child's first birthday. It is super cute and looked like the perfect dress pattern for me to adapt for the flower girl dress.
Photo by EverythingYourMamaMade&More
I know that I want to make a dress just like the photo above for my daughter someday (who wouldn't?) but for now I needed to focus ...
I bought the pattern (you can too, click here), gathered the material, and set to work. I chose a material that had a little stretch (part spandex) for the top. I bought some tulle off amazon, and loose rose petals from the wedding section of Jo-Ann Fabric. The bride-to-be provided me a sash with a big bow so that her dress will match perfectly with the bridesmaids. 
I have to stop and be honest right now. Although I consider myself a sewer, I don't really know anything. I am self-taught, I rarely follow patterns and I tend to stay in my comfort zone. But as the maker of this pattern recently told me, "going out of your comfort zone is often how you learn new things." So with that in mind, this pattern is intermediate. It uses sewing terms, techniques and ideas that I had to search for (actually, there are links right on the pattern to answer most of your sewing questions). 
So I read through the pattern, got out of my comfort zone and got to work. Right after pouring a glass of wine. That helps me think. 
This pattern was a lot of fun to do. I learned a lot of techniques that I am excited to use in future sewing adventures. The pattern comes with 4 different ways to complete the outfit: 2 skirt options and 2 dress options. I followed the pattern for the top of the dress but had to get creative in order to add tulle to the bottom. Tulle is probably the most frustrating thing I have ever dealt with so I gave up for a bit and made this dress and pants set for my daughter as a quick distraction. I ended up making her dolls matching dresses too. 

Focus, Vanessa!

Back to the tulle. I finally kicked the tulle's butt into gear and used every pin I owned to pin it into place. A quick sew attached the top to the bottom. And Boom! Done!!
This dress called for button holes, but that was a little too out of my comfort zone. Baby steps. So I ended up adding Velcro instead and sewing on fake buttons just to make it look cute. They are actually covered up by the bow anyway. I didn't attach the bow. Instead I just tie the bow around the waist and it stays. This way when I use this dress for Easter after the wedding I can change the sash to any color she wants. 

I sewed this at night, long after my daughter had drifted off into dream land, so I had to wait until morning to see her in it. Fingers crossed it fits...

And it was totally worth the wait. The best part: my daughter telling everyone she sees that her mommy made her a flower girl princess dress. 

I love the faces she makes when I ask her to act "natural"

Love this face, even if her hair is a mess

The back of the dress

This photo shows off the lining of the dress

Made her a matching hairband from extra tulle and rose petals

This is the part where her brother tries to
get into the photo and eat her hair bow

Thank you Kymy for letting me join in on this wonderful blog tour and providing the world with this amazing versatile pattern. Check out the rest of the blog posts and dates to come. No shoes required. 
Buy this pattern here and here


2/18 bebelambs