Easter Dresses 2011 part 1

As I mentioned before, I bought my Easter dress this year. (pictures to come, promise)

That is my excuse for the absolute frivolity I am about to share with you.

I had purchased a sparkly swirl chiffon for a princess dress for Bean, but it ended up being too pink for what I wanted. So, I figured I’d pick up some pink satin and use it for this years Easter dress for her. I wanted a short sleeve dress with a full skirt and Simplicity patterns were $1 at Joanns, so I picked one up that fit the bill.

I decided that the pattern just wasn’t enough.

The dress told me that it should have petticoat tulle underneath for some poof.

And  needed a sash,

with some rosettes.

Whats a pattern, anyhow, but a starting point? Even with my additions, the pattern was well written and easy to follow (I beginning to change my mind about Simplicity….). And I’m pleased with the way it turned out. I may either shorten the satin hem or add a ruffle to the chiffon overlay, since the 1″ difference is bothering me.

Overboard? Maybe.

But she loves it, so I’m happy.

Pattern used: Simplicity 5704 (dress) and 2726 (rosettes & ties)


Scarf Dress

Remember this post? How I was able to make a woman’s elastic waist skirt out of one scarf?

Well, about a year later, I finally got around to using the other scarf I purchased and turned it into a toddler dress.

photo from ebay

Using Simplicity 2709, I cut out view F and used muslin for the lining. It’s a simple pattern, well written, but the dress is a bit time consuming. Nothing too crazy, though, just takes a bit of time to make all the tiers.

When I was finished, the dress needed something else to break up the small print, so I made a few yo-yos to put across the middle. But then the fabric was just a tad too bright an aqua (I used the scraps left over from this shirt).  Feeling a bit thwarted, but thrifty, I decided to dunk the yo-yos in bleach to see what happened to the color.

The end result? Perfection. They didn’t bleach evenly (the fabric had a raw thread to it) and it matched the older feel of the calico perfectly. I love it when my brilliant ideas work out!

Too bad my daughter had a melt down when she saw the flowers – she liked  it better “naked” as she put it. Such a hard life. 🙂

**no we didn’t get a dog – we are dog sitting for some friends**


Have you heard of Project Run and Play? It’s a competition a la Project Runway, with various bloggers who sew children’s clothes competing for something. Honestly, I have no idea what the prize is for winning, but I like following the blog and getting inspiration from the weekly challenges.  Week before last’s challenge was vintage or retro inspired clothing, so I decided that I should merge two shirts I had that were just waiting to be refashioned into a dress for the Bean. Taking inspiration from the sweet 50s/60s (of course I didn’t save the picture when I found it on google search and now I can’t find it again) and with a little help from Simplcity, I created this:

{jeggings – only adorable on pint sizes}

from these:

This fucshia shirt is a H&M smock that I bought while nursing – it looked really good then, but after we I moved on from that and I lost a bit of weight, it just looks frumpy dumpy.

This navy shirt is a Gap shirt my Mom bought me in my nursing days, as well. The top part always looked good, but the bottom was too billowy for my frame so I always looked preggo. No beuno.

Both shirts were made out of lovely fabric (hello navy blue eyelet! fuchsia and navy blue floral!) and I think together they look smashing.  To make the toddler jumper, I just cut up the bottom of the navy shirt into bias strips (for the ruffle and the edging of the yoke), used the eyelet for the top of the jumper, and then cut down the middle of the fuchsia, keeping the pockets intact, but reducing the amount of fabric. I wish I had been able to get a clear shot of the pockets – Bean is really into pockets these days and is thrilled that this dress has them for all her rocks.

Thanks, Project Run & Play for giving me the inspiration I needed to finally turn these duds into an adorable jumper!

Happy New Years

Or as we like to call it:

Happy Bean’s Day!

That’s right, our little Bean’s birthday is the first of January. No, I didn’t get anything special for pushing her out – a set of twins beat her to being the first baby of the new year at our hospital. But she’s still just as special as if she had been. She’s such a light in our lives! Just don’t tell her all those balloons that came down from the ceiling at the party last night weren’t for her birthday…..

Here’s the shirt I made for her to wear to the party.  (I used Illustrator and a computer print out iron on.) Of course I forgot to save the file in Illustrator and then dumb old Windows decided to update and reboot, thereby leaving me with no file of my work…. Ah well. At least the shirt survived and I think I can recreate it, if needs be.

Pillowcase Dress

Is it me, or are pillowcase dresses something that never goes out of fashion for little girls? I love the way their loose fitting silhouette looks on a little one. So carefree, comfy & beautifully simple. Makes me wish I could handle billowy, shapeless dresses.

