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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ruffle dress

Ruffle dresses are so trendy right now.  I see them all of the time in stores, but can't get myself to buy one for $30 from Baby Gap when I know I could make one for much cheaper.

 So I did...I made one.  I used the pattern I had made for Lily's summer dress to make a white dress out of jersey material.  I didn't add sleeves to this one since I knew I wanted to add a cardigan I picked up on sale at Children's place to give it a splash of color.

After I sewed the dress, I pinned the lace on one row at a time.  For the top rows I kept them closer together. I would pin 3 rows on and then sew them on using a zig-zag stitch to secure until I got to the bottom of the arm holes.

Once I got past the arm holes I just wrapped the lace around and around pinning into place, making sure to keep the rows evenly spaced.  I sewed the rows onto the dress using a zig-zag stitch.  The finished product looks complicated but it was actually pretty easy.  The whole thing took me about 2 hours from start to finish.

 Here is the finished product!  A view of the front and then the back.  It would be totally fine as a sleeveless dress but I prefer the cardigan over - I think it's the perfect touch.
 I had a really hard time getting a decent picture of Lily once she had her dress on.  Eventually I let her read one of the board books I made to keep her still for a second.
 Isn't it adorable?  I made it a little long so it will fit her all spring and hopefully the summer too.
For this project, I used 3/4 yd of jersey knit fabric, 13 yards of lace, and 1 button.  The total cost was just $12.30 but I already had the button.

Questions I have received about this project:

1.  Did you cut each piece that goes around or do you have one continuous row that goes around and around?  For the pieces above the arm holes I pinned it in place and cut each piece (leaving it a little bit longer on each side) when it got to the arm hole.  After I got past those arm holes I just went around and around.

2.  How do you attach it at the neck and arm holes?
At the neck, my lace had about 1/2 an inch of lace at the top that looked different than the bottom half which is the part I sewed to attach it to the dress.  I folded that top part to the inside of the dress at the neck and then pinned into place. (pictured below)

I then sewed along the neck line using a 1/8 inch seam allowance (to the inside of the presser foot) (pictured below)

At the arm holes, I folded the remaining lace I had left extra at the arm hole inside of the arm hole and pinned. (Pictured below)

I then sewed around the arm hole using a 1/8 inch seam allowance (to the inside of the presser foot)  (pictured below)

Have any more questions?  Just email me and ask!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The fish tank at Nordstrom in Orem

On cold days like today I love going to University mall and window shopping.  Lily loves to people watch, but her favorite part is when I take her to the fish tanks in the Nordstrom kids department.
 She points and claps her hands, and then starts talking and talking...telling me all about it I'm sure.
 I love this place.  There is a soft bench next to the tank so I can sit and talk to my friends while Lily and her friends watch the fish.  I love that it's free.  I love that it's never crowded over there.  And I love that it gives me an excuse to go to Nordstrom.
The picture didn't come out well but the colors are a lot brighter in person.  The fish tank is more impressive in real life, I promise.

Board Books

Lily's favorite thing to do is to look at pictures of family.  Since not all of our family lives close, I decided to make board books with pictures of everyone and names for her to look at.  This is one of the only things that keeps her consistently quiet during church and entertained in the car.

First, I found board books to use.  You can use any old board books you find at your house or a thrift store.  I decided to purchase blank 5" x 5" square board books for this project here.  They were super cheap (only $1.30 per book) but there is a minimum purchase requirement of $25.

We have a huge family, so it took 6 books in all.
I designed the pages, cover, and spine in Microsoft Publisher.  I created a custom page size the size of the book and added color, text, and pictures to fill each page.

Since making this project, I have figured out a much easier way to design an adorable template for these books.  Go HERE to check out my suggestion.

Lily's middle and last name were blurred out in the picture above for privacy reasons.

Then I printed the pages out using the highest quality my printer allowed.  I cut each page to size using my paper cutter, leaving the corners angled instead of rounded like the board book.

 I glued each page on with glue stick, using an old insurance card to smooth each page to the book.  Any card would work, but make sure it's one you don't care about as it might get glue on it.

After the glue was dry, I tested the corners to make sure they were secure and added more glue if necessary.  Then I trimmed the corners from the back of each page to match the corners in the book.

 Once the pages were glued in and trimmed, I sprayed them generously with a clear coat of glossy finishing spray.  I let each page dry well before I turned the page to spray the next one.  Make sure to spray in a well ventilated area.

 After the inside pages of the books were sprayed, I glued on the binding for each book.  I made each binding 1 inch thicker than the book was.

