the perfect summer play dress

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When I saw this pattern I instantly fell in love. I found it at StraightGrain: a blog about sewing. The pattern for the dress can be found here. This pattern was easy and straightforward; just the way ALL patterns should be (in my opinion!) and the results were fabulous! I would even go as far as to say that this is my best dress yet. I told Sal this dress is the most professional looking of all the garments I have ever made and it wasn’t even the hardest to make. When shopping for fabric I wanted to find something soft and comfortable, in hopes that this could be more of a fun play dress than a dress up for a party dress. I decided on a beautifully grey linen with pastel colored polka dots (I cannot remember the name of it for the life of me at the moment. Maybe you do Jenna, your so good with fabric lines and names!). The result was exactly what I was searching for; the perfect summer play dress. The first time she wore it we were visiting my parents in Canada and going to a music festival for the day. We played with boats in the river, had a picnic, danced our hearts out, took turns taking wagon rides, and she even got her face painted for the first time (she chose to get a kitty cat). From sunrise to nap time this dress was well suited for all sorts of adventures.

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I just can’t wait to make more of these! It really is the perfect summer play dress. What has been your favorite summer pattern?

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Her Very Own Apron Dress

aprondress4Quite awhile back I was inspired by a dress I saw on the blog Frontier Dreams. At the time I read this post Onawa was maybe only a month old but I knew I would one day make her this dress. Time went on and Onawa soon turned one, as spring was approaching I decided that this would be the perfect spring dress. Unfortunately, when I looked into buying the pattern I learned that it was discontinued. Still wanting to make the dress I decided it would be simple enough to buy a pattern close to what I wanted and make alterations. Oh boy was I ever wrong! Seeing as how I don’t have any formal sewing training and not even much experience this was a lot to take on and I just had no clue. Once at the fabric store I knew I wanted to incorperate her current obsession with birds into the dress and make sure it was bright and colorful. I bought McCall’s M6688 pattern and thought things would be fun and easy. For awhile things were fun and pretty easy too. That was in till I had to connect the skirt to the botice. Seems were not matching up and it was time to look for some professional help. (This is when I wish I had friends who knew how to sew!!) I found myself a sewing class which offered exactly what I was looking for. The class what great! I got to get out of the house, have a break from the kids and learned so many new skills. Best of all I came home with a finished dress for my daughter. I ended up having to loose some length in the skirt and my gathering stitch had to be stretch out so much that the dress now has hardly any pleating but overall for the situation I put myself in the dress turned out great. The important thing was that Onawa was ecstatic about it. She loved the birds and the little pocket to store away her little treasures. I hope to make her another apron dress in the future, one with proper measurements and pleating!
aprondress5This was also my first time attempting embroidery and I have to say I completely fell in love. It was super easy and fun! I started out by drawing a few ideas on paper. Once I came up with an idea I liked I used a pencil to freehand the picture I came up with  straight onto the fabric which I had placed between an embroidery hoop. I got to work sewing right away and got it all done while watching an episode of Weeds. Yes, I was really into the show Weeds for a bit! Don’t judge!aprondress1 aprondress2 aprondress3

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Onawa’s First Quilt

With Ema Onawa’s first birthday coming up, I figured we ought to blog the quilt that April, Tristan and I made her back when April was pregnant last summer. Quilting is such a great experience with friends, or in a group. This is the second quilt that I personally was apart of making (the first being one Tristan and I made for our anniversary) and I believe it was April’s first. (Right?) It’s so special to see it come together and know it was made with the love of 3 beings. That’s hardly any love compared to how much Onawa is actually loved, but it’s a good start.

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finding comfort

In these past few weeks my belly has been getting bigger and bigger, with that has come some real discomfort. I’m experiencing tense round ligament pain and aches in my lower back while trying to sleep. Also, with these being the last few weeks of my pregnancy I have had birth on the brain 24/7. I’m also in high nesting mode and constantly thinking about how to better our home environment for this new babe and for the birth. With all that in mind I thought it the perfect quick sewing project to make myself a heating rice bag. I think it will be of great help to relax the ligaments around my belly, help me fall off to sleep and also be of great use during labor.

Now to get started you will need the following materials:

  • 1/4 yard linen
  • 1/4 yard of your desired fabric for outside of rice bag (I used 100% cotton)
  • 4 lbs short or medium grain rice
  • essential oil (I used lavender but some others that may be nice are tangerine or)
  • 12” of 5/8” wide velcro

1. Cut Fabric

  • two linen pieces; 20” x 9” each
  • two pieces of fabric which will be on the outside of bag; 22” x 91/2” each

2. Place whatever fabric you chose for outside of bag right sides facing each other and pin together, folding back 1/4” of one of the both back and front of pieces. Press well with iron.

3. Now fold that same edge under 1” and press well with iron. Making sure that both back and front are exactly 1” wide.

4. Turn pieces right side up. Open up the crease that you just ironed (but not 1/4” fold). Center and pin the velcro to the right side of the fabric. Pin the hook piece of velcro to one side of the bag and the loop piece to the other side of the bag.

5. Sew velcro in place.

6. Close velcro and sew around the three sides of bag.

7. Trim seam allowance.

8. Fold velcro edge to wrong side, using your crease as guides of where to fold.

9. Now place linen pieces together (right sides facing each other) and sew together leaving a 3” opening on one of the short sides.

10. Turn bag inside out and it is now time to go get your rice ready.

11. Place 4 lbs. of rice into a bowl, add 7-10 drops of essential oil and stir.

12. Add rice to linen bag and stitch closed. (I shook all the rice to one end and machine-stitched the bag closed, up to you!)

13. Place linen bag into outside bag and velcro closed.

Voila! You now have yourself some comfort in a bag!



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this moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a peaceful and beautiful weekend.

-April

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’tis the season… to get ready for next year

When it comes to crafting, I am an ambitious procrastinator. I come up with a lovely list of a million things to do, and leave them to the last minute so that I can barely find any time to do them. As you can imagine, gifts fall into this category…. which is why i’m still making them and Christmas has since past. And although I had a lot of inspiration for things I wanted to make for our holidays, gifts had priority and crafting for our place just plain didn’t happen.

This could make me sad, being a Christmas freak (I can’t help but love the holidays) but instead I am just excited for next year. When my mom was starting our family she would wait until after Christmas to get new decorations for next year half price, or sew our stockings early in the year so they’d be ready for December. I’m going to have to take after my mom with this, because it is apparent that if I leave my ‘to do’s’ until the season it won’t get done. And so here I am collecting sale fabrics and ideas for our next Christmas. – Jenna

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crafting

Here’s a small glimpse of some of the crafts I had for sale at my first crafts fair I attended this past weekend. I also had some needle felted gnomes and wet felted balls for sale (blogged about here previously). Owen was nice enough to model for me my felt crowns but wouldn’t have anything to do with the tutus I made. So unfortunately I only have a picture of the tule I used, as I still can’t find a model to show off my tutus as all of Owen’s little friends are boys. Can you believe this boy doesn’t have any lil girl buddies! Poor lil bug! Anyway I had a blast selling my things for the very first time and would love to have the chance to do some more craft fairs. This might just get me inspired enough to start up shop on etsy too…..we shall see!! Now with the craft fair over its on to starting my holiday gifts! Bring on December and the light of Solstice!

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just a glimpse

A few things I wanted to share until I have more time to write about them: My first sewn bunny!

My mother in law’s stuffed squash from our families vegetarian thanksgiving…

and the chai tea she had steeping all afternoon along with it.

The wedding season is winding down for us so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the office. There is a lot more to share very soon, including more about these 3 pictures!   – Jenna

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