I’ve been meaning to make one for a while, but hadn’t found a pattern that I liked. I didn’t want one that scrunched up around the arm pits (or did that horrid looking V that no arm hole should ever do), or looked like it was choking the poor child wearing it. Bless Susan of Freshly Picked! She has the perfect tutorial, the only thing lacking is the width measurement for the fabric since she was using a pillow case and I wanted to use scrap fabric. So I found the dims on a standard pillow case and cut the fabric to 21″ wide. In the next hour, I managed to rock this dress out, embellishments and all.  (embellishments found here at Ruffles and Stuff)

Such a cute dress, maybe a little wide for the intended child, but adorable just the same, with room to grow.

4th of July Dresses

I had this vision that my daughter and her best friend would wear matching red & white dresses on the 4th of July. So, I grabbed some old fabric my Mom had given me and my trusty Simplicity pattern and whipped out two matching dresses for the girls.

The only glitch was that my daughter’s bff had a potty training accident while wearing hers before I snapped a picture of the two of them! Oh, well, such is life.

I did manage to get a shot of my daughter’s, complete with jeans, from the night of.

It is a dress, but the cotton is very light weight, so the pants went on to help battle the night chill and bugs.

As I type this, she’s wearing the dress with a pair of black capri leggings. It may just be my favorite dress from that pattern yet!

Summer Staple

As promised, here are the pictures of the shirts I made for my daughter while I was sick, using Simplicity Pattern 3511. Knowing that the two of you who read this blog regularly want to see pictures, I snapped some shots today in full sun. I don’t recommend taking pictures outside during the sun’s zenith, but I’m impatient to get a post up (really, how is it the 11th of June???). So, high contrast and all, here are they are.
My first attempt: pattern size 2, white seersucker yoke & sleeves, striped seersucker from the TuttiFrutti collection 3 years ago, pink ribbon & white 1/2″ buttons. Result: slightly big for my girl (she weas a 2t bottom, 3t top in RTW) overall, and the sleeves were far too billowy for her.  That said, I love the look of the tunic top and she’ll grow into it.
Second attempt: blue shirting with a raw thread from my mom’s fabric stash, 1/2″ white flower buttons, pattern size 1 with a size 2 length. Result: perfect fit, lovely billowy fabric that floats away from the body, perfect for summer (I wish that there had been enough left over for a top for me). The color is amazing on my blonde haired blue eyed girl.
This pattern is super easy, fast, and a great staple for summer. I’m working on two more dresses using the same pattern, one with a plaid skirt and striped yoke, the other with seersucker. 

Summer Toddler Dress

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted. I’ve been really sick for nearly two weeks, so I’ve been sewing a lot but not taking pictures. I seem to only have enough energy for one thing 🙂

Anyways, a few weeks back I picked up a new pattern to use as a summer staple for my daughter’s wardrobe. You know the kind that doesn’t take much fabric or time to make?  I rarely buy Simplicity patterns, but blast it all, they have the best toddler patterns. 
So the one I picked up is 3511, a square neck dress/top with flutter or elastic sleeves. It’s so easy – I’ve been making one a day (cutting out and all). I’ve had to stop because I ran out of fusible interfacing. Sad.
Hopefully I can get a few good pictures of the shirts and dresses up soon. I can’t promise too much, since my daughter and husband are fighting the same bug as me – my girl hates picture time when she’s healthy. I’m not sure how she’ll do if I try while she’s sick!

Toddler Star Skirt

My dear friend, whom I call the Bestie, had a complete stroke of genius while making one of the elastic banded skirts
She put hearts on the sides! 
I just about died with glee when I got the picture. And she says she has no talent *scoff*
Being a natural artist, I had to borrow her idea and tweak it just a bit.
 I used photoshop (because my copy of illustrator is being a pain) to create a template for the stars, then cut them out of white seersucker I had laying around. Using the same method for the elastic skirt, I cut out the fabric to the dims I wanted. I used a medium weight denim that my Mom had given me, but used the wrong side (the right side was that dated blue blue denim that was popular bakc in ’93).
 Then before making the back seam, I measured and pinned the stars to the side of the skirt. I played around a bit and decided that I liked the look of a tight zigzag around the outside of the stars in white.
And here you have it – a star skirt!

Next time I may follow my sister’s advice and make pockets, which would be stinking adorable, dontcha think?

Elastic Band Skirt {Toddler Size} Revised!

I finally got a hold of some wide elastic to put on my daughter’s “princess” skirt. The smaller width just looked like underwear to me. So, I decided to revise the tutorial to reflect the use of a wider band. And I made it all one page, so clickety click to make it big.

And of course, I had to take pictures of the skirt, being modeled by my adorable girl. She sure loves anything princess these days and this full twirly skirt seems to fit the bill.

Oh and Rachel, I know there are tons of typos. I’ll fix them later. Maybe. 🙂