After the bindings dried, I glued the front and back cover on to each book and trimmed each of the corners.  I sprayed with finishing spray generously and let dry.  Then I covered each cover with clear contact paper for extra durability.
Here are 4 of the 6 books I did for my little girl.  She LOVES them.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Petsmart in Orem

I took Lily to Petsmart today as a reward for being good while I walked around Joann's and Hobby Lobby for more time than I'd like to admit.  I had heard mixed reviews from moms about taking your kids there so I was a little skeptical, but Lily loved it.

 For any kids her age it was perfect.  She doesn't care about holding any animals - in fact prefers not to.  We spent a lot of time looking at the fish.
 This is about 1/3 of the fish they had there.  My little girl really likes fish so she was thrilled.
 They also had small rodents, lizards, snakes, and birds to look at.
 They didn't have any dogs for adoption when we went, but we did watch the dogs being groomed through the window which was just as good...or maybe better because they were so close!  Also, Petsmart lets owners take their pets into the store so we saw a few dogs walking around on leashes which Lily loved.
We did see cats waiting to be adopted.  We didn't ask to hold anything, so I don't know if they would have let us take a look.  I like that the store is very clean and they had a lot of variety.  It was very open so I didn't feel crowded even when others were looking at the same animal.  I can see how older children would get bored quickly with limited interaction with the animals.  Lily and I spent almost an hour there and she didn't want to leave!

Petsmart in Orem
20 West University Parkway
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thank you basket

Lily and I had both had the flu, and while we were sick a few people really stepped up to help us out.  Once we got better I put together a few of these baskets to thank them.

I got the baskets at my local dollar store, and just picked up a few movie-type snacks at the grocery store.  I included a thank you card I had made a while back.  In the card I included a $5 blockbuster gift card for the person I didn't know very well, and a 1 dollar bill in the ones for my family members to go toward a movie from RedBox.  (Along with an explanation that RedBox doesn't do gift certificates)  I figured it would be tacky to give a dollar to someone I had just met, but my brother thought it was hillarious.

A "movie kit" makes a great thank you gift and didn't cost me very much at all.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

Lily loves animals, so I have taken her to the bean museum quite a few times.  It is one of her favorite places to go!  She loves it.  Last time we got out of the car she saw the building and started shrieking in delight and clapping her hands.

 There are so many things to see - even with a short attention span this girl is entertained for well over an hour.
 We have gone with older kids as well and everyone loves it.
 The best part - it's free!  I love everything about this place.  It's clean.  It's educational.  It isn't usually crowded on the week days.
 They even have a "play room" with drawers and drawers of toys for kids to play with.  Lily loved playing with the animals.
 She also loved playing with the magnets.
 They have interactive things for the kids to touch.
I would definitely recommend (and have) the Monte L. Bean museum to all of my friends!  There are animal shows as well although we haven't gone to one of those yet due to Lily's sleeping schedule.

Things to remember:

The museum is stroller friendly, although I have yet to meet a kid who is willing to sit in their stroller at this museum.  There are so many things to look at - and this museum is very kid friendly.  I started leaving my stroller in the car, but if you have more than one kid and have a hard time keeping track of them you could always bring yours in.

They have a basement accessible by the front door.  The basement is kind of creepy - ok - really creepy.  The animals upstairs look like they could be alive - in poses they would have been had they been alive.  The animals downstairs - mostly birds - are pretty, but some are just laying on shelves which kind of creeps me out.  However, I have gone into the basement with many kids and none of them seem phased so maybe it's just me.

Plan at least an hour - especially if this is your first time.  They do a really good job of spreading things out so often times the kids I go with want to see things again and again.

They have a gift shop.  Every kid I have been with who can talk wants to go to the gift shop to play with the toys.  Watch your kids close so they don't break something you'll have to buy.  The toys are actually pretty reasonably priced, but if you aren't planning on buying anything it may help to have a little discussion before you go in so they know they can look, but you won't buy anything.

Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum
645 E 1430 N
Provo, UT 84602

Monday - Friday 10 AM - 9 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM
Closed Sundays

Weekly Shows
Monday - Reptiles at 6:30 and 7:30 PM
Tuesday - Adaptations at 7:30 PM
Wednesday - Utah Plants & Animals 7:30 PM
Thursday - Ecosystems at 7:30 PM
Friday - Invertebrates and 7:30 PM
Saturday - Reptiles at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Infant pajama top

I wanted to make pajama tops to match my pajama pants.  Since I was looking to make 10 tops I went cheap.  I found these shirts at Old Navy on sale, and with my coupon I ended up paying less that $3 a shirt.
It isn't exactly a pajama shirt, and to be honest not really what I had in mind, but it was the right color, size and price so I made it work.  I had planned to do applique using the scraps I had from the pants.  Since the neckline is shirred, it prevented me from doing it front and center like I had imagined so I put it in the bottom right corner instead.

I started by choosing what I wanted to use.  I ended up drawing my bird, cupcake, and heart since I didn't find anything online I loved.  I traced the butterfly from the butterfly pants I had made.

After I had drawn what I wanted it to look like, I made a pattern by tracing each piece individually.

I cut scraps of fabric slightly bigger than I needed for my pattern pieces, and ironed them on to some HeatnBond.

 Once the scraps were ironed on, I pinned the pattern pieces on and cut out my shapes.  Then I ironed on the pieces.

 The finished product (above) - a look at all 10 shirts.

 For the cupcake and the bird I added iron on jewels for the flame and eye.

 For the dog fabric I decided to add a row of paw prints to the bottom hem.  I sewed along the edge after I had ironed it on to secure in place. 

*I made Lily's pants a little long so they will fit her longer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Infant pajama pants

Pajamas for babies are expensive!  So far I have gotten all of Lily's pajamas off of eBay, but now that she is getting older used clothes are harder to find in good condition.  Instead of paying $10-$20 for a pair of pajamas, I decided to make her some.

I couldn't find a pattern for pajama pants for babies, so I made one myself.

DISCLAIMER - I have never been taught how to make my own patterns.  This way works for me but I realize it may not be the best or most precise way of doing things.

1.  Start with a pair of pants that fits the way you want it to.

2.  Fold the pants in half lengthwise.  Put the outside edge of the leg against the edge of the pattern paper you are using.  I use tracing paper, but I know the paper doctors use for their exam tables works as well.  I have been told you can find that paper at any medical supply store.

3.  Trace along the outside of the pants, making sure the outside edge of the pants stays even with the outside edge of the paper.  If the waistband has elastic, stretch the elastic out as far as you can to trace.

4.  I added 1 inch to the bottom of the pant leg.  I then added 1/2 inch to the whole right side of the pattern (inseam and crotch).  I also added 1 1/2 inches to the top of the pattern (waist).

5.  Pin pattern to the fabric and cut 2 pieces on the fold.  (In the picture above, the left edge goes along the fold.)  I made a 12 month size pattern, and needed 1/2 yard of fabric.  Measure your pattern after you have created it to figure out how much fabric you need.

6.  If you have a surger and wish to finish all of the raw edges, surge along the top and bottom of both pieces you just cut out (the bottom of the leg and the waist).  If you don't have a surger this step is not necessary.

7.  Fold each piece in half lengthwise with right sides together.

8.  Starting at the point of the crotch, sew down the pant leg.  I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance since I had added 1/2 inch to the right side of my pattern.  Do this for both pieces.

9.  You should have 2 separate pant legs now with the tops unfinished.  With right sides together, pin the two pieces together matching the unfinished edges of the fabric.  This crotch seam should be in the shape of a U.  Sew together.  I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I also sewed this seam twice to strengthen it.

10.  If you are not using a surger, turn the top of the waist under 1/4 inch and press.  Sew into place.  If you are using a surger this part should already be surged so you can skip this step.

11.  Turn the waist 1 1/4 inches to the inside.  Press.

12.  Decide where you want your button holes.  Mark with pins.  I did mine 1 inch from the middle seam of the pants on the front side.

13.  Unfold the waist so it isn't turned inside anymore.  Make buttonholes where you have marked.  After your button holes are made, turn the waist in again and re-press if necessary.  Pin into place.

14.  Sew along the waist leaving a 1 inch seam allowance.

15.  Measure the elastic to the desired length.  I did this by putting the pants on my daughter and measuring what the elastic needed to be and adding 1 inch.

16.  Safety pin the elastic and drawstring together.  I used ribbon as the drawstring.  Feed through one button hole, around the waistband.

17.  The drawstring should come out of the other buttonhole, but the elastic out of the same one it went in.  I pinned the drawstring into place so I didn't lose it.

18.  Sew together the elastic.  I sewed 1 inch on top of each other using the zig-zag stitch, since I had added 1 inch to the length of elastic I needed.

19.  Feed the elastic back into the waist band so you can't see it.  Feed the drawstring so both ends are equal.  The drawstring on these pants is just for looks, so I sewed along the back of the pants over the elastic and drawstring to keep in place.  This way if you tug on one side of the drawstring it doesn't feed the whole thing through.  Also, since it's for an infant, she can't get the drawstring out and accidentally choke or get strangled by it.

20.  Turn each pant leg under 1 inch.  Press and/or pin into place.  Sew into place.

21.  Since I used ribbon as the drawstring I singed the ends with a lighter to prevent fraying.  You could also tie a knot in each end.

*Notice how the left side the dogs are face up, and the right side the dogs are face down...I wasn't paying a lot of attention when I was cutting this particular pair out.  (I blame it on the episode of cake boss that was on at the time.)

The finished product!  I made 10 pair total.  I had coupons and the fabric was on sale, so it only ended up costing me 88 cents a pair!

See the matching tops I made here.